Life: a list

I have so much floating through my head that I cannot possibly make sense of it all right now, so here is the most random list ever:

  • Charisse started 3rd grade last week and I got to take her to school. I know there’s going to be a day where she doesn’t want me to take her anymore and where she doesn’t call me Sissy, but I am going to soak up that time while I still can and while she is still willing. I love that girl with all of my heart, so much at times it hurts. I can’t believe how grown up she is. It feels like she was just born, and I was holding in the hospital for the first time hours after she was born. Man. I never knew love could feel like this. I can’t even imagine what all of the mams in this world feel for their babies.
  • I hope some day I have little people of my own to call me mama. Maybe that’s a simplistic goal in life, but that’s what I want: a house that is teeming with babies of my own and a husband to love and a mighty God to serve. (I already have the third. I hope He sees fit to provide me with the first two!)
  • I’ve been reading the Blended Bible reading plan on my YouVersion app. (Actually, I read in my physical Bible, but I like checking off the stuff in the app and having it tell me how much I’ve completed, so I do that.) It’s pretty awesome because I read two books at a time, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, and it’s not in order. I read Genesis and Romans at the same time and now I’m reading Isaiah (which I’ve never read before) and Mark. Keeps me on my feet. Actually, when I read Romans I was like, “Look at all this good stuff in here!” I’d just read it a few weeks before as I was reading through the New Testament from start to finish, and I feel like I remembered nothing of what I was reading recently.
  • I wish I was better at memorizing the Bible. I don’t want to memorize an entire book or anything, but I suck so bad at remembering verses. I have room in my head from songs like “We Go Together” (the last song in Grease, a bunch of nonsense words!) but I cannot memorize Scripture. #firstworldproblems, right?
  • I apologize for the hashtag in the previous bullet.
  • I’m moving soon! Ahhh — craziness. Hopefully it’s for a while this time. You know, “a while” meaning “until a husband comes along.” Which could be soon or not soon. I also suck at being patient. Too bad I don’t know any Bible verses about that one!
  • I bought the most awesome mustard yellow cardigan a few days ago. Too bad the only place it’s cold enough to wear it is in my freezing cold office. It’s been sooo yucky hot lately! (Hot for Ventura, anyhow.)
  • I’m attending another Women of Faith conference in two weeks! I can’t wait. I’ll be spending the night at a hotel down there. I feel like such a big girl, booking a hotel and heading away for a day.

Well, I think that’s enough for now! Perhaps my mind can be more focused now that it’s been emptied a little bit!


Intentionally vague

About 18 months ago, before the girl I work with was hired, I basically was a constant ball of stress at work. One day, I had a meeting with my boss (a different boss than I have now) and I told him, “I’m sorry, but I cannot sit through this webinar. I do not feel good. I’m going to the doctor.” I got in my car and drove myself to the ER because my heart was going nuts in my chest. My blood pressure was something scary-high, which only freaked me out. They did an EKG, which came back totally normal (thank you, God!) and triaged me in the back for several hours while they did a bunch of blood tests and x-rays. Diagnosis? Panic attack.

I was SO glad I made my mom sit with me for four hours in the ER for that. But hey. What a bonding experience.

My heart is basically doing that exact same thing right now. I can, thankfully, avoid the four-hour ER visit because I know why it’s racing like this.

I have to take a BIG, BOLD step of faith today that goes against everything I have ever been taught.

(Also, the coffee I got from Circle K this morning? They only had enough decaf for 1/3 a cup of coffee, so the other 2/3 are regular, full caf. Yeah. There’s that.)

I am pretty much freaking the heck out right now. As evidenced by the fact that my right eye is twitching like mad. And my stomach is twisted up and doing weird, vaguely uncomfortable things. But there are a lot of options ahead of me with this BIG, BOLD step of faith. I know that God has this and what I’m going to do feels right. It’s not a whim of fancy. It’s something that I’ve been thinking and praying about for a while.

Usually I try to post the vague “something is going to happen to someone” posts because I’m annoyed reading others’ posts like this. But until I’ve gotten everything worked out, I’ve got to be intentionally vague. I’ll share with you as I can, I promise.

Now I need to go throw up.

The little things

Have you ever had one of those rough days where basically everything goes wrong? That was — well… IS — my day still. So instead of venting about my day (although I will tell you the first thing I did after I got home was smack my head, really, really hard, into the corner of my night table and now I have a nice bruise on my face), I’m going to take a moment and reflect on some good things that have happened today.

