Monday, March 28, 2011

Fried Banana Pies

This weekend, as a family we made a big decision.  A decision that will affect the rest of our lives, a decision that required a lot of prayer, a decision that was difficult and draining, a decision that we would have rather God just make for us.  I supposed in His own way, He did. 

Last night as I sat on this beat up couch with my husband I read Joyce Meyer's book "The Secret To True Happiness".  If you haven't read it, I can tell you from the first four chapters, you should.  I am not a big underliner for the lack of a better term.  I don't highlight as I read or take notes and the only journal I have is this one that I let everyone read.  But as I was reading I asked Doc to borrow his pen and I underlined the following:

"Much of life takes place when no one is looking; and God works in our lives during the ordinary times".

Duh.  Right?  I mean daily we strive for EXTRAordinary yet God is working in the ordinary.  So why are we working so hard? Missing so much of today trying to get to tomorrow.  Not far down page 6 of this book I again used the pen and underlined the following;

"True life is really not found in arriving at a destination; it is found in the journey". 

Thank you Joyce!  If there was anything that I needed to hear on Sunday March 27, 2011 after 15 days of talking and discussing and making BIG choices it was that!  I took a deep breath.  I looked at the man opposite me and smile at his sweet bald head and those giant dimples.  I giggled inside at my dirty kitchen and thought to myself "who cares Melanie? I mean really no one in the entire world knows that your kitchen is dirty but you and him and he doesn't care!" 

Doc and I want to do EXTRAordinary things, we want to live EXTRAordinary lives, we spends days and weeks and months talking about how to get out of the ordinary and into the EXTRAordinary! Why?  I guess because we think we will be happier?  Honestly, I don't know why.  I would say society pushes us to that but honestly, I think that is a LAME excuse for anything so I am not going to use it here. 

As I sat last night reading I thought about the things that make us happy, I mean really happy.  Our girls playing, our family visiting, laughing with each other, time on the couch with hot chocolate and the food channel, swing sets and barbecues and fried banana pies.  These are the things that make us happy, make us feel good, that light up our lives.  And you know what?  We have all of those things.  Everyday. So we should wake up skipping and dive into the bed at night giggling. 

Solomon (the wisest man EVER) tells us in Ecclesiastes chapter 5:  "Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is for one to eat and drink and to find enjoyment in all the labor in which he labors under the sun all the days which God gives him".

Translated from The Message: After looking at the way things are on this earth, here's what I've decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. And that's about it.

And that is about it folks.  That is all. Enjoy it.  Whatever it is.  I get it. I didn't get a vacation and you did.  I have friends with more money, less debt, skinnier, heavier, more kids, no kids, great husband, no husbands, big houses, nice cars, no car, great parents, no parents, bad parents.  I have friends that from the outside seem to have it made, but on the inside they fight disease and addiction and have marriages falling apart. My point? No one lives the same life and no one's life is perfect.  Some got dealt a better hand and some would trade with you in a heartbeat.  But what the bible, the Lord, our SAVIOR tells us to do is to enjoy OUR lives!!  The one that we have, because that is the only one we get and it is a waste of time wishing for someone else's, it is just not going to happen. 

So that is what I plan to do.  I plan enjoy my life, today, right now.  I don't want yours and even if I did I can't have it.  What I have are two beautiful little girls and a man that's day can be made with a fried banana pie.  It takes me 15 minutes to make a fried banana pie.  So if you ask me, I ought to wake up skipping and go to bed giggling. 

Love and Blessings!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

C'mon April!!

There are only about a thousand things going on in my head.  None of which I have the patience to put into words worth reading.  I will say that I am ecstatic that the sun is shining today.  It gives me hope that this area which we call Middle TN will not be cold forever and that one day we will be able to go outside without a toboggan on the head of my littlest one. 

I have been waiting to blog, waiting for something exciting, special, wonderful, horrible, sad, stressful, fun to talk about.  And today I realized that I have none of these things and all of these thing everyday, so why not write? 

