Life Happens

March 4, 2011

I drove by a church sign this week that read, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”  “Wow, that is so true” I thought.  I know that my life hasn’t turned out the way I had planned. 

I never planned to be a pastor’s wife – my husband was not a pastor or even a youth pastor when we got married.  I never planned to have a child with Autism – in fact, after my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, I said that probably there was something wrong with the baby and God knew I couldn’t handle raising a child with special needs.  I never planned on having twins – After having Drew and Caleb we said we would only have one more baby, but God had a different plan in mind for our family.

I have always been a well-organized person who loves to plan and make lists. I love to have things go according to those plans and I love to accomplish tasks and cross them off my list. I also find myself getting stressed when I things DON’T go according to plan.

  After Drew was born I was exhausted but still managed to keep my house tidy and accomplish a few things on my ever-growing “To do” list.   Although there were times when I felt very overwhelmed by this new addition to the family, I had no idea that this was just the beginning. 

When Caleb came along I started to struggle a little more.  The house wasn’t quite as clean. I started to care less about whether or not I had make up on or what my hair looked like if I was just running to Walmart or the post office. I also started to notice how forgetful I had become and I was even having trouble in my cluttered office finding a pen and paper to write down things I could no longer remember.

Shortly after the twins came along things started to go downhill at an alarming rate.  The house was in total disarray … toys all over the floor, dishes piled in the sink, and juice stains on the couch and carpet.  Not only did I not care about my hair and make up, but I even ventured out in my pajamas once or twice when we overslept and I had to rush off to get Drew to school on time. Granted, my pajamas were sweatpants and a t-shirt, but I would have NEVER gone out looking that way back when Drew was little.  

One of the hardest lessons I have had to learn is to ask for help. Realizing that I can’t do it on m y own and that I am not in control has been hard for me to accept.  I have had to learn to ask my husband, mom, mother-in-law, friends and kids to help me get things done and not try to be super-mom and do it all alone.  I have also had to learn that God has things in control and I don’t need to worry about every little detail of life, but rather turn these worries over to him. 

There were two times in my life that I must not have been doing a very good job of learning these lessons because they were times I was forced to ask for help due to circumstances beyond my control. One was when I was put on bed rest when I was 7 months pregnant with the twins. The other was when I broke my ankle and was put in one of those very lovely and oh-so- stylish boot casts.  In both these instances I was forced to ask for help because there was no way for me to do things on my own.  In both these instances it was the month of December which is already a stressful and busy month with all the Christmas preparations and things going on at church. 

I was really overwhelmed wondering how in the world things would get done but it amazed me how many people were there to help. I had my mom and mother-in-law that helped with the kids, did laundry and cleaned my house. My husband did all the grocery shopping and chauffeured the kids and I around.  There were people in the church that brought meals and checked on us to see if there was anything they could do to help. I even had my friend (and roommate from college), Becky, who came over and wrapped all my Christmas presents for me!  I knew that there were lots of people around me that cared for me and wanted to help and all I had to do was pick up the phone and ask.  It was hard at first, but it got easier as I started learning the lesson that everyone has to ask for help and there are certain times in our life that we need help more than others.

 Last night as I was upstairs getting the kids in bed I noticed Emma was missing. I started looking around the house and found her down stairs in the kitchen with all the lunch boxes lined up. “It’s time for bed Emma, what are you doing down here?” I asked.  “I just wanted to help and pack the lunches for you and surprise you” she sweetly replied.  It warmed my heart to have Emma help me, especially since I hadn’t even asked for help.


15 Responses to “Life Happens”

  1. The Debt Collector Says:

    Clearly Emma has picked up on your organisational skills !

    I am epileptic and never have the chance to ask for help ( I have what is known as “drop attacks”: standing one second, the next doing a wet fish impression).

    However on one occasion, I had such a fit in the middle of a High Street and it went to an extreme form of epileptic fit called :” Status Epilepticus”, where basically the brain cannot break out of the fit.

    The amazing thing about this episode, was that in the middle of a crowded High Street no adult batted an eye-lid. It was a 17 year old, who was probably no more that 5′ 6″ and weighed about 7 stone who came to my aid. She dealt with the seisure, dialled 999, and rolled me over so that I did not swallow my tounge, and finally in to recovery.

    I got to meet her about three weeks later followin and SOS announcement in the local paper, as I wanted to know who had come to my aid, as well as how the seisure presented itself. When I met her, I was astounded that someone that size could turn over a man who was nearly twice her body-weight and six inches taller than her !

