Leave Me Alone, I'm Holding my Nephew

 There's really not much else on this earth that matters when I am in the presence of my great.  They've all come to expect it, and no one really questions it anymore.  If you look closely, you can clearly see that he ALSO appreciates these special times together.

They are so few and far between, after all.

And I don't even mind anymore that he is not mine.  I have actually come to fully appreciate the benefits of O.P.B's (Other People's Babies).  I can give them just as much love and affection, but I actually get a break when they return home to someone else.  Not a bad set-up, this whole "Great-Aunt" thing.  I think I can dig it.

Besides, I have enough of my own, don't you know?!!  It was so sweet watching them go ga-ga over the little guy.  (And even sweeter to watch him respond to them...wait for it...)

I was talking with my s-i-l and said, "Michelle...Matt and I have had a child in the house for almost 20 years now."  I mean...seriously.  We JUST got out of nearly 15 years straight of toddler life.  I don't think people really understand what it is like, behind our scenes.

But...isn't that our biggest problem? We never really know what is going on behind anyone's scenes.

I had another awkward encounter with someone this week.  Fortunately, I was not an over-worked, stressed out, teetering-on-the-edge kind of Kristen at the moment.  I just shook my head and laughed.

I have no idea why you don't like me.  I rarely have any clue if I've offended you.  And maybe...just maybe...your reactions and responses (or my hyper-sensitivity to potential unintended non-verbal "cues") has nothing to do with me.  I can speculate myself into the ground, but I think I'm going to have to not.  I was reading a memoir of Princess Diana, and she said something like "It's none of my business what you (think of me...or was it 'say behind my back?)."  And I like the point.  I have too many real things to worry about than the ones I may or may not be imagining.  So...I think I'm going to have to move on and just not think too much about what you think...

My niece said it clearly..."sometimes you get stuck all up in your head."  Yes!  Yes, dear girl, I honestly do.  I have been stuck "up in my head," lately, and it was nice to get some clarity from a 19 year-old mama.

I learned a little on my own, as well.  As a counselor, I have learned about circles.  Think about a bulls-eye.  The people closest to you go in the center.  For me, that is Matt.  As the circles widen, so do the levels of closeness you feel toward someone.  I have a tendency to let others in way too close, and I frequently get burned.  It hurts.  But this week, I realized, maybe I just needed to be a little more fluid and flexible with my circles.  Maybe I sometimes need to move people a little further out on my trust zone.  Maybe I need to guard those inner circles of trust a little closer...think about VIP access.  And maybe I don't have to completely kick you out when you hurt me.  Maybe I just need to move you out a bit, into the proper zone of trust.  I don't know.  It's just something I'm pondering.

Life is hard.  Figuring out who to trust (or NOT trust) is painful.  I want to love people and assume the best, but sometimes that is just not in my best interest.  I can do what I can to avoid as much pain as possible, but the truth is...I can not avoid it completely.  Pain is part of life.

For me, this week involved a heavier-than-average amount of crises exposures - some small, some heart-wrenching.  ...another one of my rather undesirable callings.  Crisis extraordinaire.  Lovely.  (Thank God I have one or two I can turn to in my own crises!!). 

I did have my own little personal crisis.  I prayed that God would shelter my child from heart ache.  He answered.  Heart ache it was.  But I thanked God He gave my child a mama who would hold her hand and stand in the pain with her...a mama who has found her way through so that she would know how to guide.  It was not easy.  But on the other side was the reward of something new and beautiful.  God's gift.

I talked to two men this week who had some connection to liver disease (and, thus, to my sister-in-Heaven, Kerri).  One had recently lost his wife to very similar circumstances, and THAT was a tough pill for me to swallow.  (I was fortunate to have others present to absorb the blow.). The other has made something so beautiful out of his experience...he created a non-profit to benefit others in a similar situation.  And because he had been through it himself, he was keenly aware of the specific needs and how to provide.

Isn't that the purpose of our pain?

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. (biblegateway.com)


As a gardener, I have often used this analogy:

Compost is a gardener's friend.  It feeds nutrients to the plants to make them grow and be fruitful.  You get the loveliest (organic) harvest when you add compost to the soil.

What is compost?  It is broken down waste.  And most often, it is literally poop.  Poop makes the garden grow.  (Not immediate poop, of course.  Poop that has had time to decompose and change from waste to nutrition.)

And isn't that exactly what God does with our pain?  He takes the refuse of our lives...literally the crap...and he brews it into something beautifully fruitful and life-giving.

And that is the life part of life, which is life-sustaining and hope-giving.

Happy Sunday, my friends!  I hope you end your weekend feeling like Eli looking into Evan's eyes.  Happy, Happy, Love!

Always, Your Homie.