Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jasmine Abigail

I walked out of Chile's this afternoon completely stuffed and ready for a carb-overload induced nap.  "What a waste," I thought as I reflected on the quesadilla I regretfully ordered.  On my quest to live adventurously, I ordered something from their menu I wouldn't normally order.  Why not, right? Well, I didn't like it.  It's not that it tasted badly, it just didn't offer the flavor packed, mouth watering sensation that the burger on my husband's plate across the table had.  Though it crossed my mind to switch plates with him when he wasn't looking, I realized that would be futile and I ate my own food.  When we finished, I had nothing more in mind than coming home and curling up on the couch with Ashton to watch a movie.  However, since I passed "Jasmine" street on the drive home, my mind has traveled elsewhere.  Have you ever found yourself in a moment where you're significantly impacted by something so seemingly trivial? Like a street sign? Maybe you once loved someone named Anita, but for ten years have been happily married to someone else.  One day you're driving home from work but with the commencement of new road construction you find yourself on a detour into a neighborhood you've never previously been.  As you flip through the radio stations barely paying attention to your surroundings, you're brought to a four way stop.  While you drum your fingers on the steering wheel to the latest new pop hit, you look up to see you're crossing over "Anita" street.  In an instant, you're taken back in time to a place where only you and Anita existed.  Has anything like this ever happened to you?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Will Color With You

"Mama, do you want to color with me?" Beverly's son eagerly asked late Monday afternoon as he stood patiently in the doorway.  Without even turning her head, she replied with "not right now, Cooper, mommy is busy." "But mama, you said..." "Cooper, not now," she firmly interrupted.  "I'm busy, so go watch TV or play with your toys until I'm finished." Without a word, he bowed his head and walked slowly out of the room. She never even looked at him, but instead remained intently fixed on the computer screen in front of her.  "So many interruptions," she sighed in frustration. In the other room, her six year old son turned on the TV and silently began to watch cartoons for the fifth time that day.  After about 30 minutes, Cooper decided to see if his mommy was ready to color.  From the living room, he shouted "Mama?" "Cooper, what did I tell you? Not now!" Beverly yelled angrily across the house. "Sorry, mama," he softly replied.  Lonely, frustrated, and bored, Cooper decided to go outside and look for flowers to pick for his mommy.  She never heard the door open and close, and as the stranger muffled Cooper's mouth and dragged him away, his mother sat before her pile of work still focused on tomorrow's deadline.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sudden Death

Not long ago, a young man in northeastern Arkansas passed away from a head on collision car accident.  He was three years younger than me.  Though he and I are from the same small town, I don't recall ever knowing him, but for some reason I find myself strangely impacted by his death.  His last post on Facebook was a reference to Proverbs 29:18, and it was written the day before he died.  "What's the message here, God?" I've wondered in eerie awe.  From what I've been told, this young man was doing great, had just finished John 3:16 Boot Camp, and was on his way to a beautiful life with the woman he loved.  Why did God cut that short?  Why does He cut anyone's life short?  I know these are, for the most part, unanswerable questions, yet I can't help but muse over the possible reasons.  I accept that it's not my time, place, or even right, to know the full explanation, but it seems that the last month has been wrought with multiple untimely deaths, so I find the issue inescapable from my mind's anxious grip.  Of the five deaths that have impacted me personally in the last few weeks, I find that only one of them "makes sense," while the others seem unfathomably premature and hauntingly reminiscent of my own mortality.  They have each been sudden deaths with gaping holes my mind struggles to fill.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Where I'm Meant to Be

We moved to California five years ago, and for the last four I've often said I would never leave.  "Why would I ever want to?" I've frequently wondered when friends and family expressed an interest in having me closer.  Though my first year out here was challenging, I've since grown comfortably accustomed to the endless sunshine, oceanic views, and delightfully pleasant weather conditions.  I can go to the beach and mountains all in the same day, see Mickey and friends whenever I want, and offer my son big city opportunities with which the small town simply can't compete.  Though the cost of living is astronomically high and the traffic continually congested, the pros have, in my mind, always outweighed the cons.  I truly love it out here.  Interestingly, I recently found myself jumping on the opportunity to leave.  Presented with the opportunity to pursue work in southern Texas, Sam and I were ready to jump ship and head east. Convinced that the opportunity came from God, we began moving full speed ahead into making it happen.  In the last month I've been packing up our condo, contacting realtors in Texas, and deliberately masking my excitement around family and friends.  The move would have put us 10 hours closer to family, and I could barely talk to my mom on the phone without spilling the beans.  I knew how happy it would make her and I couldn't wait to be the bearer of good news.  After a month of planning and preparing, we were informed that it wasn't going to happen after all.  "God? I don't understand," I softly complained in bewilderment.  Truthfully, I still don't understand, but what I do know is that I'm exactly where I'm meant to be.