Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas is coming

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat

Please put a penny in the old man's hat

If you haven't got a penny, a ha' penny will do

If you haven't got a ha' penny,  then God bless you!

I have been singing this tune for weeks now and at first the kids gave me strange looks and laughed at the funny words.  Then they asked me what the words meant.  It must be hard for them to imagine not having half a penny to give, at least in this past year when we have been blessed way beyond our daily needs.  In turn I as well have been ruminating over these words, pondering what they mean for me specifically this Christmas time.  What have I to give and to whom?

The what I figured out quickly. I am sitting here staring at 8 tins filled with chocolate drizzled caramel popcorn.  I decided my giving this year would be in the form of a homemade treat.  The task of making the popcorn was for sure a labor of love along with a smidgen of bad attitude for having it take so long, frustration over dropping sticky kernels off the tray every time I stirred and anxiety wondering whether the end result would be edible and actually taste at least slightly yummy!  The verdict was yes, it's good from what we were able to taste of the fallen particles!  Sad to say, the popcorn filled up the tins so perfectly that there is none left for us to officially partake of.  That's ok.  I have a few people in mind already that the tins are going to but the others are still a mystery to me.  I just know I was supposed to make it.

Last night we were sitting at yet again (surprise) the gym waiting for Moriah to finish up gymnastics.  My oldest played a game with his other sister and when that was finished he then had a seat and thought.  He didn't have anything else along to do so he told me all he could do was think.  He started to tear up a bit and I asked him about his thoughts.  He said he was thinking about what it would be like if one of us were to die in our family.  He then went on to explain that it was my cousin recently dying that made him think of this.  I wish I could have reassured him and told him that it would never happen or something else cheery along that vein.  I couldn't because I knew I would have been lying to him.  But, what I could let him know is that if something were to happen to one of us -the others would make it through.  I know this because I have been witness to it in the lives of other people, many times over. It would be hard but somehow we would muddle through it.  I didn't let him know that I have similar thoughts at times.  I threaten my husband about leaving me with trying to figure out how to do all the household stuff he does and then constantly remind him it wouldn't be a good idea for him to go first.  At least not before he gets the new faucet in which by the way is no longer dripping from the top because it has sprouted a hole and is now leaking down the side...

What I do know in my limited vision of life is that God loves us.  I sat down and had myself a thinking time as well and tried to recall to mind all the people I knew who had lost loved ones around the Christmas season.  The names and faces kept coming.  I have prayed for wisdom as to who to give the remaining tins of popcorn to- who I am asked to help remind that there is life before death as well as life after death, in Christ.  If we are in Christ there is always life.

I have my son to owe for my thoughts today.  He reminded me of the other side of Christmas, the side where it's not all rosy with thoughts of getting wished upon gifts and portraits of complete families in their christmas finery.  I only wish I had time and energy to make popcorn for everyone this season who is hurting, lost, alone, displaced, abused, homeless and without.  Again, as I have felt in the past I am grieving for all that I know to be good in my life while realizing that there are those who are unable to experience God's love in the form of physical blessings this Christmas time.  I know I haven't done all my part as I should and that pains me.

I was so privileged to sing these lyrics just a few weeks ago, "
Have you heard about our Jesus, have you heard about his fate..."  May the word get out it's not about the gifts or what ration of earthly blessings we have on earth, it's about the gift of life that was given some 2000 plus years ago.  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

True Confessions: Part 2


Fancy meeting up with you here again.   Many changes have taken place.  I decided to spruce up my blog a bit which is much more fun for me than cleaning the house especially since I figured out I can use my own pictures for the background!  Amazingly it has been over a year since the puffy face picture post which could frighten young and old alike.  A  long year since taking the time to key by key my words into this blog.  It has not been for lack of writing material as evidenced by written on receipts and bits of torn-off pieces of paper in piles all around our house.  I will one day write a post entitled "pieces of me."  That one I imagine will have some kind of depth to it and since I am feeling a bit more scatter brained and on the fluffy side today it will have to wait for another time.  Today I am writing as I listen to the drip dropping sounds of our faucet. Hold onto your hats because I have a lot of scrambled words rushing to come out and find a place on this page.  Confessions, hurts, lessons in the midst of being learned all fighting for time to come out for an airing of sorts.

Drip... drop.

~ While sitting in the audience at a posh venue and one begins to sing in her tight bodiced, floor length sequined gown it's all I can do to restrain myself with such force to not open my mouth and sing along.

~ At the top of mountains the urge is so great to throw something down that I know will never be returned to me.

~ Using a public restroom I sometimes come close to taking a ring off and flushing it.

~ During rare moments in a car going at the slow speed of 30 mph I wonder briefly what it would feel like to cross over the center line into oncoming traffic.

