This afternoon was a first. The first time, my son has experienced a seizure while doing his most favorite thing to do on the playground and that is to swing. Sure, he has had a seizure while we were out hiking. But today was different my son fell off the swing on the playground on his face and had a seizure. That is the side of the story that you don’t see.
Sure, I make it look like everything is under control. I show up and I smile on social media, because I have too, but on days like this one, I truly want to scream. I want to scream because of all that my son has had to endure and what he continues to endure because of my ignorance, when it came to vaccines. It’s true, seizures are a side effect of vaccines and a whole host of other issues, such as cancer in children.
But I digress. Our country is changing and not for the better. Every value that you may currently hold dear is slipping away because everyone has decided that compliance is safe and the government would never harm it’s people. You are wrong! The government would and is harming it’s people for the so called “greater good.” And I refuse to allow myself or my children to be subjected to such calculated unrelenting evil.
So, while my day to day experiences may be of no concern to you, please know that what I experience may soon become the norm, not only in children, but in adults, who could have said no, but chose not to out of fear instead of knowledge.
You have been warned and prayed for, but if you continue down this path, please do not look to me for answers. I will be too busy doing what I always do and that is protecting and providing for my children with every fiber of my being. I just pray that there is still time for you.
What a beautiful and glorious day here in Northwest Georgia. I just finished listening to an inspirational message about mother’s from dare I say my favorite evangelist, Chad Garrett at IndianLand church of Christ (churchofchristindianland.org) and I felt encouraged to write a post about the importance and necessity of biblical mothers in 2021.
As a divorced mother of two children, I feel like I am failing most days. Almost like, I just can’t get it all done even though in my heart I desire to do so. Going back in time I could never have imagined that at this stage of my life, it would still be this hard, but it is. Because well my son, has health challenges that require much more of me than the typical child would need at the age of ten.
Please don’t see this as a complaint or resentment, it is just a reflection of what is and my everyday reality. This is part of my story. But I don’t plan to be defined by it. My daily is prayer is that God will give me just what I need for each day ahead and that I will be grateful. That is what I want and need.
I want to count it all a joy, when the laundry is clean but not folded. I want to count it all joy, when we have good nourishing food to eat, but maybe the pots don’t get washed and put away immediately following. I want to count it all a joy, when maybe we didn’t finish the lessons that we planned for the day, but my daughter mastered whatever we did cover.
I want to believe that my children will know that in my failures, I never gave up or walked away. That even in my exhaustion, I put my faith in God and believed that He would give me the provisions for one more day. Even when I can’t process another step in my weary mind.
A scripture that I’ve read many times stood out to me today, because well maybe it was what God especially needed me to hear because the last week has been so brutal (a story for another day). It says this, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
That is the point, the woman who puts all of her faith in God is able to do all the things. While I fall short often, I am thankful and grateful that God gives me grace and forgiveness.
I want to encourage you as a wife, mother, or wherever you are in your life to believe that you matter and are loved, no matter how messy you believe your life to be. You are far more precious than rubies and you cannot be replaced.
God needs more mothers to put Him first as an example to her husband and to her children. We may never be perfect, but we can certainly be complete in Christ Jesus.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
I sat in my van this afternoon and cried real tears. Not because of one thing or someone, but because I’ve been carrying weight that for most people would be too hard to carry. Sure, people admire me for what I do, they give me praise and pats on the back. In fact, just today a friend called me her hero. I don’t feel like anyone’s hero. Yesterday, another friend said something similar.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate being noticed and admired. But there are just times when I wish I could just hand off some of my responsibilities to someone else, not forever, but at least for a little while.
Perhaps my heart is a little heavier, because while speaking to a dear sister in Christ yesterday, I had to acknowledge that I have no plan B. It’s just God, me and my kids. I mean, if anything were to happen to me, I literally have no one in this world that I could leave my children with. This last year has taught me that. Maybe that is why the tears appeared and wouldn’t stop flowing. Even as I type this post, I feel a little teary eyed.
