Faith Journey

Breathing in Hope as I Navigate Rough Waters

Breathing in Hope as I Navigate Rough Waters

Breathing in Hope as I Navigate Rough Waters. There has been so much that has gone on in the last few (several) years that it is hard to even begin to encapsulate. I was talking with my therapist and she, frequently, says “what would you tell your client?” For me, that is easy.

Beauty is always in the ashes.

You are worthy.

This too shall pass (like a kidney stone).

You are enough.

The trauma that you have stored in your TNT box needs to be talked about/processed in order for you to heal. Then, it will just be a crappy memory that doesn’t evoke strong emotions (depression/anxiety).

She then will ask why I don’t listen to myself.


Trauma is a word that I do not use lightly. In the therapeutic world there is little ‘t’ trauma and big “T” trauma. However, it all sucks. If you don’t have the tools to process that information, you are left dealing with depression (can’t control what happened in the past) or anxiety (can’t control the future) and you can’t live in the present.

My supervisor today told me to think about a triangle. You THOUGHTS dictate your EMOTIONS which affects your BEHAVIOR.

Breathing in Hope as I Navigate Rough Waters

What I view, that I have been through, is not trauma. I hear trauma all day long and it breaks my heart. There are so many days, I just want to rock a client and bake them cookies. I want them to know that they are heard, seen, validated, and loved. My therapist laughed in my face when I told her I didn’t feel like that was part of my story. These are just things that have happened. Do I deal with them well? No.

This Last Round of Gross

Man, it has tipped me to the edge of my sanity. I have had many seasons of severe depression, moderate depression, anxiety, or a combo of them both. This season, however, it has been mainly depression. It has been one hit after another. Some have been significant, some minor, and some that are the tiniest but are the straw that broke the camel’s back.

In this season, I have been quiet. I have deleted all my social media, taken numbers out of my phone, screened calls, and withdrew into myself. When I think back, it is not my intention to isolate but I am so depressed that I don’t want to infect anyone else.

Life Keeps Moving

I still do all the things. Work life, cooking, cleaning, grandparenthood, home, etc. it all gets done. My sister called and left a message on my phone. She expressed that she has been asking my mom about me and giving me space but enough is enough. In her love, she told me that I was to call/text/answer the phone at least twice a week and I’m not to talk about the hurt at all with her (unless I want to) but we are just to touch base.

In my sadness, I didn’t even realize people noticed. My Oak had made some statements about me staying silent but I honestly didn’t understand what she was saying because I rarely go a day without talking to her. In church, a friend came up and apologized to me for not reaching out. I told her that I was fine (lie) and she said “I know how you get when you get quiet.”

Those Statements Made Me Realize

That though I feel alone, there are people that love me and would listen if I called to cry/whine. I just don’t want to impose or make people think they can fix what is going on in my world. They can’t fix it. What is screwed up, no one can fix. However, they gave me hope. Hope that, one day, it will be okay. There is hope that I am loved and not alone. Hope that there is a tomorrow. The hope that I have people willing to hold my arms up and carry me when I can’t walk.

Hope is powerful. Today, I am hopeful. Yesterday I was not and tomorrow is a mystery that will unfold in time. Mentally and emotionally, I am still not okay. There is a lot on my heart and mind. Decisions have to be made, conversations have to be had, and those things that are troubling me are still there.

Here I am, still breathing and holding onto hope. Understanding that trauma is different for everyone but it does not dictate my life. It is a crimson thread that is woven throughout my tapestry. We all have trauma in our lives but if it is processed correctly, then it can just be a blip on the radar and not a Tsunami of epic proportions.


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Who Knew Lamentations Could Speak to Me

Who Knew Lamentations Could Speak to Me

Who Knew Lamentations Could Speak to Me. Since September 2022, my friend and I have been reading scripture together. She has never read the Bible through and I had not been reading in a while due to just not wanting to, to be honest. T challenged me and we embarked on this beautiful journey together.

We landed in Lamentations. Jeremiah (the wailing prophet) had just been finished and during that time of reading, we were both filled with anxiety. I sent her a message that basically said “chin up, we are heading into Lamentations where EVERYONE laments about something.” It’s just one of those books that you just trudge through.

Until Chapter 3 hit and my goodness, this is everything that has been in my head written out. My pain in a chapter, the power of hope and faithfulness, not hearing the Lord speak but knowing He is there. All of it. This sums up the last several months (read years) of my journey.


This is not new to me. I was told, when I was 19, that I had “clinical depression.” They put me on meds and I stayed on them on and off for years. I am a big believer in taking something to help even out your brain chemistry, get through a season, or when a person is just flat out anxious about all the things. Eventually, I had to change meds, get on bigger dosages, etc.

In time, I have been in therapy, tried holistic measures, worked on my health, and done other things to help. For the last several years, depression has always been there but not the shining star. It has been anxiety. Severe, almost debilitating anxiety on so many levels.

Over the last several months, my anxiety is still there, but it is not longer at the forefront, depression has squeaked by and is taking the top spot. This season has made me question everything from my sanity, to faithfulness of others, to lack of hope, to where is God in all the chaos.

Enter Lamentations 3

Hope in the Lord’s Faithfulness

I am the one who has seen the afflictions
    that come from the rod of the Lord’s anger.
He has led me into darkness,
    shutting out all light.
He has turned his hand against me
    again and again, all day long.

He has made my skin and flesh grow old.
    He has broken my bones.
He has besieged and surrounded me
    with anguish and distress.
He has buried me in a dark place,
    like those long dead.

