Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mr. Toad Strikes Again!

Some might remember my comparing the ups and downs and all arounds of emotions to the Disney ride "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride."
Well, the ride is not over.
Silly me, if I was thinking for a moment that it was!

Yesterday started with me down in spirits, which then rose to a lovely height:  The result of a fresh look at Papa's heart.
That should have carried me through the end of my day, wouldn't you think?

My Honey and I had a date.  We went out for a light supper and then to a movie that was being shown at a small, local theater.
Supper was fine.  We had a bit of conversation, which only goes so far, as Ray has less to say to me than others outside our home.  We do not discuss his therapy very much, as there isn't much to say.  We do find a few things to say and then we just enjoy our meal. 
I, for one, did enjoy the conversation going on next to us.  Four high school guys were engaged in a lively conversation.  It covered sports, homework, fellow students and, of course, their teachers.  It gave me a fresh glimpse into the mind and heart of the male teenager.  Fun!  They were a nice group of guys and seemed of good character, respectful.  In many ways very innocent and so naive.

Without much life experience a person sees things through information from outside sources and their own limited perceptions.  One fellow made a comment that I so wanted to respond to with a few words of my own..
It was a very typical comment for one of his age.  He couldn't wait until he was a full adult so he could speak his mind, as he saw fit.  He would not have to do one thing that he wasn't inclined to do. 
Don't we all wish!
As I thought of what I really would have said to him the thought came that really every age has its drawbacks, as well as its pluses.  There are responsibilities at almost all ages.  The greatest responsibilities involve relationships, first with our God and then others, especially our mate....

As we prepared to leave the restaurant, I helped Ray on with his jacket.  Something that use to be what he would do for me.  Then I zipped him up, just as I use to do for our boys when they were small.
To be honest, I don't give much thought to these actions anymore, but it must be in the back of my mind....
Did I feel this ride zig a little?

We walked up the street to the theater.  It was raining and Ray began to stumble a bit, as he has a tendency to get his upper body going faster than his legs can carry him.  I miss, as I am sure he does, his confident stride, but I wasn't aware of this waying heavily on me ...
A touch of a zag?

As we were finding our seats my husband fell down to his knees and struggled to rise back to his feet.  Seeing him down on his knees brought a flood of grief to me.  After settling him into his seat I headed to the ladies room.  So much emotion threatened to come pouring out...
The ride plummeted as I headed quickly to the ladies room!

My husband has lost much and I do not want to be selfish in my perspective.  Yet, at times, I have to address my own longings and sadness.
How different our relationship is now.  I am definitely in the role of caregiver.  I don't like it, but who would?
It is very difficult, at times, to see him so much weaker than he was, so much less decisive.  Ray had a strong personality, which drove me nuts at times.(!)  Little did I know that I would miss it!

I looked to Papa and sensed His care and strength.   With that I headed back to my husband.  My wild ride calmed down a little as it began an uphill climb.
The movie was mildly entertaining, worth the ten dollar entrance fee for the two of us.  If you are wondering the movie we saw was the "Adjustment Bureau."  A bit far fetched, but after all it is just a movie, not a documentary!
As we sat there I so wanted to rest my head on Ray's shoulder and feel his arm around me, but he was busy cradling his left arm.  His arm needs so much of his attention we have nicknamed it 'his baby.'
No more going uphill for now....
When we got settled back at home, Ray, as always, immediately turned on the television.  This generally drives me out of the room, which it did last night.   I needed a little alone time anyway.  Ray doesn't seem to notice my moods, of which I am glad.  I do not want him to feel that he is a burden to me.
Matt and Mindy had been out for the evening and arrived home shortly afterward.  I do not want to be bringing all my heartache to them either.  After all, they are my children, not my counselors, though Papa has spoken through them on many an occasion.

Matt came into the room and we exchanged a few words about our evenings.  He began to leave the room, but turned around, put down all he had just gathered up and came over to me.  My son gave me  a big hug and told me that he loved me.  When Matt hugs anyone, he does it with an awareness that it is both he and Jesus doing the hugging!  The hug-ee senses it too!
With that he gathered his items up and left the room.
I am so blessed to have such loving sons!

A even greater blessing is that of having such a wise and loving God!

Later I opened up the devotional "Our Daily Bread", found the scripture reading and read it to Ray.  As I read Papa ministered to my heart so beautifully and tenderly!
The reading was Psalm thirty-two.  We read from the "Life Recovery Bible."  It is the New Living Translation.
"Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!  Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete homesty!
How wise He is to remind me, afresh, of His grace and mercy in my life!  No matter what goes on in my life, I know that I am right with Him and that gives me great joy!

"When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long.  Day and night Your hand of discipline was heavy on me.  My strength evaporated like water to the summer heat.  Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt.  I said to myself, 'I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.'  And You forgave me!  All my guilt is gone.  Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in floodwaters of judgment.  For You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble.  You surround me with a song of victory."
Yes!  My life was a mess, but all that changed when I came to Him!  When I remember this I realize that nothing that I face with Him compares to the emptiness and distress I felt without Him.
I am safe and secure in Him.  His lap is mine to climb up into at all times!

"The LORD says, 'I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.  I will adivse you and watch over you.  Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.  Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the LORD.  So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all you who obey Him!  Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!"
A mule?  A stubborn mule?  Who me?!
When I forget to look to Him I am going my own way, at times, stubbornly.  To what end?  Needless grief and sorrow.
In Him I can rest in the arms of the One whose love surrounds me, it is unfailing!  I can trust Him to direct my path.  Nothing comes my way without His permission.

You know when the ride takes you to the top, the view is amazing!

As I received these words of tender love from Papa a chorus began to fill my heart and I fell asleep to its words...

"Faith is the Victory!  Faith is the victory!  Oh Glorious Victory that overcomes the world!"
Words by John H. Yates

Music by Ira D. Sankey


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