Friday, September 28, 2012

The Turning Tide

She calls them 'pasta parties'. They have become a weekly ritual for the cross country team. They gather together a day or two before a meet, and they eat noodles. Apparently "carbs" are good for athletes. When I pointed out that cookies contain just as many "carbs" as pasta, she gave me an eye roll. I'm actually used to those.

Last night I knew she had plans for pasta with her friends. But, I made spaghetti anyway. I think subconsciously I hoped she'd stay. Noodles here or noodles there are just the same, right? No. I knew that. But in a weird way, I hoped I was wrong.

Because I look at her now, and realize the more she steps out the door, the sooner she is off on her own for good. That part of my brain that has always screamed, "Hurry and grow up so I can have some peace and quiet!", doesn't shout as loudly anymore. There are times where I don't even like that voice at all.

The deepest part of my heart seems to whisper, "Please don't ever go away". I can't always hear that whisper. Living with teenagers just doesn't allow for that. But it's there. And every now and then, when she rushes out the door with friends, that whisper is all I can hear.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Find The Funny

I sat in a waiting room this week. That's it's own special kind of torture. At the exact moment I realized I was the only individual under the age of 70 in the room, everyone started talking about their pets. Like names, ages, all that good stuff. For reals. Iphones were passed around so we could all look at pictures.

After the pictures, came the advice. All eyes trained on me because again, I'm under the age of 70. I was first told that I need a dog. That just made me choke on my saliva. Even when I insisted that my kids are too lazy for a dog, I was reassured that a pet would teach them responsibility (not even a miracle from heaven could do that). One woman told me to make sure I'm not my children's friend. "Be their mother!", she stated. She even shook her finger to make her point. That was the moment I started giggling. Honest to goodness giggling.

The craziness continued right into my car where I turned on the radio to hear a guy describe his drunk driving episode with a lisp. My giggling turned into full blown hysterics. Have you ever heard someone explain a DUI with a lisp? I have no words. When I didn't think I could laugh anymore, the interviewer asked the man to say, "Sally sells seashells by the seashore." I started crying and hyperventilating at the same time.

Later that night, after dinner, my sister relayed that her 4 yr. old was telling my kids about her class guinea pig. When she told them that he's black, Child #3 said calmly, "We shouldn't say he's black. We should say he's African American." And just like that, with the visual of an African American guinea pig, I'm undone. I honestly can't handle the funniness. I have to bend over double just to hold it all in. I'm laughing so hard, I'm sweating. I'm either really pathetic, or my life is just crazy on all levels. It's probably a whole lot of both.

Find the funny. That's the goal. My life can't possibly be the only one this ridiculous. Right?

Friday, September 21, 2012

He Carries

For as long as I can remember, fear has been a part of my life. Fear and Worry. For me, those two words just blend into one another. I'm always worried, and in general, always afraid. I don't know why. I tend to think it's just the way I'm wired. But dang, don't you wish some days that you could change your wiring?

I'm a "What if..." kind of girl. I think everything through. I over-analyze. My brain categorizes what amount of fear to assign. Weird, but true. I lay in bed at night and re-work the worry again. Fear has been around me so long, it's now become my sidekick. I wear it like an accessory.

We all have that thing, that one thing (or two, or four), that's always with us. That thing we keep hidden from everyone else. We often try not to even acknowledge it, because we're afraid of giving it a voice. It may be fear, or it could be complacency. What if a lack of fear is equivalent to having too much of it? What if your thing is never feeling good enough? Or even thinking that no amount of you will ever measure up?

We are all carrying something. Aren't we? We all are plowing through despite what tries to hold us back. Big or small, heavy or light. We all carry. No one is immune. And just because the load you hold doesn't look like mine, doesn't make it any easier. We all carry.

But just this morning I had a thought. It's Christ centered. And I had this fear, because that's what I do. "What if I offend someone because I talked about Jesus?" But then my heart immediately responded, "What if you offend Jesus because you don't talk about Him enough?" Well said.

So, here's the thought-- the Lord carries with us. He takes that thing, that one, or four, we are carrying, and He holds it with us. He stands beside and lifts the heavy end of it. The fear, the worry, the hardness of our way does not dissipate, it does not disappear. It simple becomes easier to hold.

What if I looked at fear and worry not as something that owns me and surrounds me like a second skin? What if I looked at it through the Lord's eyes? Maybe He would whisper, "You are good enough. Now. Today. Just as you are, flaws and all. I will help you carry your burdens." If He can whisper that to me, then He definitely will whisper it to you. We just have to be still enough to hear it.

Whatever you carry. Let Him hold it with you. It just may make all the difference.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

For Today

There is nothing in my life that this smile can't cure. It is infectious. So, for today, channel your inner Riley. Against all odds, find joy. Look into the quiet folds of your life and smile. No matter the obstacle, no matter the challenge, this day, this very day, is a gift. Find happiness in it's hours and smile along the way.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sweet 16

She has been 16 for over 48 hours. I'm still not used to it. Yesterday I found myself looking at her more closely. She seems older, more independent. Maybe it's just my heart that sees her that way, I'm not sure.

This age, this birthday, feels different. I can't put my finger on the specifics, I just seem aware of it. It's like some invisible milestone has been reached, and now she has stepped over into territory that carves out her own path. One that stretches her farther away from me. Maybe that's the part that is hard to acknowledge. That simultaneous fear and joy of your child making their own way. All on their own.

She is such an amazing and inspiring young woman. Truly.

Happy Sweet 16 my Samantha.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

We Begin Again

Cross Country season has started. Have I mentioned that we live in Texas where it's still 400 degrees outside? Mmm hmm. It's awesome. It's that time of year when I get down on my knees and plead with this daughter of mine to switch to an indoor sport. Like table tennis.

I have considered pulling my car right up onto the field and just watching her with binoculars. That wouldn't be weird, would it?

Maybe I'll suggest the Chess Team. Or, maybe even Ping Pong. Are there competitive sewing teams? I'm totally going to look into that.