Saturday, August 29, 2015

Spontaneous Grief

Today I will be addressing an issue that plagues me very often. It is a condition that causes me to experience mental, emotional and physical sickness. I do not know if it in fact is a true medical diagnosis. If it is I have no idea what the medical name for it is. I have just decided to call it Spontaneous Grief.

Spontaneous Grief (which I will refer to as SG from here out) has the following characteristics:

1. It is sudden: SG is a sudden thing that happens. You may be going along about your day and all of a sudden there will be a trigger and that grief will hit you.

2. It can occur at any time, any place and in any situation: SG does not care about the time of day, where you are or the circumstance it will just show up. For me it happens mostly when I am at home or at church. I have had it hit me riding down the road and while shopping for groceries.

3. It has a trigger: A trigger is simply something that sets it off. Seeing an elderly man in bib overalls reminds me of my Pa Woody, smelling the scent of Vicks Vapo Rub sends me back to memories of my Grandma Eva, shucking corn and snapping beans reminds me of summers spent on my Granny Sadie's front porch working with her. These are all triggers that bring my loved ones back to the fore front of my mind, causing me at times to respond to them in grief. The worst for me are the things that trigger thoughts of our three babies in Heaven. Just the other day they were singing Happy Birthday to a little one in our church who was turning one. I just sat in the pew and cried. I was so hurt, not by the child having a birthday, but by the fact that I would never again celebrate a child of my owns first birthday.

4. It most often ends swiftly: As it comes upon you suddenly, it will also most often end swiftly, at least it does for me. It is almost like the grief is just under the surface, waiting for that trigger and then it is released. It seems as if it just needs to be let out, like a geyser that releases it's built up water and then stops.

5. It causes sickness of the body: I find that when I am hit with this grief it leaves me not only physically, but emotionally and mentally drained. I experience fatigue, dizziness and most often nausea. As SG for me is quick, the after effects vary. The physical sickness is swiftly over, but the emotional and mental effects can take several hours to overcome.

I don't know how many of you out there can understand or sympathize with this post. I am not writing it for people to feel sorry for me or to make it seem as if I am looking for pity. I am simply writing it as a means to deal with my own journey and to hopefully help someone else as they travel their own path.

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Where is your Treasure?

Matthew 6:21(KJV)

 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

The other night during church our pastor was preaching and he brought out this verse. He said, "That we should focus on having treasure in heaven and not trying to keep up with our neighbors. All that means is that we should not put so much emphasis on material things, but put it on heavenly things. Of course having things is not bad. We all must have shelter, clothing, food, etc., these are all necessary things, but it still got my brain to pondering. 

It got me to thinking, "Where is my treasure?".  
Before I could answer that I had to answer this question, "What is my treasure?".  

I immediately thought about my husband, my children, my family.  I think it may be hard to understand how people can be treasures, but they are.  I can not imagine my life without them and I hope and pray that we are all together someday in Heaven. A small part of my treasure is already there, my grandparents, 3 children and extended family. Some I knew for my whole life and some I never even got the chance to meet. 

I have other treasures in Heaven. I hope to meet those who I have been an positive influence on, those who I was able to show the love of Christ too. I can not wait to meet those who were saved and went on years before me. Most of all I looked forward to meeting Jesus, for he is the greatest treasure in all the world. 

I have to admit there are times that I get bogged down by all the stuff in life and I lose focus of the really important things. I start to put to much emphasis on material things. It is at these times I have to step back and remind myself that our material belongings will someday rot and fade away, but the things we have in heaven are forever. 

Maybe it is time for all of us to answer the questions, "What is my treasure?". "Where is my treasure?". By doing so, perhaps just maybe, we can get a new perspective of our own lives and the things that really matter. 

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

Monday, August 17, 2015

It's only a cup, bowl and a plate

It was something that was bought several years ago as a Christmas gift for someone. I ended up keeping it, I found something that I liked better for the gift. I never did really have anyone to give it to, so I decided to keep it for myself. My husband and I had decided to have another baby, we were hoping and praying for a boy and it was a perfect thing to hang on to.

So recently I was doing what I call my summer purging of my house, it is an annual event where we clean out the entire house and get rid of stuff we do not need. During this cleaning I came across this little dinner set.  It took me back to the day I bought it and what I had kept it for. I decided at that moment to give it away. I know a little boy that it would be perfect for, so I was going to take it to him.  I put it into my bag so I could drop it off to him sometime during the next few days. I had every intention of it leaving my house.

