Friday, August 26, 2011
Today I was shuffling through this well-organized pile of papers and something important fell behind the desk, towards the wall.
I reached my hand back there, barely able to wedge my oh-so-slender arm between the desk and the wall. I could almost reach the paper. I leaned. I stretched. I pushed with my feet.
I moved the desk one crucial centimeter closer to the wall.
For a good solid 3 minutes, which is a long time when contemplating who you are going to have to call and explain this to, I was pinned to the wall.
Yes, I got out. No, it wasn't pretty. Yes, I got the paper, but I think I left some skin behind on the back side of the desk.
But it was most certainly NOT funny
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Emma is sick again. She was up all night last night either retching or, um, creating laundry for us to do.
And I'm under-the-weather as well, but I thought mine was just a cough ... until Emma's doc suggested I check to see if I have a fever.
Turns out there's this lovely strain of adenovirus going around where you get sort of a cold and flu two-for-one deal! Adults start with a cough and sore throat and then kids suddenly start in with the exploding diapers followed by about a week of cold symptoms. So Emma and I are sick.
Charlie seems to be doing ok, but he's a little DONE with appointments.
I was done with appointments today, too, though.
My foot has been hurting for awhile (I know, really really dumb problem to have) and I've been ignoring it for awhile. But I couldn't ignore it any more so I went in today. The doc poked my foot and I howled in pain ... Charlie thought I was being silly and laughed ... doc ordered an X-ray ... X-ray tech was totally NOT compassionate in telling me that the kids couldn't go in the X-ray room with me and she "didn't exactly have a babysitter around here for them" so I left them right outside the door with another patient who had kind eyes and told me she, too, was a mom.
Long story short, I've earned myself a very fashionable BOOT to wear on my foot for awhile. I have NO idea how I would have gotten a stress fracture, but I'm guessing the cause is less than 4 feet tall.
And if I never hear the words "stool sample" again, it'll be too soon.
So how are you?
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
But I find that, while I'm in a valley, there's no time to reflect. I'm certain that there's something to be learned from times of darkness or sadness or stress, but I often find that those are the exact times when my heart isn't absorbent enough to take the lesson in.
So I'm sitting down today to reflect on something that happened a few weeks ago.
Emma had been bloody-diaper-sick but was finally deemed well enough to have ear surgery, my extended family was all working very hard to move my grandmother into assisted living, and the skylights in our bedroom had leaked so our bedroom needed to be completely empty to "re-popcorn" the ceiling and therefore Josh and I were sleeping on our futon.
I had just dropped Charlie off at Nana's for the day and was driving up to Children's for Emma's ear surgery.
I listened to a Christian radio station on the way and one of those i-know-this-world-is-hard-but-just-hang-on-Jesus-is-coming-back-soon-to-take-you-away-from-this-awful-place-songs came on. I don't like those songs. I don't like the implication that nothing here matters and we're just here for a sadistic sorting experiment to see which souls are worthy to go to heaven, where the real party is. I don't like the escapism it encourages. I don't like the image it paints of Christians that we are so heavenly minded that we are of no earthly good.
I think we are here for so much more. If my theology is going to be reflected in music, it's much closer to a CD I often listen to on which Track 6 is called "Where are You now?" and Track 7 is "The prayer of St Francis". Track 6 has lyrics about children in poverty and people suffering in injustice and the chorus reflects the Psalms as it cries "where are you now? where have you gone? come quickly, it's been too long." And then Track 7 replies "Lord, make ME an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let ME sow love ..." Implying that WE, dependent on the Spirit of God at work within us, are to be used to answer those prayers of despair.
However, on that day, I was not focused on theology.
I was tired. I was sad. I was going to lay my daughter down on yet another cold metal table and hold her until she fell asleep and then walk out of the room. I have done it so many times, but many of you know that it doesn't get any easier, regardless of how minor the procedure is.
So when the singer on the radio belted out lyrics about leaving the weight of the world behind us, I burst into tears. Sobbing as I drove up the highway, I started screaming at God "Come now! Please! I'm done! I can't do it anymore, please just come now!"
God can handle my bad theology.
And more than that, He can calm my spirit.
So now that I'm out of the valley, I'm back to hearing the hallelujah-I'm-getting-out-of-here-soon-songs and wondering what their place is. I read Scripture and find Isa 58:6 where God tells us:
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry
...and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
and I think about the beautiful picture that this paints of our God who calls us not to empty rituals but to serve Him by actually being a part of His redemptive work HERE. I love the image of us, the Church, as the Body of Christ, each doing our own part with our own gifts to help mend God's broken world. The plea of "Where are You?" should be answered with one look at the church, the city on a hill, and the light that is within each of us.
So is it wrong to ache for more than this world and this life?
In the last two verses of the Bible, Christ says, "Yes, I am coming soon," to which John replies, "Amen. Come quickly, Lord Jesus." Paul says it other places, too: "Come, oh Lord!" So I'm certain that it's not sinful.
But where is the balance between work to be done here and ache for the final Work to be done where Christ will at last put all right?
I have been pondering this question this week, and I think the thread that ties the two together is HOPE.
I have hope that He can do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine with His power at work within us, but I also have hope for a new heaven and a new earth and a world without end.
I have hope that this world can be better than it is through the work of the Spirit through His people, but I also need not worry that we aren't going to do a good enough job, (because let's face it, we're not) because I have hope that He will be returning to complete what He started.
So it's not wrong for me to cry out and look forward to that glorious day.
But that cry should not be without hope, and it should not be a cry of one abandoned.
Which gets me back to that day on the highway.
I realized something after Emma's surgery was over. I realized that, for lots of silly reasons (mostly prideful ones), we hadn't told a lot of people that she was even having surgery. Usually there are blog posts and Facebook statuses and prayer requests, and during past procedures the Body of Christ (both in our church and in our family) has come around us and lifted us up and supported us. This time, we told a few people who offered meals and prayers, but we didn't tap into the support we have like we have in the past. I don't really want to go into how that happened or why, but I'm realizing it was wrong.
Because if I'm feeling like I want to cry "Where are you now? Where have you gone? Come quickly, it's been too long" then maybe I need to remember to allow His Spirit-filled church an opportunity to be an Instrument of Peace for me. God has blessed us so much by surrounding us with an amazing cloud of witnesses who are REALLY good at loving us and supporting us and helping us when we need it ... if I can swallow my pride enough to admit when I need it
Monday, August 15, 2011
All joking aside, I'm so proud of her! We went on vacation last week and she sort of decided that walking was truly the best way to get around!
Now, she's not brave enough to do it by herself yet, but all she needs from me is one finger. And I say she needs that from me because she's so enamored by this new method of transportation that she's very whiny unless she's being walked. And no, a push-toy will not suffice. I think she likes seeing wide-open spaces in front of her and therefore refuses to even grab on to anything that would help her keep her balance. My lower back is killing me. :)
That's ok, though. I'm super proud of my baby girl!!