Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tangible Anticipation

verb (used without object)
1. to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens (often fol. by for, till, or until): to wait for the bus to arrive.

This has been a year of waiting, dear reader. Constant waiting. I have felt my patience tested to many degrees, and yet I know (and fear) the testing is not over. It is far from over.

I have wrestled with the decision to tell you about the things I am waiting for because prudence tells me I may not be understood and perhaps even mocked. But after another amazing Sunday [full of hope, faith, strength, and purpose], I have decided the risk is worth it because I need to put a voice to my wait list. Or weight list. However you would like to see it.

What I am waiting for:
1. A calling. I have spoken of this before; I want a calling. And not a temporary one that lasts 6 weeks at the most. I have never gone this long (6 months?) without a calling before, so this is new territory for me. However, I recently communicated with another blogger who went almost 2 years without a calling. Two years!? Changes my perspective just a tad, eh? What's 6 months? And chances are, knowing how my life goes, I'll get a calling next week, just because I'm writing about it. My life is nothing if not ironic!

2. Our house. We were going to remodel our house like crazy months ago, but have postponed it indefinitely until we can prudently afford it. However, this hasn't stopped my worried forehead from wrinkling up whenever I see the peeling paint in our master bedroom, the lack of a door on the boys' bedroom, the scuffed up wood flooring, or the old and sweating windows. ~sigh~

3. School. Brandon is (hopefully, hopefully!) going back to school starting in May. I know this is something with an actual date attached to it, so the waiting is not as frustrating, but it's the "weight" of it which causes me stress. Will he get in? And if he does, will I be able to handle the schedule for the next two years?

4. A baby. There. I said it. We want another baby. I didn't want to tell people, because we've only been "trying" for 4 months, and 4 months equates no time at all when in the pursuit of a baby. Add to this the fact that I have no room for despair when compared with friends who have suffered intense second infertility --not to mention other friends who have never been able to conceive. I miscarried last month, you know. It wasn't long enough for me to get excited, but when it came --I knew it for what it was. It wasn't anything like my other miscarriage, but it still equated the same thing: Not this month.
I've known for a long time we are supposed to have 5 children. When I was pregnant with #3, the Lord made it very clear to me that I would have two more children --at the very least. Even now, however, I feel this next child will be our last. And I felt the desire and need for our fifth family member even as early as #4's eight-month mark (he's now almost 20 months). So, with some faith and the desire, we decided it was time. But it's not happening. Yet.
So, of course, the questions start. It's too early for the tears; too early for the palpable pain, but it's not too early for my questions:
What if we didn't hear the Lord correctly?
What if we aren't supposed to have any more children after all?
What if we have to wait until Brandon is done with school?
What if we have to wait because we are having twins? or a Special Needs child?
What if we have to wait because my future calling will be too hard/take up too much time?
And worst of all:
What if I'm wrong?
Wrong would equate that I know more than God. Pride, if you will. And I don't want pride; I know what pride can do to the soul, I abhor pride, and yet I know I am filled with pride at every turn.
Which reminds me of this:
We're learning about the Pride Cycle in Sunday School. Anyone who has taken Seminary or read the Book of Mormon knows what I'm talking about: Righteous people prosper. Prosperity breeds pride and wickedness. Wickedness brings about chastisement from God; trials ensue. Repentant and Humbled, righteousness prevails. And then righteous people prosper. And so on and so on.
This cycle, dear reader, is real. It happens in society, in happens in families, and it happens --as I mentioned --in the soul.
I think I'm at the chastisement point in my spiritual progression. This year. Oh, I've been through this before, dear reader! Haven't you? But I look at the trials before me (notice how my depression hasn't been mentioned in this post? Why? Because it's obviously part of my trials. And I've talked about it to death already this month, don't you think?) and I realize I have things to learn. Many, many things.
I just wish I knew what it was all about.

So, I'll continue to wait. It's not so bad when I put it into perspective, you know. My prayers of late have be riddled with gratitude, so I will focus on what I have instead of what I don't have. It makes things bearable. But every once in a while as I'm laying on our bed before drifting off to sleep, I'll see that peeling paint, rest my hand upon my abdomen, and pray I won't have to wait too much longer.

Do you ever find yourself having to wait?


Brandon said...

You have a calling, silly... You're a visiting teacher.

