Dancing shoes- or barefeet- take your pick!

Dancing shoes- or barefeet- take your pick!

From the feel of hardwood under my bare feet- to the connection between music, body and soul that comes with dancing- I love every bit of it. I spent my high school years dancing my way through every dance class I could. And- although- at this point in my life- a room full of mirrored walls is my nightmare-  I still love to dance. Some weekends, I’ve considered crashing weddings just to dance. Not that I would- but I’ve thought about it. At home- we’ve been known to move the kitchen table- crank up obnoxiously cheesy 80′s music and dance in the kitchen. Due to an aging body- several surgeries and losing what I don’t use often enough- my moves- may be less than graceful- but its’ still fun ;)

I may not be able to dance the way I once could, (In truth-I was never that good:P)  but- I have brought one thing I learned in dance class with me into everything I journey through. (HA! It wasn’t a waste of time, after all.:)   It’s called:  “Spotting.”  A dancer’s trick that enables you to spin without becoming dizzy. (Or- arguably in my case- dizzier.) The trick? Finding a fixed point of focus and keeping that in view.  Instead of allowing your head to spin with your body- you lead with your head- and maintain that focal point.

I’ve kept that with me all these years. I’ve been using the same technique when faced with life spinning out of (My) control- around me. Cancer is a tilt whirl of a journey- so is chronic illness and pain, financial stress, aging parents ( and all that involves) combined with parenting, daily life and all those responsibilities. On bad days-I lose that focus. I feel the nausea and stress of dizziness. On good days- I remember to spot- and while every things still spinning- I can cope.

The thing is- in dance class It was usually the clock I focused on- or something else in the room. In life now? That doesn’t work. I need something always present. Where ever I am. Something that can keep up with all the crazy. For me- that’s Jesus. Sometimes in the form of a verse- sometimes in the form of his people, sometimes in no bible verse in particular- just the basic truths I believe about God. Like spotting in dance- that requires some work. I have to snap my head around to that focal point.

This takes a conscious effort. Sometimes I have to tell myself the truth- that “God is in control even when I’m not- and he’s better at it than me, anyway.”) Out loud, yup, like a crazy woman. Sometimes- I have to stop the spinning and take a break so I can regain my focal point. I get outside- look around- find beauty. (Usually with my camera- it helps me see things differently. ) I also take time to create. I knit. I often pray when I knit. Or- I hit the bike. (Not literally- that would hurt.)  Getting my body moving so fast that I have to focus to keep the pedals from slapping my calves or knocking my shins- is a pretty good way to force myself to focus. On something that isn’t the crazy that is my life.

Spotting. If you’re wondering how I’m coping with all that’s going on- that’s it in a word.

What about you? What are your focal points? A verse? An activity? A place that centers of focus’ you? Tell me! I can’t wait to hear. Actually I think it’s biblical…(Heads up: The part that says: Be anxious for nothing- bugs me-because hello- life provokes anxiety!  But I think in context- it’s telling us HOW to not be anxious….IMO- this gives us focal points- for spotting;)

” Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Phillipians 4:4-9

Shout out to Curt Harding- who’s recent post inspired these thoughts-


531884_624643007568545_930571928_nTruth: I’m a mom. I am crazy.

Also truth: I’m not the only one.

In another life I used to use the DSM on occasion. It’s a helpful tool that professionals use to diagnose and treat mental disorders. (It can also convince you that you’re crazy if you buy one on clearance at the book store- and don’t know what you’re doing.) In my case- as a pastoral counselor- I used it as a reference guide to understand  clients’ diagnosis’. Mental illness is not a joke. I’m not making light of it… I am however going to have some fun with the crazy that is mothering.

Here’s the thing: The crazy that is mothering is not listed in the DSM. I think we need our own version. I see some common issues that could be helpful if we had a guide to help us understand.

