Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Twenty-one Lessons in Sixteen Days...

I wrote this as an email just over a year ago, 16 days after going thru a very traumatic labor, still in full recovery mode and full new-mom with newborn mode...I remembered it today and initially thought it'd be great blog material. Now that I've re-read it, I'm thinking an anonymous blog would be best. 

On a side note, I would write much different things today. Thank God! 

If you are easily offended, grossed out or think that reading something offensive or gross could cause you to hate me, please STOP READING now. This was written by an exhausted, hormonal, yet humored woman.

You've been forewarned.

Some things I've learned during my 16 days of motherhood...

1. If you really hate someone, wish a 4th degree tear on them.
2. If you really, really hate someone take them dinner and... (had to delete to protect myself!)
3. Well intentioned people can be complete idiots, douches, control freaks, selfish and pretty much just clueless. I currently possess the capacity to hate them in the moment yet I do not possess the capacity to hide my hatred in that moment or the moment after or the moment after that. 
4. I owe apologies to several women in Decatur...that I took meals to and lingered for more than 5 minutes. 
5. About 15 days after labor, after being home staring at your walls and husband and those various visitors that you hated, you will suddenly want visitors. Only, there are none. 
6. Going anywhere is ecstasy.
7. Going anywhere alone is orgasmic.
8. I'm convinced if I didn't have stitches holding my vagina and rectum together, a lot of this would be null and void. 
9. Hot water on your ass feels awesome! Really, no sarcasm. 
10. Coconut oil or vaseline is better than Desitin or Beudreux (sp?) Butt Paste for diaper rash.
11. Coconut oil is great for a dry private parts, also.
12. Facebook + smart phone is a life-saver when you're breastfeeding. 
13. Taking a shower is the highlight of my day. Every day. 
14. Home cooked meals are awesome, but damn, give me some McDonald's! 
15. Breastfeeding makes me put a 300 lb man to shame in the kitchen. 
16. The first 7-10 days after birth, you will possibly feel like you're skinnier than you've ever been in your life. Around day 11, reality will start to set in. 
17. Reality is, you're still bigger than you've ever been in your life and you only thought you were flabby before pregnancy. Apparently, 9 months of lethargy really does cause muscle wasting. 
18. You only thought you hated your ______ (insert family member of choice) before!
19. You will need someone to hold your legs during labor. 
20. "This too shall pass" really does become a sanity-saving mantra. 
21. Around day 3 you will find yourself looking forward to the day when this phase, i.e. motherhood, will end. It will hit several times a day that it's not ending, ever. You may panic slightly. Or greatly. Then you will refer to #20 and calm down because at least the phase of not sleeping, not leaving the house, hating everyone around you and having a constant suckling of your sore boobs will pass.

Life Story

Apparently, it's been over six years since I posted to this blog. I blame Facebook for killing any ounce of "journaling" juice I use to contain.

Life Story: That's what is on my mind. I've been thinking a little about my own life story and a little more about life stories in general. I used to spend a good bit of time sharing my life story, or at least windows into it, but I just don't anymore. I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe it's because I no longer need to share in order to heal or be validated as a human. More likely, it's because no one is inquiring. My past, my history, the things, people, events, patterns of my childhood, youth and early adult life which all make me who I am today, don't seem to interest many people.

I don't blame them, they have no idea how interesting my story is. They probably assume my story is about as hum-drum as my current daily life and that these moments of me being bitchy or seemingly aloof or dramatic are just "who I am." Honestly, I have found myself wanting to scream out, "I used to be interesting!" quite regularly these days.

But, then again, I'm not even sure I want to share it. Part of me is glad noone is asking. It just takes too much effort to try to get someone to understand. And so few people actually listen. And, to be fair, I'm lazy.

I must put a good bit of self-worth into being interesting because it really bothers me that I no longer am. It bothers me that I don't have a creative outlet to express the inner workings of my heart and soul, which surely are somewhat interesting despite the day-to-day monotony of life.

But then again, I often find that even my heart and soul are story-less.

I wonder if that's why I no longer blog or journal or talk of my story...because even I have lost touch with it and who it has made me.

I'm toying with the idea of writing out my story, the past one. It seems rather daunting and anyone who knows me, knows that me and daunting (or complicated, long-winded and overwhelming) don't hang out for long.

So for now, I'll just post this blog. And maybe I'll update my pregnancy blog (13 months after the fact) which I just realized only lived thru 33 weeks. Bless it.

If I do post this, please try not to judge too harshly. I realize this post is self-centered, but it is a blog after all.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Suffering, Self-Centeredness and a Savior

As I walked out the door this morning, I quickly discovered that my car was iced over. Not frosted, but iced over. Not a shocker considering it was wet and 28 degrees outside. Long story short is that it took me 10 minutes just to get my windshield somewhat transparent. I still had difficulty getting my door open and couldn't roll down my windows. Of course, I was freezing and had wet hands by this point. Surprisingly, I wasn't as mad as I might have been on another day. But, I was very aware of the inconvinience and "suffering" that this situation caused me.

