Sunday, December 30, 2012

Who's The Big Baby?

I am blessed beyond measure, and there are so many reasons why I was so close to not having what I have today. Caleb was so early, that if he'd been born 50 years ago or in a country with less fancy medical care, he would be dead. During my pregnancy, I had low progesterone, and required supplements in order to keep him around and growing. The previous pregnancy wasn't so lucky. How did I convince RB to marry me? And move to Austin? And love me when I was going through the mental torment that was getting divorced? And it keeps going. But mostly, my days are just stuffed full of feelings of overwhelming thankfulness that all those turns came together to give me what I have today.

And so, I've become that person that cries at the drop of a hat. Movies that used to make me reflect now make me boo-hoo all over the place. I rewatched the last Harry Potter movie recently, and the whole Snape retrospective just made me bawl my eyes out. The heartwarming stories in an issue of Reader's Digest cause me to tear up. And then, most recently, I was rocking Caleb to sleep with some music on a random setting, and "Puff, the Magic Dragon" queued up. If you haven't heard this song before, here it is for you:
So, in the third verse, after Puff and Jackie Paper have been having a frolicky good time for years, Jackie no longer has the time or imagination for Puff.
A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.
And that verse just got to me. The idea that a little boy would grow up and cease to care about his dragon and that dragon would lose his will to be dragon-like? Heartbreaking. My little Caleb will grow up to not have time or interest in his momma and this perfect family we've got going on here? No way. Can't even imagine that.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Torturing Caleb

One of the pieces of advice I was given at my shower was:
"Don't try to make a happy baby happier."
I ended up having Caleb the next day (story for some other time), but I remembered this little gem. As he's gotten older and more interactive, he is definitely a happy baby. We enjoy talking to him and dive bombing him and whatever, and he just smiles and laughs. He only cries if he's tired or hungry, so we can usually manage to help him out with one or the other, and otherwise he's content to be sitting in his chair in the kitchen with us, or laying on the couch, or pretty much whatever.

And so, I don't try to make him happier. We aren't changing formulas or his bedtime routine or worrying about whether he's sleeping in his crib or our bed. However, I do seem to be trying to test just how happy he really is. How do I do that? By torturing him frequently. These are some of the things I do to try and make him an unhappy baby.

  • Clip his fingernails. Mostly I try to clip his nails while he's sleeping so he doesn't move while I do it. However, sometimes he wakes up a little, and I have clipped his little finger skin instead. And, clearly, that hurts. And he whimpers for a minute or two, and then he's good again. FAIL
  • Give him his vitamins. If you smelled these things, you'd see why he makes a face. The smell is very familiar, so I'm sure I had these same vitamins, and I remember eventually just giving in, since I wasn't going to be allowed to not have them. Caleb is getting there, already. So, after making that face, he swallows the thick brown liquid and goes back to finish up his bottle quite contentedly. FAIL
  • Wake him up in the morning. I try to let him sleep until he wakes up, but during the week, a girl has got to get to work. So, sometimes I have to rouse the little man from a deep slumber. Five minutes later I'll be changing his diaper or clothes and he'll look at me and flash me an enormous grin. FAIL
  • Give him breathing treatments. He has had this same cough for going on six weeks. I kept taking him to the doctor, and eventually she decided it was bad enough and persistent enough that it was time for medicine. So, we have a nebulizer for administering treatments that are supposed to help us finally kick this cough. And while they are helping (slowly, but helping), he does not like that mask thing when we put it on his face. After 5 minutes or so, though, he settles in, snuggles up, and falls asleep. FAIL
  • Take him to get shots. Eh. These are more stressful for me than for him. The first time he cried for nearly a minute. This last time? He didn't cry at all. FAIL
I'm sure there are other things, but these are the ones I can think of this morning while in my sleepy fog. And I will do a lot more things than this over the years (geesh! I haven't even dropped him yet -- give me time!). Don't worry...I know how lucky I am to have this little boy with a sweet disposition in my life. Here's hoping that continues into his teenage years.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Responding Responsively

Continuing in my Online Bible Study on the book "Greater", this week we are looking at the life of Elisha. Not Elijah, the one everyone knows, but Elisha, his successor. I knew he was a prophet, and I knew he watched Elijah being taken up to heaven in a chariot, but beyond that, I really didn't remember much of anything about him. In reading about Elisha's calling, there were several other stories that came to mind. Let's start with this passage from 1 Kings about God calling Elisha through Elijah:
"Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah." (1 Kings 19:19b-20a)
First, I'm wondering if I were Elisha, would I know what that cloak being thrown on me meant? Or would I slink out of it thinking, "Ew. I hope that dude doesn't have lice!" and go back to those plowing oxen. However, I'm forced to notice that whole thing about Elisha running after Elijah.

