Friday, April 30, 2010

Farewell Four

There's a happy hum of excitement in the Wilson house tonight. The kitchen smells of a freshly baked chocolate cake. Little (and big) fingers have sampled the peanut butter frosting. Special gifts are waiting in the trunk of the car to be wrapped as soon as our little girl goes to bed. When I tuck her into bed in just a few moments, I will forever kiss my four-year-old goodbye. It's a happy, but bittersweet day. I'm getting excited about having a five-year-old, but four has been an awful lot of fun. I hope I've documented the memories well and will give us all something to remember about this past year.

In spite of our excitement at tomorrow's birthday celebration, I can't help but reflect that somewhere across the globe, it's already May 1. And that mysterious woman, to whom I owe so much, this is a difficult day indeed. Because five years ago, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. A girl with special medical needs that she simply couldn't help. I can't help but think that she's wondering about this little girl, not even sure if she survived infancy. It must be a day filled with sadness and regret. I wish there were something I could do, something I could say to let her know that her little girl is well. She's happy. She's healthy. She's thriving. And she is reminded almost daily of her Mama in China. But there is absolutely nothing I can do. Nothing but pray. And somehow, that has to be enough, because I worship and trust a very big God who can do anything. Even comfort a heartbroken woman on the fifth anniversary of the most wonderful and heartbreaking day of her life.

Quick Updates

What a crazy, busy day Thursday turned out to be.

The concert and rehearsal went very well. My students were probably on the best behavior they've ever had (parents in the audience certainly didn't hurt matters any.) Even in the hot, stuffy high school gymnasium, the students' singing was so beautiful that I actually had chills while I was conducting. Pending tornado watches and the possibility of it turning into a warning cleared us out quickly, and we were all on the road by 9:00.

My leg started feeling better after many rounds of ice and ibuprofen. I even made a slow, steady 4 miles this morning. My feet weren't hurting, and my calf muscle now feels slightly bruised, rather than hard as a rock. It was a beautiful morning for a run after last night's rain. The birds were out and singing, and I got to watch the sun rise (a little) with the clouds. I honestly don't know that I've enjoyed a run as much as I did this morning.

So all in all, things are going well. I've got a work day at school. I hope to finish all my plans for the rest of the year and start getting stuff packed up that I won't need until next year.

It feels good to stop and take a breath again.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Clumsy Me

In an effort to be courteous and quickly move out of someone's way in the school parking lot this morning, I effectively slammed my leg in the car door. Deep bruising to my calf muscle. Ouch. Did I mention that I have a half marathon in three days? Prayers for quick healing are appreciated :)

Winding Down

I've got my last performance today. I'll be conducting the chorus kids from 9 different schools. It will be a lot of fun for the parents and students, but I confess, I'm not sure I'm looking forward to spending 2 hours in a sweaty gym keeping kids under control. Ah...spring is in the air, and kids wiggle a lot more readily! I have a sinking suspicion that my own students will be doing the most wiggling. And talking. And flirting. Singing? We'll see.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

4 Days Left...

In 4 days, I'll be attempting a half marathon. That's 13.1 miles of pure misery (okay, truth be told, the first mile might not feel so bad!) I'd sure appreciate any prayers you could send my way on Sunday morning. In the meantime, is there anything I can pray for you? Leave your comments, and a special Bible verse to go with it. I'll add you to my list and pray for you while I'm running. Double get prayers, and I get my mind off myself. Not a bad thing :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mixed Feelings

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile...crazy busy April!

Well, I got an email from HR last week, asking me to come in for a 15 minute appointment. It really could have gone one of two ways: 1. you have no job; or 2. do you want to go full-time?

After a lot of prayer, Dan & I knew that I would need to accept a full-time offer. The meeting was a little strange...a lot of smiles and pleasant exchanges. Once we were in the little "interview" room, I was asked to confirm that I got the letter (was it a layoff? was it not? we may never know.) I said that I did. At that point, the HR representative told me, "We just want to make sure you are aware that your part-time position WILL be full-time next year."

Kind of a strange way of putting it, I think...not "do you want a full-time job if it's available?" But "you WILL be full time." So, I'm thrilled to know I still have a job, but I'm really not looking forward to being full-time outside the home. I may or may not keep my current building. Either way, I will be starting over (again! 9 schools in 11 years) somewhere.