A few minutes later, I was all warmed up and cozy, listening to my music and pondering life. My life. This is where the "self-centeredness" really reared it's ugly head. So, I was thinking about a situation in my life that I would like to change, control, manage. I'm analyzing the situation to the degree that some might consider obsessive or, at the very least, consuming.

In the midst of all this, I pass a homeless man. He was carrying a very large, heavy looking blanket on his back, wrapped over his shoulders and around his cold body. DId I mention it was 28 degrees outside? This guy was walking slowly as if he was sick and tired and burdened not only by the physical weight on his back, but by life.

Everyday when I pass the many homeless men and women on Ponce, I think about their lives. I imagine what lead them to their current situation, how they feel about it and mostly how I so easily think of them as less valuable than other people. But, this morning there was an additional conviction.

My idea of suffering from my frozen car was suddenly absurd. And my self-focus, as evidenced by my obsession to figure out and control the personal dilemma mentioned earlier, was so, well, selfish. I mean, if I thought of others and cared about others about 1/2 as much as I focused on myself I might actually be freed up enough to be a reflection of Jesus to them.

I immediately felt the need for forgiveness and transformation and as I asked Jesus for these things, I was reminded that in Him I already have them. That's the good news, knowing I am forgiven and Jesus is transforming my heart. I can have hope and yet be broken over my sin.

This is the beauty of the gospel: it makes me more aware of my sin than ever yet it makes me more hopeful and freed from my sin than ever. That's Jesus. The lover of my corrupt heart. The one who was so unselfish that he suffered more than we can imagine in order that we might be freed from our selfish hearts. Beauty in the flesh people, beauty.

Now, about the homeless and those who really suffer? Good question. I don't have all the answers, but I do know that Jesus loves and values those people and I have a sneaky feeling that He wants me to learn FROM them as much as He wants me to reach out to them.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

thoughts on men versus a man

While on this little solo-retreat, i.e. paid business trip, I have been rejoicing in the time to ponder life. There’s nothing like alone time. Over the last year or so, due to facebook, roommates, job, church, community, volunteering, etc, etc, I seemed to have forgotten the value of alone time. Hearing the heart time – your own and God’s. There’s especially nothing like alone time when the sound of crashing waves is the background. Beautiful.

So, as I was saying, I’ve been pondering. Yesterday I had the deep yet tangible desire to be loved. Now, don’t get me wrong, I always want to be loved. Who doesn’t? But, yesterday, I had somewhat of an epiphany. For, perhaps the first time in my life, I was acutely aware of the fact that I would trade and want to trade all the flattery, compliments, looks, glances, attention…from all the men in the world for the real love of one man.

I have a feeling that this is normal for most women and that I am just a late bloomer. As a matter of fact, I can remember having slight anxiety attacks while in past relationships because I would have the ridiculous thought of, “What if this is it? All flirting and flattery will end. All the security I get from these silly types of attention from the “others” will end and I will be stuck with just one.” Now, I realize the ridiculousness, immaturity and insecurity behind that line of thinking/fearing, but I is who I is. That is simply where I was.

Now, the purpose of this note is not to do some self-analysis (Trust me, there’s been plenty of that in my life. Too much I’m sure) and confess all of my jacked up relational thoughts and fears.

The point of this is to share both of my epiphanies with you. Yes, there are two, one giving birth to the other. Or maybe the latter birthed the initial, but in secret ways.

Focus, Heather, focus.

Okay, so that first epiphany, as elementary as it probably sounds to most of you, was so meaningful to me. I had an intense sense of “Yes. Yes! That is true. I would trade it all for the real love of one man.” Now, before you judge me as desperate, let me clarify that this was not about having someone, anyone love me. This was about a realization that began in the soul and not in the mind. It hit me like a ton of bricks – only the kind that knocks you into a soft cloud of peace. I had to stop, pray and tell the Lord that I was ready. I was ready to lay down all the shallow things that make me FEEL lovable; the things that make me feel as if one man COULD love me. I was ready to lay it all down and trade it for one man who truly does love me.

Strange? Yes

A huge turning point for me? Indeed.

Now, this first epiphany swelled up in my head and heart various time over the last 24 hours and I pondered it and dwelled on it and talked to God about it. About why it took my 34 years to get there and why I’ve relied on “proof” from men (plural) to give me hope that one man could someday love me.

So, that’s revelation number one: what I really long for, to be loved my a man, only requires one thing: one man’s love. Not a plethora of flattery or desirability by men, any men.

Anyway, that’s enough of that…

So, tonight I was flipping back and forth between Ephesians and Philippians (for no apparent reason, other than God’s sweetness) at which point the second ton of bricks knocked me into another pillow of peace and awe.

