Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Directionally challenged.






If you want to know how bad I am with directions, just ask my husband, Chip, sometime. He can't believe how turned around or confused I can get when I am in a car headed somewhere new. Or even on a route I should know just because we've driven it several times. It's just a part of who I am and I have come to accept it. I used to fight it. I would spend a long time going the wrong direction or find myself frustrated and in tears before I would stop and read a map or ask for help.
I have learned now to have a phone handy in case I need to confirm or reroute myself; I often bring detailed Mapquest directions along and keep them right next to me as I drive to my destination. As good as I am in math and reading and other subjects, geography just isn't my thing and I now just live with the fact that I have no sense of direction. Someday I may get a GPS system. If I ever start traveling more than 11 miles in a week. =)
I'm telling you this for a couple of reasons. One being, now you all know I'm not perfect in another area of my life. I almost laughed at some of the previous comments where a few of you think of me as "holier than thou" or all put-together. It's so not true and yet that's the beauty of some of my life at the same time. It just goes to show you that God will use anyone- even the messed up, not-so-put-together ones...just like me!
Secondly, the idea of not knowing where you are or where you're going just resonates with me beyond being directionally challenged. I have often questioned God and the "direction" He has allowed my life to go. Remember how I had my life all mapped out as a college graduate?! I was going to have a great career, no kids, a nice house, at least 2 cars, maybe a boat {or at least friends who boated on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota and they would invite me out on the weekends =)} and definitely "me time" for vacations and breaks from my routines.
Fast forward from 1994 to 2008 and I find my life doesn't really look like what I had pictured in my head all those years agos. From a hubby to 6 kids and no "career", and rarely a vacation, this is what my life is made up of.
Please don't get me wrong. I love Chip so much. I can't imagine life without my kids, and I DO have a nice home, two cars and friends with boats. =) I have more than enough. And I realize that everyday and feel very fortunate and grateful for it all.
The fact is that sometimes I just don't 'feel' like I'm on the right path. I look around my world and the scenery looks a little bit foreign and sometimes frightening or more 'rocky' than I'd like. I happened to hear a short message on the radio the other week as I was driving Wyndham to therapy. The speaker (and forgive me, I don't have a clue who it was) talked about how he printed out the directions from Mapquest to drive his daughter to a friend's house several miles away, and although he thought he knew the way as he got nearer the destination, it just didn't seem right for some reason. Then, as he turned onto a one of the roads that the directions instructed him to go, the road actually 'disappeared' and turned into a dirt path. He was sure he was on the wrong route. He stopped for a moment to read through the directions and they actually noted that some of the roads had "portions unpaved".
He went on to say that just as he was ready to turn around and find a different route, he came around a bend on the bumpiest part of the road and there the scenery changed. There was a big clearing and it was lined with trees that were bursting at the peak color of autumn. It was a beautiful sight and just a bit ahead of the wall of glistening trees, he spied his destination. Not only was there relief and renewed sense of direction, but there was a glorious backdrop as he headed toward it.
That little story struck me even moreso as I recalled it in my mind the past couple of days. Yes, I have been down and discouraged and sitting in a place where I just didn't feel right. But I also know that sometimes that's how the path in life goes; it doesn't mean I've lost my way or that I'm headed somewhere I shouldn't be, but rather it's a reminder that I need to trust God even more to guide and direct me as the path twists and turns.
The pictures posted today a some of the 'scenery in my life' right now. Wyndham just got a Dynavox communication device. It's something she was approved for over a year ago, but just the past couple of weeks finally received. We are starting a new adventure of learning this tool and trying to figure out how to incorporate it into our lives. We are excited and hopeful that it will be a wonderful means for Wyndham to communicate- as she continues to learn signs and as we still hold out hope for her to speak someday. But it's one of the things that I never "pictured" as I played out the story of my life. However, it will likely become a tool that transforms Wyndham's life in many ways. It's a part of our 'new scenery'. I am learning (slowly at times!) to accept the life that I've been given and rather than question "why me...why us...why our family?", I should seek to look at the 'gifts' and the beauty that comes from being on a road that many times has "portions unpaved". We've gone down routes in life that I never would have thought were "the right way"...they felt wrong, they looked scary, they caused pain and grief and tears, and yet I am finding that those very bumps and turns often hold amazing scenery and create beautiful backdrops that provide amazing contrast to the times when life allows us to travel easily.
So as I snuggle Crew and breathe him in each day, knowing full well what a gift he is in my life- as each of my kids are, I am trying to let go of the idea that just because something doesn't "feel right" in my life doesn't make it wrong. I was so encouraged by many of you who left comments about the season of life as a mother to young kids. It can be overwhelming and I feel like I am just going in circles somedays. But in the end, when I come to God and just thank Him for what He has given me and I try to see that tomorrow's laundry and packaged meal is just one part of the path I'm on, well, it gives me hope. There is a renewed sense of awe as I come to Him and surrender to the path He has placed me on.
I know I will still fall down and need help more often than not, but I love that God gives rest to the weary and He can continues to direct my path. I wouldn't want it any other way! Thank yo for your prayers, your support of my honesty shared here, and for your encouragement to keep going even when it doesn't feel right.
As for the suggestions, I see I'm not the only one that needs a nap and loves a latte from time to time as a way to rejuvinate the soul. =) I am praying for some of you that are in this same place- right there with me- directionally challenged, but learning to accept that it's okay. As long as we know who our Source of help is and we accept His instruction. May you be blessed on your journey today and each step of the way.

21 comments:

Julie said...

That's exciting news for Wyndham! As always, you continue to inspire.

jsprik said...

thank you!! hugs and prayers...

Vicky said...

So beauifully said and so heartfelt. Thank you. It seems that "a season of change" is upon us, in more ways than one. So glad you are "staying the course." And can I just add, we tried Chicago once without navigation and once with... and with is so much better!

