Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Down, but not totally out.

This past Sunday the MN Vikings lost another football game bringing them to 3-6 for the season so far. Brett Favre stood in front of a swarm of media camera and microphones and made some post-game remarks about his losing team. As I sat on my couch and listened to his statements I commented to Chip- who sat across from me- that it was as though Favre were talking about our family. As the remarks about the losing team continued we found ourselves laughing at just how fitting the comments were to our family life right now.
We're in the homestretch of Wyndham's recovery from surgery and on the verge of the next phase; she will be fitted with orthodics and start therapy again. We're not sure what to fully expect once she's out of her casts, but we are crossing our fingers that things will get better from here on out, as we feel we've pretty much worn ourselves down and out the past 2 months.
As you can see from my lack of blogposts, I have not felt like writing, taking pictures, or even baking the past couple of weeks. That's a sign of just how rough things have gotten around here. Most often I turn to baking to relieve stress, so you know it's bad around here right now! =)
Truthfully, it has been bad and sad and ugly for several days. It's been stressful and I am sorry to say that I haven't done my best with our life circumstances the past 2 months. A part of me would like to blame post-partum blues. Which likely play a big part in how I've reacted to everything on our plates. Still, I have to admit and take responsibility for my actions and that means I have to say a big, "I'm sorry" to everyone in my family and some people who have been playing supporting roles to us at this time too.
Favre hit the nail on the head several times in his post-game remarks saying such things as, "There needs to be some changes made". His summery of the defeated Vikings team just matched my thoughts and feeling so much... but he also made a poignant statement where he said, "There's still a little bit of hope for us... there's still alittle life left in us". I was so glad to hear him say that because it actually was at that point that I laughed out loud and realized how true those words were. Not just for the losing Vikings, but for our family that has felt more than overwhelmed with life for weeks now. I'm so glad that we're down, but not without Hope. Even in hopelessness we first see HOPE!
I'm glad to tell you today is a new day. I feel like I am finally ready to admit that I've sunk far enough into the pit that life has dragged us into and I'm ready to start looking up- or wherever to find a way out. I do want to just tell the honest truth- more for me to look back on this for the next time I'm in life's pit- and say that I am awful down here. I 'look' awful- which means I haven't liked who I've become lately. I have yelled far too many times, said things I didn't mean, meant things I shouldn't have said, felt hurt and kept it in, hurt people by letting things out, and just all around been miserable to everyone- including me. I'm sorry to say I have let things get the best of me this time around and it goes without saying, but being a 'loser' has been no fun at all!
To be perfectly honest and blunt, Chip and I have had it with life and each other. Yes, there has been a lot of stress and demands we never anticipated and goodness- we haven't been taking care of ourselves the way we should be- simply because things are just that demanding. We haven't even slept in the same room for 2 months as Chip sleeps on a mattress next to Wyndham's bed because of her added needs right now. There just hasn't been a good opportunity for us to be much of a good team through all of this. We have talked and made mention of how life might be if we split our team up- that's how down we've been. The funny- or merciful thing- is that we can't even begin to think how to split our team up and make things work. We've got too much on our plates to divide up!
Today, honestly, I am thanking God that He has given us "too much" so that we can't even begin to figure out how to split up. Our problems are actually blessings that are being used to help hold us together in this season of defeat in our lives. Oh the irony of that!
I could share a whole lot more of what has gone on and continues to demand from us, but I won't. I just want to share my heart- even the heaviness of it- so that I might look back someday and see that even though the path isn't always rosy, it does keep winding and there is something around the bend worth forging ahead for.
We've been down, but we're not totally out. We're trusting that God will see us through even this ugly time we've been experiencing, and we're hanging on to the fact that we don't need to have all the answers in order to keep trying.
I have felt and 'heard' God's voice in my life in some still, small ways the past couple of days. I think He knew I needed something tangible. One of the ways He's spoken is through the messages from this website: Revive Our Hearts. The series- especially today's message- on the ABC's for Handling a Meltdown, have been so helpful to me. I don't know that I am fully out of this life pit yet, but I am happy to report I am headed in the right direction. I want to praise God for showing up and giving me more grace for the journey. Something I need no matter where I'm at in this world! I don't know if you need encouragement or help where you are right now or if you are at a place you simply want to praise God for blessings. But I'd love to invite you to praise God in the comments here and we can all give Him glory for the little and big things He has done and continues to do. Even when we can't see Him or feel Him or we turn our backs on Him, He is still there. He never lets us down, and for that I am most grateful today!


