Emotional Roadblock

Yeeyum is turning three. Another mother would be happy about it. Another mother would be proud. I am neither. And I am torn.

When Cupcake turned three, she had a three month old baby to fuss over and love. If not for the Incident, Yeeyum would have an eleven or almost twelve month old shadow trying in vain to keep up with his older brother. But he doesn’t.

I cried myself to sleep last night. I’ve spent the day stifling my emotions and saving face, because I’ve been shopping with my mother for the birthday. I can’t explain that I’m sad about a baby who doesn’t exist in front of a child who does. It’s not right.

When I was sixteen, my mother and I shared a car. I would drop her off at work and head to school. When school was over, I’d pick her up. One day, as I approached the same road that my house was on, I thought, I should drop off my backpack. Then I thought, That’s silly. I’m going to drop off my backpack, get back in the car, and go get mom? I should just keep going. Even as I drove past the road, I felt like I should go, but I ignored it. I ended up getting hit by a car full of drug impaired people who had just bought drugs from someone. I was hit across three lanes of traffic. Two cars hit me before I ended up hitting a car in a parking lot. The wrecker who got my car gave my parents his condolences. When my parents told him I was alive, he could hardly believe it. The entire car was smashed. The back end of the car was occupying the back seat. I thought, God kept me alive for a reason.

Now I don’t know.

Am I making a difference? Have I helped anyone? I have no idea.

But that is not for me to know this side of heaven, is it?

All I know is the solitary thing keeping me from coming completely unglued is the knowledge that God loves me completely, deeply, unconditionally, and unfathomably. The love for me that led Jesus to die on the cross is still in effect. Even when I am fighting against the riptide of sadness.

Thirsty Thursday: Pink Roses

I am not a gardener. I am not all that great with indoor plants, either. I think my orchid is dead, but I can’t let it go. It was a gift from Hunny! When I saw rose bushes in the Aldi seasonal aisle, I really wanted to get one. But I wanted to be smart about it and wait until they went on sale.

Towards the end of the season, they still weren’t on sale. I love roses and even though I knew it was too late to plant them, I caved and bought two: a pink rose and a yellow rose. I’m not a yellow gal, but I thought it might be nice to try something different for a change.

The miniature rose bush my father gave me for Mother’s Day three years ago is thriving under my minimal care and attention. It had already produced a multitude of tiny velvety red roses. I had a feeling the rose blossoming season was over when I asked Hunny to plant the new additions, but I asked God if He would let the pink rose bush bloom just one flower before fall. Just because He loves me, the rose bush bloomed several pink flowers that filled the air with their perfume.

My dad happened to drop by when one of the flowers bloomed. I wanted him to see how well his present was doing, and I wanted him to see the pink rose. I didn’t want to tell him that I had prayed for God to make it bloom. It felt embarrassing. Shouldn’t I be praying about grander, loftier things? I can’t tell my dad that I asked God for a rose. It’s so stupid! In spite of my embarrassment, I added, “I prayed God would let this one bloom,” after showing him the roses. My dad didn’t laugh at me. He nodded his head and said, “Oh.” He’s a man of few words, in case you were wondering.

A month or so later, a friend came over to visit with her children and a tag-along. After Cupcake took them to see the chickens, I felt like I should say something about the roses, even though I really didn’t want to say anything! I wanted them to see how lovely they were, but I didn’t want to admit to yet another person that my prayers were so goofy. But I did it anyway. “I asked God to make this rose bush bloom, and He did. See how great they look?” My words were bolder than my feelings inside. “Cool!” My friend didn’t laugh at me, either.

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My rose bush is still blooming! This picture is from today!

Mini Roses from My Dad

Today’s picture of the roses from my dad.

Don’t be ashamed to share the small victories in your life. Any and every prayer answered is a beacon of Light. It is additional proof of God’s Love, Existence, and Mercy. We don’t know what other people are praying for and about. They may be praying for healing or salvation for a loved one or transportation or that the clothes they need will go on sale so they can afford them. God really does care about us. He cares about our big and small worries. He wants us to come to Him with everything. Even the things that may seem like nothing to others that may mean everything to us.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you; casting all your anxieties upon Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7, emphasis mine

A Long Hard Look

I’m sick, you guys. As in, can’t do anything but lay there, can’t concentrate on anything, and just feeling horrendous. There’s nothing like being unable to function to make you reevaluate your life. I don’t like what I see.

