Thursday, March 26, 2015

seeing fear… everywhere

beware: though it is not my intention, I realize the content of this post may offend you


I see it now.. More than ever before. I don't know that I really ever saw it clearly before … honestly I don't remember... I feel like a veil has been lifted, a curtain drawn, and I can see it in peoples eyes, in their mannerisms, hear it in their words and see it in their choices.

People are fearful.  At least many, many people in the circles I run in.  The economy has shifted, and times are hard.  I have friends in many income levels, but the fear I see is the same.

 Their fearlessness has dissolved, and with it, for many of them, dissolved their ability to really LISTEN to one another.  Talking over one another, more cliquishness, segregation, alienation like I haven't seen since Breakfast Club… Listening is like a great superpower.  But when you loose it, well, things can get ugly, and no one likes an ugly Super Hero.

When mommies, every day, mommies, live in constant fear, they develop something a little LIKE, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  They live under constant daily stresses that are above and beyond anything any other generation has endured… well except those living under actual wars and famine.  These mama's are unaware of all of their fears and stresses, THEY are, most of them, in total denial.   From dealing with special needs kids in staggering numbers…to deal with dealing with divorce, abandonment issues, unemployment, serious health related issues, and real, honest to goodness alienation, not mention the intense need in our culture to compare and compete over literally everything…. there are lots of reasons for mothers in America to be stressed out today….

What shocks me… To top all this off, is the fear.  Fear , that they are not seeing in themselves when they look into their mirrors each morning.  Perhaps … well… perhaps they do, on mornings they feel, particularly honest, and raw, and broken.   But rushing, and pride are all together too much a part of our culture, and these Mama's might not have the time for raw, or real.  We must after all, press on.

We are as a sex, afraid of, it would seem … everything…   Not just the things the media TELLS us we are afraid of either.. They only tell us about how we are so afraid of how we look, about aging, about our weight, about our sex lives, or lack there of…. blah blah blah.. they NEVER go deeper.

 Afraid of getting a job, keeping a job, what people at work, or church, or in their own families might think if they really KNEW what was happening in their own homes...Many are afraid of living in this community, not that one…

If the blood work comes back saying your child MAY have down syndrome, and you feel afraid of raising that child, you can just.. "terminate" said pregnancy. Do you? Don't you? Can you really?Because that is how our culture is, but could YOU do it?

If a teen age girl gets pregnant and she is afraid of raising her child… does she "terminate" her pregnancy… because the "fear" for carrying to term for adoption…What if it were me?  What if it were MY daughter?  or my son's girlfriend… ?

We, speaking of our culture at large, would even rather a child of rape be "terminated", IF the mother so chooses, based on her "fear of how she MAY or may not feel during the pregnancy"… when not even the father would be "terminated" if prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law…  Would I support MY daughter if SHE were afraid of having someone else live in her womb?

 If your genetic chance of cancer is above a certain percentage, just remove said ovaries, or breasts…That's what was in the news THIS week…  You are afraid of dying of a brain tumor, much better to commit suicide, and die in a way you're comfortable with, because goodness knows, we should, none of us EVER be afraid?

fear… fear... fear…

NOW, maybe it's not my place to say these are right or wrong here on this post, I am quite sure that some of my personal opinions have seeped through, inadvertently .  I won't even ever say that I sit in a place of judgment over anyone who has EVER had to make these choices, or had to face these challenges… They are REAL challenges, painful challenges, frightening and horrible.  … These decisions, these very huge, life giving, life taking, life altering decisions, are being made out of fear.  That, is my only point today.  FEAR seems to be ruling our generation…

I am part of an interesting little culture… Perhaps YOU are not a part of such a culture, perhaps you are in a different subculture.  Mine is a bit unique… and it touches several other subcultures, just by the nature of ME being me… I would be interested in knowing, if what I see, is similar to what you see.

