Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Liberty and Justice...for ALL

Now...before you judge my words...you have to commit to reading this to the end...or don't read it at all. Please.
I've kept silent on this whole NFL thing because I see both sides...I really do...but I believe that what the Cowboys did last night was tasteful and the way to do it. Now stop...you think it's just because I'm a fan that I'm thinking this way and you're wrong...I've thought a LOT about this. They knelt in solidarity to support the issues but stood for those who fight to give them that freedom...what a restrained way to approach it.
I have seen the racial injustice played out in our nation...even in my own sphere by reading words of hate directed at my 2nd daughter who is black but last time i checked the blood coursing thru our veins sure as hell is the same color. I've sat in restaurants and quietly witnessed the looks as we've dined together and have been sickened by the fact that it is 2017 we STILL have a divide when it comes to race. I will NEVER be okay with that...I won't ever understand it...and I will never know how she feels or her mom (who is one of the most loyal kindest friends I've ever had) feels...
To all my white friends....you will NEVER understand what our friends of other races go thru...you just won't...you can not comprehend the hate they deal with...you think the incidents that make them feel targeted are isolated and i can PROMISE you they deal with it DAILY. Don't pretend for a second that you will ever be able to empathize with them...you can't...it's that horrible. It's a scab that gets picked at daily...and it hurts...and it never heals...it's wrong...and the hate even in the smallest gestures is so big and so powerful that even a sideways look in a grocery line reveals the true beliefs of a persons heart...ugly....wrong....
So here's the thing...we should protest...we should all be taking a knee....holding up signs....boycotting..use your freedom to fight for what is right...BUT RESPECT those who fought and ARE fighting for you to have that freedom...by standing under the flag that unites us.
Finally...for this nation so divided...
Kneel in support of racial injustice....and pray for a change and ask what you can do to make a difference
Kneel for the suffering you cannot and will never understand..and pray for a change and ask what you can do to make a difference
Kneel for the hungry and the homeless in our nation...and pray for a change and ask what you can do to make a difference
Kneel for injustice....and pray for a change and ask what you can do to make a difference
Kneel for the disaster our nation is in....and pray for a change and ask what you can do to make a difference
and don't just kneel for the cross...lay prostrate in honor of it...and beg our Father to change your heart and show you what to do to make a difference...
AND THEN..
GET UP....GET UP and STAND TALL for the ones who gave you the right to kneel when that flag is flying high...STAND TALL for the liberty you've been given for the men and women of color who have fought hard against racism and social injustice...STAND TALL because you are an AMERICAN...and fight to improve on our motto...because we might have liberty but we certainly do not have 'Justice for All'.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Shame on you...

Let's meet a pet peeve of mine: Mr Public Shaming. I conducted an interview with him that I would love to share:

Me: So...Mr. PS, tell me what you're main objective is between parent and child communication?

Mr PS: well Sara, I've always thought it would be super beneficial to make sure a child understands that while a parent is talking to them that everyone around them knows how absolutely disappointed their parent is in them. My goal is downright humiliation and maybe some solid butterflies in the tummy for added affect.

Me: wow. So basically your whole goal is to completely demoralize a child and help them never forget the moment their parent was completely ashamed of them?

Mr. PS: Well yea...I mean I really need parents to do this as much as possible so their child can learn their place in this world as a loser. That way when they grow up they will be able to treat their own kids the same way and just really build in with their parents have taught them. It also helps if they really resent their parents and what they couldn't accomplish and then try to live vicariously thru their kid.  But of course I'll be there to point out the colossal failure their child is at achieving the parents dreams.

Me: do you ever feel sad when you see the look of hurt and agonizing disappointment on the Child's face when they realize what a letdown they are to their mom or dad?

Mr PS: Sara this is just an achievement on my part. The facial recognition I get to see of the pain and humiliation is just proof that my presence is working. I mean, they don't call me Mr. Public Shaming for nothing.

Me: I can understand correcting a child in front of others, especially when they are in danger...is your goal that this only happens when the child has made a decision that could hurt them?

