I know it's long but if you can, try to walk to the end of this...I promise it will be worth it!
Last week was a very gross week. First Jake got sick. Then Micah. And finally Me. We got hit with the stomach flu. Thank you airports. We were housebound for almost the whole week. Jake was better by Tuesday (well I thought) and so we got to go to Bible Study :) but after that we pretty much stayed around the house. I am so not ok with that, but I had to be - darn it you just can't take barfing kids out! Then on Saturday the boys were better and I hadn't got it yet so we hit the mall. It was our first week home from being in Canada and those are always difficult weeks as we are a little lonely - it was so nice to have a houseful of people! Oh and did I mention Micah still wakes every two hours at night? Ah!
As we toured the mall I saw the Christmas decorations and the giant tree, even Santa had arrived. And there were all the little families with their daddies and the kids in their matching sweater vests and frilly dresses waiting to take pictures with the jolly hairy man. I admit I was a little depressed. And I don't like that, it's not me, but I didn't have the energy to fight it - my energy went into cleaning puke at midnight, I decided to endure it for a little while, why, I'm not sure... maybe it was easier not to have to work through something and maybe if I'm really honest I was angry that this was my reality - still. Somehow you secretly hope that someone will wake you up and let you know that this past year has just been a bad dream.
Ok back to the mall. Jake was so excited to get out of the house and I'm sure it was nice to see that there really are other ppl in the world! So I pretended that I thought Santa was the coolest. And that the lights and decorations were all so amazing, and then we went to the Disney store because I figured a little disney can make us all smile, right? wrong. Jake must have sensed my bad feelings because he didn't even care to get out of the stroller. Weird for him. We got some Christmas shopping done, but it was more mechanical than joyful. Crap! This isn't how Christmas is supposed to be. Why did I feel like I was walking around pushing two precious children who deserved so much more than this sad little mama and wanting to crash my stroller into every smiling person...but my kids might get hurt. (Ok that made me laugh - I'd never do it but it is kind of a funny mental picture what would tomorrows headlines read: crazy mother rampages through mall - ouch)
I am sure that each person has their story and even though we all try and put on a happy face deep down we all carry a story, and sometimes a deep and painful story. But obviously it's easier to hate the smile than think about the reality.
Ok here comes the climax of the story! We're walking out of Brookstone and it hits me, flushed cheeks, a hot flash and my stomach lurches! NO! I rush to the bathroom and then decide it's time to get out of here asap. BUT... I had promised Jake a treat from the candy store - why Tara, why? I tried to sneak out but as I opened the door to outside he sais, "NO, mommy, what about my treat?" kids don't forget. So back we go to the candy store and note to self: never ever let your child pick his treat, especially when you're about to erupt. Then again I think it was the happiest moment he had all day. He went from bin to bin to bin to bin saying woow wow, look at this one mommy!!! It blessed my heart, but not my stomach. So I quickly chose something and went to pay. $.70 says the man! What!? Candy is never that cheap! I can't use my card I bet I have change, just wait... and two hours later we were at the car! (haha i'm kidding, but I think it took me way longer than swiping my card) Anyway our trip ended in the car as I nursed micah and threw up into Jakes now empty candy bag. Jake was happy, Micah was full so we headed home and I cried out to God for help and sanity.
The best thing all week was the amount of love and support we received!! Texts, calls, emails and facebook notes. I adore you all so much. And wish so badly I could speak to each person who encouraged me this week I am SO SO thankful for all you did - I know that I can't possibly thank you like I want so I'll leave it to God and pray he blesses you - it would be much sweeter than my thank you anyway:)
So who wants to look after you when you're sick? Your mother! I had to call my mom. And yes she traveled all the way down here to stay with us for only a few days. At first and even still I am embarrassed. Why? Well, I feel I have failed. When I try to do this on my own something always seems to happen, like the flu and non sleeping children! I try, I really do, but you can only do so much with the circumstances your given before you have to throw your hands up and say HELP MOMMY:o Those of you who know my mother know she rocks. She has lots of energy, lots of love and is actually doing my dishes as we speak - i love you mommy! I only hope I can sacrifice as much as my parents have for my children. I will do this on my own but I am beginning to see that I don't have to carry it ALL on my shoulders... I'm still learning... I have alot of support here, but really when you're sick it's nice to have an in-house helper!
I learned alot this week, thank you to all of you who shared your hearts with me and taught me through my struggle. Yes my mom came and because of her and the Lord and all of you I was able to work through my moment of depression. Not saying depression is wrong, but for me I want so badly to work through it because it's SO not fun.
Today was Bible Study - i love love love it. My table group is so amazing! I learnt so much from you girls! And today this quote hit me and was a great conclusion to my brutal week.
"Esther's superficial life was about to be shattered, and a woman much deeper than her skin was about to be unearthed. If we're blessed, the same will happen to each of us... - b. moore
Ok so you don't have to know the story of Esther here, but her life was going to be changed dramatically and God was going to go to work. In my eyes, my life was shattered, but the Lord has taken my brokenness and my "shattered life" and is refining me. Even just this week, amidst the barf, laundry and lonely moments God was still there - refining me and teaching me (especially through those closest to me) even though It wasn't all so clear at the time.
Looking back it's easier to see what he was doing. I still don't understand why he doesn't let Micah sleep, but I am thankful that he is bigger than this challenge and I trust him. He blessed me by molding my depression into beauty - I know it's beauty because I am praising him at the end of it. I realized I can't always do this on my own, I don't have to prove I am this mighty independent woman (that society ...and Oprah... tells me to be) because it's only in my weakness that God raises me up above my circumstances and enables me to cope in his strength. As much as some people think they have to be strong and independent to prove to the world that they're going to make it and conquer their own struggles. I am God's child and he helps me fight my battles, I am proud of that. With him I am much stronger and I am free to walk in dignity and victory into whatever future I may have. I can't imagine being in a better place.
"Even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart..." - joel 2:12