Romans 7:19

Mid

Life.

 

You look

behind

and see all the ways

 

you might have gone

 

could have gone

 

should have gone

 

didn’t go.

 

you wonder

did you miss

anything.

 

any

 

little

 

thing?

 

you wonder

how did you get so far

from where you thought you’d be

those twenty years ago

and is it good to veer?

 

or is it bad?

 

or is it just the way it is?

 

so many things

i thought i’d be.

so much i thought

i’d be over.

 

past.

 

done with.

 

with a sigh of satisfaction

 

and a clap of dusty hands

 

put the bitter behind me.

 

yet it clings

and drags

and sinks in teeth

and i hate it.

i hate it.

 

but not enough,

 

apparently.

Top Ten Tuesday

Being sick has one benefit: I can sit my butt in front of my computer and get all kinds of blogging done! I have already posted tomorrow’s metaphor, and am now writing Tuesday’s post on Sunday night at 11:06!

 

Yes, I could be in bed, but if I sit and blog then it takes my mind off the sledgehammer in my brain. Thank you for asking.

 

TTTsquid

 

Shockingly, I was blog-surfing just a day or so ago, and I discovered that I am not the originator of the Top Ten Tuesday!! I know!! I was absolutely crushed! However, the other TTT person (I honestly can’t remember who it was) does NOT have my adorable little squid. So there.

 

Since today is the First Official Day of Fall, what better TTT than the top ten reasons I love fall?

 

Well, except for the fact that I don’t love fall. A minor point.

 

In the interest of staying positive, I have decided to forge ahead. I WILL think of ten reasons to love fall! I will! You just watch me!

 

1. Public School Marching Bands. When I open my window in the morning, I love to hear the strains of the trumpets and the vigorous pounding of the drums wafting through the breeze from the direction of the middle school. I have no idea why this makes me happy, as I was never part of a band and can therefore have no fond memories of such, but there you have it. Maybe I’m just so happy that I’m not IN middle school anymore.

 

2. The changing leaves. Duh. They’re pretty.

 

3. It is nice to be able to open my window without immediately needing gills to breathe through the humidity. There. I said it. The cooler temps ARE nice. I just wish they would stop at about 80.

 

4. Soup. I love soup. But I don’t make it in the summertime, for obvious reasons. So I love that I have permission to make soup.

 

Yes. I am grasping at straws already.

 

5. Thanksgiving. Because…it’s Thanksgiving. And I am fond of family. And pie. And green stuff.

 

6…….

 

7. The smell of smoke in the air from neighborhood fireplaces. It’s not as good as somebody grilling at a cookout, but it’ll do.

 

8. Coffee tastes better when it’s colder outside.

 

9. Bible Study. It happens throughout the year, but in the fall, there’s just more enthusiasm for it. I guess we’re all just programmed to expect to be doin’ some larnin’ in the fall.

 

10. The sky is bluer. It really is. Here’s proof:

 

P1010034

 

And I guess that’s as good a reason as any.

 

Wanna do your own TTT? Feel free to borrow Mr. Squidly and have at it! You can use the fall theme or just do whatever your little heart desires. But be sure to tell me if you do, so I can come read!

Metaphor Monday

MM

 

Hi! It’s been a while, but I’m finally back with a metaphor on my mind. Today it’s short and sweet. In more ways than one. In a very non-metaphorical way, there’s this:

 

baby squirrel

 

It’s a baby squirrel. Daughter found it on a walk. Literally, it’s short and sweet. At least, *I* think so. *You* may think it’s a hideous abomination, but if you do, please keep it to yourself or I’ll kick you off this island.

 

My bloggy island, that is. Where my opinion lives in peace and quiet.

 

Hey! That’s kind of a metaphor right there! But not my metaphor for today. Please try to keep up.

 

My daughter found this baby squirrel and brought it home. It was cold. And twitchy. But very much alive. Parents? No idea. Ability to survive on its own? Nil. Being that my daughter has hot red blood pumping through her veins and not cold blue alien slime, she felt compelled to assist. And I completely understood. 

