Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Blessing

We're feeling the "two's" over here at our house. :)

That little precious face is not always as innocent as she appears.

In fact, on that particular occasion, half her morning was spent on ms. Gracie's steps crying because she wanted to swing. (However, she'd been swinging well over 15 minutes and hadn't shared once so I had to explain that as fun as it is to have every single other person at the party push you...you have to share sitting on the swing from time to time).

She didn't like that one bit.

On this particular occasion, it was Spring Fest at our church and there were blow up slides everywhere...blow up slides to Clara are like Diet Dr. Peppers are to me...can't.get.enough.

However, there were lines and this sugar just couldn't handle waiting. So much so, that the poor young kids managing the slide physically climbed in and placed her at the end of the line after she'd cut...I heard...3 times. Uh oh. That resulted in a very sad baby girl as well...I think when you're two you feel rules don't apply to you. :)

But luckily we found a good alternative without a line!

That is just one of several instances. There was the time she bit my finger because she didn't want her face wiped, or the day she pushed her friend into the wall for no apparent reason or how she now loves to say, "Yes we can!" in direct opposition to most things we tell her we can't do, exp: "It's 8:30 at night sweetheart and we can't possibly go to the park this late." Clara's response. "YES WE CAN!" (And my friend Meg pointed out this is similar to a recent campaign slogan for a certain president in office right now lol - but I can assure you she has no political affiliation at 2). :)

However, I was washing the dishes last week and it hit me.

"If I'm not seeing her as a blessing all the time, I'm not seeing her right."

I know gramatically that sentence feels 'off ' but I know Who it came from and understood it loud and clear.

She is my blessing...when she bites my finger.

She is my blessing...when she pushes her friends.

She is my blessing...when she just.won't.share.

She is my blessing...every moment of every day.

And continuing on...

She is my blessing...when she sneaks out of the house as a teenager.

She is my blessing...when she lies to me about "where she was last night."

She is my blessing...when I hear she cheated on a test from her teacher.

And, I know this may be a bit premature, but if I lose sight of my blessing at 2, then I surely will lose sight when she's 17.

I want you all to hear - I love her excruciatingly and would die for her any moment of any day.

But, you know when I say "thank-you" for her...I always say it when I sneak into her room and see her snuggled in her big girl bed each night. That's when I tell God thank-you...but somehow, someway it seemed like He was saying I need to be thankful during all the other moments as well...because she is a healthy, thriving 2 year old with the kindest heart I've ever seen.

So, this week I've been trying and I love it.

It's a challenge but I'm working on it.

Because this lesson was for me...not so much for her.

When she's crying..."thank you for my daughter's sensitive heart."

When she's fighting..."thank you for her independence (that I will need help channeling as she gets older lol).

When she's just downright being a 2 year old..."thank you,thank you, thank you Jesus for the precious little girl doctors told me I couldn't have."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Non-Hit & Run

This is going to scare the grandparents so I'm sorry in advance. :(

But yesterday was a bit eventful for me and ms. Clara as we were {almost} in a very serious accident.

It changed alot of things for me forever so let me tell you why.

Actually, before I tell you what happened I'll give you a little background as to why I KNOW this was not an oridnary "accident."

We've been seeing alot of miracle's lately in our circle of friends. Most recently, a couple in our small group went into labor at 32 weeks and dialated to a 6...the medicine they were giving her at the hospital wasn't stopping her labor so in typical Indian Creek (our church) fashion...we all started praying.our.buns.off. Do you want to know what happened during those hours? Her labor stopped at 6cm (almost unheard of according to medical personel that were there) and yesterday they checked her again...um, she went the other direction..she was at 3 cm! (making this situation completely unheard of!!!) I think sometimes God goes the extra distance just to get our attention, like yes, He could have held her at 6 cm but He went ahead and took her in the opposite direction lol. I love that.

