Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I'm Learning

I'm learning.  I am grateful for that because I can be a hard-headed little sucker.  But, God never gives up on me and He continues to watch over me and send the people and circumstances needed to get through my thick head.

I feel like I'm floating in a sea of uncertainty.  Nothing is sure or guaranteed.  About the time I think I have things figured out, the rug gets yanked out from under me and I know nothing.  Is that good or bad?  I don't like it, I'm not comfortable with change and the unknown.  But, I know God doesn't want me to get too comfortable and stop growing in His understanding.  I admit, I don't understand.  Why am I in this blackness STILL?  The weeks have drifted by and not much has changed.  I recognize the gifts and signs He has sent me to encourage me and keep me going, but the core issue, my depression, still lingers.  I still don't know the right path of treatment.  I still don't know when He will deliver me from this.  I know He WILL, but when?  I'm not good at waiting, I'm not patient, at all.  Is that part of the lesson?  What am I missing?  I pray He will show me what I should be taking from all this.

I am becoming familiar with a Christian author named Carol Kent.  In one of her books she asks if I turn from God, what will I turn to?  What is out there that I can hold on to, if not God?  Nothing.  So, even as I beat my hands on His chest and cry out from anger and frustration and heartache, I am still turning to Him and not away.  That is so comforting to me.  That I can be angry and frustrated and that it's ok.  That He won't give up on me or turn away.  That He understands every thought, emotion and feeling, rational or not.  And let's face it, more often than not they are irrational.

I want to hand over control, but then I snatch it back.  Who am I that I think I can do things better than Him?  But, I admit, I need control.  I need to know all the whys and hows and whens and what ifs.  If I don't, I feel the anxiety rise in my throat and try to choke me.  I push it down and just try to tighten my grip further.  See?  Hard-headed.  When will I learn to loosen my grip instead of tighten it?  When will I learn to let go and lay it at the foot of the cross?  I am trying to let go, even if just for a minute.  Then, maybe, five minutes, an hour, maybe a day?  I pray that He can show me the trust and faith I need to do that. 

So, I praise Him for another day, full of grace and mercy.  I praise Him for the good and beautiful things in my life.  I even praise Him for this trial, this valley I am walking through.  Because I know at the end of this trial I will have learned something.  I will have added to the testimony of my life and the miracles He has done in it.  He and I have already been through so much together and this is no different.  It hurts, it's not fun, but after emerging from the fire, I'll shine a bit brighter.  He won't give up on me, so I won't give up on me either. 

To God be the glory!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Beasty Baby Boy

I remember praying for a boy while I was pregnant.  Logan, my second child, has been such a joy his whole life.  He was a great baby, toddler and now young boy.  He isn't defiant or disobedient.  All he needs is the wicked eyebrow thrown his way and he straightens right up.  I always say that if I could, I'd clone him a dozen times.  So, I prayed for a boy hoping that that would mean a repeat of Logan.  Well, God answered my prayer, I got another boy.  But, God has a very good sense of humor sometimes when it comes to answering prayers. 

My baby, my Lochlan.  He was a handful from the word Go.  We had sleep issues, nursing issues, etc.  But, the infant stage is my very favorite stage, so I blissfully muddled my way through.  I'm sure I don't remember half of it being the sleep deprived mother you are at that point.  We would nap together and I would breathe in his sweetness as he lay dozing on my chest.  That is my favorite part, the napping on my chest.  I wish that would never end. 

But, as all babies do, he has grown into a feisty toddler that somedays, has my head spinning.  Instead of be like Logan, he seems to reflect the beastiness of my first born, Gillian.  She has been a handful her whole life.  I attributed it to one, being the firstborn and two, being a girl.  But, this little guy of mine sure is taking after sissy.  He has that little glint in his eye that says he's up to no good.  But, how can a kid so cute be such a pill?  Like I said, God's sense of humor.

Struggles and all, I'm blessed.  All three kids are healthy and rarely get sick.  We have obedience issues and training challenges but, that's just part of the parenting package.  I'm so grateful that God has entrusted these three precious lives to me.  I pray I do as good as a job as I can in this imperfect world.  It's hard and some days I want to run screaming from this house.  Some days, I need a mommy break.  But, I wouldn't change a thing.  I'm a mommy and I love that I am.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Meet My Baby Girl

I have a little girl on my mind today, my daughter.  None of you have ever met her.  She lives in heaven with Jesus where I know I will see her again someday.  If she had been born on this earth, she would be 20 years old this month.  It's amazing to think I would have a child of that age.  Ashley Hope is my baby's name and I would like to share our story with you.

