Pots n Pinwheels

updated 3.24.16

I know they’re just pots, but they do more than hold dirt. They retain memories and are a symbol of intentionality for our family.

6 Easters ago, we set up a scavenger hunt. The final clue led to our neighbor’s trampoline, which we had piled with four giant plastic pots, bags of soil, flats of flowers, gardening gloves, shovels, trowels, and a four unique pinwheels.

Each child thoroughly enjoyed filling their pot with a lower level of rocks, then some dirt and some carefully, some exuberantly, arranging and planting the flowers they had chosen.

We wanted these planters to be a visual reminder of the fact that Jesus died for us, that his body was placed in the ground, but that he rose again and something beautiful came out of that wondrous event.

Two years later as we packed up our belongings to move from Michigan to Georgia, I could not leave those pots. And it was a dilemma because if we wanted the pots, we had to get rid of the flowers.

I came up with a solution that seemed the best thing we could do with both. We unplanted the flowers from the pots and took half to my sister-in-law’s house and planted them in various spots around her garden and planters–hopefully they would be a sweet memory of her nieces and nephews. We watered those plants in tears that day–such a beautiful bittersweet goodbye.

The other half we took to dear friends who had just moved into their new home and added them to what we called a “friendship garden”. It colored up their back yard beautifully and we enjoyed taking a picture of the 6 “friends” in front of their newly planted friendship garden as a sweet memory before saying our goodbyes to them as well.

I emptied the big pots of their dirt and debris, washed and dried them in the sun, then made sure they–along with the pinwheels, gloves, shovels & trowels–made it into the pod for moving.

POTSOnce we unpacked, I thought the pots ought to be used for a bit more than giant baskets in a ball-toss game on the lawn. Our new house needed to look like us.

After cruising all the ads online to find the best prices, we drove to a few places and gathered a handful of plants and a few bags of dirt. We got out the pots, the gardening gloves, shovels, trowels and watering cans and we planted. Once planted, each child proudly placed their pinwheel in their garden then skipped away in glee.

579599_10151366059186725_706450828_n

It’s been 6 years since we started planting flowers for Easter. Two moves later, our kids are still looking forward to the tradition of planting something new and beautiful in their pots.

I know they’re just pots, but I hope they will last forever. That for the Great Scotts–who have more than graduated from being the Scotts Tots–these will be a constant reminder that no matter where we go, we too, are just a vessel for something beautiful that is alive in us because of Him.

 

Advertisements

Batgirl: I am no longer

This is a true story that happened to me in June 2011…every year I re-post how I became…BATGIRL!

Backstory:  Beginnings
                  Dillemma
                  Pierced
Performing amazing feats of logistics

The day 7 shot was a God-send. I called my regular physician and left a long and rambling message to see if they could help me find a place, other than the mega expensive trip the downtown ER again, to receive my rabies injection: I was having a hard time finding a place in Michigan that had any rabies serum other than emergency rooms, which are $$$ and did not want to administer them to a walk-in since they had them in stock for “emergencies only”.

In a shocking turn of events, my doctor’s office called me back to let me know that another patient at the practice had been undergoing a rabies series and never came in to get their 5th injection. The serum was not yet expired and I could come in to their office and have it administered by a nurse there. Praise God, an easy one! This shot was in my left arm, and I had to sit for 30 min at the doctors office to be observed to ensure I did not have a reaction to the injection. Hmmm…none of the other places made me sit and observed me for a reaction…

Day 14 took place while we were in Chicago. Friends had gifted us a hotel room so we could have some fun family time together after finishing our job at the church but before moving to our new location. I typed the address of the hospital (I had already called to verify had rabies serum in stock) into my GPS and put on my brave face. I found the hosptial, parked, went in and took a deep breath as I told my story. “I got bit by a bat and need to get the next shot in my rabies series…”

Because I was from out of state and because my doctor was as well, a doctor certified in the state of Illinois had to re-write my prescription so that I could get the shot. Apparently bat bites in Chicago are common–the nurses told me they had tons of vaccine here and regularly gave this series of shots–especially to entire families that wake up to find a bat in their house and don’t know whether anyone got bit or not, so they all have to go through the entire series. Yikes! This time my shot was in my right arm.

