Thanksday #89

Dear August,

I have big plans for you.

I have dreams of hot, sunny weather without rain where I can swim with the kids and not have Paxton’s lips turn blue.

I have dreams of getting my tan back that I had in June.

(Pausing in remembrance.)

I have dreams of not wanting to pull out my fall boots and sweaters — and desires of getting bright-colored pedicures once again.

Yes August, I have big plans.

Because the weather for the past month has been awesome…if it were September. But considering it’s still technically summer, a few consecutive sunny days and temps over 70-degrees would be FAB.

Sincerely,

The Pale Blonde in the Mountains

(p.s. Yes, Mom…I do wear sunscreen!)

In other news, I have still not broken my 745 score on my Solitaire app. So, I did what any other solitaire-junkie would do.

I downloaded another app.

And this one has Easy, Medium and Hard levels and I’m proud to say I made a #1 rank in the first day. #1 rank in what though, is to be determined.

#1 in Seasonal-Affective Disorder?

#1 in Jergen’s Sunless Tanning Lotion Buying?

#1 in Online Boot Shopping?

Yes to all of the above.

Moving on!

Thankfuls this week:

1. SOZO. My husband and a handful of friends went on a 10-day mission trip to Serbia to help work the Sozo Music & Arts Festival. This is a trip I’ve done three times before (when it was in Hungary, not Serbia). And while God kept me home this time (how rude!) — I am beyond thankful that people I love dearly were able to experience what Sozo is all about. They kept me abreast of everything via Facebook, and praying for them was an enormous honor for me. But next year, I’m in. Because you know what they say about a woman scorned? Nothing compared to a woman who missed out on an overseas trip.

2. Coconut Oil. It’s awesome on hair. Did you know that? And sometimes, just to tame some frizziness, I put a small amount in my hands and smooth it over my hair. And it makes my hair so shiny and Christy Brinkley-ish (without any of her beauty) and it makes me want to whip it back and forth. (My herrrrrrr, that is.)

3. Cheez-Its. I know. Repeat! But holy cow, they are my kryptonite. And I love every bit of their cheesy-salty-goodness.

4. Flying. If you regularly visit this place, you know I just finished a blog series on Metamorphosis: Embracing a Life of Becoming. And as I just wrote the final wrap-up, I realized that (as most things do in God’s economy), the wrap-up perfectly mirrors real life. Because as I talk about being willing to take a chance and trying to fly — trusting these new, bizarre wings won’t fail you and trusting God to carry you — I’m having to live that out. How? Just look:

METAMORPHOSIS-FB-COVER-01

Yeah. So that. I’m guest speaking. At an event. In person.

Me — the introvert, hermit, hide-behind-the-screen graphic-designer-writer-lover is trusting God’s direction and going to stand in front of people and open my mouth wide, trusting God will fill it (Psalm 81:10). If you would have told me a year ago I’d be doing this, I would have looked you dead in the eye and told you, “Get behind me, Satan!” (And I actually did that last summer at She Speaks — sorry Heidi!) And yet, here we are.

Because God loves to have the last laugh.

So if you’re going to be in the area and can stop by, please do. I’d love to hug your neck in person and force you to awkwardly tell me it wasn’t as bad as I thought. (I kid.) (Or do I?)

5. En Français. I made a funny little graphic on the sidebar of my site — the one that starts with “bonjour!” and “it’s important to note I’m not French.”

Well.

Shortly after I posted it, I got an email from my mother outlining our family tree. And it turns out, I am, in fact, a small part French. Who knew? (I mean, qui a su?)

I haven’t had time to change the graphic yet, and my mom’s emailed me almost daily to gently remind me that graphic is false…but I’ll get around to it soon. I’m still working on wording to adequately express “a little bit French and pompous enough about it to be annoying.”

So it could take awhile.

Until then, enchanté mon amis.

(And I’d like to add, this explains just so much about me.)

6. Grandparents. While Greg was out of the country, I decided to get outta dodge and call in reinforcements. So I dragged everyone to The Big City to spend a couple several days with Gamma & Papa. And the kids were spoiled and loved it, and Mama got to work out and get her hair done and have dinner. With a friend! Until the street lights came on! And loved it! And we all had a nice distraction from missing Greg. For awhile. (Thanks Gams & Pops!)

7. Girl Time. While in The Big City, Jaana  and I spent a day at the American Girl store. And when I say a day, I’m not joking. We got there at 11 am for the “make a hot air balloon like Saige’s” craft, and stayed until about 2:45 when we finished with lunch with her doll in her own seat at the bar with a tea-cup. And the in-between was filled with a visit to the hair salon for Caroline (the doll), a Saige Creativity Scavenger Hunt, and analyzing every possible outfit and how it would look on Caroline. (After all, Jaana had $10 to spend and regardless of the fact it barely covered the gratuity for lunch, we’re all good.) We made wonderful memories, and she literally had The Best Day. I didn’t rush her or push her and just let her take the lead on everything. It was a long overdue Mommy-Daughter day where she didn’t have to share the spotlight with her little brother. Worth every moment of dodging large shopping bags, loud birthday parties and frizzy doll hair. (I guess the American Girls don’t know about coconut oil — but us French Girls do.)

8. Brie and Baguettes. I could make a dinner from a french bread baguette and some brie with chutney of some kind. (And this was before I found out I’m part French. Now, I just say, “duh.”)

