Saturday, March 30, 2013

Beauty and the Boy

Beauty and the Boy.

He left on December 14, 2010, driven away from the Navy Recruit Center on 71st and Memorial in a long white van that seemed to have one of my heartstrings caught in its wheel. As it drove out of sight, I felt unraveled. I'm holding a United States flag in one hand and all my hopes and dreams for my son in the other... Wait....did I tell you how proud we are of you? Did I tell you I will keep praying for you every day? and that we will always always be here for you? Through the chaotic ramblings, I clearly see a video run through my mind of Kif leaving for kindergarten. As he and I waited on the bus to come into view, he recited his address and phone number. Then he looked up at me and squinted through the bright fall sunshine, "Mom, promise you will never move.." Wondering what was going through his blond little head, I asked, "why?" "Because I won't know your phone number!" he responded with wet eyes.

As our family and a few friends stood on the sidewalk numbly trying to comfort ourselves and go on about our Tuesday, everything in me was screaming, "Bring him back!!!! I forgot to tell him to be respectful and kind, and to shine for Jesus!" In an effort to make it all better, I had taken his 3 sisters out of school for the send off and then booked us hair dos. What exactly does that do for me? Remind me that life will go on? My roots will continue to grow out and I will keep looking for that perfect cut that makes my hair look thick, sexy and luscious and feel like silk and smell like lavender.

It is now Easter Eve, March 30, 2013.  I received a  short sweet text today from him at his home the past 2 1/2 years in San Diego saying, "hi momma."    Life has gone on .. My heart is knit back together with a few nubbys and  occasional loose ends sticking straight out randomly tickling my chest wall, slightly unnerving, but delicious memories make it ok.      At times  I try to stick the unraveled strays back where they belong with a longer prayer that night or by soaking in the tub till it grows cold.
The boy has gone on and the beauty has too.  They made a sweet picture at his Boot Camp graduation in Chicago and grew up a little more from knowing each other.  They left each other with more beauty than they had before they began.....a successful relationship I would say.

Im thankful today for the text from my son, and  that he remembers my number .  Im so thankful for God who also has my number.  He knew I would be a mess and need a Messiah, so He sent His precious son Jesus to the cross.  Happy Easter to all of you.  ps, He has  your number and will wait for your text or call.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Welcome to WBF Conversations! has been awhile...The fire was re-lit today at The Church at Battlecreek, Pastor Alex Himaya  blew on the embers of my heart when he ended his sermon with a question

  What was the last thing God asked you to do?  Have you done it?

 My answer is..
writing heart thoughts about scripture and life in this blog .
I started in 2009 and it seems that since I committed to it by making a blog address, ( which literally took me hours due to my non computer love and lack of skills  ) I have found every excuse known NOT to do it.

The endless excuse  list begins with

*What do I have to say?
*I have nothing to say.
*Who cares what I have to say.
*I don't even care to say it, its hard to be committed to anything.
*By the time I want to talk about it, something else has happened.
*My kids are so sassy, I should be spending more time nagging them.
*I think I'll watch tv.
*I should clean.
*I must have misinterpreted the Holy Spirit prompt to do Weird But Fabulous anyway.

I should've stopped right then and spanked myself.  A  conversation with  one of my favorite people etched deeply into my heart bobbed to the surface. Nearing the 5th or 6th time this question came up,  I asked  Dr. H, " But , Doctor, What if I think the words or instructions are from Him and they really aren't?"

"Cori, Jesus didn't die to leave you a weak Holy Spirit. I have no doubt you hear from the Lord, but then you take a vote."  

 Ouch.  I do  take a vote from my family,  heart friends, fickle friends, acquaintances and people I wouldn't even ask for plant care.... as well as the  other voices in my head regarding  leading from....... the Master of the Universe.  Hmmmm .  Color me embarrassed as I write this.  But life is about overcoming, right.  And taking the next step.  So, WBF conversations with some of my buddies  is my next step.

