Friday, October 7, 2016

Outta Control

I really wanted to title this "Rolling Stones" but Rod would probably not like that plan, and I should be nice to the patient.
Apparently being kind is expected behavior unless you are Kathy Bates in "Misery" or Nurse Ratchet in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

Which I may be.

Anyway, right now Rod has a few kidney stones that really need to pass. This was confirmed by his doctor, a ct scan and, most importantly, by his wife.

 I was able to diagnose him accurately after listening to his symptoms and hearing his declarative statement that he was sure it was a pulled muscle in his back.

To be honest, I did do some valuable research. I watched Jeff Foxworthy do a spiel on Youtube and read what a friend posted about her husband on FaceBook when he had kidney stones.
Also, not to brag, but I have watched most seasons of Grey's Anatomy. So, basically I am as close to being a medical professional as you can get without having actually attended medical school or having any experience whatsoever.

I am that good.
 (FYI I am accepting new patients on a first come, first serve basis, and will make phone or Facetime consultations as needed. Call me.)

Rod is not in that stage of severe, excruciating pain that people talk about afterwards with wide frightened eyes and the trembly voice of someone who has been through a war or had a near-death experience. (yet.)
Who knows, this may just pass (wink) with nothing more than the sore kidneys he has now. Hoping and praying for that.
But it is irritating waiting, right? We keep reading online,( thank you, Dr. Google)  and listening to friend's advice about drinking gallons of lemon water and chugging apple cider vinegar. Rod especially loves that. Mmmm-mmm.

The bottom line (chuckle) is that we cannot control when these tiny little jagged ninja death stars come out. We can just keep on trying whatever we can to help the process along.

I think that is one of the things that bothers us the most in life; lack of control.

Like these dratted kidney stones.

Or like when you move to the shorter grocery line, and the longer one you were in previously finishes first.

Or when you put your socks in the dryer and you are missing one when they come out. (I firmly believe in a parallel universe where they get all our extra socks that we are missing. It makes sense, right?)

Or, um HELLOOOO...the election. Totally out of control.

Or when the kid you raised as best you can gets a divorce and suffers the consequences along with his children.

Things happen.

You do the best you can, try everything you can think of, but you still get kidney stones, pick the slowest line, lost the socks, watch your kids suffer. And our presidential candidates are still Trump and Clinton. (I literally woke up in tears about the election this morning. True story.)

These things are what we are going through right now, and you may be enduring much worse. I'm so sorry if you are.

So many times I wake up in the morning or go to bed at night completely overwhelmed with feelings of pain as I think of my grandbabies crying for their dad, or asking for their mom, and wondering how Christmas morning will look now, and how this will affect their entire lives and what are we going to do?? and how can I make this better??  and I just need to fix this NOW! How can I fix this?

And as I spiral out of control I run straight into the wall of "I have no control."

And then I turn, and careen straight into the arms of the only One who does have control, and who loves and cherishes us beyond description.

I have a soft place to fall.

An ear that hears my cries. (he hears me!)

Eyes that look on me with compassion for my pain. (He sees me!)

A voice that answers me with wisdom. (His word!)

Arms that comfort me and bring me peace when NO.THING. else can.

He  keeps track of our sorrows and a stores up our tears in a bottle. Psalm 56:8.
And our names are engraved on his hands. Isaiah 49:16

He has a plan. He has a purpose and we are the apples of his eye and the treasures of his heart  He has a love for us that fills up all the galaxies in the universe and he will not let us fall.

When I ponder on these truths and remember whose I am, I can breathe a sigh of relief.
No, I am not in control.

Probably even less than I think.

But the God who sees me and hears me is.
And he loves me.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Praying for super powers

When I was little, I was obsessed with superheros. I wanted to have their super powers.
 Like invisibility, or being a human torch and throwing flames everywhere. But I especially wished I could of fly. Swooping through the skies was my dream.
 All  four of my sisters come down on me pretty hard when they found out I convinced a little neighborhood boy that I really could fly. I jumped off a garden wall over and over again trying to show him how I hovered and floated.
 It was fun while it lasted. (and I really think I may have taken longer to hit the ground than everyone else.They just pretended not to notice. Jealous, much?)

My grandson Max brings all the joys of my young super hero days right back. We play all kinds of magical games out in the green woods behind our house, using sticks as pretend flaming swords or lasers and crouching behind stumps while hiding from all our powerful and scary enemies.
When asked a couple weeks ago what super power he wishes he could have, he replied "running really fast" without hesitation.
And if he could be an animal, he would be a cheetah, apparently because of their great speed.

