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Lessons From The Turquoise Table

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I am on season 2 of the Turquoise Table gatherings at my home. I don’t feel like I have experienced everything yet, but I have learned a few things along the way.

This week held a Turquoise Table first.

No one came.

IMG_9877Here’s the table from this week. But this isn’t where I was supposed to be. 

My first thoughts are inward “Should I have sent more reminders? I hate bugging people.”

My next thoughts are for my kids “They are so disappointed. They had plans to hang out with their friends today.”

My final thoughts are “What is God trying to teach me through this?”

IMG_9903My heart swelled when I walked outside and all three kids were carrying things in without being asked!

And that is when a blog post appears! Like I said, I’m no expert. But the Turquoise Table came to me when I needed a simple way to invite others in and a way to reach out tangibly. And in this short time, I have learned so many valuable life lessons.


1. Making it about you is prideful.

If I sat there that morning and pitied myself or felt sad for my kids… what good would that have done? You know what I did? I got up and left the house and found others to pour into. I had an incredible conversation with someone because I left the house. That would not have happened the way it did if I stayed home. If your ministry is about you doing things only in the way you want to… if your ministry focuses on you … is it a ministry?

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2. It can feel lonely, and that’s okay.

I’ve been in this season of rest lately. I’ve been learning what sabbath truly means. I can absolutely pour into people when my cup is full. But, that also means I’m alone in it sometimes. When you invite people in, you might be the only one at the table. But you are being obedient. It’s not that your fellow table-dwellers aren’t obeying, but they are either otherwise occupied – potentially with their own ministries, or they don’t feel the same calling. Which is perfect! Because if God made us all with the same calling, then what would the point be?

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3. Worrying is the thief of joy.

Every week Adelynn asks me who is coming. I always tell her what I know – which is usually that I don’t know! Sometimes I can give her one or two names, but I can never fully answer her question, and it leads to wonderful surprises when friends show up unexpectedly. What if I worried because I couldn’t answer her questions? What if you worry you’re not a good host, or your space isn’t big or fancy enough, or clean enough? Well, all that needs to be enough is your heart. Not everyone who hosts lives in a million dollar home with HOA and lawn care. (I’m raising my hand, here. My weeds prove I pay no one to pull them!)

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4. You don’t have to have it all together.

I once was invited to a friend’s house and she literally gave me her family’s refrigerated leftovers for lunch. I cannot tell you how much that warmed my heart. Seriously! That was years ago and she would die of embarrassment knowing I said that. But what that really said to me was that I was enough. She didn’t have to impress me. She knew that.

I use mismatched and leftover paper products at the Turquoise Table every week. We used our leftover wedding napkins last season! Currently it’s Thomas cups, Circus plates, and 80’s napkins! (Guess our kids’ birthday party themes from 2019!) I don’t think anyone feels like I don’t care about them because I don’t buy matching paper products. I think it’s quite the opposite. I think they know I want to offer what I have. I do clean my bathroom each week for them, but this week I definitely left the dump trucks in the corner of the bathroom instead of hiding them in the shower! In addition to all of that, I think God dwells in the ordinary. In fact, I think He likes it.

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5. The enemy does not want community. It’s a spiritual battle.

“For where two or three gather in my name, I am there with them.” – Matthew 18:20

I believe the enemy also puts worries in our heads about our ability to lead or to gather, even. He lies. He’s a liar. It’s what he does. I believe he attempts to take out those gatherings. He will tell you no one likes you. He will tell you what you have isn’t good enough. The truth?
If you are called, you are qualified.
You are worthy, because He has given us every good and perfect gift.
You are chosen, because all authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to us.
You are enough, because of the cross.
You also have authority over those lies and can speak it out!

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6. God is doing in the undoing.

When you become transparent, when you lay your life, your mess, your worries, your junk, your potentially stale food, and your random reject Band-Aids to kids who fall, you might feel like a clumsy mess of a woman who is unqualified, undignified, and embarrassed of some of the cobwebs in her life. But that’s where Jesus shines. That’s where you come undone, and Jesus mends the broken pieces. When you lay it out there – verbally, or physically – that you are just as broken as everyone else, that’s when people want to be around you.

