This and That

Archive for the ‘Touching Tuesday’ Category

I can not believe it’s been ten years since 9/11. Listening to the radio and watching TV specials Sunday sent chills up my spin remembering where I was ten years ago on that horrific day. So much has changed in our country since then and we as Americans have been permanently altered because of that day.

But on a personal note, 9/11 was eye opening to me, just thinking about where I was in general ten years ago. Ten years ago I was still in college, I had a boyfriend I was planning on breaking up with, and I was working in retail. Ten years ago I had no idea where my life was going to end up, I couldn’t see past graduation the following year.

Thinking about all the huge life events that have happened to me in the past ten years is truly amazing. I became a Christian, got married, quit many jobs, moved seven times, finally found a job I liked, went on vacation to Europe (among other less impressive places), bought a townhouse, gave birth to my first son, quit my job, went back to work, gave birth to my second son, quit my job again, sold a townhouse, and moved back to the city I was raised in. Whew….that’s a lot! What a difference ten years makes!

I have also learned a lot of life lessons in ten years, such as: things don’t always turn out as you expect…sometimes they turn out better, everything is possible with God, marrying your best friend is key to a happy marriage, boys really are more fun (in my non-biased opinion), family is forever, it doesn’t matter where you live as long as you are with the ones you love, creating boundaries is vital, priorities change for everyone and that is okay, and love is all that matters!

Where were you ten years ago? How much has your life changed? What major life events have happened to you along the way? What have you learned?

I think looking back and seeing how far you have come is great for growth and perspective on life. But only look back and reflect for a moment, don’t dwell on it. Keep looking forward and make goals, plans, and having dreams for the next ten years. Ask God to grant you these dreams and to make you prosper.

Personally, I want my next ten years to be less about moving around where I live and more about moving around the country and the globe with hubby and the boys. I pray God will grant me lots of fun, exciting travel in my future so I can see all the glorious places He has made!

What do you want your next ten years to look like?

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This weekend we went to a friend’s son’s birthday party. The party was at a great park, it was a beautiful day, and we were ready to party! My friend’s son was turning five years old so most of the other kids there were between the ages of three and five. My son is three years old and LOVES my friend’s son. Once all the kids had arrived (predominantly boys) an immediate game of make believe pirates began.  Pirate sayings rang out through the entire playground; “Yo Ho”, “Blow the man down”, “Argh! Come on maties!” The older pirates were the  ring leaders directing the game and instructing the younger pirates where to go. My son seemed to have no idea what was going on but he was having a blast. I could hear him calling out the pirate phrases the loudest, hollering for the other to follow him, and running and chasing the “prisoner” when she (yes the poor girls were the prisoners of the game) escaped.

My little pirate was having so much fun. Too much fun. He didn’t want to stop playing. He didn’t want to leave the game even for five minutes. Who could blame him? Who wants to leave a good time with good friends?

So he didn’t leave. He didn’t tell his daddy who was there observing the game that he needed to go to the bathroom. And in front of the other boys he had an accident. Not number one but number two. And then it happened. What would happen to any kid no matter his age or popularity status? He got teased. The boys, his pirate friends, laughed at him and were making fun of him as he stood there in his soiled shorts. As his daddy went to get him, picked him up, and carried him to the car to clean him up my little boy began to cry. I don’t think he was just crying because he had to leave the game. He was crying because his friends were making fun of him and being hurtful.

Now, let me say these boys are not mean boys and they are in no way bad boys. But they are boys and  sometimes three to five year old boys can be hurtful. And this is not to say my son is an angel. He has definitely been on the other side of this situation, being the hurtful one. But as I saw the situation unfold a  pain swelled up in my heart knowing that this would not be the last time he would be teased, made fun of, or hurt by his peers. Kids can be mean and hurtful.

I know this all to well. I was bullied a lot as a child. I had the misfortune of being an awkward girl with red hair and having the last name Allred. Yes it was very unfortunate. Let me tell you I was all too happy to change my last name when I got married. So I know what it’s like to be made fun of, I’m sure we all do. And the thing about that kind of pain, that kind of taunting, is that it can stay with you your entire life. I confess I still carry around scars from my childhood bullies, scars that I will probably have my whole life.

Seeing my child go through this was so awful, so sad. But the difference between my situation and his (besides the fact that he doesn’t have red hair or the last name Allred) is that he is a boy and his friends are boys. Boys get over things very quickly where as girls tend to hold on to hurt. After his daddy cleaned him up he ran right back to play with the pirates again. I actually almost grabbed his arm to try and convince him to go play somewhere else with someone else. I was afraid they would still make fun of him. I was afraid he would cry again. But as I said boys get over things quickly and those pirates incorporated him right back into the game and the pooping incident was never mentioned again.

All the sayings are so cliche:

Kids grow up too fast

It will be over in a blink of an eye

It won’t be like this for long

And though they are cliche, they are so true.

Now, I never thought I would be the type of mother who would get weepy about her children growing up. My frame of mind before I became a parent was as a parent I am raising my kids to grow up. If they grow up well then I have done my job and I should be proud. At least it was my frame of mind until my oldest son turned one year old.

My little baby all of a sudden looked huge to me. He was walking, “talking”, and had a opinions of his own. My little baby wasn’t my little baby anymore. And on his first birthday I was sad…I was really sad.

