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Showing posts from 2014

Choosing to Draw Near

Tonight was spent searching. Searching back over ramblings from this medically intense journey, re-reading lessons learned along the way. Stories from past seasons jog memories, and rather than linger, I kick against the goads. Another diagnosis has been added and I am already stretched thin. I know that each new diagnosis must be grieved, worked through, but I'd rather be where I was, in a place of schedules and simpler uncertainties. I've come so far, still I have much to learn and live out.

Again I am caught in a cross-fire of medical chaos. Unanticipated? Not really. Unaccepted? For sure. No parent wants to watch their child suffer. A mother's heart is pierced by her child's pain. Pieces of me cleaved and torn again, old fears resurfacing along the way. For years I've spent my days carefully guarding a sometimes fragile life- a multitude of moments seeking to accept that it is God who sustains breath, while I am stretched to find balance in the roles of caregiv…

Strength For Today

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I find myself overwhelmed these days. I want to run, I want to tunnel in, I want to find lasting rest; freedom from this dizzying pace.

In seasons when I rush to and from medical appointments, trying to find a time to fit in grocery shopping can be a challenge. I miss that slower pace, recognize my need to unwind, remember a recent retreat (in Ireland). Together with other wounded warrior families, for an entire week Roger and I were blessed by lavish love. Such an amazing gift, having every one of my needs met- often without even asking.



We came home, jolting into reality .  My teenage son was dealing with major health issues and urgent appointments needed to be made. Difficult conversations have peppered the weeks since our return- and even more medical appointments than usual. I am so very grateful for the respite granted, and when I close my eyes I can still see the lush greens that soothe and heal a heart battered by busy-ness.





Now it seems there are different mountains to cli…

The Heart of the Brave

This morning I seize a few precious moments of quiet while munching Irish cheese and strawberries (of the American variety.) Back from across the ocean after days of pressing beyond fatigue, I finally take a moment to stop. Stop posting pictures on social media, stop chasing Facebook feeds in between medical appointments and STOP unpacking and washing and sorting and re-organizing. I've been up at 4 am and then, thankfully, at 5 as my body adjusts to another time zone, and I've been rushing forward so I can elude the fatigue. 

Sometimes life is like this. We run, not towards something, but from it.  There is a biological alert set off by pain. Fix it, stop it, hold it at bay. Chase after anything that takes our minds off it... we become afraid to sit still because we might just fall apart. Prolong the chase, numb the pain, escape for one more moment. Yet I have learned it's the falling apart I need most.

I saw it this week- big burly guys allowing grief and loss pour out, …

Happy, Or Whole?

All I ever wanted was a normal, "happy" life. As a teen I assumed I would marry, have children, and live the average christian life- singing in the choir, teaching children's church, maybe lead a bible study every now and then. When I was called to a "special" ministry I thought I would end up serving in an orphanage in a poverty stricken country, or perhaps be a missionary's wife. I never would have imagined that I would end up in the suburbs near Dallas, not leading bible studies, or teaching Sunday School, but rather, facilitating medical care for three family members with various medical diagnoses. 

Special indeed, this "Special Needs Lifestyle".  Am I happy? Some days, yes. Some days I am a stressed out wreck. Some days it's all I can do to balance it all- and forget about "keeping it together". But I would not trade this journey for all the "happiness" in the world, because this often chaotic life is what teaches me a…

When Those You Love Grieve

Nine years ago this week, war hit close to home. While stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado, my next door neighbor met me in the driveway with news I was unprepared for; her close friend, a young woman I served on the praise team with,  had been notified a few hours before that her husband had been killed in action.

I went numb. It seemed symbolic that the sun began to set as her words tumbled out. I didn't know if I should embrace my neighbor- nor did I have a clue what to say. We stood together in our shared driveway, shocked, sorrowful, and awkward- while I struggled to process this incomprehensible loss.

It got worse. While my family back home was celebrating multiple birthdays, my military community was rocked by multiple KIA notifications (Killed In Action). By the end of the week, our losses numbered in the teens. I knew one of the widows by name only, and had a casual friendship with another.  Yet now, everyone in our military family seemed knit together by enormou…

Connectivity Amidst Chaos

Some days I want to run, but need to rest instead. I am in recovery; from a night in the hospital with my son, and from the guttural urge towards striving. I feel overwhelmed by all the needs in my home, yet find myself propelled forward, numb but driven, propped up only by my own strength. Rest is needed, time set apart to refuel and be restored in spirit, soul, and body. I struggle to be still. Anxieties crowd my vision; I know where help is found, yet pull back. Why? Self-reliance? Fear? Or am I simply too exhausted to try?

 As I send updates to friends and family, I am reminded to practice connecting with God in the midst of chaos. It's not always easy.

When I am consumed by the moment, when time is marked by the streaming in and out of medical personnel, it's hard to remain connected. I am distracted, yes, but aware of my need, and so I seek the comfort of social media, soothed by the well wishers and prayer warriors alike. Time passes, my son's condition improves, a…

To Run and Not Grow Weary

Some days I don't want to run. Especially when nights stretch long as I comfort a son dealing with tummy troubles, and check the other's BG levels every couple of hours through the night. Still, I recognize the need push through the cobwebs clinging to body and soul, and run the race set before me. I shake off slumber and press through exhaustion on a wing and a prayer. "God help me," I breathe, pushing forward.

Shoes laced, music playing, I step out into the concrete jungle, making my way to the green space behind our neighborhood. Pinks blaze across a pale blue sky, and C25K compells me: "Begin your warm up now."

