June 30, 2008

Catching up...

I've been busy helping Carolyn get her blog up and running. She wants to write about Israel, where she lived for several years. Visit her at http://carolyn-consider.blogspot.com. Now isn't helping a friend a good excuse for neglecting my own blog?

In brutal honesty I must confess that the real reason I haven't kept up with my posts is that I've been swaying here and there in my vocational choices again. It's kinda embarrassing. It could even appear unprofessional, but that's the way it is. I hid out in the cave of indecision for awhile, but now I'm ready to step out in faith (again) and expose myself (again). It's not blind faith, for my Guide sees everything clearly!

My husband and I have decided that I should add Medical Transcription education to my summer schedule. I prayed and weighed the decision carefully, and this is where I've landed! After just one class meeting I realized that transcription is right up the same alley as proofreading for book publishers - just different! Both professions rely heavily on the careful handling of the written word. And both require accuracy and integrity. So, while I'm building my proofreading career, I'll be exercising my mind even further by studying medical jargon.

I told my daughter that I plan to take courses, or at least to keep learning, for the rest of my life!

June 20, 2008

Dragged Him Up the Hill, part 2

I yawned and stretched my one free arm up above my head.

I allowed myself the luxury, for these few moments, to study his face. Deciding that I didn’t want to have a care in the world just then, I forgot everything and just adored him lying limp across my lap. His precious face looked so much like his father that I felt like the young mother that I had been just 29 years ago! --and so much like his mother that I relived some of my memories of her antics as a child. But his parents don’t share any physical similarities between them. Wow.

Sometimes I looked back at the drivers speeding by. Other times I kept my head down. I wondered if they could see the grays in my hair, and if they thought he was nursing. Oh, well. Leave them guessing!

What does a 2 year-old dream about? This boy’s favorite food is pancakes. He likes super-heroes and strumming his little guitar. I couldn’t tell where his mind was, but he was enjoying it.

When it was time to get up, my legs almost wouldn’t lift us. My knees aren’t great any more, but I managed to sway my body a certain way that allowed me to rise and not wake him. By the time we got to the drainpipe along the way I shifted him up to ride on my back. I looked up the hill and realized that his cheek would be in direct sunlight for another 15 minutes, and I hoped he wouldn’t sunburn.

Just as my mind wandered back to the African grandmothers I had eaten beans and nshima with on our mission trip, my package started to stir. When he was newborn I had tried to carry him on my back, but almost strangled him in the Chitenge material I wrapped around us! He’ll just have to understand that I have more to learn about his African ancestry!

One of my comforting thoughts during our journey was that someday he might take care of his grandma – in return for his grandma taking care of him. Now, there’s another amazing thought!

By the time his parents arrived we had lots of stories to tell. Grass seeds that he’d stuck in his hair, the daisy he’d picked for mama, the toys he’d played with; and of course, how Grandma had dragged him up the long country road home.

I’ve got a few good miles left in me.

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June 13, 2008

Dragged Him Up the Hill, part 1

We got our shoes on and stepped outside into the sunshine. It’s slow going when you’re only 2 years old, but as we made our way hand-in-hand down the steps of our deck, I knew it was going to be a fine adventure.

Apparently my grandson hasn’t been outside much, at least not in a rural area. Our gravel road is almost a mile long, a fine road for long walks with trails into the Christmas tree farm on either side. He stuck close to me, unsure of himself.

My goal was to get to the mailbox, and perhaps meet his mama coming home. But it turned into more of a test of my physical stamina than I had planned on!

His little legs were dragging by the time we got to the bottom of the hill. I had packed him a few times, but this little guy is hefty! I diverted his attention from his tiredness by pointing out daisies, dead Christmas trees, and good places to throw rocks. And we talked about mama. And airplanes. And Spider-man.

We found our little patch of hard dirt shaded by a fir tree, and sat down with the mail. I was sure his mama was just minutes away – she was already a half hour later than I’d expected. We sat and watched the cars and trucks whiz by on the highway below. He snuggled in closely for safety and comfort, then I realized he was getting sleepy!

I had a hard choice to make. I could wake him and get him walking back up the road, or I could let him doze in my arms. There was nothing I could lay him down on, so I adjusted his position to wake him. I watched his eyes swim around and slowly close, and I fell in love.

“This might be the last time, after all,” I told myself. “I may never hold a child of mine to sleep again.” “It’s a beautiful day to quietly sit outside and watch him sleep.” “His mama will be here soon.” “We’re both hot and tired.”

to be continued…

June 9, 2008

Eustace the Dragon

If you have read the series "The Chronicles of Narnia", by C. S. Lewis, you might remember the boy Eustace who finds his troubles escalating due to a series of bad choices, bad attitudes, and difficult circumstances. In his misery he awakens to discover that he is wearing the skin of a dragon.

He rather enjoyed it at first – thinking of ways he could exert his new power to terrorize the ones whom he had perceived as his enemies. But then his appearance and dragon-appetites disgusted him, and he found himself trapped in the crusty skin of his reality.

My thought at this point in the story was, "A-ha, justice is served!" But one can't help sympathize with him eventually because of his remorse and hopelessness. His entire condition sickened him, and reduced him to depression, loneliness and tears.

Remember Aslan, the Lion?

In response to Eustace's plight, the mighty Lion comes to him and begins cutting away the dragon skin with his claws - something Eustace had tried to do himself, but couldn't succeed. "Faithful are the wounds of a friend!" Though causing intense pain... well, I've already told too much if you haven't read it yet.

I used the word metamorphosis to describe the "becoming" that I am going through right now (in a March ‘08 post). It displays a picture of a cocoon in my mind, with a butterfly inside, struggling to get free of it. The comfortable home has become a hardened, crusty cage. Things were good for so long, but now it's all useless (Eustace's nickname was "useless").

Do I need the wonderful Lion to come and scratch me out of my cage-coon? I don’t think that’s going to happen. I understand that in the case of a cocoon, the butterfly has to do it herself – or she’ll be handicapped all through life (if she survives).

Okay, Lord, I’ll keep cutting away at what is no longer necessary.

I don’t want to be useless.

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June 2, 2008

My Life On the Edge

  1. My computer is 5 years old and it hums. Though I've been told it's a bad sign, I've backed up all my files and plan to use it till it dies.
  2. Our car is 11 years old and has 225k miles on it. It runs fine with no problems, except that the ignition sticks sometimes and the dome light doesn't work. It's been paid-for for years, so we basically have free transportation!
  3. My dishwasher screams, so I refrain from running it while my husband is home. The repair guy says that it may be particles that the chopper has chopped, and will eventually dissipate. Otherwise, we might need a new pump. It's a name brand, only 1 year old, so I'm holding out on the idea that it'll just get better on its own.
  4. We're still living on one income. I am a full-time homemaker, part-time student and working on a business start-up, and we're helping our daughter in college.
The amazing thing is that our savings account is VERY healthy. If we chose to, we could buy a new computer, or car, or dishwasher. But when we quiet our busy, worried minds, we come back to our commitment to keep growing our savings. It's just fun to have it there, and we believe God is blessing (and yes, multiplying) it!

Though we have difficult moments, all in all we are content. Why shouldn't we be, after all?