Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thoughts on the Season

It's only 5 days past Christmas yet nearly all the trappings of the holiday have disappeared from our home.  I love Christmas decorations but I'm usually really ready to take them down and move on after Christmas Day.

Maybe I put them up too soon.  Perhaps  next year I should put them up later and enjoy them more after the craziness of Christmas Day has passed.

Every year at Christmas there is talk about the decorations and traditions of Christmas and their origins.  Santa Claus is banned from households and Christmas carols fill shopping malls.  Everywhere there seems to be a class of the Holy and the Profane.

I think of the story of Joseph - beaten by his brothers, sold to slavery, thrown in prison and then exalted to a position to save his family and God's chilren.  Joseph wrote:

Genesis 50:20, God's Word Translation (1995)
"Even though you planned evil against me, God planned good to come out of it."

The Christmas holiday season is similar.  The evil satan had planned in this world can be seen in many holiday traiditions.

We do not know the date of Christ's birth.  It is celebrated at the same time as a traditional pagan holiday.  We use Red and Green because of the traditions of this same holiday.  We decorate a tree because of the druids worship of nature.  Evergreen usage in decorating also comes from the druids.

Yet "God planned good to come out of it."  The pagan holiday is redeemed as a time that the entire world acknolwedges Christ's kingdom.  The Red speaks of God's blood on the cross.  The  color Green  and the evergreen boughs remind us of his gift of eternal life.   The tree we decorate in our homes reminds us of the cross this baby would one day die upon.

We give gifts to each other to remind us of the Greatest Gift ever given us - Eternal life.

Santa Claus perhaps takes the biggest kick from those wishing to keep all things holy in this season.  But Saint Nicholas was a real man.  A wealthy man who gave his fortune away to help others.  A Christian man who sought to spread the love of Christ through out his known world.

We look so hard to make things Holy in our lives that we forget that God himself redeems the evil of this world.  He is Holy.  He is omnipotent.  He is worthy of our praise.

This last day of the year, I will praise my maker.  I will take time to be still and remember His life.  His love.  His death.

Lord, show me your redeeming power.  Open my eyes to let me see your mighty hand all around me.  There is so much good to come in this world.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Memories 2010

Merry Christmas

Christmas Eve Service
 Our friends, Emma and Elijah

I was honored to sing at the Christmas Eve Service with the Praise Band.

Opening Gifts from Grant - Stop taking my picture!

Christmas Day

Marilyn and Larry Rogers joined us to open gifts.  Since they were in the
process of moving and had no tree in their travel trailer, they put
their gifts under ours.  We were honored!

Her first Cell Phone - watch out world!  She's wired!

The "boys" playing Larry's new wii game.

 "Just Dance" with Jill, Mark and Marilyn!  We laughed so hard!

Chris added to his tool chest

Kale and Kate watching a movie in
Miss Ashely's room.

Jill and Marilyn watching a movie - right before Marilyn "rested" her eyes.

Christmas Dinner with our Family of Choice

Mark, Jill, Kale, Kate and Jack Palmer,  Larry and Marilyn Rogers
David, Kim, Chris and Ashley Beach 

What makes us Family of Choice?
We have all made the Choice to follow Christ.  It is the blood of our Savior,
shed on Calvary's cross for our sins, that makes us family. 
Are you part of our Family of Choice?

Choose today.  Choose Christ.

Jack watching a movie. 
A perfect end to a perfect day.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Name

The kids had a writing assignment today looking at the names of Jesus.  They were asked to pick their favorite name and tell me why this name meant something to them.

Well, what's good for the goose is good for the gander!

"There are many names used in the Bible to describe Jesus.  These names tell us His characteristics.  My favorite name for Jesus is hard to choose.

At different times he has been my Provider.  My Healer.  He is my Prince of Peace in storms as well as the quiet times of the day.  He is the Alpha and Omega - knowing my beginning from my end and planning every day in between.

Today, I read in 1 Corinthinas 10:4 that He is my Rock.  I really like that name.  Rock.  Strong.  Stable.  From the time of Creation.  Unmovable.  Sturdy. 

