Welcome to my new website! Okay, I suppose technically it’s a blog, but “website” sounds more official and fancy. And I’m all up in official and fancy.
I’m still working on a few things–my blog roll page, specifically. And I still have a list of unreasonable demands I have yet to give to Peter Pollock, but it’s pretty much done for now.
Isn’t it roomy? I just love all the grey space. When I was researching what color to paint my office/studio, I wanted to find a color that best stimulated creativity. Do you know which color that is? Yeppers–grey. Of course, I didn’t paint my studio grey. I painted it kiwi green with black and red accents. But that’s neither here nor there. Where was I going with this? Oh, yeah…
Please feel free to roam around. I would love it if you click on the “But enough about me” tab and tell me a little about yourself. If you’re so inclined, I’d also like to invite you to sign up via Google Friends Connect and/or the RSS feed. (That would be that little orange square in the top right corner.)
A very special, huge THANK YOU to Peter Pollock of New Blog Hosting for hosting this site and for transferring the ideas in my head into what I think is a pretty cool looking and well functioning blog. I would thank John Saddington for the beautiful Standard Theme template, but he’s not following me on twitter anymore, so he’s dead to me. (Kidding. Sort of.)
I trying to remember where I first came across today’s guest blogger, Heather Sunseri. I want to say Twitter. Which, for those of you still stubbornly refusing to join, has been an incredible resource for finding some of the best writers on the internets. Just saying, Sharkbait.
Regardless, Heather’s a great writer and a great person.
Here’s her bio:
I am a Christian, wife and mother of two young children. I have worked as a CPA for the past 15 years for thoroughbred horse farms and in public accounting in Central Kentucky. I spend my free time as an inspirational writer and enjoy the little things in life from long bike rides in the country to homemade pizza and family game night.
Chickens with Purpose I’m always pondering God’s purpose in my life. You know, the big plan. And do I have enough faith to know when I’m living it?
As a young child, I was taught to smile through most anything. God won’t send you a memo with a bullet-point to-do list on how to live out His plan. You must put one foot in front of another, get your hands dirty, put a smile on your face and get to work. Of course, all that mixed with a heavy dose of faith that God will pick you up when you fall, and you’ll feel Christ’s love as you work. I find it’s easier to do good works–you know the “works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”–with purpose if you keep the faith. Easier said than done, right?
I’ve also been a big believer that God’s big plan lies somewhere in the midst of the little jobs we do along the path of life. And I hope that’s what I teach my kids. The problem? I almost forgot recently. So, thanks, God, and thanks, Mom, for the little reminders to find joy in the little things in life.
One day toward the end of spring break, my mother called to ask me if each of my children could have a baby chick as a souvenir from their spring break with my parents.
I was working long hours, as is always the case January through April 15th for a tax accountant, when the call came. “Can your beautiful children bring home a couple of baby chicks?”
My response to my amazing, caring and generous mother? “Are you insane? Of course they can’t have a chickens.”
“Not chickens. Baby chicks. They’re so cute.”
“I’ll have to think about it.” That, of course, was my way of saying “no” to my mom, but I was too tired (cowardly) to actually say it and listen to all the reasons of why I’m unreasonable, unfair, etc.
I hung up and did what anyone working in an office would do. I pled my case to the people in the neighboring cubicles. And of course, just as I suspected, they all sided with me.
Later that day, I gave my mom all the excuses. “We don’t live on a chicken farm. Sharon, my co-worker, says they’ll die within two days – all baby chicks do. They’re smelly. My neighborhood association won’t allow it. We don’t have anywhere to keep them. We don’t have an incubator.” (I really thought the last one was the one excuse that would do it.)
After my mom countered each one of those excuses, I was worn out so I said, “Call Mike (my husband) and ask him. I’m spent.”
Mike said, “Absolutely not!”
