Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's Hard to Receive

My "Christian" is having one of the worst bleeds of his five years (started Friday night) and we are in the hospital trying to manage his pain. In the midst of the bleed, we received the phone call you dread...in the wee hours of the morning...that my mother-in-law passed away.

I immediately put my husband on a plane with the thought we would follow (drive) the next afternoon.
I am still in the hospital with Christian. We had planned on driving yesterday to get there in time for the viewing and funeral. As long as the doctor had us set up with the appropriate meds, etc.

My colleagues at work know our situation and I received a call from one of them this morning that we were having flights to Houston donated to us so that we did not have to make the 14 hour journey in the car...stopping every 2-3 hours to administer meds, etc. They are worried about us and are trying to do what they can to help us.
I had my colleague/friend who called me repeat at least three times what she had said about the donated flights. I was shocked and overwhelmed. Completely and utterly humbled. I can't hardly put words to my feelings right now because my heart literally hurts because it is so full.

Sunday was another story. My husband had to preach, so he left me in charge to take over. That was, until Christian had to go to the hospital. He reached out to one of our lay speakers and she handled everything Sunday morning and had members of the congregation chip in to help the service along. Then, the members of the church stayed after and decorated the entire church for the season. They all banded together and forged ahead.

We have been taken care of. Ministered to.

It's hard to be ministered to when you are a "minister".

My heart is full, oozing with gratitude.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Kind hearts
2. Colleagues who are truly friends
3. A good shower
4. My job
5. The moments my son is sleeping through his pain

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Monday, November 28, 2011

A Great Loss

I have been very fortunate to have a mother-in-law who loved me as her own daughter. Not only did she take me in as her own, but so did all of her brothers and sisters. I have many aunts and uncles and cousins. They aren't "my husband's family," they are mine.
Heaven has another angel. Ruby Jane Jensen went home to the Lord on Saturday, November 26th. The mother of the love of my life and grandmother to my boys is no longer with us on this Earth. She was the last parent I had here to call my own.
I am going to miss her daily morning calls to check in and have her say she loved me.
I am going to miss seeing her hug my children and love them without abandon.

I am going to miss the shopping (she taught me that a woman needs more than one purse) :)

I will miss cooking for her when she comes to my house (especially making her favorite salsa).

I will miss the annual holiday decoration from Avon she would send me (you know, the obnoxious kind that talks and sings….).

And I will miss having that person to call to give the scoop on my children and/or our latest accomplishments, escapades and the like.

Early in our relationship, Ruby and I did not get along very well. My mother would fuss at me and tell me "She is going to be around longer than me and you better be nice and get along!"

I'm so glad I took my mother's words to heart and forged a great relationship with Ruby.

I already miss her. I'm so glad I had a chance to tell her that I loved her last week.

Her love truly changed my life.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Hope

2. Purple

3. Aunts

4. Road trips

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Little Hearts Know

Saturday started out as a really nice day. We slept in late, went to our favorite little Mexican restaurant for breakfast, shopped for our Thanksgiving feast and walked through the local craft show at the fair barn. We were enjoying being home.

After we returned home, I felt that "dip" when my depression wants to begin. I made myself keep "doing" and not give in to lying down and sleeping. That is dangerous for me. Around 2 o'clock, I was headed back to my room, everyone was doing something, and I just wanted to sneak away. All of a sudden my little "Christian" tugs at my shirt and says "Mommy, let's make some cookies." So we put on
our aprons and made cookies. He was precious! We had a great time.

I hung on until around dinner time and finally gave in. I took a shower early and went back to my room. But who was right on my heels? Christian. He would not leave me alone. He stayed in my room with me all evening. He brought in his toys to play, we snuggled and watched a movie. He was exceptionally loving towards me. It was a huge comfort.

You don't have to tell your children everything about how you are feeling. If things are not right, they know, they feel it.

I am so blessed to have two, amazing sons. They are compassionate, caring boys. Their hearts are amazing. God has entrusted these two souls to me and my husband to raise and love with all of our hearts. How could I ask for anything more? How can I let my depression rob me of the moments I have with my family?

I just have to rejoice through my depression. Pray through my depression and in all circumstances give thanks to God so that His will is done in my life.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Band rehearsal
2. Quiet time
3. A long, awaited doctor's appointment
4. Fun jewelry
5. My mother-in-law's continued recovery from surgery

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Friday, November 18, 2011


The past two weeks have been pretty difficult. My depression has been rearing its ugly head, and it tends to do that during the Thanksgiving season. It's one of my most favorite times of year, but also one of the hardest.

On a recent Friday evening, I was not doing very well. All I wanted to do was crawl into bed and go to sleep. I told my husband how I was feeling and we piled into the car and went to Las Cruces (an hour away) to do a little shopping. I needed to get some makeup so we stopped by the day spa that carries the brand I use. Again, I was feeling beyond lousy and putting one foot in front of the other was a feat in itself. The young lady working the counter told me they were out of what I needed. She asked me to give her five minutes to try something new. I looked like a completely different person! Something as small and insignificant as the shade of my makeup changed me completely! Yes, she was doing her job, but she really did not have to go out of her way to try something new on me. She could have said they were out and to come back in a few days, but she didn't. I appreciated her going the extra mile.

