Stay-at-Home Mystery

When you first bring your child home from the hospital, they are truly a bundle of joy. Beautiful, perfect, the most precious gift you could ever receive. You could spend every waking moment staring into their tiny little eyes. You just want to lay there holding their tiny hands and cuddling all day as if nothing else in the world matters. The day you have to go back to work as a mom or dad seems like a travesty. It is an injustice to the world. How could you leave this precious angel for just one second? Oh, the horror. You tell yourself, if only I was lucky enough to stay home with this sweet child then all would be alright.

Fast forward a few more years into toddlerhood, in our case, and you get the time to stay home…through very unfortunate circumstances. It will hopefully only be momentary (due to the circumstances), but still any time with your precious angel is magical, right?

Right?????

I will now get to live in the dream world that all other stay-at-home moms get to live in for a little bit. It won’t look exactly the same because of my back, but we can still make it work. We can have tea parties, play barbies, learn, paint our nails, have movie days….you know just sweet day after sweet day.

Okay, ALERT!!!! Stay-at-home moms, your job is hard! I literally spend no waking moment of my day alone. I go to shower, pee…”mommy, I just thought you should know I’m here and I still love you.” Sweet, right? Totally! But, oh, how I desperately long for a breath just to myself sometimes. Being able to take care of any household chore, phone call, anything besides devoted attention to my sweet angel is almost out of the question except for nap time. Then before you know it, nap time has zoomed by! Being able to get even 10-15 minutes in for a quiet time is my ultimate goal. It calms my spirit and gives me rest. But, even that feels almost unattainable at times.

Now, I have been in both worlds-working and now staying at home for a little while. A mother’s job, no matter how it looks, is Never easy. Working moms have it completely difficult as well, so please, no working moms take any offense to this. Your job is equally as hard. I always felt like I never had enough time for my daughter and I was short-changing her with the energy I had left. That was my struggle and I really struggled with working. But, at the same time, I loved working and felt equally as passionate about that. Besides, it was what you had to do and what I will do again when given the chance. For this season, I am just having the chance to write from a different perspective that I never thought I would totally understand. But, I think in either situation, this last part applies to us both in some capacity.

Staying at home, to me, is like a snow day. It is beautiful because you get to see a masterpiece up close. God’s handiwork right at your fingertips. You get to play with it, have fun with it by building snowmen; snowball fights; and snow angels. You get to snuggle inside after playing–you hold each other tight with a cup of hot cocoa. But, then comes the driving in it. You have such HUGE responsibility when driving in snow or ice. After getting bundled up, you must clear the snow off the windshield so you can see properly; your door to get in; shovel off the driveway. You do all this just so you can leave your house.  Then comes navigating the road with all the uncertainty of the terrain and how other drivers will react to the conditions. You stay white knuckled at the helm making sure that you and everyone in the car gets to where you’re going safely. I feel the same  about this season of motherhood. It is beautiful, it is miraculous. I wouldn’t trade it for the world because I am watching God’s masterpiece (Psalm 139:13-16) up close. But, the days are not always easy and perfect like I imagined. We are three years old now. We skipped terrible twos and gave mom the illusion that we were the exception to the rule! But, bring on the terrify threes. They are filled with a lot of learning the wise and unwise ways to behave in this big ol’ world. We have a lot of snow and ice to navigate through on this road. And sometimes mommy doesn’t always know the right way, because no one gave me the sacred GPS for this one either! It is hard work. Never for a second do you doubt how much all of the effort is worth in the long run for the success of your child. But, just like with the snow, sometimes the “work” becomes the focus and we forget about the beauty of it. We have to make sure to set aside a moment or two of our very hectic schedules to notice the beauty playing, growing and being silly right in front of us. Breath it in. It will be gone before we know it and on to the next season.

Continue reading “Stay-at-Home Mystery”

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Brave

I just finished reading a Blog Post by Krista entitled,  “No Longer Anonymous: Alexis Kanda-Olmstead Overcomes the Terror of the Publish Button”, which was featured on Discover. I have enjoyed reading AKO Collective before and became an official “follower” today. It’s funny how ironic it was that I read it just today after battling constantly with this same question for the last (13) days to be exact. I have told myself once I started publishing this blog that I was somehow tougher because I was willing to share my struggles with “the world.” However, I have yet to become willing to even open up my blog to those closest to me (i.e. even my momma). There is something about being able to arm yourself too press that Publish button. For some, it may come easier than others. For me, this blog is personal. It touches the deepest parts of me because it is about the inmost, darkest struggles I face. This blog is about how without God’s strength I could literally not overcome another second of another day at some points. Even walking into the first step of starting this blog was a huge leap and one I did not take lightly. I did so armed with the strength that this was not for me alone. I do believe, in part, this is therapeutic for me. However, the bigger picture is how I yearn to reach those that are struggling just like me. Pain is a very personal, draining, emotional struggle. It is not one that others can see and touch. It is not one understood by most, therefore, we often end up fighting it alone. But, is my anonymity creating an environment that fosters the ability to fight in a community of numbers or in more isolation? What settled this question for me was AKO Collective’s reply to one of the questions asked of her about remaining anonymous “It wasn’t helping me access the truest parts of myself, which is also very important to blogging.” How can I be truly honest, move forward in healing for myself and others without opening myself up completely?

