Thursday, January 5, 2017

Fragile Life

I wrote this Summer of 2015 - and just now sharing it. A reminder of how long the struggle I currently feel has lasted. I know 1.5 years is not so long in the grand scheme, but trust me it began before I put it into words. I didn't post it because I remember writing it and thinking "I just don't want to share that much" and I didn't want people to read this and go "Why?" Now I just don't care how my words are received and KNOW more than ever, and have become aware, that other people relate to this feeling, especially my fellow married mommas.. So enjoy - its real honest.....

"Today feels like glass, a glass that is sitting on a counter, in a kitchen with two little children running around it and its not broken but it could be. That glass is full of our life. We are living around it and trying to live this amazing, best life - but it is fragile and it could get damaged. Have I deceived myself that the glass is really plastic and would not break? Have I convinced myself the ability to reach it and knock it ground, letting it shatter is just to far to reach? I think I have. I have told myself that its a glass that will never be broken, but it could be - it could be reached and when it is, it is glass that will shatter and that life will be broken. My marriage is fragile! Why? Because of what could be! It can be whole or it can fail and become pieces of something that was once really beautiful and lovely to look at. All the choices we make around that glass need to be choices that protect it and the ensure it is setting in the safest place. We are not swatting it, fighting it, or trying to intentional throw it to the ground to destroy it - we want it to hold our life together. And my children, they are fragile, they are also rowdy - and their glass requires my protection! So I protect it vigilantly, constantly, I shield it from their swipes and rambunctiousness. I teach them and guide to a place they know its value and choose to let it be protected and remain whole - as least I hope I do. There is, for me, this constant battle around this glass, all the what-ifs that could get to it, hurt it, crack it, and just plain leave our life glass in need of repair, knowing the veins of brokenness will always be seen - I dont want a repaired glass - I want a whole glass, a pretty glass - why cant I just have that."

And that was all I wrote, and I remember being damn frustrated when I wrote it! Today I would say, there are definitely nicks in the glass, I just cant require as much perfection and flawlessness as I once wanted. I think today ME would say to younger ME "Sometimes just enough is ENOUGH." Who in my life has heard me say that? Show of hands please!!! I think this little truth can be applied to Faith, marriage, child rearing, and just surviving.. And I know my friends who love Jesus, like me will say, "Well, Jesus wants you to Thrive!" I mean there is a whole dang song about it, but I think Jesus tells us "Sometimes I give you just enough and only your faith thrives." For me, in the imperfection of living and defending the life that is best, I realize the best knowledge to thrive is just knowing He is with me all the time, in spite of it all, you know what I am sayin'?

A whole thought, completed and done... With lots of love, hugs and honesty from this mommas heart to you.....

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Evidence

My eldest daughter E is evidence that I had no idea what I was doing when I became a parent! I did everything wrong, I functioned in survival mode and THAT. WAS. IT. I survived it, and guess what - my girl is a pretty incredible human and I am in love with her. But she is the proof, to this day, that I was clueless and "flying by the seat of my pants" daily!
My second child, is evidence that I actually knew what I was doing the second time around. I mean I was still a far cry from "the book," and the book was tossed out for good the first time around. AND of course, I am still messy and quirky ME; he is just the proof that I was a more ready parent!
I mean I not sure when he actually slept through the night, but my four year old has yet to, less a few RARE nights, so is that enough evidence for you? I think so.

I have been thinking of this post and this idea of the reflection of my parenting in each of my children a lot this past week. Bedtime for our youngest is: PJS, bottle, bed. Prayers are usually said for him outside his door because he hates to be disturbed.. When he is tired all he wants is that bed, no cuddles, no people... E on the other hand is: PJs, teeth, fight for 10 minutes to get her in her room, read books (if she haven't lost that privilege in that prior 10 minutes), pray, rub back, convince her to close her eyes, sit at the end of the bed until she falls asleep, and be as quiet as a mouse as you escape her pink paradise!!!

Evidence: I was a new, sleepless mom - I was nursing, I was to scared to let her sleep with us but I didn't know what to do and I was barely functioning. So I nursed her in our bed, which turned into her sleeping in our bed. Once we transitioned her to her own bed, she literally woke up every night and would come get in bed with us and I let her in my exhaustion!

Well, every night I reminded of my clueless, survival history! And, if I am 100% honest, I am SOOO at PEACE about it. I am so at peace as to the parent I was and have become. I didn't know what I was doing, "the book" parenting isn't me; I am so good with that!  I am at peace with my clueless history and I am fine with the decisions and the impact on our lives today. When I literally lay J baby down and he falls asleep independently, and then I have to go through the long process with E girl, every night is just a reflection of my parenting made solely from my experience the first time versus the second.

