Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Full Circle

Today’s a little bit grey and cloudy. The kind of day where you want to curl up and cuddle with a good book. The smell of raisin oatmeal cookies that I have just made drifts in from the other room, and the sound of an EFY CD softly echoes through the house. Sam is giggling to himself as he plays in the other room and the quiet stillness of life seems to relax me. Not many days are like this. Not many days can I sit and reflect. The bread machine in the other room has just popped on, hypnotically mixing and turning until I want to fall off to sleep.

Sam has been full of questions, once again. Mostly about God and Jesus and the awe at which he asks them makes me envious of his simple faith. I worry that time will too soon take that from him, and the world will take its place filling his heart with doubt. It’s been an amazing thing being a mother of both little children and old, my oldest boy being 17 and my youngest boy 5. I can sit back and see full circle.

I remember Luke when he was full of questions, though his seemed more wild and less serious than Sam’s. I have watched and feared and forever been on my knees as Luke grew older and the world seemed to take him. How many nights while Jason was off working late did I fall asleep in tears wondering how I could ever fill Luke’s heart with all that he needed? Some many times I feared that tomorrow would be the day that he would forever pull away from me.

Now I sit as the other end of Luke’s life is slowly approaching me. Next year he will be a senior and with it has come the maturity that I wondered would ever come. We still have our teenage moments as I call them, but they have grown so far and few between, that many days I forget that he is not yet a man. I used to worry what he would make of his life and how he could ever be a husband and a father, and now I see him so sure of his ambitions and I know that one day he will be able to provide for a family. As his father has been away and we struggle to sell our house, I have seen Luke step into his father’s shoes, still too big for him to fill, and he has taken on the roll honorably.

I hope as Sam grows and as my anxieties do to, that I can remember the trials and worries of Luke’s life and while reflecting on the outcome of it, know that Sam too will find his way, and in so doing enjoy Sam a little more and worry a little less. I hope too as Luke someday serves a mission and someday returns home and marries a sweet girl, that he can go back to the innocence that was once his and look at the world and God and Jesus with the awe that he once had. With the awe that Sam has now.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Memories Brought About by Wonderful Circumstance.

I am learning a fun thing about blogs. It helps me keep a sort of spiritual/emotional journal when I would normally hate doing it, and it keeps me in touch with people I really care about through reading there’s. My sister Jill has one of my favorite blogs and the last month or so, I have really gotten to know her better by reading it. Jill is nine years my junior and lives across the country from me. Her little daughter Belle and I have some sort of crazy connection that now with time and distance is probably slowly wiping from her little mind, but I still keep track of her through Jill’s blog. And Jill is in a faze of life that I once was in, in what seems like ages ago. Watching her tackle the insanity of life in such a brilliant way not only makes me proud of her, but helps me grow also.

Today I read her blog and it got me thinking as she talked about what was important and what we would really remember down the road. How to handle stress and enjoy the life we are living at the moment. I’ve had a chance this past year to put a lot of things aside and get back to the basics. True it was necessity that put me there and not some great revelation of my own, but the blessings that have come and the moments to remember down the road will forever change me.
My children have been forced to spend more time together. Every time we stay with Jason in Nevada, we spend most our days going from one fantastic park to another. Luke is 17 and my youngest, Sam, is 5, but somehow we manage to have fun all of us together. Whether it is playing a game of pig,tossing the frizbee, or playing a game of go-fish, we are all together having fun. Not spending a million dollars and walking through theme park after theme park, but one on one connection. Don't get me wrong I love going on California vactions and going to Disney Land, but in the end the time we spend together on the beach, with just us is what the kids really remember.

We have a tradition in my home, cruel as the kids may think it is, it has become my sanity. Along with Monday night Family Home Evening, the kids are not allowed friends on Thursdays. That’s early out day for my kids. They have a few extra chores and then they spend the rest of the time together. I can hear them right now out my front window chasing each other around on the lawn. One of those forced times to relieve the boredom that they will forever remember.

I grew up on a farm, where my nearest friend was what felt like a forever bike ride away. Necessity forced a part in the friendship and the memories I have playing with my older brothers and sister. I have more memories of chasing after my brother, Ken, when I was little, or trailing through marshes with his hunting buddies, when I was a little older than of any others that occupy my brain. Those memories, even wading through frozen water, are the happiest memories of my childhood I have. Ken, is still to this day one of my greatest heroes, and I’m grateful circumstances played the wonderful part they did in creating that for me.

Someday, our house will sell and our family won’t be so stressed. Someday, the memories of worry and wondering if life would ever be better, will end. But the memories, those happy moments in the park in Nevada, or forced Thursdays in the front yard, will be the memories my children hold on to. The memories that will help define who they are, and the memories that will bind them forever as a family.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Why Me?

Do you often look around you at the world and wonder in awe, why me? No, I don’t mean in despair, but in complete and humble gratitude. Walking outside near the end of today, the tulips in my flower beds are smiling back at me. Up the street one of our neighbors has the whole family, every grown child and their grandchildren over for Sunday dinner and their cars line the streets and their chatter echoes across the neighborhood. That is joy. Jason has left, once again to journey back to Henderson, Nevada for another week of work and another week away from us. I could despair again at the loneliness, but I only feel Christ’s love when I look all around me.

There is something about a freshly mowed lawn and trees just beginning to push open their leaves that brightens your outlook on life. I love this time of year when Easter has just ended and the thought of the Savior’s Resurrection is still so fresh on my mind. Visions of his hands outstretched to help someone in need and the look of complete love radiating in His face seem to, along with spring, bring new hope and new peace. Somehow a part of me knows no matter my loneliness I am not alone, and no matter my trials there is someone somewhere else hurting more.

Storms and tornadoes ravaged the south, leaving destruction and death in its wake, while my sweet babies are tucked safely in their beds and my husband is on the cell phone telling me he already misses me and “loves me more.” Somewhere continents away, families missing loved ones are struggling to rebuild cities and lives destroyed in the tsunami’s wake and I sit in pajamas, warm and snug, with a full tummy typing on my computer while I know all my family near and far are safe.

It’s hard, maybe even impossible, to feel despair when you look at others around you struggling more. So, I do say in wonder, why me? Why, Lord, have you blessed me when I have done nothing worthy of Thy grace? Why, Lord, do you love me so when I forget so often to lift those in need? Why does He time and again, remind me of His peace when I so quickly choose to forget it? His patience with my inadequacies is always humbling. His forgiveness for my many sins is overwhelming. And His perfect compassion is inspiring.

I know Christ’s love for me. I see it in every one of my children’s smiles. I feel it in each of their hugs. I hear it in every sweet whisper of love drifting from Jason’s phone into mine. I know the peace He offers me. I feel it in every dandelion shining back at the sun. I hold it in each little ray that touches my cheek. Why me, Lord? Why have I thus been blessed?