Instead of two baby chicks, my children came one with…
THREE BABY CHICKS, all named, and with a reminder from my mom. “Remember all the things you learned growing up on a small farm. Remember the hamsters, the cats, and breeding Labradors. Remember the baby bunnies we saved one year and the countless wounded birds. Your kids are learning to be caring to all of God’s creatures.” (That seemed like a stretch. We already have a dog, a cat, and fish.)
“But you let the kids name them. Like pets. You don’t name farm animals you have no intention of keeping.”
Alas, after two weeks with Prim, Comet, and Jenna, I admitted to my ten-year-old daughter that I was thoroughly impressed with how well she took care of the chicks. They had grown and thrived. She and my son had cleaned their makeshift cage twice daily, fed and watered them. They even took them outside on sunny days and played with them in the yard.
“I’m proud of you,” I said, trying not to sound too surprised one day while dear daughter fed the chicks water. “You have provided these three chickens amazing care. And you’ve helped your little brother to learn along the way.”
“They’re baby chicks, Mom, not chickens,” she said. “And of course I cared for them. It was my purpose.”
“Your purpose, huh?”
“You know how you’re always talking about doing God’s little jobs with a glad heart, well this was one of those jobs. If I do this job with purpose, He’ll trust me with something even bigger next time.”
“You think so, do you?”
“Yeah, and I’m hoping he’ll trust me with dolphins or a monkey someday.”
My daughter’s a dreamer like me.
But she’s right. It was her purpose at that moment. And she got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be nice if I tackled all of my jobs (toilet-cleaning, carpooling, volunteer work, my current career, writing) with the purpose and glad heart they deserved? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all did?
We don’t get to see the blue print God has for our lives, and sometimes we’re faced with not-so-easy of times. But through faith and love of Christ, we put one foot in front of the other, dig in and get our hands dirty, put a smile on our face, and we just might get a small taste of the big plan.
I’ve been pretty busy this week. Lots of reading and working on my new website–but more on that later. I wanted to repost one of my favorite posts from a series I did based on Stephen King’s novel, Duma Key. If you haven’t read it, I would highly recommend it.
Excerpt from Duma Key by Stephen King:
How to Draw a Picture (Part 5)
Don’t be afraid to experiment; find your muse and let her lead you. As her talent grew stronger, Elizabeth’s muse became Noveen, the marvelous talking doll. Or so she thought. And by the time she discovered here mistake — by the time Noveen’s voice changed — it was too late. But at first it must have been wonderful. Finding one’s muse always is.
Must your muse be a person? Well, it certainly can be, but it doesn’t have to be.
Your muse can be the questions you need answered or pain you want to make sense of. It can be the parts of your life you’ve just glanced over but never really delved into. Your children’s future can be your muse; your own peace of mind.
In short, your muse is what inspires you to create when you’re not feeling particularly creative; to work when you’d rather sleep, to promote yourself when you’d rather just find a quiet place to hide away from the world.
So, what drives me to create? Different things in different circumstances. But if I’m being honest (and I usually am), what drives me is the something my dad told me over and over as a child. Before I get into this, I need to tell you that my dad and I have a very good relationship now, and I don’t hold any ill will towards him. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. But I digress…
His philosophy was anything worth doing is worth doing well. Which I believe is a true and noble directive. His paraphrasing of that expression is what has caused me to struggle with overcoming some obstacles, the biggest of which was self doubt. I still struggle with that. I think we all do to a certain extent. So, what were my dad’s exact words? These:
“If you going to do something half-ass, don’t do it at all!”
Adults often make the mistake of assuming children think the way they do. When I heard that statement, my first thought was, “Okay. I won’t do it at all.” So things that were difficult for me I simply avoided. I convinced myself that I wasn’t really good at anything. But God knew better. I suppose I’m a bit of a later bloomer. I didn’t really know what I was good at creatively until my thirties. I spent a whole lot of years simply existing, not living. But somewhere along the line a passion for art in many forms was ignited. It’s scary, and difficult at times, but living is so much more fulfilling than existing, don’t you think?
