When you go through trauma, you are never the same. Nor should you be.

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We remember many days and events of history and our own lives each and every year.  Many are celebrations of excitement.  Like birthdays, anniversaries, announcements of babies, and so forth.

But we, collectively as the world, also remember the other days around the world.  The ones where great sadness took place.  And they are remembered for the ages in different ways.

While the first celebrations usually include cake and balloons and banners and shouting and laughing and running and clapping, the second are usually remembered with flags, marches, speeches, wreaths, memories.

My family has lived trauma—where everyone has miraculously emerged on the other side of it.

But to say that we made it through okay would not be accurate.

We made it through.  Our son is alive.  And we get to watch him grow.

But this trauma has changed me in a million and one ways.

The first being gratefulness.  I look at my living, breathing, running, crazy happy boy and rejoice that I get to walk life with him.  And every moment he is alive, I hold him tight.  I don’t ever want to let go.

But that brings me to my second feeling.  The one that makes me cry.  Sadness.  Sorrow.  Heartbreak.

I received my baby back into my arms to live another day.  And I know that this is a gift.  A gift beyond.  Not every mother nor father gets to receive their child back into their arms.  Alive.

Sometimes those arms get to only hold their baby one last time.

And, as tightly as they hold their baby, they have to let go.

I know, one day, I will have to let go of Maxwell, but it is not the same.

At all.

Which brings me to now.  My last feeling is “It’s okay“.

That’s what I hope the mommies and daddies are telling me.  The ones that did not get their babies back.  The ones that had to let go.

That’s it’s okay to celebrate my son.  And his life.

That’s it’s okay to be happy.

That’s it’s okay to hold him tight.

And it’s okay to not want to let go.

That’s it’s okay.  Because that is what they would do had life been different for them.

I can’t even write this without sobbing.  My three year is sitting next to me constantly touching my “creers” as they are running down my cheeks, touching them lightly, somehow sensing these tears carry a heavy weight:  Sorrow and guilt entwined with personal gratefulness.

Yet, I still hope in my ears I hear the words, “It’s okay.”  Because I know for their own lives it is not okay.  And never should have been.  Yet it is for them that way just like for me it is a different way.

A way I will never understand…

The other day, my husband and I were discussing “This time of year”, and that’s when my son, Maxwell, heard us praying, “Thank you, Lord, for giving us back Maxwell.”

After we were done praying, Maxwell looked at us with wide eyes and a goofy grin, saying, “Mommy, you’re silly.”

Because, to him, he is fine.

He doesn’t know the great battle that was fought for his life.

He just knows he lives.

And I just held him.

Trauma has changed our family.

Trauma nearly broke our family.  Not just my son’s life nearly being ripped from our lives but our marriage, too.

Trauma has made us work a lot harder.  Trauma has made us think a lot more.  Trauma has opened up our hearts to a bigger world—a world of immense suffering.  Yet overcoming.

Trauma has made us more empathetic and understanding.

Trauma has taught us how to cry freely.

Trauma has caused us to put on glasses of reality.  That life will not always deal you rainbows sprinkled with sugar.

And it has made every day of our living, breathing, walking, talking lives more important.  More beautiful. More fragile.  More.

Trauma has taken judgement out of me and made me crumble.

Trauma has made me a mess and yet picked me up.

Trauma has torn a huge hole in my soul and then healed it up.

Trauma has shown me the harshness of the world and then the compassion that surrounds the world.

And trauma has taught me that I am not alone.

Trauma has changed my very core.

Maybe, just maybe, one day I will say thank you to God above for this trauma.

Until then, I’ll simply say “Thank you” to God for bringing me through it.

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23. 

Here are some sites you can click on to help you understand your trauma:

1.  Healing from Trauma

2.  When Trauma Strikes

3.  Understand Trauma and PTSD:  A Christian Counselor’s Perspective

 

Get busy trying…not dying.