He hideth my face in the cleft on the Rock and covers me there with His hand.

The Rock.  My Father God."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why I Believe In Santa Claus

Even Santa kneels at the manger
Worshiping the Christmas child
Knowing that the baby there
Is the Savior of the World

Even Santa wears the color Red
Praising the Heavenly Father
Seeing that this baby's blood
Will cover the sins of the World

Even Santa trims his coat in White
Seeking the Holy Spirit
The baby's own comforter
Who brings light to the darkness of this World

Even Santa brings a gift to God
Bowing humbly at the Throne
Reminding us of God's gift - His precious Son
A Christmas Gift to Redeem each child in this World

Even Santa kneels at the Manger
The world's noise and bustle he ignores
His own myth pointing to the One
Who redeems us
Who sanctifies us
Who guides us
                                               ~ KKWB

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yeah, Still Sex

Tonight was Grooming Night.

I shut myself in the bathroom and did my hair, plucked eyebrows;  my nails have been shaped and legs shaved.

Some of you are saying, "yup, her kids are older."  But when my kids were babies I still did this.  Sometimes it was only a 30 minute slot carved out during nap time.  Other times I enlisted their dad.  Usually on Thursday nights.  I bathed the kids, gave them over to their daddy and headed to the bathroom.

Confession Time:  A friend is growing her hair color out.  Underneath she has discovered beautiful white locks of hair.  We both have an autoimmune disorder.  After reading the link between hair color and autoimmune junk, she gave up haircolor.  I said I'd do it with her. . .I'm a bad friend.  I went and looked into the chemical linked to the diseases and found a haircolor that did not contain that chemical and tonight, I colored my hair.  Underneath my color, all I had found was a mousy brown/gray mess.  The rich brown is back.  Sorry, friend.  I'm still saying, "Cut it short!!"

While I was rinsing my hair tonight, I began to think about Queen Esther.  Only she wasn't queen yet.  She was preparing.  For a year!  They soaked her in expensive oils.  She bathed in scented water.  Her hair was conditioned and combed and made like silk. 

Now that's a Girl's Night Out!

We can't all do that.  That's a bit much.  Even for me.  But it begs the question:  what did I do to prepare for being with my Best Friend today?

Remember those date nights of courtship?  We showered, gussied up.  Smelled good.

Wanna have sex more?  Gussy up again!  Take the ten minutes to take a quick shower before bed.  Spray on something sweet.  Brush your hair til it shines.

Prepare.  For your time with your husband.  Your sweetheart.  Your lover.  Your soul mate.  Your gift from God.

Crawling into bed clean and sweet tells your mate, "Yes, I've chased kids all day.  My job stank.  Dinner was a flop.  But you are worth the extra time and effort."

Put on clean pj's - it doesn't have to be fancy but look nice.

Go the extra effort.  It will be worth it!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010


First, this rambling is not a doctoral thesis on the theological ramification of relationships and God's will.  It's what I've experienced.  It's what God is revealing to me.  Like an onion.  Layer by layer.

Some things we must always remember: 

God created us.  Remember that.  In all of glory.  Our beauty.  Our bumps, bruises.  Our wide hips, thick lips.  Our wave hair.  Our skinny thighs.  All of us.

God created us for relationship.  With parents.  With family.  With friends.  Good ones we celebrate.  Bad ones we learn from.  Easy ones.  Hard ones.  Ones that are part of our life for a short season as well as relationships that last for eternity.

God created us for Relationship with Him.  We were meant to live in Paradise with Him.  We were meant to life forever.  He desires to have a relationship with us each moment of each day.

Things got messed up when sin entered the Garden. Relationships were made harder. God had to seek us out while we hid in the bushes. Shame entered the garden. That's what makes sex hard to talk about.  Shame.

Somewhere along the line, probably about the time of Sin, we became ashamed of who we were - God's creation.  Shame because we as a race disobeyed God.   This continues today - ashamed of our bodies, ashamed of our flaws.  But God doesn't see any flaws! 

Note:  I am not advocating nudity, free love, etc.  Modesty in all things.  But take a look at how sin changed what we see as good.

