Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Monday, May 05, 2014

come on over!

So my new blog is up and running, and I've just published my first post. It's called "Framing the Days," and it is truly a reflection of my heart's cry - to live each day, moment by moment, watching and listening for the small stuff that I miss all the time. If you've followed me here, or have just stumbled upon this original blog 'o mine, please hop on over to Framing the Days - because moments matter!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

dog meets 50

Get a dog, they said! It'll be fun, they said.

Seriously. Isn't that the cutest face you've ever seen?

Seriously. My reading glasses she chews up? I do have a love/hate relationship with those things, though, so maybe she picked up on it?

But that logic doesn't hold up for this:

Or this:

(Both of those last two pictures are [WERE] cat toys.)

Speaking of cats, there's no love lost between these two:

And while this might look like a truce, it is uneasy at best.

Get a puppy, they said. It'll be fun, they said! I think I'm too old for this. Seriously. Did I mention I turned 50 last week?!

But then she looks like this:

And I think I'm in love. I'm sure of it.

And even as I type this (still annoyed about the reading glasses, by the way), I'm struck by the reminder that we break stuff, make messes, aggravate other people, chase after things best left alone ... and God loves us. Period. He doesn't even need for us to be sweetly sleeping to remember that He does. Love us. Fiercely.

And I am grateful, thankful, humbled.

(P.S. - just for fun:)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

back to the basics

Interestingly, I tried to post on my Pathways Through the Wilderness blog today, for the first time in WAAAY too long, and found it has crashed. And since I'm oh so clueless about such things, I dug up my original, first-come-first-serve blog from the good 'ole days. It's been fun reading back through those posts, and I think I'll just continue on here for now.

I giggled a little at my tag line ... "Living a Life of Constant Change" ... well, that hasn't changed even though it's been almost two years since I've posted here.

I could write a country song.

But some things never change, and that is the simple reality of my life. Sacrifices made for me, lives shared with me, friendships forged over laughter and tears (and coffee, of course). Endings become beginnings.

I am days away from a new Slice of Life. I've resigned my position as Women's Ministry Director at my church, because I've hung on as long as I could and it's time to go. My body is weak. Yet my mind is still strong (mostly) and I have confidence that this new Slice will be as delicious as all the previous ones. I just don't happen to know what flavor it is yet! Good thing I'm a fan of pie in general, and that I have (some) patience to wait for it.

Looking forward to catching up!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Out of the darkness ...

On April 7, 2011, I started an unexpected of journey into pain. I began having migraines with seizures, and was in the hospital for several days. What followed has been 15 months of doctors, clinics, medicines, and almost daily migraines. Hopelessness and despair were my companions. I've never stopped believing that God is good, and powerful, and capable of anything, but I will confess that I fought my emotion much of the time even as He carried me through.

 My activities came to an abrupt halt, my relationships with friends and family became distant, and I could rarely make plans in advance. Sadly, I felt as if the headaches defined me much of the time. My husband was thrust into a role of caretaker, and our relationship changed as a result. He has been simply incredible throughout this entire time, truly loving me and caring for me in a way that reflected Jesus. I struggled with guilt over too many things to mention, but you can imagine.

 Two weeks ago, I received a botox shot in my left temple - a three minute procedure - and have not had a headache since. Hope springs forth! The journey is not over as it remains to be seen if this is a permanent fix, but for today I rejoice! I find myself full of energy and interest once again. I am, however, left with the perplexing issue of what feels like too much time on my hands - time that has been spent in bed or in my recliner for much of the last year.

 I believe that God brought me to this place for my good and His glory, and my fervent prayer is that He will show me how HE wants me to redeem this gift of time! I know He doesn't want me to go back to business as usual - this journey would have been pointless otherwise. So I wait, and pray, and praise, and clean, and pull those I love close to me again. It is exciting to wonder what lies ahead!

So there you have it, the reason I haven't posted since February. My sense of humor and my "muse" are coming back, so hopefully this blog will be an outlet for my overactive brain once again!


Friday, February 03, 2012

oh the places you'll go .... so get on your way!

Today is your day!
You're off to great places!
You're off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.'

You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go.
You'll look up and down streets.
Look them over with care.
About some you'll say
"I don't wish to go there."
With your head full of brains,
And your shoes full of feet,

You're too smart to go down a not-so-good-street.
And you may not find any you'll want to go down.

In that case, of course, you'll head straight out of town.
It's opener there, in the wide open air.
Out there things happen, and frequently do,
To people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don't worry, don't stew.
Just go right along, you'll start happening too!
Oh the places you'll go!
You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers,
Who soar at high heights.
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
  • Except when you don't,
    Because sometimes you won't.
    I'm sorry to say so
    But, sadly it's true
    That bang-ups and hang-ups
    Can happen to you.

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race
Down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
And grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
Headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place… for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come,
Or a plane to go or the mail to come
Or the rain to go or the phone to ring,
Or the snow to snow, or waiting around for a Yes or No
Or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
  • Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite
    Or waiting around for Friday night
    Or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake, or a pot to boil,
    or a Better Break or a string of pearls,
    Or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or
    Another Chance.
    Everyone is just waiting.

No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing.
With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
  • On and on you will hike, And I know you’ll hike far
    and face up to your problems whatever they are.
    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.
    Step with care and great tact
    And remember that Life’s a great balancing act.
    Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
    And never mix up your right foot with your left.
Will you succeed?
Yes you will indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
  • Kid you'll move mountains
    So... Be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O'Shea,
    You're off to great places!
    Today is your day!
    Your mountain is waiting.
    So... Get on your way.
I was reminded of this spectacular book at Lexi's school program last night (which was adorable - all Dr. Suess songs and costumes), and had to come home and look it up.  I'm astounded at how much truth resides in the words of this silly book.  Not so silly, indeed ... 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed!

Friday, October 14, 2011

just a sliver

I just had to laugh a bit ago.  I will just say that the last week has been tough, and I've done nothing much more than move between my recliner and my bed.  Disclaimer before you read further:  My amazing husband absolutely CANNOT do anything more than take care of me when I feel like I have been, so please please do not think "well why didn't he do those dishes?"  TRUST ME he is and incredible man and goes so far above and beyond for me!

