Sunday, March 27, 2011

Heart Break - Taking it to God?

So many things in life have the potential to break our hearts. Things that happen to us, to those close to us, and even to people we have never met but only heard their heart-wrenching stories. What do we do with that pain?

The cliche answer I know is, "Take it to God." That's a great answer, but how do you really do it? What is it to really bring brokenness and pain to the Lord? And what happens to it when you do? Once you have "gone to the Lord" is the hurt supposed to go away?

I can't really answer all of these questions. But I know in the depths of my heart that God hurts with us. In Psalm 56 it is recorded that the Lord has each of our sorrows written down and that He has collected our tears.

I have by no means perfected the art of grief. In fact, in many ways I feel like I haven't even touched the surface of knowing how to grieve.

There are plenty things in my life to grieve, I just haven't learned how. I haven't learned how to really trust God with the broken places in my heart. Especially those when I question, "Where were you, God?"

Were you there when I got sick? Were you there when my dear friend lost another baby? Were you there when someone special passed away?

Yes! God was there! And I don't know how to communicate it, but I also know that God has grieved with me and for me in those times when my heart hurts so badly that I can hardly catch my breath! It is a mystery that I don't understand. Something that is without formula. But somehow, there is a place of entering into the presence of God and in that place - that sacred, Holy place - the Lord shares in the pain, sadness, and overwhelming heart-ache.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Changing Seasons

This weekend is my nieces first birthday. Wow how the year has flown by! I always assumed that when my sisters had babies I would be around all the time. I would never miss a single mile-stone. Well, in the last year I have missed many. Fredericksburg isn't that far away from Austin, but it also isn't just down the street. In the last year, Emily has hit just about every point of development that you would expect of a baby. But, I only get to see her about once a month...sometimes less. So everytime I see her, it seems that she has changed so much. I just saw her two weeks ago, so I hope that this time not too much has changed! It amazes me how quickly one year can go by and how much a baby really does grow! Before I know it, Baby Number 2 will be born and we'll be doing it all over again. I can't wait for that one either! (FYI: Estimated Date of Arrival is October 6.)

Onto other news, I have been bit by the Spring Garden Bug. I have been spending a little bit of time each day outside, cleaning up from the winter months and prepping for the spring. I have huge dreams of what I want to do. Too bad my energy and finances can't keep up with my imagination! One day...maybe?

We have a lot of stuff that needs clearing away and that part isn't as fun to me as putting the new stuff in. Unfortunately it is a little difficult to do one without the other. It's that whole baby-steps thing again. It has to get done in stages and I don't really appreciate the process as much as the product. Oh, how God continuously teaches me about the state of my heart through every-day things! It really isn't just plants that I see this message in.

I need encouragement to not give up on the process even if I don't see the results I want immediately. It is far better to grow and hit some awkward stages along the way than it is to always stay the same. Right? At least this is what I have been told! Looking forward to posting updates along the way.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This Weekend

This weekend was a whirlwind to say the least. So much so that I am still fighting the need to just stay in bed and rest all day. But it was SO worth it! I think that I enjoyed this past weekend more than I have enjoyed something in a long time.

So what did I do??? I traveled and saw friends and family.

Friday afternoon: Austin to Fredericksburg; saw Marcie, Jeff, and Emily
Saturday all day: Fredericksburg to Lubbock; saw Anna-Maria. Lubbock to Amarillo; saw Uncle Jerry and Aunt Carolyn
Sunday: Stayed in Amarillo; saw Uncle Jerry and Aunt Carolyn, Paw Paw, Uncle Gaylord and Aunt Eunice, Clay, Becky, Colt (cousins), a lot of people from church who have watched me grow up, several people who live with and care for my grandfather.
Monday all day: Amarillo to Abilene; saw Bryan, Olivia, and Baby-on-the-way Josiah. Abilene back to Austin.

Whoa! That was a long journey.

If you're in for more details, keep reading. Here's the scoop.

This weekend was my Paw Paw's 90th birthday. Wow! I haven't been able to go up and see my extended family in 3 years, including my amazing grandfather. It blows me away how time passes! It is spring break, and since I teach I have the week off (mostly). My mother was able to take a half day on Friday and get Monday off. That meant we had 3 1/2 days to travel from one end of Texas (not quite) to the other.

We started out at about 2:30 on Friday afternoon and drove to Fredericksburg to see my sister, brother and law, and my amazing niece Emily. We stayed there for the night - and lost a little bit of hearing as a result. Man can that baby scream...happy, sad, frustrated, all contains a very LOUD and high-pitched, near chandelier-breaking scream! Oh but I LOVE her!! She's the best thing in my life!! And, did you know there is another baby on the way? Yes. The babies will be 18 months apart.

