Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Transparent 'Blah'..."

One of the things that I recently read in the bible study I’m currently doing, is how closely related transparency and testimony are. To truly testify, we have to be transparent. I blog, basically, like many other moms, to “scrapbook” for our family. But, sometimes I feel like all I blog is the “pretty” side of our life….and the past week or so, I’ve just not felt up to playing the “pretty” part. So before I can do another “pretty” post, I need to be a little transparent….

The past couple weeks, I’ve just been “blah”… Here’s a few reasons why…..

- A week and a half ago, I got a call that a sweet friend’s Daddy had lost his battle with cancer. As if that wasn’t enough, her wedding was planned for 6 days later. What do you do with that?

- I’ve watched the news and read different articles about a healthcare reform that was signed by congress, and I can’t help but wonder, who’s going to pay for all of this "reform"? By “pay” I don’t just mean monetarily. Yep, change is coming, I just don’t see it as being good change.

- We recently hit the “mark” where our son has been in Heaven longer than he was here with us. That stings. Two years later, his death still stings. There are times when I stand at his small headstone and feel like that grave has the victory.

- In three recent trips to “town” (I remind myself of my Granny when I say that), I’ve gotten myself so worked up because each time, on the same side of the busy four-lane road, stands two girls, holding posters advertising the restaurant they work at. I have nothing against people who hold signs on side of the road. However, I do have a problem with girls who stand on side of the road with t-shirts so tiny and tight they’d fit my toddler and with shorts so short they leave nothing to the imagination. Last time I checked, it’s still a free country, yes. So I know people can wear what they want to wear--- but, if you’re okay with parading your adult-self around in clothes that would fit a 2 year old, then please, stay inside where those who WANT to see you can do so. The rest of us, who are just driving by, don’t care how “Hot your wings are” and we really don’t want to see your tail. It just flew all over me, yall. What is wrong with a society who uses sex to sell chicken wings? Lord, have mercy on us. How are we suppose to raise a daughter who will respect herself and find her worth in who she is and not in what she looks like or how much attention she can get from a man? How can we keep her innocent for as long as we can when there’s girls in panty-hose and hot-pants and bare-cleavage the size of Texas standing on side of the road. And it’s not just my girl I worry about. Satan used this as a perfect opportunity to mess with my mind and insecurity, too. I think about all the cute and tiny and perfect women we see on TV and wonder how on Earth we’re suppose to try to compete with that. And while I know we shouldn’t care or even “want to”--- we still do. It makes me look in the mirror and cringe at my pale white skin, round tummy that says “I’ve carried two babies” and cellulite on my thighs. (Sorry, for the visual, that’s probably TMI). Within minutes I was feeling like the female version of Quasimoto.

- While watching TV a couple days ago, I heard some alarming statistics on today’s teenagers. I was terrified at the number of high school kids with STD’s. Horrified by some of the other statistics and just too disgusted to even share them. Horrified, but not surprised. How can we be shocked when we are a society who uses sex to sell everything including chicken wings?

- The past couple weeks I’ve given in to stress and been ugly to those I love the most. Why does that always happen? I need to learn how to calm down before I “snap”… I always end up feeling like the worst person in the world and just hate myself afterward. Unfortunately, we can’t take the things we say and do back.

- There’s also those days when I just feel hopeless. Everything’s going wrong and life is just awful. Ever have those times? You just feel sorry for yourself and the more you do, the worse it gets.

Last week was rough, and the enemy was close on my heels. He wanted me to feel hopeless, he wanted to make me feel like a failure (and a chubby, ugly one on top of it!), he wanted me to get mad at others, throw my hands up in the air and say, “forget it! There’s no use in even trying!”….For a while, I bought into it, but as He always does, the Lord reminded me of so much.

- You know the sweet friend who’s Daddy died? Well, I went to his funeral on Thursday. I listened to his youngest sons (19 year old twins) stand up and talk about what a good man their Daddy was. If the four children he raised and set an example for, is any indication of the kind of man he was, I’d say he was way more than a good one. I listened as those who knew him best paid tribute to him, talked about his faith and his love for Jesus and his family and I hoped at the end of my life, people would have the same kinds of things to say about me. The congregation sang his favorite song, “Victory in Jesus” and I was blessed beyond measure to remember it’s truth. In Jesus we do have victory. My friend’s Daddy may have lost his earthly battle to cancer, but in the end he was standing before the Heavenly King. THAT is victory. It reminded me that when I stand in the cemetery and am surrounded by such sorrow, that it’s not the end. Sometimes it feels like it’s over and we’ve lost, but through Jesus, the final victory has already been won. On this side of Heaven, death stings, and the grave looks victorious. But, I know it's coming and I look forward to the day when I can say, “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?" - 1 Corinthians 15:55.

- And the wedding? It went on. I know there’s no way someone who didn’t have the Lord or who wasn’t 100 percent certain that her Daddy was in Heaven could have gone on with it. As bittersweet as I am sure it was for her, she had the assurance and peace of our Savior. What a beautiful thing. (It was a beautiful wedding, too!)

- You know what God reminded me of when it comes to all this healthcare reform, the unsteady economy and politics business? HE’s going to take care of us. We don’t know how bad it’s going to get, and I’ve got a feeling it’s going to get worse before (if ever) it gets better. But we have the assurance that He’s looking out for us. I’m just going to keep trusting Him… He’s got our days written, even before they come to be---with or without quality healthcare and no matter how high our taxes go...
Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

- Then there’s all that chicken wing stuff and the junk that it drags with it.
I am certain I’ve got the sweetest husband God ever put on this Earth. I came home the other day to a red solo cup of freshly picked (from the roadside) phlox. Is there anything sweeter? It made me smile because for some unknown reason to me that man loves me more than anyone else. He’s crazy about his freckle-faced wife who could stand to loose 10 lbs, and although I’ll never really understand it, I am so glad he is. Nope, I’d never stand a chance up against some beautiful Hollywood or hot-pants wearing, chicken-wing-peddling- girl, but he loves me just like I am---round tummy and all! It was such a sweet little reminder and affirmation! I pray daily that our daughter will one day find a husband who loves her, like her Daddy loves me. I also pray for guidance as we raise her in this fallen world… I don’t know what else to do but trust and pray when it comes to that one!

- Those times when I give in to feeling sorry for myself? Well, here’s the good out of that one…. I’ve got parents who will sit at my kitchen table (or theirs) and let me rant and rave about this and that and then they tell me to “get it out, calm down, and move on.” They listen to it, let me talk, then it’s out and I feel better. They’ll call me out if it’s something I need to be called out on and if not, they just let me talk… Now, that’s something good to have.

When the world seems so awful, God is good. I am thankful that even in the bad things, His goodness always shines through. He’s always faithful, that’s for sure. I am so undeserving, but He loves us that much. So much, that he uses anything and everything to show us how great that love is.... from His Word, to people, to a song, and even to flowers picked on the road side!