Anyway, today I decided it was going to be mind over migraine for at least a little while.  I went down to my kitchen to put SOMETHING on for dinner.  I pulled out all the fixins for chili and threw it into a pot and gave it a stir.  I rinsed the cans I'd opened and splashed tomatoes, etc, all over the walls, counters and toaster.  I then tried to put them in the recycling bin which was stuffed so I emptied it.  Of course the trash had to come next, but I banged my shin on the recycling bin door that I forgot to shut first.  Then I opened the dishwasher to start unloading it, and found the iced tea pitcher, and thought, oh I should make iced tea!  So I started the tea, and turned around to get the water and fell over the open dishwasher door.  Oops, stir the chili, that was the point of all this right?  Back to the dishes - dishwasher now empty - ooh tea is done brewing so I filled the pitcher and put it into the fridge, well wait I had to rearrange a bit and remove my lunch from MONDAY to make room first.  Back at the sink, hang on, turn around and shut the refrigerator door, near miss on the cabinet door hanging open from putting away the plates, stir the chili, omgosh is that crockpot REALLY still sitting in the sink from the night before last?  Yes, yes it is.  Awesomely gross.  Hey the answering machine light is blinking, when did that come in?  Yesterday.  Oh no, YESTERDAY!  Yesterday was my dad's birthday and even though I remembered I didn't call him, stinkin' crud, good thing we're going out to dinner on Saturday.  Stir the chili.  Shut remaining doors and drawers.  Wipe down the counters.  Collapse back into recliner.
Maybe I'll try the laundry tomorrow.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

lessons learned from a recliner

Now that I'm regaining some semblance of normal (ha!) life, I figured I better chronicle some of the lessons I learned while I was out of commission.  Sort of like building a verbal Old Testament altar, you know, so I won't forget?  Some of these things are ongoing lessons, some are spiritual, some are logical, some are BFO's (Blinding Flash of the Obvious) ... but most I would not care to repeat learning unless necessary, if I'm being honest.  I'm thankful for the lessons, and realize that I needed the circumstances I was given in order to learn them, but I would NOT have chosen those circumstances!  It's a good thing God didn't give me the choice I guess.  Then again, I sound like a big whiner to my own ears - my sad little uncomfortable summer is nothing compared to what so many people I know and love are experiencing.

These are in no particular order, and this is by no means a complete listing - my memory stinks WAAAY too bad for that to happen!  But look at it this way, I will probably forget enough material for several more blog posts!

1)  I don't care nearly as much as I used to whether my carpet is vacuumed when you come to see me.  I'm just glad you're here.

2) My friends and family are great cooks!  I have a whole new section of my cookbook thanks to the great meals they brought.

3) Receiving ... is hard.  Doing it with genuine grace is even harder.  Not being willing to receive, or not being able to do it graciously, robs the giver of joy, minimizes the love and care they want to show me, and is just plain prideful.  Receiving doesn't make me weak.  It doesn't make me a failure.  It just means my burden is big enough that I need to share it, and I need to trust God to provide the meeters of my needs.

4) I set the bar really high for myself.  Too high.  Because my bar is perfection.  That makes it sinfully high, honestly, because only God is perfect and the idea that I can even get close is quite simply sin.  It took having that bar not just lowered but nailed to the floor for me to understand this and repent.  There is a difference between excellence and perfection - God is perfection, and he wants my best effort - my excellence - but I need to leave the perfection to him.  This is both the most important and most difficult lesson of the summer, and honestly, I am fearful that I will slide back into this lifelong way of behaving, thinking, "performing" without realizing it.  This is the lesson that I am begging God to make permanent.  Perfectionism robs me of so much and I've sacrificed much on its altar - do you see with me how it can be an idol?  When I'm striving for perfect, where are my eyes?  On myself, my task, the expectations of others ... and they are NOT on God.  Anything that takes my eyes off God can be an idol, and this has been one for me.  I feel like a once-vital piece of me has been scooped out and is still empty, waiting for God to fill it as he pleases ... I can't help but be afraid that I will, out of inattention or discomfort, fill it myself. 

5) My oldest little is INCREDIBLY compassionate for a 7-year-old.

6) I am not defined by the tasks that I do or don't do, whether that's laundry, finishing a book, or planning a conference.  I am a broken vessel, on the Potter's wheel for the rest of my life, and if I define myself by my tasks then by default I cannot be defined by God - my Creator.  I cannot accept myself for who I am in His eyes if I am too busy looking at my own reflection.
7) A few frozen pizzas never hurt anybody.

8) An extra 10 pounds isn't the end of the world.  (Not quite anyway.)

9) The 60+ pages I wrote while I was off?  Well, that was just between me and God, a permanent record of the journey, not to be turned into something else, just to be kept and remembered when I need reminding.

10) Although I have never minded spending long stretches of time at home, not being able to drive added a dimension I wasn't prepared for!  I felt like a prisoner - even though I had tons of help and offers to drive me, run errands, etc. - just the fact that I couldn't pick up my keys and walk out the door if I felt like it was maddening.  Gave me a perspective and a heart for the homebound that I didn't have before.

11) I re-discovered a hunger for Christian non-fiction - this might be a time thing for the most part, as I had hours and hours to read and write and process that I didn't have before and won't likely have again, but I read some fantastic books that really challenged me and made me re-define my thinking in some key areas, like social injustice, the Holy Spirit, giving, loving like crazy.  This one I really hope will be ongoing - I used to read such books insatiably and have just gotten away from them over the years.

12) God's Word is alive.  Active.  Sharp as a two-edged sword.  Filled with promises that He wants me to claim.  True. A big story of redemption - mine and yours.  My mechanical "quiet time" has been replaced with an insatiable appetite for the Bible, and I am going to have a hard time going back to a schedule that requires me to shut that down at a specific time rather than when the Spirit shuts it down!

13) Not wearing makeup is really good for my skin.

