His Only Song

Ever since Zaiah was an infant, he has loved for me to sing Jesus Loves Me as he goes to sleep.  Now four years old, he wants me to stroke his face and rub his head while he listens and snuggles under his covers with his beloved blankie.

Just one problem.  It’s his ONLY song.

The other kids in the car may be singing with the radio.  But over everyone, Zaiah is belting out Jesus Loves Me.  It makes Abby and Eli so mad.

And then there was the hospital incident.  We took cookies to the nurses at the hospital, and while we were there, we sang Christmas Carols.  Not Zaiah.  He sang Jesus Loves Me the whole time.

And give that boy a guitar.  He holds it backwards, strums real fast, and sings – actually yells – Jesus Loves Me.

Cute.  And sweet.  And so right.

God’s love changes everything.  Forever.

His love brings me hope.   It brings me purpose.  It gives me life:  abundant, joyful, and everlasting life.

So sing, Zaiah. Sing.

Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.

Psalm 63:3 NIV


The Ghost with No Arms


Abby, apparently, was visited by the Ghost with No Arms during the night.

The child would not enter her room for three days.  She slept on a toddler mattress beside Zaiah.   Daddy finally bribed her back into her bed on night four with the promise of some glow in the dark bracelets.

Still, she didn’t want to sleep –  she can’t  control what she dreams.

But actually, she can.

I know very well.

Most of us have had a few of those dreams where you relive uncomfortable or unresolved moments from your day.  But ever since I can remember, I have struggled with obsessive amounts of these dreams.  Any moments of anxiety, even minor, were sure to visit me at night.  The last 10 years, though, have been the worst. On bad nights,  I would wake more than 50 times in one night.

Obviously, I chose my words wisely. In groups, I kept my mouth shut.   On an individual basis, I could handle shallow talk about potty training and cleaning the crazy house.

It gets a little lonely that way.  I really wanted to change.  But the more I tried to push outside of my comfort zone, the more urgent and unrelenting my dreams became.

I prayed for peace.  Yet, my insecurities came to haunt me at night when I couldn’t control my thoughts.

But one day, shortly after my BIG unraveling, God placed an answer in my heart.  The answer was Him.  Instead of asking for peace (as I let my mind  gravel in the stress, hurt, and frustration of my day), I focused on Him.

Now, in order to keep a clear focus, I memorize bible verses.   And every night, God is faithful –   I dream those words instead of the unsteady words of my own voice.

So, when Abby was afraid of her dreams, I knew what to tell her.

She prayed, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray my soul the Lord to keep….” until she fell asleep.  And in the morning, I awoke to a little girl, smiling, ear to ear.

“Momma!”  she exclaimed, “It worked – I didn’t see the Ghost with No Arms!”

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. … And the God of peace will be with you.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Phillipians 4:8

The Crockpot

Most days I feel totally out of control and disorganized.  Today was different.  At least at first.

For one thing, Mike and I had a big date tonight.  We planned to eat a crock pot dinner, and then, spend our date money on a movie.  We have not been to the movie theater in years.

I was pumped.

I woke up early, exercised,  and had the dishwasher emptied and breakfast loaded by 9:00 a.m.  The kids and some of their playmates happily built towers in the other room while I hurried to finish as many infinite projects as possible – including filling the crock pot with our dinner.

By the afternoon, I had prepared for the big date – pressing my nice clothes, putting on fresh make-up, nail polish (a rarity), and preparing the diaper bag for the kids night out with some very special friends.

But as I waited for my husband to arrive home, I noticed that our house did not smell like spaghetti.   I calmly approached the crockpot.  And cringed.  An electric surge had shut off the crock pot hours ago.

We did not have enough cash  to buy dinner AND a movie.  Suddenly, my super-momma pride was smashed.  The only thing I had to accomplish today, I had not.  No dinner.  That means no movie.  Ugh.

So, we tried to switch plans.  We would go to out to dinner.  Not as exciting but still good.

One problem.  I had just found out that I am lactose and fructose intolerant.  I hardly know what to fix at home.  We didn’t know where to go  dine – at the store, I can read ingredients but not at a restaurant.  And 5:00 on a Friday night is not the prime time to ask  a zillion questions.

So we spent an hour at walmart reading the back of frozen foods.  Chinese food is apparently the only choice.  By then, I was mad.   We had made these perfect plans and then spent the majority of our date figuring out what “fast” dinner I was able to eat.  So now, we had a crappy frozen dinner.

Then, we spent the next half hour searching for an available Redbox movie.   I was still mad and frustrated..

But God knew what we needed despite our well made plans because it was the best date we had in a long time. Once we arrived home, my sweet husband made sure I de-stressed.   He cooked our frozen dinners and gave me a shoulder massage. And we had the entire house to ourselves.  We turned up the T.V. really loud and snuggled on the couch.   I think we might just opt for this stress free version next time – even if we can afford a movie in the theater.

Next time, though, I will try to actually cook dinner.

  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…….

                                                                                                                                                                                               James 1:17