that girl…

June 10, 2014

look at her. .. . . … just look at her. full of confidence, the world by the tail… no fear. I had forgotten about her until I recently found this picture in a shoebox containing the most random of precious images from my life. my heart just leapt when I first found it. I adore this picture of us… from so long ago when we were so in love. we were just inseparable. … and he loved me like that. just looked at me with young and hungry love … he still loves me like that… .. . .. like that and so much more tenderly. tenderly because she has become more fragile. where once stood a girl who had her life planned out perfectly, not expecting any glitches in all she imagined, now stands his wife who knows that life seldom goes according to plan. and while the things that she thought would be the end of her, either by mental fracture or suicide, have actually come to pass, she is still here. still standing. still holding on.

I hurt for her. thinking of the things she couldn’t have ever even dreamed of that were coming down the pike. … standing next to a hospital bed with her oldest baby boy, over and over and over and over and over and over and over…. trying to sing sweet lullabies and nursery rhymes to comfort him while he was put under again and again and again… holding the warm, soft, brand new pink little hand of her fourth for just a few seconds before he would be whisked away by an entire mob of doctors and nurses who would try with all they had and all they knew to keep him here.. . .. and then being handed that swaddled little boy just hours later, when there was no breath, no kicky legs, no life… . . … .. .. .

even though it hurts, I know it is good. this life. and I am thankful for all of these things. because ultimately, these things brought that head strong girl, the one who was going to do it all on her own, to her knees and lead her to salvation. her and many others in her family, in her circle of friends. she realized along the way that doing it on her own wasn’t going to work and she would need to carried. she would need someone who knew what it was to lose a son, someone with overflowing mercy, grace, compassion, strength, patience. she would need the sure and steady hands of God and his son Jesus. and it was really only in being sweetly broken that she, .. .. . I.. realized my need for him. had the hard things never come along, it is difficult to imagine where I would be… mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I fear I would still be doing it all on my own, quite possibly succeeding by all worldly standards. But would I be secure in knowing my name is graven on his hands like I am today? Would I know that there is nothing that can snatch me away from him? Would I know this love, this peace, this unexplainable joy that is in my life?

I keep looking at her… that girl from so long ago. and even though I hurt for her, I wouldn’t spare her the trials that she would face. they have made her a better person, a more compassionate soul, a more empathetic being.. .. . they have brought her salvation, which is a treasure beyond compare. the thing that I miss about that girl is the confidence. . .. ….. … . . ….. I think it may be time to start bringing some of that back into my character. now that priorities are better aligned.. .. . I think it is time for that girl and this tender soul to merge, that confidence, married with the empathy, could be well used for the good of the kingdom to come.

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we’re all wrestling…

February 12, 2014

Leloir_-_Jacob_Wrestling_with_the_Angel[1]

I am always there. I’m a little more than halfway up the bleachers, on the edge of my seat, watching him jump rope and jog back and forth, warming up those ever growing, young man muscles… taking deep breaths, stretching his arms, glancing anxiously at his mama every now and then. he’s trying to sike himself up to confront his enemy.

I know this. I am trying to remember to breath myself and prepare to watch someone grapple, in the most physical way, with my babe.

the blood bucket is alongside the mat, and it has all ready been used a couple times tonight. they keep a bucket for blood… they know that someone will be bleeding, someone will be hurt.

the shrill buzzer sounds, a hand is raised victorious, and as one fighter leaves, flesh of my flesh comes to the middle of the mat and shakes hands and enters battle.  2 minutes has hardly ever lasted so long. and now another 2 minutes… my heart pounds, I am so anxious for him. it is much harder than I had expected to sit idlely by, and just watch, as my boy wrestles and is wrestled.

the final round and I see pain streak across his face. the mat is slapped. and this time, the other man-child’s hand is raised, while mine limps out of the ring… thru his supportive teammates… and slumps against the wall… beaten. … … … and my mama’s heart falls.

…. .. …. . . ….. .. …

even though I know, and can see, that this season of wrestling has made him stronger, refined his skill, increased his character … I want to run down to him and tell him he did his best and ask what hurts and take him home and help get his sweatshirt back on and get him something to eat, something to drink and how can I take the ache away?!?!?  but I sit.  and wait.  giving him time to catch his breath and perspective.

as I sit … … the thought comes to me… how much more? how much more does God, our Father in Heaven!, hurt for me, hurt for us? how much more does He watch us train and warm up and prepare for the battles ahead and feel proud? how much more does His heart stir as we step out on to the mat, facing all kinds of foes … depression, fear, parenting, marriage, finances, health ? how much more does He hurt when we limp away from our battles, to go quietly lick our wounds and prepare for the next round? and just how much more, even though He can see that we have become, and are becoming, stronger, more refined, increased in character, does He long to gather us up and bring us home, where there is no more hurt or anguish or sorrow?

