Have a dressed up day!

Monday, April 29, 2013

When Son's Not As Smart As You Think He Is

Mommy, I want to be in de movie.
Okay, you can go too.  But that doesn't mean you'll get to be in the movie.
Is it a cartoon?
No, it's not.  Why?
I don't want to be in a cartoon.
Oh, why?  That might be fun.
No.  Cause some cartoons look like clay and I don't want to be in one dat looks like clay.

So now I'm completely aware that his sweet brain is about to give me one of the moments I blog for.

And the other day he said something that made no sense and I looked at him kinda crazy - crazy enough that he knew he had to explain but not so crazy that I'd scar him or anything - and he said - sometimes my words mess my brain up -

really?  I didn't know.

but back to this story . . .

Baby, I don't understand.  Why wouldn't you want to be in a clay one?

And then there it is.  The look.  The look he gives me far too often when he can't understand why I don't just know. 

Cause, Mommy, dey would have to turn me into clay.

And I stare, trying not to laugh.

He stares back - rolls his eyes - embarassed for me and my stupidity -

And Mommy, dat would hurt.
. . . and dey would have to make a clay head of me and den put it on top of my head like dis and it would be heavy and . . . . . . . . .
and on and on and on.

And on and on and on until I'm staring at him glassy eyed.  I'm thinking- maybe the stork really did bring him - but from where?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Because God Does Whatever He Pleases

continued from yesterday

I saw her shoes first.  She was walking towards me as I was looking down at my belly button swelling thru my shirt. 

Is Gregg with you?  She wants to see you both together.  How quickly can he get here?

The space between the skull and the developing brain is too large is about all I remember.  She spoke maybe centimeters?  and how many times they had measured and  tried to explain to me what I really wasn't even listening to. Was she trying to tell me that my baby's brain had stopped developing? 

It was Friday afternoon and we'd have to wait until Monday morning to see a specialist. There wasn't anything that could be done and we would just have to wait.

There wasn't anything that could be done.

I don't remember much about the weekend.  I remember we told everyone and asked begged for prayer.

I'm sure I cried and watched the clock and most certainly questioned.

And I'm sure I agreed to try to accept God's will within the very moments I was pleading for my baby.

But there is something I do remember.  I remember bargaining.  As if the almighty omnipotent God of all would need anything from me.  What did I have to give that would be worth His miracle of healing my baby? 

There is no bargaining with God.  For we don't have to.  We do not have to convince God that if He does for us we will do for Him.  The parameters have already been set - and not by you or me.  In His covenants God told us what He would do for us and then told us what we would do for Him.

Because by no comparison He is the greater of the two and His love is the stronger of the two.  All comes from the Father above. And the strength and power that we have been given has been granted unto us for the reason of love.

He loves us.

And within that love lies mercy. 

But I still remember bargaining.  And I remember exactly what I promised God for the healing of my son.

Make him whole, Lord.  Make him whole and I promise...

I don't know if within His great unlimited mercy and grace God changed His mind about Max but I do know God performed a miracle on my son.   When new tests were taken Monday morning the measurements were perfect.  His brain was exactly as it should be.  To be honest I'm not even exactly sure what happened, those days were an emotional fog.  But we left the doctor's office on Monday morning with all assurance that our baby was healthy and strong. 

For a very long time I chose to believe that Max was healed.  And I still do.  Miracle.  For without a doubt our God cannot be controlled or manipulated or even convinced,  but I do believe His heart is tender toward us. 

But it doesn't even really matter.  God placed before us the situation in such a way as though it would happen.  What was important was how we responded.  We prayed and the situation changed.  But none of God's plans changed.  If by our prayer God showed mercy and granted this blessing unto us all we did was catch up to His future.

That was not the only time we have been given what seems like more than we can bear to overcome. Within the last two weeks I found myself begging and asking for acceptance and even bargaining again for my oldest daughter. And we had to wait the weekend again, and then another week. And there seemed very little doubt what we would be told.

And once again mercy was granted and I choose to believe the gift of healing.  We believe we dodge bullets when we are really showered by grace.

