Sunday, August 30, 2009

East Texas

I had a free Saturday a couple of weeks back so three dear ladies wanted to go take a road trip to east Texas. We went on a tour of the Roseland Plantation with a sweet tour guide who loves the Lord, to a winery for lunch, then on to check out Bo Pilgrim's place in Pittsburg. Pretty fun day. I smile thinking about Cathy playing in the water, kissing Bo's chicken, and oh yeah, kissing Bo (excuse me, his statue). Thinking about Lucy stuck in the old car. Thinking about Elaine worried about when would have lunch. I have to tell you that this was the first ladies' trip I've been on that someone said, "If anyone needs one, I have some nitro pills in my purse!" Whoa. Gone are the days of scavenging for Advil or Tylenol. I think I've graduated.

The plantation was beautiful. Bo's house was amazing. The treat, though, was spending the day with three godly women who love their Jesus and talk to Him alot. They even talk to Him about me because they know I need it.

Thank you sweet sisters, you truly washed my feet.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Teacher Hat

Monday afternoon I took some Exedrine Migraine then put on my teacher hat. Started installing curriculum on three computers that have been used ALOT. Finally yesterday afternoon the curriculum was installed on all three computers ready for school to begin. Hannah is ready, Leah told me I might as well get a belt and spank her now for the upcoming year, and Rachel doesn't have clue. About anything. She kind of likes it that way, though. By the way, I have never spanked them for anything school related even though I was tempted a few times! I did find a paper this morning that Rachel had to write when we lived in Stillwater. From the contents of the paper I gathered that she and Hannah had a little tiff and I made them write about how wonderful it was to have sisters. She said that you shouldn't ever hit your sister especially Hannah because she would hit you back hard and it would hurt. She finished the paper by saying she loved Hannah. Personally I think she was doing that for the teacher's sake. Or, then again, maybe it was for her sake.

As we begin this year, I'm seeing more and more their "grown-up-ness" and it makes me realize I have little time left to equip them for the rest of their lives. Makes me sad. Yesterday Hannah and I were going in to town to the Women's Resource Center to find some information for a 13 year old girl who will be delivering a baby in the next few months. Hannah's heart is breaking for her and she asked me if I thought she was scared. I told her I didn't think she was even mature enough to know to be scared. Hannah said, "She reminds me of Pearl". One could have taken that as a funny statement but it wasn't meant to be funny. As a matter of fact, it was very insightful. Pearl is our bloodhound that just had a litter of pups a few months ago. Our other dog, Molly, was a great momma dog to her pups, but Pearl didn't seem to possess those mother skills. Now she still runs around like a puppy with lots of mimies (Kyle's word for "the girls" when he was little). You would never know she'd ever given birth. So yes, Hannah got it right.

Sometimes the things that come out of their mouths amaze me. I'm their mom, so they are supposed to amaze me, but still. I'm ready for the time we get to share doing school, even though we have Physics and Chemistry involved in the process this year. So the "Teacher Hat" is dusted off and back on. A little crooked, of course, because I don't wear any of the hats perfectly, but I think all God wants is to know I'm willing to balance it on top of my imperfect head.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Okay, Okay, One More Thing

Sometimes I hide from people in Walmart. Not anyone who reads this blog, of course.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Eyes are Watching

One Sunday Michael was asking how godly we are when we are alone in our cars or other places. I quickly looked around to see if any of our Monday night Bible study ladies were looking my direction. It was just the week before that in the middle of teaching I suddenly confessed something. Wasn't even planning on confessing it. Had nothing to do with what was being taught. It just came out. It wasn't something super bad, I guess it was more like ornery. I told them that sometimes, well, every time I am in an elevator by myself I will push all the buttons before I get off. When I do it this little grin comes to my face. Only one side of my mouth though, not a full out grin. It kind of feels good to be a little bit ornery.

After the confession I could feel my face get red. I guess I felt vulnerable or something. We all kind of laughed it off until the next week when one of my "60-something" ladies said that she had been on the elevator that week and thought to herself "well Carol does it" and then talked herself out of pushing any buttons. I felt horrible. I've done some things in my life I'm not proud of and haven't broadcast those things because I don't want to give Satan more victory than he already receives. That statement made me realize I'm not supposed to unless the Lord directs it.

