Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Is God Saying Something? (When Your Uniqueness Doesn't Seem So Unique Anymore)

"Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new after all"  
Abraham Lincoln

It's an incredible feeling when you finally get that word, or idea that encompasses everything you are trying to communicate.  It's the 'aha' moment, when all things sort of come together.

Writing songs or blogs is something like that..when you are stuck, and then the word just comes. What a feeling of satisfaction.  It feels like a glorious download from God, and I'm sure that it is as we allow Him to inspire our thoughts and process.  (Not that I would know lately,  as I rarely blog, and songwriting right now is left to the birds.  Maybe I'm stuck?  It will be interesting to see what 'un-sticks' me.)  

What is most satisfying though, in those bygone times I think, is the sense that what you are communicating is fresh and new, like you've made a discovery.  Any creative out there knows what I mean.

So what happens when someone else has found or said the same thing?

Does it weaken the revelation that you had?  Does it somehow make your unearthing of it less profound?  

I remember a specific point in time when I prayed for the 'word' that would encompass a collection of thoughts.  It was the title to an album...and as I read, prayed and asked God to speak into that thing...I had the 'aha'.  And I felt like it was mine,... unique and particular.  This was my little limited edition stamp on things.

(But,  it is never really mine.  It is never really ours.)

Then I heard it, saw it, ...somewhere else.  From someone else,  it was the same concept or idea.  A similar revelation.  The same pulse  hinting to the same heartbeat.  I felt that know,  like when a secret you wanted told.  Or, a friend names her baby the same name as your baby? 

I had to process.

We all contain something given..a gift.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made, with our very own DNA, our very unique finger print, and the sum of the hairs on our head known. We do have something.  But what is more, is that we have something that is His.....Something we lay on an altar and give back.  So, there is no claiming it.

One of my favorite speaker/author/pastors , Christine Caine, said once "The wonderful reason that we can stride into our destiny confident and undaunted, is not that we are so great, but God who is within us is so great!"

God is always speaking the same narrative. The same love letter. He doesn't change...He stays the same yesterday, today and forever.   How He chooses to say it may come in different forms, but the kingdom heartbeat remains the same.

Perhaps....his use of me or you is part of that love letter , part of the narrative.  He is saying something. I can't claim it.  If he says the same thing through someone else....I want to receive it, it's not theirs either.  It's His. For us.

So when I feel like my little 'corner market' on inspiration/creativity has been seized...I remember and
prefer to conclude that God is saying something, and He is working all things together.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

My Planned Life

Today was my birthday.  A few people at church knew it was and wished me a happy birthday.  Facebook has revolutionized these personal holidays.  It's easy to feel like the whole world is celebrating with you. In reality, it doesn't require much effort to be reminded by FB that it is someone's birthday and send them a well wish...but nonetheless, I'm glad for the people who did.  It's fun to get so many greetings. :)

Another person at church said "Congratulations!" And I thought..'well, I didn't work too hard to get this old.'  Maybe they were just meaning..'you've made it this far,  and look has not kept you from congrats!' (???)  Does anyone know if you are supposed to say 'congratulations' on someone's birthday?  I guess I'm not sure, and my response was delayed as I processed.   I eventually replied back.."Well, I'm not sure birthdays are a good thing anymore at my age..this side of 40 is still ok with me."  However, most of my friends are already in their 40's and on up, and if they are any indication of what it's like...I'm looking forward to 40. :)

We were surprised with a free afternoon because baseball had a scheduling after opening a fabulous gift from the husby and kids..we went for an afternoon in the park: bike riding, lounging on blankets in the shade, and you guessed it...more baseball. :) The boys went and picked out 3 different slices of cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory for the candle blowing ceremony later in the evening. Greg and I then shared a meal over margaritas (I've eaten far to much mexican food this week...uhhg!).  But by far,  the best part of the day was after the devouring of luscious cheesecake when the boys treated me to the 'scott boys spa'.   It was complete with spa/rain music played from Jayden's Kindle Fire, Wes pinching my elbows with his fingertips while whispering in my ear "Does this feel niiiiiiiice?"in a 7 year old latino accent. One of them had the idea to take the key lime slice from the keylime cheescake to put on my eyes for puffiness......confused with a cucumber, before I stopped them. :p   Sam stayed on task for a bit, but then took the opportunity to cuddle me.   I had wet rags on my forehead and feet, and my muscles and limbs may have been bent in positions they shouldn't go.  All in all, it may have been more reminiscent of an exorcism or something ....but it was awesome and sweet and hilarious.  I love being their hard as it is some is my calling,..... and I love them!

