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Archive for August, 2007

Hold Me

When I was a young teenager, my mom was very good about allowing me to get involved in sports.  She took me to practices, volunteered as the Team Mom, and travelled for hours to watch me play ball.  She was my biggest fan.  Through all the sporting events, I learned a lot about myself and other people, but there is one event that occurred during a basketball game that will stick with me for the rest of my life. 

We were in the middle of a very rough game.  I think the game was pretty close and we all felt like we were getting beat up by this other team.  If memory serves me correctly, the other team just scored when I heard my team mate cry out.  The other team had already run down the court, and when I turned to look, I found her lying on the court crying out in pain.  There she was, a girl slightly older than me, a girl who I looked up to and envied all at the same time, holding onto her ankle and as the tears streamed from her eyes, it seemed that the entire world stopped for her. 

And before the coaches or any of her teammates could get to her, I saw her dad leap up from the bleachers and run to her side.  I watched as he picked her up in his arms and whispered words of comfort to her.  He carried her off the court effortlessly as she layed her head on his shoulder. 

At that moment, I decided that I truly did envy her even more than I admired her.  I watched with jealousy and admiration as her father checked her ankle.  The rest of the people in the gym watched too, as the coaches approached her and with her father, checked out her battle wound. 

That night stuck with me as a bittersweet memory.  I too, just wanted to be rescued, held, comforted, and taken care of – by my dad.  If I was hurt, I wanted to be able to cry and have my daddy hold me and let me cry on his shoulder.  I wanted to feel safe in his arms and I wanted to be such a priority in his life that if I were the one to get hurt, he was the first one to leap to my rescue.

But my dad wasn’t even at my game.  Not that he’s never been to any of my games, but they were few and far between.

So this last week, as I was dealing with all the emotional crud of moving and trying to handle so many things on my own, I just needed someone to tell me it was okay to cry and to hold me and keep me safe while I fell apart, even if just for a minute! 

But the more I cried and confessed to my husband, the more it seemed we argued.  I found that as I shared my feelings with him, he pushed back.  I felt he was (at times) invalidating my feelings and just not getting me or what I was going through.  I couldn’t understand why he just wouldn’t take me in his arms and LISTEN.  That’s all I wanted – for him to listen to me and understand my sadness.

Finally, after hours (days) of frustration, in the midst of tears and arguing, I let it go.  “I just need you to hold me and let me be emotional!  I need to cry and feel safe!  I feel like I’ve had to be strong for my family all my life and today I just want to be able to fall apart in your arms and know it’s okay!” 

Telling him what I needed was the best thing I could have done.  He got this look on his face, I’m not sure if it was sudden understanding, or dread, and then he said, “Let’s move over to the couch.”  And while the kids were playing and laughing in the other room, he held me and let me cry and talk. 

Minutes later I was fine.  (Mostly).  I cried, and then it was done.  I felt like I had been genuinely comforted by my husband, something I’ve needed for a while.  Funny thing is, I can’t even begin to describe how much stronger and manly he seemed to me after he did that.  He came to my side in a time of pain, held me, and rescued me.  He became my hero. 

And after all that, I had to stop and ask, “Why is it so hard for me to just tell my husband exactly what I need?”  I mean, there are times I just WANT him to get it (on his own).  I wanted him to come to my rescue without me having to tell him what to do.  But he wasn’t getting it – what I needed from him.  But once I told him, he was there for me.  

They say that women can be complicated when it comes to these things, for example, they want advice one day, the next they just want you to listen…

So I guess I need to hear from the women on this one. 

Can you relate or am I just Super-complicated?

I recently read something interesting regarding men and dealing with their wives’ emotions…so I’ll definitely be posting more on this later…

So men?  Before we go deeper into this subject, I’d like to hear feedback from you too.  😉

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Vertigo?

I was sitting at the table, eating lunch with Dwight, Joshua, Kelly, and Madison.  As I looked at the table to grab my sandwich, I saw it (the table) start to spin sideways.  I didn’t know what to think, and as I tried to look up, I saw the entire room flipping sideways with the table, as if it were going to continue until I was upside down!  I gasped out loud as I clutched the table with both hands.  The kids looked up at me as if I were crazy.  And then it stopped.  For the next 10 – 15 minutes I felt confused, slightly dizzy, and light-headed.  (And afraid to get up from my chair).

 “Did you all feel that?”  I asked, trying to figure out what had just happened.  They didn’t have a clue.  That’s when I knew it was just me. 

Thank God I wasn’t driving when that happened.  We’d just returned from the store with bags full of Pedialyte (okay, it was the store brand – much cheaper!), chicken noodle soup, and food for the next 24 hours since I haven’t been able to get groceries since our return from SC.

It was supposed to be simple.  I got the perishables in the fridge, we sat down to eat, and then my world literally was spinning upside down (sideways).

About an hour after that, Madison threw up all over me.  Twice.  But I think that was my fault, trying to make her take in too many fluids at once.  Poor thing.  So we are both lying in bed now.  She’s sound asleep, and I think I might try to catch a little nap with her.  We were up half the night last night cleaning up yucky diapers, leaked on sheets and soiled clothes. 

