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Showing posts from 2018

Which Way is Up

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Have you ever had that moment in the ocean where a wave causes you to take a tumble and you can't figure out which way to the surface? That's where I've been lately. Desperately trying to find my way to to the top so I can break out of the water to grab some air.

I was talking to my Mom on the phone the other day and I said to her casually in the course of conversation... "Which way is Up?"

In this funk, this depression that has come over me, I've struggled to do daily life. Dishes, laundry, cleaning, etc. It all takes a Herculean effort for me to do these very basic tasks.

And that's okay.

And I'm finally realizing that.

This year we were struck with an emotional blow that still leaves us winded and gasping for air. I'm heartbroken. And yet...

And yet there is a God who is bigger than every struggle, bigger than my depression, bigger than the hole in my aching heart.

Sometimes it is so clear to see this invisible love tethering me gently to Himse…

Presents or Presence: Struggles and Reflections on the Holidays

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I’ve been wrestling (once again) with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming and trusting the Lord’s provision. Of course, He knows my desires. When I share this problem with other people they often tell me “it’s not about presents”; “focus on making memories”, “you have already been given so much”. I agree with all these statements and even feel guilty as I recognize I have far more than most of the world has but there’s still a conflict in my heart. It’s an annual struggle.
I recognize that it’s not about materialistic things but my love language is gifts. And it’s very hard for me to "not have enough" to give in the way I’d like. It’s not about the amount of presents or the technical value of the item but it’s about the thoughtfulness behind the gift. The showing of the “I-know-you-ness” that is important to my heart. The letting people I know, that I share life with, that I love and appreciate them.
God has always taken care of us. So why do I struggle with believing that He wi…

8 years

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Tomorrow is Peter’s 8th birthday. Where has the time gone? 8 years ago Samuel was going through chemo treatment and I was on bedrest having pre-term contractions. And then Peter was here. That sweet chunky little cherub with the dark hair and blue eyes. What a blessing in the midst of such difficulty and challenges. This precious babe in the midst of our oldest son losing his hair, vomiting regularly, and facing down death.
How much God has brought us through. How He sustained us by His loving hand. I wish I could separate Peter’s birth from Samuel’s cancer but i can’t. We were in 2 hospitals next to each other. Samuel at CHKD. I at Norfolk General. Mike running back and forth between the two of us. Oh those painful days.


And yet. God’s faithfulness. His promises to never leave or forsake us. His loving kindness sustaining us.
And here we are. 8 years later. Through many ups and downs. Good times and bad. We are still here. And God has remained. Thankful for the sweet, funny smart little…

Be Still My Soul.

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Mike is snoring softly beside me. M.B. is back in the States. I wake up before5 and can’t return to sleep. So I write.
Last night was Caregroup Dinner. It was a sweet time. Where we ate together. Where the kids heard a devotional story. Where we adults gathered and talked. A mixture of the good, the challenging and awkward.
I start trauma therapy in 11 days. I look forward to seeing if this is a good fit for me. EMDR... and more.
I can tell I’m shallow breathing just now.
This poor body of mine. So abused. I’m so frustrated by its imperfections and it’s done nothing but good to me. Trying to help me survive. Trying to help me cope. Trying to help me make it through the next morning. I’m so hard on myself. Beating myself up to do better, be better, make no excuses. And the trauma is so evident…. and yet I still rage at myself. What is your f*@!ing problem? The problem is my body is trying to protect me…. even if it’s just from myself.
It seems so easy a fix. Just love myself. Accept myself.…

Bone Crushing

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What do you mean you’re tired? That bone crushing exhaustion that keeps you dragging and lagging throughout the day. That weariness in spirit that has you fighting for air. That unrelenting plague that settles on you and will not be shaken off. No burst of energy.
Numb. Like my feelings are cut off at the nerve. I can’t feel the pressure of a gentle squeeze. I can’t talk about my feelings. They are cold strangers that I’d rather ignore.
Indifference. I should be excited. To see friends. To travel. To have new adventures. but it feels dull. Like a room full of khaki that I’m painting beige. Nothing stirring, gripping, capturing. Just mundane. Even my good things don’t feel good. They just feel blah.
And so I sit and write with the cat curled up next to me on a clean neatly folded t-shirt. And the soup sits in my belly refusing to digest. And my eyelids feel like there are weights attached to them. And I’m disgusted by my inability to do something.
Well, I did help Samuel with his poster fo…

What do you do with a broken heart?

