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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The dragon

Does everyone have experience with looking at hologram pictures? You know, the kind where when you first look at it, it looks like a framed pattern, similar to just plain wall paper even--usually a busy print. Then, the more you stare at it, when you let your eyes give you that cross-eyed feeling, you see an image in 3-D. It pops out of the frame at you. And although you are looking at the exact same print, you "see" the image now.
I'm beginning to feel that way. The life that I am living, well, it's still me, it still looks the same from the outside: same family, same circumstances--for the time being. I am very slowly "going cross-eyed." I feel like God is showing me some things in 3-D. I would like to share them with you.
Don and I are really struggling through a time of unknowns. In fact, the title of my blog haunted me a little today. We are on a journey. There is no end in sight. Our future seems blank. There are no hints of what it might bring yet. Just about every day, we are considering new options. I am NOT good at this. I long for settledness. I have been struggling with the thought that I desire to be settled more than I desire to go where God wants me... more than I desire God's will, I guess, to put it bluntly. Of course, when I arrive at this thought, I am tormented, and I don't want to desire something ungodly. But why can't God just give me what I want?
I have prayed that God will help me to desire Him more, to not desire the things of this world too much (perhaps not always in these exact words...).
And so comes in the dragon story. For you C.S. Lewis fans, you will recognize this immediately. In the 3rd book (in the original order :) ) of the Chronicles of Narnia, Eustace Clarence Scrub travels with Lucy and Edmond into Narnia. After a series of events, they end up on an island, and Eustace wanders from the group. He comes across a cave full of jewels and treasures. Greedily, he puts on a bracelet, and after having thoughts of taking many more things, he falls asleep. During his sleep, he turns into a dragon. To make a long story short, he eventually encounters Aslan (the Christ like figure of the books). Aslan asks him if he wants to return to his former self, which of course, he does. By this point, he realizes how greedy and selfish he had become, and how, literally, those feelings had turned him into a monster. He goes into a river and tries to peel off his own skin, trying to pull off the dragon self to reveal the human boy inside. Aslan says, no, that He Himself will have to take the skin off.
And when he does so, it hurts Eustace tremendously. But he couldn't be free without Him doing it. He didn't have the power to make himself normal again.
I feel this way. I feel like my way of thinking--the things that I long for--have gripped me so hard and for so long, that truthfully, only God can deliver me. I know that. And I feel Him ripping off the old skin. But it hurts!!!!!
It's painful to be stripped down in front of Him.

On days that I let go, and just take one day at a time, I feel so free, so peaceful. I feel like the "things" that I try to hold on to so much are just drifting away, leaving me to live a more full life. On those days, I feel like I am seeing a hologram. I am looking at my life with new glasses. I can see the image in the painting. God is there doing amazing things. Things far more amazing than I could do on my own. All of a sudden, there is no worry for the same old stuff. There is freedom there. Believe it or not, there is freedom in surrendering to His will. Oh, that I could do this everyday. The sky feels open to an unending horizon.

I still pray that He will provide for us. I still pray that He will put us where He wants us. But the truth is, if we resist, it is futile! God's way is always best. Only He knows if Jon David might need to get out of a certain crowd when he turns 10, and moving to a new city would provide just the place for him to mature into the man God wants to make him. Only He knows if Luke needs to learn to know what it feels like to be the outsider a few times in order to mold him into the evangelist He intends. And only He knows if Caleb will be spared unnecessary suffering from a bad teacher by us either moving, or even staying in a certain spot. There is a theme here: only God knows. It is so hard for me to let go of the cold hard facts and trust that He is bigger than all of that. He is bigger than logic, bigger than finances, bigger than stability. He is the God of all of those things. OH, that I could trust Him more.

