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Flowers for a Grave

The sun peaked over the sandy hill behind our house. The last frost of the year had melted away, and now a   blanket of dandelions covered the very top.  She was so excited to finally wear her favorite pink sundress. She twirled and danced, skimming her feet through the plush grass, proving that it was absurd for me to ask her to

wear shoes. She started to pick the dandelions. Some were plain yellow, while others were white and fluffy. She was very meticulous.  With every pluck, a new singsong echoed from her lips. She trilled the dandelions with her fingers and clasped them to her heart.


“Mommy, where is Jesus buried?” she asked.

“He isn’t buried. He is alive, remember?”

“But he was in a tomb?” she asked.

“Yes, but it is far away…and empty.” She looked down at the dandelions and her face fell.

“What’s wrong, honey?”

“I wanted to put these on his grave.” she sniffed.

My heart swelled.

“You can still give them to Jesus. You can put them anywhere, and he will know they are from you.” She perked up. “You know, sweetie. Those aren’t really flowers. They are weeds. Don’t you think we should find some real flowers?  Maybe some that are more colorful?”

Tears sprung to her eyes instantly. What had I done? How could I turn such a beautiful, innocent moment, and stupidly destroy it with intellectual drivel?

“But…it is all I have,” she whimpered.

I scooped her up in my arms and kissed her cheek.

“And it is the greatest gift Jesus could ask for.” I whispered. “Let’s go give your beautiful flowers to Jesus.”

Joy overcame her face once again and she raced down the hill, her dress flipping with every bright, skipping step.

We said a short prayer. She took one white dandelion from the bouquet, stuck it behind her ear and placed the rest of the flowers at the foot of the hill. She then held that last dandelion in her hands for quite some time, like she was waiting for something wonderful.

“Are you going to make a wish?” I asked.

“Oh, no!” she exclaimed, “That would be very selfish of me.”

Still, she blew on the flower, until the seeds were whisked away by the spring breeze. “I want everyone to have Jesus’ flowers.” I squeezed her hand and told her that she was kind and wise.  I hadn’t noticed that a solitary, fuzzy blossom clung to the stem. It drooped and fought against the breeze. She plucked it, and put it in my hand.
“And one for you too!” She beamed.

Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.
John 19:41 KJV


The flowers appear on the earth once again; The time for singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
Song of SOLOMON 2:12 AMP

The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed. Matthew 28:5‭-‬6 MSG

Wait on the Lord

I wrote this skit years ago, in hopes that I could someday present it in church. I had forgotten about it until now, so I decided to share it with you all.

SCENE 1

Stage Right: A family appears to be on a car trip. There is a sign that points to Disneyland.

Child One: Are we there yet?

Father: Not yet.

Child 2: How much farther.

Mother: Not much longer. Be patient.

Child 1: I’m hungry!

Father: You should have eaten more when we stopped before.

Child 2: Are we there yet ?

Mother: No, sweetie.

Child 1: Ugh! This is taking forEVER

Child 2: I have to go to the bathroom.

Child 1&2: Are we there yet?

Blackout

Stage Left: Lights come up. Jesus is leading a young woman by the hand. There is a sign that points to “Blessings”

Woman: Are we there yet?

Jesus: Not yet.

Woman: How much longer?

Jesus: Not long. Be patient.

Woman: But, Jesus! I give and I give and I give.

Jesus: You’re doing well. Almost there.

Woman: It’s not fair. Ugh! This is taking forEVER.

Jesus & Father : (in unison) I WILL TURN THIS CAR AROUND!

SCENE 2

Stage Left: A little boy and his mother walk by a candy store.

Boy: Can I have a candy?

Mom: Not today, sweetie.

Boy: But I want a candy!

Mom: And I said ‘No’.

Boy: But whyyyyyyyy?!

Mom: It’s too close to dinnertime and you still have candy at home from your birthday piñata. I know you’re going to stuff your face with more later. You’re going to get sick.

Boy: No, I won’t. I promise.

Mom: Yes, you will.

Boy: Nuh-UH! I don’t care what you say! I’m gonna get a candy ANYWAYS!

Blackout

Stage Left: A teenage boy greets Jesus. They fist-bump, hug, etc.

Boy: Hey! Jesus! Love you, man! How’s it going? Listen, I met this girl-

Jesus: No

Boy: But she is SO-

Jesus: No.

Boy: Oh, come ON! Why not?

Jesus: Because you don’t know her, you’re parents raised you better, and she doesn’t even know me.

Boy: Sure, she does.

Jesus: Nope.

Boy: Well, I’m gonna! I don’t care what you say.

Jesus and Mother: (in unison) You’ll be sorry.

SCENE 3

Stage Right: A little girl is playing with her doll by her father’s feet. The father is scrolling constantly on his phone.

