Closet Brokeness

Unfortunately, everyone has brokenness in their lives.  Ranging from divorce to loneliness to death, we are surrounded by events that can cause our faith to struggle.  Even more unfortunate is that it is sometimes hard for us to share this brokenness with others, especially in our faith community.  I don’t know why, but it’s hard to share something so incredibly personal – maybe because there really isn’t a forum for it in church.

About a week ago, I had coffee with a good friend.  With this friend we can talk about anything.  And I’m so fortunate to be able to talk to her about what I consider my brokenness to be.  As we talked about my emotions, how I was handling the fear, she mentioned that everyone has a brokenness that isn’t clear to everyone else.  Rather, it becomes a closet brokenness.  A brokenness that no one talks about in the open; rather it’s shared behind close doors.  And will maybe get shared when a situation needs to be explained.

If you follow me on Facebook or are family, then you know some of my struggles.   But I don’t always share my emotions behind it.  Part of that is because I want to protect myself.  Protect myself from being judged.  Protect myself from not acting the way others think I should act.  But most importantly, because I don’t want people to be uncomfortable around me.  I love God, I love my husband and family, and I love my community.  The last thing I want to do is for people to not know what to say around me.

The last year has been a struggle.  My relationship with Adam became even more incredible than I imagined because of it.  But most importantly, my relationship and understanding of Christ has become deepened through the events of the past year.  It would be easy for me to say I hate God; I hate Him for what he has taken away from me.  But I can’t.  His Son was taken away from Him.  I can’t imagine the loss He felt,  I can’t imagine the anger He felt.  But, I can.

I think for you to really understand my brokenness, I have to share from the very beginning.  The beginning of a journey I never would have imagined Adam and I would take on the way to becoming parents.

It all began in the Spring of 2012.  When we were married in 2008 we knew we wanted to be parents.  The desire has always been very strong.  But there were goals we wanted to meet before we started trying.  We repaired and renovated our house so it would be safe to bring an infant home and raise a child.  I don’t think asbestos is good for child development, right?  🙂  We earned our Master’s degrees so we wouldn’t have to worry about not spending time with our babies while pursuing higher education.  We began paying down our debt (student loans you are my nemesis…), but most importantly we began preparing ourselves emotionally as future parents.

Being the planners we are, we planned in the Spring of 2012 we would try to conceive in August that way I would have all of May off and really be able to have the best maternity leave.  That was our plan.  Don’t you remember what they say about plans?  If you want to make God laugh, then make plans.  I must have God rolling on the floor up in heaven.  🙂

So it came as a HUGE surprise when we got pregnant that June.  What?!  It only took a month?  It only took one month to try?!  I was shocked.  I was ecstatic.  But most importantly I couldn’t believe it.  But God was preparing me.  He was preparing for me a tough journey.  It wasn’t because of what I was feeling when I saw the two lines on the pregnancy test, but rather it was because of a voice I heard in church a month prior.  You are going to miscarry.  It was clear as day and came completely out of the blue during the last verse of a hymn.  But I didn’t want to believe it.  This was my first pregnancy.  Miscarriages don’t happen on a first pregnancy.  But it did.

Adam had left for a teacher’s conference out of state for 10 days shortly after finding out we were pregnant.  To say he was in shock was an understatement.  While he was excited, he later told me he was nervous.  Not only did Adam leave for a teacher’s conference shortly after, I left for a few days of cooking at church camp.  While I camp I didn’t have a lot of time to think of the new miracle that was growing.

But I was forced to think about it when I began spotting that next week.  I had just visited the doctor the previous day and was told that if there was any type of spotting to call.  My ignorance was trying to tell me everything was going to be alright, but there was a voice that I couldn’t shake.  This was not good.

When I arrived at the clinic, I was told my doctor wasn’t in the office.  My care was now in the hands of another doctor I had never met.  I was alone, with a doctor whose bedside manner was to be desired, and I was terrified.  Within a few hours I was told the news I knew was inevitable;  I was going to miscarry.

I will never forget the outpouring of love I received not only from my mom, but also from a dear aunt and uncle.  Remember, Adam was hours away, and I was a mess.  And if I haven’t expressed my thankfulness, please accept it now.