There are plenty of folks who say the Civil War is still being fought around here, though perhaps not in the way most would think. I speak not of the lurking and sometimes blatant racism that is just as much a part of the South as it is the North and West. No, I’m talking about another sort of fight, the reality of which depends completely upon your point of view.
Among the great reasons to call Virginia home is its history. Some say the Indians first migrated to the our valley around five thousand years ago. Take a walk with me in the long cornfields by the river’s edge near my home, and you can find evidence of their centuries here—arrowheads and tomahawks, pottery and spearheads.
After them came the time of Washington and Jefferson and Madison, giants whose courage and vision founded history’s greatest nation. And then came Lee and Jackson and a time when that nation was torn apart.
Yes, lots of history here.
Lots of ghosts, too.
I was reminded of this yesterday when I spoke with an old-timer who told me of a house in the city that was once a hospital for Confederate soldiers. There’s a reddish-brown stain on the parlor floor there, he said. About the size of a small spill. According to the homeowners, the stain has always been there. If it’s cleaned up, it reappears soon afterwards. If a rug is placed over it, the stain somehow seeps through the rug.
Local legend states it’s the blood of a confederate soldier. The homeowners agree. Quite an outlandish claim of course, but to a lot of the people here it’s just one more ghost story among thousands.
Like the Indian warrior who haunts the factory near my home. Or the spirits who inhabit the local cemeteries. There’s an abandoned house near the railroad tracks that’s haunted by the ghosts of two murdered brothers.
Keep in mind this is just in my town. Get out of there and up into the hills, and to hear the stories you’d be led to believe there are more ghosts than people.
Such tends to be the case for those parts of our country still immersed in the old ways, where religion and folklore entwine in an always rich but sometimes clumsy dance. The older people tend to see these tales as true. The younger ones generally use them for late-night campfires with easily-frightened girlfriends.
But back to that old-timer.
Nice old guy. He’s lived in this town for ninety-plus years, and he says his family has been here for over a century. He’s a believer in the ghosts. He says there are parts of life we may never get a glimpse of, but that doesn’t mean they’re not real.
And he said this: “Those ghosts are stuck here in this world, you see. For whatever reason, they can’t let go. So they’re left to roam. They’re not living, but they ain’t dead either. And for that, they have my pity.”
In that moment all of those ghosts had my pity, too. I still didn’t believe in them, of course. To me, they were nothing more than rural fairy tales. But fairy tales tend to have a lot of truth wrapped in them, some warning or lesson to be heeded. And I began to think maybe our town’s fairy tales did, too.
There’s a lot to be said for holding tight to something, whether it’s a dream or an ideal or a hope. Perseverance and tenacity are virtues, I think. Good things.
But there are times for letting go, too. Times when holding on means to neither live nor die, but merely to roam. Our perseverance and tenacity can become twisted into something it was never meant to be, leaving us bitter instead of strengthened and a mere specter instead of a person.
And I thought, too, of those things I hold tightly to in my own life, things valuable and real. And I wondered if when the time came I could let go. I hoped so, I really did.
It’s a matter of faith, letting go. It’s the epitome of trust.
And we’ll often find that when we let go, we’ll grasp Someone who will never let go of us.
Here we are again friends, My 46th twitter update. Dang, that a lot of tweets. When I first started this update, it was simply a means of gathering up a few random observations to share with my non-twitter friends. I’m not sure I was the first person to start doing this, but I’ve noticed some other folks outside my little circle of interweb friends have started doing their own versions, so for that I want to say sorry/you’re welcome.
And now, the best of me (or not) on the twitter this week:
@llbarkat And you need to give me a link. Cuz I’m a lazy Yoda.
@llbarkat I share my superior wisdom with @billycoffey all the time. (in reply to llbarkat @billycoffey would love a tip from you (see the comment box at Green Inventions) & see if you can get @katdish to share her superior wisdom)
@llbarkat I specialize in unsolicited advice. (in reply to llbarkat @katdish I’m sure you must have a tip in there somewhere.)
