Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sixteen Years Ago Today...

October 30, 2010

Sixteen years ago, my life was turned upside down...again (for the upteenth time)!

My belly was 10 times its normal size, and the rest of my body...well, it followed suit as well...I was pregnant not due to give birth until November 25.  yeah.  right. 

Just finding out I was pregnant sent me topsy turvy! I went for my 6-month follow-up from Hannah's birth to find out i was nearly 3 months pregnant! My poor doctor had to pick me up off the floor! After all the years we tried to get pregnant with Hannah...???? Gave a whole new connotation to the phrase "it only takes one time..."

So, here it was a Sunday morning.  I spent most of Saturday with what the doc thought were Braxton i counted minutes all that day.  They finally disappeared late into Saturday night.  But they woke me up with a vengeance Sunday morning.  Funny thing, though.  I felt fine as long as i was walking around, but i'd sit down and i was in pain!  My friend, Vanessa, came over and confirmed my thoughts that I ought to go ahead and go in.  My doctor was in the process of moving to another part of the state but promised to deliver my baby before he moved on...unfortunately, he chose that weekend to visit his new home. 

So i'm in the emergency room, and I tell the doctor on call that I want MY doctor.  He tells me that MY doctor is unavailable and HE is the one available.  One of the things I had been very particular about was making sure that there would be only one doctor involved in my pregnancies, and Dr. Wells gave me his word that he would be the one.  So while the doc-on-call and I are having a knock-down-drag-out about who would attend to me, it just so happened one of Dr. Wells nurses was also on call and when she found out I was one of his patients, she paged him...and as promised, he told her he was on his way.  That lovely little angel came in and took over and let me know MY doctor was indeed on his way.  Mr.-High-And-Mighty-Doctor got bent out of shape and left me with the nurse.  During the next 45 minutes or so, my angel nurse and MY doctor are on the phone--she'd already got my chart file and they were exchanging information because though Hannah was delivered by C-section the September before (one month before her due date), I had chosen to deliver this baby vaginally. 

So my wonderful doctor walks in and cracks a joke about my impatience in carrying children full-term, and then proceeds to start pressing around my belly.  When he discovers that my pain is low and at the same place my former C-section was, he looks at me and says--very calmy "I know you really wanted to have this baby vaginally, but we need to do a C-section and we need to do it now" (emphasis on the "now").  Something inside of me knew I didn't need to waste any time following instructions.

I am terrified of epiderals...but it must've worked like a dream, cuz that's what it felt like for a long time...even when they handed her to me before whisking her away.  I don't remember much after that, but according to my dear husband, he had a blast watching the doctor throwing my insides around.

To make a long story short, one of the medications I was taking had thinned the scar tissue area of the previous C-section, and when Rebeka turned downward, she pressed right into that scar...slowly tearing what I thought were contractions were not...apparently she ripped right through there causing me a lot of internal bleeding.  Her embryonic sac never broke which was a good thing, because we found out later that she would have drowned from the internal bleeding--or something like that.

So, sixteen years ago today, our second miracle baby was born that we, without a doubt, know God has great plans for that He would go through such great lengths to bring into our life! 

Sixteen years later, she has come into her own and grown into a lovely young lady.  She is my wild child full of life, full of passion, full of laughter...headstrong and strong willed, she has willed her life to become a woman of God.  She is bright and funny, a lover and a nurturer.  Confident and bold, she walks unafraid of life and basks in all its glory.  Never one to sit still, she has grown her way through violin lessons, ballet, soccer, basketball, track and cross country. 

