Archive for February, 2011

The Road Home

Last week a small portion of our family (there’s lots of us, so having only 13 on this trip was small) spent the week skiing in Big Sky, Montana. It was a great week. Skiing, of course, was the goal, but it was joined by challenging card and domino playing, fabulous home-cooked-meal eating, necessary computer working, unnecessary, but fun facebooking, more-beautiful-than-you-can imagine scenery looking (including ooh and ah-ing), lots of picture taking and then more picture taking, Yellowstone National Park snow coach touring, and plenty of memory making. Of course I have several stories, but I’m going to share only one of the many adventures a week in the snow gave us southern folks.

After three days of ski school, our youngest skiers “had it down,” so to speak, and joined us veteran skiers (not that we’re a ton better, just more experienced) on one last run down the mountain. We were so proud of them. Will, who is nine, fearlessly tackled each run like a football player ready for a championship game. Bella, our skinny little eight-year-old, did the same. Her tiny legs dug into the snow like little snow plows as she worked hard to maintain control and keep up with crowd. They were skiing with such confidence that we were happy to let them lead the way to our ski house.

Apparently, we mistook knowing how to ski for knowing how to get back to our house. Clearly, we were also oblivious to another potential problem that comes with skiing—once a turn is missed, there’s no easy way to fix it. Still, none of this crossed our minds until Will, who was in the lead, missed a turn. Okay, no problem—maybe. My daughter (Will’s mom), Korie, quickly followed him. She’s a great skier and I was confident she would get them home. The rest of us were now behind a fast-moving Bella who made a quick right turn when she should have turned left. My last visual of her occurred as she disappeared over a short drop off (about three feet) onto a road–a REAL road where a car COULD have been driving. Like any grandmother worth her salt (whatever that means), I followed her down the hill to that road, instructing everyone else to stay where they were. As I made my way down to Bella, I knew that the only way back to the path would include a WALK up the hill we just came down. In skiing what goes up, must go down, but the opposite is also true—after a wrong turn, that is.

Once I reached Bella and discovered she was okay, I took my skies off and instructed Bella to do the same, then we started the long walk UP the mountain. Can I just say—walking uphill, carrying skies and poles, in a high altitude, after a long day of skiing, wearing heavy ski boots– is never a good decision, but it was our only way home. The good news, no, the great news, was Bella never complained. She stopped for breaks, but never cried or whined about our situation or asked me to carry her skies. I was very proud of her. Maybe it was my heavy breathing that told her this wasn’t the time for favors. In any case, she was a trooper. We eventually reached the ski path, put our skies on and, with me in the lead, made it home. Safely inside, we asked about Korie and Will. They were still not home. After a frantic few minutes, we got a phone call telling us to send a car for them. They came in exhausted from their journey, but were safe. Korie was also proud of Will as she told us he never complained either. I truly believe that in serious situations like this was, children know they have no option. For all of us, when we do not have options in a difficult situation, we don’t have the luxury of complaining. In those times, we’re happy to do whatever is necessary to get out of the bad situation. The next day, no one argued when someone proposed that only grownups lead the way home.

These kinds of stories make for great dinner conversation, or good blogging material, after all the parties involved are safe and warm inside the house, but while you are “in the moment” they can be extremely challenging and scary. I couldn’t help but think of our heavenly Father who so patiently follows us down some very dangerous trails and then gently leads and guides us back to the life-saving path when we’re ready to go home. And when we’re truly ready to find the right path, there will be no complaining or whining. We’ll be so happy that someone loves us with such a mighty power that they would walk up a snow-covered hill with us and lead us home. I love this verse in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8. I especially love the way The Message translates it: “That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.”

Have a great week knowing you serve a God who loves you so much He will run after you and guide you home.

Hugs, Chrys

Bieber Fever, For Real?

It’s tough to know what to blog about today as so much has happened since my last opportunity to blog. First of all, after caring for the sick grandkids, it was my turn and I spent a week feverish and sniffling. Needless to say, I had not scheduled being sick in my February 2011 date book.

But, that wasn’t the worst of the physical ailments to creep into our household. My husband, after months of suffering stomach pain, ended up in the hospital on Monday, a week ago. After a diagnosis of an obstruction (thank you, doctors, we needed an answer), he had surgery on Wednesday. The surgery was a success, but the patient is still moving slowly. I did get him home on Sunday, which makes for a better Valentine’s Day. Once again, none of last week’s events were in my calendar book.

