No Expectations, No Disappointments

I recently was on Facebook and a family member posted a picture of the saying, “No Expectations, No Disappointments.”  Yep, you are guessing right if you think that this spoke to me and here is why.

I am the type of person who holds others and life experiences to very high, maybe even unrealistic standards. This past week I have learned that maybe this is not a good thing. I started to think about how I have been let down and had the feeling of disappointment and it is my fault. Why was it my fault…well I will tell you.

When holidays or specials dates such as anniversaries come around I start to build these elaborate plans in my head of things that my husband and I should do.  For example, he might surprise me and hire a sitter for the evening. He might take me to a romantic dinner at our favorite restaurant. We will spend the evening laughing, holding hands and kissing.  We will come home to a quiet house and finish our evening at home with a cocktail and great conversation.

Then, when the events or day arrives I except for things to be magical. However, instead of these things he has not planned dinner or special time. He brings you beautiful flowers instead and you go out with the kids and as a family you have dinner. The flowers were wonderful but the kids throw a fit about food for the millionth time. By the time you get home, you are exhausted from wrestling children to get them to stay seated, your ears hurt from the loud restaurant, and you have food all over your shirt because your toddler split his spaghetti on you.  You cannot help it but the disappointment is all over your face. This happens because your “expectation” of the perfect evening has been crumbled up, spit on, stomped on, and thrown in the trash. So, your husband might be angry at you for not enjoying yourself, he may feel like he failed and this will cause him stress, or he will just be annoyed that again you “were not happy.”

If you would have gone into the evening without such high expectations then the dinner might have looked and felt differently….

The kids do not want to eat, but that is normal and no big deal because you know they will eat when they are hungry enough. They do not want to sit in their seat, but they love you and want to sit on your lap. You will get to talk to your husband when you get home, just enjoy your kids being little. They will grow up too fast and you will miss this.  The restaurant is loud but all restaurants that welcome kids are loud, because their are kids there. Just be thankful these places exist and get over it. Your son, who is sitting on your lap, dumps his spaghetti all over your shirt. Well, he was not going to eat it anyway. That just means there will be fewer leftovers to eat later and isn’t this why stain remover was invented.

You see…I have noticed that life is all about your perception and expectations. If I go into life expecting things to go a certain way I will be disappointed because nothing ever happens that exact way you expect it to. Sometimes plans fail, sometimes things happen that are horrible, sometimes thing are even better than you could have ever imagined. Instead of focusing on what did not happen, look at what did and find the beauty of life in that moment. A positive attitude can make a positive attitude will go far in life and make you much happier. Who wants to live in disappointment…not me!

 

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Better, Not Bitter

What a year it has been. A year that I would like to change, fix, redo…or would I?

This past year, my husband and I had two miscarriages, we lost a set of identical twin girls, and had a chemical pregnancy. These events caused an anger and sadness in me that I have never felt before.

This past year I have cried a million tears, went to therapy for the first time in my life, fought with my husband, cursed God, decided that God hated me, and threw my hands in the air and just wanted to give up on life.

Then… I went to a christian women’s retreat. A lot of things have changed in me since then.

I do not want to go into the details of the miscarriages and the not so happy details of the past year because I have decided to move forward. I feel this is different than moving on. When you move on you forget what happened and maybe put aside your feelings. When you move forward, you learn from the past, address your feelings, and work to make the future better.

My decision to move forward was inspired by events that happened at the retreat. Before the retreat, my husband and I were fighting horribly. The day I left I could not get out of the house fast enough. This was not because I was overly excited to be at a retreat, but because it gave me a break from all the drama that was happening in my life. On the drive there I filled my friend’s ear with complaints about my life. I could not stop the negativity and anger from spilling from my mouth. She was gracious enough to listen and that is just what I thought that I needed.

The first speaker at the retreat spoke about how to be a happy wife and mom. I listened to her and I judged her.  I judged her for thinking she knew how to do it all and for thinking she had all the answers. Also, it seemed like she really was there to just promote her books and to tell us that her books could “fix” us. (I later realized that these feelings were a product of my negativity and sin.) However, when she was done there was one thing that I got from her talk. She said, “We have a choice in this life. We can choose to be bitter about our suffering or our suffering could make us better.”

WOW! What? Was I bitter? Me bitter? NO WAY, really?

Bitter was a term used to describe old miserable women who growled at babies and hated puppies. Was I really this person?

Maybe I was…wait a minute though, I had a legitimate excuse to be sad and angry everyday. God had taken my babies from me and was not going to allow me to ever carry a child. He had forsaken me, showed me that I was not worthy of His blessings, and He did not/could not love me. This is how I felt, these are the thoughts that I allowed to poison me, consume me even. However, I felt I was entitled to feel this way.

I let this sit with me for a while. I started to question if my thoughts about God were given to me by the devil to pull me away from God. Before I knew it, it was time for others to speak. I listened to four testimonies and saw what God had done for these women. They talked about being a “daughter of God” and reminded the group that God would not forsake us, they also kept saying that God had a plan. “God has a plan for you,” was a “saying” that I was so tried of hearing. Everyone told me this when I lost my babies and it seemed to be the cliche thing to say and empty words. Once more, I questioned if these thoughts were planted in me by the evil one to separate me away from God.

Then it happened. A friend, not only a friend but the friend that brought me to the retreat, got on stage and started speaking. She had not planned this but God had put it on her heart to share part of her testimony and I felt like she was directly talking to me. It was at that moment that I saw my bitterness and what all the anger that I was holding inside of me was truly doing to me.

I kept feeling this tug in my heart. A tug to do something about my feelings. When she finished speaking, I walked up to a prayer leader and told her I needed her help to pray. I told her that I did not want to be angry anymore. I wanted to be free of these feelings. I shared my story with her. I shared the real story, not the censored story I told my husband. Not the censored story I was telling myself.

She and two other women took me to the chapel. The chapel looked like the shack from the movie, The Shack. We got settled and they started to pray for me.  They listened to me. They prayed that God would help them know what to say to help me. They wept with me. They were patient with me. It took me a long time to be ready to let go, but they did not give up on me. It was hard for me to let those feelings go and to see what I really needed to do. But in the end, it was there, in that shack of a chapel that I handed my anger over to God and let him back into my heart. I gave him my burdens and He freed me of them.

When I left that chapel, I felt a weight be lifted from my body and my heart was full of hope. My love for God was no longer shielded by what had happened. I was able to let go of my anger over loosing my babies, I was able to let go of my hatred towards God. I realized that God did not “do this to me.” His plans were not to hurt me or to hurt my family. His plans were not to forsake me. God does not hate me. God did not give me those precious babies to cause me pain. God wept with me when their heart stopped, He was holding me close to His heart, He was there with me and is always there.

God had planned this season in my life, this past year, because….

Well…I have no idea. However, I know that He will walk with me through this life, He does listen to my prayers, and He will always love me even if I did try to push Him away.

My feelings for God have changed and I am once again in love with God. Now, with God I will keep moving forward…

Romans 5:1-5

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through Lord Jesus Christ, through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

 

 

 

 

My Green Grass

The grass is always greener on the other side…

This saying is something that you hear quite often in your lifetime. What exactly does it mean? Why is such a negative saying so popular?

A few months ago I was in a dark place. I was so angry about the path that I was given in life. Everyone’s “grass” was greener than mine. This person had 4 kids, they get to travel everywhere, they have a farm, this person is pregnant again, and so forth. When I looked at people I seemed to be judging them for what they had that I did not. This was especially true when I looked at large families. My heart was so broken and I hated people. I hated anyone who was pregnant, who had a young baby, and who had the large family that I always wanted.

My depression was more intense than I allowed myself to see. My husband saw it, however if he mentioned it we would fight because I was so sure he was wrong and being too hard on me. We had just decided to stop IVF and that meant I would never carry a child and this hurt so bad. I cried so much. I just did not cry, I bawled when I was alone.

However, since this past weekend when I decided to let it go and to hand over my burdens to the Lord I feel like a new person. My body no longer feels empty. My heart is full with the love and I appreciate what I have around me. And the biggest difference of all is that I accept my path in this life.

A few weeks ago I was sitting in church and the speaker was talking about accepting the “hand we were dealt.” At the end of the service everyone was given a playing card as a reminder of the sermon. I just happened to draw the seven of clubs. I put this card inside my phone case as a reminder. For a few days, this little reminder worked. However, my bitterness took a hold and I was back to where I was.

I can truly say that today I do accept the “hand that I was dealt.” I trust that God’s plan for me and my suffering was to teach me things I needed for this life and to make me better.