As with life, one step is all it takes to make a new beginning. My prayer is that God would order each step, for he sees beyond the borders, past all boundaries, above and beyond everything that clouds my vision. I long to know the Truth for the One who IS truth sets me free. Faith requires determination and trust, yet the Lover of My Soul honor…

Lingering

I wake, before dawn. Midnight has faded to smokey grays and bright coral pink blazes across the horizon. Tiny dots of yellow-y white dissect the hills, moving in formation. A chorus of birdsong almost drowns out the distant highway, and trees reach towards heaven, undisturbed by the cool morning breeze. Is this heaven here on earth?

I wish I could stay here, drinking in the early morning peace. Sirens from the neighborhood fire station break into the tranquility, and I thank God that today they are not for my son. I breathe a prayer for the family involved, and think of the week's many medical appointments.

We are learning about Brain Balance. Three days a week, for three months, a few cities away, dotted by follow ups at Carrick Brain Center in Irving, and diabetes appointments in Dallas. Add into the mix the "Home Program" for my husband and younger son- rigorous exercises three times a day, plus a mandatory "outside activity" and a parent chosen "chore&…

Rest

In this moment, I need the simplicity of quiet and rest. I live just far away from family to not be at every event, and often, calls bridge the gap between celebrations and attending. My special needs family requires living differently, in many ways. This creates an overwhelming need in me to draw apart and simply seek Peace in the inmost places. Daily, weekly... even on special Celebration Days. Years ago I would have made the trip, two weekends in a row. I would have pushed through managing multiple medical issues, until I was spent, filled only by fatigue and utter exhaustion. I learned the hard way what works, and what, in the end, only depletes wellness.

Sometimes I feel confined by Diabetes, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Sensory Processing Disorder (among the other special needs I care for). Yet, most days I recognize the intentional hemming in. Not "despite the boundaries", but because of them I have learned what it is to continually press in. I underst…

Rest-Less?

Some days I run until I'm breathless. I run in the park, straining forward, pushing beyond my own strength, praying- and reaching through the wind to the One who is my help. 

I run home (more of a brisk walk) up the hill, around the corner, feet pounding in time with every exhale. I fill my belly with fuel for the day, and press on, managing medical needs. Calls to doctors and medical supply companies, organizing finances and our home. Not a rushing, no, more of a steady pace to get through the list of priorities.  Asked to take breaks along the way to listen to needs and respond. Then, time for more fuel, and I begin to wilt, realizing my need to STOP and press in.

This season stretches on, nights broken by multiple blood glucose checks, days punctuated by calls from the school nurse- daily, hourly. Every moment seems to hold difficult decisions to be made: should my man-child push through diabetes symptoms to be at school one class period longer, or should he come home and rest-…

Knowing Rest

Tonight I need a pouring out, and a flood of pouring in. There have been rains and chaos throughout these past weeks, as hormones rage and a boy is growing into a man.

Daily calls from the school nurse reporting high blood glucose levels and ketones, while I am at doctor appointments or exercising or grocery shopping, or simply trying to catch my breath. My precious son has been at home quite a bit in recent weeks during these learning days... I can count on one hand the number of days he's been well enough to remain at school through every class.

A test tonight revealed high anxiety levels, and the question- "Are you having anxiety attacks?" No, but I am trying to mimic pancreas function in a growing boy and truly, I am clueless as to what to do next. Insulin has been increased, and levels are high one minute and an hour later plumetting. I am confused, and although I focus on tracking and problem solving, it seems trouble shooting has not kept away disquietude. I'v…

Healing Truth

I've known this by heart since childhood, words of life and newness: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was (and is) God." I hold another translation, new and fresh, see the words leap from the page into my heart:

 "Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking.The Voice was and is God. This celestial Word remained ever present with the Creator.His speech shaped the entire cosmos.
Immersed in the practice of creating, all things that exist were birthed in Him.His breath filled all thingswith a living, breathing light- a light that thrives in the depths of darkness, blazes through murky bottoms. It cannot and will not be quenched." (The Voice)
Meaning flows over me like music. Jesus became the part of God humanity can touch. He reached out and placed hands on the diseased, the helpless, the shunned. He gave new life to the dying, the broken of heart, and still today the Voice shines clear, reaching out to all who c…

Delivered

Fifteen years ago I was in a hospital room immersed in delivering life into this world. Bearing down for all I was worth until relief flooded my being and the celebration began. I was delivered into Motherhood- not quite ready for all it would bring.

Today I wait in a hospital room. My son's steady breathing whispers next to me, and I breathe relief. The crisis is over, and, stress waning, I rest too, giving thanks for medical miracles bringing life back from the brink. I nod as truth washes over me; God is real in long hours of crisis, and in the quiet that follows. I see his touch in my heart this very day. Fatigue, too, is real, yet it wanes in light of deliverance. The work is not over- for there will be much monitoring  in the days and nights to come. Sleep will be sacrificed for watchfulness, quiet will give way to care-giving.

Despite many needs ahead, despite lack of slumber- now, and in the weeks to come- there is a restfulness found in moments like this. After the fray, …

Resolution: Restored Relationship

I don't usually make New Years resolutions. Not because I'm afraid I won't accomplish what I set my mind on. It has more to do with my world view, my life view, which has been radically transformed. 

I tend to see the New Year as a re-set button. A time to evaluate lessons learned (usually through mistakes or messes) and a time to forgive myself for every place I fell short.  It's a time to take an honest look at what I can do better- throwing off all guilt- a time to look at where improvement is reasonable within the boundaries of the path marked out for me (in this season). 

It's also a time for me to ask God how He wants to work in and through me in the coming year. A time to make sure my connection to Him is secure after the flurry of the holidays. A time to nestle in and drink deeply of His abundant grace and relentless love. 
In His spirit, built on the foundation of grace and continuity (not merely the momentum of the upswing) I now seek a way to chronicle my j…