Tuesday, December 17, 2013

You are…aren't You?

You are good when there's nothing good in me You are Love on display for all to see You are Light when the darkness closes in You are Hope You have covered all my sin You are Peace when my fear is crippling You are True even in my wandering You are Joy You're the reason that I sing You are Life In You death has lost its sting I'm running to Your arms I'm running to Your arms The riches of Your love will always be enough Nothing compares to Your embrace Light of the world Forever Reign --from"Forever Reign" I may have jumbled the words and I may have gotten them all wrong but tonight, I figure it doesn't matter. I'm all out of reasons to worry what y'all think of me! I wanted someone else to fill the gaping hole in my heart. I wanted God to fill it but didn't see how protective I was of it. I hoped He'd break through what I put before Him, but He can't do what I'm preventing. Actually He can but He won't is more like it. I wanted someone I could see and touch to restore my faith and hope. I wanted something permanent and predictable. I felt like I needed proof. And I felt like it didn't show up. I almost lost hope that it ever would. I felt hopeless and tired and forgotten, even by people who had good intentions to help. I felt betrayed and blamed for what happened, by people who matter to me. I felt frazzled and weak. I begged Him every night to come back before morning. I couldn't face more of the wandering, searching for the solution. I was worn smooth out. I used up all of my reasoning and all of my logical self, (which, let's be honest, isn't a whole lot of me.) I buried my head and sobbed. Night after night begging Him to release me from the burden of what I was facing. The undeniable calling on my life to use this for His glory instead of a self-pity party of great proportions. I finally looked up and said, "Enough." This got me to where I am today. Still a mess. Still in need of restoration and renewal. Still in need of Him. I've said it a million times before here--and in my daily life--He came to save the world. We celebrate Jesus and happily welcome Him during this season, even people who otherwise think they don't need His help. Uh, maybe that's me lately? Could it be? I'll admit it, yeah that's me. I can forgive a million betrayals with Him at my side. Trusting Him to catch me, to bind up my wounds, gives me the chance to let other people in. It's hard. It's painful and scary and uncertain. It's also exhilarating and exciting and well, LIVING. No guarantees except that He's gonna be standing with me, picking me back up when I'm throwing in the towel. Again. And again. I really don't get how it all works and I don't have to. I just know it's as true for me as it is for everyone who needs to know they're not alone. We aren't. We never have been. He is there. He is here.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Raise your hand if you're surprised

I guess the sample names sounded good enough for me.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Charlie the (almost) 6 year old

Charlie turns 6 on Thursday which happens to also be Thanksgiving this year. I'm hosting at my house for the second time in my whole life so I thought ahead this year and planned an early party with her little friends. I'm shocking myself lately with thinking through things like this. Thank you ADD diagnosis/meds!

Charlie said that what she wants more than anything for her birthday is a daddy. Combining that with lots of internal struggling has thrown me into a level of sadness that God can only help me get through. And He surely will :)

Last night a friend sat down with me and just let me cry. Then she told me the Truth about how bitterness and pain can eat away at us and it's happened and happening in my heart now. Y'all please pray that I can forgive and embrace grace like I never have before. It's hard to work through but necessary. Thanks y'all!

Monday, November 11, 2013

When will I be done?

