Friday, November 22, 2013

Un-Resolutions for 2014...

It's coming to that time of year when so many of us start thinking about the new year, new resolutions and turning over a new leaf.  Yuppers, we're always trying to improve ourselves and our life's. However, this got me to pondering why most resolutions fail?

Is it because we make totally unrealistic goals?  So often we ask of ourselves the impossible because we are determined to "fix" everything overnight.  We attempt to lose 50 pounds by April when we probably should try to set a more reasonable goal of perhaps, 20 pounds in a year or about 1.5 pounds per month.  Or...

we decide to exercise 1 hour every other day when we haven't exercised in 10 years or...

read 2 books per month when we usually don't read at all or...

you get the picture.

Most of us are aware of creating a workable plan, setting realistic, measurable goals, tracking our progress, etc., etc.  Right?  So, why it is we commonly fail at maintaining our objectives much past March???

Perhaps, we've been going about change all wrong.  Perhaps, we need to do it different this year. Maybe we need to focus on getting happy and being okay with ourselves just as we are for the next year.  Maybe we should pursue contentment with our life's, our bodies, our circumstances...maybe we need to make some un-resolutions for 2014!

I'm not suggesting that change is bad or resolutions are not worthwhile, but possibly we'd would have a better chance of succeeding if we started from a place of gratitude...being at ease with ourselves.

Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

How about if we spent 2014 being okay with our life and ourselves instead of despising how we look, how we act, where we live or what we do?  What if we focused on the positive?  I mean really focused... 

on how wonderfully well God made us and affirm it by being grateful.  What if instead...
  1. of resolving to lose those extra 20 pounds we embraced our health and well-being
  2. instead of forcing ourselves into a dreaded exercise program, we learned to listen to our bodies and be thankful that we can move them freely in dance or walking or swimming or whatever is enjoyable
  3. we approached our job as serving a higher purpose than collecting a pay cheque; like providing for the family we love, engaging with people we enjoy or perhaps, showing us the need to reeducate and move on.
  4. of detesting our home, we became grateful for the shelter it affords us and our loved ones, a place to share precious time with friends or a sanctuary where we can relax and be safe.
What if we spent 2014 as the year of un-change?  Why not?  At the very least, we won't feel so depressed because we failed, yet again at keeping our New Years resolutions.  And who knows...

we may come out of the year with an entirely new perspective!  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sorrow is a Blessing...

"Earth has no sorrow heaven cannot heal."

I like this quote, it gives me hope and it got me pondering what sorrow really means to me. Initially, I felt that sorrow is something to avoid at all costs. Yet, to avoid sorrow,  I'd have to avoid caring...about anything or anybody.  Because if I care then I open myself to sorrow.  If I don't care, I live a shadow life, so I do not want to avoid feeling sorrow.  But on the other hand...

no normal person wishes to suffer loss of any kind, right?  But loss and sorrow are part of life.  People leave us, disappoint us, exploit us.  Things wear out, get stolen, lost.  We'll never get away without experiencing it and maybe...just maybe it's best that we don't because...

sorrow is necessary.  Yes, you heard me right!  

Sorrow teaches us many lessons that we might not learn otherwise.  Some of those lessons are:
  • Empathy - there is nothing like having gone through a similar loss to sympathize with others
  • Priorities - it is so easy to fill our time being consumed with non-important and irrelevant things until we lose something or someone significant.  Sadly, this is often a lesson taught the hard way.
  • Brevity - in loss we discover how short time really is and how important it is to not waste our minutes.  Again, another lesson often learned the hard way.
  • Humility -  it is so easy to feel chosen by God and grow arrogant when we haven't suffered a great loss.  Sorrow knows no boundaries. It is not biased.  No one is immune to it.
  • Value - this is a kissing cousin to priorities, but I felt it deserved it's own place on this list. Sorrow teaches us to value and take care of those things and people who matter most, knowing that nothing lasts forever.
  • Gratitude - this is the most important lesson as it encompasses all the others.  Sorrow teaches us to fully appreciate and thank God for our blessings.  Gratitude helps us set priorities, be humble, value our gifts, realize how little time we have and empathize with others.  It is the ointment that heals our wounds and gives us hope, thus the meaning behind...
"Earth has no sorrow heaven cannot heal."

