Transparency of Mom-Life

So, I spent Easter Weekend a bit more anxious than I have ever felt because I had a HUGE DECISION TO MAKE! The decision: whether or not to drive ABOUT eight hours to go see my family.

You see, I have the special privilege of working on the weekends and spreading about ten hours out over the weekdays. My kids are off of school this week. My husband encouraged me to go and visit my family. Most people jump on it! Me: fear, anxiety, heart racing, and so on. Why?

I would be traveling with myself and a six year old, four year old, three year old and a four month old! Am I crazy?!

Yes. You want to know?! I did it. I drove down to visit family. The trip was totally do-able and I felt peace And strength! Oh, how I thank God! I have had a blast visiting my brothers and sisters in law and my mom and dad and my nieces and nephews. So thankful.

What I did to overcome the anxiety.

I spoke aloud fears and played out my “What’s the worst that can happen?” And I prayed, I spoke to my husband, I spoke to my mom. I asked for prayer!

The Bible says not to be anxious about anything (Philiipans 4:6-7). I thank God. So worth the trip and not worth the worry. We still have to go home tomorrow…but let me tell ya: voice your worries, talk with family and friends, and pray. Friend, if you know God, talk to him. Zephaniah 3:17…reminds me that the Lord, God is with us… He is mighty to save… He will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. The Lord is with me. He is with you! He is mighty!

Hang in there. He is with you and for you!

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Journey of Transparency

Here we go.

Here I am, online and sharing my journey over this last pregnancy resulting in healthy labor and delivery of our fourth daughter, Moira. What I did not realize came from this last pregnancy and childbirth: postpartum depression. Were they the baby blues? No, it lasted four months. What began in the pregnancy went on for four months postpartum.

I’ve cried more than I wanted to. Been irritable and grumpy more than I wanted to. Felt burdened, oppressed, and buried more than I ever wanted.

If you ever run into me and we get to talking, you’ll find that I am an open book. I will tell you lots and for you introverted, keep to yourself types–you might wish you didn’t sit down with me long enough for me to share my life. Just kidding. I am serious, though, as a “feeler”… I will tell ya a lot! I feel lots of things and I don’t try to hide it much: I am a feeler and I felt like these last four months have been so difficult.

What is postpartum depression? You can look up the symptoms on other sites, but I had many signs of it and God brought many people to bring it up or warn me about it: My mentor, my husband, and a stranger.

I mentioned it to most of my friends or those in some circle of mine and I feel like 9 out of 10 have or are struggling with a sort of depression.

The Cambodian translation, I understand is a “drop in your spirit” and I have felt just that. I could sit and be among my beautiful children and amazing husband but feel so cloudy and foggy as if I was behind a screen or film of plastic. I look back into my journal entries and oh how I pity her. Oh how I feel for that Sudea of the last four months (and end of pregnancy)… she cried just about everyday. She resented her husband. She was fearful. Her heart felt anxious and she was afraid.

Friend, are you experiencing depression? Are you a new mom or mom of a child two years and under and find yourself crying most days? Are you going against your husband most days? How can I help? I’d like you to know that it can get better. It will. Let’s do this well.

Stepping Into Grace

As I considered a good day a few weeks ago and the utter disappointment I have felt some days, I consider my notes from the past. This is one reason I write. This is one reason to share. Everyday is a new one but when you can consider past victories, it can really give hope to future ones. So here’s from sometime before Christmas, first week in December sometime and my family and all “bit the bullet of sickness.”

Finally, I made it! It’s late.. after 9:30 and the house is quiet.

Sleeping, ill children and ill husband.

Pandora is playing Hymns on Piano and I just jotted down what was on my heart and in my mind.

My fingers rapidly tapped typing out words to my friend. Back and forth we went. She was so sweet and kind to be writing with such love and empathy: I am cheering you on! Keep eternity in perspective.

We all need this friend!

I am sitting here and I leafed through a page earlier. My two year old prayed last night. So sweet. 😭

How great the Father’s love. Really–I didn’t anything special to bring up this child. This is a gift. She prayed and thanked God for me.. yup. Her mama. I am glad I wrote that bit down. I had forgotten that… Until I went into my journal.

I live each day following a set of prints that were laid out before me… Ok I don’t see physically a set of size 8.5 foot prints and each direction! I do however, try to maintain a sense of connection with the Holy Spirit. So, today we survived caring for myself and the five. Praise be to God. I kept my cool and when I can do that: *Happy dance* and *Hallelujah Hands*

This brings to mind scripture saying God has prepared good works in advance: for me, it’s caring for my husband and children and abiding in him. Part of me feel like Gus in Psych with a thumb to the side of my nose saying, “You know that’s right!”

Today, I stepped into what God had for me and I am flying high.

I think we can all look for how we stepped into what felt like God had for us and it’s usually a victorious feeling. What moments of victory can you celebrate? God bless!

The Punishing Type

Mama, I see you sitting there with your kids and they’re frustrating. You’ve asked them so many times to do this and that. I heard you telling them if they don’t do what you’ve told them then that would be their punishment. They made you so angry, right?! I get it.

