Updates

A few updates/thoughts, since it’s been almost a year since I’ve written here:

-Luke (my rainbow baby) will be 2 in August. Time has flown. He is PRECIOUS. He has such a personality, is so much fun. He has my sense of humor too, which of course I find hilarious and darling. Anyway…I’m always so fearful that something will happen to him, even when I’m right there. That I can’t truly protect him from harm. I think some of that stems from loss. Has anyone else experienced that in parenting after loss? I feel like I am so overprotective sometimes and need to back off. I feel a strong urge to control everything. It drives J crazy.

LUKE

 

My dad was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s this past January. He is 62. I am still reeling from the news. I come from a big, close family (family of 7) and it’s just weird to think that this is happening to us. I can tell with some things that he’s just not himself anymore (for example, he used to be a penny pincher — big time, now he wants to throw money at stuff…SO not like him). Knowing that the disease gets worse and that I’ll slowly lose more of my dad over time, and that Luke may not remember much about him when he’s older, I can’t think about that. It’s too hard. He’s now retired and on disability, but he’s so bored during the day, now that he’s not working. He must have all kinds of fears and confusing thoughts in his head. I just want to rescue him.

-We have family drama going on right now. My sister-in-law, who has had narcissistic and toxic behaviors for years, physically pushed my mom to the point where she almost fell down…in front of my dad and my brother. All because my mom dared to show up at their house and say hello. (This just scratches the surface of what my sister-in-law does in her life, and to our family.) When this happened, my dad was scared and ran away (he actually turned around and ran), and my brother didn’t do anything. Actually, my brother defended my sister-in-law and to this day they both don’t think there was anything wrong with it (this happened about 6 weeks ago). Needless to say all the siblings know, none of us are happy about it, and the family is in an awkward state right now with my brother and sister-in-law. And the way my brother treats my mom (before this, because of this, after this…because of his loyalty to his crazy wife) really hurts her, and that makes us all incredibly angry at them. As if my mom doesn’t have enough to deal with, with my dad’s diagnosis.

-I’m having a crisis of faith. Not because of anything in particular… but just because. It started when Luke was an infant, so it’s been going on over a year now — mostly because I haven’t addressed it in a committed, focused way. I’m so confused about what’s real and what’s not, and I wonder if the emotions we feel about God and things we say about him are real, or just made up in our heads/just what we say. I start to think about galaxies and space, people and life, suffering, and what makes people the way they are, and just wonder what all this is, and why God doesn’t show himself, or that God should show himself to me. Major intellectual blockage here. Working on it. I know where I want to get (back to Him, absolutely and undeniably), but I feel the urge to find undebatable proof. Don’t I have my life experiences and His follow-through/provision/rescues as proof? Where did this come from? Why am I stuck? I feel so silly. But, it feels necessary for God to get me to a more real place with Him. I think a lot of contemporary Christians (especially in Western culture) just spout off things that sound right and good, and don’t examine their faith. Why do we believe what we believe, and what does that mean for the world? It is true? Because if it is, the stakes are truly high…so what are we doing with our lives? I think there is power in that. I think I’m grateful for this, as weird and unsettling as it is right now.

-We are not trying to get pregnant again right now, but decided we will start trying by the end of the year. I’m more excited than anything else. Maybe it’s the wistful nostalgia of trying to get pregnant, and being pregnant — I’m forgetting how scary both of those things were to me. I’m feeling butterflies about getting to initiate the whole process again. But isn’t the process hard? Scary? Why am I so excited? Maybe things going right with Luke gave me hope. Maybe only having one miscarriage makes it seem not so scary… I mean, I know so many people that have multiple losses (my friend had 4 miscarriages last year…and she’s the one who had 2 before with IVF). My successful pregnancy record is 50-50, and I don’t need medical intervention (that I know of yet)… so I have it pretty good, I know. Maybe I’ll feel different when December rolls around…more scared. Guess we’ll see.

-J got a job last May that he really likes. It is private sector (he used to be in non-profits like me), so the pay is better, and he is respected and appreciated, which is such a contrast from his last two jobs. We are so grateful. His commute is longer but he is so happy with everything else about this job that he doesn’t let that get to him. We know what it feels like to have a job you hate, and we are just so grateful for this one. He’s been there a year now!

