Monday, March 06, 2006

The Rest

It's 4:30 am. I can't sleep, although I gave it a try around midnight. My mom is in the hospital and has been for almost 2 weeks. The surgery went well but then there were complications. "It happens", the Dr. offered. "It's a wait and see process."

So what do I do in the meantime, while I'm waiting to see? Lying in bed, she looks so frail, so tiny. The ten pound loss left her already thin frame, jut out beneath the covers, lying haphazerdly over her body. Her eyes are closed, but not at rest, indicitive of the war her body is raging. I can't tell, is pain the cause...or a fight to survive? Cautiously, I pull and smooth the blankets, trying to cover her for warmth, working my way around tubes, needles and beeping machines. Aware of the movement, her eyes flutter open. I look for a glimpse of hope and well being in them. Pain and fright stares back at me.
Placing my hand over hers, I give her my best smile of encourgement.
"Are you ok, Ma?
"It hurts." Her eyes close and she's back in the drug induced world of confusion.
The beep,beep, beep of the machines pounds out a rythm to match my heart. I feel like the mother, responsible to make it all better, walking the floor with worry and no answers. All I can do is offer menial creature comforts, fleeting at best. I can't fix it. I can't make it go away. I have no answers. Suddenly my mind is transported back to when I was a young mother and my children were ill. This is all too familiar. I had no answers to their growing pains or broken hearts. I could only offer them creature comforts. A hug, a soft touch, a whispered "It will be ok." Ah, yes, and a prayer. Words spoken to the Father, the one who hears and moves in answer to our prayers. He tells me, "Cast all you care on me, because I care for you."
Movement comes from her bed. Moving to the side, I brush back her hair and adjust the pillow beneath the face I've looked into for 50+ years. "Mama, I whisper, it's going to be ok. He knows. I told him and it's in his hands, now. You rest... and so will I."
Lowering my body to the chair next to her bed, I settle in and close my eyes. Sleep comes.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Going, Going, Gone!

I went to the auction yesterday. I hate to admit it, but this is one of my favorite things to do. I always go on Wednesdays. I think of it as my midweek break (good rationalizing, right?). Anyway, as I was standing off to the side, watching the auctioneer do his thing, I scanned the audience and their faces. Most of them wore a deadpan expresssion. I'm assuming these are the seasoned buyers. They've learned not to expose their desire or wants to the auctioneer for fear he will look their way and seduce them to bid. They are in charge. With hardened hearts, they will pick the time and amount to bid.
Then, there were those who wore a look of a child on Christmas morning. I'm guessing that something they've always wanted has just been put on the auction block. No amount of money to bid, is too much. They have to have it at any price.
Last, their are the newbies. These are the unfortunate souls who have wandered in, totally unprepared for the snare awaiting their capture. They ramble through the door, adjusting their eyes to the whirl of activity before them. Hundreds of people are milling about, table after table, searching through items from days gone by, through the present. The hyper sound of numbers coming from the auctioneer's podiem, quickly tossed to the audience, resonate in their ears. Moving a bit closer and spotting something on one of the tables that ensares their curiosity, they move closer. Now they are in the flow of the web, caught up in the excitement and possibilities of owning a treasure.
It won't be long ... their faces will transform from newbie, to childlike, to deadpan.
Isn't that just the way it is, I thought. The world we live in tickles our desires for a bevy of opportunies to own, or experiance, something that calls our name. Stepping through the door to take a peek, or just look around, is the beginning of our journey to the web. Little by little, piece by piece, we become ensnared in the trap of want. The great deceiver, calls out our heart and puts it on the auction block. In our innocence, we only want to look at it, touch it, feel it, dream of it. But then the bidding starts.
If we are a newbie, we mostly observe, rarely do we have the nerve to bid. After a few times observing, with the hope of a child,we raise our hand, just once. If the price is not too high, maybe we can have it. Before long, although we have become more selective and cunning in our bidding, and with faces encased with deadpan hearts, we are in the game. We no longer hear that still quiet voice, that speaks to us, and bids us to step away from the auction block. The price is too high.

Will I continue to go to auctions? Of course. Do I think they are evil or bad for me? No, not at all. But I am so grateful that my God uses any and every opportunity to remind me that the world is here for me to enjoy, at my bid. He created it for my pleasure and use. But putting it, before Him, is too high of a price to pay, no matter what it offers.

What do you think?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Resting Place

A Resting Place
I was watching American Idol tonight. As always, I am amazed at the number of people who are willing to wait in line, drive innumerable miles, give up jobs etc. to have one chance in a million to display what they believe to be "talent". Of course, there are those who indeed have talent and the risk pays off...at least, through the first round of cuts. But then, there are those who so believe in themselves, they are in shock, and sometimes angry, when they are passed up. Can they not hear? What makes them believe in themselves enough to risk ridicule at the hands of Simon? It's so clear to us, as their audience, that they should not be doing this. But they're clueless!

Hmm! Introspection time. Am I ever clueless? How do I view myself? What about talent - or my convictions? Do I believe enough in them to risk speaking out or displaying them for all to see and judge? Well, for myself, I know I could count them on one hand. Okay, maybe 3 fingers.

