Saturday, December 23, 2006

What IHOP kids do

Our trip home from PA last week seemed to take forever. Keep in mind it's about a 20 hr trip by car so keeping oneself amused can be a challenge, especially for the kids. This trip however it was I who was bored to tears driving hour after hour. I had not brought much music to listen to, and what's worse is that I also failed to bring any teaching CD's as well. I don't know where my head was when I was packing. Anyway, the kids did quite well at keeping themselves busy. All of them got a pocket electronic games for Christmas from their aunt. Good stuff like Yatzee etc... As a matter of fact Mrs. Loux played Yahtzee all the way home and became quite addicted. It cracked me up to see my 38 year old girl in her black hooded sweatshirt, punky red hair, funky jeans and Converse All Star sneakers totally hooked for hours on a video game. It was almost like I was the only adult or something.. I heard her say several times " Hey quiet down mommies trying to break 350!"That was entertaining for awhile, just watching Tracie's relapse into teen mania, when I heard my daughter Isabelle and my niece Sophia in the back seat playing a "different kind of game". I was driving and just zoning out to whatever it was that I had in the van to listen to when I heard one of them say " I spy with my spiritual eye".... Yeah you know the car game "I spy with my little eye" and then you say like the color of the thing you see and everyone else in the car try's to guess what you saw? Well apparently being at IHOP impacted my kids a little more than what I first had imagined. This version of the game had a whole new twist ! The conversation in the back seat continued " I see you in a few years with grey hair and 4 kids and ...." The conversation stopped. Mom suddenly snapped out of her Yatzee world series, as she heard what was going on in the "seuthsayers convention" in the back seat. "And what?" I said. "You're gonna have grey hair and 4 kids and what, live in a trailor married to a guy named Rusty?" I wanted to know, I mean I am an intercesorry missionary and seeing that they are only 9 years old, there is still time to reverse the curse! My rebellious Yatzee woman put an end to the fortune telling, but out of it came a great business idea.. "Prophetic car games for IHOP kids". Lenny's gonna love this.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

December 13th: The Coffee Man

They say you can learn something from everyone, even people ya don't even know. That said, there used to be a man who walked by our house in PA everyday with a big gigantic "to go coffee mug". He was a happy guy who lived outside of town and would walk in everyday to the local shop to get his fix and his exercise. We would wave at him, and the mysterious stranger would smile and wave back. This happened every day for the 5 years we lived in downtown Mansfield. Of course, we moved to KC and have not seen him in 7 months.
Today, we were driving through our old neighborhood reminiscing with the family, when we passed him walking into town for another fix! We smiled and waved to each other like old friends. It made me feel good, and somehow strangely complete. I just wish I was as consistent as the coffee man. Amen, let's stand.

December 12th: Grace That is Greater

This week we have traveled back to PA to visit Tracie's family.
For some reason I did not have it in my head that we would be returning so soon to visit our former home. Seems like yesterday we just left, and it was quite a whirlwind we departed in. Though I was looking forward to seeing family, that is the only reason I was coming back to the area so soon. This had been my training ground, and this is the place where my biggest battles had been lost. Some won, but those seem so few in comparison. It's the really bad stuff that makes you suddenly breath deep, regretful sighs at the thoughts of what you have done. Those memories that haunt and plague you, even though forgiveness has been given. The voices scream "you are weak, you have no integrity, you are not really a man. Consequences from mistakes of yesterday surround you, like a pack of wild dogs surrounding a lone cowboy's campfire, waiting to devour you. Feels like there is no escape sometimes.
My only hope right now comes from a song that my grandfather use to sing in church. He was a man of integrity, a man of quiet humility. When he died, we sang this song at his funeral and the words go something like this.. "Grace, grace, God's grace, grace that has pardoned and cleansed within. Grace, grace God's grace, grace that is greater than all my sin."

December 10th: No one ever say's "When I grow up I wanna be a Shriner!" ...

Just this past Saturday, I sat in the Ararat Shriners Temple listening to a seminar on how to buy a home. I had to. The guy next to me had been smoking a significant amount of weed right before joining the rest of us, who were required to sit through the whole drama. Doing so meant we all would receive 100 percent financing on a future home purchase at a 6% fixed interest rate. Yeah, it's a good deal, so now ya know why we went. Anyway, I nominated my pot smoking friend as the new potentate of the Shriner's temple. The little old men in their red thimble looking hats with the oversized, hanging tassels did not seem amused. I gave my hat back and left quietly, my dreams dashed.