Monday, January 26, 2015

according to my stylists i have a lot of work to do

The last time I looked, I had three boys.
Boys who were interested in basketball, drinking soda and passing as much gas as possible.
I had no idea that these children consider themselves very fashion savvy and
have taken it upon themselves to get me ready for the red carpet every morning
when I walk out the door.
Their commentary has left me breathless.
The other day when Addison, my eight year old, was sitting next to me on the couch,
he looked down at my shoes and raised his eyebrows.
I was wearing a pair of  women's brogues.

Worn with skinny jeans and a cute shirt, they are very stylish at the moment.
Or so In Style magazine says.
My son, on the other hand, said, "Ummm, Mom? Why are you wearing men's shoes?
Did you accidentally get them from the men's aisle of the store?"
"They are not men's shoes."
"They look exactly like men's shoes."
I gave him a withering look and said,
 "Just remember who feeds you, buddy. Be careful what you say."
I am not above silencing my critics with threats.
Will, the eleven year old, has been paying great attention to my hair.
He told me this week, "Mom, you know there is so much white in your hair right now."
"Really? Thanks for that."
He smiled lovingly, "Yep. I think you probably want to color it again soon....
because there is so much white."
He made sure to repeat it so that I wouldn't miss out on the fact that I have
SO MUCH WHITE in my hair at the moment.
In Will's mind my hair looks like this:

Jack is in junior high. Of all the boys, I would expect him to be the most
aware of fashion. He could care less about himself and what he wears.
But he is very aware of what I put on.
This past Christmas, I was singing a solo for an outreach at our old church.
I wanted to look festive.
I had on a red shirt and tried on a gold statement necklace with lots of charms.
I thought it was fun.
There was a general outcry when I walked out into the living room.
Will said, "Wow. That's a lot."
Addie hid his head in shame.
Jack took one look at me and said, "I pity the fool who wears that necklace."

So since I didn't want to look like Mr. T, I took off the necklace and wore
something more stop the heckling.
Scott remains silent about my fashion sense or says things like, "You always look beautiful."
Because he values our relationship and he doesn't want to be stabbed with
a pair of dangly earrings.
But today I am going with a pair of sweats and Pumas.
I just can't take the judgment from the peanut gallery on a Monday.
I am pretty sure they will approve.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

sometimes I forget I am a new creation

Last night was one of those mothering nights.
You know the kind where you lose your mind because you have asked
the children to do something 713 times and they still look at you like,
"Did you just say something?"
So you become a yeller
and you can tell by the expression on their faces
that you have become someone they no longer recognize
and they are clearly wondering if is there any chance in the near future
that "Nice" Mom might make a visit?
I put them to bed without kisses...not that they wanted any from me.
My back was so tense that I had to go do my rehab exercises
on my bedroom floor.
It was there doing leg stretches that I cried and had to ask Jesus to forgive me.
I don't think he is super fond of me yelling at his kids.
I think when Paul was telling the Corinthians that if they are in Christ,
they were a new creation,
the old had gone and the new had come,
some of them may have been struggling with yelling.
When we are talking to Jesus and being in him,
we can't hide from who we are or what we have done.
It all hangs out there. It's ugly.
But he can't work on that area in our hearts if we keep it to ourselves.
And for some reason, He keeps on loving us.
Even when we are mean.
It is hard to see ourselves for who we are.
Especially when we want so much to be the person we are created to be
i.e. non-yellers.
But slipping into that old skin of anger and selfishness and self-righteousness
is so much easier than asking Jesus to make me new.
I know how to do angry and irritated. I am pro.
But calm and logical in the face of blatant disobedience...not so much.
The kicker must be the "in Christ" part.
I have to be willing to invite him into the heat of the moment and say,
"Okay, what does being "new" look like in this moment?" or
"What words would you like to come out of my mouth right now?" or
"Does being a new creation mean that you would like me to take a time out
and do deep breathing exercises?"
Instead of giving in to the rush of emotion that overwhelmed me,
what would it have been like to feel the rush of his presence, holding me steady,
leveling me out with his peace and self-control?"
I can't change last night but I can let Jesus change who I am today.
Today is a new day.
We started out the morning with hugs and hot chocolate.
I told them,
"I was wrong last night to yell at you. I am so sorry I did that. I am going to get better at it."
Will kissed my cheek and said, "It's okay, I still have video games?"
Being a new creation is a daily business.
Sitting with Jesus, letting him see you for who are is an ongoing process.
Letting him work out his grace in your life and heart is like oxygen.
We have to have it on every moment of every day to live the new life that
he has for us.
So....let the grace flow and the good, new work begin.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

