Dear Daughter, Let’s Talk about Abortion

Dear Daughter,

Let’s talk about abortion.

abortion

Abortion, by definition is:

The deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.

A medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the death of the fetus.

 

It’s a hot topic right now.  Honestly, it’s a hot topic for me everyday, all day, any day for reasons you will know and for some you may never be privy to, because they are not my stories to tell.  But, because of the election coming up this year, it’s a point that many are talking about, and not for reasons I am happy to report.

You see, dear daughter, our nation is currently in a battle between good and evil, right and wrong, and we, as a people, are walking around in a gray fog.  Nothing is simple.  Everyone is afraid to speak up.  Well, if you’re conservative, anyway, because they’ll call you names.  They’ll make you look like a restrictive, unloving, terrible person. (John 15:18, Mark 13:13) Your life and words hold a mirror to their issues, and they don’t dare go any deeper than the surface of life.  They aren’t ugly, they’re “free”.  They’re not under the influence of selfishness and evil; they’re liberated.  Are they?  Are they free?  Is an addict on a high, free?  Sadly, no.  They are bound, because their freedom is false, but it’s too difficult to be sober…to feel…to be broken…to deal… So they lie and live in a fantasy.  Such is the state of our culture.  They lie to themselves to get through without breaking down.  The blood on our hands looks less offensive when you’re already wearing rose-colored glasses.

You see, dear daughter, the stuff below the surface hurts.  It’s downright overwhelming at times, and it’ll make you think way too hard.  It’ll keep you up at night.  It’ll make you cry in the shower.  It will haunt you while you sip your coffee.  It will seem so much bigger than anything you could ever change.

Who wants to think about rape and incest when they can think about lattes and play groups?  Who wants to read about itty bitty babies being stuck with needles and how it has been proven that they try to flee in a womb that was created to first and foremost protect its creation?  We’ve got shopping to do, errands to run, friends to call, and nails to get done.  We don’t have time for thinking so much it hurts and praying so much it impedes on our comfortable lifestyle.

To them, it’s uncomfortable, maybe even morbid, to attribute humanity to a “fetus” whose limbs are ripped apart and whose brains are suctioned away.  God forbid we be a morbid people.  That would make for such a depressing life, right?  So we sweep it away and just make it simple.  Don’t sweep it, honey.  They need you not to turn away.

You’ll hear:

It’s not a baby…

It’s an effect of something evil…

It’s an inconvenience…

It’s going to suffer anyway…

It’s not wanted…

It doesn’t matter…

But it does, baby.  It matters so much.  They matter so much.  They are me, you, your sisters, your classmates, your children.  They matter.  They matter.  They matter.  I get caught up, uttering it like a prayer bleeding from my heart.

Sweet daughter, it does matter.  It is real.  It isn’t an effect – it’s a person.  If God is in control, who are we to determine who lives and dies? If we are waiting for convenience, we will surely wait forever. Someone out there wants it desperately. It does matter.  It does.

I read a headline today calling one of the conservative front-runners horrible names because he was quoted telling rape victims to “suck it up”.  He’s being told to “go to hell”; he has undoubtedly ticked some people off.  He’s insensitive?  He’s ignorant?  He’s cruel?  Do they even realize the names that they are calling him…the attributes they are giving him are laughable in the fact that they are for the dismembering of infants?  They are discounted as worthy, simply because of their origin.

Dear daughter, I hate to even think the thoughts, but I was recently challenged by someone we love on my stance.  “What if your child…”  And I answered the clearest that I have ever answered anything in my life.  I know it was the Holy Spirit in me.  So, here is what I said to them and what I have to say to you, my sweet angel.

Those who believe abortion is okay under certain circumstances have a deeper issue.

It could be fear, anxiety, shame, anger, selfishness, resentment, unbelief, embarrassment, hatred…

The baby is not the problem – the issue is.

What if we saw rape and incest as evil, but a child as redemption?

What if we told the doctors to save?  To do their jobs and their best and try to save both lives?  

What if we rejected the bad report and believed for a miracle? And if the miracle didn’t come, we leaned on Grace and loved anyway?

What if we gave a family the gift of a child if we weren’t ready or able to do it ourselves?

What if we changed?  What if?

We don’t want the headache.  If we outlaw abortion, except in the cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother…  It won’t fix the problem.  It will most-likely turn us into a nation of liars.

It won’t fix the fear.  It won’t fix the shame.  It won’t fix the rebellion.

But Jesus and taking that courageous step into motherhood can.

Before I brought a child into this world, I stood in the shower with an active babe kicking wildly in my belly.  I was at the end of the road, and delivery was near.  I had just read an article on Facebook about a woman who had tragically lost her life during childbirth.  It engulfed me in thick fear, daughter.  Suddenly, I saw my child as a danger.  It could kill me.  This could be it.  The enemy had managed to make my own beloved a threat.  The tears rolled fast down my cheeks that night, and I begged my husband to “save me.”  If it came down to a choice, “choose me.”  “Of course,” he said.  “We can make another baby; I can’t make another you.”  A fear and response that I’m sure many have expressed.  Oh, but it was a mistake, dear one.  For, there is no greater love than to lay one’s life down for another. (John 15:13)  My fear and doubt took my belly, swollen with promise, and villainized it.

The moment I knew my child outside of my womb, everything changed.

The veil was torn, and I saw the intended depth of my humanity.  It was so much bigger and deeper than me.  My motherhood went below the surface that day and became my purpose.  I would lay my life down for you a thousand times.  No question.  My husband can find a new wife, but the world only gets one you, and you would be worth that sacrifice.  Those mothers don’t know.  They are me in the shower, being swallowed up by fear.  Their husbands are those fathers choosing the one they love over the one they didn’t know they’d love more than life itself.  They don’t know, daughter.  They don’t know.

You can be a voice of change in the darkness, dear one.  You can tell the world about redemption and hope and faith and love.  You can make them think.  You can make them uncomfortable, but aware of a better way.  You can invite any who will listen to go deeper and beyond the surface of this life.  You can stand with the victimized and violated and show them the truth of God’s love and bigger plan.  You can be the friend that pushes fear aside and tells your peers that a baby is not the enemy to their bright futures.  Choose the hard road, the narrow one, my child.  Choose to stand up for the weak and the forgotten.  Choose to love the unloved and the neglected.  Honor their lives with your tears in the shower and your prayers late at night.  I think that the angels rejoice over you when you do.  They sing over the infants playing at the feet of Jesus.  They say, “You are loved!  You aren’t forgotten, and your life matters to them, precious child!”

And if, in the sad and terrible chance that we ever face these scenarios that they speak of, we will walk that road together.  I would cry, pray, and hold you.  I would hail you as a hero, and honor your bravery and love.  And together, we would kiss the face of the most beautiful baby that ever lived, because he/she would be part of you

Abortion is not the answer, baby.  With it comes a whole host of new heartache.

