Saturday, February 19, 2011

Girls and Their Toys

Ok, I'll admit it... I used to be one of those girls that just didn't understand the appeal of toys.... You know, the "boys and their toys" kind of toys. The ones with motors and tires and throttles. THOSE toys. But something has changed.... I own one of those toys. I see the appeal now. The appeal is GREAT.

The last three days of Spring-like weather threw me headlong into Spring fever, and surprisingly, not just for the warm weather, or the flip flops (shocking, I know), or the ability to wear skirts on a regular basis. I want to smell the exhaust of bikes and four wheelers, I want to hear the roar of the engines, and get on my own little yellow four wheeler and RIDE. Batman spent today changing the oil and the brakes to get it all up and ready. I. CANNOT. WAIT.

Dear Spring,

Please stop teasing us and just get here and STAY. I have sun to soak up, and skirts and flip flops to wear, and a four wheeler to drive.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Disappointments and Addictions

Yes, I have been absent. For a very long time. I know. I do apologize, but will not start dishing out lame excuses. I just have been absent from this little blogging world. So absent, in fact, that Batman suggested the other day that perhaps I should just shut this page down. Oh no!! He is certain that no one reads this. I pointed out that we do still have seven followers. Whether said followers read, well, I can't attest to that, but, they are followers nonetheless. So, the page will remain. Fear not, you seven!!

Because of the ridiculously long absence from blog world, I feel like I don't know where to start. Oh, I have had PLENTY that I could have written... Thoughts, lessons, happenings... But I just... haven't. Plus, I'll admit, the world of Facebook makes it SO EASY to pop a quick thought in my status, and then move on. Not much time or thought or effort required.

Rather than trying to play catch up here, I'd rather just deal with my thoughts for today. Lately I have been dealing/struggling/whatever with my expectations and the many disappointments that we face in life. A person disappointing, or things not turning out the way it was expected, or things not happening fast enough, or at all. I realized, I have allowed disappointment to become an excuse for closing myself off from the things around me. I've allowed disappointment to steal joy. Uh oh. It's not about whether or not I am happy today, or the sun is shining, or things are all falling into place... Because, let's face it, there are days that are NOT happy, are NOT sunny, and things just don't seem to fall into place... according to OUR expectations. (Ok, maybe that should read "MY" instead, but I know there has to be at least one of you that gets that....) So why let it steal my JOY? Hmm... I think my answer is found in this devotional from earlier this month. The moment I read the first sentence, I laughed... and I cried....

My kind relatives gave me a coffee maker for Christmas {my mother- and father-in-law REALLY did this year!! The first phrase had my attention!}, which is in one sense like giving a heroin addict a syringe and in another like giving a Christian a devotional book and saying, "Here, I know you're going to need this." (Hold on, cowboys: I don't use metaphors lightly.) {Second sentence, equally hooked... I could SO RELATE!!} My family knows I'm addicted to caffeine, which is clear when I go without it it for even one morning. I feel foggy and crabby and get a headache by mid-afternoon. If I'm traveling someplace where coffee isn't on hand for breakfast, it's something of a crisis until I find a drive-through Starbucks or whatever - and then of course there's always a long line of irritated junkies just like me. Sad, really. {I read this to Batman, and told him, "Hey, at least I'm not THAT bad!" He just looked at me. Maybe I am.}

The funny thing about it is I hated coffee for a long time and couldn't understand why people drank the stuff. {Yep, the writer is still referring to ME. I just KNOW it.} It's the kind of thing you have to develop a taste for. It doesn't come naturally, but then when it's finally part of your routine, you'll move mountains to get your hands on it. {Yup!!}
Kind of like spiritual life, when you think about it. We know it's important to spend time every day reading the Bible and praying, but it's not the kind of thing that comes easily to us at first. We have to develop a taste for it. But once we get in the habit of it, life feels out of sorts if we go without it for any length of time. We can't think straight. We feel crabby and start growling at the people we love. Then, when it finally occurs to us what the problem is, we wonder, How could such a tiny ritual be so important? And yet it is. We're not really content again until we've spent some time each day nurturing our spirits with the revitalizing presence of God.
What would happen if I got as addicted to God as I am to coffee? How can I move heaven and earth to carve out time for Him every day?
                                                                                       Psalm 63:1-5
~ The One Year Daily Grind by Sarah Arthur

Um, OUCH? Wonder if that might have something to do with that joy problem. Maybe if I was so addicted to God, disappointment of any sort wouldn't really matter. Because, disappointment IS a guarantee. People WILL let you down. Things will not always work out as planned. But God will never ever ever disappoint. No matter what. I think that is something I need to seal in my heart again.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

November 9, 1996

For most, it is just another normal day. For others, it is a day to rejoice in the birth of a new little one. Others yet may remember this day with sadness... perhaps someone was lost. For this girl, however, November 9, 1996 is a day of wonder and surprise and love.

