Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Community.

Last night, after attending an event at the kids' school, I ran to the grocery store (and if that's not an introduction hefty with literary muscle, I don't know what is). Apparently, my coffee habit comes with a side of half-and-half habit and we were clean out.

We were also out of dish soap, Milk Duds, and Flamin' Hot Cheetos Puffs for Darius. Priorities, people.

Five years ago, I would have never in one gajillion years run to the grocery store at 10:15 p.m. in this neighborhood. You know, because it's full of hustlers, dealers, addicts, homeless, and all the other scary people that hang out at the Fiesta after dark. That's what I used to think.

Having this in mind, I smiled as I walked in the door. I immediately recognized the manager - he always works the night shift, the man who works out every morning at the Y, the bagger who graduated from Pinkston last year and is trying to figure out what he wants to do with the rest of his life, the mom with her boys picking up cereal for the morning, and the security guard who shoots the bull with the checkers while they're trying to do their jobs.

It amazed me how just knowing my neighbors has changed the way I feel about going out at night. The neighborhood that used to scare the fire out of me has become our community because we've been a part of it day in and day out.

Sure, I'm still careful; I would be anywhere. But I really do understand how important incarnational ministry is after having done it for a while now. This is not just some 'hood full of people I hardly know. I see the same man walking his baby to day care every day when I drop the boys off at school. My dry cleaner knows my kids and what kind of candy they like when we pick up our laundry. The iced tea at Henderson's BBQ was the best in town before it shut down, and I've told you before about the taco stand. Muy fabulouso.

And in living life alongside others, we attempt to be salt and light, to point to a hope beyond what can be seen, and to learn to walk together through the now and not yet of the Kingdom of God.

Tomorrow night will be the very first meeting of Mercy Street Fellowship Church. We are incredibly prayerful that He will call a group together in our community - to be the body of Christ to one another and to worship He alone who is worthy.

Please join us in prayer for the church, for Trey who's eyes light up whenever he talks about it, and for tomorrow our first official gathering.

We're serving dinner before bible study so please also pray for the food - if it sucks, we're toast.

:)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Safety first.

It's raining here in Dallas and we've got the day off from school because of parent/teacher conferences.

When my children found out, they went into hyper-playdate-planning and I've got some extra kids here for the day to play.

Did I mention it's raining outside? Pouring rain.

Thankfully, no one is as sick as they should be of High School Musical for Wii and you just can't hear "All in This Together" too many times.

Dea is also home from school early so he's teaching the fourth grade boys the finer points of NBA 2009. He's being incredibly patient and they think he's an absolute rock star.

Trey usually handles the teacher conferences because he'd rather hear how the kids are doing than actually have to watch them and all their friends all day; especially when it's raining.

I'm kidding, but he loves him some parent/teacher conferences so they've kind of become his thing.

He just called and all the kids received glowing reports from their teachers. One item of intrest was that last week, Graham's 1st grade class was going over safety rules and each child was asked to think of one of their own and write it down as an assignment.

Graham's was: "Always wear your cup."

I'm sure that's exactly what his teacher was looking for. Exactly.

Ya'll have a great weekend and don't forget to wear your cup!

*

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A little couture for your cottage.

Round Top, Texas could be one of my favorite places in the state.

Wait, let me be more specific.

Twice a year, when they're hosting their bi-annual Antique Show, Round Top, Texas is one of my favorite places in the state. Not only are their fantastic things to be found and dealin' to be done, but there is kettle corn, ice cold lemonade, and come about 4 o'clock, frosty Shiner Bock. There are acres and acres of antique booths spread across cow pastures begging to be peeked in, browsed through, and checked out.

Everything I've ever found during my weekends with friends in Round Top has a story because I'm with some of my very favorite people when I'm there.

This year, another one of my very favorite people is going to make Round Top even better than ever. My sister-in-law, Kelley, will have a booth in Marburger which is right down the road from Round Top and if you're planning on going, you've gotta check it out. Actually, if you're not planning on going, drop everything and get your tail down there!

