Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

BrokenBrownBelle: “The other side of my infertility” Part 4

Apologies for the delay, but even a year later, this post seems to be RIGHT on time.
The final installment of BrokenBrownBelle’s journey to her daughter, Buttercup. (more…)

BrokenBrownBelle: “The other side of my infertility” Part 3

There were more appointments then ever. And instead of reading about people talking about beating PCOS and drifting into motherhood, the talk had turned to talk to exclusively the word miscarriage. That word could strike fear in my heart like no needle ever could and  it was suddenly everywhere.

Oh my God, could I have come this far only to spend every set aside dime and then lose my baby?!? This never was a thought to me until we started with the injections. The second I was asked to spend a lump sum, and get down to penniless for this “project”, it occurred to me that women lose babies everyday. I wanted to think of the worst case scenario and ask myself if I could handle whatever that was. Could I deal with the bills I was getting from the infertility clinic, the money I’d spent trying to get pregnant, the surgeries I’d had and then the possible threat of miscarriage?

I had never asked myself that question before, I was afraid to. I never brought the word up. I thought if I didn’t, it would definitely decrease my chances of it and at least preserve my sanity.  But, suddenly people were coming forward bringing that word to me and I could not escape the thought. (more…)

BBE Rewind: The Fertile Kwanzaa: Ujima!

Originally published 12.28.10 @ 8:36am

Harambee!!

Habari Ghani? (What’s the News?)

Today is the third day of Kwanzaa.  Today’s principle is Ujima: Collective Work and Responsibility.   This principle is one that I love because it is the very reason for The Egg.   The purpose of Ujima is that we are to “build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together“.  That is what this very blog has been based upon.

The greatest compliment that I receive from the infertility community is in regards to my transparency.  I say what you want to say but are too shy/afraid/embarrassed to.  I rant and rave when you can’t, and I try my best to let it all, (or most of it), hang out.  This is what drove me to start this blog, and later the organization.

Many have called me flighty or unrealistic for it, but from the time I was a very young girl, I have always believed that people would treat one another better if they only took the time to see where the other person was coming from.  That if we were all as honest as we could be, we would have no way to hate or mistreat because we’d get to the bottom of what is making us tick.  I was always the kid asking bullies why they were bullying me, or the person in the clique who would say, “hey guys, cut it out, she has feelings too”.  It’s just who I am.

Actually, it’s who my grandmother made me to be.  When I think of this principle today, I think of her, actually, as she’s been on my mind since my aunt gave us restored photos of her for Christmas.  My grandmother was a lover of service and a believer in collective work and responsibility.

My Grandmother As a Teen

My grandmother at 17! Ain't she purrrty?!

Her home was open, which is very much a part of where I get my philosophy on how adoption is a relative term. If you needed a mother, aunt, sister, etc., she was that. She was always willing to pick up a cause, and her own issues didn’t really take up much space in her head.  Getting breast cancer, made her an advocate for breast cancer awareness and support.  Though she died of complications from that cancer on my birthday, fifteen years ago, I can remember that even as she was sick, she couldn’t help but care for other people who had less of a support system or who were just in need of someone to talk to.

She was a housewife by all accounts, but she used that to her advantage, often using me as her legs and hands to pick up donations for others, or to drop off gifts to sick and shut-ins.  With that example, I had no choice but to learn how to serve and make others feel comfortable even in their ailments.

Because of her, I actually have a low tolerance for people who complain but DON’T serve or cause change.  I can’t help it. From what she taught me, I find that every disparity we think we have, is an opportunity to encourage someone else.  Every trial is a testimony in disguise.

The issues of the world are MY issues because I’m a part of this world.  On a smaller scale, it is what makes me such a big part of the infertility community.  To know how I feel to see that period every month, or to hear that same wretched report from my doctor, or to feel the way I do as a wife or daughter, I cannot help but to think of how YOU feel.  I can’t help but to want to help YOU find your voice.  I can’t help but to want to HELP.

Your problems are my problems.  Through this blog, and the connections I’m allowed to make because of it, I pray that God allows me the opportunity to help you solve some of yours.  And by what we both learn, I pray we are also given the opportunity to help our younger sisters and brothers so that they don’t have to start from scratch.

Because of this, I work my hardest to never censor myself here.  I work hard to make sure that you feel safe here.  I will continue to work hard to make sure that you have a place to sound off.  And I hope that through my example, you do the same for someone else.  It’s about ALL of us.  Sometimes, it takes a Village to MAKE a child just as much as it does to RAISE one.

