Our pastor was saying how he would fail us at times. He's human. Imperfect. But he loves the church like he loves his own family. No doubt the Holy Spirit was using this message to talk to me.
Because, for the last nine months, I've been carting around a king-sized grudge against him.
I'd been home from the hospital for probably about 2 hours when the doorbell rang. I was busy, moving all the baby paraphernalia to the upstairs spare room so it wouldn't be in my face all the time. I was tired, having just delivered my baby 12 hours before, and just come off a sleepless night. I was broken, just coming out of shock and realizing the depth of my loss.
The pastor came in. I couldn't stop thinking about how dirty my house was. Andrew kept asking to give him the tour of the house! I was surprised when he said he had intimate understanding of my feelings, he and his wife having gone through something very similar. I don't remember much else that he said, except the focal point of my grudge.
He brought up how he had to worry about how my news would affect other couples in our church. Two couples in particular, one facing repeated miscarriages, and one being very pregnant with their first after a long bout of infertility.
That statement out of his mouth just shook me. My daughter just died 12 hours before, and you think I care about how everyone else is going to feel????? I was just struck dumb. Couldn't get him out of the house fast enough.
And, for nine whole months, Satan has used that delightful statement in so many ways!
Like keeping me from wanting to go to church. Feeling justified that since a "man of God" could be so inconsiderate of my emotional state, I didn't have any place being in that church.
Wanting to leave that church. There's been a mass exodus of couples from our age group in the last 3 years. Yes, our church has grown, which only means we're surrounded by strangers. And meeting new people is not my strong suit on a good day.
I've sat in the front row on the days Yasar talked me into (read: made) me go, and hardened my heart against the pastor's words.
To be honest, Satan hasn't had to break a sweat. I pretty much do all the work for him.
But today, the pastor's words hit me. Why should he be on a pedestal? He talked about a leader of a church making one mistake, and the whole church falling apart. I just got done reading I Was Wrong by Jim Bakker and, after the initial eye-rolling at his "victimization" a the hands of Falwell and Swaggart, I began to see Jim as a human. No better than I, certainly no worse. Sins I excuse in myself are the same sins that make me want to grab a stone and get ready to throw when it shows up in them.
My pastor is no different.
I've said hurtful things to people. Heck, just this past weekend I said something insensitive to my mom. Shouldn't I be held to the same standard as I hold my pastor?
So I'm praying for God to help me excise this grudge that has rooted into my heart. The roots are deep, and it's going to hurt, but it just needs to go.
This is what I'm feeling today. The dark curtains are pulling back and revealing a bright shaft of sunlight.
Life is starting to lose the monochromatic hues of black, white, and grey. Let there be color!
My interests are coming back. My creative side, my love of cooking, my passion for being frugal.
All the blogs I subscribe to, the babyloss blogs are no longer the only ones that hold my attention.
Lord, thank you for the Rock of Your Love. Thank You for being the Light. Thank You for leading me out......
When am I ever going to get serious about weight loss?
What kind of motivation do I need to get me through the long haul?
I'm praying for God to be with me today. To walk with me through today.
I really just need to take this one day at a time.
The day God created you,
He had a special plan.
He knew that you would fit so well
With a girl in a distant land.
Through growing up, and moving out,
Life experiences like notches on a belt.
Learning lessons that would one day
Serve them, together, in a special way.
One day the girl got a new job,
Wendy’s would be her new profession.
And this dashing man, a professional fry-guy,
Would be her new obsession.
But the two didn’t understand each other,
The language proved a barrier.
So they moved in different directions,
Regretfully passing in two different futures.
A few years passed, higher education desired,
A fateful meeting at college.
The language barrier diminished,
A renewed affection acknowledged.
What to say about those first days?
A new love affair is so exciting!
They fell for each other while driving.
Alas, it is never so easy as it should be,
Trouble came in the form of their families.
Decisions to make, where do their hearts lie?
They clung to each other, hoping to deny.
A long-distance move, was it a mistake?
A college apartment, poverty, dismay.
Struggle, anger, fights, and tears,
Immaturity was the order of the day.
One day a decision was made,
To separate one into two.
They weren’t ready to promise
A lifetime of being a couple.
