Archive | May 2013

I Thought I was Dying

I just realized that I haven’t thought about (my) death in a while.

The fact that I was thinking about my death at all might be a little alarming to most of you, but considering what my life has entailed the past year, I don’t think it’s completely abnormal.

My brother died of a heart attack in September. I didn’t expect his death to have the effect on me that it did. For a while, I was fine. I mean, these things happen. I’ve seen other people deal with death in such a positive way, and I was determined that, as a Christian, I would too. Well, I learned that even Christians think death completely sucks. Because it does.

Four months after my brother passing, I was in the hospital having a baby. You know how they have to warn you of ALL possible things that can go wrong? I would stop them before the “you could die” every time. “My brother died four months ago, death is not an option for me”. I was trying to be lighthearted and funny, but I was serious.

A month after sweet Charlee was born, my chest pains returned. Brother dies of heart attack, Amy has chest pains. I was a mess. The thing is, I knew that I was probably a mess. I knew, logically, that it was probably stress or indigestion or some other non-lethal ailment. I convinced myself that God wouldn’t be that cruel to my parents. He wouldn’t allow my brother to die and then take me too. Except, I knew it could happen. One month after a woman in our church died from cancer, her husband passed away and left two boys parentless. So, yes, it happens.

I took myself to the doctor.

She gave me a clean bill of health. I was convinced she was wrong. She just hadn’t run the right test. I googled my symptoms. Of course, Google told me what I already knew. I was dying.

Except it wasn’t true. I was just a mess from hormones and my brother dying. I stopped googling my symptoms. This was actually harder than I thought, because I was sure I would miss something. Ha ha.

Now it’s three months later. I haven’t googled a symptom since. Remarkably, my doctor was probably right about those chest pains, because they have completely stopped. I’ve been too busy living with 6 other people to worry about my ultimate demise. I smiled the other day when I realized that I hadn’t obsessed over my death in a while.

Am I dying? Well, yes, it’s a natural process of life. 🙂 I plan on living my life until I do, whether it’s tomorrow (please, God, don’t let this be an omen) or 60 years from now. As long as living is dishes, laundry, homeschooling and loving this family I’ve got, I’m doing it right.

Am I completely out of the woods yet? Well, probably not. I’ve learned that death really is a (not so) funny thing. Just the aftermath can sneak up and grab you when you least expect it. Although I am not outwardly grieving, I am still inwardly processing the death of my brother. It has definitely affected me more than I ever thought it would. 

Now this is where you tell me a snippet of your story. The “don’t worry,  you’re not the only one” story. That way I won’t think I am completely crazy. 🙂

Feeling Needy and other first world problems ;)

I am not one to write, edit, re-write, delete, refine, etc.I write off the cuff and then I hit publish. Why? Because I want to be transparent and real and in the moment. I was a bit disappointed when I discovered that a popular blogger that I follow, would write her material weeks in advance. I understand WHY she does, but I was disappointed because I always felt like she was a kindred spirit. I wasn’t the only one going through what I was currently dealing with. 

As a result, my writing isn’t always pretty, nice or grammatically correct. It is real though. 

What’s my “first world problem” for this week? (BTW- I really hate that phrase. HATE IT)

I’m feeling needy. I want someone to notice me. I want someone to look at me and say “I see how hard you are working. I see how patient you are with your baby. I like how you spoke nicely to Piper, even when she doesn’t speak nicely to you. Thank you for getting dinner on the table for your family every. single. night, even though it’s a struggle. Thank you for teaching your children, even though it’s not what you really want to do. It’s amazing how I always have clean clothes in my drawer. I see you. I notice. You are not invisible”.

What I normally get is:

  • I don’t feel good.
  • I’m tired. 
  • I don’t want to do school work.
  • I don’t like this (what we are having for dinner)
  • Can I? Can we? Can you?
  • Where is my t-shirt? I put it in the laundry! (and you are a failure because you didn’t wash it) and oh, look! Here it is! Not in the laundry. Hanging right where you told me it would be if it had been in the laundry. 

My mama has often told me that motherhood is a thankless job. I believe her. My kids are great kids, but they are kids. Their thanks won’t come until they are stuck right where I am right now. 

So far all you mamas doing a thankless job? THANK YOU. I see you. I notice. I appreciate every single thing you are doing. The things that are unseen and the things that are seen. I know what it’s like. I want to (((((((((((hug))))))))) you and thank you. Really. 

 

Prayers

For six months last year, my son prayed every night “Please, God, make the baby a boy”. We’d tell him that the baby was already a boy or a girl and God wasn’t going to change it. My son cried when Charlee was born a girl. 🙂 

We’ve been out of practice on prayers for the past couple of months. It’s hard when there is a demanding baby in the mix and many of our prayers were just thrown heaven ward in a rush. Jack has been pretty adamant about not praying at all. The last few nights we have been giving our thanks before dinner. Chad led us in prayer tonight and at his “Amen”, Jack piped up “Wait! Wait! I have something to say.”

We bowed our heads again and Jack began “Dear Lord, thank you for this food. Thank you for this day. And, Lord, please make the next baby……..long dramatic pause…… really cute”.

There was laughter around the table and my husband looks heaven ward and says “I’m sorry, Lord”, then looked at my son and said “Where in the heck did that come from????”

Michelle said “I don’t think mommy and daddy want six kids”. 

Jack’s rebuttal was “Well, you can move soon”. 

LOL. At least he’s okay with having little sisters now ? 😉 

This month’s challenge

I love a good challenge. Honestly, it excites me. It’s exactly how my husband got me to date him. “You would never go out with a guy like me”. Oh, honey, challenge accepted. 

In the past several years I have really learned to take challenges with a grain of salt. God hasn’t failed me yet and we have always, always been okay, no matter how painful the challenge is. So when I found out that we need to pay off a debt, and is more than my husband brings home in a month, I only cried once. The next morning, I woke up, dried my tears and once again said “Challenge accepted”. 

I have until May 31 to pay off an undisclosed, to you, amount of money. Like I said, it’s more than my husband earns in a month. Eeeek. I can think of better ways to spend that amount of money. .Oh yeah. But, really, I am not wringing my hands worried that it won’t work out. 

However, we need prayers. A lot of prayers. This is a month where we need to tighten the notches on our belt so tight that it may be hard to breathe for a bit. We will have to go without and be creative. (For instance last night we used leftover vegetables in a chicken stir fry. Instead of eating it over rice, as usual, I used up half of a bag of shredded cabbage that I had purchased for another meal. And it was GOOD!) 

So, please, friends, if you are reading this, say a prayer for us. Right now, I am feeling pretty confident, but who knows? I might stumble and fall this month. I might lose my faith a little and shed a few tears. Your prayers are so, so important. 

I was late in writing and posting this, so I want to tell you where we are at now. I did our budget for the month and was surprised to find out that we actually have a third paycheck, and no benefits are deducted from the third paycheck! My husband also received a small bonus on his first paycheck. My mom cleaned out her cupboards of close to expiring food and food that she probably wasn‘t going to use and gave it to me.4 bags full! This weekend we were supposed to get the brakes on our truck fixed, but had to cancel due to the importance of paying this bill. This morning we received a phone call and were told to show up at noon, because the brakes would still be worked on. 

By the grace of God, we’ve got this. Thank you in advance for all your prayers. The month is not over yet!