Mama’s Bed

      A truly blissful Saturday morning….hot coffee, the newspaper and a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts shared in bed this morning.  First, Clif and I shared our donuts together all cuddled up underneath the covers. Then the girls crawled in the warm bed along with the 2 small dogs to indulge in their rare treat of doughnuts. It was definitely a “Kodak” moment with the girls sprawled on the bed eating doughnuts and the dogs poking around the covers looking for dropped crumbs and tiny pieces of glaze that had fallen.  A precious moment captured forever in memories of mama’s bed.

     It seems that over the years mama’s bed is where everyone tends to congregate, hang out and just chill.  Over our almost twenty five years of marriage, we have bought new mattresses twice and still have the same headboard and frame from day one of our life together.  A simple queen size bed, doesn’t matter how we rearrange the furniture, everybody ends up in mama’s bed somehow or someway.

     Mama’s bed has held every child, nursed a sick husband back to health and has chased every nightmare away.  Every child psychologist out there says to never put your babies in bed with you, but I did…every single one of them.  In mama’s bed, I held my babies tight, hugged them, kissed them, tickled them and talked long into the night to them.  Not even one child has “issues” with independence, self-esteem or confidence.  In Mama’s bed the world is not such an evil place when you’re cuddled and wrapped in warm blankets.

     In Mama’s bed, prayers are said in the middle of the night when Mama can’t sleep. To do lists are made on the paper pad beside the bed.  In Mama’s bed, relaxation is inevitable with propped up pillows, a cup of hot tea and reading a magazine before going to sleep. Tightly tucked in sheets are a must and a quilt on top is necessary for sound sleep and for mama’s cuddling purposes. 

     In Mama’s bed, a devotion book is beside the bed for a quick inspirational read before my feet even hit the floor.  The bedroom door is revolving for my children to come in, curl up and talk, talk, talk about anything and everything,  In mama’s bed, all barriers are broken down and nothing is too trivial to talk about or to share.  Sometimes, we just read quietly together, laugh over jokes on pinterest, or even watch a movie on a laptop.  There’s no schedule to follow or time restraint when you’re in mama’s bed. 

     Having a no good terrible horrible day? Come cuddle and get comfort on mama’s bed,  Having an awesome, wonderful day? Come celebrate and cuddle on mama’s bed.  Need to talk out an issue? Bring your own blanket and talk it out with no judgement on mama’s bed. Just don’t feel like talking? Come relax and just be still on mama’s bed.

     In mama’s bed, the tears have flowed, the laughter has rocked the bed, the naps have been savored, the prayers lifted up at all hours, and every crumb imaginable has been in the sheets.  Sound sleep, restless sleep, crowded sleep and everything in between has been in mama’s bed. 

     Mama’s bed, a haven, a refuge, and the place where everyone feels comfortable, cuddled and needed. Mama’s bed is cheaper than a psychiatrist’s couch, more comfortable than a counselor’s chair, and is more effective than most medical interventions.  It’s a wonder that the bed hasn’t broken over the years, but it still stands firm.  Every major appliance has been replaced in our home over the years, but mama’s bed remains the same: loving, accepting and readily available.

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Excuse Me For A Moment

     Excuse me for a moment while I simply rejoice!  Summer is finally here, I do NOT miss the stress of work at all and I absolutely love being at home.  In the last two days, Daniel has mowed the back yard and rode his bike around the block. What he doesn’t know is his mama cried tears of pure joy watching him push those pedals.

     Excuse me for a moment while I have tiny glimpse of hope.  All of Daniel’s medical records have been given to a pediatric neurologist at St. Mary’s hospital for her fine tooth review.  She asked to see the records after conversing with his endocrinologist.  No, we don’t have a diagnosis yet, and we’re waiting on the latest lab results, but we are ever so slightly encouraged.  His trial medication has shown no adverse effects and this is the first time in two years any medication has even come close to attacking his fatigue level.

     Excuse me for a moment while I get ticked off….in our efforts to streamline and make our tight budget even tighter I made several phone calls in the last week.  I was following the Dave Ramsey financial advice of calling credit card companies and trying to negotiate a lower interest rate or lower payments until we can catch up on medical bills.  I was told in no uncertain terms that we did not qualify for any help or any hardship program because we are current on paying our bills. In other words, to qualify for any financial help to get us through this difficult time I would have to dishonor my family and purposely not pay our bills. By that time, our credit would be ruined as well.  So, by choosing to pay all our bills on time and being honest, we are not allowed to participate in available programs for someone going through a difficult time.  Some situations make a Christian girl just want to cuss out loud..really loud!

     Excuse me a moment while I feel reassured.  God has given me so many reassuring moments in the past few weeks.  In Walmart, I saw a lady wearing a t-shirt boldly stating in all capital letters:  I ABSOLUTELY TRUST GOD.  I walked past her, told her I loved her shirt and we high-fived each other in the middle of the aisle by the deli meats. God used a total stranger to get me through a very emotional day….AMEN!

