Monday, December 20, 2010

Dorman Reunion 2010

We do the same things every year. "Traditions", we call them. We are starting the fifth generation coming to be spend time together every year. Kids have been potty trained out there and taught how to bait a hook.

Water basketball has never claimed a life, but come close a few times.

Family pictures are taken/dreaded. This year Lynn was in Christy and Cary Ann's so we decided to take several pictures of her by herself and put her in every family group. The photoshop skills are nothing to marvel at, but seeing her in them cracks me up.

I love having grandkids out there now. I'm hoping they love it and continue the tradition. Just as their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandmother has done.

Sweet times.

First cousins. We aren't too pretty, but we really like each other.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

'Tis the Season

The other day I remembered the first Christmas I had the kids buy a gift for each other. We lived in Houston. Kayla had just turned five and had forever been asking for a 64 pack of crayons. I thought the other hundred or so crayons we had, although broken and paperless, would suffice because they still colored the same.

That year I took each kid by themselves to go shopping for their siblings. Adam went knowing exactly what he wanted to get Kyle and Kayla, and even if we saw something else later, he never changed his mind. I was trying to remember it right and I'm pretty sure Kyle got Kayla a Miss Piggy toothbrush.

When it came time to open presents that year, the whole atmosphere was different than years before. Instead of running to open their own, they couldn't wait to see the reactions of the ones they bought for.

When Kayla opened up her Miss Piggy toothbrush from Kyle and her 64 pack of crayons from Adam, she jumped up to hug her brothers. I'll never ever forget looking at the boys and seeing them smile. I'll never ever ever forget seeing the tears in Adam's eyes.

Oh, the joy of giving.

There is so much I wish I could give. When you are buying for eleven kids, you have to stretch things well. We just have so much dad gum fun when we are all home, though, that the gifts don't matter so much.

There are some things I couldn't buy but if there was any way possible, I would make happen. I wish I could give Sharon, Janet, Deanne, Ms. Alice, Debbie, Cathey, Myrna, Loma and Aunt Nancy their children back. Some are going through their first Christmas without them, some have survived several. I would give Genevieve her sweet Tony back and Bennie his beloved brother Don. I'd give sisters their brothers back and brothers, their sisters. As I'm typing we just got news that another wife will be burying her husband on Saturday and the Cowboy Church of Mabank will be mourning the loss of their pastor along with her.

I would give several of our unemployed a job. I would give several children their parents back under the same roof. I would give some of the couples I love so much a loving, faithful marriage. I would give the lonely a mate. Or a dog, whichever they prefer. I would bring the soldiers home.

I would give empty arms - a baby.

I'm not supposed to do these things. There is a greater purpose we cannot see with these old human eyes. Natalie Grant sings a song called "Held". Part of it goes like this:

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise is that when everything fell
We'd be held.

The promise is not that we won't go through tough times or be given everything our hearts desire; the promise is that we will be held when we do. Held by Hands that will make it all beautiful at some point.

What a gift!

Thank you Father that I can trust You. You are the Giver of good gifts. Thank you for Your hands that hold us when hearts are hurting. Help us recognize how You love us. I'm so grateful for all You have done for me. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you that we get to serve You. And thank You that I haven't heard Christmas Shoes sung once this year. You make my heart smile.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

They Missed Him

The sermon was so good yesterday. Michael preached from Matthew 2, as I'm sure many pastors did. Oh, it was good. It's recorded on our church website under Inspirations.

Jesus had been born in Bethlehem and the wise men were searching for Him. They came asking where the king was born. Old King Herod pulled in the chief priests and scribes - the part of the Jewish race who knew all the prophecies - and they told those wise old men their king was to be born in Bethlehem. They knew it because they read Micah 5:2 - King James Version. Or maybe just some old scrolls, I don't know.

Just a few miles away, their King was toddling around the house.

Even old King Herod believed it to be true. He believed so much he had all the baby boys killed so another king wouldn't live to take his place.

