Monday, April 30, 2012

The Truth and Nothing But the Truth

I learned a little lesson tonight.  Children can't be trusted to tell the whole story. 

I was talking on the phone with my daughter, Elizabeth, who now lives in California, but a couple of years ago lived in St. Petersburg, Russia.  She was asking me about her cousin, Kevin, who is living in Mozambique where he is working with the Peace Corps (these world traveling kids!). She wanted to know the latest news from him.

I told Elizabeth that my sister (Kevin's mom) had told me that he had a friend coming to visit.  He was going to have to go to the city to pick her up and that would require a night in a hotel.  Since crime is so bad in the city, they were planning on putting a chair under the door knob for extra security. 

These words were no sooner out of my mouth when my daughter said "Kevin shouldn't tell his mom that kind of stuff."

"Oh," I said, "So what kind of things did you lie to me about when you were in Russia?"

"I didn't lie," she said. " If you had asked me if I was going to put a chair under the door knob for extra security,  I would have told you, 'Yes, I am!'"

The bottom line is, if you want the truth and nothing but the truth, you've got to know the right questions to ask.  Not all that reassuring, actually!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Scars Understood

Lately, I've been listening to a beautiful song by MercyMe called "The Hurt and the Healer" and it's gotten me thinking about some events of my life where I end up asking the question "Why?" "Why did I have to go through that painful experience?"  "Why did things turn out that way when I was expecting something so different?"  "Why does it have to hurt so much?"

At those times I feel like I need an answer in order to move forward.  In all honesty, I feel like a deserve an answer for the suffering I've gone through and the scars that I bear.  I seem to believe that if I could just know the "why" then I could make sense of it and move on.

It's not that I don't understand the value of trials and suffering.  They build strength, perseverance, and character.  Sometimes it may take some time before I see those results in my life, but when I do, I'm grateful for the pain I had to go through.  But there are those experiences that wound and I never see the benefit from the resulting scar.

A few years back, I fell and broke my hip which resulted in the need for two surgeries to repair the break.  Both surgeries left scars.  I don't question the reason for those scars because I understand the need for them. They brought healing to brokenness.

But sometimes we bear scars where we simply can't see any good resulting from them.  They make no sense to us and that in itself brings added pain.

The question I have to face at those times, is do I trust that God has a purpose for the pain and that someday those scars will be healed and understood when I stand before Him?  Do I trust Him enough to move forward with my unanswered questions , believing that He will use every bit of the struggles and pain that I surrender to Him, for His glory? 

As the song I've been listening to says, there will be a time "when the hurt and the Healer collide,"  and eventually, all of our scars will be undestood.  I want to move forward in that knowledge... beyond the scars and pain... to the glory that awaits.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's Today!

It was 31 years ago today!  That's when my husband and I made that long walk down the church aisle to a new life together.  Friends and family gathered to help us celebrate that special day.

Then a few short weeks later, we headed south to a new home in the middle of the Mojave desert. As we drove down the freeway, my new husband said, "We're on an adventure, just the three of, me and the Lord!" That adventure took us to Twenty Nine Palms, California, home of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center.  A little bit intimidating!

But life in the desert had its charms...waking up to sun streaming in the window every morning, no traffic jams since the town only had one stop light, and best of all, a two year honeymoon for just the two of us...oh yeah, and the Marine Corps!

While I missed my family back home like crazy, I wouldn't have traded those early days of just "us" for anything, because it gave my husband and me the chance to become our own family.

Now, 31 years later, we look back and bask in the blessings of those years!  Family and friends who have enriched our lives beyond measure.  Heartaches and joys that have molded us into the people we are today.  And the continuation of that adventure with "just the three of us"... and everyone else we love!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Two Peas in a Pod

Today was delightful.  It was sunny and warm and included a shopping trip!  Doesn't get much better than that from my point of view!  My friend, Valen, and I decided that it was time to hit the outlet mall and see what bargains we could find. 

Valen and I have been office mates since December, and it didn't take long to discover that we are kindred spirits!  To start with, we are sisters in the Lord which gave us a firm foundation from the get-go. 

But then a short time after meeting, I discovered that she was about to become a first-time grandmother.  When Valen told me that her daughter was having a little girl in January, I asked her what the baby's name was going to be and she said...wait for it...ELLA.

 In case you're not a regular follower of this blog, let me just direct your attention to this post from last February and you'll understand the connection! So we are now both grandmothers to two beautiful little Ellas and we love to swap "Ella" stories and show "Ella" pictures.

Valen and I have another thing common...we love to shop for bargains! So a few weeks ago we pulled out our calendars, locked in a date and decided to make a day of bargain hunting. The outlet malls we were headed to are about an hour from where we live so we had a great time visiting on our way there.

When we got to the mall we shopped, then stopped and had a delicious lunch at a down-home style restaurant, and then we shopped some more.  We didn't go crazy or anything, but we headed home pretty satisfied with the day!

But there was one thing that I discovered that Valen and I don't have in common; she has "people" and I don't.  When we walked into Starbucks to grab a cup of coffee to take on the road with us, her "people" greeted her immediately and knew exactly what she wanted to order. I was impressed! And I admit that I'm a little bit jealous.  But I won't let that come between us.  Afterall, our Ellas still need their grandmas to find some great bargains for them!

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Year Ago Today...

...we were celebrating! 
 Happy first anniversary, Elizabeth and Joel!

Woo Hoo!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Heart Link

There has been a hole in my heart lately. My children have taken to wandering the globe once again.  And while I'm thrilled that they have such phenomenal opportunities to broaden their horizons and expand their experiences, my heart never feels completely whole while they are gone.

It's not like I see them every even lives in that strange-far-away-land called California...but we communicate regularly.  And even if we don't communicate on any given day, I know that we could.  But when they are travelling, communication is understandably brief, if at all.

There is just something about a mother's heart that tethers her to her children, no matter how old they are.  And I know from past experience, how painful, and lonely it can be when you are separated from them.

I've often wondered how mothers sent their children off in covered wagons to make new lives for themselves, knowing that they would probably never see them again and could only hope for some news of their lives.  I can't believe that their hearts were ever truly whole again.

At least today, there are ways to talk to those we love even if they are half way around the world, though it may take some planning and patience.  My sister lives for the brief moments when she can talk to her son who is serving in the Peace Corps in Africa for the next couple of years.  Life goes on, but so does that heart connection.

I'm grateful that no matter where my children go, or how long they may be gone, my heart will always hold them near.  It's simply what a mother's heart does.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

HE is Risen!

The battle has been won!  Life conquered death for HE IS RISEN!