Thursday, November 21, 2013

Her youngest grandchild

I don't know how long my mom will live. Overnight, literally, June 29, everything changed. Doctors believed the seizures, vomiting, vision issues and one-sided paralysis was due to a stroke. A MRI revealed 3 brain tumors - Astrocytomas, stage 3. My dad died 11 years ago from Glioblastoma multiforme, stage 4 brain tumors. This is where my mom is heading.

Today, 5 months since diagnosis, she has completed 6 weeks of radiation/chemo treatment (she was not a candidate for surgery) and one week of a higher dose of chemo. So far, her treatments have stopped the growth of the tumors, but she is very weak.

I don't know if my 2 year old daughter will remember her Grams. Will she remember visiting her Grams today? Warming her hands to put lotion on her Grams' feet? Drinking milkshakes together?

"Watch me, Grams!" Dancing to Christmas music. As Grams aches and longs to dance with her granddaughter as she once did.

"Why are you lying in bed, Grams? You not feeling good? What is wrong?"  A 2 year old, trying to make sense of it all.

We all are.

Oh how your Grams loves you. May you remember.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Living Intentionally (this summer)

There's a wet blanket on my back these days, weighing me down. I am sad and overwhelmed and lonely. I'm just getting through my days rather than feeling contentment and yes, still the tiredness that comes from long days of motherhood, but also, always the gratitude. I am coming out of this now, the past couple days, and no longer feel so soggy.  Part of this is realizing that I have not been living my days as I want to...with purpose and intention... with patience and peace... with the completion of tasks.  I'm not filling my days and my weeks taking steps and making movements towards the things I want to change about myself and my life. 

Summer is fast approaching (my son has only 2 more weeks of his first year of school)! Summer is one of those seasons that is like a blank slate to me, much like New Years Day and the start of a new school year each fall. New beginnings. Time to reflect and make changes. I have decided to name this summer "my intentional summer". The other day I sat down and wrote up a (flexible) summer schedule/routine for the kids. This includes play dates and day trips and day camps and service projects as well as daily routines of chores, errands, outdoor play, naps/quiet times, meal prep, kindergarten prep, etc. I struggle so much with organization and time management. I am so poor at it but desire so much to become more organized and more wise with my time. 

I have set a couple goals for my kids for this summer: potty training and night-weaning for my daughter and learning how to tie shoes and ride bike w/o training wheels for my son. And I thought, what about goals for myself? My focus is so often on my kids that I get lost in my role as mother. I know myself well enough to know that unless I set goals (and then break down those goals into doable steps, etc,) there will be no change. I'm desperate for change: with my weight, with my current exercise (or I should say, lack thereof), with the clutter in my house, with how I spend my time. I don't want to be stuck anymore. Feeling stuck weighs me down.

So, here are my "living intentional" goals for summer 2013:

1. Study to take the National Counselor Exam in the fall (one of my final steps towards full Professional Counselor licensure. Right now I am Limited Licensed which means I work under a supervisor.)

2. Lose 10 pounds - that's one pound/week - feels very doable. I'm starting back on Medifast this week.

3. Run the Coast Guard 5K (July 27th) - I'd like to be able to run this rather than walk/run. This week I start a "couch to 5k" training program

4. Set up new work schedule for the fall (writing, seeing clients, etc.) - there's a lot that goes into this and I'll be sharing more about this in another post but my husband and I are making some exciting changes with our private practice. I'll be spending a little more time in the office starting this fall and I want to develop my blog more and work on some writing projects as well as other dreams I'm working towards. This summer I want to develop a clear picture of what I want this to look like for the fall.

Just writing down these goals lightens my mood and gives me hope. These past fews weeks have been emotionally painful but I am grateful for them to show me that I am not where I want to be in many aspects of my life. I am not meant to remain stuck in these bad habits. I am meant for more. I can get there with intentional living.

I like what Sharon Wegner says in her "What is Weighing You Down" article: "I am a work in progressalways seeking to find a better way of being a better me." 

I want to be a better me. 

I'm not living to my full potential these days. 

I'm not working towards being all I'm capable of being. 

I want more. 

I am the only one holding myself back from the ME I want to be.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Holy Sick Days

There's a nasty flu virus in our house that has laid my active children flat on their backs. Keagan caught it Wednesday at school and by Friday there was only 6 kids in his class! The remaining 13 kids were out sick. And Friday was class picture day...

I am grateful that my children are rarely sick - minor colds here and there but my 5 year old hasn't puked since he was 6 months old and my 2 year old has never puked... until now.  Makes me grateful to have such healthy kids.

Two sick kiddos can be exhausting. But this has also been a holy time. Obviously I don't enjoy cleaning up all the puke and poop that rarely actually makes it into the toilet when little ones have the flu. And there's the nonstop laundry and the sleepless nights. But there is holiness in the midst of this.

What is it that makes a time and space holy? Where there is reliance on God to get through these exhausting days and nights. When our hearts are expectant and dependent on what God will do next. How long, Lord? 
I can't do this anymore...

These sick days are set apart from our normal everyday. There's rest and peace and quiet in our house. There's lots of rocking and snuggling and cuddling and reading. We're hanging out in our pjs. My sister and brother drop off medicine and groceries. Keagan's listening to a Junie B Jones CD and playing legos on his bed. Skylar's nursing A LOT and falling asleep in my arms. Keagan's napping during the day and going to bed easy at night. (I could get used to this!) We're going through lots of popsicles...

Holy sick days slow us down. They draw us to our knees for sustenance, for requests of healing. They give us grateful hearts for the normal everyday health of noisy, active kids (and a thankfulness for a brief reprieve).

It can be so easy to miss the holiness in the everyday. These sick days remind me that we don't need to rush ahead to the days when Keagan will be back at school and Skylar will be back to her not-an-ounce-of-fear busy self. I'm in no rush.

Although I admit, I'm ready for the puking to be over.