Monthly Archives: April 2014

Golf Carts, Jesus and other Eastery Things

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The BeBe Dye-aries

Raise your hand if you just love, love, love change? Not the “change” you get when you hand the cashier a $20 bill for your purchase of a candy bar and a Dr. Pepper but the “change” that throws you from the comfort of your little place in the world into something brand new and different….something that might be a little bit scary. Are your hands raised yet? I’ll give you a minute to think about this…(Cue up the Jeopardy music please! Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo) ……OK, didn’t think so.

Change can be H A R D!!!

She was 2 months away from her 2nd birthday when I first met her. Cute as a button. Tiny, petite little blonde thing with big blue eyes and a huge, sweet smile. Simply adorable. She had a very definite comfort zone that was tightly wrapped around two people…..Mommy and Daddy…

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Golf Carts, Jesus and other Eastery Things

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Raise your hand if you just love, love, love change? Not the “change” you get when you hand the cashier a $20 bill for your purchase of a candy bar and a Dr. Pepper but the “change” that throws you from the comfort of your little place in the world into something brand new and different….something that might be a little bit scary. Are your hands raised yet? I’ll give you a minute to think about this…(Cue up the Jeopardy music please! Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo) ……OK, didn’t think so.

Change can be H A R D!!!

She was 2 months away from her 2nd birthday when I first met her. Cute as a button. Tiny, petite little blonde thing with big blue eyes and a huge, sweet smile. Simply adorable. She had a very definite comfort zone that was tightly wrapped around two people…..Mommy and Daddy. I was neither of these things for her. Yet in spite of that, it was time for some ch-ch-ch-changes in the life of this little sweet pea. And well…..

Change can be H A R D!!!

Our first few days together were…well… difficult. She had known no other life beyond getting up in the morning and spending the day playing with her Daddy. With no explanation suitable for her little almost 2 year old self, she was suddenly being dropped off in the morning at my house….no Daddy. No Mommy! This did NOT make her happy to say the least. I believe her little personality completely changed with this one movement out of her cozy little box of comfort. Her world had just been rocked off it’s foundation and she dealt with this by producing rivers of tears…..and cries for something very unique and special to her. In all my years of caring for the children of other mommies, this was a first for me. This precious angel cried very loudly and very persistently for her Golf Cart. Yes, you read that right…..she wanted her golf cart! Not a baby doll…not a paci…not a blanket…but a golf cart! What was I to do? I didn’t have a golf cart!! How would I ever comfort this child and make her feel loved in this place that wasn’t her own?

Change can be H A R D!!!

I was so completely certain that God had sent this little girl to me. That’s another story for another day but I trusted totally and completely that this child was a humongous answer to my prayers. I knew if I didn’t do something to make this new relationship work out that I would totally be shoving this little gift back into God’s face with a “thanks but no thanks” sort of attitude. Something had to change….and this time it was me. I very clearly felt that my little at-home business was about to hit the road. I knew in my heart that if this relationship was going to work I was going to have to bend and meet her where she was…and not vice versa.

So I did . I met her where she was by going to her house every morning. I found her in HER space, where she was most comfortable. I learned to drive a golf cart! And you know, after the first few rides in that golf cart, I totally came to see and understand her obsession with this little activity! We’d go out in the morning while it was still relatively cool (this WAS June in Georgia!) . The bunnies would be out hopping around in the dewy grass. The birds would be singing. The breeze was cool as we raced golf cart style down the hills of her neighborhood. There was peace and calmness in our rides. And most importantly, there were NO TEARS! There were smiles and giggles. She’d snuggle up next to me as we rode side by side and I could feel her slowly entering a new comfortable place with me as the face she’d see between 9am and 3pm every week day !

It took a few weeks of me greeting her at her doorstep every morning before we started making the gradual transition back to my house. Slowly but surely, though, as I met her where she was her comfort zone expanded and she was ready to try new things. Oh we could’ve kept up this new routine longer but the goal was to get her to leave her old comfortable routine and move on to this new “big girl” routine.

