Friday, March 17, 2017

The "Mom Quiz" Then & Now

This "Mom Quiz" popped up in my Time Hop. I first did it eight years ago and thought it would be fun to test them again. The boys and I laughed a lot at comparing the original answers to now.

Then: Tanner - 7 Now: Tanner - 15
Then: Todd - 11 Now: Todd - 19

1. What is something mom always says to you?
Tanner: I love you. (Now: I love you more.)
Todd: No. (Now: I love you.)

2. What makes mom happy?
Tanner:: Seeing me, Big Guy and Dad doing nice stuff. (Now: When we are all home as a family)
Todd: Foot massage. (Now: Books.)

3. What makes mom sad?
Tanner: When we don’t give you hugs and you have to go through the day without them. (Now: When see you see someone you love hurting)
Todd: When I am sad. (Now: When Dad is not here.)

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
Tanner: Say jokes. (Now: Too many ways to count)
Todd: We make each other laugh. (Now: Dad)

5. What was your mom like as a child?
Tanner: Smart, pretty, nice and kind. (Now: oldest sister and very protective)
Todd: A good kid. Now: pretty quiet and kept to yourself

6. How old is your mom?
Tanner: 40. (Now: 21)
Todd: 40 (Now: Are you 49?)

7. How tall is your mom?
Tanner: If I am four feet, you must be five feet. (Now: 5'4")
Todd: taller than me (Now: 5'4"?)

8. What is her favorite thing to watch on TV?
Tanner: Doctors (Now: Masterpiece Classics)
Todd: Good Morning America (Now: Goldbergs)

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Tanner: drink coffee and go to work (Now: watch Masterpiece Classics)
Todd: watch tv and get on the computer (Now: read)

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
Tanner: be the nicest person in the world (Now: writer of devotional series)
Todd: movie star (Now: writing)

11. What is your mom really good at?
Tanner: cooking (Now: being a Mom, cooking, singing... a lot)
Todd: typing (Now: taking care of others)

12. What is your mom not very good at?
Tanner: doing push ups (Now: math)
Todd: math (Now: back seat driving)

13. What does your mom do for her job?
Tanner: work at The Play Place (Now: homeschool teacher)
Todd: work at The Play Place (Now: being a mom)

14. What is your mom's favorite food?
Tanner:: the Penne Rustica at Macaroni Grill (Now: Krilakis)
Todd: Mexican pizza (Now: bread pudding)

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
Tanner:: that you have a job (Now: I admire your faith.)
Big Guy: that you have stuck with me while I was having a tough time and you tell me that we can find a solution to any problem (Now: how willing you are to give time for other people)

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Tanner:: Tweety Bird Now: no answer
Big Guy: Tweety Bird Now: no answer

17. What do you and your mom do together?
Tanner:: go to the coffee shop and play on the computer (Now: watch our favorite shows and talking --- driving!)
Todd: Go to the bookstore (Now: go to thrift stores)

18. How are you and your mom the same?
Tanner:: We have the same color hair. (Now: We both have common sense and both have misophonia.)
Todd: We are both human. (Now: we both like to read)

19. How are you and your mom different?
Tanner:: I am a boy and you are a girl. (Now: You are more verbal and I am more reserved.)
Todd: I am a boy and you are girl. (Now: different sense of humor)

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Tanner:: You tell it to me every day! (Now: You tell me every day!)
Todd: Because you do. (Now: you always want to be involved in what I am doing)

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
Tanner:: that he is really nice (Now: he makes me feel safe and secure and that he is kind and gentle)
Todd: His sense of humor (Now: his sense of humor)

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
Tanner:: Lifeway (Now: anywhere that we go as a family)
Todd: to the bookstore (Now: anywhere as long as it is with Dad, Tanner and I)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

It Has Been A Long Time

It has been such a long time since I have had a second to sit down and write.   My days, weeks and months have been filled with care giving.   When I sit I seem to fall asleep or just not want to think about anything.    Today I find myself with a little section of time waiting on Tman to finish some school work and suddenly had all these thoughts running through my brain.  So if they are jumbled... I apologize in advance.

For any of you who may be wondering, Donald is doing so well.  He went for a follow-up with his cancer doctor yesterday.   He said things are looking good.   He has his next PET scan in May to see what might be lighting up.   His doctor says we will keep a close watch on him for the next two years.   The cancer that they found, if it decides to grow, will take off like a lightning bolt so we have to keep an eye on it.   However, we are all trusting God that it will not do anything.  

