Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year

Our traditional sparkling white grape juice toast on New Year's Eve

In 2009:

I started the year without any hair.

I drove daily (M-F) to radiation every week in January.

I enjoyed watching M1 play basketball, M1 & M2 play baseball and soccer, M3 play softball and swim and M4 play his first season of soccer.

I was declared "cancer-free".

My husband took me on a wonderful, week-long vacation to Hawaii.

M1 has grown gracefully into a teenager.

M2 has singlehandedly taught M3 and M4 to ride their bikes (in one week's time!)

M3 has returned to full-time homeschool and we both LOVE it!

M4 has learned his alphabet and to count to "infinity".

I lost my car keys - about four months ago - and still haven't found them.

Got to spend a week with my family at Disneyworld.

Celebrated my parents 45th anniversary.

Bid farewell, temporarily, to two dear friends. Robbie, and family, to Australia and Marie, and family, to Canada.

Said goodbye, until heaven, to friend, Carol, and "Papa Doc", my SIL's father.

Enjoyed watching M3 sing, with friend, Hannah, and M1 and M2 perform the swordfight scene as Inigo Montoya and "The Man in Black" from the movie, "The Princess Bride" in the school talent show.

Made it through two rounds of preventative treatments. (TWO TO GO!!)

Learned that you don't go to the urgent care clinic when you are having chest pain (no matter what adjective you use to describe it . . .)

After cleaning my house for a full week (having nothing else to do during that time), and being very pleased with myself, am coming to grips with the fact that, though it will not stay that way, "Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest." Proverbs 14:4. And despite the mess they make, I am VERY thankful for my many oxen (I mean, children).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Beyond the Door

Have you ever heard the song "Heaven in the Face" by Stephen Curtis Chapman? He wrote the song after his five-year-old daughter, Maria, was killed in a tragic accident.

The first time I heard it I actually thought I might have a wreck it was so emotional for me. And every time since, it takes me back to that place of longing, of missing Michael to my very core, just for a moment.

I completely understand where he is coming from, losing a child. Despite the fact that I never knew Michael in this world, except for inside of me, his loss drained me completely. For a very long time.

So why do I bring this up today? I heard the song again on the radio.

I don't often hear it alone, so I don't usually get to listen and contemplate the words.

I've always understood, in listening to the song, that, to Chapman, heaven is all the special and wonderful things that he remembers of Maria while she was alive. And all of the sudden, I HEARD what he was saying. These are the words of the chorus:

God, I know, it’s all of this and so much more,
But God, You know, that this is what I’m aching for.
God, you know, I just can’t see beyond the door.

When Michael died, I was consumed with the thought of him in heaven. I wanted to be with him and I wanted to be here on earth, too. I would find myself talking to God and saying stuff like, "God, I know you are the greatest thing in heaven, but when I get there, I just want to see Michael."

I am sure it is that way with any loss: child, friend, parent, sibling. You miss them so much you just can't wait to see them again. And they will be the ones "meeting you at the door". And you want to see them so desperately that nothing else about heaven matters, but just getting to the door.

Over time, God gently reminded me to "miss" Michael and "worship" Jesus. Because it is only because I know Jesus that I could ever hope to see Michael again. To long for heaven because Jesus has prepared a place for me there.

And someday Michael will meet me at the door and take me by the hand and lead me to Him.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Blast from the past

We have been doing some MAJOR cleaning (as in "cleaning out") and I came across the oddest thing. It was a box, marked "Master Bathroom" that has been sitting in our linen closet next to the laundry basket SINCE WE MOVED IN TO THIS HOUSE.

The funny thing is, I thought it had cleaning supplies/tools in it. Like caustic chemicals and "As seen on TV" type cleaning tools that never worked for me.

But I opened it up, to "clean it out" and this is what I found:

Just for fun, see if you can figure out what this box was for - I'll give you some clues.

This box made the move with us to this house in December of 2000.

I had packed this particular "box" actually in DECEMBER 1999.

It had a hand can opener, napkins, paper towels, trash bags, baggies, flash lights (with batteries dated 1999 in them), a can of lysol, matches, paper cups and plastic utensils.

It was stored in our previous home in the crawl space under our stairs with about 20 gallons of water.

Can you guess what it was for?





Talk about a blast from the past. This time ten years ago, the civilized world was breathing a sigh of relief that the world as we knew it then did not come screeching to a halt as it hit midnight of 12/31/99.

It caused me to go back in time to what our lives were like in 1999.

Ten years ago, we had two small children aged four and almost two. Neither had played an organized sport, yet. I had just turned 30. We had three dogs. We lived in a different city. We didn't know that terrorists could fly airplanes into skyscrapers. We didn't know what it was like to be in a major car accident, lose a child, have cancer. We didn't quite understand how MUCH God loves us and how GOOD He really is.

I miss a lot about ten years ago. But I am so grateful for the lessons of life and love that we have been allowed to learn in the past decade!

I think I'll keep my Y2K box. It can be my "Hurricane Preparedness" box (now that I know what is in it :) )