Today, tomorrow, and everyday in the future I hope to remember that my grass is pretty green.  I have many blessings and gifts. I am a daughter of God, made in His image, loved by God, and my path is perfect because He designed it especially for me.

So, this negative, over used saying no longer applies to how I feel. I am free of this and it feels wonderful!

 

I am a Carb Addict!

I can smell it in the air. The smell of fresh baking bread. The yeasty goodness that makes my mouth water! I can visualize teary the bread and I can see the white fluffiness of the inside as it starts to break. The steam starts to dance itself out of warm bread and is inviting me to take a bite.

I reach in the refrigerator for the butter and put a dollop on the bread. It starts to melt and fill in the little gaps inside the bread.

This is what I dream about as I lay in bed at night…eating carbs. It is true and I cannot deny it, I am a carbohydrate addict. I think bread and grains are the main staple to my diet. My food pyramid consists of mostly carbs with sprinkles of protein and veggies.

My typical day starts with a pop tart, for lunch a protein bar and a handful of something like pretzels or crackers, Goldfish as a snack, and then dinner with potatoes, meat and a veggie. Since my husband hates potatoes, you would think this would have changed over the years but it has not.

I have recently…wait for it…gained weight. It is because I have added too much dessert and sometimes candy into my diet. I have started snacking in between snacks. Also, I have not worked out in a very long time. So, I made it a pledge to cut out the added sugar of sweets and sugary drinks in my diet. I have also tried to really limit that amount of starchy carbs. Also, since we are doing IVF I have cut out alcohol , all pop/soda, artificial sweeteners, and caffeine.

I have not cut out carbs totally and I have cheated…but as soon as I start to stimulate it will happen…

  • No cheating
  • No added honey to take the place of sugar
  • No bread or potatoes at all
  • No starchy carbs
  • No oats for breakfast
  • No protein bars covered in chocolate for lunch

I am going through total withdraw and I am feeling like I am going through some type of treatment program for addicts. I really need carbs addict anonymous (CAA) in my life right now. This is hard…I mean really hard.

I dream about carbs, I think about them all day, I see other people eating them and get jealous, and I am unsatisfied with every meal. And if all of this is not bad enough…I have gained 2 pounds. I am not eating less calories but probably more because I am unsatisfied when I eat and I am eating a lot, I mean a lot of protein.

All I have to say is that Panera better stock their shelves! The day of egg retrieval I will be there waiting for the perfect bread bowl, bagel, cookie, and sandwich.

 

Feeling Lonely

It is Monday, I just took a HPT and it was negative. I cannot tell anyone because they will get angry and tell me it is too early. However, I know my body and I am not pregnant. I cry in the bathroom until I am out of tears. I clean off my face and go be mommy.

I cannot tell anyone my awful news.

It is Tuesday, I take my kids to gymnastics like always. I just found out that another IVF cycle did not work. I am standing with group of women, two are pregnant and discussing how because they are carrying their third child that this one seems like no big deal.

I am the only one standing there that is struggling with infertility. 

It is Wednesday, I go to my morning bible study like always. There are now 3 pregnant women in my group. One woman just had a baby. There are four women breast-feeding at some point. All have been pregnant.

I am the only one sitting in the circle that is struggling with infertility.

It is Wednesday evening and I am at my home church group. Here I am standing in a group of women. All of them know that I am going through IVF and they are sympathetic and kind. However, they all have carried children. Two that I know of had “oops” children. There are 17 pregnancies among the 6 women standing in the group. Every women there, except me, has experienced being pregnant multiple times.

I am the only one standing in the circle that is struggling with infertility.

It is Friday, I go to get my BETA drawn. I took a pregnancy test in the morning and it was negative. I am the only person who knows this and I cannot tell anyone. I still and wait for the call. The call comes and I sit in my bathroom floor and get the news. I just stare out the window for what feels like a lifetime. I know my meltdown is going to happen soon. I do not wan to move…I do not want to call my husband…

I am the only one who is paralyzed by the news…

My new IVF cycle is approaching fast.  I start meds on Friday and I could vomit. I am doing this for my husband…my husband who believes in his whole heart that one day it will happen for us. I want to believe…I will believe…I will have faith…that is all I can do. I am not going to share this with my family. Some are not strong enough to go through this with me. Some do not understand why we keep trying. Some just do not understand my need to be pregnant.

