Sunday, June 29, 2014

What Is My Yes?

I read a book. [Yes. I read.  Real books.]

And it was AHHH-MAZING.  Absolutely. 

I have followed her blog for about a year. 

I suppose, for about 18 months or so, I've been questioning a lot of things in my life. Not necessarily questioning God but questioning my purpose...God's purpose for me. 

What is it that He has called me to do here?

Have you ever asked yourself that question?  I have. Many, many, MANY times.

But in order for me to answer that question I have to forget about me.  
What I mean is I have to let go of all that I think that I can do on my own and give it all over to God.  

Craig and I had a conversation about this and here is our conclusion:
It shouldn't be difficult to say, "Here I am God. All I have is yours. My purpose is your will. I will follow your lead, no matter what.  I want You to be my life." 

Many times, though, this is how we [meaning I] answer:
"OK God, I am going to trust you now that I've made a mess of things" or "I am not happy with blah, blah, blah.  Can you help me?"

I love the Lord. 
I want Him to be my life. 

In the book, the author talks about her struggles with these questions and about the places she has been led when she simply said, "Yes."

It is that easy. 

Yes God. You have me.  

Isaiah 40:28-31

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;  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.

God has so much more to offer and so many blessings for our lives.  He wants to use us in ways that we could never, ever be used without Him.  

He wants all of us.
All the time.
For every purpose.
For His glory.

I have been praying about my "Yes". I've been praying not only that I will fully surrender to God my life so that He can do amazing works in my life but about my "yes".  

God continues to to open my eyes and my heart to my yes.  So many times, in the last few weeks, God has spoken through scriptures, prayers, people, books, stories, church....just everything that I have encountered.  

He will pursue us. 
We must say yes.

Make me broken
So I can be healed
‘Cause I’m so calloused
And now I can’t feel
I want to run to You
With heart wide open
Make me broken

~Make Me by Sidewalk Prophets

You have me.

Yes, Lord.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

It All Started With A Mouse

We just returned from Disney World.  [Duh.  If you follow me, on any type of social media, you've seen a picture or 10.] What a glorious, fantastic time we had together.  

Disney World really is the happiest place on Earth.  Seriously.  The people that work there are just all smiles. [Well, unless you are riding one of the several morbid rides that are available like Haunted Mansion or Tower of Terror.  Then,  you question your choice because those are some creepy folks.]

Here is a brief long [but VERY detailed] account of our week at Disney [affectionately coined #ShortiesTakeDisney].

The trip down there was pretty interesting.  We [my sister and her family along with my 6] decided to stay in Savannah on Saturday and do some sightseeing. I am 100% sure 325,000 other people had the same thought.  Holy cow! There were people EVERYWHERE!  

Our first order of business nearly gave my husband a heart attack: parking in a parking deck.  Now, let me back up and tell you that we rented a larger vehicle for the ride [a 2015 Tahoe...I want one now] but we still had to use our roof bag.  We ended up parking in a deck in downtown Savannah.  

A deck with pipes hanging from the ceiling.  
A large SUV + a roof bag + pipes hanging down + 98 degree weather + 6 very tired people = one very stressed out Craig.

We didn't get stuck or knock the bag off of the top of the car [how neither of those things happened in a miracle...I promise] but we did create quite a ruckus in the deck.  We had a slew of very nervous onlookers that pointed and stared then covered their eyes.  All the while, inside the car, you could have [in the words of my husband] heard a mouse fart.  

No. One. Uttered. A. Word.

We finally found a parking spot [I am sure we were just one floor from hell itself after driving down...down....down forever] and in military precision all 6 of us unloaded the roof bag into the back seat. I am pretty sure not one Shortie said anything until we rode the elevator up to the street level [and even then we still weren't sure if the words would make the bear angry or not].

Everyone was hungry [that coupled with the fact that we nearly toppled a parking deck with our crap strapped to the top of the car] but no one wanted to make a decision on where to eat.  You know how that is...when you are visiting a place away from home you don't want to eat somewhere you can eat while at home. [Not you? OK.  We are just weird like that I guess.]  I don't like seafood so that nixed everything by the River Front [yes, it was all about me] so we ended up back on the main street.  We finally ended up at a pizza place, Piece of Pie, that served individual, made-to-order flatbread pizzas. 