I was 17 and up until then, I had been a pretty good kid.  I was obedient, got good grades and didn't give my parents much trouble.  But, as I got older, things changed and my desire to be liked and have friends led me to a group of older people that accepted me gladly.  They were nice, so I thought, but they were also involved in things I had no business doing; drinking, doing drugs and partying.  I ended up liking a man ten years older than me and we began having a relationship.  I look back now and feel so bad for the things I put my parents through.  They weren't stupid.  They knew I came home drunk more than once.  They knew who I was hanging out with and they didn't like it, but the rebellion in me was growing larger and stronger and I didn't care.  I was almost 18 and I was in charge of my life, I thought.

I was foolish and I began sharing myself physically with this man that I thought I loved.  I didn't think about being "careful"  because nothing bad could ever happen to me.  I threw caution to the wind and did whatever felt good at the time, no matter what I had been taught.

I discovered I was pregnant in the summer of '89, not long after graduation from high school.  I had no job, still lived at home.  I was still a kid.  The thought of this happening was unreal.  THIS COULDN'T HAPPEN TO ME!  But, it had.  Now, what was I going to do?  My head spun, I was in denial.  Maybe if I ignored it, it would go away, I would wake up from the nightmare.  How could I tell my parents?  Surely, I would be put out on the street.  My family's religious beliefs told me I would be shunned, ostricized and shamed.

What I needed to do was get rid of the problem.  Just make it go away.  So, I did.  With the help of a friend who lied for me, I got an abortion at the age of 17.  I did the unspeakable, the unthinkable.  I can still remember every detail.  The waiting room, the nurse, the room with the poster on the ceiling.  And the noise, the noise that will never leave my head.

I left the office thinking it was done, problem solved.  I could put this incident in my life in a little box and put it on the shelf.  I'd never have to think of it again.  I had avoided an even bigger disaster.  Somehow my perception of the experience and the reality came to be two VERY different things.

My parents found out, of course.  Their reaction was the complete opposite of the one I expected.  How could I have been so wrong about them?  Would it have been ok to tell them?  Would the outcome have been different?  Oh, if I could only go back and find out.

Well, that box on the shelf didn't stay there for long.  The feelings were too big for it to contain, too explosive and emotional to be locked inside.  The box spilled open and the things inside consumed me, as if they were a whirlpool surrounding me and sucking me in.  There was no running, no hiding, no getting away from it.  It followed me everywhere, even in my sleep, my dreams.  The guilt over what I had done grew to a point of making me physically sick.  I couldn't function.  What had I done?

It is 20 years later and I have found hope and healing in my Lord Jesus Christ.  It took many years to sort through all my anger, hurt and guilt.  It wasn't until I accepted Christ that I was actually able to forgive myself for my selfish actions.  He has showed me that He has forgiven me and He loves me even though I made such a foolish choice.  Ashley is part of my life, He planned it that way.  Why He allowed my story to take this shape, I don't know.  But, her life had a purpose.  I choose to believe that by allowing this in my life, He has prepared me to help minister to others who also chose this path.  How can you help someone hurting when you have no idea of the level of pain and hurt that they are dealing with?  Well, I know it.  I have felt it and I still feel it, even now.  I cry on the anniversary of her death.  I miss her when I go through the box filled with things that remind me of her.  I ache over her absence.  I miss my daughter.

But, she is a part of my life.  I share her whenever I can.  My children know they have a big sister in heaven.  They don't know the details, but when they are old enough, I will tell them.  I want them to know there are better choices out there.  Even when you think things are impossible, there is a way out, a better way.  My passion is help others who are still hurting from their choice of abortion.  There are so many out there, even in the Christian community.  There are followers of Christ that walk around with this burden when they could be feeling the freedom that Christ wants for them.  That's what I want for them.

So, you can judge me or not, the choice is yours.  But, I love my daughter and I long for the day when I see her for the first time and she runs into my arms and says my name, Mommy.  She is mine and I am hers and no one can take that away from me.  Thank you Jesus, for loving me and for loving my baby.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I never thought I had a problem with faith.  I have experienced the power of miracles, so I never thought that I lacked in that area.  My head KNOWS what God can do, anything He wants.  I have seen it in my life and in the lives of others.  I have seen the unexplainable, the unbelievable, the mind blowing things that the Almighty is capable of and that's just in my finite, little world.  My pea sized brain could never wrap around the REAL ability He has to transform things.

But, when in the darkness that consumes me at times, I have discovered that I don't trust Him.  I question Him and whether He really will deliver me.  Part of the my problem is my lack of patience and my need to know what's going to happen now, in five minutes, tomorrow and next week.  I'm a planner.  I can't even drive as a passenger in a car without knowing the destination.  I want to know that things are in order, that the bills will be paid on time that all the kid's needs are met.  I want to know that I have done all I can do to make sure things run smoothly.  I, I, I, that's the problem. 

