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I Am... Mama and Writer

First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lessons of Life

Among the many things I'm doing, I joined a new Yahoo!Group recently. It's a group with guidelines for writing stories that have taught the author something that they would like to record for themselves and others. The group, Lessons-of-Life, is open to anyone, but there are some guidelines/requirements. One is that you write one Lesson each month for your first year (basically) and then 4 in each subsequent year. They require participation because those who participate are sharing really special thoughts and feelings, so they want to make sure everyone there is contributing... no lurkers.

Totally works for me because I've wanted to record, in a more orderly fashion, the marvelous miracles Father has manifested in my life since we moved here. If you're interested in participating, check it out and make sure you share that I suggested it to you. ^_^

So, the main reason I'm telling you all that is... I'm going to post my second contribution to the above group. It's all about a miracle(s) I've received recently. Since I wanted to write about it here AND there, I decided to consolidate the work and do it once. It's a bit long. I hope you enjoy it!

Fantastic Fun

My life has been, often since we moved to Florida, a testament to the truthfulness of Malachi 3 verse 10, which says, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. Recently, the blessings that have been poured upon us literally cannot be held in any way in the physical world. Are these blessings due to any personal righteousness? I think not. We do try, Jessie and I, but we fail miserably in at least one way each day.

So, what, you may wonder, has transpired that has been so wonderful? Well, I will get to that, but first let me give you some background.

You probably already know that our daughters don’t watch TV (as in public broadcast television of any sort at home), but they do get to watch movies after completing homeschool work. Every once in a while they’ll get a “free” movie, but that is more rare than rule. Most of the movies they watch are Disney. My girls love every bit of their movie time. They ask to watch the previews every time they sit down. As long as it’s a video, they get to watch them. One of the ‘previews’ for at least one of their movies is actually a commercial about a little girl’s first visit to Disney’s The Magic Kingdom (you know, the one with Cinderella’s Castle). At the end of the commercial she’s happy to have been, but feeling downcast because she hasn’t “met” someone she really wanted to meet. And then... He appears. Who? Mickey Mouse, of course! And the little girl runs up to him and, throwing her arms around him says, “I’ve been waiting my whole life to meet you,” with a joyous smile spread across her face.

Could you tell I’ve seen that one quite often? If you’ve figured that out, you may wonder: Why? Well, I’ll tell you. I happened to catch the expressions on my daughters faces as they watched that particular ‘preview’ and it just touched me so much that I wanted to watch it over and over... so, of course, I heard the stuff and did watch it a few times so I could see what they were SO focused on. Well, that commercial was probably the reason my girls, Ria and Kat, started asking me when they could go to Disney and meet Mickey Mouse. If I had to put a time frame on when they started asking, I would say it was about 2 years ago (Ria asked and then Kat started asking as soon as she could put the request to words). No problem. I just told them the truth, that I hoped we would go soon, but I really didn’t know... and, really, we might not get there for a long time. That appeased them and they wouldn’t ask again for another month or two (even though they saw the commercial again before they asked again).

Fast forward to a few months ago. I guess Jess put in a movie with that commercial and the girls asked Daddy, “When will we...” and he responded, “Soon!” ARRRGGGHHH! So, the once a month (or every other month) query began coming every few days. And I, the Mama who had to try to bat the questions away without feeling sad about turning my kids away from their “hearts’ desires” became less and less able to feel like a good Mom for growing intervals of time after the question. Finally, after a couple months of that, I answered my girls the same way as always (perhaps with some added comment about how I didn’t know why Daddy had said soon because I didn’t know how we would get there soon). But in my mind I thought something different. Instead of allowing the feelings of BAD MAMA-ness to run rampant, I turned to one of my old (how did I stop) ways of thinking. This old way of thinking included such ideas as: If it’s meant to be, Heavenly Father will make it happen regardless of how likely I think it is. And so, versions of that became my internal mantra.

Within the same month as beginning those reminder thoughts to myself (an effort to make me feel like NOT such a bad Mom), my Uncle Matt called to chat. Now, you have to realize that my Uncle Matt, to my own mind, has always been the older brother I never had, but wanted. If we have sons, our first will be John Matthew (for my Uncle because of said feelings). Anyway, Uncle Matt called to plan a trip. YEAY! He’d said he was going to come visit us soon after we moved here (almost 3 years ago) and Jess and I were excited about it, but then it just didn’t happen. That was okay, but when he said he really wanted to get out to see us soon, I was totally excited.

During the course of the conversation he mentioned some ideas of things to do. I was happy to do anything, just having him visit would be wonderful. And then he asked if we would like to make a trip to Disney while he was visiting. I felt my spirits plunge and said, “Oh, that would be wonderful, but we really can’t afford such a thing.” And what to my wondering ears did he said? “Oh, you wouldn’t have to worry about anything, it would be my treat.” My response: totally uncontrollable tittering (lame laughing that I just couldn’t stop). Seriously.

Yes, English major that I am. I could not put into words a reaction.

Uncle Matt asked, “Well, what do you think? Would you like that? Would Jessie be okay with it? How about your kids?”

I finally collected myself enough to tell my Uncle, amid the continued silly titers, that YES, of course we would all love it, if he would want to spend some of his vacation doing that! He said he would. I had to explain to him a little bit about my ANGEL THEORY. So, I did.

The explanation was speckled with silly tittering (because I still couldn’t control my joy) and I told my Uncle Matt that I believed many Angels were people in our lives that did or said things right when we needed them. I went on to explain that my girls had been asking when we would make it to Disney a LOT more often and I’d felt like a bad Mom because I couldn’t tell them what their Daddy had told them and that he, my Uncle Matt, was my Angel to make it possible, this thing that seemed to totally impossible to me!