I'm always working on projects.
Picking up old stuff and making it new. Start to finish can take anywhere between an hour and 8 months. It depends on my mood and if something is going on internally that I'm wrestling with. I'm glad I don't have many deadlines related to painting.
Yes I work on things for other people and I'm guilty of calling friends sometimes to say, "Please-anything, give me something to change or redo. For the love I'm out of stuff in my own house and I'm desperate." Usually they are happy to share.
A long time ago, (long, long,) I told the Lord "yes" when He told me He wanted me. I could easily believe that He wanted and needed me. I mean, I was so lovable. So full of perfection and excitement for Him. So full of life and joy and ideas for showing off I mean showing Him off. I was a heap of pride and I was proud of it. He could've told me to go save countries and I'd have been on board because I saw my great potential.
It's bad enough to think any of that but why tell you, show you where my heart really was? Why not shoot straight-I've got little patience with lots of things y'all know that. Telling you how great I was, (actually how great I thought I was,) shows you a weakness that I'm willing to expose. It's a downfall of mine and I've hated it for a long time. I'm tired of struggling with grace and feeling like I can decide who deserves it.
The methods and struggles God has used and allowed, (in that order,) to show me grace are numerous. He had to get real with me because I didn't pick up on subtle lessons. Strip me of what I was always most proud of, that's what He had to do.
Know what that was? What I was most proud of?
I'm grossing myself out and I know where I'm headed with this y'all. I can only imagine what you must be thinking.
I was a good girl. Never broke rules, (except that one time I wrote my geometry teacher a mean note telling him I wouldn't have cheated on the test if he'd been a better teacher and I wouldn't have HAD TO CHEAT.) Shout out Coach Forrester! He sent that letter back to me a few years ago. Bless his heart. So there's that. Well and the actual cheating I guess. I'm sure I did more than that and if I grew up with you feel free to comment and spill it. Go ahead.
I dare you. Ha!
Ok so I was a good girl. Didn't drink, didn't sneak out, didn't date anyone my parents didn't like, didn't disappoint my parents, and dedicated my life to Christ immediately following high school graduation at summer camp. I was the poster child goody-two-shoes. I wanted approval and everyone to like me, not even just approve. I wanted attention and glory. Boy I was a finely knit masterpiece just waiting to unravel.
So He did what He had to do.
He started allowing some unravelling.
First it was through relationships. Loss, confusion, anger, pain. Ouch.
Then it was my future. Where it once looked secure it was suddenly a mystery. Ministry seemed so cut and dry. I'd lead by example and win people to Christ based on my solid reputation for being perfect. But I wasn't good at it.
Then it was my family. My perfect family. Not perfect. Restored by the grace of God and nothing else I'm very proud to say. (See I can be proud of what God does there's nothing wrong with that. He deserves all glory for restoration. He always did.) I'm getting ahead of myself though..
So after relationships, future, and family came lots of other stuff. College dang near killed me. It was so hard for me to care about school. It was hard to make good grades because I couldn't focus. Shocker. I loved meeting people and going country dancing. In some ways college was the best camp ever complete with dorm room fun. But the school part dampened my college experience. I called home after two weeks and told Mom, "This is the best place ever but I'd like it a lot more if I didn't have to go to class." I was there to win souls y'all! Win souls and two-step! Not go to class!
I wasn't as smart as my siblings which is no news to those of you we grew up with. They are both brilliant. Book smart, great study habits, great discipline. Then, well, there's me. I like to talk and have fun. I never felt smart and kind of hid behind the fact that I had more friends than Graham and Emmy had. I played that up so I wouldn't feel so bad about my grades. First semester of college we threw a party after calling in to get my grades. I passed. That was the party. I passed! Yippeeeee!! My brother? All A's. In finance classes at A & M. He probably took 16 hours and made all A's. 99's and 100's sometimes. Emmy was in grad school then and made all A's too. Every time. After a quick "What the heck," reaction from them they joined in the celebration though. MARY PASSED!! SHE'S GONNA GET TO STAY!! AND DANCE AND MEET PEOPLE!!
So that was that. I volunteered at Breakaway, the big on-campus Bible study there. I loved it. I especially loved being on the discipleship team that got to sit down front so everybody could see them. Bleh. (I know, I know I'm a sick person. I agree.) You know what I didn't like? When they transferred me to the "support" ministry. I worked in the office and messed lots of stuff up. Calls, messages, faxes, CD's, I messed it all up. I was a joke, in more ways than I even realized at the time. I was terrible at behind the scenes ministry. I wanted to be up front! Not in an office showing my inability to do anything administrative! Come on God get with the program!
He didn't care about my program.
You getting it? He cared about my ugly prideful heart. That's ALL He cared about.
I'm running out of time today to tell you more about the ins and outs of how He's shown me and is currently showing me grace but there's one more thing to say.
I'm ready for Him to be done so I can just go home with Him. This stuff is painful. Maybe I'm so hard-hearted that He will leave me here learning a whole lot longer and for my kids' sake I hope I am here. In my heart, though, I just want Him. I want Him all the time and I need Him all the time. All I've learned these past 34 years is that I screw it up and I am not gonna figure it out on my own. Even the goody two shoes I was couldn't win souls and show people what He's really about. It's me screwing it all up, dealing with pain and watching people suffer that shows me--us--that we need Him, that gives Him glory. So rather than deal with disappointment and ugliness and shame and greed forever I'd prefer to be home with Him but maybe that's the biggest thing He's been needing from me. Dependence on Him for air, for healing. Dependence on Him for love. For grace. For trust and patience.
Just a little something I wanted to admit today.
I don't get it Lord. When will I be done learning? When will You be done with me, your ADD goody two shoes wounded and confused follower? Will You finish me, your project, soon so I can just sit back and relax? Lord we both know You won't. Just give me You today, Lord. Give me You to help me deal with this crud. I can't do this without You. I'm sorry for ever trying to and for the pride I so often use against You. Heal me as only You can. I love You and will never understand what You see in me to keep fighting for me. Show me, Lord how to show grace. Show me where to comfort. Show me and teach me how to lift people up today. Amen.

