Cup Half Full: Keeping It Real

Monday, May 7, 2012

Please forgive me for the lack of posts lately. In between painting, unpacking, enjoying our new (pretty darn awesome, I must add!) neighborhood, adjusting to hubby's work schedule, trying to move/unpack while 7 month preggo, blah blah blah-- I've been just a tad burnt out and and yet energized all at the same time. That really doesn't make sense, but whatever... you get my drift... A part of me has nothing to say, and yet so much to say. Perhaps I have writer's block? Perhaps I'm just tired? I don't know. I find that being pregnant has somehow fueled my creative juices to paint, craft, create and write-- but when it comes to actually doing it, that's where I find myself completely unenergized and at a loss for words.

Pregnancy has already taught me so much about life, about human mankind (thank you to the kind ladies at Starbucks that always gawk over my belly and tell me how little I am when I'm feeling the size of a whale) and about life in general. I've learned so much I could probably write a whole book on the topic by now. I was recently asked to do a little interview for another blog last week and one of the questions that was asked of me was

"What is one thing that has surprised you about pregnancy?"

My first response and thought was immediately heartburn! Holy cow, heartburn? Why did no one really tell me about this. Well, actually my friend Heidi did, thank you Heidi. But I really didn't hear much about it and I guess I figured it wouldn't happen to me... surprise. It comes on like a tidal wave, sweeps over me, and doesn't leave until I've engorged myself in a generous helping of peppermint Tums. Rumor has it that heartburn = a baby with a lot of hair and that's fine by me (if it's even true) because this little lady has quite the adorable stash already of hair clips, bows and headbands thanks to friends like Ruthie, Casey and Illene, just to name a few.

If I was completely honest with the before mentioned question, another thing I should probably add to the list is that I had no idea I would be so hot-tempered during pregnancy. We all know that pregnancy brings on hormones, and since I'm carrying a girl, I'm sure I'm given an extra helping of those since I get hers too?! ;)

Just keeping it real here... I recently read THIS post about transparency that struck a chord with me and I always want to be real here on this blog.

One of the things that has been really hard lately is truly being genuinely happy for those that are difficult to love/I feel like don't deserve it.

Like I said, just keeping it real here.

Over the years, Joshua and I dealt with so much crap. He lost his job, we moved in with my in-laws, we dealt with a job hiring process that took over 2 years, and a butt-load of stuff in between. During those times, we watched friends succeed in life and it was hard for us. Friends bought houses, friends had babies and friends got promotions and seemed to be having it all. We had nothing. But you know what? We tried to be happy for them and God really, supernaturally, I swear-- gave us so much grace and fueled us with happiness for them. Even though it was hard for us. We knew, in the back burners of our minds, that we would get there one day, too. Joshua would always tell me, "Heather, one day I'm going to buy you a house, I want you to be a stay-at-home mom, we're going to get a puppy, and you're going to get a new car."

It was hard to believe, but it's happened.
God has been so good, and so faithful.

But since it's now our turn, it often times stings that sometimes we can barely get a congrats or a hello or a "we're so happy for you" from some people. You, only naturally, have expectations that those people would care, right? It stings that old friends follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and can't even say congrats about our baby or when we found out she was a girl, or heck, even "like" a comment or picture. It doesn't take a lot. I know they're using social media-- they're just infamous "lurkers."

It's hard for me to be happy for people who are now pregnant and who couldn't be happy for me. Who I know, unfortunately, were seething with jealously and bitterness when I found out I was pregnant. It takes every ounce of energy in me to be a good friend and rise about how I "feel." It's the right thing to do, and I do it, but it's hard to congratulate them or wish them happiness when they couldn't do it for me (or did it to my face and yet I know first hand that they were talking bitterly about me behind my back).

I'm sorry for the dump here, but these are just thoughts running through my mind. I go back and forth between sharing too much and sharing too little, but the bottom line is that this is my blog and it's a journal of sorts. I'm just super duper blessed with people that actually care to read about my thoughts and feelings and I'm so thankful for that.

The point in writing this all,

is that I just want to say that my life really isn't about me and about how I feel about anything.

If I chose to sit around and focus on what people are or are not doing I would go crazy.
I wanted to share about what God's been doing in my life and yet how He's trying to shape, mold, and grow me.
This is because the last 4 Sunday's at church have been all about thriving and it's hit me hard.
It's taught me to find beauty in these, yes, even annoying life incidences. 

At church, we've been going through a series called "Thrive" and it's been absolutely amazing! One of the questions directed at us yesterday was, "Are you helping others to thrive or merely to survive?" I thought a lot about it and I don't want to be help back by anger or bitterness and not help others thrive because I feel like they haven't been there for me when I thought they should. I need to rise about myself and do it because

loving others is what Jesus has called me to do, whether I feel like it or not, or whether I feel they are deserving of it

Matthew 22:37-40
Love God, love people.

Romans 12:9-21
"Be happy with those who are happy."
Never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God.