Mr PS: Oh absolutely not, as a matter of fact, the more the picking at ridiculous things the better! The whole goal is to make them really feel the shame in every aspect of their decision making...from how they eat at a restaurant to how they perform in school or sports. Just as long as their are people around to witness the verbal beat down...then I've done my work.


*********************************************

Listen - I don't need to add all the articles from professionals about public shaming, nor do I need to tell you how many children have committed suicide because of public shaming - COMMITTED SUICIDE PEOPLE.

I've seen it over and over. In the middle of Walmart, eating dinner out with my family, sporting events....you're right...I don't know the circumstances...but sometimes I can get a pretty good clue. You will never reach your child or have a healthy relationship with them by picking them apart in front of other people. You will break them down and they will resent you...and they should. Then they will find healthy parents of their friends to hang out with you and will grow up wishing they had parents that would just listen and talk to them and treat them like human beings. Most of you would never treat a friend the way you treat your kids...yet your children are supposed to be higher on the totem pole. I can almost bet if I troll your FB page you've posted something about anti bullying...well guess what? You're a BULLY!

Be brave enough to break the cycle...you are being abusive. Don't. Just shut up. Just wait till you're in private...and when you are think about what you want to say...or how you want to chastise thing FIRST about the long term goal. Is it to make them better and lift them up? Is it to break habits that are destructive? Or is it to eliminate the embarrassment you think they are to you? In short...don't be an ass to your kids...or someday they will return the favor.












Saturday, August 5, 2017

Empty

I'm feeling oddly...like writing...but I'm empty. I wonder if this is how artists feel after a while...they know they can paint or sculpt but they don't know what to paint...or sculpt...or design......talent wasted. I feel like my life is slipping by and the one thing I'm certain I should be doing...I'm not. I sound so egotistical...I have quite possibly misunderstood my writing ability...maybe the majority of people just 'think' they can write...maybe Im in that majority.

I think the biggest thing I struggle with is.....well okay let's be honest I struggle with a LOT but the 2 things I'm wrestling with are..#1. Who cares about my story? Everyone has one...it's like we all need to blow our noses but you don't have to tell me about it...I have one too... what makes anything I have to say about who I am so extraordinary someone needs to read it? #2?  I feel like somewhere, at some point someone expected me to write about Isaac and our story...and very gravely I think...no one needs to write OR read another book about someone losing a baby. Let me be honest...I was given a few books while I was pregnant with my boy and after we lost him...the books were about losing a baby...I never read them. I didn't care about someone else's story...I was living my own. I don't think those are heroic stories...especially knowing the infant mortality rate in third world countries is deplorable....what about those mamas and their stories...? Did you know the infant mortality rate in the US is something like 6 out of every 1000 babies? In Angola is 96 out of every 1000...96 stories over and over and over...who will tell their stories? So why should that be something I write about?

I have nothing...so I sit here with what feels like this pretty little wrapped present with nothing inside. I have nothing to give anyone...

So while I feel like writing and figuring this out, my words slapped on a white screen mean nothing unless I'm being silly and relaying my fight with Mr. PD (the Prarie Dog that resides up the hill) who is very obviously trying to take his life...every time I drive by his little mound.

We all have issues right? I'm a jumbled mess and the real truth is life is in the way and I've been self demoted to a normal, pew warming, TV watching, procrastinating ... person...I'm a member..not a participant right now.. It's a boring...safe...unfeeling place to be. I am sitting in the shallow end of the pool and I have very little use for depth at the moment.  Let me put it this way...I can go deep with other people regarding their stuff...just not mine...not right now. I'm giving myself permission to do that...so don't judge me. Yep...so I have nothing to write about right now. Soon though...it's going to bubble up...and then who knows what will happen?




Saturday, April 15, 2017

Broken

I sat and stared at my computer screen in disbelief...so many small faces looking back at me. Through tears and a series of links I had an emotion that I had never experienced come over me..pure...helpless...anger. Disbelief. I felt robbed...violated...duped...