Today, as we celebrate this milestone, we also celebrate God's providence in all things which allows my cup to runneth over!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

college preview days and other recruiting strategies

The last time we were visiting potential colleges, they were called college visits.  That in 1997 when Jessica was browsing.  Now it's called "College Preview Days,"  and the day is jam packed with all kinds of sessions and food and speeches and food and tours and food.  Did i mention food?  Up until this last weekend, my focus has been on the cafeteria--my first question has been "What are the cafeteria hours?" (Well, except for one visit where i asked about married housing...but that's a whole 'nother blog topic.)  Anywhoaways--Man, some of these colleges serve some great grub and are open 24/7!!!  And up until last weekend, my vote was for Sewanee despite it's $46,000-a-year price tag.  They have the market on wining and dining--that's for sure!

But this week, we visited Belmont...breakfast was continental--thank goodness they did serve coffee.  Lunch was a boxed lunch.  Wedidn't even get to tour the cafeteria!  I'd already crossed the school off my mental list of "for real" choices.

But then, something happened--not exactly sure what. Well, okay, i do know what--the Holy Spirit came barging in--not that He wasn't welcome because there's been an open invitation throughout this whole process (so here come's the serious part)...

So we listen to the President's speech, watch a video and, WHAM!  Wow, this is a school that seems to center on the whole person, not just academic excellence (which they did spend quite a bit of time reinforcing) but personal excellence as well!  Then the girls had to choose a potential major.  They chose--get this--School of Religion!  Where di dthat come from?  (okay, we've already established that answer!)  Though Hannah's logic was that the other areas of interest would have tons of kids and there would be less oppportunity for questions, etc., we agreed it was Providence.  During that next hour and a half, they discovered areas God might be calling them to pursue, and they fell in love with this School.  They were excited to find out about the academic challenges in the different areas for majors, but they were also excited to find out these folks would take the time to help discover their gifts, talents, interests, and strengths and use that knowledge to guide them in choosing their live's careers.

They fell in love the the opportunities available to serve and to grow in their faith.  Did you hear that--EXCITED?!  They were ECSTATIC!  And because they are pursuing an IB degree, they could potentially earn 24 credits upon entrance, or one full year knocked off--that's a savings of $33,000...!!!  Needless to say, Belmont is in the running and has moved to 1st place so far.  So, with 4 colleges down and 4 more visits in the works, this is becoming quite an interesting journey--watching my daughters process, evaluate, compare and pray over their future possibilities. 

Some say a mother's job as parent is nearly finished at this point, but i've found that quite the opposite is true!!!  I'm stepping up my prayer life BIG TIME!  So many things have been added to my prayer "list"--not just generalizations like wisdom, discernment and maturity, but specifics such as which school will build them up into the women God has planned and will lead to their life abundant and what degree pursuit will lead them there...?  and which cafeteria will offer the healthiest food with the most available hours?!!!!!  You think i'm kidding?  That really isn't as humorous as it sounds!  A parent thinks about those things at this point--especially when their eating habits are already on the brink of catastrophe before they've graduated high school! 

But when all is said and done, I am excited for them and this time...because it is one more reason why my cup runneth over!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Carole King and other Artistry

"Mom, it's a Carole King kind of day!" Hannah exclaimed as she grabbed the cd on our way out the door headed for Goodlettsville, an hour's drive from our home.

Indeed, today was pure pefection!  The artistry with which God had painted this day was vibrant and amazingly alive--nothing short of brilliant.  What a day to be much to soak up and bask in!

As we headed out of the subdivision, we rolled down the windows and turned the music up...she was was a Carole King kind of day.

It's amazing how Carole King transcends all time...every song that plays takes me back to another place, another time. I can remember being something like 8 years old and singing such tunes as "Hi-Di-Ho" and "Wasn't Born to Follow."  Songs like "Jazzman" will always fill my memory with warm California breezes and my first year in high school.  "Nightingale" will forever remain a reminder of the changes moving from California to Tennessee brought about.  OH!  and the "Tapestry" album--"I Feel the Earth Move," "So Far Away," "It's Too Late," "Where You Lead," "You've Got a Friend," "Natural Woman," and of course, "Tapestry." I still remember the portable stereo I carried EVERYWHERE with me...I warped that album playing it over and over.   But that album followed me to college, and there I found much solace when it eluded me everywhere else.