Here are a few potential Diagnosis’ I’d like to present to get the ball rolling:

1. Washer Dysmorphic Syndrome: In which one does not hold an accurate view of what ones washing machine can hold.

Symptoms: Washing machine often goes out of balance due to over-stuffage. Washing machine noise is often confused with thunder. Washing machine often requires repairs- most of which involve small socks being removed from the pump.

Treatment: laundry service- which should be covered by one’s insurance. When left un treated this disorder can lead to injury and even death y washing machine overflow drowning.

2. Premature Laundry Foldation: In which laundry is prematurely folded before anyone has any intent of putting it away.

Symptoms: folded laundry piles that melt back into dirty laundry loads. Laundry piles with pets sleeping atop them. A large collection of laundry baskets. Both empty and full.

Treatment: Bribe children to put away laundry- no mom should be forced to wash fold AND put away laundry. Thats just sick.

3. Garbage Can over Flow Avoidance: In which one fails to acknowledge the fullness of a garbage can- in hopes of avoiding taking out said garbage.

Symptoms: Trash piling up and then falling on floor. Trash located by psycho dogs and strewn around the house like Easter eggs. A distinct “scent” can sometimes develop.

Treatment: Force children to take out trash. They must be reminded- constantly-as apparently their brain development in this area requires daily training. If left un treated this can lead to a lost game of Garbage Jenga. (In which the one on whom the garbage stack finally falls may be injured before finally taking out the above listed trash.) Side effects: This can lead to sick pets, a dirty home and a cranky mom. caution should be taken to avoid this disorder’s progression.

4) Mom-cuss-anoia- In which moms overhear snippets of children’s conversations and mistake commonly used words for curse words.

Symptoms: Frequent confronting of confused children who are talking about:  pirate SHIPS. Fishing Pole TIPS. Ducks. Hockey Pucks. Flicks. etc…

Treatment: Earplugs. If left untreated- this can lead to children sneaking in actual curse words just to see if you can tell the difference.

5) Mom-Ihearya-noia- In which a mother’s sleep is interrupted 15,000 times per night due to imagined illnesses, crib escapes and teenager sneak outs.

Symptoms: Repeated waking over nothing. Exhaustion during the day. Annoyed children who are awoken during the night by mom- “checking” on them.

Treatment: none. You’ll just have to wait till they move out.

6) Momeration anxiety- In which a mom has a harder time separating from her child than the child does.

Symptoms: Mom constantly “checking in” on a child in a nursery or preschool setting. Possibly with latent hopes that the child will see her- cry and “need” her. If left un treated- this mom will make pop in visits on college campus- which could lead to her arrest.

Treatment: Restrain the afflicted mom for lengthening amounts of separation.  You may need to use paracord or a straight jacket and a hannibal lector type-mask. We can be pretty dangerous momma bears when separated from our young.

7) Nutritionally Nuts-  In which a mom so obsesses over her child’s climbing the daily food pyramid (or whatever they’re calling it today) that she totally forgets to feed herself. Left un treated this can lead to outrageous food bills and eating disorders for everyone involved.

Symptoms: Obsessively searches Pinterest for “child friendly” recipes. Orders “Bento Boxes” with cartoon characters. Sneaks pureed vegetables into all possible liquids and sauces. (Warning sign: when a child complains that their milk tastes like cauliflower- because it does.) Creates meals too adorable to eat.

Treatment: Get a grip. Most kids won’t starve themselves.They will eat when hungry. And they aren’t as impressed with cuteness as your pinterest followers. Children have been known to survive and grow on fruity pebbles, hot dogs and mac and cheese with the occasional PBJ.  If you’re really concerned- find a vitamin supplement that your kiddo will take. (Or continue on- just remember to feed yourself- momma!)

8) Media Control Compulsion: In which a mom cannot let go of the remote control because she may need to instantly and possibly pre-cognitionally change the channel before some awkward topic, inappropriate scene or word is used.

Symptoms: In extreme cases the mom’s hand can become physically attached to the remote control. A hair-trigger response to visual signals. BOOM. Channel change. Seizures due to constant channel changing. Children’s total confusion over PBS Sprout. (Yo-gabba gabba is often confused by these moms as a drug related show. Although.. it does look like someones been smoking something…. justsayin.)