Bright and early Saturday morning, we hopped back into the car to make the drive to Amarillo. You go right through Lubbock on the way...which happens to be where one of my best friends from college lives. I haven't seen Anna-Maria in about three years. We stopped off at a coffee shop near her house and met up for about an hour. I could have sat there with her talking for four or five hours, but we just couldn't since we had to get to Amarillo before too late. It was SO wonderful to get to see her and hug her and just sit and talk. I miss my friend!

Before the hour was up, my mom was pointing at the watch and thinking about how late it was getting. So we said our goodbyes, got back on the highway and finished the drive to Amarillo. We got there at about 8:00 and my aunt and uncle (who we stayed with) had waited on dinner for us. So my uncle went out and got some tacos, we sat down, and ate! It was nice to eat something sitting at a table after a day of snacking on stuff in the car! We stayed up late catching up and enjoying each others presence. When it was time to hit the pillow I was so ready to crash that I didn't even read a page of my book before I fell asleep!

Sunday morning came much more quickly than my body really wanted to just stay in bed and have a slow start to the day. But alas, it was time to get moving! My mom and I got ready for church and then went to go pick up my Paw Paw. It was a TOTAL surprise to him that we came! My uncle hadn't said anything to him because he didn't want to upset him if we didn't make it for some reason. I walked into his apartment and he just looked at me and blinked a few times as his smile grew wider. He said, "Well Hi Melonie Lynn. What are you doing here?" It was so sweet to see the joy in his face! I LOVE MY PAW PAW!!!! We packed up, went to church, lunch, birthday party, and back to church that night. Whew! It was a LONG day!! We stopped back off at my Paw Paw's to say goodnight and he was so worn out from the day that he couldn't even keep his eyes open. It was kind-of sad, but also a little cute. When we got back to the house to eat dinner, I was so tired that I didn't even feel like chewing! 8:30 hit, I grabbed my book and sat on the couch to read for a bit. I was just about ready to climb into bed when my uncle started a movie...which I got sucked into! We didn't go to bed until MIDNIGHT! Oh, My!! That is late for this little bug! But it was SO wonderful! I could tell that my uncle was so happy to have my mom and I just hanging out with him. And like I said before, I hadn't seen him in three years, so I wanted to get as much Uncle Jerry time in as I could!

Monday morning rolled around before we knew it. We took a little extra time getting ready to go and were out the door at about 9:00. We were ready to head back to Austin. On the way, we stopped off in Abilene (where I went to college) so that I could see another one of my school friends, Olivia. She is such a precious friend! I wanted to sit and catch up with her for hours, but neither of us could. My mom and I had to get back on the road and Olivia had an appointment. But, the stop was not without some amazing moments...I finally got to meet her husband, Bryan. I felt like I knew him already, but I had never been able to meet him. Now I have! Another very special moment is that Olivia is pregnant and I was able to lay my hands on her belly and pray for this very special and intended life! There is a long story there, but the bottom line is that God is amazingly GOOD and this growing life and healthy Mama are proof! The visit was short, but it was wonderful!

My mom and I got back in the car again. My mom wanted to go find some lunch; I wanted to go drive through campus. All I can say is that it's a little like returning home! So we drove around for a bit and got some food. It was nice to have a break from driving on the highway. We didn't take long and then we finished the rest of the stretch back to Austin. We pulled up into my drive-way right around 8:30 in the evening. My poor Mom. Even after getting me unloaded, she still had to make a 20 minute drive home and unload all of her stuff!

All in all, it was a great trip! There were no major incidences, no car problems, and a lot of good time for my mom and I to talk and catch up. I learned some things about her that I never knew...and I think she may have learned some things about me, too! I got to see a lot of people that I love and haven't been able to see in a long time. One sad part was that because it was spring break, most of my cousins were away. So of the 28 family members that live near-by, I only got to see 8. But it was still very much worth it! Now I get to recover!

Yesterday, I didn't leave the house. In fact, I didn't leave my pajamas! I just rested and stayed low-key. Today I am moving slowly, but have to get myself cleaned up to go run some errands and go to work tonight. It will happen. But right now, I think I might go take a nap. =)

Friday, March 4, 2011

I sometimes feel like I'm fighting with myself about who I really am. I know that in my core of cores I am miss au nautural. I believe in trusting the creation of the Lord to know the right thing to do. He made our bodies, mind, and soul. He made us to know how to do things. There is of course the learning curve. But where I am really going is that I feel like I was born in the wrong era! I feel like I am supposed to be some kind of prairie-woman or something. The things I gravitate to just don't seem to be the "norm" of 2011.