Our days have been busy taking care of Donald's parents who have been in very poor health.   Lots of driving back and forth, spending the night in hospital rooms and making plans for the future.   As Donald and his brothers all have jobs and my sister-in-law lives in South Carolina, I am trying to fill in the gaps as much as possible.   It has definitely taken a team to handle their situation.

Todd is finishing up his sophomore year of college.   He has worked three jobs at the same time.  Not because he has had too, but because God has opened those doors and he has seen those as opportunities to get contacts.   Watching him change to a mature man in front of our eyes has been amazing.   We attended an awards ceremony two weeks ago where he was named one of the top students at Hinds.   The faculty and staff chose those students based on grades, volunteer work and outside achievements.   Very proud of our guy.

Tman is in his sophomore year of high school.   Every afternoon he comes out and sits and talks to me about what he is learning.   He has an unquenchable desire to learn.    He reads and explores things that aren't even part of his curriculum.  Yesterday he told me he was fascinated by absolute zero and did all this research about it.  The day before it was Elon Musk and his design for pneumatic tubes for transportation.   Just listening to him makes me smarter.   I think back to 2nd grade and how his teacher told me if I didn't remove him from public school he was going to lose his love and desire for learning.   I am so thankful we listened to her and started homeschooling.   It hasn't always been the easiest road, but it has been so worth it.

One of the joys of my life right now is working with preschool worship at church on Sunday mornings.   I handle the crafts and my friend, Cathy, does the Bible story.  We are a good team.   I am so in love with those little kids.    Such sweethearts.  Is it any wonder Jesus said, "Let the little children come unto me?"   After dealing with adults and their craziness, I would rather be with the kids also, Jesus! 

Thanks for letting me ramble.   

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Gift of Intimacy

Donald is on a plane on the way home.  We have joked that since he told his bosses that he won't be able to travel after surgery that they have been trying to cram all the trips they can into these last few weeks.  

We have been texting back and forth talking.  Anxious to get back to each other. It is funny how when you get married you are starry eyed and so in love.  Your images of intimacy are skewed by what you see on television and movies. 

However,  the past twenty six years have shown us what intimacy truly means. 

It is clinging to each other when the doctor gives you bad news.

It is holding hands while a doctor tells you that there is no pregnancy.

It is sitting in a parking garage sobbing and unwilling to leave a loved one at the hospital.

It is standing by the graveside absorbing each other's grief.

It is not giving up when the job is gone and the money is running out.

It is crying tears of joy when we see our sons for the first time. 

It is signing the papers as we purchase our first home.

It is laughing hysterically on family game night.

It is sharing victories.  

It is all these things and so much more.

I have discovered that what we have is so incredibly rare in this world of throw away mentality.   Each day I wake up and thank God for the gift of this marriage.   For the amazing man God gave me for a husband.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Throwing Away the "To Do" List

Yesterday I woke up with a big "to do" list. I pretty much had the entire day planned out. However not long after I got up I felt the Lord nudging me to get dressed and head out. Despite the fact I knew I probably sounded like a three year old I asked, "Why Lord? Not one part of my plans for today involve leaving the house." However, the nudging continued so I got dressed and got in the car. As I backed out the driveway I told the Lord, "I have no idea where I am going." I turned the CD player onto some worship music and started driving. A few minutes later a store popped into my mind. I didn't need anything from this store, but I asked the Lord to give me a peace about whether this was where I was supposed to go. To be honest, I didn't feel peaceful or sure, but it was the only thing I knew to do. As I walked in the door the owner of the store walked up to me. We have met and talked a few times in the past months. What he said told me why God had sent me, "You are the first person I have seen since I found out my Dad died. He died on Saturday and I have been hiding in my home since then, but I decided to run by the store to check on things before I have to leave for California tomorrow for his funeral. Do you have a few minutes to talk to me?" We sat and talked for an hour and a half about his Dad, what he was expecting when he arrived, and his fears concerning the strained family relationships. We talked about God and his love for him and prayed peace over the rest of the week. It was a holy appointment and holy meeting.

Today I woke up and told the Lord that I had no "to do" lists. Whatever He had for me today I was ready and willing.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Rare Treasures

Last night I was sitting on the couch when Tanner crawled up next to me and put his head in my lap.  I started rubbing his hair like I did when he was little.   A few minutes later he was sound asleep.  

