Pennies and Pain

Today I used cash.  I never use cash.  I got actual change back.  Not to be silly, but really, I do not get change often.  I got twenty nine cents.  A quarter and four shiny pennies.

Did not know how much those pennies would mean to me by the end of the day.

They were brand new pennies!  So shiny that they glowed and shimmered in the sunshine.  I stepped outside and stood giggling, literally giggling, at the shininess in my hand.

Such a simple thing.  The Lord blesses with tiny simple blessings.  Depending on whether I am paying attention, I get to choose to celebrate.  Today I noticed.  I celebrated.  I jumped into a tiny puddle of blessing. And splashed!

Down the street from me there was a tragedy today.

No official word yet, but I heard the rumors.  She had children.  They were with her.  Her husband is a hero.  He was far away.  There were problems.  She gave up.  There were ambulances and military police.  There were dozens of people milling about.  They were not rushing to save anyone.  That’s how I knew.  It made me feel heavy.  I know what it feels like when it seems the world is against you.  I do not know what giving up feels like.  God is too good.  I wish she had known.

Our short sale might fall through this week.  God is good.  I will praise Him.

The pennies were a blessing.  God is good.

I will praise Him.

Basic

So Facebook did something interesting today.  I have heard some of my Facebook besties talk about seeing this, but I had yet to see it myself.  It was very strange.  It brought back intense emotion.  I cannot seem to figure out how to make it happen again.  I got the “Your Status on This Day Last Year” box.  It popped up in the top right corner of my profile.  This is what it said:

“Got to talk to Dave for 8 minutes today!  Only four more weeks until I see him again…”

Dave was in basic training 365 days ago.  I spoke to him for eight minutes.  That is a funny story actually.  He only got to use the phone on Sundays and that usually happened while I was running one of my youth orchestra rehearsals.  My assistant’s number one job during those rehearsals was to make sure my phone got answered.  When he did call, she would come running into my rehearsal to take over for me and I would go running outside where there was a good signal to talk to my soldier-husband for a few precious minutes.  It was a rough 72 days that he was in training.  In a lot of ways.

Tonight is a cool breezy Kentucky night.  We took a long leisurely walk with the dogs.  We have time to share what is on our minds.  We have time to tell ridiculous stories about the risks of getting “burned up”.  Knowing exactly what I felt this time last year makes me extra grateful to my beautiful Savior for the paths He has taken us on.  Cherish the moments.  Maybe that is why I blog now.  It is a way to record the blessings the Lord pours out on me, on us.  Sometimes those blessings are seen best through a +365 day lens.

Where were you on August 29, 2010?  I hope you remember the blessing.

Remembering is the nursemaid of joyful gratitude.

Perspective

I have some significant health issues.  Nurses chuckle when I answer their question about what medicines I am on.  The list must sound like a geriatric patient.  The level of my gratitude for the excellent health care provided to soldiers and families can barely be described.  The doctors are smart.  The medicine costs very little.  Everything is in one building about three miles from my house.  I mean seriously, medical care cannot get better.  And I deal with a lot of medical care.

Enough celebration.  Tonight I wanted to share one moment in the care I have been receiving that has kept me thinking for days.  My physical therapist is an enormous 5’6″ dude.  He is huge.  I actually respect him and the muscle work he is doing with me a little extra because he is crazy muscular.  He wears glasses.  He has a thick accent, a fact he vehemently denies.  He smiles a lot once he gets to know you.  He likes to talk about his favorite sports team that got annihilated in their last game.  Like seriously defeated.  Can you tell I have fun in there?

I had a painful muscle spasm in the middle of the night.  It hurt like fire.  It hurt so much I was nauseous.  I went to therapy at 8am.  Yeah, that does not mean my muscle had relaxed.  I was stiff.  Probably looked like a walking mannequin as I waddled my way into the hospital.  He asked how I was doing.  I was honest.  I was miserable.  He shrugged his shoulders and told me to get started with my exercises.  Heartless.  I carefully lowered myself onto the mat.  And then I did my exercises.  My muscle still hurt.  I was still stiff.  But it didn’t stop me.  I could get past my pain and do what needed doing.

In that moment, there was a sparkly success.  One of those moments that when you look back through the photo album of your memories there is rosy light and fairy dust surrounding the event.  How often do I allow pain to dictate what I will or will not do?  So often.  Why does pain get that power over me?  It shouldn’t.  There are many quotes about pain.  Chiropractors say pain is the body telling you something is wrong.  Soldiers say pain is weakness leaving the body.  I think I am realizing my own conclusion about pain.  Pain happens.  There are more important things that can and should impact my choices.  The Lord’s grace.  The Lord’s will.  Joy.  Love.  Passion.  I can function and achieve regardless of pain.  I can respect my husband.  I can laugh with my mom.  I can smile at the gate guard.  I can listen to my sister.  I can cuddle my puppy.  I do not mean this to sound sappy.  It was a profound moment for me.

The paradigm shift was fast.

Pain happens.

Live.

Yesterday

I did not blog yesterday.