Girl: Daddy! Look at my dolly!

Father: (not looking up) Mmm-hmm.

Girl: Daddy? Look!

Father: (still not looking up) Yes. Pretty.

Girl: Daddy, can you play with me?

Father: Later, honey.

Girl: Hey, daddy. Remember the time you took me to church and the pastor told us about Jesus, and how he is coming very soon?

Pause

Girl: Remember? We are going to live with Jesus soon. In heaven. I can’t wait! Daddy?

Father: Not now, honey. I have to do a thing.

Blackout

Stage Right: Same father is on the stage by himself, holding the dolly in his hands.

Father: God? God?! Where are you?! Where is everyone? What happened? Please…Can I pray? Can you save me? Jesus? Anyone?

Jesus enters and strolls right by the father. The father runs to him and grabs his hand with a pleading look.

Jesus: I have to do a thing.

END

An Eternal Game of 20 Questions

 

So, what do you want to be when you grow up? Are you ready for college?  What’s your major?  Are you seeing anyone?  When are you going to get married?  So when are you going to have kids?  Is it a boy or girl?  Natural birth or c-section? More kids?  When are you moving your baby out of your room?  Isn’t he ready to be potty-trained by now?  What are you going to do when they are in school?  Are you going back to work?  In life, there is always a survey attached to important milestones.  With every question, social pressure is not far behind.  It’s not our fault. The questions are just there.  Well, you gotta ask…how else will the conversation keep going, right?  “Wow! You have your hands full.”  (Say it with me moms, HA! Haven’t heard that one before).

I asked my mom friends what milestone questions they are tired of hearing, and the most common across the board was whether they were going to try for more kids.  Also, an equally common question for families with all girls or all boys are asked if they are going to try for the opposite sex.  So, we have been trained that a family has to have a balance of all sexes, and if you don’t meet that criteria, you must keep trying, because anything other than that is abnormal.  This trend of a person’s value measured by a societal norm really needs to stop.  If a family wants one child…Yay! If they want six…Yay!  Also, we really should tread lightly on asking questions like these to couples without kids, because they may be struggling with infertility or they have actually made a decision not to have kids after multiple miscarriages.  Why does everyone and their cousin (even strangers at the supermarket) ask if we want to have more kids?  Maybe I’m being a bit too graphic here, but it is almost like they are invading your private sex life? So, perhaps that is why we are so annoyed?  That, or we have the kind of children who ask 200 questions a day, so just one…more…question is going to tip us over the edge.  We are only human.  These questions just get blurted out.   But on the other hand, however annoyed we are, we can be susceptible to the same social programming ourselves.

 I made a huge mistake once while talking to a new mother.  She was talking about her plans to go back to work, and I made the comment, “I couldn’t imagine going back to work away from my kids.”  At the time, I didn’t realize that it was rude, but I think about it often and greatly regret my remark.  Why on earth did I say that? I can guarantee you, that the phrase “Mom shame her right now!” was never in my head before I spoke. Now, I sometimes believe the lie that I have no true value, because I have decided to make a home once my children are school-age.  I never want to devalue working moms, nor do I want to devalue the countless women who, from the nanosecond my son turned 2-years-old, asked when my son started pre-school. They didn’t know that I was under pressure for staying home. They didn’t know my situation. There needs to be a balance.  Yes, we are frustrated by these questions, but we need to offer a little bit of grace to those who ask.  It could be a situation similar to mine, where they might not really realize that their questions have been asked before, or that it is a touchy subject. They could just be going with the flow, and trying to socialize as best they know how.  I don’t think harm is normally the cause behind most people asking questions and giving advice.  If a mother wants to be surprised of the sex of her baby, don’t act like it is your right to know.  And if someone unknowingly asks you for the umpteenth time if you are “done” having kids, never underestimate the power of humor, and reply with something like, “I’m never done.  I’m medium-rare.”  Try to train yourself to be empathetic, no matter who you are talking to.  As for me, my new challenge is to stick to the old classics: “Nice day, isn’t it?” or “Seen any good movies lately?”

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29 ESV

 

 

Mother of All Living

Why was he looking at me that way? He was smiling, but there was a hollowness-a separation. Suddenly, he clenched his fists and turned away violently. He fell to his knees and clutched at a thick pile of leaves. I gasped and looked away too.

“He thinks you’re ugly.” That familiar voice. The hot, sick breath moistened my ear and seemed to twist and tangle inside my head. I shut my eyes tightly. I felt water welling up. What was happening? “Foolissssshhhh woman.” the voice said again. My cheeks felt hot, I too fell in remorse and clutched for leaves. In the distance, a deafening roar, a thundering stampede, and shrieking animal cries.

