Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Okay, so this gives you a little picture. Definitely NOT how I thought my week was going to go. As I got closer to the weekend and I wasn't getting better, my hopes of still running today began to fade. I could hardly walk to the bathroom without having a coughing fit, how could I think I could run in my condition? But I went to the doctor anyway on Friday just to make sure there wasn't anything else I could do. I don't have a primary care doctor and we just switched insurances so I just saw the urgent care doctor. She was nice enough. But she literally laughed in my face when I asked if I could still run if I was feeling better come Sunday. I had to ask. I've only been training for this race for months and have run hundreds of miles in the process. I've also wanted to run this particular race since I was in high school and all of the years that we've lived up here so far I've either been pregnant or just had a baby and I couldn't do it. This was the first year it worked out. So, I couldn't just give up without a bit of a fight. Although deep down, I knew I wouldn't make it even if I tried.
So what does all this moping have to do with anything? Well, this last week has gotten me to think about a lot of things. Mostly because I have been sitting around doing nothing and just watching life go by. First of all, I really take my good health for granted. How easily we can get sidelined. And really, my bad case of the flu is nothing compared to people who are REALLY sick. You know, like those people who are battling terminal cancer, injuries from accidents or any life threatening disease. These people are sick all the time and there doesn't seem to be an end. I felt so overwhelmed when I wasn't feeling better after five days. Five days! What's wrong with me? I have the discipline and tenacity to push my body to train for a measly 10K but I don't have the discipline to train my heart to deal with adversity that I don't choose or desire! When pushed even a little in this area, I cave. Where is my tenacity then? Where is my perspective?
Also, nothing is concrete. I plan to do many things but often, other events get in the way and that's okay. I can order my life as best as I please but, I can't change what actually happens. Other thoughts assailed me...Do I think much of the shut-ins, the elderly or the infirm? I am still going crazy that I haven't been outside and it's not been very long at all. What about the people who never go outside for years? Truly, this wasn't a huge trial or anything but rather a time God carved out for me to just think about things a bit and get a perspective adjustment. Unfortunately, I need them often.
My husband is always trying to encourage me to be positive, think the best and to be joyful regardless my circumstances. I usually tend to be much more pessimistic (I would say "realistic" ha ha). This last week I really tried to heed his continual advice to me and remember that these things are small because really, they are. In the grand scheme of things, I'll be moving around just fine in a few days and I can always run another race. Yet I also had to remember that it's all right for me to be disappointed as long as that disappointment is balanced with good perspective. I shed a few tears when the race started this morning. But that was it and then I finished helping the boys get ready for church. I noticed this time that having a different perspective also helped me to be genuinely happy when my running buddy called me to let me know how it all went and what her time was. She had her best time yet of 52 minutes! I was really proud of her and know that if I could've been there, I would've been right on her heels. Maybe next year!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Another year has passed and we are flying faster toward ten years than I ever thought could be possible. Your presence with me has become so regular, so normal, so home that I scarcely can fall asleep without you. You've become to me like a comfortable pair of running shoes (stay with me here)-- sturdy, strong, worn-in, comfortable, used to my ways yet urging me onward. I've really seen this past year how the years that we've put in already have become a firm foundation and that now we're starting to build on that foundation. May God bless us as we build. May we lean upon His strength, learn from His love and may we honor Him in all we do.I love you.
Monday, July 13, 2009
This lovely little addition to our backyard has quickly become a family favorite. I know it looks a bit strange. I'd never even heard of such a thing before. But truly, after my husband brought it home and we tried it, we were hooked. It's called a Chimenia. Now why a Chimenia? Let me give you a little background on my husband's childhood.
Steve grew up in a family that built fires a lot. His Dad was a woodcutter during his summer breaks from teaching and so they always had firewood around. That wood was enjoyed over many campfires in the summer and warmed their house quite often during the winter. My husband grew up splitting wood. If you asked his Dad how much he'd say, "Not enough. He hardly ever split wood! I did all the work!" If you asked Steve he'd say, "All the time! I used to chop up big rounds!". Ha ha. But anyway, what I'm getting at is that having a fire became something that my husband associated with family, in particular his family, and he loved it. Having his Dad build a fire was comforting to him and as he's acquired his own family, he's wanted to pass that legacy on. His Dad is still out cutting wood, by the way, whenever he can even though he's pushing 70. He really is amazing. But back to the story.
So sadly enough, even though our little farm house was built in the 1930s when most houses had and frequently used their fireplaces, we do not have one and this is something that my husband laments. Even though he's so thankful for our little home, I can't even tell you how many times he's told me how he hopes someday we can have a house with a fireplace. Over time, I tried to come up with a solution to this problem but continued to come up empty-handed. But then recently I started getting this little idea in my head that we could get a firepit and put it in the backyard for a sort of pseudo fireplace, if you will.
