Day 9

Snowballs & Tapestries

Do you know the saying that we can only see our lives like the underside of a tapestry, but GOD sees it from the top? That HE sees the beauty and the intricateness, but we see the snarls and knots? Well, from my perspective of very poor spiritual vision right now, I'd say my tapestry probably has more thread knotted on the underside than there is on top making anything pretty.

If life were like snow, I don't know if mine would be like a snow ball being packed harder and tighter, or if it's falling apart.  My health reaches its tentacles into every area of my life. I'm not the same person I was. Am I a more godly person? I don't think so. I wish it were so. Can GOD bring something out of it to glorify HIMSELF? Yes. But could YOU hurry up, GOD??? :o)

With everything around the house being broken or ready to be broken (insert Little Man's daily deeds here), with two kids getting ready to graduate after this year, not to mention all that I need to do to prepare for that, seeing if we can afford another car for when B shows her readiness and maturity, trying to decide what to do about Sammy (enter a three digit number here basically any time you go to the vet), paying bills and remembering to pay them, doing daily lessons amidst all the "life" that comes with three teens and a seven year old bundle of testosterone, knowing and hearing about my last grandparent beginning to decline more and being too far away to help any day of the week but wanting so badly to be there, missing some dear friends that I never get to see anymore, hurting all the time, trying to figure out how to teach at co-op well, not getting enough time with my steady, patient hubby, not sleeping well and trying to get everybody where they need to be, I'm not seeing a lot of beauty. Some days I feel like a snow ball that's been slammed onto a brick wall and is doing a fast 90* drop; other days I feel like I'm being crumbled between somebody's mittened fingers - and wool mittens at that. Where's Calgon nowadays anyway?

But GOD still has me here. HE got me through another day. I made it through Wal-Mart while talking to the vet without bawling. I've had the late evening to myself as the kids took a late trip to the grandparents so they can go to a Renaissance Faire tomorrow with their daddy. They made it safely there and were actually going to bed early. Now that's a miracle! :o) My computer hasn't died yet. I got to watch three documentaries that I wanted to watch. I have food to eat. I have an animal on each side of the room snoring away. HE is in the little things, yes indeed.


Day 8

"Anything I have, I don’t deserve.
Everything I have isn’t a given — it’s given.
Nothing is a given — everything’s a gift...

Who am I to complain in losses when what
I lost wasn’t mine to begin with?"

from Ann Voskamp at www.aholyexperience.com

In the rest of her post, Ann speaks of not having peace and quiet in her home. That is one thing I yearn for. Not total quiet, but rather, the absence of conflict, of the not-so-nice-words spoken, of the non-CHRISTlike tones that reverberate against these walls. But who am I to think I deserve "peace and quiet"? I know that HE wants our home to be loving, yes, but why do I think it's mine to have?



Day 7

Can you find GOD in a movie? I've been trying to watch a movie about Rich Mullins. I have some of his music; I've seen him in concert one time way back when I was in college. I don't know how accurate the film is, but when Rich hears Brennan Manning on a tape, he is so moved that he has to stop on the side of the road. If the film is accurate, he was a lonely man. He was a little boy longing for his father's love, and for whatever reason, his earthly dad would never give it to him.

I didn't grow up in that same environment, but I have always felt lonely. Different. Odd. Not fitting. Not the "join the crowd" kind of fitting in, but meshing with those around me - even in my own family. These last years have worn me down. Does GOD love me just as I am? I know I don't have to be perfect and accomplish this or that, but does GOD really love me just as I am with my stumbling over words and not figuring out what to say until it's too late? Does HE love me in my hermit-like state? How does HE delight in me when I see the world so differently? When what I mean as simply observation or opinion is taken as criticism or complaining?

This will take some time.


Day 6 But Should Be 10!

Oh my, how the days slip by! Between taking my Sammy dog to the vet, finding somewhere to wash clothes, running people to and fro, visiting family, and still being bone tired, it just got away from me. Wednesday was my birthday. It was a crazy day. But what GOD did for me that day made it a good one.

First off, Little Man finished up his sessions (IM Therapy). Wow. Amazing progress!

Secondly, my kids and hubby bought me the little things I like. They tend to buy me all different kinds of presents, but for me, it's the little ones that mean the most to me. A six-pack of Pepsi to help clear my throat after I eat (newest weird symptom). Hershey's with Almonds. Yummm. Almond Joys. It was special to me because they bought what I wanted. That may sound selfish, and I guess it is, but for them to go with what I want versus what they want to give me says to me that they know me, that they know it's the simple things that matter to me, that they know who I am. It's likely not coming out right...

