Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pity......Party

pity...party

So the past few weeks have been ridiculous with this 24/7 "morning" sickness...  Tried tons of different meds, had to get routine IV fluids, being hungry but knowing if you eat anything you will just get sick.  Being exhausted, having no energy, but somehow having to manage working, taking care of kids, and whatever else..

In short, it has sucked.

So much so, that I've been throwing a nice little pity party for myself on the inside...  It's hard to admit but it's true.  I've been angry with the way things have been.  I've questioned God on what it is He is trying to show me.  I've been crabby and withdrawn.  I have turned my lack of energy into almost zero energy.  I've been pissed at women who have the "pregnancy glow" when I am strutting the "pregnancy pale" from being dehydrated.  I haven't been a very nice person (at least in my thoughts).

Tonight I remembered last minute that I had signed up to take a foster mama of eight kiddos dinner who is battling a rare but severe type of cancer.  At first, I was angry at myself.  

Why in the world had I signed up to make dinner for someone when the mere thought of cooking or preparing food made me sick?

Then, I felt God say, "Oh Rach, you signed up to do it because it is SO not about you and your needs.  Stop this pity party...now!"

So, I marched my bruised butt in the kitchen and whipped up a tasty creation managing to not get sick in the process also :)

I packaged it up, and when Steve got home I told him I had to take it to them.  Their house is near Decatur.  Steve kept offering to take it, but I knew it was something I needed to do, and I also knew what awaited me... 

A long conversation in the car alone with my Heavenly Father.  

As I began to drive out in the crazy traffic, and winding roads I started praying.  It didn't take long for God to start answering back.  

"do you trust Me?"

Yes.

"then roll with it, my daughter, it's all part of the bigger plan."

Deep sigh...  I'm sorry for my attitude.

And right as I reached this epiphany, I realized I was coming up on my turn...  A very dark gravel road.

I made it back through the woods, just thinking with every dip in the road... I am not too pleased with myself these days.  Where is my joy?  

When I pulled up to their home, I was greeted with a big smile from this mama.  You could see joy radiating from her.  We spent a few minutes chatting about her diagnosis, and her pain and discomfort.  All the while she kept smiling, laughing, and pouring joy into me.

As I pulled away, I burst into tears... Here was this woman who was battling something horrible and although she was hurting, she still had joy...sovereign beautiful joy...

In comparison, my nausea and continuous vomitting seems pretty lame.  I mean, yeah, I'm horribly sick but I'm getting a baby out of it.  

Here is the amazing woman in excruciating pain taking care of eight children all the while with a big smile upon her face.

My prayer going forward is to embrace joy even the sickness, even in the things I do not understand, even when I don't want to :)

God is so so good and He always knows the very thing I need to hear or see.  :)

I'm so glad He is the God of second, third, and two thousand do-overs :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The gift/curse of being expected...

the gift/curse of being expected.

So, the past few weeks have been especially rough marked with days of severe sickness, unusual stress, job changes, additions to our family, lots of doctors appointments and me lost somewhere in the in between.

So here is my Rachel rant for the season, and it's not too merry.

I have built my life around being available for others, mentoring relationships, being present, serving our community and running six different directions at the same time and doing it amazingly (sometimes that is) well.  

The truth is the past few weeks I've neglected a lot of those relationships and friendships.  I haven't been too available and to be honest - I'm exhausted.  For the first time in a long time I decided that my own health and sanity were worth getting in order.  And so, I've said no more than I've said yes.  I've volunteered a lot less, and I'm learning that a lot of people don't care that I'm sick and feeling bad - I'm not as available as I once was which automatically makes me the bad guy now.  Wow.

True friends get it.  They get that by the time I get home and get my kids taken care of that all I want to do is put on pajama pants and call it a night.  They get that by me not calling or texting as often its not that i love them any less.  It is the craziness of the lives we lead.   They get that my kids are going through some rough transitions and I'm even more sensitive to their needs right now.

I've struggled with a lot of guilt though.  I've made commitments that I feel I've fallen short on, and although I have made apologies, tried to explain, offered sincere words, it's not enough.

This is the gift and curse of being expected.

Once you are expected in a person's life it means you have broken barriers, allowed for trust, and have proven and established presence which really means:  love.

However, the flip side of that coin is that sometimes becoming someone that is expected is you have become an enabler, a fixer, and sometimes (many times) it is an unhealthy dependence.  

It seriously hurts when I read posts on Facebook from friends who put things that I know are aimed at me, and my inability to be there for them as often as I once was.  What I really want to comment is:  "I've bent over backwards for you and sacrificed so much for you, and yet when I face challenge and need some time to refocus, I am made to feel bad for it". 

The reality is I cannot be all for all.  I wasn't made to be.  We all have our limits and I will continue to seek truth and God's path.  Praying I have the discernment to say yes when He wants me to, and no when He doesn't.  

It's a beautiful life.  Let's not spend it worrying.