Sunday, May 31, 2009

Nope. Not Me. Not Today.

So MckMama..." is a phrase frequently uttered in our home, by myself and my husband. MckMama is one of those rare people who lets herself be seen by others. She lets us see her as she follows Christ - flaws and all.
Each week, MckMama hosts a blogfest called "Not Me Monday." Not Me Monday is, in a nutshell, a no-cost-involved self-therapy program designed for people like me. It gives those who participate full license to disclose all of those details that we usually keep carefully hidden. It also allows us (the participants) to read about all of the things that other people definitely did *NOT* do this past week.

So here are my "Not Me Monday's." Be sure to head on over to MckMama's Blog to check out more, that are probably more entertaining than mine could ever be.
  1. I am an not the co-owner of an actual, real-life house. Because my husband and I didn't sign on the loan and title on Friday. And my dad didn't take us traipsing around in the woods to celebrate, and then buy us yummy food. Nope. Not me.
  2. If that had happened, though, I certainly wouldn't have doggedly carried my camera with me. While hiking through weeds on steep hillsides. Wearing flip-flops. No. I don't do that.
  3. But... if I were to ever do such a thing, the highlight of the evening definitely would not have been the biggest millipede I have ever seen... except for on tv, of course. But if that were all true, that millipede would have looked something like this...
  4. I am not seriously lacking in the "Not Me" category. Because I don't work for a place that doesn't want me blogging about work. And if I did, I certainly wouldn't spend vast quantities of time there, so much so that I feel like it's where I live.
  5. I am not cutting this post short in deference to my husband. Who is finding the noise and intensity of this storm a bit intimidating in regards to household electronics. I can tell he's not used to weathering storms while on top of a ridge...

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Saturday, May 16, 2009


I have wrestled with this post for quite a while. I’ve prayed. I’ve studied. And I’ve prayed more. And then I’ve chickened out, not posted it. I’ve argued with God, using the logic that I’m not a teacher. Not a preacher. And truthfully, I’m not. As long as I’m being truthful… I don’t always pray over what I post. Actually, I rarely do. I should – after all, I have no idea who will be reading, or how much it will impact them. And so I should be carefully guarding what is said here.

But that’s not the point I’m getting at.

I’m addressing forgiveness.

As a believer, I am called to forgive. It doesn’t matter what I do, I can’t get around that fact. I’m going to start with Galatians 6, verse one.

“Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.”

It’s time for transparency. I’ve seen people slip into sin. I’ve watched it happen, and thought to myself, “How could they? How does a person get so far off track?” I’ve watched people get snared and done nothing to help. I’ve smugly stood by and let them fall, while being grateful that I would never fall for that. The truth is, I may not ever fall for the same thing. If I don’t, it isn’t by my own might or power, but by the grace and power of God working in me.

Even so, for the most part, I don’t really have a hard time forgiving people if they sin – especially when it doesn’t really have anything to do with me.

Ephesians 4:31-32: Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Just as Christ has forgiven me. I am to forgive just as He has forgiven. Do you know what that means? There are things I have done that only God and myself know about. Things that I shudder to think could ever be discovered by another human. Christ forgave me for those things. The worst I have ever done, and the worst I will ever do, He has forgiven. And that is how I am to forgive others.

Okay. So when that person cuts me off in traffic, I am supposed to forgive them. Got it. I’m good with that. In fact, it’s rather easy. When else? When someone says they’ll be there, and they never show, I’m supposed to forgive them. Okay… not as easy as the traffic thing, but I can do it. No problem. Someone lies to me, steals from me, hurts me physically? Yep, you guessed – I am supposed to forgive them. It’s getting harder and harder, but I can still do it.

But why?

Colossians 3:13 – Bear with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you.

Okay. That’s right… He forgave me. He knew that not only would I sin before I “got saved” – I’d sin afterwards, too. And He knew that there would be days when I’d neglect to even say a quick “thank you.” He knew all that, and He forgave me anyway. Because of that, I am supposed to forgive others when they do wrong to me.


Speaking of not even taking the time to say “thank you”… have you ever prayed the Lord’s prayer? I have. I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve prayed that section of scripture.

“Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Um… has that phrase ever arrested your attention? Because it’s sure got mine. Jesus Himself told me to pray that. To ask God to forgive me as I forgive others who sin against me. I’ve done it, too. I’ve prayed those words more times than I can count. It’s the next verses that get to me though…

Okay, not the “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the Kingdom, power, and glory forever” part. That’s in verse 13 of Matthew 6. Do you know what verses 14 and 15 say? I do. I can’t get away from them; can’t get them out of my head.

“For if you forgive people their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment, neither will the Father forgive you.”

Think about that.

Does it do the same thing to you that it does to me? Does it make you stop and really think? Does it make you cringe? Are there things that come to mind that you just can’t fathom forgiving?

I’m going to be very honest right now. There is one particular person who hurt me. Not a little and not just one time. The pain inflicted was physical and emotional, and in many ways is still with me today. I’m not going to say who, or how, or when. I will say this, though… I have been wrestling and struggling with Matthew 6:14 and 15 for years because of it.

It’s hard to forgive someone the first time they hurt you. Harder still the next time. But what about when you can no longer keep track of how many times they’ve done the same exact thing? What do you do when what they did invades your life – impacting your thoughts, your dreams, your relationships with other people, and even your walk with God? Then how do you forgive?

Can I keep being honest?

You can’t. Or at least, I can’t. Not without God’s help. But what if you already have that? What if you’ve prayed, you’ve asked God to help you, and you truly want to forgive?

The rest of this post is going to come straight from my heart. I am going to share what I have done, what I have learned, and what forgiveness actually looks like in my life. As you read, I pray that God would speak to your heart – and that you’d be willing to listen.

I’ve been wrestling. Struggling. I’ve stayed up late at night, risen early in the morning. I’ve gotten help from other people – people who are older, wiser, and have walked with God a lot longer than I.

There is someone I needed to forgive. Someone I didn’t want to forgive. But no matter how many Bibles I opened, I couldn’t find one that didn’t say I needed to forgive. I couldn’t imagine how I was to do this, and really, I didn’t even know what, exactly, it was that I was trying to do. As I’ve sought God, as I’ve been helped by others and spoken to through His Word, there are some very important things I’ve learned about forgiveness.

First, I need to forgive the person. The focus here is on the person who hurt me. It’s not on the hurt me, but on the person. A human being. Someone with flesh and blood. Someone who, in spite of whatever it is that they’ve done (or not done), is loved by God. Someone with a heart that beats within his or her chest. Someone who laughs, who cries. Someone who has known the depths of despair and the heights of love. Someone who will live, forever. When you strip away everything temporary, this person is no different from any of the rest of us. He or she knows fear, anger, betrayal… every pain that they have given to others, they’ve received themselves. For all I know, they’ve endured things I can’t even begin to imagine. Even if they haven’t… I need to forgive. The person.

The next thing to really speak to me was the notion that this person, like any other person, had the potential to spend eternity in Hell. The realities of hell are too horrific for me to comprehend. Absolute agony, more intense than anything anyone here on earth can even begin to imagine. Total and utter darkness. Complete separation from God, with no hope of reunion. An absolute absence of hope, of love, of peace, of joy. Being more alone than is possible here on earth. Forever. No end. This is what we all deserve. It is what we have earned. But I’m not going there, and you don’t have to either. Jesus has paid the price. And really, truthfully… if the love of God really is in me – if I really have chosen to follow Him – then I can’t wish that for anybody.

Once that sank in, I started to pray for this person. To pray that if they haven’t made that choice – if their eternal destiny right now is hell – that they’d repent. That somehow, someone or something would get through to them. It’s urgent. Important. Infinitely important. Honestly, I’d prefer that this person had never been a part of my life. But they were. And they are. So when I think of them, I pray. Because whether I would have chosen to know him or her, life has dictated that I do.

Once those two things had really solidified for me, I was stuck. I didn’t wish any ill for this individual. I didn’t intend to do anything untoward to them. I was even praying for his or her salvation. But it wasn’t quite enough, and I knew it. There was still one question burning in my mind: what is forgiveness? How do I know if I’ve done it? I think I have, but… what if I haven’t?

