R.I.P. Caramel Lollipop

Oh, my daughter. Such a tender heart, with emotions very close to the surface. She cries easily, and shows very real emotion. Most times it makes me feel sad too, to see her hurting.

Not this time.

This time she was sad because the caramel lollipop she was eating was now gone. “It was so precious, I didn’t want to eat it!” And yet she did.

Let’s pause for a moment of silence to remember and honor the precious caramel lollipop.

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Face plant

My mom has come to visit! My house was already a frenzy, with grandparents returning my kids from the fair and a friend visiting to chat. When my mom walked through the doorway I was so excited to see her I rushed over to hug her and totally lost (misplaced) my balance and made a good face plant on the hardwood floor with my teeth. I was so happy, I was crying and laughing all while holding my mouth to check for blood. I think somewhere in the middle of all that I had knocked down my daughter too, so while I was lying face-down on the floor, I was looking and reaching over to make sure she was okay. She was fine. I was fine. The whole thing was hilarious.

Damn MS. I really need to remember my body isn’t cut out for running..

Perspective

If you’ve heard the story of the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years, you probably remember it as a punishment of sorts. Those stubborn Israelites, not trusting God, and suffering for decades because of it. We often sympathize with the Israelites. That’s how the story is generally used, as an example and admonishment to not be like the Israelites.

When I read this passage today I noticed it was told from the other side of the story. From God’s perspective. It made me chuckle.

Acts 13:17-18 – “The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. And for about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness.”

1) “During their stay” makes it sound like a vacation, doesn’t it? I have no deep insight here, I just thought it was funny.

2) God “put up with them”. Yes, because I’m sure they did not go 40 years without complaining. If you are a parent, you undoubtedly know what it’s like to put up with an ungrateful child complaining that they aren’t getting what they want or need (according to their childish understanding). It’s aggravating at best. It’s frustrating because there isn’t much you can do, other than let them work through it on their own, and hope that they eventually come to a point where they realize and become grateful for what they do have.

Sadly, some kids don’t ever get there, to that place of gratitude. Or they get there, and they forget. I have lost count of how many times I’ve been there and forgotten. I’m kind of getting back there now, again. I don’t want to be that child who God has to put up with. I want to be thankful. I want to see the streams in the desert. I want to make the most of life during my stay. I am in the desert, but God is with me here, and holds my future. For that, I am grateful.

Attitude of Gratitude

Don’t ask me how I’m doing.

Because I know you were about to, weren’t you?

Right at this moment I am good. I have my coffee and my yogurt (w/ granola and strawberries, of course). I am walking and healthy-ish, my kids are here with me. We have the whole day ahead of us. Natalie’s bedroom was destroyed while playing with her friends yesterday, so today’s challenge is getting her to help clean it up. Good luck, Momma.

[Let me pause right here and tell you about the coffee. A friend was visiting yesterday and she told me about someone who puts cinnamon in their coffee by putting it right in the grounds. What a fabulous idea! So I tried it this morning and it is simply divine. The flavor blends right in. Yummy!]

Today I read about Job, who was stripped of his wealth, lost his family and his health, and yet he still praised God. People thought his affliction was a result of his sins, but the Bible tells us that it was not. It just was. And his story has been both a comfort and a lesson to hurting people ever since.

I have often asked God why He allowed me to lose my hearing and eyesight, and I have yet to get a clear answer. I wonder if Job struggled with that same question, Why?. And if he did, how did he come to a place of peace? This is where I am. I don’t pretend to know why all this happened to me, but there are some things I do know, and that’s what I need to focus on.

What do I know? Well, for starters, I have been reunited with my children and my friends and countless others. While I am “stuck” at home I have the opportunity to build into my children’s lives, shape their character, learn who they are. Secondly, our “wealth” has been protected through all of this. And third, I still have sufficient eyesight to take care of myself and do most things to care for my family (like cooking, laundry, and cleaning). The bonus third is that I can still read books with my Kindle.

