Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Hodgepodge of White Snow, Black Ice, and a Great God

As I start writing this Hodgepodge, I'm remembering how my kids used to pronounce


The first sang Frosty the Toe man.

The second sang Frosty the Foe man.

The third sang Frosty the Show  man.

The fourth sang Frosty the No man.

It's one of my favorite songs because I still hear their darling little voices in my head. 

1. When did someone last suggest you 'chill out'? Or, when did you last tell 

someone (or want to tell someone) to 'chill out'? Or, when did you last 

tell yourself to 'chill out'?

Yesterday,  as a matter of fact.

Last Thursday my youngest son sprained his knee in gym class. The Patient First doctor who treated him the next day said "no physical activity till you're pain-free."  I guess my son didn't hear (or he selectively heard) that.

Yesterday morning while having breakfast, I told my son to find homework to do during gym class, and told him not to even bother packing his gym uniform.

I picked him up from school and said, "What did you do instead of gym?" He said, "Oh, I went to gym class. I told the teacher it didn't hurt that bad. We played ga-ga ball."

 I went ballistic.  "What do you think I meant when I said "find homework to do instead of gym, and don't bother packing your gym uniform???"

"You didn't say 'don't take gym' If that's what you meant, it wasn't clear."

"Oh, come on.../!"

"Calm down, Mom, it didn't hurt me!"   He might as well as have said, "Chill out," but I was not having it. I continued my rampage  lectire all the way home.  I have had another son pop the tibia tubercle off his leg in a freak accident and be laid up for weeks. I wasn't going to watch another child suffer from stupidity.

2. What most recently caused your heart to melt? 

A video my daughter sent today of one of the little kids she nannies. This boy is 20 months old, very bright, says just a few words, but she has taught him some sign language. Today she videotaped him building the stacking blocks I gave him for Christmas .Of course his favorite part was knocking them over and giggling. Sarah said, "Can you say, 'Thank you, Miss Zoanna?'"  He touched his fingers to his chin and then pulled them away, smiling  into the camera. ( It's the thank-you sign. )  Awwww.

3.  "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An 

inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered." G.K. Chesterton  

Your thoughts? When did you last experience either an adventure or an 

inconvenience? How did you see it at first, as an adventure or an 

inconvenience?  Does it feel the same in hindsight?

Funny you should ask this today.  I found out a neighbor fell and broke her hip on black ice last week. She's laid up for 3 months.  Immediately my mind flashed back 13 years when I ripped out all my pelvic ligaments giving birth, and had to be on bedrest for many weeks straight.  It was more than an inconvenience--it took me to the brink of despair at times-- but I learned so much through it, and was so grateful for meals that people  from church provided.

So tonight I made a spaghetti dinner for my neighbor and her hubby. It was the sexiest meal I could come up with on short notice. Not much of an inconvenience, and honestly I enjoy the adventure of helping someone in need.  I was able to minister directly to her by saying, "I know severe pelvic pain, and I know how hard the recovery is." And I was able to share how sweet the Lord was to me during that time and , looking back,  I'd never trade our closeness for anything.  One time, at midnight when I was so scared of the dark that I cried out to Him,"Be my Light!" he flooded the sky with moonlight that lit up my entire kitchen where I slept in a hospital bed! I mean I could see my husband asleep on the sofa in the next room, that's how bright it was!"

 My words made her weep a little,  as if touching a nerve, but she looked up and smiled. "That's an amazing testimony ," she said, encouraged.   She is also overcompensating with her shoulder when she uses her walker to get to the bathroom ,so her shoulder is really in severe pain, too.  How well I know shoulder pain after a fall.

I never imagined at the time that my experiences would be used to comfort someone else someday in the same way, but God is a Redeemer. Nothing is wasted in His economy, not even our pain and despair.

4.  A Wendy's Frosty, root beer in a frosty mug, or a frosted chocolate 

cupcake...of these three, which one is your favorite 'frosty' treat?

Easy-- root beer in a frosty mug--with a scoop of vanilla ice cream , s'il vous plait.  And would you believe how powerful this suggestion was,  Joyce?   After reading the question around noon, I craved a root beer float all day. Tonight I caved. I didn't have root beer on hand, but I had some Coke and butter pecan ice cream. Good enough!

5. Would you say your life so far this year has been more like a circus or a symphony? Explain why.

A symphony, but during the instrument-tuning, pre-concert time--you know, when every instrument sounds out of tune, but you know it's going to get better?

