Thursday, June 26, 2014

Birthday Preparation

In the weeks leading up to their child's birthday, most parents (I can no longer just say moms here because I have been shown better by some fathers out there) go out and pick up decorations they either approve or dislike, look at the birthday list and decide what gift their child will get that year, make party balloons, fill out and deliver party invitations, look back at old pictures, laugh and cry, etc.

This mom wishes she could do that. Though I am lucky enough to still have a child's earth birthday to celebrate and the opportunity to fit those things in - the routine is much different. It usually all starts with an email...from the kiddo's donor as some of my circle of friends refer to the kiddo's "father." Tonight we are allowed to use that term as he has proved himself deserving only of that title yet again. So I get the email - next comes the tears and silent screaming that no one (including the little one sleeping feet away) hears. Denial, more denial, dash of hatred, begging, pleading, anger, more anger. Not depression though - tears yes, but not depression. Finally, sooner than later - acceptance.

Acceptance that though the kiddo's life will always be celebrated by many who turn out in numbers a plenty - she has the opposite of a father. She has someone legally bound by blood who uses this small detail to hurt others rather than to boast on her. Acceptance that I will once again, year after year, go through piles of paperwork, legal documents, while taking a few moments of "can you watch her 5 extra minutes tonight after work" to grab the necessary items to Pintrest my way to a party to be thrown in a week - a week meaning 5 days.

Now like those other parents, I do go through many an old photo collection to get me through the hard but must do paperwork. I know who was there. I know who was there. I remember everything, everyone. Most of all - I remember our most precious times together forgetting for a moment the spill that was taken in the bathroom due to cups of water being thrown out during bath time. I stare in wonder at the kiddo while she sleeps - wondering how she got that big. Eating a half pound of meatballs followed by pasta for dinner, that's how!

She is on loan - as I was reminded - from God. I am here to guide her, watch her fall, pick her up, and by example she will learn and has learned to dust herself off and get back up. That is how we prepare for every new year of her life, just as I prepared when I brought her into this world - to stand, to fight for respect, and to love with an ever growing open heart.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

You Know All Those Pintrest Quotes....

Well I guess they are true - color me surprised! 

A friend had this one on their board for awhile now and though I was sure it was true, I had yet to understand:

"Don't look for someone to solve all your problems; look for someone who will face them with you."

I never liked people to tried to solve my stuff instantainiously - it got on my nerves. Just listen, ya know?! 

I wasn't looking for the latter either, I just found that truth in A. For the really big stuff probably last night for the first time. I mean, shoot, I knew he was a good man who supported me in all my flawable glory, but this. I'm still floored.

I had metioned a bit about going through some tough decisions regarding the kiddo and possible or not possible visitation changes in my last post. Well I wanted to keep that heaviness from A this week as he is on vacation (probably his first true one in many years) out west. Fail - he knew as soon as he heard my voice when he called something was up and as with anything with A it came flooding out. I was at the point where I wanted to just let it be so bad, but I knew eventually action needed to be taken.

God blessed me again. A listened to my plight and ramble and saying "I really didn't want to talk about this until you got back." Then he didn't fix it, he stood behind me last night by offering something amazing that could help alleviate some major time stressors and this morning my not only responding to my email explaining the depths of the situation with a resounding "I support you in this" but also answered my "so you are not leaving this crazy train" with an "I'm already on and I ain't getting off!" 

I know the man he is, I know his love, I didn't doubt, so why am I still so floored?! Because God keeps answering those silent and loud prayers via the people I want with me the most. It's not that I don't have faith that it's all going to be ok, A was just able to lift so much weight in that even though I may have to be the communicator of news or devious that will make the kiddo's "father" upset without cause....A going to be there 100% and I won't be alone in human form. And we both will stand in our faith together! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Choosing Happiness

Many times in life we look for something to be happy about, or someone to be happy for, something to make us happy, someone to make us happy. It is not until the past six months or so that I realized, by realized I mean truly accepted, that in whatever life gives us and whatever we are blessed with – we must first make the choice to be happy. This goes for all the times in life that we are troubled as well.
I recently ran into some examples of this:

One friend was having some serious relationship issues that they were determined to solve. Nothing was working or if it seemed as such it was only a patch to a leaky hole, things weren’t great for this friend for a while. However, this friend and their partner decided to take action FOR each other rather than against each other – and I believe this will be their saving grace. Easy? No. Worth the choice of happiness rather than misery?  Absolutely.

