“Let’s Call Her Esther.”

A dream. A dream I remember vividly…

The sun was shining down from the clear blue sky, creating a bright white glare in front of me. I saw myself sun kissed and brown, in a summer dress. I called out but I couldn’t hear myself. Suddenly the sound came through as I called a second time, “Esther!”. A little girl came running and broke through a pair of trees. Running towards me she giggled. In her own summer dress covered in flower print. Long brown hair fell down her back as she ran to me. Finally I picked her up, wrapping her arms around my neck and slowly we walked away together. 

My dream. One that I’ve had three times over the course of ten years. The very first was when I was twelve years old. An odd type of dream for a twelve year old. But I remember thinking how strange it was that I could remember the details.

The second time was after I graduated high school at seventeen. Surely it couldn’t be a coincidence to have the same exact dream? I shared my dream with my boyfriend at the time (now husband) and we prayed about it for quite some time but never got an answer from the Lord. I continued on with life only to think of my dream every so often at little instances that reminded me of this small girl.

The third was before my first daughter was born. At the time we knew that we were having a girl and had yet to decide on a name. At that moment I was convinced “Steven I think we should call her Esther?!” So we prayed and thought and although we loved the name in our hearts we didn’t feel that it was right. In fact we had come to the consensus that Esther, Esther was going to be special to us. Special in every way. Extraordinary and teach us something and draw us closer to the Lord. Finding out we were having our second daughter we prayed again and the Lord gave us the same conclusion. “She was going to change our lives.”

My heart has been breaking and slowly over the past few months God has been mending it back together. Late December the day after Christmas my husband and I, lost our child. A child that wasn’t part of our plan, but part of God’s and nevertheless we loved unconditionally. In the days before the emotions ranged from shocked, excitement, panic, at the thought of having three children under the age of three. But after that it was a pure delight. “Would it be a boy?” “What will our family say?”, “Three Girls!”. It was too early to know. I had had no appointments and never heard the heartbeat. But in my heart and in my gut I knew that this little being was in fact, my third daughter.

I didn’t know how to handle what had happened to me, to my child. Heartbroken I cried for days, my husband and I cried together and prayed. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.- Job 1:21  After the crying was over, I tried to continue on with life, loving on my girls and taking in every moment. I shut myself off and somehow I had no emotion except sadness. No tears, no anger. Just simply heartbroken. I shared my heartache with the few women I hold dear, both knowing what I was going through. They went above and beyond to love me and only a small few have known of my heartbreak until now.

Weeks later I had shoved it so far down inside of me that it felt that nothing had happened. Except every once in awhile pricks were made and it was a reminder of what no longer remained. I prayed to God to help heal my heart. Was I wrong to feel nothing? Why did I feel this way? Until one night we went a friends home to play games, we stayed late chatting the night away. One conversation led to another and suddenly an uncontrollable sob came over me. My dear sister and friend held me, and we cried together. No one kept track of time and I wept endlessly. The days following, I cried more and I felt as though I wouldn’t stop. I continued in prayer knowing that God was carrying me through this time.

In early December I attended a Women’s Conference with a friend and at the conference at each setting there was a personal card that had a specific prayer and word for each woman. Mine wrote…

You are stepping up onto a rise, not big in the natural but a new level in the spiritual. No fear, it is a wider place and what awaits is the Father’s good plan. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”- Jeremiah 29:11

Instantly I was moved I’ve had this feeling of my dry spiritual life finally coming to LIFE since October and this was just another reminder of God’s promise. That he and I would draw close again and this time it was going to be unbreakable and not slowly fade away. Over the course of the past months I never blamed God or got angry with him I only ever in-rooted myself more in his word and took in everything he gave me to try and understand how I was feeling.

Finally, I am healing and sad moments come occasionally but quickly fade knowing that God has a plan for it all. During one of my moments of sadness my dream came to me and I closed my eyes, trying to remember any detail I could grasp to keep it in my mind just for a moment. My husband came home from lunch that day and I said,

“Let’s call her Esther.”

Understanding exactly what I meant, he simply said “okay.”. It was the one baby name we agreed on completely. I’m so thankful for this life that God gave me and God took away. All in all I know God knew. That’s why he’d been giving me glimpses of her since I was twelve years old. Esther is my angel baby. The one in my dream that I can replay in my mind. The little girl I called to. The daughter we’ll meet someday in heaven in her perfect form just the way God intended her to be.

