December 10, 2017

December 10, 2017

After church today, Songbird and Hubby’s conversation turned to green peas. Don’t ask me why. I don’t eat green peas. Neither does Hubby. We’ll eat them with the corn, beans, and sausage in our soup. We’ll tuck them under the crust of our chicken pot pie with the other veggies. But plop a spoonful of plain green peas beside our pork chops, chicken, ribs, or roast? Perish the thought. Not my fam, Sam-I-Am. My mama cooked field peas or black-eyed peas with ham hocks or other meat, but she didn’t make me eat a lot of green peas. So, I didn’t develop the habit or the taste buds to eat them. And since neither Hubby nor I eat green peas, our little people don’t eat them, and it’s unlikely they’ll serve them to my grand peeps. It’s going to take the love of a son- or daughter-in-law to introduce the hidden beauty of green peas into their life. Now, what does this have to do with Jesus (because you know it does)? I don’t really care if they eat green peas, what some call the “world’s healthiest food.” We supply enough collards, cabbage, green beans, kale, zucchini, and broccoli to make up for it. What I care about most is that they serve the greatest God. I want to witness the blessings of Jesus coming out rather than the benefit of peas going in. My folks passed down a healthy helping of faith. They took me to church—dragged me, if you will—on Sunday mornings, New Year’s Eve, and Wednesday nights. I sang in the junior choir, sat through Sunday school, and attended VBS. I admit I...
Sipping from the Saucer

Sipping from the Saucer

Scrolling through old family pictures reminded me of that Christmas we learned that Number Six was on the way. Hubby and I were wide eyed. We asked ourselves, “How did this happen?” All we could do was shake our heads. In fact, now that I think about it, we’d shaken our heads in wonder and disbelief with Numbers 4 and 5 as well (we take full responsibility for TD). Admittedly, most of our “wonder” was fear in disguise. We balked at our family’s response to our happy news, calculated the age we’d be once all our peeps graduated, imagined how my body would look and feel when all was said and done, wondered what kind of car would hold us all (because it wasn’t the one parked in the driveway). Once we took a deep breath and hitched up our big boy and big girl pants, we remembered, “Oh, yeah, that’s right! Our father is the King. He’s got this.” Since then, we’ve sat back and enjoyed the ride—that bumpy, twisty-turny, forty-foot-drop-filled, uphill chugging, rollercoaster-simulating, tearful, and thrilling ride of our lifetime. I wouldn’t change a thing—well, nothing major, but I’m only human. And do you know what blows my mind? No, it’s not the cost of paying for seven college educations or the length of seven Christmas lists. It’s that if I’d had my way, I wouldn’t have chosen any of this. My choice was settling down with the three children I’d agreed on and watching them skip off to a yellow school bus while I edited my way through a satisfactory life. Yet God. His way has been beyond...
Grace Under Covers

Grace Under Covers

This morning, all I can think about is this old nursery rhyme I used to read to Crusader: “Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town, Upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown, Tapping at the window and crying through the lock, Are all the children in their bed, for now it’s eight o’clock?” Or something t’other, as my character, Granny B, might say. Well, that poem about sums up my week thus far. Yesterday, I was running upstairs and downstairs, through the town, and checking on little people late into the night. Now I’ll spend the day in my nightgown, or something equally comfy. I have moaned and groaned over this weakness, frittering away valuable time, fretting over the whys and hows. But not today. Today, I’m choosing to see this day in bed, on the sofa, on my chaise, or in my seat in front of the fireplace as an opportunity, a gift forced upon me by the God Who knows my need. Really, Robin? You need weakness, achiness, and pain? I suppose so, at least today. It means I can’t run around cleaning, washing, instructing, and hustling, carrying out that whole upstairs-downstairs routine of life. The only part of me that’ll make it up or down today is my voice, yelling, “Can someone bring me my charger?” and “Play with TD!” Yesterday, I reached into the barrel and scooped out the grace I needed to do all that, plus get my party on with my little girlies to boot. It was enough. Today, I scooped out my daily grace using that same measure, but it served a different purpose: I get to write a post, read,...
October 15, 2017

October 15, 2017

Today was all about transformation. For one, we changed up our routine to have an early birthday celebration. Breakfast was inspired by Chick-Fil-A’s breakfast bowl: a layering of block potatoes, scrambled eggs, chicken, bacon, and cheddar cheese. This breakfast bar pleased everyone (now, that’s a change) because you could get a lot of something, or a little, or none at all. Hubby topped his with diced tomatoes and ketchup (of all things), but I stuck with the potatoes, bacon, chives, and cheese. And don’t worry, my more health-conscious friends, we ended our day with a vegetable: sweet potato pound cake. Change was the subject of our Sunday school lesson as well. We talked about our natural tendencies to satisfy self, “be happy,” and seek acceptance. Then we applied the truths of Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 5:17, which show how God replaces the natural with His supernatural love of others, joy despite circumstances, and rejection of the world’s offerings. The old becomes new. We prayed for this newness of heart, to see more of Him and less of us. “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:9) Reverend Livingston’s sermon was the powdered sugar on our cake. He inspired me to change my response to testing: to persevere instead of giving up and to “be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” (James 1:19) It goes against my nature to seal my lips, not to complain, fuss, or wail, to use my faith as a defense rather than my lips as...
Driving Home the Message

Driving Home the Message

Riding with Brown Sugar is a singular experience. Talk about quiet. And it’s not because she’s tap-tap-tapping on a device, reading a book, or playing with a toy. She’s not even singing along to the radio. Every now and then she’ll pipe up with, “Could you turn it up?” or “Will you play that song again?” or “Can we stop at McDonald’s?” Even then, I have to strain to hear her soft voice. But other than a request or two, she’s just…quiet. As one introvert riding with another, it’s a beautiful thing. Our drives serve as a retreat of sorts for us both. I emerge from the car refreshed; I don’t feel like my ears have had a workout. I get time to ponder the mysteries of the universe, mentally compose my next blog post, focus on the directions, consider the next day’s activities, fret over yesterday’s, or just enjoy the music. And of course, I get to wonder what’s on Brown Sugar’s mind. Yes, sometimes, my mommy curiosity leads me to break our fast of silence. I don’t pepper her with questions; I simply sprinkle an inquiry every few miles: “Are you okay? What are you thinking about? Did you enjoy practice?” To which she replies: “Yes. Nothing. Yes.” There’s certainly more substance in the stillness. Indeed. It’s surely hard to hear Brown Sugar in our family’s day-to-day—during the jockeying for position at the dinner table, the scramble for the truck’s middle seat, the complaints over schoolwork, the requests for Friday movie choices, the cheers during the games, in the schmear of attention we spread over each little person. We...