Showing posts from 2015

Messy But Good

 This time of year there's a lot of anxiety over expectations. Yours, mine, and numerous others. Perfect place settings and greeting cards peer at me through the messy places in my life and I have to remind myself that my journey is different.  Recently I've been encouraged by a number of hearts who also deal with different life situations. Though our journeys are as diverse and varied as our challenges and joys, we all have places where life is not what we expected. There is a comfort in commonality; we remember we are not alone. That so much of our emotional response to difficult circumstances is strikingly normal- even when our lives are not. I relate to feeling judged when people (strangers or not) criticize when they can't begin to know the depths of heartaches, needs, or diagnoses.  I want to get to the place where people's opinions don't matter so much to me. I'd settle for getting to the place where their judgements don't shake me so. Somet

I am Thankful

Today, I am thankful for Red Cups. They are a symbol that I am blessed and live in a country where we are each free to believe and celebrate in the way that is most meaningful to us each-without fear for our lives. I am thankful for the many, many service members who sacrifice tremendously to defend these freedoms. I am proud to call you friend, and father, and husband, and cousin, and uncle... and Loved. I am grateful to those who gave all... ‪#‎ gonebutnotforgotten‬ I am thankful for the family members of military service members that sacrifice much as well-- especially to those who have supported me both while my husband was deployed and in the years of recovery since then. (Love you all bunches!!) I am grateful for a God who does not control or manipulate, but rather invites- loving Unconditionally, offering Acceptance of each individual's unique make up. ‪#‎ squarepegroundhole‬ I am thankful for God's boundless love that crosses divides rather than c

God's Not Dead

Today I watched God's Not Dead. A compelling plot. I loved the courage of the college student, the bravery of the young woman who left a domineering and abusive relationship, the unwavering faith of the missionary, whose joy was simply contagious. Most of all, I loved... well, I'll tell you a bit later. First, I have to confess that the conclusion was a bit neatly wrapped for my pragmatic sensibilities. Not everything was resolved (I know) and I get why there is resolution in the main plot: it's meant to encourage Christians to stand firm in faith, in the face of ridicule, abuse, even sacrifice. Still, I grapple with the realism quotient. We humans are problems solvers, so we long for resolution. Yet in my life, this is not a daily reality. All is not finally and perfectly resolved. Life is unpredictable, even chaotic. If I can't have resolution, will I settle for assurance? Assurance that eventually, somehow everything is going to be alright?  I used to pin

Beauty From Ashes

Most Americans remember exactly where we were when we got the news. An attack- right here in the continental U.S. I was teaching in a private school, and the owner pulled me aside. Hushed tones conveyed a frantic message: Today was like no other day. Due to the attacks in New York and D.C., the Dallas Trade center was shutting down for the day, for the safety of it's employees. Businesses all around stopped mid stride. Some students might be picked up early, and some parents might be considerably delayed. I didn't see the footage until after work; unspeakable scenes exploding across my TV screen. Footage playing over, and over, and over... that which I could not quite process. People running... fireballs and smoke... one collapse, and another...debris mingled with trembling lives... scores of cars abandoned on bridges while their owners fled.  How could this happen? Who would do such a thing? We were shocked and yet uncommonly united. Differences melted away, and human be

Fighting Fear

Why do these things always seem to happen in the middle of the night?  It's 4 am and my son's insulin pump has stopped working. Bleary eyed, I muscle through drowsiness, giving a shot of insulin to bring down a blood glucose level of almost 600... and wait. I restart the pump;  it kicks back into gear.   I pray, and wait.  Every hour, on the hour, I check blood glucose levels and pray . Mid morning the pump shuts down again. It won't re-boot. After a conversation with the insulin pump company, a new pump is sent out. I find an older pump, our "back up", and continue to check Blood Glucose levels hourly,  correcting high BG levels via syringe. Late in the afternoon, the "substitute" pump stops working... and I panic . I have back up "24 hour" insulin on hand, but need the doctor's guidance regarding dosage. I call the endocrinologist's office and wait. And wait. Wait to see if he'll switch over to "shot therapy" til

Complications and Light

Sometimes life is more than complicated- it's staggering . It's tangled and muddled, raveled into a turbulent mire. Caregivers can find themselves deluged as special needs or medical issues bring much more than we can handle. Beth Moore writes : "I am so glad God did not limit his Holy Writ to high and lofty subjects. " No, he gets down and dirty with the best of us, reaching for us in the midst of the messiest, most desperate times. " So that we don't lose heart or hope, He graciously made sure we'd know... abnormal is more normal than normal ." (Believing God: Week 4, Day 5)  Still, there are secret shames that haunt our paths. Pressures and broken places, shards littering the path to greater wellness. Some of the stumbling places are losses or wounds. Others are diagnoses. The ones we don't talk about. The ones that come with a stigma. Diabetes is generally accepted, but what of depression or anxiety? When families flounder through menta

For the Disordered Days

It was one of those days. One of those weeks, really. One of those homeschooling, lucky-if-I-get-five-minutes-to-myself-between-doctor-visits kinds of weeks. Busy is an understatement. That evening my youngest had a school event where I'd see friends and neighbors and I was feeling thrown together, and not really keen on the world seeing me in this condition.  I have one child in public school and am homeschooling the other. Both have some specific medical issues requiring this tactic. This leads to an interesting, and mostly manageable dynamic, but leaves little time for self care-- and a great need for recovery. All week I'd been grabbing lightening quick showers... but it was beyond hair washing day, ya'll. Way beyond. My ultra-fine-straight-as-a-board hair needed more TLC than I had time to give. My focus had been on basic hygiene: soap, deodorant, and toothpaste. (I've postponed more than one hot date with the curlers this month.)  I'd also had the drea

Control? Or Liberty

One of the great myths of modern day Christianity is that of a controlling God. Whether the day is going badly or the horrendous has happened, the platitude "God is in control" abounds.  My sweet friend Marilynn, from Ladies By Design gave me food for thought during a discussion about control. Control is self centered manipulation of people and circumstances to reach a desired outcome- sometimes through the compromising of values. Most often control is rooted in fear . God, however, is not fearful. Nor is God self centered.   God is the embodiment of unselfish, unconditional love. He has no need to "control".  Consider the flowers in the field, Marilynn urged. God created the seed, set in motion the processes of wind dispersal and weather systems, providing soil and seasons, rain and sun. Yet God does not force the flower to bloom. He invites the seed to die, to germinate, to put down roots into fertile soil, to grow and blossom. So, too with us.    T

Joy In the Dull Dark Days

I have longed for joy in this season when my son's health seems to have spiraled out of control. I have had to pray and release, pray and release, all while strains of Christmas music fill the air. So many songs about peace and joy. I wonder, what is joy? Where, exactly, does it begin and end? Throughout my life Christmas has been a time of wonder and awe. My birthday falls on the day after we celebrate the birth of this Savior for all mankind. It was personally significant to me to share my birthday with Jesus- to have my own birth celebrated even while celebrating the miracle of God's great love for us. His love, in fact, has permeated my existence. Every season, whether I walked close to him or held my heart at a distance, I was drawn by that glorious love. But joy? I have struggled to find joy on this special needs pathway. I am beginning to accept that my definition of joy differs from God's deep understanding of it. I have seen joy as a great burst- a sudden a