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Sunday, November 11, 2012

They aren't kidding one single bit

Cooking dinner, and hear "Mom, I need help with this word."  Leave the stove and go help the boy with his spelling homework.  As I finish there, "Mommmm-eeee!" from down the hall in the bathroom.  After taking care of those needs, walk back to the kitchen to see the littlest helping herself to a drink, in which she has spilled a bottle of juice on the floor.  Then, as if on cue, the smoke alarm reminds me of dinner on the stove.   There's no way I can pick up the phone that has started to ring.

That could have been any afternoon just a few years ago.  It was days like this that I would wonder how time could ever pass quickly.  Wondering how much longer until bedtime?!   After all, people are quick to tell you "Time passes so quickly.  Just wait until they get into school." 

Guess what?  Those people are telling the truth.  They aren't kidding one single bit.

Not that there aren't crazy days where it seems like every step forward leads to three steps back.  But there are little changes happening daily that remind me that these kids that I'm blessed with here under my roof are growing up rather quickly. 

First, there are those physical changes that happen right before your eyes and ears.  The height and sheer size of the kids is unbelievable.  Buying athletic pants today for Seth, I found myself thinking, "Well, when he outgrows them he can just give them to Chad." Sure, the 12 year old can hand down pants to his father.  The pants I bought and thought would be way too big for Sarah, well they fit her perfectly.   And when the littlest wants me to do her hair, I have to reach a bit higher these days.

Then, there are small changes: Ella Grace reads to herself at bedtime.  Seth sits with the youth at church on Sundays.  Sarah just wants clothes and jewelry for her birthday.

This time thing is going by rather quickly.  And I've got a job to do inside this very house.  As a family we've worked on scripture memory and made it a point to have the kids involved in church from day one.   But today it hit home as we spoke of impressing God's word on our children's hearts during Bible class...
"Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that's in you, love him with all you've got!  Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts.  Get them inside of you and then get them inside of your children.  Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall in bed at night."~Deuteronomy 6:5-8

Get these promises in my heart.  Impress them on my children's hearts.  Through words, example, actions, and life, this must be done.  There's not an end date, no deadline.  But there is a time frame in that at some point these kids won't be with me every morning before school and every evening at bedtime.

This is no newsflash to any of us.  After all, it's how it's all supposed to work, right?  It just was staring me in the face today, that's all.  Along with new wrinkles.  And the effects of not exercising as much as this body needs me to.

But enough about that.  Take a look at what a difference three short years has made on these three kids (Mickey hasn't shrunk)...
Disneyland 2009 and Disneyland 2012:




That's all.   Enjoy every day.  And if you're like Seth, make sure to pick up a large hat at the Disney park of your choosing...  :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Reality show

Life isn't as perfect as others may make it out to be. 

That's what I tell myself, anyway.

There is one TV show that I've watched faithfully over the last three years.  During the last winter Olympics, NBC promoted a new drama, "Parenthood."  Starring a great cast, Chad and I have watched it from the beginning.  It is the one show I have to keep up with.  It follows the life of the Bravermans...an older married couple, along with their four grown children and their families.  I cannot tell you what a great show this is.

Honestly, I am not a fan of "reality tv."  However, "Parenthood" is reality tv to me, although it is scripted.   It takes real-life situations and family dynamics and puts it on the tv screen. :)  It also always has great music.

The latest storyline is that one of the characters has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Christina is the character I relate most with...no matter what challenges have arisen within her family unit, she does what she has to do to make things work.  Husband loses his job, she goes to work.  Son with Asperger's, she does whatever she can to make life as normal as possible.  The last episode, she and her husband were at an appointment with her surgeon, deciding on a timeline for treatment.  The doctor looked at her and said (paraphrased, of course), "...you seem like a woman that has done whatever she needs to do for her family.  Now, your family needs you to do this for you."

Hmmm.

Watching this "reality" show.  Knowing life isn't always as wonderful as it may sound or appear on social media.  But I've already let you know my heart on that subject a few posts back.

That's one thing that's on my mind. 

The other is this.  It's amazing how God brings us through things, and although they may seem insignificant at the time, it is later in your life you realize it was most definitely for a purpose. 
Terminal illness -vs- chronic illness.  Who wants either of those?  It's not like if someone said, "Okay.  You have to choose between these two illnesses.  Which one should I sign you up for?"

