Sunday, October 25, 2015

Adventures in babysitting

Middle school, high school, and into my first year of college...I babysat for a family with 3 children. The youngest was about 6 months old when I started and maybe 3rd grade when I *sadly* had to stop (mercy, why did they leave them in my care!). I vacationed with them, I took them to after school activities. I helped them peddle their Girl Scout cookies. 
They were my heart. 
I ran into their mom today. 20 years later. 
All 3 children are married. College graduates. And one has 2 children. 
Humbly, it was like a God-pat-on-the-back. 
Just what my heart needed. 
My kids just may turn out ok, after all. 
#TheyAreGodsChildren #NotMine

Friday, August 28, 2015

Tiny bites

Friday August 28th. Day 2. 
1/4 cup. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Will "rehab" for Mickey waffles

Seriously, I'm not making light of it. 
But if I don't laugh, I'll shoot myself in the face. So there. 

Here's where I am today. 
Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

Why? For answers. 

But even better. God came before me. 
And prepared the way. 

No really. He did. 

So, currently, I have an appointment at Medical University of South Carolina in September. 

Mayo Clinic in October. 

An "undiagnosed disease" specialist in Birmingham in November. 

A pain therapist in December. 

I kid you not. 

Who am I? 
Who is this? 

Rewind 2 years ago, I'm a healthy marathoner full of life and spunk. 
Today, I can hardly walk to the mailbox without being winded. And I'm
Almost an introvert on any given day, if the pain shuts me down. 

Yes. Toss your "no excuses" shame my way. I wave the white flag. 
Guilty of doing the same. 

But for 25 months, I've lived on a diet of chicken breast and JIF peanut butter. And the occasional oatmeal. But heaven forbid, not all 3 in one day. 

Anyways, I digress. 

In January 2015, during our 21 days of prayer, I admit. I don't think I prayed for myself once. 
On the day of healing prayer I was so focused on a few others, I never even tossed my name in the hat. 
True story. I was so discouraged. And felt like it wasnt an issue of healing. But an issue of the doctors need to get their act together. 

Today. We are again in 21 days of prayer. And selfishly I've been praying for (along with many others) and believing for a miracle of healing for myself. Selfish. I know. 
Move on. 

So last week, my doctor calls and says he's referring me to Vanderbilt or Mayo Clinic. He can't do anything else for me. 
The doctor at Vanderbilt can't see me until December. 
Then Friday, I get the call that they can see me this week. 
August. Not December. 

Then, I arrive today...
And the doctor already has a hunch. 
But he says "start at the beginning."
 So I do. 

He said that everything I said affirmed his theory. 
I truly believe God went before me and prepared his mind. 

And then all of a sudden. 
2+ years later. We have a plan. 

A diagnosis of sorts:

it's a post-infectious dysfunction. 
He says he is certain that I had a virus/ infection/bacteria/even a parasite maybe when it started so fierce that first night. (July 2013)
And the lack of proper treatment caused motility dysfunction in my large and/ or small intestine. 
Along with abdominal migraines. 

The good news is it usually corrects itself. The bad news is sometimes that takes up to five years. Or not at all. 
But with some meds, and then within a few days...try to eat very lean and clean. Small bites a day. 
He said to not try to eat meals. That's almost impossible. But to eat a few bites. A few times a day. Like baby steps. 

He's running some blood work to check for lack of nutrition and just to check levels and test for celiac tendencies etc---but he said he's pretty confident he's spot on. 
Motility issues would never show up on the tests. 
Makes total sense. 

And I truly believe it's the power of prayer. Prayer from so many. 
I have a team of prayer lovelies. 
I am so thankful. 
Today has been overwhelming. With love and prayer. 
I'm completely overwhelmed by the people that love me. 

**and for the record.....I've cancelled all of the future appointments at Mayo and in Charleston and Birmingham. I believe this is it. 
I believe God is restoring me to full health. 

And I believe that I'm going to eat a full meal with my family once again. 

Seriously. For the first time in 25 months, I believe full well. 

