Happy Thursday friends.
This last week was a doozy.
In the midst of crazy was two scheduled eye appointments.
This usually happens when my last contact rips in half.
You know, the contacts you are supposed to throw away way before you actually do, and find yourself almost guilty calling knowing that the eye doctor knows that you should've run out of contacts a loooong time ago?
I mean, doesn't he have it on his apple watch or something,
"Siri, add to the home calendar the date when Deena's contact lenses should run out so I can shame her next year when she finally shows up."
Okay so am I the only one who feels this way?
And for the record my eye doctor is the chillest Ophthalmologist there ever was.
I'm not sure he could even give the "Stink Eye," if he tried.
Now his receptionist on the other hand, well she seems to always have run out of gas on the side of the road and also lost her pet gerbil JUST before I show up.
Or at least that is what her non-smiling attitude makes me wonder.
Even CALLING to make an appointment for me and the youngest of the clan was unpleasant.
I gave my daughters age and I.Q. and all the other needful information and then there was this dramatic pause,
"She hasn't been.in.to.see.the.dr.for. A. WHHHIIIIILLLLLLLEEEEEE."
It echoed all the way to my soul.
I began to feel my neck tighten as I nonchalantly told this woman that we knew it had been a while and for goodness sakes just be glad we are getting her in to have her eyes checked!
No, I did not say that.
I mumbled something, secured my time slot and that was it.
Then the day of the appointment Joel thought I had the insurance card and he thought I had the insurance card which led to a giant family game of, whomever finds the insurance card is the winner.
Which could also be called "The Royaltys Spring Clean the junk drawers."
I did NOT find the card.
No one did, but we did find the stamps so there's that.
Little Miss herself found her own card in the van where neither spouse actually remembers leaving it.
I was actually thinking that in finding her insurance card she had passed a pretty crucial eye exam, but there wasn't something involving a gigantic letter "E" so I guess it didn't really count.
So we, with insurance card in hand, rush to the eye doctor and I go first.
Unbeknown to me, the Doctor's Assistant who is also super quiet and nice and happens to be the Eye Doctor's brother, tells my youngest she could go look at frames for possible glasses.
And also unbeknown to me she kindly refused and sat and waited for her turn.
After her initial "checks," she was brought into the room with me where I was already well into, "Is One better or Two, " and does this make it "Better" or "Worse."
Do you ever wonder why in the year 2021 we cannot find some new gadget to try out new prescriptions with other than a cement-heavy frame that must have been worn by Thomas Edison himself?
And bless their hearts Ophthalmologists may begin sliding them down your face at your eye line, but still never catch your left ear to set them on your nose.
One thing that WAS interesting for me this time around was needing to decide which area I wanted to see clearest.
You see - get that - SEE... I am now in the "Progressive lens" stage of life.
Where you pay extra to hide from the general public the fact that you do indeed need bifocals.
It took me a bit off-guard,
"Do you want to see clearer for distance or close-up?"
If I chose distance I may need to use my handy-dandy Wal-Mart reading glasses WITH my contacts to help things out a bit when I read.
So I just decided I would stop reading altogether.
I DO hope though that some eye surgeon has been "tuning in" to my little blot of cyberspace and wants to give me 20/20 vision out of some great charitable act of kindness.
(I WILL make you pumpkin chip cookies if that sways you..... you imaginary eye surgeon reader.)
When all was said and done I chose to read closely and squint looking down shopping isles, because if folks see me squint down the isle it won't bother me because I can barely see them to be embarrassed.
So you could deduct that I used logical Scientific means to come to my decision.
I chose nearsightedness as opposed to farsightedness.
See, I can be "Sciency."
Never have I picked frames out that quickly in my life.
What can I say, I knew what I wanted and I probably could sell those frames to folks "in the wink of an eye" because I like figuring what looks good on different people.
But then we'd have to find another position for the receptionist and that might cause a whole lotta drama, so I'm gonna just stay at home with my kids and my new bifocals.
Rewind to the youngest pair of eyes in the house refusing to frame shop.
This is humorous because in the Doctors own words my youngest, "May never need glasses at all!"
And I wanted to hear that once again in earshot of the reception area.
Instead I decided to "Bless and Release" that whole negative thing going on there.
Then the strangest thing happened.
Just as I was "Blessing and Releasing," the receptionist turned all kinds of friendly when I handed her,
my bank card.
Who knew she had that kind of niceness.
And all it took was a chunk of my money.
I think we're friends now?
Today my four youngest head to church to begin the "Annual School Testing."
Which in my kid's eyes has become a great excuse to spend ten dollars at the dollar store to actually pack a "school lunch."
It's less about study and more about what you can trade with your friends and who's getting "THAT" teacher this year.
It could be the strict one, the funny one, the one who lets you eat candy while you test, but when you only have Mom and Pop all year, this is big stuff.