it's new and it's shiny and it's here

I love holidays.
I am a holiday kind of girl.
Give me a reason to dance or eat chocolate and I'm there.
But there is something pretty spectacular about New Year's.
Staying up late. Watching the ball drop. Sipping sparkly drinks.
Anticipating another year fresh and unsullied laying before us.
We don't know what the new year will hold but most of us are
excited about it and fingers crossed, hoping to leave some of the crud of
last year behind us.
The New Year is a fresh start.
It is the ultimate do-over. I love do-overs.
All the things I have messed up or missed out on, I want to fix this time around.
Maybe you are like me and head into the New Year with delusions of grandeur.
Like thinking you might become a triathlete by March when you haven't exercised
in 8 years.
Or maybe you would like to launch a new career...say in zoology...because honestly your
job feels like you are working in a zoo anyway.
Or maybe you want to change every single thing about your life the first week in January.
Okay, maybe that is just me.
Last year, I vowed to get strong and fit in the new year
and started a new eating and exercise plan.
By February, I had thrown my back out and was eating whole bars of chocolate
on the couch.
I also said I was going to FINALLY finish the kid's book I have been working on for
the last three years.
This December rolled around and I realized I still only have one chapter done.
But this is the
Sometimes all your plans and hopes and dreams get turned on their ear and
you are left thinking, "Well, this year sure didn't turn out like I thought it would."
Most of us can say that about some area of our lives last year but
you can still launch into this new year with great hopes....
And I think you absolutely should!
Because hope and joy and stamina and determination are the things that
keep us alive and breathing in this world.
But I have a thought for you.
Don't pin your every hope and dream on this shiny new year.
Pin them to the One who set the stars in place and and breathes life into everything he touches.
Don't feel like if you hit February and that new year feeling is slipping through
your fingers and your pants are still tight and you still don't have a regular
devotional time with Jesus that this year is shot and your chance at bright and shiny
is gone.
Jesus loves do-overs more than we do.
He is a do-over kind of God and He doesn't just wait until the New Year.
He wants to give you do-overs all year long.
It says in Lamentations 3:22-23:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
His mercies never come to an end.
They are new EVERY morning. 
Great is your faithfulness.
He is more excited about this New Year for you than you could ever know.
But He is equally excited about mid-April and late October.
He has new mercies for us each and every day and
his great faithfulness is at the ready to keep us lifted and full and sustained
no matter what this new year holds.
He sees our great hopes and giant dreams for this year and he says,
"Why don't you give me this year and let's see what we can do together?"
He is offering daily do-overs, steadfast love, never ending mercy
and unwavering faithfulness throughout.
I think we should take him up on his offer, don't you?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

breakfast conversation at our house is not for the faint of heart

This morning as the boys were sitting at the table eating breakfast Will said,
"Ewwww....someone wiped earwax on the table!"
Now this may be a surprise to some of you out there who have clean tables...
I will just let you know...I wasn't surprised. I live with 4 boys.
I was however grossed out.
"That is disgusting," I answered.
To which Addison piped up, "I like the smell of earwax."
"Addsion, that is gross!" I told him, wondering if he, in fact, was the earwax wiper.
"What? I do."
And then a big grin lit his face.
"I don't like how it tastes though."
Now it was my turn to yell, ."EWWWW!"
All the boys broke into laughter simultaneously.
"It tastes like hand sanitizer."
"Stop talking. Right now."
Two thoughts...when had he been licking earwax and what is the alcoholic content
of hand sanitizer? Was there a need to call poison control on either?
This sent the boys into expressing a stream of ideas of how Addie could use his
ear wax to sanitize the world.
Addie could be to earwax what George Washington Carver was to peanuts.
At this point, I gagged a little and walked out of the kitchen.
Sometimes it is just better to walk away.
I think I will skip breakfast this morning.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

the great Christmas snowball is trying to take you out!

