Friday, May 3, 2013

Lessons Learned in Pride

(First, I'm still here...feeling VERY blessed to be at 34 weeks w/ only 3 weeks to go until we meet our daughter!  Second, sorry for the lag, but when your life consists of the bed, to the couch, to the recliner with a daily dose of "Days," "90201," and "Judge Judy" there is just not so much excitement to blog about!)
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Let me start by telling you something about myself.  I shower daily.  I put makeup on before I go ANYWHERE.  To be "presentable" I prefer my hair to be not only washed (HAVE to wash it daily) but blow dried and straightened.

(Oh, how I long for the days in college when I could wash and go and let it air dry.  Back then, it dried straight & shiny.  My friends hated me for it...and I would hate me, too.  Why cant it do that now?)

My "make do" day still consisted of a shower, blow dried hair, foundation, mascara, and eyeliner.  

I like my house SPOTLESS and organized before someone comes over.  You know, proper candles lit and the right balance of lamps on.

It's a pride thing, I guess...yet not one that I was working to change.

I guess God got a good laugh and decided that it was something I needed to work on.

Back in January, I started attending the Ladies Bible Class at our church every Wed morning.  I was free at that time during the week & I thought it would be a great way to meet other ladies and spend some time on God's Word.  It was tough, because it meets at 9:30 in the morning.  Tuesday's are (were) my tough counseling days and I often wasnt getting home until after 9 at night and THEN fixing dinner and cleaning up after.  It made for some late & busy evenings.  Wednesdays had been my day to lounge around until clients later in the afternoon.  HOWEVER, I made the committeemen to attend and made to it all but one of the weekly meetings. So, I may have been perpetually 10 or so minutes late, but I was there...and I was blessed each week!

The last study that I was able to attend before being put on bed rest was all about serving others and allowing others to serve you.  I wasnt feeling well that morning, so I didnt really "add" to the discussion, but took it all in.  One lady in our small group study mentioned being put on bed rest early in her pregnancy (around the place in her pregnancy that I was at the time) and I think I said "I would DIE".  She talked about having to let people serve her by bringing food, taking care of her young son, and cleaning her house (toilets specifically).  

Well, fast forward 6 days and I find myself in the hospital and looking at bed rest for the remaining 11 weeks of my pregnancy.  What a great lesson to have ended on.  

Coincidence?  

I think not.

We were so blessed to have a friend set up a Care Calendar for us and we had dinners and lunches provided for awhile.  It was SUCH a blessing...we had meals provided so that Ben didnt have to worry about cooking. On nights that someone didnt bring dinner, we usually had leftovers.  I had some sweet ladies & friends bring lunch to me and just sit and visit.  It really cut into the "time" that I had to myself and my crazy thoughts all day...everyday.

The dinners slowly started weaning off, and we were making it OK.  Ben got good at making spaghetti, grilling, and heating frozen pizzas!  Friends still brought lunches to me around once a week or so.  We know how busy life is & we didn't "expect" anyone to do anything for us.  We were blessed by the times that we Ben didn't have to think about dinner!!  During the "slow" time, we DID have one lady bring 2 large pans of Mexican casserole one night and we ate on that for DAYS and DAYS!!

And DAYS!

Well, fast forward to 2 weeks ago...things started to get busy.  See, Ben is in grad school and his work started piling up...along with all of the "tasks" that he had at home & taking care of me.  He has a final coming up tomorrow (Sat), a term paper & presentation due for the class, as well as watching the class twice each week, and completing the normal homework assignments.  PLUS, he had a large presentation/interview/bid for a large job at work (the weeks that he has these presentations in the past are ALWAYS busy with many hours spent at work & little left for anything else).  To top it all off, he was juggling the yard work, house work, dinners, and anything else that I needed.

Two weeks ago, I started noticing how fatigued he was. He was having to stay up late to work on his school work and I just felt SO guilty because there was nothing that I could take off of his plate.  When I asked him what he needed, his only reply was "more time in the day."  We found ourselves living on pizza (for a few nights), fast food, and BBQ that we could make stretch for a few days.  It made do...but I found myself actually WANTING vegetables!  Even still...Ben wasnt getting to bed until after 1AM and getting up for work early each morning.  That was 2 weeks ago and I knew that this week was going to be worse.  I didnt know what to do...other than PRAY!

I have no doubt that those prayers led me to have the courage to ask for help.  SO, on Sunday, I messages 2 ladies (from that Bible class who had been over several times w/ lunches & dinner).  These 2 ladies kept making me promise that I would ask for help if I needed it.  So, I bit the bullet and asked.  I simply said "we need help this coming week" and that I didnt expect them to pick up the slack, but that maybe they could round up some helpers.  I'm pretty sure that I even mentioned 2 or 3 dinners would be enough.

WELL...what has happened just leaves me speechless.  We have had dinner brought 4 nights this week and I have had lunches 3 days.  It doesnt end with this week, though, there are people signed up for dinner a couple of nights each week for the next 2 weeks.  I dont know what these ladies said...but we, once again, find ourselves blessed as the recipients of people's generosity.  Speechless, I tell you.  When someone brings dinner, I dont have anything other than "thank you SO much" to offer.

Even WITH the dinners, Ben is still staying up until 1 or 2 AM, so I cant imagine if he was cooking & cleaning up the dishes after on top of the rest.  :(

Now, back to the pride about my hair, face, and house...ummm...that all went out the window 9 weeks ago.

I am not allowed to shower every day, so I get 3 showers each week. The days in between, I have to take my nappy oily hair and put it in a messy bun on top of my hair.  The bun itself isnt bad, but I just "cringe" at the brushed back part.  I've gone from full faces of makeup to throwing on some BB cream and mascara...and I wear the 3 same t-shirts and 3 pairs of yoga pants each week.  I've learned to "sponge bathe" in between showers...and it's all just had to be ENOUGH.  

And then, there is my house...oh my house...I paid to have it cleaned about 3 weeks ago & it isnt too bad.  BUT, there are dishes in the sink and clutter that about drives me bananas.  HOWEVER, I dare not ask Ben to put down his grad school stuff to pick up something because it bugs ME.  Currently, I am looking at a pile of empty boxes in my living room.  They simply need to be broken down and moved to the garage...but, they can wait.  There are other things that take precedence.  This has all been a HUGE lesson to me as we have had people in & out of the house so much.

In the past, when I have gone into people's homes, I couldn't CARE LESS if they had boxes in the living room, papers on the bar, or dishes in the sink.  WHO CARES?  But...thats not how I responded when it was people coming in to MY house.  What I've learned...I dont have control over it.  There is NOTHING that I can do about it...so there is no reason for me to stress about it.  What I've REALLY learned??

NO ONE CARES.

The biggest thing that I have learned through this??  This is our season to receive blessings...and soon, we will be able to turn around and use our experience to bless others.  My Love Language has always been in gifts...I just sometimes become so blinded by my daily life, that I don't look for ways to bless those around me.  Let me tell you...that will change after Finleigh comes and after I am recovered from my c-section. 

I could go on & on about how blessed we are...except that I dont really know the words to use...other than BLESSED and THANK YOU to everyone who has served us.  We may not be able to repay the kindness...but we WILL pass it on.

And...on that note...the doorbell just rang with dinner!!

(please pray for his final tomorrow...I'm ready to see him relaxed..a little...at least until BABY DAY!!)

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