Tuesday, November 14, 2017

It’s okay to not be okay

Last night I dreamt my house was on fire. It was a slow burn in the basement but we knew we were going to lose the entire house. Smoke was starting to come up the basement stairs as we evaluated what we wanted to save. I helped my kids grab their beloved blankets and stuffed animals. I reassured them the rest was not worth the risk and it was okay to let it burn.

Once we were safely outside I noticed my wedding ring had been replaced by my grandmother's ring on my finger. I left the kids outside and ran back into the burning house to rescue my wedding ring.

Even in my dreams I know letting that burn is not an option.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Emotional Gut Health

My daughter and I share a condition I like to call Emotional Constipation.

Emotional Constipation
Def: The inability to recognize and identify the tricky bastard of emotion(s) that are swirling around inside you. Also can be confused with "stoicism" or "not caring." The lack of identification often leads to denial and never speaking a word about it.

I look at my daughter in the midst of her quiet chaos and think, "Oh sweet girl, your eyes betray you. I can try and help you have a safe quiet place to process, I can offer up different feelings and let you pick the one that feels the closest, but I can't make you speak."

I'm just now learning how to speak. I believe my condition is part nature and part nurture, but it is part of me all the same. By God's grace he has brought friends into my life that suffer from an opposite condition. One I call Emotional Diarrhea.

Emotional Diarrhea
Def: The ability to recognize and feel all the emotions, yours and other's. They are easily identified and strongly felt. The emotions have to be purged otherwise they will overwhelm and destroy the carrier. Can be confused with "emotionally unstable."

Both types have issues. Maybe if you put us together the result is health. I like that idea.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Smell of Risotto

My husband has been battling Lyme Disease and it's damage for almost five years now. The thing that often gets buried in our memories, both for him and myself, is during that time I also had Lyme disease. From diagnosis to ending treatment my experience lasted one year. It's a blur of a year. I remember a friend hiring another friend to clean the house, friends bringing over freezer meals, coordinating carpools from my computer and phone so my kids were taken care, friends helping weed gardens, friends coming over to sit with me and help with my youngest kid, and spending a lot of time in bed watching Netflix. I tried doing things and then would quit. I remember cancelled plans, letting people down. It was a humiliating year, and a wonderful year.

Because you can't experience the happiness of rebuilding your life if it was never taken away.

One day, as I was recovering I made risotto. Risotto is fussy to make. It takes time and needs some babysitting. I was standing over my stove, caught a whiff of the squash, onion and garlic and started to cry. I had forgotten that I enjoyed standing over a stove. I had forgotten what it felt like to be able to stand in my kitchen and cook my own food. I also cried in my car after going back to the gym for the first time. I cried when I realized I was able to go to the dance studio with my daughter and interact with people instead of having someone drop her off. Bit by bit, I've been allowed to engage in little pieces of my life again. And by "engage" I mean "cry." The crying is a new thing I picked up over the past five years. I don't mind it, but it is very different from who I was.

My tiny battle with Lyme gave me a small taste of the hell my husband has gone through. Unfortunately his battle isn't over. Take my one year experience and multiply it by a million.

And yet, you can't experience the happiness of rebuilding your life if it was never taken away.

I daydream about the day I can write about all of this in the past tense. So does he. I think that day will come, and sometimes he thinks so too. In the meantime we will cry, laugh and wake up each day and try again.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Firmly Awana Stands

I was an AWANA kid. That means that once a week I put on my AWANA vest, strutted to church and earned a crazy amount of jewels and awards to pin to my vest. One earns awards with Bible verse memorization and a couple of other things I don't remember in AWANA. I earned every single jewel I could. I rocked my Bible memorization/recitation. I was an AWANA super kid.

I was primarily motivated by the jewels...and maybe a little by God's approval.

And then one day it happened. Some teacher/adult/volunteer mentioned that we earned real jewels in Heaven if we led someone to get saved. WHAT?! My heart leaped. Why had I not known this earlier? I immediately started scoping out my friends and family to see if any of them weren't Christians so I could get them saved and earn my awesome real jewel. Unfortunately most of them were...except for one. I wish I could remember her name, but I do know that mom picked her up on our way to AWANA. She didn't go to our church other than that, so I assumed she was one of the "lost."

And my opportunity.

