It's after 11, and I told Tim that I'd be sleeping by now. But something about my tiny world sleeping has given my thoughts the needed space to spread their proverbial wings and fly. I have so many thoughts but not enough time or hands to jot them down. So here, in random order, are things that have been on my mind lately.

I made a mistake. A colossal one--perhaps the biggest one of my life. It haunts me in my dreams and creeps into my thoughts as I routinely wash the dishes. I should never have gotten my tubes tied. There hasn't been a day when I don't think about what I've done. Tim feels (and has felt this way for nearly 18 months) that there wouldn't have been more babies for us. I disagree. I feel a hole I didn't expect to feel, and I trip in that hole every day, and the wound will not heal. I ache. Although Tim and I disagree on this subject, he is kind and listens to me repeat the same few words of regret to him each night on our walk. He no longer offers condolences or apologies. He just listens and lets the words hang there without reservation. Sometimes our differing opinions makes me angry. Sometimes it makes me cry. It is a burden I bear alone, and perhaps that's why it hurts the most.

I thought I'd never see night skies like the ones I saw in our small town in Texas, but I still do. I never forget to look up on my nighttime walks and feel the greatness of the world around me. The stars shine brightly here and remind me that no matter where I go, the moon and the stars will go with me.

I told God tonight on my walk that I am so tired of carrying uncertainty and doubt in my heart. With the exception of truly being able to empathize and understand people in similar situations (which I realize is a huge gift), doubt has done me little good. It has caused me to lose sight of so many things that are good and true. I told God I am ready to begin peeling away at these onion-like layers. I've been ready for some time but haven't found the courage to do much, but I'm slowing getting my footing and finding my way.

I recently told a group of women much older than me when I first felt joy. They looked at me oddly and asked, "Honey, what's the difference between joy and happiness to you?" I explained what I thought the difference was and then related the story of walking down the long staircase at BYU sometime in September or October of my junior year. I was walking alone, weighed down by the heavy Shakespeare anthology in my bag, when out of nowhere it began to rain. The rain was warm and strong, and I had nothing to shield me from getting wet so I just embraced it. I remember watching students running to their cars or apartments frantically, and I continued to walk and let the rain soak through my tan sweater. I can still feel the smile on my face and the rain dripping from my hair. It was wonderful. It was joy--pure joy.

I've read four different novels/books over the past two months. It's a record for me since having kids and working at night. But I've made it a priority to read a little here and there, and it has been so good for my imagination. Sometimes I think about the different protagonists during the day, and I feel motivated in ways I wouldn't normally expect to feel.

I recently explained to my mother that words are my love language. It was a funny conversation about birthday cards, and I hope to remember it forever. I also hope to receive more words in the future; it's all my heart could ever ask for.

I love being a mother. Knowing that I created five unique souls astounds me. These kids are so good. I watch them love each other and help each other, and I feel like the luckiest. I tell everyone I know that the only way I could do this many kids is having my kids. My kids are perfectly suited for me and for each other. They watch out for me almost always. Genevieve is always dressing or changing a baby while Mya is always getting breakfast ready in the morning for everyone just so I can take a quick shower. Elle reads books to her sister, insisting that she will teach her how to read by the end of the year. And Birdie loves to help me with Timmy. They make my life possible. They make it hard too. It's not all roses...I mean still have dirty diapers to clean, a million Birdie spills to wipe up and a dozen tantrums to work through each day, but I'm telling you what, I could never have expected to love this stage of life as much as I do. I already feel it passing quickly, and I am trying to hold on as long as possible.

After four failed attempts at potty training, Birdie self potty trained last weekend. It's a miracle. One I am forever grateful for. Only 1 left in diapers!! Hallelujah!

I wish it was appropriate to have family pictures covering the walls because I'd do it. There are hundreds of pictures of my kids from over the years that make me smile, and I wish I had somewhere to put them that I could see them everyday.

I think technology is ruining society. Personal opinion...obviously.

I often think of my neighbor. She was hit by a drunk driver nearly 15 years ago. She was just about to start her senior year of high school. She was a straight A student and had a bright future. But the crash dramatically altered her life. She has a brain injury now that forced her to forgo college and other career pursuits. She can barely hold a job. She has depression. And she lost ability to move one of her hands well. She lives with her parents, and she is always kind, but I can't help but think how hard this unexpected life must be for her. And I also wonder about the person who hit her. What is their life now?

I am too hard on myself. I have had incredibly low self-esteem since moving here. I can hardly look in mirrors without quickly looking away. My body eats away at me. The voices in my head are loud these days, and they are never kind.

Speaking of body issues, my friend's daughter just entered another treatment center for eating disorders. She's been in and out of a couple over the past few years. The toll it is taking on her body and her parents' minds and hearts is so heavy and dark. My chest tightens when I think of how deafening the voices can be. She is only a teenager. She shouldn't have to hear what I hear. I hope that somehow with all her treatment programs she can learn to love herself because it is a lesson I still struggle to remember.

And lastly, I want to say how good God is. He is more powerful than the voices, the doubt, the self-loathing, and the sadness. In my quiet moments, he reminds me he is present and aware of me. I feel him everywhere and am grateful to know I am not alone.

1 comment :

  1. Janine, I love reading your thoughts like this. Skipping from one deep thought to the next. Each could be it's own post. I am glad you are doing well in so many areas. I am sorry you are struggling with not having more babies and with your body. You are a rare soul. And beautiful. Love you.


"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley