>> Friday, May 30, 2008
Mari has written her side of the story on her blog from yesterday's
escapades. Please go check it out. Its called, Ker-Plop! You
won't want to miss it!
Mari has written her side of the story on her blog from yesterday's
escapades. Please go check it out. Its called, Ker-Plop! You
won't want to miss it!
Once upon a time, in a not-so-distant past, a girl was born. Her parents named her Aimee, which means loved. Her mother and Father were kind and gentle with this fair-haired maiden. She was not given to, in the sense that the world gives. Her parents gave her gifts of compassion, tenderness, and joy. She also experienced a love that surpassed anything anyone could imagine.
This land was only a small part of what her Father owned. The rest of His Kingdom was not mentioned, not ever, and she never asked. Everything this maiden would want was here, in the confines of this beautiful place, this place without war, sickness, and famine; this place called FearNot.
Aimee was loved by all. She taught children to read and sing funny songs. They ran up and down the streets, holding hands, squealing in delight. When not playing, she spent hours at her Father's feet, soaking in His Presence. He delighted in her company.
One day, as she skipped along a deserted path lined with trees bowed under with the weight of ripe fruit, she came across a troll standing at a bridge. Aimee had never seen such a thing before. In fact, she had never seen this bridge, not once in her many years she had walked this way.
The troll caught her eye. He used a sing-songy voice to catch her attention. "Come here, Litt-le Aim-ee."
She stopped and observed this creature. He had an over-sized head with eyes that blinked constantly, in rhythm to the rushing stream. His feet were large with three toes sticking out of holey socks. His clothes were rags that served only to cover his anatomy.
Aimee continued to walk.
The troll called out to her again, "Aim-ee. A child needs you."
Sitting beside the troll was a young girl; scraggly brown bangs covered her small face. Aimee could see hunger in her eyes and she ached for her. Being a compassionate maiden and since she was the daughter of the King, she bent down, without fear, and talked to this little one.
"What's wrong with you, My Sweets? Why are you hungry when there is fruit all around?"
The troll laughed in delight. "Oh, my Lady, we are not allowed to enter FearNot. In order for you to help My Pretty, you must cross over to our side."
"And what do you call your side, do tell?"
The little girl whispered, "ToadSuck, my Lady."
Aimee pulled an apple off the tree and looked beyond the bridge. The road was lined with young children, and all looked expectantly at the fruit in her hand. She gathered mounds of apples into her apron and, without thinking, crossed the bridge. Her heart broke. Little ones, covered with bruises and broken limbs sat and gawked at her with tears in their eyes.
She walked the pathway, handing out fruit, until she came upon a village. There, she cared for the sick and tended the peasant's wounds. She turned against her Father and wouldn't allow herself to go back home. "Why would He allow this to happen? Why are there needy ones in ToadSuck when we have much abundance in FearNot?"
In the quiet of the night, Aimee could be heard crying into her pillow. She felt a separation from her Father to her very core. The girl held her stomach, rolled into a ball, and wailed. She wouldn't allow her Father to carry this load. She wanted to do it alone. Day after day she cared for these people and she began to look and act more like the ones she cared for.
One day, she walked down the road; gray, wrinkled, and stooped. Aimee looked across the rickety bridge to FearNot and wished she had never left her Father's Kingdom. She ached to feel her Father's touch, see His smile.
On the other side of the bridge, Her Father caught her eye. He said, "Come here, Litt-le Aim-ee."
Aimee stopped. She hardly dared to believe that He spoke.
He called again, "Aim-ee."
Relief filling her body, she ran to her Father and leapt into His arms. They wept together, mourning their long separation. They wept with joy in their reunion.
She suddenly remembered what she had left behind and was saddened. "Father, the children, why are the children hungry? Won't you please help the people in ToadSuck?"
She heard giggling coming from the forest. Aimee watched in delight as children came running across the bridge. They climbed onto her Father's back, giggling. They mussed His hair and little ones grabbed hold of his legs. They were all well-fed and happy.
