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...