The Real Writer in the Family

  
Yesterday, was my birthday. My 8 year old quarantined me to my bedroom while she hung homemade banners and made me a cup of coffee. She knows my heart well!  While drinking my birthday coffee, she handed me an envelope. 

I will keep it’s contents forever. Such wisdom and love in an 8 year old. She gets it!  Her relationship with Jesus is real and intimate!  

Get ready world, here she comes!

Celebrate!  I am getting OLD!

Happy birthday to me! I am 34 years old!  I am so thankful to be growing old with my family because the alternative is that I would not be, the other option is that I would not be having this birthday. 

Ya see, every year I count up from the age of 25.  I have lived 9 years longer than I was supposed to. I have lived to hear:  “You should live a normal life span.”  I have lived to “this is not life threatening.”  I BEAT CANCER!  I am a 19 year survivor of a Great War with a mighty opponent. 

Nine years longer than I was supposed to. What is 9 years?  I have an 8 year old daughter. An eight year old daughter that is going to impact the world with her love of animals, her joy of being surrounded with diverse people, her brain that never forgets anything that has left her with a wealth of knowledge that grows and grows, her sweet relationship with her Lord and Savior that is mature beyond her years, wisdom because she chooses right, beauty that attracts others to her, skills of hard work and determination, and enough love to circle this globe. 

I know. I know why I am alive today. Because my Jesus loves me beyond what I have ever loved myself and he gave me a gift that I did not deserve. He made me the mother of a miracle girl and let me watch his beautiful plan unfold. And why do I have to suffer so much?  Without a doubt, one of the reasons is so that I will appreciate so much!  If a doctor never told me that I would not live past 25, then I would never have been in amazing wonder at the irony of growing brand new life inside my body at the age of 25!  Not only, did I not meet death, I met new life, new precious life that would change me forever!

Happy birthday!  I have a life to celebrate!  A beautiful life that is more wonderful than I ever planned!  And my birthday gift?  PEACE!  Whatever this life holds, I can trust the one in control. He has never let me down and he never will. And this world is just a preview of the real thing. The breath taking sunset over Hawaii, the inspiring blue whale surfacing, family love, delicious fruit, my happiest day, it doesn’t begin to compare to the heaven I will live in for eternity!  Eternity!  I AM GOING TO LIVE FOREVER!

I am Not Me

Fashion waxes and wanes, the memories of trends captured in pictures.  Pictures taken from a camera, not a phone.  The comfort of childhood clothes, a closet full of my profession, maternity pants, weight gained and weight lost.  My dress is admired or my outfit is sloppy.  The daily additions and cancelations, I take them off and I put them on.  The differences because of a choice of clothes that people see in me.

The mirror tells the truth of lines that once were not there.  My grandmother in heaven is remembered by her voice calling out my young pudgy tummy.  Baby fat now carries a new meaning.  My tattoos are scars, they each have a story.  Some written and shared, others written on my heart.  This body grows and this body changes.  Memories of who I used to be.  Simple things accomplished that now can not be repeated.  I just tell of them, of the body that was attached to me.

To the man that looks approvingly or the lady that judges me.  I speak to people that are my friends and that are my enemies.  What you see is not.  It is not me.  It changes daily.  Slowly growing and fading, the debt of humanity.  Your dirty smile or your nose turned up goes unnoticed to me because in simple changes that mean nothing at all, your expression would change toward me.

I take off the years like a sweater and my hair will fade to gray like the taking off and putting on of earrings.  Shoes changed is my health fading.  A belt applied is the years passing by.  My body changes like my wardrobe.  But, what you see is not.  It is not me.

Judge me by my character.  The ease of the first glance does not do justice to the soul’s stance.  Let’s be friends and chat and smile and cry. Let’s live before we die.  Because living is forever but this body is and never will be me.  My soul will live for eternity.

