Monday, October 10, 2011

He's still workin' on me...

I was recently asked how I am doing, told I say so little of myself. That is not too surprising, my husband and child are my entire world so I talk about them constantly! It is also indicative of the fact that I have been in processing mode for a while. The Lord is doing a work on my heart and helping me to change aspects of an unhealthy mindset.

I am most ashamed of my hidden judgmental nature. Allow me to clarify that. This mindset of judgment was hidden to me. 

I have been made aware of what I ‘should’ be my entire life, from church members who knew how we should behave but then thought us haughty or self-righteous for trying to, to the more concrete rules for living laid out by parents, teachers, and pastors. 

There was so much ‘should’ and ‘should not’ in my life that I felt the sum of it was solid plan for living that was applicable to anyone. I did not feel that it was some plan I had formulated, but God himself. What I did not realize was that this left no room for the work of the Lord in the individual lives of people. 

In a sense I walked away with a cookie-cutter idea of Christianity and entirely missed some very important aspects indeed. 

I never felt that I was a judgmental person because I tend to get along easily. I thought that people may be whatever they believe God wants them to be… or I believed I thought that. The raised eyebrows or exchanged looks with others when a person was visibly different than my perception of ‘right’ indicated exactly the opposite was true in my heart.

This is a long topic, so I can see I will have to broach it in smaller snippets but suffice it to say that I had standards, preferences, and convictions completely confused. I mistakenly thought all were one and the same. It took years to realize that preferences were not the same thing as convictions, and that standards can come from either without being a direct command from God. 

I am praying that the Lord will keep this process going. In the meantime, my sincere apologies to anyone I have offended or been judgmental toward. I realize now that it is easy to say amen when the pastor tells us that God loved the sinner, but it is harder for some reason to extend that same grace to our brothers and sisters in Christ who differ from us in thought, dress or lifestyle. Indeed, sometimes we forget that we are still sinners ourselves. 

Salvation did not take away anything but your ticket to hell (and hopefully the desire to sin). The rest of our life is a continual process of growth and change, especially when it comes to our relationship with the Lord. <3

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Blues

It is Sunday again and I am stuck at home alone with my dog and the ache in my heart. To be honest, I was throwing a little bit of a pity party about it earlier. I find myself saying such things as "This is not the life I planned. This is not the mother I want to be. This is not the Christian I want to be." 

It so hurts not to be in church flitting around between the piano, classrooms and the auditorium. It grates at my heart, my soul and my sense of self-worth to be trapped at home under this burden when I so need to be out with God's children doing the things I was born and bred to do. I am having a lot of trouble with it again lately. I put every effort I had into it this Spring and got back in a few times. I got out in the world a few times. I got knocked back off my feet with a thud, too. 

There are plenty of people who like to be home from church and think nothing of it, though they are able-bodied and capable of service on many levels. Then we flash back to me, with a full heart and I hope a generous spirit, and I am so very stuck here at home. My parents raised me not to cry 'not fair', not to question God. Even so, I have a hard time understanding why such a willing servant is not given a service. I want that ability back. I need it back.

Right now I have nothing left but to give the little I have, which at the moment just seems to be a heart-load of prayers. Sometimes it is okay to ask for those prayers in return, and while I am loathe to be a burden on anyone, I do need them. I cannot live like this - away from my family, away from the service of my God. I NEED to be in church. There is no other way to put it than that.

I keep hoping that maybe, just maybe we could find a church in town so the car trip is not an issue and so I can try more often to get in. I cannot take too many more Sunday's away from the House of God. I have to believe that He wants me in as much as we do, and will help us find a way. I do not want to have anymore Sunday blues.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Time, Tissues, and Issues

I cannot believe another Friday is upon us! Honestly, it seems as though a week is only about three days long anymore! Do not mistake this for complaining, though. Merely a comment on the passing of time. I have a theory that the days seem shorter as we grow older because each single day is continually a smaller fraction of our overall life. It makes sense to me that a day would seem never-ending when we are little and zips on by more quickly every year, using that theory. 

