Wednesday, March 28, 2012

True Confessions

I agree with my friend Holly. Life on the internet seems to be about image management. I have also seen the opposite happen where “bold” blogging turns into verbal venting regarding loved ones and all dirty laundry is aired for complete strangers to see. My hope is that this blog will fall somewhere in the middle. It should be a place to be honest, but also a place to uphold my husband, children and others in the greatest respect.

So with that said, here are some true confessions. They are not going to be the worse things I have ever done in my life, but they definitely won’t be my finest moments either.

It has been several (best to be vague at this point) weeks since I gave my master bathroom a thorough cleaning. Somehow it always ends up being the last room in the house to clean.

Just this week I calculated how much longer my kids could go in our 80+ degree weather before getting out their summer clothes.

Even with a huge (comprehensive departmental) exam in in less than two days, I am procrastinating on studying by writing this blog post. My aptitude for procrastination is the bane of those around me.

For dessert, I gave my kids six chocolate chips each. Then when they went to bed, and I pulled out the good, dark chocolate bar with sea salt. I would like to confess how many squares I ate, but that would be divulging a bit too much information.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bit of Bragging

Missy, from It's Almost Naptime, (whose blog I love so much that sometimes I secretly think about visiting the big, ole state of Texas just to hunt her down) has a good point. Moms should brag on their kids sometimes (or at least on Mondays).

Personally, I have tried to avoid bragging about my kids too much. I think they are all kinds of awesome, but I didn’t want other people to get that glazed over look when I started talking about my kids and what they do and do well. It might be kind of a protection mechanism for me to joke about their imperfections. Then people won’t think I am one of THOSE moms who won’t stop talking about how their children are so far superior to everyone else’s kids. The truth is that my kids are pretty average, but sometimes they do amazing things that make my heart burst with pride and joy. So I think it is a great idea to record some of those things to remember for posterities’ sake.

Today my oldest daughter wiped my youngest daughter’s bum. Now that is love.

My kids have an amazing way of making me laugh. Today at the dinner, my five-year-old told me she wanted to be a dancer, a dolphin trainer, and a singer when she grew up. My two-year-old hemmed and hawed for quite some time and finally announced she was going to be a giraffe when she grew up.

My five-year-old daughter prays almost every night for people who do not have homes to live in, food to eat, or mommies and daddies to love them. My two-year-old prays almost every night for her “brudder” or “sister” in China (and sometimes she adds a specific request that she will get a sister because “we don’t have any brudders in our house”). The littlest one also often prays for little kids who don’t have mommies or daddies. My girls' childlike compassion is so humbling.

So here is the link to her blog hop if you want to join in. .

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Darker World

I serve the One who caused the blind to see. This is comfort in the wake of my optometrist appointment several weeks ago. Over one year ago, I went to see a retinal specialist. He confirmed what several optometrists mentioned might be a possibility. I have an uncommon retinal disorder called Stargadt’s disease (approximately 30,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with this disorder).

Unfortunately the retinal specialist was very busy and very flippant about my disease. He essentially told me not to worry about anything until around fifty. From the very sparse information this specialist gave me, I thought I would begin to lose my eye sight around fifty. However, I thought it would be slowly progressing so that I would not be legally blind until my seventies.

My optometrist and the literature painted a different story this week. My optometrist said the loss of my eye sight would be rapid (within several years) and the literature states fifty percent of people diagnosed with Stargadt’s disease are legally blind by the age of fifty. Couple that with the fact that I have had a sudden increase in sensitivity to light and headaches brought on by eye strain leads me to believe that I will be fortunate to have sight for even two more decades.

My fifties and beyond were supposed to be so golden. There would be money to explore and the whole world would be our stomping ground. There would be new hobbies to take up. There would be time to do so many things once the kids were raised. There would be joyous trips to the zoo with sweet grandchildren. There would be excursions to the flea market and antique stores finding unique items of interest for the house. There would be books to curl up to and read at a luxurious pace.

Now it looks like those things will not happen the way that I imagined them.

It is time to imagine a new golden era, one without sight. This week I brushed the girls’ hair, walked through the house, and tried to apply make-up all with my eye’s closed. It doesn’t really give me much of an idea though, because each time I can open my eyes. It is a complete unknown. When I stop to think about it, it feels like falling. This lovely song has helped me to rest in God alone. The portion about lesser lights and fleeting shadows speaks directly to me now.

Still, my soul, be still
do not be moved by lesser lights and fleeting shadows.
Hold on to His ways,
with shield of faith against temptation’s flaming arrows.

God, You are my God,
and I will trust in You and not be shaken.
Lord of peace, renew
a steadfast spirit within me to rest
in You alone.
“Still, My Soul, Be Still” by Keith & Kristyn Getty

Before the eye appointment I had read a very good freelance piece in World Magazine by Andree Seu. She writes, “To reckon how utterly out of control we are regarding our personal features is to surrender more contentedly to walking according to the unseen rather than the seen.” I tore the quote out of the magazine and even posted it to Facebook. Little did I know that God may truly be calling me to walk the unseen path.

Please pray that God will give me the faith to travel whatever path He calls me to and that only will I trust in the One who caused the blind to see.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Doubts and Fleeces

Lately doubts have set in. Creeping, ugly doubts. We have hit some bumps along the road to our adoption. Things have not been as simple as we anticipated. Rarely are they in the adoption process, I know, but I am starting to get discouraged.

We are traveling this road at the same time as dear friends of ours. They have received so many confirmations that they are on the right path. They received their referral much sooner than anticipated and people in their church have contributed huge amounts of money to their adoption. They didn’t have hang ups and hiccups. They have had smooth sailing. It didn’t take much and I started to doubt.

I started to wonder about God’s plan. Were we following it? When was He going to confirm we were on the right path? Where was that writing on the wall assuring us that we were doing the right thing?

I was giving God a condition. “Show me a sign so that I might be encouraged to continue to obey You.” Sounds a little like someone named Gideon (Judges 6). Gideon asked God to make the fleece he laid out wet with dew but keep the ground wet one night and vice versa the next night.

While writing this, I googled Gideon. It just so “happened” that I stumbled upon this great blog post addressing this very issue. Louis Kinsey at Coffee with Louis states, “When we lay fleeces down, we show that we are reluctant to believe God’s promises to care for us and guide us. It shows that we are unwilling to trust the renewed minds and consecrated brains that God has given us. We reveal an impatience with prayer and a lack of confidence that prayer will be answered.”

That is exactly where I have been. I have longed for something that I can point to and say, “Look at God moving mountains for our adoption. That must mean we are following His will.”

This just shows my lack of faith. I am looking for a sign even when I know that God’s plan for my life is so much greater than I can ever fathom. God is gracious and I fully expect He has a plan that puts ours to shame. Now I just have to wait with patience, remaining in prayer, to find out what His plan is.