Thursday, December 12, 2013

Know a Good Day When You See One

Sometimes there are hard moments in life.  One of the biggest downfalls of having a Digital Age of instant communication & social media is that at times it can seem like everyone one around you has a better life than you do.  That idea can deeply affect your self-esteem and ability to cope on your every day challenges if you dwell on it.  It seems as if this "newly" developed psychological test has hit everyone in the world in the same season.  Some people can get past it quickly because they know who they are and they know they're important in the lives of the people who love them, and especially in God's eyes.  Other people let the challenges of social media ruin their perspective on their own life, and allow it to ruin their friendships and/or reality.  The truth of the matter is that your life is just as important or exciting as someone else's - everyone's lives are different, and each of us are interesting or unique.
 
I tend to blog for many reasons.  First and foremost, I have always been a journal writer.  I have 10-15 volumes of handwritten journals from when I was kid until present day.  Writing down my memories is something I love to do & I believe that it helps me remember my blessings and that God is in my life when I focus on the good life He's given me.
 
Secondly, I want to keep a history of what happens in our family life so I don't forget all the perfect moments that come so rarely, the fun time, and how I got through the hard times.
 
Finally, I blog for stress relief.  Sometimes I need to write just to regroup.  And especially when I'm stressed I like to focus on only the good things to help me remain optimistic and get through whatever problem I'm experiencing.
 
So with that being said, it is my hope & desire that while a reader may come across my blog and happen to read about only see the good parts of my life - I hope that none of those readers ever feels like their life is less valuable or less exciting than mine.  We all have our own stories to write.
 
I have a few personal theories.  One is that the happiest person you know has also experienced the equivalent amount of pain in their life.  I believe the "law of opposition" requires that in order to know happiness, we have to experience sadness.  It requires that ALL of God's children must be tested in their own individual ways that challenges their own personal ability to withstand the trials of this life.  The purpose of these trials is to bring us closer to the ones we love and closer to God if we will let it.  Just because someone around you seems to be happy all the time doesn't mean that they haven't had their share of trials, or that they don't understand what it's like to have difficulty in their lives.
 
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The day before Thanksgiving, I found out I was going to have a miscarriage.  Before I had my 3 beautiful boys, I had 3 miscarriages in a row and I didn't know if I'd ever be able to have kids.  That was a trying season in which I learned a lot about myself and about my faith.  I never knew how someone could be mad at God until that time in my life.  I also learned quickly that I can't afford to be mad at God when He's the only one who can truly help me get through the trials He's allowed me to experience.  I learned that anger is destructive to faith and that the quicker you can get through the anger stage of the grief cycle, the better. 
 
Even though I've been down this path before, I didn't expect to find myself in this situation again...or at least I hoped that I wouldn't.  I thought we were sitting pretty after Miles - he tied up my pregnancy ratio of losses to viable pregnancies - 3 to 3.  But unfortunately, I have developed thyroid problems from my pregnancy with Miles that are still affecting me.  My hormones are completely out of whack, and the scales are tipped back in the other direction turning my ratio into 4:3.  At one point in my life I thought that in this world you just grow up, get married, and have kids, but once again I am reminded that it doesn't work that way.

I have been very fortunate on this go-around.  For one, we didn't see a heartbeat and then lose the baby later...I know that's harder, because I've been there before.  For two, as soon as I found out, I had a good cry, but then had to pull myself together to go to a Thanksgiving dinner with my favorite cousin, Jilliam at his group home.  It's hard to leave a group home feeling like you have the worst predicament in the world, because you SEE people who have it harder than you do - like living trapped in a body with cerebral palsy for 42 years...THAT is HARD.  And third, I have 2 friends who had miscarriages at the same time I did this year.  I feel like God blessed me to find them on days that we needed each other and it allowed me to grieve with them and find healing as we leaned on each other for support.  You'd never wish to have an experience like that, but since we HAD to have that experience, at least we weren't alone.

I have also been blessed with A LOT to do.  This time around I do happen to have 3 beautiful children to focus on.  Never in my life have I been more over-scheduled or spread so thin, but it has been a blessing to keep me going and enjoy the wonderful moments that life has to offer, because I certainly didn't have time to focus on the disappointments.  After Thanksgiving weekend was over - cram packed with everything from family events, to helping with my cousin's wedding, to family pictures, to taking care of kids, going to birthday parties, movie marathons, and participating in musical church service on steroids, I finally had a moment to breathe on Monday of last week.  I got my blood work done and filled up my gas tank afterwards, and lost it at the gas station when a kind stranger told me, "Happy Thanksgiving...or whatever holiday it is now." It made me laugh.  I told him thanks for being nice to me, because I was having a rough morning, and he sent me on my way with well wishes, "Well, I hope YOU have a GOOD morning."

He had no idea what that meant to me.

I was sad for about 3 days, and last Wednesday when I was having what I call a bi-polar head battle - you know when you're like, "I'm not happy.  Yes I am.  I'm not happy.  Quit it; you're fine. I'm not happy, I need a change...."  I don't know, maybe I'm the only one who has to overcome mind-games, haha!  But anyway, the morning was starting off like that, and out of the blue, my friend Rachel Blake brought me flowers - I think there were 36 roses in there.  I've never had 36 roses in one bouquet!  Every time I looked at the flowers, I just knew that yes - I really was okay - I was happy.


 
 And then the UPS truck came with a LONG anticipated delivery for my husband, so I could call him and help him be happy.  (Emmett made cookies for me, so he was definitely feeling happy, too.)


 
And while deep in my heart I was still walking through a struggle, in that very same place of my heart I also knew that it was a good day.
 
Life is too short, too fragile, too important, to let little problems allow you to have a bad day.  Sometimes life really is hard and we really have hard days, but even amid the heartaches, we need to know a good day when we see one, and recognize the little things that come are really gifts from Heaven to buoy us up and strengthen us.  Look for the good - that's what will keep you going.