Sunday, May 29

Why I hate Sundays

Before you start reading, I need to put a disclaimer out there.

*There are all of my feelings and thoughts and do not reflect my church, my friends, or my family. No one "made me feel this way", I just simply do. No one made me mad or did anything wrong, this is just how I feel.

For the past couple months, I have begun to really hate Sundays. Sundays put me on an emotional and spiritual roller coaster that comes crashing to a big, nasty halt. The kind that makes your back and neck feel weird and sore. The kind that takes your breath away and you end up sitting on a bench drinking a slurpee to regain composure before you decide to attempt the next one.

Satan doesn't like Sundays either. It's his favorite day to drive right over me.

Sundays involve going to church. At church I see all the people that supported and cheered me on during my pregnancy. The people that screamed and shrieked in excitement that Aiden was coming. The place that threw me a wonderful baby shower. The place I sang sweet songs to my baby in my belly as I swayed to the music. The place I felt God's presence in the context of community.

Now I go to church feeling like all eyes are on me. Feeling like everyone either feels sorry for me, confused for me, or just plain doesn't know how to think or feel. I either get ignored or get the polite "how are you" but you can tell in their eyes that they are scared to hear the answer. NOT THAT I BLAME THEM! I wouldn't know what to say either!

Because of the fact of the matter is... There are no right words.

I have cried every Sunday at church since Aiden passed away. The Lord overwhelms me with His grace, His strength, His conviction, and His truth.

On Sundays my mind slows down long enough to realize how incredibly crushed I am. So of course... I have a breakdown every time the music starts or I hear our pastor speak scripture over us.

And every Sunday I spill my heart out to God confessing all of my hopes, fears, concerns, doubts, and desires.

On Sundays I tend to get angry. I get angry at God for taking my son. I get angry at God for not blessing us with another child. I get angry at God that I'm not pregnant. I get angry at God when I think of all of the pain parents who lose their child go through. I get mad at God when I think about the fact that I'll never get to see Aiden play t-ball.

I get angry at God because I think we'll never have another child.

And then I put on some Biblical perspective and hear God speaking to me and pouring out His love and hope over me. So I surrender. I lay down my anger into His throne room and get lost knowing He is good and faithful and true.

I leave church encouraged, light-hearted, hopeful, and happy.

Then... I go out to eat and all I see are babies, babies everywhere.

Everywhere I turn is a family... a newborn... and I overhear conversation after conversation littered with baby talk and all I want to do is wear a sign that says, "I just lost my baby" so maybe they'll lighten up on the conversations that crush me.

Then I go home and I cry. I cry for the second time in one day and I ended up utterly exhausted. I cry because as soon as I put my heart out there for God to take, He makes me face all the things that hurt me the most. He guts the knife harder into my heart. And I want to crawl back into bed and wish I never had to see another Sunday again.

This may seem dramatic, but I can assure you... it is.

It is a drama-filled, satan-induced coma of heartache that I am SO over.

I don't want to hate Sundays anymore.

I don't want to hate going to church or out to eat or to the grocery store.

I don't want to try to protect myself from God when really He is the ONLY one that can protect me.

I want to be able to trust God.

I want to stop spending my Sundays crying when I should be resting in Him.

I want to see God change me and mold my spirit to lean toward Him.

Monday, May 16


It's Monday morning and I am currently snuggled up in a blanket on our bed.

This morning I'm feeling so scattered. I can't remember priorities or beliefs or my foundation. Everything is shaken up. I heard about a family who lost their child this past week. My heart aches for them. I don't even know them, but I am suddenly thrown because I know their grief. I know their pain. I know what their life looks like right now and I cannot help but fall on my knees before the Father, interceding for them... praying for everything that they're going through right now.

This is not an "Oh, I stubbed my toe" kind of moment.

This is life when hurt isn't even the right word.

When the bottom falls out after you lose your baby, you cannot even see that up is even an option.

Something that I have learned is that the Lord is gentle. He lovingly and sweetly combs His fingers through my hair when I cannot even catch my breath. Jesus sings love, joy, and comfort over my sleeping and my waking. He stands in the gap where we have fallen.

Let the Lord speak this psalm over your heart today.

