Saturday, August 13, 2011

Gratefulness and Rest

I went on a little much needed retreat over this past week. I have amazing friends and family who let me use their home to stay in and who took my kiddos for the 2 days, it was such a blessing. I feel like God has been trying to talk to me and I have been running, not sure why, but a reality struck me about a week ago, that I am addicted to busyness. Yikes! It's true. Although I would tell you that I hate being so busy, I create the busyness by feeling the need to be everywhere all the time doing everything, so I don't have to 'deal with' my stuff. I decided to make myself take 2 full days and retreat. I was dealing with some fear at first...what if God doesn't meet there or gives me the silent treatment or something. Or even worse what if He tells me is something I don't want to hear.

My first day I got all my stuff situated in the room, made sure I had some snacks and water, made sure my bags were in their right spot, made sure my toothbrush was on the bathroom sink, made sure there was toilet paper in the bathroom, made sure my pen was working, made sure that there were enough kleenex in the room and turned on some live IHOP webstream...and...started pacing the floor. Oh my goodness, sit down and shut your brain off, Jamie, I screamed and thus began the 'getting it all out' portion of my retreat. I yelled a whole lot of other stuff too, too R rated to blog about. I am so glad He can handle all that and He just listened. I cried and yelled and cried and yelled some more. It felt amazing. Then I fell asleep.

When I woke about an hour later, I felt completely different, the fear junk was not bugging me and I was able to just sit and read (still not in a listening place yet). I read more than I have read in years in one night. It was good stuff too! My eyes hurt when I went to bed. I slept so good and I had 3 dreams, yes 3. It was incredible. I woke up and wrote them all down.

I decided to go get some coffee so I could stay awake. There was a park with a field that was beautiful and calling my name, so I went straight to the middle of it and laid a blanket down and laid for 2 hours. It felt so amazing to just sit there with the sun on my face, there was a breeze blowing and I felt surrounded by the mountains. It was wonderful. I had an agenda to sit there and journal, but God started talking and I decided to just listen (finally). WOW! I kept thinking I should get up and write all this down, but I couldn't. He just kept talking and talking, it was beautiful, and it was just enough. He told me about how much He loves me and then told me about the dreams I had, and how much He loves me, then He told me about stuff in my marriage and about being a mom and how much He loves me, I am crying writing this because even though there was so much and it was so incredible it was so simple and easy. He met me right where I was. He is so good. He is faithful. That was my most favorite moment of the 2 days.

I went back to the house and read some more. I also felt compelled to read Song of Solomon in The Message Bible...Holy cow! :) Just read it. God is SO in love with us (His people, His church, You, Me). I thought it would be a great book for George and I to study together ;) hee hee hee.

I have been on this journey about finding 'me' for some time now and finally realize there really is no end point to it, we will discover more and more about ourselves as we grow and live in God, because there is so much to Him there is so much to us. I have said many times, I am so afraid to lose myself in the midst of being a mom and wife and that I need to keep up with 'me'. This is such a lie. If I am in God and He in me, then I am not going to 'lose myself'. We go through different seasons in life and I am in the season of being mom and wife. During this season I need to lay stuff in my 'self' down so that I can pour into my 3 blessings. This has been such a struggle for me, knowing how selfish I am and needing to stop being so selfish, but trying to hold on to keeping all my desires and dreams on the forefront. Not that I have to give those up, but they need to be laid down for a season or my kids will be shoved to the side for me to pursue them. The time with my kids is so so short. I want to not have any regrets about lost time with them when they are grown, so I am making a choice to give my family my all in this season and I absolutely believe that God will put more life to my desires and dreams in the end and I will have no regrets. That sounds like a win win to me :) This was a rather lengthy discussion I had with God too during these 2 days. It was good.

I also read through most of the prophetic words and words of encouragement I have received over the past while and that was very cool, several of them I read with such a new clearer perspective and had so much more understanding. I asked some of my closest friends a while back to write 5 things they liked about me. I decided to this because I had such a hard time seeing much good in me at the time. I read those too and I realized I have allowed so much ungratefulness and resentment to come in to my life, which is a large reason for the busyness. So many of the things people said was that I had so much joy, I kept wondering where it had gone. It didn't go anywhere, just needed to let go of some junk. It was so encouraging to read those and actually believe some of it now. I love seeing growth through tough long processes.