Life is funny in that way. At some point, you have to face the truth; our lives are truly a vapor and just like that can be gone.
So, when people ask me why I push myself so hard to build my health and wellness business, that’s easy, two words, Emily and Ethan. It is my plan ABCDEF and G. There is no greater industry than this one. It’s very foundation is love and service. God is the owner and I am merely his steward.
While I don’t always appreciate this journey, I thank God that he chose me. I thank him because he saw me and decided that I was worth saving even when I didn’t see myself as worth the trouble.
Today, was not one of my finest days, but it is far from being the worst. And if the Lord wills it, tomorrow will be another opportunity to grow closer to him and to improve upon what I got right today.
I will not give up and I will not fail. Emily and Ethan need me and I need them too.
Wow! Just three short years ago, I said yes to feeling better. I said yes, to being able to sleep through the night, I said yes to better digestive health and debilitating fatigue.
I didn’t know then what that yes, would blossom into, but I just knew that I wanted to feel better because I wasn’t living, I was merely surviving and that wasn’t good enough.
Since that time, my health is on track, I am building a legacy business. I am in school working towards my functional nutrition certification and best of all I am available for the most important people in my life, my children.
I want to encourage you to do the same, if you’re struggling with your health, your finances, your relationships, I invite you to be a part of tribe of women (and men), who are doing all the things without the hustle or sacrifice. Just surviving is not where it’s at. Living abundantly is!
The past two weeks have been extra tough. The fatigue that plagued me for several years came back a couple of weeks ago and hasn’t relented until today. Just to give a little context, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s on August 1, 2018, which was exactly one month before my husband at the time texted me to let me know that essentially our marriage was done. In spite of that, I have been able to manage it without medication. However, yesterday was the first time, I have ever considered going on medication due to level of exhaustion that I have been feeling.
I don’t recall there being a specific event or activity that happened that would have thrown me off, or caused me to feel this down, but something did happen to remind me that I am not invincible and I shouldn’t expect to do it all. Which sounds completely insane to me, when I have to do it all, because there is no one else to do what I do. Or perhaps, I’m expecting more than I should. Perhaps, it should be simpler.
This is the trick about growth, sometimes when you make the decision to elevate your life, you sometimes have to tap into areas that you may not want to tap into. When I started working with my Business Leadership Coach, I knew that I would have to tackle mindset and vision, but to go to places that I had never prepared to visit has been harder than I thought it would be.
I believe that I am in the land of limiting beliefs and instead of confronting those beliefs, I have allowed my brain to use the avoidance key, so that I don’t have to tackle what I know to be true and that awareness has manifested itself in the physical of overwhelming fatigue.
An overwhelming fatigue that was finally helped by my taking a walk with my daughter this afternoon. While I chatting with her, I realized that in order for her to do the hard stuff, I have to model it for her. When my mind wants to give me the option of avoidance, I have to conscientiously say no, otherwise nothing changes and my daughter will not understand the meaning of sticking with it, even when you think that you can’t.
While I still have more mind clearing to do, I am keenly aware of the eyes that are watching me. While I may get worn from time to time, it’s okay to allow my children the opportunity to see that I am fallible and that I am still learning too. I am learning to walk closer to Jesus and to leave my burdens with him. I am building my confidence by adjusting my habits and my expectations. I am giving myself grace when I fall a bit short and I have accepted that breaks are necessary to prevent the overwhelm and burnout.
My journey has only just begun and I will arrive where I am meant to be at precisely the right time.
I could say, that the fear is completely gone. But, if I did, I’d be lying. There was a period of time when the seizures weren’t here. It was the space between my dad’s wedding and the move to Georgia, but then they returned or perhaps they never left….
I often think, that seizures are like a wound that just refuses to close. It’s like it closes with medication and then something happens or maybe it doesn’t and the wound begins to weep again. The pus flows out into our lives just as we are beginning to accept that we’re in a good space until we’re not and once again, I recognize that it’s not under my control. I am not control.
