Monday, April 25, 2011

EASTER

What a weekend.  Our lives have been so filled--every minute a dozen "have-tos" need our attention.  But this weekend, we planned for nothing.  A few "need tos", but mostly--"want-tos" and "impromptus".

Our daughter, Racheal, turned 15 this week and also went to Disney in Florida with the high school marching band. She returned on Friday afternoon (during the CRAZY rain!) and Josh took Saturday off.  Because of the crazy rain our soccer game on Friday was cancelled!  So we got to be lazy all weekend long. 

We enjoyed Easter together as a family.  This may sound funny--but this is one of the few Easters we have enjoyed as a family.  For many years we were very actively involved in Sunday morning church.  Sunday morning church can be an AWESOME thing.  It can also become work if you are not very very careful. Unfortunately I don't think my husband & I were very careful and it turned into a lot of work in a lot of ways.  We loved the work, don't get me wrong.  We really did enjoy every moment of serving and helping and giving to the people God put in front of us.  The problem was, we stopped taking time to spend WITH God.  We would be so focused on getting the service ready--or serving in the kid's ministry or fixing something that we would lose track of moments just to spend listening to the Spirit. 

This year, it was just our family.  Just the five of us.  In our dining room.  Singing songs from youtube.  Reading the Easter story.  Remembering what Jesus has done and what that means.  Josh shared how God showed him that Easter ushered in the Holy Spirit--without Easter we wouldn't have God with us always. 

Then we of course had the annual Easter Egg Hunt (albeit with two reluctant teens and one very excited 12 year old).  And then we all pitched in and made supper--burgers on the grill, deviled eggs, strawberries, french fries (yum!).  Enjoyed a couple of movies.  A very nice, relaxing "non-have to" day.

He has risen!  He is Alive!  The Spirit now lives in us.  Does your life reflect that?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

DATE NIGHT

Going out with my hubby this afternoon for some much needed bonding time.  Our life seems to get stuck in fast forward way too often and I need days like this just to slow down and reconnect with the man I love.  I love my kids and I love being their mom and shuttling them to and from everything--but I need to remember I'm a woman too.  My "mom" hat won't be forever (at least not in the capacity that it is right now) and I need to remember who I am when I'm not "mom"!! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

MOTHERHOOD

I'm a mom times 3.  Tomorrow will mark the day that I began learning one of the hardest lessons of being a mom---letting go.  Racheal turns 15 tomorrow.  15 years ago tomorrow, I learned that being a mom involves a lot of pain.  It is very scary.  And 90% of the time you don't know what you're doing (the other 10% --you think you know what you're doing, but you realize later you were wrong). 

Tomorrow marks the anniversary of me learning how to let go.  I'm a slow learner.  I still haven't learned how to let go.  "Don't forget your jacket, it will be cool today."  "Did you remember your homework?"  "Put on sunscreen."  "Make good choices."  I look at my beautiful daughter and my handsome sons and my heart swells and my chest constricts.  My eyes get leaky and my nose burns.  I love them so much.  I can't even put into words how much I love them.  And I am terrified for them, almost always.  The world is so big, so mean, so hard, and I want to just wrap them in my arms and keep them from all the hurt I know they are gonna feel.

But I can't.  Because being a mom means equipping them to deal with all that pain, all that evil.  I cannot shelter them, I can't keep them from all the bad.  Oh of course I could for awhile.  But one day they will leave the safety of my home, of my eyes, of my arms and if I don't do my job well--they won't be able to cope.

