Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

To My Mama, On Mother's Day:

Dear Mama,

Happy Mother's Day! I love you and am glad are my mama. Thank you for the countless ways you've impacted my life and made me a better person. You are generous, loving, and caring. You shine as a grandma and my children love you to pieces. Thank you for all you do!
Love you.

 Each child wrote a little note, wanting to express their feelings today:

Dear Grandma, 

Let's see...I like that you take us swimming...and um....I love your popcorn and soda pop! Can we play your I-Pad? You are nice to me. We hope we can visit you and lady and buddy and grandpa terry soon.

Love, Jakey

From Jubee:
Dear Grandma, 
I love you. Happy Mother's Day. Thank you for being nice to me and spoiling me! You are really crafty. And fun. I want to go swimming with you this summer. And go to Sea World with you! And I want to play with Buddy. Is he still grumpy? 
Love, Jubee

Jubee Bee's best fake smile.

Please forgive Ruby's pictures. She couldn't make the photo session, so we had to pull some pics off of the phone.  She's promised to make it up to you when she's better rested! Here is a snipit of Ruby's sentiments.

Me: Ruby, what do you want to tell Grandma?
Her: I wannnnnnnt guum. Guum mommmy, gum. Jakeeey guum mommy. (Insert several screams and whines.) 
Me: Ruby, do you love Grandma?
Her: YEAH! Happyy Modders Day!

Happy Mother's Day! We love you, Mom!

Mrs. Bee

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Love Pies. Wait--Was Jesus Serious?

I would like to begin by blaming Ms. Simplicity for all of this. And by this I mean this post, this problem, this angst.  She heavily encouraged me to read this book.  (Review coming.) Which led me to reading another life-changing book. Which led me hungry for answers in The Book. All of which revived something in me that I couldn't previously articulate but have felt pounding for years.  A heart that beats for more. 

Our third blog challenge took a bit of a twist. Designed by one brilliant blogger (mmwah), we were encouraged to consider this: What if Jesus was serious when he said, "Whatever you have done for the least of these, you have done for me" (Check it: Matthew 25:31-46)?  But Lord, when did I see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you? Open my blind eyes. 

Here is my problem with the Bible. I have to figure out when to take it literally. It's a tricky balance see, and there is lots of interpretations, study guides, commentaries, and expository outlines to help.  But I happen to like this simple approach (think user-guide-for-dummies) : If it can be taken literally, take it literally. Cultural customs may change with time, eternal truths will last forever. His heart beats for more.

Which brings me to my personal turmoil. What am I doing for the least of these? What am I doing for Jesus? With over 2,000 bible verses addressing poverty and justice-----I must ask myself, is this really important to My Friend?  And in my moment of honesty, can I admit that I have become an expert at excusing my apathy---choosing statements that help me feel better while avoiding truly needy populations?  It's about a heart condition. He means "poor in spirit." It's spiritual hunger, not literal hunger. What does that teach my children? Is it okay to look the other way when we see the man, dirty and broken, sleeping on the doorstep of a church? Or not make eye contact with the beggar on the street corner as we drive past in our car? I want their heart to beat for more.

And so the challenge. Is there something---anything---I can do to love the least of these? Let me clear one thing up real quick, beezy readers. I don't have a good answer to this question. My family is not experts on loving "poor people"(in fact we hate that term). We're just not. We have certain areas where we are more comfortable "helping out," but most areas we avoid all together. We don't know how to balance living life, in a place of privilege, while loving those who are not. We don't know how to reconcile people dying of hunger while we eat at the pizza buffet. And so sometimes the easiest thing is to just carry along and do nothing.

But my heart beats for more. 

The children and I made love pies today. Please don't confuse them with cow pies, like Jakey Bee does. They were simple pies, made in love. Made with the hope of showing a small act of kindness, a small amount of love.  Hoping to say to someone, You matter to me.

Welcome back Clifford-Clyde! Don't be fooled, he's as sassy as eva'.

Given out on the streets of Tacoma, to anyone who looked like they could use an ounce of love.