I am there today. I spent some time sitting and thinking it through and why must I grumble and complain? Why must I be so slow to forgive? Why must I be quick to be angry? It’s the worst.

Thanksgiving Where You Are

November 22nd 2017… it happened that I went into labor and we had our fourth daughter. Fast, crazy, intense would be the initial words but it wasn’t short of beautiful and amazing. Life and birth is amazing. We must never let it get old.

Fast forward a day, doctors told me we’d have a forty-eight hour stay. They could not treat me or baby with antibiotics for Group B Strep during the lightning entry and labor and delivery. Baby needed to be monitored for forty-eight hours as part of the practice.

Thanksgiving was spent in the hospital with sweet family and friends.

I look back and one of my friends hung out for three hours. Needless to say postpartum and achy, I was pretty much still. She’s never seen me like that! Heck, I have never seen me like that. *Insert laughter*

I took out my notebook the first night and wrote out all of which I was grateful for. Thanksgiving 2017 was unlike any other but I am most grateful to have had it this way. Newborn and rest. Quiet and fall colors. Beautiful views. Time to watch movies. Time to listen to music. Time to journal. Nurturing nurses and scrumptious snacks. Munchable meals. Friendly faces. I learned this season to have Thanksgiving alone and with company and away from home.

I am the Worst!

It’s true.. I have been saying this phrase a lot and it’s true: I am the worst! God is working on me, though. No worries there!

This phrase: I am the worst! Don’t know when you think or say it… but it may be in regards to receiving physical touch from my loved ones: I don’t need it and could go a while without it therefore, I am the worst! Most people crave this and want it. I am like “Meh.” *I am learning, though!*

I had a moody-moment and in my anger, loss of control, flood of hormones I had some wretched thoughts followed by some poor actions. I am the worst. What followed was just deep regret and lots of tears and some reflection and then my youngest’s love and affection. Wow, I don’t deserve such love.

As I sat there at the park, unwilling to play with my two year old. I was thinking things like, “I am due in eight days and I am grumpy.”

I was mad. I didn’t want to move. My heart was broken by my own actions; there I sat writing this letter to God, to myself and to other mamas.

My raw, emotional letter goes something like this:

Dear Mama, You’ll have moments of irritation to point of being so annoyed with your two year old. You’ll maybe do the crazy of driving away a few feet without buckling that child up so she can feel fear and trembling. You want that child to suffer and know without a doubt that you are the boss and you are in control. Yet, you are out of control emotionally. You’ll mourn and be sad. You have no control and you’ll hate yourself. Disgusted with yourself: you’re done. You feel so done.

You two year old said sorry and you tell her that you’re ready to forgive her. She makes you angry. You feel like she is so against you: she knows better yet she chose to go against you. It’s like she chose to annoy you and push you over the edge.

Mama, it’s not true, though. The two year old didn’t ask to go to the park so your almost-due-and-overly-moody-self could be miserable! She just wanted time with her mom and play at the park.

*Then your heart begins to counsel you: The human heart feels so wretched, because it is…The heart thinks things, feels and says things it should. The heart is wretched, yet it is able to be rescued, redeemed, and revived. There is One who does not let the human heart fail. God rescues, redeem, and revive the wicked and failing. He restores*

I am so glad I had a moment to journal. I had some tissues in my purse. I had one pen and one scratch paper. I am thankful that I am not left to despair and desolation but rescue and revival. If I am to parent and be a healthy mom, I need to accept these moments happen. I am under Christ, though, not under bonds of sin and anger and hatred but bound to love and forgiveness.

I forgave myself and got to play with my two year. A day later, we’re ok and I just wanted to write to you, Mama. It’s hard but you can be real and raw. Take your thoughts captive and talk to your God. He is ready to rescue, redeem and revive your heart.

For great resources in your parenting life:

Go to Revive Our Hearts: http://www.reviveourhearts.com

 

Reflecting on most of the year

And so it goes that almost eleven whole months have passed us in this year 2017.

I and my family are about to experience yet another transition and fullness to life.

 

I sit here, alone in the dark. Sounds of rain falling (that’s white noise from our girls room) and the other noises are the sweet two and a half year old singing rounds of Mary Had A Little Lamb. She begins to slow down. My husband is no longer reading to her or answering the thousands of questions. The other noises is our puppy snoring away. The small electric heater kicks on. She is no longer singing. There is not longer anymore talking or questions.

Ahh..  like drinking in refreshments. My day is coming to an end. I soon will be getting ready for bed. Bed. I have longed for sleep as my tired, achy body begged for hours earlier.

What preciousness this life offers.

November is going by steadily. I am grateful for all that I have been blessed with. This year has has many ups and yes some downs but many blessings.

This year I can say has been fantastic and I look forward with great hope and expectations for my life as mom of four little girls and being a wife of that wonderful man who has called me wife for going on nine years. Friends for life. Spouses for life. Grateful I sign off. Goodnight