Super Girl?

Have you ever wondered why it’s Super Girl and not Super Woman? I mean it’s Super Man,Spider Man and Wonder Woman but it’s only Super Girl. It’s not like she doesn’t have all of her super powers.  She can do everything that Super Man can do but she’s still just called a girl.  I don’t really get it.  So… you might be wondering why am I talking even about Super Girl?  Although I’m a pretty big nerd, I don’t have an unhealthy obsession with super heroes.  Today I want to talk about my own super girl, my wonderful wife.  Since we were on the road, Mother’s Day I didn’t have the opportunity to brag on her.

She is amazing just to have survived having 3 kids who are now adults.  We were lucky enough that she was able to stay at home with our kids most of the time.  She did put on her cape to work outside the home when our roof gave  out and the water heater died after our “emergency fund” went on life support.  I can’t thank her enough that because of her we were able to pay those off quickly.   Our kids are so lucky to have such a godly Mom.  My wife’s super powers are many and varied.  Able to whip up a Halloween costume faster than a speeding bullet; able to leap to the defense of our kids and anyone else needing protection, strong and powerful enough to have three children by natural child-birth with out killing me for doing that to her, and able to keep the world of our family spinning when the outside world seemed bent on stopping it. When I look in the mirror and think I look fine, her x-ray vision enables her to see everything I’ve missed and to stop me with a ” You’re not really going to leave the house looking like that, are you?’ along with being able to spot the most miniscule particle out of place when I think the room is perfect.  Her super sonic hearing alerts her when I try to sneak a snack to keep me on the straight and narrow.  Our kids always know that they were loved by their mother and know ,even today, that she is their biggest supporter and cheerleader.  She sews, she embroiders. She is the defender of truth, justice and the way of the crafts.  She even has her very own fortress of solitude, more commonly known as the sewing room.  Only where Super Man’s is made of crystals, hers is built from fabric which grows at an even more rapid pace to the point that it has taken over most of upstairs. Her smile and her warmth can melt the iciest of moods.  I’m not sure she has been able to harness her napping power to its fullest potential but back up,because if she does,  it  will solve the energy crisis.

She doesn’t fly in an invisible  plane or have a magic lasso but she can do some pretty amazing things with a spool of thread.   I  have literally fallen down like it talks about in Ecclesiastes with my recent injury and she  has been  there to pick me up (even if she does scold me for doing something I probably shouldn’t have in the first place.)   I know she’s  not perfect but that’s ok because if she was she sure wouldn’t have picked me.  I’ve mentioned before, I married well.

So look up in the sky but it’s not a bird, or a plane or even Super Girl.  It’s just my wife and our kids awesome mom.  It’s   Proverbs 31 Woman.

Proverbs 31

In Praise of a Capable Wife

10 Who can find a capable wife?[i]She is far more precious than jewels.[j]11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will not lack anything good.12 She rewards him with good, not evil,all the days of her life.13 She selects wool and flax
and works with willing hands.14 She is like the merchant ships,bringing her food from far away.15 She rises while it is still night
and provides food for her household and portions[k] for her female servants. 16 She evaluates a field and buys it;
she plants a vineyard with her earnings.[l]17 She draws on her strength[m]and reveals that her arms are strong.18 She sees that her profits are good,and her lamp never goes out at night.19 She extends her hands to the spinning staff, and her hands hold the spindle.20 Her hands reach[n] out to the poor, and she extends her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid for her household when it snows,for all in her household are doubly clothed.[o]22 She makes her own bed coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known at the city gates, where he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes and sells linen garments; she delivers belts[p] to the merchants. 25 Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom and loving instruction[q] is on her tongue.27 She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle.[r] 28 Her sons rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her: 29 “Many women[s] are capable, but you surpass them all!” 30 Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. 31 Give her the reward of her labor,[t] and let her works praise her at the city gates.

 

 

 

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Driving Mrs. Daisy


We just returned from a destination wedding at Jekyll Island for my nephew and his new bride this weekend.  The wedding was absolutely beautiful and we had a fantastic time.  My new son-in-law drove for the entire trip and I was relegated to the co-pilot seat.  This was somewhat of a blow to my ego because normally I’m the one who drives most road trips.  As a result of my recent surgery, my wife and eldest daughter conspired to supplant me as primary or even the secondary driver.  It is probably due to my lovely wife envisioning my leg brace somehow becoming welded to the gas pedal causing the car to inexplicably accelerate off a cliff.  Being somewhat of an affront to my male ego, I presented what I believed  was my best, most logical defense.  I had a doctor’s note stating I was capable of driving along with the signed and sworn testimonies of everyone I could think attesting my driving prowess.  I think I even tried a little Rain Man on her with; I’m an excellent driver. Dad, let’s me drive in the driveway on Sundays.”  All of this was to no avail.  Talk about a kangaroo court; the verdict was decided before the trial ever began.  My wife and daughter served as judge and jury together.  Where is Perry Mason when you need him?

