Archive for March, 2009
What did people do before the internet?!?!
I know some of the smug answers:
They spent time with their families.
They connected with “real” people.
But seriously, I see the internet as a tool, a common grace. Here’s why I think so, just from my life today:
My dear friend Kate calls me at lunchtime to say her flight through Minneapolis is going to now have a longer layover, so can I meet her for dinner at the airport?
Pre-internet, I would have been calling Northwest Airlines 4-5 times this afternoon and would have spent half my day on hold, just trying to follow her flight’s status. With the internet, it’s done in a matter of minutes, thus leaving me more time with my family!
Also it took me 2 minutes to map out our route to Potbelly’s 3.9 miles away.
I have a wedding shower to go to on Saturday. But the next two days are going to be really busy for me, so I’m not going to have a lot of shopping time.
What does the internet allow me to do? I go to target.com, browse the registry, pick the gift I want to give, and I can either order it right then or find out if it’s available at my closest store.
Since I didn’t give myself enough time to ship it, I’ll just run over and get it on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. Without the internet, it would take me until Saturday morning just to choose a present!
It’s such a time-saver. I know the reverse could be said, that it’s a time-waster, and that’s often true. But when I think about how much time and effort the internet saves me, it makes me want to blog about it!!!
Also, how many of you have already used the internet to find out what the word encomium means? That’s what I did!
My best friend, Danielle, has been counting down on her blog to a very important milestone: her 30th birthday. She’s been writing a post each day for a month about a significant person/event/experience in her life that has shaped her. It’s sheer genius.
I’ve been meaning to link to this series for weeks now, but yesterday’s post about Felicity was especially powerful for Abraham and me, as we watched the 18-month mark of her death pass by. We spent time crying, talking, processing, reminiscing (as much as a bereaved brain can), and wondering about the future.
Danielle has loved me for as long as I can remember, and as the years have marched on, she’s just widened and expanded her love to include every new member of my family. She’s a sister, sister-in-law, and aunt around here. Her specific love for my daughter continually blesses me. She’s honored the life that Felicity lived, even if it was only in my womb. For this, I thank God. And I thank her.
Danielle, I love you more than I could ever express. Happy early birthday.
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a picture of the kids, so here’s a more recent one with them decked out in their brother gear.
(Thanks for the shirts, Miss Jessica!)
I went to the mall for a few minutes this morning to begin the quest to find a bridesmaid dress. (I’m in a wedding in June for a dear, dear friend.) My assignment is to locate a brown bridesmaid dress. All of us are allowed to pick our own in whatever style we like, so the search is on!
I have to admit, I didn’t look as hard as I could, mostly because I found myself sucked into spring clothes and colors (oh, and the 75% off boots at Macy’s). What is it about spring clothes? Every year I find myself wanting a whole new wardrobe when March comes on.
I’m happy to report that I made it out of the mall without buying anything (mostly because I’m cheap). But I found myself thinking, “I wish I could win a huge shopping spree.”
Why do I feel like that in the spring? Is it just the change in weather that makes me want to go drop tons of money on stuff I don’t need? And as I’ve thought about it this afternoon, I realized that I haven’t worn my spring clothes in 2 years because I’ve been pregnant, so maybe they’ll feel fresh and fun—here’s hoping. More likely, they’ll just feel dreadfully out of style and ridiculously ill-fitting on my new (not improved) body shape. Ah well.
Then Abraham and I got to talking, and here’s the question: If someone gave you a $10,000 shopping spree to one store (no expiration), what store would it be?
The only rule is that you can’t say the grocery store. My painfully practical side would definitely give that answer, but I’m making myself not answer that. So you can’t either—HA!
And if you have trouble giving just one answer, tell me what you’d debate between. I love the struggle of such a difficult, and unfortunately imaginary, choice.
Update (for those of you who must have more rules):
1. Men are permitted to participate (Abraham’s first choice was the Apple Store)
2. Online stores are an option.
Since September I’ve been wading through some really difficult, ugly, deeply painful aspects of the grieving process.
