These Thoughts Got to Go Somewhere

I am overdue for many things I wanted to write about so I am going to spill them out at once.

  1.  The Despicable Larry Nassar:

    “The disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison, a judge announced Wednesday, after more than 150 women and girls said in court that he sexually abused them over the past two decades.” (CNN)

    This man violated girls *while their parents were in the room* seeking his help for their daughters’ gymnastics-related injuries.  Gasp!

    This vile man made me realize that even though I try my best to be my kids’ protector, advocate, and cheerleader, there is a tremendous amount of faith involved in letting them go daily.  Faith not only to release them into their large NYC public school, but on fieldtrips and extracurricular activities where I can’t fully know the character of the parent chaperones or coaches or strangers they are bound to come in contact with.  As of now, their activities are not full drop-offs, but I will need to entrust them in this world’s care more and more.

    Please, Lord, protect them.  You are Lord and I am not.  It is not possible for me to be their protector at all times.

2.  Your Privilege is Hanging Out:  A lawyer mom who married wealthy and will likely never work again, by “choice,” posted the most self-indulgent, privileged, tone-deaf and insensitive drivel I have ever seen.  She is a SAHM with a staff that does what most SAHMs have to do for themselves, including a full-time nanny, house cleaner, a gardener, and a gardener who only does the weeding(!).  She is the 1%.

What irked me was that she couldn’t foresee the sh*tstorm she would start by directly and specifically laying out her riches before the weary eyes of most other moms as they got ready for work, whether it was work they must do or choose to do, or SAHMs who do what her staff does for her.  She even added a line about how she is the lady that we all love to hate.  Oof!  You can be that privileged but have the sense to not blast it out on a huge social media group of moms who don’t lead such a charmed life.

For my own health, I need to move on from eyerolling since last night BUT the good that came out of this is that it reminded me that I will definitely invest more in doing stuff that gives me life, OUTSIDE of my beloved kids.  Though Tone Deaf’s creature comforts do sound cushy, it reminded me that my dream is not to become a lady of leisure.  I want to have purpose beyond excessive self-care that sounds more like she doesn’t want to do any chores.

I now work again part-time out of necessity but even without that financial necessity, I would do some form of work because I have longings and skills separate and apart from being a mama.  I find it crucial for my mental health though I know this is a loaded topic and some extremely conservative circles don’t support this notion.  I firmly believe that having my own identity will help when the Empty Nest years hit, even though I stay home more than work.

3.  Rule of Life (as explained by Pastor Rich Villodas  – copied and pasted from one of his posts):

Here are the steps…Step 1
Write down everything you currently do (or hope to do) that nurtures your spirit and fills you with delight  (e.g. people, places, activities).   Normally, when we think of spiritual activities, we limit ourselves to things such as prayer, going to church, worship, and Bible reading. Don’t censor yourself.  Your list may include gardening, walking the dog, being in nature, talking with close friends, cooking, painting, jumping out of airplanes, or any number of other possibilities. List them all!
Step 2
Write down the activities you need to avoid, limit or eliminate that pull you away from remaining anchored in Christ.  This refers to avoiding certain things that impact your spirit negatively – such as violent movies, excessive social media involvement, being harried, and going beyond your limits. The list that you create, whether you know it or not, is your unconscious way of life.
Step 3
What are the challenging “have to’s” in this season of your life that are impact your rhythms? (e.g. caring for aging parents, a special needs child, a demanding season at work, parenting small children, an illness, etc.)
Step 4
Fill in the Rule of Life worksheet.  (See photo below – Pastor Rich’s example)
Step 5 – Share your Rule with someone as a means of helping you utilize it to order your life in the way of Jesus.
My Step 1 – WHAT NURTURES MY SPIRIT definitely includes reading and writing.  And nature.  And beauty.  And even boring adult stuff like making sure we have enough income so that finances don’t suck out my life force.  And nurturing real-life friendships despite busyness.
My Step 2 would be to pull away from excessive Facebooking as evidenced by my wasted energy, viscerally reacting to that lady’s post.
My Step 3 is that we are parenting three small children including our bonus infant while juggling 1.5 work schedules.  I need to respect this limit instead of trying to Amazing Race all around town and feeling guilty for not setting up playdates during this stage.
Thanks for reading.
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1.9.17 Rejoicing and Weeping

You know that important phone call from the doc’s office that you’ve been awaiting?  It’ll only come through once you’ve cracked an egg onto the sizzling fry pan or sat on the toilet.