This week has been really relaxed. I have mostly vegged out on the couch with my laptop, meds and several boxes of tissues. My priceless treasure has alternately played in her room, cleaned in her room (never for long), snuggled in my lap with her skin so hot, or - as is the case right now - been sacked out in front of the kid-movie Despicable Me. I am pretty sure I can only see it one or two more times before it joins the Toy Story movies on the 'gonna make me nuts if I ever see it again' list! hehe

While I do not relish being all sneezy and gooey, getting sick always provides an unbidden reminder to slow down. I had planned on starting school in July again this year. This week would have been week one of second grade. Instead I have yet to begin writing up her coursework. The nice part is, I am not stressed about it, but just taking things in stride. The house is a mess, too. That is driving me a little bit nuts, but again, taking it in stride. haha 

The day will come when I feel well and energized. In the meantime it is okay to slow down when you need to. What is the rush in this life, anyway? I can guarantee you that when we get to Heaven we are not going to be stressed and rushed, worried sick about making it to one golden street or another 'in time'. 

I often wonder how the fast-pace affects our Christian life. Even in the best churches there is such a work, work, work mentality that people sometimes become burnt out laboring for the Lord. While we should have a sense of urgency (notice I did not say stress) over the state of souls, is it really such a big deal to always push, push, push the next promotion or event? At some point a balance needs to be struck between doing the good work, and being supportive and uplifting of the workers. 

Take the time to thank the pianist or the pastor. Pat those ladies on the back who always do the set-up and clean-up work. Better yet, pitch in. They are taking extra time out of a day that is tiring for everyone. (What is it about Christian fellowship that makes us need a nap? The bellies full of food? haha) 

Anyway, I do not mean to preach. I hope against hope to someday again be full-time at a church piano somewhere, and doing a weekly bulletin, and planning events. Those actions were so fulfilling for me and I grieve them as a real loss in my life. In the meantime though, to all who are 'doing the work behind the Work', I say "Thank you! I praise the Lord for you! Your pastor praises the Lord for you! You are valuable to your siblings in Christ, even beyond the value of your hard work" :) 

I also say to them, do not be afraid to rest when you need it. There are plenty of brothers and sisters who should be willing to fill in here and there. After all, it is supposed to be 'we labor together', not 'we watch the few do ALL the labor'... just something to think about. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

No, never alone! :)

The Lord has recently brought a blessing into my life, in the form of another mother who has a child that suffers with Essential Tremor. Through her openness and candor I have been able to finally speak with someone about my questions and fears, my efforts and the very emotional aspect of having a child that is going through or will be going through so very much. 

We are still new to each other, but I can see a friendship forming. Better yet, though I hate that any other child has to live with ET (and especially that hers is severe), I no longer feel alone. The same way meeting another mother who'd been through the Zavanelli Maneuver in childbirth after five years of being the only one with such a horror story brought me some comfort and closure. I am not alone. 

I have been very emotional about the tremors lately, as I get before each school year begins. I know that this year brings a lot more writing, which means more chances for her to fatigue and the nerves in her precious hands to lose control. Today I wept openly after she went back to play, having minutes before asked to have piano lessons. Piano is a gift to those who play it; probably more so than to those who hear it. It has long been an expression of my soul and a way for me to pray, or to expose my heart to the Lord and to the world. I am not good at it, but it brings me such comfort. (I still need a piano, but the keyboard was even wonderful to play and far better than not having either.)

Anyway, I was feeling the flood of comfort in my playing, rough as it was, and I smiled that my little girl wants to play too. The next second tears streamed unbidden down my cheeks as I realized that here, too, is yet another joy in life that her hands can take away from her someday. I realized again for the umpteenth time that so many of her favorite things, so much of who she is, is hands-on. What will happen to her when she cannot color or draw, or write those little stories she is now famous for? What happens when she has to hand in a resume to her dream job, laden with restrictions? 

