Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Super Powers

A week ago a friend of mine asked on Facebook "If you could have one super power, what would it be." I've been thinking about that.  All of the super powers I could think of seemed like too great of a burden. The power to see the future, the power to heal, the power to turn back time, the power to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Nope, none of them seemed quite right for me. Looking at all the possibilities of what you could do with those powers gave me an unsettling feeling that I would be competing for roles that only God should have. Who do you heal? Who do you save? Who?

Ahh, but then God told me He gave me the power to LOVE; and that love is a super power.  Then God gave me a chance to use my super power.

I talked with a woman this week who told me how times are hard. I sympathetically nodded my head and said "I know."  She told me about how she was looking for another job because the job she does have only pays $7.35 and hour and she only gets 20 hours a week. She told me how she had to split one hamburger for dinner the night before between her children who are 7, 5 and 18months. It was a Monday and payday was on Wednesday and they thought they could make it.  She grew more and more comfortable with me and told me how she and her partner of 13 years are calling it quits. She told me they are waiting for their tax return to come back so they can afford it.  She told me how she spent her night praying for a job so she could feed her children.

My heart burst right open, but I held back from picking her up right there and hugging her. (She's very little, if we did hug, most likely I would lift her off the floor.) She told me how it's embarrassing to have to live off the backpack program and that her family wouldn't make it some through the weekend sometimes if it weren't for those programs.  I just kept listening and nodding my head. 

She doesn't know me very well. We see each other every day, but on a very superficial level. But yesterday she needed someone to talk to, and God put me in that place.  Then He told me to help. Galatians 6:9-10a "Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people," 

So I did. And I know in that moment, she felt love.

But here's the thing. The groceries and gift cards I gave her won't last.  They'll eat this week, maybe next week, and still need provisions. And she's not the only momma who is hungry. My heart is so heavy because there will always be a mouth that I cannot feed.

And even as I type this God is whispering "love like Me, I'll take care of the rest."   Maybe you'll whisper back with me- "Show me how."

Monday, October 7, 2013

Waxing Poetic



Sometimes my baby's breath is like fruit
on an Earl Grey English Morning
Fresh and Sweet and
full of promise
that spring gives with early life

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Thieves Row - It's Biblical!

I had a flashback today.

I was in the car with my college roommate, whose name would be changed if she were innocent, but she wasn't...neither was I, but that's not the point. Her name was Kelcey. We were driving back to school, I'm not sure from where, but my guess is that we were just visiting her hometown. We attended the University of Kansas. Anyone who drives back to school from their hometown in Kansas is likely to drive by farm fields. Like...100% likely. 

Kelcey was full of helpful Kansas knowledge. Like how the longest curved road (as of 1994) in the US could be found on the way to Iola (not to be confused with Iowa). On this particular trip, I learned about how farmers planted an extra row around the perimeter of their fields knowing that the outer edges were prone to theft. Hence Thieves Row. 

It's odd how some things, like that memory, will stick with you. When driving by a ripe field of oranges, my husband and I will look longingly and say with drool on our lips "mmmm...thieves row...." 

Anyway, I got this flashback as I was reading Leviticus 19:9-10:
 
“‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God."

Of course, then I had some other thoughts. My first was how God's word can get so convoluted.  God told us to leave some of our harvest for the poor. There's such a stark difference in seeing something as "prone to theft" versus "planted with the intent to feed those in need".  

Then I thought of how I could apply that to myself.   Am I the farmer that plants knowing that some of my "fruits" might not end up in my harvest? Or am I intentionally planting extra in anticipation of feeding those in need?   

Lord, keep me from greed, so that your harvest is plentiful.  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sassy Pants and The LIttle Swimmer


Two of my favorite things this week:
 
The swim cap
and
The funny kid



Mom, is this hat for swimming? 
 
Yes.
 
Oh.
(slightly deflated, but not deterred)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rylee: Hey Angelica, did you know I have a boyfriend?
(non-chalantly bragging)
 
Angelica: You do?
 
Rylee: Yeah. Do you wanna know who he is?
(teasing)
 
Angelica: Yeah. Who is he?
 
Rylee: HE'S YOUR DAD!
(both of us - Bwaaa haa haaa haa haaa)
 
 
 
 
 
The Grand PooBah of The Pool

 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Not only the neighbors...but the whole neighborhood.

So, a few hours after Close Encounters Of The Gator Kind, I was due to pick up The Taz from school.  Maggie and I rolled up to school and a mother from the neighborhood shouts "Hey Nikki, Heard you spent some time on top of your car today!"   And she doesn't even know about this blog. (Hard to believe, I know.)