One thing that made me wonder was the fact that I still find myself feeling angry, hurt, and several other “negative” emotions that are directed toward this person. I asked myself, “If I had really forgiven him or her, would I still feel this way?”

Turns out, the answer is yes. Stay with me – I promise to explain further. But for now, I’m going to keep going.

I also wondered, what if I do sometimes find myself tempted to act… ahem, ungodly, toward this person? Then what?

It turns out that I’m actually still human, and still susceptible to those things that afflict us humans. It also turns out that the love of God constrains me… and as time goes by, the temptation is lessening. I don’t know if it will ever be gone completely – but I have learned that it doesn’t have anything to do with whether I’ve forgiven.

The next thing I found myself wondering, I actually took to my Pastor. I kept thinking about someone else that I struggled to forgive – and succeeded. I have since developed a desire to be with that person. I enjoy his or her company, and I even seek it out. But this other person? I don’t want to see them. I don’t want to talk to them. I really would be okay with going the rest of my life and never having any contact again. How does that line up with forgiveness?

Let me give you the example my Pastor gave to me. Suppose someone were to threaten him (my Pastor) at gunpoint? What if they told him they were going to kill him and his family? Then, suppose they went to prison. Thirty years later, Pastor has forgiven them, but they still haven’t repented. If Pastor never wants to see them again, does this mean he hasn’t forgiven them? No. It means he doesn’t want to be shot and killed. It means he wants to protect himself. And he wants to protect his family.

Then we talked about what forgiveness is.

Forgive… from the words “fore” and “give.” To give. Prior to, in advance of, or in the absence of. Forgiveness, while associated with repentance, is given independently of that repentance.

It isn’t between me and the individual – it is between me and God. It is an attitude of the heart, and the reason I do it is because of what God did for me – not because of anything this individual has or could do.

Forgiveness doesn’t have anything at all to do with my emotions. If I am still wrestling with anger, hurt, fear… that doesn’t mean I haven’t forgiven. It just means that I’m human.
Forgiveness also has nothing to do with trust. Pastor gave another example here.

Suppose you have a man who is a convicted child molester, who has been “clean” for twenty years. He has repented of his way, and given his life to the Lord. He comes into our church. Will we let him? Absolutely. He can come to church. He can serve – in some areas. He can worship with us, sit in services, and come to the altar whenever he wants. But that man will not be allowed to serve anywhere in our children’s ministry. If a child goes into the bathroom, and the man then gets up and goes in as well – someone will follow. He will be watched. Does this mean we don’t forgive him? Of course not. It just means we don’t trust him.

Lastly, forgiveness doesn’t mean that what was done is okay. It doesn’t mean that what happened is forgotten, and it doesn’t mean that it would be acceptable for the individual to repeat previous actions. It does mean that I am releasing that person from whatever they owe me. Or whatever I think they owe me. It means that I don’t expect them to give me anything.

It means that I can say, “Yes. That was wrong. No, I don’t trust you. No, I don’t particularly care to be with you. But, you don’t owe me anything. I am moving forward, and as far as I am concerned, any debt you have is between you and God.”

Today, I took another step down this road called forgiveness. I prayed, and asked God to help me do it.

And then I wrote. I wrote down the things that I felt this person had taken away from me. And the things I felt this person had given me wrongly. And I wrote that today, I absolve this person of all he or she owes – both what I would have kept, and what I would prefer to never have received. I am letting it go of it all, and I will not pick it back up.

I signed it. Dated it.

And then, I ripped the sheet into three pieces. One piece with what this person “took” from me. One piece with what this person “gave” me. And one with that statement of forgiveness.

The piece with what he or she had taken away? I prayed over it, listing each item. “Lord… this person took away these things. I am releasing his or her obligation to give them back. I know it is a debt that cannot be repaid, but even if it could, I would not require it. I forgive him or her.” And then I ripped that paper up until all that was left was a pile of tiny pieces.

