Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Thankfulness in the Busyness

Carson had an appointment with a specialist, a couple of weeks ago.  Nothing major.  The doctor's office was out of town and so we made a day of it.  We sat in the waiting room for a while with a lot of other kids and teenagers and, finally, they called his name and we saw the doctor and then we were sent to the lab. 


We sat in the chairs lined up outside the lab.  There were other kids already waiting so we knew it would be a while.  There was a young couple waiting with their baby girl.  She looked to be around 7 or 8 months old.  Such a doll and so happy.  She looked over at me and smiled and spouted out some gibber gabber.  I'm sure in baby language she was saying something like, "hey, lady, you want a couple of swigs from my bottle?"  You could tell her parents were so in love with her.  The daddy was lifting her up over his head and making her giggle.  Her mama was talking baby talk and feeding her Cheerios.  They had all the markings of first time parents.


We all sat together for several minutes and, from overhearing their conversation, it was apparent that their baby was no stranger to this office or this lab.  The lab work they were about to have done seemed to be something that was a regular thing for them.  They commented that she was so happy and oblivious to what was about to happen.  That's definitely something that babies have going for them.  Ignorance can be so blissful.  


Anyway, the baby's name was called and the little couple quickly stuffed her bottle and snacks in their bag and they all went into the lab.  Carson and I continued to sit in the hall with a couple of other patients and we couldn't help but hear all the commotion in there.  I'm not sure what the sweet baby had or what all they were doing to her but it seemed to have a lot of steps and just about the time they'd have her calmed down from all of her heart wrenching screams, well, they'd have to do something else that would make it start again.  This went on about 10 minutes and I was having a hard time listening to it and I didn't even know them.  I couldn't imagine how the parents felt.   


Finally, overcome by all her agony, the young father walked out of the lab....his eyes were red and swollen.  With a tear rolling down his cheek, he came out in the hall to walk off some pent up emotional energy.  With his daughter's pink diaper bag slung over his shoulder, he was taking some deep breaths and pacing to try and comfort himself.  He kind of made a fist and punched the palm of his other hand, seeming to express his frustration that he couldn't take the pain away from his innocent child.  His eyes met mine and I just said, "bless her little heart" with a sympathetic facial expression.  He said, "this is always rough" and then composed himself enough to go back in to be with his little family.


About the time that Carson's name was called, the little family finally came out looking like they'd all been put through the wringer.  The sweet baby was sucking her pacifier and doing that shuttering that babies do after they've been so upset.  It had been a stressful experience for them......and all of the rest of us who had to listen.


There's nothing that affects the heart of a parent like the pain experienced by their children.  Like most parents, I'd rather experience anything painful myself than to watch my children endure it and, this week, I can't help but think about Mary.  As Jesus' earthly mother, how did her heart survive seeing what she had to see......I just don't know.  How did it not just quit beating under the weight of her grief?  My mind can't even go there.  As His Heavenly Father, how did God sacrifice His only Son for a bunch of indifferent and seemingly ungrateful people.  I certainly don't know.  This selfish, old world would just have to keep waiting if it thought I'd give up my son to save it.            




I'm not sure about yours but my life has been so busy over the last two weeks.  I don't know if I'm coming or going.  I've got a to-do list that's a mile long but I've been too busy to make much progress on it because of other things that keep popping up.  It seems like spring gets like that.  It's all good stuff but between wedding details, prom duties, Easter related activities, work demands, and a sick friend who's needed me, I've been running.  And I know my life is not that different from yours. 


Today, I was waiting in a restaurant to talk to the owner about catering a family party we have on the horizon.  The restaurant was so busy and loud.  There were people everywhere.  As I waited, a young man, who was seated by himself, caught my eye.  He was in work clothes and from the looks of them, he'd been working really hard all morning.  Suffice it to say that he didn't have a desk job.  He got his food and there, in all the noise and commotion, he folded his hands and bowed his head and he gave thanks.  That's not an unusual sight here in the South.  I'd even go so far to say it's commonplace here but, for some reason, it stood out to me today. 


I think because it was a real life illustration that I needed of how when life is loud and busy and when there's a swirl of commotion all around us, we have to be deliberate in our efforts to make room for worship.  And even when life has us worn down and scuffed up from all its labors, we need to stay faithful....bowing our heads in thankfulness.  Thankfulness for the sacrifice that was made for us.  Thankfulness for the punishment Jesus took in our place.  Something that profound and gracious should never be allowed to drown in the chaos or become lost our busyness or blend in with the routine. 


Even in all that I have to do, I need to quiet myself and live in gratitude that God sent me a Savior. 


What a sacrifice that was that He would give His son, His child.....for us. 




Hope you have a beautiful holy weekend with your family.     


                       


   

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Sweet Season

It's prom season again.  Just about every weekend in April, you can count on social media being packed with prom pictures.  Such a sweet, sweet time.  I don't know what it is about it but I'm just a sucker for seeing the kids all dressed up with ties that match dresses and looking all nervous as they try to maneuver the corsage and boutonnière application.  Maybe I love it because it brings back the more traditional style of dating for a night.  Picking a girl up at her house and meeting her parents.  Assuring the dad that they'll be home by a certain time.  Being all dressed up, opening doors, and using the manners your mama taught you.  I just love all that.       


April and I drove to Brookhaven on Saturday to shop for our dresses and it was, apparently, prom day there.  (I finally said "yes" to a dress at a shop there but we'll talk about that later.)  Anyway, everywhere we turned, there were color coordinated couples all dressed up and getting their pictures made at different scenic spots around the charming, southern town.  The boys looked so handsome in their rented clothes and the girls, well, there's no telling how long it took them to get ready.....that whole day and weeks before that.  I'm sure their mothers were at home having collapsed from the exhaustion.   


We were stopped at a red light and I looked over at the car next to us.  There was a young man in his tuxedo and his date was all dolled up in the passenger seat.  It appeared they were in his parents' newly washed car.  His hands gripped the steering wheel tightly in the 10 and 2 position almost like his life had just been threatened by her father if he wasn't cautious with his daughter in tow.  I could see the rose on his lapel and his eyes were wide like he'd just seen a ghost and she appeared to be just as tense.  They both looked straight ahead and, from what I could tell without staring too much, there weren't many words being exchanged.  Both were probably new at this date thing and were just in awe of each other.....likely trying desperately to think of something to say.  Anything!  So, so sweet.
 


Carson's prom is this coming weekend and we, mothers, will be busy with the all the preparation going into the pre-prom party given by the parents.  This will be my first prom as the mother of a boy.  Oh, I served my time as a girl mother.  As a teenager, Blair went to three proms and a couple of lead outs.  We'd search and search and search for the perfect dress but, oh, that was only the beginning.  Your work was just getting started when you found the dress.  There were the shoes, the jewelry, the hair appointment, the nail appointment, the makeup.  It was no small undertaking.  Well, with Carson, he went right by himself to the tux rental place and, after a brief encounter with a tape measurer, they asked him what color he wanted and, on Friday, he'll pick up a bag containing everything he needs......down to the shoes. 


I must admit that I'm liking that.  I am really, really liking that.  You, boy mothers, have been keeping this effort inequality from us, girl mothers.  After having a girl, being a boy mom is kind of like being on vacation.    


Sons and daughters.  They both have their own worries.  Their own joys.  Their own challenges.  Their own blessings.   


I'm glad I've been able to experience both. 


And I can't wait to see my boy all dressed up this weekend!  




Y'all have a good Wednesday!