I have watched the show "the Biggest Loser" a handful of times--enough to have seen the relief and new life that some of the contestants feel when they get to the end, and have shed hundreds of pounds. Most of us carry around 500 extra pounds somewhere. Sometimes, it's weight that is visible. Sometimes, it is weight that is invisible: pressure to achieve success at some point in life; pressure to provide a certain amount of retirement money for your family by the time you reach your sixties; pressure to feel like your house is as cute as the next person's, or as big; pressure to provide whatever your child wants for Christmas; pressure to be the Better Crocker, Martha Stewart, or Rachel Ray hostess--pick your generation; pressure to look awesome, young, and in shape no matter how old you are; pressure to please your family... "My yoke is easy and my burden is light," He says. It is so true. Jesus longs to free us. It will be painful, but so worth it.

So the next time an option comes my way--you know, the kind of option that has the potential to make my life seem even more topsy turvy than it already is-- I hope that I can listen to God when He says: "Get your 3-D glasses on girlfriend, I gotta show you something cool."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Junior Jedi, and Luke's latest: plush toys and playdates

Have any of you been to McDonald's lately? We took the boys before a soccer game one evening, and Don and I decided before we got out of the car that we wouldn't do happy meals. When we entered, however, we saw the prizes... star wars The Clone Wars skate boards. Yea, we gave in... They also came with a character tatoo. Luke is revealing his Cad Bane Tatoo, which he hilariously chose to have placed on his chest, like a soccer buddy of his. His friend from school, Ezra is donning his on his arm. They had a great time playing together on this day! What a blessing to have good friends.

And allow me to introduce the newest padawan in our Caulley galaxy.

What a blessing to swap off with a fellow Mom from Luke's class so that we can volunteer in the classroom. And an added bonus: we REALLY like them! Above, is Ezra's little sister. Isn't their hair to die for!?
And, um, as the mother of this future galactic defender, I hereby decree that your first mission will involve cleaning up the rebel base. Laundry would be a great place to start.

And finally, one of our latest phases has been with the Disney web site game: club penguin. We have actually banned playing this game in our house since Labor Day week-end in order to fight the new obsession. It has worked pretty well. However, we did let the boys use their spending money and buy a "puffle" which you see Luke holding in the picture below--it is red. In the previous post, you will have seen Jon David cuddle with me and his two brothers in the "big, comfy chair," while holding a "Club Penguin" book that he checked out from his school library.

The yellow stuffed animal is a yellow peep. Luke and Jon David also really love those.

September Soccer Spectacular

Huh? Huh? The streak has not been broken yet... How long can she go? Hm. We'll see. For those of you just joining us, I'm trying to use alliterations in my post titles. By the way, ideas and suggestions are welcome.

It's really difficult to get action shots period. But add in the toddler factor, and your chances of getting a good photo are one in a hundred, at best. So this is the best I could do.

Above: Caleb--13 mo
OK, so I'm squeezing in some other pics for fun. We'll call these "morning glories and bed heads."
In these pics, Caleb is 12 to 13 mo.

Notice Caleb's blanket in some of the above pics. There is a tag on his blanket that he particularly likes. If you show him the tag, he will reach for it with one hand, and automatically suck his thumb with the other. It's super cute!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Another alliteration attempt

Having a little trouble coming up with a creative title for this one, so there ya go.

To continue the Labor Day Week-end report, we had cousin bonding times:

Uncle and nephew bonding times:

Aunt and nephew bonding times:

Aunt and niece bonding times:

To quote Martin Short: "Vee're bonding here, aren't Vee!?" (Father of the Bride)
What can I say, humor is not always my forte--nor my two tay (Thanks, Don).
And then there was this uber cool feature on Mel's camera:
Below, story time is extra fun w/Uncle Daniel:

Caleb Thomas's sweet face, enjoying pizza. You know you want some now, dontcha!?

And to top the week-end off, we all went for a hike.

"Sometimes, there just aren't enough rocks."

And last, but not least: SMORES in the backyard fire pit! :)

Mel, you're killin me!
Not sure what's going on here. Um. No comments. Ha!

Precious: above, and below!

Love this man...


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