Yes.  Ahem...my answer is neither, thank you.

And sometimes God has other plans...like Chad getting put on the "chronic" list.  So you accept it and allow Him to use it for good.  Even when there is nothing good staring you in the face.   We will allow the mounting list of symptoms and increasing severity of these symptoms to mold us and change us for Him to use for good.   I know God will use these experiences, no matter how painful, for His good...if not now, in the future with us or our three kids.  (which, in this picture-perfect pic, taken by Whitney Scott, the kids (and I) were much younger and smaller than they are now...and Chad was a bit more spunky back then)

And all the while, being that mom and wife who will do whatever she needs to do for her family.  With God's help, of course.
"...you were made ...for such a time as this."~Esther 4:14

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Thanks anyway

"New normal."

Um, no thank you, I am enjoying normal right now.  There is no need to get a "new normal."  You see, that would involve something changing.  I just got used to this normal we have at the moment...you know, the one You changed just a few weeks ago?   And I don't mind keeping older, used things.  My closet will tell you that.  So will other things and objects I possess...we keep things until we need a new one, and then it doesn't necessarily have to be brand new.  No, I'm quite content, thanks anyway.

That is a conversation God and I have had a number of times over the last few years.  See, He'd like to get on with things and shape and form me into what He needs me to be now, when I'd like to stay the same, thank you very much.  What's wrong with now?  I mean, things could be better in some areas of my life, no doubt.  Things could be better...

But instead of leaving things (and me) the way they are, He chooses to change them.  Not really in ways I'd like to see, but all for a purpose.

The youngest has been studying Earth science....you know, landforms and such.  This couldn't stay the same and become as fascinating as it is today...

Water, movement, erosion (all third grade terms, mind you)...all these things God put in place to make this miraculous natural beauty.

That's what He'll reveal.  Someday.  But for now, I will painstakingly watch the "new normal" come to shape(again) praying that rest, relief, and healing will come, quickly.



Monday, September 17, 2012

Won't-Let-Go-Inator

This morning I was putting on make up like always. And for some reason, the lines on my forehead wouldn't disappear. Not only would they not disappear, go away, vanish....they actually looked AND felt like real creases. Wrinkles?!? No fine lines here. Now I'd really like a "de-wrinkle-inator" from Doofenshmirtz Evil Inc. Yes, please let this character here make something to zap my wrinkles:

If only....but at least I don't look like him.

Then life began. You know, the morning flurry of activity which now includes early athletics and a new report time at work. All good things, just a busy schedule. Life starts and you tend to forget about those little things, like wrinkles.

So many things happen in a day. Good and wonderful things. Seth made the "A" team tight end in football...his goal! Fun and light things. Auntie Ann took lunch to the girls at school today! Sad things. Heavy and gray things(I'd rather not share examples). And mundane things. Laundry, the grocery... The day rushes by with such a great speed you can sometimes feel it rushing past you, leaving you feeling (and looking) windblown.

"Make each moment count."
"Be a light."
"Treat everyone with dignity and respect. (even if they are 12 and have been to your office three times this week)"
These things play through my head most moments of each day.

Then, at the end of the day, "Lord, please give us rest." A prayer prayed with each of my children at bedtime. A prayer prayed daily, sometimes multiple times a day, for my husband.

As I took the time to start this journal of sorts, it was only for selfish reasons. To unload and share a little of what goes on in our world. Although the hope is there that these words encourage you to love the life you have, with who you're with, making moments count.
So many people these days spend so much energy and time on issues and subjects that frankly I don't have the time or energy to worry about right now. Yes, they are important. But in front of me are more important things that must be tended to.

Praying for rest for my husband's weary body. While physically he struggles with good and bad days, it becomes much more difficult when the good days are less than what they used to be and so much farther apart. Loving the determined spirit in him. But please, God, some rest.

Please take three minutes to listen to two of my favorites: Louie Giglio and David Crowder Band(and I love how you can hear a little of Crowder's Texas twang in this)





My God has a "Won't-Let-Go-Inator"....

