0

When You Feel Blindsided

It isn’t ‘just life.’

  
It isn’t ‘just the way things go sometimes’. It isn’t ‘just heartbreaking’. It isn’t ‘just this broken world’. 

Well, honestly, it IS all those things, but not JUST those things! It’s so very much more! Take a look at Calvery.

All that heartbreak, all that pain, all those aching questions. It wasn’t a surprise to Jesus that He would die. It didn’t take Him off guard when wicked men fulfilled prophecy and whipped Him and took His clothing and killed Him. It was horribly heartbreakingly sad.

 But life was not out of control. I’m sure it seemed like it was to Jesus’ mother. I’m sure she wanted to stop time and rescue Him from the worst nightmare she was forced to watch unfold.

She couldn’t stop it. She couldn’t take the suffering or the weight of the world away from Him. Did she understand that she was the one being rescued while her entire heart was breaking?

He saved others by NOT saving Himself. He brought hope by submitting to the worst pain and bearing the sins of the world. 

Recently, I have been reading Next Door Saviour by Max Lucado. His chapter on Jesus’ death brings out this glorious truth in much more detail. The bad things that happened to Jesus? They didn’t blindside Him. The wicked men that hurt Him with words and spikes and spears? Even  their wickedness was used to fulfill prophecy. 

God was still in control, when the entire world seemed to be spinning out of control. It didn’t make any more sense to the disciples then our own tails pins in life do to us. Hurt sends us reeling. Terrists rip apart families and horrendous things happen every day in this broken world. We are touched by the ooze of sadness and hurt and grief. It colors our minds and messes deeply with our emotions. 

  
It makes us gaze into the face of death and know we are helpless against it. My friend, your pain is not too much for Jesus! 

Just remember  that glorious day, three days later, when the tomb ripped open. When the angel appeared. When the Jesus who had cried, “It is finished,” spoke again.

Those life giving words,

 ” Greetings.” ( it’s root word means Joy! And hints at Peace)

 “Go.  And tell my brothers. ” 

I think He wants us to know, just as He wanted them to know…..

There was LIFE!

There was a whole world of hope about to open before their eyes. There was new life, new perspective, healing. There was a plan. The sadness would not win.

  
(Compiments of Michelle Beachy photography.)

It gives me hope. I do not understand why there is pain and death and suffering. But I know one thing…..it doesn’t blindside my Father. And as long as He’s not blindsided, He’s still in control. He is Always good. Always. He cannot change that ALWAYS GOOD. Ever. 

I praise God with Paul, ” But thank God! He gives us victory over….death through our Lord Jesus Christ!  So my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable! …..for you know that nothing you do for The Lord is ever useless!  (1Cor. 15) 

Wading through pain, holding a dying hand, listening to a heart break, loving when life doesn’t make sense, it is not useless!!

“I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says The Lord.” Isaiah 66:9

Hold onto hope, my friend! Embrace that resurrection Son in your heart.

Come alive. Breathe in deep and slow. Dare to embrace your pain and feel the warmth of His promise. 

  

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6

Mid March Madness

I was organizing and sorting  my life memories recently. You know how you come across an old photo or scrap of paper and it takes you back to an exact time and place. To an exact aroma or noise.

I’m glad we have memories. Because some of our memories, buried in the years of brain software, are just too funny not to pull up occasionally and laugh over. 

I just found one of those memories again and it was such a typical experience of my life.  I was sick with a head cold and larengitist one day, so I stayed home from school to rest and heal. I knew we had a test coming up the next day, and I really wanted to study for that test, so I called my teacher to ask him to send my text book home with my sibling.

My whole phone call turned into a disaster. With my croaky voice, there was no way he could know who I was. When he answered the phone, I said, ” Hello, this is Anita.”

“No, this is Bill. ” he replied. 

“This is Anita.” I repeated more firmly.

“No. This is Bill.” He repeated just as firmly.

I tried one more time. “THIS is Anita.”

“NO, this is Bill.” Came the steady reply.