{For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
   so great is his love for those who fear him; 
 as far as the east is from the west,
   so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
  As a father has compassion on his children,
   so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; 
 for he knows how we are formed,
   he remembers that we are dust. 
 The life of mortals is like grass,
   they flourish like a flower of the field; 
 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
   and its place remembers it no more. 
 But from everlasting to everlasting
   the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
   and his righteousness with their children’s children— 
 with those who keep his covenant
   and remember to obey his precepts.
  The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
   and his kingdom rules over all.
  Praise the LORD, you his angels,
   you mighty ones who do his bidding,
   who obey his word. 
 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
   you his servants who do his will. 
 Praise the LORD, all his works
   everywhere in his dominion.
   Praise the LORD, my soul.}
-Psalm 103: 11-22

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Tuesday, May 10

Daddy Diaries: Kicking the Habit

Happy Tuesday, bloggers! I am so excited to finally unveil the very first daddy diary post by my amazing and talented husband, Ben Tennant. He is not only the most attractive man I have ever seen, but he is also the most caring, genuine, strong, manly, and godly man. I hope this post opens your eyes to a perspective that isn't often noted, but fundamentally important. Take it away, babe!

Hello all. I’m glad to be here at Joy Unbundled for my first daddy diary. Appropriately, I’m starting off with a post about remembering who I am.  Hopefully, it will help you guys start to get a feel for who I am.
I guess I will start this story out on Friday. I had had a pretty rough day at work. It wasn’t the kind of rough day where you’re just swamped with a ton of work, but one of those days where it feels like you are the one black sheep in the middle of a flock of white ducks. (Yes, the change of species was on purpose.) Basically, what happened was this: My boss told me that I wasn’t dressing professionally enough for my job. I know, I know. That doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But, I went through this about 6 months ago and I bought a brand new wardrobe. However, this new wardrobe apparently still wasn’t enough. However, the point is, I sat on that all day long. Then, when I came home, I was finally ready to just relax and love on my wife. However, that’s not the way it was when I got home. 

Amy had finally had too many days of me coming home tired and grumpy from work. So, we had a big, long, and painful conversation where we discussed some of the things we felt like we were lacking. Through the midst of this conversation, I started realizing that the reason I was coming home from work all grumpy and burnt out wasn’t because I had been working eighty hours or working on creating the next hadron collider. However, it was because I was trying to live up to other people’s expectations of me. I wasn’t trying to do the best job I could, I was trying to show my boss and my coworkers that I was doing a good job. I wanted to please them. I started really pondering on this and I realized that it went much deeper than that, though. I wasn’t just doing this at work. I was doing this everywhere in my life, especially with Amy and with church. 

With Amy, I would constantly seek to do things that would make her happy. I didn’t pay attention to how I was feeling. I didn’t take time to tell her that I was upset, or that something was bothering me. I just did what I could to make sure that she was okay. I didn’t trust her to be able to deal with reality. I just glossed over things, suppressed things, and ignored things. This is not something that had been happening for a day or two, or a week. This is something that I have done since we got married. I even went so far as to turn arguments around so that they could be my fault. I believed that if I could take the blame for something, then I was in control. I could fix it at that point. However, I was cheating my wife. Amy couldn’t work on things. The same problems kept happening over and over again because I wasn’t letting her learn from her mistakes. She had no clue they were her mistakes. Plus, the longer it went on, the more the pressure started to mount on me to fix “problems” with me that just didn’t exist. I was doing everything as if she did not have the ability to handle all of this. 

At church, I would serve and strive to make delicious coffee for the people coming through the doors. I would try and make sure that everyone who was helping to set up was happy and in a good mood. I would even occasionally sweep and mop so that the floors looked good. Now, on their own, none of these things are bad, in fact, they’re great. However, I was doing all of them because I knew they should be done. I did them out of arrogance and out of pride that I didn’t think anyone else could do them. I got burnt out. I dreaded going to church. I dreaded having to wake up and go to work again on Sunday morning. Instead of being excited about going to worship my creator, I was worried about whether or not I was going to be able to keep the coffee pots full enough so that everyone who wanted coffee, got coffee. 

Through all three of these scenarios, church, home, and work, I was seeking to please people. The biggest problem with this is that humans are broken beings that understand things are broken. Therefore, they are immensely unsatisfied. Trying to live up to these standards are addictive, destructive, and consuming. I realized that through all of these things, I had forgotten who I was. I had forgotten those things that I used to strive for. I no longer made decisions on me or what I thought was best. I made decisions based on what I thought others thought was best. This made me deaf to God. I was out of touch with my heart and my spirit. My mind had taken the lead. I was confused, apathetic, and distant. I let myself get distracted and busy and neglected taking time to just be me. So, that’s where I’m at now. I’m trying to remember how to be me. I’m trying to start living more and worrying less about how I’m doing every little thing. 

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