…. .. . .. … .. ….. .. .. . . ….. …

we’re all wrestling. wrestling big things. sometimes we win the battle and sometimes we don’t. we need to remember though, that through the process, we are becoming stronger. we are building character and most importantly, our Father God is always there for us. always watching, always cheering, always aware of our struggles and hurts, aware of our tears.  He knows we’re all wrestling something and He is always for us.

~If God is for us, who can be against us?~

Romans 8:31

Thunderchild

November 7, 2013

Thunderchild

“it’s a thunderchild crabapple tree.”  She says….  “we got it for you, thought the name fit well” she says, with humor and sarcasm all mixed in.  I can’t really argue.   It does describe me, where I am, what I am doing… These teenage years all full of what seems like what has to be the most dramatic and hardest days of life.

Fastforward a good number of years, I am out of the house with my own brood to raise, and “my tree” is in a bad spot.  My dad has to move the tree.  Not something trees like to do… Not at all.  Well, it has to be done.  My beautiful, screaming pink, sweet smelling tree is pulled from the ground, roots and all, and relocated.  Moved to a new spot in the yard and replanted and cared for, and hoped for… A new life… A new beginning…  Will it make it through such a tremendous strain?

…. …. .. …. . . .   …….

Another number of years go by… “you are bearing fruit” she says.  Confused and caught off guard I reply “what are you talking about?”  … ” your tree! it is full of apples.”  … … …  Dumbfounded, I stare.  There it is right in front of my face.  My thunderchild, full of apples.  Good sized, edible yellow apples.  How?  How can this be?  Crabapples don’t even bare fruit. … ….

. … … … …

do you see it?  Do you see the parable of my life played out right in front of my eyes through an apple tree?  Here’s what I see.  I remember when I was all full of myself, all about showing off my youth and vibrancy, regardless of whether or not there will be fruit to come… Just like that beautiful thunderchild.  And then my Father saw fit to move me, because of things I couldn’t understand, and replant me in another place.  A place I didn’t pick and a place I didn’t want to be. … Just like my tree.  And finally, after years of struggle to heal, growing again.  starting to bare fruit.

Now to the part that is almost more than I can take in.  It was only because of the  painful uprooting and struggle that the thunderchild now has limbs with fruit.  You see, because the little tree was so starkly cut back, it had to go to it’s true roots.  what everyone saw as a glorious blooming spring tree was only the result of a grafting process.  The true root was a golden delicious, which of course produces So much more than blossoms.  Just like me.  Grafted in.  grafted…  Finally producing because of the true root that i am grafted to.  thank God!  … … Thank God I was grafted in to the true root, which is Christ, and thank God I was moved and made to struggle so that the veneer fell away.

Amazing.  I am amazed ….  Amazed and encouraged.  A thunderchild brought back to her true roots.

 

Keep me as the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings.

psalm 17:8

weight of winter…

October 20, 2011

sunshowers…

May 8, 2011

be my sweet…

March 11, 2011

I really wanted to post this a week ago, but as usual, time gets away from me.  it seems it would have been more thought-provoking a few days back.  now, lent has started and the question of what should I give up may all ready be settled for you.  of course, maybe you don’t give anything up over lent, in that case, I’m going to try to persuade you to try it this year.  you can still easily start even though ash wednesday is behind us.  before you just dismiss the practice of  ‘giving something up’ as another catholic ritual, I want you to listen.  be open-minded.  give it a chance.  now, of course I am not a theologian.  I am merely expressing an opinion, suggesting a ritual that I have found favorable.  I know it may seem small to some, pointless to others, but I feel it is what you make it.  the range of things that you can do during this season before easter is endless, from giving up french fries or red meat or coffee to adding a new habit like walking everyday or adding 10 minutes of prayer every night before bed.  the idea though, is to spend some time everyday in self-denial, sacrificing… preparing our hearts for the world’s greatest act of love.  and shouldn’t we be thinking a little about Jesus everyday in a more purposeful way during this time?  pondering the depths of His love for us in letting the Father’s will be done?  wouldn’t it be especially nice to grow closer to God during this time?  to celebrate easter with a new depth and fresh faith? 

