Today Is The Day Someone I Love Died — A Prose Poem


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It is Friday. The achy Friday that everyone calls good. I am supposed to be meditating on the Via Delarosa. It is a day to reflect on the nails, the ruggedness of the cross, the fact that someone I love so much was unrecognizable from abuse, beatings, and words that were hurled at Him. I am supposed to think of the scene. The time I walked out of a church because they started playing The Passion of the Cross during a praise song. “Don’t they understand?” I should be able to choose when I see the death and the pain of someone I love. “Don’t they understand it isn’t just anyone?” This is not even the anniversary of His death and you want to show me His pain? I have never seen The Passion of the Christ, except when churches cut into it during a song. I’m not ready. Because I love Him. Do you understand? It wasn’t a good day that I want to see over and over. I don’t want sensationalism. I want Him. I want Him here. Just like anyone else that left too soon. Only, I’ve never seen Him face-to-face. Not in my lifetime. I’ve only felt His hands hold mine when I wore napkins glued to my side with my own blood and I was too scared to be in the dark alone. He is real. I lost someone I love in a gruesome way. Why would I want to see without choosing? He’s alive. Did you know? He’s put his hand to my side. Kissed the scars on my wrist. A few weeks ago while I prayed, He had his hand on my shoulder. This Friday, I am want to think of Thursday. My favorite day of the week. I will choose to not be afraid of questions or be alone in any anxiety or fear. It is Spring and He was in a garden. Bleeding out of His pores. He was afraid. He was questioning. He was wrestling with His mortality. This year I am connected to Thursday. Thursday on His face before God. I’ve been there. I’ve been there recently. I’ve been there more than once. Agony has walked near me this year and there were many times I failed to see my Savior before and behind. On Thursday, He was on the ground. He knew everything He would feel, all He would suffer, He looked for another way. He ripped flowers from the ground and cried over the grass that someday I will be buried under. Moments later that must have felt like eternity, He chose to step into Friday without even the help of a good nights sleep because he knew that someday this is where I would be. No one should face a Thursday like that alone. He knew.

*** I did not paint this painting. I don’t know who did but the copyright belongs to them. I am just blessed to have witnessed it.

It’s Not About Loving Life, It’s Who We Praise While In Cocoon


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I should probably be taking my migraine medicine and lying down to sleep. This has been my life lately. Go to bed with a really bad headache and then wake up with one. I’m tired of taking medicine that makes my belly hurt to fix a pain in my head that never heals.

This afternoon I had a case of the “mean reds” (if you don’t understand this reference, please go watch “Breakfast At Tiffany’s) and I was too close to Facebook. This is a problem. I’m so sick of Facebook in my life but being chronically ill the past year, it’s easy access to company and sometimes just a distraction.

I’ve been having bad pressure and pain in my head every day for four months. In November an MRI showed a lesion on my brain. At the time, the doctor told us it looked like Multiple Sclerosis or a low-grade tumor. The radiologist thought it could possibly be scar tissue. I haven’t talked about it much on social media or my blog. I mean yes, I’ve “vague-booked” about the headaches but not about MS. I had a lot of peace after the first test. Whatever it was, I knew I would face it with God and He would be glorified through the story. Heath was amazingly supported and beautiful. I had two more MRI’s – one of my brain with contrast and one of my cervical spine as well as a lumbar puncture. They did not find the MS marker but an elevated protein that they also look for in MS and the lesion lit up a little so the doctor didn’t think it was scar tissue. MS doesn’t have a “yes or no” test, so I am middle grade “probable” and in six months they look to see if there is another lesion. We are hoping and praying for healing. We want this to be nothing. The doctor doesn’t treat with MS medicine until they find two lesions or the marker. So we wait. And in the mean time there are headaches that are not believed to be caused by the tumor. Every day — migraines and tension headaches together. It’s not my best thing. Some weeks I’m positive and pushing away the pain and trying to dance or learn violin. Then, there are weeks when I struggle through work and come home and take medicine or put an icepack on my head.

Being sick isn’t fun, but this week I am especially grateful for my life. To be sick and in pain is to remember I am breathing. For whatever reason, I still have a purpose. Although, often times, going to work and coming home to lay in bed doesn’t feel purposeful. Tonight, I would rather be loving on my homeless friends under the bridge or watching “Pitch Perfect” with my BFF in Birmingham. The medicine I suppose I needed was these clacking keys and a blank screen.

I guess I should explain why I wrote what I did on Facebook. Remember the “mean reds” and the closeness to social media? It went something like this, “Sometimes you grow up and are disappointed with who you’ve become.” Do you ever just write things that you cry while you’re writing them because you know they aren’t true. The enemy likes to use my words to hurt me because God loves me through words, I think. All the truth inside of me was screaming of how hard God and I worked (well, mostly Him but me too) so that I could learn to love myself how He loves me. Remember all that was overcome? Remember how much you love that lady on the street that draws paradise and is your consistency every day? Remember how you heartbreaks for those you love? Remember that you’re human? Remember loss, change, sickness, danger, death, fear … remember all the things that have been coming at me. I’m not claiming the pain of others right now who I love deeply and who are hurting much further down than I am. It’s only that – “just keep swimming” isn’t always the best motto. Because eventually you get exhausted, you body fails you, your muscles cramp, your eyes “rain” too often, and you exhaust those you love most.

I guess what I meant by the statement is that I miss being that lady that could make everyone laugh, encouraged everyone, looked for the beauty and positivity in all, and had the passion and projects and adventure. I’m a newlywed, did you know? We’re hurting as we grow together. It’s been two years of spiritual opposition since we came together to do more than we could ever do for God apart. It’s heavy. We saw the bullet holes that went through our first house and we lived in fear for awhile. Today I realized that the day my cousin died was the same exact day last year I watched a work friend collapse and go into cardiac arrest right before my eyes. Fears continued to grow as existing blood pressure problems in my own life were exasperated and my health continued to nose dive. It isn’t why I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed because I decided that when I got my life back, after that time I should have lost. I said I’d never be apathetic about God again. I know what it’s like to almost lose my life, so life is too short not to live to the full.

I’ve let myself down. I’ve felt that I’ve let God down at times. I’ve felt disappointed that I’ve felt isolated, too fearful, and unhappy. I felt sad that I’m not happy to do all the things I want to do with Heath – to cook, clean, giggle, and be there for him like I want to . I have my days and we have beautiful times … I just don’t love how things are in my life right now. I suppose it’s where God wants me to be, for those who love their life will lose it. It’s a struggle. Today, I hope my weakness will boast of Him because I love Him and because I won’t give up sharing this story. It doesn’t matter the pain in the head or the MRI results. He is faithful. And struggling helps burst from the cocoon.

I’m still growing. I’m still breathing. Today that is enough.

