Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Some people wait a lifetime"

I was sitting in my kitchen, surrounded by an abdominal pile of dirty dishes that I really did not feel like washing. Relatively miserable, with a sore throat, drippy nose, low-grade fever, and crampy belly from constipation... the dehydration as shown by my cracked hands and lips probably was not helping any either. I was pretty much feeling sorry for myself.

Then on the radio, Delilah (E cannot stand her, but I enjoy her show) received a call from a lady who was 11 weeks pregnant and had just seen her baby on ultrasound for the first time. And Delilah played the song "some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this."

As sappy as it is, it reminded me to enjoy the moment. I've had several people tell me to enjoy my pregnancy, that there will be days I'll look back and miss it. And I'm thinking, are you crazy? You must have been the woman who invented the "pregnancy glow" and the "I felt wonderful when I was pregnant" bull$#@! that I've heard and yet to experience. But at least one of those people I know had a difficult, morning-sickness-filled bed-rest-ridden pregnancy.

And it's true, some people do wait a lifetime and never get to experience the heartburn caused by a growing baby. Or the shortness of breath caused by a stretching uterus. Or the constipation caused by the hormones allowing the baby's life to continue. And they'd give anything to be able to have those problems.

So I poured myself another glass of water and forced myself to drink it, decided to give the dishwasher another try, and looked forward to another chance to hear the heartbeat tomorrow. Here's hoping for plenty more reminders to enjoy the moment!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I haven't updated in the last several months because I wasn't going to be able to be completely honest. But now that we've announced, I can finally put some thoughts down here.

Being a mommy is incredible. Seeing that dot for the first time was amazing, but a couple weeks ago when I finally saw my child's shape for the first time, watched him (default until we find out for sure, although "he" is my guess) wiggle his little arms and legs, and had the realization that the wiggling was happening right there, inside me... wow. Hearing the heart beat and letting it finally sink in that that little heart is beating inside of me. Thinking that as I lie in bed at night, the Maker of the entire universe is forming tiny kidneys, liver, brain cells, muscles, bones, teeth, fingernails... while I do nothing but sleep. While I go about my daily tasks of taking blood pressures and making referrals, this little body is growing and moving and forming.

And on one hand this puts the weight of the world on me. How am I going to support this child? Do I have the wisdom and patience to train and discipline? Do I have the energy and joy this child will require? On the other hand, I have never felt more helpless. It is less of a fear at this point, but there is still some concern for miscarriage, which I will probably have until the day I hold my child in my arms. And there is really nothing I can do about it. I can't put my hands around my growing belly and hold my child in place. I can't form his cells and DNA and keep a fatal mistake from happening. I can't form the placenta and position it correctly. I can try to eat the best I can, try to gain the proper weight, try to get adequate rest, but ultimately, the fate of my child is not in my control.

Nor will it ever be. I heard a song by Evanescence, and while I'm sure she was not thinking of a child when she sang it, that's what came to my mind. In conceiving a child, just like when you marry, you give your love to someone. And there's no guarantee it will remain. It could end too soon. It could end in tragedy or anger. You could become estranged and never speak again. You could be hurt deeper than you could ever have imagined. With every new love, a new world of possible hurt opens up. But I think anyone who's been there would say it's worth it.

Having a child also gives an entirely different perspective on healthcare than I could ever have had. Hearing the screams of a teenager in anguish over finding out she's pregnant, and knowing that child doesn't have a hope of being born healthy, if it even has a hope of being born at all since its mother wants to kill it before it even takes its first breath of air. Holding the hands of the child who's in for an evaluation of possible abuse. Carrying a tiny, malnourished child who doesn't have a home to go to that night, nor food to eat, but mom found the money for cigarettes and a six-pack. And then sitting back down at my desk, and looking at the picture of my baby. God forbid anyone ever dream that I would harm my child. Yes, it's somewhat unexpected, and definitely earlier than planned, but this child is loved. This child is wanted. This child will see in me, Lord willing and by His grace, a picture of unconditional love, self-sacrificial, willing to die. May he see in me something that will help him understand the care and love God has for him.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How do I begin to put down my thoughts during this last month? How do I even begin to explain my thoughts at this moment?

I find myself listening to my self-compiled CD labeled "PHC Encouragement." I created it not long after I left PHC, choosing songs that had touched me somewhere along that roller-coaster ride. I organized it to lift me up, from the songs that would bring me to tears early on to the praise songs at the end.

When I pull out that CD, I can't help but think about what I've come through. And the challenges that then seemed so daunting now seem manageable. Well, some of them do. Some still affect me. Some I fear will affect me till the day I die.

His strength is perfect. But do I lean on that strength, or do I try to handle it on my own? What I see in myself now is someone who will "handle it." Deal with it. Make it work. Tolerate it. Survive. That's my mantra. Survival. But as my hubby pointed out recently, life isn't supposed to be lived as survival. It's supposed to be enjoyed. It's supposed to have happy moments. You're supposed to do better than survive.

Just give me Jesus and I'll be alright. Tears still come to my eyes when that simple song starts. The emotions associated with the first day I heard that song... the first day I truly knew the meaning of heartache. And the simple truth that carried me so many months... I know my tomorrows are safe in His hand...

If I could choose a song to be played at my deathbed, I'd choose this one.