14) Knowing my limits, on all levels, is really important.  Pushing beyond them is not helpful or healthy and bites me back more often than not.  Remember, Angie, you are not defined by how many hours you work this week.  :)

15)  Last but definitely not least (for today anyway):  My husband is an amazing man.  He took care of me, looked out for me, protected me, fed me, picked me up off the bathroom floor more times than I can count, took over all the household chores, loved me with all his heart - all while carrying a huge burden of the fear of the unknown.  Leaving me, especially in those early days, was excruciating for him.  He lost his companion and gained a "care-receiver," yet still needed to support our household while caring for me. I have no words for how thankful I am for him and for how deep my love is for him.

OK one more.  I am loved.  Three little words - one huge concept.  Can you say the same, and really believe it? 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


My littlest little turned four yesterday.  She is a 40-ish pound combo of princess, sweetness, third-child-loudness, excellent negotiation skills, quick wit, and sassiness.  Lots of sassiness.  She can do everything by herself (of course).  But she also still fits perfectly on my lap for a snuggle - rocking a warm and lovely bundle right after she wakes up is as good as it gets for me.

She lets her wishes be known, and walks with what I can only describe as a "swagger" - I know, how is that possible in a four-year-old princess, but I'm not kidding you, she pulls it off.  It's a cross between fearless confidence and, well, sassiness. 

We've never had a girly-girl in the family before, so we are all learning as we go ... that you can never have too many Barbies, that a bath is not complete without bubbles, that her nails need to be painted ALL the time, that a huge dollhouse can consume her for hours, and that some combination of tiaras and tutus and high heels are a regular part of her ensemble on any given day.

Happy Birthday, my funny, sweet, sassy girl!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

celebrating baby steps

Nope, still no diagnosis.  A few possible explanations for some sypmtoms, but no overall answers.  However, that news takes a back seat to what really matters:  I am continuing to feeling better!  It is so interesting to feel thankful to cook dinner for my husband.  Or get my own groceries.  Or even clean my toilet myself!  Before you misunderstand let me say two things:  First, if you are reading this and are one of the angels who has served me in one or more of these ways over the past months, THANK YOU!  I honestly don't know what we would have done without you.  But second, those tasks I mentioned used to be just mundane, everyday things in my life, some of which I enjoyed, some not so much, but the point is I just DID them without thinking - until I couldn't do them anymore.

Today, I give thanks while frying an egg, gathering shoes to put away, running to the library to return books, and yes, even while cleaning the toilet.  (I might have only given thanks for the toilet once.)  I have a different understanding of "give thanks in all things" - I have always thought of that in terms of hardship - even when things are hard, I am to give thanks, and of course this is true.  However, it's never occurred to me to give thanks that I can get groceries!  Another one, "do your work heartily, as unto the Lord" - always thought that applied to my job (or primary ministry) ... not so much to sweeping the floor. 

And so I continue to process as I regain my energy.  I have to go slow - of course I just want to go back to 100 mph right now.  But I can't do that, my body won't let me.  And frankly, I'm thankful,  Because I really think the lessons I've learned during this time would quickly fade if I were able to do that. 

I feel changed.  I will (please God I hope I will!) go back to my job, and nothing in the end will look as if it's changed from the outside (except maybe a few more gray hairs and BIFOCALS, thank you very much).  These few months have been hard, and scary, and discouraging.  I will not ever say otherwise.  But I will also never, ever, deny that God has used this time in a mighty way to show Himself to me and reveal some things to me ABOUT me that I don't think I was ever ready for prior to now.  As a result my perspective towards Him, towards others, towards work of any and all kind, whether home, job, volunteer, missionary, prayer, or study, is different.  I've realized how much I operate based on what I know, what I'm good at, what comes easily to me, what makes sense to me, without ever giving God a thought, let alone looking to see what He might have in mind.  I pray every day that the work God has begun in me will not only carry through into every corner of my life, but will continue to progress because I choose to remain in the Potter's Hand as I slowly re-enter my "real life."

This song is speaking to me right now - I need to be mindful of what I just said - it would be so easy to just step back into my old shoes and go back to "Egypt" - it was comfortable and I was happy enough there right?  At least it was safe and a known quantity.  However.  I don't think it fits me anymore.

Monday, August 15, 2011


This has been a longer pause than I intended!  I do have some good excuses ... mainly that until this past week I have been in a drug-induced haze.  One of the medications I've been on that is supposed to prevent migraines (Topamax) simply makes me stupid.  Instead of getting better, over six weeks' time, it just kept getting worse, until I felt like I was losing pieces of myself day by day.  I got to the point where getting the dishwasher loaded was a big accomplishment for the day, and anyone who knows me realizes how ridiculously WRONG that is!! 

On top of that, two weeks ago I aspirated something (food or liquid) into my lungs and ended up with pneumonia.  Needless to say, that incapacitated me for awhile.  Thankfully we caught it early so I was "cured" with antibiotics and avoided the hospital.

Two weekends ago, I decided enough was enough.  I did a TON of research and discovered that the reaction I was having to the Topamax was not unusual, and would probably not get any better as long as I was on it.  Considering that I was still having almost daily migraines, it seemed pretty obvious that it is not helping, and the side effects are intolerable.  So after talking with one of my doctors, I began the process of safely tapering off the Topamax and starting another medicine that I have taken before (and tolerated well) that is also a good preventive for migraines.

I also discovered that migraneurs often have magnesium deficiencies, so I started taking magnesium supplements last Monday.  I also found that caffeine is terrible for migraines ... ARGH!!!!!  But at this point the potential tradeoff is worth it, so I have been cutting back my caffeine drastically with the goal to be caffeine free.

THE RESULT:  I had a fantastic week last week!!  My energy is returning, my brain is de-fogging, I've rediscovered my sense of humor, and I'm BORED!  That may be the best sign of all.  :)  I only had two headaches last week.  Most exciting:  I was able to attend a big family function Saturday, and went to church on Sunday for the first time since May.  All attempts to be part of big groups of people previously have failed - sensory overload I guess.  I would get a migraine almost immediately and have to leave.  So I am just thrilled beyond words to have had such a great week and to have been able to interact with people I love outside of my house.