I’ve decided to forego all chocolate.  I know it may sound a bit silly, but I can tell you that in the last 3 days I’ve all ready been praying and thinking of Jesus’ sacrifice more than I usual would.  a couple of times a day I’m asking Jesus to be my ‘sweet’.  the One who is my delight rather then that chocolate covered almond at a friend’s house or the hot cocoa from starbucks or the snack offered from a friend or even the delicious sea salt caramels that I was asked to go and buy for a friend.  I am really enjoying the time that just gets stuck into whatever I’m doing without me having to plan it out.  it’s like random reminders of the cross… at target when the kids want a candy bar, at school when the teacher throws me a hershey’s kiss.  ordinary moments in my ordinary day that now mean a bit more.  I am blessed to participate in this tradition.  I think you may be too… whatever your faith. spend the next 6 weeks sacrificing something… maybe it is going through the drive through for coffee, maybe it is spending a lot of time on facebook, maybe it is online shopping.  give the money to a charity instead, spend the time praying for your kids instead.  do something good.  something beneficial.  spend some time reflecting on all the blessings you have been given.  rededicate your quiet time, take stock… I think God will bless your efforts.

well…

March 5, 2011

I feel like I need to say that I am well… or at least let everyone know that.  I don’t want everyone to think that I am stuck in the darkness of sorrow still, weeks after I post that that  is in fact where I am.  as I had said, and always proves true, the tide goes back out, I gain my ground again.  once my birthday passed, I really did feel better… at least… I felt like my usual self again.  the self that is in search of joy and actually looking for it and thanking God for it at every turn.  like the sweet, small, feverish girl who leans her head on my shoulder, the ever growing young man who likes to text his mom, the long and lanky broken-bodied boy who now flies through the house singing, ‘super cole!’ (courtesy of the new lift and track system… more to come on that), a steadfast man…  a very steadfast man. … … … grace.  grace for today.  one more day.  and the promise of grace for tomorrow, whatever tomorrow may  bring.

thank you all for your love, thoughts, prayers and concern.  it is a great encouragement to me… more than you could know.

damn birthday…

February 18, 2011

there was a day when I sweetly dreamed of sharing a birthday with my soon to be baby boy…  now as my birthday looms like the dark of night, I am crushed beneath the weight of what should have been.  it is heavy upon my chest to the point of making it physically hard to draw breath.  I stand in an emptying parking lot, with the last of the wintry winds blowing around me… through me… I try to take a long deep breath of the cold damp air.  it doesn’t work.  I want to be blown away, or at least have what is left of the sorrow that seems to ever seep from my broken heart be gone with the wind or frozen out of me.

I don’t know what happened.  I was fine when I woke up.  somewhere along my very average, absolutely typical day,  an ache crept in.  I think it is because my birthday is just a few days away.  when I was first pregnant with luke, I counted out the days and figured I would have a little one about the end of february, close to my birthday.   knowing that I would have a scheduled cesarean, I figured that I could maybe  have it worked out to deliver on my birthday.  or I imagined myself as pregnant as can be, absolutely full of child, going on a birthday date with my true love.  these thoughts seem to have been deeply cemented into my brain.  I sincerely felt I was doing well, but the impending date seems to have brought me low once again.  now that the weight has landed, it seems immovable.  once again I am at a heightened state of awareness of everything baby, everything boy, everything pregnancy.  from the little board books on display that will soon be filling the easter baskets of someone else’s little man, someone else’s fourth born to the perfect hand prints left behind on the restaurant door that look to me to belong to a little person of about 2.  two perfect handprints, side by side where that child stood and pushed the revolving door… two handprints that I wish were gracing the glass doors of my home.

getting into the van, I turn on the radio, hoping for an uplifting song to chase away the reality of pain that is squeezing the air right out of my lungs.  something to help me glaze over and think of anything else but that beautiful, tiny boy that I held but for a moment.  no relieve.  the song playing is ‘if you want me to’ by ginny owens… a song from luke’s funeral.  my eyes burn.  once again it feels as if God is mean.  why?  why!?  I seem to be ever haunted by this loss.  I try to tell myself to pull it together, it’s time to get over this, and then I argue with myself saying that that thinking is absolutely ridiculous!  my baby died!  I carried him for what seemed like an eternity knowing that I had lost him before he was even free of my body and yet not being able to let go of the thought that maybe this was my turn for a miracle.  that wound is deep. … … deep.  I don’t know that it will ever be gone.  I may notice the blue fuzzy jammies on the end cap for the rest of my life and always have that pang of loss and sorrow.

interestingly providentially, the verse I read this morning was:

You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? … This I know, God is for me. Psalm 56:8-9

 

I’m going to cling to that.  … He is for me … He knows all these tossings and tears … He knows more than I do and is more worried about my character, that ever needs refining, than my comfort, which will be but a mist anyway.  this wave of sorrow will pass, the healing will come, the space between the waves keeps getting longer.  I just need to get past this damn birthday.

there is an hour…

February 15, 2011

There is an hour, in everyday, that I greatly look forward to.