Check out this passage, from Matthew, about the calling of Simon Peter and Andrew to be Jesus' disciples:
"Immediately they left their nets and followed him." (Matthew 4:20)
There's a speed word there, too -- "immediately." Not once they were done fishing for the day, not after they'd cleaned and sold the fish they were in the process of catching, not this weekend. Immediately.

Then, I was thinking about the night that God called to Samuel, which he mistook for voice of the priest, Eli. Was he speedy about his response, too?
"Then the Lord called Samuel, and he said, 'Here I am!' and ran to Eli." (1 Samuel 3:4-5a)
There's that word "ran" again -- all these people running to the call of God. And then, of course, there's what happens when God's call isn't heeded:
"Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 'Arise, go to Nineveh...'. But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord." (Jonah 1:1-2a,3a)
He went fast, just in the wrong direction. I feel sad about the amount of time I've spent in my life going the wrong direction. Sometimes, that's because I didn't understand what I needed to do, but sometimes I was just like Jonah and willfully disobedient. It may have taken a while, but I think I'm back on a path closer to what God wants for me. I still have some course correction needed, but at least I don't think I need a 180 anymore. I still need some help discerning what a cloak being thrown on me might mean, but I'm becoming more open to not just dropping it to the ground.

We were given three topics to choose from for the BlogHop for this OBS. I'll tell you, I was planning to write about a time I heard God's voice and how I knew it was Him and what I did in response. However, as I started writing, I kept coming back to this topic about responding at once. Do you think that's God's voice trying to tell me something? I think I better get ready to jump!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

It's Time for Greater

I have launched into my first online Bible study after reading about them for a while. In this study, we're reading the book "Greater" by Steve Furtick, and each week we have assignments and discussions around the chapters of the book.

While it took me a little longer to dust off this blog and get in back in working order (there sure were a lot of comments in Chinese and Russian!), this post constitutes my assignment for last week. Today, I'm looking at what a "Greater" life for God would look like.

While I'm not precisely sure what God has in mind for me, I'm excited to push my way out of a mediocre life, and towards one that is better than what I'm living today. Life is pretty good right now, don't get me wrong, but I'm doing a lot of selfish living instead of watching for the indicators of what bigger things God has in store for me.

I have opportunities to do more each day -- as a wife, as a mother, as a friend, in my church, in my community. It might mean taking a meal to someone who's been sick or sending a card to someone who's celebrating a milestone. It means reaching out to pray intentionally for someone that I know is struggling, and letting them know that I've done so. It means pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone -- not shredding it quite yet, but pushing on those edges -- to speak about the wonderful things God has done for me. And maybe, just maybe, God will be able to show me how He wants to use me. And maybe I'll be ready to see it.

And that's pretty much what I'm learning as I read this book so far. It's not about being the next Billy Graham or Martin Luther. It's about listening a little better and doing a little more than I planned to each day -- building on small successes toward something I can't even imagine. So, here I am...starting small and putting this out there in the big, bad internet.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


So, I'd abandoned this place of writing for a very long time. Three and a half years to be exact. Wow. Lots has changed in that time, and I think it's time to resurrect this for a few reasons. I doubt anyone is still following this thing, but in case they are, welcome back! Hmm....Here's the quick update. GB and I officially got divorced. We still keep in touch -- he's remarried with a one-year-old, and doing well -- but we're both happier not to be married to each other. Me? Well, I moved back to Austin, married this guy (I'll call him "RB") here, and had a baby (who I will call "Caleb" here) this past July. Names changed to protect the guilty, here. You never know what people do with stuff they find on the internet and all that. Anyway, it's been crazy, but the result is pretty much awesome. And now I'm back. I'm pretty sure this blog will look different, but it's still me.