In Philippians, Paul is talking about how the things in which he used to put his confidence, his birthright, his keeping of the law, etc, etc were meaningless and how he traded them all (died to them all) for the knowledge of the love of Christ. How grace and real love from God were the real thing and the rest were only meaningless attempts to “prove” that God could and would love him.

As I was reading this, I kept thinking, “Oh my gosh, this is me. This is exactly what God’s been showing me about the man thing. I, like Paul, see the futility and ridiculousness of needing and wanting and trusting in the meaningless, impotent confidence gained from the masses. And, indeed, what I longed to know, that a man could love me, would only be known when a man (one man) did indeed love me. And, like Paul, I now consider it all rubbish.”

So, that was grand but that was not the end.

I began thinking of the reverse. What if my reading from Philippians was not insight into my man thing, but what if my ‘revelation’ about the man thing was insight into the truth of Philippians: that the way I long for one man’s love is a picture of the way I could, I should, I want to long for Jesus’ love. A picture of how I look to so many things to assure me that I’m loved and satisfied and full when in reality there’s only one thing, one Man, that can not only assure me of these things, but actually provide them. And the effort to get those things thru any other means is just a meaningless and impotent source of false-confidence that no more delivers than the attention of many men delivers true love.

It doesn’t end there…

So, that took me back to Ephesians to all that jazz about women submitting to their husbands and husbands loving their wives, yada yada. (BTW, I think I finally understand those versus in the context of us being one body, but that’s for another day.)

What grabbed me like a barbed wire girdle (as my grandmother used to say) was the verse that says, “And for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.” Right below that Paul says he’s talking about Jesus’ relationship with his church (also known as his wife). Note, it’s the husband who leaves and note that the two become one flesh. SO, Jesus, being the husband, left his Father and his comfy home and came to “cleave” to us (his wife, his church) and we literally became one flesh with him.

As if that wasn’t enough, just look to the versus above this where Paul talks about a man loving, nurturing and cherishing his own body and that this is what husbands should do to their wives because now the wife is, indeed, part of his own body. That’s what Jesus does! We are literally part of his body and as part of his body, He loves, nurtures and CHERISHES us. No wonder Paul would give up all the silly, useless things he has been depending on to “gain” God’s love. He’s got it all, in the real form, in Jesus.

That’s what I want.

Only true love can prove true lovableness and if the love of Jesus, as described above, ain’t true love then I don’t know what is. Now, if my first Husband would go ahead and give me the second one that'd be just fine with me.

Loved, nurtured, cherished. That is me.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Just a few days ago I was thinking about how long it's been since I've blogged, journaled or written anything for that matter. How long it's been since I've wanted to write. And low and behold I find myself on here 3 days later.

Funny how death will do that to ya. Make you want to express yourself. You can't really express to anyONE what you're feeling or thinking and so somehow writing is like getting it out without really caring if the other person understands. You understand (sort of) and that's enough when you write. At least it is for me.

Anyway, someone died. This someone is not really a "friend" but he was a big part of my life for several years - in a different way. I've been surprised at the emotions that have surfaced from his death. I miss him though I hadn't seen him in almost 3 years. I probably never would have seen him again, but now I know I won't. There's also emotions connected to the relationships that connected me to him. He was part of a time in my life that is now "the past" and his ending brings about a renewed sense or awareness of that part of my life's ending. It is over. It will never be again. I've known this. I'm pretty sure I've even mourned it before - when it actually ended. But, it's like the reminder of it being no more and never again brings up feelings of nostalgia and even love for that time, those people, that Heather, those experiences, even those hardships. It also brings up feelings of love for God. God was working so intensely (painfully yet sweetly) in my heart in that epic and being taken back there by this death, has made my heart long for God and love him afresh.

There are other feelings. The pain of those whom I loved even more than this man, those who loved him even more than I do. The pain for their loss hurts. I want them to be held and cared for and comforted. I can only pray that will be. And trust. I can't be there. I can't touch them or even talk to them. I can't give them my petty words of assurance or love. And that in itself is another form of pain.

The strangest thing about all of this is that when I was there - far from where I now live - I lost people who were here. Kind of the same situation, only the physical locations are reversed. And the weird thing is that the people I lost them were much closer to me than this man, but I don't think I ever felt as much as I've felt with this lost. I'm not even sure I ever mourned those people. And those were people I should have mourned. People who I was much closer to or more attached to thru family ties than this man. But, for whatever reasons (and I'm asking God to revel them if they're helpful at all), I didn't really FEEL the reality of their deaths and the worst part is I didn't feel the pain of other people that lost them. I just didn't feel much of anything.

