Thursday, August 26, 2010

She...Wore...An...Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny...



We decided to take one week of our vacation this summer to stay home and do some SERIOUS CLEANING. Doesn't that sound exciting?! Well, it really is for me. I love to get rid of stuff and organize my surroundings, it just feel so good. BUT, we had to break up the work week with a little fun, so we headed for Magic Mountain Water Park for one entire day of fun, sun and loop-de-looping in the refreshing water. It really was a wonderful day, especially now that my kids are all old enough to stand, swim and think (somewhat) on their own. I hated going to those places when they were little. I watched empatheticaly as one mom was being dragged around by her two barely walking sweeties, both clad in life jackets, sunhats and soothers. Now that's love...or maybe insanity, depending on your perspective. My daughter spent most of her time in the "warm tub" too big to be a hot tub, and the rest of the boys were paired up and blissfully climbing the hills and sliding down the beloved plastic joy makers...for 7 hours straight....with Dad leading the way.

I tried a couple of slides, just to appease my curiosity, but spent most of the time watching my daughter, soaking up the sun, sipping Dr Pepper and people watching. I love people watching. When I get old and physically useless, just plunk me in a park somewhere with lots of activity and I'll pass the time analyzing and enjoying anthropolgy at it's best. My blog is meant to share some of the more...personal thoughts that I have and may not always sit right with some readers. Feel free to block my link if you disagree. It was, lets say, extremely obvious that people today have NO trouble exposing themselves in public. My eyes and those of my family are not used to, nor meant to be continually feasting on the mostly unkept bare flesh of strangers. I'm not sure if there is a fabric shortage in the world today, or if people just like "hangin' loose" but...holy bikini Batman...or maybe I should say HOLEY bikini Batman. It didn't matter what shape or size they were, they were so barely covered that I wondered how on Earth they swimsuits stayed on going down the water slides. I would feel so uncomfortable constantly adjusting, checking and fixing myself all day long, not at all free to jump, run and play securely. I guess they just don't care how others think or see them.

I'm all for being free from the opinions and judgments of others, but what about the welfare of those around you. Aren't we supposed to be thinking of others before ourselves? I never grew up with a brother, so I had to learn about the mindset of boys as an adult. I now have three sons, two of whom are very healthy, normal, adolescents with "boy brains" not "girl brains" if you know what I'm talkin' about. After 15 minutes of being at Bikini Central, they were both wide eyed and a bit visually overwhelmed. They have been taught to respect girls and to "make a covenant with their eyes" as Job said to protect themselves...this place would surely challenge that ideal. Wearing little scraps of fabric over your unmentionables can cause people to either lust (ya, lusting is wrong...FYI) or throw up (which isn't wrong, just extremely unpleasant). After a little pep talk from Dad and instruction on how to handle the situation, they were off and running with a proper focus...on the slides, that is.

I know it sounds a bit old fashioned, but it isn't. It's human nature and it hasn't changed from the beginning of time. God's mandate for purity is still in effect in 2010, no matter what the status quo says. I wasn't angry at the world for the lack of modesty, just sad. Sad that all of these precious girls had no idea that their bodies were being exploited and no one was telling them that they've been duped. Feminism has told them that freedom of expression will be good for them and society in general. I think enough time has passed since the birth of that notion to prove people are neither psychologically healthier nor is society more stable due to the bra burning philosophy. Now don't get all extreme on me and say "So you want us all to wear potato sacks to beach then??" No, I saw some gorgeous bathing suits there too that kept all the treasures in the storehouse. You just have to make an extra effort to find one. Also, sad that my boys can't go to a place like this for fun and relaxation without having to have a spiritual workout the whole time. But that's life, and we have to learn how to be in the world, but not "of it". It was a very good experience and I'm glad we went.

It's funny how a person can be little "nervous" to write a post like this. Nervous to say "Modesty is important, cleavage is not. Guard your heart and eyes for you own health and God's glory"...but someone has to do it. I love my fellow man and have no judgmental attitude in my heart, just concern for people and passion for the wisdom of God.

I'm just one beggar showing another beggar where to find bread...and maybe that perfect little bathing suit :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hurricanes and Baseball Games


Tomorrow will be our 19th wedding anniversary. I have now been with Guy one year longer than I was with my parents. Yes, 19 years ago my sweetheart and I blissfully made that vow to one another in glory and splendor. My memory provides me with a choppy, hazed version of the pinnacle day in a young girl's life. My mom did most of the work as I ignorantly went about enjoying the moments. Young girls can be like that sometimes...I'm not like that anymore, of course :) Guy was at the height of a throat infection and I was sick with it by the end of the day, but we were still able to function and the day was redeemed. Here are my top 10 memory snippets:

1. Guy's surprise solo to me...face to face.
2. Picking out a pair of earings to wear, last minute.
3. The flowers being the wrong color.
4. My perfect, amazing, Mom-made wedding gown.
5. Being ticked that Guy didn't get his hair cut beforehand.
6. Being overwhelmed with all of the wonderful gifts.
7. Mom's seafood chowder.
8. Dad's kisses.
9. Dr Hobson's heartfelt and wise address to all of us in the ceremony.
10. Having all my loved ones in one place at one time...cool.