My fifth and final shot took place in Oklahoma, where the kids and I stayed with my parents for the month of July while Dan traveled the country hosting summer camps. Because we were not yet in the state of Georgia, where our new insurance would cover us, and because we were no longer covered by our “old” insurance we had to do everything out-of-pocket as if we had no insurance.

I had to be seen by a doctor licensed in the state of OK and have him re-write my prescription yet again in order to have my shot administered. My parents’ physician agreed to see me and re-wrote my script. I was the first person he had ever met that had actually been bit by a bat. Yay me!

I took my final prescription to the Urgent Care center and breezed right through, having already pre-paid for the shot at the discounted no-insurance rate (somewhere in the $200 range instead of the usual $1500)

For some reason, that shot was very painful and I was cranky and my left arm hurt quite a bit, but I was thankful to finally be done with this whole crazy process, and told my dad that he was no longer allowed to call me “Batgirl”.THE END.

(Or at least I thought it was until the bills started coming. My first ER visit was nearly $4,000. More bills to come…)

Batgirl: Dillemma

This is a true story that happened to me in June 2011…every year I re-post how I became…BATGIRL!

If you missed yesterday’s Beginnings, read it here 

“Crazy day that ended w/ a bat clinging to my ankle…& not the baseball kind. Hoping I don’t wake up with cowl & wings…always an adventure!” ~Twitter/Fbook status June 8, 2011 @ 8:43pm

I scrubbed my ankle with some rubbing alcohol hoping it would cleanse the tiny red marks on my ankle. I wondered, “Did the bat bite me? Scratch me? Or are these scratch marks from me itching mosquito bites? Did I graze my ankle on moving boxes or paint pails? Maybe something kicked up while I was mowing the lawn?”

I didn’t think too much of it as we began our nightly routine of painting the house (to get it ready to put up for sale) for as many hours as we could before falling into bed exhausted somewhere around midnight.

The next day, I did a little internet searching on bat bites just in case the writhing, squealing varmint had indeed chomped my ankle. It was some of the most dire reading I have ever done–rabies is a 100% fatal disease. Not to mention that when I told a friend that I may have possibly been bitten by a bat she freaked out on me because she knew of someone in real life whose husband had been (unknowingly) bitten by a bat, went to the hospital a few months later sick with what they thought was the flu and he actually died a few days later of rabies.

My fears were clinched by a message from my husband’s cousin, who is a doctor, recommending that even if I had come into contact with a bat–bite or no bite–rabies is indeed a 100% fatal disease, bat teeth are so small often you can’t even see their bite marks,  and in his professional and familial opinion it’s better to get a series of shots and be safe than dead.

Hence, first thing the following morning,

“Bat girl checking in. Lots of shots forthcoming…” ~Twitter/Fbook status June 10, 2011 @ 9:36am posted from Emergency Room in Grand Rapids, MI

…oh, there’s more…


Devotions for my kids–PEACE week 2

Read or listen to Genesis 26:13–33 (NIV) or click here to read a children’s version of the story at http://childrenschapel.org/biblestories/wells.html

Circle the reasons different people in the story asked Isaac to move:

  • jealous of Isaac’s wealth
  • he was living on someone else’s land
  • his flocks were too big
  • Isaac was mean to everyone
  • scared Isaac would take over their land
  • Isaac was raising dangerous animals
  • herdsmen fighting over the wells
  • Isaac was cursed and causing the drought

How many times did Isaac move in this story?       2      4      6      8

How many times have you moved in your lifetime?

Is it easy or hard to move? (If you’re not sure, ask a grownup!)

