Category Archives: health

I Can’t Wait To Hear Your Music.

It’s been a long minute since I blogged. I woke up this morning wanting to document my thoughts on 2018. And, what I am feeling in this very moment.

Some years seem like challenging years because of loss. Loss of a loved one, loss of a marriage, loss of job, etc. Some years seem challenging because of struggles in health or finances. One thing I’m kind over, though, is defining a year as one thing. “It was a hard year.” “It was a disappointing year.” “It was a challenging year.” It’s not that those words can’t necessarily define a season or experience, but I’ve grown tired of it defining a year. The truth is, life can sometimes be hard. It can be disappointing. It can be challenging. And, life will always be that way. But in the space in between, it can also be amazing. It can be filled with tender moments. It can be filled with moments you laugh so hard until you cry. It can be filled with tiny victories and big victories. And, this is life. Not a year. Life.

I do love the feeling, however, a new year brings. A new chance to be better. A new opportunity to accept things I once struggled with or a new opportunity to embrace the in between moments with more awareness of how precious they are. And, I lean into that feeling with excitement and readiness. And, I lean into it bringing every lesson that 2018 brought me.

2018 has been filled with all of the moments and seasons described above. It’s been challenging at times, disappointing at times, hard at times. It’s been filled with the tenderest moments and some really great victories. It’s been a year of crazy growth. And, I am thankful for every single moment and season.

The disappointing moments taught me to wipe the tears from my face, look up, and look ahead. My year began with a knee injury in January and a back injury in February. And, then in March, I would preach a message that would inspire some and bother others. I got it. I understood both kinds of responses. It kind of shook my internal world for a bit. But, what I learned from it all is that 1) Time does heal the body. Be patient. And, 2) “Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.” – Alan Watts

I stirred way more than necessary, and then I had to wait on the water to clear again. Next time, I’ll be more gentle, but I’ll also accept that not everyone is going to see things the same way as I do, and that’s ok. Accept it, be tolerant, continue to be you, and move on. When you stir things and create muddy water, you are no longer able to see clearly and truth becomes blurred. But if you remain still, and leave whatever that thing/person is that’s causing you turmoil alone, it will all clear. And, what Spirit has been revealing to you will remain in tact. And, it won’t take you near as long to recover from it.

The challenging moments taught me to trust the process, and don’t try to fit the round peg into a square hole. We kept trying to do this with adding on to our house. We ran into road blocks every time we engaged the idea. Kris never had real peace about it, but I wanted what I wanted. Don’t we always? Kris went along for the ride, trusting that I would hear what he heard and saw what he saw. Here, I learned: 1) Don’t force what you see and hear onto someone else. Trust the same Spirit that reveals things to you will reveal things to them. And, sure enough, I finally listened. And, 2) You’ll be so glad you didn’t force that thing that kept working against you. You’ll be glad you flowed with life. We now have a getaway that has already created the best family memories for us instead of an addition that gave me what? More to clean? What I thought was working against me was actually working for me. There are only two ways to view challenging moments: Working for you or working against you. They are always, ALWAYS working for you.

The inspiring moments have taught me that there is always more. Moments of victory, moments around the table, moments where you stir gratitude until you are overwhelmed by it…..hold tightly to them, because the longer you hold onto them, the greater it gets, and only more follows. But the more comes by not just holding onto the good, but digging your heels in and going after it. Getting dirty and rolling back your sleeves in every possible beautiful way and making happen what you want to make happen. We either let life happen to us or we make it happen for us. And, this is how I am rolling into 2019.

Back in October, I knew I needed a shift. As a matter of fact, I focused so much on the word “shift” that I remembered a movie my mom has begged me to watch for the past two years. TWO YEARS. It’s called “The Shift” with Wayne Dyer. I have yet to escape this quote from that movie: “Don’t die with your music still inside you.” My music isn’t just for me. Your music isn’t just for you. It’s for every person in your life and those who are yet to be in your life. It’s for the people you may or may never meet. You have something to give to this world. We just have to shift our thinking from “What can I get” to “What can I give.” And, then give it.

I’ve seen and read this quote all over the internet: “Your greatest calling may not be something you do, but someone you raise.” I’m with this in theory, and raising my children IS my greatest calling….but I think it eliminates any thought that YOU bring something powerful into this world all by yourself. I cannot expect my children to believe they can achieve greatness and fill the earth with something amazing and impactful if I can’t believe that for myself. My children will become what they see. In every area of their lives. I owe it to them to show up, pay attention, and let my music happen.

So, that’s how I’m entering into 2019. There is a lot of music inside of me. There is a lot of music inside of you. I need your music, and you need mine. We can either let life happen, or we can MAKE music happen. Christmas Eve night, Kris and I went to bed, and he looked at me and said, “Take ownership. Do it. Stop waiting for something to happen, and go after it.” It was the most random, out of the blue affirmation. And, it was just the thing I needed to seal it on my heart.

