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April Rose Thoughts….

June 10, 2009

I thought about saying nothing concerning this topic because I don’t want to contribute to the noise swirling around. I guess in some ways it’s really none of my business, but I do have a few thoughts that I want to share about this “scandal”.

For those of you who are reading and saying “what the heck is she talking about” Let me briefly fill you in. A blog was started in March or April of this year by a young mother named “B” who wished to remain anonymous and wanted to chronicle her pregnancy with a baby that had been diagnosed as terminal or “not compatible with life”. This blog quickly gained attention as several well known bloggers caught wind of the story and thousands of people begain visiting and praying for this little girl who had been named “Little April Rose”. “B” wrote beautifully and eloquently about her thoughts, emotions, fears and her faith.  I too followed her blog for several months praying for April Rose and her safe healthy birth.

On Sunday of this past week, word began circulating on twitter and in the blogsphere  that April Rose had been born.  Many updates on her condition after birth were posted, along with a few photos. On Monday, suddenly all the blog posts, pictures and updates were gone and the buzz began that the entire thing was a hoax.

Several of the prominent bloggers who drew attention to this story addressed the situation with a post that can be found here containing their thoughts and sad conclusion that the entire situation was indeed ficticious – they handled it with grace, diplomacy and great tact.

I have absolutely no intention of adding to the gossip or speculation that is swirling surrounding this unfortunate situation. What has happened is between the individuals who were directly involved in the events that took place. God alone knows the hearts and minds of those involved.

Is it sad and disappointing that somebody would deceive in this way? Absolutely.  I understand the hurt or confusion that some may be experiencing at having been deceived. What I don’t understand, however, is the rage and the lack of mercy that has been given. I have seen terrible things said and written in the last few days about this individual. I have seen a great deal of speculation and finger pointing as well.

Here is the bottom line, for me. Judgement doesn’t belong to me – it belongs to God. He knows her heart and her situation intimately. He knows HER and loves her deeply and without reservation. She was created in his image. 

Descending like a pack of wolves to point fingers and throw stones when somebody makes a mistake or even deliberatly hurts doesn’t bring about redemption. Love, mercy and prayer bring about redemption.

Were the thousands upon thousands of prayers given on her behalf wasted as some have said? I don’t believe so. Prayer is never wasted. Prayer is about intimate communion between you and your Father – how can that be wasted? Were the people who sent gifts betrayed and wronged? Possibly…..but I prefer to think that if I am obedient to my Father and he leads me to give in some fashion to anybody, it’s not my concern what they do with that gift. If I give to somebody who is deceptive, all I have to know is that I followed the prompting of the Lord – the rest is up to him.

I’m sure that eventually this story will fade away and people will move on. New stories will surface and we will be faced with a decision to react out of anger and distrust…and in doing so, stop being the hands and feet of Jesus to a broken world. We will probably never know if the majority of people we come into contact with are giving us the straight story. If we close off our hearts, we are missing out on the amazing privilege of being part of those stories that ARE true. We can protect ourselves, but the cost is high.

I’m choosing to trust and love in spite of occasional disappointment. I hope you will to!

I’m praying that wherever “B” is right now that she is surrounded by people who love her unconditionally and will help her walk through this very difficult time – and point her towards redemption.

rose

Uninvited guest….

June 4, 2009

Tuesday night I had to work late and the hubs had worship team rehearsal at church so I did not get home with the kids until almost 9pm. When time is at a premium, I will often rehearse with them in the car on the way home what the “routine” will be when we walk in the door. So I gave them the rundown and it went something like this.

  • Walk in the door
  • Immediately put your things away
  • Quickly pick out clothes for the morning
  • Tell me what you want in your lunch
  • Take a quick shower – Pixie in the kid’s shower and Boy Wonder in mine.

I know I was sounding a bit like a Drill Sergeant, but I wanted them to get showers and get to bed in some semblance of a timely fashion so the morning wouldn’t be chaotic (and incidentally, forgoing showers was not an option since neither of them had showered in 3 days – we’ve been busy!)

They did fairly well with the first few requests and things were moving along nicely. Clothes were picked, lunches were in process and both kids were headed to different showers. That’s when the screaming started.

When I say screaming, I don’t mean the kind of screaming that involves my two children hard at work bullying each other. This more along the lines of “there’s an ax murderer in my bathroom trying to kill me” and it was coming from my Pixie down the hall. Boy wonder and I went running toward the bathroom and found her standing in the hallway with no clothes on sobbing hysterically. When I asked her what was wrong she said “There’s a big bug in the shower and it scared me.”