Isaac ended up in the place God had prepared for him, where he could live in peace and to continue to prosper despite there being a drought in the land. If Isaac had decided to fight and stay at one of the other wells, he might have missed out on the awesome ending to his story.

The coolest part of this story (besides Isaac ending up in the perfect place to live) is that at the end of the story (vs 26-28) Abimelech the king–who originally told Isaac he had to move because he was becoming too rich and powerful–came to Isaac and asked if he could make a peace treaty with Isaac. Why? Because the king saw that God was blessing Isaac for making wise choices and for being peaceful instead of fighting. The king was impressed with Isaac and wanted to be a part of what he was about. As Isaac’s story shows us, peace is more important than winning.

Memory verse challenge game Cut out the words to the verse below. Flip them over and mix them up. Then turn them over one by one and put them in order.

Mom card

I found a used set of Little House on the Prairie books (only missing the “Farmer Boy” book) at the library booksale a few years back and snatched it up to someday read with my little girls.

One winter night a few years ago I just couldn’t wait for my girls to grow up enough to begin reading them so I piled them next to my bed and plowed them all through again.

At about the same time that I was reading “Little Town on the Prairie” and got to the part where Laura desperately wanted little name cards to exchange with her friends, Dan had just gotten his business card freshly reprinted bearing his new title at work.

I’ll be honest: I have desperately missed the working world, having a title, a paycheck, a context, an answer to the question everyone asks me, and something to define me. After having babies and suffering from PPD and getting very involved in and connected with the PPD world of support groups, mom groups, medical groups etc I decided that despite being a stay-at-home mom I, too, needed name cards.

I found a deal where cards were free and I only had to pay $3 and some change for shipping. I designed a cute little card and waited anxiously for its arrival.

I have never spent $3 so well. I probably gave out 100 of those little cards. To moms for playdates, to people looking to find resources on PPD, more recently to fellow adoptive families we ran into, to friends and family.

Those 3.5 x 2 little rectangles gave me the most immense amount of pleasure and ease with which to share my information. Not to mention it didn’t matter whether or not I had a pen on me and I never had to worry that the person I was giving my info to couldn’t read my doctor-esque scrawl!

When we moved to Georgia, the fourth thing I did after unpacking toilet paper, bedding, and the French press was to hop online and order new cards with my new address, phone number and e-mail address.

I have never been happier that I did this. It’s made it easy to give people my contact information for potential play dates, coffee talk, a connection that could turn into a job someday, or just plain someone that might remember running into me if they ever need me for any reason. And almost everyone who has gotten one has been delighted to giggle and say, “Oh, a mom card! How fun!”

So, I’ve got my mom card. Do you?

Bloom where you’re planted

When I was in kindergarten, we did a fall “program” showcasing what we had learned about apples, Thanksgiving and such.

I sang a special number called “Bloom Where you’re Planted” with two other girls. I still totally remember the lyrics, or at least most of them, I think?

Only God can count the apples in a single seed
Only he knows just how many there will be.
All the possibilities
Are the person that he sees
When he looks inside of ME.

Bloom where you’re planted
Show what you’re worth
God plants His flowers all over the earth.
Bloom where you’re planted
And if you’re sincere,
You can go anywhere on earth from here. 

I remember having the great idea for me and my fellow singers to wear bonnets to sing this song. I have no idea why. I told them to smuggle a bonnet to the show, not to tell their parents, and that we’d put them on as a surprise before we went on stage to sing. I think everyone WAS surprised to see their little girls standing on stage in their Sunday best dresses with Little House on the Prairie-esque bonnets tied around our heads.

The lyrics to this little song have popped into my head often since our move to the south. I don’t think I had any clue as a Kindergartener what these words meant, but they sure do mean a lot to me as an adult.

I’m attempting to find a new context in which to bloom. Trying to sit down and decide “what are the good things I could be doing” as opposed to “what are the BEST things I could possibly do with my time and talents?”