Then I moved on. “Lord, these things that have been left with me? I release him or her from any responsibility to remove them. I trust that You will do whatever needs to be done with what is left, and I forgive him or her.” I made another pile of tiny pieces of paper.

After taking a minute to contemplate what this really meant, I pushed the pieces into one pile. I took one last piece of paper – a scrap that had ended up being empty. I wrote “I forgive” on the piece of paper.

I put it on top of the pile.

And now? Now, there is nothing more than little scraps. I can’t make out any of the things that were taken, and I can’t make out any of the things that were “given” to me. All I can make out is forgiveness.

Yes, the pain is still there. And no, I don’t trust the person. No, I don’t even like the person. And this person may very well have to face consequences for what was done. But he or she owes me nothing. Nothing. Because I forgive.

Will you?

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Friday, May 15, 2009

The Fact of Sin - and The Gift of God

We are – by nature – sinful. I know that it’s not popular to say so. I can understand that. None of us like to be reminded of what we’ve done, what we’ve said. We’d rather keep those thoughts a secret, and it would suit us better if those whispered words stayed behind closed doors. I’m sure none of us would object if it were possible to make sure that every hidden sin stayed hidden – forever. But that’s just not the way it is.

Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.

I am part of the “all” in this verse. Are you? (hint: the correct answer here is “yes”). There has only been one, ever, who has lived a life completely free of it. That One was Jesus Himself. The Son of God. Nobody else has ever succeeded – could ever succeed – in living completely without sin. So, where do we go from here?

We have several options.

We can choose to ignore the fact that we fall short. We can tell ourselves that we are good. Maybe we’re “better” than the people around us, and because of that… well, maybe because of that, God will accept us. Maybe, in spite of our imperfection, we’re good enough. And maybe, since we’re better than a lot of people, we’re actually okay. Right?

Romans 3:9 – Well then, are we superior and better off than they? No, not at all. We have already charged (determined, seen) that all men, both Jews and Gentiles, are under sin, held down by and subject to its power and control. As it is written, “None is righteous, just and truthful and upright and conscientious, no, not one."

Romans 3:27,28 – So do we have a reason to brag about ourselves? No! And why not? It is the way of faith that stops all bragging, not the way of trying to obey the law. A person is made right with God through faith, not through obeying the law.

Hmm. I guess that means maybe we are in trouble. Maybe we really are being held captive by this sin. Maybe we need help. And maybe, if we really consider it, we really aren’t good enough.

But where does that leave us? What can we do? If we are sinners, and there is absolutely nothing we can do to change that, what hope do we have?

Romans 3:21-22, 2 – But God has a way to make people right with him… …and He has now shown us that way which the law and the prophets told us about. God makes people right with Himself through their faith in Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 1:7-8 – In Him (Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

Romans 5:20 – All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life – a life that goes on and on and on.

Okay. So, He made a way. He made a way for sin not to utterly destroy us. That’s great news, right? But what do we do with it? How do we make it work? How do we use it?

Colossians 2:11 – Entering into this fullness is not something you figure out or achieve. It’s not a matter of being circumcised or keeping a long list of laws. No, you’re already in – insiders – not through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin.

Romans 3:22-25 – God makes people right with Himself through their faith in Jesus Christ. This is true for all who believe in Christ, because all people are the same. Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard, and all need to be made right with God by His grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from Sin through Jesus Christ. God sent Him to die in our place to take away our sins. We receive forgiveness through faith in the blood of Jesus’ death…

What receiving forgiveness look like? What does this “faith” look like, and how do we do it?

1 John 1:9 – If we freely admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just, true to His own nature and promises, and will forgive our sins, dismiss our lawlessness, and continually cleanse us from all unrighteousness – everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action.

It really is that simple. If you’ve already “done this” – if you’ve given yourself to Him, if you’ve accepted His sacrifice, you already know. You know the peace, the joy… the hope. If you haven’t done this, if you haven’t accepted this gift, will you do it today? Will you do it now?