Kelley and her friend Robyn have amazing taste and have found some fabulous pieces. You can get more information from their blog, Cottage Couture Designs.

When you get home, drop back by and tell me what you found, and while you're there, would you mind picking me up an extra bag of kettle corn?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Off to war.

My brother left the country last week on his way back to the war. He left behind his family, his home, and all the comforts that go with it. I talked to him as he was getting on the plane to take him wherever it is he is asked to go.

His heart was breaking for his son who had to say goodbye once again to his daddy.
I asked him how his wife was holding up. He said, "She's a rock. She's always a rock for both of us."

They love Jesus and are learning that life in Him holds trials, suffering, and unexpected joys found in following his call anywhere - even a war-torn country on the other side of the world.

Please join me in praying for my brother, Bryan, his wife and sons, and the men that are with him.

"You have filled my heart with greater joy that when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8-7

*

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Just call me Rover and guest devotional.

I've spent the majority of the morning pacing by the front door, sitting by the window, nose pressed up against the glass.

I'm like a dog only without all the hair and I don't dig through the trash when I'm home alone.

Trey, Tee, and Olivia are on their way home from their Tour de Tejas and it's been almost a week since I've seen their faces! I can't wait to lick, I mean kiss, them when they walk through the door.

In the meantime, I did a little guest devotional over at Christian Women Online Magazine's Internet Cafe.

Head on over and check it out, or destructively chew something. That's what I'll be doing.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tour de Tejas.

Somewhere between "I do" and "Happy 7th Anniversary", Trey developed a Type A personality in a few separate, but oddly related, categories.

1. Packing for a move. I don't even bother to pack a box because he will, in the cover of darkness, unpack the whole thing and repack in a more organized, logical way. Instead, I get to clean. Definitely drew the short straw on that one, didn't I?

2. Packing for a road trip. His suitcase looks like someone who cares how their clothes look once they actually arrive at their destination. Mine looks like I'm so stinkin' excited to be going somewhere that I don't care if the shoes are on top of the white tank top or if I'll need to spend the first day of vacation ironing.

3. Itinerary for a road trip. We always have a manila folder handy with maps, reservation confirmations, and anything else I would have forgotten on the kitchen counter were it my responsibility.

Otherwise, a very laid back guy, Trey can get downright testy when it comes to travel which made my prayers for him this week all the more fervent.

Our kids are studying Texas History this year and Trey felt like the time had come to take an historical tour of the Friendly State. They've been gone all week and have kept me updated along the way via text and mobile snapshots.

One of their favorite stops so far was the Snake Farm which isn't necessarily a part of Texas history but incredibly important to our culture all the same. Second on the list was the Slurpees they got just before reaching Goliad. The Slurpees had beat out the fresh Dr. Pepper floats from the Dr. Pepper Museum but both were given a run for their money on the list of greatness when Tee found an "artifact" digging at Presidia La Bahia.

"I think I'm gonna be on the news with my artifact!" He also says 'ankshint' instead of ancient which makes the whole thing even cuter.

They've been to the Capitol, to the Alamo, to the cousins, and the beach. It's been a gift to share this time with their Daddy who has let a lot of the whole 'orderly packing' thing go along with the rule of 'no ice-cream for breakfast.'

They've journaled about their trip, taken lots of pictures, and been missed like crazy by us all. I can't wait to hear what stories percolate to the top of the list once they're back home again. Hopefully, they've picked up a hairbrush for Olivia somewhere along the way - somehow, one didn't quite make it into her suitcase.

A fact which, I'm sure, has been like kryptonite to Trey, the Superman of road trips.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

San Antonio on my mind.

I've been out of pocket the past few days because I needed to take care of something in San Antonio.

It was my relationship with my pillow.

My dear friend Madelyn has a husband who knows when a lady needs a break and invited me to accompany his wife to a Spa in S.A. for a couple of days.

We had an amazing time sleeping,talking, getting massaged, pedicured, manicured, talking and sleeping some more.

