Friday, July 30, 2010

This Week I Learned...

I learned a few things this week. You know, important life lessons.

1. A couple of days ago, Abigail and I were having a really ugly day between the two of us. I was ugly Mommy, she was ugly kiddo. We were the perfect storm of headbutts. She had pretty much gotten in trouble all day long (and once she got started, I may have blown a couple of things out of proportion myself). Nothing seemed to be working discipline-wise. Then before dinner, I told her that we could make chocolate chip cookies together after dinner (hoping for some redeemable time from our day). After dinner, she was once again doing the sassy, arguing, talking back, not listening, blah, blah, blah, and I told her that we would not be making cookies together that night because of the bad choices she had been making. Her response was something to this effect (through hyperventilating tears):
"But you were an ugly-acting Mommy today. And you don't just promise you're going to make chocolate chip cookies and take it away. Because I LOVE chocolate chip cookies. I want to make them and eat them. You can't take that away from me. That's such a mean thing to do."
My response? You're right! When the cookies get taken away, we ALL get punished.

2. Trying to make your home some perfect little version of homemade-land can only work in spurts. I tried hard this week, making homemade applesauce from the apples we had picked, making the cookies (finally), folding the laundry, paying the bills, etc. etc. etc. All it does is burn a Mommy out and make me feel like I can't keep up. Lesson? Pick one Susie Homemaker thing to do a day....maybe.....but don't try to do it all at once.

3. God is always good, even when His timing seems different than ours. I had waited forever for an insurance claim to be reviewed from when I had Sadie. I kept getting the automatically-generated bills and was thinking if this claim didn't get straightened out soon, I would be getting a collection notice (but didn't want to pay a huge sum of money on a bill that I knew was incorrect). Literally, as I sat down yesterday with the insurance company's number in hand to call them and figure out what the status was, I opened up our mail and there was a notice saying it had been completely taken care of. Boo.Yah. God is awesome.

4. Give me 45 minutes without kids at home and I am one. productive. mama. And I felt GOOD for it.

5. My husband's love for me just gets better and better. I had a hard day this week (the one with the cookie incident) and just felt like a failing, flailing Mommy. He listened, he loved, he hugged, he cut Abigail off at the pass when I needed a break, he bought me a card saying thank you for all I do, he wrote me a poem. Sigh. Flutter. Heart. I love him.

See? Lessons in the everyday. Sometimes I love them. Sometimes I wish I had learned them enough already. :)

Monday, July 19, 2010


The other day, Paul and I were talking about a friend of ours that we had not seen in a while. She had been due one day apart from me when we had our second miscarriage. Every once in a while, I see pictures of her cute little guy on Facebook. I told Paul, "The funny thing is, when I look at his pictures, I don't really think about how we would have had a baby the same age as him." We have another friend who had a baby within a few days of that same due date. I said, "When I look at Kayla, I just look at Kayla. I'm not comparing her to what our baby would have been at this stage."

Then he said, "Sadie healed you."

And even though there are always scars from experiences like that.....I know there must be because I have talked to women who lost babies through miscarriage 30 or 40 years ago who still get teared up in the conversation....I realized that scars are not open wounds. They are areas where wounds once were, but they are healed. God leaves those marks, though not always physical, as reminders of His goodness through those times, of the ways that He healed the hurt. I know God healed the painful wounds. And He did it through this....

Thursday, July 1, 2010

We Needed Them

Tomorrow will be one month since Jean passed. What a fast month it was....there was definitely a period of grieving, but things have seemed pretty "normal" since we got back from Florida. This is the post that I have been wanting to write all month, as the thoughts gradually formed in my head. I've wanted to write it a lot of times in the last three years.

This month also marks three years since our move here. God gradually drew us to Marshall over about a six-month period of Paul filling in preaching after the church's pastor retired. We were very content to be working with the college ministry at Ball State. We had only been there four years, and were not seeking any new ventures in ministry or life in general. We were fine where we were. Yet God drew us....slowly.....affirming each step as we made it (mostly in great hesitation).

As I got to know the ladies in our church (who are now some of my closest friends), I met several who had had two miscarriages. And before I had even had one, there was a little piece of my mind that thought, I am meeting these ladies because this is going to happen to me. Maybe it was a morbid thought, but somehow I knew it would. And it did. Within six months, I had two.

Also during this time, we found out that Jean had stage four breast cancer. At age 29, Paul and I were facing the first parent to get sick. The first parent to be in the hospital. To move to a nursing home. To be given a life expectancy.

During this time, I had a successful pregnancy. One that added beautiful Sadie to our family.

There are times when God moves you to a new place in life that makes you wonder what your purpose will be there. It makes you think that you must have something to offer that these people need. Some gift....ability....talent....something. You don't think it in a prideful way, but more of a questioning one...."Okay, God, how are You going to use me here? What is the reason you uprooted my life there to bring me here?" And yes, there are reasons, ones we are still figuring out. Ways He chooses to use us that we weren't looking for.

But one of the biggest reasons I feel He brought us here, for such a time as this, is not that they needed us, but that we needed them. We needed this to be our church family. Through our celebrations, and through our grief, we needed them to be the hands and feet and heart of Jesus. To share their experiences. To comfort us as they had been comforted. To care for our physical needs as well as our emotional ones. To love us in the dark so that God could shine His light. To be more than friends, but family. The family of God.

Paul and I have faced more as a couple in our time here than all the combined years before it. And we will face more, I have no doubt of that. I know that God will care for us wherever He has us, but for this season of our lives, we needed here. We needed now. We needed them.