Thursday, June 18, 2009

Psalms during a sleepless night

God has an interesting way of speaking to me. Sometimes He smacks me hard upside the head. Sometimes He gives me a vision. And sometimes He gives me a verse out of thin air. Last night, I couldn't sleep. So much on my mind... Not so much "worries" per se. Just stressed and confused and, if I'm being perfectly honest, perturbed and a little devalued, deflated and tired. My hubby and I were up until around 1:30am talking... After he fell asleep, I was overcome with emotion, so I went to the livingroom for a good honest cry. Then I tossed and turned some more... Then got up to check email. (Why, I don't know - not like I get a bazillion emails in the middle of the night. I think I was just trying to pass the time or occupy my mind with less painful topics.) I tossed and turned some more, and finally around 3:00 or 3:30, God gave me a verse. It was pretty jumbled at first, but I asked God to clarify for me. I heard Him say, "Psalm 29:11."

Now, I always kind of laugh when this happens, because sometimes I wonder if my mind isn't just wondering on its own. Plus I wonder if God really wants me to look up the verse. So, I asked Him again. He said (and I quote), "Get up and read it."

Alrighty then. That was a clear enough command. When God says go, ya better go! So.... I grabbed my Bible from my bedside (which loudly knocked over a bottle of hand lotion) and snuck out to the livingroom once again. I switched on the lamp and flipped to Psalm 29:11. This is what it said: "The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace."

Now... I'm not going to get into the details of my struggle at this time. (I'll save that for another day when I'm ready to share it.) But, wow. I started to cry. (Which is funny in and of itself because, see, a pregnant woman cries at everything. But I think these tears were more than just hormones.) I decided to read the entire Psalm... then I read Psalm 30... and 31.

Here are some key verses that spoke to me:

"Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5b (After a night filled with tears, it's good to have found joy at dawn.)

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever." Psalm 30:11-12 (There is blessing in my struggle, for God knows the desire of my heart, and has heard my prayers and those of His people who have prayed with me.)

"Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth." Psalm 31:5 (Notice that the first part of this verse is the very same verse that Jesus used on the cross. In context, David is referring to his life, whereas Jesus is referring to his death. Pretty cool stuff.)

"But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD; I say, 'You are my God.'" Psalm 31:14 (Scott and I were just talking about "who" we serve yesterday. Do we serve God or money? I choose to serve God.)

"Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the LORD." Psalm 31:24 (Pretty self-explanatory. He is the source of my strength. He and the added blessing of coffee. HA!)

"Give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name;" Psalm 29:1b-2 (Yes, I know this is out of order, but it just reminds me that in light of everything, He IS to be praised! He is due praise. Not just worthy to be praised...)

"The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace." Psalm 29:11 (Hard news for a lot of folks, but as an individual, a community, a church, God will give us strength.)

In cross reference, I jumped to Hebrews 13:15 - "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name." Again, He IS to be praised - with our lips, with our bodies, with our resources - with our lives.

Even in the midst of suffering, God shows up. Is my suffering gone? No. Are my questions answered? No. Will I continue to struggle for a season? Most certainly. But God gave me enough to show me He is present with me as I walk through this. I am not alone.

Can I just say that I'm grateful for a refining fire? Pruning is painful, but it bears fruit. Lord, I'm listening and I abandon all I am at the foot of the Holy Cross. May You be glorified. Praise be Your name. Amen.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


A couple of weeks ago, Scott was changing Jeffrey in his room, when out of the blue, Jeffrey points and says, "Jesus!" Scott looked around to see what Jeffrey was pointing at, but nothing was around that would have reminded of him of Jesus (to our eyes). Jeffrey said, "Jesus!" Scott asked him, "Jeffrey, do you see Jesus here?" Jeffrey just said, "Jesus!"