It is the middle of March and time is going by so quickly that I fear that I will wake up and be 50 and not even remember what happened yesterday.  We speed through these days dreaming, hoping, wishing for better, for more, for everything.  Yet we wake up and we are exactly where we were the day before and cannot ever seem to get ahead.  Is this life for everyone? I have no idea.  It doesn't seem like it from where we stand.  It seems like the fast flying days go by in our dressed up turd (as we like to call our house) while everyone else plans vacations that we cannot afford and buys cute clothes for the spring that will never grace my wardrobe.  It feels like we are in March.  March the month that we just cannot seem to get away from.  The month that sucked for us last year and somehow has managed again to suck for us in 2011.  I am certain a lot of it has to do with perspective, attitude, outlook.  But at the same time looking in or out, it is just not a barrel of fun around the Hall house. 

We have lights on in cars and heat that doesn't work (which shouldn't matter except that is is in the 40's still at night in this damn state).  We have a condo in ATL that will sit empty in two weeks and a mtg to pay on it. We have bills and loans and a business that we have no idea what to do with.  We want to move closer and father away and we cannot afford either but that doesn't matter because we can't even make a decision if we could afford it!  We have people we want to help and spend endless hours trying to figure out how while they are oblivious at how much we really care.  And selfishly I wonder "are they even worried about us? Do they have any idea what we are going through"??  We live in a house that we don't like in a state that we have never felt at home in with a business that has been blessed but we cannot enjoy  it because of the house and the state. 

I think about all that we have been through since we have moved and all that we are going through now and then I think of Kate or Harrison and I laugh at the obsurdity of my selfishness and cry at the horror of my greed.  I mean really?  There are people with babies that cannot swallow Melanie!! There are families with 7 year olds fighting brain cancer!! REALLY!?  I am upset about money? Housing? Location? I am angry about what? I think on some days I am completely justified.  I mean all I really want is to feel settled in a state I have lived in for almost 2 years, a home for my kids, my husband to be home to eat dinner and a house full of babies none of which I have.  I feel sorry for myself thinking about a family who just had their 5th baby.  I wanted 5 babies.  I have had 4 but there are only two asleep in the room next to me.  I am anxious and frustrated and tired and unsettled and scared and angry and all of it is selfish and none of it I am proud of.  But I still feel that way. 

So I pray and I ask Him for help.  I ask for guidance and relief and answers and patience and I ask for more.  More of everything because that is what we think we need right? But what I have figured out is that I need less.  Less of all of it.  Less stress, less stuff, less dreams, less chaos, less appointments, less obligations, less pressure.  Less.  I like simple. I like easy.  I like less and that is what I am praying for today.
"Lord, please give me less.  Please take all of this and help me to trust you to take care of it for me. Carry me so that I do not have to pick a direction.  Allow me to rest and make my decisions for me.  I trust you and know that you know what is best for me and my family. Amen"

That is my prayer today. That is my prayer this week. 


Friday, March 4, 2011

Dear Bennett.

Sweet baby Bennett,

A year ago today you came into this world and went straight back to the arms of Jesus. It was a glorious, sad, wonderful, scary day for mama and daddy. Everyday we remember, everyday we mourn and everyday we rejoice in the moments that I had with you in the womb and the fact that the Lord blessed us with the sweet boy we had asked Him for.

We miss you, and selfishly we want you here on earth, in our home, in our arms. But we know in our hearts that you are in a place that has beauty beyond our imagination and you are surrounded by nothing but happiness and joy. This, my sweet boy, makes us smile and a little jealous to be honest.

You have two big sisters here that know you were ours and one day will understand the impact that you have had on our family. You made us stronger, you deepened our relationship with our Savior and you brought our faith to the forefront of our lives, our marriage, our parenting and our hearts.

Oh baby boy how we long to hold you and kiss those dimples that I am certain you have. The only thing that makes that longing bearable is the fact that one day we will join you and you will introduce us to Jesus and our sweet Angel Baby that we lost in August and we will kiss you both all over and eat ice cream and swing until we puke. I cannot wait!!

You miss so much not being here. You miss time with the two sweetest girls that Jesus ever created. You miss moments with Grandparents that came straight from the angels. You miss Aunts and Uncles and Cousins that would have spoiled you beyond belief. You miss popcorn and cookies and roasted marshmallows that your daddy would have insisted you get to try. You miss a daddy that would have loved you like no other and shown you how to be a wonderful man and a mama who dreams about you, still, everyday. All of that and yet you miss nothing. We miss it for you and you are in heaven content and happy beyond our wildest dreams. All the while hanging out with Jesus!