-My long-time BFF (who I mentioned before was pregnant with me the first time and had her baby in October 2013) had a miscarriage earlier this year, around 7 weeks. It took them a few months but now she’s pregnant again, she’s around 8 weeks right now. She’s nervous but handling pregnancy after loss much better than I did. At least as far as I can tell. She did say she cried when she heard the heartbeat at the first scan last week, which I was touched by, because I remember doing the same thing in my 12w scan with Luke. (And she is not a crier.) Is there anyone who doesn’t experience miscarriage?? It is so prevalent.

I think that’s it for now. Got to get back to work. Or shower… I’ve got to shower. Haha 🙂

J’s Job

J is having a really hard time right now. He just got passed up for a job opportunity he was really excited about — and to be honest, pretty desperate for. He’s really sad today, and it just makes me sad for him.

He has a job right now, it’s not that he’s unemployed or there is a real threat of him losing his current job. We do realize that we are blessed, and are grateful beyond measure for God’s provision. It’s just a really hard time for him.

J’s the kind of person that puts all of himself into his work. He works really hard, and wants to do a good job, not just get by. He finds real purpose in his work, and he wants to give everything he can to making sure a job is done well. I don’t think I’ve met a lot of people like him, and I’m not just saying that because I’m his wife. He’s honest, sincere, and commits to things. You can count on him. He looks for ways to make things better, doesn’t always just accept them as they are. He even teaches himself new skills and reads up on the industry in his spare time (who does that?). And to top it all off, he’s smart. So he’s a real asset to any employer.

The trouble is, most of his employers and co-workers have seriously underminded and undervalued him, not to mention disrespected him. He has ended up in the types of jobs that have very low employee morale, because of the way the companies are managed and the people there. And ironically, I have had some of the best jobs — with people who value me, truly listen to me, give me opportunities to shine, and are understanding. The people I have worked for are amazing — and I keep trying to tell him that they are out there!

He’s been in two jobs back to back that have slowly crushed his spirit everyday. And he was unemployed for a full year prior to these jobs, being laid off from his first (great) job unexpectedly. He spent hours every weekday that year committing to his search like it was his actual job, with nothing coming from it for a long time. The job he got coming out of that was supposed to be great, and he was excited. It turned out to be awful. He was in it for two years. The job he got after that (after he had been looking for a year — again), the one he has currently, looked to be great, and he was excited. It’s far from great. Everyday they seem to put him in his place. He works so hard for them and all they do is tell him what he can be doing better, and he is asked to work overtime a lot and he does it (early mornings, nights, weekends, you name it. It seems like once a week on average he’s working extra for them.) He’s dying to get out of there.

And having been passed up for this exciting opportunity, after he thought he had it in the bag, my heart just aches for him.

Watching him suffer but not being able to do anything about it really wears on me. He has this strong outer exterior and I’ve never really seen him get sad, but the look on his face when he’s going through this stuff is just too much to bear sometimes.

I have to admit we don’t pray a lot together, but after he got a rough review that got him down on Friday I told him I wanted to be more purposeful about us praying together about his job situation. So last night I asked if he would let me pray for him before we went to bed. He’s usually shy about it; he feels awkward praying together, as do I in a way, so that’s why we haven’t much before. Last night he was pretty open to it, he held my hand, we laid facing each other, and I prayed. I prayed for God to open doors for him, for God to show us clearly what He wants us to do, for God to give him strength to endure this job for as long as God wants him in it. And I thanked God for giving us both jobs and blessing us financially.

Then this morning, he got the bad news.

God is showing us — very clearly. This job was not meant for him.

So as much as I want to cry for him today, I’m trying to hold back. For one, he needs me to be strong. I can’t fall apart when he needs someone to lean on. But also, I don’t believe that the timing of our first real prayer together for his job and this news today were coincidental. I know God has His hand on this. And I think God timed it this way so He could show me how much providence He has over this. I just wish I could know what God has in mind, I wish I could tell J that this very rough patch will be over soon after 5 long years, but just like with our miscarriage and trying for a baby, all we can do is give it to God and know that He is working on it. And pray.

I’m praying for an extra dose of faith and strength today — for me and for J.

I love my husband so much.

Therefore we do not lose heart,
Though our outer self is wasting away,
Our inner self is being renewed day by day.
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory
far beyond all comparison,
while we look not at the things which are seen,
but at the things which are unseen;
for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are unseen are eternal.

– 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
– Isaiah 41:10

Shall we accept good from God,
and not trouble?
– Job 2:10

Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension,
shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 4:6-7

For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD,
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.

– Jeremiah 29:11-13

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD
And whose trust is the LORD.
For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought,
Nor cease to yield fruit.

– Jeremiah 17:7-8