Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Join Us!

Noah Steven
Originally uploaded by °Beth.
Today is a special day of prayer and fasting for Noah Steven.

Join us, and people all around the world, in any way you can. We’re asking God for a special miracle today!

Wouldn’t that be perfect on halloween?!

Monday, October 30, 2006

October Fun

Originally uploaded by °Beth.
The best way to eat a hogdog:

Take a bite out of the hotdog, then a bite out of the bun. Repeat until both are finished.

At least that’s the way Cole does it!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Love Is Kind

Cole and Nicholas
Originally uploaded by °Beth.
Nicholas, Cole and I were just leaving Walmart when the alarm went off. The older gentleman who always greets us at the door came over to check our loot. He asked if I had purchased any watches. I responded that as a matter of fact I had purchased two—getting an early jump on the Christmas rush!

He wouldn’t have had to mention it, but he did. His wife passed away in February . . . he wondered what Christmas would be like this year.

Such a sad note in his voice. Usually I see him only with a smile on his face. I expressed my sympathy at his loss.

After he gave us clearance, I walked into the parking lot with a heavy heart. So much hurt in the world—only One who can heal the brokenhearted.

As I loaded Cole and Nicholas in the van, I prayed for this sweet man. He has become a regular in my weekly routine. Maybe next time I will find more words than my usual, “hello”.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Warning: Serious Bragging Here

Originally uploaded by °Beth.
Yesterday I spilled bright cranberry nail polish on the carpet in my office. It wasn’t a little droplet or a small smudge . . . no, it was a hugely gargantuan, let’s start crying, ghastly blob covering the span of nearly 16 inches!

Smack dap in the middle of the room—no way to cover it with the desk or even my desk chair! It just stared at me with evil in it’s sticky red tentacles. Even Cole, with an exaggerated sing-songish voice, felt the need to inform me of my plight: “Mommy, I think you’re going to get in trouble.”

After considering the fact I really had nothing to lose (the carpet was pretty much ruined if left as was) I grabbed the first cleaning supply I could find in my nearby laundry room.

I don’t own their stock and I’m not making money on any hidden advertisements—but you’re gonna want to write this down: Mr. Clean’s Multi-purpose Cleaner (the orange one).

Though I had only used this product previously to mop my kitchen and bathroom floors, I POURED large amounts directly onto the stain and then scrubbed.

Much to my surprise my efforts were not in vain—the seemingly already dried mess was disappearing! I added a great deal of water as the soap suds was becoming quite dense. Then I simply vacuumed it all up with my Little Green Machine.

Although some might find it hard to believe (especially if you’ve ever spilled nail polish on carpet), that bright cranberry nail polish stain is COMPLETELY gone!

Who knew?! I have talent after all!!

(With a little help from Procter & Gamble)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Such A Generous Soul

Originally uploaded by °Beth.
Cole came in from playing outside and asked for a piece of bread.

Surprised I asked, “Without peanut butter or jelly?”

“Yes,” he said. “Just a plain piece of bread—I’m feeding the ants!”

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Thirteen Years Ago Today . . .

David and I
Originally uploaded by °Beth.
The majestic brilliant colors of Colorado seemed jubilant in praise as afternoon was slowly drifting into dusk. The Rocky mountains glistened as the western sun showered the front range with her last lingering rays of glorious radiance. Slowly we drove toward a favorite place overlooking a picturesque scene quite similar to a view from that famous, beloved musical where the hills are alive. Just to the east all of Denver could be seen as if this city of a million plus was nothing more than a quaint little village out of Dr. Seuss’ tale of how the Grinch stole Christmas.

Clasping my hand in his, David led me up the mountain path that lay before us. Reading from Proverbs 31 he described all the ways in which he cherished me.

Suddenly in our ascent, a small delicate obstruction interrupted our journey: A perfect crimson rose standing tall between a myriad of carefully placed rocks (I was beginning to get suspicious). David reached down and picked up the rose expressing his surprise to find such a treasure of beauty on this lone path we were treading—carefully noting it’s symbolic significance.

With delight I took the rose as my heart beat faster realizing this might not turn out to be just a casual stroll. David then directed my eyes just slightly of to the left where three other roses just like the first, created a small path into the brush. Taking a few steps to pick up each rose, I stumbled onto an entire bouquet of roses. We continued up the incline when it suddenly became apparent to my wondering eyes—the entire mountain was filled with carefully placed roses!