9. The Cooking Channel. I don’t like to cook. I don’t enjoy it, look forward to it, plan for it, anticipate it. It’s the last thing I ever think about it. Therefore, we lack awesome meals at this house. Yet lately, Jaana’s favorite thing to watch is anything on the Cooking Channel. And no, the irony is not lost on me. All I can hope is that she’ll pick up where this pot-holder left off and start whipping up fancy things on a whim. (Or at least whipping her herrrrrrr back and forth.)

10. Happy Happy Happy. Does anything warm a Mama’s heart more than seeing her kids blissfully joyful at the sight of their Daddy? Nope, not really. My kids are beyond ecstatic that Greg is back, and seeing them light up makes my heart ooze happy lava. It’s awesome.

So that’s my week in a nutshell. I could’ve saved 1,250 words and just wrote, “Need sun, love Greg” and called it a day, but whatevs. What’s the fun in that? I’m off to eat some brie and massage some coconut oil into my hair.

And perform my next sun dance.

You’ll let me know what you’re thankful for this week, bien sur?

What are you thankful for this week?

MDS-SIG-01

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Tuesday’s Morning

PSALM 19-01

grab this

Swoon.

David’s lyrical writing, detailed analogies and ability to show-not-tell convince me when I’m the most doubtful that God is a huge fan of writing.

May your Tuesday morning sun

Wake from the tent

And burst forth on your day

With zeal and fervor

Smiling and showering you with kisses

From God Himself.

Are you eager to face your challenge today?

 MDS-SIG-01

Five Minute Friday #7

Linking up with The Gypsy Mama:

“Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays. We write because we love words and the relief it is to just write them without worrying if they’re just right or not. So we take five minutes on Friday and write like we used to finger paint. For joy in the process. No matter how messy the result.”

Today’s topic: LIGHT

GO.

I toss for the third time in bed and finally look at the clock. Three am. Why am I awake already? I turn back over and start deep, rhythmic breaths that usually lull me back to sleep. They work this time.

When I open my eyes again, I can see the bluish-gray haze through the blinds, telling me it really is time to get up and start the day. That first morning light…it starts as a blackish-blue, and then a grayish-blue. And then it’s day. The the sun permeates everything reminding me I can never escape its presence.

As I sit here on Good Friday, the concept of light takes on new meaning. My life can at times feel like it’s midnight — dark and black — and my circumstance can feel oppressive. But as I continue to walk in faith and trust and obedience, the sun starts to rise. The black gives way to blackish-blue. I can see silhouettes now. There’s just enough light to make out shapes and see reality.

Then blackish-blue gives way to grayish-blue. I can see colors in the trees and details in the flowers.

And as He fully has control over my circumstance…as I finally relinquish control of my circumstance…it’s suddenly day. I see everything around me in full bloom. And it’s beautiful.

Just as darkness is a natural part of the day, darkness is a natural part of life. But the sun never stops shining. And morning always comes. And with it…joy.

Darkness came to earth all those many years ago. Sin took over and thought it removed the sun completely. But death did not have victory. Because day came on the third morning. In full bloom in all His glory. And He’s never stopped shining. And He brought joy.

And He’s beautiful.

STOP.

Chasing Rainbows

The dog was barking. I was trying to clean up the kitchen after dinner, but the craziness of the dog assured me he indeed needed to get out. Now.

As soon as I got outside, raindrops began falling. And heavily. I looked to my right and the sky was dark as night. But to my left, the sun was shining as bright as it could be, casting glorious sun rays through the trees.

Perfect conditions for a rainbow.

I stared down those dark, gray clouds with all my might…looking for the slightest hint of color. I thought my mind was playing tricks on me…but sure enough, through the thick across the way, I saw hints of red, orange and yellow.

So I ran.

The farther I went, the brighter the colors became. When I got to the top of the hill, I could see the perfect arc of the rainbow. What took my breath away even more was not just the double rainbow that seemed to suddenly appear, but that the rainbow itself had a rainbow shadow. It looked like red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, violet…green, indigo, violet.

It was stunning.

I went to where I knew I could view the rainbow perched high over the lake, and I just sat soaking it in as long as it lasted.

And I thought.

I pondered about Noah and that first rainbow that God placed in the sky, and wondered if he chased it, trying to get a better view. And I wonder if Noah’s rainbow had a shadow, too.

I thought about how if I had just sent the dog out of the door instead of walking him myself, I would have missed the rainbow. Or if I would’ve been too focused on staying dry, how I would have missed the rainbow.

And I thought about how often in our daily lives, we miss rainbows all the time. Because we’re too lazy to get up and walk. Or we’re too concerned with avoiding the storm. And by how focusing on our circumstances keeps us from noticing how often the conditions are perfect for a rainbow.

We see the dark gray clouds to our right and feel the rain. But that’s all we see. We tend to so easily forget to look to our left and see the sun. And The Son. And how rainbows only occur through the blending of the the two.

We only get to see the truly glorious when we focus on Jesus in the midst of darkness, and not the darkness itself. And when we do, He strokes His hand across our circumstances leaving a lasting promise to remind us He will never leave us or forsake us.

A promise of how His love endures forever.

I later discovered that “rainbow shadow” I saw is known as a supernumerary rainbow. A highly infrequent phenomenon, that according to Atmospheric Optics, is “an intimation of the limitations of geometric optics for it is totally unable to explain them.” (Emphasis mine)

And isn’t the same true of our Jesus? How His miracles and blessings and grace and mercy are unable to be explained due to the limitations of our humanity?

Go. Ignore the chaos around you and get up and walk. Go dance in the rain. Search with all your might for a rainbow. And when you see one, be overwhelmed with the knowledge that He put it there just for you. Just for today. Just because.

Oh. How He loves us.

Selah.