I’m wasting my life.

Let me clarify: being Hunny’s wife and being mother/care giver to the Littles is not a waste. It is an honor and a privilege. All the screaming and crying I’ve heard from my sick bed confirms that they cannot function without me, so I’m kind of important to their overall well being and quite possibly their existence. However, I am wasting the precious vapor that is my life.

Aside from the 40+ hours a week I spend taking care of my home and family, I spend all my extra time, energy, and effort helping Hunny with his duties at his second job working for a nonprofit organization. Helping my husband is part of being a wife, but I have nothing left over for myself. I spend zero time and energy following my passions or chasing my dreams. If I don’t change this, I will resent my Hunny. Nobody wants that.

I am going to prayerfully consider what I can do to change this and make time for me.

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A Birthday Letter to My Son in Heaven

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

One year ago today, you were born into heaven. I wish I could be there to celebrate with you. I know you are celebrating with our Father and my grandparents, Daddy’s grandfather whom he misses dearly, my uncle, your great uncle also born into heaven, my friends’ children born into heaven, and most recently a baby girl named Evelyn. You are so loved there. I want you to know that you are loved here as well.

After I lost you, one of my friends asked me what your name was and I didn’t have an answer for her. I asked Daddy and he didn’t have a name for you in mind. I looked at a calendar and noticed that the first letters in the months from July to November spelled “Jason.” I thought that was interesting and I immediately looked up its meaning (name meanings are important to your father and me). It means “Healer.” Even though at the time I was completely broken from losing you, “Healer” seemed to fit. I had no idea why at the time. Your Daddy liked it and we agreed: Jason Harris.

Months later, I spoke to a woman who needed to talk to someone. I listened to her. She talked to me with an air of contempt. How could I understand what she was going through? How could I realize the depth of her hurt? Did I even know pain? I told her about you. I told her that I almost died losing you. I told her that there were times I felt the crushing weight of guilt for surviving. I told her that I didn’t understand why you had to die and I got to live. I told her that I was confused and lost and ached almost continually. She cried. I told her that even though I didn’t understand, I KNEW God loves me. God has a plan. I told her that God’s love for me, what He did for me by sending Jesus to die on the cross, was the only thing that got me through the day. She cried harder. I prayed with her.

God used you to bring healing to that situation.

I don’t fully understand the cloud of witnesses and I don’t know if God allowed you to see that moment, but I wanted you to know. I am not holding a five month old in my arms. I am, however, holding you in my heart. You will always be a part of me. I know Cupcake will be so excited when she meets you in heaven. She wanted me to have another baby so badly. Your brother is too little to understand, but I know he will be happy to meet you and have a best friend waiting for him in heaven.

Thankfully, I asked God to give me a vision about whether or not I was pregnant. I took a pregnancy test that confirmed it before God gave it to me, so I wasn’t expecting one from Him. He gave me one anyway. He showed you to me. A baby with brown hair the same shade as his Daddy’s, with a smushy face, wearing a blue onesie. Just like the first time I saw Cupcake and like the vision God gave me about being pregnant at your uncle’s wedding, I will always treasure the vision of you in my heart.

I love you,

Mommy

Thirsty Thursday: Totally Unprepared

You know how I’m always talking about how God answers prayers? Well, God answered a prayer that has left me an emotional mess. So much so that I have been trying to write this post (and others) for weeks and have found myself completely incapable of writing anything.

Mr. Bill & Mrs. Peggy are Cupcake and Yeeyum’s third set of grandparents. They work in the nursery at church and brag on the kids as if they were their own grandchildren (or great grandchildren). Mrs. Peggy became like a grandmother to me, which was wonderful considering I lost both of mine in 2009. It was nice to have someone to give advice to me and talk about when they were young and care about me.

Mr. Bill & Mrs. Peggy’s family live in the mid east and they have had their house on the market to sell for four years. We have known them almost two years and have been praying about their house selling for as long as we’ve known they wanted to move. Mr. Bill would always say, “We’re never going to move,” and jokingly, “Maybe I should pray to the devil and see if he answers my prayers.”

