Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Home Improvement

I am finding myself in an unfortunate quandary. Now that I am at home full time I am bothered more by all the home improvement projects that need to be done. On the other hand, the money to do something about them is limited. Add to that fact that my husband would rather have a root canal than work on a DIY project, and it really becomes an issue! 

Yesterday we did finish up one small project. I had started painting the dining room. Painting is something I can do in small spurts and I can change position frequently. It takes me a little longer with my many breaks, but I can get it done. As we have a tray style ceiling in our dining room we painted it the same color as the wall. Or I should say my husband did. I sat on a chair pointing out all the places he missed ;) We had to remove the ceiling fan to paint and had decided to replace the 30 year old fan with a new one. Oh boy.

Now, let me point out that we have been together longer than the life of that old fan. But projects like this are not the reason why. The first thing I noticed was my son fleeing the house with his fiancé in tow. Chicken! The second was the constant low grumblings of my husband. Upon listening quite carefully I could make out, “You know I hate doing these types of things”, being repeated like a mantra under his breath. My job was to read the directions and keep him informed of the next step. No problem!

I will say I rather enjoy putting things together. Following the directions is just like following a recipe!.....My husband does not like to cook. Now, lest you think I am slamming his ability, I am not. I am simply saying he does not enjoy these things. It can make for a stressful time, especially when you are on a ladder, juggling a fan motor, in low light conditions. My husband is a godly man who doesn’t swear. Otherwise I’m sure a stream of curse words would have been swirling about the room!

The end result is a beautiful new fan and lights and a freshly painted room! Our son and his fiancé returned with impeccable timing! Just as my husband was moving the dining room table back into place. As I talked later with my future daughter-in-law, she stated that my son has the same aversion to DIY projects as my husband. Apparently it is a genetic condition. Lucky girl!

Have a great one! ~Marla

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Time to Remember

Up in the attic
Down on my knees
Lifetimes of boxes
Timeless to me
Letters and photographs
Yellowed with years
Some bringing laughter
Some bringing tears 

Memorial Day. A time to remember. My husband and I decorate graves on Memorial Day weekend. We usually start on Friday with our parents graves. It means a lot to us to take a moment out of our busy schedule and pay tribute to those who came before us. 
My father died 15 years ago. My mother-in-law 12 years ago. My own mother, 7 years ago. Decorating the graves is a bittersweet time. The pain of loss is still there, though tempered by the passage of time. But the overwhelming love hasn't changed at all. The sweetness of it is almost more than I can bear. These wonderful people, who sacrificed, nurtured and protected us. Rubbed and kissed our boo-boos. Worked long hours to put food on the table. Comforted us during difficult times. They are without a doubt my heroes.

And so we honor their memory with beautiful flowers placed upon a grave that bears their name. A day of remembering, a lifetime of love.

Time never changes
The memories, the faces
Of loved ones, who bring to me
All that I come from
And all that I live for
And all that I'm going to be
My precious family
Is more than an heirloom to me


Lyrics are from the song "Heirlooms"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Now, Give it All Away

Photo by Mike Gullett – AP

I have spent the past two months trying to save money. I have bought toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo and deodorant. I have gotten free samples of anything I can get my hands on. Even samples I can’t use, but family or friends can. I have enough of some items that I will not have to buy them again for a year. Or so I thought. Within the next week I will be giving it all away. When I look at the pictures of Joplin my budget worries seem pretty insignificant. Of course I can afford to help. God commands it.

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:35 (ESV)

I give not only because God desires this from me, but also because it feeds my soul. I give not because I expect anything in return, but I rest easy in the knowledge that God will provide for me.

Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38 (ESV)

Have you been looking for an opportunity to give? A chance to teach your children the importance of sacrifice? I promise you will be less anxious when you are giving than when you are holding on tightly to your possessions. Give it a try.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Hand of God

There is a line from the movie Twister that comes to mind when I see the videos of the massive tornado that destroyed 30% of Joplin, Missouri. They are discussing the Fujita Scale and what this means. When they get to the F-5 category it is described as "The Finger of God." Rather a chilling description. For those not familiar with the newer Enhanced Fujita Scale, the tornado in Joplin was rated as a high end EF-4. Winds were estimated up to 198mph. At 201mph it would have been an EF-5. Regardless of rating, the impact on, and loss of human life and property is staggering. As of 10:00am today, the death toll was at 118, and is expected to rise. Adding to that news, is that here in south central Kansas the TORCON (Tornado Condition Index) is a whopping 9 out of 10 for today. This means that in any 50 miles radius in this area, there is a 90% chance of a tornado developing. I think I'll make sure that anything I value is in the basement today!