It is hard not to have these questions. Any mother would, I believe. It is also hard to be told to just trust God because He is so great that miracles can happen. I know that miracles can happen, but I find myself wrestling with using them as sole proof of His greatness. If you use them as a measure, then is He no longer great when you do have to watch your child suffer? Is He any less miraculous when He chooses to leave pain unconquerable, and obstacles in the way of everyday life? 

The answer is, of course, no. So, while I pray my heart out that I can be so diligent in watching for and preventing triggers that would cause her condition to progress, I am not waiting for healing. I welcome it, should it come, but I also know another thing about God pretty well by now... He is great in the bad times and in the low places. He is as amazing, if not more, in the valleys as He is on the mountain tops. 

I cannot control the fact that my baby was broken at birth. I cannot control the fact that her DNA sparked a condition that was meant for late adulthood, or that it could lead to a debilitating life for her. I can only pray from the heart and raise her from the heart. I will always tell her that she can do anything she puts that precious little mind to, because she can. I will always hug her the hardest, hold her the tightest, care for her the deepest and love her the most unconditionally... AND I can always be there.

Just like strangers who came into my world with open hearts and similar heartaches. Just like true friends who stepped up when I was in the greatest need. Just like a Savior who knew me before I had three cells to rub together. I can be there for her. Better yet, God can be there for her. I know He will.

That goofy little girl who loves to play makeup, writes and illustrates silly little stories, does any and all crafts she can get her hands on, makes up awful combinations for surprise dinners, and who just plain steals my breath away every minute of every day will not be alone. Everything will be okay, and she will be happy and loved, no matter what mountain or valley life sets her in. This is the true greatness of God. This is the true miracle. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Imagine that God was in your living room this morning after you got up. You knew He was there because He is everywhere. Did you greet Him with so much as a "good morning"?

Imagine that He was sitting beside you at the breakfast table, waiting to hear from you, and that when the time to pray came you either forgot or recited a too-familiar mantra with little meaning or conviction.

Imagine, as you got into the car and drove to work with the cares of the world on your heart, that God was in the front seat. He could clearly see the pain behind your eyes and was listening closely for your heart to whisper 'Help me!' as you contemplated how to fix things on your own.

Imagine He was by your computer when you logged on and laughed and smiled with your friends, or paid your bills. How nice, if He was able to hear your gratefulness to Him for providing your needs and a loving support system for every day. 

Imagine He saw, too, as you stopped a moment and thought about that one person you just were not okay with at all. He heard your inner dialog about why you did or did not need to speak with them; heard you decide to just forget about it. 

Imagine going about your day at home or at work, walking past Him time and again. He is ever-present, you know. Are we ever-aware?

Imagine God's thoughts about you. The steady stream of "I love you. I am here for you." that we love to believe in, but also imagine the higher call to holiness and knowing that God's deity includes a list of basic rules. Do we check our compliance to them? Do we excuse our 'little' sins as humanity, and get offended at the thought that God actually has the right to require more of us? Are we willing to give that more, not in sacrifice to self, but as a willing gift of love back to Him?

Imagine that God was at work in your heart every minute of every day; changing you from the inside out. Would that change include you monitoring other believers carefully to make sure they do not slip, or would it include a widening of your heart towards the weakness of man and our obvious need for God even after Salvation?

Imagine that God went to church with you, and saw you look the part. He also saw the way you looked at His other children, and whether you offered yourself to them in time of need, or despised and rejected them for having apparent weaknesses. Does God require you to look perfect, or that you love your brother? 

Imagine knowing that when you wear your flaws with humility, you also wear the grace of God before lives that are hurting. Imagine Christianity being a growth process, and not a contest of who is more right or more holy.

Imagine knowing that any child in the room has a more correct view of the Lord than you, because in innocence they willingly learn of Him and are open to change and growth. 

