Thursday, October 9, 2014

Ice Cream Therapy

As my recovery from my third cancer surgery is coming to a close and I am feeling more back to normal both physically and emotionally, I am realizing that I really, REALLY enjoy this “semi –retirement” life style that I am living. I get to focus on my kids, family and my friends. I make the time in the mornings for my run, walk, or spin class and then I get my quiet time with my Bible, journal and coffee—usually on the back patio with the hills as my background.  What a wonderful way to start each day. Yet I am finding that my life is still so busy! I wonder how I ever managed to work a full time job with many night commitments, lots of counseling, lots of things to oversee, and lots of curriculum and messages to write and prepare. I know that millions of women and men do this every day—manage a full time job, plus errands and kids and family—how do they fit it all in? It makes me so grateful that I am in this season of life. That I can take some time to rest after all the things my body (mind and soul) have been through in the past eighteen months. It is my season to rest, and to focus on the preciousness of my family, my life, and my Savior.

I had a tough day this week. Interestingly, it was on the heels of the previous post I wrote about gratitude. I had a beautiful morning with time to walk and pray and write cards to people I love. (I am a “words of encouragement” kind of gal—I love to write handwritten cards to express my feelings and I love receiving them as well). I had a meeting with someone who has been near and dear to me for many years. I had no expectations for the meeting, and was giving the meeting, the words, and the outcome to the Lord. The encounter was not exactly what I had hoped for. I left feeling that there was not a sense of closure, that I was still unheard, and that my feelings were not fully expressed. For some reason I started crying like I have not cried in a very long time. In fact, I just couldn’t stop crying—crying alone in my car, trying to figure out what it was that I was feeling.  Have you ever felt that? Having emotions that you really can’t wrap your heart around or define what they are? Kind of a bit of hopelessness and despair? I didn’t have much time to reflect on my feelings because I had to head straight to another meeting—make up streaked on my face, tissue in hand, and my throat a big knot.  But the next meeting was positive, hopeful, and productive, so I left feeling a bit better. 

I came home in the evening to my family, and my son Noah asked me how my day went. I choked up a bit and said, “Well, it didn’t go as well as I expected.” My husband, who knows me to the core, took me in our room and told me to just get it all out—tell him what happened.  I just poured out my feelings (which I still hadn’t really defined) and cried and cried. But, as always, after I simply share my thoughts with my saint of a husband, I felt much better. He didn’t need to fix anything (hey guys, remember that—women don’t necessarily need you to solve the problem, they just need to be heard).  Greg left for a meeting and I sat down with my boys who were just relaxing from the day and watching something random on the tv. It was a show called “Little People, Big World.” Maybe some of you know of it—I have never watched it, but I have seen commercials for it. It is about a family—the parents and I think one of their children—are “little people” and the rest of their kids are regular sized.  The episode was about the son (who is regular sized) getting married and they showed the whole ceremony. Well, I am a sucker for weddings. I love to watch weddings; I love everything about weddings—all the details and creative ideas people add to make their special day even more precious. So I sat and watched this episode with my boys and of course I started crying when the bride walked down the aisle (I would have cried anyway, but I cried even more because of my extremely emotional day). Then, at the end of the episode they showed the “mother/son” dance. The son, being regular sized, got down on his knees to dance with his mom who is a “little person.” Okay, so I completely lost it—bawled my head off at people I don’t know and a show that I don’t watch. I could not stop crying. My boys were baffled and they asked, “Mom, mom what is wrong? What is going on?” They were giggling at the same time because clearly I was an emotional mad woman sitting in their living room.  I tried to get the words out in between the tears….and I figured out my emotions—I could actually define them.  So, I answered….”Boys, you will never know how precious a mom’s love is for her sons. Watching them dance just reminds me of how much I love each of you. I wish I could describe it, but it is so deep and so dear.”  They both surrounded me (still giggling a little because clearly I was still a mad woman) and gave me big hugs and said, “It’s okay mom, we love you.” 

Right then I had a little epiphany, and was able to grasp why I was so emotional.  Just last week I had my appointment with my lung surgeon who had told me that I was cancer free once again.  I told her very firmly that I needed to stay that way because I had two amazing boys to raise. And she answered with this, “Kirsten, you will be dancing at their weddings.” So, this mother/son dance hit me a little extra harder than maybe it would have at some other season of life. I want to live; I want to live cancer free, and I want to dance with my Noah and my Micah at their weddings someday.  Then my precious Micah said, “Come on mom, let’s get some ice cream and go sit on your bed and watch tv together.” He knows my love language—quality time. So we scooped up some ice cream ( I had birthday cake ice cream and he had brownie moose tracks ice cream and we watched some show I don’t remember because all I cared about was that I was hanging out with my son, with no words needed). And by the way, I had two bowls of ice cream—it was that kind of day.

Maybe you are going through a rough season, or have had a tough day, or have been unable to define your emotions, or have cried because of a Hallmark commercial. We all have those times. And it’s okay to cry and it’s okay to vent and it’s okay to have a gallon of ice cream, if needed.

PS—in the middle of writing this post, a floral delivery arrived from my dear friend Nick. His card said, “I know you have had some struggles and difficulties lately, but I hope these flowers brighten your day. I pray a full recovery comes quickly.” Yes, my dear Nick, the flowers brightened my day. 

And the Lord of the universe, who is so intimate, knew exactly when those flowers were to arrive.
May your day be bright and lovely and may you know that intimate and mighty God. And may you know  that He knows each of your struggles and your difficulties and He loves you more than you will ever know.

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