Suck It Up, For You Are Dearly Loved

17 Aug

My best friend got married today.  Jamie and I have been friends since third grade–that’s 21 years.  We made it through so much.  Separate high schools, miles and states apart.  She went to college and I got married and had kids and the military lifestyle took over.  But through all that today I was her matron of honor–something I’ve always hoped I would be.  I was there to help her pick out her wedding dress, there for every fitting and wouldn’t have had it any other way.  But with every step of her wedding plans my insecurity started to make its way inside my head, make me doubt things.  My entire life Jamie has been the pretty one, the curvy one, the girl that guys notice.  Me?  Well, its amazing how something so long ago can make me cringe thinking about it now.  I was the ugly, fat friend.  The tough one.  The sporty one.  I was never thought as beautiful.  I thought I’d let that feeling go a long time ago.  That feeling of being invisible or unworthy.  Not up to par.  I’m comfortable wearing basketball shorts, not wearing makeup.  I am so comfortable with who I am (minus my weight) that I like how I look without makeup.  <sigh>……Nope, still have that unworthy feeling when I’m next to her.  How insane is it for me to feel so crappy on such a great day?  All I wanted for myself was to look pretty.  Feel pretty, standing next to one of the most important people in my life and I shuttered looking at the pictures on my camera.  I can’t get past how nasty I look.  How overweight I am.  For all the wishing and wanting to look good, it wouldn’t have mattered.  Here I was sweating through my t-shirt and shorts as I set up all the chairs and tables.  I loved helping her mom and sister get things together for the wedding but dang if I wished I was with Jamie staying cool and calm getting her makeup professionally done in the next room.  Her hair was amazing and mine was thrown together by two clips after trying to dry the sweat from my hair with a flat iron, which I got distracted from and burned the skin off my forehead 15 minutes before the wedding.  Ever had to put makeup over a fresh burn wound?  It hurts.  So here I felt like a mess.  I looked a mess. I just wanted to be as pretty as my friend and that didn’t happen.  Doesn’t help that after I got home and collapsed on the bed that my husband says, “When are you gonna wash that crap off your face?”  Ha!  Yep, he HATES when I wear makeup so that was icing on the cake.  Of course my woman brain is thinking he could have said, “You look nice.”  Just one more punch to the gut I guess.  Well you know what?  This is where I get over myself, wash my face, put on my yoga pants and wrap my hair in a pony tail just thankful I’m out of those shoes and into my camo crocs.  Imagine how much better I felt.  Still doesn’t keep me from cringing at the wedding photos that I can only hope turned out better by the professional photographer.

So what is the point to my whiney rant on how crappy I felt and how completely 100% selfish I sound about my best friends wedding?  Honestly, it didn’t hit me until about an hour ago when I was reading my bible and decided that even though I kept all these thoughts in my head, put on a (genuine) smile for the wedding that God knew exactly what I was thinking.  He knew that I was judging myself and comparing what I look like to her.  I also know He didn’t like it.  There are two things that I am trying to remember.  1.  That God loves me.  He loves me the way I am because I am perfect in His imagine.  He created me.  2.  No matter what I may be feeling on the inside, someone else could be seeing something different.  If I continue to show God’s love through my actions and words then that will shine brighter than the zit that was so perfectly place on my face for the wedding.  Word of advice…don’t ever do a face mask three days before an important occasion.

So I am sucking it up.  I will never be what society thinks is beautiful but at least I know that God thinks that I am.  Besides, isn’t He the only opinion of me that matters?  FOR I AM DEARLY LOVED! AND SO ARE YOU!

