Monthly Archives

September 2008

Everyday life, hope clinic

Every Word is True

I don’t normally post two days in a row, I know.  But I can’t help myself.
I’m having a lot of trouble typing (which I will explain shortly). This is the stuff Lifetime movies are made out of.  And they always happen to me.

It started out GREAT. I met Kyla at Target and spent $1300.  Yes.  $1300. Before you say anything, let me explain.  It wasn’t my money.  
It was yours.
And I had a ball spending it.
Okay, I can see I am going to need to back up a little. 
The Hope Clinic started a home for mothers who choose life for their babies instead of abortion.  3 women live there at a time, and there is a “house mother” (Kyla) who lives there with them.  We decided to use part of the money that people have donated to the Hope Clinic to decorate one of the bedrooms.  I bought all “Shabby Chic” style bedding, furniture, lighting, curtains, a glider, frame, decor (no sticks), baby books, and on and on. It is all going to be set up this weekend and I am so excited to see it come together and welcome the mommies who will live there.  What a blessing.  So, let me start off by saying thank you to each and every person who helped to make this a reality.  I will take pictures and post them (go figure).
And now onto the reason Kyla had to call 911 for me.
Let’s just say (hypothetically) that I am a clumsy person, and today, I was wearing a skirt. These facts will both become important in a minute, I promise.
I follow Kyla back to the house and we unload my car.  I open my passenger side door to grab my phone so that I can type in her phone number, and then I slam the door shut.
Hear me say that the door shut completely. Closed.
Which would not have been post-worthy had my finger not been in it.
It takes me about a millisecond to realize it, and I open the car door, at which point blood starts dripping everywhere.  I am not freaking out yet, so I make a crack about how I just got my nails done, and then I start to realize that there is a good chance my finger is broken and I need to get a plan together.  Kyla sees my finger and we start to run inside to grab a paper towel. I am concerned that I am going to get blood all over the house, so I am holding one hand under it and trying not to make a mess.  I was just in shock, I guess.  
We get inside and Kyla runs some cold water for me.  I put my hand under the sink and all of a sudden, I start to really feel it.  I mean, seriously feel it.  And it is not good. At all.
I start to feel a little woozy.  I’m not really weird about blood, but I think my body went into shutdown mode and I pass out cold.  I should mention that when I pass out (if you are a doctor and you have insights on this, please share) I have what appear to be seizures.  According to people who have witnessed it, I shake and make moaning noises and it is pretty scary to watch. Kyla said I had two or three today while I was unconscious, and she called 911.  I managed to show her how to call Todd on my phone in between seizures, because as you know, I am nothing if not a multi-tasker.
I will tell you all more about this later, but I took a big step in the last several days towards telling Audrey’s story in book form, and part of that is by partnering with a literary agent.  It was an answer to prayer that literally fell into my lap, and I am so excited about it. Anyway, he went to adopt two children today (his sixth and seventh, incidentally), and I decided I was going to fast for him (quickly, this just means that I abstain from eating for a day as an offering of sacrifice and prayer).  I wasn’t going to say anything, but they were wondering if there could be any other “factors,” so I mentioned it. The ladies in the house brought me a Special K bar and Kyla said, “Seriously Angie. It’s only like 90 calories.  I don’t think God will even notice 90 calories….” I think it was one of the funniest things I have ever heard.  Kyla, you are a gift.   
Let’s just also say (hypothetically) that I asked three questions when I came to.  See the title of this post for more information….
In order, these were the questions.
1.  I passed out again, didn’t I?
2. Tell 911 they don’t need to come, I’m okay. Are they already coming?
3. Did you see my butt just now?
So, for all of you who are keeping score, there was at least a 6 second window between seizure and pure vanity.
The medics came and checked me out.  I told them I didn’t want to ride in the ambulance, but they told me I should probably go to the hospital because it might be broken.  I wouldn’t know, because I have literally never broken a bone.  But anyway, they were really nice. Meanwhile, Todd had called my dad and asked him to come watch the girls because there was an emergency and he wanted to come get me.  He was in such a hurry that when my dad asked what was going on, he says, “She split her nail!!!!!!!”  My dad was confused, but he came right over.  God bless the man.  
I promise I wouldn’t be kidding around if I wasn’t okay (which I am).  
Todd came and got me and we went to see my doctor, who took x-rays and confirmed that it was NOT broken.  He put a little getup on it and sent me home…isn’t it pretty?
I know what you’re thinking.
I can’t get my wedding ring off, which is going to put a serious dent in my clubbing schedule. 
Other than that, I am fine (hypothetically speaking, of course).
Amy came in town today and as I was retelling my finger story, Todd realized that the grill was on fire. Because we were bored stiff up to that point.
He put out the fire (and the chicken) with the fire extinguisher, and it was so ridiculous that we all laughed until we fell over.  And of course, took pictures. 
And I haven’t even gotten to the best part.  And this might actually be the best kid story ever. God certainly picked the right day to let it happen because I needed a smile.
I was putting Kate to bed tonight and I told her I was going to pray for her.  I asked her if there was anything she wanted to say “I’m sorry” to God about, and she said yes.  I am not sure what she said after that, but I figured God had heard her, so I didn’t ask her to repeat it.  Then she looks at me with this heavy face and says, “He isn’t here, momma.”
She looks at the door and then looks at me.
“He is, honey.  We just can’t see Him because He is invisible. Remember?”
I promise you that at this EXACT moment (God is the best director), Ellie gets up out of bed and runs to the bathroom, so all of a sudden Kate and I hear these little running feet.
She looks at me, wide-eyed, mouth dropped to the floor, like she finally believes the whole thing is real.  
I can just see her little brain imagining the God of the universe running around in the bathroom.  Which is almost as funny as Red Robin at a car dealership.
Incidentally, for those of you who read my last post, I hope you get a kick out of this. I found it this morning and had to share.
Anyway, I am feeling a little better on account of the fact that I just took one of the happy pills they gave me after I delivered the kids.  
Oh admit it, moms.  You kept a little bottle as a souvenir too. 
Hypothetically, of course.
Everyday life, Family

