My Hero – The Littlest Mommy

First, let me set the scene – Mom had a long day.  Maybe it’s because my only conversations throughout a 10 hour period involved a two year old and a three year old, maybe it was the magnificent way my children’s colon systems seemed to be working throughout the entire day (aka an excessive amount of poop seemed to be oozing from these two) maybe it was just restless mom syndrome, and I’ll even chalk it up (only partly) to a possible PMS moment, but whatever it was by the end of the night I was feeling very over the whole day, specifically over the youngest two members of the family.  We are dealing with an extremely weepy three year old when he doesn’t get his way and an equally stubborn and opinionated  two year old when she doesn’t get her way; needless to say, I was fried by the end of this day. The night began with the end of dinner which is always loud, fast, and under appreciated by all.  Chores were completed and the big kids were outside playing.  The babies decided that they also wanted to join the big kids outside but the problem was that just as they began putting their shoes on it began raining, soft and slow at first and by the end of the last lace being tied, it was pretty fast and furious. They were NOT excited about being told “No, they wouldn’t be going outside anymore.”  So instead they were told to “go play,” however, they did not appreciate this idea, so the tears, real and imaginary, came upon demand, along with the attitude and the sulky lower lips and mama saying, “How about we take a bath?”  and more tears and more attitude and many, many proclamations over and over again adamantly declaring, “no bath! no bath!” and hanging on mom’s leg and mom saying “fine, cry if you must, but I’m going to sit down while you’re all crying and throwing big baby hissy fits and drown out the world with this book” (Yes, I’m capable of doing that).  So that’s what I did and guess what, they of course both wanted to take a bath the instant my rear end hit the chair – shocking! And then their mother said what any sane, normal functioning mother would say, “Nope, you both said you didn’t want to take a bath and now mom is sitting down so you’re going to wait until I’m ready to give you a bath,” back to my book, more crying, more attitude, more pouty lower lips.  I allowed this to go on for about 5 minutes to prove my point and then turned to the two little dictators of the home and said loud and clear in my most authoritative voice, “Ok, NOW mom is ready to give you a bath.”  I had proven my point, for sure…  Up we go, running the bath water, two voices simultaneously chanting over and over again, “No mama, me do it, me do it, me do it……”  off came the shirts, off came the pants, off came the diapers and into the tub two grungy little bodies went.  I took my place upon the throne (the toilet) and attempted to drown out the silly chatter which of course quickly took a turn for the worse when Jada took something that Josh was playing with.  I looked at the two of them, just really stared through them with this helpless look mingled with “don’t you care about your mother at all???” and then a long, drawn out aghhhhhhh……. came out of my mouth and that’s when “she”, drenched hair,  mud covered sweatshirt, all 7 years of little mommy came swooping in to save the day; my oldest daughter, bless her soul, took over without batting an eye, with a happy heart and a sparkle in her eyes, “Mom, I’ll give them a bath, “ she chirped and with that she shut the door, almost shooing me out and began barking orders like a seasoned veteran, “Josh, sit down, Jada give that back to Josh, Josh, we need to wash your hair, Jada, you have enough toys…”  and I slowly, silently, and reverently walked back down the stairs to civilization;  for at least 10 minutes or so.    I don’t know if she could feel the heat rising from my head, or see my arm hairs standing on end, or my big eyes bulging as these two, precious little people continued to push and push and push my buttons or if it’s just something innately built within her, but whatever it was, here’s to you Mya, my very own little mommy in the making.  This is a role that you never asked for but instead it was thrust upon you inadvertently through the birth order of the family, you, my dear, are my inspiration at times.  You are called upon to be the mother when it’s convenient for your own mother and to not be the mother when it threatens my own entitlement in any way.  Please ignore my snide remarks of “you’re not the mother” in times when you are butting in, and I am not appreciating your helpful advice in the moment; I don’t entirely mean it, I need you and I need for you to continue to lift me up in my time of need.  You, little mother, are at times more needed than my own husband, if that’s even possible.  It’s a contradiction of terms, an oxymoron really, being one of these gifted, dear souls in a family.  On one hand, the matriarchal figure is often telling you, “you are not the mother” but on the other hand, this same matriarchal figure EXPECTS you to be the second mother on so many occasions. It has to be a confusing role, and yes, I apologize for that, it’s not fair; I want you to help and to be just as good at mothering, if not better at it than I am at times.  I, as your mother, look at you and marvel and your ability to keep it together, to not only listen to the same question, over and over and over again but to actually give an answer, over and over and over again.  I only nod, or um hummmm, but you actually listen to the littlest beings in the family.  You hear their nonsense and respond as if they have a legitimate point to make; an amazing ability really…..  You put up with the indecisiveness when they can’t decide for precious minute upon precious minute between this pair of socks or that pair and then even after you put the decided upon pair of socks on their dear little feet and they change their minds you just smile and happily replace them with the new pair. What you don’t realize, thankfully, is just how much power you hold in this family.  This family would often crumble without your daily assistance of playing with the babies, changing diapers, bathing, picking up, helping with dinner, helping dress the younger kids, setting the table, putting laundry away, folding laundry (and enjoying it? your mother doesn’t understand that), and generally doing it all with a happy, joyful attitude.  You, dear little daughter are an enigma to me.  I also was once in your role, big time being the oldest of 10, so I, in essence, feel like I deserve you.  God did good in giving you to me as a gift for this family, and I’m so thankful that I not only get to be your mom but I also get to watch you grow and mature into such a responsible, helpful, caring little girl.  Thank you Lord, for the precious gift of this second little mommy in the Ronne family. 
Just keep livin!!