Yet these scholars, these men of the law, MISSED Him. I can't believe they missed Him.

Even now, as I am typing, I'm listening to my Christmas music. Oh Come All Ye Faithful is playing. The other day I was driving home and this song came on and I just felt overwhelmed by the magnificence of Jesus. The invitation to come and adore Him I took seriously. Very seriously. I don't always do that. Parked in my dirt driveway, my head on the steering wheel of the tootsie roll truck, I adored Him. I wept over His graciousness in my life.

Sometimes, just like those religious men of the day I get caught up in the busyness of being religious. I hate it when I do that. I don't want to miss times of worship, wherever they are, because I'm busy getting ready for the next event of ministry. I don't want to miss times when He needs me to be still and listen to Him. And I don't want to miss times of soaking in His amazingness.

I just flat don't want to miss Him.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

If the Lord is the Lord of Them

This family is very dear to me. Robbie and Paula were in Snyder back years ago when I was there. They were our youth ministers and dear friends. Paula and I enjoyed so many of the same things and I was blessed to be a part of the birth of her beautiful daughter Sarah. There was a popular song back then that said, "Friends are friends forever, if the Lord is the Lord of them". So true. Time doesn't change heart connections.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Swimming in Forgetfulness Sea

I woke up about 3:00am the other night and, for the life of me, couldn't go back to sleep. I prayed for everyone I knew, their puppies and goldfish, and before I realized what was happening, I was "remembering". Remembering times of complete disobedience to the Lord.

Don't know how I got there. To that pit of unworthiness. Or should I say, to the pit of feeling the unworthiness. As tears rolled to my pillow, I couldn't imagine why He chose me. Why He keeps choosing me. I'm sure there are a lot of purer vessels out there. Ones who never really messed up much.

There is a scripture in Micah 7 that says "He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities underfoot. He will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea." It never calls it the sea of forgetfulness, although I've heard it called that many times, but in Isaiah 43 the word says, "I, even, I, am the One Who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins."

I like to think of it as the sea of forgetfulness.

Not sure why I decided to take a dip that night, swimming where I don't have to swim. He remembers those things no more - why do I go diving to the point of feeling so unworthy for use?

Thank You, Jesus, for choosing to use someone even like me. A girl who deserves nothing of Your grace and mercy. I like to call myself a girl. Okay, that was random. You know how my brain works. I'm so thankful You know me. You know me, and yet, still choose to use me. I'm so amazed by You.

Friday, November 19, 2010

He's Waiting

A few months back I sat across the table from a young lady who could tell you almost to the minute how long it had been since she had her last "fix" of her drug of choice. It had been over three months. As we were visiting, I began to tell her about a scripture in Lamentations 3 and before I could get the rest of it out she scooted up to the table, put her hands on the table, and leaned across the table toward me. Caught me a little off guard. I don't ever remember seeing anyone so in need, so desperate, to hear from the Lord. It was as if she was a small child who hadn't eaten in days and I had a spoonful of rice to put in her mouth. I told her how the scripture told us we were not to be consumed by our need, by our hurt, by our desire; because He is faithful and His mercy is new every morning. Tears filled her eyes even with the smile on her face. She couldn't get enough of Him. She was desperate for Him.

In John 4 there is a story of a lady who was on her way in the middle of the day to get water. She went in the middle of the day so she wouldn't have to be in the street with the other women when they went to draw in the morning. She stopped going with them so she wouldn't have to hear their whispers about her. She knew her sin. She didn't want to hear them talking about it. So she decided to start drawing her water in the heat of the day at the well outside of town so she wouldn't cross paths with anyone.

I can see it now. She's walking along with her empty water jar and as she rounds the corner to the well she notices a man sitting there watching her. She stops short, wondering if she should turn away. It was obvious He was a Jew and she, being a Samaritan woman, would be a reason for Him to ignore or reject her.

But her jar was empty.

And she was very thirsty.

Maybe if she is quick, she can get in and out of there before the silence becomes uncomfortable. That wasn't His plan. The scripture said he HAD to go through Samaria. Normally Jews went around Samaria. He had to go because He had an appointment. I believe the appointment was set at the beginning of time. This woman needed Him. He sent his disciples to town before she got there so He could have her undivided attention.

She went to the well to fix a physical need. To quench her thirst. She was desperate for something.

He went to the well to fix a spiritual need. To quench her thirst. She would be desperate no more.

We constantly look to the world to get our needs met. In her case she was physically thirsty, but also spiritually/emotionally needy. She had been married four times and was living with a fifth man. She had obviously suffered rejection and heartache. She would get knocked down and get back up only to find another one to make her feel beautiful. To make her feel worthy of some one's love. At least for a little while.

What this man, this Jesus, was offering her would fill that heart up, heal those wounds. The scars would still be there, they don't go away completely. Some of the most beautiful vessels are the most scarred. They tell so many stories of the grace of God.

I've talked many times before about how we are so connected to the things that seem to bring us some temporary comfort. I know, I know, I know that He is waiting for me to bring my empty jar to be filled by the Him, the One Who is living water.

The young lady at the beginning of the post? Not doing well. Filling her jar elsewhere. Makes me so sad to have to tell you that.

The Samaritan woman? Because of her testimony, the whole town came out to meet Jesus and probably thousands upon thousands more have come to Him because they have read her testimony.

Me? I think of Him daily, sitting there waiting for me to fill my empty jar. Smiling when He sees me round the corner with dirty feet from walking on that road. I don't hesitate like she did, because I know what He has for me. I only pray I'm faithful enough to keep sharing about His amazing goodness. Sweet, sweet Jesus. Thank you for always waiting on me.

You? . . .

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Do You have a Minute?

I have pictures of the cutest little grandbabies you have ever seen! They are so precious and I wish we could see them more often.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Spanx Revisited

So I have lost a few pounds. Not many, just a few. I don't look any different or anything, but my jeans get really baggy after I've had them on for about an hour, so I thought I would get me another pair to start breaking in. I dropped Adam and Amber off at the airport on Saturday morning at 5:45 a.m, got a chicken bisquit at Chick-fil-a (yum!), slept about 45 minutes in the Chick-fil-a parking lot waiting for Hobby Lobby to open so I could pick up some silver chargers for Mom's table at the Ladies' Dinner. She called to say she found some so I headed down the road to Kohl's to find me a pair of jeans.

I don't love clothes shopping. Maybe in another 35 pounds I will love it, but now, not so much. So anyway, after many trips back and forth to the ladies' dressing room, I finally found the jeans. They were one size smaller. They weren't hard to button or zip, just fit a little more snug than my baggy ones. The only thing with them being a size smaller is that it makes the belly roll more obvious than it already is.

So this morning when I was getting dressed for church, I decided to dig into the unmentionable (and other odds and ends) drawer to find the spanx. I was going to give them another try. I shared a couple of years back about my first encounter with these modern day marvels, and it wasn't pretty. Haven't worn them since.

Today I knew I had to. With smaller britches on and a church that hugs a whole lot, if I didn't have them on the belly roll would be extra humiliating.

The rubber cement strips haven't worn off the bottom rim of the legs on these beauties, so I was extra careful as I pointed my toe to get my leg through the leg hole. There were two goals in this first step of the process: 1) to still be standing at the end, and 2) to do it cramp free.

Proud to report I was successful on both counts.

So I got them all on and in place, got my clothes on and admired myself in the mirror. The advertisement says they are supposed to "tuck the tummy, trim the waist and lift your rear into gear". I think they photoshopped that girl in the picture. My rear hasn't been in gear in years so there may need to be a little training involved to achieve the desired effect. Anyway, the belly roll wasn't horrible so I decided to see if I could pull this off.