“There fore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”  Colossians 3: 12-14

 

It might raise a fuss but…

13 Aug

I can’t sleep tonight.  In fact, my mind is racing going over and over as to why the majority of people think they can get to heaven only doing good works and being a good person.  It physically hurts my head right now trying to stop this internal debate so I can sleep.  Family, friends, celebrities are dying.  It happens and its heartbreaking.  Death is a part of life.  But I see death on this earth as only the beginning of my new life in heaven.  I know without a doubt that when this body of mine is gone my soul will be rejoicing in heaven forever. Forever is a long time.  Imaginable really.  We use that word so often that it seems to have lost its meaning.  “This class is taking forever.” Or, “No one wants to wait around forever.”  Think about that.  We sit at a stop light and it feels like it takes forever because we want to get where we are going.  What if someone looked at their life and thought of it in those terms.  “I need to get where I’m going.”  Or,  “Where is my life headed?”  Where is your life headed?  Is everything you do making the Lord happy?  Does it glorify Him?  Think about it…when this life is over, where will you be?  Heaven or hell?  Because frankly I don’t think there can be one without the other.  I’ve had a lot of problems with this concerning other people.  Family, friends, heck even strangers on the street make me wonder about eternity.  Sounds dumb doesn’t it?  As Christians we need to be diligent (but not off putting or pushy) about telling people of eternity.  My eternity is Jesus.  This doesn’t mean that I am running up to strangers and telling them they will rot in hell—that’s just mean and stupid and just turns people away from Christ.  Catch more flies with honey than vinegar is what my mom always says.  If you want me to be honest, I’m not even the type to ask randomly if they know about Jesus.  It freaks me out.  But I live my life so people don’t have to ask if I have a close and personal relationship with Him.  There is no doubt that people know who my heavenly father is.  There’s no need to throw it in someone’s face but live your life like forever starts tomorrow.  I’m not talking about YOLO (I totally hate that saying) and doing stupid crap.  I’m talking about knowing where and who you will spend forever with.

My husband and I are what the bible calls unequally yoked.  I love him with all my heart but we definitely see things differently.  He believes in God and we’ve had discussions but I have a hard time debating things with him because he makes me feel judgmental when he starts to feel uncomfortable about what we’re talking about.  Anyway, I read an article about the late Robin Williams and how society is choosing to imagine him in heaven like his movie “What Dreams May Come.”  Its a sweet notion but is he really?  First off, I’m not picking on Robin Williams.  I have great respect for all he has done and what he as accomplished but because he is the current topic and its raised questions in my mind.  Does it sadden anyone to not know for sure if he’s in heaven?  I’ve read articles with interviews from him and there is doubt in my mind about where he is at.  This breaks my heart deeply.  My husband says he “chooses to believe he is in heaven.”  We might choose to believe he is in heaven to make ourselves feel better but is he in fact praising God at this moment?  Is that stranger who was hit by a car and killed raising her hands in worship?  If you died right now where would your soul go?  See, choosing to believe someone is in peace in naive.  I want to know!  I want there to be no doubt in my mind about what happens to my loved ones after death.  Doing good works and being nice to people is great and wonderful but it will not get you to heaven.  There is only one way to get to heaven and that cannot be ignored.  Jesus states in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  Right there.  Right in this single verse says it all.  Jesus then goes on to say in v7, “If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.”  Knowing Jesus, recognizing what He did for my sin, having a relationship with Jesus, gets me to heaven.  By all means, do great things, live like Jesus lived but know who your savior is.  Philippians 2:5  “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” 

One last thing…just for the record— I’m not better than anyone else.  God has only given me His mercy.  I’m still a sinner and I will continue to be a sinner but I’m trying.  Romans 12:3 “For by the grace given I say to everyone of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought but rather think of yourself with sober judgment in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”  I once heard this in a sermon and I wrote it down thinking that one day I would want the reminder.  He said, “God isn’t just the starting point of your life; He’s the source of it.  Turn to God’s word, not the world’s wisdom.”  I apologize for having this rant or if reading this makes you angry but to me, its truth.  I felt that I needed to share my thoughts—even if no one reads this at least I put it out there. <3

I do care

12 Aug

“My five year old daughter has to have surgery again.  My sweet, loving baby girl has to have kidney surgery….AGAIN!”  This is what I thought sitting in my car in the parking garage trying to process the information her urologist/surgeon told me.  I’m trying to figure out how to tell my husband and explain it to my kid, who is in the back seat talking to me and I’ve heard nothing she has said.  

My husband didn’t take it well.  Neither did my dad.  Or my mom.  According to everyone else I’m the only one who seems to ‘not care’.  Well, that’s a load of bull.  

