Archive for October, 2013

If. . . Then.

Recently, I was caught up in a whirlwind trip out of province, all by myself. Well, I had the Precious One, but she’s not a big talker yet. There were literally 24 hours between the booking of the flight and take off. Leaving our home, our children and driving at 3 am, I felt a familiar panic rising up in the back of my throat. . . 

I wouldn’t say that I am an inordinately fearful person. We had two boys first, so I’ve had to let go of a lot. They climb trees and the TV antenna, attempt to ride down the steep basement stairs on a Thomas the train toy, and I don’t really blink an eye. I have been thrust into a new province, church, work and group of people; and though I am often nervous in large get-togethers, I can usually hold my own and not appear to be ill at ease. I wasn’t especially scared when we had our first baby: I never watched him sleep to make sure he was breathing, baby-proofed the house in the thought of him getting harmed, or sterilized all things he came into contact with (Please don’t misunderstand: I’m not saying that if you do these things you are “fearful,” I’m just trying to give an example of how, generally, I don’t hover.)

But some things cause my heart to race, my throat to close, my breathing to stop.

I have never left our children for more than a weekend, with my mom, and that’s happened twice in six years. I like them, I genuinely like being in their presence. Why would I? We don’t really have anywhere to go, so it hasn’t been much of an issue. And now, with absolutely no time to even think about it, I was boarding a plane where I would potentially be over 3000 km away.

I also realized, on this two hour drive to the airport in the wee hours of the morning, that I don’t ever drive at night. Or find a valet for parking at the airport. And board a bus with the Precious one. And check in for the flight, drop off the luggage, get settled on the plane, pick up a rental car, and then drive to the next destination. Normally, (and by normally, I mean once) when I had to fly alone, someone was there with me at the airport, and there was someone waiting for me on the other side. All of a sudden, on this long, boring drive (where I got to listen to my own choice of music!) I felt completely and utterly out of control, and overwhelmed to the point of that feeling like I almost couldn’t catch my breath. I stayed there for a few, absolutely pointless minutes, until finally, an old Beth Moore exercise came to mind.

“If, I can’t make it from boarding to the departure gate. . .  .then I will ask someone to help me.”

“If, I hit a stupid deer in the next hour. . . then I wasn’t meant to go in the first place.”

“If, I cry from missing our children. . . then I will hold them extra tight when I get back.”

If you’re a mom, you know it doesn’t stop here. I believe we all have fears just lurking at the back our minds, teasing us into denial or anxiety,

“If, something happens to one our children, then I will rush back and trust that the Handsome Hubby and whoever is here can deal with it until I get there.”

“If, my plane crashes and I die, then they will find the freezer meals that I have prepared, deal with the junk drawers, my underwear drawer, and miss me terribly.”

I don’t want to die, and leave my family. I know they like me, and need me. But I trust that no matter what happens in this life, God will work it all for His glory. He loves them more than I do. I never want our children to hurt or be sad, but I trust that God has a plan. For them, and me.

“If, my plane crashes and I die, then I will wait for them in Heaven.”

“If, something so bad happens to our children, then I will yearn even more to go to Heaven. Jesus will hold my hand and help me walk every step I take. It will be immeasurably, incomprehensibly horrible. But He has promised never to leave me or forsake me. I will trust,”

Fear has a way of freezing our steps. Of choking, of stifling, of guiding our decisions. We can’t let it.

1 John 4:18: There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

God loves me. God loves our children. The promises He has given attest to these facts.

What is your “If?” What is God’s promise for it? 

“If I fail.”

“If we have another baby.”

“If we run out of money.”

“If we lose everything.”

“If he leaves.”

“If I can’t keep it together.”

What is God’s promise for it? Finish it. “If” this happens, “Then” God will. He’ll be there. He loves you. There is a plan, even if we don’t see the whole thing.

His Word is good.

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She Loved Me

Yesterday we said goodbye to someone that loved me. And I loved her. I’m not very special in this; she loved a lot of people. But that doesn’t make the value of it any less. It struck me (again) how important relationships are; both the primary ones and the secondary.

