Wednesday, December 31, 2008
One word. Hope.
We hope that we can change. We hope that things will get better. We hope for the life we have not yet encountered.
I enter this year full of hope on so many fronts. Yes, I want to see change in the normal, almost cliched areas. I want to lose weight and get healthy. Finally get a better grip on the budget instead of it gripping us. Be more loving to my family. Have more regular "quiet time" with God.
But there are also some specific things I am praying for this year. I want to not just get pregnant but STAY pregnant long enough to deliver a healthy baby. I want to find more ways to answer God's call on my life to minister through creativity. I want to encounter God more and let others encounter Him through me.
He is the only way we made it through 2008. And it's to Him I look with hope for the coming year.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
- Got the news that I was being laid-off from my dream job as part-time administrative/creative director for my church. Budget cuts, not merit related, but painful and stressful all the same.
- Found out I was pregnant. This was stressful due to my lack of employment, but after years of trying to conceive (and having already endured a miscarriage 3 months earlier) it was joyful.
- Had a miscarriage. Yeah, that sucked. I didn't talk to God for a while.
- Looked for a job.
- Looked for a job.
- Had several interviews. Was deemed the 2nd choice for 2 positions. (Yeah, first loser.)
- Put together a multimedia presentation for Easter to the song "Coming Back to Life" by Pink Floyd. (I still love my church.)
- Was called back on both 2nd choice positions within 24 hours. The lower-paying community college position (temp to hire) was a more definite hire than the other soft drink industry position that paid $10K more a year. Took the college job.
- Liked the job ok. Missed my dream job a LOT.
- Put Jadyn in full-time daycare. Thankful she adjusted, sad that she had to.
- Took a trip with the family to see relatives and old friends. Viciously fought the impulse to stay in PA and tell life in Mississippi to take a flying leap.
- Was brought onto the college payroll permanently. Hello, benefits.
- Stressed about money.
- Turned 37 years old. Really missed my dream job.
- Stressed about money.
- Life was interrupted by husband's severe cellulitus.
- Witnessed true community as church family supported us during the illness.
- Celebrated Jadyn's 3rd birthday.
- Had strep throat. The ability to swallow is far too under-appreciated.
- Prayed hard for friends in a very difficult situation.
- Stressed about money.
- Applied for better paying jobs.
- Stressed about work.
- Had an interview for a university job paying significantly more.
- Had a second interview for said job.
- Wrote a Christmas skit for church.
- Was 2nd choice for university job.
- Decided to trust God more about money.
- Saw God provide.
- Got involved in planning for a new church outreach.
- Performed Christmas skit at church.
- Dealt with a recurrence of cellulitis over Christmas.
- Spent time enjoying my daughter.
Monday, December 29, 2008
But not this year.
I'm excited. I'm ready. Ready for this year to be over. Ready to move on.
There's change in the wind. I can feel it. I can smell it.
I don't know what it is. But something is going to change. Something big. Something good.
And I'm so ready.
Monday, December 22, 2008
This year something isn't quite there for me. Maybe it's because for the first time since becoming a mother, I'm working full time. I don't feel like I can give enough focus to the holiday. Maybe it's because in spite of my working full time, we are feeling the crunch of ends not meeting the way they should. Maybe it's because this has simply been a difficult year in lots of ways for me and I'm worn out.
But I think it's something else.
Something in me has fast-forwarded. Mentally I feel like it's going to slip by so fast that I've almost counted it as over already. Instead of savoring every minute, I mourn it's passing. I know that soon it will be finished - the gifts open, the carols gone, the food eaten, the pictures uploaded. Then will begin the long slow towards Spring. Because I dread the time when Christmas is over, I can't enjoy it's happening.
I've got to stop, look around, take a breath, find the beauty in the now. This Christmas will only happen once. I don't want to miss it.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
I love being given the opportunity stretch my creative muscles. I have several projects bouncing around in my head, and it's refreshing. I feel like I'm coming back to life. Aaaahhhh.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
I love my friends, I promise I do. But if you're about to announce your pregnancy, please oh PLEASE do not be offended if I stay quiet for a while. It's me, not you. Really.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I recently saw that another blogger I follow is pregnant. That's two. Maybe I'll stop reading blogs. I begrudge no one their joy, as I've said before, but sheesh. It smarts.
On an entirely different topic, I had a really good meeting today a potential change in my future. Updates to follow.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
See, we moved from my native Pennsylvania to his native Alabama. And in Alabama, once you cross the state line, you must declare allegiance to either the University of Alabama or Auburn University. I married a Bama boy, so I chose the Crimson Tide. Seemed like a logical choice.