The Last Goodbye’s the Hardest One to Say — George Strait


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I’ve been thinking about Lazarus a lot lately. When Jesus’ close friend passed away they said, “Rabbi, the one you love has died.” And he waited. He’s sleeping is what Jesus told his disciples and by the time Jesus went to him, he’d been “sleeping” for four days. His family was grieving but they were faithful. They were hurting. Yet, Jesus even knowing what he was about to do for the benefit of those around Him to know His father, still wept. You learn when you’re little that it’s the shortest verse in the bible. Jesus wept. I’ve heard that Jesus was weeping for His friend. It shows that He knows how to comfort us in times of great loss and that He was human and God. Some people believe He was hurting because how much he loved that family and he was feeling their hurt. It hurt Him that they were hurting. Lazarus, after commanded by Jesus, later stepped out of the tomb and was told to remove his grave clothes.

cousinsThis week someone came to tell my cousin Jeanna, “The one you love has died.” While I often think about what Lazarus was like after he was given back his life — Did he learn about true Grace? How was his relationship with his friend different after that? After years, did he sometimes get down in the dumps still? How did he feel when he lost a loved one who remained “asleep?” — the Bible doesn’t tell us. The Bible does tell us that Jesus prays for us. So, we can know two things when Darin went to be with Jesus and peeled off the flesh of this world, Jesus wept. Don’t you think? Don’t you believe that he looked down at a beautiful family, a loving partnership He’d built, a beautiful teenage girl that is striving to find her way and love herself as Jesus does, a little boy that loves hockey and baseball and wrestling, two babies who bring joy and surprises everyday. And he wept. He wept as He prayed for them. I believe He did. I believe He knew what had to happen for his plan to be accomplished but he hurt from what he would have to do to the others he loved that would be left behind. The other thing we can know is that he is praying for them in ways that we cannot fathom. Heaven is all around us in a realm we can’t yet see. There is Jesus praying and weeping for those he loves. While there are still big miracles going on around us this week and just throughout life, it isn’t often we physically see a man rise from the dead.

However, we do see the spirit in men come back alive, break through strongholds, breathe again. It’s a bit different in the modern world. The person we love dies and if we are humble, vulnerable and trusting we are the ones who take off the things we’ve been wrapped in. In Darin’s case we’ve been hearing gorgeous stories of how he touched so many lives and his family has been loved on by people they don’t even know, so in many ways if we’re open to it, a person dies and we live. We struggle. We hurt. But our lives change by remembering who they are and the difference they made. That life is short and we’re meant to be blessing and loving on others. We learn what is important in life. We learn to forgive more. Look longer at those we love. We learn it isn’t about what we want but what God needs to do through us.

In our family, we have been given a great example of a servant’s heart, a hard worker, someone who cared deeply for family and friends, someone who laughed a lot, and gave great hugs, and would do anything he could do to help out. We have the ability to raise from his sleep. Pick up his cause. Love more deeply. We want him here. God knows that. The more you miss someone, the more you know how much they meant to you. He’s in the spiritual realm now and he’s just a breath away — so close. Just like our prayers don’t have to go a huge distance to get to God because He’s in our hearts. So we know Darin is around us as He worships His savior and carries on the call on his life in a new way.

He taught us a lot. Like no matter how rough life starts out, no matter the hand you were dealt, God is still good. I saw him grow in the 13 years I knew him (in fact, Jeanna and Darin’s first date was on my birthday when I was twenty). I am so thankful to have had a strong, Christian man in our family. Not that he was always preaching to us or quoting us scripture. He was walking a life that treated others as Jesus would have. He was still growing and I know that he loved his family deeply. And though we don’t know all the details about heaven maybe, just maybe, he can help them more from where he is.

darinmebritDarin played an important role in my life. When he and Jeanna met I was in a big struggle with darkness and he and Jeanna invited me to their young married Sunday School Class. I went. Even when I couldn’t talk much or had to cling to them.Even when they would ask me to go to the farm or outings with the class and I was barely hanging in there — I went. And when Darin’s grandmother passed away we went to the funeral. Our Sunday School teachers were there and the wife asked me to sit with her. I spilled out what was going on. The doctor’s had all but given up, the medicine wasn’t helping. I knew that I would not make it or would have to choose to live. I was finding comfort in all that hurt me — most of those things sharp. God used her in my life to help me learn about true Freedom, who I was in Him, and that I was an overcomer. It wasn’t easy but I learned to love myself how God loved me and I overcame something most people are not able to come out of. It’s specific and important how God uses people in your life. Sometimes you don’t realize until much later. But if it hadn’t have been during that day of loss to support Darin, I may not have had that conversation with my Sunday School teacher. I could write pages about awesome things about Darin and things he struggled with that help us see we’re not alone.

I will say I am thankful for him. Everyday since the accident I hoped he’d walk in with diaper bags or casserole dishes bringing something in for a family get together. So far it’s just been hope … I really enjoyed having someone to be funny with at family get togethers, I loved his hugs, and “how when I stuck my finger up his nose to aggravate him he’d just let it sit there and then say, “Get up there! Get you a good one.” I am thankful for the bonfire I knew he would make for my birthday party when no one else would. I loved that I got to call him many years ago on Christmas and say we’re going to the George Strait concert. This week the one we loved rode away and we never saw him again.


Darin, I’d like to thank you for loving us. For being strong and loving us unconditionally …. You didn’t just come as a boyfriend or then a “in-law.” You became our cousin. Jeanna’s husband. A nephew. A son. A fabulous daddy. I’m so thankful to have had the honor the last few days to make your baby boy laugh, to give him a bath and when he looked up at me all I could see was you in his sweet face. I am thankful that I got to be with Hadley when I don’t get to be with her that much anymore. I’m glad I got to snuggle Toxey when I know he’d rather be playing ball with you. To put on Kasen’s clothes so he could go outside and be with the big boys. To hold my first best friend, your biggest love here on earth, without even saying words.

While, I know you aren’t going to come through that door anymore, I will still listen for your voice and please know, that Heath and I are learning how to grow our marriage in important ways because of what we are experiencing and the teamwork we saw as you guys worked together to raise your beautiful kids. Also, I’ll keep being inappropriate and laughable at all family functions, you know, double time to make you laugh. God was so gracious in letting you answer the phone when we called on Hadley’s Birthday recently. I don’t remember if I said I love when you passed the phone to her, but I do. In fact, I just wish I’d told you how much I’ve gotten back into George Strait. Thank you for the date. We wish you weren’t riding away.


My cousin lost her husband, the love of her life, in a tragic accident the day before Valentine’s. A fund has been set up for the family including her four children for continues costs such as childcare, college funds (the oldest kiddo is in high school), and other needs. If you feel led to donate, please give here.