This is my list.  I'm sure you, Faithful Reader, can think of even more reasons why sorrow is necessary.  Please share as I always look for ways to become more enlightened.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Irish Twins...

"You're 14 weeks pregnant, Barb."  Did I hear right?  This could not be...I had a five month old baby a home!  Impossible!  Someone got the test wrong!  Check again!

But no, it was true. One time unprotected sex and I got pregnant.  No one gets pregnant 4 weeks after having a baby.  Honestly!  But there I was 5 months post-pregnancy and knocked up again!  I was not happy...and that is the honest to God truth!

I was only planning to have one child.  Not because I didn't like children, quite the contrary.  But I was very fearful about being a mother.  I wasn't sure I could do a good job and I didn't want to be responsible for screwing up my own child's life.  Hubby had convinced me that maybe...just maybe I could do a decent job raising one.  So, I'd agreed and I already had my hands full with my first born, Jamie. And now... there were going to be two... Irish Twins!  I couldn't do it!!

I wanted to run from this and would have if it were possible, but the only option (late term abortion) was absolutely not an option.  So, despite my fears and many selfish ways, I stifled my dread, put on my "big girl" panties and forged ahead.  I was determined I could get through this...

I dug my heels in, got down into the trenches and toughed it out.  But whoa to my Jamie, Hubby and my unborn child!

So, I dutifully took care of business, but where did loving mommy and sweet wife go?  I felt so alone and so miserable. No matter how much I wanted to look forward to another baby; self pity kept getting in my way.  My sister was the only person that I expressed the full extent of my unhappiness and ...oh, did I whine to after day, after day...

until one day...she had enough.  She told me to smarten up.  She asked me if Hubby had raped me?  She asked if I wanted to do to this unborn child what was done to her (she hadn't been wanted by our mother)?  She asked if I intended to blame and be miserable (like our mother), accusing this child of ruining my well-planned life?  She handed me the tough love no one else dared...and I thank her to this day.

I cried then and for many days later.  My dearest sister opened the flood gates and all my fears and insecurities poured out.  I held my Jamie and cried in remorse for being so resentful toward her future brother or sister.  I hated being fearful and weak, but I just couldn't imagine having two babies needing me; expecting me to be a good mother.  I just didn't think I was capable.  So...

I cried and I prayed for weeks, until...finally after a particularly difficult day with my teething baby girl, I raised my swollen eyes to Heaven and pleaded with God to change my heart.  I'd like to say that a miracle happened in that moment, but it did not.  However, in time I felt something break inside me like a poison being released.  All the bitterness, self-pity and resentment  finally seeped away...and a quiet calm fell over me.

In that moment, I knew...I knew...I was going to be okay.  We were going to be okay.

I felt the baby kick and for the first time in this pregnancy I felt something new; anticipation!  There were more kicks and lots of restless movements as if the baby could tell something was different. Something worth dancing over.  I wondered who this precious, little person would be?  What should I name her?  What will she be like?  How much Jamie needed a little sister...

Call it wishful thinking or revealed from God, but I knew in that moment the baby was another little girl and that made me surprisingly joyful.

Hubby and I chose the name Kelly for the baby; he said it would fit a boy or girl, while I secretly smiled.

She came into the world 10 1/2 months after Jamie was born.  My girls were the same age for almost
6 weeks, thus Irish Twins!  Kelly, an Irish name, meaning "warrior".  How ironic!  And a warrior she is...

My warrior...who overcame her mother's bitterness and resentment, who completed our family and...

who proved to me all things are possible!

Friday, November 1, 2013

When I get to Heaven...

I shall pick flowers of all kinds
out of other people's gardens,
and no one will mind.
I shall gather dust motes
in pillowcases and spread
them in clean places.
I shall spend my days
crocheting snowflakes and
knitting angel wings.
When I get to Heaven I shall eat
Spam with barbecue chips,
on white bread.
I shall slurp my soup and blow
bubbles in my juice.
I shall wear sandals in Winter and
galoshes in Spring.
I shall sing glorious praises
that don't rhyme and
are off key.
I shall hear laughter, merriment
and joy.
When I get to Heaven I shall
borrow someones trumpet and
 join the choir.
I shall wash other's feet and
paint rainbows on their toenails.
But above all, when I get there
I shall kneel before the throne
with bowed head ,
in gratitude,
for all the love
given me;
before I ever got to Heaven.