Even later, I brought those songs into my daily life...Keith and I fell in love by such songs as "Up On the Roof,"  I rocked my babies to sleep singing "Child of Mine" and "Way Over Yonder,"  and when the grumpies hit the kids, I have been known to break out with "Beautiful" or "Sweet Seasons!"

So here we are, traveling down the road; and at 16 and 17 years old, both my girls are joining me in singing at the top of our lungs--and they know all the words to all the songs!...songs that cross two generations and turned this gorgeous Fall day into an extraordinary memory! 

As I catch glimpses of Hannah and Rebeka, hair flying, mouths wide open in full smiles, bodies moving to the rhythm, I know my cup runneth over!

Friday, August 27, 2010

saying goodbye...

Of the many things that could be said, "she loved well" is the first to come to mind...and when I think of my Aunt Meta, i will always remember handmade fluffy starched dresses, hummingbirds, and the fact that I was named after her daughter.  So right now I am feeling honored, and I am feeling the impact of the legacy I hold. 

Tomorrow I will say goodbye to the body that gave her so much trouble these past few years, but not to the life she poured out into others.  For many years, I only knew her as the aunt who made all my clothes, making me look better than any barbie doll in all her finery.

In high school and all through college, our relationship grew through family get togethers and  reunions.  She used to always tease me for being so active, affectionately calling me "squirrely."   "Dianna, you are a squirrely little thing..."  she'd always say.

But it wasn't until I married a man, whose children I would inherit, that I discovered her greatest gift to me.  Having a blended family herself, she understood and reached out to me in a most unpredictable way.  She encouraged me in my mothering of my Jessica and my Melanie, knowing that in my heart they were my greatest treasures and understanding the love that I held for them.  She knew how to love well...and she shared that gift with me.

In these last years, she has shared the joy of my family, always wanting details about ALL my girls and all my granddaughters, rattling off questions about each one of them faster than any of the girls' rounds of why's at 2 years of age!  I loved her for that.

We talked about the hummingbirds three weekends ago when we last visited her home.  On this particular day, one hummingbird feeder hung from outside her window with several birds feeding from it.  My youngest daughters, Hannah and Rebeka, remember sitting outside in the garden area with what seemed like millions of hummingbirds feeding all around us. What a great memory to hang onto....

We were not surprised to hear that she was back in the hospital--she had already expressed her desire to leave this earth.  But hearing the news meant the reality was before as I worked to rearrange 4 schedules and 2 cars, I was also working to mentally prepare myself for what I knew in my heart would be the last time I would see her.  So it was quite a joy that her first words to me when I walked into the room were, "It's about time you got here!"  She just knew and had expected me to be there to greet her when she had been admitted the night before!  To be honest, if I had known she was on her way, I would have...! 

Maybe, in a way, it was good that they whisked her away for surgery, not allowing me any room to think of a farewell before it was time to head back into my world of husband, kids and schedules that kept me from seeing her one more time...but I don't think she would have wanted it any other way...because she had shown me that's how you love well.

But tomorrow, I will join with many others to celebrate her life and say goodbye to her for now...but the knowledge that she is with God in a perfect body praising Him with the others of her family trumps my sadness of knowing she is no longer here and that her work here is done.

But even in this sadness, I can't help but smile knowing that even in her death, my cup overflows because we were loved by her...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Let's Talk About My Inadequacies!

The new school year has officially begun today, and it is quite clear that i am never quite ready for summer's departure and the arrival of scheduled routines! My good intentions to be in bed by 9:30 last night ended in disaster long after midnight, and the 5:30 alarm this morning reminded me that i am too old to deprive myself of this commodity we call sleep! It was at the point that my desire to be a Proverbs 31 woman was trumped by my desire to sleep a full 8 hours.