Monday, November 4, 2013

I'm a smoker

Y'all totally bought it didn't you?

If you could hear me talk you'd put money on me smoking a few packs a day right now. In truth I have no idea why I sound like this.

Allergies? A cold? Exhaustion? Y'all pick one and please somebody being me meds for it!

On another note, we went to the zoo yesterday. The zoo at the zoo.

The tour guide. Shocker.


Hello there


Yep eyes closed. Just noticed. You're welcome.

My kids are brave souls

The monorail is still their favorite part

Joy's thumb is her favorite part actually. I've even started threatening the metal contraption the dentist will put in her mouth to make her stop and you know what she does?

Cries. Sobs. Puts her thumb in her mouth. Stops crying. The cycle continues.


I'm a really good parent as you know.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

When they ask for my phone

I usually let them have it if it's to take a picture of something. Sometimes it's nothing spectacular.

Sometimes it is.

This poor cat. She's been busy catching snakes (in the house--live ones) see

mice, rats, and grasshoppers so she relaxes at the end of a long day and look what happens to her.

My life is not normal.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

We are family

In December it will have been two years. Two months away, marking that awful anniversary of the day that changed it all.
I'm still afraid of loss. There I said it. I still think someone else will leave and never come back. It's no wonder my kids have thought it. Even though I don't tell them when I'm feeling anxious they feel it. They sense it when I say things, when I get antsy. Oh how I hate the feeling that things are going well so...when's it gonna happen?
The next thing.
The next heartache.
The next December 19th.
The day that seems so long ago but like yesterday at the same time.
Y'all I think the waves of grief still come at the weirdest times. It shows up in my fear of loss. It fuels my fear of the unknown. It cripples the strength I've grown to depend on in my own heart. Before I know it I'm paralyzed again. All over again. The excitement over a new thing is squashed by the fear of it going away. No enjoying the moment, just waiting for the moment to pass. The walls go up to protect myself and before I know it I've caused the joy to cease. Because where there's joy there's potential for sorrow, right?
It's not normal. My brain, I mean.
And I'm tired of it. So tired of it.
It seems, though, that it's a common thread with grief-stricken people. They feel crazy . They feel like the world is moving on and they are stuck in some in-between place, where they feel numb and scared. They step ahead out of the fog and get a taste of hope-could be the smallest thing--and then retreat back to the known, even though they hate it there. It's just that there are no surprises and for some reason that's more comforting than trying something that yes, can bring great hope and joy. You know way? We are afraid of the depth of pain there can be. We've seen it. Known it. And something deep inside says, "Nope, not worth it."
Some people live this way for the rest of their lives. I can't really blame them. I've done it on and off too. You just try to survive. Surviving doesn't involve risk and being able to grasp the reward. It just sees the darkness that could, at any point, come back. And nobody wants to go back there.
Does this make any sense? Maybe it doesn't have to. Maybe I just needed to write it.
Tonight Emmy, (my sister if you're new here,) came over to play with the kids and we went on a walk. Halfway through, (almost exactly,) Joy started whining. Charlie never missed a beat-she walked over and said, "Joy are you too tired? Come here I'll carry you home."