I ended up having to leave earlier then I planned to pick up my kids, but I think it was just enough time. I feel so refreshed and that I have purpose to focus on each day. I think I need to do this every few months to be honest. Maybe I wouldn't be so moody and ornery all the Happy me, Happy wife, Happy mom, Happy home :).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

December 2009

This an article I was writing for magazine that my sister was going to start, but ended up not doing it. I read it today was encouraged by what it said :) So I figured I would share it. It is an unfinished work, but I still iked it. I love reading things I wrote in the past, I can see wisdom and growth that I didn't see then that I had or see growth through a process. I am learning to really enjoy myself lately and although it takes great strength some days, if I don't enjoy myself then I won't enjoy anything. OK, now I am blabbing on...enjoy.

My name is Jamie and I would like to tell you a little about me and give you a glimpse about the things that you will get out of reading my articles. I am in the midst of learning who who I am, which I am sure I will continue to learn the rest of my life. It is an exciting adventure full of ups and downs and all a rounds. So my utmost goal is to be me and make you laugh hysterically, cry continually, and snort a bit too. I hope you finish reading and feel completely encouraged that life has so much in it and how God wants you to enjoy the simplicity of life. I totally believe that there is no pad answer to your life and how to be a wife, a mom, a daughter, or anyone. The only real answer is to look inside of you and discover who God is in you and go for it.

A really hard part of the process that God has me in is that during the breaking down of who I thought I was, was the not so pretty in between person hanging around for a while that would be mean to everyone and want to just be left alone day after day. It was difficult with my 3 kiddos that wanted my full attention or made messes everywhere or wanted to go out in public and play with their friends. I felt like everyday I was apologizing to them and asking for forgiveness for the way I screamed at them or the way I laid in my bed half the day. One day after they were all tucked in and asleep I sat in the bathtub crying my eyes out for the way I had been acting for so long and asking God if there was an easier way. I heard Him say to me, Jamie, just be YOU, just be real, just be YOU!

A friend of mine a few weeks prior to this moment has something that was very profound to me, he said that we need to learn how to function in our brokenness because that is when God shines through. When we are truly week He is strong. It isn't when I'm weak I hide and sulk, it is when I step out more and function in exactly that...the strength of God! Wow, that hit me hard. So this time in the bath was one of those moments of God showing me how when I am not being a very nice mom, that if I'm just honest and learn to function that my kids will see God in all His strength in me. How incredible is that?

One thing that I have really worked on with my kids is talking to them on a regular basis and explaining to them that the craziness that is going on with mommy is not at all their fault and that God is taking me through a process that has good days and hard days and that in the end it will be wonderful.

As I sit here in McDonald's writing this article while my kids play and my daughter argues with one of the little boys playing here, about how God is real. I am thinking about something I read recently that I could totally relate to. When a caterpillar begins to get ready to go into the phase of its life where it goes into its cocoon, it begins to eat and eat and eat so that it can be strong enough to live through the cocoon process. Once the caterpillar builds its cocoon around it and begins to change into a butterfly it then 'looks' like it is ready to emerge from its cocoon, but it isn't. It takes time for the butterfly to develop strength in its wings to carry itself and fly away. So as the butterfly struggles to get out of the cocoon, it pushes juices to flow into the wings of the butterfly to strengthen its wings so that when the time comes for it to be free, it goes for it and flies away. If someone where to cut a cocoon open too early, the butterfly would fall on the ground and not fly. The process has to be completed in order for it to function the way God intended it to. This reminds me of the kinds processes that God has taken me through. As I begin to grow in a process I feel trapped and want to get out of it as fast as I can. I am the type that digs around in my pocket to to find a pocketknife to cut the cocoon right open. Then what happens, I fall flat on my face trying to pick up all my pieces and put me back together. Instead of enjoying the process and allowing even the struggles to strengthen me and allowing God to do it and be in control, I somehow think I can do a better job. I loved this.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

To Homeschool or Not to Homeschool

This has been a question that has stuck in my mind since Lydiane was 2. The desire to homeschool has been there, but I can't decide if my reason behind not wanting to is fear and selfishness or just that it is not what I should do. There are many people out there that say there is no other way if you are a Christian. I don't know that I agree with that statement at all, I believe that homeschooling is incredibly valuable and an amazing opportunity, but I definitely wonder if I could do it. I could find all kinds of excuses for not doing it, but we could make excuses for anything and everything too. I always say that I am just not the homeschool mom type...for example, I am too much of a busy body and wouldn't be able to keep up, or that I am so undisciplined that I would do really well for a couple of weeks and then fall way behind. There are so many options of ways to do everything as well and it seems incredibly overwhelming. I just don't know that I am cut out for it. My children currently go to a really wonderful Charter school that I really like and feel that it is a good thing, but again I can't get the homeschool journey out of my mind. I don't know, just thought I would share my thoughts.

