Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I *LIKE* that!

When my folks moved here back in December 2012, I had the bright idea that Facebook would be a fabulous idea for Mom.  She would be able to see pictures, status updates, etc. from her friends and family living in Oklahoma and beyond!  Once she got the swing of it, because face it we all have to re-get it every time Facebook has an update, she was liking and commenting along with the rest of us.

I've never really given much thought to the *like* button until this morning when I saw a comment on a picture, "Because I'm on a "like" button fast. I wanted to let you know I like this and appreciate your daily words of scripture and mini sermons. Have a blessed day..."  

Those simple words got me to thinking about how we have become defined by *like* on Facebook.  I know the other day when I posted two videos-one of Melissa and one of Jessica, they both cheered over every like and when one would get ahead look out!  But seriously what do those likes mean?  Is one child really *liked* more than the other or did one just show up in a newsfeed when the other didn't or perhaps someone was distracted or just didn't scroll that far.

Being an occasional blogger, *like* is something I really worry about.  It is so disheartening when I pour my heart and soul into a blog entry and get no likes.  I often wonder does no one read my blog then I look at my stats and know it's being viewed if not actually read so perhaps my blog is really bad and that is why no one likes it.

Do we realize the damage that can so easily be done by the *like* button or lack of clicking it?  Why have we allowed ourselves to become judged by whether people *like* us or not.   Perhaps we need to do away with the instant gratification of the *like* button and instead slow down and take the extra few seconds of effort to write a genuine comment showing a person they are worth our time.

I'd like to challenge you to join me on a *like* fast for a week, who knows we might even *like* it so much we decide to keep it up even longer!  

PS Mom please do not join this like fast-you are probably the only person I know on Facebook who has lots of love, thought and prayer in every single click of the *like* button so LIKE on!!!

PPS To the "stranger" who posted the comment above, I feel like I know you because we have so many friends in common-perhaps one day our paths will cross.  Bless you for being my inspiration today!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The importance of being purple...

These sweet girls in 2012 lost their Papaw James.  Wait, I hate that expression because to lose something implies it can be found and held tight again so they didn't just lose him, he died.  Yes that sounds harsh and insensitive because it is.  When someone we love dies it hurts!  It hurts bad.

Anna was barely 18, in her freshman year at college, thankfully she had a great counselor at Cottey who helped her deal with the emotional stress of not just "losing" her papaw but coping with the few short months of his brief illness, the effect it had on her Dad and the pressures of college life.

Melissa was 10, old enough to kind of understand what was happening yet still too young to really process.  I see her doing little things to keep her Papaw here-the verbally reminding us about things he did or said to the the cammo bandana sometimes tied in her hair.

Then there is Jess who was only 7.  Such a short time to make memories and so young it's hard to hold on to much.  She tells me she is forgetting-his voice, things about him...I know it's normal but it upsets her.  Her "cope" has been purple.  Purple is the color for Pancreatic Cancer awareness, the awful disease that took her Papaw away.  Purple has come to signify her "lost" Papaw.

Most of you know how much Jessica adores growing sunflowers.  So when I saw a purple "Evening Sun Sunflower" at the store I knew they were perfect!  Today she came running in, "Mom!  Mom!  Mom!!!  My Purple Evening sunflower has BLOOMED!!!"

 The joy on her face is real.  I know that even though she may forget his voice, his face, the gestures he used...he will live on because of the importance of being purple.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

... and the thunder rolls

College girl came home from her job last night bubbling and talking non stop because it was her last night at the local grocery in Bentonville.   She was telling about saying bye to her friends and who all came through her line that evening.   She was also proud that she had gotten boxes for her other job because they needed them for a craft today.   In the back of my very weary mind I recalled the very slim chance of rain, thinking perhaps I should have her put the boxes in the garage.  *Yawn* She was on to something else and I was really tired.

About 4 a.m. I heard the crash of thunder and the flashes of lightening that jolted me to attention.   My first thought was great,  her boxes will be soaked!   Then I laid there thinking how thankful I was for the rain because my garden loves those long, natural drinks.  I worried about my greenhouse because I could hear the plastic. My mind quickly turned to my trees,  hoping they would make it through the storm.

Funny how all those things ran through my mind then an unusually loud clap of Thunder turned my groggy mind to my children.   Anna who has come full circle in our home,  sleeping again in the room upstairs;  I hear her breathe deeply,  perhaps I imagined it but I smiled quietly, feeling a tiny victory that my once frightened easily child just might be okay facing a storm in the not to distant future in her own place.   Wow,  talk about a crazy blessed realization!

The thunder and lightening continued and I felt sorry for myself.   Handsome sleeping soundly,  breathing deeply beside me and all three girls tucked safely in their beds sleeping through the storm.   I was actually missing them running in,  needing me to protect them from another storm.   Just then another huge thunder,  Handsome puts an arm reassuringly around me when I look up to see Jessica.   I threw the covers back and welcomed her,  I whispered words of love and reassurance in her ear; then I actually uttered a soft "thank you" because this old mom needed one more storm to make her feel needed and important.

A few more thunders later,  Melissa was joining our safe haven and I felt strangely at peace.   I laid there almost 2 hours listening to their steady breathing,  confident that mom and dad would keep them safe and I whispered prayers for all three of them that they grow up strong and confident and that the storms of life never get them down!  And that somehow they remember the feeling of safety they felt being sheltered from the storm nestled in my bed.