Saturday, January 22, 2011

Lesson Learned: Be Thankful For What You Have!

I'll be the first to admit that I've been in a really dark place this last week and a half.  I suppose that I've spent at least 3-5 days every month in a funk since we began this journey towards parenthood.  This last month was the one that completely broke me, and I spent more time thinking about me than usual.  Therein lies my problem:  the more I think about me, the more I think about the unfairness of life, mine in particular.  I'm sure there's a pill for that, but God has an easier remedy for me:  focus on OTHERS FIRST.  I have no time to mope when I'm focused on others. 

I told my husband last night that even though people tell me I'm musically talented, I personally know how UN-talented I am.  I love music, and I like playing pretty songs, but I had to work extremely hard to make things sound pretty--that's not talent, that's drive and determination.  I think I have other talents, and I feel I've summed them up with a nice mission statement for my life:  I am to love the people that God loves.  Just that.  Love involves holding a hand, wiping a brow, comforting a little one, giving away smiles, praising even in the midst of a storm, hugs freely given, telling silly jokes, being Gracie to Stephen's George, cooking meals for others, making afghans, sending a note, and most of all letting others know that I KNOW that God is in control of my life.

So how did my attitude change so quickly?  Funny you should ask.  I was snapped out of my self-pity by a family emergency.  My mother-in-law passed out on Tuesday and we thought she had a stroke (she didn't-I'll get to that in a bit).  We spent half the night at the ER, and they kept her because they couldn't find any brain or heart damage.  She came home on Thursday afternoon, and two hours later, she passed out again, and when the EMT's arrived, my father-in-law passed out on them.  The culprit?? A propane leak that led to toxic levels of carbon monoxide in their house.  Had my mother-in-law NOT passed out, they would have gone to bed and never awakened on this side of heaven.  I haven't stopped thanking God for the results we had.  They are both safe, as is my brother-in-law, who also was poisoned.  We're obviously taking out the stove that led to the problem, but I can't say enough how thankful I have been.

  This world is not about me, and even though this is a place for me to vent safely, I also need to remember that putting others first makes me a happier person.  I suppose I should also stop whining about not being a mom.  I was pregnant for 10 weeks, so I technically experienced pregnancy.  I also gave birth, not in the way I wanted or imagined, but I gave birth.  I have a daughter--she's in heaven, but she's alive there.  I have friends that have never experienced any of this, and while I'm not going to experience the fullness of being a mom, I technically am one. 

 I am going to take a break from this stress right now and focus on making others' lives happier and fuller.  Does that mean that I stop posting? No, but it means that I am reaching a point where I say that I am coming to terms with not being a "real" mom.  We don't qualify for foster parenting, have no money for adoption or fertility treatments, and know that the natural route is not working.  In other words, I'm being told that traditional motherhood is not in my path at this point in my life.  I'm going to accept that and embrace the fact that the title of "Aunt"  might be the only one I hold.  I'm going to be the best I can be, find my joy again, and go on with my life.  As I stated at the top, I'm putting thankfulness first, others second, and me third.  I know starting out that I will fail at this attitude from time to time, but having a goal means that short-term losses will not be total failure, but an opportunity to restart.  Loving the people that God loves puts me on a path towards making my world and His a much better place.  

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