maisy don’ts.

“I don’ts eat LUNCH!  I eat a lollipop!  Yes!  Maisy do’s eats a lollipop!”

aaaaamaisy

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church.  picnic. 

When you think about the church picnic- and the lady who plans it- you might imagine this:

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Or this:

MARTHA PLIMPTON
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But what you should imagine is this.

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That’s me.  This year I volunteered to run the church picnic.  Easy!  And it was… Until I decided that there wouldn’t be enough food and that everyone would be mad at me and declare what a failure this picnic was.  And if I fail then no community will be had and people will frame my picture in the welcome center with a big caption, “Not allowed to plan picnics!” And then someone will vandalize it with a tiny hitler mustache which is really cruel because it was very insulting in the first place.

As I strode through the hallways of church on Sunday, going to pick up the picnic coolers from the boiler room (aka where the Norfolk rats sublet old collection plates) I could sing only one song- There Will Be Miracles from The Prince of Egypt.

🎤There will be miracles!  When you believe!  Though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill.🎤

This song got my mind to thinking- hasn’t Jesus fed many with little?  Didn’t he do it more than once?  There will be enough fried chicken at this picnic.  There just will.  And if not?  He’s still good.

As I ran into my friends in the hallway I related to them some of the blind panic I was feeling.  Because you know- there I was just believing the gospel, in a blind panic.

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You know what we did?  We huddled up and sang “Jesus Take The Wheel.”  And he did.  He saved me from the road I was on.  I giggled and felt God’s faithfulness that had been there all along.

I know what you are thinking.  It’s that I learn a lot of lessons through song.  You would not be wrong to think that.  Because right now as I proofread my post I am thinking about when satan tempts me to despair and how much cooler it’d be if I told you how faithful I was- that I prayed without ceasing for the picnic and that it was a roaring success and that during the picnic three former Wall Street traders stumbled upon our picnic and afterwards were so impressed with our genuine hospitality and general holiness that they became believers.

But what happened was a picture of God’s faithfulness TO me.  I felt paralyzed so I texted a friend to pray for me.  I ran frenzied through the halls and several women encouraged me.  My husband came alongside of me to wrangle our children and to haul heavy items and generally be a hero.

I will not despair that my story is not “great” because God showed up today in minutia- in details- in buckets of fried chicken.  

I am bewildered at Gods persistence to find glory in my weakness.  This week I have proven that I am a weak vessel.  With holes.  Also- rust.  And when God shows up to look at my rusty vessel and says “Yes!  This I can use!” I am overwhelmed by his kindness to me.

Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.  Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” John 6:5-7

Spoiler alert.  Everyone ate.

prom. 

Prom season is upon us.  I see the pictures.  I see the dresses in the department stores.  I don’t hate it.

 I got to go to prom with my now husband.  We weren’t married back then because, you know, we were 17.  If you had told high school senior Kaley that she would be married to her prom date I would have felt much the same way if you had told me Fall Out Boy would still be topping the charts when I’m 30.  Bewildered but also excited for them.

I looked flawless at prom.  I dazzled in a hot pink gown with a bedazzled choker and tastefully placed hair gems.  Upon my entrance into prom- the other seniors jealously whispered, “Where did Kaley score that magenta ombre pashmina??” The answer?  Macy’s.  That was before ombre was even a thing- okay millennials?!

Nick and I were voted prom king and queen and then we went to a raging party and it was the time of our LIVES.

Oh wait, I’m sorry, that’s the movie “She’s All That.”  Actually what happened is we sang Journey really loudly and afterwards we read the bible.  Okay, that’s not entirely true either.  We made out- you got me officer! I’m only human!  Nick was very handsome and he drove his mom’s Kia.  I’m excited that Nick got to go to my prom because I’m pretty sure everyone at school thought I was making him up.  Nick and I went to different local high schools.  Here’s why they thought I might be making up an attractive blonde boyfriend.  They remembered this:

 

Not exactly something one can unsee.  Yeesh.  My mom really loved me and I had a journal- so I made it out okay.

To anyone who has seen my Beyonce level lemonade dance moves, it may surprise you to know that I didn’t know how fun I could dance until prom.  I really let loose.

Songs I may have gotten down to at my 2003 prom experience:

  • Right Thurr- Chingy
  • Miss Independent- Kelly Clarkson
  • Rock Your Body- Justin Timberlake
  • In Those Jeans- Ginuwine
  • Where Is The Love- Black Eyed Peas
  • Move Bitch- Ludacris feat Mystikal
  • Whenever, Wherever- Shakira

Songs I may have gotten my slow jam on with at prom 2003:

  • Wherever You Will Go- Calling
  • Gone- ‘NSYNC
  • Beautiful- Christina Aguilera
  • Calling All Angels- Train
  • Your Body Is A Wonderland- John Mayer (EW!)*
  • Don’t Know Why- Norah Jones
  • Thugz Mansion- 2Pac

If I had to pick a best memory from prom it would be listening to the crowd chant my brother’s name- “MarSHALL, MaaarSHHHHALL, MARSHALL!”  My brother.  Who had graduated the year before.  Was killing it on the dance floor.  When they saw me they did this:

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I DO GO HERE GUYS!  I’ve known you all since kindergarten!  Wish you would stop drinking that haterade for breakfast.  Pshhh.

