Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Child of God

I have heard it said that children can't be "spiritual." Whatever! I am blessed by Korey. He loves the Lord with all his heart. Most of our conversations somehow come back to Him. On the news this morning was all the ridiculous hoopla over Paris Hilton being released from jail. Korey says, "All this because she's a movie star?" I pointed out to him that she isn't a movie star, she just has a lot of money. Korey says, "That's bragging, I bet God doesn't like that." Very perceptive for only being 7. Right before the Paris story, was the story of Seth Cook, who died Friday. In an interview with Seth, he mentioned that he was excited to get to Heaven. Korey said that he is happy that Seth knew the Lord and is in Heaven with Jesus. He has such insight.

I try to have my quiet time in the mornings before Korey gets up, but most days he comes down while I am praying. Most days he shares my quiet time. We have been reading the book of John. And I think I get more out of it when he is with me. He becomes very engaged. He asks questions, he guesses what will happen next. A couple times he has asked me to skip ahead and read about when Jesus dies and gets resurrected. When we finish reading from John, we move to Judges. This is a book full of stories for little boys. Wars, battles, hand-to-hand fights. Gideon, the littlest of the littlest being raised up. He loves these stories. Then he reminds me, "Mom, don't forget a Psalm." And we finish with reading a Psalm. I read to him, then he reads it to me. It is our quiet time.

I have been under the very self-centered impression under the last few months that when Korey asked me why we didn't go to church that God was talking to me through him. It wasn't until recently that it occurred to me that Korey needed God as much, maybe more, as I did. Over lunch yesterday we heard Brandon Heath's I'm Not Who I Was and we talked about how we are all new in Christ. I asked him if he saw a difference in me, and he said he did. I smile more, I'm not a cranky mom anymore, and I don't cry as much. Again, I had no idea he was so perceptive. He also said to me, that he is happier. He told me he used to be mad. He said he was mad about his parents being divorced. He was mad about our apartment, and not being able to play outside much. He said he just felt mad all the time. And now, he is happy. He told me he feels God with him all the time.

And I know he does. We have started riding our bikes. He calls them our "journeys." When we go on these journeys, he likes to sing. At the top of his voice, peddling through the neighborhood he sings I Can Only Imagine, Open the Eyes of My Heart, B-I-B-L-E, I Am a C-H..., and several other Christian songs, both on the radio and songs he learned at school. I love the way he just belts out his worship, for all to hear.

Ephesians 6:4 tells us, "Fathers do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." In so many ways my child is training me in the way of the Lord. I only pray that I can show him as much as he shows me.

Thank you, Father, for blessing me with such a loving, spiritual child. Lord, help me to be as carefree with my love for You as he is, both for You and me. Amen.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


I didn't go to church today. I said I didn't feel well. I actually feel awful. Not physically, but emotionally I am a wreck. I think it started yesterday morning with a note on myspace from someone I never want to talk to again. There it was. Just a "Hey" with a request to be my "friend." How many times in how many different ways do I have to tell this person, "No, we are not and will not be friends?" I spent the day looking over my shoulder, sure he was going to find me. And worse, out me. Out me to my husband, to my new friends, telling them all what a fraud I am. I read Fran's blog. It made me feel better. For about an hour or so. Then I cam crashing back down. An off hand comment from my husband (who absolutely had no idea what he was saying or what I had been going through all day, he would never intentionally say something to upset me) sent me backwards. Back to the feelings of complete worthlessness I felt before I knew him. Before he showed me Jesus. I was up half the night, feeling like I don't belong. I don't belong here in this marriage, here in this church, here in this relationship with the Lord. It all belongs to someone else. Someone more deserving.

I think this all starts with my week of mixed emotions. It was Korey's first week of summer vacation. The first one I have got to spend with him in 4 years. We had a lot of fun this week; we rode our bikes swimming, and to the library, and on a picnic. Spent time with our cousins. It was lots of fun.

The down side of all this fun was the baby shower. Or baby showers. Just one this week, but three in the past few months. I have hosted them all. And with each one I get a little more bitter. I have a little less fun. And I cry a little more at home when they are done. When will it be my turn? Why does it feel like every one around me can have a baby and I can't? I talk to the mom's-to-be with love and feigned interest in their pregnancy stories. I hold the babies at church. I even love these moms. But, please, Lord, please can it be my turn? Not this month.