A few months went by, independence.
They learned to be without the other.
Then one blustery February morning,
Cupid again brought them together.
Should they stay? Should they split?
The compatibility was still so obvious!
Falling back into old habits,
Comfortable, like well worn pajamas.
Two became one again, as God had intended.
A wedding was being planned.
A special surprise, the best one ever,
Sealed them as a family forever.
One May afternoon, in front of family,
They committed to be married.
The beach, a helicopter ride, Pet Star,
Two with a third in the waiting.
Spring turned to summer, summer to fall,
The girl’s waistline expanding,
A trip to the hospital, pain, exhilaration,
Evidence of God’s perfect blessing.
A little boy, the center of the world,
With his daddy’s beautiful eyes.
Their hearts, so full of love, overflowed,
The precious gift entrusted to them.
A move, a business, a baby becoming a child,
Struggle, conflict, problems and solutions.
Mortgage, taxes, utilities, and adulthood.
They face them together, united.
In my heart, I am always grateful
To God for His infinite forethought
The day, on the other side of the world,
That you became you, destined for me. For us.
I love you. When it’s hard, when I’m mad, when you’re mad, when we just don’t seem to fit together, when we want to kill each other. When the stresses of this life seem overwhelming. You’re still the one.
My husband was the store manager of the D.omino's Pizza at Lockbourne and Williams in the south end of Columbus. I also worked there on my days off from my "real" job.
There was a 16-year-old girl working there. Amanda. Dating the assistant manager, 18-year-old Darrell.
It was like a bad country song. Amanda knew that Darrell was sleeping around on her, and she grew more and more clingy and needy, as a 16-year-old girl is wont to do.
She got pregnant with Darrell's baby.
Did getting pregnant cement Darrell's fidelity? Do pigs fly?
So needy, clingy Amanda became needy, clingy, pregnant Amanda. Working with her baby daddy who was bringing other girls to the store and flaunting them.
At 22 weeks, Amanda gave birth to a sleeping little girl.
I remember thinking that it was a blessing. One less baby in the welfare system. One more chance for Amanda to have a normal life. I never, for one second, considered that girl's pain.
Now I live that pain.
Granted, it's different. Amanda bounced back emotionally in record time. And caught pregnant with Darrell again in a few months.
I can't help but want to reach back through time and smack my sanctimonious self in the head.
So when I read comments like those on this post, I understand the perspective of someone who has never been blessed to be the mommy of an angel. And I pray that the lesson I had to learn the hard way doesn't have to repeat itself on them.
It's hard to see how pathetic the original was, but trust me when I tell you it's true. Andrew tested out his art chops on it when he was a baby (and as long ago as a few weeks ago when he was mad at me).
The transformation probably cost more than I expected, about $40 in materials from Hobby Lobby. But the good news is I have enough of the patterned fabric left to cover the horrible cushion on my hope chest. Yay!
This is my first dip into Shabby Chic, and I think I'm hooked. My next project? Talking Yasar into helping me make this for our new place. He's not sold on it yet, but if nothing else I am the Master Manipulator and Chief Button-Pusher! :)
These last 10 days have been so hard! My motivation has disappeared. There's a hole in my heart that food isn't filling, even though I'm trying desperately to make it so.
In my head, I know it doesn't work. But I keep trying, like an idiot, to stop the emptiness.
It was just this endless parade of food last night. It would have been way worse had I not "phoned a friend" and spent two hours catching up with her.
I think so much of this stems from Christine's moving away. She filled a spot in my life so perfectly. It's doubtful that anyone could fill in that gap. Or that, if they could, I'd want them to. I just miss her. Andrew misses her kids and cries about them every day. This is an adjustment that's going to take some time.
So, looking forward, today I'm going to attempt a liquid-only diet (I'd say clear liquid but I must have my coffee and creamer) to hopefully clear some of the junk out of my body. I'm going to get on the Wii Fit and do some yoga. And I'm going to pray for God to fill that hole in my heart.
It's difficult to reverse a tailspin. But today I'm gonna try.
It's a work in progress. More pictures on that to come.
Yasar and I were discussing the project, and he said how jealous Andrew is of me doing things like this.
