Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Sin Is Out There...

My drug of choice is food.  There it is... out there for the whole world to see.  I have struggled with this complicated addiction for several years.  There are days when I actually have wished my addiction was one of the more socially acceptable addictions, like illicit drugs, alcohol or smoking. People seem to embrace those who struggle with those addictions.  Most of us understand that life is tough and as much as we desire to give our worries over to God, our very human sinfulness seeps through, and we fail.  A lot.  At least I do. For those of us who struggle with weight, we are subjected to unfair scrutiny. We are said to be people who have no self control, poor self esteem and (given the current administration's tone) we are openly vilified.

Listen, it's tough to have my sin out there for the whole world to see.  I struggle with self control.  I struggle with anxiety... about a lot of stuff.  I look in the mirror and I like who I see. I'm far from gorgeous, but not hideous. I'm healthy.  I'm a good person.  A likeable woman.  And boom!- Someone makes a comment which on the front end sound like concern for my over-all health, but then ends with a, "as long as you're happy with how you look..."  How I look?  When did I become repulsive?  Okay, really?  I'd much rather deal with  a person who blatantly calls me a name than the passive aggressive crap.  Because what then happens is that I look at that same mirror and think I look like Jabba the Hutt!

We all have hard things to deal with.  And we all must choose our method of dealing.  For some that method is denial. For some it's facing head on.  Either way, numbing the pain is sometimes all we want to do. My world changed about 6 years ago, when I really thought my husband was going to die.  I felt so alone, and I stayed so scared.  I would pray constantly.  In my heart I knew that God would take care of my boys and I.  I didn't know how. That unknown was scary.  Where would we live?  What would I do for a living after being out of the workforce for over 10 years?  I had no current certification or license that would enable me to jump back into a decent paying job.  How would I take care of my boys?

Crackers and chips made me feel better during this time. They numbed the fear.  When something feels good during a really bad time, one tends to keep going back to the "feel good" stuff.  I did.

During this same time, my youngest son, who was obviously struggling with language and developmental delays, was diagnosed with autism.  Great.  All I knew about autism was from in the movie, Rainman.  Was this my son's future?  "Wapner at 3?" "KMart Sucks?!" Would I be able to be his advocate and fight to get him the therapies he needed?  How would I have the stamina left to also become the expert on autism that I had become on Wegener's Disease?  How could I afford to pay $50 an hour for his therapies if my husband died, or even if he had to go on permanent disability with kidney failure?

Chocolate.  I needed chocolate... it made the fear seem more manageable.  I needed something to numb the pain.

During this season of my life I know I gained weight.  I know I aged a lot, too.  I certainly grew up!  I had to.  I had to take on the role of mom and dad.  I had to take my husband's place as the decision maker, as he bravely and so amazingly would put in a whole day in at the office, then toggle between a dialysis chair and the upstairs' recliner.  He shouldn't have been asked to do what he did, but he did it without hesitation.  I know that was God who gave him the strength to get through.  I look back, even 4 years after he reached remission, and I shutter to think about it all.

We all have a story.  I'm certainly NOT the only person in the world who has struggled with issues.  And my story has a somewhat happy ending.  He didn't die!!  Plus, my son is getting the therapies he needs.  It's not perfect.  Like most everyone, our lives are still full of tough decisions and ongoing struggles.  But we manage the best we can. I still work at becoming an expert on autism, or at least my son's version of autism.  This means being able to navigate through IEP meetings, legalities, psychotropic drugs, ADHD therapies, pragmatic language, sensory diets, and social skills.  Oh, and remembering to not step on toes, burn bridges or bruise fragile egos.

But my sin is still out there for everyone to see.  For people, even those who mean well, to comment about.  And comment they do!--In love, of course, and with a well meaning post on social media that feels as though someone just slapped me in the face. I struggle to figure out what I did to warrant such... love.

I write about my faith, and yet it seems I am so lacking in that faith.  But really, I couldn't even get up each morning if it weren't for my faith in God and knowing that even though I don't understand all the "whys", He's still in control.  He only wants the best for me.  He is my strength and my shelter.  And in that truth, I'm able to not go and get a cracker every time I want to make the pains in my heart go numb.  But I still fail a lot.  And it doesn't take much for me to see how very fallible I am.  The self doubt and self-hate creep in, over and over.  But, again I must take it to the cross. Take it to He who loves me unconditionally.  Perfectly.  And in spite of all my many flaws.

Thank you Jesus.  In your eyes I really do remain, captivating, beautiful and worthy of love.  Now, to just remember that all the time!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Our Anniversary...

It was a beautiful day, twenty one years ago today.  The sun was shining bright, and there was a crispness to the air... but it wasn't unbearably cold.  Perfection.  A "winter" day in Southern California.

