Saturday, April 28, 2007

Taking a step back...

Hi and thanks for all the well-wishes via comments and email. Seems a lot of us were in the same boat the past couple of days...not feeling so hot (actually I was either *hot* or *freezing*...and relied on Rapid Release Extra Strength Tylenol for fever/aches just to be able to function as I still had to drop off and pick up kids...and make meals) and a number of you wanted to crawl into bed and wait for the funk to pass.
I think I am on the mend, and even had enough energy to grab a few groceries...and I rode the cart all the way to my van in the parking lot. That's a good sign that I'm almost back to my full-blown Nitty.Gritty. self. =) Oh yeah. I grabbed a Starbucks on the way home with that $5 dollars corporate added to my gift card. Things are looking brighter already, and it's not even noon here. =)
I used to get so bummed out when I got sick- and I'm still not thrilled when it happens- but it reminds me of how much I appreciate my health and the fact that I have it so easy compared to so many others who have ongoing struggles in life. I know of a family who is facing the impending death of their young son to cancer- as I type this. He has only hours or maybe a few days to live. Imagine what they would give to simply be able to pop some Tylenol and things would be much brighter. Pray for the Gallachers if think of them, and appreciate the fact that life is bright in contrast to their hurt at this time.
Another family is hurting every single day as they awake to the reality that their little 3 year old princess died accidentally a couple of months ago. This family is walking through pain and heartache- that I am all too familiar with- and I know they think life will never be bright again. I hurt for them and the fact that death has touched their family in such a tragic and sudden way, that they wake to disbelief every morning...their sweet Ava is gone...and they are left wondering why.
I think of others who wake to addiction- their main thought and focus is getting that next hit- sometimes sacrificing relationships and jobs and missing out on real Joy and happiness in life...simply because they are controlled by something bigger than they. How my heart hurts for these indivduals who can't 'break free' and live the life they were created to live.
I think of families and men and women who are in far away places, serving our country and sacrificing so much...for what many people don't believe is in the best interest of all of us involved. How their hearts must be torn. Each day they give- more than most of us will ever be asked to give- without question, and they do so willing and proudly. Yet, I know that they must yearn to be home and living the comforts we enjoy because of their service, alongside their family and at their jobs- simply living and enjoying their routine life. I pray for them and all they have been asked to give and to do. While not everyone agrees with the ways and the whys, we can still pray for those who give so selflessly at such a time as this.
So, even though I was running on a little less energy, it was a great reminder to me that I have so much to be thankful for, and to never take the little things in my life for granted. Like my health and being able to open my freezer and whip up some mint shakes for my kids, in the comforts of our home. Which by the way, I have to 'hand-mix' my shakes because our blender broke awhile back, and we haven't replaced it yet. I figure it's a little extra work...but my arm muscles can always use that...and it makes me grateful that I actually HAVE arm muscles that can mix a shake and make some kids happy. {Toss some hard-packed icecream into a bowl, add some milk or cream, and stir or smash with a masher utensil until well blended. Add malt powder for an extra bit of flavor. Top with whipped cream, a chocolate curl or chips or sprinkles or drizzle some Hershey's on top...and Voila! You're kids or friends think you're a culinary icecream expert!}
Lastly, in regards to the title...'Taking a step back'....I scrapped a layout using the pictures of me and my youngest brother, Jeff, which I can't post, because it was submitted for publication. But in doing this layout, it too, has reminded me, how life really takes us all by surprise sometimes...and that reaffirms to me, that Someone bigger than me is in control. Always. Jeff came into our lives at just five days old, when his birth mother 'chose' to place him with our family. My parents weren't considering adoption or adding more children to our family (there were already four of us, ages 2-8), but fate and destiny had other plans for Jeff. I'm sure his birth mother questioned and cried and struggled with her decision to give him up...and yet, she was ultimately struggling with a 'Force' bigger than she probably knew. I have to believe that although life hurts, and doesn't always make sense, that there is a faith we can trust in- no matter what our future holds.
I know it sounds 'sick', but running a fever and having ahces and chills, was a good reminder to me, and I hope for you too, that life is full of ups and downs and even straightaways at times, but when we have assurance of our future, we can rest and take comfort that there is a brighter day coming. Sometimes I can hardly wait! But in the meantime, I'm gonna ride the grocery carts, make shakes with my kids, pray for others who hurt, and thank God for all He's given me.


OP SuZ Q said...

Wonderful thoughts Jody - totally agree!!! If you get a chance, check out this song - it fits your feelings 100%, I think!!

after you get to this page, go down and click on ORDINARY MIRACLE!!

GORGEOUS SONG - should be the NITTY.GRITTY theme song!! :)

mary h. said...

Beautiful thoughts. Hope you get to feeling better very soon.

amanda said...

I know it wasn't the full message of the post, but the milkshakes brought back wonderful memories for me. At my house growing up, we had "lumpy shakes"--ice cream, milk, and Nestle Quick mixed up in a tall glass perfectly by mom. I haven't had one of those in YEARS!(maybe I'll have to go visit my mom and have her make me one!). Thanks for always giving me something to think about, putting things in perspective.

Rachael said...

Hi, found your blog through another and just wanted to say your a very special person!

halfbakedscrapartist said...


Happy summerish day in West Michigah! If the weather continues, I think I will head over to the lakeshore with the kiddos tomorrow after school for a last-day-of-April beach day! Just wanted to let you know I took your recipe to our family meal at church today (aka, potluck) and received rave reviews. I have made spaghetti pie before, but this one just tastes better....thanks for sharing!

Also, please watch my blog on Tuesday for a story about a little boy named Landon.....he and his family need your prayers like never before.


FlipFlop Mom said...

I wouldn't let my son peek at your blog today.. ( he loved the one with the rubber chicken so now he peeks with me.. !!) for fear that I would have to make him a milkshake.. bad mommy huh? So instead we went out side in the rain and made SMORES!!! LOL LOL.. maybe I should have stuck with milkshakes!!
Thanks for your reminders and kind words for others.. I was a young mom at 18 so I know the fear of having a baby to take care.. and not knowing if I was doing the right thing or not.. she's now 16 and the Lord led me in the right direction.. I have no doubt now!! I always wanted a brother.. Ü You're so lucky!!

precious pink pumps said...

Just wanted to say I have taken up your invitation and visited your blog. I am gutted by your family's experience - the maze of tragedy that you have all walked through. My own deep sadness, my days of anger, my moments of despair are softened by your selfless support and kindness. Thankyou. I need to believe your experience of moving forward will become ours.