Tag Archives: church

The Dreaded Facebook Syndrome

7 Jan

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Lately I think I’ve been bitten by the evil Facebook bug. The one that tells you that everyone else has it so easy (even when you know that’s not true). If I were telling this to my mother she would tell me that I was having a little pity party for myself, and that is true. But it doesn’t change the fact that sometimes it can be hard to look at the good tidbits of 150+ friends and then *gasp* compare them to my own life. And since I can barely handle my Facebook newsfeed, you can imagine the anxiety that The Daily Planet inspires in me. Evil is lurking around every corner these days, did you know that?

Dave and I have been trying to get pregnant again for the last 9 months. A lot of women have spoken up lately about how difficult it can be to be miscarry, and how they need to grieve. But what do you grieve when there never is a baby? How often are you allowed to feel grief? Every month? That gets exhausting and I don’t need to be depressed every single month. So then, is it only if you ever get pregnant and something goes wrong? Some months I don’t mind Aunt Flo but some months, the months that I have hope, that I think I am pregnant again, are the real killers.

Maybe every 9 months of negative tests and your monthly menses you can call that “the missing baby”.

I am so overjoyed when I see friends and family pregnant, but sometimes it feels like the universe is laughing at me. Over the last nine months I’ve had at least 30 friends either have a baby or announce a pregnancy. I know it’s just that time in my life when people are having babies, but sometimes I just want to say “Come on, really? Another one? What about me?”

And then the house. I’m sick of talking about selling our house and continuously working to improve it. To top it off, lots of friends have bought houses in the last year, and it seems to all work out for them so easily. They’re either renting when they buy, their condo sells in a weekend, or their jobs pay for their moves, and yet, for us, I don’t understand why we don’t have a hundred people on our front porch wanting to move in. Or at least one! Most real estate agents want to sell our house but not bring buyers by. They also want us to sell our house for so cheap that we’d be paying people (more) to take it off our hands, when the agents are the ones getting the easy profit. The economy isn’t that bad, folks. This is a great house. This shouldn’t be rocket science.

And to top it off, the thing I was spending most of my spare time on, being a deacon at our church, has turned into such a bad scenario for me, so draining and infuriating, that I no longer want to darken their doorstep. It would be difficult to go into detail and not write a novella, so let’s just say I tried being a very involved member and it’s just not working out anymore. I would say that I don’t even know what I believe anymore, but that’s not true. I think I know now better than I ever have before what I believe. And I love the people at our church dearly, but maybe Groucho Marx/Woody Allen are right: “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.”

I’m trying not to lose hope here. I know someday soon that all the cards will fall in to place and I’ll be the person with all the great, happy stories… full belly loading the moving van… but some days, hope is simply hiding under a large, too-heavy-to-move rock. And I cry.

Being able to write this down and share this brings me closer to the constant knowledge that I have it good. Real good. I am amazed by our clean, running water. That we give away cell phones for free. Quick, cheap, and safe vaccinations. Choice. Freedom. My little boy.

Maybe there’s a line in the middle of all this, the line that signals peace.

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Clifton Sanctuary Ministries

23 Jan

Sometimes it can be hard to admit that I might be the problem.

Dave and I have been the shepherds for Clifton Sanctuary Ministries for our church for the last two years. It has always been a struggle to get enough volunteers for the six dinners per year we make for them, and not until recently did I think that my enthusiasm (or lack thereof) might be the problem.

My boss/friend is also heavily involved in this charity, and she asked me to do some media/communications work for them, mostly sending out e-blasts and updating their website. As I began to learn more about the shelter that I had been helping out for almost two years, I realized how little I had involved myself, and every new bit of information I gathered made me excited for what they did.

Last October Dave and I attended the graduation dinner they put on every year to honor volunteers and graduates. They have a band, dinner, and several speakers. I was moved to tears this year, while two years ago I had been bored. Maybe then I hadn’t truly been listening to these men share their lives with me. Lives I have no idea about; things I have never experienced (and to be honest, hopefully never will). These men have journeyed from being the least of society, homeless, to being productive and stable. Owning a business, going back to school, working full time, having a place to live, getting permanent rehab care, etc. And Clifton did that for them — and so many others.

I am so glad my friend shared some of her spirit and fire that she gives to this mission, and that it has excited me to do more than just grudgingly do my part.  There are so many people joining our church, so many young people who are looking for a ministry worth working for, that I am hoping that my attitude will change this problem we have been encountering. I am hoping that my passion for Clifton will spread further than the bounds of our church, to our Atlanta community and beyond, and that we will be able to, day by day, continue giving service to these men so that they can find the same value and grace in themselves that God has given to them at birth. That can be hard for anyone, including myself, to realize, but what a great mission statement.

