The Possibilities In The Impossible

That’s impossible! There is no way that would EVER happen! Can’t you see that is just NOT going to work? Life is full of the impossibles. A broken heart. A broken life. A broken person. It is easy for us to believe that there are things in life that are absolutely impossible. Summits we will never reach. A life we will never know. That we are destined only for the ordinary. It’s easy to fall into the trap of the impossible.

Tonight I was thinking about my own life. Every so often I like to reevaluate where I’m going. I’ve been wondering lately if there is something I am missing. I can’t quite put my finger on it. I often find myself asking God, “What’s next?” “Could you please let me in on what is going on?” Do you ever feel like you are on the verge of something, but you just don’t know exactly what?

While thinking through all this, Luke 1:37 came to my mind. “For nothing is impossible with God.” Nothing. Is. Impossible. With. God.  NOTHING. Did you get that? It goes against our human nature to actually consider this verse. To believe it is true. After all isn’t life about all sorts of things that are impossible? God says, “No. Nothing is impossible WITH ME.”  And you know what? I believe Him.

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This Is Not Happening

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I know I haven’t been able to blog for the past several days. Life happens….and wow, with all this life happening I am getting behind! Just wanted to let you know that I will be back to blog—probably on Friday. (When I will be able to actually take a deep breath and not have to run around at 100 m.p.h with my hair on fire.) I’ve good stuff to blog about!!!!

Livin’ The Good Life

One way sing

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Some say to be happy…

to live a life full of glam,

You need lots of money

But that’s sinking sand…

All the money in this world

loaded up with bling

those aren’t the things

that make the heart sing.

The riches the world craves

Leave one empty and cold

One can’t buy what’s important

No matter the gold.

I’d rather have friends

that show they care

Who will help when needed

and are willing to share.

A family that loves me,

and tells me so.

Who want only my best,

And to see that love grow.

The things of this world

can lead to regret

I’d rather have the colors

of a country sunset.

The stillness, the beauty

every star sparkles bright

A breathtaking display

to illuminate the night.

The world full of color

My God, He created

The richness of life

Creativity unabated.

True wealth

has nothing to do with mere things

God, love, and family

They make the heart sing.

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A Voice That Echoes Through Time

I am half way through a long term subbing gig. One of the teachers at the local middle school is out on maternity leave. I had agreed (during a short time of obvious insanity) to teach a group of 7th and 8th graders.

During the 8th grade block we have been studying The Diary of Anne Frank. This diary was filled with the normal stuff of a young teenager’s life….with the exception of the time period being WW II….and being a Jew….and in hiding. It truly is amazing that she stayed as upbeat as she did considering her situation. My heart was touched as I read her story, her last words made me cry…because sadly, even though she survived in hiding for 25 months before the Nazi’s found her family, she did not survive her last few months in Bergen-Belsen. Typhus spread through that concentration camp in early 1945 and many, many who were already so malnourished and abused succumbed to the illness.

One of the activities that the students are journaling about is this: If you had to go into hiding–and had to do it quickly—what would you take with you? What are the things that are important to you? This activity was designed to make the students think.  These 8th graders are the same age that Ann was when she first went into hiding with her family. As a teacher how do I make these children understand? How do I communicate what really happened during this period of history?

Some of my students are asking questions such as, “How did this happen? Who allowed it? Didn’t the German people understand what was going on? I don’t understand why the Jews were hated.” They have a difficult time understanding the horror of Anne’s circumstances–when all they’ve ever known in their own young lives, is freedom and privilege. How do I communicate truths to students so that their generation doesn’t let something like this ever happen again?

The Miracles In The Mundane Of Motherhood

Motherhood. In my naivete’,I just knew that I’d have it covered. Puh-leeze!  I could do this….after all I KNEW children. I took Child Development classes in high school. I babysat. I majored in special education in college and took myriad number of COLLEGE level courses on the child psyche. If anyone could do this it was me. Supermom at your service. For sure.

Then reality hit. When I say “hit” I mean kind of like a baseball bat. To the head. Ouch.

I had my son in May of 1995. Just 2 days after my 27th birthday. My pregnancy went well except for the 6 week stint of barfing. Morning sickness AND evening sickness. Brushing my teeth even made me gag, but I was a trooper. I was determined to be with child AND have a bright white smile and fresh breath. So, I carried on.

