[ Amen Designs ]
A lot has happened since my last Facebook post late Wednesday night — including finally starting this blog! Facebook is where most of my family and friends “live” so it has been a great way for me to share what is going on with everyone. The problem is, Garrett and I still have a lot of really wonderful people in our lives who AREN’T on Facebook. I spent some time playing with my security settings and considered making select posts “Public”, but I just didn’t feel comfortable with that.
I had a few people suggest that I setup a Caring Bridge website, but that didn’t feel like the right fit for me either. As I have shared stories from our time in the hospital so far, I have had only one person on my heart… Jolie. She is sitting right here with me, wiggling her scrawny butt around and I pray to God that I get to share these stories with her some day. As I started thinking about how/where to write, I realized I want to tell these stories somewhere that is all mine, somewhere that we can keep for a long time. Caring Bridge out… and blog it is!
I have had this blog name since the beginning of last year, but I could never bring myself to write on it. I thoroughly enjoy putting pen to paper–or fingertips to keyboard–and sharing stories, but I haven’t done it in a very long time. I actually have felt a very strong “tug” to write more, but I’ve tried very hard to brush it off. In the past, I have had a lot of anxiety about sharing my writings. It is one thing to journal and be open and honest with myself, but it is a whole other monster to say: “I’m committed to being honest and transparent about life and struggles and invite other people to walk through this with me.”
(NOTE: I will probably bounce back and forth between I/me and us/we as I write. While I am the one who talks a lot… A LOT…these posts are very much about Garrett, too. He is amazing and I am ridiculously blessed to get to “do life” with him.)
Now that I can no longer use “time” as an excuse NOT to write, I had to think about the reasons that I SHOULD write.
- I want to tell Jolie an authentic story about how absolutely amazing her momma thinks she is. I want her to look back and be able to hear, in my words, how much I’ve always loved her–just for being her–before I even got my first chance to kiss her face.
- We have a ridiculously large, wonderful, supportive family and a whole great big gob of friends that we want to keep in the loop. I have failed miserably at returning all the phone calls and emails that I have gotten in the last couple of weeks. What a blessing.
- Mental health. Being transparent is super important if I want to keep myself from collapsing into a ball of anxious tears.
The Sunday before “The Tuesday” when this new adventure started, Pastor Mike’s message was on “Encouragement as Spiritual Formation“. I won’t try to recount the entire message to you, but at the beginning Mike talked about how words can discourage or they can encourage–especially the written word–because letters can be read over and over and over.
“Encouragement by its very definition includes […] it is an inclusive word. It literally means ‘to call beside’. It’s an invitation word. The word encouragement means…
Hey, come over here!
Stand with me.
We’re in this together.
I’m calling you to be beside me.
I’m calling you by my side.”
This is our 12th day at OSF St. Francis and thankfully, I have been in really good spirits 93% of the time I’ve been here. Because of my wonderful family and friends and the amazing people working to take great care of us, I have felt very encouraged. This burden is much lighter because of the people around me. If I commit to being honest and transparent about the good, bad, ugly and funny on this blog — I hope to encourage others.
Last night, I was video chatting with Garrett and he asked if I was “blue”. I wasn’t blue, but rather I was wishing that I could run out of my room and go sit with a couple of the other mommas that I knew were having a less than spectacular evening. (Wait, who wouldn’t want to be here on a Friday night??) Last night there were 14 mommas here in the Antepartum department and I SOOO wished that I could go and be with each one of them. I want to send them all beautiful flowers and goodie baskets like so many people have done for me. I want to give them encouragement.
So, long story long… if God wants to use my writing as a way to encourage others, I’m going to write. The moment I mess this up, I hope he shuts me up.
“2 and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our brother and God’s co-worker in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith, 3 and to keep you from being shaken by the troubles you were going through. But you know that we are destined for such troubles.” — 1 Thessalonians 3:2-3
“11 So encourage each other and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11