Posts Tagged With: Loss

The Beauty of Sharing

Our house is under quarantine today. Between the coughs, sneezes, boogers, and wheezes, I made the executive decision that today we rest. I figure it all began about like this…

R, at school: “Hey Timmy! Can I borrow your pencil?”
Friend Timmy (which is, actually, a fictional school mate and really no one in particular): “Sure! Aaa-aa-aa-choooo!” –hands R a snotty pencil.
R: “Gee, thanks, Timmy! Let me just stick it in my mouth while I grab a piece of paper.”

Yes, we all thank you, Timmy. All because of you so graciously sharing your snotty pencil, our entire family is infected with this miserable bug.

My kids are pros at sharing their germs. I can’t think of a time when a cold or flu bug has not made a run through our entire family. I can’t say that I’m exactly thrilled about this, but I do have to say that it makes me happy that they are fantastic at sharing other things besides germs as well.

…All three share a room. I know, it’s crazy. But it works! However, that typically means at 5am our day often starts like this, “Psst, R, are you awake? HEY R… R!! Wake up! It’s morning!!!!!!!”
…They are fantastic at sharing peas, broccoli, mushrooms, and carrots (go figure, right?).
…T.V. Time, is, well, shared. Either that, or Mom chooses, and that typically means some girly show. “Nooo!!! Ok, ok, we can watch M’s show, just anything but THAT!”
…Toys are usually shared relatively well, cookies some of the time, and crayons almost always.

As parents we constantly drill into our kids the importance of sharing. At the park, at friends’ houses, when friends come to visit…the sharing never ends. But why? Why do we feel this need to teach our kids to be giving with others? Frankly, I would have been fine if Timmy would have refused to share his pencil.

A year ago our area was hit with a horrible flood. The rain came for days and days and never seemed to stop. Roads closed, bridges washed away, and canyon roads crumbled into the torrent below. Houses filled with mud or completely washed away as rivers changed their direction and spilled over their banks. The news was filled with heart-breaking stories of families being separated, homes being lost, and even lives being swept away. Tragedy beyond comprehension.

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Even Our *little* stream close by turned into a torrential river during the flood. Luckily, nothing could reach our house. Unfortunately not all of our neighbors were able to say the same.

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But among the disaster came stories of sharing. People came out of the woodwork to give of their talents, time, energy, monetary assets, and love. Neighbors came together and really showed what it meant to be a neighbor. Regardless of religion, race, political preference, or any sort of differences, people worked side by side, sharing all they had.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” –Fred Rogers

The kindness of others was truly inspiring, amazing, and incredible those long, rainy days, and for many, many days following.

We were so thrilled when the sun finally came out!

As difficult as it is for our children to share toys, rooms, treats, and time, This is why I think we do it. Because eventually, as adults, we hope they will be good neighbors. That they will bring their shovels, buckets, and wheelbarrows to help a friend. Or more importantly, a stranger. That they will be willing to put together a bag of clothes, a warm meal, or lend a shoulder to cry on.

So for now, as my boys and I share our box of tissues, chicken noodle soup, and sit on the couch today, I will be thankful that my kids are learning to give. I’ll be happy that Timmy’s mother is teaching him as well. I’ll be glad that this world is full of helping hands in a planet where disaster, sadness and despiration are all too often well-known. And most of all, I’ll look forward to the day when my boys can share their time, talents, monetary assets, and love with those in need around them.

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Categories: Motherhood | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

To All Those That Worry–Today I Choose Joy

I couldn’t tell how big the snake was. Maybe four feet. No doubt it had a rattle on the end. I had just glanced outside to check on our boys playing with the dog in the front when I spotted it, curled up on our porch. That’s when panic set in. I raced for the door just as N, our not-quite-two-year-old rounded the corner and caught a glance of that slithering monster. In two-year-old curious fashion, he took a few steps closer to get a better look. “No, stay back! Don’t come, N!” The snake coiled and began to hiss. I was hysterical. That rattle and the 4-foot long, scaly body sat between me and my son, and I felt helpless. N inched a little closer, my screams became more distressed as I could see the snake bare his fangs at that tiny boy.

I sat up straight in bed. I could hear crickets out the window and see the moon through our sliding glass door. No snakes. No children’s laughter. My heart was pounding. Just a dream, right? I jumped out of bed and ran to my boys’ room. Every inch of my body tingled with the aftershock of what I’d just imagined. My eyes strained to see N sleeping soundly through the darkness. Just a dream. A horrible, nasty One. Unfortunately it could very well have been real, but tonight it was just my mind conjuring up what I’ve dreaded so many times.

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Sometimes I wonder if worrying is something that automatically comes with motherhood. The baby, the worry, it’s a package deal. Usually it’s just a little nagging feeling on the back of your mind, other times it becomes so strong it overwhelms you. It probably wouldn’t be normal if we didn’t have a little concern, those moments before the nurse hands you that little miracle for the first time, waiting to know results for something questionable about their health, when you wonder if they will ever sleep through the night so you can become sane again. When they walk into their first day of kindergarden, crash their bike for the first time, or get their drivers license, go on their first date, go off to college states away, and become parents of their own. The uncertainty never ends!

Maybe I worry more than the normal mom, but I have a feeling I’m not alone. We love our kids and want the best for them, so naturally we are concerned for their well-being. But on the occasions when we feel overcome with this anxiety, when it is totally out of our control, faith is the only remedy. Faith, hope and love. I came across this quote a while back and have since put it up on our fridge to read every day.

