Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bigger Picture Moment: The Blog Post No One Wants to Have to Write...

I don't have a great way to start this entry. I was feeling kind of out of the loop with this month's "Blog for your Breasts" activity because we have been running around doing a half million things and I really haven't had a lot of Thursdays to just sit and write. Also, as I stated before, I don't have a family member with breast cancer. I have one very close friend who is a survivor but she won that battle before I ever knew her and though I know it's a part of who she is, it's not a large part of my relationship with her. But, I was all set to write about the survivor that I know and how much I adore her and how important she is to me.

Until Monday night when I found out I was no longer in the group of people who didn't know anyone with breast cancer. Because that was when my father called  to tell me that a very dear friend to our family, Vicki, was sick. She is having a mastectomy this week, in fact. I was dumbfounded. I literally had nothing to say (which, for me, is really saying something). 

You know how you have those people in your life who ask you all the right questions and really listen to your answers? Who make you feel supported and tell you how amazing you are all of the time? Who you continue to work to keep in touch with and look forward to seeing whenever you can even if it's not very often at all? Vicki is that person for me. I have known her almost my whole life. She has been my father's friend since I was only a little bigger than my Tot is now. As I grew, she eventually became my friend as well. She has always been an adult I could lean on and someone I could look up to. To say she is important to me is a grave understatement. 

The idea that she might not be around for my son to know her is devastating. This is a person who has had such a profound and caring influence on my life. I think about her children who are grown with children of their own. They can't lose their mother. I think of her grandsons, two who have just finished High School and started their career paths and two who are still so small they have only just begun school. They can't lose their grandmother. Most of all, I think of her mother. Vicki's mother is in her 90's and one of the sweetest, sassiest ladies I have ever met. I wish I could have it as together as she does. She can't lose her daughter. 

Our bible study class is studying the book of Daniel. We just recently went through the passage where Shadarach, Meshach and Abednego are thrown in to the fire and are saved. We discussed the different ways that God saves us - either from the fire, through the fire, or by the fire. As much as I know that what awaits us on the other side is much more wonderful than anything we could even describe here, I find myself praying fervently "Bring her through the fire, Lord." Because I can't lose my friend. 

Click here to read more "Write Pink" entries. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

A bit of faith

I miss my blog. I am sorry, my loyal readers, (few of you though you may be) that I haven't been posting regularly. After we got back to town, we were just playing "catch up" and trying to get back to the swing of things. I have a half written post about our trip but it's just not where I am at today, so I will save it for another time. Or maybe delete it. I haven't decided.

I apologize in advance for the religiousity (is that a word? it is now) but lately, I have been struggling with my faith. I recently took a job at our church. I enjoy the job for the most part and I like being more involved with the church. I also really like that it's only a few hours a week so I can still do some full-time mothering. However, since becoming more of a church presence, I have struggled with my faith.

All of my life I have believed in God. Even as a small child from a minimally church going family, I would pray to God, talk to Him, ask for His help. I had a fairly rocky upbringing and I often felt lost and alone, so it was a comfort to me to imagine that someone was there with me in the tough times. However, I wasn't really raised in a church environment. We mostly attended on holidays and for confirmation purposes. Other than that, we slept in on Sundays.

My husband was raised in the church. He went every Sunday and often during the week as well. He was active in the youth programs and even served as a missionary with his parents. When we were first married we rarely attended church and I felt guilty that I was keeping him from such a major force in his life (though he assures me that this wasn't the case). When we moved back to the Midwest and began focusing on building our own family, finding a church went right along with that. Even so, once we found a church where we knew we belonged, our attendance was haphazard at best. Especially after we had a newborn in the house.

Now that I work for the church, our attendance has become more regular, which is wonderful both for us and our Tot. Our church is a friendly place and I am glad to call myself a member. But, I worry that I am not religious enough to call myself a "staff person". I think that when I picture folks who work for the church, I always imagine these confident, gracious, kind individuals who are strong in their faith and secure in their leadership. I don't imagine someone like me who needs tabbies on her bible to find the right sections or wonders sometimes if Bill Maher is right and we are all fooling ourselves in to being better people. That one is the worst. Sometimes I am driving along, listening to the radio and thinking, "What if the Atheists are right? What if we tell ourselves there is a God because we are too afraid of the alternative?" and then I instantly feel terrible and worry that I should NOT be in a leadership position in our church and definitely not ministering to young ones.

I continue to pray for security, for knowledge, for confidence in my beliefs - all the while knowing that if I had the knowledge, I wouldn't need faith. I think of all of the amazing things God has done, all of the prayers He has answered. I remember praying for my son, for my husband, for comfort, for strength. I think of all of the blessings God has given me and all of the challenges He has helped me face. I still worry that I am not "religious enough" or "spiritual enough" or "faithful enough". But I hope, and most of all, I pray that I will get there. In the meantime, I continue to try to walk the path that He would have me walk and learn what I can on the way.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Can a I get a "ma ma"?

Finally, it has happened. The Tot says "Mama". And not just when coached but actually to me and in reference to me. I am told that very soon I will grow tired of hearing "mama, mama, mama" but not so far. At the moment I just adore hearing it in whatever context. My most favorite is when he is with the Husband and he says "I want Mama". Now, before you think I am a cold hearted person, you need to know that EVERY morning for the last several months when we came down in the morning for breakfast, the Tot emphatically says "Dada!" like he hasn't seen his father in weeks. But no amount of coaxing, bribing, mimicking, etc. could entice him to say "Mama". Never mind that I carried this child for almost 10 months. Never mind that I gave up a very successful career to stay home and be his primary care giver. Daddy was number one. So, yes, as wicked as it may be - just a tiny part of me is savoring being the favorite. I am well aware that the tables will shift in no time and I will be on the bottom of the totem pole again before I know it.

I haven't posted in a few weeks because we were on a family vacation. We visited the in-laws in the south and then left the Tot in their capable hands while we traveled further down to the entertainment mecca that is Orlando. It was a lot of fun but very tiring. I am sure there will be many posts in the coming weeks but for now, I am just savoring the recent milestone and the last remaining vacation days with the Husband.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Blog for your Breasts: Today's the Day

I wasn't going to blog today. I am tired. I have about 100 things to do before we can leave on vacation. I still have to make some extensive lists and find the motivation to squeeze in the 30-Day Shred workout. But then I saw this blog post on Mom-101. And I remembered that today is October 1st. The 1st day of breast cancer awareness month. The month where we all don pink and march and donate and raise funds in honor of our sisters, mothers, best friends who have become warriors against this hideous disease. I realized that today could be the day that we start the battle that ends this war. So, I enlisted as a solider in the Army of Women. I tagged the page on Facebook and encouraged all of my friends to do the same. And finally, I blogged about it. It's not much, I know - but it's a start. By joining the Army of Women, I will continue to be informed of the research for a cure. Even better, I have the opportunity to participate in some of the studies and really contribute something valuable to the fight.

I don't have breast cancer...yet. I don't know anyone in my family with breast cancer...yet. But the odds are (one in eight) that I will. I have a friend who is a breast cancer survivor. She is an amazing and strong woman. She is one of my closest friends and I don't know what my life would be without her in it. I don't want to have to find out.

To add your voice to the fight and read other women's stories - click here or here or here and link up to blog for your breasts.