Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Grannyazzi!!!!

It's no secret that I love to scrapbook, but perhaps even more than the actual art of scrapbooking, I love to buy scrapbook stuff. It doesn't matter, just stuff. Paper, adhesive, stickers, embellishments, books, magazines, new fangled gizmos they have out, DVD's....all of it, and it matters not to me if it's on sale or not, if I really like it.

I received an email that a new group of one of my favorite paper lines was arriving at one of my favorite scrapbook stores, so I had to go check it out. When I got there and saw it, I HAD to buy it all. The line was called, Mammarazzi, to go with the theme of paparazzi....crazy star chasing photographers in Europe. So, they created a scrapbook paper with that idea in mind with a crazed mother behind the camera.

How delightful is that? One of the stickers said, "RUN, MOM'S GOT THE CAMERA!!!" OMG!!! I could SO here my son saying that! (Just yesterday, actually, and he's 28!) And my newest addition to the family just looks at me, her and her little 19 month old self, and just says, "NO!" when Granny says, "Look at Granny and smile!" I haven't gotten a decent picture of her in months.

But I bought all this paper and was bound and determined I was going to get pictures of her in the bluebonnets. I thought maybe Grandpa would go with us, but he was too tired after church to go. So, Alexa and Granny loaded up the camera bag, and ventured out to the bluebonnet field.

I was so excited and full of anticipation as I just KNEW these were going to be remarkable, prize winning pictures and we were going to have so much fun taking them! I was ready!

We get there, I park, and I get the camera over the shoulder, car key in the pocket, extra lens wrapped around the arm, and get the baby out of the car. She is at the age where she latches onto the hip pretty good. We brought her stuffed Easter chicken with us, thinking that would be cute in some of the pictures, her holding the bright yellow Easter chicken in the green grass and beautiful blue bluebonnets. She's got the chicken clutched by the neck, and her legs have me clutched around the waist.

We go over to a tree that I've taken my girls pictures in by the bluebonnets for years now. I try to sit Alexa in the tree.

"Ouch!" I say out loud. I've never had a python around my waist, but I would imagine the feeling is about the same as what this child is doing to me with her legs. She wants NO part of that tree.

"Come on, Honey," I coax. "Sit in the tree for Granny...please."

Isn't going to happen as the grip around my waist gets tighter. Okay, give up that idea, maybe she'll stand by the tree. Nope, my waist is getting smaller as her grip tightens even more. (And while smaller would be a good thing, basically she's just pushing the fat higher and lower, so I'm becoming deformed...) "How strong is this kid?" I wonder.

So, I get a bright idea. I ask to see the chicken. She's all about showing other people her things, and she gladly turns over the chicken. I set the chicken down in the bluebonnets and take its picture. I get the picture up on the viewer of the camera and show it to Alexa.

"See, Chicken likes to have his picture taken in the pretty flowers!!! Does Alexa want her picture taken in the pretty flowers?" I am trying to reason with the 19 month old, pulling out the only card I've got, pretty much.

She mumbles and gurgles some little phrase that I'm sure converted to something like, "Listen, Grandmother, I see all those weeds down there, and while the picture of the stuffed animal is quite adorable in the blue things mixed in those weeds, you've lost your ever loving mind if you think I'm frolicking in that mess. It's way too tall, and well, just needs to be mowed!"

But, of course, I don't understand that, so I try to set her d...o....w....n.

"OUCH!!!!" I let out a little more forcefully this time and look at her. "Easy, Killer!" I tell her...sounding like my youngest daughter.

Then, I saw it. I saw the translation of the gurgle and garble that sounded friendly, but really wasn't. I saw it in her eyes. A determination that told me this child wasn't getting out of my arms.

I drove quite a ways to get a prize winning picture of this beautiful little baby in the bluebonnets, and I decide at that second that she's not going to get the best of me. By golly, I'm Granny-azzi, and I'm going to get my picture!!!

So, I put pry her off my hip, drop my camera off my shoulder in the process and chicken goes tumbling, which sends Alexa into a massive panic attack, reaching and grabbing for the stuffed animal, and I finally get her loose and there she stands.

