Thursday, September 29, 2011

In the news again.

Hyundai drives $100K donation to CHKD:

Samuel was in the news again. He and I went to CHKD today as Hyundai (Hope on Wheels) presented CHKD with a check for $100,000 towards pediatric cancer. You can see Samuel throughout the clip, when the check is being presented and he's the last one at the end with his handprint. You can catch his hand (with the spiderman watch).

Thank you Hyundai!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Being A Romantic.

By Romantic, I am not referring to romantic love or wooing someone. I'm not talking about scented candles or red roses or boxes of chocolates. I am referring to being fanciful, impractical, and unrealistic. As in having romantic ideas. Another definition looks at is as being imbued with or dominated by idealism, a desire for adventure, chivalry, etc.

Being a romantic can be a wonderful thing. You enjoy movies and books in an intense way... you often find yourself personally relating to the characters. You can have creative ideas and ways of expressing yourself and your emotions. That's nice. (said in "Shirley voice" from Community)

But the downfall is this... when your idea of how life should be doesn't measure up to reality. When you create unrealistic expectations, goals, to do lists, etc. When you think every event, holiday, moment should live up to the "ideal".

Now those of you who know me personally aren't startled by this... one friend was surprised recently at my just discovering this about myself now.

I'm the kind of person who has these ideas of how life should be. I love traditions. I love doing everything to the fullest. And I tend to freak out if it doesn't happen the way I think "it should go!!!!"

E.G. I wanted to go strawberry picking this spring as a family. It didn't happen this year. Thankfully I'm much better than I used to be. I was able to shrug it off. But this is my vision:
The kids all dressed in color coordinated outfits with cute little baskets in hand and me snapping shots of them, drinking in the sunshine, and strawberry juice staining their lips and cheeks. After a time of picking strawberries we would then go on a family picnic and then later end the day with home-made strawberry shortcake.

Doesn't that sound lovely? Yeah, but not realistic. It would probably have ended up being more like squished strawberries on everyones shoes and kids throwing dirt at each other. Kids getting hot, tired, cranky. Mike trying hard to please me and I'm frustrated because someone needs to go potty and there's nowhere to go. And the strawberries are crushed because they put too many in their container. And someone whining about being tired or when are we going to go home or how they're thirsty. And we'd come home and I'd find that most of the strawberries are not even ripe and a lot of them are green.

Okay, maybe not that dramatic. But I'm trying to create a vivid picture.

Sometimes I'm more in love with the idea of something than the thing itself.

It's the idea of creating Christmas memories. Getting the tree. Adding decorations. The fragrant pine branches. The excitement of hot cocoa and ornaments. And come what may it WILL be cute, beautiful, precious, meaningful. Thank God for pictures. They don't require sound. You can't hear the noise and chaos. The whining. The elbowing. The rest of the house in disarray. It's this illusion of peace, beauty, and perfection that I want to create. That's dangerous. Illusions are very dangerous things.

I can love order more than I can love a moment to teach my children in the midst of a "painted room".

I can get angry with my kids if they don't "perform" how I want them to.

I have been a director as long as I can remember. Ask my cousin Sharon. She can tell you. I would direct her and her siblings (my other cousins) and my sister and brother and I would dress them up and tell them what to do and how to play their part of a skit or a play that of course I had created.

I can do the same with my family now. I don't even realize I'm doing it. I just simply tell them what to do, where to stand, what to wear, how to act. "Here, play this role. You are the happy child who is loving this holiday event or this special occasion and your heart is brimming with gratitude and love and affection for your family and especially your siblings."

This idealism has played out more than just in wanting specific moments or memories... but even in wanting my family a certain way. I used to really want to have another girl. I wanted Libby to have a sister. I loved having a sister. It was important and meaningful to me that Libby (my daughter) would understand what a sister was and how significant that relationship was. I think I wanted her to somehow understand what I lost when my sister, Libby, died. I wanted her to "get it."

Oh how sad.

I think I would have been in a horrible position of making Libby have to always get along with her sister (if she had one). I would have rubbed in her face, "At least you have a sister." Yuck, how awful!

She was not meant to live my life. I'm not going to force my child to appreciate something she has... or for me to resent her for having what I've lost.

I've been blessed instead to have ONE girl... and four boys. It's different than I would have thought I wanted. Thankfully God didn't give me what I wanted. He gave me what I needed. He knew I would need Samuel, Ian, Michael & Peter. AND in addition he blessed me with my niece, Madison. A beautiful little girl I love with all my heart who I have the pleasure of buying clothes and shoes for her. Whose nails I get to paint. Whose girlie noises I love.