So where does the "Hand of God" enter this picture? In each and every person here in the Midwest/Great Plains area and beyond who has began collecting supplies, donating items, money, or blood. People who have began loading vehicles with items and dropping them off at supply distribution centers. We are the hand of God, or at least we should be. I wanted to show just an example of what can be done. My niece and her friends, upon hearing of the disaster, began immediately going to work. They went and purchased supplies to make hygiene kits to send to Joplin. I have posted some of the pictures that my niece took.
I plan to make some kits of my own to send either with them or to another place accepting donations. I encourage all my area friends to do the same. Get your kids or grandkids involved. Even little hands can be the hand of God!

God Bless ~Marla

Donation Ideas
Hand Sanitizer
Non-Latex Gloves
Bottled Water
Bottled Sport Drinks
Energy Bars
Baby Wipes
Pull Ups
Ready Made Formula
Blankets - All Sizes
Batteries - All Sizes

Monday, May 23, 2011

Feeding the Squirrels

Today I thought I would share a tutorial on how to attract fun loving, voracious squirrels to your backyard. Step 1: Hang a bird feeder. Step 2: Fill with bird seed. There you have it! Now you can enjoy minutes of fun as the squirrels devour all the expensive bird seed you have provided for your fine feathered friends. What can take days for the birds to eat, can be gone in an hour as your squirrel friend puts out the call to all his buddies that there is an all you can eat buffet in your backyard!

Now I will admit to having a bit of a love-hate relationship with the squirrels. If you know me well you know I love animals. Pretty much any animal. Except possums. I detest possums! But that is a different story altogether. I like squirrels. They really are cute and fun to watch, and I am happy to feed them, just not my bird seed. This results in my trying to find various ways to outwit them. I will tell you right now that if you are sitting around contemplating the superiority of your human brain; you need only to take on a squirrel to be brought down a notch!

I have one squirrel feeder and another specifically for squirrels and obnoxious Blue Jays. I feed them nuts, cracked corn, bread and stale cereal. The love it! Until it is gone, then on to the bird seed. A couple of years ago I bought a very nice squirrel proof feeder. It is now the squirrels feeder of choice. I tried switching over to safflower seeds. It worked! The squirrels wouldn't touch it. Neither would the birds. I suppose I could take all my feeders out from under the tree and put them on poles in the middle of the yard. But then I couldn't see them from my window. Same story with squirrel baffles. It would obstruct the view, and they are ugly as well. Besides I have seen pictures of smart squirrels outwitting baffles.

So today I am trying yet another squirrel deterrent. I have added cayenne pepper to my bird seed. According to various wild bird sources, it doesn't harm or bother the birds, but the squirrels don't like the smell. We'll see. I just keep remembering how when I was little my mom put hot pepper juice on my fingernails to keep me from biting them. All it accomplished was that I was probably the only four year old in town eating hot peppers at the dinner table. With my luck my the squirrels will start requesting cayenne pepper on all of their food!
Have a wonderful day! ~Marla 

Friday, May 20, 2011

God is good...all the time!

Today I am sharing my first guest post. Alida is a friend of mine who is currently living in Belize. She and her husband Tom moved there to serve God after 5 years in Russia. Her blog is about their experiences as they serve God's people in Belize. Please check out her link at the bottom of the page. Her blog has been a great deal of inspiration for me. Thank you so much Alida!

God is good...all the time!

Yesterday the people that we had been borrowing furniture from came to pick it up.  
So we were left without living room furniture, a dining room table or a bed for the 
guest room.

We brought the plastic lawn chairs into the house.
We ate our meals sitting in those chairs.
Nathan and Tom took turns inflating the air mattress for Nathan to sleep on.

We made do.

We went to the zoo and enjoyed our day... we moved on.