For now, dear daughter, I will do my best to raise you up beneath the shadow of the Most-High God.  I will raise you up to be a mighty woman of God, who prays and believes that anything is possible – even the ability for our God to make beauty from ashes.  I will raise you to hope for better things, to pray for the lost and shallow, to believe for a lifetime of witnessing the miraculous.  That’s what I will do, and it is my prayer that you and your generation will not carry the weight of the sins of mine.  Believe in life, dear daughter, and protect it.

xoxo,

Mommy

Psalm 8:2

Psalm 8:2

If you, or someone you know has experienced abortion, and you are looking for something to help heal your heart, free you from guilt or shame, please consider the book, “I’ll Hold You in Heaven,” by Jack Hayford (aff. link).

Sanctuary

Tonight, as I folded a little laundry and listened to the last of my husband’s stories from the day, the movie The Help played in the background.  I love that movie.  I think it’s on the top of my short list of “movies I could watch any day any time.”  After my husband said his “good night” and headed to bed, I found myself glued to the movie’s end.  I’ve seen it many times, but it still grips me as tightly as the first time.

You is kind.

You is smart.

You is important.

I could never get tired of that scene.  It is so moving.  Tonight, it tugged my heartstrings in a completely new way.  A way that whispered, “Sanctuary.”

Sanctuary…

Yes.

I found myself coming to the realization that if I looked back on my day with my dear daughters, my quote would read something more like…

You is cruel.

You is annoying.

Go away.

Seriously.

I replayed the events of the day.  The majority of moments were good – better than most lately.  But there were a few segments of our day that made the “terrible moments” highlight reel.  The bickering.  The nonstop running in circles.  The cruelty passing from one sister to another.  The ugly monster rising up in me, yelling until my vocal chords hurt, only to cup my face in my hands in regret immediately after.  What am I saying to these children?

I have been crumbling the sanctuary.  Some days, emotionally and spiritually it feels more like a war zone, with my daughters going about their day beneath shame-shrouds that I have put there – lies that I am writing on their foreheads and their hearts with my cruel words back at them.

What is wrong with yoooou?!

I shout in exhausted exasperation when one sister hits another.

Wrong with her?  Nothing is wrong with her.  They are being children.  Learning boundaries.  Pushing boundaries.  Pretending boundaries don’t exist in the name of childish fun and freedom.  That is going to happen in a plethora of ways over the course of their young lives.  It’s about time I start parenting them based upon who they are and not how they are being.

They are kind.  They need guidance.

They are smart.  They need encouragement.

They are important.  They need attention.

They are holy.  They need sanctuary.

They have their whole lives to encounter unkind souls, impatient people…

Not here.

Not with me.

I am their sanctuary.

I see them – walking into their classroom wearing that dark shame-shroud that says,

I’m cruel.  I’m annoying.  I’m tolerated.  I’m unlovable.

I wonder how miserably far that will take them in life, and I am undone, because that’s not how I truly see them at all.

That’s not who they are.  That’s not even how they are “being,” yet I find ways throughout my day to wrap them in those suggestions.

No longer.

No more.

As I dig deeper into Rachel Macy’s Stafford’s new book, Hands Free Life, and her wisdom chisels away at my mind-clutter, I feel like the light bulbs are slowly coming on one by one.  It’s as if Holy Spirit himself is walking slowly through the “house” of my heart and mind and illuminating the dark places.  Sometimes it’s a beaming light that startles me awake.  Sometimes, it’s the peaceful glow of candlelight, a gentle reminder to make a change.  Listening to my grandmother’s good-bye to my grandfather, candlelight.  Realizing what I am doing to the spirits of my daughters, startling beam.

Life has the potential to be harsh enough.  We can be kind here.

Life is rushed the minute we walk out the front door.  We can be peaceful and deliberate here.

Life is brutally honest, even kicking you while you’re down at times.  We can establish the truth in love here.  Grace can abound here.

Tomorrow, when my daughters return from school and we’re back at home, just “being” and going about our day, the word sanctuary will be written on my forehead and heart, and I’ll start erasing the words I’ve written on theirs.  I’ll pull off the heavy shrouds and replace them with the godly covering that speaks worth and value based solely on, not what they do, but, who they are.

Kind.

Smart.

Important.

Holy.

sanctuary

 

(Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  All opinions are mine alone, and any commission gained from products in this post is solely provided by Amazon.  Here at Klover House, I take sincere pride in exposing my readers to products, authors, and companies that I support 100%, and I promote from a place of personal experience only.  Thanks for supporting us through the use of any links found on our blog! xo, Kristi)

 

More posts from Klover House:

Living “Hands Free”

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Dear Baby (published in “New Life Within”)

dearbaby

Before…You Were His.

his

Living “Hands Free” – Happy Launch Day!

June 30th of this year is a night I’ll remember so fondly for the rest of my life.

My husband and I were doing what we usually do after the kids surrender to bedtime – sitting next to one another on the couch, watching TV, checking e-mails, answering texts, etc… basically, finally catching up with the rest of the world after a long day of meeting the needs of others…

That’s when I opened a message that dropped my jaw to the floor.  I couldn’t help but beam like a little girl on Christmas morning as I read it aloud to my hubby.  Rachel Macy Stafford, New York Times Best-selling author of “Hands Free Mama” had written to me.  ME.  I couldn’t believe my eyes or the opportunity she was extending to me with such humble sweetness.

Her latest book, Hands Free Life: 9 Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More was being officially released in September, today in fact, and she was asking if I would be interested in reading it prior to the launch date.

Not only is that an incredible honor in itself, but, friends, I have TWO books on my nightstand.  Just two.  And they have been there for over a year.  They are special to me.  I love them, which is why they aren’t on a shelf in our dining room or still in a box in our basement.  Two.

The Holy Bible and Hands Free Mama.

That’s it.

handsfree2

I joke that one’s my “life handbook” and the other is my “mama handbook,” but I’m really not joking.  Hands Free Mama changed my life.  The Hands Free Revolution posts on Facebook changed my life, my parenting, my perspectives.  When I read whatever Rachel Macy Stafford writes, it’s as if for those few moments, all of my chaos stands still and I bask in the glow of what could be, of what should be.  I feel the warmth that comes with the realization of how God wants me to mother cover my heart like a reassuring hug that says,

“You can do this.  You can do this well, and you can do this beautifully.”

So, of course I didn’t hesitate for even a moment before replying with a emphatic “Yes!”