Do you believe that God is God? Do you believe that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is His Son? Do you believe that Jesus came to earth as the fully human, and yet fully God, child of a virgin girl? Do you believe that He was crucified on a cross, and He died to pay the price for every sin that had been and ever would be committed? Do you believe He was laid in that borrowed tomb, and three days later, rose from the dead? Do you believe? Will you take that chance?

If your answer is yes, I would ask that you do something about it right now. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. I invite you to stop everything else you are doing and give these next few moments to the King of all eternity.

Will you?

Let’s pray together…

“Lord, I know I have sinned. I’m not perfect. It’s easy for me to think I’m better than other people. Easy to hope that maybe I really am “good enough” to make it without You. But I know that’s not true. I know that I really cannot do this myself. I know that I’ve messed up in the past, and I know I’ll do it again.

I’m flawed Lord. I’m incomplete, broken, and unable. Thank You for helping me to see that. But Lord, You said that there is a way for me. You said that if I confess my sins, you’ll forgive me.

I’m confessing them now, Lord… confessing the lies I’ve told, the hatred I’ve let grow inside me. I’m confessing the hurtful words I’ve said, the promises I’ve broken, and the pride I have inside. All of it Lord, I’m confessing. I don’t want to stay the same – I want to honor You.

You said in Your Word (Romans 10:9-10) that if I will believe in my heart and confess with my mouth, I will be saved. I do believe. I believe that You are the Son of God. That you died on the cross for my sins. That you were put in the tomb, and three days later, you rose again. And I believe that sacrifice paid for my sins – the sins I’ve already committed, and the sins that I know I will commit in the future.

Thank you, Lord. Thank you for loving me. For saving me. I am giving myself to you today, knowing that I can’t ignore you any more. I am trusting you to save me, to make me whole, and to wash away the stains that my sins have left on me. I know that some things will have to change, Lord, but I also know that You are with me. I know that You will help me, and will show me the way.”

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Monday, May 11, 2009


Today, I've got just a bunch of random thoughts. But together, they make a post. Because I say so. :)


First off... about four months ago - maybe a little longer - I started noticing my heart doing this wierd thing. It felt almost like it was beating twice for every pulse that I could feel in my wrist. And it hurt a little. And made it a little harder to breathe. And made me a little dizzy. But it would last for just a matter of minutes before it would go back to normal. Then, in February, I picked up some virus and it did the wierd sensation thing - and my pulse hovered around 160 for 8 days. Just when I decided it was time to say something and maybe get checked out, it stopped. Well, not stopped - it kept on beating. But normally. At like 60-65 beats a minute. Except for sometimes, when it would feel all wierd and jump up to somewhere between 140 and 160. One night I woke in the middle of the night and it was up to 176. And stayed there for over an hour. Then, for days afterward, it plugged along at a boring 60. With, of course, intermittent episodes where it would beat considerably faster and feel "strange" and even hurt a bit.

About two weeks ago, it started doing it. Four days later, I was SO tired (it's really hard to sleep when your heart feels like it's going to beat its way straight out of your chest) and had somehow managed to get really dehydrated. I went in, they noted my heart rate was abnormally high and not completely regular, but attributed it to the dehydration. Pumped me full of fluids, got my kidneys doing their thing (that's blog-appropriate code for really, really having. to. go. to. the. bathroom. Now.). Heart didn't slow, but they figured it would over the weekend.

Monday, I was ready to tear my hair out, or resort to some other form of acting as frustrated and tired as I felt. Went back to the doctor, who measured my resting, reclined, deep-breathing-relaxed pulse at 124. Thought it was odd... did an ekg, ran some blood panels. Nothing hugely significant in either one. Pulse dropped... to 116. Hmm. Not exactly what we were after. Doc suggested maybe it was anxiety, and wanted to know if I'd be willing to try Xanax. Now, I've heard some great stuff about Xanax. And as I told the doctor, I'm fine with taking it... but... near as I can tell, I am walking around a lot less anxious than most people I know and I don't think it requires thought, nevermind action. After a bit more thought, he prescribed a beta blocker/anti-arrhythmic. Started out taking 1/2 pill twice a day. Got bumped up to a full pill after a couple days sort of controlled it. Added another dose in there on Friday. Today, I can tell you... it feels so nice to not feel my heart beating.