I did have an MRI on my neck last Friday (checking to see if the disc above the one that was fused last summer has possibly herniated - we know it is bulged and if it has herniated it could be causing a lot of my symptoms) and a vision evoked potential test today (checks how fast my brain responds to stimuli - another MS test).  These are the last two tests that I know of, and once I have those results we plan to gather everything up and go back to my primary care doctor for help in deciding where to go from here.  There are a lot of "borderline" results in my various tests, but nothing definitive - of course it couldn't be that easy!

I continue to savor my morning time reading, studying, writing, and being still before God - this has been and continues to be an incredible time of spiritual growth for me, and while I don't especially like the particular circumstances, I would not trade the things I've learned and the way God has revealed Himself to me for anything!

My big littles started back to school today.  I can hardly believe it - summer's gone and they are now in first and second grade.  Speaking of savoring, time really does fly, and I continue to have impressed on me the importance of choosing well how I spend my time.  It matters.  Those little bodies are only going to fit beside me in this recliner for a little while longer, and sick or not, I want them snuggling me while they're still willing!
Happy Monday!

Monday, August 01, 2011

mixed up, messed up moment

Ever have one of those moments (or days!) when you get mixed up, or forget something you know like the back of your hand, or put something in a totally random place, or mess something up you've done a million times?  A bit disconcerting, no?

Well, I had one of those yesterday, and it nearly sent me off my rocker.

I diligently fill both Greg's and my little Monday-Sunday pill boxes every week.  Needless to say mine has gotten a bit heftier lately.  When I put his out for him yesterday morning, there was a white pill in there that I didn't recognize.  And it was one more pill than what is normally in his "set."  So I started to try to figure out what this extra fellow was.  Now, to complicate things, between us we take THREE little white pills.  And I was almost out of two of them, so my pillbox was not completed for the week with two out of the three.

The more I sorted the more confused I got.  Naturally I had thrown away the empty bottles and hadn't yet picked up the new prescriptions.  My biggest fear was that I had accidentally put my migraine medicine in his box, you know that one that makes me stupid?  That's the LAST thing I need - to send him out the door to work with power tools on ladders, stupid.

I'm working my way into a full-fledged panic, because these are definitely three distinctively different pills.  Even though they are all white and little, the letters they have on them are not the same.  I'm ready to throw them all in the trash and start over (never MIND that one of these is $1 a pill!) when my mom comes in with the new prescriptions.  So we get the two out that I had refilled and were able to sort two of the three into known piles.  But still that left a whole pile that I  not only had no I idea what they were, now I couldn't even remember whose box they had come from!!

Thankfully mom's level head saved the day - she called the pharmacy and (who knew?) there is a reference book they use to look up pills by color and size and the numbers and letters on the pill.  I would venture to guess this little book is usually needed by 80 something year old people on the other end of the line, but whatever, it saved the day ... the extra pile of pills ended up being generic ZYRTEC which I just started putting in his pills this week because he's having allergies like crazy.  Seriously.  Memory trouble much?

I, of course, started bawling because 1) I was relieved and 2) apparently I have the memory of an 80 something, and I might be insulting them by saying that!

Oh well, as Jennifer Hudson proclaims, it's a NEW DAY!

Friday, July 29, 2011

this day

Last night with the thunderstorms came the mother of all migraines - WOW! I finally got to sleep about 11:00, and had my fully expected sluggish, dopey wake up this morning. COFFEE PLEASE!

A sweet friend comes for coffee before work once a week and today was the day - was it tempting to text and cancel? Yes.  I could barely lift my head.  She totally would have understand ... but I was awake and I knew she would still love me dopey and sluggish, so I didn't. And what a blessing it was to spend that time with her - it always is, but today was an extra special time.

Next up was some pre-planned time with Christa and the littles. I've had so few opportunities to spend time with them this summer, and that makes me so sad. So again, while I was so tempted to crawl back in bed, I went on over, and had some precious one-on-one time with each kiddo. Mase and I built with Trios - some sort of amazing Spiderman contraption that would keep out the bad guys and keep the good guys safe, complete with ladders and stairs, steps, swinging doors, labs, etc. Of course everything I tried he had a "better way" (he was almost always right, darn kid). It was sweet time with him. Next up, Lexi and a ferocious game of Rummikub. Speaking of darn kid, she beat me! But it was a good, fun, close game - she is so good! Lots of chatting which is not normal during that particular game, so we got "caught up" too. Also got to see her new ginormous bear that she bought with her own money - the thing is half again her size and she lays in it to read. :) Also got to see her new backpack and peek into her new school supplies - pure joy, for REAL!

Then Callie, not to be left out, wanted to play a game too. This was actually hilarious. The game she picked was ridiculous - it's a tub of tiles that each have a word on them, and the point of the "game" is to make sentences out of the words. (I'm not even sure it's really a game at all, and remember she's THREE. She CAN'T READ.) Somehow it took on Rummikub-ish rules and we divided the tiles and the goal was to get rid of them as fast as possible. So picture this ... I'm over there obsessing on how to make these random words into real sentences and she's lining her tiles up by color as fast as she can. Guess what, I lost that game too. :)

And that was it ... my "push" was over, and I dragged myself home for a bite of lunch and a super long nap.

I started a book by Warren Wiersbe called "The Bumps are What You Climb On" - only read the first chapter, which was good - I'll let you know as I progress - but it led me to Psalm 91 which was fantastic for me today - do me a favor and put this aside, go find a Bible or go to biblegateway.com and look it up, and tell me if it encouraged you as much as it did me!

This day.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

these days

These days ... I've been waiting until this "season" passes to start blogging again. You know, my usual eclectic weird mix of goofy, serious, littles'-adoring posts. But as I've alluded to in the last few, I've got some health stuff going on, and on ... and on. So if I want to keep posting it looks like I'm going to need to give you at least the short version of the backstory and catch you up to speed so that I can tell you about the cool things that are happening on the journey, and I really want to share that stuff! First, this song seemed really fitting this morning - pretty apt description of where I stand right now ... trying to learn how to love these days.  (Plus I just love Mandisa!)

