Monthly Archives: April 2009

Cracking open the door

I went through a dry spell there for a while. I noticed that I seemed to be going through the motions a bit as far as my walk with God was concerned, and that reading my bible or spending time in worship had lost its lustre. There’s nothing like being in the presence of God, where he whispers sweet things to your heart and you discover treasures in his word. In his presence is fullness of joy…

I started missing being in that place and as I lay on my bed one night,  rediscovering my ipod and listening to old favorites, I could feel the Holy Spirit gently tugging at my heart. I’m all for being straight-up with God and telling it to him as it is, and so I told him that my heart was dull and I didn’t know how to fix it. I wasn’t even sure that I really wanted to.

Then my favorite worship song started to play:

…wonderful Saviour, my heart will know your worth,
so I will embrace you always, as I walk this earth…

Be blessed, be loved, be lifted high
Be treasured here, be glorified
I owe my life to you my king
Here I am…                                                                                                                            

I was undone, and as the tears started to roll, I saw a glimpse of my own heart. It’s broken. It hurts. I had been protecting myself from the pain and vulnerability of  having raw, exposed grief.

It is precious how generously Jesus met me as I opened the door of this battered heart of mine. I cracked it open just a little, but he crammed as much of his tender compassion and soothing peace in as possible. I know that he will fill all the room I make for him, and so I aim to be as real and as open as I can. I want to swing that door open wide.

It does expose the pain, but in him there is ultimately no sorrow, only a glorious peace. In him I can step into eternity for a moment and see that all is well, all will be well.

In his presence is fullness of joy.

Covet

I know what I’d go out to buy right now if I had the …ahem….clearance from hubby. (That could be construed as a hint, Hubs.) I’d go and get me a Wii Fit.

I had a crazy moment at school today where I told my sixth graders I felt like running. One of the sweet little things suggested I switch shoes with her, and another girl challenged me to a race. I don’t know what got in to me…had I forgotten that I always came in first in races at school? As in…first from the rear?

So we ran. I had only gone a few yards when I realized my mistake. The other girl sailed ahead of me…and she wasn’t even going as fast as she could. Even worse, I could feel my hamstrings stretching as I tried to take big strides.

Sigh. I won’t tell you about the long-jump dare where I fell flat on my face. Literally. I got off the ground surrounded by concerned little sixth graders dusting me off and saying things like: Are you sure you are alright?…That was spectacular…You made this kind of roll… 

I am a teeny bit sore today. This old bod needs a major overhaul. It’s one thing to be nearing my mid-forties, quite another to feel like it. I’m off to the grocery store. You can bet that I will be pricing the Wii Fit while I am there.  🙂

Swiss cheese brain and the end of things

I realised today why I don’t blog anymore. I have swiss cheese brain. You know…a holey brain as opposed to a wholly brain (or a holy brain). 

 I had so many bloggable moments today. My students made hillarious comments that should have been recorded for use in the school newspaper. Sigh. My boys were their cute/wise/quirky/babbly selves and we had a sweet conversation in the car on the way home today. You know, the kind of conversation where the teenager even switches off his ipod to listen and comment.

All gone. I have a holey brain that allows everything to run out as water through a sieve.

I wonder if it is delayed stress, or having too much to think about, or (gasp) old age, but today as we arrived home I went into my bedroom and shut the door and tried to REMEMBER something the boy had said. I thought at the time…Hmmm, neat blog topic, until the conversation went elsewhere and my mind went with it. I even asked Jesus to help me remember, which I did, much later.

The boy made a random passing comment about how people’s looks don’t change even as they get older. They are always recognizable. It made me think…yes, once you know a person’s features you can pick them out in a photo, even if you skip ahead or skip back many years. But when all you have is a baby picture, it is not quite so easy.

I remembered how, when Jenna was a baby, I had a very sketchy idea of what she was going to look like. (And boy, was I curious to find out 🙂 .) But as she matured, I could go back and look at her baby pictures and recognise the chubby cheeks, the rosebud mouth, those gorgeous eyebrows, and see HER. Same thing with the boys.

I considered the thought that what God is doing in my life seems to be like my little Jenna’s baby face. Right now the picture is a vague blueprint, and it will take time to see how everything plays out. At the end, when the all things are complete, I will be able to trace my way back in time to see that even at the beginning of things, God knew what the end result would be. He knows the plans he has for me, plans to prosper me and give me an expected end (Jeremiah 28? too lazy to look it up).

I’ll end this with a quote from my Facebook status. 😀 Sorry to repeat it for those of you who have read it already. What can I say? My holey brain can’t think of anything more to say.

 I am so grateful that Jesus knows the end from the beginning. James 5:11 tells us that at the end of all our struggles, God’s tender mercy and compassion will be abundantly evident. (Heck, if we can see his goodness even in MIDDLE of our trials, how much more gloriously evident will it be when it all comes together at the end?) EVERYTHING God does in our lives is redemptive.

G’night all!!!