Exhibit A (and B)

I loved reading your comments, and I wanted to pass this along….it seems like there is a concensus that 1)Hanna Anderson (catalog/online) 2)Wal-Mart and 3)Gymboree are all good choices for age-appropriate underwear.  I also laughed my head off reading about the Trapper Keepers.  It brought back some great memories of the good old days when a pony with his head hanging over a fence was edgy.  Good times.
After the girls finished their gymnastics class the other day, we got in the car and Todd asked if we were going straight home.  Little did he know.
“No, I need to go to Target really quickly (oxymoron).”  He got all crazy excited and started high-fiving the girls and screaming, “You are the best, baby! Are you sure? I am PUMPED!!!!”
Okay, that last part is a lie.  He actually rolled his eyes and mumbled incoherently under his breath, but whatever.  
“What in the world do we need to go to Target for, Ang?”  In my happy place, he was playing with my hair and handing me the debit card.  I think he mentioned he was going to take the kids with him so I could be alone.  Again, people, lies.
“I need to take some pictures.” 
“Of what?”
“Panties.” The car gets really quiet. 
“Oh that probably sounded weird.” He staring at me like I am on fire, so I assume that he agrees. I can explain.
“I want to take some pictures of sticks, too.”  
I heard his head hit the window in a sign of surrender.  The most supportive kind of surrender. The kind that doesn’t think photographing underwear is unusual for a family activity.  
I am happy to report that we went to a different, Daniela-free Target, and they actually had panties that were appropriate for children.  
For the record, they also had these.
Oh good.  They sit low on the hips.
Which is important (because, as a few readers pointed out), hips are a major issue for a KINDERGARTNER).  Make sure and add a slip, though, so the skull doesn’t show through her new smocked dress.  Because that would be inappropriate.
I would have taken more pictures, but people were staring at me.  And, as you may recall, this is the back-up Target.  I can’t afford to mess this up.  
But before I left, I made my way over to the homegoods section, and guess what I found?
Without further ado, I present to you…..
According to the tag, they are not sticks.  They are “willow bundles.”
I stand corrected.
I am actually getting a little wistful over these, because as I look at them, they are taller than I remember them…taller than I could find in a yard, right? And I think that might be raffia. 
You can’t just buy that at any neighborhood craft store.  
I promise I watched someone spend $50 on sand at Pottery Barn last summer. I did not buy the sticks because that would be silly (right? anyone? I need some accountability here friends…)
So after we went to Target, Todd begged me to go to Red Robin and eat because he didn’t want me to have to cook.  My blog.  My story.
I submitted to his authority and we went.  And you will never guess who was there…
The Red Robin Himself. 
You never saw that coming, did you? 
He was coming around to tables and saying hello to the kids, which would have been a great photo-op if mine weren’t under the table screaming bloody murder.  Kate did hug his legs on the way out, which I was really excited about because as a general rule, they do not do well with large costumed people. Well, it’s kind of one extreme or the other with Kate, who once spent a half hour screaming “MY DOOOOGGGGGG!!!!!!!!” and body-slamming every kid who got near Biscuit the dog when he came to Barnes and Noble for a picture session (Missy, feel free to back me up…you were a witness to this proud parenting moment).
As soon as we leave the restaurant, Abby looks around the parking lot and she gets this puzzled look on her face.  She turns to me, and with complete seriousness, asks me which car I think the Red Robin drives.  
I cannot stop imagining a 9 foot tall bird-man driving home with his giant wings.  Holding his travel mug as he starts his morning commute every day. And the best part is that it is perfectly logical to a 5 year old that he drives to and from work, because what else would he do?
I didn’t explain about the costume.  I didn’t see the need.  
After all, she is just a kid.  
Everyday life, Family

