Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Have a Name!

It's finally happened!  My granddaughter, Ella, has finally figured out what she is going to call me.  "Fama." I'm overjoyed!

Several months ago Ella started talking and bestowing some of the usual names on other family members.  Daddy was "Dada."  Mommy was "Mama."  Grandpa started out sounding like "Bapa" (which we loved!) but in recent days seems to have slipped into the more traditional "Papa."  But Grandma? Nothing.

It wasn't always like that. Last spring I remember going to babysit and walking into the house while she was finishing her dinner.  When she spotted me, immediately her arms reached out and she yelled, "Mama!"  When I picked her up from her high chair, she wrapped her arms around my neck and put her head on my shoulder.  I was in absolute heaven!  After that, "Mama" slipped out a few more times, but soon the confusion set in. You could see the slightly confused and embarrassed look on her face when she called me "Mama."

You see, our girl is smart, and it didn't take long for her to realize that there was a problem here.  How could she call both her mommy, who she saw everyday, and her grandma, who was in and out, "Mama?"  Something had to go. And that something was a name for grandma. 

So I have waited, and waited, and this weekend, my patience paid off!  Finally, Ella, gave me a name.  "Fama." Now our connection is complete!

I was thinking about this whole name thing this week and I realized how special a name is to our identity.  I never feel like I know someone if I don't know both their first and last names.  For years, my job involved working with about 500 employees, but just their names. I rarely saw what they looked like.  So when occasionally I was able to meet the individual and put a name with the face, I felt like I had completed the connection. 

Whether we like our names or not, the fact is, they are deeply important to who we are.  They give us a framework upon which we hang the rest of our identity. 

In Isaiah 43:1, God says, "I have called you by name, and you are mine."  The fact that Ella now knows my name makes me happy.  But the fact that God knows, and calls me by my name makes me rejoice! So whether He's calling me "Fama," "Laura," or "Daughter," it doesn't matter. Because, anyway you say it, I am His!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Empty Your Pockets

For some reason, during my quiet time this morning, I had this memory of my dad emptying his pants pockets when he came home from work.  He'd go into the bedroom to change out of his work clothes and put on his jeans to relax for the evening.

The process involved emptying everything out of his pockets and placing it all on his dresser.  Out came his wallet, his keys, the loose handful of change, his comb and handkerchief. And all of it found its nightly place on the dresser...except for the handkerchief which usually made it into the jeans pocket.   In the morning, before Dad left for work, he would reverse the routine, putting the items back into his pants pocket to carry with him throughout the day.
But not everything made it back into his pockets.  If there were too many coins, he'd sort them out so the change didn't weigh so much.  Sometimes, he'd set aside a screw or washer that he had been carrying with him until he could go to the hardware store to find the replacement he needed for one of his projects.  But once he'd made his purchase, the old item got tossed. It was a quick, and effective cleansing that prepared him for his day.

This morning, I was surprised by the memory of my dad and this ordinary, insignificant routine.   But as I was thinking about it, God seemed to whisper to me, "That's what I want you to do, Laura.  Every night, I want you to "empty your pockets."  Sort through all the cares and burdens and leave all the weight and concerns with me.  I want to give you a fresh start each day. I will carry yesterday's burdens for you."

Today has been one of those days that I have felt weighed down with cares for several family members and friends who are struggling with some serious, and painful things.  I prayed for each, multiple times, and yet my "pockets" have felt extremely heavy. 

So, tonight, as I get ready for bed, I'm thankful that God whispered to me this morning.  He knew that I'd need to take Him up on his offer to shoulder the concerns I've kept stuffed in my pockets today. All I need to do is empty them out into His hands.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

News from the Summer!

We've had a pretty busy summer.  Some of it wasn't so great as I waded through several health issues that took some time and effort to pin down.  But for the most part, I'm plodding along pretty much the same as before all of that.

Fortunately, the summer also had some wonderful events. In July, Bud and I managed a much anticipated visit to our friends, Paul and Martha, in the mountains of Idaho where we visited, slept in, ate, read, watched the birds, visited, slept in, ate, read, watched the birds...AND played a few rousing rounds of Bananagrams.  It was AWESOME!

We also had a quick but wonderful visit from our daughter, Elizabeth, in August.  During her very brief stay, we were able to have am extended family get together as well as plenty of time for Elizabeth to reconnect with the ever-darling niece, Ella. So fantastic!

At the end of August, my four sisters and I headed out on our annual long weekend in Whistler B.C.  The weather forecast hadn't looked very promising, but we lucked out and the sun shone every day.  As usual, we ate, read, watched movies, gabbed and had a totally relaxing time (and I also talked them into playing Bananagrams too!).  I have great sisters!

My husband, Bud, spent a month putting in french drains in our back yard in an effort to turn it from the swampy mess it becomes during the winter, into a normal, usable back yard.  To say it was a major undertaking would be a HUGE understatement.  I could tell a few stories of just how HUGE, but it's best not to go there!  Just this morning, we finished filling in the trenches, slightly ahead of the predicted rainfall!  My husband is my hero!

And last, but not least...on Father's Day, we got the news that...

Yep, we're all pretty excited about that!  In just a few more weeks, we should know if it's another granddaughter or our first grandson.  Doesn't really matter, it will be wonderful!

So, as I get ready to close the book on another summer, I am once again astounded at how fast it went!  It's a bit hard to let go since summer took such a stinkin' long time getting here this year.  But there's that definite coolness in the evening that reminds me that autumn is just around the corner and a part of me is starting to embrace it.  Afterall, to everything, there is a season... so maybe we'll play Apples-to-Apples this fall!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Knock, Knock!

KNOCK, KNOCK!!  Is anyone still there?  Well, I wouldn't blame you if you're not!  I know it seems like I simply jumped ship and deserted this blog.  But, trust me, it wasn't intentional!

Life just kind of got in the way of blogging, and I'm not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing.  Either way, it's what happened. But just so you know, I have written so many posts in my head during the past two months when I was missing...and they were fantastic!  Insightful. Humorous. Powerful.  Totally life-changing!  Uh huh. Well, they might have been if I'd ever made it to my computer to actually write them.

It wasn't just my blog that I ignored...I pretty much did the same thing to my email.  I simply haven't had the desire to sit in front of a computer any more than I already do at work. 

And I'll be honest, it was refreshing.  It was freeing to not even want to go online.  It was what life was like just a few short years ago before everything centered around computers, smart phones, tablets etc.  There used to actually be down time spent with the people who were right there with you!  Don't get me wrong, I love being able to stay connected with friends and family who are a far away.  But sometimes, I think that happens by sacrificing time with the people who are here with me now. It's good to find a balance.

I guess I can't promise that I'll be here on this blog as regularly as I once was. But I hope to get back into some kind of routine mostly because I love to write.  But also because I was surprised to learn that there are actually a few folks out there that read this, and have missed it while I was gone!  What a delightful discovery that was for me!

So, if you'll just open the door and let me in again, I'll try not to become just some lazy guest.  I promise to try and do my part by sharing with you what life continues to teach me!