So, the fact that God's timing and my timing are not the same, is a hard pill to swallow.  I say I trust Him, but in that moment, when it comes down to crunch time, I doubt.  I wonder, will He?  I feel sad and frustrated that I doubt Him.  How can I?  I hate to utter the words.  How can you not trust God?  When I sat down to really think about it, I went back as far as I could remember and I was amazed at the number of people in my life that have let me down, made me not trust them.  Not that they meant to hurt me or disappoint me, but we all do it.  Even with the best intentions we are all weak and imperfect and each and every one of us WILL at some time hurt someone, lie to someone, betray someone.  Most of us don't want to, but it will happen, guaranteed.  But God?  Maybe His answer is different than mine or His timing is something I don't quite understand, but He has never let me down.  The hardest times in my life were perfectly orchestrated when I look back on them now.  He knew exactly what He was doing.  I wouldn't change a thing because it has all brought me here, to the life I have now.  And even though there are valleys that I must go through, on the other side He has given me a gift.  A gift of growth, of knowledge, understanding.  The gift to come alongside another hurting person and share my experience in the hope of helping them through their valley. 

So, my faith, where is it?  It is in Him, my Savior and Redeemer.  I take comfort that He knows me better than I know myself.  That He understands every feeling, every emotion, every thought that I have ever had.  He knows my heart and that I love Him.  He knows I try my best and that even my best is still imperfect.  It will remain that way until I go home to be with Him.  In the meantime, I confess when I doubt and pray that He will show me what faith looks like.  We are all ongoing transformations that will never be complete until we are in His glory.  That's comforting to me.  I trust that.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


So, I have been MIA for a few months.  Life gets so busy and the days seem to fly by.  Where is my life going?  I definitely don't feel like I'm in the driver's seat.  Even if my day has a plan, that plan usually changes a few times and I either end up not getting something done or I have to rearrange the world to accomplish something that should have been fairly minor.

I'm still struggling with my depression and although some natural meds are helping, I still feel like retreating most days.  Staying safe inside my "hole" where I don't have to face anyone or any questions.  It's a lonely place to be, but God sticks close by my side and if not for Him, I'm sure I would be in a straight jacket somewhere, no, really. 

So, I just take one day, one hour, one moment at a time.  I do what I can and try not to obsess about the rest.  It's hard to show yourself grace or at least, it is for me.  I should be able to do it all, right?  The cooking, cleaning, errand running, child rearing, laundry washing, homework helping Supermom, right?  Well, I have had to die to the fact that no, I'm not Supermom, not even close.  My floors are dusty, my laundry needs folding and my dishwasher needs to be emptied.  I may or may not make dinner depending on what my afternoon brings.  But, It's ok.  I'm not perfect and trying to be is just too exhausting.  I doubt I will scar my kids if they don't participate in some kind of sport right now.  I doubt they will remember that sometimes I'm just too tired to play Go Fish.  I'm learning to give myself a break.  The world will go on, clean laundry or not.  And when I do get a few extras done, then Yay for me!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

In the Hands of God

I have a precious group of friends online that I love to chat with. We are all believers and have all committed to pray for each other. Over the last couple of weeks, our list has become so heavy with huge needs of so many people. So many are under attack and struggling with sickness, financial problems, depression, family issues and the list goes on and on. Sometimes it's overwhelming as I'm praying over this list to see all the pain and heartache that is going on. It would be easy to become weighed down and hopeless in the face of it all.

But, then I try to focus on how BIG God is and how He already knows each and every need so much better than anyone else. He already knows where we are, where we have been and where we are heading. He already knows the outcome. To me, that is comforting. It's comforting to know that God is in control and not me. Comforting to know that He can provide all of our needs no matter how large or small they are. He can deliver MIRACLES in places where all hope seems to be gone. These are some of the things that encourage me and lead me to continue to pray knowing that my efforts are not fruitless. The answers may not be what I expect or for that matter, what I think I want. But God knows far better than I what I need and what's best for me. And that's true for all of us.

I've never really liked the expression "Let Go and Let God", but the idea that I can let go of my worries and fears because I have given them over to the hands of the Almighty, that I like. Then I can focus on the joy of the day, of the moment. And that's just what He wants me to do.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wedding Anniversary

Today is the wedding anniversary of my mom and dad. Even though Dad has been gone for almost 12 years, it's still their day. It always will be. My mom had been dating my dad's best friend. After that, she met my dad and in two weeks and two dates, they got married. Talk about a whirlwind!

I know their marriage wasn't perfect, but I know they loved each other and I know they were proud of the family that they made together. I know my mom still loves and adores Dad. Her voice was sad when we talked tonight. I wish I could take that away, but it's all part of our reality now, our lives without him. But, it was fun to listen to her remember old times and relive memories. If Dad were here, it would be their 45th anniversary.

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for showing me what love looks like.