The Sticks and the Panties


I am so incredibly moved (either to hysterical laughter or a loud AMEN!)by your responses to this one that I have decided to post some of my favorites at the end of the day today.  Check back…there are many modest options people have mentioned, as well as a few Trapper Keepers that will bring a smile to your face. Also, a lady bought the sticks for $1.99.  Now THAT, my friends, deserves a red sticker.  Wonder what state she lives in…
I bet I have your attention with a title like that.

Okay, so I was at Target the other day. Incidentally, this is not the noteworthy part of the story.  

I was shopping for some baby shower gifts and decided (as usual) to spend an extra hour smelling candles and trying to figure out what I could do with a cluster of sticks on clearance.  I started to put them in my cart and then reconsidered, because they were $25 and they were, well, sticks.
On my way out, I remembered that Abby and Ellie needed some new panties. Again, not necessarily the noteworthy portion of the story, but I am getting to a point here.
I start heading back to the toddler section and it hits me.  They will be six in December, and that means I need to start getting used to the big girl’s section up front.  I know it isn’t really a huge deal to most people, but it matters to me. It isn’t so much because they are growing up, but rather, the fact that I dress all three of my girls in the same outfits (yes, I am one of those moms).  Now, that they have graduated from a 5T, I have had to settle for coordination.  And that takes compromise and at least 3 different Target’s to get all the sizes.
Anyway, back to the panties.
I find the little section with all the underwear and leotards, and I am overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices.  I start to search one side, and don’t see any princess panties, so I turn around and see another complete section displaying purely girl’s underwear.  After skimming for a minute, I start to realize that they look different up here than they did in the back.  There are no princesses, and in fact, not a single character my kids care about wearing on their tushies.  I am confused, because there are plenty of them in size 5. Tinkerbell, Cinderella, Ariel, the whole gang.  Oh no, not in big girls.  Here we have pirates and “XOXO.” I start to get irritated, partly because I’m still a little bent out of shape about the going rate for stick bundles.  Did I mention the original price was $29.99? Firstly, that is absurd.  Secondly, $4 off a $29.99 item does not merit a red sticker.  Finally, (and it is entirely possible you have picked up on this), they were sticks.
Here’s where it gets ugly.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see a package of hot pink panties, and the tag says something like, “low-riders,” and they have a drawing of a little girls bottom with the panties sitting way down low and exposing half her bottom. They are bikini bottoms, y’all.  In a size 6.  Make note of the fact that I just said y’all (thanks amanda:).  I am a Northener, and I don’t just throw that lingo around lightly. Bikini. Bottoms. Low riders. Size 6.
For clarification, what are these girls wearing that would merit panties that would make a plumber blush? 
It’s not just one pack, it’s the whole stinkin’ section.  I spent a solid 5 minutes trying to find ONE bag of underwear that look like they should be on a kindergartner.  I found some with the days of the week (which would have been okay if they hadn’t had these freaky, googly-eyed monkeys on the front), and a couple with (seriously) a skull and crossbones on the butt.  
Lest you imagine me to be a fashion-hating prude, I need to interject.
I appreciate a pair of sassy jeans (ask the ladies who come to my Bible Study).  I am relatively hip.  Okay, I just said “hip,” which, by default, contradicts it’s intended connotation.  
It’s just that I want my kids to be kids.  I want to go back-to-school shopping and not feel like I have to scan the school supply aisle before walking it because I don’t know if I want them to see what is on the folders.  I’m not going to beat around the bush here. I have always been on the cutting edge of school supplies.  I had a Trapper Keeper with a unicorn under a fountain one year. Not to be outdone, the next year I followed it up with the much coveted “Three Kitties in a Basket.” 
Oh yeah, sisters.  I walked the line.
I know you are sitting on the edge of your seat wondering about the panties.  I did find 2 packs of full coverage, non-offensive “briefs” behind the cool ones. They were $3.78 for a pack of 6 because they are not “butt-crack pants” approved.  Which works out fine for me because I prefer to clothe them with actual, you know, clothes made for a child.
I let them watch part of a Mrs. America competition once when they were 4 because they were going through a tiara-obsession. Unfortunately, Mrs. Ohio was wearing a dress that left nothing to the imagination, and I, being the eternal “teachable moments” mom that I am, decided to explain some of the finer points of modesty.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  3 days later, when Abby decided to confront someone in the frozen food section about her “privates showing,” I realized I may have been overzealous in my quest to change the world.  I also did what any self-respecting mother would do in this situation.  I pretended she wasn’t mine and started wearing a wig to Kroger.
You may sense my frustration.  I did a poor job of hiding it while I was at the store as well.  In fact, before I left, I decided to share my feelings with my sweet checkout woman.  If I can see a name tag, I always make sure to use the person’s name while I am in conversation with them. Her name was Daniela, and after a few minutes of confused nodding, I realized that she didn’t really speak English.  Here I am, shaking a pack of kid panties, and she is smiling and trying to resist calling security.  It was definitely scrapbook-worthy.
Have you had any of these moments as a mom? Please feel free to share and make me feel normal.
And don’t hesitate to tell me about your coolest Trapper-Keeper too.  I need to reminisce.
And if you bought the sticks, I want you to know, I am not standing in judgment of you.  In fact, I considered going back to see if they were reduced again, but there is now the issue of Daniela and the great panty debate of ’08, so I may need to find a new Target.
And a wig.