So now, we need prayers for adjusting to our new routines. Dan will have to become the hands-on parent and homemaker, keeping laundry and cooking under control. Somehow, I need to reconcile myself with that fact, as I feel those should be my responsibilities. I will need to navigate the stress of full-time employment and a long commute. I think I just need prayers.

Don't we all?

Saturday, April 10, 2010


They can be annoying at best and downright damaging at worst. This has been a week of rumors. There's a lot that I can't put into writing quite yet, partly for legal reasons and partly because I simply don't know what's truth, and I don't want to add to the rumors.

I got a letter last weekend. It wasn't a pleasant letter. It was the certified variety. (Does anything good ever come in a certified letter?) It was a layoff notice. At least, I think it was a layoff notice. It was written quite vaguely. What I do know for sure is that I will not have a job as a part-time music teacher in my district next year. There's a lot of unknowns in a statement like that.

I've heard all sorts of rumors this week, and I've seen no fewer than 5 conflicting statements in writing. These rumors only add to the instability of the situation (and my nerves, I must admit.)

It's been a really hard week. I've had two other fires to put out at school and professionally this week. In an attempt to be concise in handling them, I've apparently come across as harsh to at least one person, who had some rather unkind (to put it politely) things to say to me. I feel horrible, and I've tried to mend the fence, but honestly, I don't know what else I can do. Some days (let's face it, some moments) have been harder than others this week. There have been times I've barely held it together (and times I haven't held it together at all.) Other times, I remember God's promises.

There are so many scenarios that can come of this situation. I hardly dare to put them in writing. I'll just say that some of the things Dan & I have prayed about for years might possibly happen. Sometimes a red light is a green light in disguise. Even so...that light can be terrifying if you're not ready for it.

Please pray for us. Pray for me that I would be protected from the anxiety that Satan is trying to burden me with; pray that I would find joy in this situation; pray for our marriage during this time of strain; and pray as you feel led, because I know there are countless other things I haven't even considered.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Oh! Happy Day!

I spent the weekend mourning the loss of my friend. It's been a very bleak 48 hours. This morning, I decided to spend some quiet moments at the cemetery. I was too emotionally spent to visit the graveside after the funeral on Friday.

Imagine my surprise when the grave was unearthed. There was no stone. In fact, the grave was empty!!!!! Initially I thought, "Who could have taken my friend? What a horrible joke!"

But then I remembered something my friend told me, not too long ago. He said that he would be killed, but three days later he would be alive again. I wondered...could it be true!?!

And then he called my name. Ever so gently. With tears in my eyes, I looked into the face of my friend. The very one whose blood was shed so my sins (remember? The ones I gloss over and call my "flaws?") could be forgiven. Washed away. Forever.

I have no reason to grieve my friend. He will be alive forever. Even now, as I see him no more, I know that he is waiting for me, preparing a beautiful room, just for me. He's making everything just right, perfect, for the day we'll be together again.

You know....he's a friend I will never forget. I can't. He lives with me each day. His name is Jesus.

Do you know Him?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Sad Day

I went to a funeral last night. It was a lovely service, but a very sobering affair (as funerals often are.) It was a service for my best friend. I can't believe he's gone.

And so young...only 33 years old. I can't even let myself imagine how torturous his final hours must have been. It was a capital execution. I never really did figure out what exactly the charges were, but his trials (there were more than one, but unlike most legal processes, his 6 trials took place in less than 6 hours) were a joke! In fact, even now I wonder at the legality of the proceedings.

The whole time he was dying, the public officials were mocking him and beating him. Definitely cruel and unusual punishment. The loss of blood was unimaginable.

Even though he told me (many times) that this was going to happen, I just couldn't believe it. And even at the end, I couldn't bring myself to watch. I'm ashamed to admit that when the going got tough, I ran away. I absorbed myself in my own life. Went about my day as usual (although in the back of my mind, his execution was always there.) In fact, it was a pretty ugly day. I was unusually harsh with my students. I was hanging on to a grudge against my husband. I was impatient with my daughter, who just wanted to be with me. Every time I tried to stop myself, breathe a quick prayer, and turn myself around, I just dug my hole deeper.

As I sat in my friend's service last night, I couldn't help but remember how kind and gentle he was. He was my only friend who always accepted me as is. In fact, he welcomed me, flaws and all. Well, I try to mask it over by calling them flaws, but let's call a spade a spade. It was sin.

So as I sat there, missing him terribly, I thought about how I would gladly trade the rest of my life to just have one more day with him. Then I realized that he endured one gruesome, torturous day so that I CAN spend the rest of my life with him.