Total Pageviews

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

babies in dumpsters

The other day I witnessed the most horrifying picture. I was scrolling through facebook, and I found my gaze fixed on something. At first, I couldn't quite make out exactly what it was..
the image looked foreign..something I had never seen before..
as I focused my eyes, I saw a photograph of a tiny baby in a dumpster.
I was horrified.  My heart sank into my stomach and, at first, I haughtily wondered, "why on earth anyone would post this?" It is hurtful to the eyes and, even more so, to the heart.

I couldn't get the image out of my head for the entire day. I was at work and my mind would revert back to the image of the baby in the dumpster. 

I began to realize why the picture was sprawled out like a disease ..before our very eyes..
because babies in dumpsters are a reality.
It's not a reality that we care to acknowledge,,but it is there..lurking and hiding... threating our eyes and our hearts on average,  run of the mill,  tuesdays.
babies in dumpsters are the dark corridor that no one wants to travel..or talk about...or see..
kind of like war..where babies die some bitter and unjust way..

I cry when I think about babies in dumpsters. I cry that a mother could toss aside a human life, a tiny life, like trash...

I began thinking of things I could do..ways I could combat babies in dumpsters. I thought of action things.. I thought of rallying people together and holding signs and gathering and praying around dumpsters.

Jesus showed me so many things that many things about babies in dumpsters.
He showed me that He hears my prayers and, from now on, every time I pass a dumpster, I  pray that my heart is quickened to pray..pray for lost and hurting women..pray that disposing of her baby never enters her mind..pray that, as she looks at that dumpster, something stirs within her..something called love and hope.
So, I have taken to praying for mothers that want to kill thier own..

On the day I saw the baby in the dumpster, Jesus said something else.. "keep spreading your light."
Keep spreading it.. no matter how dismal and dark the world may appear..there is still that light..and it may reach further than you know..

I began to wonder how many of our all our dark ways and deeds, contribute to the disease of society. The world can be a sick and twisted place. One need to look no further than facebook on a Tuesday afternoon to need look no further than a picture of a baby in a dumpster.. to know that the world is sick.

Sin kills. I can't paint it any clearer than that.
I can't sugarcoat it. There is no sugarcoating in a world where mothers and fathers throw newborn babes into piling heaps of trash.
There is no sugarcoating here. There is no glazing it over... I have always heard the phrase..If you aren't a part of the solution, then you are a part of the problem.

Christ is the Truth. He is the solution. He is love, and to walk in His ways is to walk in meekness, kindness, patience, long suffering, gentleness and love...He is hope and goodness..healing and restoration....  and anything a part of the problem..

Our lies..our road rage, our impatience..our gossip..our bullying, mean, undiscipled children..
our cursing..our crushing unforgiving spirits,
our lust, our adultery, our impure motives and deeds,
our  greed,
our desire to please self at the cost and risk of damaging another human soul..
a soul  that probably happens to be a mother...
that probably just needs a helping hand...
but instead finds a world of sin and muted light.. ..a woman that travels solemnly towards piles of debris and refuse with a whimpering and crying babe clutching at her chest..

We think it ok to lie..or steal..failing to see that we are part of the disease..failing to see how we feed the we are sucked into the lie.... failing to see that the great consuming disease of our society is called sin....because recognizing it and calling it what it really is..would mean that we would have to take accountability for our lives and actions...and it may mean, heaven forbid,
that we would have to change some things about ourselves... It would mean that we would have to spread our light..and offer people hope and maybe, even, heaven forbid, live out the beliefs we claim to have..

we fail to see how the darkness grows..and if we aren't a part of the solution, then we are a part of the problem.. we are caught up in the machine....
Our sin..our dark deeds...make for a world of babies in dumpsters.
Keep shining your light.
You never know how far reaching it can be..

perhaps it can find it's way.. through the cracks and corridors.. to the woman silently walking..head bowed low..towards that heaping pile of trash.

pray for them..
Now is the time to pray.
I cannot handle and do not want to live in a world of babies in dumpsters.

Mommy, I'm a robot

Bear eating a blackberry. he thinks they are gross! I think this was his first taste

Bear holding his mickey...

a boy and his stuffed mickey heart is melting..

everyday I fall more and more in love with my boys. I didn't think it was possible, but I find that, as more love is given..the heart swells open even more..creating more room to give and receive love.

As mothers, we often search for meaning and purpose. One day I was pushing my little "bear" in a stroller and God whispered something to me.. This is what I was made love and nurture this beautiful and wonderful child. To spend time with him. To build encourage him in the most gentle and loving of ways.. to teach him and show him the very ways of God  through my example and actions.

I love my Brendan "bear." Right now, a part of me simply just wants to talk about him..his little quirks. I like writing about the things I love..and there is nothing that I love more than God and my two boys.  Some days I don't want to write about lessons or stories or things that happen..some days I simply want to write about my children. Because one day, when they are grown..I know I can always come back to this corner of the web and remember. 

today, little bear grabbed his mickey doll and wanted to play outside. he carried it around with him everywhere he went. He saw the neighbors and walked over to say hello. he invited himself into thier home and offered to help pick leaves up out of thier yard. He is a natural born helper.
he is quick to offer his assistance anytime it is needed. He helps put away the dishes..he picks up his toys.
he spins around and around and says, "I'm a robot."

He never sits still and I love that about him. He is a worker. He is a lover of life..

