Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Oh wheeeerrrre, is my patience?

This pregnancy has really not been bad so far as far as how I feel (and I praise Jesus for that every single day).  I'm tired, as very much expected, but even still, I don't feel completely unable to function like I did when I was pregnant with Arabella. To be honest, this go round, I just don't have the option to feel that way.

I mean, really.  Most days, this is how I feel.

Or if we want to be real honest, this is more like it.

But one thing that has been affected patience.

It's pretty much gone.

I lose my temper very quickly (at least for me, it's very quickly); I feel annoyed and aggravated with something almost all the time; my precious two year old who holds my heart drives me batty much more easily, and that makes me sad.  I'm just not me.

and since we're being honest and all...this is probably the root of my patience vamoosing.  "settled reality"...  "not in control"...  tough stuff.  (but I'm still letting you know that this little critter in me flipped the switch)

I'm also sure that the unbelievable amount of things I've had going on lately haven't helped much...  Three jobs...all of which I enjoy (for the most part, most of the time), but they wear me out nonetheless.  Having to find childcare for Bella every week--even just one day, since it's not consistent, it's tiring and I feel like I'm imposing on others.  LTC and all of the practices and preparation that went into that.  Easter plans that changed last minute leaving us all three in separate places and me driving a lot to get where we needed to be.  A wedding shower for my brother in law that has taken up a lot of my past two months and ALL of my last week.  Making 100 snicker doodles (from good) and 15+ dozen sugar cookies (from good) for the two previous weekends.  The emotion and drain that came with losing a student.  Pretty much being a single parent since Hunter is on this turnaround.  The constant state of disarray that my house seems to alway be in--there are piles everywhere, particularly in the sink and the laundry baskets...and every square inch of floor (seriously, I have suitcases that are still only half unpacked from trips all the way back in January through now...because we are gone allllll the time).  Hosting and planning a youth rally in August.   And it just goes on and on and on...

I mean, really.  But other times, it's great.  But a lot of times, dumb.

I've officially entered the 2nd trimester, so hopefully my energy and motivation levels will come up some soon.  And hopefully I can learn soon how not to be involved in everything that beckons my attention.  Because I'm not just tired...I'm getting weary.  And emotional, and frustrated, and overwhelmed.

desperately trying to remember this truth and to remember who I am...

May should be much calmer than April...but it's only the calm before the storm of June.  And then things should calm down almost completely after the youth rally on August 2 (they have to...)  At least until October when this little wee tot makes its debut.  So really, I guess it never does really slow down does it?

I just needed to vent and writing is an easy way for me to do that.  So thanks for lending me your ears/eyes as I figure things out.

Next week I am forcing myself to sit down and work on Bella's 2 year Shutterfly book.  That'll keep me sitting and reminiscing and having fun while working for a good little while.  Plus it's birthday week, so it's bound to be great, right?!

love, angie

Thursday, April 24, 2014

It's not supposed to be this way...

Tonight was a tough night.  I sat through something that you never expect to have to...  Tonight I attended a vigil, memorial service, honoring of a student who was killed this past weekend.

Since I resigned when I got pregnant with Arabella, my students were my only kids for those three years.  They are who kept me up worrying; they are whose games and activities I attended in support; they are who drove me absolutely crazy one minute and laughing hysterically the next; they are who my world revolved around; they were and always will be my kids.  To lose one of them has rocked my world more than I expected...but then again, who ever expects to have to go through this?

The service tonight was absolutely beautiful.  It was all student led and they did a phenomenal job of remembering and honoring their classmate, brother, and friend.  Several of his close friends and classmates delivered messages, memories, and prayers.  He was also honored through songs recorded, sung, and played by the band as well as a slideshow.  And most impressively and importantly, every single speech and song delivered, the message of hope through our Lord Jesus was made known clearly.

See, Jamarcus was a Jesus boy.  He was a squirrelly rascal who would do just about anything to make someone laugh.  But he was also a tender hearted soul who would do just about anything to make someone feel loved.  And there's where the hope and peace lies in this terrible time...we're still stuck down here, but Jamarcus is celebrating with His Savior.  As one of the coaches said tonight, "while we were on our way to our church buildings Sunday morning, Jamarcus was being welcomed into the Church of Heaven by God Himself."  And how beautiful is that...

This whole week has been hard.  Just hard.  I find myself crying in the weirdest times and being set off by something so random.  I have cried a lot.  Seeing all of those kids--my kids--hurting tonight was absolutely heart wrenching.  Death is a difficult time for any one to walk through.  But when a young life is taken and other young people have to learn to walk through that, it's something else altogether.