Recently while on a personal time of retreat, I was asking the Lord about identity and purpose.  Through the process He brought me to Isaiah 49:1 "......the Lord called me before my birth; from within the womb he called me by name."   When I read these words,  I sat still, struck by them in a new way.  Then He brought to mind the story of my physical birth into the world.

My dad was in the US Air Force, and our family was stationed at Yakota AFB in Japan from 1975-1978.  Shortly after moving abroad, they conceived me.  They were enjoying the time in Japan....wink wink.....visiting interesting destinations, trying all sorts of cuisine, meeting friends from all over the world.  When it came time for me to be born, my mother went into labor.  After some time, the fetal heart monitor showed that with each contraction my heart rate was dropping.  After some analysis, they determined that the umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around my neck, choking me.  ( my family jokingly likes to point out that this lack of blood flow to the brain must be the cause of all my weirdness, unless it was the fall from the top of the slide onto a concrete slab headfirst at the age of 2....maybe it's both  :p )

They made an immediate decision to go into an emergency c-section...and even in 1976, they had me out very quickly.  Sure enough, the cord was wrapped around my neck twice...evidence that I, a little bundle of energy,  was soon to be trouble for my young parents..(especially around age 2) (i.e. summersaults in mom's belly).

But this day during my retreat,  as I processed this story again, it was as if God was reminding me that He knew me and named me before I was born.  He had a plan and a purpose.  What was perhaps an attempt of the enemy to 'steal, kill and destroy' - was providentially interrupted through the prayers of my parents and the wisdom and strength of skilled doctors...and my mother bears the scars as evidence of my planned life!!  SHE bears the scars...and I weep with gratitude for mothers who bear all.kinds.of.scars.

The Lord has poured out His immeasurable mercy on me through the course of this life.  I have experienced profound moments where a deep sense of purpose was known and acknowledged..and other times when life feels like an endless walk through the dark woods with only a flashlight for sure footedness with each step.  And like the truth that's in a kiss from the child for whom I bear scars...He reminds me of the one who bears every scar as evidence of our planned lives.  And it's better than the whole world celebrating...all of Heaven rejoices :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Exactly Where I Need To Be

I'm thinking back to earlier this fall.  We had just begun a new school year, and many things were kicking off.  It's usually a good time of year for  me, as I like fresh starts and new beginnings.  However, this year was a little different than it had been in years past.

This "fresh start" for me felt like ..more of the same.  I have been sensing an impending transition, and really believe God is preparing my/our hearts for change for well over a year now.  I think when this's hard to be in the  intermittent place.  It creates a longing in your heart for the new thing.

At one point earlier in the year, we were on a path to huge change that involved a potential move to another state, a new job for my husband, and all the countless changes that something like that brings.  For the most part, all were welcome as the opportunity was great, and we saw the Lord working. We thought , "Well, here it is, this is that change we've been sensing".  However, after a long process of seeking God, we believed that this particular thing was not the transition we were called to.  This reality was hard, as there is so much investment during a process like that...traveling to and from the area, imagining a life there, dreaming about potential for the future in ministry and life, building relationships, working with a realtor..the list is endless.  These are many of the things that approaching life change brings to the table..and for us, we embraced them due to the state of our hearts.

So there has been somewhat of a fog over the past few months for me as I try to discern what God is up to, and what He desires for us and from us.  I can't see what He is doing.  I was reminded of something the other day.

This fall Greg took our oldest son Jayden on a father/son weekend at a nearby campground.  This weekend was intended to be a sort of 'rite of passage' for boys ages 10-12.  On top Jayden's dresser is a baton that was handed of by his dad that says "Be a man of God", assuming this was some sort of exercise in going the distance.   They spend time playing football outdoors, sitting at the campfire, worshipping together, and growing in God.  Although Jayden and Greg previously had "THE talk", they also spend some time educating the boys about sex, and teaching them about God's plan for it etc.

