Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What is Most Important?

It's been a crazy couple of days. I was off work last week for a few days g with my Christian in the hospital and I have been slammed at work. I think today I might actually be able to take a breath. It's all good though. I would rather be busy than twiddling my thumbs.

In the midst of "catching up" I also had to do some reading and posting for school. I did not think I would be able to do it. Being in the hospital this last time took a lot out of me. I'm still not sure why, because I've been in the hospital for much longer periods of time.

I guess the bottom line is that it never gets easier.

This week I've started to really think about what I am doing….being a mom, with a little one that has more medical needs than most, being a wife, working full time, going to school, trying to take part in a Bible study online, and trying to take care of myself.

It's not working. It's just a bit too much.

I am at a point in my life where I may have bitten off a bit more than I can chew.

School has started to freak me out. There are times I am reading my assignments and it may has well been in Chinese! It's just a new language and I am really doubting whether or not I can do this. And I'm wondering if I'm in school for the right reasons.

What are my intentions? Why am I doing the things I am doing?

It's a journey. A journey to living my best life. A journey to determining what is most important.

The center of my life is God. At least it should be. I am letting everything else take over….and it's time to focus.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Grapes
2. Being productive
3. Being a couch potato
4. My new chiropractor
5. Leftover turkey

post signature

Friday, January 21, 2011

An Unexpected Change of Plans

Don’t you love making plans? I'm one of those who like to make lists and check things off! You plan out your week, you have certain tasks that need to be accomplished and you actually look forward to being busy and productive.

I started my week by going to my first Yoga class at 6 am on Monday morning! I was so proud of myself for actually going to try something new (and so early in the morning). I figured my week was going to be great since it was off to such a fantastic start.

Then Tuesday rolled around and my “Christian” was having tons of trouble with his leg (and it was his birthday). Long story short, we had to go to the hospital in Albuquerque that evening and are still there (we should be discharged this afternoon).

No more Yoga or Zumba this past week, I missed a day of work because I was absolutely fried, and my schedule of things to accomplish is out the window! But the most important thing is that I was able to be with my son through a painful bleed and his chemotherapy treatment.

Plans. They can be a good thing, but when they change, we have to work to see the purpose in the change. I truly believe God is continually at work in our lives. He has this amazing plan for each and every one of us. Sometimes we listen to that nudge on our heart and other times we don’t. Sometimes we even get angry at the result of things in our lives, and finding the beauty in the things that make us angry is a stretch.

My Christian has been through more than most in his five years. And as I watched him struggle yesterday while being prepped for a procedure and as I watched him being laid on the table for his MRI, I knew at those moments that something amazing is going to happen in his life. Maybe he will be President, maybe he will be the researcher who figures out gene therapy and cures disease.

Maybe he will be the one person who sits with another and tells them that God loves them.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:12 (NIV)
Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Chocolate ice cream
2. IV poles
3. Heart monitors
4. Nurses
5. volunteers

post signature

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Surprise of My Life

After my "Lance" was about 4 years old, my husband and I decided we wanted to have another child. A year passed, then two, and then the trips to the doctor began. We even took part in some infertility treatments (nothing too major) and I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I even enrolled in a study through the UT Health Science Center and no luck.

But a few weeks after exiting the study, I was pregnant! I had truly, finally accepted that I would not bear another child, and lo and behold, I was pregnant. It wasn't quite according to our plans, since my oldest son was 9 years old. It was quite a difference in span of years between them, but you know what….we were thrilled beyond belief!

After an extremely difficult pregnancy, my "Christian" came into the world on January 18, 2006. All 9 lbs of him!

He had hemophilia, which at the time we did not expect, and his hemophilia has proved to be extremely difficult, but you know what I believe? That God has an amazing plan for this child.

And what I know? Is that I would not be who I am today without him.

I love you, Christian. Happy 5th Birthday!