*** CAUTION: Mush ahead. Proceed at your own risk. ***

You see, nine months earlier, I realized something... I was in love with my best friend. Trust me, I tried talking myself out of it... Problem number one, I had decided that I was done with guys... they were all jerks, they would only hurt you... Problem number two, he was five years older than me, and at a couple weeks shy of 17, that is a pretty big age gap. However, there was no talking myself out of it... I KNEW that someday, I would marry him.

On Saturday morning, Batman came to pick me up... We had plans to go hiking. After saying goodbye to my parents, we drove to G------ and parked at the trailhead. We walked down the trail into the gorge to the foot of a beautiful waterfall. There, he sat me down and proceeded to hike BACK up to the car. Someone "forgot the camera." Whether he ever actually brought down the camera, I don't know... I absolutely cannot remember. When he did return, he knelt in front of me, and held out a little black box. I remember thinking, "what on earth is he DOING?!?!" He opened the box, looked me in the eye, and asked, "E, will you be my princess forever?"

* Quick side note for anyone wondering why on earth I would think I am a princess... Read that question again. I'll wait. Ready? Good. Moving on.*

It took a moment for all of it to sink in. My initial split second thought was, "this must be fake, he's teasing me, this is just practice.....," but then reality set in... As much as reality can set in at that moment, anyhow. With tear filled eyes, I told him yes, with all my heart, I'd marry him.

That was fourteen years ago today. We've had our good times and our struggles, our sunny days and our dark nights. One thing that is certain: Batman, I love you with all my heart and I'd marry you all over again. Thanks for being a good man, a good husband and my best friend.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Train up a child....

The Girl's Language work today had the following directions:

On a separate sheet of paper, use each of the following words in a declarative sentence:


For "princess"... (wait, I need a moment to compose myself and wipe the tear from my eye. I am SO PROUD......)

Ok... The Girl wrote:

"I am a princess."

Yes, my love, you are. I am so glad that all the girlie training is paying off. You are a girl after your momma's own heart. Would you like to go to the salon later? We could paint our nails this afternoon with matching colors if you'd like.....

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Changing Seasons

My house smells like cinnamon.

I know, that is a strange introduction after an absence nearly three months long. What can I say? I've been wrapped up in my love affair with summer - with the sun and the warmth, with flip flops and polka dots, with garden fresh veggies and all things grilled. Despite the love and enjoyment of this summer, I have to admit, every time I've looked at this page, I have had ZERO inspiration. Don't fret, I still have been stopping at your pages. I haven't been ignoring everything. :)

Now I am ready to settle back in, bake, soak in the heat from the wood stove, and find some inspiration to blog. Bean-bag school is in session and routine is back. All of us at the "Guthrie homestead" are looking forward to what is in store for us this season. What I heard from the littles today while they did school is perfect:
"But God's plans are not always the same as man's plans."

I'm glad His plans are not mine. He is far more creative and caring (and all knowing!!) than I am. Here's to new seasons, God's bigger plans, and the beauty of autumn.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I am...

I am Batman's wife.
I am The Boy's and The Girl's mom.
I am an EMT.
I am F-town's ambulance captain.
I am a daughter.
I am a sister.
I am a best friend.
I am an aunt.
I am a girlie-girl.
I am my Daddy's child - the Father's little girl, apple of His eye.

Why isn't that last one first? Of the myriad of things that I identify myself as, why isn't the most important first on the list? Here's a story I can relate to, and maybe you can as well....

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." - Luke 10:38-42.

Martha spend so much time being a good hostess (another identifier I strive for) that she misses it, yet Mary sits at His feet. She laid everything else aside. God said that her time at His feet was NEEDED. It's not just something nice to do, it is a necessity. Priorities.

