Wednesday, January 29, 2014

the finish line

have you run a long race before? maybe not literally... but in some fashion?

have you dragged yourself on and on, knowing there had to be an end, even when it didn't feel like it for hours/days/weeks/months/years?

friends, i can see my finish line. with my due date just six days away, i can see a checkered line. i don't care about my time. i don't care about the people at the end or the medal or the water or anything. i don't care about the doctors, the hospital, the birth, the epidural (or lack there of), the idea of a good meal afterwards, or anything. in some ways, i'm not sure i care about the baby.

i just want to stop running.

as i threw up earlier this week, i could confidently tell myself that this journey will end.

i could remember much, much harder parts of this race (like when i passed out while driving).

i could hear the unhelpful comments from the sidelines ("you can't be that sick", "my sister threw up the first few weeks of pregnancy", "you are certainly gaining weight"), all being drowned out by my own determined steps.

friends, whatever your journey, i am here to tell you that you can endure.

i am here to tell you that whatever medal they hand you at the end - whether it be a literal one, a baby, a peace in knowing you did the right thing - will be small part in your sweet victory of endurance.

and if nothing else, i hope that i continue to remember the lesson that pregnancy has taught me - there is value in that endurance. there is value in continuing the race. there is no satisfaction or prize like knowing you ran well.

hurl yourself towards the finish line - pun intended.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

i wrote a poem about being pregnant

i really mean this to be funny. i'm not depressed or anything. just glad that baby boy is doing well, not coming too early, and that pregnancy eventually ends. it doesn't quite fit with "the sound of silence" 100%, but i did by best. this is what happens when you wake up feeling like death at 5am. also, robert assures me no one has ever died of nausea. 

Hello, nausea, my old friend
I see you've come for me again
I can’t move, I can’t think
I’m throwing up in the kitchen sink
There was hope in my brain yet this
Still remains
This is death by nausea

Hello, zofran, my old friend
I see I’m taking you again
I thought that at 38 weeks
This would end, it would not peak
I’m not going to work today Not no how 
or way
Yes, this is death by nausea

I’m a fool, I should have known
As long as this little baby grows
I won’t be a functioning human being
Sounds like motherhood is the same thing
Baby, I promise to be your very best friend
If pregnancy ends
This is death by nausea

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My pioneer childhood

With the recent crazy storm we had here in Indy, my husband has started to ask questions about my childhood, where these types of storms were less “crazy” and more of a “just another week in a Wisconsin childhood.”

Q: If the weather was always bad, when did they cancel school?
A: When the pipes in the building froze and you didn’t have running water.

Q: {after checking the forecast} Wow, they cancelled church. Do you remember church being cancelled growing up?
A: Not really. We drove to church all the time in this weather. They did cancel youth group, though, not wanting the kids driving after dark in the bad weather. People who lived in the country often couldn't make it, though.

Q: Did kids wait out in for the bus in this weather?
A: Sure. Or in a neighbor’s garage. Or in your parent’s car. Or you just wore a lot of clothes.

Q: Does everyone have a truck? Or 4 wheel drive?
A: I learned to drive on a 1990 Toyota Carolla. So no.

Q: Did people complain when they shut roads down to emergency vehicles only?
A: No – because everyone knew someone who had died trying to drive when they shouldn’t have. It’s no joking matter.

Q: Did everyone get brain damage falling on the ice all the time?
A: Probably. We still lived there, right?

Q: Didn’t you move to southern California to get away from all this?
A: Yes. We all see how that worked out – please reference the above answer about brain damage.

This makes me feel like I grew up on the Oregon Trail or something. For the record, I’ve never hunted for my own meat and I’ve never known any who contracted cholera, but I did know one girl from WI whose name was Charity.

Happy winter, all!

Friday, January 3, 2014

the loudest voices

We have less than 5 weeks from my due date. I think this calls for an existential crisis, right? Haha.

A few weeks back, I wrote an old college friend and said, “How am I going to do this? How am I going to teach my son about faith and life and pain and beauty and grace? I get so frustrated with the Church some times. I am so broken myself. What in the world am I going to do?”

This friend reassured me beyond all doubt that I was going to do just fine. Because God has given us faith and life and pain and beauty and grace. He did remark that he could understand, though, how daunting it would be to think of bringing up a child when we don’t have the answers, when things are broken, when you look at the world today.

His response made me realize two very, very important things.

First of all, I think it has always been daunting to think of the world we are bringing children into. I don’t really think there’s ever been a “good time”. Peace on earth isn’t a reality and never has been. This historical fact actually makes me feel better about the whole thing. People have brought new life into the dying world for all of our existence.

Second of all, I do not need to fear the things I fear. When I hear that the loudest voices are often the ones proclaiming hate, injustice, or distraction, I worry our son will listen to those {and to country music, but that’s another problem}. But my friend reminded me that our son has something bigger than those voices on his side – us. He has parents who do not listen to the voices, not because they don’t hear them, but because they know better. I don’t have to be louder than all those voices. I just have to be his mother. This will be enough, and it was enough for Jesus. When I look at Jesus’ life, I realize he didn’t spend all his time trying to argue, or be louder, or raise some kind of cause. He answered questions with questions, he challenged our hearts, and when he got overwhelmed by the world, he pulled away and went to the Father. When he wanted to make the biggest statement in history, he did so by dying.

That message drowns out all the other things. That is the message I want my son to hear above all else.

{And to hip hop, please Lord, let him like hip hop over country music.}

And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. – 1 Kings 19:11-13

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. – 1 Corinthians 1:20-25

“If you preach hate at the service those words aren't anointed
That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned” Macklemore