On April 7th, I had a sudden onset migraine accompanied with vertigo, and shortly thereafter started having seizures.  Thankfully my husband was home, and he called an ambulance.  I spent several days in the hospital, including being transferred to an epilepsy unit, and came home with no real answers.  I began having nearly daily migraines, sometimes accompanied by the vertigos, and occasionally with seizures.  I made several more trips to the emergency room, obviously started seeing numerous doctors, and the short version is this:  no one can figure out what's going on.  I have lots of other symptoms that started at the same time - swallowing problems, balance issues, numbness & tingling in my hands and feet, vision problems, excruciating fatigue, I could go on.  The latest is that I had a a bunch of blood work and a lumbar puncture last Friday looking for MS and Lyme Disease, and the results should take about 10 days.  The closest thing to a diagnosis I have is "migraine with seizures," which I believe to be true, but it cannot explain all the other things that are happening at the same time.  I have been sent "chasing symptoms" (such as the vision problems) to specialists, none of which can be explained within the specialty of that doctor.

I will tell you that if the lumbar puncture/blood work come back negative, we are considering going to Mayo Clinic.  We think at this point that we need a team of people on "the case" to see what is going on - obviously it's quite complicated.

I've been on a leave of absence from work since July 1.  I can't say enough about the wonderful people I work for and with - they were not only gracious but encouraged me without hesitation to take this time to get well.  My co-workers and other friends have been encouraging in so many ways, checking in on me, bringing meals, visiting me, and breaking me loose from jail from time to time (I'm not driving either).

As you might guess, though, the days can get long, and nearly daily migraines are quite frankly exhausting and depressing.  I fight against losing joy and hope ... my heart and mind know the truth - the source of my joy, the source of my hope, are in the God who is right here to comfort me, and who has a purpose for this time in my life - I know it I know it I know it!  But I'm human, and there are just days when I am sad, and days that I get mad.

I have made a choice, though.  When I realized that I would have empty hours stretching before me every single day, I knew that I would have to choose carefully how to spend them, or the depression would envelop me quickly.  Law & Order, fooling around on Facebook, etc., are great time wasters for me, and I could easily spend all my days doing nothing more, especially if I'm not feeling well, and of course it could be rationalized by ... you guessed it - I don't feel well!! 

However, I knew that for my spiritual, emotional and mental health, I needed to make a different choice.  So I am spending my mornings with the Lord, one way or another.  I don't have any "formula" (unusual for me - another post about that coming soon :) but rather am reading a number of books that have been on my "I'll get to that someday" list, listening to music, reading devotionals, studying scripture, and journaling like crazy.  I'm learning to get real with God, and it's been absolutely stunning to me how near He has come when I let my defenses down.  (WHY do we keep up our defenses up against God?  I suppose because we've learned we need to keep them up against people to stay safe, so we automatically keep them up towards Him too, our ONLY safe place?)  Anyway, I'm still stutter-stepping my way into this "realness" but it is raw and lovely, and I wake up excited to do it again every day.

That's it for now.  Back soon.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

hula hoop hips on the 4th of July

Gotta love these two hula-hoopers - Lexi's been working at it for awhile (now don't forget the coordination gene factor that runs in our family - all in all she's doing pretty well in my opinion)!

And never one to be outdone, youngest little must have her turn in the limelight.  Now she is definitely the most coordinated of the three, so at her age, I again think she does a pretty darn good job!

I had to laugh when Christa sat down to make Mason repeat the the punk rules to her before they started doing their fireworks - most of them were the usual expected ones, but the very first rule he stated was "DO NOT touch anyone with the punk!"  Ha ha ha!  Wonder if that had already happened the night before??

Sunday, June 26, 2011

stop, drop and roll

In the shower this morning, “Stop, Drop and Roll” came into my mind. When we’re on fire every instinct tells us to run, thrash, scream, fight – to preserve my life. That is MY instinct. I do feel a bit like my life is on fire. But the truth is that the safest thing to do – as counterintuitive as it might seem – is to stop, drop and roll. This makes me grin – God you’ve clearly taken care of the stop and drop part for me. Not sure what the “roll” will be but I can be sure You will show me in your good time.

Started the “Experiencing God” workbook this morning – I did this years ago and have been nudged from several directions this week to do it again.  One of the first sections talks about having a roadmap for my journey, knowing all the turns, stops, yields, etc. ahead of time – I like that! Didn’t You make me a natural planner? This makes sense to me! – vs. having a passenger who knows exactly where we’re going and all I have to do is turn when he says turn. Put in that light, of course I’d prefer the second way – in fact, I think there’s a third way that sounds even better – You drive and I’ll just come along for the ride. Then I don’t even have to worry about whether You’re paying enough attention, whether I’m in the right lane, if the turn is coming up soon – I just go where You go, and I’m relaxed enough that we talk all the way there.

You sent Abram out with a simple command: “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” (Gen 12:1) So basically, he just had to pack his bag and get in the truck, right? And even packing is iffy – if you don’t know where it is you’re going it’s pretty hard to pack the right stuff. And I can imagine the agony of trying to figure that out … so maybe it’s more of "just get in the truck" and trust that You will provide for me on the journey, as well as at our destination. 

At the same time as You gave him the command to go, You made him a promise:

“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Gen 12:2-3)

And with that, Abram gathered his stuff and his family and off they went. But here’s the thing – the very next verse tells me where they ended up! So I skip right along without even thinking about what the journey must have been like – clueless, wandering, frustrating even? You don’t tell us about what that was like. But yet You’ve given me the “leave and go” command and now I’m choosing to get in the truck. And I know all about the promises You’ve made to me. I know with all my heart that they are true, because You told me so.  Am I living like I believe them? Nope. So here we go. I’m bringing nothin’ but You – because I don’t have the energy or the foresight to know what I might need. Take me where you will Lord, I’m ready for a road trip with you! Yet realistically I know I’m going to be digging in the glove compartment looking for that map, asking to drive (maybe even stealing Your keys), wanting to stop at Walmart for supplies, etc. You know me. So maybe you should cuff me to the door … wait!  Maybe that’s EXACTLY what You’ve done!

Stop - check.  Drop - check.  Roll - ready, but only with Your help.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

just me and elijah

This is definitely NOT what I expected to be posting about right now.  But this passage from 1 Kings 19 has had such an incredibly profound impact on me over the last few weeks, as I've struggled with my health, and the unknown, and eventually coming to terms with the reality that I need to take a leave of absence from my job.  I need to rest, recover, and pursue answers so that I can get well.