Some of my fave most "close to heaven" experiences (besides that  incredible marriage sex happening that comes out of nowhere....or heaven)  come from talking God and life with friends and fam.  Coffee talk.  Whether or not coffee is involved .   Real life stuff.  Most times laughing and /or crying, expressions of  regret, frustration, fear of ability to "do it right", courage,angst and always resolution.  Don't misunderstand me saying the issues always get resolved, because they don't.  As King David's  Psalms end with  acknowledgement in my words, "Yes, you are God, I am not. After all this pleading, and crying and fear and heartache and disappointment,   I put my heart and life back in your hands, because I trust you and what you have planned for my life.  Really, I do"

Often our talks have the same themes that began with Eve....Is this enough or is there something better out there? Are we truly loved for who we are? etc. etc.  You will love meeting Heather a talented, witty writer friend I met a couple years ago in Tulsa with a passion for God and a love of words,  and Tammy, my roommate from Tabor College back in the late 80's.  She is creative beyond belief with themes and decorating and events and color and style, she loves Jesus and good coffee and trusts both to meet all her needs ( not to the same degree...) And a couple other friends I havent  officially asked yet to play!  But I will...  So, invite your friends to our chat and may it stimulate intimacy and beauty in your life.

So topic for today...
What was the last thing God asked you to do?  Have you done it?

Ask him if you can't remember.  He loves intimate conversations with you and will stir your heart to move.  Pastor reminded us of what we already know to do as we listen... Love God, love others, talk about Jesus.

Friday, December 2, 2011

If this is the happiest time of year, why am I crying?

Yesterday was December 1, the usher of Christmas.... thoughtfully chosen wrapped gifts, twinkling lights strung on top of the many half lit strands from years past , family visits between the flu, meaningful Church services and the quest to make the killer Christmas card! I realized as I scribbled it on a patient's chart at work at 9am, 12-1-11....the middle of the holidays...I'm not ready. What did I do for Thanksgiving? Was it enough? I have no card and free shipping ends tonight! As the morning wore on, I recognized my heart spiraling. Patients were coming and going, canceling and arriving without appointments. Coworkers rushing and tossing out ideas, requests, party plans and needs for our new year began to sound like Charlie Browns teacher....waah waaah waaah... Text from a daughter she had no lunch money. Call from my son in the Navy he's not sure if he can get off to come home.
"I'm not capable... I can't do it. I'm in the middle of a life I can't do."

Lunch time promised a chance for me to run. I found myself driving to my Mom and Dad Schmidt's house in tears. Mom met me at the door with a hug offering lunch. Dad asked if there was trouble at work? "no" trouble at home? "no" I curled up on the familiar daybed, pulled the blinds and Mom tucked a blanket around my legs then quietly shut the office door. I set the alarm on my iphone and cried fresh tears for what was going on in my cozy getaway as I heard Dad coughing from complications of liver failure..
"Im not ok with this either! I'm in the middle of loving living close to our parents and grieving Dad's illness that is robbing our time."
The quick nap escape helped me gather myself enough to thank Steve's parents and I tootled to the car assuring them I was fine..
"I am not fine!" "I'm in the middle of a meltdown and I have to go back to work. A meltdown where I can't even identify the major charactors."

I crank the radio and hear " it is the happiest time of the year...most wonderful season of all" o as I pull away. I ask the empty passenger seat, "then why am I crying?."

I need to put this hot mess on hold bc it is the MIDDLE of my work day....

I drag in after work and tell my husband that I think I need to cry. He replies like an amazing guy should with , " you just need a good cry? I bet you will feel better. Need anything?"

What am I feeling?

sad....hence the tears!
lacking, insufficient, a nurse, woman, wife, mom, daughter, friend, party planner, present giver, child of God.
longing....for more.Identifying the word longing encourages a new trickle of tears. Now if I could just clarify what I long for!

. to close the deal, for completion, to see the presents under the tree, to sit down to a beautiful healthy meal each night with the family, to bottle the magic cure for heartaches and weight gain, to force the changes in myself and others, to fulfill my purpose...... MORE!
more of what?

What are the facts?

I am married to a 48 year old hottie, and 25 years in discovering some of his greatest traits!
I have 4 children in the United States , who are growing and maturing however beautiful or painful that may appear depending on the day! and 1 in heaven who has already become EVERYTHING that God desired and purposed in him.( mmm, I may have just felt a twinge of jealousy)
My home is warm, cozy to me ( some might describe as messy) , filled with love, lots of teenage estrogen flare ups, occasional sassing and a pork roast in the crock pot.
I have a sweet job which never ceases to amaze me. I adore the clients and coworkers, but wellness clinic ...really? I'm no barbie and my favorite food is little debbie swiss cake rolls. I care more about whether their heart is well rather than how well they fit into their clothes.
I write in a thankfulness journal every day.
My friendships are deep, authentic and treasured and some are painful and shallow and broken.
I fit in my size 10 and 12 jeans most of the time. What would I look and feel like in a 4?
I long for more....just like the first woman, Eve and every woman and man since Eve.