There is a book that I would love to read that is called Educating the Wholehearted Child that I have heard of before and looks like it would be a good help if we do end up homeschooling. I think I will give it a try. Hopefully a good place to start. Thanks for letting my share. If anyone has any input, please share :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

2011 Roller Coaster Ride...part two

At that point I was feeling so many emotions in one moment, that I wished wasn't happening. Hurt, anger, sadness, confusion, frustration, numbness... I didn't know what to say. The nurse came in after about what felt like 30 seconds and told me what the next step was. I had the choice to either carry the twins until my body naturally miscarried them, which they didn't recommend, they could give me a pill that induced natural labor at home, or have them surgically removed. I did not want to make that decision at that moment. I told the nurse I needed to go home and I would have to let them know later. I got home and called George, my mom, and other friends and family.

I was surrounded by a house full of people that evening. With their help I made the decision to have a second opinion and wait through the weekend to get rechecked. I received prayer and had such support in such a small frantic amount of time. I was frustrated with God and I went to such a place of numbness with Him even though I was asking him to heal my babies. I was afraid of what He would tell me. The more that time goes by the more I know He was preparing me to let go. At that moment I didn't want to and I all I knew to do was hope. I did a lot of questioning as well too.

Friends and family hoped with me and prayed with me. I wasn't alone, but I knew. My church family even prayed for me on a Sunday morning, but I knew. People gave words of encouragement and things began to seem like it would go in the direction of healing. I just had to HOPE! But in my heart I knew.

Monday came and I went in for the second opinion. My doctor was there and I was glad to see him. He was so kind and compassionate. He did the ultra sound and again there was no heartbeat on either baby. He told me to go home and take some time to think about how I wanted to 'let go' of my little ones. I went home and thought and cried and talked to friends and cried and prayed and cried and yelled and cried. I don't understand, why did this happen? What are you doing God? Why would you do something so miraculous and then take it away?

3 days later I was at the hospital to have them surgically removed. I decided to do it that way because it could have taken another month for my body to naturally miscarry and it wasn't good for my health with having diabetes. I didn't do it via the pill because I couldn't bear the thought of that whole process. I honestly felt like a wimp choosing to do it surgically because it was the easiest way to deal with it. The morning of the surgery was really tough, but everyone at the hospital was very kind. It was done and I went home and went to bed. I slept most of the next day as well. I cried and yelled at God. I wish that I was the type of person that just had peace all the time even when really hard things happen....but....I am not. I scream and fight and kick and yell. Thank you Jesus that you love me anyway. This hurt. This really hurt.

So several months have gone by now and I had hoped that when I wrote part 2 of this I would have a better understanding of what God was doing with me during that time. I don't. I grieved, but the confusion of what all of that was for still lingers. One full month of a roller coaster rides, that came out of nowhere. What was the point? It came and went. Was it for nothing? I have to believe it wasn't or at least I try to believe it wasn't. Even though I am confused and at times frustrated, I know one thing...I have 2 beautiful baby boys hanging in the presence of God that I get to see someday. Jesus help me to have peace in not knowing and understanding why this happened. I guess I just have to rest in that.

You know what else? I have the most amazing and beautiful blessings I could ever ask for that I get to see everyday. I am so incredibly thankful for them.

Thanks for letting me share my means a lot.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

2011 Roller Coaster Ride...part one

Please note, I left out a lot of details because the way I write this could become a book, just tried to put the main points ha ha ha.

So once again, it has been forever. The more I think about wanting to keep up with blogging, the more I realize that I really enjoy it, I just have to find the time. It helps me process stuff and when you are an out loud processor like me with a husband who is gone 14 hours a day for work and 3 kiddos on your heals I need an out at times. So here I am...although because it has been sooo long, I have an awfully lot in my brain that needs processing. I process things over and over and over I abnormal? Oh well if I am.

