Well, don't be shocked that I'm back so soon...wow, I know! :) I read my most recent post and felt the need to clarify just a little. It may or may not be needed but it's something I believe is necessary. Anyway, I did not intend to dismiss or overlook some of the caring and more than willing people in our lives...that are more than happy to try to give us a helping hand. So, I thought I'd offer a little shout out...of gratitude. I've had a few friends that are fully capable and so willing to help with Selah. They have offered on more than one occasion to spend time with her so that I can get some errands done or get a haircut or go to a doctor's appointment. They've also offered to give Spencer and I a date while they watched miss prissy. It's been more on our end that it's not worked out. We're trying to balance and coordinate all that we have going on...mainly Spencer...with the fire hall, military, and then other odd jobs. One friend in particular has told me, much more than once, that she wants to help when she can but I've yet to work it out with her...Leslie. :) She has been so willing despite all that she is balancing herself...she's a hardworking wife, mama, and student. Leslie and some other sweet friends are here to try to serve us and it's because they love Selah and us I know. I didn't mean to seem to dismiss or overlook that at all! And many others offer support and love in various ways and it's all truly humbling and appreciated!
And I do not mean to fixate on this topic, but it's a challenge, if I'm being honest, to try to find consistent help...even if it's just occasional. Again, there are some I know will try to help if I give them the opportunity. It's something, as I mentioned in my other post, that I've struggled with being very frustrated and defeated over though. There are times where I do feel discouraged because I've got a doctor appointment, etc. and just haven't gotten care for Selah worked out yet. And, I will own up to it and admit that I'm not "letting go" too easily. Yes, like many mamas, I've got a ton of scenarios that go through my head and a ton of things I think of as to why I shouldn't leave Selah with anyone else. Some of them I feel fully justified in, ha! :) It's so hard for me...words cannot express! We were told in the NICU by the staff that cared for Selah and trained us in her care, about all the precautions that need to be taken, the scenarios to "prepare" for, and so forth; needless to say, it's not that easy for me to just let go and not have concerns. I know that not only do I want to be comfortable with someone but I also want them to be more than comfortable in their ability to take care of Selah and the medical needs she has. This isn't easy and is yet to come about. And I hope it doesn't seem that I want a nanny or anything, ha. And,I truly hope it doesn't seem like I'm complaining...I guess I am though. I just mean it gets frustrating and discouraging at times because we do have to consider the care we need to have for her...even if it's just occasional...and it just involves a little more than the "typical" kiddo care. Yes, she is a typical on the verge of toddler-hood kiddo but she's also got some extra medical needs that require a little bit more knowledge than just changing that diaper and keeping her from sticking spoons in the sockets. :) I'm just praying about it and still asking God to bring forth who He knows is willing, capable, comfortable, and so in love with our sweet girl that it's evident they'll only take the best care of her. And He is teaching me to be aware and open to the different forms of care and rest that He brings forth...they are often not what I expect...but thankfully I'm learning much more than I can ask or imagine. And, He is also trying to teach me to embrace the loving hands that long to serve and love on us...if only we'll receive it...
Thanks for your prayers and support!! Pictures are soon to come! :)
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
|I will explain this picture later in this post...stay tuned...|
OK, so yet again I am way overdue on updating the blog with a post...and yet again I'm sorry! I've put it off for a long while now and honestly have avoided it. I've also had an ongoing "battle" with God about posting what I am going to and have disobeyed Him by delaying sharing what He has prompted me to. We have been busy this summer and I've not made the blog a priority. But more than that, I've had a lot of "battles" going on within me and where I am at in this season in life and I've not felt like sharing, not felt like opening up...not felt like being vulnerable. God has persistently, thankfully, been prompting me to share though. He reminds me again that it isn't me or how I perceive things or what I think is appropriate or not. He reminds me that it's for His glory and His purposes...I pray that through my words it's His truth and spirit that are evident. So, here it goes...I will try to tie in all in together where it makes some sort of sense...
So, as I mentioned we've had a busy summer. We had her fabulous therapists come for the majority of June. We traveled some in June and July and had family in for a lot of the month. We've been good and are blessed to have made the memories we did. Selah is doing so good and for that I am truly thankful!
There seems to be so much lurking underneath the surface of my emotions, mind, spirit...all of me...so much there that I've not realized was there. What's there has been less than pleasant and so discontent. It comes bubbling up and surfaces, often without warning, and it stinks. It results in destructive and hurtful words, a negative attitude, intolerance and impatience, and just outright bitterness. This has been going on for a long while. I would like to blame it all on sleep deprivation because without good rest I am so miserable. But I recently had a conversation with a friend about the season of life she's in and we began to find similarities in where we both are right now. It seems she, like myself, has found herself so discontent, bitter, frustrated, anxious, overwhelmed, and just consumed with a stench and a stink that comes bubbling and oozing out and it just creates a "smell" all around her and leaves her and others asking, "what is that smell?!" We both found that this is happening in our lives. She also shared that God had recently taught her that He doesn't want this stench to permeate her or her life but instead He wants her to be filled and overflowing with a sweet fragrance...a fragrance of peace, gentleness, kindness, grace, love, and thankfulness...no matter what. God really used this conversation to bring some things to light...these words resonated with me and really got me thinking and praying.
I began to think and pray and God led me to think of and speak out what is it that I'm so discontent about...why am I so unhappy and bringing in such a stink to all the many blessings and gifts I have in my life?! He led me to just be honest with Him about the reasons I am frustrated and to share the disappointments I have...to be honest because He already knows them anyway. I began to think about all that and began to list it out loud and it went like this...
