Meet Ruby

Allow me to introduce a brand new bundle of sweetness.

Ruby Sims Locke was born today!
DSC_1810

The only thing cuter than a fresh born baby….

…is watching big brothers get a first look at their sister.

DSC_1789

These Guys

DSC_1656

These guys don’t know what’s about to hit them.

In a matter of days, their world is going to shift dramatically.

These rough and tumble boys will soon be promoted to “big brother” status.

Baby Sister is coming!

So move over Thomas the Train —

make room for princesses and tea parties and sparkly pink stuff.

Watch out cars and trucks —

get ready for hair bows and tutus and baby dolls.

Little Sissy has a lot to teach these guys —

it won’t be long now.

Vacation

DSC_1691

Today,

I  smell a yellow rose,

drink coffee from a smiley cup,

and watch PB read the paper across the table.

No deep thoughts,

no pressing demands,

no duties to perform.

I am taking a vacation

from myself.

 “Come away with me to a quiet place and get some rest.”  Mark 6:31

Hall of Fame

sunday schoolLast Sunday our church honored those brave, hardy souls that came week after week to teach squirrelly children about the love of Jesus in Sunday school. These are people who intentionally chose to not sleep in on Sunday mornings for a good nine months. They volunteered knowing that antsy little boys and chatty little girls would ask unbelievably hard questions about God and life and the universe.  Some of our teachers who serve week after week also have been faithful year after year.  If there was a Sunday School Teacher Hall of Fame, I would have several inductees.

Being a Sunday school teacher can be daunting and thankless.  So, at the close of the school year, we sing the praises of these unsung heroes.

After applauding the sacrifice and dedication of these wonderful people, the congregation settled in for PB’s sermon.  He was preaching on Hebrews 11 – the great “Faith Hall of Fame” chapter.  The writer names several giants of the faith like Abraham and Moses, but ends the chapter with many unnamed saints who “faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison.  They were stoned, they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword.”

That jarring statement suddenly made teaching Sunday school look pretty tame.

So far, not one of our teachers has been sawed in two.

What we call “sacrifice”, the saints of old might have called “privilege”, “opportunity to serve”, or even “joy”.  Until I am chained and put in prison, maybe I better rethink the use of the word “sacrifice”.

High Heaven

smellyThere’s been a mysterious smell in our house.  It didn’t matter how many candles I lit, how many plug in air fresheners I plugged in, or how much Oust I sprayed.  The foul odor lingered.  It was especially strong near the kitchen, by the back door, in the closet.

This is the broom/mop/dog food/light bulb/batteries/wasp spray/duct tape/spray cleaner/recycle bin/plastic and paper bags/vacuum cleaner/ toilet brush/miscellaneous box closet.  Did I mention there is a refrigerator in there, too?

It’s a big closet.

I also keep potatoes and onions in the stackable baskets.

Hence the stink.

I kept dropping hints to PB like, “Gosh, where could that awful stench be coming from?”  Or “Did you step in something, dear?”  I even tried to appeal to his curiosity by whispering, “There’s something in the closet and I think it’s dead.”  He didn’t bite.

This was going to be my battle to fight.

In the dark recesses of the catch-all closet, I was momentarily startled by what I thought was a one-legged spider, but it was just a sad, shriveled potato.

It stunk to high heaven.

DSC_1545

Funny how such a little thing,

ignored for months in a dark closet,

can produce such a foul smell.

“Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin.

Sin itself stinks to high heaven.”  Jude 1:23

 

Paying Respects

sympathyLast night PB and I went to a visitation at a funeral home for a dear lady that was a member of a church we used to serve.  We wanted to offer our condolences to the family and support them during their time of loss.  For PB, this is the equivalent of a Friday night date.  I’m okay with that.

Upon entering the funeral home, I went to the guest book and started to sign our names.  I glanced up at the 8×10 picture of our deceased friend and was stunned at how much she had changed in the last few years. That’s when PB whispered, “Umm…that’s not her.”  Realization hit that we were at the wrong funeral home.  I panicked.

Should I cross out the half-written name in the guest book?  No.

Should I go ahead and finish signing our names?  No.

So I took PB’s middle name and stuck it on as a last name and I hightailed it out of there.

PB was a few steps behind me because he had stopped to grab a few pieces of complimentary candy.

I sure hope no one saw us sprinting out the door and through the parking lot, exploding with laughter.

That might have looked bad.

We finally found the right funeral home and paid our respects to the right person.  But every few miles on the ride home, PB and I would look at each other and start giggling.

I love going on dates with PB.

Connected

See these nice sturdy cement block walls?

IMG_1193

They are built to last.

See these durable ceiling tiles?

IMG_1878

They are firmly fixed in place.

IMG_1195

And outlets?  How many outlets does one building wing need?

IMG_1199_2

Back in 1965, nobody was thinking about wireless internet connections.

The word “internet” didn’t even make the dictionary until twenty years later.

IMG_1197_2

Today, a nice young man came to look things over and help us set up Wi-Fi.

He spent two and a half hours walking around, taking pictures and jotting down notes.  Pages and pages of notes.

Bless him.  He’s got his work cut out.

I’m sure glad the Spirit of God isn’t hindered by brick walls or immovable tiles.  I’m so relieved I don’t need wires or ethernets or modems or routers.

I just need to say, “Abba, Father.”

Connected.