Way way back in 2001 we began researching home education.  We didn't start actually doing anything about it, till we yanked out our then kindergartner out of school that following January.  We were part of a revolution.  NOT a rebellion.  We weren't angry at anyone, we weren't "anti-public schoolers"  or anything like that.. We also weren't arrogant and of the mindset that we could do EVERYTHING that the public school was doing only better.  No, that surely was never ME.  We thought, we could do it differently… Reach our children in different ways, educate on a different path, inspire, enlighten, open up the world to them.  The tragedy in New York had just happened, a breast cancer scare for me just happened, and I didn't want life to just "happen" for our family.. I wanted to embrace life, know my kids, share with them, see the world with them, teach them everything I could, because life is a gift, and it's days, are unknown.

Being diagnosed with a brain tumor, thankfully a cancer free tumor, and a pretty tame one at that, was still a shock.  It was also a diagnoses that brought me back to that place, and made me look at my own life and how I am doing.. in MY life goals… In my little niche of my universe…
Well, we've seen a lot of the United States, and some of Europe, clearly not as much as I would like.. but quite a lot.  It's given us friends all over, friends and expats that we keep in touch with, a pulse on places in the world that are dear to us, and some, we'd only ever seen on maps, because some of our dear friends have moved since we'd met them.

We really have LIVED, experienced health crises, walked each of my parents down the  long road of cancer and seen them off to their cross overs… also suffered the loss of my husbands father.  Suffering and loss, and grief, special needs, mental health issues, major dietary needs, the list of things that we have dealt with and continue to deal this on a daily basis, is pretty staggering.

Each of those issues, brings a "sub culture" with it. Does that make sense?  If I were BACK in high school in the 1980's … it would mean … a different crowd, or clique….
each and every health care issue is a separate crowd
special needs, Lyme, brain tumor, PANDAS… etc, etc, etc….
dietary issues, grief issues, homeschooling, public school crowd, Montessori school crowd...ages of children,, Essential Oil/herbalism crowd….
Christian Crowd…
the list goes on and on and on.. really, my life is
some of the people in some of the groups, overlap.. but in so many I find fear…

Mama's feel afraid they aren't doing it all, being it all, knowing it all, giving their children everything.  And while, on some level, that sounds like what I want to do for my kids… It's not.  I don't want to GIVE my children everything… I want to DO life with my kids.  I can't BE Jesus for my kids…  sometimes we need to remind ourselves and each other that.

Having battled Moriarty for a little while means I was home… alone, a LOT lately… so when I am out people want to know all sorts of little things… but once we get over the "all about ME" phase, I listen…
I watch… because I really missed all of YOU… and what I am hearing… what I am seeing… really concerns me…  It's got me praying.. for you, for all of us...

I told Rob last night.  I feel so alone.  I didn't know how alone I was till recently.  I used to be surrounded by visionaries like myself.. People who could see the opportunities that home education opened up for their children.  Who could see that the jobs that their children would probably have, probably didn't even exist yet, and who knew, like I do, that it was our job, to keep the world open for them…. That too much conformity too early, too much structure too early in their development rooted out self discovery, exploration and creativity.
  I thought, or, rather maybe? imagined I was surrounded by minds like my own that knew, with every fiber of their being that great literature must be read, constantly, not occasionally.  that vocabulary would be learned out of the necessity and burning desire to understand the words in context of the book…. not just by endless lists for years and years.  Yes, I feel alone.. I don't know where the fearless mothers have gone.

They are afraid of not socializing "enough"; not doing "this" curriculum, or "that" curriculum.
It's no better amongst the schooling mommies.  They are just as fearful.  Afraid of their child not testing well, or getting the services they need, or well, the list is pretty endless.. Draw anxiety all over their faces.  Everyone wants THEIR kid to have the perfect childhood.  Maybe they're having marriage problems, then there is the FEAR, that their child will find out, and a lot of effort goes into hiding those problems.  The list of fears, holding mothers hostage is very disturbing.  And the Idol of "perfect" needs to be shattered so we can all breath again.

