Friday, April 27, 2012

My Beloved Paw Paw...

This afternoon, at the age of 91, my beloved Paw Paw left this world to go be with the Lord.  

My earliest memory of my grandfather is being on the farm and going out into the wheat fields on his "big green tractor".  He would take me out, let me sit on his lap and "drive" the green machine.  We would look into the massive panhandle sky and discuss the important stuff in life - like what shape the clouds made in the sky and how to know if it was going to rain anytime in the next few days.  I remember thinking, "this must be what heaven is like".  I remember going out with him when I was three, when I was six, when I was ten, when I was twelve.  This was our special time together!

Some of my other wonderful memories include sitting at the kitchen table and waiting for him to come in long after my bed time to eat a bowl of cereal together.  He had the gross looking fiber-pellet cereal and I got Kix.  We also enjoyed time sitting in the living room watching the news.  He sat in his sheet-covered mechanical chair and I sat on the round orange ottoman right at his feet.  I never much liked watching the news with anyone else, but when it was with my Paw Paw I was doing important business!  

The big yellow farm house signified many great things in my childhood, but by far the very best was spending time with my Paw Paw!  I don't know that there has been another single human in my life that I have adored quite as much!

As I grew older, there was a window of awkwardness that came.  Somehow, I didn't feel like I was quite as special to him because I wasn't a hard working man or an even harder working woman - quite yet.  I was just a teenage girl and I think he just didn't quite know what to do with me.  But even still, my adoration for him never faded.

As all children (and grand-children) do, I grew.  When it came time to pick a college to go to, I chose a school in Abilene.  My grandparents lived there and I felt safe living close to them.  My freshman year, my grandmother got very ill and my grandfather got into a car accident.  I remember feeling the sting of realizing that my grandparents were aging and health was not a guarantee.  Before my grandparents moved back up to Amarillo to live closer to a lot of our family, I had a conversation with my grandfather.  He said, "Sis.  You have always been a special one."  I nearly fell apart in tears in that moment - just as I am in this one.  I realized that despite my growing up, I was still his little grand-daughter.  

In the following years, I made many trips from Abilene to Amarillo to see my grandparents.  My grandmother's health was very frail during those years and I wanted to spend time with her.  But even then, when my grandmother would go lie down for a rest I would sit and watch the news with my Paw Paw.  It was time, that for some strange reason was just precious to me - almost sacred.  

I have not seen my grandfather much in the past few years.  I saw him just twice in the past 13 months - for his 90th birthday and for Christmas.  His mind was becoming cloudy and his strength was diminished.  Yet I still saw the strong man who would play with me in the wheat fields.  Just last night in my "I can't sleep" awake hours, it occurred to me that my grandfather was not immortal and that at some point he would pass away from this world.  I did NOT expect it to be today, but maybe Holy Spirit was just helping me prepare for the road that would be today.  

I know that many will say that he is now in a better place where pain, fatigue, and earthly sorrow can no longer hinder him.  For this I am thankful.  But for the fact that I will never again get to sit and watch the news with my Paw Paw, I am grieved!  

I will miss him like no other that I have ever lost!
Tonight is one of those times that I have so much swirling in my head that I can't seem to still the noise long enough to allow myself to enter the blissful place of sleep.  So I write.  

I am definitely overwhelmed at the moment.  

I am trying to prove myself worthy to a new boss, all while also trying to close out a semester and 5 groups that I manage.  This involves about 20 caregivers and close to 100 children.  I have been at this job for 9 months, so I still have to remind myself that I am encountering "firsts" and that they can be hard. 

I am not only working this job, I am also working as a nanny a few days a week.  I LOVE the family and have known them since their first baby was well, a baby!  He is now 3!  But I find myself feeling overwhelmed by certain things here too.  

My house (that I lease) just got sold.  Well, it isn't sold just yet, but it is in contract.  The closing is set for May 11.  We have to be out my June 5th.  I HATE moving.  I know that most people do.  I just happen to traditionally feel inordinately insecure when it comes to moving.  For some reason, it stirs up chaos in me that I don't even understand.  Some people look forward to the next adventure.  For me, I just feel like my foundation is being pulled out from underneath me.  I liken it to those movie scenes you see where someone tries to pull a table-cloth out from underneath stacks of china dishes.  I feel like the china dishes.  And although the Lord has never aloud me to come crashing to the floor, the rattling and shaking makes me fear I will somehow get broken beyond repair.  