I had to work months at the farm supply store to finance my prom dress*, prom jewels, hair do, shoes, pashmina*, and limo rental.  Months of toiling away selling fertilizer and horse food and raccoon traps.  All I can say is, hashtag worth it.

*I do really like John Mayer now.  But that song?  Gross

**Okay, my mom probably bought those

 

how we come home from the park. 

Sometimes, I take my children to the park.  My children, as with most, would never leave the park.  If they were the ones who decided when we would leave…  well then we’d probably leave when it got dark because they are afraid of shadows.  Man, honesty isn’t always as funny as I’d like it to be.

As such, on most return trips Owen is not into making the walk home.  He’s “indoorsy” and without the shiny prospect of a twisty slide pushing him onward- has little motivation to walk on the actual ground.  Owen rides on the front of our double stroller.  Sure I could wear Henry- but I’m not a human pack mule and sometimes I just don’t want to.  And triple strollers are ridiculous.  So there!!

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For your enjoyment I’ve prepared a short picture story:

 
Maisy: throwing major shade

Henry: squished but indifferent

Owen: *eats cookies*

 
Maisy: increasingly upset demands aren’t being met in a timely fashion

Henry: fed up with Maisy’s attitude

Owen: *eats cookies*

 
Maisy: retaliates against Henry

Henry: remains good natured despite assault on hat

Owen: *eats cookies*

And there we have it.  I’ve come home from the park, calves a little more toned from pushing a baby laden stroller.

Tantrum Tuesday- Maisy Don’ts 

Maisy is letting me know how much she objects to every facet of my parental guidance with the following utterance: 

Maisy Don’ts! 

It’s great because I never wanted my kids to obey me anyway- so why not disobey in the third person with an improper (verb tense?  Yeah, this grammar is getting a little out of my league).  

Examples as follows: 

“Maisy time to get out of the car”

“Maisy Don’ts!” 

“Maisy, come here!” 

“Maisy Don’ts!” 

You get it.  This will be my regular Tuesday posting until Maisy outgrows this particular phase of disobedience.  (cute as it may be) 

Kaley: plays Simon and garfunkle  

“No!  Maisy Don’ts!” 

avoiding the chores.

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There’s laundry to do.  A lot of it.  At least, there is a lot to put away.  And there are dishes in the sink.  And dishes in the dishwasher.  And kid’s butts to wipe.  There are a lot of butts to wipe.  Also, it is raining.  Netflix is on.  I’m wondering if I should just start a bonfire on the lawn and burn all of the dishes and burn all of my clothes and buy a tiny house to live in on wheels.  But if I lived in a tiny house I couldn’t go to Target, buy unnecessary luxuries, and then trust the many knick knacks in my house to disguise them from my husband.  “Oh those salt shakers?  Well, we’ve always had those.  Their heirloom owl shakers from my Amish ancestors.”

I am thinking about coffee and caffeine and coffee and maybe I should just get up and make the coffee.  Certainly that could give me the desire to make the dinner and do the dishes and put away the laundry and wipe the butts.  Those butts they do not wait for no man.  Maybe though, just maybe, I should glue googly eyes on everything in the house.  Wow, that is INCREDIBLY MORE appealing to me then doing chores.  Okay, I’m going to do that.

Be right back.

Yes.  This was the right choice.

Oh yes.

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Founding Father googly eyes- check!

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Take that dirty dishes!  You’ve been googled!

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Last, but not least, my googly lil mana-tea.  I see you little guy!  I bet you really can see me now!  Holy peepers!

And last but not least- here is the first picture I took.  I kind of like this one better, but for vanity’s sake I posted the nice one.

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jesus, my friend.

The feelings that the name of Jesus can conjure from a crowd are endless.  Indifference.  Simmering discontent.  Outright objection.  Love.

“Jesus, who freely gave forgiveness.  Confounding all who witnessed, that he should show such boldness.”

That he was enigmatic, people have no doubt.  They say he was a pot stirrer, a moral cornerstone, a conniving manipulator.

But, Oh the feeling when I hear the name of Jesus.  Fortitude, peace, the feeling that comes from sitting with a dear friend reminiscing on a front porch.  The knowledge of being known and not turned away.  A surge of grace, waves of mercy.

And how fervently I want everyone to know what He has done.  How he has made me feel.  Do you know?

Me.  Kaley.  Let me tell you about myself.  I’m selfish to the point of distraction.  Indulgent.  Prone to fits of melancholy, sayer of mean things and thoughtless.  I refuse to let people get to know me, I put up walls.  The most deadly weapon in my arsenal is that of humor.  Drop a joke.  Run away.  Craft a rabbit trail.  Hide yo’self.  I would be, if left to my own devices, the worst.

Jesus.

Simply seeing Jesus on a float in the Rose Parade bolsters me.  His face is a beacon of hope.  I can not reconcile myself to God, so God came to Earth to reconcile for me.  He came down with us.  He healed everyone who asked.  One day he’ll make all things right.  He loves me.  ME!  And I dropped an f-bomb today.

There is nothing, nothing, nothing and no one, no one, no one who can separate me from Jesus.

I know what you might feel when you hear the name of Jesus.  You might feel he betrayed you, snookered you, or worse.  This rips me apart.

What you could have friend, is deep joy.  Peace.  A God who is strong enough to stand up against your doubts and your anger.  A God who can empower you to forgive and let go.  A God who is a friend, a true friend.  Who will listen to the deepest desires of your heart and grant you the wisdom to understand his great love story.