Because change may be hard…but change is good!

This all happened nearly a year ago and we all lived to tell about it. Little girl is now months away from her 3rd birthday. She happily leaves the comfort of her own wonderful home to step into mine every day. There are no more tears, no more anguished cries for rides on her golf cart…only hugs and “I love you’s” every day. Her comfort zone grew as she felt assured that this once perfect stranger could really and truly love her back.

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As I’ve pondered Easter coming up this Sunday, this experience came rushing back to me. Why, you ask, would a crying , nervous child and a golf cart make me think of Easter?? Well, I’m so glad you asked!

Most of us, whether we’re in church every time the door is open or we’ve never graced the doorstep of a steepled building know the first part of the verses I’m about to share ….

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him.” John 3:16-17

Y’all, Jesus had to have been quite comfy in Heaven with His Dad. God must’ve loved every minute of having his Baby Boy with Him all the time, sitting next to Him on His throne. Streets of gold, constant angelic music….nobody off key! Living the good life! Yet in spite of this, God sent Jesus out of His comfort zone into ours. And He came willingly! If this part hadn’t happened, the all important Easter part wouldn’t have happened either.

He meets us right we are…no matter where that place is.

Then He hangs out with us as He gently pursues us.

He doesn’t condemn us.

He doesn’t judge where we’re at.

He simply loves us and longs to save us from being stuck in whatever self imposed pit we find ourselves in.

We find ourselves comforted by His presence and well….we change!

And it’s a change that’s easy and comfortable and welcome!

I know most of you reading this now are in your “happy place” with Jesus. This is all old news….Good News…but still news you’re very familiar with. So my challenge to you this Easter and beyond is to find someone you know or even some new friend who needs the hands and feet of Jesus to step up beside them. Love them where they’re at but love them too much to leave them there. Help them to see Jesus through you.

Then sit back and watch this beautiful thing happen as they crawl up beside Jesus in their own proverbial “golf cart” to find that He’s not so bad after all!

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Happy Easter Y’all!

Lessons from a Little Princess

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We had denied ourselves the pleasure of this particular big family vacation for years. 18 years to be exact. We determined early on that we would wait until our youngest child was 5 years old to embark on this journey…..and well. We just kept having kids! So the excitement my family felt as we boarded the Admiral Joe Fowler early that morning was palpable. There was a promise that at the end of our voyage we would embark upon a land full of magical excitement, fairy tales and promises fulfilled. I had no idea then that this land full of princes and princesses…..flying elephants….pirates….talking mice, ducks and dogs would give me more life lessons than just “when my kids are all having fun at the same time they get along so well!! “ It simply promised to be “the happiest place on earth.”

I like happy!

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As we drew closer to our destination, we saw it! The castle! It took our breath away. For our entire lives, we had seen pictures of this castle but the sight of this place that had only filled our dreams for so many years was truly…well…magical! There’s really no other word to describe it. The look on the faces of my 5 children was utter happiness!

I like happy children!

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Everywhere we looked that week, there were happy kids. ( Well except for that occasional grumpy kid with ice cream smeared all over his face , evidence of no nap abounding. Come on Mom!! That 3 year old you’re dragging around needs some down time!! Mickey will still be here when you get back from nap time!) Big kids and little kids were dressed like Mickey and Minnie……like Cinderella and Prince Charming. Some of these “kids” were paid to be in costume. They’re the ones your kids are convinced are the “real” Jasmine, Snow White and Belle. They shriek with delight at having just had their picture made with these Disney super stars!

There’s nothing better than a happy kid!

Then there are the non-paid characters roaming around….holding their adult’s hand as they skip along, tiara in place, princess dress flowing out behind them, ice cream smeared all over their smiling faces. They prance around the park all day long with heads held high so those tiaras don’t fall, singing their Princess songs at the top of their lungs. In their little minds, they are every bit as much a true princess as the Cinderella they just posed with…..just as beautiful, just as worthy. And JOY just exudes from them!