My Husband’s Ailment

The other night Ryan had a massive headache.  Throughout the day and night he would occasionally hold his hand tightly against his head, in obvious pain, and neither Tylenol nor Motrin seemed to be able to dull the ache.  Later on after the kids were put to bed, we settled comfortably on the couch to enjoy some down time together watching a movie and that’s when his eye started twitching.  I was immediately transported back in time, to a previous life with a different husband and to the waves of feelings holding complete fear and despair over a terminal prognosis that I had no control over.   I looked at him and said, “So help me if you have a brain tumor, I will not be known as the wife who causes her husbands to get brain tumors!”  It was a sick attempt at humor while inside my own brain I was screaming at God, “So help me Lord if you do this to me again! If you allow me to be put through the wringer like that again after blessing me so richly in this life. If you take Ryan I will be done, You might as well take me too, because I am done.” This angry internal outburst towards my Creator did get me to thinking, IF He called Ryan home sooner than I was ready for him to go home, would I remain faithful?  If He asked me to give it all up again, all the blessings of this life, my husband, my children, my abilities, my health, or financial comfort, would I still be faithful?  Would I still run my race?  Is all I have truly His as I’m so quick to write?  Or was it just all His the first time around and so help me if I’m going to ever sacrifice like that again? Or if I was called upon to turn it over as Abraham did with Isaac, could I do it?  With a contrite and thankful heart, knowing that He still had my life in the palm of his hand?  Do I believe as Paul did when he wrote, “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in  Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” Phil 3:7-9. Do I truly consider all I have, all I hold dear in my life, loss to that which I have gained in Christ and in His sacrifice at Calvary? Is that what my faith honestly looks like?  I have wrestled with this question. I do not believe that Ryan is going home soon, but I don’t know either. Someday we will have to part ways as one of us is called to our eternal home and someday, unless we go together, one of us will be forced to say goodbye, yet again, to one we love.  I can only hope and pray that our story will mirror my grandparents who were blessed to only have to live apart for one month before they were reunited in Heaven. I do not want to be called to do anything like that ever again but if I am, will I be faithful?  I think ultimately I could be and I think ultimately everyone who has the power of Jesus Christ living within them could be as well; it’s a matter of would we.  That’s the personal part; we could because of Christ’s power but would we allow that power to work within us to do what we as mere humans could not do on our own? Would we surrender to his care and provision for our lives and surrender our wills for HIS ultimate plan and purpose which is so much bigger and better than our wildest dreams could ever imagine? 
Would I?  Would you?
By the way, Ryan is just fine. It turned out to be a pinched nerve that was causing a pretty intense headache.  Thank you Lord for your faithfulness. 
Just keep livin!!