Treatment: Just turn the dumb TV off. It’s all crap. Well- except for Downton and Walking Dead and Parenthood- all of which we moms know to DVR and watch with forbidden- hidden foods after the children are in bed, anyway.

9) Repetitive Question-itis- In which a mom constantly asks the same questions over and over. “Do you have homework?” “Did you do your homework?” “Did you change your underwear?” “Did you REALLY change your underwear?” “Are you sure you don’t have homework?” “Do you work tonight?” “Do you have class today?” “Do you have your lunch?” “Where is your back pack?” Left untreated- this is just plain annoying. And- your children start to ignore you.

Symptoms: Children annoyingly answer the same questions the same way. Until 7:45 when they suddenly realize they DO have homework and then cry because YOU didn’t remind them. College/adult children make fun of loving mom who just wants to make sure she has dinner for them if they are gong to be home…

Treatment: Ask and then write down the answer. at least you then have it in writing for the 7:45 child -homework freak- out. Of course- you may forget where you put the list-and have to ask your kids until you find it. Good luck with that.

10) Phone Attachment Disorder: In which every time your phone rings- a child clings to your leg or- alternatively- disappears and does something outrageous- like pee in the cat box. (I mean- it’s NEVER happened here… but I’ve heard stories. Or told stories… I can’t recall.)

Symptoms: sudden feeling of heaviness on leg while trying to make a phone call and clean the kitchen at the same time. Sudden quiet noticed while on the phone.

Treatment: Never talk to anyone again- by phone. It’s dangerous- 1) you can beak your neck tripping over that clinging child. 2) whatever they get into while quiet- is bad. Always bad. And messy. Like scrambling eggs into your carpet- or literally powdering your powder room. Alternative treatment: Mke the best of the clinging and call it a work out. be careful not to over work one leg. You’ll look like an inverted one legged- pop-mom. (umm that’s supposed to be a pop-eye reference- but it didn’t really work. Too bad. I have a meeting and I had to get 10 done because I’m MCD like that.

11) MCD: Mom- Compulsive Disorder- In which you will be driven batty by my ending this piece on 11 because it is not equally dividable by any number of children, and you MUST be FAIR because you’re a MOM.

Symptoms: How you’re feeling right now.

Treatment: Have a latte. Or a cupcake. Or both.

Bottom line? Being a mom is crazy. Or – makes you crazy. You’re not alone.

You’re welcome.

Do you have a potential diagnosis for our DSMM?

Comment away!

I’ll add them to the list;) Let’s face it-  I just started with my top 10 (11) disorders…..






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Some days are completely driven by cancer. Other days, cancer takes a backseat. However- while its back there- it’s a cranky , hungry, over-tired toddler who wants to drive- but you crank up the radio and drown out the whining. Not that I’ve ever done that with toddlers.  Well, maybe a few (hundred) times.

This past week has been a mix of both. Somedays cancer has been driving some days it’s a back seat whiner. If we continue with the driving theme- it’s been a bit like driving with that toddler on roller coaster rails, without the awesome lap bar.

There was a fabulous wedding- for which I was blessed to be entrusted with decorating the church. (Interpretation: blessed= stressed that I wouldn’t come up with something fabulous enough for the precious -in a non- southern- way- bride.) While creating a backdrop for God to unite a beautiful couple- I was operating with my own backdrop of a looming cancer center appointment, the ever popular tax-day reckoning and our family trying to figure out the safest and best possible care arrangements for loved ones.

Side note: people call this, being part of a “sandwiched” generation.  (When you’re faced with caring for elderly parents while raising and launching your children.) But, I gotta say- sandwiches are generally simple, cool, comforting fare here. And this?  All these life altering decisions and fear and concern and stress? Is not: simple, cool or remotely comforting. This is closer to a panini-pressed hot melted-mess- minus the goo-tastic cheese. Not good.

