Monday, October 27, 2008

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me... To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified Isaiah 61:1-3

Do you know what this weekend is? This is the first weekend of
November and George and I will celebrate our 1 year wedding
anniversary this weekend. We won't be doing anything major to
celebrate, probably just a nice dinner somewhere... just the
two of us. Of course, that is a rare occasion these days. Not
often do parents with a 5 month old get much time alone.
I have been thinking a lot in the past few weeks about Nov. 3,
2007. What a day that was! Most of you were there. I couldn't
have been happier with my wedding, unless you count the fact
that more reception time would have been nice. I loved the
flowers, the music, the dress, the groom and the cake...boy,
did I love the cake! It was exactly what I wanted, even though
it will probably never be featured in Bride's magazine.
Here we are a year later and we are still pluggin' along. A
lot has changed. The honeymoon ended a lot sooner for us than
for most couples. We were faced with some pretty heavy issues
right off the bat and we found out that there is a reason why
God has an order for things. I would not recommend starting
out your marriage with a precious bundle blooming in your once
trim belly.

In the weeks that followed our wedding we busied ourselves
with getting all my stuff moved in, buying nursery furniture,
buying larger clothes and then even larger clothes. We learned
that while leaving my jewelry on the table is not a big deal
to me, it is maddening to George. Likewise, George can't see
the point in rinsing out his cereal bowl while all I can see
is extra minutes scrubbing that bowl before it can go in the
dish washer. I still haven't figured out why he thinks I
should do laundry on the night he wants it done rather than
the night I have time to do it. I mean, if you still have
clean underwear then what's the rush? By the time May rolled
around, when I did laundry was no longer an issue since I
couldn't get into the laundry basket unless I wanted to risk
not getting out of it.

Seven months into marriage and we were quite proud, we had
done pretty good. Then this... THING... came rising up out of
my belly (literally). This thing which I just knew would come out wearing
a sombrero instead came out with overalls and piece of hay
hanging out of his mouth. This thing changed our comfy little
marriage and left me with what my sister in laws lovingly
referred to as 'pizza dough' where a once cute belly button used to
be. I'd like to say I was as lovely as Jessica Alba post birth
- but, not so much. And George... good Lord, get that boy a nap!

OK, things did level off...well, they ARE leveling off. We are
adjusting. We haven't killed each other...yet (though some days we want to and other days we wish we had). We don't regret
getting married and we certainly don't regret that 'thing' which
has now become our very heartbeat. We have become a family -
warts and all complete with a 'sweet' little brown puppy.

Andrew is, at the moment, perfect. George however, is not
perfect. I'd like to think that I am close, but I think George
would tell you real quick that I am not. I have always heard
that the first year of marriage is the hardest. This made me
very glad to see 11/03/08 coming, then, out of the blue, mama
informs me that it is the first 5 years that are the hardest.

In all seriousness though, I say it is true - The Spirit of
the Lord is upon me and he has given me beauty for ashes. God
took the ashes of my panic attacks and gave me the beauty of a
happy and evolving marriage. God took the ashes of my shame and gave me the
beauty of Andrew. God took the ashes of my sin and gave me the
beauty of Jesus. Take a minute and look at your beauty. Turn
around for a moment, a past full of ashes in exchange for a
future full of beauty.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I know everyone is different, but to me, that first smell of fall in the air sparks an energy that no other season can. I walked out of work a couple of weeks ago and it was cloudy, windy and somewhat chilly. Ahh, I took one deep breath and all I wanted to do was carve a pumpkin! Have you any idea the feeling I am talking about? Well, I still have not carved a pumpkin, but we did take the time this past weekend to go to Dewberry Farm and have pictures taken in the pumpkin patch!

OK, so I feel a little like a fool because I was so determined to take my 5 month old to the Pumpkin Patch for pictures, that I didn't really think it through. The place was really meant for kids that can walk. We paid $22 to get into the place to take these pictures when we could have taken them for free at any of the local Methodist churches. Which leads me to ask, why is it always the Methodist churches that have pumpkin patches? Why don't other denominations have them? Weird. I digress. As you can tell from the above picture, at first Andrew was a little skeptical of the object that was in front of him. I can't blame him - after all, this pumpkin has a lot of warts.
OK, now we are a little happier. While this little pumpkin looks more like an enormous acorn, at least it doesn't have warts. The picture, in my humble opinion, only reiterates the shirt, he is in fact too cute to scare. Since Andrew still cannot really sit up unassisted, I was very grateful for the obese pumpkins that helped me get the pictures. We looked liked the fools that I believe God intended us to look like when he decided we should be parents. I had the camera and George had the video camera. We were both down on the ground just trying to get the best picture and making all kinds of baby noises hoping to get a smile. We didn't...
So, we then decided we should throw Andrew's little head in the farm animal cutout. I can just hear him saying 'How humiliating!'. I think the picture is adorable, but I think one day he will beg to differ. I wonder what he will think of the pictures we will take of him as a giraffe on Halloween. How cute will that be? You may notice niece Kennedy's face in the picture as well. No clue who the horse is.
I thought all the folks back home would appreciate a picture of us on a John Deer. I would also like to point out that the shirt I am wearing is a pre-pregnancy shirt. It's the little things that make my day. If you look real close, you can see the grass still stuck to my leg after I rolled all over the ground to get my pumpkin picture.
So, Monica had picked this pretty little pink flower. She gave it to me and somehow not only convinced me to put it in my hair, but then to have my picture taken with it. Listen, to all my 'big' friends out there... when you reach a certain size, there are things you should not do. Putting a flower in your hair attempting to be 'cute' is one of them. In my defense, as well as Andrew's - the camera does add 30 pounds. Sure, I know they say it is 10 pounds, but after looking at these pictures, we both agree that 30 pounds have been added.