We need each other. Deeply. We can get by with our families as our only relationships. And it works. But it’s hard. Our children are wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but honestly, sometimes you need to talk to someone who’s been there. Being a mom is hard. I don’t think I knew how hard till just the past few months. In the interest of transparency, I have been having a really hard time. I’m angry, I’m frustrated, I’m lonely. It is a lot of work, with not a lot to show for it. I know that one day it’s all worth it, but really, we’re not at that day yet. If you don’t know what it’s like to be in your house for four or five days with little kids and not go anywhere, or not have the phone ring, then you just don’t understand. It makes the fact that fall is here, and winter is coming so incredibly frightening. We have long winters, and I swear each one gets longer. And darker. I’m okay, I’m just tired, overwhelmed, and possibly suffering from post-partum. However, even saying that aloud doesn’t change anything; winter’s still going to come. The days will still bring me to my knees, begging for self-control, patience and love.

But I know some women have been there. She was one of them. And she loved me. I know this because:

1. She cared about what I cared about, because I cared about it: When I was heavily involved with Moms Supporting Moms, she would let me drop off tons of old baby equipment at her apartment, and not even ask when I was going to pick it up. With the Magdalene House, she may not know all the statistics for human trafficking; or the current cases; or what the governments are doing or not doing. But she knew I cared about it, so she made a beautiful cake for a dessert auction. Who knows how long it took, but it got done. She made time for it. She asked about it, I’m sure she prayed about it.

2. She never missed a baby: When you have a whole passle, that’s saying something. I could tell by looking at the card which gift was from her: she had distinctive hand-writing, and she gave me many occasions to see it. Every baby was blessed with a thoughtful gift; from a beautiful handmade blanket for our first, to thoughtful odds and ends I might need for our last. Each card was handmade, and probably took more time than the shopping. She knew the children’s names, and told me they were beautiful.

3. She “liked” pictures and statuses on facebook. That might sound dumb, but I felt important to her. She would mention them when she saw me at church, and tell me stories of how her kids did the same thing. She even once said she looked forward to me.

4.  She made me a cake. Just for me. When I admired the one she made for the auction, she made me one too. I ate the whole darn thing. I didn’t share a piece. It was delicious.

5. She read my blog. And in a couple of cases, she proof read it before I posted. Some of the earlier posts I was afraid that they would be offensive, and I wanted to make sure I was sensitive, yet truthful.

I pray that one day, I will love others so easily, and knit it into my very core. So that when I see a young mom at church who’s struggling, and simply smile, or compliment her children, or ask how they’re really doing, I will give as much life to them as she did me. She was beautiful. As a matter of fact in a bible study that she wasn’t apart of, the book told us to think of someone completely full of grace, who had it all together, the picture of peace. Ten or eleven of us all said the same thing. Deloyce.

So, I’m sad. I’m sad because I miss her, and I’m sad because my days feel pointless. I know I have to get out and do something fun, and “just for me.” I was thinking of taking French classes, to help me be able to converse quicker, but honestly that feels silly when my Handsome Hubby is more than fluent and I could learn at home. It’s really hard when you have a crush on the teacher, you know. Especially when he speaks in French. So, we’ll wait. When you have a choice between a nap or a rest, for survival, or something fun, for growth, it’s hard to pick fun. In the meantime, one foot in front of the other we’ll plug on. I really do miss you, girl, and I know I’ll see you again. Death really has a way of reminding you how long the days are. “Though the years are short,” I know, I know. The days are just so long.

*** I wrote this on Saturday, and it kinda sat. My HH didn’t have a chance to read it over, and I never post without him reading it. But now I know why. I want to be very intentional with life, mommying, and servanthood. We’re shaking a few things up in our home: life is short. People are important. Time is precious. I know all these things, yet I rarely live it, So, let’s start on a journey together: in what areas of your life do you feel grey? Or that they just don’t serve a purpose? I think that’s my biggest deal right now, that most of my day “is a waste,” of feeding, cleaning, wiping, correcting, etc. I need to make some changes around here. What we do is so important, Mamas. I pray that today, your day is so RELEVANT.