Digitalis

I started writing this a few days ago, but just got back to it today. Enjoy!

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I’m done with my master’s degree. The final grade came in last Monday. I can’t believe it. I’ve hesitated writing about it because it still doesn’t seem real, like I’ll wake up and find out I still have a 15-page paper to finish. Or there is some hoop the PM professor needs me to jump through.

But it’s over. And I got a 4.0. That, dear readers, is amazing. God is faithful. Nobody will care, of course, but me. Because once you graduate and get your diploma, degree, what have you, nobody asks that; it doesn’t affect your job search. I do wonder if it was really as important as learning the material.

Also, Jonathon and I celebrated 28 years of marriage yesterday. And we hosted a 50th birthday celebration for me. It feels good to hit all these milestones and do it with family and friends. Many were unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts or concern over the ongoing Covid crisis, but I greatly appreciated those who were able to come. Sidebar: I’m 50?! What the what? Okay, not until Wednesday, my official birthday. Whew! I have a few more days to process it.

This will be the first birthday without Mom. I’m compartmentalizing it for now, because that’s how I roll, and it seems the healthiest response at the moment. I have no idea how I will feel on the actual day, but that’s been my normal for 5 months now. I will take it as it comes.

Update: Mom’s best friend came up for the celebration. She found some old photos of Mom, my brother and me at probably New Years Day around 1989-1990. These ancient pictures were her present to me. Looking at them, I felt a little awkward nostalgia. Why did I dress like that?! Sigh. Time capsule. On the flip side, my hair looked great.

This was in the last house Mom owned, back in NE Portland.

I had no idea then that Jonathon and I would get engaged, or that acid wash would go out of style in about 3 minutes. There is so much we can’t control and we won’t know. But we can control our attitudes and our choices, though sometimes the alternatives for choices are admittedly limited.

Despite the fact that I’m not in charge of this life, natural seasons have marched on into summer. This year, the foxglove has been stunning. Everywhere, the purple or white blossoms have sprung up, their spears dramatically pointing skyward.

This plant, despite its whimsical name, is not innocuous. Foxglove is poisonous, which is why the deer haven’t decimated them. The pollen and flowers can stop your heart. Emotionally, I have felt like my heart has been ‘stopped’ for a while now. All the upheaval of the last year, with school, Mom’s death, changing jobs for both Jonathon and I, Zac going into the Air Force, Covid-19, and so much more, has left me feeling stuck. I long for a time that is past, a time when I knew what was going on and where I fit in the scheme of things. But there is hope.

Digitalis is a drug derived from foxglove leaves that can stimulate the heart muscle. This flower, though in the natural deadly to both animals and people, serves a healing purpose. I find it incredibly like Jesus that this plant has way to serve humanity for good. And so, these circumstances, though painful in the moment, will turn out for good as well. I don’t know about you, but I need an infusion of some Holy Spirit digitalis to get my heart moving again, to dream again and tackle this new, forever altered future.

For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland
. – Isaiah 43:19