Friday, April 29, 2011

Princess watching

I have a confession to make.
I've been watching video and examining pictures of the future king of England marrying his bride all day. Poor Caleb got no breakfast because I was too busy watching them say, "I do."
Sorry, honey!
I'm just fascinated by the whole thing. First of all, I'm a girl, so I'm pretty much fascinated by any wedding. But I can't stop wondering, how do you actually meet a prince and get to be a princes??? Do you plot, plan, and train your whole life in a carefully orchestrated dance intended to put you in the right place at the right time? Or are you just hanging out with friends one day when the prince walks in and the two of you fall instantly in love? What does it feel like to have the eyes of the whole world watching your every move, examining your dress, makeup, and hair? Talk about pressure! Are the grace, poise, and formality the public face of just normal people? What will they do in their family room at 9:00 at night after the kids go to bed?
See, maybe I'm obsessed...
I was thinking, though, that my girls have this dream of being princesses.  They put on their princess dresses and sparkle shoes and twirl around our house.  I remind them to use their princess manners at the table and help them remember that princesses are always kind and  never scream or hit or throw things or kick people.  Princesses always sit like ladies when they wear dresses.  And they never call people names.  I've held up princesses as a high standard. 
Kylie has a book called, "Gigi, God's Little Princess" about a little girl who thinks she's a princess and wonders why she hasn't been given any royal jewels.  At the end her dad tells her that she's God's princess, that He's the king above all kings, and that girls who belong to Him are all princesses. 
So I'm a princess too, right?  I'm a girl and I belong to God. 
But why is it that I have this desire to be the one in the gorgeous dress on a perfect day in a lavish celebration of the love the prince has for me? 
As I fixed the toilet paper roll that Julia messed up this morning, I thought, I bet Kate Middleton (I just realized I have no idea what her last name is now...) never have to do this again - unless she wants to (of course she may never have had to do such things in the first place).  As I vacuumed the over-used, VERY ugly carpet on my front porch, I thought, a princess would never even walk on this carpet.  When I looked in the mirror at my stained, over sized t-shirt and faded yoga pants, no makeup and frizzy hair, I thought, a princess probably looks better than this just rolling out of bed in the morning. 
I don't feel like a princess.  At all.  My life looks more like Cinderella's before the handsome prince.
So does God really intend for us to be His little princesses?  Well, I'm pretty sure the Bible doesn't say anything about princesses at all.  But...
The New Living Translation of Ephesians 1:5 says, "God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure."  God, the most magnificent king of the entire universe, decided long before the world was created that He wanted  me as His child.  It brought Him joy to go to terrible lengths to pay the penalty of my sin so I could be with Him forever.  If I'm the daughter of a king, I'm a princess, right?
God's plan for His daughters (and sons..) here on earth; however, is not to live pampered, glamorous lives of ease and self-gratification.  Philippians 2:5-8 says "You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.  Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.  Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.  When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross."
He is our example of royalty.  He is the One we are to imitate. 
I have to say, from an earthly perspective, the English royalty version of being a princess looks alot better than Jesus' version. 
But look at the eternal perspective. 
Keep reading Philippians 2: 9-11.  "Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  For all of eternity everything that has ever been created will be busy doing one thing: WORSHIPPING the God who became man and lived a perfect life of giving until exhaustion and sleeping on the ground and doing jobs no one else cared to do.  In eternity, we will gain a true understanding of what it means to be royalty in God's eyes. 
Will I wait patiently for my King to reveal his eternal perspective to me?  Or will I waste my life envying what looks better now? 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