By the time we reached our destination of a seat of rocks on which to rest, I had no less than one hundred roses in my arms! Sitting together we bowed our heads in prayer. It was a holy moment. A hush filled the air in the grandeur around us. It seemed as if the angels leaned in close to listen.

Taking my hands in his, David asked me that ageless question a heart in love longs to hear, “Beth, will you marry me?” My mind whirled with the many words my brain had learned with which I could answer: da (Russian), duai (Chinese), ah-cha (Hindi), te-ke (Urdu), e-ye (Kazakh) . . . finally without further hesitation my mind came into focus and English would simply have to suffice—YES!

Friday, October 20, 2006

In God’s Hands

True confession: I’m a news junkie.

Most days the news can be a downer, but as of late it can be overwhelmingly bleak. If you’re tuned in you know—it seems as if the whole world has gone awry. Can’t help but wish my kids were growing up in a safer world.

I was thinking about the dismal state of affairs when a memory, almost forgotten, came flooding back.

After college I left my beloved state of Indiana for California—not exactly known for hometown hospitality or a low incidence of crime. My parents were more than a little nervous about this arrangement, but the way my mom always says it, they were “putting me in God’s hands.”

The day after I arrived I attended Jack Hayford’s congregation, Church on the Way with some friends. Even though there were over 6000 people in attendance, my parents actually caught a glimpse of me walking up the aisle toward my seat—they were watching the pre-recorded service that evening in their living room, 2200 miles away! My dad yelled out, “There’s Beth—turn on the VCR!”

Who knows what they were taping over, but in the fury of the moment they quickly hit record and now have a permanent reminder that God cares about the details.

Pastor Hayford is known for asking his congregation to turn to their neighbor and “tell them such and such, or ask them this or that.” Had an angel directed me to my seat? Am I magnetically drawn to TV cameras? This I don’t know. But several times throughout the service, while I obediently did just what Pastor Hayford asked, well the cameras rolled . . . and I was their spotlight.

Now that I’m a parent, I’m guessing that random, what’s-the-chances moment in time did my parents a world of good. It was like God was saying, “See, I am holding her in My hands.”

That particular tape is just collecting dust somewhere among the many in my parent’s guestroom closet. Yet even today the message resonates—though God is well aware of the nuclear activity of North Korea and the sneaky terrorist exploits of Iran, there is really only one safe place to reside . . . In His hands.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Smart, Cute . . . And Color-blind!

Originally uploaded by °Beth.
Last night Jon and Kelly came over with their daughter Jordan.

While the four of us played cards, Jordan and Ashley were drawing pictures. Ashley asked, “Hey Jordan, what color is your pencil?” Jordan called out, “Pink!”

Totally shocked I asked Kelly, “She knows her colors?” Kelly replied, “Oh sure. Hey Jordan, what color is Auntie Beth’s hair?” Jordan called out, “Pink!”

As it turns out, everything in Jordan's world is "Pink!"

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Kindergarten Memories

Ashley in kindergarten
Originally uploaded by °Beth.
It was Christmastime and we were visiting David’s parents. Displayed on the wall of their guest room were two self-portraits of David and his twin brother, Jon, from when they were in kindergarten. David pointed out that while his was pretty basic—stick figure with a head, Jon’s was rather elaborate with both dimension and detail.

Possibly these pictures would have never been given a second thought had David not chosen Elementary Education as his major at ORU. It was there he learned kindergarten students tend to draw pictures of themselves in stick figures. If they give shape and substance to themselves, it shows the child is quite bright and can function academically at a higher standard than what would be considered normal.

When my daughter Ashley came home from kindergarten one day with a picture of herself placing a star on top of a Christmas tree, I was more than delighted. The little figure was quite well done. Not only had she given shape, substance and a great amount of detail to herself—the picture was colorful and very pretty.

Like all good moms I hung it on the fridge. I might have been a little bit out of control, but I felt it only right to inform all of our Christmas guests about the little tidbit David had learned in college—obviously our little darling was showing great promise.

After Christmas when I was putting away all the ornaments and decorations, I decided the sweet picture needed to be preserved with all our other Christmas paraphernalia. As I gently removed it from the fridge Ashley asked, “Do you like that picture of me, Mommy?” “Oh yes,” I replied. “I like it very much!”

“I like it too,” she chirped. “My friend Megan drew it for me.”

