Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Yesterday, Scotlyn and I saw an alligator on the way home from town. 

No big deal, really, considering we live in southern Louisiana, but I'll admit to it being excited.  Scotlyn was overjoyed and wanted to bring him home as a pet.  Do you see this big boy?  He's far enough way to not measure him, but I'd put him at no less than six feet.  No thanks. 

After posting the picture on Facebook, Chad called and wanted to know where we'd seen him.  I told him off the road about two miles from our house, just on the other side of the river we live close to. 

"Now you know you have gators," says Oh Wise One.

"Of course there are gators down here, but they aren't in our lake."

"Of course not."  I detected sarcasm.  "They stay on the other side of the river."

"This was an itty bitty swamp right by the river.  We live a mile from the river, and our lake is big.  Big lakes don't have gators."

"Lake Placid." 

Did I raise this boy?  Did I bring him into this world to have him treat me like this?  I'm pretty sure I put my best effort into having a Mama's boy, and look how he turned out.  Where did I go wrong?

Here's another example, from a couple years ago (and also a prime reason I no longer believe in having fun with my children):

I took my children tubing, thinking they would enjoy it.  Pssshhh.  While on the river, a storm began brewing.  Lightning struck in the distance and thunder rumbled, but there was nowhere to leave the water.  The banks were high and covered in trees and vines and the such.  We were more likely to get snake-bit if we got out than lightning-struck if we stayed in.  So instead I had to endure this for two hours.

Ainsley screaming bloody murder, trying to drag me from my tube with dagger-sharp nails.  She would not be reassured that the storm was miles away.  It wasn't even raining.  Scotlyn was worried but not to the extent of gnashing of teeth.  She was also more upset that she didn't have her mp3 player with her and she could have gone to Karis's house if I'd told her it was going to storm.  For the last time, I'm sorry.

Pierson hunkered down for the duration, staying as far away from the ear piercing shrieks as I would allow. 

Then there was Chad.  Chad stayed close.  Wasn't that sweet of him, to help me out with the fearsome child?  Hmmm.  After a short time (hour, hour and a half, who's counting) I had her down to a dull roar of worries when the next rumble of thunder sounded. She shuddered, but held still.  My brave girl.

Chad, my first born, the "man" of the house while his father was away, took it upon himself to sing to her in her time of need.

"We're all gonna die.
No one will find us,
cuz we're all gonna fry.
The lightning's gonna hit us,
And we're all gonna die."

Every. Single. Lightning. Strike.  He sang that song. She shrieked.  He sang louder.

He's still alive, which just proves the power of a mother's love.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Is It Okay to Be Mad at God?

Answer this honestly, do you think it's okay to be mad at God?  This question was asked in Sunday School today, and we had a pretty even response on yes, no, maybe, and I don't know.  I was so confused I answered yes AND no.  After hearing the high school girls giving their arguments supporting their opinions, I was swayed both ways.  I guess that makes me impressionable, huh?

In order to go further, I need to flash back to earlier in the week.  We are reading through the Bible in a year, and this week we read in 1 Corinthians.  Part of what we read on Tuesday were the verses about God never giving us more temptation than we can handle.  They've been turned into the common saying of "God doesn't give us more than we can handle".  I've heard that saying many, many times, but that day, for some unknown reason, the verses brought back a vivid memory.

I was standing in my mother's driveway the day after my brother's death.  (Keep in mind that this was more than 20 years ago, but so many things this week have happened this week that have made me think that I'm supposed to share this story.)  I had come out of the house, just to escape from the walls closing in on me.  The driveway was as far as I got.  I stood there, realizing I had nowhere to go, nowhere to turn.  I looked up, and I got mad.  You're not supposed to get mad at God, you know,  but I couldn't help it.  It was simmering, way down deep, and it was starting to boil up.  I could feel it rising. 

My fists were clenched when the forbidden thought entered my mind.  Why didn't God stop this?  I wasn't walking with God at that point in my life, but I believed - I've always believed.  My brother had a lot of problems - way too many to handle.  And they just kept piling up higher and higher, one thing after another: financial, family, health.  God should have taken some of them away.  Why didn't He?  Why did He just stand by and let Shawn kill himself?  What kind of God does that?

