Thursday, April 22, 2010

Your Ways or My Ways?

The past couple of days have not gone according to my plan. Yesterday we woke up to find all of our hens had been killed by something (probably a raccoon), and the chicks are missing. Not only was it disappointing and frustrating to all of us, but it was a major cause of grief to one little girl here in the house who cried for probably 2 hours. On the practical side, we ended up not even cracking open a book for school because trying to bury 4 hens in the rain, with mud up to my ankles, kids crying and mud flying, and chickens in various pieces is not real easy when you are only 2 weeks out from your due date, and you're digging through the contractions. Ugh. All the kids - and me - had to have a bath or shower immediately following.

Then today I got Peter out the door for work, and promptly came down with a migraine headache. Thank goodness my parents are nearby and were available to come and read quietly while I waited for some pretty powerful coffee to hit my head and clear my vision. When I could finally see and walk around again, I sent the kids outside and they got literally stuck in the mud. My mom went outside just in time to find Daniel with a hoe about to "chip" Hannah and Caleb out of the mud. Caleb was truly stuck in something like quicksand mud and could not move. Thank goodness my mom rescued him from what would certainly have been bloodied ankles, as he mysteriously decided to wear his crocs into the mud, instead of rain boots. Again, no school today.

Then again, the last few months have not been according to my plan. In December, the Monday after Christmas, my Nana became suddenly so sick that she was hospitalized. She never went home. She went to a convalescent home, and made it 6 weeks - dying on Valentine's Day. Largely due to the stress of her passing, but also many other factors, before she was even buried the next week I went into preterm labor at 29 weeks. Not good. I was put on medication to stop my labor and told to rest. Rest? Dr.'s orders - the Dr. is crazy! Who rests when they have a houseful like mine? I tried resting. We did school while I laid down on the couch every day. I gave up having a tidy home for having a healthy baby. Our wonderful church came to rescue with meals to keep us going.

Then I got sick. It is not easy when Mommy is sick. 3 weeks of not being able to keep anything in. Finally we discovered that I was allergic to the anti-contraction medication! We stopped that quickly, and I just went on more strict bedrest. We made it. I'm 38+ weeks now - and still pregnant.

Now that I am full term, I am super healthy and ready - and he's not coming out. The irony of it all! Do I need to learn this much flexibility Lord?

Then today I was resting (Mommy's maxim "When the kids rest - Mommy rests!") and I remembered Isaiah 55:8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Oh how true. His ways are not my ways. If I had my way, Nana would not have died a painful death. If I had my way I would have sailed through this pregnancy. If I had my way there would be no mud outside!

But I'm glad that His ways are prevailing. There are some wonderful moments to be remembered these past few months. Reminiscing with my mother, while we cleaned out my Nana's apartment. Watching Daniel insist on being the first to eulogize Nana at the viewing service ("That's my Nana," he said, grabbing the microphone and pointing a long bony 5 year old finger, "and she is...DEAD! She's not moving because...she is DEAD!"). Working with Hannah on her memory work, and listening to her share her heart with me. Potty training Caleb. Watching Abby become more than a tummy on legs - but a little person - with lots of fun personality. Reading endless books on the couch. Cuddling on the couch with Peter while we talk about the day each evening, watching God's plan unfold. Learning to trust that God's ways ARE really better and higher than mine.

Yes, it has been a rough couple of months. I'm hoping we are nearing the end of the challenges.

But even if we are just beginning, I think I'm starting to get it. His ways are not mine - they are better. It's going to be OK. Actually, it's not going to be OK, it's going to be better than I could imagine. I have hope, because I know the Giver of Hope, and He's good on His word. May He be glorified through my life - even today.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I don't want the IPad, but what do I want?

I checked out the IPad to see if that is something that would work for me. Unfortunately, it comes short in a lot of areas. But it set me thinking: if I had the ideal electronic thingy, what would it do? That is what this post is about. I think there may be something out there that could accomplish this, but maybe not in as small of a form factor as I want. Here's the list:

1. Small form factor, but not too small. I like the netbook weight, but maybe slightly bigger screen.
2. I want a real keyboard, but the option of turning the monitor around into a tablet like the Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet X200 (that may end up being my answer to all of this, but it is kind of heavy).
3. Both WWAN and Wifi built in. And it would really be nice if the software for connecting was not clunky (See Verizon's VZAccess software), but connected automatically, unless it was turned off.
4. Any document that I might need or e-mail that I need to read/answer would be available. This is not as much about the device as about my own system, but I think it could happen. I think the Google e-mail system is the closest I have seen to this so far. I'm testing out Sugarsync for document availability and so far it seems to be working pretty well. So, I think I may be close. But I'm having a hard time letting go of MS Exchange. It's working really well for me right now and I hate to kick out something that is working, just to get something that might work better . . . or worse, much worse.
5. I would love for it to boot up fast, but I'm not sure if it is worth it to give up the features that come with a full-featured operating system.
6. I also want enough storage so that I could store a substantial amount of files in the event I was somewhere without internet access. By substantial, I'm talking about 100 gig worth of files.

So, there you have it. If you see it, let me know.