complain or be thankful…

January 30, 2010

so I’m standing in the shower when brian pokes his head in the bathroom to tell me that one of dawson’s friends is over to play and cole just got home with his aide and her daughter… in other words, there are now 7 people just outside the bathroom door.  (we have 1 bathroom that opens almost center to the whole house.)  …  I started to mumble under my breath about how nice it might be to have my own bathroom…  ahhh, just imagine… my own bathroom off of my own bedroom… it wouldn’t matter who  was in the house.

thankfully, the little angel that sits on my right shoulder quickly started telling the devil on my left what she thought about the situation.  things like, let’s be happy for the bathroom… the hot water, the scented body wash, the moisturizing shampoo and the curl enhancing conditioner, the yummy smelling face wash which gets alternated with the also yummy smelling facial exfoliant… let’s be thankful for the beautifully tiled shower and the pretty rug we’re about to step out on… how about the super fluffy towel waiting on the hand-picked towel hook right beside the super plush robe waiting on its own hand-picked hook… further more, how about the nice warm house the bathroom is in, the ability to pay the mortgage and the water bill…  on and on the little angel goes. 

do I complain or be thankful?  I choose thankful.

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here I go again…

I love my kids.  you know I do.  but why is it that by the time bedtime rolls around, I really just want them to go to bed.  one more hug, one more story, one more question, on and on and on… one more trip to the kitchen, one more holler across the hall at your brother, one more, ‘I just need to find my socks.’…  ‘just go to bed!’. … … …  it’s so hard to say I love you when I want to choke you…  that’s what I’m thinking in my head.

 it is so hard to be patient at the end of the day.  I really, really want to be all lovey and cuddly and tuck them in sweetly with a blessing hanging in the air as I turn off their lights. … I just seem to have a hard time actually doing it.  it happens some times…  I’d just rather it was the rule and not the exception.

(even now I still have a wanderer who thinks he ‘heard a noise’.)  argh~

how do I do it?  how do I make bedtime go kindly and calmly?  how can I get my mouth to do what I want it to, what God  would want me to say,  instead of what just comes naturally to my sinful self?

I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.   Romans 7:15

In your anger do not sin!  Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.   Eph 4:26-27

I know this.  I want to live by this.  I’m trying, really I am.  I think it is getting better… but still…  I’m so tired at the end of the day!  I’m worn down… weary…  how can it possibly be that when punkin wants me to come back to her room, again,  just to say she loves me, I’d rather she would just go to sleep.  it makes me sad to feel that way… it makes me feel bad, guilty. 

 I want to enjoy the moments… they will soon be gone… just one more thing I’m working on.

 

my ding-a-ling…

January 23, 2010

okay, there’s no easy way to say this.  this post is all about a penis, or more lovingly referred to as a ding at our house.  if you don’t want to know… stop reading and check back later.

a couple of days ago I was helping cole have a snack and watch mickey mouse.  he was sitting in the corner of the couch like he usually does, except he kept fidgeting and straightening out.  it is hard enough to keep him sitting up and give him a snack when he’s not wiggling, so I was getting tired of trying to adjust him.  he looked a little odd, like something was not right.  I asked if he was okay and he shook his head no just ever so slightly.  I asked if something hurt and he mouthed yeah, but no real words came out.  then he put his paw (hand) on his ding.  i asked if his ding hurt and he said yeah.  so I felt to see if there was something in his pants…  I couldn’t feel anything… not even his ding.  somehow, his little ding had gotten pushed back as if in a gender bender!  poor guy!  I helped him ‘adjust’ and then things were fine.  whew~

this got me thinking about all the little things he can’t do or say or fix for himself…  like an eyelash sitting across the lens of your eye… a mosquito sucking the blood out of your arm, ear or check… a simple itch… a hard booger… or, your penis stuck in a very uncomfortable position!  all  of these things have actually happened to cole and I’m sure others that I’m not aware of.

so, the moral to this post… be thankful you can scratch your own itches!  be thankful you don’t have to adjust your 12-year-old son’s ding!  : )

and just for fun

not just a lamb…

January 20, 2010

I’m studying the book of john in bsf this year.  today we were talking about chapter 10, where Jesus is telling a couple parables with shepherds and lambs as the main references.  these are some of my favorite analogies.  I often imagine myself as the little lamb, lost and afraid, and Jesus as the strong and brave shepherd who rescues me… and cares  for me and comforts  me and provides  for me and protects  me.  today however, I realized that I am not just a lamb.  I too, have been blessed with the title of shepard.

would I ever have thought of my self this way?  I don’t know.  would I ever have wanted to be in this position?  I don’t know that either, but here I am.  I am to shepherd these 3 little lambs… I am to care for them, comfort them, provide for them, protect them, and teach  them all about the Good Shepherd.  I am to bring them in at night and make sure they haven’t been injured during their day… physically, emotionally, spiritually.  if they do have hurts, I am to care for them, clean them, bandage them and help them heal.  if 1 should go missing, I am to go after him or her and search until they are brought safely home again. … … … am I doing a good enough job at shepherding??  am I leading as Jesus would lead??  am I relying on Him to equip me for this job??

