Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Got Grace?

Two blogs in Two days???  My kids must be really well behaved lately or my house must really be a mess.  Ill let you use your imagination of how I have time for this.

Yesterday a dear friend of mine posted an article about breastfeeding.  I'll sum it up for you. Sometimes breast feeding doesn't work out for everyone, sometimes you have reasons for not choosing to nurse. and that's okay. The whole point of the article is that's okay.

This sweet friend posted this article with me in mind. And Ill tell you why. Ill share my secret.

Ready.....

I'm not nursing Wren.

After trying and trying and trying for weeks. After her landing in the hospital with jaundice because she wasn't eating and her bilirubin was sky rocketing I decided to give her a bottle. With much sadness I stuck that bottle in her mouth in a gloomy hospital room with a nurse standing over me. It was lonely, sad, devastating, and depressing. I had lactation consultant after lactation consultant talk to me on the phone, come see me and even a doula try to help with nursing. I did it all and well she just wouldn't nurse. I was seriously fighting depression and would cry at every mention of it.  This is after nursing all of my kids (none of which smoothly in which I fought for months of bleeding and crying and in horrible pain) but we fought through. (toby was the only other one I didn't nurse long and that was again because of the hospital, but again after 4 weeks of driving to the NICU trying to nurse him as much as I could)

So here comes the whole point.....remember the word rambling is in the blog title.

This sweet friend posted this article to encourage me. And what happened? Well to be honest this sweet friend tried to shield me from the remarks, but sometimes that doesn't always happen.

A woman, A believer of Jesus. A follower of Christ. A mom.

Lacked Grace

With no thought of circumstance, with no thought of the pain she might cause, we no thought of any belief but her own, with no thought of anyone but herself she typed words and commented and well

Lacked Grace

A lady who has no idea that my daughter and I have been in the hospital 3xs counting her birth. That this was after having 2 hospitals stays with my son just months before. That I'm trying to balance ministry, homeschooling, being a wife, a  mom and a friend all while trying to nurse. AND that I tried. I did. tried and tried and tried. That I sat with person after person trying to make it work.

And ya know. It just made me sad. Ill be honest. It made me sad for me. Because every time I bring out her bottle I struggle with feeling ashamed. I struggle with wanting to explain our story to people when I put the formula in my grocery cart. Im not even being dramatic. Its humiliating to me. It makes me feel like less of a mom to Wren. It makes me feel vulnerable and like everyone is judging. I hate it.  And guess who did that? Guess who has made moms feel like that (not just me) MOMS!!

Women. Believers of Jesus. Followers of Christ. Moms.

This situation. Yes, made me sad for me. But then it also made me sad for her and for other times that Ive been in her shoes.

Where is our Grace for each other? When did we begin to take our beliefs and decide they were the only way? When did we decide what people should discipline for? How much tv every child should or shouldn't watch? How fits and tantrums should be dealt with? What children should or shouldn't eat?

When did it become okay to snub our noses at the moms who drive through McDonalds? To roll our eyes when we see a child screaming in a store?

Where is our grace for one other?

Women. Believers of Jesus. Followers of Christ. Moms

John 13:34  I John 4:7-8 I Corinthians 16:14 I Peter 4:8

Is the Bible unclear? Have we become unaware of what love is and what it looks like?

I don't think so. We've chosen. And together we've made it okay. 

We've all lacked grace, myself included.

Us. Together.

Women. Believers of Jesus. Followers of Christ. Moms.

We've lacked grace for one another. We've snubbed our noses. Rolled our eyes. Shared articles pointedly. Made comments pointedly. Tried to "teach" those who "just don't get it."  And what have we done.
We've shown our hearts. We've shown what we think of Jesus said.
That is unimportant. unnecessary. or doesn't apply to this situation.

So after this long ramble. I've had to ask myself and I hope you will ask yourself.

Got Grace?
Truly take a deep look and step back from your interactions with other women and ask yourself.
 Do you have Grace?


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Broken Babies

Its interesting to me that you can say you have the right view of situations and honestly feel like you do but then a moment something passes through your lips you are kind of stopped with what you really think. Sometimes it just slips right out.

The other day I was telling a friend that had experience the sadness of multiple miscarriages that I had considered offering to be a surrogate mother for her before but then knew she probably wouldn't want me to considering I make "Broken Babies" We laughed about it and at the time it truly wasn't a big deal but I kept thinking about that term.
"Broken Babies"
And that was how I was describing two of my children. Broken.

Was that how I viewed them? Was that how I saw what God had allowed? Brokenness. Not quite right. Not whole.

The definition exactly is
Broken adjective: broken having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order. synonyms: smashed, shattered, fragmented, splintered, crushed, snapped; antonyms: whole

Ouch.

And how do you even come away from that. how do you fix that.

Every time I look at Wren and her eyes are shaking and shes trying to focus... that word pops into my head and I see it..
Broken
And I struggle with the thought.

I made a broken baby.

Its a process people. A long hard process.
Its seeing my children as God sees them and continually seeing them that way. 
 Cause no of course I don't look at them and think "broken" all the time, but the thought does cross my mind, it does stick and its hard to throw away.

Its seeing my life and my story as God sees it and continually seeing it that way.

Seeing the story God is writing for me and my children.....
             and knowing its not a story of brokenness its a story of Grace and love, a story filled with beauty. A story I wouldn't have written for myself or my children, but a story My Savior has given us. My Children aren't broken. My children are beautifully whole. I will fight that thought of brokenness and I will fight the guilt that can follow so closely behind that thought.

