Monday, May 28, 2012

When The World Stops

Source: via Hannah on Pinterest

When your world has stopped you feel like the world itself should as well. It doesn't. Anger is what is left in that realization's wake. That and those daily reminders that the world still spins.

The run rises and sets.

Clouds float.

The phases of the moon changes as days swell into a month.

There is no more gray. Just a whole lot of black.

The world, for you, has stopped but it hasn't stopped for others.

For others, it still spins in its same majestic splendor.

Weekends are packed with exciting plans.

Weddings full of new beginnings and big dreams take place.

Babies are born and taken home.

But for you, the world stopped and grew black and you can't see.

You don't want to see. It hurts to remember.

Isn't it interesting?

Your world has stopped and yet you're reminded that on some level, it still spins.

The moon changes through those phases.

Seasons roll into the next.

You have little glimmers that your world will resume. You are tapped on the shoulder with a whisper and it says, it was you that changed, not the world.

It was you that changed, not your God.

Before, when my life was full of plans and beauty and the light of the sun, others were hurting. Others were left wondering why their world had stopped.

It isn't the world that changes, it is us.

It isn't our God that changes, it is us.

I will never be the same. I refuse to let death and that grave define me. It is not all that I am.

But because of the gift of Emmerson and Vivienne and that grave, I am not the same.

As Fall brought forth death, Winter the quiet of the stillness and Spring the warmth and beauty of new life, I too slowly became less blinded by the sunlight.

I am actually starting to enjoy it again.

I am enjoying the unfolding of the day.

But I have changed. With the enjoyment of a day and the basking in the sun, I know that this day may cause someone elses world to stop. With that realization I am filled with a gratefulness and an appreciation for this day . . . this  moment.

I have lived and breathed in the black of the pit.

I have witnessed the ugly. I have walked with it and it's only because of the ugly that for the first time, I can see and behold the beauty.

It wasn't the world or my God that changed, it was me. 


Friday, May 25, 2012


After yesterdays little venting post, I felt like I received a gentle reminder when I hopped over to Lisa Jo's Blog and saw the topic for today. Funny how life works like that sometimes.

Today's Topic: Opportunity

Yesterday I was feeling overwhelmed, stressed, frustrated, under-appreciated and not worthy. I feel like society puts a lot of importance on Mother's who work outside of the home and undervalues those who don't. I admit, I'm a little stuck in that mind frame as well even though I've been staying at home with my three year old for a year now.

I feel like I am constantly fielding questions about what I do all day and how could I be tired when I don't have to go to work everyday. So, I try not to complain or vent when I am around working moms. However, I do envy them a little bit. They are able to leave the house and go somewhere for a set number of hours for the day without their child. They get to escape the chaos of the house. I feel like I am constantly submerged in it. The chaos is always staring me down.

I can tell you this and I think rather fairly since I have also been a working mom, I am more exhausted and feel like I do so much more in a day then I ever did working a 12 hour shift in the NICU.

I was venting yesterday. I was wanting a job outside of the house . . .

And then, today, I saw one single word - opportunity - and I felt revived.

Isn't that what life is full of but we are so busy to take notice sometimes?

I have this amazing opportunity to stay-at-home with my daughter during these primitive years. I get that privilege. I know some women don't have the choice and they would love nothing more than to stay at home. I will try not to complain anymore.

I have this amazing opportunity to be the one to instill values and integrity in my daughter. I know what she has learned and experienced. I get to be the one to teach her and show her the world.

And I get to witness her being in awe of it all.

I think that's pretty amazing.

I think all I needed was a new set of glasses to reset my vision.

I have the opportunity to stay at home with my child and while that brings a sometimes overwhelming responsibility, it is always a once and a life-time experience.

I won't get these moments back. They are all too fleeting . . .


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Patience Is A Virtue

I think I have mentioned here before how one of my virtues is not patience.

However, when my three year old was a baby, my husband was shocked, SHOCKED, at the level of patience I had for her. 

I, on the other hand, was not. I have always loved babies and small children. 

I was, however, shocked at the lack of patience my husband had for her. Not in a bad way. My husband has an obscene amount of patience. It really pisses me off sometimes. I mean, how can one person have THAT MUCH patience?

So, anyway, I was shocked, when for once, I had more than he did.

I used to have a lot of patience for toddlers too. That is, until a certain toddler became my child. 

The tides have changed once again.

My patience level is almost always teetering around empty. When my husband comes home, I am more than happy to throw the reigns in his face and take off running in the opposite direction. 

I usually don't run. I do throw those reigns as far as I can though. I know I need to get away and so does my husband. He offers me some time to myself but I am always torn between spending time together, as a family, and getting some much needed solitude . . . me time. 

He misses a lot when he is gone the majority of the week, every week. And we miss him too. There are so many family things that we miss out on together. My daughter and I will still do them but they are not the same without him. 

The other day my husband was getting ready to leave for another trip and I was on the verge of tears. I didn't know if I had enough left in me to go it alone for another week. I begged him to let me fly his plane and for him to stay at home. A little background: my husband has dreamed of being a stay-at-home dad. He looked at me and said, NO WAY! Not because he didn't think I wouldn't do a good job flying his aircraft but because he wanted to get away. 

Our daughter is very sweet and well mannered (I work tirelessly to ensure that she is polite and respects people) but she can also be challenging. She is three years old but thinks she is 20. She is VERY strong-willed, opinionated and determined. She is like her dad in that she will not take no for an answer. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, bath time and picking out clothes are battlegrounds. All of this wears me out and tests my patience. This past month I have felt like I have been on the verge of losing it with her too many times. I start believing that I was not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom. 

