111 days and a secret so simple.

111 days.

One hundred eleven days.

What do you do when life as you know it is numbered. When there is a real timeline, and it ends on a specific date.

What do you do with this one life? This one chance?

Do you keep doing what your doing? Do you do a 180 and change everything? Do you beg God for more time? More chances?

What do you do?

The hourglass is slowly pouring. 2664 beads of sand. One by one the drop down. Once they run out you can’t get them back.

Ever since January 2017 I have been acutely aware that time is a gift and life is too short. However, after setting a date for a surgery that could change everything. I am even more aware of just how much of a gift time really is.

We talk about the positive of surgery because that is the outcome we hope and pray for. What we don’t talk about is the consequences of surgery:

  • Memory loss-permanent, she will learn coping mechanisms to overcome this but it will always be a struggle.
  • Loss of verbal IQ- spoken and written language will always be a struggle. She will lose some IQ points, we don’t know how many or how severe or if she will gain them back.
  • Personality-We have no clue if her personality will stay the same or be completely different for better or worse after surgery and there is no way of knowing.
  • A stroke during surgery than can render her unable to communicate.
  • Death- while it’s a minuscule chance, this is still brain surgery and there are no guarantees in this life.

There is no way of knowing any of this. We do know that the first 2 things will happen whether we do surgery or not. They will happen slowly, as she continues to have more seizures, more seizures that constantly put her life in jeopardy.

So what do we do with this gift of time we have been given. This gift that we know exactly how many more days until our lives could change for the better or for the worse.

  • We celebrate
  • We celebrate the time we have.
  • We celebrate the small victories.
  • We plan.
  • We plan for the good days to come.
  • We plan for the bad days to come.
  • We plan for a future.
  • We make adventures
  • We create a bucket list.
  • We accomplish that list so that even if she isn’t able to enjoy these things later, she will enjoy them now.
  • We create lasting memories.
  • We enjoy the small moments
  • We relish the big moments
  • We take pictures…oh so many pictures
  • We stay present
  • We soak it all in.

We soak it all in. The good, the bad, the ugly we cherish it all because in the end, it’s all those little moments that make up the big moments.

So you want to know the secret?

The secret is simple. These are things we should be doing anyway. The only difference between me and you, is that I am acutely aware of a timeline, but even so that timeline could change in the blink of an eye. Just like your life could change in the blink of an eye.

Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow.

So enjoy life. Enjoy the good days. Enjoy the bad days. Enjoy the ugly days. Take that vacation. Make time for family. Say no less and yes more to the things that bring you joy. Say no more and yes less to the things that drag you down. Hold your loved ones a little closer. Give others grace and give it to yourself even more. Love always.

Throw out the numbers, throw out the timeline and just enjoy each day as it comes. I know I will be.

Word of the year 2019: Surrender

This year choosing a word was easy. In fact I didn’t even choose it. It jumped at me with a bright neon flashing light doing a dance. Surrender. Surrender. Surrender.

Surrender is defined as: “abandon oneself entirely to (a powerful emotion or influence); give in to.

Did you hear that.

Abandon oneself entirely. Entirely.

Not here and there. Not with this but not that. Entirely.

It’s a dare. A challenge.

To give up myself entirely in exchange for a true peace; a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Can you see it? I can see it. A wave of peace washing over me as I step into the dare. Challenging my comfort, and my control. Giving them up.

Abandoning myself entirely.

Surrender to God’s will.

Oh why oh why does that seem so scary.

Because surrendering to God’s will means being okay with circumstances I’m not okay with. It means being okay with handing my daughter over to surgeons knowing she may come back to me a completely different person hopefully for the better, but it could be for the worse, know she may not even come back to me. How do I surrender to that? How do I surrender that God’s plan, his plan that works all things for my good could involve my worst nightmare.

I’m not just surrendering this big moment in time. I’m also surrendering every little moment. Every decision I am surrendering to God.

Eating my feelings? Surrender that. Find the root cause. Facing the root cause. Abandon myself.

Spending problem? Surrender that. Find the root cause. Facing the root cause. Abandon myself.

Being lazy, living in my head… the list could go on. Surrender that. Surrender it all. Abandon myself.

It means putting in the hard work. The work of digging out the ugly. Facing the ugly. Surrendering myself to a better life.

“And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.””

‭‭Mark‬ ‭14:35-36‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Even God the son had to surrender to himself. He too had to face the ugly, not his own ugly but all of mine, all of humanity’s. He had to abandon himself entirely. Not only to become human but he took our sins upon his self. He abandoned himself entirely for God the Fathers glory. For my good. For the good of us all. For a greater peace that is beyond all understanding.

So that’s what I’m doing this year. I’m abandoning myself entirely. Surrendering to a power, to a wisdom, to an understanding that is far greater than my own.

Ten years from now a thousand fold

Dear Matt, You said it best when you said “sometimes it feels like 20 years, sometimes it feels like yesterday” We have been through a lot these past 8 years. The good, the bad, the ugly, the scary, the beautiful. Through it all you have been there. We have somehow managed to bring 3 beautiful […]

[Continue reading...]

2018 a year of JOY.

At the beginning of the year I chose a word. I thought and prayer for one word. Instead of resolutions –that wouldn’t last longer than a month, maybe 2– I chose a word. One word. One word to define a new year. One word to strive for. Joy Coming into 2018 I was ending one […]

[Continue reading...]

Life in the doldrums…

Doldrums… it sounds depressing and desolate. Webster’s define doldrums as “ a state or period of inactivity, stagnation, or slump”, “a spell of listlessness or despondency”. There is a spot in the Atlantic Ocean that sailors refer to as the doldrums. Where there is light, unpredictable wind and storms. If you’re a sailor (which I’m not) you know […]

[Continue reading...]

Lessons learned in the garden.

The garden, it’s one of my favorite places to be. It is serene. There is a great peace that comes with watching life happen. Watching nature unfold stops time. I spent a lot of my childhood in a garden. I learned how to make straight lines, dig holes, plants seeds, care for those same seeds […]

[Continue reading...]

Lessons learned around the table

Six years. It has been six years since I sat at that old table. You know the one. It sits with placements under a simple tablecloth. In the middle there sits notebooks and pens in the napkin holder, beside that a bottle of banana peppers and a salt shaker. A tea cup of water sits […]

[Continue reading...]

When life doesn’t go as planned…

Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. It’s a fact. In fact in my life rarely do things go as planned. Maybe it’s because we have this vision in our minds of what our life ‘should’ look like. If your like me that vision looks like my Pinterest board, or someone else’s highlight reel. But why, […]

[Continue reading...]

The secrets behind the highlight reel.

I often get told “I don’t know how you do it” or “you are so strong”. The reality is I don’t have a choice. I have to be strong. It’s not an option for me to break down because it takes too long to put myself back together. Trust me I know. Truth is you […]

[Continue reading...]

I am loved. She is loved.

A few days ago I was sitting holding my sleeping 6 year old. Sounds sweet right? Wrong. You see she had had 3 seizures in 3 days. Friday night. Saturday night. And Sunday morning. This was Sunday morning. She was too tired to go to her Sunday school class so she was hanging out with […]

[Continue reading...]