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There are some personal circumstances that are very heartbreaking right now. Each time I think about the situation I am quickly gripped by panic, fear and deep sadness. I have to stop, take a deep breath, exhale and surrender it to God.

Life has not turned out the way I thought it would... once again. I bet Joseph in the Bible could say the same. Poor guy, gets sold into slavery by his brothers, attempted to be seduced by his boss wife, who cries "rape" and thrown in jail and forgotten. I'm not unjustly living in jail so that's good.

But like Joseph I hope to also be able to say, "What you intended for evil, God intended for good."

Trusting Jesus with my broken heart, all the million shattered pieces and knowing that my Redeemer is able. He is good.

My two favorite songs right now are Even If by Mercy Me and Trust in You by Lauren Daigle. They keep me pointing back to Jesus.

Sometimes it comes out as a whisper... but i can still say, It is well with my soul…

Birthday Reflections...

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Can it be birthday reflections if it's five in the morning? I'm not reflecting on the day... it hasn't quite happened yet. Woke up at 4 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep. So showered and sitting at IHOP for my free birthday breakfast. And so I'm rambling.

This year. I thought 37 was going to be amazing. I think primarily because it had the number 7 in it which is one of my favorite numbers ergo it had to be an amazing year. But last birthday I was hopped up on pain meds at my daughters dance recital trying to recover from my miniscus repair surgery. And then just over a week later I was in a car accident that left me debilitated through the summer and a lot of the Fall.

This year was marked with changes. Putting my younger 3 back in public school. Homeschooling only the older 2. Debilitating depression and panic attacks at times. Mike's continued travels for work.

Michaels' diagnosis of Klinefelter Syndrome and official diagnosis of intellectual disability.

Heard by God.

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"Mom, my name means God hears me... but what if I can't hear God? What if I lose my hearing completely? How will I hear him?"

I sat in the car and choked back tears as I drove. I tried to eye Samuel when we came to a stop at a red light. His eyes were big and vulnerable.

I took a deep breath and spoke. "Samuel, we can always hear God. It doesn't require us to have physical hearing to hear God. He speaks in our inner selves. In our minds and deep in our hearts. He guides and directs us whether we can hear or not."

Do I believe that? Do I truly believe that? Yes.

But it's hard. As his hearing has declined and the questions rise I wonder... what's next? Will he lose it all together? Will he not? Blessed be His name. He who gives and takes away.

The storm is hard. It's rough. The winds are whipping and the rain is pouring and I'm tousled like a feather in the wind... but I'm also firm in His hand. Gripped by the One who loves me and knows me…

God's Provision

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So I was really dreading looking at the bank account. Certain needs were coming up and I didn't know which thing to pay for and what to ignore for the time being. And then I was blown away to see more in my account then I expected. My side hustle paycheck came through. Thank you Jesus.

 I also received an unexpected blessing check with love and prayers... melted my heart.

 I love how God provides. How he takes care of our needs. How he graciously blesses us even beyond our basic needs.

And as I still wait today to get "THE CALL" I feel His graceful provision in that.

A peace. A peace as I wait. Not knowing the result. Not knowing if we will need to go in and biopsy. Or go in the dreaded conference room. Or be completely relieved because all he will need is some minor outpatient surgery... but I can wait knowing that my God already knows what's up. He already knows perfectly what's happening with Samuel and I can trust Him. Trust that His plans and purposes for my…

Grace, Mercy & Love

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I'm learning new things or maybe it's more that I'm seeing things in a new light.

Sometimes grace,
mercy and love look different than I imagined.

Sometimes it's a friend watching my kids so I can breathe and run to Sams Club by myself, or my brother-in-law taking the kids to a movie, or my friend driving me when my medication kicked in unexpectedly and impaired my driving abilities.

Or a friend sitting with me in the waiting room for the MRI and being 5+ hours at the Children's Hospital. It's my Mom taking the kids swimming. My father-in-law faithfully loving his wife in the midst of her inabilities and weaknesses with Alzheimers.

It's my husband telling me that he will have hope for the both of us in a situation I see so desperate that I have lost hope. Sometimes it's in the sunsetting over the water. The cup of Starbucks on the house just because.

