The Opposite of Love.

I don’t know what it means to be a writer. A blogger. I guess a writ-ger.

I don’t know what it means to be a mother most days.

I am not even sure, after five short but full of life, years of marriage what it means to be a wife.

And I am totally not sure what it means to be a peaceful, always faithful, spiritual follower of God – turning to my confident prayer at all twists and turns and moments of glory.

I just don’t. That is partly why I haven’t been showing up to this space. Although I know part of my creation includes putting twisted thoughts into even more twisted words so I can understand the divine swirling around me, and in turn, hopefully help others, I just haven’t been able to do it.

The events of Friday December 14th, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut have shaken all of us. So much that I didn’t want to write about it because I felt like there are no words. Let me say that again, – I STILL feel like there are no words. So this post is not really a response to what has happened – you, as the reader, and I, as the writer, don’t need a blog post to digest something like this. We feel this one with our guts. We know when we hold those sweet babies close to our chest and brush their hair all we want to do is keep them inside, willing them not only to the safe walls of our home, but to the safe walls of the world. We know when those innocent school pictures flash up on Facebook it is disgusting to even go there in your mind. Wrong. It feels like the world has lost a piece of what makes it worthwhile and good. The mission trips of 2012, the births, the marriages, the diseases cured miraculously, all sit in the shadows, discounted like they aren’t real enough to wash away all the black.

Here is where my response comes. How do we define ourselves and keep on keeping on, even if everything feels un-defined…and scary and shaken and full of doubt?

This is all I know:

I know that when it’s time to write, I write.

I know that holding my puking child against my chest all night is being a mother. I know cheering on every piece of their being, even when it feels like a chaotic circus around me, is being a mother. I know celebrating the dance of kicks and pure life inside, instead of worrying about the delivery or if she/he has two heads, is being a mother.

I know saying those simple words like “I’m sorry” and “I love you” means being a wife.

And with the help of an author that has helped me many times, I sort of know what it means to pray. I have wrestled with this one over and over and over again…ESPECIALLY after this month’s tragedy. I felt like my prayers just weren’t enough to help. Or enough to even mean anything.

I read this last night and just had to share. It felt like a God moment as I read the words. The twisted thoughts and words spoke to my mother/wife heart … and suddenly all the confusion and doubt in my heart and the surrounding world didn’t seem so confusing. Or dark.

From Philip Yancey’s “Prayer”:

I am privileged to be associated with a group in England called St. Colomba’s Fellowship. Its members consist of hospice staff, nurses and other workers who work among the dying. My wife and I are sometimes invited to speak at the fellowship’s conference. 

At one of the conferences, we heard a hospice chaplain tell of a patient who asked to see him because he was in great emotional distress. He was in the last stages of cancer and was feeling very guilty because he had spent the previous night ranting, raving and swearing at God. The following morning he felt dreadful. He imagined that his chance of eternal life had now been lost forever, and that God would never forgive one who had so cursed and abused him. 

The chaplain asked the patient, “What do you think is the opposite of love?” 

The man replied “Hate.”

Very wisely, the chaplain replied, “No, the opposite of love is indifference. You have not been indifferent to God, or you would never have spent the night talking to him, honestly telling him what was in your heart and mind. Do you know the Christian word that describes what you have been doing? 

The word is ‘prayer.’ You have spent the night praying.” – Roy Lawrence

On this magical Christmas Eve, as we practice love and light and all that is shiny…don’t worry if it feels like there is less than love, light and shine in your heart. You are a mother. You are a wife. You are praying. Just by doing it. Just by jumping out of the ring of indifference. You are love.

Merry Christmas to you. May our real and non-indifferent prayers be with every person touched by the hate crime of December 14th, 2012. Many bells will ring this Christmas as the little angels get their wings.

 

 

 

Get up & Show Up

First of all … Hi to all my new lovely friends that I am lucky to have thanks to the gals at The HuffingtonPost.com for sharing our story this week in the “Parents” section. I feel hugs from all over when I read your words of support and want to call you and be friends with you when I read your emails in response to that “miracle baby that just showed up” … kind of like Baby Jesus, right?

If you are new here, here is a little bit about me. I would love for you to comment so I can know you too!

This is our family as of … hmmm, yesterday around 4 PM. Yep, it was family picture time around here this week. As any mother knows, this is up there with getting ready for a vacation or Christmas morning. I can breathe a little easier this morning now that they are complete. (And thanking God for Photoshop – what you don’t see in this picture is the black eye and huge dent Gracie has under her right eye. Or the chip out of Quinn’s chin because I accidentally didn’t realize he was rolling out of bed from under my arms. Oops.)

 

Seriously, though, I am humbled and grateful to share our journey (ongoing) of hope and faith and love. We try to learn everyday that all three work together, like people simultaneously rowing a boat over tiny waves in the water … but as you know, the waves aren’t always tiny. The hope becomes small and hides behind monotony. The faith has holes poked in it by the fear that is born in a mother the day you find out you are expecting the arrival of another human being(s). The love becomes weak because you gave all you had to the disciplining, washing, cooking, chasing, crying and keep up-ing of the day.

Thankfully – the boat keeps floating because we are told the greatest of these is love…and sometimes all you have to do to love someone is show up. And some (most) days, that is all I can do for our children … the three out of utero and the one in utero.

Showing up and praying the love shows up with me. Savoring the days where hope is alive with giggles and hugs and scrunched up nose smiles. Clinging to the faith that right now, all is where it should be – even the dust on the coffee table. The idea of just sitting where we are, not trying to move to the next spot in the game of life – even when passing go and collecting your money sounds really good from where we are sitting.

Faith, Hope and Love.

We are 17 weeks along with baby #4 and it couldn’t be more different from our last pregnancy…but in the same breath, it’s all the same.

A little comparison of the “mule” as Scott calls me…carrying the three babes versus one babe.

14 weeks with the crew (notice my face is not in the picture because I still felt like puking every second in-between my burger and fries at this point)

14 weeks with one bambino. So THIS is what the 2nd trimester buzz is all about…

 

I pray that you, no matter who you are, can be at peace with the love you give by just showing up. If you ever need to feel better about the showing up you are doing, contact me and I will give you a sample of some of our days. You will probably feel really good after that.

Hope.Faith.Love to you and your family & your little row boat – thanks for hanging around & sharing your life with me if you’ve been here awhile. And welcome to my new friends – isn’t the internet a cool little serendipitous place sometimes?

 

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