Monday, June 18, 2012


I titled this post Moo-ooom to remind my mother of what I called her as a teenager - Mom, with two syllables and a whine in the middle.
I love my mom, I really really do. I don't live near her, so I only see her maybe twice a year, and sometimes I don't talk to her every week, but I think about her everyday.
She is the most unintentionally funny person I know! She says the most hilarious, sometimes shocking, things in a completely wide-eyed, guileless way. She left a comment on I wrote a post about Knick-knacks that to me is funnier than the whole post. I makes me laugh every time I go back and read it.
The key to her funniness is that she is completely not self-aware, and unfailingly honest. And she has no filter between her brain and her mouth. Like the last time I was at her house, I noticed I had put on one red shoe and one brown. Laughing, I asked my mom if she noticed anything wrong with my outfit. She looked me up and down, nodded, and said, "That sweater!"
Just like she doesn't know she is a fount of inadvertent zingers, she doesn't know she's beautiful. Isn't that an old country song? Anyway, my mom has been blessed with thick, wavy, dark brown hair, jade-green eyes, and beautiful light olive skin. She has a natural, unpretentious beauty. She never went in for trendy, artificial hairstyles and makeup. Truth be told, she was a bit of a hippy during my childhood. No makeup, long, long flowing hair. I didn't like it then. It was the eighties, and I wanted her to have a perm, waterfall bangs, and side wings, (all carefully constructed with an entire can of White Rain hairspray) contoured blush, and blue eyeshadow. Possibly lips lined in a darker color than her lipstick. A Dynasty-esque suit or a funky Cyndi Lauper outfit would have been appreciated. I am glad she didn't take fashion advice from eight year old me. I look back at pictures of her from childhood onward, she was always gorgeous. She just had no idea she was. She thought she was a plain, homely little thing.

She's the chubby-cheeked brunette in the middle.

My grandpa, my mom, and her blond siblings.

She still looks like this. I see that expression all the time. I think her eyes look a lot like my sister's in this picture.

Matching her sweater to her eyes. I really want a cardigan and shirt just like that!

Here she is in the mid to late eighties, not that you can tell from the complete lack of garishness.

This is my mom and her sister Lisa when my mom was about six months pregnant with my little brother. She was thirty-six.

Isn't she cute in a hat? Looks like my dad thinks so.

Judging by the size of my brother, Mom must have been over forty here. Can you believe it?

I love to see her smile!

My lovely sister and mother. Don't they look alike?

Painting Suzy's nails.

Mom in her fifties. And see, I put up a picture of me before I lost weight because it's a good one of her. That's love!

Mom with her siblings Mike, Lisa, and Sherry.

She's even cute organizing a VBS.

A girls day out with her friends.

See? Beautiful!
She thinks she looks old now, but really, she is fifty-four, and people would think she was not quite forty-five. If she keeps aging so slowly, soon people will meet her and ask me, "Oh, is this your little sister you're always talking about?" (While that might be an understandable assumption, I would still kick you in the shins for asking.)
My mom also doesn't think much of herself as a mother, and that may be partly my fault. I am always writing the funny things she says or does on Facebook. I can't help it. She's comedy gold.
My mother was simply the best mom I could have had growing up. For some reasons, I remember a lot of things when I was three. We lived in an apartment in Springtown, Texas, that year, so I know anything I remember in that setting must have been when I was three.
That year I found a piece of notebook paper in the bathroom. It had markings on it. It was probably a grocery list, but it interested my little self. I took it to my mom and asked her what it was. She told me, "Oh, it says..." I don't remember what she said after that, because I asked her how it could say something? It can't talk! So she explained to me letters and how they make words. She used a white crayon to draw puffed letters on black construction paper, and cut them out. I thought those were pretty spiffy letters. My mom sat on the floor with me, and helped me move the letters around to make words. I still remember the black letters with white outlines spelling "LORI" laying on the floor.
From that year, I remember her making yarn pompoms with me, reading Sesame Street books to me regularly (two distinct memories: Mom reading a new Sesame Street book to me on a blanket outside Granny's house, and at Grandma's house during a storm, while I sucked on a green safety pop. I hate green lollipops, I don't know if that's why it stood out. I vaguely remember Aunt Sherry replacing it with a purple one.) I remember her making orange jello squares with shredded carrots in it and telling me it was delicious. It probably wasn't, but I totally fell for it. Mom, you were Deceptively Delicious before it was a thing!
I remember her in the kitchen of that apartment. There was window overlooking the dining nook. I was sitting in the nook at my child's table (I think it was an Apple Dumpling table, but I'm not certain.) I asked her, "Mama, can I pray to the devil?" She said, "No, you can only pray to God, not the devil."
"Not even to tell him how much I don't like him?"
"No, you can never, ever pray to the devil."
I still really wanted to. I thought somebody ought to give him a piece of their mind. But there was my mom, calmly keeping me from toddler Satanism. Actually, I must have really freaked her out. When I was that age, I mainly colored with black and brown crayons, mostly ghosts and vampires. She probably dropped a pan of carrot jello when I brought up the devil.
I remember hearing her and Daddy talking and laughing one night while I was in bed. I got up, and she told me it was New Year's. (That would mean it was just two weeks from my fourth birthday.) She let me drink some of her eggnog, told me Happy New Years, kissed me, and put me back to bed. It was probably 8:30, but still. I felt as if I had discovered some wonderful secret of grow ups. They stay up late and drink eggs! It was lovely.