So as I have been thinking, why does the evidence matter? My kids are the proof of my parenting, they are just innocent to it, but who they are rests in who I am to them. And dang, I think I am a pretty great momma. I am a mess momma, but I like what the evidence says about me 90% of the time.
I love that my children are evidence of me, who I was and who I became; oh and for kicks lets throw in, who I'm becoming... I am sure parenting a teen won't be excessively similar to snotty noses and poopy diapers... But I know that what I am doing now will obviously have a lasting impact on who that teen girl and boy are one day... as evidenced by the baby girl that slept by me and her daddy and now needs "company" every night in order to enter dreamland.. oh yeah, that's my fault.....
Hmm... (shoulder shrug)

Spiritually speaking we to are a reflection of our Heavenly Father - and I'm still working on it, okay!

And just one last thing:

No offense, but refrain -

NO PARENTING ADVICE IN THE COMMENTS! I got this, promise.. and lots of love! -Rebecca

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Mom(ent) of Infinite Wisdom

Epiphany after epiphany and in the moment, I am like "Yes, that is so smart" "Gosh, that was a good one" "I am genius" and then I forget my little nugget of wisdom later. This is why good bloggers - blog daily. In fact I think within those past nuggets were some viral catching stuff - like stuff that would radically change mothers conversations, make a huge wave of change for mommas, and propel me to mommy stardom - but since I can't seem to remember much of what I wanted to write... well, you get this instead... and it ain't much! 

hahaha..

I do have something that is really good, I have one thought and learned moment I can share. A few weeks ago I visited a beautiful church, full of wonderful women, and sat in their class as their leader poured out her heart to us. It was very good, like amazingly good to hear. It was incredibly emotional and being me, ugh.. It just got me. 
So lets back track, since Jackson was born I have called him my "redeeming baby" because I will be honest, some people would view him as a replacement baby - so I just needed to nip that in the bud and give him a proper title for his placement in our family. Redeeming  baby is such a perfect name, but I never, ever went there with it. Researching what it meant it and never pressed what his title really is deep into my heart. Until I sat and listened to this teacher. She spoke of what redemption is. Redemption is what heals God wrath against our sin, granted us through Jesus sacrifice on the cross. 

"WHAT!! Yes, that is it - Lord, You had me calling Jackson my redemptive baby because OH MY, his birth healed my wrath against the painful past of losing my children to miscarriage." As pleased as I always was over my children's place in heaven, there was pain. Unwanted pain, that I would never wish on anyone. Unwanted fears over even trying to have another child (one whom I am grateful to know now). In fact, I now realize there was anger in me, anger that said "Why does this have to be our story God" that was only answered by accepting God providence and will for our family. AND... just because I accepted it does not mean I was happy about it, but now on the other side of redemption I can see a little more clearly! The moment was this, remembering Jackson's birth, as if it were a picture in my head. The moment when I first heard Jackson cry and got to touch his flesh with my hands and hold him. That moment was many moments, but I see them as almost still frames in my mind. But right now I am sitting in a room, and as I listen to the teacher talk about what redemption is; the impact of what Jackson's birth was, is overwhelming me. It's a picture full of joy and peace, which only come when you have received the redeeming, granted by our Lord. Holding Jackson I am not harboring my fears anymore, he is here. My anger is evaporated because without the loss, I may never have met this boy whom I cannot imagine my life without. Life would have been different, I would have wanted it, but God providence didn't. Yet, when I met my redemption, I could not have accepted it more, I lovingly embraced it... It came in a tiny baby boy, all 7 lbs 12 oz of him. My wrath healed, and "Lord, I thank you for him. Next to your redeeming grace for my soul and salvation, he is the best redemption I could have ever wanted, but I didnt even know I really needed. Thank You so much."

-Rebecca

Friday, June 5, 2015

Spectacular Endings!

