Thursday, January 29, 2009

Anna is One Year Old!!

I am late in putting these pictures up but here they are! Anna turned one two weeks ago and I can't believe it!! She is such a joy and I am so grateful for every day with her! She is changing and growing. She is almost walking. She can take a few steps at a time but still prefers to crawl. She has a bubbly, fun personality and keeps us on our toes.


























































Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tied up in Knots

I wrote this post a while ago but never published it. I feel like I am supposed to do it now.


Allie got a new jewelry box for Christmas. She had been keeping her jewelry in random boxes, containers, tins, etc. Earlier this week I was trying to help her put everything in the new box and we discovered that the majority of her stuff was in one massive ball of knots. I wanted to throw the whole jumbled mess in the garbage but I knew that there were a few good pieces of jewelry mixed in there so I sat down on the bed and spent the next hour detangling necklaces and bracelets.



As I was doing this, my mind got this mental picture of my own life in this big jumbled mess. I thought back to the first year and a half after Emma passed away and I knew that I had been all tied up in knots just like Allie's jewelry. I wanted to be strong and inspiring but instead I was lost and weak. At times, I wanted to just throw the whole mess away but God kept reminding me that there was something worthwhile mixed in there that needed to be found. I was slow to listen. I just kept letting the knots get worse and more tangled together. I was filled with dread, fear, anxiety, sadness, loneliness, dependency, and even despair.

If I am being honest, I barely remember the first year. I can bring back bits and pieces, but for the most part it is a big blur. I remember that sleep became all but impossible so I started taking Ambien. For over a year I depended on it to get some rest. Next I started to take antidepressants. Anything to numb the pain I was feeling all day long. And then came the anxiety attacks. My heart would pound out of my chest and I would lose my breath. The thoughts would get all jumbled up in my head. More medication. I remember people talking to me and I would just watch their mouth move but I wouldn't hear a word they said. I was just going through the motions. I lost some friends that year. It wasn't their fault. Some relationships I just let go because I didn't have anything to give. Some became too hard because something about them or their family kept opening the wounds I was trying to cover. I know now that I didn't handle it right but I was just trying to survive.

In March of 2007, I started to feel God nudging me to start living again. It came in little ways. I would know I should feel emotion but I couldn't feel anything. I wanted to feel my pain. I wanted to work through it. I wanted to be the mother that Allie needed. She had lost her sister. I didn't want her to lose her mother. I started to fight my way back to the land of the living. I stopped taking all of the medication. As I did, the pain and emotion hit me full force. It was like starting the whole process again. Only this time I trusted God, not a pill. He was the one who could hold me up.

When I wanted to take an Ambien I read scriptures that talked about peace and rest. When I felt anxious I would start praying. And when I felt the pain and hurt I would cry out to God and find comfort in His word. With His help, I started to untangle all of the knots. And, yes, there was a lot of garbage and junk to throw away, but I discovered that in the midst of all of that mess God had placed so many preci ous treasures. Beautiful memories, rare friendships, a lovely family, new and shining hope.

I am so thankful that I didn't just throw it all away. I am still untying the knots but I am not doing it alone. I have a Friend who is with me. And there are still treasures yet to be discovered.


The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

Monday, January 5, 2009

Change

I was catching up on my blog reading over the weekend and one post that caught my attention and got me thinking was by my friend, Sumi. She had gotten the idea from another blog to come up with one word or phrase to carry through this new year. Something to really focus on and incorporate into your own life. As anyone who has been following my blog for a while knows from my New Years post last year, I am all about fresh starts and new beginnings. So Sumi really got me thinking. What one word would I like to make a part of who I am this year?

That's a tough one since there are so many areas of my life that could use some focus and attention, but the one word that came to my mind first was change. I could blame it on the political season we have just come through and the way that word was thrown around by anyone and everyone, but I believe it goes much deeper than that for me.

When I was younger, I enjoyed change. I got easily bored with things staying the same. But as I got older, I started to resent change. Maybe because I have had so many changes forced upon me. Changes that I didn't choose. Changes that happened to me because of circumstances beyond my control. So now I find myself holding on to things the way they are with both fists closed. I don't necessarily like things the way they are but change sounds even worse. It is scary and unknown and I want to keep things familiar and stable.

So, I guess for 2009 I will embrace change. There are so many changes I need to make in my life and I need to just do it. Changes that are in my control and would make life much better. And I know that life will bring the other kinds of changes because it always does. So I will try to embrace each change instead of fighting it or worrying.

I guess, most imprtantly, I will try to see change as the hand of God working in my life to do something different, bigger, beyond what my human eyes can see. 2009- the year of change, but not just change, change that is created and embraced by me!