I love how he cuddles up next to me and says, "hold me like a rabbit." and then says, "woof, woof" in the tiniest and sweetest voice.
I love how on some days his eyes look green and other days they are the color of mud.
I love how he wants to help me pick blackberries..
I love how he calls chocolate milk, "choc."
I love my baby bear...

 "Train up a child in the ways that he should go, and surely, he will not depart from it."

things you never knew about sunflowers..and 5 uses.

I love sunflowers...I love their mammoth size..they tower over the ground..beautiful, vibrant, and stately. Sunflowers, along with gardenia's are probably my favorite flower. Everytime I pass a sunflower patch..I find myself genly tapping on the brakes..peering for a closer look.. 

Sunflowers are called "heliotropes." helio is latin for "sun." When sunflowers are young, they actually turn their young heads toward the sun. The movements are slow, perhaps almost imperceptible..but the head of the sunflowers actually follows the movement of the sun from dawn til dusk. Mature sunflowers typically keep thier heads pointed east.

If there is one plant that "protects" humans, it is the sunflower.. It's roots are known for absorbing harmful  chemicals from the ground. The roots and stem of sunflowers soak up radiation, heavy metals, and other chemicals.

sunflowers are actually called a composite flower. Thier heads are composed of hundreds of tiny flowers or florets clustered in a beautfiul spiral pattern.

sunflowers are the symbol of the vegan society and the state flower of Kansas

Sunflowers were used the native Americans to make paints, dyes, and even medicines..

Sunflowers stems are used to make paper.

Sunflowers are complex and intricate flowers, but their beauty is simple. Tp me, they are a praying flower..I often notice their heads bowed low..heavy from ripe seeds.. They appear to be thanking God..perhaps for His Creation, perhaps for their own beauty and unique purpose.

I find it interesting that sunflowers follow the sun when they are young. But then, as they mature, their heads stubbornly stay pointed in one direction. When they are old and ripe thier heads hang low...

As children, aren't we like sunflowers..trusting, faithful, our heads and our hearts..following the Light.."the Son." But as, we grow older and become adults..we often stubbornly turn away from the Truth we recognized in our childhoods?  When we are older and often do we return to the Truth from which we had departed..and finally learn to give thanks with heads bowed low? Or does the sunflower hang it's head low because, like us, it had lost a child like faith, and spent years in stubborness?

Whatever the case, I love the parallels.. I love finding similarites between things..  I hope you don't mind my musings..

I researched five uses for sunflowers. I hope  you enjoy.

There is peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter and sunbutter. Here is a recipe to make your own sunbutter !

Natural oils are good for the skin. Are you interested in smooth skin? Here is a recipe for homemade facecream using the natural oil from sunflowers.

Looking for a project to do with the family. Birds love sunflower seeds. Her is a link that shows how to make your own birdfeeder out of a sunflower head.

Got a craving for sunflower seeds? Grow sunflowers and  roast your own.

I love natural perfumes. Here is how to make your very own homemade, unique floral scent...

Have fun!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Life, The Musical

Spider Lilies?

I love musicals. I remember when I was about 18 years old.. I thought it was strange that people talked.. The world, it seemed, would be better lived, if everyone just sang.

Why not? I thought that happiness should spill over..first from the heart and then burst out....from the lips..
singing seemed more natural than simply speaking.

I worked at a restaurant and I used to try to engage everyone in song. I thought that life should be a dance number....Choreographed to fit any mood or situation.

everyone thought I must have been on some sort of drug..but, in truth, I was just happy.

My family sings. My parents will belt out a tune while cooking dinner or doing housework.

For years, the enemy stole my song..
but Jesus gave it back.

and now, I am back to relishing in the "musical" of daily living.

I hum a tune and I recognize the sound..

Don't let the enemy steal your song. You have your very own are a living, winding along through life, changing the directions of rivers and streams..  You are the music!

Psalm 95:2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

Then you will recite to one another psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; you will sing and make music to the Lord with your hearts; Ephesians 5:19

Psalm 87:7 "Singers and dancers alike say, 'All my springs are in You.' "

Psalm 92:1 "It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp. For you make me glad by your deeds, O Lord; I sing for joy at the works of Your hands."

Im sorry Babe, but I will not cover for you

“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:26-28

Proverbs 10:9  The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.
Ecclesiastes 12:14  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.


I think about lies.

I have dealt with lies two times in the past two days.

I am going to tell a brief story about what happened.

Names and locations will not be used in order to protect "the innocent."

There will probably be a lot of cute little quotations..since I am being  "discreet."

The other day there was an "accident."  Someone I know was involved. Let's call him "X" for privacy purposes.

Nothing major..just a little mishap that could have been easily prevented. It could have turned ugly, but I had a feeling that it wouldn't...

Well, "X" made a little mistake..

"X" came up to me with a contrived, made up story about what "really happened."

"X" wanted me to "cover" for him... basically, "X" wanted me  to lie.

I like "X".. I like "X's" company.

I stood there, with my stomach rising up to my throat...

This is one of  those moments..where you know a lie is know can feel it in the gut..but you realize that if you tell "X" that you won't "cover for him" then , chances are, he is going to hate you.  And, as lover of people, that is  the last thing you want...people to hate you.

So, I stood there, as "X" rushed off to tell his lie. 

I hate lies.  When I first became a Christian, I knew that, one day, God was going to give me something important to say. So, I did the hard thing. I went to people that I had lied to..I told them the truth. I told them that God had completly changed my life and that I was sorry for my lie.
The  truth had set me free.