Imagine that God sees you go to bed tonight, and quietly waits for you to thank Him for the safety and mercy He has shown you through the day. Imagine that simply thinking "God understands" as you fall asleep, too tired to pray, maybe is not actually a band aid for the devotion He hoped to find in a person more interested in seeking His counsel and comfort than seeking physical rest.

Imagine that everything stated above applies 100% to me, because it does. I can use these things. I need this imagination, this reminder. I needed it now, and I will need it again, repeatedly, until the day that I die.

Imagine that it IS okay to be a flawed person, always reaching for that crutch. God help me, should the day come that I do not need to lean on Him. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Old poem left in the 'draft' folder...

Remind me to pray, Lord, when my faith is weak.
Remind me to pray when for comfort I seek.

Remind me my cause in life is not to groan,
Not to whimper, be grudging, or to moan.

Remind me that when You died on the cross
It was for souls who couldn't sustain the loss.
A life lived for others, for us all to be free.
Sin-debt paid with the innocent blood of deity.

Remind me to grasp in hope, not at straws.
Remind me in your eyes I am not a lost cause.
Remind me these garments of shame I, self-inflicted, wear
Were placed by my weakness, and not to despair. 

Carry my burden, when I cannot lift my eyes
to Heaven above or to You, Father of the skies.
Wash gently my wounds. Hear the beseeching of my soul.
Listen, oh God, and softly remind of Your control.

By Heaven above, I beg You these paltry things.
By Your Son, so magnificent; at whose garments I cling.
Bring Your release, sweet, soft and assured,
to my tortured soul; pathetic and absurd.

Home School Daze, or Home School Craze?

What a long time since I have stopped by my own page! My apologies. :) I have been otherwise occupied, but happy enough.

I have been focused on all things home school (HS); post-1st and pre-2nd grades. With my recent submission to medical intervention in my health came a host of side effects and fatigue so I had put off a lot. Last week and this I determined that, come what may, mommy is getting her work done! (Looks like next week also. haha)

Deciding to be more organized, I went on a web search. I was perusing links related to record-keeping. IN demands the bare minimum, but I like accountability, so I wanted to find every record a HS parent could possibly need in even the most regulated states. Should the time ever come, I would rather be prepared so I do not need to work in reverse b/c everything is handy. 

I have all of her work and records from Kindergarten already kept in a drawer. Since we were now through 1st grade and the drawer would run out of room I considered moving them to a plastic tub that I can add to later. My deepest interest was in creating a binder that held duplicates of the most important records to have accessable in a moment's notice. 

I had to laugh when I came upon an article labeling four types of organizing HSM's. (Home School Moms) The author had listed them as 1.Cubbies 2.Tubbies 3.Binder Queens and 4.Question mark. It turned out that I am an amalgamation of the top three! I had to laugh at that! Cubbies store work and records in a drawer or cupboard. Tubbies store work in a tub. Binder queens keep everything meticulously organized in a binder. hehe Imagine that! 

In case you are wondering, the question marks are those moms who throw record-keeping out the window and look quite clueless when asked what system they use. :) You may read the entire article here.

So maybe it is a little bit of over-kill, but I feel as though I have learned a thing or two about myself. Today I stand, mistress over my HS domain. :) My 'cubbie' is now empty, ready to hold a new batch of school supplies. (Let us face facts - two drawers is simply NOT enough!) My 'tubbie' is happily and neatly packed with the last two years, and labeled. I have separate red folders for each year's important paperwork (packed away with the correct year's work) and the piece de resistance... my thick three-ring-binder, laden with tabbed sections for student data, records (including the running cumulative, of course) and tabs for duplicates of each year's red folder. 

Whether or not this is how other HSM's do things, I am so pleased to have worked it through (I have a few papers to print, hole-punch, and file this afternoon) that I am beaming a very tired but accomplished internal grin. :) Not to mention the best part - my reward! What is it? Well, I get to break into the new lesson planner and set of schoolbooks, of course!  

