Monday, February 27, 2012

Trust Me

Having received a phone call from the school principal to make an appointment to discuss testing for my daughter, I was reminded of a couple of blogs I had written a few years ago. Sometimes we have to just remind ourself to trust Him:

Monday, September 21, 2009

I used to think that premature babies were fine once they made it home from the hospital.  That is until I became a parent of a premature baby myself and have learned that this is a huge misconception.  After a complicated pregnancy and months of bed-rest, McKenzie was born at 33 weeks weighing just a mere pound and a half and measuring twelve and a half inches long.  She spent 67 days in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit before coming home at 3 pounds 13 ounces.  They were hard days in the NICU and I was on an emotional roller coaster.  When she came home I thought our worries were over and she would catch up like doctors said most premies would by the time they turned 2.  This however was not the case for us.   She has had physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, daily growth hormone shots, various genetic tests and diagnosis, surgery for tongue tie, hearing loss, ear surgeries, and scoliosis.  She has been to orthopedic specialists, gastroenterologists, geneticists, endocrinologists, ear, nose and throat doctor, and we have even taken her cross country to see specialists.  After all this, school decisions seem a small thing, but are still a big deal when you are in the midst of them.

After a great year in preschool, McKenzie’s grades fell dramatically in Kindergarten, and it was not until the end of the school year that we realized she had lost her hearing.  She had surgery to put tubes in her ears, and her hearing was restored.  We realized she had missed a lot of her schooling due to the hearing loss and worked hard with her to catch her up.  She struggled through first grade and again lost her hearing and had to have surgery for tubes.  This year we changed schools from the private school that we were sending our girls, to public school because of our concerns for McKenzie needing extra help that the private school could not offer.  We started McKenzie in Second grade and worked hard with her again.  Every night we were spending two and three hours completing homework and doing extra work to help her to catch up and keep up with her class.  We had one parent teacher conference after two weeks of school and another during the fourth week.  We thought we were going in the second time to begin evaluations for McKenzie to start a special education program, but instead decided to do what had been my worst fear, my worst case scenario, hold her back into the first grade.  We had already started McKenzie to school a year late due to size and development, and now she would be two years older than others in her class.  It had been the decision we had run from and fought so long to avoid, and now we were making it and I yet in the midst of it, I had the peace about it being the right decision for her.  Breaking it to McKenzie was painful.  She did not want to leave her friends, and we both ended up crying and I had to tell her “McKenzie, you have to trust me, you have to trust me and your daddy that we are making the right decision for you.”  As I said these words, it was like God highlighted the “Trust Me” and echoed back to me that I had to Trust Him with the decisions he has made as well, this was not just our decision, but His, and I can trust Him that while we do not know what the future brings, He does.  We have trusted Him for years and he has never failed us.  His word says “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” As parents, we try to make the best decisions for our children, though we may not always succeed in doing so.  As our Daddy God, He is making the best decisions for us and he never fails.  I am thankful that in my uncertainty and my unknowns, I can trust Him and his certainty and all knowing power.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My last blog was entitled “Trust Me” and was about Trusting God.  My husband and I had struggled in the past and fought the decision to hold our daughter back in school which ultimately did hold her back.  We worked long hours after school on homework and extra studies to help her keep up in such a way that exhausted the whole family and was beginning to cause her to resent school as a whole.  It was a month ago that we finally made the decision to hold her back into the previous grade. We urged our heartbroken daughter to trust us in the decision as we trusted God in leading us to that decision.  Once again, He hasn’t failed us.  Since changing classes she is getting good grades and reading so well that she has moved up in reading groups.  She is now excelling and has a new found confidence in herself.  What happens when we trust and follow God?  I answer myself with the fact that life gets easier!  It’s one of those answers where I just want to smack myself and say “Duh”.  Why am I surprised?  Why did we fight this so long?  As emotional humans it can sometimes be scary, painful, humbling and just plain hard for us to give in and trust God.  Of course, we may not want to admit that with the fear of sounding unspiritual, but it is the truth.  However, no matter how scary it may be, we have to allow our faith to guide us rather than our emotions.  Do we honestly believe that God would lead us somewhere to hurt us or for us to fail?  Again, His word says “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”  So no, He isn’t going to lead us into harm.  Even when it’s scary, risky, and painful, we have to step out and sometimes jump out in full fledged faith that we know his plans are for us and not against us.  As a parent, I love my children and want the best for my children.  Part of my love is protecting my children and I would never lead them into danger.  As our Daddy God, He loves us even more and holds us in the palm of His hand.  He protects us even when we are unaware of the danger around us.  When we can’t trust in anything else around us, we can trust in Him.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I'm currently boycotting Pinterest

