I Love Boring Days!

A forty five minute drive to a general practitioner is a little extreme, especially when I pass so many doctors on that drive. But I know what it is like to get a doctor that won’t listen or who isn’t willing to work with my oncologist and endocrinologist. Unfortunately, I have more doctors than compliment my social life. 

“He’s a good doctor.”  I think as I wait. It is the familiar setting:  the patient chair/bed/(what in the hell is that thing?), two extra chairs, a little desk with a computer, and the doctor swivel stool. It is a setting I am quite familiar with. There are no bragging points in that statement. I take a seat in one of the upright chairs. 

Glancing around. Waiting. Reading the posters on the wall:  “attention to insurance policy holders” …I spy a magazine…nah…wait…check my phone…wait…I feel my heart rate increase. “This is the easy stuff,” I tell myself. 

I have a lump under my arm. It bothers me off and on. Months ago, I already ran it nervously by my oncologist. It is not a tumor. 

I remind myself of that now, “It is not a tumor.  This is the easy stuff.”

I am so used to dealing with the hard stuff. I am so used to the extreme, the life threatening, the worst case scenarios, that when I sit and deal with the common, everyday stuff, it is hard for my mind to not fall into that rare type of cancer mode. 

He smiles politely, “Most likely we will just leave it there and do nothing.”  He directs me to checkout. 

Oh happy day!  I know the joys of getting the opportunity to be the boring case at the doctor’s office!  

Just Like That, a Miracle

The wheelchair carried me to the front of the hospital, down the elevator, and out to the parking lot for my husband to pick US up. I was not injured.  I did not have surgery or any other procedure.  I was the happiest I had ever been in my life. I was holding my little miracle in my arms and about to take her home for the first time.  I snuggled her warm soft body closer to mine and I kissed the softest cheeks ever born.  Just like that, life was living and breathing and growing up in my little Florida home. 

The miracle of life. Scientifically explain it to me, and it makes me praise God. He knows and designed life from conception to the imbillical cord, the labor process, and into the arms of Mommy and Daddy. Science is the study of God’s Creation. 

We had been on summer break for two weeks. It was the first day of break that all the plans happened at home. Laundry was piled up, a lunch picnic would not go beyond our backyard, summer reading, mopping, a day to catch up and prepare. AND JUST LIKE THAT, A MIRACLE. I got a message. 

I got a message from my brother, followed by tons of pictures and family comments. Adeline was born and I love her. I can smell her newborn baby perfection and I adore her little fingers that she has not yet learned to control. And today is the day that we make the trip, that is much too far, but today I will see and I will praise God for a miracle that he has planned for since the beginning of time.

I Saw an Angel

Spring Break with a second grader is AMAZING!  Spring Break with an eight year old and extra time to do all the extras is fulfilling. Shopping on Spring Break with my eight year old daughter can be quite entertaining. 

I am a list maker. I haven’t determined yet if it is a good or a bad thing, but I have passed this trait down to my daughter, be it my genes or daily example. She wakes up, reads my to do list, and then makes her own. So, here we are running through one of our crazier days of spring break, checking off my list and checking off her list. 

We had a little catastrophe in the “sew new stuffy” department and had to start over so we were running behind schedule. Now, we had four quick errands to run:

1.  Two oversized chair cushions from Target. All means:  Stand in the restroom balancing two just purchased oversized chair cushions, the bag containing the prize egg for the egg hunt that we added to our purchase, and my girl’s new large bunny stuffy that was finally a success. 

2.  White flowers from Lowes. None here. White flowers from Home Depot. 

3.  Return to Hobby Lobby. Run to the back of the store to show the lady in Fabrics the new stuffy my girl made. 

4.  Pick up makeup at the mall. Meet angel. 

Okay, James has called and is headed home early. So, our errands turn to a marathon, as much as they can with an eight year old and her own agenda, as I am trying to be successful and get home. 

Makeup. Check. Our errands list is accomplished. “AND HOME WE GO!” I proudly announce in the car as I am trying to maneuver through the packed mall parking lot. And here it comes, I am about to meet an angel. 

I back out of my spot to notice someone else two spots down, backing up. I stop waiting for the go. Cue angel sighting. 

A lady is sitting waiting on this other car’s spot. “Momma, what is she saying?”

Oh!  She looks angry. She looks very angry. This lady is yelling, arm motions and all AT ME!

Oh, she appears concerned that I want her parking spot. I don’t. “Don’t you dare take my spot!  That is my beepin spot!  Beep!  Beep!  You beep!”

Oh, I wonder how I can convey to her that I am not interested in taking her parking spot?  I smile. This seems to make her even madder. BEEP!  BEEP!

Eventually time tells the truth as the car backs out and I let her have what was always her parking spot. As she was pulling in, she was still beeping. 

And now I will always think of this woman as an angel. 

Say what?  Because my daughter was with me. Hmmm?  Because my daughter was with me and I was able to keep my cool. 

Here’s the thing, if I have learned anything, I have learned: 1.  I make mistakes. 2.  Other people make mistakes. 3.  My daughter mimics me. 

