blast from the past...

so who here remembers last may? (heck, i don't remember what i had for breakfast this morning...)

so i will remind you of a little blog series that i did entitled and aptly represented by this faux book i made up...

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i would like to revisit that topic for a moment with this teenage parenting nugget of wisdom...

EXPECT TO LOSE.

i remember people would tell me "pick your battles" when your kids are teenagers. and i did pick one battle in particular... the "NO WEARING CLOTHING WITH BAD WORDS ON IT" battle. i was going to die on that hill. and i did die on that hill. case in point... 

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that is millie 5 years ago. she wanted a "south butt" jacket. it was mocking "north face" and i am totally on board with mocking. i just am not a big fan of a young girl wearing clothing that says "butt." and kind of shows a graphic image of a butt. i felt like it was inappropriate. and a bit crASS. which is funny since i have no problem typing the word ASS. or saying it in most situations. just a problem with the word butt on my daughter's clothing... i am such a hypocrite.

i fought the purchase of the infamous south butt jacket tooth and nail. i prayed over this issue. i consulted wise friends. i reasoned. i promised rewards for obedience. and then her dad/my loving husband intervened and vetoed me and let her buy and wear the jacket. EVEN TO CHURCH. she wore that jacket EVERYWHERE. just to spite me.

i cannot tell you how much it irritated me. i am not a good loser. and if the musical matilda has been out already i would have been singing this song ...

which includes these fragrant and hilarious lyrics...

the smell of rebellion, the stench of revolt , the reek of insubordination, the whiff of resistance, the pong of dissent, the funk of mutiny in action...

so you can imagine my sorrow and shame when millie handed that beauty of a jacket down to her little sister this fall...

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the only thing worth than losing once is losing twice. the only thing worse than dying on a hill once is being stabbed to death on top of it again. by your baby. whilst she wears a south butt jacket.

so i join with the trunchbull from matilda singing my other favorite part from "the smell of rebellion" song...

Imagine a world with no children (or in my case "teenagers".)
Close your eyes and just dream.
Imagine. Come on - try it...
The peace and the quiet...
A babbling stream...


Now imagine a woods with a cottage,
And inside that cottage we find
A dwarf called Zeke, a carnival freak,
Who can fold paper hats with his mind,


And he says, "Don’t let them steal your horses! No!"
"Don’t let them throw them away! No!"
"If you find your way through,"
"They’ll be waiting for you,"
"Singing 'neigh neigh'!"

i will not let them steal my horses. i won't let them throw them away. they will be waiting one day saying, "neigh neigh." which is kind of weird but maybe trunchbull isn't mad. maybe she is giving me a hidden instructive hint because as shakespeare said, "revenge is a dish best served cold." oh, that jacket will be waiting. i won't throw it away.  i will put it somewhere safe. until they have teenage daughters. then it will reappear. and they can die on that hill. my blood has already softened the ground... i can hear the horses now... "neigh neigh," they say...

 

 

these are not the droids you're looking for...

prom day was saturday for millie... it was going to be her FIRST and LAST dance at leon. she isn't really a dancing queen.

we had found the perfect dress when we were in NYC. at bloomingdales. the HUGE bloomingdales.

she found fun shoes that had heels that lit up when she walked.

we had made a lovely hair piece from a vintage opal brooch.

mani/pedi appointment made. hair stylist consulted. all the pieces in play.

the weather was horrible so i found the perfect alternate location for photos (our BEAUTIFUL church atrium. HUGE shout out to FBC tally for letting me use that space!)

so a few weeks ago (when i was picking up maxx's corsage to give abby at her prom) i ordered millie's corsage. i was telling the very sweet gal taking my order that millie liked things not-so-traditional. a bit quirky. no ribbons. no roses. more modern. unique.

when she asked the date of the event, i answered may 4th. the gal exclaimed, "star wars day."

"YES!" i answered, "millie wishes the whole event was a star wars theme. that would have been so GREAT. she loves star wars. she wants a space themed dorm room next year."

in hindsight i might have OVERSOLD her love of star wars...

because when i picked up the corsage this is what it looked like...

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yes. those are darth vadar's on her corsage. and they kind of looking like they might be kissing... 

when i showed it to her i was in tears. i didn't want one more thing to go wrong with her day (it had been a stressful couple of days). when she saw it, she started to laugh. and laughed for a full ten minutes. over the absolute absurdity of a corsage with darth vadars on it. and red jewels to match his eyes.

turns out that the gal that made the corsage is a HUGE star wars fan. she has even done flowers for a star wars themed wedding. a bouquets on light sabers kind of thing.

here are some more photos of this treasure... and adam presenting it to her.

and here are some photos of adam making her a NEW corsage. i found a lovely vintage bracelet and adam attached a small lilly to it. a bit more dressy. and still not the usual corsage. 

she even wore the darth vadar corsage for a little while during the photo session with all her friends. she told the story to EVERYONE and it made the day HILARIOUS. and believe me... she will keep that corsage for the rest of her life. i am buying a shadowbox for it. "millie, it's from your FAAATHER." 

in face remind me to add those darth vadars into her bouquet when she gets married. we will bury them deep inside it.

may the force be with her. and also with you...

social dropout (part three)...

two funny things happened yesterday...

first of all, i had been talking all of this "social media angst/dissatisfaction/complaining" out with a mentor/friend on sunday.  she should have slapped the love of Jesus into me. but since she knows that no where in the Bible does it say "slap the love of Jesus into someone" (which might actually be in "the message" version but she doesn't really trust "the message" version. she refers to it as Bible-ish.) instead she handed me our book club selection of the month (she has amazon prime and had ordered my book for me) and just listened to me. and was kind to me. and said our favorite catchphrase, "i don't know" a lot. 

