Saturday, March 30, 2013

Self Care is not Selfish

When you board an airplane, before the actual flight begins, a flight attendant or a safety video goes over the emergency plan.  One of the things that they always say is that if the plane should lose cabin pressure, then an oxygen mask will drop from the ceiling.  You should place a mask on yourself before assisting children and other passengers who may need help. 

We're in a season that I have to remind myself that self-care is not selfish.  I have to carve out time daily to ensure my spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, and financial health.  I can't neglect myself in my care for others. 

Earlier this month we found out that my mom has breast cancer.  In less than a month, my parents-in-law will be moving from our basement (their home of almost six years) to another country.

In the past 48 hours we've learned that my mom's cancer has progressed more than we initially thought and has actually spread to her bones.  She has some fractures where some bones have been weakened.  The same evening that we got this news, I met my dad at the emergency room, after he was transported from work by ambulance.  He was dehydrated, so after receiving a few bags of fluids, I took him back to his truck and he was able to drive home.  Yesterday, Eric went with his parents to the emergency room because his dad, who is a quadriplegic, was vomitting blood.  He has a bowel obstruction and may need surgery if it doesn't resolve itself within the next 72 hours.

And so I'm reaching up for my lifeline.  I'm breathing deeply from the One who gives me breath.  I'll give from my health and abundance, because this is not selfish.  We cannot give what we do not have.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sunday Morning Grace

It's Sunday morning.  We're getting ready for church, like we do every week, and we're running late, like we do every week.  I'm trying to herd children to the car, making sure everyone has shoes, there are clean diapers for the baby, and I brushed my own teeth.

Then it starts.

The five year old, the one whose middle name means "grace", begins to scream.  She doesn't like the shoes she's wearing.  She didn't want her hair that way.  She's NOT going to buckle her seatbelt.  She's "NOT EVEN GOING TO SIT DOWN!!!"

I feel it building inside, the bully that wants to say, "Who do you think you are?  You're 5 years old!  You picked those shoes!  And if I really wanted to make you sit down in that carseat and buckle your seatbelt, I could."

But there is the moment, the deep breath in and out, the inhale and exhale, the name that isn't spoken...the grace.  And I don't scream wild or jerk sharp against skinny child arms.  I turn, take another breath, and say, "It's time for us to go.  I know that you're feeling really angry and frustrated right now.  We can't change the choices you already made, but we're going, all together, and you have a choice now.  I'll only wait a little bit for you to decide what you'll choose to do next."  Then I turn back to look through the windshield.

The screaming stops, but there are still tears.  A little girl in the "backity-back" beside a big brother sits down and buckles her seatbelt.  She wipes tears and cleans salt-streaked glasses as her Daddy gets into the driver's seat.  We go, all together, to church.

The picture doesn't look this way every week, but today, there is Sunday morning grace.  And somehow there's this holy irony, this child that sometimes reminds me so much of my small-child-self, that I gave this name that means "grace", this one that shows me grace immeasurable and allows me to reciprocate the grace that I've recieved.  This is amazing grace.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mom--You are Enough

When God made you a mom, he made you 'just enough'.

Just enough worry and fear to exhibit wondrous faith.
Just enough doubt to reveal transforming trust.
Just enough imperfection to point your child to the only perfect one.
Just enough selfishness to teach about sacrifice.
Just enough weakness to magnify His strength.
Just enough inherited issues to boldly break cycles of generational sin.
Just enough stubborn pride to expose the joy and beauty of sacred submission.

And mom, he gave you just enough laughter and tears, hugs and kisses, tenderness, correction, wandering and direction, to draw close to Him, to desire Him, and to be your child's introduction to HIm.

You are enough.