Sunday, January 16, 2011

Random Thoughts with Liz

My head and heart have been swirling with blog posts recently. I keep making mental notes to blog about one thing or another, but I haven't sat down to do it. Some of those posts have been "deep" while others were just quick thoughts about something that was going on at the time. And so tonight, I present to you Random Thoughts with Liz, a quick blast through my brain of things that have been going on around here (and in my head) lately. I think I will make this a regular 'feature' here. Like my icon for it? {I love!} Are you ready? Buckle up, baby. It may be a bumpy ride!

*My heart has been heavy with thoughts of these two sweet little faces.

Andrew & Kourtney Christmas 2006

It's hard to believe that those little faces now look like this.

Kourtney & Andrew, Fall 2010

We have very little contact with them. I understand the reasons why their aunt & uncle choose not to be in touch. I really do. If I were in their shoes, I'm sure I'd feel the same way. But I miss them. My mind battles between the idea of wishing they lived closer and knowing that it's best for them to be as far away as they are.

They're not constantly on my mind. But I have those days now & then.

I still have all these pictures that Kourtney drew for me on the door to my bedroom. She put them there before she moved & I've never taken them down. In fact, I've never moved them around at all. The magnets have been in those places so long that the paper is faded underneath them. I just can't bring myself to take the pictures down. They don't make me sad. They're happy pictures & they make me smile and remember her. But the box of sweet things I have in my closet...the Mother's Day card Andrew made me, pictures, newspaper clippings where Andrew or Kourtney did something, the Christmas letter we sent out to friends & family that year introducing our 2 new children...those things make me cry. There's a reason that box has a thick layer of dust on top of it. I don't take it down to reminisce very often. It's just too hard.

On March 16, it will be 4 years since they left. I have no regrets and I have hundreds of regrets. I know we made the right decision when they moved, but it breaks this mama's heart all over again every time I really sit & think about it much. So I try not to.

Sigh. They're safe. They're healthy. They're comfortable where they are. They are thriving with their family.

But they're not here.

*This morning, Larry filled the pulpit at a church where he's been filling in about 2-3 Sundays per month since June. I love watching him preach & hearing his heart. And better, hearing HIS heart through him. It has been nearly 2 years since he held the position of 'pastor' officially, but it's never far from who he is. This morning as we drove to the church, he complained of a bad headache. He took some medicine before we left home and then stopped & bought more part way there. It is raining for the first time in months and I know the change in barometric pressure is probably what caused the headache. His head was pounding when we arrived at the church & I questioned whether or not he'd be able to preach when I knew he'd love to lie down under a cozy blanket & take a nap & try to sleep off the headache. But when we got there, the power of Christ stood up with him at the pulpit & he delivered one of the best messages I've heard him preach in a while. When we left, he said his head was still killing him, but for the 30 or so minutes he was bringing the Word, it was awesome to watch. No one would've known he felt bad. God is so very good!

*Larry's sermon this morning was about the women in the lineage of Jesus. There are all sorts of characters in Jesus's family. After church, we went to visit Larry's family who live in the town where the church is. I couldn't help but replay the message in my mind as I stood on Larry's dad's carport today. You see, Larry's family is full of characters, too. And God bless Larry's dad, he's one of those characters. But I love him.

When we left his dad's house, we went to his grandmother's home and the conversation turned to the genealogy of Larry's family. His grandmother pulled out old family records, books that document all sorts of history --good & bad. (slave purchase records, marriage licenses...) It was very interesting to look at & read through. I looked around the room where we sat & saw so many images & memories of other people in their family who have passed away. Some were people I knew and loved dearly, like Larry's sweet Aunt Sandy. Others were people I never met. As I sat & watched my children soak in the history & words of their great grandmother, I couldn't help but consider my own legacy. What will my great grandchildren learn about me 100 years from now? I know that's something I've talked about on this blog many times. Nichole Nordeman's song "Legacy" is one I have shared here often and plays through my head every time I think on this subject. Not only do I want to leave a legacy of faith for my children, I also want to know that I made them laugh, helped them through their hurts & struggles and cheered for them in times of celebration.

Father, help me to live every minute of every day in a way that leaves my family without a shadow of a doubt that they're loved. Create in their hearts memories and smiles and hope.

*On Saturday January 8, Savannah attended her first (ever) school dance. There were many dances she could've attended in 6th-8th grades, but she wasn't interested. When she announced in November that she wanted to go to the winter formal this year, my jaw dropped. She went with friends who just hung out, talked & drank lemonade. My sweet little simple tastes, no frills, no hair/make up on a regular basis daughter morphed into a princess that night. Larry & I loved watching her get dolled up for the dance.

(This last pic really cracks me up because it's SO exactly her personality. She was dressed & ready to go, but had some time to kill so she pulled out her Ereader. tee hee)

*On the day after the big formal dance, it got cold in Texas. Really cold! They predicted snow & ice. No one believed the forecasts because the ground wasn't cold enough for snow to stick even if it did fall. It just didn't make sense. There were jokes made at church that morning about surviving the great blizzard of 2011 (because not a single flake had fallen).

You may remember our record-breaking 5" snow that we got last February. It was truly an experience for the kids! Around here, we only get that much snow maybe once every 20 years. And honestly, when we do get any snow that sticks, it's usually gone within 24 hours. And we don't see snow again for 5-6 years usually.

WELL, last Sunday it snowed! When we came out of church that morning, it was sleeting. We all kind of said "Huh???" as we picked up our kids & headed home. Before I could make it home, the sleet turned to snow. The kids were whooping & hollering in the backseat all the way home. We got about 2-3" before it was all over. It was no 5" like last year but it was enough to thrill the kids. I was just praying that we didn't have to take a day off of school for it. I know the kids would enjoy it, but it would just mean making it up later & none of us would enjoy that! Luckily, the roads stayed clear & we were all able to go to work & school every day! They were able to make snowmen, have snowball fights & have to change out of cold, wet clothes 30x before it was know, just the right amount for them to be happy!

And here's the kicker. While a lot of it melted over the course of the first 24 hours, we had a little snow on the ground & rooftops & in trees for FIVE days! Folks, that's HUGE for East Texas. We just don't see that often.

*A few days ago, a song kept playing in my head. I could only remember part of the chorus so I had to come home & google it to figure out what the rest of the song was & where I'd heard it. I realized that clearly, I watch too much Disney channel. The song that was playing in my mind was "This is My Paradise". No matter what all the rest of the words say, all I could think was how fitting the title & chorus is. I am living my paradise.

This, my family, my life, my kids, my friends, my job. This is my paradise. My bliss. I have friends whose marriages & families are being ripped apart at the seams. And I know that my sweet family is not somehow 'above' falling apart. It is only held together by the grace of God. I am not so naive as to think that we've got it all together & we're perfect. But for this moment, I can't imagine having it any better. This is my paradise.

Enjoy this catchy treat. (Well...Disney's treat, really, but you get the idea.)


Candice said...

Savannah looks so beautiful! Growing up! :*)

Rachel said...

What a beautiful young lady. I am glad to hear news about Andrew and Kourtney They have grown so much.
I know your mother's heart misses them. Thanks for the comment on my blog!