My humbling began before we even left the driveway.  I pride myself on a Tetris-like ability to pack the car.  However, my daughter and her husband completely put me to shame because the wedding we were attending was formal with a “beach cocktail” reception the evening prior so the required wardrobe was quite extensive.  They packed with NASA space flight envied precision accounting for every square inch of cabin space leaving only the bare minimum space for breathing.   There was actually some discussion of jettisoning me because my crutches and leg brace exceeded mission parameters.  Luckily, I was able to validate the extra weight because my name was on the invitation and the rental agreement for the place we were staying.

Next came the daunting task of seating arrangements.  The drivers spot was already spoken for as was my assigned co-pilot’s seat, since it was the only place I fit.  My wife and eldest daughters somehow maneuvered themselves around luggage, a food basket, as well as the formal attire suspended from the window.  Any movement by either required a coordinated effort by both to avoid serious injury.  As for our youngest, she apparently drew the short straw and was sentenced to the equivalent of being seated in the stocks.  She was forced to army crawl through a tortuous maze only to reach a “fold-away” back seat more suitable for a citizen of Munchkinland than a grown woman.  There was actually sufficient leg room for any adult as long as they had no objection to losing their legs below the knee.  If we had planned better, we would have run a string throughout the car to pass notes because we had no way of communicating with her when the second row slept.  Ever resourceful, she began texting the front seat when she needed luxuries like oxygen.  We did provide entertainment as we exited and entered the vehicle amazing onlookers with our dexterity.  I think I even heard one bystander giving odds on our success.

Despite all of our challenges, we made it there and back safely and my youngest should regain the use of her legs by the end of the week.  There was a moment when I almost let my pride keep me from spending quality time with my family.  I would have missed seeing my son and his fiancee from Mississippi as well as sharing the experience of seeing my nephew get married.  We had a thoroughly enjoyable time eating, laughing, and just being together.

Maybe I’ll be more willing to swallow my pride in the future.  Who knows I might even grow to like being chauffeured around.  In that case, I’ll gladly buy Will a cap, put on a bonnet, and sit in the back seat.

 

Do this, then, my son, and free yourself, for you have put yourself in your neighbor’s power: Go, humble yourself, and plead with your neighbor

Why ask why?

I happened to find this old draft since I have begun writing again.  As I have recently stated, its been 7 years since I have written anything.  Below is what I wrote but never posted.

When our children were little one of their favorite questions was why?  The answer to almost any request we made was why. Why, why, why?  More often than not there was really no answer but that never seemed to satisfy them so they would continue to ask until either my wife or I would answer with the great wisdom of the ages, “Just because!” Now that they are teenagers and beyond, I find that my wife and I tend to ask that question more of them.  Why in the world did you do that?  Why would you think that we would want to see at what temperature the microwave would spontaneously combust and other such questions that really have no answer.  We live in a world that the answer to almost anything can be found in the click of a mouse.  Surely there is some web site that we could always get the answer our whys.

As I write this here this morning, I’m filled with whys.  You my mom is at the point of death and I can’t help but ask God why.  I except the fact that death is just a part of life but I don’t really get why hers has to be so painful.  She has been fighting cancer now for four years….

And that”s where I stopped.  I didn’t feel like writing anything else and I didn’t really want to post it.  I try to keep my posts light, even when the topics are deep.  Its been almost 7 years but I really think I need to finish this.  I still have lots of whys.  My dad passed almost  2 years ago after getting liver cancer.  The hard part was watching him waste away and the toxins his body wasn’t able to handle take his mind.  He was only supposed to last 3 months but he lasted about 18. Why does a  Godly man, who never touched a drop of alcohol get liver cancer?   I still don’t understand  all these why questions but I’ve come to a different place where they don’t matter as much.   Part of the reason is that I really don’t think I have to understand everything.  As I’ve gotten older. my faith has become so much more simple.  I was able to hold Mom’s hand as she passed and I know that when Dad passed, he went to be with God where I know dad heard, “Well done good and faithful servant”.