This blog is raw and personal and I’ve shed tears as I type. I’m sharing my story because many women know my pain. I’ve been debating on sharing for some time but haven’t until now because I can feel God holding onto me. Saying “It’s going to be okay Patience. Don’t be afraid.” I shouldn’t be afraid to show what causes me pain to others especially something so dear to my heart.

Blessings.. Until I write again…

 

 

 

 

A Lady that Cares. A God that Cares.

I’m starting today’s blog off with a short story that filled my heart with a small devotion and I have to share in more than just a Facebook post to do it justice…

Throughout the night and the early morning both of my girls ended up in my bed. My husband goes to work very early and some days it can be comforting to not wake up alone. I was laying in bed talking to my eldest when the baby woke up. She suddenly started crying and became noticeably upset in a matter of seconds. I (being right next to her) tried to console her crying and calm her down but she continued to cry. By this time Jane  had gotten up and walk to the other side of the bed and started to “shhh” her. Without any prompting or rehearsal she says to Clara, “It’s okay bebe sister. Jesus take care of you.” That moment was my reward. It may sounds silly, but I believe that every parent wants confirmation that they’re doing it right. Something that says, “Hey your kid isn’t a total jerk. Good job.”(High fives from Jesus and all that jazz.)

My girls are my greatest passion. I’ve always said that we are raising them to be ladies. Not women, not girls… ladies. Because a lady is refined, with the perfect balance of grace and compassion.  Jane, my oldest is definitely strong willed, textbook first born attitude in my opinion. But she has never wavered in compassion or empathy. She is always thinking of others around her and becomes quite concerned if they become troubled. And even though she doesn’t fully understand yet, it gives me joy to know that at the age of two she knows that Jesus is there, taking care of her and the ones she loves. Furthermore, it reminds me that he cares for me and he’s taking care of my worries.

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

This past year I’ve been through a lot of growth. Trust me I’d be more than content to stay at home with my husband and kids, with my books and my dog and hide out forever. But God is pushing me out of my comfort zone. People are my anxiety. He’s shown me I have nothing to fear. I reached out to about thirty other moms to arrange a get together, not once but twice… Something I wouldn’t of done in a million years, and guess what? It’s been amazing. I’m having play dates! I’m reaching out and it’s only just the beginning.

Whatever your anxiety may be today, “Jesus take care of you.”

Until next time….Patience

 

New Year, New Blog, New Outlook

It has been one year since my first blog post and I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately. I started out strong. Writing consistently enough for my own satisfaction and others. About half way through I received some criticism which blew out the fire some, but after a few weeks of prayer and thought I continued. I have no real explanation for why the blog posts stopped all together. In honesty I got lazy and made excuses. “I’m pregnant.” “I have nothing else to write about.” and the list goes on.

Also during that I time I was trying to make some changes in my life, personally. I was still trying to “find myself” or so they say. Although lately I’ve been thinking that this blog is a huge part of how I started to grow. I got my thoughts and feelings out. Wrote them down and even if no one read it then at least it was out loud instead of causing my brain to overload. I make no promises as to how often I’ll write or what time of day it will be. But I do promise to at least stay constant and not completely fall off the grid. Now that my day to day life is on somewhat of a schedule I’m most confident I can fulfill that promise.

During the past few months that I’ve been away in the blogging world, I finished my second healthy pregnancy and gave birth to our second daughter, Clara Rose. She’s my prize. We’re all in love and as it goes I can’t imagine life without our second little lady. Jane is now two. No lies… It’s rough. The phrase, ‘terrible twos’ cannot be more accurate. Jane is not a bad little girl she is actually pretty good most of the time. She’s so smart, and most definitely strong-willed, mix those traits with over reactive emotions and it gets a little dramatic. Steven and I just celebrated our fourth anniversary and I have to say I’m still in love with him. We are mostly opposites so I feel like we are constantly keeping each other balanced. He started a new job so that was a change for our family but I can go into more of that in a different post.

All in all. I guess I’m letting the blogging world know that I’m back at it again. With a little bit different outlook and expectations.

Until Next Time Friends…..