Magnificent, the beautiful blue see of flowers behind her. The wind blowing her hair gently back. Her little short outfit looking as if it was made for just this day and just this time. The entire setting was perfect.

Except.

For the closed eyes, red cheeks, tears streaming down the face, and mouth wide open with the most horrendous scream coming out of it, little body that's standing before me, with her little arms reached up for the only hope of getting out of these weeds around. Me.

I picked a yellow little daisy type flower for her to hold. She took it from me, stopped the wailing for 3.5 seconds, and then looked down, realized she was still in the weeds and they were touching her bare little legs, and went right back into screaming mode.

I look around to see if the police are heading toward me. I figure by now, someone has called the authorities thinking I'm trying to hurt this poor little baby.

So, I pick her up. I go to the road thinking maybe she can walk along side the road and I can get some pictures of her that way. Maybe not full facial shots (not that I'd want one of those now with her little eyes all red and puffy anyway), but a nice side shot of her touching a flower. Still a prize winner.

We head to the road. She actually wants down, so I put her down. Now, there are probably 20 cars that travel down this road, total, all year long. So, I shouldn't have to worry about cars too much. Well, until I set her feet on the concrete, and then the little side road becomes a major highway!!! Cars are coming, both directions! What on earth?

And guess what?

The child does NOT want to be picked up now. Cars are coming and she's running out into the middle of the road. My camera is flailing all over my back, the extra lens is beating my side to pieces, and this wonderful little granddaughter of mine is making me chase her in the road.

Okay, so this won't win me "Grandmother of the Year" if she gets hit by a car, that's for sure!!!!

I don't even want to think of what the people in the cars are saying to each other.

"Oh my, Henry, look at this lady and this poor little baby! She's running from the lady. You'd think that woman would have enough sense to take the child into the middle of the bluebonnets and not up here on the road. Some people!"

So, I catch the wonderful little snot, throw her up on my hip, and she arches her back, flops almost out of my arms, almost right onto her head on the concrete, and opens the mouth, and, yep, you guessed it, let out a scream that horror movie producers would pay good money for!

Cars are stopped. I don't know how many, and quite frankly, I don't care.

But am I done? Am I defeated yet? NOOOOOO! Granny-azzi is still determined to get her prize winning photo.

I regain my balance and shake the vision of her lying on the road with brain damage out of my mind as I've regained some control over the child. I have to stop in the middle of the road to pick up Chicken before it's run over, and head over to another spot that I like to take pictures in, never, ever making eye contact with anyone in the cars on the road that shouldn't have been there in the first place!

So, I have to go through a little bit of a ditch to get to where I want to go. The legs of life are gripped around my waist so tight, I can barely breathe.

I am going to accomplish my mission. I ignore the pain.

I get her to a thicket of flowers and try, desperately, to get the child to get down.

What does she do?

She grabs Chicken and throws him on the ground and points at it, as if to say, "THERE WOMAN!!! Take your stinkin' picture of the Chicken! He likes it down there, I don't, end of story!"

Well, if you think I gave up with this gesture, you're right. I did. She had me beat, in more ways than one. The bruises around my waist would be very hard to explain if anyone were to see them, #1, and #2, I'm out of spunk. Everything in me is gone. The "throwing of the chicken" was the final gauntlet. I have nothing left to compete with that. I just looked at her and said, "Alright, baby girl, Granny gets it. But one day, little one, one day....you'll WANT me to take your picture. I promise. And when you do, I won't take one. I will take at least a hundred to make up for today! I promise." And, I pick up chicken and we head to the car.

I just wanted a prize winning photo to put with my new photo paper. Was that too much to ask? I didn't think so, but the will of a 19 month old was stronger than my will, so I didn't get my picture.

I wonder how many times I've done that to God? Well, I am pretty sure I still do it to God. "Not thy will, but Mine," he tells us, but do I listen? All He wants is a perfect little life for me full of blessings and surprises along the way all put in place to make me happy. He would never put me in harms way, but would only take me places that would make me better, and bring out the best in me. He wants me to have His prize winning life!