“It wasn’t helping me access the truest parts of myself, which is also very important to blogging.”

I appreciate the honesty that AKO Collective gave in her answers. The thought of opening up my blog to my community literally puts a knot in my stomach. The thought of no longer remaining somewhat anonymous make me want to run and hide. But, then I think back to one of the lessons I read in BU-Blogging University. The lesson was to Identify your Audience. Why am I here, what do I want to write and to whom do I want to write? I am here because I believe in the solidarity that community has to offer. I am here because I believe that no one should have to suffer in isolation. I am here because I have a God that rescued and gave me a new life that I have to share with others. I am here because I know He gives us blessings beyond just the healing that we often seek first and foremost (I know I did!). I want to write blogs that are honest and don’t sugarcoat the crap that comes along with these valleys. Anyone that has gone through pain or any type of loss knows that it just sucks beyond belief. That’s why I love how AKO Collective mentioned bad language. I’m just going to say, the words that come to my mind when I’m in severe pain are not always pretty or nice. And I would challenge anyone who has never felt that amount of pain to come tell me to never think that way. 😛 I doubt I’ll be sharing them on here, but my point is, I don’t want to just write about sunshine and rainbows because that isn’t real life! I want to write about the mud and grime; mixed with the hope we have. I want to write to others struggling with pain, grief, invisible illnesses, emotional pain, emptiness, etc. We all go through heartache on this earth and some heartache I will never begin to understand. But, I do know a God who understands greater pain and heartache than any of us will ever begin to understand who is always ready and willing to take our pain onto Himself. I can’t be afraid of what judgment or criticism will come anymore.

I want to say a special thank you to AKO Collective for your willingness to be open and honest. Also, Krista for featuring AKO Collective and those questions on Discover. You both have spurred on an amateur, nervous writer dreaming of doing big things.

 

Strength

The past few days have been rough for me. I met my new doctor since we’ve moved to a new area that will deal with the pain portion of my health. The impression I got from our short visit was that he is quite proud of his accomplishments and has no time to get a history on patients. I left with no evaluation being done, no pain score inquiry, no real questions about my history, and lots of unanswered questions about where to go from here. I feel as though I’m past that point now. I need someone that is invested in seeing where I am and helping to get me back to the best version of myself physically. I’m so ready and I want to skip whoever does not want to be involved in the process. I’ve grown too far past that point. I left the doctor feeling frustrated and a little hopeless. This appointment had been like a beacon of hope shining to further advance my recovery and hopefully continue to heal back to maximum strength. Then to be in so much pain at the appointment only to be spurned was a little less than settling.  On the way home my mom drove because of how much pain I was in and as we were talking she made the simple statement of “you will have to give it over to God.” It was in that moment that I took almost a gasp of air. I thought, why didn’t I do that immediately?  Throughout our struggles God has shown His strength, grace and blessings more times than I could ever count. So, why is that not always my first thought? It’s as if I think my anger or frustration will somehow change the situation.

strength-image

The day that followed was filled with even more pain. It was beyond a point of manageability. I was at a point that I had not been in awhile. I began to just sit out on the porch and stare at God’s beautiful creation. I started to just cry out loud out to God to take it all away. I am tired. I am tired of the constant struggle. The pain is just too much. I know God can take it away if He chooses, so why not? Then it was as if he stopped me somehow. I honestly don’t know how but He gently touched my heart so swiftly. Staring at HIS creation, I was reminded of all HE has done for me. Jesus came to earth and surrendered Himself so that He would suffer the entirety of God’s wrath instead of me, instead of you. I cannot imagine nor do I even want a glimpse of feeling just a part of God’s wrath. There are times to grieve and times to dwell in the sadness of your pain, disability, loss, etc. But, this was a time where God was saying yes, I acknowledge your suffering, BUT look at what I have done for you. Look at who I really am and focus more on that than your suffering. God brought back the verse of 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 “For our light and temporary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” I realize the context of this chapter is persecution but these verses, especially verse 17, God gave me about 1 1/2 years ago and they have never left my heart. It is so applicable. So, my prayer is now that the Holy Spirit will guide my prayers. I don’t know exactly what to pray for. I feel like relief from the suffering isn’t the right prayer at this time for me personally. That my focus should be more on deepening my walk with Christ. God has revealed himself so much through the suffering and continues to that I can’t help but be thankful in ways for the suffering. However, the pain continues to be almost intolerable. So, that brings me back to how to pray. I know God knows my heart and knows I want the pain to end like yesterday (or years ago ha!). I trust that He knows the way to wade through it all.  Through my life-my struggle, this blog, anything I do-I do it because I want God to receive all the glory and to encourage anyone else struggling that He is the only source of true, constant help through it.