You’re Not Supposed To Talk About “These” Things


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I’ll trust Him when I bleed and I’ll trust Him when I don’t. I hope both will be genuine.

God has beenheartbeat taking me through a season of learning to trust Him. (In some areas probably the first time, others — more, still others – again) I don’t know that I’ve quite gotten it fully yet, but let me assure you, He’s still got me in the season. So, there’s time. In moments, I trust really well until I get disappointed. Sometimes, I trust in my spirit and then my brain gets involved.

Trust is a weird thing. I think I’m trusting and then my actions show that I’m not. I think I’m trusting and then I get a panic attack. I think I’m trusting and in the back of my consciousness I’m still seeking to control, and while it seems to be going okay, I seem to be really much better at trusting.

Most of the time, I guess it’s just a struggle to get mind, spirit, and flesh to mesh. Trust is less about learning to, than letting go to which can be scary. Things coming in from the internet, past experiences, familial foundations, TV shows, magazines, other people … Things come in to sidetrack me. I’m much better at grabbing on to a tangible person than to God at times, though I’ve gotten much better than I used to be.

Then what about when we’re supposed to trust each other? I wondered aloud this question in connection to my fellow women – kind. Why do we keep womanly things quiet or in the dark? Do we not trust each other enough? Or, have we been taught too long that it’s just not “appropriate” to talk about “those” things.

My new exercise in trusting God involves wishing I had more of your stories to trust as well. I can only start by sharing my own story.

Why don’t women talk more about what it’s really like trying to have a baby? I asked a coworker why I swallowed emotion that bubbled in my throat.

Why do people want to have children? I asked my husband while driving to a poetry reading last night. Although, I’m pretty sure I know the answer.

By no means am I claiming to have had trouble getting pregnant. I haven’t really gotten into the trying. However, I’m going to be honest. There are so many details I never learned before I even got to that step. Because, I’ve not heard women talk about these things, it could just be the way by special brain is wired. And if so, enjoy this little bout of “eccentric.”

Why don’t we talk to each other about the fact that sometimes people get married and they just start getting disappointed when they see their period come on the exact day it’s supposed to? Have you? I have. We were still using condoms. We weren’t trying to have a baby. At times, it might not have even been when I was most fertile. However, every month a little part of my spirit would frown. It’s like Christmas and then suddenly with one wipe of the toilet tissue – BOOM! It’s the day after, only you had to return your favorite gift without a receipt. It makes no sense to be sad about something you weren’t even planning to have AND sometimes it feels like it would just be better if it was a surprise. If it was an unplanned thing, it means it can “stay.” Like, maybe you weren’t ready yet but if God brought a baby, He’ll take you on this great adventure that will have ups and downs and hardships and joys and He will grow you and teach you and leap you. I love things like that with God. Hang onto that thought …

Why don’t we talk to each other about waiting? Hello! Did anyone ever tell you the before? You know, the before the plus sign, two lines, or digital read out “You’re imagespregnant.” If you’re like me, I think the movies engraved in me what having a baby is like. You make love with your husband and intimacy grows and sure, it feels good. Cut to ten minutes later … there’ s a positive pregnancy test, hijinks ensue, the woman thinks of a sweet way to surprise the husband, and 15 minutes after that the baby comes and they name it, and the kid might even be grown by the end of the two hour movie. Are you good at waiting? I have never been. As a youngest kiddo, it wasn’t in my vocabulary a lot. As a bit of a control freak, I learned to protect myself and get what I needed. Do you know what takes a lot of waiting that no one ever told me about? Babies!

So, it’s not like Look Who’s Talking exactly. Sure, the sperm “swimmies” up and finds the egg – maybe. I learned recently about the WHOLE process. Your husband’s stuff gets in you (sometimes, sometimes it comes right back out). The sperm has to find your egg in the fallopian tube, fertilize, then the fertilized egg has to come down the fallopian tube, and implant in your uterus, (Get this!) stay there, and then you may (50 percent of these fertilized eggs don’t stay before you even know you’re pregnant) have a baby growing. BUT, you have to have the love during certain short window for any of this to take place at all. Also, it isn’t just that you miss your period and can do a test … sometimes you can have a light period and still be pregnant … sometimes you have implantation blood … sometimes – sometimes not. You wait two weeks from when you had the love at the good time for the egg to drop down and meet the sperm and then you wait. If you conceive, you wait three months to see if it sticks and then you really wait until birth. I’m not a good waiter. This is a huge exercise in trusting God. Who knew it was so complex? Why don’t we talk to each other about the waiting? During the waiting? To pass time … Also, does it make sense that the same symptoms that mean you’re pregnant also mirror your period symptoms?


We trust God’s timing. I trust like this sometimes. (Proceed carefully, I’m going to talk about things we aren’t “supposed” to talk about) God, I thank you either way. I’ll be happy if I’m not because there’s a lot going on, because I can lose weight, because I can work on my health, and if I am I’ll be super happy, thankful. Either way I’m going to need You. Then, I swipe carefully on the day my period is meant to come. I sometimes don’t even want to go to the bathroom because there might be red. Then there is pink. I’m disappointed. I feel like I’ve failed. I’ve taken the vitamins, folic acid, I’ve approached things in a relaxed, intimate, spiritual way, and I’ve prayed and willed my body every day for two weeks. So the bummedness comes. At times, some tears. The thinking process and physical process is not something your husband will ever understand so you feel frustrated that you can’t make him understand. Then, you think, well it was just like pink and not on the pad yet or enough for tampon. I could be pregnant. This could be implantation. So, you hang onto hope for a few more days. You’re nauseous. Your boobs ache. You get excited/concerned every time you have to pee. Relief overcomes when there’s still only light pink, when there are no blood clots or tissue or anything that means an embryo couldn’t survive in your falling apart uterus that you hoped would stay together. You sit longer on the potty in the mornings so you don’t have to see just yet. I personally, have done EPT tests before they are even going to pick anything up.

Here’s a fun conversation we have. Me to Heath: You should probably pick up more than one test when you go because inevitably I’m going to take one early. Or this, It is four days before my late period, it said 53 percent accurate. Heath: 50 percent. That’s like me sitting here and saying you aren’t pregnant well you might be …

It is humorous. It is also a super special time that grows you as a person and in intimacy with God and your husband. But it isn’t quick even if you are healthy and can conceive normally and it definitely isn’t like the movies.

It’s bloody. It’s examining. Is this discharge with blood or actual blood vessels on the toilet paper? Did I fill a whole pad b/c implantation blood is less than a pad? Is that an actual line on this test or did someone scratch the plexi-plastic stuff when they were making that window?