My son was born 2 1/2 weeks early according to the doctors. I blame it on the fact that the evening before he was born we had a tornado in Knoxville, Tennessee. The barometric pressure dropped and I think it messed with my uterus. I’m just sayin’. Except for being born with a little jaundice, which to be honest I thought looked like a nice tan, the delivery went well  and my son was beautiful. Of course I had an epidural so there wasn’t much pain…just a lot of pushing. My husband was a big help and to give the man credit…he put up with a lot. (the fact that I had back labor before getting the epidural—well, that is another story.)

Now, at this point I was exhausted but happy. My son is a joy. I’m happy. He’s happy. My husband’s happy. We’re all happy. Then it hit. Reality. My epidural wore off and I was sore like I had never felt sore before. After several hours I decided I could get up and use the restroom. The nurse told me she would have to go with me. I told her I was a shy pee’er and I wouldn’t be able to go if she was in the bathroom. I tried to convince her I’d been peeing my whole life, and at 27 I had the procedure down pat. She told me I could pass out because of something to do with the epidural having worn off, blah..blah…. I told her that was silly. She finally agreed to stand at the other side of the door, with the door cracked open. I grudgingly agreed and went to sit down when, yes you guessed it, I started to black out. The nurse caught me just before I cracked my head on the bathroom floor. I vaguely remembered her yelling for ammonia…and my husband in a confused state asking why she wanted to clean the bathroom? This is my life. I should have known that I had just embarked on a journey that was NOT going to be a piece of cake. Only a few hours into motherhood and I was already passing out.

The next few years consisted of me listening to my little one struggle to breathe when he got bronchitis. Staying up all night and staring at his chest. Watching it heave up and down. Knowing that his tiny body was so fragile…yet, so resilient. After that scary time, it never happened again. Thank you Jesus. Then at 2 and 1/2 he was with his father, outside, when he decided that he’d get on the picnic table. He fell and cut his head on the seat of the table on the way down. Head wounds. Lots of blood. A father in panic mode. A trip to the doctors office. Stitches. I came home from work that day to find my handsome son looking like he had just took a few rounds in the boxing ring. Bruised with stitches marching just above his eyebrow. So attractive, and just in time for his preschool picture day!  That following Easter we decorated Easter eggs. Fun stuff. I made the mistake of telling my toddler that we would eventually eat the hard boiled eggs. One evening he got into the fridge when I was on the phone and preceded to eat the egg with the shell still on it. He came into the living room a few minutes later. His face, teeth, tongue and hands, all a nice pastel shade of blue. I began to freak out thinking that my baby was exhibiting symptoms of some rare disease. Until, he informed me, “Mommy, the Easter egg is good.” At that, I burst into giggles and attempted to scrub my little Smurf back to his normal skin tone as I explained that egg shells are not the part of the egg that we eat, even if it did look pretty at the time.

Over the years there were the good times and the difficult times. Bedtime stories, hugs and sloppy kisses, birthday parties. Lots of laughter and tears. Family vacations, and him holding my hand. Church choir, camps, video games, and silliness. Those of you that have sons know what I’m talking about.

When my little boy was 4 his father, my husband, was diagnosed with an incurable heart disease. He died a mere year and four months later. You can imagine the sadness. We had only just started and it was over. Just like that. Standing at my husbands grave, that cold gray day in November 2000…I felt a little hand grab mine. A little voice coming out of the body of a 5 year old, but seeming so much older and wiser said, “Mommy, don’t cry. This is only Daddy’s body here. Daddy is in Heaven with God.”  God spoke to me that day through my son. He wanted me to remember the promise of  John 11:25 “I am the resurrection and the  life. He that believes in Me, though he dies, yet shall he live.”  That day I was reminded that out of the mouths of children can come great wisdom.

The next five years were filled with normal life kinds of things. Church, school, vacations out  West, family get togethers, sleep overs at friends houses, spelling tests, and math homework, goofiness and seriousness. All of life in a big jumble. We were doing okay….me and my sidekick.

After 5 years of widowhood God brought another man into my life. A man that understood what I had gone through. Our experiences were similar. He had lost his wife a few years before. We were kindred spirits. No one wants to join The Widow/er Club, but death doesn’t ask if one wants membership. It just gives it to you.