Another friend had baked a birthday cake for me.  I went to pick it up.  I made 
dinner.  We watched a movie.  We accepted our situation without grumbling.  
Nathan is here.  We have each other.  Nothing else mattered.

God is good... all the time.

The people in our fellowship found out that we didn't have furniture in the 
living room or dining room.
Things started to arrive.  A picnic table, an end table, a few chairs.... and then 
they came over to pray.

They prayed for our home and for it to be filled with all that we need.
They prayed for us.  They prayed over Nathan.
They filled our home with laughter and love.
All we gave them in return were cups of cold water and heartfelt thanks.

In time we will purchase furniture.  We have been saving up for the things we need.
Tonight we saw that part of what we needed was to be surrounded by people 
who care.

We came here to Belize to offer help, be of service...show God's love,
And here we are receiving...experiencing generosity from those who don't 
have much and yet are willing to share what they do have... and we are humbled.

God is good...all the time.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Need a Good Cry?

I love the show "Everybody Loves Raymond." It is so true to life for our family. My husband was convinced they were monitoring our home life for episode ideas! One of the more memorable episodes involved Debra wanting some alone time and Raymond spying on her to see what she was doing. He saw her sitting on the couch bawling her eyes out. He just doesn't get it when she explains that she just needs a good cry once in awhile. I totally get it! Nothing is more cleansing than a good cry. I do prefer to have these in private. That way I can really let go....sob a little if I want. My latest cry fest was just last night. I was the only one up and Steel Magnolias came on. Score! My very favorite movie ever! A quote from the movie actually describes it perfectly.

Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion. ~Truvy, Steel Magnolias

I just feel so much better after a good cry, especially if it is followed by sleep! I wake up and feel less stress, invigorated even! I wonder, is this just a woman thing? Would men live longer if they just let go and had a good cry once in awhile? My husband considers a movie a tear jerker if he gets a lump in his throat......meanwhile I am in the corner with a box of tissues, sobbing uncontrollably! I've even laid down on the bed after a movie is over to finish the cry! I am convinced I am healthier for it. I love the following quote. I found it when I was looking for a quote to go with snorkeling pictures. It fits here just as well.

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea ~Isak Dinesen

So if you have been feeling a little stressed or on edge lately, pop in a tear jerker movie and have a good cry on me! ~Marla

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Feeding the Birds

There are times I definitely feel older. I don’t mean the aches and pains; it is more a state of mind. And not in a bad way either. Various ads, magazine articles and books extol the virtues of staying young. As the boomers start to leave middle age the encouraging mantra is, "You're only as old as you feel", "Sixty is the new forty." Really? Well, maybe in some aspects. Health care is such that we live longer, healthier lives. And staying physically active longer is a good thing. But growing older isn't such a bad thing is it? I love quotes, so I took a look at what I could find on growing older. This is just a tiny sampling of what I found.

Age is an issue of mind over matter.  If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.  ~Mark Twain
The years teach much which the days never knew.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do not regret growing older.  It is a privilege denied to many.  ~Author Unknown
Grow old with me!  The best is yet to be.  ~Robert Browning
Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty - they merely move it from their faces into their hearts.  ~Martin Buxbaum
It's important to have a twinkle in your wrinkle.  ~Author Unknown
Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.  ~Quoted by Francis Bacon, Apothegm

I spent a couple of hours at my daughter's house yesterday. She had yard work to do, and I sat in a lawn chair providing moral support. When I compare our yards this is what I see.....less attention to detail, less to draw the eye, less to listen to, less to tend to. Now I know I am generalizing somewhat here, but for myself, I saw it as a difference in where we are in our lives. She is at a point of busyness. No time to slow down, nor really any desire to do so. Home is where your closet and laptop are, where you throw parties and have friends over to hang out. And as a twenty something with no kids, I would say that is typical.