I'm doing ok as long as I don't bend at the waist. I was going to pick up some of the trash after church and when I went to bend over one of my legs just naturally stuck out behind me. You know, kind of like a figure skater sticks out her leg with such grace. I was graceful, it just made me cough. That air had to go somewhere.

It's a little difficult to yawn and I feel my heart beat in my temples if I sit for an extended period of time. I keep feeling like I have to put my hands on top of my head so I can get a good breath. But I look great! Or at least better than without them. It's kind of strange how my brain processes things. I know I can't bend over well, but my brain, for whatever reason, is telling me my neck won't turn like it is supposed to either. Kind of like when my phone is dying in the car I don't drive as fast so I can save gas. I'm a strange person. When one thing is bound, others seem bound. I feel a Bible study coming on.

I'll spare you now because I need to stand up.

Really bad.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dinner Party

Last Thursday night our sweet dog Mollie, half Great White Pyrenees/half several other things, had a dinner party and invited a few of her closest friends. She served chicken.

They had such a good time that she decided to have another one last night. I went outside this morning as the last guest was leaving. Chickens were laying everywhere.

I grieved a little.

I remembered when they were just little chicks. So cute. When you raise them from pups, you get a little attached.

After our hound dog Pearl left to live in uptown Dallas, I thought I could let the chickens start getting out of their cute little house and free range a little. I couldn't wait to see their little faces the first time I opened that door and let them out. They were so excited.

I feel bad that I didn't take better care of them. Oh well, I'll get the chicken catalog and start dreaming about next spring's order. Only thing is that we won't get eggs until the fall.

So Marilyn, Kathryn, Audrey, Heddy, Bogey, Bacall, George, Martha, Greta, Sophia and Lana: thanks for the memories. You'll be missed.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

This is Your Testimony

I need to be studying for the retreat this weekend. Studying and buying groceries and many other things but I cannot get the scripture out of my mind that we studied Monday night.

We were in Psalm 129 and 130. In verse 3 of chapter 129 it says that "the plowers plowed upon my back, they made long their furrows". One of the definitions of plow is "to cut in". The last several weeks (months) I've heard of countless stories from women going through really tough stuff. Some of you are dealing with unfaithful husbands, some with suicidal family members, and some with grief. Many of you feel that your backs are laid open by the enemy, bleeding and torn up. You feel beat up, abused, and abandoned. The pain is excruciating.

In verse 4 of the same chapter it says that the Lord is righteous, that He has cut the cords of the wicked. My mind went to the whip (cords) used to lay open the back of Jesus. He knows your pain. He feels every long furrow. Because of that, He can walk you through healing.

The Lord laid on my heart that for all these precious daughters going through so much pain that you are to be encouraged to keep your focus on Jesus.

This is your testimony.

There is a pure holy seed being planted into the furrows and you have to stay grounded in the One Who will harvest that seed for His glory. The enemy wants to plant salty, poky weeds that choke out the fruit of your testimony.

Through this time you will either bring Him honor or bring Him dishonor.

Let the One you honor be your defender.

Want to know the other definition of plow? To "engrave". Ooh boy, my brain jumped to Isaiah 49:16 where it says that He has engraved me on the palm of His hand. Every time He goes to the Father on my behalf, with His hands open, He sees my name engraved, plowed, cut into the palm of His hand.

See? He knows our pain. He's felt it. Trust Him to make something beautiful out of it. It's your testimony.

God, You really, really amaze me.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Girls Fifteen

Back in August after Rachel turned 15 we went out to do their annual pictures of when they are all three the same age. Hannah and Leah turned 16 in September. Having three teenage girls so close to the same age has been such a blessing. There are not many dull moments in our house!

Every time we do pictures they start picking on each other. Which ever two are picking, the other is always posing. They fake laugh with the best of them. The shot of all three with cell phones is not posed. My life is amazing.