Day 115: Analyze This

I used to dream about people chasing me. They were always horrible dreams that ended up with me cowering down in an alley and trying to scream a death scream but nothing would come out but a guttural groan. I don't have those dreams anymore. They stopped when I started learning how to run. Weird, huh?

But, now I dream about running in races.

Last night I dreamed that I was running in the Houston Marathon and I realized right before the race that I still needed to change into my running shoes. When I reached into my bag to get them, I pulled out a pair of "dress up" tennis shoes, the kind designed to look cute but have no other real purpose.

I told my friend Kim what had happened and she said "the group" would wait to start the marathon while I ran into the mall adjacent to the starting line to get a new pair of shoes. When I ran into the mall, there were weird t-shirt shops, coffee bars and kids' play places (you know, like those giant play structures in the middle of malls these days) but not a single athletic shoe-selling store in the place.

Frantic, I jumped off the top of the mall with my parachute and flew home (true story) only to find that someone had moved into my home. It was my realtor and her kids, which prompted me to remember that we had moved. But I was very concerned that my realtor and her kids had moved into my home and they were living out of cardboard boxes they had staged as furniture.

Still in a panic about my shoes, I called my husband to see if he could come and get me and take me to get my shoes. He was very hard to hear on the phone and when I asked him what he was doing he said, "Spelunking." Seriously. He even sent me an iphone picture (which totally has to be a dream b/c we all know AT&T doesn't get a signal in normal places, so it sure isn't going to get a signal in a freaking cave!

But he reassured me that he could be home in 15 minutes (which made me start thinking maybe he really was Batman and that we had a cave under our house).

So, he got home, drove me to get my shoes at our house where we were living with a bunch of other people, and drove me back to the marathon where all my friends had already started, even though they totally said they would wait for me. Could I help it that it was 6 hours later? So, I got mad at all of them and said I would be running the Austin half alone.

All that to say, somebody analyze that please.

Day 114: Dancing in the Aisles

I went to Ikea the other day. I love shopping at Ikea (I have blogged about it more than once, that's how much I love it! See Shockenfurgen)

When I went the other day, I went with Zack and Christina (my son and his girlfriend) to do a little shopping for his new office. As usual, the trip started with a visit to the little deli they have downstairs where they serve the most delicious $.50 hot dogs and $1 cinnamon rolls (neither of which I bought, but SOMEBODY did). We grabbed a coke and started upstairs to experience the magic of IKEA.

We did the usual "follow the arrows" shopping, stopping at things we neither wanted nor needed, tucking them away in the recesses of our brains for someday.

Finally we made it downstairs only to make the most glorious discovery. IKEA has NEW SHOPPING BASKETS. They were awesome! All four wheels are free-wheeling, so the basket moves in this gleeful fashion making you want to dance, seriously, dance.

So I did.

Er . . . "we" did.

Christina and I had the MOST fun dancing in the aisles with our basket. We might have even created a few dance productions to music playing only in our heads. We laughed so hard. Even Zack smiled once or twice.

At one point, mid "big finish" dance sequence, a pair of older Indian men almost bumped into me and they smiled, chuckled, and then worked really hard to hide their guffaws. (I imagine women don't act like this in their culture) THIS made Zack actually laugh. So funny.

Finally, we were in the big furniture section and Zack had to grab a man cart (you know those hand truck things) and guess what? THEY had free wheels too, so you know he had to do it. I saw it on his face before he ever made the first move, but he danced. Oh he danced. And Christina and I lost it!

All that to say, I haven't just dared to do something stupid in a really long time. It felt so good. And I think it made a lot of people smile. Even if they thought we were crazy.

Day 113: How Much Struggle

I have a friend who has three little children and would love to have loads more. Generally, I would say, "more power to you" but in her case, three is already too many.

Perhaps that sounds harsh and even a bit judgemental.

But I speak from first hand knowledge.

I entered her home the other day (where her front door was wide open). She was in her kitchen and her children were sitting in the room next to that. She could see them, so I suppose if she wanted the door open, it could be open.

As we chatted for a moment, she asked if I'd like to see her home. I said sure.

She walked out of the room where her children were seated (which, by the way, was about 8 feet from the wide open front door) and started telling me about her new home. She seemed unconcerned that her three little ones (all three years of age and under) would be left alone in the front room with the front door open.

I said,'We can't leave the kids unattended' and she said, 'Oh, they're fine.'

I know from personal experience that given 1/2 a second, one of them will run as far and as fast as their little legs will carry them. So I closed the front door against her wishes.

I write this as just one of many examples I could give you of her thought processes as it relates to caring for her children.

This is my struggle. I want her to succeed at being a good mom, because at the end of the day, I think that's what God would want too.

But I strugge in knowing how much I should help her in her effort to succeed. Sometimes (I confess) I can be a bit of an enabler. My effort to help someone succeed is more like "controlling" than "helping."

So how do I help her? Doing nothing is not an option. That feels more like helping her fail. Do I help her locate the furniture she needs? People did that for me. Do I help her figure out how to manage three kids AND buy groceries, clean house, go to the doctor, run errands, etc? People did all of that for me (and I only had two kids)

I confess, I don't know where to draw the line.

All that to say, I am earnestly seeking God in this. Asking Him to give me wisdom in knowing WHEN to let her fail and learn from her failures, and when to help her succeed. How much to let her struggle is very difficult because so much is at stake, and not just for her. For her, for her kids, for all the other people involved. God help me be wise.