Of all the things they did, I think the most profound was the faith walk.  The father and son are separated.  The sons are blindfolded while the fathers are waiting at the foot of a wooden cross a good distance away. The challenge is that the son must find his way to his dad by the sound of his voice guiding him to where he is.  I can imagine Greg telling Jayden , "ok walk to your right a little,.... now go a little left,.....ok now watch out for that hole in the's ok if you fall, get back up and keep listening to my voice,....there is a big rock a few feet in front of you, I will guide you around it, are going to go uphill here, so use your strength...ok straight ahead, straight ahead, your almost"

When he arrived where Greg was, they removed his blindfold, and he could see that he was secure in the love of his father and without seeing in the physical, his dad had led him exactly where he needed to be. He trusted his fathers voice.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Only God

There is a quiet, loud, good, not so good frustration that comes when you live with a latent dream in your heart.  Sometimes it expresses itself outwardly in big displays of dissatisfaction....other times it is a reticent battle that wages war, only the bearer of knows it's intensity.  This can positively bring about a stepping out in faith as well..action.  The good and not so good frustration is part of that debate that says... I know where I want to go...but how to get there, I don't.

I remember the first time I felt this feeling as a 13 year old girl.  I was at a junior high camp and there was another girl my age who got up on stage at the end of the camp week talent show and sang "Friends are Friends Forever" by Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant.  She was very good and very cool..and I sat mesmerized by her gift,...but in the same vein, felt a stirring rise up in me and a "good" frustration.  Somewhere inside of me was a dream, a destiny, a purpose that had been suppressed.  Her singing, her expressing her heart in the way that she did, in the venue where she was, was a catalyst to unlock the acknowledgement of that which was inside my heart.

Fast forward.  I am sitting here at nearly 11 p.m....writing a few set lists for some upcoming events.  These are in the company of hundreds of composed set lists of songs....some of which I've played hundreds of times over.  I change these sets up every so often to better "fit" the venue.  To speak what is in my heart.  To play a cool new song. (Never have I added in "Friends are Friends Forever")  The beauty in repetition is preparedness, familiarity, and time saving.  The frustration of it is, to a musician/band, it can feel uninteresting and monotonous. To combine the two camps..all the while listening to the holy spirit, asking how and what?  Weighing all that life throws...I compose these lists.  Hundreds of lists.  This work being done and I'm sitting at the laptop taking in, listening to the new songs of an admired artist of mine that inspires and provokes my heart, that which brings the good and not so good. ;/

This is the dream.  I experience.  I feel.  I interpret.  I play. I write.  I sing. I pray.  I finish.  I share.  I record.  I share more.  I pray more.  I see God move the hearts of people.  This mystery that my little life, and little songs can actually reach a heart?  That it might cause a stirring?  That an aspect of Him, who He is might be revealed in a new way?  .....................who am I?

Several times, I have heard this.  The things and people and experiences that provoke your heart toward a "holy" or good frustration about what you desire in life...could be a window into your calling or destiny.  I have encountered this several times throughout my life.  Not to be mistaken with envy or is rather a sense of awakening to that which I know is already placed at my nucleus.  The frustration comes in realizing this and the road that needs to be traveled to fully get there.  Not to mention that others seem to be so far ahead.  So far ahead.

I've seen some fantastic displays of "only God could do this" seasons of my life.   I'll never forget hearing Dave Lubben sing his song "Speak to Me" live at my CD release concert for 'Resolution'.  I was sitting back stage remembering how years prior,  I played this song over and over on my kitchen CD player, never having met him.,,never imagining I would ever work with him, or anyone in the industry for that matter.  It was a profound a christening into my ministry.   I hear the testimonies of those who are "so far ahead" saying "only God could do this".  So it builds my faith to say..only God...only God.  He has done "far more than I could ever ask or imagine"  I have experienced God bringing me into territory I never thought I would go.   But am I the less than duplicate of something and someone else who is already going strong..doing it "better"?  Why try..why put one foot in front of the other? It can be paralyzing.  Does God really fashion some cut from the same cloth..but unique in their pattern and size?? My faint heart..relying on myself far too often says.."but if you were just...."..then a whisper comes..."only God".  I take another step down the road.

