Thursday, February 9, 2012

Clearing the...Freeing the...Oh - just fill in the blank!

The whole holiday season was full of mostly pleasurable hustle and bustle for us. 

Listening to Santa

Dave got to be home during the holiday season which was wonderful. 

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

I would love to say, "Oh we've been SO busy" as to why I haven't written since November.  And, in some aspects we HAVE been really busy. 

My niece Kaana's Christening

Working on our motor planning, skills and balance.

Countless hours of allergy-friendly baking

Unwillingly finger painting during therapy for the first time ever!

Making our "Thankful Chain" - each link had something we were grateful for written on the inside.

Waiting to leave for our first day of 'school.'

Feeling rambunctious after our second day of 'school' the following week.

Visiting our family in NC - my niece Riley Grace i.e. - Gracie Bug

But, mental clutter and life re-evaluations have definitely hit Dave and myself pretty hard and heavy in the past few months and clearing and freeing of the mind is a lot more cumbersome than just being busy with 'stuff.'  

Now, I don't want you to get the wrong impression or jump to conclusions.  I am very fortunate to be in marriage built on an incredibly strong foundation and everything is A O.K in that department.  Duncan is healthy and thriving - Thanks be to God.  And, we have a unified family that loves us graciously and endlessly.  

At Kaana's Christening

So, where does the mental clutter come from?

I can't speak for Dave, but for me one constant elephant in the brain is how to be a positive Mommy that states things in as positive a light as possible to our child who has to live a little differently and hear "no" and "can't" quite a bit over something as 'silly' as food.  Food is a necessity.  It breaks my heart to have to use those nasty words, "no" and "can't" and the phrase, "Don't touch" ALL the time with him.  It places undue stress on his little 2 year old mind and makes me a permanent watch tower.  

Duncan on his Second Birthday with the cake trimmings - he ditched the yogurt!  

The mental clutter comes from knowing that my husband has to live day to day in another state, across the country and sometimes across the ocean with the fear of whether our day will hold a severe allergic reaction.  

The reality - Burning and swollen face/mouth and neck.

Welts that eventually become open blisters

Swollen Eyes and Lips - This is at the start of a reaction just seconds in.

Head to toe rash that spreads over the body that follows the line of consumption - very itchy - leads to convulsions sometimes

Swollen and painful joints

Very swollen and painful feet.

Mental clutter comes from the wheels of my mind always turning because I want my son to learn by my example how to be loving, caring, generous and giving.  I want to make sure that I am behaving in a manner that is pleasing to God and teaching my child how to be an honest & caring person.  

At Build-a-Bear for his Second Birthday - Exhuberant because he was getting to PICK and TOUCH!

Last Fall there was a local family that we've never met that had a house fire in which they lost most of their belongings but the most devestating loss was that of their beloved Dog.   I have Dog in caps because he was a member of their family.  Not just a 'dog.'  Through one of my friends I learned of this disaster and Dave and I both wanted to do anything we could to help.  We immediately gathered together Duncan's carseat that he had outgrown recently, toys, clothing, extra hypoallergenic food, some small kitchen appliances that we don't need, shoes, blankies, a co-sleeper, a stroller - etc. I'm not naming all of these things because I want any form of credit for doing this.  I'm naming these things because if you'll notice a lot of them are baby items.  Letting go of baby items has been very difficult for me because I don't know if we'll ever have another biological, or adopted, child again.  So, hanging on to D's baby things was in essence holding on to material possessions that I could look at that would automatically float me back to a place in time when a specific happening was taking place.  Some were good memories and some were bad.  

Our sweet tiny baby.  Six weeks and finally six lbs!

Since the sewage flood in our home in November of 2010 I have prayed that God would give me the ability to let go of things that do not ultimately matter; more specifically - baby and pregnancy things.  This started with most of my favorite maternity clothing being 'ruined.'  But, it wasn't ruined at all - it was Grace allowing me the ability to have to step away with a purpose - even if it was somewhat against my desired will.

So, this prayer has been an ongoing one for me, and for Dave.  In the moments that we learned of that family's need I felt no personal emotional attachment to the things that we both wanted to donate - only Love.   Dave and I have been given so much since our pregnancy.  The first and most important gift that we have been given is tons of love. Through love has come support, prayers, well wishes, visits, food brought to various hospitals, money, the blessings of medical bills magically having a zero balance out of the blue, typical baby gifts for Duncan, shoulders to cry on, transportation when I was too weak/sick/recovering from surgery to drive myself - and the list could go on and on.  

A sweet reminder of how much Daddy loves Duncan - This was left on the computer screen one morning when he had to leave for a trip for Doodle-Bug

Love is a very powerful happening.

Mommy and Duncan's hand and DC Children's March 2011 - Duncan wanted to hold my hand

Duncan and his ultimate protector - Sir Bark's A Lot - Barky Parky

This family that experienced the fire has touched me deeply.  I read the mom's blog. They are an amazing family.  Their desire is to live as raw and as simply as they possibly can with their ultimate focus on doing well for others and  doing what is pleasing to God.

Their blog has helped answer my prayer to have the ability to just 'let go' and clear the mental clutter and free our, Dave's and my, minds.  We have donated more belongings over the holidays, we have re-organized and recatagorized things.   We are slowly working on going through each and every box that we had packed from our townhouse to eliminate what we don't need.  Though looking through my neatly packed boxes is somewhat cumbersome it is very freeing.

Through our deepened allergy exploration we feel the need to get back to basics; to not only clear our material life of clutter but cleansing our minds of the noise as well.  

With this cleansing of the mind, noise and soul we are beginning to trod a new path and go forth with a new purpose.  

God does answer prayers even if it is quietly and over a period of time.  

Even in times of stress, health scares, mental noise and various clutter we are emerging with a new sense of purpose, integrity, values and strength.  

Though corn is Duncan's Kryptonite it is propelling us forward into a purpose filled life.

With the simple wonderment of a child - National Aquarium  Baltimore Harbor - Jan/Feb 2011

1 comment:

  1. I am totally humbled by your comments Ashley. To go what you go through- the day to day reliance on God, the moment to moment choices to trust, not to fear, to rely and lean in when you could be stiff and scared...You are walking a journey of reliance, and I am honored to have impacted that journey in a small way. It only makes me love Jesus more for his grace to allow us to encourage each other on our paths. Bless you!!