Monday, August 6, 2012

Joy Unexplainable

Sadly, our summer vacation is quickly coming to an end, and in one week we will back to alarm clocks, early bedtimes, breakfast on the go, the dreaded homework, car pools, the gym (which I am in desperate need of), and so much more.

I'm not a huge fan of the summer heat...actually, I am in no way fond of it, but I sure have enjoyed the time that we have spent together.  From blackberry picking and crafts, to trips to the beach and Magic Springs, we have had one heck of a time!

One thing I am going to miss about the summertime is the kids running (or rolling) around the house in their pajamas all throughout the day.  I have this thing about pajamas that I don't think I have ever told anyone, but I put the cute ones on my kids on the nights when I know we can hang out and snuggle in them the next day, and I save the old, ugly ones for the nights when we have to get up early the next morning and be somewhere. Weird, I know, but I just think there is something so stinkin' cute about a kid all comfy in their stylin' PJs.

We have been all about some milestones around here this summer. Mr. Deacon has started talking and babbling like crazy, and he mastered drinking out of a straw like it was nobody's business....allowing Mrs. Luann to skip that step in therapy.

He has started reaching out like a champ...he sees it, he wants it, he goes for it. This Momma is so proud that I don't even care if he rips an earring out, dumps a glass of ice water in my lap at Chili's, yanks out my hair, or puts claw marks on my face....all of those are cause for celebration, because he's reaching.

And Deacon is not the only one reaching his goals...sister (thanks to her big bro) has mastered swinging on her own and is quite proud of herself.

No matter if it's big or small, everyday is a celebration of milestones around here...including my neglected children making their own lunch today. Peanut butter toast, anyone?

And if we are not celebrating milestones, we are enjoying new experiences...or not.  Noah was at the grocery store with his Daddy and just insisted that he get some Popeye's spinach. His theory was if he ate it, he would automatically develop some bulging biceps. This coming from the child who has never been able to stomach anything green. You can only imagine how eager I was to watch him take his first bite.  Bless his heart, he wanted that male physique so badly that he gagged his way through the first few bites pretending all of the time to enjoy it by rubbing his belly.  In the end, he surrendered, spit it out on his plate, and fessed up, "Okay, I hate it!"

Sister, on the other hand, tore it up and couldn't get enough of it! Of course, she has a habit of suddenly becoming an overachiever at things when she knows it's an area where her brother is failing.

In my attempt to get ready for school to start, I have been doing some extreme cleaning.  I say extreme, because I spent 12 hours on my kitchen alone...totally rearranging cabinets, throwing away spices that were as old as our marriage, matching lids to containers, disposing of all of the gadgets that we never use, dusting cabinet tops, and all of the time wondering why I let it get so bad.

I know it doesn't look like much, but it was a very productive day. It got pretty ugly, before it was over, and I even endured some battle wounds along the way. But in the end, it felt really good to be organized, and it felt even better to discover some long, lost gift to Subway, three to Starbucks, and over $200 that I stashed away for a rainy day and forgot about. Score! I guess it pays to clean.

Sister's involvement in the process was short-lived. And when I asked Noah to go to his room with a bag and put all of the toys and things that he didn't use or play with, I got a gallon Ziploc bag with a pajama top and a Kung-fu Panda toy that he got in a happy meal. Guess I will have to tackle that when they aren't home.

I still have lots left to do but can not get motivated....I haven't made it past the kitchen and living room. I attempted the hall closet, discovered that I am a hoarder of craft/school supplies, party favors, decorations, and empty boxes...and that is when I stopped, left it just like this, and came to write this post. I'm going to go with Scarlett O'Hara on this one... and... I'll think about it tomorrow.

Of course there are some other things taking place tomorrow, that I don't really want to think about either.  I've heard it said before that in life, one is either in a storm, coming out of a storm, or about to go into a storm.  My family is headed into one of those that involves one of the strongest, bravest women I've ever known, my Memie.

It also involves something that I despise with every ounce of my being, something that shows no mercy to those that it attacks, something that takes parents from children and children from their parents long before their time... cancer.  I hate everything about that it sounds, what it does, who it hurts.  Right now it is hurting my family and my grandmother. Tomorrow, she will begin the tests that will determine if she is able to get treatment, and Lord willing, will begin what will be her second bout with chemotherapy and then possibly a bone marrow transplant.

I love this woman with all of my heart, and I hate to see her have to go through this again!  I know that we serve a big God, and I trust that He will be with her and carry her through it all. We will praise Him during in this storm!

People want to know why bad things happen to good people...I believe that it is to test our faith. If we were able to breeze through this life just by our works, then we would never learn to fully rely on God for anything.

1 Peter 1:6-9 states: "In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire —may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

I know that this trial will not AT ALL be easy for any of us, and especially not for her, but I truly believe that in the end it will result in joy that is to the Lord for carrying her through... joy to her knowing that she fought like a champ...hopefully joy to our family in being blessed with more time with her...  

Even in the absolute worst case scenario, which pains me to think about, I know that there will even still be joy....the joy of meeting her Maker face to face and being reunited with the love of her life, and my earthly hero, my Popie.

God is in complete control, and we turn it all over to Him.  Prayers for our family as we embark upon this difficult journey would be greatly appreciated!

My mom has told me many times that "What's in the water comes up in the well."  Granted, she was always referring to when I would use some inappropriate language, but I guess you could say that's kinda what just happened.  Starting this blog has become a type of release, or therapy, I guess you could say, for me.  Regardless of how many people read it, it gives me the opportunity to capture moments that mean the most to me, share them, talk about them, and to just express everything that is or has been on my heart and mind. For some reason, I have a much easier time expressing my feelings in writing rather than talking about them.

Obviously, weighing heavily on my heart and mind right now is my grandmother, and although I had no intentions of writing about our situation tonight, it just kinda came out.  Maybe that is why I couldn't come up with a title when I first started this post. Or maybe that is why no matter how hard I tried, I could not focus on cleaning today and could only think about writing. Whatever the reason...I feel better!

And in case you couldn't tell, I am a picture person...

I don't like to read unless lots of pictures are involved.

I usually choose the recipes in cookbooks that include a picture. (That is, when I do actually cook.)

I drive my family crazy by always having a camera in their face.

And it really bothers me that I have written so many words without any pictures in between, so I must end this post with a picture or two. Since I spoke of joy earlier, I will end with a few pictures of what brings me joy. Do not get me wrong, all of my children give me such great joy, and I love them all the same.  However, there is something special about this little boy that gives me joy unexplainable, and no matter what kind of day I am having, I can look into these eyes that cut deep into the depths of my soul, and all of my problems just melt away!

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