Wednesday, February 24, 2010

i think i'll try walking on water for a change

Well, the sun is finally shining here today. Wonders never cease. I'm convinced that orange ball of fire heard me singing..."Let the sun shine in! Face it with a grin!!" and decided to make an appearance.

You're welcome, San Antonio.

But that's not what I want to talk to you about today. I would like to discuss a small four letter word that starts with an "F." No. It is not a cuss word so get your head out of the gutter. It's a little word that's wreaked havoc on my life lately. HAVOC, people! Are you ready?


You know what I'm talking about because if this wasn't such an issue for so many people, God wouldn't have addressed it so much in the Bible. I think most of you are aware that I tend to worry, but lately that worry has taken a serious turn to Out of Control Town. Population 1. Now, we all know that God doesn't let us get by with allowing strongholds to rule our lives for long. So I'm sure you can imagine the kind of talks we've been having as of late. This is how you know God is pursuing you and literally forcing you to deal with something: He will not leave you alone. You will find Him speaking to you through the most random people, things, or blogs. Yes. I said blogs. I can't fool Him, you know. And clearly, He's not above using a little blog stalking to speak some truth today. Can I get an Amen?!


So. A mental visual was on today's agenda. Let's just start with the verse.

Matthew 14:28-31
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
"Come." He said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
Immediately, Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. "You of little faith," He said, "why did you doubt?"

Picture, if you will, a raging sea and a boat full of disciples. All of the sudden they see someone WALKING ON THE WATER toward them. And they think it's a ghost. Say what?! Am I the only one that thinks this is a little ridiculous? I mean this group of guys has spent countless days watching Him do amazing miracles. What's a little stroll on the water? During a massive storm no less. So there they are. Freaking out. And Jesus takes pity on them by saying, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." Now if it had been me I would have said something like this:

Are you kidding me?! Who else would it be? I just told you guys to get in the boat and I'd meet you. Clearly, I do things a little differently since I am the Son of God and everything.

And that, my friends, is why I didn't get the job.

Meanwhile, a certain disciple, who shall remain nameless, is muttering something about how he just can't believe it's Jesus. He'll need some proof first! But you gotta love Peter. He actually "took the courage" instead of cowering in fear. You know Jesus smiled as Peter climbed out of the rocking boat onto the water. Imagine the look of total surprise on Peter's face once he realized he was, indeed, walking on the water. And then it hits him. He's walking on the water. During a huge storm. And he dropped out of swimming lessons when he was a boy. Not good.

"Save me!" he cried as he began to sink. Immediately. Let that sink in. IMMEDIATELY, Jesus reached out His hand and caught him.

Isn't life a little like walking on water? It takes courage and faith. But most importantly, it takes complete trust in our Heavenly Father. There is no room for doubting and fear. It is not easy. But it is not impossible!

The bad news is that we're human. There will be times that we feel ourselves sinking back into that "slimy pit." All we have to do is cry out to Jesus. And like the verse says, He will reach out His hand immediately and catch us. But you know what this particular part of the story taught me? He wants us to cry out to Him for help. Don't you think He knew exactly what Peter was thinking as he stared at the wind and waves? He could've stepped in right then. But he didn't.

He wants us to know and admit that we need His help. Those of us from the South should understand this approach completely. Never underestimate the value of a sincere invitation. Just think. How much more does it mean when you call out for Jesus and HE SHOWS UP?! Right then. What a testimony in a world of daily abandonment on every level! He is your hero. Your very own knight in shining armor, and He will never fail to save the day. So why do we doubt? Why do we allow Satan to win by living in fear?

Fear keeps us in the boat. Courage allows God to do some amazing things as we walk on water. He didn't promise it would be easy, but He did promise that He would always be right there.

So today God told me that if I'm going to believe him for good things then I'm gonna have to get out of the boat.

Message received. Thanks.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

here's how i really feel about rain and life in general

Whelp. I figured it was about time to update the 'ol blog on life lately. Not that all of you are just dying to know about our daily activities. Well, maybe some of our far away family would enjoy it. You see, one of the reasons I started this blog was so that I can refresh my memory from time to time when it comes to Austin, Luke, and life at the Keiffers.

Let's see. It's seems like it's been raining here for days. In fact, sometimes I wonder if I'll look out our window and see Noah and his ark floating by complete with 2 of every kind of animal. I bet it would really smell so here's hoping he's taking another route. Like maybe somewhere near Austin's school. Although I LOVE Coker, it would appear that I've chosen the only Mother's Day Out in a flood plain; thus, making drop off and pick up quite the adventure. In fact, he may not have to go to school tomorrow because all the roads leading to his school may be flooded completely. All of the sudden North Loop Road has become Lake Coker.

I don't mind the rain. I actually welcome it after Summer '09 otherwise known as The Summer I Realized I Might Have Seasonal Affective Disorder {aka: SAD} in reverse. Call me crazy but dead plants, grass, and trees just don't scream happiness. I mean, you know it's bad when you start singing "Come On Get Happy" to yourself throughout every day!!