When i finally pulled myself from the warmth of my covers, i had exactly 15 minutes to get dressed and make sure my daughters were ready for their first day as a junior and sophomore. 

This is one of those moments in which my inadequacies were never more apparent, because a good mom would be organized and would have made her children's lunches the night before, written special 1st-day-back-to-school encouraging notes to put in their lunches, cooked a healthy breakfast and helped them find all their school accessories.....i barely had time to spread the p, b & j on the slices of bread before they grabbed them out of my hand throwing them into baggies...ugh!

I did manage to lead us in some good prayer time on the way to school, but the spirit of defeat weighed heavy on me as i pulled out of the parking lot back onto the crowded road.  My intentions yesterday were so honorable as i laid out the plans to make sure everything would run smoothly our last day of summer vacation and first day of school!!  Before i pulled into the driveway, i had already beat myself up and condemned myself as a mother.

After going through the motions in reading my morning scriptures, i opened up my email to the devotion for today which was titled, "Do You Have a Dream?"  The following words caught my eyes, my attention and my heart:

But God.  I love those two words when you put them together.   He makes a way where there is no way. He loves to use unlikely people so He gets all the credit for any good that comes from their frail and faulty efforts. I'm convinced He wasn't looking for the most qualified person, He was simply looking for a woman who would dare to say yes to Him...My job all along was to simply be obedient to God. My job was obedience, God's job was results. That's true no matter what we're pursuing - be it a job, a spouse, a calling or a dream.  I had to be obedient to God in the small things and the big things. Some days as a woman in ministry my big job was to change diapers with a good attitude and apologize to my husband for acting so stubborn. Other days it was to have coffee with a woman and simply listen to her heart. Still other days it was to write an article that would only be read by 35 readers of our small little newsletter at the time...
Isn't God good?!! I just had to jump up in my thank-you-Jesus dance! In all my inadequacies, He is still using me! Maybe it was more important that I prayed with my girls today--the first day of a brand new year filled not only with anticipation and eagerness but also with an acute awareness of the challenges and their own inadequacies to be overcome and conquered--I am confident that they slipped out of the van and into the classroom prayed up and filled up ready to be poured out!

And did you see where she wrote "some days my big job is to...apologize to my husband for acting so stubborn"????  Inadequacy.  But she found redemption!  Oh Yes!  There is hope!

Now, maybe tomorrow i WILL wake up before they do and make their lunches and a hot healthy breakfast--WITH a smile on my face!!!...because, in my heart, my dream is to indeed be a godly mom--a proverbs women if you will--whose children do rise up and call her blessed because she is obedient to God and teaches her children obedience!

I can't help but think of a cartoon that read:  God doesn't call the qualified; he qualifies the called!

I am called!  how can my cup but runneth over!!!


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

just another manic monday???? it is the beginning of August--and I created this thing in MARCH???!!!  Welcome to my world of inconsistencies! HA!  But i'm bound and determined to change that.  we'll see.

Anywhoaways, so here it is months later and one case of shingles conquered, another school year completed, and an entire summer ending too quickly. 

Why just today, i had to be up at 6 a.m. so that I could have my youngest, Rebeka, at the school for cross country track practice by 7am and then pick up my husband from the Toyota place where we left our van for some repairs that were bound to deplete several categories of our budget!!!  I thought I would have time to go back home and eat breakfast while Keith drove back to the school to pick up Rebeka.  I thought.

Hannah, who went to bed at 5:30 p.m. last night with a headache, failed to check the calendar and, therefore, has no concept of any one else's schedule and times other than her own. 

So, as Keith leaves at 7:55a.m. to pick up Rebeka, Hannah flies down the stairs in a panic: "MOM!!  We have to be at school at 8:15!!!" 

"No, Hannah.  We don't have to be there until 8:30...look at the email from the PTO Manager..." 

"NOOOO!!!!  Student Council HAS to be there at 8:15!!" 