The past few weeks I have really been wondering what I am called to do. Should I go back to school so I can teach? Should I find a job to help support my family in the lifestyle we are accustomed to? Do I continue to help Pastor Dave as his sort-of secretary? Do I just try to be a homemaker? I say try because I am really not good at it. I'm not crafty. I don't keep it clean the way I should. I can't really cook. I feel like I am not qualified for the job I have now. People say do what you enjoy. I enjoyed being pregnant. I enjoy being a mom. Soon Korey will be back in school, then what? No child at home to be a mom to.

Sitting on the couch this morning, listening to the radio while my poor husband tries to console me, He spoke to me, like He has so many times before, through Casting Crowns:

I was sure by now,
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen"
And it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God that gives and takes away

I am reminded of how He gives and takes away. I go back 10 weeks to the joy I felt when I discovered I was pregnant. And the pain at losing the baby, having only known for 5 days.

I'll praise You in this Storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm.

I lift my eyes into the hills
Where does my help come from
My help comes from the Lord
The maker of Heaven and Earth

I am trying to understand what He has for me, "For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "Plans to to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile." (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

As I re-read all of this I realize that there is no real flow to it and that my train of thought took off. But that's how I feel. If I seem distant this week, just try to remember where I am, and love me anyway.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I KNEW it!

I have always known I am the smart one! ...LOL

First born are smarter!

Friday, June 15, 2007

I just blew a kiss to God...

Who knew something so sweet and innocent could have such an effect one me? Let me start by saying that every morning, when I drop him off at school Korey gets out of the car and blows me a kiss. He hasn't always done this. As a matter of fact until December he was walked into YMCA daycare on site at the school. I didn't even get to take him to school everyday. Somedays his dad would take him. For months I would go 3 or 4 days a week without seeing him. It seems so far in the past now that I sometimes forget how blessed my life has become. I digress...

The first blown kiss was in late January. We had our normal drive to school. We listen to Scott and Sam on KCMS and sing along with whatever is playing. We listen to the Ah-Um game and after that we turn off the radio and pray. This usually happens somewhere during the congestion in downtown Everett when I definatley need prayer the most. This particular morning was foggy and gloomy (remember January? I am surprised it wasnt' snowing.) However, we went around the big corner southbound I5 between the 41st Street exit and the Boeing Freeway and the sun broke out of the clouds and it turned into a beautiful day. The sun isn't what made it so beautiful.

We pulled into the parking lot at Korey's school and pulled up to the curb. He leaned forward and gave me a kiss and an "I love you, Mom" and hopped out of the car. After about to little skips toward the school he turned and blew me a kiss. That small gesture stayed with me all day. It kept a silly smile on my face until I was able to see him again at 2:30. Such a sweet thing, for him to blow me a kiss as a reminder of how much he loves me. Of course, I told him how special it was when I picked him and it intstantly became routine. Every morning he hops out of the car, takes two steps and turns and blows me a kiss.

Imagine my delight this afternoon when we were laying on my towel after an afternoon on the Slip N' Slide. (Only Korey, I kept myself safely in my lawn chair, yearning to run and slide, but imagining the iminent body cast that would follow.) Korey was looking up at the clouds chattering on and on about what he sees in the clouds, when he says, "Mom, guess what? I just blew a kiss to God. Do you think He got it yet or is it bouncing around His palace trying to find Him?" I assured him, that God was watching and the kiss arrived safely. Matter of factly he replies with, "No, Mom, one of His angels just delivered it to Him. Look he wrote I love you in the clouds to me." I looked up, and sure enough, right above us was a cloud formation that looked like loopy cursive handwriting.

We tell Him we love Him everyday, but how often do we stop to blow kisses? How will He respond to me if I take the time to blow Him a kiss? I know how much it means to me when my son does it, imagine how much it means to Him? He wrote "I love you" in the clouds for Korey. What will he say to me?

Friday, June 8, 2007

7 Random Things

Well, my dear friend Kim tagged me on this meme thing of 7 random things about MeMeMe so lets see how interesting I am...

1. I grew up in Southeast Alaska, Juneau. My childhood home was about 2 miles from Mendenhall Glacier, where we spent our summers. I don't know how familiar you are with glaciers, but they are cold (ginormous ice blocks tend to be) with lakes in front of them. So when it got to 60 degrees in the summer time (that was my mom's minimum allowed temperature to play in any kind of outdoors water, sprinkler included...unfair) we would load up our backpacks and hop on our bikes and ride up to the glacier to go swimming. The best part of this was all of the tourists from the "lower 48" snapping pictures of the crazy "Alaska Natives" swimming in the glacier. I just new that I would be famous someday. I was in fact featured in "Alaska" magazine when I was 6. The caption read, "Robin Sheppard and son." My fame was short lived.