I have been dealing with this for weeks...I can't do anything to change it but I don't know what to do with it which feels worse. As a mom ... if you're a mom ... you know you would do anything for your babies...anything. Most of the time our decisions are based on minor issues .. broken hearts, hurt friendships...a pair of jeans they can't live without...time with a friend that if they don't get it they'll just 'die'... and we bend... and we love and we give. But what if it was life and death...the heights it takes you to emotionally is explosive. 

I sat reading the words over and over and I kept thinking...this is a lie...it can't be true...2004...cardiac surgery...trisomy 18...91% success rate...2004... 2004....no...no not possible. I would have been told...I would have been asked...informed...given options, decisions... something ...maybe close to hope. But I didn't...no one said it. No one told me. ..10 years later and 11 years to the day I found out I was pregnant with him....here I sit broken. I'm so hurt. I'm so hurt that no one thought to give me the chance to make that decision for myself if I would even put him thru it. But no one said anything...

I'm angry. I don't know what to do with it other than to wait...to keep listening to God...to not shut Him out...to hang on with every fiber of my being that He ultimately has this...and I'm not capable of getting it yet. He knows I'm mad. He knows my feelings are broken and that words will not define the chasm that has been created in the history of my heart story. 

So tomorrow we celebrate the resurrection...the son that died to save me...we reflect on Gods sovereignty and His desire for all us to chose Him and accept the grace...my loss doesn't change His sacrifice...but I'm not in a great place...just being honest. It's a bewildering place to be in your heart knowing that the God who saves could allow us not to see the whole picture resulting in devastating moments like these...why? I know a lot of the why's...don't fill in the blanks for me because it doesn't matter... a doctor asked me more times to abort ...to kill my baby...all while holding the information that he could have lived...there are no answers that will fix how I feel right now...but I believe God is the supreme comforter in the midst of the pain He could have prevented ...this sucks....that I have to believe right now that ALL things work together FOR THE GOOD of those who love Him. And I do love Him...but I'm so so hurt. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Ring it in...rein it in...

2017. It feels uncomfortable. I'm sitting here thinking...pondering...whispers in my heart...why does this feel like this? I think on some level I have this feeling every year. I hate change...now I have to write a new date down and remember...I have to change something in my life and frankly I don't want to and I probably won't...

I want to describe the state of my heart to you. Why? Because I feel misunderstood...if I could close this for comments I would because I don't want the sadness or the pity or perspective..I want honored silence for my hurt...for my loss....

The pressure begins around Christmas Day... it starts when the presents have been opened and the chaos is done and the quiet sets in...the knock on my heart starts and a countdown to the 1st begins. Why? Because after the first comes the 2nd. It's a rumbling in an empty space at first...a foreboding feeling that echos around my heart with no place to land. The feeling gets bigger as the day draws near and you can be certain that in every quiet moment I have I'm thinking about it...I'm thinking about him. Then that thing in my heart that starts as a tiny echo grows till it envelopes my insides causing pressure and suffocation and before I know it December 31st rolls around and I have to prepare myself for the mindless meanderings of people looking toward the year and what it has to offer and my heart is never in it anymore. I don't like resolutions...I've said that before...if you're going to make a change...change it. So the countdown to midnight begins, 10, 9, 8, pour the champagne, 7, 6, 5, hold your glass high..4, 3, 2, 1....happy new year...clink clink...kiss on the lips...hugs from my two babies...smiling...smiling...rush through it...and the thing that started as an echo has completely taken hold of me head to toe...sadness... A decade of sadness.

I watch the revelries....and in my ugliness I think...how can you celebrate something new when he won't be here too? This is a joke I think. I don't want to celebrate...I want to curl up on the chair where I first felt your kicks and I want to hold you there in my belly so safe...so secure...reminder..rein it in...be realistic...you could be no place safer than where you are...and you are...you are so safe...so loved....but I don't want you to be there. I want you to be here...laughing in my hallway and giggling about your birthday being almost here. I want to hear you run through the house so I can yell at you and your brother to settle down. I want the stress of buying presents when I just spent too much on you for Christmas...I want the argument of what theme you want for your party and I want to hear you angry because so many of your friends are gone for Christmas break and they can't make it...I would even take biscuits meltdown that it's not his birthday and he doesn't get presents...I would take it...I WOULD TAKE IT!!!!

