Thursday, March 17, 2022

Spring Break 2022

 My dream of a break usually consists of laying somewhere slightly warm and sunny where I can watch something beautiful for long periods of time comfortably.  The first thing that comes to mind is a beach somewhere.  I one time told my friend, Ray after an exhausting season that I would like nothing more than having a bed on a beach somewhere.  That request did not go through.

This break was not as relaxing as I would have liked.  Instead of relaxing, I cleaned, spring cleaning.  I can tell you that it isn't as thrilling as it sounds.  In total honesty, I confess to just doing the basic stuff during the normal work week and neglecting the deeper cleaning that should be done.  I don't know how the rest of you do it, honestly.  Even now as I look around my living room where I am writing this post, I notice a shelf that did not get dusted.  I think to myself, "How can I be better?"  I love to hear from those people who seem to have it all together.  They get up early to work out.  They have the discipline to eat better than I do.  Their homes are spotless.  I'm tired just writing about them.

The other thing is that I scheduled time to be with friends.  Adults, especially women, easily get bogged down into their own lives.  We are busy people.  There are days that I'm halfway through my day when I realize that I didn't do something essential.  I didn't pray.  I didn't read the Bible.  I didn't spend time with God, which I feel is different than praying.  It's like sitting down remembering the goodness of God and being thankful.  This attitude of gratitude fuels my joy and the joy of the Lord is ultimately my strength.  How many times have we heard it and yet, don't follow.  I'm raising my hand.  

This morning, first thing, even before I opened my eyes, I was in a bad mood.  There were so many things that I didn't get to do yet and then I find that I may not get to do them.  I start mentally railing on my circumstances and the people around me, in my head.  Things like, "I would have been able to have more time if my kids or my husband would have helped me!  How do I end up doing everything?  Why do I put myself in t hese positions?  I'm not going to do anything anymore."  I mean, I can get really in my feelings and this morning, I was.  I recognized that I needed to pray.  So I took all of this negativity.  I thought about talkiing it through with someone, but how is this fair?  Humans are not made to take the junk of others.  That's taxing.  That just puts a lot of negativity and strain back out into the world.  Do I really need to share the vileness that I find in my heart?  No, I don't.  Instead I went and I brought it all to God in my prayer journal.  By the time I finished writing, I was praising God again. 

Today is St. Patrick's Day.  I saw a shirt that said, "Not lucky, blessed."  This is what I feel today.  I feel blessed and I know that it isn't just chance that brings it to me.  It's God.  I pray that I can spread his message of light and love instead of the darkness and hate that is found in my own heart.  Alleluia and Praise the Lord!

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Birth and Death Days

This week has been a crazy week and so I didn't have time to really spend time commemorating my son.  He turned 16 years old this past weekend.  I had decided to let him celebrate it the way that he wanted to.  What he opted for was going to his best friend's house and having a sleep over and then there was a wonderfully freezing night of glow in the dark... tag?  I'm not sure what it was because I was in a frozen coma.  Well, as cold as Arizona can get in March.  

This was not what I would have wanted.  I would have wanted to do something with him the night before his birthday.  He likes bowling so I would have wanted to hang out with him and his friends while going to the bowling alley.  I would have liked to make him a big cake with a lot of candles.  That didn't happen either.  He wanted cupcakes that we ended up buying from the store and the candles that he did blow out were not with me.  They were with his friends at Youth Group.  I'm so very glad that my son has such wonderful great friends to celebrate but I was no where in sight.  I would have liked for him to wake up at home and make him a big breakfast followed by a day trip with an awesome hike somewhere near or far.  Instead when I woke up, I texted him at his friends house and in the evening I picked him up.  

Sunday the exhaustion set in.  I woke up but couldn't really get up.  In my home I had my son, my daughter and my son's friend.  I didn't really think about the death day at all.  My late husband passed away the day after my son's 12 birthday 4 years ago.  My son once told me that he would never forget that the day after his birthday is his father's death day.  There is nothing that I can do to change that.  

On his birthday 4 years ago, I came home from work with a small cake for David and some decorations.  Santi had not been feeling well and honestly, I was starting to get worried.  As soon as I came home and saw him, I knew that Santi was not feeling well.  You could see it in his eyes.  I begged him to come with me to the urgent care.  He was always so stubborn.  He told me that he wouldn't go on his son's birthday.  I cried.  I practically begged him.  Instead, we compromised.  He told me that I could take him first thing in the morning.  I texted my boss that night and I let everyone who needed to know that I wasn't going to go to work the next day... the longest day of my life.

Four years ago I woke up and got my morning started.  Santi had taken to sleeping in the family room.  I got up and started getting the children ready for school.  I got dressed and went to the family room and I didn't see him.  I was just about ready to take the kids to the bus.  Janet was the one that found him.  He had fallen from his seat.  I had a feeling when I went to touch him but it was when I reached out to him that I knew for sure that I had to call 911.  I think that's about all I have in me to write about it.  It was enough thinking about it on this past Sunday.

Here is the up side.  We are thankful and we praise God.  My family and I know that Santi is home.  We didn't talk about him on the Death day but there are moments when we remember.  I pulled out my phone and looked at pictures of his smiling face and I remembered.  He left me two of the best pieces of him that I can imagine, my son and my daughter.  I am blessed beyond all measure.  Praise God!!!

Friday, March 4, 2022

Don't Lean on What You Understand

 There are options before me.  I think I have been talking about the exciting life of transitions.  There is so much going on.  Here is the thing that people don't really realize.  For every degree in a circle, that is how many options there are out there.  At any time, there could be 360 degrees of options.  Let me try to explain.  \

Tomorrow, God willing, I will wake up.  Let me list for you some of the things that I could do...

Maybe I could write a novel

Maybe I could wake up and clean the bathroom.

Maybe I could weed the yard, or lounge all day in a tub, or eat pizza, or play frisbee.

Obviously I could go on for a while about my Saturday mornings; I think you get the hint.  Well, here I am in my life and I confess to sometimes having small thoughts even though I serve a Big God.  The other day I was wondering if I would be able to get a decent job for the next school year as a teacher.  I was talking with my husband and he tells me, "Elle, you are in a high demand job.  Are you really worried?"  And he's absolutely right.  Now all I have to ask is, "What do I want?"  But, instead of asking that, I have decided, "What does God want to do with this little life that I have?"  I'm still breathing, so I must have a purpose to fulfill. 

I prayed.  I prayed fervently to God for clarity.  I'm not sure if this is an appropriate prayer but inevitably, I find that we should all pray to our Good God from the heart with all our concerns and intentions.  And I'm still praying.  Why is praying for clarity not appropriate?  What if praying for clarity turns out to eliminate options until only one option is available?  Is this the way we should feel about the will of our Sovereign God?  You see, I'm not so sure and right now this thought is too big to think about so... I'm stepping back from this very deep thought and I'm looking up and once again relying not on my own thoughts but on the amazing plan and will of God. Praise the Lord!