|Our family of five--now we have TWO sons!|
The past nine months have been a spiritual and emotional whirlwind.
I think, as the wind dies down to a gentle breeze, that I have survived! While we all live much of our lives anticipating, waiting, even yearning for those unbelievable, mountain top experiences, I'm beginning to think that they just might be overrated.
Everyone is looking for their "15 seconds of fame" but what on earth do you plan to do with the other 70+/- years? The years you learn who you are, the friends you can depend on and how amazingly loving, tender and faithful God is -- in spite of our humanness.
|Baby Boy's HS Graduation|
About two weeks later was the annual Music/Mission trip I do with my Youth Choir, which meant being gone for a week. Out of state. Working with Youth can be wonderful and terrifying at the same time. A Youth Choir is like herding cats. Cats who happen to sing if it's a good day. By the wonderful grace of God, I am dumbfounded that this was the best and easiest and sweetest group I've had in 25 years of ministry. It certainly wasn't because I devoted myself to prayful planning and focus on their trip!
But the story doesn't stop here.... 10 days later we were so blessed to travel to Copenhagen, Denmark where we enjoyed an absolutely incredible vacation and cruise on the Baltic Sea with stops in Germany, Estonia, Russia, Sweden and Finland. Cooler temps, beautiful weather---just what a doctor would order for one stressed out, nail-biting, OCD, middle aged fat girl! Maybe a diet, but....that in good time.
There's more. A week following our return, my handsome "hunka hunka burning love" had major surgery: neck fusion of 4 cervical vertabrae. That's probably not the right terminology or even correct spelling but for a musician who only counts to four, that's a pretty good discription. If you've never met Don, he has met life head on as much as possible despite a birth injury that has challenged him for nearly six decades. The disease (Cerebral Palsy) is not degenerative but the after affects are. Severe scoliosis. Arthritic back, neck, hips. One leg shorter than the other. You get the idea. This is his 5th surgery in 5 years, not counting numerous out-patient procedures. Again, God is faithful.
|After 2 weeks we made ourselves visit baby boy.|
He tolerated the hugs and free food.
Here's the deal. I do not write to seek your sympathy. It is the very last thing I want. Raised a strong, stiff-upper lipped scotch-german from the mid-west, I come from strong stock. Save your sympathy for someone else. That and a couple dollars will get you a decent cup of coffee. What I do want to say is that I've learned to....
- Set priorities
- Be good to yourself and set aside time for you and above all time to be with God
- It's okay to say "no" to people. The world will not fall apart. Sometimes you have to say "no" to things that sound good so that you can say "yes" to the things that mean the world to you and those you love most.
- Rest and sleep are necessary. Even Jesus took time away to rest and pray. If you don't pay attention to this, YOU will fall apart.
- When God nudges you to give a smile, a hug, have a cup of coffee or to say a prayer, listen. Even if it's not on your list of things to do or planned for in your busy straight-jacket schedule. People and relationships are more important!
- Be present. Put down your phone and agenda so that you can give the best and most important gift to those you love: yourself. When you look back, it's people you remember and cherish.
|Ginny, Matt and Christian |
at the wedding
I could list more.
But I can still hear my mother and some of her priceless pronouncements. Mama, above all, I don't want to be a "wet blanket"....one of her terms for people who enjoyed whining or talking about themselves.
She was one of those people who lived in the moment.
One of THOSE people who drove with a heavy foot on the accelerator but one foot ready on the brake because wherever you went, you went at full speed.
Today, Mama, five years after your passing, I choose to celebrate what is good and wonderful. I will try to be positive.
I will stand up straight with my shoulders back. I will eat more green vegetables. I will try not to tell everything I know. I will be thankful.
And.... I will eat chocolate at more than once today and remember your laughter and love once again.