Once again, with full stomachs, order was restored. 

After that, we took a ghost tour.  [Because graduation, a 4.5 hour ride, almost getting stuck in the parking deck, and wondering, aimlessly, looking for vittles for an hour wasn't enough punishment.]  While entertaining [and I use that word lightly] I pretty much stopped listening 15 minutes into the tour. Normally I really enjoy these tours but this one involved too much history.  Dude, no one cares. [And by no one I certainly mean myself.]  I just wanted him to bring on the spooky stories of the macabre.  I could've really care less who is buried under that big statue. Then came the rain.  We'd all been in the car forever, it was 9,000 degrees outside, we are walking around Savannah at 10pm and rain was falling.  I wanted to jump into the cemetery and ask the ghost to take me with them.  

Sunday we arrived in Florida.  The Shorties in my car were about to pee on themselves because EVERY road leads to Disney World. Every single road sign had some direction to Disney.  

Our tricked out Tahoe had on-board navigation which led us straight to a dirt road. 

WHAT?  We rented a house.  There were no houses on this dirt road.  

When I say immediately, I absolutely mean IMMEDIATELY [Like ASAP.  Like PDQ.  Get it?] Craig freaks out:

"This isn't right.  This isn't right.  What in the world? Where is the house?  We've been screwed."

Clearly one of two things happened:
A. We'd been taken and there was no house.
B. The GPS led us to a shortcut that wasn't really a shortcut. let me tell you who the level headed member of the car was at this point [Hint: It wasn't the man driving.].

"This is a road that leads to the neighborhood but it looks, according to the map, that the GPS is trying to take us a on a shortcut.  Maybe we should just keep going and let it recalculate."

Crisis averted.  Thank you. No applause necessary.

Upon arriving at the gated neighborhood we find that the code won't get us in the gate. [And again, we find Craig freaking out.]  The clubhouse person buzzed us in and all was good. [Do you see a pattern here with Short?  I thought, at this point, we were going to need some serious drugs in order for him to have a good time.  Or for us to have a good time.]  

We finally got to the house and that is when the REAL fun began.  I do not lie when I say that it was hotter than 60 barrels of hell in this house.  Immediately [and again, I stress, as in ASAP] Craig goes to the thermostat to turn the temperature down.  He moves it three degrees and the AC kicks on then right back off.  [Not a good sign.]  Once we get everything in and begin to unpack the AC refuses to come on and stay on.  At this point, and I do not kid you, I honestly thought Craig was going to kill one of us in retribution for the stress that was caused by this trip after only 24 hours. [I hid in the bathroom because I know that crazed look in his eyes.]

In the meantime, Emma was reminding us every few minutes seconds that she was hot. [At this point, she became his target.] My parents arrived and yes, immediately noticed the distinct heat wave in the house.  We sent the kids out to the pool, the women went to buy groceries, and I prayed all the way that the air would just start working.

[Just a side note here for all of you wondering if Wal Marts all over America are the same. Yes. They are all the same. In fact, I am 100% sure that everyone in the state of Florida was in this particular Wal Mart with us, trying to buy groceries, at the same time.]

We arrived home to find a group of very hot men [and I mean sweaty] and still no AC.  At this point, a bonfire in the middle of the living room would've been cooler. Seriously.  

And then we noticed the clog in the kitchen sink.  The garbage disposal had something stuck inside it, preventing it from working.  My dad opened the dishwasher to find it full of what we could term "sewage water".  We thought that maybe if we tried to run the dishwasher that would help unclog the disposal side of the sink.  

Oh no.  Not a good idea.  Aside from the putrid smell of death coming from the kitchen now the last renters food and grease was swelling up in the sink.

Three times I called the emergency number and three times I left a message. 

No. One. Called. Back.

