Thursday, October 4, 2012

I'm God's Toddler

Writer's block is one way of putting my thought process into a phrase.
It's been MORE than what I can't get to come out of my fingers though, it's been what I can't get my heart to retain, my ears to hear & my will to obey. I have been utterly...defiant.

It's been quite a year. 2012 was ushered in with high hopes like most years are (no one starts them thinking, "I'm so excited for how much this is going to suck!") The months before it had their challenges but I was facing them, tackling them--I was down right conquering them! With a nearly-four year old & my 4 month old, I was facing getting healthy--emotionally, mentally, spiritually healthy. God was holding me & I was gripping him--He was my crutch and my guide through this place I was utterly and desperately alone in. That label "post partum depression" was a temporary tattoo on my wrist--I wouldn't allow it to be permanent. I would quite literally, survive it. I would very physically fight it. I would with every ounce of my core, I would emotionally face it.

10 months have come and gone & I hear whispers of God's voice now. I'm pretty sure what happened is what I tend to let happen--I ached for Him & needed Him and there He was, loving me loudly! He had me in his grasp and I wasn't going to let go...but then I got my feet on the ground. I saw myself in the mirror and I for the first time in my life could say, "I see myself! I'm strong! I did it! I am healthy!" I was PROUD of me (am proud of me!). In those moments, I slowly distanced myself from my NEED for him. I wasn't desperate anymore so I gave Him a hug and backed off a bit. He became a distant relative that I love, enjoy being with, but don't pursue daily...weekly...monthly...

Lay off...emergency appendectomy...another lay off...death...melanoma... the hits were coming now but I wasn't on my knees, I wasn't angry or yelling at God, I was just numb. I wasn't feeling like I had to survive & I stopped chasing Him. I could hear my heart saying, "go to Him" but then I'd tune out--I was resisting with excuses: I'm too busy. I'm too tired. If I had just an hour alone each day... The more I resisted & excused myself from the table with Him, the quieter He got & the louder the world got. The trivial things that are just a part of life became another check on the list of issues but I just wouldn't go to Him.

Why? Inside me I was letting lies mull & the scent filled my soul with a tale that I did not deserve His saving...again. I could hear my thoughts blister with failure as His daughter, feel the ache that I only went to Him in need, and the guilt that I was only here to burden Him. Last night, as I called out to my son to listen to me (for the third time!) I felt frustrated, "Why is my child choosing to ignore me?" but within minutes, I was kissing my child on his perfect nose and filling with awe because I love my son. In that flash, I felt it--that striking, stunning reminder, "I love you, daughter, even more than you love your own son!"

The numbness, resistance, & excuses are slowly subsiding. In one still, small moment His voice that hasn't stopped speaking broke through my avoidance: He loves me even when I ignore Him. He adores me even when I misbehave. I cherishes me even when He watches me making mistakes.

I need Him.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

To Walk A Mile

This isn't a philosophical post by any means, I've just been lost in thought lately and struck by one of those quotes I feel like I can hear or say but I don't digest
"You can't judge a person until you walk a mile in their shoes."

I'm thirty now. How that happened I'm not sure, but it feels like a lot of life has been both lived and lost in three decades. It's now that I am a mom of two, married, facing life's beautiful and challenging realities that the depth of events is more impactful.

In the last year, I have been witness to four things that have forever changed my heart and my view of the stranger that stands next to me, the driver ahead of me, and/or the ones I hug & say I love you to. 

One of my dearest and most cherished friends lost her sister (also her best friend) in a tragic accident in Yosemite. Roe & Haley were inseparable. As my roommate in college for three years, Haley spent more time with us than most of the friends we had on campus. They were virtually inseparable and many of my funniest and special moments include Haley right beside us. Four days before my second son was born, I received the news that Haley was now an angel. 
I fell to the floor in disbelief and it took three long minutes before I found myself sobbing.
I wanted to RUN to Roe but I couldn't go anywhere.
I welcomed life while she said goodbye.
7/31/12 will be the one year anniversary of heaven receiving one of the most beautiful angels I will ever know.