Libby is more than enough girl for me! I love her. She's emotional and dramatic and expressive and thoughtful. She likes order and she likes pleasing people. She is a "mini-me".

The romantic in me... would covet her having a sister. I covet other people who have sisters. But I'm learning more and more to be thankful that I did have a sister. I don't get to talk or see her now but I will someday in Heaven. One day this will pass. And in the meantime I've been very blessed with very dear friends. Friends who in many ways are like sisters to me.

So that was a very lengthy ramble. All of it say... I'm glad I am learning about myself... that I have romantic tendencies that I need to fight... or at least invite reality in... and other's perspectives.

Life isn't perfect. It won't be again until the New Heavens and the New Earth... until I'm with Jesus face to face. My family isn't perfect. My traditions, memories, holidays, moments, events are not going to be ideal. And it's more than okay. It's good. It points me back to my need for a Saviour. And I can savor the good that does happen. I can enjoy time with my family without having to "direct" and "create" an illusion. I can love it for the imperfections instead of merely "in spite of" them.

Let me leave you with this. Libby and I were spending time together on Friday. It was fun. Or at least I thought it was fun. We were getting to do things together. She was starting to get whiney and ungrateful. I was getting annoyed by that. She and I got caught in the pouring rain. I mean torrential downpour. I had an umbrella and she had a rain poncho but we both ended up soaked. It looked as if people poured buckets of water on us. It was hysterical. We were so wet and soaked. We walked into IHOP (her favorite place) and the hostess told us we looked like ducks. She and I both started giggling. It turned into full blown laughter by the time we were seated.

The whole day turned around unexpectedly by an unplanned downpour. Instead of thinking about how cold, wet and shivering I was... not to mention the mess I looked like... I was able to be thankful that something so unexpected could turn into a blessing. We created a fun memory. It wasn't ideal... but it was life lived with my precious girl and I can enjoy and savor the gift from God she is.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Swiper, No Swiping!

How many of you have seen Dora the Explorer? If you have then you are familiar with a little fox on the show. His name is Swiper and he has a habit of swiping. So Dora often will tell you to say with her, "Swiper, No Swiping!"

Can we say the same to Peter. He loves to swipe. By that I mean he loves to rake his nails across your face... particularly eyes and nose are a favorite. He just swiped my nose so hard it's been bleeding for the past 10 minutes. The thing is his nails are trimmed. He just really knows how to get you!

We finished nursing for the last time today... because not only does he swipe but he bites. "Biter, no Biting!" All done with that!

Don't let that upside down passy make you think he's innocent!

Support Groups.

How many of you are in a support group or maybe even a special interest group? You can go to meetings or find support online. I am in a few. But I qualify for many... Part of me fears being thought of as Marla Singer in Fight Club* finding me randomly showing up to support groups that I don't qualify for. The sad thing is I qualify for all of these... Guess I'm a girl who needs support.

Groups I'm in:
-Weight Watchers.(Love developing my healthy lifestyle and the accountability)
-Moms Helping Moms (a support group for moms who have children with cancer)
-CareGroup/Small Group at church
-SKIBS (you know who you are.)

Other Groups I "qualify" for:

M.O.P.s Mothers of Pre-schoolers. (got those)

M.O.M.s Mothers of Multiples. (have twins)

Grief Share. (went once, would consider being a part of again).

Support Group for those with children with Cerebral Palsy.(would like to explore in the future)

AL-Anon (for Friends and families of problem drinkers AKA: Alcoholics)

Special Needs support group (through CHKD)

Craft Club. Someday... when things aren't so crazy!

Anyway, you get the picture. I could go on and on. My husband and I are deciding to start to go back to a small group at church. And we just found one that's only 25 minutes away... (hey for us that's close).

Sometimes I wish I could do more. There is so much good out there. Learning to say no graciously is an acquired skill. I'm trying... to be honest and to be smart. This girl has to have boundaries!

*Note that i am not advocating reading or watching Fight Club. Never seen or read. Am not endorsing. Don't get me in trouble with your parents if you're under 18 reading this!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Movie Time.

On a whim today we picked up Libby from school (instead of her riding the bus) and Mike, Samuel, Libby and I went to cinema cafe (where we had free passes) and saw Spy Kids: All The Time in the World. Kristin watched Peter and the twins for us. (Thank you Kristin).

It was fun to get to do something so spontaneous. And it was a good movie too.

