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Life is a Journey, So Keep Moving Forward: Part Two

When Mr. Sexy came home from work on my birthday, he knew once more that I was not doing well. However, like every other day, I wouldn’t let him in on what was happening with me. I was afraid. I was afraid to tell him about the anger that played around inside my head. I was afraid to let him in on the daily sad feelings that tried to overwhelm my spirit. But, as you know, my husband is a gentle soul.

I had made an attempt at getting dressed for my birthday, but that didn’t hide how tired I felt or the puffiness in my face or the red around my eyes. Even then, I was not willing to lay yet another burden on my husband’s shoulders. I was determined to do like I had been doing: get through until the next day. But Mr. Sexy stopped me from my finishing touches of socks and pulling my hair back. He looked at me in his deep way, the way that says, “I know, but you still have to tell me.” I guess, when you can see somebody is hurting, you can’t do a whole lot until that person is ready to, at the very least, admit they are hurting. This is what Mr. Sexy was waiting for.

I brushed him off. This works sometimes – as frustrating as that is for him. But this night, Mr. Sexy didn’t allow for me to walk away. He has a way of speaking at times with a gentle firmness I could never replicate in my own mannerisms. He can demand an answer while in the very same moment he is soft and kind. It’s a delicate balance of communicating. It’s also when I know he means business. I could see he was worried.

“I just, … Feel awful.” I could barely get the words out. They were so hard to say out loud. And then of course the tears came crashing past my eyes. Again, I tried to run away and hide but Mr. Sexy stayed right there with me. Quietly. Calmly. He sat until all the tears were gone and I was able to describe my feelings in short, embarrassing sentences.

It feels incredibly silly to feel such big things over seemingly tiny problems in life. I knew in my head I was living a good life. I was blessed with a good running car, a blessing of a home, a wonderful husband and a happy family. It just didn’t feel that way. And I couldn’t make what I knew in my head connect to what I was actually feeling.

On the morning of December 23, Mr. Sexy sat up, threw his feet over the bed, and rested his head in his hands. I was awake, too. After all, his alarm had only sounded a handful of times already. “You ok?” I asked. “I’m just in a lot of pain Babe.” For him, there was nothing I could do to help. I hated to see him in so much constant pain. He slowly made his way out of our room to get started with his morning. I dozed off, waking up a short time later with Mr. Sexy back in bed with me. “What are you doing here?” I asked. “I called in. I can’t go in to work today.”

Mr. Sexy and I spent that day sitting on the couch, holding hands and watching TV. I held a mixture of pleasure and concern that day. I was deeply comforted by his presence, yet I could see how stiffly he sat and could hear his breaths tighten with pain throughout the day. He went to work the next morning, only to come home halfway through. This went on for a short period of time, until he decided it was too much. He had difficulty concentrating and the pain nearly brought him to tears. He tried working from home for a short while, but even that wasn’t working out. The simple act of looking down at the computer and talking on the telephone was too much strain. Combined with medication, Mr. Sexy was not able to perform how he needed to. Finally, it was strongly suggested by his doctor that he take an official leave from work.

In the beginning, we spent a lot of time hanging out in front of the TV, neither of us knowing exactly what to do with ourselves. Our routine was completely disrupted. At times, I found it frustrating to have another adult to think about. It wasn’t just me and the toddler who was ready for lunch, there was someone else to consider also. I didn’t feel I could just give in to any emotion that came my way; I practiced control. I practiced taking deep breaths when I felt angry at Marie. I watched television when sad thoughts made me want to cry. And all the while, Mr. Sexy was sitting next to me, holding my hand.

Having him around 24/7 quickly became our new normal, though. While Mr. Sexy was in tremendous pain, he could hardly stand to simply sit around all day and “do nothing,” (his words). So it took a bit for him to realize that all the fixing around the house he wanted to do had to wait. That’s when he turned his attention to my business.

He would watch me work, ask me questions, then watch me work only to ask more questions. Soon he was strategizing business with me, creating spread sheets and learning as much about my business as I did, if not more. It was also nice to have a comrad in cahoots with me when it came to Deani throwing one of her infamous tantrums.

My Pure Romance business started to grow. While Mr. Sexy was learning the paperwork side of things and learning to do the laundry my way, I was able to focus on my party planning. What I didn’t notice then, is that my confidence began to grow which is now displayed for all to see.  The more Mr. Sexy learned about Pure Romance and the more he saw me work, the higher his impressions became. And while his paychecks became smaller, mine kept us afloat. For the first time, I felt that I was providing for my family. It’s an empowering feeling.

Surgery day arrived. While I thoroughly enjoyed having my husband home full time, I knew he was itching to get back to his normal life and of course to be out of pain. The pain wasn’t over yet, however. For about four days after his surgery, Mr. Sexy only moved from the couch to the bathroom as necessary. He had stronger medication now, but apparently it only dulled the excruciating pain his recovery had brought on. Had we realized the intensity of his recovery, I would not have scheduled myself to work that first weekend after surgery. But I did work. And we survived.

However, I can’t help but wonder that God didn’t have his hand in this whole situation from the beginning. As I had to come to terms with being pregnant and thus, change my lifestyle a little bit, God had thought ahead and knew the road I was on. It’s strange to say it, but my husband’s injury turned into a huge blessing for me. He was forced to come home and sit with me and hold my hand. With his daily support, love and encouragement through his own angst, I was being healed. So, I guess this means I’m thankful our car needed a flat tire to be changed. I’m thankful my husband is overly zealous and sees himself as Super Man. I’m thankful he was able to come home when he did. I have overcome many internal obstacles these past few months. I guess we both needed healing.

