re·form: (r-fôrm) v. re·formed, re·form·ing, re·forms v. tr. 1. To improve by alteration, correction of error, or removal of defects; put into a better form or condition. 2. To cause (a person) to give up harmful or immoral practices; persuade to adopt a better way of life.
ma·ma or mam·ma also mom·ma: n. (also m-mä) Informal. Mother.


You Know You Are A Mom When...

You catch your son's vomit in your bare hands and don't think twice about it.

I never understood that until this weekend. We've been sick. Eddie got it first. He spent the night in the hospital on Friday getting re-hydrated. Today, Ed and I both woke up sick.

It's not pretty around here.

So, my public service announcement is that if you have a child who is sick, please don't take them around other kids. On behalf of Eddie, I thank you.


Butterfly Lady

I mentioned in my last post that my friend Charlene loves butterflies. They are kind of her symbol. If I ever see a butterfly I think of her. I'm pretty sure that a lot of people at my old church would say the same thing.

When I first realized that Charlene had a "symbol" I thought it was a bit weird. I just have always been plain old Bev. No frills. I've never collected anything. I don't really relate to any specific creature or item. There's nothing that I just absolutely love.

Then, I started to learn more about Charlene and about why she enjoys butterflies so much. For Charlene, butterflies are a symbol of transformation. They are a visual of 2 Cor. 5:17.

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

The more I think about that verse and where I am in life, the more I understand Charlene's fascination with the butterfly.

When I was saved a set of actions was set in place. So, I was saved. I am being saved. I will be saved. Or, to put it another way, I was transformed. I am being transformed. And Glory, Hallelujah! I will be transformed on that great and glorious day.

I think with transformation sometimes comes reformation. Surely some parts of that old caterpillar are used once the transformation process begins, they are just maybe reformed into a pretty spot on a wing.

I've seen that in my life. Prior to my transformation I was a hard and unpleasant, like a thorny bush with no blooms. There was not much to enjoy. I had a lot of anger and bitterness. I had a lot of hurt that I'd not let Christ heal. I had a lot of selfish desires that served as my motivation.

Upon my transformation (or salvation if transformation is to wishy-washy of a word for you), there was some immediate healing. There was a great deal of forgiveness. There was a renewal of my mind (Romans 12:1-2) so that my selfish desires are more of a burden to me now than before.

I wouldn't be so dumb as to say I no longer have troubles in any of these areas, but you see, I am being transformed and reformed. Many of those hurts have already been reformed into experiences that I can use to help others through various situations. Most of the anger and bitterness has been reformed into a soft spot for those who are struggling in these areas. The selfish desires... well, perhaps those are the thorns on this rose. Ya know... Every rose has it's thorns. (You know you wanna sing that now).

And it's not just struggles like those that are being reformed. My thought processes are reformed also. Ya know... like Romans 12:1-2 says. I am constantly thinking and processing and reforming my thoughts on Christianity in general. Now, That's not to say that my theology is changing. It's not. I am pretty grounded in what I believe. BUT, the manner in which those beliefs are carried out and shared is constantly changing. And I don't think that's a bad thing.

Sometimes it's good to adapt the means of communication to fit the listener. You can do that without watering down the truth. Afterall, if I truly believe that Scripture is sufficient and SUPERIOR to anything man could say and if I am sharing Scripture and trusting the Holy Spirit to do His job, then what do I have to worry about. I mean, I am NOT the one doing the salvation. I am merely the messenger.

The transformation/reformation process is hard though. Sometimes it's hard to let go of pet sins or to see another equally valid point of view when we are used to looking at things from a particular angle. It's a struggle. But this process was never said to be easy.

I do know this. I look forward to the day when I am complete in Christ, and when, as my header says, my image reflects his glory more fully. Perhaps then I will be worthy to utilize a symbol such as a butterfly. Right now, I am stil a big hairy worm.


Thoughts of A Crazy Mom

I am home alone a lot. Actually, I am not usually alone, but I can't carry on much of a conversation with my 17-month old son. Don't get me wrong, he's great. It's just that repeating "doggie" 578,934 times in a row because he points to the dog kinda gets a little old. Know what I mean?

Anywho... I always have random or not-so-random trains of thought running 20 miles an hour through my brain. Ocassionally, one of these trains of thought will be something that I want to blog about. Of course, by the time I am able to actually sit down at the computer and work on a blog post, I've forgotten everything I wanted to write.

