Sunday, October 4, 2015

Did I see you today?

I held you today. I kissed your forehead and cheeks. I rubbed your head. I changed you, I fed you, and I listened to you. I spent time feeding you. I folded your clothes. I walked up the stairs countless times to put your things away. I held you as you cried, and as you slept. I smelled your skin and wiped your tears.

Every moment today was surrounded by everything that is you.
But it wasn't until those last moments tonight while I had you on the changing table that I saw you. your sparkling blue eyes watching my face and mirroring my smile to you. Your soft noises and your giddy movements.

It was in that moment that I saw you.
The joy your smile and clear recognition of me brought me was immeasurable. It was my favorite moment of the day.

Then I wondered if I had seen your brothers and sisters today. Yes, I cared for them. I cooked for them. I cleaned, washed,wiped, and consoled them. I didn't see them all it seems. They blurred past me like gears in a clock wound too tightly. Flying by me as I blinked. This is why I will sit alone in a chair 40 years from now feeling as though I missed so much.

Tonight as I sit here writing and sipping my wine the thought occurred to me when I noticed my reflection in the screen.
Have I seen me today?
I saw every cobweb,every thing out of place. I looked in the mirror and saw my wrinkles and teeth that need work. I saw my grey hair and my extra pounds. But did I see ME???

I missed it, much like I missed the teen years wishing I could be thinner, prettier, smarter, more liked, famous, talented, and popular.That whole time I wanted to be anyone by me. I never saw the person I am trying to find now.
The woman created in HIS image. The woman who is loved by God and her family and so many other people out there. The person who isn't perfect in any way, because it's those imperfections and wounds that bring me to HIM.
I struggle with this beyond measure. I pray my girls will not. I have changed the voice I use to myself out loud so that they will never hear the same quiet voice I hear in my head. I want them all to see their own beauty and strength. I want them to know their weakness. I want them to know the cross he died on for us.

I struggle every day right now to even get up out of bed. I struggle to sleep at night still more days than I care to admit.

I miss me so much.
But these moments are when I lean on My Savior and breath. The rest is up to him because even though I haven't seen me lately. I have seen HIM.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Where to Put Me

I sat here at the computer thinking "What am I feeling?" and all I could think was " I miss.." but the sentence didn't finish itself. I feel like someone died, but that isn't the case. It's as though someone is missing from my world, but that isn't the case either. The only thing missing , is me.

I don't know where to put myself. I feel restless, and edgy, and dark, and sad. I have so much to be happy for. Beautiful children, an amazing husband, a kitchen I cleaned with a toothbrush and toothpicks... yet, I can't breath. Everything is being put in it's place slowly. My house is getting back to the way I need it to be. I can't put me back together. I don't have a place.

Where do I put me?

There isn't any solace. There isn't any peace. It's as though my soul is just tired.

I lean on God. I pray. I know he has me, and that is likely why I am still pushing through this. My faith is one of the major reasons I am still here. My children need me to be better. My husband needs me to be better. I need this wolf to stop chasing me.

As hard as this is, she is worth it. they all are.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I'm Not Home Yet

This song sparks hope in me. It reminds me that no matter how much suck I have going on right now I am not home. this isn't the end. This isn't what it's about. I am bringing my suffering to the cross and taking rest in him. I try to remember to offer it up for those around me that are hurting and suffering. (thanks for the reminder my friends) In him, With him, and Through him I will find rest. Maybe not while my physical body walks this Earth, but some day.

But I still miss me. I miss the me that felt the sunshine. I miss feeling joy! Not just everyday joy, but the kind of joy that makes your eyes burn with the happiness you cannot contain.
I miss looking around and feeling like my life is a breath of air that fills my lungs. 
I miss the sunshine.
I miss the warmth.
I know I will feel those things again logically. But right now, it feels so hopeless. So impossible. 
It makes me angry.
I should be happy. I have every reason in the world to be happy. I am so blessed! I have amazing kids. a handsome, caring, superhero husband. I have a house that fits us, a yard to play in, and clothes to wear. I have food to eat. I have people praying for me.
Yet, I feel undeserving. I feel selfish for feeling so sad. 
Because I shouldn't feel this way.
I feel like a failure.