I feel like the only person in the world who is struggling because in my world everyone else got pregnant. 

I love my husband and I know how hard this is on him. I wish we could talk about it but we just can’t. He is not a woman, I am not a man, we are coming from two different angles.

I am feeling very alone!

 

Sleep Training is a B***h

I love to cuddle. I love to hold my babies and watch them breathe. I love the peaceful look on their faces as they lay next to me sound asleep. I love being a mommy.

These are the best times, however, I also love being married. I love my husband and I love to be in his arms at night and falling asleep with his arm around me. This is something that has not happened in a long time because our baby girl has been sleeping between us for almost a year. Turkey two only sleeps through the night once in a blue moon. She sufferers from, “I want to cuddle next to mommy and daddy all night syndrome.” So, she ends up in our bed every night. We wake up with her kicking our heads or crying for our pillow….

This was fine until…well until it wasn’t. She stopped going to sleep easily, we would have to lay with her for hours until she fell asleep. Her nap time consisted of the two of us taking a nap in my bed everyday. I had to lay next to her for her to stay asleep. This sounds wonderful until I realized that I was getting no time for myself and zero alone time and that was leading to depression.

Also, I was never seeing my husband. One of us would go to bed with her around 8:30-9:00 in the evening.

So…after much thought I decided…we decided…that she needed to be made to sleep in her own bed, by herself, every night….

WOW!!!!!! This is hard….

  1. Every night for a least an hour we are fighting her to get her to stay in her bed and she screams like she is being beaten. She gets out of bed and stands at the top of the stairs screaming.  I walk up, put her to bed, get her to calm down and start to leave. When I leave she follows me or lays there and screams…. This goes on until she wears herself out.
  2. She will fall asleep around 10:00 and she is up at 2:00 am. She cries and comes out of her room. I go put her back, calm her down, and leave her room.
  3. At 3:00, she is still getting out of her room and screaming. By this time I spank her and put her back to bed. An hour is all I can take…
  4. At 3:30, I am about ready to lose it and she finally falls asleep.
  5. At 5:00, she does the same time again…same routine…
  6. 7:30, we are up for the day!

I feel like a total failure as a parent. I feel like a horrible, mean person who is neglecting her child…

Some people in my family keep saying…they are only little once…let her sleep with you…what is the big deal…

The big deal is that to keep a happy marriage, I need time with my husband. I need to see him and talk with him and that is just not happening with our current situation.

Yesterday and today she refused to lay down for a nap and I again had to spank her to keep her in her bed…this sucks!

What should I do? How can I help her?

We tried the all natural sleep medicine…did not help.

The doctor recommended turning the knob around and locking her in her room….just do not know if I can do that to her….

Feeling like a loser of a mother…

Mean Girls Turn Into Mean Moms

Most high school kids get their first car and they are in awe at their independence. They fantasize about driving around on their own, going out with friends, and most importantly…not riding the school bus every day.

My first car was just that, a way to not be on the school bus. I hated the car from day one. It was ugly, very distinguishable, and did not have any frills. However, it meant independence and that was all that mattered. I was able to drive myself to practice, school, to Walmart, and to my boyfriend’s house. Yep, it was pretty awesome.

One day after school, I was standing by a building getting ready to walk to my car in the student parking lot when I noticed a group of girls standing near my car and laughing. They pointed at my car, at me, and were making fun of my car. These were “mean girls.” Yes, these girls did not like me from day one and loved to make fun of me. I was not their only victim. They loved to bully anyone who was not in their group of friends. Not only did they tease me about my car but they gave me looks as I passed them in the hallway, laughed in class when I had to speak in front of everyone, and were just all around horrible people.  I was their major target for years because one of them had a crush on my boyfriend at the same time that my boyfriend started crushing on me. This boyfriend of mine is now my husband.

I stood up to one of these girls one time at a car wash. As we were having it out, a popular jock was washing his car and saw what was happening. I went to school the next day and everyone heard what I had done. I was the “big girl on campus” and the bullying seemed to stop. I still despise these girls and for years now I ignore their friend requests on Facebook. Childish I know…but I just cannot help myself.

So, all of that was said to ask: Do mean girls just grow up to be mean moms? Not mean to their children, but do they continue to bully other women their age?

I think YES and here is why…

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