Wombs, Wounds, and Wonder

7 weeks ago I had a hysterectomy. I guess I didn’t research enough about this. I knew I needed it. I knew it would be slow post-holidays work-wise, I had no good alternatives to not having the surgery, so the decision was made hastily. Within about 3 weeks I prepped, worked, stocked up, organized, and lined up my family and business to be covered for my recovery. In that chaos I didn’t stop until the day before to think about the impact this would have. OR  how much I would HATE lying in bed for weeks.

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Week 1: The point where the remote is so close, yet so far away.

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The hubs and I celebrated our 11 year anniversary. It included me in bed. Him hanging out with me in bed watching HGTV, and me taking a nap. He did laundry.

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It wasn’t anything amazing, some could say it was the drugs, but I loved it. It was simple. Just hanging out together and not going anywhere. I am one of those crazy blessed women who has a man who serves so relentlessly and makes me feel like the most special woman on the face of the earth. Even when I am laying in bed with a heating pad and hair shorter than his.

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Week 2: The kids were a bit “scared” of me. I wasn’t my busy self and they didn’t know what to do with a mommy that hadn’t left the bedroom. Soon they figured out it was ok to gently hop crawl in bed with me and hang out. I stewed about missing out on school activities. About not being the one to pick them up from school, and make their meals. But this time revealed a wonderous insight.

I have let my serving them take place of my spending time with them. Where motherhood tends to be a constant struggle and juggling act, it seems the “must do’s” always win out. In a time in my life I felt inconvenienced and struggled with letting control go, I was given an incredible gift. I couldn’t do those things. My time with them was just that. Time. It wasn’t errands. It wasn’t homework. It wasn’t carpool. It wasn’t cleaning rooms.

I believe some our conversations were about hippos. And some were about why kids at school make fun of other kids. Some were about bad dreams, play dough, and Jesus. I learned things about my kids I didn’t know. Things I was too busy to learn.

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I got the stomach flu. Did you know that throwing up with an abdomen full of incisions is bad news? Ouch. But a sweet guy like him helps you make it through hours in an emergency room. Sickness and in Health…

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Have you ever watched a child sleep when they are toddlers? My guess is not as much. When my babies would fall asleep after nursing I would just rock and stare at them. It is like therapy. Stress melts when you watch an infant sleep.  Then comes the toddler years when you just.want.them.to.go.to.sleep. If you are lucky enough to have them drift off while reading Go Dog Go for the 8th time, you will tip toe out of there and pray that they don’t feel you get up. Watch them sleep? Heck no. You are just ready to not be asked “why?’ 8 billion times.  I couldn’t carry sleeping toddlers to bed during nap time, so I stared. It’s still therapy. It’s good stuff.

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I looked at my feet. A lot. Do you ever think about how much they carry? Where they go? I pondered this frequently during my time. I’ve never liked my feet. I’m working on changing that.

What do all these random musings conclude?

That it is ridiculous that removing my womb made me evaluate some wounds, and to slow down enough to marvel at the wonder that is my marriage and kids. God’s gifts are not always wrapped in beautiful trappings. Sometimes they are wrapped in trials, inconveniences or disappointments. But under all that rough, muted paper lies a gift so precious, so perfect, that it couldn’t have been appreciated if given in beautiful circumstances.

What ugly box is sitting before you now? Are you looking around thinking your neighbor gets all the good stuff? The pretty ones with shiny bows and metallic papers? Does your gift seem to be getting uglier by the day?

If you chose to receive it, the things you will find will reveal themselves layer by layer. I can bet that they will be far richer than the nasty paper they are wrapped in. Time to open them up.