It was the guy who had my camera, returning it.
He was on his phone, talking to Clint who was at a party, who was guiding him step-by-step through our highly sophisticated security system around the obstacles in the garage and into our house.
Max and I were in the family room, watching the Colbert Report, it was 11:50 pm and there was a random stranger in my house, walking around, talking on his phone.
Welcome to the freak show.
Why do I even have doors?
Thank goodness it's back. (My camera.)
I need it for tomorrow.
I'M GOING BOATING! On a yacht. On the ocean. To serve dinner to Sophie and her friends as they celebrate her 16th birthday. I can hardly wait.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. The sun has shoned everysingleday this week. 13 degrees isn't warm enough to tan though. I tried.
2. Income tax refunds. Yay. I'm getting enough to paint half my house. (From pale California peach to deep, rich BC brown.)
3. I am thankful for last weekend's sermon. It's still resonating with me. Trees need wind during their growing up years in order to be strong enough to stand tall and stay rooted during storms.
He mentioned a story about his parent's neighbours who owned a heavily-treed track of land on Whidbey Island (which is right on the ocean, and very windy). At one point, the owner wanted to clear some of the trees, so the cut down all the ones on the outer edge of the "forest", giving them more clear green space.
Those newly exposed interior trees? Fell down during the first major storm.
They had been protected all those years by the outer trees who were used to the big bad winds. As soon as their protection was removed, they fell over.
It wasn't a message on parenting.
It was that "consider it pure joy" verse at the beginning of James and he was talking about suffering and whatnot.
But it's in my mind that maybe parents are the outer-edge trees and our kids are the protected inner trees. And there are times when we are removed from situations (by their design, or God's...) and they topple sideways when the storms of life blow. It's hard to watch. And the winds keep blowing. One storm after another keeps hammering at them, and you know they have to weather it in order to grow strong.
In the fall of 2006 I bought three trees and planted them on the walkway by my front door. Do you remember the winter of 06? THE WINDS. Oh my goodness, the winds. I think our power was out more that season than from the previous 15 years combined.
The trees? After being away from the protected garden centre environment where they had spent their whole lives and newly planted into the high-wind area of my front walk? Tipped over sideways. As much as I hoped they'd straighten themselves out and grow upright again, it didn't happen.
I had to hire a landscaper to give them a hand. He repacked their roots, and steadied them with a wide band attached to a strong stake.
You should see them now. After 2.5 years, they have grown 4 feet. Straight up.
It's a wonderful thing.
I've left the stakes in because you never know when another big wind storm is gonna hit. And I'm not sure if they're strong enough to withstand the pressure without the added support.
And in thinking of kids who are leaning sideways... they probably won't pop up straight and strong and tall all on their own. They're going to need someone to repack their roots and put a stake in the ground beside them, holding them til they grow strong enough to handle life's winds without falling over completely.
I got this at work the other day:
Father, I come before You in prayer and in faith, believing Your Word says that You desire all men to be saved and come into the knowledge of the truth, so I bring ____ before You this day. I break the power of Satan from his assignments and activities in ____'s life in the Name of Jesus. Now, while Satan is bound, I ask that You send forth the perfect laborers to share the good news of the gospel in such a way that ____ will listen and understand it. As the truth is ministered, I believe ____ will open his/her eyes to the gospel, come out of the snare of the devil and make Jesus Lord.
My confession of faith is, "God has begun a good work in ____'s life and He will perform it and bring it to full completion until the day of Jesus Christ.
It was that part about asking God to send perfect laborers that reminded me of the perfect landscapers I hired to get my trees upright again. I didn't know how to do it. Didn't have the tools, materials, experience or strength. It was OK that I got help - I wasn't able to do it on my own.
Along with the (above) prayer, there was this note, "God knows who your loved one will listen to, and He'll send that person halfway round the world to talk to ____ if necessary. So pray this: Father, I'm asking You to send laborers across ____'s path who are equipped with the Word of God about salvation, healing and deliverance. Send laborers who can communicate effectively with ____ so Your word can reach his/her heart."
That's what I've been thinking about.
From a sermon on suffering to gardening to parenting.
And I'm praying that prayer and inserting about 15 names in the ____ blanks.
Helps me sleep at night.