I told Charlie that I thought it was really sweet that she helps tend to Joy to help Mommy, (they're 17 months apart,) and she smiled and said, "That's my job Mom we are a family."
And my eyes filled with tears.
Sometimes I fear I've burdened them too much with helping me or "taking it for the team" when they all have to go somewhere with me. In truth though it's only showing them that they are capable of helping other people and on some level I hope it's helping them be less selfish. I'm selfish and want them to be less selfish than I am :)
Anyway, on the walk today my heart was so happy to see us taking care of each other even in that small way. It somehow was what I needed to see to remind me that if we keep on trucking relief will come. It always does.
Thank You Lord for days like today where I see progress and even a little fearlessness. Remind me constantly that You've got my back and there's nothing to be afraid of.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Because the fair is in town

Why not pull the kids out early and go waste the day away playing and eating? Life is too short to miss the fair!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Me + Running

I tried. Really I did. Running and I don't get along. I want this shirt.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bendin' it like Beckham

One of many breaks she needed

Joy with her bestie Maryn

All of the girls are adorable. I'm not gonna lie it's a beat down to get Joy excited about playing but I'm glad we tried it this year. You never know when she'll catch on.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Man down

Just when we hit our stride we have a man (girl) down. Bad bronchitis mixed with strep and all that comes with it...

Sleeping on the floor because she feels too weak to move and she cried when I try to carry her upstairs. Such sadness.

If anyone needs me I'll be sleeping for the next, oh, 11 days.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Ok y'all for a few weeks I've tried to redo my blog on my own.

We all see how well that worked out. I'm looking forward to a makeover and I need your referrals! Who does this kind of thing? I'm all ears.

I'm back

And today, Ty's 7th birthday, I bring you a glimpse of where I've been.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

That time I ugly cried on a plane

Where I've been...

I've been visiting V in California for a few days. He's been here for 5 weeks working and to say that has been hard is an understatement.

It has been HARD. For pretty clear and obvious reasons I have fears of abandonment. Logic doesn't play into it...it's not like he moved here permanently or that something happened to him. It still wreaks havoc on my heart though. Why, Lord? Will I ever get to a place without any fear?

I tried to leave yesterday and as we backed away from the terminal I realized I hadn't taken my anxiety meds early enough. They had not kicked in. If you're new here, I'm a pretty clean cut gal but I take Xanax to fly. Every time. If I don't lots of crying and hyperventilating happens which is scary not only for me but for people around me trying to settle into their seats to enjoy a flight.

One time I was so tormented before takeoff (pre-meds) I stood up and begged someone to give me a window seat. Begged, while ugly crying. See, the window seat helps. Logical?? Nope. I just know that it does help. On this flight my seat was on the back row in the middle and just as I'd talked myself into it being ok the captain announced that no one would be allowed out of their seats during the 4 hour flight because we would fly in between thunderstorms the entire way and turbulence would be bad. Actually, he said, "Really bad."

This kind of announcement doesn't sit well with me.

Another understatement.

So I started crying. My palms started sweating, my heart started racing. I came unglued. I asked the people in the window seats on my row to trade. They said no. I asked the people right in front of me. They said no.

I can't blame them really y'all. I mean put yourself in their shoes. Crazy girl on aisle 44.

PS this was before Sean died. The anxiety was bad way back when.


I got desperate for a window seat because I could tell I'd start hyperventilating soon. I stood up and started offering money to trade seats.

Oh yes, yes I did.

Still nothing.

So I asked again. This time I said, "I'm scared to death of flying and I will do anything to trade seats. Please." I was beyond ugly crying at this point.

I met my hero in that moment. A flight attendant waved me forward and said, "A man up here will trade with you." I moved as fast as I could toward her and kept walking, walking, kept walking, walking. When I saw the man in the aisle I hugged him and said thank you so much and this is what he said:

"Darling, I have a daughter about your age and I'd hope that someone would do this for her. I fly all the time and I don't care where I sit. I had my headphones in and couldn't hear you at first or I'd have switched sooner. God bless you."