It isn’t because of where I am or the things I get to do.

I could be in Tahoe or Whistler or even the Mediterranean.

I could be skiing, sunbathing or cruising on a Harley-Davidson.

Or maybe it’s an ordinary kind of schedule I’ll keep,

with carpools, kids, cooking and laundry knee-deep.

Whatever the plans are going to involve for the day

I still look forward to my favorite hour in exactly the same way.

It’s all about you Babe! and how much comfort you bring,

I count down the hours, and all the while, my heart sings.

When will that hour come and finally be here,

when I can crash next to you and be pulled oh so near?

The peace and quiet at the end of another long day,

all made perfect by your love and your ‘sugarmouth’ ways.

when did this happen…

February 8, 2011

after a long and challenging day of home school, I made a rather frantic call to brian, expressing that it would probably be in the best interest of all involved if he could get home quickly after work.  (just the kind of call I’m sure he loves to get)  of course he asked and answered all of the obligatory questions and then he decided it would better for him to stay home for the night rather than go to bsf…  he had some ‘principal’ work to attend to.

as the afternoon was wearing on, I started to think that I acted in haste and a certain young man would be paying for that when his dad got home.  I also knew that brian can be very loud and definitely intimidating when he wants to be… especially if you are half his size.  I started to feel bad.  what could I do about it at that point?  brian does not like it when someone is giving me grief, even if that someone is another member of the family… he wasn’t going to just forget about it and move on with his day.  he’s going to want to fix the situation. 

so then, as I stood in the kitchen, watching the silver pony (that’s what we call the truck) back into its parking place, I got a little nervous about what was about to go down.  needless to say, I was more than pleasantly surprised when my sweet lover and protector calmly walked in the door and exchanged all the usual niceties with everyone.  then I began to wonder if there would be any punishment… I mean, I expected something… I didn’t want dawson to get away with the behavior that had been incessant all day.  I didn’t want him to be hollered at necessarily, but I did want him to be accountable.

no sooner had I thought that, then I heard brian call from his desk, “dawson.  come over here and bring your bible.” in a very stern, you-better-be-paying-attention kind of voice.

I stood there by the sink, thinking to myself, ‘hhhhmmm.. this is could be interesting…’

anyway, long story short, brian had dawson write out about 6 different verses from his bible dealing with wisdom, obedience, love and respect.  I was SO impressed and all most moved to tears that this was the consequence that brian had come up with.  he never raised his voice in the slightest and obviously had put some thought into what would happen when he got home.  I got all warm and tingly and started falling in love with this man all over again… one more reason to love him(or maybe four or five reasons)… he wants to raise these children in a godly manner… he’s doing his best… he’s always on my side… he loves them… he loves me…

all that back story just to say:

then my thoughts went to, ‘when did this happen?!’  I mean, at what point in my life did a man with some kind of moral convictions become charming to me?  I don’t remember ever  thinking that I would want to be married to a man who reads his bible or a man who would have a conversation with his children about why it is so important that they love, honor and respect their parents… not that I didn’t want that, I just wasn’t aware of it at the time.  and yet, that’s exactly where I am now.  I wouldn’t want anything less.  I know it has happened in the last few years, because I can remember the first time I became aware of this ‘draw’ towards a man just because of his faith.  we were sitting in church and when the pastor asked if there was anyone who would like to stand and say the verse for the week, a young man proudly stood and recited the whole thing ( and it was long ).  I was greatly impressed and thought to myself that someday that fine young man would make someone a great husband.  he became more attractive of a man, just because of his love for Christ.  that had never been a feature that I had been attracted to before in my life.  now it is.  which leads me to conclude, that brian and I are living proof that God is amazing in His ability to change lives, hearts and minds, for His pleasure and for His glory, through putting a desire for a godly man in my heart and softening brian’s would be anger to a gentle answer … and that was just today!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