Chase and I are going on our first weekend getaway, no kids, just friends, rest, and reconnect! However, J is still nursing, and since I don't know if he will want to continue when I return, I feel like it could be the end. Some of that feels okay to me, but if it is the end I want to like soak today like a sponge. Nursing isn't for everyone, but it is for me. I love the ease of not having to pack bottle, its just right there - it takes time, but for the most part I consider myself to lazy to bottle feed. This is not a feeding debate, so keep reading - its about the feelings behind the endings of things.  When E stopped nursing I had just gotten out of the hospital from my second miscarriage. I was on a lot of medication from some severe problems I had with that loss. I was depressed and I was done. I hated being done, but more than that I hated that the end of it came so rapidly, it was just over, no long goodbye; I ended it. The situation only made it worse, and now facing the end of this time with J, where he wont need me as much, because bottles are bonding for everyone; I am losing my exclusive title! (selfish, I know)
Anytime something ends we feel like it should be remarkable - we want to really make sure that we remember the goodness that has come and now gone. Graduations are a great example of that, parents cry, they want a perfect ceremony - they want to inhale and never exhale the memories of their child's  prior youth, but celebrate the accomplishments too! And I mean we have tons of graduations, K4, Kindergarten, 5th grade, 8th grade, High School, College, Masters... I mean it is an event that we will have A LOT! Its the future....
I keep focusing on the future, and even in the short term it seems unknown. E is gaining smarts, vocabulary, and changing. I feel like I can't catch her, like she is beyond where I see her constantly. Before I really get to enjoy one new thing about her, she begins another and her life is growing, world expanding. I want a spectacular life with her. I want to celebrate who she is and who she becomes. J may be having his first of many lasts with me today, I am not ready. Teary mommy over here would love to press pause, not go on this trip, but there is this other man in my life who is growing too. Sometimes in the midst of busyness with little ones, I forget my husband is growing and changing too - and I forget to learn him and celebrate his moments. Its easy with kids they turn one year old and you buy CAKE and let them smash it, they use the potty for the first time you FREAK OUT and throw confetti. Adults, we tend to forsake in that category!
There is so much expectation about celebrating these ending, even if it not an event, our internal mind and heart want these endings to feel BIG. The bigger they feel, the more important and potent they will remain in our memories! My fear today is that I wont be able to make the most of this day, my last potential time nursing J, his first of many lasts he will have as he grows and doesn't rely on me as much. That somehow in my mind I will forget today. I feel like it should impact me so deeply, but it is scary to think today will end and I could somehow miss having a good enough memory of today to satisfy my expectation of today's ending! I have nothing more than that to say, I just wrote this because if I can collect my thoughts for today, maybe in the future I will have this day be remember as something special.
SO I will go on this trip and celebrate something else, that isn't even close to ending, my marriage! I will cherish how it is growing too, and make this a spectacular beginning (weekends away will be a thing for us now, YAY), as another chapter of motherhood, potentially, comes to an end ... Oh, and I might have a crawler when I get back too!

-Rebecca
First Day of K3

Last Day of K3

Getting in my cuddles while I can!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Her little eyes are resting!

E sleeping has become one of my favorite times to watch her; mainly because I am exhausted the rest of the day from trying to "watch" her. Lately, the trend of putting her to bed means she is near me, laying in her bed or mine - we talk and she slowly drifts to sleep! The other night I was putting her to bed, she sweetly says "Mommy, I love you" I remind her I love her - she gently closes her eyes and in that moment, as weird as this sounds I saw her 25 year old self. Somehow she looked so grown to me, tears filled my eye, even writing this now I have tears. All of the sudden I wanted to cling to that moment, she is 3, she will be 3 forever, 25 wont come, but it will. I felt it. I wanted time to literally stop. My darling is growing, she is changing, she is little, but not for long enough to satisfy my heart, at least not in that moment. Night after night I look at her, since that moment passed... Some nights she looks like a little girl, clinging to her momma for the attention she needs, as being a big sissy means giving up some of "our" time. Some nights, she is independent and lays in her bed alone, waving bye to me, as if me walking 10 feet requires a good-bye. Some nights, like now, she is laying on my legs as I type - she fell asleep in my presence, just for nearness sake and because she didn't want to be alone in her room. Her little eyes are resting now - and I am watching her. Not in "I'll be watching you" by The Police way, but in a "I am your momma, I love you, I cherish you, I treasure you little, I anticipate you growing, I am holding onto you, I am here, My daughter, My darling, Stay close." and she does, for now!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

MotherDaughter

Fact 1: When my armpits stink, they smell exactly like my mothers. Interesting right? More interesting is why I know the smell of my mom armpits, but in fact, tonight I smelled "her" when in fact I was the one stinking.... So this is life of Mothers and Daughters, you absolutely best and worst rolled into one another. Tonight as we were making our way home from E's game, baby is screaming because he hates the car and wants to nurse, E is screaming because well, because she is 3 and that seems to be her norm lately.. Best way to not freak out in a moment like that.. Listen to worship music and say nothing! I win this one, it didn't feel like a win, but I won. I kept my cool, more on that later!

