Ricky Gervais Sings to Elmo

As a parent, one finds that one has to make some sacrifices in terms of the nature of the shows that one watches. Finding little gems like this is nice.

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A New Law

A New Law

by Derek Webb

mockingbird

Don’t teach me about politics and government
Just tell me who to vote for
And don’t teach me about truth and beauty
No, just label my music
And don’t teach me how to live like a free man
No, just give me a new law

I don’t wanna know if the answers aren’t easy
So just bring it down from the mountain to me

I want a new law
I want a new law
Just give me that new law

And don’t teach me about moderation and liberty
I prefer a shot of grape juice
And don’t teach me about loving my enemies
And don’t teach me how to listen to the Spirit
No, just give me a new law

I don’t wanna know if the answers aren’t easy
So just bring it down from the mountain to me

I want a new law
I want a new law
Just give me that new law

‘Cause what’s the use in trading a law you can never keep
For one you can that cannot get you anything
So do not be afraid

Do not be afraid…

Melt my Heart

Watching Casper and Dawnette become buddies is the sweetest thing to watch. Here are some pictures I caught…(excuse me for the mediocre “camera-phone” shots).

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Avert your eyes if you are a neat-freak…because I let my kids play with a box of small plastic cups and bowls when I am cooking. It’s worth it, I tell you. Moms get it. (One negative side effect is it melts baby girls’ hands.)

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…aaaand this is what usually happens about 5 seconds later…and Papa cleans it up when he comes home…

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Sometimes, they just destroy.

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This is one of the best parts of having 2 small ones. But fact: Casper is not having as much fun as Dawnette.

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This is how Casper “kisses” his little sister. I like to think he’s just germ-conscious.

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The kiss worked.

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A 6 month old girl’s attention span = 22 month old boy’s attention span.

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Just giving her a hand to speed things up.

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Casper got jealous that Dawnette got a ponytail and he didn’t, so I did what any good mother would do… I mean, look how happy he is.

Here’s just a video of Dawnette when she was learning with crawl. Poor Cat has to deal with yet another fanatic baby.

Being My Husband’s Mother

Here is a recent conversation Dale and I had while laying in bed one lazy Saturday morning:

Dale: Can we pick up kolaches this morning?

Me: Ehhhh. I’m not really feeling it.  I think we’ve been doing a really good job in not eating out lately.

…a few minutes of silent pondering and strategizing later…

Me: How about this. You can pick up kolaches if you go to Lowe’s, pick up pea gravel, and swing by the Binfords to pick up the pavers.

Well, no need to say that that did NOT go over very well. Poor guy just wanted some kolaches on his day off and I was going to make him grovel (or gravel?) and beg for it.

Dale and I have been married for 3 years. Not enough time for anyone to trust us with handing out free marriage advice…but just enough to assure you that marriage is indeed awesome and precious, but very hard work. Envision the two of us building an Egyptian pyramid…Dale with a fork, and me with a meat thermometer. We want something grand…but we have all the wrong tools.

Maternal instinct is God’s tool to women (and mama bears, to the woe of innocent campers), but He kind of left us hanging in the “wifely instincts” arena. You won’t find a drop of wifely instincts in my universe. Not in the furthest realms.  So when it comes to caring for my husband out of my own will and intelligence, my natural method is to pull out those maternal instincts I do have, and mother him and squash him into my control and reign.

You see, being a godly wife fights against everything that rages inside me and everything the feminist world around me urges me to be. My mind screams, “CONTROL,” when my heart cries, “SUBMIT.” And then there are nasty e-cards like these that tell you that thinking lowly of your husband is just normal, appropriate, and even hilarious:

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The most useful marriage advice I have ever received is, “You are not your husband’s mother.”

I like to treat Dale like he is my kid. I like to get on him for picking the green beans out of his fried rice or going to Raising Cane’s when we’re on a budget. I want to bug him to have regular quiet times and be on the computer less. None of these are bad things to warn him about, in fact he would probably appreciate my help, but the trick is not mother him. My mind likes to dwell on his shortcomings despite his godliness, just like I have a tendency to do about everyone else. But unfortunately for him, he is just always within range of my brutality.

What this means to me is a few things:

1) It is NEVER my job to discipline or punish my husband. Usually this comes in the form of withdrawal or withholding affection. The purpose of discipline and punishment is to prove a point indirectly, and is great for kids, who need an extra “kick” on top of verbal instruction. However, this is affirmed nowhere in the Bible for wives. Instead, the Bible says, “The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.  Do not deprive each other…” (I Corinthians 7). I need to learn to trust the Spirit to be his primary instructor and then walk along his side as a fellow sinner in need of God’s grace.

2) In helping my husband be the man he wants to be, nagging him and making him feel like a child is demeaning and is NOT my job. “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” (Ephesians 5:22-23) and Peter directs to wives:

“But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.” (1 Peter 3:4-6).

Other translations say Sarah called Abraham “master.” Feel a little squirmy? Do I sense a little sweat building up on your brow? These are the type of verses the world uses as ammo against us, but let us fight by clinging to them and obeying them instead of shrinking away…

So if I want to be godly like Sarah…doesn’t that mean Dale is my lord and master and I am to obey and submit to him? Wow, that just looks wrong and borderline unbiblical. But if that is to be desired this means 1) I NEED THE SPIRIT like no one’s business if I am to TOUCH the hem of godly wife-ness here and 2) talking down to Dale is in no way okay.