It’s looking like I’m going to miss taking Joshua to his first day of Kindergarten.  The thought is breaking my heart, but I’m thankful his daddy is able to take time off work to go (with or without me!)  I just don’t want to drag a sick baby in and out of the house!  We’ll see how she is doing tomorrow…I’d really like to be with him on this very special day.  I still remember the day Dwight started school.  Now he’s in high school!

I’m still blessed.  Even with all the craziness and spinning and pooping and puking…and when the days seem like too much, I’M STILL BLESSED.  I keep telling myself this and deep down inside I feel it.  Life isn’t going to be perfect all the time and I know that.  So really I can’t complain because there are still so many things to be thankful for! 

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Please Pray For Madison

She’s had diarrea since Saturday.  I wasn’t too concerned until last night when I noticed her diapers are dry and she won’t drink anything (other than nurse), but I’m afraid I’m not making enough milk for her right now since I started supplementing with formula during the day.  (Boy am I regretting that now!)

I’m doing what I can to get my milk supply up again, but I don’t want to have to take my little one to the hospital for dehydration.  I just want her to drink some pedialyte but she won’t!  I’ve tried giving it to her in every way possible – cup, cup w/ straw, sippy cup, bottle, warm, chilled.  I guess my last option is frozen.

I’ll update on everything else going on in life after we get through this, but for now, my little monkey is being very clingy.

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Dwight And The Summer Geese

MovieDear Dwight,

Sometimes I get so frustrated with you.  Yesterday I told your dad that I am too young to be the mom of a teenager.  I know there are other moms who are only 15 years older than their child, but to me, I seemed worlds older than you until you hit 13.  Now it’s different.  So I’ve decided that I’m much too immature to be your mom.  I say this because I find myself arguing with you over pointless things, like, whether or not you really saw me misplace Madison’s vitamins 3 freakin’ days ago.  How could you possibly even remember something like that?  (You were wrong, I was right!)  See?  Immature!

Katrina brought something to my attention though, and now that it’s beginning to make sense to me, I’m a little more okay with your behavior, even if you are rude at times.  I just can’t believe it’s come to this.  You are embarking on your journey into manhood, and the beginning of that journey means separating yourself from your mama.  I get it.  But you still have to respect me.  Got it?  (If you don’t get it, your dad can help you get it).

Also, I wonder why we enrolled you in Honor’s English.  You love to read and write great reports, but the amount of stress involved with each and every assignment…what were we thinking?  I’m so sorry we did that to you!  I’m just glad I was able to make it right and get your class switched before school started.  I could sense the relief you felt when I told you it was all taken care of. 

Oh, and the conversations about West Point?  Yes, you can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it, but you have to put every bit of effort into it.  That means a little less talk and more action.  But I know you can do it .  Just try to understand that when I tell you that you should keep your options open and apply to all the academies, and some other colleges, I am NOT trying to discourage you from going to West Point.  I just don’t want you to limit yourself, or your future.  So please don’t ever tell me again that I don’t want to see you succeed.  I am not your enemy!

I think deep down inside you know this.  We have our good times.  Like the day you insisted that you could catch a goose with your bare hands.  Oh you made my day!  I’m just glad I have these picturesSummer Geese:

Summer Geese

Talking to Dad about the geese

Summer GeeseSummer Geese

And this video: 

Because this is who you are and as crazy as you drive me (at times), I love you for who you are.  Even when you are really right and I’m wrong and you gloat and rub it in and I want to smack the smirk off your face.  Yes.  Even then, I still love you.  (And I always will).

Love,

Mom

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Precious Sleep

I woke up this morning and felt worlds better.  Not that I’m not emotional still.  There are so many changes in our lives going on right now.  I think it’s just going to take some time to adjust. 

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I was driving Dwight to a “Back To School Bash” this evening.  The entire day last two days seem to be throwing frustrating situations in our direction.  I guess by the time I started heading in the right direction for Dwight’s bash, I lost it. 

 “Mom.”  Kelly called from the back of the Expedition.

“Mom!”  She yelled louder

Again.  “Mom!?!”

But I couldn’t answer.

Finally after repeated attempts to get me to respond, I tried to open my mouth several times and say, “What?” but I couldn’t talk.  Nothing came out of my mouth.  Tears spilled from my eyes instead.  And I cried nearly the entire way to Dwight’s school.  Poor guy didn’t know what to do with me.  I told him I was okay, I was just feeling overwhelmed.  I left out the lonely and confused and exhausted part.  Sometimes I just feel that everybody wants a piece of me and I give and give and give and today my well has run dry.  Funny how quickly something like that happens.  All it took was for my little girl to call my name and I fell apart, which is so SO stupid because life isn’t all that bad.  I haven’t had a single tragedy strike, yet I’m weeping like a fool. 

 I can’t even get through this post without crying, which is funny because over the years I found that I numbed my emotions.  I just stopped crying.  I just held it in and wouldn’t allow myself to cry.  In the last year, God has been working on me in this area in my life.  I’m starting to feel like it is okay to cry and that sometimes, I need to cry.  I know there is a balance and I can’t cry over every little thing that makes me feel sad, but there was a time when I just stopped “feeling.”  I didn’t use to be that way, but after I got married, and I don’t know why, I just began to slowly numb my emotions.