In his ten short years of life, he has probably seen the inside of an ambulance more times than I have in my entire fifty years. My heart breaks, each time we have had to take that ride. Each time, it’s the same questions, it’s the same answer, “his doctor needs to increase his medication and that will stop the breakthrough seizures,” well until it doesn’t. Why continue to throw medication until it sticks without asking why? Why are they happening what is the root cause for the seizures? The answer, “sometimes, we just don’t know.” But we can run some tests? Perhaps that will give us a clue. “Sure, I say, let’s run more tests, perhaps there is something we missed in the nine thousand other tests.”
When the tests come back normal, the answer is once again “we just don’t know, but we have still more medication options should we need to go that route.” How can we be so dependent on a system with so few answers about keeping us healthy? Perhaps, keeping us healthy isn’t the objective at all and so they run tests and remain vague just to give us enough hope to keep going back for more medication and the “it’s just inevitable.”
This morning, we worshipped online, because the seizures came and my son was of course in no condition to get up and going. It’s in those moments that I realize how not normal my life really is. You see, just when we think that seizures are in our rear view mirror and we begin to feel as though we can live normally, they come and we adapt again. Again.
Perhaps the average person, would give up and curse God. There have been times that I have contemplated those two things, but then somehow God reminds me of all of the times, He has kept his promises and brought the people and resources into my life when I couldn’t see how whatever it was would work out. Each and every time! By His divine authority it has come together for our good. I weep with gratitude.
As Christians, it often pains us to see the suffering around us and to not get caught up in what the world may say about God and His existence because of all of the devastation. But then I am reminded that Jesus bore it ALL. Not some of it, all of it. Every tear, every sin, every pain, every seizure, Jesus bore all of it.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. I Corinthians 10:13
I am not without help, I am loved, my Ethan is loved and He is providing for us, so I will continue to trust in Him. And I hope that you can too.
Spoiler alert! What I am about to write here is not going to be easy. In fact, I am almost reluctant to write this post because the topic that I am about to write about makes me vulnerable and lays bare my heart for all the world to see.. literally.
You see, my life was not supposed to be this way. I had a wonderful childhood, Christian upbringing. My parents were married until the day my mother died twelve years ago. They collectively raised us to believe in the Bible and to put God first. Going to worship on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s was expected. To my parents, nothing outside of an illness or an act of God, should keep you from service. Even when I went off to college, I maintained the same habits because well it was expected and trying to explain to my godly parents why I didn’t attend worship was just not an option of consideration.
Fast forward a couple of decades later and here I am divorced with the responsibility of raising two children, who happen to need both parents on my own. I’m not going to complain because it was my choice to marry the person that I did, without understanding the ramifications of unequally yoked when I said, I do. First, mistake.
Well, it wasn’t all bad because over the course of “the marriage”, I was blessed to give birth to two beautiful children. But didn’t realize how significantly different our child rearing philosophies were until, rearing was needed. Second mistake.
But it wasn’t until the day that my son had his first seizure that I truly began to understand how deep the fissure was in my marriage and very likely could not be repaired. But luckily for everyone I was taught that divorce or separation was not an option. So I stayed and I stayed. We even relocated to a different state with the hope that we could make it work. Third mistake.
But when he decided that he had enough and did not want to spend another second in wedded bliss, it became abundantly clear that staying all those years had lasting perhaps permanent effects on my children. My daughter, in particular.
My daughter turned 12 this past Saturday, officially a pre-teen. But what does that even mean, when you’re squished between wanting to have a tiny bit more freedom and having to be your mother’s helper? Because your younger brother has extra needs and complaining and be ungrateful would be mean spirited to your mother, whose plate is on the verge of shattering!
Tonight, I felt it! My daughter sobbed in my lap, not for any particular reason, but for one very important reason, her mother’s attention! All of the behaviors and push back was a little girl crying out against separation and feeling unworthy because her parents aren’t together. Feeling out of place because she can’t share the typical brother and sister stuff with a brother that is broken. All she knows is that she only gets a piece of her mother, just like everyone else that she has to fit into the nooks and crannies of her life.