Be the change... said...

I do praise God, I am facing some very tough things right now that I have not shared with others. I have yelled one too many times at my children, not appreciate my husband, and those that help us maintain our lives.

But I ask for redemption-I tell him that I am sorry and I mean it. I also try to tell the others that I love them and mommy's and wives make mistakes too.

If you sleep next to your husband tonight, even if it means laying on a twin mattress on the floor for an hour. Lay with him, breathe him in, and dream of when this will end. Dream of Wyndham soon walking again, dream of this summer when this dreaded winter will be over, and hold that sweet baby that God gave you. Even in the chaos.

Lastly, if you are struggling with some postpartum talk to your Doctor because that elevates all of your emotions. I struggled really bad after our second son, my boss stopped over and literally told me I was laid off as I was breast feeding my newborn. Zoloft got me through 6 months until I was ready to go on my own.

You are amazing, God is everlasting, and family is forever.

Jenny said...

Oh Jodi :( It hurts my heart how hard things have been! I wish I weren't so far away and could offer more than prayers, but our God is able to deliver and I pray He soon delivers your family from the craziness and stress and makes clear a plan for how to forge ahead.

I agree with the first comment, maybe just take a few seconds to lay next to Chip tonight, have him wrap his arms around you, and just breathe him in.

I can't imagine all that's on your plate, but I'm praying the positives start outweighing the negatives soon! I've missed your posts!

Anonymous said...

I have so been there! My DH & I were at that point last winter as well, but we're still hanging in there, by God's grace! I firmly believe God has glorious plans for every marriage if we but trust Him for direction and strength. You will get through this!

Kathy said...

Long time reader, rare commenter here. I've been checking in, glad you posted today. I have wondered if things were awfully difficult right now for you. You are prayed for by folks you don't even know, and sent *hugs*. I cannot even began to imagine a newborn, a non-ambulatory post-surgical patient, a 2 yr old, on top of the average every day challenges. *more hugs* and prayers

The Kalivoda's said...

Hi my name is lacye I have read your blog for a few years now and I am constantly blown away with how you manage to handle every situation that is thrown your way. I am so sorry things have been overly difficult lately. I cannot even imagine the stress you guys have on a daily basis. I pray for the Lord fills you with peace and give you the wisdom you all need to continue on in this fight.

Jan C. said...

You guys don't strike me as "giver-uppers." You strike me as a team that's bound together, come what may.

If it makes you feel any better, I have 5 kids, and when they were little and I was exhausted and overwhelmed, I did all of the things you've mentioned above--said things I shouldn't have, didn't say things I should have, allowed myself to vent in hurtful ways. What kept me believing that I was a good person despite all of my flaws was my husband. He sees the beauty in me and the potential for me to keep growing and maturing and getting better, even when I can't see it myself. And I try to do the same for him. We had the worst fight of our lives a few weeks ago, on our 27th anniversary. There we were, verbally duking it out, and in alternate breaths saying, I love you. Because we know we want to be together forever.

The inscription in our wedding rings is basically our philosophy, and when we are having a hard time, I sometimes take my ring off and read to myself, "Love Conquers All Things." And then I sigh with relief, because I remember it's going to be alright.

BT Laurie said...

You encouraged us to praise God --- here is a prayer of praise......

Father, I'm so delighted that you are both loving and sovereign. I thank you for each each breaking or cleansing process You are allowing, for each problem or hindrance, for each thing that triggers in me anxiety or anger or pain. In spite of what I think or feel when I get my eyes off You, I choose not to resist my trials as intruders, but to welcome them as friends. Thank You that each difficulty is an opportunity to see You work...that in Your time You will bring me out to a place of abundance.I rejoice that You plan to enrich and beautify me through each problem, each conflict, each struggle... that through them You expose my weaknesses and needs, my hidden sins, my self-centeredness (and especially my self reliance and pride). Thank you that my trials prepare the soil of my heart for the fresh new growth in godliness that You and I both long to see in me....

(these words are from 31 Days of Praise by Ruth Myers)

This day's devotional closes with this poem by Florence White Willett

I thank You for the bitter things
They've been a friend to grace,
They've driven me from the paths
of ease
To storm the secret place.

