Thursday, July 14, 2011

Grieving Sucks

Warning... this is just an emotional detox... so there you have it.

  Last week was my mom's birthday.

    She died two years ago.

        She was 40. She was beautiful.

  Her name was Laura.
Every time I hear the name Laura I get sad.
When I see horses, eat sushi or see red hair I get really sad.

The last time I saw her alive she was joking about a gray hair that had popped up along her hairline. She made me find it because I didn't believe her. I loved her hair. For years I tried to dye my hair that color but it usually wound up a bizarre shade of eggplant. I didn't need red hair anyway. She owned it. She was brave, wild and her smile was contagious. I wasn't anything like her.

The last time I saw her at all was at her funeral.
Her boyfriend had crushed nearly every bone in her body with his car. Forensics said that he must have just kept backing over her. The funeral service had tried to reconstruct her face but I was staring at a stranger in the casket. As hard as they tried they couldn't put her back together again.  She was wearing the dress she wore to my wedding. I searched for something familiar as I gazed at her. I felt the stares and heard the whispers behind me. Then I saw it.

That blasted gray hair.

All I felt was irony.

All I feel is irony.

Happy Birthday Mama.

I know you are keeping those angels plenty entertained:)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Woman to Woman

When my mom passed away a few years ago it made me re-process our life together.
She was only forty when she died. A life half lived. It was ironic, really.
She was the most passionate person I ever knew. She was fearless.
But she was taken away while people who are afraid to live their lives keep on breathing.
(I felt the need to pity myself just then.)

When I was in college I went to visit her.
We were riding in the car and out of nowhere she told me that I am
"the best thing that ever happened to her."
I just sat there. Stunned. We just didn't have conversations like that. We just didn't.
Getting teary eyed she continued  "Having you, saved my life."
 I remember the silence.
And I remember the question burning in my mind....

One day, at the confusing age of twelve, I went with my mom to one of her prenatal appointments. After they weighed her and marked some info on her charts, the nurse led her to to a back room and I had to awkwardly stand and wait at the counter where they had left me. She was due any day with my youngest brother Caleb. Flipping through my mom's chart I saw records of the births of my two younger brothers. I saw my birthday:) and then I saw something I didn't understand.
There were three other pregnancies.
Well I knew about one, mom lost a baby when I was seven.
but the others were...abortions.
It felt like time stopped. The last two dates were not much older than I was.
I didn't understand. I suddenly felt panicked. Was I going to get in trouble for reading this?!

There in the car with her I felt like I was twelve again. She was still driving but had grasped my hand.
I don't even think I was breathing. (It's what happens when I am concentrating really hard.) Truthfully I was scared to death. My mom and I had a really dysfunctional relationship. We loved each other so much, but not in a way that the other could understand. We had accepted it and waved the white flag. Did I really want to reach out to her? Not daughter to mother... but woman to woman?

"Yeah baby?"
"Did you ever have an abortion?"

Silence. Lots of long, sad, silence.
I honestly think I would have passed out had it gone on longer.
I can close my eyes and still remember the sound of the drone of our car, the wind whipping my hair through the barely cracked window and the sobbing my mother held inside because she would never let me see her sad.

She spoke softly, I then realized she was holding her breath too.

"Yeah, I did...

.....It was horrible

.... No one should ever get an abortion,

..... My body was never the same."

 Her voice began to crack

"You know they just sent me home. There was no counseling. Nothing. I never really got over it."

She seemed so fragile then. Her face told me she was somewhere else. Somewhere I've never been.
I wanted to tell her she didn't have to say anymore.
I wanted to make it okay.
But I couldn't. She had a pain I couldn't touch.

I just took her hand in both of mine and scooted next to her (gotta love them bench seats)
She freed her hand, pulled my head near and kissed my face. We stayed that way for a long time.

I had saved her life.... and still it seems so strange because she was the sixteen year old girl

who took a chance

and let me live.

I love you momma.
Thank you for being the bravest woman I have ever known.
I miss you.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Is a Fetus a Baby?


