My Father's Daughter

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How Sarah helped me blog anew

I haven’t posted on this blog since September 2008. My eldest daughter was born in early October of 2008. Coincidence? I think not. After baby number two I started a new blog called Tales of the Reluctant Mother in order to navigate the murky waters of motherhood and my place in it.

But sometimes I want to blog about other things. I have other journeys, other battles to fight, and other issues to shed light on (and clearly far too many metaphors for just one blog). I’ve been toying with returning to this, my humble blogging beginning. And then, then I read Sarah Bessey’s blog post In which we are saved, right now and it set my heart a-hummin. I wander over to Sarah’s blog periodically without following her formally as I covet her writing talent. But I will take up her challenge to share a post on the same theme. So, here I go.

What is saving my life right now.

What is saving my life right now is the need my babies have of me. Not because I am a good parent, or a better parent than their Dad (I give them too much sugar, allow too much TV and don’t get on the floor to be their human jungle gym). They need me because I am Mom and I am THEIR Mom. I see into their little hearts and know the tenderness there; I hear their laughter and know the wisdom there; I feel their little arms around my neck and know their love – that precious, precious love of a child for her mother.

What is saving my life right now is my parents. The tearful pride in my Dad’s eyes when he thinks of his kids – of me. He’s proud of me. And the pride I have for my mother who at age 66 started a new job and found passion – and because she was passionate about it and because she was perfect for it she excelled at it. This gives me hope for my own career search and dissatisfaction.

What is saving my life right now is my husband. Through 8 years we have navigated (read: fought) our way through the difficult times of work frustrations, personal heartaches, loss, grief, painful growth, and our individual selfishness and are now coming through it to finally start to see each other, know each other, love each other (you know, what we should have done from day one).

What is saving my life right now is finally, finally, finally, understanding at a heart level things I should already know about my God – how he values me, THAT he values me, how wide and deep his compassion is and how amazing is his love. Why don’t I know these things yet? Where have I been? Oh, yeah, lost in fear and doubt.

What is saving my life right now is the big things in my life – the big loves, the big relationships, the big reasons to be alive. I would love it if I was noticing the little things in life to counter-balance the little irritations, but right now my problems feel big, and I need the big things to save me. And I will cling to the big things until I can see clearly enough to notice the little joys in life. I know they are many, and I know they are just out of my sight, I can feel them like a childhood memory that is close to being remembered but still hazy. I will find my balance and breath in crisp air and be happy, see flowers and be peaceful, hear the wind and be relaxed. Someday.

Until then, coffee is saving me too.


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Thanksgiving for a bane existence

The wisest woman I have ever known, Phyllis May, told me prior to my wedding that a lot of married life was just everyday boring stuff. She wanted me to not expect flowers and romance all the time. And I believed her. I just didn’t know it would take a year and a half.

A lot has happened to Phil and I since September 25, 2004 — a lot of living, a lot of growing, and a lot of growing pains. And I’ll take it, I’ll take it all, but these days that we have now, with routine and everyday stuff, there’s a sweetness to them made sweeter by the fact that they’ve taken so long to get here.


Supportive love

I receive a newsletter from entitled Marriage Builders. In this newsletter I just finished reading the story of man who attends a gym daily with his wife. She is frail and bent. Her arms are bent at the elbow, her spine is curved, and lifting her legs takes tremendous effort. Every day this man and his wife plod to the treadmills where she walks for 20 minutes while he straddles the moving belt behind her, supporting her as she painfully takes each step. It is a touching story. I love these stories, where one partner supports the other through the horrific challenges of this world, sickness being the most obvious challenge. It’s beautiful to see that love.

My question, though, is do we remember the importance of the supportive hand when the walk isn’t so agonizing? One of the positive aspects of Phil’s surgery, for me, was that I would be able to care for him. I was looking forward to nursing him and babying him. My healthy guy didn’t need much pampering and I was disappointed. But when he is not recovering from surgery — when he is his happy-go-lucky, here-let-me-get-that-for-you-you-sit-down-Heather, confident-content-competent self, do I remember to support him? Am I at his back with a helping hand that says I am here if you stumble (or even if you don’t)? How do we support the strong spouse? How do we support other family and friends when they are not sick or in need — or don’t appear to be? Or am I the only one who questions this; who hasn’t perfected it?