 … … … … … … … … … …

sadly I’ve had to bury 1 of my little lambs and I have to carry another.  still… they are my  lambs and I am so very thankful for each  one.  somewhere in the process of me shepherding them, they have played an important part of helping to steer my own heart on the best paths for my life.  I wouldn’t be who I am now without every single day I have spent with the 4 of them… each one making  their own marks in my character.  I am proud of this little flock.  I would lay down my life for them at a moment’s notice… … … I am more than thankful that the Good Shepherd has laid down His life for us all.

I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  John 10:11

luke…

January 16, 2010

can you even believe those perfect toes?!?!  I’m still amazed at how perfectly formed he was.

anyway, a little more about luke.  born at 30 weeks, luke lived a brief 80 minutes here on this earth.  he was then quickly ushered into what no eye has seen or no ear has heard… Heaven.  although we had him for such a short time, we had a lifetime full of emotion with him.  we had joy  in knowing that we should be so blessed as to have 1 more.  we had sorrow  in knowing that he ‘probably wouldn’t make it’ to thanksgiving.  we had triumph  when he was still alive after christmas.  we had anxiety  in never knowing if we’d see his heart beating at the every other day ultrasounds.  we had pride  in knowing that he was a fighter.  we had fear.  we had worry.  we had relieve.  we had heartbreak.  we had confusion.  we had suffering.  we had love.

we had joy.

I still walk paths of grief over losing him… my 4th little monkey of our brood.  I still have a uncomprehendable ache in my arms to hold him.  but I have found through this suffering a peace that is beyond understanding.  I have experienced a deep love from fellow believers who come alongside me.  and even though I would say I had a pretty good eternity mindset, I now have a very solid one.  I’m just killing time until I get to the other side… that makes a lot of things in this world not really matter.  like material possessions, false relationships, my hair, my weight, my house, my car, my job, the dishes, the laundry… the list goes on.  I could let any of it go.  of course, after having to say, ‘let him go. about my very own child… what could I possibly want to hold on to? 

God has taught me so much… and I continue to learn.

suffering…

January 15, 2010

so I wanted to talk about suffering… I think I can talk a bit about it.  I have suffered some.  I wanted to talk about how we all are called to suffer differently in this life, but all this suffering does serve a purpose.  I wanted to say that compared to the chaos that is happening and I’m sure will intensify in haiti, I’m not really suffering all that much… just today I walked comfortably down aisles and aisles of food all in a safe and climate controlled building, while my children were safe at school getting an education and my husband was at work making a decent living to provide for his family.  all of this while not fearing for my safety or their safety.  I know that emergency workers are available as are hospitals and doctors and medicines.

anyway… I was going to talk about that.  I even got out my dictionary, which I do often, to look up the meaning of suffering. 

suffering: the bearing of pain, distress, etc. … to undergo pain injury, grief, etc.

as I’m reading along in the dictionary, looking at other words in the same area, which I often do, I noticed that the very next word is sufficient.

sufficient:  as much as is needed, enough

it brought a very real and true smile to my face.  isn’t that just like God?  right there, when I think it is awful, when I am suffering, when the world is suffering, when my friends are suffering… He is there.  He is sufficient.  He is all I need, He is all my friends need, He is all haiti needs, He is all you need.  He is enough.  oh if I could only remember this every  moment and every breath.  if I have nothing else but God on my side, Jesus as my comforter, that is enough.

sadly it seems as though the first part (suffering) is required to accomplish the second (sufficiency).  if we are never hurt, never broken, never lost, never undone… what would we need God for?  why would we go to Jesus for rescue?

thank God for my suffering.  that through it I would turn to Him and because of it others would see His amazing grace shine through me.

…………………………………………………………… 

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.    …    2 Corinthians 12:8-9

I think it is time to dance.  somehow, ever sense I’ve let that bundle of balloons go, I’ve felt pretty good.  I feel like I can continue on…  like my time for mourning has passed.  I can take off the required black band that has been around my arm and dance again.  my spirit feels better.  lighter.  it is time.

even though I’m feeling better… happier,  the sorrow is still there.  the searing loss is still just under my thin veil of joy, but I feel more capable.  I have grown so accustomed to drinking from the bitter cup this life keeps offering me that I feel like I can drink and still be able…  more than able actually.  I think I can take this bittersweet life and make it into something glorious for Christ.  isn’t that the point?

so now, by His grace and for His glory, I am putting my dancing shoes on again.  some days will be easier to dance to than others I’m sure, but I will continue to dance.  whether it be as joyful as twirling with gabrielle out in the sun or as solemn as brian holding me close with hardly a movement to be seen…  I will continue on.  it’s time to dance again.