I know this post went a bit more serious than I’d originally planned, or than you expected, but the point of it all is that I hope you find your own ways to relate to the principle of Ujima!  If you blog about something dear to you that you wish to share, you’re doing it.  If you speak up to someone who needs to know that what they’re going through is okay because you’ve been there, you’re doing it!  I’m already proud of you, feel free to share.

Take Comfort. Fear Not.

I’ve tossed around these words a lot today via social media.

I’ve looked them over in scripture, and found them to be a couple of my favorite phrases found in the bible.  But not for the reasons you may think.  I find them helpful, but I have to admit that I also generally laugh at them.

Let me explain.

See, I have a bland, Paul Rudd-like sense of humor.  And these two phrases always seem to represent a moment when someone is being told something truly frightening or terrible, but in a way that kinda says, “Yeah, but you’re gonna have to man up about it and it’ll be cool in a bit.”  Or, they tell the person to “take comfort” in some small consolation that pales in comparison to whatever badness is about to go down.

Now, while reading these passages, its usually the people being told this stuff  that usually get me scratching my head, because (with the exception of Jonah) they never seem to say, “Um, no…I’m going to freak the heck out and do something else until you get this sorted out.”

And THAT confuses me more than anything.

I mean, if we’re being honest, we all want to do that, right?  We see the humongous homework assignment in front of us and we’d much rather accept the failing grade.  We think about cleaning our kitchen, and instantly remember the pizza coupon we got in the mail. When we think of things that seem difficult, we immediately try to think of how not to do whatever that thing is.

So the idea of being told to take comfort, when clearly all the alarms are ringing, feels like insanity.

But then I started to really focus on the words.

TAKE comfort.

I’m a stickler for a good literal translation.

Nobody ever says, “Try and get comfortable”, or even, “Hope for comfort’.  They flat out tell you to take it.  And I agree with them there.

It is ridiculous to think that these things we’re going through, from the insane diagnoses to repeated failures, are going to make us comfortable.  For most of us, even being “fine”, is a stretch.  But I refuse to accept any station that leaves me feeling hopeless.  And you shouldn’t either.

The holidays bring out the best and the worst in people.  People are going to be bubbly in their emotions and want to wish all kinds of miracles into your womb.  They’re also going to smile lovingly at you and your partner and ask sweetly what you’re waiting on.

YOU, yourself are going to wonder why you couldn’t have this ONE thing you wanted most from Santa and the Stork.

You may get to feeling down.

You may begin to get depressed.

You may begin to question any and everything, and it may make you lose sight of the goodness you do have in your life.

When you start to feel that way in these next couple of weeks, I want you to pause for a moment and do me (and yourself) one favor:

TAKE COMFORT.

Don’t think about it.  Don’t wonder about what to do next.  Don’t worry about what people are going to think.

Find a way to make this year different.  Take your comfort, and KEEP taking it.

And while you’re at it, Fear Not.

If you must be afraid, that is, Fear Not enjoying your life.  You only get one.

Fear NOT being thankful for where you are RIGHT NOW.  It’s a good place to be, regardless of how you feel.

Fear NOT finding your strength.  You have more of it than you know.

Fear NOT  believing.  Hope is a terrible thing to lose.

I love you more than you can even imagine.  Have a happy holiday, Eggshells.  From my (two person) family to yours.

Townsend Family Portrait by LloveStudio.com
Ornament Photo Credit
 

Is this fair? Empathy and Prayers *BrokenBrownBellePost*

So, I was in prayer for our sisters in Japan when the FedFX guy interrupted by banging on my office door.  I knew it was him, I was expecting him. But I had forgotten that I was expecting him. He was there to give me a rush delivery of Repronex injections.  By the time I got to the door I was loaded with guilt and sadness, because of the prayers that I’d just finished. (more…)

What I Hope I Never Lose

This week has been brought to me by the number 25(as in days until the gala), and the letter O for “overwhelmed”.

Can we talk?

*sigh*

From writing for all these different sites to simply responding to emails, I’ve had a hard time staying on track because I have been beating myself up, something serious. If I mailed something a day later than I said I would, I was upset with me. If I didn’t respond to an email on time, I was mad at me.  I’ve just been emotionally up and down. But I know this is a trick of the enemy.  This thing has fallen together so amazingly, that I just can’t imagine it not being successful…so, later for all that.  Even still,  I’ve had to turn off phones and emails a couple times this week. Just for my sanity.  The dude and I kept my niece Karla since her parents both started school this week  and she doesn’t go back to pre-school until next week.  She has been getting ALL my attention. (as usual, The Dude would say) And she’s been a bit of a stress reliever.

