What a Difference 10 Years Make

December 31, 2014. Celebrating New Year’s Eve with our own party of five. Having everyone home warms my heart. I’m perfectly happy watching the ball drop on TV, all in our jammies and everyone fighting to stay awake. Home is where my family is, and we were in the place where our daily lives are carried out. This is the place I make a conscious effort to be a safe haven for all who live here.

Even though one by one were drifting off to dreamland, we were all together and that’s what mattered. My husband was the first one out, crashed on the sofa. My youngest was next, right in Daddy’s arms. My older two kids and I were enjoying snuggling on the couch and watching New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, singing along with the artists, and chatting on Hangouts with my sister’s family celebrating at Disneyworld two timezones ahead. Minecraft, Madden mobile, and Twitter were occupying our devices. My daughter was bound and determined to see T. Swift perform. Bless her heart, she was out like a light about 15 minutes before Taylor came on. I even tried to unsuccessfully waken her. Thankful for DVR capabilities. No blank spaces here honey, we have you recorded!

Who’s left but my oldest child and me. My night owl. I love it when he and I have time just the two of us, which is a rarity. We get each other and can quietly sit together, do nothing or do lots, and be just fine. Content. I smiled thinking how different my New Year Eves were these days, much to my liking, from my younger years (which at the time were fun in a completely different way).

I thought “Wow, Ryder’s turning 10 this year. In 10 years, he’ll be almost 20. Todd and I will be hovering around 50. Wonder if we’ll all be celebrating together.” Then I chuckled inside realizing he will most likely NOT be around us when he’s 19 on New Year‘s Eve, although he’s always got a welcome spot in our home and hearts.

I’m turning 40 this year. I’m starting to look at things in decade chunks and embrace a lot of self reflection, which then prompted me that night to think back to what I was doing around New Years back in 2004. Let’s see. Todd and I had gone to South Carolina for Christmas and just returned home to Colorado. In our DINK (Dual Income No Kids) stage, we promised my younger sister and her husband that we’d spend every Christmas together, alternating who traveled each year. That never panned out but was great in theory!

DINK

DINKS

My stroll down memory lane quickly shifted to a day that used to haunt me. It’s amazing how it seemed so fresh. So not 10 years ago. I was sitting at the light waiting to turn on Morrison Road, just a few miles away from our house. Headed home to go pack for our SC Christmas trip the next day, I received news in the car that I never expected to hear.

“We got your test results back Mrs. Rodenburg, and I’m sorry to tell you this over the phone.” “Tell me.” “{lots of medical lingo}…Basically this means you are likely never going to be able to get pregnant, and in the event you do, it’s highly unlikely you’d ever be able to carry a pregnancy to term. Why don’t you think about it over the holidays and let us know what you want to do. I have some specialists you can call.”

No. No no no no no. This is not me. This is not happening. Breathe. BREATHE! Keep focused on the road. Knuckles white. Dear sweet Jesus NO!!!!!! Tears. Steam. Cloudy eyes. Breathe. Stinging tears. Plugged nose. Breathe. In and out. Heart pounding. Panic attack. Gripped steering wheel. After I manage to pull over to the side of the road, I called my sister. The second she answered, I screamed. I could barely get the words out. It’s a wonder Kristin was able to even understand me. “Where are you. Where ARE you? Is Todd with you? I’m calling him right now. Go straight home and I’ll tell him to meet you there. I love you.”

Two weeks before, I had gone to the hospital for testing. Poking. Prodding. Things you never anticipate having to experience. My dear friend Misty took me to that appointment and we prayed over my belly that answers would be discovered and miracles would happen. She cried with me and for me. She held me and held me together. I was crumbling inside.

Two years of hoping. Praying. Calculating. Months of temping. Reading. Exercising. Yelling through tears at my sweet husband (and thankful for his grace through those times) that this is all our fault for not trying sooner. We were trying to wait for the perfect time to start a family and now look at what’s happening! Hopping on the wild ride of an emotional roller coaster and knowing more about how amazing our bodies work than I ever dreamed possible to know. Sitting in church on Mother’s Day fighting back tears when all the Moms were asked to stand in recognition and receive beautiful roses on the way out. Such a tender gesture that tormented me. I so badly wanted to stand. Maybe next year. A year goes by. Surely next year. Still seated. Answering those questions “Just when are you going to have a baby?” “What are you waiting for?” Hearing “Oh be so thankful you aren’t pregnant right now. My head stays in the toilet I have such bad morning sickness.” What I would have given to have my days filled with morning sickness if it meant I was pregnant!