Wonderfully Wrecked

My heart skipped a beat, my breath stopped, and my brain studdered. I stared in complete admiration of the man that stood before me. I could not take my eyes off him. Khaki pants and a red button down shirt. Dressed up for the special night at King College and just standing there in my path. He might as well have been wearing a president’s mask and holding an automatic because that is the night he stole my heart. 

Twenty year old Caroline lay stoic on my dorm room bed staring up at the white ceiling. I was holding my 2001 cell phone to my heart as a lonely tear slipped down the side of my face and then the gun fired and the race horses bolted through the metal gate. Tears raced down my face like the Kentucky Derby. I had a countdown. Four weeks and six days. Four Weeks and six lonely, miserable days. My love was fourteen hours away. I would see him again in four weeks and six days but I would die if I did not see him in the next minute. 

A proposal on his knee, a white dress walked down the isle and promised forever, and purchasing our first old one bedroom condo. I thought I was the richest woman in those newly wed days, pinching pennies to buy things for our home and making do with what we had. But immensely, lavishly, spoiled rotten in love, which is far greater than money. 

My life was wonderfully wrecked by this outrageously beautiful dream come true that has her Daddy’s smile. Miracle of miracles, she medically never should have been born. But one more time, God’s blessings did not depend on human logic. In one more way, she bonds and holds us together as we share the greatest responsibility of a human life we both adore. Her logical mind is due to her Daddy and her hosting spirit must belong to me. Her life and her smile and her blonde hair is because of us. 

Every other day I am grumpy and moody and outright mean. I demand and pout and insist on my way. And every single day, this man choses me. He listens to my rants and gives and serves and loves. Hot fresh coffee early in the morning, making new dreams on a Friday hot date because our old ones have already come true, a new handmade coffee table in my living room, and laughing til I’m crying with him when I should already be asleep.  

If love is an attraction, I have loved the deepest. Could love just be a desire to be together?  Then I have been made one. Is love promising my life to him?  Then that duty is done. But could love be a miracle of something otherwise that never could be?  Well then, she walks among us smiling so innocently. But I have come to realize, maybe love is when I am at my worst and he still choses me. 

It can’t be defined nor wrapped up and contained, but one thing is certain, I have been loved beyond explaining and I love beyond words. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY FAVORITE MAN IN THE WHOLE WORLD!  I LOVE YOU JAMES!  

Ba Ba Birthday Girl Woof!

Yesterday, while I was sweeping the floor, Tucker snuck outside. That goofy dog ran up the hill, he ran across the street, he ran alongside the river, and he ran to the very top of the mountain!

It is a very good thing he was wearing his red sweater because it was a very chilly day!

He ran and he barked, “WOOF! WOOF!”

He galloped and he yelled, “ARF! ARF! ARF!”

It might just sound like a silly doggie to us, but the the bunnies raised their long ears and knew what he was saying, the birds chirped back, “cheep cheep,” kitties responded with many meows, the guinea pigs whistled and danced, and the geckos raised their curious heads and nodded in agreement and celebration.

Tucker spent the day barking and woofing and arfing.

Now, they have to keep quiet about it. They don’t want to let the world in on their little secret. But they have a favorite girl. She was born with a great love of animals. No kitty or birdie is afraid of Madison. She cares for and protects them all.

So her goofy doggie ran along the river and up the mountain. He let all the animals know. “It is the birthday of their favorite human! Bark! Tweet! Oink!  Party! Celebrate!”

So, today if you listen, if you observe the animals, they will all be chattering and meowing, and growling, oinking, and neighing,

“HAPPY arf chirp BIRTHDAY meow neigh! WE roar baa MADISON!”

Twas the Night Before Everything

It’s modern day.  Things are different now.  That’s what we always think.  A baby being born of a virgin?  The guiding star in the sky?  A boy raised a carpenter that heals the sick and makes the blind to see?  A death on a cross that takes away all my sins?  Are we children?  Are we supposed to believe in miracles?

Christmas Eve.  Is tomorrow a fairy tale for children?  Is it only about the presents and the stockings and the here and the now?  If Christmas is not real, then this life that I live is meaningless.