Thank you, God, for your unchanging steadfastness and your love and mercy.  Thank you, God, for healing and for sickness and pain.  Grant to me the wisdom to recognize the power of you in all that is.
I'm not going to write here what I promised God on that weekend in the fall of 2006.  But I think of it often and try to act on it. 

Is it necessary?  No.  

But do I want to do it?  Yes.

Max's life had been planned. God knew we would pray and He would bless us for that prayer.

Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.  Psalm 115:3

Monday, April 22, 2013

When I'm Given So Much More Grace Than I Deserve

It was late summer early fall 2006 and some of the happiest days of my life.  I was carrying a son, a dream I had given up on years earlier when I thought we'd never be brave enough to try for another child.

We were blessed beyond any form of our worth with three beautiful girls and my years were over forty and much time had passed since we made the unspoken bond of no more children by not speaking of it any longer.

There are some things that are very hard to explain.  And the fear is if you try you might sound somewhat extravagant.  Or like a dreamer.  Or just plain foolish. 

But on a night earlier we were side by side when I laughed loud and told him we just made a baby.  I knew it.  I felt it.  I can't explain it.  I said it but how does a woman know such a thing at such a time?

But I did.

And I was right.

And weeks passed and he came home as I walked out of the laundry room and right into his arms and cried and there were only three words -

You're pregnant?


And I said words that were too honest when I wondered aloud why would God give us another child?  I didn't want another baby or need another baby and why would I be pregnant unless He was giving us a son?  Why would I be pregnant if it were a girl?

Some things will shame us till the day we die.

And I didn't realize how badly I wanted a boy until the thought that I might not have one. 

But I was afraid to say the words too loudly or too often.

And on a table too short in cold dark room I held his hand and watched only him.  And there it was.  Wand moved and fingers touched keys and I saw it on his face before she spoke the words. 

It's a boy.

But I already knew for his smile started slowly and he saw and looked at me in a way he had never looked at me before.

And there was little morning sickness and few headaches and he was much easier to carry than my loves before him.

She explained all the complications and risks and I prayed a promise that it wouldn't matter because it wouldn't and I passed all the tests.

 And life was really good and I felt strong.

And on most days he went with me because he liked the dark room where he sat holding my hand month after month watching his son grow.

But on this day I was alone when she stroked too many keys and moved wand too much and didn't speak at all.  And she left the room and came back with another who sat at machine and pressed buttons.  And it was colder than usual.

And I said it again because maybe she didn't hear me -

Is something wrong?

I'm just getting some numbers . . .

Friday, April 19, 2013

When Two are Better Faster Stronger Than One

It was on the church bus.
They saw each other for the first time.
I'm sure for a moment she may have been a little taken back.
This freckled face boy with hair long color of yazoo clay and waved like the water that brought him here.

 Brought here for her?
And it's in the moments of complete horror and sadness that only our Father can produce joy.

She was always silly.  Never shy or hesitant to make others laugh. 
So we weren't sure what was wrong with her on this night. 
Her braces had just come off days before and she was excited to turn fifteen.
I can imagine Mom shopping and finding that shiny blue wig - no doubt in her mind Shelby would get a kick out of it - no doubt in any of our minds.

 But she didn't.  We all thought it was a game when she wouldn't put it on. 

But it wasn't.  Tears flowed in the back room and nothing - nothing could convince her to give us just one more hat photo to join the collection since she was old enough to know what one was.
But then he quietly found her and they whispered in the corner and I remember thinking that my silly bluebird just wanted him to see her as a young woman instead of a little girl.  I remember thinking that night my girl might be in love.
And only one - only one person - convinced her. 

And that's the moment I fell for him.
And they both grew up on the ice and hockey players and figure skaters clash - just a little. And the day came they sought out to prove who was better who was faster who was stronger. 

And she walked through the door after she went down face sliding on ice.

And there was the break-up.
And the make-up.

And the break apart.
And time.  And the struggle to stay friends.

The summer apart.
And she didn't know what to do. 
And he wanted her back and she wavered scared and only wanted to make this life decision once. 
And she was afraid.
But I knew she missed the boy.  And on this night sitting and laughing she posted status Will you be my . . .
and she waited.  And we laughed and imagined what he was thinking and when she couldn't wait any longer she finished the question and
they found their way back.