Fastforward to the not too distant past.... I stood there remembering the verses that say that liars will burn in a fiery lake..and that all things hidden will be revealed..and I knew that, no matter the consequence, no matter the ugly glares and the risk of being hated by a liked person..
I knew that I could not cover for "X"

I knew that lies, even when glazed over with even a few, minor falsities, are still lies.

Shortly thereafter, someone approached me about the "accident"
What happened?, they inquired..

My stomach clenched, I knew that I had to tell them...If I had lied, there would have been a whole downward spiral of one lie leading to another..
So, I revealed what really happened, but explained that I hope and pray that there are no consequences for "X"

Well, thankfully, the 'accident' turned out to be very minor..
but lies are not something that I consider something to sweep under the rug. They are spirtual death and I am amazed at the number of self proclaiming Christians that deem it "ok" to lie.  Perhaps, they don't believe they have anything important to they make up stories..and perpetrate lies..

I have a message..
"X", I'm sorry babe, but  I will not cover for you. Love means telling the truth no matter how much you will be hated or scorned. 
"X" there is no need to lie. You would amazed at the amount of respect people will have for you if you simply told the  truth. There is integrity in telling the truth. Suck it up, tell the truth, and  be a man.
"X"  I love you and am praying for you because I believe in the soul and I fear the consequence of lies.  "X" I know you were trying to protect yourself..but I believe in the verse that says, "if you try to protect your life, you will surely lose it."  I don't want the protection that lies have to offer. I'll stick with promises of Jesus.. "X" I know I"m not perfect, but I am willing to admit my mistakes and suffer the consquences...

"X" you are my friend and the last thing a friend should do is lie for you. It's not going to happen on my watch.



I  wrote this speaks of the hidden dangers of lies destroy!

the subtle echo of darkness
cloaked, as a clown, with
a smile...

but the smile is deadly
it hides a true intent,
a heart of darkness
the smile of meniacal clowns..

behind the face of laughter
are eyes of fire....
an all consuming fire that seeks
to destroy

the pact, our bond of words
without it,
our words mean nothing...
our words are air
empty, meaningless, air...

air that sits in chimneys
stale, coughing, choking in fumes
blowing out smoke
and dust
and death

how innocent a string of words
that have no meaning...
how innocent...our white utterances..that
we cover our mouths to try to hide...

eat this fruit, nothing will happen,
chaos ensues

the root of the darkness
grasps the tongue, and the devil bids us speak..

Lies. Lies. Lies. Lies. Lies.

tongues of invisible weeds
syallables in sucession
twist and thwart
around the heart
and choke out Light
that helps us grow


subtle as a cherry falling on the ground
a cherry
plump and savory
but the inside is bitter
the taste is rot


Lies. lies. lies. lies. lies. lies. lies.

after the storm

And the same day, when the evening was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.  And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.  And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.  And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?  And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? Matthew 4:35-40 (source) (source)
Tonight, I lament. In this life, there are times when the thorns are all too evident. They hide behind the rose in mockery and lie in wait for blood.

My heart grieves for friends with brothers diagnosed with terminal cancer...
and I think about the thorns...

In the not too distant past, I went through my own storm. I hunkered down as the rains came falling..I trusted..I prayed..I waited for the rain to pass ..and it did.

Lately, I have been reeling in beauty, using the line and the net that God has given me, and pulling it in from the very ocean of Life..the water that flows from His very hand.

I once heard that one of the best times to fish is right after a storm.

I think of the disciples. They were a group of struggling fisherman..But Jesus stepped into thier boats and took control of thier oars..He led them into places that held an abundance of fish. Thier nets were so full that the boat could barely hold all of the fish.

Jesus knew where the fish were. If they hadn't trusted Him..they would probably still be hunkered down in thier boats..casting nets..that only came back empy. Thier bellies would rumble and their perplexed minds would wonder where on the good green earth all the fish are..

Ironically, I am allergic to fish..but as I learn to trust Jesus, I find that my boat is full of them. Fish of all shapes and sizes. Fish with rainbow scales. Glimmering fish.  Fish so numerous that they could feed five thousand.

If I hadn't faced the storm, could I have ever found the fish?

Why storms?

I don't think that God causes His children to suffer, but I know that He can still use it, in all of it's bloody madness, for His Glory.

The rose is no less because of it's thorns. It's beauty finds a way to prevail.  Beauty finds a way. Like the tree that pushes itself up through the crack in the sidewalk... spiritual beauty triumphs over  spiritual ugliness and Truth prevails over lies.

The other  day I began to read the book of Genesis. I am at a place where I have so much to learn. There are still unanswered many things yet to be discovered...but as I was reading I noticed something...and this may be little more than a musing , bear with me..

I was reading about Creation. God created the heavens and the earth..I know that God is Light. Several verses say that God is Light..He is truth and "in Him, there is no darkness at all."
God is a living, breathing Light...

As I was reading about Creation, God separated the darkess from the light. I began to think..and this may sound stange..but if God is a Living, breathing, spirit of Light..(all this is biblical)..then what if the darkness is alive, as well. What if all of the demons and evil..sprang up from a darkness that was already here before the beginning of time..and God's entire plan was to save us from it... 
I know this musing may sound strange..But I don't think that God causes the storms..but He can use the winds to push into safer and more beautiful places..
where there are lots of fish..
and granted, I may be wrong. There is much that I don't know, and I'm not afraid to admit it..

