Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Messy Post

Be forewarned, this will be ugly and messy. Its just where I'm at tonight.

Laying in bed, can't sleep. Heart as heavy as a 50 pound weight. Death. Cancer. It ticks me off. Makes me angry. Makes my heart break into a million questioning pieces. Laying in bed tonight sobbing... Broc begins to pray for Gray. A little boy who has been sent home with no hope and no options for overcoming cancer. Broc prays and pleads for God to move a mountain and give precious little Gray a miracle. As he is praying, Im sobbing and I can feel it rise up in my heart... the raw, honest, angry words: "HE WON'T! STOP ASKING HIM! HE ISN'T GOING TO DO IT." I told you this is going to be an ugly and messy one. 

I have grown so weary of "believing for a miracle" only to attend a funeral. Religious people are REALLY going to hate this post. But I have to get this off my chest and out of my heart. We all have these moments, but most of us are too afraid to admit it. 

The past couple of years, I have taken a front row seat to view death. I have never really been exposed to all of its ugly facets until the last couple of years. I have mourned the death of one of the godliest, yet relatable and loving women I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Kaye Kerley was the real deal. I can count on one hand, and not take up all of my fingers how many of those I have met. Her death bewilders me and leaves me mourning to this day. 

I have witnessed a mother being ripped away in the night by death from her sleeping babies. A dream of watching her hearts grow up and accomplish great things be snuffed out. Oh how I remember that time. I remember holding Harper, her crying, me bawling, begging her take a bottle because she couldn't eat from the only source she had known- her mothers breast. I remember driving one night after leaving her home and her little baby- I was screaming...Im talking, dont have a voice the next day screaming at God. Hitting the steering wheel. Telling Him I don't trust Him. I don't trust Him not to take Izaiah away from me or vice versa. How could He? Where was He? To tell you the truth, I still feel that pang in my heart from losing Christi every now and then. The pang of not wanting to trust Him.

And then there's Gray. I'm not going to pretend to be super close to the family and all. I grew up knowing his parents in the same church, but I am not a close friend. But, being a momma is quite the equalizer. It's my mommas heart that is angry and sobbing tonight. My mommas heart that has lead me into Izaiah's room tonight several times just to touch him and reassure myself that he is ok. The book "You Are Captivating- Celebrating A Mothers Heart" by Staci Eldredge (A MUST READ! VERY SHORT BOOK) says that children are our hearts (mothers hearts) out roaming this scary world. We feel everything that they feel. Knowing that to be true, my heart feels like it could explode tonight thinking about Grays momma Jill. 

So here I am. In all my questioning, angry mess. I love Christ. But my heart is hurting. The only thing good I can dwell on tonight is the sermon I heard Easter Sunday at my amazing church. Josh Kouri said, we were not created with death in mind. Death was not suppose to happen for us. Sin brought on death, disease and aging. There will NEVER be anything right or ok about going to a funeral to bury a child. Its not right and its not ok. It grieves God as well. But because of sin, we must face death. Not comforting at this moment. But its the only truth I have to hold on to tonight. 

Please, no churchy cliches. :) I cant handle them tonight and I pretty much know them all. Sometimes, the only thing that helps on nights like tonight is being silent with God. Just let my heart and my tears do the communicating. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. 

P.S. There are several other deaths I have walked through or watched people close to me walk through, but these are the ones weighing on me tonight. 

Please go over and read precious Grays story and commit to praying for this family.

Here is the book I was talking about. PLEASE GIVE IT TO EVERY MOTHER YOU KNOW FOR MOTHERS DAY. It only takes about 30 minutes to read, and its cheap. But its amazing. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

He who finds a friend...

What does friendship really look like? What are we really looking for in a friend?

 I watched my mom fall apart after losing an 18 year, 18 YEAR! friendship in a matter of a one evenings phone call. Since witnessing that and being there for my mom through the pain of losing that piece of her life- I have been skeptical of real friendship. I want to believe in real, genuine, God given friendship. I want it so bad, but just don't know if it really exists in this day and age. If we can really have a true friend all the days of our lives. We as a whole are too self absorbed to truly be a friend to someone else- myself included.

This was written in 1916 and can be found in the Farmers Almanac. This stirs my soul and makes me cry. I WANT this in my life and I want to be this in someone else's life. THIS is what God created friendship for. And I pray, somehow,one day we all find it in our lifetime.

