Monthly Archives: May 2011

No Ugly Mommies

“Random thought:
If there are no ugly babies
it stands to reason that there can be no ugly mothers.”

I wish I could take credit for this beautiful logic, but this quote is from Antique Mommy…a woman only slightly older than myself, who is thankfully and joyously parenting a young child in her older age, just like me.

It made so much sense I wanted to laugh, applaud and buy her a latte.  Maybe some day.

It reminded me of a conversation I had with my little darling, 8 year old Rebekah. She overheard some of her friends talking about their moms and how they all thought their own mothers were beautiful.

Beka said,
“I thought I was the only one who thinks her mom is beautiful.” 

I was touched and thrilled.  She thinks I am beautiful.  This little one of mine doesn’t see the wrinkles and gray hair.  I don’t have the same body,skin, hair,endurance or energy that I had when I had my first kids. 

Back in the days when I was a young Mommy  people always said…
…”you look too young to have a kid”  – then
…”you look too young to have two kids” – then
…”you look too young to have three kids” – then
…”you look too young to have four kids” – then
…”you look too young to have five kids.”

Seven years later, when  I had Rebekah at 38, I never heard that “too young” comment again.  I especially didn’t hear it after I began struggling with thyroid cancer.

In fact, I was often mistaken as the Gramma, and my older daughter, Jana, was the assumed mother.

But, then it all changed for me.  Jana married young and began her family, so I began hearing
…”you look too young to have a grandkid” – then
…”you look too young to have two grandkids. “

After Jana delivers baby number three this June, I hope to hear
…”you look too young to have three grandkids.”

Somehow, I have the feeling that my grandkids, just like my little Rebekah, will not see the wrinkles and gray hair.

They will think I’m beautiful.

And I truly think Antique Mommy is right,

there are no ugly mommies
because there are no ugly babies.
Parenthood is  a beautiful cyle when love is blind, and blind love is good.

Are You Remembering?

Memorial Weekend is celebrated in America with
picnics,
family reunions,
camping trips,
cook-outs,
gatherings with friends,
yard work,
sleeping in
and anticipation for the summer ahead.
Through the years,
the time of remembrance has extended
to include any who have passed on
by visiting and decorating grave sites.
It’s also celebrated with patriotic activities,
like ceremonies to honor our Veterans.
It’s always hard to remember,
but we need to.
We must revisit the pain
to honor the fallen.
Sometimes the most life-changing remembrances are
celebrated with tears.
Tears can water the parched soul and bring healing,
or parch the soul as with bitter water.
In all your remembrances,
may your tears bear the peaceable fruit of righteousness.

MM Meditation – Yea and Amen!

I Corinthians 1:20,
“For all the promises of God in him
are yea,
and in him Amen,
unto the glory of God by us.”

“Yea” – this King James word  is now a part of modern vocabulary, pronounced slightly differently, but used the same. It’s a word those around young people often hear…..YEAH…slang….We are constantly trying to get our kids to say YES instead of YEAH.

After awhile, in a teenage mumbled version of conversion when YES becomes YEA and NO becomes NAY, you can’t tell the two words apart. Of course, you can use that to your benefit, “Oh, you said NAY, you don’t need any money?” Or, “Oh you said YEA you would love to help with the dishes?”

The modern translations use YES. We understand yes.

However, Online Bible notes on the original language tell me this is more than just an affirmation, it is a strong affirmation. It is absolutely, positively a yes.

The Lord graciously writes the Bible, offering thousands of promises to His people. He promises to save us, He promises to hear our prayers, He promises to stay near us, to comfort us, to deliver us, to help us. He promises to adopt us, sanctify us, redeem us, love us, care for us.

He promises,
He promises,
He promises
….each line in the Bible is a promise to us.

It should be enough that He promises us things.  We should trust and believe Him.

But, we’re like little children, aren’t we?

 When we tell children we’re going to do something, they want us to promise them. Then, they want to check our fingers, to see if they’re crossed. In universal sign language, crossed fingers negates any spoken promise.

We don’t need to check to see if God’s fingers are crossed because of His inability to keep promises, but because of our inability to believe Him.

So, on top of ALL the promises He promises to weak humans, He promises that they’re true; they’re YEA and AMEN.

If you wanted to demonstrate this to teens, you would yell YEAH! very loudly with air fist pumps emphasizing how strongly the YES is a YES.

If you wanted to explain this to a small child, you would promise and show them your fingers are uncrossed.

YES is always YES when the Lord promises something.

But, the Lord doesn’t just say YES to all He has promised.

He adds AMEN. Online Bible says that Amen is the most universally recognized word, and again, the definition packs more power than the word alone. It’s an expression of absolute trust and confidence.

Means “so be it” or “I will make it happen.”

So, the Lord gives us a promise. Then He reminds us His yes always means YES. Then He gives further affirmation and says I WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN.

So, once again, the weakest link is the frail human who cannot grasp the promises in the Word of God and apply them to their hearts, their lives, their trials and tribulations.

Next time you read your Bible, when you read a promise, put these exclamation points at the end –

“Oh YEAH, He absolutely, positively says YES!” and  “He will make it happen!”

Because His promises are YEA and AMEN.

The Tale of Three Hammers

Some things never change.
This is how my Dad’s tool bench has basically always looked.
The vise is the same. 
The pegboard is the same.
The grinder is the same.
Every house we’ve lived in,
whether Dad’s workbench was in the basement
or out in the garage,
it’s looked like this.

These green containers with Dad’s familiar handwriting
have sorted his smaller items for years.
But, some things do change.

Look at this row of screwdrivers.
Notice anything unusual?
I’m not talking about the one that’s leaning forward,
if that bothers you, you might be slightly OCD.
Think harder.
Every screwdriver is right where it should be.
There isn’t one in the junk drawer,
one in the toybox,
one under the car,
and one in the garden.
They’re all there.
They’re all there in a nice, tidy row,
just waiting patiently to be used.

As a kid I could never find a hammer.
(I guess Dad couldn’t either.)
There would be one in every fort the boys were making,
(I have three brothers)
there might be one in the driveway if we were smashing rocks or marbles,
there might be one at the neighbor boy’s house,
if he’d lost his Dad’s hammers and needed to borrow one of ours,
and there might be one in the boys’ bedrooms because they were
“fixing” things or “making” things.
Count them.
Three hammers.
They’re all there.
For years my Dad tried to keep his tools from wandering off.
He’d try to lecture the boys on responsibility.
He’d try that piece we all know about money not growing on trees.
He tried to instill the desire for orderliness,
showing them how great it was to go to the workbench
and actually find the tool you were looking for.
Nothing worked for many years.
But, I don’t remember my Dad
ever
forbidding the boys from using his tools.
He just endured.
Maybe he knew that someday the boys would leave
and his tools would look like they do now.
Maybe he even dreamed about the day
when he would go to get a hammer
and he would have three to choose from.
But, I don’t know if my dad ever dreamed about
 the amazing sons he would raise.
My brothers can build or fix anything.
Seriously.
And, they all buy a lot of tools and keep them in order.
In fact, my Dad’s been known to borrow tools from his sons,
as they became more skilled and began buying bigger and better tools.
My Dad’s workbench gives me hope.
Someday, my house will be clean.
My scissors will be where I put them.
My pens will be in the pen jar.
My burners will be clean.
My sewing machine will be threaded.
My glue sticks will have glue in them.
My tape will be in the drawer.
My cupboards will be clean.
My craft cupboard will be neatly organized.
My paints will not be open and dried out.
Until then,
I need to endure.
I need to remind myself that my “stuff”
is being used to train them for their futures.
And someday, by the grace of God,
I’ll be sitting back,
marveling at the amazing children I have.
Then, I will take all 20 pairs of scissors,
and hang them on pegboard.

The Voice of Vicodin

A few short hours after I returned from the hospital Friday morning,
the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal began,
an annual writing conference sponsored by Northwest Christian Writers Association.
With adrenalin and caffeine,
I jumped into my day  fulfilling some responsibilities I volunteered for,
including chauffeuring our guest speaker, Dr. Robert Cornuke.
A Biblical adventurer and investigator, founder of the BASE Institute,
he has searched for Noah’s Ark, the Ark of the Covenant,
After the age of 50, he began publishing books, and had 8 published in 10 years.
His keynote address, writing workshop and closing remarks
were a great encouragement for the writers gathered.
For those of us who get exhausted climbing a few stairs,
it was exciting to see footage of his mountainous adventures.
When he learned my brother, Lee,
couldn’t attend any of the meetings due to a little heart problem,
he asked to accompany me to the hospital for a visit on Saturday.
I knew my brother Lee was recovering well when they immediately began discussing
ancient manuscripts, hieroglyphics, ancient history and the Cuneiform alphabet.
Dr. Cornuke went through passages in the Bible to discuss his discovery
of four anchors, which lead him to the high probability that he found Paul’s shipwreck.
My brother was uncharacteristically exuberant over the visit.
He exclaimed,
“Next to getting saved,
this was the best day of my life!”
His wife, Nita, remember she just
saved his life,
gently challenged him about another special day in Lee’s life –
their wedding day.
When I said goodbye to Lee he said,
“I love you, Sweetie.”
It was shocking, in a heart warming kinda’ way.
I was thinking that maybe this trauma had not just stopped his heart,
but maybe softened it a little.
Maybe my big brother would become a litte less Norwegian,
and a little more affectionate.
It was encouraging.
Until last night.
I dropped in to find him with a stack of paperwork next to his computer.
 He said, “I was reading my charts and found out why
 I was so happy in the hospital. 
I mean, I’m always pretty positive,
but I was just really, really, happy.
They were givin’ me
VICODIN.”
That explained it all.
He didn’t remember calling me Sweetie.
He admitted that the wedding day was a little more special
that meeting Dr. Robert Cornuke,
although he was thankful and appreciative for the opportunity to meet him.
Now, the brother I have always known is back.
A little stoic, a little reserved and not very affectionate.
But, I will always remember those sweet words,
whispered by the Voice of Vicodin.

