Sunday, December 17, 2006

Refiner's Fire

Wow. What an amazing service we had this morning. We started the service with the elders gathering around an older member who had been in a wreck the night before. A woman in the other car had been killed, and this member was, understandably, dealing with extreme guilt and sadness. All the elders laid their hands on him and took turns praying for him and for the family of the woman who had been killed.

Then Jeff (our preacher) decided that we would take communion right then and there, since that is something we do all together. It's like we were sitting around the table weeping with a family member ... oh wait ... we were! John had planned for the praise team to sing a couple of songs during the cup, so I wondered if we were going to go ahead and do them. Amazingly (isn't that the way God works?), the songs spoke directly to this situation. The first was "Have Mercy On Me, O God," that John and I sang as a duet. The other was, "For All You've Done," whose lyrics begin, "O Cleanser of the mess I've made ..." The chorus is, "How wonderful Your mercy is. How awesome are Your ways. I come, I come to worship You for all You've done." How perfect was that to transition into the rest of the service?! There weren't very many dry eyes to be found.

The theme of the service was Cleansing, taken from Malachi 3. Who will be able to stand when God comes to clean up? We sang "Refiner's Fire" and many other purifying/cleansing type songs. Very powerful.

Of course, my silly little mind always wanders a bit. So for a while this morning, I thought about how we have several songs that talk about the refining fire and making us like gold, but not too many songs about how God is like soap, as Malachi states. I then thought of another possible verse for Refiner's Fire that goes, "Laun-der-rer's soap ... my heart's only hope ... is to be holy ..." etc. Just not quite as smooth. :)

The cleansing part also got me thinking about the healing part. In order to be purified, it seems like the process is awfully painful. God doesn't just leave us with gaping wounds; He also is there as the salve in the healing process.

I think we get stuck sometimes with gaping wounds and don't know what to do next. It's almost like we get used to our wounds and don't know who we are without them. Or maybe we're too scared to heal, knowing that if we were whole again, we would be expected to do more.

As I said in my last post, Johnathan learned that he could take his cast off. I thought this was great, in that we could take it off to take a bath and then put it back on when he dried off. So last night, we took it off and I put him in the tub. He started crying and held his wrist close to him and said it would hurt if he put it in the water. The he said he couldn't open his hand. Then he couldn't put soap on it, and a whole host of other things that he was just afraid to do!

(By the way, he gets his cast off Wednesday and has been using his hand/wrist almost as if he had no cast. It's already healed.)

He had gotten used to protecting it and used to saying, "I can't" because of it. But more importantly, I think, he had gotten used to the attention he had been getting. No reasoning or explanation that it was all better would change his mind. Of course, when we sang a song, and he forgot about the fact that he didn't have his cast on, he was totally fine! He could wiggle his fingers and turn his hand from palm-down to palm-up with no problem. But as soon as he would look at his wrist, he would start crying again, remembering that it was supposed to hurt!

Wow, if we aren't like that sometimes! It takes courage to use that wrist again after it's been broken. And it IS weak ... but healed. It takes courage to open our hearts and lives to people after our they've been broken in the past, too!

Father, help me allow You to wash away my iniquities and heal my gaping wounds so that I can be strong and serve You better.

You didn't think you'd get two sermons today, did you?!

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Show, etc.

Last weekend Glenwood put on a dinner theater called "I'll Be Home for Christmas." John directed it, and I had a small singing role. It was a blast and a huge success! Glenwood had never done anything like it before, and people were just blown away! The story takes place in 1941 right around the time of Pearl Harbor. The front half of the stage is the family living room where the family gathers around and listens to the radio from time to time. The back half of the stage is raised a foot and is the recording studio, so we actually perform all of the songs, shows, commercials live. All that 40's music was so fun to sing! I got to be in a girls trio, similar to the Andrews sisters, that sang, "I'm Wishing You a Merry, Merry Christmas." It was a blast! People were so excited after the show and everyone kept asking when the next one was goinig to be. We'll see ... :)

I wish I had some good pictures from the whole process

But I don't.

They did have 3 video cameras running the first night and 4 the second, so our video guy is editing a seamless version using all 7 angles. I can't wait to see it!

Tonight we're heading to Dallas to hear Vocal Majority with Dad and Maria. That should be fun! One of our Glenwood members sings with the group. We'll spend the night at Randy and Karla's and head back some time tomorrow. I'm hoping to hit P.F. Chang's once before we go home! Maybe Saturday lunch. What a treat!

On a side note, Johnathan showed me how he can take his cast off. You were right, Elizabeth! I think I overreacted when I saw him carrying his cast in to show me. I sucked all the air out of the room, and he began to cry! I told him that he wasn't in trouble, but that he did need to keep his cast on until the doctor says it's okay (Wednesday). Then I promised that we could take it off for bath time--hooray!

Kalleigh is "talking" more and more these days. It's so sweet! I just love all those baby noises: "oh!" "agoo," "dlah," "ah!" I thought it wouldn't be as exciting the second time around, but it IS!

Okay! Who's who? Highlight the hidden text below to find out!



A. Johnathan, 12 weeks
B. Kalleigh, 10 weeks

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Elfish Impersonator

I just got a stack of pictures in the mail from Mom from when we were there for Thanksgiving. how fun! This is one of my favorites:

Speaking of giving thanks, this is Kalleigh's third night in a row to sleep 6 1/2 or 7 hours in a row! Plus, the milk of magnesia trick is working ... the diaper rash is getting better!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

What my kids are doing these days ...

