The Always Broken Heart

Age creased the hands of the surgeon.  A large build, tall, athletic, a picture of health.  Without even the knowledge of his resume, his deep voice accompanied with a warm smile, he demanded the upmost of attention.  But in this moment, weakness consumed him.

His knees, clothed in scrubs, bent on the surgical floor of the hospital.  The bright lights produced a spotlight, the beep of the monitors was the soundtrack.  His healthy body held all the weakness of the world in his hands.  

Place your two fists together and you see the size of your heart.  Held in his large hands were two small fists placed together.  In his hands he held a red bleeding muscle.  In his hands he held a heart, the human heart of a four year old little girl.  

Little heart, beat.  Little heart, live.  Grow and smile and meet new people.  Sound out words, graduate from kindergarten, and draw a flower for your Momma.  Little heart, hold hands with your BFF, kiss your aunt when she comes to visit.  Little heart, open Christmas presents, play with neighbors, and learn to ride a bike.  Little heart, hug your Daddy’s neck and throw a tennis ball to your puppy.  Little heart, beat, please beat.

No one wants to speak of the gone wrong.

“Be positive.  Focus on the good.”  Hide in humor, watch TV, focus on number one, purchase therapy and live.  COEXIST.

My favorite novel of all time is Les Miserables.  I hate the setting of the dirty streets during the French Revolution, therefore setting the perfect scene for “The Miserable.”  Oh Fantine!  Oh miserable Fantine, brokenhearted, abandoned by your love, never able to mother your child, raped, and dying in starving agony.  What do positive thoughts have to offer to Fantine.  Fantine is real!  She is the modern day Syrian refugee running for her life, she is the Father held captive awaiting his execution in the hands of ISIS, Fantine is the broken hearted wife uncovering her husband’s Ashley Madison account, Fantine is the child leaving his overdosed mother behind in the dirty government housing as he walks on the bus to face the daily cruelty of his peers, Fantine surrounds us!  Oh, I have been Fantine!

Oh cruel world!  What is our weapon to face you?  How do we survive our dreams that can not be and the storms we can not weather?  Life has killed the dream.

Oh Allah, where is your extended Jean Valjean hand?  Your scales condemn the downtrodden.  Hollywood, have your riches given you peace that is beyond understanding?  Tell me atheist, what is your hope for the bleeding heart?  Is your own heart so wise that you have become your own god?  Are you the answer to the broken heart?  Or maybe your heart is callused and you just don’t care at all.

My Jesus stepped down from perfection and walked the streets of the rejected, he touched the sick, and he accepted the outcast.  He is the only God that steps down from his power and serves the hurting.  He is the only God that pursues me!  He is the only God that does not ask me to earn my salvation, he offers me a world beyond this hurt and the price is paid.

A man, unscrubbed and unapproved, entered the room.  He took the unbeating heart from the hands of this world and it began to beat.  There was nothing worldly wisdom could do, in all our riches and all our knowledge, the heart was dead.  Jesus took the heart of the child and she was alive.  But even more than her, MY heart was unbroken.  

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Nothing You Can Do

I write.  I blog, I publish, I read, I journal, I write.  It is me.  Naturally, I write to my daughter.  On May 15, 2007, I began a journal, written to my girl.  Today, I cracked open those pages and read:

The good man brings good out of the good stored in his heart.  – Luke 6:45

My sweet Madison, above all, I pray that you will know God.  I pray that He will claim your heart and that you will passionately love and serve Him.  I pray that you will bring God glory and that you will enjoy Him.  I pray that Christ will store up good in your heart and that it will overflow to all those around you.  I want to use this journal to keep a record of my prayers and my memories of you.  I pray that you will realize how much Christ loves you and how much I love you!  ….I LOVE YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE MINE!  AND I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU!  There is NOTHING you can do to keep me from loving you!  I never want you to sin, but you will.  And even if it hurts me, I will always love you!  I always want you to talk to me.  There is NOTHING you can’t tell me.  I LOVE YOU!

