Friday, February 26, 2010

Why do I procrastinate?

I have always struggled with procrastination. When I was in school I would always put off papers until the last minute. My procrastination now has carried over into my personal life. Most recently it has manifested itself in my car inspection. I am not sure why I struggle so much with getting my car inspected. I have lived in NY for almost my whole life. It is common knowledge that you need to get your car inspected once a year and the sticker is right in front of your face at all times letting you know when you have to have it done by. Yet, for some reason, I always procrastinate about getting it done. I don't know why. This year my excuse was that I didn't know where to go in Syracuse to get it inspected. The one place we have gone to to have our car serviced was not in the nicest neighborhood. It was summer and Glenn had dropped it off, ridden his bike to school and then ridden his bike back to pick it up. He said he thought that they might have had an old van seat sitting there for people while they waited. I have 4 kids. They are not all going to fit on an old van seat. I don't think that there is anything for us to do in that neighborhood either.

I got a recommendation from a friend for a place to get my car inspected and called on Wednesday. They said that they thought that they could get me in on Thursday if I left my van there and they would be able to run me home after I dropped it off first thing in the morning. That was the original plan until I woke up Thursday to lots of snow. I gave them a call and they said they would not be able to take Glenn to school after he dropped it off because they were dealing with snow plowing as well as the normal business at their shop. They told me to try again on Friday. I had really not wanted to get the inspection done today because it is Lydia's 6th birthday and wanted today to be a fun day for her. Over night we got even more snow (about 7 inches since I had shoveled at 11 last night.) When I called again this morning there was no way they would be able to take Glenn to school after he dropped it off. To complicate matters Abigail started throwing up last night at around 8pm and is still pretty miserable even though she hasn't vomited since 4:30. Even if I had someone (I think I would need 2 someones - one to watch the kids and one to give me a ride home from the shop and back there) I don't know that anyone really wants to subject themselves to Abigail's germs. I have called around a few places but they all say I have to leave my vehicle and I have no idea what to do with my kids, especially the sick one who is pretty much not moving, for the time that it takes for them to get to my car and get it inspected which it sounds like will be several hours.

So.... I guess we'll have to wait until March to get our car inspected. I hate to do that because it is illegal and, though I don't think that there are any problems, if there is our sticker gets scraped and we have to drive illegally until it gets fixed. I hate to do that. Still not sure what to do. One thing I do know is that next year I am going to get my car inspected the first week on the month, not the last, Lord willing.

Another thing I procrastinate on is birthdays. I know when my kids birthdays are, they are even each near the end of the month, but I don't get my act together enough to organize actual birthday parties for them or buy gifts. I feel really bad about that. Lydia has changed her mind lots of times about what kind of cake she wants (the final answer as of this minute is Dinosaur Train - how on earth do you make a Dinosaur Train cake?). Many of the people she wants to invite live in Rochester. I have not planned ahead and therefore I have nothing planned for her birthday (which is, of course, today). I know that she wants Hawaiian Haystacks for her birthday dinner but I don't have the ingredients for it because I have procrastinated going to the grocery store. It all comes down to procrastination.

I don't want to procrastinate any more! Just like my grades suffered and my health suffered (being tired from all nighters) when I was in school now my family suffers because of my procrastination. I am going through Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow again and this week she quoted Ephesians 5:15-17 from the Phillips translation. It said, "Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility, not as [women] who do not know the meaning [and purpose of] life but as those who do. Make the best use of your time, despite all the evils of these days. Don't be vague but grasp firmly what you know to be the will of the Lord." This has been a challenge to me and now it is in my face. I want to live life on purpose and to plan ahead, not spend my life putting out fires and getting stressed out because of my lack on planning. Lord, please help me to be careful how I live, "not as unwise but as wise, making the most of my time."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