ELSIA-Home Pregnancy Test

Let’s be raw and yucky and real. Because it’s lonely when there’s no book or movie or person that’s going to not be embarrassed enough to tell you this. Raise your hand if you’ve googled, “Can I have a period and still be pregnant?” Whisper a “heck yeah” if you’ve cried when your period came and you weren’t even trying to have a baby? Have you ever wondered why teenage pregnancy seems so easy, you know when it isn’t “supposed” to happen, and yet, when you actually try it doesn’t usually happen on the first try? I know it seems crass and has its own set of problems but somewhere in the back of your head you’ve wondered why a 15 year old can get pregnant make in the moment decisions with their boyfriend but you can’t get all the many variables to come together to be able to surprise your loved ones and have a reveal party?

I’ve seen a lot of posts and articles on Facebook recently about babies passing away, mom’s dying so their babies could live as newborns, miscarriages … (First, it makes me wonder why I still look at Facebook) Second, the heartache seems so great in even trying. If I get so heartbroken over my period arriving or a test not doing what it’s meant to … I can’t even fathom. And, these are good people, close to God people who have lost sweet babies.

Why do people want to try this at all? Why don’t women talk about it? Why am I always having to learn to trust?

God’s been teaching me to trust Him this season. He’s been teaching me to trust. This is what I am learning.

“Behold children are a gift of the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward.”

PS. 127:3


*** My husband is the most loving, listening, sympathetic beautiful person in regards to me and the world in general. Just in case this at any point sounds like he personally doesn’t understand. It’s more of a subject only women can understand. I am so blessed to have him. ***

I Took A Rabbit Hole To New England – ish, Just As Perfect This October Night


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I’m snuggled up in my cardinal covered bed in the blue room with glow in the dark stars on the ceiling, my brain swaying as if it’s out to sea while I try to keep my eyeballs from drowning. I am hoping I still get to read more of Lena Dunham’s delicious new book. I am finally falling full force in love with 2014 Autumn deep in my spirit.

Today while riding home from work with husband, driving past the most vividly colored trees I’d seen on parade all season in the Madison cemetery, I realized that I’d had hardly anything fall flavored. No pumpkin cappuccino. No pumpkin pie. No pumpkin bar. No pecan pie. No apple pie. Well, no pie. I’d had cheesecake which looks like pie. I’d watched Sweeney Todd which features people pies. Husband asked if I’d liked to stop at the conveniently located Sonic across from our neighborhood and see what they had to offer. I am not meant to have sugar. (My immune system isn’t winning any heavyweight champion of the world titles let’s just say) It’s just that once someone mentions something . . . Well, not having that thing only leaves disappointment. In this case, a disappointed belly.

So, we pointed out one beautiful tree after another and pulled into the parking area of Sonic. Here is the fast food restaurant that boasts a five thousand thirty million different flavors and we couldn’t even find a park spot with a list of the various milkshakes they offer. We moved to our second park spot and husband hit the red button, “Do you have pump–”

“No, we don’t.” Click.

“Apparently, she’s been asked that before.” Husband observed.

“Thanks for being a butthole.” I said in our closed window car as we drove away. “We are going to Dairy Queen.” And while I felt a bit like those people who come into Hobby Lobby (like when I worked there) and when they can’t find what they need ask you, “Do they have this or that at Michael’s or Walmart?” Have I ever worked at Walmart? I have not recently memorized what they have.

So, we drove to where we knew had a Pumpkin Pie Blizzard. Two pumpkin pie Blizzards and a small fries ordered, we drove to the window. “We had extra fries so I gave you a large,” said the man. This tickled my funny bone and is by far my favorite sentence of the day.

Then we drove around the neighborhood eating our lackluster but charming blizzards that really just had hunks of pie crust and a smear of pumpkin filling on the top and a whole lot of somewhat pumpkin but wholly vanilla flavored ice cream. Want to fall in love with your neighborhood? Drive around … Well, I’ve never been to your neighborhood. Could be creep-a-licious. We drove around and picked out our favorite trees and looked at Halloween decorations. It was my best Thursday evening in a long time. I’d prayed for it to fill Fall in my spirit this morning and here was a surprise Fall activity with just a chill in the air.

I rode in the little silver car I call Pepper Potts and ate, felt some special love for my husband, and fell in love with the season and a neighborhood I’ve not really explored. I discovered a few blocks away closer to the lake we have a neighborhood of houses that look just like a small town in New England. What a time to discover that when the leaves are vivid and filling the lawns? Decorations were everywhere. As always, I get to remember the gift that we live walking distance to a big, beautiful lake outlined with colorful trees.

It’s not the painting that you picture when you’re stuck in your head, but the one that’s real, that you finally see — the one that matters. Discovering is important and I think comes at just the right time.

I’m snuggled. Full on sugar and pumpkin flavor. Feeling thankful. Yep, that’s Autumn.

“Cans” in the Silence (Seasons Part 2)


Man Standing At Beginning Of Winding RoadSo this is a follow up to the blog I wrote earlier about seasons we go through that we can’t see around, over, through, or quite understand. While I’m flipping my mind over from looking at what I can’t change or what has happened that makes me sad or who I want to be but am not quite yet, I am doing some things that I can do that are positive. I’m also making goals to do more as I progress. I thought I would share some of these these “cans.”

1. Choose to speak and think more positively. Removing the words stress, worry, and fear out of my vocabulary. Not because it’s not okay to feal but because I want to choose more positive words and not reuminate. Also, I don’t want to label something a stress or worry that might be a blessing.

2. Keep a list of things I’m a appreciative of, grateful for, or that are positive on a daily basis. (I find this helpful whenever I find I’m concentrating too much on myself or have gotten in a bad/weird place) Journal about one of those positive things.

3. Rest when I need to rest. Seek true rest. I want to learn to rest not just physically but in Christ. Sabbath. Learn to practice a true Sabbath.

4. If I liked more who I was a few years ago, begin to relearn the things I was practicing then or unlearn the things that have stopped up my joy and free spiritedness. De-layer with the wisdom I’ve gained. Keep what I love and let go of what I don’t need.

5. Write more. Even if it’s hard. Even if I resist like crazy. Even if just a few sentences a day. Not only has it always been super healthy and what I believe is one of my life callings. I believe I meet with God in the gifts He’s given me.

6. Sit by the lake more. Why praise God for finding us a house near the lake if I never go be still near it?

7. Reduce the use of electornics and social media in my life. Why? It exhausts me. It’s something I’ve learned recently or remembered. I’m a bit of an introvert that knows how to skillfully function socially when needed. Too much info from any source can be heavy. Also, they’re are two points I wanted to make about social media that I wanted to make in length but I believe I can express succinctly.

