Sunday, January 27, 2008


All of you is more than enough for all of me,
For every thirsting, every need,
You satisfy me with your love,
And all I have in you is more than enough.

I sang it in church last Sunday and I meant it sincerely. I know in my head that it's true. Christ is my greatest treasure. I have Him, and I don't really need anything else to be satisfied. I know it, but I don't always feel it.

It's easy to say I know it when all is calm. Sure, I'm satisfied in Christ when I don't actually have any felt needs. But how about when something I desperately want isn't happening? What about when I'm awakened by a sense of dread, my heart pounding so hard I'm surprised it doesn't wake my husband? When I'm walking around with a gnawing pain like someone just punched me in the gut? When something triggers a memory that makes a heaviness of heart hit me out of nowhere?

It's still true at those times that all I have in Christ is more than enough. The difference between when I just know it and when I actually experience it, I think, is where my focus is. Even when I go to him in prayer, my prayer can be all about my concerns, my fears, my wants. When I read His word, my focus can be looking for a comforting word or a promise to fix my problem. When I take my eyes off myself and go to His word looking to see once again how awesome God is, when my prayers praise Him for His amazing wisdom and majesty and mercy, then I come away feeling satisfied in Him. Next to his greatness, even the biggest problems lose their immensity.

My prayer for myself and my family is that of Paul for the Ephesians:
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and His incomparably great power for us who believe. (Ephesians 1:18-19) My eyes need some enlightening.

And here's something I need to be reminded of frequently:
Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His glorious face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

Kiddie Wit

A couple of conversations that made me chuckle today. . .

At breakfast this morning:
J: Mommy, Grandma is a nurse. (Referring to my mother)
Me: Yes, she is.
J: And you're a doctor.
Me: Uh-huh
J: You two should really hang out together sometime!

On the way to church:
J: Mommy, when I left Pooh Bear in North Carolina and I was sad at night, you and Daddy didn't have to come, because I could just talk to God.
Me: Good. Some of the stuff we're trying to teach him is sinking in.
J continues: But now, if I'm sad at night, I don't have to talk to God or Mommy and Daddy. Max (stuffed monkey) and Pooh Bear just cheer me up.
Me: Groan, so he thinks God is someone you fall back on when your stuffed animals are unavailable to help.

During the review of our Sunday School lesson on Jacob and Esau this morning.
Me: Who remembers what Esau gave Jacob to get that bowl of stew?
Girl: His birthmark!

Friday, January 25, 2008

At last

So, you'll be glad to know that the Jones' Christmas tree is finally down.

January 24.

That's got to be some sort of record.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Simple Addition

1 four year-old boy + 1 bottle of shampoo + 1 bathtub with whirlpool jets + 5 minutes alone =

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Reason #33 Why I'll never be a Gourmet Chef

I Hate Cilantro!

I can't stand the smell. I gag on the the taste. It reminds me of a cross between soap and a really stale dishcloth. Which is really unfortunate, since it seems to be quite the trendy seasoning these days. It turns up in salad dressings, salsas, all sorts of Mexican and Thai dishes - some of my favorite food categories. The smallest amount can completely ruin an otherwise beautiful meal for me.

The odd thing is that I'm not the least bit picky in my food choices otherwise. In fact, it's really the only food I feel this way about. There are certainly things I prefer to others, but I'll basically eat just about anything. (Ok, I'm not talking about the things they serve on Fear Factor. I'm talking about actual foods.)

I've decided it's my "thorn in the flesh" to make me a little more understanding of the picky eaters in my house. So when B tells me he can't stand tomatoes, rice, pineapple, strawberries, cherries, most anything else red, etc. . ., I just remind myself that it probably tastes to him like cilantro tastes to me. And I'm happy to serve him something else.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

O Christmas Tree

We always had a real Christmas tree in our home when I was growing up. I loved the scent it gave off. I enjoyed going to pick it out with my family. I liked the way each year's tree was unique. I was reared to believe that real trees are the best trees for Christmas.

My first - and only- Christmas on my own, I carried on the tradition. I went to Meijer and bought one for about $12. The best part by far was disposing of it. My apartment management didn't want folks dragging dried out trees through the stairwells after the holiday. Instead, they had you dispose of them by pushing them off the balcony. Living on the top floor of my building, I felt that was close to $12-worth of entertainment right there.