Because of my leg injury, this most recent Easter is the first Easter I’ve missed being in church that I can ever recall.  Our family enjoys worshiping each week but there is something special about Resurrection Sunday.   Although worship has many different aspects, I don’t think snoring is one of them and my pain medicine would have made that a certainty.  But Easter is the ultimate why.  Why would a perfect God want anything to do with us?  Why would Jesus love us so much to go through the torture of the cross for us?  It doesn’t make sense but the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.  The amazing thing about Jesus is not that He suffered and died for us.  The amazing thing is that Jesus had the power to stop it all and say that we’re just not worth it.  And that is the biggest why of all.  Why would He do it?  I can’t say but I’m just glad He did.  I may not have all the answers to my why questions but His answer on Good Friday and victory on Easter make them not nearly as important.

 

But God proves His own love for us in that while we were stillsinners, Christ died for us!

For Better or Worse

That’s one of the promises that we made during our wedding ceremony, to love each other for better of worse in sickness and in health. I’m sure my wife has been rethinking that whole thing for the last two weeks since this injured leg thing. She has done an absolutely amazing job of taking care of me. She have been compassionate and caring which is no surprise because she is a compassionate and caring woman. I married well. What is surprising is that she did all this despite the fact she “really” (and I mean really) dislikes anything medically related.  When our oldest daughter was growing up, she loved to have long ranging discussions about anything medical around the dinner table.  My wife would often turn various shades of green before shifting the conversation to some less gross topic.  Since my injury she has acted as my nurse, changing dressings on my incision, without complaint or without losing her lunch once.  She has also attempted to minister to my emotional health during my recuperation which brings me to the topic of today’s musings.

In an effort to alleviate some of the boredom that I have been experiencing, my wife ordered a kit called something along the lines of “Water color made easy”. The kit includes water color paints, some brushes, different patterns that you trace onto the water color paper, and instructions to watch an instructional video on Youtube. My wife’s thought was that we could share in this bonding experience by being creative together. Although this may not be the worst, this activity does not inspire thoughts of delight and well being in my heart. I think this aversion is more than likely due to the fact when I draw or paint something the usual response is “Now what exactly is that supposed to be? Are you sure? No,I still don’t see that”. My wife and all of our kids are extremely artistic and very talented where all of my efforts at visual expression of creativity lose much in translation. That being said, I was not approaching our Friday night art endeavor with baited breath.  My wife and daughter set up all the supplies with barely contained excitement.  Once everything was set up, we were ready to begin our “floral truck” project.  My daughter began casting the lesson.  Perhaps I should have waited for all the instructions before I actually began putting paint to canvas because I was in trouble right from the start.  Actually, I was in way over my head before that.  It started as I was trying to match the color the video wanted us to use.  It was supposed to be a pale teal color but this best I could manage was sort of a cross between puke green and baby poop yellow.  The video instructor spoke of layering the coats to give the painting some dimension.  I was not able to manage more than two.  My picture did at least resemble a pickup truck only mine appeared to have been completely totaled.  The bumper of my truck has apparently been in more fender benders than a 20 car Nascar pile up with all the hues of the rainbow displayed.  The floral display in the rear of the pickup were tragic victims of the aforementioned  complete calamity.  I only pity any bees that would attempt  cross pollinating this confusing mishmash of color that didn’t resemble any floral pattern existing in nature even by accident.  My profuse perspiration probably contributed to the bleeding of my colors into each other.  Usually that much bleeding, results in the loss of the patient.  That would have been a merciful ending to this sad escapade but my suffering was not yet complete.  Upon applying my last touch of paint, the instructor shared my artwork was unique and didn’t need to be compared to anyone else’s.  I kind of felt like I had just received a participation award.  My wife displayed my picture on the wall.  It really doesn’t look that bad if you back way off and you look at it in just the right light.  The problem is that you can’t always  depend on that light to avoid becoming extremely ill.  I’m counting on my wife to continue to stay with me because after viewing the result of our artistic bonding experience, she can only think that it can’t get much worse.

Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.  Proverbs 4:23

 

It ain’t bragging if….

