Monday, March 31, 2008

My friend's daughter has cancer

I have a friend from church that I've known for years. She asked me if we could meet sometime during the week so we could talk. She works as a nanny for a lady with two children. She works all week and is busy doing household chores on the weekends. I know she's going through a rough time with her daughter being recently diagnosed with lung cancer and all. First I was heartbroken because I couldn't believe that her daughter, only 26 years old, had this horribly dreadful disease. I totally understood that she wanted someone to talk to so I agreed.

We agreed on a day and I called her, just as she told me, to check and see if she was ready to meet. Since she told me that she would be working when I called, to leave a message and she'd call me back. I waited until 8 pm and after hearing nothing from her I decided to just get in the shower and prepare for settling down for the night.

Sunday, she was not in church but her daughter was as was my friend's husband. I asked him where his wife was and he just said that she had to work. I saw the daughter wearing one of those head wraps and my heart went out to her. My friend had previously told me that she had had to cut all her hair off to donate since it was beginning to fall out anyway due to the chemotherapy.

This friend has left me in situations before where it has financially put me in a bind in the past. More than once. It got to the point where I just refused to deal with her anymore. She promises things that she never delivers. I was hurt by this woman several years ago when she had me order some rather pricey cosmetics for her; I did. She never paid for them. She kept telling me she would pay me, to hold on to them and after the return by date expired, she said she didn't want them anymore. That's when I avoided her at all costs after that incident. She apologized and I accepted her apology and I was lead in another direction in my life. I let it go.

Fast forward 4 years and I'm back at this church and find myself being polite to her as always. She confides in me about her personal life. I pray for her. My heart breaks when I find out her daughter is sick with the most vicious disease that is cancer. I cannot fathom the pain/turmoil she is suffering.

She stated to me that she would love to have a good Christian friend she can count on. Says she has no friends. I told her I understood. She tells me she wants to meet once a week to go walking. She never called me. I let it go. I figure she's busy. She has her own problems to deal with. I understand.

What totally blows me away is that this woman is in need, she asked me for help. She has no friends. Her daughter is very sick and could possibly die from this. Why would she treat my friendship as if it is worthless? I have many other friends that need me. Many that I pray for and try to help out when I can. I put my friends above everything else. If someone needs me I'm there.

I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say to her anymore. I really don't want to be rude but I cannot afford to waste my time with someone that can't even give me the courtesy of a phone call to excuse themselves for leaving me hanging like this.

Why am I such a sucker? Do people think I'm stupid to do that to me? Should I turn the other cheek as I've done before? I only have two cheeks, dadgumit!! This is so unfair to me. I'll continue to pray for her and her daughter.

I don't pray for healing. Is that cruel? Maybe. The way I see it is we are given different situations to deal with in life that aren't always easy. God never promised us it would be. My husband told me that we need to pray for her to get better. I told him I would pray for her health to be whatever God's will be. I told him if it is our time to go, nothing we say or do will change that. We must pray that God's will be done because our will is not perfect, His is.

Would I pray for the same thing if it were my child? Absolutely! Children are a gift from God and someday all of God's children must return from where they came. I pray that my friend be given the strength that she needs to deal with whatever God's will may be. Her daughter, my friend told me, has said she is ready to go home to be with the Lord. That she is ready if that's what God wants. She is a strong, faithful young lady.

If she's ready to go and has accepted whatever the Lord's will is then we must also be ready for whatever the future holds for her. God doesn't make mistakes. We do, on a daily basis. Remember, let's not pray for what we want or what we think we want and/or need. Let us pray for God's will be done in our lives. Only then will we be in line with what God's perfect will is for us. Nobody knows the whys of life. Someday, however, we'll know why we were dealt the hand we were.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Ramblings

Going to make some candles today. People are wanting spring-y, fresh-smelling types during this season. I recently discovered a wonderful fragrance at an antique mall down the street from my house. It is by Greenleaf and the fragrance is called Timberleaf. It is truly delightful. I'm going to my candle supplier to see if I can mix some oils and come up with something that smells as close to it as possible.

I have to start preparing gift baskets for Mother's Day as well. Luckily, I have plenty of cute baskets to stick a soap, lip balm and lotion in for the least expensive gifts that seem to sell a lot more quickly. With the overall economy and seeing how so many people are really struggling to get even the most basic of necessities met, I must make sure I have items that are reasonably priced. But, reasonable doesn't mean they have to settle for poor quality or unappealing presentation of their chosen gifts.

I will post pictures of the ready to give gifts on here as soon as I possibly can. I can't promise anything will be on here very soon because I have so many things to do. I will, however, make it worth your reading while. :o)

God bless everyone and have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Busy-ness with my Business

I've been away from my blog for a while now because I've been busy drumming up business. My soap is selling very well. Since they are all natural, a lot of people are buying them. Which, in turn, depletes my inventory thus my need to pour new batches. Messy, messy work. I'm trying to convince Mr. Sir that we need to convert the garage into my craft room. This way I can make my soap in there and let it cure without disturbing it.

Next month I start up all my jewelry shows in preparation for Mothers Day gifts the following month. I hope the weather cooperates. By that, I mean I hope it doesn't get too hot. I don't like the heat. Heat and I don't mix well. I even sweat cold. I hate to sweat.

The price of sterling silver is through the roof right now. I'm hoping customers realize this. Currently, I have about 250 bracelets ready to sell and over 400 pairs of earrings. Not quite happy with the selection of necklaces I have but I guess there are all kinds of people with different tastes. Like that ugly, green, lamp work set with gold swirls. Ghastly! Sold it right off my body to a co-worker. I was floored--and a couple hundred bucks richer. :-)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Good Mom/Bad Mom

I know that throughout the years that I've been a mother, I've often questioned how good of a mom I really am. One thing I have learned is that it is very difficult to be a mom and a friend to my children. There are days that I don't want to cook. I want to sit and read and not get out of bed. I want to be able to watch TV and order Pizza and not get out of my pajamas.