This is quickly followed up by a phone call to her dad informing him of the dire situation.  He, in confusion, turns around while calling me for Plan B. 

With only one vehicle, we realize everyone's schedule is going to clash....He arranges to have his racquetball buddy meet up with him at the school so that he can leave the truck there for us to get home after doing "registration" duty. 

He drops us off at the high school into total mayhem.  Though registration is not to begin until 9a.m., somehow the schedules are already being handed out, and the lines that have been formed for parking passes since 5:30 a.m. are in total disarray.  You get the picture...

By 9:30 a.m. the dust has settled and textbooks are finding homes in all the Juniors noon we climb back into the truck to head home.  We are relieved to discover hubby will go pick up the van, so we have time to eat lunch, start laundry, run errands, and drop rebeka off to visit with a friend for an hour or so.  We return with plenty of time left to go to a 3:45 chiropractic appointment, but hubby is still not home.  The phone call reveals that he is at the third auto repair store looking for a hose long enough to refill the freon in the van...he loves cutting time close. 

We do make the chiropractic appointment on time, but we are late getting rebeka to violin lessons.  We call Hannah, tell her to pick up rebeka and take her to the lessons.  We have to meet them there because I have the month's tuition check and lesson book--you wouldn't think there'd be traffic jams in a "small" suburban town...HA!  We arrive, pass off the materials, and get ready to head back home (thinking Hannah is going to wait the 1/2 hour for her) only to discover Hannah is GONE!  Another phone call reveals that she thought she was just dropping her off....okay, no biggie.  Panera is right around the corner, and the weather was calling for a smoothie. 

Five minutes before rebeka's lesson is finished, Hannah calls.  She is supposed to have blank cd's for her lesson, which she doesn't have.  Target is right there, so we make a mad rush through Target before picking up Rebeka and heading (finally) back home.

Now I have only a half hour to whip up dinner with the turkey meat that I failed to find a recipe for...i decide on tacos, and in a half hour we were eating before rushing out the door to Hannah's lessons.  Lesson finished, we begin to head home...but the sunset is in its fullness and we are just moments away from a bridge that really shows off the sunset against the backdrop of our middle tennessee hills.  We head in the opposite direction of the house and slowly drive across the bridge basking in the fullness of dusk. 

It was at that moment that I thought, "I need to write about this.."

So here I am, actually writing (typing?)!....while the rest of my family sits engrossed by "Clash of the Titans" in full surround sound that can be heard at least two subdivisions down....

Tomorrow, Rebeka and I wrestle with Sophomore registration while Hannah heads south for a 7a babysitting appointment...Keith, who is on vacation, is stuck at home because he lost the dibs to either vehicle...

these are the only two appointments listed on the calendar...but, then again, there wasn't much on today's calendar either.

The strange thing is...I love the way my family is!  Just another reminder that, indeed, my cup runneth over...


Friday, March 12, 2010 i write. 2 thess. 3:17

This title was what i had originally planned to name my blog; but, as usual, my teenagers overruled me...not to say unjustifiably so! There indeed was confirmation...we were watching this movie, a seemingly rather silly movie--Hope Floats--when low and behold!  Guess what words were said?  And not once, but twice!  Immediately, both girls said, "There's your confirmation!  Drop the ' i write!'" 

My best friends suggested such titles as "Forever Procrastinating..." (true, but so unromantic)..."Too Many Lemons In The Glass..." (you have to have joined us on our millions of lunch and dinner outings to understand this one)..."Later Than I Wanted To Be..." (a bit more of a romantic feel, but still reveals my bad habits!)..."Hippie Chick 4 God"...(because i'm over 50)... i write about how my cup runneth over...!!!

There's nothing unique about this blog...i'm just another blogger mommy seeking a way to capture life in words on a daily basis.  Capturing my memoirs by pen in a beautifully bound journal is my preferred means of writing, but it seems to take forever to scribble my i will blog!!!!

Welcome to my blog, and happy reading!