I believe that there are mommies out there that might also struggle with this and that is why I'm writing this because its a lonely, isolating thought and well its just not truth.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Its Complicated

Tomorrow has come and gone. Im thankful I took the time to write beforehand because now we are here. Yes, we got the amazing news of no tumor. The urine came back with no elevated levels which means there is no tumor anywhere in her body. I do not think this is a light or little thing. I absolutely praise God for this. He is a good God who is allowing my child be spared surgeries, chemo and all kinds of other things that only a mommy that has a child with cancer knows about. But will you give me the grace to say something.... To be 100% honest without judging or thinking me ungrateful? Its complicated. It is. Without a tumor we know that we are dealing with an eye issue. We know we have the potential to be dealing with a significant vision impairment. And you know what? That's hard. That stinks. And its straight up scary. We still have a baby with the same symptoms. Yesterday I praised God for no tumor but I also mourned possibilities. I am a big believer of crying no tears over possibilities but to be honest its hard this time. It could take years for us to know if her vision will be significantly affected or not and that's tough. We are looking at a lifelong condition. We are looking at more special needs. Yes these are possibilities and not for certains. but I have to wrap my mind around that. The doctor mentioned ocular albinism and congenital nystagmus. He's not 100% on either one of these. And we go back in 6 weeks to have a better look. But both aren't fantastic. His encouragement to me was honestly a little scary. "These kids learn to read without braille, they use magnifiers and other things and some do drive." Ummmmmm Doctor your encouragement stinks! It has potential to be surgeries, therapies and glasses galore. I adore Wren, I love her and don't want any of that for her. There is a chance that her vision will be barely affected and we are definitely praying that way but as we pray we know that it might not be God's plan. We pray for healing, we pray for protection of her eyes but we also know from experience healing is not always Gods answer. So as I say, Praise God. I also say, It's Complicated. But know that in the complication I am praising. Confusing? Well yea in my head and heart its confusing. Resting in the knowledge of who God is and how much he loves Wren.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Before tomorrow comes

Its 10:30pm and I should be either sleeping or getting the diaper bag ready for tomorrow but I wanted to post before tomorrow. Tomorrow I am hopeful to walk away with some answers. Possibly tentative answers, but still much more than I have now. So I wanted to write before tomorrow happened. If you aren't friends with me on facebook then you have no idea what I'm talking about...the long and short of it. Wren (baby girl 2 months old) started having shaky eye movements on Friday afternoon. By Friday evening she was barely focusing on us at all. By Saturay afternoon she couldn't stop her eyes from moving at all. It was like she couldn't control them and she couldn't see us. After 5 nights in the hospital, multiples tests (with one test still pending) we went home. The problem is what she is doing can mean some really serious things, specifically a tumor or some smaller things like a problem she will outgrow by age 3. The issue is they have to test for every serious thing FIRST! A week before this happened I talked to two different friends. And Ill be honest here I have no idea what brought me to say what I did except just a whole lot of honesty. One of those things that maybe you don't say aloud even if you think it. To one friend I said something like, "So much crazy good is going on it makes me wonder if a trial is coming." To another friend I said, "Sometimes I feel immune to any of my other kids being sick like with cancer or something big because God already gave us our big health trial with Toby. He knows I couldn't handle more." And now the silence. Ooops. ummmmm.....just kidding.....for real. Do you know Ive had to remind myself of who God is once they reminded me of those things I had said. I thought, "Oh no is God proving me wrong. Is God doing this because I said that." But no that's not who my God is. He is my loving Father who quite honestly has brought us through so much that I have no business saying He couldn't give us more. But He doesn't sit up in heaven waiting for us to slip up so that HE can show us whats what. But sometimes I think we think that way. We so have to watch our view of who God is and base it on what the Bible says no matter what. Which really...if we aren't in the Bible then how can we know what the Bible says. How can we have a foundation to fall on when something like this stares us in the face. So I made it through that thought process. Dealing with Spina Bifida with Toby has made the medical community part of my regular life. Its just kind of second nature now. I know how things go and how to deal so its very easy for me to become self reliant through things like this. a "ive got this" attitude. The thing that has clearly thrown me off is the lack of diagnosis. I don't have any plan of action. I cant research, schedule therapies, surgeries or anything. I'm stuck. I look at my baby and don't know if her vision is being affected, I don't know if there is a tumor in her body somewhere that they cant find. I just don't know. My usual way to "deal" has been stripped with this. I have to sit back and wait. I have to pray and trust. And you know its been good for me. I cant get blinded by the busy work of a diagnosis. Im left on my knees trusting, asking and praising God. Because what else more can I do. God really has shown me so much of His power, strength and grace through this. Almost more so than some of the stuff in Tobys life. Just because I have to wait on Him. I cant even have faith in the medical community. All of my faith is wrapped up in what God is going to do or is doing. The really neat part of all of it is. He is doing so much. He has given me this crazy calmness. This spirit of trust. This spirit of faith that can absolutely only come from Him. Because people, I don't have it in me. Im not there in my walk with God yet. But He's brought me there right when I needed it. And I am oh so thankful. Oh so grateful. That is why I wanted to post before tomorrow. Because tomorrow I might be tried in a new one. God might be taking me down a different path. We might not have answers but we might. And just in case we do I want to make sure I remember what its life to not have those answers. To hold Wren and just trust that God has her and that HE knows and that He loves her. Because He does. As He does me.