Cheryl said...

Not the same, honey. You know what I mean. :)

Summer said...

I go nuts without a calling too.

I'm sorry it's taking longer than you want for #5. 4 months is the most I've ever had to wait to conceive so hopefully month 5 will be it for you. :)

m_and_m said...

Waiting. Oh, yes. Oh, how I understand that. Hit a crisis with that this week, in fact. So very hard to be patient, to trust.

Cardalls said...

I would go nuts without a calling too!

Waiting on the Lord is one of the VERY many lessons I have yet to learn in this life. All of my children have come when the Lord wanted them to, not when I thought they should. I am still waiting to feel well and energetic, but that may be in I'll wait upon the Lord., it's the only way!

cornnut32 said...

i hate that. the waiting thing. especially when you know something is supposed to happen (like with your baby) and yet it seems to never come...been through that so many times! the good thing is that you know what the end result will be. when it comes all that waiting will seem like...nothing at all. :)

good luck...with everything. i'm sure the lord is midful of your struggles. i always find that is the case in my life, no matter how many times i think he has abandoned me.

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

Bravo on the bravery of sharing these thoughts. Waiting sure can suck. All I know is that you won't be punished for your righteous endeavors, even in the times that they aren't exactly what H.F. had in mind for you. Keep your chin up, and know that you are loved. :-)

Alison Wonderland said...

I hate waiting! But the biggest problem I have with it is that I tend to just sit and wait. I have a lot of trouble looking around at where I am and enjoying that. I'm waiting for Sean to finish school or for me to get a raise or for whatever and then what? My life will start? I'm not sure what I think is going to happen but if I have something I'm waiting for I find far too often that I'm just marking tome waiting rather than realizing that this is part of my life and I'd better get on with living it and enjoying it.
But that's probably just me.

flip flop mama said...

Waiting is something I have been doing for a long time...I feel ya on that one. Life sure does throw us some loops doesn't it? I hope you get a calling soon. It's important to have a responsibility and feel needed.

Julie said...

I'm glad you talked about all of this.

I'm always waiting for life to get less demanding. Then I realize that it just changes in its demandingness.

I'm also waiting for someone to ask me to write a dictionary full of my new words. I really think I have something there....

Rachel and Nathan Fisher said...

Cheryl, I love you! You have a soul that is so open to life's experiences, and you are so generous to share yourself with us.
Here's the thing- I believe that one of the greatest "tests" in this life in the uncertainty. If God sent you a letter in the mail today that said your 5th child would be born in 2012 and have curly hair, Brandon will start school next year but it will take him 7 years to finally finish, and your house will burn to the ground- it would be easier, right? Not what you wanted (at all), but you would KNOW and you could plan. It is the NOT KNOWING that is so hard. Should I have more kids? Where should we live? Should we change jobs? Should I home-school? If we knew we wouldn't have to live with faith and hope.

So, just keep pushing on, praying for guidance and patience, and opening your heart to what the Lord wants to bless you with (luckily He knows what we NEED, not just what we WANT).
... sorry for the long comment ...

Jill said...

I was just going to say the same thing as Rachel. For me, it helps to remember to have faith that Heavenly Father sees the bigger picture, and we have to trust that that bigger picture is going to be better than the plan we have for ourselves. Hugs, I hope you don't have to wait too long!

Madsens said...

waiting is such a cruel process!! I have been "waiting" to start our family for almost a year now - it is hard, but i know it will be worth it!

As for the calling - every member a don't have to be extended the actual calling to be busy in the gospel. I know it is not the same thing, but sometimes we need to be reminded that the gospel is not a gospel of is of love, friendship, fellowship, and service. Maybe pretend that you and your family have a "service" calling. Arrange a once or twice a month service outing with your kids??? Just a thought.

And...thanks again for getting Misti in for piano - Kylee already LOVES you :)

Susan M said...

Sometimes I think that's all life is---waiting.

I went a year without a calling once. Then I was asked to speak in Sacrament about service. So I opened the talk by saying I thought it was funny I was asked to talk on service since I hadn't had a calling in a year. I had one the very next week.

Just speak up about it. Tell your bishop you want a calling.

Cristy said...

