Grayson is coming home.

July 19, 2010

When Grayson decided to live with his dad, just about two years ago to this day, I was devastated for a million reasons. After we moved him into the apartment and moved to North Carolina without him, all I knew was to pray. So everytime I prayed, I ended my prayer, “Lord, bring Grayson home.” As the months went by, I figured everyone was tired of hearing me beg God to bring Grayson home, so I stopped saying it outloud and just kept quietly praying, “God, please bring Grayson home.” I am not the only one who prayed. Grandparents prayed. Scottie prayed. My brothers prayed. And even though I prayed, I couldn’t honestly see any movement from God. I stopped bringing it up to Grayson and he always said he wanted to stay where he was. But I kept praying.

Today, Grayson is in the car with Scott, William and AnnaGrace. They will be here in a couple of hours. The back is packed to the brim with all of Grayson’s things. God is bringing my boy home to his mama.

But God is not bringing the same old Grayson home. He is bringing a brand new Grayson. One that I couldn’t even imagine I’d ever meet. Grayson is completely changed by the power and presence of God. He has a passionate relationship with Jesus. He is sold out. 180. A different kid who is becoming an amazing man. And somewhere in all of that change, God told Grayson to come home. Oh thank you, Lord, thank you.

Thank you for doing more than I could ever imagine, hope for or dream. Thank you for showing off. Thank you for the glory of a completely alive, awake, loving son. Thank you for the power of the Holy Spirit. I will NEVER doubt. I have seen with my own eyes the amazing power of God.

And so I wait, with tears streaming down my face, and fresh sheets on Grayson’s bed and a peach cake sitting on the counter. He will bring such joy to this family and I pray we will all bring GLORY to God.

Hallelujah. What a Savior. Hallelujah.

Sometimes it can’t be helped. That’s just how life goes. We forget things. Oversleep. Remember one more needed item we have to go back for. Life.

But when making others wait becomes a pattern, then you need to check your selfish meter. Consistently making people wait for you is rude. It’s selfish. Self-centered. And after months and months, it becomes downright unkind.

So a few thoughts to keep us other-centered.

1. Plan ahead. Pack your things the night before. Get up a couple minutes sooner. Think through all your activities and what you’ll need.

2. Be ready on time. If you’re unsure, ask somebody when you should be ready.

3. Give yourself longer than you think you need.

4. Sincerely apologize if you’ve made everybody wait for you.

5. Check your heart. Remember that you’re not the center of the world. We’re a team. Loving each other. Respecting each other.

6. Commit to change if you’ve fallen into the pokey, piddle habit. When you are grown and live all by yourself and have no one else to consider, then you can pokey, piddle all you want.

This is such a mom post. But little things matter. And this is the kind of thing your mom is supposed to teach you. Just wanna make sure you get it.

I love all you piddle people, but come on and get with it. Live to serve, not to be served. Life will go better, I promise.

ma

PaPa said.

March 17, 2010

Yesterday I was talking to PaPa on the phone. He said, “Angela, I have been working on this thought and I want to give it to you to use if you want to.” I said I’d love to hear it. PaPa said, “What I’ve come up with is this:

The house that you are building is where you are going to live.

I told him that his observation was brilliant. And it is. So, from PaPa, to me, to you. I want you to remember that the house you are building with your life, is where you are going to live. I want you to build strong minds, strong bodies, strong hearts and a strong relationship with God.

Building your life means thinking about the kind of life you’d like to have one day and building toward that. If you build a shoddy house, you will live in a shoddy house. If you skip steps, you’ll be living in a house that can fall on your head any minute. If you act lazy and pretend like you don’t care about a house, then you’ll probably end up living in a pup tent.

Get the idea? Build something strong and stable and good. Then you’ll get to live in the house you have built and be proud of yourself and your accomplishment. And your family will be blessed by your strength. Then there won’t be any time to look around at the houses everyone else built and be jealous that they did something while you were doing nothing.

Grayson’s art.

March 8, 2010

Honey, I am so very proud of you. We all are.

The other night, I was asking myself, where did Grayson get this gift? I certainly don’t have it. Your dad can’t draw like this.

Then it hit me. MaMa. Your MaMa will be so proud that her love of art and drawing has come to you.

Stay with it baby. You are amazing!!

Peace.

February 26, 2010

I have to write a new talk this year about peace. So I’ve been studying and praying and reading lots of commentaries about peace. And truly, the idea of living in peace is pretty simple. Stay deeply connected to God and you will live in peace. Course I’ll probably say more than that to the ladies.

But as I have been studying today, I realize that the people I want to know great and abundant peace are you. Us. Our family. I want us all to live with that deep, sure peace that we belong to God and that all our circumstances will work out for His glory.

Here’s a simple little order of how peace goes in the Bible:

  1. God is peace. Romans 15:33
  2. He sent His Son, Jesus to be the Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
  3. When we believe in Jesus, we can have His peace. John 16:33
  4. The Holy Spirit produces peace in our lives. Galatians 5:22-23
  5. Staying connected to God means more peace. John 15

Here’s the deal. We can live every single day with a REAL peace inside of us. No matter if things go our way, or if we wake up sleepy, or have a sniffle, or get flat out rejected. WE, our family, each one of us belonging to God, can live differently than this world. We don’t have to fret and worry about every little thing. Peace lets us have more fun. And be nicer to one another. And sleep good at night.

