Sunday, May 5, 2019

I'm Not The Mom I Was Ten Weeks Ago

“I feel like I could throw up.”

That’s the title I found as I scrolled through the notes on my phone. Curious, I tapped on it and read. 

       “We’re at 9 weeks. And about 4 days into a sleep regression and 2 days into sleepless nights. I can’t do this. I can’t be a mom.”

According to the American Psychological Association, one in seven women experience postpartum depression. And now, you’re reading the blog of that "one".  And it felt like one.

“I can’t be alone. I can’t even put my kid to bed without waking her up. When she cries, my stomach lurches. I can’t do this.”

My postpartum depression made me feel like I was the only one struggling. The only mom who felt this way. The only one.

“I ask, and I ask, and I ask God to help. To help her sleep. To help me sleep. And it doesn’t come.”

It didn’t matter if Will was by my side. It didn’t matter if I knew my mom was almost to my house. It didn’t matter if I read that God was always faithful. I had never felt so alone. 

        “I’m alone. I feel so alone. I’m just so goddamn tired.”

I don’t cuss in my blog, I barely swear out loud, but I didn’t want to edit anything out. Because this was real. This was the mom I was just ten weeks ago. I was sitting on the bathroom floor listening to Zara cry through a closed door wondering if life would ever be enjoyable again. I had happy moments, but moments are moments. And moments don’t last. My depression and anxiety were eating me from the inside out, a parasite I couldn’t shake. Just when I would think I was doing better something new would set me back. 

And then I got help. I was already receiving counseling, but it wasn’t enough. I needed medication and that was hard to stomach. But now, two months later, I feel like me again, and a new me because now I’m a mom. I was a mom before, but just the shell of one. Now I don’t cry on the bathroom floor (or the kitchen, or living room floor). Instead, I fall asleep on the landing and laugh about it later. 

I’m not the mom I was ten weeks ago. I’m not the Molly I was ten weeks ago. She was smothered in sadness and uncertainty. Now I’m smothered in baby drool and breast-milk and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Zara means, "princess; to blossom"

How did you pick the name Zara?” That’s a hard question, because I’m not sure if I really did. It was like Jesus whispered it into my ear. When we found out that we were having a girl that I could have sworn was a boy, the name Zara came to mind. I had never met a Zara, had never shopped at Zara, or really heard it very much, but I was fixated on it. 

We found out baby was a girl in July and I was very confident in her name which wouldn’t need to be decided until the end of December. But how could I be so sure about such a big decision? Then a list started and grew to 17 names over the months. 17 went to 7 and then 3 and then 2. We were driving to the hospital with 2 names in mind, not sure which one would win out. Then, I was sitting in the hospital bed ready to push and still not sure what to name our baby. And last, I was laying on the surgery table not knowing what to call this little girl. 

I was told that when I saw her, I would know, and I would always raise my eyebrows and nod. I had heard of others that were in similar situations and named their baby right before being discharged. I assumed that we would be in the same boat.

But, when they held my daughter over the curtain, my first thought was, “that’s a Zara”. I knew, I knew Zara was her name. It had been Zara all along. And we joked that only a princess would demand a c section. 

Zara is wild. She is funny, and sweet, and sassy. She is expressive and observant. Zara like to be cuddled when she wants to be cuddled. She likes to be noisy and enjoys when we’re noisy along with her. Zara likes to meet new people, flashing her gummy smile, bringing her chubby cheeks closer to her hazel eyes. She coos like a morning dove and shrieks like a pterodactyl. She is Zara. And she has been Zara all along.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Finding Love at Summer Camp

If you know me, you know I’m summer camp obsessed. Today, I was laying on the floor in my living room, listening to the song “Only One” by Harvest Bashta (or just Harvest on some sites). And I realized why I’m so camp obsessed when these lyrics came up:

 “So, come back, come back
I'll take you to the start
Come back, come back
I'll take you to your first love”.

I fell in love with Jesus at camp. That’s where it all started.

At camp. At Camp Aldersgate in Carrollton, Ohio. In the woods and on the dock stretching over Leesville Lake. That’s where I met my first love. He came and swept me up with a love I don’t know how to put into words.

Just like my relationship with Will, I remember little moments when I started to fall in love. I remember the first time I saw him. I remember the first time we held hands and how my chest was about to burst when he told me he would like to date.  Just the same, I remember when I felt God’s love, when Jesus came and placed his hands on either side of my face just to look at me. I couldn’t take my eyes off him.

I’ve never felt that same feeling of falling in love. Just like I’ve never felt those exact moments when I started to fall in love with my husband. And that’s okay, because love grows deeper. But I can’t ignore where it all happened. At camp. It’s one of the reasons why I love it so much, why I can’t get enough. Even if it’s not Aldersgate, I can’t get enough camp in my life. Because I found my first love there, and he found me.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

I See You, "Molly McCully"

To the “Molly McCully” in class. I see you. I know it’s hard. I know the numbers don’t make sense and others don’t seem to understand why you haven’t caught on. I know the steps don’t add up, but your fingers do, even though you don’t want people to see that you still count with them. I know the times tables are hard to memorize, and division takes forever.

I know how uncool it feels to raise your hand again and again, asking the same question you asked the day before. I know the feeling of wandering eyes, hoping your neighbor knows what they’re doing. I know the pressure to feel smart like your friends, hoping they don’t notice your low-test grade. I know what it’s like to take those tests home, feeling the uneasiness as it sets in your bookbag.  I know school isn’t always much fun. It’s hard. Sometimes, it makes you feel like your falling hard in the dirt, over and over again.