Another friend found themselves out of a loved professional position – quite suddenly. Oh and add on single with mouths to feed and said mouths had just left for visitation with the other parent for the summer. I cannot imagine! My kid(s) gone for what does seem like forever, then my beloved position is now gone, I have to figure out life in it’s God given scheme as well as figure out the man-made logistics of life such as food/bills/housing. However, this friend went right to the grindstone as well as made some choices to get up and go seek God in all his beautiful glory on earth (literally hiking to some of the greatest peaks).  I believe she will be OK, not ask why, but choose life instead of desolation.

I met my younger cousin, her friends, and all their respective dogs at a local winery this past weekend and was amazed at how they were all choosing their own happiness in their mid-twenties. It used to be, graduate, have or quickly get a boyfriend, get married. I believe most of them were single, had their own places, were talking happily about their jobs, apartment homes, friends, and only a few mentions of any guy they happen to be dating during the conversations. This elated me, as you well know how my former choice (though leaving me with the intense blessing of my kiddo) turned out.  Again, making their own happiness.

In my own choice to be happy or choose happiness – not that I haven’t been blessed with some great things, my daughter, a wonderful faith-filled man, a great local best friend, a roof, a job, and a fridge full of food; I also am having some issues I do not yet know the answers too. I will be going to part time to better serve my kiddo in a few short weeks (along with the last larger paycheck), however, my filler job has yet to come about. The kiddo will celebrate a milestone in that same time span, which as a single parent always means a change in visitation time or in my case, a decision of how my daughter should adapt to said change or how said change should come about for her true best interest in the situation. This year is one of the hardest to incorporate in the latter issue and many people have opinions, yet I am the only one who decides. That is a lot of weight. However, I chose happiness even as I go through these issues – prayer, today I ran like a crazy person and was covered sweat, and texted A who happens to be 3-4 centennial states away until Saturday.  Yet, I am happy, I choose to be, and I choose to be thankful for all my blessings.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I Would Like You To Meet......

Readers, A; A, readers of my blog that tries to serve a decent purpose if not to just make someone laugh. Elaine, you know A, so hi, haha.

If you follow on Twitter or are already a good friend you may have known that I am seeing someone. Well – this someone happens to be pretty darn special so you WILL be hearing about him in some future blogs; don’t worry A only good things as that is what I only intend to write about per previous discussions/posts on how to be a good Christian partner.

I was completely taken by surprise by this one – it’s not like I haven’t had my eye on him or somewhere on the radar for the past TWO years – but I never expected, well readers, love. An amazing, probably looks insane to the outside world in units of time, growing, complete opposite of infatuation, true love.

I really don’t know what I am doing, nor does A, which makes it all that much better because we decided from day one really just to be honest instead. No games, no “protocol,” no past bitterness. Oh, and if you were wondering this is the guy/topic in question from this post:

Yes, this is Elaine’s brother – they are both wonderfully fantastic and I could not be more blessed, and I mean that, I have been given a second (well really a first) chance and a gift from God really. I mean the man not only went to Mass with me (he is also Christian Catholic) but professed his love for the first time in my church. Girls wish for many things, but until something like that happens to you, you really have no idea how petty some of those wishes are and were the important things in a relationship lie.

