Am I The Last Person In The World To Find Out About…

Joe Scruggs? What sweet, funny kids songs! He would have been doing a lot of his recording when I was a kid, but I have never heard of him. I’m reading Barbara Curtis’ The Mommy Survival Guide right now (more on that later this week), and she recommended his stuff at the end of one chapter, along with Raffi. Now, I know Raffi well- we spent many a playtime together at the daycare I worked at in high school. But Joe- where have you been all my life?
Take a look at some of these lyrics, to the song, School Glue:

Now, remember just one thing

When you glue on the bumble bee’s wings:
That it only takes a little drop of glue!

Now, the other kids are outside
Teaching their bumble bees to fly!
And I’m sitting in this cold, empty room.
Oh, it’s enough to make me cry!
Oh, I think I used wwwwaaaayyyy too much glue!

Another endearing ditty is Bubble Gum. You can listen to a sample of that, and others, here.This guy is so much fun. Better late than never finding out about him!

“You Have Gone Far Enough!” *

I had a good week off from the blog. Got a lot of thinking, praying, and learning done. Much of what I learned about my attitudes wasn’t pleasant to swallow, but I am glad to have been convicted of these things so I can start making changes for the better. Come along on my path of humbling, if you dare.

Toward the end of the week I was feeling really down. Maybe it was the weather, maybe just pregnancy hormones, but the hard facts of reality were hitting me all over again- this house is not selling, we are not finding a church, yet another week is going by with all this waiting.
Through my daily Bible reading and prayer, I realized that I have been pretty arrogant when it comes to visiting churches in the area- I almost want something to go wrong so I can say, ha, we’re not supposed to be there! It is really ugly, if I think on it at length. I want to be more open about the churches we consider from now on.
Also, I am letting this desire I have for adventure rule my attitude. Funny, I have all the adventure I can handle (literally) sitting in my lap, to last a lifetime. But I always want to shrug off today in hopes that tomorrow is more exciting. Every time Luke’s cell phone does its line dance (his ringer is a country tune), I hope it is the Realtor calling, with someone wanting to see the house. Every few days we are home doing the routine, I am itching to get out and do something different. Every few hours, I’m looking for something new to eat. (Oh, but I can blame Baby for that.) I’m definitely not built for monotony. Sadly, the only thing this wanting does is cause discontent, and I know that God does not want me to wish my life away. I must let go of this expectation that life should be more exciting. And maybe the reason it is not more exciting right now is that I have shunned the relationships having a church home would offer, for these many months.

Resolved: I need to submit to this present-day reality, and find the joy that is in it. I need to be in a plain, ordinary church again, with all the imperfect people that shape it. I don’t need to solve their problems or judge them, or write them off before I’ve met them. I need to roll up my sleeves and get to work right beside them, because that is where the true fulfillment (and hence, adventure out the wazoo) can be found.

*from Numbers 16:1-7. Read the whole chapter for some really convicting stuff.

A Girl Without A Church

For some time now, we have been without a church home. We were originally part of a church plant, and hopeful that that church would be our home for years to come- a place where our children would grow and eventually get married, even. But this little plant was slow to grow, and required a lot of tending to stay active. We struggled with doubts of its survival after a few years of trying everything in our “Start a Church God’s Way” bag of tricks, then the unthinkable happened. Our pastor died. Some of us still wanted to see if this plant would take root, even without its pastor, so we kept watering and feeding it for a few more months. But it was not to be. We all decided to disband and go elsewhere.
This ‘elsewhere’ is what Luke and I are still trying to find, nearly ten months after our church plant closing up shop. We put the house up for sale, thinking that maybe God wanted us to move, but here we still sit, with no buyer. We visited a couple churches, but I can say for myself that none of them felt right. We settled into two churches of different friends and family for a time, really wanting some time to rest and relax from our church search:). But after a few weeks in each one, we knew that this wasn’t where we were supposed to be. Luke even candidated at a church to be their worship leader, but that, too, ended up being a closed door. So what does a church-seeker do when he has exhausted every option he sees available to him, with no other leads? This past Sunday, we took a hike, visited the ‘church of the woods’, you might say, instead of visiting a church. But that isn’t gonna cut it every week.
I feel a need to start thinking outside of the box. A devotional I read last week by Elisabeth Elliot sparked my interest in doing something this week that just might turn this church-seeking standstill around. At the very least, I would grow closer to the Lord, so any effort yields a win-win situation. Worth a try. First, some quotes from that devotional:

