Sunday, August 30, 2009

Well, Paul has successfully embarrassed me three times already this weekend. 

The first one:
We were at a wedding of a friend, he was REALLY interested in it because he has been talking for weeks about how he wants to marry me. We have tried to explain that you can't marry your mom or your sister or your dad or you grandparents. He doesn't understand, "but I'm nice! I love you." When we told him we were going to watch two people get married he was all about how we weren't getting in the car fast enough. Once at the wedding i found a lovely cry room and took advantage of the situation. I pulled a chair up next to the window so paul could watch the wedding and I let anna go crazy in the room. However, Paul lost his balance, slammed his body into the looking window, slid down the wall and knocked over the vases that the bridesmaids had left there, full of water, to put their flowers in. No one in the little room said a thing. It was as if nothing happened but I could feel the stink eye on me. I tried my best to clean up the mess with the little amount of diaper wipes I had with me.

The second one:
We are still in the cry room. Paul is standing beside me now because I wouldn't dare let him back onto he chair after the fall. I learnt my lesson, he didn't. Then he screams out  "MY PENIS IS OUT OF MY UNDERWEAR!  AAAAAAH"  I can feel the embarrassment start to seep to my face. Then I started to calm myself down with a mental "Jess, your child is hilarious."  Then I did what any mother would do in that situation. "well, then, reach down in there and put him back in."  Once again, no one said a thing but I sure felt the stink eye as I began to giggle.

The third one:
We have a interim pastor at our church now. This sunday was his first Sunday preaching. The first thing that Paul says to him is "That's Jeff's office."  The man smiles tries to ask Paul a few questions. Paul responds by crying "I was going to be the preacher. I'm the preacher. I want to be the preacher."  The little guy really thought he was going to take over Jeff's job.

Having Paul as a son has been challenging at times but at the end of the day my son cracks me up. I love how big of a smile such a little guy can put on my face. 

Now I am going to enjoy the rest of this beautiful Sunday with my family in a park out in the country. I can already smell the hay!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

marriage, ministry, work and hardships

This morning is very bitter sweet.  It is our pastor's last sermon. His last day of work. I wont go into details  but the whole situation surrounding his departure has been very emotional. Emotional for the church. Emotional for his family. I'm still in shock that he was treated so poorly by some members of the congregation. I never knew that people could be so ugly. Maybe I knew but wasn't expecting it to be within the church.

Anyway, on to why I feel the need to type out a blog before church this morning. This church is the first full time ministry position that my husband has ever had. For five years he was the pastor of a small, and I do mean small, church in a quaint rural town. We fell in love with each person that walked within the doors. They were sweet, caring, God loving, Christians that we began to see as part of our family. They celebrated with us when got married, when we announced the birth of both of our children, when we graduated from college. They mourned with us when we were going through the depths of despair with the lose of a family member(love you papal) with a death of a church member (love you mrs. emily). They were more than willing to give us a pat on the back when we were going through moments of discouragement. I can honestly say that I love that church. I dearly miss it even though I know that it was time to move on. Time to let someone else have the opportunity to meet such great Christian people. 

This church is different. It is more business like. Which I guess you would expect with a larger congregation. We are still in the process of forming relationships with people, which is always difficult. With a full time position the demands on the staff are sometimes immense. I am in a position where I am learning the hardships about being married to a minister. We have not gone through any hardships as of yet but looking at the pastor and his family and all the hardships that they have been through has opened my eyes to the possibilities. Of the things that no matter how hard we try, no matter how prepared we are, will inevitably happen. There are always going to be people within the church that have some sort of problem with you, your husband or your children. There's always going to be that person that enjoys gossiping about the pastors family. I just pray that we will never have to go through the amount of hardship that our pastor and his family has gone through on numerous occasions.