It was obvious we had not traveled without our husbands for a while when we almost missed our flight, got "a little turned around" more than once, and took a few tries to get to our floor via the elevator.

"I think it's broken."

"Totally broken. You try."

"Oh, yeah, broken."

Or you had to put your room key in some top-secret slot to get to your floor. Seasoned travelers we were not.

We did have a fabulous time, plenty of rest, and a great dinner with my sister-in-law Kelley.

It's amazing how many conversations you can finish when your children are home with their incredibly sweet daddies, and you're at the spa.

Stepping off the plane yesterday, I got my first sign that I was home again. Darius called and immediately put his friend Bull on the phone. Apparently, their game of "Madden 08" had gotten a little physical and somehow, "Uh, Mrs. Trey, I kinda put a hole in your wall."

Kinda as in kinda didn't?

No, that would be kinda did.

Welcome home!

*

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Briefing.

About a while back, before I had a new puppy that, for the record, none of you have offered to take off my hands, the editor from The Dallas Morning News' Briefing publication contacted me and asked if I would participate in a Mom's Panel. We'll be asked to weigh in on various monthly topics and contribute our thoughts and opinions as needed. Of course I agreed because I have both on a quasi-regular basis.

And they offered me Milk Duds.

47777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777

Excuse me, that's the puppy jumping on the keyboard while I'm trying to write this. And I say that without an ounce of bitterness that none of you have offered to take it. Nada.

';************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************+++++++++++++++++++++-
Anyway, our first segment came out Friday morning and it's also up on the new Dallas Moms' Blog.

Head over and check it out and let me know, either over there or here, what you think!

Hope you're having a great Spring Break!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

One is born every minute.

Dea and Darius' cousin, K'jerell, stopped by the other night just to hang out with the guys.

We quickly found out, he had ulterior motives. He brought this.

He was given the stinkin'-cutest-puppy-ever from a friend and now couldn't feed it.

"My momma's making me put it out and I was wondering Mrs. Trey, if you could keep it, uh, or I could sell it to you."

I reminded him that he wasn't necessarily in the best bargaining position.

"ABSOLUTELY NOT !!! UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES!!! Well...okay."

Seriously, do I have "SUCKER" stamped across my forehead? Anyone have some fabulous oceanfront property in Arizona they're looking to unload? Apparently, just give me a call.

Now, looking directly at my beaming children, I said with great conviction, "We'll keep him TEMPORARILY until we can find him a home. Understand?"

Why were my children smirking?

My hope is that there is someone out there who is an even bigger sucker than me, and you'll drop me a comment or an email before my kids get home from school and commence with the begging.

Meanwhile, I'll be waiting...with this little buddy in my pocket.

*

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

SMS Text

Ok, so it's been a little longer than a couple of days and I'm sorry I've been out of touch. I've missed all kinds of fun stories from my favorite bloggers and am a little afraid I might have to stay home all day in my robe drinking coffee just to catch up.
Ok, I can't really do that but, you know, I like to think about it every once in a while.
It's been an especially busy week but I've also been blessed each day to receive an encouraging text from Darius (15).
Because these young whipper-snappers write texts in some sort of syncopated foreign language, they take me a while to decipher.
Today's was this.
"Don't be suprised when problems happen. You are sharing the same suffering your Savior did so instead of complaining, rejoice! 1 Peter 12-13. And would you plz brng me a dr. pepper?"

Amen.

*

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Soapbox.

Hi.

In a dark corner of my closet, I have a soapbox.

Today, I'm pulling it out.

One, two, here we go.

Dea had the day off today since all the underclassmen were taking the TAKS test at school. There are certainly benefits to being a senior and he was ready to have a day of R&R.

His dentist had other plans and he sat him in the chair for an hour-and-a-half cleaning/check-up/torture session.

I had gone to run some errands while he was being de-plaqued and I waited in the car checking email and returning some calls in the parking lot before I went to get him. The dentist office was certainly busy with kids and teenagers filing in and out for their appointments.