But, I clutch onto whatever it is I can find, plant my will, and refuse to go, refuse to change, refuse to cooperate. I don't understand what He's wanting, or what He's needing, but I don't care. I'm not comfortable, and I'm not going to do it. Something might be uncomfortable. The surroundings might be different than what I'm used to. Doesn't matter. It's not what I want, so I'm going to resist with everything I've got.

God coaxes...."Come, now, dear child. My word says in Matthew 16:24: Then Jesus said unto His disciples, 'If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.'"

To me, that's God saying, "Deny what has you so grounded to this way of life. Deny what has you afraid to follow me. Deny it all, and come on, let's get on with the life I would have you live. I will never leave you, I will never forsake you. I won't take you somewhere and then just leave you."

And yet, I clutch. I grab. I hang on to what I can of a life that's partial, sometimes broken, and I keep control, for what ever reason. Makes no sense. But God's patient with me, ever working, gently getting me to let go. God's patience amazes me. Does it amaze you? Can you see it in your life? Times when you refused something so vehemently that you thought maybe your denial was "right" until God caught you a little off guard and you gave in...you changed. And after the change, actually caught yourself saying, "Man, God wanted me to do this a long time ago. Why didn't I?'

Duh.

Let's just say I'm very thankful I serve a patient God. I'd be in big trouble if I didn't.

And by the way, I took the little munchkin BACK to the bluebonnets, but was smart enough to take the parents this time, and guess what?

SHE STILL WASN'T HAVING ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE WEEDS and I STILL didn't get my prize winning picture. But Granny-azzi is patient. She's learning from the best. She will wait. And one day, that perfect picture opportunity will present itself, and I'll get it!!! And I'll put it on my scrapbook paper and relish in the joy of having that perfect picture to go with that perfect paper. She might be 21, and I might be 90, but it will happen!!!!

Granny-azzi doesn't give up!!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Scales - 1, Lori - 0

So, I have a problem that I need your help with. Do any of you have any idea where I can purchase a set of scales that actually work? I mean, that actually show me the truth – what I want to see – what I expect to see after DAYS of starvation? Scales that will tell me that I AM losing weight? I weigh in every single morning, just to see what the damage from the day before is, or if my efforts are going to be rewarded.

Here’s a typical morning in my bathroom:

“Good morning, scales!! How are you today? Good mood? Bad mood? I will have you know that what you are fixing to tell me will influence the type of day that every one I work with is going to have!!! So, be nice to me, okay? I was good yesterday….it has to show up in what you tell me, just has to.”

The scales almost mock me back. “Good day? Birthday cake? Come on, tub-o, you know better!”

And I step on the scales, hold my breath - do you hold your breath? Seriously, does that make you weigh less? I have no clue, but it makes me feel better, so I do it – close my eyes for a couple seconds waiting for the scales to register the tonnage, and open my eyes to see what kind of day I’m going to have.

It doesn’t matter what the scales say, I write it down. If they go down, I’m motivated, and ready for the day. If they show an increase, I look at them, kick them slightly, and write the number down, or try, because that’s usually when my pen doesn’t want to work, so I like have to dwell on the number and write it over and over until the pen decides to work. It’s like the entire system is mocking me……”Ah HAH !!!! You shouldn’t have had that piece of cornbread yesterday….good for the lips, bad for the hips!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!”

So, a mystery to me is how it takes 7 days, one full week, to loose two pounds, but takes only one day to gain 4? So, what I gain in a week, say 10 pounds – very easy to do, done it many times before – will take me 5 weeks to loose. Seriously. It also amazes me how skinny people are always skinny. I have a friend and she has two skinny daughters. I have both her girls out eat their dad, my husband, and my husband's best friend – all three – in one sitting. There isn’t a fat pocket on either body. Do you know people like that? Skinny no matter what they eat? I think the rest of us just need to hold them down and force feed them bread until they explode….I just don’t know if there’s enough bread in the world to do that!

So, how one person can eat anything they want and not gain weight is a mystery to me. How I can LOOK at chocolate cake and gain 2 pounds in an instant is a mystery to me…just baffles me. Each and every one of us is different though, different in many ways, with our metabolism being just one of them.

Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. Not true Forrest, I know exactly what I’m going to get – another week added on to my goal!

Since we’re talking about mysteries this morning, let’s talk about another one I struggle with. The memory.

Can you please explain to me how I can hear a song I haven’t heard in 30 years and recite every single word to it without even thinking about it? And yet, when you ask me what I had for lunch yesterday, I struggle. I can remember every detail of the day I got married, but can’t remember where I put my purse at night to grab it for church the next morning. I can remember exactly how I felt when the doctor told me my second daughter was going to be twins and my son was just four months old, but can’t remember how I got a huge bruise on my hip that just appeared out of no where.

I have often wondered if I could go back to school and further my education, but then I fear that I wouldn’t be able to stay awake long enough to read anything in a text book, let alone remember it. But when I take professional education classes to maintain my certified public accountants license, if the tests are in my area of expertise, I can take the tests and pass them without reading the material. So it just baffles me, this brain of mine, what it holds and what it lets go. I can remember every single address of where I’ve lived during my lifetime, but it took me three years to remember the address of where I currently work and still don’t remember the post office box number.

It does surprise me that I remember to weigh in every morning. I wonder if that is because when I do concentrate on my weight, it’s important to me and I make a concentrated effort to remember that? Surely not…..you think? Maybe? And if I really want to loose weight, I think more about what goes in that I normally do, and so the knowledge of that when the scales don’t say what I want them to say comes sweeping back over me. Surely not….you think? Hmmmm…..knowing that now maybe makes these things “less” of a mystery now, maybe. Hmmmm…..

Well, here’s another mystery for you…..

My relationship with God….Many of you can sit here today and state that you are a Baptist and have always been a Baptist, and you have a testimony. Some of the rest of you can say, “Well, I wasn’t always a Baptist, but I distinctly remember the day that I came to know Jesus and invited Him into my heart.” That’s always made me wonder about me……the word “TESTIMONY” has always bothered me since I’ve become a member of a Baptist church. Fortunately for me, no one has ever walked up to me and said, “Tell me your testimony, Lori.” If they had, I probably would have busted out cyring right there on the spot and left and never come back. See, I’ve not always been a Baptist.

If you were to give that one name, like they do the mixing of dogs – labradoodle… .labrador and poodle – chiwinny – chiwawa and weeny dog I mean how to you mix chiwawa and a dauschund!!! It’s a weeny dog, thus, chiwenny. So, if you were to give a name to what I’ve been in my spiritual life, you might say I’m a BaptiCathTerianOdist – Baptist – Catholic – Presbyterian – Methodist. Raised Catholic – Married Presbyterian, Tried Methodists, and have been Baptist since 1987.

Like the old Phil Collins song says, I’ve known Jesus all my life. But, see, that’s the mystery. How? How did I come know him?

I have no clue……and when there’s something that we don’t know, it’s a mystery to us, right? We know it happened, but we aren’t sure when or how…..

As I began to work on this story, God told me that he would reveal this mystery to me. I'd talk to a couple friends about a time in my life on different occassion lately. What that really was, was God, tapping me on the shoulder, and telling me..."Lori, this is it, this is your testimony. The most important story you will ever tell. It's the story of how you met me. So, share it. I am revealing to you the mystery."

When I was 7 years old, I woke up one morning to a whole new world. For four days, I got myself up, got myself dressed, and got myself to school, and then got myself home. The adults in my life pretty much ignored me and my four year old brother, as they went about doing what ever it was they were doing. It was three days before I got to see my mother in the hospital, cut up and bruised almost beyond recognition. She had been in a car accident. When I’d ask about my father, the subject would get changed quickly. No one wanted to talk to me about it. The doctors didn’t want me to see him. I guess that was a truth.

Until Thursday night, December 13, 1968. My grandmother pulled me aside and said, “Honey, do you know what an angel is?” Now, I was an avid reader growing up. I read anything I could get my hands on. I don’t know who gave it to me or when I got it, but I had a book of children’s Bible stories that I loved to read.
“Of course, Grandma. I’m seven years old. I know about God and His angels, “ I replied.