This passage has boomeranged back to me over and over and over, and so I just had to share it (with liberal editorial comments).  I would recommend that you read the whole of Chapters 18 and 19 first for context, especially if you don't know the story of Jezebel.  Anyway, here's what poured forth in the last hour:

(Note:  Scripture quoted in purple, my comments in black.)

1 Kings 19 excerpts:

(Elijah is running for his life from Jezebel.  He was afraid – and with good reason!)

v. 4-8

“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree;  and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, ‘It is enough; now O Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.’”

He has had enough, and asks God to kill him! And how does God respond?
“He [Elijah] lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, 'Arise, eat.'”

Then he looked and behold, there was at his head a bread cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water.  So he ate and drank and lay down again.

The angel of the Lord came a second time and touched him and said, “Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.  So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.”

So God gives him rest, food, rest, acknowledges the weight of Elijah's burden, and gives him more food - food to sustain him for 40 days and nights!!  And what does Elijah do?

“Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold the word of the Lord came to him and he said to him, “What are you doing here Elijah?”

Elijah protests:  “He said, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I along am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”

What does God do then?  He’s fed him, given him food unlike any other, protected him, and now Elijah’s hiding??  God says:

“Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord was passing by!  And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing.”

Elijah hears this and comes as far as the mouth of the cave, blinking, no doubt, in the sunlight.  And God repeats:  What are you doing here Elijah??”

Elijah repeats the VERY SAME protest!

God tells him to move along.  But He promises help, and delivers it in the form of Elisha, and an army of 7000 men to stand with him.  The mantle is passed from Elijah to Elisha - no small job here for Elisha!  And yet, (v. 21): “Then he [Elisha!] arose and followed Elijah and ministered to him.”

Take aways for me:

1) God knows what I need. Sometimes it’s as simple as food and rest.

2) Sometimes the journey I am on is too great for me.

3) Only HIS food will sustain me for the journey he’s set before me.

4) Even when He provides so incredibly … Elijah still wanted to hang out in the cave.  Felt safe?  Didn’t trust, for sure.  Scared, definitely.

5) God reveals HIMSELF. Speaks directly to Elijah, twice!  And Elijah’s response is protest and defending himself.

6) Only when God promises help in human form can Elijah rouse himself and move on.

7) The help God sent was Elisha – someone to TAKE OVER for Elijah (for whom the journey was too great?) – and yet even as he took over, he followed Elijah and ministered to him.

Great – GREAT – is His faithfulness to know and give me what I need.  Great is His patience, when He’s giving me EXACTLY what I need, even directly revealing HIMSELF to me, and yet I protest.  And great is His mercy, to provide a human replacement when I need it, and greater still that he would send a replacement not just to relieve me of my burden, but a replacement who will minister to me.

Written with joy,

good intentions never get me very far

So, my faithful readers, for all my big talk about getting back to regular posting, it's been something like three weeks since I've actually done it.  Here's the deal.  I keep waiting for a "happy post" to materialize, and it just ain't happenin'.  So the next one, in the near future (translated: as soon as my body cooperates with me), will be an "I yam where I yam" sort of blog.  God is working in me, and I have an idea simmering, or maybe in the crockpot, or maybe just a meal plan, but I'm waiting in hope that it's mealtime soon!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

ah, my heart!

My biggest little finally lost a front tooth.  Or I should say, she wrenched that tooth out of her mouth by herself.  She's late losing it - she turned 7 in January - but still.  Still.  As joyful as I was for her and with her, my heart gave a little lurch as I sensed some sort of rite of passage.  I'm not sure my sweet girl can still be called a "little" when she gets "big" teeth.

Sadly, the Tooth Fairy must have had a very busy night because the expected exchange did not take place last night ... here's hoping she shows up tonight or someone will have some explaining to do!

Short post, full heart.  My mind's eye still sees this little one curled up in a tiny (bald) ball clutching her beloved blankie and sucking her thumb.  But time defies my memory and marches on, and on, and on.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

birthday boy

Last week we celebrated the middle little's birthday.  It came during a week of straight-up chaos - their house "flooded" Tuesday night due to a faucet malfunction in the upstairs bathroom, and water ran down through ceilings and floors all the way to the basement.  They camped out with us all week, and we celebrated his birthday with grilled cheese sandwiches and (Campbell's) chicken noodle soup - his choice.  :)

Imagine his delight when he opened this gift - the one thing he wanted more than anything was a remote control monster truck!

Unfortunately for him, there's more to the story:

Love the singing, love the "cha-cha-cha" and love the long-distance candle blowout.  Love this boy.

(I'm thinking the marketers missed the boat here - this should be advertised as educational: "This product is guaranteed to teach your child delayed gratification every single day!  No lesson plans or parent preparation necessary! Any frustration experienced by the child may be redirected toward the product, thus maintaining peace and harmony in your home.")

Thursday night was his kindergarten graduation - a mass of six-year-olds on risers ... never a good thing.  Let's just say he and the kid next to him punched each other a lot, and a little girl in front of them inexplicably fell off the riser.  :)

Happy birthday, buddy - we love you so!

Monday, May 16, 2011

mr. fox's revelations

Oh, the places you can go in 90 minutes with the Littles!  I wish I had taken my camera ... then again, I would have been relegated to observer status and the evening probably would not have unfolded as it did.

First, dinner.  Leftovers for all ... even though they each chose their own fare, none were pleased.  I'll spare you the whining. Then, homework.  Quick and easy; you can tell the school year is almost over.  And out to play we go!

With the swings, monkey bars, tree climbing (Lexi is just downright scary in that tree, by the way), the hula hoop (not me, thanks) and a pitiful game of catch (Callie is the only one of the four of us that regularly catches the ball) behind us, Mason suggested we play "What Time is it Mr. Fox?"  After five minutes of yelling and negotiating between Lexi and Mason, I finally figured out that we were going to play some version of tag.