*** When you are going through a difficult season or even a season of illness Facebook can be a deterant to finding joy where you are (I believe this can be true for anytime actually). Most of us are addicted to social media. Two things can happen if you’re fatigued and sick for a long period of time the only thing exciting may be scrolling through a FB feed or you can be laying there feeling sick and your brain wants to go and do and you look at a social media site and see people with makeup and cute clothes having fun and having the energy to go and do things. No, it isn’t good to compare yourself to others, but if you’re seeking to practice this idea in your life — FB is giving you know benefit in reaching such a goal. Yes, you’re happy for your friends, family, and people you slightly know but have for some reason befriended but let’s not lie. You’re struggling to have a baby or het well enough to have a healthy pregnancy and everyone on facebook is posting baby announcements. You wish you were at the beach. Everyone is posting photos from the beach. Once again, it isn’t that you’re a grinch, it is just a bit more healthy at certain times in your life not to rub your nose in something while you’re trying to overcome. So, I’m taking a break from FB for many reasons (not saying that FB isn’t good for keeping intouch with far away friends or with writing events). I’m not saying quit every social media site you’re involved with but reducing one or two and investing in quality time with friends, yourself, or a book could bring more love your way. Gossip. I’ve tried for quite awhile to be less of a gossiper. It is easier to do this when faced with the obvious avenues that gossip takes a trip on. FB instigates much gossip and is gossip in many ways. Do we pick up the phone or go out and spend time with the people we’re friends with on FB or do we scroll through their photos and read up on what they’re doing? Gossip disguised as interest. What are our motives? The other thing for me is following so much and reading up on all the celebrity sites. Over a year ago, I realized I was spending too much time on Personally, for me, I felt like that was gossip. I will seek to illiminate some of the other sites that are purely for feeding my brain when I’m bored or having a “life” when I feel like my life is lacking. It’s gossip. Not succinct but there you go, a mini blog inside a bigger blog. :)

8. Take more prayer walks or walks where I can listen to music. At least, once a week make this walk take place in the woods.

9. Listen to positive music. My husband and I started back in the Spring keeping the radio on Christian music and worship music playing in the house. I’m not saying that’s what everyone needs but it helped me. Even if it’s not on the Christian station I’d like to stick to positive music.

10. Accept myself where I am.

11. Celebrate the little things. If I could go to the grocery store this weekend with Heath when I haven’t been able to in a month. Er, er! I’m going to celebrate that even if it doesn’t make since to anyone else. Include God on even your smallest celebration.

12. Continue to eat well and exercise. Do the best I can to help my health improve.

13. Be kinder to my husband, learn to love him more, and to find more ways to encourage and surprise him to brighten his day.

14. Bless others. Bless others. Bless others. From simple to big — anything! Bless others.

15. Reach out more even if it’s just to sit and drink tea with someone or send a card or Skype or write an email.

16. Spend more time with God. Look for God in everywhere. Listen to sermons. Paint. Write. Hear Him in the song of a bird or find Him in the crispness of the first days of Fall.

17. Get on my face before God every morning and night. I like to bow at His throne and just be quiet for a few seconds.

18. Thank myself and apologize to myself.

19. Do things to get out of my head.

20. Read things that inspire me. Right now I am amazed by another book that I’ve had but picked up when I really needed it. It’s called, Walking on Water and is a book on the life of an artist from the Christian perspective. It is why I am going to start listening to the silence and relearning the things my younger self knew.

21. Rest. (I need that one more than once.)

If any of these are encouraging to you, I’m so glad. I will keep seeking to put them into action in my life and to add more to the list.

Remember you are loved by God 100 percent whether you every move, change, or grow. You just you, as you are this moment, He’ll never love you more or less. Be kind to yourself. Seek to accept His love and love yourself like He loves you.

And she said, ‘kindness is magic, Derek. It’s more important to be kind than clever or good-looking.’ I’m not clever or good-looking, but I’m kind.”

— Derek, Netflix TV Series

(PS If you haven’t seen this show. Watch it every day!)

Listening to the Silence


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2013-01-tt-05-ia-still-life-glass-ball-reflection-of-landscape-300x200Have you ever gone through a season in your life that you didn’t understand? Of course, we all have, to some degree. There are some of us, I think, that put so much pressure on ourselves to find the answers or the lesson or to be on the other side, we forget that there is so much importance in the actual journey. Yet, I suppose if you’re a pressure-putter on yourself, like I am, you put pressure on yourself even when you’re not floating on the the boat that gets you from one season to the next correctly. Here is a bit of my thought process at a given time. I started some nutritional shakes four days ago and initially instead of just thinking of the positive changes that have occurred this morning there was a bit of this going on — What if it doesn’t do anything? What if the kelp in the milkshake slows down what my thyroid medicine is doing? I woke up too late, what if the day gets over too fast and I haven’t had enough time to rest? What if I’m not resting good enough? I’m ready to take on the world … what if I can’t do that by Thursday? I don’t even feel like I can go take a shower and dry my hair, how can I don’t EVERYTHING else I “need to do” as a wife, daughter, woman, writer, employee, friend, etc.?

Here is something that I know about myself and that I’ve known for quite awhile. I know how to look for positivity, set goals, and find the beauty in things. I was taught that at an early age and then again as an adult. (I have a great Mom and I’ve had amazing mentors and well, I have a fabulous God) Here’s the thing, most of the time you have to sift the loud to find the quiet. Have you noticed that? God’s voice, the positive thoughts, the things you do have going good or are doing well are a bit softer than the chatter at the top of the rough waves in your mind. (Thank God, if you have a quiet mind. I think mine was churning the day I was born.) However, I do know that though it’s difficult and the enemy would like for us to resist what we know is healthy and good, once you do listen to the soft and the quiet, you can work hard and train yourself to be more in tune to those things than the negative, the questioning, and the hopelessness. I know because I have. Over and over and over. Well, it’s not a one time lesson.

So, positivity for today. I slept late. (Yay! I believe God is trying to teach me about resting during this season. It was safe to get that rest.) I’ve started drinking these nutritional shakes that is #1 a healthy step in the right direction of getting, well, healthy and #2 I felt better than I did on Friday. Also, because I’m drinking these shakes I’ve had to exercise. I’m not saying I’m doing the Insanity program but it is more than I was doing last week and I’ve been doing it daily. I’ve felt less bloated, my mood has improved some, and it is giving me some energy whether it is from the bit of caffeine in it or my health improving. A little ADD is better than not being able to eat or function from fatigue.