I can hardly even believe it when I type those words. 
What a powerful day today has been. 

I am so thankful for those that have prayed for and with me. 

I can't wait to share a meal with each and everyone of you. 
In maybe a year or two ;)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Beware of the cocoon.

I've had 3 different friends this week, refer to "the cocoon".

What cocoon? And why does this word keep popping up?

"you know, she likes to slip into her cocoon when life gets hard, and not let anyone in"

"she has closed herself off from everyone, and only comes out of her cocoon on occasion"

"it's almost like if I could stay in my cocoon, then I don't get hurt. No one knows I'm there, and no one can hurt me"

*that* cocoon.

And then I read this very long and so heart wrenching blogspot from Heidi Swapp, just days after her son took his own life.
She blogged the events that unfolded in those days....probably so she could record them for her own keepsakes, but if I know her passion for memory-keeping like I think I do, she blogged this so that maybe it would keep someone else from slipping too far into their own cocoon / dark hole!

And so I'm not sure why, but God has impressed this word on me, over and over.

And then tonight Rick Bezet spoke at church, and his message of words was so very spot on. (funny how God does that).

But he mostly spoke about using the tongue to pierce.

But my heart kept saying "use the words to love. use the words to nourish. use the words to help"

And then on the way home, that word cocoon came again, but God reminded me, that from the cocoon comes something beautiful. Something with wings. Something with passion and purpose.

I pray today that I can be much better at using my words to help someone else find their wings and their passion...and even if they find themselves in the cocoon they can know it's not the end, but just the beginning of such a greater place!

After all the cocoon is a part of new birth, the beginning of a new season. A fresh start!

God has so much wonder planned for us all....if we will burst forth from the cocoon...and let Him use us for His glory.

What a great word for today.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Your life tells a story

I just received the sweetest compliment.

My day started off rocky to say the least. 
Bit a little piece of everyone's head my house. 

Traffic trying to get to an appointment.
For. An. Hour!

And my insides ache, just because I woke up today. 

So. I drop Chappy at his appointment and go down the block to grab a cup of coffee. 
They are closed. 
Power outage. 
Of course they are. 

So. I go about 10 minutes down the way, to another. 
They are open. 

And everyone said amen! 

So. I'm getting my coffee. 
In a personalized cup, that my sweet friend Diane bought me. 
The lady next to me began to compliment the cup. It's so cute with Mickey on it.

You like Disney?! 
"I do. And I'm a Disney Travel
planner, so my worlds collide. And I love it."

Oh wow. Fun! 
As we are talking, she noticed my shirt. Oh I love that verse.  That's my favorite scripture. 
I tell her that my friend Jennifer gave this to me for my 40th birthday. 

And because it celebrates Kayla, and her verse as she continues her cancer journey. 

I instinctively refer to my purple bracelet, as I speak of Kayla

Then the lady, "oh my word. Look at that bracelet. How gorgeous" (referring to my Lucy's Locket cuff. 

And I begin to brag on Lucy, and her success and her gorgeous jewelry. 

And then I point out that my necklace is also a Lucy's Locket.

And the lady squeals, "your entire life tells such a lovely story" 

Gah. It sure does. She snapped me back into check so fast. 
I'm blessed with great friends and sweet treasures. 

What a lovely compliment. 
My life tells a lovely story. 

So much better than boring :)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Serve Day 15

Where love covers a city. 
Wearing red shirts. 
131 churches came together to pour love into the communities. 
The hands and feet of Jesus put to action. 
131. That's incredible. 131!!! Not to promote a church. But to promote Jesus. 
Love people. Love people.  Love people. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Fathers Day and money?! What?

I've always heard that people that work in the treasury department don't study fake money. But they study U.S. Currency so well, that they can spot an imitation in an instant. 
Yeah. That's how I know a good guy when I spot one. 
I watched this guy closely while I was growing up. And I didn't even know it. #EveryGirlNeedsAHero #OneRaisedMe #OneMarriedMe #FathersDay 
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