Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sometimes it is Just a Bad Day

I tried so hard to be positive. Look on the bright side. Fine the silver lining. But I realized at 8 pm when I found my dog had peed on my feather pillows (MINE, not my husband's) that sometimes I just need to surrender to the fact that we have bad days.

I'd hoped to see reason, to see blessing, to see it all turn out in the end. But it didn't. Maybe that is the lesson. It may not turn out in the end. There may not be a treasure at the end of the trial. But God is still there, I am still here and we keep moving forward.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Best Easter Ever!

That is what my girl called it today at the local diner over a double root beer float. And while I hesitate to use superlatives, I must agree that it was a great Easter.

A dear friend from high school brought a boyfriend up yesterday, stayed the night and spent most of the day with us. My husband only had to work a half-day, so we got him from 10 am on! Blessings overflow!

We did Resurrection Eggs last night. I embarassd myself a bit by doubling the recipe--so NOT needed. And then they didn't turn out. The were gooey and SWEET. Like diabetic coma sweet.

But if the definition of perfect on this fallen world includes mistakes that don't derail, these days were perfect. My friend makes my kids feel like they are 10 feet tall and can do no wrong. There is no reason for her doting. We aren't blood related. We have nothing but Jesus in common. But she visits every couple of years and we all feel so special in her presence. That is one special person who can do that. I can only hope to be as positive and as big a blessing to the people I meet.

Actually, I feel a little uncomfortable with the attention she gives my kids. No one else gives them that kind of time. I feel that she MUST be tolerating them. She MUST be bored. Incidentally, I think she must feel the same when my husband or I am talking. But the kids... Only those of blood spend anywhere near the energy on my kids than does this woman.

She read a chapter of my son's new book, read his comic strips, watched my daughters four dances on the recital DVD and chatted them up endlessly. They brought Easter baskets for them--fuller than our own for the kids. It awes me.

To be loved even though we are small and boring humbles me. It brings tears to my eyes when my daughter cries quietly after the door closes to their departure. They are confident in her love. They know they are special. They won't be pushed away or ignored. They will be a delight.

I thank the Lord for this strange friend of mine. I cannot make rhyme or reason why she keeps in touch and still comes to visit. But in the same moment I pray she comes again.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sticking out Like a Sore Thumb

Thinking about how I handle illness is this house, and how different it is from those around me, I am reminded once again how I really feel like I stick out like a sore thumb. Here I am, leader of a little homeschool group, giving what support and guidance I can to other families, and yet...

I am so different! I have little in common with many of the ladies and families I serve. The obvious difference are that we don't go to a building for church. But we will court, we don't watch certain TV shows, we aren't outdoorsmen (a big 'weirdo' earner in the High Desert), we like the winter, can't stand spring and summer... The list goes on and on. And then add that we drug the kids when sick, it is just another thing on the list.

This reveals my pride. I don't mind being different. The Bible teaches us to be holy, set apart, sojourner, not of the world, etc. I am different, but I am supposed to be different. The choices we have made regarding homeschooling, churching the way we do and abstaining from certain TV show are all purposeful to not pull from the wisdom of this world. I am comfortable with it.

But then there are other things that set us apart that aren't so lofty. I don't eat all organic. I shop at WalMart. I am undisciplined in getting excercize. I watch too much TV. We medicate with manufactured toxins. Not as easy to feel comfortable or to defend these differences. These all seem morally wrong, too!

And that is the crux of it. We can't seem to get away from meaking checklists for being a good person. Checklists for being a good Christian! And while our minds know that there is only one way to salvation and eternal life, we love to tack on a few things to help God out. It is so easy, so subtle to fool ourselves into thinking that what we are doing is ok--good, even. But God doesn't need a Holy Spirit Jr. He doesn't need our help to mold His people. The one whom we are helping when we add burdens on one another is not our loving and forgiving father!

No doubt about it, there are good things we can do and flat out bad things we can do. But we must never forget that being good isn't what earns us anything. We've already done enough bad to earn hell. We can't erase that fact. Only Christ's sacrifice can do that. Our job now is to live a life pressed into Him who redeems us, not by our actions, but by His love.

So, I need to be comfortable with my differences. The 'good' and the 'bad.' The good isn't a check in my favor, only a testimony to His glory. The bad may not be as bad as I think it is. And when I am bad, that is only testimony to my need for Him.

Sick Kids

:( So sad when the kids get sick. Our homeschool group has been hit so hard with all manner of infections this school year. Of course, many have been, but I can only speak from what I know. We have sixteen families in our group, and about 4 or 5 have escaped with only minor encounters. Others have spend weeks upon weeks battling one sick after another. Several have been in ERs and admitted to the hospital. It has been a rough year.

But we have actually been among the minority in staying relatively healthy. When we do get sick, it hasn't run through every family member and it doesn't last beyond a couple of days.

Yesterday we were hit. My daughter first complained, but I discovered later that it was my son who first had symptoms. He kept it a secret because he thought I would put him to bed. So we went ahead with our homeschool Club PALS class!! I hosted families with a sick kid. This year, with the cloud of sick, that is quite a sin! But praise the Lord, after a long night of fevers and congestion, both are better.

My daughter is symptom free. My boy is still healing.

I live among families who really are conscientious about holistic, herbal and natural remedies for sickness. One lady gives her kids vinegar for sickness and allergies. It seems to work in alleviating symptoms for a time... Others are really careful about avoiding modern medications.

I feel like I have this secret because I don't do any of that. I buy OTC meds and pour them into the sick of this household. When I start to feel a little under, I take NyQuil. Every night until symptoms are gone. If I could, I would give it to my kids. I have found sleepy symptom alleviates for kids, though, and I give it out liberally.

And, though I avoid the shocked stares of my peers, I stand by my practices because it works for us. And I am thankful!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What a tricky pooch!

We have a muddy backyard. It isn't cool, but it is what it is. We just bathed out Beagle, and after bath,we keep her out of the backyard. She is thoroughly a Beagle and just loves to get dirty, so clean dog and out backyard are a messy combination.

She is a good dog, though. Well trained. She knows that whenever she is going to throw up, she must get outside. So, check out my dog. The kids are out in the backyard right now and it is just killing our puppy to be left out of the fun.

Next thing we know, she is gagging. Coughing. Spitting! Can dogs spit?? I jokingly compared her to a tantrum throwing toddler who holds her breath until she gets her way. My husband and I started paying closer attention, and I think that is exactly what she is doing!! She is fake-barfing!! Can you believe that?