When Roger told me, while we were dating, that he wanted to go into the ministry I was more than willing to support him. I am still all for supporting him. But I had no clue how difficult it can be to be married to a minister. Let me preface this with admitting that we have not actually experienced much of this but I have observed from the wife of our soon to be former minister. At any given time your husband can be called away. For example, called away to the hospital to mourn with a grieving family. At any given time your husband can pack up and move to another state in pursuing another church job. As a wife you don't choose where you live, what church you go to. I mean I guess you talk it over with your husband but when it boils down to it you go where he gets a job. You are constantly waiting and constantly following. You expect this when you marry some sort of other professional as the classic example of a doctor but I had no clue it was like that with a minister. I never thought about the fact that at any given moment he could be called away and that I was to smile, pat him on the back and say "I love you honey. i guess we'll try to have dinner together another night." Or that any given moment he could announce his intentions to apply for an "awsome job out of state" get it and the whole family pack up, leave our friends, family, school and job in order to follow. I guess that was just part of my la la land "oh I'm marrying a minister. he is so handsome" thing.  Now I am married to him, have taken solemn vows and I am in it for the long haul. I love him. 
We have come to the conclusion that marriage is hard work, go figure, who knew. So, once a month we send the kids to the grandparents for an extended weekend. This has been one of those weekends and it has been fabulous. I almost feel like I am cheating on my husband with my husband. It's always reassuring when the kids leave that we still have the ability to be alone with one another and actually have fun, acutally have good conversations. I have heard horror stories about couples that divorce after the kids are grown because they have discovered that the kids were the only thing that they had in common. It is so sad. So, we are trying to take time to get to know one another each month because each month we change a little and have to become reacquainted.

This has gone off subject. I better go brush the teeth and head to church. Even though it is the pastor's last Sunday, so sad, we are having two baptisms, so exciting. 

I ask that you keep our pastor in your prayers. There family is going through a rough time right now. Not only is he losing a job but his family is losing a church, his children losing a youth ministry that they seemed to love.  But they seem to have a strong family unit and a very strong marriage.      

Monday, August 17, 2009

a day with the heart monitor on

It is only 1:30pm and I have already and I FANTASTIC day!!  Praise the Lord!!!

I was not looking forward to today because the cardiologist had sent me home with the halter monitor to put on by myself and wear during the exercise thing with the other moms in the park First of all I was nervous about putting the monitor on right but after all the years of having them I figured that out pretty fast.  Now I'm thinking about going to school to be an ekg hooker upper person.  Just kidding.  But I think I did a fantastic job putting the electrodes on.

Anyway.  I got up early, early, early, took my heart medicine, drank a lot of water, ate a oatmeal breakfast, did my little bible study and then got the kids up.  Then around 8am I put on the heart monitor only to find that it would not turn on.  Oh no!!  I called the cardiologist but the office wasn't open yet.  After have a small short panic, Roger and I figured out that it needed a new battery. So, he rushed out to buy new batteries.

I met the ladies at the park, explained the heart situation, and proceeded to exercise. I think it went GREAT. I kept up with them and only felt absolutely horrible one time.(I wrote it in the jornal that the cardiologist sent with me. "short of breath. dizzy. very very tired.") Renee was REALLY good about doing cool downs before and after the big time exercising. It REALLY helped me.  When we got finished exercising Renee got out the parachute and the kids giggled and laughed while tossing it in the air. Then they all played tag/monsters while we laid in the grass relaxing and talking.  At which point we decided it would be an AWSOME idea to go eat pizza.  Therefor, we loaded up all the kids (6 in all. we each have two. YAY for double strollers) and headed for some yummy, greasy, cheesy pizza!!  DELICIOUS.  Nothing like chowing down on pizza while you are still in your nasty, sweaty clothes. "MMMM  MMMMM this is so so good!!"   "Oh man I  know! I know!!"