According to the doctor the plan was to remove the bottom of her right kidney because of scar tissue and the lack of use it has, along with the utterer that is causing the reflux which in turn is causing her infections and more scar tissue.  She was born with two utterers–that’s not normal.  Her first surgery only downgraded her reflux from a 4 to a 3 (5 is the highest).  So this is how we were going to fix it.  I was ok with it.  Ok as one could be about their child having kidney surgery.  

People keep asking me how everyone else is taking the news about the surgery.  No one asked how I was doing.  Does that sound selfish?  Probably, but I’m human.  Evidently I seem to not care (as previously stated).  Oh I care.  I care a lot.  I’ve just had more time to process the information since I’ve been the only one who has taken her to all her doctor appointments, shown her how to pee in a cup and the one to give her medicine every single time she gets an infection.  I’m the one who sat alone in the doctor’s office trying to wrap my head around the fact that after everything we have done, it still wasn’t good enough to keep her from having another surgery.  But here’s my secret.  I wasn’t really alone in that office.  God was with me.  I know that He is the one in control.  I know that he will guide the surgeon’s hands.  This is why it seems I don’t care.  I have FAITH.  Plain and simple.  I don’t believe in blind faith–just plain old faith.  Having faith isn’t seeing something to believe it, its believing when you can’t see it.  I believe God is in control.  He already knows the outcome of her surgery.  Of her life.  Our future is His past b/c God already knows.  

I won’t lie when sometimes I speak to God I question ‘why?’  I don’t have an answer for that.  I won’t bargain with Him to heal her–that’s not how prayer works.  But I do speak to Him like he is my best friend.  I don’t need anyone to speak for me.

I know that God listens.  Sometimes when we want answers He waits for us to come to Him first.  I try to do that.  I lay in bed crying while everyone is asleep.  I asked God that question, ‘why?’  Then, we talked.  Sounds weird right?  He didn’t answer me back that night.  But He did the next morning. I want to say this, to me praying comes easy.  It used to not but I started looking at it in a different way.  He is my friend and He wants me to come to Him.  He already knows what I’m feeling and thinking so there is no point in holding back.  God knows that I am nervous but I’m not scared b/c I know who goes before me.  Its that simple.  That’s my reasoning.  Its why I appear to not care or think its such a big deal.  My faith is strong and I have hope.  

The plans for her surgery were in the past tense.  The next morning after my long talk with God the doctor called.  Turns out Kate has more function in her lower kidney than they previously thought and they no longer feel the need to remove half of her kidney but instead are going to try and fix the implant.  I feel lighter at that.  God listens.  God heals.  Now, I’ll pray that this time her surgery actually fixes the problem completely.  

 One of my favorite bible verses:

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”  Romans 12:12

A roach, a bug, and a husband

4 Jul

So its been an uphill battle some days. Other days I couldn’t ask for a better day. Sadly, it all depends on my husband’s mood. Today, I can say that my husband was in a good mood. Why? Well, first let me explain something. I hate roaches. Don’t care what someone calls them. Water bugs, cock roaches, whatever–they are all the same stinkin’ nasty things and sometimes they fly. I squeal when I have to kill them and I flinch when I have to clean the dead thing up. I have been known to hide them under the shoe I killed it with and I have also been known to bribe my kid with money to pick it up for me. Yes, yes, I know…mother of the year right here! Oh, lets not forget my puppy face and “Daddy, pleeeeease?!” tone–not ashamed to still call my dad, Daddy, after all, I’m a southern girl. And before I forget, yes, we are temporarily staying with my parents until we get a house. Joy joy and many stories I could tell you but for now, on with my current ramblings. So since I have already explained my uneasiness with roaches I have also come to learn that I am bigger than the roach and it won’t kill me to smash the thing. ::gags:: Still doesn’t change the fact that they freak me out.