I started the morning being forced to eat breakfast by my mother.  Eat?  I didn't want to eat.  It was my wedding day and I was so excited I could barely breathe much less eat!  But I ate a few bites of scrambled eggs and a bite or two of toast.  Then it was off to the hair salon to get my hair done with my veil.

Most of my bridesmaids met at the salon.  Up dos for everyone!  We laughed so much!  It was such a fun morning!! Then off to Dave's uncle and aunt's house to get dressed and take pictures.  Wow! The time flew by that day!

I really don't know what Dave was doing during the morning hours of January 18, 1992.  All I know for certain is that he met me at 2:30 that afternoon, at the altar of St. John Vianney's Catholic Church.  He was the most handsome man I had ever seen, wearing his military dress blues, sword and cape... Yes, there was a cape! No noble steed, but he had a cape and a sword; two out of three made my fairytale wedding a reality! My prince was there, waiting for me to meet him at the altar.

Fast forward twenty-one years, and we are living 2000 miles away in Tennessee.  We have been true to our vows, loving each other through good times and bad times; in sickness and health; richer or poorer; forsaking all others.  We've lived out all of those promises, one at a time. We've made it through some tough patches.  Marriage is hard at times, but our commitment to each other is real.  Not until I find someone better, skinnier, richer, or smarter... but for a lifetime.

I love you,  Dave.  I'm so grateful that we have ridden this roller coaster of life together over the last 21 years.  I hope to be next to you for many, many more years to come.  Laughing, crying, and celebrating through the special moments of our lives.  God has blessed me with you!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

VeggieTales' Contest --three days left!

Hey friends!

Only three days left!!!  If you would like to win a copy of the newest VeggieTales' DVD:  The League Of Incredible Vegetables... 

Go to the end of this earlier post and enter for your chance to win!!  Tweet about it, and get another chance.  

One chance per comment and Tweet per day!!  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

VeggieTales' The League of Incredible Vegetables--PLUS DVD Giveaway!

The League of Incredible Vegetables, the newest DVD from VeggieTales’ has been a long awaited episode in my household! My youngest is a super-hero junkie, and while I like Ironman and The Avengers, I sometimes worry about the sarcasm used by the heroes and the adult-situations of these films. But VeggieTales has been a trusted brand in our home for the last 15 years, and continues to be a franchise which our family can continue to grow in Christian character with!

In this newest LarryBoy thriller from VeggieTales’, It was a bright and sunny day in Bumblyburg... until Dr. Flurry came to town. This chillin' villain wants to freeze the entire city... in fear! This job is too big for LarryBoy to handle alone, so he turns to "The League of Incredible Vegetables" for help! Thingamabob (Bob the Tomato), S-Cape (Mr. Lunt), Vogue (Petunia Rhubarb), and Ricochet (Junior Asparagus) are up for the task, but find that their own fears could land them in Dr. Flurry's deep freeze! Will they remember to turn to the One who is bigger than all their fears before the whole town ends up on ice? Find out in this heroic new VeggieTales episode with a lesson in handling fear!

Special Features on DVD:
 Featuring the new theme song and music video from The Newsboys! 
The Silly Song: Supper Hero. 
 League of Incredible Vegetables Music Video 
Behind the Scenes
 Guide to Raising Incredible Kids 
Studio Commentary 
English and Spanish Subtitles 
Run Time: 45 minutes

Your kiddos can now be superheroes themselves as they fight Dr. Flurry and de-ice Bumblyburg! Available for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Android devices.Get this brand new app at itunes or

 The League of Incredible Vegetables can be purchased directly from VeggieTales for $11.99 or at your local Christian or general retailer. This movie makes a perfect Christmas gift! Also, you’ve got to see the toys that correspond with this movie! Very cool stuff for boys and girls!

 VeggieTales is generously offering one of my readers a copy of The League of Incredible Vegetables!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Can We Have It All??

This week  Marissa Mayer, the 37 year old CEO of Yahoo was featured on the cover of Fortune magazine looking stunningly svelte and polished by any Madison Avenue standard.  Ms. Mayer was promoted to CEO of Yahoo a few months ago, when she was six months pregnant. Instead of being photographed for Fortune as an expectant mom, she choose to wait until the baby was born (last week) and then ultimately use a photo taken a year and a half ago.

Was she dissing motherhood? Probably not.  But as a "Girl-Power" flag waver, I'd like to see her acknowledge that women, even moms, can achieve great things!  It would be very empowering to those of us who wonder if our chance to make a difference in this world is on hiatus until our youngest child celebrates their 18th birthday.

Being a mom is a big part of who I am.  It's my personal perspective point, and it has been for the last fourteen years.  To be honest,  I'm not sure if that perspective will ever change back to what it was in my pre-mommy days.  Even as my children grow older,  I tend to see the world through the eyes of a mother.  I frequently ask myself, "How will this affect ALL children?" --Even if it's not MY children in particular.

