Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lessons in Faith

I am on a roller coaster.

There are days when I feel so out of control that I long to get off.

There are days when I am so full of joy I raise my hands in the air and scream with delight.

I am a mom.
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a mom.
I never knew it could be so wonderful and so hard all at the same time.
I have two boys.
They are full of energy.
They are loud.
They are messy and they have lots of laundry.
They are AMAZING!
I was sure that I would teach them everything they needed to know to survive on this planet. I am learning everyday that they are teaching me about my Father and how he loves me.

My younger son Cameron is 8. He has recently been diagnosed with a Tic Disorder. For a year I tried to find any other explanation for his persistent throat clearing and eye blinking. In my heart, I knew what it was. He is drop dead gorgeous, smart and witty, outrageously funny, full of energy and life, and has more friends than I could’ve dreamed. He also has vocal and facial tics that he can’t control, and more painfully, I can’t control them either.

It breaks my heart, so I pray and I plead with God to take away his tics, but he doesn’t. I have cried, a lot. I am ashamed to say it, but I have screamed and yelled at God, and shook my fist and stomped my feet and demanded that he help him. I am so ashamed that I have acted that way, but I know that God already knew it was in my heart and he loves me anyway. His Holy Spirit reminded me of a verse in Psalms 56:8 that says, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” The Creator of the Universe has my tears in a bottle! I have never felt more loved! He gently reminded me, “See I have you engraved on the palm of my hand and your walls are ever before me” (and he has Cameron engraved there too). He reminds me that he “knit Cameron in my womb” and that he even knows how many hairs are on his head, and let me tell you there are a lot. Just thinking about it caused me to look at Cameron’s hair to try and imagine how long it would take to count it and I’ve got to tell you, I just don’t care to know, but God does. God cares enough to know how many hairs are on Cameron’s head and mine, and he cares that I am hurting. He cares that I do not feel equipped to deal with this, and more importantly he cares about Cameron. My love for my son is just a fraction of the love God has for him. He created him and his word has reminded me in Matt. 7:11 “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him?” God is the ultimate Father. He knows all. He sees all. He is good. He loves my baby, HIS BABY! Whatever he has in store for him, it is good.

There are days that I struggle. There are days when I still ask why. I hate that about myself. I want my theology and my reality to line up with one another everyday, but they just don’t. On those days God’s words are still “hidden in my heart” and call to me to TRUST him.

I know that his words are true because I have tested them, so today I choose to trust my creator. Today I will enjoy the ride.

Please pray for Cameron whenever you think of us, and please pray for me and Kurt that we will be the parents that God designed us to be.

Friday, May 15, 2009

To Quote an Episode of Seinfeld

“There is no such thing as some grace. . . you either have grace or you don’t.”
Apparently I don’t. I desperately wish that I did.

Recently, we took the kids from church on a skating trip (and if I’m not mistaken, this was my idea). While on said trip, I was skating like Nancy Kerrigan on ice skates. . . and then Tonya Harding showed up. Oh wait, no actually I fell trying to come off the floor to get some pizza, because everyone knows you need pizza when you are in training. And when I fell, I managed to roll my ankle in such a way that I broke all three bones and dislocated it. And I knew the minute I did it that I wouldn’t get to run again for a long, long time. Ouch. I have been running for months on end now and I love it. I count down all day to the few minutes of the day that I can hit the pavement like Forrest Gump and just run. And run. And. Run. And like Nancy Kerrigan (inside my heart) I cried “Why”, “Why”, “Why??”

As if that wasn’t bad enough, then they had to cut off my favorite khaki pants. Then I had to use a bed pan. Then they wheeled me back to surgery and gave me the drugs and for a while I didn’t even care.

My friends have been incredible. They have brought more food than any one family could ever eat. They have brought me movies and magazines and watched bad T.V. with me. They have brought me sweet tea from Chik-fil-a and McDonalds. They have called me and texted me and covered all of my VBS planning duties at church. Two of my best friends have even devised a plan to get me up to my seat in the balcony at church like the friends lowering their friend through the roof to see Jesus.

