Browsing Tag

prayer

Infertility

Why Infertile Women Sometimes Get Mistaken for Drunk Psychopaths

January 18, 2016

Each day I’ve been fighting to spend time alone with God in prayer.

Part of this time is spent reading the daily Mass readings and last week happened to be about a fellow woman battling infertility named Hannah.

I’ve read the story approximately one billion times before but some aspects of the story hit me in a new way…specifically how her grief was so severe that she got mistaken for being drunk. That’s serious yo. I’ve never seen someone praying and mistaken them as a drunk person and I am betting neither have you.

Let’s take a peak briefly at her story:

He had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Penin’nah. And Penin’nah had children, but Hannah had no children. Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phin’ehas, were priests of the LORD. On the day when Elka’nah sacrificed, he would give portions to Penin’nah his wife and to all her sons and daughters; and, although he loved Hannah, he would give Hannah only one portion, because the LORD had closed her womb. And her rival used to provoke her sorely, to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. So it went on year by year; as often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. And Elka’nah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?” After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD. She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD, and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thy maidservant, and remember me, and not forget thy maidservant, but wilt give to thy maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” As she continued praying before the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard; therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman. And Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunken? Put away your wine from you.” But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman sorely troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD. Do not regard your maidservant as a base woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” 1 Samuel 1:1-16

First off I want to say that I’ve had many hysterical ugly cries throughout our infertility journey that, if witnessed, would have probably had me institutionalized…so I get it, Hannah.

What I want to look at specifically in this post is how a woman battling infertility can get to that point. I think most would understand that it’s a sad thing to not be able to conceive and bear children…but being distressed to the point of not eating, looking drunk, and being borderline psychotic?

In reading Hannah’s story, I just want to go give her a big hug because she had an rival who made fun of her for being infertile. That would be so very hard. Penin’nah actively rubbed her blessings in Hannah’s face year after year.

Daaaaang.

I cannot claim that anyone has directly made fun of me or provoked me (I would have throat punched them) about infertility but I think social media feels like a modern day version of this taunting. It’s the place where people offer up snapshots of their lives to invite others to share in the moment. When battling infertility, Facebook and Insta feel like bragging sites. It’s where women, often unknowingly, post about their pregnancies and children in such a way that leaves anyone experiencing infertility feeling mocked and irritated.

This wears a woman down over time and begins to create an extremely fragile emotional state. I had to leave social media altogether for a season just so I could have days I didn’t cry. Seeing dozens and dozens of others’ blessings day after day left me feeling like the biggest loser on the face of the earth. And when one is feeling completely and utterly forgotten by God, eating is not a high priority either. Sinking into a despair hole and trying to Netflix binge your way through life is more likely.

Then her husband comes along and tries to comfort her but only makes it worse. Bless his heart. He essentiaIlly asks if he is not enough to make her happy…which as anyone who’s battled infertility knows is not the point. You can be so happy with your husband but at the same time terribly sad about the fact you cannot have children together. This seems to be her breaking point. Even though her husband is trying to be there to comfort her, she is still feeling alone in her struggle.

This drives her to go to the Lord where she reaches rock bottom…a place I’ve been many a time before. It’s a place where you are praying so hard that it feels like even your toe nails are praying. It’s a prayer that only extreme suffering can bring about. It leaves you wiped out and in an exhausted heap on the floor before God with nothing left. Drunk is probably a conservative word to describe the hot mess she looked like.

If someone approached me in that state and tried to correct me about being drunk? I don’t even want to know what I would’ve been capable of…but Hannah handles it graciously. She simply tells him she’s been praying out of great anxiety and vexation.

Again, a nice way to phrase it.

One definition of drunk is, “being overcome or dominated by a strong feeling or emotion.” I completely understand why Hannah was mistaken for being intoxicated. She’d been worn down, prayed out, made fun of, lonely, and desperate. That’s enough to drive any sane person completely mad.

So Hannah, thank you for setting such an honest and raw example for the rest of us carrying this cross. I know I am not alone in how I feel so often. I will keep throwing myself before the Lord in prayer, even if I resemble a drunk psycho, and allow him to do with those prayers what he wants to.

Hannah and all you holy women who’ve done this before, please pray for us in this battle!

Intentional Living, Mission

My Prayer Life As A Mother

May 18, 2015

Let’s just go ahead and sum up my prayer life as a mom in one photo.

Yup.

It’s been blown to smithereens.

There are days that I am alright with that fact and other days I grown impatient with it.