Donald walked into the room, took one look and got a big smile on his face, "Well, I know we were supposed to leave for Life Group in a few minutes, but that doesn't happen very often.  I am pretty sure you want to enjoy every second."

My sweet husband... he knows me too well!

I sat there and soaked in the rare treasure of my teenage son sleeping in my lap for almost an hour and a half.   And I enjoyed every single second of it. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Home From Houston

Last Sunday we drove to Laurel to get on a plane to fly to Houston.   Really, that was just last Sunday?  It seems like a month ago.   We got on that plane with a group of nurses from MEA who were off to do health fairs.   What a blessing to be able to fly instead of drive the eight hours.  

Bright and early Monday morning we were at the hospital.  Since late June we had been waiting for this moment.  The moment of answers and starting a process of getting Donald well.   First a nurse walked in and asked a lot of questions.  Next a physician's assistant walked in and asked another set of questions.   Finally the doctor walked in and said, "Well, there has been a big problem.   I can't tell you anything without looking at the tumor.  Until I see that there is no reason for you to be here."  

Donald (not me because I was two seconds from being a crying mess) explained how we had gone to the extremes to get everything to them.  We had even brought our own copies of the records to them.   We asked, "Why did you let us come out here if you didn't have what you needed?"   

The doctor said, "I have asked your patient rep to come up here to talk to you."  

When he left the room, as hard as I tried not to, my tears just started streaming down my face.   Disappointment.  Anger.  Frustration.  Helplessness.  Every emotion just seemed to slam me.   Donald reached over to hold my hand and we both prayed.  

When our patient rep walked in she began chattering really fast.   I mean really fast.   She knew she had messed up.  We knew it too.    Then she did the wrong thing.  She lied.  She told us she had a Fed Ex tracking number in her hand and the sample was on the way and would be at the hospital tonight.  What she didn't know was that Donald had already called our doctor at University Medical and they had the sample in their hand, packaged up to send.  They just needed MD Anderson to sign the request form.  

I wish I could say that I just kept my mouth close and extended grace to this lady, but that wouldn't be honest.   I told her that I needed her to know that we were more than a chart.   We had spent gas money,  vacation days, hotel days, meals... and it was all wasted at that moment because she would not answer our phone calls or return our phone calls.   

The rest of the week was slow.  Tuesday Donald had blood work.  Wednesday he had a head and neck scan.   The plan was for us to meet with the specialist on Thursday.    On Wednesday night they called us said all appointments were cancelled since the pathologists wanted to do some additional testing on the samples. 

At this point we have had seven pathologists look at Donald's samples.    Two of the Country's leading sarcoma specialists say they have doubts that this is sarcoma.    Out of a crazy week, this is great news and we give GOD ALL THE GLORY for this. 

We flew home late yesterday.   Seeing our boys and getting hugs from them was good medicine.   Sleeping in our own bed felt so good.    There really is no place like home.

We really have no more answers, but we have been reminded again that these doctors are just men and God is still God.... yesterday, today and forever.

Thy Will Be Done.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Worship As A Lifestyle

My car has always been a sanctuary for me.  It is one of my favorite places to worship.  I love turning up my favorite worship music -- especially hymns -- and singing.  I love turning off the music completely and just pouring my heart to the Lord.   I think it is the freedom of just driving and seeing the open sky and the trees and the beauty of creation.  It is the quiet of the car despite the chaos of the world outside.  It is not caring if someone thinks I am crazy as I pour my heart out in praise as I pass other cars on the road.

I don't hunt.  My husband doesn't hunt.  However, we have friends and family who do hunt.  Some of them say that sometimes they love just sitting out there enjoying the beauty of creation.  They feel the most worshipful and the closest to God  during those times.   I can truly understand that.     (Our disagreement about them missing church to hunt is an entirely different discussion... you know who you are!) 

We had a big dinner time discussion recently about worship.  I told the boys that I knew I was officially old.   (That and I have a serious case of adult ADD.)  I get so distracted by all the bells and whistles that are involved in church worship.  Changing lights.  Covered windows.  Guitar solos.  Whatever....   It distracts me from focusing on God.   Like I said... I am getting old. 

One of my favorite verses on worship is Psalm 96:9...
"O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth."

I am trying to remember that holiness is so much more than the moments I spend in my car or at church, but in the way I live my life.  I am trying to remember that worship is a lifestyle.    A matter of priority of expressing my love for Him through pursuing a standard of holiness.  

"Pursue...holiness, without which no one will see the Lord." (Hebrews 12:14)
"But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;  for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:15-16