Let them be “Pink”

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been overly sentimental these days. I could blame it on the hormones or the fact that my little girl is close to turning the big 2! But really it’s my worst fear taking place. She’s growing up before my eyes. I blinked and my Janie will be two in just a few short weeks. Then not long after we will be welcoming our second baby girl. Last night I asked my husband, “Wasn’t I just falling in love with you?”

Last night was a horrible night of sleep for my husband and I, it was like having a newborn all over again. Jane is attached to us at the hip and doesn’t want to sleep in her own bed. Half of my heart wants to give in to her, let her crawl into bed and just snuggle her. But the other half knows full well the repercussions of not getting any sleep.  We stuck through the night putting her back to bed every time she got up, only to here her little feet thump across the living room floor to our room just a few moments later. Nevertheless, I woke up early to take a shower, and upon coming out I find Jane sitting quietly on the couch with a bottle of pink nail polish. “Pink mama!” Once again I was torn. Do I put her back to bed or do I paint her nails, again? Strangely at that moment I heard my husbands voice in my head, “paint her nails”. So I did. 5:30 in the morning and I’m painting my daughters nails. As I painted each toe her smile continued to grow until an uncontrollable giggle escaped her mouth. “Pink, mama, Pink!” My heart grew. A small moment that increased our bond as “Mama and Jane”. And then it was gone the short moment that is now a memory.

When Steven and I learned that we were expecting a second girl we were thrilled. It’s what we know. Jane has taught us very well in the girl department. The only challenge now will be juggling two girls instead of one. And of course there are always the little comments, “I’m sure your husband was hoping for a boy.” Actually no. He was expecting another girl. From the day I told him I was pregnant he said to me “It’s a girl.” Sighed a small sigh and smiled big. It is mornings like these when he holds our daughter close and lets her cuddle him for a short time before sending her back to bed that I know it was meant to be. He is a daddy to daughters.

Today I am reminded of the verse that says our lives are like the morning fog. Here for short time and then it vanishes. It is the same for my memories. My girl is only little once it is here for such a short time and then before I know it I’ll be wedding dress shopping and planning baby showers for my first grandchildren. Steven and I will raise our daughters together and miss these moments when our nest becomes empty. So today I wake up early,paint her nails pink, play baby, put her hair in pigtails and let things get a little messy. I don’t think about the new baby until she is here and enjoy the moments of just Mommy, Daddy and Jane.

“I remembered every moment between us, and every moment felt more precious as time passed.” – Shannon A. Thompson

“A Social Phobia”

This blog contains excerpts from “Depressed: No Friends, No Life” by John-Folk Williams
http://www.storiedmind.com/isolation/depressed-no-friends-no-life/

This morning when I woke up, I was feeling a little sorry for myself. But nevertheless I went on with my day and asked Jesus, “Lord make this a great day.” and repeated it over and over until I started to feel like it would be. I was searching through the internet this morning and I came across an article called; “Depressed: No Friends, No Life”. Now I wouldn’t say that explains my life but as I read on some of his points it definitely described a big part of my social anxiety.

I’m going to share a few points from the article. I’m writing a blog on this because many times in my other posts I have mentioned my “social anxiety” but I’ve never gone into detail about what that means for me and I don’t think many people understand it until they’ve experienced or heard it from someone else. I will attach the whole link of the article below as well.

The second point that John makes is this; “One habit of my own depressed thinking was to assume that everyone I met had the same negative and contemptuous view of me that I did of myself. I projected my own shame into their minds and then retreated before the dislike I was sure they felt. It’s so strange to imagine that this could have been such a common occurrence, but it was. I stopped myself from reaching out because I “knew” these friends wanted to have nothing to do with me.” 

This is a big one for me, probably the most abundant. My husband can attest to me saying “I don’t think they like me.” probably a thousand times. My biggest problem is the retreat. “I projected my own shame into their minds and then retreated before the dislike I was sure they felt.” I run away the instant I feel the conversation going the wrong way, if i feel the slightest amount of disinterest on their part I run away and don’t try again for a very long time. I have been working on this all year, it has a lot to do with building confidence. But one thing Jesus pointed out to me was that I was not to assume that everyone was thinking badly of me. I thought they were the sweetest people always kind and happy. But hey it must’ve been just me they didn’t like and eventually it became the norm. “They are super nice, it’s just me they don’t like”.