So now on top of facebook, twitter, Linked In, Google + and an old myspace account I forgot I had until writing this sentence, the world of Pinterest has overcome the mainstream social media scene. But is it even social media? Right now I am considering it a social nightmare. I stumbled onto it a week or so while suffering an insomniac episode. Well I guess you really can't consider actually setting up an account complete with log in and password "stumbling" can you? Okay, I admit it, I did it because there was nothing else to do at that time of the night and the Pinterest craze had me a little curious about what I could be missing out on. So I set it up, browsed until the Tylenol PM kicked in and that was it. I haven't been on since.

So all through the past week I am getting emails that "So-and-so is following you on Pinterest," another "So-and-so is following you on Pinterest." I would open my email to find a couple more and more "followers" each day. I kind of wanted to send them apologetic emails "I'm sorry you are following me, let me apologize now that you aren't following much. There's not going to be much I have to offer you on Pinterest, but I appreciate the thought." While I understand the concept of Pinterest, which I think is to share useful, creative, little tidbits, it's personal concept to me is to further confirm my inadequacies as a wife, mother and person in general.

Yes, I said inadequacies. You see I like crafts and such, but I keep pretty busy on my own to need Pinterest to give me ideas on things I could do, make and so on. I find that I have little time for my self as it is, all I need is a Pinterest project that I want to do and can't find the time for and with my personality type I would just use that failure to achieve as ammunition to fling at myself when I feel like I'm just not making the cut. My Pinterest board is going to have to wait until some things come off my reality board that is full of to-dos that never seem to get to-done.

In another insomniac episode last night, I happened to log onto Pinterest as I was writing this and found I have twenty something followers. I have twenty something followers on a website I have logged onto once, and at the moment could care less about, while I have had this blog for a few months, care about it and have a total of seven followers. I am ecstatically happy about my seven followers and my insecurities and shallow ego like that my "stats" show me that there are far more than the seven actually reading.  I don't blog for "followers" but it does make a person feel good to know that people are reading and I love the "likes" and comments when they are posted. I started this blog because it was on my personal fulfillment board to stir up the writer I once considered myself to be. If you read yesterday's post, writing is definetly one of those personal passions I had forgotten in my pocket. So as for now I continue here, this is my "board", my posts are my "pins" and I am humbled and grateful to those of you who are following me here. Happy Pinning!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What's in your pocket?

A few nights ago I sat to dinner with my step-mom and daughters when I barely heard music playing in the background. I hushed my girls and tuned my ear to hear it playing ever so faintly, but could not pinpoint it's source. I muted the tv in the adjoining room to help direct me to the location of where the music was coming from, but still could not locate it, nor could anyone else hear it. I began to question my sanity as I heard what sounded like a music box playing. Finally, one of my daughters agreed that she could hear what sounded like a jack-in-the-box playing. Yes, I'm not going mad, or at least if I am, my daughter is going to join me in our own private world of LaLa Land. As my step-mom and other daughter sat in bewilderment, I jumped up and quietly tip toed in and out of rooms of the house trying to follow the direction of this music playing. Here I was with pictures of haunted house movie scenes playing in my mind as I searched each room, pausing in further wonder as I opened and shut closet doors. Donna joined me on my search as I came down the stairs and we stood there quietly listening again when she asked me,"it's not your phone, is it?" Not thinking it was the source, I pulled my phone from my pocket to find that a game had somehow turned itself on and it was the background music I had been hearing all along. Here I had spent all this time looking for something that was in my pocket....yes, we all have idiotic moments, and this was just one incidence in my very long list. We laughed off the moment, went back to our meal and I had put the whole thing out of my mind.