Today, I simply want to give hope to those going through the storm.. the lighting rages..the winds are fierce..and you long for the eye..the peaceful long for the storm to pass....
But I am here to tell you  that the storm will pass..and when it does..if you let Him take a hold of your boat and guide the oars..
You will come to where the fish are...the fish that glimmer. I pray they are so abundant that you don't even need a net to pull them in..I pray they jump out at you and land next to where you are..

I want to tell you what awaits on the other side of the storm.......

After the storm.......

there is sweet, leftover scent of the rain...
the sunshine peeks through the clouds....and when the sun and the drizzle meet, there are rainbows...dazsling color that permeates the wind blown ground...casting color on the dead, broken branches.

after the storm,
the ground is fertile..the soil is wet, and what was has what it needs to grow.

the flowers bloom, the birds emerge to rebuild nests...

After the storm, is a time for rebuilding..

Want to hear an amusing story?  Our neighbor told me that after the Hurricane Rita, a parakeet landed on her brother in laws head..She went on to say that the bird must have escaped from it's cage..She now takes care of what was once a lost parakeet....

After the storm there is life, set free from it's cage....finding love in new places... after the storm, we sit on front porches..drinking teechino...amazed that the sound of laughter is somehow stronger in our ears..amazed at the sound of wings..

After the storm, there are wings..
I pray you find your rainbow at the end of the storm.....

Here are some lyrics from a song I wrote:

There are days when,
your hands are tied
when the knots pull
from the inside

and you think you have
no flag to raise
but you have two hands
made for praise..


and I see a Man
on the horizon and
He's calling out to me..
He has in hand, a sort of
liferaft and..
he holds it out to me..

still working on it.. :)

From (source)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cloud Love, a romantic lesson on cloud types

Mammatus clouds..courtesy of google images

I'm fascinated by the sky. I've always marveled when clouds would take on strange and beautiful forms....
There is something surreal about the sky.

When I was young, I have a memory that I will never forget. My family was headed to a trip to Mississippi to visit my grandmother. I remember singing the song, "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands." 

As I was singing, I looked up at the sky..and the moonilight illuminated the clouds. They were formed into a pair of praying Hands.  Have you ever seen images in the clouds?  As a child we would lay on the grass and stare up at the sky and find elephants and puppies, and a variety of other living things.  Sometimes, we had to use our imagination...but on this particular night, on our way to my grandmother's house in MI crooked letter, crooked letter, "I", the image was perfect.

Two hands, touching..pointed towards Heaven ...praying..
"He's got the Whole World in His Hands."

Recently, I was driving to work and I saw my first ever heart shaped cloud... I thought it was amazing.. God knew the amount of water it would take to make two slopes curve toward to a point..and how many dew drops it would take to make two tiny arches at the tops of the points to form a heart...
Our God is interesting.

lately, I've been trying to come up with interesting blog posts. I wanted to write about the clouds. For, the past few days, I have actually researched clouds. They various cloud types, thier names, thier appearance.

Yesterday, on my way home from work....I found myself attempting to classify the various clouds. I saw an abundance of altocumulus...stacked high..they were thick and fat,, puffy and the color of cotton.

I learned that clouds, when stacked high, signify rain..and so yesterday I predicted rain...
About an hour later, the wind began to blow..and the sky grew slighty dark..but no rain came...
I was close..but I still haven't mastered meteorolgy....Yet..

Today, I want to give you a brief lesson in clouds. Let me forewarn you, however. You may find yourself analyzing..and putting them in nice little packages that say, Cirrus, or stratus or something or other...and you may just give yourself a I did...
Maybe we should just enjoy them.....
But how cool would it be to be sitting with your friends and saying.."My, My check out the mare on that cirrus."   

So this is what I have learned of technical terms..

There are 4 main cloud types.
1. Cirrus
2. Stratus
3. Cumulous
4. Nimbus

Let's start with Cirrus... In Latin, Cirrus means tuft or curl of hair...think thin and wispy..Cirrus clouds are thin..they are so high up in the sky that they are made up of tiny, ice particles.  If you see an abundance of these thin and wispy clouds, you can be certain of a clear and sunny day. 

Sometimes, Cirrus clouds have little tails called "mares" Think of a horse. A horse has a tail and is called a mare...

Here is a lovely picture of a cirrus cloud..a thin and wispy wonder of the sky..

courtesy of google images

This is a good example of cirrus mare tails..little horse tails in the shape of clouds!

 2. The next type of cloud for discussion purposes is the stratus cloud.  In Latin, stratus means layered..
Stratus clouds are usually low lying layered clouds..they are thick and usually signify rain is imminiment or will fast approach.  If something is layered, it is heavy..and if clouds are heavy..they are fat with raindrops..

Here are some pics of stratus clouds.

 I took this picture in the Jamaican mountains last year..

4.  The other day I was driving over a huge bridge and I saw the most dazzling array of cumulus clouds. It looked like hundreds of floating balls of cotton. They seemed perfectly spaced and it seemed they were everywhere. It left an impression in my mind as a sky I will never never forget. So, The next type of cloud I will discuss is the cumulus cloud. Cumulus clouds are the puffy, pretty clouds that look like cotton. In Latin, Cumulus means "pile" or "heap" Think of heaps of white..piled up to look like mounds of cotton. Or simple little floating tufts soaring through the air..
Cumulous clouds can turn into cumulonimbus clouds..which can bring rain..

