Thursday, October 21, 2010

road rage

i think i've mentioned before my husband is a terrible driver. yeah, i'm pretty sure that's how i put it. :)

and if HE were writing this blog he would MOST DEFINITELY say he is a WAY BETTER MUCH WORSE driver than me!

he might be right! he's never been in a car accident. i know because i just now asked him, casually of course!, if he had ever been in a wreck.

"i've only slid off the snowy road and made a few dents in my car. NO DAMAGE TO ANOTHER VEHICLE." (but he made no mention of the tree, hmmm....i have to wonder?)
and by the grace of God, i have never crashed while driving more than 5mph. however, i have backed into two cars and one pole and left two notes. oh wait, there was that time when i had a cigarette in one hand, cell phone in the other and i used my mom's car to keep smooching the on-ramp's concrete wall for 20 feet while going 50mph. it wasn't pretty, but it was still drivable, sort of. ooops...i forgot about that!

ken's an aggressive driver; definitely more aggressive than me. i think he would admit that. aggressive, but safe. confident about his turns, speed and direction.

i've mentioned on here before i would like HIM to drive in the right-hand lane going 40mph while i'm a passenger, but when i've got the driving reigns, i have no problem cutting in and out of traffic, suddenly realizing i must turn right even if i have to cross 8 lanes of traffic to do so, and going 75-80 in a 70. and forget about the lady going 40mph...i have total road rage against her, of course in a nice texas-girl way!

but i've recently started to understand road rage...in a different way.

huh???

at times in my walk with the Lord, i've definitely been an offender of ROAD RAGE. i promise to post my version of a psalms i wrote and you might be horrified...

or you might actually relate?

our walk with the Lord, or lack thereof, may, certainly, include road rage for part of the drive.

you're driving along and you get caught off. expletive. or tears. or both.

but as you're driving along what cuts you off is the VERY thing that the God OF THE UNIVERSE who wants to be the God OF YOUR HEART, wants you to see.
The "cut-you-off" road rage event(s) which He allows, may be the loss of a child, spouse, parent, sibling, friend, or stranger; the ugly process of a divorce; the horrible past (or present) of physical, sexual or emotional abuse; or a simple, yet complicated belief that "this" life you lead is not quite fulfilling enough. a belief there is more out there than "this."

He doesn't cut you off to hurt you.

He doesn't cut you off to ruin you.

He just knows that the cut-you-off things and subsequent road rage are gonna happen...because we live on this earth. see, there was a woman named eve and man named adam awhile back...

oh, and what about the rage you express in the heat of these cut-you-off events?

well, i'm living proof, you can have it. rest assured, if i can do it and still walk with the Lord, i'm a million% sure you can.

rage it out. cuss it out. stomp it out. yell it out. better yet, scream it out at the top of your freakin' lungs. and drop the f-bombs if you must. i guarantee you...HE CAN HANDLE IT!

have you ever read David's psalms' where he lets God have it? i mean, he really, really lets God have it. after reading most of these, i found myself experiencing a new freedom in my relationship with Christ. freedom to say what i thought, unmasked, to the God of the universe.

wow, really? yes, really!

and He didn't even send a lightening bolt to strike me down, dead, because i said what i said!

i fully believe God allows road rage events to eventually open our eyes to His ways, His Truth, His better-option way of life.

do you??

can you get back on the road after the rage?


Jesus said, "I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. no one gets to the Father apart from Me. if you really knew Me, you would know my Father as well. from now on, you do know Him. you've even seen Him!"
the message, john 14:6-7

Friday, October 15, 2010

infant and pregnancy loss remembrance day ~ oct. 15

and yet another year comes around that i know about this day.

in some ways i wish i didn't know about it...but in other ways i am glad i do.

it helps me to remember all of the other families out there who grieve publicly or silently at the loss(es) of their infant child(ren) or their early/late pregnancy loss(es).

i wrote one of my new friends yesterday and asked her to not feel as though she had to disqualify her loss as less than mine. she had a pregnancy loss before the doctors could tell if it was a boy or a girl and she was grateful to know that oct. 15 exists.

i have many friends and know many people who have had a miscarriage(s), and i see their loss the same and yet different. that child was a child they don't get to raise here on earth. when asked, how many children do you have? the obvious answer is three but that mother knows there are actually five.

in different ways, i think it must be harder to not know if the child was a boy or girl. some early pregnancy losses do not grant the parents the pleasure of actually seeing what the baby looked like. this must be tough; i can only imagine. the dreams and hopes you had for their life...just vanished at the words "i'm sorry, there is no heartbeat." and yes, not even a name for this life that mattered.

yes i buried a child, but i had the privilege to birth him, see him briefly when they woke me from general anesthesia, and eventually i got to hold him after he had gone to be with Jesus.

i want to encourage those who have silently grieved their losses to spend some time thinking about those children today. maybe in your grief, they need a name. they need to know you recognize their life as equally as your other children.

can you see their faces in heaven?

your jewel-adorned house waiting for you in heaven will not have three rooms for your children...but five.

and my heart aches particularly for those who have endured pregnancy loss after pregnancy loss and do not have the "validity" of mommy status yet, because there is no child to hold in your aching arms. you are a mommy. please know that. i hurt for you...and i pray for you. only Jesus can heal your wounds. and it will happen in time, if you let Him.

i love this paragraph from george w. bush's letter to officially recognize this infant and pregnancy loss remembrance day, october 15:

"the pain of losing a child is unimaginable and something no parent should have to endure. we believe that EVERY HUMAN LIFE has inherent dignity and matchless value in the eyes of God. on this solemn day, we remember those who have died, and we honor the parents for their strength and courage in the face of such terrible heartache."