Well the day came that I would be seeing him, I picked up my tote bag and was heading out the door when the feeling hit. I like to call it spontaneous grief (a topic for another post).  A short definition is grief that can come upon you at any time, in any place.

At that moment I couldn't move or think beyond my grief. I started to think about how that little set was meant for my baby and no one else's and the tears just came. I slowly turned around, removed the set from my bag and placed it in the laundry room cabinet with the other items I have not been able to part with.  I felt bad for not giving him the set, but at the same time I knew I just was not ready.

I am sure that most people will not understand. I guess the only way you could is if you had been in my situation. I hope and pray that you my readers, never are.

Having another baby has been a dream of mine for the last five years, unfortunately for us that has been one dream that has not come true. We have been through so many different things and tried to make that dream a reality, but I guess that is the thing about dreams, they don't always happen.

I know that eventually I will get rid of the few remaining "baby" things that I have. It will not be easy, but it will happen. For right now I am taking the advice of many who have gone before me, "Be gentle with yourself. Grief is a raw emotion that can not be controlled. You will know when the time is right for you. Give yourself that time."

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?" 

Dreams, Plans and Prayers

As I look back over my life, which has been fairly short compared to some I know, I notice a change in the way I look at life altogether.  It has kind of been like a transitioning from one way of thinking to another, sort of like a metamorphosis.

It all started when I was a little girl.....

.....I was the dreamer:

I remember dreaming about all the places I would go someday, all the wonderful things I would see. I dreamed of travelling all over the world, trying new foods, meeting new people. I also dreamed of meeting my Knight in Shining Armor. I just knew that one day some man would sweep me off my feet and we would live happily ever after.  If you have been following me you know how I now feel about the phrase "Happily Ever After."

I am not saying that dreams are bad. Dreams are the things that get us through our childhood. I mean imagine what that time of life would have been like without them. Dreams can get us through times that are difficult or stressing.  Dreams are an expression of our inner selves and the things that we long for.

Then there came the high school years and my first big change.....
,,,,,That was when I became the planner:

There were so many decisions to be made, things to be done. At first I was ready to sign up and join the United States Navy. I had pen to paper and was all ready to join up. Joining the Navy was going to be my ticket to travel. It was going to be the one thing that helped me to see all those places I always wanted to go.  I went to my parents with my decision and they were against it, so I didn't go. I sometimes wonder how different my life would have been if I had went into the Navy. After that decision was made I then pursued college and nursing. Unfortunately I soon discovered my calling was not in the nursing field, I dropped out and went into the work force. In the end I did go back to school and found my true calling, teaching. I love to teach and know for a fact it is a calling that God gave me.

I think it is very important that young people have a plan for the future. I am not saying that they need to have it all mapped out, but having a basic plan is a great idea. Recently I had this same conversation with my 15 year old. She has still not decided what she wants to be, but she already has decided on community college for two years after high school. After that she will transfer to a four year school and hopefully by then she will know what she wants to be when she grows up.

I find that I am still a planner. Each day I make a list of things that I need to do. I have a book that helps me keep track of appointments and important calls that need to be made.  I even plan out all our vacations. My family gets so aggravated sometimes. I am really trying to not set such a "rigid" schedule on vacations,but old habits are hard to break.

Then the Thirty somethings came along and....
....I became the Prayer:

I just never understood how important prayer was in our lives until I hit Adulthood. I guess my early years had been pretty laid back and non-dramatic. Don't get me wrong we had our times of difficulty, times when bad things happened and we felt that weight, but for the most part I was basically unphased by life. Then I married, had children and started being an adult. Can I just say that Adulthood is kind of overrated. I begin to see that the older I get the more difficult life becomes. We as a family have been through sicknesses, death, sorrow. I have struggled with my own grief, guilt and pain. There have been times that I have been so heartbroken that tears are I could do, no words would form or be spoken.  I understand so much more why we need prayer in our lives. Living makes you see that.

Each of these phases has been an important part of my life. They have made me the woman I am today and have allowed me to grow and change throughout my life. I am a prayer and a planner, but I can also say that there is still a little bit of a dreamer inside of me. That little girl  is still there longing to do all those amazing things. Every now and then she gets the chance and with it that feeling that anything is still possible. 

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"