The wedding day was followed by a 4 day honeymoon in Prince Edward island, during Hurricane Hugo. So much for the horseback riding, swimming and whale watching. I guess I didn't matter too much since I was sick in bed most of the time with one of those sore throats that burns to even swallow.

The story does get better though. After a few YEARS of trial and error, we finally started to get the hang of this self-sacrifice, loving patience and total commitment thing. It was well worth the effort. Even though we don't look nearly as good as we used to and we aren't nearly as energetic as we used to be, we are truly more "in love" than we were then. I can honestly say that I understand, feel and want that oneness that marriage produces. I think the effort, the history, the original qualities that attracted me to Guy and the grace and blessing of God have cemented our relationship...but in a more soft and textured kind of cement. In the words of Huey Lewis..."I'm happy to be stuck with you".

It helps to see God's plan in the whole thing. When I was in Jr High school, I attended a baseball game with a bunch of 30 something men playing and their families watching. I was daydreaming (as usual) and talking to God at the same time. As many young girls do, I was trying to imagine myself married and growing a family. A little prayer conversation followed:

"God, would you just show me a quick glimpse of the face of the man I'm going to marry?"

Hoping for Rob Lowe's face to appear before me, nothing happened.

"Ok, that's fine God, but maybe you could just tell me what his name will be? Whatever that man's name is written on his baseball shirt sleeve, that will be the name of my future husband."

I had randomly selected a brown haired, mustached man to carry the prophetic information on his shirtsleeve. I anxiously waited for him to turn in such a way for me to read the name.

"Guy", the sleeve read. I said it in the typical NB french accented way.

"I don't really like that name, God", I casually reacted. Then I abandoned my dreaminess and headed back to real life.

It wasn't until several years after my wedding day that I remembered that baseball game and that conversation with God. He wasn't giving me supernatural direction, but He used my childlike, casual conversation with him to show me his sovereignty and presence much later in life. Seek Him...He does hear you.

Our anniversary is somewhat overshadowed now by our third son's birthday. He was born on our tenth anniversary, so we have to pick a different day of the week to go out for lobster...it's been hot dogs and corn on the cob from then on.

Marriage, when done God's way, is the grace of life. It's the foundation of society, the security for children and an endangered species. I can't think of too many things that are more important to preserve, protect and fight for. I thank God for His absolutely vital hand in mine and for the hope and pleasure His guidance has brought to our family.

One year till the big 20! Maybe we'll try PEI again...with NO hurricane or illness :)




Friday, August 6, 2010

My Bouncing Baby Boy


"Train up a child (in keeping with his individual gift or bent)...."

This is the amplified translation of Proverbs 22:6. This means that I am to take the natural, God given abilities and interests of my little nose miners and help develop them, encourage them and point them in the direction God has already started them on. I must not let MY dreams and desires for my kids interfere with what God has planned for their little lives. So...I watch God unwrap His precious gifts to me a little more everyday and see the wonders that they bring with them to my world. Like my 3rd boy...the physicist...the calculator...the observer...the gymnast and the sci fi lover. Only 9 years old and his "bent" as the scripture calls it, is obvious and flourishing.

Sometimes these bents are so strong that they can cause some concern. Yesterday, this lab coat boy of mine decided to try to do a backflip from the living room floor onto the couch. His calculations were not exactly accurate and he ended up with a severe nose bleed and much pain. Upon a quick trip to a neighboring nurse friend, we decided that his nose is not likely broken, but he will be looking racoonish next week with the bruising and swelling under his eyes. It's kind of funny that we just purchased a second hand, 14 foot trampoline for him for his birthday this month. Now I'm not sure that's a good idea.

The overprotective mother in me says "the boy is going to kill himself on this thing" and the mother who is trying to carefully develop his God given gifts and abilities says "teach the boy how to do these flippy things properly and safely". I guess since we bought the thing before the incident, the question is already answered. Fortunately, we have a professional trampoline- teacher-guy friend who will come and give him the first lesson on what not to do and how to stay alive and in one piece on his new play toy.

Have I mentioned lately how hard it can be being a mom sometimes? I should really be thankful that all I had to deal with was a nosebleed...it could be broken, but nothing would be done about it in the hospital anyway. This nose incident gives new meaning to training them up according to their BENT.

Hopefully, his nasal soreness will prevent him from continuing his recent picking infatuation. They are all such adorable little bundles of total depravity...and he is "flipping" sweet :)