I really like a JOYFUL child!

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I hear so often, “Oh I just want to be happy!” Or “I deserve a little happiness in my life”….blah blah blah! That ice cream smeared , grumpy child likely started her day in a very happy mood. Then she got hot. Her feet started hurting. Her belly hurt from too much ice cream and well, the happiness was shot. She was a total grump now and it showed! Happiness is so fleeting! Why in the world do we seek it out so much??

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But the little princesses. Oh the sweet little Princesses! They still had ice cream everywhere. Their feet probably hurt from those little princess shoes they’d had on all day. They were very likely hot as well because, well, it’s Florida in June. How can you NOT be hot then!? But the difference here is that they believed with their whole beings that they were princesses and no matter how hot and sticky and tired they were, that would not change. They were princesses, by golly…..

….and the JOY just exuded!

I want joy like that!! And I think most of us really would prefer joy over happiness. But how, you ask, can we cross over from just being happy to feeling pure, extreme, radical joy? It just seems easier said than done some days, huh?

We’ve all been there. The scenarios are endless. We wake up in the morning and we get our hair just right and we have the perfect outfit on. It’s gonna be a grand day! Then one of a bajillion things happens. 1) It’s raining and our hair is now a wet mess 2) We spill coffee on our white blouse 3) The baby wipes his sweet little snotty nose all over your black pants 4) We get bumped in the car pool line and the other person swears it’s all OUR fault 5) The teacher calls about little Johnny’s behaviour again 6) The hubster calls with bad news 7) The cat gets sick all over the freshly cleaned carpet……and the list goes one. The day that started seemingly happy seems to go down hill from there. But where’s the joy??

I don’t have the perfect answer and many days I struggle to find joy as well. But when I think back on our time at Disney and all those little princesses….those who in spite of the ice cream smudges, tired feet, and sweaty hair had a smile on their faces… I have to wonder if they carry a big old fat clue as to where we can always find joy?

And here it is…..the clue….But you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus…….”..Galatians 3:26

Did you grab that little tidbit? We are all sons (or daughters) of God when we believe in Jesus. He is a King. If He’s a King and we’re His sons and daughters, then what does that make us? Princess Jasmine can only wish her dad the king was as amazing as our Dad , THE King!

So we our His. We belong to Him as His children. When we belong to Him, He gifts us…..with things like love and peace and kindness and JOY, just to name a few.

Joy! Our goal over happiness! So think about this. What if…just what if…we woke up each morning fully and completely BELIEVING that we are truly Princesses? That we are truly daughters of the One True amazing, fabulous King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Now beware!! We don’t want to get uppity about this or anything. After all, our King is quite humble and He might ground us to our rooms if we get snooty about this whole Princess thing! But what if we woke up each morning and tapped the top of our heads to remind ourselves that’s where our tiara sits ….the one our King placed on our heads when we became His?

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Think like a humble Princess! The smudges of life just won’t matter. You’re a princess! The aches and pains of life can’t get you down. You’re a princess! You have amazing potential! You can handle the hard things in life! You are worthy and beautiful! You’re never alone!

Embrace these things…….and guess what?

It might take a little practice but it’ll happen! The JOY will come!

Thank you sweet little ice cream smudgy wannabe Disney Princesses for this lesson. You’re precious!

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(Disclaimer:  None of the Disney pictures in this post were from our actual trip.   The trip was taken before I had a digital camera so all my printed pics are carefully placed in a family scrap book that we still love to look at!  The little princess in the final picture, however, is one I personally know …and she’s precious!)

(Disclaimer Two:  If you’re a guy and you’re reading this, don’t claim the whole Princess thing.  That would be weird! BUT please do claim your place as a PRINCE cause your Father is the King of Kings!)