Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ramblings and Processing

I was thinking back to a time when I was probably a preteen.
I remember this realization hitting me one day:
" Not a single person on this earth sees with my eyes or looks at the exact same things at the exact same time from the exact same angle...therefore, our interpretation of a moment or day will always be different"

Yeah, I know...strange girl and even stranger thoughts for the age.
I was weird like that.
I was thinking mostly about how we physically look at things throughout our life but today, I am also thinking about it in regards to experiences and memories of experiences.

How I experience, filter, interpret and remember a given situation or period of time all play into how I feel about it.
Someone else, may have been there too, but their filters, perspective, angle are going to be different and they may or may not feel the same way about it.

So, if I were to look back to something from another time & place and my processing has led me to see it as "bad"...but someone else processed it differently and saw it as "good"...
well which is it? Which one is reality or does it simply depend on your out look?

If I can only interpret through a single set of valuable might it be to seek out other people's viewpoints? Would I gain new insight from those perspectives and therefore feel differently ?

I think on some things yes, on others...maybe it wouldn't change much at all but in either case, I have a feeling I would see a bigger picture and not simply my little corner of the puzzle.

I know this all seems so random and maybe a wee bit strange but recently, I have reconnected with a number of old friends from a very long time ago.
When they have shared their memories of things from that time and place....
I have smiled, laughed and remembered happy things long forgotten.

They also made me cry at one point because I saw a glimpse of something or someone from a different perspective. I saw the good when all I had remembered was the bad.
It's raised a lot of questions for me but mostly given me a little bigger picture of it all.
Yes, the dark corners are still really dark....but there was something bright and wonderful and beautiful in that picture too.
Since I can't change any of it, it might be nice to look a little more closely at some of those bright areas; realize how they too form my reality.

Still processing...

Further revelation:

"And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten--the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust, My great army which I sent among you."

Joel 2:25

Can I be really honest and tell you that most of my life, I have hated that scripture?

I did and to make matters worse, it seemed that every other time someone prayed over me, this is the scripture they would quote. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to punch someone after they prayed over me!

Not terribly spiritual, I know, but I am just being honest.

This morning, I had another really neat experience. I was contacted by one of my many Ranchers from a life time ago. One of the girls I was a counsellor to and then developed a penpal relationship with for years.

(I still have her letters, drawings and photos tucked away with others from my ranch days)

She had such sweet words of affirmation for me and then God reminded me of others with which I have reconnected recently through the "Facebook Beast".

I only joined to be ready to stay in contact with my son when he leaves in the fall...could God have had other plans?

He reminded me of so many wonderful people, many of which I had all but forgotten, people who have shared wonderful memories.

All from another time and place...from a period of time I guess I had mostly chosen to forget. From the very years that I thought of when people would quote that scripture over thought was always the same:

"He can't give me that time back, He can't change the way things were...How could he possibly restore?!?"

Is it possible, that what I am processing and trying to come to a greater understanding God showing me the bigger picture in order to restore the good and the wonderful of those very years? All that was stolen and eaten through a few bad experiences?

Maybe He really is able to restore all...

He truly is a God of wonders.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More Birthday Stories

I promised to post a picture of the gift Maria found for her sister:

Some of you will know that a while ago, Jianna piped up completely out of the blue:
"I wish I was born in Paris France"

Knowing the academic scholar my youngest is,
I was sure she wished French was her first language or something, but when I questioned her why...
"It's the Fashion Capital of the World...and No, New York isn't!"
Exact quote, I kid you not.

When we were looking for Birthday gifts, Maria found this earring hanger and decided it would be perfect...She was right.

The only thing Jianna could think to ask for as a gift was her birthstone (Amethyst), in a piece of jewelry like a necklace. We found her a necklace and the earrings in the above photo.

As part of her family celebration, we were preparing to watch a movie and Jianna showed up crying. She'd been trying to put her new earrings on the earring hanger and had lost one on the floor of her bedroom. She was devastated.
We got the movie going and I decided to go and find the least it was in her room.

Jonathan had already taken it upon himself to begin the search and we continued together. Shaking out all bedding, lifting every piece of furniture, literally taking a part her bed...
it had vanished.

Finally, Jonathan decided to take the lone earring and the pkg. up to the mall to buy Jianna another pair of earrings.
When he came back, he attached them to her Eiffel Tower and gave them to her, never letting on that it was a different pair altogether...
What a terrific big brother!

This is why I am having such a hard time imagining him not being in our home for the remainder of the younger kids' growing up years.

Since this was to be the last time Jonathan would be home for Jianna's Birthday, ( he's off to UNB in the fall),I forced my Kiddies to pose for pictures.

Wasn't it nice that they were already so well coordinated for me?

I LOVE these faces!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy 8th Birthday Jianna!

Today, my littlest baby turns 8...sigh....yup, I still have trouble believing there are no toddlers running around my house. Maybe it's because there were so many for so long or that 8 seems so very grown up...maybe I am having a mini-mid-life-Crisis but let me tell you, if Mark had not visited the surgeon years ago....

OK, back to the Birthday girl.
Miss Jianna got to plan the family dinner tonight and she decided on wings and shrimp...
That's IT!
For her, this would be the ultimate dinner.
We decided on Banana splits since she'd never had one and will have cake at her party on the weekend. So, wings, cold shrimp w/cocktail sauce and banana splits w/homemade strawberry topping, chocolate and caramel.

I did get her to agree to these potatoes with a bit of variation, (she is her mother's daughter after all!)
She does not THINK she likes pepper...(I'll sneak it in, don't tell her), so she wants them with chopped chives, bacon bits, shredded cheese and served up w/sour cream.

Speaking of My littlest munchkin being like her Mama...

This is Jianna's Birthday Plan all organized by category...ahhhh, a child who loves to organize!
I LOVE this kid!

Happy Birthday to my sweet Fahionista who always wishes she were older and that she lived in Paris France..."The fashion capital of the world you know!"

After we do presents, I will have to post a pic of what Maria found for her...perfect and I would never have thought of it!

Friday, February 12, 2010

One Mother's Grace

The line was long but the sun was bright.
As we waited, there was time to visit with others you knew, who were all there to show their love and respect. Small talk, catching up on the details of the lives of others, there were smiles and even laughter. As the line wove inside and up the stairs and the photo tributes were everywhere, you were once again brought back to the reality of why you were there.
Those incredible eyes that amazing was everywhere. She was truly Beautiful, even when she was captured being silly, she was beautiful.
The wait was long and there was an abundance of time to observe, to reflect, to wonder.

It's been an incredibly tough week for our community. A light was lost in the most horrific of ways....every mother's night mare.
The community had been bound together by this one girl and they are mourning together...
There is a heaviness that has settled over our's almost tangible.
People are reacting...sad, angry, fearful and very cranky.

I watched as a colleague, living the all too real nightmare we can only imagine, greeted each visitor with strength, beauty, grace and even a smile.
She was tired and worn, yet
I wondered at her ability to even be standing at a time when I would imagine she would prefer to sleep ...
if only to forget for a while this horror that is her new reality.

Yes, our community is hurting and in grief....but nothing near the depths of devastation of this one mother.
If only more of us could share her grace, dignity, beauty and strength as we process this tragedy and come to terms with the ways that it has changed us and our community.
I believe we could bring a sense of honor to a senseless tragedy if we would choose to follow the example of this one very courageous lady.

Please continue to pray...
this is so much more than a sensational media story for this grieving family.
Their pain will continue long after the cameras have focused their lens else where and the curious have found something new to occupy their curiosity.