Normally I am a little OCD about stuff like doing something everyday commitments.  I am learning a thing or two about prioritizing and relaxing.  Some days blogging will just take a back seat.  Most days will be like today though – a blog!

I made the drive back to Fort Knox yesterday.  Gunny did very well in the car.  Only threw up once.  Yeah, that was gross.  Overall it was an easy drive.  During our regular Starbucks stop in Smyrna he decided he wanted to drive.

Isn’t he so super cute?!?!

I got home just in time for my physical therapy appointment.  I’ll have to do a whole post on that.  It is pretty incredible.  After all the driving and time at the hospital I was completely wiped.  Thus no post yesterday.  Wanna know what energy I had left?

Not much.

Why I Do It…

I am a teacher.  I love what I do.  In those thirty minute, forty five minute, or hour long lessons, I get the chance to dive into the lives of precious children of God.  Each one is a special creation.  Each one is created to do something in this world that no one else can do.  Each one is created to bring glory to God.  The parents hire me to turn their kids into little musicians.  They hire me to help find college scholarship potential.  I do not think the parents often expect what they are going to get with me.  Of course we learn to play violin.  We learn how to make a “bow bunny” finger puppet.  We learn how to bring correct tone out of the instrument.  We learn how to shape melodies and create music.  We discover hidden talents and we discover lack of talent.  Hey, I’m just being honest.

There is more to it though.  One mentor of mine said “as a teacher, I get to get inside my student’s brains and mess around”.  That is seriously how I feel.  As relationships grow with students, I feel like they begin to trust me in a way that allows me to speak truth into their lives.  I get to tell them when they are playing a tune incorrectly.  I get to tell them how much Jesus loves them.  I get to tell them I love them.  I get to love them.  What an awesome privilege.  Tonight I got to reconnect with one of my darlings.

I am a teacher.

 

 

I am blessed.

Sister Pride

This weekend was so fun!!!  As you noted in my last post, I took a trip to the ATL this weekend to see my beautiful sister perform a Broadway musical.

I am a major fan of Broadway music, but I did not know any of the music for Joseph/Dream coat.  I knew the story of Joseph.  Duh.  But it was one of the few productions that I did not know anything about at all.

That meant that on Friday night when I got to the first performance there was a freshness to the experience that I do not often get to see.  Every song was new and the stage production “secrets” were very new!  I did not expect the brothers and wives to take a trip to Oklahoma, including a bonafide hoe down.  My sister was the most dramatic mourner on stage during the crying scene.  I found myself sitting in the audience and sort of mimic-ing her facial expressions.  I think if your expressions are so powerful that the audience mimics you, you are excellently powerful!

I did not expect Pharaoh to have been a past life incarnation of Elvis.  I did not expect the hairy Ishmaelites to be walking a stuffed camel across the stage.  Hilarious!  I laughed out loud!

This one is posted on my mom’s blog too.  Oh, all these pictures are taken by my mother – who really knows how to use the buttons on her camera!  My pictures are still just point and shoot quality.  I think my sister is particularly cute here.

Our Jacksonville friends and our aunt and uncle came to the performances too.  It was good to have family there.  I am so proud of my sister!

Road Trip!!!

I got to go home this weekend to visit my parents and see my talented sister perform.  It is a six hour drive from my house in Kentucky to their house in Georgia.  That is a solid drive.  It is a commitment.  And today I had a travel buddy.

He was excited!

He had a little trouble getting comfortable.  Apparently it was necessary to keep an eye on me at all times.

When he was sitting up, he started to notice things outside the car, which he has never done before.  He was very curious about sounds like trucks rumbling and brakes screeching.  He actually stood up on the console!

Finally he relaxed enough to lay down.

And then he fell fast asleep.  See that water bottle?  Yeah, he drinks out of it.  So cute!  He got his first QT experience today too!

It’s time for bed after this exciting day.

celebration!

Tonight was a night for CELEBRATION!!!!  We got excellent news about the sale of our condo today!  It has been on the market for a long time and this has been a long process, so we are celebrating!

What better way to celebrate than to break diet?  We went to our favorite Louisville Tex-Mex restaurant and chowed down on chips and salsa.  That spiciness required something to cool it down, of course.  So we stopped by the proudly locally owned ice cream shop.  It had been on one of our favorite food television shows, it had to be good!  Oh boy, it was fantastic!  I had peach ice cream served in the cutest little glass cup.

Absolutely a treat.  The other treat was getting to spend time with my darling.

He completed a killer workout this afternoon.  I think we were both feeling proud of him.  We were wanting to replace his depleted calories…ha!  I helped, and my only workout today was a thirty minute run!

Maybe some of my calories will count for him….

Chasing Butterflies

Gunny went with me.

When he jumped out of the car he surprised a tiny butterfly.

He thought it was the best game ever.

He chased that butterfly until he lost it.

Chomp!  Chomp!  Jaws snapping and snout reaching to catch the fluttering friend.  He seemed to have so much fun.

I liked that he always came back to me.