He has walled me in, and I cannot escape.
    He has bound me in heavy chains.
And though I cry and shout,
    he has shut out my prayers.
He has blocked my way with a high stone wall;
    he has made my road crooked.

10 He has hidden like a bear or a lion,
    waiting to attack me.
11 He has dragged me off the path and torn me in pieces,
    leaving me helpless and devastated.
12 He has drawn his bow
    and made me the target for his arrows.

13 He shot his arrows
    deep into my heart.
14 My own people laugh at me.
    All day long they sing their mocking songs.
15 He has filled me with bitterness
    and given me a bitter cup of sorrow to drink.

16 He has made me chew on gravel.
    He has rolled me in the dust.
17 Peace has been stripped away,
    and I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 I cry out, “My splendor is gone!
    Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!”

19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness
    is bitter beyond words.
20 I will never forget this awful time,
    as I grieve over my loss.
21 Yet I still dare to hope
    when I remember this:

22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
    therefore, I will hope in him!”

25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
    to those who search for him.
26 So it is good to wait quietly
    for salvation from the Lord.
27 And it is good for people to submit at an early age
    to the yoke of his discipline:

28 Let them sit alone in silence
    beneath the Lord’s demands.
29 Let them lie face down in the dust,
    for there may be hope at last.
30 Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them
    and accept the insults of their enemies.

31 For no one is abandoned
    by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion
    because of the greatness of his unfailing love.
33 For he does not enjoy hurting people
    or causing them sorrow.

34 If people crush underfoot
    all the prisoners of the land,
35 if they deprive others of their rights
    in defiance of the Most High,
36 if they twist justice in the courts—
    doesn’t the Lord see all these things?

37 Who can command things to happen
    without the Lord’s permission?
38 Does not the Most High
    send both calamity and good?
39 Then why should we, mere humans, complain
    when we are punished for our sins?

40 Instead, let us test and examine our ways.
    Let us turn back to the Lord.
41 Let us lift our hearts and hands
    to God in heaven and say,
42 “We have sinned and rebelled,
    and you have not forgiven us.

43 “You have engulfed us with your anger, chased us down,
    and slaughtered us without mercy.
44 You have hidden yourself in a cloud
    so our prayers cannot reach you.
45 You have discarded us as refuse and garbage
    among the nations.

46 “All our enemies
    have spoken out against us.
47 We are filled with fear,
    for we are trapped, devastated, and ruined.”
48 Tears stream from my eyes
    because of the destruction of my people!

49 My tears flow endlessly;
    they will not stop
50 until the Lord looks down
    from heaven and sees.
51 My heart is breaking
    over the fate of all the women of Jerusalem.

52 My enemies, whom I have never harmed,
    hunted me down like a bird.
53 They threw me into a pit
    and dropped stones on me.
54 The water rose over my head,
    and I cried out, “This is the end!”

55 But I called on your name, Lord,
    from deep within the pit.
56 You heard me when I cried, “Listen to my pleading!
    Hear my cry for help!”
57 Yes, you came when I called;
    you told me, “Do not fear.”

58 Lord, you have come to my defense;
    you have redeemed my life.
59 You have seen the wrong they have done to me, Lord.
    Be my judge, and prove me right.
60 You have seen the vengeful plots
    my enemies have laid against me.

61 Lord, you have heard the vile names they call me.
    You know all about the plans they have made.
62 My enemies whisper and mutter
    as they plot against me all day long.
63 Look at them! Whether they sit or stand,
    I am the object of their mocking songs.

64 Pay them back, Lord,
    for all the evil they have done.
65 Give them hard and stubborn hearts,
    and then let your curse fall on them!
66 Chase them down in your anger,
    destroying them beneath the Lord’s heavens.

There Is Hope

I am going to have to start chanting that, even when I don’t feel it or believe it right now. Right now, things seem insurmountable and I feel very alone. Logically, I know that I am not alone but sometimes you can be in a room full of people that love you and still feel lonely. That is me.

Here I am, still keeping my eyes above the waves and taking it one day at a time. Please know that there is always hope. If you don’t feel like you have anyone, please call 988 which is the national hotline for suicide prevention. They always answer the phone 24/7. You are NOT alone.

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Making Your Marriage a Priority

 Making Your Marriage a Priority

Making Your Marriage a Priority

Making Your Marriage a Priority is so vital. I remember in my early years of marriage, a friend told me that one day, I would write a book. When I asked what I would write about, she said “how to hate your husband but stay married.” That hit me square between the eyes.

I mean, I knew that we didn’t get along great but I thought we masked it really well. Apparently not. My dad once told me that I was “too aggressive” and that I would never stay married because my husband didn’t ever really fight back. He was more of a “door mat.” #hurtful

My father-in-law was shocked at every anniversary that went by while he was here with us. He would say “well, I’ll be damned, you are still married!” Clearly we had lots of people who believed in us LOL. Don’t get me wrong, we did (for the most part). I learned some valuable lessons.

Lesson #1

When you are mad or irritated with your spouse, do not call people and vent to them. Just don’t. For one thing, the anger doesn’t take long (most times) to get over. Another thing is that it puts a sour taste in the other person’s mouth about your spouse. That really isn’t a good thing. I don’t want people thinking badly about my husband when he (or I) have just had a moment of stupidity.

Lesson #2

Keep your parents out of it. They are not your friends, they are your parents. If you have to talk to someone, make it Jesus, pastor, or consider marriage counseling.

Lesson #3

Keep your children out of it. They are kids and they are not meant to be mediators between you and their dad (or your spouse if remarried). It is okay for them to see you upset or even arguing. They don’t need to go into life thinking marriage is always perfect, but you can keep the uglies to yourself. Show them how to pray for your spouse even when you are mad.. That speaks volumes.