I use this verse quite often but the words are just so perfect it really pulls me through sometimes especially when it comes to this topic, Deuteronomy 31:8 says; “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Even at times in my life when I have never felt more alone I remember that Jesus is always there and even if he was my only friend that he is good enough. Still to this day during my saddest times ‘Jesus loves me’ is still sang for as long as it takes for me to feel happy again.

I’m going to combine points 4 and 6 from the article into one point for myself as far as this blog goes.

4.When feeling more numb than despairing, I could often get out and talk to people, even at social gatherings. But I became very nervous at what I might say. It wasn’t uncommon for me to make an attempt at getting to know someone or to get into a personal issue with a friend. But the words I found myself speaking were not at all what I intended. They had an edge to them, putting a jab into each pleasantry, souring a compliment with a sarcastic tone, or pouring out so much so fast that I sounded impossibly egocentric and uninterested in anyone but myself. I acted like someone I would never want to know. Of course, people could tell at once that I had “issues” and walked the other way.

6.At other times, anxiety and fear could hold me back from talking freely. Taking part in conversation was hard because I had to double-think everything I wanted to say. There was a danger in the simple spontaneity of conversation among friends – a danger for me of any uncontrolled talking. I had to reflect to get the words just so, and then would miss the right moment as talk flowed on to something different. It’s hard to imagine now, but talking freely felt risky, as if an inner violence might escape my control.

Oh… saying the wrong thing. Honestly something I am terrified about. Becoming so concerned and pondering over every little word that comes out of my mouth. Soon my side of the conversation becomes “Ok” “yeah” “that’s awesome”. Or I genuinely get into a conversation with someone and retreat to my natural habit of becoming increasingly sarcastic. It’s a defense mechanism like a shield to protect myself from anyone actually getting to know who I am. I chuckle at myself now because I can distinctly replay moments in my head of me doing this exact thing.

Proverbs 16:24; “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Lately I have to remember that Jesus is with me and he reminds me to say, meaningful words with grace. Say what I feel with peace in my heart about it and to stop second guessing. I write this in a simple, to the point statement but in truth it has taken me a year to realize it fully and act on it. Anyone experiencing the same things will know that it isn’t as simple as it seems. Just like the old saying, ‘Easier said than done’. It most certainly takes time to follow through.

This year I decided to put myself out on a limb and I’ve done a great job at making myself vulnerable but not so great at my follow through. Some days I flourish and others I fall but “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:1-2. My life is becoming increasingly brighter and for the first year in many years I’ve felt relaxed in conquering this ‘phobia’.

http://www.storiedmind.com/isolation/depressed-no-friends-no-life/

Blueberry Kisses

Is it just me, or has summer flown by? Here we are in the first week of September and I feel like I had no summer at all. But honestly heat has never been my friend, I very much desire the coolness of fall. As many of you may know my husband and I announced that we are expecting our second child this March. We are beyond excited for another addition to our family. Although it has been a change for me, some days I miss the luxury of not having a toddler while pregnant, you could sleep all day if you wanted to but instead I am forced to get up and run around after an energetic child. This pregnancy has been a 180 degree turn from my pregnancy with Jane. I’ve had morning sickness and nausea like no ones business. But I would go through it a hundred times just for another sweet baby to call mine.

This morning was no exception to my nausea. Most mornings I am awakened by the sound of Jane pounding on the wall for me to come get her at the bright and sunny time of 6:30 a.m. I get up, get her out of bed, pour a sippy cup full of milk and turn on a half hour worth of morning cartoons. However this morning I also gave her half of a blueberry pop tart, she signed to me she was hungry and I was lacking any energy at the time to actually make breakfast right then so a pop tart works for the time being. Then I try and rest for that half hour on the couch while simultaneously soaking in my Janie snuggles. I never actually get to fall back asleep but I figure if I at least rest I’ll feel a little bit better. I can hear the cartoons coming to an end and I’m thinking to myself, “You’ve gotta get up, just do it!” But quicker than I could force myself awake my sweet girl plants a sticky, wet kiss on my cheek. A Blueberry kiss.

