Monday, May 19, 2014

Head Wound Jefe

During a non-routine family hike at the beach last week, Jeff walked into a large branch sticking out of a cliff and jabbed his head - hard. He seemed really hurt. The bad kind of hurt.

And my thoughts went like this:

"It's here. THE trial of our lives is here. So I must be strong. For the kids. And I must assess the wound. No. Yes. But what if I see brain matter? Would that mean a life of spoon feedings and sponge baths? Always knew I'd make a good nurse. Or maybe just temporary amnesia and slurred speech. As long as he can tell me he loves me with his eyes..."

And a short time later, after establishing that his brains were still nicely inside his head and a cliffside helicopter rescue was not necessary, I asked Jeff, "What was going through YOUR mind? Weren't you scared?"

And his thoughts, or thought, went like this:


So while I was thinking of ways to make our home wheelchair-friendly and vowing to never remarry should a coma set in, Jeff only thought of "ow."

Turns out it takes just one little boo boo on Jeff's beautiful head before Molly starts planning out her days! Starts writing a script! And starts freaking out!

Matthew 6:24 says, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

I'm not talking treasure as in the treasure trove of 12 glorious consecutive Monday nights of The Bachelorette beginning TONIGHT. I'm talking about the things in life I really treasure: feeling safe, secure, and being in control. And for a brief 32 seconds, I felt like I was losing all of that.

But what if... what if I treasured God's control over the whole ordeal instead of my own Frankie Heck attempts at control? And what if I treasured lasting things, like God's "I'm-right-here-with-you" whisper to me as I reluctantly peeked at Jeff's head wound? Surely THEN (most of) my mental script writing would be replaced by a heart more at rest.

Author Mike Erre puts it this way: "Even if the worst thing you can imagine comes to pass, (God's) kingdom is so big, vast, and good, you are still secure."

So sure, if the worst thing really did happen, a few plans would be in order. (Bad head wounds would need a good plan.) But overall, a sense of God's bigger plan would outshine any grand ideas of mine, especially the spoon feeding and sponge bath ones. (Though Jeff might disagree.)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

How to be a Summer Mom ALL Year Long

It's almost time to get my summer mom ON. So glad! Because my school year mom is starting to grind her teeth daily now. Hourly even. And if it wasn't for the hope of summer, she'd probably bake one thing per day until school's out - cake therapy - then go hog wild with the biggest fork she could find.

But why the anxiety? Could it be the 458 knives I've licked after making 458 pb&j school lunch sandwiches? Or the endless taxiing of children in a squeaky, water-bottle-littered Tahoe? Or the countless floss betters! and try harders! and snap out of its! I've regrettably shouted across the house to non-listening ears?

Oh, did I mention the math? Especially the math. I'm pretty sure a mom can only explain how to find the area of a triangle so many times - and in so many creative ways - before her head falls off.

All of it can sure poop a mom out.

But why exactly? Because a little soul searching lately has me looking beyond mere mom duties and has me recalling recent conversations - mommy conversations - I've overheard:

"If it wasn't for the cash we had in our 'Broken Appliance' envelope, we would've had to charge the new refrigerator."

And more conversations: "We hired this amazing French tutor for Johnny."

And MORE conversations: "Going on week three of our family's sugar-detox. Everything tastes so much better now. And the kids think it's fun!" 

Such fervor is a little unexpected this time of year, don't you think? Don't get me wrong, back in September, my middle name was Fervor. I was ALL about getting my kids to eat kale chips and ALL about driving through car line in a squeaky clean automobile, making sure the broken weather stripping thingy on the back door wasn't hanging out like it did all summer long.

Wait a minute. All summer long. Did I really let that thing hang out all... summer... long? I did! And it was awesome!

But why during summer? Well, no school means no car line. Not as many people checking out my rear... of my car, rear of my car. Which also means not a lot of conversation-overhearing going on. Which goes right along with not being constantly reminded of all the "better ways" I could be doing things. Which equals a more care-free and confident Molly.

Now if only I could bag that summer Molly and carry her around all year. If only I could focus on one voice, one orchestrator of my days.

In 2 Peter 1:3, God wants us to know that his divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who has called us by his own glory and goodness.

Could it be that my knowledge of God - his love, his power, his forgiveness - has more than equipped me to love and care for my family? Has God already given me all the intuition I need to raise my kids up into the people he's called them to be? Yep!

Turns out life's too complicated as is to equally rely on the envelope-system mom and God for inspiration. Same with the "I spend perfectly good money on French tutors" mom and the sugar-detoxed-and-proud mom.

I want just Him.

Happy Summering!