No Judge Coffee Season

Summer days are gone, with Fall days sneaking in the cooler weather. And now, I carry my coffee with pride. Coffee pride. 

Ya see, I am a year round, day long, coffee drinker. In the heat of the hottest summer days, I am pushing the big cup on my Keurig or running through the drive thru ordering a large black coffee like a true addict.

In the 100 degree summer sun, I try to hide my cup while sweat is beading up on my forehead and I pop some gum to hide my coffee breath. It is a problem. It is real. 

But with the cold wind blowing and long sleeves showing and boots popping up in the general public, I order my tall black with pride and sit and sip while hugging that mug and taking in the warmth of the steam escaping. 

I carry that mug with pride. Cheers to you coffee drinkers. And here is to the season where it is acceptable to be open with my coffee problem, I mean drinking. So, one more black coffee for me at any time of the day. Coffee pride. 

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My Dog and I

Today, our home underwent a little renovation. The screened in porch was knocked down, opening up a patio to the backyard. I am pleased with the change. James and I sat rocking on the patio and complementing the recent change, Madison and a friend giggled while they jumped on the trampoline, and Tucker ran around the trampoline barking, believing he is one of the children. 

Suddenly from the bright blue sky, an intense boom of thunder shook our world. The girls screamed and began their sprint to the safety of the house. But with a look that he had just been spanked with a bolt of lightning, Tucker took off with the fastest hot lap that I have seen performed, running for his life. 

The hilarity was in watching his determined face as he passed the open patio…open patio…open patio, where he could have entered with ease, as he high tailed it to the spot where the old screened in door used to hang and he entered where that creature of habit has entered since he was a wee puppy and he first became house trained. 

And I realize that doggie and I have something in common. WE ARE CREATURES OF HABIT. I like a BBQ sandwich with cole slaw on top, because that’s the way I’ve always eaten it. Don’t try to keep me from my Sunday afternoon nap. Christmas decorations are hung the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Don’t even think about straying from the traditional turkey and dressing on that day of ī¸thanks. And if my side of the bed gets switched, I am bound to wake up on the wrong side, if you know what I mean. There is a certain way that our culture talks and acts and does life and if you get too weird on us…well, we don’t like it. Why?  WE ARE CREATURES OF HABIT. That’s not how we do it. 

And then there is the part I like to keep a secret. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. When my house is messy, I am grumpy. When I get mad at my husband, I get quiet. When I mess up, it is hard for me to let go and move on. I value comfort much too much. And I judge people that judge people. (Hmmm)  I am a creature of habit even when it comes to my sins. 

I AM FREE FROM SIN!  Jesus paid the debt. The chain is broken. Satan is defeated. I do not have to worry about this world and comfort and what others think of me!  I am a blink away from eternity. The movers are called and I’m packing for my mansion in glory!

I am like a prisoner with the prison door open and I still sit upon my cot. I am holding the shackles that have been cut off my arms. I am eating the crumbs under the table when the feast was prepared for me. And I am dressing in old rags when a designer dress was ordered and the party was planned for me!

Sinner of habit, the whole patio is open!  Stop running from the storm and chasing my old habits!  The race is won!  The price is paid!  Jesus loves me. NOW LIVE!

So…That Happened

As a writer, I am deep, going to those places of those questions that are usually avoided. But umm…well…

I have this quality about me, when I laugh, I cry. Easy for me to laugh until I cry. I pretty much just have to giggle slightly and I have tears streaming down my face. Well, that happened. 

On vacation, at a hotel, and the front desk got this call from one of their rooms…not saying it was our room…just A room. 

“Hello, front desk. How can I help you?”

“Our AC is not cooling the room.”

“So sorry, we will send someone up.”

Kind AC man fixed it in under three minutes and then turned and inquired, “Is there anything else I can get for you?”

“Yes, my wife would like a blanket please.”

The things James…I mean, the husband in THAT room does for his wife!  

Yep, right after asking for our AC to be fixed, he asked for a blanket for me…I can’t sleep without a blanket. …and I cry when I laugh. …and now they think the people in THAT room are crazy!

I Heart Science

Very tall for her age, even taller than her twin sister. She was long and lean, blonde and breautiful, and just as clumsy with her grace as any other fourth grader should be.  My fourth grade students were still babies, but I could see in their achievements (they were impressive) that they would be teenagers tomorrow. 

But for now, I soaked up their current love for their teacher (me), I fed off of their enthusiasm for learning, and I was blown away with their profound statements and questions. 

She raised her long arm. It was, with the rest of her body, jumping up and down in her desk from excitement. Her fingers twisted and turned through the air. She had something to say. 

I paused at the right time during my lecture (yes, I said during my lecture. Please note this was lecture and note taking time)….I paused during my lecture and smiled at Laura and nodded my head for her to go ahead with her question or comment. She proceeded with the attention of the whole class:

I (she pointed to herself)

Heart (her fingers formed a heart in front of her own)

Science (and she spread her arms out pointing and displaying the lecture notes that still covered the board)

She loved to learn. What a gift!  What a blessing!  It was learning that she was in love with, hard lecture notes at such a young age, but something had clicked and she could not contain the excitement and the joy she found in new knowledge. 

