In an interesting turn of events, I am on my back on the couch instead of sitting at my desk today. Friday evening I took a really wrong step in a parking lot and ended up here on the couch. As I was falling, I felt each awful movement inside of my right ankle and thought, “this is broken” as I hit the ground. Turns out, I was right! There’s a chip fracture as well as a sprain on the right ankle and some soreness and bruising on the left ankle.
Brand new springy products in the Etsy shop, friends! These sweet little books are totally blank, so they can be used for all sorts of things. I made one for my friend Jackson’s 4th birthday, so he could practice writing stories and working on his letters (which he is so good at, I may add.) It was a hit, thankfully. I have one that I’m using as a journal, but they can also be used for scrapbooks, freestyle coloring books, sketchbooks… pretty much whatever you want. Check out my shop if you’re interested in purchasing one. They’re just super cute, if you ask me, and even if you don’t journal or sketch or scrapbook (why is that a verb?), they’re cute just sitting on a shelf! That’s what they’re doing in my house, at least, and I think it’s cute. I may be a tad partial.
Let me start by saying I wasn’t sure this would ever make it to the blog. It’s just not the type of thing one goes shooting off to strangers about, but the past few weeks have been nothing if not a lesson in opening up and trusting. Even sometimes to strangers. So bear with me, please as I share a little more than you may expect.
There is something in me that has ALWAYS wanted to be a mom. I’m not sure if it was the big sister in me that just needed someone to take care of, or if I was just born to nurture. But I have, for as long as I can remember, wanted so much to be a mother. In elementary school when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said without hesitation, “a mommy.” And I meant it from the bottom of my teeny heart.
Now, as a woman who has no children of her own, who is surrounded by hoards of pregnant woman and newborn babies, and has this strong natural inclination to be a mom, I have a lot of hurt. Hurt for women in the same position as I, hurt for myself for not having a child yet, hurt for my husband for being forced to trek over these same fears and wants over and over with me, and then more hurt for myself again. I go through periods of time where I’m fine with not having children yet. I can handle it, I can enjoy my life as a wife and as a free-to-do-what-I-like woman, and I have faith that “it will happen when it happens” as so many people say. But other times… I cannot handle it, I can’t enjoy my life without children, and I assume it will never happen for me.
Dave and I have been trying to get pregnant for a while now. Long enough that I have grown concerned, but not so long that I’ve seen a doctor. We’ve got time. I know that. And kind, thoughtful people keep reminding me of that. But I’m still here waiting and hurting.
Sunday afternoon in the car on my way to a meeting about our trip to Haiti, I was stressed beyond measure with planning and worry and financial concerns and being late and I just wanted to crawl back into bed and forget that the day had ever begun. But it had, and I was in the middle of it. So I just took care of things as they came. I wasn’t thinking about “my trip to Haiti” at all, I was thinking about the heat of the room, the stress I was under, the tasks ahead. I sat down at the end of a long black table in an office surrounded by the 30 other people who are heading to Haiti with me. Slides were flicking past, one after the other, depicting the children I’m going to meet in just 2 weeks. The babies. The babies that want so very much to have mothers, but don’t. The babies who live 24 hours a day in white rooms full of cribs because the last home they had crumbled to bits in a natural disaster, and the home before that was crumbling in a completely different way. The babies who need me to hold them, and feed them, and love them. And maybe I needed that too. I was filled with such an overwhelming hurt again. Not that I didn’t have my own baby to hold, but that these babies didn’t have their mothers to hold them, and how much worse that must be.
I’m not saying that being a childless mother isn’t hard. I’m not saying that it’s not important, because it is so hard and so important. But being a motherless child… I cannot even imagine. And through my hurt, I was also filled with fear. What if I can’t help these kids they way they need to be helped, what if I decide I want to adopt them – we can’t afford that, what if my heart is softening to adoption because I will not ever conceive a child, what if, what if, what if. And more slides ticked past. And more fears ticked past. And more smiles, and more cribs, and more tiny hands and feet, and more opportunities for me to let go of my stress and my fears and remember why I’m going on this trip in the first place. People are hurting everywhere. If I can make a difference in that world of hurt, I am certainly going to try. That may mean being uncomfortable, and being punched in the gut with others’ hurts, but maybe God’s timing and His compassion is so much greater than mine.
I’m a teensy bit overdue for my twice-a-year 25 Things list… and this week needs to be when that it posted. I need a little thankfulness and smiling up in here. Here we go!
25 Things that make me smile right now:
- What I have been calling “flash poetry.” Which is kind of exactly what it sounds like. A very quick poem written without much thought and no editing. It’s theraputic and I’m loving it. The process and the outcomes. These poems are actually decent!