What season are you in right now?random-wallpapers-seasons-art-wallpaper-wallpaper-30896

If there is a storm that hovers, I think that I’ve been in a season of grief, illness, stuck, loneliness, thankfulness, blessings, quietness from God, and fear of waste. All that to say some confusion and some lost. My joy has been a stolen somewhat, my vision that has only ever come from God a bit blurred, and my purpose a little unclear. I’ve called my thirties that new “training bra” and the puberty I never though I’d have to go through again. The storm has hovered or at times I’ve hovered in it. It hasn’t been a stagnant season. I am learning. (and relearning) Fear, stress, and worry will leave you looking back on a year that seems like a blur and not in a good way. Love yourself and be as easy as you would on a traveler sitting next to you on a bus or an airplane. I mean you’re not going to beat them up for not traveling in all the right ways are you? Remember, that you’re always learning in life. Always. I never want to stop learning. But sometimes, we’re not getting to choose what we learn and we’re not always learning the fun stuff. You aren’t going to make the perfect decisions or get it right the first time (ever) but especially in a season that you’re struggling to understand. Do what you can do. Don’t give up. Draw nearer to God even if you can’t feel Him. Also, no matter how isolated or alone you feel (whether it’s physically, as in a town you haven’t quite adapted to or emotionally, as is in no one could understand what this feels like or what I’m struggling with), you aren’t alone. Well, you don’t have to be. Reaching out is hard, but you’re already reaching in and that’s just as hard to do. Finally, you’re so much braver than you think you are.

God loved us too much to give us a spirit of fear, so He gave us power, love, and sound mind. It might not always seem like it, but if your His, you have it there. Grab on and believe desparately. Lightbulb. It’s okay to be desparate sometimes, especially if it’s for God.

Does the season come to a close because we learn the lesson? I’m not sure. Once again, I’m more comfortable when I have control (although we never really do). So, if we just find the answer, figure out the lesson, and learn it we can move on … I don’t think it’s up to us. I think that’s why we have to learn to float and rest in God no matter what the season. His purpose is larger than ours. I think we can keep our eyes and ears open and learn to sit.

We live in such a immediate gradification type world. At my fingertips, I have the answers to everything from what the symptoms are to a disease I can’t even pronounce, who that actor that kind of looked familiar in the background of the scene I was watching in a new tv show I like might be, or how a red dwarf is formed. The answers to the season are not on a phone or a computer or pintrest or wikipedia. Although, Heaven knows I’ve looked. We, well, at least I, have to learn to give up control. I also have to learn to keep loving myself in every season, even if I don’t like who I am when I’m learning as much as I like who I am when I’m walking in the wisdom I’ve gained from the journey. If I got up, put some mostly clean clothes on, and did the best I could. I should be grateful and kind to myself. Some seasons can kick your butt and some can take longer to fight through the resistance and see all that is going well. Sometims you have to relearn and rethink and unlearn and unthink. I believe God is teaching me to rest in a real and spiritual way. Whatever that process looks like and if I ever get it completely right before the great rest, I am learning. I am also seeking to listen to the silence.

Being in a season doesn’t mean that you’re in that season enjoy_the_silence-1920x1080forever. It doesn’t mean that your dreams don’t get to come true. That you’ll never get where you’re supposed spiritually, emotionally, or physically. Because in this life or the next it’s going to happen and fear — fear like the enemy is a liar and a thief of your moments. Don’t doubt God. Don’t doubt that you want to best for your life. Don’t doubt how big God is. Just believe and move one tiptoe at a time … scratch that, Just believe and rest. The boat will keep floating and the maker and the calmer of the storm is never far away singing songs of comfort and listening.

Listening to the silence.

The Late In Coming, Never-Ending Period


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My mouse is rolling on a book called Big Girls Don’t Cry — The Election That Changed Everything For American Women. Today I am living proof that big girls cry. It isn’t the first time today I’ve given into that particular release. Also, the election … it didn’t change everything for women. For instance, I still have ovaries and a period and one of my ovaries is still pretty mean to me. Given that I am in my last days of this wonderful July-August episode of menses I believe that you should take the truth in this and hug it and the over-emotional and appreciate it like you’d appreciate abstract art or the humor in throwing up from car sickness only to ride by later and see birds feeding off the nourishment you couldn’t keep down. It has been the late in coming, never ending period. I’m bleeding slowly, birthing the invisible nothing. Cramping out everything but the answers.

This afternoon I said I don’t want to die, but I also don’t know how to live. I’m not a “give-upper.” I’ve been the person for a quite awhile that doesn’t understand why people don’t risk bein brave. I like being brave, not always in the midst of it, but I’ve always liked leaping and having to hang tight to God — seeing what He can do when I have to stretch. I’ve been stretching for months now. So, far even, that I’m not sure I’ll elasticize back into something that is recognizable for me. Maybe that’s good and maybe it isn’t — maybe it’s hormones.

I’m so tired. My body is exhausted more hours a day than the moments it dances. I once lit up everything. Some days I feel like a shell trying to be the moon, with only a memory of how to glow, trapped in sand and drowned by the water that’s meant to refresh it. I’ve been chronically ill for so long now — it’s a bore even to talk about. It certainly hasn’t made me more interesting or appealing to be around in this town that I thought crushed my spirit but I’m pretty sure it was all the twists, turns, “let-gos,” and changes. I thought I was a trapeze artist, but you can only catch for so long before you get stuck in the net. So, I breathe.

The week after vacation was triumph. It wasn’t health but it was more energy. It was more activity. It was pushing and moving and the hint of night light. And then I got so sick again. So tired. Back to the heavy body, the swollen tummy, and the struggle to walk straight when it felt like I was walking on a belt that only moved sideways. I have a thorn and if my spirit has a side, I think that’s where it lives. I had someone tell me once that maybe I was trying too hard. Well, that’s how I remember it. She said for me just to be Amanda. So many people loved and cared. She’s probably the only Russian I’ve ever missed. Mainly because she was the only one I ever knew. I haven’t spoken to her in years and I don’t hear her that much anymore because well, I learned to hear myself. Love me. Depend only on God.

Still, I feel trapped in a body that won’t let me do all the things I want to do, in a life that for some reason I resist the things I love, I feel numb, I fight and try and do everything I know to do and the solutions aren’t there.

I feel like I was put on this earth to change it for the better. To find the beautiful. To share a story. And maybe this is another part of that story. My homeless friend Irene made me a work of art last week. She drew me a paradise.

Tonight I am struggling. I know I am blessed. But it’s easier to peek through that keyhole of all I want and yet can’t make happen when I’m bleeding and emotional. My period was late. For the second time, in six months I was late. This time it was different. I wasn’t as sick, all the symptoms weren’t there, but I guess hope comes with something being different. I suppose that went you’re not married being late can be really scary. I have a lot of love for it. However, it has hurt me twice. Less, this time around. I was ready to hold, meet, to tell her she’s beautiful, to tell her she’s loved … It makes sense that all of that would come when I’m healthy. A lot of things hinge on that and the wellness hides just outside of my grasp. I can breathe, talk, most of the times walk straight, and I’m thankful.