Home for me is my nest. A place I can be myself, wear what I want, do what I want. A place to slow down and enjoy peace. Flowers in bloom in beds and in pots on the porch. A pond to reflect upon. Wind chimes to bring notes on the breeze. Bird feeders filling the area outside my window, bringing beauty and song to my back porch. I love feeding the birds, slowing down, watching them. It wasn't always this way. When I was in my daughters shoes, I had none of this. But now, I feel older. Older, but more content. Older, but more observant. Older, but less rushed. Not really such a bad trade off in my opinion.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Bombs

I borrowed this recipe idea from a friend at church. I love to grill out, but it is easy to get tired of the same old recipes. This is a great twist on regular grilled chicken. The original recipe called for a smoker for cooking, but a regular BBQ grill with the lid closed works too. Enjoy! ~Marla

Chicken Bombs
boneless, skinless chicken breasts
bacon, uncooked
jalapeño peppers
cheese of your choice
brown sugar
BBQ sauce

Pound chicken breasts to flatten

Sprinkle each breast liberally with brown sugar.
Halve jalapeños and remove seeds. You may want to remove the membrane as well. Be warned, if you leave the membrane it will be HOT! You may roast the jalapeños for 10 minutes prior to preparing if you wish.

Now for the cheese. You may use any cheese you like. I like cream cheese myself. If you are using cream cheese you can make a blend if you prefer. Simply soften the cream cheese and add anything you like. Avocado, green onions, crab, cilantro, you get the idea. Stuff jalapeños with cheese. Place one stuffed pepper on each chicken breast and wrap breast around pepper. Using 2 slices of bacon per breast, wrap each breast with bacon. Secure with toothpicks.

Using a pastry or BBQ brush, liberally apply BBQ sauce. Cook in smoker or closed grill until done.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Shut Up!

Why is it that one of the hardest things for me to do is to keep my mouth shut? I can be doing fairly well at holding my tongue, and then KABOOM! Out spouts everything I have been holding inside. For the most part I try to avoid conversations about topics that I become emotional about. But when someone else keeps bringing it up? Sooner or later my mouth opens up, and often I regret the results. Why does this happen? Am I the only one with this problem? Apparently not. The bible is full of verses on taming the tongue. One of the less harsh ones is Psalm 141:3  Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!  So today I pulled out an old song I used to sing in church and reminded myself of the lyrics. They make a wonderful prayer!

So quick to anger
And so rarely slow to speak
My best intentions
Pick the worst of times to leave
Lord, make me stronger
Help me stand up to the test
I want to give my all
Instead of just what's left

I am longing
For a heart like Yours
Full of goodness
Faithful, pure
Leading a path
Straight to Heaven's door
I am longing
For a heart like Yours

The robes of mercy
Are what broken people need
But chains of judgment
Seem to come more easily
Lord, take this pride
That's always standing in my way
So I can see a different world
Through eyes of grace 

~ Marla

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Two steps forward, one step back. I used to use this saying a lot. When women are pushing out those babies progress can seem slow for some. They push with all their might and move that baby closer to delivery. But then, when they relax, a little of that progress may be lost. I would often explain it as, two steps forward, one step back. Progress was still being made, and they needed to focus on that, not the small movement in the opposite direction. As any good labor and delivery nurse knows.....part of the job is being a cheerleader! Push! Push! Push! (Rah! Rah! Rah!). Great job! You are making great progress! (Go Team!). See, sometimes it is all about attitude. Imagine the mom pushing her heart out and the nurse just standing there and then saying, "Really? Is that the best you can do? You will never get that baby out." Most women would quickly become exhausted and beaten down. With a cheerleader by her side she is more likely to rest between the contractions and come back energized for the next one. Attitude matters. Want proof? The following was a study related to heart attack patients. Researchers had 2,800 heart disease patients fill out a questionnaire that asked whether they thought they could recover from the disease and return to a normal life.
After 15 years, 1,637 of the patients had died. Of those deaths, 885 (54 percent) were due to heart disease. Patients who had an optimistic outlook were 30 percent less likely to die during the follow-up period, said the researchers from Duke University Medical Center.

I will admit, I tend to be a positive person.  But what if you aren't? What if the cup always looks half empty to you? Well, that doesn't mean you can't learn to have a positive outlook. I don't believe I am innately positive. I have to actively seek out the positive aspects of certain situations. I have to shove the negative thoughts to the side and focus on the positive. This does not come naturally for me, it is a learned behavior. And anyone can learn it.
Happiness is an attitude.  We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong.  The amount of work is the same.  ~Francesca Reigler

This week has definitely been a step backwards for me. But not the two steps backward it could have been. So I have slept, rested, enjoyed a couple of books, and have had a break from cooking. More planning, less doing. Not such a bad thing really. And the weather has cooperated by being the kind that makes you want to stay in curl up with a good book anyway. While I had this extra time I decided to find a bible verse that spoke to this. Here is one I found. If this doesn't encourage one to look for the bright side of things, I don't know what will!
"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
Proverbs 17:22 ESV

Ugh! I think I'll keep working on that joyful heart! How about you?
Blessings ~Marla

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wiped. Out.

