Thanks a lot, Irma…

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Thanks a lot, Irma. 

You destroyed the homes of so many people, and caused damage all over several islands before intruding on our great and beautiful state of Florida and leaving a big mess to clean up.  More personally, you put me in panic mode for almost a week before you arrived.  You made my fear I’ve had since B’s death of surviving a hurricane without him, come true.  You gave me so much anxiety that I didn’t sleep through the night for a week.

Thanks a lot, Irma.

You made me so tired that I cried at the drop of a hat over the silliest things, to the point that my children probably worried a little about my sanity.  You made me so overwhelmed over where we should go to weather the storm, that I couldn’t even think straight.

Thanks a lot, Irma. 

After you were gone, you caused our power to be out for days and our Internet to be out for much longer, making it impossible for me to work from home like usual.  You forced schools to close for a week and a half, and children all over, including mine, to be behind on schoolwork that piled up and had to be completed from home. You made us all stir crazy and hot, as we tried to continuously be reminded of all we have to be grateful for.

 

So really… thanks a lot, Irma. 

You made our community band together in a little more unity than usual, as we all got ready to endure the worst.  You made all of us stocking up at Costco have to help each other load our cars in order to claim a shopping cart.   You made those of us standing in line at Target carry on conversations with the people in line around us, instead of the usual burying ourselves in our phones while we wait.

Thanks a lot, Irma. 

You caused friends to step up and remind me once again that though life can often seem so lonely, I am not alone on this journey.  You used our church body to be the hands and feet of Jesus, both being a sanctuary for us during the storm, but also coming alongside to assist us with numerous needs we had after the storm.   You even brought neighbors we hardly ever see to our doorstep on the days after your departure.

Thanks a lot, Irma. 

You brought linemen from all over the country to help our state restore power to homes and neighborhoods, reminding us of the beauty of sacrifice, and the importance of diligence and excellence in whatever career we are called to.   You took us out of our comfort zones and allowed us to step up to help others who had needs much greater than our own.

Thanks a lot, Irma. 

You brought quiet, dark evenings at home full of board games by lanterns and books read by flashlights.  You gave us a respite from the normally busy schedules of school aged children who are involved in several extracurricular activities this fall.  You pretty much froze life for a little while, causing us to make some sweet family memories together.

And because of all that, you helped to remind me once again that God really does bring beauty after storms if my eyes keep looking for it.

So for all that, Irma… thanks a lot.

I never, ever wanted you – and I hate the damage you brought to so many.

But I will never, ever forget you.

christydsiggy2013

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Dear Tim Tebow…

Dear Tim Tebow,

I’m writing this not because I think you’ll ever read it, but because I’m finally starting to convince myself that I’m a writer – and sometimes the only way I process things well is to get them out on paper.  Or a screen, of course.  This blog is a little outlet that helps me record thoughts and reflections so that they are hopefully preserved to look back on for years to come.  And I have had some thoughts rolling around in my head over the last few days regarding you that I’d like to remember.

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Last weekend, I took my kids to watch you play baseball here in our area.  I knew it would be a little crazy because the news of you coming to town had been in the media, but I wasn’t fully prepared for what we would find there at that game.  There’s been a lot of talk lately of “Tebow haters” and the question keeps being asked of what there is about you to dislike.  I’m sure there sadly are plenty of those people out there, but what I saw at this game wasn’t haters.  It was thousands of crazed people obsessed with the idea of being close to a celebrity.   I realized I haven’t been anywhere near too many true celebrities, and it honestly made me a bit sad for what they have to go through every single day.

We got there pretty early because my boys have grown to really admire you, and have even been blessed with some shirts and hats representing your name that they love to wear proudly.  They thought maybe, just maybe, they might get to say “hi” to you.  But we definitely weren’t early enough.  The front of the stadium was filled with people just waiting to see if you would come near them and sign something of theirs before the game began.  Most had Gators memorabilia.  A few Broncos.  Not much Mets at all.  People love to relive their glory days, for sure.

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We waited for a long time as more and more people pushed their way in to the crowd, as finally some of your team members began to run on to the field.  Then, at long last, you ran out to join them.  And the crowd erupted with cheers.  I wondered what your team mates thought about that.  I wondered what you thought about that.  I wondered if it made you cringe inside that no one was cheering for anyone on your team but you.   Baseball’s a team sport, and I’m well aware that you have always been defined by your humility.