I believe that when we learn truth, we learn about Jesus. I believe that Science is the study of God’s creation. I believe that school should be hard work and not always fun, but at the end of the day the kids should beam with excitement from their new found treasure. Knowledge. 

And now I am not a teacher anymore in a classroom. I AM A MOMMY!  And it is summer break and Madison Academy is in full force. We have a list of classic books to read. We are going to conquer labeling all 50 states (she can label 30), by Fall, we will be able to list all the American presidents in order, our nature notebook will be full of sketches and information about plants in our neighborhood, and Daddy is going to teach the fundamentals of basketball. 

And this is where I want to thank Laura’s parents. Because I believe that love of learning begins at home. Yes!  A teacher can spark this or squash it. But almost always, I believe children, like Laura, come from homes where learning prospers and runs wild and covers the smiles of the whole family learning together. 

So, I take my daughter’s hand and I have the PRIVILIDGE of learning alongside her (trust me, I am learning also!) I have the joy of picking, “What do I want my girl to know?” And then teaching her!  

There will be late cookouts. She will have cousins spend the night and sleep in late. We will spend entire days playing at the pool. But perhaps learning just as much as in the classroom (or dare I say possibly more?) I now say with confidence, SCHOOL IS IN SESSION!

Creatures of What Comes Easy

I am an overall healthy eater. When I first read about the military diet, I was a sceptic. “Lose up to ten pounds in three days,” was translated, to me, that if you are a hundred pounds overweight and live off cheeseburgers and coke, then you could possibly lose ten pounds. Living my life sugar-free and limiting the grease, I figured I had already made those changes. 

For some reason, I kept reading the article and I confirmed, “no way!” One slice of toast and a boiled egg for lunch?  Not the diet for me!  That sounds….HUNGRY!

But I have this problem, it is called a human body. I want to be healthy and I want to look my best in summer clothes, and as the days get warmer and warmer, I wanted to make some improvements. I needed something extreme. What is more extreme than the military?

So, I gave the diet a second glance and considered it. (I preface diets by saying that I believe in a lifestyle not a diet, per say, but sometimes I do believe in a cleansing to boost to the next level. So, from now on, read the word “diet” as “cleansing.”) I gave the diet a second glance and I took it to the expert….my sister. 

So, Ellie and I decided:  Three days?  We can do anything for three days!  

Here we are, two days down and on the last day of the military diet. And I have already lost FIVE POUNDS!  Five pounds in two days ain’t too shabby!  I am spending the last day crying and starving with my sister…I mean laughing and talking about how easy this diet is. 

When those extra five pounds poke through my outfit and torture me day after day and month after month, WHY IS A THREE DAY DIET SO HARD?!  Because I LIKE EASY! 

I like the easy road, the life of comfort, the all you can eat buffet and the fat wallet!

But the older I get (and I’m not THAT old yet) or the more mature I get or the more God graciously gives me a little more wisdom, I see that that Easy Path ain’t going where I want to go. And when I look at what I want my finished product to be, I’m talking of the physical and spiritual, it is a little bit of an upward climb.

So, here is to one more day of not eating what I WANT to, and just a little bit of that, and here’s to thinking of something other than what I WANT, because honestly the here and now desires most often lead astray. 

I want to be healthy more than I want comfort. I want to give more than I want to receive. Give me eternity vs. the here and now.  And I value a challenge more than fading pleasures. 

Three in One

My girl is a little philosopher.

Why are there hungry people?  How high is the sky?  Why don’t some people believe in Jesus?  Can I have a tattoo?  Can I have a puppy?  Can I swim with dolphins?  Why don’t we invite homeless people to our house?

She thinks about, she wants to know EVERYTHING!  The other night, she was hitting up her Daddy about the Trinity. 

How was Jesus on earth while God was in heaven?  If the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit can all do ANYTHING, what if they got into a fight?  How can Jesus pray to himself?

After a long conversation with her Daddy, I think she understands it better than I do. (But I believe it!)

Today, as I was cleaning her closet, I found a picture she had drawn of our family. She’s been thinking about the Trinity and she is BEGINNING to get the concept. Well…it goes much much deeper than this, but our family is three in one. …hey, if marriage can be a reflection of the Trinity, I say she’s got the right idea and she’s EIGHT!  I’ve got my hands full!  

  

What Do You Think About Tattoos?

I like them. Well, being art, I like some of them. But, I like art. 

My sister Ellie is this incredibly amazing person. She is younger than me than I would like to admit but there is nothing that I would not do for that girl. We both are coffee addicts. Black coffee. We both live our lives sugar free. She can make me laugh and life with her is just fun. 

Ellie was at my house. We were talking about everything in this world, like we do, and the conversation fell on tattoos. We were talking and talking and Madison, my eight year old daughter, grew bored of our chatter and pulled out a coloring book and some crayons. 

Ellie was thinking out loud. “I found this verse I want tattooed on me. Should I get the whole verse or just the reference?  Should I get a cross also or another picture?….”

Madison lifted her head from her drawing and put in her completely serious opinion, “I just want a cross tattoo….pause…and a piggy face.” And she returned to her coloring. 

I LOVE THAT GIRL!  

And that is how I want to live life!  Like a child who loves Jesus and has fun!