How did he go from this little baby just learning to sit…

to this GROWING, curly haired toddler…

to this BIG, athletic two year old….

to this totally handsome, HUGE three year old…

to this completely ENORMOUS, community sports playing three-and-a-half year old???

What happened? Where has the time gone? It really does feel like a blink of an eye. He really is grow up too fast.  Someone make him stop!!!

WHAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!

I was riveted reading Elizabeth Esther’s posts that week. They made me cry and made me sad that this kind of poverty exists in the world. Of course I have always known this poverty existed but I always closed my mind to it.

Why?

Because it is sad. It is too sad. It is too big. It is too heart breaking to think about. It is just too much. So I would close my heart and close my mind to it and pretend it didn’t exist. If I didn’t have to see it then it didn’t exist and then I didn’t have to deal with the questions that would inevitable pop into my head?

Why does a loving God allow this kind of poverty?

How can God let this happen in our world?

I am constantly reminded at church that God loves me and takes care of me. Of my every need. And I believe it. I believe He does and I have seen Him change our financial situation in a matter of days to bless and prosper us.

But what about them?

Why doesn’t He bless and prosper them?

Why must there be the poor?

Matthew 26:11 says “The poor you will always have with you,…”. Which I take to mean that there will always be poverty, always be people in need.

But why?

There are many answers to why there is suffering in the faith world: so that God can be glorified through His people or because we live in a fallen world with sin and suffering or because of the devil.

In many regards I believe each of these explanations.

I believe God is glorified through His people who help the poor. We are his hands and feet here on earth. We show the world Jesus through our actions.

I believe we do live in a fallen world filled with sin and suffering. Which naturally leads to awful, devastating things like poverty.

I believe in the devil and that he is at work causing many of the  unfathomable things that happen in our world.

But what about the little girl living in poverty right now? 

Do these answers satisfy her?

Maybe. But maybe not.

So now what do I do?

What can any one person do?

I can re-read her posts from that week. I can watch her video from poverty stricken Bolivia.

And I decide to open my heart. I open my mind.

I sponsor a little girl named Ana in Bolivia for thirty five dollars a month. An amount that means nothing to me but everything to her, her family, and her village.

That is what I can do. I can help. Even though I am only one person. I can still help. Even if it’s just to help one girl. I can do what God has called me to do. What he has called all of us to do. Whether you are a believe or not. He has called you to help.

But I do resolve to one day ask God all these questions because I know He will answer them and I know His answers will make sense.

Thank you to Elizabeth Esther for your posts from Bolivia and to World Vision for helping in so many in need.

Have you ever heard a heart break? I have and no, it’s not just a saying. It is an actually audible sound. I have literally heard the crack erupt down the center of the heart like an earthquake tremor breaks a piece of cement, splitting it in two. The sound raged through my ears, down my spine, and caused my whole body to convulse. I can still hear it ringing.

Three days ago he started having low grade fevers and then he slowly stopped drinking. It was so gradual that I didn’t even realize it until I was laying in bed the second night thinking about him, how he had been feeling, acting, eating, drinking….wait….drinking? Something you take for granted is your kids drinking. It started to dawn on me I hadn’t really filled up his water bottle a lot today. Which then made me realize I really didn’t change a lot of wet diapers either. He was acting fine overall. Playing, laughing, a little lethargic but nothing to get alarmed about. Or so I thought.

The next day hubby and I were pushing liquids on him more but with no luck. He was now adamantly refusing to drink anything. Pushing the cups away. Making a disgusted face just at the sight of them. I felt a panic start to creep into my mind and an uneasiness settle in my chest. Every mother knows these feelings.

He was now approaching twenty four hours without a wet diaper. I called the doctor and she told me to take him to the emergency room at once. Little kids can’t go that long without drinking or peeing. He is dehydrated she said. Within minutes we were at the emergency room explaining the problem to the nurse. I had no idea what was coming next.

I knew they would have to insert an IV to pump in fluids and I knew it would be awful seeing him in pain. But I wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t prepared when they said a catheter had to be put in first. A catheter into a sixteen month old baby! It was like he understood the word because he immediately started freaking out and crying hysterically. Hubby and I tried to comfort him but how do you look into your baby’s eyes and tell him everything will be alright when he is about to experience the worst pain of his life? How do you kiss and hug him as you see the tears explode from his eyes as they insert the catheter? How do you do that???

I don’t know…..but we did. And over the sounds of his tears, over the sounds of his screams, over the sounds of hubby and I telling him it would be ok as we stroked back his hair, and kissed his forehead, I heard it. My heart breaking.

I prayed for the pain to end…and it did but only for a moment because now they had to insert the IV and take blood for testing. It was unbearable. The pain on his face. The look in his eyes as they fixed on mine. Asking me, begging me to make the pain stop. I heard it again, the unmistakable crack, the unstoppable ringing in my ears, and chill racing down my spine. My heart breaking.

We went home a few hours later. They pumped him with two bags of fluids (a lot of a baby). He was diagnosed with a common childhood virus and is doing better. My day is spent pushing liquids, fruits, and popsicles on him non-stop. He is drinking a little more and has had a wet diaper. But we aren’t in the clear until he starts drinking like normal, which I know he will soon. I can see it in his eyes. Those beautiful blue eyes. He is feeling better.

I breath deep and look at my beautiful boys.

Then I feel it. My heart mending.

                                                                         My baby