But you definitely have also learned how to ignore the fans and focus on your warm up, keeping your attention where it should be.  You managed to make time for a few autographs after warm ups before running to take your place in line right as the first notes of the national anthem began, reminding even all those annoyed people who didn’t get an autograph of what’s truly important.  And it was from that point on that night that I became even more inspired by you.

When I purchased our seats a few weeks back, I let my son pick them, and he had wanted to sit by first base that night.  That means we were away from all the crazy fans in the section near the guest team’s dugout.  It also meant that we got to watch you from across the field as you made your way on and off the field, and as you interacted with your team in the dugout.  We got to see you give “high fives” to awaiting kids in the stands every single time you ran on and off the field.  We got to see you kneel down at the end of the dugout to greet the teen boy sitting on the other side of the wall.  And of course, we got to see you run out to stand on the field with the beautiful young lady with cerebral palsy, who asked for you before she sang “God Bless America” to the crowd in the seventh inning stretch.

And at the end of the game, I had received what I call a very clear lesson in intentionality.  That choice to make every moment that you’re given on the field count not only to do your very best as an athlete, but as a conduit to spread God’s love to people around you.  Not because you are trying to make a name for yourself or gain status among all those fair-weather fans, but because you know without a doubt Whose you are and Who you’ve chosen to live for.

I’ve never played baseball before but I love to watch it, and left field doesn’t look like all that exciting of a position to me.  Not too many balls came your way, but you had to spend a lot of time just standing there waiting, just in case one did.  But the time in between innings – in your conversations and high fives and smiles with fans –  showed that this journey of yours is about way more than baseball.   And now I see more clearly what you wrote about in your book I read not all that long ago, on how you can survive life’s letdowns and challenges.  Because football and baseball careers don’t last forever for even the best of players.  But relationships, both with Christ and others, do.

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Plumb has a song with a line in it that I love – “We do not exist for us, but to share Your grace and love…” Truer words have never been spoken, when it comes right down to it.  So… thank you for showing me a living example of that as I watched you play this past weekend.

Thank you, with your local games going on at the same time as these terrible race riots around our country, for reminding all of us that love always wins.

Thank you, for giving me the opportunity to remind my kids that we can survive any season in life when we live for more than just that season, but for eternity.

Thank you, for giving my rising young men, one of them with his dream of higher level sports someday, the powerful message through your actions, not words, that their love for God and for others will always be way more important in the end than any career successes.

Thank you, for leaving me with the challenge that’s still in my head long after the last ball of the game was thrown and I left the “adoring” fans – to live every moment of every day with a Kingdom mindset and purposeful intentionality.    No regrets.

christydsiggy2013

 

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The Beauty in Death

I’m not a good hermit crab mother. Yes, you read that right. We’ve been trying to keep hermit crabs alive around here, and it’s not going so well. We’ve been through 3 in one month, making good use of that 30-day return policy at the pet store. I think they even might have recognized us last time we walked in with our limp lifeless shell to return. (Can you find him?) 🙂 Each time, we … {…Read More}

When it’s the heart of the matter…

Parenting sure can humble us sometimes, can’t it?  These little people that need so much direction and guidance, yet love so freely with such patience and forgiveness… well, they sure know how to bring out some truths I need to learn without their even realizing it.  If you are a parent, I’m sure you can relate. We had one of those moments yesterday when I took my kiddos to a local fun place filled with … {…Read More}

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He would have been 39 today… this man so full of talent and diligence, and most of all, love for the Lord and for all those around him.  The kids would have showered him with homemade cards and drawings and I would have racked my brain for awhile to think of a gift for him, as he was usually pretty hard to shop for. JAnd of course, we would have joked about it only being … {…Read More}

On Father’s Day…

Last week, I found myself sick and waiting for a half hour to see the PA at the CVS clinic near me… and this is what I had to look at.  It was hard.  Really hard.  I felt as bad emotionally after that as I felt physically, and maybe even worse.   It’s that time of the year that we used to love that we now dread… Father’s Day is nearing.  We used to love Father’s … {…Read More}

So they’ll always know…

One thing that has helped me tremendously in my grief over losing B, is all of the cards and letters he has written me throughout the years.  This man was a writer through and through, and from the time we first started dating, he charmed me pretty quickly with his way with words.  Compliments, encouragement, love letters… he wrote them all.    Of course now, all of those written words are even more treasured.  They … {…Read More}

A belated Merry Christmas…

…and a Happy New Year, from my family to yours! “…the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).” Isaiah 7:14, NLT He is Our Immanuel, and we are praising Him that He is always with us. Be blessed this holiday week, as we celebrate the hope that His coming brings. … {…Read More}