I want to jog, ride bikes, I want to do things with friends, find adventures, and not have to bail out of readings. At times, I let myself be. Today I felt trapped. I go home and go to work. As much as I love my husband, most of the time we see just each other. I’m like snow white sleeping. The prince there to kiss, but without the thing I crave — the dwarves (well, the community). All my snuggle friends are far away. I described it to a friend, a fellow Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland lover in a land meant for faeries at night time and bare feet dancing in a Cape Cod pub. It’s those girls that your friends with that you can just snuggle with on the couch and read or watch a movie or listen to music. You don’t even have to say anything. But those type of friends take a long time to root with and well all my live in forests far, far away having there own adventures.

Nashville has led to little community. For a introvert who loves her alone time, I’m also a craver of community. I am loved most by quality time. I suffer in a social media age. It feels kind of like waiting on the sunshine in the winter. The truth is it feels like everything hinges on my health and admittedly, fear and stress were hindering that for awhile and then they weren’t. But still no well enough to have the things I’m dreaming of come true. Not well enough to go after what I want. Just well enough to be still. I am trusting God even though I’ll feel somewhat clost to Him from a distance. I suppose everyone goes through seasons of loss and struggle and change. I pray for direction. I am hungering for meaning, because I love His whispers. I love looking for the beauty in things. I love finding gratitude in the moments. But I am weary and worn and my eyes they’re not lit from within like they used to be.

The truth is I have the best husband in the whole world. The truth is God has given me so many desires of my heart. The truth is I am loved by so many people. The truth is that I get to share my words. The truth is that I get to talk to the homeless. The truth is I have a job where people are kind and like my help. The truth is that I took a chance for a relationship I believed in and so, the transition wasn’t easy but the relationship is worth it.

The truth is happiness isn’t a feeling.

The truth is I won’t be tired and stuck forever.

The truth is there has to be meaning and purpose.

God is too big to keep me around for no reason.

Not after all the times He’s healed me before.

I love Him.

I’m having trouble finding my happy.

I need …

Sipping Water on a Saturday in a Coffee Shop — Old Hickory, TN


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Today is a sitting on the couch, beside a newly checked-out book about Mother Teresa, rainy Tennessee afternoon. Yesterday, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????at least I had an answer for the pressure on my body, the big pain, the knots in my shoulders, leg cramps, and muscle spasms. This morning, I woke up in a lot of pain. I was foggy from sleepiness and I couldn’t get my body to move even though my mind had things to do upstairs. I cried in a great big hug my husband gave me, my head on his shoulder. He did the most beautiful thing he could have. He held me while I cried. While I talked about a garden I wouldn’t get to work in. Babies I wouldn’t get to have because it’d put to much strain on my body. Tea that I wanted to make that was just upstairs was hard for me even to get to … He made me speak positivity. He asked me if I believed in a big God and that he could heal me. Yes. Then, he prayed for me. What was important for me after that was that I got out of bed. Yes, it would have been one hundred percent okay for me to stay in and rest as much as I’ve traveled in the past 24ish hours. After two shots yesterday and a new medicine last night, I believe sleeping in all day was permissable. However, I got up. I needed to do something fun. To expect more out of my day. I needed to overcome the pain. I wanted to spend time with my husband. Admittedly, I had to give up the “showering, makeup, and cute outfit” aspect. But I put on some shorts, a tee, pulled up my hair and went on a trip of discovery with my love.

We began at a cute little coffee shop in our new town that we haven’t ventured out in a lot. We ate brunch and had a devotional. The beginning started out rocky. I was still groggy and in some pain and boy did I make the girl at the counter wait as I oscillated from choice to choice where my brunch was concerned. A few tears fell at the table, but I ate … Heath read a devotion from my “Freedom Refresher” book that I got after my spiritual cleanse in a time long ago. Then, I read Ephesians two out loud. I especially took to heart the part about God preparing good works for us to uniquely do in advance. Before I was born, God new what He would have me to do to love on His people and advance His kingdom. That was special to me and comforting because the last few months I’d been living in a lot of fear. God knew I wasn’t going to take the path most people my age took — that I had some healing to do, that I would graduate college late, that I would have the desires of my heart fulfilled and move to New England for two years, and that I would find the man I wanted to be with in my early thirties. I’m not “too late” for Him. I guess I’m right on schedule. Also, something I realized in a song this week. My fears DO NOT make God a “promise-breaker.”

After we ate and spent time talking about the devotion, we chatted with the owner and got invited to visit a church that seems to be doing some unconventional and spectacular things for the community. We visited some small business and found an artsy place that offers classes. We enjoyed conversing with the woman that owned the art center but also Heath found an opportunity to step forward closer to a dream he wants to see realized and I make get to teach a poeCome-Be-My-Lighttry workshop for kids. Finally, we went to the local library. Small and precious. I immediately found a movie I wanted to watch, a book of Mother Teresa’s writings, and a CD of Classic Musicals from the movies. None of this would have happened if I would’ve chosen to lay in my physical pain today. It’s not right or wrong. It was just a blessing.

The enemy likes to come at me with the fear of death. That fear had intensified in a colossal way since February. Consumed my life no matter what I did. It has caused me to forget who I am. How special I am to God. That God isn’t through with me. It’s caused tears and physical pain. It’s caused guilt over feeling like a bad follower of Jesus because I want to have more time with Heath and have a baby. Shame over succumbing to something that I know is irritional, especially in the light of the promises of God. But life is a battle. The light comes on and we shake out of lies we’re believing. We seek to overcome the darkness and fear because we were made to be brave. I love getting to be brave with God. I don’t always love the struggle. Finding out about Fibromyalgia wasn’t like discovering that my poetry book go picked up by a mainstream publisher or something. However, it was a blessing in it being an answer that took my eyes off my fears and gave me something that wasn’t life-threatening to seek to overcome. To seek healing for. To get up for every day even after I fall down. Somewhere in the journey we have to realize, it isn’t that life is unfair, it’s that perspective and gratitude are so important. If God is with me, I’ll go anywhere. Somedays crying, somedays kicking and screaming, somedays waking up and walking forward.

Happy Ten Years! Cheers! — for there are days I don’t even remember I used to wear the label “cutter.”