Sometimes it's sobbing on the arm of my friend who has suffered a deep loss and yet allowed me to hol…

Waiting on Results of MRI

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Waiting. I absolutely love waiting... said no one ever.

This is the place where we have to take our thoughts and lay them down-surrender them and even make them captive to God. Sometimes the wild and wooly ones have to be lassoed and wrangled to the ground. So what do we do as we wait?

Do we numb ourselves? Distract ourselves? stuff our faces? Get lost in FB, Pinterest, Instagram? Disappear down the comparison hole?

Trust me, I've done all those things before. And it never fixes the restlessness.

The problem isn't that you have to pin down one thought... it's that they keep coming.

Truthfully, I don't know believe I will ever arrive at mastering this. But I do know that God is with me. He's with me as I wait. With me as I read His Word-

"Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God." (Psalm 90:1)

He's with …

The Cancer Question

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It's 3:40 a.m. when my body jolts awake. I thought I heard my phone ringing. It takes me a moment to remember I put in on silent. Is it any wonder though that I jump to when the phone rings? I've only gotten 8 calls yesterday from the Children's Hospital.

I find my thoughts vacillating and desperately trying to pin them down on one end of the spectrum. The side that says, "God is good. He's got this. No matter what happens I will get through this. Samuel belongs to the Lord, not me. He knows the number of breaths we will take. He knows the hairs on our head. I can trust Him even when it's scary."

And then I swing to the other side. That creeping doubt. That dear Jesus please don't let us walk through this again. That I don't know if I could handle another cancer treatment. And thoughts of didn't we just get back to some kind of normal?

Samuel's hearing is worsening. Even with his hearing aid. I keep thinking about  learning sign language a…

PTSD, Panic & Prayer

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The lights feel brighter and the sounds feel louder and the minor annoyances loom large in my mind.

And my heart clenches and I can't breathe and my grasp on the present moment slips. I feel
alternately numb and then intense pain. It's a crippling helplessness. Right now it's a literal numbness and tingling down the left side of my body. It's feeling like I'm not truly in my body. Not grounded. Like I'm watching myself outside of my self.

I am thankful that this is not my constant present reality but in the last week or so my PTSD and grief have caught up with me. My brain, heart, mind, body and spirit have been on overload.

Over the years I have learned how to mange. I cry out to the Lord in prayer. I use essential oils to help ground me, lift my mood, and help me breathe when I'm anxious. I take concentrated fruits and vegetables and berries to boost my nutrition. I go to counseling and receive therapy. I ask for others to pray for and with me. I know the…

Victory & Putting Efficiency in It's Place

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Some Thoughts from a month Ago...

I've been getting into this new routine of waking up early (4:30 a.m.) and getting ready for my day and exercising at the Y. It's been great. I get my workout in, do all my daily care needs bright and early and have the rest of the day ahead of me. In fact most of my difficult or stressful tasks have been done usually no later than 9 a.m.

This morning I had my alarm set for much later in the day... but I still woke up at 5. My dog needed to go to the bathroom and I was just wide awake. I think my body is getting used to my routine.

First couple of days I felt high by all I accomplished. I felt unstoppable. By the end of this week thought I've been restless, frustrated discontent and depressed. Whaaat?! I've accomplished all  these good things. I'm taking charge of my time, my health and my mind.

As I was doing dishes in the quiet of the morning I felt God spoke to me. And He asked me 3 questions....

#1.) What if  you pursued me mo…

#MeToo

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It's a scary thing to put yourself out there. To share a part of you that has brought tremendous amounts of shame. I've seen a couple friends be vocal. I'm so proud of them. They are so brave.

My fear of saying, I too have been sexually abused comes from a place of not wanting to draw attention to myself, not wanting to be seen as dramatic, and knowing I've not had it as bad as others.

But something compels me to write ME TOO. Because I recognize that there are likely other woman, like me, who have downplayed the wrong(s) that have been done to them. They minimize their experience. They don't know it's not their fault.

My first encounter of sexual abuse was being molested at age 5.

My second group of encounters were during sleepovers when I was 12 and on my 13th birthday by a friend.

And the last time was when I was 20 on a missions trip for a well known Christian missions organization.

Those encounters left me feeling confused, ashamed, humiliated and lonely. …