Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Thoughts from the sidelines

Tonight I was at my youngest son's soccer game. Zackery is turning 8 this year. He played against a boy that he played indoor soccer with and this boy, Dylan, lost his mother to breast cancer in the last month. As I looked down the sideline at the group of parents, I recognized another father sitting with his little girl, his son also playing on the same team as Dylan. I recognized this man from the church that we used to attend, and had just seen his wife's obituary in the paper this past Saturday, which was also the day of her funeral.

I can't get my mind wrapped around what it must be like to anticipate to spend the rest of your life with someone, raising your young children, and then lose that person to some disease or illness; what it must be like to make certain life-shifts because now you are the primary care-giver and have no-one to share that role and responsibility with in the same way. My heart aches for these fathers who must now raise their young children alone.

It was good to see these kids who have lost their mothers playing and interacting with other kids with smiles on their faces. I'm sure there are times when they feel keenly the pain of their loss, but for an hour at a soccer game, they're just kids who like to run and play.

Life is busy ... I need a clone!!

It's been awhile since I've found time to sit down and write. I'm tired and I'd love to head off to bed, but I'm doing laundry and need to do something to stay awake until the next load is ready for the dryer.

Life is busy these days. Two boys play soccer Mondays and Wednesdays, one plays Tuesdays and Thursdays, the other one plays different days, but practices Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. I feel like I'm being stretched in so many directions, and its my kids who are suffering for it. I have to pick and choose which game I go to see and which boy I will spend time with that evening. I need a clone! (Just joking.)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother’s Day

I’m torn on this day. I’m torn between the joy and love that I get from my kids and from being a mother, and the sadness and the grieving that I still feel for the loss of my own mother. My mother passed away almost 4 years ago this July. But it’s days like this when mothers are celebrated, and on days like her birthday and certain anniversaries, that I miss her most.

I received a call today from a friend letting me know that the mother of a little boy that my youngest, Zackery, has played indoor soccer with the past two seasons, died this past week after battling breast cancer. Barely two months ago we were sitting together watching the boys play. Her hair was just starting to grow back in and get some length after the chemo treatments and it seemed like she was feeling well. Her little boy would always look up to see if she was watching him and if she noticed what he had accomplished on the field. She yelled encouragement and advice to him and loved to watch him play. What a good mother she was. My heart aches for that little boy and his younger sister who are now without their mother.

This is when I ask, “Why, God?” And there are no answers. Just a heavy heart and prayers for solace and comfort.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Wedding Lollapalooza

This past weekend was our big “Wedding Lollapalooza”. The daughter of my cousin was married Saturday afternoon and the daughter of good friends was married Sunday afternoon. Both weddings were quite simple and beautiful, and each was distinctive of who the bride and groom were. Congratulations again to Kris & Lindsay and Dan & Tiffany!

Eric had arranged to be home for the weekend and he actually came along to both weddings. For Eric, this was quite something. He has never really enjoyed weddings – I’m lucky enough that he actually showed up to ours! I’m sure his preference when we got married would have been to simply elope!

Weddings are a reflective time for me. I think back on my own wedding ceremony and, although I enjoyed it and felt it was well thought out and characterized Eric and I as a couple, if I were to do it all again, I’m sure I would do things differently.

But the wedding day is only that … just a day. It’s the day that the bride (and groom?) plan and prepare for months in advance. But what is really important comes right after the wedding day (no, not the “consummation”!), I’m talking about the work of the marriage. And marriage is work. And it is also well worth the effort.

I knew before I even met Eric, as I anticipated our first blind date, that he was the one for me. I can’t explain it – only that God put him in my heart. And since God put him in my heart from the first, commitment to Eric has always been a bit of a no-brainer for me. Our married life hasn’t always been easy, but I have never questioned or doubted my commitment to Eric.

Almost 17 years of marriage and I still have the index card that I wrote out my wedding vows on:

“Eric, I love you. God has led you to be part of my life and I cherish you as a gift from Him. Today I am covenanting before God to be your wife and I do so with great joy. As your wife and your best friend I covenant to support you in all your endeavours and to minister to the needs of your body, heart and spirit. I realize that I am incapable of loving you on my own strength, and that it is only because of the love of Jesus in me that I am able to love you. It is my desire to love you as God would enable me and I am trusting Him that my love for you will grow richer, fuller and more complete each day of our lives. You have touched my life in a way no person has before and you have encouraged me to be the person God made me to be. I want to encourage you to be all that God designed you to be; I believe in you and I trust you. Wherever He leads, I will follow together with you. I love

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The face of Jesus

I received a cool email at work today containing some really neat optical illusions. But the best one, and the one my kids liked the best, was this one. Click on it and try it.

The image that you see after staring at the black dots is the face of Jesus.

I wish it were that easy to see His face in every other aspect of my life. Maybe I just need to concentrate and look a little harder. There are times I do see Jesus in my kids and they way they treat each other (on a good day!); I see Jesus in my husband when he is so attentive to me or one of the boys. I hope others can see Jesus in me.

Monday, May 01, 2006

God is good ... all the time!

I spent some time talking on the phone this morning with a friend of mine. This friend has quite a story and for the past couple of years that I have known her, it has seemed to me that she has had more than her share of tough times. She is a testimony to me of God's faithfulness and goodness. She has done her share of duking it out with God, but has also stayed faithful to Him through all the things that life has dealt her. And He is proving faithful to her. In the past couple of weeks a number of things have happened in her life that have the thumbprint of God -- His goodness, His faithfulness and His love for her. She is an encouragement to me. I can join with her and say "God is good ... all the time!"