Late last night I happened to be the only one up and b/c of all the rain we’ve gotten they tend to show up here or there from time to time. So when I saw one I got the nerve to kill it. I figured that when I killed the roach I could leave it and let my mom or dad clean it up since they just happened to get up before everyone for work. Hey! Before you say anything, I at least killed it without squealing…the kids were asleep so I had to keep a lid on the noise. Anyway, I guess my parents knew my game and I had to be the one to clean it up. I used a fly swatter to pick it up and before I knew it my husband is next to me. Ok, my husband has a warped sense of humor that I normally love. Just not today. As I bravely turn to walk to the trash holding the fly swatter with a still twitching nasty thing, my husband smacks the fly swatter sending the roach flying in the air, me throwing the fly swatter away and I take off running. Looking back, I see that probably wasn’t a good idea. Its like shooting an arrowing in the air and not knowing where it will land. He is laughing as I locate the fly swatter. As I bend down to pick it back up I see him throw something at me. It was a June Bug. Yep, I freaked out thinking he had thrown the roach at me…I don’t know why I thought my husband would pick it up with his hand–I lacked a bit of common sense during this bug duress I was under. I also can’t figure out where the June Bug came from. He starts laughing again as I throw down everything and run to the bathroom to shower. I can at least say that he got rid of the June bug and roach for me.

As disturbing as this scene is, I am grateful that I can sit here typing and laugh about it now. I was actually laughing at the time too but it was more of a “Are you freaking kidding me?” laugh. I love him. I love his warped sense of humor and I love that if anything my husband can be himself–no matter what–around me.

No matter the crap that gets thrown at us, or I should say bugs, I know we’ve got each other’s back. He did after all pick up the roach for me ;)

Aside

Dead Daisies

28 May

I had a conversation with God tonight.  Kind of a one sided conversation really.  Lately it feels like God is being silent.  I know He is with me.  I have no doubt that He hears every single word I say to him but He remains silent.  I keep asking Him to help these feelings of mine go away.  Some are not very nice thoughts I’d like to shed.  Some are of the way I have been thinking lately but mostly, I asked Him to let me feel Him again.  Then, it occurred to me.  There are several reasons God might be silent.  Mostly I think its because I have neglected to open my bible and read His word.  Its hard to do that when life gets in the way and I start feeling defeated.  I’m tired of looking for a church (again)!  I want to connect with people.  I want to find a place we can all worship and dive into the word and soak it up.  I crave that.  I want that so much.  I am feeling discouraged because of this.  I’m feeling lost without somewhere to go.  I don’t go to church to socialize like some country club but I tell you the truth, its nice to have friends who share the same beliefs and can get together every Monday for coffee and talk about anything and everything.  I miss Wednesday morning bible studies.  Sometimes I wonder if I can’t find a church because I can’t let my other one go.

Did you know that dead daisies stink to high heavens?  I was throwing away my flowers from Mother’s Day tonight and the stench was awful.  Those beautiful white daisies (my favorite) were once bright and stood tall.  At first I kept them trimmed and changed the water often and sprinkled some of that flower food in the vase.  But, after a while I just got lazy and let them die.  They sat on the table dead for several days.  Gross, right?  I feel like those dead daisies without the word of God to live by.  The flowers needed food, a little trimming of the stem and fresh water to live.  My heart and soul need that food, the spirit of Christ to keep surviving.  I’m not great with analogies but that pretty much summed up how I feet at the moment.

So, tonight after I prayed and God was silent once again and then I threw out the flowers it hit me.  STOP BEING SO DANG LAZY!  Open up the bible, make no excuses and MAKE TIME FOR GOD!  I read a few scriptures and again it felt like I just wasn’t connecting to Him like I always have in the past.  Makes me feel like Job and just like Job, I am going to chose to keep believing that God hears me, sees me, and is still carrying me when I can’t walk.  Maybe God is being silent to make me come to Him.  Make me reevaluate what I have been doing to not feel His spirit so intimately.  Maybe, I have focused so much on the world that I am forgetting that those things don’t matter in the end.  My walk with Him is important and I’ve been letting that slip the more I feel discouraged.  Everything that happens to me, God has had a hand in it.  Everything good comes from God but sometimes He allows things to happen in order for our eyes to focus back on Him.

Sometimes, we need to be broken.

Being too hard?