I had no idea how to heal from an experience like this.  It felt like all I talked about was the loss of a dream, how empty I felt, and where do I go from here.  And because I didn’t want to bother people, after awhile I kept my emotions in.  I didn’t tell people how I thought about my baby daily.  How the pregnancy would be developing, etc.  And it especially didn’t help we didn’t get pregnant for another nine months.  I couldn’t help but think if there was seriously wrong with me physically and emotional.

But then, this past Spring, two lines appeared on the pregnancy test.  Finally.  This was it.  This would be our baby.  While we were excited, there was a part of us that were holding back.  What if, what if, what if…  About the same time in the pregnancy I began spotting again.  To say I was disappointed was a complete understatement.  I was devastated.  What kind of a woman am I that I can’t protect my babies?

I was very fortunate this summer to not work.  Normally I would have worked part time hours, tried to get a few home projects done, worked on school things, and then head right back to school.  This summer has been different.  I have been forced to deal with the emotions I feel, good or bad.  I have been forced to cry at awkward times, rely on people.

I am hopeful, we are hopeful for the future.  Our doctor has told us we can continue to try.  In his words, we have just had bad luck.

God is good.

All the time God is good.

Amen.

The Little Things

Sometimes that’s all it is to make our home truly our own.  One way I set to accomplish this is with plants around our home.  Last Spring I was on a real kick to add plants in each room; small ones, ones in plant stands, some in baskets.  If we had a room without a plant, I found a plant and fixed that problem.  If you remember I even did a post on planting a one for our bedroom.  Unfortunately, due to a lack of sun and water, this is how it ended up looking:

Image

 

Pathetic, right?  I usually have a green thumb.  Usually.  Alright, back to the drawing board…I was just about ready to go house plant shopping when my mother-in-law gave me a plant.  

Image

It’s really pretty and I didn’t want the plant to have the same fate as the previous plant.  Let’s be real, plants don’t deserve that.  

So I took the old plant to the compost pile and took the new plant to the outside planting table.  While there I noticed something a bit suspicious.

Image

 

I did a spot check for bugs and didn’t see any.  Eee… But then I also noticed something else.  

Image

 

Turkeys.  In our garden.  It was so cool to watch them digging in the dirt for bugs.  They’re really ugly birds.  At least they taste good.  

Back to the plants.  Once the new plant was planted it was put back in the basket and set not in our bedroom, but in the spare room.  I do learn from my mistakes.  Sometimes.  

The first place I set it was by my work table.  The only problem is that I wouldn’t be able to see it from the living room.  First world problems, I know.  

So, it was moved in front of the dresser.  

Image

 

And I like it a lot.  Even Sandy.  It is nice to have it there because it covers the lamp cord that hangs in front of the dresser.  Brilliant.  What about the bedroom you ask?  I didn’t want to plant another plant in there because I knew what it’s fate would be; death.  Certain death.  So I “shopped” in our basement for two faux ferns placed them in a basket, set the it in the same place to cover our lamp cords, and badda-bing, badda-boom, all was right in the universe.  

Image

 

Except for the brass door handle.  It’s all in the little things, right?  

Grown Up Things

I remember as a kid wondering what it felt like to be a grown up.  Well, I’m going in my sixth year of being a grown up and I’m still not sure what it’s supposed to feel like.  I still have a few pieces of clothing in my closet from high school and we most definitely have things that are “hand-me-downs” from our parents.  Heck, our microwave came from my college dorm room.  So it kind of becomes a big deal when Adam and I buy our very own “grow up” things for our house.  Like “grown up” everyday silverware.

For our anniversary, my mom gave us a very generous Target giftcard instructing us to use it on something we want.  Something we want?!  Uh, I can think of a lot of things I want for the house.  Just ask Adam.  But we eventually settled on new silverware.  Really there is nothing wrong  with ours.  It just felt like a good time to update our silverware.  Out set is so fancy it came in a shoe box.  Let me explain.  Before we got married my grandma had a garage sale and just happened to have a shoe box of old silverware.  She was going to sell it for 99 cents.  But because I was interested in it she gave me the whole set for free.  And it’s served us well for the last five or so years.  But, it just feels like it’s time to not only update, but improve.  

I came across a coupon for $5 if you spent over $50.  I saved this little gem and our giftcard for our next trip to Target.  And this is what we grownups bought:

Image

 

Aren’t they pretty?!  The can opener was a must.  Ours pooped out on us a few weeks ago.  All paid was $1.67.  It was kind of fun handing over our change to pay the difference.  The next step is to wash up these bad boys (minus the can opener.  That gem will just go in the drawer), sit on the couch, and feel a little more grown up.  Whew.