For the first 8 years or so of our marriage, we also had real tree. A few years in a row I managed to win a free one from a local tree farm. There was a radio station there that I think B and I and maybe 3 other people listened to, because I could pretty consistently win their call in contests.

The last year we got a real tree was the year J was born. We almost didn't have a tree at all that year. J was about a month old, and based on the way he shrieked incessantly, we were beginning to wonder if he was the devil incarnate. There were lots of non-essential things that were being put on hold in our lives then. Decorating the house for Christmas was completely off the radar.

Until. . .I took J in for his check-up and the pediatrician happened to mention that babies find Christmas lights very soothing. I went straight home and "suggested" to B that he run, not walk, to the nearest anywhere that sold trees and BUY.ONE.NOW! We had a tree with lights up within the hour.

Somehow, in all the chaos of being new parents, the nostalgia of having a real tree waned. I was looking for ways to simplify our lives. I thought of Kathy, a woman we had known years earlier. Her annual Christmas decorating ritual consisted of taking the still decorated from last year miniature tree out of the box and setting it on the table. At the end of the season, it went back in the box to await the next year. When she first told me about this, I was pretty unimpressed. However, at this point in my life, Kathy's philosophy of Christmas decorating began to have new appeal.

I wasn't going to quite go the the table-top tree extreme, but we lived in a house with abundant storage space at the time. I figured we could get a full-sized tree, decorate it, and then stick it in the storage room until the next year. What could be simpler?! So, I turned my back on all my parents had taught me and bought an artificial tree. Christmas came and went, and the tree moved down to the basement to await December.

It was a great plan, except that we ended up moving in August of that year. We now have a house with very little storage space. There's no chance of leaving that tree assembled anywhere around here!

So now, I'm feeling a little nostalgic about the "good old days" of real trees again. Lovely scent. No assembly required. No disassembly required. No storage required.

Yes, I miss all those things. But I've discovered that the thing I really needed most about the real tree is the fact that it dies. Eventually, you have to get rid of it. There's a sense of urgency to get it out of the house when it's dropping needles by the vacuum bagful. That urgency is really lacking with the artificial tree. And I tend to be the sort of person who gets most things done only when they're urgent.

So, without that urgency you could, for instance, still not have gotten around to taking down the tree by January 20. Maybe I've inadvertently solved my dilemma about where to store it. It does fit rather nicely in the living room.

All's Well that Ends Well

I don't want this blog to be just a record of the my children's misdeeds and my parenting short-falls - although there would be plenty of material there. So I'll just summarize today by letting you know that we did not have to actually initiate the Amber alert this morning, and the police did not make it all the way to our house this evening.

But we came close.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Drain the tub!

I've had a bit of a backache this week. Nothing disabling, just a constant nagging. After teaching the 4&5 year-olds in Sunday School, then crawling around the floor in the nursery during church, it was crying for a little more attention. I've been dreaming of a good soak in a hot tub all day. So, after J took his bath and went to bed, I planned on doing the same.

Our water heater doesn't seem to have a very large tank, so I was concerned about having enough hot water for myself so soon after J's bath. Soaking in tepid water didn't sound that appealing. I'm not quite sure where my brain short-circuited, but I had decided I'd just leave his water in there and warm it up a little more when my time to soak arrived.

That was, until he got out and I told him to go potty before he got in his PJ's.

"But I don't have to go."
"Why don't you at least try."
"Mommy, sometimes I just go pee pee in the tub."

Yup, my hand was opening the drain before he finished the sentence. Not exactly the sort of warm liquid I was looking for.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Purse

I happened to notice a wet spot on the carpet beneath my desk today. Not such a big deal, until I realized the wet was coming from my purse. The cap from my bottled water was no longer doing it's job. I had been thinking recently that it was about time I cleaned that purse out, but this was not quite the way I'd planned. As I emptied the contents onto my desk, I was struck by what a "Mom purse" I have. About 80% of what I have in there is for the care or entertainment of my children:

1 pacifier
2 pens
1 barrette
10 crayons (several with the tips bitten off)
1 sleeve of saltine crackers (which work well for absorbing excess liquid, I discovered)
Several feminine products (also helpful in this situation)
8 stray raisins
1 iPod shuffle with soggy ear buds
1 juice box
1 Wallet (which houses photos of my children, insurance cards for my children, credit cards and cash with which to purchase things for my children)

Until a few years ago, I rarely carried a purse. Now I remember why. I didn't have much of anything to carry before I had kids.