Moving forward …

This past year was eye-opening for me.  Loss of friends.  Moving locations.  Making new friends.  And pushing through difficult messiness of life.

Last fall, I happened on a story written by a woman who has lupus, among several other conditions, that describes my life pretty well.  I have adopted her theme of “spoons” as a way of explaining the choices I make on a daily basis.  And some people get it.  Others seemingly understand, yet walk away.  And several people just walk away.

The “spoon theory”, as the author named it, explains the choices I make (and really anyone with a chronic condition) affect my energy level for that day, as well as the days to come depending on how big the decision is.  For instance, if I have 12 spoons for a day, and take 3 of them for simply getting dressed in the morning, and 3 more for preparing breakfast for the girls and me, that leaves me with 6 for the rest of the day.  Which includes lunch and dinner preparations and clean up, any errands for the day, teaching school, and chasing after Izzy.

Take some time to read the theory.  When Benjamin read it, he had tears because he knew it was my life.  When I read it, I had tears because I knew it was my life.

God has used some interesting things over the last year to teach me.  And He is continuing to teach me.  After several weeks of prayer, I made the decision to stop going to a Bible Study 35 minutes from here (without morning Atlanta traffic) and signed up for a different class that is only 12 minutes from my house.  And except for 2 school zones I will pass through, I expect no traffic issues.  It took me sitting in traffic for almost 90 minutes trying to get to that Bible study for me to make that decision.

We made the decision to homeschool year-round to ease the tension of re-teaching for the first several months at the beginning of a new year.  Hopefully my spoons will allow me to get focused on beginning school this week …

My hope is to blog more, but only if my spoons allow it.

We went to a small group leader training several months ago and heard from the small groups director at National Community Church in DC.  She talked about the messiness of life … and because small groups are made of people who are messy, small groups become messy.  And as we looked at our own life, and our own small group, we saw the messiness oozing out.  And we opted to walk away.  Why?  Because some messes are too big, too heavy, and too deep.

August and September will begin another year of rebuilding for us.  New small group.  New Bible study.  I began praying for the relationships we would encounter months ago.  I am praying for open hearts … for ours to be open to their stories and for their hearts to be open to our stories.  I am praying for families who would partner with us in raising our girls, for our girls to find life-long friendships that would withstand the trials ahead.  I am praying for friendships that would sharpen each other, knowing that messiness is a phase, committing to getting through the messiness instead of putting up walls around it.

That’s my story for now … stay tuned for more.

Categories: My Story, Parenting | Leave a comment

Used Curriculum Sale

I am dusting off the old blog to try to get rid sell some old curriculum that we are not using.

Here is the list:

Wordly Wise 3000 Book 3


The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling (Debra Bell)


History for Little Pilgrims


Read Write Type (not compatible with Windows 7 or above or Mac 10.6 or later)



(and for those who are wondering, yes, one day, I will get back to blogging.  One day …)Costs do not include shipping and I am using Paypal for payments.

Categories: Homeschool | 9 Comments

Moving …

My parents moved into the house I grew up in 4 days before my brother was born.  He is 2 years older than me.   I “moved” out of that house when I went to college.  I never officially lived there again, but it was still home.

Since then, I have moved I don’t know how many times.  Sometimes by choice, sometimes because circumstances forced the issue.  Horrible roommate situation.  Distance from work.  Mold.  (and horrible management)  Downsizing to a one-level home.  Job change.  Unsafe surroundings.  (and more horrible management)a

But now … now we are in a terrific neighborhood, in a terrific house, in a fantastic area.  (Was that too many positive descriptive words?  I will try to tone it down …)


(Seriously, I will stop now.)

Our house is truly wonderful.  We would be completely happy staying here for a long, long time.  This move was by choice, but heavily affected by our circumstances.  But it was time.  And now we are blessed beyond measure.

Categories: Family | Tags: | Leave a comment


There is a disconnect somewhere in my person.  A miscommunication between the millions of pain receptors and my brain.  My brain interprets everything as pain.  I don’t sleep well, perhaps because of the pain, perhaps because of something else.  I lose energy very quickly.  And I just want to find a hole and crawl in it.  Preferably a place where pain doesn’t exist.

Chasing a 23-month-old and keeping up with an 8-year-old, however, doesn’t allow time for me to find a hole.  So I exist.  In pain.  I do what I have to do, what my girls need me to do, and somehow push myself to do what they WANT me to do.  Because I am their mother.  Because I love them.

And yet I find myself alone.


adjective, lone·li·er, lone·li·est.

1. affected with, characterized by, or causing a depressing feeling of being alone; lonesome.