As a parent of a special needs child, I can tell you there are ALL sorts of fears relating to special needs..   Am I doing enough therapies.   What if we did this one, or added on that one.  What if we bought this and that too?   Maybe if we just..  Perhaps THIS medicine might help, or that herb, or this probiotic ?  With some special needs, especially when you are still in the diagnostic phase, or when your child has layers of issues, there are just so many, "what IF's".. and "MAYBE if we just…", you can loose yourself, your family, your time and literally your entire savings, to these amazing "what if's" only to discover… absolutely NO change in your child… what so ever…. Learning to not make decisions based on fear, and believe me, false hopes ARE really fear in disguise; is one the most important things a special needs parent can do for their marriage and family…
We've learned to pray, and ask questions like.. and … what IF it doesn't work?  What IF we don't do the extra therapy?  WHAT if, we save that money for a vacation for the family?   How would that money benefit THIS child spent that way?  Would it benefit MORE to spend some time in a HAPPY way with siblings on a beach or at a pool, vs the benefit of adding this extra hour of therapy that may or may not be helping… Sometimes the choice IS the therapy.. sometimes, it isn't.  The point is, we can't be afraid to ask those questions.  We have to choose our family as a whole.  Choosing the whole family helps deter those sibling issues that often arise when "special needs" is a part of a family… Now, when I write all of this, I write from the perspective of a family with, real needs, but not, life and death needs… My child does NOT have congenital heart failure, my child isn't in and out of an ICU… My child's therapies are NOT life GIVING, they are life enriching, and so I realize some of you might read my thoughts about "deciding" and think, WOW is she crazy!  We all are in different places, May grace abound...

 I have even met parents who hide death.  YES, all together are hiding death.  A bird died on the street and ALL the children were out side investigating this death.  Was it a blue jay?  Was it a freak accident? Was it a raccoon?  Why did this poor birdy die?  WELL… This one mother actually had a totally meltdown, telling all the children the bird was napping, sent her child in, and didn't let that child out for 2 days.  Not until, she figured the chatter about death was over.  FEAR….

We all have fear.  The question is.  Will you let it control you?  Does it consume you.  Do your children get to walk to the park with out you hovering, at a reasonable age?   Do you let them ride their bikes around the block, or are you gripped with fear?

The Bible talks about Fear 365 times.. Seriously!  God does NOT want you to be THIS anxious.  Trust in the LORD… Be honest with yourself about your fears.  Are they rational, or irrational.  Are there steps you can take today to lesson your gripping fears?  If you aren't sure, if you need ideas, talk with a trusted friend, wise counsel.  One clear sign of fear is a hyper need to control… control people, things, well, anything and everything.  Remember we are never REALLY in control of anything, except hopefully ourselves.

Our job, as fearless Mommies, and Daddies, is to teach our children self control, and to practice it as best as we are able. To Trust God, and teach our kids to TRUST God… but not control them, and make them as afraid as we have been.. How can you live in the grace and freedom you so long for?  What are some practical things you can do today to start parenting in freedom?  

First and foremost, pray everyday!   Can you buy an indestructible whistle for each of your children to wear around their necks, JUST in case?  Whilst cell phones are one thing, good old fashioned walkie talkies are great for just going to a park or riding a bike, would that EASE your fears..  Reading courageous articles from Harvard, MIT, and other brilliant places has kept me encouraged to remain fearless in our pursuit of the kind of education we feel called to.  I read scripture to be encouraged…  I memorize courageous passages and recite them to myself and to my kiddo's !

 I will now, and am forever ON the hunt for fearless friends… and humble ones, who see fear in the mirror, and are willing, and eager to wipe it off like yesterdays mascara… How do I see your fear so well.. how do I know? as the old saying goes on playgrounds everywhere… "It takes one.. to KNOW one…"  because every now and then.. I wake up and see fear on MY face when I look in the mirror … and that's what I do… I wipe it off.. and spend the next day…. or week.. shattering the strong holds I have allowed it to make in my life…

Be bold, be fearless, walk with God… let's be part of the Mommy Revolution
(Daddy's you can join too)

Monday, March 9, 2015

little stresses

seeing clearly

I don't
things are fuzzier
a bit too dim
and other times
everything is 
a bit too bright
I get headaches a LOT
and had my vision checked..
my eyes look groovy

this friday
I will meet the 
Neuro Ophthalmologist  

and it seems
like I am making too much of things..

