Wednesday, June 29, 2005

He's got Gracie at the dentist.........

I was singing these words as we drove to the dentist's office this morning for Gracie's first appointment. Yes, I know, at almost 5, she is way overdue for a visit. Thankfully, the exam showed no problems. The reason for waiting so long to take her to the dentist is our fear of how she would react. She tends to be a bit of a "drama queen" as well as a scaredy-cat (like her mother!)

We decided Chris would meet us there to go in with her because we thought she might do better with him than me. She & I tend to be alot alike and kind of "butt heads," but she is truly a Daddy's girl at heart! Don't get me wrong, she & I are close and have gotten even closer it seems lately. (Although she is so ready to go to Kindergarten next year, I think she's realizing that she's no longer going to be at home with me all day every day.) Her daddy can just calm her a little better than I can. He is generally a calm man while I tend to be a little more "anxious."

Anyway, we meet Chris at the office and I decide to go in with Katie to observe. I observed alright! I observed the tears, I observed the refusal to open her mouth, I observed the receptionist & hygienist giving each other "looks," I observed Chris (& myself!) bribing then threatening Gracie to open her mouth and stop crying! Finally, she cooperated a little. The lady was able to look at all of her teeth and "count" them while showing Gracie how hard they were. (feeling for cavities I suppose) The dentist was able to do the same. There was no actual cleaning done today. Maybe another day. She & Chris have their next appointments scheduled for the same day in November. Maybe after a couple of months in Kindergarten, she will have matured a little more. I hope.

Back to the song, though. We've always had quite a few " kid church song" cds that we'd listen to at home, but we didn't listen to them in the van or car very often. For some reason (and I do have a reason) last week, I bought 3 new ones. One I have taken in the house for "nighttime" music. It's hymns and kind of soft like lullabies. Gracie is actually the one who pointed out that it would be good music for sleeping. The other two are more upbeat, so I have left them in the van.

We were listening to "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." I changed the words during part of it to "He's got Gracie at the dentist in His hands." Gracie giggled and informed me that that wasn't how the song went. I explained to her that we could put any words in there that we wanted to. I proceeded to put "mommy & daddy," & "Gracie & Katie" in His hands. She thought that was kind of funny.

I asked her, "Will God be with you when you're at the dentist?" She nodded her head yes. Even though we had talked about it and she knows God was watching over her, she still got scared. I can't say that I don't do the same thing. We're flying to New Mexico tomorrow to visit my husband's family. I don't love to fly. I'm nervous. Not only am I nervous about flying, but I'm nervous about flying with an almost 5 year old and a 15 month old. I know that God will be watching over us & that He will be with us, but I'm still nervous.

As an adult, I know that just because God is watching over me, that doesn't mean nothing bad will happen. One of our close friends in Oklahoma City just lost his battle with cancer last week. That man was a soldier for Christ and strived to bring others to Christ. He lost his battle with cancer, but he didn't lose the battle. He is enjoying victory with Christ as we speak. Even though it's hard to understand how he could lose this cancer battle while so many were faithfully praying, we know that God was there.

Just like I tried to explain to my 4 year old that she needed to trust Mommy & Daddy when we took her to the dentist, I need to trust God. Sure, something bad CAN happen to me, but as a Christian, that doesn't mean the end for me. I can't remember the exact Scripture, but it says something about God working all things together for good for them that love the Lord. It doesn't say nothing bad will ever happen, but if we follow Christ, all things will be good in the end.

One of my dear friends in Texas lost her dad to cancer about 3 years ago. He was also a soldier for Christ. Just last week, we were talking and she told me that at the time (when he died), she didn't understand WHY her prayers weren't answered the way she wanted, but now she sees good that has come out of her father's death. She has seen seeds that he planted grow. Seeds that maybe wouldn't have been planted if it weren't for the illness he went through.

I think tomorrow while we're enduring the long lines & the "looks" we get from fellow passengers who see us with our 2 children and the turbulence and the spilled snacks and the "are we there yets," I'll need to be silently singing, "He's got the Shanks family in His hands." I need to remember that more often.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

only the beginning

Being the Internet addict that I am, I have come across these things called "blogs." My husband will sometimes come into the computer room and ask, "So, whose blog are you reading now?" I'll tell you how I first found them.

Upon hearing about the youth group accident outside of Abilene, TX a few months ago, I was trying to find out more about it. I "googled" Mike Cope to see if I could gain information about his son, who had been in the accident. When I did this, I came across his blog. I remembered hearing Rob Browne talk about a blog in some of his "Russia email updates", and I remember thinking, "what is a blog?"

After I started reading Mike Cope's blog, I saw the links he had to yet OTHER blogs. Seeing "BST" as a link, I thought it probably belonged to Brandon Scott Thomas whom I remembered from ACU. He has tons of links to other blogs on his, so I started reading some of those.

It's amazing how small of a world it is because I have come across blogs of people in Atlanta who attend church with my parents (Matt Elliott), people from ACU...including a roommate of my husband & my 'Children's Literature' teacher (Mrs. Thomas) and even saw mention of one of my cousins going fishing in a blog someone from Nashville wrote, although I don't even remember whose blog it was!

At times, I feel a little like I'm invading people's privacy when reading these things that seem so like personal journals to me. However, I try to remember that these are put out there for others to read. I have to say that reading these have caused me to think alot! Most of them are of a spiritual nature and I certainly need to think more on these things, so I like the exercise my brain is getting in this way! I do not agree with everything I read on these blogs. Those are usually the ones that cause me to think the most! If something causes me to think & ask questions & search Scripture for answers, I figure that's a good thing! Sometimes I need to examine WHY I believe WHAT I believe. My husband, Chris, and I enjoyed taking the"What is your theologocial worldview?" quiz I found on one of the blogs. We passed it on to our minister & a couple in our Life Group as well.

I have no idea if anyone will read this, but feel free to post comments if you do. I titled this "only the beginning" because I have a feeling "blogging" is going to be something I enjoy doing!