But I'm not home yet. This is not where I belong. I belong to HIM, and I belong in the light.The Lord didn't make me to cry and cower. He made me to shine.
It's going to take a while, but I have to believe I will get there somehow.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Tough Choices

Annabelle's first momma kisses
I have a beautiful new baby,her name is Annabelle Rose. We named her after Saint Anne and Saint Mary. She really is wonderfully perfect. I am in love with this precious little life that has been trusted to me for her time on Earth.

Annabelle just hours old
So soft and warm a squishy. She smiles and it lights the room. I can't stop kissing her. Annabelle has a wonderful combination of her two older sisters' features. Delicate like grace but with the same roundness as Evangeline.

Annabelle almost ready to come home.
Everyone loves her! The boys can't get enough of her and are constantly loving on her. Grace watches her sleep in her chair at breakfast and often chooses to sit beside her on the floor with her food. Even Evie loves Annabelle, though their relationship can be a little rough at times.
Kissing Annabelle

Biggest Sister with Littlest Sister

Loves from big brother.
Everyone loves her. She is perfect. I should be over the moon happy. I should be beside myself happy. I have a beautiful new baby girl that I cant put down.

Not because she is fussy, but because I literally cannot put her down without checking her every 5 seconds to see if she is breathing. or bleeding. or choking. or a myriad of other constant crazy  scenarios. I am constantly afraid I might drop her, or bang her into something, or that something is wrong. I worry she isn't eating enough even though she is growing wonderfully. I feel disconnected from her, like I don't really know her.

figuring each other out
And I just can't stop crying.

I feel hopeless, and broken, and stressed. I don't want to leave my house. Even just a trip out to the backyard makes my palms sweat. I don't feel any joy. Her cry makes me anxious, not hurt the baby anxious, just why can't I figure this out sort of anxious.
My anxiety is at an all time high.
I'm not sleeping. Belle sleeps great from 11-4 most nights, but I can't sleep. Most nights I go to sleep around 2 or 3 and I'm up between 5 and 6 for the day. I am so tired but every time I sleep I dream about drowning, or burning, or falling, or being chased by dogs.
I feel like I am living in a black hole without any hope of finding the light. I feel like a failure. I feel like a terrible mother that doesn't deserve this beautiful blessing God has given me. Everyday feels like Groundhog Day, it's all the same and it feels hopeless and lonely.

I am broken.
My husband calls me when I leave the house to make sure I haven't driven my car into the water.
My son asks me why I look sad so often.
My daughter wonders ,out loud, why I don't smile anymore.

I am struggling with post partum depression. I have decided to start medication. My OCD and Anxiety are hard enough to handle on their own, but this has destroyed my ability to function.

I am taking meds because my kids deserve a joyful mother. My husband deserves a joyful wife. I deserve to feel joy.

and I don't.
I am drowning in the deep end of the pool and I forgot my floaties.
I miss the sunshine.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Chased by Darkness

AJ has had a busy week, a birthday, a confirmation, a prom, and a concert!
AJ struggled this week with feeling stressed and full of anxiety. He struggled through feeling as though every inch of him was on fire. My poor sweet boy struggled this week with not having his brother by his side. 

He couldn't understand what was making him feel this way.

Then one car went. Then the next began leaking gas. Then my husband began to feel stressed and upset. Then my father's stress level escalated. Then my mom's anxiety.

Then I understood.
Darkness always tries to steal the light.

I stopped what I was doing and made a conscious effort to pray and get control.
I had to explain to AJ that when we move to be closer to God the evil of the world tries to remove us from the happiness and graces that are headed our way. Because darkness sucks the energy out of the light.
If the darkness steals your light, then it wins.

We can't let that happen.

AJ was confirmed this week. He was sealed with the Holy Spirit! My oldest son was his sponsor. I love how close those boys are!
We were in danger of missing the confirmation, but after some vehicle shuffling we all made it there.
It was an incredible evening and I was so happy to see my son making such a giant step in his faith life!

Pictures You Won't See

In my basement, on a ledge, is a stack of pictures set into frames I never hang. Pictures of the boys in matching yellow and blue sweaters. A picture of the three of us for the church directory. Pictures at Tyler's First Holy Communion. Pictures of the boys

Pictures of my boys and me in the years between. Between Daniel and Trevor, between broken and functional. Between here and there.