However, in the midst of my mini-breakdown, the most touching things that have come about have been from my the men in my family.

First, my dad.
He works at this big mission here in Chicago that houses and in some cases rehabilitates men and women for various reasons. Some are as bad as getting out of jail or kicking drug habits while others are as mild as needing someplace to stay while they try to refocus on God. My dad himself graduated from one of their religious programs last year and decided to stay on as staff. Anyway, he calls me Monday and left a message about a friend who wants to buy tickets  to the A.H.A. Gala but can’t afford it.

To be honest, I was simply stunned that he had taken the info to the mission. I don’t know why, but to put it plainly, I’ve gotten a lot more support from my non-family recently in regards to the gala, so I’d been a bit down about that.  Anyway, I called him back and he tells me that a friend of his that is in one of the programs there wants to buy two tickets for him and his girlfriend, who has PCOS but can’t afford the full-price. I was so moved…I reduced the price of their tickets so that they could attend.  He put the friend on the phone and he was just so grateful, not just at my reducing the price, but for me even having this event…I was soooo humbled.  What a great nugget for me, and from such an unexpected place.

My lesson: YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU ARE BLESSING and HOW you are going to connect with them.
I’m grateful to my daddy for being open about this event, and I’m proud of this young man for standing up for his lady.

My second “awww” moment comes from The Dude . He was at work and pulling his bus in for the night.

#BusDrivingLesson: When the drivers pull in, there are other workers whose job it is to come and remove the cash from the day.

Anyway, When the “box puller”,as they’re called went to remove the box, he noticed that Jahbari had put pluggers for the gala on the job’s community board.  He stopped what he was doing to tell my Dude,

“Man, your wife should be proud! My wife is on her blog all the time!”

I mean, what you want me to do with that?! That just floored me emotionally.  I don’t know if I’m just a wreck because the gala is so close, or if I’m just a sap anyway, but both of these instances have had me in tears just thinking about them.  They have been greatly instrumental in my putting things into perspective.

First of all,  the fact that I am doing the very thing I LITERALLY always said I would be doing, writing, is a blessing. I can’t take that for granted just because I’m tired.  The very fact that so many other people like my writing enough to feature it on their sites is a blessing and an honor that I refuse to take lightly.  Do I miss my students? Yes.  Do I miss my paycheck?  Darn tootin.  Would I trade what I’ve gotten accomplished in the past six months?  Not on your life.

Second, I’m grateful that without a backup plan, The Dude and I have been afloat despite my unexpected and abrupt unemployment.  Has every day been awesome?  Nope.  Have we had some, “um, peanut butter and jelly, anyone”, nights?  You bet.  Do we doubt that every night without fail, our God will provide us with dinner?  Nope.  We have eaten, haven’t been evicted, we aren’t hiding our car, and we can laugh in the midst of it all.  Not to mention, plan an amazing event.

I guess I’m too close to it to actually feel like I’ve gotten much done, even-though the results prove otherwise.   From the beginning, I’ve been asking for help, practically begging for it, and now I’ve realized that (in a very Dorothy Gale fashion), everything I needed was in me all along.  From press releases, blog design, and social marketing, I’ve become a powerhouse for advocacy.  This whole experience has proven to me that I’m extremely stronger and more powerful than I usually believe myself to be.

When I was about to cancel postpone the gala back in February after losing my job, a special person stepped in to say, “No, I’ll front you”.  When I was about to flip about not knowing how to go about doing any of this I’ve been doing, people have contacted ME.  Matter of fact, whenever I’ve been prepared to doubt, or question or simply throw a tantrum,…God has provided a way for me to get it done.  I am grateful.  I trust we’ll have an outstanding time at our event and all will be well.

I’ve watched so many others give up their sites, or their missions because it didn’t catch fire as quickly as they wanted it to.  Others have abandoned them when things changed for the better, and the place to vent was no longer necessary.  I hope I don’t ever lose the resistance to either of those.  I hope I never lose this fervor and tenacity for A.H.A.  And most importantly, I hope I’m giving a little of that spark, to you.

Photobucket

1 2 3