Mostly I’ve just felt dry, uninspired, inert.
I decided I could just post a silly, frivolous post (which have their place—I need some frivolity in my life), or I could really be vulnerable and spill my proverbial guts.
I’m taking my lead from a new blogging friend, Ebe, who also lost her son Owen to stillbirth right after we lost Felicity. She has since lost two more to miscarriage. Most of the time I read her posts with my heart pounding out of my chest, saying, “YES! That’s totally me. She just read my mind.” So thank you, Ebe. I needed this push into transparency.
What grief looks like for me at 17 months
I like to shut off.
The desire to shut off emotionally is a huge temptation. Almost like if I don’t think about it, then I don’t have to feel how horribly painful this loss is for me. Sometimes that detachment is necessary, just to survive. But I have to choose to go to the painful places and deal with the emotions there, or I will end up an ugly, poisoned person, unable to connect with my emotions and see the beauty of Jesus there.
At God, at others, at life in general. Another escape mechanism. If I’m angry then I don’t have to let the pain get close.
I’m a hermit.
Aside from the few close friends who are really in this pain with me, I’m kind of a loner. Very different from the Molly of a couple years ago. I used to love large group functions, chattin’ it up with all kinds of people, etc. Now, the thought of it just drains me. Other times I feel panicked about being in a large group, even at places like church. I feel alien, alone, un-understood.
Part of that is my own doing. And part of me likes it.
What I’m doing about it
I have a counselor. I go see her once a week. I feel like I could go every day. She is direct, loving, compassionate, yet detached enough from the situation to be able to speak into it in ways that others can’t. Her trust in the Lord for me and with me is so reassuring.
I also have a few girlfriends who link arms with me and love me in this. It’s been a huge blessing to talk with these friends, being known in all the ugliness and yet still being loved. They’ve been so Christlike to me.
I journal. I have to make myself do it sometimes, but I do it. I often take assignments from my counselor and then read them to her and we talk from there. It’s been hugely helpful. Reading them aloud to my counselor is so revealing. Often, emotions are unearthed that I had no idea even existed. Confession is a truly powerful thing.
Setting necessary boundaries
I’ve had to ask myself hard questions in this season, exploring the balance between what’s necessary, what’s helpful, what’s beneficial to my soul, etc. I’ve had to make some tough calls to protect myself sometimes, allow myself the freedom and space to heal, and be okay with that.
I’ve had to strategize through situations that used to be completely unconscious. These boundaries help me so that I’m not spending most of my time sobbing on the bathroom floor. They’re necessary for me right now and I feel okay with that.
Where I’m going
Some of you reading this post might be panicking inside: Oh no, is she losing her faith? Is she depressed? How can I fix this?
I want to assure you that I feel really held by the Lord. I feel safe. I feel called into this place. If he didn’t want me here, I wouldn’t be here. If he hadn’t taken Felicity I wouldn’t be here. So there’s got to be something for me in this. There has to be.
I feel like I’ve fought it tooth and nail. But now I’m coming to more of a peace with it. I’m accepting it more. One of my dear friends through this process (who is older and wiser than me, thank God) shared with me recently about a grief she’d been facing in her life. Something she said really stood out to me. She told me, “I’m gonna drink this painful cup all the way down, just drain it. And I’m gonna ask the Lord to make it something beautiful.”
I’m at a point where I want to see the beauty of what God has for me here. It means that some days are really hard. It means that I’m going to places in my soul that I didn’t know existed before this. It means that I’m a different person. But I’m getting more comfortable with the Molly who’s been asked to bear this grief. I’m relaxing into the transformation a little more now.
I wish every day that I would get to hear Felicity’s new words, listen to her post-nap singing, change her stinky diapers. Yet I know that losing her has changed me more than getting to raise her would have. That’s a hard reality, but it’s the reality I live with.
Lord, make it something beautiful.