I’ve heard it said many times to be careful what you pray for because God just might give it to you. You know if you ask God for patience, He may put you in a situation that will require you to develop patience. Its also very likely when you brag that you don’t do or that you do something, you are very often challenged to see if you are true to your words. Well, I have to confess that I was called on that this afternoon. I made the the statement in my last post that I don’t get embarrassed very easily. Probably should have qualified that statement. My moment of testing started this morning after my doctor’s appointment to remove the staples in my leg. Everything is looking great and I’m progressing well. In fact, I’m allowed to go back to work with some restrictions.
After the appointment, we went to Walmart to pickup a few things. It must have been AARP discount day, because every one of the Walmart hoverounds was either occupied or was completely out of charge. So… I had no choice but to traverse the wilds of Walmart on crutches. We were simply searching for a wiffle ball and bat. You would have thought we were asking for the location of the “lost ark” because no one seemed to know where this rarest of all items might be located. After reaching the step goal on my fitbit wannabe, someone finally had pity on me and illuminated the path to our goal. Upon obtaining this most elusive of items, my wife stated she needed something on the exact opposite side of the store. I had reached the end of my resources and told her I would meet her at the front of the store. I found a bench in the geriatric section where upon the game of operation one ups-manship began. Being rather a novice, my torn quad surgery didn’t fare well against a double hernia and a triple bypass so I was eliminated in the early rounds. My wife finished her shopping and we proceeded to our next destination.
My wife had to exchange some plants at Lowes. I was at the end of my endurance so decided to stay in the car. Luckily she rolled the windows down before leaving. And here is where my moment of truth was about to happen. Apparently exchanges are not exactly hassle-free because my wife was quite delayed. My injured leg was getting restless and I felt I needed to get out of the car for a few moments. I unlocked and opened the door. You would have thought I had breached maximum security. The car alarm went off and I instantly raised my arms knowing that at any moment SWAT would come swinging down from the light poles. I quickly shut the door hoping that would disarm the alarm.  I wasn’t even able to hang my head out the window like a dog without activating the alarm.
It did shut off but only temporarily. The alarm sounded about every 90 seconds. Since I’ve been unable to drive, I didn’t have keys to shut if off. I knew everyone in the parking lot was looking at me. I tried to do my very best Madagascar Penguin’s impression of “Just smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave.” without much success. I think even some of my Walmart geriatric buddies were laughing at me and my lack of understanding on how to turn off a car alarm. Do you know how difficult it is to hide in the floorboard in a full leg splint? My color wheel is definitely not in the red family. If only my wife had warned me that she had put the car on lock down, the whole situation could have been avoided. At work. some patients are labeled SAFE (Stay alert for fall events) but I had no idea my wife had labelled me SAFHE (Stay alert for husband escapes).
So… from this point forward, I will be more careful about what I boast about. I know how that can turn out.

Don’t boast about tomorrow,
for you don’t know what a day might bring.

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth—
a stranger, and not your own lips    Proverbs 27:1-2

 

Did I did do that?

The only good thing about having an injury is having a great story about how you got the injury in the first place. I need to concoct a better story about how I tore my quad because I’m a little tired of people laughing at me as I explain it was a kick ball injury. When I called to file claim for FMLA, the young lady I spoke with was extremely helpful and compassionate. That being said, I think I actually heard a snort with my reply of a kickball injury. I ‘m sure she put me on hold so she could laugh uncontrollably. I only hope some fluid came out her nose during this period. I can’t say for sure but in my heart of hearts, I feel she must have put me on speaker phone so that all of her coworkers could join in the merriment. Even though, she assured me that the background noise wasn’t snickering, I have my doubts. My embarrassment over this injury started in the ER and seems to have no end.
The thing is I don’t embarrass very easily. I can embarrass my wife at the drop of a hat however, my youngest doesn’t get embarrassed often. Which brings to mind a time I thoroughly managed to “ruin” her life. She was a gifted lacrosse goalie in high school. In fact she was all region her junior year. Partly due to the teams success that year, more girls wanted to play lacrosse her senior year. This resulted in having 4 goalies that year. The lacrosse coach asked if I would serve as goalie coach. I agreed with trepidation since I had no clue how to be a goalie coach. The internet and youtube are wonderful tools and you can learn just about anything. My search history was soon loaded with goalie drills and that brings me to my moment of disgrace. This particular drill to develop soft hands involved catching an egg in their nets without it breaking. I had wrapped the eggs in plastic so they would not get on their nets if they broke. Unfortunately. rain caused the practice to be moved into a local gym. I had already been in conflict with the gym officials because I happened to expand my goalie drills onto adjacent, although unoccupied, gyms. For the aforementioned egg drill, I began tossing my goalies eggs while the head coach had his back to us discussing strategy with the rest of the team. The goalies broke some eggs but the mess was contained in the plastic.
I placed the broken ones inside the carton behind me. The drill was progressing nicely as I increased the distance on each toss until I stepped on the carton itself.
Eggs went everywhere and I had nothing to clean them up. Now comes the embarrassing part. I was wearing 2 shirts. The outside was not very absorbent but I was also had I long sleeve shirt underneath.  I pulled off both shirts and began the cleaning up process.  I was not paying attention to the team, mainly concerned with concealing the evidence as inconspicuously  as possible.  “You don’t see anything at all” was my mantra. The head coach still had his back to us so I applauded my stealth.   I returned to my goalies as if nothing had happened until my daughter gave me that DAD look.  I was still bare chested.  I apologize for any images that were burned on the retinas of the girls on the team because they had been witnesses to the whole thing. Luckily the statute of limitations has run out so I can’t be held responsible for any traumatic damage that occurred.   My daughter eventually began speaking to me and I only had to wear a bag over my head for about two weeks after signing an agreement that I would never remove my shirt again in the presence of more than two people, my wife included.