I hope this seals something in your heart. Take ownership. Do it. Stop waiting for something to happen, and go after it. 2019 has a lot in store for you. Hard moments, disappointing ones, challenging ones, growing ones, fun ones, amazing ones, victorious ones. They are all happening for you. And, I can’t wait to hear your music.

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Filed under Chasing Dreams, gratitude, health, imagination, life, Life Experiences, making an impact, Spiritual Journey, Uncategorized

Choose Hard.

Choose hard

The easy way out. We all want it sometimes. The easiest way, however, isn’t always the best way. Usually the easy way means there was no growth, there was little or nothing gained, and there was no positive change. I think I’ve been looking for the easy way out lately. And, since I write and post a lot about our triumphs, I think I should also write about the revelations of when I also realize I’ve been falling short.

I’ve been choosing the easy way out in my health. What’s the quickest and easiest way to satisfy my hunger? What’s the easiest excuse to justify not being physically active and taking care of my body?

I’ve been choosing the easy way out in my attitude. Being positive is hard and takes daily discipline. Being careless with my words and sliding into being negative about a few situations have been really easy. That ease leads to habit. That habit leads to automatic negative responses to the most ridiculous things. Embarrassing things.

And, the real kicker: I’ve been choosing the easy way out in my relationships. In some relationships, I’ve just taken a step back and justified it with our busy summer. In some relationships, I’ve put up a wall and justified it by calling it a healthy boundary. In some relationships, I’ve created in my mind who I think they are and what I think their intentions are, because it’s easier than being a seeker of the heart.

I’ve been happy. I’ve been content. I’ve had an amazing summer with my family. But, I have also sacrificed the more. The more in my health, the more in my attitude, and the more in my relationships. I haven’t been intentional in how I walk in these things lately. And, when we aren’t intentionally living life in every area, something will go lacking. Something will be sacrificed. The first step is to quit making excuses for them. The second step is to remember that the easy way out isn’t always the best way.

Hard means work. But, hard means growth. Hard means you’re choosing discipline, because your health matters. Hard means you’re allowing those around you to hold you accountable for every careless word and taking those words captive and replacing them with truth. A truth that is grounded in love. Hard means that you invest in your relationships even, at times, when you are tired, because you will always be strengthened by their presence. Hard means if you want a relationship with someone, you fight for it…..even if it’s been a struggle. Hard means you rise to your higher self and see people the way you’re meant to see them. You eliminate judgment, and you see the light in every person.

Hard means you’re living an intentional life. And intentional life means you are living the life you’re meant to live. It’s the more in life. It’s the cherry on top in life. It’s the “I came that you may life and have it to the full” in life.

Easy won’t get you where you’re supposed to be. Where you’re meant to be. Hard will.

Today, I choose hard.

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Filed under Chasing Dreams, health, life, Relationships, Uncategorized

I Was Out of Her Hair.

Anna had requested that I remain in the hospital an extra day or three, so she could tell everyone her mom is in the hospital.  And, I am aware that she eagerly ran to many of you boasting of her momma’s awesome accommodations.  Of course, I will admit…the hospital can be quite entertaining.  At least, my neighbors were.  I don’t think it’s appropriate to uncover on the world wide web those experiences; but, I will tell you I did have a nurse’s assistant who was very proud of her tattoos.  And, her evening wouldn’t have been complete without making sure I saw “cream de la cream” on her back side. 

The Lord liveth.  I do not lie.

Fortunately, Anna wasn’t around to witness that little occurrence, but she did attempt to record a little documentary of part of her hospital visit experience.  Watch out.  This ride may get a little bumpy.

And I wasn’t having a baby.  “That’s what’s clear,” Anna documented.

The day after I came home, Kris took the big kids on our already scheduled trip for Winter Break.  And, when Anna learned that I would not be joining them, Kris said she immediately broke out into song, “She’s out of our hair!” from Monster’s Inc. 

She is a clever one.  That is for sure.

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Filed under health, Kid Stuff, Motherhood

He Had Me At Colon Spasm.

So sorry I’ve been MIA from the blog.  And, sorry for the ridiculous title of this post.  I thought I might be dying from the colon spasms a few days ago, but it all worked out okay.  I spent much of last week resting and trying to think of creative ways to drink my food.   That creativity ran out by day one. 

But, seriously, y’all.  Thank you for praying for me the way you did.  I am humbled and thankful!

Now, I’m not one to start yellin’ things like “God caused my pain.”  Because, He didn’t. 

But, He did use it.

To get me still.

I’ve been so focused on accomplishing goals, checking items off of my list, and trying to make this and that happen that I have failed to just be still and listen.

One morning, I woke up earlier than necessary, and I was feeling pretty rotten.  I decided to take a hot bath.  And, I became very still. 

“Okay.  I am still,” I told Him. 

So, I listened.  To Him.  His voice.  Not my friend’s.  Not my mom’s.  Not my sweet pilot’s. 

His. 

And, He brought such wonderful reproach in my life.  Yes, wonderful.  Because, it is His goodness that brings reproach.  That corrects.  That tells me I’m not always right.  I didn’t feel condemnation.  That’s not His style.  But, I did feel a holy conviction in a specific issue in my life.  And, listening to Him set me free from it. 