How do we help others thrive?
Speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15)
Put others first (Phil 2:3-4)
Look for the best in others (Luke 7:39, Luke 7:47)
Empty YOUR cup (1 Tim 1:1-2)

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts and feelings with you all today.
Praying that God continues to fill me with grace and love for others.
Do you find this hard to do, too?
I'd love to hear your thoughts!  xo

Some pictures from our weekend, where I found beauty...

hartley's first visit to his new neighbhorhood dog park
27 weeks on a morning walk
hartley in the morning sunshine on a trail behind our house
a super sweet gift from my favorite austin, texas, friend-- ruthie hart
cinco de mayo celebration on our porch + lemonade in margarita glasses
a fun night out with girlfriends at manuel's
super moon
more mexican food after church yesterday
a gorgeous maple desk i found at a thrift store for $30!-- perfect for my blogging room/office...
(suggestions for paint color were mint green, white, yellow or coral!)
starting to prep baby girl's nursery now that she has a closet :)


Cup Half Full LinkUp Party

The goal of this link up party is to have a place where women can come each week and simply link back to posts where they find beauty in their life.

This is not a subject-specific link up party, but simply an overall theme of contented, thankful way of living. I don't really care what you want to link up, as long as it promotes a general positive, thankful, my-cup-is-half-full vibe.
  • Link up to your specific blog post, not to your blog's main page.
  • Make this an interactive link up party by trying to visit a few other blogs while you're here and stop and show them some love-- because everyone loves comments! :)  
  • Grab a button or link back to this post so that your blog readers can come and join in on the fun, too! 
  • Thank you for stopping by!
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Leave a Comment

Ashley said...

Loved this post! It is so inspiring to love people and to rejoice with them in their success or in their happiness. I also just have to saw that those little pink shoes are beyond adorable!


Susan said...

I have been struggling with some of the same feelings myself Heather. It is very hard to love others when they do not treat you well. What I have learned is that you have to pray for them every day. My mom always says that if you pray for someone every day you can't help but love them. :) I have also learned that having a relationship with some people just isn't healthy for me and while I still might love them I can't be as close as we once were because I just wind up hurt. You and Joshua have a beautiful life together and some people will be jealous of that or some people may not understand choices you make because of your faith. Stay true to who God wants you to be and truly enjoy where he has placed you in life right now! God will make it all ok!! :)

Ruthie Hart said...

First of all...I am deathly afraid of the heartburn associated with pregnancy. I get it SO bad now that I have no idea how I will handle it pregnant. I recently found that drinking a coke zero helped (maybe it was the placebo effect haha) but I will try ANYTHING. It's to the point where I cry and have to leave work!! Boo

And I can totally appreciate your honesty on the topic of being happy for others who aren't happy for you. I find myself in the same situation with friends...they never commented on my wedding pictures, my blog, FB posts, etc so why should I do the same for theirs? It is HARD because I am genuinely a happy person and I feel like I was put on this earth to build up others and be a friend to all but sometimes all I can think about is "justice" and being "fair". I even feel like that with family sometimes. My family doesn't understand the blogging thing...they love and read my blog but never comment or even tell me "good job" so it makes it hard for me to reciprocate sometimes. I really want to pray on Romans 12:9-21. I mean who am I to judge? thank you for this today and sorry for the LONG comment! xoxoxo

Nicole {Home for Hire} said...

I can definitely relate to this post, Heather! We are in a limbo stage--renting, my hubby is a student, living without a big paycheck, and seemingly just waiting for the "next" thing. Sometimes I get jealous of others who have what I want. For me, it's hard to balance feeling happy for them and feeling frustrated that I don't have those things. Thankfully, God is gracious. So, so gracious! He replaces envy with love. Bitterness with sweetness :) It's so good to read about the lovely changes happening in your life--it helps me see past rental houses and baby blues :) Thanks for the encouraging post!

Sharita Knobloch said...

Hi Heather! So thrilled I found your blog and link up. Our writing styles are rather similar-- real and festive. (Plus you say "crap" in a Christian blog. Me too. Love it.)

I don't even KNOW you in "real life" but I am genuinely happy for you! My beloved and I had a miscarriage a couple of months ago (and don't have any babies of our own yet-- cept our pup) and I just thoroughly REJOICE that God enables me to be thuh-rilled for folks around me preparing to bring a new little one in the world. No bitterness. No resentment. No jealously. (This is strictly from God-- because I am sure my sinful flesh side would decided differently.) It makes my heart swell with joy for you. :-)

Thanks for thriving with Jesus and sharing your heart. I will be praying for you today-- just because I can. Virtual hugs to you, new friend.

Barbara Mantell said...

Love you and Love you and Love you!!!!! Great comments above - All so good and pertinent- You have so many people who love you Heather:) Can't wait to see you in a few days:) xoxoxo Mom.

HeidiLynn said...

Love you girl! I am realizing the people that can't be there or be happy for you are not the ones that matter. Unfortunately those are the people we sometimes can't get away from. You have a lot of love in your life. Thank you for being such a great friend and inspiration to me!! Love ya (and your sweet little girl)!!

Laura said...