The Friend

( Originally Published 1916 )

A FRIEND is a person who is "for you," always, under any suspicions. He wants nothing from you, except that you be yourself.
He never investigates you.
When charges are made against you, he does not ask proof. He asks the accuser to clear out.
He likes you just as you are. He does not want to alter you.
Whatever kind of coat you are wearing suits him. Whether you have on a dress suit or a hickory shirt with no collar, he thinks it's fine.
He likes your moods, and enjoys your pessimism as much as your optimism.
He likes your success. And your failure endears you to him the more.
He is better than a lover because he is never jealous.

He is the one being with whom you can feel SAFE. With him you can utter your heart, its badness and its goodness. You don't have to be careful.
In his presence you can be indiscreet; which means you can rest.
There are many faithful wives and husbands; there are few faithful friends.
Friendship is the most admirable, amazing, and rare article among human beings.
Anybody may stand by you when you are right; a friend stands by you even when you are wrong.
The highest known form of friendship is that of the dog to his master. You are in luck if you can find one man or one woman on earth who has that kind of affection for you and fidelity to you.
Like the shade of a great tree in the noonday heat, is a friend.
Like the home port, with your country's flag flying, after long journeys, is a friend.
A friend is an impregnable citadel of refuge in the strife of existence.
It is he that keeps alive your faith in human nature, that makes you believe it is a good universe.
He is the antidote to despair, the elixir of hope, the tonic for depression, the medicine to cure suicide.
When you are vigorous and spirited you like to take your pleasures with him; when you are in trouble you want to tell him; when you are sick you want to see him ; when you are dying you want him near.
You give to him without reluctance and borrow from him without embarrassment.
If you can live fifty years and find one absolute friend you are fortunate. For of the thousands of human creatures that crawl the earth, few are such stuff as friends are made of.

Wow. Friendship is important! With all of that being said, if I can't/don't find that friend roaming this earth- Im trusting Jesus to be that friend to me. And He will if I will allow Him. Buts its always nice to have that person in flesh.

Work on yourself to be the friend that you long for in your life. Be a friend to yourself. :) 
Friendship is important- we were created for it.

My Best Friend:) He's been here for 6 years and has seen me at my worse. This is Hulk.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Half Truths

I have felt butterflies and queasiness all day when I have thought about writing this post. I guess its because its my most personal struggle that I have shared a little bit of with people. But I am ready to share the depths of it. I want accountability and I want my story, the scars and open wounds that are in the process of healing to be an encouragement and a "me too" moment for someone that may end up reading this.

It's so easy to tell half truths. To paint a great picture of yourself with only half of what you really look like. I have been pretty public with my struggle with weight loss. But I have never been gut honest.  Not the kind of honest that will bring true freedom. The kind of freedom I found when I was gut honest about depression. That was amazing freedom.

But this issue, my real weight issues, are still haunting me. So here it is. Here is the ugly honesty and the promise of beauty I'm holding fast to about me and my journey of weight loss.

I was chosen a few months back to be mentored by, in my opinion, the best furniture repurposer in the business. She had posted about wanting to mentor some ladies who were looking to grow their furniture business. The second I read that, I opened my email up and started sharing with her who I was and bits of my story. She selected me, along with several other women and I have found real acceptance and friendship within this online group. Not only that, I have made a true soul-tie friend with Mandie Morris. I am so thankful for her kindness and friendship that has been extended to me when I have needed it most. With all of that said, there is a conference coming up the end of June that that group of ladies are all going to. Its a DYI conference for women like myself who make a living or just really enjoy DYI projects and its a seminar for learning how to blog. I WANTED TO GO SO BADLY! Two things were standing in my way- and only one I have made public. The first being the obvious of finances. Things have been very hard on our family with the year of unemployment and Brocs job here in the city not being what it was promised to be. God has been so faithful providing for us, but was I stretching that provision by wanting to go on a trip to Georgia with a bunch of girls? I just accepted that I probably wouldn't be able to go and that it would have to be ok. I signed up for some ticket giveaways and crossed my fingers. Today I was told that the ticket has been purchased for me and that I GET TO GO TO GEORGIA THE END OF JUNE! But I still had the other reason I knew I  shouldn't be able to go nagging at me in the back of my mind.

My weight. Here is the truth. The painful, tear filled truth. I wouldn't be able to fit in a single passenger seat on a plane. There it is. Gut honest, embarrassing truth. I have let my weight get to a point that it has handicapped the things in my life that I want to do. BEING OVERWEIGHT IS DEBILITATING AND I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!