“The grocery store is a black cesspool of unbridled despair.” ~ Billy Coffey
@gabbysherri Night Smurfette!
@gabbysherri (shaking my head slowly in mock disapproval) Just google it. (in reply to gabbysherri @katdish-what the heck is tweetdeck?)
@gabbysherri Okay. Tell one of your sons to install tweetdeck on your computer or you’ll never keep up.
Hey everyone! Follow @gabbysherri. It will freak her out.
@marni71 I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes. (in reply to marni71 @gabbysherri I texted @katdish just to let her know u logged on. If she didn’t faint, she’ll come say hi.)
@gabbysherri SHUT. UP!!! I can’t believe it!
When I finally met Mr. Right I had no idea his first name was Always ~ Rita Rudner
@redclaydiaries It’s exactly like that. Or something… (in reply to redclaydiaries @katdish Eminent demise? Is that like eminent domain? Like the poo is trying to force us out of house and home?)
@duane_scott probably the Long Island iced teas. (in reply to duane_scott @CassandraFrear @katdish No, that was pretty pathetic. The poor lady. Who told her she could sing?)
@CassandraFrear Pretty sucktacular, huh?
@CassandraFrear @duane_scott This one’s for you: http://bit.ly/bfgi0e
@duane_scott I’m laughing with you, not at you. Okay, maybe laughing at you a little bit… (in reply to duane_scott @CassandraFrear @katdish it is a talent. I can do Ice Ice Baby flawlessly. and a few nights ago I scored 98 on The Scientists by coldplay)
@duane_scott Is karaoke a talent? (in reply to duane_scott @katdish is Comedy. @PeterPollock is English accent. I’d have to go with karaoke. See, we all have talents! Whoop whoop.)
@redclaydiaries The random poo is a sure sign of eminent demise.
@duane_scott Comedy. (in reply to duane_scott @PeterPollock @katdish Let’s put it this way. If we 3 were to have a talent show, what would you win at?)
RT @badbanana: Having a Yoplait yogurt with my lunch. Before you judge my masculinity, I’m also eating an elk head. Antlers and all.
@PRbytheBook Are you following @billycoffey yet?
RT @PRbytheBook: Authors: start early! “Begin an authentic conversation w/people interested in your topic…” http://huff.to/dqrrMz.
@chipmacgregor Ooo! I am an incredibly bad poet!
RT @chipmacgregor: We’ve started our annual Bad Poetry Contest at www.chipmacgregor.com – drop by and participate!
So, I need to work on my new website that the lovely & talented @peterpollock is building for me but I forgot my password. #ragingADD
@llbarkat @KathleenOverby If I can influence anyone to let their inner silly out, that is a very good day.
@KathleenOverby Okay, nevermind. That post DOES sound like I could have written it. Snort!
@KathleenOverby Ghost writing? Yeah, like I’d write something w/o getting credit for it. (in reply to KathleenOverby @llbarkat you’re gonna win the 31 days thingy, because you’re causing a ruckus and bribing with cake. Is @katdish ghost writing for you?)
Jesus said, “Go and make disciples”, not “make converts to your opinions”. ~ Oswald Chambers
“Every boy wants to be found brave and every girl wants to be found lovely.” ~ Jeff Hogan
RT @tremendousnews: It’s Cinco de Mayo! Unless you don’t have your papers in Arizona. Then it’s just a Wednesday you’ll never forget
Wow >RT @jeremypeterson: the future of worship??? http://bit.ly/de8N6s
@VariantVal Ah yes. Laugh, and the world laughs with you…Cry and you look like (expletive).
@llbarkat what do you mean,”just” me? Snort! (in reply to llbarkat @katdish I am happy to report that you and the Dalai quadrupled my blog traffic yesterday. Okay, okay, I’m sure it was just you
@buzzbyannies Happy Cinco de Birthday, Annie!
Okay. Too much technical computer stuff. I need to walk away and eat a sammich.