Lesson #4

Date your spouse! In our early years, we had no money to date. Also, we had a bunch of kids. So, in lieu of spending money we didn’t have or getting someone to watch our kids (which we didn’t have people), think outside of the box. I would fix the kids something easy and put them to bed early. B would make a pizza for us and we would pick a movie. That was our date night! After 30 years, I can probably count on one hand how many times he has not made a pizza. We still do this though it is altered a bit. Time changes but habits don’t.

We can afford to go out, so we do twice a month (well, that started this month LOL). It is nice to reconnect and remember why we love each other. I want to incorporate movies, bowling, driving around, and golf (gasp). One step at a time and certainly not until basketball season is over!

Lesson #5

Get into church that has a class (or home group) that you can grow with and learn from. This has been a winding journey for us throughout the years. B was not saved until we had been married for seven years, so we literally went through the motions without a lot of togetherness (hence the first friend saying that LOL).

We have had ebbs and flows throughout out years but it has been consistent. Loving Jesus together is imperative to the success of your marriage. We do not do Bible studies together (shock). B is not comfortable doing that. We do not pray together as a couple (sort of). We pray for each other and he prays over me every single night (even when he is mad at me). However, we don’t sit, hold hands, and pray (unless we are at church).

You know what, that is okay! I would love for it to be different but it isn’t so that leads up to lesson #6.

Lesson #6

Don’t try and change your spouse. Those odd quirks and habits…they are there to stay for the most part. It isn’t your job to change the parts of your spouse that you don’t like. It isn’t your spouses job to change you. If changing needs to be made, that is in between you and God. That’s it. If God changes you and your spouse changes because of what changes you made, then good for you. You are not God. Let Him do the heavy lifting.

Lesson #7

Another lesson in Making Your Marriage a Priority is to Dance in the kitchen or under the stars. #worthit

Lesson #8

Have sex regularly! Remember that sometimes that isn’t something you or your spouse can do. I suggest you talk to your doctor. Otherwise, sit with each other, hug, kiss, snuggle at night…intimacy can happen on many levels! Communicate well with each other.

This is a tip from my Lady.

Lesson #9

Pro tip from Bart: Communicate.

Lesson #10

Another pro tip from Bart: Don’t cheat.

He is a man of few words but his words, when spoken, are wise.

If you have anything to add, leave me a comment and I will tack them on!

Faith Journey

DaySprings Word of the Year 2023

DaySprings Word of the Year 2023

DaySprings Word of the Year 2023

DaySprings Word of the Year 2023 is CONFIDENCE. One of the definitions, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is “the quality or state of being certain.” Honestly, I do not believe that I have ever been in a state of certain. Well, maybe not ‘ever.’ Last year, there were two situations that I was in a state of certain or confident. It was a peace that I cannot even fully explain. One instance was something I had struggled with for over forty years. I liken it to Moses wandering around in the desert.

One moment, I received a phone call. It is not out of the ordinary for this person to call me, so it didn’t raise red flags. However, the conversation did not go as I thought it was going to go. Statements were made, things were researched, new information was coming in. For a moment, intense sadness and confusion flooded me. Then, I remembered something from long ago that I had written during a time of confusion. I was on the hunt for that piece of information and then when I found it, all things became clear.

Seeing the Promised Land

It was much like Moses standing on the mountain and looking into the Promised Land. He had walked for so long, begged God for answers, took matters into his own hands at times, and finally God allowed him to at least see what he had been walking towards for 40 years.

I saw that.

All the things that I have haunted me for years and years simply vanished away. It was like warm water being poured over me and I could hear the words “it is finished.” Is the situation completely sucky?  Yes it is. Yet, peace came out of that moment and dare I say even joy.

I talked to my counselor that day, I believe and she asked me what was different because my voice was different. We talked and I shared and was very vulnerable. It is amazing. I was completely confident in my memory and that was a feeling that I was not used to having.

Another Moment of Confidence

Earlier this year, tragedy struck our family in a bizarre type of way. Due to the sensitivity of that event, I’m not going to go into detail. It sucked real bad. In addition to that issue, we were facing another devastating thing within our family. There was a lot going on in a short amount of time and I was on emotional overload.

It is very hard for me to process, file away in my brain properly, absorb things sometimes. Honestly, I’m a stuffer, for the most part. My mama says that I put too much on my “shelf” and when it breaks (over the smallest issue) it all comes spewing out. I agree with that assessment.

There was an issue and instead of losing my crap as I was on the edge of doing, I again heard “you are done, walk away.” It was as clear as day. I was an emotional wreck and could feel vile, venom, and hysteria emerge inside of me. As I was opening my mouth to let it rip, that phrase moved through my head. As soon as it did, warm water poured over me and a peace that was unexplainable.

Verbal Acknowledgement

I physically said “I am done” and I walked away. There was something so powerful about that moment. I walked away from a relationship that I had tried for years to fix and make better. It was over. I can love but I am good with loving from a distance and not subjecting myself to anymore verbal abuse.

The confidence I had in that moment still astounds me. I know that I have that trait inside of me, I just question it and wanna fix all the things. Honestly, I don’t have to do that anymore. If you don’t like me, then you don’t like me. Where there are issues, all I can do is apologize for my part in the issue and what you do with that apology is on you, not me. I don’t have to invite chaos to sleep in my house and eat at my table. Loving can always be but it also doesn’t have to be up close and personal.