It was then she understood that she did have a job to do. Caring for these people was her life's work, but carrying burdens was up to her Father. As she let the little ones play, unhindered, she felt a weight lift off her body. Her wrinkles disappeared and she now stood straight and strong.
From that day and forever after, the people of ToadSuck were warmly welcomed in the land of FearNot.
My boy is leaving tomorr0w. Here it is, 6:47 AM and I'm all drippy thinking about it. Tears are falling onto the shirt of my pajamas and my nose is all snuffly and snotty. Its been so good to have him home for this long.
How can a mommy-heart hurt so bad? How can I just get up and take a shower and continue on with my day like all is well? I'm not sure I can. And its doubly hard because he doesn't want to leave. He doesn't even like to talk about leaving. His surgery is looming in the near future, too - June 10th.
Oh! A heart ripping apart. He's having major surgery and we will be thousands of miles away. My last day with him and I will be stuck at school reading finals all day to kids who could really care less.
I long to spend more time with him. Tonight, I'll ask him to play his trumpet for me tonight, late. He will play outside and I'll sit on the steps of the porch wrapped in a blanket and cry and have my heart burst with pride at the same time.
And before that, I will come home from school and make lasagna for my boy. And he mentioned he might bring home a girl. I don't want to share but that's okay, I will. I want him to be happy. That's all I want. I want life to go his way. I want him to have his heart's desire.
And I am torturing myself right now. Can you feel my pain? Can you picture the tears? The heart pangs? A nose blow, a good swipe of my face to brush away the tears, a shower, breakfast, a nice quiet drive to school without Nik (his finals aren't until this afternoon) and a long day of work followed by a scrambled drive home, cooking for my boy, hoping someone has picked up the house while I was gone so I'm not mad when I get there.
Oh, and the laundry. So much of his laundry is mixed up with ours. I wonder if he'll pack tonight? He never does. He waits until that morning and then rolls out of bed half asleep after staying up all night somewhere, his last night at home, and he makes me nervous. I'll get what I can ready, will have it in piles like always, and wait and fume and wonder why he doesn't take care of business:)
He breaks my mommy heart in two. This coming home, this having the nerve to grow up and mature while he's away, taking me by surprise when I see him again. And now it is 7 AM. My day must begin -- whether I am ready or not. And Mommy does what she has to do, like always, and pretends she isn't dying inside.
Teens yelled to one another across the room. The teacher stood quietly in the front of the disrespectful class for a few minutes and not getting their attention, she did something that caught them off guard. She whispered. Immediately the room quieted.
What is it about a whisper that is so powerful? The world is very noisy. One would think a whisper would get swallowed up in the hustle and bustle but instead, it draws our attention. It draws us in. It beckons us to tune in to what is being said. Remember Elijah in 1 Kings? He turned tail and ran when he heard what happened to the other prophets. They were murdered. I can't blame him. I would have ran too, I'm sure.
When God asked him what he was doing, he said in 1 Kings 19:10 "I've been working my heart out for the God-of-the-Angel-Armies. The people of Israel have abandoned your covenant, destroyed the places of worship, and murdered your prophets. I'm the only one left, and now they're trying to kill me."
This is what God told him to do:
"Go, stand on the mountain at attention before God. God will pass by."When Elijah heard the quiet voice, he muffled his face with his great cloak, went to the mouth of the cave, and stood there. A quiet voice asked, "So Elijah, now tell me, what are you doing here?"
A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and
shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn't to be found in the wind;
after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn't in the earthquake;
and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn't in the fire;
and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper.
Your mountain and mine is certainly waiting. Always waiting... Let's climb it triumphantly instead of slamming into it aimlessly.
You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dextrous and deft.
And never mix up your right
foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai ali Van
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!
I was up late last night working on my Faithwriters entry. The topic was pets and it was so tough to write. Oh my! But anyway... I did get it done and with hours to spare:) But meantime, I was up with my son. Ryan is home from Hawaii and the best time to connect with him is late at night, or should I say, early in the morning? With TV blaring, he watched a disaster movie while I finished up my entry and chatted on the phone to a friend and was IM'ing a couple of others. Well now, I am a multi-tasker. I didn't realize how much until I started to write it down.
