Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What is normal anyway???

Okay this blogging daily will stop soon I promise but I figure since I still have some of you as a captive audience I might as well take advantage of it. In fact, when I was a kid I wanted to be, at one point, a tour guide operator. That way I could use that authoritative voice and talk all day long to an audience who had nowhere else to go. They would be trapped on my bus or tram and I could just talk at them all day long. Funny huh? :) The blog is like that for me...I can write these long posts and think to myself that hundreds of people are checking it all day long to find out what I have to say next. I guess the whole blogging phenomenon is kind of like that but I don't mind. I love reading other blogs and I hope you enjoy reading mine.

So today was a kind of up, kind of down day. It was a great morning. We (myself and the kids) finally got out of the house just the three of us to do something normal and routine like go to get a couple little things at the grocery store and finally get a pumpkin for carving (or "cutting" as Noah says). Noah was talking all morning about this pumpkin we were finally going to "cut." Being gone at the hospital all last week then trying to take care of Jordan and get my mom on her plane then all of our appointments Monday and Tuesday there really was no other day to do it. We get to Albertson's and nothing (we did buy a few $1 costumes for the kids...yes, ONE dollar). We walked over to Wal-Mart, nothing. When the lady at Wal-Mart told me that they sold out of their last pumpkin at the end of last week I nearly started crying. I didn't say anything, I just turned the stroller around and headed for the car while Noah is asking over and over when we're going to cut our pumpkin. I'm totally trying to control myself and keep from losing it. At the same time I'm telling myself that it's just a stupid pumpkin and that I REALLY shouldn't be crying over not being able to cut a pumpkin! On the way home from the store Noah wanted to hear our "God Music" so I turned it on and How Great is Our God came on. Hearing Noah sing it and listening to the words I really, again, felt so thankful for so much. I was overcome with thanksgiving that we have Noah who is healthy and wonderful and that we have Jordan with us still, despite my thoughts after her surgery that something was terribly wrong. To have a God that I KNOW for absolute certain is perfect, loving, just and unchanging through time and trials is such a comfort even when things aren't perfect. He doesn't change when things in this world do.

In talking to Shan's mom later she helped me to realize that it wasn't just the pumpkin that was the end of me, it was that I wanted something "normal" for our family for once. I wanted to be like everyone else, cutting pumpkins, sharing "The Pumpkin Gospel" with my kids (Google it and you'll see what I'm talking about). This whole pumpkin thing threw my entire day! I dressed the kids up late morning to take them to Jordan's school for therapy. They had a Halloween day for the kids that was so fun. It was nice being there in a place where I could relate to the parents and the therapists, where they also want "normal" in their lives but have had to adjust to a new "normal." My favorite thing of the morning there was the fact that Noah didn't stare, didn't flinch, didn't notice any of the kids who were in wheelchairs, using walkers and who were severely affected by their differences. I LOVE that that is "normal" to him now, that (Lord willing) he will probably not stare when he sees a person with a physical difference and he will not gawk, he will not whisper and he will not make them uncomfortable or ashamed.

On our way home from therapy Noah is still talking about our pumpkin cutting so I decide to veer over three lanes to check out the Dana Point Harbor Pumpkin Patch before driving to our surrounding cities to find a pumpkin while the kids napped. As I am pulling in to this desolate, deserted parking lot covered with straw I see ONE pumpkin sitting by itself in the middle of the lot and a lonely man hanging around. He said that it is, indeed, his last pumpkin and that he had already checked every single grocery chain in our entire area and that there were no more pumpkins. I nearly fell over. This pumpkin was the last in our tri-city area! (San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan) It was ours - warts, bumps, lumps, broken stem and all it's glory - it was ours! The guy wanted $5 but I only had four...this was the first time I used Jordan for sympathy...I took her out of the car with me when I went over to ask him if he would accept $4 since that's all the cash I had with me. He agreed and we left with our prized pumpkin - elated!

Although we didn't have time to carve it later we did have a nice night at home with the kids and walking around the block with our friends and neighbors. We'll carve the pumpkin tomorrow hopefully but it doesn't really seem all that urgent anymore. :)

Thanks for reading my long post. As for Jordan she is still doing well and we are planning on being back at church tomorrow night for our young marrieds' bible study. Yay! We miss you all so much at Compass Bible Church!!!!



The Pamiza Family said...

Hi Jen, it's me Shannon from Bakersfield. I am so glad to hear that things are starting to settle down for you & your family. I just wanted to let you know that I took your advice and started a blog page for Devany. it's It really is fun and quite addicting! Thanks again!

Brook said...

We had the same pumpkin story Oct. 2005 after the hurricane. There were no pumpkins that year, but it was the one "normal" thing with all the devestation and destuction to our home and community. I was just obsessed with getting something right for the kids. We ended up carving one of those tiny pumpkins you use for cooking, but hey it worked.

Praying for you often in Texas!


The Seager Family said...

You do have me captivated and checking your blog. Can't wait to see you tonight.


Chiara said...

Thanks for sharing Jen! I LOVE your stories and retelling of daily events that point to our God. It is encouraging to me. I love the picture of the lonely pumpkin you added to this post. It was right there waiting for you! So fun.

avivanco said...

Thank you for you blog! I am sure it must be hard to with all that you guys are going thru! Tami and I will continue to pray for healing for Jordon and for normalcy to you and your family! I am sorry we were not able to visit you guys in the hospital. Please know that you were deaply in our prayers! We also had our whole church praying as well.

Andy Vivanco

Swimwife said...

You are soo funny! I told Gabe that I love reading your blog. You should write professionally. You are so good at storytelling! I love this story!
I want to see pictures of your $1 costumes!! I need another Post from you. It has been a few days:)

Sarah Cox said...

So sad little pumpkin story. :( What a little gift that you found one (or God, in His lovingkindness, saved it for YOU!). We must see pictures of the kids in their costumes. Was the kangaroo to short for Noah?

Kathy from therapy said...

If I only knew this when you came through the carnival, your treat would have been one of the uncarved pumpkins in our booth!...but you were meant to discover the lonely pumpkin instead! I am so glad you and the kids enjoyed the carnival, it was great seeing you and Jordan! I think she be happier to see me when I am not a "pumpkin head!" See you soon!
Love, Kathy

Carrie Steele said...

As long as you keep posting great stories like this one, I'll keep checking back. Love the picture of your lone pumpkin. Looks like something out of a Charlie Brown comic.

The O'Connell Clan said...

The picture says it all! I can't wait to see pictures of the costumes!

Smith Family said...

What an AWESOME story! Thank you for sharing your heart and for the inspiration it brings to so many! What a blessing it is to call you my sister in Christ! We are praising God for His healing of Jordan so quickly and for the love He spreads to each of through you and your family! You are such a strong example of faith and we love you all very much!!!