Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The most unlike places using the most unlikely folks

Amazed how there are times God can bless us in the most unlikely places using the most unlikely folks. 

Tonight I walked wearily into the pharmacy to get a med and drop off some others to be filled.  Believe it or not, we spend a lot of time and money at the pharmacy.  The ups and downs and "chronic" part of chronic illness does that.  At checkout, "It says the pharmacist needs to speak with you...." was what I heard the pharm tech say.

Thinking to myself that this was a waste of his and my time, that this med has been in our house for 11 years now, and please, just let me get on with my evening errands, I saw a very experienced pharmacist come to the counter.  A sweet, gentle man that has helped me before.

He looks over the med, and says something about how he guesses we are pretty used to this and what a potent med it is.

"Yes sir, he's been on it 11 years."

He went over his list of side effects and precautions, and ended with "Eleven years?  Wow.  That's something."

"Yes, since he was 28..."  then I said something about how little did we know when we got married so long ago that his health would be so different at such a young age.

The man then went on to encourage me and then say that he was proud of me and proud of both of us as a couple.

I couldn't quit staring at the sweet man as my eyes filled with tears.  (Confession: I have cried at the pharmacy before, but just once, when I was exhausted and there was way too much red tape to get through when all I wanted to do was to be able to take care of my husband)  My Dad's words to his kids always included that he was proud of us.

The pharmacist then continued with some wise words regarding determination and character.  He started to punch the keyboard to finish up the transaction and for some reason I asked if he had known my dad.

A smile came across his face.  He had worked with my dad a number of times at the hospital...his words were "your dad was a real genuine man."  For the next minute we talked about how God's plans aren't what we want sometimes...that if we had our way Dad would still be here, even though we both know he's much better off where he is now.

Thankful for the meds that keep Chad alive.
Thankful for the legacy of faith my Dad left.
Thankful for the man God put in my path tonight to give me encouragement on a night when I truly needed it.
Romans 8:28  "And we know all things work together for good for those that love God..."
"Love ya, proud of ya!"--Dad

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Charlie Brown teacher-speak

Comfy leather seat.  An issue of  "Real Simple."  Hazelnut coffee.  Uplifting music playing.  These are the things that make going to the orthodontist so pleasant.  For parents. While my growing-so-fast-I-can't-believe-it son is in the back getting a follow up-after braces check, I am enjoying part of what I pay for.  Since we've experienced the orthodontist environment over the last 18 months, I have since been encouraging any of my children to become one when they grow up and then of course use it to serve others.  (And take care of their momma.)

Suddenly someone was sitting by me.  I had to look up from the article I was reading on refrigerator organization.
"Seth's mom?"
Surely she was sitting down by the wrong parent.  There had to be another Seth somewhere around here!  This feeling was what I imagine it feels like when you're a kid and are called to the principal's office.

Once I admitted I belonged to that offspring, she began to tell me what every parent wants to hear...that he must have quit wearing his night retainers(he said he had outgrown them, which seemed completely legit?), his permanent retainer had broken (he may have mentioned that during his state baseball tourney---shoot!) and his teeth had done some major shifting.

What?  It's been just a few weeks since he "forgot" to take his retainers to camp and then quit wearing them. 

The sweet young thing sitting by me then went through some monetary figures and some options with me, but honestly, it was all Charlie Brown teacher-esque speak. 

I asked her to repeat herself.  at this point felt like a completely irresponsible mom, and that I have an irresponsible son(which is far from true). Then I told her to go ahead and take more impressions while I got to talk to the office staff about a "plan."  While making this plan with the office manager, a sweet, dear friend I've known for years came through and said hello...I honestly couldn't carry on a conversation at the time. 

Long story short...there's a plan and a lot more money involved so my son will sport a beautiful smile.  To make it all worthwhile I remind myself that before braces, he never smiled with teeth showing.  Now he does.  And all those other facts of why well-aligned teeth are worth it.

Sigh. I know things can be so much worse. This is definitely a first-world problem.

After a few days of thinking(& coming up with a heavier chore list for the boy), I was thinking how quickly things shift. How if I don't daily spend time in fellowship with my God, things get out of line pretty quickly. 

I'm not saying that if I check my box of "pray daily" life is all hunky-dory and looks like a perfect picture--all hardship gone. No. If I don't get that daily communication, that daily time with Him, things start getting harder. The tempter comes for a visit and makes my disciplines a little "grayer." It's not hard at all to tear myself down or think the worst. It's easier to let thoughts of anxiousness, negativity and desperation overwhelm my mind and life.

The daily relationship keeps my heart from getting out of line. The scripture, songs, promises He gently reminds me of, all together work to hold this heart and soul together.

Lesson and reminder gleaned from the oldest child's orthodontia:
1) wear your retainers
2) "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths STRAIGHT." Prov 3:5-6  

It's simple, but it keeps it real.