Throughout, he would make comments about the movie. "Watch this... Did she die? Did you see that? It's not scary. You won't have nightmares..." So funny. Many of my senses were engaged in that movie even in my busyness. My ears couldn't help but listen, it was on so very loud. My mind was thinking about volcanoes and how I would be going to Washington in 46 days, I think it is, where there is an active one. My conscience would be pricked as I heard bad language come of out of the mouths of people about to die. Hmm... I would be more inclined to say a prayer, I would think, than curse. But I digress...
The movie ended and then my boy went outside. Soon I heard music piercing the now quiet house. All were asleep but the two of us. No one lives in Tabor anymore. No one else was up to hear the beautiful notes coming from Ryan's trumpet at 1:30 in the morning. He plays for pure enjoyment and I can't get enough of it. It makes me cry even now thinking about it.
Oh. And now tears have started. Soon, my oldest, cherished son, will be going back to Hawaii. Back to his own life. Back to life without Mom and Dad. Life so many thousands of miles away from us. A life that we can't even drive to. And he will continue to make his adult decisions without us, maybe an occassional phone call, but for the most part, his life continues with little interaction from us, the way it should be, I suppose.
And not too long after that, he will have his appendix taken out. I smile through my tears thinking how everytime I walk near him and reach out my arm, that he covers his stomach. Just one time I punched him in the gut, totally forgetting about the sick appendix inside him. Its just something I do to connect to our youngest, and it makes him smile when my hand gets hurt at impact. Wow! How could a mother forget their child is hurting?
My boy sent Jim and I to a very fancy restaurant for our anniversary. He handed us cash like we were the children and he was the parent. Told us to go and enjoy ourselves. And we did, immensely. His first Sunday home he bought KFC for the whole family. I can't believe how much he has matured. Oh, he also bought a new shower rod, hooks, and curtain for the bathroom. How funny is that? This is NOT the son I know. He's grown up much since he was home last.
The most special, as always, is when we sit in church together as a complete family. One more Sunday we will sit together. One more.... and that Sunday will be when the tears will flow at the thought of the Sunday after and the Sunday after that. Already I miss Ryan but I need to live with him now, in the present, and enjoy each moment he spends with us.
I am busy collecting memories. And when he gets all packed up and leaves for the airport with his dad, I will look around the house and see evidence of his being with us. A forgotten razor, shirts that Nik will end up wearing, a lone shoe... I know these things will happen from many years of being visited by our most loved Navy son. And I can't help but let the tears flow.
I am so very proud of our sweet, sweet son. He is making his mark in this world and I have such little input, so it should be. He will continue to mature when he's gone and the next time he's home, I will be so very proud of him, no matter what choices he has made, no matter what mistakes, no matter the triumphs and successes. He's my son and I can't help but be proud. But now, before he leaves, I will keep my mind off that departure date, and will keep on collecting really awesome memories.
I hate to say it. Why do I have to be so very honest on this blog? I'm not liking this but I am who I am -- transparent, open. I am utterly, totally dependent on my pain medicine. I know, I know... I'm getting eye rolls now. I'm getting self-righteous thoughts thrown out at me. But until you've lived through the pain that I have, I just can't listen to them. Believe me, I've thought everything that you might say. I don't like it anymore than you do but it is a fact of my life.
Every eight hours, three times a day -- I reach for my pill. Although, I do have to say, I go for it much sooner than the eight hours most of the time. Just this morning, I woke up with a powerful headache (which is how I live ALL the time, by the way, hence the reason I need the pain medicine) but I also woke up in a cold sweat and feeling so strange. I NEED my medicine. I had to wake up to TAKE my medicine. I took it earlier last night so its been a LONG time since I've had it last.