Where do you get your morals?  You choose what is right for you?  What about a serial killer?  Oh, they don’t get to decide.  What about terrorists?  You get to decide until it brings harm to someone else?  Then I am only in this for me.  Then it is survival of the fittest.  That is what the Nazis believed.  What about the leper?  When they were the outcast, Jesus said that they had meaning.  What about the children that culture said had not earned their status, Jesus said that we are to be like them.  When some religions drink kool aid and commit suicide together and some religions sacrifice babies, they can’t all be right.  Because, mine at least, says that is wrong.

Christmas is the day that my God became man and was born on this earth to make all the wrongs in the world right.  Jesus was born because he loves me and he loves you.  He is the only god that does that, the only god that says, it is not about what you do but what I do for you.  There is no other religion where god loves me like that!  He is my hope, he is my peace!  Why do people try to convince me otherwise?!  What if it is you that is missing out?  Do you have this peace?  Is Christmas bigger for you?  To me, Christmas is everything!  Without Christmas, I have nothing!

But, it is Christmas Eve.  The celebration has been building up for a month.  Tomorrow we are going to wake with wonder in our hearts, tomorrow the whole day is spent in merriment.  Tomorrow we remember the most important birthday in the history of time, God was born!  There is hope, there is an answer, there is relief, we are saved!  There are miracles!  Life is worth living because tomorrow is Christmas!

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The Poetry of Love

God.

Holy.  Almighty.

Saving.  Redeeming.  Healing.

Born in a manger.

Jesus.

Is there anyone that is good at everything?  Who can say they are a gold medal olympian, a top model, famous chef, adoring parent, loving spouse, domestic goddess, star student, classical musician, decorated soldier, theologian, humanitarian, billionaire businessman, and award winning artist?  Even the Renaissance man falls short.  No one can be everything.  No human.

Our worldly competitions are nothing for God.  Athlete.  He is all powerful.  Theologian.  He has all knowledge and wisdom.  Businessman.  All resources are at his disposal.  Artist.  He formed this very earth and these very bodies that we can only mimic.  He knows everything and he can do anything.

Who is a match for God?  Why do I daily doubt him?  Why do I think that I know better than him?  That guy, the one that is perfect at everything loves me with perfect love.  He has an amazing plan for joining my life to his and using his power for my good.  Let him!  If Christians would really realize what Christmas means, this world would be turned upside down!  The God of the entire universe did everything to save us!  Accept it!  This Christmas, receive the best gift ever given, Jesus.

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Please click on the link for more information and to purchase

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Merry Christmas Bop De Bop

The plans are made, there is no stopping it now.  Christmas has arrived, like the Polar Express, it is speeding into town.

There will be a Christmas performance tomorrow night.  Keep your eyes on the cute little blonde.  She’s been practicing her lines and counting down the days.

Presents are already wrapped and under the tree.  There is a secret message to mark the favorite present for our girl.  Clues are written on the tags that don’t give anything away.  Shake shake anticipate.

My brother is coming to town.  He is bringing his girl.  Just a little part of my family makes a crowd of 16 that will be pouring into our house and out voicing the Christmas music and fighting for a space in front of the fire.  The meal is planned and a Christmas craft will make for keepsakes of a fun Christmas night.

Here in the south, it is a special occasion to have a temporary ice rink.  We have already visited once.  My girl is a natural.  We will be back this weekend and then back some more.  We’re going to break the bank, but as many times as we go, it still won’t be enough.

Tucker cooperates with his Christmas sweater.  He has decided it is warm and comfy.  He knows the presents under the tree that are his.  He waddles (yes, he is a dog that waddles) over before bedtime to give it a last sniff.  Visions of doggie treats dance in his head.

It’s Jesus’s birthday!  The biggest party of the year.  We sing, we give, we party, we skate, we dream.  Gather round and join in the merriment of the Christmas bop.  Merry Merry Christmas to you and your’s.