I love animals! I love babies! I love land! I have this deep desire to know what it feels like to carry and birth a child without medical assistance and intervention and nourish that child. I don't really have an issue with 2 and 3 year olds who still nurse because they enjoy the special time they have with their mama!  I recognize that this is not for everyone - and I know that it is ok!  (So, please do not feel like I am negating the value of any other opinions out there.)

All of this to say that if I could draw out my ideal life, I would live in some predominately self-sustaining Christian Community where life really looked a lot different than it does today. I would be married, have lots and lots (and lots) of babies, and I would subscribe to the benefits of shared nursing between healthy moms.  This just isn't normal. Well, I actually think it is quite normal. It just isn't the norm.

I know, go ahead and say's a little hippy-ish.  Nothing wrong with that though.  Just to make it sound a little more stereotypical, I'll add in that I would have a garden that is fully loaded with organic foods, make baby food from scratch, and spend 5 hours a day schooling my children, 5 hours a day cooking and cleaning my home, 5 hours a day playing with my friends and family, and the remaining 7 sleeping!

What's the point of this rambling?  I am so torn at times. I feel like there is a huge part of me that is missing out on living the life I was created to live just because I am not married. Surely God has a plan. Surely His timing is right. I mean I believe it...I just doubt it sometimes because I feel like time is passing me by and my dreams are getting left in the dust.

I so badly want to experience the birthing process, that my heart has been engulfed with the desire to support others' through their birthing experience. I have made the decision...after about three years of thinking about become a doula. I have been looking at various websites, seminars, etc to help me in preparing. But this is something that I almost feel like I just have to dive in to the deep end to really get the experience I am after. I don't know how, though. I am excited, but I am also TERRIFIED! I want to jump, but I am afraid of failing. I am afraid that I will start and get stuck somewhere along the line. I am concerned about affording everything in the training process and still being able to survive. Not that I am really raking in the money as a part-time pre-school teacher for a church-based mother's day out program. I mean, money is something I am learning to live without. But what about the time, the body stamina, all of the details? I am a little overwhelmed!

So, I once again come back to baby-steps. My baby-step number one is that I will report back in one month saying that I have purchased my first "text" book required. Then the following month, I will report back that I have read said text book. I don't know the rest of the baby steps yet, but this is at least a start. We'll see where the Lord takes me in this journey!
Great Day!!

There is this little boy that I periodically babysit. I have had the privilege of caring for him since he was a little baby. Now he is two! He is so big and enjoys trying to do things on his own. He is just so much fun! Every time I baby sit him, I leave in such a wonderful mood. He is just that spectacular! Today, as the day was winding down, I started to get my bag together. He looked over at me and said, "You leave me now? Don't leave me Lynn." I assured him that I was not going to leave him alone (his dad wasn't home from work yet). I said, "I love you, V-." He looked back at me and said, "No. I love you!" OH MY GOODNESS!!! My heart just about fell apart right then! It is so amazing to have little people in your life to remind you of the simple ways of loving!

Today was SO much better than yesterday! And you know what? I get to baby sit V again tomorrow!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I have once again gone on a hiatus from blog-writing. Not sure why...just haven't gotten around to it???

Tonight I went back and read the last several things I have written and got inspired to jot down a few more ramblings. Tonight's entry is more of a vent. My day was...

The truth is that today was a rough day. Really, this week has just been a bit more than I want to deal with. There has been roommate arguing, getting thrown up on, house-hold repair issues, temper tantrums, pain, and so much more. I get so tired of disagreeing and trying to make things right, yet I seem to be stuck in this loop with one of my roommates in particular. It's just down-right yucky! And my attitude stinks, which really doesn't help us out! I wish that I could just figure out how to set the reset button. It has to exist somewhere! But alas, I can not find it! Take this drama and add in the general life stuff that often feels over-wheming, and that is where I am. Plus I have also had to up the prednisone I take for RA ... I feel like there is a lion roaring inside of me and fighting to get out and tear up anything it doesn't like! I really do feel like I am about to jump out of my skin sometimes. I hate it! Then, about half-way through work today I got a horrid migraine. I haven't had one that bad in a while. I was able to choke it back pretty well, but I almost didn't make it home from work because I was so disoriented! I came home, ate, drugged, rested. Much better! Tomorrow I am babysitting and hoping and praying for a much better new day! I'm also hoping that my body levels out from these medication issues.

I know I probably sound like a little complainy-whiny Lynn. I am! At least sometimes I am. And sometimes - like now - I don't want to add in the silver-lining spin. I just want to feel a little bit sorry for myself. OK... I'm done.

Thank you, Lord that your mercies are in fact new EACH day!! I thank you for the blessing of today and ask for forgiveness for the places where my flesh keeps me from receiving the mercies you have for me! I pray for sweet, peaceful rest. And I pray that I will remember to be grateful throughout my day tomorrow. For YOU are my daily bread!