There now. I've said it. I'm totally dependent on the stuff and you know what? It really doesn't take away my pain. I get relaxed. I get loosened up. I can feel warmth start from my legs and work up into my body. But I never ever feel it reach my head. I am totally, utterly dependent on something that gives me very little relief but I can't do without it because the relief I do get, keeps me out of the ER. So now you know...
I also am very dependent on my friends to help me through my days. Because I am transparent, my close friends usually know when I'm hurting especially bad. And if I don't say anything, some are even good at figuring it out just by how my routines change. There have been many days when its been the prayers of those faithful friends to get me through my days at school. Faithful, prayerful friends I have and I am so very grateful to them!
I am also totally, completely, utterly dependent on my God. He is The One that keeps me going. He's the one that brought these wonderful friends into my life. I am truly blessed! He is also The One that provided this pain medicine for me. Without the skill and know-how that God gave these brilliant scientists, it wouldn't have been created. Although there are negative side-effects, I still am very thankful for it. I pray that I will be totally, completely, utterly dependent on God all the days of my life and I pray this prayer for all of you, too.
Ephesians 3:17-20, "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Today is the day to breathe! Life is going way too fast. Its easy to get behind in what we're doing. Easy to forget to take that time to breathe. Its so easy to put off having that time with the Lord. So, my friends --
I am just a little bit excited! I received my 3rd Editor's choice this morning for my silly little chicken story. That now means I am moving up in the Faithwriters writing levels and will be in level 4. Wow! It is very exciting and my knees are shaking!
Here is a link to my story, A Gynormous Nose and Giggling Yellow Fuzz
Applause, everyone. Bravo, bravissimo!
God! I worship You today! You are an awesome God!
Shout God-songs at the top of your lungs!
Oh I wish I could -- I am feeling Your touch today.
God Most High is stunning, astride land and ocean.
Stunning, magnificent -- marvelous!
He crushes hostile people, puts nations at our feet.
He set us at the head of the line,
prize-winning Jacob, his favorite.
Please continue to be with us this day.
Loud cheers as God climbs the mountain,
Oh! Let me come, please!
a ram's horn blast at the summit.
I can hear it! I can hear it!
Sing songs to God, sing out!
My heart is bursting...
Sing to our King, sing praise!
Our King, our Lord, our Creator!
He's Lord over earth,
so sing your best songs to God.
Put Your words in my mouth today, Lord!
God is Lord of godless nations—
sovereign, he's King of the mountain.
Such devastation I see on the news but
still, You are God.
Princes from all over are gathered,
people of Abraham's God.
The powers of earth are God's—
he soars over all.
I'm looking to the Mountain -- I see You soaring over us.
We praise You with all our hearts today in our words, actions, and thoughts.
Praise You, Lord God! Praise You!
Psalm 47 (The Message)
Now I have this beautiful blog site and haven't been writing in it.
I'll be back on track soon (I hope!) I am trying to get caught up on
Oh! I do have one thing to share! I got a summer job! I'll be teaching summer school for one month to 12-15 fourth graders! This is my first "real" teaching job where I get to make the lesson plans and everything! I am really excited. Its only for one month and only for 1/2 days so I am praying I will handle it just fine.
And when this is over -- a couple of weeks will pass to help me recoop again and it will be time to go to WASHINGTON! I can't wait!
Wow! Two very exciting things happening in my life!
Thanks to a very sweet friend, my blog has a whole new look! When I got home from the visitation Friday night, I had an email waiting for me. Kristen from Exemplify wanted to cheer me up and use her gifting to do it. I am truly blessed to have such caring, wonderful friends in my life! Thank you, Kristen!
Go visit her website! She is a very gifted writer and web designer! Her link is on my list of friends. Enjoy!
This is Kristen's last email to me:
YAY!!!!! I AM SO GLAD YOU LOVE IT!!!!MERRY, MERRY MAY MOTHER'S DAY
We have had a death in our family. My mother-in-law, Ruth Hubrich, died on Tuesday. Since then life has been just crazy. Lots of emotions have entered into all of this. Its especially hard watching our kids deal with it. Today is the funeral and then maybe I can rest up and be ready for the new school week.
