Tuesday, July 26, 2011

God Winks

Sometimes God winks at me. I can remember my friend Amy Fisher mentioning a "God wink" a while back and I thought it was a sweet way to look at the 'little things' that happen around/to me that seem coincidental but really aren't coincidental at all. There's even a book (actually several) about God Winks. How did I know about the book? Because less than a week after Amy introduced me to the concept, I happened to be at Books-a-Million and the book just happened to be displayed on a shelf near where I just happened to be browsing.  Hmmmm...

So here goes my attempt to blog about something really cool that happened to me this morning - something definitely worth sharing. I only hope this post can do the experience justice.

One night last November (the 14th, to be exact), I awoke out of a deep sleep and immediately felt like something was wrong. I lay in bed for a few minutes and distinctly remember thinking "you needed to check Facebook." I love me some Facebook, but I do not make a habit of checking it in the middle of the night.  Ever. But this night was different. I checked Facebook and read a message from my cousin in Nevada asking me to call her as soon as I read the message.  I immediately knew.  Grandma. 

Gram was very sick and her life here on earth was ending. Less than two days later she was gone. I knew in my heart of hearts that call would come someday, but I was not ready.  My heart was broken.

Allow me to rewind a bit more...

I last saw Gram when Susan was 11-months old. Along with my parents, we made the trek to Hawthorne, Nevada, to visit her. It was a wonderful trip and of course there were photos taken on that trip. Lots of photos...  Beloved photos I would eventually... misplace. For months now I have been looking for the digital files of these photos. I have no idea where I saved them, didn't have them burned on a CD,  a USB drive or saved on my external hard drive. Not a good feeling at all. I have found myself looking for these photos many, many times since Gram died, but all of my searches came up empty.

So... Let's fast forward to 4:21 AM this morning... (dramatic pause implied)

I once again found myself wide awake when I should have been getting that last good hour of REM sleep in. I should have been dreaming about flying over or through buildings (my absolute favorite recurring dream - I literally wake up smiling). But I was wide awake.  

As I lay there, I thought about Gram (as I do often). I thought about how much I miss her and would love to be able to talk to her. I thought about how I wish I had made another trip to Nevada before she died. And then I randomly thought about the "you need to go check your Facebook night" in November. Isn't it funny how one thought just seems to lead to another?  

I felt a bit unsettled this morning, but not really in a bad way. I just couldn't sleep so I lay there trying to think of something to do. Then, it came to me... "you should get up and download/edit/save all of the photos that are currently on the (full) memory card in your camera."  

So I did.

I normally download photos directly from my camera to the computer, but this morning I decided to use my card reader in order to save my camera's battery power. I connected the card reader and Google Picasa went to work searching for the photos on my memory card...  

Be still my heart. Right there, on my screen, at 4-something in the morning, were the photos of our trip to Nevada*. Beautiful pictures of a beloved grandmother meeting her great-granddaughter for the first time...  For the last time. I just sat there, staring/smiling/crying. Memories of my Gram flooded my mind and I felt this wonderful sense of peace.  

God definitely winked at me this morning. 

*Apparently these photos had been on that memory card all along, but the files didn't show up on my current camera because I used an older camera to take them.  Since I never use my card reader, I didn't even realize this until this morning.  That's ok, though.  The timing was perfect. God wink.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Because of her...

  • I drive a minivan and like it.
  • I like pink.
  • I know lots of words to lots of Justin Bieber songs.  Yeah...  they're even on my iPod.
  • I remember how much fun it is to dye Easter eggs.  And make forts out of couch cushions.
  • I remember to pack the sunscreen.
  • I recycle.
  • I make better decisions.
  • I make better dinners.
  • I celebrate the "small things" (I'm pretty sure my pee-pee dance rivaled anything MC Hammer ever did).
  • I cry.
  • I laugh.
  • I play.
  • I protect.
  • I learn.
  • I hope.
  • I love.
  • I love (more).

Monday, July 11, 2011

Learn to be still

"Boredom is a sign that one is lacking intelligence" (or something like that). I don't really remember where I heard this statement, but from time to time I find myself pondering whether or not I believe it to be true.  Basically, the gist is that if one can't occupy their mind with, well, their own mind, the result is boredom.  

I thought of this statement today, which made me think back on this past Saturday morning...  Mike was gone with his dad and Susan and I were just hanging out at the house.  We didn't have any plans, we had no place to be. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of things I could have been doing (hint: rhymes with quandary), but I wasn't feeling inspired, so I decided to just sit.  The sitting lasted about 10-minutes before I felt "bored".  I felt like I needed to be doing something.  The next thing I knew, the fidgets set in....  So I decided to create a blog.  But I digress.

So back to the boredom = lack of intelligence statement...  While I know I'm not a rocket scientist (because if I was, I wouldn't have time to be bored - I'd be job hunting now that NASA is dismantling), I don't think lack of intelligence is my problem.  I think I just don't know how to rest my mind*...  To be content. Still. Anybody else have that problem?

Apparently the Eagles have it all figured out.  They even wrote a song about it (a pretty good song, I might add). 

*For the record, I do know how to nap, but only when I'm tired or when I'm a passenger in a car, especially on long stretches of interstate or on Highway 280, usually between Sylacauga and Dadeville.  

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I'm praying for you...

It's hard to believe, but yesterday marked a full year since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I have learned a lot about MS in the past year, and have come to the conclusion that no two people experience MS in the same way. In fact, no two days are even the same for me. On some days, I don’t notice a single symptom while on other days I have multiple symptoms. On all days I try my best not to make an issue of it… But there are times when I just can’t suppress how I’m feeling.

This was the case a few days ago. I was talking to my parents on the phone and couldn’t hold it in any longer. I had a little breakdown when I was describing some of the issues I’ve been experiencing lately. When I started describing some my cognitive issues (short term memory loss, confusion, etc.), I pretty much lost it. I even said the words “I’m scared”. I hate it when I feel that way because I really do believe that where faith resides, fear fails.

Following our phone conversation, Mom sent me an e-mail that ended with these simple words: “I’m praying for you. Love, Mom”. And I know she is (praying for me). And I know that nothing she could do or say, even as my Mom, brings the kind of power that her prayers do.

So here’s my confession: My first thought was “but I need you to help me, to fix this, to do something Motherly… I need you to do more than pray.”

Wait… What?!?! Really?!?! Is my faith really that weak that I would depend on another human as opposed to the One who created me? The One who loves me more than I could ever fathom? In Tweetspeak… #epic #fail.

I'm beginning to realize I do that way too often.

"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." Philippians 4:6 (MSG)