Pregnancy is a lesson in waiting.  When I was newly pregnant with Micah, I bled a little.  I had read that blood can be a sign of miscarriage so I frantically called my doctor.  He was not a touchy feely dude, though apparently very good at what he did.  While Kevin and I were holding hands in his office, hanging on to his every word, he explained, “Hey, if the baby isn’t healthy, it’s nature’s way of eliminating a bad embryo.”  Our eyes widened so he added, “Or it might just be some spotting.  Some old blood.”  We prayed and awaited tests to come in the next day.

I remember praying, “Lord, this phone call is not my Savior, not my lifeline.  I only have one Savior.  But oh please oh please may this embryo turn into a fetus and then into a healthy baby boy.  Please gift us with a healthy baby boy though I am not entitled to one.”

A wise friend met me during my lunch break to pass along some pregnancy books and I told him how scared I was and how I don’t think I can handle all the uncertainty for the duration of my first pregnancy.  He shared that his wife and others also had some spotting and that it doesn’t always mean miscarriage.  He also reminded me that pregnancy is all about ceding control.  Giving it up to Him, every step of the way.

Pregnancy is a series of tests, literally.  The phone call that came in today as soon as I cracked my egg onto my fry pan was that Belly Baby tested low-risk for spina bifida (great result).  There will be more tests to come – for me and for Baby.  All part of the journey.  Especially for those of us at an Advanced Maternal Age.

The sermon from our pastor yesterday reminded us to ask ourselves what is God trying to teach us in our particular stage of life.  For at least the past couple years, we were consumed by whether we are done having kids.  Actually, scratch that:  *I* was consumed, and Kevin was at peace with being done, if only his wife wouldn’t keep talking about The Yearning.

We are now blessed with this baby, no longer a What If but a real human baby moving around on that sonogram, due to arrive June 2017, yet there are moments where I am scared.  Especially those moments when folks comment, “Wow, was this planned!?  You guys are BRAVE!”

Gulp!

Factors that were obstacles still remain:  no family around to help, we are still in NYC for better or for worse, we are older and more tired while the boys only get louder and more energetic, we need to grow our income, not diminish it indefinitely.  As Kevin was falling asleep one night to the tune of my mentioning The Yearning once again, he broke it down clearly:

“If we have another kid, Jihee-yah, it will shave off five years of my life span.”

And yet, here we are.  Back to this stage in our lives, where we have no choice but to cede all control over to Him.  Regarding the health of Mama and Baby, financial provision as we absolutely must move to bigger space (no more delaying), and more.  Do we really trust Him or do we only trust Him for a result?

In 2016 as well as this New Year, we’ve heard the sad news of loss among a handful of friends.  As friends and fellow parents with similarly-aged children, we feel the weight of their loss.  We truly do grieve with them.  Howling, sometimes, when we hear new news of another loss.  And we do confess that our faith falters and I can’t trust that His ways are higher.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”  Romans 12:15 ESV

In the previous post announcing our baby #3 news, I ended by saying that I don’t believe in TMI but I think I do for now.  How can I share details of our conception and pregnancy journey when friends are hurting?  So for now, I take pause on our story.  It just doesn’t feel right.

Once I surprised Kevin with our baby news when I officially confirmed the existence of baby on the morning of my 40th birthday, I teased him, “Hey, you sure you happy?  You did say you gonna die five years earlier if we have another baby!  What say you now!?”

Kevin sheepishly spoke right into my belly:  “Daddy didn’t need those five years anyway.”

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