It went like this:  Mason was Mr. Fox, at one end of the yard.  We girls stood at the other fence and yelled (you got it), "WHAT TIME IS IT, MR. FOX?"   At this point he is supposed to give us a number between 1 and 12.  We are to take that number of steps toward him.  This makes sense to me, clock, time, etc.  His response: "Twenty hundred!"  Lexi yells at him that it has to be less than 12.  He pouts, lip out, arms crossed, the whole shebang.  He states that there are 24 hours in a day so he should be able to go up to 24.  I peel Lexi off the (proverbial) ceiling and get her to agree he can go up to 24.  We ask again, "WHAT TIME IS IT, MR. FOX?" and he tells us 9.  We walk 9 steps toward him. We ask again, he answers 14, we walk 14 steps toward him.  And so on.  We get closer and closer to him, and at any time, he could say "MIDNIGHT!"... at which point we should all turn and run back to the fence.  He should then chase us down and the first person he tags is now Mr(s). Fox.  (2011 version of "you're it!") 

Here's the problem - he really likes being Mr. Fox, so even when he has walked us nose to nose with him and he finally yells "MIDNIGHT," he never attempts to tag anyone.  In fact he doesn't even move an inch.  Meanwhile the three of us have hightailed it back to the fence, and he's still standing at the other end of the yard.

Predictably, Lexi is furious.  After the third round of this, I basically tackled him and said he tagged me, mostly to keep Lexi from losing her mind.  He pouts.  Now I'm Mrs. Fox, and of course I play by the rules, they ask me "what time" and I get them close to me, step by step, then I yell, "MIDNIGHT!"  They start running ... well the girls start running and Mason plants himself in front of me.  I skirt around him and since Lexi is already back to the fence, I chase Callie down and tag her ... and she flips out crying.  Like, bawling her head off, hitching sobs crying.  I'm holding her and asking her what's wrong and trying to see where she's bleeding (I didn't knock her down, I swear!), and when she can finally answer me:  "I just didn't WANT you to tag me!"  And she kept crying.

You get the picture, right?  We attempted various versions of this for about 30 minutes.  I'm wiped out, Lexi is yelling the rules at everyone and trying to make order out of chaos, Mason is pouting and breaking all the rules and generally creating chaos, and Callie is half-crying the whole time.  Mr. Fox certainly backed up all I know about birth order (my own included)!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

uncommon tribute

Mother's Day.  Celebrated far and wide.  Around tables, in churches, over the phone, in restaurants, in parks, backyards, visiting, laughing.  Celebrating.

I love that.

But I can't help but think about so many women who are childless on Mother's Day.  The ones who have lost a baby, a child, a teenager, an adult child.  The ones who never had a child, whether they wanted one desperately, never got around to it, or chose not to have one.  The ones who are estranged.  The ones who are forgotten.  This is probably not a day to celebrate for them.

However, HOWEVER.  We SHOULD celebrate every woman we know on this day, regardless of their "mother" status.  Because every woman on this planet has had an impact on many, many people.  Think about all the other women in your lives besides your mother that have made a difference in your life.  Stop.  Think.  There are countless numbers of them, right?  School teachers.  Sunday school teachers.  Neighbors.  Your friends' moms. Your friends now. Mentors.  And more than likely, some of them are not mothers in the celebrating Mother's Day kind of way.  But more than likely, we would not be who were are today without them.

For me, I was shaped and molded and made who I am by my mothers (I happen to have two ... that's a whole 'nother blog.)  I am so grateful to both of them and I love them so much.  I am blessed beyond measure to have not only the two of them but also my mother-in-law still here with me, and all three of them actively involved in my life.

I can also think of many other women who have poured into my life and made a difference, young and old, rich and poor, skinny and ... well you get the drift.  Some of them are mothers, some of them are not. They don't replace my mothers. But I am thankful for each and every one of them.

So today, as you celebrate your mothers, consider reaching out this coming week to some of the other women who have impacted your life.  They may not even know they made a difference, and you might just make their day.

Monday, May 02, 2011

heard one Sunday

Brooke lobbed me a good topic today!  (See come play with me if I've lost you.)  :)  I'm mulling it over and will give it a go soon.    

Meanwhile, we took the littles to church with us yesterday.  After collecting them from Sunday School, we crammed them into our (usually roomy) Malibu for the ride home.  Get the visual here - a 7, a 5, and a 3-year-old sitting cheek to cheek.  So by default they're touching each other BEFORE they even start touching each other!  Trying to avoid the inevitable, I started asking them questions.  Lexi enthusiastically said, "My class was GREAT today!"  I was a little surprised - she is usually pretty reserved.  So I asked her what she learned about ... "The Holy Spirit!" she said. 

Well, I immediately gave mental kudos to the brave souls that were willing to tackle the Holy Spirit with first graders!  Then I thought, hmmm, I probably should ask for more information before I'm TOO impressed, right?  So here's how it went:

Me:  "Who is the Holy Spirit?"
Lex: "He's God!"
Me: "How can HE be God?  God is God."
Lex:  "He is!  Jesus and God and the Holy Spirit are all God.  There's three of them, but they're all one too, you can't understand it but it's just true."
Me: "You're right ... but God lives in heaven, so where does the Holy Spirit live?"
Lex: "Inside me."
Me: "Inside you?  Why?"
Lex: "To guide my path, to guide me every day!"

WOW.  Yep, I'm seriously impressed with the Sunday school teacher, the curriculum, the staff, whoever and whatever put yesterday's lesson together in a way that sent her home with TRUTH LIKE THIS!  Wow.

(an aside ... throughout this whole conversation, there is a running commentary from Callie, whom I repeatedly shush because this is important stuff we're talking about)

Then Mason:  "Well, 'Bobby' (not his real name) said somethin' to me that I didn't agree with."

It's Mason, right?  So I'm expecting something like, "He said spiderman has wings."  Nope - "He said the Holy Spirit was the devil!" 

Me:  "Well, you're right to disagree - that isn't true.  What do you think?"
Mason: "I think the devil's a serpent."
Lexi: "He used to be an angel but he wanted to be like God so God threw him out of heaven.  But I think he can be a serpent."

So here's my invitation to give them the age-appropriate version of Creation and The Fall (Genesis 3).  I told them the story of the devil (as a serpent) giving Eve the apple she wasn't supposed to eat, and that when she and Adam made the choice to eat it they disobeyed God.  I told them what the results were ... why it mattered ... how their own little world is changed because of that bite.

