Saturday, November 29, 2008
The challenges of living with 5 other people have already begun this morning. It is only ten after nine. I woke up this morning to the sound of a toy accordian - which is a miniature version of a real one and is really LOUD! At one point, I could hear the makings of a rudimentary version of "Happy Birthday". In addition to the accordian playing, Aliya and Kase were screaming at each other. It went something like this:
(overlying squealing of the accordian playing)
Aliya: Stop Kase (pronounced "Tase" by Aliya)
Kase: No! Aliya noooooo (in a whining 5 yr old boy voice)
(more accordian playing
Aliya: Stop now Kase. STO-O-O-O-OP.
Kase: No, Aliya. Aliya noooooo
(a little more accordian playing)
You get the idea - basically not what you want to wake up to! Oh, and the accordian playing was at 8:20am and it was Gary (the dad) playing it right next to the wall my bedroom shares with the dining room. Needless to say, I was a little ticked off! I turned up my sound machine and tried to drown out the noise. It didn't help. I covered my head with my pillow. No help there! I decided that the battle was lost and got up.
I emerged from my dark cave into the brightness of rooms with all of the lights on - and a bunch of sound! The TV on very loudly - one child watches. The accordian playing loudly - another child watches. The third child was just running wildly through the house. They were having fun! Shouldn't that make me happy? Not at 8:35 on a Saturday morning! I looked at Gary with my annoyed-sleepy face and proclaimed, "That thing is really annoying when people are sleeping!" He says, "Oh - with a small giggle." I proceeded to the bathroom to finish waking up and adjust to the fact that I would not be sleeping in. A few minutes later, I emerged from the bathroom, ready to start my day.
I went into the kitchen to make breakfast. There lay an open bag of rolls - the ones my mother made for Thanksgiving and sent me home with. The bag was almost empty. There are two left. The bag was full. I put them on my side of the counter under the sign that says "Lynn's Produce". (yes, I know bread is not produce, but there is only enough space in the bread basket for one loaf - which is already there.) I didn't put my name on it, because I thought the fact that it was on my side, under my sign would be enough. I was wrong! Realizing my error, I put my name on the bag. Gary walked into the kitchen a little later and I asked him (very politely - dispite the earlier annoyance of the accordian playing) to please not eat the last ones because those are mine that my mom made and I would like to have them. He explained why he didn't know they were mine. I think he was left a little ticked off at me. He probably thinks - the girl has been awake for 30 minutes and already I have done two things to make her mad. I'm not mad though - eating the bread was an honest mistake. I am still a little irritated at how I got woken up, though.
I guess those are just some of the things that come with living with other people. A plus...coffee was ready! I just poured a cup of hot coffee while I was making my toast. If I was living alone, I would have had to make it first. I really do appreciate the coffee - it is the little things in life!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Do you ever have those moments when there are so many thoughts in your head it feels like you can't even complete one before the others start up? I know I'm not the only one that is plagued by this phenomena that I frequently call "hamster overload". Lately I have been experiencing hamster overload on a far too regular basis. My brain (aka: hamster) just needs a break!
This weekend I am going on a retreat. It is our annual Ladies Retreat with my church. I will not be alone - far from it in fact- but I hope that during this time away from the day-to-day of standard life that I will be able to calm my mind and Spirit a bit and become a little less overloaded! I am looking forward to it! I even borrowed a camera from a friend. Maybe I will have pictures to share next week, along with all of the lessons I am left to ponder for the next year.
What I know for now is that I am leaving work and I don't have to be back until Tuesday. Boy is my hamster happy!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I have had a little bit of writer's block lately. I am not quite sure that is the right phrase. Maybe it is more like heart block. I have had a lot of things to say, they just don't quite come out in full. They start, but then there is this welling pang inside of me and whatever started quickly ceases it's existence.
Don't bother asking the question "why" because the answer is going to be some vague response that boils down to "I just don't know." There has been a lot of joy and a lot of sorrow and a lot of looking backward and forward going on in the last week or so. I think it has just left a puddle of muddle! Here are a few of the things that have been stirring in my heart.