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Soccer, A-1 & lip gloss


I won't take it for granted
I won't waste another second
All I want is to give You
A life well lived to say, “Thank You”~~Jason Gray "Good to be Alive"


The oldest isn't playing soccer this season. He's played every season since age four. That's approximately 150+ games that's he's gotten up for, most on a Saturday. 

The middle took a year off of gymnastics, and is now ready to start again.  Her soccer career began and ended with two days of soccer camp a few summers ago.

The youngest is starting her third year of playing soccer.  She loves it.  LOVES it.  This season, she had to leave her team of two years for another team (her own age group, as the former team was all Sarah's age).  It's a new adventure that is taking some adjustment.  Her first tournament was this last weekend, a pre-season gig that her team went into with just a few practices.   The tournament, as well as discovering "Al's sauce" (A-1) made it a banner weekend.

Normally, I'm a very quiet person.  So if you hear about some crazy soccer mom making eye contact and yelling "quit shoving my daughter" to an opposing 10 year old while play was going on on the soccer field, it wasn't might have been me.  All of the sudden I felt like I was a mother bear and not really myself.  Chad looked at me like I was crazy.  Now, the shoving play was way down the field when the comment was yelled, but let's say I tried very hard to remain quiet the remainder of the game.

Onto something else.   Tonight was "meet the teacher."  Three kids.  Two extremely excited kids who DRESSED for the occasion, including hair and lip gloss.  (guess who)  The other was ready to find his locker, drop off his supplies, and exit at the nearest exit sign.  BLESSED.  Amazing teachers and school personnel, friends...I cannot explain how blessed we are by our kids' schools.

What gets me is that these kids are getting so big so fast.  Every parent knows.  Every parent will talk about kids outgrowing clothes and shoes.  (speaking of shoes....when the boy's shoe size is greater than his age by +2...)  Both of the girls' teachers have kids going off to their first years of college.  It just ALL goes by TOO quickly!  This time we have to shape these kids' hearts and minds....what a blessed opportunity and amazing responsibility given to us as parents and teachers and mentors.

One thing that God has been teaching me through all of Chad's health issues, is to be thankful for each day and each moment.

Sappy, corny.   Confessions of a mom who is confessing embarrassing soccer mom stories and acknowledging her kids are growing up....very quickly.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need some chocolate.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Steady my heart

Change. **shudder**  Some people don't even like the loose change they have in their pocket or that collects on their bathroom counters.  Maybe that's just at my house.

In the New Year's letter that our family sent out this last holiday season (I couldn't get it together for a Christmas letter), I mentioned that our word for last year was "change."  That I'm pretty hesitant to change things, but if we didn't embrace it last year, it was going to knock us down on the way through.

Much of this change is natural: growing older, kids getting taller (Seth is almost the same height as his dad!), the cotton now forming huge heads of white fluff where dark green leaves and blossoms used to be.  Even though it may be natural, this gal still has a hard time with change.

Such as...
My baby is eight as of July 30th.  And going into 3rd grade!

The baseball trade deadline for the MLB...always bothers me.

We went on a glorious family vacation and had loads of fun in Southern California, which left the man of the house tired  spent  exhausted
Here's my fave travel pic of my kids...who, to my amazement,were not left exhausted:


Before our trip, we said goodbye to some precious, precious friends.  TWO families, one who moved across the state, the other who moved across the country. The kids at my house, as well as their momma, are still a little in disbelief and pretty sad about it.

And now, another job adventure.  One great thing about being a nurse, as I'm just finding this to be reality in the last few years, is that it is a very diverse job.  Starting next week I will be a school nurse at a local middle school.  Yes, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders...hundreds of them.  My principal at the school knew me as a 6th grade student.  My aunt teaches at the school, and I know a few more of the teachers there as well.  Excited, nervous....more change!

Gotta embrace it, that's what I keep saying to myself.  Seems like every month we are adapting to a "new normal" with Chad's health.  Even if the "new normal" isn't what we want, even if these changes are occurring, there is unfortunately little we can do to stop them or slow it down. 

God's got His hand in all of this!  From the seemingly insignificant (MLB trade deadline) to the things that are of utmost importance, He's got us.  He has us firmly in His grip.  Change will come, but He won't let go.  After all, the change in my heart that happened so many years ago is what's getting me through this!