I was absolutely gobsmacked! Andrew's jealous of what little I have of my daughter? His sister?
Yes, according to Yasar Andrew doesn't like the attention I give to Leila's memory.
Okay, I can understand the tattoo. That's not really fair to get inked with her name and not his. And I concede on that point. As much as I want to, I'm not going under the needle this summer.
But in regards to the shelf, her pictures, the precious few tangible memories I have, he's just going to have to suck it up.
Anyone else faced this problem? Or am I alone?
When I hear "Cry Out to Jesus", especially the line, "for the widow who suffers from being alone", I pray for Angie and Nolan.
My latest is J. J. Heller and "Your Hands". This one especially hurts right now, because it makes me think of my best friend Christine, who as we speak is making her way to her new home in Arizona.
It's hard to even watch the video right now. Yesterday, during communion at church, they played it while passing out the little cups of grape juice. My husband was so embarrassed, I started just weeping. For her? For me? Who knows, but it's her song.
Do you have a song that holds special meaning to you, that I can think of you and pray for you when it comes on K-Love?
So why am I practically giddy?
I can't wait to leave this house. To move in to something smaller. To never see most of these neighbors again.
This house was always way too big for me. At 2700 square feet, with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, when we built this place we really expected to fill it up with kids. And, since it's a "new build", it lacks the charm I'm more accustomed to. Every room is a box with no identifying marks. I grew up in a house loaded to the hilt with character, and I've always mourned that loss with our house.
I can't wait to start fitting our lives into half the square footage.
I can't wait to live in a neighborhood conducive to traveling by foot or by bike. If you want to go anywhere on this side of town we're on now, you have to cross over the interstate. And there's only two ways to do that - the dangerous way, and the longer-but-still-not-very-safe way.
I can't wait to hop on my bike and head to the grocery store, the movie theater, our church. Biking with Andrew to the park, or the library, or even to the store to see dad.
I just can't wait!
My DH and I looked at a house for rent on the northeast side of town a few weeks ago. I fell in love. It's not perfect, but pretty darn close for our situation. I asked the landlady when she'd be back in town so we could sign paperwork and give her a wad of money. She said she needed to think it over and discuss it with her husband.
What did she need to think over, you ask? Well, it's not our financial situation.
It's the cat.
So I called her a few days later, she said she was still showing the place and would get back to us by Tuesday evening.
When the phone never rang, I was crushed. But that was the day I committed to rejoicing in God's Plan, and I pasted a smile on my face and knew He had something in store for us.
Went to work Wednesday, pulled the classifieds and started calling and making appointments to see other places.
And you know what happened? The landlady left a message on our machine while we were working.
Yes! We're signing the lease Sunday!
I couldn't be more excited.
Well, on second thought, if God were to provide someone to pack this house up, and move everything for me......
I will rejoice and be glad in it....
This is my goal today. To rejoice through today, regardless of what it holds.
I've been struggling lately with uncertainly. My nemesis. As a borderline Type A personality, I hate the unknown.
And there's been a plethora of question marks in our daily life lately.
We're back to looking for a suitable place to live. The business is starting to make some profit (yay!), but will that continue. Infertility.
So many things we used to take for granted as being a "sure thing" are no longer sure.
Today, I will rejoice. For the air in my lungs. Food. A roof over my head, albeit temporary. A child to love. A husband who loves me. The promise that one day I'll be with my little girl again.
Today, I will rejoice in the midst of uncertainty. I will rejoice because God holds it all in His Hands, He knows how this will play out, and He will take care of us.
Yesterday I had to walk through those doors, right into the assault.
The bill for the yearly license for the store was due. I tried to focus straight ahead to the window I needed to go to.
But as I passed the left-turn I'd in the past made for the WIC department. The Help Me Grow door. Where I took my official pregnancy test and applied for Medicaid because we had no maternity coverage.
I remembered the last time I walked that hallway. When I returned my WIC coupons. When I'd told the office clerk that my baby had died.
For a moment, she was speechless. I pushed those vouchers into her hand. She insisted on talking to me about their postpartum program. I fled the room, the office, the building.
Our worlds are seeded with emotional landmines.