She looked at me, and I could read something in her eyes I hadn’t seen before. “Well, the angels came and got your Dad and took him to heaven because God needed his help in Heaven.”

I don’t remember crying at all. I don’t remember feeling anything really. I don’t know if my being all of 7 years old and believing I was so grown up made me think I shouldn’t cry, or if I just didn’t really understand what she was saying. I knew what she meant, but it was just not real.

I remember going to bed after my grandmother told me God needed my Dad and talking to God, out loud, for the first time in my life. We’d never really had occasion to talk before. My family didn’t go to church, except when we were with our grandparents in Ohio, and we went to Mass. I didn’t understand a word they said, I just followed when to stand, sit, kneel, sit, kneel and repeat whatever was being said when I was supposed to. I remember everyone getting in a line to get food, but I wasn’t allowed until I had First Dominian or something like that.

But that night, the conversation went something like this: “Okay, God, I guess I can’t blame you for needing my Dad up there in heaven. He’s a very strong man and I’m sure can do a lot for you up there. I really don’t understand, though, why you didn’t have other people up there, because I kind of need my Dad here, too, but I guess it’s okay. As long as you’ll stay here with me and be my Dad, ok? Don’t let me come home from school the wrong way and help me do good in school and be smart and help me know good people from bad people. Please.”

I’d never opened a real Bible in my life, and wouldn’t until I was well into adulthood, but I knew in my heart what was there. I knew, at the age of 7, that God really wasn’t a mystery and that His grace was extended to a 7 year old little girl that went to school and took herself off the rolls the next day, without an ounce of fear in her. She calmly explained that she was moving to Texas so her grandparents could take care of her until her mother was better. The principal drove her home that day, visibly upset, because there wasn’t an adult there help withdraw the child from school. She told me how brave I was, and I guess I was. I knew what needed to be done and I did it. Fear wasn’t an option.

So, I guess you would say at the age of 7, I knew Ephesians 17 "that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height, 19 and to know the love of Christ, which surpasseth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."

….I don’t know that I completely comprehended with all the saints what was going on in my bedroom that night, but I certainly knew the love of Christ as a child and trusted it with everything that I was. And I was filled with enough fullness of God that it helped me survive what would be the toughest year in my life that year, with the move to Texas, the rehabilitation of my mother, and the putting of my family back together. I matured about 10 years that year.

I’ve had a good friend tell me recently that to be afraid and be a Christian is almost an oxymoron. If you trust in the Lord like He tells us to, with all our might and all our strength, and lean not on our own understanding, fear shouldn’t be an option. And yet, with the powers of the world, it is. But in my little 7 year old head, I’d had the conversation of a lifetime, and at that point, fear wasn’t an option. It’s probably the most convicted I’d ever been in my life.

So, that’s where it started, my testimony. Ever since then, I won’t tell you the ride’s been an easy one, but I will tell you that my life has been blessed beyond what the little 7 year old would have ever dreamed possible! My favorite Bible verse is Ephesians 3:20 20Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
I just asked for Him to be my father, and He has done just that. I didn’t have to ask, or even think it, throughout my life. I just trusted that He would give me what I needed, and He has, and then some.

He's given me friends through my teenage years that have guided and directed, and most recently returned those friends to my life while adding new ones at the same time. He's provided for me financially and in a wonderful community. He's blessed me beyond what I ever knew growing up with a wonderful family. And the granddaughter. Oh my word, how He has blessed me with her, beyond anything I could have ever thought or imagined on my own! And I could go on and on for longer than you could read.

So, I wasn’t at vacation Bible school, I wasn’t at a revival, I wasn’t in a moving church service, when I came to know Jesus as my personal Father – I was in my bedroom – and I remember the night vividly, as if it were just last night – wait, what did I do last night? I don’t remember. But today is a good day because I’m pretty sure I lost weight this morning, but I really don’t remember…..I'll have to go look at my paper.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

BEST MOM IN THE WORLD

The other night, we were sitting at the kitchen table eating dinner. Now, this in and of itself would tell anyone that knows me that things weren’t normal at our house. Something was wrong, out of place, because #1, we are at home for dinner and #2, we are at the kitchen table. But that aside, my youngest daughter looked at me and said, “Mom, how would you like to be the best Mom in the whole world?”

