Thursday, July 14, 2011

The "smacked with a rubber fish" story.

(The beginning of this blog is written as if I am inside Harriett's thoughts.  She may or may not think this way, but I WAS an 11-year old once, and I distinctly remember feeling this way about my brother, and life in general.)

"My brother is such a jerk! We're in the pool, having a perfectly good time, and he smacks me in the face with a rubber fish!  What a JERK!  THEN he doesn't even say I'm sorry or anything, he just walks away like it's no big deal!  NO BIG DEAL?  Hello?  I just got hit in the face with a rubber fish here!  So then Mom picks us up and she's all "So, how'd it go?" and I tell her about the fish and him hitting me and she says maybe it was an accident.  Yeah, Mom.  He "Accidentally" hit me in the face with a rubber fish.  So she makes him apologize and he's like, "I...AM...SORRY!"  But he doesn't say it like he means it, so I don't forgive him and Mom gets all mad talking about forgiving people like we want to be forgiven, but he said it like he thinks it's funny that I got hit in the face with a rubber fish, so I'm not forgiving him, even if I have to sit here and talk to NO ONE the whole way home.  I'm not accepting his apology until he says it politely, and like he means it, and so I know he's really sorry."

Hmmm.  Sometimes it's not easy being the mother of a jerk who would hit his sister with a rubber fish, and a sister who won't forgive him until he means it.  But this is the job I signed on for when I chose to breed. 

In retrospect, I stick to the story of forgiving people the way we want to be forgiven, but there is something more here that was given to me to learn today.  Isaac told his side of the story over and over to Harriett, and she never heard the apology in it, but it was there.  (She doesn't speak teen boy yet.)  Every time he emphasized the "I didn't mean to hit you" part of the story.  He was trying to splash her, and got too close.  She didn't hear the "I love you and was just playing with you and got too close with the rubber fish" part of the story because she was too hurt and too mad.  I do that all the time.  I don't hear the thought behind the words, I only hear the tone they are said in.

Then she did the meanest sibling trick EVER!  She held her forgiveness HOSTAGE!  He wanted to be forgiven because he's really not a jerk, he just has bad depth perception with his glasses off.  But, Oh NO!  She will NOT forgive him, because he's a jerk that hit her with a rubber fish.  She's holding onto the pain and humiliation of that experience.  She's holding it more dear to her than the relationship with her brother.  She can take it out and beat him with it when she needs to because she just won't let it go.  I discovered I'm doing the same thing.  This exact same thing I'm trying to teach my daughter, God is trying to teach me! 

God didn't hit me with a rubber fish.  He allowed me to have a cardiac arrest.  He tells me he loves me all the time.  He tells me, lovingly, why I'm still here.  He shows me good things, and tries to show his care for me everywhere I turn, but I just keep holding on to this stupid "rubber fish smack in the face" situation.  God doesn't require my forgiveness, but I need to forgive him, or I'm no different than my angry children.  I forgive you, Father.  I know you had your reasons, and I don't fully understand them, but I'm ready to let go of this anger and hurt inside, and forgive.  Whew.

Are you holding on to some "smack with a rubber fish" situation?  Forgive already!  Let go of the anger, you'll be amazed at how much energy it frees up.  Don't let your heart be all caved in like a wrinkly dried up apple that's sat in the sun too long!  Let the love in!  Tell your sister (friend, child, husband, maker, etc) that you are sorry, and mean it.  Then love them.

And try not to smack people with a rubber fish.     

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My Reflection

I woke up this morning and looked around my room.  Messy, very messy.  Anyway, I looked around to the window where I could see a beautiful blue sky and the tips of my backyard trees swaying softly in the light breeze.  As I panned my vision from left to right, I saw a mess, some laundry, some boxes of books I need to take care of, my full-length mirror, and my big dark brown dresser that holds most of my clothes (the ones not in the neat pile on my filing cabinet.)  My attention kept being drawn back to the mirror.  From the way it was sitting, it looked like an ill-devised addition to the dresser.  The color was the same, but the angles were a little off. 

As I sat in quiet conversation with my Maker (as I tend to do before I emerge from my bed.)  He whispered to me, "You are the mirror today.  What will you reflect?"  Hmmm.  

I don't think I'll waste my time reflecting the image of an inanimate object, like a dresser.  That would get boring really fast.  Plus, I'm trying to get over BEING an inanimate object.  I'm working on being be more active.  My thoughts turned to the window, where all of nature (especially some rather robust blue jays) are making a ruckus "singing" to me to get up and love the world!  That would be awesome to reflect, and it's a great goal. 