Jesus knew my day. That small token of love is actually a huge statement for me, he is saying “Patience you are needed and loved, I know you may feel down but I need you to get up and conquer the day.” I’m not sure about you but lately I’ve felt like I need that boost everyday. Sure it may be pregnancy but I also think its a mindset. I’ve let so many things get me down that I’m tired of fighting to get back up.“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16. The past year a lot has been changing within my heart. I want to get into that inner circle of myself and know me. Really truly know myself. How many people can say that they know who they are without question or hesitance. That’s the goal, and the only way to accomplish that is through Jesus. He made me therefore he knows exactly who I am.

The more I talk to people the more I realize that there are so many hurting. Everyone has their trials in life and tests that God is taking them through. It can be so difficult to stay encouraging and uplifting. You want to give in and say “Oh I’m so sorry life is so hard for you.” “You always get the crap end of the stick.” But guess what? You will not hear it from me. How much more accomplished would you feel if even after all of these detours are thrown in your way, you still finish the race with a good spirit? My great grandfather who I never knew and I’ve only heard about in stories was a double amputee. He was missing both an arm and a leg. My grandma tells me all the time that he would put on his prosthetic arm and leg every morning by 4 a.m. and worked all day on their dairy farm. He would come home, sit down on the chair and you could see blood from both of his stumps coming through his clothes. But not once did she ever hear him complain. He simply put on a new bandage and rested until the next day when he woke up and did it all over again.

My blog today is don’t let the devil take hold and coerce you into thinking that nothing good comes your way. Find your motivation just like my “Blueberry Kisses” and let it encourage you. Keep fighting, sure it may seem like months or years but it will end. You will finish and the reward will be bountiful.

“In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.” Psalms 138:3

“Nobody puts Baby in a Corner!”

Hello again. I am finally back up and running in the blog world. Taking a temporary leave of absence due to multiple situations in my life and I finally got myself a working computer.

But on another note I will say that I got my “pride” hurt and for a few weeks that is why my blog stopped. Criticism isn’t something I take well. I completely shut down and hide which is one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place. After praying and pondering for awhile I had to remember the reason I started this in the first place. When I initiated this blog I actually had no intention of anyone reading it besides any random blogger who happened to be scrolling through WordPress. After opening my account I needed a first blog post, and Jesus just said “share it” show people what you have to say. Be vulnerable for once in your life Patience!

“Why are you so blunt?” “You share a lot of personal faults and details.” “Sounds like you’re preaching.” These are just some of the comments I’m mentioning. Are these bad things? No not necessarily. But it made me question myself and my whole approach to this blog. I am a logical thinker. Period. I don’t think on my feet, I don’t say things without pondering over the exact words and that is why a blog works well for me. I will not write a blog about something I haven’t experienced first hand. My intent is not to even ‘preach’ or ‘teach’. The whole goal is to make other people who read this blog know that they aren’t alone in their faults. I can’t even measure the amount of times I have told myself, “Patience you are the only person who ever thinks this way” and hung my head in shame.

You all know that saying, “honesty is the best policy”. It may seem cliche but it’s something I live by. If I can’t be honest with myself, who can I be honest with? My whole life I’ve been close to people who are constantly lying to everyone, especially themselves. Sometime during my preteen years a switched clicked in my head and everything from then on was divided black and white. You know why we don’t want to be honest with ourselves? We’re scared. Scared of the truth. Afraid that our intentions don’t live up to the facade we put out for everyone to see. But being naive is not the way to go. I could sit here and pretend to live in ‘Utopia’ where everyone (including myself) has a heart of gold, but guess what? We were born into sin. Psalm 51:5 “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Sorry folks but Adam and Eve ruined the idea of Utopia for us all. We’re a bunch of lying, envious, greedy, sinful humans. One of the downfalls to being brutally honest is teaching myself to see the gray area. Trust me, after many times of being proven wrong, there is definitely a GRAY area. But I have the ability to be genuine with myself and say, “They were right.”

“When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong.” Dr. Houseman- Dirty Dancing

A few days ago I reread my second blog post “What will they think?” and it still reigns true as ever. ‘I am loved by all those who matter, especially Jesus.’ Criticism is another learning tool that I can utilize. I’m relentlessly honest, admitting my faults, dying to self everyday and I’m gonna write about it.

Until next time…