Right there, in the midst of my forbidden anger, my Uncle D came up to me.  He's one of my favorite people in the world, and he's a godly man.  I lashed out at him.  "Why did God do this?  Why did he give Shawn more than he could handle?"

I figured Uncle D would give me a look of disappoint or disgust and then rain hellfire and brimstone down on me.  Instead, he looked at me with the compassion of Christ and said, "I don't know all the circumstances, but I do know that God gave Shawn other paths to take, and Shawn didn't choose them." 

When I showed anger to God, he showed me mercy, and he put one of His people in my life exactly at that moment to answer my question.  I can't say I gave my life over to Him then, but I will say that it made me think more and think deeper.  It started me on the road.

So, can we be angry with God?  I think whatever true feelings we have, God wants us to share.  He made us, right?  So He gets it.  But we need to deal with our feelings and realize that He is God.  He knows better than us, and He has a plan.  We don't have to see it or understand it to trust it.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.  1 Corinthians 10:13

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Not at My Grandma's House

Scotlyn has a new saying:  "Not at my Grandma's house, you don't!"  I have no idea where she comes up with this stuff. Her mind must be a scary place.

Anyway, on the way home from church, and I have no idea why, she told me that. 

I'm very mature, so I responded with wisdom.  "Oh, yeah?  Well, your grandma doesn't want you coming to her house, because she says you don't behave right."

"I behave better than her."

She has a point.  Have you met my mother?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Yardwork Is of the Devil

I hate lawnmowers, and lawnmowers hate me.  I now have more lawnmowers than a body ought to own, and how many work?  Go ahead, hazard a guess.  Well, it depends on your definition of "work". 

For example, our riding mower "works" if you don't mind jump starting it nine times out of ten, which will almost always require pushing it up the hill to the car. We have a battery charger....somewhere.  And it has a big honking deck, since when we bought it we had five acres to mow, so it has three blades.  Right now, the middle blade doesn't work.  No, I don't know why, and I'm not picking the thing up to find out.  That's man work, and my man is convienently located in the middle of the ocean while my grass grows up to my elbows.  And I can't load it up and take it to a mower-fixer-person because it's stinking BIG.  I'm a girl.  I should not sweat.

Our new yard has lots and lots and lots of trees and bushes and stumps and rocks and roots and decks and half buried cinder blocks and other fun stuff in it, so I thought it prudent to buy a push mower at the beginning of spring.  I never expected to actually have to use it.  That's man work, right?


That darn husband of mine thinks working 90 hours a week exempts him from mowing the yard.  The nerve.  So my sweet daddy comes to mow the yard for me.  I was hoping this would be a weekly thing, but he turned 70 in April and got lazy on me. By the time I actually have to break out the new mower from the box to find out it doesn't work, it's too late to take it back.  I wasn't too terribly upset because I didn't really want to mow anyway.  I used the riding mower and the yard had some paths in we could walk on.  It resembled one of the alien mazes that appears in cornfields overnight.  You know what I'm talking about?  No aliens were responsible for that; it was all me.  I beat the aliens at their own game.

Well, now that we've spied snake number eight for the summer, and he was knocking on our back door, I thought it would be a good idea to just go ahead and buy another mower.  I've already called a professional service to see if they would do it.  The owner knows me and knows our yard and he won't return my calls.  I'm sure it's just an oversight.  But anyhoo, since he must be booked, I bought a new mower yesterday and started on the front yard.  It wasn't so bad.  I got it finished a bit ago and turned to the side yard, betwixt the house and the lake. 

The grass there is at least knee high, and in places up to my shoulders.  My new mower, sarcastically called a Brute, took one look, shuddered, and died.  I walked over to my rider and decided I'd tried to smoosh the grass down, if nothing else, with that.  Here's the list of grievances I know hold against "Troy".

  • Four flat tires
  • Dead battery
  • Blades don't work
  • Wet seat
I obviously did not think this "dream house" thing through all the way.  Did I mention that Diva has taken to LAYING against the fence, trying to push it down.  So much for a fancy fence.  I have barb wire horses, I guess.  It's the only thing they respect.  Stupid fence, stupid horse, stupid yard.