The Scarlet Cord

Her name was Rahab, and she was a prostitute.  I must say, she is one of my favorite heroines in Scripture, and in the event that you don’t know her story, find a cozy chair and flip to the second chapter of Joshua.  A little background on where we are in the Bible…
Moses has died without ever entering the Promised Land, and his successor is the mighty warrior Joshua.  Joshua is planning to invade Canaan, and in order to scope out the land, he sends in two spies.  We don’t know their names, but we do know that they were told to focus on Jericho (are you singing the song yet? Someone posted on my blog awhile back and said her son was singing, “Joshua fought the battle of cherry coke, cherry coke, cherry coke…LOVE it.  I digress…). 
While  they were there, the spies stayed at the home of a prostitute named Rahab.  It has been speculated that they chose this location because it was unlikely that they would be discovered in a brothel.  One way or another, by the end of their time there, they have changed the course of her life, and in a sense, all of our lives.
The king of Jericho gets word that there are spies in the land, and he sends his representatives to Rahab’s house.  Instead of turning them in, she lies to them and tells them that the spies were there, but have now left and are on their way out of the city.  While the guards rush through the night streets, Rahab crawls up to her roof where she has hidden the men under stalks of flax.  She whispers to them while they lie there, and she tells them that she knows what the Lord has done for them.  She has heard about the parting of the sea, and she believes that God Himself is on their side.  She tells them that she believes their God is “God of heaven above and on the earth below.” (Joshua 2:11).  Essentially, she believes in God more than she fears for herself.  She lies to the authorities to protect these strangers, because she wants to be on the side of God, as they are.  
She tells the spies that she will keep them safe as long as they will promise not to harm her family when they storm the city.  They agree.  She lets down a cord from her window and helps them with an escape plan out of the city.  The men tell her that they will be back to battle shortly, and in order for her family to be kept safe, she must do one thing.  She must gather her family into her home and then drop a scarlet cord from her window to signify that they are to be spared in the fighting.
It wasn’t the first time the Lord used a symbol like this, foreshadowing the blood shed by Christ. Remember when Moses was trying to convince Pharoah to let his people go and a series of tragic plagues swept the land as he refused to release them?  During the last plague, God tells Moses that unless a family has taken the blood of a lamb and put it on the sides and the tops of their door frames, their first-born sons will die in the night.  The houses with the blood on them will be “passed over (hence the holiday Passover),” and the children will live.
The blood of a lamb…the scarlet cord…the cross at Calvary…