some of us baby-loss parents have a grave to visit today, some of us are too far away to do so, and some of us simply do not.

please join me in praying for those parents who have lost children in silence, who may or may not be able to recognize that precious and valued life. please know your baby's life mattered to me...but more importantly he or she mattered to God. that precious child is sitting at His feet as you read this.

dear matthew phillip,

we miss you so much. there is not a day that goes by where daddy and i do not think about you. tonight we will light a candle at 7pm to remember you and all the other babies in heaven with you. because your life mattered. their lives mattered. i just got a new pumpkin spice yankee candle, and it is my favorite scent because fall is my favorite time of the year. i think i'll light that one.


baby boy, i could have lived in a black hole of despair and depression for many more months and years, and probably for the rest of my life. but only 2 short months ago, Jesus gently asked me to let you go be with Him. i decided to not let the grief of losing you get in the way of...you. it wasn't easy. some days, it's still not.

i sit here and look at kennedy playing on her play mat and sometimes wonder what it would be like if my 21-month-old son was running around the house too. would mommy be losing her mind? probably! but it would be the good kind of losing her mind. when you finally stood still for a second, i'd swoop you up in my arms, give you lots of kisses on your cheeks, lips, and face while you would be squirming. eventually i'd lay you on the ground next to kennedy and tickle you until you couldn't laugh anymore. i'd be laughing too and since kennedy starting laughing really loud a week or so ago, she would be laughing at us! it would be a moment i would take a snapshot of in my memory to treasure for a lifetime. better yet, if my camera was nearby, i'd be sure to grab it! i sort of have an obsession with capturing these precious moments you see! :)

on a brisk morning like today, we'd bundle up and go for a walk. i wonder if you would ride in the tandem stroller or if you would just want to walk with me holding mommy's hand. after our walk, we'd come back and make pumpkin bread and butternut squash soup to have on hand for lunch tomorrow. juju and aunt granny deb are coming tomorrow and we'd be ready, even though the house is still a mess! later we'd go to the commissary and with two children under the age of two, it might be a lot to handle. you might throw a tantrum right in the middle of the aisle while older men glare at me...but it would be perfectly fine with me because you would be here screaming in the grocery aisle instead of being away from me in Glory.

matthew phillip, it's a conflict. after i decided to start living my life again, i still wish you were here with me, yet i know you are at such peace walking daily with your Heavenly Father. most days i can focus on the latter and that gives me comfort, joy, grace, and understanding. but there will be days for the rest of my life i will just have to be sad you are not here with me on this earth. and that's ok.

but the sad day will come to an end, and if i'm granted the next day, i will get up, do the best i can as a wife to your wonderful daddy and mommy to your amazing little sister, and i will go out into the world and ask Jesus how he would want me to introduce Him to someone that day.

i love you precious son. you give me strength to live each day.
~ mommy

Thursday, October 14, 2010

living someone else's life...

have you every felt like you are just not yourself lately?

of course you have.

but how about.... have you ever felt like you are just not yourself in say, like the last 34 years???

on my birthday weekend this year, my friend joni paid me the greatest, but yet most confusing and intriguing compliment.

"i feel like you are getting back to who you were in college."

hmmm...hmmm...hmmm...

i thought for a little while and realized i was many different girls in college:

- an ok student......a crappy student.
- an enthusiastic-living-for-jesus christian.......a party-girl who wouldn't know christian if it hit her in the head.
- a girl who clung to a "private" struggle with bulimia and anorexia.......a girl who publicly collapsed on the steps of the business school.
- a girl who cared about others deeply....a girl who could care less about herself or others.
- a girl full of insecurity....a girl full of confidence.
- a girl who cared what everyone thought......a girl who didn't give a damn.

well....i wonder which girl she meant???

the ironic part of this is, the girl full of insecurity who cared about what everyone thought was the girl who was walking closely with the Lord. i was pursuing Christ. i was engaging Him. i was learning about my Father.

certainly i was "doing" all of the things that christians are supposed to do. especially when leading others, which i was doing as a young life leader.

however, the key thing here...

i TOTALLY, COMPLETELY, MISSED what God's grace actually meant in my life.

did you get that? i had no idea what the actual definition of grace was!!

yet don't even think i didn't get up in front of my young life girls in cabin time and rattle off a passage like ephesians 2:8..."by grace alone..."

i got caught up in legalism to the one-millionth degree. i made check boxed lists and that was enough. went to church, check. had a quiet time, check. didn't drink (for 4.5 yrs of my 5.5 yrs), check. had conversations about God and what He was doing in my life, check. taught others about Christ, check.

had i put these two on my list and really thought about it...i couldn't have "checked."

know how deeply my Savior is IN LOVE WITH ME? ughhhhh  ______ blank.

know how deeply i am covered in grace? ughhhhh ______ another blank.

the journey i have been on since 2002 has been painful and glorious. hard and easy. heartbreaking and joyful.

and i wouldn't trade one moment of it.

at 34 years of young, i am finally understanding how to live my life. not someone else's. i'm finally grasping that the Jesus who i've followed and abandoned, is not phased one bit by my actions. he expects me to fall flat on my face over and over and over, because adam and eve did what they did.

and every single time, he's still standing there, arms wide open, loving me for who i am, covering me in grace.

i don't know how you ever find that kind of love in someone or something else...do you?

**********
i don't know anything about the author of this quote but it was on my "whispered words of encouragement" flip calendar from sept. 28:

"embrace your uniqueness. time is much too short to be living someone else's life." --kobi yamada

i just really love this quote! have a fantastic day!