I’m trying to be patient with God, as I tend to be the “I wanted this to be all figured out and done YESTERDAY” kind of person. I’m starting to see the rest of my family figure out their contexts, make friends, and begin to put down their roots. I’m setting down my roots too, but I’m still waiting for someone, anyone, to notice that I’m even here.

I’ve been using this “down time” to really dig into God’s word. To soak it in and work on my spiritual disciplines so that whenever “it” comes along, I’m ready.

And until then, I’ll just keep on resting in the fact that God knows why I’m here. And like a proud parent, he’s just bursting with pride, excitement and anticipation for “that day”.

The day when I sit down over a mug of steaming cocoa and reflect on how I ended up in this life,  and it all becomes clear why I am right here right now.

Choosing to see

I was struck by a thought the other day as I was driving white-knuckled, shushing the kids so I could hear the GPS guide this directionally-challenged newbie through town to the safety and familiarity of Target. I’ve been mulling this thought over for more than a week, and it finally makes some sense to me. But let’s begin at the beginning…

It started out when my eldest (and mainly vegetarian) son pointed out a large truck full of somber-looking chickens being driven into the Tyson plant. He asked me if they were going to get eggs out of the chickens. I paused a moment as I thought about how to answer and decided the truth was best. Quietly I said, “no, bud, they’re going to make them into the chicken we buy at grocery stores”. All of a sudden I could easily hear the GPS commanding me to “keep to the right” as I continued around the town circle.

If that wasn’t enough of a downer, I had just sat myself up a little straighter, regripped the steering wheel and thought to myself, “that didn’t go so badly” when I glanced to the right and realized that we were now driving past the county jail. I was assailed by another wave of sadness as I fought back tears realizing that in my new life every time I drove through town I would be driving by the Tyson plant and feeling sad about chickens being murdered so I could eat them for dinner and then neck-breakingly flung into deep thoughts about the depravity of man as I drove by the county jail. Great. Just great.

I continued on around the Georgia version of a roundabout and what to my already weary eyes did appear but a graveyard! It just couldn’t get any worse. De. Pressing.

The only redeeming factor to this triple threat to my emotional well-being was that across the street from the cemetery stands a little farmer’s market. Something growing, local, organic, green, crunchy. A tiny puff of life after driving through what feels like the wheel of death.

On the drive back through town as you take the roundabout the opposite way of the first, you see a beautiful new town hall and a (non-working?) gas station that is reminiscent of the Disney Cars movie. Someone painstakingly restored this quaint little station and it looks clean enough to eat off the floors while the shiny green and white paint is so striking you can’t help but stare at it whilst driving by. Scattered amongst the empty storefronts on the main drag is a tiny eatery called “City Bistro” that’s doing its best to make a go of it and revive our little town center with a clean and decorated front window and a sign from…well…at least it’s from the last century as opposed to the gold rush era.

No matter which direction I’m going through town, there’s a mix of sadness and hope, signs of failure and sparks signaling the possibility of future growth and success.

I think the same could be said of my new life here. I can wallow in how it’s not what I’m used to, how I miss this and that, and how I wish things were different. But really, it’s up to me to revel in the good stuff–having a home and the effervescent people that fill it up, the lush greenness of our area, and a fridge that spits out ice and water.

And like the gas station in town that stands out by how shiny and great it looks because someone put some effort into it, even if it’s not being used for its originally intended purpose, you can tell that someone put effort into repurposing it. Right now it’s just sitting there, but when the time comes for it to be a functioning museum, cafe or donut shop it’s ready to go.

I want to be that gas station. The thing that makes people smile, gives them a glimmer of hope, makes them think or wonder. I want to be someone who is primed and ready to burst forth with whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing. Not sitting around decaying or boo-hooing, not content with just getting by in this here town.

And suddenly, some things made sense to me in a way they never had before and the thought that had struck me on the gloomy side of town fell into context. Like Jeremiah 18:1-4:

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.