on the way, at, and after

On the way to church Rich was driving like a bat out of hell because we were running late, and my markers that were on my lap flew down in the crack by my seat. I reached my hand down there (it wasn’t easy, the crack is very narrow) and pulled out……..LEGS. I couldn’t believe it. I expected a marker and got legs of all things.

At church, I asked Ethan, “You’re not squeezing into the family pew today?” and he said, “Nope, we tried this on Christmas Eve and we liked it so we’re doing it again today.” Alrighty then.

After church I had Grace take my picture so you could see what I wore today. I’m also wearing a slip AND pantyhose.

green dress

The Sunday before Christmas, when the majority of the church people wear festive colors. I like to see the men in fun ties, too. The church is decorated with trees and poinsettias, candles and greenery, lights and garland. We sing hymns and listen to Scriptures proclaim the glories of God, His son, born a King, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

I said before that I would post my Sunday outfits. I’m sorry I did not do it last week but by the time we got home from church I was worked up over thoughts of the Sunday School lesson, I won’t get into it, it was meant well and was an important study, but for me it was a trigger from years ago attending a legalistic church. We are now attending a very healthy grace-filled humble little church and thriving, but last Sunday I was in tears once again over past hurts. So I took my clothes off without a photo. I wasn’t in the mood.

But today, this morning, Sarah took these photos for me, wasn’t that nice of her? And the last one of the back of my hair, I had a “peekaboo” blue dye put in on Friday. I love it. It’s very subtle and almost unnoticable but it’s enough for me!

I’ve had the green dress for years, I bought it at anthropologie. I think maybe it will remain in style always, don’t you?

“I just want my hair long this morning.”
“MOM! Brush from the bottom to the top.”
“PONYTAILS!???”
“I promise if you don’t like them you can rip them out.”
“That sounds painful.”
“You look adorable.”

She kept them in.

Lillian, on the way to church. (Grace’s middle name is Lillian and I like to use it once in a while.)

Grace and Michael C sang a duet today. We got to church early so they could run through the song and I took this photo because Seth and Sarah were near their sister, listening. Seth made us laugh because all of a sudden he was inspired enough to make his face and hands look like he was singing an opera song (for a few seconds) mimicking his sister. Goof.

Here is their song, I can’t wait to hear what Kara thinks of it! ūüôā

Naturally, we thought they sounded brilliant.

Caleb and our pastor, Gary, rocking their bowties.

This year’s family photo, just taken today a few hours ago……..

And one with dear Brittnee, too. Someday I hope she really is an Ives (shhhhhhhh!) but either way, she will always by one of my “adopted” ones.

We got our tree. We cut it down on Friday, it was so friged that I made a beeline to the very first tree I thought might look good enough and that’s what we cut down. It’s beautiful and perfect. The children helped decorate, it wasn’t peaceful or magical but it was real and messy and family and fine.

Grace is sound asleep on the couch by her Dad, who is listening to a sermon on his ear pods. Michael and Jacob are leading the children in a nerf fight (I’ve heard things like “I’m bleeding out” whilst I type). Ethan and Dave are sitting in chairs and talking to each other. My heart is at rest, I am holding and treasuring each moment in my heart, and refusing to eat anymore Christmas cookies for the rest of the day.

I love you, dear friends.
May your days be merry and bright.

connecting (quote)

God gave me a book on Saturday. ¬†I wasn’t looking for it. ¬†I went into the thrift store and aimlessly browsed, I chose the book (and a few others, too) after briefly flipping through it. ¬†I started reading it at home and instantly I was mentally thanking and praising God and underlining everything with a nice sharp pencil….this book is solidifies some important things I’ve been thinking about in regards to kinship, belonging, and organized church. ¬† At just at the right time, God gave me more words, more ideas, and in the form of a book (He knows how I love to read because He made me). ¬†(I payed one dollar for five books and a little box for Grace). ¬† So this book cost me about 20 cents. ¬†I love it, I love how He operates.