Here we had scrimped and saved to take our kids on this vacation and the house was falling apart.  Were we the Griswolds?  [I mean, I know we resembled the Beverly Hillbillies...without the money.] Craig and I truck it back to Wal Mart [at 11:30pm] and since I pay zero attention to any directions we end up driving about 20 miles to a Wal Mart that was further out than the one I just visited to buy a filter for the intake. [Never go anywhere with me unless you know where we are going.] Finally, around 1am, we had some AC. [And just knowing that the house might cool off allowed us to put up with the putrid smells in the kitchen a little while longer.]

Am I ever going to tell you about Disney?  

These two babies were absolutely precious the entire trip

Some highlights from our trip include....
  • Gabe and Emma's first experience on a roller coaster was when we rode Expedition Everest.  I honestly didn't know little people could yell so loudly!
  • Finding out that little people can yell louder when we rode the Tower of Terror then the Rockin' Roller Coaster.  [I really, really should be ashamed because we told them the Tower of Terror wasn't really bad.  I almost peed my pants.  Emma and Gabe were petrified.]
  • My sister suggested they ride the carousel in the Magic Kingdom.  Gabe suggested he could ride that at the Shelby City Park.  Bless...
  • It rained. EVERYDAY.  Not just that afternoon, 20-minute and done Florida rain.  No. Frog-strangling, downpours every single day. [And yes, we forged on.  Thunder and lightening be darned was said more than once.]
  • Going to Disney is really a military exercise. [And for absolutely crazy people.  You have to be crazy.  There is no other explanation.]  We had a plan every day for what we were doing.  That doesn't mean it always worked [11 people going in the same can imagine....] but we planned. 
  • Never follow 7 year olds.  Gabe and Emma somehow made their way to the front of our group and were leading us somewhere.  When asked why they chose that way Gabe responded with, "Why are you following a bunch of 7 year olds anyway?"  #truetweet
  • Test Track was by far one of our favorite rides.  We only stood in line 90 minutes to ride it but well worth the wait.
  • We enjoyed "boxing" in unsuspecting family members. [We are weird. Weird people do those kinds of things.]

  • Laughter.  There was lots and lots and lots of laughter. 
  • Our kids had a blast. An absolute BLAST.  
[Now this wouldn't be a blog post by me without some sarcasm.]

Things we would change or things we observed at Disney...
  • People pushing double strollers and those in motorized wheel chairs can be pure evil. EVIL.
  • If my kid cannot sit up, use the potty, or eat on their own I ain't dragging them to Disney World.
  • Put up more Dole stands...BEST ICE CREAM EVER.
  • Pure geniuses run this place.  Gather everyone in the park right on Main Street for the fireworks so they will shop.  Well played Disney, well played.
  • People are crazy. [Us included.]  We stood, many times, close enough to touch other people we didn't know.  And for what? Pastries in France, the 7 Dwards Mine Train, to enter the Magic Kingdom right at opening, the tram [or trim as Gabe called it], anything and everything.
  • Fastpasses are wonderful.  Not having a fastpass just sucked.
  • Fantasmic [or Fantabulous or Fantasia as my dad called it] was awesome.
  • There were not enough characters out walking around for the kids to see. 10 years ago we would see the characters out and about and get autographs. Now you have to get in line or use a fastpass or go at specific times with 8000 other people.  Come on Disney....we just paid out our life's savings to visit this "Happiest Place on Earth"...I think Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse can walk around a little more.
  • We all want to move to France for the pastries and the cr√™pes [or creeps as Gabe called them].
  • Craig will try on ANY hat.  All you have to do is ask.

  • The Lion King Show smelled like sub sandwiches. I am not sure if the African grasslands smell like this but Disney must believe it does because every time that fog sprayed we were in a deli.
  • The lap bars on Splash Mountain smell.  Bad.  [As in death.  Or rotting animal.]
  • When you choose to visit Disney always go left.  No one goes left in the parks.  We had Fronteirland all to ourselves for about 30 minutes.  Go left. Trust me.
To say we had fun would be an understatement.  We had such an awesome time.  We are ready to go back. Soon.

As always, life as a Short is awesome.