I try not to write too much about my health. I figure it is a bore to read a lot about other people's health issues. I also don't think it is healthy to dwell on your own any more than absolutely necessary. And finally, I really don't like talking about that much. So with all that said, the easiest & quickest way to update people who ask, is with a quick note. Plus....I only have to go over it one time!

So here we go! A quick overview.....I have a large herniation of my L5-S1 disc. The L5-S1 disc is the most fragile part of the spine and the most susceptible to pain because it is the one that carries the most weight or load compared to the other discs. The herniation is impinging the sciatic nerve....the nerve that runs down your leg. This has caused numbness and loss of strength in my left leg and foot. The L4-L5 disc is bulging & has a large tear in it. The L3-L4 disc is bulging and has a smaller tear. This is Multilevel Degenerative Disc Disease. Surgery is possible, but not necessarily recommended. With 3 discs involved, the outcomes are not promising (less than 35%), and in fact could actually make things worse. So I  have decided not to pursue that option at this time. Before I go on let me explain at least to some extent why physical therapy and some other options are not being explored by my medical team. Also, why this pain is so severe.

I have had back pain for 10 years now. I have had to quit a job I loved in labor & delivery because my back simply could not handle the physicality of the job any longer. The pain was at times severe, but always resolved with PT, rest, or traditional pain management. For 10 years this worked just fine. But over the past 7 months my pain has become unmanagable at times, and tolerable at best. Finally I was no longer able to work at all. The pain is severe both down my leg and across my entire back. Why do some people experience debilitating pain & others don't? I wondered this too. I did some research & found the following. 

Some people have nerve endings that penetrate more deeply into the annulus (outer layer of the disc) than others, making discs more susceptible to becoming a source of pain. The scientific community has the opinion that the healing process involved in the repair of trauma to the outer annulus results in the innervation of the resultant scar tissue, and subsequent pain in the disc, as these nerves become inflamed by nucleus pulposus material. Degenerative disc disease can lead to a chronic debilitating condition and can have a serious negative impact on a person's quality of life. When pain from degenerative disc disease is severe, traditional nonoperative treatment is often ineffective.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Caprese Salad

After 2 days of unseasonably hot weather I was in the mood for a nice cool salad today. The first thing I thought of was a Caprese Salad. I love fresh tomatoes and I love fresh herbs, so Caprese Salads are one of my favorites. The recipe below is the standard Caprese recipe but the pictures are outstanding! I borrowed this from Pam, who writes the blog For the Love of Cooking. It is a wonderful blog and she generously allows others to repost her recipes on their own blogs. The recipe as well as the pics are hers. So a big thanks to Pam! Just click on the link above to enjoy her talents! ~Marla

For the Love of Cooking: Caprese Salad

This is a perfect salad for a hot day (or any day for that matter). Simple, easy and full of flavor. I love the flavors of mozzarella, basil and tomatoes together and topping them with a really good balsamic vinegar makes it an irresistible salad.

  • Organic or home grown beefsteak or Roma tomatoes
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Slice tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Layer tomatoes, cheese and basil then drizzle balsamic vinegar and finish off with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Enjoy!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Finding Serenity

Serenity. In our family Serenity is a place. My brother and sister-in-law bought a retirement home a year and a half ago. A home that feels as if it is miles away from any other people, though in reality it sits on the edge of a small Kansas town. They named their new home Serenity, a name that suits it perfectly. Every time I visit, serenity does indeed envelope me. I can be stressed when I arrive, but after a few minutes of quietly sitting and looking out over the property, my tensions ease and disappear. It truly seems almost a magical place. 

But according to the definition of serenity, it is not a place at all, but a state of mind.

serenity: The state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled: "an oasis of serenity".

So as much as I enjoy visiting Serenity, it is not a necessity in the quest for serenity itself. I can find that anywhere, if I allow myself to.
These are places I find serenity.

