Thursday, November 27, 2008

How to Celebrate Thanksgiving

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share this poem. I am working on each and every line, but especially the last one.

How to Celebrate Thanksgiving
Author Unknown

Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

29 Things Infertility Is Teaching Me

Yesterday was my birthday. Last year, when I turned 28, I wrote about 28 Reasons to Smile - Things I Am Grateful For.

In celebration of my 29th birthday, I am attempting the ultimate task: 29 Things Infertility Is Teaching Me.

And here we go (in no particular order):

1. Good people say stupid things. Stupid people say stupid things. Forgive the good ones, and dismiss the stupid ones.

2. Holidays aren't a happy time for everyone.

3. Even though people experience different trials, many of the feelings and emotions are exactly the same.

4. Cats make great friends.

5. Patience is truly a virtue.

6. Be sensitive about what another might be going through, but don't treat them differently. They already feel different enough.

7. You are not to blame for your infertility, no matter what people say. You are not infertile because God is punishing you. You are not keeping yourself from pregnancy because you can't "relax".

8. While events like baby showers are wonderful for most, they are painful for some, no matter what precautions are taken. It's a fact and nothing can change it.

9. God never abandons you; you abandon Him.

10. Music can speak louder than 1000 words.

11. Force yourself to look at people's intentions, rather than their actions. It doesn't always help, but it does sometimes.

12. Doctors don't know everything.

13. Sometimes having faith is harder than you'd think, but so worth it.

14. You have the power to choose who you let in.

15. There will always be setbacks. Things rarely turn out as planned.

16. Try to enjoy the time alone with your husband, but it's okay to be annoyed when people tell you to do that.

17. It's acceptable to be angry, even pissed, about the place you are in your life. Just don't get stuck there for too long.

18. Therapy is a good thing, and not indicitive of a lack of strength.

19. Sometimes, you just don't want to be around kids, simply because it's too hard. But that doesn't make you a bad person.

20. Be careful with jealousy. It may seem another person has it all, but they may soon experience (or may be experiencing) something you wouldn't wish on anyone. You don't want to think (or say) something you'll regret.

21. Avoid dreamcrushers.

22. No matter what your current situation, there are people out there that would call you lucky.

23. It is okay to grieve infertility. It is just as much a loss as anything else.

24. You can miss people you've never met.

25. We typically compare our weaknesses to other people's strengths. This is not a fair comparison.

26. Take care of yourself, even if it means being greedy with your time, energy or emotions.

27. Every baby is a miracle.

28. You will never be the same person you were before, but you can learn to love the new you.

29. You will survive this, and be stronger on the other side. The love and appreciation you will have for your babies will be incalculable. Believe it or not, this will all be worth it in the end.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways, acknowledge Him,
and He shall direct thy paths.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh, the narcissism!

I love when people make assumptions and think they know me.

I can't control other's actions, but I can control my own.

Sometimes, I am just floored by the egotism and lack of class exhibited by others. Especially those whom I have moved heaven and earth to make their life easier.

Experiences such as these remind me how blessed I am to have true and wonderful friends, people with compassionate and tender hearts. They also help me to realize that I can choose who I let into my life, and who I leave behind.

And now... I am letting it go!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dead Cat Bouncing

This week, I learned about a term used in the investment world known as the 'dead cat bounce'. Now, the visual is pretty harsh (I don't like thinking about dead cats bouncing... or dead cats at all actually...), but the term describes a falling stock market that rapidly rebounds, only to drop again.

Well, this week I felt like I had my own dead cat bounce. Several weeks ago, I had a very spiritual experience that brought me closer to God, and gave me a bit of peace for the first time in a while. Compared to the darkness that loomed over me for the last several months, I was on the rise.

Then, a sequence of events happened at work. Because of circumstances beyond anyone's control, I saw my career progress screeching to a halt for the unforeseeable future. Between drops in the market and losing a staff member permanently, I no longer have the speedy timeline I was hoping for. No big deal, except that the entire financial aspect of my 2009 Plan was dependant on the immediate progress of my career.

I felt like I was just starting to pull myself out of a hole, when a big hand came down and flicked me back in.

Mostly, I felt silly for believing that this was really it, that things were actually going to change. Now, I know change will come someday, but I hate not knowing when. I'm a planner... so much so that I chose it for a career. Why am I so great at planning everyone else's success but my own?

So many times, so many plans, so many years, and I'm still waiting. Waiting, waiting, waiting. So many "if this, than finally that", praying for the if's and never seeing the that's. I wonder if I read all my blog entries over the last few years, how many 'plans' I wrote about that never worked out. Depressing.

And that's why I don't read old entries!

Anyway, on the day when my plans came crashing down (a bit dramatic, I know), I drove myself home from work in tears. Because of my recent experience gaining comfort through spiritual music, I threw in my Jenny Phillips CD.

A first, I resented every word she sang. I didn't want to hear it! But I kept listening and soon a song I had never heard before began to play...

Like a ship that's worn, with a sail so torn,
drifting out to sea,
the wind is blowing in, and you're tossed again.
Is it time to leap behind the ship,
and walk to Him?

The anchor's gone, you're moving on
further from His arms.
Go to Him. Face the wind.
If you trust enough, His mighty love
will get you through.

Do you believe that the seas
will hold your feet if you go?
Close your eyes, feel Him in sight,
walk to what you know is true.
And He will not fail you.

Give up your fear. Let go of doubt.

Lay down your load. Let it go.

As I listened to the words, I imagined the Apostle Peter and the incredible faith he had as he stepped off that boat onto the water, and walked toward Jesus.

Right now, I don't have the faith to step off that boat. I am still clinging to the edge: scared, doubtful and tossed around. But I am working on it. Someday, I hope I can let go. I can imagine how wonderful that would feel.

In the meantime, maybe 'dead cat bounce' is not the best way to describe this week. Maybe I just took a tumble and had a rough landing. If that is the case than someday, in true cat-like form, I'll have to land on my feet. Right?

And the journey continues...


Life and its troubles can do one of two things.
It can make you better or bitter.
I have experienced both,
and better is better.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The End

It's always okay in the end.
So if it's not okay, than it's not the end.

This quote was in our recent youth musical and
it's been on my mind ever since.