I just got home from a sixth grade camp retreat with my son's class from school.  Last night the girls from his class practically dragged me out of the shower to come and sing worship songs with them at close to their 11 p.m. bedtime curfew.   As we sang..dozens of girls sat, starred, worshipped God...and perhaps a hidden dream was unlocked in one of them?  In my showered, no makeup scrubbed clean face, flat hair, plain jane self......only God could unlock these hearts.  :)    And I am "his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."  Ephesians 2:10

I just keep walking down the road..some are much further ahead...but I know there are plenty further behind as well.  My purpose remains in His purpose..sometimes a mystery to me, but nonetheless I just keep walking.  Sometimes I walk full of joy with a spring in my step.. other times I walk with tears streaming down my cheeks.  At times I may have to be pulled along..or even carried...other times I am carrying some with me.  This is the journey.....and only God knows the way.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Trust & Love

Recently, I went shopping for a new dress.  I had and have a few engagements where a new dress seemed appropriate.  Those who know me well, know that I am a bargain hunter...while never sacrificing quality, or style.  I love this process of finding a diamond in the ruff so to speak.  I am good at it...I have plenty of pairs of $20 shoes, $8 shirts, $4 proud of my finds.  While my husband would likely argue that I am not in fact saving money by shopping just to "SEE" what I might find...he is probably right....but the occasional "find" has served me well.

I found this incredible Max & Cleo dress on a clearance rack in a department store.  Now this dress, though on clearance, still was priced rather high, especially compared to my 'find' standards..but I had a planned budget for this dress hunt, and it still was within the limits.  I tried it on..and it was perfect.  However, because of it's price, I decided to hold the dress, and make sure to talk it over with Greg.  The store clerk took down my name and said that they would hold it until store closing that evening. Great.  I spoke with Greg on the phone, and he agreed to pick it up for me on his way home from work.  :)  I would be busy getting my two oldest boys decked out for football practice while my faithful hubby was hunting down a fabulous dress in the women's dress department of the undisclosed department store.  :)

When he arrived there, the store clerk could not find the dress.  I had held it under the name 'Rachel' and there was not one to be found.  I again gave a description  and detailed account of this dress over the phone to my husband, and he reitterated to the ladies helping him.  They were on a mouse hunt...searching high and low, all the while frustrating my husband who was anxious to get home and switch gears into football coach mode.  But here he was stuck in the womens dress department.  I realized that what had probably happened was that the store clerk who 'promised' to hold the dress until close that evening, took one look at me in my duds and baseball cap and thought " not coming back, and we don't want to miss today's potential sale on this little Max & Cleo".  Smiling politely, she had written my name down and hung the dress with the other holds.  Then perhaps placed it back on the racks after a few hours?

After 2 or 3 employees had helped my husband search for the dress,.......tada!!!,  there it was on a clearance rack!  Just as I had thought.  Now, it's possible the store clerk who had originally helped me did no wrong, and this was simply a lack of communication.  However, the incident caused me to feel as though she did not trust me and made an assumption that I really did not intend to return and purchase the dress.  I felt judged, and mistreated as a customer of the store.  If  she agreed to hold the dress for me until closing, then please honor that agreement. In the end, the dress was mine, but could have easily been sold to someone else.  Now, in future shopping endeavors at this store, and perhaps other stores, I may feel the need to 'make sure' their word is their word, ya know?

About 8 years ago, Greg and I along with our young sons, Jayden who was 3 at the time and Sam 1 year, made a bold move out to the east coast to serve a church that had hired Greg as an associate pastor.  We had so much anticipation because up to that point, at least one of us had been a full time student, and Greg had just completed 4 years at North Central in Minneapolis in preparation for pastoral ministry.  It wasn't long into his first week when he sat down with the Senior pastor who told him, "Greg, trust is something you earn, you need to prove your trustworthiness to me."  This conversation, as well as countless others placed the overarching storm cloud on that experience.   He may as well just have said that he was going to be watching, and suspecting, and checking up on, and never believing the best. It was a gut wrenching season of our lives.  Without berating our dreadful experience out there, let's just say with no trust ever given from day one, the potential for relationship building and ministry was absent to none. We were there a whopping 5 months before we resigned and left house, job, and ministry with two little boys in tow and no plan of action.  The lack of trust infected every possibility.  There was assumption, judgement, and mistreatment.  God is so good however, that what was intended for our harm, God used for our good. He took care of us.  He has restored our hearts through the power of forgiveness, and used the experience to create a deeper compassion in us for others, and a deeper passion for who He is.