I also tell myself that I am the only one who gets like this. Other moms do it everyday with a lot more calm and control than I do. Other moms do not let their children get the best of them. 

I also wonder, when these lies start digging, if this is why Emmerson and Vivienne did not survive. Did God know that I would not be able to handle it? 

I want to go back to work but do I want to go back for the wrong reasons? I want to go back to work but we (my husband and I) feel that staying home and giving her that extra security is extremely important. Her Daddy is not home much, his schedule changes often and this last year has been stressful for her too. I'm sure it was even scary for her. She witnessed her mommy turn into a zombie. She saw, everyday and for months, her mommy sob and stare off into space. She has started to ask more and more questions about her sisters. Some of them I can answer and others, I cannot. She is three years old and asking some very grown-up questions. She is three years old and knows that death means you don't get to see them again. I want to be here for her now. I want her to know that I am back and that I love her so very much. I want to reassure her that I am her Mommy and that I am capable.

I don't want to miss these moments with her when she changes daily. These moments are so fleeting and I know there will come a day when I miss all of this. Even the tantrums she throws over clothes. I want to give her a solid foundation and we believe it starts at home. We don't believe it is up to others to shape and give values to our children. If we don't do it, no one else will. I rarely give her a break and I never give myself a break where she is concerned. 

But my patience level is low. So very low. 

And I have to be honest, it is a little validating when I see the most patient man I have ever known, struggle with control over his patience when interacting with our daughter. It makes me feel like maybe, after all, I am not the only one.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

I've held beauty in my hands.

Right there. Where I could witness it up close. Where I could touch it and feel it. Where I could pull it close to my heart.

I've held beauty.

I've held miracles in my arms.

I've held beauty and miracle as it teetered that precious line of life and truly living.

And for some reason, that doesn't make me as sad you as you would think. I was there for my babies through it all. I held them and carried them and loved them through it all.

From beginning to end and beyond, I have loved them.

It doesn't matter if you can see the number of children I have in my arms, they are in my heart.

It stings a little when only one is acknowledged but it doesn't matter. The truth resides where it needs to. It rests in that sacred place and brings peace.

Yesterday I was awakened with two smiling faces wishing me a Happy Mother's Day. My daughter jumped on the bed with me and gave me a card. It had Belle from Beauty and the Beast on it (that is her favorite princess) and when the card opened, Be Our Guest started playing. She was so excited about the card that she ripped it out of my hands. But I still saw. Before she took the card, stood up and started singing and dancing along to the song right there on my bed, I saw.

All of my children had signed that card.

Alexandria, Emmerson and Vivienne.

I smiled and cried and thanked my husband for his thoughtfulness.

His reply was, You are still their Mother.

Mother's Day can be bittersweet for those who have lost their mothers.

It can also be bittersweet for those of us who have lost their children.

I am learning and accepting that holidays and important occasions are going to be just that: Bittersweet.

But my husband is right. Death did not steal from me the privilege of being their mommy. I will always be their mommy.

I just love and mother in a different way.

All mothers hold precious love in those deep crevices of her heart. All mothers hold hurt as well. There is always pain where there is deep love, profound growth and the letting go.

Motherhood takes a strength that would make most break. But to be a mommy when a child or baby has died . . . I don't know what that kind of strength is called . . . it is something far beyond strength though.

To all you mother's out there, whether you love here in the physical or you love from a strength like no other, Happy Mother's Day!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Do You Believe You're Amazing?

I am a lover of many things. Nature, photography, writing, running, people, my husband and my three beautiful daughters.

I am also a lover of books.

I can usually start and finish a book in no time flat.

Other times, life gets in the way and those books are left sitting on my night stand.

This book fell victim to life getting in the way.
It didn't make reading it any less enjoyable though. As I read, I felt like I was really sitting across the table from Holley in a coffee shop.

As the rich aromas of competing coffees mingled in the air, Holley talked to my heart.

Words every woman needs to hear. Words every woman needs spoken to her in love.

The truth is in the title, You're Already Amazing, but it's so easy to forget and so hard to remember when life gets in the way. Just when I thought reading this book and the deadline I had couldn't have come at a worse time, it was only when I finished that I realized it came at the right time.

Life has a way of getting in the way of well . . .  life. When that happens the reflection in the mirror tells you that you are failing, you could do better, you are not enough, everyone else can avoid the blows so why can't you?

Those lies! And that is exactly what they are . . . lies. They have a way of eating you from the inside out. They have a way of taking up residence and making you believe that they are truth.

In her book, Holley gently but firmly gives you the correct truth. And that truth is that we are all amazing. We were perfectly made and when we start trying to change or avoid who God made us to be, we are tampering with a well designed instrument that was created to sing a different note so together, a beautiful symphony of sound would result.

Our reactions, our emotions can sometimes take us by surprise or cause us to feel ashamed. It is no secret that I have had my share of emotions these last ten months. Deep grief, intense anger, unbelievable sadness, and that empty feeling. I didn't plan to bury two of my daughters. I didn't want it so when these surprising emotions take over, they are unwelcomed guests. They make me believe that I have become someone I was never intended to become.

Holley negated all the way those emotions have lied to me by these words, "We have the capacity to reflect him through our emotions because we're made in his image - every part of us. Those tears you cry. That smile you give. The anger you express at injustice."

She tells us that it is okay. That we are okay. She sits with us and works through our doubts and our fears and then shows us that how we were made, who we are and who we are becoming is okay. It is right. It is not a mistake.

~ I'm slowly learning it's not about being perfect but about being perfectly loved
Holley Gerth in You're Already Amazing



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