But here's the deal. All this rain is starting to make me a little grouchy. I'm not sure what to wear because what if I decide I need to run a couple of errands? Of course, I'll have to wear jeans but then the bottoms get all wet because puddles like to hide in parking lots and sneak up on you when you're trying to carry your 2 year old and hold an umbrella AND put his hood on. So then they're dragging behind me making this dorky noise because we all know that when the bottom of our jeans get wet they get longer. Cool. Do you see my dilemma? Austin, on the other hand, is drawn to water like Heidi Montag to plastic surgery. I guess I can't blame him since the for the first 2 years of his life he hardly ever saw any rain. I thought about getting him some rain boots at one time but then I thought to myself:

Self, will you really get your money's worth. I mean think about it. It rains here about as much as it does in the dessert.

Turns out, jokes on me because El Nino decided to make an appearance, and lo and behold, we have rain. So when I'm feeling a little grumpy and mad at the rain, I just remind myself what it felt like to have million degree weather coupled with brown, brown and more brown. Plus, I can always take myself to the Red Dot Boutique {aka: Target} and get Austin some rainboots. Let's face it, there's nothing retail therapy can't fix.

Austin has been so fun lately. He's still talking up a storm which causes fun nicknames like Sir Talks Alot and Motor Mouth. In addition, sometimes I want to ask him if he was vaccinated with a phonograph needle. But for the most part I love hearing all about the things he's thinking and feeling. Here are just a few things he's told me lately:

When I noticed he was sitting in his highchair with his cheek in his hand I asked him what he was thinking and he said: I'm just thinking about my day. Mind you, it was very late in the day. Like 8:00. AM. 

He tells me who went to time out at school so of course I have to ask if he ever has to go to time out. His response is priceless:
No. I not have to go to time out. But, I go to time out at Mommy's house.
Lucky for me, those times are few and far between since he's such a good little boy.  

He was sleeping in our bed one night and rolled over, almost hitting me in the face. So I said:
Austin please be careful.
What's the problem, Mommy?
You almost hit me in the face.
Oh. I sorry, Mommy.

He's so much fun and the ray of sunshine in the rainy days we've had lately. In other news, I've spent the last several days watching all of the Harry Potter movies. Well, not all of them. I still have one more to go. I don't even know what to say for myself. It's as if I've regressed and suddenly I'm obsessed with Young Adult fiction. Hopefully, I'll rejoin my age group soon.

On a completly unrelated note, I spent the majority of last week in the depths of despair. I had some sort of stomach bug on top of being told my parents were putting their dog to sleep. There were some dark days, people. It is NO. FUN. trying to keep up with a 2 year old when you have a fever, headache, and stomach woes interspersed with swollen eyes due to random crying spells. By the end of the week, I was ready to punch myself in the face just to put myself out of my misery. As you can see, things could only go up from there which is why this week has been MUCH better than last. I still have moments of sadness about the dog that was a part of our family for 10 years, but Robert Emmitt says that all dogs do go to Heaven. And I believe him. End of story.

Well, if you've made it this far then bless your heart. You are a true friend or devoted family member. Congratulations. You win the award. I'm off to fold more clothes so that I can look in my closet and complain that " I have NOTHING to wear." And technically, I don't when it's raining!

Monday, February 1, 2010

sing it with me...a whole new world!!

I grew up in a family of girls.
Dresses, dolls, and drama were a part of our everyday routine.

We loved every minute of it. My dad not so much. He preferred a little less drama.

I  have to admit. I was more than a little nervous when I found out we were having a little boy. I mean, really, are you surprised? You should know by now that I do better when I know what to expect. But for some reason, God prefers to be the One in control. Weird, I know.

So there I was. Getting ready to start a completely new journey in more ways than one. I quickly realized that the world of little boys is much different than that of little girls. Half the clothing racks, fewer choices for shoes, and they WILL pee on you. {Thankfully, Austin never got me with "Old Faithful."} However, I was finding that this new experience was more wonderful than I could have imagined.

Dolls have been replaced with dump trucks.
Less shoes and drama less. Hallelujah and Amen!

But the best surprise by far has been discovering that little boys love their mamas. There's nothing like it. His face lights up the moment I walk into the room. He tells me I'm beautiful and I know he means every word. For just a little while, I am the only girl that matters to him, and I am savoring every moment. I had no idea how much I would love my son. From the moment he was born, we've shared a special bond. After all, I birthed that boy. We better have a special bond.

{Don't worry. He and his daddy have a special bond too. It would seem that things like burping and wrestling strengthen it. I'm ok with the wrestling just not the burping. Totally gross.}

He is my buddy and we do everything together. We make memories while on Sonic dates, running errands, and doing housework. He tells me things like who kissed him at school or that the thunder scared him last night. And when he's not talking to me, he's singing to me.

There are definitely days that I feel I've failed. Failed to have patience. Failed to put him first. Or just failed in my overall attitude. But I pray that for the most part, I can model what it means to be beautiful on the inside. I hope that he will see what a treasure a Godly wife and mother are through my example. And let's not forget giving him ample opportunities to learn what it means to love someone even when the outside is less than pretty. We strive for a well rounded education here in the Keiffer family.

I know the day will come when another girl will steal his heart and our relationship will change. However, I hope that these years will strengthen the bond that was created when I looked into his little eyes for the first time and realized that, for better or worse, I was his mom forever. And how thankful I am that God gave me Austin Luke Keiffer! He is such a blessing.

So while I spent my growing up years in a house full of girls, I'm spending my grown-up years in a house full of boys. For now, anyway. It's proof that miracles do happen. I can love change after all. Feel free to look for some flying pigs.