So yeah. That's that.

Other news? Our home. I say that with a certain amount of... well, hesitation. Because it's not ours. And if we don't get loan stuff figured out this month, it won't be. But my God? He is God. A faithful God. And I trust Him. He loves me. I know that. And so, I won't say any more. But if you are the praying sort... pray that He'd make His answer, His provision really obvious.

Hmm... what else?

I'm still plugging away at my uber-big spreadsheet that encompasses the DSM-IV-TR. And I am learning so much, and loving doing it.

Other randomness... This is the first spring in years that I haven't spent most of outside. It's been strange, adapting to the whole concept of working full-time in a call center. It's nice, as far as call centers go, but definitely not "me." But that's okay... because I have a job. A good one, even. I won't complain.

Suddenly, my very full mind is very not-so-full. Away with me.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Childless Mothers.

Today is Mother's Day. Everywhere you go, you can find reminders. Today is about honoring those women who have birthed children. And those who have adopted them or made a place in their family for them. It's about the love, joy, heartache and tears that go with that title... Mother.

To all of you Mothers, I salute you. You have been given an amazing blessing. You are fulfilling that inalienable right that belongs to every woman. The right to love, teach, correct, guide, and nurture a child. The right to sleepless nights and endless days. The right of tears - tears of joy, tears of sorrow. The right to giggles under covers, whispered "I love you's" and holding sticky fingers. You are fulfilling the right to possess some of the strongest and most selfless love to be found this side of heaven - and the right to deepest agony and heartbreak. You are living and breathing that right. And you are blessed.

But today's post isn't just for you. In fact, most of it isn't for you at all. Today's post is for the childless mothers.

What's that? You want to know how a Mother can be childless? Come with me, and I'll show you.

I'll start with a beautiful woman named Devon. Devon has a two year old daughter (or maybe she's three now) named Riley. She loves this little girl fiercely and unconditionally. So I guess she's not childless... Unless you compare what should be with what actually is. You see, last year, Devon had two amazing little boys - Blake and Ethan. For reasons beyond Devon's control, Blake and Ethan came early. Way too early. It was only a few days before they were healed. Their healing didn't come the way Devon might have hoped. It came when they stepped into eternity. And now, Devon has so little of them to hold onto... Memories, tears. Names. Some photographs. A drawing.

And today? A tiny life within, growing each day. Fear that like Ethan and Blake, this little one won't stay here on earth. Fear that at the end of this pregnancy, people will still think she is a mother of one. But Devon is not a mother of one. She is a mother of four. And yet, in some ways, she is one of them... One of the childless mothers.

But she's not the only one on my mind today. I also think about a sweet girl from my church. A girl who "fell in love" with a boy. She gave herself to him in a momentary lack of reason. He took himself away from her. She knew it wasn't love - never had been and never would be. Nine months later, she held her tiny son in her arms. And then gave him the best she could. That best meant granting a couple's deepest desire. It meant giving up part of who she was. It meant tears - countless tears. Sorrow. Regret. A broken heart. It meant becoming a childless mother.

There is another kind of childless mother. It's the last kind I am going to talk about today. This mother is the one who has never had the privilege of bringing life into this world. She is the woman who doesn't sit up at night caring for a sick child - instead, she lays awake, sick with longing. She doesn't know the pain of childbirth - but she knows the pain of an empty womb. She's never had a tiny life completely dependent on her for every need - so she searches for purpose in other areas. But like Mother's everywhere, she's paced the floors for hours while praying for a child. Like other Mother's, she's sacrificed nearly all of who she is in an effort to bring life into this world and make it better. She's had her heart broken when 'her' child is adopted by someone else... Or the child's birth mother changes her mind. Like so many mothers, she has pictures in her mind of her child - except these pictures are only in her mind. Like other mothers, she knows love, joy, peace, hope... And she knows anguish, selflessness, anger, and fear. She is a Childless Mother.

I am a Childless Mother.

And just for now, I am going to pretend that today is for me too.