Blessings to you and your sweet family!

KellyB said...

I love your blog :)

beth said...

i know you are speaking of larger issues but seriously as far as being directionally challenged getting one of these Garmin GPS navigation things changed by life.

http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-n%C3%BCvi-3-5-Inch-Portable-Navigator/dp/B000BKJZ9Q/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1227040264&sr=8-1

kbaitinger said...

Love that I can come to your blog and be inspired to be a better person. That it is ok to be mad, and fustrated and even wonder if being a mom is what I was supposed to be. That I'm not the only one who loses it from time to time. That it is ok not to be perfect. Thank you for helping me see that each day is a new beginning, and to strive for better. You are truely a gift.

Memaw Barbie said...

What they said!!!! Amen and Amen. I am a mother, a grandmother a business owner, a wife,sister and friend and it seems like life can be overwhelming at time. Thank you for the encouragement. I hope as a blogger friend I can encourage you sometimes. Blessings

Beckypdj said...

The road I'm on certainly doesn't feel right. My son went to Heaven Jan 12 2008. I miss him and never would have imagined this life for us. Peyton was 16 and was killed in a bullriding accident.

As my husband & I travel this road I am amazed at the detours, dangerous curves (and all those other road sign analogies). I try to stop at the scenic lookouts and thank God for all the blessings we have. So much goodness & love has come to us through all this grief.

I read your blog regularly and have started one of my own. It helps me to focus on the good.

Rachel E. said...

I am horrible at reading maps, too. I can't wait to see how Wyndham likes her new communication device! Does it speak the words when she touches the picture on the screen or something like that?

Joy said...

I'm SO excited for Wyndham to have a Dynavox! Our daughter Elli had hers for about 4 years. The first year she just played with it, like a super-expensive toy. But then something clicked and she started to use it to really communicate, not just have fun and be silly. My dream was for her to learn to write with it. God took her to Himself a month ago, so she can sing and speak perfectly now. But it was an amazing tool for her to use here.

[Once you get caught up on sleep and things settle down, I highly recommend taking their classes on programming it. The more you can set up yourself for her, the more personalized for her it will be, and the more she will be interested in using it. It isn't very difficult, especially since you seem very comfortable on computers. We put Elli's favorite silly sayings on it, set up whole pages of CDs and videos so she could request what she wanted, put little photos of every family member so she could talk about them... it was really great for her.]

ChelseaP said...

Thanks for this post and the last. I wanted to save them so sometimes when my husband just doesn't understand how I'm feeling, I could say "Here, she says it best!". :o) I'm there- the love for my role as stay at home mom (1, 3, and 4yrs old) and wouldn't have it any other way. Still, there's a part of me that can get so overwhelmed and almost full of despair over whether I am doing anything in this important job right. Part of me that says this wasn't what I planned, this isn't where I should be. But it's so clear that this is where God has brought me. And I can look back and see numerous evidences of His grace and faithfulness and how He has grown me. I know that continues even now. It's still just not always easy. Thanks for sharing with us and letting us share with you. The body of Christ encouraging eachother.
I'll pray for you- that God will grant you JOY.

pam said...

"portions unpaved". Perfect. I definitely relate to the idea that life has not turned out according to MY plan, but if I continue to recognize it is according to HIS, I'll be okay.
thank you.

janna b. said...

Hooray! A Dynavox!

I am SO looking forward to "seeing" what Wyndham tells you with that bad boy!

Hugs and kisses from a proud SLP :)

Jim and Lynn said...

I love reading about your experiences with your children, your faith and your fellowship. Please keep up the good work!
Lynn
http://enjoyingevanandemmaeveryday.blogspot.com/

Lisa-Kate said...

Thinking of U! God bless!

ABCDH said...

Hi! I've got the Christmas tunes on (yes, already!) and it has transformed my mood quite a bit!
I love your blog!

Maria Hanson said...

This post was a breath of fresh air. I needed it today.

Jesus_lovah666 said...

Praise be to Jesus!

I cannot predict my hypothetical disposition--most likely heretical-- if it were not for the word of the Christian God. Thank you Xion God; thank you for putting the fear of eternal damnation in my soul and motivating me to become virtuous. Because hey, we all need to delude ourselves with falsified mythos of a divine protector in order to feel safe and worse yet, have incentive to be good. I mean, sure it's arrogant to believe humans can comprehend and articulate the word of God--particularly the ten things things he does not want us to do under any circumstance. Sure, even if there is a creator, to say "it" is the Christian God, or even a deity for that matter, as though it is definitive, is preposterous. And yes, I'll also acknowledge that much of Christianity is outright plagiarism of Pagan religions--Son of god, dies as sacrifice for sins of man, resurrected, twelve disciples, all stories that have been done long before the bible was released (so that must be why Pagan religions are denounced by the Christian church!), but I mean... um... Hallelujah! JESUS! GO GOD! Yeah, he must exist anyways.

Every Day is Precious said...

Great post! Thank you for being so honest. I can so relate to your comment, "When Wyndham gets sick, I get stressed." Our youngest daughter has many serious health problems and it's SO hard to turn off the 'instant flinch and fear' whenever she gets a cold or even just cries. Your post today reminded me that my response is normal and ok. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Don't use mapquest. I used to travel a lot and their directions were always longer and many times wrong. One trip took me up into Canada and back into the states and it was not necessary. My favorite was the old mapblast, now found at maps.live.com by msn or a good newer site is maps.google.com,

teresamay said...

thanks, i needed that as i wait on the Lord to give us children.....thanks for re-affirming the hope that we, as his children have, as we wait on him in the "bumpy" parts of life...the pain brings growth and beauty.
beauty from ashes....