And on August 3rd, the most beautiful gifts arrived in the mail – the book, Hands Free Life, a bracelet that I wear proudly every day, and a frame containing a copy of the most beautifully written “House Rules” I have ever read.  The box was so full of heart, so full of life, and so full of hope.

handsfree3

And that’s what it is giving me every time I pick it up – a big dose of heart, life, and hope.

live hands free

Since reading, I have been trying with intention to disconnect a little more each day from whatever it is that fills my mind, day, and even life with clutter.  We live in a world in which we face a distraction almost non-stop.  This book has given me practical ways to recognize that and to actually do something about it.

handsfree1

That’s part of the reason why this post is being written at 10 PM on “Launch Day” – I have been living all day.  I have been living all month!  It has been freeing and it has also been quite revealing.  My family needs me.  Your family needs you.  Your people need you.  Spouses, friends, children, co-workers, the bank teller, the cashier at Hobby Lobby, the mom next to you in the aisle at Target…   They need you.  They need you to notice, to be present, to be aware, to engage, to connect.

As Rachel Macy Stafford so perfectly phrased it, I had been suffering for far too long from a “connection-starved soul.”

Are you starving?

You don’t have to be.

Are your people starving?

They don’t have to be either.

Don’t be intimidated.  It’s possible.  It’s not too late.  You can breathe again.  You live again.  You can finally give yourself permission to let go of the anger and pressure that may be overwhelming you, suffocating you from the inside and robbing you of the chance to enjoy life’s “sacred moments,” to put down the To-Do lists long enough to hold your loved one’s hand or call a connection-starved friend.

Will you join me in living this beautiful life “hands free”?  Can you share with me your journey?  How your world is shifting too, thanks to the abundant “Daily Declarations” and “Habit Builders”?

I’ll be posting more about my own journey as I am reading this incredible and wise book, and I’ll let you in on how I am putting what I am learning into practice in my own life.

handsfree4

 

Because I am so passionate about her message and believe in it 100%, I am going to send one of my readers a copy of the book, Hands Free Life: 9 Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More.  

This post isn’t sponsored by anyone, and I haven’t been asked to give anything away; this is just me, Kristi, an overwhelmed mom, a tired spouse, a desperate daughter of God, who, possibly like you, wants to live and love fully, and is just wanting the same chance for you.  Please share this opportunity with others that you may know who would benefit from this great book and enter yourself below.

And, Rachel Macy Stafford, if you read this, let me just say for the umpteenth time…THANK YOU!  Thank you for sharing your heart, your wisdom, and your story with us.  We needed you and your voice.  This book matters.  Your message matters.  You are changing lives, shifting atmospheres, and shepherding the hearts of many women (and men) around the world.  For that, and especially because I am one of them, thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. (Proverbs 27:17)

Blessings!

xo,

Kristi

GIVEAWAY LINK:
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UPDATE: HANDS FREE LIFE is #1 in Inspiration, Family, Relationships, and Women’s Studies on Amazon!

(Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  All opinions are mine alone, and any commission gained from products in this post is solely provided by Amazon. The Giveaway above is coming from the wallet of our dear #mrkloverhouse, who loves me so well and appreciates my love language of gift-giving.  Here at Klover House, I take sincere pride in exposing my readers to products, authors, and companies that I support 100%, and I promote from a place of personal experience only.  Thanks for supporting us through the use of any links found on our blog! xo, Kristi)

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More posts from Klover House…

 

 

 

The Last See You Later

Her last words as his wife here on earth.

Her last “See you later.”

lastgoodbye

 

My grandfather passed away a week ago yesterday.  His illness…acute leukemia…was so brief and shattering for our family.  In one month, just one, he went from initial doctors’ appointments, tests, and the unknown to a diagnosis we’d never expected and the doorstep of Heaven.  We were shattered.  Especially heartbroken was my grandmother.

 

The love of his life for 65 years tomorrow, loved and depended upon him desperately.  The days spent at the funeral home must have been grueling for her.  How I wish I could have somehow rewound time for her, taking her back to her kitchen table where we’d play Rummy 500 for hours and my grandfather would sneak a little love tap in as he passed her on the way to the coffee pot.  I can still hear her words…“Stop that!” He’d have a sly grin on his worn face and she’d roll her eyes and laugh.

 

They loved each other.

 

I happened to be standing at the casket the morning of his funeral service when my grandmother spoke her last words to his physical body.  I wasn’t expecting it, because, according to the funeral director, we were expected to leave and offer her a chance to be alone with him one last time.  Although, I doubt she could have stood on her own had we left her.  My father held her.  I watched her knees buckle slightly as she approached my grandfather’s side.  I followed and stood at the foot of “his bed”, as we had called his casket when trying to explain what was happening to our oldest daughters.

 

I’ll never forget my grandmother’s last words to her beloved.

 

I love you.

You took good care of me.

You were my best friend.

You were the best husband, father, brother.

I’m going to miss you.

You’re not suffering anymore.

I love you.

I’ll see you later.

 

And she walked away from him.  I was left motionless – struck by the monumental life moment that I had just taken in.  Things like that hit you so hard in the heart.

Those simple words may seem just that, simple.  But when you hear them trickle in a lonely whisper from the brokenhearted lips of one human who has lost her one and only…they become the deepest words this side of eternity.  Tears welled up in my eyes in agony for her aching soul.

Watching my grandmother go through one of the hardest moments in her life and hearing her last good-bye brought so much clarity.  I thought of my husband.  We are approaching our 8th anniversary.  Eight.  We’re still newbies when our union is stacked up against theirs.  There is still so much we have yet to learn.  As the weight of this new urgency to love him well fell heavy on my heart, I remember saying to him something along the lines of,

We need to enjoy each other while we are still young.  I don’t want to be in her shoes one day and look back on our lives full of regret.

When that day comes when one of us may have to say good-bye to the other…I want those same kind of words to be able to pass between us, completely free of regrets.

You loaded the dishwasher wrong…doesn’t matter.  I love you.

You drove like a maniac…doesn’t matter.  I love you.

You took a nap instead of helping around the house…doesn’t matter.  I love you.

You left your dirty socks on the floor…doesn’t matter.  I love you.

You woke up on the wrong side of the bed…doesn’t matter.  I love you.

You forgot what I needed at the grocery store…doesn’t matter.  I love you.

You burnt dinner…doesn’t matter.  I love you.

You made plans without checking with me first…doesn’t matter.  I love you.

 

You see, when that day comes, none of the trivial things will matter anymore.  All that will remain will be the love shared.  Was I your best friend?  Did I selflessly care for you?  Did I love you well?  

That is what will matter.

If I have to recall her words every day for the next sixty years just to be the wife I need to be…to be the mother I need to be…to be the daughter and sister I need to be…to be the friend I need to be…  I will.  

Will you?

Happy Anniversary, Gram and Pap.  In marriage, companionship, friendship…thank you for always being an example for us to follow.

xo,

Kristi

 

 

Alive Again: An Honest Look at Healthy

Here comes Big Mama!

Big. Mama.

That’s the honest introduction I received from my five-year-old as I entered the pool.  I smiled, trying not to reveal that beneath my skin, my soul was crushed, mortified.  Big. Mama.  Not Pretty Mama, or Sweet Mama, or even just Mama.  Big Mama.