Now, Mom’s, where does that question take your mind? My daughter isn’t 8, she’s not even 16: she’s 21 ½ years old. She’s very independent and pretty strong willed. She doesn’t usually ask for much, but I have been there through some pretty important steps in her life, helping, guiding, and doing what she’d let me do.

So, my mind whirls a bit and goes from one end of the scale of, “Well, I’m already the best Mom in the world with everything I’m doing, she should already see that!” to “What on earth else could this child possibly want? She pretty much gets what she wants and has things pretty easy as it is now!”

“Okay,” I say. “I’m game. How can I be the best Mom in the world?”

“Well, it would be really awesome if you’d let me drive your Charger to work tomorrow….” And she hesitates.

This is an easy one. I don’t care if she drives my car. But there does seem to be something else. (Isn’t there always something else with our children?)

“Yes, and since you’ll have my car here, maybe you’d be a great Mom and take it to the tire store and get the oil changed and the tires rotated for me,” looking imploringly into my eyes. Also note that she backed off the best mom in the world to just being a “great” mom.

Now, there are not many things I detest doing. But going to the tire store and sitting there and waiting for however long it takes is right up there with fighting the crowds at Wal-Mart in my book of least favorite things to do. Removing fingernails sounds more inviting.

But I agree to the task. What red blooded American Mom can refuse the title of “Best Mom in the World” for such a small price? Right?

I’ll just add it to my list. My list of things I have to do for everyone else. Do you have one of those lists? My list is a little long right now and a tad complicated.

As I said, us eating at home at the kitchen table is somewhat of a rare occasion. As with a million other families, we, on a pretty much daily basis, eat dinner out. After working all day and all gathering back at the house after work, it’s all we can do to make the decision of where to go to eat, much less have the energy to actually stay at home and cook something. Society just makes it easier to eat out and we’ve most definitely done our fair share to keep all the local dining establishments in business.

But exactly two weeks earlier, my husband had open heart surgery for the second time in our lives. This time was a triple by pass. My heart was worried and the actual surgery was quite stressful. The two days after were also no piece of cake, but the recovery since then has been remarkably better than the first time.

So, for the last two weeks, I’ve been wife, mother, grandmother, cook, nurse, employee, boss, church treasurer, tax preparer (it’s April of course and the families taxes are due), bill payer, physical therapist, and now the chance to be the best at one of them was presenting itself to me, so now I’m also the “car girl.”

Why not? I work at home in the mornings and try to go to work in the afternoons. I try to wear all the hats. Last time this happened, 11 years ago, the children were all still at home, and I was very involved in the community. I didn’t survive that first by pass with flying colors, let’s just say that. I didn’t pay any attention to me and lost myself in trying to be everything to everyone else. This time, I was prepared for that and am going to try not to let it happen.

So hard for women to do…..so very hard. But, I keep going back to Isaiah 40:31 “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary. “

One of the hardest things for me to do is wait, and that’s the first thing that verse tells me to do….wait for the Lord.

While Richard was in surgery, I laid out my timeline. They take him back at 7 or so, prep him for an hour, start the surgery at 8, take 3 to 4 hours for that, so he’ll go on by-pass at about 11 and they’ll close and be done by 12…let’s add an hour good measure and say he’s done at 1 p.m. So, about 2 p.m., I should be able to see him and make sure they did their job. He will have to stay in SICU one night getting done that early and might get into a room the next morning.

This is my plan. I’m prepared to wait that long. I’ve got this under control.

“Yet those who wait for the Lord…….”

Why is it that God’s timing is never what I plan? This is Question 42 when I get to have some one on one time with the man in heaven.