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Thomas the Train
2. cupcakes
3. candles
4. piles of dirt
5. wooden choo choo tracks

post signature

Monday, January 17, 2011

Like Christmas Morning

I traveled to Pittsburgh on Thursday for meetings and came right back Friday evening. It was a very long trip….about an 8 hour journey from leaving my home to arriving at my final airport. I was torn about leaving because my "Christian" because had his first chemo treatment Friday, and he was being admitted for overnight observation since it had been a few months since his last treatment.

I knew my husband and oldest son were there with him and all was fine, but being away during this treatment was hard for me. I only missed one treatment last year, so why not have a break? Right?

My husband had to preside over a funeral Saturday, so I had to be back and switch with him on Friday evening. I was hoping to make it before Christian fell asleep, but I didn't quite make it.

I was relieved to be at the hospital with him. Just to touch his forehead as he slept and hear his breathing knowing that the chemo went well.

The next morning, I was up early. I turned toward his hospital bed and he opened his eyes. He looked at me like it was Christmas morning! I was the first thing he saw and he completely lit up with his little mouth wide open. That moment took away all the tiredness, all the disappointment from one of my meetings and completely melted my heart.

It was a moment that is etched into my heart and soul. It was a moment I felt like I didn't deserve because I've not been as "faithful" in my devotional time with God and have strayed off my path of living my most intentional life.

But I know that God sees beyond all of my mess. He loves me the way I am right at this minute and I think that moment that my Christian saw me was probably the same reaction God has when He sees me.

It's almost too much to comprehend. That the Creator of the Universe loves me with an everlasting love.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. The feel of a new book
2. Sharpie pens
3. Restocking the pantry
4. Long, conversations
5. Stinky dogs

post signature

Friday, January 14, 2011

An Intentional Journey

I’ve mentioned that my word for the year is “intention.” I want to think about what and why I am doing something. What makes it special? What makes it purposeful?
I also want this year to be about the journey with intention. What do I stumble across? What makes it hard or worthwhile?

There is a new member of the team I work with, who I happen to report to. (As I write this, I am in a hotel in Pittsburgh having just left dinner with her and will join her in meetings tomorrow before flying back home).

I approached my meeting with good intentions. I wanted to allow myself to be open while getting to know her better. I also wanted to be heard and understood. It’s amazing what having the right heart and attitude can do :) It was a great dinner, and we had great conversation about not just work, but our families as well. It’s a journey I will be on as I get to know her better and work closely with her.

Another journey I have been on involves my “Christian” and his chemo treatments. He starts the next big round of treatments Friday and here is the amazing thing. His doctor called me while at my business dinner to tell me that “Christian’s” inhibitor has gone down to 47.5! When we started the chemo treatments it was over 300! It’s working! Slowly but surely. The journey has been worth it.

And finally, I have also decided to claim 2011 as the year I journey to my best health. Not a journey to lose a certain amount of weight or work out a certain number of times a week, but I want it to be a journey of rediscovering myself and finding the place where I feel the best. It is going to be a combination of good eating, exercising, seeing the endocrinologist, and just plainly taking care of myself. I want to be around for my family and if I don’t get to feeling my best, I won’t be good for them.

I’m looking forward to this journey. What journey are you on?

“The journey is the reward.” Chinese proverb

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. A spectacular view
2. Snow
3. On time flights
4. Phone calls delivering spectacular news
5. Hotel coffee

post signature

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


"Don't you see that children are God's best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior's fistful of arrows
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don't stand a chance against you;
you'll sweep them right off your doorstep." Psalm 127:3-5 (The Message)

I took my boys to their annual Hemophilia Clinic appointment yesterday. I was expecting a pretty normal, routine visit. My "Lance" is a walk in the park with his hemophilia. He's not had major issues with bleeding, infuses himself regularly and does great. Now my "Christian" is another story.

He is starting another round of chemo on Friday (the treatments last year have really improved his inhibitor levels) and does have regular bleeds, especially in his right ankle, a target joint. He's been walking funny for a few weeks, and I was thankful that we were going to visit with the physical therapist.

