Thursday, October 27, 2011

Real and Juicy

Along to the lines of my previous post about being real and authentic and having honest relationships, you have to tackle the issue of gossip.

Recently this has come to me personally. I want to have real relationships. It's not worth the time or effort for this mama to invest in fluff. I don't have it in me!

But, as we open up and share what's really frustrating us, what we're struggling with, the questions that cause us to pause and reexamine every aspect of our life, we will often come to a point that it involves someone other than us.

So, when do you cross that line from "sharing" and being honest to being a gossip.

I believe firmly that gossip is a problem more than we admit. I think I cross the line too often. I hear gossip too often. And, I don't say the hard words "Stop! This isn't something I need to know or should be told." I mean, for real...my flesh wants to hear it! I want to know what happened with that person. I enjoy reading People magazine!

So, let me throw out a fake scenario. Then, you MUST comment so we can dialogue a little here. I don't have much content on this. I can throw you a Scripture, but let's talk dissection here. Break it down with me.

Scenario #1:
I'm friends with Roxy. Roxy and I get along well and spend time together frequently. We both have kids and they play well together, for the most part. One day I'm over at Susie's house. Susie begins to tell me that she's having trouble when she invites Roxy and her kids over for playdates because Roxy's kids aren't treating her kids well. {STOP. Should this conversation continue? Is it gossip?}

Scenario #2:
We're sitting out on my patio...several friends. One friend asks "What is Melinda doing with her hair these days?" (apparently it hasn't been looking like it normally does) {STOP. Should this conversation continue? Is is gossip to comment on her hair?}

Scenario #3:
Jane has told me about her oldest daughter from a previous marriage. She hasn't said much, but I know an older daughter exists. I'm not very close to Jane. Another friend, Mary, is close to Jane. I see on Facebook (because I'm "friends" with Jane) that something has happened with her daughter. I don't really feel comfortable asking Jane "hey, what's up with your daughter". After all, I don't really talk to Jane that often. So, I ask Mary, "What's going on with Jane's daughter? I saw on Facebook that something was up." {STOP. Should this conversation continue? Is it gossip? Jane has obviously shared something on a public forum.}

I'm being completely honest here when I say I want feedback. I have no answers ...well, I can give an answer but it will probably end with me saying "but...". I think there are some muddy waters. But, maybe it's because I'm immature. So, let's hear it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How Are You? Good.

Really?

How are you?

I'm good.

No, really. Are you good?

Rarely does the exchange go that far. Sometimes, on a rare occasion it does. That's when you really get into it.

I have a friend who has many "friends". Rather, she is a friend to many. At times she has been a friend to so many that she just can't handle the weight of everyone else's problems and it almost swallows her up.

The problem is, you can't carry that kind of weight. We aren't supposed to.

We are told to carry one another's burdens. But, I don't think Jesus meant that we are to carry all the burdens of everyone around us.

I used to try. I used to be the dumping ground. I would hear everyone else's problems and encourage them or try to help find a solution.

Problem was...no one was really doing that for me. Then, I began to realize something. I wasn't being honest. I wasn't trusting them.

I still struggle with that. I struggle with being completely vulnerable and answering the question "How are you doing?" with openness.

I usually wait to see if they ask it again. Maybe it's my litmus test. I guess I've been let down too many times when I shared too much too soon or too often.

But, you'll never have an authentic relationship if you can't answer the question "how are you?" with complete honesty the first time.

Monday, October 24, 2011

After the Big Event

My friend Lara recently adopted from Uganda. Precious, sweet boy! I'm so excited for her whole family. What a joy. What amazing love...love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called His sons and daughters and then extend that love to call precious babes our children!

She linked to a blog article from her Facebook page, commenting that this was her answer to the many people who asked how things were going since bringing Ambrose home. The article she linked to was written by Jen, mama to five --two of them adopted from Africa. The article "After the Airport" was really, really good. In fact, you should go read it now. Then, come back and finish this.

I'll wait. Go ahead.

I'm only going to say a few things about it now. I know her article was long and I don't want you to get overdone on reading today.

My initial thoughts:
  • LOVE her public schooling/homeschooling comments, though they weren't her point
  • how did she know I was struggling with whether or not to be honest because I was afraid someone would misunderstand or say "but you chose this"?
  • she talked about having the oh-so-wanted baby, then those who moved across the country in obedience. I'm not struggling with a deep postpartum depression or being lonely, per se, but the fact that she addressed those two issues in one paragraph jolted me.
  • how often have I said "fine" when someone asked how I was doing and I really wanted to answer with a much more telling, lengthy answer? [This speaks directly to something I just hit on in my Bible study. Must write about that next.]
  • community. God's way of meeting our needs. Hmmm...
I like reading others' blog posts. I'm usually encouraged, often times challenged, and most of the time entertained. I have to be careful not to spend too much time reading about others' lives and ignoring my own. But, today, Jen's post hit a nerve. A spot I needed to have exposed.

Write or Right?

I blog because
...I live away from family and friends and want them to enjoy watching my kids grow up as much as possible.
...sometimes I have something to say and no one to say it to.
...I read blogs to get encouraged, learn new things, and be challenged. I want to do the same for someone else.

That's pretty much it in a nutshell.

The only problem is that I've found lately that I only blog for the first reason. I haven't really blogged what I'm thinking or feeling or walking through.

Why?