Ever see a toddler who has found a forbidden cookie?  They don't display it proudly.  They go and hide.   Adam and Eve hid from God in the Garden and we have been hiding from God ever since.

Why did God create Marriage?  Why did he give us sexual relations? 

First, Marriage is a glimpse into our relationship with God. Intimate. Sacred. Pleasing. Safe.

Second, sexual relations are hard-wired into our bodies a physiological need.  It reduces stress.  It's a relational need - it builds intimacy.  It's an emotional need - it reminds us of what relation is important - our relationship with our spouse.

What does God say about sex?  Song of Solomon says alot!  It's great!  It's good!  It's relaxing!  It's between one woman and one man who are husband and wife!  It's part of God's plan! 

Sex in marriage fulfills God's promise - the two become one.

Sex outside of marrige brings shame and consequences - disease from multiple partners, unplanned pregnancies, broken relationships from adultry.

Does it require work?  You betcha.  

But that's another post.

Remember, this is a work in progress God is hammering out in my heart.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Answer


We serve a relational God.

I'm still pondering. . . .

Monday, December 6, 2010

I'm Thinking. . .

Why is sexual sin so much more devastating than other sins?

Why is sex before marriage destructive?

Why is sex after marriage weary?

Why are we afraid to talk about sex?

Why are so many of you cringing each time you read the word sex?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lemonade Gives Me Indigestion

When blogging, or sharing information in any form, it's always a delicate line to walk knowing how much information and detail to share.  Especially when it concerns family - and even more so with your kids.  It is important that they be able to trust you - a safe place to share their fears, to whisper their dreams, scream their pain and confide their hopes.

So know that when I share this blog, I have asked Ashley's permission first.

We are in a tough place.  Tough as a mom and daughter.  Me letting go some.  Her finding independence while still needing mom and dad so much.    Tough as a pre-teen who wants to look and act and walk and talk like her friends.  Tough as a mom who sees her struggle.  Tough as a student who hates to take the extra steps to learn.  Tough as a teacher who requires those steps.  Tough as a human being in pain.  Tough as a mom who can't take the pain away.

Yeah, we have our "come to Jesus" moments.


We have fought.  We have "discussed."  And then we have prayed.  Prayed alot.

Sometimes there are tears.  Sometimes just alot of sighs.

Basically we are left with this decision:  Do we let what satan has meant for evil destroy us or do we allow God to turn it to good?

Destruction is easy.  We can give up.  Sit in our corners.  Do nothing.

Good takes work.  It's painful.  It takes molding and finishing.  Scrubbing, polishing, knocking off rough spots.

Recently, one of our little friends had to take a trip to Children's Hospital in Denver.  She has suffered for a year with abdominal pain and it was time to seek a specialist.  Her greatest fear was having cancer.  To her little mind, a children's hospital meant cancer because of a little boy at school who was diagnosed with cancer last year.  Ashley was able to sit with her, take her on-line to the hospital's web-site and talk to her about how great the hospital was at helping all sorts of children.  Ashley told her how they helped her walk better.  How nice the doctor's were.  How great the gelato was at the coffee shop.  By the end of the evening, our little friend was feeling comfortable, if not a little excited, to go to Denver!

Good from evil.

I guess you are wondering where the title for this post came from.  Today while driving into town, Ashley and I discussed writing a book together.  A book to guide parents and children through the difficulties of disabilities;  through visiting hospitals;  through "come to Jesus" meetings.  I said we could name it, "Making Lemonade" from the saying, "if life gives you lemons, make lemonade."

But I don't like Lemonade, and I suggested that as a title:  "I Don't Like Lemonade."  It gives me indigestion.

Just the thought of making lemonade is bad.  It means something is cut, squeezed;  syrup is added to boiling water to create a syrup then the whole  mess is poured over ice.  A shock to anyone's system.  Not a great perspective.  The end product is nice, but getting there is tough!

"Lemonade Gives Me Indigestion" - we both laughed at the thought.

Now a new era of blogging begins.  Lemonade with Indigestion.  Writings on how we are coping as a family with this adventure called life.

Tonight, all I can say is:  Bring me a Diet  Coke!!!!!