photo credit: schamis

You know those cartoons where a person gets rolled over by a snowball and 
becomes a part of the snowball picking up enormous speed, 
gathering snow, getting larger and larger,
rolling down a few snow laden cliffs and a steep glacial drop
and when it finally rolls to a stop
all you can see is hands and feet sticking out of a mammoth ball of snow?
That person inside is me.
Those are my hands and feet waving at you from here in Redwood City, California.
I have been squashed by the Christmas snowball.
The snowball of expectations and activities that roar in the Friday after Thanksgiving
and don't die down until the New Year has been rung in.
So far I have ordered Christmas cards, 
purchased around half of the Christmas presents for my family,
organized the advent calendar,
decorated the house,
bought the tree,
decorated the tree,
marched in a Christmas parade,
gotten Christmas packages together for our World Vision kiddos,
picked out the songs for our kids carol sing along in church in two weeks,
made 17 gazillion lists of things that need be purchased,
errands to be run and good deeds to be tended to.
This is only the first weekend in December.
And I am through.
If you need me, I will be in bed until January.
Or maybe for another 15 minutes because then I have work on my book
that is on deadline in 7 days, and practice the worships songs for church this afternoon
and buy beef jerky for the gift box our church kids are sending overseas to a soldier
this Sunday.
Sometimes all the good things that we have planned take over our lives 
and pin us down so we can hardly breathe.
Maybe you have also been squashed by the Christmas snowball.
(I may have picked you up when I was rolling down the mountain of bills 
I was paying yesterday and the truckload of errands I was running this week...sorry about that.)
The Christmas snowball leaves some chaos in its wake.
There has been a lot of yelling at my house this week. 
Because the children don't realize that I am being squashed 
and that being squashed makes me yell.
I don't know if you knew this but your being squashed 
tends to flatten those around you, too. It's not pretty.
But here is the thing.
Almost none of these things that are flattening me or you are really Christmas.
They are all the trappings we have added to Christmas.
We don't need more parties, or decorations, or gifts, or worries, or expectations, or lists,
to be added to Christmas.
What we REALLY need is to breathe.
Air is really good right around Christmas time.
Try it. Right now. 4 deep breaths. 
Do you feel the tension easing up between your shoulder blades?
And we need some grace. For ourselves and others.
We need to let ourselves off of the hook and tell Martha Stewart 
(who may or may not have taken up residence in our brain) ,
"Even though hot chocolate made on the stove 
with organic sweet cream and bars of chocolate
garnished with peppermint sticks that you can use as straws 
and dollops of freshly whipped cream in matching Christmas mugs 
with shavings of chocolate made from free trade cacao beans imported from Colombia 
sounds lovely? 
Swiss Miss powdered packets with tiny hard marshmallows are making a comeback."
And we need to love people.
My husband just told me that we at least 8 hugs a day. He read it somewhere.
It sounds about right. 
You don't flatten people when you are holding them close to your heart.
And mostly, we need to remember Jesus.
The Savior.
Breath of Heaven.
Bright and Morning Star.
He loves us.
There is nothing snowballish about him.
He came so that we could be free...not flattened.
So breathe.
Grab some grace and spread it around.
Hug somebody.
And remember that the Light of the World loves you.
Completely. Wholly. Without reservation.
And that is real Christmas.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Tired Supergirl Christmas Bundle is here!

I am so excited to introduce the Tired Supergirl Christmas Bundle!

I love Christmas and I love giving presents. 

I even love wrapping presents.

There is something so fun about giving a gift 

and knowing that it is going to bring joy!

So this Christmas 

- for a limited time - 

you can buy the Tired Supergirl Christmas Bundle-

All I Need is Jesus and a Good Pair of Jeans

My Bangs Look Good and Other Lies I Tell Myself

I Blame Eve

And they will be delivered to your home (or your friend's home)

All 3 books

 beautifully gift wrapped

with a hand written Christmas Card from me!

( Did I mention that I like sending Christmas Cards, too? I do.)

Click Here 

by December 5 for the special price of 

$30 for all 3 books!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

some thoughts on the Author

Only 3 days until the Tired Super Bundle is unveiled on the tired supergirl site.
I am excited to share it with you. And I love this thought about how The Author
is still writing our story.

Please share this with anyone who is in the midst of their story and needs a reminder that
the good part is still coming.