and then yesterday her teenage son put up this incredibly heartfelt and honoring status update on facebook about how God had blessed him with his family and his wonderful parents and siblings. and in the deep deep recesses of my heart i laughed and thought that maybe she had put him up to it as a little private joke between us. and i thought it was really really funny. but turns out it was totally sincere on his part. i am a horrible conspiracy theorist...

so later in the day in my facebook message box there was a private message from her telling me that she hadn't seen the message until late in the day and she knew that might have been painful for me (which it wasn't because i was already halfway through reading our book club selection which was PERFECTLY designed and written just for me and this issue i was having.) she then in her private message recounted several things her son had already done that day that weren't so pleasing and wonderful and honorable. just to cheer me up. ha. really, i have the best friends...

then my MOST FAVORITEST relative (because she is the ONLY one who reads my blog), my sister-in-law tagged me in a post on facebook. because obviously i am the world's best aunt. and the one who takes photos of the world's cutest nieces. again... ha. seems that relatives who live several states away find me more precious than ones who live close. i am sure that isn't indicative of my personality at all. ha. and i am sure that one day i won't have to write "ha" after ever things that i say. ha. but not today. ha.

so this is the book club selection for the month...

you may remember elyse fitzpatrick from her much beloved (by me) book (give them grace) which i have quoted extensively from on this blog because it also came at a perfect time into my life... (i sense a trend with me and elyse.)

so i was excited to read this new book, because He loves me, from her. frankly i was a little mad that the title was so close to what i want to name my future book... "because i am His favorite". i noted that the amazon reviews for her book ranged from "changed my life" to "it is basic stuff that every Christian should already know."

i have been a Christian for 35 years. and i did "know" everything she wrote about. in my head.

but one may surmise that the gospel message wasn't making a hill of beans in my everyday life. because as you may recall, I SPENT AN ENTIRE BLOG POST COMPLAINING ABOUT NO ONE TAGGING ME ON FACEBOOK. really, i did. don't go back and reread it. trust me when i say that it was pretty hard core 2 year old whining...

i will now share half of elyse's book with you. well, i would share half if i shared EVERY thing i highlighted. but i will try to hold it to 1/4th of the book (to avoid being sued by elyse.)...

"when i forget the incarnation, sinless life, death, resurrection, and ascension, i quickly believe that i'm supposed to be the unrivaled, supreme, and matchless one...i forget that for Him it was suffering here and glory there, and it's to be the same for me, too. when i neglect the gospel, i'll want nice vacations and nice compliments and nice things to make my life nicer. i'll long to be able to compare myself favorably with other and know that i am successful... i'll idolize those who excel. i'll forget that He is preeminent." (page 193-194)

"i don't need to defend myself or prove i'm worthy of respect. very practically speaking, i need to close my mouth while i speak to my own heart... i have been loved and welcomed by the One who is recreating me in his image. His love is to control my words." (page 153)

"every time i look at something someone else has and ask myself, WHAY CAN'T I HAVE THAT? i'm failing to love. instead of envying the blessings they've been given, love would rejoice in their joy (romans 12:15) knowing that the good gifts they have, have been given them by the same Father who loves and gives good gifts to me. love would see their blessings and celebrate the generosity of our Father." (page 145)

"will you transfer all your trust to Him and believe that the One who did not withhold His only Son from you will also freely give you all good things? (page 105)

"His work in our lives is NEVER punitive; it is ALWAYS redemptive. this means that He doesn't punish us for our sin, but rather that, because of His great one, He gently and lovingly frees us form the lies, misconceptions, and idolatries that captivate and enslave our hearts. (page 88-89)

"maturity in the Christian life is measured by only one test: how much closer to His character have we become? the result of the Spirit's work is not more and more activity. no, the results of His work are seen in the quality of life; they are 'love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-controll' (galatians 5:22-23)." (page 158)

she even gives this example of a woman named "mary" (she should have just gone on and named her "lea". really elyse no one who knows me will be fooled by the fact that you changed my name to mary and added a couple of other details slightly different from me life in order to not totally base her on me.) she uses mary/lea's issues show how the knowledge of the gospel could change mary/lea's perception of her "pitiful and unappreciated" life...

"mary is unhappy because she always believed that if she served God, He would provide a nice home for her so that she could prove that she isn't the loser she always been accused of being.... whether her family approves of her or not, her Savior took on the form of a lowly servant for her sake and because of this, she can embrace her role as servant and fight the desire to be worshipped... the anger and self-pity that has fueled mary's retreat is driven by her belief that she has worked hard enough so that she deserves better than what she's getting. of course, she's completely deceived about what she's earned, but the wonderful news is that even so, she's got the perfect record of Another... mary can face the day before her, whether it is filled with the disapproval of her family or the breakdown of her washer (which was really funny because my DRYER broke last week.)... mary's failed to believe that God is really good and has her best interests at heart. she has also failed to believe that He can satisy her. she hasn't seen the depth of her idolatry, her love of approval, her belief that she can be good enough to 'earn' anything... when she's tempted to give herself over to self-pity, she nees to seek out ways to love others and fulfill her responsibilities as best she can-for God's glory." (page 165-168)

thank you elyse for giving me back the love of the gospel. elyse continually quotes tim keller in saying that "we are, each one, more sinful and flawed than we ever dared believe, but more loved and welcomes than we ever dared hope." this book showed me both sides of that. it was entirely convicting by showing me the truth of what i was doing when i ignored Who God was and what He had done for me while also being extremely caring and calming to my soul by Who God was and what He had done for me. because He loves me.