Friday, August 28, 2009

The Imperfect Present

The problem with presents are that you never know exactly what is inside. I honestly must admit that I have gotten some really awesome wrapped gifts. Only to look inside and find something less than what I actually wanted. I am sure we have all been on the receiving end of this predicament. It's really disappointing.......and certainly NOT what we expected. Now this is a major bummer for a is heartache when it's your child.

As I write this, I am thinking of the many children that unlike you and I......are not perfect in mind and body. Somewhere in this imperfect world, they were impacted. Then by no fault of there own, they became dirty and crumpled...........the damaged package. However, instead of being loved and cherished as our Savior would want, they are dejected, ignored, and pitied.

I know that much of this behavior from other stems from fear. It is amazing how much fear we adults can have. I know that people are afraid of simply the word Autism. They don't understand what it is or how it impacts the individual who has it. Our children present strange behavior for a variety of reasons.........much of which boils down to misdirected neurological patterns. Still.......they are just people. My son is not is something he has. Beyond the label he is loving, mischievous, energetic, and most of all joyful. If you want to learn have to have patience and actually get to know him. Isn't this true of all people? You have to get beyond the packaging.

As I think about differences, I am drawn to our Lord. Now, here was the person who could love the unlovable. He didn't just love those we don't like....(tax collectors). He reached out and touched those we avoid and despise. It wasn't like people in his time were flocking to the lepers and disabled. Yet, our Lord touched them......He healed them.

If I have learned anything, it is push past my fear and look for God. He's always there in the discarded and ugly. In the eyes of the homeless man, the smile of the little girl with Cerebral Palsy, the laugh of the boy with Autism........He is there. Don't turn away.......Look, He is there!

It is my prayer that we can learn to love like this. Not to feel pity, but to see the creation that is inside each and every human being. We are all gift that He has given. Some of us just have dirty or crumpled paper.......still it is in the unwrapping that the gift is actually revealed.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Got Heat??

I really hate to be tryst, but today I think my brain has been officially baked. I'm not one to complain too much......(don't ask my husband this question).....but I am really sick of Summer. You see, I have been baking since late last April. Baking this long can do some interesting things to your thinking processes.

People who chose to live in the Desert Southwest become somewhat of heat officianatos. You see......there are varying degrees of heat.

First, you have the blast furnace kind. The kind that makes you think you have stepped into an oven set at 400 degrees. It comes up from the pavement and envelopes you in waves of radiation. Upon entering your car, you feel that you may burst into flames in spontaneous combustion. If you touch surfaces exposed to the outside sun, it is likely that you will blister any skin that comes in contact with the said surface. This is the DRY heat!

Then, you have the heat we usually have in July and August. This is the heat that suffocates you with moisture laden air. There is nothing more enjoyable than doing yard work when it's 108 degrees with 50% humidity. It's kind of like mowing with an elephant on your back. The experts call this phenomenon the Monsoon.........I call it misery. Everything sticks to you.......your clothes, the car seat, your hair. It gets better though. This type of heat also teases you with billowing thunderclouds off in the distance. They send empty promises of cooling rain only to fool you with a giant dust storm and hours of cleaning up afterward.......still in the heat.

I have actually started to envy my Facebook friends that are complaining about there 100 degree temperatures. I think this shows I must have fried a few cards in my deck already. At least it's late August.......that means the end of the inferno is getting close. By September, it's down into the mid 100's. Pray for me friends until then.......tomorrow the forecast is for 117 degrees. I might just melt before September.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Turn Me Around

I drive in Phoenix a ton!! I figured that in the last three years, I have spent as much time there as I have in Yuma. In fact, I know the freeway system as well as the Phoenicians. This last trip was scheduled for DJ but integrated with animal trips between the East Valley and the North Valley. I certainly logged some miles on Kelsie's car in three days.

Tuesday, I had to leave the Ronald McDonald house by 8:00am, drive over to the East Valley and pick up Guinea Pigs, then head way North to DJ doctor's appointment by 9:20. Followed by picking up feed and rabbits for my daughter thankfully still in the North Valley.

For some reason, I passed my exit off the I-10 West bound, and had to turn around. I got to the first stop only to get back on the I-10 heading East bound when I needed to go West. This finally culminated with me getting on the loop 101 heading East when I needed to go West to go home! I never get so turned around in Phoenix.

I think my directional dysfunction can be blamed on having too much to do in too little of time! Ever been here?

Currently, I am facing many transitions in my life. This ranges from decisions about my children, church, and eight thousand activities I am involved in. I just have too much going on..........

A very wise friend of mine told me to start to prioritize what I actually have to do with the things I actually enjoy doing. You see, I have been doing so much that I really don't enjoy anything anymore.

I'm sure none of you has ever been here either!

The problem is that when you start looking at your life, things fall into definite categories. The first one is things you HAVE to do. The second is things you Want to do and the third.......Things you THINK you have to do. I have tons of things in the first and third category and not too much in the second.........sound familiar?

It is a painful process to start to whittle things away in your life. I am currently struggling with that now as I tell people I can't commit to certain activities anymore. I don't like to say no, or do I like to disappoint other people. This type of thinking is costing me my sanity at this point and I am praying that I stick to my plan of simplifying my life.

When was the last time you felt turned around? Goodness knows our Lord planned a day of rest for a reason. My ultimate goal is to take my day back.........time to enjoy my family, read a book, take a drive, have lunch with friends.........whatever! When is the last time you did a "whatever"........maybe we all need to reshuffle from time to time. I am so glad I have friends that will direct me back on the right road!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bunnies Abound

My daughter shows rabbits and cavies (Guinea pigs). This will seem like a strange hobby for those of you who don't participate in this sort of thing. For us, it's almost like breathing.....once a month we drive off to a rabbit show. We load up the Turbo Van and off we go......

Rabbit shows are usually quite a few miles from here. Kelsie and I usually get up around 3:30 AM, and she loads up the bunnies and I take a shower. (we packed a lot more stuff the night before) Then, we load up and leave between 4 and 4:30am.

Rabbit shows are usually somewhat chaotic especially since Kelsie shows both rabbits and cavies. I spend my time getting her animals up and down off tables. I am the official "helper" and I take a back seat to the child.........I've learned to become very good with that role.

The thing about rabbit shows is that in so many ways it's not about actually having these little animals judged and the winning or losing. It's about the friendships you make, the life lessons you learn, the time spent with the daughter, the realization that the daughter is coming in to her own. I have watched her blossom over the last year into a beautiful young woman who is slowly building her confidence and getting ready to step out into the world.

We both have had the chance to grow so much closer. I guess there isn't much choice when your stuck in a car together for eight hours!! Still, Kelsie waited in line for her turn with Mom. First, it was my cancer, then her brother's diagnosis. She was robbed out of four years of my attention but not my love.

We both have learned and grown so much from raising rabbits. She has learned responsibility, hard work, and humility. I have learned to surrender...........

I am so grateful for this hobby and the opportunity it has given both Kelsie and I. I like to think that it's God's way of opening doors that were closed by hurt and the feeling of abandonment.

What things are your children interested in? (This applies to adult children also) When you listen to the spirit of your children's passions, it gives you an open invitation to walk into their world. I am so glad I was listening to my daughter's passions........because I wouldn't give up one single moment we have spent together.

Are you listening? Watch and observe.......then walk with them for adventures you'll treasure for a lifetime!