With all this roller coaster crazy- I realized this week that my hope has been floundering. I’ve been preparing for the worst- with just a shadow of hope for the best- in all these situations. My brain has been on overdrive- “worst case scenario -what if ” overdrive- I’ve been the cranky toddler complaining in the backseat…I sound like this:

  • “What if the backdrop falls over on the bridal party?”
  • “What if everyone thinks it’s ugly?”
  • “What if we can’t come up with a good solution for our loved ones?”
  • What if I never catch up on the laundry? (I won’t. But still- what if?)
  • “What if this cancer appointment, is THE cancer appointment?”
  • “What if we owe more in taxes than the US government owes to China?”
  • “What if the crazies are right and the blood moon really does foretell the apocalypse? (Actually- last week? An apocalypse sounded pretty good. Assuming we don’t survive and there aren’t zombies involved, of course. )

I ended up with a 2 day migraine. I’d love to blame the weather- (Hello- Michigan.. you’re easy to blame.) But- it wasn’t the weather. The reality it is- it was me- worrying myself sick and running myself ragged. Partly in a good way: Planning and creating wedding decor is delightfully fun;) And-partly in a bad way. Obsessively thinking through potential responses and planning counterpoints, and coming up with alternative plans and solutions and responses to hard situations? Not so good. The bible says hope deferred makes a heart sick- I kind of think I’ve been heart-sick.  I’ve gotten so used to things not going well- that I forgot there could be a best case scenario- at all.

Here’s what actually happened:

  • The backdrop caused no injuries and stayed up as planned. (And it was as beautiful as I could make it;)
  • No one thought it was ugly.  (Well- let’s face it- someone may have- but no one said it was- so whatever. You can’t please everyone. The bride and her mom were happy- that’s all that really matters :P.)
  • The wedding was fabulous. We danced, (yup- somedays you dance with cancer- and I love to dance.) and had a grand time.
  • We came up with several good options for our  loved ones and the meeting to present those options – while hard-went better than any of us had hoped.  (An act of God- trust me.)
  • The cancer appointment also went better than we’d hoped. (My husband has advanced prostate cancer- his PSA has been creeping up while being treated. Not a good thing.) This appointment- it went DOWN. Only .2 from 1.5 to 1.3- but still- DOWN!  I was preparing myself for the worst.
  • It snowed here in Michigan, and today is still tax day- but there has been no apocalypse- blood moon related or, otherwise.  and We don’t owe anything additional in taxes. We payed plenty, actually- you’re welcome, US government. But we don’t owe more. yay!

I’ll be honest- we’ve had so many things go NOT the good way that we’d hoped- that I think I got stuck in a hopeless rut. I’ve been trusting God… But, I’ve been trusting him to carry us through the worst case of EVERYTHING. And I’ve been expecting it.

This week? I was surprised with a few best cases – and- everything went better than I’d feared. The good news has buoyed my heart. I needed it. I feel like my hope has been refreshed.

I’m thankful.

What about you? Are you caught in a hopeless rut? Are you like me- preparing for the worst case- because you’ve faced so many of them? If you are- I understand. I’m with you. I get it. I’m praying.

Dear Lord- life can be overwhelming and fear filled. The truth is- we’ve had so many worst cases to face in the past few years- that I’d almost forgotten how good- good news can feel. Help me to remember. Help me to focus on the hope I have in you- and not allow it to become a shadowed backdrop. For all who are waiting for their hope to be renewed- I pray that you’d be with us in the waiting- and that we’d find opportunities to dance and laugh and be refreshed. Even here-IMG_0034_2 photo photo photoin cancer shoes. I love you lord- and am so thankful- Amen.








cropped-1235494_10201298291952029_1581733579_n.jpgI like control. A lot. I always have plans A, B, C and then my alternatives- D-Z plus a1, b2 c3- just in case. I’m a problem solver. I think systemically. First I see the big picture- then I zoom into details. All of which usually works. Except when they don’t.