2. I am a Star Wars junkie. Now, not as bad as those that buy Storm Trooper costumes on Ebay and stuff, but I have seen all six of the movies in the theater, starting with A New Hope when I was 2. Mom and Dad carried me in and I was hooked. More recently, I have been to the midnight opening of all three of the new ones. When Episode 3, Revenge of the Sith opened my sister and I got in line at 9:30 for the 12:00 showing. While waiting (and there were about 30 of us) a group of "Barbies" walked by giggling and saying, "Look at all the dumb Trekkies waiting for that stupid movie to open." This was followed by an uncomfortable silence until I said, "We are actually here to see Star Wars. Whose the dumb one now?" They sure felt stupid! Yes, deep down I am truly that much of a nerd and that mean. Shhh... Don't let my secret out.

3. While we are on the subject of how nerdy I am, I was (OK still am) a HUGE New Kids on the Block fan. My bedroom walls and ceiling were plastered with posters from Tiger Beat and Bop. There was a time when I could tell you the birthdays, astrological sign, home town and favorite foods of John, Jordan, Donny, Danny and Joey. Sadly, living in Juneau, I never got to see them in concert. I have seen every movie that Donny Wahlberg is in. I am working on getting over this obsession, but I can only do it Step by Step.

Good Grief... what else can I think of? I told you I'm not that interesting.

4. Like Shanny, I too love chocolate covered gummy bears. They are so chocolaty and chewie. You can't buy them in packages, only bulk, so you have to eat way too many of them at once. I like anything chocolate really. Or caramel. Or peanut butter. Or any combination there of. Pretty much, except ketchup, if it has sugar, I love it.

5. OK, here's one... and this is difficult to share. Are you ready? Deep breath. I like my mother-in-law. There I said it. It's out there. I enjoy spending time with her, and oh boy, this is huge, I want to be more like her. She has a degree in Home Economics from Washington State University (that lapse of judgement aside) and is a fantastic home maker. She cooks, she sews, she has wonderful spiritual insight and just all around good advice. My in-laws live a very simple life. They don't fill their lives with stuff, just the Lord and each other. Example; the flooring, walls and furniture are the same as in the pictures of the day they brought Joel home from the airport (that's where the stork dropped him off.) I would like to be not-so-needy and be able to simplify. I pray daily for this in my own life, (OK, I need new carpet at least once in 30 years) but I am far too materialistic. They have gone to the same church for 35 years (got that, Shannon, you will never be rid of me!) and lived in the same house in Sultan for just as long. Come to think of it she isn't that different from lots of the ladies at Calvary Chapel Marysville. Oh, to be like you.

6. I never graduated from high school. We moved from Alaska to Astoria, Oregon in August, three days before I started high school. I never fit in with the logging, commercial fishing, Copenhagen chewing, four wheeling, small town crowd. I didn't make good friends, which helped me to not make good choices and in November of my junior year I dropped out. In January I went to the community college and took the GED test (which I scored 98.7% on by the way) and enrolled in classes. I never finished that either, but it got me away from the wrong group of people.

7. In May of 2006 I quit chasing my tail and let Jesus find me. I started attending Calvary Chapel Marysville in April, not really sure what to expect, or what I was looking for, but I found it. On the first Sunday in May I made the biggest choice of my life. Sitting there with the communion elements in my hand I knew I had two choices 1. Discreetly toss them after the service (this was honestly the way I was leaning.) or 2. Give my life away to the Lord. I closed my tear filled eyes, and there sitting with Hannah and Alicia (I believe Joel was golfing) with out telling anyone, I took my first communion. I was so filled with the Spirit I couldn't stand and sing the closing song. I sat and let silent tears fall. I didn't share this with anyone until February when I felt the overwhelming urge that I needed to be baptized before August. I met with Pastor Dave, and scheduled my baptism. I scheduled it for the last Sunday in April following the Women's Retreat. This retreat was amazing for me. On Saturday before we left the retreat we had communion. We took the elements while Elaina and Sylvia sang "Who Am I?" and I felt the same filling of the Holy Spirit as I did a year ago when I accepted my Lord and Savior. The following day, my husband and I were baptized together in Lake Stevens. I definitely am a new woman in Christ.

There you go, 7 Random Things about Me! For more fun check out Shannon, Kim, Cora, Fran and Nancy.

And May the Force Be With You!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Venturing out...

So I dabbled a little bit on mychurch.org, but here I am now. I am an official blogger! Don't expect great things yet. Give me time.