"I'm not gonna worry
I know that You've got me
Right inside the palm of Your hand
Each and every moment
What's good and what gets broken
Happens just the way You plan"
~Steady My Heart~~Kari Jobe

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Little league, marriage, and the long way home

In March, Seth started playing baseball with a team from Little River/Academy. With a great man for a coach and a team that reminded me a little of "the Bad News Bears", (said with great affection) we started the season not knowing what to expect.

~~Sixteen years ago, two kids(19 & 21), said "in sickness and in health, until death parts us and I lay you in the arms of Jesus" and started a marriage.~~

Practice, practice, practice. All started coming together, and the boys became a pretty good team.

~~College, work, ministry, life...the two kids worked hard to make their relationship grow as they learned to live with little in the bank and appreciate their differences.~~

Actually, so good of a team that they made it to district playoffs. Their first game of the playoff tourney they beat an undefeated team...late at night. The next two games were lost only by one run...and played in the mud and rain. Being able to accept the opportunity to play in the tournament was rewarding.

~~Three (pretty cute) kids, college degrees and certifications galore, a mortgage, full time jobs, and all that life brings. And wait, health issues that take energy, time, money, understanding. Acceptance. ~~

Throughout the season, they've been led by two great men...one quiet and calm, who makes his point and leads by example. The other a good counterpart, a little louder and outspoken, but ever-effective at teaching skills.

~~Led by God. Continuing this journey led by Him. He has it. He's got our kids, our lives, health concerns and all else. Somedays I feel like the calm, "able-to-take-things-as-they-come" person, other days I want to tell Him what to do and how things should be done. ~~

An incredible little league season that ended too soon for some, but all have improved and know what they need to continue to work on. How exciting to watch those boys develop their skills at baseball.

~~Learning as we go. One things for certain: " I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back. (Philippians 3:14 MSG)~~

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpYEwbHPjrs&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My soapbox: A triangle on your hiney & a blue rectangle on your shoe

There is something that's been tearing me up for years.  This thing that people do to one another....and females more than males.  Brought to light most recently by my children.  And it makes my blood boil.

Back in middle school in the mid-late 80s, it was things like Guess jeans and Keds tennis shoes(and lest we forget liz Claiborne purses)  Somehow a triangle on your hiney and a blue piece of rubber on the back of your shoes made everything better.  Right?  And if you didn't wear those things...well, no way you'd ever be popular. But everyone wanted to be the girl everyone knew and admired and wanted to be like! 

Now that we're grown up, though, it's other things....like where your kids go to school.   What car you drive and what your hobbies are.  What church you attend and how often you're there.  What you've read.  What your husband does for a living and if you work to support your family.  The fact that you will be drawn to some friends that share the same hobbies and beliefs you do is understandable.  But why must it stop there?  Why can't people be friends with and do things with others that don't necessarily run in their circle? Why tear down and alienate others that aren't like us?

There are going to be those who try and try to fit in...those that will change the way they live their lives to be a "part of the group," so they won't be treated as outcasts as the rest of us.  But should we have to?  And if we do have to change those things in order to be someone's friend, it doesn't seem like it's a true friendship, because we are becoming something we're not made to be.

All of these things have come to light over the last few months as one of my girls has struggled with some "friendships" at school.  No, she didn't play softball, doesn't wear short shorts to school, and doesn't have her ears peirced.   She has one of the biggest hearts of any kid  I know and loves to love others.  She will be a friend to those who don't look the same, don't wear skinny jeans, and are in special classes.  And I am so very proud of her for that. (and she is blessed with some incredible friends who share the same characteristics, thank the Lord!)  To me, she is putting into practice what is taught to us...and what I pray each of my children, as well as myself, do every day.

The bottom line is that we are called to love. To love God, love people, and to encourage others. This is not saying we must be "besties" with everyone in our path, but regardless of age, weight, hobby, financial status, occupation, appearance, denomination, past, gender...we must respect and show love to others.

I am not like you. I am not perfect (shocker!) and I'm sure have alienated those in the past who were not like me. I was incredibly blessed to be raised in a home where these values were not just taught, but put into daily practice. As God grows my heart, these things I know...