Like now-  when there are 15,000 major things going on at once. Today: there’s  a beautiful wedding to be celebrated, a car in the repair shop that needs to be picked up and  a rental returned, a husband with a doctors appointment.  Tomorrow? A tough meeting to attend and lots of hard things to figure out. Monday? a cancer center appointment-that we have no idea where it will lead. And in the middle of all this? A book project I’m loving and working to have published. And meetings and carpools, and laundry.

Lots of problems to solve, lots of questions I’m trying to- but-  can’t answer. Loads of details both can- and can’t plan for. Some are life altering things- others are background noise.

Basically? System overload. If my life had a circuit breaker- it would be tripped. ( A little power outage and system reboot sounds pretty good at the moment.) Except- I’m a wife, a mom, a friend, a follower-a power outage is not an option.

So what do you do when life threatens to overwhelm you?

My answer is beyond simplistic. But- it’s the only one that works.

I:  Just do the next thing. Then the next. And the next. One thing at a time.

This is a season when thinking ahead doesn’t always work. If I try to think and plan ahead for somethings- it becomes worry. Obsession. Fear.Instead-  this a season when I must carefully choose: “What’s the very next thing I need to do?” Then: I do it. I can’t get too far ahead, and I can’t stay where I am.

Like it or not- I have to take the next step. Even when I don’t know where it leads. Even if I may not like where my foot lands. (Hello- I have 3 dogs, need I say more? I know that taking steps sometimes leads to a mess. It’s just a fact:)

Today? The next step is a wedding celebration….there will be dancing involved. And loved ones. It’s a good day.

” Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:20-21

I’ll take tomorrow’s steps- tomorrow.

How bout you? What do you do when life threatens to overwhelm?


6f72d9c1bb2806053f0ef0b54f998344*****Dear Friends- First: This post is NOT pointed at any person- people I know. It’s about an ideology/theologies that have been hurting us during our cancer battle. The truth is I’ve been bumped by this everywhere from Target to restaurants and the Cancer center. There are versions of this that are secular, buddhist and universalist in it’s roots- wherein you are the creator of your own reality based on what you believe. I have experienced all of the above with a similar response: hurt. Because I believe this:

“I trust God, regardless of the outcome.” I’m a heretic, I know.

It’s taken a LOT to get here. Hours of prayer- study and searching of scripture- meditation and contemplation. Lots of tears and crying out to God. Honestly? The “crying out” has sometimes been yelling. I’m not afraid to tell God exactly how I feel, what I think or what I’m begging for…I fully believe God can handle my emotion. (He created it. He already knows the truth about it- why pretend I feel any different? If there’s one place I can be brutal honest and understood- it’s with God, in my opinion.)

Yet- there is a whole segment of Christianity that judges me because of this trust. “You have to believe XYZ. Then- your husband will be healed.” When I bring up the whole: there are no guarantees of God’s healing in every circumstance- and that I believe he CAN heal- but -that he doesn’t always” thing, I get glares of contempt over my disbelief at worst and condescending looks and pats with with promises of prayer that God would increase my faith at best.

Here’s the thing. It breaks my heart. Cancer is hard enough to go through -without heaping spiritual judgment on top of it. (more…)


This morning I spoke at a local MOPS Group about Depression- It’s  hot topic- so I thought I’d share my notes here. Disclaimer: I am not an LPC. I am sharing from my experience, research and experience as a pastoral counselor. ;)

What depression is:  A biochemical problem. “Depression is like riding your bike in the wrong gear- it makes everything harder.” (Thats how depression feels to me.) Treatment puts the bike in the correct gear- but you still have to keep pedaling. 

Some describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom. However, some depressed people don’t feel sad at all—they feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic. Others feel angry, aggressive, and restless.

Whatever the symptoms, depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief. (Helpguide.org)

What depression isn’t:

  • A spiritual failure.  You can’t just believe your way out of true depression.
  • Something to hide.
  • Something you have to live with. There is hope and help available.