All in all I know it’s NORMAL and for some amount of time it’s appropriate.

But Josie is nearing 6 months now…and believe it or not, I am getting a hang of this thing called motherhood. I sometimes know what my day will look like, as opposed to being clueless as to what this tiny creature would do the next minute let alone hour.

I could start praying with more regularity and structure again…but why has it been so hard to do?

First, I am lazy. It’s just easier to pull up Netflix and watch some Gilmore Girls or Grey’s Anatomy during nap time or when I am folding cloth diapers. Sure, I could use that time to pray a rosary or dive into scripture but I’ve gotten lazy. Ruh roh!

Second, I am scattered.My brain used to running in Q1 mode whenever Josie’s around that it’s hard to switch into a focused, prayerful, and intense meditation mode.

Lastly, I am afraid. I was used to praying a holy hour every day for over a decade before Josie was born. I am scared that I’ve forgotten how to pray or that I won’t be patient with myself if prayer feels “dry” as I come back to it more formally.

So to combat these fears, I am going to write up my HOPEFUL new prayer routine here at True Good and Beautiful to gain some accountability. What am I hoping to do each day to rev up some daily convos with God?

First, I will embrace the first nap. I know that about 2 hours after waking up for the day, Josie will take her first nap. That nap will usually last anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. I want to start with 20 minutes of that time dedicated to reading scripture and praying with it.

Second, I will pray the rosary throughout the day. If it’s nice enough to take a walk, I will plan to pray the rosary before I make phone calls like I typically do when we take walks. If I know we won’t take a walk that day, I will begin praying the mysteries during our morning nursing session and hopefully get all five in by bed time. I plan to use You Tube or an app to listen to an audio version of the rosary to stay on track and focused as I pray.

Lastly, I will shoot for one daily mass per week outside of Sunday. I’d been going to mass daily for years before Josie’s birth and I knew what a gift it truly was. It’s really hard to make daily mass work in our schedule these days but I will try my very best to make it work once a week. The rest of the days? I will plan to do a spiritual communion.

And that is how I plan to start building a prayer life once again. Slow and steady wins the race and I am hopeful that if I just start with small seeds, it will grow into more over time.

Or, God-willing, we will have another baby just as I get the hang of things and it will be blown to hell once again. 🙂 But at least the next time I will know how to get back on the saddle more quickly!

All you busy people out there, mommas or not, how do you make sure to have prayer be part of your daily schedule? I would love to hear!

Uncategorized

Prayers For Our Family

September 7, 2014

No Little Happies today.

I actually won’t be blogging this week.

Our family lost a beloved member this weekend.

My cousin’s wife, of eleven weeks, passed away suddenly Sunday morning. They’d been together for several years, so she was totally part of the family. She was only barely twenty-four years old.

You may remember me write about their wedding in this Little Happies post. It was such a great day filled with so much love.

Needless to say many family members are grieving the loss of the such a wonderful and beautiful person. I invite those who stumble across this post to pray with and for our family. Most especially my cousin, who undoubtedly is feeling this loss more than anyone else. Pray for eternal rest and happiness for her soul. And for peace and comfort to envelop all family members.

Thank you!

Mission, The New Evangelization

Teixeiras are bound for The Eternal City!

October 17, 2012

 

In less than a week Jonathan and I are heading to Rome alongside other FOCUS staff members for the Synod on the New Evangelization. (For more info on the Synod click on this: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/the-synod-and-the-new-evangelization-why-its-important-for-u.s.-catholics/

This is a wonderful time to be a Catholic and it’s inspiring to see what grace the Holy Spirit will pour out upon the Church at this time. Please join us in prayer and fasting for the Holy Father, Bishops, and all other advisers speaking into these meetings. We will be lifting up any intentions from family and friends, so if you have a prayer request you desire to send our way, please leave it in the comments section below or email them to amanda.teixeira@focus.org and we will print them out and take them with us!

I won’t go into any detail here in this post about our itinerary and schedule but when we return, expect a full blog with pictures and experiences! If there is ANY city I can associate with truth, goodness, and beauty….it’s definitely ROME! We also land in Rome on our one-year marriage anniversary, so we feel incredibly blessed with this opportunity to attend.

Ciao!

Uncategorized

I Will Possess Your Heart

April 12, 2012

I’m working on a talk about prayer for our New Student Leaders’ Retreat this weekend, and this song came to mind. I wrote a post about it a while ago for my old, now-defunct blog. I thought it’d be great to re-post here at truegoodandbeautiful.