We all know that's not how it would have been though. Had you stayed with me...you would not be running...maybe I could have gotten smiles out of you...I fanticize about it and I hold tightly to the reality that you really are where you need to be...but damn does it hurt.

Tomorrow you will be 10. I will have that pain in my chest. I will cry...and I will wish it could be happier...Last year I came up with an idea to help me get through the day and this year I didn't succeed. Timing isn't right yet...I'm not ready.

Maybe in another 10 years...but I have a feeling I will feel the same as I do on January 1st 2027 as I do Jan 1 2017.

Isaac Matthew you took so much of my heart when you left me. I love you son. Happy birthday tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Reality

I don't find a lot of time to dwell on my current situation. I love my friends and family for their support...always lifting me up in prayer and telling me they don't know how I do it. Quietly I ask myself the same question...and sometimes I think I'm making this up...this is not my world or my reality...I can't possibly have lived in pain for 7 years now. It's around 2555 days, 61,320 hours of pain...no breaks...

Some days are worse and that is when I factor in the reality of it...so like tonight...when I'm not in my bed and I've searched my house and walked the floors and put the couch into a position I can lay upside down with my feet in the air...that is when I start to think... Man this sucks...

The reality of it is ... I'm taking each breath and each second by the grace of God...I have no choice but to breath in and breath out. I work and focus and love and eat and sleep (when my body will allow it)...I drive kids to school, cook (when I can tolerate standing in the kitchen to make a meal for my family)...I make lunches when my husband doesn't do it... I drive to appointments, field trips...I am room mom and I'm the booster club president...and as I'm writing this I'm realizing this is all a mechanism to keep going and to keep me less focused on the pain. Somehow being so involved helps me feel less alone in it. 

There is no beauty to be held in gritting your teeth and baring it when the end result is you are still suffering.  It's pure, undiluted angst and misery and it is my reality....some days I hate it...most days I try not to think about it...but I will most likely never escape it. 

I am not saying any of this for pity because I am WELL aware how good I have it. I don't have cancer, I have not lost limbs, I can function on medication, I have been blessed in my business, I find comfort in the arms of my man who hasn't left this mess yet and I have children that light up my world with fascinating light. I am so grateful. I am so grateful for the pain. I am so grateful that my reality is this when it could be so much worse. So as I lay here...legs twisted over the top of my couch, listening to the sound of crickets outside and knowing my babies are safe in their beds...I hate that I'm here and I hate my circumstances...but I love so much that I'm right where I am. 

“My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.”Psalm 119:50 NIV








Saturday, February 13, 2016

Little Bit of Real...