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broken chains“My chain are gone, I’ve been set free …”


There’s no rule that says you can’t celebrate a victory from your past while you’re walking through something you so desperately want to overcome in the present. This is a lesson I’m glad I have the compassion to realize in my life today, at thirty two years old. Today I wanted to wake up with ten years of healing, greeted by a day of gusto, energy, and something that God and I could do to celebrate together. What I found was a partly cloudy day (with sunshine at the moment) and a breeze that higlighted bouts of tears — some of thanksgivng and connection with God, some of fear and sadness, and some of just tears (because this happens to a lady once a month). I almost didn’t go to church. I was struggling a bit emotionally and my physical health has left easy tasks a bit more exhausting recently, but I wanted to be in God’s presence. This victory is His and mine. No one can know how great the darkness was, could have been there with me in the scary moments, and no one knows how immense the healing, how blessed a redemption, or could have shown me what a palpable thing true Grace is. No one but my Papa. So wearily I walk into Parkway Baptist Church in Madison and as I’m waiting for my sweet husband to come out of the restroom I here a song that has been special to me for quite some time wafting behind the people opening and shutting the doors to the sanctuary. In a church where every time I’ve visited they’ve sung mostly beautiful hymns, comes a contemporary praise song that in the past God has sung straight into my spirit.My chains are gone, I’ve been set free, My God, my Savior has ransomed me, And like a flood His mercy reigns Unending love, amazing grace …

There are some things that I am blessed to say in my life that I know from experience about victories and miracles. Truthfully, I’ve never understood why I’ve had so many when there are plenty of people who are desparately crying out for a specific one. I choose to be thankful and I choose and then try to remind myself to choose when I am not, to never take for granted the healing and the miracles (plural) that God has done in my sweet life. I’ve learned that victories that come from God’s healing are to be grateful for, to bring glory to him, but they are not there to be dependent on forever. God bringing me out of the depression, the cutting, and the eating disorder that really should’ve taken me out of this world was a huge victory in my life. There were days where I couldn’t make it hours without cutting myself or throwing up something I’d eaten. Ten years! Ten years since I’ve taken something sharp to hurt and bleed because my life was out of control, because I couldn’t be perfect, or I couldn’t stop pain that was happening to myself or others emotionally. I am thankful of that every day of my life, but it cannot be the last victory. Every day there is a chance for another miracle, no matter how big or small you just have to keep looking through the special vision only God can give. I can’t rest on something accomplished in my past.

It isn’t the last thing I’ll have to overcome. It’s a struggle some days right now to stand up or walk up stairs. I promised myself that because God set me free from paralyzing fear during the four years I really struggled deeply with self harm in my life, those days when I couldn’t leave a dorm room only watch other students enjoying life from those huge windows on the third floor … that when he broke that bondage to the kind of fear that makes you afraid of yourself that I would never walk in fear again. Yet, I’ve found myself in a season of painful fear. Does it make what God did in my life any less than a miracle? Absolutely not. But that huge addiction that God helped me to overcome in my life, well He never said it’d be the last thing I struggled with. Today I believe it makes this sort of celebration even more special because I know that I’ve overcome fear worse than this before and circumstances scarier and because today I know the tools to walk out of it. Miraculous in itself. I might now be a doctor and I might not know how to stop the body cramps, the whacky heartbeats, and the dizziness, but I do know who to go to with my fear. Which is why when I thought about how to celebrate my anniversary today with God and nothing significant popped out, I knew the answer was to share and share honestly.

Last year, Heath and I had our reception on June 1st. I didn’t think about the anniversary it represented on that day, but it was such a special date that worked out in a way that never could’ve been a coincidence. We had a huge party. I danced with Heath, I danced with my Dad, his Dad, and I danced with my Papa. I radiated joy. It was a great way to celebrated life and a new life with Heath.

I think we put so much emphasis on numbers. 5 years. 10 years. 20. 50. What makes them more special than 1, 39, or 17? Today is special because I’m living. I am in a season where I’m struggling at times, but I am living. I was floating in a sensory deprivation tank Friday night for an artist’s project I’m doing and I thought ten years ago I would’ve been cutting to get through a time in my life like this. Today, I’m already anxious from this season in my life and I’m naked, floating in tank, nervous, but I made it through the 1.5 hour session whole and intact. So, today is quieter but no less celebratory. I guess if you can revisit your fear and even if you have to crawl somedays and be really happy the days you feel like yourself … well, you keep going and you remember what a beautiful and different person you are — an overcomer then and now. I am learning to love myself over again, even when my chest hurts and the view of my life is through dizzy eyes that reflect a little more fear than I’d like them to.

Today I thanked God for being my warrior. Because even when I was stuck in the darkest addiction of my life He never left me. Because even though it was scary and I didn’t understand why it was happening, He was blessing me. When I went to sleep with a paper towel stuck like glue with my own blood holding it to skin that would scream in the shower in the morning, I held my hand in the shape it would have been in if another’s hand was grasping tight and I asked God to hold my hand while I was scared. I believe He did. When I was locked behind heavy doors in a mental hospital He was there — through the people I met, those that protected me, through the lives I got to touch, through a man that found a relationship with Him there, through tears in a bed when medicines made me sick, and as I read His word on that same bed clinging to Him for my very survival. Through the love of family, friends, and therapists. Through recovery after recovery. When I shouted at Him, questioned Him, and almost gave up, He was there. At a funeral, He brought a mentor. When, I drooled down my own face watching I Love Lucy with a group of othres in the same type of pain as me (the day that takes the place of and while you’ll never here me say “today was the worst day ever”), He never left me. So, today, ten years later when I cry in fear over a life that maybe I love too much. He isn’t as far as I think He is. I know He’s wiping the tears.

It’s our celebration today. Many more victories still to come. Always, grateful He’s loved me enough to not just walk with me when I can see Him, but when I try to take back the control that was always meant to be His. Happy Ten Years! It has been ten years of blessings, more miracles, and beyond my imagings of dreams coming true. Enough to fill an entire book.

Did you know that I met my husband sharing my story of healing to a group of girls in a detention center in Alabama? Think on that a minute. If I hadn’t have gone through that time of pain and darkness, I never would’ve had a story to share. God works in beautiful ways. I’m not the only life that was saved because the enemy didn’t win ten years ago and I don’t take credit for all that happened afterwards, but WOW, redemption is not just an idea it is an amazing reality.

Honest and real I wanted to share. I am thankful today where I’m and hopeful because of what I’ve had to overcome before, that there is a light out to something healthier for my body and my mind once this season is complete. Gratitude.

I also honor whatever you’re seeking to overcome today. Stick with it. Cry out to Him. It’s more than worth it.





Then I saw Heaven open wide — and oh! a white horse and it’s Rider. The Rider, named Faithful and True, judges and makes war in pure righteousness. His eyes are a blaze of fire, on his head many crowns. He has a Name inscribed that’s known only to himself. He is dressed in a robe soaked with blood, and he is addressed as “Word of God.” The armies of Heaven, mounted on white horses and dressed in dazzling white linen, follow him. A sharp sword comes out of his mouth so he can subdue the nations, then rule them with a rod of iron. He treads the winepress of the raging wrath of God, the Sovereign-Strong. On his robe and thigh is written, King of Kings, Lord of Lords. — Revelation 19


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