On a side note: Clouds are also classifeid by how far up into the sky they reach. High means "alto" So cumulous clouds that go high into the air are called altocumulus clouds. 
This could probably get pretty detailed and this is meant to be a simple I'll stop there.

Here are some pics of cumulous clouds.

photo courtesy of google images

google image photo of cumulus clouds

More cumulous, esp. toward the bottom..

4. Next, we come to the nimbus cloud.
Nimbus clouds are storm clouds. In Latin, it means "nebula" or rain cloud.  Cumulous clouds can quickly gather and swell and turn into cumulonimbus clouds..or storm clouds..
similarly, stratus clouds can turn violent and progress into statonimbus clouds...

Cumulonimbus cloud..big whie, fluffy cloud grown into a storm cloud..tut tut..looks like rain..

Next, is my favorite part... the rare clouds..clouds that you may see only once in a lifetime. I am in awe at the rare beauty of the following clouds..

Let's start with the "mammatus" cloud. Mammatus clouds are typically non threating althought they can look menacing. They are associated with severe weather but ususally surface after the storm has passed. They are called mammatus because they appear like "mammaries."  I think a man must have named these clouds because only a man would envision boobs hanging out of the sky..

Despite the name, I am enchanted by these clouds. I saw them once.

Here are mammatus clouds.

I would love to see this. I saw mammatus clouds once, but not as defined. Look for them after bad weather.

If I had to choose a favorite type of cloud, I think I would choose the Asperatus cloud.  Asperatus means "rough"...
Asperatus clouds have been referred to as the "Jacque Cousteau" cloud because they resemble a turbulent ocean.
Asperatus clouds are rare. They were first spotted fairly recently in Scotland and other parts of the United Kingdom.
They caused a stir in the meterological world becasuse, how they  form is a mystery. This is the newest cloud type to emerge in over 50 years.

Look at these pictures and marvel.

The last cloud I will introduce is the lenticular cloud. Lenticular clouds form in the mountains..the air sweeping around the curves of the mountains make a very unique shape that resembles a UFO or flying saucer. Lenticular clouds are known as flying saucer clouds..

Enjoy these pics!

Well, I hope you learned something from this post. I love clouds and love to learn about the things I love.

So, grab a blanket on a sunny day and sit out under the sky...point out the shapes in the clouds and see if you can tell what kind of clouds that God has given you to enjoy.

post dedicated to Stacy LeBleu..who also loves clouds :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

golden hair and moxy

Today, I introduce Cade..

I am so grateful for my oldest son. I thought I was going to lose him, once.
When I was pregnant, I remember going to the hospital, bleeding.
The doctor mentioned a scary word that I had never heard before. "Ectopic"
He told me to come in for an ultrasound, my baby might be ectopic..stuck in the tubes..
Babies don't survive least, most don't..

Cade wasn't ectopic.
But he was stubborn.
He was determined to see what lies outside the womb at 25 weeks.
He tried..but medication and bedrest proved to be slightly stronger than his strong will.

Cade made it to 38 weeks, but there was one final obstacle before the tiny trooper would see the world.
The umbilical cord.
It somehow found its way around his little neck.
I was well on my way. 8 hours into a natural labor and the nurse discovered an umbilical cord..
one that would act as a noose..if the baby were pushed out into the world..

So, on the fly, they cut me open..and handed me the most beautiful boy I had ever seen.
Stark blue eyes. And hair the color of gold.
With one execption.
There was one hair..just on the back of his head that stood out. It was black and wiry. It wasn't like the other hairs. It was singular. It had moxy.

I think that one hair can sum Cade up in a nutshell.
Cade has moxy.
He is one of a kind.

And his hair is still the same shade of gold...and I'm sure that somewhere..that little black hair is still thriving.

Cade stunned us all.
At the age of 2, he was putting together intricate puzzles and could point out the entire alphabet.
Cade is like an elephant that never forgets.

And food?  The boy is a human bulldozer when it comes to food. If Cade has one passion in life..It is food. Bacon. King Crabs. For his birthday, his one wish was to go to a Vegas style buffet. That changed from his wish as a four year old-- whose inquiring mind only wanted to venture off to Africa to go on a safari.

This post is really just to say one thing: Cade, I love you. You are an amazing boy. I love your sweet and tender heart. 
I love your love of chess and even your pouty moods.
I love your "face" jokes.. ( Cade asks a question. Mom, what is awesome? The answer being , "your face." He asks a series of questions and the answer is always the same.. "Your face."
It's rather amusing.

Cade, I love how you sit in front of the computer teaching yourself to draw. I love how you devise your very own lego creations. I love your love of detail.

I love how you want to be an architect because you like to build.

Cade, no matter what you are, my goal is to build..
To build you into the man that God wants you be..

I love how you look after your little brother even though he destroys your lego creations.
I love how you can quote any line from just about every movie you have ever seen. I love your love of Sudoku..and how you always try to get to watch youtube with you..short animiated lego films, Thumb Wars and Titianic in 5 second spoofs.
I love how I could sit here at this computer and type away about you all day..scared that  I might miss something.

Cade, I'm sorry I work too much and don't get the time with you that  I crave.
Cade, I love you!

Me and the boy in Santa Fe..He loved the original art galleries. He was in awe at the bronze carvings

photo taken by my sis in law. Cade is homeschooled and making an art project

I love dressing up in hero costumes and I love wearing suits to church!

I am a pure, all American sweetheart. :)

to be strong...

Today, I saw a tree growing through the crack in the pavement. Trees are strong. I recently heard a story about how a tree root muddled up someone's entire sewer system.

The roots of the tree sought out water. They fought thier way through cement and pipe to find it. Trees are tenacious, stubborn.. and roots stop at nothing to survive. 

Trees fight to live.

Do you think it's coincidence that the Bible alludes to the children of God as "trees"?

"They shall be called Oaks of Righeousness, the plantings of our LORD"  Isaiah 61:

"He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:8

No, it is no coincidence that God's children are called trees.

Today, I was thinking about fighters. Not fighters who engage in brawls.. .. I was thinking of those with determination, drive..moxy..those that fight with the mind,,,  People with spirit. People who, despite the thorns that life has placed into their hands, still get down in the dirt and dig.  The fighters who search.. who fearlessly brave the odds and relentlessly pursue the mark.  ..Those who fight to live...

I look back to when I was a young child.  I remember "the cat."
I was probably about seven or eight. I remember having heard the horrific news that a stray kitten that had lodged himself in the motor of my parent's car. ..It was pretty bad... imagine a quasi mangled kitty.
He was suffering and my dad did something that he thought would end it's misery. Something that involves blunt force trauma that disturbs me too much to even mention.
Keep in mind,  my dad was only trying to end the kitten's suffering.
So, having determined the cat was dead, my dad brought it to the field next to the house.

and then the most unexpected thing happened..
The kitten came back.
I don't know if it was several days later. Or several hours later. Time has erased those details from my mind..But I do remember the clamor and the awe at the tenacity of the kitten as he came wobbly, but bravely marching back like a wounded soldier..into the yard. The kitten that defied reason. The kitten that pushed on despite the fraility and brokeness in body... the kitten that endured unreasonable amounts of pain and suffering...and here he some fierce and fuzzy little warrior rising beautiful out of ash.

I think of a story I read about on pinterest. The story of a surgical procedure on a tiny little babe, still in the womb. During the procedure, he reaches his little hand out of a hole in the mother's belly..he grabs the hand of the doctor as if to say, "thank you."  ...I think that little hand was saying, "I'm holding on. I'm a fighter.  Life is worth living and I haven't even seen what it has to offer."

This baby's little hand reached out like a tiny branch..and said, "I am a tree. I fight to live."

Here is the picture and the story...

Little fighter.

Don't worry, the surgery was a success. I read the story. The baby is a tree!

I think about my own son, Cade.

When Cade was in the womb, he had a fierce determination to see the world.
At around 25 weeks, he threatened to come out. It was as if he was determined to see the world and he couldn't wait to see it's spendor.. he was tenacious.

So, they put me on bed rest. It was as if, if I was up and stirring, his desire to see the world of light and color, only increased.  So I quit stirring. I laid down.  for three months. ..straight.

Then, comes the time for delivery. Imagine several hours into a natural birth....a nurse discovers the umbilical cord wrapped around his tiny neck. If I had pushed, it would've acted as a noose. So, they rushed me into another room and performed an emergency cesarean.  And my bright eyed, inquisitive little boy finally got to see the all of it's splendor. He is a fighter.

Yesterday I read a news article about a baby born at 23 weeks. At 23 weeks, most babies do not survive. The lungs aren't fully developed. There are complications. Somewhere in some foreign part of the world a mother gave birth to a baby at 23 weeks. The doctors thought the baby was dead. They put his little body in a refridgeration unit at the morgue. The parent's went to say thier final goodbyes and they heard a tiny cry. They saw the baby move. They wrapped up his icy little body and rushed him to the neonatal unit. He was alive, mistaken for dead..breathing on his own and amazing doctors and the entire world with his beautfully stubborn desire to live.

I've always been the stubborn sort..
In the past, I've been persistent, stubborn, and moderately obsessive. I fought for acceptance and approval. Once, I had a crush on my college English professor. I was determined to impress him.  I must have spent a few hours a day solely studying English. We would have to write papers on fictional stories. I must've spent hours mustering over words..devising the perfect paper. MY professor was known as one that didn't give out  A's. I think I was the only one to make an A in his class. I worked hard for a desire for approval. I was driven..
Anytime I wanted to impress a guy, I always thought I had to be rail thin. Truthfully, I always recieved compliments when I was a certain I strived to push harder and further..I became obsessive and attention only fueled my drive. I guess, in a nutshell, I wanted to be loved. I wanted to be noticed. And I fought for it. I am a natural born fighter.

I guess the purpose of this entire post is to tell you that you don't have to fight for love. God has freely given it to you through His Son, Christ Jesus. We should strive to impress One..everything else is vanity and toiling under the sun.

I want to let you know,...that
You are brave and strong. You are fierce. You are a fighter. You are a tree. You are the Oak of Righteousness that braves the roughest of winds.  Keep fighting, because there is much to fight for..

I can't help but think of all of my friends who run marathons..those who work and work to achieve a goal.
You are fighters. If each one would put even half of thier passion, into pursing the Cross and loving others, you would be unstoppable.

I think of those who fight to survive. Those who fight for life..the cat..the precious little fighter grasping the hand of the doctor..  As Christians, essentially that is what we fight for..
The darkness kills. It destroys. The darkness wears the mask of death. But, as Christians, we see the light and we recognize it as Life..
Sweet life..... 