Drip... drop.

I'm not really as cold-hearted and aloof to your pain as I seem to be.  I spend half my time worried I've said too much and the other half fretting over what I've left unsaid.  In a group setting if you have the same "gifts" as me and if you use them first with your words or actions I will sit back and let you take the stage.  I have yet to sort out if it's a spirit of humility that holds me back while allowing another to shine or if it's my pride.  Pride telling me to take my toys and go home if I don't score the first home run because I feel defeated already.

Drip... drop.

I stopped testing.  Well the school kind a long time again but I am referring to blood work and scans etc here.  I finally stopped worrying about my numbers and reaching a standard.  My husband found a naturopathic doctor for me who really has changed the way I view the medical world.  I am not in denial about the insufficiencies that I have or the conditions that afflict me, I am just no longer consumed by them.  I am choosing to not be defined by them any longer.  It's not to say that I don't curl up in tears with stomach pain anymore after eating who knows what that triggered it or that I don't get frustrated for not being able to consistently make meals for my family because of my spinning head, or that I don't wonder why I can do yoga one day with no problems and the next bend down and get back up only to find my vision is gone for a few moments from one of my eyes- I do still feel pain, confusion, and fear!  My mind is up one day, down the next with no warning.  Confusing things happening within me still have me perplexed but no longer terrified.  I guess it's me realizing that I am flawed greatly in more ways than one and it's ok to remain in that state and trust that God has His best interest in mind.  Some things are unfixable, you need to find a way to live with them and move on. Some things are fleeting and don't deserve the attention given to them.  My puffed state came in July of last year and left in December after powerful medicine was inserted into my lower back by way of really large needle.  The huge puffy face monster has not shown itself since then.  

Drip... drop.

I have made a few new friends though I find myself a bit scared and walking with soft feet because I am unsure how much of an impression my footprints should leave.  I am not wanting to sink too deep for fear of losing my shoes again.

Drip... drop.

I am actually enjoying my kids being home this year.  What a surprise and a gift, truly.  I love hugging them all day long.  I really love my kids.  It has been a long journey getting to this place.  I am here.  I am appreciating it and living in it.

Drip... drop.

I like being one of the last people at a party because that's when the masks come off, figuratively speaking of course. There is a realness that is finally exposed after having just spent the last few hours making sure your lipgloss wasn't covered in crumbs and now that it has finally worn off your guard tends to come down as well.  I live for those moments of connecting with an exposed soul.  If you sit around long enough with me you'll see glimpses of my rawness as well.  Side-note here:  I would appreciate knowing if there were say lingering crumbs from a streusel- topped apple pie anywhere on my person so I could finish them off...

Drip... drop.

It sometimes makes me weary to have to explain myself, again, that I can relate to what you are going through even though I don't weigh in at 200 pounds.  Between my anxiety trembling off some excess pounds and the few and far between days when I am the master of my ship I am able to keep up a fairly presentable appearance.  If you could see the war that rages in my mind when I am contemplating finishing off a carton of ice cream you would see that I suffer just as you.  You would see that I need you as much as you need me to daily get through this battle.

Drip... drop.

This past year I have seen the depths of my sinful nature plunge to an entirely new level of debris and dirt.  I am in shock at the thoughts I have thought, the words I have uttered and the way I have twisted circumstances to favor me as the one in the "right."  Shame on me.  I have a sort of barometer I use when picking a song to sing, I must have an emotional reaction to it if I am to sing it at all.  Usually it's in the form of tears.  I guess I am noticing the same thing when I write.  Perhaps that's why I have put it off for so long, me not wanting to face truth and the need for a spirit-led change.  I have finally gotten to the point in this blog where I am stirred.  I am here in this moment touched by how beautiful God's grace is in comparison to how ugly my heart has been.  With my words I speak of harboring bitterness for my fellow man and yet in the same breath I am asking you to love me in my sinful state.  How very warped is that?  Where is my forgiveness, my compassion?  Have I learned nothing from the cross?

Drip... drop.

I think I finally realized why I despise making a definitive decision about anything.  I don't want to be held responsible, no matter how good or bad or indifferent the outcome may be.  I fear making a mistake and don't want to be held accountable for my actions.  Hummm... am I really the only one that feels this way? 

Drip... drop.

My mind is constantly filled with random thoughts mixed with reality of life-changing scripture.  My 7 year old made a profound statement the other day "you are always thinking something, you can never think of nothing."  It's a challenge every day for me to choose to put in drops of truth and block out the drips of negativity.  Little drips over time create a bigger puddle and then overflow occurs.  I want my overflow to be of goodness and grace sprinkled with wisdom and beauty.  I want my overflow to be used to benefit the kingdom instead of tearing it down.  

Drip...drop.  One droplet at a time...