When I could cry, I was a teenager.  When I was feeling this way, I would get in my car and just drive.  Sometimes I would park somewhere and cry until I couldn’t cry anymore.  I would stop and sort things out in  my mind.  I’d pray.  Sometimes I’d come out of it feeling better.  Others I’d have to take another drive and do it again.  I wanted to drive today, but how do you say, “Hey kids, I’m going to pull over and cry and sob and bawl and just try to be alone with God for a little bit.  You all just sit there and be good until I’m done, okay?” 

And then there’s this other thing.  What I’d give for a night alone with my husband!  I want more intimacy.  I feel we’ve been caught up in the business of life and there’s just so much going on we haven’t had time to invest in our relationship.  I just want some time alone so we can talk.  I want to know my husband more, and I want my husband to want to know me more, at a deeper level.   He used to ask me random questions and really listen to what I had to say, just trying to learn something new about me.  But how does that happen when at least one of five kids is sitting around, interrupting, or sneaking around trying to listen to our conversations?  How does that happen when his mind is consumed by this new job he is still working so hard to get to know? 

I forgot that part about moving.  How much it sucks to sit there and wait for my husband to get through learning and mastering his new position.  I’ve learned to be patient over the years, but I guess I’m not so much this time around. 

I guess that’s why I need a night out, just him and me.   No kids.  I guess a girl’s desire to be pursued by the love of her life will never cease. 

Then there’s a part of me that is hurting about a relationship that I didn’t know was bothering me so much.  Something was said that made me realize, “Wow.  This person doesn’t know me like they used to, nor like they should.”  It’s amazing how over time, we can go from being so close to someone, to hardly knowing them at all.  I feel like I hardly know this person anymore, and this person really doesn’t know me either.   

And yet through all this, I have to admit that I feel God pursuing me in a way I can’t explain.  So even with all these tears and frustration, I know something good is going to come out of this – even if it’s just allowing some healing in my heart and learning how to let myself cry like a baby again.

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We got back from the Carolinas yesterday afternoon.  Honestly, I think it would have been easier if I hadn’t gone!  But in many ways I feel like we were supposed to go.  NEVER in my life have I felt like I feel about that place.  I just feel like we belong there.

The moment we started driving into familiar territory I started tearing up.  I don’t think Scott knew what to do with me!  But I think he understood.  He started getting a little sentimental too. 

On Sunday, God spoke to Scott and me during the Praise & Worship at our church there in SC.  We both know that we are going to have to make some decisions over the next couple of years.  I think we are going to have to decide on what we want in life and what we are willing to give up.  Do we want to make SC our home or do we want to continue what we are doing, moving every couple of years and advance in a very promising career? 

Everything in me says we belong in SC.  I’ve never lived anywhere where it has felt like it was home.  Not like this at least.  I told Scott that in some ways it’s so hard, but at the same time, it’s so wonderful knowing that I am no longer a wanderer, or drifter.  I’ve felt like that the last 10 years as we’ve moved from place to place.  Even as a teenager, I knew I wasn’t going to stay in my home town.  And when Scott and I got married, I knew for sure that we’d never live there again.  Now I have a place I want to call home. 

We have friends who are like family, a church we love and want to help grow and serve, great schools…the list could go on and on.  Everything about it just feels right (for us), and it felt right the first day Scott and I drove into town.  I remember sitting next to him in the car, taking in the scenery.  He looked at me and said, “It feels like home.” 

It didn’t take long before Scott and I were saying that we weren’t going to leave.  God told us “never say never.”  Nearly two years later, things got crazy and Scott didn’t have much of a choice on staying if he was going to stay with the company.  Now we are in Ohio!

Yes, I know that right now, we are supposed to be here in Ohio.  And it’s not that I’m not happy here.  We have great friends, a huge house, (which is nice with five kids!), so many good churches to choose from, good schools…again, I could go on and on.  But there’s just something missing. 

And I haven’t forgotten the hard times while living in SC – the times when we felt alone or frustrated about how things were going (especially in some of the relationships or ministries we were involved in), but I suppose that if you are going to have any kind of intimacy, then frustration, conflict, and sometimes even lonliness may be inevitable. 

So Scott and I have been talking, and praying, and contemplating on the decisions we will have to make.   We have time.  But this is one big decision!  For me, it’s easy.  I want one place and one place only to raise my children.  I want them to grow up with their friends and the stability of knowing that there is one place we call home.  But I’m afraid that my husband will feel that he’s never reached his full potential.  I know he’ll have to have something to strive for, to achieve.  Maybe it’s somewhere in some sort of ministry, or with another company.  Or maybe we’ll continue moving and he’ll get to pursue his dreams within this company. 

But as we go through all of this, my dream about the train seems to be making more sense.  There are so many areas in our lives that I feel like this dream applies.  But I’m convinced that this whole decision making thing is an area where my husband is going to have to push and I am going to have to simply stand back and support him no matter what.  If we all do our part, God will take control in the end.  Right?

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