So, for right now, I'll just share some of my random thoguhts from today. Perhaps tomorrow this list will serve as a spring board for my post then.

1. Really, Christians shouldn't fight amongst each other. It makes us all look bad. Sure, discuss theological differences and differences among worship and outreach style. Just be nice about it. There is no need to be mean and call names. And, that's not really Christ-like, now is it?

2. I am a tee-totaller, but not really for religious reasons. I have many family members who have given their lives over to alcohol and whose lives have been destroyed as a result. I don't believe I would "catch" the alcoholism if I took a drank (if that were the case, I'd already be an alcoholic), I just do not want to be a stumbling block to those iin my family who have already fallen and who are trying to pick themselves back up. Besides, I am not good when I've had a bit to drink.

3. I have a play-date tomorrow morning. I am excited. Eddie and I have not ever been able to attend a play-date. Should be fun.

4. Kind of a spin-off from #3. So far, it's been my observation that people in military towns are far more accepting of people who are "not from 'round here." When Ed was at an Air Force Base in Mississippi for 6 months, the church we attended was AMAZING. I'll never forget the time I drove down to see Ed and one of the girls from the Sunday School class called to make sure I made it in alright and to invite me to a lunch the next day. Here in Sumter, the attitude seems to be very similar. They love on the people as much as they can while they are here and that's that.

5. I do miss my church back home. Especially a select few people. One of my dearest friends is Charlene. Charlene LOVES butterflies. Why? Because of the metamorphosis that they go through before they become such beautiful creatures. I've been thinking about the transformations and reformations that I've had. Nope... not a beautiful creature yet. One day though, one day.

6. I need to set aside a block of time to finish redecorating this blog. I am unhappy with the appearance and I need to fix it. Fast.

So those are my crazy random thoughts from today. Well, the ones that I actually remember. Maybe later I will be able to write more on those things.



This conference is being held at my alma mater and I would give my left leg to go. Seriously.

Paul Tripp is one of my favorite writers. A few of my old profs are leading breakout sessions. AND, it would be a great opportunity to just soak up more information.

Unfortunately, the liklihood of Ed not having to work those days AND me being able to leave Eddie for two days is pretty slim.

Ya know, had I not become a mom I think I would have been a perpetual student. I am such a nerd that school and learning will ALWAYS appeal to me.

I did, at one time, say that if I ever thought about going back to school I wanted someone to shoot me. But that was right after three years of working on my master's degree. Really though, I would jump at the chance to take a single course or to get a whole 'nother degree.

I wouldn't mind studying literature, music, law, psychology and counseling (of course), photography, web design, teaching, and sociology. Notice that there are no "real" sciences or math at all. HA! That's because they really are not my gig at all.

Anyway... I REALLY REALLY wanna go to the conference posted above. But, since I can't go, I thought I'd let you all know about it and maybe you can go.

Finally, Winter Arrives

It's been rather warm here in SC. I was beginning to wonder if I should have left my winter clothes in storage back in NC. But, it looks like I amy actually get to use them for a day or two.

Today was pretty chilly out and tomorrow they are actually calling for freezing rain and sleet. YIPPEE!!! It's finally winter.

Now, to be honest, I would prefer snow to freezing rain, but either way I don't plan on leaving the house tomorrow.

I've already made a pot of chili and I have a batch of cookie dough ready to bake, so bring it on, Old Man Winter.



So, it's way past time for a remodel around here. Please pardon the dust. Hopefully I'll be able to decide what I want in here quickly and easily and without too much of a headache.

Email to Mom

If you've read my blog for any length of time, then you know that up unti la few weeks ago, I did not know if my mom was dead or alive. I've spent a lot of time over the past few weeks trying to decide how to respond. This is what I came up with.

Hi Mom.

I don't even know how to respond to your email or to your Christmas card.

Thank you for the money order. We spent it on stuff for Eddie. You absolutely did not need to send us any money. Thank you for thinking of us.

See, I have been worried sick about you for the last ten months. I've searched for you every way that I know how. As far as I knew, you were either homeless or dead. You never contacted me or the boys. You let us worry. You didn't respond to any of my emails. You never gave me a number or an address. That's not fair.

I am sooooo glad you are okay, but I am hurt. Hurt because you did not care enough about your children to let us know you were okay. I know you are going to say you are sorry and all that. Prove it to me. Don't disappear on us again. Keep in touch. Ask about your grandson from time to time. Prove it to the boys. Call Robbie -- he is still living at dad's.

