Wounding Reply

SpeechWhat do you do when all you did was try and offer a little comfort and maybe a different perspective on looking at a situation and all you get back is hate and anger? I got a belly full of it today and it was completely undeserved.

A fellow believer mentioned that her parent had cancer and a brain tumor and was going to be having surgery of which he had a 50% chance of survival. I know how it can be so easy to focus on the 50% that means death, my mom was very ill while I was growing up and I lived with the thought that the next heart attack could be her last. That was extremely hard for a young girl to live with. Imagine being 7 years old and your mother falls on the floor unconscious, you try everything you know to revive her, and your father is at work (no cell phones then) over 20 miles away. Or being 4 years old and the only way your mom can play with you is from her hospital bed in the middle of the living room. So I know sorrow, I know being scared and I know hurt, and now I am struggling with the mortality of my parents yet again, but yet I was the target of a really nasty reply to my message of focusing on the 50% chance of living and being concerned about his salvation because if he knows Jesus the battle is already won.

I was called a bully, that I obviously never learned that people go through these feelings in any psychology class. I was accused of finding people’s faults instead of sharing the good news of Christ like a good Christian would. It hurt! I didn’t think I did anything to deserve that emotional vomit. It was as if someone poured acid all over me because they were hurting.

This whole incident has really made me think how it feels when I lash out at those who don’t deserve it. I know we operate in a meat suit and it’s hard not to let emotions get the best of us, but to completely unload on someone who meant nothing but good and certainly no harm…..where is the love in that?

Now I get to lick my wounds, overhaul where my attentions will be today and try make sure that my words follow Colossians 4:6, “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”

Advertisements

Creating A Happy Place

Lately as I said before I haven’t been wanting to write. The world and the people in it have been breaking my heart and I become angry and sad all at once. I know it’s not right to lash out and the sorrow keeps me from saying much also.

So to keep myself busy I have been creating graphics that can be used on blogs, Facebook and Instagram. I am a photographer and decided that I wasn’t all that thrilled with what was out there and I liked my photos better, so I have been designing and producing my own. However, I think there are and will be plenty to go around so, help yourself to a download or two,

My Graphics

Heavy Heart

Narrow PathMy heart has been hurting lately and I haven’t felt much like writing. Sometimes it’s because it seems no one cares and others is because I know that sometimes no one cares what I think. I am not so ego driven that I think what I have to say is so extremely important to the world that the thoughts in my head need to be written down for all to see.

The reason my heart has been hurting is because I see what is happening in the world, heck the US, and I can’t believe what I am seeing. People no longer allowed to read books that they wish, statues being torn down, violence in the streets and brother pitted against brother.

Jesus told of this in Matthew 24, “4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.” In some translations the “sorrows” are called birth pangs or labor pains and my oh my that is sure what it feels like living in today’s world.

I have been called all sorts of names and labeled all sorts of things because of my steadfast belief in The Word. Belittled and blamed because I choose to live my life by the narrow path. I have been told I am on the wrong side of history, which may very well be true, but I would rather that than the wrong side of eternity.

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Part 2

The boysHere I was a new mommy with two baby boys and I had no clue how I was going to do this. I am an only child so I never got to practice on siblings. I did babysit from the time I was 12 years old till I was in my 20’s so I wasn’t unaware of how to take care of a baby, but not a baby that was related to and depended on me for everything and that I couldn’t give back at the end of the night.

There were distinct differences between my guys. DM had a lighter complexion and lighter, curly hair with blue eyes and DT had dark stick straight hair with a much darker complexion and brown eyes. DM was more prone to laugh, ate quickly and was hungry all the time, yet took forever to burp. DT was turtle slow eating, not as happy and would burp like a champ as soon as you sat him up.

We knew something was really different with DT as the days and weeks moved on. He did not want to be cuddled, he got really angry, would stiffen up and lay out like a board, screamed a lot and did not like to go anywhere. The word Autism had entered my mind, but it wasn’t something I really wanted to entertain. I had such a rough pregnancy and then the growth difference I thought maybe I had done something to cause this.

As the boys grew the difference became truly evident. DT reached his milestones except for talking, but he just didn’t like people. DT did not talk till he was 2 years old because he had been tongue-tied and the previous pediatrician had not listened to me thinking I was a panicky mom. I then had both boys tested at that age and we found out that DT had Asperger’s (a form of autism that is no longer considered on the spectrum). My husband worked long hours and I was at home with the two boys, trying to be a good mom and failing miserably and was just told that DT was not “normal”. What had I done wrong? I shoved that question aside even though sometimes today it lingers in the back of my mind and researched how best to aid DT in his life journey.

We got DT help so that he could eventually enter kindergarten alongside of his brother. He was slow to learn things, but praise God he fell into the category of mid-high functioning Asperger’s. He could learn, but at a much slower pace, however his social interactions were awkward and difficult. Then when the boys entered first grade, DM was also diagnosed as having high functioning Asperger’s. I sat across from the teachers and specialists at the school that day as they told us the testing results, not saying a word as the tears streamed down my face. Now I know I had done something wrong while I was pregnant. Maybe I hadn’t completely complied with the rules and regulations that they had imposed on me. Maybe because we had originally thought that we didn’t want children my boys were going to suffer the consequences. I didn’t know how we were going to function as a family and most importantly how I was going to function as a mother. I shoved it aside and plowed into finding a way to aid both boys in their life journey, hoping to help them learn the lessons they needed.

