Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas, Cadavers, and Carry-ons

Disclaimer: I'm writing this while on pain meds, so please excuse any weirdness that may occur (or my worst fear, grammatical mistakes!). In addition, I'm writing this on an iPad, and we all know that technology without buttons confuses me. So...yea.

On December 19-20 I gained something and I lost something. 

What I gained was cadaver skin in my mouth...

(I like the shock factor of that one.)

But for real. I had to get four grafts literally sewn into my barely existing gums so my teeth don't fall out of my head. Go ahead, say it. I'm an old lady. It's true. I like Bing Crosby and Miracle on 34th Street and I'm blessed with a ridiculously difficult mouth. So my Christmas vacation has begun with lots of mashed potatoes, pain meds, and disgustingly frightening morning surgery. Woohoo! I spilled water all down my front trying to take a pill at the office due to my numb lips. So attractive. I looked at the doctor and said, "I blame you."

So there is that.

I also lost something. It hurts to even talk about it really because I feel so stupid. I lost my carry on at the airport in a flurry of no overhead compartments, bad instructions to leave my bag, and a lack of thinking to put my name on it... anywhere. To make matters worse, there is no tag to track on the bag and basically no hope in finding it. Hooray for Christmas travel! (Not). What made me cry (yes, I admit that I bawled) at first, was the amount of stuff in that bag. The bag itself was expensive and brand new. It contained my new boots, my new makeup and brushes, my new electric toothbrush, my journal, my retainers, and more. Over all I lost over $1000 worth of stuff. (And my retainers! Delta, how do you expect me to keep my teeth straight!?). But don't worry, I kept the bag with all the cookies on the plane. Phew.

After crying over being stupid and losing it, I cried over the fact that I cried about my material things. My theme verse these last months seems to be "don't store treasures on earth" (maybe because I lose everything) but the lesson is hard to learn. Every time I think about walking away from that bag I feel a deep anxiety. I'm mad and sad and frustrated all at once.

So I forced myself to stop and get some good Christmas perspective on all of this.

What does crying over my lost new shoes have to do with Christmas, with the past three months on the reservation, and with cadaver gums? (Hint: The answer does not lie in the Christmas shoes song. I'll forever believe that little kid is a scam artist. "I want to buy these shoes for the black market, I mean, for my mama please." Ok ok I digress. Blame the drugs...and the kid in that song).

Actually, I think losing my luggage has a lot to do with my work and crappy gums. I think that the enemy has decided to do anything to make me feel unsettled and out of control (satan, not Delta). Things happen with my students and I can't fix it. I have been blessed with all this super nice stuff and then it gets plucked right from my hands. Even my gums don't stick around for this ride called life! And the temptation is to throw my hands in the air and think, "what next!? What else!? Everything is going wrong. What is the point to any of it."

But it is a dirty trick and a stupid lie. Because no matter how much stuff I lose, and how many lives I can't fix, God is still good to me. I am able to be with my family for Christmas. I am able to feel safe  in my home, to replace my things, to afford dental work and smooshy foods. Sure, it sucks, but satan  will not win. These small things will not add up to defeat. I have more than I need and I am cared for more than I deserve. So I'm taking my messed up mouth and my only pair of socks and I'm declaring that in all things God will be praised. I am declaring that I will not be defeated and God's great work will continue in me and through me...even if I do have to wear the same pair of jeans all week. Satan is just going to have to deal with the defeat himself.

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