Six years after we were married we moved to Mississippi, and we now live in the same town as Mississippi State University. On game days we can practically hear the cowbells from our front yard. So our allegiances have been somewhat divided in the past few years. Last year was an especially bad year for Alabama, and an especially good year for MSU. We felt ourselves shifting more toward maroon and further away from crimson.
This year, however, we are prouder than ever of the Tide. Tonight they played a hard-fought game against Louisiana State University. They went into the game with a perfect season, and LSU has often been a tough competitor. It was only in overtime that Alabama emerged victorious. Nick Saban is finally earning all that money. Now we're hoping the boys aren't overconfident in the next two weeks. We'll keep watching and cheering....
Friday, November 07, 2008
I'm even trying to get a part time job (on top of my full time job) to try to lighten the load. So far, no luck.
I'm so frustrated. I'm so tired. And I'm trying to trust that God is going to get us through this.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
We don't have a perfect marriage, not by a long shot. But I appreciate that we give each other space. It makes us happier when we get to spend time with one another.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Hershey has eaten crayons, toys, markers, sippy cups, plastic storage containers, food packages out of the garbage, various *ahem* feminine hygiene products, and then, from time to time, his own food.
This is getting ridiculous.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
But once this whole thing is decided, regardless of whether it goes the way I voted, I will respect and pray for the person who takes on the role, because to do otherwise isn't going to do any good.
Monday, November 03, 2008
But I'm tired. I'm tired of the back and forth. I'm tired of the name-calling. I'm tired of people treating each other as inferior because they belong to a different political party.
And on Wednesday we'll wake up and it will be over. But it really won't be. The winners will gloat. The losers will fuss and complain and make idle threats about moving to another country.
And to think, I studied this stuff in college. What was I thinking?!
Sunday, November 02, 2008
For the past few years I have tried to participate in NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month. I'm going to try again this year. Last year was on Jadyn's blog but i think this year I'll do it here. I have no idea what I'll talk about. Isn't that the fun of it?
I'm sure some of it will be about the election - after all, how could it NOT be?! Other possible topics include (in no particular order) family, holidays, gas prices, why I dislike my dog, hormones and food. But that's just off the top of the ole noggin.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
That being said, it is sometimes very painful to read blogs of women enjoying their second or even third healthy pregnancy. I'm 37 with one child, and with every passing month I'm even more aware that the clock is ticking way too fast. I feel like I'm almost out of time. I'm scared. I want to be content, to say (and mean) that I really am perfectly fine with being a one-child family.
But I'm not.
This is no fun.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Friday, October 03, 2008
At the appointment, the doctor gushed with all sincerity about Jadyn being one of his absolute favorite patients (which he says every time, and every time I believe him). He couldn't believe she's 3 already and wished for her to be a baby again. Yeah, me too, some days.
After some shopping, craft painting and lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, we headed to the park for a little pre-nap energy explusion. (Read: play.) With trepidation I pulled into the parking lot, having noticed multiple minivans and SUVs already in place. These were elltale signs that a Stay-At-Home-Mothers group had decended upon the park. It was too late to turn around; I had already promised Jadyn some playtime.
Why was I bothered by this mommyfest? I used to be one of them, after all, trying to balance the right amount of activity, nutrition, education, play and naptime into our days. And that was just it. I no longer fit in the library, kindermusik, play date crowd. I'm a working mother now, full time. On days like these I loathe the situation, but for the time being I can't change it.
We walked up to the elaborate play apparati and I encouraged Jadyn to go play while found a bench on the other side of the playset, far away from the mommy clique. She was more interested in doing her own thing. That's great, I thought. I applaud her for her independence. But I saw how she watched the other little girls chase each other around the slide. Again, I encouraged her. "Go play with them, it's ok." She did join their ranks, albeit briefly, before returning to her own amusement on the monkey bars.
I was sad. She's a friendly kid, often walking up to complete strangers in the store to ask their name. I suddenly wondered if my inner struggle with shyness was rubbing off on her. I used to think I wasn't shy at all. As I child I was told I was outgoing so I figured it must be true. But as I got older and encountered more "real life", I allowed myself to be extroverted in certain comfortable scenarios, such as during performances. I'm scared to death to walk up to a stranger and introduce myself. It probably seems schizophrenic that I can live in front of a crowd on stage and cower at the thought of meeting one new person. But the more I "grow up", the more I realize the issues that plague me.
I didn't want to go talk to those moms. Not because I didn't think I'd like them. Not because I thought we'd have nothing in common. I've seen them around town and on occasion spoken to a few of them. That's not why I was afraid to talk to them. It was because I thought they'd reject me. Reject me for my weight. Reject me for my income (or lack thereof). Reject me for my clothing or hairstyle. Reject me for not staying home like they do.
Or even worse, ignore me completely, as though I were invisible.
I sat there worrying that Jadyn was becoming me faster than I could teach her otherwise. I felt my insecurity becoming hers by osmosis. At just that moment, Jadyn saw a little girl fall nearby. She rushed to her side, asking, "Are you OK?" She comforted the girl before returning to her own fun.
Her heart, her sweet, caring, compassionate heart, reached out. This is the girl who knows the names of every child not only in her class, but in most of the school. This is the girl who can't leave at the end of the school day without getting half a dozen hugs from friends. This is the girl whose name all the kids know, even in the younger and older classes. Is she perfect? Of course not. She's human, after all, and is bound to inherit a few trouble spots from Paul and I, and dear old Adam & Eve. But will she overcome her imperfection to become the best person she can possibly be?
I have no doubt. God has already started on her. Let's just hope I help the process, not hinder it.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
I'm thankful for medical professionals. I'm not cut out for it.
Monday, September 01, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
When you go through infertility without having had any successful pregnancies, you begin to have all sorts of questions:
- What if I'm not meant to be a parent?
- Am I being punished for the sins of my youth?
- How far am I willing to go to have a child?
- What will my future be like without a child?
- Is it wrong for me to want another baby when I already have been blessed with a healthy, happy child?
- How do I answer the ubiquitous question, "When are you having another?"
- Can I really be happy with just one?
- If I never have another, how do I keep from spoiling the one I have?
- Why can't I just be content?
- What worked last time that isn't working this time?
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Sunday, August 03, 2008
And I understand that people may think badly of me, regardless of what I do.
And I even understand that people will talk about me behind my back.
What I don't understand is how I can get to the point where I truly don't care about any of those facts.
So my big question is this: Is there ANYONE who really doesn't care about any of that? And if there is, HOW did they finally reach such Nirvana?!
Friday, August 01, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
You say I should ____________ but when I try I'm usually ______________. When that happens, it's easier if I ____________.
Sometimes, I ___________ being ____________.
(Yeah, it's been that kind of week....)
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Fish were made for water. It would be very strange for them to constantly be surprised by the wetness of water. A cat, on the other hand, is constantly surprised by how wet water is.
We as humans are surprised at the passage of time because we were not made for time. We were made for eternity.
It took me several moments to let that soak in. And it continues to pop up again in my thinking.
I just thought I'd share.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Hm, let's see. Work is....well, see the thing about work is, I work with college students. You would think this would be a group of people of which the best can be expected. Not necessarily so. These "students" - and I use the term somewhat loosely after having seen some of their transcripts - are used to Mom and Dad handling their affairs for them. They are thoroughly shocked that we require them to be responsible for their own information.
I worry desperately for the future of America.
I am in the Summer Musical Revue with the Starkville Community Theatre. This is my first time on stage for a production other than with church since high school. I am so energized by the experience - the music, the staging, the cast, all of it. I didn't realize how much I missed the stage until I got back on it.
Our family headed north for vacation. We were in PA and Ohio, where we enjoyed much cooler weather and the company of friends and family. Jadyn was a trooper, despite short (or non-existent) naps. She experienced her first amusement park rides and, with the exception of the Tilt-A-Whirl, had a blast. I suspect she inherited her Opa's tendency towards nausea while spinning. The trip itself was a day longer than planned, due to an unexpected overnight lay-over in Memphis. Never have I been so thankful to return to Mississippi. The trip was great, but you reach a point where all you want is to sleep in your own bed and pee in your own potty.
(Pictures will appear on Jadyn's blog soon - I almost promise.)
Lately I've been feeling kind of disconnected from my church family. That is due, in part, to having been gone for 2 Sundays. But after having been on staff and being so closely involved in the goings-on of the community, it's been a long and difficult adjustment to my new position on the edge. I feel different. Not necessarily bad, but not the same. I am trying to look at my life as having entered a new chapter. I'm encountering new people, finding new communities for myself. But I still feel a bit "homesick".
Thursday, May 15, 2008
My boss, who's been at the college for 18 years, has more than once threatened to write a book.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I have been watching way too much daytime TV while I am scouring employment websites for job leads. Today I happened upon an episode of Scrubs that was actually about how God is in charge and things "happen for a reason". One of the characters even quoted Romans 8:28 - "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Ok, so she really said "all things work for good" but she did actually give the reference.
