Monday, July 30, 2007

Look both ways

I notice things about people as they cross the street in front of me while I wait at a stoplight. Some people go only when the little walking light tells them to. That's good, obeying the law. Some people will go any old time that they want to. Some people will hustle it across the street, which seems respectful of those of us that are waiting to go as the light turns green as they're mid-street. I don't mind waiting if they are at least attempting to get across the street quickly.

I do find myself thinking unpleasant thoughts about those that seem to revel in the idea that their relatively little person is stopping me in my big ole' car from continuing on my way. It's like some kind of weird power trip they enjoy. I have to admit that there is a particular group of people, not related solely to race or part of town, but more related to an obvious attitude and sense of entitlement that they possess...and these make me crazy when they happen to cross in front of me. They walk off the curb at the most inopportune times, but then take their happy time going across the road. It's obvious that all their limbs function just fine, they just choose to walk slowly and deliberately while looking with disdain at each of us in the cars as they walk by. Why? Didn't their mothers teach them to be respectful of others? This is, to me, disrespectful.

All this came to me more clearly the other day, when a young man started to cross a street as I waited at the light. He stepped off the curb, obviously struggling to keep his balance due to a physical difficulty of some kind. His legs were bent differently than most, and it took some bit of energy to maneuver his way forward. YET--he moved across the street as quickly as he could, smiling at each of us, and waving as if to convey his appreciation for our patience. Now that's how it's done. That's how my mom taught me to cross a street.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The story: Are you sure?!?

Seven years ago today, my husband asked me to marry him. He spent quite a while working on a cross-stitch that he designed with pieces of several scriptures, ending in Will You Marry Me? He had the ring sewn into the cross-stitched ring on the canvas. He asked me to come and see what he'd been working on while I was visiting him one weekend. After having to convince me to look at it, since it wasn't done and I thought I should see it all completed, I unrolled it from the top and was shocked to see the ring hanging from the bottom section. Totally shocked. I just kept saying, "Are you sure?!?! Are you sure?!? Are you sure?!? Are you sure?!?!" He just kept laughing at me, saying, "I've never been so sure of anything, I promise! Really, I'm sure!" After a few minutes of my just staring at it and him, he said, "Do you have an answer for me?" I, of course, told him yes.
We immediately drove to the sand volleyball court where our friends were to show off the rock and brag on our happy news.
Ah, a story for the ages. Well, I like it anyway!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I just don't wanna!

Today we'll see a Dr who will tell us about a G-tube...what it is, why we might be interested in it, and the risks involved with it. He'll probably tell us that there are always small risks with any procedure, but that it's safe. I still don't wanna do it. Let's break down the percentages.

3% of children who undergo anesthesia have a reaction. That's 3 out of 100 for you that struggle with math, like me. I don't wanna be one of those three.

1% of patients develop infections after this type of procedure. That's 1 out of 100. I don't wanna be that one.

When do the numbers get easier to work with? When do we get to stop being ruled and haunted by the percentages of risk vs. benefit? I guess that's life. I suppose it never ends. That's ok, but for now, I just don't wanna...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Think back. Move forward. It's time.

Today I was catching up on my DVR recordings...I set it for lots of stuff, but don't have time to watch so much of it. Something most people close to me know--I'm kind of a "church nerd," you might say. I like good sermons. I love going to hear great speakers challenge people. And I like listening to Christian talk radio...it's one of my favorite things about going back to St. Louis for visits and appointments...I always get to hear something that I really needed at that exact moment. I like listening to speakers who tell me things that challenge me and help me grow.

One of the guys that I listen to alot is Dr. David Jeremiah. I don't agree with every little thing he says or philosophy that he holds, but he often deals with things in a manner that makes very clear which areas of my life that I need to evaluate and improve. His style of presentation is very straightforward, which is what I like. Some people like a happy comfortable sermon or topic, but I prefer the ones that step on my toes and make me take a hard look at myself. (I have not always liked this style, and it's still a little interesting to me that I do now. I think it's because I've seen how the heartbreaking can bring about the beautiful.)

