I’m not afraid of alien zombies

Seriously – I’m not scared.  Neither is my 8 year old son.  His “IMAGINATION”, however, is a bit “uneasy” about them.  Yes, that is his own word.

This last week, as it is the season for zombies and ghoulish things after all, Drake has taken a necessary step in keeping bad things at bay.  He’s required his ENTIRE overhead light to be on as he goes to bed at night.  It is not because he is scared, mind you.  Nope.  It’s because his imagination only can WORK if it has darkness to move around in.  If it’s light?  It’s powerless.

I was also informed that Imagination’s can JUMP from one light spot to any dark spot…  It is especially important for the hall light to be on, as well as the bathroom light, so that the Imagination’s power can not begin to work somewhere else and creep backwards.  (Notice that HE is not in control of this “imagination” but that it has a “mind” of it’s own – yes, I do see the humor in this…)  The closet must be shut up tight because, well, it’s dark in there, and because Drake has a loft bed, there must be a bed-light under it so no shadows “get down there” and allow his imagination to work underneath him while he sleeps and surprise him.

Whew.  Did you get all that?  If all this came from NO imagination working… what happens when the imagination is unleashed and he actually tries?!

But seriously… I get it.  I was a freakishly scared kid when it came to the dark.  So I give in a LOT to extra lights and go around toning down the lights after he zonks out zombie free.  Oh dont get me wrong and start emailing me like nuts here…  We work on things, try to reason with him, pray with him, and teach him how to deal with his fears… but sometimes when it comes right down to it… a little light makes night calm and fear free easily.

I am sure there is a lesson in this for me…

I know I do this in a grown up way.  No, not with aliens in the closet or zombies under the bed… but with issues that seem bigger than life and problems that feel un-controlable.  The unknowns are what scares me.  I am a concrete, list-making, get it fixed kinda gal.  Not being able to see around the next corner, knowing where the next bill payment will come from, hearing what the next doctor will say, how to deal with the next kid crisis and parenting delema – well it just all makes me go a little batty.

But there is a way to shine the light on it all, and make the fears go away, or at least let me sleep soundly.  I can hand it over to my Abba Daddy above and let Him have it all, ask him to carry it for me… and keep the light on for me.  Come what may, I can rest easier and have the childlike peace of my son’s sleep as well.

Yeah – I knew there was a lesson in those zombies and aliens. If it was just as easy to apply as it is to know in your heart…


On rolling thunder I’ll firmly stand

With the pillow up against the window and my sunglasses on, I tried to shut out the world as Teri drove back from what should have been a renewing retreat. Yes, my skull was on the verge of cracking open, but that wasn’t the real issue.  I was sulking…but God would have none of it.

Every now and then I would peek an eye open and catch a glimpse of the world whizzing by.  I was frustrated and mad.  I was hurting and angry.  I wanted to get away for the weekend and enjoy time with friends, but I also had wanted to get away from the storms that have been blowing over me this last month or so.  I felt like life was whizzing by me just like the scenery out my window.  I felt like God had been blowing by me to.

I peeked one eye open then sat straight up.  I can’t put into words what I saw. It’s impossible.  I’ll try for the simple reason I am trying to share it, but honestly, there are no words.  One side of the road was blue sky and white clouds.  Rays of light were streaming down as if through the heavens.  The other side of the road were rolling storms, oppressive and yet awe strikingly beautiful; untamed, barely contained power lay in the ready to unleash its wrath down upon the open road before us. We were far from safety.

The division down the center of the road was not only jaw dropping, it was conversation stopping.  It even stopped my sulking.  I have gone back to that image in my head over and over.  If God can create, direct, tame, and disperse the storms in the sky so concretely and intentionally, do I have any wonder that he can do the same in my life?

Usually when you see something like this it is enough to make you sit up and go “Wow.”  But it had a huge impact on me because recently I honestly just stopped praying.  Not entirely, not completely.  Not because I didn’t believe there was a God, not because I didn’t want change…  Just because I was tired and because I guess  – well  -I dont know why.  I just did.  I was in a messy state of  “overwhelmed”.  But God saw me anyway.  He has a way of doing that.  He doesnt care how messy we are – He just wants us to turn to Him and ask for help.

So I used a whole kleenex box and let out all my worries, my fears, my anxieties, and yeah, I even told Him what I didnt think HE could fix.  I told HIM that!  Guess what HE did?  He took it. He not only allowed me to vent, but he took my heavy load off my back and said He’d carry it.  THEN, the next day… and no, this is not how it usually works… the next day the very thing I said He could never fix, He did.  In a swift amazing turn, He just fixed it and left me to stand in wonder again as if watching Him roll back those clouds on the backroad a month ago.