So, while I doubt Ms. Mayer was dissing motherhood, or moms in general, I'm disappointed that her role of mommy took backseat to the role of CEO.  Maybe I'm wrong... maybe there should be a dividing line between work and home.  Maybe that compartmentalization, which most of us females are unable to do well,  keeps Mayer's sanity.  I can respect that.  I've never walked a mile in her shoes, so I can't judge her.  Plus, I'm pretty sure I've never been asked to run ANY company, much less a Fortune 500 company, either before or after having kids!

Can a woman have it all?  Can anyone?  Do I lack the ambition to even attempt having it all?  Probably! I have everything I desire, and I'm beyond grateful that my "everything" desire became fulfilled when I took on the roles of wife and mother.  The rest I do is just filler...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Do I Miss Being A Home Schooling Mom?

I'm not exactly sure where the summer went...  but here I sit, with my house decorated for fall.  The kids are in school--both of them now. I no longer home school--at least not THIS YEAR.  I'm a woman with so much time on my hands, that I can't seem to complete one project without starting something else!  I'm manic over the fact that I don't have to do lesson plans or use the phrase..."Pay attention", for at least 7 hours a day!!

I get to work out, shower, and actually put on make up...all in the same day! All BEFORE LUNCH!! Laundry is folded AND put away (most of the time)! I can meet my husband for coffee or lunch, which is a little bit of heaven! I can actually shop during the daytime!!

Life after home schooling my kids for five years is good.  I was obedient to what God called me to do, and each child grew in their academic knowledge as well as in their spiritual well being.  It was a season of inner strengthening and even throughout the craziness of no real routine, we had a great deal of calmness. Well, some days, anyway. As we were going through it I doubt I would have used the word, "calmness", but now I have the morning rush which is still the hardest part of the day.  My constant phrase on weekday mornings is now, "Come on, let's go!"  I sound like a middle aged cheerleader!

Do I miss home schooling?  No!  And yes...

The crazy thing about motherhood is that even when you find your schedule a bit more open...and your day a bit more free... you tend to think about your kids even MORE than when they are sitting beside you.

With all my "free time", I find myself thinking: How can I decorate their bedrooms?  What posters have I put away that need to be framed?  Is it time to put away their summer quilts and take out their fluffy comforters?  I wonder what they'll like for dinner?

Yes, I am a mom.  It doesn't matter if I'm home schooling my children, they're constantly on my mind.

And when 3 PM rolls around, I'm now excited to wait in the pick up line at school!!  I can hardly wait to see my not-so-little monkey-men! Thank you Lord for my children...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mom, I'm Bored!

I’ve always thought of July 4th as the mid-point of summer break.  Give or take a week or two, the summer break will soon be over, and the hustle and bustle of school days will once again fill our days.
Recently, on one of our many leisurely paced summer afternoons, my non-driving teenager looked up from the sofa, were he’d been watching a mid-morning marathon of Pawn Stars, to tell me how bored he was.  
Bored?  Really?  “Well, what do you want to do?”, I asked, already anticipating the answer.
“Can’t we go sommmmewherrrre?” 
Now keep in mind it was about 147 degrees outside, and the very thought of getting out, even for a quick trip to the grocery store, seemed like an adventure I was not up for!  But because I love my sweet son, I asked if he wanted to go to my favorite place in the whole world??  Target!
“Target? Mom! Can’t we go someplace fun?!”
Are you kidding?  Target isn’t fun? It’s like fun concentrate for a mom, but I guess not so much for a teen.  “Ok, where do you want to go?”  Thinking to myself ~please not the mall ; don't say the mall~!
“How about the mall?”
Ugh. He said it.  The mall! What is it about teenagers and the mall?  I remember wanting to go to the mall back when I was in high school, too.  I think (if my middle-aged memory serves me well) it was because there were other teenagers there, doing absolutely nothing, but walking around and giggling. We would walk into stores and try on silly hats, or costume jewlery.  We'd hang out in front of Orange Julius, and dare someone to walk into Spencers.  We were nice kids who pretty much had no idea how to even use the paraphernalia found in Spencers, but wouldn't let anyone else in on our naivety.
The mall seems like a waste of time.  But that’s because I’m forty---something.  I have a goal oriented outlook on life. I shop because I need to buy stuff, not for the "fun" of it.  Maybe I’ve forgotten how to enjoy wasting an entire afternoon, doing nothing but walking around the mall.  Hmmm.  
Adulthood comes too quickly.  Before you know it, there are bills to pay, and responsibilities which to attend.   It’s good to be a goofy teenager.  To walk around the mall and look at all the silly kiosks.  Trying on sunglasses, fake hair, and perusing the video game store.  There’s nothing wrong with (occasionally) gorging oneself on an Aunty Anne’s buttery pretzel, or an Orange Julius. It’s a good time of life, and I can’t help but want my own teen to experience it.’s summer!