home for Christmas & other musings…

My Pasty Gangster will not be home for Christmas this year. It will be the 1st Christmas in 19 years without him… as he is headed to Cookeville, Tennessee to spend the holidays (& then some,) with his girl Alex & her family. For me, it isn’t hard to deal with him being gone; it’s just… different. I am very happy for him being able to have special time, & even happier that he gets to be with the one person in the whole world he’d want to be with.

What I’m pondering is the most visible acknowledgment of the very real transition that he is in… really, for me, this is much more of a transition than his high-school graduation ceremony was. He’s making many (most? All?) of his own choices. TheBean & I have & continue to trust our #1 son to Christ. Believing that as he makes his own choices, & lives his life, he will live in a manner honoring to Christ. It reminds me of when we dedicated him as a baby. And in retrospect, I see that we didn’t just have a fun ceremony, but instead we were making a lifelong declaration of faith, trust, & purpose: He is Yours, LORD. Now we’re getting to see him live it.

So, it’s new & its different. Most notably, theWeez is already missing her brother, the protector; as is iDoey missing the one that he’s consciously or unconsciously measured himself against.

In 20 minutes we’re heading to get “Christmas Picture 2010” taken – quite possibly the last Christmas picture of us with our nuclear family all living at home, all looking this way.


Pondering 1Timothy 4:

Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life & also for the life to come. This saying is trustworthy & deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil & strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

Training up in godliness – what’s does this mean? What’s it look like, lived out?

I’m confronted by areas where I’ve shied away from a ‘strict spiritual regimen’ – maybe because it seemed that the focus was on the ‘performing’ of the regimen or workout, & not on the desired results of the workout.

Hmm. I’m confronted & convicted… there’s a bad heart attitude lurking in there… in the name of not falling into a rut, or a stale routine, instead I fell into something worse: a hit & miss haphazardness.

There’s a picture in my head – me & my kettlebells. The focus & goal of the workout isn’t to be able to brag that I did 25 minutes & 7 different exercises – its to increase strength, flexibility, stamina, cardio, & overall physical condition; that’s only going to happen if I regularly exercise, & simply do the workout faithfully – whether anyone knows about it or notices.

Read. Study. Pray. Repeat.

Hard to believe theBean & I are celebrating our 22nd Christmas season together – when I look at her, I can’t believe that she isn’t 22. And I’m blown away that after 21.5 years of marriage, 3 kids, & living with me, she is even more beautiful than she was when we met.

And those legs. Oh goodness.

on waking up & other Friday musings…

Woke up today feeling something was different. The early morning fuzziness began to fade & I went through the hazy mental checklist to try to determine what it was… nothing came to mind. Hmm. Deep breath. Oh! That’s it. My sinuses aren’t clogged, & I can breathe through both nostrils… & my ears are ‘open.’ Sa-weet. What a difference that makes. It feels like finally waking up after dozing on-&-off for days. And my head doesn’t feel 3 feet thick, meaning that my words are actually accessible.

And theBean says, “The Olympics are starting.” Hmm. There was a day that that would have been big news, & generated a lot of excitement. Those days went away during the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Moscow Summer Games, where I was first introduced to the influence of propaganda, political rhetoric, & posturing politicians. And was reinforced in the former U.S.S.R.’s boycott of the 1984 Los Angeles summer games.

And that’s not even getting into the snafu that is the television coverage. Heard that the Vancouver Olympics, which happen to be on Pacific Standard Time thank you very much, will be broadcast in the PST with at least a 3 hour tape delay. Marvelous.

More than a few times in the last 2 weeks, I have been reminded of my desperate need for the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in my life, & my utter inability to “do” or “be” good. It seems that I’m holding a mirror, reflecting back in my face the scripture:

“There is no one who is righteous, not even one; there is no one who has understanding, there is no one who seeks God. All have turned aside, together they have become worthless; there is no one who shows kindness, there is not even one.” Romans 3:10-12 NRSV

Fortunately, there’s also the promise that the Spirit is at work in me, & also that I’m empowered to live & breathe to the praise of God’s glory. Booyah!

EllieG gave me a valentine yesterday. Cute little one with a watermelon sucker attached to it. She came into my office & held it up to me & said, “Here ya go, Tay-Tay.” I made a big deal out of it & said thank you. She interrupted me with the demand, “Give me the candy. Give me the candy NOW!” Turns out, I get to keep the actual valentine, but the sucker is hers.

And yet another reason I love theBean. This Sunday is Valentine’s Day. TheBean & I were discussing the Holiday, & deciding what we were wanting, hoping, expecting for the Celebration of the Day. Turns out we both aren’t so much into the Giving of the flowers, candy, bling, etc. (Please note: theBean does like bling. Just not enough to go into Debt for it.) And don’t have to go out to a Fancy Restaurant on the day. We’ll probably celebrate together with some quiet, face to face time in our getaway, with a favorite bottle of red & something spicy.

Watching GODTV today… because Dr. Chuck Missler is on. I love that dude. When he teaches, it’s like what he’s saying gets downloaded into my brain ala ‘The Matrix.’

I’m thankful for friends who stick with me through thick & thin, good times & bad. Who know me, strengths & weaknesses, the great things about me & my glaring flaws… who still offer grace, forgiveness, mercy, & the opportunity to share life together. Makes life richer.

I’ll end with that. Thank you friends.