One lady asked if there was anything else I do when I'm alone. So it is with a little caution that there are a few more things I need to get off my chest. Stop my fingers, Lord, I almost said something else that didn't need to be said. Thanks. Okay, sometimes when I'm at a stop light and a big truck comes up beside me I rev my motor (or engine, whichever gets revved) just a little. Not enough for them to hear, just enough to get my gas-pedal foot a little excited. Then when the light turns green, I floor it. For the life of me, that little half grin automatically turns up on my face. I wonder if any of them go tell their buddies they just got beat at a light by a mini van. The poor dear in the truck may not have ever known they were in a race to begin with. But I knew. Boy did I.

Sometimes when I'm by myself at home I dance. The funny thing is that I don't know how to dance. I do know how to do pom pom routines. I heard that chuckle. It's been awhile since I danced by myself. The other day I saw the high school cheerleading national championships. Those toe jumps excited me. I stood up and stuck my arm straight up and kicked my toe up to my hand. Made my eyes water and my nose burn a little. I thought I ought to do it with the other leg too just to make the hurt even but decided not to. The half grin on my face then was one of those involuntary muscle twitches that happens when you lift something heavy. The Elvis lip thing.

A lot of rambling to say that we must always be aware that we are never alone. The Lord knows the attitudes and intentions of our hearts. It's okay to be ornery sometimes if no one gets hurt. Sometimes people see us when we don't think they do.

Oh Jesus, my greatest fear is that I will lead someone the wrong way because of my actions or my words. I don't want to. I want to lead them to You. I want to glorify You in all I do. Thank You for loving me even when I've disappointed You.

The lesson is that we don't have to share all our past sin to lead someone to greater godliness. Let the Holy Spirit do that. There may be a time that He needs you to share something with someone so they can have hope that their same mistake can be used for God's good. The other lesson? If you are about to get on an elevator and I come off with a half-grin on my face you may want to take the stairs.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Starting Anew

Nine couples walked down the aisle to renew their vows a few weeks back. For most of them it was a first time commitment to the Lord to base their foundation on Him. The first time they said the words they had no idea how to do it with God's blessing. They want to do it as close to right as they can get now. I wish I could tell you how He has worked in the lives of the couples pictured here. They are blown away by the power of God in their lives. So am I.

Pull My Finger

Last Sunday I was visiting with a lady before church and there were two ladies standing behind her. There was also one to my right and one to my left. The sweet one I was in conversation with didn't seem to want to stop talking, so I grabbed the hands of the ones standing on both sides. I wanted them to know they were important to me even though I couldn't talk right then. So I was standing there, deep in listening mode, with two hands holding on to both of my index fingers.

This morning one-year-old Austin grabbed my finger to walk with him into the kitchen because he was hungry. His little bitty hand felt completely different than those sweet ladies, but his need was just as great.

Today I felt a real need to grab the finger of my Jesus. To walk and talk and cry a little. I miss my kids. I need some sleep. I need to spend more time with my girls - just us. I need to wash my van and hang up my clothes that are hanging on the back of my chair. I need Him to tell me it will all be okay, to hang in there. I need to just sit with Him and talk with Him and be quiet with Him. And not turn loose.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Santa Sittin' with Jesus

Today we buried Santa Claus - also known as my cousin Jesse. He lived in Mabank which is only about 40 miles from us so I have been able to see him quite a few times in the last four years. Before that it had been many years. He was the oldest son of my mom's older brother so he was almost her age. He was raised in Seagraves and we were in Denver City so we were over at their house often when we were young.

I wasn't expecting the emotion I felt in that service today. I should have known what an impact it would have because as we drove into Seven Points, the neighboring city, there was a sign out in front of the library that said "Jesse will be missed". Everybody knew him because everybody knew Santa Claus. He was a big, burly, red-faced, white haired man with a white beard. He drove a red chevy truck that had "Santa's Sleigh" on the back window and a clear bug guard on the front that said "Jesus is Lord". And He was. Lord, I mean. Jesse loved Him so that his last word was "Jesus". One of the men that spoke said that Jesse was given a gift of Santa's heart. If Jesse would have been there he would have stood up and said, "No, I have the gift of Jesus' heart."

One lady that had Jesse come to the schools every year said that he would pull those children up on his lap and talk to them a little bit, then tell them that Santa loved them. Then he would look at them in the eye and tell them that Jesus loved them. Being Santa was a tool to tell people about Jesus. There was testimony of kids having their pictures made with him every year up into their twenties.

One man got up and told of how Jesse took him under his wing when he was a teenager, introduced him to Jesus, set him up a place to live in order to get started in life, and introduced him to his future wife. He's been married to that wife for 22 years. Every major step in his life was influenced by this Santa Claus man.

