Monday, May 3, 2010

Update 5/3/10 Day 175

Dear friends,

I tackled cleaning off my desk and clearing out my files today. There were lots of old papers to be tossed, and a few new folders to be added. I never had a "No Fault Insurance" folder before, or a "Sunnyview Rehab" folder either, but there you have it. Life seems to constantly be reshuffling our files, literally and figuratively. I found one folder I really liked, so I hung on to it: Vacation Ideas! Something I am hopeful for is a big, special vacation with Stephen and the kids next year, when Smitty and Hannah are further down the healing road. We will, of course, go to Cape Cod as planned this summer, but it would be grand to treat everyone with something unique in 2011. God willing and the creek don't run dry. I'm not going wild with expectations, because we simply don't know what tomorrow will bring. And on top of that, the greatest vacation in the world loses its sparkle if the Great One is removed from His place of centrality in the heart and mind. So if we are blessed with a trip, praise God! But it will only be icing on the cake of walking with Him. Too many of us have put our hope in something to satisfy us outside of relationship with God first, then others. And when we do, we find out just how dull the whole parade can be. I've done it. But I'm learning...

As an aside, if you have any ideas for a summer job for a 17 year old young man who must not be in my house all summer, and a 15 year old girl who is dying to earn some extra money, will you give me a shout out? Joe's come up short so far with his summer job hunting. One was really disappointing, seemingly in the bag, but I think their college kid from last year is coming back. Anyway, if you would like a part in preserving my sanity, and you can make any suggestions, I'm all ears.

Stephen continues to plod along with his therapy. It's little by little, step by step, inch by inch. Tomorrow both he and Hannah have a follow up appointment with Dr. Somaio at Sunnyview. Later this week he's sees our dear "Bob the Builder", Dr. Bagchi, to find out when he goes for sugery to remove some of the hardware in his foot. Hannah is hopeful that Dr. Somaio will release her to go back to gym class. We'll see. The main thing is to protect the precious material inside that miracle on the top of her neck. The brain is truly amazing. I'm more in awe of the Great One's wonders than ever, having seen a sliver of the intricate engineering feat located inside our heads.

Please pray for me. A pocket of sadness that I continue to carry is simply a burden of living in this world. We all have them, and they keep us humble and draw us to God. So, I'm not asking for removal of the pocket, though I believe at the right time it will go, but I'm asking for grace to carry it without self pity, and even with a sense of humor, not taking myself too seriously. It's alright to be sad about something worthy of sadness, but to drown in it and have it color all of life would be a far greater sorrow. I want to shed my tears in a healthy way, but not go swimming in them daily, if that makes any sense...

As you know, I am reading Lord of the Rings. In one part early on, Gandalf is revealing to Frodo (the hero of the book) that the times they are living in are perilous, where darkness now threatens to destroy what is good and beautiful and true. This is the exchange that follows:

"I wish it need not have happened in my time", said Frodo. "So do I", said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us..."

There are people who seem to transcend time, who write words that capture the essence of the cosmic battle between good and evil, freedom and bondage, light and darkness. J.R.R. Tolkien is one such person. Friends, we can't decide in which times we live, but we absolutely can choose how to live in them. I'm going to put the file "The Great One" in front, and "The ones He loves" right there with it. And with His help (without it, I'm sunk), I'm going to do my best to live with those priorities in the times set before me. I'm glad those times are with you!

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


PS: Steve is out on a walk with an elderly lady on our block, Flo. She's never married, and she lives alone. I think they keep a good pace with one another...


Mary Louise said...

I sit here crying again as I read your blog. A good eye cleanser! I have always loved that quote from Gandalf. We do not choose the times we live in, the trials that come our way or what family we're born into, etc. but God does and He is good. His plans are for our good.

As to sadness. If you did not read the story in Monday's Times Union about Connor Menneto in section B, dig it out. The Headline is "For teen in pain, suffering is optional". We have pain, but we can move past suffering.

Anonymous said...

Job suggestions:

For Miss Rejoice: Abbey works at Emma Willard as a camp counselor every summer. Unfortunatly, your first summer has to be volunteer, but each subsequent summer is a paid position (not well paid, but paid, nonetheless). If nothing else, it will give her something to do this summer. If she's interested, Abbey can give her all the info she needs. p.s. this position can also lead to well-paying babysitting jobs.

For Joseph: Abbey has also submitted an application to work all evening and weekend games for the Valley Cats at the Joe. She'll be working in the non-alcohol concession stands if she gets the job. Worth the try. XXOO Mar

Anonymous said...

WE are looking for kitchen help at Camp Pinnacle. You can go to the website to apply and they can also try out a weekend or two before hand to see if they like it. No group this weekend but the following weekend we have a group and open house on Sunday from 12:30 to 3:00. Tehy get Room and Board plus a weekly salary and alot of fun thrown in as well as a daily chances to worship. They could also volunteer for the worship team. Go to to find all the info. Denise

Anonymous said...

RE: Camp Pinnacle.... awesome camp; both boys love it and look forward to it every year - THE highlighted week of their whole summer experience. They would love the opportunity to hang out there ALL SUMMER! This year they'll be there 7/5-7/11 in the Horse Camp program; unless we can find a way to work in addt. weeks! Lots of kids from BCC go there too! Laurie D.

Jessica said...

Loriann, this is silly, but I'm going to quote you to yourself! A few weeks ago you wrote this: Yes, life takes hellish turns. But it also is laced with reckless joy.
I can't tell you how much this sentence has meant to me. My life has taken some hellish turns, but rather than seeing life in seasons of all good or all bad, I've begun to see life as the winding road that it is, with both dark and light intermixed. When the road takes a turn for the 'worse' I can look for the sunflowers and daisies God has placed next to my path (and sometimes I have to look pretty hard for them!)It takes a little of the pressure off of myself to not take life too seriously, even when it's difficult.
I love you and your wonderful family! I'm glad we got to spend some short time together this last weekend and I hope we can get together again soon!
Jessica Dubin