What is the truth?

Phillipians 1:6 says
There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears. The satisfying, hope giving, thirst quenching words straight from the Father of Truth.

God brought Nick ( 42 days old ) and Aunt Linda's ( 69 years old ) work in this world to a flourishing finish. They are at complete peace and rest knowing they are where they should be.

A long coffee talk with my bff this afternoon solidified my longings.....the same ones I always have.

I long for perfection. for satisfaction. for eternal beauty..for the puzzle pieces to fit.for us to figure it out. for the world to acknowlege the real Creator and power of the universe. for pain to disappear, tears to evaporate, families to reconcile. for sick to be well, for good to win, dead to live again. for our purposes fulfilled, contentment realized, ugliness to melt and for Nick to be in our Christmas card picture this year. For Aunt Linda to show up at their family gathering with gifts and smiles for her precious grandchildren.

I am in the the middle and that is ok!!! In fact that is where I will be until I am laid down with a fork in my hand and treatbags in a cute basket by my coffin.

God who started this great work in you would keep at it..

In the middle of my journey with Christ and this world.This reminds me where I am....He has started, I am in the middle and He is doing the work.... He also promises to finish... and later on in the chapter reminds me of what I'm to be doing.

your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.

So, while I am in the middle.....
Iam capable through Him to not only love much, but well!
love appropriately.sincerely and intelligently.
live a lover's life... watchful and discreet, worthy of imitation.

Sounds completely doable....
I love love... I learned it from the Master. He placed it in my DNA long before I was born.

I feel calm being in the middle.
I feel rest tonight letting the Author write the story and do the work,
while I trust in His words and love.

It is the happiest time of year. In the middle of crazy and chaos, we celebrate Truth and Love came to earth as a sweet baby.

... Somewhere in the Middle by Casting Crowns... ENJOY!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Done? Something God never is.

I went to bed early last night because I was "done" with the day. There was nothing particularly terrible about the past 24 hours in fact much of it was enjoyable and entertaining, I just couldnt stand myself any longer so checked in early. Watched survivor with our kids while delighting in the ease and yumminess of chinese takeout. ( Dont start about them swimming in their undies or me not cooking again)

As I shivered in the coolness of the brand new fall weather, I contemplated turning the heater on for a moment. I wanted the chill out of the air while I was getting ready for bed, but then the ac and the fan on once I got in the covers so I could snuggle. Some of you are nodding in total agreement and some of you, like my husband, are shaking your head AND rolling your eyes. As we both readjust the thermostat at least 51 x a day, I am thinking "I am so done with you not letting me be in control of the joy in the room via the temperature of the room." I think he considers more the online bill that relentlessly pops up monthly and is ranking affordability above joy.
Anyway all of this " done " talk reminded me of an email I was attempting to send the other day(which means in the past year). I sent it and then 3 days later I received a notice that stated, " We have attempted to send this but.............. something something with the server blah blah blah blah......"and we are done trying." I spoke audibly to the computer, of which I dont consider myself a friend, "Really? I will be the one telling you when you are done trying",and I promptly resent it.
I checked my email early in the am on the the 3rd day after the resend and there it was waiting for me again...the "we are done trying" note. I uttered, "huh, if you cant figure it out you just quit trying. interesting."
It has bugged me since I read it and I'm finally able to reconcile it with something else that washes over my brain often...
2 Cor 4.8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.

God whispering to me..." You may resend your moaning and complaining and requests for more and better and different to me everyday.. all under the guise of prayer even, You may be unhappy with the hot stress you are under or feel I am turning a cold shoulder to you but...... I WILL NEVER BE DONE with you!"

Wow. What an example. of me to be to my husband, my kids, my job, my family and friends, my life.

I get to rest each evening when I feel done, in the arms of the MOST HIGH .....Who is never done!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"I'm not impressed"