I've been doing a bit of work for my mom on the side and so I finally had a little wad of extra cash to call my own that wasn't spoken for by, you know, important things like diapers, food and gas. I started planning that I'd give Steve some of that money to buy a firepit. Before you all start thinking I'm totally selfless and noble, know the truth...I did use the bulk of that check to get my hair cut, but what was left, I gave to him to get a firepit.
So off he and his brother went to the great great land of Home Depot and they came home with this little clay contraption called a Chimenia. We were both a little befuddled with it at first (Steve's brother Dave had convinced him to buy it instead of an actual firepit) but have been so pleased with it. Thanks Dave!
We didn't have any firewood right at first and so Steve and the boys went hunting around campus for some. Lo and behold, a half an hour later, they were dragging back huge branches from the great beyond and had tales of rabbit sightings and branches that looked like bows and arrows. And not only that but our coffers were full of firewood, at least for the night. (We stocked up on a bunch more from his Dad the next day. He also gave Steve his very own ax and saw. So fun!)
That night, we sat, just my hubby and I, around the Chimenia and talked the night away roasting marshmallows and drinking wine. It was glorious. When we came inside, we couldn't believe it was 10 o'clock! There's nothing like it. Since then, we've built a few fires and have had some great talks. I'm telling you, my man can build a fire. And I'm starting to understand now, his love of fires. They're just earthy, comfortable and strong. They really are reminiscent of home.
But the best thing about this Chimenia, is that the smoke goes up out the chimney without blowing all over the people sitting around it. So not only do we get to have a blast around the fire, we don't have to go inside and take a shower. And that my friends is the best part of the whole deal!
I better get off before my time runs out. If I've calculated well, I've got four minutes and forty-five seconds left.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
This year, Caleb got to join in as well and the party moved to the football field at the school where we live. Not only did the camp out move just a little further away from home but a few friends and cousins came too! What fun!
Only the four oldest boys actually got to camp out overnight but the rest of us showed up to set-up camp, eat hot dogs and generally have fun before heading home to a quiet evening for us moms.
The three dads, Steve, his brother Dave and our neighbor and friend Devin, had a great time fighting off the sprinklers to keep the boys from getting wet as they slept. Luckily the sprinklers first made their appearance around 9 pm (and not in the middle of the night) so that they could be conquered quickly and easily. What warriors they are! The boys slept through the entire episode and only one tent (ours) had any water damage and it was on Steve's side so he was able to just brave it for the night (my husband is a stud).
The funniest part about the sprinklers is that they had already thought about them prior to camping out there. They thought they had gone to a place where there weren't any sprinklers and had even searched around looking for them prior to setting up camp. The sprinklers were apparently so well hidden that they gave the dads quite a surprise later on. But it was all in good fun and the campers made it through the night! Thank you Lord for the summertime.
Monday, July 6, 2009
This section is particularly meaningful to me because I've found that I struggle a lot in this area. When I just had Isaac I used to think that it was easy to be patient (most of the time) but as I've been given more little ones and as they've started to grow a bit, I've realized that patience is really hard to come by sometimes. It's humbling because I feel like the more they grow, the more I need to ask forgiveness for my sins of being short or unkind when I'm frustrated. I've noticed when I am that way, the children turn off so quickly. Not that they don't need correction but it must be done with gentleness every time. So much in this section spoke to my heart and challenged me but I'll just post some highlights. I hope they encourage you. I need to write this stuff on my heart, especially since it comes straight from scripture, and just ask God for His strength to live it out.
"Love should be the silver thread that runs through all your conduct. Kindness, gentleness, long-suffering, patience, forbearance, sympathy, a willingness to enter into childish troubles (I struggle with this...I usually just want them to toughen up), a readiness to take part in childish joys-- these are the cords by which a child may be led most easily--these are the clues you must follow if you would find the way to his heart."
"Handle them kindly, and make much of them, and by and by you may guide them with thread; use them roughly and violently, and it will be many a month before you get the mastery of them all."
"Sternness and severity of manner chill them and throw them back. It shuts up their hearts, and you will weary yourself to find the door."
"We must not expect all things at once. We must remember what children are, and teach them as they are able to bear. Their minds are like a lump of metal--not to be forged and made useful at once, but only by a succession of little blows...'Line upon line, and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little,' must be our rule...Truly there is need of patience in training a child, but without it nothing can be done."
"Love is one grand secret of successful training."
Friday, July 3, 2009
I seem to recall one instance last autumn where Perle was frolicking around like a princess picking beautiful fall leaves. She bunched them quite nicely and even though they were dead, they shone radiantly orange and yellow. She laid them skillfully on my porch with a sigh and went on her way. Isaac tried to present me with some leaves and I must say, his effort was good but the leaves he found were simply dead. No sprightly beauty. They were deader than a doornail all shriveled and torn. I laughed aloud when he handed them to me and I kissed him hard upon his cheek. But what is he to know? He's a boy. To him they were the most beautiful leaves he'd ever seen. You see my point. Boys and girls are quite different.