No more than a child can be an adult can a fetus be a baby.

 Embryo, fetus, baby, child, adolescent and adult are all stages of human development.
You and I were once fetuses, we looked exactly like a baby (infant) but we were not technically, a baby.
We had hair (well some of us did:) perfect fingers, toes, and teeny fingernails. We sucked our thumbs and kicked our legs and loud noises startled us just like a baby.

Is a fetus a baby?


Is a fetus a person?


This, my dears, is a perfect 10 WEEK OLD person. This is not a cluster of cells. Or a photoshopped creation. This is a real, untouched photo taken by a medical student in India.
(Source here
The mother had cancer in her uterus and it had to be removed while she was ten weeks pregnant..... a ten week old human is already so perfect.

A closer pic.

I have a little cousin, Portia, who was born waaay premature she weighed about a pound. You could put your ring around her leg .  I remember how perfectly her eyelashes curled (she was Black and Caucasian and I LOVE how black people's eyelashes curl) and I remember seeing her heart beating through her translucent skin. I was in awe of her. 
She looked just like this.
She was a 6 month old fetus when she was born. We prayed and prayed that she would live.
She did, and she is perfect.
Portia should have been a fetus for the next 3 months. 
But she was born.
She couldn't breathe, eat or stay warm on her own like an infant should.
Developmentally, Portia was still functioning as a fetus.
Did we call her a fetus? No. That would be weird.
Did the doctors call her a fetus? No.
What freaks me out is that if Portia hadn't been born early and her mom wanted to have an abortion Portia could have been killed. The beautiful girl with dark hair, tiny hands and beating heart. Gone.
Her birthday would have been a very different day.

By the time the average gal finds out she is preggers, her fetus' hands and feet already look like this! So cool. When I found out I was pregnant I imagined that my baby looked like a little blob with my husband's features! But...she looked like baby!

Not my baby but just as purty:)

If you to me.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I want to...

    I've had trouble sleeping the past few years and last night was retarded. I'm sure you have experienced the same mad rush of thoughts that come crashing like an avalanche through your head right at the point when you would give anything to sleep.

I try not to keep track of those thoughts, but God does...

    and he told me so last night.

I was mulling over a secret and costly ambition when I received a text message from a precious and ridiculously prophetic friend of mine (which, by the way, being prophetic won't ever help anybody if you won't open your mouth. That's my southern sass for the moment)

   Anyways, one line of the text stunned me. I was wondering
"How on earth can anyone know what I was thinking about at that exact time?!!!!"
Then I sheepishly acknowledged that Holy Spirit will tell you nearly anything if you ask Him nicely.
The text said.... well..... I just realized I deleted all my texts today. How embarrassing. Ha!

 Moving along. In the text my friend was encouraging me in my gifting of helping others realize and go after their dreams and he said to me "and DON'T YOU LET GO OF YOUR DREAMS EITHER!"

   I was shocked. After being married a little while and having a daughter and making sure my husband could reach his full potential no matter the cost.... I HAD let go of my dreams. I began to believe it was my role, my portion, to relinquish my passions for the sake of using that energy to serve others.

Wow. That's dumb.

Why? Cause' it means I was relying on my own strength. You guys gotta hang on cause the more I write the more things make sense. I'm having a moment right now.

Okay. So here it is.

I want to...

 Buy a few of these

Find a lot of these

Go to a lot of these

Discreetly provide young undecided women with the opportunity to see this....


Monday, January 10, 2011

"Unbelief Rehab"

   If you have a religious bone in your body you should stop reading and make your way over to Joel Osteen's blog cause' I'm going to be real here. I've been in stalemate with God the past few years. I spent my entire youth trusting and loving Him with abandon only to find myself going through the first real hardship of adulthood and my reaction is flicking Him off when He tries to talk to me. I always thought I'd be better than Peter. I'm an idiot.
   After a few years of this I realized I couldn't keep it up forever because He IS right and He IS good and He's NOT going to get off my case and leave no matter how many times I blow Him off. I'm warming up to surrendering, to maybe trusting Him, again. For those of you wondering He didn't do anything wrong. I just misunderstand Him, alot. But it's been a long time since I've wanted to listen to Him or even believe He would stoop to talking to me. Closeness with God begins with loving His word but for the past few years I've found myself hating it, Him. The Bible says over and over "I love you, I love you, I love you." I say "I mad at you, I'm mad at you, I'm mad at you and.... (hold your breath) I don't believe that prayer works."