One thing I appreciated about the movie was the importance of spending time together, in particular, as a family. It showed different ways that people view time. The Dad played by Joel McHale (Jeff Winger in the community) thought that if he worked his 5 year plan he would then get to enjoy time with his kids. He was later encouraged that he didn't know how much time he would have. He was told that all he could know he would have in the future was regret. That his kids would be grown up by the time had time to spend with them.

One character believed that if he could go back in time he would be able to change things and be able to change the time he had with his Dad. He realized though that time kept going on and that ultimately he couldn't stop it.

The kids also came to have a new appreciation of their stepmom who truly did care about them. And siblings also learned how to be kind each other and respect each other.

I enjoyed it. Libby even shed a few tears at the end. Samuel seemed to watch the whole movie for the most part. Although at times he did swivel in his chair a lot and kept bouncing from seat to seat.

Although I don't see myself as a supermom I felt like I could compete with the way The Spy Mom she juggled a bottle and a baby carrier while fighting crime :) Okay, not really. And I don't go around wearing leather suits either. But I do enjoy my kids and am thankful for them.

Overall, a success. And a lot of fun.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Party for Samuel.

Samuel's test begin next week. But we're already planning a party. Hope you can come!

An Aunt By Any Other Name...

Kristin gets called many things. There are the normal names... like Kristin, or Aunt Kristin.

But there are also some unusual names too... like Uncle Ker-Fer-Fer. (Christopher) or Aunt Ker-Ker.

But there is one thing that is NOT in doubt. She is well loved by all. They all love to be with their Auntie. They love hanging out in her home (The Loft). Ian begs daily to go and see her and baby Madison. "I go see Kristin. I go see her. I see her and baby Madison..."

We Love you KRISTIN!!!

Snuggles: Michael and Auntie Kristin.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

the ramblings of the sleep deprived.

"Whose not getting any sleep? It's me. It's me." Said with SNL perfect cheer skit inflection.

What is the deal. I'm utterly exhausted. My body hurts physically. Pulled some weird neck/shoulder muscle... but my head is spinning and my mind is reeling.

Just when I think I get this "grace" thing I get hit with something and bam, whiplash occurs.

Nothing big. Just me. Not having it together and falling apart... and being what I accused my daughter of being today... DRAMATIC. Hey, it takes a drama mama to make one, right?

I've had a great day. I got to run errands and it was uber productive and I spent the day with Libby. It was a mixture of business and pleasure. We did get many errands accomplished but also were able to have lunch together and we had fun talking and just being in each other's company.

So good day, right? But, I feel low. Aha. Good day. Productive Day... doesn't always equal good feelings. Weird, huh. But I guess it makes sense. Sometimes I can be having a crappy day but I'm at perfect peace and it doesn't phase me. My outward circumstances are not always a reflection of my inner self. My heart and mind don't always match up with the rest of me. And I know this will pass.

I ate too much candy tonight. Why? Sometimes I LIKE to make myself feel BAD. That's silly right? Actually, it's stupid. (there I said the bad "s" word, don't tell Libby!) BUT the truth is I can't seem to let myself just be okay and doing well. It's like I need to feel bad. So I eat too much sugar and I feel crappy. I'll let myself feel sorry for myself. I sabotage my hard work.

I can eat right all day and then suddenly find myself sabotaging myself. I feel like "Well, I deprived myself so I've earned this." Okay, I'm not depriving myself... the issue is I find instant gratification and comfort in food. The truth is though... sometimes it's a torment. Sometimes I wish I didn't have to eat again. I wish I didn't have to think through and ask myself, "Is this healthy? Will this restore my body? Will this provide good fuel so I can think and function well? Is this enough fiber and protein? Is it whole grain? Fruit? Vegetable? Lean Protein? Will this help me lose weight or at least create a healthier me?" on and on. And then I'm afraid. I'm afraid that I will never be able to lose the weight I want to lose. I'm afraid I won't be able to ever make another pound drop off my body.

My body is going through major changes. I'm weaning Peter. he bites really hard, frequently, during nursing lately. And it hurts like hades. Enough said. So stopping nursing means no "extra calories" to consume. But I haven't caught up with that. I haven't adjusted to being able to take in fewer calories. And my hormones are CrAzY.

On and on. I could create a list of excuses or just offer my explanation of the busyness of my life. The intensity. The overwhelming nature of just surviving day to day. But I want to more than survive. I want to thrive.

But here is the thing. God would NOT love me any LESS if stopped losing weight. Nor would he love me more if I dropped 50 pounds. God is pleased with me because I'm in Jesus.