Well, I think I've gotten my thoughts out. Not sure when I'll be back. Could be a day . Could be a year. Maybe I'll have some big revelation about the above paragraph and write about those soon. Maybe I'll just feel this pain and Jesus will hold my heart as he holds the hearts of those who have really truly lost a great man and a great love.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Revisit

Let's see now. It was fall of 2005, so that was two and a half years ago. Two and a half years since the most intense pain I've ever experienced. And two and a half years since the most intense love I've ever experienced.

God used a lot of stupid decisions and life-long patterns to bring me to that point. He was teaching me some hard, hard lessons about myself, others and His love. I had lived my whole life in flight or fight mode when it came to the heart. When in a place of risk (where the heart was involved) I would either pack my bags and head back to safer ground or I would fight like hell to make sure I wasn't going to experience pain. This was so normal, so part of who I had become thru the years that, though I could see it at times, I was powerless to overcome it.

As with all good stories, this one revolved around a guy. I had been in an on and off relationship (on and off because I was constantly fleeing) for three years and when HE finally ended it once and for all I was rocked. Then, almost immediately, he and my best friend started falling for each other. I was undone. I no longer had anything to take flight from, but boy did I have something to fight against. And that is where the work really began. God, along with Joyce Meyer, Jan Meyers, Elizabeth Elliot, Demps and Kristy and a few others, pressed me against a wall and would not let me flee nor fight. I was kicking and screaming, but I knew I was stuck. I was stuck in a place of raw pain. I was open and wounded and vulnerable. I was exposed and I had never felt such intense pain and such intense inability to do anything about that pain.

For the first time in my life, I was choosing to remain in the pain, to offer it to Jesus and to do nothing. Doing nothing is not in Heather's natural vocabulary. I had become so good at avoiding pain that there were times that I honestly did not think I would physically live thru the night. I had spent the previous 30 years unknowingly creating ways to feel secure and free from the danger of intense hurt. I had become impenetrable AND incapable of truly loving or being loved.

So, God in His desire to win my heart, broke it. He tore it open and I was naked and raw. I distinctly remember the moment of no return: I knew, and I said aloud to God, either You are everything and all I have or You are nothing. God was either irrelevant, maybe even non-existent or He was life. I knew this was it...this moment would define the rest of my life.

In His grace, He showed my desperate and broken heart that "I Am" truly Is. The pain remained, but the healing began.

So, why am I writing about this now, so long afterwards?

Well,I have learned to trust more and to open myself to the risks and pains of life. I have learned to love, not perfectly, but truly. I can see the fingerprints of God's work in my heart since that season. And with this increased trust and vulnerability comes increased pain. Hope brings pain. And with this pain comes the same question which brings me to revisit my questions from the past (or brings them to revisit me)... Is it worth it? And if it is, do I have the strength to keep trusting, keep opening myself, keep feeling, keep hoping, keep desiring without being overcome? Will I become a cynic? Will I give in to what my tired and pained heart tells me? Or will I trust in Him though He slay me?

My prayer today is that I will come face to face with Jesus once again and that He will bring me to repentance and faith once again. I long to trust. I long to stay in the room long enough for him to do his work. But, the battle is on and my heart is wanting to flee or fight. Lord, help me stay and trust.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Purpose of PMS

As me and my roommates were driving up 85 tonight, I found myself pondering the good things that come from PMS. It all started when I realized what a butt I had been to a dear friend and how surely PMS had a big role in it. So, what's the good in that, you ask? Well, let's see...

1. When else can you, for no good reason, get such a clear look at how sinful you really are?. The possibilities are endless here, but just to name a few: impatience, intolerance, harshness, hatred, imprudent speech (like that terminology?), anxiety, laziness, self-pity, shall I go on?

2. Delilah may not have survived 50 years of radio without our monthly friend. I mean what better time to turn the radio up and belt out your favorite love ballods. Feeling all the emotion (real and/or imagined) of the artists themselves. What a better time to listen to the cheese balls who call in and to somehow feel connected to them.

3. Where would Pfizer and Bayer be if not for PMS? I'm talking more than the makers of Motrin here people. I mean how many times have you thought, "Oh my gosh. Can someone please pop me a Prozac here?!" Or how many of your significant others have wished that for you?!

4. I know I would be even more prideful if not for my monthly exposition. This goes along with number one, but I'm not sure all these things are sin; more like humiliating exposés. It's where we, and all those near us, discover just how irrational, delusional, depressed, insecure and dramatic we can be. There's typically much need for the asking of grace during this time.

5. What else could possibly make us happy to finally just start!?
Think about it, is there anything fun about a period? No. But how often have you found yourself saying, "I just wish my period would start so I could get off this emotional roller coaster!"

So, see ladies, we should all count our blessings each month - even in the midst our lovely monthly emotional volcanic explosions!

GUYS: I'm sorry if you found this disturbing or difficult to read, but just remember: at least you only have to read about it!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Pondering some words from O Holy Night...

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.