Can the cake stand any more icing? Well, I certainly didn’t think so! But my Uncle Matt went on to talk more about plans for his visit and asked if we would like to go to Disney one day, stay in a Hotel over night, and then go to a Water Park the next day. Can you hear me tittering some more? Cause I did! Oh, man. I was sure my Uncle thought I was basically a moron when I reflected on our conversation later! Thankfully, he’s much more generous to me than I deserve (in more ways than one).

Fast forward again to picking Uncle Matt up at the airport in Orlando. The most obvious directions available online from my home to the airport have tolls. So, I spent some time to figure out a toll-less path. Of course, in so doing I didn’t really have a good idea of the travel time necessary. So, I used the obvious route that mapquest gave me and added a bit on to that time as a guess for the travel time we would need. Would you believe I arrived at the airport with under an hour to wait? Yes. Nothing short of a miracle. Truly a miracle to me because I left about 4 hours for the drive, which should have only taken 2 because I was THAT anxious about being on time to pick up our guest.

Fast forward a bit more to our day at Disney. It rained. And WHAT a blessing it was! It totally cooled the day off, which had been blistering. The heat had caused me to be red in the face (not sunburn, though!) such that my Uncle kept asking if was okay. After a little while in the hear I also ended up with a horrible head ache. Fast forward some more to the end of our day at Blizzard Beach (the second day). It rained again (no biggie) with lightning (biggie), because of which the park closed. So, we hunkered down and waited. The storm cleared. Perfect time to try to catch a slide on Summit Plummit... only the biggest ride at the park, which had a TWO HOUR wait prior to the park closing. Jess and Uncle Matt trotted off. (I stayed with the girl cause I'm afraid of water, don’tcha know?) Uncle Matt trotted back a bit later. “Jessie’s been hurt. He’s bleeding a lot, but he’s conscious.”

uuummm... ... ...

I tried to understand how to get to where he was, but I couldn’t lasso my brain back in place to catch the right gears for full comprehension.
So, I turned to a lifeguard standing near me and asked him to take me where I needed to be. He did. I wasn’t crying, but I couldn’t breathe properly. I remember the lifeguard guy telling me to calm down that everything was going to be okay and thinking, “I’m totally calm, man, you’re not gunna get any better than this with my Man hurt!” Remember... this is ME we're talking about. I was NOT crying!

Jessie was, in fact, sitting up, but looking down because he was holding stuff to the back of his head. He was shivering and super pale. I went in to nurture mode big time. I asked the onlookers for dry towels. Jessie poo-pooed me and someone came to collect him asking if he could walk. Uuuummm... what ‘guy’s guy’ (like Jess) is going to admit that maybe he shouldn’t walk? Not mine! So, he walked until a wheelchair caught up with us. And my Jessie seemed paler.

Perhaps it was then that someone other than me noticed that Jess was SHIVERING because they guy said something about dry clothes. Yes, I had them... elsewhere. He suggested getting them and meeting Jess at the medic’s office because they wouldn’t be able to keep Jess warm. I remember telling him that I couldn’t understand anything he’d just said except 'Medic’s Office' and not being able to keep Jessie warm. I told the nice lifeguard guy that I would just accompany Jess to where he needed to be so I could SEE it and have a better chance of finding it again, if it was all the same to him. It was.

Got your remote? Fast forward again please. Eventually, we were able to get some skin glue onto Jessie’s busted head. Uncle Matt to the rescue again... bought the glue and big ol' BandAids. After I heard the story of Jessie’s slip off of the slide, I have to say that I am sure that there was an Angel (or more) dispatched to the scene to make sure that Jess ended up with only what he did because the kind of damage he sustained, while bad, could have been death, instead. In his description he said that it seemed like his back caught more of the fall than he thought it should have with the way he fell. He has had back and neck pain since (and a head ache more recently), but he’s definitely alive. And, OH, what a blessing!

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Aapostles said, “Be assured that these
blessings are poured out equally upon rich and poor alike. As the hymn says, it is “sacrifice [that] brings forth the blessings of heaven,” not the sum of our contributions. Members who freely give a full 10 percent of their annual income receive all of the promised blessings of tithing, whether the amount is a widow’s mite or a king’s ransom. [November 2002, Tithing: A Test of Faith With Eternal Blessings]"

ur tithe is something more than the widow’s mite, but far from a king’s ransom. But even if we paid a ransom, it would not be enough to warrant Father’s outpouring of Love in the various forms and miracles that He bestows upon us. I know that Heavenly Father knows me as an individual. He knows my heart, my needs, my hopes, dreams, wishes, and intentions! I know that he knows us ALL individually, privately, intimately... and He knows us better than we know ourselves! How could it be otherwise? He’s known me since I was an intelligence, after all. Not to mention all through my spirit pre-existence! I just need the reminders, sometimes, it seems. And BOY... Disney from Uncle Matt, an earth-bound Angel and my hubby preserved when he might have been lost to me; WHAT a reminder! Praise to our Loving Father in Heaven for loving us just as we are.

If you've made it through, I hope you will read (or re-read) the quote I have at the top of my blog. I believe it was Elder Holland who said it... something I need to see often and might be helpful to you after reading my story here.

1 comment:

vicki said...

Are you aware that your font for the story is 'webdings"?
I copied/pasted it, the changed the font. Now eagerly look forward to reading it.

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