I know, you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal?  She’s five.  She might be talking about your height or that you are just a “big” person in her little eyes that view the world much larger than it is.”  And you may be right, but what you haven’t heard over the past five months are the other comments.  The “when is the next baby coming out of your belly, Mommy?”  “Is there a brother in there?”  “Why is your belly so big, Mom?”  “I think you need to exercise.”

Thank you, Sesame Street and preschool for teaching my daughter all about physical health, because what she is retaining, she is kindly sharing with her big-bellied-mama.

The four-year-old taps on my stomach incessantly like it’s homebase or a bass drum.  I don’t know which, but neither feels pleasant.  Their small hands hurt my tender tissues, and their innocent words hurt my bruised ego.

I know, child.  I know your mama is big.  Your mama doesn’t want to be.  

But you can’t tell your growing daughters that.  I mean you can talk about health and self-control and dedication to a positive lifestyle, but you can’t express what you are really struggling with.

I feel fat, honey.  I don’t know how your dad is attracted to this hot mess.  I feel strangers’ eyes on my stomach.  I can’t button my pants and it ticks me off.  

You can’t really say those things when you’re raising four beautiful, healthy, innocent daughters who haven’t been tainted by a negative self-image.  I will never introduce them to self-loathing.  I will fight that fight to the end.  

I got on the scale the next morning.  We have one of those fancy-schmancy ones… And it gave me an honest look at myself and my health.  I had gained just over six pounds in two weeks and was teetering back into my pregnancy weight high.  Yep, I was weighing as much as I did when I had a human inside of me (and all that comes with it)!

Again, you may be struggling with weight too and look at me thinking, “She has no idea what it really looks or feels like to be heavy. (smh)”  You may be right, but I am heavy for me, and I am trying my very best to raise four daughters in a home that aims for well-being, not a number on a scale, so, while I know that number doesn’t define me, I also know that the way I feel isn’t healthy.  I feel the sluggishness in my muscles…  I feel the heaviness in my legs when I walk…  I feel and see the extra rolls that I am trying to hide under my shirts…  It doesn’t feel good, and I refuse to settle for less than my best.  (And I refuse to buy a new wardrobe!)  If my best was this at just a month or two postpartum, then fine, but Miriam is six months old now, and I know that I can do better.  Truthfully, up until this point, I haven’t been doing anything at all.

I had let diastasis recti get into my head.  It put a fear in me.  “Don’t do that, you may make things worse.”  But after seeing that disheartening number on the scale that morning, I knew I had to do something, because not doing anything is what has made things feel worse.

The other night, I waited until the kids were in bed and sleeping.  I changed my clothes and donned my running shoes, which hadn’t even been worn since I mowed the lawn for my hubby a month ago!  I left our quiet house and started a brisk walk beneath a peaceful, pastel sky.  There wasn’t a whole lot of running, and I honestly felt like I was on the verge of shin-splints about ten steps in, but as I completed my first lap around our neighborhood (three makes a mile), cresting a small hill, I was even with the horizon and I felt it.

Alive.

I felt alive again.

All of this time, I have been staying indoors feeling sluggish and worthless and anxious…  This girl that used to ask for and receive gym memberships for her birthday.  I had tried an intense workout video at home during my second pregnancy and miscarried the following day, and it scarred me.  I never touched another form of exercise since.  I’m recognizing these unhealthy choices now.  I’m recognizing not just the physical issues, but the mental, emotional, and spiritual ones too.  I took that first lap and felt free for the first time in a long time.  The smell of fresh air, the healthy burn in the quads I thought were long gone…  It felt so good to feel again, to catch my breath again, to believe in myself again.

I will succeed, not because I need to, but because I want to.  I want to feel that way every day for the rest of my life.  I will be that little bitty (God-willing) still walking those laps around the flower bed when my hair is white, because it’s worth it.

I felt my spirit having a chance to connect with God.  I was able to pray for my neighbors as I ran past unfamiliar porches.  I added about sixteen projects to my “Honey-Do” list, because some of those folks have killer landscaping!  😉  This is what I was longing for, and I didn’t even realize it.

I left my cell phone on the bed and the music with it.  I kept glancing at my new “live hands free” bracelet from Rachel Macy Stafford, the wise and amazing Hands Free Mama, and I kept thinking, Yes!  This is living.  This is what it’s all about – getting back to life…to my health…the outside world…the sound of trees in the wind and birds and rocks crunching beneath my feet…  This is living…being my best self, so I can be the best wife and mother for them.  This is what I’ve been missing over the past five years…

live hands free

 

I went for my second run/jog/walk yesterday evening.  I have a long way to go in order to jog that mile without walking breaks, but I’m confident that I’ll get there.  I drove my girls around “Mommy’s exercise path” yesterday afternoon, and we talked about being healthy and working our bodies, so they are strong and useful.  My oldest shouted from behind, “Exercise is good, Mama.  I think your belly is getting smaller!”  Her words didn’t sting this time.  Even if my belly hadn’t changed a bit in three days, my heart has, and my mind has.  I am becoming a better version of me for me and for them.  I’m proud to be their “Big Mama”, and I’m proud that they will get to witness my healthy, prayerful, and patient transformation for themselves.

And so why am I sharing this with you?  Because I know I’m not alone.  I’m not alone in desiring change.  I’m not alone in diastasis recti.  I’m not alone in miscarriage.  I’m not alone in marital issues.  I’m not alone in low self-esteem.  I’m not alone in motherhood.  I’m not alone in fear.  I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed.  I know I’m not alone in eating well, yet never seeing the scale move.  I’m not alone in feeling alone!  I’m not alone.  Neither are you.  I’m here.  I’m struggling, but I’ve decided to step into the ring and fight back.  I’m done with the pity parties.  I’m ready to be accountable to my community of sisters here and see where this new path leads.  Let’s take our lives back, friends.  Are you on this life-changing journey with me?

xoxo

Follow my journey on IG @kristi_kloverhouse.  See you there, friend!

alive again

Standard disclaimer: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe in wholeheartedly.

10 Minutes to “Better”

Yesterday, my husband arrived home at his expected time – just before dinner – and the house was chaotic as usual. Eden decided to remove a poopy pull-up and go traipsing around the living room, which elicits sheer panic in me. We captured the dirty diaper before any disasters occurred, and I whisked her up for yet another early bath thinking nothing but, “Man, this stuff just s.u.c.k.s.” Yep. It’s no fun around here sometimes. And while I enjoy my babies so much and wouldn’t trade my time with them for anything, sometimes, it just feels difficult to keep my cool.

