Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What's With Men

This really is not a thought provoking post but simply me observing men and their behavior.  I've been surrounded by girls for years and now that I'm spending more time with son-in-laws and boyfriends I find myself a bit baffled.

This past weekend we attended a wedding in Ft. Worth.  Lauren Elizabeth was doing wedding stuff with the wedding party so Thomas, her boyfriend, was hanging out with Gary and I.  We were going to meet our youngest 2 girls and a friend for lunch and as usual they were running a bit late so we headed on over to the restaurant and waited for them to arrive.  The guys were sitting there talking about sports and spouting out facts from numerous games, players and seasons.  Now these facts were not confined to just one sport.  They seemed to know a little bit of what I deem as useless knowledge about golf, basketball, baseball and football.  I sat there wishing the girls would hurry so we could discuss something more interesting and I wouldn't be so bored.  Then I started thinking about all the times Gary has patiently sat and listened to us chatter about things he could care less about and was just happy to spend time with us.  So I told myself to just sit there quietly and be happy for him to have a guy around for a change.

What is it about men that allows their brains to retain these facts from the time they are young boys.  Why do they care who has the all time record for batting?  And why is it that they all seem to know it?  Just when I think one of them will be stumped, I'm amazed.  If one of them doesn't know or remember the year something happened, they start collaborating and somehow, through the process of elimination, they figure it all out and then can even tell you what field they played on and what time of day it was!  As if that isn't enough, Gary can tell you every club he hit on every hole and where it landed after a round of golf.  I can't even keep track of how many strokes I had per hole.  How do they do this?

I hang out with Gary and his guy friends a lot.  I'm attaching a video I made after one of our trips to my mom's place in Cloudcroft, New Mexico where they were doing a bit of maintenance work for her.  After the mishap you will see in the video Gary's only concern was as to whether or not he needed stitches because we needed to leave immediately if he did so we would not be late for our tee time.  Who thinks like that?  Men are just odd!

So maybe I don't really want to know the answer to my queries.  I am not sure my courage is to that level yet.  So I will just watch and listen and stay amazed by these odd but wonderful guys in my life.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gone But Not Forgotten

Dust Devil

On March 27, 2009 I posted the blog which I have added below.  I was just beginning to experiment with blogging.   The site isn't available anymore but I am able to access my old blogs.  The day I wrote this my emotions were swirling like a plastic grocery bag caught up in a West Texas dust devil.  (For those of you on the other side of the globe, the photo on the right is to help clarify "dust devil")  Thanks to some wonderful counseling from my sweet friend Jay I made it through a really tough few weeks.  The words below are all still true but they don't sting nearly as much today as they did then.

My Daddy died last Sunday.  The memories are bitter sweet.  As a little girl I couldn’t have loved my daddy more. As a teenager there was disappointment.  As a young woman a glimmer of hope which was shadowed again with more disappointment.  Now I’m 50 and I loved my daddy and I will miss him but I’m left with feelings that I don’t know what to do with.  He loved BIG.  He was human and he failed at much just like the rest of us.  He loved the Lord and for that I am grateful.  I know I will see him in heaven.  In death as in life he left me wanting just a little more of him for me.  I miss my daddy but then I have missed him for most of my life.  Unanswered questions but God knows and I trust in His healing power which I carry within me. 

The healing power of God is a mighty thing.  Yes time helps to ease the pain of loss but God is the "Great Physician" and he alone can heal all our hurts.  I carried around hurt for a long time and locked it away so carefully that even I had forgotten where I had placed it.  When my daddy was gone the box opened and the hurt and anger came spilling out.  God took all of that away and now all that remains is love.  Love for a man who tried his best.  Love for the man that God chose to be my daddy.   Love for a God who ALWAYS gets it right.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Scarred for Life

I have a new scar.  I had two skin cancers removed from my face and now I have a one and a quarter inch scar next to my nose.  From tiny puncture wounds, chicken pox marks, and stitched up eyebrows, to the classic split chin, some scars are visible for all to see even though they fade a bit with time.  Maybe you have emotional scars which are very real but more easily disguised.  Seen and unseen they are the remnant reminders of wounds from our past.  Do you have a favorite scar?  Like the characters from the movie "Jaws", we roll up our sleeves and pant legs to display them and tell the often gruesome details of how we acquired them.  We wear some of our visible ones like a badge of honor and the not so visible ones we often conceal with guilt and shame.  The question, "How did you get that scar?", opens the door for us to share a moment of our history which has left us with a constant reminder.

My first scar of memory is on my right knee.  I acquired it at a rodeo when I fell on a nail sticking up out of a wooden step.  I can not remember the actual occurrence very well, but I do remember the sterile emergency room and the septic smells.  I remember the can they put under my knee to catch the soapy water they used to wash the gash.  Oh, and lots of tears!  That scar is still very visible today.  I also have a scar on my forehead from a biking incident where my brother was giving me a ride and I fell off.  I have no memory of this at all but I've been told my brother carried me unconscious into the beauty shop where my mom was getting her weekly hairdo and she took me to the emergency room in curlers and cape.  A small star shaped scar on my upper lip was the result of a pillow fight with my other brother.  He swung a bit too high and knocked the shade off the ceiling light which hit the wall and showered me with glass.  Many more scars have left their mark on my body through the years including several surgical scars.  Some are hidden by hair or clothing but each one is a reminder that I survived a small or large crisis when they were formed.

What about the scars that you can't see at all?  These scars are often left by abuse, neglect, betrayal, abandonment, or deception.  It could be as simple as an unkind remark or a word of discouragement that is never forgotten to being abused by someone we trusted.  Maybe divorce shattered our life as a child or as an adult.  Maybe someone we loved betrayed us.  The pain is sometimes worse and longer lasting when these scars are formed.  They may happen in an instant or over days, weeks, months and years.  They may be of our own making or inflicted upon us by another.  Regardless of how the wound was made it left a scar that is just as real although not visible.

Scarred for life!  We've all heard those words at some point in time.  They often carry with them a negative connotation.  For me they are simply a reminder that I'm alive and I have survived.  I survived the swing set falling on my head.  I survived accidents.  I survived abuse.  I survived divorce as a child and as an adult.  I survived cancer.  I survived surgeries.  I survived losses.  I survived betrayals.  I bear the scars but I survived.

It takes strength and courage to survive all the wounds that life inflicts.  My survival is not a source of pride or a badge of honor, for my survival was not accomplished alone.  Alone I am weak.  My strength comes from the one who was truly "Scarred for Life."  Jesus was scarred for my life.  His wounds are the wounds that truly heal and give eternal life to us all.  Those life giving scars give us all hope. "Hope for tomorrow and strength for today", as the old hymn goes.

As I fret over this newest scar on my face hoping it will continue to fade,  I pray that I will allow it to be a constant reminder to me that the maker of the universe loves me enough to be scarred for my life!

"He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;  the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed."         Isaiah 53:5