Mom's Blog

Monday, October 31, 2005

Grandma's Bike / The Quarter Can

A big hit at our house this weekend was Grandma's Bike. I have my electric mobility chair in the kitchen - compact, it can do a 90 degree turn, so works well there since I always seem to be spinning around when I cook or clean. Valerie saw it and exclaimed, " Grandma's new bike!" We had to laugh and hide the key.
Another big event this weekend was the ceremony of the opening of the can of quarters. Daniel and I have always had some sort of little saving stash ever since we were first married. Last year's can went toward our gas fireplace. Last night we counted $200.00 in quarters, rolled them ready to be banked toward our trip to Bolivia. Pretty good for one year. Sometimes it's the small things we do together that are so much fun! One of the joys of being married; you can plan and dream together even if it's a quarter at a time.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Cry, the Beloved Country

I was impressed with the book in high school. But then, that was the 60's and racial upheaval and social unrest was rampant in our country as well as South Africa. I am re-reading this poignant novel now as a parent in this new century of continued world-wide unrest.
The story of a father searching for his son who has left the simple village life to be swallowed up in the moral and social turmoil of Johannesburg who questions what has gone so wrong that his own child (as well as his adult sister and brother) would succumb to the evils of the city. The pain is real, the anguish cuts deep, yet the father continues on. As he searches he faces the fear of the unknown. As he uncovers the layers of sin, he fears the worst only to find his fear confirmed. His fear turns to sorrow.
He is comforted: "Sorrow is better than fear. Fear is a journey, a terrible journey, but sorrow is at least an arriving."
"When the storm threatens, a man is afraid for his house... But when the house is destroyed, there is something to do. About a storm he can do nothing, but he can rebuild a house."
How do you go on when you discover the worst - that your child has turned away from simple Christian upbringing to the indulgences of the world? The father finds comfort in an innocent child, the product of the nightmare of sin.
I'm only halfway through the book.

One Week Out

Today marks one week since I have been home from work. With a lovely gift of flowers from the boys and gifts from staff and students balanced withover 50 parent conferences until 8:00 my last day was a muddle of emotions. I had four pain blocks done on Thursday and was fitted with the new brace. Lighter than the last one? hardly. It locks the entire leg in place. Now that I am taking some time to rest, I am surprised at how tired I am and how much my legs continue to twitch. Yet my spirits are high. Daniel and I have a lot to look forward to and I am determined to find the balance I need to enjoy life.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

update twice in one day?

Two posts in one day? Sorry. I've learned that there has been some confusion about my health. I have decided to continue with the doctor in Ann Arbor who is a specialist in post-polio. I am going to return to Ann Arbor on October 20 for the final fitting of my new braces and see how I can maneauver in them. Later that same day, I will be having injections done in my back to ease the pain of the herniated disc and surrounding areas. Following that I will be starting therapy in Saginaw two to three times a week. I will be going on short-term disability. My post polio fatigue and weakness will probably be rationale for not returning to work at all, but I am not making that decision formally yet. My teaching load is very heavy this year with no sign of things getting easier with all of the new requirements. No Child Left Behind legislation quite frankly is leaving this teacher behind.
Daniel has been a wonderful husband understanding all of the ramifications of my health. Even though he doesn't always fold the clothes exactly as I do, I know of few husbands who would do all that he does for me, beside putting up with my tears that seem to flow so quickly and abundantly or for no reason except "I'm tired".
I am looking forward to getting some rest and taking some time to really feel better, not just to be able to 'get through' another day or another week.
The Lord is my shepherd and he is also leading in this area, proving restoration. (see previous blog)

Finding our Way

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me"
The shepherd "...calls his own sheep by name and leads them out... his sheep follow him because they know his voice." (John 10)
Today Daniel and I took Valerie to a lovely petting zoo. It was a crisp sunny day at a farm out in Freeland and a wonderful experience for Valerie. This was a 'true' petting zoo. There were about 12 teenagers attending in a barn and as children sat down they would be brought a bunny, a piglet, rabbit, chick, or other small creature to pet and hold in their laps. It was exhilerating to see Valerie hold and touch animals that she knew from her story books. Later she had the time of her life running around in a huge grassy pen with lots of sheep, goats, and calves. There must have been about 50 goats and sheep in this enormous pen, mothers with their babies.
All goats and sheep bleat - and it all sounded the same to me. The black goats with their long beards, others spotted and patched with black and white, - the whooly sheep, brown, black, and white. All were mixed together in one pen.
We heard a bleating from far off in a corner of the wide pen. From the opposite side came a similar bleating. In that far off corner was a tiny goat bleating for its mother. The two performed a duet - more likely singing a round. The baby would bleat and then the mother would echo back. This went back and forth and as they bleated to each other and inched toward the direction of the sound. Finally within sight, ecstatically (hope I spelled that right) the baby goat began running and leaping to the mother . The two joyously pranced as they were reunited and the little one eagerly nursed. With so many sheep and goats in the same pen, how could these two goats know they needed each other. How did they differentiate the sounds of other goats and sheep? Yet it was obvious they distinctly knew and zeroed in on the sound. No other mother goat was headed toward that bleating baby.
That is just the lesson Jesus was giving us about himself. He knows us and wants to direct our lives and if we truly LISTEN to His voice, if we truly KNOW Him we will not get lost in the confusion and bustle of the world around us.
Andy, this may sound like something we were talking about on the phone just recently. How do we know about certain important decisions? How can we make a wise choice? We listen for the voice of the Shepherd who wants us to find fullfillment and happiness. And in listening we get to know our Shepherd and we place ourselves in his care because we have learned to trust Him.
"The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.... Continue reading Psalm23. If you haven't read it for a while, read it again and again. You will see that our Shepherd wants the best for us and will supply it. This was David writing from personal experience, not theological augmentation.
We skipped church to go to a petting zoo, but expereinced scripture in a powerful illustration . Oh, that I would listen more to my shepherd!