An Asperger’s diagnosis is not the end of the world, it seemed that way, but I was the one who learned the lessons. As time progressed I was taught that it was nothing I did during my pregnancy that made the boys have Asperger’s, I was given the gift of these two boys because I was able to eventually see that it isn’t a disease to be cured, it isn’t a handicap to be pitied, it’s a difference and we all have differences, just some are more evident than others.

I learned that I got to be the mom of two of the most intelligent young men in the areas of music, airplanes, race cars, history and gaming. I learned that social interactions are scary and hard and some people actually need to be taught how to “work a room” or how to say hello to a pretty girl. I learned that my sarcasm is lost on people who only understand concrete concepts. I learned what frustration is really like when an assignment is given and your child not only doesn’t want to do their homework, but refuses to do it. I learned that noodles could kill a fellow because of their texture. But the most important lesson I learned is what love and loyalty look like on the faces of your children.

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

2fearfullyandwonderfullyThis is not a story I tell often, the reason is that I get frowns and questions that I can’t exactly answer, so it’s easier to not tell it at all.

I have two grown sons, they are fraternal twins, but they were a work of God from the very beginning. Over 22 years ago I was not feeling well for several days, but we were supposed to travel to Oklahoma in October to help my sister-in-law move back here. We headed out, but food and I were not getting along. We reached our destination packed my SIL up and enjoyed a day or two of visiting. While we were there I got what I thought was my monthly cycle, but it was horrendous cramps and only lasted a day (no details it’s a bit gory) which was unusual for me. We returned home and life resumed its natural progression.

November came; I was fairly regular with my cycle so when it didn’t show up on or even close to my time I went to the drug store. Two EPTs later (I didn’t believe the first one) I realized I was pregnant. My husband and I had pretty much decided that children were not in our future. I was a cervical cancer survivor and wasn’t sure I could have children and we were content just to be us. That old adage, “Man plans, God laughs” most certainly applies to us. At my three-month checkup I said to my ob/gyn, “Are you sure there is only one baby in there because I am already in maternity clothes and I have almost popped?” The doctor assured me that because I did not have any of the markers for a multiple pregnancy that there had to be only one, “Besides we only hear one heartbeat, no matter where we place the Doppler.” Back then they didn’t do ultrasounds early on you waited until your 20th week.

Shortly before I was 20 weeks another doctor in the practice measured my fundus and with wide eyes told me that I was pretty big. She called and got me in with the ultrasound doctor that day. My husband is a former Army Ranger with the 101st Airborne, he was a big bad Army man and at that ultrasound I swore he was going to  pass out, because the untrasound doc decided to play a little joke on us (mostly my husband as I could see the screen better than he could). “Oh look there’s one head, there’s two, oh look, three, oh my maybe four!” My husband went pale white! When the doc saw this he yelled, “No no no there’s only two!” We were having twins! I wanted to punch the first doctor I the nose and say, “See I told you I was awfully big!”

I had a rough time carrying the boys and wound up on complete bedrest for the last 13 weeks of my pregnancy. But the part that we don’t discuss often is that at each ultrasound after 20 weeks the boys measured significantly different. Baby “B” was measuring 3 weeks older than Baby “A”. I delivered at what they assumed was 36 weeks, Baby “A” weighed in at 5lbs even and Baby “B” weighed a whopping 6lbs 14oz. Upon further scrutiny it was found that Baby “B” had been part of a set of twins for which I miscarried one and then became pregnant with Baby “A”.  This is not something that happens often in multiple pregnancies. I always was a bit of an overachiever. Baby “B” had to stay in the NICU for a week, but Baby “A” came home with me on the 4th of July. We had no idea what we were in store for, but He certainly did.

My boys birth story is only one example of God working in their lives. There is so much more to their story and maybe I will be able to tell it as I go.

Why Can’t I?

hands-699486_1920

Tonight I was thinking about why I can’t be a lot of things. For instance I am not naturally empathetic, nor am I one that doles out sympathy easily either. My upbringing did not include a lot of either of those emotive skills, so I have an extreme lack of them.

As I was growing up whenever I was sick I was taught to “suck it up buttercup”. I was never allowed to be ill for very long or languish in bed if I had a fever. Most of this behavior came from my mom. I am positive that she developed this inability to let others just be sick from her family not believing that she was very sick at the time that they were all doting on my aunt who had the same illness. Unfortunately that has manifested in me a surliness when others are ill or are worrying about being ill.

Firstly, worrying about having an illness is akin to telling God, “I can’t trust you.” At least to me it is. That is not to say that if you don’t feel well that you should not pursue with all diligence a diagnosis so that you can put a name to the cruddy way you feel, but to borrow trouble before all the tests are in, before treatment options are discussed, to compare yourself to someone else who had the same thing is, to me, telling God that He has no idea what He is doing and he is letting you suffer this malady for nothing.

Secondly (here is the critical spirit rearing it’s ugly head) there are some to me that like either being ill or having chaos in their lives. I am not saying that I don’t wallow a bit myself here and there. This move that we are making has given me more heartburn and stress than raising my children has in 22 years, and quite a bit of that is my not trusting that it will all work out. However, hanging on to things, wanting to be sick, or creating chaos in your life just makes me cringe and not want to be around you. I can’t be sympathetic, it just doesn’t appear to be in me.

I want to be empathetic, I want to feel their pain, but there are times that I just get angry and cynical because others have suffered, lived with or overcome the same things and yet that does not bring them comfort or assurance. I want to ask God to help me with these two things, but it’s a bit like patience, every time I ask for that, a trial seems to appear to teach me patience. I am a bit afraid of what will show up to teach me empathy and sympathy.