Then he stepped aside and I moved into his seat. In first class. Row 3, seat A. Window seat in first class. He gave up a meal, (which I sent back to him in my scary seat and he sent back to me,) a nice comfy seat and a peaceful nap--to help me. The Heavens had opened up I tell you.

I'd never been in first class before and I promised God right then and there I'd never try to fly again if He just got me through that flight.

He did. Shocker.

About a week later I went to my dr and told him I could never fly again without help. He prescribed Xanax, enough pills for the number of flights I planned to take in the future, which was like 3. God love him.

The End.

So anyway, I realized yesterday that I didn't feel calm AT ALL yet and I asked V to pray for me and I begged God to calm me down. I kid you not a minute later the captain came on and said that the weather at DFW was so bad they'd shut it down. We would be delayed at least an hour before taking off.

You think it's a coincidence?

I do feel bad for the people on the plane with me but as for me, I was elated. Seriously. Elated. I had to hide my smile from the other angry passengers whose plans were getting shifted around. I was just beside myself with joy!

One hour delay turned into a 3 hour one which turned into a cancelled flight with no hotel vouchers and rescheduled flights for today. I'm in! V found me a hotel at the airport and I slept all night and woke up late. Bliss. I leave in a few hours and believe me I will say yes to drugs a little earlier this time.

God is near even about little things. I still struggle with some big things, yes. I do. There I said it. I'm always thinking V is about to decide I'm too much, that my story and my kids and my life, it's too much. Somehow he still wants to date me. I can't figure it out! He's showing me grace and patience. And God is showing me that trusting Him is worth it. It's scary sometimes because I try to put my trust in people or (gasp!) in myself. But it only works with Him.

Gotta run. Longest post ever. Sorry y'all.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My namesake

There he is in the middle of chaos just hanging out and enjoying the sun.


Until a big spray of water out of the clear blue sky threatens his hangout spot and he has to scramble to make it to safety, (the fence, in this case.) His plan changes in a second. My guess is he doesn't even remember the first plan at this point he just looks around and thinks about his next move.

Yep, I'm with you buddy. We are two peas in a pod.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Home again...again

We got home today from Colorado. Moment of silence.

I wish you could see all of the clothes and suitcases I need to unpack. Y'all would cry with me. I'm crying now for totally different reasons and I'm trying to trust God in all things right now and I'm struggling. Y'all have to trust me that what I'm working through is not my story to tell so I won't tell it. Writing is therapy for me so I can't hide out any longer though. Bear with me, okay?

I've seen many miracles regarding healing and peace these last few years so I completely believe it is possible. I've felt anger and abandonment and I hate when people I love are hurting and I'm helpless. I don't want anyone to feel abandoned because I know what that feels like. It makes you feel unwanted, unimportant, unchosen (is that a word?) and small.

Will y'all allow me to just process what I'm trying to learn and trust God for without getting specific?

I assume you said yes.


See, here's the thing. It's easy to trust God now in some areas because like I said I've known true healing and peace. Nothing about my circumstances added up to either one of those things. He gave me that assurance, that proof that He's with me. I'm forever grateful for that!

When things unravel I am quick to fear though, which I hate. I'm not even sure what I fear more-the actual thing or the fact that I am so fearful that it scares me.

Never mind.

Y'all we managed to turn a 13 hour drive into a 17 hour one yesterday. My brain is tired. My body is in sleep mode even now as I'm typing. Bless your heart.

You still there?

Want to see some pictures?

See this picture?

Other than the fact that my girls don't have pants on because they'd just gotten out of the river and their pant legs were soaked, there's something else to mention here. The fisherman. He's a constant reminder that God knows me and my heart. I've known him for a few months now and he's a fun, genuine, kind man who loves Jesus. We spent the last week with his family. We camped, played, fished, ate, and laughed our way through Crested Butte. It was a great trip and now I'm good to avoid my car altogether for like 2 weeks.

The End.