Up above, there was a cold, gray sky. He grabbed my hand and we were running, frantically. He pulled me close to him underneath a dark, shady palm, but quickly pushed me away. It was a gentle push, but it had the power to stab my heart. My mind was not the same. I saw a vision of someone like me, clutching her stomach, her eyes filled with water like mine. She was screaming. I saw another after another. Woman after woman. I buried my face in my hands, my cheeks still hot and wet.

“The thief!” I screamed. “The thief!” It was there. Close by. Coiled into a ball. I heard the eerie whispering laugh. I ran to his arms, terrified. The afternoon breeze made us shiver, but it was nothing compared to that creature’s voice. A faint light warmed my husband’s eyes. We were cleaved. I was comforted.

A blinding light and booming voice interrupted our gaze.

“Where are you?”

Guilt. Shame. Remorse. Pain. What do these words mean? He drug me out of the shadows and pointed his finger at me. I hung my head.

“The…-” trying to get the words out burned my throat. “The…thief.” I whimpered.

“Daughter…what have you done?” I had never heard the majestic voice crack and waiver. Another stab to my heart.

The dreams. They were my knowledge. My daughters, suffering because of me.

Our Father clothed us. His embrace able to sooth and correct at the same time. He left quickly, as a single cloud, glistening in the sunlight. A new word. Mercy. What is mercy?

We made our way through the wasteland. Behind us, I heard a shuffling. I saw the pathetic creature writhing and squirming to escape. My heels tingled as I watched it retreat.

He brushed his hand against mine. He cupped my face in one hand and stroked my hair with the other. I could feel his regret and remorse, but his comforting gaze returned.

“Eve.”

Never had I heard him call me by name so sweetly. The gray sky transformed to amethyst as the first stars of the evening shone. As we held each other we saw a pillar of fire rising in the distance. I thought of my daughters and prayed for their mercy.

“The man named his wife Eve (life spring, life giver), because she was the mother of all the living.” Genesis 3:20 AMP

Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
Lamentations 3:19‭-‬22 KJV

Strep Throat and Other Fun Things

*to the tune of Farmer in the Dell*

The kids share the juice, the kids share the juice, Hi-ho the derry-o The kids share the juice

The kids vomit and sneeze, the kids vomit and sneeze, Hi-ho the derry-O The kids vomit and sneeze

The mommy soothes and sings, the mommy soothes and sings, Hi-ho the derry-O, the mommy soothes and sings.

The husband calls in sick, the husband calls in sick, Hi-ho the derry-O, the husband calls in sick.

The wife soothes and sings, the wife soothes and sings, Hi-ho the derry-O, the wife soothes and sings.

The kids are sick AGAIN, the kids are sick AGAIN, Hi-ho the derry-O, the kids are sick AGAIN!

There’s mucous on my sleeve, there’s mucous on my sleeve, Hi-ho the derry-O, there’s mucous on my sleeve.

The mom is sick alone, The mom is sick alone, Hi-ho the derry-O, the mom is sick alone.

Image result for mom's can't get sick cartoon

Hang in there, mamas. It’s the season of cold, flu, and other super fun diseases. If you’re like me, you might feel pretty helpless, especially if it is the middle of the night on a Sunday, and your child has a high fever. I took my little Jonny to the doctor, only to find that I hadn’t renewed the insurance and it had expired the day before. I was so disgusted with myself. Way to go, mom. Your irresponsibility may have cost your son his life (Melodramatic, I know).

When I was sick as a child, all I needed was a cool wash-cloth and a hug from mom. Neither of my kids like the cool wash-cloth treatment, so sometimes I just stand over them, feeling helpless and confused. But even though I still struggle with the lie that I’m not enough, my son always amazes me. He’s a trooper when he gets sick. There is a little crying, but it doesn’t last very long. The second day on his antibiotics, he was running through the hallway like a super-hero. I realize that I am blessed to have a son who takes his medicine without a fuss and it also made me think about all you other mothers out there. What kind of things do you have to deal with? Do you have adequate transportation when this happens? Do you keep your medicine cabinets stocked in case of an emergency? Are your kids troopers, or do you need to mix medicine in with a root beer? Whatever your case, I applaud you, because I know that you do the very best you can. I know that it is hard when the kids get sick, especially because it has the tendency to cyclone through the family repeatedly. And when moms get sick? It doesn’t always mean we get to rest in a dark room with a humidifier and watch Price is Right like when we were kids. Your kiddos don’t understand of course. They can offer you a stuffed animal and say “Feel better, mommy,” but 10 seconds later they whine about wanting a snack or they hit their brother with a Wiffle bat. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is not a sign of weakness. You may think that other moms out there can handle it, without skipping a beat, but guess what, we struggle with it also. We can do this, ladies. Compassion is never wasted, and neither is trucking on, when your nose is a leaky faucet and your head is about to cave in. Your kids learn from how you take care of them.

“I can do all things, through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” 1 Peter 3:8