~2 Corinthians 5:17~

in the shadows…

January 24, 2011

I usually know exactly what I am going to say.  I’ve got a title for a post and most of it finished up in my head before I ever get the opportunity to actually sit down for an hour and be able to write it out.  this time I don’t.  I’m speechless… almost thought-less.  I’m overwhelmed. all because of a short book called, ‘wrestling with an angel’ by greg lucas.  it’s a father’s story of raising a boy with disabilities, severe disabilities.  it is a quick read.  you can get through it in a couple of hours.  but it is the last two paragraphs that have left me… silent.  here they are:

But perhaps the sweetest discovery of all was learning more about the character of my heavenly Father through the struggles of my disabled son.  It is one thing to read about His faithfulness, to talk about His mercy, and to write about His grace.  But to experience these things face to face requires a heavenly vision that can only be obtained by walking through the suffering of His providence and coming to the realization that the darkness I have experienced is actually the shadowing shelter of my ever-present Father.

It is in this shadow that I have wrestled with an angel until the breaking of today.  And even though I now feel beaten and broken from the battle, the limp that carries me away from the sacred place forever reminds me that I have been touched by the hand of the Almighty.  And by grace, I have prevailed.”

to consider this ‘darkness’ the shadow of God… how amazing… he’s precisely right.  feeling beaten and broken… yes.  that too.  the limp is proof that I have been touched by God… absolutely.  “and by grace, I have prevailed.”  … I unconditionally, wholeheartedly agree. 

now, if I can just keep this perspective at the forefront of my mind as I too, clean poop off of an ever-growing boy that doesn’t want to be cleaned… as I am bitten on the shoulder, arms, hands and face… as I am hit, scratched, pinched… my hair is pulled… and I am hollered at.  could I just remember that it is when I am weak, that I am strong… that this ‘thorn’ is what  keeps me from becoming conceited… that His grace is sufficient… that I can boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses and afflictions so that Christ’s power will rest on me… (2 corinthians 12)because, like greg lucas said, “and by grace, I have prevailed.”  there is no other way.

please check out the book  “Wrestling with an Angel” by Greg Lucas.  he also has a blog.

thank you so much for writing this book Mr. Lucas.  it has been truly inspiring.

 

a thousand things…

January 17, 2011

a friend shared a blog with me recently and I thought I’d share it with you.  at the moment she has a post about listing all the gifts of thanks that you receive at any given time and she has asked others to list theirs too.  there is a link at the bottom of this post, so that you can check it out. 

here’s what I’m thankful for so far today.  there is an endless list from days before and I’m sure there are more things to come then I can even imagine. 

I woke up with breath in my lungs and joy in my heart.

my legs worked just like I expected them to when I rolled out of bed and landed on the floor.

a heated house

sleeping children

a puppy who thinks the world of me and shows it every time he trots toward me with tail wagging

an incredible husband who gets up early, even though he’d rather be under the cozy down comforter with me, and heads of to work

running vehicles

food in the cupboard

the way cole sings along to all  the intro songs to all  the cartoons

a beautiful young helper who shows up with a smile on and steps right in to help cole finish his eggo while I go start laundry

clothes to wash and something to wash them in

when the garage door shuts on the first try

grocery stores so overwhelming stocked with food and produce that I hardly know where to begin

a free country where I can go to the overwhelming packed grocery store without fear of suicide bombers or child trafficking or drug lords

the man on the corner on a cold day in january with a sign around his neck that reads, ‘desperate.. help please’ to remind me of all that I have and to remember Jesus’ words…  “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ .. Matt 25:40 and “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2

another beautiful young helper that comes along to help finish out the day with cole, pulling on her hat nad gloves and pulling up her boots, because cole wants to drive his powerchair around on the ice

power wheelchairs

gabrielle’s insatiable desire to do craft projects and the way she says, ‘let’s try that!’  with such enthusiasm, over glue and yarn, again and again and again

watching dawson shovel snow side by side with his daddy dad for the hundredth time this winter.  watching him grow and grow and become strong and smart

brian… who loves me… everyday… who hugs me and kisses me and laughs with me and holds me together when I fall apart

the mixed pain and joy of hearing gabrielle say, ‘if luke was alive, there would be 3 kid boys, plus max and daddy… so 5 boys and only 2 girls’

luke……………………………………………………………………………………

bedtime for silly, crazy, wound-up, wiped-out kids

bath time for me

an outlet for all the ups and downs and ins and outs of this broken yet beautiful life I’m in

JESUS

a holy experience

I was looking for a special poem to thank the paras and teachers in cole’s classroom and I came across this one by erma bombeck.  ( I really like her writing)  it brought me to tears pretty quickly.  it’s nice to have a different perspective every once and awhile.  I get so busy just going through the motions and doing what needs to be done, I forget the bigger picture.  to even think   be reminded that God is not only aware of me, but that He is on my side and considers me worthy of the testing is so very humbling.  I hope you like this poem.  pass it on to other parents of special needs kids.

