Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pay Attention to This

Recently my neighbor spent some time with a bunch of Christian women. Last night she asked me why Christians seem so discontent with their relationship to God. At the meeting, the women talked about how upset they were that they weren't achieving a certain level of "walk with God".

"Whose standard are they trying to live up to?" My neighbor asked. "I thought being a Chrisitan meant being satisfied with God. Why this discontent? Why aren't they content with who they are now? I believe we all go through different seasons in life and a relationship with God and Jesus would flex. I'm confused."

My eyes popped open. What kind of gospel are we as believers preaching through our actions? Not a grace gospel! Sounds like works doctrine to me. Yikes.

Knowing some of the women in the group, I understand what they want - what they are striving for, but how they expressed that in the presence of someone who is unfamiliar with the "church culture" caused confusion and even a stroke of fear.

Jesus Christ relates to each of us as individuals. My relationship with Him looks different than His relationship with my best friend, Stinky. My relationship with my husband, John, is very different than Joe's relationship with John.

We all desire to be closer to God - to have a better "walk" with him. What the heck does that mean? Maybe we need to rephrase that as "I'd like to know Him better." That's more accurate.

We don't have to achieve a three-mile long list of objectives to reach the goal of his love. "While we were YET sinners, Christ died for us."

Christians are imperfect. We will be until we're in the presence of our Savior. I shared this fact with my neighbor. I encouraged her to read the book of John. John is about personal relationship - the very thing she's seeking.

In the mean time, we need to be aware of who's around, who's listening, the words we use. Chrisitanese does more harm than good. As writers, we're admonished by editors to be exact. The reader should never have to guess our meaning. Same thing applies to our speech.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Booger Goes Camping

Last summer was the first summer in decades that I didn't go camping. Kyle was only a few months old, and I've only thought nasty thoughts toward folks who brought itty bitty babies into campgrounds.

Baby not happy = entire campground miserable!

I wasn't about to do that to anyone, not even myself.

After months of pleading, John persuaded me to give camping with a 15 month-old a try.

Rounding up all the gear that got scattered through the garage to make room for baby stuff, proved quite the challenge. So much so, that upon arriving at our site at Baby Doe, along Turquoise Lake in Leadville, Colorado I made the horrifying discovery that we had a tent without poles! No poles, no tent. (John packed the tent - he forgot the big tent body and poles were kept in separate bags).

It was after 6PM. Leadville is not exactly a thriving metropolis...

Both of the sporting goods stores were closed for the night.


A friendly local told us of a place outside of town that might carry tents.

Much to our relief, and $40 later, we had a small tent.

John, Kyle and I made it back to our site to set up before dark.

Putting a baby into a sleeping bag is like trying to stuff toothpaste back into the tube. Giggling, he crawled out and cruised the tent interior. John gave up trying and decided to start a fire for s'mores. While John tried to start a fire with big logs and lighter fluid (trust me, it doesn't work!), Kyle shrieked, squealed and growled his way through the tent. His little hands shuffling along the fabric walls. Eventually he fell asleep on John's bag.

The Little Booger slept soundly all night long.

We hiked all day Saturday along a historic rail bed, through a ghost town to the Hagerman Tunnel, which at 11500 feet, was once the highest train tunnel in the world. I'd show a picture, but the tunnel entrance was buried by a snow slide. The little eyes never closed. He was fascinated by the snow covered peaks, snickered as John and I were forced to hike about one mile in the middle of a snow-run off creek and watched
the dog post-hole in deep snow drifts.

I sure was glad I had a brand new pair of waterproof hiking boots!

The boys took a nap after the hike, and I started a fire. One match. No lighter fluid. Lighter fluid is for weenies.

Booger loved to watch the flames dance over the logs. We kept him in his stroller so he could watch us roast hot dogs and smores from a safe distance. He gobbled up a hot dog, bun and several graham crackers!

Then slept soundly through night #2.

It's safe to say, Kyle likes camping. What a relief! I missed it last summer.

Apologies for the sideways pix - blogger doesn't allow me to rotate to vertical. Just lean 90 degrees to one side and they will look upright :)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Funny Fotos

I promised I'd do something funny...

JOHN takes 100% of the credit for diapering Esau... why Esau puts up with it is beyond me.

Sheba (a.k.a. "the Blob") put herself in the sink.