So, my word of the years for 2023 is confidence. As I sat holding my phone today trying to have the courage to make a phone call, I remembered that I should act in confidence. Now, did I shake as I dialed the number?  Yes.  Did I fumble over my words? Again, yes. Did I leave a voicemail that might have sounded like a toddler left it because my voice was shaking? Absolutely. I might have even cried a bit when I hung up the phone but guess what?

I did it. The phone call was made.


I can totally get behind this word!

What’s your word of the year?

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Perspective on the Last Few Months

Perspective on the Last Few Months

Perspective on the Last Few Months

Perspective. That is a loaded word for me. Honestly, it will be my next tattoo once I pick a design. According to Webster’s Dictionary, Perspective means “a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.” So much has happened this year that it is hard to think about sometimes. Granted, some have been good. I have a new grandson to add to my brood of kids and my sweet C girl. Yet there has been a lot of loss, pain, and uncertainty. He never promised that the cross would not be heavy and that the hill would not be hard to climb! The cross has been heavy, and this hill…good grief is all I have to say! 

The Start of the Year

The year started with the loss of a dear friend. Hot on the heels of my parents’ devastation rocked us all to our core. My daughter gave birth early, and we almost lost her and her son. Co-Vid. The loss of my other mom on Mother’s Day. Some family stuff that sucked pondwater (as my M.O.M. would say). Uncertainty. OMS flare. Medical things for me. You know…just some gross stuff that was not fun.  

Positive Aspects

I do not want to focus on the negative, so let us get into a better mindset. My grandson is here, chubby and the happiest thing ever. My granddaughter is a small but mighty force to be reckoned with. We have added a daughter-in-law to the family. My oldest is amazing. She is a phenomenal mommy and truly gifted in her profession. She loves big and is so talented. My second child is soaking up mommy hood and it is just beyond my expectation. She is so gifted and focused and is just beyond incredible. My third child is okay, I guess…I hope and pray for reunification.

My oldest son is finishing college, writing brilliantly, and enjoying a new marriage. He is leading well and loving well. My next son is working hard at school. His teacher called me just to tell me how talented and natural he was at what his trade was at school. He is a light in a very dark place. My other son is getting all As and Bs in school, playing basketball all the time (on JV and Varsity), and his smile is infectious. My little one is everything a typical 8 yr old boy is…busy, loud, inventive, talkative, and doing the best he can in school. I am so proud of my kids. The Lord has truly blessed me, and I know that we will all be together again one day. Forgiveness, mercy, strength, and grace will abound on that day. I believe it now and forever.  

Big Daddy, Birthday, and School

My husband…I cannot even. He does not complete me. He enhances me, and I enhance him. We are one in our minds, goals, and beliefs. He believes in me, encourages me, and loves me so completely. He is everything to me and then some. With his encouragement, I have embarked back into the world of school. Lord help me, LOL. I turned 50 this year and went back to school. What was I thinking? In a quick moment, I applied for a therapist position and got hired. Upon trying to finish my complete licensure application, I realized that I was about 12 hours shy of meeting my state’s requirements. I have my master’s, and that was not enough. So, here I am… back…writing papers. I have some great cheerleaders in my corner, even when I doubt myself. Here I am almost done (again) and will soon apply for my licensure again and begin work in January (I hope). 

Mindless Things and Revelations

I have read a lot, watched Friends, cleaned more than the average human, freezer-cooked a lot, and learned a lot about myself this year. Honestly, I have learned that the glass is only 1/2 empty when it is a glass of coke…otherwise, it is half full. People are not all bad and out to just be horrible humans. There are nice people out there, but I sure have learned how to distinguish between sheep and wolves in sheep’s clothing. I have eliminated a lot of negativities in my life. Some people mean harm to my family and me…to those people…I have read the last page of the book. God wins. He has my back, and He will continue to protect us. You cannot harm us anymore. 

Loving Music

One thing that has changed is that music is now permeating my home again. For years, we could not listen to anything due to some issues within our family. My grandchildren love music! I am pleased to say that Bocelli, Beethoven, Pavarotti, 50s & 60s rock, Elvis, praise music, hymns…we are listening to it all! I had forgotten how fun it is and how it evokes such emotion. Bart and I were listening to songs we listened to in our early years…we were giggly, dancing, and just enjoying it all.

We ran our kids out of the room, LOL. My parents came over, and Unchained Melodies was playing. Immediately, they started dancing in my kitchen. My parents are 76 & 78 years old and have been married for 60 years. My children have had a front-row seat to their marriage, and they had the pleasure of just sitting back and watching this unfold before their eyes. It was beautiful. I love dancing with my grandchildren. Love, love, love it! 

Reconnecting with a Friend and Reading

Over the past few months, I have been reading Bible with a friend. We message daily, holding each other accountable. It all started with a bad night on my part. She asked how often I had been in the Word. I told her not at all. She challenged me, and here we are, loving each other, praying for each other, and reading the Word together. We have castrated animals but never have we done this. It has been so good to be back in the Word and to see it through her eyes. 

Family and Faith

We are laughing again, playing cards, swimming as a family, and loving each other well. There will always be valleys. Always. That is just what it is. I do not want to be in the valley, but it is a part of life. God is in the valley and on the top of the hill. It is all about perspective. Valleys are opportunities for Him to shine even brighter. That is what I need to teach my pessimistic self. He can be in both places; even when I do not feel Him, He is there. I pray that 2023 brings many joys, more peace, reunification, and healing for my family.

