Monday, December 5, 2011

Unexpected Blessing

Challenge #11 is up over at Scrapping Everyday Miracles.  In keeping with the theme of the gift of Christmas, this month's focus is on unexpected blessings.  This was a challenge for me at first.  I think I found it difficult because I was trying to think about some 'mountain moving experience' I had had in my life.  The subject finally came to me.  There were no moving mountains, there were, however, three gorgeous little girls.

There was a time in my life when I use to think that people who chose to have their children really close together were making a selfish choice.  I can remember watching a woman trying to climb a mountain of stairs with a babe in arms and a very little one walking behind her crying, holding her arms out saying "Mommy up, mommy up", to which the mother replied, "No honey, I can't, but you can do it, come on, you can do it."  For whatever reason, something went off in me at that sight.  I decided at that very moment that I would never put my child through that.  I decided that when I had children I was not going to be so selfish, I was going to have my children at least 2.5 years apart, if not even more  so that they could at least be somewhat self-sufficient, and I wouldn't be putting them in a position where they needed to grow up too fast.  Yup...I was that arrogant, and self-centered.  Shameful.  Fast forward about 13 years. I had an almost 3 year old and a newly weaned 6 month old.  D and I had a quick weekend getaway to Vancouver to watch our favorite football team take on the Vancouver Lions.  It was a fun little trip, one we'd never forget.  It was on that trip that I became pregnant with Eden.  I am not exaggerating when I say that I knew that that pregnancy was the beginning of something God wanted to teach me.  I knew it because it meant that I was going to have three children under the age of four, and that the youngest two were going to be only fifteen months apart.  At the time Eden was born Théa wasn't even walking.  I wasn't going to be that mother with the babe in arms, and the younger one trailing behind.  No.  No, I was the mother with a babe in a car seat carrier, a second babe in arms, and a toddler trailing behind wanting to be picked up.  Ugh.  That was hard.  It was an extremely difficult time in my life.  It changed me to be sure.  My mother, had passed away 3 years prior, my good friends had moved out of the city, one, out of the province, we had moved into a new neighbourhood where the neighbours were busy with their own lives, and I had been laid off from my job one month prior.  It was just plain difficult.  God, however, was not unaware of my circumstance.  He was using everything about it to teach me some invaluable lessons.  Lessons I don't think I could have learned, or appreciated as much otherwise.  I realized through those trying days that I was not nearly as sensitive, or compassionate a person as I thought.  I realized through the sleep deprivation, and long lonely days, that I was rather judgmental of others, their choices, and their beliefs.  And most importantly I realized that I had become the center of my life.  The Lord was a part of my life, but somehow He had become more like an accessory than a central figure.  I realized that because of my self-focus I had developed characteristics and character traits there were unpleasing to God, and to others, even though no one ever pulled me aside to say so.  God used the experience of me being so far in over my head in experience, and responsibility to teach me how to become more compassionate towards others.  It taught me the importance of seeing others as women and men made in God's image.  He taught me that I needed to humble myself, and extend the same grace toward others as I would have expected them to offer me. 

Three babies in less than four years brought with them a lot of tears, a lot of laughter, a lot of photographs, and dirty diapers, and a lot of laundry.  More importantly however they offered the opportunity for me to grow up emotionally, and spiritually.  The lessons I learned during that chapter in my life helped me to become more of the woman God is calling me to be.  Grace and humility speak more loudly  than any words ever could.  They are a universal language pointing others towards God, and His incredible gift to us.  The gift of a relationship with Him, made possible through his Son Jesus Christ, "so that the grace of God that is reaching more and more people, may cause Thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God."

Here's my layout. 
My Mind's Eye Fun Day papers, and embellies,  May Arts trim, Lilybee alphas, Crate buttons, Making Memories pins,
There was a scrap twist to the challenge also.  It was to incorporate a treasure onto our page.  My treasure is hanging from the bow.  It's the pendant from a souvenir necklace I bought while on that unforgettable trip to Vancouver in 2002.  Because the story is on the sensitive side, I wanted to keep the journaling hidden.  I created a pocket behind the photo to hold the journaling card I'll fill out with the story of my "Unexpected Blessing"
I usually hand write my journaling, mostly for speed sake, but this time I wanted to use the computer and printer to get the whole story into such a small space.  With everything going on the past two weeks, however, I just haven't gotten around to it, but you get the idea.
That's it for me today.  I hope you'll come and join me in the challenge.  Be sure to link up on SEM if you do, there's a great prize up for grabs once again this month.

Thanks for stopping by today. Pin It


Jeannine said...

Sherri, not only do I love your page but I appreciate that you took the time to share your story in your post. You have such a way with words, you really should consider writing a book, I'm not joking. I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts because I always feel like I'm sitting right across the table from you as you share your insights. For someone who struggled with what to scrap about, you certainly wouldn't know this from looking at it. You did an awesome job on your page. Thank you for sharing!

glorygirl said...

Beautiful layout to match a deeply beautiful story of God's glory. I love how He tenderly teaches us and helps us to become more like Him. Thanks for sharing your story here!

Leigh Penner said...

Fabulous story, Sheri and gorgeous layout! Thanks so much for sharing!

xoxo... t said...

What a beautiful story, Sherri,, thanks for sharing. And on a scrappy note, I love the LO and what you did with the MME papers!