1. Tonight, while I was looking for a flash drive in my purse, I discovered a baggie of chocolate covered pretzels I took the movies on Saturday night. I was SO EXCITED to see them. They’ve been there all day and I needed them tonight.

2. I ordered some clothes from my CAbi party on Saturday and the lady who is the CAbi person already ran my credit card. I hate waiting until the parties close — that money is just sitting there. So I was happy to see it gone (and so, so happy to see the discount I got was pretty big!).

3. I got to spend some good time in the Word last night. I have been reading through a book in the NT and OT at the same time, and I’ve just been bogged down in my reading the last few days. Last night was really nice because I got to settle down with some God time before I went to bed last night. It’s so refreshing to read through both the NT and OT at the same time. It makes me think about the different messages in each.

4. Today’s weather was amazing.

5. At the third student orientation did today, I only had one student, so we were able to look specifically at the stuff in her online classes. Usually I just have to do something general since there are too many students to help individually, but tonight was a nice change.

6. I am about to go take a nice, long soak and read Angie Smith’s new book Mended.

It’s the little things, right?

The strangest times

I haven’t written for a while. I guess I haven’t felt very “on purpose” lately. Or maybe you could say I’ve been in a funk.

When I was in high school, I struggled with general anxiety. Part of it, I think, is because I am ultra-Type A. I love to be in control, and my last years of high school were yeas where I had no control over anything and just couldn’t handle everything, and in some cases I honestly couldn’t handle anytime. Everything overwhelmed me and I didn’t know how to handle my emotions. I was seriously a hot mess. Sometimes I think, with the way I’ve been feeling lately, I’m pretty sure than exact same hot mess, just with more meat on my bones and better hair.

Everything falls back on what I wrote about in this post. I struggle to find the words for this without those feelings of shame overwhelming me, but it is what it is: I had an abortion when I was 15. I want those words to get easier to say, but I never want them to feel easy or light-hearted. Because, without a doubt, this single decision has had the most far-reaching implications for the rest of my life.

Right now I am in a place where, 14 years later, I am allowing myself to grieve this loss for the first time and it’s an are you serious is this really happening why is this so hard kind of pain.

Tomorrow will be three weeks since I asked my friend Megan, as I sat in the dark on my bed, “Want to hear something I’ve never told anyone?” She said yes, and I said those words that had been gathered at the back of my throat for days:

“Friday, on July 27th — that’s the day my baby would turn 13.”

And then I cried. I’m a pretty sensitive person, but I try to avoid crying in front of other people because I don’t like not being in control of myself. This time, though, I could not help it. The tears came faster than I had the power to stop them. My nose was running and I couldn’t calm down.

The feelings I experienced that weekend were pretty intense. Who knew that grief could be so ugly? I posted of series of tweets that just make me sad to read a few weeks later. I was so angry: at myself, at people who didn’t know but would have stopped me if I’d told them, at the friends who didn’t offer me any support or love once they found out. But mostly, my anger was at myself, and I spent most of the weekend in bed, alternating between crying and sleeping. I wanted to sleep away the weekend, but I also wanted to talk about it. I still want to talk about it. I want to scream to the world that the little person who lived inside of me for twelve weeks matters. My daughter (I’ll always envision that baby as a girl) mattered in this world.

What I’m struggling with now is this: if I had had a miscarriage or a stillborn, it would be difficult to talk about the loss I experienced — but people would accept is as a real loss. But when you lose a baby through abortion, it feels like you don’t get to share in that loss. I understand it’s different. I made a choice. But even still: doesn’t the fact that my baby was here matter? Is her worth and weight less because I never got to be excited or make plans or share with others the life inside of me?

I want to scream, still. But more than anything, I want to be celebrating 13 years of beautiful life and laughter with that baby of mine. I want these moments of tears to go away, these moments where I feel like I have to leave the room because I am so taken aback by grief I can barely stand it. It would be better if the pain came in predictable moments, like when I’m holding babies or when I find out my friends are pregnant. Or even when I see that lovely 13 year old girl shopping with her mom for back to school clothes. Instead, the grief comes at the worst and strangest times: watching an adventure movie or looking at the ocean on a beautiful drive home from Santa Barbara. I don’t ever want to share it in those moments because it seems like I am beating a dead horse or taking away attention from other people.

I know this season of life is good for me, and as someone last week prayed for me (after I gave, through, tears, the vaguest prayer request ever): the fact that I am going through the grief is a good thing. I don’t really wish it away. I just wish there was never any excuse to feel it in the first place.