Just give me Jesus, and I'll be alright
With Him I can make it, walking beside
I know my tomorrows are safe in His hands
Just give me Jesus; I know I can stand.

So many distractions seem to cloud my way.
All the cares of life surround me and lead my heart astray.
When I cannot find the answers
I know someone who can,
so in the middle of my questions
I reach for His hand.

So just give me Jesus and I'll be alright.
With Him I can make it, walking beside.
I know my tomorrows are safe in His hand.
Just give me Jesus; I know I can stand

When I take my eyes off Jesus and confusion starts to win,
When my worries overwhelm me and the battle reaches in,
in that moment I remember, I know whose I am,
and when the enemy comes rushing,
I reach for His hand.

So just give me Jesus and I'll be alright.
With Him I can make it, walking beside.
I know my tomorrows are safe in His hand
Just give me Jesus; I know I can stand.

We are servants of the King,
and our future is secure.
A crown of life is waiting for all who will endure.
And when I stand before my Savior
and He reaches out to me,
I'll lay all my crowns before Him
and fall to my knees,
and cry
Just give me Jesus and I'll be alright.
with Him I can make it, walking beside.
I know my tomorrows are safe in His hands.
Just give me Jesus; I know I can stand.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul

I recently received a DVD by Indelible Grace, which reminded me how much I loved those songs and how much I miss them. Were I more involved in my current church, I would be loaning this DVD to the pastor and encouraging him to include some of these tunes in our services. I'm hoping to study and ponder these hymns in the coming year. I'm all for reading my Bible, and that's another goal for this year, but since I'm rather withdrawn from Christian fellowship I figured that reading and considering what other Christians through the ages have expressed might be beneficial.

So, I started with the first hymn on Indelible Grace I. I was not familiar with the writer of this hymn (Anne Steele) prior to watching the DVD last night, so I did a little research online today. Her books of poems/hymns are now on my Amazon wish list. Loss of her mother at age 3, severe injury at age 19 which left her debilitated, and death of her fiancé the night before her wedding at age 21 makes her capable to speak on suffering. With that in mind, here are the lyrics to "Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul."

1. Dear refuge of my weary soul,
On Thee, when sorrows rise
On Thee, when waves of trouble roll,
My fainting hope relies
To Thee I tell each rising grief,
For Thou alone canst heal
Thy Word can bring a sweet relief,
For every pain I feel

2. But oh! When gloomy doubts prevail,
I fear to call Thee mine
The springs of comfort seem to fail,
And all my hopes decline
Yet gracious God, where shall I flee?
Thou art my only trust
And still my soul would cleave to Thee
Though prostrate in the dust

3. Hast Thou not bid me seek Thy face,
And shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sovereign grace,
Be deaf when I complain?
No still the ear of sovereign grace,
Attends the mourner's prayer
Oh may I ever find access,
To breathe my sorrows there

4. Thy mercy seat is open still,
Here let my soul retreat
With humble hope attend Thy will,
And wait beneath Thy feet,
Thy mercy seat is open still,
Here let my soul retreat
With humble hope attend Thy will,
And wait beneath Thy feet

Friday, December 3, 2010

I started this blog with the intent of writing once a week or so to keep my writing skills from dying completely and to provide therapy for the rapidly shrinking bit of creative brain I have left. Obviously, that hasn't worked out so well.

One of the things I've learned about myself is that when something doesn't work as well as I had hoped, I give up. If I can't do it perfectly, I won't do it at all. So this blog is an exercise in picking up where I left off and trying again, despite the failures.

On that note, here are my thoughts of late.

The holidays are upon me once again, and despite my best intentions, my house is a total wreck, the couch is wet with dog urine, the dishes are dirty, the clothes aren't put away, the fall decorations are still out, and the tree is undecorated. The turkey is still in the bottom of the fridge, the apples haven't been turned into apple crisp, and the birthday presents are still unwrapped. This state of things makes me want to curl up in a ball and hide in the corner under a blanket.

The huge problem with that reaction is that it gets me nowhere. Obviously. Not now, and not in the future. The future... oh dear... I'm facing the potential of being a military wife with my husband in med school, somehow balancing a full time job, hopefully several babies, multiple dogs, and numerous moves. And I know that I will expect myself, and rightly so, to be a supportive wife and loving mother. I also have learned that 98% of the household responsibilities will fall on my shoulders, because I am the wife. (Thanks God, why couldn't the men have been given the job of helpmeet?) Plus, the doctor has found my legs are crooked and will continue to cause me problems.

So, with all that in mind, what is my reaction? Type, apparently. But beyond that. One thing at a time. Make a list, and pick something and do it. The list doesn't have to be perfect, or complete. It doesn't have to be color coordinated by priority and type of task. Just write down what immediately comes to mind and then pick what seems most urgent and do it. Or pick what is most doable at the moment. And manage the problem; don't let it manage me. So my knee is a pain in my bum. Take a pain pill, prop it up, and pay a few bills. Then try putting the dishes away again. Thirty minutes on the eliptical is a no-can-do right now. So do ten. Shoot, just make it down the stairs and back up again. It's progress at this point.

There again, my blog title seems to be the theme for which I should strive. Small steps, moving forward, slowly, bit by bit. Fall down, fail, slide backwards, and then start again. We'll see if I can move more forward than backwards this weekend.