26 May

Sometimes I wonder if I say the wrong things to my children.  Is it wrong to tell your five year old that she should be ashamed of herself for her actions?  I didn’t say I was ashamed of her but that SHE should be.  Is that something that shouldn’t be said, like the equivalent of telling her she is stupid?  Which she is not.  I try so hard to rear them in the right direction that I often feel like a failure.  Or that I am too hard on them.  If you see my children in public they are not usually the ones screaming or demanding anything.  They listen (mostly), they don’t make a scene and even at home they are really good (mostly :) ).  They fight of course, they get too loud, they whine but truthfully God has blessed me with wonderful kids.  They are so independent and smart that I wonder if I make them do too much and have taken some of their childhood away.  My five and six year olds can do the dishes.  They know how to work the dryer (only when I am with them) and my three year old likes to push the buttons on the microwave and helps pick up dog poop in the backyard using the scooper.  I make them clean their room, take their dirty dishes to the sink (even the three year old), pick up their toys and before we moved the older two were in charge of cleaning their bathroom while I oversaw it.  I want them to know what it means to work for their stuff.  I want them to feel accomplishment and pride in the things they do.  I was talking with my aunt today and as soon as the words, “We haven’t had to spank them in a really really long time” came out of my mouth I’m having to swat my three year olds butt for something she did who knew she shouldn’t have.  Just goes to show me to keep my mouth shut–HA!

Truthfully, I know my kids have had to grow up faster than most.  Most military kids do.  Today, my kids help their Granddad put out the yard flags.  They knew what today was about.  They also know, but may not fully understand how close their daddy was to being one, that today is a day of remembrance of the fallen.  I know that today was a bit hard on my husband and I wish there was more I could do for him.  So since this post just took a turn I’d rather not think about again today, I think I’ll stop.

God Bless those who lost someone special and God have mercy on those who have fallen.  And God, please let me be the woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend that You want me to be.  I can’t do this on my own because if I do, then I really will fail.  Amen.    

Civilian life is hard

7 May

It breaks my heart to hear (everyday) that a veteran has lost their fight to PTSD.  I’m in mourning for someone I don’t even know but because it hits so close to home I can feel his family’s pain.  I can’t thank God enough for saving my husband.  I know the fight is hard and long but I stay with him and help him fight it every day and I am not going anywhere.  In my husband’s medical records it shows/proves that having family with him, supporting him, understanding has helped him cope.  I know he isn’t the same person I married but every single day, little by little I can see a change in him that brings back the old Patrick I knew.  Even though his mind wonders, his words stumble and his body is broken he is still the man I love with all my heart.  I am so very lucky to be able to stand next to him as he introduces me as his wife.  I am proud of the man he was and the man he has become.  I wish society could understand, could learn about PTSD.  Not judge or jump to conclusions because he doesn’t attend family gatherings or go to church. People, large crowds make him anxious and paranoid.  I wish we could drive down the road without him becoming paranoid someone is going to kill us.  What we think is trash on the roadside he assumes is an IED.  And to the man who almost caused us a wreck with our kids in the car, next time you jump out of your car because someone honks at you for acknowledging you did something wrong, don’t provoke him to fight.  He won’t stop.  In his mind you have threatened his life, his family’s life and if you lay a hand on him he will not stop until you stop moving.  His mind doesn’t work like yours and its not fair for you to be so ignorant.  You sir, are lucky that my husband’s mind stopped working.  When you were throwing your words and hands in his face because you did something wrong that he forgot what he was doing and walked away.  Your ignorance could have gotten a whole lot of people hurt.

I apologize for this rant but lately the ignorance of people we encounter daily has just gotten to me.  I don’t like seeing my husband feeling lost or hurt.  Being out in the civilian world these past two months have really taken a toll on all of us.  There is a lot I don’t know but I do know that God has us here for a reason.  Medically separating from the military became a blessing after his injury but learning how to conduct ourselves outside of the military life is hard.  Its a daily struggle that I wish we didn’t have to do but for one reason or another, we are here and trying to make the best of it.  God has opened up doors for us and for that I am thankful.  There’s not a day that goes by that I wish I could fix my husband’s problems, his pain but I also know that he can help others work through their issues because he understands them.

Sometimes I wish it was easier but I just have to remember that when I can’t stand anymore, God carries me.  

Isaiah 41:10  fear not, for I am with you;  be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you,  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
         

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