Thursday, July 14, 2011

Doubt, Insecurity and a Pop Tart

So, here I sit at 12:58 a.m. eating a pop-tart while everyone else is peacefully dreaming away the night. I just finished mopping and tidying up the house as quietly as I could. I wish I could say my midnight cleaning spree was brought on by my deep desire to be a stellar housewife or "Proverbs 31 woman", but alas, it is not. Instead, it was brought on by my deep desire for a mocha frappe with bubbles in it at nine o'clock at night. Lesson learned.

I've been feeling particularly insecure and unsure of things today. I'm one of the most insecure people I've ever met. Remember that feeling as a 13 year old that your legs and arms were too long for your body? Or that feeling that no one approved of your outfit? (OK, after looking back at photos from back then, I give everyone the freedom to mock me. Yikes.) I still feel that same insecurity sometimes.

Except it's with more important things like how I'm rearing my children or what I'm feeding them or HOW I'm feeding them. I'm quick to tell others "fuhgetaboutit! It's your what you want", and then forget my own advice. Where does that come from, anyway?? Where do those thoughts of insecurity and doubt of my abilities come from? 'Scuse me...from whence do they come? Can't end a sentence in a preposition, right Mom? Well, I'll tell ya like my Mama told me..."from the pit of hell". That's right. Those are lies from the pit of hell, and I won't listen. OK, maybe I do listen today. I worried and fretted about things from a self-centered point of view and had to remind myself to stop. Seriously. I'm not a toddler. I must realize the world doesn't revolve around me and that people and their circumstances do not dictate what happens in my own life.

Sidenote: This is the ONLY concept I took from the child development course I took in college...children are egocentric. No wonder I made a "C". Anyway...

My security lies in the Lord. HE knows what HE has shown me to do and what He has taught me to do through others. That's where my security lies and that's where all doubts flee. There is no doubt that He will enable me to be the wife and mother HE has called me to be. That's all I can do. I can't and won't measure up to what everyone else THINKS I am or thinks I SHOULD be. So there.

It is now 1:22 and I'm still wired. There's another pop-tart staring at me. Why do they package 2 pop-tarts together in the same pouch when only 1 is a serving size? Do they THINK I need 400 calories instead of 200?? One of life's many questions.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Caring for the grieving mommy

Go to college, become a successful buyer, marry a rich man who loves me for who I am, live in NYC and have two kids by age 25. 

Um, yeah. That was my "goal" as a senior in high school, and it's recorded for all to see in the Collierville High School 1994 yearbook. Wow. Only one of those things came to fruition. I went to and finished college. When Jeremy and I got married we didn't have 2 pennies to rub together. Then we had plenty of pennies. Then we had no pennies. But he married me and that's all that counts. I digress.

My plan for having kids at 25 clearly did not come about. I birthed our first child at the ripe old age of 32, thank you very much. The second one at 34. I lost a baby at 28 and one at 30. This was definitely nowhere on my radar as a 17 year old. I never thought I'd be in that club. The membership card for this club comes with incredible pain and heartache that you really don't ever "get over". And unfortunately, it's not a club you can age out of. You're a lifetime member.

These thoughts are on my mind tonight as I have learned of a precious friend having lost her unborn little one. I weep for her. The pain and emptiness she is bound to be feeling is excrutiating. I'm heartbroken every time a mommy loses a baby because it's like a little bit of innocence is lost. There's such a loneliness there. As I'm remembering the loss of our own babies, I am thinking back on the days before I knew this type of hurt. I'm remembering how I responded when I would hear of a baby lost. Mostly, I didn't know what to do or say.  I'm also thinking of the responses we received and wanted to give a little insight into how to show a grieving mommy the support she needs. This is just from my experience of course...every mommy handles this in her own way.

Don't say "if you need anything, call me". 
She probably won't. Do things before there's a need.  

Words don't help:
Trite words or inspirational sayings meant nothing to me. All I wanted to hear from anyone was "I'm so sorry". When in doubt, just say that and move on.

If she's up for company, ask her if you can come sit on the couch with her:
This was the best thing anyone did for me. Take a girly movie or just sit in the quiet. Nuf said.

Don't make her feel like she has to talk about it or give details:
I still don't talk about baby Andrew that often. If she wants to talk about it, she will.

Take a meal:
Don't ask. Just take it. Or gift cards for restaurants. She may not be eating, but her husband needs to eat. 

Send a card:
Something simple. Not too wordy.

When she's ready...take her shopping for something sparkly:
Maybe I'm simple, but this worked for me.

Don't neglect her husband:
He is experiencing loss too. If you're married, have your husband give him a call and let him know he's there for him. This meant a TON to me for Jeremy. 

Ministering to a grieving friend is difficult. Be genuine. Be selfless. Be faithful. And above all, be patient.

Thank you for reading.