I Will Possess Your Heart, one of the singles from Death Cab for Cutie’s album, Narrow Stairs, is a wonderful song. One of the new things I’ve done in my Bible studies over the years is listening to non-spiritual songs in a spiritual way. Looking for a holy message among everyday things. A lot of songs can be listened to as if it’s God speaking to us, or us speaking to God. It’s a wonderful exercise to go through as it helps us look for God everywhere. Love songs are pretty easy to use because our human love is but only a pale reflection of God perfect love. And guess where I found Him. That’s right. In this song! (It’s about love!) Here’s the video, along with the lyrics and a short discussion. Please be sure to add your two cents in the comments!

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsCV61zsdtA

Lyrics

How I wish you could see the potential
The potential of you and me
It’s like a book elegantly bound, but
In a language that you can’t read just yet

Chorus
You got to spend some time, love
You got to spend some time with me
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart
You got to spend some time, love
You got to spend some time with me
And I know that you’ll find, love
I will possess your heart

There are days when, outside your window
I see my reflection as I slowly pass
And I long for this mirrored perspective
When we’ll be lovers, lovers at last

Chorus

You reject my advances and desperate pleas
I won’t let you let me down so easily
So easily

Longer chorus with last line repeating three times

Discussion

I find it interesting to listen to this song as if God is singing it to us at those times when we turn away from Him. Or He’s singing it to all the prodigal sons and daughters that have yet to come home. Let’s take a look at it from that perspective. I’ll discuss the verses first, and then the chorus.

How I wish you could see the potential / The potential of you and me
This line describes so well God’s longing for a personal relationship with each one of us. God wants to have an intimate relationship with everyone. He created us to love us.

It’s like a book elegantly bound, but
God continues to tell us how wonderful things will be if we take a step toward Him. He we say “yes” to Him. Our relationship with Him is beautiful, a work of art.

In a language that you can’t read just yet
But because we aren’t in the relationship with Him, because we haven’t/aren’t experiencing that personal relationship with Him, we can’t understand it. It might be nice when we see it in other people, but we don’t understand it. It doesn’t mean anything to us. Yet. It’s as if God is saying, “I want to be in this amazing relationship with you, but you don’t quite understand how wonderful it can be or why you’d want it. I’ll help you see why it’s so great, why you’ll desire it. You don’t know now, but you will.”

There are days when, outside your window / I see my reflection as I slowly pass
And I long for this mirrored perspective / When we’ll be lovers, lovers at last
As if He’s saying to us, “I swing by to see how you’re doing. When I’m there I slow down and watch for a bit. I am amazed by you. Mesmerized. I love you. And I hope for the day when you’ll look back at me. When you’ll come see how I’m doing. When you’ll get caught up in the love we’ll share between us. I long for that day. I await the day I’ll love you and you’ll love me right back.

God wants a relationship with each of us, but He can’t force it. He can’t help but love us, but He can’t make us return that love. In His infinite love, He gave us free will. We have the choice. We can accept His love and love Him back, or we can reject both Him and His love. The verse describes someone rejecting God’s love.

My advances and desperate pleas. As if God saying, “I’ve tried all sorts of ways to get you to love me. I’ve done so much. I’ve given you my Son. And still you reject me.

I won’t let you let me down so easily / So easily
He continues, “I’ll keep trying. I still love you. You can reject me all day, but I’ll still come back tomorrow and love you more. I love you.”

The chorus clues us into how we enter into that deeper relationship with the Lord. It gives us the instructions as to how to get to know our Heavenly Father:

You got to spend some time, love / You got to spend some time with me
We have to spend time with God. We need to pray! We might not want to spend time with God. We might not want that relationship. But the Lord wants it. He wants us. He just asks for a little bit of our time. You got to spend some time, love. We need to do this. It’s not “you should spend some time,” or “you should think about spending some time,” but “you got to.” We have to pray. We have to spend some time with our Creator. Prayer is how we can grow closer to the Lord!

And I know that you’ll find, love / I will possess your heart
If we pray, if we spend that time with God, we’ll grow to love Him. We’ll love Him more and more each day. He will possess our hearts. But first we have to know Him. We have to pray. We have to come to Him each day and talk. Spend some time with Him just like we would with any other friend. He asks us to give Him a little time, because He knows that we’ll want to give Him a little more time and a little more time. He knows we’ll love Him a little more and a little more.  We will come to know the Lord, and we will come to love Him, and we will give our hearts to Him. He will possess our hearts, but only if we take the first step and enter into prayer.

 

Love this song? Check out the album!