Wednesday my man and I celebrated 15 years together. I am in awe of people who have made it 20, 30, and an amazing 40+ years. This crap is hard...can I get an amen?! If you're struggling and you just don't know how to get to the next day...don't give up! You can make it...but you need a lot of dedication and a heck of a lot of prayer. I know it's only been 15 years (19 if you're counting our season of dating) but I wanted to share 6 things that have helped us get to this point. As a quick side note, this will have nothing…absolutely NOTHING to do with finances…if you’re having issues with money…there are a million and one resources for you to read and get it straight so I’m not going to focus on that…but I want to be real with you about thing things that help you stay connected and together…so here goes:
6. Set up argument rules – sounds silly, but this works. You have to both agree on them and they have to at least have one rule where you get to take a break if things are getting heated. Don’t be afraid to rest on an argument as long as you have a rule that you won’t just brush it under the rug after emotions have fizzled a little….besides it’s too much clean up if you do brush it off…you should see under my rugs…there’s no room for left over arguments there…
5. Accountability – there are two types of accountability you really need to have. The first is to each other. Have you ever asked your husband how you’re doing as his wife? Or what you could do differently? It sounds like torture and a set up, but if you are willing to take a little criticism, you’ll be surprised at how he changes for you in turn….besides it’s super fun to watch the confused look that comes over them when they think it’s a trick question. You also need friends that tell you when you're being stupid. The ones that always tell you you're right aren't the right people to run to when you're wanting to watch ID discovery to analyze murders that worked...or untraceable poisons…
4. Learn to pray together - This is a hard one. Many of us don’t make it a priority to pray out loud even when we’re alone. It’s intimidating and I know personally…I get caught thinking of what I’m going to say so I don’t sound stupid…BUT…when you do it enough you become comfortable and you lean less on your words and more on what your heart wants to say. I will personally testify that when you approach the throne together, it can diffuse stress and it can settle arguments faster than you can say ‘Amen’. And seriously…don’t be embarrassed to pray in front of each other…for Pete’s sake you’ve seen each other naked…
3. You’re still here… - Know that there will be moments you just flat out don’t like the other person. You will be in bliss one day and wake up the next to snoring and drool and bad breath and think…ugh…do I have to play nice in the sandbox AGAIN today? Give yourself the permission to be in that space…but boundary yourself to keep it TO yourself and not act it out. No one can like one person 100% of the time. It’s just not possible. If you wake up and you know that is the day…then it’s a good day to go for a walk or spend some time alone and pray. Then…while you’re alone…think about the first time you met…or when you finally realized this guy was giving you butterflies. Dwell on the blessing that he is. When you do that, you come out of the ugly much faster.
# 2 (and the longest part of this whole thing)
2– Take one for the team - Yes I know you’re tired. Yes I know you’ve worked just as hard, haven’t had a break, wiped dirty noses and dirty butts, screamed at the guy that cut you off in his flashy car and almost ran over someone with your cart at the grocery store…and now you have to get home and make dinner, help with homework and your husband has barely said hello to you and you crawl in bed…and he rolls over and puts his hand on your back….sound familiar? If you’re like me my first thought is ‘OH HECK NO’… grrrr… but sometimes you have to take one for the team. Why? Because men are different, because without sex, men are cranky, because it is scientifically proven that the more sex you have, the closer you will become, and you may even start enjoying it. I didn’t make that up…a clinical psychologist who specializes in sex therapy did - Andrea M. Macari, PhD did her own research and found out that even bad sex is good sex. This doesn’t mean you should ever be forced, but ladies sometimes we need to change our way of thinking. We all know what Song of Solomon is about…so we know God created sex not just as an avenue for reproduction but also for pleasure. I’m a firm believer that the more sex you have in a marriage the more chemically stable your marriage becomes. Seem crazy? There is article after article about the mental heal benefits of sex. Not only is it a natural anti-depressant, it reduces stress, boosts your immune system….increases your sense of smell…NO JOKE…and the list goes on…you can read it here with every University reference to the study: http://greatist.com/health/health-benefits-of-sex. (clicke the link below). As women we have to stop trying to impose our own thoughts about sex onto our husband…he will never think about sex like you do and thank God for that…we would REALLY struggle with it if our husbands constantly complained about our lack of cuddling…
Personally I believe it’s all a mystery, but I trust God’s provision and part of His provision is how He created us, Man and Woman, and the more we dig into being a unified couple and all that entails, the healthier we become. Which leads me to my #1
1. Phil 4:13 – I can do all things – and that means I can really do all things, forgive all things, survive all things…all things through Him who gives me strength. Christ has to be your foundation. I don’t have all the answers. I haven’t lived through the worst life has to offer, but my man and I have been through the ringer. We’ve used the word divorce, we’ve slammed doors, we’ve separated, we’ve cried over lost friends, we’ve struggled with health scares, we’ve been financially broken, we’ve buried one of our own children, yes…we’ve walked a lot together. Our marriage has been horrible at times, but even a good marriage is hard…one thing though…we did it all without wavering in our belief that there is no making it without our Heavenly Father being in the center of it all. He’s heard our ugliness, brought us out of despair, laughed at us and danced over us and we are only still married because of who He is and who He has called us to be. There will be times when all you have left is your love for Jesus…but if you love him with all you’ve got, He will do the rest. I promise.
So there you have it. 15 years…15 loooonnng years…but I wouldn’t change a thing…and I’d marry him all over again. I hope this brings you some hope and peace today…and don’t forget…romancing your husband only entails you show up with food….naked.
Have a blessed day and Happy Valentines!