Two months after my second son's birth, my aunt, a mother to three beautiful daughters under 21, lost her life.
She was a teacher to thousands that changed lives forever.
I looked at my cousins, 14-16-21, & I wondered: how were they going to do it?
I questioned how they were seemingly handling the grief so well.
The loss of her life was surreal for me.
I seemed to process both Aunt Jean and Haley at one memorial.
Two families I love would now forever be changed.

Through all of that loss, I was celebrating this beautiful baby boy who had come in and completed our family. I looked at him and cherished him. He was tiny, perfect, & so loved.
I saw him and how fragile life is.
I looked at him and saw every joy & every fear, every excitement & every anxiety.
This little boy was innocent, untouched by the world and I wanted to put him in his crib forever.
"Don't go anywhere, sweet boy. Stay here and I will make sure no harm touches you."

Most recently, my husband's family suffered an unbelievable loss as his 16 year old cousin was murdered. She went to get a soda and had no idea she would never go home.
A young Christian, star athlete, and member of the FFA, her impact on a small 700 population community rocked the state of Oklahoma.
She left behind a mother, father, sister & brother.

Yesterday, that sweet family from Oklahoma was visiting us in California.
While we walked with them on the beaches, I stared at all of the Summer vacationers that walked by. I looked at our family as people brushed passed them and was struck,

"They have no idea what kind of loss these people carry with them. If they knew, would it change how they looked at them?"

It made me look at everyone, lost in my own world of noise cancelling waves, I stared at people wondering, 
"what is your story? what have you celebrated and what have you survived?"

I brush past life daily getting lost in the mundane or the struggles forgetting to soak in the people instead of the stuff, forgetting to put aside exhaustion and routine for the spontaneous. Forgetting.

I wish I could say I would forever be changed by this moment of clarity but I know, I'll slip back into ME thinking about what's hurting and challenging ME,  what do I need, what do I want,  what am I hurting over instead of looking at the hearts of my neighbors, strangers, family & friends.

This world is a broken one. 
His heaven is a perfect one.
I just want to love on the journey HOME.

Monday, July 23, 2012

I talked to Monday

Hello, Monday!  I feel like resting in your vastness for a moment and linger here with you.  You know, for a day, you seem to carry a lot of mixed emotions. You're a new week which is fresh with a new beginning but depending on the journey, you feel old and heavy--something I want to cast aside. Today though, I'm just choosing to stay awake and build the new road. 

How do you feel, Monday? Does it feel burdensome that most people loathe your existence? Do you take it personally or do you realize it was just an unfortunate alignment that made you first instead of Friday? 

Well, Monday, I'll tell you what I like about you: when the baby naps in the morning, the chance to sit and have coffee with you, the opportunity to work a little from home, the chance to see what lays ahead and ponder the unknown corners.  Today, I love the chance to indulge in copious amounts of intricate song lyrics & deafen myself to the sound of anything outside of my speakers & mind. 

So, Monday, thanks for coming to rest a bit with me. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A New Beginning....

I started this blog a few years ago out of desperate need to release my inner most thoughts. I never held things back here. I unfolded the complications of being a working mom, the aches of becoming a parent, the battle between where I started and my family began. I healed here. For those who only virtually know me, I probably seemed unstable but the truth is, the more real I got here, the more sane it kept me.

I learned to write when I was young. My journals were my best friends. No matter where I was, a pen and paper heard the chaos of battling my parents divorce and the chaos that followed it. I broke and was bound by the lines that held the words that were stitched inside a mouth that couldn't find the strength to speak.

With my first son, I juggled working a full time job and learning how to be a parent. It say the least. I'm in a new place now though. I found myself without a job (part of a budget cut like many people) after only two weeks of being back at work with my second son. It's now five months later and I am just now settling into what it means to be a Stay At Home Mom--an internal dream fulfilled in an unexpected way.

Things are financially TIGHT and they are abundantly blessed in LOVE, exhaustion, and newness. This may not be the way I wanted to get HERE but I made it.  I have made it to this "finish" line (for now) I had set in my we have to figure out how to keep our family here.

So, this blog is turning into something new. A daily diary of the moments I get to experience as a mom and wife not divided by the expectations of corporate america. Here starts a new day at a time.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Post in Partum (Part II)

There's a whisper (but quite frankly, it's like a damn bull horn),
"Mommy, I want to cuddle you."