This morning I thought about the music box search and laughed at myself once again as I reminded myself that it was in my pocket the whole time. While my search lasted only a few minutes, I thought of how many other things we go on searching for that we forgot we had in our pockets. No, I'm not talking about spare change, keys or pocket lint, what I mean is our hopes, dreams and happiness that we have the ability to access anytime, but we are too busy spending our time looking and chasing other peoples dreams, desires and expectations that we forget, it's in our own pocket. In opening and shutting doors, we forget all about reaching in our own pocket to pull out what hurt, rejection, insecurity, enemies and other oppositions caused us to hide our vision and dreams in our pocket. The thought made me question myself and what things I have placed in my pocket and forgotten about, what do I need to reach into and bring back to light in my life? The thoughts have be rolling and repeating in my mind and there are a few things that I am trying to pull back out and let breath and live in my life. Now, what's in your pocket? Think on it, let it roll over in your mind. There are plenty of "fulfilling your dreams" and "determining your purpose" books out there, I'm not writing one, I only had a few minutes on my lunch break to jot down this thought. But what is it, What's in your pocket?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

When did I become that person?

Well if you know me by now, you know that I have a tendency to over think EVERYTHING. Upon the arrival of my newly found gray hair my thought was: when did this happen? Not ceasing the thought, when did a lot of things happen? Well a lot of changes in my life have happened because of kids...they have this tendency to change everything about your world, your opinions, actions and well, absolutely everything. Whenever you read those "what I didn't know about having kids" stories, the most popular statement among women seems to be "I didn't know I would have to forever brace myself before sneezing." Well this isn't one of those lists but it one of those "when did I become that person" thoughts.

  • I grew up in the dawning era of MTV. When MTV was cool, had music videos all day, your parents hated it and it's content and only your mom watched and listened to VH1. I now begin each morning routine turning on the TV to listen to VH1 videos as I get ready. When did that happen?
  • A few months ago I got a text that asked "what are you doing?" My reply was "I'm sitting here in the mom's section of gymnastic practice reading through a Better Homes & Gardens magazine." I reread my words thinking all I needed was a pair of high waisted, pleated jeans. When did I become that person?

  • We are riding in the car listening to the radio when a song comes on the radio and my girls exclaim that they love this new song. I explain to them that while it may be new, it's a remake of an old song and I remember when it first came out. Yeah, my mom used to say the same thing to me.
  • Much like my parent's stories of remembering when televisions first entered society and their childhood homes, I recall when my parents purchased our first VCR. The first rented movie we watched from our VCR was Dirty Dancing. VCRs are now outdated and replaced with DVD and BluRay, Dirty Dancing is considered a "classic" movie and two of it's lead actors have passed away. This is what happens when we age.

  •  Another monumental home addition of my youth was our Commodore 64. For anyone younger than 30, the Commodore 64 was basically the first home computer marketed to the public. I don't remember even having an office in our house until the state-of-the-art computer was purchased and then an office was added to our basement for the Commodore, monitor and printer. The paper was the continuously fed paper you had to tear along the perforations to separate one page from another and the printer edges away from the sides. I now type upon a laptop as I sit in bed watching TV, it's one of three computers in our house at this time. I was reminded of the old Commodore a few weeks ago when I saw one on an episode of Pawn Stars and made the statement that I remembered when they first came out. 

  • I also remember telephone communication before the age of caller id, call waiting, three-way and conference calling. When my mom got her first mobile phone in came in it's own carry-on case of a bag. I now text constantly and we live in the age of Skype and iphone Facetime. My smart phone was charging at my side until a few moments ago when my daughter took it to play games. Yes, being that person does have it's privileges. 

Okay, I'm going to stop at six points for now to avoid becoming one of those "I remember when I had to walk 5 miles in the snow to get to school" people. That said, I DO remember walking in the snow to Squaw Creek Elementary School with my mom and I heavily clad in a snow suit and moon boots. We even cross-country skiied to church in the winter carrying our dress shoes in a back pack. While the trip to church was pretty short, the trek to school was pretty long for short legs. Ok, I guess I'll stop at seven points for now. The fun thing about these moments is they give us memories, stories and material to bore our children with. I'm sure you have your own "When did I become that person?" moments...I'd love to hear them in the comments below!

Friday, February 10, 2012

When did this happen?

