Weekly Randomosity: Punxsutawney Phil's Revenge

Monday, February 23, 2015

  • We were having a perfectly lovely winter (and by "perfectly lovely" I mean that we have had little to no snow) so far, until last Sunday.  I think we are now suffering from Punxsutawney Phil's Revenge or something.  Okay, maybe we haven't had it nearly as bad as they have in the east.  I can't imagine having so much snow they don't know what to do with it.  My friend Louise lives in New England, and well let's just say that she handles epic amounts of snow with far more grace than I ever could.  Perhaps it's because she was raised in the north?  It's probably that, and she just has far more grace than I do anyway.  I mean, personally I've felt like the main character in some horrible Jack London story just when I've ventured out to get the mail.  I feel like taking some matches with me, praying they don't get wet.
  • Bart stayed home from work last Monday in order to play in the snow with L. We made the mistake of trying to take her sledding.  We doubled the mistake by Bart trying to pull her up the hill in the sled.  She fell backwards and was so distraught that she wouldn't sleep in her room that night.  We try to discourage her from sleeping with us much, because we don't want her to get in the habit, but by 1:30 in the morning, I just brought her downstairs and placed her next to me.  I sleep on my sides, so she ended up attaching herself to my back on head like a tick or Rapunzel when she comes upon a rabbit in the forest.
     It wasn't the most restful sleep of my life, but at least we finally slept.  The next morning Bart and I discussed with her that we won't try to sled again until she's at least four or five years old.  She was fine with that and slept the next night in her own bed.  That pleased Lucy, because apparently Ladybug took the Lucy's favorite place to curl up in our bed at night:  right between Bart and me with her head on my pillows.  Seriously, when Ladybug did her nightly leg-swinging at the top of the stairs with some request or another, Lucy went nuts with the high-pitched Roo-roo-roo's like she was telling Ladybug to sleep in her own bed.  Thankfully everyone is sleeping where they should again.
  • The snow we got last week was dry, so we couldn't make a snowman, but that didn't stop L from making snow angels and asking us to do the same.  I joined in on the fun with her.
  • In writing out character descriptions and an outline for "the book," I became incredibly interested in the history of two minor characters and spent a great part of last week doing research for them. Let's just say that there's not that much information on Army nurses who served in Australia in WWII, nor Australian war brides who were shipped to the US after the war.  I found one novel with unlikable characters and a non-fiction book that I ordered.  Thanks to Elsa's grip on Central Arkansas, the book I'm waiting on is stuck in Little Rock.
  • I am incredibly excited to see the season finale of Agent Carter tomorrow night, and horribly saddened that's it.  I seriously hope that ABC chooses to renew it next season for more than 8 episodes.  There's not really anything else like it on TV.  
  • L and I went to a birthday party Saturday for her bestie's baby brother.  While there, a little boy around four or five years old fell in love with Ladybug, hung all over her, and asked her for her phone number.  Thankfully she hasn't a phone number and won't for a decade or so.  I texted Bart about it, and he laughed it off.  L's Uncle Boone demanded his name and address, jokingly of course.  Truth is, poor Ladybug doesn't stand a chance when the time does come to date, because so far she is THE GIRL in our branch of the Gilbreath clan.  Someday some boy is going to have to contend with not only her Daddy, but her Granddad, her Army officer uncle, and her two offensive lineman-sized boy cousins all cleaning their shotguns or AR-15s.

3 Great Loves

Thursday, February 12, 2015

At our house, a wedding picture of Bart in his tux and me, all clad in my wedding dress, at our reception hangs above our fireplace.  Ladybug loves to look at that picture and talk about how I’m married to her daddy.  Almost every time we talk about it, the discussion progresses to the point where Ladybug talks about how she wants to get married and a pretty bride, all dressed up like a princess.  We’ve gone over how she can’t marry me, she can’t marry Daddy, and she can’t marry Lucy and Dory either.  Almost every time we talk about it, I add that I hope she doesn’t get married for another twenty or so years. 