Oh happy/crappy day…

I am not a happy camper today.  I have suspected for a while that I am due to crash soon, and it happened last night after bible school. Our friend Holland was showing us the pictures of their sweet new baby Zoey on some gadget that he was carrying around. (Hahaha, Holland, I know it was not a phone, but I am oblivious to gadgets. To me they are all ‘watchamacallits’ belonging to a generation younger than I. I am resisting hubby’s suggestions to buy a phone with a built-in gps. Why rely on a satellite to direct you when it’ so much more fun finding – or losing – your own way? 🙂 )

I looked at that sweet little baby face, so similar to that of Zoey’s older brother and Jenna’s best buddy Joseph’s, and I had a flash back to a time when Joseph was little and I was pregnant with Jenna and the world seemed so simple and uncomplicated.

I also remembered the phone call I got from an exuberant Sarah when I was in South Africa to inform me that the doctors had made a mistake,  and that the little boy she was due to deliver a month from then was in fact a girl! Having a little girl was something Holland and Sarah had both hoped for, and I think Jenna had a lot to do with that.

Jenna was the quintessential little princess and Sarah enjoyed her girliness almost as much as I did. It was Sarah who had encouraged me to stop feeling guilty about my desire to dress Jenna in gorgeous clothes. She had told me that I should have fun indulging Jenna’s girliness while the muffiny would still let me! (Thanks for that advice, Sarah. I am glad I listened.)

Anyhow…rabbit trails…we were looking so forward to having baby Emma in Jenna’s life. Jenna gave a big smile when I told her that Joseph was going to have a baby sister, and I am grateful that we were able to tell her the news before she went to heaven.  Jenna would have been such a sweet little ‘mother-hen’ over Emma…sigh. Jenna went to heaven exactly a week after Sarah’s phone call, and never met baby Emma.

Now Emma is little more than a year old and baby Zoey has made her appearance.  I am soooooo glad for Holland and Sarah’s sake…really. I don’t begrudge them their two little girls a bit. But seeing that picture last night made me miss MINE. As I looked at Zoeys’ picture I was aware that two of my friends from church were checking me out. It was that same surreptitiously scrutinous look that sometimes registers on my radar screen whenever I hold a baby on my hip or stoop down to chat to a little toddler. Did my face betray something?

I excused myself (mumbling something about going to find my hubby) and sneaked into the dark sanctuary to grab a tissue and try to compose myself.  It didn’t work. I have been pretty composed up until this point. Last night was the first time I really lost it in public.  I didn’t want Holland to see me cry though, because I really am so happy for him and Sarah and I didn’t want my pain to dampen their joy.

I hung back not wanting to be seen with my red splotchy face. New tears kept coming though. Hiding is not my strong suit,  so I decided to brave the looks and ‘be real’ and walked back into the bible school where everyone was chatting. I sat down and buried my head on a friend’s shoulder and cried.  I felt so vulnerable as the room grew quiet, and as I heard whispered questions and answers…what’s wrong?…ohhhh…the baby.

I have been a veritable fountain of tears since.  As I write this, red splotchy face and all, one of my boys is reading over my shoulder, the hubby is giving me tender looks, and another boy is tiptoeing around after I gave him an over-the-top response to his request to use the computer. (For which I apologised.) I’m out of sorts today, but I know enough to know that I will not be out of sorts forever. An hour or seven, or a day or two from now I will be fine again. Joy comes in the morning.

Can I complain a bit though?  Over and above missing Jenna, life is just stressful right now. Hubby totalled his car and while he searches for a replacement, we are down to one car. Driving one another to work and home and errands so that the other can use the car is time consuming for both of us.

My washing machine broke this weekend and laundry is piling up. Going to a laundromat is time-consuming too and besides, last time I went there little miss Jenna was there to charm everybody.  The person who blessed us by providing a cleaning lady for me once a week cannot do it anymore and my house is in bad shape. The floors have not been mopped in two weeks….ugh.

We are out of toilet paper (a trip to the grocery store awaits) and one of the boys clogged the toilet up with paper towels this morning. I had to clean a poopy toilet overflow earlier this morning.

My computer is dead and I have no access to any of the planning that I did for the rest of the year. Since I did the planning in February, I don’t remember anymore what I had done and I will need to re-do it all if the computer can’t get fixed.  I have an extremely busy weekend coming up with a special speaker at church and school commitments.

Complaining over. 🙂 Got that off my chest. Tomorrow night I will be playing for the school faculty against the girls basketball team.  Have I mentioned that I am from South Africa and that we don’t really play much basketball over there? Or that the closest sport we had to basketball was netball and that it was compulsory and I dreaded it sucked at it in school? Have I mentioned that I don’t have any ball-sense and that I doubt I could bounce a ball even once and keep up with it? LOL! It is going to be a hoot! I have a speech rehearsed in my brain which I wish I could share with the spectators before taking the field. It goes something like: “It takes a special kind of bravery to knowingly make a complete and utter fool of yourself. Henceforth, dear people, I will most probably be known as Sumi The Bravest Person Ever.”

Since I am on hubby’s laptop and the boy still wants to use it, I am not going to edit this post like i normally do. Love to you all…