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Not Me Monday

So MckMama..." is a phrase frequently uttered in our home, by myself and my husband. MckMama is one of those rare people who lets herself be seen by others. She lets us see her as she follows Christ - flaws and all.
Each week, MckMama hosts a blogfest called "Not Me Monday." Not Me Monday is, in a nutshell, a no-cost-involved self-therapy program designed for people like me. It gives those who participate full license to disclose all of those details that we usually keep carefully hidden. It also allows us (the participants) to read about all of the things that other people definitely did *NOT* do this past week.

So here are my "Not Me Monday's." Be sure to head on over to MckMama's Blog to check out more.
  1. I occasionally frequently receive e-mails with the words "I found a baby bird" in the subject line. Why? Well, I helped one person on one forum, one time, years ago. This person truly was in a position to care for said baby bird, and they were not in a position to get this baby to a rehabber. So I helped. And now, whenever people search for help with the baby bird they've found, they come across that ancient post.

    But this past week? I most certainly did not receive an e-mail with this exact phrase... "I put it in a flower pot that had grass going in it and placed it on our trampoline..." Upon reading that, I did not stare dumbly at the screen. For several minutes.

    However, if that did happen, I would have still helped the individual by providing contact information so they could contact a rehabber, as well as some basic instructions for assisting this baby.
  2. Along those same lines... I most certainly did not reply to the fourth or fifth e-mail in one afternoon regarding a baby that was taken from the ground with mom and dad bird nearby. And in that nonexistent reply, I definitely did write, "Please. Stop breaking the law - it is illegal to have that baby bird. And while you're at it - put the baby back. Seriously. Mom and dad were there because they are taking care of it. And by the way... how did you find my e-mail in that four year old post but have absolutely no luck finding a wildlife rehabilitator?" But if I had typed out such a reply, I wouldn't have sent it.
  3. I am not currently snuggling under the covers with my cat. But if I was, it would be unerstandable, as he is the epitome of catness, you know.
  4. I am not cringing at the thought of the week I'm about to launch into. But if I was, you'd understand after a brief look at my schedule:
    Monday - leave for work by 8:00 AM, get done at 5:30, but can't go home because Derek's not done until 9:30. Planning to force a friend to go for a walk to work his recently reconstructed knees. And needing to go to a particular place of business in order to schedule some appointments. And having at least two letters to write. One of which I don't really want to write. And having to somehow touch base with the church office in the morning. While working. A job I don't particularly feel prepared to do.

    Tuesday - leave for work by 8:00 AM. Get done at 5:30. Drop one of those letters I wrote on Monday off. Eat. Get to church by about 6:30, to make sure everything is set for photography. As soon as church is over, book back over to work to get Derek. Home by 10:30, if we're lucky.

    Wednesday - leave for work by 7:45 AM, since I'll be flexing early (I think). Work till 5:15. Get to church (30 minutes away) by 5:50, have one of those "heavy" appointments, then church from 7:00 to about 9:30. Head back to work, get Derek. Hopefully home by 11:00 PM.

    Thursday - leave for work by 8:00 AM, work till 5:30 PM, back to church for another special service, do video (camera) which entails being on my feet for about 2.5 hours, then back to work, get Derek, drive home, hopefully to arrive around 11:00 PM.

    Friday - blissful Friday. Planning to shoot for a shift swap with someone, so I can hang out with my hubby in the morning and start work some time afternoon. But also appealing is the notion of flexing fifteen minutes early again, getting done by 5:15, and having just over four hours to muck around in the woods somewhere, maybe get some decent pictures.

    And somewhere in all this, we have to close on our house. And then there's the fact that we need to keep working on our house, because it's not even sort of done. I suppose I should really attempt to get some sleep somewhere in there, and maybe even eat some food?
  5. My cat did not just get his claw stuck in the couch. And make all sorts of strange noises and flailing movements before I realized he wasn't just being... odd.
  6. I am not sort of dreading Mother's Day. Because it isn't a day filled with memories, and with tears, because I miss her so much.
  7. I'm not ending here, because I've come up with something else I want to work on. No... not me.

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