Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Waking up

A few weekends ago, I witnessed a beautiful thing. I saw a man answering the call. I saw with my own eyes the relentless love God has for His people as one of my best friends layed himself before the altar and called on all the Saints.

He became a Roman Catholic Priest.

The Cathedral was beautiful, of course. It was a full house. But it was filled with more than people. There was a point in the ordination, I actually can't quite pinpoint when it was, but suddenly the room took on a new sort of fullness. It was above us and between us as we sat in the pews. Heaven came down. It was tangible.

Now I know the day had little to do with me. The focus was on the men on the altar. But my heart erupted and something woke up inside of me. I honestly don't know how to describe it and it took me some time to really understand, to put my feelings into words.

God feels more present to me in my life than He has for a long time. I didn't even know I had gotten so far away. But I did. And now I'm here.... And I don't know what is next. Is there a plan? I don't know what I'm supposed to do.

I'm making it my mission to focus my marriage, my family, my child, my job as a nurse and my job as a mother... To focus on Him in all of this. It's hard. I'm so far from perfect but I just feel this pull... It's indescribable.

Pray for me.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Those three words

I got a guitar for Christmas a few years ago and I was determined to become this awesome guitarist. Both of my brothers play and are pretty good and I have always wanted to. I was pretty good at practicing and teaching myself for about the first 6 months to a year  and then when I got pregnant enough that it was difficult to hold the guitar close enough to my body and I could no longer see what my fingers were doing my efforts diminished into essentially nothing.

I picked up the guitar again today and retaught myself the few songs that I had learned previously and then did what I do best... I googled. I searched "easy song chords" and clicked on the very first link. I found a song I recognized and started teaching myself. It was Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. I know this song like the back of my hand so it was easy to pick up the strumming and picking on the guitar. I listened to the words and something stood out to me in the lyrics.

"Those three words are said too much and not enough."

That one line really got me thinking about "those three words."

I love you.

In January, Mike, a person that I love, passed away in a tragic helicopter crash. I flew with my 4 month old, Luke, to Texas for the funeral to be with my family and my extended family. Not aunts and uncles and cousins, but my church family. Anyways, the overall theme of my time there was to always remember to and never hesitate to tell the people you love that you love them. I suppose it isn't that uncommon to hear something like that at a funeral. It really hit home for me though.

Do I use those three words enough? Do I tell Patrick and Luke I love them enough? Do they actually know how deeply I love and care for them? Do they know that my heart aches and burns with an intensity just laying eyes on them? Did Anna know that? Does she know that now?

I do tell my family that I love them and a select other group of people. But I love so many people that I have probably never told. There are people that I see daily (friends, neighbors, co-workers) that I genuinely love and care about. Not with the same intensity that I love my immediately family, sure, but it is another kind of love is it not? I do love them but I have never told them. What if something happened to one of them and they never knew that I loved them?

It's almost like our culture doesn't even recognize this as love. If you tell these non-family members that you love them it is a frivolous use of "those three words." Like it takes away the meaning behind them.

Are we not called to love each other? Is there even such a thing as using those three word too much?

Imagine a world where people didn't hold back or hesitate to tell each other that they loved one another. If everyone felt loved by someone and truly knew that deep down. It's sad that I can hardly fathom it but I imagine that everything... everyone... would be happier. There would be less war, less abuse, less suicide...

I can't change the world but I could try. I can start with my family and the people close to me. The people that read this blog (yes, all 3 of you! haha) could along with me start a contagion, a ripple effect.

Then... who knows what could happen.

Love each other.

A (Week Late) Reflection on Mother's Day

I was going to write this on Mother's Day but... ya know. Life.

I had an interesting start to Motherhood so I don't consider this year to be my FIRST Mother's Day even though that is what everyone kept calling it. "Happy First Mother's Day." I just politely say thanks you. A year ago I was still grieving the loss of my daughter while simultaneously rejoicing in the anticipation of meeting my son. I felt like a mother but my heart ached to hold my child. I didn't even know which one I was longing for. I just felt the weight of my empty arms.

This year was different. 

I always thought I was "ready" to have a child. Now that phrase makes me laugh. How can anyone really be ready? No matter how much experience you have with children, once that baby is born you are thrown into motherhood, ready or not! And it was harder than I ever really imagined (and based on what I hear from other women it sounds like I have a really "easy" baby).

In the last year I have grown so much. In the last couple months leading up to Luke's birth I experienced pain I had never felt before on a daily basis. I watched my body change drastically and I watched permanent marks develop on my abdomen. It was humbling. And totally worth it. Then September 17th arrived and though I had been in early labor for well over a week and experienced that discomfort, true labor was another beast entirely. I had the option to easy the pain with the potential risk of it affecting my child. That would not be worth it. I would endure any pain that came my way to protect the child I had never seen. And the physical damage, the aftermath, done to my body did not matter.

The first moment I layed eyes on him is forever engraved in my mind. I wish that there was physical evidence, a photo or something, to show people that moment so they would understand. But nobody else is his mom so no photo could adequately display the warming of my heart in that moment. Love was spilling over the rim and invading every inch of me. One look at him and I was forever changed. 

In the last 7.5 (8 tomorrow actually!) months I have given everything. I have poured myself out day and night. I have done all the normal baby thing like changing diapers, giving baths, feeding... I always thought those things would feel like chores but they don't because they are done completely out of love. Does it often get overwhelming? You bet. I am human. I have cried, raised my voice... I have certainly had some ungraceful moments. There are even times that it has caused a tiff between Patrick and I. We are both human. But we have both given everything.

I am not writing this to toot my own horn. Not by any means! I just want to express to my mom and to other experienced moms.... I get it now.

I get the sacrifices that you make on a daily basis. I understand giving of yourself to one tiny little human until you feel like there is nothing left by the end of the day. Even though I work, I do get a day off during the week. And I do get that being a stay at home mom would be a full time job in and of itself. I understand the frustration of a  crying child and trying EVERYTHING to stop the tears because evry single one breaks your heart. I get what it means to be tired. I get that sometimes you have to run to Target with dried snot on your shoulder because if you change your clothes again #1 you will probably still end up with more bodily fluids on your shirt by the time you get there and #2 if you waste your time changing clothes you might miss your small window of time and then not make it to the store at all. Sacrifice.

Being a mom is my second job but it still comes first. It is the hardest, most difficult, most draining but most rewarding job there is. It is hands down the best thing I have ever done in my life and I would do it all again. All of it. For my daughter in Heaven and my son here with me on Earth. So mamas... thanks for letting me join your club. And God bless each and every one of you!