     Excuse me for a moment while I allow myself to have a Jesus moment.  This past weekend we had several errands to run and of course, had to wait our turn in line with some of them. While waiting with my daughter Rebekah on Saturday, a stereo typical “homeless” man sat down next to us…gray scraggly hair, tattoos all over, baggy clothes.  He was eating a really juicy fresh peach and the juice was dripping off of his fingers and chin.  I started scrounging in my purse for a tissue, but Rebekah saw tissues before I did and handed him a handful. The smile and gratefulness from him immediately melted our hearts. We struck up a chit-chat conversation and I was totally drawn in by his kind crystal blue eyes.  A few minutes later he leaned forward and honestly asked me, “Do you have two quarters? I need it for bus fare home.”  I looked in my wallet, not knowing if I had any money at all, and found three quarters and pennies.  It was literally all the cash I had on me at the time.  Rebekah and I handed him the quarters. He was so grateful, shook our hands and left as quietly as he came. Driving home later, we were chatting about our encounter with him. Rebekah just adored the old man! And, yes, I’ve taught my children to not talk to strangers and to not give them money…but I reasoned that he simply could not go out and buy liquor or drugs with three quarters. She turned to me and said, “Mom, you never know, that could have been Jesus himself.”  Maybe so, and an old man who has a heart with “I love Jesus” tattooed on his arm totally captivated our hearts and attention on a busy Saturday afternoon.

     Excuse me a moment while I just be quiet and listen.  School is finally over along with the hectic schedule, the demands and the stress. I can finally just be still, quiet and truly listen. Life has been roller coaster for far too long.  It’s time to just sit it out, watch, listen and enjoy the moment. I raise my glass of diet Coke and toast to pure simplicity and silence to restore my battered soul.   “Be still and know that I am God.”  Ps.46:10

Happy Birthday Daniel!

     Happy 17th birthday to my precious “baby boy”!  You are the youngest and made your surprise entrance into our world on Father’s Day Sunday seventeen years ago.  It’s taken seventeen years for your birthday to fall on Father’s Day again, but you are still the most cherished Father’s Day present we have.  You were born in the middle of some the worst adversity we faced as a couple. Your daddy had been downsized out of his job, he was very ill, and my mom had passed away just 10 days before your early arrival. 

     You, my precious son, were my link to sanity as I took care of your daddy. kept up with two little girls and grieved for my mother.  I probably rocked hundreds of miles in the rocking chair in the sun room as I held onto you, cuddled, kissed  and sang to you through tears.  Every moment of your childhood has been cherished, because we had been told we could not have anymore children after Rebekah was born.  Never, ever underestimate the pure power of God and His plan.

       Now, seventeen years later, you teeter on the boundary of becoming an adult man. Your dry sense of humor cracks me up every single time, and your questions and curiosity continue to amaze me.  You prefer to be a quiet, solid man of faith, but your foundation is firm and deeply rooted.  Even though these last two years of your life have been difficult, to say the least, you have never become bitter or wallowed in self-pity.  Even in illness, you inspire others though you never want any attention drawn to yourself.

     Happy Birthday to our youngest child. our unexpected blessing in life, our joy-giver and the one who always keeps us on our toes!  God has a mighty plan for you and I can’t wait to see it unfold.  Happy  Birthday to the red-headed boy we prayed for and we have been so abundantly blessed!

Directions, please

     Last week Sarah was getting ready to drive to a young adult Bible Study.  The location for the meeting was unfamiliar to her and of course, we had to give her directions.  Poor baby, she has her mother’s sense of direction…which is absolutely NONE!  Her dad  was telling her the directions aloud and using directional terms like “east” and going under the underpass.  I could see the glazed look of “I have no idea what you’re talking about”  in her eyes and the rising panic in her facial expression.  I pulled her aside and wrote down the directions exactly step by step and wrote what landmark she would see at each step….the only way I know how to do directions.  The relief on her face was so obvious.  She confidently got in her car and drove off safely to her destination.  Same place, two sets of directions given in two different ways, only one way was understood and accomplished. Daddy’s directions would have gotten her there, she just didn’t understand how to follow them. 

       This past year of my life has felt a lot like that…totally lost, searching for direction, looking for a location in the analogy of trying to find a diagnosis and proper doctor for Daniel.  I’m still whirling, twirling and spinning in trying to find answers, but have had to just wait until we find out how he does with his medication trial. So far, he has shown a little bit of improvement in staying awake during the day, but still can’t endure beyond two days before crashing again.  He hasn’t been able to attend a full week of school since before Christmas and it’s really aggravating that the medical field senses no urgency in that fact. I simply do not know where to turn to from here.  Fourteen doctors have brought us back to square one.  I feel like I’ve been on a long wild goose chase and have lost badly. In the meantime, my son is still ill, the bills keep rolling in, and the pure exhaustion from it all is almost unbearable at times. 

     I promised myself when I chose to do this blog that I would be bluntly honest, not sugar coat anything and not portray a sickening sweet Pollyanna fake attitude.  The truth is my heart absolutely breaks every time he has to stay home from school; I’m beyond frustrated with the medical field and my emotions are so fragile just looking at me wrong will bring an onset of tears.  I keep on praying, keep on working, keep on being a mom. My hope is one day we will not feel we’ve been sucked into an eternal whirlwind and we’ll have a clear direction on which way to go.  This directions-deficit mom is willing to follow God’s path no matter what the direction, but in the meantime I will worship while I wait. One day I’ll be able to look back and see how far we’ve come, but right now I’m stuck at the intersection waiting on which direction to take. My quietness is not being anti-social, I’m just pondering and praying about what to do next.  Sometimes when you’re lost, the best thing to do is just be quiet, get your bearings, and just wait until you’re calmer.  God speaks…even when you’re lost.