I have to thank God for these things and give Him ALL the praise, because tomorrow one or all may not be true. That’s not to sound pessimistic, but realistic. We know from hearing others’ stories that life can change in an instant. In the blink of an eye, it can all be gone. So you (yes you, reading this post) must recognize all that you have that is good and true and then praise the pants off the Lord for giving it to you. An attitude of gratitude starts with a simple thank you, but must be continually fed and pruned. Say thank you and mean it. Over and over and over again.

Somehow I went from having no worries about tomorrow, to worrying about today. Argh. Sometimes I drive myself crazy.

I really want to teach my kids good habits, like being polite and cleaning up after themselves. But in order to do that, I need to 1) Be consistent and 2) Remember I’m the one in charge. I think my son knows that I enjoy having him home and that I want to give him good things, and he sometimes uses that to his advantage. And my daughter is just young and strong-willed.

So tomorrow we are starting a new day, with a new resolve to be consistent with my expectations and remember that I have the final say. No snacking on junk unless we have eaten a good, healthy meal. No “screen” time until our latest mess is cleaned up. And maybe others, but we’ll start small so we can focus on making those things habit.

What do you think? Any suggestions? Do your kids struggle with manners or keeping their rooms and other play areas tidy? I am all ears, so if you have any tips or suggestions on this subject, please share!

 

No worries

No worries! I tend to say this often, though mostly to convince myself that there is nothing to worry about. Or rather, remind myself. I have a habit of stressing about things like meal planning and housecleaning and scheduling. It drives me nuts. What should we eat for dinners? When will I have time to clean the bathrooms? What is everyone doing this week? I live for my Cozi calendar.

In the midst of all this normal, daily stuff, I must remember what Jesus said (found in the book of Matthew, chapter 6): “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.”

See? I don’t have to worry about tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that. Tomorrow will worry about itself, and we aren’t even there yet. And when we do get there, it won’t be tomorrow anymore. It will be today, and today is easy. Yesterday, today was tomorrow, and I was stressing a little about it, but now it seems so silly. Because I’m here now, and it’s good.

One. Day. At. A. Time.

Today, we can do. We got this!

Mourning independence lost

I think I’m finally starting to let go of my “need” for independence. I’ve always been a do-er, a person who could take care of things herself, and had a resistance to asking for help.

That doesn’t work for me anymore.

I hate, hate, hate to feel like I’m a burden to anyone, and I hate having to rely on others. Last fall, I was a burden, but the people who bore that burden loved me just the same and carried it lightly. For that I am grateful.

I have come a long way since then, and have returned to some sense of normalcy, where I feel like I am contributing something of value to my family. I’m feeling useful again, and it’s nice. However, there are still things I cannot do no matter how hard I try.

I cannot drive a car. This means I can’t go get the groceries for the family, or drive the kids to and from school, or to friends’ houses for playdates. And that drives me crazy some days. That there is no option. It just is what it is.

How do you deal with something you cannot change? You could fight it, but what good would that do? No amount of fighting will change my vision. It is 100% out of my control. And I suppose I could cry about it, but I’ve shed so many tears over the past year, I think I’ve run out for awhile (Not to mention, crying doesn’t change the facts either).

So what option is left? Acceptance. Ah, now we’re getting somewhere. But what does acceptance of this low vision look like? I think it is this: you do what you can, and delegate the rest. So that is what I’m learning, to delegate. What I’m learning through the process is that people like to feel needed, and are more than willing to help. They seem to know I’m not just a lazy freeloader (most of the time, anyway) and are eager to help. It seems the bonus out of helping is that they get to spend time with me, and our friendships grow as a result. That sounds a little selfish when I say it like that, but truly, people like me! I’m funny! And, I will buy you coffee. And chocolate. And fill up your tank with gas.

That is it. Accept what is real and true with humor and grace. Laugh a little, be kind to others, and for the love of Nemo, just keep swimming…

 

I may be deaf and half-blind, but I am and will always be… still Mindy