Monday, September 19, 2011

Trusting in Him

Our church is doing a 4 week series on the book of James. I was definitely looking forward to it because the series is all about Jesus being a part of your everyday life and not part of your life when you go to church or when you say your prayers at night. This is something I fell all of us could improve on, no matter how wonderful of a Christian you are. And well I definitely need help in this area in my life, so off to church I went on Sunday...

During church Pastor Mark said something that really hit home with me. He said, "Don't base your relationship with God on what is going on in your life." Wow, I thought. That is exactly what I have done in the past. When things were great I praised God for all he had given me in life and when things got hard, I shied away from him a bit. Don't get me wrong, I still believed in him and I still knew this was all part of his plan, but I didn't trust in him. Because I didn't know why the things in my life were happening I felt as if he didn't really have my back.

By the end of the service during the last song we sang I was brought to tears. I have been so upset with God about the troubles that have come to our attention with our little girl that I couldn't trust in Him. I thought, "Seriously! Again? Enough already!". Instead I should have praised him for all the wonderful things that I have in my life including my baby girl and trusted in Him that everything is going to work out just matter what.

It is a concept that I would guess that most people who go through difficult times have a hard time with. I know I have had my share of trials and I definitely questioned the Big Man Upstairs many of times and wondered where he was.

We all know that all bad in the world, disease, death, all the work of the devil. And although God has the power to shield us from these awful things in the world, he sometimes lets these things into our lives to teach us something. Kind of like when your mom or dad lets you fall every once in a while so you can learn about life on your own. Although I wish bad things never happened, I will say I have learned something about each and every mistake, wrong turn, and tragedy in my life. I am not the same jealous insecure girl I was in High School, I am not the same selfish woman I was 5 years ago. I am ever evolving and more and more becoming the woman that God intended me to be.

So i would like to take this moment to Praise God for all the wonderful things in my life:

Thank you Lord for...

My loving family, husband, and son.
This beautiful baby girl growing inside of me whom I know is your perfect creation.
My friends. All of them.
All the things you have blessed me with in my life.
The lessons you have taught me.
The lessons you have yet to teach me.
Giving me more than one chance to know you.
Always loving me, no matter what I say or do.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Matters of the Heart

The human heart. We not only refer to the heart physiologically but emotionally as well.

We have scientist, doctors, surgeons, nurses, and anyone else in the medically field study it. They study how it works and how sometimes it doesn't work. And when it has an issue we try desperately to fix it. Because without your heart, the rest of your organs can't function.

We refer to the heart with emotional ties. When we face upsetting times we call it heart-break. When we miss someone desperately, we say our heart aches. When we fall in love our heart leaps.

I have had the pleasure of experiencing the heart in many ways. I have fallen in love, had my heart broken, and my heart has ached. I have also become very aware of how the heart works and how it sometimes fails to work properly. It seams lately, really the past 4 years my life has been burdened by matters of the heart.

During the experience of the heart break of my husband passing away, I was told that the cause of his death was a congenital heart disease called myxoid heart disease. I was also told that I know had to have my son checked every year to make sure he doesn't develop the same thing his father died from. So, once a year I stress over his appointment with the pediatric cardiologist praying he hasn't developed any signs. Matter of a fact, we just had a check up on him on Monday and all was well. Whew! Now he can play soccer without me worrying about him dropping in the middle of a game. Which believe me, as time passes and we get closer to his annual appointment I often think about.

Now being the positive person I strive to be...I was sure that my run in with heart problems was done. At least physiologically. Well, as we all know, life is not a road that is straight and narrow. Life throws us some curves, bumps, and sometimes mountains to climb in the road.

A few weeks ago I went for my monthly OB check up. I was excited because we got to get an ultrasound and see our little one growing inside of me. We also found out the sex of our baby as well, which we didn't know if we were or not, but we found out it was a girl :) Everything looked good, she was the right size, healthy heartbeat, ten fingers, ten toes, all looked it seemed.

The next morning, early, 7:30am early, I got a phone call from our doctor telling me that he wanted to send me to get more ultrasounds done. He said he wasn't sure if he got good views of the heart. So, off I went that day to see another doctor to get more ultrasounds done. Then, what every pregnant mother fears, I was told that our little girl had a significant hole in her heart called ventricular septal defect (VSD)and that I needed to see a pediatric cardiologist because it was very probable that she was going to need surgery after birth.