When I walked in to pick up Dea, the very first thing I saw on the coffee table in the waiting room was the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

Not sure if any of you have seen this particular publication but it's essentially soft-porn with women in strings-posing-as-swimsuits and body paint.

Right there for all the kids, not to mention my teenage boy, to see.

Are you kidding me? It's the dang dentist office! You would think that the stack of coupons for free Sparkle Fun Crest Toothpaste sitting in the middle of the table might be a little heads-up for the office staff.

When you have a giant red toothbrush and smiling tooth as your decor, you might think about which magazines you're putting out as complimentary reading material.

And ever so nicely, after the kids had walked out to the car, I told the staff how I felt.

The busiest place in our 'hood, the business that isn't suffering with the recession, the rise in unemployment, or a decrease in our GNP, is the Adult Bookstore. It's packed 24/7. The parking lot was even full Christmas morning.

Aren't we inundated enough with images we don't get to decide whether or not we see? From billboards to the grocery store check-out line, my kids are bombarded with pictures that give evidence that sex is not sacred but that it sells and it's cheap.

Now I know I'm getting mighty comfortable on my soapbox this morning but the whole thing makes me so mad I could kiss a rattlesnake.

I spend the better part of my day trying to undo what is shouted at the kids from every medium from print to television. I could use some help in the battle and I'd love it if the guy who cleans their teeth would give a little more thought about the cleanliness of their minds.

Sheesh.

Ok. I'm done now. Thank you for indulging me.

I have tucked my soapbox back into the corner and I promise something funny, or yummy, or both, tomorrow.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sadie!

Sadie, my beautiful baby girl, turned five today.

A little less than six years ago, I had just found out I was pregnant and genuinely didn't think I could care of another child. I had three babies four-years-old and under and I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Our family was already full of sleepless nights, cutting teeth, diapers, diapers, diapers and had just taken a radical shift with Trey stepping out of the business world and into full-time ministry.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways aknowledge Him and he will make straight your paths.

Still praying and talking through whether we felt called to move into the 'hood, we had asked a realtor to come look at our house just in case we might need to put it on the market in the near future.

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

She called us the next evening to say she'd found a buyer who wanted to put a contract on our little home, sight-unseen. I'm gonna be really honest with you here, it was cute, but not that cute.

"But it's not even on the market yet!"

"Yes, I know, but I've sold it."

Nothing is impossible with God.

We sold on our old house before we could move into the new house in West Dallas so we lived in Trey's grandmother's empty home for about four months. We felt like nomads and were emotionally drained gearing up for the plunge we were taking across the river.

Be still and know I am God.

Usually, when I thought I was pregnant, I took seventeen pregnancy tests and called friends hysterically excited and nervous all at the same time. This time, my reaction was totally different. I took one test, and sat on my bed crying for the good part of a morning. Surely we couldn't be pregnant again. The timing felt overwhelming.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

I really didn't think I could do it all again and exhaustion and depression darkened my faith like never before.

The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.

Friends certainly encouraged me, faithfully prayed for me, sure I would become more excited the further along in my pregnancy I got; once I heard the heartbeat, once I felt the baby move. I never did. Honestly, I didn't believe I could take care of another baby when I already felt I was running on fumes.

I simply could not imagine one more. I didn't want one more.

...but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Sadie arrived the morning of March 2, 2004 and when I saw her, when I first laid eyes on her tiny body, the Lord in his infinite mercy, filled me with an unspeakable love for this child I did not have moments before as I labored delivering her.

She was instantly, and forever, a delight to my heart which literally sang out each time I saw her face.

The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save, He takes great delight in you. He quiets you with his love, he will rejoices over you with singing.

I couldn't hold her enough and our family had always been incomplete without her. I just hadn't known it.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

She is like a cool drink of water, like the sunshine. She is gentle and generous with her affections and her Littlest Pet Shop animals. She's just what we needed and evidence to me each day when she holds my face and kisses me that the Lord knows what we need before we even ask.

Happy Birthday, Sadie. You are loved beyond words. And thank you, Lord, for your indescribable gift.