Woke up slowly this am and sipped a java while curled up on the couch with Julia..... and Sponge Bob screaming about his latest underwater chaos. . Needed a red cozy blanky wrapped around me because the leather is cold. The rest of the kids were busy somewhere.... hiding , I think so I wouldn't start with my usual, "ok....what do we need to get done today? " rant.
My Julia knows my 5 minute tolerance for sponge bob and the gang and finds Joyce Meyer on the DVR and asks if I want to watch one..... I do and she silently slips off to join the "hiding children." Joyce was talking about depression and her experience with it. I can't believe how my body responds when I hear about this topic. Today, my heart gets a little tight, I look around to check if anyone sees that I am interested in it, (Rascal our busy in the corner licking his toochy from infected anal glands, no worries there.) I flush a bit ( don't know if it's from invading Rascal's privacy or the depression issue) then grab the remote to turn it up. She covers it being a medical issue, emotional issue, spiritual blah blah blah......and responds to a viewers question of "Is depression a sin?" She says, "no , but it can turn into that." I turn it up higher.
Joyce talks about her reaction to minor and major occasions during her life when she wants to have a little fit.......when something happens that irritates, bothers or makes her a bit fussy. She responds with , "I'm not impressed. If I'm not impressed, I can't get oppressed and then I can't get depressed." Thought it was a little Jesse Jacksonish...but a great point. I'm also not alluding to the deep dark, cavernous , spiral into hell bouts of depression....just talking about those irritating moments. Visuals come of when I break the mayo jar on the tile floor, I drive all the way out to Catoosa to give flu shots and have no needles, or my kid throws a fit in front of my "friend" who is constantly judging my parenting.... Can I just say, "I am not impressed with this bit of irritation," and move on? I visit with myself about it and agree that I am pretty good at this skill already.
During the crazy beautiful lightening and thunder this am, my neighbor and I make a run to Sam's. We grab a couple last minute gifts on the way to the pork loins. My dtr, Lexi chats with my husband on my cell, we all laugh and I touch a lot of the robes as I walk by.....cant help it. Anyway....somewhere between the fudge samples and the Britney perfume.....we realize my phone is gone. We retrace our steps, dig through sweater piles, raincoats for kids, pork loins and my purse over and over. It has vanished.
We load the car and I am bummed. On the drive home, my neighbor agrees it was sheer then disappeared. I run through the rain to my front door and feel the weight of having to tell my husband I have lost my phone again....second time in 2 months.( although does it count if I ended up finding it the first time?) I go right to the couch and start hearing myself tell my other self, "you are such a than all of your kids put together on the losing stuff......if you could just hang on to something once in awhile...what good are you in anything if you cant keep a silly phone? if you would just pay attention to what you are doing.....on and on...
.suddenly from the turned off tv, I hear Joyce saying...."hellooooo..... I am not impressed.'" I think......"hmmmm, neither am I ." The loser voices stop... I am a daughter of the King who is fully loved, complete in Him and made with God's fingerprints all over me, I am impressed with Him, not with this. I giggle as I realized I had missed it for 2 hours!

1 1/2 hours later, Lexi yells, "Mom, Sam's called, they found your phone!"

I am learning over and over to guard my heart and my thoughts , for from it springs everything!!!
and from the heart, the mouth speaks.

Proverbs 3:11
My child, don't ignore it when the Lord disciplines you and don't be discouraged when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.
Thanks for loving me!!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

the bid

A bit of background.....I was invited to a function by my friend and former neighbor, Angie....aprox 2 wks ago. She said," it is fundraiser at the Radisson, for dinner , 2 fridays from now, I'll let you know the time." Sweet, we can eat a colorful meal with prob 2 meats and a great dessert with a cherry on it. And we can catch up on life while watching whatever happens at the fundraiser. I don't hear from her again for 10 days... because that's how we roll.

Now, it's that particular Friday and I just fed thekiddos and havent heard from Angie, nor have I called . Although I would love to visit and hang out , I'm tired and would rather stay home in my jammies. As I'm settling into spending a quiet eve at home with the fam, she texts " it starts at 7... directions to follow" It is now 6:26.

I bonsaii around and throw on a little bohemian outfit with leggings and boots and jazz my hair up a little. Not planning on knowing a soul or even considering my dress again.

The tables inside are decorated black and white with chandeliers elegantly placed....stunning...and the program is something like "puttin on the glitz". Adorable, I'm a theme girl. They rocked it. I missed the memo...kind of like the old show Green Acres..but backwards. But, no biggie. We joined the silent auction lines of black and white and sparkly and shiny and updos and froofy and had fun trying to "win" a basket.

Boho/farm girl and 6 foot 1 beauty Angie weave our way through the glitz and glamour to find our places. Looking for our table in the back, we surprisingly find we are at the head table. Groovy, right in the action. Dinner starts, chicken and steak.....delish. cute dessert. We sit down, meet and eat. Fun night out, I am delivered a receipt for $35.00 that says I "won" a silent auction basket, so in my mind, the night is drawing to a close.

