12/22/11

Sometimes There is Comfort in Chaos

We're moving. MOVING! Um... tomorrow.

Since September 2006, we have lived in a (pretty awesome) condo in north Atlanta. It's a garden level unit, with a nice chunk of green space right outside our door,
but it's simply too small. That, & condo living doesn't really fit our family. We want a dog. I want a garden. We want to be able to have friends come over & not have to sit on top of each other, or make everyone whisper when the kids go to bed.

Most importantly? We want to stop sleeping in the living room. Our youngest is a very light sleeper & his crib is in our bedroom. When we roll over, he wakes up. I can honestly say, in 16 months, I have slept through the night 3 times - even with us sleeping in the living room. I don't see how all of those New Yorkers manage a family in 1000sq ft (or less). We're at 1100 & it's just... too small.

1st world problems, right? Yes, well, be that as it may, I am very excited to be moving. Very. What I didn't anticipate, was how little liquor store boxes actually hold when you're trying to cram in a 4person family's belongings.

Or, that once said belongings are packed, how difficult finding matching socks becomes.
It was when I was staring down at my mismatched feet, 2 weeks to the day after we lost our baby, when I finally said... "I don't care. Let it rain. There is nothing a little chaos can do to me now." I accepted that we're going to be disheveled for a little while.

The pain in my heart these past few weeks has been horrendous, & every time I think I might break in two, (as I felt over socks,) God is there to hold me together. He has been my Great Comforter. Recently, He's been helping me relax with our condo & what I'm expecting from myself.

I want my home to be clean & shiny, & if there are dishes out, or debris on the floor, or our table has milk from breakfast on it, I apologize, shamefully. I tend to relate the state of our home to me as a person, my value, & abilities as a wife&mother. (Perhaps it's just the Martha in me.) It was a couple of weeks ago, crying in my kitchen to my incredibly patient husband about not being able to find matching socks, that a peace came over me & I decided worrying about these little things just isn't worth it this season in our lives.

We're moving, we just lost a baby & we have 2 boys - one of whom is home schooled & the other is learning to sign. For the first time ever I do not feel the need to apologize if our condo looks, well, awful. And, yeah, it does.

Not worrying about the way things look, or how tidy things are, has been like a breath of fresh air. I am not going to lie, though - our condo is chaos.

But you know what the Mary in my has discovered about chaos? It can be fun. It's build a ramp out of moving boxes. It's build a fort out of chairs, pillows & blankets. It's making a southern sled. It's not a lot of laundry. It's relaxing on a pull-out sofa, watching episodes of 30Rock back to back whilst surrounded by boxes...



...& not feeling guilty. It's also given Ben & me the chance to sit down, & read the Bible together. We completed an outstanding reading plan on grief (YouVersion) that wouldn't have been possible had we not accepted a little chaos, relaxed a bit & taken the time to listen to God.

And though I am certain I do not want to live like this forever... For now, we are enjoying finding comfort hidden in the chaos.

12/15/11

A Pre-Christmas Gift.

So our sweet littlest is a man of few (spoken) words, & those he does speak are, well, not super easy to understand if you're not his parents.



My mother-in-law suggested sign language. Within the first week our boy knows almost 2 dozen signs (being able to sign about half)!! It's been amazing watching him learn to communicate!


(This is the sign for outside.)

Pretty awesome, right? Yeah, he's cool. And now that he's signing... he's talking more. Like, yesterday? Oh, yeah, Luke said 'mama.' What?!?! SO proud. He didn't associate the word with me, but he did make the m-sound followed by 'mamamamamamamama'. I was in heaven.

Times have been really hard lately, but hearing my baby speak (& being able to communicate with him through sign language, more importantly) has been an absolute gift. One I surely don't take for granted.

12/14/11

Southern Sled

We're moving. (HOORAY!) More on that later, but for now, here is my Andrew & his creativity at work. Moving boxes (courtesy of Heavenly Wheels) & a big, pine straw hill = a southern sled.


Side note: We have learned that a southern sled & a ton of bushes at the bottom of a big, pine straw hill = lucky to still have an eye.

11/30/11

Remembering. Reeling. Coping.

Luke & baby 3, November 3rd, 2011

Romans 8:38-39

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

editing

am in the slow process of editing this blog.

3/25/11

Andrew cracks me up

Every time I watch this video, I crack up. Andrew's so goofy in front of a camera. This is from the 23rd. We don't eat pancakes all the time, I promise.

1/11/11

The present, the pain & the sharing of it all.

Our van was broken into Sunday after church. My wallet was stolen, as was our GPS, a pack of gum & my keys. (Why they didn't just take the van, I don't know.) This was violating - obviously - & quite eye-opening. I am often careless with my possessions. I leave them out in the open, or unlocked, giving no thought to them being taken... or not. (FYI: The van was locked & my purse was under the front seat. The GPS was in the window.)

I cried & cried. Andrew cried, too, & at first, I was far too into myself, my hurt, my loss, & my own tears to absorb those of my son. After realizing how upset he was, I calmed down, held him, called the Atlanta PD & brought both of my boys back inside the church while Ben waited for the police.

On our walk back to the church, with cheeks tear-stained, Andrew told four parishioners on the way to their cars what happened to ours. No one listened to him. One man actually smiled & nodded, telling us to "Have a nice day." Having your car broken into is very traumatic, especially for a child, & it was so hard for me to watch my aching baby's voice being ignored when he really needed to be heard.


It wasn't until he told the head of children's church that he was finally heard. She not only heard him, she validated his frustration - When he said he was angry at the person who hurt his family, she told him, "It's OK to be angry. God is angry, too." Once Andrew's voice was heard, he was able to let go of his angst & morph back into a child, playing in one of the childrens' classrooms, seemingly carefree once again (after locking us inside the baby gate to "protect us from bad people").


Experiencing theft, then watching my babe's cries go unsoothed, & his words not only go ignored, but smiled at in passing, my thoughts have been paused on the concept of the present & have me pondering how awake we are to our world & the people around us? How many times have I passed someone & smiled at them - or ignored them - while their world's been freshly torn apart?

And what makes children so easy for adults to ignore? What kind of message are we sending the next generation when we can't stop our feet to listen when we are being spoken to? What lesson did my son learn Sunday about society & the sharing of pain? Are we showing our children their voices don't matter? That they're alone in their hurt - even in a church parking lot?

Sunday, I had my van broken into, & whilst reeling from the harsh reality of the brokenness in our city, my eyes were opened to the ever-important need to be present where we are, to really listen to those around us, especially the voices of children, because we never know when they might be swelling with hurt, & truly needing to be heard.

1/7/11

A note of thanks

Dear Ben,

I am so immeasurably grateful for you, & to you, for all you have done while I have been so sick. You, of all people, know how crummy I have been feeling lately, but I don't think you know how many times a day, when my head is pounding & my throat is aching & my hands are shaking, that I pause & think of you.

I think of the smile that's on your face every time you walk in the door. I think about how both of your boys are elated when they hear you coming in. I think about how I wish I had the energy to run to you, to throw myself into your arms & kiss you all over.

I think about your hands, & how busy they've been. I think about your feet, & how many laps they've made up & down our cozy hallway, while your arms wrap our crying baby in love & comfort, trying to help him understand his mama's sick, but you're there for him.

I think about your lips, & how they part more for compliments than complaints, & I think about how truly, truly blessed I am that you've chosen to share your life with me - even when mine becomes really unattractive.

So, I just wanted to thank you, because you, of all people, know how crummy I have been feeling lately, but it's really only mostly you who's given me the chance to smile through it all. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.