Let’s just say I was too embarrassed by then to try to explain anymore of my predicament. I simply said “Bye.” And hung up the phone. No worries, his name wasn’t actually Bill 😉 

{I learned a lesson in phone etiquette and how to introduce yourself properly on the first sentence of speaking with someone.} 

I’m still laughing over it.

I suppose phones and me have had our battles, however, because several years later, I totally misunderstood a conversation. 

My Dad had advertised a ‘pickup head’ for the front of a combine (or was it a chopper). One of these heads that hungerly gobbles the field’s harvest of crops and feeds it back into the equipment. When a guy called to ask about the pickup head, I immediately envisioned a pickup truck in my mind. I promised to pass the message along to my Dad. That evening, I casually mentioned to him that a guy called about the ‘ truck front’ he had advertised. He looked at me like I was just a touch crazy. “I didn’t advertise a truck front! ” he said. “But I did advertise a pickup head.” 

It was my turn to feel truly a bit crazy. I don’t think I will ever totally live that one down. Hehehe.

I was a bit of a dreamer with my head in the clouds or my nose in a book. That brought me more then my fair share of embarrassing moments. When I was 8 years old, I forgot my new glasses in the morning and had to go a whole day at school without them. I thought I would die of embarrassment 🙂 

At about the same time in life, we were at a large family reunion with lots of grownup cousins that I barely knew. I stepped on my cousins flip flop and made her fall in front if a whole circle of guys. She fell not  once. But twice. And of course there was a comfortable chuckle. To us, it was the most embarrassing experience EVER! Our little girl minds thought we were marked forever. For months, and likely years 🙂 we would include ‘Remember?” In the notes we wrote each other. It was like we had this life altering experience that would forever scar our reputation.  I still smile over our little girl minds:) eventually we resorted to a “!” as a reminder of our survival story. And when we got old enough to face the ‘ big drastic things’ we totally dropped even “!”

When I was a teenager I went to church one Sunday morning with two different shoes on and didn’t realize it until I was walking down the isle. Yep. Embarrassing. 

I was one of those wordy people and would explain myself into an embarrassing  tangle of synonyms. Like the cat is a male or a he or a tom. When I could have simply said, “This is Sylvan.”

I loved horses, as many young girls do, and was rather bug eyed over anything western. When I eventually grew up enough to move west and teach school, I was thrilled to borrow a horse to ride. Turns out that READING about horses and actually RIDING them is a very different story. I sat in the Lane one day, on this stubborn horse that REFUSED to take a step. It was cold and windy and yep, embarrassing. Because my then, future husband,  drove by and there I sat. A sitting duck. On a horse. I don’t think he realized my predicament and before I could decide if I actually wanted to wave him down ( I didn’t know him well yet 🙂 he was gone with a wave. To this day, I’m not sure how I got that horse to move on home. It was a not so glamorous moment of my life. 

Please tell me you have all had those awkward moments on a stair case or isle of moving out of someone else’s way in the same direction they move, and you immediately both move the other way and it becomes an embarrassing dance. Or hugged someone and your glasses caught on theirs. Or reached out to shake hands and gotten your grasp all twisted up or your finger somehow bent at an odd uncomfortable angle. Or gotten your talk all mixed up. Or happened to be pointing the pressure washer hose at someone when it suddenly begins shooting water out with it’s fiercest blast and you hit them dead center and the total look of SHOCK that crosses their face and the total HORROR on your own. 
By now, you should know you aren’t the only one who does amazingly awkward things and finds themself in less then ideal situations. It’s not fun to be the one who is caught in so many awkward moments. And no, I didn’t mention my MOST embarrassing moment of all time. That one is truly too embarrassing.

Especially when you blush easily. 

But then again, we folks have more to laugh about and more stories to tell our  grandchildren when we are old and grey and wrinkled. 

If we can remember them, that is  🙂 

I would love to hear your funny stories! 

It’s mid March. Couldn’t we all use a good laugh or a bit of happy madness? 

4

When You Don’t Feel Like A Mommy

The other day I said it out loud. Confirmation in my ear.

“I’m a Mom.”

As crazy as it sounds, I don’t feel like a mom. Or maybe it’s that I don’t feel like I expected a mommy to feel.

