Monday, September 28, 2009

Losing touch

How is it that just opening one book can calm your entire being? With this insanely busy, modern world and life we're in, I've found myself jumping onto so often when I'm looking up verses or wanting to find some information. Even my quiet time comes from reading a friend's blog then looking up verses online. Now, something's seriously wrong with that on so many levels. There's nothing wrong with having biblegateway as a tool. It's an incredible service. In fact, I love reading a verse in several different Bible versions, especially ones I question or when I need more clarification. I even have fun putting them in different languages and using them as my facebook statuses. Why not? But, I'm losing my touch. My touch for His Word. And wouldn't you know who reconnected me? Brady. That little wonderful bundle of blonde hair blue eyed energy!

My boys are currently fascinated with the Bible. Much better than a fascination with bugs, worms or actually Brady's fascination with boogers & Kodi fur. But, they are drawn to the Bible. One morning last week I went to Nathan's room to get a different shirt for him. There were four Bibles laid open on the floor. Why did my four year old have four Bibles on his floor opened up? "Brady did it." Well, getting a reasonable answer from him is about as easy as getting tights on a toddler. And sorry, folks, I didn't have time to see what pages they were opened to. And part of me was a little frightened to even look-I'm telling you, sometimes my kids weird me out. Do you have any idea what was going through Brady's head that morning? I love attempting to get into Brady's head! But he does love the Bible.

Which brings me to tonight. We were getting ready for bed, he and I were cuddled up, waiting for Nathan to finish brushing his teeth (this takes forever). Brady looks at me and says, "Wait just a second Mommy" and rushes off to his room. He comes right back with a Precious Moments Bible. Now, we've been very intentional the past week including Brady in our Bible time each night after Nathan said, "I don't think Brady knows God or the Bible that well and he really needs to." Nathan's just so quick to always answer that Brady just sits quietly and watches. We've been making sure we ask Brady directly and we've asked Nathan to give Brady a chance to answer as well. As Jim's leading our Bible study, Brady's flipping through the Bible he brought in. He sees writing in it and freaks out that someone has written in it. I explain that we wrote in there about Nathan's dedication to God. Brady was upset that he didn't have one until I convinced him he had his own Bible. Peace reigned! And Brady opened our prayer for steps. Nathan did the rest of the prayer by himself, you know that had me in tears. As I tucked Brady into bed with his own Bible being tightly gripped, I couldn't help but treasure that moment. I had flipped through the pages with him and shown him the stories of God's faithfulness and love for him. I told him we would read that Bible together and that I couldn't wait to share it with him. And I truly cannot.

Brady's freaking out about writing in the Bible also sparked my attention. I can't write on biblegateway about verses that strike me. I can't highlight them, or write down how/when/who influenced that verse. But my Bible, the one I received from my sweet Jim almost seven years ago, has lots of markings in it. Not enough, but I'm getting there. I share an office with the great Cindy Bailey. One day Brady accidentally knocked over one of her Bibles, she's got one of those that's been so loved and used that the cover is off and I'm not sure Genesis exists. As I was putting it back on the shelf, I noticed it was filled to the brim with writings. That's what I want my children to see when they look at my Bible. Notes from where I prayed for them, about them and others. Times where I was challenged by God and sought after Him. They aren't going to see it if I don't do it. Chances are, they aren't going to do it themselves if I don't do it either. Likewise, they aren't going to have their heads and hearts in it if mine isn't either. And they can't tell if I'm on facebook or biblegateway. So, just as we're making an effort to get Brady more focused on our Bible time, I'm going to make a better effort of being more focused on my own Bible time. With my actual Bible in my hands that oddly enough has a direct line to my heart.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sea Turtles

While we were at the beach last week, Jim had the great pleasure of watching and helping sea turtles hatch and make their way into the Atlantic.  He came back to our place more excited than any child on Christmas Day.  He visited the site for two nights and waited over three hours for this event.  As you watch this, I believe you'll hear his voice say, "Unbelievable."  I think it's him because it has the same awe in it as when our boys were born!  Needless to say, this was one of his "Top Ten" life experiences.  Watching it shows we serve a mighty God who creates each one of us perfectly and cares so much for each one of us.  

Saturday, September 5, 2009

He's just wonderful

I almost missed out.  Almost.  Nine years ago I was a first year teacher at Aycock Elementary School in Henderson.  If you can believe it, it was time to send out the first progress report.  I had forgotten about them, there's a lot to do when you're a first year teacher, you know!  They really did sneak up on me.  I was walking out the door, excited about my plans for the night, when the teachers in the room next door grumbled to me about finishing their progress reports.  YIKES!!  Those blasted things needed to be done, my parents would be wondering how their children were responding to the new girl's teaching and I needed to be sure the students were responding to the new girl!  I looked at the veteran teacher next door and said, "I'm supposed to go on a kinda-sorta-date tonight.  I guess I'll cancel it so I can work on those progress reports."  She so nicely looked at me and said, "Those progress reports will still be here in the morning, that kinda-sorta-date will not."  

See, that's a hard lesson that I'm constantly learning.  I feel like I always have to be there (wherever there is) or something won't get done.  I even did this when I was pregnant with Harris, I wanted to be there until the last minute-like the school couldn't function without me.  When will I learn that I'm not that important and life can very easily go on without me?  You would think I would have learned it nine years ago.