After the bath, we sat down for dinner (hubby grilled and it was really good – more on that in a different post), and then, before I could wrap my brain around flying solo for another few hours, he was out-the-door and off to a men’s meeting. Sometimes I’m so jealous of him…adult conversation, great food prepared by people who actually, truly know what they are doing, a change of scenery… Anyway, after allowing some outside play time, I decided to forgo baths for the oldest two and put them right to bed. I then fed and gave the baby a bath and put her in the swing for her “bedtime nap,” which at this stage has been from about 9pm to 2am. Sometimes, I take her to bed early (she sleeps in our room), but most times, like last night, I just burn the late-night-oil while she sleeps, and we go upstairs together once she wakes.

Since she was sound asleep (along with the rest of the house), I decided to take a shower (I was reaching the 36 hour mark – gross, right?!). I made the mistake of thinking I could rest on the bed and read Facebook posts for awhile afterwards.  Within five minutes, I had fallen asleep. Not a deep sleep, more like that foggy twilight sleep, but not-all-there nonetheless. Thankfully, I was startled awake around midnight by Ava, who had to go to the bathroom. Once I helped her back to bed, I went back downstairs to check on Miri, and the disgustingly large pile of dishes that I had allowed to accumulate throughout the day practically smacked me in the face. I was in total avoidance mode after putting the kids to bed, so I baked a chocolate cake and topped it with a homemade salted peanut butter frosting rather than tackle any of the mess left from dinner. All of the dishes were still on the island (where we eat meals most nights now that I have chairs), and the dishwasher was full of clean dishes needing to be put away.

I almost said, “Forget it. They’ll just have to wait until tomorrow.” But I pictured my husband trying to get his breakfast and coffee in the morning, and struggling to maneuver around the mess. I decided that I would just knock it out and be done with it for both our sakes. So that’s what I did. I put all of the clean dishes away, loaded the dishwasher to the max, wiped down the counters, stove, and island, poured myself a glass of water, and looked at the clock. Just 10 minutes. That’s all it took for me to tackle that disaster. 10 little minutes.

It was then that I kind of looked back on my hectic day and recounted the good moments…

I made a conscious effort to read my Bible yesterday morning. I sat down at the island with my cup of coffee and read from Proverbs. I knew it was at least a good attempt to start my day off on the right foot. I need to be in the Word. I need to read the Bible. I need, need, need it. It felt so good to grab that little slice of time. It was probably about 10 minutes.

I stopped what I was doing when Eden was having a meltdown. I scooped her up and held her. She was still being a pill and squeezed my chest – hard and on purpose. I scolded her and she cried. You know, if you are a nursing mama, that kind of stuff can really, really hurt! I let my flesh respond to her and wasn’t understanding. She didn’t know how badly that would hurt me, and I yelled at her. I felt so guilty when her little lip quivered and she started to cry in my arms. In an attempt to apologize, I told her that Mommy was sorry for yelling, and I tried my best to communicate to her that she had hurt me. Then, I started giving her nose-kisses. You know, the ones where you rub noses – eskimo kisses.  She responded in a way that totally melted my mama-heart. She began sniffing my lips and cheeks, and stared into my eyes, like she was exploring my face for the first time. Rubbing her little nose against mine, she’d crack a smile and giggle. It was so unbelievably peaceful. Looking back on it now, it too probably only lasted 10 minutes, but it changed the entire course of a bad situation and served as a beautiful time of bonding between the two of us. Mamas of multiples, you know those moments can be rare. We’re so busy, busy, busy that it’s hard to remember to slow down and make those pockets of preciousness happen. Just 10 minutes.

I listened to Ava read her school books…10 minutes. 

I helped Ava sort toys in the playroom…10 minutes. 

I played with and cooed at Miri on our bed…10 minutes. 

I sat and held Isla after her nap…10 minutes…

Thinking about those things and what a positive impact they made on me, my children, our day…it hit me. 10 minutes to “better”. That’s all it takes. So, today I am putting it to the test. Even if I have to set a timer, I am going to take 10 minutes of every hour today to make something better…

10 minutes to:

  • tidy up a room
  • snuggle a baby
  • play with a little one
  • read a few stories
  • stretch out on the floor and just breathe
  • walk around outside
  • dance to a few songs
  • worship to a few songs
  • read the Bible
  • enjoy my coffee or a cup of tea
  • call a friend
  • work on a task/chore
  • declutter

I’m already looking forward to what this day can bring if I make 10 minutes intentional.

Try it and share!  What did you accomplish in just 10 minutes?

xo,
Kristi

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Bad Day; Good Life

Today was one of those days.  One of those rotten, awful, bad days.  Yesterday, I talked about making memories, well, today was the kind of day that I don’t care to remember.

I started the day at 5 AM and by 7:55 AM I had already given one poopy child a bath.  By 3 PM, I had JUST finished my only cup of coffee and had cleaned poop off of three separate children four times and had redressed two of those kids twice!  You following??  I cleaned up a pee puddle in the kitchen and Play Doh in the dining room.  By 6 PM, I was making dinner and discovering my lunch in the microwave, and by 8 PM, I had scrubbed Eden’s carpet twice and stripped two different kids’ beds.  I washed, dried, and folded two loads of laundry, loaded and emptied the dishwasher twice before hubs came home and did it a third time.  I showered while he set the kids up for dinner, and that was only because, in my exhausted stupidity, I grabbed the hot, fresh-out-of-the-oven glass Pyrex dish with my bare hand, so I had “had it” and needed a breather.  I vacuumed the second floor for the third time this week and changed our sheets, because I have been sleeping on cake crumbs for two days.  (The Bigs were just trying to “get away from Eden” while they ate their cake, and our bed seemed like a good place to hide.)  Miri has been crying all afternoon/evening because I caved and ate chocolate yesterday.  After this day, it’s taking all of my willpower not to dive into what’s left of the chocolate raspberry meltaway egg. It’s now 9:45 PM and I can’t touch another dish or toy.  The house is just going to have to look like the post-dinner mess that it is for the rest of the night.  It.has.been.a.day.

Tomorrow, we start all over again, and I am praying that it goes much better than today has gone.  I love my babies.  I enjoy them.  Today was rotten, but I kept rolling that quote around in my head about it being a bad day, good life, just so I could maintain my sanity.  It worked about 80% of the time.  The other 20% I had to try to control the cursing in my head.  I kept coming up with phrases that included a whole lot of potty talk, like, “It’s not the pits, just the s***s.”  Because well, as Isla admitted, today was donned the “Poopy Day”.  I mean…who has to clean up poop like six times in ONE day?!  Ok, I’m sure some people do, but I can’t.  I just can’t.  It’s where I draw the line!  *Sigh*

So, anyway, if you had a crappy day, literally or figuratively or both…I’m sorry.  I feel for you, mama.  Tomorrow will be better.  It HAS to be better.  Just remember this:

Father God, I come to you as a tired, exhausted mess of a woman.  Please forgive me for my shortcomings today and for my impatience with everyone in my household.  I pray for grace and strength to do better tomorrow.  Help me to grow my children up in a household built on love and understanding.  I invite you, Holy Spirit to bring peace to our home in a deeper way.  Help us to feel Your presence and follow your lead in every moment of the day, especially the rough and yucky ones.  Help us to see this day for what it was, just a messy one, and help me to enter tomorrow with a new and refreshed perspective, rested and recharged, ready to take on the day.  Thank you for my family.  It is a gift that I treasure.  Let my words to them tomorrow be words of kindness, life and hope.  When I am tempted to yell, I ask that you would be there and give me wisdom on how to handle whatever challenges I am facing as a mother and wife in a more Christ-like way.  Help me to make our home a sanctuary for these people that I love.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

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a lovely day, every girl’s dream, and anthro candles galore!

