Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Recipe for May 29

Every year we struggle with what to do on May 29.  We don't want it to be a depressing day, but we also don't want it to be a regular day.  One year we met our friends at the cemetery for a balloon release then went back to our house and played charades.  One year we ate at Taco Bueno and then walked to 7-11 for a Big Gulp.  Last year we picked cherries.  Every year we try to come up with a new way to have fun remembering our girl.  This year the recipe was as follows...

 Combine one Mexican Stack lunch...

With Lady bug cupcakes...

 Add a Sponge Bob marathon...

New Butterfly art for the kitchen window...

 Pink flowers...

A butterfly balloon...

 And top it off with a Popsicle, Popcorn, and Pink Panther party on the deck.

We are so thankful for what we have had in the past, what we have today, and what we will have in the future.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Letting Go of Dum Dums

When someone dies you have to let go of a lot of things.  I didn't just lose a daughter.  Audra lost a best friend.  Will lost his role as big brother.    Jacob lost his innocence.  Richard lost his hope.
We had to let go of dreams.  We had to let go of dollhouses and snuggling on the couch reading out loud.  I  let go of the play kitchen, the motorized jeep, and our fourth bean bag chair.  I let go of size 4 clothes, stuffed animals, and matching pink and purple bedspreads.  As time goes by, I continue to let go of things as I'm able.
Last night it was Dum Dums.  Anna loved Dum Dums.  She liked all of the colors and choices.  She liked to hold several in her hand at the same time.  When she was on the couch, she liked to keep a crystal bowl of Dum Dums right next to her on the coffee table.  She got too sick to eat them, but she liked to play with them and give them away to people who came to visit.  After she died, I put the lid on that  dish and placed it high on a shelf so that no one would accidentally eat them.  I bought other Dum Dums to keep available at all times, but I wanted to hold on to Anna's.  Just like with the half-eaten granola bar (that Jacob ate a year later-yuck!), and the single package of pudding in my pantry, I have tried to hold on to a piece of my girl.  It's impossible.  Last night the ants found the Dum Dums.  Hundreds of ants were lining up to get a bite of the sugary goodness.  When Audra showed me what was happening, I grabbed the bowl and brushed off as many ants as I could and then dumped the suckers into a plastic bag.  This morning as I was squishing the ants in the bag, this verse came to mind...
 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust (and ants) destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  Matt. 6:19-20
 It was just another reminder that my treasure is not on this earth.  ALL these things will pass away.  What is seen is temporary. So I will let go of the Dum Dums and once again embrace the unseen eternal.  I will choose to look through this "hole" in my life and see God.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I wonder...

I wonder...if the rent in the canvas of our life backdrop, the losses that puncture our world, our own emptiness, might actually become places to see.  
          To see through to God.  
           That that which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond.  To Him. to the  God whom we endlessly crave.  
           Maybe so.
(Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts) 


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What Matters

Last week Harold Camping told the world that life as we know it would end Saturday at 6pm.  Although his prophecy was proven to be false, life did end the next day for at least 116 people in Joplin, Missouri.  As I watched a video of 20 people taking refuge in a walk-in freezer, I got chills.  The people  in that freezer thought they were in their last moments on earth.   Above the sounds of the raging storm you can hear a woman crying out over and over again, "Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!"  Then you can hear a couple of guys saying, "I love you." "I love you guys." "I love everybody."
The video is too dark to be able to see anyone's face.  All you can do is listen to their voices and the sounds of the raging tornado.  Hiding in that small, dark place, it didn't matter to those people whether or not they were having a good hair day.  It didn't matter where they bought their clothes.  It didn't matter if they were a teacher or a businessman. They could have been rich or poor.  But, they were all equally helpless before the power of the storm.  And at what they thought was the end of life as they knew it, what mattered was their relationship to God and their relationship to others.
What if you were facing the last moments of your life?  Would the things that you are worried about today matter?  Would the things that you spend most of your time on matter?  Are you spending time developing your relationship with God and with others?  At the end of your life--whether it comes today, or on October 21 as Harold Camping is now saying, or 40 years from now--will you have taken the time for what matters?

'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37-39)