Even with all of these things that overwhelm me, I can see the love and mercy of God.  Yet still, I stir.  I strive.  I fret.  Why?  Why can't I just seem to lie down and close my eyes and allow the peace of my Lord to wash over me?  I don't know why it is so hard for me to just live through transition without feeling so alone.  Why is making life decisions so frightening?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Today I am once again reminded of the reality of living with auto-immune issues. I am not least I'm trying not to.

I have been running myself pretty hard lately, and the true reality is that going at light speed will catch up with anyone. It just happens to catch up to me in the form of being a lethargic slug who winces at the thought of movement. And, it doesn't usually hit at the most convenient of times - as anyone who deals with auto-immune disorders can tell you. In fact, it tends to be that the times we are reminded that we do in fact have limits that need to be respected are the very same moments that we anticipate needing all of our faculties in top-order.

I have just come off of working three very long weeks in preparation for Holy Week children's services. I think I have logged in somewhere very close to 80 hours of work each of those three weeks. This weekend, I spend Saturday and the majority of Sunday in bed trying to refill the energy tank. Yesterday I felt fairly restored and headed into a 11 hour work day with an additional 3 hours of play. I had a wonderful day. I slept fairly well last night and got a good 7 hours of sleep. But, this morning when I tried to rise out of bed I felt it. Every last joint in my body seemed to be screaming out in fire. And today, as I have been trying to press hard through work, I seem to be so completely fatigued that I can't even muster up the energy to go refill my water bottle. If only I could just go home, but alas I can't. There are still 7 very long hours left in this work day for me!

I just pray for the peace and grace of the Lord. And, that He would meet me and carry me through the rest of this day. This is also a reminder to me to pray for my many friends who are dealing with similar things. I pray for strength, rest, and super-natural energy for each of them. You know who you are! ;)

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Cool Kid is Sitting at MY Table...

Have you ever encountered those people in your life that as soon as you meet them you can just see the Lord oozing out of them? They don't think, "Oh, I have to choose my words so carefully so that this person can see Christ in this." No. They just speak and anyone around will notice that they carry a confidence, a security, a love that is rarely seen. Those of us who know the Lord, know exactly what that air about them is HIM!

Well, I have one of these people in my life. I don't know her that well yet, but I would love for our friendship to grow deeper. We have a several common friends. We go to the same church. We have on occasion sat and talked or prayed about some of the less superficial things of life. But we aren't Bosom Buddies or anything; not yet at least. But we do share something pretty awesome...Jesus! We are both utterly smitten by the overwhelming love of Jesus!

When I first met her, I was instantly interested in getting to know her! But, I was uber-intimidated to even ask her if she would like to grab a coffee sometime because...yes I did say this...I had that high-school fear that I was asking to sit at the cool-kid table and I was afraid I wouldn't be welcome. Because let's face it, I'm not exactly one of the cool kids! I actually admitted this fear - out loud - to her. She laughed at me! I have since come to realized that although she definitely is one of the cool kids, she welcomes me to sit at her table - and she doesn't seem to think any less of me even though I don't rack up as many cool-points as she does.

Well tonight, to my great joy, I got to invite her to sit at my table. She is about to leave for Africa for six months and she actually took a night out of her very busy schedule to come over and eat dinner with me. How special I felt! Before she left my house I got to pray for her. Here I am, praying for this person who oozes the love of Jesus. And you know what? It was fabulous!

There are moments in my life when I know that I am in exactly the right place at the right moment and I am doing the right thing. That happened tonight. The Lord was so precious and so sweet to show me ways to pray for her and love her. And in return, I felt that overwhelming ooze of the Lord -- coming out of me! It was just so precious that I had to record it.

And I must also admit that it feels a little fun to have the cool-kid come over to my house!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I don't know if I am the only one who does this, but I doubt that I am...

I love to write. In fact, I love to tell stories. I really like to tell stories about me. I have a blog; this written story that is all about me. So far, this sounds like a plan that could work out. Right? However, I quite often go for very long windows of time where I neglect to write stories about myself on my blog.

I think about writing. I even visit my own blog and read things that I have previously written to remember all of the fun stories I have about myself. And then, I leave my page without writing anything new.

It has been over a year since I wrote on my blog. Wow. I feel terrible about this. Apparently feeling bad doesn't seem to stimulate much change,though

So, tonight (or this morning as the case is) I remedy my one-year hiatus with a senseless post about how infrequently I now write on my blog. It really hasn't always been this neglected! I promise. What I don't promise is this...I don't promise that I will start writing on a regular basis again. I wish I could make that promise, but I think I would be at great risk of making a liar out of myself.