I have so much on my plate..
I hardly want more
my eye doctor really supports me going
she is so great
I am so thankful for her.

God really has blessed me with some great health care providers.
I have had in the past, some pretty awful ones…
but ..
I have to say, I am blessed with some of the best doctors EVER
thank you Lord..
praying for peace
I prepare for Friday..

I really feel a little stressed meeting new doctors

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Not all who Wander… are Lost...

I came to Christ as an adult.. 
and I remember one day… 
years later
standing in Lyon France,
where the Romans once Martyred Christians… 
and thinking.. 
thinking hard..
and praying..
and another time....
I remember reading Pilgrims progress… 
and thinking…
and reading Hinds Feet in High Places..
and AGAIN thinking..
The more I read Scripture, 
The more I was compelled to read the others who have gone before me..
and so..
I was drawn into their tales…
being allegorically minded…
C.S. Lewis… has my a place in my heart forever!

and it made me think… always it made me think…the SAME thing…
When I read J.R.R. Tolkein
I felt.. and still do.. a kindred spirit..
I knew… I could do..
what ever 
THIS might be… I could follow my KING
if my KING was this KING Jesus of the Holy Scriptures
I was reading every day in my Bible…
yes..I would look at the maps,
knowing my map would be different, 
I could bear the ring…
I could go into Mordor..
or help
or fight Orgs…
so I thought...

and so many times in my life…I have spent time
thinking.. and telling God…
in my prayers
in my worship
"WHERE YOU go, I go.. Where YOU stay.. I stay… 

You say, Lord, you will never leave me, nor forsake me,
that with YOU I have nothing to fear, because with YOU on my side, 
who can really be against me.. You have aptly described my many future enemies.. 
I have had many already… 
I am ready to do this….
What EVER it takes"  
… yep… I have said that to God .. countless times… 
I even GET that part of this spiritual warfare is MY own self being so weak
and SO broken 
and SO frail, that I am unable to always sense HIS presence…
HE is there 
..and I don't always "feel" like… 
when someones eyes suddenly stop working .. 
and they don't SEE you… 
their other senses aren't fine tuned … 
so they didn't kick in…
it's trauma…
that's what this is.. I get it… 
He taught me.. in His word.. 
I studied HIS word.. Memorized His word.. hid it in my heart… 
I studied like I had no time.. like there was a test.. and now… 
I know why…. and honestly I … I feel broken… 
I don't ask … "why?'… 
or "WHY ME?"
I know why… "
I don't even ask "where am I?"… 
I kinda wanna ask ….like the typical kid in the back of the car…. 
on the road trip from hell
how much longer?  
how much further must we travel? 
I am so tired.. so broken… so scattered… 
I am loosing bits and pieces of ME and them..
and they …
WE were all so wonderful IN YOU LORD!!!!! 
and …I miss us..
I miss the me, and the us we were in you
I miss the family we came to be as we came to know you..

Then… the other part of me.. 
wants to go back to being that girl…

in ripped blue jeans and a bikini top, with braids in her hair and jewelry everywhere
sitting on the beach… 
drunk with sun and sand, 
and a little red wine… 
(not that I still have my bikini wearing powers)…
part of me..
misses ME …. 
and misses MY kids before the walk through the valley of the shadow of death… 
and misses my husband… before the constant battles
and misses that super cool super power of FEELING the presence of God…
MISSES when Moriarty wasn't around and I could worship at church..
and not be stuck outside like a leper..
but the truth is…
His love is steady.. and faithful and true..

oh it feels so long, this part of the walk. so hard.. I thought I was so brave, so ready… I am feeling like such a wimpy girlie girl…

