I am so excited to be sitting here blogging right now. Papa Bear is off praying with a friend, and I think I was stood up by my prayer partner (which she would never do unless minor tragedy struck, so I should probably be praying for her). But it’s for the best. I sat praying by myself for awhile, and when I picked up my computer to write down my thoughts, God practically screamed in my ear (I do so love it when that happens), “Unequivocal!”.

I’ve probably used the word “unequivocal” in a sentence a half dozen times in my entire life.  It means, “unambiguous; clear; having only one possible meaning or interpretation”. And wow, that is just what I needed tonight.

Today, while setting up our “prayer dates,” I got ridiculously (but in a good way) angry. As I hopped around in excitement I yelled, “We just have to stop being so immature! We have to learn to hear God’s voice and to stop being tossed around by all of the many voices of this world. And we have to learn it now!!!”

Today, I’m a little infuriated by a specific situation (one that actually has very little to do with my life); but, the circumstances surrounding this issue have inspired me to spend most of my day interceding on behalf of a much broader issue.

At first, I was so upset that I considered fasting on Thanksgiving (I know, craziness). Then, I went into the kitchen and ate everything in sight (stress eating – maybe I should fast on Thanksgiving). I told God that I wanted to hear Him, not just think I was hearing Him or suspect I was hearing Him. I said, “God, I don’t want to start anymore sentences with the phrase, ‘I really think this is from God’.” I asked Him, on behalf of the Body of Christ, to teach us to hear His voice.

All the while scraping chocolate from a bowl because righteous anger makes me hungry.

Bad joke.

And He responded, so simply and so sweetly with a word I barely knew, “Unequivocal”. And I accept it with a loud, too rambunktious for eleven-thirty at night, “Hallelujah and Amen!!”.

I’ve done this before (and just so you know I do go back and pray over prayer requests left on my blog, so I would love it if you would update me on them), but I’d really like to open the floor again tonight.

Is there something that you need God to answer in a completely unequivocal way? I would love to agree with you in prayer.

John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

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What’s Wrong with Brunettes?!

It’s been about a year since I first noticed Lil Prince’s affinity for redheads. We were in Wal Mart, and we were in the middle of a conversation, when he stopped dead in his tracks to stare at an adorable redheaded little girl. In fact, he wouldn’t budge, or acknowledge my presence, until she had been wheeled out of sight.

It was so cute.

And, well, a little terrifying.

But my Baby Bear gave me quite a shock this morning. He was so completely enraptured that he didn’t even notice me (laughing and snapping away).

Should I be worried?

Not that I have anything against blondes or redheads! But what’s the matter with brunettes?!

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The Incident

Last Sunday, we went to my brother’s house after church. While we were sitting on the couch talking phones (we’re breaking down and getting a cell phone), Tiny Dancer skulked over with a tear stained face. I asked her what was wrong, and she showed me a wad of gum that had become embedded in her gorgeous long hair. “Oh babe, don’t worry,” I said as I walked her into the kitchen and grabbed the peanut butter from an overhead cabinet. A little peanut butter, followed by a quick wash in the kitchen sink, and her hair was as good as new. It didn’t hit me until after the fact that I shouldn’t have made the ordeal quite so painless.

“Tiny Dancer?” I asked. “Where did you get gum?”

Just then, her siblings and cousins ran in carrying an empty bubble gum-by-the-foot container that all four parents quickly denounced, “I have never see that before. That is definitely not ours.”

Tiny Dancer dropped her head. Knowing how easily she embarrasses, I began saying our goodbyes. But once we were home, the quizzing commenced! It took at least ten minutes for her to admit that she had taken the gum from a little girl at church. Once I was sure she understood that “taken” was in fact “stolen,” I let the issue drop.

This is our first incident with theft (besides pocketing a friend’s toy to return it the next day), and I was absolutely mortified. I couldn’t march her back inside the grocery store to apologize to the clerk. I couldn’t even call the little girl’s mom because they were visitors whom I hadn’t had the chance of meeting.

Come to church, and get your kid’s stuff swiped! Fantastic!

I was thankful to be able to implement our newest system, and I priced the pack of gum at twenty tickets (which can take days to earn because they also have to pay out tickets for negative behaviors). I know I was as thrilled as she was when, the following Wednesday, she had earned all twenty-tickets and was finally out from under the weight of discipline. She couldn’t wait until Sunday, and I said more than one prayer that she would see her new friend again.

Then, yesterday morning, while dancing around the back of the church, she excitedly spotted her victim friend. “Mama, that’s her!” she beamed.