Joel Osteen is still waiting for you if you want...

My only encouragement comes from a memory of a long time friend who is so precious. Growing up I often found myself amazed at her devotion to Jesus. One day she told me something I'll never forget. She told me how just a few years previous she came to a point in her life when she stopped believing in God. (gasp!) She even wrote him a letter telling Him that He isn't real. (insert uncomfortable laughter) She wasn't ashamed when she told me this and I will never forget it.

Having gone through her similar experience this is my conclusion:
It is easier to not believe in God than to believe in a God who seems cruel.

Those people who don't believe in God are brokenhearted because they have experienced cruelty in some form or fashion.

Which is unusually good news because:
God is near to the brokenhearted. He will not forsake them.
Psalm 35:18

This makes for a valiant outcome. Really, it does.
If you have never questioned if God exists and why, then how on earth can you answer for yourself?

I want to answer for myself. I'm terrified of basing my beliefs or unbeliefs on circumstances and by judging the way other people have lived their lives.
I want to come out of this with my own experience of God as real and good and faithful especially when I'm not any of those things.

So........I'm beginning my "Unbelief Rehab" (laugh all you want, I can't believe I'm writing this)

I will be studying God as Judge.

This decision was based solely on the process of elimination since studying "Jesus as Bridegroom" still makes me nauseated. My demolished heart isn't quite ready for the "I love yous" but I am more than ready to listen to "I will always make good decisions concerning you." I can start there.

For starters I will be listening to this over and over.

here is her testimony continued in writing

Other than that I am going to start talking to God about more than just keeping my family safe and replacing my broken water heater. I'm serious.

Happy New Year:)

Brain Slapped

Have you ever been watching a movie where a character is freaking out so some one decides to slap some sense into them? I mean, really, (although we have all wanted to) who has the guts to actually do that? But this is not my point. My point is that the reaction of the person who is slapped is unbelievable! 
After being struck in the face they proclaim
"Oh! Thank you! I really needed that." 
Until this week I thought it was ridiculous. Impossible.
Don't worry, I didn't get slapped and I sure haven't slapped anybody (yet). I did, however, have that incredible reaction to a slap in the brain.
 Al Willard, the wisest, kindest, most ancient man I know waltzed into our workplace this week and exclaimed "Here we have the daughters of God! Can there be anything more exquisite in all creation?!"
That was it. For real. That's all. That's all it took. My head was spinning. 
I nearly made my customary smirk to my darling co-worker as if to say
"Don't old men say the sweetest things?"
But I couldn't. He wasn't being cute or charming. He had challenged my logic to the nth degree.
Tonella (the said darling co-worker) and I had just been lamenting over something related to female beauty maintenance, diving further into the sickening ideal of beauty in our culture before literally drowning ourselves in the question of WHEN and HOW long would it take us to believe the truth about ourselves. Tonella is really smart so we can have these labyrinth conversations without missing a beat at our job:)
I wanted to internally argue with his compliment but all the pestering things I didn't like about myself, physically or whatever couldn't stand a chance against those words. Because they are TRUE.
I can't imagine anything or anyone who could be more amazing, more gorgeous than the daughter of a god.
How much more the daughter of THE God.
So there it was, all my life experience and emotional wounds were up against Al Willard's simple comment.
All my freaking baggage, false and failing mindsets about beauty and identity were running scared in the wake of his innocent sentence.
I was brain slapped. 
And I really liked it.
Thank you Al....
And God.

Song of Solomon 4:7