Maybe it's wrong for me to ask you to prove that you care about us. I'm sorry if it is. I'm not saying that to be mean. I want you to know that I do care about you and I love you.

Because of Ed's work, we've moved to SC. Our new address is:

Sorry if this email upset you. That's not at all what I want to do.

I'll drop your birthday and Christmas cards from last year in the mail sometime this week.

Bev, Ed & Eddie.

There was so much more that I wanted to write. Not much of what I left out was gracious -- that's why I didn't put it in there.

Of all the things a girl could ever have, I would think a good relationship with her mom would be probably THE most prized possession. What I wouldn't give to have that.

I don't though. There's bound ot be some reason that I have the parents that I have. Only God knows that. If anything though, as bad as this sounds, watching my parents has made me overly critical of how I parent my son.

My husband and my son are my pride and joy.

I've always heard people talk about how much they love their mom or their dad and how much they enjoyed being around them. I never understood that. At all. not that I didn't or don't love my parents. I do. It's always just been different.

Mother's Day has always been hard. How do you buy a card that tells someone how much you appreciate all the wonderful things they've done for you when that's not a reality for you?

Now, I "get" it though. Because of my husband and my son, I understand that stuff that others have talked about regarding their parents. Just looking at Eddie is enough to make me smile for months. How could it not? He's so stinkin' cute.

Who knew you could love someone -- let alone TWO someones -- sooooo much?


New Day Dawning

Confession time: since Eddie was born I've been struggling with loneliness -- REALLY, REALLY badly.

In Florida, we knew no one and the doctors told us to keep Eddie away from other people so that he didn't get sick. So, that's what we did. Then, once we moved back to NC, things just didn't click with my old friends and when I tried to make new friends, it just did not happen.

I'm fairly shy by nature, but I crave social interaction. See, God does have a sense of humor. I bet he chuckles everytime I turn beet red (which happens a LOT!). That's okay though.

Anyway, there's no reason for me to not be social here -- unless people just don't like me. That's very possible.

So today, Eddie and I ventured out to MOPS. I actually had fun and met a few people.

Eddie wasn't all that thrilled about going into the nursery, but he did okay. They were sweet to him and cuddled with him. He tends to be a bit shy like me.

For now, we are working on being more social; both of us. Maybe it will work.



I'd continue my thoughts on the church, but I'm feeling a bit too "blah" to do that today. Instead, I'll share some about our first Christmas in Sumter.

We were very very blessed this Christmas. I mean that spiritually and otherwise. We had the opportunity to visit with family and to spend time with just the three of us.

When Ed and I got married we sort of started a Christmas tradition. We get up late, unless there's church. We have a leisurely breakfast while still in our jammies. Then we open presents. So far it's probably not that different from what goes on at your house. Here's where it takes a turn though. We never get out of our jammies -- ALL DAY LONG. We do brush our teeth and wash our faces, but that's about the extent of our grooming. Then, the kicker. We do NOT do the traditional Christmas dinner. No ham, mashed potatoes or pie. Nope, we eat off of a veggie tray that was made the night before. We snack all day long on deviled eggs, pepperoni, Hickory Farms sausage, a variety of cheeses, apple slices, carrot sticks, chips and salsa, cucumbers and so on. It's quite liberating.

I usually buy the fixins for a *traditional* dinner sometime shortly after Christmas and we eat that sometime between Christmas and New Year's.

Some people may think this is *wrong* or whatever, but it's what we do on Christmas. I like it.

This year, we flew to Thomasville, NC on Christmas Eve for breakfast at my uncle's house. That was a blast! We enjoyed biscuits and gravy, country ham, grits, scrambled eggs and fresh OJ. Then Eddie got spoiled. My goodness. We were actually concerned about being able to fit everything into the tiny plane for the trip back to Sumter. It was good to see everyone though.

Christmas seemed to continue for about 2 days after Christmas because of all the packages that came late. That was kinda fun.

All in all, it was a good time. Watching Eddie figure out that the toys were for him was amazing. Watching Ed share in Eddie's delight was even better. Now I can't wait until next Christmas.


My Heart's Desire

Lindsey posted a link to this blog entry today. It kind of touches on what's been going on in my heart lately.

Let me begin by saying that I am Baptist because Baptists tend to line up (in my opinion) better with what Scripture teaches. I cannot be Catholic or Methodist or Lutheran or Pentecostal because of a variety of doctrinal differences.