I have been adjusting to this new phase of RA. I haven't been feeling well. I have had more pain and have not been sleeping well. I think part of it may be progression of the disease (which is not a surprise) and part of it may just be related to weather changes - getting cooler, rain, etc. Whatever it is, I don't think I have been coping as well as I would like to. I praise God and pray and ask Him to teach me to pray, but still I am just not satisfied. I am not sure that is a bad thing, though.
I have also been working on putting together my testimony, which has caused me to look back at a lot of places that I have been - which have at times been pretty messy. The flip side of that is the amazing mercy with which God has taken me from and brought me to. That in and of itself has the power to leave me overcome with emotion; so overcome in fact that I don't even know how to express it!
There is also the issue with my church body that I brought up a couple of weeks ago. There is still pain and still brokenness. There is recovery in process, too! Some people have chosen to leave. Some people have chosen to stay, but have shown sides of themselves that will be very hard to forget - even as forgiveness occurs. I guess that is part of "family" life - at some point you are going to see things that leave a bitter taste in your mouth, but you are still family and you just have to work through it! I still believe that God is doing something amazing for His Kingdom in the city I live in through this church and this is a time of preparation and strengthening for the fires that are to come. It brings comfort to trust that God's hand is over this - it doesn't make it any less painful. As I said, we are in recovery. We have had some amazing progress in the last couple of weeks, but time will be needed. I really think that we are and will be stronger because of adversity - but only if we remember to keep our eyes on Christ!
Then, on the amazingly joy-filled; nothing can get me down side of things there is this. I have a friend who has an amazing life-story. She has gone through a lot of trial; primarily related to an illness. She has chosen to put it in the hands of God. She gives Him the glory through everything - the good and the bad. Her story is one that has a lot of pain and grief. After much waiting and pleading before the throne of God, she is finally getting a baby! This is a baby that she has longed for and finally she is getting her! I couldn't be happier for her! I want to laugh and dance and cry and praise God with everything that is in me! I am just so overwhelmed by the faithfulness and love of God! And, I am so happy that my friend is finally getting what she has longed for. It just feels so right!I think I am going to leave it there for now. That seems like a good place to stop. I may come back and write more later, but for now this is enough.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
One of my goals in having this blog is to grow in transparency. Transparency is not something that I have traditionally done well. Like many people, I don't like to be vulnerable and being transparent makes one pretty vulnerable. One of the things I have noted is that the people in my life who are transparent are also pretty humble. I am not. I pray, however, to become more humble. Maybe there's a connection between humility and transparency!
Why is it that humility is so hard? Why is it so hard to admit when I don't know how to do something? Why can't I just say that I don't always have the answer? And why is the basic art of honesty so difficult? If someone asks me how I am doing and the true answer is not that great, why can't I just say that? Why do I have to come up with some positive spin on the truth? Do I really think that everything in life has to be good all the time or is it that I don't want to expose that everything in my life is not always perfect?
Sure there are boundaries. I am not suggesting that every person I meet wants to know all of the inner workings of my heart. But, I know when I ask someone how they are doing I want to know the real anwer and I get offended if I think they are not being honest with me when they answer. So why do I do the exact same thing? What would happen if I started telling people "I am ___ today." (fill in the blank with sad, happy, angry, hurting, etc.) Some people may walk away because they don't know how to respond. Others may start talking about how they have really been feeling. Maybe if I could be more transparent about a little thing like how I am doing, there would actually be a sense of freedom that is ushered in. Maybe.
So, what brought up the topic of transparency? I haven't been feeling well this week. I have been more tired lately and my pain level has been higher than normal. I have asked a few people this week to be praying for me, but as a whole, I have not been very good about letting people know where I am or why. I think a lot of the time that people get just as tired of me not feeling well as I am of not feeling well...probably for very different reasons, though. So, I stop telling them what is going on. The problem with that is that then I am trying to do things on my own and I am not living a transparent life. How do I rectify this? I am not really sure what the answer is. I am just brain-storming; thinking on paper. I don't really know what this is supposed to look like, so I don't know how to get there! What I do know is that I don't have all of the answers and I don't know how to do this well. I am committed to doing it to the best that I know how, but I need help! I need help from the people in my life. And more than anything, I need help from my King of Kings! I will keep my eyes fixed on the cross!