Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Doing what my Father asks me

For those of you who are friends of mine on Facebook, sorry for repeating myself, but I just wanted to share this story in another form, and in the full "director's cut" version.

I broke my left foot last week, tripping down a gutter.  I am now sporting a very sexy moon boot, which limits me to two pairs of jeans for the next five weeks.  They may very well be burnt after the five weeks is up, just because I'll be so sick of wearing them I'll never want to put them on again!  But I digress.  I had some problems with my original moon boot, so I went back to the hospital this morning to get it adjusted.  Still not sexy, but at least a bit more comfortable than before.

On the way to the hospital, my husband and I were talking about wanting more children - okay, I was doing all the talking and my poor husband was listening, at a loss of what to say.  We've been trying for a year without success.  Some months I'm very zen about it and trust God completely with our journey and timing.  Other months I cry and get angry and frustrated and confused about what's wrong/what to try next.  Anyone who has been trying to conceive will know exactly what I'm talking about!  And if one more person tells me to "Relax.  It'll happen when you relax", I'll smack them over the head with all the force I can muster!

Last week I was calm and had total faith about it all, but in the past week, a friend has given birth, a distant relative has given birth, another friend is about to pop, and another dear friend has just found out she's pregnant!  I am so happy for each and every one of these women/families, though my heart aches and I can't help but ask God, "Why isn't it our turn?"

And getting dropped off at the hospital this morning - one of the biggest in the state with a massive maternity ward where our daughter was born - you can imagine how many pregnant women and tiny babies I saw there!  I tried really hard not to let it get me down because these women are all so blessed to be having their gorgeous bubs, and I do remember what it was like to be blissfully expecting, so I decided to change my thinking around - share their joy and praise God for it!

I finished early from the orthotics department (sexy moon boot), so was just sitting down in the foyer, reading my text messages and sending others before I had to catch a taxi to work.  I used that time to pray about wanting more children, and praising God for all the babies and pregnant women around me, knowing God loved and had made each and every one of those babies-to-be-born.

I said, “God, if there’s something You want me to do for You - that You want me to do for You before You bless us - then I’ll do it, on one leg, hopping.”  Then an old man came and sat down beside me and the thought “You could pray for him” popped in my head.  Haaaaa haa haa!

“Yeah right!  I can’t do that!” I thought.

“But didn’t you just say you’d do anything, even hopping on one leg?”

“Yeah, I did.  But I can’t…. Arhg!  Okay then, if he starts talking to me or there’s an opening, I’ll do my best."  One minute later, he started talking to me. 

He told me what was going on – he and his wife had come in to have their pace makers checked – and they were trying to get hold of their daughter to come and pick them up.  And he was telling me that he’d had bowel cancer that the doctors fixed, but now it was in his stomach, and he was off to Toowoomba tomorrow to see a doctor about that.

“Right, this would be the opening then, hey God?”  So I asked “Would I be able to pray for you?”


“Would you mind if I said a prayer for you?”

“Yeah, sure.  That’d be fine.”

So I skooched over, asked him his name, introduced myself, shook his hand, put a hand on his shoulder and prayed for him!  It might have been a bit short and not terribly “powerful” sounding, but I did it!  His wife came back from the payphone after I’d prayed, so we chatted a bit more and I gave her my mobile to use to try and call their daughter again, and then they left to find a different payphone and I left to find a taxi.

Before he left, he said “Thanks for what you did.”

I have to say, I'm a bit proud of myself - I'm a "shy" Christian because I've been burnt before, talking to others about my faith - but I think God is proud of me, too.  I think I'm like a little kid who gets a high-five from their dad for doing something they were asked to do but didn't really want to! 

And just to clarify, I don't think this will lead to me being pregnant next month just because I plucked up the courage to pray for a sick old man!  But hey, God's done some pretty crazy things in my life and others', and anything is possible!  Though I'll probably only believe it when I feel a baby kick!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

In disguise

I pride myself on being honest.  But if I AM honest, there are parts of myself that I hide from some people because I fear their reaction.  I don't feel like I can be 100% myself, 100% of the time.  But don't we all have different hats for different situations?  That's okay, isn't it?

At work for example, you have your "professional self" hat - the one who is cool under pressure; who is friendly and courteous to everyone all of the time; the one who is upbeat and positive all of the time; the one who doesn't cry, even when you want to (though if you slip up you pull it together quicker than you can at home!); the one who doesn't swear out loud, even when you want to; and the one where you don't talk about the details of your family life (who in the office is going to care that after two days of no poos, your toddler exploded this morning and you feel so much happier because of it!  LOL!)

Then you wear your "friends" hat, which changes depending on the group of friends you're with.  The "new friend/I'd like to keep you as a friend" hat, where you usually put effort into your appearance, you keep the conversation moving and light, and you silently kick yourself for saying something stupid.  The "high school girlfriends" hat where you talk about the old days, wonder where certain people ended up, laugh a lot at how old you're all getting, while talking about partners and/or kids and usually drink a few glasses of wine.  There's also your "work friends" hat, where you talk about your jobs and likely moves/mergers, deadlines and budgets and general office chatter - more serious chatter and not usually for long.  Friends may move between categories or border more than one, but the hats stay in place.

And even in your family, where you're supposed to be able to be 100% yourself - the whole, real, uneditted you - don't we all keep something back?   Especially if you live your life a bit differently from the rest of the family.  Sharing or showing that part of you could mean a big fight and no more invitations to dinner!

I got to thinking today about what would happen if I wore just one hat - the "real" me hat that only a very few people get to see - regardless of the situation.  As much as I wish I could, it does make a lot of sense to keep wearing the right hat for the right occasion.  I think it sort of sucks, but I'm pretty sure everyone is doing it - to keep their jobs, and keep the peace.  Just so long as you look good and feel comfortable in each of the hats, I suppose.