I want to be healthier. I want to lose weight. I want to take care of what God has given me and one of the things that He has provided for me and that I am responsible for is my body. So, I'm asking God for help. Help to change. Help to hold fast to Him and cling to Him when I'm anxious. To tell myself that my life is so tough that I need to eat too much chocolate is not going to help anyone. I want to enjoy food and savor it. But I don't want to be controlled by it.

Maybe some of you can relate to what I'm saying. Maybe you can't. Maybe food doesn't have a stronghold on you. If not, that's great. But if not food, then what... Do you find yourself running to something for comfort other than God? Looking for satisfaction or contentment in something or someone else is an empty quest. It will only leave you dry and longing for your thirst to be quenched... it is a mirage in the desert. Other things or other people (outside of the person of Jesus Christ) will never satisfy you.

I want to be like the psalmist who is describing his longing for God as a deer panting for a stream of water. Christ promises that He has living water. He is the living water.

John 4:13-14

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

So, I stumble on. My eyes are droopy. I think I can sleep now. I rest in the comfort that His love for me is unchanged. And I ask for Him to help me change. To help me repent of my ways and to trust Him... that He really is more than enough for me.

Being the aroma of Christ.

After the hurricane we have been experiencing very putrid smells as we pass the swamp on a daily basis. Really foul and rank. But recently... and maybe it's my olfactory playing tricks on me... but I have been smelling an almost crushed mint smell. Which is lovely.

I love the smell of crushed herbs. In fact I love keeping fresh herbs and other plants that when you touch or crush them they release fragrance. I love the smell they release in the air and in my hand. Lemon Verbena is another favorite. And I adore real French Lavender.

I was thinking though that if you look at these plants they're okay to look at, not extraordinary. They even emit a little bit of odor on their own... but it's truly when they're crushed that full, pungent fragrance is released.

I'm realizing that I'm a lot like these herbs. For my full fragrance to be released there is some crushing involved.

Christ Himself was crushed...

Isaiah 55: 1-6
1"Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men;a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken,smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;we have turned—every one—to his own way;and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth."

And it's only because of Him that I can imitate Him. His Spirit lives in me.

2 Corinthians 2:14-16 "14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life..." (emphasis mine)

May we be the fragrance of Christ now and always.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Approval Addiction.

Call it what you will, "Fear of Man", "Man Pleasing", being afraid of what others think... I have a problem. I'm addicted to approval.

It's as if I posted myself on Facebook. And I just am waiting for anyone and everyone to hit the like button. Please LIKE me!!!

I don't like being misunderstood. I want to explain. My life. My situation. My circumstances. The reason I'm so tired. My appearance. Whatever. And okay, not really most people can understand. They're not in my shoes. But if you can't understand then at least acknowledge or sympathize or something.

I want you to think I'm a good woman/wife/mom/Christian/writer/friend/sister/aunt/niece/daughter/granddaughter... You get the picture.

I'm trying to give it up. I'm not good. In and of myself I'm downright awful (evil). That's the bad news.

The good news is this. Jesus Christ came and died for sinners. He was God made flesh born of a virgin. He lived a perfect life... not merely free of sin... but perfect in obedience as well. He died on the cross. Was buried. And three days later Rose from the Dead. He ascended into Heaven. And now I await His glorious return.

What does that mean for me? It means If I believe in Christ, that He is who He says He is... that He will save me from my sins and that I am given His righteousness. I am hidden in Him. And when God the Father looks at me He sees Christ's blood... I appear blameless, sinless, and pure because I am hidden in Christ.

What amazing, mind-blowing news. I want it to penetrate every part of me. I want it to affect how I think, what I think about, how I act, what I want, what I love, what I hate, how I live, and what I care about.

I want to be more aware of God's approval of me (because I'm in Christ) than the fact that others may or may not approve of me. Jesus Christ ALWAYS did the will of His Father. I have that... because my faith is in Him. It's not me! But I get credit for it!!!

Wow. So who cares what "man" thinks of me. Who cares about the "approval of others". I have God's approval.

Pretty amazing.

But, I'm still messing up... still living in my flesh. I'm not dead yet... So there is still this struggle.

I don't want to care what others think. And hopefully over time... as I change and grow and mature it will become less and less an issue.

For now, I'm thankful that I have the only approval that will ever matter. God the Father is pleased with me because I am in Christ...and Christ pleases the Father. Sigh. I just want to rest in that hammock of grace. The Gospel is LIFE Changing!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The "Other Guys"...