I am realizing more and more how trust and love go hand in hand.  If I say I love someone or that I am a loving person, there needs to be freedom in my relationships.  Freedom to allow them speak the truth.  Freedom to let them be who they are.  Freedom to let them go and do, always believing the best. Freedom to take them at their word.   Now, all this to say, when someone has breached trust in a relationship , there are new boundaries and expectations that need to be put in place. It's never ok to become a doormat to someones inability to be trustworthy.  However, forgiveness and a second & third chance is consistent with the kingdom of God, and this response brings the freedom to my, and others lives that God intended.

I've been listening to many pod casts lately as I do my housework, or workouts.  Just the other day listened to a sermon titled "Unoffendable".    The take away from this was 'Don't let sin against you, become sin in you'. Powerful!!! In other words, not allowing what someone else did, shake or rock me and who I am by causing me to act out of revenge, spite, or unforgiveness.  I know from my own experiences, that it breeds assumption, judgement, and mistreatment of people.  Where these things exsist, there is not freedom.  Potential and opportunities are lost.

Life hurts, I hurt people, people hurt me. This is hard and no fun.  My human nature wants justice.  More than that however,  my inner man desires freedom by living in love and trust towards others, and letting God bring justification if needed.

BTW - I will still be shopping at undisclosed department store. I have forgiven undisclosed store clerk. :) ...look for title "Unoffendable"

Monday, August 1, 2011

Upon the Handles of the Lock

My husband Greg really liked that I posted my first official blog a couple weeks  ago. I actually opened my blogger account last fall,...he's always told me that he thought I was a good writer and that I should be giving myself more of an outlet for it.  Since my first entry last week,  he has said.."write more" the next day even.  I had to explain to him that for me to have anything meaningful, and intelligent sounding to share..that requires a bit of alone time and, well, summertime with 3 kids..there is no such thing as alone time!!  Unless of course I would write after they go to bed..and more often than not I am hitting the pillow right after they do.

Last week he and I managed to carve out some alone time as we celebrated 13 years of marriage.  We lingered over dinner at a nice restaurant, and the following morning lingered over breakfast and treated ourselves to some purchases at the mall.  I made him get a pair of new shoes..Greg hates to buy anything , especially clothing for himself. He would much rather spend all of our extra (as if there is such a thing) money on me.  But him improving his wardrobe blesses me, as much as me getting something new for me..I get just as excited. It is always nice when we can invest in each other...making "deposits" so to speak.  Much like an account that in order to grow and have a healthy retirement, our time together can breathe life and growth into our relationship.

I don't know about you ..but milestones in life for me, often cause me to reflect on history.  The mountaintops and valleys of life, and how we got to where we are.  Sometimes, if I'm being honest, this reflection isn't always healthy.  I hate to admit that I can be a bit of a pessimist, and dwell on the things that need to change, rather than focus on the all of the good in my life. This is what drives me to clean my house, or change Greg's wardrobe ;P, or write a better song.  I simply have a hard time settling on ordinary.  Now, often I do out of necessity, and I am willing to do that, but it's hard for me.

The Clifton Strengths Finder is an assessment tool that companies use to explore their employees "strengths".  At Greg's work, they have all of the staff take this assessment, and Greg thought it would be fun for me to as well.  The test results give you ,out of 34 strengths, your top 5 that you tend to operate from most often.  My number one "strength" was "Belief".  Now I have to admit, that I sort of liked the way it rolled off the tongue.  I liked that I would be identified as a grounded person with a strong conviction about things.  Here is the short of how the assessment defines this "strength"....

People strong in the Belief theme have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their life.

...sounds good, right? This is a strength.  It will drive me towards purpose.  It will keep my focus on the goal.  It will help me to not settle when there should not be compromise.   However, what I have found, as we have all learned through life is that there is a fine line between our greatest strength and our greatest weakness.  They actually can be one in the same.  For example,  the very thing that ignites a fire in me to hit the gym and stay in shape, can be the very thing that discourages me because of my belief in the ideal.  The expectation in my my mind of the perfect romantic dinner out, can be the very thing that hinders me from enjoying  getting out of the house alone with my husband and just appreciate being together. To put it bluntly,  belief is good...but not when it makes me a b!#@#.