As a child I learned to be excited by and appreciate the smell of new school books fresh out of the box they were delivered in. As an adult I am twice as nuts about it, at least! haha I am finally on the side of education that gets to use all the office supplies! Now tell me, who wouldn't be excited by that?!?!?     

Saturday, April 23, 2011

No words, but oh, so much gratitude and worship.

I cannot even begin to describe to you how thoughts of the death and resurrection of our Lord affect me. From the moment I truly accepted Jesus Christ as Lord of my life (age 14), I have never, ever been able to look at His death the same way. What is more, I still cannot seem to hold myself together - even telling the story to my lovely little daughter. I am so affected. 

The important question is this; is that a daily affect on my life, or just a story revisited time-to-time? I say with my heart, the effect of God's death on the cross reaches into my life continually. How, once being told that our sin - my sin - put Him on the cross, could I not be affected if I am His child? There is no amount of justification or excuse that could change the facts. God Almighty loved me so much that He sent forth His Son. He was not sent to be adored and worshiped, but to be reviled and spat upon. He was sent to be tested in all things that are common to man. 

Before my earliest great-grandparent was even thought of, God knew that I would go through miscarriage and depression, rejection, loneliness and great pain. He knew intimately what these things would do to me and that I would need someone to reach out to when nobody else was aware or could understand. Knowing these things, He found me worthy, when I find myself so unworthy and for ME, He sent His Son. 

I ask you, how in the world could I not give back every inch of my life to this marvelous Savior? How could I remember His death on the cross as if I had witnessed it and not weep? Life is so different for each Christian. It is ever-rich in experiences, good and bad, and ever-evolving. How could anyone live unaware of Him or unwilling to make changes in their lives for and because of Him? I truly have no words to explain how deeply the Man from Galilee still affects and changes me, but I do have oh, so much gratitude and worship in my heart for Him.

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for your most precious sacrifice. Forgive us for the times we take our salvation for granted and slack off in our service (whatever that may be). Help us to remember this time of year and always what we owe back to You, and gratefully offer up our lives in return. Amen.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sunburn and all :)

This week has really been a blessing overall. The sun was out much of the week, some weight was lost (10lbs), and life is quite literally 'springing' out all around us!

At the beginning of the week Becka was sick, but hubs got to head North for a chance to preach. The day was lovely and warm and he stopped along the way home for a rose bush, which he kindly planted for me in the landscaping out front. I am not sure how long, but it will eventually bloom with (hopefully large) beautiful yellow roses. I cannot wait! 

Other plants are joining the property as well. For one, the bulbs we bought (and planted) from 'tulips for tremors' last fall have grown leaves. I happily anticipate the lovely array of colors showing up any time now, cheering up the yard and saying to those who know it that we support our daughter and her benign tremors condition. Not all of the bulbs came up though, so I certainly need to purchase another round of them this fall. 

Wednesday afternoon we put up the swing set for our little girl and worked on the yard and other things. Chris had chopped down three out of four trees, so our yard no longer looks divided in half. I have to say, I love having a whole yard! It seems much larger than it used to! While Chris mowed the lawn and dealt with the tree stump I faced the house (and sun) and began to seed a tray of starts so 4-6 weeks from now we can begin a garden. The little one helped me enthusiastically, and together we laid in two types of tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, watermelon, carrots as well as morning glory and marigold seeds. There are already strawberry seeds germinating in the little greenhouse we got her for Christmas. :) I won't have a large garden later but if I can get one or two of each in the amount of space I'm planning on, we'd be really happy!

Both hubs and I have been burned nearly raw since then, but it is so nice to be something other than pale! A sunburn really is the very smallest of complaints when you get to enjoy time out in the yard with family. In fact, think I'll grab the tot and go back out there now! :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Amazing Grace!!! (Wretch like me) lol

I have hit the point with the degeneration of my back and mobility where I just cannot live in denial any further. 