In the joy of the children in our family.

In gathering with family and friends.
In watching the birds feed at my feeders.
In simply relaxing with a good cup of coffee.
In taking time to garden and enjoy the flowers.
In the stillness and beauty of God's word.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I carry is light” Matthew 11:29-30

Here is wishing the blessing of serenity for each and every one of you.
God Bless ~Marla

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Perfect Mother

There is no doubt in my mind that my mother was the most beautiful, loving and kind woman to walk the earth. She was gentle and thoughtful. She always put her family before herself. She always knew what I needed, sometimes before I did myself. When I hurt, I could see the pain mirrored in her own face. The best mother in the entire history of the world.
So, now that it is well established that my mother was at the pinnacle of sainthood......who does this guy think he is?

If the whole world were put into one scale, and my mother in the other, the whole world would kick the beam.  ~Lord Langdale (Henry Bickersteth)

Excuse me, you are sadly mistaken. That would be my mother you are talking about. Why, I've never even heard of this guys mother! Another issue I am having is all of these Facebook messages that people are posting about their perfect mothers. People keep trying to say that they have the best mothers! Why, there are even awards being given for Mother of the Year. I guess that is okay now, because my sweet mother has been gone since 2004, but prior to that? Sorry, that was my mom! Every single year! How can all these moms be the best mom? And if my mom was perfect and I cannot possibly be just like her, then are my children doomed to have a lesser version? 
Wait a minute. What if being the perfect mom is not the goal at all. Maybe it is about being the perfect mom for your children. I think I can handle that concept. Why look at all those wonderful moms out there! Each one a perfect fit for the little beings they were given by God to raise and nurture. So maybe I was great mom too! And I did have the perfect mom after all......the perfect mom for me! 
Happy Mothers Day! ~Marla

Saturday, May 7, 2011


People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are.  I don't believe in circumstances.  The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them.  ~G.B. Shaw, Mrs. Warren's Profession, 1893

Yesterday my son achieved his dream. A dream that started about 5 years ago when he decided to major in criminal justice. At that point he decided a career in law enforcement was the path he wanted to take. He worked hard through 5 years of college and then worked as a security officer at a local hospital for 6 months. In January he was hired by the Derby Police Department and began 14 weeks of training at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center. Yesterdays graduation was a cumulation of years of hard work and perseverance. Perseverance. So many people do not seem to understand this word anymore. So often people seem to expect something for nothing. They don't want to work towards a goal....they want it handed to them on a platter. And perhaps in the short run that works. You may indeed be lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. But will that be enough?

I am extremely proud of my son and of his work ethic. He is getting married this fall and both he and his new wife will be returning to school for their Masters degrees within the year. Do they have to have an advanced degree? No. But they know that the best chance they have of achieving their dreams is to work hard for them now. Congratulations son. You make me proud ~Marla

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Living in Denial

I have spent the better part of my adult life living in varied states of denial. I figure as a parent you basically have two choices: Denial or constant worry. I decided before my first child was born that denial was the best choice for me. This isn't the naive denial of a teenager who takes serious risks because they believe the are invincible. This is purposeful denial, because to do otherwise is too terrifying. When I was pregnant I did not spend time worry about the health of my unborn child. When my children were young I did not worry about every sniffle or whether they would develop childhood leukemia. It was not that I really thought these things could not happen to my child. After all when I was 20 my 8 year old nephew was taken by an unexpected illness practically overnight. It was more of a conscious decision to not waste time dwelling on possibilities I had absolutely no control over. I did, however, pray. I prayed like crazy! But then I turned it over to God and continued on in my cozy state of denial. When my son was playing high school football and getting tackled every other play. When my daughter went off to college and was on her own for the first time. When my son started competing in track in college as a decathlete, and was pole vaulting over 16 feet in the air. When my daughter bought her house and was really on her own. Through all of this denial has kept me sane and my blood pressure low.
Tomorrow marks a new state of denial for me. My son is graduating from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center. As he begins his new career as a police officer I will pray for him daily, for his safety, for his decisions, for his colleagues. And I will slip comfortably back into my state of denial, trusting in the Lord for all things, and hopefully avoiding worry lines. I am proud of you son.