Toward the end of the service, the little visitor and her sweet mother joined our church. Her mother is a single mom who has been out of church for years, and I’m so thankful that I had a reason to pray for them last week. When the congregation formed a welcome line, Tiny Dancer joined in to present a brand new package of gum. The girls smiled sweetly at each other, and Tiny Dancer spoke clearly, “I’m sorry that I stole your gum.” I was so proud of my oldest baby that I almost forgot she had broken a commandment in the first place!

Time and time again, God keeps reminding me that I am not parenting for the purpose of raising well-behaved children. This is a lesson that I truly want to learn, and I am grateful for His persistence. My children do not have to be perfect. Imagine that?! But every misstep is an opportunity for me take their little hands and lead them gently to the Savior’s grace and redemption.

Of course, when I think of how many times I fail at this, I am grateful that my Heavenly Father knows how imperfect I am, too.

If you feel like sharing, what is a potentially embarrassing parenting moment that you are thankful for this week?

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I Might Do the Spin

I’m pretty excited right now. My family decided, spur the moment, to come here for an early Thanksgiving (since we really can’t get away this year)! They’ll be here around lunchtime tomorrow!

Papa Bear scraped together a full day of work last Friday, and he has a few leads for other work as well (he’s not looking for a real job because, like last time, this lay-off is temporary). Thank you to everyone who has asked and to the many of you who are praying. We are so blessed to have you in our lives!

I’m sitting here, in front of a roaring fire, putting the finishing design touches (Papa Bear’s done all the leg work) on what has been my pet project this month. I cannot believe that I have actually kept it a secret (OK, I have slipped a few times!), and I can’t wait till Thanksgiving Day when I can spill the beans!

This morning, after sleeping in ridiculously late, I woke feeling less dehydrated than I have in weeks. Have I mentioned that Baby Bear is not a fan of food?

Cuddle Bug: Daddy can’t feed Baby Bear, right Mama? I mean, not with boobs. Baby Bear doesn’t like eating out of his bowl.

But this morning, I woke to an exciting sight. This morning, I woke to find this

To quote Michael Scott: I am not going to “do” the “twirl,” alright? It’s not even a twirl, it’s a spin…I might do the spin.

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I Have a Confession to Make

I have a confession to make; I am a grammar geek. I have read more books on writing than I have on almost any other subject. And one of my fondest obsessions is (or used to be) rummaging through the corners of second-hand bookstores where dusty copies of The Elements of Style lie forgotten.

So, I thought I’d have a little fun tonight (yes, this is fun for me) and write a post about grammar.

Actually, this is a little shout-out to Ellyn. Cause good grammar is free. Right, El?

The rest of you are thrilled, right? Please tell me you’re thrilled.

Lie vs. Lay

Based on what people are Googling, it appears that writers are having the most trouble differentiating between “lie” and “lay”. When I was in grade school, Mammy (my paternal grandmother) would correct me by saying, “Chickens lay, chickens lay!” But it is slightly more complicated than that.

To summarize: Lie means “to recline”. Its principal parts are lie (base form), lay (past tense), lain (past participle), and lying (present participle). Lay means “to put or place”. Its principal parts are lay (base form), laid (past tense), laid (past participle), and laying (present participle). One cannot “lie” down anything but himself. And if he makes himself the object of a sentence, he cannot even do that.

Correct: Now I lay me down to sleep.

Correct: I lay the books on the table.

Correct: I am lying [reclining] in bed watching the snow fall. It’s as if God were laying [placing] a blanket over the world, and I cherish each snowflake where it lies [reclines].

Correct: Yesterday, I lay (past tense of lie) around all day doing nothing.

Correct: I was lying in bed when the phone rang.

Correct: The chicken was lying in the grass laying eggs. I left the eggs where they were lying, and she lay on them to keep them warm. She has lain on them for hours, so I laid her food beside her.

Who vs. Whom

I recently read an article that suggested that “whom” is no longer a necessary part of the English language. Frankly, I think that’s sad. I am all for personal style in writing. We all know that I am a fan of short paragraphs, long sentences, and starting my sentences with certain conjunctions. But, isn’t it better to at least know the rules?

The rule for “who vs. whom” is actually pretty straightforward. You use who when you are referring to the subject of a clause and whom when you are referring to the object of a clause. The sentence can be arranged to replace who with he and whom with him.

Whom are you taking to the dance? You (subject) are taking him (object).

Do you know who called?

I wondered who wanted lunch.

You’re thinking about whom?

That’s enough grammar for one night. Do you want to put my geekdom to the test? Ask away! If I don’t know the answer, I’ll just consult my good friend, Google.

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