I'm back everybody! It was a good conference, minus a few things that I would have changed. But it's not MY conference, so I'll leave it be. I had a great time, it was especially good getting to know some of the ladies in our church. One in particular - Alistair's Mum (the baby I held last week) - was an absolute delight to spend time with. She called me her Mother's Helper (I think I was starved for something to do, so I helped a lot with Alistair).
I managed to "touch all my bases" before I left. The floor got vacuumed, Oceana went to her friend's house, I got the car in the free parking at church (it's a store front church, so there's all metered parking...), and gave my key to the church administrator so Matt could pick it up. We had a good drive up, I slept for 2 hours. I felt bad ignoring our driver, but I was shot, and running out of caffeine (only 1 cup on Friday - until 10pm! Ak!)
Friday night was good, until we got back to go to sleep. I realized around 1 or 2 that one of my roommates (8 ladies to a room) snores like a ... well ... a something. I couldn't sleep. Neither could some of the other ladies. It's all good - but it's hard enough sleeping on a strange bed, in a sleeping bag.
Saturday was great, I started out by finding Vanessa and getting Alistair. I realized the poor girl was trying to get him all settled before she went to breakfast, and I was afraid she wouldn't eat. I mean, let's be honest - we Mommy's have always done it! We make the sacrifices for things like food, because we need to get the baby fed and changed, and get ourselves packed. So anyways, I got to burp/wind Alistair (It's nice to know I haven't lost my touch).
The conference was good. The two nursing mothers who brought their babies sat in the back with their big fat strollers, and the rest of the ladies sat way up front. So opted to sit with Missy and Vanessa, because I didn't want them to feel left out. It's so easy to feel left out when you've got a newborn - I know. Life has to stop because the baby's hungry, or smelly, or wet, or has just puked through their 9th outfit for the day. And people who haven't had babies, or haven't had them in a few years don't remember the chaos. I really enjoyed being with them, it wasn't hard for me. Like I told them, I can be happy for them and their sons (even though they are both about a month younger than Joshua).
There was lots of chocolate and coffee to be consumed at this conference. Oh yay! Haha. You know you're gonna be happy when you come out into the cafe area and spot a chocolate fountain! What sort of chocoholic planned this event???
My van dropped be off late last night around 11pm, and then like the crazy person I am, I stayed up for another hour and a half. I did sleep 2 hours in the car again, but still, why did I stay up??? Oceana woke up at 5:30am this morning, and since Matt had a bit of a rough weekend with her (she didn't sleep well Friday night, and he had to wake her up from her nap on Saturday afternoon) I got up with her. I'm a bit ragged right now, but I did get a little nap (that's what happens when you lay down with a 2 year old to get them to take a sleep!)
I had a bit of a "grr" moment this afternoon. My sister is arriving (to live with us) on Thursday and I was starting to look around at the "weeds". It's the stuff that irritates me, but I don't take care of because I have a 'good excuse'. The driveway is cobblestone so there's tons of weeds in it, there's weeds on the steps, in the gardens (lots of those!), and that big beanstalk thing I complained about 2 months ago? It's still there. Well I got annoyed. This was only the 'outside' stuff that was irritating me. And in a moment of "grr" I went out and started weeding. I have no idea how long I was out there before it started raining, but I've made a dent in the front yard. I'll probably continue tomorrow. I DID get rid of the jack in the beanstalk. All it took was a few rags (it's got thorns) and a big serated bread knife to cut the roots out! Oceana kept running into when she was playing and getting pricked. (BTW, to the person who asked about how to say her name, it's "Oh", "Shee", "Ann", "Uh"). As I was out there weeding I was reminded about weeds in my life (more on this later).
This weekend was a great time, and one of the things they talked a lot about was, "What has happened to you does not determine who you are." and it got me thinking. Of course it got me thinking about Joshua, and losing him. It didn't help that there was an hour session about all the unpregnant woman who were prayed for to have children last year, who now have babies (no joke, it took an hour to talk about them all!). And I finally came to this realization. I wrote this in my journal last night, at the evening meeting:
"My circumstances do not determine Who I Am. I desperately want to be Joshua's Mum. I want to be a Mum who lives with the memory of my boy in my heart. I don't want to be the woman who is bitter, and jealous, and angry with God for taking my son. I want to be the woman who praises God for my son. I want to be the woman who uses her son's life as a catalyst to live better, and bring people into the Kingdom [of God]. I want my son's life to be a fragrant offering to God and I want my life, my way of grieving, and living in his memory to be a glory to God."
That's what was going on for me this weekend. But I was also aware that I'm neglecting a lot of stuff, not just physical things, but emotional and spiritual things as well in my life. Some of it has been out of necessity, but some of it has just been me being lazy or uninterested.
As I was weeding I felt like God spoke to me about weeding my life out. I don't think I'm too busy, but I do think I've done the "not now" too much. We've all done it - seen a cobweb and ignored it for weeks because we just don't feel like dealing with it. Well, all of us semi-crummy housekeepers have anyways. I'm so good at seeing a dish in the living room, on my way to the kitchen, and I leave it there. I see the clutter and I sit on my butt and watch TV for hours. Or I walk by the folded laundry for days because I don't want to take 10 minutes (that I DO have) to put it away. And I felt like God was showing me that I had "let the weeds grow" in my life. Not just housekeeping, although sometimes I think could be growing herbs in my house - ew ew ew)! But there are little idiosyncrasies in my life that I've left alone. It's the attitudes I live with, the "But this is the way I was raised" stuff that I know isn't right, or the way I treat people occasionally. It's the fact that I want to read my Bible, I want a relationship with God - but I very often neglect it. Like - I'll be honest - I've gone weeks without touching my Bible since we've found out about Joshua, because my heart's just not in it. Or because I don't feel like it. I often just float through life and ignore the things that are important. I float though life, rather than choose my life. There are other things, particularly with relationships that bother me, but I don't deal with them. And I feel like I'm at a turning point. I'm going to be weeding out my life out.