You see, I can’t relate to the divorce. I can relate to separation in the context of the death of my mother. I can’t relate to not having my grandparents around because both sets were Big in my life, my Nana in particular. She was my mother’s mother. I can’t relate to being unable to travel to see the one person that treated my daughter like royalty when she would go to her home for visits because of Covid-19. This is uncharted territory for me. Because well, my life wasn’t supposed to be this way. My children’s lives were not supposed to be this way.
Separation in any form is very likely devastating, but this kind of change all at once is crushing. While I was honest with my daughter tonight and explained to her that I don’t have all of the answers, I do know the one who does. I know the one who can carry all of our burdens, I know the one who came to give us abundant life, if we make his will and his way our priority. He is the only one who can make our lives different.
I asked her if she could trust me as I trust Him. I also told her to start crying out to Jesus, when it feels like it’s too much to handle. I too need to do a bit more of that myself. Though the road ahead is not easy, two very important lessons emerged, one, my daughter is watching me and two, she needs more of the real messy, mustard see faith me to guide her to Jesus. There is nothing more urgent than that!
All of the trials we have conquered together, all of the miles we have traveled together, all of the suffering that you have experienced in your short lives, every sacrifice, I make is for you two. Your hopes and dreams are always front and center in my mind. Your future is my ever present motivation. I will not give up.
Whatever it takes according to God’s will, I will be, no, I am a Diamond rising to provide you with a legacy that will extend beyond all of the hills and valleys I traveled to get there.
When this title popped into my head, I thought oh boy, I may be stepping into a hornet’s nest. Not because I don’t feel qualified to discuss this topic, but primarily because, even in the age of coronavirus, many parents still have a difficult time with the idea of educating their own children. For some the response is visceral. Almost, as if teaching their own children is an imposition.
To be fair, I had a very similar thought pattern at the beginning of my parenting journey. Honestly, it took a series of unfortunate events for the me to have my “Yureka” moment too. But once I did, I haven’t looked back once and thought, I regret that I decided to take on the responsibility of educating my own children. Don’t get me wrong, this journey hasn’t been a fairytale, it has had it’s ups and downs; in fact when I removed my daughter from public education after first grade, she had some established patterns that had to be broken down and cast away. And that was only after two years. Dare, I leave out that I worked full time (remotely) when we began this journey four years ago; so some out of the box thinking had to be employed to ensure that she received all of her instruction. Even with all that I have had to balance, had I allowed her to remain in that environment, I shudder to think what she would be like at this point. Fortunately, I was aware enough by the time my son was supposed to start that I never bothered to enroll him.
If you are on the fence and are still grappling with the idea of educating your children, let me give you a few key points to consider. First and most importantly, it is your responsibility and obligation to ensure the moral well being of your children. Period. In fact, in Deuteronomy 6:7, it states that you shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise. And I believe it was the Orator, Frederick Douglass, who stated that “it is easier to build strong children, than repair broken men.” So, I ask you, who is doing the building and teaching of your children when they are away from you, their parents for greater than six hours daily? Strangers, people you know absolutely nothing about that you have handed your children over to shape and mold for the better part of each day.
Friends, no matter how nervous or scary you think it is to educate your children, let me assure you of this, no one and I mean no one is going to pour into your children the way that you will. Release the idea of recreating “school” in your home. Homeschooling, simply put, is life with education mixed in and children learn best when they feel safe and valued. Tailor your lessons to their learning styles and pour in lots of love and you will be successful. I mean you could even travel the world with your children if that is feasible. Learning is an adventure, that should be approached with wonder. To learn more about what your state requires to homeschool, please check with the Homeschool Legal Defense Association for details https://hslda.org.
Finally, let me dispel the myth that homeschooled children are anti social. Homeschooled children are quite social. They attend church, play sports, participate in homeschool groups and play instruments as well as many other extracurricular activities. There is literally no shortage on what is available for homeschooled children to participate in. How much or how little they do is determined by your family’s availability and interests. Homeschooling your children is gift that will be carried with your children well in their adulthood.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:8