"God, I am so tired, so physically exhausted and I just want to sleep. God, I don't understand why night after night Selah is up through the night and night after night we don't get good rest...despite my prayers...my pleas for sleep and rest. God, how can I rest if her monitor isn't effectively working on her and how can I know she's safe without it. God, I am so angry that I am so irritable and so tired and I just want to feel better, I want to be the mom Selah needs. God, I feel so defeated in my relationship with Spencer and I don't like us being so far apart at times on how to handle what we have going on in our lives. God, I am so discouraged and so mad that Spencer and I don't get time alone and time to go on dates. God, I don't understand how we can maintain our relationship when we don't share time together, just us, and when we don't share common interests. God, why do I keep praying for you to open up doors and bring us a nurse or someone to help us care for Selah only to yet again have the prayers unanswered. God, why am I so...ugh...so unhappy...so absolutely miserable..."
Well, needless to say this was less than pleasant as far as my feelings or emotions at the time. I began to speak these things though, as God brought them forth, and I began to feel a weight being lifted. It's like I began to own up to all that I was so upset about and really didn't even know the extent of how upset I was and how much it was just festering and bubbling inside of me...creating a nasty stench. God answered my cries and my prayer by bringing forth these concerns, these hurts, and these disappointments. God gently began and is still speaking to me.
God began and is still helping me in guiding me through this season in life. He is teaching me, yet again, to be thankful and to praise Him in all of it...yes, all of it. He is also teaching me, yet again, how to do this. As I do thank Him and think about all the reasons I have to praise Him, His peace and joy gently start flowing in me and filling me up...washing away and cleansing all that stink and stench and replacing it with a fragrance, a sweetness...that is ONLY of my Heavenly Father. As I trust and thank Him in faith, He brings the "rest" and sustainment I need. It may not be the in the form that I would expect or work out but He provides...He brings forth His good works in His good timing and He makes His mighty presence known.
With all that said, I will refer back to the picture at the top of the page. This was taken a few days before Selah's first birthday. I was not only tired and exhausted, but also just frustrated and easily irritated. Spencer and I were not agreeing on what to do for her first birthday...to have a party or not. Now, instead of acting like and adult and having a discussion about it, I began to get NASTY and then I proceeded to throw...not one but three...different handfuls of envelopes, birthday invitations, and a phone book. The papers and book flew up in the air and just landed in a scattered mess on the floor. I got up without saying a word and walked through my mess...leaving it there...and went to brush my teeth and get ready for bed. I need to say that Selah was in bed and did not see this activity!! I come out of our room to find that my mess had been cleaned up and put neatly into piles on the couch where I was previously sitting. Spencer nor I said a word. I sat down by the piles and looked at my phone to check the time. Instead of looking at my screen saver of Selah and Spencer, I now see a picture of my mess. I looked up at Spencer and said, "you did not?!" He began to laugh and explained that he may have cleaned up my mess...that I made during my tantrum...but that he wasn't going to let me forget it. He decided to take a picture of the mess before cleaning it up and to save it as my new screen saver on my phone. I'm ashamed to say I called him a not so nice name but then laughed. I decided to keep that picture as my screen saver and it's still there today. I saved it in hopes that as I look at it many times throughout the day, I'll remember that it's not worth it. The angry words, the frustrated and negative attitude, the discontentment, and the pure disobedience and disregard for the life and blessings God has bestowed on us is not worth it...it's destructive, defeating, and not of God. I'd like to say that I always remember and apply this but that would be a fib. I struggle SO much with this SO often throughout each day. I often feel like there is so little progress I make...only steps backwards, away from the direction God is leading. Here recently God has gotten hold of me and is trying...thankfully without giving up...to refine me and to grow me in to His image and His character. He reminds me to persevere with all I have and to hope and to just be thankful for all that He has allowed me to enjoy in my life and in this season of our lives.
Now, I also want to refer back to why I avoided this post. It's such a vulnerable feeling knowing that I'm putting out there what seems to be "private." I also feel like I am complaining and really just being whiny and that is not my intention at all! I know many parents are tired and I know there are some of my friends who would give anything to be up through the night with a baby...with their baby. I don't want to seem like I'm ungrateful by any means. I'm truly humbled and honored that God is allowing me to love Selah and to be her mom. I'm thankful that Spencer and I are partners in this together too. I am human though and there are times where all that I wish were different or all that isn't how I'd like it to be just gets to be too much. I get bogged down by it and it threatens and it often does steal the joy, the peace, the hope, and the love from me and all that surrounds me. I've been trying to pray against this and to claim God's armor over me and us. I pray also that it's not a stench or just negative and nasty stink that I bring but instead a fragrance of blessing and grace that is so evident that it can't help but be noticed that it's nothing of me but only of God...of His goodness, of His sweet presence...
God reminds me though that through our willingness He can work. So, I pray that you see Him in this and that maybe you can relate and takesomething positive from it. And, who am I kidding, since when have I ever been modest??? :)
Habakkuk 3: 18-19
"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my savior. The sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights."
This scripture has been used by God at several different times and different seasons in my life. Here recently He led me to it again and spoke through it. He taught me that although it isn't all ideal or how I'd like it, there are blessings to hope for...blessings He will bring forth...blessings beyond what I can ask or imagine. He also spoke to me a gentle reminder to be joyful in the midst of all that I have to praise Him for as well as all that I don't consider a praise. As I do this, my focus is shifted to Him and His goodness and my spirit is lightened...the "weight" of all that stuff that doesn't matter is lifted. He is sovereign and He reminds me He has "got this"...
Much love to you!!!