Those pictures are too painful to look at. Even 14 years later I still hold my breath when I see them. They bring me no joy. No comfort. My heart skips and I feel my stomach plummet when I see them.
It was by far the worst time in my life, the most painful. It was brutal. The visceral reaction to those photos is overwhelming and unpredictable. They bring me nothing but pain.

And yet I was refined by fire, even then.

I keep those pictures so that my boys will have them some day. I don't want them to not have that piece of their childhood simply because it was dark. It was dark for them too, but it was different in their eyes.

I am finding out how well I protected them during those years. Too well it would seem. There are so many things they don't know. So much I will most likely never tell them.

And yet I was refined by fire, even then.

Those trials as difficult as they were, shaped me into who I am. It created in me the destruction necessary to build an even greater masterpiece. One with faith as the glue.

I was a pretty blue vase.
The was shattered back then. The pieces were so small I couldn't fix it myself.
I had to give myself and all of my brokenness to God.
He created , in me, something amazing and even more precious.
He made me a beautiful serving platter, to serve my family around me.

Here I am , broken again.
The pieces no longer something I can work with.
I have no choice but to hand my brokenness to God and let him work with remains of that platter.
Because as beautiful as it was, it still isn't what I am meant to be.

I have no doubt that I will be remade many times within this parenthesis. Not every time will be this brutal.

But for now,

I am refined by fire.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Sometimes I Get Tired

Sometimes I get tired.
Sometimes I feel like every prayer, every tear, and every breath is missing the mark. Not because of my Lord, but because I am human. because I feel unworthy to be heard.
Sometimes I am just tired

Sometimes I just feel like I am being sucked into a black hole.
sometimes my brokenness just shines brighter than my spirit.

Tonight is one of those nights.
tonight is a night where it feels like evil wins.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Praying for Them

" I told myself that charity should not only be a matter of feeling but should show itself in deeds. So I set myself to do for this sister just what I should have done for someone I loved most dearly. Every time I met her, I prayed for her and offered God all her virtues and her merits. I was sure this would greatly delight Jesus, for every artist likes to have his works praised and the divine Artist of souls is pleased when we do not halt outside the exterior of the sanctuary where He has chosen to dwell but go inside and admire its beauty.
I did not remain content with praying a lot for this nun who caused me so much disturbance. I tried to do as many things for her as I could, and whenever I was tempted to speak unpleasantly to her, I made myself give her a pleasant smile and tried to change the subject. The Imitation says: "It is more profitable to leave to everyone his way of thinking than to give way to contentious discourses."
When I was violently tempted by the devil and if I could slip away without her seeing my inner struggle, I would flee like a soldier deserting the battlefield. And after all this she asked me one day with a beaming face: "Sister Therese, will you please tell me what attracts you so much to me? You give me such a charming smile whenever we meet." Ah! it was Jesus hidden in the depth of her soul who attracted me, Jesus who makes the bitterest things sweet!   pp. 126, 127"The Story of a Soul

We all have those people in our lives. The ones we don't like. The ones we can blame, whether it be righteous or not. We all have those people we would like to banish from our islands to protect our very own sanity. We all have someone to blame. Sometimes that person is staring back at us in the mirror, other times, it's someone with the worst representation of things we dislike in ourselves. Sometimes the person is just so broken that they cannot help but break everyone they come in contact with.  Sometimes, that person deserves our disdain and anger. We want to wish punishment on them. We want to hate them, and they deserve it.

It's so easy to blame and stay angry. I would prefer that entirely. Anger I can handle. I understand it, it's kind of my comfort zone really. Compassion has entered my life the last decade or so. Perhaps it's age and wisdom, or faith. Perhaps Jesus is working on those things in me that are unlikable. In the last 10 years he has smoothed out my edges. I am a work in progress like the rest of us.

I want to be angry. To me anger is like a warm wool coat or an old friend. I take comfort in my anger. It's familiar, safe, and easy.

What is a girl to do when God asks her to step outside of that anger and pain? What then?

You pray for them. That person that is the thorn in your side or knife in your heart. You take a moment and pray. At first it's through gritted teeth, with clenched fists. Despite how you feel. It's brutal and it makes you feel raw and vulnerable.

Then something changes.

You see them for what HE sees them. You see their lonely brokenness. You see the bird that has fallen from the nest. The nest we all worthy of. So you continue to pray, and somewhere along the line, your heart gets healed. Your wounds, your tears, your desperation all fade into the time between.

So you continue to pray... like it or not