 

However, I was instantly aware that I was absolutely unprepared and completely ignorant in the basics of pinkie-squirrel care. I was terrified of killing it. I knew from experience that it could end quite tragically, and now that every. single. one. of my small children had clapped eyes upon it and declared it the single most adorable critter in the universe, well…let’s just say I was emotionally unwilling to deal with the aftermath, K?

 

So I looked up a wildlife rehabber and drove in the inky blackness for over an hour into the desolate wilderness of the Oklahoma Outback to take her this one. pinkie. squirrel.

 

And I don’t regret it for an instant. I was out of my league. I knew my limits. I had to get help from someone who knew more than I, someone with more experience than I, someone who had access to information and equipment that I did not. It was not the time for bravado and bumbling.

 

So my point is, we all have our limits. We all know when we need help with something. What do we do? We look to someone with the information we need. Someone who knows what we know not, and who has what we have not. Everyone. In. The. World. has asked for help once or twice in their life, I guarantee it. And yet…

 

So often we draw the line at asking God for help. We will ask anybody else besides Him. We look to science, to human intellect, to the proud and the strong and the rich. We take our cold, twitching, naked souls and entrust them to human hands, expecting them to fulfill our needs and answer our questions. But He is the only One able to take that helpless thing and make it thrive.

 

I am grateful for that little squirrel today. I am grateful for Annette Tucker and her willingness to help with even the tiniest of God’s creatures. Because He chooses, so often, for the foolish things to shame the wise and the weak things to shame the strong. And that tiny baby squirrel reminds me today that my pride is no place for desperate situations. When it’s a matter of life and death, you go to those who have experience in rescuing. And when it’s a matter of life and afterlife…well…He’s the ultimate Rescuer.

 

Got a metaphor for me today? Be sure to leave me a comment or a link!

Hey Lovely Folks

This is a very short post to tell you that I am alive. I am doing all right. I am sure that something worth posting is near, nay, even at the door, as I write this.

 

Any minute now…

 

Or maybe not.

 

At any rate, I’m emerging from the limbo I referred to in this post, and I want to convey how very deeply I appreciate all the sympathies and empathies and emails and prayers (especially the prayers) to which I owe a great deal of comfort, not to mention the grace to endure the aforementioned gruesome goings-on.

 

It hasn’t been fun, or delightful, or happy, or small.  But it has been full of mercy. And I praise God for that!

 

My mind is mush and so I’m not going to tempt fate by trying to come up with any profundities… I’ll just borrow a few lines from Zephaniah instead…

 

“The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” (3:17)

 

 

Lord, may that truth sink down into the marrow of our bones and change us from the inside out…

Filed under “Things that Chap My Hide”

First there was this:

 

 

Now, I understand the idea here. But frankly, it’s wrong. Death? Abuse? Injustice? Genocide? Slavery? Murder? Rape? Starvation? Death? These are very real, very huge, and very scary things, and they are part of life on planet earth. How does it make those people feel who have experienced and are experiencing these things to say “oh, silly you, just don’t sweat it!” 

 

It is the ultimate in belittlement, and it makes me angry. Even the lesser things, the things are are deeply personal to us and tear at our hearts daily are not small things. The child who struggles in school, the husband who lost his job and wonders about his identity, the woman watching her father descend into the darkness of Alzheimers, the mother who has just birthed a disabled child…God does not look down from His heaven and say “tsh tsh, such small stuff! what are they worried about?”

 

“In everything, with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God…”

 

In everything. No matter how “small” the ignorant may term it, God wants to hear about it. It is not small stuff to Him. It should not be small stuff to us. How much is God interested in? Oh, just everything.

 

Yes, it says “with thanksgiving”, and I am not missing that point. With thanksgiving, so we don’t forget how much we have to be thankful for. With thanksgiving, so we remember Whose we are. With thanksgiving, so we do not become the swine trampling the pearls.

 

But with thanksgiving does not mean without grief. The two are not mutually exclusive.

 

Which brings me to my next bit of wrath.

 

 

Don’t misunderstand me. 13,999 out of the 14,000 are wonderful things to be happy about. But somewhere amidst the just and true is one honest mistake. Interposed between the lollipops and daffodils is one word to which I object.

 

Everything.

 

Everything is to be happy about?

 

No. I’m sorry, Barbara Ann, but I cannot be happy about everything.

 

I will not be happy about miscarriage. I will not be happy about leukemia. I will not be happy about infidelity, or mental illness, or pollution, or stillbirth, or tragedy.

 

And I refuse to feel guilty about that. I don’t think there’s any scriptural basis for the premise, frankly.

 

Here’s what the Word of God has to say:

 

Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice. Phil. 4:4

 

In everything give thanks…1 Thess. 5:18

 

Consider it all joy, when you encounter various trials…James 1:2

 

And plenty more along those lines. Rejoice. Have joy. Consider it all joy. Give thanks. And how can I do these seemingly impossible things? IN THE LORD. In His strength. In His comfort. In His hope. Because I know He is with me. I know He will never let me go. I know He brings beauty from ashes and hope from despair. I know where I am going.

 

But I am infinitely grateful that nowhere in the Word of God does it exhort me to be happy about the state of this refugee camp into which we are born. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, a supernatural state of being. Happiness is a flighty thing, borne of the moment and our often whimsical and deceitful hearts. I cannot conjure up happiness. And I don’t have to.

 

So there.

We Interrupt this Gloom to bring you a Meme…

 
Okay, okay, enough of the freakin’ depressing self-scrutiny. Let’s talk about something bright and cheerful, shall we?

 

I can’t think of anything.

 

But nevermind! Linda, over at the 2nd Cup of Coffee blog, has come up with just the thing. A cute little meme to supply some thoughtful fun, should you desire it! I had never visited Linda before, but I found her via Heth at the Laundry Pile, and methinks my blogroll just got longer.

 

Again.

 

I can’t figure out if the button picture is of donuts or apples. I’m really hoping it’s donuts, but either way they look a little disgusting to me. Food just shouldn’t come in those colors. If you want to do the meme, she has the html for the button over at her place. If you participate, don’t forget to let her know you enjoyed it!

 

 


 

1. When you go to Wowmart, what one thing do you get every single time, besides a funky-wheeled squeaking cart full of frustration?

 

That would be toilet paper. And bread. And bananas. And peanut butter crackers. Oops, guess that’s more than one.

 

2. What is something that people are currently “into” that you just don’t get or appreciate?

 

Vampires.

 

3. What is something that really hoists your sail that other people might feel “ho-hum” about?

 

This. and This.

 

4. Favorite song to sing in the shower or car?

 

Lately, it’s David Crowder’s newest “How He Loves Us”…I cannot wait until the new album comes out (the 22nd of this month)

 

 

 

5. A really great salad must have this ingredient:

 

AVOCADO (sorry for yelling)

 

6. Advice in a nutshell to new bloggers (one or two sentences):

 

Do it because you love it. Do it for you. Nothing else lasts.

 

7. What was the alternate name that your parents almost named you? Do you wish they had chosen it instead of the one they gave you?

 

I can’t remember the name they were going to give me…(mom? a little help?)…but I think I would have made a good Cornelius.

 

8. What in your life are you waiting for?

 

Thanksgiving. Anniversary. Christmas. Any possible beach trip not yet on the horizon. Celestial trumpets.

 

9. You get a package in the mail. What is it, and who is it from?

 

A random assortment of fun from my SIL in Texas, usually.

 

10. Today–what song represents you?

 

 

 

(except for the “born in Tennessee” part. And the “trouble since the day that I got here“. And the “broke the rules” part. I was kind of a straight arrow. But the rest is all true.)

 

11. What is one thing that blogging has taught you about yourself?

 

Too much introspection makes me morbid. Actually, Amy Carmichael said that once. But it’s still accurate.