Oh, but then the auctioneer gets up with his 2 or 3 "auctioneer boy/ cheerleaders in cowboy hats " Looks fun. I hear the first few things going for $200, $400, $5000! whew , out of my budget tonight, but entertaining. Well, then some girls start "winning" things at my table.. My blood starts making waves in my heart. I am seriously loving the action , the nods, the timing , the pace.I think clearly, " I realize I cannot win one of these prizes, but I want to play."

The next item for bid is the Dinner with the Firemen for 6. Perfect....don't know how much it will go for, but doesn't matter to me.....I just want to play. I will only bid once. I tell the table , "I'm going to play, woo hoo" They all smile. The crazy fun auctioneer who has me in a tizzy screams, "Dinner with the firemen.......let's start at $1000." I'm front row and center, so he doesn't miss me, "YEAH RIGHT HERE!!!!!!" Oooh, it was invigorating, brave, daring and naughty....because my husband would've had a fit. So, I sit back just glad to have had a chance to join in on the action. I'm satisfied and can go home now. I'm beginning to note no one has bid higher than $1000 and as I scan the room no one appears to be considering it. The rockin auctioneer is doing his best to heyyyyy bidddddeeeeerrrrrr bidderrrr da da da dabuump bupmmpp whaddddddya say $1100? No one is biting and he starts looking at me. I literally lay my head in my friend's lap and start sweating from everywhere. I look up and he's still looking at me. I am in the midst of a sheer panic now, a fight or flight moment where all my blood has shunted to my vital organs. I don't have an available 1 grand to buy dinner with a hero. The only 1 grand I am even aware of is our Baby step 1 Emergency Fund in our new Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Plan. I seriously consider for a moment if this is indeed an emergency. I look at Angie and scream ,"Oh, my gosh, I have to take it back..Steve will kill me." Not sure, but I think she's giggling. Everything seems blurry but in the frenzy, I make eye contact with the auctioneer and weakly proclaim, "I have to take it back." Two blonds all sassed up are saying, "booo, booo, you can't take it back." I hear the voice of pardon as the auctioneer says, "Hey , she wants everyone to get a chance at it" as he starts the bidding again at $100...

My heart started palpitating again as I told my sister the story the next day. She, in the most pitiful voice, asked, "Was there an intermission so you could slink out of there? Weren't you so embarrassed?" I can honestly say, I did not feel shame or embarrassment ( I know you are thinking......"well, you should have"). I felt extreme gratefulness and awe in being pardoned so kindly without ridicule. I didn't follow the rules, I could've been held to the bid.

In the past couple years when I am late, or fail to do exactly what was asked, or do it differently than what was expected......and am NOT punished in some way with biting words or silence......I sit back and am nearly speechless. I expect to be figuratively spanked and receive the pounding I deserve.
This most recent ' bid event' has again punctuated that theme of grace swirling about.

What act have you committed worthy of punishment?
What is keeping you from receiving the grace and mercy God so freely gives. I know you don't deserve it, you never will. That is the beauty and the miracle of it all.

Grace is undeserved favor. ..mercy when we don't expect or deserve it. Can't be earned or bought. It is huge and it is tiny. It can cover the mountain ranges or a ladybug. I have the ability to acquire it from the Master, the Author of grace. I am expected to grow in grace as Phil 1: 6 states, "And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ returns."

I shall not sit graceless....... and though I usually can't be described as graceful, I want to be gracefilled.

The auctioneer was my judge and erased my impulsive bid . God is my Judge . He has erased my sin nature when I trusted in him. His divine power has given me everything I need for life and godliness.( 2Peter 1:3)

My unfinished business is to find the auctioneer and promise him my next child, or at least dress up like a fireman and take him to dinner.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

from the mouths of babes

As my 9 yr old daughter, Julia and my 6 yr old goddaughter, Tatum finished playing the silly game ,Mother May I? , they sat on the floor rehashing the game.
"Julia....I like the alligator steps best."
"Yeah, and the snake slide forward. I hate the elephant steps backward... and the baby steps...I would've beat you if it wasn't for those."
They begged to play one more game, but I started scooting them off to bed.
Tatum looked at me out of the corner of her eye, then back to my daughter and whispered loudly " Julia....your mom is weird...but FABULOUS!."
This statement has spent the last 2 years flying around in my head, attacking old ideas, giving birth to new ones, requiring me to define weird.. and fabulous. God lifts my chin and as I gaze into His face I want to be obedient to start writing what He has given me to think about. So, have fun with me on the journey as I struggle to unearth what He wants to show