Fear. Fear of being judged. Fear of offending someone. Fear of sounding like an idiot. I'm not the most articulate writer or creative in how I write. So, I think "this sounds dumb. I just won't write it."

Dumb. That's what's dumb. A fear of man determining what I do --in any area of my life.

So, watch out. I might just write something on here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Nosey

I've been suffering with allergy-type symptoms almost since Jett arrived. I'm not sure exactly when it started, but I think he was about a month old when I first got congested.

Now, I'm not one to balk at a common cold. It's just something we have to deal with. However, when I had the congestion for the second month, I began to think something was up.

However, I'm an anomaly. Well, you would think I am. I'm a nursing mom.

What? That's not unusual. There are lots of nursing women! However, you would think I was one in a million. No one really wants to mess with a nursing woman. You no longer see your ob/gyn for care, the pediatrician takes care of the baby and as long as s/he is gaining weight you aren't really their concern, general doctors don't really know anything about nursing or what you can/cannot take while nursing.... You're pretty much in no man's land.

So, I allowed the congestion, crazy amounts of sneezing several times a day, only being able to sleep on my back, and the constant use of tissues. I allowed it until today!

Today, I went to an allergist.

They poked me all over my back. Then, as if that wasn't enough, I got poked with 13 needles in my arms. I'm only mildly allergic to mold. All that for mold. And, the doc isn't so sure that's what's causing my rhinitis...the fancy word for snot in your head.

Okay, so "snot in your head" really isn't accurate. I actually don't have much snot. It just feels like I do.

Did you know your nose is vascular tissue that swells? I didn't realize that so much. I kinda thought so, but I didn't really know.

The doc explained that your nose is kinda like "your lady parts" --no joke-- that's exactly what he said! Well, he said that after he said the proper terms for the organs that get increased blood flow for males and females. Then, he referred to it as "your lady parts". I had a hard time not laughing! Then, I got slightly embarrassed when I realized I was smiling.

So, all that to say that I have vasomotor rhinitis and possibly mixed rhinitis. It is probably caused by the increased level of hormones I have postpartum. Who knew?! And, since I'm still nursing those hormones are still a-swirlin'. Add that to some progesterone I'm taking and you have a recipe for some vasomotor rhinitis.

I googled it and found some interesting things. Mostly, the information made me say "yes!" It says it's triggered by temperature change and smells. Every time I get cold, I start sneezing and often get congested. Fan hit me...start sneezing. Air conditioning kicks on...I start sneezing. In addition, over the last eight months I sneeze every time I put on my deodorant or lotion. Crazy!

Wikipedia (don't you just love that resource?) also said vasomotor rhinitis is often confused with allergies. That explains why my attempts to ease my pain by taking Claritin and Allegra didn't work. It isn't really allergies!

So, the solution: some nasal spray. It has an anti-histamine. I'm trying one out for two weeks and we'll see how it goes.

First, I had to call the pediatrician and make sure it was okay. Is that weird?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ta-Da

The other day Jett managed to wiggle his way right out of his pants while he was crawling/pulling up.

Jenna got the biggest kick out his feat.

She insisted we all come look immediately.

I ran to get my camera. When I clicked, Jett just posed.
It was hilarious!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Random Update

Since I'm still not "there" yet [to be back to blogging regularly], I thought I'd do a random update (for the few who read and want to know). So, here goes...Jett decided he was too big for his baby bathtub (about six weeks ago). He also decided he could pull up on things, especially the baby gate. He started crawling around the middle of September (7 1/2 months old). He did the whole rocking back and forth thing for a good six weeks--keeping us in suspense.
During September, Rylee went to a "spa" birthday party. The girls got facials, pedicures, manicures, make-up, hairdos, and then cake/pizza. It was quite a treat!

I spent more time in the kitchen throughout September. I made an intense chocolate cake (trying to copy the Costco cake). I made amazing Caramel Apple Cheesecake bars. I made some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (and have some dough frozen for quick treats later).
I also had the privilege of directing a friend's wedding when she got married at my church. I prepped food for the wedding party to munch on between taking photos and the wedding ceremony. How silly is it that I took a picture of the spread?

Then, as October came, Jett and I went to North Carolina to visit my family.
We spent the first week of the month hanging out with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.My youngest sister had a baby boy the end of July, so we got to meet him. It was a nice week-long visit. And, though I specifically said I needed a picture of Jett with Grandma, I didn't get one.This picture does not do my nephew justice by any means. But, I didn't take many pictures.

I've been back a week and I'm just now feeling like I'm back in the swing of things. But, I'm not really sure about that. I haven't been "normal" for about nine months now!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Eventually

One day I will feel like I can write more. Today isn't that day.

For now, I'll share something that made me smile.

I was going through a cd of old photos, looking for pictures from Joel's trip to the Dominican Republic in November 2006. This sweet shot captured my attention.
February 27, 2007 - 13 months old

Parent/Teacher conferences started today. I met with all three teachers of my three big kids. It was a pure delight to hear how each of them is a joy to have in class for their respective teacher. Academically and socially, they are all doing great. We also have fantastic teachers--they love what they do and it shows.

Time flies. I've known it for a while, but these last few months have me clamoring for moments, trying not to let too many of them slip through my fingers. All I can think of right now is the Trace Adkins song "You're Gonna Miss This".

So true. So true.

*fun little sidenote: Trace Adkins was raised in northern Louisiana, where my mama grew up. so, the shots in this video are familiar to me as I visited her hometown many times growing up.