If you want to know the details, I will tell you.  But the details are not the point.  The point is that GOD can do anything.  If there are obstacles, they are just that.  The hand that can create the thunder can also hold my heart.  He hears, He cares, He loves, and he takes care of us.  The catch is this…  #1 is you have to want him to take care of you… and #2 you have to be willing for him to do it HIS way with a HUGE dose of #3.  What is #3?  It’s the hard one…  #3 is that He does it in His timing, for His glory.

When it seems that the last call is over, the song has been sung…  when you are sure there is no hope left…  just remember to firmly plant your feet on the waves of rolling thunder.  God is never late.  Even when it doesn’t work out like we want – like for us this last few weeks – it was the way He wanted it for HIS glory, not ours.  He always cares, even when it hurts.  Dagnabit it makes it hard to stand firm sometimes!  I’ll be frank!  I really found it hard to pray when knee deep in the muck… but on the beginnings of the upside of this messy bit, I can honestly say that it is much better to do it with him as my foothold than going it alone.

I am sure I will forget this and screw up again one day, not too far in the future.  That’s human nature for ya.  But I am blessed beyond  belief that God not only can command the storms but can choose to forget my shortcomings.

Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteious fall.  Psalm 55:22

Not the girl he married…

I apologized to my husband the other day for not being the girl he married anymore.  He looked at me confused and said, “well I’m not exactly the guy you married anymore either.”  Oh.  Right.  I guess after 15 years, neither of us are who we were when we said “I Do.”  We were but mere children…  now life has had it’s way in aging us.  But he was being overly kind to say what he did.  It’s more than being older.  I’ve been grieving the loss of who I used to be, and finding it hard to patiently wait for God to answer who I am to become.

The last year and a half have been complicated and tiring.  We’ve stretched, grown, and questioned everything.  For me, the 18 month layoff Derek had, ending just over a year ago, was small in the testing of my faith compared to the unknown answers that seem elusive these days.  We had some safety net in unemployment insurance, and in some of the savings we did have for the layoff.  But now?  It’s all rock bottom faith.  So many different ways my faith is being asked to work.  I am not working due to health issues, and it seems any job I have will have to be very non traditional in the future.  In fact I can not seem to think of anything that I can fully commit to, and that’s not a “want” to commit to, but a “can” sorta deal.  I feel fully responsible for the state of our finances and how messy they are.  I am frustrated and irritated with who I have become physically, and find it difficult to just accept this “new” me.  This new me is not helping my family out, but pulls and drags us down on multiple levels instead.  (my words, not theirs)

Currently the doctor is choosing to medicate the heck of out of me instead of do surgery.  I can honestly say that brain surgery is NOT high on my list of things I want to waltz into.  I am in no way sad to not be doing surgery, but putting a medicine bandaid on a structural problem is not an answer I want to look to as a long term solution.  I am a foggy, slow, groggy, and a half motivated shell of who I once was.  My kids and husband are very forgiving… still this is not how I pictured going into the teen years of motherhood.  I thought I would be hosting countless girlie sleepovers, traipsing all over in the Mom Taxi and volunteering at nearly everything.  I thought I would be finding it hard to remember all I had to do because there were so many things – not because I cant think a straight line when medicated.  Even my desire to write is a fraction of what it was once, and that is a HUGE part of who I am…  it used to drive me.

Sitting home, medicated, unable to drive most days, and down countless others with chronic migraines, withered and barely functioning is just not in the game plan.  Staying out of the way of massive florescent lights and limiting computer time to combat the induction of “extra” migraines is more than a little frustrating.  Triggers are everywhere and, without warning, a normal headache will take a liking to turn angry and throw me down.  Not knowing when and if they will come on any given day keeps me from committing to so many things.  I cant tell you how painful it is to cancel plans (and more so that friends feel they should just not ask to avoid making me feel bad).  I tried to get away from it all and go on a retreat with my church and was down the entire time with migraines.  What was the point in driving for hours to get somewhere to get away from it all just to be right back where I started? I concluded that for now I just simply cant go far from home.  I cant know in advance the triggers I will face…

I’d like to think that this is a temporary stop along the way to answers.  It’s a long stop, but not a forever one.  Someday I will again volunteer for things, be a fun person to be around, be able to go and do and be the happy-go-lucky gal I once was…  the one my husband married.

But for now – please forgive me.  I am not who I once was… and while the pain is less when medicated, it robs me of who I truly am.  Overlook the shell you see before you.  Somewhere deep below the foggy mess is still the woman who once was… and someday, I pray, will be again.