Thursday, April 30, 2009

...but I still love you

I had my Zen on shuffle today while I was shining my sink and came across a song I hadn't heard in quite some time. If you've been a Contemporary Christian music fan for quite a while, you might remember a band from the '90s called The Kry (wow, I suddenly somehow feel old). They had some great songs like "He Won't Let You Go," "I Can't Stop Thinking About You," and "You're All I Need." But the one that usually gets stuck in my head and the one that I heard today is "I Know Everything About You."

Here's the chorus:

I know everything about you
I know what you say and do
But I still love you
I know everything about you
I know what you're thinking through
But I still love you

The more I thought about this song, the more the words "I know what you're thinking through" kept eating at me. So many times I guard my thoughts because I am fearful of what others would think if they knew what I was "thinking through."

Jealousy

Doubt

Bitterness

Spite

Of course, these are merely examples. My mind is as pure as the wind-driven snow.

Okay, so now I have to add:

Self delusion

Blessed as I am to have been raised in a Christian home and attend a Christian high school, I most certainly have been taught the attributes of God. I know full well that He is omniscient: He knows everything. So why must I need be reminded of this?! Why must these lyrics haunt me so?

The more I chewed on those words the more I became sickened at my thought life. Don't get me wrong, my mind certainly does not dwell "in the gutter." By worldly standards, I'm sure that my thought life could be rated PG-13 and seemingly normal. However, should I be satisfied by judging my thought life by worldly standards? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Romans 12:2 (NAS) tells us: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

There are so many areas of this verse that could be expounded upon, but two things stand out for me. On my first reading of this verse I became overwhelmed by the word perfect. Good I can handle; acceptable, sure, but perfect...not even close! That's enough to make me depressed right there!

However, if I would just back up and focus on the part that jumped out on my second reading, renewing of your mind. Okay, so it's no secret that I was an English teacher, but I will spare you the technical terms and just plainly tell you that Paul's choice of renewing indicates that this is not a one time occurrence. Just like eating, sleeping, and exercising are essential for a healthy physical life, the daily renewing of your mind is a necessity for a healthy spiritual life.

About now, thoughts of Bro. Parker's Bible class come to mind. Those of us who bothered to stay awake will remember him repeating the computer-based idea of "Garbage in, garbage out." If I continue to fill my mind with garbage, that is what will overtake my mind and heart, and eventually flow from my mouth. Have you ever toured a landfill? Eew! In the 8th grade we toured the McCarty Road landfill and to this day I remember that smell. To top it off, we were told that covering our noses would be offensive to the employees! Believe me, it couldn't have been more offensive than that smell!

I don't know about you, but I cringe at the thought of the Lord touring the landfill in my mind. Can you imagine if He had to hold his nose while walking around up there? That image sickens me.

Despite the fact that more times than not, Christ probably should hold his nose while touring my landfill of a brain, the last line of that chorus sweetly reminds me,

But I still love you

Did you catch that?!

But I still love you

Wow! I'm feeling just a tad small and totally undeserving right now. How the Lord can still love us even when we neglect Him is amazing to me. When I find myself spending more time updating my Facebook or playing video games than I do praying or reading His Word, I am indeed adding more and more garbage to that landfill.

Lately I've been learning that I can make daily changes to improve myself on the inside as well as the outside (taking better care of my health, home, soul, etc.), but I most certainly do and will continue to stumble and even fall flat on my face. Seeking that which is perfect is no easy goal, but it is one Christians are called to pursue. Yet no matter how many times I fail, the Lord still looks down on me with tender loving care and says,

But I still love you

Friday, April 24, 2009

Life post-op

Life post sinus surgery has had its ups and downs. Mostly down at first and now definitely up!Since last Friday, I have felt terrific! I truly didn't realize just how much of a toll my situation was on my family until my kids said excitedly, "You're going to church with us!?" Or, "You're not sick today Mommy?!" Ouch, and double ouch! Wesley actually told his teacher "Mommy took drugs and now she feels better." Um, Sheila, I promise I don't have a drug addiction!

The healing process has been so much faster than my previous surgeries. After two post-op doctor's visits, I've been cleared (pun intended!) to blow my nose again and for all intents and purposes, resume a normal life.

Well, if by "normal" you mean spending too much time in pain and in bed, then no thank you!

Maybe we'll try to redefine normal...I have always been one to love change, so I think we'll work on that.

WGH has already noticed a big change in me. Albeit one that he DOESN'T like. It seems that with this new life sans headaches, I have really taken to this whole
FlyLady thing. Things that I didn't notice before (or just didn't care) are really beginning to irk me: shoes left in the floor, laundry being draped over furniture instead of being put away, and the mother of all infractions NOT PUTTING DIRTY DISHES IN THE DISHWASHER!!! Short and sweet, anything getting between me and my shiny sink has become a big deal and of course, I would be remiss if I didn't remind him of it--ALL OF IT. Well, nevermind the fact that it might be misconstrued more like nagging. Not that I ever nag,

EVER.