My talent...well, it's in the development stage but God has given me a passion to use words to create word pictures, bring understanding, soothe a heart, create laughter, and tell a story. Is it good enough to accomplish that? The verdict is still out. Do I believe in it enough to display it for the world to judge. This isn't American Idol(baby steps) but it's my attempt -my risk.

My family...they are, as well as my writing, in the development stages(we are 'all works in progress'). But with all our bumps and blemishes...there is love, caring, good hearts, compassion. I'd proudly display them because I know, God judges the hearts...and he's a fair and loving judge. They belong to Him.

My faith...sometimes my faith is as small as a musterd seed/sometimes it's as big as a mountain. I wouldn't always want to be judged for it based on my performance. But thankfully, I don't have to be judged on me. Jesus chose me and lives in me. He is found competent, talented and judge-worthy.

Although I have other blessings in my life for which I am confident and may take a risk, for these three, though some may say I'm clueless, I believe in enough to risk it all. Simon, Paula and Randy, stand back! What about you?

Friday, January 20, 2006

A Resting Place

A Resting Place

I went to Bible study last night(after extracting myself from the computer and mapping my way out of my office). We are studying the Psalms, Psalm 15 was the discussion. It warns us about our tongue and the power of the spoken word. Of course, loving words as I do, my ears were attuned. Psalm 2 & 3 say (NIV) "He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous,who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neigbor no wrong and cast no slur on his fellowman" Wow! Speaking the truth from his heart, was a good discussion. What does that mean? Truth is so subjective in our world, today. It seems to depend on who you talk to. Everyone has a version. But here's my thought. Not matter what our opions, we all have hearts that originated from God. And the heart of God doesn't lie. His heart is truthful, yet full of compassion and mercy. Words, spoken or written, are so powerful, if not from a heart of truth, can kill and destroy. When they flow from the master's heart, they uplift, heal, enlighten and renew.
What does my mouth say and my written word convey, to those within my influence and love? Being the 'wise and seasoned' woman I think I sometimes am, do I really know the depth of power God has entrusted in me with my mouth? Yikes! My heart pounds at the weight of my responsibility. When I think of the bazillionz of books written, if each one only influenced the thinking or life of one person, how does God hold us accountable?
Can I get through just one day, today, holding my tongue and speaking the truth, in love, from my heart?
If he lives in me, what will that sound like? How will that act out in my life? Things to ponder while I rest in Him.
Susie

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Resting Place

A Resting Place

Clutter! It annoys me, yet, here I sit, waist deep in it. My office is my thinking, creative space. All the things that make-up my present life have a piece of it sitting in here, somewhere. My desk, my computer, pictures of family, important papers for my parents(medicare, insurance etc.), auction finds, auction junk, my old records(45's & 33's)that definitly define my age, bills and receipts, memento's etc.

One room away is my kitchen. Immaculate! To the left is my family and living room. No clutter to be found, anywhere! But I really don't live in there.

Let me tell you first, I am a bonifide, long time, without hope, clean freak. I'm also a nagger to my family (although I am trying to reform).I'd rather think I was a creative organizer in their life. I raised my children to pick up after themselves and every one of them do a mean job of cleaning toilets and scubbing floors. I'm sure I drove them nuts growing up, but I do get thank-you's from my daughter-in-laws, so it can't be all bad.

So...coming to grips with my own mess is very humbling. How did I get here? How do I get out of here, literally?

As I've pondered this today, God brought me a great reminder. It doesn't take long, when my eyes are on everyone else's mess and ignore my own, for it to build up in huge proportions, one piece at a time. At first it's just laying something down(not dealing with a problem right away)for a little while until I find a place for it. Then it's throwing something on top of that(not thinking about the former problem, because I'm too busy dealing with today's challenges)mentally making a note to find a place for both items. Before I know it, I'm off collecting more interesting stuff because I'm too overwhelmed with what to do with the stuff I pile up at home( adding more reponibilites and committments to my life)now I'm frustrated with all of it and pile it higher and deeper. Finally I'm at the point I cannot see the first item anymore and for all purposes, cannot remember what it's worth was, (nor, can I see the problems I never dealt with, nor do I care.

But God...He has a way of seeing all of it, and he doesn't forget, nor does he not care. He will let us box ourselves in until we cry out for help. He will gently remind us to clean our own space before we bring more stuff in or try to clean someone else's.

I will make an attempt to find my way out of my office, today...into his resting place.

Susie

A Resting Place

A Resting Place

Sunday, January 15, 2006

A Resting Place

A Resting Place

In this busy, non-stop, must achieve, must do, must be world we live in, it's hard to find a resting place. To rest...to breathe deeply and long...let the mind be still and the heart to slow down...to be at peace within. When I am still and allow my mind to let go of problems, responsablities, disappointments and schedules and notice my shoulders relax, my breathing becomes deeper and my vision finds things I typically miss. Such as a bird on a tree limb, squirrels chasing their tails, a child enjoying a cool popsicle, my husbands blue eyes, my daughters beautiful smile. Gifts that come from resting, looking out.

Writing is a resting place for me. It declogs my insides and allows my brain to breath as it emptys so many thoughts, good and bad.

But physically resting and writing are only temporary respites. My real rest comes from the source of peace...the Lord, Jesus.