As I read these pages and as I read these words, the emotions and memories of love could not be contained.  As I wrote these words, I barely knew my Madison!  I did not know that her little head fuzz would grow to be beautiful blonde hair.  I did not know that she would spend her piggy bank money on Labor Day weekend, as an eight year old, and proudly purchase a snail for her aquatic collection.  I did not know that on a hike she would beg her Daddy to pick up a snake and “swing it above his head.”  I did not know that she would adore and strive to be like her older cousin Conner.  I did not know the creature of habit that I held in my arms that would struggle without knowing the day’s schedule.  How could I know she would crave mac and cheese or that she would fill her journal with drawings of animals?  I basically knew one thing about that little baby, SHE WAS MINE!  And I adored her!  I loved, and still love her so much that it is even hard for this writer to put it into words.

But something happened from the time she was an infant to the time my daughter grew to be a third grader hopping out of my car and running off to her classroom:  I got to know her a little more!  And something happens when you get to know someone a little more.

It would be the epic fail of a mother if I did not correct my daughter as she grew and learned and tested the limits.  We have all been around the little brats that complain and whine and get their little ways absolutely all the time.  They have never heard that little word that will eventually rock their world:  “no.”  These are the cute little babies that grow up to be useless to our society because, as Momma did, they think everyone is out to serve them.

Therefore, when I look at my journal of my declaration of love to my daughter and then when I have a morning when I had to discipline her for being sassy, has my love altered?  Have things changed since I have seen her quarrel with her friends?  Is it different now that she had an all out tantrum in the middle of Pet Smart because I would not allow her to adopt ANOTHER dog?  Have things changed now that I know the frustrations and the sacrifices of being a mother?  YES!

Absolutely things have changed since the day I wrote that journal page to my almost three month old little baby girl!  I LOVE HER MORE!  Love is an action.  Love is when I sacrifice my career to give my daughter what I think is best.  Love is when I do not get the house I want so that we can afford the school that is the best option for her.  Love is when I do not have what I want so that I can give her swim team and school supplies and allergy medicine and all the million other things that kids require.  Every loving parent has a particular sacrifice that fits completely to the specific needs and desires of our particular children.  Love is when I am patient while she is figuring out who she is.  Love is when I react to what is best for her, not best for my reputation.  And perhaps the greatest of all, love is forgiving.  Love is when she messes up, when she really is rude and selfish, and I forgive and I continue to love, loving more and bigger because my love has done something and grown over an obstacle it had never been over before.  Love is working out who she is, what she does, and who she is to become.  And I can’t wait to see who grown up Madison is!

Why oh why God, why do you love me like you do?!  BECAUSE I AM HIS!  His love has done the ultimate!  FOR ME, he hung on the cross, was separated from the perfect relationship that he had known for all of eternity, and suffered an excruciating death because there was an obstacle to overcome to be with me and he did it.  I rejected him, I chose my own way, I was rude and selfish and I threw an outright tantrum because I did not get what I wanted.  And he forgave me.  And then he loved me still!  And I see that when I came to him as a little bitty baby Christian and he held me in his arms and he loved me, he proclaimed, “I have a plan for you.  It is going to hurt sometimes.  You are going to mess up.  But we are going to work out this salvation thing together.”  GRACE!  Oh, the grace of Jesus!

And I pick up my journal that he wrote to me and I love it and I soak up those words of the Bible, but he gave me even more than those holy words.  I have a daily relationship, living with a God that doesn’t just write about his love for me, I am living in that love each and every day.  And one day I will be completed and he will present me, completely holy, righteous, and redeemed and I will be forever who I am made to be.  And I can’t wait to see who grown up Caroline is!

Summer Promises

The gray has turned green and yellow.  The sun is so hot, I pulled out the sprinkler to water my newly planted flowers. Madison put on her bathing suit and ran over the grass with the water falling down on her. I love summer nature!

Being outside makes our bellies hungry and we slice open a fresh watermelon. Fire up the grill, pop open a drink, and slice up some summer veggies. My girl and I will hold a contest to see who is the fastest at shucking corn and we will have to shoo away Tucker (our doggie) who would like to participate and snatch an ear of corn. I love summer food!

Two more days of school!  Two more days of waking up at 6:15.  I will set the alarm for an hour later, or maybe a little more. I will roll out of bed and grab a throw and a fresh cup of coffee and sit and write. My sleepyhead will join me just a little later and we will sit and cuddle. When we chat a bit and begin to wake up and plan our day, we will make some pancakes. I will add bananas to mine.  She will take her’s plain.  I love summer mornings!

Pretty soon I will write about late nights watching fireworks, summer weddings and my crazy dance moves, the perfection of a fire pit and a backyard full of cousins, and Madison swimming with dolphins!  The dates are set, family awaits our travel, it’s going to be a celebration to write about!  I love summer promises!