Long story short, he was fitted for a brace for his ankle. When we go into the hospital Friday, it will be ready for him to try out.

I know, a brace is not a big deal, no one will probably even notice it under his pants, but the fact is "I" know it's there.

I absolutely hate that my children have to deal with a chronic condition. Yes, it will never "go away" or "get better." When you look at my children you would never know anything was wrong with them medically. Unless they were pretty bruised up at the time. Christian has an implanted port that is often left accessed, so you can see the bandage under his shirt sometimes. And if his shirt is off, you can see the "bump" of his port. Now the brace. An outward sign of something that is not right, something that is different.

When I got back in the car with my boys after our appointment, Lance could see I was a little upset. "Why are you upset about a brace, Mom? It's not a big deal" he said.

He's right. It's not a big deal. Christian could be bound to a wheelchair or not able to walk at all, but my first reaction is that when someone is "different" they stick out. They are marked. And often attacked for it.

I've seen it time and again with Lance. The bullying because he was not a "jock". It was relentless.

My Christian is young enough where his Pre-K friends won't even notice, but soon enough, kids cruelty shines through.

I just worry and I know that I should not worry about tomorrow, because today definitely has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:34).

I truly believe my children are here for great things. God created them just the way they are. He knew they were strong enough to handle the "extras" that life would throw at them with a bleeding disorder.

I also know that God blessed me and my husband with these two particular creatures, not just to love them and care for them and raise them to be Godly men, but to help us be better people. To love unconditionally and go the extra mile with all the "stuff" that living bleeding disorder brings to the table.

Different is not bad. I can't imagine what life would be like if we were all the same!

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Extra blankets
2. Choo- choo tables
3. A kind hearted doctor
4. Clean restrooms
5. That beautiful pink in a New Mexico sunset

post signature

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Played

I've played the oboe since I was in 5th grade, so I guess I was about 10 or 11. It was my passion through school and it continued as I went to school and received a Bachelor of Music Education degree and taught for many years in the public school system.

I was very fortunate to play professionally (freelance) around Houston starting in my college days. I can't think of an Easter or Christmas season that I have not played my instrument….until this past Christmas. I didn't even open my case. It's the first time in over 30 years that I had not played during the holiday season.

When we moved from Houston, I lost the opportunities I was fortunate enough to have to perform. When I changed careers and left band directing, I looked so forward to those calls I would get to play at churches around the city. I miss it. For a couple of years I even flew back to Houston during Christmas to play at First Baptist Houston (a very special church in my life) but eventually let it go as many things were changing and I just felt like it was time to move on.

I've just let it go and I never thought I would. But my husband asked me to play at church yesterday, so I dusted off my case, soaked a reed and played.

I've not felt that close to God in a really long time.

I am supposed to be playing! Just because I don't live in the big city with lots of opportunity to play doesn't mean I shouldn't we playing for myself and for God.

I am so glad I had this "Ah-ha" moment. I realized that I don't feel as connected when I am simply a member of the congregation. I need to be involved in the service. Be it reading scripture, preaching, or playing.

I guess we have to venture off our paths sometimes. Maybe it's so that when we get back on track we realize how important our passions truly are.

What have you let go of in your life that brought you joy?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Grapes
2. Excess medical supplies
3. Rearranging furniture
4. Cardstock
5. Chocolate covered peanuts

post signature

Friday, January 07, 2011

My Superstar

I feel like my life began when my oldest son, "Lance," was born 14 years ago. I remember the doctor laying him on my chest and not being able to breathe. I was so overcome with emotion that I did not know how to respond. Tears were flowing and I felt as if my heart was about to come out of my chest.

I also remember when I was pregnant with Lance, talking to my husband and saying, "What if he's not musical?" His father and I are classically trained musicians, so the thought did enter my mind and I wondered "Wouldn't that be odd?"