I kept thinking about her act of kindness. She had no idea how deeply she touched me and that she helped me find my way out of a very, dark day.

I wrote a letter to the manager and simply told her that this lovely, young woman went out of her way to help me and it made me feel better. That young lady left me a message later in the week, filled with gratitude that I went out of my way to thank her, and she even got an early bonus :) She left me a beautiful message, wishing God's blessings on me and my family.

I was so excited that I felt God's nudge on my heart that day, even through a serious bout of depression, and responded. I felt the Holy Spirit whisper in my ear. It was huge. Yes, the Holy Spirit was made known to me through a simple change in makeup, but nonetheless was real and alive.

Have you felt that nudge on your heart? Has God been impressing on you to reach out to someone by speaking a word of kindness, send card, or simply be present?

Don't ignore that feeling. You never know when you may be on the other end of what He is planning.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Suitcase surprises
2. New jeans
3. Clean laundry
4. New, fuzzy socks
5. My mother-in-law coming through surgery

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Friday, November 11, 2011

The Actor's Studio

I love watching The Actor's Studio. The auditorium where the show is filmed in New York is filled with acting students. The host, James Lipton, interviews actors and gives the audience members the opportunity to ask questions of some of their idols. At the end of the interview, Lipton asks a series of questions of the actor that are the same for everyone. One of the most interesting questions is

"If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?"

Some answers are funny and others very poignant.

What would you hope the Creator of the Universe would say to you? When we think about what our lives would amount to at the end of our time here on Earth it may actually change how we are currently living our lives. For myself, I tend to think not only of how I treat others, but mostly, how I treat myself. The things I tell myself that are not true and the verbal "beating" I take on a daily basis is not very healthy. I treat others much better than I treat myself. It is time to put myself in the same category as the people I come in contact with every day.

I came across a quote which seems to sum up how we should live. .

"Give more than is expected, love more than seems wise, serve more than seems necessary, and help more than is asked." Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey
It sounds so simple, and I think to a point it is. We need to give of ourselves as much as we possibly can, love to the point of no return, serve our God and others with every part of our soul and go the extra mile for others, and ourselves.

“Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them." Matthew 22: 36-40 (The Message)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. The National Hemophilia Annual Meeting 2. rekindling old relationships
3. being in a new city with my family
4. having my boys meet other boys their age with hemophilia
5. factor to travel

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Monday, November 07, 2011

A Clean Slate

I have a Buddha Board on my desk.

It is a small, stone surface that you paint on with water and after a short time your artwork disappears. The Buddha Board is based on the Zen concept of living in the moment. I use it to write words that have a hold over me.

Doubt, fear, "fat talk," are just a few. When I write them they are real and bold, but after time, they are gone. That is what I want, for those strongholds to go away and not be as prevalent in my life. I want to let go.

So often we think that January 1st signifies a "new year," a "clean slate." But the reality is that each day God give us, each day we wake up breathing is a new day, a clean slate. What we make of it is up to us.

I am tired of letting certain things take away my happiness and joy.

I am committing to surrendering each day to Christ. I may not succeed everyday, but as long as I have breath, I will do my best to give everything I have to Him and not let the enemy steal my joy.

"Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24 (NIV)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. band rehearsal on Sunday evening's
2. salami sandwiches
3. singing psalms
4. Command strips
5. Fall arriving

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Is Blood Really Thicker than Water?

My son asked me when I celebrated my favorite Thanksgiving. Without hesitation I told him that it was when we moved to New Mexico (almost six years ago). We had about 20 people over for dinner at our little rental house in the mountains and I had never felt such closeness and joy. I was trained to think that the only people you could really be close to you were your blood relatives. It has taken me years to let go of that perception. The fact is, I have a few friends who I am extremely close to. Friends who understand me for who I am and what I can offer (because I am definitely not the person I was 10 years ago….Thank You God!) And friends who accept my children for who they are with their bleeding disorder (and aren't afraid of them).

You always think that your family (blood relatives) are the people who are closest to you in your life. I grew up assuming that. You never miss a birthday or a holiday...they are the first ones you call when an important event in your life happened and when one was in need, you were there to help them out...no matter what. I used to have that. And I miss it.

Unfortunately that changed many years ago for me. It was a terrible time. Fights, arguments, misunderstandings, letters of apology sent, continued prayer….and no response. I will admit it is something I think of almost daily.

I've experienced love like I never dreamed from people who are not "blood." It can really happen. It keeps me going. From the friend encouraging me to get back to Zumba, the friends who sent me flowers when I was in the hospital, to the friend who named my children in her will. It's amazing how people love.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Toasted pumpkin seeds
2. Wounds healing
3. Spray adhesive
4. Pretty paper
5. Cold evenings

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Speakers and Writers


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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

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