Even though I was praying for them to be able to move, I kept hearing Mr. Bill say they would never move and I started to doubt. People would look at their house and not make an offer on it. Or they would have a viewing scheduled and the people wouldn’t show up. One couple offered way less than the asking price, and Mr. Bill & Mrs. Peggy had to turn down the offer. When Mrs. Peggy told me last month that their house sold and that they would have to be out in a month, I jumped up and down, hugged her, and burst into tears.

Last night was the final time I would see them before the move. I didn’t know what to say other than I love you. Having them move away is like losing my grandmothers all over again. Painful, emotional, and difficult to discuss.

I don’t know when we’ll see them again. I do know that God will continue to answer their prayers, your prayers, and mine. And I’m praying that God will provide a way that we can visit them!

Happy Birthday, Grandpa

My Grandfather is 89 years old today. That may not seem like a big deal to you or anyone else for that matter, but it’s a huge deal to me.

While I was waiting for Hunny to pick me up from Jury Duty (Yeah, I had Jury Duty and didn’t tell you. I don’t tell you everything, you know!), I saw a World War II Memorial. I read the names and saw a familiar one, William Harris. William Harris gave his life for our country. Another William Harris, my Grandfather, fought overseas and survived. It blew me away. My Grandfather survived, came back home, took a government job, met my Nana, married her, raised a family, and currently lives in Florida.

What if he hadn’t survived? Who would my Nana have married? Would she have married? Would the child she had instead of my father marry my mother? Who would their children have been?

Not only that, but consider this: my Grandfather’s younger brother lied about his age to join the armed forces and fight in World War II. He felt he had a better chance fighting overseas than fighting at home with their alcoholic father. Enlisted in the Navy, as was my Grandfather, his boat was bombed by the Japanese Air Force. There were no survivors. Robert was only 16.

My Grandfather’s youngest brother is no longer living. He died years ago. He warned my grandparents that his wife and her family were trying to kill him. He died the next day.

Something else that makes my Grandfather’s long life an insanely huge deal is that he has Alzheimer’s Disease. He was diagnosed over ten years ago. He lives alone and his closest family members live ten to twelve hours away. He has an active social life. He recently wrote to me saying he finally wants to move from a house into a condo. Alzheimer’s hasn’t seemed to slow him down, even though it slowly and maliciously tortured my Grandmother for years.

My Grandfather and I aren’t close. He never remembers my birthday. He obviously doesn’t know I have a blog. But if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. If he had died after my father had been born, I wouldn’t be the same person. He helped mold my father who helped to mold me. Since the incident, I am acutely aware of how precious life is and how tomorrow is never promised. Whether or not I see my next birthday, I am so thankful that my Grandfather turns 89 today.

Thirsty Thursday: Rejoice – It’s a Choice

It has been said that you should keep positive people around you and keep negative people away. But what if people in your family are negative? What do you do when your boss is negative? How should we react when we are having a great day and a person in our life, who we can’t avoid, descends on you like a tornado of negativity, hostility, and criticism tearing everything down? I loose my happiness. I loose my good attitude.

I shouldn’t be that way.

This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

It doesn’t say try to rejoice. It doesn’t say rejoice until someone treats me poorly. It says rejoice and be glad. You can choose to be glad when things are going badly. You can choose to rejoice when someone’s war path tramples your day.

How?

Sometimes it is a difficult choice. But you can do it. Here are some ways you can have a good attitude:

Sing – Wrap yourself up in the garment of praise. It doesn’t matter what you sing, sing to the Lord until your attitude changes. You can’t sing “Jesus Loves Me” without smiling when you’re through.

Smile – Even a fake smile will release endorphins. Endorphins are hormones that naturally occur in your brain. When released, they increase your threshold for pain and increase your good mood.

Random Act of Kindness – Do something nice for someone out of the blue. It is a great feeling. Even better, do something nice for the person causing you strife.

Laugh – Laughing reduces stress and increases endorphin levels.

Gratitude – List on paper or aloud five things for which you are thankful. It is easier to have a good attitude when you see all the blessings you have been given.

Move Your Body – Dance, walk, run, jump, do something active!

I hope you choose to rejoice in the LORD and be glad today.