If there is one word that describes my January, it would be "limbo." I began January by holding my breath, so to speak, as I waited for my appointment on the 9th to begin the process of figuring out what the lump in my throat was all about. Then I waited for my ultrasound and biopsy on the 24th, and then waited some more for my appointment on the 31st to hear the results. All along, I was imagining different scenarios based on the outcome of the testing; but of course, I couldn't really picture what life would be like. Would the ultrasound show that my neck was full of tumors, and would we discover that the cancer had already spread and that I only had a few months to live? (Highly unlikely, I know, but the thought still crept into the back of my mind.) Or would the lump be shown to be completely harmless and not even worth wondering about? So many times, I caught myself trying to make plans for the future, and then being stopped short as I realized that the future still looked like a great big question mark. So...limbo.
However, despite all of that uncertainty, life went on; and as usual, I captured little bits of it in my status updates on Facebook which I'll include here in my memories of January... :)
January 1 - First meal of the new year = chocolate chip cookies (made by the many-talented Jeff Fisher) and milk. A sweet way to begin!! :)
January 2 - "The salvation that Jesus offers us is much more than a 'get out of hell' card. It involves a moral, spiritual and mental transformation that takes place in this life." - Preston Sprinkle, in Thriving Family magazine - I'm looking forward to the transformation that will, with God's help, happen in me in the year of 2013! :)
January 3 - These boys crack me up! Right now they're playing pirates, using the couch for their ship; and a few minutes ago, an argument broke out about who would be the captain. Shav volunteered, and Josiah took his side; but David disagreed, saying "He's only THREE. He'll probably say something like, 'Take your underwear off'!" From my vantage point in the kitchen, I suggested that they try it and see; it might work to have Shav as captain. So David turned to Shav and said, "OK, but DON'T say, 'Take your underwear off'!" Quick as a wink, and at the top of his lungs, Shav shouted, "PUT YOUR UNDERWEAR ON!" Oh, that boy! What a ham! :)
January 3 - One of my goals for this year is to read the entire Bible, and I'm planning on doing it in chronological order. Right now I'm in Genesis, of course; and tonight as I read the beginning of chapter 8, I was struck by the beauty of four simple words: "But God remembered Noah..." Oh, that God would remember each of us in that special way!
January 4 - What conversations between Moriah and I sound like these days:
Me: Da-da isn't here right now; he's at work.
Me: Ma-ma! (thinking she's GOT to learn my name eventually) ;-)
* pause *
January 6 - Today I finally finished taking down all our Christmas decorations. Being as it's January 6, I'm not exactly winning any prizes for speediness, am I? ;-)
January 7 - Today is our first day back to our regular homeschooling routine after a wonderful two-week break, and already I'm reminded of one simple fact: I can't do this. How kind of the Lord to remind me so quickly that while it's true that I can't, HE CAN...and my most important task of the day is to lean into Him.
January 7 - I have no idea what I was dreaming last night; but at some point (around 4:00ish in the morning?), I roused up enough to lean over to Jeff and say, "Happy new year!" I remember the sensation of it being SO DIFFICULT to say those words; I was definitely in a fog and had to work really hard to make them come out. I'm not sure Jeff fully appreciated my efforts!! I slipped back into sleep immediately; and when I thought about it all this morning, I had to ask Jeff if it had really happened. He confirmed that it had. Wish I could know what was going on in my head during that time... :)
January 9 - What's the sound you most recently heard? For me, it was the sound of Shav breaking into laughter in the middle of his sleep just now. From absolute stillness, he suddenly burst forth into real laughter--not just one little snicker, but peals of it. I always love to hear my children laugh; but there's a special delight that comes from knowing that their dreams are sweet enough to cause it, even in the middle of the night. :)
January 10 - Oh, the things I learn from my boys while giving them a bath... Tonight it was this: according to Tobin, sometimes he wishes that Moriah wasn't in our family. The reason surprised me--because if Moriah weren't in our family, Tobin could marry her! :) He also reported that David ALWAYS feels this way about Moriah, and that he himself feels this way sometimes...but some days, he feels this way ALL DAY. :) That little girl sure is loved!!! :) Then Tobin asked me if I wished that I were a boy so I could marry Moriah. I assured him that I was completely content with her being my daughter. :) :)