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Church: Do we have to?

I don’t think it’s a secret the Sexy Family hasn’t been much of the church going crowd the past two years. We have our reasons. We give our excuses. The truth is, Mr. Sexy and I have lost sight of why we should attend church.

I don’t like being treated like a non-believer – especially by fellow believers. Yet it happens. I DO NOT believe in attending church – religiously. This means I do not believe you have to go to church to be a Christian. From what I have learned from the Bible, attending church out of obligation or tradition is a sin. Yet, so many do it. I used to be one of them. I grew up like that and thus, I harbor a bit of guilt because I am not dragging my kids to church every Sunday.

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Coffee with the Tax Collector

I was going to come up with a never-thought-of-metaphor or make up a story to make my point today. Instead, I’m simply going to call it as I see it. So here’s to hoping for a few new friend-readers.

I am a Pure Romance Consultant and I invite you to attend my first party. I invite you because practicing my demonstrations in front of friends is a lot more fun than in front of strangers. I invite you because I want to talk to you about what I’m doing and why. Lastly, I invite you because I’m looking for a little bit of support. 

Your response is (and this is in my own words, not yours): No. What you are doing is sinful. Obviously you have lost your way. Please have coffee with me so I can tell you about all my concerns for you, your family and your future. I am praying that God will bring you back. 

My response is as tame as I can make it. Here is what I don’t say: You have just proven the reputation that Christians have for being judgmental.  Please pray for me, though. The Lord knows I need it! But as for a coffee date, well, that does not sound fun with three kids sitting next to me. I think you might not know me very well. If you did, you would know that I have a wonderful, supportive husband who works 8-5, Monday – Friday. So of course when he comes home we are busy with dinner, homework and spending time together as a family. Obviously, relationships are only important to you on your terms. And that’s too bad. 

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Jessica’s Grace

As I made the switch from Blogger I realized I needed something to call my blog other than 5 Hearts, One Family. Eventually I want to own my own website and 5Hearts just won’t fit if our family happens to grow to 6Hearts or 7Hearts.

So I pondered.

I did some free writing.

Then I did some thinking.

I discovered that grace has been a huge theme throughout my entire life. And from the looks of things, I’m going to be challenged in this area for years to come. I’m thinking of Marie as I type those words. She requires an extraordinary amount of grace from me. A grace I don’t hand out easily. A grace I’m not sure I’m all to familiar with in the first place.

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An Issue with Santa

I grew up believing in the magic of Santa Clause. Seeing the empty plate of cookies on Christmas morning sent my mind spinning.  Finding gifts wrapped and tagged with ‘from Santa’ was like a treasure hunt.  But then I got older and found my parents finishing up Santa’s “magic” one Christmas morning.  For years after that I continued to receive gifts from ‘Santa.’  I thought it was silly. It wasn’t fun anymore, either.

I grew up hearing all about the “true meaning of Christmas.” Church always talked about it and then my mom liked to read the Christmas story on Christmas Eve – right before setting out a plate of cookies for, um, a figment of our imaginations (who was entirely to real for my younger brothers).

The message is confusing.

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One Year Ago and then Today

One year ago I wasn’t blogging. I was still in hiding. But I was feeling the nudge to get myself back out there.  I re-introduced myself with this post: What is Stronger: Love or Hate  I was so vulnerable. Every time I hit the publish button I had knots in my stomach and every comment notification gave me a nervous twinge.

Today I am a blogger – though in yet another new space (I have got to stop jumping around). I don’t hide so much anymore. I think I have also learned to articulate myself better. I am still vulnerable, but I feel excited and proud when I hit publish.

One year ago I was living in the woods. We learned just how expensive space heaters can be in a drafty house. We learned how to chop wood and realized we weren’t in any way prepared for winter. We became roommates with a family of mice. But we killed them all. We had friends visit us every day and we called them Moose 1 and Moose 2.  We also dealt with a multitude of squatters in the form of stinkbugs and other tiny urchins. The invasion was always scary because they hid well and were hard to kill.  I think it was always worse when I found one crawling up my arm.

Home

Today I live in the country. The house is old and a bit drafty but we have the freedom to fix that. We have central heating and zero unwanted roommates although I still find the occasional squatter. That’s just part of country life though. My house is peaceful and homey.  I like it here.

eee68-thehosue

 

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Hope Through Fear

My personal Facebook account has been glittered with the frustrations of co-parenting. I typically try to refrain from these types of venting posts.  Usually they just end up in silly arguments between people who’s only connection is this virtual friendship.  But I made a few exceptions this time around. Plus, I tried really, really hard not to be offensive.

For a look at what has been going on between us and them, read my Letter to the Others.

Mr. Sexy is a problem solver and came home Thursday with fabulous idea.  If everyone could agree, we all would get what we want. It would be a ‘glass is half-full’ type of scenario. To some, Mr. Sexy’s idea would seem crazy. But what I saw was the burning desire to put Michael’s well-being ahead of our own even when it might feel costly.

Mr. Sexy proposed that we offer The Others the entire two-week Winter Break with Michael while we take the previous two weeks. The previous two weeks include Michael’s performance with our church.  The performance The Others were refusing to take Michael to.

My  first thought was: Yes!  That works! 

But giving up Christmas and the immediate days surrounding Christmas?  And giving up New Year’s Eve with Michael? 

To all the above, it was a non-issue.

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