My heart wants to get it all lined up the right way, but my persistance to get it done? Well, that's not really my strong suit. I read Luke 11:9-13 - ask, SEEK, knock - then jumped up a couple verses and read. This is when I seemed to "get it" a little more. This clicked for some reason.

Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.'

"Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." - Luke 11:5-10

I say to my friends, "call me anytime you need me - even if it's the middle of the night!!" And I do mean it. Really. But, in all reality, they will probably have to be pretty persistent about it. They'll have to call at least twice. My phone is in the living room - far far away from my sleeping head so my brain cells don't fry, but close enough to hear through a sleep induced fog. Probably. So, this little excerpt in Luke about Friend A going to Friend B's house at midnight grabbed me. That act in itself is pretty persistent. I can't picture myself showing up on your doorstep at midnight needing something. Eight or nine o'clock and needing a place to crash, you bet! Midnight, not so much. BUT, if I did get that far, I imagine that I'd keep banging on the door til I got my answer, just like Friend A did on Friend B's door. And, "I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs." ... Immdediately following that verse is God's instruction to ask - keep asking, SEEK, by all means, keep seeking! Keep knocking. Persistence may not be everything, but it sure is a lot.

Did you screw up or falter today? Pick yourself back up, dust yourself off and keep seeking. He WILL be found. That much I do know.  I am The Father's daughter, and I will seek Him.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Lesser Lovers

Recently, God has been speaking to us about our time, our hearts, and our affections. A dear friend was in town and cautioned us about having "lesser lovers." Lesser lovers?!?! What?!

Reading, surfing the net (Facebooking!) racing, keeping "house", etc. - there is nothing wrong with any of these activities, but when they become more important than my time and relationship with God, they are out of order - they are lesser loves. Not one of them is even remotely as worthy as God, but taking my time and attention and affection nonetheless. This morning I picked up my devotions and read this:


I've been reading through the book of judges - or rather, reading a chapter now and then as time and memory allow (you know how it goes) - and recently the opening line of chapter 13 got my attention: "Again the Israelites did evil in the Lord's sight..." It was the again that jumped out at me. Obviously there was a pattern developing there, but I'd been reading the book so slowly that I'd lost track of the thematic thread.

So, I skimmed back through Judges from the beginning and realized what I'd been missing was a phrase that's used over and over to introduce each new episode - "Again the Israelites did evil" (see Judges 3:7, 12; 4:1-2; 6:1; 10:6-8; etc.) - always paired with this curios little phrase: "So the Lord handed them over to [insert enemy here]." This is significant. The point isn't just that the Israelites kept messing up. The point is that every time they did, they lost their freedom.

How many agains are to be encountered in our lives? We turn away, and God steps in and helps us - He brings people into our lives who tell us the truth, for example - and for awhile we repent and attempt to get ourselves on track. But then the material attractions of the world glitter before our eyes, or we receive the attentions of popular people, and before long we are no long interested in spiritual things but start chasing after the things of this world. Again is a lifestyle, an ongoing pattern of resistance to the living God. And it's not without consequences: Sooner or later He turns us over to the things we crave. He hands us over to other masters who do not love us - to what we thought we wanted.

Are material possessions what you're chasing after? Fine, God says - I'll hand you over to those things until you're a modern-day slave trapped in bondage to credit card debt. Is it sexual pleasure that you crave? Okay, God says - I'll hand you over to every indulgence until you can no longer feel anything at all. Or what about romance? Sure, God says - I'll hand you over to another human being until you experience how similar love can be to hatred in the end. Is it popularity you want? Go for it, God says. I'll hand you over to your heroes until you can no longer speak or breath without needing their permission.

And so on and so forth. How many agains are they re to be in my life before I recognize my worthless idols for what they are?

Judges 13:1
Hmm... What in my life is a lesser lover? What is keeping me from taking that time with my King? What is my "again"? Am I so consumed throughout the week with making my house what I feel it should be? Cleaning, or laundry, or dishes, or school work? Other peoples children? Recouping from the weekend for the first half of the week and preparing for the weekend for the second half? What am I allowing to take precedence over that quiet time with the Father? My time to worship, to listen, to feed, to pray, to draw near to His heart?

I don't want any lesser loves in my life. I want "again" to cease being a lifestyle.