Today was such a great day. Nothing crazy happened. Just a great day spent with two of my three girls (well, three of my four girls, if you count belly-bambina). Anyway, I told the girls last night that I wanted to take them to Story Time this morning, so that was the plan. Story Time, Trader Joe’s and home for the day.

Well, I got a text from my mother-in-law this morning asking to take my oldest for a few hours. She will occasionally take each child for a little special one-on-one time, and the girls love it – much like they love our ‘dates’. I have learned that the special time we purposely give to each of the kids fills their love tanks tremendously. It is so good for everyone.

I asked Ava if she wanted to head to Story Time with me or hang out with Nanny for the day. “Nanny.” No hesitation. See? I told you that they adore that special attention! So, Nanny came and got Ava, and Isla, Eden and I headed out as well.

Our first stop of course was Pottery Barn Kids. We were about 15 minutes late and just missed the Halloween story. I felt really badly about it, until I saw the Halloween books. I didn’t feel so bad after that, and I took them to a quiet spot in the store and read them Christmas stories myself. They sat so intently and loved every minute.

After our own personal ‘story time’, I told Isla she could play with the doll house castle out on display. She was in a state of total bliss. I couldn’t blame her, though. I posted a few things on my Instagram account about it this morning. The setup of the newest decor was just breath-taking. It made me wish I could just hit the lotto and bring it all home. (Too bad I don’t play the lotto…) It was gorgeous. She was having so much fun playing that I couldn’t bare to pull her away, so I put our Trader Joe’s plans aside and let her just enjoy her play time a little longer. We were probably in there for nearly an hour.

I only got her to agree to an Anthropologie run and lunch by promising that we’d come back to the dollhouse before heading home. They were such troopers in Anthro. It helps that they love all-things-girlie, just like me, so Isla quickly took to her usual practice of handing me every.single.candle. (That is, after she took the initial smell, of course, and offered her opinion.) “This one smells like (insert a made-up-word here), mama. Smell. Eden, you want to smell?” Over and over. We smelled every candle in the store. Sometimes we smelled them two or three times if they were found in different sizes/jars.

Thanks to her affinity for candles, I was able to smell our Boulangerie Jar Candles (that are featured in the giveaway this week). Friends, they are divine. I thought going in that I would love the Pumpkin Souffle the most, hands-down, but I surprised myself! I also thought I’d love the Whipped Cream & Pear, b/c of all of the excellent reviews, but… my two favorites turned out to be the Angel Food and the Sweet Vanilla Cinnamon. The Angel Food smelled just like it’s name. Delicious. Sweet. Delicate. Loved it! The Sweet Vanilla Cinnamon reminded me of Christmas. In the end, it won. I would have gotten both, but I had already been sold on the Amaretto Orange that I discovered in the Sale ‘cave’. Just $9.95, plus and additional 25% off! Isla kept putting candles in our stroller. I would convince her to put them back, but another would quickly take its place. I finally agreed to one of her selections – the Capri Blue Volcano candle in the bright red mini jar. It has a pleasing, sweet smell that I thought would compliment the spice of the Christmas scents, so I caved.

Here’s a peek at our finds:

{I also came across this ‘Embroidered Petals’ iPhone 5 case by Jasper & Jeera in the Sale room, and again, it was an extra 25% off of the already marked-down price.  I was too cheap to buy a $30 one at the Verizon store, so this seemed perfect!  It’s my style, it’s unique, it’s leathery, and fuzzy, and glammed up all at once!  
Hopefully hubby will be thrilled that I finally have something on it.}

I was also able to find some beautiful and soft tops that would wear well over this very pregnant belly. I am all about the “Angel of the North” cardigans, but when I saw this “Moth” brand cardigan, I fell in love. It was one of the first things I picked up. I looked at the price tag though and quickly returned it to the rack, bummed. Everyone that knows me knows that I love Anthro most of any store, so for my birthday each year, I am usually blessed with a gift card or two. This year, it was three, and I was elated to make the most of it! Anthro gives you 15% off your total purchase of regular price items during your birthday month, plus all of their sale items are currently an additional 25% off, as I mentioned earlier, so I was determined to make my gift cards stretch. Knowing that I would carefully peruse the entire store prior to jumping to my first love, I decided that I would see what else I could find, and if I could still afford the sweater, I would get it.

Well…I did just that! And I still have a good balance leftover for another day! Yay!  

{My incredibly soft clothing finds}

I tried to get Isla to go back in with me after we had already paid, b/c the Cedar & Balsam candle in the rectangular mercury glass was saying, “Take me too!” But, she wouldn’t have it. “I want to eat lunch…NOW!” I couldn’t blame her for that either, so I let her drag me away to Panera. 😉

Our experience this time was drastically different than the last (that had me nearly in tears, b/c Ava and Isla were literally wrestling on the floor while I was trying to order – yes, girls do that nonsense too). Isla stood so nicely next to the stroller; Eden wasn’t having any meltdowns, even though she was well past naptime. I ordered our meals and we sat in a quiet corner. As I sat down, Isla said something to me that was just the cherry on the top of the whole day. I almost missed understanding it, b/c of her cute speech (she’s three), but I’m so glad that it registered. She said to me, “I am having a good day with you, Mommy.”

I melted.

I almost always have all three girls everywhere that we go, and Isla is the quieter of the three. So, I rarely get to have true conversations with her without Ava finishing her sentences or changing the subject. It was so amazing to have this special time with her and to collect a moment that will stay in my heart until I am old and gray. That was awesome to hear as her mama.  I practically floated back to PBKids.  (I kept my promise and allowed her about 10 more minutes of doll house euphoria.  Don’t tell, but I think they are getting a dollhouse for Christmas.  Not that one, b/c it’s way more expensive than many great alternatives, but I can already tell it’s going to be a huge hit.)

Anyway, just wanted to record this day, b/c it was purely lovely, and I wanted to fill you in on the candles. You seriously can’t go wrong. Every scent seemed to hold true to its name. No surprises. They were all delicious. I think you will be pleased. So, if you haven’t yet…head back over to the giveaway post and enter for a chance to win your own! So fun! The Rafflecopter will close at midnight on Friday morning, and I will announce the winner around 11AM, so spread the word with your friends too! Thanks, as always, for reading. Until next time… xo

Oh, and did you notice that I have been capitalizing regularly in these last few posts?!  lol  What has gotten into me?!  (You can read about that little blog oddity in my ‘About Me’ section.)