Insights into a woman’s intimate pain

As promised, here’s a personal story that I received in my email.  I hope her transparency and pain blesses and inspires those who are also struggling with the same issues. 
Thanks for your blog post More Sex. It was timely and necessary for me! I know I don’t know you, so I feel like you’re someone I can share this with. This is an area I’ve struggled with for many years.
Sex is something that is a difficulty for me. When I was a teenager, I was assaulted by a friend and was afraid to tell anyone, as I had it in my mind that no one would believe me and that I would be put through the ringer if I were to ever press any charges. He walked away from the whole thing scott-free and I carried the pain. (He thought so little of the whole thing, I’ve lived in fear of ever seeing him again and he had the audacity to friend request me on Facebook). After that experience, I remained pure/celibate until I met my husband. Part of this was my decision to do so because of my relationship with God and part was because of my “fear” relating to sexual relationships because of what that friend had done to me. Once my husband and I opened the door to that aspect of our relationship, everything was great…until we started trying to have a baby…for a year, it was trying to get pregnant fairly casually…then I conceived and then because the pregnancy was in my fallopian tube, we lost the baby and I had to have emergency surgery to save my life. So, then there was the healing time…and then the trying again…and trying…and trying with no success. Then it got to be an obsession…there was no spontaneity in our relationship…it was taking my temp every morning and charting when I thought I might be fertile and spending loads of money on a fertility monitor and timing our sex to try to get pregnant and making sure he was “saving up” if you know what I mean, for the right time, etc. It was a chore…even if the last thing in the world we wanted to do was to be intimate, I was begging him to please try again.  It took all of the romantic aspect out of it all. Then, we hit rock bottom when we found out part of the reason I wasn’t getting pregnant was because my pelvis was full of tumors and had to have a hysterectomy before ever having children. There was so much pain with these tumors that intimacy was the LAST thing on our minds and then the healing time with the hysterectomy.
After the hysterectomy, which also included losing my ovaries, my libido was zilch. Also, because I immediately developed scar tissue where my cervix had been removed, intercourse HURT! So, not only did I not want it, it hurt me. Major turn-off. Once I was pretty much healed from the incision, our miracle of adoption came through and then the focus became parenting and days that were so stressful that the LAST thing we thought of was intimacy. I’m telling you all of this to tell you that DESPITE all of this, I know that I withhold from my husband. It hurts some, yes, but really not that much, but I honestly feel so un-feminine with my missing female organs and lack of ability to conceive a child that I hide behind all of that. Where we used to be active multiple times per week, when I read your blog post yesterday and thought about it, I was ashamed to realize it is more like once every couple months. My husband is persistent and if I show the SLIGHTEST interest, he is interested…so I never show interest. But this is because I make it all about ME…my past w/ the assault…my past w/ the obsession over getting pregnant…my slight discomfort from the hysterectomy…and my insecurities.  I haven’t been thinking about HIS needs. He is so kind about everything that he never pressures or pushes, and because he’s not nagging me, it’s easy for me to let it go. But I was convicted by what you said. After I read it, I spent some time alone with the Lord and asked Him for help with this. If this was important to Him to help seal the bond He created in our marriage, then I needed to put myself and my wants behind my husband’s needs. Then the next obstacle came my way. Because of my insecurities, I am TERRIBLY uncomfortable talking about this, and have NEVER initiated anything, and I knew that despite my commitment to change things, I wasn’t ready to take that step, so I told the Lord that He would need to help me, and the next time that my husband initiated anything, I wouldn’t fake sleep or tell him I didn’t feel good, even if I didn’t feel good. God tested me and I followed through…and while he has always been sweet and kind to me, I know that as inadequate as I felt, it meant something to him to renew this bond.
I haven’t told him about your blog as I’m not ready to talk about it with him. And it is VERY unlike me to discuss something so personal with someone else, but I guess I just want to let you know that you helped me…even with something so personal as this. So, thanks for being so real and transparent on your blog. God used you to speak to my heart!

Redemptive Intimacy

I’ve received quite a few emails and messages about these last few posts related to sex. It is a private pain that many women silently endure, this inability or unwillingness to connect with their husbands sexually for a variety of reasons.  It is a difficult subject to talk about due to the painful feelings it can bring up for many due to past experiences related to sexual abuse, molestation or even just promiscuity.  These are three areas that can greatly scar a woman in a marriage relationship; especially in the area of intimacy with her husband.  I have dealt with some of these aspects myself BUT with time, applying prayer and a commitment to overcoming, I do not let the Devil have a hold on me in this area of pain and shame anymore.  I’m not one of those women who will ever say, pray about it, believe these verses, and everything will be just fine.  It’s not that simple – period.  I do claim the power of the redeeming blood of Calvary over these aspects of my life, I do claim Christ’s victory for my life in this and many other areas, and I do pray and live my life according to many of the promises found in the Word, but it does take a disciplined life of casting down the attacks of the evil one over and over and over again, sometimes for months or years before there is finally a breakthrough and victory.  Paul doesn’t make it sound like an easy task but he does make it sound like a worthwhile task for he says,  “One thing I do, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus,” Phil 3:14.  A few things I notice here – he has committed a conscious action, mindfully forgetting his past, not dwelling on the pain of his previous life, not wallowing in what and who he was but instead PRESSING toward the goal.  The word press is defined as “to act upon with steadily applied weight or force” doesn’t sound like strolling or skipping to me but a bit more intense, like we are in a battle for our lives, we are in the arena of life with opposition coming against us at every turn and we best get to pressing on, weighing in, and applying pressure in the spiritual realm through prayers and claiming the victories that ARE ours in Christ Jesus – sounds like hard work to me! Lest we all lose hope over a fear of how hard it sounds, let these words admonish and leave you with the hope that is promised to those who remain faithful; there is ALWAYS victory in He who is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” Ephesians 3:20.  Friday I’ll share a personal story from a woman who reached out privately to share her painful journey and how she is attempting to rise above the pain of past experiences and return to a place of intimacy with her husband. 
Just keep livin!!