I pounced during AWANA game time.

"So ____________ do you know Jesus?"


"You know, Jesus. The God who saves us."

"I don't know."

"Well, are you a Christian?"

"I don't know."

At this point I knew I had her. I had found my "unsaved" and I was dangerously close to victory. I needed to close the deal fast.

"Do you want to be a Christian?"

"I don't know, maybe."

"Well, you should. All you have to do is say this prayer (say something weird about Jesus entering her heart)."

"Okay, but I have to go to the bathroom. I'll do it in the bathroom." (She leaves and goes to the bathroom).

"So did you do it? Did you ask Jesus into your heart in the bathroom and become a Christian."


Sweet Lord Jesus! I had done it! I had earned my first Jewel.

I later heard that even though we earned crowns and jewels in Heaven we are going to give them back to Jesus. Fat chance Jesus.

I desperately want to leave my story there because the young superstar AWANA Suzanne is so comedic and sad. She is also very real. I really was that girl. And honestly somedays I still am. Praise Jesus the older I get,the more He works, the more convinced I become that if there truly are crowns and jewels waiting for me in Heaven, I will dead sprint to Him to give them back. I've done nothing. I deserve no jewels. He has done it all.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

denial observed

Sunday: "Hmm, I'm really grumpy and short tempered. Weird, I'm also achy. I must be PMSing."

Monday: "I woke up in a sweat this morning. So strange, my hormones must be wacky. My workout was extra hard too, I just didn't seem to have energy."

"Yeah, I know I don't normally take naps but I was feeling extra lazy today."

Tuesday: "My body still really aches. It must be the yoga I did at home this morning."

"I have about 1 hour before I need to be at school to volunteer, I'll just lay down again-since it's so cold in this house, I should probably keep my coat and boots on."

"Okay, I have 1/2 hour before I need to make dinner and then take J to soccer practice, I think I'll lay down again...why is it so %^&*&# cold in this house! I've got the fire on and 3 layers?!"

(I then lay down)

"I can't get up. Maybe I'm sick."

Wednesday: "I hate this."

Thursday: "Today I must be feeling better."

"Keep going, keep going, keep going." (while attempting laundry)

"Keep going, keep going, keep going." (while putting food in crock pot)

"Keep going, keep going, keep going." (while putting dishes away)

"#$%&%$# I'm done."

Friday: "Today I must be feeling better."

"I have to be better, I'm probably just being lazy because I haven't done work all week and my body has forgotten how."


Saturday (today): "Okay, TODAY I must be feeling better."

"...But why is it still so cold?"

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

I'm a...

There are great articles circling the facebooksphere-actually great articles and greatly ridiculous articles. A decent one has been banging around in my head lately. It was written by a mom telling every other mom in the world to chill out, stop trying to be everything, and celebrate who you are and who others are.

I applaud you outspoken blogger woman who is comfortable in your own skin. Now can you come visit me and let me know what I'm good at? I liked to garden, but then we moved and I had a lot of stairs to get to the backyard, so I stopped liking gardening. Cooking is fun, except this month, and last month...so now I'm questioning the definition of "fun." Health food is a great concept so on occasion I will turn our house into an organic vegetarian paradise, until I get tired and serve ice cream for dinner. I was a working mom so I dressed in fancy work clothes and pretended to be a grown up, but those days are over for now. And the list goes on and on...

The truth is, I don't care. Am I a gardener, am I a health nut, am I a cook, do I rock birthday parties and wow with my fashion sense and personal fitness? I don't know (except about the fashion, I know I don't have great fashion sense) and it takes too much time or energy to think about it. My life and "gifts" seem to change on the daily. A couple of days ago I was crazy clean house mom and yesterday I stared at my laundry while I had a long and embarrassing dance party with the kids.

Thank God what I do does not make me who I am. Thank God that who I am is safe and secure in God's view of me. Otherwise I would spend life trying to achieve things for the sole purpose of proving that I matter. That sounds insanely exhausting, and one thing I do know for certain is I don't have the energy for that.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dear Jesus take 2

Dear Jesus...sometimes my life feels exhausting, and then you give me delicious wine, the Dick Van Dyke show and an infomercial about a massive light up key chain that helps you find your keys in your death chasm of a purse with only a shake, and life seems amazing again.

Thank you.