I've been sitting here feeling horrible about myself because of the seeming endless parade of "they went with another candidate" responses to my job hunt. And God has been trying to tell me that He is in control and He can be trusted. Apparently I haven't been listening very well because He resorted to a sit-com to get His point across.
I love how He makes me laugh.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Here's our entry, being submitted tonight:
Grill Master Bully
This creation comes from Amanda – with largely moral support from husband Paul and daughter Jadyn. This little guy is taking care of business,
Friday, April 04, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Stay tuned for installments of "Lies I Believed and the Truths that Correct Them". This should be interesting....at least to me.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I was lying awake the other night wrestling with a gnawing pain in me that I couldn't name. As I began to think on it and allow myself to really feel it, I realized what it could be.
I think I may hate myself. Maybe I always have, as far back as I can remember. I can't think of much I truly like about myself. Even the things I try to see as good are laced with negatives. I second-guess everything I see in me that could have any possible value. I judge myself with the harshest eye, and I see almost everything I have ever done as failing, or at least "not good enough". And most of my life I have been trying to prove to others that I'm worth having around. Ironically, this often winds up having the opposite effect. I act the way I think people want me to act and usually get it wrong. No wonder I'm so tired!
I don't say all this to ask for sympathy or cheering up. I'm not asking for anyone to feel sorry for me or list the good qualities they see in me. And while recent events have put me more in touch with my pain, they are not the true reason for it, or for my "brave" disclosure of it. I'm simply voicing this as a revelation I've had in hopes of getting close to the root of my "illness"; maybe this will ultimately help me get better. Maybe this is the bottom and from now on the direction will be up.
But the coinciding truth to all this is that I have no real understanding of how to turn this around. I don't know how to love myself. All I can do in this moment of ultimate desperation and vulnerability is beg God to heal me, to show me how to get past this, and to help me become who I was meant to be underneath all this yuck.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Sick of acting like I'm ok.
Sick of acting like everything is fine.
Sick of feeling rejected and alone.
Sick of feeling angry every time I walk into my church.
Sick of hiding what is really going on inside my heart.
Sick of masking the pain that goes deeper than I understand.
A few months ago, before my life seemed to go to pot, a few friends commented on how I suddenly seemed "happy"; that my bitter edge seemed to have melted away. And for a while I thought they were right. I did feel happy. I did notice that I didn't feel angry or bitter.
But then it all went downhill. Now I feel like I have to pretend that I'm still that happy contented person, even though life has been spiraling downward in the past few months. I was sharing this feeling with a friend and it occurred to me that maybe I had that angry edge because I use that to hide from the real pain I have buried deeper than I realized.
I'm wounded. I'm a mess. Recent events have hurt me, but more than that, they have touched deep places with very old scars. And I have been trying to shield myself from the pain associated with this reality. That shield has barbs on it to keep people away, and it's done a good job. People have kept their distance, commenting to each other about my erratic emotional state. And it's all thanks to my unwillingness to deal with serious root issues.
I'm done. I'm done with holding it together, making nice-nice so people won't talk about me behind my back. I'm done with pretending I have more faith than I do. I'm done with smiling so people think I'm OK with life.
I have real deep pain, I need real deep healing. Just as with surgery, it will be messy. It will cause more pain initially with the goal of actually removing the cause of the underlying hurt.
God knows what He's doing. I know this in my head. I'm about to experience it in my heart.
This is gonna hurt.
Friday, February 08, 2008
The job search continues. I had one interview that went really well, at least from my side of the table, on January 28. I still have not heard from them but they said that it can take a long time for them (an international corporation with local establishments) to complete the hiring process. They said that getting someone behind the desk by February 18 would be moving fast for them. *sigh*
I must have sent out over 20 resumes by now. I don't really want to have to file an unemployment claim (even though I qualify) until it becomes absolutely necessary. I still believe I have a great background to fit the jobs for which I applied, but I must admit, my faith is beginning to get shaky.
Oh, and last week I found out I was pregnant. This week, by some freak circumstance that I couldn't possibly begin to understand, I am no longer pregnant. Right. Again.
I know God doesn't play games, but really. Come on now.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
The job I had was great. It afforded so much flexibility and I could be home with Jadyn most of the time. Now I think I will most likely need to get a conventional 40-hr job and Jadyn will be in full-time daycare.
Now I'm working really hard on looking forward to seeing how God is going to choose to provide for us. Please, if you're a praying person, shoot one up for us.