2. destitute of sympathetic or friendly companionship, intercourse, support, etc.: a lonely exile.

3. lone;  solitary; without company; companionless.

4. remote from places of human habitation; desolate; unfrequented; bleak: a lonely road.

5. standing apart; isolated: a lonely tower.

People say I am strong.  People tell me to my face that I handle everything with such ease and grace.  People have no idea who I really am inside.

Inside I am broken.  Alone.  Hurting.  Isolated.

Three years ago, when I agreed to move, I began praying then for the friends we would meet once we arrived.  I prayed for strong relationships like the ones we had back home.  I prayed for the relationships we had to stay strong.  I prayed for a strong group of ladies that I could count on to carry me through when I didn’t think I could carry myself.

Over three years later, I am still waiting for just one friendship like that to form.  I thought I had found it.  I thought it was there.  But I was wrong.  And I have a huge gaping hole left behind … one that is still bleeding, tender, swollen, and in need of attention.

So I continue on my journey alone. I face this pain alone daily.

Am I needy?  Yes, I am.  I need relationships that I can lean on for encouragement when I can’t even think about walking across the room.  I need at least one person in my life, who isn’t my husband, who I can look at face to face, once or twice a week, who can tell just by looking in my eyes where I am emotionally.  I need at least one person in my life that will put aside their own schedule when I physically cannot walk across the room.

Is that selfish?  Yep.  There are times that I have to be selfish so I don’t end up running myself into the ground to the point that I literally cannot get out of bed.  There are times that taking care of my two precious girls scares me because I don’t have the reserves to care for myself.

Based on my experience with medication, it isn’t going to get any better.

I think the reason I am alone is people just do not understand how hard it is for me to function most days.  Think about it this way.  You plan out a dinner for ten people.  Drinks, appetizers, salad, main course, side dishes, and desserts.  Shopping is done.  Preparations are finished.  You pull the last dish out of the oven and put the rolls in the basket just before time for your guests to arrive.

Fifty people are in your dining room.  Waiting for their dinner.  Fifty more are in your den.  Waiting for their dinner.

And you have no idea how to turn a meal for 10 people into one that will feed 100.  Only Jesus could do that.

This is my life every day.  My reserves are tested every day.  My tanks are rarely full.  On my best days, my tanks are only partially filled.  There are forty “people” who are going without food daily because I don’t have enough to give them.

I read other stories of families who are struggling and how their friends are constantly standing in the gap for them.  Kids who have special needs.  Moms who are ill, whether it is chronic or acute.  Dads whose jobs require them to work more than they are home.  People always seem to know when to step in their lives and make something happen.

At critical times in our lives, we have found this to be true.  And we have been bowled over by the generosity of those who have stepped in and helped.  But during the times that aren’t so critical, like now, when my tank is completely empty.  My reserves are completely gone with no hope of being filled.  When it is all I can do to simply get my body out of my chair to do something else.  When picking up my 23-month-old who only weighs 22 pounds might as well be a 100-pound sack of potatoes because I don’t have the strength to carry her.

These are the times when I long for someone to step in the gap.  To walk through my front door with dinner.  To walk in my front door and say, “I am here for the day.  What do you need?”  To simply sit down in front of me and let me cry.

It is a lot to ask, I know.  It is far more to ask than I would have ever imagined needing in my lifetime.  But this is my reality.  A place I never, ever, ever wanted to be.

Categories: Fibromyalgia, My Story | Tags: , | 1 Comment


I am sure that most of you with children out there have seen Chicken Little.  There is a scene in that movie where Abby Mallard (the duck) tells Chicken Little that he needs “closure” with his father.  At one time, it was Makayla’s favorite scene of the movie.  The first time she acted it out, I literally had to pick myself up off the floor because I was laughing so hard.  It wasn’t pretty.

My last post, I promised a post explaining our period of waiting.  Here it is.

Almost 4 years ago, Benjamin and I had a long conversation about his job opportunities.  To further his career in TV, and have a more stable income for our family, leaving Raleigh was the only option we had.  We made a short list of “acceptable” and “absolute not” cities.  Pretty much anything north of Virginia was out.  Too cold.  Too much traffic.  Cali?  Nope.  Too many earthquakes.  And simply way too expensive.  Even with a higher salary.  Atlanta was on the acceptable list, but the traffic scared me.

And through a friend, Benjamin found out about a job at CNN.  Three and a half years later … we weren’t sure we would ever even consider leaving.

After a crazy series of conversations, Benjamin came home at the end of January and told me that a director position in DC had opened up.  My response up to this point had been … nope.  Sorry.  Not going to happen.  Sitting at the dinner table, both of us were shocked when the following words came out of my mouth: “So apply for it.”

WHAT?  It’s D.C.  Cold.  Traffic.  Home of the free world.  Probably one of the most targeted places on the planet.  I must have lost my mind!

Why had I changed my mind?  God.  The more we talked about it; the more we prayed about it; the more we explored our current situation … the more at peace we were with at least the possibility of moving.

We are not ones to read signs.  However, we have had enough doors closed along our journey to understand when God was closing doors.  At that time … we felt like doors were closing.  Constantly.

One concern I had was finding Izzy a new doctor.  Come to find out there were more doctors in the DC area who knew about Izzy’s situation than there are in ATL.  (BTW … 1 more doctor in any other city would fit that!  Izzy is VERY unique.)  Thus, no longer a concern.

We homeschool.  Education therefore is not a concern.

Almost six months later … after essentially giving up … the door to DC was closed.

Yes, we were sad.  But, like I said, we had essentially given up.

And now … we are moving on.  After three years of living in a questionable neighborhood where we have introduced diversity, we are moving to a more diverse area, a safer area, and to a home that both of us love dearly.  Quite seriously, if we have the opportunity to stay in this house forever, I believe we would absolutely never move again.  At least until the girls are out of the house.  Which won’t be until they are 30.

We are looking forward to this move MUCH more than we have any other house we have ever lived in.  We cannot WAIT to live in this house … I cannot WAIT to cook in my new kitchen … Makayla can’t WAIT to sleep in her new room.

But this waiting is fun.  This waiting is filled with packing boxes.  Doing something.  Planning out rooms.  Picking out colors in hopes that we can paint the walls soon.  Fun waiting.

Waiting rewarded by the same God who changed my heart six months ago.

Hebrews 11:1-2 (MSG)

“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living.  It’s our handle on what we can’t see.  The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.”

What’s your handle on what you can’t see?

Categories: Family, Izabella, Makayla, My Story | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Waiting …

Sitting in a waiting room is hard.  Waiting for an appointment.  A doctor.  A counselor.  A lawyer.  A business meeting.  A surgeon.  A family member.  Whatever the reason you are waiting.  It is hard.

There is the fidgeting.  Moving in your chair a thousand times to try to get comfortable.  Flipping through a magazine hoping your anxiety doesn’t force you to run out of the room and forget the reason you are there.

Being on a plane … waiting for it to reach its destination.  How do you pass the time?

I grew up with the adage that when you ask God a question, He answers one of three ways:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Wait

Wait could mean …

  • You aren’t ready.  God is preparing you for something much bigger.
  • “It” isn’t ready.  (Replace it with the job, the person, the situation.)
  • It’s simply not the right time.  Timing is everything, especially in God’s eyes.  Everything might be “ready”, it’s just not the right time.

So we sit.

And wait.

My husband interviewed for a job back in February.  We are still waiting to hear about that job.  Waiting to know if God has closed doors here for that reason, or for another reason we haven’t seen yet.  Waiting to see if God is specifically pointing us in a direction that we could not even fathom a year ago.

(And yes, once we hear about that job, I will share the story here.  Because you will see how God has worked in my life, but also the lives of my family …)

Have I mentioned just how amazing God is lately?

Categories: Ministry, My Story | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Desperate …

This is perhaps the hardest review I have ever written.  Why?  Because this book was so very real to me.  From the moment I read the description, I knew I had to read it.  Never did it occur to me that I would have such an emotional response to the book.

What is the book about, you ask?

“I just can’t be a mother today.”  That is the name of the Introduction.

How many times have those words been in my heart?  How many times have those words sunk deep into my being?

But I am a mother.  Of two precious girls who need me as their mother.  So how do I balance my own emotional and physical exhaustion with fulfilling their needs?

Well, that’s where Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson come in.  Throughout their book, they exchange letters, emails, phone calls, and visits … almost as if you were a part of the conversation.  Sarah writes an note to Sally begging for help … Sally responds.  Sarah writes the first half of a chapter, Sally responds with the second half.  Such an amazing writing style from both ladies … again, as if I was a part of their conversations, soaking up their encouragement, wisdom, and nurturing spirit with every page of the book.

Chapter 3 I think was my favorite chapter … “Formulas Don’t Always Work.”  I don’t know if you are aware of this or not, but there are a blue million books on parenting.  I have read probably 10 of them.  And I am not sure I will ever read another one … because when it comes down to it … the solutions in those books are nothing more than “if … then” scenarios.  Parenting isn’t an “if … then” scenario.  It is a relationship that you are building with your child … one that should model the relationship YOU have with Jesus.

In this chapter, Sarah tells about a time when her daughter climbed out of her bed at bedtime.  Discipline did not work … spanking, sternness, ignoring … nothing worked.  Here is the sentence that fit my girls (both of them!):  Caroline was not going to fit in any box.  There would be no pat answer for how to raise and discipline her.”

I can replace Caroline with Makayla AND Izzy.  Neither one of them are “in-the-box children”.  (Just read Izzy’s story if you don’t believe me … she hasn’t been “in-the-box” since conception!)  No parenting book is going to give me the best advice for raising my girls.

What advice does Sarah offer?  “Love them.  Hug them, kiss them, cuddle with them, spend more time rubbing their heads and holding their hands.  Give yourself to them without rush.  Pray with them, and let them twirl your hair in their little fingers.  Look them in the eye when you talk to them.”

And that list goes on for another few paragraphs in Chapter 3.  (I would give page numbers, but since I am reading it as an e-book, they just won’t be the same!)

Sally, in her part of the chapter, tells about “well-meaning believers” who would speak freely about “‘God’s will for [their] lives'”.  She called this people “Job’s friends” … because his 3 friends felt it necessary to share how they believed God felt about Job, whether it was true or not.  It made me wonder how many authors of parenting books that try to put every child in a box might be considered one of Job’s friends?

Sally goes on to say: “I believe that there is no ‘one right way.’  God calls each of us to seek Him, to look for His wisdom and to follow where He calls us by faith, and it will be a different story for each family, marriage, and individual mom or dad.  To walk that uncertain line, we must trust that God will be faithful to lead and guide us.”

Life is about building relationships that reflect God’s love for us.  Parenting is the exact place we should begin to model that for our children.  Have I got it figured out?  Absolutely not!  But I have a direction to go in.  Which is a lot better off than I was when I started reading this book!

Categories: Book Reviews | Tags: | Leave a comment

Hello Morning … um … what?

Last summer, I heard about this challenge to get up early, meet the Lord first thing, and get moving.  I signed up, thinking it would help me stay motivated.  I needed the accountability.

I signed up again for the winter session in January.  This time, I did the study provided … Abounding Hope.  Wow … did I need this study?!  We started in Job … focusing on the HOPE Job had in God to remain faithful to him through the trials.  And God was.  Then … Joseph … HOPE of reconciling with his brothers and father.  Throughout the study, there was the reminder from God that HOPE is alive, no matter the circumstances; no matter the pain; no matter how dark life seems.  God is there.  As a light.  Providing HOPE.

For 13 weeks this summer, I have stepped up to be an Accountability Captain for a group of 15 ladies.  Will you join me?  Registration starts today (April 26) and runs through next Friday.  Our study begins Monday, May 6th and wraps up August 2nd.

A few FAQ’s:

  • It’s FREE!  Completely free to sign up and receive the study.  The only thing that will cost you is your time … but it is WELL worth it!
  • The study is: Meet Jesus, a walk through the book of John.
  • Perfection is not the goal nor a requirement.  Just a desire to meet God in the mornings, then check in with your group.

Having just finished a study of John in CBS, I am REALLY looking forward to the next 13 weeks!  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

Categories: Hello Mornings, My Story | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Hang tight …

So I have been encouraged by several people lately to get back into blogging … so …

Hang tight.  I am going to spend some time over the next few days revitalizing this thing, updating stories, writing a few new blogs, and probably posting new recipes.  (It’s been a while, right?)


Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Book Review: Just Like Jesus

Remember this review from a month ago?   God is really working on me with grace right now apparently.

For my next review, I chose another Max Lucado book … Just Like Jesus.  And after reading the first page of the introduction, I realized I had read that book before.  So I went to my favorite chapter from that book … and remembered reading about “Stuckitits” … the condition of being “stuck” in a relationship you didn’t really understand fully until it was too late.  I remember reading this the first time when I was very sick, in physical pain, and wondering why it was that God put me in that situation.

Then I continued reading about how Jesus washed His Disciples’ feet … all 24 feet of the men who had followed Him around for 3+ years.  INCLUDING Judas.  INCLUDING Peter.  INCLUDING Thomas.

Judas who would betray Jesus to the soldiers who were trying to capture Him.

Peter who would deny knowing Jesus after His arrest.

Thomas who doubted Jesus’ resurrection until Jesus showed him where the nails had been.

For me, back then, the relationship wasn’t a person.  It was a thing.  It was a horrible disease.  I beat that disease.  In April, I will celebrate 8 years of being cancer-free.  Today, I fight a different disease.  One that is hidden and not easily understood.  And I need the same grace to accept it.

Perhaps I should reread this book.  Perhaps God gave it back to me for a reason.

Categories: Book Reviews | Tags: | Leave a comment

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