Psalm 121 (The Message)
A Pilgrim Song
1-2 I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.
Am asking for His strength today.
I'm looking up to my Creator and asking.
3-4 He won't let you stumble,
your Guardian God won't fall asleep.
Not on your life! Israel's
Guardian will never doze or sleep.
He stays awake all night, guarding my sleeping body
so I can rest.
5-6 God's your Guardian,
right at your side to protect you—
Shielding you from sunstroke,
sheltering you from moonstroke.
God is an awesome Guardian!
7-8 God guards you from every evil,
he guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return,
he guards you now, he guards you always.
I can walk with my chin up, head raised,
for God is guarding my every step,
when I come and when I go.
Always standing on guard!
Thank you, Lord!
Wow! Our youngest son is now one year older than he was yesterday. That means, we are one year closer to having an empty nest. That sounds scary and exciting at the same time. Fifteen years old. I almost remember when I was fifteen - LOL! He's going to have his driving permit this week. I can't wait for that. I will be faithfully chauffered around. I will feel very queenly. Maybe I will keep the window down and practice my Queen wave. Umm... maybe not. Nik will refuse to drive and then where will I be? Oh well...
Anyway, fifteen. Sometimes I would like to stuff him in a box and poke some air holes in it. I really am not sure I want him to grow up. I could stick some food in every once in a while. As long as he had a game system, I'm sure he would have no problems with it, either. I told him one day last week that maybe we could start counting down backwards. He humored me and said if that is what I wanted to do, that was fine. But as I thought about it later, I realized that isn't what I want for him. I want him to grow up, to live a life for God. To live God-strong. To make his mark on the world, whatever he does.
I have no control over it anyway. If he were in an accident, his good health could be gone in a second. He could go backwards and that is definitely NOT what I want. No, the best thing is to keep on growing, in spite of me, and how much it hurts my mommy-heart. We spend our days at baseball games, cheering him on as he hits the ball, as he pitches and saves the game from being called by the ten-run-rule, as he rounds the bases, as he catches fly balls in left field and as he shields his eyes from the sun to catch the pop flies.
I anticipate lots more baseball games in the future and I look forward to it. I also anticipate more honor roll assemblies and seeing him walking down the hall with a girl at his side. I will cherish these memories and know that fifteen years ago I gave birth to what would soon become a giant. A giant in my eyes. My son, who doesn't have to do a thing to feel my love. All he has to do is be himself. That is my gift to him, unwavering, unceasing, Mommy-love.
Happy Birthday, Nik!
I've been tagged by Kristen at her Exemplify blog http://www.kristenschiffman.com/ to share ten reasons why I blog. Well, here goes:
#1 -- I blog because I am an adult and can do whatever I want to do! How's that? LOL!
#2 -- For someone that has always loved to write in diaries, until I realized, "Dear Diary," could really care less who I liked or what I wore each day:) to journaling when I grew up and was exploring my relationship with God, blogging was a natural progression. I LOVE TO BLOG! and I LOVE TO READ OTHER BLOGGERS writings!
#3 -- Lessee, I am as transparent as can be, so blogging isn't scary to me one bit. I don't mind letting others see how I struggle. In fact, its a blessing because it draws us closer together, realizing we are all in the same muddy mire of life and we all are up on the mountaintops, sometimes, in a split second even!
#4 -- Why I love to blog? Hmmm... It helps me explore my own thoughts and feelings each day.
#5 -- It opens up a window for my dad to know me. We've never really shared together before. I may be transparent, but not with my parents. Blogging has drawn us closer together, I do believe:) I love that!
#6 -- Well now, how do I top that one? It brought me to tears! Blogging, blogging... it gives me loyal followers. That's something that every wannabe author wants, of course. All we want is someone to read what we pour our heart and souls into. Readership! Yes! I absolutely love my readers!