Call me old fashioned, but I don’t much care for casual dating.  I don’t believe that you need to test the waters frequently before settling down with someone.  Quite honestly, I don’t believe you should ever even date a person unless you would consider marrying them.  I was given that piece of advice back when I was a teenager in my church’s youth group, and strictly adhered to it much to my own personal benefit.  You never know who you’ll fall in love with, so you shouldn’t date someone you wouldn’t want to marry.  Still, before Ladybug decides that she is ready to start a relationship with that one person whom she has deemed worthy of marriage, I want her to experience three great loves.

Now before you accuse me of contradicting myself, let me assure you that none of the three great loves that I want Ladybug to experience before marriage are of a romantic nature.  There are loves that aren’t romantic, and I believe that we need them like the air we breathe.

The First Great Love:  The Love Of God
The first great love that I want Ladybug to know in her life is the love of God.  Most of us know John 3:16.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  We read it and recite it without truly thinking about what the words say.  Try reading the passage from The Message rather than the NKJV  "This is how much God loved the world:  He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why:so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”  

Take out the “the world” and put in Ladybug or your name.  Then think about your own child.  Ladybug is my only living child.  She may well always be my only child.  I can’t imagine loving anyone so much that I would sacrifice her for them.  That’s what God did.  Jesus Christ’s sinless blood covers us, making us clean and in turn making us God’s adopted children.

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior almost twenty-one years ago at Kiamichi Baptist Assembly youth camp.  It has been the love of God that has carried me through the happiest and the darkest times of my life.  There’s nothing that I can do in order to make Him love me more, and nothing I can do to make Him love me less.  He loves me just as I am and makes this broken person whole.  I truly appreciate this quote from Beth Moore’s “Children Of the Day”  
“The God who beckons you to love more and more cannot love you more. No matter how you grow in diligence and obedience, you cannot increase His affection for you. No matter how faithful you become, you won’t get a boost in your lovability. At your darkest moment, you were loved to the fullest measure; the same is true at your lightest moment.”
Excerpt From: Beth Moore. “Children of the Day.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/5i6nZ.l

That is a love I want Ladybug to know like she knows the back of her hand.  I want her to know and experience this great love, because it is the foundation from which every other relationship she has should be based.

The Second Great Love:  The Love Of Self
There is a world out there, full of people who are unhappy and always looking for empty things to fulfill them.  They look for love in the wrong places and constantly seek the approval of others - most of whom aren’t worthy of giving such approval or disapproval.  These unhappy people aren’t in the business of building up others, but that of tearing them down.  Call them bullies or mean girls, or what have you, they seek to feel better about themselves by bringing others down.  

It is easy to look at ourselves and have a difficult time finding something to love.  We are always bombarded by images in media of airbrushed, “perfect” people with seemingly perfect lives that seem so much better than our own.  Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and he was correct.  For the most part, we only see what others want us to see.  We don’t see the messy parts of their lives.  

I want Ladybug to love herself, messiness and all.  I want her to know.  There is not one single perfect person out there, not even (especially not even) in a church group.  We are all a jumbled up, tangled up mess of sin and mistakes made perfect only by the blood of Jesus.  

I want her to carry her head high - not with misplaced pride, but with joy and assurance that God put her on this earth for a reason.  I want her to respect herself enough not to put herself in dangerous situations or relationships in order to seek approval from anyone.  I want her to remember the words of Teddy Roosevelt’s niece, Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

I want Ladybug to love who God has created her to be.  I want her to always know that she is enough just as she is.

The Third Great Love:  The Love of Friends
The final great love that I want Ladybug to experience is the great love of friendship.  True friendship is when you’re as close or closer to someone than your own siblings.  Everyone needs a friend who can tell you when you’re messing up, celebrate your victories with you, and you feel comfortable enough with them to ask to pray for your most personal prayer requests. 

I firmly believe that we should be friendly with everyone, but be very careful with whom we are especially close.  Our best friends should believe what we believe as we do.  We shouldn’t surround ourselves with those who will bring us down.  I like the NLT translation of 1 Corinthians 15:33  “Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for ‘bad company corrupts good character.”  

I have friends from each and every chapter of my life, and I’m thankful for each and every single one of them.  Some friendships aren’t as close as they once were, but they are all cherished.  Whatever season of my life, I have been blessed with friendships that were far closer than that I have with my sibling.  Some of the best times of my life and some of the worst have been times spent with my friends.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  We’re so close that even though we might not see each other often, we can step back into the relationship like there has been no absence.