What an amazing thing to think that Jesus could appear to our wee ones. We pray every night that Jesus would be present with Jeffrey, and invite Him into his room as he sleeps. What an awesome moment to think that maybe, just maybe, Jesus revealed himself at that moment. AND that Jeffrey knew Him.

"And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them." Mark 10:16

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Whas dat?

We made it almost two years without this happening to us. I thought for sure I was in the clear. But to my dismay (and amusement), it happened.

Every once in a while, Jeffrey gets his bath time in the morning (rather than evening). It actually works out quite nicely when I'm trying to get ready for work cuz I can contain him in the bathtub while I go through my morning face and hair rituals. In recent weeks, he has learned to appreciate the shower curtain and how much more fun he can have splashing around when the curtain is closed. So, there I was getting my face on when he decided to have some privacy. That's cool. I respect that.

I hear him splashing around and giggling. Every couple of minutes he'd open the curtain just a tad with his arm stretched out holding one of his squirty toys saying "Hep! Hep!" (His word for "help" - he wanted me to fill it so he could spray the shower curtain.) Several minutes went by... And then I hear, "Out! Out!" and "All done!"

Impressed that Jeffrey could decide for himself when he was done playing and wanted to get out and get dressed for the day, I opened the shower curtain.

There before me was my naked child, and a bath full of floating poop.

Good Lord. Poop everywhere. Big chunks, little chunks, and lots of floating debris. I'm just sayin'.

How on earth was I to deal with this? What is the priority? Take my child out first, then somehow scoop the poops, then drain and wash the tub? Or... is there a way to manage all things at once? Being the resourceful mommy I am, I decided to multitask.

So, I pulled the plug, and started fishing out toys into a container (to be bleached). As the water slowly drained, all the poops started floating past Jeffrey who took a keen interest. He asked, "Whas dat? Whas dat?" pointing to the floating poops. I kept telling him, "Don't touch! That's poop! Yucky!" He kept asking, "Whas dat? Whas dat?" very excitedly, as if some new toys just magicly appeared!

As the toys were being fished out, he got a hold of one of his little fish dishes and began following a poop underwater, trying to capture it. Just as he was pulling it out, I grabbed his hand, dumped the poop back into the water and told him again (trying not to laugh), "Don't touch! Yucky!"

The water began to slow... A couple larger turds got wedged into the drain hole, but were too solid to break apart and drain down... So... I had to pick them out (with toilet paper) and plop them into the toilet, all the while trying to keep Jeffrey from grabbing one of the other pieces. (He's 23 months. Apparently poop at this age just screams for attention.)

All big poops gone, water now almost completely drained, I had to rewash my son from head to toe to make sure there weren't any remnants of feces. (I seriously have an issue with this.) I lifted him out, wrapped him in a towel, and turned my attention back to the tub and poopy toys. I re-plugged the tub, began filling it with scalding water, and dumped about a pint of bleach, followed by all the toys.

Child clean, tub and toys in the process of being cleansed and disinfected, I just sighed. Mommy duty complete.

Later that evening, as I returned home from work, I caught a faint hint of "pool" in the hallway. Remembering that the tub was still filled with water and a ridiculous amount of bleach, I returned to the bathroom to drain the tub. I pulled the plug and waited... and waited.... and waited. Um... apparently one of the big poops got stuck in the drain at some point and has slowed the drainage quite a bit. I'm talking sssssslllllloooooowwwwwww. Awesome. The turd has declared revenge. Take two. (No pun intended.)

Luckily... during the draining process, it was dislodged and caused no further backup.

Oh, the joys of motherhood. Daddy wasn't around to see. And now I wish I had taken pictures and/or video. Priceless moments.

"Whas dat? Whas dat?"

It's your poop, dear child.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bye bye, kee kee!

I'm going to try to be better about posting kid stories. There are just too many funny things not to remember and unfortunately, so many funny things happen that I can't remember them all. So... the best way to remedy this is write them down! Plus, Jeffrey (and baby sister) will thank me for this one day. (That is, after the day the curse me for writing them down. They'll appreciate them when, one day, they become parents.)