    What made me angry was when she told me that THREE adults walked past her and told her: ” don’t bother luv; he’s Pi&&ed”. I hasten to add one was a mature (in terms of age) woman, who should have known better. Nobody offered to help and she did everything including the First Aid and calling the Ambulance all on her own.I did get to meet her following the appeal in the paper and I owe Lauren my life- literally since I could have suffocated on my tounge.

    Emma too must be very organised, cool thinking and considerate.

    You are clearly blessed with sound Children; we need more of them, and more importantly remain so in adulthood. And it doesn’t need God to do that !

    • Thanks for sharing your story – I am sorry that none of the others showed compassion or offered to help. 😦 This story reminds me of the parable of The Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25-37)and Lauren is your “Good Samaritan”. I think the world needs more people that are willing to think of others before them self.
      I grew up a pastor’s daughter and I truly believe that God has a plan for everyone and in your case he knew that your journey on earth was not done and that is why Lauren was there and felt compelled to help you and save your life. God gave her the wisdom, knowledge and strength to help and that is truly a blessing! 🙂

  2. That was a really wonderful piece of writing and I enjoyed reading it , even if it did bring tears to my. It is just a case of reaching out eyes. Everybody needs help sometimes and there are always people that will be there to give a helping hand.
    But can I also say, regarding the post above, to the Debt Collector…I cannot agree with your last sentence..we need God in everything, regardless of what it may be. We do not always ask God for help but most times He is there giving the help without being asked. Also I am sorry for the ‘passers-by’ who did not stop to help you. They definitely need God’s help so pray for them

  3. Missy Says:

    “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans” LOVE it! From “Beautiful Boy” by John Lennon.
    If you haven’t seen Mr. Holland’s Opus, they profile this song (among others).

    I love reading your posts, Lori! Keep it up 🙂

    • Thanks Missy! I will have to see that movie … I think I may have seen it many years ago, but I can’t remember it too well(too many episodes of spongebob and barney songs running through my head I guess ~ LOL) Ahh .. I miss my memory!

  4. The Debt Collector Says:

    Miss Whiplash,

    I am in the UK where Religion is not so ground in to people as it tends to be in the USA. However, there has always been a long running question: “Did God create man; or did man create God?”

    Now we know more about science and evolution, we are not so controlled by the church; and it should be noted that most wars are based on religion- Look at the issues in the Middle East where Islam and Christianity have clashed. Finally the brain is a very powerful thing, one only has to look at examples such as the “Phantom pregnancy syndrome” where a woman can convince herself she is pregnant; and don’t try to assert that is down to God?

    And don’t forget the Salem Witch Trials which so called God Fearing people burnt “non-beleivers” because they did not follow a particular format of religion?

    Yet, the Bible endorses that you “love thy neighbour”, and that “thou shalt not kill” Contradiction ?
    The Bible is full of them !


    The Debt Collector.

  5. I had been wondering if my sudden outburst of extreme cases of memory losses was due to an impending attack of Alzhemeir’s. After reading your post i think it is more likely to be the hormones playing havoc after having the baby.

    • I always said that I lost brain cells with each pregnancy … I can’t scientifically prove it, but it sure seemed like it to me! 🙂

    • The Debt Collector Says:

      Extreme memory losses can be due to a number of things. Concussion, shock, and sorry to harp on about it, but epilepsy. In the latter case depending on the area where the seisure takes place the “scorch marks” heal and kill off some of the brain cells.

      Depending where these cells are can affect short/long-term memory, co-ordination (in the sense of balance) and also the ability to get disorientated, i.e. lost in areas not known to them as well as not being able to remember lists.

  6. Mo Says:

    “One of the hardest lessons I have had to learn is to ask for help. Realizing that I can’t do it on my own and that I am not in control has been hard for me to accept.”

    Ha, that’s the story of my life. Isn’t that crazy, though? Where do we get this idea that we’ve somehow failed if we have to ask for help? So untrue, not to mention counterproductive.

  7. Sandi Ormsby Says:

    I have the most difficult time asking for help, as well. Unfortunately, we don’t have the support like you do. All of the grandparents don’t want any responsibility of helping out…they always say “oh, let me check my calendar. Yeah, but for how long.” I’ve gotten to the point where we don’t even ask them. Fortunately, I did end up calling another mom on the same little league team when I was sick and my husband was out of town…just so she could get my son for school, and take him to the game in the afternoon. Everyone is so busy with their own families, it really is tough to not feel like you’re imposing. 🙂


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