Easy to forget…

Sometimes while we are looking at the circumstances, the issues at hand, or just having a bad day… it’s easy to get in a rut and forget the truth.

I am sure you’re no different than me.  I get focused on one thing and forget, at least for a moment, that God wont be put in a box.  He’s bigger than I can imagine, stronger and more in control than I can fathom, and always walking ahead, beside, and behind me.

My aunt was diagnosed with a tumor in her brain the size of a lemon.  It threw me for a loop.  It shook me up.  I was mad and sad, scared and fragmented.

The night after I heard about her, I read this, hanging on my fridge.  It’s time for prayer, not anything else, because God can not be outdone.  He is so big he already knew about this long before we did… and has her firmly in His grasp.

I love you, Dawn.  With continual prayers I keep you lifted up before His throne.  And I am keeping this in my mind, as well as this plaque that sits in our living room…


Just let it go…

Today’s been a fog and I constantly wonder if there will be a day as clear as the one out my winter window today.  I know that sounds confusing, but so’s life.

The sky is a crisp winter blue and unusually warm.  In fact, in Indiana, I have to knock on wood as I say this or we will have an ice storm by night fall and it will be all my own fault for jinxing it.   I had to tell myself that shoes caked in mud were a blessing yesterday as the kids came in from playing out in the backyard, a muddy mess. The moles even are confused and have made a bumpy and mountainous wreck of our front yard.  Muddy shoes were going to happen, but the kids playing outside with barely more than a zipped coat was so refreshing.

But still, I’m as foggy as a school-delayed-morning, and wondering if this is really the answer.  I learned my neurologist is suddenly out of network now, so’s the guy he sent me to, and the new meds may work, but it’s gonna be a long battle of getting my body to believe it.  I just wanna flip back the clock and go back to when all this medical stuff was not at play, and I was a more carefree gal.  I swear it existed once.  Sometimes you just have to decide to let it all go.  Be that person anyway.

I can tell you that when this picture was taken, there wasnt a slight chance that I felt like it looks.  I wasn’t feeling particularly silly, or carefree… but my son was.  I was pre-migraine and slipping quickly back into the fog of medicine as it battled to bring me back before it hit for the second time that day. Drake was high on life, happy, and being a bit over-the-top hyper.  I was borderlined.  I could go all, “quiet down or else” OR I could roll with it.  I decided to ride on his shirt tails and handed the camera to my daughter and let her capture HIS moment with his mom.  Suddenly it wasnt even about me… not really.  I want him to remember me as a silly mom, not a medicated mom.  I want it to matter more WHO I was in the good moments, when i just let it go.  It’s my prayer that the other moments, out of necessity over this past year, will fade from the kid’s minds and they will remember that I tried.  I really did.

My life lesson?  Circumstances are what they are.  How you choose to respond to them is what counts.  You can either be ruled by them, or you can chose to rule them.  There honestly IS a choice.  Sounds a whole heck of a lot easier than it is.  I get that…  but life isn’t easy, and no one ever promised it would be.

Let it go, just when you think you cant.  Let a moment of silliness you don’t see coming have it’s way, and roll with it.  Even when you don’t feel like it.  In the end, it will bless you long after it’s over.  It will take your next foggy day and be like a beacon of light; shinning and lighting the way to the next blue sky.

Life Lesson #103 – How to wait in line Graciously

It seemed innocent enough, a snaking line wrapping down the block.  We saw the line chain go down the block, around the building, and out of sight not 5 minutes after we entered the line, so standing this far “UP” in the line, well, it was easy to be fooled.

Drake – a typical 8 year old boy – was foot shifting and found the 5 minutes before this shapshot from my phone was taken pure misery.  It was Cold.  Chicago windy style cold.  But I knew it could be a LOT worse on a December day any other year, so I told him to hush and we’d be inside soon.

I wasn’t wrong.  We WERE inside soon.   Maybe another 15 – 20 minutes outside, then we went through the revolving  door and into the warmth of the two floor atrium.  But it was what we couldn’t see that should have sent us quickly revolving right back out that door.

After snaking through the atrium, in a line that was significantly longer than we’d just waited in to get inside, we finally reached the elevators.  We were IN!  SkyDeck, here we come…  We were in Chicago on an amazing Christmas GIFTED vacation, and we were going to take the kids to the highest point around to see it all.  The doors closed after they stuffed every inch of the elevator space with squishy bodies.  I waited to feel the ear popping rise to the 103 floor.