By no means life changing. Messy in our delivery. Parents fumbling over words. Children fumbling over pies. 

Not everybody took pies when we offered, because really, is pie their greatest need? What can a single pie really change?

Except, one thing did change.

I once heard it said that sometimes we speak to change the world, other times we speak to not let the world change us. I think the same can be said with our actions. Sometimes our actions can change the world, and sometimes we act so that the world does not change us.

They are just pies. But they force me to look men and women in the eyes, who are living on the streets of our city, and give something of myself. A smile. A hug. A small ounce of dignity. And I leave with a deeper desire for them to know, You matter to me. You matter to Jesus. And my children, what do they gain? My prayer is that their eyes are opened to the needs of our city, which I hope some day will open their eyes to the needs of our world.

Little side note:  I have very different children. My oldest is the bleeding heart Democrat, who's preference is to give and give until we are all depleted of everything. Can we give them our home too? Then they wouldn't be homeless.  My middle child---he's more of a staunch Republican, actively protecting his gun rights (along with lightsabers, nerf swords, and violent video games rights) and isn't as intuitively aware of the needs of others. Case in point: Hey mama, what if instead of giving them away, we sold the pies? I know what he's thinking: And buy a Lego. And then my third---I'm pretty sure she might be a terrorist, wrecking havoc wherever she lands. Forget giving out pies, she'll just chuck them at people as we drive past.  Don't worry, she's young, I still have time.

We are not all created the same. We are not all moved by the same cause. But could we all be moved by the same Jesus? The one who asked us to feed His lambs? To care for the least? Maybe it begins with a pie. A pie that does nothing to solve the systemic issues of poverty, but does something to open the eyes of people placed in a position of privilege, placed in a position to ask, What can I do for my friend? For my neighbor?

Dear friends-what if we all placed ourselves in a position to give? What could change if we taught our children that Jesus not only loves them, but also deeply loves those that have been placed in the margins? The forgotten of society? My hope is that this is a starting place. A place to ask questions, to examine these issues, and begin creating solutions. This blog challenge put the Bees in a position where we had to do something. Something small. But still, something. But what it left us with was something far greater.  

A heart that beats for more.

Do yourself a favor and check out two other bloggers take on this issue, here and here.

Cheers and lots of love,

---Mrs. Bee

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Ten Things I LOVE.....

A little fact about Mrs. Bee: She isn't always the most "timely" of people.
Like when church starts at 10:00 am and rolling into the parking lot at 10:05am feels early.  Or when getting your children to school on time requires statements like, "but the light was yellow and it wouldn't have been safe to stop abruptly." Better late than never, little beezys.

 So a late blog post from the great blog challenge is totally within her character. Just deal with it, mmmkay Ms. Simplicity.

Current Challenge: 10 Things I LOVE in Pictures...

Otherwise known as....scour any picture that I haven't already put on blog and make it work. Because you can't just turn creativity on like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood---also known as last minute-panic. (I stole that awesome quote from the inner webs.)

 Without further ado...

1. Him.

 Even when he pees his pants because a potty-stop would interfere with playtime.

 2. This.
A chubbish face that is so squeezable. Tangible sibling love.

3.  Magic.
So much wonder in such a little body.

4. Her.

So in love with everything about this little one.

5.  Sleep.

Everything about it.  Nothing unlovely has ever come from sleep. When you sleep, when they sleep, and most importantly, when I sleep. Lovely. Don't ever say otherwise.

6. He went home.
As pathetic as those eyes lead you to believe, don't be fooled. This little rat pup found his perfect home, and it wasn't with the Bees. Thanks Grandma. We're "glad" he's still in the family. Cough Cough.

7. Them.
If at first you don't succeed, keep replacing dogs. Because eventually, your bound to find one you like. Or you will realize your not pet people. We Bees, we're not quitters.

8. This face.

9. My camera.
Have I told you how much I really love my camera? LOVE.

10. Gun Laws.

Because I want my children to grow up in a safer world.  While packin' the heat.

What are ten things you love??  Make sure to check out what these two other fabulous bloggers LOVE.  Click here and here.

Mrs. Bee