I pray that Ladybug is always surrounded by godly friends who lift her up and challenge her to grow in her relationship with God.  I pray that she will always have friends who will hug her, hold her hand, and pray with her during the difficult times that will surely come.  I pray that she will always have friends to laugh with and after thirty or more years be able to joke as they watch their kids play together.

If Ladybug knows these three loves, I feel confident that she’ll be less likely to be so desperate for acceptance and affection so as to find herself in any unhealthy romantic relationship.  To know these three great loves, she’ll be prepared to truly commit herself when the times comes… which I still hope isn’t for at least twenty years.

In Which The Ladybug Becomes a Threenanger

Friday, February 6, 2015

Today the Ladybug turns three whole years old!  I can't really believe it.  It seems so odd at times that she's not the pudgy, sweet, smiling baby still.  She's a long, tall, slender, leggy girl these days.  She's what I think of as the 5-S's - smart, silly, sassy, sweet, and stubborn.  Oh, she's stubborn!  She definitely has a mind all of her own.  She questions everything, but I adore her inquisitive mind.

She is exactly what is being called a "threenager."  When she's not being a little, blonde tyrant, she's actually quite sweet and polite.  She's very shy around strangers but outgoing where she's comfortable, like at church.  She is the only three-year-old I've ever known who has announced on her own where she's going to go to college, and what she plans to study.

She is very adamant about her likes and dislikes, so I thought I would share a handful of her likes and opinions.  These are all the answers she gave me to questions I asked her one night at bath time.

Weekly Randomosity

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

  • First of all, I've been totally fan-girling it since yesterday when I read that Harper Lee is publishing a second book, featuring an all growed up, so to speak, Scout.  It's called "Go Set a Watchman:  A Novel."  I have loved "To Kill a Mockingbird" since I was sixteen and read it for the first time in Junior English.  I adore Scout and Jem and respect Atticus like no other fictional character.  Books like "To Kill a Mockingbird" are what inspire me to write.  In fact, I would love to name a little boy Atticus some day.  I have already pre-ordered my hardback copy from Amazon.  Now June can't come soon enough.  I'm just hoping that it lives up to my expectations.  I would hate for a book that is less than to ruin how I feel about one of my favorites of all time.

  • Yesterday, iTunes released Big Hero 6, and Ladybug and I are now watching it for the second time in two days.  We've laughed, we've cried.  It's an awesome Disney movie.  I want my own, personal BayMax.  If L tries to fist bump you, she learned it here.
  • I can't express to you how much I am learning and (hopefully) growing in my study of Authentic by James MacDonald.  So far we have gone over how we are all hypocrites, how we approach Bible study, how we pray, and even fasting.  This week is over the importance of true fellowship, not just punch after church.  There hasn't been a week that hasn't convicted me, which is good. I highly suggest this study to anyone wanting to dig deeper in their relationship with God.
  • If you know me, you know I love my Coke-a-Cola like some people love coffee or wine.  It's my go-to drink.  If I'm somewhere, and they offer Pepsi, I take a Dr Pepper. Anyway, I found some Coke-a-Cola Life bottles at Walmart this week and decided to try them.  They mostly taste a bit sweeter, which I don't really care for.  I don't think I'll be buying anymore, but it was neat to try something new.

  • This weekend, our church is offering a mom's conference called "Get Real".  I can't attend, because it's L's birthday, but I encourage anyone who has Friday night and Saturday morning free to attend.  It's $25.  The registration deadline has passed, but they won't turn away anyone.
  • Saturday while Bart was at the office, and Ladybug was napping before attending a friends' birthday party, I turned on the Amazon Fire TV Stick and decided to watch an Amazon pilot called "Point of Honor".  It's set in Virginia, during the early days of the Civil War, focusing on a family of three sisters and two brothers.  One of the sisters is married to a union soldier.  It sounded promising, but it was THE WORST Civil War drama I have ever seen.  It was terrible.  The story was terrible, the acting worse, it's horribly historically inaccurate, and the costumes all looked like they came out of Belle Watling's discards.  I have a soft spot for Australian actors, but I don't want to hear an Aussie accent popping up in the middle of a Tidewater Virginia one.  It was just painfully awful.  I went on a little Twitter tirade while watching it.

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