11 Years Ago Today....

11 years ago today Glenn asked my dad if he could marry me at the Chattanooga Airport while waiting for my mom to arrive for their Valentine's weekend visit in the middle of his business trip. Dad said he'd have to talk to mom about it. When dad whispered to mom about it as we were walking to get her luggage she turned around and gave Glenn a big hug and said, "Welcome to the family!" Then dad stopped her, "Sandy! I haven't said 'yes' yet!" The next day he did and I am so glad! I couldn't imagine life without Glenn!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Happy 7 Years in Heaven Mom

Today is the day that I celebrate with my Mom her graduation to heaven seven years ago. I miss her so much. One thing that is really hard for me is that my kids never got a chance to know her. She loved being a grandma to Caleb for the few times she sneaked down to Tennessee to play with him.

I can remember vividly both our last conversation in May of 2001 and the last time I saw her alive on February 6, 2003. In May of 2001 we were in Missouri visiting my in-laws for my brother-in-law's high school graduation. She and I chatted on our normal Sunday afternoon talk and she told me about the women's conference she had gone to that weekend with my Grandma and Aunt in the Adirondacks and about some pains she had experienced in her chest. She had had a rough year health-wise and had even taken the rest of the year off from school to try to recoup. One thing I remember talking with her about was my dad's cousin Karl. He had just died of a heart attack and the funeral was the next day. We prayed together for the family and for opportunities to share Christ with them.

On February 6, 2003 there was a bit of a snow storm. The kids were cranky but I really wanted to go up and see her in the hospital. We got Caleb down and I decided to take Hannah and run up to see her. We had known that her death was imminent and had spent countless hours at the hospital, then the nursing home, and then the hospital in the days, weeks, and months previous to that point. As I arrived at the hospital my Dad was there talking to her. I talked with him for a bit and then he left encouraging me to leave with him but I wanted to stay. I talked to mom and prayed and read her some scripture. As I was about to leave I was crying pretty hard. I can remember her looking into my eyes with a questioning look. Her eyes asked me, "Sonja, why are you crying?" I think that she knew she was going Home. There was no fear in her eyes. I know that she was longing for Home where she could be with her Savior and no longer be contained by her earthly body that no longer worked. I gave her a hug and I left. In the middle of the night the hospital called my dad and told him to come. He went back to the hospital and was with her as she passed away. When he thought I would be awake he gave me a call and told me.

As I have been thinking of February 7th coming up I have had several songs come to my mind. At the beginning of last week it was Matthew West's "Save a Place for Me." I heard it a few times on the radio and had to look up the lyrics. It talks about "dreaming of the day when I'm finally there with you" and "I'll be there soon." I look forward to that day. Thinking of my parents always makes me "homesick" for heaven. That made me think of Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Not Home Yet." I love that song. It makes me think of my Mom and Russ's trip home from Chattanooga by bus after the car accident on the way down to drop me off at college. It was their theme song because the trip took so long. For me, personally, this week, it made me think that I am not Home yet. God has me here for a purpose and I need to be diligent to live for Him in the time I have remaining on this earth. Which made me think of Nichole Nordeman's song, "I Want to Leave a Legacy."

"I don't mind if you've got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
You could take my picture and hang it in a gallery
Of all who's who and so-n-so's that used to be the best
At such'n'such ... it wouldn't matter much

I won't lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need an 'Atta boy' or 'Atta girl'
But in the end I'd like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy

I don't have to look too far or too long awhile
To make a lengthly list of all that I enjoy
It's an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile
Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy

Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred
Just want to hear instead, "Well Done" good and faithful one..."

My mom left me a legacy. I want to do the same for my kids and the other people that I come in contact with. Did you know my mom? Did my mom leave a mark on you? Would you leave a comment to share a memory that you have of my mom, silly or serious, to help me celebrate her today? Thanks.

Edited on Monday to add comments posted by friends on my facebook status yesterday - maybe this will give you a glimpse of my mom if you didn't know her. Some made me laugh, some made me cry, all made me grateful for my mom and her life:

Mary Ellen: She Always made it a point to say Hello to me personally every Sunday in church!!