So, today was our appointment with the pediatric cardiologist to get more ultrasounds done. Of course Bryn, that is what we named her, wasn't cooperating very well. However, he feels he was able to get some good views of the heart. He couldn't see the VSD. Which means two things. One its not there anymore, or two he didn't get the view he needed. So good news considering two weeks ago I was told the hole was a significantly big hole. Unfortunately, there was a small caution sign to go with it. He also saw extra fluid around the heart. Everyone has some fluid around their heart, but there was more than she was suppose to have. Which means one of two things, one she is just fighting off a virus that I might have caught, or two, signs of congestive heart failure.

My hopes going into this appointments was to either have a game plan of what to do or have definite relief that she is perfectly fine. I didn't get either one of those and I left feeling the same way I went in, confused, worried, and a heartbroken.

I am starting to realize something, no matter what, matters of the heart surround us. In some way or another we are feeling our heart, whether it be emotionally or physically, our heart has a large presence. I pray that our little girl is just having a little hiccup in her development and in two weeks we will get a definite answer that she no longer has a hole in her heart and in four weeks we will be told that he fluids are at normal level. Because to be honest, as far as the matter of heartbreak goes, I don't know how much more i can take. I just know that no matter what God will take care of me and my baby.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Tough Love

When I thought about having children I remember people telling me how hard it was. How it was mentally, emotionally, and physically draining. How my whole world would shift and my priorities would forever change. Now, I believed them. I knew in my head that it was going to be hard and that there were going to be sacrifices made, made the reward was so much greater. One thing they forgot to mention is all the heart break you go through as a parent. I remember the first time I dropped him off at daycare and how I pretty much cried every day that week. How every time he gets sick I wish I could take it all away for him. Then there is the heart break because of the lessons you have to teach your child.

About a month ago we really started having some issues with Brandon. He actually almost got himself kicked out of school, and now we are still on probation. This is preschool people, so it wasn't like he was setting things on fire on Science least not yet anyway. To me it was much worse than that. My son had no respect for authority. None. Which as a parent is one of the big lessons you are suppose to teach your child and I thought I was doing that. I guess I was wrong.

So about two weeks ago we had to take things to the extreme and for the first time really knew what tough love was. Even though I thought tough love was for when they are older and you have to send them out into the world and let them try to figure it out on their own, I was giving my four year old a different kind of tough love. We stripped his room. He had nothing, no toys, no stuffed animals, no books, no pictures on the wall, and no bed frame. His room consisted of the essentials...a bed on the floor and a plain white t-shirt and some plain shorts for him to wear. Yes one outfit that I had to wash every night. No more desserts and no more going out to eat. He did receive love and care, food, baths, you know, the stuff we need to live.

Once we took everything away and he saw what we had done, well the inevitable happened...a holy temper tantrum. One of epic proportions. A few hours to be exact. We explain what was going to happen, but he didn't believe us of course, until he saw his empty room. So after he had his melt down and I had mine we had a talk about why things were happening and what behavior is expected of him. We also explained that if he behaves the way he is suppose to then each day he can earn one thing back of his choosing.

Okay, some of you might be thinking I am crazy and that this is too harsh for a four year old. I want to remind you I still loved on him, feed him, and gave him baths and clean clothes. He just didn't have the fun things we give our children today. He had what is all some kids have in this country. He needed to learn that things in life don't come free. That with the right behavior we can earn things that we would like to have. Simple building blocks that some of us never learn and expect the world to hand us everything or that we are owed something. These are lessons that our parents instill in us from the day we are born.

Granted, I was worried about it not working. That we were going to go through all of this and we would still have the same behavior from him. Well, I must say, the first few days were rough...and he didn't earn anything back. Then there was a shift. It was like he got it, finally. He realized that if he just respected his parents and teachers and did as needed than he got good things. Now don't get me wrong he still has a few hiccups in the road, but after two weeks of tough love I think we are getting somewhere with him.

My heart was broken through this process and I cried almost every night wondering where I went wrong. I though I was a bad mother, and I wondered how God could trust me enough with raising another one.

Now I sit here this morning feeling like we did the right thing and that sometimes the hardest things for a parent to do is the best thing for their child in the long run. No matter how much your heart breaks through the process. Especially when the reward in the end is being able to enjoy your son and all his wonderful qualities :)