Life that says, in order to live, you first must die.

What are you fighting for? What is the fuel that moves you?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Musings of an Island Girl, Photoshoot of Big Lake Island Part 4

As I was taking photos of the island, I began to think about the people. Isn't that essentially what makes a place great? The people?  I think one can have all of the money in the world, but if he isn't surrounded by good, loving people..or hasn't learned to love those around him, then alll his wealth is futile....Some of my finest moments weren't in the most beautiful places...
But they were amongst people who made me feel beautiful.
We should strive to make others feel beautiful.  That kind of love brings out color on the most dreary of days. We should strive to be the friend who initiates laughter. Who lifts up..and builds.
There are a lot of beautiful people on the island. Some physically beautiful...and some, like my grandfather, who carry a light on the insdide. Time and sun and saltwater have a way of aging, but true beauty never dies.

I think about the gospel. I think about all the different denominations and beliefs that are an umbrella to the word, "Christian." ..To me, a part of being a Christian is about people. Christ came to save people. He came to love people. Every commandment that he gave is a command that involves loving and respecting God and people. The other day I was reading about the state of many chuches. I read how the gospel has been watered down by exorbitant musical productions, huge structures, in house coffee bars near the sanctuary....and the list goes on...
It sounds fine and all, but is it all necessary?  Are we forgettting that Christ lived humbly, without the bells and whistles, because none of those things were needed to change lives and move people.
As humans, don't we all crave love? Isn't that our one basic need, besides the food that keeps our bellies full and the drink that keep our hearts afloat?
Love. Christ offered love.

Lately, I have commited myself, not to pointing fingers at other churches and religions, but to bow my head low and pray. I pray for my own church. I pray for your church, whoever you are sitting behind this screen.
I pray that, together, we find and share love despite the few, minor differences that we may or may not share.
What would it look like if every church in America of all denomiations..humbly prayed for the neighboring church. Instead of rolling haughty eyes at this belief or that..what if we just prayed for one another and lived out the belief we lay claim to.

another thing that has touched the corners of my brain today...stirring a the idea of "wildness."
Blackberries are in bloom. They are peeking thier pretty little heads in all of thier delicious slendor. The fences abound with honeysuckle. Beauty is all around. It is in the wildness. Although, I don't agree on the teachings and ideas of Ralph Waldo Emerson, I love his quote,  "Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, and drink in the wild air." 
Last week, I wrote a blog post about how I see God in things that are ordered, well-kept, and beautiful.
Wildness has it's own beauty, and I can see God in the midst of things that grow and spring up, all crazy and wild.
I don't believe every day should be a party. But I don't believe it should be lived all stuffy and full of fear and anxiety. There needs to be more a drinking in of the wild air..and then..
thanking God for the wonderous moment in fills the nostrils and hits the lungs.
You are alive, my friends.  Drink it in, and give thanks for that precious, wild life.

I think strangest things when I am picking blackberries. It's almost as if my musings have free reign on the open field. Wild sounding, right?
First, I see the adventure. Braving and battling the dozens of mosquitos. Carefully watching my own feet as they shuffle through grass...feet wary of cottonmouths or unidenifiable things that slither.
I sometimes pretend that my family is humgry and their next meal will undoubtably come from the sucess of my blackberry hunt. And so I strive to stay amongst the thorns a little longer, all for their benefit.
For the healthy antioxidants, those little immune boosters..
and soon, I am a hero in my own story. I saved the day by picking blackberries.

Then, I start to think about the hungry and the homeless. I wonder if they ever think to go into a field and pick blackberries and drink in the wild air.
and then, I remember that most fields belong to someone. There are fences and policeman and threatening signs that say, "NO TRESSPASSING, VIOLATERS WILL BE PERSECUTED"
I wonder if they stare across fields of blackberries and see them as something out of reach. I wonder if those signs are menacing to hungry people staring out at fruit that will probably just rot on the ground.
And then I start musing about how it would be nice and lovely if we could post signs in our yards that invite the hungry to come and pick to thier hearts content.
And then I begin to think about how I can get blackberies to people that really need them..
So maybe it sounds strange....or maybe it makes sense..
God says He writes His word on our hearts and minds..So perhaps He just fills my tiny little brain with His big thoughts of feeding people. Because God loves people.

I could muse on blackberries for days. I will probably need a separate post just for musings on little black fruit.

sweet baby bear, drinking in something by the looks of the drool alongside of his sweet, little face. See the bohemoth mosquito bite on his cheek?

My beautiful Cade...

Brendan and my nephew, Luke. The boys could be twins. I love this picture. The "bear" is giving a bear hug. Drinking in the wild air.

Hebert's Camp

a world of color

I like how the boats are docked. Each house has a boat garage.

Nothing says drink in the wild air like an inviting hammock.

Our lovely brown water..I once asked why all of our water is brown. I once thought it was  because of pollution, but I later found out that all of the mud from the Mississipi River swirls into the gulf..making it look muddy. That sounds more romantic than thinking barrels of toxic waste contributed to this fine color. Brown is beautiful, but there is no more beautiful water than crystal blue.


I know the man who lives here. I grew up with his daughters. They are lovely ladies. When we were little we would say that we were sisters although we have no blood relation at all. I think that is beautiful. If we are all children of God, then we should live as if the person next to us is our brother and our sister. These girls are doing fine things with thier life. Like teaching in foreign coutries and designing and flipping houses. Love to my sisters.  and I love this jeep. It speaks of ruggedness and wild air.

a bright red swing and a tire horse.