Moriarty may be in my brain,
making it hard for me to explain
but there is this whole world..
called my life
that is crazy right now

and I don't get to explain that
because it involves..
other peoples lives
and their stories..
and until I am ready to sit down with them..
and write this down as a book,
with a contract,
and proceeds to go to help their situations..
I can't write it all here..
just know..
that I feel like I gut sucked into 

and I can't get back home.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

drink it in…

I am parched.
A girl in a dry and 
and fatigued..
This week.. 
the past few weeks…
I have had this cold…
and every time, I start to get better..
some human
hands me yet another version of it…
probably my children..
once my husband..
perhaps some nameless person at the grocer's?
oh well..
we have established how stellar my immune system is?
well yes.. there is that.
but my week ahead..
this on and the next..
look a bit like this trail
and HEAVING my wee SELF up each step..
is a bit of an effort..
in fact, EVERY little thing..
FEELS like an effort.
A sinus infection
on top of my tumor..
than ever before…
my brain feels so 
wounded and tender…
(YES it could be IN my head.. I COULD Be imagining it)
I am a big fat baby!
I can't THINK clear
my eyes BURN
post nasal UGH
make me cough and my throat is 
I am dry..
drying OUT ..
it's awful..
this is on and off for about 6 weeks..
I need FRESH air..
I hate this dryness of my home..
so we bought a humidify thing..
it helps but.. only a little
but living in Northern Illinois
IF I open the windows
I FREEZE my face off
and fingers and toes..
and that of my children..
so husband won't allow it…
it's HORRID!!!
(insert dramatic cry)
During the SAME time..
but perhaps a bit longer…
My very sexy husband,
Machine Man himself
has had a back injury..
so WE are a sight for sore eyes..
sad old cronies…
with a TON going on
every day!
we fight for the heating pad..
why we have not bought another..
escapes me..
we are silly, and madly in love..
(emphasis on madly … but only this week)

The next few days..
(big clear throat)
perhaps 2-3 weeks..
are pretty non stop here..
and the trail will be pretty harsh…
going from that above
certainly not the deadliest 
most treacherous trail we've been on..
but CRAZY…
non the less..
and all that 
whilst pretty wiped out..
GOD is great..
and every single day here 
(think of the song)
(comment if you know the movie)
you don't want to .. 
RUN with small children down this trail…
watch where you go..
careful with your steps..
and some days..
we get pretty gosh darn discouraged.
we TRY to remind ourselves..
lots of kid things.
LOTs of doctor things..
lot's of things that overwhelm…,
the me part of the us..,
and put a lot of pressure on the him part of the us..
I can't express more to how I am so thankful for my husband...
YET, as hard as things are some days..
we've been through  harder days than these…
and truth be told… the days ahead...may be harder still..
but we can hold fast,
to one another,
and to Christ,
because we HAVE hope..
we have held on so long.
why let go NOW?
so the weeks ahead… 
look daunting..
the calendar jam packed and bursting at it's lines…
Appointments over booked..,
babysitters in need..,
trips and procedures needed rescheduling..,
 And, it's all quite..
yet, He has this..
I lift up my LIFE to Jesus Christ..
Author and perfecter of my faith..
there is NO way I could do it all..
I can't even write about it all without sobbing…
so I get all general here on this blog.

 Some day..
the trails down the mountain.. will look more like that..
I will lie in green pastures..
and HE will restore MY weary soul…
dreaming of summer
and lemonade on a porch,
music and laughter,
and BBQ on the grill, 
catch firefly's in a jar,
roast  marshmallow's round the fire pit..
I am 
dreaming of sweet times of fellowship
when breaks from these trials come..
the breaks do come..
sometimes they are not as long as we wish them to be
but they do come..
so we try to drink them in when they come…
those butterflies
smell of fresh mowed lawns
roses blooming
and daisies in the field..
bicycle rides
and giggles on long long walks…
maybe it will last the summer..
maybe one Sunday afternoon..
but it's coming..
and I am eagerly awaiting
my time of refreshment 
with the Lord
I am going to 

p.s. you all must know… I want you to know, as a hiker, I would much rather be actually hiking these trails than be on this spiritual hike… not my choice