Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Earth has no sorrows that Heaven can't heal.

As I held Nanny's hand and told her how much I love her, how much I'm going to miss her, and how thankful I am for her I couldn't help but think that her hands tell her whole life story.  If we sat down and thought about all the wonderful, joyful, and difficult things she's done with her hands we would quickly see what a caring and giving woman she is.  Her hands prove that her life was one that was well-spent.

-As a child Nanny used her hands to help her mom and dad on their farm.
-She helped "mother" her younger sister
-Then as a teenager she used her hands to place a ring on Pappaw's finger.  Her left hand housed her wedding ring from Pappaw for nearly 58 years.
-She rocked, changed the diapers, and raised 7 of her own babies
-she patted the bottom and played "ride little horsey down to town" with 14 grand-kids
-she cradled her great grandkids and loved them more than they'll ever know
-she laid her daddy, her momma, brothers, sisters, and daughter to rest

With her servant hands she also:
-planted and picked a garden with Papaw every year
-canned boo-koodles of pickles and handed them out so freely
-made enough jelly to feed all of the tri-county area year after year
-canned anything and everything and entered it in her grandkids names at the fair for so many years so we would have money to put in our "piggy banks"
-picked switches off of her trees to discipline us all.. too many times to count
-put us on the couch to "hug it out" until we got along with each other
-flipped skillets to make pancakes and fried corn bread
-held a ladle to stir millions of gallons of sweet tea so there was always some in the refrigerator if someone came to visit
-scooped out ice cream to make us hound dogs
-turned the tv on to watch wheel of fortune and her "stories"
-drove all of her grandkids to "town" without a driver's license
-shelled purple hull peas until she had purple stains on her fingers
-shucked corn in front of the shop fan
-picked plums
-helped her grandkids go "bottle busting" in the ditches by her house
-dug through the "big house" to find her kids' old softball gloves, balls, and bats so we could have family softball games
-packaged deer meat and fish after every hunt or fishing trip of Papaw and Uncle Wayne's
-prepared food for our family for Sunday lunch for so many years
-hosted the Moore family for the yearly family reunion
-dusted all of her salt & pepper shakers and bells
-picked up pecans and cans so she could get money to hide from papaw
-washed bed sheets to let guests stay in her home
-lifted the deep freeze lid because she didn't think anyone else knew how
-made the biggest pan of dressing I've ever seen every year for Thanksgiving
-made chocolate pies, dishpan cookies, pecan pies, oatmeal and coconut pies, and crescents to please the tastebuds of us all at Christmas
-decorated her miniature Christmas tree
-hid Easter eggs
-sealed tupperware dishes because she always sent some kind of food home with us when we visited her
-planted touch me nots so her grandkids could enjoy popping them
-pinned her white hair back with bobby pins
-braided our hair
-waved until she could no longer see us when we left her house
-talked with her hands. ALWAYS.
-slipped on her house shoes which she never walked around the house without
-hung up the phone after saying "holler if you need me"

And those were the final words I heard her say.  "holler if you need me".  That's who she was.
-She lived a  simple, selfless life.  She was always thinking about someone else.  She was always willing to give more than she even had.  She loved us all so well.  She was and is NANNY.

Friday, May 2, 2014

hi ho hi ho it's off to work I go!

I just know I'll get two lines into this and start bawling.  I can't even believe this ten week stretch of being home with Millie is over.  Ahhh... TEN weeks?? Gone.  like the blink of an eye.  and yep.. here come the tears.  I know- "JUST WAIT".. i honestly HATE that term, but I know her life will just keep speeding past me without me realizing it... HOW SAD IS THAT???
I truly should be looking to the JOYful part of it---I got to take ten weeks when the norm is six weeks for maternity leave.  That's 70 days I got to sit and stare at my daughter without hesitation.  Without worrying about what time I had to wake up in the morning.  Without stressing over whether or not she would let me sleep at night so I would be worth something at work the next day.  Without having to scramble to get things ready the night before to leave her the next day.  70 days without HAVING to leave her (of course for my sanity I did leave the house without her).
And oh, how I have studied her every little part in those 70 days.  I've honestly done a really good job of "soaking it all in", but that may make leaving her even harder??  My favorite thing has always been her nose.  I still love it so much, but now I also really really love her hands--so much chubby cuteness and her nails are already longer than mine (I bite mine... and really need to cut hers).  As I'm rocking her we often talk about "uses" for our hands... well honestly, I do all the talking, but I'm positive she listens :).  I've told her about waving, shaking hands, one of my favorites--EATING... using our hands to write, type, grab and hold things, and using our hands to be THE hands of Jesus... to serve and worship.  I also secretly have told her about using her hands to wear a glove and to throw a softball :)... because I'd really enjoy being a ballpark mom and ballpark junkie again just like I was when I was young!  OF COURSE, I'll love her even if she doesn't love softball as much as I do... but I'll continue to be that voice in her ear until it is unhealthy and I should no longer be "pushing" ideas on my daughter. HA.
The past 70 days have been the best days of my life.  Every day was different.  Every day she was different.  She is so much fun.  SO much fun.
I love the way she looks at me like I am her world.  She is my world.