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Photo caption reads:  And she’s OFF!

So, unless something super funny pops into my life in the near future or something that just hits me where I super feel it, you won’t be seeing too much of me on this page for some amount of seconds, days, weeks, months…I’m getting my writing on…chapter book style!

Yep!

I am on chapter 2 of my first book for youth.   It’s a lot harder than one would imagine.  First of all, I gotta create a character those tweens want to read.

So far, my biggest of all my brood is my judge.  I look to her, as she reads it, for her laughter or tears (ah-just kidding…no tears.  yet!) and I especially hone in those moments when she raises her eyebrows in confusion.

The thing driving me crazy about an 11-year-old critic…she doesn’t understand that writing is writing and editing comes NEXT.  She is over there correcting so many mistakes I wonder if she is even reading anything at all 😉

But—good news in the 11-year-old world—she sat next to me this evening and asked if I had written any more.

Whoop-whoop.  Chalk that one up for the mom score!

When do I write this said book?

When my two littlest are at Polish preschool on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  I have 2 hours of me time.  Okay—that’s stretching it a bit far.  It’s more like, take away the 50 interruptions, I have about 1 hour and 10 minutes to write.

I never knew my brain could work so fast.

Then, on occasions, when the brain isn’t in the fuzz-bucket, I try and write a bit when the stars come out and the snoring commences around the house.

Unfortunately for me, I am not a sharp-witted night owl anymore.  Those days left me once I had #3.

My goal????  You may ask.  Even if you don’t, I’ll let you know…

1 Chapter a week.

I have already scoured the net for all of those newbies looking for new authors, and found most are not interested in my super cute children’s books that I have written—but many are interested in chapter books for middle-agers.

We’ll see how this goes.

One of the sagest pieces of advice I read while checking out all of the peeps out there looking for writers:

Your first book is just that.  Your first book.  Keep writing.  Edit.  And write some more.

This wisdom brings me back to what my good ol’ ma and pa always said, “Try and then try some more.”  Or “Try again”

In any and every case, you gotta begin somewhere.  Today I choose to begin.

Therefore, unless life throws me a major hilarious curveball that just is a MUST for this blog, or I find some piece of psychological wisdom that is a MUST share for the sanity of parents … or if there is just too good to pass up cultural experience that lands in my lap—or I just feels (yes, I wrote feels as it was how I said it in my head) as if I must write to bring the lot to tears…

I hope to not see ya from here too much in this present day.  No offense and hopefully none taken.

Here’s to words.  Brain power.  Creativity.  And bringing imaginations to soaring heights…Or just simply entertaining kids because I love both of those things:  kids; entertainment.

Best of all—through written words.  Where they have to close their eyes to soar into their world of imaginations…

Which, as we all know, is the best way to fly!

Here’s to up,

b

***

If you’re not already following this blog, I hope that you’ll hit the follow button and join my journey—even if it will be randomly sporadic!

“I don’t think you’re going to need a translator for this…”

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Amazing.  Tears.  Beauty.  Gumption!

“So I will try…”

“So I will try…”

Let me tell you, beautiful souls out there.  Maybe, just maybe, you are walking through a dark moment in your own lives.

A moment where perhaps you have given up on your dreams, let them slide, or thought they died.

There could be a reason why.

You are sick.

Your marriage is in trouble.

You lost your job.

You are running out of money.

Many big, strong reasons to put something to the side.  At least for some time.

But, take the heart and voice of Mandy Harvey and realize that even if you put something to the side for a moment DOES NOT MEAN that you should not revisit it later…

When the time is right.

“The only thing in the way is me…So I will try.”

And when that time comes, make sure that you do just that!  Try.

Enjoy the watch.  Bring tissues.  You’ll need them.

xoxo b

Here she is, Mandy Harvey!  May your heart be touched!

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My Dzien Dziecka Celebrations…

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Tomorrow, June 1st, is a very big day in Poland.  It is one day where the country stops and revolves around the children!