God has used his people to really minister to me when I didn’t even know I needed it. See, I have a confession to make. I tend to get a little obsessed with things. I get it from my dad. We are very ALL or NOTHING people. I really struggle with this in my life because sometimes, whatever my current “thing” is, it can get in the way of the important things if I’m not real careful. Running has become one of those “things”. Because we are so busy, I will squeeze running in wherever I can, even if there is something I need to be doing instead, like I don’t know, my Bible Study maybe. This isn’t the first time in my life I have let something else get in the way of my time with God either. There has been scrapbooking, photography, friends, sewing, etc. Anyway, you get the picture. The point is whatever it is I am currently obsessed about, I do it A LOT.

That said, I don’t think God made me break my leg. I can assure you, he has already used it for my good. I have LOTS of free time for Bible Study and prayer. God has totally sent “his people” to be his hands and feet to me and my family during this time. Are there days where I want to cry from frustration that I can’t do all the things that I want to do? Yes! Are there days I want to throw large heavy objects at people out running in my neighborhood? You’d better believe it. But. . . I am trying to focus on the positives, and look to God for strength everyday. I pray that I learn everything he has to teach me through this ‘cause I have no intention lf re-learning this!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oh for time to stand still

Lately we have been on the go ALOT. For example, last week we had 5 baseball games and 3 practices. Friday night, we were at the field until 9:45 for Jackson's game. He made his pitching debut, and well, he was awesome! I am thinking the Yankees may want to call him up 'cause they need all the help they can get. Saturday morning, we were back at the field at 8:45 for Cameron's practice.
We went home long enough to go for a run and wash the car and were back for Jackson's practice. Then, we went home long enough to change clothes and went back for Cameron's game. There is a house for sale across the street from the ballpark and I am seriously trying to convince a couple of other families to go in with us and buy it for our summer home. (well not seriously) I figure we could use it for the sleepover house as well.

And I love it! I can't imagine it any other way. In fact, on a weekly basis I ask Kurt, what are we going to do when they leave for college? The other day on my way home from work, the song "You're gonna miss this" came on and I just realized again how much I love EVERY SINGLE DAY of this. The good, the bad, and the ugly. My heart just squeezes every time I realize how fast my babies are growing up!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Yet Another year I won't be getting Mother of the Year

A couple of years ago, there was a group meeting at my church called "Women with a Heart". The guest speaker for the inaugural meeting was set to be "The Young Mother of the Year." Please excuse me while I fall off the pew and laugh hysterically! I am sorry, but is there really someone out there who would accept that title?

This week I have had a long talk with God about all the plans that I had when I first started on this adventure. I had every intention of being patient, energetic, fun, efficient (especially efficient), pleasant, a good cook, an expert player of games, most spirited cheerleader, etc. You get the idea. Well, apparently I needed some humbling, because lately I haven't felt like any of those things. In fact I feel like my life has become a wild horse and I am no longer holding the reigns. In fact I feel like I have fallen off, but my foot is stuck in the stirrup therefore dragging me behind it and I am helpless to do anything but hold on and hope for the best. Does anyone else out there ever feel that way? Most days I am lucky if I have checked my kids backpack on the way out the door just in time to find out I was supposed to send Chocolate syrup for a sundae party. Oh well, looks like no one is having chocolate syrup on their Sundae today. Not to mention that science fair project that Kurt and I totally aced! Never thought I would do that, but who do they think does these things anyway. What happens to the kids whose parents won't or can't make 5 trips to Wal-Mart trying to find the right thermometer only to bail out on the original project at the last minute and recycle an old project making it new and improved? So much for efficiency. I had high hopes for myself, but alas, I am learning that everyday is not going to be perfect and we are not the Cleavers.

And while we're on the topic of television moms, I would like to say Carol Brady was a LOSER! That's right, a loser. She had no job, and yet she had a full time housekeeper and cook. What the heck? Why on earth did she need Alice? No wonder she was so cheerful and put together all the time!

All that to say, sadly I am sure I will never get mother of the year, but Thank God he is loving and forgiving and tells us "his Grace is sufficient" and oddly enough it seems a great relief to my kids that I am not perfect and probably never will be. I am learning that everything doesn't have to be perfect, that God's strength is perfected in my weakness and what my children are learning from that is more valuable than any expertly crafted science fair project and gourmet home-cooked meals will ever teach them.

Hope this finds you all doing great!