Three year old me. I'm the frilly one in the middle.

There was also the rather painful lesson she taught me about justice, when I told my little sister that we should push her doll carriage, then my grocery buggy, off of the second-story landing of our apartment to see what would happen. When I saw what happened after I pushed hers off, I changed my mind about the buggy. I considered it a lesson learned. My mother did not. In probable addition to a spanking I don't remember, she made me give my precious, precious buggy to replace my sister's busted carriage. I sulked on that one for a long time. I mean, come one! Wendy let me push it off. I clearly had consent! Now I would just like to say thank you, Mom, from keeping me from becoming a total little terror.
That's just my memories from my third year. I have thirty more years I could tell about! I love you, Mom. I think you are completely wonderful in every way. You are a treasure in my life. I am forever grateful that you are my mother.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Image of Christ

Wednesday, we were driving back from a friend's T-ball game, and I was lost in my thoughts. There may have been a wee bit of self-pity. Ok, I was thinking of myself as a victim of injustice by undeserved rejection, double-standards, slander, and hard-heartedness. I was wondering if I lost control of my anger and too huffily defended myself. (If you're ever wondering this, the answer is most likely yes, yes you did.)
Nate gently interrupted my inner pity party, "I want you to listen to me, and hear me out even if you might not like it. Do you remember Romans 8:29?"

I did. Just a few weeks ago a precious, precious friend talked to me about Romans 8:29. She has lost so many children to miscarriage and grieved for each one. She said a well-meaning person said to her, "Romans 8:28 says, 'God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God,' and one day in heaven you will know the reason why this has happened to you.". My friend sweetly and wisely replied, "But I already know why. It says in next verse, 'to become conformed to the image of His Son." God is making me more like Christ."
I told Nate I knew the verse. He asked, "What is the image of Christ? In Isaiah 53 it says, 'He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, And like one from whom men hid their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.' To be like Christ in this world will involve suffering. Rejection. People hating you. Slandering you. People you love will forget all the good you've done for them, and focus only on the negative until that's all they see. They will beat the snot out of you. You don't stop doing good, and you don't stop loving. You don't give in to bitterness. You just know that when the suffering comes, that is what it takes to be made into the likeness of Christ."
I knew he was right. He wasn't implying that I was sinless in conflict. The huffiness is a big sign that I wasn't. He was telling me not to be surprised at it, or to think it was the worst thing to ever happen to anyone, or to feel such a keen sense of injustice at the whole thing, and think I deserved better than Christ got. This morning I read the rest of the passage in Isaiah 53.

He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,
And like one from whom men hid their face,
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves considered Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening of our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.

I was in tears, overwhelmed at what my Lord has done for me, how He suffered for my sins. He is perfect, without sin. I am not. When I suffer, it is not as one who has spotless righteousness. I wish I had a tidy little summary of the overall lesson I learned from all this. I do not have that, except a growing love for my Savior. He was despised, not esteemed, considered by people to not be of God. But isn't He beautiful? Isn't he worth any little suffering we may go through? Isn't His love astonishing? His perfection amazing?

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written. 'FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.' But in all things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, not principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

p.s. Here is a hymn based on Isaiah 53:
Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dishcloths: Two for Her, Two for Me

I made these dishcloths for my sister's birthday. My sister is a much more accomplished knitter than I am, so I feel a bit silly knitting gifts for her. "Here. It's something you could have made better yourself. Happy birthday." I pushed my feelings of inadequacy aside, because I needed a gift I could make on a twelve hour car ride.
This aqua pinwheel is my first project with short rows. I used Knitted Lacey Round Cloth pattern by Rhonda White. I like the variations shown on the pattern page. I'd like to make several different versions in the same color.

To compliment the pinwheel cloth, I made a Checker-Square Garter Dishcloth. The pattern is by Kayla Kramer. I love the design!

I love it so much, I made one for me in red.

To go with my checker-square cloth, I made a Linoleum Dishcloth by Kay Gardiner. This is a slip stitch pattern like the checker-square. Very easy to knit. If you look at the top, you can see where I missed a red slip stitch. I went over it with a duplicate stitch and now it's all better!
I have since finished it, but in the meantime, I put my camera in a box and moved across the Rockies. I have yet to locate that box. So no picture!