A Typical or Atypical Pastor's Wife-whichever one you come to believe

Welcome to the barnyard. Watch your step! The things written here are raw and unedited. Just my thoughts thrown on a page as they flow from my heart.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Reality Check

Every now and then, life or maybe God gives us all a little reality check. I had one of those this morning. My daughter has been sick with a cough and a fever for 12 days. Once, when the fever reached 105, I called the doctor, but wasn't required to take her in to see him. Things were complicated this last week with me having pneumonia, my hubby being down with who knows what, and our daughter being sick. It was hard to take care of everyone adequately, which bothered me. I did the best I could, but I just got plumb tired most days and ended up in a heap, asleep on the couch.

I had already decided to call the doctor again this morning if my daughter still had a fever when she woke up. I took her temp while she was still in bed and according to the thermometer, she had already been dead for several hours--her body temp was down to 95 degrees. I thought that pretty odd, but at least, it wasn't 105! But just because I was entirely tired of dealing with it, I made her an appointment with the doctor and let her sleep until an hour before we had to leave. She got up, got dressed and went into the bathroom to brush her teeth. I happened to be in there with her because we often brush our teeth together--an Egolf tradition! All the sudden she said that her vision was blurry. I laughed and said, "of course it is! You don't have your glasses on!" Then she started to say "it's going black, it's going black!" And then she started to scream "I'm blind! I'm blind! I can't see anything! I looked at her eyes and her pupils were completely dilated! I yelled for my husband because by then she was shaking and wobbling between the sink and the wall and he got there just in time to catch her before she hit the floor.

Now all that probably took less than 30 seconds, but it's amazing to me how many things can go through your mind in that little bit of time.

-I let her fever go too long and it's blinded her
-She'll be on disability the rest of her life
-Her brain injury as a child weakened her brain and she's having a stroke or her brain is bleeding.
-The codine in the cough syrup has killed her
-Oh no! They'll take her to the local hospital that has a bad reputation and of whom it is commonly said, "yea, they bury their mistakes!"

My husband yelled for me to call an ambulance, so I did something I've never ever had to do before. I dialed 911. I told them that we needed an ambulance right away giving my name and address. And then the goofy operator asked me if Cyndi was spelled with a "C" or an "S". Who the heck cares???!!!!!! What does that have to do with anything? And since WHEN???? has Cyndi or Cindy or Cindi ever been spelled with an "S"??? No one ever spells my name right anyway and I still get all their invoices and bills in the mail! Do they need to know the proper spelling of my name to send an ambulance????? It was on the tip of my tongue to tell them what I was thinking but then reality jolted me back to the task at hand! Oh yes! We need an ambulance!

Fortunately, once she was lying down, her vision returned and she could talk coherently, so I cancelled the ambulance and we loaded her in the truck and headed for the doctor. They ran her through a battery of tests, and discovered that she has pneumonia. We're still waiting for some other things that weren't exactly normal to be looked at by specialists.

Things like this cause you to think, and think real hard! This particular child has been in some kind of life and death struggle way more than once in her short 16 years. So much that, I realize God has something special for her to do or the devil wouldn't be so busy trying to take her out. Even though she can completely tax me out in a day's time with questions, or worries, or anxieties that she has (mostly brain injury related risidual quirks we are still working through), I once again faced the reality of living life without her. If you've never had to face the uncertainty of a child's survival, I pray that you never will. It is THE WORST feeling in the world. It's like that sinking feeling you get when you lose your wallet, but on steroids!

Days like today just help me to realize what is really important in life. Things like:

-Prayer--but not just distress calls but "ferverent, effectual prayer" and making sure that there is nothing blocking my communication with God. Making sure that there is no known sin in my life, nothing unrepented of, no unforgiveness or offense. These can all tie the hands of God, even in those moments when we need Him the most.

-Relationships with people--obviously none of us know how much time we have to know another person. We must treat each other in a way that we will not have to live with regrets that can never be righted if one of us is taken prematurely or without warning. We must accept each other, even with our differences and quirks and still value the life and gifts that God has breathed into the heart of every man.

-Family--we often scold our children for treating their friends better than their family. "Your friends will come and go--mostly go. But you will have your family forever!" But today I realized how little I live with that reality myself sometimes and I've made a note to improve in that area. It's so easy to take what seems stable and normal for granted--until that stable foundation is shaken! Normal can become abnormal in the time it takes to faint or lose control of a vehicle on black ice. This I know all too well.

-Evangelism--people need the Lord! How many people do we know that slipped into eternity unprepared that might not have had to had we swallowed our fear, and our pride, and told them about Jesus? How many people meet God without Christ everyday? Did those 4 policemen in Washington know Christ? Did those who died on highways over the holiday know Christ? Do your neighbors, co-workers, friends, know Christ? Am I willing to look foolish and stupid to the world in order that I might win just one soul to the Lord? Am I willing to lose a job, lose a friendship, lose a customer so that they might hear of their need of Christ?