I got two hugs tonight that melted me inside.  One was from a young lady who came up to me on the field after the service was over and immediately hugged me.  I was kind of surprised and then I felt her arms get tighter and her body start to shake as she cried.  We shared some words and some tears, and that moment was so special.  The second was one I sought out.  It was from a young man who was one of my special ones--we had a great relationship and just clicked.  I knew he was good friends with Jamarcus and I wanted to check in on him.  I walked over and "pst pst"ed at him since he was visiting in a group.  He looked up with a big smile, said "Mrs. Newby!", and immediately grabbed me up in a hug.  And then didn't let go.  We talked some, just stood there some, but he never let go.  Those moments were so very special to me.

I have always hoped with my whole heart that I was able to convey to my students how much I love them and care about them.  I have always prayed and hoped to be a strength, a guide, a mentor for them.  Those two hugs tonight (on top of the many others I received) assured my heart that God had placed me where He needed me.

Death is hardest on the living.  But as we just celebrated this past Sunday, the day Jamarcus left this earth, our hope doesn't end with death.  Jesus walked out of that tomb and he brought with him freedom, hope, grace, and life.  He left death behind--the fear of it, the sting of it, the finality of it.  And that is such a beautiful truth to dwell on, especially in times like these.

It's not supposed to be this way.  But that's why this world is not our home--it is full of evil and despair and heartache.  I pray the memories of Jamarcus...his infectious laugh, his irresistible grin, his constant pranks and jokes, his joy...I pray those stay fresh.  I also pray that this terrible loss brings forth growth and change and salvation.  That because of this young man's life and loss, other people make better choices, help other people, and seek Jesus.

Jamarcus, it was my honor, privilege, and absolute joy to teach you and to know you.  I hope you understood the impressions you left on those you met--how loved you made people feel.  Run, dance, fly, and ride with the angels, sweet boy.  You are so, so loved and incredibly missed.

Love, Mrs. Newby

This song came on the radio as I got in my car to go to the service tonight.  I just teared up at the gift my Jesus had given me.  Cry out to Jesus...

"To everyone who's lost someone they loved, long before it was their time..."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

El Roi--the God who sees

(obviously this was written a while back...however, I wasn't ready to share until now)

So...I'm pregnant!  There's a lot of back story to this go round:  a lot of doctor's visits, medicines, waiting, pain, tears, and prayers.  But here, on Monday, February 17, 2014, I found out I am indeed...pregnant!

It made me giggle to think about.  I started "feeling" like I was last week--random bouts of nausea, tight pants, random tiredness, etc.  But after the last year and a half, my hope was terrified to surface. The part that made me giggle inside though was the deja vu...  Three years ago (Febraury 20, 2011), I found out I was pregnant with Arabella.  It was President's Day, which of course is a Monday.  We were supposed to be out of school but were having to makeup a weather day (for snow) on that day.  Fast forward three years to today...Monday, President's Day, on which they were supposed to be off of school but are instead making it up from a weather (snow) day.  Haha--just craziness!  And proof that God of mine likes a good giggle too :)

Last night at church, our preacher delivered a lesson on "El Roi", the God who sees (he's going through a series on the names of God and it is really beautiful).  He used the story of Abram, Sarai, Hagar, and Ishmael, as this is the name Hagar calls when she realizes God sees her.  The point that struck me though is the side note he made about Ishmael.  He said we still produce Ishmaels today; for they are the product of not waiting on the Lord...for rushing our timeline instead of trusting in the beauty of the gifts we receive when we wait on Him.  I had been doing just that.  For any woman who has yearned desperately for a child, you understand--it consumes you.  I had been trying to rush what I wanted when I wanted it.  I needed to wait on the Lord.  My heart stirred at those words.  

I also read 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp a few months ago, and her in depth look at eucharisteo sent chills and then warmth all the way to my core.  I had not been thankful; I had not recognized the gifts of the moment because I was too focused on the future I wanted.  When I began thanking God for the extra months with Arabella, for the discussions and intimacy the waiting brought my marriage, for my growing prayer life and changing heart, for the better understanding of infertility and the heartache that so many women experience...that's when my heart began to change.  Realizing the gifts I was being given--even though they hurt--was such a beautiful transformation for me.  

So here I sit, writing the story that for a while, I never thought I would be able to.  And I am blessedly reminded and assured that I worship and love El Roi, the God who sees.  The God who sees me, in my desperation and heartache; the God who saw that and drew my heart closer to Him. 

Little one, you are so loved.  You have been prayed for and over for a very long time by quite a few people.  My heart is full and soon my precious tummy will be as well.  Grow strong, little blessed gift.  

love, angie