Tag Archives: life lessons

In Which My Friend David Gives Me an Unintentional Kick in the Pants.

Being a stay at home mother to three children while my husband works full time and goes to school full time is the hardest thing I have ever done. This is not the same thing as saying that it is an extraordinarily difficult task. Other people are parenting more children in more difficult circumstances. Other people are battling chronic illness in themselves or their children. My life is not any more or less difficult than someone else’s. This is the most difficult thing I have done in my life because I have too often committed the sin of avoiding difficult things.

Last night, after K-group, I was speaking to a good friend of ours. This friend is finishing his third (and final) year of seminary this year, and he looks exhausted. I asked him if he would counsel someone contemplating seminary to do it in three or four years. He looked at me and shrugged and said something very profound, “Seminary would be hard if you had to do it in seven years. Seminary is just hard. That’s what I’d tell them.”

Let me put the conversation in context for you:

All week the snickerdoodle has been . . . something. Maybe she’s been cutting teeth, maybe she’s had a sore ear, we don’t know; what she hasn’t been doing is sleeping. Sunday night at K-group I was so tired that when I closed my eyes for the grace before the meal I actually nodded off. I was exhausted and feeling like this whole endeavor was hard. Believing that hard meant bad, I was struggling with the idea that because this was hard, I was doing it wrong. Every time someone asked me how I was, I lied through my teeth, said “Well,” and smiled brightly.

When David said that seminary is hard, he did so without apologies. He didn’t say, “So no one should do it.” He kindly, and completely unknowingly, gave me a well deserved kick in the pants. You see, far too often in my life I have used the fact that something was hard as the reason to not do it anymore. Hard has been synonymous with wrong, or bad, or even dangerous and because of that attitude, when, in my late 30s, I face a difficult situation from which I cannot (and have no inclination to) flee it is the hardest thing I have ever done.

So I’m telling you that right now my life is harder than it has ever been, but that does not mean I am in the wrong place, or doing the wrong thing, or even disliking my life stage and experience. Hard does not mean wrong. It just means hard. Thanks to David, I’m okay with that now.

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In Which I Learn a Lesson In “Sweetness”

One of the standard screenings all pregnant women receive is a blood glucose screening to rule out gestational diabetes.  One hour before your appointment you drink a concoction made of sugar, orange coloring of some sort, and liquid hell.  Seriously.  When you arrive at your appointment they draw your blood and test the blood sugar levels.  They tell you it is not a fasting test and that you should just go about your day doing everything normally, except the part where you drink a death-by-sugar-and-coloring potion.

Both with the cheesedoodle and ten days ago with my snickerdoodle, I tested high and had to undergo the dreaded 3 hour test.

Here’s how the 3 hour test goes:

  1. Fast from bedtime before the test.
  2. Arrive at location hungry, thirsty, and feeling generally nauseated because I’m pregnant and haven’t eaten anything.
  3. Ushered back to the lab and blood is drawn.  The  technician then hands you a sugar-death-potion and tells you to drink it in less than five minutes.
  4. Death potion is worse on an empty stomach.
  5. One hour after drinking death potion, blood is drawn.
  6. About 1 1/2 hours after drinking death potion, I begin to feel woozy and light headed and the sudoku puzzles I’ve brought with me begin to seem incomprehensible.
  7. Two hours after drinking the potion the nurse calls me back to draw my blood another time.  She asks me if I’m okay because I look a little pale.  I feel like saying, “Well duh!  You’re forcing a pregnant woman into a diabetic coma.”  Instead I just smile and say, “I think the baby’s getting hungry.”
  8. Three hours after drinking the potion, blood is drawn one last time, and then I can eat something.  Food has never tasted so good.
  9. For the rest of the day have a vague headache from putting body through more than 12 hours of nutritional torture.

So I went through all of that on Monday, and late Tuesday afternoon got a call from the nurse to say that I have passed with flying colors.  My blood sugar numbers were textbook normal, which in a pregnant woman is actually abnormal (in a good way).  Her question: “How did you fail that first test?”

So here’s the thing.  They tell you not to fast for that first test.  What neither the doctor here, nor the doctor in Georgia told me was not to eat anything after taking the death potion drink.  I learned that this evening after looking up the numbers the nurse gave me.  I drank my potion, ate breakfast, and then went to my appointment.  You’re supposed to do that in the other order.

I am learning this too late to save me from another three hour test, but I share it with any of you who may benefit from my knowledge.  Don’t eat *after* the death potion, no matter how horrid and disgusting and nauseating it may be (and it’s all of those things to a factor of ninety-seven).  Trust me when I tell you that no breakfast is worth having to go through the three hour glucose test.