In the midst of our anniversary, some of my belief was getting in the way.  After a day of reflecting, we were able to sit down and honestly talk through some difficult dynamics between us over the years.  By Gods' grace, I was able to confront some of my expectations in a loving, humble conversation.  That led to my husband responding in humility and tenderness.  I've heard it said that the universal love language is "death to self".  Other things will fall into place as we are able to die to the things in us for the sake of another.  VERY hard to do, and I fail more often than succeed in this area.

"I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh upon the handles of the lock."  Song of Solomon 5:5

This is a story in the bible about the beloved coming to the door of his love in the middle of the night and she doesn’t respond to him to open the door to let him in.  The beloved comes with liquid myrrh that had been applied to his hands.  He put his hand through the hole at the top of the door and touched the lock, leaving myrrh on the handles.  Myrrh is well known in the bible as a fragrant burial substance.  It is obtained from a tree and oozes out in the shape of a tear.  It was used to keep a body  from decaying rapidly or decomposing.  After the crucifixion of Jesus,  his body was treated with myrrh and other aloes weighing a hundred pounds.  In essence, Christ  covered in myrrh, symbolizes the sweetness of his death and preservation of our lives.  How much more, because of His grace,  do I need to die to self and then be dripping in myrrh in my life, toward others, and especially towards my husband for the preservation of our relationship.  Greg is much more often covered in it than I.

As "defined" as I may be in my strengths and weaknesses,  my beliefs and convictions.....death to those things is far more important for my growth in relationships with God and people.

"and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma."  Ephesians 5:2

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Lost Popsicle

A few weeks ago, I caved and let my son Sam purchase something from the ice cream truck. This came after many of his pursuits..usually at 10:00 am ..or 8:30pm....or better yet, 12 pm, right during lunch.  The ding ding man fails to have impeccable timing, which was mostly why I always would tell my kids "Not today".  But this day was different.  We had just finished lunch and began putting away our dishes when we all heard the familiar "ding ding" of the van moving slowly down our street.  Sam and Wes ran into the kitchen with big hopeful smiles...and I said, "OK".  

I reached into my purse and to my amazement, actually had about $10 worth of cash on me, I never have cash.  :/  I gave them each $1 and they busted out the front door and ran about 1/2 a block where the van slowed and came to a stop once it spotted the blissful children.  I watched during the exchange and then as they proudly were coming back toward home, (Wes with his blue raspberry popsicle, and Sam with a bright green lime popsicle), I went back to my work in the kitchen.  It felt good to delight their little hearts in such a simple way..and without the guilt of ruining their lunch or dinner.  ;)

A few moments later, Sam came out from the hallway which leads to our bathroom.  He was quite long faced...and looked on the verge of tears.  I noticed something missing as I said "Where did your popsicle go?"  With a burst of emotion, he let out,  "IT FELL IN THE TOILET!!!!!!"  I paused for a moment as I imagined what had happened.  Living in a house of boys, I've had quite the education on bathroom behavior...and I quickly figured it out.  To waste no time with the new popsicle, it made sense to Sam to put the treat in his mouth WHILE using the bathroom.  I'm sure devastation hit when he realized he was still "going" and the lime goodness was slipping from his mouth and into the toilet.

My first reaction was to laugh..but then I realized how upset my son was. His sheer excitement and fun had quickly turned to sheer disappointment and loss.  We sat on the sofa while he cried and I encouraged him that there would be more ice cream "vans"  ;/  in the future.  I then reminded him that next time it might not be such a good idea to use the bathroom while eating, anything.  He composed himself and went out to play.  Every so often throughout the day he came back in, and the memory of what had happened caused him to tear up, and even let out a cry.  A few days later his opportunity came again, and I mercifully and gladly gave in, and watched him savor the lime popsicle on the front porch even though it was 5 pm right before dinner.

Among many many blessings, I also have lost a few popsicles in my lifetime,..and lately the metaphor has rung true.  As I have been walking through some disappointment, my tendency is to try and hold on to pieces of what is lost.  But as my sister pointed out, to try and retrieve the popsicle from the toilet is not what I want either.  It is irretrievable, not to mention not as appetizing as it once was. ;P  But I can trust God for His timing and more opportunities.  He is pretty good at grace and mercy..and in the meantime I am learning and growing in character.