If you met that one amazing celebrity you follow on Insta, in real life, you know, the one that has perfect pictures and filters, and children, and vacations… you might be star struck. But would you have a relationship with her? Would you tell her how you washed a disposable diaper and pulled all the pieces out of the washer? Would you tell the story of that one time you left your kid at Target? Are you allowed to have faults around people who seemingly don’t have them? Nope. And that’s what community is for. That’s why God gave us authentic relationships. We get to be messy and broken and ultimately healed together. That’s why we gather and we bring our leftovers. Sometimes, our leftovers are all we have to offer. And that’s always enough.

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Oh, Adelynn. Oh, Ava. Oh, Ollie.

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Ollie: Mom?
Me: Yes?
O: I want you…(and he snuggles up next to me. My heart melts.)
O: … to get me a snack.
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Ava notices a rainbow “Mom, I want you to take a picture of the rainbow and send it to miss Jessica (karate teacher) because it’s in a wide stance!” So observant.
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Overheard while playing “I’ve never potty trained a dragon!” – Adelynn

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Ollie is talking a million miles an hour as he’s playing with his trucks in play doh. He wants my attention AGAIN. I’m making noise as I’m cleaning and I can’t hear him.
“Mmhmm.” I respond.
Ollie says “Mom! It’s not ‘mmhmm’! My transporter is stuck in the muck!”
Busted.
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Ava: I really want you to get… how do you spell ice cream?
Me: Why do you ask?
A: So Oliver doesn’t know what I’m talking about!
He’s sitting right next to her in the car.
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Ollie is in denial about all the rain we have been having. “Man, Ollie. It’s raining again.” I say.
”No. It’s just dusty outside.” He defends.
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Mighty is in the girls’ room while Ava is getting ready for bed. She said she needs him out because she needs privacy. I said “Well, you see Mighty naked all the time.” And her response? “Actually he has a coat!” … She’s not wrong!
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Ollie has been in bed – alone – for quite some time. He comes out of his room to complain of foot pain. “Mom, you stepped on my tiny foot with your big foot!” … I did no such thing.
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Ava has her Marvel dress on. The characters don’t have all of the features that the real life characters have. I explained that they were someone else’s interpretation of the character. And she’s seen comic books compared to shows or figurines, etc. So she gets it. Anyway, her response after I said they were someone else’s interpretation was “Oh! Like The Greatest Showman Reimagined?” YES! The musical equivalent of exactly what we are talking about. Atta girl! 
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Ollie picks up one of my books.
O: Can I read this to you?
Me: Sure.
Ollie gets exasperated after opening it “Aaaahh! I can’t read!” 

Oh, Adelynn. Oh, Ava. Oh, Ollie.

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It’s time for an update on the darndest things my kids say!

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Ollie saw me actually sitting still: “Mom, why you in time out?”

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I’m not sure who originated this, but I’m thinking it was Ava. She blends together party-pooper and fun-sucker. The girls call us party-suckers when they don’t get to do something fun! I guess it’s less awkward than the alternative! Smile

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Ava has a pom-pom and is about to be a cheerleader. “Mom, how do you spell KU?”

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Ava: Adelynn’s teacher said if you don’t drink water for 3 days you’ll die!

Me: Yeah?

Ava: Yeah. So I need my cup.

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Ollie doesn’t use the word “don’t”. Instead he uses the word “can’t”. Examples: “I can’t like it.” “I can’t want to.” It’s cute.

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Regarding the fact that we live in a neighborhood, but it’s like the country Ava said “It’s like the country-hood!”

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After we moved, Dave and I were talking about the fastest routes to take to get places and speed limits and stuff.
Ava: What is this called?
Dave: The freeway.
Ava: So you can go as fast as you want?
Logic.

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Listening to Ava dictate birthday thank you notes. “Thank you for my Rapunzel.”
Ollie repeats “Thank you to my puzzle!”

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Sometimes when Ollie falls asleep in the car we say “We lost him.” I didn’t ever think much of it until the time Ollie’s eyes were heavy in the car and Ava said “Ollie’s almost lost!”

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Ava is doing art.
Ava: You know what’s the rarest kind of flower?
Me: I don’t. What kind?
Ava: The kind that is made by people. Red heart

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Oh, Adelynn. Oh, Ava. Oh, Ollie.