Everyone says this is the best time to leave her because I won't miss any of her "firsts".  I think it would be hard for me no matter when I went back (as I'm sure it is for most moms.. first timers for sure).  She is starting to discover her hands and feet.  The other day she touched her foot with her hand (on accident of course)...and I couldn't help but think, what if she starts grabbing her feet when I'm not here????......bah petty, I know, but gosh.

Last night when I was running on the treadmill I was having a MAJOR pity party.  Among other things that the devil was covering my thoughts with, I kept thinking about leaving her.  Then, the song "Holy Spirit" came on.  I realized instead of sulking in the fact that I have to spend 5 weeks away from my daughter before summer vacation, I should REJOICE.  Then I forced myself to start listing things in my head that were outright blessings straight from the Lord (that isn't something that is easy to do when you're in the midst of wallowing in things you have no control over but want to feel sorry for yourself over anyway).  When I thought about the next four things I couldn't run anymore.  I got off the treadmill and knelt down by the bed in our guest bedroom.  I thought about Millie.  How easy of a pregnancy I had (minus the throwing up), how easy and quick delivery was,  how smooth of a transition we have made being a family, and how happy of a baby she is.  WHAT A BLESSING.  The second blessing I started pondering (I LOVE THAT WORD) was Ben.  As I was running I looked down at the note he had left me on the treadmill a few weeks ago once I could finally start working out again (and was super discouraged because it was so hard).  It simply said- "I love you.  You're a great mom."  He loves me.  He truly loves me with everything he has, and he genuinely wants to see me happy.  He is the best friend I've ever had.  Thank you, Jesus for showing me your love through him.
Blessing number three was my job.  Isn't that just like God to put something in front of my face that is the root of why I was feeling pitiful in the first place.  My job is one of the most evident "God things" in my life.  After the Lord led me to Ben, he led me to Jerry Pop Williams Elementary.  I was on this year long journey of finding a job after finishing the MAT... I had long-term subbed at Williams and felt like that was the place I was meant to teach.  Finally, the next fall, I got hired, and I have enjoyed every single day since.  Calling what I do a "job" isn't really fitting because I absolutely LOVE where I work, who I work with, who I work for, and the parents and students I'm surrounded by.  Williams Elementary feels more like home to me.  Again, I was saying THANK YOU, Jesus.  The fourth blessing that overpowered my thoughts was Jesus.. dying for me.. on a cross.. a brutal, painful death.  for me.  I recently watched the Passion of the Christ.. I had never seen it.  Wow.  The part that got me most (other than a sinless man taking on every sin of this world) was when He was in the courtyard & the soldiers were whipping him.  Every time I heard them slap the whip I thought of a sin I'd committed (I know we aren't supposed to dwell on them once they've been forgiven) and thought, as I have many times before, those scars on his body were for ME!  Each scar represented a time I fell short, a time I mocked the Lord, or a time I let the ways of the world overtake me rather than choosing to walk in the light.  UGH!
So yeah- I got off the treadmill.. started crying tears of JOY through my THANKSGIVING and PRAISE.. I thanked the Lord.. thanked him that I HAVE a daughter to even worry about leaving,  that I have a husband here to support me and help me through the next five weeks, and that I have a job that I can actually LOOK FORWARD to returning to.

On that note--- I have 24 students (most that i've taught for 2 years) that I CANNOT wait to be reunited with!  I love them like they are my own kids, and I'm thankful to have five more weeks with them before they move on to another building next year.  They have brightened my day on the hardest of days.  They, too, look at me with such innocent eyes and see me for a much better person than I truly am.  Their sweet spirits are wonderful motivation.  I truly think I have the best class at Williams Elementary :).  THANK YOU, JESUS again!  I have also built very strong relationships with their parents.  Most of them are more like friends!

SO I HAVE DECIDED TO REJOICE- to be JOYful in the idea of going back to work.  I know I'm going to cry.  A LOT.  I know it is going to be one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, but I also know that the Lord is going to carry me through each day, and that once I get back into this routine it will get easier!


and this doesn't really have anything to do with this post, but I finally found this after searching for MONTHS! I've been looking for it since we left the Majestic concert... it was SO powerful and I just remember standing with my mouth wide open as he read this.  So beautiful.  You HAVE to watch!
If there are words for him- I don't have them