 “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”
― Leo Buscaglia

A year ago a rather unpleasant turn of events left it so I was in constant uneasiness for an entire month. I couldn’t get the “what if’s” out of my mind. It involved my health, which has always been just great, but suddenly I wasn’t sure. Suddenly life seemed upside-down and I was running scenarios in my mind. What would my kids do if I were gone? Who would take care of them? Love them? Who would make my husband dinner every night or go on walks with him? It consumed me. I suddenly, for the first time in my life, felt so incredibly mortal. That worry sapped too many days of joy as we waited for answers.

My only comfort that month of waiting was my faith in a loving Heavenly Father. I knew whatever happened, he was in control. He was my anchor, and I realized he was the ONLY anchor that could hold us steady during turbulent times. I was so very thankful for that.

We later found that everything was fine and my worry had all been for naught. I had been robbed of the joy those days could have held.

That snake from my dreams lingers in the back of my mind like the poison it’s venom contained. I won’t allow such things out of my control to sap my days any more. Today I’ve decided to let faith win. Let hope be the deciding factor in how I will live. When we anchor our lives in the one thing that will hold, when we give our worry to the master of all, the fiercest of storms can try beat us down, but we will not sink. We will come out victorious.
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So today I choose joy. What about you?

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If I could figure out how it insert this movie in, I definitely would. It’s wonderful. It’s 5 minutes and worth the watch. But, with my pathetic technical skill, I don’t know how, so here’s the link:

Mountains to Climb

And an article that has helped me:

“I Will Not Fail Thee, nor Forsake Thee”

 

Categories: Motherhood, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Looking Back

 

Every year when Shutterfly sends out that long-awaited email (you know the one, “Free Photo Book Offer! Expires Wednesday” And it’s Tuesday. Less than 24 hours!) I become a basket case. I have to compile all of our best photos from the last year into a comprehensible chronology and think of clever things to say about each month. AND I have to do it all between 8pm and midnight in order to redeem that offer. Talk about stressful! Good thing those offers are few and far between because I (and my poor neglected husband) would go nuts if it were more often. Well, last night was one of those “Spend the next three hours frantically trying to organize pictures to save $10 and loose your sanity” kinda nights. I scoured our pictures and hoped spell check was catching my millions of spelling errors. At 11:58 I clicked the “place order” button and sat back to admire my hard, all-be-it very rushed, work. I felt like a zombie, but it was done! And really, I imagine when the result comes in the mail here in a few days even my husband will agree it was worth the 8 bucks for shipping and all the hassle.

The great part about making those books is I get to think back on the previous year. I see pictures that I’d completely forgot about and remember wonderful memories I might have otherwise forgot. This year has been full of amazing memories. We sold our first home, bought a new house that we really love, sailed a TON (which is now so easy because we live a matter of minutes away from the lake), played with family and friends, got a dog and chickens, shared in the joy of weddings and engagements, read some good books, sent our son off to his first day of kindergarten, and saw our baby take his first steps. We’ve seen (no doubt in my mind) miracles. The task of filling the book in only 20 pages was rather difficult this year because it was such an eventful, unique one!

As I looked through the pictures, I was also reminded of some of the difficult memories that we’ve experienced. While one of the best, it has also been one of the saddest years for our family. We’ve watched as health and vitality has slipped away from family and loved ones. My heart has been broken in ways I didn’t know were possible as I’ve witnessed dear friends struggle with the unbearable, tragic loss of family members far too young to go. Old, dear neighbors have been evacuated from their homes, unsure of what they would find when they returned. My husband has waded through houses up to the ceiling in cement-consistency mud from local floods, puzzled of where to begin, secretly doubtful that anything there was even salvageable. We’ve experienced the numbing fear that comes with waiting for a diagnosis…hoping for the best, trying not to fear the worst. I’ve struggled for words when friends have lost an unborn child. A child they had been hoping and dreaming to bring to their home.

I’ve never doubted there is a God. I’ve never doubted that He loves us. But this year, more than ever before, experiences have tested my faith and shaken the very core of my beliefs. I’ve asked myself countless times, why would God allow such sadness and pain? My trials hardly hold a candle to so many others. I can only imagine the grief others have passed through and continue to face daily. My heart breaks for them. I pray that they find the answers and comfort they are seeking.

Whenever doubts arise, A song runs through my mind. A simple song my sons are learning at church. It goes like this:

How could the Father tell the world, of love and tenderness?

He sent his Son, a new born babe, with peace and holiness.

How could the Father show the world, the pathway they should go?

He sent his Son to walk with men, on Earth, that they might know.

How could the Father tell the world, of sacrifice, of death?

He sent his Son to die for us, and rise with living breath.

What does the Father ask of us? What do the scriptures say?

Have faith, have hope. Live like his Son. Help others on the way.

What does he ask? Live like his Son.

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Sending balloons to a sweet, little angel friend

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Local floods turned our little stream into a raging river

I love this song. It’s so simple, but says so much. It helps to remind me in those moments of doubt that God really is there. He sent his Son to be our Savior. To take our burdens and carry us through our hard times. He died so that we might live again. He knows our most intimate thoughts, our deepest despair, and our happiest joys. He wants to share in those moments. Life isn’t easy, but with faith and hope we can tackle our hardest challenges. And by so doing we can help others through their darkest moments.

I’ve come to understand this year that life is full of happiness and sorrow. No one is exempt from sadness in this life. But God has provided us with a Savior to help us through. He loves us, wants us to find joy, and has given us someone who understands. I know of so many who carry unbearable burdens, but, with the help of the Savior do it with incredible poise and strength. They truly do have faith and hope. They truly live like our Father’s Son. And every day I hope when I face the trials that will come, I can be like those brave, wise people. That I can turn to my Savior to help me through. That I can be more like Him.

Other songs that comfort me when I need that strength:

A Child’s Prayer

I Feel My Savior’s Love

My Heavenly Father Loves Me

Be Still, My Soul

I Know The My Redeemer Lives

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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