Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Broken Trust


I just felt broken.

My son Nolan, who has had digestive issues for three years, has now had a headache for 35 days straight.  It's been more painful at times and less painful at times, but he has not been pain-free for 35 days.

We've been to every professional at our pediatrician's office except for our actual pediatrician.  We've been to the Emergency Department at the hospital.  I've lost track of how many times we've called and talked to nurses.

No one has helped us.

Then I got hit hard with a virus (I'm assuming influenza).  I've been in and out of sleep, day and night.  My husband has been working long hours and has had to be gone every evening.

Last night Nolan was up multiple times throughout the night, clutching his head, in too much pain to sleep.  I have devoted the last decade of my life to taking care of this boy and giving him whatever he needs to be healthy, safe, and thriving.  And for the last 35 days, he has come to me and I have not been able to help him.

So this morning as I drove my other children to school in my minivan that had one tire low on air and faulty heat in the midst of our frigid winter, I felt broken.

For just a moment, I started to angrily lash out at God.  You know what's causing all this.  Why aren't you doing anything?

But I made my choice to trust Him, no matter how Nolan feels.  So I kept praying.  I trust you.  I know you never allow your children to experience pain without a purpose.  I know you're doing something and I don't have to understand it.

All throughout my crazy morning, the same sentence kept repeating in my mind.

Seek His presence more than His power.

Once all the younger kids were safely at school (and I had taken Nora's forgotten gym shoes to her and put air in my bum tire), I left Nolan clutching his head while eating breakfast.  I went in my bedroom and closed the door.  And I got ready to seek God's presence.

For me, praise and worship music is the vehicle through which I most easily connect with God's presence.  So I pulled out my trusty smart phone to play music. 

Every time I've gone through a difficult season of life, God has given me a song to help me through that time.  The song He has chosen for The Nolan Headache Battle is Trust in You by Lauren Daigle. 

I first heard this song on Pandora a few weeks ago, and I instantly loved it.  A friend who has been praying for us sent me the lyrics to this song on the day we were at the hospital with Nolan for some testing.  Today when I turned on my phone to praise God, that song was the first to start playing on Pandora.

God is good.

The chorus of the song says:
When you don't move the mountains I'm needing you to move
When you don't part the waters I wish I could walk through
When you don't give the answers as I cry out to you
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in you
You can view all of the lyrics here.  You can also listen to the song here:

I sang and cried and raised my hands to God right there in my bedroom.  The Bible says that God inhabits the praises of His people, and I gave Him a place to fill today.

It's not that I don't still feel broken.  I just know God is holding my pieces.  And He knows how to put them back together.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Today's Time: Badge Removal

I've said it before and I'll say it again:  sometimes it's really hard to explain where my time goes.

For example, let me tell you what I did with today's time.

I've been down for two days with the flu.  I'm talking down like I don't think I have the energy to get up and pee.  The problem is that I really don't just sit.  Or lay.  Ever.

So today I pulled out a project that could be done from a sitting/reclining position since that's all my flu-ridden body would allow me to do.  I've been working on this project on and off for a few months.

These are Caravan sashes and scarves:

What's Caravan, you ask?  It's a Christian-based scouting program that takes place at our church on Wednesday evenings during the school year.  Kids earn badges that are added to their sashes and scarves.

Those sashes and scarves and badges cost a lot of money for the church.  Another church donated two boxes of used sashes and scarves to our church.  So I was given the task of removing all the badges.

I'm stripping these babies for parts.

Roughly 30-40% of the donated items had current badges on them, and the rest have outdated badges that can no longer be used.  But we could really use the sashes and scarves once the outdated badges are removed.

Some of the badges were hand-sewn on.  More were machine-sewn on.  I can use my seam ripper to remove the stitching and ultimately the badges.  Then I have to pick all the little threads off the badges and sash/scarf.

Some of the badges were hot glued on.  These peel off fairly easily and leave behind a white-ish shadow where the glue was.  Other badges were applied with some sort of mystery adhesive.  Some of these leave behind a thin shiny layer.  Others require Hulk strength to pull off and leave behind a thick rubbery glue.

A few of the sashes had badges that had been safety pinned to them.  These just required time and diligence to not give myself tetanus.

It's slow going.  It makes all my fingertips bruised from pulling on every badge and thread.  It makes my fingernails rough and broken and split.

It also occasionally does this to my seam ripper:

If you are not a seamstress, you may not realize that this is missing two parts that snapped off.
I have to take a break until my fingers heal and I get a new seam ripper.  Then I'll tackle the remaining 19 scarves (yes I counted).

I now have a bag of badges that can be reused:

A bag of badges that can no longer be used:

And a stack of stripped sashes and scarves that need to somehow have the adhesive removed:

So...does anyone know how to remove mystery adhesive and hot glue residue from fabric?  If so, PLEASE leave me some advice in the comments!  I'll be asking the Google for help on this one, but I'd rather hear from actual people.  If I can't get these sashes and scarves clean in order to be passed on to kids in our church, then all my hard work (and sacrificed fingernails and seam rippers) will be for nothing!

Now my nighttime cold medicine is kicking in and my head is getting fuzzy.  Does that make anyone else think of Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail?  If so, we should be friends.  Or we probably already are.

Ok, time to lay back down.  And find something to do while I'm resting.