@lainiegallagher But I will because I love your bossy little self.
@lainiegallagher You’re not the boss of me… (in reply to lainiegallagher @katdish Tell your new FB friends to be my friends, too. Do it.)
RT @jamieworley: Just made up a new word: “squirky.” It means squirrelly and quirky. Sometimes I am both of those, so I need a good word.
RT @gyoung9751: @katdish Linking up with FB and Twitter is either Facebookerocious or Twittelicious
@gyoung9751 Thanks, Glynn. I don’t need katdishionary words at the moment, I need INSTRUCTION
GAAAAA!!!! Okay. Thanks for all the FB friends. Now how do I link up with twitter?
Okay people. I created a new facebook account: Katdish Dishman-Richards. I have no friends currently. Sad…I know.
@noveldoctor Writers can’t help but write. Even when it’s not on paper. It’s safer on paper than in your head, though.
RT @noveldoctor: If all writers truly followed the “write what you know” maxim, wouldn’t most novels be about rejection?
@noveldoctor He WAS in Karate Kid! (in reply to noveldoctor @katdish Or Ralph “Espresso” Macchiato. Wait, wasn’t he the Karate Kid?)
@noveldoctor I think they might figure it out when your characters have names like “Carmelatta”. (in reply to noveldoctor I get some of my best story ideas from the customers at Sbux. They just don’t know it.)
NERD ALERT >RT @Brian_Russell: Anyone on Xbox Live? Because we should totally nerd it up together.
@PeterPollock Nope. Just outright adoration and appreciation. (in reply to PeterPollock @katdish When I saw “My Geeky Guru” I was sure that there must be a way to TWSS it, but I just can’t find it!)
Just called @PeterPollock my “geeky guru” in a DM. It’s a shame I can’t post my DMs on my twitter update. Don’t worry, I’ll never do that.
@amysorrells Oh, be careful what you wish for Amy. (in reply to amysorrells @katdish In that case, I want to be just like you. (((snort!)))
@amysorrells Oh, pish posh! Never grow up! (in reply to amysorrells I want 2 B like them when I grow up: @MaryDeMuth @michaelhyatt @thepioneerwoman @RichardMabry @sarahmarkley @1nicolebromley @flowerdust)
image courtesy of photobucket.com Yesterday I posted several pictures here. For those of you who are still wondering, yes, all those projects were done by yours truly, and no, I have no formal training. Just sort of figured things out as I went along. I tend to throw myself head first into anything that fuels my creative spirit. There is an energy and a spark when you take an idea in your head and it transfers well to a final result. That goes for anything. Not just the creative arts.
Then there are times when my big plans and lack of planning get me into messes. Case in point. While turning what once was the kids playroom into a studio/office, I decided that the windowsills were cumbersome and were taking up too much space. (They protruded a whopping 2 inches.) Had my husband been in town, he would have talked me out of it. Temporarily, anyway. But when I get something in my head, I’m pretty determined to see it through. This can be very good. It can also be very bad. Here’s a post from last year. A cautionary tale:
The New Math:
Well, it’s Saturday and I am hard at work in my soon-to-be uber fantastical studio/escape from the world. I am taking a brief respite from the task at hand to give you a brief peek into the glamorous life of me. (Sure, don’t mention it.)
Here’s a new mathematical equation to ponder:
Impulsive, impatient Katdish
- methodical, practical husband
+high powered reciprocal saw
=Uh, oh…Sorry. My bad
Okee, dokey! Well, I gotta got figure out how I’m going to fix this before my DH gets home. Oh, wait…he reads my blog…DANG! So, how’s your day going?
For the record, I did fix the damage (all by myself thankyouverymuch) and the windowsills now only protrude one inch. So there…
This is also where I came up with the quote, “The creative spirit cannot be enslaved by the oppressive chains of reason and logical thinking” when Texas Shawn asked me: “Um, what did you set out to do?”