I don't want to reflect the mess that is my bedroom, however it's not my priority to clean it up right now, either.  (Simon was promised a trip to the zoo!)  

So what would happen if I just looked straight into the mirror this morning?  What would I see?  (Besides bedhead and an old T-shirt?) If I could hold a mirror to my heart, what would I see today?  

I see fear and anxiety.  

I'm not trying to, but it's there.  Lurking.  Just below the surface.  You can't see it in my face, but just below, I'm about to cry.  I'm really scared to get on the treadmill (or Dread-Mill) tomorrow and take this stress test.  I can't really even say what it is I fear.  Historically, I have had really bad experiences on dread-mills, and it makes me nervous to get on one.  I'm not afraid of exercising, I do a little of that at a time, and I haven't had a problem so far.  I think I'm afraid I'm going to have to admit (again) that I HAVE A HEART PROBLEM!  It's not just going to clear up or go away.  It's not a doctor's mistake.  It's not something a Z-pack can cure.  This is going to be forever!  It's who I am now, and I Don't Like IT! 

The whole reason for this test is to find out if my medications can make up for the weirdness of my heart.  I'm trying to be optimistic, and go in there full of confidence with an attitude of "Okay, Let's DO this thing! Bring it ON!"  But that's only how I feel on the outside.  I'm trying to get there on the inside, too.

I'm the mirror.  I get to choose what I reflect today. 

I choose love and kindness.  I choose to see (and reflect) the goodness in the people around me.  I choose to not let the quirks of my body determine my mood and demeanor.  I choose to give all my fears to my beloved Jesus, and keep giving it back to Him until I can walk up to that treadmill  with the confidence that He's got this handled.  Still not my will, but the will of my Maker. 

 I don't get on the treadmill until tomorrow, so I choose to see today, today!

You are the mirror, too! What will you reflect? 

Friday, July 8, 2011

In God We Trust?

There are so many worries and fears and concerns that we deal with every day, and so many of them are "little things".  Things like "Did I cook enough hot dogs?" or "Should I water the raspberry plants tomorrow?"  These things are not the things I'm talking about today. 

Tonight I'm talking about those fears we keep deep in our hearts that polite people don't talk about in dinner party conversations.  Have you ever been passing the hors d'ourves and asked someone "Do you think you'll wake up tomorrow?"  RUDE!  You'd never do that!  Does anyone casually mention, perhaps while on the way to dinner and a show, "I'm afraid my child is making a monumentally bad decision, and I fear for their soul, and their physical safety?"  No Way!  These are the worries that we keep deep in our hearts.  Fears of failure.  Lack of control over situations and other people's choices.  Of course, we know that we only get to choose our reactions to events and other people's choices.  Still, we fear for those we love, and for ourselves. 

I think it comes down to trust.  I'm terrible with trust.  I used to trust everyone, but those days have gone.  I earned my "rectal smoke detector" and I can usually tell when someone's blowing smoke...well, you know.  I used to trust my body.  We are working on reconciliation, but when you feel you've been betrayed, it's hard to trust again.  That's where I'm at tonight. 

I'm ready to admit that I felt a bit betrayed when I had my cardiac arrest.  It's very childish, and hard to explain, but I felt like my body turned on me.  And as long as I'm being really REALLY honest, I felt a little like God did too.  I know we're all good today, but I still have those days when I feel my soul cry out, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?"  I was so confused when I was in the hospital.  Why wouldn't He take me to Heaven?  Why did this happen?  What the heck is going on with this body that I have fed and nourished and exercised (and grew lots of babies in) and I've known my whole life?  What's happening here?  It's a whole new world, and I don't understand any of it!    

I know that some of you reading this have your own heart-felt concerns tonight.  When I pray about all of these things that weigh me down, and I ask "why", I get the only answer God ever gives me.  "Because I love you."  Why didn't I get to go to Heaven?  "Because I love you, and your family needs you."  Why don't I know what's wrong with my body?  "Because I love you, and I'm still holding you close to my own Sacred Heart, and I have a plan, trust me."  Why don't I know how to console my friends when they are in times of trouble?  "Because I love you, and them.  Just write, and trust, and Know that I am God, and I will give them peace." 

Prince of Peace.  Prince of Pardon and Mercy.  Watch over us and hold us dear.  Help me to place all my deepest cares and worries in Our Father's loving hands, and mean it when I say, "Jesus I trust in you."