When I got home Anna was knocked out so I put her to bed.  Then I attempted to sponge bathe myself.  The electrodes have to stay on until tomorrow morning.  I once again did a fantastic job and I actually feel clean and I didn't electrocute myself!!!  YAY!!!! I also did a good job washing my hair upside down.  What can I say.  I am starting to be GREAT at everything. :)

Now, I'm going to try to get Paul to lay down for a nap so I can pass out on the couch for a little bit before the dinner rush.  Oh and another exciting thing.  We are sending the kids to Roger's parents house this weekend.  YAY for some alone time!!  I'm so excited!  If you have kids and haven't sent them to the grandparents for the weekend before I would highly recommend it. It helps Roger and I reconnect and remember why we are still together.  I love it!! Plus, sometimes you just need to get away from your kids and vis versa. 

bye bye for now!!!  Keep me in your prayers that the results from this monitor are good and that the results from the stress test turns out great!   I'm a little nervous but after today I feel like it will be ok. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

cardiologist appointment

My cardiologist walked into the room with a concerned parental look on his face, sat in the chair, crossed his arms and said "so, tell me what's been going on."  This was after he had reviewed the results from my pacemaker interrogation. i had no clue what he was talking about. "Have you been having chest pains, shortness of breath, accelerations?"  I thought and thought and all I could think of was when I have been exercising how incredibly painful it has been. But being me I have been pushing on through the pain thinking "I can do it. I can do it."  That's when my cardiologist had me explain my work out regiment and informed me that I could be damaging my already damaged heart. I was in SHOCK.  Then he started talking about the seriousness of it by saying "you have little ones now."  He has given me a halter monitor to take home and put on the day I participate in the jogging stroller fitness class.  He also set me up for an extreme version of the famous stress test.  He said "from there we will decide what you should and should not be doing."

The reality of this scares me. The fact that I have a serious heart condition scares me. The possibility of dropping dead at an early age frightens me. I want to grow old with Roger. I want to see my children have children. At one point today my cardiologist said "Jessica, you are in denial. You are in denial that you have a heart condition."  I had to sit and think for a bit and then I realized that I have been in denial my whole life. I go about things as if I am a perfectly healthy individual. I try my hardest to live a very active life. Hiking. Swimming. Biking. Running. Pushing myself to the breaking point. There are times when I push and push and push until I literally drop on the ground in exhaustion. I am constantly telling myself that I am just out of shape and need to just push myself a little harder.  But the fact is I have a congenital heart defect. My chest has been sliced open, my heart has been totally reconstructed and I have a machine hooked up to me that tells my heart how and when to pump. I need to let that sink in. The sinking in process really hurts emotionally. I am in denial. Denial.  I need a thin mint blizzard from DQ.    

I need to cry. I hate being told that I can't do something. I hate being told that what I am doing could be damaging my already damaged heart. I enjoy the challenge of pushing myself. While I am exercising I feel normal. I feel ALIVE.  But now I know that I could possibly be putting myself in the grave even earlier because of my denial. because of my need to push myself. Because of my need to feel normal.

I'm not normal and I HATE it.  I just HATE it so bad that I want to put my running shoes on and run until I fall dead.  Or maybe I'll just throw something really hard and then go get that thin mint blizzard from DQ.

I don't want this. I don't want to worry about this. I don't want to think about this. Why?  Why?  Sometimes I ask "why God?  Why me? WHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!  Why did I live?  Why?" All I can say is there must be something GREAT that God wants to do through me.  
Then on top of this my cardiologist informs me that my insurance company is having some sort of argument with the hospital and refusing to work with them (pay).  Then he banged his head on the wall  a few times while screaming "aaaaaaaahh  I HATE INSURANCE COMPANIES."  But he ended up figuring out a way that we could sneak around the system and get my tests paid for!!! He is sending me to the Jewish hospital across the street!!! :)  I'm telling ya.  He is a GREAT doctor.

Ok, enough of the pity party and back to some sort of denial.  Man, I need to find a therapist. I'm being serious. I have so many emotional issues that stem from having this heart condition. So many "why God" questions. I'm constantly searching and asking.

Thank the Lord that Roger went with me today or I would have cried the whole way home. Instead we went out for a nice quite lunch, explored a locally owned book store and sat on a sunny patio sipping coffee. At least I have an amazing husband, and two beautiful and healthy children to put a smile on my face during times of uncertainty. If I do die at a young age at least I have given something to the world.  Love and Life