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Friday, April 25, 2014

Brave

Pulled into the driveway after running an errand after work to see that the grass was being mowed and edged.  Ahh.  Fresh cut grass.  We are blessed that, as a very generous gift, someone has hired a gentleman to come take care of our yard.  (If that didn't happen, we'd get lost in our yard.  Time and health conditions do not lend themselves to a lot of yard work.) As I went into the house, I noticed a fire dept. vehicle from Chad's city pull up behind me.  Not a big red fire truck, an admin SUV.  As I walked in the door, I announced who pulled up behind me.  Chad struggled to get up from his spot on the couch, using his crutches to steady himself and get across the room.  I went back out onto the front porch to greet the firemen, and as I did the exterminator pulled up.  Of course, we saw a few termites swarming over Easter weekend, so we called Roscoe the exterminator to come take a look.  The dog, Dixie, was in the house to give some relief to Greeson, the lawn expert.  Three kids with after-school busy-ness, the lawn man (sent from God), the exterminator, an assistant fire chief and another fire officer, the outside dog inside, the husband struggling to get around...why did I leave work?  :) And also, I need all of you people gone before I leave for my 6 o'clock meeting, thank you.  It was a time I wanted to laugh as well as throw my hands up to say "I'm done."  But not before I reminded Seth to turn on the oven to start dinner.  :)

The lawn looks good.  The termites have not nested in our house.  The dog behaved inside.  Whew.

The discussion with the fire dept. staff, as well as the most recent multi-symptom, multi-system health issues Chad's been experiencing, are leaving feelings of uncertainty.  

Then let's get to work, shall we?  State standardized testing, disruptions to the "normal" schedule, and most pertinent, a student death and the effect it has on every person in the school.  This has left students and adults at the school with a sense of uncertainty on some levels.

I'm beginning to feel like a person standing as a target, being plastered with paintballs. Each one hitting and stinging a little, then splattering paint around that leaves a mess.   I'm covered in colors of paint and am continuing to be pelted with more.  

It would be easy to cower down and accept all of it.  To be stung by the hits and let the bruises hurt me.  But easy isn't in my vocabulary these days!

Every night as I pray with and for my kids, I pray that they will have courage and confidence.  Not just in who they are and what they look like, but that they will have the courage and confidence to rely on the One who makes us brave.  

Stumbled across this song this week and have listened to it at least 50 times.  The link below is to a video of the song.  I haven't really watched that, just listened to the words.  Knowing there's a plan in the midst of uncertainty.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

No matter what chaos surrounds you

Her blue eyes gleamed, her dimples were deep across her freckled cheeks, when she expressed: "Life just goes too fast!"  Those words came from the mouth of my 9-year old last week.  She may just be repeating something she's heard, but my momma heart thinks that it's starting to set in with her, that time does go by quickly.  And I was quick to remind her that's why we have to make every day count.

Some have wondered what has gone on here, and if you haven't, then by all means quit reading.  In last post you get a glimpse of the picture.  A headline would read something like, "Overachiever suffers injury on top of chronic illness," or maybe even "Superman found kryptonite." In short, Chad continues to be unable to move well.  To get from place to place, a wheelchair or crutches are used.  This of course limits his ability to do many daily tasks.  Multiple appointments with physicians and physical therapy, and we still wait to see what surgery he will need in the future.

Chad has lived with chronic illness for years and dealt with debilitating pain.  The pain that just shuts a body down and says "excuse me while I make you curl up into a ball and sleep, no matter what chaos surrounds you." The pain that keeps him from doing what he desires to do in life.  This winter was full of that pain.

This all sounds so gloomy and sad!  Why write about a not-quite-40 guy suffering?  Because of what was at the top.  The kids in our house have to see and deal with a lot.  They've learned so much about compassion and tolerance and patience.  But they are learning to make every day count. 
I pray daily that growing up in this family will profit them with a heart and mind for helping others.

Those kids aren't perfect like their mom (hahahahahahaha).  Their momma is having a harder time learning to make each day count while making the days full of mercy and grace.  Confession: about the girl's bedtime each night, when I have the time to think about all the responsibilities I have and how I'm going to get it all done...it can get pretty gloomy in my mind and heart.  The selfish thoughts of "I didn't sign up for all of this," and wanting to do MY things for me start playing in my head.  Reeling those thoughts back in, I remind myself of the promises that I've been given, and knowing the promises I made as a wife 18 years ago. I can look across the room at my Chad.  He didn't sign up for this.  If he had his way, he'd still be a fire station officer or fire chief somewhere.  He'd be shooting baskets with Seth, jumping on the trampoline with Sarah, and kicking soccer balls with Ella Grace.

There is a plan.  Hard days are extremely difficult to watch and not be able to do much to help.  Better days are still difficult to watch him go through.  Knowing the right amount of help to give or not give is a balancing act that can leave both of us ready to poke each other's eyes out.   But it all comes back down to making every day count.  And trying to do it with mercy and grace.  Because life does go by pretty fast.

And it ALL comes down to this: there's not a second of each day that I'm not in the mercy and grace of His mighty hands.

"There's no space that His love can't reach,
there's no place that we can't find peace,
there's no end to amazing grace...
I am holding on to you,
in the middle of the storm, I am holding on..."
~David Crowder