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the letter that i write and never send

thirty years ago this december a tragedy hit our family that would prove to change the course of history.  my uncle, my father’s only sibling, died tragically in a hunting accident.  i was three.  i have one beautiful memory of him picking me up and throwing me into the air in front of my grandparents’ refrigerator, big smile on his face.  it’s the perfect, only memory to have and i have held onto it for my entire life.  i tie it to the stories that i have heard, the descriptions of him.  in a way, it has helped me to know and love him, even though i never got the chance, and i’m sure that is also why it has helped me to feel a deeper level of compassion for my father, my grandparents, and the only child he left behind – my cousin, the only other girl grandchild on that side of my family.

from early on, i knew she was special.  we all knew.  we could see it so easily as children, my brothers and i.  she was the apple of my grandparents’ eyes and in their grieving, they poured everything into her…their love, their time, their attention, their conversation, their finances, their hearts and souls.  all along, i knew it was okay.  i didn’t mind, and i understood.  i have a great dad, and i would feel such sadness for her loss and my fortune.  the fact that i had my father to play ball with, to kiss me goodnight, and to walk me down the aisle…i never once resented playing second fiddle to her in my grandparents’ eyes.  it was okay, and i would remind myself of this often.

it certainly helped that i grew up with another set of grandparents that took as much interest in their grandchildren as parents would.  on that side of my family there are twelve grandchildren, yet, they never missed a birthday, a chorus concert, a dance recital, a softball game, a bowling tournament, a graduation…  they drove for miles and hours to watch us play tournament ball.  they babysat seven of us at one time daily for years while our parents went to work and never once complained or treated us like a burden.  they were, and still are, saints.  i thank God for them and hold them personally responsible for my loving and compassionate upbringing.

i’m sure that those close bonds in a way helped to create a greater distance with my other grandparents.  there was also an unending tension between them and my mother that i never fully understood.  they never had a good relationship with her and i know that the stress from a sour relationship with in-laws definitely can add strain to a marriage.  my parents’ marriage finally cracked when i was a senior in high school.  so, it was no surprise that the only people from my father’s side of the family to show up at my high school graduation or graduation party was a great aunt and uncle.  that hurt.  deeply.  still does to this day. 

fast-forward through my time in florida earning an associate’s degree in christian ministry and then five years following, earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education…getting married…having babies…to today.

it’s still the same story.  still the same record on repeat.  no phone calls to ask how we are doing.  ever.  no invitations to visit.  why?  because they are remarkably capable of holding grudges. 

you see, they have been heavy smokers my entire life.  i used to love visiting them.  i would look forward to spending entire weekends with my cousin (who was like a sister i never had growing up).  i have so many great memories as an older child/young adult sipping coffee with my grandmother and playing cards until the wee hours of the night.  what she didn’t know…i would go to the bathroom after a couple of hours of being there and sit on the closed toilet.  i would bend over, woozy, pull my shirt up over my head and hang it between my knees until the intense feeling of nearly passing out would subside.  it didn’t happen once.  it happened over and over.  the hot flashes, the flushed cheeks, the ten minute trips to the bathroom…  and i never said a word.  how do you tell someone you love that their home is making you sick?  it was always so spotless, so organized, so perfect, but the smoke…  i couldn’t take the heavy, stale air, but it was never too much for me to handle.  i continued my usual visits.

then, i became a mother.

i couldn’t bring myself to introduce my babies to smoke, even in the womb.  i tried talking with them about it, but it was always a failed conversation.  i was the ridiculous one, and the space grew wider between us.

i knew i had offended them.  i tried to be polite about it.  my mother explained that they stopped coming to thanksgiving dinners at our home (when i was a child) after one of her sisters requested that they didn’t smoke in the house around her baby.  it was an offense worth giving up thanksgiving dinner.  that was just the way it was.  as i aged and was pregnant with ava, i realized something that i knew all along but had only then started to sting my heart.

my cousin had her first child and withdrew from everyone following his birth.  she was coping with things in her own way, but my grandparents couldn’t handle the distance she had put between them.  so, there i was, pregnant with my first baby, and for the first time in my life receiving phone calls from them.  until then, i was the one having to make them, but now i was receiving them.  they weren’t about me, though.  had i heard from my cousin?  is she alright?  please let them know as soon as i hear anything.  let her know they love her…  no, ‘how are you doing, kristi?’  ‘how’s the pregnancy?’  ‘how’s work?’  anything…  let us know if you hear from her, hangup.  over and over for the few weeks that she had taken to her privacy.  once the lines of communication reopened, i never received another call.

holiday conversations, phone calls made to wish them happy birthdays or to thank them for cards, all went the same way…me asking them how they were doing and then us talking about my cousin and her family for the rest of the call.  i could go further here, but i won’t.  i’m sure you get it.

as i continued to get pregnant over the following years, i would hear the same sentiments from them – why would i want to bring another kid into this world?  it’s awful in this world.  jokes about birth control and then haughty looks and scoffs as i tried to explain why we don’t use it.  our choice.  i would swallow the replies that i would want to say…  the subject would change to my cousin.  i would go home and write the letters that i would never send…  i would hear the Holy Spirit speak compassion to my heart and life would go on.  it has been a predictable cycle.

all of these years i made a conscious effort and choice to never hold her accountable for the blatantly obvious favoritism.  and as i withdrew more and more…it only justified it to them that she deserved it anyway, so what did it matter anymore?

earlier this year, i decided that i was finally done.  done thinking about it.  done caring.  done trying.  a great aunt passed away, and i received a text about it from my cousin.  it was the first i had heard about it.  7pm and i can’t get to the viewing b/c i am home alone with three kids (one of them already in bed for the night).  it sent me into a rant.  why didn’t i hear about her passing before this?  sure, it’s easy to peg me as the granddaughter who doesn’t care, who doesn’t even show up for funerals when you don’t tell them that someone in the family has died.  well, that opened a can of worms.  ‘they never called once to see how i was during a single pregnancy.  never came to the hospital to see our newborns or made us a meal.’ ‘did they even know i battled sjogrens?!  a debilitating illness that had me nearly falling down stairs and considering anorexia so i could give up running to the restroom after every meal?!’ i had had it.  they made sure i knew about every doctor appointment of my cousins.  they would change the subject to her during every.single.conversation.  i was done playing second fiddle.  thirty years is a loooong time to be reminded that people that you love and strive for their consideration and attention just don’t care all that much.

so, earlier this year when that happened, when i vented and was told how ‘selfish’ i was, i made a decision to stop letting the void hurt me.  i decided to not care.  i’d always be second-rate in their eyes, and it’s a-okay.