They are celebrated, hugged, loved, and spoiled.

And it was created to remind the world that the children need “Protection” === that the children should not have to fend for themselves—that we, as adults, should do everything in our power to protect earth’s most precious resource—its children!

That children should not be enslaved, abused, forgotten, stripped of their innocence, or abandoned.

That we, HUMANS, stand up and say, “You, child, are BEYOND precious to us!  We are here to stand up for you.”

Whether or not we all do a good enough job of that, I say—We collectively don’t.  But there are those out there that do fight the good fight to #rescuetheforgotten!  Find a charity that does that, or, please, choose to join our fight!

On top of that, this week, I am going to hug my children to let them know that THEY ARE LOVED!  That they are NOT FORGOTTEN!  That they have a mom and dad that are HERE to protect them.

I wish we all would do the same for so many more—but, as Mother Teresa so clearly puts it time and time again, the BEST way that we can begin this fight is at home!

“Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.”

And hopefully through our love for them, they will also go forward and LOVE so many more!

Happy Children’s Day, my most precious—-Adelyne, Maxwell, and Josephine.  Mommy and Daddy love you more than life.  Thank you for walking this world’s path with us.  May you grow to see the value in every precious soul and share the love of Jesus with each person you meet.  I hope that you have a carefree and beautiful Dzien Dziecka!

xoxo

Momma

Dzien Matki — Mother’s Day in Poland

I am pretty sure I just ate candy my son gave me from his grubby fingers—and I am not sure the last time he washed his hands.  Or went to the bathroom and forgot to wash his hands.  I am actually gagging a little bit right now.  Really.  My stomach is not feeling so well.  Hashtag “truemom”.  EATING NASTY GERMS FROM GRUBBY DIRTY FINGERS.  Sigh.

Therefore, let’s just say that I am VERY VERY VERY happy to be celebrating the upcoming day about ME in Poland.  Dzien Matki.  May 26th.  Mother’s Day.

In Poland, Mother’s Day is the same day year after year after year.  Kind-of like Women’s Day, Wigilia, your birthday, your anniversary, New Year’s … MOTHER’S DAY!  It is set in stone and NEVER GOES AWAY!

Kind of like our kids, eh????!!!! (smile and wink)

Anyhow, this upcoming Mother’s Day I think that I am going to set expectations for my kids:

  1.  I am going to expect for them to make me frustrated.
  2. I am going to expect for them to make a mess.
  3. I am going to expect for them to NOT leave me in peace when I have to pee OR merely pick up the phone—EVEN THOUGH, moments before, they had forgotten about the very existence of me.
  4. I am going to expect for them to cry over their hair styles or crust.  YES—the crust on their bread.
  5. I am going to expect for them to have a small accident in their underpants—just enough so that they will not want to wear the same pair and not enough to make a mess on the floor.  The in between stage of wet.  Enough, however, where they will then declare that they must STRIP NAKED and be.  For the rest of the day.
  6. I am going to expect for my toddler to wake me at 3am.  Or 5am.  Or 6am.  And not at all appreciate that they day is about ME!
  7. I am going to expect for the pre-teen (nastolatek) to give me grief.  I don’t know about what.  About the volume of my voice or the fact that SHE CANNOT WEAR MY SHOES.
  8. I am going to expect for them to fight and argue about the 1 block.  On the floor.  When there are 1 million and 12 other blocks right next to the 1 block.  And there are 500,000 of those 1 million and 12 blocks that are exactly the same as the 1 block that they are rowing over.
  9. I am going to expect them to stub their toes, blacken their eyes, break their teeth, or scrape their knees.  I know this because it will happen.  My three year old currently has a black eye and a huge forehead mark from tripping onto the training wheel bike tire and also falling on the side of the trampoline.  All in a day’s work.  So I am going to expect a trip to the hospital, a broken bone, or a bandaged knee.  It will happen.
  10. And, lastly, I am going to expect a gazillion times over for them to tell me that they “Love me the most!”  And fight over it.  And cuddle me.  And then fight over cuddling me.  And then fight once again about who loves Momma the most.  Because it will happen.  I expect it.

