Forget. This past week I filled in for the hub as an assistant to one amazeballs coach of my daughter’s basketball team. The players were engaged and genuinely having the time of their lives. One player begged for even more Ups and Downs (running of the stairs) after they had already completed Killers (line runs). His enthusiasm was contagious, and I couldn’t help but join him in the running of the stairs.
At the end of practice, the team scrimmaged. Short a few players, Coach Sarah put me in, and I was pumped. Running from one end of the court to the other seemed anything but work. I wasn’t worried about counting my steps or wondering the number of calories I was burning; I was plain and simple having fun. With the busyness of life and adulthood, it’s easy to forget the joys of play. Because of that one practice, I am planning a women’s basketball pick-up game in an effort not to ever forget again. Thank you, Coach Sarah.
Dwell. When I think of the word dwell, what immediately comes to mind is Dwell Magazine, an American magazine which explores the interiors and exteriors of modern design. The glossy pictures within this magazine show clean lines and a place for everything, and while reading, I think how soothing it must be living in such an existence.
Then, I peer over the pages of the magazine and see a game of Monopoly in mid-play strewn all over the game table in our family room. I see a shredded bra and socks lying on the floor which our adorable Labrador Retriever fetched from the dirty clothes. I see dining room chairs splattered with grape juice stains, children’s artwork strung across the fireplace, and deep scratches in the hardwood where the girls rode their Plasma Cars in circles time and time again.
I think to my myself; I wouldn’t want it any other way. Dwell.
The other day my sister from another mister gave my daughter’s Girl Scout troop the assignment of writing a haiku, a three-line poem which comprises five syllables in the first line, three syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the concluding line. She so enjoyed this assignment that I thought I would give it a try for this week’s Five Minute Friday with the prompt, Family.
. . . build each other up.
-1 Thessalonians 5:11
A favorite Bible verse of a dear friend and the current Beth Moore Bible study at our church, I believe 1 Thessalonians 5:11 defines Family in a nutshell. These people whom encourage and build others up are the people I call Family in my own life.
Door. I travelled to see a loved one this week who has been diagnosed with dementia. She and a male friend had her door barricaded shut with a chair. After a second knock, the man removed the chair which was wedged under the door knob and opened the door.
With this disease, I am never certain what I will encounter before I pass through her door. . .
During my visit, she showed me pictures of a man to whom she was once married. She told me, “He was so nice to me.” Having lived with this man she was referring to for several years while growing up, I know, for a fact, he was often not nice to her, his wife, as he had extreme sexist beliefs which manifested into condescending remarks and infidelity.
I had always joked with this woman after this marriage had ended that she had now transformed into a man hater of sorts since she often exclaimed, “I don’t need any man!”
This week I witnessed that her door on those negative memories with him had now closed, or, at the very least, for the time we sat together on her bed and sorted through pictures.
In my forty-three years, God has presented me with a plethora of doors to open and walk through with my entire being. Some I have entered with no thought to the consequences, some I have attempted to hold shut, and some doors I have clawed at wishing they would open just one more time . . . one more time. Door.
Real. My oldest squirt has been sick the last couple of days with a fever and diarrhea. Running to the bathroom, my squirt squirted a bit on the bathroom floor. Now, this is real.
Due to years of baking in the sun without the use of sunscreen, I now have funky bumps growing on my face which I periodically have to have burned off to prevent skin cancer. The process is painful, feeling as if someone is sticking tiny needles into my skin. The sick squirt mentioned above accompanied me today to one of these appointments since she was home from school. On the way home as my bumps formed white growths which will eventually form scabs, my daughter commented, “I’ve never noticed those bumps on your face before. I just thought your face was greasy like you’d rubbed Culvers buns on them.” I, in turn, had to wipe tears from my eyes at this because I was laughing so hard and so proud of her descriptive abilities.
While waiting in the doctor’s office to be called back into the little room, my daughter and I listened as an elderly couple read aloud from People Magazine and then commented on the stories. Hearing about a celebrity’s impending divorce and how much someone had paid for a house, my squirt and I held back giggles as the couple must have come across an article or recipe about smashed potatoes. The man and woman then entered a rather heated debate over the differences between smashed and mashed potatoes. We failed to discover what their final verdict was as my name was called by the nurse. What I do know is that sunscreen is a must, and I love me some real.
Visit. When I think of the word visit, I think of my friend of 12+ years, Lisa. I met her through the hub, as her hub and my hub used to attend graduate school together.
Our first meeting was at a Chinese buffet in Champaign, IL. She had recently given birth to their first baby girl, Miss Olivia. What I remember about that first meeting is Lisa’s beautiful red hair and how calm and collected she was handling a newborn while eating her dinner.
Over the years, she, her hub, and their now three children have visited my family often, and our friendship has flourished. Besides tasting levee-high pies together and attending a local “luau” (in Illinois) together, we have shared our hearts with one another. During several visits, she generously answered my many questions about her faith and theology in general. This is a woman of great belief as I have learned over the years. Repeatedly, she turns to the Lord in times of sorrow, worry, and thankfulness, truly unwavering in her connection with her God.
Recently Lisa sent me a picture of a cake creation she made for a friend. A stay-at-home mother who homeschools her children, Lisa’s talents often always leave me with a sense of awe and renewed motivation; I can never wrap my head around how she does all she does.
Despite her multifaceted expertise, Lisa’s response to my “oohs” and “aahs” over her latest creation was, “All from God.” Visit.
Open. This past Friday I scurried to the store in order to gather groceries before the impending freezing rain. The temperature outside seemed to chill me to the bone. A breast cancer warrior, my thoughts were, “If I had real nipples, they would be piercing through my winter coat at this time.” Then I thought I need to text that to my BFF/partner in crime/cheerleader/sounding board/lifeline. Yes, immature beyond a shadow of a doubt, but this is how we roll.
Fast forward to my return home and my retrieval of the mail. As I lowered the plastic black door, I spied a rectangular piece of correspondence addressed to none other than “Tits McGee,” and I could not help but smile one of those smiles that borders on painful due to its width. This, I knew, had to be a “small package” (what I consider snail mail) from the same woman who said without hesitation, “Cansah Schmansah,” when I told her of my diagnosis.
The real joy came in the form of tears as I opened this card, for inside was the inscription, You’re the sister I always wanted. Open.
When. The hub and I gifted our girls with miniature porcelain tea sets for Valentine’s Day. Found at the grocery store for $3.99/set, it was a deal I couldn’t pass on . . . I remember wanting a set like this as a little girl, but it seems to me these delicate teacups and saucers were not affordable then as they are now.
I have to admit I wasn’t sure how they would react to these fragile gifts; I was taking a gamble. My girls like their crafts and stuffed animals.
To my delight, they were thrilled with these tea sets and immediately hosted party after party for Miss Piggy, each other, and Barbie. I was fortunate enough to be invited this morning where I was told to say “when” when the proper amount of cream had been poured into my cup.
Not wanting this moment with my girls to end, I reluctantly uttered the word, “When.” When.