Yet there will be valleys, and they will be low and painful. I pray that I can keep the perspective of giving thanks on the hills and those valleys. I want to remember that He is with me throughout it all. There is no fear or condemnation for me. I want to have more vulnerability with those I love and know to love me, a new job possibility, spiritual growth in my family, incredible celebrations, and joy. Happiness is circumstantial, but joy, well, friends, joy comes from the Lord. You can have joy on the mountaintops and the valleys. 

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Setting Boundaries VS Putting Up Walls

Setting Boundaries VS Putting Up Walls

Setting Boundaries VS Putting Up Walls

Setting Boundaries VS Putting Up walls is something I struggle with because I sometimes live in fear. I am choosing not to live in fear because fear is a liar. Honestly, I am so tired of living under the judgment of others. Let me tell you something, friends, oh my word. I’m fixing to use my words and all of them. My words may not be pretty, but sometimes you must let it out.

I will have to take a few minutes and watch a Chopped episode. My brain moves faster than my fingers, and the emotions are strong. Let’s say I am completely and totally over it. A change is coming, and it may take till Jesus returns, but I am done!

Let’s Try This Again

I am not a people person. Yet, I’m empathetic (so I’ve been told), and I have the heart to help others. Those people who are unseen. People that other people snub their noses at because they don’t dress/live/act “appropriately.” I’m just saying that those are my people. I see them, I feel them, I understand them.

Their problems, I feel deep within my soul. The look in their eyes can tell a thousand stories, and they want to share that story. They want to be loved, accepted, and NOT judged. I CHOOSE to love, take, and not pass judgment on them. Honestly, I want to meet them where they are currently and walk into their world. It is an honor to step into their stories.

Hard Realization

What a brutal realization that most people in this world do not think the same way. I just don’t get it. How can you not love and SEE the people around you? The unseen, the less than, the “you are not in my circle. Therefore, you do not exist” people.

For the love of all that is holy, Jesus’ second greatest commandment is to LOVE OTHERS. Matthew 22: 36-40 clearly states, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ‘ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. The first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’

The Things That Have Happened

I cannot and will not detail the struggles we have had this summer. It has hit me hard that not everyone thinks like this. Love as Jesus says to love. What they want is to steal, kill, and destroy my joy. My joy is my family. They are all I think of and commit to 100% every minute of every day.

So Much Loss and Pain

The loss and pain were entirely preventable. Let’s try something radical. If you think something is wrong with a friend or their family, then TALK TO THEM. Ask how you can help them, pray for them without details, and listen to their cry. Clean their house, run an errand, cook a meal. Be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Radical, you think?


Well, our outcome has been standing on Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight your battle. You have to be quiet.” I was quiet. There were lots of tears, lots of reflection. There was a period of hiding, a valley of severe depression and anxiety, another medical condition for a child due to the STRESS so-called “friends” put us through. Thank you for that, honestly. It’s been the most fun.

My Oak

This woman. She blew in like a whirlwind. Then, she ironed out all the people in my house. Next, she found me. With that hug, I melted into her arm. I felt her love permeate every single molecule of my body.

She gently walked me upstairs, and we both lay down and talked. I cried, and she sat in silence and rubbed my hair like when I was a little girl. She permitted me to wallow for a day, but tomorrow I have to get up and wash my face and face the day. There will be no hiding for her little girl.

She loves me. Unconditionally. She sees me. Truthfully. She knows all that has happened, yet she loves those who hurt her baby so profoundly. My kids will be blessed if I am 1/2 the mama she is when I grow up. She blesses me.

A Few True Friends

We discovered those who would stand by us and those who judge us. Prayer warriors surrounded us and kept us safe. We stood before God clean. Our family came out on the other side with no truth coming from the claims and lies.

For Now

I choose self-care. Pet a cat (or 12), bake, eat candy, smile more, block people on social media, keep loving on the “less of these” people, wash my hands, wear a mask, parent my kids, love my husband, and love my God. My enemies cannot hurt me because God goes before me, after me, and stands on each side of me. If you want to get to my family or me, you must go through Him first.

Good luck to you.




Faith Journey, Medical Issues, Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome

The Prophecy and The Call

The Prophecy and The Call

The Prophecy and The Call. Last December, we were at church and getting ready to worship. We have been church hunting for a while and landed on Christian Fellowship. Honestly, we knew the pastor and his wife, as well as a few families. We had not been going very long, but it was different than what we were used to attending. This was originally written on June 21, 2017.

People Watching

Before service started, there was a welcome, and then our pastor called up a man because he had a “word” to give some people in the congregation. We have learned that this is somewhat normal but still very abnormal to our family. We were not used to that. So, we sat and watched this man pace back and forth in front of the congregation.

I am a people watcher/reader, and the thing that caught my eye was that he never opened his eyes when he was pacing or talking. He kept touching the insides of his hands. You could tell that he was uncomfortable but obedient. He said that he had had this word from the Lord. Also, he wanted to make sure that it was from Him and not from this man’s flesh. However, he realized through his sleepless nights that this was from the Lord, and he had to be obedient.

The Word

He said he had a word for someone in the congregation, so we sat, listened, and watched him pace. He made his way down the aisle we were sitting on and stopped in front of Big Daddy. I felt like all the oxygen had been sucked out of the room, and my mind was whirling. He asked Big Daddy to stand up. I looked to the altar, where our pastor was standing, and he gave me a look, a nod, and a smile that it was okay.

This man, whom we had never seen or met, told Big Daddy to hold onto his hand. Big Daddy is not a tiny man, and his hands are ginormous, so when he stands, he is noticed. This man said that the Lord was telling him to “Hold on. Hold on tight to the rope and do not let go. To trust and hold on tight.” I felt an energy move through me, and tears flowed freely. This was strange because I don’t usually cry or get swept up in my emotions. The moment was fleeting, but the air was thick, and I knew, in my soul, we were in for a ride.