Being the man-in-training that he is, Boy Wonder took on a bit of a mocking tone and responded that it certainly wasn’t something to SCREAM about and it couldn’t possibly be that bad. I went into the bathroom with him to look around while  he insisted that there wasn’t anything there – she must have imagined it. That’s when I spotted IT…(cue the horror movie music.)

There was a cockroach on the wall of the shower – right above the faucet handle. Just sitting there as bold as can be. This sucker was ever bit 3 or 3 1/2 inches long (I’m seriously not exaggerating) and probably the ugliest bug I have ever seen in my life.

Let me give you a little history here….I don’t do bugs. I mean seriously, I REALLY don’t do bugs. I’m not afraid of a lot, but bugs of any sort freak the living heck out of me.

Boy Wonder caught a glance and said “I’m not going near that thing” and we both beat a hasty retreat from the bathroom. Since hubs wasn’t home we had no hope of rescue in the near future. Our solution? Shut the door, put a towel in front of the crack at the bottom and trap the thing in there until it could be dealt with by one much braver and less neurotic than I.

My history with creative bug trapping is long. I don’t kill them – ever. I simply hide them until somebody else comes along to deal with them. I have on occasion, sprayed them with hairspray until death overtook them, or sucked them up with the hose attachment on the vacuum cleaner (which always comes back to haunt me later when I worry that they are going to crawl back out.) For the most part, however, my favorite method of dealing with them involves trapping them – under cups, bowls,buckets…anything will do as long as I don’t have to look at it, kill it or worry that it’s going to come after me!

We recovered and the kids took turns showering in my shower until our hero came home and slayed the horrible bug (he’s never allowed to leave me by the way!) and the bug-spraying man is on his way to our home today to lay down the “protective barrier” that is theoretically supposed to keep those evil critters at bay. All is well with the world again and we can shower in peace.

We’ve been informed since that here in the South they are more commonly known as “Palmetto Bugs” which is a much more gentile way of saying “Cockroach” – I say whatever you call them they are disgusting and if I ever see another one in my house I may move! 

 

 

 

roach

 

So…how do you deal with uninvited guests?

What's going on?

June 2, 2009

frustration

Hey friends, it’s been a few days hasn’t it? I’ve tried to post a few times in the last week but I’ve just not really had much to say – and I almost always have something to say!

Here’s the dealio…I’ve been struggling this last week. I’m not depressed and I’m not feeling hopeless, but I’m still struggling. I feel overwhelmed. I feel frustrated. I feel restless and even a bit anxious. I could come up with something funny to post instead of telling you how I’m actually feeling, but I’m trying hard to live authentically – and authentic gets you the me that’s struggling today!

So what’s going on? Why am I overwhelmed, frustrated, restless and anxious? I wish I could be truly honest! My nature is to be transparent, but I’ve learned the hard way that a public forum isn’t the right place for too much transparency. 

Let me say this…I’m ok, we’re ok and it’s all going to BE ok. Today is hard, this week has been hard and some areas of my life have simply been hard for quite awhile. 

I’m embracing the reality that it’s ok to struggle, to question and to be real. It doesn’t change who I am, it doesn’t change who God is and it doesn’t change the reality of the incredible blessings that are part of my life.

Today is one of those days where I wish I had a totally anonymous blog so that I could honestly vent…lay out what I’m thinking and feeling. Talk about what’s going on and not fear that people who know me will read it and misunderstand! Since I can’t do that….what I will say is, I’d appreciate your prayers!

We’re on the verge of some biggish decisions, some vision casting, and I feel as if in some ways we are “at the fork in the road”  –  I’d love some prayerful support! We’re walking through some relational brokenness that is taking a toll and we would love God’s wisdom.

The bottom line? We are ok…I am ok, but we could be better. I could be better. I feel discouraged, but I also feel hopeful. I’ve been around long enough to know that God often does his best work when your heart feels a little bit bruised and battered! I kind of feel like I’m walking out this right now:

We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. 2 cor. 4:8 (The Message)

That’s the deal….what’s going on with you?

A gloomy outlook…

May 26, 2009

I’m thinking it’s going to be a long week…

forecast1

 

 

 

 

Long Weekends…

May 26, 2009

flag

It’s Tuesday morning but it feels like Monday. I’m feeling the melancholy feeling you get after a nice long weekend and you are faced with heading back to the daily grind of work, traffic, homework, laundry etc.

We had a fantastic Memorial day weekend…spent lots of time together, went out to eat, slept in, visited the local flea market, saw a movie and went to the obligatory Memorial day cookout – with some awesome ribs!