 

12. How are you going to (or how did you) choose the clothes you’re wearing today? What do they say about you in general or specifically how you’re feeling today?

 

They were the first things my hands lit upon in the semi-darkness of my room. They say: I’m a free spirit, baby. I am a unique snowflake in a blizzard of conventionality!

 

or maybe It’s a miracle I’m even dressed today…

 

 

If you’d like to do the meme youself, feel free to copy and paste the original questions from here…many thanks to Linda from 2nd Cup of Coffee for coming up with a fun one!

Limbo

Sorry if I’ve been a little enigmatic lately. Sometimes poetic is easier than blunt frankness. Blunt frankness is just so dang ugly sometimes.

 

Blunt, frank words are just dang ugly. Why does the medical profession insist on ugly words?

 

Words like “blighted ovum”.

 

And “missed miscarriage.”

 

Nothing rhymes with those words. They don’t flow easily into conversation. They make me feel incompetent, faulty, and apologetic.

 

They make me question who I am becoming.

 

I sat in the OB’s sonogram room last Wednesday and awaited the verdict that would soon be doled out by the large, phallic transponder designed to detect life in the quiet recesses of the womb. My Beloved’s eyebrows lifted every-so-slightly when he was confronted by the obscene thing, sitting quietly it its holster. I, in an attempt at levity, warned him gravely:

 

Don’t show any fear. It can sense fear. Don’t look directly at it.

 

 

Don’t bare your teeth at it. He countered. It will perceive that as a threat.

 

 

I laughed. Harder than I needed to, probably. It was a welcome release from the mounting tension that was causing my heart to race and my stomach to turn. I was supposed to be 8 weeks pregnant. I was trying to think positively, but the spotting had already begun and I felt only a growing sense of doom.

 

My OB broke the news gently. He pointed out the empty sac, the absence of the baby that should by now be the size of a blueberry with a merrily beating heart. He called it an anembryonic pregnancy. AKA blighted ovum. There had been an implanted egg, he explained, but the baby had stopped developing for reasons unknown, and was now gone.

 

I was braced for the screen to show a still baby, as it has in the past…a baby quietly floating like a tiny astronaut frozen in space…but I was not prepared for this nothingness. I was not prepared for my body to be so reluctant to let go of the idea of pregnancy.

 

I might expect to stay in this limbo for weeks, the good doctor explained. Even months. If I got tired of the waiting, and the endless spotting, I could have a D & C.

 

I am tired of waiting already.

 

I do not want a D & C.

 

I am sad, and afraid. And a little lost. I do not know how to be this woman, this 7-time miscarrier, this habitual aborter (yet another lovely medical term; they do come up with such tender monikers, don’t they?). I don’t know how to be the older woman with fading progesterone and halting fertility. I have for so long been defined by my prolification that I must admit, though I have resented the label in the past, I don’t know who to be without it.

 

I knew, theoretically, that there would be an end to my fertility. I knew there would come a day when no tiny baby arrived in the characteristic pattern, and slowly the diapers and sippy cups and pacifiers would be relegated to a drawer for the grandkids. A day when bras without flaps would fill my lingerie drawer and I could tuck my shirts in, for good. I may have even looked forward to it once or twice, in fatigue and aggravation.

 

I thought I knew who Jenni was, but I’m afraid of these uncharted waters that I’ve been thrust upon. I don’t know how to read the charts, and the stars are unfamiliar. I’m want to sail with confidence and trust, knowing that He won’t let me shatter upon the rocks, but I’m curled up here in the bottom of the boat with my head under a pillow.

 

Can I be just Jenni? When it’s all stripped away, can I be happy with that?

 

Just Jenni. Just the girl who loves the Lord with all her heart and wants to trust Him to the bitter end. Just the girl who struggles with her past and longs for a future Home. Just the girl who grieves the babies who never were. Just the girl who is learning that she’s still got so much to learn.