Crap. My damn mom ears physically respond like there's been an earthquake but as the hairs on my arm standing on end retract, I smile,
"I want to cuddle YOU!"

He crawls in bed and fits in the arch of my arm but his legs are longer now. I feel his freezing toes and warm them between my knees. It's damn early. Physically, I'm so over this but my heart knows: this won't last forever.

We stay avoiding truth as long as we can, Daddy/Husband sleeping soundly beside us, & then the cries come. Unintelligible sounds that I understand: "I'm 6 months old! I want my bottle!" So the little Mr. and I leave Daddy/Husband in the warmth. We rattle the bed enough for him to turn over. Physically, he knows we're gone but mentally, he's nowhere to be found.

The carpet touches my feet and alerts me: Here we go. I grab my ugly socks (the ones that are too warm to stop wearing-the ones my little mr. steals from my that go up to his knees--his "mommy socks"). I'm tired, hungry but before any of that I make a stop at the counter: Friday-pop the lid- throw the pink pill back in my mouth- close the lid/swallow simultaneously. Ok. If I don't do anything else for myself that day, I do that. Take that pill that has leveled me out, been one in a series of things that have helped bring me back--back to the land of the living.

Here's the thing about post partum depression for me: it felt fictional, it felt fake but I knew better. It also felt like unbelievable failure...until I got so damn desperate to be better that I could admit: I need help, this isn't forever, this is going to be a fight and I'm going to win.

Step 1: The hotline, the doctors, the stabilizing. Step 2: Swallow, Sleep, Wake, Repeat. Step 3: Talk. TALK. T A L K. Step 4 : Look yourself in the mirror and see my face, feel alive (and now it feels good!), seek God, JOY.

I'm back.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Post in Partum (Part I)

The clock ticks and I can hear it. I can hear every bloody tic-toc...tic-toc and I stare out losing myself again. It's dark inside, cold to the point of curling in on myself, and the echo aches...rattles my soul (if it's still there.)

The tears come and I can't stop them. I'm angry inside. No one cares, no one hears me, everyone needs from me, takes from me, depletes me. I give-and give-and give but there's nothing left but a shallow pool of blood that pulses; it's the only thing telling me I'm alive.

He finds me--hiding, sobbing uncontrollably, behind a glass door that holds every article that covers me, labeling me as "together" or "tired" or "SAHM" or "professional" and all I can do is tell myself to keep breathing. I have to keep breathing.

It's the day before it all changes and while my world moves around me, I stand still just hoping I can hang on a little longer (because I'm not far 'nuff gone to want to leave it forever....right??) The ocean crashes, the planks below our feet keep us staring down---hand in hand---and I say, "I need help. I know this scares you, but I can't do this anymore."

We stop, he admits, "It does scare me. I don't understand it," and I know it does...because it's been seven years...and it's okay but it doesn't change where I am.

We reach out and we hear from someone who knows what they're talking about: "You can't go back to work. We need to take care of you." I crumble inside--like soft cheese--I just needed that final push and I could break down so I could rebuild.

That was the day that I was reborn to myself....again.

(to be continued)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

the most amazing journey

the most amazing journeys i have been on in my life are the ones in which i learn about myself.
the ones where i meet myself for what feels like the first time
the ones i can't believe i am where i am
the ones where i am more alone and more found than ever.

if i calculated this journey from start to finish, it's as if i've always been on it, i just seemed to hit pause at times.
it's once i've arrived, or experienced a renewal, that i can connect the dots and see:
it all has had a purpose
and above that
i'm grateful for it


i have new life again
i'm in the land of the living
and i've worked my @$$ off to get here.

it's light again
it's freedom, confidence, joy, & a voice.

a new voice.

it's like learning how to talk again
it's taking my thoughts from paper to lips
i've never heard my voice out loud before
and it's new
it's new not to be an eruption and instead be life
i'm learning the sound of respect, the sound of words in the moment, the sounds of living as it happens.
a prison of words locked away inside
words that had scrolled itself into knots of indecipherable tangles
is now being unwrapped slowly...S L O W L Y
with intention, peace, effort & constancy.
with CHOICE.

i'm slipping into who i am now
and with it,
a new voice comes