…in any case the thing to do is pray–first, confession of sin which is known; second, asking to be shown sin which has not been acknowledged; third, prayer for deliverance in God’s way and in God’s time.
When the people of Israel were in great trouble and disgrace and the wall of Jerusalem had been broken down, Nehemiah sat down and wept. Then he mourned and fasted and prayed “for some days” before the God of heaven.
It is not required that we sort out all the possibilities–“Is this God?” or “Is this Satan?”–it is required that we confess our sins and put our whole trust in the God who is in charge.
(emphasis mine)

During our church-planting days, Don, our pastor, would organize prayer walks and prayer drives around our town. We would do just what the name indicates- pray for the people and homes we passed, blessing them and asking for their salvation. Now, my pretty blue house isn’t in need of salvation, but it is in need of God’s blessing. I view the house as a sort of obstacle in our path to our future, or better, a catalyst. If it sells, we know God is planning for us what we thought He was. If not, we have to figure out what He’s got planned for us in Marion. I want to focus my energies right here, on this house.
For the next seven days, I will be taking a kind of ‘Jericho’ approach to this. Things that I can do that come to mind are: prayer walks around our house daily, or many times a day; deep cleaning a room a day, all the while praying for wisdom and guidance in our lives and our future; acting like we have an open house planned and getting this place, and my life, spic and span, ready for what God has next. This will require some fasting of the bloggy variety, so you won’t be seeing me this week. But you have plenty to read in my archives, and even the places I’ve linked to in this post will take you some time to read.
Here goes. Gotta go dust off my marching shoes.

When Life Seems At A Standstill

Restless and doubtful we wonder why we have nothing to show for our efforts, no visible evidence of progress. Let us remember the perfect egg–unchanged in its appearance from the day it is laid. But while the bird waits faithfully, doing the only thing she is required to do throughout those silent weeks, important things are taking place.”
~Elisabeth Elliot

Burton Funnies, Updated

{The boys and Abbie are in the tub together}
Sam: Abbie keeps touching me!
Me: Well, these are pretty close quarters in here.
Sam: { mumbling to self, looks around the tub floor, swishes the water} Where’s the quarters, where’s the quarters?
{looks up at me} No, Mom, there aren’t any quarters in here.

And later today:
Sam, after witnessing two birds outside demonstrating “the birds and the bees”: Hey, look, they’re playing ‘duck, duck goose’!