- The band Mumford and Sons
- Google Analytics. I’m watching you.
- Hints of warmer weather
- Laughing with friends. CHEESEFEST, I know. But really, what could be better to do with friends?
- Hope (These three are NOT no brainer smile points that I’m using as filler. They are things I’m working very hard to be thinking about several times a day right now. Light, truth, hope. Light, truth, hope. It feels good, doesn’t it?)
- The multitude of newborns around me and the snuggling they are so happy to share
- FOOD NETWORK. I could watch it all day
- Weekends. oh weekends. Although, I admit, that is sort of just a sneaky way to say something I’m not all smiles about… so I’ll do 26 things.
- Knowing I am about to meet 70 kids who will change my life
- My mentor, Katie
- Embroidery – one needle and thread project that doesn’t make me pull my hair out
- A brand new paper craft project
- This song
- Giant families. Our church is full of huge families with 6 or more kids. I love watching them.
- 4 hour naps after very long and difficult weeks
- Spending Easter morning in a Haitian church
- Can I say light, truth, and hope again?
- Catching up on piles of work
- Both of the fall weddings coming up. Almost time for a new sister and new brother!
- Sidewalk chalk and bubbles in the culdesac
- Corned beef and cabbage. Yeah, I’m as shocked as you are that I like it. But I do… I really do.
- Finally going on a date with Dave tonight. Since we both ruined the prospects of dates last weekend. Yes, Dave… both of us. 🙂
- Finally seeing the sun this week after far, FAR too much gray sky.
What’s got you smiling?
The trip to Haiti is closing in on us. We’ve got 18 days until we fly out of Nashville and into Port au Prince. We’ve got our praying hats on big time right now as we’re counting down the days. Days until our passports are supposed to arrive in the mail, days until we have a “packing party” at the mission organization’s Nashville headquarters, days until our money is due, and days until we meet the kids we want to help.
Someone asked if I had a PayPal account they could make donations to, and though I did have a PayPal account, I was clueless as to how to accept donations through it. With a little help from the automated Help Desk lady I figured it out. If you’d like to make a donation through PayPal, here is the link to do so.
Thanks so much for your support, guys. We appreciate it so very much.
This weekend was kind of a strange one. As in, I threw multiple temper tantrums, we skipped several “dates” that we had planned, and instead watched copious amounts of TV and had chips and salsa for lunch.
This weekend did have a couple of redeeming qualities, though. For example, new clothes. Some of you may know this about me: I am addicted to buying things. I don’t spend a lot of money normally. Almost all of my clothing was less than $10 at the time of purchase. And only then if it’s on sale. I have many, many items that were $5 or less. Thank heavens for Old Navy’s clearance rack where one can buy such things as purple velvet pleated skirts for NINETY-SEVEN CENTS! And let’s just pause to say, “Isn’t that impressive?” Because that really deserves an “isn’t that impressive,” in my opinion. Ignore the fact that I have no occasion to wear a purple velvet pleated skirt and have never worn it, not even once for pretend.
About three years ago I bought a black and white paisleyish batik looking dress. It fit like a dream. Which is saying a lot. It was $7, so I bought it. Three years later, I decided that I should probably wear that dress since it fit so well, but I still was not a fan of the black and white paisleyish batik print. So, I bleached it. Three times. And it turned kind of orange and white. Which still wasn’t great. So I got some pink and purple RIT dye, mixed it together, and dyed the dress. That still wasn’t quite right, so I washed it in a load with a bright red rug that bleeds everytime it’s washed. The dress now works. It’s pinkish/coraly colored with tiny purpley/pink paisley, and I love it!
Plus, I made a fun “circus skirt,” as I’m calling it (because it’s very colorful and striped, and tent-shaped) out of a 1970’s Sears and Reobuck fitted sheet. And since I have a reputation to uphold of being terrible at sewing, I messed it up just for you! But, thankfully, Lillian did some quick thinking and we turned said mess-up into a ruffle at the bottom, and what do you know, I like it better with a ruffle!
My new spring wardrobe is the ruffle on the mess-up that was this weekend.
I have to get some artwork done as soon as possible. I’m having one of those, “I can’t breathe in normal society” weeks and I just need to create something. The “norm” gets old and not quite exciting enough for me, and I have to start something new.
There’s something about being an artist, for me, that means I get a little crazy at the start of something new. New opportunities, new seasons, new clothes – whatever it is that is new – I’m inspired and excited by it and itching to make progress. One newish thing in my life is THIS little surprise that I mentioned a few weeks ago. I LOVE IT. I so hope you do too.