For Easter

I've always loved Easter. What little girl doesn't love getting a new Easter dress? And candy (especially chocolate!) is always good. And spring is my absolute favorite time of the year. Flowers start to bloom and birds sing outside my window again.
None of those are the real reason to celebrate Easter, though. In my journey closer to Christ, I've started trying to re-live Easter through the eyes of the people involved in the story that we all mourn and celebrate.
So I spend Friday being Mary as she looks up at her mutilated, humiliated Son dragging Himself up on mangled hands and feet for another gasp of air. And Peter overflowing with grief when he realizes he's done exactly what he thought he was strong enough to never do. I think of the average townspeople who must have wondered what was going on when the temple curtain was torn and the earth shook and people they knew were dead were now walking around Jerusalem. What did the parents tell their children about the Man who had welcomed them to sit and play with Him when they saw him hanging, dying for all to see?
I miss the Tenebrae Service at Faith this year because it gave me a quiet chance to sit and meditate on the death of Jesus and what He did for me. (Not that I ever got to actually sit through an entire service. Last year all three of the girls started screaming during communion...)
Saturday I think about the disciples huddling in their hole, too numb and afraid to move. Jesus was their life. They embraced Him as God. Can God die??? They must've questioned everything. And wondered, "What on earth will we do now?"
And then the JOY of Sunday! Although the Jesus' followers were probably more confused at first. Worship and adoration and fear must've raced through their hearts.
I think many of us live in Saturday. Terrible things happen in this world, to us and those we love and strangers on the other side of the world, and we have no answers. We question God just like the disciples must have. We hide in holes of depression, wondering "Why?"
"Why sickness?"
"Why starvation?"
"Why terror?"
"Why cancer?"
"Why persecution?"
"Why death?"
The only hope for any of these questions is to look to the glory of the resurrection and the HOPE of Jesus' return. Just like the disciples, though, we don't get answers on Saturday.
Just for fun, here's one of my favorite Easter songs. This is by Keith and Kristyn Getty. I love their music! Their words are wonderful, and I love Kristyn's voice. Ok, so it might be partly the accent... =) But pay attention to the words!

And here's another one!

I'd better quit. I have too many songs I love... =)

Thursday, April 14, 2011


My girls are enamored with the tulips and daffodils blooming on the south side of our house. Enamored is a fancy word for really, really excited. I so could write "Fancy Nancy" books. Jane O'Connor has stolen my calling in life. If you have girls, read them these books. If you don't have girls, get some, and read them these books. =)

Sorry...I got a little distracted...

Here's Ava "smelling" the flowers. Yes, she's trying to eat them instead. That's how she gives lovies. If you want a really slobbery, open-mouthed, licking kiss, ask Ava for lovies. I just love this picture. Ignore the fact that it's not exactly in focus and there's snot crusted on her nose. It's pretty much perfection. I know I'm biased, but isn't she the cutest thing ever? And again with "smelling" the flowers... My favorite thing about living in this house so far is that someone spent alot of time landscaping this yard. It hasn't been well taken care of for a few years, but hostas, columbines, mystery bushes, rhubarb (?), tulips, daffodils, and a bunch of other stuff I can't name are springing up all over the place. It's like an adventure to walk into the back yard and see what's growing now. On the downside, it's supposed to snow tomorrow. GRRR.... Nebraska weather can be so annoying. I hope all my beautiful plants don't freeze to death!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Moving back (home?)

