Friday, April 30, 2010

Coming down off of Cloud Nine...

I just read my last post and it amazes me that that was my life just a month and a half ago. Since then, I have had nonstop trials and events happen in my life. It started when my grandpa had a heart attack and was admitted into the hospital. While he was there, he had another two heart attacks. He was there for almost two weeks. This was a hard blow for me. You see, my grandpa has always had a special place in my heart. He is an amazing man so full of love for people and for Jesus. He has spent the majority of his life preaching the gospel and leading people to Christ. His health has really gone downhill over the past ten years, but he continues to preach wherever he goes.

When I got the news of his heart attack, I was panicked. I hadn't seen him in over a year...and was afraid that I wouldn't get the chance to tell him goodbye and that I loved him. My last visit to my grandparent's house was a great one. We laughed and they really enjoyed the kids. Then my grandma went into the hospital. She fell while she was there and ended up with a head injury. She hasn't been the same. Not only is she now in a wheelchair, but she also has problems with dementia and weird behaviors due to the head injury. I didn't want to see her that way...I wanted to remember her the way she was during our last visit. I ended up visiting my grandpa three times while he was in the hospital, each time preparing myself for that being the last time I would see him this side of heaven. We had a nice time visiting and I listened as he told stories from his childhood. The time I spent with him was priceless. He ended up being released from the hospital and is doing fairly well now, however his doctors say that a massive heart attack is inevitable for him. Through this, I learned how much I had let fear creep into my life. I had let fear keep me from visiting my grandparents and it almost stole my chance to tell my grandpa goodbye. I vowed not to let this happen again.

During the time my grandpa was in the hospital, my tooth started hurting. I was in tremendous pain. I took a round of antibiotics and then, after 1 1/2 weeks of misery, had my tooth pulled. I immediately started getting a terrible sore throat and cough, which lead to me coughing for a minimum of 1 hour each night (sometimes 2!) before getting to sleep. During this time I turned 31, which means I am no longer close to my 30's! lol Three days after my birthday, I receive a call from my hubby saying that my mom had called him to tell him that my grandma was found dead in her home that morning. My step-dad had gone to pick her up for a doctor's appointment and found her. Tremendous guilty crept into my life. I had not seen this grandma for over a year either. I loved her, but never felt like I could meet up to her expectations, so I sort of just stayed away. I wasn't mad at her, just hurt because I didn't feel accepted by her. I received a beautiful birthday card from her just 5 days before she died about how I was such a great granddaughter. When I read it, I thought that my dad must have picked it out for her (he was doing a lot of her shopping before she died) because I didn't think that was how she really felt about me. After her death I found out that she had in fact picked out that card herself. So that entire week while we made arrangements and awaited her burial, I really struggled with a lot of guilt. Did my grandma think that I cared about her? Why did I rob her of the chance of seeing her only great-grandchildren? Were my feelings of unacceptance real or just imagined? I will never know now because I once again let fear keep me from facing the situation head on. I should have been confident in who I was, who God made me to be, and spend the last year or so with my grandma, getting to know her more. But instead I let Satan win. And he robbed me of ever doing just that. So night after night when my coughing kept me from sleeping, I was haunted by my guilt and shame. At some point, I had to overcome this and ask God for forgiveness, and learn from my mistakes...again.

Her funeral service really was beautiful and I know she would have been pleased. As we laid her to rest, I also laid to rest my guilt about the past. I learned a powerful lesson through her death. It really is important to live each day as it were your last, or your husband's last or whoever is important to you. Not in a morbid, sad sense, but in a sense that you don't have regrets once they are gone. You didn't have just good intentions...you had actions that followed them. After the funeral, my family went back to my parents house for dinner. While we were there, we spent hours looking through my grandmother's old photos of her childhood and her mother, and even her grandmother. I learned a lot of things about her that day. I read her diary and how each day she talked about what food she ate and what she was cooking. My grandmother was an amazing cook. But she could also be quite critical when eating at a restaurant or even at your house. lol I realized how much she really enjoyed cooking and eating good food. Any maybe her ways of showing it weren't too constructive, I think she meant well. She also really like nice things. Each year we were always a nervous wreck about what to get her for Christmas that would be good enough and she would approve of. Through spending that time with my family looking at photos and newspaper clippings, I realized that my grandma had come from a well-to-do family and was used to having nice things when she was growing up. She married my grandpa who was poor and pretty much lived her adult life living poorer than what she was used to. So what I saw as being judgemental or even a bit arrogant in my grandmother, really was just from how she was raised. I went home that night feeling like I actually knew and understood my grandma. I wish she would have taken the time to show me her true self while she was living because I think it would have helped me understand her actions more.

After all of that happened, I was well for 2 days...then started getting cold like symptoms once again...which again robbed me of my sleep. By Monday, I think everything started catching up with me...I was a mess. I was exhausted, irritable, and depressed. Right now, my schedule is a nightmare with baseball practices and games, trying to help Evan finish up his 3rd grade year, starting my own business as a Tastefully Simple consultant, and just trying to keep up with all the rest: laundry, cooking, cleaning, breaking up fights, etc. I am feeling better now thankfully. Yesterday I started a 30 Day 5 Minute Mom coaching series by an author that I love...and it is helping me to change my outlook on my life. I have realized that I have become a not-so-much-fun-person-to-be-around as a mom. I am so busy trying to get through the day that I miss the opportunities to read to my children, play with them, give them a hug. Yes, my life it out of control right now, but I'm working on turning it around. There is more to life than housework and my to-do list. It's time to learn how to play again and be a child. Why is that so hard for adults to do?

In the midst of my chaotic past two months, I have managed to lose a total of 13 lbs! I'm finally to the point where people are noticing my weight loss, and those little comments sprinkled here and there certainly help to keep me motivated! All my clothes are getting annoyingly big, which means there is some shopping in my future! (you won't hear me complain about that!) I have also decided that I am going to run a 5K this fall with a friend. I had been thinking I might want to...mainly to just prove to myself that I can, but didn't want to do it alone. Just today I finished up Week 3 of my Couch To 5K training program and I am so proud! By using that program, I should be ready for a 5K in another 7 weeks, but will continue to train until September. Maybe I'll run a 5K before then...who knows! The possibilites are endless! And cool thing is that anyone who runs will tell you that the extra pounds WILL come off when you start running, so my goal is two-fold...to train for and complete a 5K race in September, and also to be at my goal weight of 145ish by then too! Only 28 more lbs to go!

Running a race is alot like life. I have found that if you run too fast, you will become exhausted too quickly and more than likely will not be able to finish. If you run too slow, you never really reach your full potential and miss the benefits along the way. To be successful, you need to find your pace. I said YOUR pace. Not your friend's pace or whoever else you are racing with. Once you find your pace, you will be able to run without getting too tired. That's how God intends us to run this race called LIFE. He doesn't want us to speed ahead because he knows we'll be overwhelmed and exhausted and give up due to burnout. Yet, he doesn't want us to run half-heartedly, with no purpose, and not stretching ourselves outside of our comfort zone. He wants us to find our pace, which is ultimately His pace for us, and run with purpose. There is a finish line ahead and He wants us all to be winners! We will win, as long as we let him train and coach us along the way!