Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thanks for listening

I am here to report great news, everyone. My little memo to the blogosphere has been heard. (insert a standing ovation to those teachable hearts...)

Today was errand day.

I had to go to Target to return something. I had to stop by our previous pediatrician's office and request they "release" my kids medical records. I needed to go to the dum dum duuuuuummmm....Grocery store (scream like you've just seen Godzilla!) And, to add insult to injury, we'll just say there was derision amongst the four of us. Mommy was nearly at the breaking point and yet was exposing all of us to prime conditions for patience-testing behavior.

Then, something miraculous occurred. Or, I should say, several miraculous occurrences followed.

The customer service lady at Target drooled over Natalie in her little papoose and eagerly gave stickers to the grabby little hands whose little voices were demanding and forgetting to say please.

After deciding (rightfully) that I should NOT leave the kids in the car while I ran into the doctor's office to take care of the paperwork, we arrived to a locked door. They were all at lunch. No wonder doctor's are always behind. Tsk, tsk. But, then.....serendipity! The doctor's husband shows up and works magic. He gets me inside. The nurse is friendly and understanding. She gets that I'm handicapped--three kids and two hands.

Side note: What a shame mothers don't grow extra arms for all the kids they have, then the "hands full" comment would be totally eliminated! Even better to be like Elasti-girl from The there's my superhero dream power!

And, finally, it must have been declared an official Just Say No day to the "You've Got Your Hands Full" comments at HEB because I didn't hear it once. Instead, one lady told me my family was beautiful--even after Meira kept (as in more than once, twice, thrice...) pointing at and mentioning her gold front tooth. That nearly made me cry right in the middle of the produce section. Another lady told me, "Don't apologize. I think it's great" after I said sorry for blocking her exit from her car while I unloaded each kid and struggled to get Natty situated in the papoose. Blessedly shocking, I know.

God is merciful. His hand of grace marks every aspect of our lives. I am deeply thankful for that truth. Even on days when all I hear is "You've got your hands full!!!"

Sunday, January 17, 2010

National Slavery Human Trafficking Prevention Month

South Africa's New Slave Trade and the Campaign to Stop It (thanks Constance for the article link)

January is National Slavery & Human Trafficking Prevention month. Be informed. Slavery is not an issue of the past but a ubiquitous and horrific reality TODAY. And it's not just a problem of third-world, war torn Africa. Pick a country, any country, and I guarantee you will find humans being bought and sold!

It's easy to feel hopeless in the face of such wickedness. It's easy to get caught up in our own daily disasters. If you heart is moved by this information, then please take the next step. Do some reading. Visit some of the websites below and take action.

Some books we've read:
A Crime So Monstrous by Benjamin Skinner
Just Courage by Gary Haugen (founder of IJM)
Good News about Injustice by Gary Haugen
Terrify No More by Gary Haugen

Here's are the websites to organizations that are in the business of seeing an end to modern-day slavery and can empower you to take action.

Psalm 10

Why, O LORD, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor; let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised.

For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul,
and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the LORD.

In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek Him;
all his thoughts are, "There is no God."

His ways prosper at all times;
Your judgments are on high, out of his sight;
as for all his foes, he puffs at them.

He says in his heart, "I shall not be moved;
throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity."

His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;
under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.

He sits in ambush in the villages;
in hiding places he murders the innocent.

His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;

he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket; he lurks that he may seize the poor; he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net.

The helpless are crushed, sink down, and fall by his might.

He says in his heart, "God has forgotten,
he has hidden his face, he will never see it."

Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up Your hand;
forget not the afflicted.

Why does the wicked renounce God
and say in his heart, "You will not call to account"?

But You do see, for You note mischief and vexation,
that You may take it into your hands;
to You the helpless commits himself;
You have been the helper of the fatherless.

Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer;
call his wickedness to account till You find none.

The LORD is King forever and ever;
the nations perish from His land.

O LORD, You hear the desire of the afflicted;
You will strengthen their heart;
You will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Those stinkin' New Year's Resolutions

I recently had the oil changed in my car. My uber-friendly service man asked me with twinkle in his eye and sparkle in his smile if I had any New Year's Resolutions. I replied, "Uh, no." Then, I thought to myself "I kind of stopped making those after high school and after so many, well, failures."

However, truth be told, there's just something about the advent of a new year that gives all your unmet ambitions a little bit of jump start. Maybe it's the cool temperatures. Maybe it's all those subliminal or not so subliminal messages on the radio, TV, even Facebook. It's probably psychological as well as cultural. Whatever the explanation, the phenomenon exists. Can you really say you don't feel it too??

I will admit it. That freshness in the January air invigorates me. I normally like to make to-do lists and the past few days (thanks to this New Year Phenomena) my mind has just been spinning; brewing up all kinds of new things to try or re-try and I am writing them down, making lists.

So, just to shake things up a bit and be like my husband (keeping everyone guessing--he hates being put in a box), I've come up with a bunch and filtered it down to a few of those elusive resolutions for this year:

Ta daa!

1. Actually write in those three journals I bought over 6 months ago. The idea was to record those precious, fleeting moments of my sweet children's every day life as well as my prayers for them--one book per kid. What treasure it will be someday, I thought!

2. Read the entire Bible in one year along with my cute hubby. We've got a plan, thanks to our friends at Park Church in Denver, and bookmarks, and so far we are right on track.

3. Brush my teeth TWICE a day. I know, I know. Here's to better dental hygiene in 2010.

4. Learn to sew. I am finally moving beyond sewing a button on a shirt. Hopefully.

5. Work out regularly, for the sake of my spinal health. Cliche, I know, but still valid.

I think that's plenty. Five is a good, manageable number.

I'll let you know how the whole brushing the teeth thingy goes. On second thought, maybe I won't. That could be embarrassing.