 

Fishing Fellowship

I had previously mentioned a good friend of mine was married this past week.  Not only was it a great celebration of Mariah and Nick,  but some really neat people came down to celebrate.  Including these fine folks.

Image

 

Aaron and Brit came down from Wyoming to celebrate.  A brief history on these incredible people:  Aaron and Mariah (the bride this past weekend) are twins.  Both Aaron and Mariah are good friends with Adam.  Before Adam and I began dating, Mariah and I were on summer staff together.  We became good friends and even closer as my relationship with Adam developed.  

Aaron and Adam grew up fishing and camping together.  There are some pretty cute adorable pictures of them at Camp Mennoscah.  These guys go way back.  Then Aaron came home one year not by himself, but with Brit.  And I’m so glad she did.  Aaron & Brit and Adam & I have become pretty close over the last couple of years.  So when they came down this past weekend, we knew we needed to have at least one evening of hang out time.  

We chose to go fishing.  Something Adam and I haven’t done all summer and it was so good to catch up with Aaron & Brit and their little guy doing something we love.  

Image

 

It was so neat to see them allowing their little guy to interact with nature.  I feel most parents would be extremely cautious and be hesitant to allow their child to get near the water.  Aaron and Brit (and I really respect them for this) want their son to have a healthy respect for nature and are doing a great job of developing this.  

Image

 

Image

 

It’s pretty cool knowing the bond these guys created through fishing.  It’s even cooler that this bond is being based down to a new generation.  Image

 

Thank you Aaron and Brit for your friendship.  We can’t wait for many more memories with you and your little guy!

Image

 

 

The Fridge- Part 2

While I know I said I would be back in a day or two with the second part of our epic fridge saga, a few important events (namely one) came up.  Like the wedding of a very good friend.  I thought it was more important than talking about my fridge.  Can I get an amen?

So this evening I decided to finish up the project.  If you remember I left you with this as the side of our fridge:

Image

 

Sloppy, disorganized, and cluttered.  So, I took everything off the side.  It was kind of fun taking the pictures off.  I found quite a few fun pictures, wedding invites, and a Playbill from Hairspray.  It was like our fridge had become a scrapbook.  Maybe I could start that up as supplemental income;  living scrapbooks on your fridge!  That sounds like it would go well, right?

Anyway, back to our fridge.  In preparation for some organization, I created a menu plan board.  I saw quite a few ideas on Pintrest, but there really weren’t any that tripped my trigger.  About a week ago, while at Hobby Lobby, I came across a poster frame.  And got an idea.  

Image

 

While paying for the frame, there was a lady in front of me asking when certain items went on sale.  The clerk told her every other week.  In other words, I missed the week my poster frame was on sale.  Shucks.  But while I was in Hutch (the same week I bought the frame) I returned it so I could get it half off the next week.  My mom made fun of me.  I really am turning into a cheap-skate in my old age.  

The next week when it was on sale I bought it half price.  Boo-yah!  On a previous trip I bought vinyl to use as letters of the week.  If you noticed in the picture above I used scraps of old paper to help me determine the size of the letters.  Once I decided on the size, I used my Cricut to cut the letters.  Then peeling back the paper, attached the letters to the plastic sheet of the poster frame.  Before I placed the letters on the frame I wrapped the back of the poster with wrapping paper I found at Hobby Lobby.  Unfortunately the paper wasn’t 50% off.  There comes the frugal side of me.  Image

 

I have to use a ruler with a straight edge.  There is no way I can lay down letters in a straight line.  Just ask Adam.  When we were dating I attempted to cut a pan of brownies.  I had never seen him laugh so hard at a large brownie.  Whoops.  

Image

 

There are a few letters that for some reason or another I just couldn’t get straight.  Overall, I am very happy with how it turned out!  I bought a package of chalk markers at Hobby Lobby to write down meals for that day.  

After cleaning off the fridge and attaching a 3M command hook to hang the menu board, the fridge is ready to go.  

Image

 

So, what do you think?!  Anything I forgot?  The cost of the project I would estimate to be around $10.  Helps when you wait to get the frame half off!