The year has flown by and I only imagine that the decade will do the same. One day we will wake up and it will have been ten years since we lost you. Time will go by, and our hearts will heal, but our love will not stop and our memories will serve us well. You will live in our hearts and our dreams. We will imagine what you would have looked liked on your tenth birthday. We will dream of who you would have been on this earth and what you would have done.  We will do all of  this while we will smile and mourn and miss and love and one day there you will be even yummier than we ever imagined.

We love you William Bennett Hall. We will carry you with us in our hearts until we get to carry you in our arms.

Mama, Daddy, Kathryne and Presley

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Two Birthdays...One Long Week.

When I was a kid I remember at the end of  summer I was so disappointed that a WHOLE YEAR had to pass before it came again.  The same for Christmas, my birthday, fall break etc.  A year seemed like a life time, like eternity.  I remember my mom would say " don't worry Christmas will come again next year" and I would reply over tears "next YEAR!  That is SO LONG!!" ;).  Oh my how times have changed. 

Now I sit here in this rental house in Franklin TN and wonder how in the world an entire year has gone by!?  Where did it go?  What did we do?  Did we even live it or did we just wake up and it was gone? I am pretty sure that we missed about 6 months of 2010.  March to August is a complete blur with glimpses and memories of hospital visits, sleepless nights and sheer grief mixed with celebrations, births, weddings, birthdays and family.  I don't remember much of it and what I do remember, with exception of the birth of Savannah Marie Foraker and Wendy and Brett's wedding, I wish I could forget. 

But here we are back to March. March, which is now my least favorite month of the year.  March, the month that marks the birth and death of our boy and the absence of the baby we lost in August that would have been due on the 16th of this month.  Ugh.  March.  A full year has gone by and it still seems like yesterday that Doc was carrying a shovel down a hill, yesterday that my neighbor brought the orchid that sits on our table, yesterday that I called my sister and asked her what to name my boy.  I hate March.  And truthfully, today I want to just throw that damn orchid in the garbage can. 

Yesterday was Doc's birthday and I felt terrible for him.  All it did was a begin a week of memories.  Hard, gory, terrible, sad memories that we have pushed away every day for a year.  I tried to celebrate it with him, but he just would not let me.  Everything I planned he said no and I knew that nothing would make it fun.  So I made him banana pudding, which helped in the moment and that was it.  No card, no present, no dinner, no celebration.  Poor Doc.  What a miserable birthday, just like last year, to start a miserable week. 

March 1st 2011 here we are and all we can think about is March 5th.  I know it will get easier every year, I know that we should look at our girls and be grateful, I know that this is all part of healing, but none of that makes this week bearable.  It just doesn't.  So I will play with my babies and stay busy and love on my sweet husband and pray the week goes by fast.  We will get up on Friday and celebrate our boy who will be having cake and ice cream in heaven with Jesus and Hall baby #4 and RW and Mamaw and Don and Hunter and two of his cousins and Owen and all of the other angel babies that we miss and mourn and we will smile knowing that he is not alone and he is well taken care of until we get there. 

This morning my mom sent me an email and it was long and sweet and thoughtful.  In it she said that she would be in heaven before us and prayed that would make us feel better that she was there with him until we get there.  I don't know what God has in store for today or tomorrow, so who knows which one of us will get there first.  But I do know that she is right.  Knowing that Bennett is there with his Grandaddy, and my Grandaddy and his Mamaw, that does make it easier.  It makes it easier to be here without him and one day it will make it easier to leave this earth and go to heaven and hold my sweet boy.  That my friends, makes me smile, helps me to breathe in the moments I feel like I can't, gives me joy in a time of overwhelming sorrow.  

This week I will pray a lot and cry a lot and smile a lot and dream a lot of a sweet little boy with big dimples, a bald head, and giant blue eyes.  I will ask God to make each moment easier and beg him for another little boy.  All the while knowing that the first He will do and hoping for the second. ;)  I thank each of you for loving us enough to follow our journey in the loss of our boy, for walking along side us, for picking us up when we are too tired to walk, and for the incessant prayers that have healed us more that you will ever know. 

I pray that this year will bring more healing for our hearts and the hearts of those closest to us.  Thank you mama, Michael and Steph for loving me enough to hear it in my voice and being there for me.  I don't know what I would do without you.  And Doc, Happy Birthday baby!  You are my everything and my rock and this week will not last forever, I promise ;). 

Blessing Friends,