This week has been excruciating, and for four days in particular I could not sit, lie, stand or walk in any position whatsoever without crying out in pain. The nights dragged into the following mornings and I was just a mess of tears. One night in particular I told Chris I cannot take it, and instead of always putting it off hoping for the money to get myself checked out in one shot, I was finally ready to just be taken in and get looked at and be helped. As a forethought, I asked him to call the ER (it was around 3am) ahead to see if a person my size could be xrayed. Four hospitals and four rejections later I was more discouraged and humiliated than I have been in a long time. 

The next afternoon (yesterday) I also was finally ready to take the advice of others, who had also been encouraging me to get help no matter what. I keep hearing that Becka needs me to take care of myself and get help for my back, that I do make a difference in her life no matter how worthless I had allowed myself to feel. In the years since I have had her, everything has degraded but there was always another surgery for her or Chris in the beginning (two each right off the bat), and of course her immune issues and neurological tests and issues etc. I just believed there wasn't room for me in there, and frankly, I cared less about myself than either of them.

In 2008 after having experienced years rich with infertility, miscarriage, the hard pregnancy, labor and near-death, NICU, surgeries, illnesses, tests upon tests, loss of job and 9 months of living with other people followed by living in a so-tiny apartment where the devil's music was blasted over me day and night, I found myself depressed. At that point I would say that my depression came 100% from having been broken by life. So much happened so quickly to Chris and I that I simply was not able to keep up with processing it emotionally. 

I was fortunate to have a pastor who did not kick me out the back door for admitting and being diagnosed with depression.  (I have a huge sermon on that one, and on friends who cannot be there for you in your greatest hours of need.) On the contrary, he rallied around us with advice to listen to the doctors and take/stay on the medicine prescribed so I could get well. (I was having a chemical depression, which turned out easy enough to treat as long as I did not fight it.) That whole journey is another set of blogs altogether.

My point is, that was the only time I have seen a doctor in over five years, and also the last time. (I saw a chiro last year but even he couldn't help me w/out xrays etc. We built our house so put it all off for another year - I don't regret that. I love my new house!)

Now that my pain had reached an unending escalation this week I finally realized that Becka's immune system is better than ever and Chris is doing well with no sign of another surgery in sight. It actually struck me that it IS okay, for now, to take care of me. With some coaxing I called around and found insurance (just for me for now - will add Chris/Becka hopefully later when we can afford to). Not just insurance, but insurance within our budget that also happens to be very good!

We signed up today and in the coming weeks and months, Lord willing, I will get in to be xrayed and weighed, blood tested and otherwise supported in a process to hopefully ease my pain or maybe correct my spinal issues as well as a focus on finding out what I can do to lose weight without rupturing a disc or something in the process. 
So today again I experience the mountain! At the same time I experience the mountain from the viewpoint of the valley. I am not out of it yet. I am not 100% whole or healed yet, but by God's amazing grace I have something I did not afford myself in years... hope! Wonderful, blessed hope!

I will write again tomorrow and tell you the mechanics of today - that other thing which truly blessed me, and the inspirational advice of a dear friend that, I feel, is saving my life. :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A little bit of nonsense. :)

For some reason this jumped into my head today just after talking to Becka about her Phonics homework. I went ahead and wrote it out just for the heck of it. :) Please pardon my poetry! ;)

'To' Cute

The word 'to' is a little thing
but so important to know.
It is used in many sentences
and quaintly spelled T - O

Without it how would we know what TO do?
If it did not exist, where TO go?
What we like TO eat, TO drink?
I'm not quite certain we'd know!

There is, too, the matter of its use.
It is spelled with one O, not two.
So let's just be clear that I'm talking
about TO... not two, too, or tutu!

I can only be truthful
as I write out how it is used
that without TO all language is lost
And the rest of us? Well... just confused!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Which brings us to today.

