Forced recuperation …

I woke up at 4 am. WIDE. AWAKE. On a Saturday. I purposely did my long run yesterday so I could sleep in today. And honestly, by “sleeping in” I mean I was hoping to sleep until 6 am. But, nope. My body wasn’t having any part of that. Or maybe my brain was to blame. Either way, I woke up 2 hours earlier than I wanted to after two days of feeling exhausted. So I refused to let myself get up. My body was going to get the rest it needed even if I had to duct tape myself to my bed to get it! Sheesh!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you get some forced recuperation!

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Peace and quiet …

I think I write more about Sunday mornings than any other day or time of the week. They are my favorite. Somehow, they always start off quietly. It honestly shocks me every week. This house, despite only having Libs and Reese here on the regular now, gets LOUD and BUSY. There is music and activity, clatter and energy. There is our familiar busyness of gathering (our STUFF) and going (to who knows where). Stillness here is RARE. This house is truly alive. And when everyone is home, it’s down right electric. But on Sunday morning, seemingly without fail, it sleeps. And it’s wonderful.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you can enjoy some peace and quiet!!!

An unexpected God gift …

Last night, after a very long and very exciting day (I’ll explain why in a later blog), I somehow got Reese into bed early. This is good because she has her hernia repair surgery tomorrow and I want her going into it as strong as possible. Sleep is so important leading up to something like this and it will be a huge part of how her little body will recover after. But, I guess her mama’s body was needing that sleep too.

Last night I laid down with Reese. We said her prayers and snuggled. And I don’t remember another thing after that. I woke up three hours later, thinking I had just dozed off. Talk about completely disorienting! I thought for sure I would never fall back to sleep. I was wrong. I slept for almost another 7 hours! WOW! With as conscientious as I am about my health, I am often amazed at how much I fail to see what my body really needs. Tomorrow will be long and stressful so I am glad that today I feel great and ready to tackle anything. And I am once again thankful for God’s hand in helping me be at at my best for Reese. As a mom, I just keep going, often times piling more on my plate than I have room for. I’m grateful that God sees this. And despite the piles of unfolded laundry and the dirty dishes in the sink, God knew it was more important to give me rest than it was to give me more time in my day to complete chores. He is awesome that way.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you receive an unexpected gift from God!!!

A mental health day …

I am a big proponent of self care. Having lost my mom as a young adult I learned VERY QUICKLY that if I didn’t take care of me, no one would! As an adult, no matter how young, there is an assumption that you will self-regulate your needs. But this DOES NOT always come naturally or easily. We are often consumed with very real stressors and self-imposed expectations that literally run our lives. I have tried to teach my children that taking care of themselves, mind, body and soul, is an absolute necessity. I remind them that they are precious beings and that investing in themselves will only leave them better equipped to tackle their goals and meet their responsibilities. I tell them that there will be days when they just need to “push pause” on their normal daily routines. And I assure them that rest, nourishment and a little bit of laughter go a long way.

Well, I hope you all take a mental health day!!!

Lazily productive…

After the past few days of late nights, early mornings and lots of fun I woke up realizing two things. I need to get a whole lot done AND I need a day of rest.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are lazily productive!!!

2018 and Free …

2017 was a year filled with so much LIFE … and I couldn’t be more thankful.

I started 2017 in full recovery mode. My second round of meningitis at the end of 2016 was no less devastating than my first ten years earlier. I knew the healing process I had laid before me. At times that knowledge made it worse. Other times it made it better because I knew what to expect. I think in a way it made me more compassionate to myself. A rarity, indeed. But I wasn’t myself and I loathed it. I spent months in a fog. My days were filled with naps to combat the unrelenting fatigue and lists because my memory was so poor. My anxiety was at an all time high. I dealt with a significant amount of PTSD that came with an intense amount of anxiety. I was frightened I would have another recurrence. And that pain is NO JOKE. Understanding the severity of my encephalopathy was unnerving. No one can figure out how I was functioning “normally” with the amount of brain swelling I had. But I believe that the terrifying drug reactions I had after I got home really pushed me into a whole new level of fear. I literally thought I was dying. I don’t think I had ever been that scared in my life and sadly it has stuck with me. I can still get to that level of panic with even the smallest of triggers. Yes, healing is a long process. But I am happy to have to the opportunity to do it all again. This could have gone a different way for me and my precious family. And I refuse to be anything but grateful. Refuse.

In January 2017 I somehow convinced my doctors to let me train for a marathon. I truly believe that this was a huge part of regaining my strength again. As the days passed I got stronger and stronger. My memory improved and my fatigue got better with each passing day. If ever there was a time in my life to redefine myself, this was it. And it was incredibly liberating. Who could have ever imagined that the very illness that confined me gave me so much room to grow?!?! Definitely, not me!

When I look back on 2017 it is with mixed emotions. My illness and recovery made it hard. But life still happened. And that made it WONDERFUL. I was able to celebrate George’s high school graduation and watch him plan out his future. I was in awe of the growth that I saw in all of my children. Being a part of their daily lives is a gift from God that I will never take granted. NOT EVER. Summer was just straight up FUN. Having all four kids home for the entire summer was something I needed more than anything. Family heals folks, family heals!

Traveling was also a huge part of my 2017. We took lots of little trips and I was blessed with an amazing trip to Alaska. We celebrated birthdays and accomplishments. YAY, I was there and healthy enough to enjoy all of it! In 2017 I even managed to complete all 16 CEUs to keep my nutrition certification. Now THAT was a miracle having struggled with memory issues, HA! There was so much more too. The privilege of having these experiences and all the others often left me feeling overwhelmed. Like “WOW, thanks God! I’m here, alert and actually living this life!” Words can’t capture how I have felt time and time again. “Humbly blessed” comes to mind but it still falls gravely short.

Anyway, my point of writing about all of this is that regardless of the underlying need to heal and recover, life amazingly still engulfed me and took me with it. Despite the tough times I faced I felt an abundance of joy. I loved every difficult and fantastic moment of 2017 and everything in between. And surrendering to my new journey released me and allowed me to redefine who I was … again.

2017 was hard, but it was also beautiful. THAT sums up life in a nutshell. And as long as I have breath I will cherish every moment of it. If 2017 has taught me anything, it was that I do not have to remain tethered to unpleasant circumstances. That my mind, body and soul can still seek and find the freedom that hope gives us even in our darkest of hours.

So I guess that brings me to my 2018 New Year Mantra. Here goes …

Well, I hope you all have a year where you feel FREE!!!