Monday, October 09, 2006

Bubba Rage

Originally uploaded by °Beth.
We were driving to church. Matthew Ward was singing, How Great Thou Art. The mood was, in hindsight, ironically tranquil.

Just as we were turning into a gas station, Bubba, in a well worn red pickup, was pulling out. Apparently he missed the page in the Driver’s Ed manual about stopping and looking both ways before pulling out into oncoming traffic—he came ALARMINGLY close to hitting us.

Instead of recognizing his mistake and taking responsibility, he . . . let’s see, how do you say it in a family friendly blog . . . he told David in no uncertain terms, YOU’RE NUMBER ONE!” (Picture two hands, violent shaking, beet red face . . . )

Maybe it’s just me. I take such communication as signals—clues if you will: Take the blame, tell him you’re so sorry . . . and if that doesn’t work, drive away FAST!

Just when I was opening my mouth to congratulate David on handling the situation with maturity, grace and a great deal of self-control, David opened his door and called back to Bubba, “Is there a problem? Are you gonna be alright there, Big Daddy?”

Bubba responded by reving his engine a gazillion times, peeling out, circling around the station, burning a year’s worth of rubber off his tires and glaring at David who was now outside the van pumping gas.

While the kids in the back we’re questioning me as to what was going on, I was searching for a phone to dial 911—just in case.

At this point, David changed his MO and totally ignored the guy. Bubba and I made eye contact. Maybe he recognized I was close to calling for backup. Or maybe he was just starting to realize what an idiot he was being. Thankfully he peeled out of the station one last time and went on his way.

David finished filling up and got back in the van. He was waiting for the inevitable, “Was that really worth it” speech. I’ve recited that speech a million times . . . pretty sure David has it memorized. So instead I smiled.

Incredulous, he asked, “What’s so funny?”

Realizing I have now stumbled onto what is far more effective than worn out speeches, I replied, “Thank you for a great post!”

P.S. Just incase you were wondering, this was posted with permission of all parties involved . . . well, except for Bubba.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The New York Times

This newspaper is so liberal I often wish I had a subscription . . . just so I could cancel it!

But today . . .

Well let’s just say I’m calling a truce.

Cool Article: Front Page!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Caution: Very Serious Blog

Originally uploaded by °Beth.
Everytime I dial in, AOL offers me several news articles to tap into at my leisure. Today one caught my eye and click, click I learned Ms. Magazine will be publishing 1,016 names of women who are unashamed of the decision they made to have an abortion. They are sending a petition to Washington hoping to influence Congress, the White House and state legislators.

Nicholas is now seven weeks old. His chubby little cheeks never cease to make me smile. He loves to snuggle, listen to music, sleep and eat. He is just starting to focus with his eyes, and occasionally he will give a glimmer of a smile. I find myself wondering many times throughout the day what God’s plans are for this little one.

Sweet baby. There are not words to describe the depths of the love I have for him. I am so thankful for this gift from God and would hate to imagine my life without him.

I had other plans. I loved college and always intended to pursue higher education. Though I started a masters program, I never finished it . . . other things kept taking precedence.

Cole will be going to a full day K-4 class next fall. Because I love to be way out in front on being prepared, I had already made plans to go back to school when Cole started this program . . . once again my plans have been changed.

I have learned in life that God’s plans are far superior to mine. I wouldn’t trade Nicholas for all the doctorates in the world. All of my kids are the joy of my life. Without hesitation I would gladly give my life for them.

Most parents know exactly what I mean. They too share this deep down love—indescribable with words; overwhelming in depth.

I wonder at the 5000 women who have signed this petition thus far (they only had room for 1,016 in the article). Do they ever have sleepless nights wondering what contribution their child might have brought to the world? Do they ever have regret for a decision they can never undo?

I have a suspicion. In an attempt to quell such feelings of possible doubt, maybe it is easier to sign a petition stating the opposite—reaching out to find “strength” from others who have made the same choice . . .

For those of us who know differently, we are sad. We are sad for these women who bought into a lie. I’m sure there are many who suffer in silence trying to forget . . . while others sign petitions to boldly proclaim their lack of regret. Only God can bring peace to such self-inflicted sorrow.

But most of all, we are sad for the millions of little lives that will never know the light of day, never know what it is to breathe, and never know the feeling of sweet safe contentment found only in their mother’s arms.