Posted in Faith journey

C. S. Lewis’ excerpt clarifies some of Easter’s mysteries

Lately I’ve been reading a book titled A Year with C. S. Lewis: each day gives a short excerpt from one of his many works.

I’ve always been his fan, but understanding his writing is challenging. This new book breaks down his ideas into bite-sized bits, and his writings about Easter is enlightening. When I was a kid, Easter was special because my mom would get me a pretty dress for church service. Ugh, the vanity!

As I’ve matured, Easter is more than a pretty dress. Although I know in my heart that Jesus died for my sins, it’s difficult to understand and wholly embrace (gulp, did I just say that? I grew up a Christianmy whole life). But I know that it’s not possible to humanly understand everything about the mysteries of Easter. There’s a lot of scratching of the head and sighs of guilt that here I am still wondering, questioning, and confused.

But an excerpt from C.S. Lewis’ book was helpful in understanding the meaning of Easter better. I hope his words inspire you!

A little fun with the Easter bunny and first time with no tears
Posted in Faith journey, Personal growth

A birthday drama for Elliot with sister getting sick again

Right next to our parking spot was this tiny orange flower. It stood out brightly against my harried and overwhelming afternoon. Ellis suddenly had another stomach episode that had her throwing up in the carseat. Another bout was imminent and parking was congested.

I sighed. A heavy one. In that moment I just told myself that it can all be cleaned up; let’s just not get hospitalized again.

But Elliot was not having it. He was disappointed and grossed out; we were about to go back home instead of picking up his birthday cake and presents. Something from his sister’s side of the backseat touched him and that set off tears. I felt bad for him: torn between disappointment and worry as his sister moaned in pain. Even promising a new toy for Ellis did not get a smile. That means she doesn’t feel well at all.

It was a hectic car ride with two little people: both emotional and both needing different things. Only one me with not enough arms to drive, tap the back of a nauseated child, and hug the other one who felt unloved.

But God refreshes a weary soul with his grace in these moments. As I turned the corner in the busy parking lot, I was amazed to see two side-by-side empty parking spots next to a tree and bush. No other cars vying for those spots either.

All I could mumble was “Really? Where did all the other cars go? Thank you Jesus!” I pulled her out of the carseat just as she was about to hurl. (In case you are worried: it was not on a walkpath. I later covered it with leaves and sticks.)

It was just a parking spot but the timing and the location of it couldn’t have been more perfect. I felt uplifted and grateful that God cares about the struggles that deflate me and answers unsaid prayers.

God is good. Life is not perfect but God journeys with me. I don’t see God but I know His presence is real.

This little orange, right by the throwing up incident, reminded me that God is near and full of grace. Thankful!!

Birthday cake time! All was well later. Still best buds.
Posted in Faith journey, Personal growth, Raising kids

Thoughts about daily life’s hiccups

Having small kids means getting comfortable with last-minute changes. Winter is harder with all the bugs going around too.

My ongoing challenge has been dealing with missing out on regular kid’s activities that I think will give them a fun childhood. It’s all the expectations and assumptions that I think we should be doing. You would think that after years of practice running to and fro Ellis’ medical emergencies I should have become accustomed to it by now. It’s still hard!!!!

We were all recovering from a recent bout of bronchitis, sinus infection, and cold; the kids and I were on antibiotics. Then, we were physically well for about three weeks. And Elliot has come down with a cold again! Pediatrician said it’s a virus so he needs to ride it out; no antibiotics this time.

It’s been a wacky week with him feeling under the weather, on and off, and this morning his symptoms are full blown. Another bout? Called the pediatrician to see what we should do. While he is still coughing and has a runny nose, he’s considered contagious. Another bubble existence?!!!!!

And Ellis keeps whining that she’s not getting personal attention. She holds her blankie and softly cries into it making puppy sounds saying “I need ten’tion.” I explain that when she’s sick I give her all my attention, but when brother is sick I need to tend to him. She ignores what I’m saying and continues to whine. Pediatrician says it’s because she’s so accustomed to all that attention since birth.