Mason:  "But what if the serpent cut off an apple from the tree they weren't sposed to eat from and glued it onto the tree they COULD eat from, then gave them that apple they weren't sposed to eat but they didn't know it?  What would happen then?"

Uh ... ok got it.  "Well, then it would have been a trick and they wouldn't have CHOSEN to disobey God, so that's different.  What's important, though, is what DID happen, and that it happened because they didn't obey God."

Lexi:  "Besides, MASON, that could never happen anyway because a serpent doesn't have ARMS!!"

And the final act ... Callie ... "Nini, Nini, is it my turn ta talk?  My talk now?  Can I talk?"

OK Callie - it's your turn.  What did you want to say?

Callie:  "Umm .... ummmm .... Nini?  My fingernails need paint."

Mind-blowing and hilarious 15 minute drive home.  God is good, all the time, and oh how I love those littles!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

five favorites

Hi Kooky,

Tiny's never-ending soliloquy is a melliflous backdrop to the cacophony of the tv, the ubiquitous presence of two unhappy felines and of course, Excruciatingly Loud Middle Little & Bossy Big Little.  


The first four are my current favorites just because I like the way they sound.  I get a kick out of trying to work them into regular conversation.

The last one, wudge, may disqualify me because it's not technically a word, but it's my all-time favorite.  When Lexi was just starting to talk, "I love you" was one syllable for the longest time - "wudge."  It has endured in our family despite the fact that she has no longer knows what it means (which makes me a little sad, to tell you the truth).

So I'll add another, just to be sure:  REALLY?!  Note that this one must be bolded, capitalized, and followed by both a question mark and an exclamation point ... it is an all-purpose word that can mean:  "Are you kidding me??" or "Are you SURE?" and generally infers sarcasm (one of my specialties), rolled up nicely into two syllables.

Frankly, you could ask me this question every week and get a different answer - I LOVE WORDS!  Probably not an accident that "word" rhymes with "nerd."

Happy Sunday!  Who's next?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

come play with me!

Good morning!  After twelve straight hours of sleep, I'm on a roll!  House is clean, laundry is done ... the only thing left on my list is to paint my nails.The littles are coming for a sleepover tonight so I should probably consider conserving the rest of my energy.

I had a thought.  I really love doing what I call a "Free Write."  Here's what that looks like.  Something sparks my interest, whether it's something I read, hear, or some random thing that just pops into my head.  I do lots of these in my journaling ... what if we did some on here?  I'm thinking that you all can give me some topics - a word, a sentence, a paragraph - silly, serious, emotional, ridiculous - and I'll see what "pops out" and post it here if it's worth reading.  Of course you will be the ones to judge whether it's worth reading or not ... but it might be fun!

And how about this?  Post your own "free write" (on your own topic or one that is suggested) as a comment here!

No rules - oh wait, just one.  Please post your ideas as a comment here instead of on Facebook - it will be much easier for me to keep track of them that way.  There's several options on how to do that - if you have questions I can help. 

Ugh I just realized that I used the phrase "as a comment here" in two successive paragraphs ... really not ok.  But I'm leaving it, this one time.

Friday, April 29, 2011

pink is my beautiful

Today I had a lofty goal:  to spend my birthday money on a new, fun purse, not because I really needed one, but because I usually look at a purse as a necessity, not an accessory.  So, in addition to my regular "daughter-groceries-errands" Friday, we took the littlest little and went a-shopping.  I asked Tiny to help me choose, and she did - she gave me two (pink) choices and this was my favorite.  When we got back in the van, she said very matter-of-factly, "Pink is my beautiful."  Can't argue with that!

Hey I'm excited that so many of you are stopping by this blog!  (My little site meter counter thingy tells me so.)  But I would love it if A Slice of Life was a busy two-way street instead of a one-way alley ... you can comment right on this blog or on Facebook if you visited from there.  It's too quiet in here - honk your horn or at least give me a wave.

Gotta go ... Tiny wants to be Nini and it's time for me to be Tiny and open up the restaurant for pretend lunch!  (She's already wearing my flip flops and reading my book - she's reaching for my phone - LUNCH IS SERVED!)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

what time is it?

I just had a startling thought.  For months now, I've been lamenting the fact that my desire to write was in the wind.  But why?  Why.  Maybe because my mind has been so incredibly occupied with so many other things, there's been no room to wander.  When my thoughts roam, the writing tends to flow. 

These past few weeks, I've been forced to slow down.  Mentally, physically, emotionally.  This has not been an enjoyable time for me, and many complaints and whines have wandered about.  In my thoughts, to those around me, and yes, toward God.  "What about this?"  That's been my question for him.  Guess what ... WRONG QUESTION!  More importantly, wrong focus.  "What about this?" focuses on me, and on the "this." 

Right question:  "What do I think of You now?"  I think that what You say is true.  I think that You are faithful and merciful and gracious and your lovingkindness towards me is endless.  I think that You have a plan for me and that it is perfect.  So if I really believe that what I believe is really real ... then I'll let You handle the "this" and I won't worry at all.  And my walk will match my talk.  Yet I echo the cry of the unnamed father (Mark 9:24) as Jesus healed his son:  "Lord I believe!  Help me in my unbelief."

So I told you all that to tell you this:  As I've wandered through the wilderness, my thoughts have roamed and wandered also.  And out of all that, the wind has shifted and the words are flowing again.  I've missed it altogether - how often do I miss the BFO's in my life?  (BFO = Blinding Flash of the Obvious.)  I saw a little boy's letter to God that said, "Dear God, thanks for the baby brother.  But I prayed for a puppy."  I've been praying for the puppy, and God is trying to give me a baby!  (Ooh wouldn't that be nice, for real?)

So today, I give thanks for the time.  The time for my thoughts to roam and wander.  The time to really examine and consider anew the unfolding of God's grand plan for our rescue through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross and the miracle of the empty tomb.  The time to rest.  And yes, the time to write.

(P.S. The next time you hear me whine or complain about the "this," for I surely will, please ask me::  "What time is it?")