Another young man told of how his single mom raised him with Jesse and Toni's help. That when he would get into trouble she would call Jesse to straighten him out. He said that Jesse introduced him to people as his son and that Jesse was the only dad he ever knew. Taught him how to be a respectable man. This boy was a tall good-looking black boy with dreadlocks. Precious.

I couldn't stop the tears as one after another spoke of his influence in their lives. Oh, how he loved Jesus. I went to see him in June when I found out he was in Dallas in a care center. I was warned that he might not know me. I walked in and he said, "Well, hello beautiful, what are you doing here?" I went to his bedside and for the next 45 minutes or so we talked about the Lord and how wonderful it will be to see Him and our loved ones waiting for us. He told me he was going to get down to our church and Toni told me today that he mentioned coming down here often. I knew he would never step foot in this building. He was so sick. I could see it clearly. Before I left that day, holding on to his big ole hand we talked to Jesus together.

Yesterday I dropped the girls off at a friend's house and when I was at the stop sign there was a 60-something year old woman in her cotton, zip-up robe, spraying bugs on the side walk. It was seven-thirty and she was ready to call it a night. I knew that because it was pretty obvious she was brassiere free. As I thought of my night ahead with seven or eight girls running around the church, knowing my hours of sleep would be minimal, I wondered if there would ever be a time that I would put on my robe every night at seven-ish and wait around until bedtime. I kinda hoped there would be because I was already tired from the extra kids we've been keeping the last two weeks. Kids whose mommy decided she didn't want to be mommy any more and left a three-year-old and one-year-old with their daddy. So a night alone in front of the TV seemed pretty appealing. Until today. As tired as I am, hearing the testimony of Jesse's life - hearing that with his dying breath he whispered the name of Jesus inspires me to go to the end. Not to stop. To keep loving and keep serving.

Tonight Michael, Jack, and I were practicing songs for tomorrow. We were singing "Footprints of Jesus". We started the last verse and the tears came before I knew they were coming as I started singing those words.

Then at last when on high He sees us, Our journey done.
We will rest where the steps of Jesus end at His throne.

You can rest now, Jesse. At last.

Full and Overflowing

So this morning (1:54 am) I am at the church with the girls and a few of their friends from the youth group. We had pancakes a little after midnight. Before that we did Bible study and bracelet making. They have been playing hide and seek off and on since we came in around nine.

The screaming has subsided and the blow drier is airing up mattresses now. I'm playing catch up on summer pictures and blogging. Tonight as we all sat around and talked about scripture I saw in their faces the same thing I've seen in many faces before. A true desire to have intimacy with Jesus, but not sure how to do that. I want so bad to walk them through life so they don't have to make mistakes.

I took them to Ruth. The story of Ruth and Boaz is a picture of Christ and His bride. In chapter two Ruth was invited by Boaz to come sit at His table. It says in verse 14 that Boaz told her to eat her bread and dip her morsel into the wine. Lord's Supper, anyone? Then it says she ate until she was satisfied and had some left over. In verse 18 she went home to her mother-in-law Naomi and it says she brought out and gave her what food she had left over after being satisfied. I can't help but believe this is how Jesus wants us to be. To sit at His table, take Him in until we are full and overflowing and then take it to the ones we love. Throw up on them, so to speak, Jesus. Okay, maybe that was a little overboard. How many times have I cried out to Him that I'm tired, that I have nothing to give? The times I haven't sat at His table.

There are so many that don't sit at the table and rely on the leftovers from you. If you are only nibbling you will have nothing to give. Right now, I am physically worn out. Sitting in there with those precious young ladies, Bible open, encouraging them to fall in love with Jesus, gave me energy. That's what He does.

He's calling us to recline at His table.

A Pan With Onions, A Pan Without

Next year we will be celebrating 30 years of the Dorman reunion at Brownwood State Park. There are only three siblings left of eight out of my mom's family. We love going there, doing the same things year after year. Several of us go in on Monday before the big weekend get-together then the rest eventually trickle in. Starting on Thursday we have meals all together down at the "cook shelter". Every meal is served with fried potatoes. We have a pan with onions and a pan without. There are KP duty assignments for each meal and the third generation is responsible for Saturday morning breakfast.

This year all our kids were there by Wednesday. Talk about elation. Even though they stay scattered out throughout the week, just having them all there was so fun. I love them. And of course, we stayed as close to Eli as possible. Poor little guy. He had scratches and bruises all up and down his little legs and stickers in his hands. He was a trooper.

Eli wore his "ABC helmet" Nanny got him. Notice that Christy color coordinated her potato bowl with her shirt. The only family shot I got was Diane and Jessie's. Diane is a first cousin to mom and Aunt Nancy.

Family is good.