Lately, life has been absolutely, positively, completely... indescribable, and not because it is so good. It's because I cant even begin to explain what is going on. Today my chest was heavy all morning, tears as I was driving around, running errands, seeking the solace of my moms company for lunch. The idea that at any moment, I am going to break, helpless to make a positive change because I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO. I am a confused mother, frustrated!
How do you help your daughter who is just like you, her mother? She IS just like me, should that not make life easy as pie, I mean who knows ME better than ME? (Answer: God). All her fun sassiness, her humor, her extreme energy, she is the me wish I was all the time when it comes her to positive characteristics. E is loving, compassionate, perfectly feisty, friendly, and loves others. I know that God gifted her those things, as He did to me (wow, I sound so vain right now). BUT, she is also the worst of me... I don't want to flaunt our flaws but they begin with a strong will that won't let go. Her likeness to me makes me think I should understand her more, and be more aware and able to handle her behaviors. I tell myself, how would I want someone to deal with me in this situation? What would have worked to help me do better? I come up blank... Or when I come up with some great logic, it is lost on her - because she is 3. I absolutely don't think it's an excuse - she gets plenty of consequences, but they are often ineffective or the effect is extremely short term. Today I was at the end of my ability to deal.. and then the kids are screaming in the car. Losing at this mom thing was on the horizon for me. I have felt so done, I knew I could not give up on my kids, but I was somehow accepting that I could not win! And if I could not win then our future was bleak at best. "Just give me a vacation!!!" was the cry of my head, "I need an out for now, time to regroup!" I am about to lose it - I decide to worship, and like I said I somehow won. Here is why...

Awesome timing on songs always gets me in those moments of utter chaotic insanity. Mandisa's "Overcomer" came on and I remember, vividly, driving to work singing that song in the midst of my heartache over the loss of our children in these past years. Crying tears of sadness, feeling like I would never overcome those trying times, fearing another lost baby. Yet, tonight as I am stressing out, listening to two children literally screaming, suddenly I hear "God is holding you right now" and a feeling of thankfulness swept over me. Thinking that the baby screaming is the baby I longed for while wailing that song out all that time ago, and then the reason my 3 years old is having emotional, transitional issues is because of that very little baby, I have everything I longed for. Never did I picture it like this, it is a much poetic and lovely looking picture in my mind, but none the less I got it all - I didn't give up or give in to the lies and loss then, I won - I overcame, it was really a beautiful perspective. It didn't make the car quieter, but my heart became happier to deal with the situation (aka the shreks of children)! I am not sure that I will feel like winner tomorrow much more than I did in the past days, or that I will "win" every battle with my 3 year old self (hehehe), but I will keep tonight in mind. God equipped me to be a mom, today, yesterday and He will again tomorrow.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Broken and Mended

How could this week have been so mentally challenging. I am not sure why this week all of my grief came to a head, and why my scars, figuratively, began to bleed a little. I am usually a glass-half-full girl, with rose colored glasses on, and that is who I love being. I enjoy finding "joy in the journey" - I absolutely thought I was fine: BUT,

I am extremely hormonal. So worth it, I would want these hormones all over the place, because it means I just had a baby - whom I adore!

I went back to work, which was an unexpected blessing, but going in I absolutely didn't know how I was going to feel.

I realized how much I miss my "old" life. Yet, knowing I am in the best place possible to live in obedience to the Lord and enjoy the reality I get to give my children a legacy of faith and family because we are so close to experience our families faith in our daily lives! (I just got this tidbit of truth put into me this morning at church and I needed it)

I don't know how to word this last challenge - Jackson is so valued to me, because of the time and loss we endured before he arrived. Yet, he doesn't replace what we lost - and feeling as though I suddenly can't hold onto my loss so tightly, because I have a child to celebrate, is tough. For the past two and a half years, the loss became a part of me. The broken part of me from that time in our lives, I still feel the impact of that pain. Now, I felt healing before Jackson came, but it is a scar; a scar that is tender to the touch. I felt healed in the waiting and it wasn't because I had any assurance of a child to come. In fact, many days I tried to accept that Elizabeth could be our only earthly child. Yet, when I prayed I knew God wanted obedience in my faith, and for me to know He didn't have to fulfill His promise of another child by my standards. I just knew He wanted us to have another child, whether it was a child to keep here or there. Today, we are on the other side of that obedience, we have a child and I don't feel that God has in any way "rewarded" me with a baby, but by making me obey Him, and His having our best in His sight - we have been given Jackson, for the glory of His kingdom.

Whew, okay I re-read those words like three times, I want this written right..
My prayer has changed for our family and for our children, I see them as purposed for God and His glory more than ever. I see our story, Gods plan, as purposed for His kingdom, for His glory - to stand beside the wounded (those who will have a scar like mine in time).

This week God put me face-to-face with each of my pains, I was not ready to face them, but there they were to remind me of when I was broken. To remind me what being mended feels like, how scars feel. I most definitely can't go back, but I have been broken and mended, I have scars!

There are struggles to come, and they are for other reasons then life and loss. I will break again, be mended again, and gain new scars. I pray I won't forget God faithfulness in my past, so I will live in hope during the times of trial. I will remember to walk with those who hurt and bring them to Hope!

Psalm 116 I choose for Jackson - it is two blogs below this, great reading. In addition, Chase and I are memorizing scriptures each month and I think my next will be this:
Deut. 6:5-9 (my thoughts, for reflection)
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children (show them your scars). Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads (remember what the Lord has done for you).Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates"