Category Archives: Jesus; Faith

The Difference of a Year

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I just returned from a week in Mexico.

It was gorgeous, relaxing, adventurous, fun and much needed. I always plan it the week before I return to school as a last way to recharge, reflect and get ready.

The sun, blue water, time for self care is good for my soul. Seeing the Lord’s work in nature and taking the time to listen to what he is saying with new opportunities is a gift.

But this trip hit different because a year ago today my life changed when my marriage changed along with a stressful year in education (see other post about change and reforms in school). In this last year, the stress of all the changes restarted my body to get sick-very sick and it was obvious if you looked at me for the first time ever.

The butterfly rash, psoriasis, weight loss, eye inflammation, dental issues…all the symptoms came roaring back. The hardest was the weight that caused people to ask if I was okay and the hair just getting thinner and shorter without being cut.

It led to two new medications and finally tests and a biopsy.

Pictures do not lie! I usually pull it back, but this night I got feisty!

I often want to step out of the picture or refuse to take it, but I will not let pride and vanity win. This.is.me! This is my season of sickness. It is rough, but my reality. So I will show my confidence and continue to take the selfie or portrait. I an more than my appearance. I hope I inspire young girls that think they are fat or ugly to be confident and brave.

The hair will grow back or I will invest in wigs and hats. This is Lupus and the world needs to know…even Virgin River had a story on the disease!

So I start these meds today and wait patiently for a cure and hopefully an answered prayer with little to no side effects and some relief.

Pray with me!

Biopsy Results

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Today was the virtual consult with the nephrologist. The biopsy revealed the Class 5 Membranous Lupus we were expecting. This was good news since the kidneys were not worse than we thought. The medications will be intense. 2000mg Cellcept daily and 25 mg of steroids daily.

Nervous if similar side effects will occur like last time causing my hair to fall out, lip blisters and overall decline in my weight and health. This drug is most famous for the stomach issues which is a struggle when you are trying to gain weight. Overall, my biggest fear is just struggling to stay thriving. Fatigue is real on these medications! But, this is a fight for a major organ so I will suck it up and follow doctor’s orders.

I serve a mighty God! I serve a God that saves and goes with me. Today made me feel frustrated that we have to get serious with medication right before I start back to school where my stress kicks in the highest…so afraid of going backwards and just feeling beat down when I need to be stepping it up. But I will trust in God’s promise that he goes before me, stay grateful for the good things he has done and remain hopeful for a cure and better tomorrow with Lupus.

Biopsy is In…

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…but I have to wait until Wednesday to get them.

Cruel right?

We have them, but you must wait until our appt.

As I wait patiently I want to shout out the amazing people that loved, encouraged and made me feel seen. From meals, to gifts, to childcare, to texts (they know not to call), to prayers…this is community! This is Jesus. This is love. This is the church as Christ designed it to be-His hands and feet.

Stop Going to Google and Start Going to God

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I do it every time.

Hear a diagnosis then Google it to death.

What I really struggle with is fear, control, the unknown and what-ifs.

God has the answer.

When will I learn to start with Him?

He knows, He cares, He loves.

The end.

Perspective is Everything

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Summer fun can be exhausting. Getting up early, going from lesson to playdate to camp…being in the car from 30 to 45 minutes at a time depending on traffic. Doing all I can to make memories and do all the fun stuff while school is out. Keeping cool in this heat…fun, but tiresome.

I was expressing this thought to my son’s tutor whom is a widow and all three of her boys are grown and out of the house. Her response surprised me.

She said the busyness traveling in the car is what she missed the most about raising kids. She explained the time she spent talking, laughing and going to all the places for the summer are the memories she holds dear to her heart. Being all together in the car is priceless.

It made me stop and think the thing that exhausts me is what she misses. I should learn from her and change my perspective and find joy in this phase of life. Appreciate the talking, the questions and the places we travel together. Value this moment in motherhood.

Don’t miss the memories we are making. God has given me this child for this moment and I refuse to miss this opportunity by not appreciating how blessed I am. So thankful this lady could unknowingly mentor me and change my perspective before it was too late.

Heavenly Father Love

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If you want to know how much God loves his children, watch how Callen’s Paw Paw loves him. It is real, genuine and limitless. God loves you this much and more. It is indescribable!

Happy Father’s Day!

Never Count out Creativity

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My son has autism.

My son has ADHD.

My son has epilepsy.

My son’s IQ is too low to be considered having a learning disability.

True story. Too low to have a learning disability. If my son, did not have the other health impairment a public school system would not qualify him for special education because he does not have enough strengths to receive services.

Let that sink in. “Not enough strengths”. As a teacher this breaks my heart. My students that get this information are basically being told find a good trade or marry a rich spouse because according to the SPED system you are too low to receive our help. We cannot help you.

Low IQ is 70-79- my son has a 54. But if you ever met him then you would know something is different but 54 does not describe him- autism and distractedness make a difference on these tests. Combine that with lack of motivation and in his world “these tests suck”. STAAR is a joke for him-he cannot logically reason or read those words (mind you in a home with two parents with a masters degrees)…he is below grade level with an other health impairment. The test does not fit him.

The state should differentiate their testing. Supports are not enough for some kids.

But God.

God knew what this kid would need. God knew what our education and finances could offer that he was not born into. God knew what faith, hope, love, early intervention and stubbornness could provide. God chose us to adopt him…a hard calling, but an important one.

You see my child thinks outside the box. He sees things not for what they are, but what they can become. He sees a rinse cup and creates false teeth (it works). He sees a happy meal can be turned into a computer. He sees foil can create 101 different toys. He will make the world better….mark my words….by creating something so simple, but no one saw it.

Someday public education will rethink their testing and accountability but until then…

Never count out creativity.

Saying Good-Bye

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We said good-bye to our dog of 16 years this week.

To be honest, it was time, but that does not make it easier. She was deaf, blind and like her sister suffering from kidney disease.

We knew it was coming, but still not ready. It all happened quickly while we were in the Bahamas, but thankful we could make it back home so we could be together.

Explaining death to a 9 year old never is easy, but it gives us more opportunity to talk about God and heaven and Jesus.

The hurt is real, but so is the beauty of a best friend. The creature at my feet each night and the unconditional love in the loneliness. The loyal companion of my adult years. I miss her busting through the closet or barging in on my bathtime. Even miss the way she did anything to get to food…I miss her. But the pain is worth the 16 years of joy and the happy times of her youth.

Church

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What do you think of when I say the word church? Joy? Good people? Pain? Hypocrisy? Unspoken?

So many thoughts…none of them wrong, but I think of home. My go to place each Wednesday and Sunday. My first boyfriend and best friend. Youth group hang outs and camps. People that prayed.

Sure it is full of broken people and sinners, but that is why I fit in so well. My brokenness is welcome here and yours should be too. My youth church closed its doors this past Sunday. Church is not a place, but still sad I cannot go back to visit the building where I was baptized. Happy to have my family with me this Easter. Hope my son has all I had in a church home and more. If you feel a certain way about church, I encourage you to try again. It is worth it.

Be a Good Neighbor

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On this Good Friday where we celebrate the life Jesus Christ gave willingly for our sins to be redeemed, I am reminded the importance of His love. His love I do not deserve. His love that sets me free. His love that allows me to love others.

A sweet neighbor just dropped off a basket for my son. A basket that will make him smile and feel special. A basket from a “big kid” that he looks up to. I need to do better at being a good neighbor and loving others the way Christ loves me.

It may seem simple, but this is why Jesus Christ came to this Earth as a man. To teach us to love so we can love others and influence the world. We are Chosen. It is in us; our call is to share it.