Then there was another ailment to enter our family. Although I did have some warning, I didn’t know the extent of the affliction. It started with the two eight year old granddaughters and a few of the younger grandsons, but they’re not willing to admit it. This ailment has been aptly named Bieber Fever. If you are not familiar with this crippling disorder, perhaps you need to turn on the TV or buy a magazine. Young and old alike seem to have become afflicted with Bieber Fever. It occurs when Justin Bieber’s music, hairstyle, and “toothpaste-commercial-worthy” smile are allowed to infiltrate your heart and head. I have to admit—I’m now afflicted. I wasn’t an early convert. For a year, I brushed Justin Bieber off like the crumbs from yesterday’s cinnamon toast. I thought he was just another teen sensation and would go the way of The Monkeys and Herman’s Hermits. But, after taking the kids to see his movie, I am in awe of this talented young man.

Justin Bieber’s quick rise to fame is nothing short of miraculous in the “never say never” kind of way. He comes to the world from a small town in Canada and was raised by his single mom. His grandparents were also great influencers in his life (I love that!). Incredibly gifted, he taught himself how to play the piano, drums, guitar and trumpet and at a very young age, played for money in his hometown. The great part of his family story is they appear to be from a strong faith-filled family. Prayer was a large part of the movie, which was great to see. I love that my grandkids witnessed this as well.

One thing, among many, that fascinates me about his success is that it had its roots from YouTube. His mom would post him singing to share with family members in other towns. One day, by accident, someone in the music industry spotted a YouTube performance and the rest is history, as they say. This phenomenon could have never occurred at any other time in history as YouTube did not exist. For the last few weeks I have been trying to hear a song on the country station that my grandkids introduced me to at Christmas. It’s now been 43 days and I’m still waiting. My grand’s are so laughing at me, but I’ve told them I refuse to YouTube it. I’m trying to prove a point. I want them to see how we used to live before internet, YouTube, twitter, facebook, iPods, IPhones, IPads, and anything else that gives us information faster than a speeding bullet, a skill once enjoyed by only Superman. In the “old” days, if we liked a song and wanted to hear it, we had to turn on our transistor radios and just wait. That’s what I’m trying to do with this country song. Clearly, I’m working on my patient skills. Justin Bieber became famous because of the availability of social networking. Now, that is not to say he didn’t deserve it or wasn’t talented enough for it, because he certainly has the talent and the work ethic. I’m just saying this new media allows for overnight sensations to really happen overnight. Overnight sensations of the past more commonly had actually taken five or more years.

Well, what’s the lesson here? Let’s see. God gifts us. Yes, that’s true. God wants us to be patient. Yes, that’s true. God would love us to use social media or any other means to spread the gospel. Yes, definitely true. Dreams can come true. Yes, Disney said that before Justin Bieber was born, so that’s true.

As I watched Justin Bieber’s story unfold in his movie (can you believe he even has a movie about his life at sixteen years old??), I was taken back to the scenes from the Beatle days when fans were screaming and fainting at just the sight of the fab four from London. I looked down at my granddaughter’s who sat on the edge of their seats and sang every word with this cutie from Canada. Seeing young girls fall head over heels over a cute boy can be alarming to a grandmother. But, I am comforted knowing my grandchildren have people in their lives that will teach them that names like John, Paul, George, Ringo and Elvis and Michael Jackson and Justin Bieber will never bring as much meaning to their life as the name of Jesus will. With proper balance, enjoying the “entertainment of the year” is fun to do, but real joy and real success come from knowing the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior. I pray that Justin Bieber will be able to enjoy his star rising in the entertainment world and continue to live his life in accordance with God’s will. So, Justin Bieber keep up the good work. Bieber fever, for now, isn’t such a bad thing.

Have a blessed day. Give your kids a hug and tell them you love them.

Hugs, Chrys

Re-Solutions for a Better Life

Well, the New Year is in full swing, isn’t it? The weather, which goes from 70 degrees to below freezing all in the same week, assures us that a new year has begun, in Louisiana anyway. Read more…