*****

An acquaintance of mine tried to commit suicide. ¬†What he did should have killed him, but he survived. ¬†I was asked to help. ¬†For more than six months I worked with this man in therapy. ¬†Even now I recall the session-I think it was the tenth-where I came up with an insight that put so much of his pain into new perspective. ¬†I remember him saying, “How on earth did you figure that out?” ¬†I humbly shrugged and said, “Hope it helps.”
¬† ¬† ¬†In the middle of our work together, I happened one spring day to be driving through the local college campus and saw my depressed client sitting on the grass with a friend. ¬†They were laughing. ¬†I’m not clear why, but I felt a strong desire to join their good time.
¬† ¬† ¬†Every reason why I shouldn’t join them ran instantly through my head–too much to do, it would be awkward, even unprofessional, to socialize with a client–but the words of my friends over breakfast came back to me. ¬†Was I afraid to just be with this man, to take off the Dr. Crabb white coat, to stop being an expert, and offer myself as a person?
¬† ¬† ¬†On an impulse, I stopped my car, walked over to where they were sitting, their backs toward me. ¬†When I got close, they heard my footsteps, and turned. ¬†I greeted them both, then said to my client, “How are you?”
¬† ¬† ¬†Picture what it would be like to have your therapist, while you’re in the middle of treatment for suicidal depression, walk up to you in a casual setting and ask, “How are you?”
¬† ¬† ¬†He wrinkled his face into ¬†serious expression, coughed a few times, then said, “Well, maybe a little better. ¬†Still really worried about…..”
¬† ¬† ¬†I interruped. ¬†“I don’t mean, ‘How are you doing with your struggles:’ ¬†I’m just sociably asking how you’re doing.”
¬† ¬† ¬†He replied, “You mean, like, ‘Fine, thanks’?”
¬† ¬† ¬†“Yes, exactly!”
¬† ¬† ¬†“In that case, fine, thanks. ¬†Can you join us?”
¬† ¬† ¬†“Sure I’ve got some time.”
¬† ¬† ¬†For the next thirty minutes I didn’t say one intelligent thing. ¬†I just enjoyed two friends.
     Three years later I met him for coffee during a trip to the town where he was then living.  He was doing well.  At one point in our conversation he thanked me for my influence on his life.  I asked what he remembered that had helped the most.  There was no hesitation.
¬† ¬† ¬†“It was that half hour you sat on the grass with me and my friend and just chatted.” ¬†He was warmly smiling.
¬† ¬† ¬†I was indignant. ¬†“Don’t you recall that life-changing insight I came up with in the tenth session of therapy?”
¬† ¬† ¬†“Uh, no, I don’t. ¬†Can you refresh me?”
     I believe that the work we did in therapy was important.  But I also believe that the time I most clearly led with my heart rather than my head was the time of greatest power.

page 35 of Connecting, by Larry Crabb

 

John 12:12=24

Yesterday at church Seth was sitting close by my side, just where I like him to be.  I gave him a pen and paper to give him something to do and it soon became apparent to me that his mind was occupied with, not religious matters, but mathematics.  He was busy writing a story during the sermon and this is what it said:

The lazy Dog by Seth

Captr One 

Once thar was a dog the dog was rily smart. ¬†The dog new what 100 + 100 is and 200 + 200 is but one day the dog didint no what something was and it was 100 + 800 and he thinnked and thinnked but he couldn’t do it so he ascked the techer. ¬†The techer didn’t now so the techer thincked and thincked and the techer got it and it was 900. ¬†

Chapter 2

The techer was smorter then the dog the techer new wat 100-15 was it was 85.

That was all he was able to get done during the sermon. ¬†It was quite a laborious task for him. ¬†He whispered a couple of questions to me when he needed some help with it. ¬†One question was “How do you spell ‘what'”(he didn’t care about the other words) and the other was “What is 100 minus 15?”

He informed me that it will be 90 chapters long. ¬†To which I replied, “90-2=88”

Then he told me that he knew what 12 plus 12 was.  He told me this after staring at the sermon text for a while.

DSC_0144