Saturday, January 31, 2009

No More Billboards

A few months ago I listed several things I enjoy. "Five more minutes with my mother" made the list. While this is a sweet sentiment it's also the name of a favorite ritual between the two of us. Upon waking my mom would pop her head into my room and tell me it was time to get up. On cue I would pull back the covers in invitation and say, "Five more minutes." Mom would hop in bed with me and we would spend the next 10 - 30 minutes talking and laughing. "Five more minutes" isn't an everyday event, so it's special.

This morning I was already up when mom came to my door. I just turned, walked back to my bed and began straightening up the covers. Mom joined me on the other side to help. Then together we fluffed the pillows and hopped back into bed. As we laid in bed, I began sharing about today's lesson in Experiencing God.

I told Mama that I used to joke about past prayers in which I would ask God to speak to me. Not just speak to me but to speak with enough clarity so as to be impossible to miss. How many times have my friends heard me ask God for a billboard because I didn't trust myself enough to hear His message unless it was HUGE.

I was living with scared faith. It was so important to me to make the correct choices and stay in God's will, but if my faith is filtered through fear then it's worthless. Fear of making the wrong decision paralyzed me and left me in a rut.

When I began praying about whether or not God wanted me to move home I told God I would do it if He sent me a billboard. I remember the night I was talking with God about this decision and as clear as could be I heard, "Girl, how big does this billboard need to be?"


So this morning my mom came into my room but not to help me make up my bed. It is quite common for us to help each other make up the beds so that would have been expected. This morning I realized I'd never extended the "five more minutes" invitation but she still knew. And I knew she had come in for FMM and not merely to help make my bed.

I smiled at her and told her that I loved that we knew each other so well and were so good at reading one another. Then it hit me. I want that kind of relationship with God. I want to be so close with God that I can tell when it's time for FMM and when it's time to make the bed.

Lord I want my footsteps to disappear into Yours and my heartbeat to melt into Your rhythm. I want FMM with You Lord.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Radioactive Monkeys

There comes a time in your adult life when you think you know the history of your immediate family. After this week I will no longer presume to know all there is to know about my parents. Not that I thought they were without depth. I just had no idea of what lay lurking below the surface.

I expected for there to be many challenges when I moved home, into my parents house. However it has gone surprisingly well, and I'm going to walk away with a few gems - like radioactive monkeys.

A few days ago my mom, dad, and I were sitting with the newspaper talking about a fatal car crash reported in Friday's edition. My sister had told us of the accident the day before after she passed it by on her way to town.

(We interrupt this post for the following Public Service Announcement. The only person killed in the three car accident was not wearing her seatbelt. The two survivors were strapped in with belts intact. Please wear your seatbelt - EVERYTIME.)

This discussion evolved into accidents my parents had been in or had witnessed. It brought back a familiar story of my mom's accident with a drunk driver at the age of 14. My mom's neck was broken, and she had to wear a partial body cast and neck brace for a year. Mama said she had to go through many X-rays and mused about having so many, wondering how much radiation she had been subjected too.

At this point in the story Daddy looked over and said, "You couldn't have had as much as I did when I was driving a truck hauling those monkeys."

I just stared at him with an expression of "Huh?" on my face. I didn't even know what questions to ask for explanation. Thankfully I didn't have to.

Daddy told the story of how he had been driving a truck and had been on the road for about three weeks and wanted to head home. He asked his dispatcher for a load that would take him home. The dispatcher replied, "There is a medical testing facility where you can go get a load of dead monkeys. You can pick up a load of monkeys and take it by the house before you deliver it."

I sat listening with the same expression on my face.

Daddy continued saying that he did not believe his dispatcher. He knew there was a load at the testing facility that would take him home, but he didn't know what it would be. When he pulled up to the gate the security guard asked what he was picking up. Daddy said he laughed and said, "I'm here to pick up a load of dead monkeys, ha ha." The guard replied, "Don't laugh son, we got 'em here."

The monkeys were involved in radiation testing. When they died there were put into drums that were filled with water and frozen.

My expression had changed to disgusted horror. I didn't think the story could get any worse. Such a naive little one I am.

So Daddy hauled a truck full of dead, radioactive monkeys... home! Yes sir, he pulled his semi right up in front of the house and parked it for the night.

I couldn't believe my ears! "You parked it in front of our house? Are you serious?"

Daddy just laughed and said, "Nobody knew what was inside and they were frozen."

That wasn't the point!

Daddy went on to explain that he continued to haul radioactive material after that. This led to another story of a mishap on one trip. Daddy and his co-driver were at their delivery point going through a scan when a leak was discovered. Their clothes were taken and they were put through a chemical shower. The tractor-trailer was also cleaned. Daddy said that he was told his truck would be confiscated if it didn't pass re-inspection. When he asked what would happen to the truck, he was told it would be buried in the ground with the rest of the radioactive material, and the government would buy his company a new truck. Burial wasn't necessary.