The Special Mother  

by Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice,
a few by social pressure and a couple by habit.
This year nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of disabled children.
Did you ever wonder how these mothers are chosen?
Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth
Selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation.
As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.
“Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew.”
“Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia.”
“Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint…give her Gerard. He’s used to profanity.”
Finally he passes a name to an angel and smiles. “Give her a disabled child.”
The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She’s so happy.”
“Exactly,” smiles God. “Could I give a disabled child a mother who knows no laughter?
That would be cruel.”
“But does she have the patience?” asks the angel.
“I don’t want her to have too much patience, or she’ll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair.
Once the shock and resentment wear off she’ll handle it.”
“I watched her today.
She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother.
You see, the child I’m going to give her has a world of its own.
She has to make it live in her world, and that’s not going to be easy.”
“But Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.”
God smiles. “No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.”
The angel gasps, “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?”
God nods. “If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive.
Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect.
She doesn’t know it yet, but she is to be envied.
She will never take for granted a spoken word.
She will never consider a step ordinary.
When her child says momma for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it.
I will permit her to see clearly the things I see–ignorance, cruelty,
prejudice–and allow her to rise above them.
She will never be alone.
I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life
Because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.”
“And what about her Patron Saint?” asks the angel, his pen poised in the air. God smiles.
“A mirror will suffice.”

………………………………..

so much of this poem rings true for me personally…  happy, selfish, unbelieving.  and other aspects too… I’ve seen cruelty, ignorance.. I’ve heard the miracle of ‘mama’ ( at age… 4.  4 years-old that is) I take no physical activity for granted.  I don’t know about the ‘give her a mirror’ part, but otherwise I feel this poem to be pretty accurate. 

it’s hard to think of character development as a blessing most of the time.  usually because that path lies through a valley of pain… physical, mental, spiritual.  but, now that I am well acquainted with this path, I can appreciate the growth a little more.  I’m thankful that God said, ‘give her a disabled child’.  I can’t imagine the person I would be if I was choosing my own way.

trigger…

January 4, 2011

I started seeing a therapist.  my regular MD has been recommending it for at least a year.  I finally went.  the whole baby luke in my BSF class, born in late december was the final straw… the last push.  I need a way to handle all these things that seem to follow me, taunt me.  the therapist agreed.  she too, confirms I have PTSD. (post traumatic stress disorder)  and then add PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) to it and a 13 year-old with CP (cerebral palsy) and I’m bound to have some pretty tough days.  still, this is who I am… this is my life… I have to be able to function.  I want to function well.

my first assignment from her was to keep a list of everything that is a trigger, things that send my mind to where I was 2 years ago.  startlingly enough, I all ready have quite a list.  so far, more visual things, like the mcdonalds drive thru and the baby row at target and the newborn at panera and the ‘luke’ that took our order at taco bell.  I’m realizing that there are an awful lot of audio triggers too, like anything about death, family size, snowflakes, references to how small something is…  with my brain trying to hold all of this info, trying to protect me from so many things that are being interpreted as potential ‘hurts’, rather than being able to understand that I am not in danger of being hurt by the pregnant lady, understanding that season has passed … there leaves little wonder that other functions like short-term memory are being dropped off.  hence, the overflowing kitchen sink, keys locked in the van and purse left at the grocery store… to name a few.

I’m happy to be in this place.  I think this is where I need to be… this is where the healing begins.  kind of sad it has taken this long for me to get here…  always pride in the way… thinking I can handle it all on my own, I’ll deal with it,  I’ll be fine, I can figure it out, telling my self, ‘rub some dirt on it.  walk it off.’  I feel better saying… I can’t do this, I need help, I’m tired.  here I am, weak and wounded… show me the way, lead me by the hand.  no more triggers…  only sweet reminders.

if only…

December 29, 2010

we went to see the movie tangled last night.  it was wonderful.  of course I cried, but that isn’t really any big news.   I see many parallels with my life,, which I’m sure, other people relate it to their lives as well.  here’s how I felt it fit me… start with this happy couple who has their beautiful baby stolen away in the night.  every year on her birthday they release lanterns to remember her.  there was a scene towards the end where the king and queen are getting ready to send up the lantern for what should be their daughters 18th birthday.  the queen is straightening the king’s pendant and when she looks up at him, he has a tear about to come rolling down his cheek… he misses his baby and wants her back.  he is heartbroken… utterly heartbroken.  that was probably the hardest part for me.  I clearly remember a very similar situation between brian and I.  seeing him hurt and broken is more painful than being hurtand broken myself.  I really wish he didn’t know this kind of pain.