More later – for now the same old laying out of the clothes for the kiddo’s school day which will be followed by the legen…wait for it….dary  meeting of the combined total of FOUR kids. We are crazy yes, some crazy, crazy fools. 17, 11x2, and 3…..yes, did I say crazy?!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Taking A Unselfish Step Back

As I was getting ready to call a friend with some joyful news from the day yesterday, I found out things were a bit amiss at the moment in that friends' life. I was mad - not because I couldn't share my news but I know this friend has been having a rough go of it and just when it looked like things may have been improving - shoe drop. I put down the phone and let's just say the words that came out of my mouth were not joyful. 

I was at a loss, it wasn't/isn't fair both in the situation and for this friend who is an awesome person. I searched and searched for what I could do for this friend - I found not much at the time but pray with a big "come on God!" added on. 

This morning, I tried some words I thought out with the response I was pretty much expecting but didn't want to hear: "I'm fine." No they weren't and we both know it. 

So what can you do to help a friend in this situation: take a step back was the conclusion I came too. This does not mean that I am leaving this friend alone in their time of need. However, it means:

First letting them know you are there and they are loved. Once, and when they have had some time - let them know again, but not bombard them with it 10 times that day either.

Second, lift them up yourself - if the person prays or meditates, they may be too angry to do so at the time. That is an ok feeling for them and something they may need to feel for a short while. So if you do these things - lift them up in your own prayer as if it was yourself. Then do it again when all you want to do is reach out to that person.

Third, give them some space to let them go through what they need to go through to begin to climb the other side of their particular challenge. Pray they have the strength to do so, but maybe not tag them in all your social media uplifting quotes and pictures. If you know then well enough that this might add to them needing a break from the stuff they are going through - don't keep reminding them. 

Lastly, don't go anywhere. Keep doing the above for them on your time and be there for them but in THEIR time - they may not want or be ready to talk right now and that is ok, but keep your tabs in a subtle way if you have too. 

Sometimes to strengthen a friend in a time of need we need to know for ourselves to take a step back but be their for them at the same time. Is it hard - absolutely - you want to yell, cry, bitch, moan, and pray with them.  Likely only that last part would do any good in a present moment of distress. 

Then when they have come around a bit, if they want to hear your joy share it without guilt, with knowing they want you to be joyful too - but also knowing when to hold things I for just a little while longer. Your friend will come back, strong or needing your strength and you can then both take steps together again. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Instructions Not Included

Everyone knows the feeling: You get something shiny and new in this box with amazing pictures then you rip open the box and…..a bunch of parts and screws come out and there are no instructions.

Life can be a lot like that in many ways, we are given amazing things and often we have no idea what to do with them; college, new jobs, new friends, new relationships, dating, marriage, babies that keep evolving into bigger and more complicated humans, etc. It’s not that we are not still in our amazement but we also have no idea what to do or sometimes how to even proceed in our lives so we don’t put the parts together wrong. We want our amazing thing to stay amazing to us.

I have been going through this lately – I was steady on my own, I had accepted the fact that it may just be me and the kiddo for a while and was perfectly content with that idea, work is going well and I actually have an opportunity to change my schedule a bit though I will have to work a little extra right now to keep the income right, and my faith has grown like never before but I need to continue to water it, especially now. 

Soon the therapies the kiddo has been receiving will be gone and though I have a little to go on, it is a major “instructions not included” situation. I know she will be ok, but I also know there are lots of parts I will need to figure out as a parent when the professionals are gone in a few short weeks.

 And then someone came along, I was going on a date, which turned into dating, and I was/am completely amazed – however, at first there was all this do this on a first date or don’t do this type of societal pressures I was feeling. So I did what any good IKEA customer would do and called on my customer service rep – God. And thank God I did! Because even though I don’t want to go into great detail right now, me and said first date have had a few more dates , talked and have been honest with each other, no games, and guess what…’s working fantastically. I am so grateful for the resources or for the “instruction” I have been by some great sources, mainly faith based.

I am both leading my heart and letting God lead it so that I don’t deter from the path he wants me to be on. I am also letting God speak to me in how I need to still, in all my amazement with this new person in my life, keep my priorities straight and find a good place in my life for this person.