So I've got my DVR set to tape Turning Point with Dr. Jeremiah each Sunday morning, but I usually don't get to see them until they are many weeks old. The last couple of days, though, I've made a point to try to catch up on them while I'm pumping or feeding the poonchin. There have been several great messages in the ones I've gone through: One about the example that Joseph's life shows us in how difficult circumstances are used by God to prepare for ministry to others and victorious outcomes. It was a good one. I needed that one.

This message I've just finished was called "Think back...Move forward... It's time." It's from the 9/11 memorial, where Dr. Jeremiah recently visited. But I agree with him that it's a fitting thought for everyone. Thinking back and remembering is important, even if painful, in that it reminds us of how far we've come and what we've endured. Yet we cannot live there, in the past, regardless of what it looks like. We must move forward. And now is the time to do it.

Thinking back is not always on bad times. Sometimes it is in dwelling on a very good period that makes us discontented with our current circumstance. It is not only the painful past that must be left in the past, but the glory days, although appreciated and enjoyed, must also remain where they live. Many of the most difficult moments in my life stemmed from one's inability to let go of a fantasy from many years past and deal with the reality of today. Most of us loved being 19 and free, able to do whatever we want. But to be angry about the loss of that perceived freedom to the detriment of the blessings that are being allowed to pass by unnoticed in the present...this is a tragedy of the saddest kind. Move forward, it's time.

For me, this is paramount to my survival and my sanity. I could dwell on the disappointment of my daughter's Down syndrome diagnosis and all that will mean, or I can enjoy her for who she is...exactly who she was meant to be...and be blessed by her joy, her charming smile, her adorable giggles, and the irresistable cuddles. There will be trials, but we keep moving forward.

I have endured more heartache than I would have ever believed was possible. I have a horrible habit of spending too much time thinking back, hurting through the painful moments all over again. Why did it happen? How could I have stopped it? Why didn't I see it every time? What did I not see that I don't want to miss the next time? What if there is a "next time"? How can I possibly recover? Will I ever trust again? Will I ever be able to function normally? Dr. Jeremiah had two points that spoke clearly to me...It's right to think back, but not right to GO back. It's right to look back, but not right to linger. Looking back, I can praise God for bringing me this far, but I must not linger there. I must move forward. Life may never be the same, and it may even be worse before it's better, but I know that HE will see me through. He simply asks me to move forward, trusting Him. The rest will fall into place according to His plan, the BEST plan.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Why blog?

I think of things often that I want to remember. I am never really sure why I want to remember them. Is it to tell someone else? Is it to remind myself of the principle or concept or emotion at a later date when it's needed? Is it so I can be right sometime when I need some proof of that particular type? Who knows...but nevertheless, I often make a conscious attempt to file things away in a compartment of the brain that will be easily searchable later.

Blogging is something that only recently has appealed to me as a way to categorize these things I'd like to remember. It's interesting that I would "publish" them, in that they are primarily for me, except that I believe that very few, if any, concepts or epiphanies are only valuable to one person. So if that is true, it would follow that someone out there might benefit from one of my memory files.

They won't all be nice, neat, short, and sweet, in fact, most will probably be difficult to organize into sentences and paragraphs for me, and more difficult for the reader to sift through. Rarely does one learn a great deal about oneself from peaceful, happy times. And I have learned a great deal. One thing I hope will pervade the whole of my attempt at this venture, the fact that I serve a God who is good all the time, regardless of my current circumstance, and He is in control of all things. Even when, in a low point of his RK-parenting experience, he must allow me to walk--more often plead with me to take one step--through very deep valleys in order to appreciate the beauty that is just past the trees. There is the smallest opening that I can barely see far ahead, and that is why I take another step . He is victorious, and because I am His, I am victorious.

Posts may happen frequently, and there may be little droughts. (I highly recommend Google Reader as a part of iGoogle to make it easy to subscribe to the feeds you like, so you don't have to go hunting new posts on dozens of blogs. Same login as Blogger.)

So read if you wish, quietly decide not to if you wish, or tell me I'm crazy if you should so desire, but this is just me... just RK.