And number 10 makes up for 1-9.

As I expect it should.

So, you see, Mother’s Day in Poland is really no different than Mother’s Day anywhere else in the world.  If you come from a dirt floor or a mansion that touches the sky, being MOM is full of a million and one expectations that always start with DISASTER…But that one moment (#10) will make up for all of the tornadoes that will come in and hijack your day.

In the end, however, you don’t mind.  Because it’s a nice feeling.  Being mom.

But NOT eating the grubby food from their fingers.  Leave that behind on Dzien Matki.  I am pretty sure that is not a nice feeling.

Not at all.

Happy Mother’s Day from Poland to YOU!

Week 9: Birthdays and Fish Kissing

Perhaps you are a parent much like I am…a parent that feared the worst, told your child was not going to live.  Told to say goodbye.  Watched your child bagged and could only cry out to God to spare him.

If you are like me (and my hubs—the better half of crazy), you understand that absolutely nothing else in this world matters after encountering this except coming to the realization that this life God has granted us is so brief, fleeting, temporary, short (get the theme of the words).  IT IS A FRAGILE GIFT—and yet the most WONDERFUL gift that we could ever receive.  Another day with those we love.

Life is hard—but that should never ever keep us from celebrating the BEST MOMENTS!  The days that we get to say, “Thank you, God, for another candle.  Another year.  Another moment.  Another sun-kissed day.  Another sunset.  Another hug.  Another chance to ‘Just Breathe’! Thank you, God, for these.”

Hope you click on family devotional site:  Missions 52, and enjoy a moment with your family celebrating your new year in life!

Source: Week 9: Birthdays and Fish Kissing

Happy Mother’s Day for the woman that is not the mother…

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Today may be a day that is your least favorite day of the year.  Mother’s Day.

Maybe you even feel a little guilty for not liking the day because you had an amazing mom.

Perhaps you have siblings, friends, or cousins that are AMAZING moms but you are not a mom.

Perhaps you are not a mom because a baby was just never given to you.

And you feel.

Well, you may not know how to feel but you know that you feel.  Deeply.

Perhaps you are not a mom by choice.

Yet your eyes wander the world on this day and see other women celebrated.  And this makes you feel.

You don’t know how it makes you feel.  But it does.

Perhaps you were a mom and then your babies or children were taken from you.  Too soon.  And now you, the mom, are a mom forever and always but you don’t have your baby to say on this day, “YOU ARE MY MOM!”

And this makes you feel.

On this day, ladies, all I can say is that every beautiful trait of YOU is wrapped into a beautiful box and displayed with the grandeur of the perfect woman.

You are that woman.

That beautiful treasure that is perfect just the way she is.

Strong.

Resilient.

A fighter.

A lover.

A giver.

A friend.

A woman.

A woman who makes our world a more beautiful place.

You make this world a place where I can travel with my daughters and say, “Look!  You are perfect for who you are!”

You, dear woman, are the reason that my daughter will walk tall and strong and proud.  Because who knows what her one day will hold.

Maybe it will hold children.  Maybe it will not.  Maybe it will hold a husband.  Maybe it will not.  Maybe it will hold loss.  Maybe it will not.

But when she looks about this world, she needs to see YOU.

She needs to see that one day — SHE IS ENOUGH as the woman that she is.  Because she is fearfully and wonderfully made!

So, today, on Mother’s Day, Ladies, I would like to say “Thank you” to you.  Because of you, I can point to my daughters and say “Look at this woman and see what she has done!  The world is stronger and more creative, beautiful, and kind because of her.  Be like her!”

And my daughters will go to bed remembering all that you are…

The woman that makes our world a better place.