Laughing, Weeping, Living

Life happens. You laugh about it or cry about it, sometimes both.

God Things

Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s a God thing,” or, “It must have been a God thing.” I haven’t heard it too often, but I’m pretty sure the expression is meant to describe a coincidence or apparent accident that obviously had spiritual influence. Like, maybe you are a young lady thinking that you might want to become a nun, but you don’t know where to start looking. Then the next day, you meet a nun through a mutual friend. That’s a God thing.

I think “God things” happen all the time, but we sometimes are too busy or blinded by our petty needs to notice. Or, maybe we don’t recognize a spiritually influenced event in our lives as positive.

I was remembering that post I wrote almost exactly one year ago about how much of an awful year we had from 2012 to 2013, and I was thinking that our life right now looks a lot like it did then. I admit, I have been feeling a little sorry for myself. It is true that no one is trying to kill us because we are Christian, we are not being forced to leave our home secretly in the middle of the night, and our neighborhood streets are not a battle ground. But, we did have a major car repair, AND a bill from the funeral home that we may not be able to pay until I sell my guitar and some jewelry, AND a refrigerator that seems to be thinking about kicking the bucket. We did lose our infant six months ago, AND we just had a miscarriage AND I have a mole that resembles, in appearance and description, a malignant melanoma, AND the dermatologists who accept my insurance are scheduling new patients into January. That all seems like a lot to bear, but at least no one is trying to kill us, right? Look on the bright side, Judy.

Maybe these hardships are “God things.”…

But on a more positive note, I’ll tell you a story that is definitely a God thing. We have an extra bedroom which we have been hoping to furnish as a guest room since we moved in, but a guest bed seems to always be at the bottom of the list these days. Then on Sunday at church, our priest announced a need for some families to host Ukrainian war victims who are coming to area for medical treatment. They will have surgeries or doctors appointments, and they will need somewhere to stay while they are receiving treatment and recovering. Jeremy and I offered to host someone. We don’t know for sure if we will have a guest, but if our hospitality is needed, the notice will be brief. When we came home from church I started looking at Craigslist for a bed to buy. On Sunday evening, Jeremy and went for a walk and the house five doors down had put a wooden bedstead on the curb with their trash cans. It looked totally usable, if a little scratched and dusty, so we took it! We couldn’t tell if it was full size or queen size just by looking, so when we set it up on Monday we measured it: queen size. Well, that’s a bit more expensive to buy a mattress…but then I remembered! The last time I had visited my neighbor I had noticed they had a queen size mattress and box spring propped against the wall because they recently bought a new bed. I sent a message, “can I buy your old mattress?” They said, if we can move the mattress out of their house, we can have it for free! And not only that, they needed that mattress out of the house by this morning (Tuesday) to make way for some home renovations.

So now we have a bed in our guest room that just needs a few slats to finish assembly, and we can host a Ukrainian refugee. That is totally a God thing.

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Baby Alice

Next week we were going to happily announce that a new baby Schwager is on the way. Instead, today I announce with sadness that our new baby Schwager has miscarried. We have named her Alice. She was very, very little when she died, so we decided to endow her with a female name since her actual gender was unknown. Alice is a family name on my father’s side, and I have always thought it was a very pretty name. Perfect for our new little baby saint.

We are very sad to lose yet another child; just to recap our baby survival rate right now is 25 percent. I don’t really want to be that family who is such an example, bearing trials with such grace. I don’t want to need all this grace we get from having three little baby saints in heaven praying for our particular needs and intentions. Why do we have to be purified so thoroughly here on earth? I would be happy to do it in purgatory if it meant I could keep my babies.

Since I have now had two miscarriages, my doctors and I will do some investigation to see if there is something medical that is causing me to lose pregnancies. On the one hand, I hope there is a medical reason, because it might be treatable and then I can have a successful pregnancy with a healthy baby. On the other hand, a medical reason for repeated miscarriages can potentially be serious. I don’t really want to come away from this investigation with a newly diagnosed disease.

So while we continue grieving our children, and investigating medical possibilities, we rely on their prayers.

Baby Joseph Mary, pray for us. Baby Agnes, pray for us. Baby Alice, pray for us.

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