The weird thing about that is that even when I'm sick, running a fever, body aches and all the wonderful stuff that comes with having the flu, I feel guilty. I worry about the kids not eating the "right" things. What if they don't have the sense to brush their teeth and wash their hands because I'm not right there to tell them? Never mind that my teenage type offspring is already 17 years old and my 9 yr old princess can at the very least pop a Hot Pocket in the microwave to keep herself from starving. We have a pantry full of what I call lazy food. Ramen noodles, canned soup, crackers, cereal, ChefBoyardee, etc. A freezer that is overflowing with frozen dinners for quick, if unhealthy, eating. They couldn't possibly starve!

Why do I have to worry about the bathrooms being clean and the dishes being washed when I don't feel good? The laundry can wait so what is the big deal? What was built into our genetic makeup that makes me feel like I am a bad mother if I skip cooking a meal for my family? On the other hand, if my husband gets sick, I wait on him. If I get sick, he gets take-out for dinner. The clothes remain unwashed, the bathrooms uncleaned, the dishes pile up. He sits and watches TV or plays games on the computer because he doesn't mind living in a messy house.

If I go out to run errands or shopping or to go pray for a family and I'm gone for more than a couple hours, I call home (is that disgusting or what) to make sure the kids have eaten. Can I pick something up for them? Did they brush their teeth? Feed the cats, bird, etc. Why does the laundry being dirty while I'm out taking care of business stress me out?

I can't be a good mom and a good friend to them. Good friends don't make them brush their teeth, clean their rooms, do their chores, etc. Good friends would let them eat donuts for dinner with a glass of soda. Good friends don't care if they have chips for breakfast. Cookies for lunch. Heck, good friends wouldn't even make them take a bath!

I, however, am a bad mom for getting on to them about everything. I cook homemade lasagna only to have them choose Ramen noodles over a dish made from scratch that took me 3 hours to prepare. My chicken enchiladas go uneaten by them because well, who knows what kind of "healthy" ingredient I might have slipped in there. Lobster will go to waste, except for what my husband and I will eat because it smells "fishy". The teenager type will eat grilled cheese sandwiches over anything else.

One day, when they are grown and on their own, they're going to miss me. I just know it and then I will get my revenge. I will go to their respective homes and walk in with muddy shoes and wipe my greasy fingers on their new couches. I will go to the bathroom and pee all over the toilet and not clean it. I will balk at their meal offerings and complain about everything. I will tease their pets until they scream in desperation. Not the pets, the kids. I will leave the balled up paper around their house and not care. I will leave the lights on in every room of their humble abodes. I will invite them over for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner and serve them all Ramen Noodle soup. I will, I promise, you watch me.

Monday, March 3, 2008

My personal struggle as a mom

After I dropped off my son at school today, I began to think about where I'm going with my life. It was the usual start to a Monday morning...drop the teenager type off at college, go pick up some groceries and then head home put the groceries away and start preparing lunch, picking up my son then go home and feed both kids and myself. Another boring, extremely dull day. I moaned about the rainy weather and the cold. I despise going anywhere when it's raining; especially grocery shopping where I know I will be soaking wet after loading and unloading the groceries. I even complained about the lady at Braums not being quick enough for me while she gave me my Dr. Pepper.

Then, in the back of my mind, I thought about how I wished I were still working at my old job where I could still talk to adults on a daily basis. I thought about the extra money I could be making. The fun stuff I could be doing. Daily lunches with my friends and co-workers. Shopping at Galleria during lunch. Being compensated for my time. Wow, that sounded so great to me. What possessed me to leave my job over a year ago? I had good benefits, a good paycheck for the minimal work I did and a really nice boss that spoiled me and let me get away with a lot of things most bosses don't.

As I drove home my thoughts went down a totally different path. It was like an alter ego was saying how lucky I was that I don't have to go to work and drive an hour each way in the horrible traffic among crazy drivers. How lucky I am to sleep late if I so wish and to not have the common problems that go along with a job outside the home; no rushing around, no stress, no having to make excuses for being out when my children are sick. No remorse for leaving them when they are sick and I'm out of sick days at work and I must pull my daughter away from me as she cries for me to stay home with her.

Can we use the money? Are you kidding me, who couldn't use a few extra thousand dollars a month? One thing's for sure, I've learned recently, the more money we have the less we save. Because oh, it'll be fine, we can afford it. We have two incomes. Little do we realize that it is never enough and we would be surprised at how little money we could actually live off.

I was thinking that I have a house that's bigger than we really need. Two cars, one of which is new. I have every hobby I could ever want in my very own crafting room. I got my dream of homeschooling my kids. I am lucky that I can stay at home without having to worry about how we are going to pay our bills on time. We are healthy. My husband is lucky to have a great job that he enjoys going to every day to pay for all of it. We are living the American dream!

So why then was I whining? Because in our me, me, me world we often forget that it isn't what we have or how happy we feel we must be but instead how we deal with the hand life has dealt us. I realized that it wasn't luck that found me where I am today but a divine blessing...many divine blessings. How many women would give their eyeteeth to be in the position that I am in right now? Amazing how we can solve our own problems or what we see as problems, when we delve further and deeper into our own minds and hearts. The most important lesson that I learned today, however, is that even in my wild delusions of self-imposed pity, I recognized that the alter ego I thought was speaking to me was really the gentle voice of God.

Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings you shower me and my family with on a daily basis. Please forgive my ignorance and stupidity for not recognizing them when they hit me right smack in the middle of my face. Teach me how to listen to your voice and give me the wisdom needed to know and follow your direction, always.