I think waiting is just part of being a woman and even more, a Mother. So much of our life hinges on others, so we wait. Of course, when it comes to lord, I think we expect him to at least step up and not make us wait. Well, unfortunately he does! That is part of the lesson. Confound those dratted lessons! FINE, I'll be a better person already! ;)

Amanda D said...

I haven't been with out a calling in ages and I find myself daydreaming about what that would be like.

I hope that school goes well for Brandon, and I know exactly what you mean about the house. We are in the same situation. I would love to put new floors, bathrooms, windows,etc but it isn't gonna happen for a long time.

And as far as a baby - it's not to early to cry. You are entitled to your feelings regardless of how long your friends have waited. I'm sorry to hear you miscarried again. I hope things work out and soon!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Susan, I think life is a series of waiting room visits. Every time I've been frustrated over the waiting parts, when I finally get what I was waiting for I realize it came at the perfect time. If it had come any earlier it wouldn't have worked out as well.

I think you're wise to concentrate on the gratitude. It's good to look forward to the future, but happiness is always found in the present. And now I'm starting to sound like a fortune cookie.

Jeanette said...

I've been there with the calling thing but I think I've already told you about it before so I won't repeat myself.
As for your house-maybe a project at a time instead of doing it all at once? That is what we are doing. We save up a little for one project and then when we get that done we move onto the next one. (Who knew how expensive door knobs were?)
My hubby is starting his semester at school next week. It was stressful planning, applying and waiting to get in (or not) and now it is stressful that he is gone so much but I just try to keep focused on the light at the end of the tunnel. This time period is really just a blink of time in the long run.
A baby, we want another baby too. But I keep getting similar questions running through my mind, especially about waiting for school. I had a miscarriage between my son and my daughter and in the back of my mind is the nagging voice going on about what if it happens again?
Waiting is hard. I hate waiting. I am impatient. I hate not knowing...
Good luck. I hope everything works out, no matter how long it takes. :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention I love the new flower picture on the header. Did you take that one?

TaLaisa said...

Oh boy can I say amen to the waiting. I've been 'in waiting' (not the pregnant kind) for a few certain blessings and prayers to be answered for what seems like forever.

And every time I start to feel like I'm not being heard the answer has come loud and clear, "I know what you need and I'm working on it." In the mean time I'm learning so much, I've realized that in the waiting periods of life, I've grown the most and gained the most trust for my Heavenly Father and his plan for my life. And occasionally I've been granted an exceptional amount of 'keep me busy work' to help pass the time.

I was released from YW's 3 years ago, I was so sad. I discovered I was pregnant the day of our last Girl's Camp visit. And I knew it was time for something different.

I didn't get a calling until 4 months ago. That is such a long period to go without a calling (for me) but it was necessary and helpful and I had lots of opportunities to serve. I was given Nursery and Cub Scouts all in the same Sunday, Yikes!

Amber said...

Ahhh, life is about waiting. And we are trying, too. Wouldn't it be incredibly bonding for both of us to be sick and pregnant together? :-)

Courtney N said...

I feel like that's all i do, wait and wait... I am currently waiting to see what I am supposed to do with my life. I have no direction. I just keep praying and praying and read my scriptures and reading my scriptures. And then I wait for an answer. The answer hasn't come yet and Im starting to think it never will... I guess thats life sometime.

I miss you! When am I going to see you again?

Richelle said...

Since it took us 1 whole month to get pregnant with our first, it was especially hard waiting a year to get pregnant with our second. It is definitely hard to wait! Get a blessing if you are really feeling down. That really helped me.

FluffyChicky said...

I hate waiting. I get all whiny and pouty when I have to wait and I proceed to drive everyone around me crazy wondering when the waiting is going to be over with. But I have found that when I do that, I have to wait even longer than necessary. Sigh.
I am sorry that you are having to wait for so many things though. I'll do some extra pouting on your behalf, OK? :)

Alisa said...

I'm sorry, you don't know me, but I stumbled upon your blog and was touched by your post. I have found myself in the "process" of waiting often in my life. My husband and I waited seven years for our first, and so far, only darling little one. I have always had the distinct impression, I would even say Divine inspiration, that I would have more...Anyway, she came to us after four years of waiting for him to overcome cancer. It seems sometimes that nothing truly worthwile comes without much work, faith, tears, and sometimes even anguish. She is a joy to us daily. And, I'm still WAITING for the rest of Heavenly Father's plan for me to unfold...Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Cheryl said...