anyway, back to the movie… near the end, ryder is willing to give up his life for rapunzel’s, even as she is trying to sing her magical song over him and  give up her freedom so that he may live.  and even though she can’t save him with her magical hair, a tear of ‘true love’ falls on to his cheek and that is enough to restore him.  joyfully he comes back to life and they fall into each other’s arms and live happily ever after.  if only it were as easy as a tear of true love, or simply singing a magical incantation of your heart’s desire, if only…

‘flower gleam and glow, let your power shine, make the clock reverse, bring back what once was mine,

 heal what has been hurt, change the fate’s design, save what has been lost, bring back what once was mine, what once was mine….’

at a loss…

December 22, 2010

so you know my BSF group is a challenge, just because of the pregnant women and then the addition of a woman due with a little boy at the end of december.  well… she had the baby.  his name is luke.

I’m not saying in any way that she shouldn’t name her baby whatever she wants.  obviously I love that name too and think it is wonderful for a baby boy.  the part that leaves me speechless is just that this whole thing is happening.  I mean statistically speaking… what are the odds?!?!  in all of the twin cities, all the bible studies, all the different discussion groups in each bible study… I’m in the one with the woman who has a little boy and names him luke just as we near what should be my luke’s 2nd birthday.

again with the in your face, all the time, taunting…  it makes me very weary. (not that I wasn’t weary before)  I’m to tired to even think about it.  I’m at a loss…

remember…

December 16, 2010

as I pull my winter jammies out and put on the striped pair from gap, I remember that I was wearing these jammies as brian and I toured the NICU and looked at the other little one pound babies and got all the info on where we would be moved to when we finally delivered…

as I soak in the tub, I remember how I used to sit in the tub for some very long stretches just staring at all the miscellaneous bottles of soap, shampoo, lotion, cleanser and such paying especially close detail to the net ounces of each product and debating about whether luke weighed more or less than these multi=colored bottles scattered around my tub…

as I stare out the window and watch the pretty little snowflakes fall, I remember how it seemed like it was snowing every time I would leave yet another ultrasound or test or dr appointment for luke…

as I buy a size 14 shirt for dawson at gap kids and think about how next year I’ll be shopping adult sizes for this kid, I remember how many years I spent cruising the sale rack at baby gap and how I had just bought the cutest ‘little monkey’ shirt for luke just two years ago…

as I hang various snowflake ornaments all about our christmas tree and house… … … I remember.

my taunting foe…

November 22, 2010

another dilemma has recently surfaced in my fairytale  soap-opera life.  after coming to grips with the woman in my discussion group at BSF who has the 2 year-old little boy named luke and the 2 others who are pregnant, one of which has been in for a level 2 ultrasound just last week and ‘isn’t even going to think about those things that the dr said.’ there was yet one more woman to be added.  it seems impossible to even imagine that she would be assigned to our group, but she was.  she happens to be due in december with a little boy. …(stunned silence)… and the worst part is that now that babies are allowed, I know that she will be back after break… sitting there nursing her brand new little boy… that smells so sweet… and makes all those extraordinary newborn sounds.  I’m thinking… you have got to be kidding me.  you have got to be @%&# kidding me!!  could I have one place where i can let my guard down, where I can refill my cup, where I can enjoy the fellowship of other women believers as they discover and study their way through Isaiah too? apparently not.

so after leaving BSF upset and talking with friends about how upset I am and then requesting that this new girl might be moved because I am upset.  my answer comes back … these groups are prayed about and it doesn’t appear to be an accident… I mean, we are  studying the sovereignty of God and all. … maybe this is a oppurtunity for you (me) to be victorious in Christ. … … …

after crying and feeling ssoo frustrated and tired of what seems like an endless piling on of little things to haunt me and telling brian, “I’m sick of hearing about ‘victory in Christ’… give me a break!”, I went to bed.  it seems very much to me that God likes to pick on me… just trying to see how far this little bruised and battered reed can bend. 

