Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Time In a Bottle

When I first started blogging, I always wondered why some of my most favorite bloggers seemed to be going really strong, writing every day, cracking me up with their hilarious stories of toddler mayhem and baby poop and kindergarten capers, and then, suddenly, poof, they disappeared never to be heard from again.

I totally get it now.

Our kids, the ones that provide endless blogging fodder, grow up. Mine are only nine and seven and, still, it seems like I have less and less to write about. Or, at the least, less and less time to do it.

Garrett is at that really awkward in between stage of not a little kid, not a teenager. I noticed this, in particular, on Easter Sunday. We gathered with friends and, at one point, Matthew was outside playing with a toddler and Garrett was sitting at the table, trying to fit in. I remember that feeling so well. I was the oldest of my all my cousins, the first born grandchild on both sides. I can remember my brother and my toddler cousins running around, playing, and laughing. I felt too old for them. And too young to be at the table.

I saw that in my son.

How is he suddenly too old to be playing with the toddlers?

This is why blogging slows.

Because there are no longer stories of poop being found in weird places. There are no longer ridiculous airplane capers or road trip mishaps due, solely, to the fact that tiny people are involved. Instead, we're watching them grow up at an alarming and avalanche like pace. We're running them in forty-five different directions for that practice or this activity or that club or this appointment.

I used to think the long days of babyhood and toddler time would never end. It's not that I wanted them to, it's just that it certainly did feel exhausting. "Just another hour until naptime..." I would think. And then, suddenly, they were both in school all day and our life revolved around spelling tests and math concepts and baseball practice and church activities.

And so I sit down to write and all I can think about is how short my time is with them. I remember their itty bitty feet and their chubby baby hands. I think of how fast it all goes and I realize that I have nothing in particular to say. Time is flying and I cannot catch it in a bottle, much less pin it to paper.

Friday, March 25, 2016

I Am the Reason

The cross.

I'm not going to lie. Sometimes, I forget about its magnitude. We can't exist in a place of deep sorrow for too terribly long. We can't dwell on the disaster and the beauty of the cross because it's too painful to confront the ugliness of our sin. 

I remember every Sunday when I look at it. But it's stunning and beautiful and reminds me of the hope I have, every day, in Christ.

Occasionally, I think of the horror. The cowardly arrest in a peaceful garden under the cloak of darkness. The unjust beating, the mocking. The mistrial. I think about the crowd calling for his death. The nails piercing his innocent hands. The blood flowing down. The final breath. The cry, "It is finished."

I'm angry at all the guilty parties who did such a horrible thing.

And then I see myself making the arrest. I betray Him with a kiss. I'm there, swinging the whip. I'm calling out insults. I slam the nail into His hand. I'm too far gone to even understand what I'm doing.

He says, "Father, forgive her. She knows not what she does."

I don't. 

And I do.

I sin without thinking about it. Nothing planned. Nothing premeditated. But, also, I sin on purpose. Because it's easier to lie. Or because there is twisted comfort in pride. Because I'll do anything to have people like me. 

I am the reason He is on the cross today.

The reality of that truth is crushing.

And I thank God for the victory of Sunday.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Six Weeks, Done

"Wemember when I told you that even if you sent me to my desk and made me put my head down, I was still going to be willy nice and help you out?" he asked, staring at me from behind his chocolate eyes.

"Yes, I remember," I said, trying not to smile.

"That was willy nice of me wasn't it?

"Yes, sir," I said. "It was very nice of you."

I said goodbye to my kindergartners today after six weeks with them. I'll be back on Monday in a different classroom--it's what I do--but today I bid this particular bunch adieu. I'm grateful for this job that allows me spurts of full time employment. There are things I hate about it, to be sure.

And things I love.

I love kindergartners.

I love their sweet faces, their ah-ha moments, their sometimes hilarious answers to things. I love being able to help shape them just a little bit. I love when they throw their arms around me and call me their best friend teacher. (Whatever that means.)

At this job, I loved being able to go see my own kids at lunch every day. I loved knowing that they were in the same building as me, just down around a corner or two. I loved seeing their faces when they walked past the classroom I was in.

No one ever says, "I want to be a substitute teacher when I grow up." It's not something one really aspires to. I usually don't even admit to it, but instead tell people I'm a stay-at-home mom. That makes it sound more like I'm choosing not to work outside the home and less like I have an $80,000 dollar education and nothing to show for it.

The thing is this. I'm not always a good sub. I have moments of not being the best I can be, of being frustrated, of wanting to tell them that I can think of a really good place for them to shove their math paper. But I try really hard to be a decent substitute teacher, to leave a room better than I found it, to return a class to their rightful owner mostly unscathed. And I think I do ok.

If you're the CEO of a major corporation--do it to the best of your ability. If you're just a filler teacher with an expensive theatre degree and no teaching license--fill that position to the best of your ability. And, in the end, you might get a bag full of candy and a thank you note from a parent telling you that you were fabulous.

And it might make your day.

Saturday, March 12, 2016


Hello. It's me, Lori. I used to blog here.

Now I take care of kindergartners all day and then shuttle my own children to their activities and help them with homework and try to dig my way out of never ending piles of laundry. There's no time for writing anymore.

Which is really sad.

But, also, because it used to be my children who provided me with endless writing material. Now they're older and, while still hilarious, they don't do things like leave blobs of poop on gas station floors or adorably mispronounce words.

Sigh. I miss my babies.

But I love the guys they're becoming. Today, our church held a day of prayer. I was there for two hours and, for the second hour, the boys joined me. The three of us were joined by an older couple and we all prayed together. Both of my boys joined in and prayed for things and it was amazing. My heart swelled up to a great big epic size because, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (3 John 1:4)

I recently read a quote by Andy Stanley that says, "Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God might not be something you do but someone you raise." You guys. I'm pretty sure this revolutionized my entire life. I've always wanted to do something major. It's a restlessness inside of me. But then, think of all the men and women who are who they are because their parents raised them right.

I know that they may grow up and make a crapload of bad choices. But I sure don't want it to be because I was lame at parenting. If they make horrible decisions, I want them to have no choice but to say, "I don't know why I did that. My parents raised me to be better than that."

Today, my son prayed for revival. His words. He asked God for a revival. My nine-year-old recognizes stagnancy and inactivity and wants the absolute opposite.

In 1927, Baylus McKinney wrote a hymn. Its chorus:

Lord, send a revival,
Lord, send a revival,
Lord, send a revival,
and let it begin in me

This is my prayer as I raise these guys. Let the love of Christ bubble in me and through me and out of me in such a way that revival would begin here. In such a way that I would continue to teach my children to walk in truth. In such a way that my greatest contribution to the kingdom of God might be someone I raise.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Men in Heels

I own two pairs of heels. That's what happens when you marry someone who is one half inch taller than you are. Heels are the first thing to go. Today, I decided to wear one of my pairs of heels to church. 

My boys are obsessed with walking around in my heels. I have no earthly idea why. They think it's fun. It might be kind of like my childhood obsession with crutches. I didn't actually want to break my leg, I just thought crutches were splendid fun.

So, this morning, I had my heels sitting out and when I went to put them on, they were missing. I found my oldest son, the one who is nine and half years old, standing at the counter, brushing his teeth like this.

Ignore the plunger in the bathtub. You don't want to know.