Also the first and only time my husband commented on my blog:
“I guess I should look at the bright side and be grateful that I learned of your handy work via your blog and not a call from the hospital.Curious to learn what your a sculpting.”
So menfolk, the next time your wife complains about you leaving your dirty socks on the floor, look on the bright side, you could be married to me.
Writer. Me? Hmm…not so sure about that. More like someone who pushes ideas out of her head. Sometimes they land on paper or onto a computer screen,
other times in a brain storming session. (This waffle pic ended up on the front of a worship CD.)
Then again, these ideas might find themselves on a canvas…
or a wall…
a piece of furniture… or even a plastic container…
Then there are times when ideas get a bit scrambled on the way out and result in the removal of a windowsill or three by means of a powerful reciprocal saw. But I digress…
The thing about writing—good writing—is it has to be honest. You can’t hide behind technical brilliance or clever sentence structure. These things help convey a better story, but they don’t make the story. You do. Being honest with yourself can be scary. Being honest with yourself with the world reading along can be downright terrifying.
Your story doesn’t have to be factually accurate. Some of the most honest writing is the truth wrapped carefully within a fictional tale. But it shines through in the very best writing.
So today, I want to recognize all of you brave souls whose truth shines through your words—in your poetry, your short stories, your candid observations and even your sarcasm and parody.
Thank you. Reading your truths gives me courage to share my own.
Before I introduce my guest blogger today, I wanted to wish my beautiful, brave, butt-kicking friend Annie K a very Happy Birthday, and invite you to drop in on her blog and do the same. Love you, gal! (Y’all really need to stop having birthdays on Mondays and Wednesday. It messes up my schedule.)
And now back to our regularly scheduled guest post…
I usually write a short intro for the folks that guest post here, but Jeff has done such a good job explaining how our paths crossed on the internets, I’ll just let him tell you. I will go on record as saying that he is one of many chronically sarcastic pastors (my favorite kind of pastors, btw) that somehow find their way to my blog. Wonder why that is…
I am a youth and children’s pastor in Kalamazoo, MI. The most important thing in my world is my family. My wife’s name is Sarah, and my son’s name is Jakob. I am a nerd. I have no problem with that. I grew up Baptist, but like sheep, I have gone astray. I am non-denominational.
I, like many of you, found this blog by reading funny comments left by Kathy on Stuff Christians Like posts. If I see a comment I like or hate, I usually click on the person’s profile, check out their blog, and start liking them more or disliking them more based on what I see. My first visit here, I found her yelling at some kid for stealing her kid’s Pokemon cards. It was kind of a rant. I like ranting and the idea of being mean to children, so I decided to subscribe. I have been amused, appalled, moved, and incited to rage many times over the last year, and I have enjoyed it.
A few weeks ago, Katdish – I really believe that is her real name, even if her mom calls her something else – pointed out that I had not offered to write a guest post for her blog yet. I was simultaneously flattered and confused. I was flattered, because I am not really a writer’s writer. I don’t think my blog even has a theme. So for someone to ask me to write for their blog is a novel and flattering concept. I was confused, because I don’t know how this guest blogging thing works. I had no idea that you are supposed to offer to guest post on someone else’s blog. I thought they were supposed to ask you. Is offering to write for someone else’s blog not like inviting yourself over to someone else’s house? I think it is exactly the same, and I was never allowed to invite myself over to anyone’s house when I was younger. That explains why I’ve never offered my services to anyone, and probably never will, unless I become really famous, because I’d probably be really arrogant about the whole thing, and I would assume that everyone would want me to write for them. But since she has asked, I will write, and I will tell you about when I met my son.
My wife, Sarah, is Korean, but she has a very light, fair complexion. I am a real whitey, of Jewish and German descent. It doesn’t get much whiter than this. I always looked forward to whenever we would have a child, because I really do think Asian kids are the cutest. My one hangup was that I was disappointed that if we had a child, he would probably not look anything like me.