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These kids have been giving me lots of great material lately…

I was reading a menu out loud in the car. The kids had been telling me what they wanted to eat/drink when I finished each category.
“Hot chocolate, cider, lattes… and holiday spirits.”
”Holy Spirit!” Ava yells.

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We are driving down the street and Ava is talking about how good her eyes are. She looks to the east and says
“My eyes are so good, I can see Grandma’s house from here!”
I laugh and point to the west and say “Ava, Grandma’s house is over there!”
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Mighty is sniffing the big cardboard box Ollie is playing with and Ollie doesn’t want him to.
“Mighty don’t eat my box. It be spicy!”

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“Where’s Adelynn?” Ollie asks.
”Where’s Adelynn?” I clarify because I’m not sure what he said.
“I don’t know!” Ollie exclaims.
It was like the shortest version of Who’s On First!

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A hair fell into Ollie’s eye during his haircut. “A hair went in my eye bulb!”

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Ollie refuses to run warm bath water. It’s cold water and I try my best to convince him to run it warmer but he won’t. Then he’s standing up and he falls.
“I slipped on ice… water.”
Yeah, Basically!

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Ava helped wrap her Christmas gift to Adelynn and they are sitting by the tree together. Ava covers her mouth. “I want to tell Adelynn what I got her so bad!”
I’m headed out of the room.
”Ava, why don’t you come with me?”
“Why?” She asks.
”So you aren’t right in front of the tree and tempted to tell Adelynn what’s in her present.” I offer.
”It doesn’t matter if I go with you. I’ll still be tempted!”
Honesty is Ava’s strong suit.

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I tell the girls it’s past bedtime and I don’t want to hear any more sounds coming from their room.
“You can close the door?” Ava sweetly suggests.

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Ollie sneezed a big sneeze.
“Mom that’s a big bless you!” He exclaimed.

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Dave hurt himself putting the flooring in. “Sun of a gun!” He said.
Now Ava exclaims “Cinnamon gum!”

Oh, Adelynn. Oh, Ava. Oh, Ollie.

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Out of the mouths of babes…

“This is my moth. Her name is Motha. She helps up play Red Light Green Light. When she holds still, that means red light. When she’s moving, that means green light. She did red light for a really long time.” – Ava.
The name “Motha” kills me!
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We are cuddling on the couch when Ava’s toenail scratches my leg.
“Ouch.”
”What?” She asks.
”Your toenail scratched me.”
”Yeah because it’s sharp.” She reasons.
”It is sharp!” I agree.
”Yeah if you have an itch you can just use my toe!”
She’s so helpful and apologetic.
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Adelynn’s doll to Ava’s doll: “Why does your hair look all tangly?”
Ava’s doll to Adelynn’s doll – very matter of factly: “Cuz it is.”
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“Adelynn you argue with me every time you open your mouth.”
Sweet Adelynn: “Not every time…”
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We were driving to Yoder and drove past a truck with a serious problem. It smelled like something was burning and the scent was lingering.
”I know why it’s called Yoder!” Ava exclaimed.
”Why’s that?”
”Because it stinks!” (thinking Yoder = Odor)
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In reference to her footed pajamas, Ava worries about getting hot. “Mom, someday could you just cut the feet off of these so I could be free footed?”
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We were in the car and Ava said she was doing exercises. Really this only meant she was probably stretching a little bit for a few seconds.
“Do you feel stronger now?” I ask.
In her best humble brag form she seriously responds “Stronger than ever.”
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Ollie wants me to help him climb into some very tall trees across the street. Adelynn giggles and tells him he’s not big enough to go up there.
Trying to explain why he thinks that’s achievable I say, “Adelynn, I held you up once so you could touch the moon.”
”Adelynn how does the moon feel?” – quick witted Ava.
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Dave tells me he got a $5 credit for something. He ends his sentence with the word “credit”. Ava is listening.
“Credit karma?” She sweetly asks.
That girl is a commercial sponge!
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The kids were being crazy in the house and I could not get a single thing accomplished. I had tried having them help me, sitting down to play with them, etc. Nothing worked. So I gave them each a snack and sent them to the backyard. But, once outside, nothing had changed. Because of the way they were behaving outside, I brought them in for a reset. After everyone had a little break and time to refocus, then I sent them outside again.
Ava observed “It’s like we are going back in time.”
”That’s a good idea. We can pretend that way and we can try again.” I affirmed.
”But since we are going back on the timeline, we need snacks!”
Valiant effort, girl.