So I hold on to Jesus and pray that my love for Him and my dependence on Him shines through.  Because my Mama taught me about Jesus and that He is good, that He is loving, and while we will never understand Him fully--He can be trusted.  I'm teaching my children the same--Hold on to Jesus, because this world will chew you up and spit you out and He's the only stable thing there is to hold on to.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY

I have this thought almost every single time I go to a funeral or a visitation.  I stand in line, trying to blink back tears.  I get close to the "loved ones" waiting beside the deceased and I lose it.  EVERY TIME.  I cry.  It doesn't matter whether I know the deceased, or the loved ones.. Heck, I could totally not know ANYONE in the room, and I'd still cry.  My nose burns, my eyes leak and I can't say a word over the lump in my throat.  I hold the loved ones close and say "I'm praying for you", I back away with my head down and cry some more as I scurry to the car.

There has to be a better way.  Granted, I am a non-traditionalist.  I like change.  And I like to buck the system.  I question why we do everything, and why we do it the way we do.  <which probably has a huge contribution to why we homeschool and why we lead a home church> 

SO?  Is there a better way for a visitation or a funeral? I totally get that some people need closure by seeing the deceased body.  And I get that people want to "pay their respects" and let the loved ones know they care.  But isn't there another way?

Ok, I'll be honest.  I think one of the biggest reasons why I cry so hard is because I know there will be a day when I'M going to be the "loved one" standing next to the deceased.  While, I'm in no hurry to be the person in the box--that really doesn't terrify me too much (at this point anyway).  What I can't stand, is the thought of being the person standing next to the box, hurting so bad that the person I love is in the box and is no longer here with me.  And knowing that no amount of people saying "I'm sorry for your loss" is going to make a dent in the pain that I feel inside. 

Hours.  Loved ones stand there for HOURS.  Shaking hands, giving hugs, watching people cry, crying themselves, trying not to say something stupid, looking for something helpful to say.  And the people who come?  Stand in line for a long time (sometimes hours!), try not to cry, make small talk with people in line about inconsequential things, try not to completely lose it in front of the "loved ones", try the whole time to think of something adequate to say, feel like a failure when they don't come up with anything, glance at the person in the box, shed more tears, and make their way to the car.

Is this really helpful to either set of people? Maybe it is to some, and if it is to you..then I understand.  You're exactly why I go to visitations and funerals.  But for me--it's not helpful.  It causes a knot in my stomach and makes me sweaty and anxious. 

And always this same thought---isn't there a better way?  It's become my quest now.  I'm trying to come up with a better way. 

For instance today I attended the visitation of my friend, Gordon Cade.  Great guy.  LOVED soccer (that is an understatement--he was buried in a soccer uniform and a Manchester United stocking cap).  Wouldn't it have been more fitting to rent a huge jumbo-tron and watch a Manchester United game? Drink some beers, and laugh?  I think Gordon would have loved that... And instead of having all the kids from the soccer team come stand in line--what if we would have gathered them all together at the soccer field and had a game in Gordon's honor?  I think Gordon would have loved that too.  Not that Gordon or his family didn't (doesn't) appreciate all of us coming and hugging them and paying our respects.  Or even that the Cade family should have done things differently.

I just don't think I can stand there for several hours while people come to pay their respects to the person I love who is in the box.  I don't think I can do it.  So I gotta come up with another idea.  I will still have a funeral service...but I don't think I can do the visitation.  I just can't.  I think I would have a nervous breakdown and say some really dumb things and hurt a lot of people.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Friday Five

1.  What’s in need of a good cleaning?
It might be easier to answer what doesn't...ha ha

2.  What’s your idea of good, clean fun?
board games & snacks with my friends and/or family


3.  How clean is your driving record?
I got one ticket shortly after turning 16 for rolling through a stop sign.  Other than that--nothing!  (Lots of warnings for speeding though! :( )

4.  When did you last make a clean escape?
Hmmm.....I probably don't want to share so that I can do it again :)


5.  What are your feelings about dirty language?
For myself? :  Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." 


But potty-mouthed people don't bother me too much.  I kind of feel like if you have to use the "f" word (or other inappropriate words) every other word, it is a mark of having nothing important to say.  It's kind of annoying.  But if you stub your toe or something really bad happens, I can understand why you  might choose a few choice words to say...