Scott's brother Jeff (Jeffrey's namesake) and Jeff's wife (Adriane) flew in from Illinois to hang with us for a couple of weeks. (Oh, so many great stories from their visit... But I'll just stick to this one for now.) The last Friday they were with us (May 29) we decided to spend the day at the coast. (Side note: I haven't been to the coast since BEFORE I got pregnant with Jeffrey. How sad is that?)

Oh, another side note... This actually is worthy of another post, but suffice it to say at the moment that Diane (Scott's mom) had already thought that would be a good day to go to the beach. When we dropped Jeffrey off on Thursday morning, I mentioned it, and she agreed replying, "Yeah! We were thinking that too, only we want to get an early start!" I said, "How early?" She said, "Well... I was thinking we could leave by 6:00 or so." Yeah, right. 6:00 am doesn't happen when you have babies, I'm just sayin'. I told her, "Well, you guys can go early and we can meet you there later." She replied, "We just want to get there early enough to see seashells." HAHAHAHAA If you're from Oregon or any other coastal region, you'll know why this is hysterical. I'll finish the story at a later date, but that's the best part worthy of a good laugh. (Please understand I'm not making fun. She's from the Midwest, and really isn't familiar with tide charts, Pacific ocean, the fact that we don't really get a lot of "seashells", etc., so wouldn't have known that was funny. But for the rest of us who do know, it's worthy of a good giggle.)

I digress.

After a good hour on the beach (having arrived in Lincoln City around 10:30), we bellied up at a corner table at our favorite restaurant, Kyllos, then took another jaunt down 101 to Salishan shops... and back up to Fogarty Creek for another walk on the beach. (This was Jeffrey's first time seeing the ocean, so we wanted to make sure he got a lot of sand and ocean time!)

If you're not familiar with Fogarty Creek, it's a nice little beach with pretty big waves, and a creek (thus the name) that splits the park and runs into the ocean. Certain times of the year, the creek can get pretty deep and fast, but at this time of year, it runs relatively shallow and slow. As it gets closer to the ocean, you can wade across it. But there are two walking bridges that cross the creek, as well.

We had parked our car, and Jeffrey wanted to bring his little basketball along. So, there he goes, trotting along with his binky ("kee-kee") in his mouth and his basketball ("ba-ball") under his arm. As we began to cross one of the bridges, a thought crossed my mind. It would be SO typical for Jeffrey to chuck his ball in the creek. He loves to throw it at things. So, I bent down and asked him gently, "Honey, can mommy have your ball for a minute?" Without hesitation, he handed over his ball. (He's so good!) Literally seconds later, I hear his binky hit the deck. Uncle Jeff exclaimed, "Oh! There goes his binky!" So, I turned around expecting to pick it off the bridge. No. It landed on the bridge and bounced promptly into the creek, 6 feet below.

Diane and Scott had already crossed the bridge (I think to use the bathrooms), so Adriane, Jeff, Jeffrey and I were left hanging over the railing just watching as Jeffrey's binky starting sailing slowly down the creek and under the bridge. We all ran to the other side and watched as it appeared again... Slowly, slowly floating in the current out to sea.

As we all could do nothing but watch, we hear Jeffrey's little voice, "bye-bye, kee kee!" And he waved eagerly to his binky as it floated by.

But wait! It got stuck on a little pile of floating debris which kept it in place, about 1 foot from the edge of the creek. The valiant Uncle Jeff made his way down the muddy edge, clinging to flimsy tree branches to try to rescue the kee-kee. He very well could have taken a nice spill into the creek himself. (And if this had occurred, the whole thing would have been on video!)

I will post the video soon! Jeff totally took one for the team and made a successful kee-kee recovery! Yea! (After a thorough rinse, it was as good as used!)

Thanks, Uncle Jeff. We applaud your selfless acts of service, all in the name of love.