My Little Mama who isn't so little anymore also made me breakfast in bed AND lunch! Roast that she got up at 5 am to make! Now, if you know anything about this child, you will know she's not a morning person!

Dear Hubby came home for lunch with a giant ice cream cupcake. It was good to see him in the middle of the day. Not the usual anymore. 

GOD is good because HE is big. But this GOD who is so big knows the tiniest little things about us.


Day 5

Oops! Yesterday got by me. My brain fog is thickening...

from Ann Voskamp @ www.aholyexperience.com

Living with "brain fog" is an aggravating, sometimes embarrassing condition. You can say something to me, and not two seconds later I've forgotten it. My memory used to be so keen... (sigh)

What is causing it? Is it a side effect of meds? Is it sleep deprivation? Is it fatigue? Is it this mysterious "condition" I have that no one knows what it is? I'm so tired of being tired. My life is confusing. I am constantly forgetting things. It's "out of sight, out of mind" for me. If I don't write it down and remember to look at the list, it's a goner. Chores? Oh, yeah...I haven't vacuumed in two or more weeks...hmm...

Yet GOD's grace covers me. I haven't forgotten my children. I remember to take care of the pets. LORD, be my reminder. Remind me to get in YOUR Word and bring it back to my mind when I need it. Remind of the things I really need to do today. Help me to focus on YOU and on the task at hand. Give my family understanding even though they've not experienced it. Give them compassionate hearts and willing hearts to serve. I would much rather be the one serving, but it's so lonely and isolating not to be understood, to be misunderstood. Take me by the hand and lead me through each day. Give me direction. Deliver me at the right time. Bring my lens into focus. Make it like YOURS.


Day 4

I watched a show tonight on Netflix about 9/11. To see what went on "inside" the different locations they filmed opened the horrific atrocity in a whole new way to me. I hadn't thought about the employees who worked at the monitoring station - whatever place you call where they watch all the flights and their locations on a computer - their utter shock at seeing it happen on the screen right before their eyes as they are investigating the possible hijacking.

I hadn't thought about the man who listened to the tape recording trying to hear whether the voice said plane or planes. I've mostly focused on the Towers and certain individuals highlighted in the news. But to "see" it happening as if I'm there as well...it just took me aback! To feel the horror they felt on Flight 95, to see their courage and ingenuity in the time of crisis. To hear people calling their loved ones and saying how much they love them and goodbye. Ugh! It wrenches my heart even thinking of it now.

I wonder how many people involved in all the locations have their name written in the Book of Life. I still cannot fathom what was going on in the terrorists' minds. I don't understand their belief system - how does killing oneself while killing others please their god? I wonder how the families left behind are faring today. Did they draw any closer to GOD or did it send them further away?

The film made me realize how many different angles I hadn't even thought about before. Even though I try to research, I end up realizing just how much I don't know. And if that is true, how beyond my scope is GOD in all HIS greatness???!!! I continue my prayer for GOD to give me eyes to see.

When I saw this picture, it made me think as if time could stop for a moment just before the plane hit. All those people in the buildings going about their day perhaps not yet knowing what had just happened next door. I think of the people on the plane knowing this was their final moment, their last breath, their last vision of life on this earth, their last thought...how their families' lives would be forever changed just a split second later. If we really understood what lies ahead in time, would we live our lives any differently? Would we make sure to tell our loved ones that we care? Would we live as if each moment were our last? One day it will be. GOD, bore that into my soul! I need to stop wasting time and somehow get the Truth out there. How sidetracked I get, how easily I forget and time keeps slipping closer and closer to your rearrival. LORD, what can I do for those around me whose final moment is coming? What can I do for those around me before my last moment comes? What can I do?


Day 3

Sometimes GOD shows me HIS mercy by what I DON'T have:

My house may be in disrepair, but I don't have mass destruction going on around me.

I may not be in good health, but I am not dying painfully, slowly, without avenues of help to pursue.

The bills keep coming, things keep breaking (the washing machine tub actually detached itself today!), but I do not carry the weight of debt on my shoulders.

I don't have children who are in the entangling web of drugs, alcohol, prostitution or sex trafficking 
(I read just a bit ago that 83% or so of those children trapped in this atrocity are FROM the US).

I don't have an abusive husband nor was I brought up in an abusive household.

I have not been violated physically.