Jodi - you have indeed experienced God reaching out to you in this dark, desert place. You have shared many testimonies of His grace through your blog and even this blog of confession and brokenness is a testament to the faithfulness of God's Spirit to reach us and help us crawl through the dark. He is taking you to a place of deeper still... He is deeper, continue to look for those little glimpses of light and tell us about them if energy and sanity permit. Know you are surrounded and upheld in prayer.

Jill said...

Your post brings so many of my own flaws to my heart and mind. How easy it is to get down in the pits and not see a way out. Let me encourage you however with the sure promise that God is right there; in the midst of all of it. He's there and willing to help you and Chip and your kids walk back into doing life together.
I'm not sure there are many women who could have gone through all you've gone through in the past decade and not feel like throwing in the towel.
Hang in there. People are praying for you to make it to the otherside. Ask for help. Trust God to see you through.
I know God has much more planned for you than living in the pits.

Keshet said...

I'm so sorry you're going through such a hard time. I'll be thinking of you and praying.

KatieButler said...

Jodi, you and your family are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

You have so much on your plate right now. Be gentle with yourself, go slowly, breathe and pray. Sending lots of prayers your way. :)

Chelsea said...

Thanks for your openness.
God is working and Satan cannot gain ground when the light of Truth is shining.
Praying for you guys!

Anonymous said...

believe me, your problems would multiple 10 fold if you split up the team, maybe you and Chip could somehow take a mini vacation

Julie, the mama said...

Sending you hugs and prayers and more hugs and prayers.

You, blogger friend, are AMAZING. Even when you're down and almost out!

Katy said...

I have to say that your post today was so uplifting for me. I have been struggling myself here lately and feeling down on myself. You have given me a new perspective. Thanks for sharing!!! Praying that things will get better for you!!

Anonymous said...

we are not perfect, but our Heavenly Father, The Christ, and our heavenly mother , The Blessed Virgin Mary, are. i remind my children of this when i tell them i'm sorry..

remember to feel His arms around you when you are in your deepest despair.
when you cannot take it anymore, give it to The Higher Power, which can take anything.

praying or you, jodi.
rose xx

babyrndeb said...

Thinking of you...
I sent you a long email to your yahoo account...didn't want to post it all here but just know I care about you from afar and want you to know that I appreciate your openness and honesty
You will get through this valley one day - that I am assured of for God never leaves us in the valley.

Janet said...

Sending some Prayers today for your Precious family!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jodi,
I have read your blog for about 2 years now, but have only commented once. I read something on "Bowen's Heart" blog the other day that might apply to you right now. Bowen is the son of the lead singer of Sanctus Real. He was born with Hypoplastic Left heart syndrome, which is devastating. Anyway, I'm just going to cut and paste for you.....

I read a book last night that someone sent me called “Wrestling With An Angel” by Greg Lucas. It’s “a story of love, disability, and the lessons of grace”. I loved the following paragraphs so much that I wanted to share them with you.

“I hear religious minded people say all the time with good intentions. ‘God will never place a burden on you so heavy that you cannot possibly carry it.’
My experience is that God will place a burden on you so heavy that you cannot possibly carry it alone. He will break your back and your will. He will buckle your legs until you fall flat beneath the crushing weight of your load. All the while He will walk beside you waiting for you to come to the point where you must depend on Him.
‘My power is made perfect in your weakness,’ He says, as we strain under our burden.
Whatever the burden, it might indeed get worse, but know this-God is faithful. And while we change and get old, He does not. When we get weaker, He remains strong. And in our weakness and humility, He offers us true, lasting, transforming, and undeserved grace.”

-Greg Lucas

This really hit home for me, so I imagine it would be even more so for you. You and your family have endured far more than I can even imagine. Through it all, you have brought glory to God through your posts. I hope this helps you. I will pray for you.


harmonysong said...

Praying the Lord's peace over you and your family- asking for solace, rest, and peace for you all...knowing He is good and can take your burden. All we have to do is lay them at His feet. Easier said then down, but you are on the right path.

Alex said...

Oh Jodi, I read your blog even when I dont comment, and want you to know I am praying for you, and pulling for you to get through this tough time. I cant image the stress you must be feeling right now, and I hope in the coming weeks and months God shows you more light daily. Sending you big warm hugs!