For sure this made me giggle, because now I am famous. And people for blocks and blocks will know me. Sure it's not really cool like "oh she's the mom that always makes the coolest treats for the kids at school." Or being referred to as "you know, that mom that runs behind her kids to school, and have you seen her arms, she must do cross fit."  But it's something. "Yeah. That Mom who was on the roof of her car because she saw a baby gator."

Anyway, thanks to my kind neighbor (whose husband made sure the gator was not under my car, so I could climb down) I now have better pictures to show you of the beast.


Here she comes just a walking down the street.
 
 
Singin' "Doo wha diddy, it's your dog that I will eat."

 
Seriously. This isn't right.

 

The neighbor thinks I'm crazy

Picture this.

There's me. In the garage. Minding my own business. I'm cleaning up my work space. I'm sanding. I'm sweating.  




Then I hear something strange. Like a small animal. I see something out of the corner of my eye.



Let me zoom in to show you what I was looking at.


That's right. It's a gator. Only about 4 feet long.  Only my baby is just about 4 feet long.  Luckily she was at school when this went down.


So I did what anyone would do, and I turned around, grabbed my phone and then jumped on the hood of the car to call my husband (right after I got a couple of photos, of course). Upon viewing the phone photos, and getting no answer from Troy, I did what anyone else would do next. I ran inside to grab my real camera. I did have the wherewithal to lock the door behind me...just in case gators grew opposable thumbs since last I studied them.  After grabbing the good camera, I ran back outside and jumped back on the hood of the car.



That's when the neighbor saw me.  On the hood of the car. Crouching kind of weird like; trying not to leave a dent in my go-getter.   He had a weed whip, so I shouted to him "THERE'S A GATOR IN MY YARD!"  As a disclaimer, I did not actually see if the gator came into our yard. because by the time I got back into position, it was gone.  Lucky for me, said neighbor had seen the gator cross the street before it got to our house. So I only looked kind of crazy, and not straight-up-heat-has-fried-her-brain crazy. 

The story is really anti-climactic from here. The neighbor and I did a hot lap around our house- he carrying the weed whip and a brick from a different neighbor's house; and I with my camera - and we found no trace of the gator.  All in all, a very exciting thirteen minutes.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Re-fabulous

Last weekend I was perusing Craigslist for nothing in particular when I saw a post for a solid wood hutch. It was advertised as being a fun "project" or tool storage for your garage.  I already had "the bug" to re-do more furniture after my last project. So, I quickly snatch that hutch up.

The owner before me had gotten this from her parents. A momma, just like me, with hopes of restoring it to it's natural beauty.  I got my power sander out right away. I hadn't done a project this big before, so I was nervous about messing it up; especially knowing it had come from someone who was hoping to see it restored.  I knew I was going to learn a lesson with this piece. What I didn't know, was that the lesson wouldn't be about furniture, and sandpaper, and stain.

Recently, I have been wondering about what my "gifts" are.  "Lord, open my eyes to what you would have me do when both my babies are in school. Lord, once the laundry has been folded, and the kitchen cleaned, what would I do to fulfill both our heart's desires."  As I loaded the paper on my sander, I remembered Ephesians 2:10 "For we are God's handiwork, Created in Christ Jesus, to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Someone one explained that verse to me like this:  It's like a chef's kitchen. All of the mixing bowls, and spoons, and spices and ingredients are there. God's given you the tools, you just have to use them. Start cooking.

I looked at my actual tools. A sander. Sandpaper. Sanding block. Some paint brushes. A can of stain. And the most important tool - the desire. And I started cooking....errr....sanding.

 
 
When I finished sanding, I was in awe of what was under the gumpy residue of being a tool storage bench in a garage for 15 years.
 
About the same time, Troy found a dresser at his storage unit. It was just sitting out, waiting for someone to take it home.
 
 


When I started sanding this piece, I realized that God was going to talk some more. He told me that even when I was this dark, scratched up piece, He wanted me. He knows my beauty. He knows my worth. He also told me I needed some work. 



At times there were spots that were very hard to get the paint, and stain and varnish off.  When it would get too hard, I would put on a fresh piece of sandpaper. God told me that I had to use the right tools. And to keep them sharp.  My tools are my faith, my desire, and the word of God.  I kept on sanding. The more I got rid of the old, the more beautiful this piece became.



I ended up finishing the hutch first and putting it on Craigslist to sell.  The woman who picked it up said she was going to use it to display art work that kids complete at her summer camp. My heart swelled.  If you know me, you know I have a soft spot for the arts.





And when I finished the dresser, I was once again reminded of 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old things passed away, new things have come."



So my prayer is no longer - Open my eyes Lord; rather, Sand me, stain me, prepare me that I might be ready to display Your artwork.