By now, I am sitting with my head cocked to one side completely dumbfounded. I asked when all this took place. I wanted to know if I had been born during this time. Mama laughed and said, "No, you were born a few years before this happened." Then she smirked and added, "Do you think that could explain what happened with Mary?"

I was laughing so hard I was struggling for breath. My mama is funny! I couldn't wait to tell my little sister what was said! She would never believe I wasn't the one to say it.

Oh my. I have laughed so much since I've been home. I still don't have a job and I'm flat broke but I am so, so rich.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


For those requesting an update, let's just say that I'm not a 5th wife kind of girl.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Everywhere I've turned this week I've run into love. Love in the form of old letters, a particular song that has played numerous times in my heart then at church and on the radio, and in God's word. I've also been reading about love in a book by Francis Chan titled "Crazy Love."

Francis mentioned his wife's Grandma Clara. He writes that Grandma Clara would say, "I love love."

Me too.

I'd like to share some beautiful words written to me a while back. I cried as I read these words from a box of letters I found during my move. Sweet memories washed over me as I sat with letters spilling over my lap. I love love. It was good to be reminded of those feelings.

Every time I turn around I miss you more. Every time I breathe I think of you. Any time I do anything you captivate my mind and my heart. Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for blessing me with you. This day is no exception.
I miss you more than my heart can stand.
Everyday I care for you more and more and more. Everyday I fall deeper and deeper and deeper... It's a scary thought but I can think of no other place I'd rather be.
I'm thinking of you. Thinking that someday your smile will be mine to cherish everyday, that someday your heart will dazzle in my eyes.
I walk out at night staring at the stars wondering if you are looking at them. I keep thoughts to myself that need to be shared with you. I have an empty space where my heart once was.
I miss you.
I promise to give you myself for as long as you wish. I am yours Tauna Marie.
Do with me as you wish.
My heart jumps when I think of seeing you. When you are on my arm your encouragement washes over me. I need your encouragement.
I miss you.
Tauna you mean the world to me. Someday I will take you there.
I just spoke with you and my heart is so light and my smile is so big. You are my best friend, and I mean to take care of you always..
I've seen you a thousand times before but only in my dreams.

I never knew your name.
I never knew who you were,but I always knew I would find you,
and you would always be mine.

Now I'm walking with you,
and you said you would never let me go.
I just smile thinking to myself
I've finally met my dream
I never knew your name.
I never knew who you were, but I always knew I would find you,
and you would always be mine.

I'm not sure how long it was,
an hour maybe more.
Time and distance had no place.
The world was only ours.

I finally know your name.
I finally know who you are.
I know that you are beside me,
and you will always be mine.

I'm so happy to meet you,
my dream in real life.
All I have I give to you,
for now I hand you my heart.

Those words were written by an amazing young man that I loved greatly. His name was Andy, and he died  in a car accident when he was 22 years old. While I miss his love, it is his friendship I miss most, so I was a little surprised when I read his words and was flooded with the sweet love we had for one another. As I said, it felt good to be reminded of that love.

I was reminded of another love this week. It's the love relationship I have with God. Sadly to say I don't think I've put the effort into spending time with God that I did with past relationships.

Francis Chan makes the statement that "when we are loving, we can't sin." I don't know about you, but that gave me pause. I stopped to think about that simple declaration, and I believe it is true. So what does it say about me? How many times must I stop loving in order to sin.

And how much effort am I really putting into my love relationship with Christ? I remember staying up to the wee hours of the morning to talk to my high school sweetheart on the phone. Of course my mom couldn't understand why. She would tell me to get off the phone if it was after 9:00 saying, "You saw him all day at school." That wasn't exactly true. We saw each other several times for a few minutes throughout the day, but that wasn't the same as she thought!

I would talk to J after everyone had gone to bed in both households. I knew that if I were caught it would mean being grounded from the phone, but I was willing to take the risk.

I remember talking my college roommate into driving me to see J one afternoon. The drive was 45 minutes each way. I was only going to get to spend 15 minutes with J before returning back to campus. An hour and a half driving to spend a quarter of an hour with my sweetie was a bargain to me because I was in love.

So as much as I say I love love, I sure don't act as if I do. I have someone utterly in love with me. I don't have to risk punishment to spend time with Him. I may have to sacrifice some of my time, but if it's love then it isn't a sacrifice.

True to my nature as a girl I want to be wooed. That is why the words above were so effective. They were meant to woo me, and they did because I knew the emotions behind the words were genuine.

God wants to woo me too, but I must let Him. He has written many beautiful verses to win my heart. I must allow my heart to be won, and I must respond in like. Mark 12:30 tells us to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."

People say that when someone is in love they glow. It does lend beauty to your life. God wants me to love Him with EVERYTHING in me. I'm going to open myself to His love. I want His beauty to wash over me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Love is in the air...

I bet that got everyone's attention.

Alas, no time for details now... hopefully tomorrow.

(But I bet you guess incorrectly.)
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