While Michael, Ian, Rebecca, Kristin and I cleaned there was another pair of people. And although they are "innocents" now... We know it won't be too long when this pair will become mischievous toddlers.... they will be "cousins in crime".

For now, let's enjoy the cuteness of Madison and Peter!
What's going on?

Hi YOU!!!

Peter just gave Madison a slobbery kiss on the head.

Another Kiss... or maybe I will just grab her cheek or hair

Hanging out together.

We're too blessed for this mess!

My "Impressionists"

I was so proud of myself today. I was working hard...getting ahead...organizing, cleaning, clearing, eliminating, etc. Unbeknownst to me, all during the boys naptime, they were hard at work as well.

They managed to break into my craft area (which is usually locked but wasn't because items were being brought from downstairs to upstairs). And got into fabric paint. It went everywhere... walls, carpet, rugs, train set, bed, sheets, clothes, and of course the TV. I was not a happy camper to say the least.

Surprisingly Michael has been the instigator as of late.

Extreme TV Make-Over

Even the Rug Needs Some Love

A new look for the train set

Be sure to paint the poptart while we're at it!
(Don't even know where the poptart came from...)

Don't forget the wall embellishments. I guess they were adding to the rocket and were inspired by the "outer space" decals in the room.

The Artists.

Lest I forget... they also decided to empty dressers of drawers.

As far as impressionism goes... I'd rather leave it up to Monet and not have such "personal art" all about the house.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Samuel: "I know where I came from."
Me: "You do?"
Samuel: "Papa bought me in a box at the store."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Who do you Worship?

My husband recently wrote a post on his blog(super powers) and in this post he discusses the gods we worship. Specifically he was talking about things such as a.c. and how we desperately love comfort. Comfortable temperature.

The same could be said about comfortable furniture or the kind of coffee we like to drink. Hot showers. Warm bed. Clean sheets. Filtered water. Food of choice. Etc.

I was realizing in addition to worshipping comfort that there were other "gods" that we as Americans, and me, in particular struggle with. The "god of productivity" and the "god of efficiency". How often do I find myself measuring my worth by what I have or have not accomplished. By what is complete on my to-do list or the balance there of.

And efficiency.... God forbid I leave a coupon at home. Or make a mistake. Gasp. It's the end of the world. I could have saved two steps if I had done such and such. I wasted a stamp when I could have dropped it off. Or if I don't reuse or recycle something I'm pretty sure it means that I will die... ha.

I'm not advocating wastefulness or poor stewardship... I'm just trying to factor in the fact that we're human and we are NOT perfect!

I realize that I am quick to bow down to efficiency and productivity. I like to do as much as I can in as little time producing the best results and value possible.

But what if I were to wait on the Lord and ask Him what He wants from my day. Maybe He doesn't want me to do that to do list. Maybe He wants me to sit and savor what life has for me that day. Maybe He's more concerned with me loving my kids than scrubbing the toilets or dishes or fish tank.

It's interesting that He never asks me to do more in a day than what can be done in a day. When there is more to be done than can be done that comes from myself or others but not from God.

And I am loved whether I read in bed that day or served 500 orphans. Wow. It's hard to believe that my being loved isn't based on what I have done.

Trying to rest in that love today. Can't sleep. Wide awake. Another exhausting day behind me and probably another one ahead. But I choose to worship God and be enamored with His glory today... not in what I have done or will do, not in my accomplishments or the lack thereof but in Him.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Misjudging appearances.

Matthew 7:1-5 1 "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Have you ever misjudged anyone? I have. I used to think this one girl was cold and aloof- to put it in one word- snob. In reality, she was shy and a little uneasy around big groups of people. She is now a dear friend of mine. Another friend (before we were friends) had thought that I didn't like her and I thought she didn't like me... So much misunderstanding and misjudging.

I have a very lovely friend whose nails look like she gets them done all the time. In fact, they're dollar tree glue ons. But she has to tell people they're not the "real fakes" because others think she's spending the big bucks on her nails every week.

My Mom's Mom (my grandmother) looks like a "rich old lady". She's always covered with bling. Lovely rings and earrings and necklaces. She always paints her nails, dresses well and looks like a LADY! She's really beautiful. BUT almost everything she has comes from Wal-Mart. She's not rich. Not in material possessions anyway. She's rich in Christ.

I struggle with being concerned about what other people think. It's so easy to see what we see and think we know and understand. We don't know what people's situation and circumstances are and what is in their hearts.