I asked my sweet cousin and friend the other day if she feels like a mom. She laughed the cutest laugh and said she sure does. 

It gave me hope that one day I will feel the same. 

Somewhere in the last five years, I have been something between a caregiver and a Mom. A big mix of both that sent my heart reeling a bit. 

When life hands you surprises it takes a while for ones heart to catch up to the truth.

Since I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a Mommy someday. I wanted 12 children. Preferably boys. Now my dreams have most certainly changed over the years, but being a mommy is still burned into my core. Like a nurturing ember that refuses to extinguish.

Being a Mom took on a whole new meaning in life when my expectations of motherhood were shaken to the core by a baby who cried for hours on end, rarely smiled or cooed unless she was alone, developed infantile spasms, had cortical vision impairment, and took 2 hours to drink 4 oz of formula. It all changed when that special little Wildflower Child spent weeks in the hospital and  endured medical procedures and countless sleepless nights. It wasn’t what I expected.

While it turned into beauty and grace and amazing love and connection, my heart told me I wasn’t really a mommy. Because didn’t ‘real Mommys’ talk about teething babies and blowouts and baby food? Didn’t ‘real Mommys’ go shopping for highchairs and trikes and toddler beds? Didn’t ‘real Mommys’ blow scraped knees and rescue little hands from the toilet? But’real mommy talk ‘….It was all a rather foreign language to me. 

While others looked at me and wondered how I survived, I ironically looked at them and wondered if I would have what it takes to be in their shoes. 

When our second child was born, 15 months after our Wildflower Child, I was totally amazed at how supremely easy he was. He drank. He ate. He slept. He was such a remarkable happy, easy baby that I still didn’t feel like a ‘real mommy’. 

I laugh at myself. My firstborn blows all my theories to smithereens and I don’t feel ‘real’. My second child is so happy and jolly that I don’t feel ‘real’. So what really IS real about Mommys?

I know I’m a Mommy. I have wonderful friends who are great Mommys. They seem REAL to me. Like the genuine Mommy stuff. I still struggle to relate to some of their REAL experiences. 

Now let me make it clear that they are wonderful and have been so supportive and are my heroines 🙂 

But underneath it all lies the ache that I missed out on a lot of my little guys babyhood. That other wonderful people changed him and fed him and made him giggle. It wasn’t that I never saw him. It wasn’t that he didn’t like me. It was simply that my mind was so preoccupied with his older sister’s immediate needs that I couldn’t be present in his life nearly all the time. That will always hurt. But it doesn’t make me less of a Mommy.

It’s a bit scary for me to write this. I feel like I’m opening a tender spot that I would rather hide and say it doesn’t exist. But honestly, it’s been burning a hole in my mind for the last few months. At first I kept pushing it down, hoping it would just kinda tunnel into my heart and stay there. But it kept raising it’s stubborn head over and over until I decided that once again….the truth will set me free 🙂 

If you are a mommy that wonders if you are legit. If you know a Mommy that is facing unusual circumstances. (Are there any TRULY usual ones?) if you are a Mommy doing your best to follow the heart of your Creator,    then this is for you….

You are a Mommy born out of the heart of God. 

Mommys aren’t a certain checklist of qualities and experiences. 

They are real in whatever circumstance they find themself.

They love and pray and cry and laugh.

They give and give and give. Even if that giving isn’t in the way they always thought it would be.

They take breaks. And if they don’t, they should 🙂

They HAVE what it takes in their situation…..in their EXACT situation. 

They are not called to be the Mommy next door or the Mommy at the park or the Mommy at the Doctors office with fifty eleven medications in tow. 

They are THE MOMMY! 

Because God has a special plan. A special calling and a special child for each single one of you. 

So take a deep breathe.

 Just be. 

Be the mommy God called you to be. And know that whether you have never gotten to hold your child, whether you have buried your child, whether you have one child, or whether your house seems to be overflowing with little hands and feet and hearts…

YOU ARE A MOM!

Love and hugs, my Mommy friends! 

……Anita, who is a Mom!