If you read a few months ago, you might remember that I found my first gray hair. As I pulled it, I thought of the metaphor it represented as I was going through a particular situation in a relationship and found lesson in the sporadic gray hair. Well, this week I found another...and another and... well forget it, apparently there's either a lot of metaphors I'm missing or my hair is turning gray. Not that there is anything wrong with gray hair, but I'm 34, and I was thinking about maybe getting it in my forties or fifties instead. Obviously what I thought and reality are on different ends of the spectum and I'm getting gray in my thirties. So in the early morning routine in front of the bathroom mirror I find myself looking at this extremely long, bright, shiny gray hair wondering what to do with it. Do I pull it and every other strand that comes up? Do I color it and forever be a hair-colorer-to-cover-the-gray person? Do I welcome it and allow these unfamiliar strands to speckle my brunette hair? Maybe with a little gray hair people would think I was a bit more out of my twenties and not speak to me like I'm a ramen noodle eating college student. 
Thus far, all the strands I have found seem to be coming in a streak, which would be my preference. A Stacey London streak would be cool, dramatic and quite my style. Yeah, "I'll take the Stacey London streak please," which got me thinking of maybe just going ahead and dying the streak in there to be done with it. 

Well there isn't a lot of time in my morning routine, nor my afternoon or evening routine for that matter, so the gray little stragglers are taking residence. I'm not sure what I will do in the future, but as for now I guess I will let myself be surprised every morning with each newly found addition on this journey of adolescent adulthood. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tattoo Taboo

After yet another conversation with people talking about tattooed people, I am reminded of a quote I read on good ol' facebook a few weeks ago: "The difference between tattooed people and untattoed people is that tattooed people don't care if you're not tattooed." Yes, this is a completely accurate statement, not only do tattooed people not care if you don't have a tattoo, they don't talk about you badly for the absence of tattoos either. I say this is true, because I have tattoos and I have never had conversations judging untattooed people like I have with clear skinned people judging and degrading us with tattoos. It's quite the debate, isn't it, even in our day and time. I sat there quietly in this conversation, but I have tattoos and this is my blog so I would like to step up on my soap box for a minute and give you my two cents. My disclaimer here is that these are my opinions, you don't have to agree, you don't have to disagree, but if you are against tattooing, you don't have to be arrogantly rude when judging the rest of the population.

"Tattooing is a sin, it says so in the Bible": I agree, it does say not to tattoo your bodies and it's found in Leviticus.  However, the scripture this is in is within the Levitical law and is referring to not marking your body for idols, as in idol worship. Such is the same with piercings and I'm sure if you're against tattoos you are against those awful piercings the Bible talks about too, right?  Yes, EAR  piercings were a sign of idol worship too. Are your ears pierced ladies, are your wives's ears pierced? What makes it relevant for tattoos, but not for ear piercings? Contained within the same chapter, you will also find strict laws against eating meat with blood in it and cutting your hair...I hope you like your steak well done, or you may be just as sacrilegious as us tattooed folks. Now I'm no Bible scholar, but I am just not convinced that I am out of the will of God because I like ink and art upon my skin. Besides that, my God is much more loving than peoples' judgements against people with tattoos.

"They're degrading and tacky": I agree, tattoos can be degrading and tacky if the said art is not the kind of art you like. Anything can be tacky: cars, clothes, hairstyles and etc, for that matter, some peoples' faces can be tacky (sorry, just had to add that). I dare you to approach a service man or woman who has a patriotic tattoo to memorialize their service of the battles they have fought for the freedoms of our country and tell them their tattoo is degrading or tacky. I dare you to approach the person with a memorial tattoo of a passed love one and tell them you are offended by the ink upon their skin. I dare you to judge my tattoo artist as being out of the will of God with his tattoos when I dare to say 100% of his tattoos are his depiction of Jesus, scriptures and milestones of his walk with Christ forever memorized upon his skin. I would even venture to say that his artwork has probably opened more conversations of evangelism than most Christians in their everyday life, if that's tacky and degrading, so be it.

...and exhale. I'm done, for now that is or until someone else has the audacity to be rude again about my personal preferences. I said I was only going to get on my soapbox for a minute, so I am stepping down now. Whether you are for, against, or could care less about the topic, use respect regardless for words penetrate just as deep as permanent ink.