Oh, Adelynn. Oh, Ava. Oh, Ollie.

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And continuing on with these amazing words of wisdom …

We saw a car that was like my mom’s and the girls thought it was Grammy. I told them she was still at work. Then, referring to the driver Ava says
”But she’s old too!”
”What do you mean ‘too’?” I defended.
”I mean also.” She clarified.
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“Ollie got me on my flank!” – Ava the horse girl.
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Ava wakes me up.
”Yes?” I ask.
”Mommy we both waked up at the same time!”
So close.
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Ava was so hot and asking how to cool down her head.
“Mom I got a brain melt!” She says. I mean, it’s very clearly the opposite of a brain freeze.
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Ava took her shoes off at the park. Dave told her to put them back on. “But I want my feet to be naked!” She argued.
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“I want to be a bird when I grow up.” – Ava said very matter of factly. Dream big, mighty girl.
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It’s 87* on April 12.
”It’s like the weather can’t decide if it’s going to be summer, spring or winter!” – A very perceptive 8 year old named Adelynn who might be smarter than mother nature.
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We were watching the fireworks. When they disappeared Ollie said “Fireworks back home!” I mean, where else would they go?!
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Ollie wanted something and Dave wasn’t doing it the way he wanted.
“It’s the principle, Dave.” I informed him.
”Ollie’s the Principal!” Ava stated.
And they referred to him as The Principal all morning.
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Ava started talking about her new friend Ivy. She started her story and said “Today Poison… I mean Ivy…” #comicbooknerd
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Oh, Adelynn. Oh, Ava. Oh, Ollie.

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I have had these gems sitting in a note on my phone for months! Be looking for more over the next couple of weeks. Here you go!

Ava’s foot was asleep and we couldn’t wake it up.
”I guess it’s just my foot’s bedtime!” She proclaimed.
A few minutes go by…
”Mom can you go buy some balloons?”
Thinking this is so random… “For what?”
”To celebrate that my foot is awake!”
This girl… everything is a party. She’s kinda like her mama.
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“You got my lankle!” Ava says.
”Your what?” I ask.
”My lankle.”
”And where is that?”
”Right here!” And she points to the outside of her leg in the middle of her ankle and calf.
Oh, of course! Your lankle!
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Ava refers to moths as “night butterflies”. I am sure the moths appreciate that!
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It is very very windy. Ava is staring at my hair after getting in the car.
“Are you staring at my hair?” I ask.
She nods.
”Is it a mess?”
She nods. She’s so baffled.
With a concerned look she states “And all the hairspray you put in it is gone!” Like, where did it even go?
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“I’m pretty into my bed.” – Ava.
She really does love her bed.
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We are driving down the road.
”Is that Nana’s car?” Ava asks.
”No, but it looks like Daddy’s old car. It’s a Fusion.” I answer.
”It’s confusin!” (That’s what she thought I said.)
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Ollie squishes my face with his hands and looks at the results. “Oh, mom. You a goldfish!”
It’s hard to laugh when your cheeks are squished by toddler hands.
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I was telling Adelynn my frustration with telemarketers. I had received call after call. I told her they needed to stop calling me because when I do answer the phone, I just tell them no.
“Maybe she’s like Dory and she just forgets.” Sweet Adelynn offered.
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Ava was pretending to be Officer Hopps from Zootopia. Officer Hopps writes mostly traffic tickets for her job. Ava gave Adelynn tickets for speeding, Ollie a ticket for something and then took her notepad to the table. The storm knocked the power out while she was sitting there. Without a hesitation she said “I’m going to write the storm a ticket!”
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The radio DJ was acknowledging Veteran’s Day and suggesting veterans have a paid day off on Veteran’s Day. I found myself responding to him aloud in the car. So Ava asked what I was talking about. I explained Veteran’s Day to her in complete detail. I explained wars and the whole nine.
She thoughtfully responded “Yeah. Because they work so hard to take care of dogs and cats.” 
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