Kyle feeds himself oatmeal for the very first time. And wakes up after his first night in a tent.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

You were never meant to go
through life by the skin of your teeth
but to flourish in the love
and acceptance of Almighty God.
- Beth Moore

God is after me. That's a good thing... I think. I mean, I already belong to Him. Gave my heart to Him when I was six. (My Sunday School teacher scared the Hell out of me - literally!)

You'd think after being a Christian for almost thirty years, I'd have it all figured out by now.


The older I get, the less I realize I understand.

Trusting God and finding satisfaction in Him were topics addressed in the Bible study Stinky and I are doing together.

Sink asked what my "storm" is at the moment. I could toss out finances as usual. However, my true storm rages inside me. Why? I'm not satisfied with God. Uh, let me re-say that.

I'm not satisfying my self with God.

For some sick and demented reason, I keep looking for tangible things to fill me up. In college, as I sat by watching my friends get married off while the guys made mooing noises in my general direction, I believed a man's love would fill me. "If only I were loved by a man who wanted to marry me..." I said while laying on a log across the Houghton Creek.

I've been married nine years, am the mom of the Cutest Baby in the World, have 3 cats, a dog, two tanks of fish, house, pretty flowers in the yard, friends and an evil-stepbird.

Some people even tell me I have talent! ;) I can write, sing, take darn good pictures and make people laugh.

But I feel icky inside. Often.

Poor John shleps into the door after a long day at the office and my claws pop out. He doesn't have a chance to duck before I take the first swipe.

"What's got into you?" He asks.

"I have nooooo idea." I cry.

God is after me. He wants me to learn to let Him fill me with His peace like a river - rapids and all. He wants me to learn about extending Grace to myself. Something I suck at. He wants to be Enough.

Yeah. Enough.

Next post will be funny. I can't keep ignoring the JOY in my litterbox.

Monday, June 04, 2007


...was this dude who was king of Israel during the time of the prophet Isaiah. All of his life, he did what was right in God's eyes - including obliterating the sex worship industry his forefathers chose to ignore.

This dude was able to get a wayward people back on track, worshiping the one true God. He was sold out to God in every facet of life.


He got sick.

Isaiah told him he was gonna die.

It was bad.

Hezekiah cried out to God, "God, please, I beg you: Remember how I've lived my life. I've lived faithfully in your presence, lived out of a heart that was totally yours. You've seen how I've lived, the good that I've done." And Hezekiah wept as he prayed - painful tears. (Isaiah 39:2-3 Msg)

Stinky and I are are starting a Bible study titled; "Breaking Free: Making liberty in Christ a reality in life" by renown author, Beth Moore. Mom just finished leading this study at her church. She told me this lesson was written for me. She made me promise to do it over the course of the summer... or else!

Today's lesson was about Hezekiah.

I was grabbed by the throat and pulled into his story. I'm no king, but I felt my heart nodding with his prayer. I was saved at the age of six. With the help of my parents, I chose to live for Christ and not the world - paying a hefty price for that decision all throughout public school.

In college, after God derailed my plans for becoming a world-famous doctor, I sought His perfect will for my life the best I knew how at that time.

After college, in the big bad world of Denver, I chose to remain pure (not a hard thing to do when nobody ever asks you out) before I met John. John and I remained pure for our wedding (we hardly kissed!). The list goes on and it's pretty boring. You get the idea...


My life has sucked big time. Lots of pain. Lots of suffering.

Read the previous post. I like to throw tantrums.

Today I sat on my patio doing my Bible study, and WHAM! I see a myself on the pages. Here's this guy who lived way better than I and he had a horrible, terminal illness. What kind of reward is that? How many times have I prayed the same thing? Why? God, don't you see how I've lived? How I constantly strive to live for you? This is how you reward me for my efforts?

Beth wrote the following: "Sometimes our enemy attacks the weak and wandering believers because they are easy prey. Other times he attacks competent, fully-surrendered servants of God for the challenge and the possible contagious effect of a fall." Gulp.

Don't know from whence it came, but I somehow bought into a lie that if I follow God, He will lighten the attacks. It's only fair, right? I know, I know - the New Testament talks alot about sharing in the sufferings of Christ. But still...

This stuff happens. Jobs go away, articles are rejected. Illness for me or my loved ones. Satan wants me to fall b/c my failings and icky attitude are contagious!

Sorry if I pulled you down. I'm gonna cry out to God and seek His direction for my writing. I have a sneaking suspicion about my focus but I want to be sure.