Thursday, April 17, 2014

Brick walls are just there

RESTORATION: I learned this, at least, by my experiment: if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors, to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours—Henry David Thoreau


Well my experience is vastly different.  We lived in a small town in Washington state when our kids were small.  The house was remodeled in 1960...finally put in an indoor bathroom.  There wasn't an even floor in the house.  The bedroom door couldn't close all the way because the floor kept it from shutting.  I came home late one evening and the house was all in darkness.  Being polite, I crept through the house without turning on the lights so I wouldn't wake up any of the kids.  (I knew better than to ever wake up a sleeping child.)  I was walking towards my dreams of sleep when POW....I ran smack dab into the closed bedroom door with my husband laughing his head off on the other side.  He had fixed the door and decided to 'surprise' me.  I was surprised all right.  The memory still makes me chuckle.  But my life is like that, I am walking along feeling like life is going pretty well when BAM something smacks me in the face for no particular reason or a trigger or getting sick or life just happens.  NOTHING in my life went as I expected.  I learned that after plan B comes plan C and plan D and I get discouraged when I get to plan ZZ.  What I learned if you don't move, you don't go anywhere.  Change is not always for the better....'the out of the frying pan and into the fire' cliche has real merit.  Success is not always what I expected it to be.  More than once I sustained whiplash from the rapid reversals in my life.  9:00 AM I had a job then 5 PM I was moved completely out of my office with all my accumulated junk.  That was 5 years ago and I am still trying to get my feet under me where I feel like I am moving towards my dreams.  I have them now.  Life just keeps happening.  So I keep moving and I get some interesting surprises.




 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bursting Seeds

Found on Facebook.....I have awesome friends that post very cool stuff on Facebook.  It is where I go for my daily dose of beauty and inspiration. 

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone.  The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes.  To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.   - Cynthia Occelli  (found her web page http://www.cynthiaoccelli.com/contact/)

The preschool children where I work have seeds in plastic bags in the window.  The beans were soaked in water and they are bursting forth with delicate roots and stringy green tops that are seeking light to grow.  The beans are swollen and split.  The destruction is the step before incredible growth.  I think this goes with the quote taught to me by MyCounselor, "When you think things are falling apart, perhaps they are actually falling together." Now, if I can just remember this on the days my world falls apart. 










Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Empty Egg

I was sent this to me in an email years and years ago when email was still fun and not a bunch of advertisements.  Before Facebook.  Before Blogs....yup the early years.



The Empty Egg

Jeremy was born with a twisted body and a slow mind.  At the age of 12, was still in second grade, seemingly unable to learn.  His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him.  He would squirm in his seat, drool, and make grunting noises.
At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain.  Most of the time, however, Jeremy irritated his teacher. One day she called his parents and asked them to come for a consultation.  As the Foresters entered the empty classroom, Doris said to them, "Jeremy really belongs in a 'special' school.  It isn't fair to him to be with younger children who don't have learning problems.  Why, there is a five-year gap between his age and that of the other students."
Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue, while her husband spoke. "Miss Miller," he said, "There is no school of that kind nearby.  It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school.  We know he really likes it here."  Doris sat for a long time after they had left, staring at the snow outside the window.  Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Foresters.  After all, their only child had a terminal illness.  But it wasn't fair to keep him in her class.  She had 18 other youngsters to teach, and Jeremy was a distraction.
Furthermore, he would never learn to read and write.  Why waste any more time trying? As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her.  Here  I am complaining when my problems are nothing compared to that  poor family, she thought. Lord, please help me to be more patient with Jeremy.  From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy's noises and his blank stares.
Then one day, he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him. "I love you, Miss Miller," he exclaimed, loud enough for the whole class to hear. The other students snickered, and Doris' face turned red.  She stammered, "Wh-why that's very nice, Jeremy. N-now please take your seat."
Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter.  Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg.  "Now," she said to them, "I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life.  Do you understand?"
"Yes, Miss Miller," the children responded enthusiastically, all except for Jeremy.  He listened intently; his eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual noises.  Had he understood what she had said about Jesus' death and resurrection?  Did he understand the assignment?
Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them. That evening, Doris' kitchen sink stopped up.  She called the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it.  After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse, and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy's parents.
The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller's desk.
After they completed their math lesson, it was time to open the eggs. In the first egg, Doris found a flower.  "Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life," she said.  "When plants peek through the ground, we know that spring is here." A small girl in the first row waved her arm.
"That's my egg, Miss Miller," she called out.  The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very real.  Doris held it up.  "We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly.  Yes, that's new life, too." Little Judy smiled proudly and said, "Miss Miller, that one is mine."  Next, Doris found a rock with moss on it.  She explained that moss, too, showed life. Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom, "Daddy helped me," he beamed.  Then Doris opened the fourth egg.
She gasped.  The egg was empty.  Surely it must be Jeremy's she thought, and of course, he did not understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents.  Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another. Suddenly, Jeremy spoke up.  "Miss Miller, aren't you going to talk about my egg?" Flustered, Doris replied, "But Jeremy, your egg is empty."  He looked into her eyes and said softly, "Yes, but Jesus' tomb was empty, too."  Time stopped.
When she could speak again, Doris asked him, "Do you know why the tomb was empty?" "Oh, yes," Jeremy said, "Jesus was killed and put in there then his Father raised Him up." The recess bell rang.  While the children excitedly ran out to the schoolyard, Doris cried.  The cold inside her melted completely away.
Three months later, Jeremy died.  Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket, all of them empty.