I want to stop throwing stones. I don't like them thrown at me. I want to assume the best of others and be thought of generously.

But why are we judging?
We have been trained in this culture to judge. Isn't that why people like reality TV so much? Quick give us somebody dysfunctional so we can judge them and feel better about ourselves.

In this culture I feel watched and perpetually judged. I feel the need to explain "my situation" to others. This works in two ways... I feel people think too "highly" of me or I feel they misunderstand me.

Some people have told me that I seem to have it together or at least be holding it together. I quickly respond, "Appearances are deceiving."

And they are.

I don't like the pressure of that image. For one, it's not true. But more acutely, I want to be allowed to fall apart without losing sympathy and social credit.

When Mike and I go to the Cheesecake Factory and we run into people we know, do we really need to tell them that we have a gift card? Why is there this need to have to explain where nice stuff comes from? Do I have tell them that most of my clothes, shoes and almost all of my children's clothes comes from the thrift store? Oh no, what will they think if they see me with a Starbucks in hand?

I don't like this feeling. I want to walk in freedom and stop caring what others think. God knows. He knows what's in my heart. He knows if my actions or thoughts are right or wrong. I'm accountable to Him and Him alone.

When I walk in this freedom I have the comfort of knowing I have friends and family who will let me know when I'm out of line or falling off the rails. I want to love others well by being this kind of friend, who believes the best, and not misjudge them.

Reality is... people aren't held accountable to me. They're responsible to God. So whether their nails are "real fakes", or "fake fakes"... whether the jewelry came from Tiffany's or Dollar General... whether they were given a car or just bought a beautiful SUV we should withhold criticism.

Let's love one another and accept people in the same way Christ has done to us.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

I just saw an article I wrote for Ungrind was posted. It's called "Leaving Virginia". You can read it here.


I haven't been writing lately. I think I was kind of hoping that someone would ask if I died or something. But no. I guess I'll write anyway. I've been really tired and weary. I don't think I've had writers block as much as I don't want to share what's on my mind. It feels too controversial. Too honest. Too open. The "f" word has even popped into my head when I think about what I want to write about. See what I mean.

I want to be careful that my writing is in line with Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."(emphasis mine)

My thoughts and my life hasn't lined up with that lately. It's been more of a struggle. I can't really explain why. I remember being told at my Mom's Helping Mom's support group (for those who have kids with cancer) that the end of treatment is just as hard as the beginning of treatment.

There's a sweet safety net that comes with being at the Clinic. I feel normal and hopeful when I go to the Hematology/Oncology Clinic. It's like I know what to expect and it makes me feel safe. It's there we "fight" the cancer. It's there that other Moms and Dad's sit with their baldheaded kids. It's there we all look normal.

And pretty soon (God-willing) in a month or so we will be done with chemo. We will have tests done. CT scans, MRI, bone scan, etc. and if all looks good his CVL will be surgically removed. And then we will return at regularly scheduled times to keep checking and evaluating. Making sure that there is no return of the tumor. No metastasizing.

And if I were to be honest with myself and honest with you... I'm depressed. When you see me you will most likely see a smile on my face. It's not fake. But at the same time I'm crying on the inside. I'm hurting in a way I can't explain. I'm tempted to be very afraid. Afraid of the return of cancer. Afraid of what would happen then. Afraid of the late effects of chemo and radiation. Afraid that my life will never be "normal". Afraid of the other shoe dropping.

I find myself constantly TRYING to surrender these fears to God. Some moments are more successful than others. I have a gratitude journal that I've been writing in and when I continue to recount the good things, the blessings, the things I'm thankful for and I appreciate I find my heart falls more in line with trusting God and being at peace. If He's been faithful before... He will be again.

When I fix my eyes on God. When I don't compare my mothering, my life & circumstances, my cooking, or homemaking with others I'm in a good place. When I compare, criticize, and condemn myself I am led off track. It doesn't help. It hinders. God has placed me where I am with the gifts I have and the struggles and circumstances that are for me. It's not a mistake. It's not a mistake that I'm the parent of Libby, Samuel, Ian, Michael, & Peter. It's part of God's plan.

So, Yep, I'm preaching at myself right now.

And even on these days that feel so dark I am reminded that I'm not alone. God walks with me. He has promised to never leave or forsake me.

So I press on. I move forward. Sometimes it's a purposeful stride. Sometimes it's merely stumbling on... but I keep going. Resting in the love of my Savior who will sustain me and enable me to persevere when I so desperately want to give up.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

So I have been told...