Monday, May 14, 2012

Incredible-ness

So Mother's day was yesterday and I completely wanted to write about my momma. And how she's awesome and wonderful and giving and loving and funny and a great puzzle builder and cookie baker and all of her incredibleness. But that will have to wait.

How incredible that a five minute drive to school can be so powerful. Not sure it was that for the kids today, but for their mom it was something I'm still dealing with in my mind and heart.

We share Bible versese at times on the way to school. This morning I read one in which Jesus heals a man's skin disease with a touch of His hand.
Backing out of the driveway I hear, "I wish Jesus could just come touch dad and take away his diseases...why can't He?"

Lump in throat. Turn out of the culdesac.

"Well, since Jesus isn't here on Earth, God uses our situations, like Dads health, to teach us things and grow us into how He wants us. That way we can show Gods love to other people. It's not easy but He is here with us all the way."

(thank you, God, for giving me the words!)

The twelve hours prior to this drive to school, has been struggles in my head of "Why?" "When?" and "how much longer until there's some relief?!?".

So glad He used my green-eyed 9year old to bring me back to His truths.

Still knowing God can bring healing. And have faith that it will happen. And until then, treasuring blessings and moments like these!

(The children's ministry at our church is IN-CRE-DI-BLE. Led by a man with incredible energy and patience and creativity, every month the kids come home with "head and heart" verses to focus in for that month that correlate with what they are learning in class. )

Friday, April 27, 2012

Chicken yuck


Things in this life sometimes just plain stink. Like chicken fat you've trimmed off and left in the garbage overnight not wrapped up tight. Some of the stench we can control, just like how we dispose of the chicken funk. Other things we can't change, like the chicken scraps will stink wherever you put them. Stink, I tell you, stink!

Thank goodness it's not all chicken yuck!

You've heard from pastors to Oprah what it means to count your blessings, and maybe even keep track of them in a journal. To not just focus on the stink, for we all have things to be thankful for. Over the last few weeks a dear friend has started a "thankful golden nugget" time with me. We use these incredible devices we call cell phones and just send a quick text sometime during our day to give a "shout out" to God, thanking Him for at least one thing. Though faced with some incredible challenges health-wise in our families, both she and I know that God has blessed the both of us tremendously. But how easy is it to get mired down in chicken yuck, missing the golden nuggets of blessing bestowed on us?!? We've made a deal that no matter where we are, we will (mostly) daily send these messages to each other. So on those days when we may be tempted to get the "poor me" syndrome, we can be real and help snap each other out of it. From a dishwasher to chocolate to God's amazing grace, we have so much to thank Him for!

Firm belief that God puts certain people in our lives at just the right time to spur us along in our faith. Not destiny or anything like that...just His timing and perfect plan. Thank you, Lord.

"'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise"---Laura Story

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Flood

Water...what comes to mind? Rain? Fountains? Creeks and Rivers? Cooking? Thirst? Aquafina bottles? Why in the world didn't you think of selling bottled water?!? Sorry if this mention has given anyone the urge to visit the outhouse.

Frightening is something that always comes to mind...not an avid swimmer am I. The confining, claustrophobic feeling when your head goes underwater is not a favorite feeling of mine. How I'd love to be avid swimmer or go on a cruise, but I just simply cannot relax around water.

Now picture this: you are in the middle of a large lake, dog-paddling, and no one is around you. You're working so hard trying to get somewhere and have a respite! But you just continue paddling, keeping your head above water. You slow down for a bit, and your face gets a little covered, so you work harder to stay up and afloat.

That is life right now. Trying to keep my head up out of water, and do it with grace and a smile. (And according to some friends in the social media world, I am not alone)

It's amusing, really, how water frightens me. After all, every living thing on and in the Earth needs water to survive. It makes things grow and flourish. Water is also one of the causes of some of the most horrific and catastrophic disasters. It can ruin something just as much as it can help. God used it to destroy mankind, leaving Noah and his faithful family, and then water particles refracting sunlight to make beautiful rainbows.

Biblically, even floods are used for good. Flooding your engine, "flooded with tears", flooded with emotions...none of those seem that great. But this flood...well, God has to be using it for good. He's what keeps me afloat.