In January of last year, we learned that Sarah was pregnant. We were so excited. We couldn’t wait to find out the gender. Once we found out that she was having a boy, we started imagining what he would look like. Of course, he would have brown eyes, pin straight brown hair, almond shaped eyes, and a flat nose. He had to, because he was half Korean. Most half-Asian kids I’d seen looked predominately Asian. So we also figured he’d have a little bit darker complexion than me. We were hoping that maybe he could at least have my smile or ears or something.
Sarah had a scheduled c-section. The morning was hectic. They decided that due to previous back injuries that Sarah had sustained, they didn’t want to do an epidural. They just knocked her out. So they escort me to the hall for “just a moment.” A few minutes later, one doctor came out and told me that I had to stay out in the hall. I was pretty upset, because I didn’t even tell Sarah that I loved her or give her a kiss goodbye, which I would have done if I had known. So they station me outside the operating room. I took out my camera, because I wanted to at least video the procedure for Sarah, since she was going to sleep through the whole thing. Not happening. A scrubbed up doctor walked to window, pointed at the camera, and told me to put it away. I couldn’t video. So I took out my other camera to take pictures. Truth be told, I did take a little video with my digital camera, just to spite them. They don’t know, but I feel better about it.
There was a lot of commotion and jerky movements in the delivery room. It looked like the doctors were trying to wretch Jakob free from Sarah’s incision. I was a little nervous, because that’s how I roll. But I kept my eyes trained on the doctor that would no doubt be holding my son up for me to see. After about fifteen minutes, a nurse came up behind me and told me to come with her. I refused. I told her that I had a good view of what was going down, and I wanted to get a picture. She insisted that I come into the next room with her. After a little back-and-forth, I agreed to come.
Inside the room, there was a screaming baby boy. I looked at him for a moment. It meant very little to me. I was too excited to meet my son. I started to walk right past him. There were two delivery rooms over there designated for c-section babies, so I assumed that he had just come from the room behind me. After a few seconds, I noticed that there were tags laying next to this screaming baby – who I found to be very distracting – were little hospital bracelets waiting to be placed on his ankles. They read, “Baby Boy Selph.”
I had no emotional reaction at that moment. The very first thought that popped into my head was, “But he’s white. He should be yellow.” After analyzing his color for a moment, I got excited. I couldn’t believe it. Through the screaming, i could see a few things about him: he had my mouth, his nose wasn’t too flat, he had my hairline, and he was screaming uncontrollably. He actually looked a little like me. It was amazing.
I’m proud to be his dad. He’s beautiful. I know, he’s a boy, and I should say that he’s handsome. He’s that, too. Every time he starts doing something new, I get so excited. I anticipate that even when he aggravates me, I will always think the best of him. He’s my son. And if he ever asks me what I thought the first time I saw him, I will tell him the truth: “But he’s white. He should be yellow.”
I’m not much for happy, shiny Christian songs. Having said that, there’s something about Trading My Sorrows that helps me remember this passage from 2 Corinthians 4:8-12
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”
I’m trading my sorrow I’m trading my shame I’m laying it down for the joy of the Lord
I’m trading my sickness I’m trading my pain I’m laying it down for the joy of the Lord
Chorus: And we say yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen
I’m pressed but not crushed persecuted not abandoned Struck down but not destroyed I’m blessed beyond the curse for his promise will endure And his joy’s gonna be my strength
Though the sorrow may last for the night His joy comes with the morning
I choose Joy
Yesterday I chose fear of the unknown Today I choose trust Yesterday I chose regret Today I choose acceptance of a bigger plan Yesterday I chose to cling to selfish love Today I choose Love (big “L”) Yesterday I chose to wallow in what could be Today I choose whatever God’s will is for my life Yesterday I chose sorrow Today I choose Joy Over fear, over doubt, over worry, over pain… Today I chose Joy And am praying that you choose Joy as well.
This post is part of the One Word Blog Carnival: Joy hosted by Bridget Chumbley over at One Word at a Time. You should check it out. And tell her I said hey!