All I have to do is look or listen to the news to see what GOD has spared me from. HE does not owe me anything. I do not deserve not to have it happen to me. I have always told my children when they are griping about how unfair things are to compare themselves to those "worse off" than they "are". It's simply not true that "everyone else has it/gets to do it...". The homeless man on the street with the cardboard sign looking for food or work doesn't have it. Nor do the children in the homeless shelters. How about much of the population of the world? Do the orphans in China have it? Does the destitute person dying of AIDS in Africa have it? We're too busy looking around us to look down to see the heights in which HE has brought us. 

Thank YOU, GOD, for the trials I face. Thank YOU for sparing me the ones I do not endure.


Day 2

The LORD is with us even in the small-but-really-add-up-quickly things of life. I believe our appliances and other house fixtures had a secret conference at some point and planned an all-out attack on us. On the front lines at the moment are the dishwasher, clothes washer and refrigerator. While HE may be calling us to support our vet heavily at the moment, HE is aiding us in the appliance war. Yesterday, well Wednesday now, the greatest tech I've ever encountered came to our house to look at the dishwasher. He saw right away what the problem was, located a new part, and made plans to come back in the afternoon to install it - all the while giving me tip after tip on where to find good referrals, good deals on warranties and the like. His personality was super-friendly and excitable, and you could tell he was looking out for your best interest instead of padding his pocket.

Today another tech came out to check out the malevolent clothes washer. We have been unable to locate our warranties folder as of yet, so he "observed" the "potential problem areas" and left without charging us a service charge until we can locate the paperwork.

There are much more important things in life than dishwashers and carpet and fridges, yet the LORD knows and cares about the little things in our life. Being the administrative one in the family, I've been watching the expenses rising and rising while the income is staying the same. I know even greater ones are coming up as well. I can't say I'm terribly overwhelmed by it (by HIS grace), but I do have moments of anxiety when the kids are wanting to go here and there and eat out and find their satisfaction in activities that cost money. That and when I have to pay the two biggest bills close together every month. Oh, and when we have to go to the dentist...


Day 1

GOD knows how much I care about animals. We found these guys TOGETHER in the SAME room at the SPCA. They were unrelated. Frodo was a "surrendered" little man, and Psycho Sam was a stray. We brought them home with us when they were 8 and 6 respectively. Frodo made it to 17 before his little man body gave out from a severe heart murmur and kidney failure. He made it years beyond what the vet thought he would.

We took my man Sam in Monday expecting to come home empty-handed as he had been battling a raging infection and/or severe kidney failure. I stayed home the entire weekend to make the most of the time. But how can you say it's his time when he's trying to get out the door and off the exam table while at the vets? He's nudging my hand and licking me. I was elated to have to ask for all the stuff I'd packed up to give away and already given them! I know he won't be here for many more years. It could be a month. It could be a year.

He's not the same psycho dog he once was. He is still weak. Sometimes he eats; sometimes not. I am giving him sub-q fluids as well as a special diet food and meat to strengthen him back up. We've been supporting the vet heavily these last few days.

Most of our major appliances are on the fritz or have been recently replaced. The carpet needs to be replaced, walls painted, dents patched, electrical work done, well water tested... Outside classes, unexepected but wonderful therapy results...forgetting to pay increasing bills...Oh, how I want to run and hide from all these responsibilities, how I wish I had my "perfect" farmhouse, but...

I have my Sammy for a little while longer. That is the gift GOD gave me this week that warms my heart the most. To hear him snore, to hear him bark at our cat, Snooki, to have to change his diapers once again. The little irritations are really blessings...reminders that life is swift and there are unexpected curves in the road - some sharp and fast. My heart was breaking to know that I was losing my last boy over the weekend. Tears were flowing, heart was ripping as I packed up all the "stuff" we'd accumulated for them.

But GOD gave me a little more time with my Psycho Sam this week.


Multitude Monday

121. Delicate white flakes that cover the deadness of winter with a fresh white carpet
122. Snowball fights, humongous snowmen, sledding down driveways

123. Hearing Little Man read his own books for the first time
124. Fresh food
125. Stores to go to instead of dumps to sort through (see www.aholyexperiene.com)


Multitude Monday

115. watching my 16 yo Pomeranian be a tough little guy - fighting a severe heart murmur and kidney
        failure; even though I see the signs of decline, he's still here

Frodo the Fighter
116. seeing my older girls catching on to classes online
117. watching them handle lessons, life and jobs

118. seeing my "baby girl" become an official teenager but glad to see the last bit of "childlikeness"
        still in her

119. my hubby working hard even while sick; staying faithful even though the pressure is tight and
        demands are high but prospects harder to come by

120. watching my Little Man get bigger and bigger - in learning, in stature and in play

Little Man