In spite of the extra day off, however, I did not manage to get caught up on the laundry nor did my bathroom get cleaned. Not sure how that happened, but I’m guessing it had something to do with the spending time together, the fun stuff out and about, the cookout etc.

I’m thinking I’ll  propose that every weekend should be a three day weekend. Two days off is not enough time to actually relax AND have time to get caught up on chores, shopping, laundry and spend time with your family. If you throw church or any other activities in there just isn’t enough time. 4 days work and three days off seems just about perfect to me! Too bad nobody ever asked what I thought…

How about you? What did you do for the holiday weekend?

Are we seriously THAT lazy?

May 22, 2009

I’m aware that America, as a culture has something of a reputation of being “lazy” and taking the easy way out. 

I know, I know……Not every  reputation is valid or justly earned. True enough. BUT, the observation I’m about to make isn’t really helping our case much.

Have you ever seen one of these?

 

handicapped-button

 

Yep – me too. What is that button for? I was under the impression that it was there for individuals who were handicapped in some fashion and unable to hold the door open to walk through.  Push the button and it opens the door giving the handicapped or incapacitated person enough time to go through without hindrance right?

I work in an office building that has one of these nifty buttons on the door that I use to enter and exit the building every day. I’m glad it’s there for the people who might need it…I truly am.

Here is the sad observation I’ve made though. I have never seen a handicapped person use that button in the year that I’ve been working in this building – it may happen from time to time, but I’ve never witnessed it. What I do see nearly every day, however, is healthy and fully functional individuals using that button to open the door for them. These are not people who have really full hands and are hitting the button with their hip so they don’t drop something…nope. I’m talking about normal people carrying nothing more than a purse or a lunch bag hitting the button on their way into or out of the building and waiting for the doors to open for them so they can walk through.

This honestly baffles me….are we seriously THAT lazy or am I simply missing something? Is it that difficult to open a door?

What’s up with that?

My Witness? Or, How To Feel Better About My Apathy?

May 21, 2009

apathy

I’ve been thinking about this post from Shaun Groves all week. I’ve left a link to it in my inbox, I’ve prayed about it, I’ve laid awake at night thinking about it. The challenge was simple….Think about the needs around you, Think big about how YOU could meet those needs – what is your “witness” going to be? Then put it into words and link back to the original post so Shaun could link out to all the ideas and posts people made.

In the end, I stopped short of actually putting “a plan” or even a dream together to participate. Why? Simply put…..because I don’t have one yet, and because it scares me. 

Is that a “Cop-out”? Probably. Is it a lack of faith on my part? You betcha.

Here’s the thing…I’m not afraid to admit that I’m scared or unsure of the future in this area because I think that my  fear is a healthy, God-given fear. I don’t want to tread lightly over what The Father is calling me to in the area of service…my witness if you will. As much as I want to jump into the conversation and feel good about my plans or what I’m doing now, I feel like the risk for me is too great. I’m afraid what I have to say right now would be nice words that may or may not translate into action.  The Bible is pretty clear in more than one place regarding God’s opinion about our words that are not backed up with action isn’t it?

So I can’t give you “a plan” for action right now.Here is what I can give with confidence:

I’m working on this with my Papa. I’m taking it seriously. I’ve been thinking about it for the past year, and I’m still walking through this process right now. I’m working on the fears, I’m working on the faith it will take to walk out the plan He is helping me put together. I’m trying to eliminate the debt that has handcuffed our family in so many ways and kept us from doing more. I’m seeking counsel from others, I’m reading and researching.

And when I DO come up with a “plan”? I want it to be something I can really do for the rest of my life. I want it to be a true lifestyle change. I don’t want to come up with a service project so I can feel better about what I’m not doing with my life to serve….I don’t want to feel better RIGHT NOW about my lifetime of apathy – and I’ll just be honest here, I’ve spent many years loving people with “words and tongue” but not so much with “actions and truth”. I want to feel confident that I’m stepping forward into the calling of God to:

  • “Defend the cause of the poor and needy” Jer. 22:16

  • “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” Prov. 31:8

  • “Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” Matt. 5:42

  • “be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” 1 Tim. 6:18

I could list scripture after scripture that lays out a clear image of what we are called to in the area of service.  I’m not saying that I can’t do these things NOW and that I have to wait…it’s not an excuse for a lack of service on my part. What I am saying is that I want to take this seriously and truly learn what it means to live my life this way. There isn’t anything wrong with service projects or finding small ways to help…but for me, it’s much bigger than that. This is a life change, a family change and a shift in focus that may take a bit more time.

I applaud all the people who have taken the time to seek The Lord on their witness and their service….and I’d love your prayers as my family and I continue this journey!