What matters is how I deal with it. Few and far between are the times that I can see a woman cursing and raging mad at me and keep my cool. Few and far are the times my daughter can witness me wrongly accused and I can respond, “Madison, there will always be angry, rude people in the world.  You can give in and let them change you for the worse.  Or you can chose to respond with kindness and chose to do what is right despite everyone else.”

Madison sat wide eyed in disbelief of the woman’s misdirected anger. And the lesson sunk in. 

Therefore, Angel of a lady, THANK YOU. Thank you for helping me teach my daughter a lesson. And as you passed by, I noticed you are very beautiful. 

Birth. Death. Living Forever. 

“I think, I think my water broke.”  Before the sun came up, we arrived at the hospital. Since I was a child, I had been nervous, terrified, of this day. Labor. I knew I was about to be in infamous, excruciating pain.  But my mind did not settle here. Life. My baby, I was about to see my baby for the first time. 

They stood under the sky. The night was falling. Here they came, led by Judas. Jesus and his disciples stood waiting for them. This moment, since a young child he had been nervous, terrified, of this moment. He knew he was about to be in tormenting, shocking pain that would be written down and read about. But his mind did not stop on the cross. Love. He so overwhelmingly loved me.

I believe in miracles. The nurse laid her in my arms. Happy tears burst forth in a moment forever cemented in my mind. She was perfection, beauty, redemption, the promises of the world. The pains of childbirth, quickly forgotten. My pain brought life.  

“HE IS NOT HERE!  HE IS RISEN!”  I believe in miracles!  Jesus was dead but now he is alive!  ALIVE!  His pain was forgiveness. Like a parent, he looks at me and smiles and laughs.  Like a parent, there is nothing he would not do for me. And he did, he did it all!  He made the world, the hidden beauties to be found. When sin came, he did not turn his back. He had a plan. He paid my debt. He set me free. His pain bought me eternity!  

I am so far from the perfect parent, but it gives me a tiny glimpse of the love my Savior has for me. Jesus loves me, even me. 

 

An Important Reminder

Do. Do. Do. 

Do not ever, to the negative, the opposite of positive. 

Do not for the month of showers, the month before the flowers. 

Dunce. Idiot. Clown. Twit. Sucker. Fool. Stooge. 

Do

Not

Forget

To

Not

Be 

The 

Twit

Do not forget to play April Fools jokes. 

I Am Growing Up

One of the best things about being a parent is learning alongside children. Starting back at the very basics and building from there. The continued education of James and Caroline began the day the test had two lines. 

With Madison in my tummy, her Daddy and I began to research and read like never before.  We were about to be responsible for a miracle called: life. One of my favorite pictures shows James sitting Indian style on our bed reading a children’s book. On first glance, it looks like he is reading to himself. You really have to search to find the brand new baby (maybe three days old) sleeping among the covers to know the book is not for his own enjoyment. 

One of my favorite traditions is, every year for Christmas, buying Madison a new Bible. We started with Children’s Bibles like The Big Picture Storybook, The Jesus Storybook Bible, I Can Read Bible, The Child’s Story Bible by Catherine Vos, and other jewels. With her Daddy reading every night, she has read through the Bible several times moving up to an NIRV Bible. Guess what that means?  It means James and I have been more consistent in our devotions than ever before. 

And when Madison wants to know why Evergreen Trees don’t turn brown, and every single thing about every single animal, and how to make origami, and where all the fifty states are located and who all the presidents were, and why doggies don’t get married. Guess what that means?  It means that Momma learns them also!

Recently, my little Renaissance girl wanted to learn to sew. So, (haha. Homophone)…so, her Daddy and I purchased a sewing machine for her birthday. You should have seen James and I trying to figure it out. But we did!  And Madison and I spent one of our Spring Break days purchasing fabric and making a travel laundry bag, couch pillows, and her new very favorite stuffed bunny. I can sew!  And that is one of the very small ways that having a daughter has made me a better person. 

Being a mother, gazing into the eyes of a precious little girl with a curious mind, has taught me something I should have known before I was a mother. Knowledge may be power, but LEARNING IS JOY. 

He is Going With Me

I have a week off second grade!  SPRING BREAK!  Okay, it is my daughter who actually attends school, but HEY I get a break also. I can hit snooze a few more times, a week off making school lunches, no setting out uniforms, a break from carline, and I get to keep my girl with me from 8:00 – 2:30.  

Plans, parties, and promises are scheduled but there is something that has crept into our lives and it always has a way of peeking its head out when we would rather have another day to go on a picnic and we would rather spend our money on some more spring landscaping, but he nags and pries and won’t go away. 

Yep, headed to Duke. I really love my doctors but sometimes I kinda wish I never met them. I have two appointments.  One with an oncologist and one with an endocrinologist. And I also have a scan. Don’t forget the scan. Errr. I wish I could forget the scan. 

But I hope and I pray, we are in and we are out and this is the only post on the topic. I hope and I pray that I get a clean bill of health and there are no more appointments scheduled and no more concerns raised. But, however it goes, the God who made my body and knows me more inside and out, and loves me more than I love myself (and that is saying a lot) has gone before me and nothing will catch Him by surprise, so my mind is at peace. And He is going with me. 

