Great Things

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I had someone I'm not in any way close to tilt her head to the side the other day as I passed by her and  ask, "And how are you doing, Adrienne?"  L and I were trying to make to an elevator before it closed, so I just politely, quickly answered, "I'm doing ok."  I am, too.   I am ok.  I mean, I wasn't going to delve into the depths of my soul with her, but it's true.

Physically I'm pretty much back to normal.  I have probably just one more blood test to take just to make sure everything is good, but I feel pretty great physically.   I'm thankful for that, because even though I genuinely like my doctor and think she's awesome, I'll be ok not seeing her for a while.  It will be nice to not have my arms look like pin cushions too.

Emotionally, I'm in a really good place.  I've not been without joy these last few weeks.  I'm not going to lie and say that I don' t have my moments, but as a whole, I'm doing well.  I think a lot of people are expecting me to just...  I don't know... collapse?  The thing is,  though physically this miscarriage was worse than the first one we had, emotionally, spiritually is has been much easier.  My marriage is in a better place than it was five years ago, and I am in a better place in regards to my relationship with God.

That's the thing too.  I trust God's will and His plan.  I think I've mentioned it before, but the morning before that fateful appointment when we learned we weren't welcoming home a new family member in November, I was reading in Luke Chapter 8, starting at verse 16.  One portion of that selection is where Jesus healed the man who was possessed with the legion of demons.  Once the man was free, he begged to stay with Jesus.  Jesus, however, had other plans for him.  In verse 39 Jesus commanded the man to “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you (NKJV)."  I highlighted that verse, feeling God would have something for me to say that day.  I just hoped it wouldn't be what it was.

I've mentioned it before, but there's a great shroud of mystery in our society regarding miscarriage.  No one really talks about it.  In fact, we're encouraged to not announce pregnancies until after the first trimester, because so many end in miscarriage before that time.  I've been on that bandwagon.  Heaven knows it's not easy telling people that you're not pregnant anymore.  It's one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do - in some ways more difficult than the actual miscarriage.  Of course one of the reasons it's so difficult is because people don't know how to react.  So, I feel that one of the reasons we've one through this trial is because God wants us to talk about it in order to help others heal.  He wants me to tell what great things He is still doing in my life.

That first week, before the actual miscarriage started, we were in shock and tried our best to do everything as normal.  Throughout everything, we've tried to keep everything as normal as possible, especially for Ladybug and ourselves.  The things that people did that meant the most to us were the kind texts and messages, the flowers from a friend on my birthday, the offer of a dinner cooked even though the scheduling didn't work out, friends taking L when we had to go to the ER and watching her during one my followup appointments with my own doctor, and a special care package from a friend miles away.  Most of all, your prayers have been felt and appreciated.

What I've learned so far in being so open is that some people have a lot of questions about miscarriage, because, again, it isn't discussed.  So, I've tried to answer them to the best of my abilities.  I want to tell everyone how God has carried me through this.  He is indeed good.  That same morning I read on in Luke 8 the account of the woman who bled for twelve years touching Jesus' cloak and being healed.  Jesus told her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace (NKJV)."  I have a peace about me like no other, and I am of extremely good cheer.

Every Day I Fail: Grace In Motherhood

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Each and every day, I pray that I am the above things as a wife, a mother, a friend, and just a general person.  Then almost each and every single day, I fail at one or more.  I lose patience.  I am unkind. I am prideful.  I am ungrateful.  I am selfish.  I fail to understand.  I allow little things to irritate me.  I lose my temper.  I fail.  

Some days are easier than others.  Some take everything out of me, and again I feel as if I am constantly failing.  I feel like I don't do enough (whatever enough may be).  I feel as though I should be more (again, what exactly is more?).  We are always being fed pictures of the lives of others who seem to have it all together on social media.  I must constantly remind myself that I'm seeing what others want me to see, not necessarily the whole story.  I don't see the messes, the tantrums, or the frustration.  Sometimes that's all I see in my own life.  I only hear the whining.  I only see the uncleaned house, and I feel as if I have failed.

That's it though.  I feel as if I have failed.  Some days I really do fail, and some I don't.  Most days I'm just battling through the trials of trying to raise a small person to be all the things I pray to be, and it isn't easy.  Kids aren't born good, they aren't born these things.  They are taught them.

So, with every, "Thank you, Mom, for giving me clean laundry." and "Thank you, Mom for changing my sheets." and "Thank you, Mom for reading books to me," I realize that I'm not really failing after all.  The days can be long and hard, but I'm investing in the long haul, the big picture, even if it's difficult in the moment.