What? Not flying? I never doubted he was my grandson until that moment.

But, his answer reminded me of Elijah in 1st Kings and how God strengthened him so he could run back to the city ahead of King Ahab and his horses and chariots, so I was able to share that with a wide-eyed Max before we plunged back into the forest to play.

This morning I have been praying for a couple friends fighting cancer, friends struggling with deep issues in their families, family members, healing for marriages, celebratory prayer for a friend who is going to be a Nana, and for a close friend heading off on a short mission trip today.
I'm always praying for unexplained healing, supernatural wisdom, unbelievable peace that can only come from Jesus.
How about praying to control my tongue and maybe keep my lips shut rather than spouting every word in my brain right out of my mouth. Talk about super powers!

It is the best feeling in the world to be able to pray to a God who, not only loves us beyond reason, but is the only real super-hero I know of. He takes care of us daily and rescues us constantly. He doesn't forget about us and our names are written on his hands. He listens to us, defends us and fights for us. We are his and he is ours.

It is completely mind-blowing the way that God shows himself to us, both through answered prayers and through things we've never thought to pray for.

The universe is full of creative, astonishing things that God has gifted us with.

The sun...placed in exactly the right spot so we don't burn or freeze, but just enjoy it's light and warmth.

Rain... A drink of water from the sky. Oregon is so green because we get enough of it.

Clouds... they shade us from scorching days and encourage us to look up and daydream.

Snow...Really?? Fluffy, frozen goodness that floats down from the sky. We play in it, walk in it because nothing is so hushed and beautiful as a nighttime snow walk with your loved ones. And it piles up in the mountains giving us more water in the dry summer months.

Things growing in the about superpowers! We throw tiny seeds in the poop-fertilized dirt and radishes, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes miraculously spring to life. For our benefit! And the flowers! For pure enjoyment.

The ocean filled with sea-life...We still don't even know everything that is down there!

Our own human bodies complex beyond belief...just ponder the miracle of the human eye and how it works for a minute. Or our tastebuds.

 Mind. Blown.

When I think back on my days of dreaming of super-powers, I am so very thankful for a God who is not limited by our human imagination, but continues to astonish and delight us with his magnificent displays of creation.

Do I still wish I could fly?


What super-miraculous things come to your mind when you think on the goodness of God?

Max at the beach, displaying his super-power of cuteness.

Max camping and just being his super-hero self.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Happy Anniversary??

Yesterday was our 34th anniversary and we celebrated with  our typical over-the-top style; a flash mob dancing it out to our favorite Bruno Mars song(sung live by Bruno Mars, of course, sparkling champagne flowing for everyone, rainbows with a pot of gold at the end, flying ponies with glitter on their wings. And chocolate everything.


Our day actually began with blueberry buttermilk pancakes and bacon. Because bacon makes everyday a celebration.

And that's when everything began to crumble.

A casual conversation quickly turned heated and angry words were said(loudly) tears were shed (I handed him a Kleenex) (just kidding) and one of us began to walk away angry and silent, pancakes and bacon left on the counter. No one was hungry anymore.

Yep, arguments still  happen even after 34 years of marriage, even on days of celebration. Or on the way to church.  Sorry to disappoint all you youngsters.

What has changed over the past decades is learning the rules to argueing.

We each have our own way of dealing with conflict; Rod is a stonewaller and I am an exploder.
Take a moment and imagine how well that works out.

Here is a list ofpretty straight forward rules that we mostly try to follow because we both have the same goal of resolution, not simply winning a point or  even the argument.
 I am not saying we always perfectly follow these rules, but we do try, and it has become easier as the years pass. And because we practice so much. :-)

 Side note:And seriously? Who can argue without sarcasm? That should almost be against the law. (kidding...I'm only kidding.)

I would also add a few things, such as:

Do recognize that anger is a secondary emotion, usually caused by feelings of rejection, being attacked or threatened. Do try to figure out which one so the anger can be addressed.

Don't let your primary goal in an argument be to WIN.

Do try to argue the point from your partner's perspective. (This works! Someone who's initials are ROD may have done this yesterday! He slayed it!)

And it must be said that we are, first and foremost, trying to please God, not ourselves. Not always, and we constantly have to redirect ourselves, but that would be the mission statement for our marriage.

Okay, I'm done. This is sounding way too psycho-babbly for me to be comfortable with.
Just wanted to give a shout out to all the young marrieds who think we should have it all figured out by now after 34 blissful years.
 Not even close.
We just keep working on it.