Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mother, May I?

Do you remember playing "Mother, May I" as a kid? That's the game where you all stand in a line, and the leader gives you instructions to follow. You respond with, "Mother, may I?" The leader then tells you whether you may or may not follow through with the instructions. Stupid game. The leader totally determines who's going to win; but we enjoyed playing it anyway.

Sometimes life is rather like that. We make our plans and dream our dreams, but then reality steps in and everything's changed. It's like the leader says, "Saundra, take three giant steps forward." I respond, "Mother, may I?", only to hear, "No, you may not!" I'm left standing right where I started or, even worse, told to take two baby steps backward. Makes me wonder, are dreams even worth dreaming? Is hope worth holding onto? Is there really a "happy ever after"?

You'd better believe it! The Bible says it this way: "And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. " I Corinthians 15:19 (NLT). There's so much more to life than today. Few things are more thrilling than having a dream and seeing that dream fulfilled. But what if it isn't fulfilled just the way we've planned. Does that make the end product of less value? I believe my Father is a much more giving, caring, sharing father than the mother in "Mother, May I?". When He plants dreams and hopes in our heart, we can be sure that, even if the end outcome is different than we had visioned, it's best. You hear that? BEST!

Hubby and I crossed another little bridge in our life today. We sold our camper. Had to be done. Don isn't able to hook it up, much less set it up after we reach a campsite. We loved that camper. Loved the sweet, leisure hours we spent in it. A segment of the dream we had for our golden years died. We had hoped to be able to take the grandkids and spend time hiking and fishing and camping. Life isn't, once again, turning out the way we had planned. But life is still good. In fact, it's more than good - it's wonderful.

The past year has taught me what love is all about. It isn't about things or places or money. It's about love. It's about family. It's about making memories by spending time together. Sharing goals. I may not see my future unfold exactly as I had planned, but what's coming is going to be just what I need. What's BEST for me. I'll face things I hoped never to face, but I'll face them with confidence that I can make it. For, though I didn't choose the end of my path, I did choose the One who walks the path with me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Once a Hotrod, Always a Hotrod!

Some personality traits can be changed, or at least refined. But I think there's one inherent male trait that, once you've been hit by it, never goes away. Hotrodding. My dear husband was known in his younger days for his wild, fast driving. Then, of course, there were the years of dirt-biking - even racing. Not to be outdone by his son, he took up bicycle racing when Jeff was a kid. In other words, he's always liked fast cars, bikes, etc.

The bug bit again yesterday. Don now has a scooter that he can ride when he's wanting to do things outside, but doesn't have the strength to go the distance with his rollator. We had our younger grandson for the evening, and hubby was showing him how to operate the scooter. There's a slant from the driveway into the garage to the driveway running up the side of the house. Don turned a little too sharply, and, before he knew what had happened, he was on the ground looking up! I glanced out the window in time to see a man from across the street coming across and instinctively knew something had happened. By the time I got out there, Don was already getting up and brushing himself off. He wasn't hurt (just a bit of an ego bruise). I had to laugh. It's bad when you're so engrained with the need for speed that you wreck your electric scooter! Some things just never change.

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!

Not realistically (it's very chilly and overcast), but emotionally. I'm on a high. I haven't bought me any new clothes except for tops in at least a couple years, so today was my shopping day. I ended up buying two outfits and had to drop down a size from what I usually wear on both. They weren't from the same store either, so don't try to bust my bubble by telling me, "Things are running big now." To be honest, they may be making them larger now, since the general population is growing in girth, but I refuse to believe that's the case. I don't even want to THINK about being honest in this situation. I'm too flattered! (My arm is getting a bit tired, though, from patting myself on the back!)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My "Thankful" List

I haven't been blogging so much lately, mainly because our life doesn't have a lot of funny things going on at the moment. I always like reading the blogs that make me chuckle and cause me to remember good times I've had in the past. The things I'm recalling from my past at this stage of the game aren't always pleasant, but, oddly enough, I don't feel frightened by that. Maybe I'm naive, or just plain stupid. But I'm believing that my future exceeds my past. I know I never go through things alone. God is ever present, and we're surrounded by a host of friends and family who love us and care deeply for us. Thank God for that!

Here are some things I'm in the process of learning:

1. Things that used to bug me (like Don's snoring at night) look totally different to me when viewed from my present perspective. Now, when he snores, I thank God that he's beside me in bed. Nevermind that he's a bit NOISY!

2. Family and friends mean everything. Petty differences simply don't matter in the light of life and death. Although I may not agree, I can at least learn to tolerate.

3. Even in the darkest of days, God brings a ray of sunshine. Hope, in the midst of hopelessness. Laughter at the door of the tomb. Peace on a stormy sea. It's all there, but I may have to look for it.

4. I can say "no" to requests that cause me to be overloaded and extend me to the breaking point. Even more important, I can do so in such a way as to not offend. I've grown up feeling I needed to take on every task put before me. Not so. I'm neither qualified nor able to stretch myself that tightly anymore. Both Don and I deserve better of me.

5. Don't sweat the small stuff. Some things simply don't matter in the overall scheme of things.

6. Applaud the heroes. My dad was a hero. In the face of the terrible disease he had (the same one we're facing with Don now), Dad never lost his smile or sense of humor. He was a man of great integrity. My mom is my hero. I've never seen anyone deal with opposition and trouble with more finesse or grace. She made caring for Dad almost look easy, which it certainly was not. My brother is my hero. Despite having Parkinson's, he's ALWAYS fantastic. Just ask him!! You simply can't keep Gary down. My honey is quickly taking his place among my heroes. Complain about his circumstances? Wouldn't think of it. Stop living and enjoying the things he loves (like bluegrass on the first Monday evening of the month at Burger King)? Never happen. Clap. Clap. Clap. Hope you can hear the applause, my heroes.

7. Trouble never lasts forever. What seems insurmountable today will be only a memory tomorrow. Thank God for tomorrows!

Maybe I'll have a funny story to share soon. But, at the moment, we're simply surviving with grace. And that's a feat!