"Downpour on my soul
Splashing in the ocean, I'm losing control
Dark sky all around
I can't feel my feet touching the ground

Lift me up - when I'm falling
Lift me up - I'm weak and I'm dying
Lift me up - I need you to hold me
Lift me up - Keep me from drowning again"
"Flood" by jars of clay

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Picture Perfect

Chaos. Arguing. Bribing. And the ever so popular whining. All of this as pictures are taken to make the perfect Christmas card or family photo. All of that and hopefully there will be a couple of the hundred shots taken that can be used.

Or maybe that's just my family.

The picture is perfect. But what's really going on?

This social networking phenomenon is incredible in so many ways. Reconnecting old friendships, keeping up with friends we don't get to see as often as we'd like, a way summon needs and a way to express views. A way to show off accomplishments and beautiful children. Many friends with what appear to be picture perfect lives.

And then there are those that whine. Or brag a little too much. You know whom I speak of...

Lately with what I see at home now I so badly want to share...whine...vent...but it's a choice i make to NOT do that. Instead, funny stories(maybe too many?!?), verses, and hope are what I hope to share.

But really, I just really want to share that my desire is that one day, my husband will wake up and feel good. For him to be able to take a deep breath and not hurt. To walk across the grass and feel its coolness on his feet...so many things. It is hard to watch him go through each part of the day hurting and not know if it will ever get better.

It's been a rough couple of weeks. We have so very much to be thankful for...we are so blessed! And I will continue to focus on those blessings, and Gods promises.

It is easy, however, to go through social networking and wonder how some people have it all together. How their lives are so "picture perfect." To compare, and question why some people seem to have it so easy...
While I should be rejoicing with them in their life's blessings, I'll admit sometimes it is just hard to do that.

But it's a choice. I do have a picture perfect life...because I know I'm not the artist. I'm the clay.

I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out-plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. (Jeremiah 29:11 MSG)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Unquestionable

So really, sometimes there is a need for a sounding board for questions running through my brain.  It won't stop or shut off, but there's this urge to get it out there...wherever "there" may be.  Questions of the day since I walked in the door at 5:32 pm....

Why does clutter reproduce?

Grocery store?  Really?  Can't they just deliver already?!?

WHY isn't there some relief in site for the stubborn man in my life?  Thank God for his stubborness.  It's probably what keeps him here.  But please, God, a little respite for his sake? 

All three kids talking at the same time.  I have two ears, children.  I love you dearly and want to hear what you have to say.  Now will you please wait patiently?

Footloose.  Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.  Hound Dog.  Magic.  All of these songs my sweet seven year old knows now by heart, and she cannot wait to dress up as an "80s girl" for her muscial.  Wow.  I picture Debbie Gibson.  How do you make me laugh and smile even when you are supposed to be in bed? 

Yes, dear, sweet, compassionate child, when you leave your homework at home, you have to sign the conduct book.  It bothers me more than it does you, which bothers me more.  And when your friend offers you a waffle fry from ChickfilA at lunch in trade for a pretzel stick?  Hmmm...he's probably counting the days until you are 13 to ask you to the after-football dance.

Seth, I am so glad you are playing French horn now, and that you love it.  Your dad loves it, too, but wishes you'd practice in your room.  I'm so glad you are enjoying and are talented at playing basketball.  Now please, shower, and use soap.  And the daily question...did you put on deodorant?

Questions to my family and to myself.   But I always end with this...

End of the day question...did I let my light shine? 
I sure hope so.  Thank you, God, for today, and for your unquestionable love.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Can I get an "Amen"?

It's natural.  It's the way it's supposed to happen.  He's not hurting and he's in a better place.

You can say all of those things, but to sum up, I still miss my Daddy.

Now, I had my Daddy 32 years!  He was in his late 60s when he went home.  Friends of mine are walking much different roads of grief and loss.  Roads that my heart cannot fathom or even comprehend.  When I consider these friends, awe and wonder fill my heart.  But I'm still going to write about the things I miss most about my Dad.  Cause he's been on my mind and in my heart a great deal lately, that's why.

1.  Dad was positive.  Positive about life, his salvation, his love for his wife and family.

2.  Encouragement.  Whether you wanted to hear it or not, he had an encouraging word to say, or an encouraging way to get something done.

