Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Land of CooCoos

Some of you have noticed that was tiptoe to falling off the face of the Earth for awhile there. Thank goodness I didn't fall off and now I am back safe and sound after a trip to the land of coo-coos. Let me explain...I had a pretty severe allergic reaction to something (we still don't know what it was) and have been battling hives for a little over a week. I was put on some pretty powerful meds to get rid of them and it made me go a little crazy. Between those and the benadryl I was taking I was a sad mix of tense and wide awake to drowsy  in a matter of seconds. I stayed away from the blog world afraid I would sound more scatter brained than ever!

So here I am back! My feet are pretty much planted on the ground and I am feeling a bit more like myself again. Now I am running around getting our house ready for us to leave. Getting the girls ready to go with different people. My husband and I are taking our two oldest daughters to LifeLight. If you've never heard of it you should check it out! It's this amazing Christian music festival and what's great is it's FREE! We are camping on the festival grounds and we are going to soak up some great music and meet some wonderful people.

Last year I was apart of the 360 Loft Gallery and took a collection of photographs that I loved! I had pretty good feed back about it and my plan was to do the same collection again this year just with different pictures. Well God placed something else on my heart since then. He gave me the vision for this blog and a heart to reach out to young girls and teen girls and their moms. So the "Tender Hearts" collection was born. I am excited about the weekend because I am hoping to meet lots of great people...hear their stories...and give them a place to really share what is on their hearts. So if you think of me this weekend...pray that our trip goes well and lots of people are reached!


Monday, August 20, 2012


I have found that when you struggle there is a strong sense of loneliness. It's almost as if you feel like no one else understands what you are going through. No one will understand. The more I reflect about my struggles and the more I talk to young girls and even grown adults it seems to be the same. No seems to ever struggle like you do, but really our struggles are not all that different.

Struggle is a verb. Something we do. Something we are going through. The dictionary says "to contend with an adversary or opposing force". Our struggles are all against something. Something that is pushing against us. A force that is going the opposite direction as us. I want to go up and it pushes me down. I want the door open and it closes it. I want to go and it wants to stay.

I guess when I realized my struggle wasn't all that new or different than everyone else I felt I could handle it better. Even though that opposing force is not the same thing for all of us it still is just opposing force. When we see how similar our struggles are our struggles become less lonely. I try to teach this lesson to my daughters in hopes that struggling will not be so lonely. How do you try to teach this?


Friday, August 17, 2012

Skinny Love

If you've been reading my blog you probably understand how I am sometimes. You especially know that I am greatly effected by music. Well for the first time I heard a song. Well it was actually the cover of the original (I didn't care for the song after I heard the original.) Branches have done a cover of Skinny Love by Bon Iver. I am one for reading deep into song lyrics even to the point where I read the song in a totally different way than what was intended.

Skinny Love...I heard it and I thought right away of the battle that goes on in my head and the head of so many others who have or do struggle with eating disorders. I think I've mentioned this before, but it's a life long struggle. In some way or another you struggle even after you have recovered. I don't struggle daily anymore, but I have my moments where I continually have to remind myself of different things.

It seems in my moments of stress that I often tell myself things that are impossible. There is one line in the song that when they sang it my mind jumped up..."I told you to be fine." Was the writer in my head? Has he been following my thoughts around, picking them up off the floor to add them into songs? Then the next line came "I  told you to be balanced." Ok! That was it! I was sure that these song writers are now sweeping up behind me...all the small little thoughts that try to fly away but only crash to the ground. You see, these are two things I have been telling myself lately. Just be fine. Get balanced. Don't over react. Don't be hormonal. Why?

I pin point my struggle right now to the stress of being home from vacation. The stress of being away. Coming back. Having LOTS to get done. Stress is one of my triggers in life. One that I have to keep under tight monitoring. So I become hard on myself and expect things fast...faster than I normally could. I try to keep my stress level down and try really hard to show my girls a healthy way of dealing with stress. It was the day I heard my oldest daughter yelling at one of her sisters that made me realize that I am their first example of how to deal with stress and hard situations. So we now deal by talking...many times on my side of the line it's very fast talking. The faster I talk the less likely I am to get frustrated in that moment. So we work on it. Do you show a good example of how to deal with stress?


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pouring Rain

My ink ran like tears down a face after the down pour. Trying to get all the kids into a tent and figure out how we were going to keep the tent cleaner than the muddy faced kids meant that I forgot my notebook out in the rain. When I found it my heart sank a bit. I had written some precious thoughts and memories in there. Pages falling out and ink running down, my memories seemed to be just a puddle of ink on a page now.

Camping was an adventure. I can't really tell you for sure if I loved it all the way. It was hard keeping a one year old from running off with the older kids. My frist day was filled with tension. I think honestly it was more the trip up the mountain that did it to me. I was a nervous wreck. My SIL noticed it...I am not sure if many others really noticed I was a ball of nerves. The next day everyone else took little adventures and I just sat and wrote while the baby took a nap in the tent. I was able to just release all the thoughts in my head that were driving me crazy. Oh it's the written word that soothes the wounded soul. It's a great way to process the emotions that run wild and begin having you contemplating wrong actions.

My soul was mended. I was enjoying camping and my enjoyment of the downpour proved it. But we choose to leave early. We just had one more night of camping to do so it really wasn't a big deal. My husband was surprised by my enjoyment on the trip down the mountain. I was rolling down the window taking pictures and every few seconds squealing with enjoyment saying "Look how beautiful that is." Sometimes it's capturing that beauty in the scary things that helps us enjoy them more.

And now that we are back to Grammy and Grandad's and unpacking. My notebooks isn't as bad as I had first thought. Yes. It got wet and the lines I had written on faded and running, but my ink and the words I had written are all there right where I had first placed them on their pages! JOY!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Crashing Waves

Here I am with a few quiet moments on vacation. I saw quiet as five girls, most of them mine, play in the area right behind me. It's not quiet by normal standards, but on our vacation it is VERY quiet. With 19 people all staying in the same house things can get a bit crazy, loud and a few tears are bound to show up. I wouldn't trade this for anything!

As I was sitting on the beach yesterday I was thinking of different things that the ocean symbolizes to me. The first one though that first came to mind was freedom.

"So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. " John 8:36

This verse and the concept of freedom are things that play over and over in my mind. I know that I am truly free in Christ, but some say that how I write or because on occasion I still struggle that I am not truly free. Are you perfect? If you answer yes to that I would have to say that you are not human at all. I am free in Christ, but I am not free from being human. I am not free from the occasional struggle. I am not free from having true and raw emotions.

So I write, even if I am a lonely voice in the middle of the crowd going the other direction. I sit here and I ponder things like waves crashing on the beach and how I view this as a form of freedom. I don't know how many would agree with me. Because these same waves that I view as a symbol of freedom are also known for trapping people in their strong arms.
 Ocean Waves
I remember the first time I was caught under the wave. My first instinct was to panic. I was caught, trapped...would I ever make it back to the top? Being from a small town in the middle of the country I had never experienced anything like this before. I was caught in the strong embrace of the wave and it felt as if it would never let go. The best thing I did was let go. I stopped panicking and I just let it roll over me. After that I bobbed up to the top of the water. I quickly moved out of the way before the next wave came crashing in on me.

So this big bad ocean is my freedom. I spend so much time trying to force these situations from stopping. I keep fighting, but nothing is ever accomplished. So I eventually just let go and I trust in God. That's where my freedom comes from...just finally letting go.