Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Been On A Hiatus of Healthy Changes

Well, I have been absent from blogging for an amount of time that does not really suit me. If I allow too much time to lapse between writings, I get edgy and indecisive. It becomes too big a deal to consider what I should write about next, which prolongs and complicates the issue even further.

So without further ado, I will plunge into a post that is sort of a of a catch-up. Since I last wrote, we are have one fewer chicks in the nest. M, the girls, and I all drove up to Virginia to leave R to spread his wings by way of a summer internship. I tend to live experientially, not utilizing undo nerves and stresses until the moment arrives when they are needed. So I do not pre-agonize over life's necessary and most-often good, changes. We checked into two rooms at the extended stay hotel after a day's drive to our destination. One for R and his room-mate who would be arriving the next afternoon, and the other for the Fam. Words could not express my gratitude when M met me in our doorway, pillow in hand, telling me he was going to bunk with our boy for the night.

I couldn't really explain why, but I just had a better feeling about "our" room, so we retained it over the initial one assigned to the boys. After a restless night's sleep, we went to church together and met a few folks we'd corresponded with before bringing R with us. They were all very welcoming and kind, and our comfort level increased as we drove around afterwards and further acquainted ourselves with the surroundings we were going to leave our son within to fend for himself. After a stop for lunch, and a trip for extras at the local Super Target, we all climbed onto R's bed and held hands, praying for the peace, guidance, and protection of our heavenly Father. Then, I cried. Tears of memories, of pride, of hope, of faith, of letting go, of leaving, tears of love. It was all as it should be.

We left him, secure in His care. It was time.

Of course, then we didn't get the phone calls he was supposed to be making as he was traveling to and fro for the evening's orientation. I was able to get hold of him - until the final call. He and C were due to return to the hotel, but the ways and means were a bit unclear. Two hours after the orientation was supposed to be over, I finally reached him. I could hear cars whooshing by. As it turned out, none of their plans had materialized and the boys were hoofing it the 6 miles home. In addition to the frustration, helplessness, and worry that flooded my brain - was amazement that he was able to navigate his way back. All ended well, I'm happy to report, and I hope a lesson was learned. Thank You Lord.

The funny little illustration at the top of this post is a nod to the other, lesser event that has kept me from writing. Hydrocodone - post the sudden need for an appendectomy this past Friday has kept me a bit fuzzy. Man, do You know how to care for me or what?

R's scripture verse for his graduation just a few weeks ago was from Matthew 6:33, but the words that follow it are some of my favorites as well, and particularly applicable as I review the past few weeks: Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Now, may my little Appendix's best wishes and His loving care continue into this next week for me and you both!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Volkswagon... Take Me Away

Long, long ago, in the carefree lands of childhood, there lived a little girl. She didn't know what conservative was, but she understood patriotism; she hadn't heard of the virtue of modesty, but she knew she should be comfortable in her own skin. Her dreams of what she would be when she grew up consisted of all manner of fascinating careers to be seen on evening variety shows - ventriloquists, trapeze artists, magicians, and go-go dancers. She also dreamt of being the Mom of five, and through her own experience of Calvert fourth grade thought homeschooling was cool, but knights on horses and traveling through time were still just as plausible possibilities. The secret of flying was just out of reach, but it might still be there when she woke up one of those times.....

Of course, I was that little girl. My favorite color was psychadelic, I loved mastering tongue twisters, and I was positive I could see my future - I would look just like the model in the J.C. Penny catalogue. Some things we envision as children never come to pass and we must reconcile ourselves to the facts and be content - I never grew tall and leggy like the Penny's model, but I did get a big, toothy smile. Some things are even better than we'd imagined - my husband and children and our life of learning carries echoes of my own childhood as well as greater richness with each year's experiences. And some remain dreams, sweet and distant reminders of all that we thought could be, and hope for a promise of overflowing fulfillment. I've got a Volkswagon van on my list of heavenly joys to be relished in when I get to glory.

Make mine psychedelic....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Our Times Are In His Hands, Even When We're Running Late

Yesterday, I had one of those divinely arranged appointments God blesses us with from time to time. He brought a little lady named Ruby Mae Baker and I together for the span of about ten minutes.

*'Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.'

Sometimes, when I make my milk runs to South Carolina, I am able to fit a hike in with my kids. So this particular day, although we’d gotten off to a much later start than originally planned (as we sometimes do), my youngest three and I were just able to get into Kings Mountain with time for a nice climb before their trails closed. After the enjoyable drive up that way, all four of us were ready to get out and stretch our legs a bit. As we pulled up, there weren’t many other folks around so we couldn’t miss the two sharing the parking lot with us. A rather heavy man and a quite elderly lady with a walker slowly got out of their car, and distance quickly came between them. I noted that he left her to get along by herself, as he shuffled up to the visitor’s center.

The girls and I had to stop at the ladies room before tackling the mountain. So we headed in that direction; however we quickly found the lady and her walker barred us from further entry. She turned to look back at me and I reassuringly smiled and told her to take her time.

“I’m going to need some help, “ she replied. There was no apology or embarrassment in her voice or behavior, and just like that we went from strangers to family. I stepped toward her, absolutely honored.

“Of course,” I assured her as I followed her into the large handicapped stall. We chatted matter-of-factly as we shared our names and where we were from and took care of business. That was her son Philip, waiting outside. Her family had recently purchased the pretty earth-toned outfit she was wearing. Her back was really hurting her these days, and she’d been to the doctor but it wasn’t any better so she was going back again. She was bright as a bird, despite the wear years will take upon skin and bones.

When we finished up in there, we came out and I washed our hands together, squirting out the soap and running warm water over them. Where does all that purple under the skin come from, I wondered. Not wanting to use the noisy hand-dryer, I quickly pulled a wad of toilet paper from the stall and used it to dry our hands. I watched her as she watched me, and made sure to dry them thoroughly so that there would be no slipping from the silver handrails of her walker.

“I’m from Kings Mountain," she said in her soft southern voice, “and I’m…. 94 years old.”

“You’re beautiful,” I replied with simple sincerity, “I hope I’m as beautiful as you are when I’m 94.” She was too. We chatted a bit more before leaving the room and rejoining our families, parting in relaxed friendship. The deep joy that comes to reside in our hearts when we live out the graciousness of serving one another and humbly being served was ours. I didn’t think to do so then, but wish I had.

This kiss is for you, Ruby Mae. Thank you.

*Leviticus 19:32