I am GreatFull!


My life is active and full as a wife, stay-at-home mother of three precocious, active children, cook, laundress (or washerwoman, as they used to say back in the day), chauffeur, homework helper, literary champion, nutritionist, lullaby master, wardrobe composer, and part-time fitness instructor. These are just a few of the hats that I normally get to wear.

So when I went in for surgery this past Monday, I was reminded that I would have to depend on others to fill in where I cannot.  This sometimes makes me feel limited and inadequate, especially as I recuperate at home, albeit slowly, at least according to my standards.  Believe it or not, my mind is even more active than my body, as I am always thinking of what’s “next” on the agenda.  Who needs what?  What needs to be done now?  Balancing the needs of the day while being prepared for what’s up ahead is something that I’m used to doing.  Hence, the realization that I don’t have the luxury of doing things “my way” during this time is alarming. Nonetheless, I must keep in mind that I am not sick.  Rather, I am being restored; healing; being made well.  Through these lenses, I am thankful for the mental reprieve, as well as the physical rest that is necessary for this restoration. I am Grateful!

Did I expect 5K readiness straight out the gate?  Of course not, but I certainly was not ready to admit that I could not carry on with “business as usual”, or to hear about the levels of healing required for “complete” wellness.  On a deeper level, however, I knew that I had to trust, that in order to be fully well, I had to also give up something, even if only for part of the time.  Moreover, I needed to take comfort in knowing that, I am at least in a position to get the help that I need, from Angels near and far. These friends and neighbors, surprisingly, have become a new type of family that extends beyond bloodline. They help me in a multitude of ways, especially with our children, and I fully recognize that, that in itself is a privilege. I am more than grateful…I am GreatFull!

Apparently, the road to restoration is a humbling one.  Paved with personal, life-altering encounters; adorned with admissions of vulnerability and limitations; bespeckled with blessings from a newly defined community of family, neighbors, and my sistah/gal network; and decorated with dollops of delight (sweet kisses on the brow and hugs from my sweethearts, though “only on the legs” for fear of “not squeezing Mommy too hard”); it is definitely a scenic route, one well worth the journey.  Despite its power to slow me down, I am pleasantly amazed by some familiar stops along the way. The sun still rises to greet me in the morning, and I am still able to usher in its light. I still get to witness the shifting winds, though I don’t get to walk in them, and I still get to marvel at the displays of new life as Spring magically sprinkles its colors in spaces that before seemed to lack life or vibrancy. I am GreatFull…Still.

Healthy Inspiration on the Subject:
BlogTalkRadio The Empowerment Place: “You’re Stronger Than You Think”, with Valerie Burwell

Yes…Joy, and Then Some!

"Moms Rock!" (Amelia Island Sand Art)

It’s Day 4 of my youngest child being sick with what looks like a wicked virus, or stomach infection.  Hopefully, she turns the corner today because she’s quickly becoming a poster child for Huggies Pull-ups.  She’s become very clingy, so I’m on borrowed time, even as I type.  The last few nights have been punctuated by frequent changes of diapers and full clothing.  I’m awaiting the next explosion, so I’m going to try to get this in before the thoughts escape me. 🙂

I’ve been mulling over my last post, titled  “It’s ALL PurposeFULL“.  In that article, I explored the questions that we often have regarding the mysterious nature of the life-changing events in our lives, including “Why?”, “Why me?”, and “Why Now?” My goal then was to provide assurance that we ultimately become better and fuller selves as a result of the more difficult, inexplicable events that occur in our lives.  This isn’t to say that we should have to experience loss, tragedy, or hardship to self-actualize, but rather that, the occurrence of these situations in our lives wisen us and enhance our potential to live and love more authentically.

Perhaps I took you to the conclusion a bit too quickly, without letting you in on the middle of the “journey”.  While I will never share with you sordid or personal details, or provide you with a blow-by-blow account of the events in my life that shape those truths (certainly not in a blog forum), I can tell you that during those moments in which I questioned the mystery of life, and God himself, I often felt alone, misunderstood, isolated.  My faith and hope seemed to be shaken, lacking, questionable.  To this day, I will maintain that it was not the actual death of a loved one that shook me the most. Unlike many, when my grandmother (my first true mother) passed away, I had an amazing sense of peace and understanding. As she neared the end of her life, she agonized over increasing physical pain and articulated on numerous occasions the gratitude that she had for a life well-lived.  My grandmother believed wholeheartedly that she would be in a better place.  Her death was only physical to me. I maintain a relationship with her that most would not understand. I miss her dearly at times, but most times, I feel that she is with me.

I have had other losses that bore a sharper sting than I could have ever imagined. Those jarred me to the core, leaving me to question where I went wrong, and whether this was some sort of karma.  What was life trying to teach me? I grew jealous and bitter as I witnessed others around me, realizing the very dreams that I thought were mine just for the asking. At that time, I could not see a plausible explanation for any of it. It seemed that my dreams were always on hold, always waiting in the wings, but for some reason or the other, it wasn’t quite time for them to materialize.

Fast forward to the “now”. I wouldn’t change it for the world! My past experiences, good and bad, have launched me right where I am now.  In this very moment, I can be a source of encouragement for those that have gone through similar situations.  More importantly, my soul continues to heal as I share the stories with others, especially wives, mothers, and daughters.  I come alive as I reveal the anguish of that difficult moment, and share the joy in knowing what I believe that moment was designed to teach me.

By the way, I’ve been hurled on once (good thing I wasn’t making a hat at the time), and performed two additional diaper changes since I started! It’s going to be a long, but beautiful day! It can only get better. 🙂

Girls Clapping to Miss Mary Mack