I love your honesty, because it makes me feel less alone... because people are afraid to say what they are really feeling thus making me feel like the thoughts I have going around in my head are only me and me alone who think like that haha, but your blog makes me realize I am not alone in thinking that way... thank you! I hope that your friends "friends" better put will be praying for the same things that you are, or working on the same areas and will come forward and be a better friend for you. I think it is ok that you feel the way you do about them, it is only human to want praise and congratulations and happiness for your happiness and successes, and wish that the people you cared about cared for you in the same way... Love your blog, it is my favorite and love every post you make

Annie said...

This is so true, Heather. I've been learning a similar lesson this past year - letting the past be the past, laying my wants and desires and jealousies down and trusting Him for my story and mine alone.

I was told a few years ago that the call to make disciples is true for all Christians, wherever they are, and that discipling is pushing everyone you meet, Christian or not, a little bit more toward Jesus. When I start to feel overwhelmed by trying to be His hands and feet, I just remember that. It's not easy, though!

Chelsea said...

thank you for opening up and sharing your heart, Heather! It can be so hard to love people, especially those who make it difficult to do so. But just like Matthew 5:47 says- "if you are only kind to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?" This post was so encouraging to remember that God has called us to love Him and love others.

Mandy said...

A) Those are adorable hair bows! Baby girls are the best :-)

B) I am beyond jealous that this is your 27 week baby bump. Mine was more like a baby mountain at that point.

C) I really needed to read this post this afternoon. We have been having some tough times lately, and I'm really struggling with the anger/bitterness issue. And you're right; we can't just sit here and seethe in anger. People choose their actions and we can't control that, but we can control ours.

I'm linking up again.

Have a wonderful day.

mamadeano said...

Lovely to read such an honest blog post.
I can relate to some of this.
Enjoy your new house, baby and happiness !

Michelle said...

I love love love when people write with such transparity and vulnerability. Thank you! I know it's hard to share struggles, but honestly it's just so good to know we're not alone. I've struggled with similar situations with people, and I know exactly how you feel! But you have bloggers everywhere SO excited for you. Now I have crazy baby fever. And house buying fever :)

Laura Elaine said...

Great pictures! It all looks like great fun!

Jamie said...

Love the desk! Can't wait to see it's final color! :) We're getting ready for a baby girl, too! Due August 1st.

5ohWifey said...

Love this post friend. Get has on your heart off of it do you can focus on what you need to now- the lord and your family. Love you like crazy!

Erin said...

So understand this ;) It can be hard but you've got the right heart about it : love them regardless. And I totally understand the "hot-temper"!! Pregnany does weird things to us. And I definitely agree that having a girl makes a difference :) being pregnant with my son this time, I wasn't so hormonal, lol

Sooooo happy for you, friend, and this wonderful season of blessing the Lord is showering you with. He is soooo good!!!! ;) xoxoxo

Jessi said...

I had a nice long comment typed up a couple days ago for this and then there was an error! So I'm trying again :)

I can totally relate to just about everything you wrote in this post. Sometimes I feel like, after 8 years, we're STILL waiting for something better. But at the same time, I hate thinking like that! I constantly have to remind myself that we need to enjoy what the Lord has blessed us with right now. Whatever happens in the future, whether its what I hope for or not, doesn't really matter because what matters is today and THE day.

What's funny is that I always thought I wanted a nice house in a nice neighborhood. After all, we've watched friend after friend realize that "American" dream. But God has changed my heart, ALOT. All of a sudden I'm not concerned about having a track home, driving a mini van, having the perfect family. I'm concerned about having a family and caring, really really well, for that family. Even if we live in a teeny tiny duplex in the middle of some random place (Texas) that it seems like we just kind of ended up. It seems that I'm learning (again) to just trust where He has placed us. I know He has a plan in it all and He will inevitably fulfill the desires of my heart, even if He has to change them first :)

And I couldn't be happier for you guys!! I've always taken very seriously the scriptures when they says "rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep". God knows we've been in both situations and there's nothing better than having someone love you through either season.

Sharisse Lopez said...

Don't buy into the heartburn = hair thing. I had mad heartburn and I swore I'd be giving birth to Rapunzel. In reality, my baby was bald until two. She got her first haircut after turning 4. Just saying... I would up giving my newborn bows and things to charity.

Janna Bogert said...

I can't even have kids and I am SUPER happy for you! (Don't worry about me, it's probably just temporary) I am getting caught up on your blog right now, and I really am ecstatic to see that you are pregnant. I do know what you mean about people not supporting you, the way that you have and would support them, however, I have learned to ignore the short comings of others. Instead of letting it upset me- I pity them. I am THANKFUL that I have what I have and am capable of forgiving others when they don't deserve it. I won't waste MY energy on their negativity, which sounds selfish, but sometimes people are actually so surprised when they don't get a rise out of me, that it changes them...That's when it's the most rewarding <3 Keep your head up!

Bri said...

"loving others is what Jesus has called me to do, whether I feel like it or not, or whether I feel they are deserving of it."---> SO true. Thanks for posting your beautiful encouragement. God is so good. SO needed to hear that!