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Life is not just a collection of weekends

1 Mar

I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend. Last weekend was a beautifully busy weekend. Dave and I made breakfast for dinner Friday night. Saturday we headed to Anniston, Alabama to spend time with his aunt and uncle and cousins and their children. I absolutely love his Alabama family. It’s like a great big bear hug of love every time we go. We have fun. We all have little boys that will eventually do devilish things together as they grow up.

Cousins
Look at all those bright, mischievous eyes!
Walt (6 months), Ridge (14 months), Buddy (2 1/2 years)

We got home in time to put Walt to bed and get to bed ourselves. I had to host Fellowship Hour at church the next morning (part of my deacon duties; next time everyone is getting donuts and orange juice a la my Catholic upbringing). I then went out to grab a beer with the Young Adults before I headed home to my boys.  For dinner Dave and I met up with my friend Anais (we met working in a psych lab together at Georgia State; she’s now getting her PhD at Emory and I think we both marvel at each others’ busy schedules!) at this awesome pizza restaurant in Decatur called Sapori di Napoli. I want to go there again and again and again. It appears Dave and I have become pros at taking Walter out to eat with us. I’m glad he’s such a good sport.

This weekend? I wanted to take a walk with a friend in Piedmont Park tomorrow, but it’s cold and dreary here in Atlanta. I think this constant, cloudy twilight is making my eyesight worse. I am excited for the summer sun and heat! I never used to really like the hot, muggy Atlanta summers. But year after year I am getting more used to them and am actually enjoying them. I have visions of swimming with Walt in various family and friends’ pools, going out for walks without blankets bundled around little boy, and him learning to crawl and walk outside in the grass. We’ll visit a park or something to find that grass! The only thing I’ll miss are nights by the fire.

I love every Friday, anticipating Dave’s return home from work even more than usual (except maybe this week when I was sick and wished he was home hours before he could actually leave his office), and the knowledge that we’ll get to hang out as a family all weekend long. But then all too quickly it’s Sunday night again and Monday brings a week of wishing for Friday… and I don’t want to wish away that much of our lives. Even though I truly do love every minute of every day, it’s just better when we’re all together.

What a swell weekend looks like

28 Jan

This weekend has been a stellar weekend. For instance, I was able to take a shower Friday and Saturday! Right now my husband sits in front of our fire eating ice pops. Only slightly contradictory.

Friday night we finished season 1 of Homeland, which we got from Netflix. We’ve been obsessed this week, waiting for the mail each day so we could continue on Carrie’s quest. And when she got shock therapy at the end of the last episode, the idea that we had to wait 8 more months to find out if she’d remember about Brody and Isa was shocking. So of course today we ordered Showtime just so we can watch season 2 then cancel it!

Walt then slept 13 hours straight, for his first real full night’s sleep since birth. I woke up before him, checked on him to make sure he was OK, then couldn’t go back to bed. I must have new mother’s syndrome.

Saturday we enjoyed a lazy morning, then went to lunch at my in-laws where a family friend joined us. My mother-in-law got a crib for us a couple months ago so nap time at their house would be easier (so sweet!). It was nice to be able to spend some time there, dressing Walt in David’s old baby clothes. He looked like a baby straight out of the early 80’s.

We got home and my mother came over to babysit while we went to serve dinner at Clifton Sanctuary Ministries (I feel very lucky to have parents who want to babysit my little boy!). David and I are the Morningside shepherds for this great shelter, organizing dinners there once every other month. This month we had lots of helpers, which is frankly a welcome change, and then the new young adult minister and his wife joined us for dinner out at Taqueria del Sol after. We hadn’t been to Taqueria in a couple years and those enchiladas sure hit the spot.

We got home at 8:30pm, released my mother, and were asleep by 10:30. It was fantastic. Not like our party days in times past, but I don’t mind the change.

At church today we were only 20 minutes late, and Walt stayed awake and happy through the entire rest of the service. That means we got to hear the whole sermon! And I swear our son reads the hymnal as we’re singing the songs.

I’ve been tired this afternoon and my weekly chores start tomorrow, but I look forward every day to teaching my son about life and enjoying it with him. Knowing this boy has made me more blessed than I ever thought I deserved.

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