When The Tooth Fairy Gets Detained

Tooth loss, it would seem around our house, is a pretty stressful thing. Only Aliyah so far is getting loose teeth, and the ordeal (she makes it out to be) makes me dread any more of her teeth, and the other kids’ teeth, coming out. When I think back to my days of saying goodbye to my baby teeth, I can’t think of anything earth-shatteringly painful or dramatic about the process. I remember laying in front of Little House and yanking one out. No biggie. But here is how it has gone, twice now, with Aliyah:
1) The tooth begins to be loose. Actually, there is another event before this one, that indicates her tooth is coming out- the new one grows in behind it. I was so weirded out when I saw this the first time, and only slightly ewwwwed this last time. Apparently, this phenomenon is okay, and normal for some kids.
2) Now that the tooth is loose, Aliyah’s emotions bounce between elation that this rite of passage is finally happening to her at her elderly age of 6, and fear at the imagined pain ahead of losing this tooth. She spends meals picking at her food, barely eating anything, saying that it hurts to bite down. All who know about the tooth encourage her to “keep wiggling it, it will come out!”
3) Finally, the tooth decides to leave its wet, gummy home, these last two times as she is taking a bite of food. It happens so fast, and without a hint of drama, that Aliyah is a little disappointed, I think. This last time, it was in the middle of a taco lunch, and the kids were doing a great job of covering the floor with shredded cheese, corn, bits of tortilla chips, all things resembling a tiny front tooth in color and size. The tooth came out and hit the floor. It was a mad scramble to find the tooth among similar-looking food bits before Abbie, who was down from her lunch and having a ball picking up all the stuff the kids dropped.
4) Aliyah takes the tooth to bed, hoping that the tooth fairy will come and trade her for a nice surprise. Now, with this many kids, and that many teeth, we are not sure where to go with this whole “Tooth Fairy” thing. Luke wanted to play along through the first tooth, then drop it, but I wasn’t sure how that would go over.
The first time, the Tooth Fairy gave her what she called “a gold coin!”, a collector’s item from Luke’s Grandpa Bob that I guess nobody is collecting (Luke says it isn’t worth anything :).
When it came time for this tooth, you might already be guessing what happened. Aliyah happily tucks away her tooth, along with a Hershey’s kiss for TF as an extra token of love, and beds down for the night. Tooth fairy activity comes much later in the night, later than many of us would like to be still awake. Maybe this particular night, the tooth fairy herself wasn’t up to another late night of swapping dentures, because it was discovered the next morning that the tooth fairy did not come.
In the tooth fairy’s defense, I can imagine that those stairs in my house are exhausting to a tooth fairy who has been walking around all day on tired feet and carrying around somebody else’s future tooth fairy in her belly; by the time it is time to go up there to the bedroom and make the trade, all the tooth fairy wants to do is lay down in her nice, soft bed. So she does. And promptly falls asleep. The next morning, Aliyah comes downstairs at the crack of dawn, holding the baggie with the tooth and kiss inside, and has the most forlorn look on her face.
Now what were we to do? Such a mess. I didn’t realize going into this how much my daughter would be hurt by our indifference to what she saw as a budding tradition. There weren’t too many ways to get out of this. To comfort her, I suggested she try again the next night, which Luke quickly discouraged, claiming that he thought that the tooth fairy only came for the first tooth. (Gee, thanks for the support, hubby; you didn’t see that sorrowful look on her face this morning!) Aliyah thought it over for some time, then pointed out how at Cousin Callie’s house, the Tooth Fairy comes every time they lose a tooth.
At once, I realized how I could redeem this situation (and buy some time to figure this all out before her next loose tooth). I told her she should take the tooth over to Callie’s house, then, and see what would happen. Luke gave his hearty approval to this idea, too. Aliyah, satisfied with this solution, is now looking forward to what the Caledonia Tooth Fairy will bring forth, in exchange for her little diente. Leigh Ann, we take VISA, Mastercard, and American Express. No checks, please.

In Memoriam

Remembering Keith’s dad today, who passed from death into life last year.

Also, remembering the more than thirty people at Virginia Tech, who entered eternity yesterday morning. May they all have been ready to meet our almighty God.

How long, O LORD, will I call for help,
And You will not hear?
I cry out to You, “Violence!”
Yet You do not save.

Your eyes are too pure to approve evil,
And You can not look on wickedness with favor
Why do You look with favor
On those who deal treacherously?
Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up
Those more righteous than they?

I will stand on my guard post
And station myself on the rampart;
And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me,
And how I may reply when I am reproved.

Then the LORD answered me and said,
“… the vision is yet for the appointed time;
It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail
Though it tarries, wait for it;
For it will certainly come, it will not delay.

“Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed
And founds a town with violence!

“For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD,
As the waters cover the sea.

“… the LORD is in His holy temple
Let all the earth be silent before Him.
~from Habakkuk 1-2