She was barely four when she went on her first trip for Jesus.  I packed her bag and told her we were trippin' for Jesus.  She didn't get it.
Her's not white her's not black me don't know what her is.
And there, with Native Americans, she began trippin' for Jesus.
So when years later took her to Hondurus and she fell grown deeper in love with Jesus and then Tennessee sealed her desire for Him with questions and confusion she came home trying to find her steps and couldn't figure out how to split her heart between the two.
Mama, I only want to be in love with Jesus. I don't know how to have room in my heart for more.
And then the break.
And his heart was broken and he was angry and didn't understand. 
And Jesus gently rocked her and led her back.

Then hard days came and she hurt and slept. 

I watched him. Wondered what he was thinking.  I'm thinking the time away from her had been a blessing. And while she had been struggling with more love than she knew what to do with he was realizing that no matter what life would be - he wanted it to be with her.
She cried.  I don't want Joe to have to spend his life with someone that feels bad so much. 
Do you remember when Joe was concerned about you being without him?  You know his concern about dying young, like his dad, and leaving you and children alone?   
You thought that was sweet ridiculous.  Even if you knew your time with him would end tomorrow you wouldn't give him up.  You're not giving him and his love for you enough credit.
Stop thinking so much, and just love.


And she did.  Because from that moment on the bus there really was never another option, was there, my bluebird love?



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

When The Peaches Just Keep Falling

I'm trying to put Beau's peaches in the cabinet and they just keep falling.  I drop one then another and then all three packs trying to pick up the first.  Then again.  I can't concentrate - I've been calling for a while now with no answer.

I've always been the one to take care of her.  When she is sick no one checks her blood sugars as often as me or makes sure she takes her shots or pinches her skin in that crazy Tot way to make sure she's hydrated.  And it's not so crazy when you're now Tot.

She was absolutely beautiful that day.  Three or four playing bride with snagged and pulled cheap polyester white dress and short veil with baby white silk flowers glued on top.  Plastic see-through dollar dress-up shoes which flopped when she walked and hair in high ponytail bangs curled with round brush. 

And she was baby beautiful sitting on steps holding wild onion flowers waiting for daddy to come home and marry her.

But this day - this day she was more than beautiful.  And when it's just the two of us sitting in bride's room and she touchs her stomach and says she nervous, doesn't like the idea of people looking at her - I take her hand and tell her Don't take your eyes off him, just walk toward him. 

And I remind her everyone is to look at her - it's the bride's day.  She says don't cry mama you'll make me and she lightly touches under her eyes and sits holding her flowers with veil on hair pulled back and waits for her daddy to come and give her away to marry.

And where is he?  Probably leaning against wall- waiting- really on Kites Avenue with little girl holding onion flowers.

And she was beautiful.  She has grown into a kind and loving young woman. She survived years of childhood baggage from parents who couldn't get things right early enough and the cruelty of a body turning against her at such a young age.  But she grew and loved and struggled and I watched her walk the aisle- hoping from this moment on she'd know only happiness.


But why does a mother hope that when she knows she doesn't really want it?  Why would we want  struggles to pass over our children when our Lord had to endure the worst of suffering?  When the love of Christ who wants for us no sadness demands a life of struggles.  When we don't want our children left alone by pain because then they would be alone. 

But I watch her and hope it anyway.

Now weeks have passed and she's sick and I've done exactly as I should - given her care over to her husband - so why can't I get the peaches to stay on the shelf?  Why won't she answer or phone ring or my mind just settle?

And phone does ring and she was sleeping and she's fine and he had gotten her everything she needed. 
He's taking care of me, Mama, don't worry.

And being a mother is the hardest most glorious job a woman will ever know. 

I had given up on the peaches so I go back and try again.  I rearrange the shelf and make room while trying to do the same thing with mind and heart.

And may I make a suggestion to all young mama's out there?  If you have a baby bride with cheap polyester dress - save it, please.  One day you'll think of it and wish for it.  Cut a piece and pin it to the inside of her future dress - when she no longer fits on the side of your hip or in the curve of your lap.

But there's always the heart.  And the heart never outgrows.

Drawing of me losing my cool courtesy of budding artist, Izzy.

Have a dressed up day!

. . . put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12