Monday, April 14, 2014

Nest

Seth Adam Smith posted a cartoon about building a nest for someone with depression.  It was one of the most wonderful things I have ever seen on how to care for a person with depression, sometimes.  I worked a little and found the original online:
http://www.robot-hugs.com/nest/

I'll wait a second while you check it out.  I loved it when I first saw it. I do believe this is a modern version of Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.  Too often, the approach to someone with depression is a command to snap out of it, get over it, put on a smile and move on.  Each method denying what the person is feeling.  However, I also recognize how easy it is to get stuck there, in a nest, not coming out, ever. There is a time to push forward and a time to rest and nest.

Update: Seth wrote about the same picture:
http://sethadamsmith.com/2014/04/14/help-someone-with-depression/


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dipped into yesteryear

I just got off Facebook where a group was started for my 40 year reunion from high school.  Good grief where did all those years go....oh yeah I remember....raising kids, working, graduating from college after 30 years, fun, sorrow, cancer, counseling, hiking, dancing, housework, what do I have to show for it....6 amazing kids with awesome spouses, 12 grand kids, great relationship with my sister, wonderful friends, 80,000 pictures, some really awesome memories, a comfortable house to live in, a wonderful husband, 3 computers, a cat, a dog, and a blog.  You know that is kind of cool.  I thank my Heavenly Father for these rich blessings and the healing of His Son Jesus Christ.  I am so rich. 




Saturday, April 12, 2014

Secrets

There is not a crime, there is not a dodge, there is not a trick, there is not a swindle, there is not a vice which does not live by secrecy.
Joseph Pulitzer
Joseph Pulitzer (born April 10, 1847) had a hard time staying employed--he once sold his last possession, a white silk handkerchief, for 75 cents to buy food--but found his calling when he began writing. He left $2M to Columbia University, which later named the Pulitzer Prize after him.


My sisters post reminded me about how we constantly walk on egg shells around mother.  We also learned it was taboo to discuss with other family members, even each other, about what was happening.  We were scolded for tattling or told we were lying.  The secrets I carried from the pedophile down the street were enforced with promises of harm to myself or my younger brother and sister.  I get anxious if anyone asks me to keep a secret.  I ask them if they don't want anyone else to know than don't tell me.  Most people assume I will blab....I might by accident but mostly it makes me so nervous.  One of the blessings, and important part of my integration, was telling all the dark secrets.  All the stuff I was told not to tell.  It wasn't easy sharing my story.  My mind didn't yield those secrets easily.  KavinCoach became frustrated with me when he realized I would rehearse all week what I would say.  I even brought in an outline to keep me on task.  He suggested I just talk.  I didn't know how to explain the problem I had until he saw for himself.  KavinCoach pushed into a subject that was new and I hadn't practiced.  He watched as I opened and closed my mouth but no sound came out.  He watched as the terror crept into my mind when I found I had no voice to tale what he wanted to know.  So he relented and let me practice.  My story needed to be told.  I needed to end ALL the secrets.  However, I learned I didn't need to relate every detail.  Fuzzy was good. I learned that KavinCoach's main task was to let me tell horrific tales and not judge me.  I didn't always shine in the telling.  Out of fear and being a mixed up kid I did plenty of dumb stuff too.  He created a safe environment to unload all the childhood hurts, fears, and secrets.  The confusion I felt since I didn't always know my own story.  There are parts of my story that he still knows more about me than I do.  I had to accept that some blanks in my mind is God's kindest gift that I don't remember.  I once described what I remembered about most of my childhood as objects in a black bag.  I could feel them but I rarely got more than a brief glimpse.  Those minute holes I could see into my past and I could recite vivid, down to the color of the tile floor, detail.  But time before and time after that spot of memory would be gone.  I have almost no soft fuzzy memories to share.  People want to talk about their great experiences and how wonderful their childhood was, I let them talk.  I can listen.  I don't share my stories, not because they are a secret any more, but because my stories can put a real damper on the conversation.  I learned to recount a few stories that are good memories that I can trout out when needed.  Mostly I enjoy listening to others.