We are God’s. And even though it is a divine mystery, the Holy Spirit inside of you can give you peace on the inside even when everything on the outside is crazy and difficult. AND THEN, you can turn around and give what you have been given . . . doing everything you can to live at peace. Being a peacemaker. Restoring peace.

So now, my people, May the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:26)

I love you. Grace and peace to us. So very amen.

Ma

Tryouts.

February 22, 2010

This week, William has decided to tryout for baseball at Wesleyan.

It’s been at least 4 years since you and Grayson played baseball for Mr. Dunn back in Knoxville. So last week, we found our gloves and started to throw the ball around. Then yesterday, after your soccer game, you convinced me to take you to the Greensboro Batting Center. The place was packed with real baseball people. Big players, little players, coaches of all kinds, lots of moms and very serious baseball dads. Your friend, Brandon met us there. Brandon has been playing baseball for many years. Brandon’s dad came too.

We both had no idea we were going to such an intense “baseball center.” I thought we were headed to some batting cages beside the putt-putt, like back in Tennessee. But no, this was a big deal. I said, “What do you think?” imagining that you might be intimidated by all the kids who have been playing baseball the way you have been playing soccer. You said, “It’s cool.”

We bought tokens. You borrowed Brandon’s bat and went into the cage. 20 balls pitched to you. 20 times you swung the bat. 20 misses. Ugh. But here’s the thing, you never acted like it got to you. You wanted to try again. Brandon went next, 20 hits for him. Then your second turn, Brandon’s dad gave you some pointers and  you went back for 20 more swings at the air. My mama heart was hurting for you so after you were done, I asked, “What do you think?” expecting you’d say, “I don’t have it.” But you almost yelled to me, “I LOVE it!” Huh, you love it, I thought to myself, you missed 40 pitches in a row.

Then there was the third token and you barely whacked one ball into the ground, missing the other nineteen. I think you were bummed when we left last night, but your amazing spirit never seemed broken.

Today the first day of tryouts was rained out. And today after school, you begged me to take you back to the batting center. We decided to start with a slower pitching machine. And unbelievable, you hit 20 for 20. Next token, another 20. Faster machine, 20 more. Even faster machine, 20 more. Today you swung the bat 120 times and hit all 120 balls. Crazy, amazing. Where was the kid who whiffed yesterday? He was gone. Derek Jeter was standing in today.

Can I tell you how proud I am of you! I don’t care if you make the Wesleyan baseball team this year or ever. I’m just so proud that the day after you missed 59 balls, you wanted to go back and prove something to yourself. You wanted to keep trying. What a great lesson for all of us. I would have probably given up after 8 misses. I would have whined about the bat or the blisters or the intense people, but you just wanted to keep swinging until you connected.

And so, maybe in this life, we will miss 59 times in a row. And our hearts will sink. And our bodies will be weary. But when you really want to do something, I have learned from William, buy another token and keep swinging.

Who cares about baseball tryouts. You are going to win at life because your attitude is so right.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

February 14, 2010

Today I’m thinking about all the love I have for each one of you and also about how much love you give to me. We are blessed. Don’t ever forget that. Some people don’t have one person in this world to love them truly, we have each other and our whole family.

I have tried to tell you every day of your lives, “I love you.” When we hang up the phone. And when you run out the door to school or a game or just down the street to the pool. I want you to be showered in love words every growing up day. And hopefully, you never even think about it. Being loved like crazy is just the way it is for you. That’s what I have always wanted. A home and a family where love matters more than anything. Love first. Love at the last. Love in the hard times. Loves covers all our imperfections. And then the big truth that we believe, love wins.

Grayson, today I’m praying for you to keep growing in love and strength of character. Even though you are too far away for my mama’s heart, I am learning to trust God for the man He is making in you. I think you know your mama would be there on the next plane. I am one text away or with one phone call, you can hear me say, “Hey honey, I love you.” I am so blessed to call you my Valentine. Sending love, love, love to Nashville. Grayson, I am really proud of you. You are finding the way of wisdom and you are listening to the voice of God.

Taylor, my little desert love. I am praying that your will know the deep love of God in ways that give you powerful security and vision. I pray that you will hear the voice of God whisper His love and His calling for your life. And it’s the same for you as with Grayson, your ma can get there soon if you need me. I am always thinking of you and cheering for you. You are my Arizona Valentine and I’m so blessed to have your love in my life.

William, from the earliest time I can remember, you have longed for love, to give it and receive it. God created you to be a walking Valentine. I believe He wants to fill you with the truth of His love for all people so that you spend your life spilling God’s love in every situation. At school. On the soccer field. In our home. At church. With strangers you meet along the way. I am praying that God will use you to become a bold, courageous leader among your friends. I think a young man with a Valentine heart could be used by God for so much glory.

AnnaGrace, My funny Valentine. Love is always going to be wherever you are. I am praying that God will keep your heart open and tender toward people and friends and animals! You are so great to see a need and then rush in to help. May you always respond so quickly to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. And then receive our love. Always feel safe and protected and cared for because you are in a family where everyone loves you so much. I can’t believe how beautiful and lovely a spirit you have at only 12. I pray for the woman you are becoming and ask God to pour out great blessing on all the years ahead.

I think I can speak for Scott, when I say, we are blessed beyond words. Parenting you is a privilege and I mean it. A true honor. I am better because I know you and everyday I want to learn how to love you more.

Happy Valentine’s Day to the most amazing family on earth,

Mama

Ma