In November, a wonderful friend emailed me a dream that she had about me where I was pregnant and so overjoyed I couldn't even speak and that everyone around me was so overjoyed and couldn't speak either. George and I decided a while ago that we were done having beautiful babies and he had, as my friends would say, 'the snip snip'. That was 2 years ago. So my wonderful friend knew that getting pregnant wasn't really happening and believed that it meant spiritually. She said that this next season in our family's lives would be full of joy and life! WAHOOO!!! Since our last season was hell, it was so wonderful to hear that.

I honestly didn't know what she meant, but simply hoped and held on to it. So 2011 rolled around, rather quickly I might add, and things in the Obed home seemed ok, other than the fact that I wasn't sleeping at night, losing tons of hair and having no energy to do anything at all. I decided I should go get checked. I went to the doctors and they decided I should get checked for pre-menopause and have a bone density scan. The diabetes was out of control, so that was a definite reason for not feeling well also. This may be TMI, but I hadn't had a period in almost 3 years (which I am not complaining at all, but probably isn't very healthy).

As I walked out of the room and was heading to the lab for tests the nurse came walking over to me put her hand on my should and said, "wait a second, love, you are pregnant!" As the dramatic person that I am, I dropped to my knees (I know, I know ridiculous) and yelled, "Oh hell no I am not!" The nurse quickly helped me up and took me back to my room and shut the door. I cried and cried and cried... The nurse then proceeded to offer to terminate the pregnancy, 3 times! I finally told her to not ask me that again, that it wasn't even an option and that I was just in shock and needed a minute. So she left the room and gave me a minute. Shock number one.

I told George and he just sat there and after a minute asked if it was Then he said, "well, I guess you can't argue with God, right?" He went to his doctors that week to get a refund on his vasectomy :) Unfortunately no refund, but they did confirm that it grew back together, they offered to do the surgery again at no charge. Too bad they didn't offer a years worth of diapers!

The thought of having another baby was beginning to sit with us a lot better the next week. I went to have my first ultra sound and I saw the little bean in my belly, it was too early to hear the heartbeat, but you could definitely see the heart beating inside. But wait, the room was silent for quite a while and the doctor said, "I need to show you something". Of course I thought it was something bad and got really nervous. She proceeded to show me three tiny yolk sacs. The first yolk sac didn't seem to have anything in it, then she moved to the second yolk sac where the baby and the heartbeat I saw were and then moved the ultra sound wand around some more and showed me the third yolk sac where another little body and heartbeat was. Yep, twins! There could have been three and the doctor stayed there a while to make sure there were just the two. I am 6 weeks pregnant. I just laid there and cried. Shock number two.

I called George on my way back to work, his response was, "ok, I gotta go do laundry" as the shock was setting in. I have always wanted twins and this news settled a lot faster than the initial news of being pregnant. In my mind I began thinking and planning all kinds of things, names, which room they would be in, what kind of double stroller to buy, if they would all fit in the car, what to say when people commented on my ginormous belly, how this was all going to work. It will work. God planned this in the first place, so it WILL work. I was getting excited! So were all of my amazing friends, they were all overjoyed!

I had to have an ultra sound every week because the whole situation was so risky. They told me that the chances of this happening was less then 1%. Again, this was God. They had told us that we were having identical twins, so they would both be the same sex and look exactly alike. Both George and I felt that they were boys. Malakai definitely thought that they were boys :) Lydi and Norah wanted one of each, we tried explaining to them that they were identical and they didn't care, one of each was in their minds.

I saw the two beautiful little beans inside me each week and loved it, I could barely wait for my next appointment. I was almost 10 weeks and came in for my weekly ultrasound. I went to this one by myself and was anticipating seeing them once again. This was a different nurse and she was super quiet through the whole ultrasound, I didn't think anything of it. She went out of the room and got a doctor that watched as she did the ultrasound again. My heart began to race. She kept putting on the sound and there was just dead air. She did it probably 4 or 5 times. I finally asked, what does that mean and the doctor looked at me and said, "I'm sorry but neither baby has a heartbeat". I didn't say a word, just laid there, numb.

The nurse had said to me that if it makes me feel any better they probably would have been deformed anyway, so I should be thankful that they didn't come into this world that way, I went even more numb and completely shut out everything they said from there on. They left me in the room. I cried and cried and cried...again. Shock number three.

To be continued...