With all of that said, I constantly have people asking me what Im doing to lose weight. I had lost 20 pounds on Weight Watchers and then Izaiah was diagnosed with Aspergers. :) And I ate. I ate to bring some momentary comfort. To ease my heart of the pain I was facing. This is the main reason I am typing this all out to share with the world today. My issue, your issue is not just the issue, its a craving for comfort and peace. And I have GOT to learn to find my peace and comfort in the One who created me to crave. I have found myself the last 2 days turning to food yet again with the stress of having to find another rent house and Izaiahs recent phase of ginormous melt downs. It has to stop. So, I am writing this to be gut honest and so that I can begin blogging about the real struggle. The one thats deep inside. Not just surface of wanting to lose weight. So I welcome you to follow my progress! And welcome you to cheer me on and be excited for me when I step on that plane the end of June and sit in that one passenger seat with some smokin new clothes to go meet my friends for the first time and have a BLAST at a girls getaway!

For those of you wondering, here is my weight loss plan. I have cancelled my weight watchers. Mostly because I have a gym membership now I cant afford to do both. So I am getting up early and going to the gym and having quiet time. For my quiet time I have decided to read the book "Made to Crave." If you struggle with weight, I strongly encourage you to get this book and read it. Its a life changer. It deals with the issue of the heart and not just surface.

I love you all and am so thankful for a safe place to share my heart! God Bless!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Its Enough

The pressure of writing a GREAT blog is at times suffocating. So suffocating in fact, I just decide not to write one at all. Im trying to overcome that. I want to blog more often. Im trying to teach myself that blog posts don't all have to be deep, thought provoking, and earth shattering. They can be simple. A recipe. An update. Whatever. So here. Here is my non-earth shattering blog post. Maybe I shall tell you about the song that has been in my head this afternoon. Can't get it out. 

There is no guilt here.
There is no shame.
No pointing fingers. 
There is no blame
What happened yesterday had disappeared 
The dirt has washed away
And now its clear...

There's only grace. 
There's only love.
There's only mercy and believe me its enough.
Yours sins are gone
without a trace. 
And there's nothing left now
There's only grace.
-Matthew West

I think I have this song in my head because of an incident that happened while at the mall today with Z. I woke up this morning.. curled my hair (rare), put my clothes on (fitting a bit looser these days! Yahoo!), feeling pretty good. Felt brave so I took Z to the mall to play in the play area since it was still cool outside. Went well. He wanted "mall pizza" so i took him down to the food court and thats where it all went south. He saw the ever loving Disney store from our table. UUUUGGGHHHH. Didn't wanna eat... Didn't wanna sit still....Just wanted to go to "that STORE!". So. I say a prayer (literally) and tell him in the kindest yet sternest voice I can muster..."We can go LOOK. We are NOT BUYING ANY TOOOOOOYS. If you decide to behave in an ugly way- we will leave and you will be in trouble." Understood. We go in and he is in heaven. I walked beside him and admired every toy for 20 minutes. It was time to go. Broc was waiting on us to pick him up for lunch. So, I pray again (literally) and bent down to tell him he had 2 more minutes before it was time to go and reminded him of his earlier directions. Then it all hits the fan. He sees something he decides he just CANNOT live without.... and all hell breaks loose right there in the Disney Store. You would have thought I was killing the child. And by the looks I was receiving, people did think that. And of course I had to park so far away from where the fit was taking place. I had to make a decision between the bathroom and getting to the car. Both were the same distance. So I chose the car and started the path of fury to my car. Kicking, screaming and yelling his NEW latest phrase "GET YO HANDS OFF ME!" and "Youre hurting me!!". Yeah that one got some lookers. Took 10 minutes to get outside the mall and into the car where my temper got the best of me and damaged him. 

 And I think this is where the song has kicked in this afternoon. Jesus gently reminding me that there is only grace when I lose it. Lets face it, we all lose it. I screamed and yelled. And I keep having the image of my little 3 year old who has a sensory issue with loud noise holding his hands over his ears while I indulge myself in feeling better by yelling at him. Lovely image, I know. Just being real. So. No matter how many times we mess up, there is only grace. Im thankful for grace from my favoritest little blue eyed boy in the world.. and also from my Savior. 

.......Ok, this ended up a little deeper than I had anticipated. Ha! Guess I needed to vent and share! Hope it reaches somebody that needs it! <3