Causes of depression:

  • Hormone shifts. Postpartum, Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and peri-menopause.
  • Biochemical imbalance — inherited or other cause. A depletion of brain chemicals.
  • Winter depression (also known as S.A.D: Seasonal Affective Disorder). When sunlight levels drop, sleep schedule problems and depression can develop.
  • Anger turned inward. When anger is “stuffed” it often exhibits itself as depression.
  • A normal response to a painful situation. (Grief) We all face grief of many types- depression is one of the phases of grief.
  • When circumstances don’t match expectations.
  • When needs are not being met. Sleep deprivation, physical needs, emotional, cognitive and spiritual needs.
  • Perfectionism- the frustration of not being able to be perfect- especially a perfect parent can cause depression.
  • Issues from your own childhood that emerge when you become a parent. ***
  • Hidden illness.  (Thyroid etc  Many body malfunctions can cause depression.

This is far from a comprehensive list.

Signs and symptoms of depression:***

  • Sadness, unhappiness, tearfulness
  • Sleeping excessively or being unable to sleep- 4:00 am wakeup
  • Lack of energy-
  • Loss of interest in things you previously enjoyed-
  • Irritability-
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating/decision making- I knew there was something wrong with me when I was standing in the toilet paper aisle of Target and could not decide on a brand. I ended up in tears. I am generally very decisive. This was NOT NORMAL.
  • Change in appetite/ weight
  • Physical discomfort/ aches and pains
  • Feelings of worthlessness/ emptiness
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

Health risks of untreated depression:  stroke and heart attack risk increased, suicide. Other negative effects: relational- children, work-life, etc

Self- care:            If you are experiencing some symptoms of depression- but are generally still able to function at an acceptable level- here are some self care options to try and put your bike back in gear: (more…)

6f72d9c1bb2806053f0ef0b54f998344Excited- and wedding planner in hand (Think old school: notebook. Not a human. That would be awkward.) we went  from apartment complex to apartment complex. the one with the lake? Denied. The one with the park? Denied. The one in the beautiful neighborhood? Denied. Just barely adults- and we’d already messed up our credit. (WHY do they send credit cards to first year college students? I could barely handle working and studying- let alone a credit card. It felt like a magic pass to anything I wanted or needed. Only we quickly found out: not so much.) I think it’s a conspiracy. But, that’s not the point.

The point is: our choices of first apartments were limited.

We were however- finally approved for a third floor apartment in an older complex. We were disappointed, and excited. We had a place! It wasn’t our first  (or even our third) choice- but it was  going to be our first home. We packed up our boxes- furniture and  wedding gifts and moved in. We made it our own. We made the best of it. TMI alert:  we even conceived our first child there. It wasn’t perfect. Parts of it sucked. But- it was our abode. It hold a precious place in our hearts.

Every once in a while, we take a drive by it to reminisce and show the kids.

We’re in a similar situation right now. Only  it’s not an apartment we’re stuck with- it’s cancer. Yesterday was a long day of cancer appointments. They didn’t go as we’d hoped.  Cancer is that ugly apartment where we currently abide. It looks like we’re going to be stuck here a lot longer than we were in that first dumpy apartment. This cancer just won’t die. (Random: Yesterday during an on the edge of tears rant I said: “This cancer needs to just die, already” My husband only heard the last part. NOT good. Um the look on his face was one part shock one part unbelief. I clarified and we laughed. “Duh. I meant the cancer- not you. I’m not wanting you to die, yet.”  Because you know- I’m the most loving and compassionate wife ever.)

I keep packing my emotional boxes and hoping to move on- only to have our hopeful next place in life “Denied” all over again. It’s disappointing. It’s frightening. I hate it.

But- we have a choice. Just like we did when we found that first apartment. We can make the best of this place- or be miserable.

We chose to abide well- even here. We hold onto moments of joy. We are loving as well as we can. We refuse to allow cancer to make us so self focused that we don’t love others well. We chose to trust God- no matter the outcome.  We also chose not to allow cancer to distract us from God’s calling on our lives. As parents, in our places of work, in our calling to love others well.