The last blog ran long, so there was not room to include what I am putting in this one.
 I did realize the negative way I was feeling and allowing my pain to guide my thoughts instead of living happily in spite of it. At the same time, the realization that the weather has been a chilly but tolerable temperature hit SO, my little sweetheart and I bundled up and went out to the back patio (?) to enjoy some evening sunshine and fresh air. Granted, it felt like fresh air you might find in a fridge, but a warm sweater, blanket and a pillow to prop my back on made it as nice as it could possibly be. Having the doggy snuggling in my lap didn't hurt either. ;)

It is impossible to breathe in my first fresh air since December 25th, laughing with my girl as she played back and forth and not feel better. 

When we came back inside we broke into my make up and took a ton of pictures for daddy ranging from 'okay' to outright nonsense! hehe We also took a picture of the rocks she had collected from the yard, and later daddy went out and took a nice picture of the full moon. :)

By supper and even now I can still feel the same grinding, BUT my heart is lighter and my outlook is better too. Both of those things make this a very good day!

Cheerleaders in the valley, which is sometimes actually just the floor. :)

The title of this blog is quite literal. I pulled my back a few days ago, and was trying to be and do extra within my home in spite of it. On Thursday this included cleaning up a puppy 'oops'.

I used to love sitting on the floor but at this point in life I am not really able to because it locks up my spine in a bad way. I already knew this, and was already trying to be gentle to myself after pulling my back but there hadn't been an accident on the carpet in some time and I was not about to leave this one there for DH to find when he got home. 

That was the easy part. Got it up and scrubbed but then faced what I feared. On turning to my knees to get up the whole lower of my spine locked into place, bones grinding on bones, and I stopped still. 

It is shameful and humiliating to admit that at this young age I can be stuck on the floor and unable to get up. That shame was magnified by my daughter's innocent, sweet and frequent requests to help me. The week had been rough enough to deal with that this brought me to a valley, spiritually and emotionally. 

"Why, Lord? Is there a reason my beautiful miracle of a daughter, so undeserved, has managed to get stuck with a mama she tries to help instead of someone active and exciting and well... someone NOT stuck on the floor?"

I managed to crawl over to the couch (don't ask how long it took) and propped there a minute, eyes squeezed shut in prayer and attempt not to let tears leak out the pain that my 'mommy voice', bright and gay, was hiding. My girl isn't stupid though, and offered to call daddy home to come pick me up. 

Flashbacks to the first time that ever happened (2007) flooded my mind along with images of the most recent time it happened before this and I just couldn't let it happen again. I am tired of being 'that' wife and 'that' mom, even if the stuck-on-the-floor episodes are not (thank God) a super-common occurrence. *You can imagine how I avoid the floor at all, can't you?*

I heaved upward, thought "I did it!" and collapsed back on the floor by the couch with an agonized but half-stifled groan. 

"God. I can't do this. I just can't do this anymore. HELP ME!"

Another heave, a little more caution as to where I placed my feet and then a huge gasp as I sat on the couch and my spine did this thing I relate to shattering glass. (It starts at the bottom, shatters all up through my back and ends with a searing neck pain that lasts for days. That's how it feels... I've no better way to explain it.) I bit my lip hard, to the cheers of my little girl, holding myself in place with fists punched hard into the couch cushions. 

"You did it, Mommy! You did it! I knew you could!"

Fast-forward to today and the wreck of self-recrimination, guilt and shame I have been since then. I came online to find kind notes of encouragement from friends and my sister, rich with kind and encouraging words I do not deserve. It did remind me of something, though. (Especially that note from big sis) The Lord does consider the sparrow and the lilies of the field, and He HAS put so much more time into  loving and caring for each of us than into them. It is amazing how often He must really think of us, and so touching that He cares about even the tiny or embarrassing details of our lives.

I guess my point is this. While the valleys we find ourselves cast down to in life (in my case being stuck on the floor triggering a lot of negativity) come in all different ways and circumstances, it is most helpful to remember the cheerleaders who are with you there in the valley. My little daughter, a spirit of kindness and joy if ever there was one. Friends, who see the quiet horror you feel and know the exact boost of encouragement you need. Best of all, the Maker of the lilies, the sparrows and yes, even me. 

