Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Go & Pray

There is much I want to write, but because of my lack of time right now, I'll just write a quick note.

Please think of a mom or two you may know and pray for them in earnest today.  Moms - new & experienced - aren't always doing as well as they may let on.  They struggle, doubt, worry, hurt, sin, and are weary.  No, this isn't a personal request for myself (though I could always use & do appreciate prayer) - this is a request on behalf of many, many moms who are treading the waters of motherhood just trying not to drown.  Let's throw out a lifeline to them through calling out to the One who gives life, peace, and strength.

So, go.  Pray for a mom or two.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Do Farmers Help Decide the Morality of a Society?

I just came back from spending the day at Empire Farm Days in Seneca Falls, NY.  Acres of farm implements, tractors, tools, food, and....farmers.  Hundreds of farmers with their families.

About an hour into the day, I realized what I love about the environment at the Farm Days.  I looked around me and I saw that all the men & boys were MEN.  I can probably think of 2 or 3 guys that I saw with earrings.  There were absolutely no saggy pants.  I saw 2 guys with long hair - and they were more the motorcycle-type, not the Justin Beiber-type.  Everyone else had short, normal haircuts.  The guys walked like guys, not like girls.

Speaking of girls...while the girls weren't all dressed with long skirts (though there were several), almost all of them were fairly modest in their dress.  They dressed with a down-to-earth style.  No mall-divas there.  No one looking like they were going to work the night shift on Main Street.  *Ahem.*  The all-American girl, in the traditional sense, was well represented and it was refreshing.

Farmers are common sense folk.  They depend on God, nature, and hard work for their livelihood.  Reality is inescapable.  The pretty-boys and glamour girls of the pop-culture are not looked on favorably, because they are not sensible.  There is a sense of pride in being a farmer - being independent - being strong and practical.

At one time, the majority of our society consisted of farmers.  Sure, some of those farmers had other jobs, as well, but everyone lived in the real world of knowing they weren't invincible, but at the mercy of God.  If they didn't believe in God, they knew there were forces stronger than they and this kept farmers down to earth.   It kept them down-to-earth in their thoughts, their families, and their dress.

Interestingly, the majority of the farmers at the Farm Days were probably not religious folks.  Maybe 1/4 of them were - Amish, Mennonite, Conservative Christians were easy to spot.  I got to thinking that, though taking God & His Word out of our schools has helped cause the moral decay of our society, maybe it's not the only reason people are acting as crazy as they are in our modern age.  Is it possible that the moral decay began when farmers became the minority?  Is it possible that with kids being pushed into higher education in order to have a higher income that they began to see themselves as invincible and forgetting that there is a "higher Power"?  Our families have taken their eyes off of the land, hard work, and survival and now work solely to be entertained, relax, or to become intellectuals.  Our society no longer has to depend on God or forces of nature.  They depend on themselves or the "generosity" of the government.  Reality is something to be escaped and usually is.

Farmers cannot, nor do they wish to, escape reality.  They live it everyday.  Long hair, saggy pants, & jewelry have no place on the farm.  Basically, because it isn't safe.  Beauty queens don't exist on farms - dirt gets under those long nails, the wind destroys the perfect hairstyle, and make-up sweats off the face.  Dress isn't a moral issue on the farm - it's practical.  It's a practical mentality that seems to have escaped the unsaved & saved alike in today's world; liberal Christians and conservative Christians. And, it's a shame.

In 2011, farmers are a rare and precious breed.  Today, I was honored to walk among them.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Beeping Companion

As I was sitting with my ten year old daughter in the OR recovery unit yesterday morning, I looked up above her bed and saw a familiar monitor.  Three readings - heart, blood oxygen level, blood pressure - all in green.  I was instantly taken back to 6 years ago.

On August 2, 2005 I sat in the NICU next to the bassinet of my 2-day old baby girl.  She arrived exactly 7 weeks early.  She was tiny and not quite ready for this world.  She was hooked up to an identical monitor for 12 days. It would beep and set off alarms.  I spent many a long day in her little area....holding her, watching her, praying for her.  I'll never forget the first time she really bonded with me.  I had been released from the hospital on August 4.  I had intended to arrive at the hospital the next morning around 6:00, but, as it was the first night of decent sleep in over a week, I slept in a bit.  When I arrived around 8:00 a.m., the nurses had just finished a 2-hour long ordeal of putting an IV into my tiny daughter.  She was screaming as hard as a premie baby could scream.  She was so upset.  Had I come early, there would have been nothing I could have done....but have my heart broken as I'd helplessly stand by waiting for the trauma to end.  Instead, the Lord spared me that and had me walk in just in time for the nurse to hand me my baby.  As soon as Gloria was cradled in my arms, she began to calm down and nestled in for comfort.  She knew I was her mommy - the one who loved her and would comfort her.

Three years later, I was in another hospital room.  This time, that of our oldest son.  He had had back surgery and was hooked up to IVs full of fluid, meds, and morphine.  And, there was the monitor - keeping track of his vitals.  Through the beeps, I sat with him.  Through the pain, I held his hand.  Though he hurt, he knew when I was there - his mommy - the one who loved him & would comfort him.

I looked from the monitor back at my 10 year old laying in the bed yesterday after a procedure that required her to go under general  anesthesia.  She didn't look quite as helpless as her baby sister did those years ago, but almost.  She wasn't in near as much pain as her brother had been when he was exactly her age. Yet, I held her hand.  Why?  Because I'm her mommy - the one who loves her & will comfort her.

The beeping monitor has been my companion a few times so far in this journey of motherhood.  I have to wonder if it will be my companion again.  If it is, I will hold my child's hand, love my child, and comfort him or her.  I can, because I know my Father is with me - loving me and comforting me all the while.