He Means It

“Please just step away! He means it!” It was my plea for his own safety.

Let me explain. Years ago, we had this dog that we still talk about. Brock. Brock was an 85lb boxer that was nothing but muscle and strength. He was a card carrying boxer dog, but he was the biggest and meanest boxer I’ve ever seen. He had problems. I’m serious. Real problems. From the day we got him, he was family. We loved Brock. And he was perfect. The most loving, caring, sweet, obedient, behaved dog ever …TO US. To everyone else, he thought you were there to kill his family, and he was going to defend his pack. Then something happened, his pack grew. We had Madison. And Brock got WORSE. I’ve never seen anything like it. Brock adored that little girl. From an infant, we made him keep his distance. He would stand guard and never ever take his eyes off her. And then she grew and discovered “Bock.” Madison loved her Bock. He would let her do anything…and she did. We have the cutest pictures of her resting on him drinking her sippy cup, playing vet and checking his heartbeat, and bossing that huge dog around… And he obeyed. But when we added Madison to our pack, he grew ever more protective. I really did worry that he would hurt someone. He especially hated men. And on this day, I was standing in our front yard with Brock on a leash as our neighbor was walking into our yard. It was all I could do to hold Brock back. The neighbor tried to look unworried, “It’s ok. I’m a dog person.”

“He doesn’t care. He will hurt you. Please leave.”

I am married to Brock. Well, of course I’m not…but my husband and he share one characteristic: DO NOT MESS WITH HIS GIRLS! …and he is not bluffing.

James is the kindest, most easy going man …until it comes to his girls. I have a grown nephew that told me in all seriousness, “Whenever I see James and Madison interact, I pray for those poor boys in the future that fall in love with her!” Yes…He will put the fear of God in many a young man!

It began the day she was born, after a couple of hours of adoring our new addition, the nurse came to take Madison to give her a bath. James followed. “Sir, You can’t come back here.”

“That’s my baby. Yes I can.” And he did.

I have written about my condition of Addison’s Disease. It is a condition that goes from bad to worse in crisis situations but as I lay limp on the ER bed, I never worry at all because I have James at my side, as understanding of the rare condition as the specialist and making sure I am properly attended to. His firm hand has literally saved my life in several cases that could be labeled medical negligence.

James used to embarrass the hell out of me. He is a man that knows his business and then follows through. I don’t think he has ever caved into peer pressure in his entire life.

But I know one thing, the world needs more of him! Men that stand strong for what they believe in. Men that protect their families. I have seen the stripping down of the masculinity of men in our culture and I am so proud to say that I’ve won the heart of one of the few that’s left. So, when he says he is going to protect his family, he means it. And when I say I love my man, this woman can mean it as well.

 

I AM PUBLISHED!  Please click on the link below for more information and to purchase

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_fb_0_15?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=caroline+hendry&sprefix=caroline+hendry%2Cnull%2C256

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Merry Christmas Bop De Bop

The plans are made, there is no stopping it now.  Christmas has arrived, like the Polar Express, it is speeding into town.

There will be a Christmas performance tomorrow night.  Keep your eyes on the cute little blonde.  She’s been practicing her lines and counting down the days.

Presents are already wrapped and under the tree.  There is a secret message to mark the favorite present for our girl.  Clues are written on the tags that don’t give anything away.  Shake shake anticipate.

My brother is coming to town.  He is bringing his girl.  Just a little part of my family makes a crowd of 16 that will be pouring into our house and out voicing the Christmas music and fighting for a space in front of the fire.  The meal is planned and a Christmas craft will make for keepsakes of a fun Christmas night.

Here in the south, it is a special occasion to have a temporary ice rink.  We have already visited once.  My girl is a natural.  We will be back this weekend and then back some more.  We’re going to break the bank, but as many times as we go, it still won’t be enough.

Tucker cooperates with his Christmas sweater.  He has decided it is warm and comfy.  He knows the presents under the tree that are his.  He waddles (yes, he is a dog that waddles) over before bedtime to give it a last sniff.  Visions of doggie treats dance in his head.

It’s Jesus’s birthday!  The biggest party of the year.  We sing, we give, we party, we skate, we dream.  Gather round and join in the merriment of the Christmas bop.  Merry Merry Christmas to you and your’s.