We ran out of groceries the other day. It was bound to happen eventually. That meant a trip to Grand Island. I found someone to watch the kids, and off I drove in my minivan. I haven't driven Hwy 30 in a LONG time! The first thing I noticed is that my mother was right. She always made me take what I was SURE was the long way to school because she didn't want me driving on Hwy 30. I thought she was a typical overprotective mother. But she's right. Hwy 30 is a death trap. In the first 10 miles of my trip, I was forced to hit the brakes to avoid oncoming traffic coming at me in my own lane. And I had two giant vehicles fly around me at 70 miles an hour.
Death. Trap.
After I decided to petition my brother-in-law who has some (important, I hope) managerial position in the Nebraska Dept. of Roads for four lanes all the way to Central City, I started looking around me. And random, strange, funny memories hit me from all around.
I remember sitting forever at the Pump and Pantry in Chapman waiting for someone to pick me up. I know exactly where the pay phone is. Highschoolers did not have cell phones 10 years ago.
I remember thinking it was SO embarrassing to have to ride the bus to school. And thinking we were going to die while swerving down a VERY muddy road in that bus. And sitting FOREVER at the YMCA in downtown Grand Island waiting for my dad to come pick me up. If any of you have ever seen how much my dad likes to talk, you know how long I waited.
I remember alot of waiting, I guess.
I remember the guy who worked with me at Arby's and insisted my eyes were "violet". He was probably trying to flirt, but I thought he was crazy.
I drove by the Berean church and remembered sitting in my mom's office, crying, and declaring that she could not make me go back to school. I refused. (I was an emotional junior high girl. And my poor father was my teacher...)
I remembered Brad "proposing" on the basketball court and Mike kicking the soccer ball right into Kiel's face and her falling flat on her back. I remembered the 12 Dancing Princesses (speaking of embarrassing..) and singing Point of Grace songs with Leslie and youth group games with baby food.
I drove past trailer parks and wondered about my Head Start kids whose families I had visited there - and about the new families living there.
I drove past the house we lived in for 6 years - the longest I've lived in any place in my whole life. I remembered sharing a room with three little sisters - and Becca hogging most of the space for her plastic horses. And how Windsong tried to bite me. And jumping on our trampoline to very loud Twila Paris music. "God is in control!" Don't make fun of me... =)
I drove over the creek where my dad almost drowned me and my sister by insisting I could swim across with her on my back. (In his defense, he was a lifeguard who probably could've rescued us if he'd needed to. But I thought I was going to die. Kristi was shoving my head under the water, trying to climb me to get to air.)
I remembered hanging my head out the passenger window of our orange, shag carpet van in a snow storm trying to see the edge of the road and instruct my dad how not to drive off it. And how the van died and I had to walk the last half mile home in my dress shoes.
I drove by the road to Andrea's house and remembered painting her dad's barn one summer. And the running feud I had with her brother over whether the Chapman bar was a bar or a restaurant. It's a bar, Nate! =)
I drove through downtown CC and remembered how I chopped ALL my hair off the afternoon before HS graduation and when I met Adair at the flower shop, he didn't even recognize me.
Then I drove past the tiny house Caleb and I lived in when we were first married. I remembered long walks around those streets.
Band practice. Riding bikes to Dairy Queen. Speech meets. Long walks. Driving in the ditch. Hitch hiking back to the gas station with my dad. Coffee shops and Bible studies. Marla's mom waking us up with silly string.
Ok, that's enough. It's funny what little things I remember. Random corners and buildings trigger small pieces of my life to pop into my head. They're not usually the big things... Just glimpses of my life here and there. Enough to convince you that I was a strange child... =) And to convince me that just maybe I've moved home? Not quite sure about that yet...

Best Friends

I'm afraid this blog has been rather neglected. Sorry. So many thoughts are swirling around in my heart and mind that I'm not sure where to start sorting them out. Usually I do that by writing, but they're so confused, I'm pretty sure my rambling would be.... BORING!
Plus most of you I'm sure are not interested in the stressed-out, often sad, questionings of an almost 30 year old (yikes!) mother of four.
SO... To get me back in a happy blogging mood, here's a conversation from my day today.
Julia marches up to me in the kitchen (where else would I be?)
"Why do YOU get to be his best friend???" she asks in an indignant voice.
Assuming she's talking about her daddy, I reply, "Because I married him."
"But I don't know how to do that!" she whines.
"You can't. He already married me. You'll have to find somebody else." Reality is harsh, I know...
Just then Kylie walks by. Julia runs over and grabs her hand.
"Let's get married, Kylie!" she says happily and they skip off hand in hand.
Obviously we have some work to do on the whole marriage issue...
Coming next...musings on my drive down Hwy 30 - something I have not done for a VERY long time!