Grief

I Think I’m Doing it Right

September 21, 2017

It’s been radio silence here for almost a month.  Indeed, I am ok.  Several of you sweet, sweet people reached out to me after my previous post (here), with beautifully encouraging words that were not only uplifting to me, but gave me great perspective.  I truly love that about sharing.  There’s definitely a correlation between me being vulnerable and sharing things here and how my eyes get opened to different ideas/thoughts.  I know not everyone is a sharer (especially a public sharer) but for me, being honest about something I’m going through leaves me open to receiving so much love, kindness and perspective.  So thank you all you sweet people.  Thank you to those of you who go on a feeling of needing to reach out.  Your words are always meaningful to me and almost always rattle my core a bit.

I am ok though.  You see, things (mainly emotions) build up in my head and my heart over time and if I don’t let them out, it just makes things worse.  And for me, I articulate best via writing.  And even better, I have so many of you who care about our family and our girl.  Sometimes I think three, maybe four, people still keep up with us nearly six years later, but then I’m gently reminded that God is still using Elena, using me to share His story through our story.  Goodness, that’s a blessing but also a responsibility!

Like all of life, there are highs and lows.  On our particular journey, there’s grief, oh so much grief.  There’s frustration, sadness, failure.  But there’s also love, kindness, resiliency, strength, joy, peace, faithfulness.  I *try* to hit them all, but there are periods of time that are just plain hard.  In my Bible study this morning, our teacher mentioned that God promises “springs of flowing water” within us that refresh and strengthen us when we begin to feel depleted going through life’s difficulties.  I had never heard that before, but was able to immediately connect to that feeling.  I can’t tell you how often people say to me, “I don’t know how you do it.”  Well folks, that it.  When things are hard and fuzzy and I can’t tell which way is up, somehow I get replenished to carry on.  It’s my strength and it’s how I have learned to be resilient.

Now that may sound funny to some people, and I can understand that.  It certainly doesn’t mean that I’m always focused and bursting at the seams with energy and vigor for life.  Ya’ll I’m a Mom like a lot of you and I am ALWAYS exhausted, often daydreaming about running off to Mexico to margarita all day (yes, I just used margarita as a verb….I think we can all relate).  I mutter not nice things sometimes when I’m cleaning the kitchen (or the toy room or the living room or the bathroom or everywhere) for the thousandth time in one day.  I have days where I doubt it all, get so mad at God, grieve, cry.  But someone or something usually happens to help fill me up, restore my heart and give me perspective.  I just know where to give the credit, hint….it ain’t me.

I read a little blurb on Instagram today (see!  social media can be good!) by Glennon Doyle of Momastery (@glennondoyle).  It said this:

“….we believe that life is easy.  That life is supposed to be easy.  So if it’s hard we’re doing it wrong.  It’s hilarious… — we know that life is hardest, relationships are hardest, work is hardest.  All of it is hardest for people who are doing it right, who are showing up, making themselves vulnerable, falling down, trying again and getting back up….”

The gist of it being that when you pretend that life is easy, that you’ve got it all together, you’re doing it wrong.  Pain and life are hand in hand.  When we can acknowledge that, we can be vulnerable and help each other.  When I shared that last post with you all, it wasn’t necessarily easy.  It can be hard to share feelings, even for me!  But, what I was met with was love, acceptance, encouragement.  You texted me, emailed me.  You asked me how I was *doing*, like *really* doing, not just a generic greeting.  You prayed for me.  Even if you can’t relate to having a special needs child (which can feel incredibly isolating, by the way), you cared.  God may be using me, but God is using you guys too.

There’s no new progress on the communication front for Elena.  I’m still frustrated.  I’m still disappointed.  I don’t have any clear next moves or answers.  It’s all still on my mind daily.  But, I have hope that we will find a way to get my girl to speak to us.  And there’s always beauty on the journey, as evidenced by all the perspective gained above.

And there’s this…my little model.  The image of God’s goodness right here, folks.

Elena’s picture taken for the Jackson Center fundraising gala last week.

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This is Elena. Our Light. You can see all the goodness and joy that shines from those deep blue eyes. She loves sneezes, yawns, industrial toilet flushes, automatic paper towel dispensers and The Star Spangled Banner. Music is her everything, specifically Moana, Frozen (really all Disney), Queen & Taylor Swift. Nothing makes her squeal quite like swimming, fast boat rides and her two brothers in trouble. In addition to her megawatt smile, Elena reminds us to cherish the smallest of victories, to live in the present, and to daily dwell in a posture of gratitude for every breath and every blessing.  

More About Our Story

I’m Emmalee, an ordinary gal born and raised in the Heartland. Wife to Chad, and Mom to Elena, Calvin & Turner, I spend most my days ridin’ dirty (literally so much trash) in my minivan carting kids to and fro. When I’m not being a Momager, I excel at self-care, cooking gourmet meals my kids won’t eat and deep-diving all the feelings. Most days, my attitude is gratitude, just taking life one step at a time.

Emmalee & Elena

Meet The Gals