I like to imagine this as little Venice. Houses perched amongst the water. I know that Venice is probably uncomparable, but it's always good to imagine. Each spot has it's own hidden beauty. We just have to ask God to let us see it.

I love this little sign "Welcome to the Lake."  and one day I want a chair like this..

a bright yellow crab trap. I love it!

I love this picture. I was walking along and I came to this arched entraceway that led into a beautiful yard. That is what God is inviting us into...there is a verse that says, "BEHOLD, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hear my voice, I will open the door and come in with him and we can dine together."  God brings us to beautful dining spots..there is alway beauty on the other side of His door. If He is knocking on your door, let Him in..!

Let's set up a picnic table and dine here, Jesus.

What a lovely little outdoor patio. great for barbeque and drinking in more wild air..and dining with Jesus

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Psalms 36:9

I like the Christmas lights strung up around the porch..

My hardworking mom endlessly working in the yard

after a day of picure taking..I was in mom's room and I saw this as a unique photo op. I liked the symmetery and the strangeness of it all. Kindof, wild..I know... haha

Cade posing

Little bear. the little booger never wants to look at the camera.

The lighting in the background was perfect. I love how it illuminated the flowers in the background.

Let your light shine before men that they may see  your good deeds and glorify your father in Heaven, Matthew 5:16

Our neighbor and my blackberry picking buddy, Mrs. Julia

Bear woring hard with his tractor in the yard. Scratching at  mosquitos

I love how the moon and the cotton candy cloud..

The pontoon bridge at dusk

Me, the island girl

My niece Ruth. This pic is a few months old. I couldn't resist putting it in. She is adorable and I love this pic of her. Baby bear sometimes carries around a baby doll that he calls "Ruth." He tries to keep it warm at night with blankets and protect it..

Pathway to the sea, part 2


My Cade!
Ok, so as i close my musings for the day..I want to share something I read on my favorite blog, Terribly Interesting. I copied this blue section from the blog, written by Stephanie Cherry. The piece was written by Bryan Pagett. It further illustrates our loving and wild and dangerous God...
"I heard the above quote last week during a training in Phoenix, AZ. I love it because it is truth. For so many years now, a weak, tame and small god has been preached week in and week out in churches all across this land. The result: Christians who are scared to death to take chances for the King because of the dangers that they could endure. We have become like that which we worship. We worship a god who is more concerned with our safety and our security. This, friends, is NOT the God of the Bible.

The God of the Bible is dangerous and good! He sends us out like sheep among wolves...dangerous! He calls us to die daily, take up the cross of suffering and follow Him...dangerous! He warns that following Him will make us a hated bunch and a persecuted bunch...dangerous! He calls us to love our enemies...dangerous! He calls us to make disciples of all nations...dangerous! He promises to be with us always...good! He has saved us through the death of His own Son...good! He has given us everything we need and all the blessings of heaven...good! He has reconciled us to Himself...good! Nothing can snatch us from Him and nothing can separate us from His love for us...good! OK, I think the point has been made well enough. He is dangerous and good!

I have heard much of my life that at the center of God's will is my comfort and my security. LIE! At the center of God's will is a bloody, deadly cross with the Father's Son on it! Yes, this cross has purchased for believers eternal comfort and security, but in this life will be much hardship and difficulty. Today there approximately 2,000 people groups that have not even been engaged with missionaries yet, let alone the gospel. 639 of those people groups have a population of 100,000 or more. Some of the largest unengaged, unreached people groups are in northern India and the Punjab of Pakistan. I am speaking about groups that have 10 million people or more with ZERO workers among them. There is a reason these groups are still unengaged. They are dangerous. I write this mostly to draw out the Paul-types who sit in churches week after week wondering what their purpose is. They will eventually get frustrated and go form a non-profit or start a business. They will inevitably re-invent the wheel while telling everyone they don't want to re-invent the wheel. For these unengaged peoples, THERE IS NO WHEEL!

I would like for people to ask themselves one question: "What am I willing to endure to see Christ worshipped among all peoples?" For some it will be leading a team to a place where no work is currently going on. For others it will be living more strategically here in the States so as to bless those who go to the unengaged and unreached peoples of the world. And for some it will be releasing your children into the Lord's hands to labor among the nations. There are many other options, as well. The point is that the Church in America needs to become far more reflective of her Husband, Christ. We need to function and live as dangerously as Christ, and as fixed on the Father as he was. As we fix ourselves on Him we will become like Him, for it has been written that we become like that which we worship. We are living in a day and age when the task of completing the Great Commission is close to being fulfilled. To steal a football analogy, we are in the red zone now. The field is shorter and it's harder to score. There are some hard places ahead of us, but Jesus is not a fool. He knows where He's sending us, and He knows full well what will happen to us. And as has been said to some many pioneers throughout history, God says to us, "Do not be afraid, for I AM with you!" No place can be too hard with that promise!

Enough of the status quo. Enough of the fear of terrorists. Enough of the excuses. Enough of the passion for comfort and security. OK, so here's my question: Are you ready to get in and get after these remaining people groups? If so, message me and let's get the ball rolling. I'm serious! Why wait any longer, let's begin the process and see where the Lord leads.

Would love to hear from you!

Bryan Padgett