Thursday, October 20, 2011

Five days a week this is what it looks like at our house...

Wyndham gets her jacket on and Chip stops home to pick her up to take her to therapy. Teague gets a thrill out of seeing Daddy for a minute, demands a kiss, waves bye-bye and then keeps watch out the window until they are both completely out of sight.

Sometimes it seems like the "scenes" in my life will never change. I've been changing Wyndham's diapers for over 10 years now; that will likely never, ever change. She's had ongoing therapy {speech, physical therapy and occupational therapy, plus now, aqua therapy} ever since being discharged from the hospital in August of 2001. I don't foresee a change in that anytime soon either.

But the smiles she musters- even when she knows she is going to "do her work" and the persistence she has about always trying- even if she doesn't feel like it, those are things I don't think will ever change either. The fact that I get to be the one that she presses her hands against and the shoulders she leans on as she gets ready day after day today felt like a gift all over again. To know that she depends on me and looks to me and expects me to do the things she can't do for herself filled me not with a feeling of burden, or something to dread or feel pitiful about, but rather it feels like maybe this is the very thing I was created for.

Maybe it was Oprah's new show "Lifeclass" that triggered something in me for my heart to see with new eyes- even though I haven't even watched a single show. I've wondered about a "higher calling"- a greater purpose in my routine days for several years now. Today I was overcome with the thought that maybe in searching for something more, it's actually in accepting the way it is that therein lies my 'freedom'- my calling. In being less of me, I am more for someone else. In a small way it is what I think of when I imagine the hands of Mother Teresa as she held the wounded, the broken and the least of these. It was simply her presence that lifted others and made them "something". It was her willingness to sacrifice all that she became "great".

In that same- but obviously I'll never compete with the acts of such a woman- I am realizing that maybe, just maybe my being I am fulfilling more than I could ever know.

My being present.

My being love.

My being patient.

My being content.

My being baking cupcakes.

My being laundry lady.

My being disciplinary.

My being sorry.

My being content rather than seeking more.

My being open to routine, rather than feeling I need to create "splendor".

My being sensitive enough and compassionate enough and forgiving enough and hopeful enough and always willing to do or help or hold or clean or be leaned on. One more time.

Because that creates a safe place, a comfort zone, a reality for the ones who need me that there will always be enough of me for them and there will always be more for me to give when they hurt or want or need advice or feel like they are somehow missing their calling.

Maybe my calling is to be assurance to them. Or reassurance if need be.

Maybe a higher calling isn't as high as some of us are searching for. Maybe it is in being made low enough for others to grasp onto that we find that's exactly where we're made to be.

Today I feel more than I have ever felt in my life before, that my calling isn't something for me to attain, but my calling is to be a servant to others. That they might become more of who they were created to be.

When I pause and think about what an enormous task that is, I realize it is 'higher' than anything I've imagined I could be. Like the rock for someone else to stand on. Or the place for someone to fall and not get hurt. It's overwhleming to think that maybe my life's purpose is simply to help guide and shape the ones God has placed in my life so that they might become the fulfillment of themselves. It seems simple. But wow, let me tell you, the implications are enormous. I bow my head and lift the eyes of my heart and say to God, "Lord grant me what I need to do the task. To be the task. To meet the needs and dreams the way you would have me meet them."

Graciously, I hope and pray.


pakosta said...

You are extraordinary, my friend.
I love your life lessons, you could teach Oprahs' Lifeclass!!! I have been watching those nightly and they are awesome! Thanks for your insight....
lots of love,
someday I hope to meet YOU!

Jan C. said...

If you had watched the Lifeclass shows so far, you'd understand how profoundly your blog post is affecting me today. Two of the show in particular remind me of you. (1) There was a show in which she spoke about forgiveness and talked about how it is mostly about ceasing to think that you could change what has already happened, letting go of the burden of anger or guilt or whatever, and releasing yourself to be happy today. I think you do that well. (2) She spoke in another episode about finding your life's purpose and said almost exactly what you just wrote. Your life's purpose doesn't have to be grandiose. It can be something exactly like holding abandoned babies or caring for someone who needs to be cared for. She spoke eloquently (I mean eloquently! I was moved to tears!) about being a mother and what it meant to be the person who loved and raised and bore witness to the lives of children.

My own mom has been caring for my older sister for almost 40 years now, since Jane had a stroke at age 21 and was left partially paralyzed. Bedpans are involved. Feeding her is involved, although she can do lots of things for herself. Trying to understand what she wants and needs is involved, because Jane's speech was affected, although her mind was not. Once recently she talked to me about it a little, although she is not by nature one to examine her life or spend a lot of time analyzing the why's and what's. She told me she feels she and Jane are each others' best friends. I got the sense that, while she still might wish that Jane had had a "normal" life with a husband and kids, she was really in a way thankful to have the experience of being best friends with her own daughter. I am doing a horrible job of explaining this, but I hope you understand!

Laurie and company said...

thanks for sharing, Jody. you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Julie said...

I've been watching Oprah's Life Class and she does say that a higher calling is not necessarily the most extraordinary thing out there ... so you are definitely on track with that.
One woman's higher calling was doing eyebrows, not a stellar job to some, but she is good at it and was able to make a great living for herself.
At the same time it's not about low-balling yourself either.
As Cliche as it sounds I think being a mother of 7 is pretty amazing.
I'm not a mother yet and there are times when just taking care of myself is a hassle lol!
I think you have a story to tell and one persons strength can be enough for those who don't have any ... you definitely have strength :)

BT Laurie said...

Amen and amen. May I be....too.

jenny said...

Jody, you are so precious. Thanks for the reminder that we are to do all things for the glory of Him who made us. God bless.

Alana said...

I can't seem to stop reading your story. You are an amazing woman and such an inspiration. I hope I can be half the mother you are one day!

Anonymous said...

I really needed to read this today. Thank you for sharing. Your blog is always an inspiration to me.

Sandi said...

This has been something God has been teaching me- thank you for communicating it so beautifully.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you wrote this, I've been thinking about similar Christ gave up His glory and became a servant, how dying to self and giving up what we think we should be is true surrender. God is showing his work in your life. I've been reading your blog for a long time now. I was just up in Gaylord, MI and Boyne City visiting my Dad and thought about you. Jan

Barb said...

All I can say is Thank you....for sharing your thoughts and days. It is also one of your wonderful gifts.

Lee said...

Thank you for a beautiful, grace-filled reminder that life is less what I aspire to be, and more what God would have me do in His service. Many blessings to all of you for continued strength, grace and patience!! =)

Anonymous said...

Wow. It's like you knew exactly what I wanted to hear and God directed me to your blog today (a few posts later!). Thank you for helping me recognize that it's not about reaching higher, but bending lower. God is saying to you and to me: You are the woman for the job.

Prayers and blessings for you! I admire your strength.

Kate L in Pittsburgh