I'm glad 4 months was the longest you've ever gone! That truly is a blessing.

Another crisis? Dude, that's not fair. You deserve at least a year of no crisisissis. (How do you spell crisis in plural form?)

It is the only way. Yes, it is! You are right --the whole "wait patiently for Him" comes to mind...

"when it comes all that waiting will seem like...nothing at all."
Yes! I agree. It always does seem like nothing at all. It's REMEMBERING this that's the problem.

Chin is up and I love you, too. :)

It's not just you. I promise! ;)

Flip Flop-
You are the epitomy of patience, girl. And I love you, you know.

I'll help you with your dictionary. And then I would buy it. Ha!

You never have to apologize for long comments! And yes, I know what you mean; it's always what we need and not what we want, and I should be clear that as much as I hate the waiting, I do trust in the Lord and love what He has made of my life. It's just hard. Like you said. Not knowing is hard!

I hope I don't have to wait too long, either! Thank you. :)

It is cruel, isn't it, this waiting gig?
I love your ideas of service! Service and being a missionary. Awesome! I'll think about this some more.

Susan M-
I've told the Bishop several times about it, actually. They did say they're "discussing it", so I know it should happen sometime...I'm not one to stay quiet about it. But your story is hilarious. That's the way to get a calling! :)

Ha! Yes! :) I forget that being a mother equates waiting and patience; or at least trying to wait and be patient.

Thank you. Maybe I have cried a little; but not the ugly cry, yet. And thanks for the well-wishes with Brandon's school and what-not. :)

I like that a lot: It will come at the perfect time.
And you are my favorite fortune cookie. Favorite. :)
OH! And YES! I did take that picture. It's of some sunflowers Brandon got me a few weeks ago. I was having fun with the camera. Thank you!

We've thought about doing one project at a time, but the big things are the ones that have to be done first (windows, for one). But it's a great idea and I should re-think it.
I'm glad I'm not the only one that will be experiencing more school at this "later time" in life! I wish you the best of luck while your hubby is in school.

Wow! That is a long time without a calling. And I agree --I'm learning more and trusting more even when I'm frustrated more. Odd, isn't it?
Good luck with nursery AND cub scouts!

Okay, that's it. We totally have to be pregnant at the same time now. I won't be satisfied unless it happens. Should we plan this? Hmmm? *snort

I miss you, too! Come see us! Email me...
And I only have one thing to say, Court: "Faith without works is dead." and "God cannot steer a parked car." Okay, that's two things. And I love you. That's three. :)

A blessing is a great idea. Brandon gave me one when he gave the kids ones for school, but another one certainly would do nothing but help. Thank you!

You'll do extra pouting for me?! Dang, girl, I'm getting all sniffy now. *sniff. Thanks! :)

Welcome, welcome! I'm glad you found me and I hope you find me again.
Wow. I'm humbled by your story: Seven years for a child? Cancer? Wow. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I really appreciate it a lot.

I LOVE YOU GUYS! (doh! Did I say that out loud?)

Anne Marie said...

Cheryl, I don't know you but found your blog a few weeks ago. I LOVE your blog. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to talk openly about the realities of life. Thank you! I am so sorry to hear that you had a miscarriage. It is so hard to understand what the Lord has in store for us and when it will come to pass. I love that scripture in Proverbs about trusting in the Lord with all our hearts. It is so hard to let go and put our lives in the Lord's hands. Hoping the best for you and your family.

Cheryl said...

anne marie-
Thank you! For the compliments, the hope, and for de-lurking. :)

Tigersue said...

I understand the wait for a Calling. I have gone years at a time without a calling and it can be so hard. I find I am a happier person when I have a calling I can do and share. (like you I don't go by the visiting teaching is a calling line, it is part of my baptismal covenant. There is something about a calling where hands are placed on your head and you are set apart to do something asked of you.)

Leslie said...

Sorry I've been MIA lately...but I just had to comment on this post because...I hate waiting too. makes me question myself and feel totally lame.

I know what you are saying about trying for another baby. Even though there are other women who have had a harder's never too early to be disappointed, to feel sad and to be bummed out. I know all too well the feelings of how the heart sinks every month with the first spot of blood.

Hang in there Cheryl...The Lord is teaching us patience for a reason. You are awesome.