I thought about all of this today amidst all the doctors and tests. And I'm thankful---yes, even for reality checks because they bring me back around to exactly where I need to be and once again I see and know the wisdom and faithfulness of my God.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lawnmower Devotions-Our Brightest Moments

The leaves of fall were beautiful this year!

The colors were so brilliant.

The leaves were so plentiful.

Driving down tree lined streets was a lesson in beauty, and it seemed, that if I listened really closely, the leaves almost seemed to sing as the sun exposed their brilliant color.

Each leaf's color gradually migrated from green to a sunny yellow, pumpkin orange, or robust red.

It was a thing of beauty!
And then, in the midst of my ecstacy I realized something. These leaves were dying! In fact, they were in the very last stages of life, right on the edge of life and death. Within a week, they would drop to the ground, turn an ugly, crunchy brown color, and become next year's compost. How could something so beautiful and vibrant be so close to death?
"Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth." Ps. 71:9
"They shall bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing." Ps. 92:14

I'm about to enter into my last season of life. Soon I, like the leaf will stop producing. I won't produce children, I won't produce as much money, my available energy for production will also lessen.
Lord, grant this, my desire.

When people observe me in those last stages of life, let the color of my life be as brilliant, as vibrant, and as loud as those leaves.
Let the lifetime I spent basking in the Son of God resonate with as much brilliance and beauty as the leaves of fall.
May the fruit of my old age be an abundance of the life of God to all who observe it.
And may the residue of my life, after I am gone, be like an aromatic oil and a sweet, sweet song to those I leave behind.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Football or Mudball?

A special thanks to my friend, Abbie, who braved the mud with her expensive camera and captured these photos and graciously allowed me to use them on my blog!

In Happyvalley, weekends are made for football! Penn State football, State High football, and SCAG football, of which my son is a part.

Here he is, all clean and crisp in his newly pre-treated, hand scrubbed, clean football uniform! He's the handsome #29! Don't spend any time remembering that number because in a moment, it won't mean a thing!

And the game started just as any other ordinary game. There was prayer, (yes, it's a Christian league, so they say. I learned that in the midst of flying clipboards, yelling coaches, and little black words that would "slip out" easier than a boy can slip playing football in a foot of mud. Oh, that's coming later!) So they lined up to receive the opening kickoff!
Did I mention that the field was muddy? Just a little. Can you see the mud they just lined up in?
Oh wait! Here's a better shot!

And so the game went on, from bad to worse until we couldn't even recognize our sons! In fact, we couldn't even tell what color team some of them were on!

The game quickly became less about football and more about who could stay upright!

As you can see, some faired better than others!

Next time someone tells you to eat dirt, THIS is really what they are saying!

By halftime, the Golden Bears were looking more like the Brown Bears and playing about as bad as the Cleveland Browns!

Unfortunately, the half time pep talk didn't do any good and we lost! Can you tell?

But even so, our guys were good sports about it, just like they were for EVERY OTHER GAME OF THE WHOLE SEASON! Can someone say "Houston, we have a problem?"

As you can see from the scoreboard in the background, the field was not the only thing that got ugly! Yep! That's Golden Bears 8, Green Eagles (or the Green Giants as I called them) 40.

The bright spot of the whole day was my son!
He had the time of his life, rolling around in the mud and sticking a dirt filled mouthguard on his already questionably clean teeth (if I don't remind him to brush, it doesn't get done! Just one more reminder of how I have failed at mothering.) One of those sets of legs are his!
He was #29 until you couldn't see his number anymore. Then he became the boy with the gold arms, the only one on the team with gold underarmour.

Here's some shots of the action. Sorry so many, but my family are about the only people that read this blog anyway and they're interested in seeing him!

Yes! He got an assist for this tackle!

Here, he's calling the defense! The play the coach sent in was "mudslide!"

This is probably one of those plays that ended in part of that 40 points you saw earlier on the scoreboard. You know those plays? You know that no one is going to catch the kid with the ball, but you hustle down the field anyway so that the coach doesn't single you out and call you an idiot! And these kids are smart! They stay in a pack so that they can't be singled out!

That's his "mean" football face!

The real dilemma was after the game. What do I do with him until I can get him home and clean him up? I can't put him on my nice, beige, seats! I don't think I'm allowed to put him in back of my pickup truck, or tie him to the top! So, being the resourceful Mom that I am, I found the hose in back of the concession stand! I've always wanted to pull a trigger and yell "dance! dance!" And dance he did trying to dodge those frosty drops of water!
As you can see, it really didn't do any good!
But obviously, he enjoyed it anyway! At least I was sure that I was actually taking the right kid home, yep, that's him, #29!
Eventually I ended up opening the doors of the pick up truck which open opposite of each other. Then I stretched a big beach towel between them creating a makeshift dressing room and made him strip down to his boxers! No! I didn't take any photos of that! Posting photos of my son in his boxers might be considered child porn to non-football families!
He rode home wrapped in a big beach towel with the heater blasting! What a trooper!
And not surprisingly, after washing his uniform and pads--first by laying them in the driveway and blasting them with a hose and then putting them in my washing machine, I had to call the washing machine repairman.