So, my recovery has been more than physical.

And, I’m so thankful.  Thankful that He loves me enough to correct me, so I can live a much more contented life. 

Maybe you are chasing after things so hard right now, and you are not taking time to be still before Him.  To linger with a keen awareness that you are in His presence.  Well?  I’m gonna go out on a limb here and tell y’all to take a moment this week to be still.  He might want to tell you something.  And, that something just might make a big difference.

He is just so good.

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Filed under God Stuff, gratitude, health

Laugh Out Loud.

I laugh a lot.  I laugh out loud a lot.  And, I laugh loudly. 

It’s true.  You can ask anyone who knows me well.  I really can’t help it.  I’ve asked Kris if my loud laugh embarrasses him.  He kindly tells me it’s one of the things he loves about me. 

That’s a good thing.  Because, he makes me laugh every day we are together. 

We can even laugh about things that most married couples wouldn’t laugh about.  Like his past relationships….and sometimes, even my divorce. 

I’ll tease about things I lost in the divorce.  Like a CD or some other random item.  “Yep,” I’ll say, “Lost that in the divorce.” 

Last night, he made me laugh again.

Me: (folding laundry) “Ya know, I used to iron Bryan’s golf shirts, even some of his t-shirts.”

Kris:  “Did you lose that in the divorce?”

We should really take our act on the road.  Like Sonny and Cher. 

Or, I guess, not.

Life is much too short to not truly enjoy even the smallest of moments.  To laugh out loud. To laugh at oneself.   It can be easy to let the stresses of daily life overtake these moments.

Don’t let them.  Scripture tells us that a merry heart does us good like medicine. (Proverbs 17:22) What does medicine do?  It comforts.  It heals.  It prevents our hurts from getting worse. 

Don’t let worry, fear, stress, or anger plague your life.  Let your heart be merry.  We can’t control everything that happens to us, but we can control how we react to them.  If we choose to laugh, we’ll find life much more enjoyable (and more enjoyable to be around.) 

We can also find in Proverbs 15:13 that “a happy heart makes the face cheerful.”  And, that is something you’ll never find in those expensive facial creams.  So, laugh more.  And, save yourself some money with Oil of Olay.  My momma swears by that stuff….and by the laughs my dad has consistently provided her the past thirty-seven years.

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Filed under divorce, health, life, Marriage, Motherhood

I Have A Favor That Can Change Lives.

Dear Friends,

I have a favor.  It’s a small favor, but it can pay huge rewards.  If you are a Facebook member, I am asking for you to become a fan of Chase Community Giving here.  Chase is giving one charity $1 million to pursue a Big Idea.  You can learn more about this project here.

Once you become a fan of Chase Community Giving, you can cast your vote for the charity you would like to see funded by Chase.  I humbly ask that you consider voting for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Network Cares.  Heard of EDS?  Most have not.  The EDS Network Cares writes,

“EDS is a life-threatening, painful, crippling genetic disorder caused by faulty collagen. It weakens the connective tissue causing fragile skin, joints, ligaments, organs, and blood vessels. EDS is misunderstood, grossly misdiagnosed, and some 90% never receive a proper diagnosis in their lifetime. There is no funding for research. There are no treatments. There is no cure. Today, we are at the threshold of promising research that can change all this and offer those who suffer, HOPE. It’s estimated that 1,358,640 people are affected worldwide, and thousands die. Sadly, many are diagnosed at autopsy after catastrophic internal ruptures. Yearly, 30,000 children are born with bleak futures as they struggle with lifelong consequences due to EDS. Our HOPE is to continue to fund research, increase education/awareness, find treatment options, and save/improve lives. Help us find that cure.”

You can read more about EDS and their Big Idea here.

Why is this charity so important to me?  Because, I lost a best friend in 1998 to Vascular EDS.  His name was Josh Doss.  Few have ever been as passionate about life as Josh.  He was a lover of Christ and a lover of people.   His son, Karsten, was only seven weeks old at the time of Josh’s death.  In the few short days after Josh died, his mother, Debbie learned that Karsten had the same disease. 

And, there is no cure.

Please, watch this video as a tribute to Josh and Karsten.  Then, please cast your vote for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Network Cares so Karsten, and so many others like him, can have a chance at long life.  Vote for EDS.  Vote for hope.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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Filed under giving, health, making an impact

For Those Who Haven’t Heard…

Our little Takle baby is a

BOY

We are excited.

All of us.

Even Anna who wanted the “girl kind.” 

And, for those who have wondered where I vanished to last week.  Well, I tore a muscle in my right arm from strenuous housework.  And, yes, I call the WetJet strenuous activity.  It left me in too much agony to type, you see. 

It has become apparent I need a housekeeper and a personal assistant.  However, my budget says otherwise.  Budget Schmudget. 

I’ll be back with a little more substance tomorrow.  I’ll pick up from this post, and how God has been dealing with my stuff. 

He’s good y’all.

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Filed under health, Motherhood, pregnancy