None of us is perfect, and there are always those days when we're at our wit's end.  That's when grace comes in.  We are saved by the grace of God and not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9), meaning we can't do more and enough works to get into Heaven.  So also, we must realize that not one of us is a perfect mother, and we will not raise perfect children.  We must pray diligently and lead our children by example, just as Jesus is our example.  I don't know about you, but just as Jesus grants us grace, I'm constantly having to be merciful with L and give her grace as well.  

Motherhood is hard.  Not one of us is perfect.  We all fall.  We all fail.  Thank goodness occasionally failing at the little things doesn't mean we've failed at motherhood or life as a whole.  There's always grace, and we while we're doling it out to our children, we should remember to save a portion for ourselves.  Being a mom is hard enough.  It would be impossible without grace.

Randomosity: Oh What a Week

Friday, May 8, 2015

After all of my serious posts the past two weeks, I've wanted to post some lighter stuff so, here's the latest Randomosity.

  • Everyone I know keeps posting pictures of just-hatched baby birds on their Facebook and Instagram feeds.  Newborn birds  They're just UGH!  You know, with their giant eyes and all.  No thank you!
  • L is on a huge super heroes kick.  If 2014 was the year she discovered princesses, then 2015 is the super heroes year.  She's mainly a DC universe girl.  She has decided that she is Wonder Woman, Lucy is Superman, and Dory is Batman. We've also been watching some Avengers and Captain America, because we already love Agent Carter.   Ladybug still loves princesses, but I'm thrilled her horizons have expanded.  I can't wait until the DC Super Hero Girls comes out this fall.
  • Speaking previously of Agent Carter, I'm thrilled it was renewed for another season.  I'm also unhappy that Forever wasn't.  That was a good show, and I hate that it's over just as Jo found out about Henry.
  • Last week Christy Nockels released a live album titled "Let It Be Jesus."  I think it was fortuitous timing, and my personal song of the week so far has been "Freedom Song."
  • This little thing called the Bentonville Film Fest has been going on this week.  I've been a little bummed that I wasn't able to go to any of it.  I especially wanted to take L to the A League of Their Own game and showing at Arvest Ballpark last night but wasn't sure if I felt up to it yet.  Maybe they'll do it again next year.
  • Along the lines of TV, a lot of people don't like how Grey's Anatomy jumped a year after the death of Derek Shepherd.  I actually do.  I think Meredith and Amelia are both realistically dealing with their grief and I don't think we needed to go through that crappy first year after.
  • We had a houseguest this past week.  Bart's brother's family left their lab Apache with us while they visited their previous post in Colorado.  She was basically the easiest houseguest ever except for the whole part of her being on Eastern time and wanting breakfast at 5:30 every morning.  Now my girls are used to it too.  I've been sleeping later recently, but I would prefer no to be woke up until at least 6.  She gets along great with the girls.  She and Dory are almost exactly the same age and have always played well.  I do think Dory's kind of glad to see her go though.  She seemed to be acting a little like Jan Brady while Apache was here.
  • We've been watching a lot of baseball at our house lately.  Now that things have changed, we're looking to go to another Cardinals game some time in early fall.
  • Next week or the next, I'm going to start getting up early to bike with Dory in the mornings.  I know better than to try with Lucy.  She doesn't exercise before 8 in the morning.
  • I was reading over on The Big Mama Blog yesterday her list of books to read in the summer and some of the suggestions in the comments where I saw several people suggest LM Montgomery's "The Blue Castle."  I adore all of Montgomery's books, especially the "Anne of Green Gables" series, so I had to chime in that it is a great read.  It is NOT a children's book, but it's definitely not "Fifty Shades of Grey" either.  Anyway, I'm going to have to give it a read again soon, I think.
  • For my birthday this year, Bart got me gift cards to Easy and Shutterfly.  With the Etsy one I ordered giant Scrabble letters for our last name.  They came in today.  Now I have to find something to put in place of our wedding picture.  I've been planning to do that for a while now.  It's more than time for a change.
  • I have felt led to be very open and share what we've been going through lately, because there's too much shame and secrecy when it comes to miscarriage, and there shouldn't be.  For anyone wanting to catch up on what's been going on lately, read these:
  • Lastly, to everyone who has sent me a message or just checked on me, thank you so very much.  Every prayer, every word has been felt and appreciated.  

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