“where is my attention?!!” That’s her show of discontent.

The little one hasn’t caught it yet and I’m hoping she doesn’t. When she gets sick, our whole family goes on high alert.

I need to take these life’s hiccups with more stride. Life gets messy with small kids…they go from one cold to another. It takes time to build immunity. I realize it’s harder to be the person who is sick, so I need more patience on this road to recovery. See, this is where I feel disappointed in my attitude.

I wonder what God wants me to learn through these experiences. Maybe: let go of my plans and trust God with my days?; let go of personal disappointment and ask for God’s wisdom?; trust that God will fill in the gaps?; stay teachable?; or get my priorities in order?

Learning is hard; it brings mixed emotions in yourself as you wrestle with old and new beliefs. It also asks you to have the courage to create new paths in your thinking. Motherhood is challenging and it’s a self-refining process. I realize the depth of my selfishness and that realization gets me down.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

I’m telling myself to have a good day before the day is over. I would feel worse to have spent the day with a cloud hanging over me, but I know today can be salvaged with God’s help!

Posted in Faith journey

A lingering headache makes me pause

I’ve been taking Nyquil nightly for my cold these past few days. Its symptoms are awful: headaches, watery eyes, achy bones, and throbbing pain behind my eyes and nose. Now I’m wondering if it’s a sinus infection, because the pain has evolved into a dominating headache. This pain has blended the events of my days into one big blob.

Feeling so lousy makes me realize the need to intentionally pause in my life. Good for me and good for those around me.

Looking forward to a new month. January started rocky with lots of volatile emotions and tiredness. I am praying for a smoother February with an abundance of health, hope, better time management, wisdom, joy, and overall God’s peace!! I trust that He answers when you reach out to him.

Believe in GOD like you believe in the sunrise. Not because you can see it, but because you can see all it touches.—C.S. Lewis

Wishing my readers a brighter, healthier, and happier February!!

Posted in Faith journey, Personal growth

Rest, rest, rest

Elliot is almost over his croup turned bronchitis from last week. It was obvious that he felt unwell when he took afternoon naps and had a loss of appetite. Overall, it was a busy week with doctor’s appointments, recovering, and taking various medications: antibiotics, steroids, over-the-counter pain reliever, and doing breathing treatments at home.

I took last week in stride and hoped that I wouldn’t get sick too. But last night I felt the first inklings of a cold: lightheaded, pounding head, achy body, and a yucky tasting cough. I consoled myself that at least Elliot was feeling better and Ellis hasn’t been throwing up. Ack! I got ahead of myself because Ellis felt queasy right after waking up and ran to the bathroom. Today was the first time she threw up without someone next to her.

The best scenario was resuming our regular activity schedule this week, but it’s having to be pushed back again. In the big scheme of things a few days will not break or put us behind since we can do make-up classes and still catch up to our lessons. But when I am tired, it makes those changes seem large and daunting. I wonder, where is my faith in all of this? God has brought me through challenges much bigger than this and I believe He can do it again.

Psalm 32:8

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
    I will advise you and watch over you.

At-home breathing treatment with nebulizer. It’s helped so much with his coughing.

Today has been a rough day. I’ve been dealing with cold symptoms, fatigue, and extreme guilt that I couldn’t help Ellis this morning. Other nagging thoughts: I’m inconsistent with homeschooling lessons and our learning environment is too scattered. I wonder how our learning journey turned into this burdensome task. It used to be an exploration of budding interests and having fun learning together. But once I put so much pressure on myself, it’s begun to lose its spunk.

“I love a broad margin to my life.”

Henry David Thoreau

I need to give myself some margin and enjoy this time with my kids.

Rest. Must rest. Need down time to recover.

It’s a daily lesson in surrendering my fears and insecurities to God: let go and let God. Another lesson is setting my priorities in order.

Psalm 37:7

“Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently or Him to act.”

Philippians 4:6

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”