After a long day of corn mazes, duck ponds and warted pumpkins, baby Andrew was very tired. We got home, got him bathed and fed and he was out like a light. I in no way regret paying $22 to have a 5 month olds picture taken in the pumpkin patch. How great is this kid? It occurred to me a couple of weeks ago that Andrew's job was to turn on the sun each morning and put it to bed each night. Of course, we know whose job that really is and I cannot thank Him enough for this blessing named Andrew.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What's up with that name?

Ok, so I decided to create a blog rather than sending out emails every month or so. This way, if you want to read what I am saying then you can, and if you don't then I am not taking up space in your 'inbox'. This blog will be dedicated to my life as a wife, mother, daughter and employee and how the Lord is using these roles to 'refine' me into his image. You may ask 'Why do you want to do that?". The answer is simple - I feel led to do that. If no one reads it (and I know mama will), then at least I have my own personal online journal.

So, what's up with the name - 'Another Nut that Needs to Dust!'? Well, this is a story that is hystercal to me and mama - but you may have needed to be there for it to be funny to you. I am sorry to 'go there' again, but I have take you back to the beginning of the panic attacks - before we even knew I was having panic attacks.

As you may know, one morning - very early morning - I woke up with what felt like an elephant on my chest. It was so painful. I had no idea why, but I was overwhelmingly sad and could not stop crying. CRY, CRY, CRY! Not fun for me or for anyone in close proximity. As the sun rose and I made myself to work, the feeling kept getting progressivly worse - the crying would not stop and my thoughts were very irrational.

So, what did I do. Those of you who know me very well at all know I called mama. I explained everything to her in very short, raspy breaths. She told me to go into the stairwell at the office and pray. I did... nothing, kept getting worse. Mama, in her infinite wisdom realized this could be BIG. As soon as daddy got home from work, they headed to Orlando.

When they got there, they found George in the kitchen with a blank look on his face and me in the bed - fetal position. Let me assure you, NO ONE was laughing at this point. There are probably no words to explain the pain any of us felt. If you have any history with panic attacks or any kind of mental illness, then no words are needed. Never fear though, Wonder Mom was here. I feel certain she had on her cape.

We gathered around the table that night for dinner - ignoring the elephant in the room. Daddy went and got KFC for us all. Mind you, I had not eaten in 2 days at that point and this would continue for another 2 weeks and 14 pounds. So I watched in disgust as daddy, Ty and George gladly ate that chicken - bones and all, I swear. Ugh... It was then that mama concluded that tomorrow morning we would get up early and she I would clean the house - top to bottom. The men could do the yard. And that is what we did.

You see, cleaning is therapy for mama. When she is 'sad' she cleans and she feels better. So, logically, I was sad and I needed to clean to feel better. She was all over that house like a wild woman. Curtains came down, soap scum was banished, dust bunnies begone. And I cleaned the refridgerator. It was about all I did, but don't down play it. When the men came in, the fridge was the only thing they commented on. =)

Mama was so proud, she looked at me and smiled, I looked at her and cried. Wonder mom wasn't defeated though (even though the evening concluded with a trip to the ER)... nope she just looked at me and said 'Tomorrow we are going to get up early and just you and I are going shopping in Mt. Dora and have a nice breakfast!'. That would make me feel better...right?

So, we got up and headed out the door. We drove to Mt Dora and stopped at a little place for breakfast - which I didn't want any part of. I ordered the pancakes and a tall glass of milk. Mama got her a nice platter as well. I ate 1 bite and was very full... I just cried and cried. I litterally cried so much that the poor waitress came to refill mama's tea and asked 'Is everything ok here...' We left her a good tip. I cried all day and all the way home. I cried for the next year.

That night, mama kicked back in the recliner, defeated and stunned. Wonder Mom was now worried mom. She looked at me and said,
'Well, I've learned something new about people with anxiety.'
'What's that, mom?'.
She says 'Until yesterday I always looked at someone who claimed they were having
anxiety attacks and said 'Ah, just another nut that needs to dust', guess that's doesn't
always work.'

We laughed...

It wasn't the last laugh, it wasn't the last tear either. But we made it. Me, wonder mom and George too. Amazingly, by God's grace we made it. Those were not good times, but they were such sweet, special times that really bring to the surface what true love really is. I have concluded that I am just another nut that needs to dust, but aren't we all?