Okay, so a different type of miracle, or super amazing thing happened yesterday at 11:50 in the Wal-Mart parking lot. We've been talking about the Holy Spirit in church; if you're catholic, {the holy ghost}, if you're luthern {God the spirit}etc. He's completely a mystery to unbelievers, and can be confusing to understand if you do believe in Jesus. However, I will tell you how REAL.HE.IS. The holy spirit is called the parakletos in Greek. There are many translations for that word but one of them is "protector."

Now, hold that thought. :)

I had just paid for our groceries yesterday afternoon and we were leaving the store; Clara was holding my hand to my right and I was pushing the cart with my left hand. When all of a sudden an impresson was felt in my heart...

"It is not safe for Clara to walk in the parking lot, she must be riding in the cart."

I remember thinking that a weird thought but gently swept her up and placed her in the cart just in case. I even said, "Clara, you need to ride in the cart because it's not always safe to walk with all the cars around you."

She complied rather easily which seems important now too, as that is a bit unusual for her these days.


We were moving from the brick tiling in front of Wal-Mart to the actual parking lot when I saw her - a lady was trying to exit the parking lot quickly and looking to the car on her right, not in front of her. I knew in that instant she was going to hit us...all I remember at that moment is screaming and pushing the cart with all my might. She literally missed my legs by no less than 1 c.m. Somone else behind me yelled as the lady swerved up onto the brick to avoid the collision and then sped away as quickly as possible.

You guys, I am telling you through tears and as honestly as possible had Clara been walking beside me and not riding I'm just not so sure she would even be here. I don't think I could have gotten her out of the way fast enough without dragging her and even then I'm not sure I could have helped her avoid that car's left front tire.

People were instantly there asking if we were okay, seeing how they could help, just telling us how close that was...

but the car, gone.

the lady, gone.

No one knew why she was exiting the parking lot so quickly in the first place but now it's just up to the Olathe Police Department to decide.

It really doesn't matter though at this point.

The holy spirit, our protector, our parakletos is real you guys. I will forever remember that moment as for a mere second I thought I may lose Clara's life. And truly we may both have been seriously injured because you know if I couldn't have pulled Clara out of the way fast enough I surely wouldn't have moved out of the way.

John 14:16 says this - "I will ask the Father and he will give you another helper who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him...but you know him because he lives with you and will be in you."
If you think this story's crazy because you've never felt that voice I would just very gently ask if that is because in your heart of hearts, you're just not sure about Jesus. However, if you "confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will  be saved." It's that simple. It's bold, yes, :) but it's simple.  If that hasn't happened, I would encourage you from the bottom of my heart to start asking some questions..start being a bit brave in the asking? You don't think he's real? Tell him. You think there's too much pain in the world for a God? Tell him. You think He couldn't possibly love you because of what you've done?? TELL HIM.

I'm telling you...He.Will.Answer.

There are two things I can promise you in this life.

1) You will die.
2) If you ask God if He's real. He'll answer.
* Dave wanted me to add "Taxes" to this list but I told him that wasn't the point :) 

Do you think I like the fact that some people who read this will make fun of me for it? No.

But do you think I would be so sincerely passionate about something if I didn't know it to be truth? Absolutely not.

My little girl is perfectly fine, sleeping soundly in her big girl bed right now because I believe in God and he has sent me a parakletos.

Friday, April 13, 2012

One Hop From Tijuana...

 One ignored taxi from the end of Dave's life...
JK :)
So let me share with you about the day I almost had to end Dave's sweet little life lol. That sounds terrible and of coarse I'm completely joking but it wasn't funny at the time. Trust me.
Up to this point we'd been busy and had had such a fun, relaxing vacay. (Now I'd be lying if I said there weren't a couple little bobbles - Dave's obsession with the Gas Lamp district and me wanting to eat anywhere but down there for the 3rd night lol) but all in all things were going pretty smoothly! :)
We'd seen Belmont Park
(which I don't really have a picture of but this wonderfully fun shot of me in a hammock from lunch lol..there were roller coasters and games and all sorts of fun stuff...)