Anyway, God’s timing for the day was something more like this:
5:50 a.m. Arrive at the hospital
7:12 a.m. They take him back for surgery
8:55 a.m. Started surgery (okay so, I add an hour to my schedule for this….now we’re done at 3 p.m., still dealable, I’m good.)
1:06 p.m. on bypass (now remember, based on my schedule, I thought he would be on bypass at 11 or so….so add yet another hour….4 p.m. now)
3:12 p.m. off bypass (my timeline had him off by noon – now three hours behind, looking more like 5 p.m.)
4:15 p.m. talked to the doctor, he’s out of surgery and they are closing. I should be able to see him at about 6:30 (4 and a half hours after my schedule)

They called out to inform us of the progress, and in between 8:55 a.m. and 1:06 p.m., they called three times just to tell me that “redos” take longer. Well, that would have been really nice to know BEFORE I did my little schedule in my mind, don’t you think?

Then, the doctor tells me that he will keep Richard in SICU for two nights. Well, ALSO NOT in my time table, blast it!!!!

“Yet those who wait for the Lord….”

Okay, I get it!

So, I suffer through two days of having him in SICU where I can’t stay with him and can’t be in there when they are giving him meds, etc. I know he’s going to want ice chips for hours when he wakes up. Are they going to give him his ice chips? Just makes me crazy. Visiting hours are just insanely restrictive. 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. (get real, okay?), 10:00 to 10:30, 12:00 to 1:00, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. Four total hours. Four. And I get two days of this. Two days of waiting for visiting hours. Waiting.

“Yet those who wait for the Lord….”

But Saturday came and two emergencies came in and they got him out of SICU in record time and up to a room. Good deal. That part of the wait is over.

So, I stayed the night, Saturday night (have to keep the timing all down here, it’s more than easy to forget what day of the week it is and don’t even think you keep track of what day of the month it is!), and am planning on leaving in just enough time to go to Palm Sunday’s service at church and the children’s Easter Egg hunt afterwards with the granddaughter. I take a shower.

Well, if you want to call that a shower. Showers I’m used to have hot water. Where is the hot water? I mean seriously, where is the hot water? I stand there forever trying to be patient. (Romans 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.!) Taking a cold shower is definitely a tribulation in my book…..and really, do I need a cold shower to teach me patience? But, try as I might to wait for hot water, it didn’t take more than 15 minutes for me to realize this was all I was going to get. Coldest shower I’ve ever taken in my life.

I’m done. The nurse comes in and I ask about the hot water. “How do you order hot water? I will pay extra for it.”

She smiled and said, “Well, unfortunately, you don’t. This is the one room in the hospital that doesn’t get hot water. We’ve had maintenance look at it many times and they’ve explained why it won’t get hot water. I don’t understand the explanation, but what you got is as hot as it gets.”

Well, just wonderful. Yet again, that would have been nice to know a couple hours ago!

Isaiah 40:31 “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary. “

Okay, I’ve waited and yes, I guess I did gain new strength. My waiting skills had no choice but to improve and my patience meter got better, to a degree. So, now I can move into the next part of the verse – run and not get tired. As I nurse him back to health, I have more to learn and will definitely need the Lord to keep my stamina where it should be. I know I won’t be able to do it on my own. Remember, I’ve been here before and failed miserably, so I have to better this time.

I guess there will be times when I will need to walk, like the shower. Be patient and try to let things come around.

God rewarded my patience and sent him home a full day before I thought he’d be able to go home. (Yes, I’m still making my own timelines.) Now we are home and the nursing begins.

So, I’m back in the present. I’ve not been told I’m the best wife in the world, or I’m the best home nurse in the world, or I’m the best cook in the world…..so I need to grasp onto this idea of being the best mom in the world in the midst of learning a few more lessons on waiting, patience, and calmness. The ego could handle this little “best” thing, I’m thinking. Seems pretty easy to earn this title.

To the tire store I go. I wonder how long the wait is? I’ll plan on two hours, so if I’m out in less that, I’ll be happy………before this, I would have given it 30 minutes before I got tired of waiting, so while you might not think I learned anything, I really did.

(BTW – it was a 45 minute wait! I was so surprised when they pulled her car around and it was done in front of 2 or 3 people that were there first! I walked out of the tire store with a skip in my step – with wings like eagles!)

God is good.