Thursday, October 29, 2009

Redefining Blessings

I have a tendency to see things in black and white with no gray area. My husband and I discuss this almost regularly as I am unwavering in my stand and judgments and will often not budge. With that comes things like religion and what I thought Blessings were. For years I have felt that we were untouched by God as we don't make money like our friends and we don't live the way we would necessarily like to. Don't get me wrong we are simple and try to keep things as such but a bigger house would be nice along with newer cars and so on. But these are things that we struggle to attain as they are not gifted to us, or readily accessible through our financial means.

So because of this in my mind we are not blessed. Along with that our marriage has seen hard times, our family members have faced serious illness, continued financial setbacks, a miscarriage, job loss and one hard decision after another. Again, I continue to think we are not blessed.

This week I found myself alone (a rarity I assure you) and with that I had time to think (another rare happening.) I found myself reflecting on a conversation with some of our soccer moms at the park and thinking about how much I enjoy talking with them, the encouragement and knowing that they understand my feelings as I struggle with three children (the youngest a newborn) and maintaining a home as well as facing the decision to return to work in just a couple of weeks. From this reflection came more out pouring as I looked back at where this year started and everything we (as a family) have gone through to get to now.

From finding out I was pregnant, to a cancer scare with our four year old son to the birth of our third son. We have seen a generous out pour of thoughts, prayers, gifts, even meals. My boss was wonderful to work with me so that we could save money on childcare, my coworkers were supportive and generously gave me a diaper shower with much needed baby care items. People from our past and present prayed diligently that our middle son would have clean results as we faced the possibility that he might have leukemia. Our soccer team families put together a wonderful shower and then cooked for us the first few weeks as we adjusted to life with three children. Friends continue to reach out to us with support and encouragement and I just now realized that despite my narrow way of thinking and seeing things we have been blessed all along I just couldn't see it.

Blessings for us have not been in the way of things but in people. How lucky have we been to be surrounded by such wonderful friends and family. Through our children our lives have been enriched with wonderful people who provide us with companionship and company as we get older and our children grow up. I can't tell you the last time I felt alone as I have had so many good people in my life for so long (including my husband and my boys.) I don't know how I missed it or even how I got into my very wrong mind set but it felt like a huge revelation to realize that we had not in fact been abandoned by God. He heard our prayers and blessed us in the ways in which we needed to be, not what we expected and not always how we wanted. I would not trade my life for anything or for anyone else's. As I take inventory I am truly overwhelmed not only by His generosity but by that of those around us and how wonderful it feels to be liked, loved and appreciated.

Thank you to all of you who are a part of our lives and for all the little things you do :-)

This is for our friends and family, our Blessings from God.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"I told you so" is easy to say but hard to hear...

That's my opinion anyway. Earlier this week I has having a conversation with my brother updating him on my once again isolated status in regards to our father's side of the family. Three years ago when I "found" my cousin and got myself invited to a family reunion I chastised my brothers for not giving our flesh and blood a chance. A second chance really cause they kinf of blew things the first time around. Deciding that I wanted my children to meet the people that I spend most of my young life with I blindly forgave them for all the heart ache and pushed forward. Alone of course because my brother refuse to let go of the hurt and anger and they stood firm in not wanting anything to do with this side of our family.

Being the know it all big sister and counselor I knew I was doing the right thing and opened myself back up to a group of people that most certainly were going to hurt me again. It's what they do best. Here I am three years later telling him about an email war that I started based on some ignorant emails circulating during the time before the presidential election. I told him about my aunt and how ridiculous her response was not to mention how it had nothing to do with what I had written. I continued to tell him about my two other aunts who have since ignored me because of their Catholic beleifes and narrow view on the election. It seems in this time of crisis the only thing that was worth thinking about was abortion. Must be nice to not have any other cares in the world. Because I would not comform, because I stood my ground I am once again cut off.

His response "I told you so." I am usually the one uttering those words so this was a bit more difficult to take. Having had a chance to process things I relaized how foolish I was to pursue these "roots." This was the family that made fun of me, caused me many tears, compared me to other cousins that I had nothing in common with. I have always been different and I know this but somehow not being a part of one's family is just not easy to accept. I am learning though because I know this is for the best. I am different for many reasons and all of them make me better for it. I keep this in mind as I move forward.

In the mean time perhaps I will be more careful with my quick response to say I told you so.