………………………………………

Ecclesiastes  3:4

a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

12 little things…

January 9, 2010

many of you are asking about the little presents I got from my dear friend.  so here’s the list.

a snowflake ornament

burt’s bees chapsticks

stationary

bath and body bubble bath… twilight woods… mmm, my new favorite

frosty berry candle

journal

devotional… streams in the desert

mints from abdallah… very minty

tea, that happens to be great iced, my favorite

hand care kit, for soft hands

snowflake napkins

and the last one was a ‘serenity’ figure ornament by willow tree

this was such a sweet thing to do.  I look forward to doing for a friend of mine sometime.  I especially love  presents, it is my love language you know, so this was a perfect thing for me. 

thanks again to thoughtful friend who did this.  it really did help me through the days.  I would look forward to opening a new little something every night.  I love you dearly.

a year ago I was trying to pull together a funeral.  … … …  I really wanted things to be so perfect because I knew there wouldn’t be any birthday parties to send out invites for… no time sitting and looking at cakes for a graduation… and so on.  this was my one chance. 

I really don’t remember much about it now.  I was very heavily medicated and I’m sure overwhelmed.  there are things that went well and  a couple things that I wish I would have done different.  these aren’t things that keep me up at night any more or anything that I would want anyone else to feel bad about in hindsight.  I’m really only telling you so that when you are planning a funeral or helping someone else to plan one, you might check these things.

when picking your songs, make sure you pay specific attention to which verses you want sung.  do you want them all?  only 1 and 4?

is there someone who could keep any little children that are there occupied?  a friend of a friend who could bring some color books or quiet games and sit in the next room?

do you want someone who has written a poem or short story to share?

is it clear where and to whom you would like memorials to go to?

is there a hotel for out-of-town family and friends?

how about a little snack when you finally get home?

maybe you’ll be as blessed as me and have good friends get a room for your family.  or maybe even a good friend who could have a little something to eat, warm and ready for you when you get home.  and I’d have to say that the funeral home we used was as nice as they could possibly be.  very caring and compassionate.  I want to send business their way, but … it doesn’t come up that often.  here’s my plug.  if you live in the twin cities, and when the time comes that you need to choose a funeral home, and that time will surely come for us all,  go to albin chapel.  I really can’t say enough about them or speak highly enough of them.  they really did make the whole process easier. 

just a few words about after the funeral…

check on your friend.  a week later, 2 weeks … 6 weeks.  a card in the mail, even what you may think is going to be to late, is still very much appreciated.  I remember how sad I was when there were no more sympathy cards. 

 a meal for the family on some random tuesday.  it just might be the day that she saw the stroller that they got, but then had to return… or the day he stood behind a woman who was wearing the same perfume as his wife used to wear… or the day that she stopped to get some groceries and grabbed a box of cookies and then remembered that her mom used to buy that kind for her all the time. 

ask her out for lunch.  maybe she wants to go out and pretend like this whole thing never happened.

maybe he just needs you to be there.  you don’t need to say anything.  just be there, in the physical sense.

I know it is hard to be the friend.  it’s hard to know what to do.  it’s hard to know what to say or if you should even say anything at all.  maybe the best advice is let the Holy Spirit guide you.  God will help you be brave and compassionate.  if you think today’s a good day to drop off banana bread all of a sudden, out of no where, it probably is.

much love dear friends~

http://albinchapel.com/

happy birthday baby…

January 3, 2010

happy birthday baby, I wish that you were here.

I’d help you blow 1 candle out and sing and clap and cheer.

I imagine your pudgy legs and how you’d rub your eyes…

a tired face and ‘I want my mom!’ coming thru your sighs.

I miss the scent a home can have when filled with a baby boy… … …

but somehow

this deep sorrow…

has also brought deep joy.

I know a calming peace that I can not understand.

it quenches my deepest longings like streams thru dry parched land.

I’ll be with you someday… although I don’t know when.

I’ll hold you tight, and kiss goodnight, your warm sweet baby skin.

we’ll be together always. and dance and laugh and sing.

there in the very presence of Christ… our Lord and King.

………………………………………………………

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever. … Psalm 30:11-12

oh sweet snowflake…

January 1, 2010

oh sweet snowflake

how I waited for you…

hoping and praying

since way back in june.

I waited thru summer

and then autumn too.

the months seemed so long

yet the days were so few.

and then in an instant

 you were actually mine. 

 I could hold you and touch you,

God’s perfect design.

Although you were tiny

no detail was missed.

I gave you my love

with 1 simple kiss.

then you were gone…

back to where you came from.

the Heavens above,

God’s glorious kingdom.

I still love you snowflake,

and I’ll see you again…

when this life is over

and a new one begins.

……………

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God himself is with men, and he will live with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from there eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Revelation 21:1-4