Come the beginning of 2017, so many things happened.

My daddy had quadruple bypass surgery. Then, my niece was sentenced, and my nephew was close behind her. My daughter went to military school due to her behavior. Also, we had a family issue involving another baby that was devastating. Oh, let’s not forget my oldest daughter called off her engagement. She was downsized at work. We were also fighting with insurance companies for my son’s needs surgery. Add that to my Lady getting sick. Then, the straw that broke the camel’s back happened. We were reminded to “hold on” throughout the first six mths of 2017.

Even More

Big Daddy and I tried hard to win a case during the incident involving a family member. It was simply out of our hands. We knew what we could do to help the situation and were willing, but it was not our call. As I spoke to a friend, she said I needed to “hold onto hope.” She also noted that the Hebrew meaning of “hope” is “rope,” so hold onto the rope. I caught my breath, texted her back, and asked her who had told her that. She said it was a word from the Lord to me. I asked her if she knew the man who had said the same thing in December, and she did not know him. That is twice the Lord has said to “hold on.” I felt like we had held on pretty well.

My Sister

Then the call came. My sister called me on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Now, she rarely calls me on a Tuesday. We’ll talk on Monday 🙂 I asked her if everything was okay, and she said she woke up to an odd text. She said it was from a friend, a former neighbor, that she used to walk with around her neighborhood. That friend said that the Lord placed my name on her heart and that she was praying for me. I have never met, spoken to, or even seen a picture of this woman. She knows me from what my sister had said, and I’m sure I wasn’t the topic of every conversation, although I am awesome like that. I told my sister I did not like that, and that meant that something was fixing to happen. My sister told me to take it as a blessing, but I was unsettled.


After he got sick, H and I spent almost two weeks in the hospital. I missed my family, was tired, and was over it. The doctors had told me 1005 things, and none of it was good. Thankfully, one day, my sister (H’s Mamaw) came up to give me some respite on MRI day.

She came in and handed me my flatter than a flat pillow, my granny’s quilt, and a gift from my daddy. Again, I am told to “hold on” in some form or fashion. I carry that with me to this day. It reminds me that my heavenly Father and my Earthly father love me and know it will all be okay!



Depression, Faith Journey, Medical Issues, Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome

A Breakthrough of Letting Go

A Breakthrough of Letting Go

A Breakthrough of Letting Go

Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m trying to control a situation. For a year (or more), the Lord has not moved. 

Then I sit back, and I reflect.

I think about all the phone calls, the late nights researching, the bookmarks I’ve saved, the groups I have stalked, the tests I have read and reread…..but…

Where was my Jesus?

I realized: ~ that my depression was stronger ~my prayer life had waned ~my mood was somber ~my temper was short ~my resolve was shorter ~my study life was nonexistent ~my relationships were strained, and ~my desire to go to church was void.

On June 17, 2018, I found Jesus again.

I say that knowing that I have always had Jesus. He has never left me or forsaken me. Today, He imprinted on me. He gently turned my head back around to face Him. I allowed things to happen that I would generally never let out of fear.

Fear has no place anymore.

As I wheeled my son in church, late, past 1044 people (not really, but it seemed like a lot when your baby is in a wheelchair), I kept my head down. I tried not to make eye contact with anyone. If I did, I would melt into a puddle of tears.

Then I turned around.

There stood friend #1, and before I knew it, friend #2 walked up. There was a brief moment where I explained a few things. Then I had to walk away because I was fixing to lose it. In no way did I want to release that control and let anyone see me cry. From the hallway, I hurried back into the sanctuary, and we were in the middle of worship.

I couldn’t even open my mouth or my eyes.

I just stood there, in the pew, with my head down. There were no thoughts in my head. At that moment, I was trying hard not to cry because I was with my children. I found myself walking to the altar to pray when they began another song. My feet were moving without the permission of my mind. I knelt, and still, there were no words in my head out of my mouth. I just sat there and absorbed the music.


As I was praying, I felt a hand, and I looked over, and Ms. Mamoo was praying over me. She is the most eccentric woman I have ever met. She is stunning with bright blonde and pink hair. Her legs are to die for, and she is about 86 years old. There is a strength in her. She kept telling me to “hold on,” that healing would happen and that I needed to hold on to that statement. I felt my body release. Then, I heard these sounds that thinking back, was me moaning in an animalistic way.

The music stopped.

I hurried through a door to gather myself, alone for a moment. I walked around the corner to check on H. He was beginning to melt down because he could not pick up a whale snack. He kept dropping it and shaking. As I went in to help him, the ladies said there was a man at the door that wanted to speak to me.

I have never seen him before.

This man was emotional, and he asked me to bear with him. He said he saw me wheel my son past him. He felt the Lord leading him to pray over him, and at that moment, he asked permission to do so. I went back into the room and scooped H up. In his next request, he asked me if he could hold H. I was okay with it; strangely, so was H. H was completely at ease with this man.

His prayer

What a beautiful healing prayer this man prayed over my son in the church hallway. I will never remember all the words he said. I do remember the stillness of H. The electricity in that little huddle, the tears that this man and I shed. I was humbled.


Our sermon was on faith and how you must tie a knot at the end of the last thread, you are hanging onto. You must trust that you will land on Jesus’ hand if you slip. This sermon was exactly what I’ve been battling with for the last month or so. Jesus has been working on me to have faith. To stand strong, to release control because He knew H before He created the earth. He knew who would carry him, and He knew who was going to raise him. God knew that H would go through this. He already has the perfect provision if I get out of the way and stop controlling the situation.

