My mom, my garden, last day of school, on not being pregnant, and NOT being HOT.

  • A number of people have asked about my mother’s health.  The good news is that she is no longer in the hospital.  She spent 11 days there, mostly in the ICU, and there were a few days when it looked grim.  When she “came to”, she said something really unusual.  “I’m not really spiritual;  my Christianity is practical, helping me live on a day-to-day basis.  But, when I was under, I felt the presence of God so strongly.  I had amazing, beautiful dreams.  Now that I’m not so drugged, I’m still having the same dreams, and still having the same sense of His presence, so it wasn’t just the drugs.  I feel the power of others’ prayers surrounding me.”  That was amazing.  It was also fabulous

    Uncle Kevin. We love him.

    to have my Uncle Kevin, her younger brother, here for several days.  At one point, my older brother was in town, too, with one of my nephews.  So, in many senses, it was like a family reunion.  The family around my mom had the wonderful opportunity if spending much more time together than we would have, otherwise.  My mom is very motivated to get well enough for surgery to resection her spine — a 12 hour, three surgeon procedure — which will stop the suffocating collapse of her thorax.  So, she is cooperating with all her post-hospital instructions and therapies, which is a first.  MUCH good news.  However, she is still very ill, very weak.  My uncle, five years her junior, was mistaken for her son at a doctor’s appointment.  She looks greatly aged, well beyond her 62 years.  That part is hard and sad, as is anticipating the surgery, which she dearly wants…  She’s only been given a 60% chance of even coming off of the operating table, which the family does not see as great odds.  But, she feels it is her only hope for long-term LIFE, and she may be right about that.  However, it’s much like an all-or-nothing bet with slightly better than even odds, and I don’t like that.  So, it’s still like good news/bad news with my mom.  Thanks for all your prayers and inquiries into her health.

  • A corner of my garden.

    My garden is partially thriving.  Corn and beans growing strong.  My Hopi pumpkin is not doing well;  I don’t know why.  But, I recently planted some Mexican grey squash (like grey, short, squat, sweet zucchini), and they’re growing doing great, robustly out-growing the pumpkins, which are a month ahead of them.  I have tomatoes, chiles, and tomatillos I started indoors, and they’re not doing great, partially because I probably transplanted them too early, and partially due to irrigation problems:  part of my garden is too often flooded, while the other part is too dry.  Still, my garden is a source of joy for me.  I’m so happy to have it.

  • This is the last day of school for my three boys.  I always struggle on the last day, because while I need the year to come to an end, I always feel like I should have done better;  we should have learned more;  we should have accomplished more;  we should have made it through that book.  Etc.  In the fall, my oldest will be in high school;  he’s very happy to school at home.  I am looking into a couple of options for my middle son, who is precociously bright.  One plan — an incredibly expensive, accelerated private school affiliated with Arizona State University — just won’t work.  However, there is a nearly identical option, for free, called University High, which I am pursuing.  It is attached to a local school district, and has a nearly identical track as the private school — junior high in one year, and high school in three years, leading one to graduate high school at the end of what would be one’s sophomore year.  It’s not like I want him to graduate fast, in particular, but I would like to see him more challenged, and provide opportunities that would be difficult (or impossible) for me to give him, though he’s already working two grades advanced in most subjects.  The school runs from 9 a.m to 4 p.m daily, though.  That’s a long time away from home.  It meets on a high school campus, though for the first year, he’d be in classes with only children his age, and the classes (and lunch period) are on a different time schedule than those of the high school students’ on whose campus University High meets, so his contact with older children would be fairly minimal, though I don’t like — from a social standpoint — him going to school with children who are predominantly at least two years older than him…  Who knows?  Perhaps Grant will still be at home in the fall.  I still don’t know, and I don’t like the idea of having to decide.  But, decision is unavoidable.
  • I thought I might be pregnant, but I’m not.  I’m nearly certain I had a very early miscarriage last month, though.  Those thoughts, combined with two friends (each older than me) who are pregnant right now…  Sigh…  I have decided that God has placed in my heart a perpetual love of birth and babies, but I don’t know that another baby is specifically in His plans for our family.  Most of the time, I’m all right with that, but at this moment, it’s a little difficult to accept.  I dearly want His thoughts to be my thoughts, and for me to 100% participate in His plans for me (I started a women’s Bible Study at church this week — Beth Moore’s updated Breaking Free — and this idea — fully following the path of the Father — has been confirmed and cemented in my mind, as I study)… and I want to be in agreement and cooperation with my husband’s direction of our family;  it’s vastly important to me to be in unity and harmony with my dear husband.  But that’s not easy, even if it seems simple.
  • I have still been regularly hiking, two or three times a week, 3-5 miles at a time.  It feels wonderful to have better cardiovascular health, and lower body strength.  I’ve also lost about five pounds, which is always nice.  Last fall, I embarked on a plan for better health, and though I lost ten pounds at that time (and have kept it off), I have not been consistently mindful of every carb, etc., so I had not continued to lose weight.  Being this age, it takes WORK to lose the fat which so tightly clings, and gain the muscle, which my body seems reluctant to build.  WORK.  I have no illusions about clinging indefinitely to youth, but I feel like I am gaining an understanding of the amount of effort it takes to upkeep and maintain my health and body, and that, as long as I’m not pursuing that for the wrong reasons, it’s GOOD to be healthy, strong, fit, and eat well.  There’s so much crap out there in the world and the media about being a “hot mom.”  That, frankly, sucks.  I hate that mindset and that pressure.  But, that doesn’t make the converse —  just drifting off to greater lethargy and added pounds of fat —  Godly.  Know what I mean?  I’m forever trying to find that balance — health, not obsession.  Health, not pride.  Not seeking the approval of the Godless.  Not trying to be “hot”.  Just being healthy.  Plus, though my husband has liked me at any weight, he’s particularly pleased when I’m fit.  🙂  At 6’2″ and 180ish pounds, with a size 33 waist, he’s slender and fit himself.  He has a workout routine that he follows daily — simple, but effective.  He’s also on a three-week Daniel Fast right now (vegan, whole grain, no sugar, nothing artificial, no caffeine) so he’s an inspiration for me, though I’m always jealous by the ease at which men gain muscle and lose fat.  (I write that with a giggle.  I’m half-joking about the jealousy part.  Men’s physiques are just so different, and the things that are easy to them are hard for women, many times, and that’s just the way we’re made…)
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About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 10, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I am a natural childbirth advocate and an erstwhile birthing class instructor. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on June 10, 2011, in Introspective Musings. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I’m so glad to hear your mom is doing well! I hope the surgery goes well too. Stay positive and enjoy your family

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