This last week may have been a personal descent into a valley of sorts, but the grace of God has allowed me the kindness of friends, family and spiritual support that give me the wherewithal to toss out the negative and hike back up, so-to-speak. 

If you are one of those friends or family, I thank you wholeheartedly. If you are someone who happened by and are struggling in your own valley, I wish you'd drop me a note so I can cheer you on with my own prayers. God's love and the grace and kindness He bestows on us directly or through His children (or even strangers) must be passed along to others so that it continually grows. 

The next time I hit the floor (hopefully no time soon), I will try not to also hit the valley... and today? Well, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! ;) God deserves at the very least my most whole efforts. So do my daughter, my family and my friends. ♥ ♥

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Five year old poetry. (Not mine!)

Out of the blue last night my little girl said "I have a poem!" 

Even though I love poetry and write a few embarrassing amateur verses of my own, I have not made any sort of effort to teach her what a poem is. (We read one in her homework last week, but did not otherwise discuss it as it was just a little extra nicety and not part of the lesson.) So, when in the middle of drawing what were, I thought, a pretty good set of animals she blurted out that she had a poem I was surprised!

It is short, but I got so excited I grabbed a notebook and wrote down every word. Doesn't matter what the quality is, this is her first poem, so it is a keeper! I thought I would share it with you... she said "This is a chicken poem" before launching in, so I have used that as the title. 

A Chicken PoemR.W. Age 5

Chickens, chickens,
what lovely feathers you have!

Why do you eat hay?
And you see daisies laugh and dance!

They dance as they go... (brief pause)
and do a silly daisy dance. 

I wish I could somehow convey her inflection in saying her poem - it was so believable. I was so tickled! I still am! :) Chickens may not eat hay, but that lesson may be taught later. For now I am just pleased at punch that somewhere inside her resides a little poet! Put this together with the many, many little books she writes and illustrates in everyday play and perhaps, just perhaps we have a little writer on our hands. 

*happy sigh* 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Our Family is Growing!

Two little faces have joined our family... Shih Tzu faces, in fact! :) Everyone, meet Kisses (short for 'kisses and hugs') and Joey!

Our new babies are 8 weeks old today, in contrast with Bindi's 8 months. They're already paper-trained, and are already remarkably making the transition to litter box quite well. Yay! lol I can't say there will be no hard stuff this time around, but hey, who could resist?  

Friday, January 28, 2011


What? A blog two days in a row? Why, I never! :) There is a reason for this, though. For one, the kids are napping and/or being quiet. For another thing, my sister and I are enjoying that quiet by watching a little something and simultaneously enjoying modern technology. :) 

ANYWAY, this blog is a little bit dated but I saw something that reminded me of Thanksgiving. I saw the dress shoes of my niece and my sister sitting side-by-side. :) You see, my entire immediate family was in to visit, which was very special. After everyone had gotten in and was comfortably playing around, eating, and chatting there was a moment where I contentedly surveyed the scene. All these years apart and we still fit together like a well-oiled machine, even with all the new kiddies that have been added since the last time. 

Then I noticed it... twenty-two pair of shoes, twelve of them ranging from tiny to child-sized, all neatly set in pairs in the foyer just inside the door. Those shoes represented the feet of everyone I love the most in the world (aside from the babies, whose shoes were not present) and have been blessed to share DNA with. I was tickled at the neatness of it, and what that little pile said about the consideration of these people for my new home and carpet. I was amazed by the size of it, and blessed that God has seen fit to allow our family to grow almost without abandon over the years. 

The day was emotion-rich anyway, as my dad had just been released from the hospital and my sister, brother-in-love and their kids had been spared a worse fate in the accident they'd had on the way over. Somehow those shoes represented all of my heart in one random place. Two months later I am still affected, still touched, by the memory of those shoes. I hope the next time they come together in a bunch isn't five or six years away. I need those shoes in my life... I need their owners in my life. <3