“Trust Me.” One of the single handful of times in my life I have audibly heard His voice. I was lying on my couch with half my body over the armrest. Alone. Spent. Exhausted. Mourning what I thought may never happen. I will never forget the moment, the place, the sound, the feeling. Peace. Instant peace. Tears. “OK, I trust You.” I never doubted from that moment forward.
For This Child I Prayed

1 Samuel 1:27

10 years ago on New Years morning I woke up and temped out of habit. Todd was still asleep. So was my little dog. Another high. What? Wait. Really?! I knew instantly what that meant. I hopped in the car and drove to the closest grocery store. I called my sister on the way. No one was on the road. The sun was just rising.

Symbolic now, it was the dawn of a new day, a new year, a new pregnancy. That line was so faint. I squinted, but there were two. I was seeing double in the best possible way! I squealed and woke Todd up asking if he saw two lines. He was so groggy he didn’t even know what he was looking at or what in the world I was saying. I took four more tests over the next three days just to keep seeing the lines!

At our initial doctor’s appointment, the nurse (incidentally the same one who delivered the awful news over the phone to me) was trying to be so reserved. She honestly didn’t think we’d hear a heartbeat. I insisted on listening. I felt like she didn’t even want to look at me in the eyes. She saw my twinkle and probably noticed me practically skipping in to the OB’s office. I asked Todd to get a voice recorder and bring it (smartphones were non-existent at the time). He hit record with one hand and held mine with his other one as she put the doppler on my belly.

There it was. Like a thundering group of galloping horses. Our baby’s heartbeat. I have never cried happier tears! Todd and I prayed before every appointment, and held hands after every appointment the second the doctors left the room, giving thanks for His miracle. There were plenty of those moments as I was labeled high risk and constantly monitored throughout the pregnancy. 10 years ago on New Years Day 2005, a Mom was in the making.

Mothers Day 2006

My first Mothers Day, May 2006

Before my son was born and daily since, I have prayed for God to draw him close and use him in mighty ways for His glory. I realize now he has already been used in my life for His good.
  • he was the catalyst in restoring a broken relationship with my Dad
  • he was the facilitator in me discovering my strength as a Mom and as his advocate through early years of therapy
  • his conception and delivery both served as reminders in mighty ways that I am not in control, and when I try to control things the outcomes aren’t necessarily what would have been best (hard pill for me to swallow!)
  • he has expanded my heart for forgiveness. Forgiveness for people who don’t know how to respond or what to say to someone in certain circumstances (bless that nurse’s heart).
  • he has given me a greater compassion for others in acknowledging those walking along difficult roads and how sometimes words aren’t the fix all to a situation. He has tempered my tongue.
  • he has filled all the little wholes poked in my heart from every negative test, every curt comment, every sting when a pregnancy was announced and I so wanted it to be me, every tear shed
  • he has brought sweet joyous confirmation and winks from God (the first time I felt him kick was when I was singing worship in church)

So this year I am honored to say I rang in the New Year with my miracle baby, the child who made me a Mom, and who has had my heart wrapped around his very being since before I knew who he was. I am learning to let go better than I used to, settling into our new normal of 3rd grade headed-towards-tween behavior, only high fives in public and no more hugs at school and certainly not at football. Requests of “please don’t embarrass me on the field trip Mom, but I’m so glad you’re going to be there” are more current these days.

I couldn’t be more proud of who he is, and that I have the privilege being his Mom. I can’t believe in the next 10 years, he’ll probably be in college and on his own. The old adage don’t blink is true. From blinking through frantic tears to happy ones and now those of contentment, 10 years have flown by.

New Years Eve

New Years Eve 2014

I’m curious…what has been one of your memorable New Years?

5 thoughts on “What a Difference 10 Years Make

  1. Shannon says:

    Thanks for sharing your story Mindy. You are a beautiful child of God. Loved. Blessed. On purpose. Enough. Love and blessings dear friend. ❤️

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