Lance is a freshman and made the New Mexico All-State Treble Choir this year. Yes, the treble choir. His voice has not changed, but that did not seem to matter. He was selected as one of 200 voices (he is the only male) in the choir.

This week he has been in rehearsals in preparation for the All-State Concert this Saturday. He was selected as one of 6 in his choir to be featured in a sextet in the opening piece!

I guess he turned out to be musical :)

He is a typical 14 year old (doesn't pick up after himself very well, loses things, not much motivation, loves his electronics) but when he opens his mouth to sing……...I almost don't know who he is! It's just angelic!

Just the other night we were having a pretty intense discussion about responsibility and school work, etc. and then two days later, he's a superstar!

I know he has been given an amazing gift. The gift of music. The gift to express himself in a way that not everyone is able.

It's times like this when I want to grab every bully who has ever mistreated him by the neck and say, "Look at this amazing person! How in the world could you be ugly to him? God has blessed him in an amazing way how could you not see the person he is?"

But I know the truth, that all things happen for reasons. That the things my Lance has had to endure have made him stronger. I pray he will continue to be compassionate and caring to others and most importantly that the bullies of the world will get a clue one day.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Having a heart overflowing with emotion
2. Facebook friends with their encouragement and kind words
3. Gloves
4. Priceline
5. Mason jars

post signature

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Intentional Prayer

My word for 2011 is …….


I want to live with intention. To be purposeful in all that I do.

From the way I react and act with my children and husband to the way I think of things in the past.

My friend Cynthia, a phenomenal artist, recently wrote a few of her personal goals for 2011 on her blog. I especially liked the one that reads "Become less attached to the past (honor it, remember it, but be less reactionary)."

Sometimes I catch myself getting too caught up in the past.

"Why did I say that?"

"What if I would have…..?"

I think the key is to learn from the past and to not dwell in the past.

I had a close relationship destroyed many years ago. One that I think of daily. Could things have been handled and said differently? Of course. But I know that all I can do for now is pray. Pray for resolution. Pray for the other person to understand who God truly is and have a relationship with Him. Pray for forgiveness on both ends.

I plan to be intentional in my prayers.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. a great bagel sandwich
2. pancakes "to go"
3. wearing a fleece jacket everyday
4. peel off labels
5. laughter

post signature

Monday, January 03, 2011

The Unexpected

Yesterday, I left in the middle of church to help take a member of our congregation home. She was getting sick and needed to leave, so I drove her. As we left, she said, "Please take me to the hospital."

I managed to get there as fast as I could and my friend and I got her situated and called her husband. I figured he would get there soon and our work would be done.

That's not what God had in mind.

I stayed with her for quite some time and she began talking. Asking questions about why did God still have her around as sick as she had been. What did He want from her? Why was she still here?

Then I started to ask God some of the same questions, "Why am I here? How could I possibly help her?"

I dug down deep to find the right words and continued to pray to God to give me the words she needed to hear. We talked and talked through her pain as she continued to wait. Then at one point she looked at me, tears coming down her face, and she said, "Thank you, for being here with me." And she put her hand on my face.

My husband showed up a while later and checked in with her and then we left to resume our normal Sunday afternoon routine.

But it wasn't routine for me anymore.

God put me in a place where I was not necessarily "comfortable" and He used me. But He did something else, He taught me.

God calls us to do many things, sometimes unexpected things. I'm just glad I listened.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. "smashed" potatoes (as my little one calls them)
2. Clear nail polish
3. Hot soaks on very cold evenings
4. A fresh start
5. A new appreciation

post signature

Speakers and Writers


Photo credits ~ Dreamstime

A 2008 Graduate of

Recommended Reading

  • Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weaver
  • Praying the Names of God, Ann Spangler
  • The Shack, William P. Young
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers
  • Bad Girls of the Bible, Liz Curtis Higgs
  • The Mark of the Lion Triology, Francine Rivers
  • The Mitford Series, Jan Karon

  ©Blog Design by Mary Hess Designs.

Return to top  

Google Analytics Alternative