september came and my husband didn’t receive a birthday card for the first time in our six years of marriage.  well, people forget.  that’s not a biggie.  oh well…

october came…my birthday is tomorrow, and i received a card in the mail today.  an empty card.

also, not a big deal.  i had already received two other empty cards in the mail and expected it.  i don’t care about the presents, and i would rather people not spend their money on me.  it is not about the gift, or lack-there-of, but in my past thirty-two years on this planet, i have never, ever received an empty card from my grandparents.  fall on hard times?  i get it.  decide that your grandkids are old enough and won’t be getting gifts anymore?  no problem.  at least the other cards i received this week contained a thoughtful note and not just a signature…

so, already knowing the answer i texted my cousin.  ‘curious…still getting gifts from them?’  (i am paraphrasing.)  yep.  so, i was right.  i was purposely not sent a birthday gift this year.  my husband was purposely not given a card.  they had decided to send us a message, and i got it loud and clear.  and it hurt.  deeply.  i felt like that 18-year-old girl all over again.  knowing that my cousin still got a gift this year…just like i knew no one skipped her grad party.  knowing that i wasn’t even worth the five dollars that it cost to buy that card.

so i wrote a letter.  a letter that i’ll never send, and once again, i tell myself that i’m done.  it’s okay. 

i’ll always be the ‘other granddaughter’.  there are so many details that i am omitting b/c it would simply take too long, and why would you want to hear it all anyway? simply put, my struggle now is: how do i respond?  not in this single circumstance, but how do i respond in the long-run?  how do i show Jesus?  how do i take the high road?  how do i do the right thing?  and how do i mean it?  i can go through the motions, i can say the right words, but how do i actually feel them in my heart?  

my parents and husband reassure me, saying things like, “you know it’s just how it is.” “don’t worry; it’s not going to change…”

i know it’s probably not going to change.  more than wanting the circumstances to change, i want to change.

i’m sure, as with all of my woes and gripes, there are others out there with a much sadder story, with a much more broken heart.  i know.  most times, i kick myself in the butt and say, ‘get over it.’  but today, i just felt a little pitiful, and this is how i’m am dealing with it.  tomorrow is a new day – my birthday, and it is going to be spent with a man who loves me and children who adore me, and on sunday, our families are coming together to get a little extra pudgy off of some ice cream cake.  i’m hoping that God will give me a swift kick by then and help me to see this all a little more through His eyes instead of mine.

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an honest response to brittany maynard’s story

dear reader,

i have a confession tonight that some of you may not like.  some of you may give a hearty ‘amen’, but others of you may think that i am being insensitive or ignorant, but i’m going to write it anyway and hope from the bottom of my heart that you know me by now – the good, the unusual, the irritating, the honest and raw, the transparency of me.  i can’t help it; it’s how i operate.  so here it goes.

a couple of nights ago i read the story of brittany maynard and i watched her video in the silence of my kitchen.  kids in bed, no distractions, i watched and i listened not just with my ears, but with my heart and more importantly, my spirit.  she said some really true things.  she spoke about devoting herself and her time to what truly matters.  yes, we must.  she is spot on.  no one understands that more, i’m sure, than someone staring at a death sentence.  but, something also felt so off.  so wrong.  so hopeless.

yes, it was powerful.  yes, it was moving.  yes, it was inspiring.  let me stop there.

her words did not inspire me in the way that you may think, maybe even in the way her story may have inspired you.  her story inspired me to speak.  speak my mind.  to believe.  to believe in someone more powerful than any disease.  to dig.  dig for a ‘right’ answer in a gray world.  to reach.  reach for faith.  to cling.  cling to that faith.  to pray.  pray for more faith.  to talk to my Jesus.  talk about my troubled spirit and my confused thoughts.  so yes, her story inspired me.

‘death with dignity’ is a tender way of saying ‘suicide.’

there, i said it.  do you hate me now?

this woman is committing suicide.  

how is what she is doing any different than the other stories we hear/read?  the media calls them tragedies, selfishness, cowardice, etc.  aside from the hypocrisy evident, thanks to the use of politically correct terms, are we ready to walk the line that states one person’s reason for wanting to die is more justified than another’s?  that mental illness doesn’t warrant an easy death, just a physical disease?  if robin williams would have held a press conference the morning of his death, detailing his plan and stating that he was going to end his life in his room, would we praise it?  would we lobby for it to be okay?  i fear this is pandora’s box.  where is the line in the sand?  i fear that we are crossing an ethical/spiritual barrier that we were never meant to cross.  it worries me deeply.

apart from those issues…this story hit me pretty hard on the faith front.

mrs. maynard has shut the door.


the door on hope.  on miracles.  on faith.  on love.

i try to put myself in her shoes, but i cannot.  i can only attribute that to the fact that i love Jesus.  i am no stranger to horrible thoughts, friends.  i have battled demons myself.  the ones that say, “your kids would be better off.  you are a weight around your husband’s neck – a financial burden on him for life.”  i have had to push through some pretty dark moments.  so, please, don’t count me as a happy-go-lucky Christian wearing rose-colored glasses.  i am not being insensitive to her fear, her pain, her rationalizations…  i just simply and strongly respect His Word.  i depend on its guidance and its truth, and in His Word, He promises me eternal life.  He promises me that nothing can separate me from His love.  He promises me that all things will work together for good, for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.  He promises me that by His stripes we have been healed.  He promises me that His plans for me are good – for me to prosper and not be harmed.  i cling to His promises. every breath is drawn from them.

as a wife and mother of soon-to-be four here on earth, i cannot imagine shutting the door.  God will have to take me from this place.  i will linger for one more kiss, for one more hug, for one last touch – my fingers through their hair, the sound of the word ‘ mommy’ from their lips, one more chance to bury my head in the shoulder of my love and breathe in his cologne.  no disease, no pain, no horrible prognosis, no lie from the enemy that they are ‘better off’ could ever outweigh the beauty of those moments and the desperation i would have to hold onto to them for even 60 more seconds.

if i were in her shoes, i would want a friend to take my hand and say, “be brave.  God will walk you through this.”  “have faith that His timing is best.”  “hope for things unseen and believe for a miracle.”

i would want to hear that every.single.day.

i pray that someone with faith would say those words to this young woman.  i pray that someone of faith would lay hands on her and command sickness out of her body and that she would come to find hope in Christ.  i pray that she would come to believe in the impossible and that she would receive it.  i pray that she would choose to live, even in her dying and not rob herself of those ‘one more’ moments.

i love the blog a holy experience.  i can’t do this topic justice, but she has.  please take the time to read this post, ‘dear brittany: why we don’t have to be so afraid of dying and suffering that we chose suicide,’ and may it inspire you to always choose life and to pray for those faced so starkly with death.

as always, thank you for reading.  God bless you where you are tonight – in your lives, in your health, your relationships, your spiritual walk…  God bless you.  xo

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