Margo: She had the cutest dimples that you saw quite often as she smiled quite a bit!

Ruth: Thinking of the day when Sandy took her motorcycle test still makes me giggle. Sandy was so cool and calm in the midst of mechnical failure. So funny ! "Can we just stop the test right now" Simply priceless ! Miss them both so !

Ana: I remember her being such a great part of my wedding day. I can hear her voice and laughter in the video that she took that day. She was a wonderful woman and a wonderful role model.

Tori: she always had a smile on her face.

Betsy: Both your parents were unassuming and genuine. Their love for the Lord was always evident.

Jean: It was very shortly before she got sick that she said "I think I am finally" Nelsonized". What do you suppose she meant by that? We loved her so much and still do.

Shannon: I remember that she was the nicest reading teacher ever, and I kept every award she ever gave me for years and years.

Rhonda: She was a really truly great person - and I remember her telling me all about her horse that just wondered the yard as if it was a dog!

Kim: I remember when I was in Jet Cadets and she would take us out to Pizza Hut...and when those times happened your dad was usually in the hospital...but she still took us because they had promised we would eat pizza and then go visit your dad in the hospital and sing silly Jet Cadets songs!

Holly: I'll never forget our trip to WOL to drop you and Phoebe off, she cried and cried on the way home, but we were so proud of you both!!

Grace: "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:29-31 Sandy's favorite verse!!

Phoebe: "I remember having bonfires at your house and your mom was always ready with lots of hot dogs for us!"

Russ: "Mom always called me her "My baby boy, my pride and joy" and her right hand man because I was always there help her put things together and fix things. I was even her human doggy bag because very often I finished her left-overs so we did not have to take them home when we were out to eat.

When we had her brother Rusty and his family over for Thanksgiving once growing up, she was naming off the choices of drinks and her extra emphasis on "Gatorade" like the commercial stuck in my mind and my uncle Rusty's even till today. ... See More

One of my fondest later memories of mom was that in December of 2002 Camy came out to visit me and go with me to my cousin Dave's wedding. That weekend she got a chace to meet mom. After Camy helped my mom eat her dinner, spagetti balls with small meat balls, camy caught every meatball that mom spit out. Mom smiled and giggled as camy encouraged her. Before we left that visit I asked mom "Do you think she is a keeper?" Mom smerked and whispered "yeaaaahhhh". So with mom's approval I pursued camy till we married 3 and a half years later

When dad called me to let me know that Mom was home with the Lord I was in class and heading to chapel at Cedarville. The songs that day really dug at my heart, "Better is one day in your Courts than thousands elsewhere" Also the night of the 6th of february I had just returned from being in Waterloo for 5 days to say goodbye to mom and I had been asked to share about life and struggles in a dorm hall meeting. As I shared about mom's life and her struggles, yet how God was so faithful, 20, 18-22 year old guys were crammed into a small dorm room crying. That hall meeting lasted from 11:30 till after 1am, with guys leaving and coming back in after calling their parents to tell them they loved them. That next morning through God's great grace and Peace that Passes All Understanding, after I had heard of mom's going home to be withthe Lord, God gave me even more opportunities to talk to the guys of that hall meeting to share with them the Joy and Peace from God for taking Mom home to be with Him.

Oh do I miss her too! My kids will never meet their Grama or Grandpa until we all meet again in heaven, but God is sufficent and meets all of our needs here on earth.

Thanks everyone for the memories of mom!
To God Be The Glory"

me: I am thankful for how God used her in the lives of others as well as in my life. My favorite memory of my mom is seeing her in her chair in the corner of her bedroom every morning meeting with Jesus. I truly think that that time is what made her who she was and that is why I have made it a priority for me to spend time every morning reading my Bible and praying so I can become more like Jesus just like she did.