The Promises of Nature

I have a god, the God, that I trust and know and believe. But there is a god whispered in my ear, that I am told to believe. Who is this god?  It is ME. 

Builders, great architects of their time, the Egyptians built the temples that are still marveled today. The great wonders of the world. But where are these builders?  Where are they?  Buried within.  All the attempts to preserve their bodies and where are they to be found?  Buried in the sand. 

He stood and proclaimed, “God is dead!”  The world was awakened. Sexual revival, nonconformity, and selfishness praised. With pride and happiness they revolted. With openness and desires they grabbed and pulled in others to follow.  Where are these revivalists?  Where are these that insisted on the death of God?  They have aged, they have fallen. You find them in the grave.

People accomplish great things. They help and build and dance. Legs run faster than ever before. Great minds compose and soothe. Marriage and reproduction. Oil struck, land discovered, and new steel construction. Applause is given and the night is over. As the good and the bad all pass away. Nature promises one more day. 

The answer is not me. The answer is not you. The world that God created reminds us of that day after day. With this world we see and live and breathe, we are left with two options:  There is nothing and we die and are no more. OR There is everything, there is God, and a purpose to live for. 

What is Your Power?

I wake up with a lot of things running through my head:  Don’t forget it is picture day for Madison. There is a ton of laundry after the weekend and make sure, in particular, that M’s new green shirt gets washed. Call blah blah. Wipe down the bathrooms, make beds, empty the dishwasher. Go to Publix. We need more this and that. Swim team day. La la blah blah. I have to organize it.

I pull out a sheet of paper and a pen, write it down in an order that makes sense and then jot down the guesstimated amount of time it will take by writing beside that chore or event what time I should finish. Done. Check. This is my day. The list is made. I’ve got this.

Several hours later, I wrap up the vacuum cleaner cord, light a candle, and plop down on the couch with my girl to read Pollyanna. 

Strength. Power. Check. Those are my good days. And I’m pretty good at having good days.

I screw the top on my travel mug, sit down on the floor, leaning on the club chair, pull out my iPad and type away. My fingers can’t keep up with my mind:  repeat that. Emphasize here. Build up momentum. Bam. Ending punch.

Write. Repeat and emphasize here. Write. It is part of who I am. I find identity in my love of writing. I include it on my list of accomplishments. There is power in my ability to write. Hey, I struggle with enough that I claim my strengths when I have them. I am a writer.

Lover. Looking looking looking for love. Caroline is a lover. When I found love, we melted. It is not so hard to serve James because I love him. Ahh!  Chill runs up my back, shake my shoulders, I love him. There are so many fingers raised and point this out and mentions to be made but I am just going to stop there. No clarifications will be made. I am a lover!  I claim that man, he is mine and I am proud of it!  He is part of my completion and my identity. I am a lover.

What is your power?  What is your identity?

Are you rolling in cash?  Do you have a singing voice to make me and the rest of the world jealous?  Are your legs fast?  Do you demand attention and get respect when you walk into a room?  Do your hands obey your eyes with surgical precision?  Can you listen and retain every spoken word?

This man, he can command the cells in human bodies. This man, the spirits obey him. This man can tell the stars to stay or fly. He knows thoughts, he makes animals, and he walks and talks with God.

Power?  No power is denied him.

He is laughed at. He is whipped. He is accused, rejected, denied, and abused.

Power, where is your power?

This man, He is found among the weak. He uses his power to heal the sick. His fingers make the blind man see his family for the first time. His words hang the shining sun over the white sandy beaches. His strength parts the sea so the running slave can taste freedom. He comforts the lonely standing at her husband’s grave.

That man, where is his strength?  How does he use his power?

He denied himself, hung on the cross, and declared his love for me. Rejected, he lifted me up. Condemned, he set me free.  Dying, I am forgiven. Loved, he used his power for me.

All I have is because of him. How will I use my gifts he gave to me?

Wake Up Mommy Nature

All is quiet, quieter than reality.  Sleeping, sleeping, nature sleeping.  Sleeping in longer than ought.  The grass, trees, the walkways, stones, and flowers, all are wrapped in a blanket, a blanket of snow.  Sleeping, sleeping, nestled into bed.  Sleeping, sleeping in like a Saturday morning.

Daddy gives a little nudge and a kiss on the cheek, “Wake up Mommy, Mother Nature, time to wake.”

She is no morning person.  She grabs the snowy blanket and rolls over.

After a little more time, Daddy nudges again, “The children are getting antsy.  Wake up dear.”

She turns and yawns, the sun rises in the sky.

The blanket is thrown back, melting, melting snow.

Arms lifted high, stretch, stretched high.  Rising, rising plants that have been hidden.

Fingers spread in a last final stretch.  Pop, buds pop and shake and jingle.

Step, step out of bed.  The temperature rises.

Final stand.  Animals invited, tweet, run, and play.

Mommy Nature is awake.  All the human children dance and sing, it is finally, finally spring!