 Last week alone I was dealing with my sister's cross-country move by guiding her to a hotel via text when all rooms within 100 miles were booked and cost $250-300/night (thanks, oil companies in TX); a family funeral; a son's knee sprain (while I was out of state at the funeral); a hubby packing for a 4-day business trip to  New Orleans while we waited for a snowstorm of "potentially historic" proportions.  And the sump pump broke while he was packing, which sent him to Home Depot after printing his boarding pass. I also was having abdominal pain so badly for three days that I thought I'd be in the ER without my husband .

But the symphony sounded good after all: I found my very tired sisters a room at a nice hotel for $166; my SIL's mom who passed away went quickly into the arms of God; my son's sprain was ONLY  a sprain; my hubby takes such good care of us; he had good weather in New Orleans and we only got 3 inches of snow here--enough to close school for a day. Yay! I haven't had any more abdominal pain since hubby left, either.

6. Since it's a 'snow day' here, what's your favorite song containing the word 'white'?

Well, the first lyrics I thought of were these, from an old hymn:

"Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe,
Sin had left a crimson stain;
He washed it white as snow."

7. If you had to leave the city you currently live in, what would you find the 

hardest to leave behind?

Our grown children. They all within a half hour of us.  But after that? Maryland blue crabs.  (Okay, maybe there's a lot in between my kids and Maryland crabs to be missed,  but if you mean what I'd miss about Baltimore,  that's it.)

8. Insert your own random thought here.

My heart is still broken, and will be for a long time, over the horrific tragedy of the Annapolis mansion fire 8 days ago. Two grandparents, Don and Sandy Pyle,  were having two sets of grandchildren (four total) spend the night in "the castle" before the school holiday last Monday (MLK Jr Day).  The house caught fire around 3:30 a.m and burned to the ground in a matter of hours. Everyone perished.  I imagine being one of the mothers. I imagine being a school friend of one of the kids. I imagine being one of the firefighters.  I'm still undone.  


Joyce said...

It is almost too much to comprehend. We lived just down the road from their school, and have friends with kids there. I saw our old church was offering counseling. It's incredible how quickly the home was consumed. I hope they find some answers.

Hope your son's knee heals quickly. Boys!!

Theresa said...

What a blessing that you could share with your neighbor. I love how God provided the moonlight for you. That reminds me of seeing a little bird to make me think of how God cares for me ("His eye is on the sparrow and I know He cares for me.") That is a great hymn!
I am sorry for that great loss in your community.

Sally Henry said...

Oh Zo... my heart stopped, as I kept waiting to read "But thank God they all made it out safely" - I can't even comprehend the grief... I'm so sorry...

Hope your sister is settling in ok, your whole family has been on my heart and mind! Love ya...

April said...

What a horrific tragedy you shared for your random thought...I can't even imagine the heartache. Just this week, a local elderly couple drove to another town to answer an add about a Mustang on Craigslist. They were murdered...shot in the head by the man, they think, who placed the ad. They left behind 3 daughters and several grandkids and were pillars in their community. So very tragic.

Judy said...

We picked the same hymn!
We had a similar tragedy happen in our town in Minnesota. A group of fifth grade boys at a slumber party and a lit candle and a neglectful mother resulted in the boys all dying in a house fire. So hard to comprehend.

Zoanna said...

That incident made national news. So heartbreaking!! Why not just Ron the couple blindfolded ? Why kill them over Money?? I will never understand

Zoanna said...

So you are closer to this tragedy in heart than I am. You know some if the people who are really connected to the family. My friend's hubby was employed by him at ScienceLogic.

Zoanna said...

I wish I could say that ! Oh don't we all wish there had been warnings or escape or ..... Was this deliberately set? Why would it burn so fast--16,000 square feet! Gone ! Six precious people ! Gone! No answers yet.

Zoanna said...

His Eye is on the Sparrow is one of my all-time favorites!

Zoanna said...

Oh noooooo!!!! The neglectful mother survived to live with that guilt forever??

Farin Vazquez said...

You know, I've tried explaining my love of root beer floats to my inlaws, but they seems to always think of Coke floats. Guess that's just one more cultural variance to consider :)

And, great hymn. We sing it every week, but guess I was too tired to remember the word this morning.


Elizabeth Day said...

How terribly sad for your community and for those families. Such a loss! I love the old hymn, "Jesus Paid it All." It was my father's favorite and was sung at his funeral. Praising God today for His watch care over you and your family this past week. He proves Himself so faithful over and over!

Carrie Bullock said...

That was so sweet of you to make time to take dinner and chat with your neighbor. You are well on your way to earning your angel wings!

Oh no.. I saw the news on that mansion fire but had yet to see if the family made it out. Sooo sad.

Preeti Harris said...

The Annapolis fire news was really saddening.
My favorite hymns (or bhajans as we call them in Hindi) are in Sanskrit language. The goddess is sometimes dressed in white.
Hope you are staying warm.