January 12 - This morning I was awakened by a trumpet blast--otherwise known as Tobin's voice. :) "Mom," he shouted as he climbed down the ladder from his bunk bed, "I'm coming to help you make my cake!" Well, in that case, maybe I should start by forcing myself to get out from under my warm covers. :) His enthusiasm about turning five is contagious, and I smile just looking at him. I think it's going to be a great day. :)
January 12 - The boys are watching a movie this morning; and of course, I let the birthday boy choose which one they'll watch. Tobin's choice was so typically *him*: Balto. He loves animals so much, I shouldn't be surprised that he wants to watch a movie about them. :)
January 12 - Walking down Memory Lane tonight...remembering times with dear friends from when we lived in San Diego...there was lots of laughter with this group... :)
January 14 - You might be a "seasoned" mom if, when your baby spits up on you, you don't say "ewwww" and rush off to change your clothes. Instead, you think, "The spit-up blends in pretty well with this outfit; and at the places I'm going today, I don't think anyone will really notice. I'd hate to add another outfit to the laundry pile for no good reason. So...I don't think I really need to change." We're rockin' the spit-up look, moms. :)
January 14 - I am REALLY enjoying reading Job as I go through the Bible chronologically this year. I keep finding all these little nuggets that I had either forgotten about or that had never stood out to me. Here's one for tonight (not that this has deep meaning, but I like the way it's expressed): "The ear tests words as the tongue tastes food." (34:3) :)
January 15 - Hear, hear!! I had to like this article; after all, it has one of my very favorite verses in it!! (Luke 17:10) ;-)
January 18 - One of the most fun things I did today was spend some time playing this game with Josiah and David this afternoon. We were on three different computers here at home, and we could race against each other--perfect for my boys who are just a *wee bit* competitive. (Wonder who they get THAT from?!) ;-) The best part, besides the having-fun-with-Mom aspect, was that David was effortlessly learning his multiplication facts. We haven't even officially gotten to that in math yet, but he's doing a great job with them already! :)
January 19 - Moriah is evidently very gifted. She already knows how to speak Russian!! Well...one word of Russian, at least. She says "da" all the time which means "yes" in Russian; I'm sure she knows what she's talking about. ;-) For example, I'll say, "Do you know how much I love you?" And she'll say, "Da!" And then I'll say, "Do you love me?" And she'll say, "Da!" And then I'll say, "Do you know how beautiful you are?" And she'll say, "Da!" Brilliant, isn't she? :)
January 22 - Conversation of the day...
David (to me): Do you think anyone thinks Moriah is ugly?
Me: Well, I don't think so!
Tobin, piping up to join the conversation: Maybe the penguins in North Dakota think she's ugly.
David: There ARE no penguins in North Dakota!!
I just never, never know what thoughts will pop out of their sweet little heads!!
January 22 - "I thought about recognizing the loss of all of the babies taken from us through abortion since 1973. But since pausing only three seconds for each soul would keep us in the building for 4 years and 9 months, (with no breaks for eating or sleeping), I figured we would have to do something else. But think about that for a minute. Almost 5 years of non-stop silence if you only gave 3 seconds per baby." (David Wesley Gould) - What will it take for people to wake up to the reality of abortion?
January 23 - "In the happiest of our childhood memories, our parents were happy, too." (Robert Brault) - I never thought about it like this, but it's true. I DO remember and treasure most those times when my parents were happy and I was happy and the whole family was having fun together! :)
January 23 - Usually I look forward to an ultrasound with great anticipation; but tonight I'm not exactly feeling that when I think about the ultrasound I'll have tomorrow--the one of my throat to see what's going on with my thyroid lump. And then...gulp...I'll have a needle stuck in my throat for a biopsy of it. Yikes! I'm sure it won't really be that bad, but the thought of it... Whew! It makes me feel like a big ol' wimp. ;-)
January 24 - Back home again after the ultrasound and biopsy of my thyroid. It all went smoothly; the hardest part was actually trying not to swallow while they were doing it. It was definitely an odd sensation to feel something sort of scraping the inside of my neck, but it was not painful, for which I am very grateful. I'd say for having been poked in the neck 6 times today, I'm feeling pretty good! :) I am tired however. I didn't sleep long or well last night, so I'm hoping for a nap today. Anyway, all is well. Thanks, friends, for caring!