Maybe I can combine the two stories and say from now on that I hurt my leg in some freak chicken accident.  Anything is better than kickball.

Today’s scripture is rather appropriate I think:

And I said: My God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift my face toward You, my God, because our iniquities are higher than our heads and our guilt is as high as the heavens.  Ezra 9:6

Pay no attention to…

Today was another excellent example of not everything is what people tell you its going to be like. I started my rehab today and even though I’m in the medical field, I was somewhat dreading it. I had heard everything from: “You know what P.T. stands for, don’t ya? Physical torture! “to “You better take LOTS of drugs before you go or you’ll wish you had.” To even, “I’m not sure which was worse, the operation or the rehab”. So you can see why I was more than a little bit apprehensive. I was almost expecting a Marquis de Sade character meeting me at the door laughing maniacally and saying something along the line of: “Welcome to the Hotel California. You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave.” Getting into the office was the first obstacle to overcome.  The signage (which was stated to have been recently moved at an exorbitant cost) was located between two trees in full foliage.   I’m sure any birds or squirrels that require physical therapy would locate the office with ease but most patients, unless swinging in by vine, would find the signage less than adequate.  Upon entering the door, I think I’ve been in escape rooms that were less difficult to reach the next level than it was to locate the interior door of the office. I lifted plants, rearranged lamps, and felt along the arm rests of every piece of furniture the foyer hoping against all hopes that I could discover the magic switch that would open the next leg of my journey.   I finally went into another office and asked the location of the P.T. office.  I was amazed that I did not need to answer the riddle of the Sphinx to learn that I needed to take the elevator to the second floor and go straight.

From all of the dire warnings I had received, there were no instruments of torture visible, much to my surprise.  No rack.  No iron maiden.   Not even the tiniest whiff of boiling oil.  No “sound of ultimate suffering”.  Could I be in the wrong place?  Since they had an appointment in my name, I had reached the end of my quest.  Honestly, the worst part of the whole appointment was filling out the endless reams of paper work required to assure I was HIPPA compliant and had enumerated every pain, minor accident, or hint of every twinge I may have had or even thought I had in my entire life.  We chatted while the therapist performed stretches on my leg.  Anticipating at any moment that she would bring out the “bad stuff”, I was ever wary.  When she had me sit up off the table,  I knew this was the point where I would be led into the deepest dungeon of despair to begin the “real” rehab that I had been warned about.  Imagine my surprise when she bade me goodbye and that she’d see me at my next appointment.  It was over and I had not only survived but it did not require a pound of flesh.  I know that as the rehab progresses that I’ll get pushed harder so that I can get back to normal or at least as normal as a 60 year old who has experienced a kickball career ending injury can be.

I guess that’s how life goes.  We are always going to have to experience something where someone else has had a similar experience.  I don’t doubt that those who warned me didn’t have tough rehabs.  I need to remember that just because they had a bad experience, it doesn’t necessarily mean that mine will be bad also.  All I can do, to borrow a cliche, is to “Take it one day at a time”.  I didn’t see anyone behind a curtain that I don’t need to pay attention to.  There are plenty of folks in front of the curtain that I need to just smile and shake my head when they share their dire warnings as I travel down this road to recovery.  I’ll try to lean on what’s become my favorite verse:

Be strong and courageous!  Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God is with you where ever you go.   Joshua 1:9