Collected Sea Shells for Clara Bear
(and while you can barely see him Dave was down there braving the coldness of the ocean for his pumpkin!)
Laid out on the Beach
(And yes, you are looking at the most unprepared couple ever for a beach day as we had to first buy a towel and then we had to share the towel, etc but it was fun... Also, you're watching the "non-tanning-burning" taking place right before your eyes haha. :))

We biked Coronado
Boy are you guys in for a treat- it'a a video of us on the tandem bike...we really made it for Clara but I'm sure you'll enjoy it too..haha probably not but here it is anyways!

Lastly, my first real nap since like college. Woohoo!

Sorry, no pictures, but you'll just have to take my word about that wonderfulness!

Okay, so onto the day Dave almost died...

We'd heard about these great outlet malls close to the border...now mind you that I care about labels...not at all (because Dave Ramsey will yell at you about that if you are on the money makeover plan)...but if you tell me I can buy a Coach purse for $40 it may peak my interest! :)

So, we headed down there through the transit system...first the orange train, and then the blue and then bus 608 or some such business...I'm just wanting you to get the picture that this was a looonnggg trip with a train full of "smellys."

We finally arrive and have a grand ole' time lol. Did you know that Old Navy has an outlet???Will they do and everything's like...$1. Nice. :) Anyways...I see the thunderclouds a comin' and keep begging my dear sweet husband to hurry his shopping because the last thing I want is to be caught by the border of Mexico in a torrential downpour. (I mean seriously, people keep showing up in the news with no, err...heads, about two hops south from where we were standing!?!?!?)

I like my head.

So I kept complaining. :)

Meanwhile, Dave continues ignoring me on his hunt for the "perfect sandals." So, one hour, two more hours roll by and this time it is official. There are rain clouds right on top of us and no sign of sandals.


I hear the magic words.."I like these!"

So, we pay and I'm secretly telling these Kenneth Cole sandals that they better have magical qualities about them or I will never forgive them for what they made me go through this day when...


That's right...rain drop hits my head.

Then another, then another...

and before you know it.


So, we start running towards the bus stop, and I'm crying while Dave somehow seems to be enjoying himself and the whole thing was quite confusing(and I must add that we had no umbrella's and no place to buy them in sight) so we continue running and finally reach the bus stop.

It's hard to read arrival times when you're getting pummeled by rain at this point and freezing to death so I tried to catch some relief from under a small tree by the sign as Dave lets me know that the bus stops every hour and we just missed the last one!!!.

So, I state what any logical person would state in that moment.

Amber: "Honey, we NEED a taxi. At this moment I would pay any amount just to be out of the rain!!"

Dave: "Oh no sweetheart, we're good..we'll just wait."

You see that my husband is reading "Wild At Heart" with his guy friends and had decided that this was the type of adventures men were made of, he's calmly trying to console me (in the crazy thunderstorming weather) that everything will be all right and that this is going to be a great memory some day and that hailing a taxi would simply take away from the "fun" of it all....

I tuned out somewhere around that point and simply said.

"I like my head and I'm going to find a Taxi. If I never see you again, I suppose I love you." lol - I really did but at that moment I wasn't really "feeling it" ya know? :)

So, I started running toward the closest taxi and jumped in faster than I've jumped in anything in my life. I really thought I'd finally "won" the battle when Dave jumps in behind me and tells the nice taxi-man to take us to the train stop...which starts in the OPPOSITE direction from our hotel.

At that point I gave up and simply watched as the nice man talked to us about "senoritas in Tijuana" and drove us even further from home because my man wanted an adventure. lol.

This picture was taken the moment we got to the train station one foot away from Tijuana. Somehow, Dave helped me find my smile and I suppose looking back it will be a good story for Clara. :)

And this picture??

Can you guess what Dave's carrying there??

The most precious cargo he's ever held to date (besides Clara) and he carried it all the way to the hotel like that...

his  {hopefully} magical sandals. :)

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