I hope- that someday we will look back on these days like we do that old ugly apartment. That we’ll have memories that are precious- although garnered in a place we never wanted to dwell. In this place we don’t want to abide- but are.

Dear Lord- I beg you to guide and direct our medical team. I beg you Lord to heal my husband. And i beg you to help us abide well- even here in this place of cancer that we hate so much. Give our family what we need each day to face it with courage. Help us to face whatever lies ahead. Lord—- I’ll be honest- I  don’t want to walk anymore miles in cancer shoes. It’s been  3 year long roller coaster. I hate roller coaster. I’m tired. I’m hurting and I’m scared. Help me to take just the next step. And  all those that follow. I love you Lord- amen. PS: Jesus? I hate cancer. I’m glad you do too.

Most of us find ourselves stuck in a place we don’t want to abide in at some point. Where have you been stuck? Are you stuck in a place you hate right now? In sickness? In divorce? A relationship with an ex that’s making you miserable? In a struggle with sin that you just can’t shake? Mental illness? A job you hate, but need the income from? How are you managing to abide there? How are you coping? How can I pray for you? Please share in the comments- or if that’s too pubic- email me- or contact me through Facebook. My contact info is in the sidebar. I’d be honored to pray for you. You’re not alone.

My prayer for all of us- Who feel stuck.  ”May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV

cropped-img_5987.jpgThe first child was beautifully, perfectly born with a spock-like pointy ear and eyes that needed bifocals at 2. The next was beautifully, perfectly born with lungs that preferred to wheeze as opposed to nicely filling with air and oxygenating blood and a “hip click” that caused us to diaper splint him like a baby yogi until his hip settled nicely not the socket. The last child was beautifully, perfectly born with (not kidding) a butt crack shaped exactly like Harry Potter’s scar. Which sounds hilarious- until you realize that a crooked crack is the bottom of more than a bottom- it’s the bottom of a spine- and a tiny divot and deviation there can be a sign of a big problem that leads to scary specialist appointments and x-ray series. (Even if it’s just a crooked crack.)

Still- as the mom of all three of the messed up kids above- I can tell you they are perfectly imperfect and loved by their mom. (And family.)

I confess- My goal as a mom- even before I became one- was to be perfect – and subsequently- have perfect kids. “If I learn everything and do everything right- my kids will turn out perfect.” Was my mantra. I repeated it to myself as I have scoured every pregnancy book, baby book, toddler book, preschool books, elementary age books, middle school book, high- school book, college/adult child book- looking for the “path to child perfection” like a doctorate student researching to finish their thesis. I was hoping to achieve mothering perfection- because my mommy heart had totally changed the verse that says “In so much as it depends on you live at peace with others” to: “in so much as it depends on you- be a perfect parent and you won’t jack up your kids.”

Except- the truth is- they were jacked up when I got them. The spock ear, bifocals, wheezy lungs and crooked crack should have been a clue. (more…)

Let It Go

A few days ago, I posted about having an ugly, meltdown. In the end-I prayed that God would pry my fingers off of things I can’t control- and help me to trust in him- not myself. I needed to let some things go.

Yesterday, I had a few unexpected (and some unwanted) opportunities  to do just that.

I had my whole day planned. I like plans. Especially when I make them. And -when they are plans for a day of doing something for myself. Which- is what I had planned for yesterday. A ME day. Then, my plans changed. I was disappointed. But, I went with it. I let it go. I adjusted. I drove the youngest to school. I worked out. I wrote, hit send and am trusting God with the outcome of that risk. I even managed to knit a bit between laundry loads and researching some options for a situation we’re in need of answers for. (A topic for another day.) I cooked dinner in the crock pot. I didn’t even freak when I noticed my right rear tire was flat yet again. I just- asked my husband to help.

All was manageable.

Until, I got home from after school pickup. And did what I always do.

First- I shed my outerwear-(And a few other things.  Home is where the girls are free to be. Home an underwire free-zone. You’ve been warned.) (more…)

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