January 24 - Today I'm feeling so grateful for Samaritan Ministries! I called them this morning to let them know about my thyroid condition and start the process of having my financial need shared; and right there on the phone, the person I was talking to said, "Can I pray with you?" Well, yes, as a matter of fact, you can!! Made my day, I tell ya. :) (Let's see...how many times has an insurance company ever done that for me? Uh, that would be NEVER.) :) There's such joy that comes from doing things God's way!
January 25 - After we got home from Chick-fil-A (Shav's choice for his Family Night this evening), Jeff said, "Hey, it's really warming up!" Pause. "It's 23 degrees now!" A veritable heat wave. ;-)
January 25 - "As much as the world screams and rages at us to be significant,
the quilt whispers to me to be faithful in the small things..."
I need this reminder every day.
January 27 - I need to let my hair down more often.
No, really, I literally need to let it down more often. I have a habit of, after a morning shower, twisting it up and securing it with a clip really quickly and leaving it like that all day. Reason being, I HATE (I know that's strong language, but I feel strongly!) :) having hair in my face. The problem comes when it's time for bed and I unclip my hair...and it's still damp. A wet head in a cold bedroom does nothing to improve one's comfort.
To solve the problem, I can only think of two solutions: install a woodstove in our bedroom OR make sure my hair dries.
Looks like I'd better be letting my hair down more... ;-)
January 27 - What do you think is the most romantic verse in the Bible? I think a strong contender in that category is Genesis 29:20: "So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her." What incredible love!!
January 28 - I wish I were more like my friend Sally who loves winter, but honestly, winters can be tough for me. Winters are cold, but I love to be warm (and don't mind being hot). Winters are dark, but I love the light. Today as I walked outside for a few minutes to feed the animals, I thought about Psalm 23:3a and realized that sometimes The Shepherd uses sunshine and warmer temperatures to help with that soul-restoration...even in bleak January. So tonight I'm giving thanks for a day that reached into the 50s and a sun that peeked through the clouds and a Creator who oversees and sustains it all. (And tonight after seeing my cousin Mark who lives in Alaska post about the temperatures there being 58 BELOW, I'm even more grateful!) :)
January 29 - Want to know my favorite thing to add to a tossed salad? It's green olives. I LOVE the kick that olives give to salad. (And there's your bit of completely useless trivia for the day.) ;-)
January 29 - Kitchen windows open on January 29? Why, yes, I don't mind if I do! ;-)
January 29 - I was reading The Family Book of Manners to my boys this morning and came across this:
"The dictionary says a neighbor is someone who lives close by. The Bible says a neighbor is anyone in need."
Yes! You never know when a profound truth might reach out and hit you over the head (even when reading a book that is supposed to help your kids get along better). :)
January 30 - If you had asked me before today to name the time and place when Jacob saw angels, I would have mentioned the night he spent in Bethel, with his head on a rock for a pillow, seeing the vision of angels ascending and descending from heaven. But I would have completely missed the fact that many years later, as he was returning to Canaan, he saw a group of angels again! The beginning of Genesis 32 tells us that he "went on his way, and THE ANGELS OF GOD MET HIM. When Jacob saw them, he said, 'This is the camp of God'!" What a gift for him to have his eyes opened again to see the reality of the spiritual realm around him. And you know what gets me? The Bible says, "When Jacob saw them, he..." blah, blah, blah. OK, it doesn't say blah, blah, blah. ;-) But if it were me, I would have had to stop and camp on the fact that JACOB SAW ANGELS. I would have been like, "Jacob saw angels. Hey, did you get that? JACOB SAW ANGELS! Woah! Don't miss this, folks. He saw them! Angels! WOW!!" And then I might have been able to go on with the rest of it. But probably after another sentence or two, I would have had to add another "Remember, this is the guy who SAW ANGELS!" :) Oh, to be so conscious of the closeness of God's messengers that it seems "normal" for someone to see angels!
January 30 - I'm working on my new header for my blog for the month of February...and feeling so thankful that last night when I was shopping at Walmart, I decided that I really should include a picture of fresh flowers in the collage I'm making for the header. The $6 I spent on these tulips was well worth it--not just because they'll help to brighten the header, but also because from their vase on the table, they're brightening my whole kitchen. Spending a few dollars on fresh flowers in the middle of the winter is a wise splurge. After all, somebody's gotta support the flower growers; might as well be me! :)