I do not think it is wrong to say that you believe the doctrines you adhere to are right. Neither do I think it is wrong to hold friendly discussions on doctrines that can be debated. Some doctrines are FAR more important than others and it is a good thing to stand up for those doctrines and to not "give" in those areas.

That said, I am not naive enough to think that only Baptists are "saved" or that only Baptists love God or that Baptists are *always* theologically right.

I've never had a preference towards either traditional or contemporary church services. As long as people can sing "Victory in Jesus" with a little hope in their hearts and maybe a smile, I am happy. I think God can be worshipped TRULY in both types of services. I will say that irreverence does bother me. Again, that can be found in both types of services.

I don't care too much if the church members dress up or wear jeans. I think God says that we can come as we are. I am sure the woman at the well probably wasn't dressed appropriately. I think if we are Christians we will give our best to God. Period. If that's jeans and a nice shirt, then fine.

I guess what I am saying is that it's about the heart people. I think if a church's motives are numbers (money or people) there is a problem. If a church, however, is seeking to glorify God in all that it does, then He will be glorified.

I've been thinking about the church in Acts a lot lately. I think the new testament church is going to be my next study. I am willing to bet that the NT church was a far cry from anything we call church today.

Again, I'm not so naive as to think the NT church was without problems. I tend to think -- maybe hope -- that they were perhaps better at not majoring on the minor things of life. Know what I mean?

If they saw a need, they met it. I haven't read any rules about worship styles or attire. And they preached the Word of God and many were saved.

In recent years I've had the "pleasure" of visiting a variety of churches. I can honestly say that I've not ever been more discouraged about the state of the church universal as I am today. I had no idea the amount of infighting and bitterness that existed. And I've ONLY visited southern Baptist churches. Don't believe me? Take a look around the blogosphere.

I know no one church will be perfect. I know churches are made up of sinners saved by grace. But my heart's desire is to see the NT church as it was in Acts. Or better yet, as it was meant to be. Worshipping. Preaching. Teaching. Serving. Glorifying God. Somehow I have a feeling I won't see that until I get to the other side.



There is much I would like to write about today; Christmas, Eddie, Ed, Sumter, etc... Instead, I will share my reflections on one specific event of the past year.

If you have ever had any sort of semi-serious injury (think broken bone, minor surgery, etc...) then you know that while the injury may heal, there is often a scar or long-term damage that can remain. Sometimes you can't see the scar or the damage, but when the rain comes, that bone aches like it was broken all over again. The bone is healed, but the pain still exists.

And Heaven forbid you are injured anywhere near the old injury. It just seems to make the pain all that much worse.

I suspect that for most the same is true of emotional wounds. They do heal and forgiveness may be very real, but sometimes the pain just never goes away. At least I know that has been the case with me.

I have forgiven my mom for past wrongs. They still hurt from time to time, but truly I do not harbor any ill feelings about those things. But, like any old injury, if a new injury is added the pain is worse because of the pain from the old injuries.

I still have not responded to the Christmas card my mom sent. I don't know how to. The card was kind of random. There was no explanation or anything like that. It was just there; like nothing had ever happened. Like she had never "disappeared."

My mom also emailed me. I got that email last week. The email was hard to read. It was not as vague as the card. She was admitting she willingly abandoned me and my brothers and that the only reason she was emailing me was because she was in a car accident and realized how much we mean to her. She still has not contacted my brothers though.

Here's my problem. I do not believe ANYONE is ever a lost cause. I cannot believe that. There is always hope. It is absolutely not in my nature to think that way. BUT, I also don't like getting burned. I have a very strong sense of right and wrong and justice. If you do something wrong, then you face the consequences. Period. (Told ya I had no grace). I do what I need to to protect myself while still allowing myself to hope that the other person will do the right thing.

I don't know how to do that with my mom. She has WILLFULLY abandoned her own children repeatedly. While we were adults. That's like saying, "You aren't good enough for me. I don't want you. I don't like who you became." Personally, and I mean no offense to those who were adopted out, I think I would prefer to have been adopted out as a child.

She's my mom. I am supposed to love her. She's not some random stranger that I can just write off. How do I show her grace though? How do I balance grace with justice? I know it's not really my place to do those things. I am commanded to forgive and to love. Period.

To do that requires that I die to myself. Something else I am not good at.

Funny how some of the most horrible things that others do to you can point out your own shortcomings and can help you grow.