A friend emailed me this week and invited me to an online event on Friday night. I told her that I would love to be there, but Brian was going to be a men’s camping retreat with church so I was going to be on my own with the four kids. I said that I would be there, barring any unforeseen chaos.
I actually used the word “chaos” in my email to her. I learned a lesson this week.
Don’t use “chaos” in reference to something you are hoping doesn’t happen with three boys and a foster daughter. I also shouldn’t play the song “I Lived” by OneRepublic as it has the line “With every broken bone I swear I lived.” It’s only setting myself up for failure.
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Learning To Live
Five years ago this week I lost a friend. The word friend doesn’t seem to even adequately describe her because she was so much more. Emily changed my life.
I met her during a very dark period in my life since I was just diagnosed as being chronically ill and I was so bitter at the prospect of being in constant pain for the rest of my life. I was grieving since my plans were upended and life wasn’t going to be what I thought. We ended up in the same dorm at college and instantly, I thought she was one of the sweetest and brightest people I’d ever met.
And then I found out she had cystic fibrosis.
I love working in Photoshop; in fact, it is one of my favorite parts of my job. I get to take images and pull out the beauty from them, add text or graphics, and create. The way the program works though took me a while to get used to since it is very much unlike how I learned to create art by hand. The program uses layers to manipulate the images and that pull together at the end to create a finished product.
It’s eerily reminiscent of life in general. We don’t see all the layers of a person’s life at first glance, just the sum of everything. It’s even possible for us to turn off a layer so it isn’t immediately visible to those around us.
I adore my three-year old. Jackson is hilarious, loving, and preciously protective of his siblings. He is still three, though, and doesn’t like going to bed.
He really doesn’t like being put to bed for the eighth time (per evening, and all of these times in the course of writing this post) and spontaneously appears around the house several hours after bedtime has commenced. I’m considering making a suit of pajamas out of Velcro and constructing special Velcro sheets to match: he is officially a night person.
This is a difficult post for me to write not because the subject is difficult, but because I’m writing while in the grip of much pain and in the fog of medication. Such is my situation right now due to my chronic illness made worse by the serious car accident we were in.
I am alive. My husband is alive. My kids are all alive.
I am so incredibly thankful right now.
Usually the first Monday of the month I post about one of my favorite influential books, but Saturday changed things. We were going to a music festival downtown when an elderly lady tried to make a left turn. Right in front of us.
There’s been a lot of conversation floating around about happiness lately. Much of it is due to Victoria Osteen’s comments about God being happy when we are happy (more on this later!), but the truth is that our culture has been chasing happiness since this nation’s inception. Even our Constitution includes the phrase about man’s inalienable rights: “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Our culture has pervaded the church and somehow we bought into the lie happiness is one of the best things we can attain. We can’t detach it from the concept of the American dream. If we are completely honest with ourselves, we are probably all chasing some semblance of this.
We had an incident this week that involved an attempt to throw a five-pound hand weight up to the top bunk bed. I now have one very remorseful son with bad aim and another extremely forgiving son with a broken foot. To be completely honest, I am actually surprised that we’ve made it this long before having a broken bone. Having three boys means injuries are par for the course.
Year after year, I keep going back to The Problem of Pain C.S. Lewis.
I’m a self-described Lewis junkie so it isn’t really a surprise that I continually am reading his books, but this one I feel particularly drawn too. I’m going through a horrendous flare up of my fibromyalgia so I think I’ve been especially drawn to the concept of pain right now.