But, you know what? You’ve got the strength to get back up. Know how I know? Because I hit the ground hard many times, and I got back up. Thankfully for me, I had friends and teachers that helped dust me off after I was on my feet. And you do too. And you have me, because I know a little bit about what it’s like to be you.

So, take heart, “Molly McCully”, it gets better. I know you want it to get easier, but that’s not a promise I can make you. What I can tell you is that you’ll make it. And, hey, maybe someday you’ll sit across from a younger you, pencil in hand, math book open, hoping they understand that it can get better.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

It Was All A Lie.

This morning I uprooted a ridiculous lie- my life should be good.

Now, let me back that “nope” by saying that my life is so good, much better than I could have orchestrated on my own. Sometimes Will and I look around our apartment and wonder how we acquired all that we own. Whenever we came to the realization that we needed something else, an affordable option would wiggle its way in front of us. Super blessed, and very grateful for the way God used our friends and connections to help us fill, and find our first home. And that’s just our home and possessions. We both have jobs, loving families and our wants, not just needs.

Okay, enough about what we do have, because that’s not what I started this post about. I started by talking about a lie, a dirty, conniving lie that told me, “Psst... Molly. Your life. It should be better than this! Your missing out on something. God must be withholding it from you, because girl, you don’t got it.” Now, I’m very well aware who told me this lie. And I’ve had a little education on how to detect when I’m believing his lies.

If you look at what’s in quotations, you’ll find the word “something”.  All I knew was that I was missing out on something. Something, oh gosh I can feel it in my chest when I type now. Something is missing… but what? Nothing. Nothing is missing, but this lie made me accuse God that he was holding something back, something I needed, something to make my life… easier. Not better, easier. Easier so my life could feel good. And then this feeling of entitlement creeps up, and I’m laying in bed, with bitter tears rolling down my face, wondering why God isn’t loving and blessing me like I deserve.

Are you annoyed with me yet? I sure am. This non-specific lie I was being fed caused my heart to hurt and point the blame to the man on the cross. It’s his fault, he’s supposed to make my life better once I choose him! I’m supposed to be blessed, protected, loved! But that’s not what I signed up for. I asked for an anchor for my soul. An anchor that keeps me still through the storm, through the storm, not an easy pass out of it.

My life is so good, because I asked Jesus to lead it. And I don’t always like where he leads, but then he reminds me of a specific prayer I prayed, “Jesus, I’ll go anywhere you want to send me.” And right now, he wants me here. In a small school, in a small town, going to a small college to teach small children. But these small things I’m experiencing now are gearing me up for something big. This is a different something than the one I was believing before. This something makes tears come to my eyes, and dreams flash through my mind. This something has hope. And hope is the anchor to my soul.

Friday, October 21, 2016

From Pages to Nepal

You know what books do? They inspire. They introduce you to friends, enemies and role models. They hold your hand and guide you through the Chamber of Secrets and allow you to walk through the wardrobe endlessly. Books open worlds, minds and hearts to unknown passions. And the people that love books never keep the good ones to themselves.

In 10th grade my favorite trick was slouching in my seat and propping the text book between my stomach and the desk. But sandwiched in between myself and my education was often a book. I'm sure my teachers noticed, because what teenager looks that engrossed in a text book?

Whether they noticed  or not, I only remember one teacher recommending me books. She didn't just recommend good books, she suggested ones that she thought I would enjoy. And, as every excellent teacher does, she went above and beyond by recommending books that jived with existing passions I had.

But no book could compare to SOLD by Patricia McCormick. Suddenly I was sitting beside a Nepali girl in a dirty, Indian brothel, fighting for her freedom. I reread her story. Her hike through Nepal into India. Her days of being broken into the sex workers world. Her longing for hope when none was visible. Suddenly I had an unlikely friend that I had to set free. I had to meet her. I had to walk the roads in Nepal, a country I could barely locate on a map.

So I went. In 2015 I carried my own copy of SOLD into the very country that birthed the main character. I put the book in my purse and waited for the right moment. I wanted to take a picture holding the book with some Nepali girls. When my moment happened it was even more beautiful than I had planned.
These girls surrounding me are from a people group that was enslaved until just 10 years ago. Some of them were born into captivity, but because of those willing to fight, they no longer have to live enslaved. They are free. And I got to meet them. And hold hands with them and dance with them.
They're real, not held to the pages of a book. But without a book, I would have never met them. And without a great teacher I would never know what a giant impact a good book can make.

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Closer Look At Our Not Very DIY Wedding

Here are some pictures from our very not DIY wedding. Enjoy!

Warrenwood Manor, Danville, KY, Venue
Gourmet Goodies , catering
Sweets By Cindy , cake and cupcakes
Molly's Flowers and Things, bouquets and boutonnieres
Morie Lee, dress designer
Henri's Cloud 9, Minerva OH, dress and belt 
Angela Karla Bridal,  custom veil and all alterations
Men's Wearhouse, groomsmen's outfits

Kara Smith and Betty Miller were our coordinators
Kelly Taylor did my hair and Taylor Morris did hair and makeup for bridesmaids
Meredith Glover MC'd our reception and Elle Smith was our DJ
Kaylee Morin was my bridal assistant 
Anna, Elijah, Kristen, Will, Anna C, Ian, Kara, Betty, Ed, Mom and Dad helped with set up
Libby Thorngate was our ceremony pianist and Mike Harper ran sound
Pastor Jeff was our officiant and marriage counselor
Ben Fitzwater and Elijah Gates were our ushers and Courtney Raymond was our greeter
Our niece was our flower girl and my second cousin was our ring bearer
Tons of friends and family helped clean up