It's 6:30 am. I remember Kalleigh going to sleep at midnight. Did I feed her during the wee hours of the morning and not remember? No ...

And then it hits me. She slept all the way through the night! I get up to take my shower, wishing it were a sleep-in day for me, for Kalleigh is still sleeping. Then at 7:00, like a little alarm, *squeak, grunt, squeak, squeak, grunt, rooting noises* and then a little "eehh!" She slept for 7 hours!

Poor little girl. She had her 2 month shots yesterday. It was awful. You can refer to Part 2 of the Three Parts post to know how I feel about shots. She had three sticks and had to drink some other vaccine. But now the fun part: the stats. She weighed 11 lbs, 12 oz and was 23 in long. Right around the 60th percentile for both measurements. She's a little closer to average than Johnathan was. At his 2 month appt, he was in the 20th percentile for height and 80th percentile for weight!

The doctor also gave us a new diaper rash remedy to try. We are to coat the rash with milk of magnesia, let it dry, then cover that with Desitin and do that 4 times a day. He said the MoM is an antacid and neutralizes the poop before it hits the skin. Man, I hope it works!.

What's Johnathan up to? Saying the funniets things everyday. Just a few examples:
Poe glasses = molasses
Keermint = pyramid
Wedgie Tales = (I bet you can figure that out)
When we were at Mom's putting up the tree, I said, "Johnathan, when we get home are we goinig to have Christmas, too?" He said, "No ... Basketball!" Wow. Do you think he really remembered our life with me as a coach during this season last year?

He's going through a phase where he is saying he loves just about everything. "Mommy! I love your eyebrows! I love your elbows!" etc.

I'm wearing a short blond curly wig for our dinner theater this weekend. Johnathan came into rehearsal last night as we were all on stage. I think he recognized my voice when I was singing, but he couldn't find me! Finally, our assistant director picked him up and pointed to me. Johnathan's eyebrows went up and he grinned really big and said, "Oh, THERE's Mommy!"

Yesterday, Johnathan gave me what he believe to be the best compliment of all. He said, "Mommy, you're the biggest mommy ever!" Thanks, kid. :)

Here are the promised broken arm pictures:

Showing off his muscles.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Recent cute pictures

Here are the latest cute pictures of my beautiful children:
Kalleigh: 9 weeks, Johnathan: 2 1/2

Broken Arm

Mothers of boys all know it's bound to happen sooner or later. It happened to Johnathan on Wednesday morning.

I was sitting on one end of the couch feeding Kalleigh, and Johnathan was climbing around on the other end. He got up on the arm, which is against Hodges family rules, so I told him to get down. Of course, I couldn't really physically move him, since Kalleigh was attached. I looked away for a couple of seconds, and when I looked back, Johnathan was standing on the arm, facing the couch. Before I could blink, he lost his balance and fell down backwards and put his hands down to catch himself. Now, he falls down ALL the time, and usually it doesn't phase him too much. This time he came around the couch crying and holding his left wrist. I looked at it and tried to determine if it was broken, and couldn't really tell anything other than it hurt him. Then he said he wanted to go lie down. WHAT?? I don't think he's EVER said those words before. Then he changed his mind and wanted to come sit by me on the couch. But when he tried to push up with his hands, he just screamed! Then we put a Nemo Band-Aid on his arm "to help it get better." Unfortunately, Nemo failed miserably. So we headed to the doctor.

John hadn't left for work yet, thank goodness, so we took the whole family to see the doctor. The whole time I was thinking that it probably wasn't broken, that 2-yr-old's arms have so much cartilage in them that surely it wouldn't break from just falling off the couch. Johnathan was a trooper through the whole process. John went in with him for the X-rays while I waited with Kalleigh. Then the doctor came back and told us that it was indeed broken! A "minor displacement," I believe were his words. Basically a hairline fracture of the left radius just right down on the wrist. I was floored! I felt like I had been pretty calm until we knew it was actually broken. Then I was like, "John! You have to hold him! He'll fall down and snap it in half!"

Luckily for us, our pediatrician's office is in a sports medicine building with orthopedic surgeons and all their gear in it, so we didn't have to go anywhere else to have the X-rays or to have his arm casted. Our pediatrician is Dr. Smith, and the orthopedist was saw was Dr. Harris. Johnathan came home sporting his blue cast and saying that he went to see Dr. Smith and Dr. Hair, who put on his "big Band-Aid." :)

During all of this, I had misplaced my camera, so I don't have good pics of the casted arm yet, but I will.


We had a wonderful time with Mom, Mamaw and Papaw over the Thanksgiving break. We ate so very well: turkey and the works for "THE meal," and Mamaw fixed squirrel for me for another meal! And I'm so bad about not remembering to take pictures. I don't have a picture of all of us together. Amazing. But that didn't stop us from having fun. We sang, watched movies, took naps and just enjoyed being together.

Friday afternoon, JR & Daisha came over with Gideon for a play date. It was so great to finally meet "Daisha's boys"! The blog world is so small that I felt like I knew JR and Gideon already. It had been about four years since Daisha and I had seen each other! Johnathan and Gideon had fun together, and I think JR had a good time holding Kalleigh! JR and Daisha seem like such good parents. Very nurturing. Sure wish we could see each other more often!

Johnathan, Gideon ... and Santa. Gideon is such a cutie. Even more so in person! He is just constantly wiggling and flashing that big smile!

The Hodges and Sheets families.

I think the best part of this trip is that John was able to go with me! Often, John will have to stay in town so he won't miss some rehearsal or church service. Having him with us was just so much better! Ah, the life of a minister ... as many of you know!