3.  Dad and mom.  Mom and dad.  A teenage marriage that "would never last" lasted 53 years together!  And he loved to call mom "St. Carolyn."   :)

4.  Hands.  Dad had HUGE hands.  They disciplined.  But they hugged more.

5.  Constant.  Dad was the same at home, at work, at church, at Lion's club...wherever he went, he didn't act any different.  Even, at WalMart.

6.  Music.  Dad loved music...Bach, Handel, anything with big trumpet and organ together.  One Christmas he gave each child their own copy of Handel's "Messiah."   And many of my friends remember his "Good Morning" song he taught them all on school and church trips.  Oh, I'm sorry...he didn't really teach them...rather, he used it as their alarm clock.

7.  Mealtime.  Dad loved to eat good food.  :)  But what he loved even more was sitting together, sharing life along with the meal. 

8.  Patience.  Listening, waiting, and then responding.  "We cannot control people's actions toward us, just our reaction toward them."  And that man practiced what he preached.  Can I get an "Amen"?

9.  Humor.  He loved to laugh.
10.  Peacemaker.  Dad always wanted everyone to get along, and desired harmony in every relationship.

11.  Humility.  Genuine humility.

12.  Faith.  His unwavering faith in God.  Written in his day planner were Bible scripture and creeds...his own and some more familiar to others.  Patients at the hospital remember him praying with them.  Daddy sang "Jesus Loves Me" to us, and prayed with us at bedtime.

Blessed.  So grateful that I was born, seventh of the "Lucky 7", to an incredible mom and dad.  Loving the time I get to spend with my precious momma, and missing my Dad along the way, knowing without a doubt where he is...can you imagine the glorious music he's hearing as he's right there worshiping his Lord and Savior?

So, to leave you on a light note, either 1) go listen to a rendition of "Who's on first?" by Abbott and Costello,  2) pull up "The Trumpet Shall Sound" by Handel on your ipod and turn up the volume,  3) remember!  "Every day is a good day!  Some are just better than others!"

Dad with two of his grandsons...Seth and Nathan...late 2000.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

II Pause II

Been writing this post for a few weeks now, but always seem to get interrupted or get too sleepy to finish. 

A wonderful holiday season was had by all at our house, celebrating the birth of our Saviour!  We've come up with some traditions in our little family, that include things like decorating homemade sugar cookies, picking out a new Santa decoration, and making and sharing peppermint bark.  The kids were full of excitement, and yes, Santa still comes to our house.  Five of my mom and dad's 7 kids were here to celebrate with mom, and we were able to celebrate with Chad's family, as well.

And now, a new year.  Yay!  A fresh new start.  But wait.  It's already January 10th?  Already?  The kids are back in a routine that includes homework and projects and schedules.  Work hasn't slowed down...just the opposite.  Seth is STILL growing taller than me.  The girls look bigger and more grown up every day.  Laundry is still piling, the house needs attention, and let's not forget...those Christmas trees still need to be taken down and put away. 

And what about the pounds that are to be lost, the gym class that's supposed to be scheduled, and the orthodontist appointment that needs to be made?  The groceries get eaten, the doctor and lab appointments are on the calendar, and Dixie needs to get to the vet...has anyone walked her...this week?

I'd like a pause button, please.  Thank you.  A chance to take a minute...or a hundred thousand...to catch up.  To get ahead of the game.  To organize, exercise, clean!  To make this the best year ever. To be at each destination on time, each thank you note written.  To mop the floors and clean out from under the sinks.

I think the DVR that changed my life also put a snag into it...everyone thinks we can just hit pause during any program at any time and come back to it whenever we'd like.  Oh, if that were the case.

The past few years we've been taught the hard way to live life in the moment.  To quote the brother of a sweet friend,  "Love God, embrace beauty, live life to the fullest." (Kyle Lake, former minister at University Baptist Church in Waco, TX)

Taking it a day at a time, prioritizing tasks along the way, and resting in God's peace.
"Are you tired?  Worn out?  Burned out on religion?  Come to me.  Get away with me and you'll recover your life.  I'll show you how to really rest." Matt. 11:28, the Message version.

This WILL be the best year ever!  (But the Christmas trees MUST be down by Seth's birthday.  :)