In the end

I went to get my son. H was gently placed in his chair, and I wheeled him into the sanctuary. Looking up, I saw Richie, our pastor, and before I knew what I was doing, I wheeled him up to the altar. The Lord gave me another huge chunk of my rainbow at that moment. As I looked up, people from all over the sanctuary came forward to lay hands on H, Bart, and me. Mamoo anointed him with oil as she prayed.

There stood men and women of all ages and children. I could hear a gentle roar of prayers being spoken over our son. In the midst of that, I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was a familiar hand, with a familiar smell and a slight tremor. Ms. Jan, through the crowd, touched me. I never saw her face. I just felt the warmth of her hand, and I could hone in on her voice. H never moved. He never cried. He just sat there and took it all in.


Faith Journey, Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome

A Moment I Won’t Soon Forget

A Moment I Won't Soon Forget

A Moment I Won’t Soon Forget

A Moment I Won’t Soon Forget was this past Sunday, Big Daddy and I decided that we would go to church with my mama. See her Sunday School Class (the Empty Nesters), as she collected money from the past 2 Christmases and donated it to our fund for Louisville. We put ALL donated money in a plastic money bag and marked it Lville. We use this for gas, to and from, snacks, food, and hotel stays. I made last year’s donation stretch quite a bit. Honestly, we made it almost until the end of the year. This year, they surprised us and did it again. We are so humbled and grateful.

Saying Thank You

My days are short and busy, so getting to the store to buy a thank you card seemed an impossible task. I didn’t know if I could find one that could do justice in expressing ourselves. These people had never met us. They have never met my son, they know what my parents tell them, and it is hard for our parents to understand the ins and outs of this life-altering thing that H has been diagnosed with. I thought it would be best to personally go, introduce them to H and the rest of my family, answer some questions, and thank them.


We got there, and their SS teacher, Donnie, stepped out into the hall. When my crew walked in (everyone but my oldest daughter), the look of surprise on my daddy’s face and my Martha’s was a good moment. After being introduced to everyone and them, so graciously feeding my kids. LOL. I looked over, and there stood my daddy with the fellas. He was drinking his coffee. See, the thing is that, growing up, my dad came for holidays and if one of us girls sang. That was it. I never knew him to go to SS, he would slip in for those brief moments in a big church, and then he would leave as quickly as he could.


In my adult life, I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen him in a church (except for weddings). My mom faithfully has always gone while dragging her kids behind her 🙂 I was overwhelmed by the sight of him standing there. He wasn’t there because he was forced. Amazingly, he was there because he wanted to be there. He was surrounded by men and women of God who love him. He CHOSE to go. He drives by himself.

It is cold outside, like bitterly cold, and since his medical issues (stroke 2 yrs ago and quadruple bypass earlier this year), he can hardly handle the cold. Yet, there he stood. With that grin on his face, he took it all in. He has been in church since God shook him to the core about 11 years ago. During that time, he fell in love with my mama again. Daddy fell in love with God again. His SS teacher is a retired cop. He knows the things my daddy has gone through. He can sympathize and empathize. They are like a little match made in heaven.


I am in awe of the goodness of Jesus. I’m blessed to have parents who love each other. I saw my daddy….in a Sunday school class….because he wanted to be there. My heart. My parents had stood in front of me, protecting me from the world besides me as I made tough decisions, and behind me to hold me up when I started to fall. They have done anything that I’ve asked of them and then some. I can never repay them.

My rainbow is growing 🙂


Faith Journey, Medical Issues, Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome

A Journey of Healing

A Journey of Healing

A Journey of Healing

I will only discuss this last leg of our journey as we step out of our finite “reasonable” box and into infinite faith.


Our journey is hard to explain without sounding like I live on another planet. So trust that God is good even when we don’t understand. That with Christ, all things are possible. HOPE. Here is a taste of what the Lord has been showing me.

Several years ago, my friend shared the story of her daughter’s journey with Lyme disease and how this place, this whack-a-doo treatment, and faith saved her daughter’s life. She tried to explain it to me, but I had no clue what she was talking about, so I listened, asked questions, and rejoiced in her daughter’s healing.

I have mentioned this place to several friends, who struggle with autoimmune issues, and I just put a bug in their ear, and then I give them Les’ number. Take the middle man out of it. I praise Jesus every January because that is when Les and her family stepped out on faith and tried something different than traditional medicine.

June 6, 2017

When H woke up from his nap on June 6, 2017, our lives changed forever. Our first dx was from a local hospital. In reality, a chigger should not EVER go there, but whatever. They diagnosed H with Strep, though he tested negative. “Give him these antibiotics, and he will be fine in 10 days.”

Uhm, did you get your degree from a Cracker Jack Box?

He cannot walk.

Hospital 2

We left and immediately drove to a children’s hospital out of state. We stayed there for several hours and then got the second dx. They said he had Cerebellitis. It is a common diagnosis when a child presents with the symptoms he presented with when we got there. The dr said it would run its course (virus type thing), and he should be better in 10 days.

Yep. That did not sit well with me.

 So, we made some calls to a friend who worked for a Neuro. Another friend has boatloads of experience with Neuros because her daughter has TM. Also, we talked to our parents and my sister (H’s Mamaw). Then we decided to take him to a different children’s hospital and see if that neuro agreed with the first neuro.

Hospital 3

We came home, spent the night, and then I got up early with H and headed to another hospital, alone, genuinely thinking this neuro would agree with the last neuro. Yep, that didn’t happen.

That was the beginning of our worst nightmare.