Instead, we went down.  DOWN.  I didn’t remember THIS from when I was here, a lifetime ago.  It was when we exited the doors and were sent down the line to another room full of snake line that my heart sunk.  Now all the kids were tired, and all three were less than thrilled with going UP now.

I tried to be cheery.  As we got through this room, we came to an airport style checkpoint.  We were searched. Coats, purses, backpacks, shoes, and all our things put through a scanner, and the beeping alarms were annoyingly consistent as the masses before and behind us moved through.  At this point, even I was ready to throw in the towel.

It wasn’t just the line…  it was the people IN line.  Many, even as old as my grandparents, decided that cutting in line was better than waiting a few minutes longer.  The unfair-ness and the irritation grew with each cut and ungracious person my kids took in.  They began to learn that there is a right and a wrong way to stand in a line.  And they were not always quiet about it.

Sibling rivalry began to play out in all it’s glory.  Our 13 year old swore she’d pay every dime of her birthday/Christmas money she just got to her siblings if they’d just STOP picking on each other.

After 4 snaking basement rooms, one forced movie, (the line went THROUGH) the movie theater, and back into a crammed elevator, we finally reached the top.  103 floors above the city.  It was a shock to come to the top and find that it was no longer the clear and bright day outside.  It was NIGHT!  4 hours had passed and the skyline was twinkling with brightly lit buildings and snaking car lights.

It was breathtaking… but the view was tainted by the previous 4 hours of lines, irritation, physical exhaustion of no place to rest, and pushy people at every window.

Within 5 minutes, the kids were ready to leave.  They were worn out.  But I refused.  I’d waited in a 4 hour line, and they were gonna LOVE it up here or else!  So we stayed.  We found an empty window and we took it in, waited in line for the crazy glass ledges you can stand hovering over the street in mid air, and really got a sense of the city.  I showed the kids Indiana, across the Lake.  It began to grow on them.  All in all – it was worth it.

Then we saw the line to leave.  It wrapped around the entire room and my heart sunk to my knees.  The kids (and Derek) pushed to take the stairs.  Yes really.  But Derek and I knew they had NO idea what they were getting into.  They’d never done 20 flights of stairs, let alone 103.  It’d be something to remember and talk about forever, but I was in no condition to do it myself, and I knew they’d get to 50 and give out on me.

So we waited.  Again.

What did the Willis (Sears) Tower teach my kids?  Many things I am sure.  Mostly, how to wait in line.  There are many ways to do it, many BAD ways to get to the end of the line, though in the end… only one way it should be done… with graciousness.

The icing on the cake, now that we’re home?  No matter how long a line is, immediately all the kids say, “This is ‘nuthin after Chicago!”  🙂  As a mom, I am gonna love having gone to the Tower for a long time to come!

Ruining the kids to all other Pizza

We were in Chicago…  We had to do it.  It would be a cardinal sin to be in the city and NOT have Chicago style pizza.  So we did it.  We even did it the lazy way…  we ordered it in to our room.  We were wiped out, and I was borderline even upright, so we called the very Life-long Chicago draw of a voice on the other side of the line and ordered the “LOU” (tomato, spinach, 4 cheese, sausage, and mushroom) and a deep dish traditional cheese, mushroom, and pepperoni.  I ordered small ones because I knew how filling these were.  The kids thought I was  nuts.  We kill off 2 large’s easy at home.

When the guy arrived, he was jolly and thrilled to hand over the best pizza in town.  He saw the kids waiting behind me and said to be sure they enjoy it!  I let them each take a turn holding the closed boxes before i opened them.  Their eyes got big as they felt the weight of the box in their arms.  (You have to know how concerned i was that they’d drop these precious boxes however!)

Then, like opening a present, i slowly unboxed the pizzas and the kids appropriately ooo’d and ahhhh’ed over them.  Beaming they each snarffed up their pizzas and they now are forever ruined to all other forms of pizzas.  Coming from a Chicago family – this made me proud  🙂

So thank’s Lou – for the wonderful night of laying in bed, eating pizzas, and giving my kids a taste of their family’s favorite thing to wish, salivate, and brag over.  Now they can join in the longings for a good ole Chicago style pizza!