So maybe this shiny sink business isn't such a great idea...

The words sink and Nazi keep running through my head. My kids even have taken up my new mantra: "A clean house is a happy house." They chant it as they pick up their toys.


Seriously.

I feel almost a bit cultish in this attitude. The sad thing is that I haven't even made it through a whole Baby Steps cycle yet!

And I haven't even mentioned my
Control Journal yet...we'll save that for another day. It needs a whole post for itself.

The up side to this OCD attitude is that for the most part (the kids' playroom and bedrooms NOT included) at any given moment, someone can stop by and I won't feel utterly humiliated in letting them in my house. So bring on the visitors! We are hoping to throw a mini birthday party for my precious Uncle Ross tonight. Maybe I'll host!

I have millions of pictures of the kiddos to share, but I'll try to keep it to a scant few. These are "Easter" pictures. That means we are pretending that I took these pictures at Easter instead of a week later. Never fear grands and other family. These are also "school pictures" for this year (well, the individual ones are different) because 1) the school pictures were not so hot, and 2) the photographer totally forgot to take Jilly's picture after their sibling picture! Oh well, mine are MUCH cheaper!


While listening to KSBJ the other day, I heard a quote that really hit home for me. So I'll leave you with the awesome words of missionary Jim Elliot:

"Wherever you are,

be all there."

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sisters, Stellan, Surgeries, Shiny Sinks, and Sunshine

To say that I have been neglecting my blog in an understatement! Excuses seem to flow forth like a rushing river, but they are still mere excuses. Nothing more, nothing less. So I will give you the "short version" of the latest goings-on in our chaotic as of late household.

SISTERS

Yes, I have four of them, but as of this past weekend, I now have THREE MORE! "The Amazing Race" pretty much sums up SBC's 2009 Ladies' Retreat. All I can say is "Wow!" What an amazing time with amazing ladies. My new sisters, Lori, Jenny, and Michelle, are some of the most phenomenal women I have met and I look forward to sharing and learning with them as we continue on our own Amazing Races. Each one of us is different in complimentary ways, but these differences seem to intertwine into the makings of a beautiful friendship. They are truly kindred spirits. Together we laughed, cried, prayed, and ATE CRICKETS. That's right! We ate crickets! But eating those little critters earned us 3rd place in the Amazing Race! I would be remiss if I claimed we did not hesitate, but we had come so far that there was no turning back. I am so proud of Jenny, who confessed earlier in the week that she was terrified of eating strange things! Here is a visual for those of you who may not believe me:



STELLAN

For those of you following the story of MckMama and her little Stellan, you know that they have a long road ahead of them. This remarkable woman has impacted thousands upon thousands of bloggers and mommies around the world (including this one!) as evidenced by this news story.

Please continue to pray for them and the rest of her Many Small Children (who all have the flu). To follow her blog, click here.


SURGERIES

Part of my "excuse" for being behind in blogging, is that I've been preparing to have sinus surgery. This is nothing new to WGH and me, as this is my third surgery in 10 years. This go around, I will undergo a submucosal resection which will reduce the size of things in my nose called turbinates, and functional endoscopic sinus surgery which will flush out the built up gunk in my frontal sinuses (the forehead area). Fun stuff right?! The surgery is scheduled for April 7th, at 8:30 am. Please pray for me (obviously) but also WGH as he tends to all the "mommy things" that I normally handle!

SHINY SINKS

Even though I am a little behind on my FLYing, I still maintain a shiny sink (see picture below!). Much to my pleasant surprise, WGH even kept the sink shiny for me while I was off eating crickets (see SISTERS above)! Life seems to be getting easier on the FlyLady program. Areas of my home which haven't seen the light of day in quite some time (the proof is here) are now not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing. They seem to call to me, "Danielle, come work on that scrapbook page here!" or "Danielle, that vase of flowers would look great over there!"

Okay, so maybe my desk and dresser aren't communicating to me on a deeper level, but I certainly am drawn to maintain their natural (aka clean & clutter free) beauty!

My plan is to post the after pictures of these areas before my surgery, but as WGH reminded me as I'm writing this, "You sure have been chasing a lot of butterflies here lately." Well, duh! For now, bask in the glow that emanates from my gloriously shiny sink!


Lori, if you read this, I still am interested in being FLY accountable with you, but can't seem to leave comments on your blog. If anyone else is interested, please leave a comment and we'll try to find a date to start fresh all together!

SUNSHINE

We're about to go get some! If the weather is as fabulous at your home as it is here, go outside and chase some butterflies!