sunday morning, we go to church, through the ice and freezing rain.  I don’t participate like I usually would.  I’m kind of pouting I guess.  I lay my weary little noggin on brian’s shoulder and fall asleep during the sermon.  I decide to sit up and be awake for the remaining part of the service, but I flip through my bible on my own, still not paying attention.  my little rebellion.  I only look for a moment until I stumble across psalm 42, which is all ready full of little notes and underlines.  it speaks directly to me… deep calls to deep… my soul is downcast… these things I remember… ‘why have You forgotten me?’ … as the deer pants for water… my tears have been my food… ‘where is your God?’… as my foes taunt me…  wait a minute, what was the part?  as my foes taunt me…  as my foes taunt me…  hmmm…  I wonder…  could that really be?  am I being ‘taunted’? … by my enemy?

now, I’ve studied suffering.  I’ve studied evil.  I’ve studied what is ‘allowed’.  I’ve studied Heaven and Hell.  somehow, my focus is always more on what God is doing, allowing.  so of course it seems like God is picking on me.  this small verse from psalm 42:10 changed that.  it changed my perspective.  what if all these little things are from my taunting foe?  then it dawns on me for the first time… that is where/why I could have victory.  I feel a little silly even saying that, because it sounds so… … … christianese. 

having said all that, it isn’t like I just feel better now.  it still hurts.  I still don’t want to sit in that group.  I plan to seek counseling to help deal with this post traumatic stress that I deal with.  it’s just that now… my heart feels a little better, I feel a little encouraged, back on the path.  I have identified my taunting foe and I have no plans of succumbing to his wiles.

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.  Psalm 42:11

always watching…

November 14, 2010

I learned a valuable lesson this weekend… one that I know, but easily forget or don’t pay much attention too.  it was good to be reminded and greatly encouraged at the same time.  here’s how it went.

I was at a retreat for moms with kids with disabilities.  after the main speaker, there was a Q & A.  the questions were directed towards us, the audience.  our second question was, ‘how do you keep your faith?’  someone I don’t know, a few rows behind me and to the right, stood and started to give her answer.  she said she had seen something that encouraged her, rather than something that she did herself.  it wasn’t far into her story that I started to cry.  I still can’t say exactly why it made me cry,  but it did.  she told us how she happens to attend bethlehem and on a sunday back aways, maybe Easter, we had a combined service at the lakeville highschool, rather than the 9 and 11 that we would usually have.  so, as she is watching the service proceed, she notices a family up front that has a little boy in a wheelchair.  she said she was drawn to the joy they showed as they were singing.  and then ‘I’ll fly away’ came up and again she felt she was watching something remarkable.  the family was smiling and singing and dancing around… even the boy in the wheelchair had his hands up and was doing his best to sing along.  she was impressed and encouraged to see a family that had obvious burden and yet such great joy.

oh how quickly I knew she was talking about me and mine.  I remember getting to church later than I had wanted and having to walk all the way down to the front row, because there are only a few places to sit with a wheelchair.  I remember the song too.  cole’s favorite!  in my whole time at bethlehem it has only been sung twice.  the week we came back after losing luke and Easter.  I also remember wearing my brave face and doing my best to sing along as I was breaking on the inside, because I really did  want to fly away.  I have a son waiting on the other side of glory and I want to see him.  I remember writing a poem that starts out ‘it still sucks’ after I got home…

so… to hear this story from a strangers perspective was… more than I can put into words.  here she is being greatly encouraged by just watching our little family sing and she doesn’t even know the half of it!  it made me remember that others are watching.  always watching.  and although things can and will be hard at different times, I need to rely on God and trust that He will give me the strength to suffer well.  that His light will show through my tears, through cole’s raised hands, through gabrielle’s twirling, brian’s steadfastness and dear dawson’s tender spirit.  He knows who is watching and what they need to see.

when I sing…

October 25, 2010

music and singing have always been very powerful to me.  it seems that they convey more than meer words are capable of.  lately, I’ve been closing my eyes more when I sing… or sometimes I just stand there and listen to everyone else singing.  it fills me with awe.  I picture Jesus there on His throne with throngs of saints around Him.  (I must have a good seat, because I can see Him pretty well.)  😉   anyway…  He has his eyes closed too!  He’s kind of leaned back, off to one side more than the other and He is keeping time with His foot and His head at the same time.  He’s got a slight smile on His beautiful face and every once and awhile He sings along a little bit.  sometimes He even plays a little air drum or acts like he is the conductor when there is a climax to the song…  and then, as the song is ending, He stands up.  and He applauds.  He cheers for us!  and it is completely genuine because He loves us so very  much and is overwhelming proud of all our little efforts.  think of your own children for a second and how your heart melts when you here them sing, ‘holy! holy! holy!’ in their tiny, innocent voices.  how much more His love for us……  how much more….  this is all going on in my head… when I sing.