Sunday, September 11, 2011


My cousin/pseudo-sister is wonderful about reminding her sons (and soon her daughter too!) to obey. I've always thought that it is wonderful that she is using that word already even as toddlers. I used it on Brynn last night after she had thrown a basket's worth of toys across the room one by one when she didn't want to go to bed. I had clearly warned her and then she threw something else. She got a time out and when she calmed down, I explained to her what obeying Mommy meant. She said she was sorry and we then had our precious bedtime routine.
I have always tried to be obedient to my teachers, parents, and bosses, to the best of my ability. (Except maybe getting home right at 11 p.m. every time...sorry, Mama.) However, I've been realizing lately that there are many areas of my life that I have been disobedient by omission. Kind of like when you fail to tell someone something it's lying by omission. I wasn't blatantly doing wrong on purpose, just procrastinating and generally not doing things that responsible grown-ups are supposed to do. Things such as keeping a budget, doing housework regularly, keeping myself healthy, and not worrying.
Okay, so that last one is hard for everyone and doesn't really fit into that category, but it is something I have always struggled with to the point of believing it would never change.
I hope you read the "Welcome to Holland" story, or this isn't going to make much sense. I was definitely sent to Holland this year. I've probably been on the plane there for the last couple of years. As most of you who read this know, my husband has been looking for a "real" job for at least 3 years now, honestly longer. It has been quite a journey for the both of us. Our picture we painted when we were dating of me being the stay-at-home mom and him being the one who brings home the bacon dissipated long ago. It took some time, but I have realized that I don't think that's who I wanted to be anyway. (That was me seeing the tulips in Holland.)
After we lost the baby this year, my whole perspective on life changed, as I have mentioned before. I truly witnessed how little power we have over what happens in nature and how useless worrying about it is. If you can do something, do it. Otherwise, leave it to God. Neither I nor anyone else on this earth could have kept my baby here, so all I could do was find peace. (That was finding the windmills in Holland.)
Since that revelation, I was given the job I always wanted. Or at least since I switched my major to special ed in college. It is all I hoped it would be. It really is a ton more work than my other position was, but it is so much better suited for me. Again, I have found peace and joy in what I do. And I don't have to search very hard for it every day. That relief I know has led to my success in other areas.
I have finally started learning how to successfully declutter my house and KEEP it that way! My closet, bathroom, and most of my kitchen have been clean for over a week now. I don't know if any of you can relate, but that is saying a WHOLE lot for me. Since I was little, I would work on cleaning something all day and not be able to see any difference by the time I was exhausted. I found my kindred spirit at, and she is really helping me. I think I would be considered in the remedial class if she had a school, because I'm having to take the baby steps at a rate of about 1 per 3 days rather than one a day. BUT IT'S WORKING! Just like the worrying thing, I never ever ever thought I could have a clean, un-cluttered home. Don't get me wrong, it isn't there yet, but I suspect within the year it will be darn close. At least as close as it's going to get so long as I have children in my home.
SO here's the spiritual connection. I don't believe that the cleanliness of one's house determines your salvation. At least I hope to goodness it doesn't or I was doomed from birth. I also don't think that God loves me more because I'm eating better and exercising more. I do believe that since I have been more aware of improving myself and getting all the other junk out of the way, I am allowing God to do His thing which is so much more than I could have achieved myself. This is finding the Rembrandts in Holland.
By Thursday we should hear if Erick is getting this job that neither of us knew existed until about 4 days ago. Every single thing about it has some connection to something Erick has done before in his whole journey this far. From working at the dry cleaners to grad school to the library. It all lines up. The song "God Blessed the Broken Road" comes to mind, only it's a job, not a person. It's 90% certain he has it. We've been burned so many times that I'm afraid to celebrate too much yet, but you will hear me hoop and holler when we get the final word.
Thank you, Lord, for giving me the perseverance this year when I thought I was just giving up. I realize now I was giving it up TO YOU. Help me to always remember what I have been learning, even when my motivation isn't strong. You are good, and Your love endures.

Welcome to Holland

I'm not usually into mushy gushy inspirational stories, but this one was too wonderful not to share. I think this beautiful illustration could be applied to any change that life brings you unexpectedly. I'll give my update and response in a separate entry so it's not a gazillion miles long.

Welcome To Holland
By: Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel.
It's like this...
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It’s just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills.... and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things.... about Holland.