We married in 2005. Along with this marriage I got another son and two daughters. Just as I thought I had the whole being a mom thing under control…. then reality hit. AGAIN. These children had lost their mother. My heart broke for them, just as it had for my own son at the loss of his Daddy. How does one be a mom #2?  There is no manual for it. Believe me, if there were one I would have read it. A LOT. How does one mother the motherless? I wasn’t sure how this would happen. What do I say? How do I act? What if they don’t bond with me? What if they hate my guts?  Then what?  God, in His infinite wisdom spoke to my heart.

“LOVE THEM. ADOPT THEM IN YOUR HEART. THAT IS ALL YOU NEED TO DO.  Dawn, you are my adopted child. I bought you for a price. You were redeemed and now you are mine. I love you because I choose too. Do the same for them.They need a mother’s love…not to take the place of the mother that they had….but, to show them that I am God and I will take care of them. I am their provider.”

You know what? God is good. All the time. Even in motherhood. Even in widowhood. Even in life. Even in death. Even in trauma. Even in calm. Through bloody noses, or skinned knees, through arguments, and “it’s not fair!”. Through hugs and kisses, school and projects. He remains good when I’m having a great day or when I’ve just been awarded “the worst mom of the year award.”

I like to believe that I am much wiser than I was back in my twenties. When I thought I had motherhood all figured out. When I had my own motherhood map all planned. Motherhood is messy, and chaotic, and fun, and sometimes broken. I am thankful in the midst of all my mom mess-ups that I am holding the hand of the One who promised me that He has a plan for me and a future with hope. A-men.

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Here is my Daybook entry for today ~ Sunday January 17, 2010

Outside my window. . .it is dark and foggy.
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I am thinking. . .that I need to put the load of laundry from the washer into the dryer before I forget.
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From the learning room. . .nothing is happening, because it is Sunday night.
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I am thankful for. . .a warm bed.
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From the kitchen. . .are leftover slices of pizza from dinner.
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I am wearing. . .the clothes I wore to church. I need to get in my PJ’s.
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I am creating. . .a daily art journal. I am trying to encourage my creative side–and have fun with it.
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I am going. . .to take my shower shortly. So thankful for hot water. Something I normally take for granted. I love a nice hot shower.
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I am reading. . .my gmail messages.
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I am hoping. . .that I get everything accomplished tomorrow. (It is past time for the Christmas tree to come down!)
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I am hearing. . .the show Criminal Minds that is on TV.
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Around the house. . .it is suspiciously quiet.
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One of my favorite things. . .quiet time to myself.
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A few plans for the rest of the week. . .get the Christmas stuff all taken down TOMORROW! Teaching at the middle school. Taking the kids to Co-op. One childs Dr. appt. Busy week.
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Find out more about the Simple Woman’s Daybook at this site.

God– Is A God Of Second Chances

Yesterday I was reading in Lamentations. “…..Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning-great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself , “the Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him. The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him-it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord… For men are not cast off by the Lord forever-though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love….”   Lamentations 3:22-26, 31-32

Read that again. And then again. Let it sink in.

How many times do I make mistakes? How often do I wish I could have a “do-over”? Like the times that  I’ve yelled at my kids because they had spilled something on the counter that I just cleaned 5 minutes ago…and the spill stays there. Shoes that track stuff through the house. Or maybe being beyond irritated because the video game noise is enough to make my ears bleed. Or how many times do I have to tell someone to brush his/her teeth or clean rooms before it actually gets done?! So often instead of counting my blessings I’m too busy counting the mistakes. The mistakes the kids make are easy to see….and they make them often. I’m sorry to say that there are times when my heart does not feel very forgiving.

I was convicted by the scripture that I read yesterday morning. I make mistakes every day of my life….and they are a lot bigger then a spill on the counter or teeth brushing. Mistakes I want to hide. Mistakes that might embarrass me. Mistakes that hurt. Yet, my Heavenly Father CHOOSES to be merciful to me each morning. Even though I don’t deserve it.  He is the God that allows “do-overs”. His compassion to me is never ending. He looks at me with all my imperfections and loves me. He forgives me and I start over.

If my Father forgives me….how much more should I forgive others? Forgiveness is not always warranted, sometimes the offender doesn’t even ask for forgiveness, but that is the wonder of it all…forgiveness truly is a gift. Thank you, God!