It is so easy to praise God when all is good in the world. When things are running smoothly, and all things are moving and grooving in a good flow. I picture my family and me sitting around a campfire singing Kumbaya. Then, you see your fire starting to go out, and it is getting cold outside, and you are frantically searching for anything and everything you can burn to get that fire back.

Before you know it, a bird flies overhead and pees on your ember. Your flame is gone, and you are sitting there, cold and in the dark. You think it can’t get much worse but have eaten that last s’more. Now you have no heat, light, or food. It is doable, sucky, but doable. Then the monsoon hits, and you feel like you will never be out of this space, and your fire will never come back.

Offical “Clinical” Diagnosis

Our official clinical diagnosis was made at another hospital. Sadly, there is no definitive test you can do. There is no amount of MRIs, LPs, blood work, X-rays, or EEGs. Nothing can officially say this is what you have. It is a combination of symptoms and what they equal up to after you test for everything else on the planet.

Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome was 1 in 10 million. Once this diagnosis took hold, I did TONS of research. I joined a wonderful online support group and received encouragement and a wealth of information.

Protocol by Dr. Frank Pranzetelli

We started high-dose steroids while hospitalized. We also started our first of many IVIG treatments. IVIG was done monthly. Closely following coming home (in the hospital for about 12 days), we start Rituximab (a type of chemo). The total on that was about four treatments. Since those were not working, we moved to add in ACTH. Acthar (ACTH) is a shot that we give him daily. It is another type of steroid. We did this for about three mths. All this did was to MAGNIFY his rage, insomnia, and severe OCD tendencies. My sweet little boy was not there anymore. He was like a raging animal that always stayed in a fight or flight mode.

Second Opinion

I was getting a second opinion without permission! Dr. Lightner answered so many of my questions. She was open, honest, and forthright, and in-my-face wording helped me immensely. Dr. Lightner was a breath of fresh air, though I did not care what she said.

 She stated that H’s condition was more progressive. Dr. Lightner did not see the ocular flutter, which, to her, ruled out OMS. She wanted to run all the tests again. The previous test had been a year ago. Note that she was wrong. He did have OMS. H was assessed correctly and diagnosed at UPMC in Pittsburgh by the amazing Dr. Kavita Thakkar.

Part 2: Have You Ever Tried to Nail Jello to a Wall?

 All tests returned the same, and while he was at the hospital, the ocular flutter reappeared, making her believe that it was OMS (confusing, I know). So, in the end, we felt confident in this “clinical” diagnosis. She said, in her opinion, she would try the protocol again, but that is something I needed to discuss with our regular neuro, as she was confirming a diagnosis.

Zebra versus Okapi

In the medical field, a ZEBRA means an unlikely diagnostic possibility. It comes from an old saying used in teaching medical students. These students are taught how to think logically regarding the differential diagnosis: ‘When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras.’ H was not a horse. We THOUGHT he was a zebra. Then, we discovered that he is NOT a zebra. He is an Okapi (incidentally my all-time favorite animal). They are incredibly rare.

 Unconventional Treatment

As we were finishing up an “unconventional” treatment plan for our son, we decided to give our family a bit of respite—SonRidge Health and Healing Center in St. Augustine, Florida. Dr. Marty Monahan took over the business with Jack Garvy retired.  

I have 11 people in my immediate family. Everyone is going in a different direction. We have one struggling with depression, one planning her life, and one who can’t keep her head above the waves. There is one who is ready to launch, one whose deficit and valley get larger and larger, and one who is stepping into puberty. Then there is the one who can either walk or not walk based on any given day and circumstances.

Add that to a mentally exhausted mama, an overworked daddy, and a strained marriage, and you see that we all needed new scenery.  5 Days After my Son’s Treatment.  

This Happened: My Boy is WALKING

My Boy is WALKING after three intensive days of therapy. I can’t even adequately verbalize my emotions. Amazingly, I watched him stand up by himself. As a result, this was a moment I will never forget. Then, because He is incredible, he RUNS to the ocean. I’m so thankful that I caught that on my camera. I got the best video; ironically, my camera attached a still shot. Yes, it is framed in my house. H, running to the ocean, carrying a stick. Fearless, confident, and strong. I’m amazed at God’s goodness. We still have a long road to go. Realistically, this is an unknown condition. God has healed him. We are just waiting for the complete manifestation of that healing in his little body.

Let’s Absorb

My Boy is WALKING!!!!!!!!!!! He is still shaky, but he is out of that damned wheelchair. Honestly, he does not even need the gait walker. He gets tired quickly, but when he is up, he runs. It is a miracle from God. I know that the stripes of Jesus have already healed him. Today, I have seen with my eyes instead of hearing with my ears.

Meet My Okapi Miracle

What a miraculous moment. God is always good, yet when you see your son walk unassisted for the first time in MONTHS.  You CHOOSE to give God the glory because He is the only one who deserves it.  God is writing H’s story. He has been writing since before He created the Earth.  I get to sit on the sidelines and enjoy the view.

He has all the provisions in place for H. For what he is dealing with and all trials that he is currently going through.  God is good. He is faithful.  Our family will heal. Our son WILL heal.  He is strong, kind, brave, and good. I will hold onto this moment for the rest of my life. My heart almost explodes every single time I see it.

He just got up, running to the ocean. The ocean is his haven and his safe place. The bathtub, not so much. The shower, not on your life. He is not even fond of the swimming pool.  When you see the ocean’s vastness, one would think he would be afraid. 

Fear. It is not in this boy’s vocabulary regarding the ocean.

He is simply fearless.

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