My kinda-sorta-date was with this guy Jim.  We met at a Bible study in Henderson.  I knew most of the people there because it was in Henderson and well, at the time it was hard to not know most of the people in Henderson.  Except this guy Jim.  He talked funny.  He was from Massachusetts.  Going on a kinda-sorta-date with him was as close to sacreligious as I could get (yes, grandparents rolling in graves kind of thing).  Before this kinda-sorta-date, we had talked within the group and someone mentioned TipTop Restaurant.  I hesitate to even put Restaurant at the end of TipTop, but I suppose it's the proper thing to do.  This guy Jim wanted to know more about it and other Henderson (oh, so many things) establishments.  Being proud of my roots that I've sadly been so quick to forget and escape since, I quickly offered a tour to this guy Jim and any other foreigners.  He was the only one to accept.  Everyone had everyone's phone numbers because that's what you do in a small town Bible study so he called one day and asked about the tour.  I was in Raleigh with my friend Kathy.  We discussed another date, not date date, but date as in time and place for an event.  This guy Jim worked in RTP so he got home around 4:30ish, right when I was leaving school (yeah, right) so we planned for a dinner on Sept. 6.  Which just happened to be the night I should have been working on progress reports.  Oh well, God always has better plans for our lives if we just believe. 

We met at Pino's, a small Italian place in Henderson.  We both get out of our cars (not a date, see) at the same time.  He starts walking to the door.  It's then I notice him walking differently.  I hadn't noticed this before.  Sidenote here-I had spent the better (much better) part of the summer with my sister, Candi and her now husband, Curt.  Curt is an adorable goofball.  He and his family are true classclowns who will try to make you laugh and will do silly things to get you riled up.  Wearing silly hats or clothes or Grinch costumes is not uncommon for a Tucker.  It's fun and exactly what I needed that summer and what I had been used to.  Which leads me to my next dumb, thoughtless comment to this guy Jim.  

Me: "What are you doing?"

Jim: "What?"

Me:  "Why are you walking like that?"

Jim: "I always walk like this?"

Me: "No you don't."

Jim: "Yes, I do, I have Spastic Paraplegia."

Me: "No, you're making that up."

Jim: "No, it's what I have.  Why would I make that up?"

Me, inserting foot into mouth.  Somehow I stumble into a seat in the restaurant and manage to order something while apologizing profusely.  This guy Jim takes it all in stride (he's just that wonderful) and thinks nothing of it.  Wow, if that were me I would be blowing off this chick and never looking back.  See, from the beginning Jim's always seen more in me than I'll ever see in myself.  Back to the kinda-sorta-date.  We ate and talked and talked and talked.  I had no idea I could talk to someone that much.  I don't remember what time our date began, but I know we ended up talking until close to midnight.  I didn't know where or if this was headed somewhere.  Especially after the way my big mouth started the night.  I do know I was on cloud nine.  I am pretty sure I hopped into school the next day and every day after.  My great assistant, Malinda, would be able to tell you that!  I'm sure I drove her batty talking about this guy Jim.

Over the next few weeks and months our relationship escalated into this guy Jim becoming THE ONE.  I would talk to my friends from college and say, "He's just so wonderful" and giggle.  I think it was the giggle that caught most of them off guard. Certainly those closest to me that summer. Prior to meeting Mr. Wonderful I had dated and been engaged to someone for five years.  I'm quick to say that's five years I wasted of college experiences and life.  That's a lot of time for mistakes and things that I have spent too much time dwelling on-you must put the past behind you. I was broken, battered and bruised and spent much of the summer healing with family & friends and their prayers and my time (not enough) with God. I was stronger in some ways, yet still weak in lots of others.  I wanted and still want to be a better person for God, a better servant for Him.  I was never expecting to come across Mr. Wonderful in Henderson at a Bible study.  Oh, how great are the plans of our Father.  Jim has allowed our Father to use him to make me into that better person.  More loving, giving, caring, and kind.  Because that's who Jim is.  He taught me about agape love which he lives out every day.  He defines it.  Jim loves me whether I have on a pretty dress or the same sweats for three days, makeup or he actually prefers none, does he even notice if my hair is brushed?  He could care less if I lose 30 pounds or gain 60, he knows I would feel better about myself but to him he honestly doesn't care.  He is going to love me because he loves me.  I'm sure you've heard this song, if you haven't I don't know where you're hiding, but it makes me think of how Jim loves me.  It's a lot like the way God loves me.  I am so blessed.

You could say the rest is history, but it's so not.  We've only just begun.  We've promised each other 100 years.  We know the road is bumpy-we've had some seriously high speed bumps in our almost eight years of marriage.  He's lost both parents and we've got an angel baby.  My grandmother passed away.  His brother and his wife, whom Jim and I adored and looked up to, divorced.  His family is in Massachusetts.  We've also celebrated some pretty awesome things.  We've got two incredible children with us on earth, good health, joy in our hearts and our dog is still with us!  We've also celebrated one of my sisters getting married and having two children of her own.  His sister got married.  All of this is life and we're doing it TOGETHER.  So today I'm celebrating that nine years ago I listened to a wiser woman and went on a kinda-sorta-date with a *gasp* Yankee who turned out to be wonderful Jim, my precious husband and father to our three children.  Without him I couldn't even have this awesome blog about our two gifts from God!