Well, these last three years have taught me to NOT do these things. I have said such nasty things to Dale and acted in such insulting ways to him in the last three years, but he has responded in incredible patience and wisdom. And I have so much to work on. I don’t yet have the gems of wisdom to tell you what the secret of perfectly communicating with your husband is, if such gems exist…but I hope this has encouraged you to love your husband just a tad bit better as a wife, his lover and partner in life. We are given such a precious role in our husbands’ lives. Let’s not waste it on tearing him down.

(If you are curious: By God’s grace, the Holy Spirit kicked me in the butt and we got kolaches.)

A Dialogue

Here’s a small excerpt for a play I was asked to write after graduating from A&M.  Anita and Tom are mother and son, and though Tom is the mayor of the small town of Rockwood, his elderly mother is in every way more capable than he is.  After some rough events that set up the action of the play they have a little chat about the nature of society.

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Tom:  You had a good idea tonight, and believe me, I’m thankful that you were able to make heads or tails of this situation.  Gosh, when it rains it pours, you know?  Give me a simple domestic inquiry, or a community service project, or even some kind of county fair.  I’d be happy to my civic duty.  But a murder? Followed by a disappearance?  With no known culprit?  How am I supposed to answer that?  Where is the silver lining?  I just wanted a week or two to pass after Ed’s death, just time for things to get a little easy around here, and then maybe take a vacation.  Can you imagine if I took a vacation now? They’d be angry.

Anita: Wouldn’t it be their right?

Tom:  I suppose so.  Free country and all.  I just want things to balance out, that’s all.

Anita: They are balancing, dear.

Tom:  What is that supposed to mean?  Like this is supposed to be some kind of normal?  Everyone on edge? Everyone uneasy?

Anita:  It’s as normal as anything else that has come to pass. As normal as joy, as normal as elation, maybe even more so.  Decades of peace don’t warrant any comfort to the notion that things will always be the way they are.  It’s the way of the world.

Tom: Are you teaching me a lesson, now?

Anita: Why? Are you worried you’ll learn something?  Thomas, how many generations have passed where people gather, pat themselves on the back, and say, ‘This is the best it will ever be?’  A generation rises, maybe here, maybe a thousand years ago, maybe 3000 before that. Someone builds something great, they reckon it to be one of the most fantastic achievements of mankind, a crowning glory of civilization, and people travel from all around to see it. That lasts less time than you think, complacency often follows soon after wonder, and disregard soon after complacency.  That generation will pass, it will go on forgotten, and one day a graduate student at a university who is exploring some distant land to get an abroad credit will stub his toe on some rock that soon catches his interest. He will start dusting off that rock with a fine whisker brush and special little tools and unearth the treasure that captured the heart of a generation that we had previously only guessed existed because of a coin some boy found in a riverbed.  Now we’ll have some great sculpture, or tablet, or artifact of this lost generation uncovered, it’ll get a special article in a magazine, and might go on to achieve it’s greatest glory yet.

Tom:  What is that, mother?

Anita:  It will be immortalized in gift shop snow globes and post cards worldwide.

Tom:  I don’t have any place for your old ramblings if they aren’t relevant to the time at hand.

Anita:  Oh, but they are, Thomas.  They are more relevant than you or even I dare dream.

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A Day of Strange Going-Ons

Part I:

Fact of life: Diapers are expensive. Especially now that I have two in diapers, every cent you can save on diapers counts. And fact 2: diapers for Casper now average around 25 cents per diapers. That’s like paying a TOLL, friend. Anyway, I have a chart I use when determining if a sale on diapers is a good deal or not, and we made a family outing to Target last week to stock up since I had coupons. Basically, deal hunting is a part time job (where you don’t get paid.)

But on Saturday, when I got home from Shana’s baby shower, Dale told me that a neighbor we just met (who we have suspicions is some sort of addict…) has been ringing the doorbell to tell us/ask us something every 5-10 minutes while Casper has been napping. Now, every parent knows how horrible that is. Anyway, the poor guy was just having car issues. Well, Dale informed me that he had also struck a deal him to buy two packs of Pampers from him for $15. Of course, my question was how many diapers are in these packs, to which he vaguely shows me my parting his hands. “The box was about this…big?”

I go to the store to get cash anyway.

When I get back, the guy rings our doorbell and asks Dale if he still wants the diapers.

He has a doobie in his hand.

“Sure, we’ll take them from you,” Dale says. “Fifteen, right?”

“Actually, the price just went up to $20.”

(Seriously???? What is this, a drug deal!?)

“Uh, then no thanks,” says Dale.

“…ok I’ll go get them.”

When we got the packages, they each had 196 diapers in them…which makes it an awesome deal.

So of course, it is my husband who nails us the best, just shadiest, deal of all on diapers. The irony.

Part II:

Right before heading to bed, I obligatorily check my Facebook new feed, to find that I have apparently “liked” a few things of my friends. I ask Dale if this was him…and he says no. Strange.

I check my activity log, and see that I have also liked one of those videos of people playing video games, as well as stuff from a comedian, and other (pretty dorky) things I normally wouldn’t like. I also have posted a status of the letter “s.” So weird.

To be precise, “I” had liked a friends’ response TO ME on a picture of HER’s that I had commented on.

So those Facebook security features they pester you with suddenly look very appealing.

We still aren’t sure if this is some sort of virus…or a hack (not one of those cute ones), or just the labor pains of technology rising us against humans to take over the world.

Either way, I felt pretty violated.

Bonus:

Dale also caught some delinquent tweens trying to knock down a road sign along our house. He heroically intervened. Go, Dale.