#7 -- Wow, this is getting harder now. #7... Because I can? Have I played the, "I'm an adult and can do whatever I wanna do" card? Oh rats! I have. Anyway, tis true. God used another blogger to show me the wonders of blogging. I think it was Patty's Patterings, actually and she's the one I'm going to tag next! I love my Patty!
#8 -- I blog because it is one way I can show God my love for Him. One way I can live for Him and let my light shine.
#9 -- I love that blogging has brought me into a new community of Christian writers and I get to "know" them like they get to "know" me.
#10 -- Shouldn't #10 have a drum roll or something? Maybe I should have made #10 the best, most fanatastic one of all. But no, I have to think. Am thinking.... lessee... My mind thinks in stories and analogies. Anything that happens in my life, I'm thinking, wow! that would make a great story! Blogging gives me a way to channel those thoughts into something that I easily have time to do. It is not a chore but is a big gynormous blessing to me each day! GYNORMOUS I tell you!
Now I am tagging two others to share with me and tons of others why they blog:
My son, Nik, is quite the hero! After his baseball game, we stopped at McDonalds to have supper. He was still dressed in his baseball uniform of course, looking quite spiffy, when a group of boys accosted him in the bathroom. Little boys they were who had to look up at this 6 foot giant. They asked Nik for his autograph!
When I came out of the bathroom, because you know, that's the first place we want to hit after a baseball game, I saw a group of young kids around an adult. They were all talking about the major league baseball player. The man told them that he was probably a high school player. Being the shy, reserved Mom that I am, I told him that he was a freshman, no less. My Mommy-heart got to beat fast because those kids didn't care. They wanted his autograph anyway. They didn't know the difference between Pro ball and high school ball. They just saw someone that they could look up to.
It got me to thinking how we look at others. Sometimes we forget that they are just like us. We tend to put people on pedestals. I'm not sure why we do that. And then when they have a great fall, we act so surprised, shocked in fact. But they are human, after all. We all make mistakes and "fall short of the kingdom of God." (Romans 3:23)
We should be lifting each other up in prayer not on a pedestal. We only see a little of what is really going on in their lives just as they only see a little of what is going on in ours. Usually we only let the best shine through and the ugly is pushed aside. To have friends we can truly be open and honest with, people we can share our loveliness and ugliness with, those are our true friends, the kind we need to strive to find and nurture. I am so blessed to have these kinds of friends. Friends who remind me that they walk through the muck and the mire just like I do. Friends who keep pointing me up even as they are walking through hard times themselves. Together, perhaps, we will make it through this life, you think? God brought us together. He bound us into a tight braid. He's made us God-strong!
As I walked into McDonalds, I was smiling big BIG of course. I didn't know that the boys had talked to Nik also. He told them when he makes the major leagues, then he will give them his autograph. Such a good boy Nik is. I pray that Nik will become God-strong as he grows and matures and that he finds good friends to help him in his spiritual journey just as I've found through my 44 years. God-strong we are as we cling to Him!
I had a minister once say that insanity is when you do something over and over and over again thinking you will get different results. Oh my! I was sleeping last night, in the early evening, all alone in the house, when the phone rang. In my groggy state, I answered it and it was the Discover Card. She thanked us for our business (she better, boy do we give her business!) but she had a special offer to share. For only $2.99 a month or something like that, I wasn't really caring at that point, we could have protection of our card in case it got stolen or lost. I kindly told her we weren't interested. She started her whole speel again. Again, I told her I was NOT interested. They must not give these salespeople notes to say when people say no. Its always, "I understand that but..." and then its off to the races again. I finally played the, "I don't feel good" card and she got off the phone with me finally. Grrrr.
This reminded me of how I am with God. I argue with Him all the time. When one way doesn't work, I'll come at it from a different angle. He, unlike me on the phone with the crazy sales lady, is very patient with me, so very patient. His way is the best way. He knows me better than I know me. I don't know why I insist on arguing with Someone who loves me so much. Someone who has known me since the very beginning of time. Someone who loves me in spite of who I am. I'll try to work on being a better listener.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version)
This is His promise and this is what I'm standing on. Anyone want to stand with me?