Years ago now, a comment to me about one of my kids not doing well on a section of the test just hit something in me.
Something like that big red button that says, "Hit me if you think I am unable to teach my own children well."
It wasn't meant to be mean I'm sure, but has kept me hidden for these two days a year crossing my fingers at home.
I mentioned my fears of "the annual testing," to a friend and she gave me another area where she struggles with "measuring up."
Goodness we all have them.
Yours might seem silly to me and mine to you, but there that red button is in each of us Moms.
And as I watched my kids chop veggies for little baggies and ask Dad to wake them early so they could curl their hair,
I hear the Spirit say,
"Don't look ahead. Just focus on what's right in front of you.
Help them prepare. Look at what they got at the dollar store with their own money for their teacher with a smile and kiss their excited foreheads "Goodnight."
Keep your sights on the things that are going on with them here and now.
The temper you are correcting, the selfishness you are praying with them about, and the diligence you are showing them.
All things that cannot be measured on a piece of paper with a circle colored in completely with a #2 sharpened pencil.
School work matters. A whole lot. And it's not something to take lightly, but keep focused on right here and now."
You would think with two carrying their own weight in college this button would have all but disappeared,
With one understanding more about current court cases than I do,
Or with one taking apart and rebuilding motors and parts and such, but no.
That button still resides.
So I listen as the spirit whispers, "Nearsightedness."
In the midst of busy my house has become quite the collect-all.
Even the "Great junk drawer Spring Cleaning," wasn't enough for me.
Sometimes it's never enough.
There's always a dish, a book, TWO sets of clothes on the bathroom floor because someone had to change AGAIN mid-day, dirty boots and gloves and things from working boys here and there.
It can make this Mom almost mad by dinner time when happy hard-working husband enters because things are not "just so.'
Last night when coats hung off the kitchen table and school work was still scattered on the table from late night math sessions,
When laundry was left in the washer AGAIN, and cups line windowsills every turn of my head,
The Spirit says, "Nearsightedness."
"Cleaning comes and cleaning goes, but angry words stay.
Instead of being angry or resentful, be thankful for each cup, each glop of mud meaning that your boys are becoming men, that people need you to help them and that I have given you every inch of what you see.
Down to the wood flooring you snagged for an amazing "Covid special" last year when people were anxious to get cash-in-hand.
Don't look ahead at laundry tomorrow.
You cannot see clearly that far ahead of you.
Just look at all that I have blessed you with and how you love to have knitting always beside you in the basket on the floor there."
Isn't it something how our natural eyes gravitate to the one spot out of place instead of the whole picture of lovely?
When my children were very little there was an older wiser woman who spoke at our church's ladies fellowship.
She was revered by all who knew her and was a distinguished hostess.
I laughed when I heard her chide us ladies for inviting someone over and then proceeding to tell the visitor each and every ounce of disheveled in our home.
Something like, "Oh welcome! Welcome! Oh, don't mind that dusty shelf.... and I didn't get all the laundry put away! And Oh goodness, there's some muddy boots and look there! The wallpaper is tearing but we mean to fix that!"
I've done this so often! She mentioned many years ago now that when we do this we draw the visitor's eye to every place we DON'T want them to look or see!
"Keep it under you hat!" She told us. "Enjoy them and let THEM enjoy your house with you.
So there's mess.
We all have them."
How right she was then and still is.
Funny that to even have the ability to HAVE a mess means we have been blessed.
John Heywood coined the phrase, "There are none so blind as those who will not see."
There's so very much right in front of our noses to remind us of the Lord's goodness, provision and watch care!
If only we would have nearsightedness to really SEE it.
Psalm 26:3 says, "For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.
So much love and kindness for these bifocal eyes to take in and just give thanks over.
Thank you Lord, for the table that friends helped us purchase that grows and expands with company and shrinks back down for daily meals.
Thank you for the burn marks on this table from that giant candle blown out on my birthday when the kids spoiled me.
Thank you Lord, for cabinets and tile installed by Joel and the kids with diligence and precision.
Thank you for providing them when the old cabinets all but fell apart.
Thank you for couches that are comfortable and fit our whole crew.
Thank you for the wear and tear they have seen through sick kids, long weekends and that they are the perfect writing spot near the window looking towards church.
And on and on it goes.
So my kids may have another year where they come home, plop themselves on the couch and in a sigh remark, "Mom, I just got so bored I just circled "D" the whole last two pages!"
Yes, that has happened and may happen once again.
If it does I will explain once again why that isn't a good idea and remain "nearsighted." Today we are learning, growing, remembering what not to do and what is most important.
I will set my eyes on Psalm 32:8- "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye."
I will keep these failing eyes focused on His eyes, on what is right in front of me and most of all I will give thanks for all of it.