It’s Always Well With My Soul

I’ve often wondered how people without Jesus make it through life.
I especially wonder how they make it through trials.
I know they won’t make it through death into eternal life.
Friday, the day after my brother’s cardiac arrest,
I skipped lunch at my writer’s conference to go visit him.
I stopped at the information desk to find out his room number,
and was thrilled to discover that a serious young Christian I know
was working.
His trainee walked me to the Critical Care room,
and as I shared my story of the Lord’s presence through Lee’s trial,
she confided she was also a believer.
She rejoiced in our miracle and promised to pray.
The second time I went to visit Lee that day,
I had another blessing.
Our hospital has well-researched what is soothing
to suffering patients and troubled visitors.
The sights, sounds, smells, lighting, decorations and staff
all minister to mind, body and soul.
I stopped to listen to this gentleman playing beautiful music.
The familiar melody washed over my body and soul.
I leaned over the railing and let the tears flow.
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Refrain
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
Refrain
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
Refrain
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Refrain
It wasn’t rock music,
it wasn’t hip-hop,
it wasn’t country,
it wasn’t rap,
it wasn’t pop,
chosen to soothe souls.
The gentleman was playing hymns.
He reminded me that despite another trying circumstance,
It Is Well With My Soul.
Is it well with your soul?

A Trying Moment for Momma Mindy

When I named my blog  “Momma Mindy’s Moments” it was for two reasons:

1.  I love alliteration
2.  I wanted to capture how the Lord was working in my life, moment by moment.  I wanted to encourage my readers to find Jesus everywhere….

…in the midst of poddy-training
…in the midst of home schooling
…in the midst of child catastrophes
…in the midst of cancer
…in the midst of trials
…in the midst of playing
…in the midst of sewing and crafting
…in the midst of burning dinner

I intended to write mostly about happier moments, but my plans aren’t the Lord’s plans.  He allows suffering in our lives according to His Jeremiah 29:11 plan.  So, I’ve continued to write about all the life events in my moments.

Some moments are easy to blog.  Others are hard.

I’ve been skirting the issue for four days, not knowing how to write about this, so I’ll just blurt it out.

Thursday, May 19, 9:30pm, my older brother, Lee, suffered cardiac arrest.  His heart stopped.  He was talking on the phone to his son, Ezra, and felt, again,  the two-week old discomfort in his chest.  It had reached the point where he and his wife had just agreed he needed to go to a doctor. He told  Ezra, “I’m not feeling well.”  Within seconds he was on the floor, his hand still clutching the phone, and he was still.

His wife, Nita, hung up on Ezra and called 911.  They asked her to check Lee’s breathing.  It was shallow and irregular.  She noticed his skin turning blue.  With the phone tucked into her shoulder so she could hear the instructions, she began CPR.  She continued until the paramedics arrived less than 5 minutes later.

The fire chief called our home while the paramedics were shocking Lee and because we live only a few miles away,  my husband and I beat the ambulance to the hospital.  They allowed us to go back into the emergency area when he arrived.

My big, tough older brother, former Airborne Ranger,  who has scaled mountains and dreamed dreams bigger than mountains, was hooked up to every contraption available.

My first view was only his pale white feet, sticking out from under a hospital sheet.  I was recalling his zeal as a newly saved 19 year old, signing letters with Lee W. “Willing to Die for Christ” Bxxxxx.  I’m pretty sure he was still willing to die for the Lord, but in his youthful zeal I know he pictured martyrdom by spear, sword or bullet, not his own heart failing his physical body.

The staff graciously allowed me to touch him and to speak to him, even while they were monitoring.  They worked around me.

Lee was slightly thrashing around and I touched his head and leaned in.  Every verse in the Bible I have memorized for thirty years escaped my mind.  All I can could say over and over was the name of Jesus.

I would whisper, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus is here.”  It calmed him and he stopped thrashing.  His Excellent Name truly is a refuge and a fortress.  Wives are a good comfort, too.  When Nita was done with the paperwork and came in, he responded to her presence. It was amazing to watch.

The doctor relayed that the catheter lab discovered a 80 – 90% blocked artery and had immediately placed a stent in.  The staff repeatedly praised Nita for her CPR skills, doctors and nurses calling her a hero for saving her husband’s life.

With tears in her eyes and a shake to her voice, she admitted she felt uncomfortable being hailed as a hero for something like that.  The praise constantly reminded her of what she had been forced to do.

He was in Critical care for a few days, and arrived home Sunday evening, three days after his ordeal.

Scott and I visited them at their home that evening, and the return to normal was surreal.  Lee was back at his desk using the computer in the living room, Nita was knitting on the couch, peace pervading the room.

Recovery will take time, but we’re so thankful to be planning recovery and not a funeral.

As I look back over the weekend, I don’t feel  panic or depression, I can only praise and thank the Lord.
 
Nita saved my brother’s life.

I can’t get over the wonder miracle of it all.