This is one of the things I love most about my Jesus.  He is the God of redemption. He loves to take the underdog and show them that they are not who they thought they were. He took a woman who made a scandalous living, and he blessed her because she believed in God with holy, reverent fear.  He didn’t just “let” her into the story.  He chose her for the story.
He chose you for the story.
The story of Rahab brings tears of gratitude to my eyes.  The blood-red cord comes spilling from a window, desperately clutched on one end by a woman who believes in the God she has yet to meet.  This is the cord that will save her and her family from disaster.  
So where are we in all of this? We are the sinners who have the power of the scarlet cord, dropped in faith and held with utter conviction that He will save us. 

I don’t always love my Lord the way I want to.  I get distracted, my mind wanders, my fingers become busy, Old Navy has a clearance sale…oh, I get off task easily…
I have something I like to do when I feel like I am wandering from Him, drifting just a little bit (or maybe a whole lot).  It has been one of the most powerful exercises I have done during my life as a Christian, and it never fails to move me to tears.
I find a comfortable place (usually my bed), and I get settled.  I take a moment to just be still. This is a challenge in itself most days, but when I do it, I know that it is because He is going to make Himself known to me in the next few moments.  I close my eyes, and the first thing I imagine is the thorn of crowns, cutting into His sweet, bloody brow.  I look at the crown.  In my mind, I run my fingers gently across the thorns and I whisper to Him.  I just sit in the sorrow for a bit, and when I feel ready, I let my minds-eye travel to His face and His beaten body.  His arms, aching from being stretched out and held up.  I spend time studying His sunken cheeks, His hollowed eyes, His chest, His arms, and oh, Lord, His wrists.  The blood that came from a nail, spilled for me…
I gradually see His back, beaten beyond human recognition. I move slowly, taking it all in.  I trace the wounds, I pray for Him, I weep with Him.  I thank Him.  I see His legs, hung weightlessly into the base of the cross, nails driven through his ankles.  I imagine what it must have felt like as the nails pierced His skin.  I hear the shouting, the chaos, the overwhelming sense that the moment of death is near.  I am another woman who stands at the foot of the cross, forgiven.  I am another woman clinging to the scarlet rope.
And here is the best part of the story, and probably the least expected twist in the plot. At some later point in time, Rahab becomes pregnant, and gives birth to a son, whom she names “Boaz.” Remember Boaz? You may recall that he was symbolic of Christ as the “kinsmen redeemer” who married Ruth in the book of Ruth.  Are you ready for this family tree?
Rahab is the mother of Boaz.
Boaz is the father of Obed.
Obed is the father of Jessie
Jessie is the father of David.
Let’s skip a couple of generations and see where we end up…
…and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

She was a sin-filled woman with a controversial story.
She was a castoff.
She was imperfect, immoral, improper.
She was hand-picked to be part of His lineage.
She was redeemed by faith.
Seven and a half years ago, I opened a window and dropped a scarlet cord.
And my Lord, despite my hardships, has kept His promises to me.  One day I will stand before Him and I will see the wounds with my own eyes.  I will thank Him.  I will bow down low and I will worship the One who wore the crown of redemption.  I will spend eternity in a place where there is no more hurt.  A place where my sweet Audrey waits for me. I cannot wait for that moment. I want to see Him, to love Him, to adore the One who saved me.
And maybe, just maybe, there will be a giant close-out at Old Navy up there…
“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to us, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)
P.S.  I made a scarlet bracelet (shown at beginning of post) for each of the girls, Todd, and myself.  We put them on as a family tonight to have a visual reminder of the power of redemption.  I am aware that those who are Kabbahlists wear red strings on their left wrists, so we chose to add the “believe” bead and we wear it on the right to distinguish between the two beliefs.  It just took a quick trip (actually 2, but that is because I am measurement-challenged…) to Michael’s…I hope you do the same if you think this is something you and your family would benefit from:)