Monday, June 29, 2009


We just celebrated my mom's 80th birthday last Saturday. It was a surprise and boy did we surprise her. She insisted on no party and "Some fancy restaurant." So we had it at her favorite pizza place. When we walked in and she saw all her brother's, sisters their families and her friends she was got teary. Much pizza, calzones and mozzarella sticks were devoured. Many, many pictures and a whole bunch of fun. We all left Sam & Louis about 7pm and went to our house for cake, coffee and tea.
That's when the magic that is family appeared and spread over the living room like a nice warm blanket. Stories of deeds, and darings from days gone by. It's amazing how stories differs from kin to kin. Connecting again, renewing and remembering. I stood back and studied those around me whom I love so deeply. In the natural they are my strength & my comfort. There is a refrain from a song that goes, "I don't know where I'm going, but I'm sure where I come from." And we take great joy in that. A solid footing for us to stand on as we become who we are. God is a lot like that. He provides us with a solid footing on which we can grow and become who we are to be. Our path through this life is like a bunch of stepping stones across a huge body of water. God sets us on the path, showing us the way. But sometimes we become impatient and jump to other rocks we think will give us what we want, but they become slippery and unreliable in times of storm. Isn't it great to know that Jesus is standing there with us in the hardship and sadness of everyday life wanting nothing more than for us us to call on Him so he can save us and put our feet back on solid ground.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Life Changes

It's amazing how life can change in the time it takes for your heart to beat. And sometimes the direction life takes you in can cause your heart to skip several of those beats. God didn't promise us a smooth sail, and I believe that if we didn't struggle a bit with life we would never learn anything.
A lot of the time we are unwilling to to do or say what we know is right, or reach out because we would then have to be responsible for our actions. When life goes wrong its easy for us to blame God when its no one's fault but our own. God doesn't make bad things happen to us. We allow, invite bad things to happen because we won't let God look after us.
Its kinda like going to an amusment part and getting on the scary looking roller coaster and choosing not to use the shoulder restraint. Its there for us to use at no exta cost. All we have to do is reach up, grab hold and pull it down around us.
Life is all about choices. I don't know about you, but I'm grabbing that shoulder restraint with both hands.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Family Reunion

Ever wonder why we don't have family reunions more than once a year?
I come from a large family. Lots of aunts, uncles, and any number of 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc, etc cousins. You walk in the place and the musty smell makes you wonder if what they say about inhaling mold is true. After scanning the room you realize you don't know half the people there and for that you are thankful.
There is the group from just south of the Missouri border in the woods somewhere who think indoor plumbing is of the devil. "That damn flusher will suck the innards right outta ya. I ain't gonna sit my bare ass... you get the drift. Within the first five minutes cousin Birdie shares every aliment she's had in the last ten years in gory detail and preceeds to hike her skirt up to show the scar on her butt from the boil she had that was as big as a half dollar. Where do I run? The conversation behind (no pun intended) me has to do with gastric juices and farting.
Yikes! Just shoot me now!I escape into the kitchen only to be confronted by a great uncle who finishes every sentence you start or will start in the next year, all the while clicking his false teeth. He could make Job run screaming down the hall in 30 seconds flat. Minnie who talks constantly, none stop and is the expert on everything, makes me wish she was like C3PO with a shut off switch.
Then its time for the meal. I make my way around the room sizing up who's food will be safe to eat. One thing is for sure, I won't be eating anything from Arkansas. Birdie's casserole resembles mac and cheese with little grey bits of what looks like kitty litter. If that isn't bad enough, she puts catsup over the top and licks the remaining drop of catsup off and sets the bottle on the table. Maybe there is a vending machine in the hall.
The rest of the day creeps by, and with no place to hide I've resigned myself to my fate and have become accoustomed to answering to Beth.
But soon I begin to appreciate the oddities and ecentrictiy that surround me. Yes, even cousin Birdie and her group. there is a comfort here. One that comes from a shared background. There isn't one person in the room who wouldn't give you their last dollar if you needed it, who accepts you for who you are and loves you anyway.
So why do we only get together once a year?
God said he would never leave us or forsake us. And just maybe our flesh and blood relatives are His way to remind us of that.