Today’s the Day

Here we are. Today is the day. Today is the day that cancer finally taken out of my mom!  It feels like it’s been forever. The moment we got the news the only thing I could think of was GET IT OUT!  But we had to wait. Go through 6 rounds of chemo and everything else associated with this ugly sickness. 

Fear has overcome us all at one point or another and hope has remained a cornerstone that we are clutching with all our might. Emotions have been many; fear, worry, frustration, sadness, anger, confusion, distrust, hope and maybe most important to get us through has been gratefulness. Gratefulness that it hasn’t been worse, that she’s had the strength to fight, that there is treatment options, and that God is carrying her. 

We welcome prayers as much as possible and wait in hope as she is undergoing this important surgery that we do not hear any news that of spread or any complications. We stand in hope and I am searching for the courage to trust God again!

Trust

This topic is something that has been plaguing me lately.  Trust.  That is a huge word.  It is a huge action.

(as I started to write this, I couldn’t continue. I became blank.  I had to physically walk away.  That is how much this is a problem for me right now.)

2 hours later…

I see things on social media like this…

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I am ashamed to say this, but this doesn’t happen for me.  I want it to but it doesn’t.  I know God loves me.  I know my hope.  But I can’t seem to trust Him like I could, like I have before, like I need to.  This is real.  It is raw.  I feel like He has abandoned me.  Life these last few months have been filled with sadness and worry.  In my heart of hearts, I know this is when He is carrying me.  But why do I not feel this?  My search for understanding will continue…. I am not giving up.

Yikes 2017… It is here!

It has again been far too long since I have updated.  Life has a way of getting away from me.  The weather is beyond cold and I find myself reminiscing about warmer months.  As much as I do not want to wish my time away, being able to be outside and enjoying what nature has sure makes life full!  Maybe someday I will actually find a winter activity that I enjoy so that these days can be filled with anticipation for adventure like the warmer days are!

Generally speaking, life is about the same…

  • My mom is still fighting her fight against cancer.  We are at the point that Chemo is complete and surgery is impending.  After surgery at the end of this month she will begin her 39 radiation treatments.  We are all looking forward to this being behind us and looking at her and knowing that she is healthy and strong and enjoying our time together.
  • My girls are still as amazing as ever!  They are filled with life and joy and bring so much to each and every one of us.
  • Teaching has kept me busy!  Seeing growth in my students is powerful.  Seeing the sadness that happens in some of their lives is eye opening.  Showing love and kindness along with healthy expectations and life lessons is more important than ever.

Thanks for bearing with me!  I will continue to write as time allows!  Hopefully more often than I have been!

Soon, I will be reviewing a book for Multicultural Children’s Book day 2017!  I am very excited as I know we need more of this in our lives and libraries!

Multicultural Children's Book Day

And…. it’ s Here

I was tempted to put a sad face next to my title of this post.  However, in a brief moment of hesitation, I decided not too!  Even though I feel a sense of sadness that summer is over and we are embarking on a new school year, there is hope as we move forward.  2016 has been a challenging year for us.  Knowing that once 2016 ends; my mom’s chemotherapy will be done and we can move forward to further healing for her and a new reality.  My 2nd grader is so excited to get back to school and see friends and have new experiences….how can that not be exciting?  My preschooler smiles her beautiful smile every time we mention school getting back in session.  And, even me… I am starting a new school year in my special education classroom with 6 amazing children that have so much potential and upcoming growth to celebrate!  Here is a perfect example of choosing to see positivity even when my initial instinct is one of dread!  My time with my girls during summer break is so incredibly cherished that seeing it come to an end can’t be helped but to experience a certain amount of loss.  However, a new year brings new excitement, new challenges and the hope of the coming phases!

Cheers to living life!

 

Soaking up Summer

I am in my last few hours of summer vacation from teaching!  Yikes, this summer went by fast!  My girls have one more week to soak up summer vacation!  We are trying to be intentional about getting as much out of it as possible! Today we went to the outdoor pool and splished and splashed into the early evening hours.  The other day we spent time with great friends at the beach. We have engaged in later evening fun in the neighborhood with friends… but now, all of that is coming to an end.  I would be lying if I said that it didn’t bother me.  With each passing summer it is forced into my face that life is getting away from me.  My girls are getting older.  Heck, I am too!  I am trying to remind myself that everything has its season and that each stage of our lives has always been good and we have enjoyed them.  But for tonight…. My heart is sad and I wish summer could stick around just a little while longer.

Miracles

Recently I was entrusted with a Milk Weed Caterpillar.  For those of you that know your caterpillars, this becomes a Monarch Butterfly.  This caterpillar was tiny.  No bigger than the size a the end of a pencil lead.  I was not so sure I was going to be able to successfully bring this little guy to complete it’s life cycle.  Well, I can report that I was able to with the help of my little ladies and lots of dedication to feed this sweat beast (the girls named it Pilly) he made his way out of his chrysalis and I am reminded of God’s miracles.  How in the world does this happen.  There is really no explanation that can make sense in my head that takes this Pilly

and after transformation can make this

without understanding God’s grace, creative beauty, and the concept of resurrection!  God is truly amazing and there is no other explanation but knowing that God is in control and that He makes all things good…It may take time, it may be a process and we may even have to be “melted down and chemically changed” in order to live fully as we are meant to. Thank you Pilly for reminding me of God’s mercy and grace on this tough season in our life!

Kids and Coping

Isn’t it true that even adults have a hard time finding what works in terms of coping with difficult situations in life.  It is a challenge because what works one time might not work the next.  We are in constant search of healthy ways to make ourselves feel better when we are stressed.  Our society generally goes to things like having a drink, eating something unhealthy, watching TV, and the list could go on and on.  All of these things in moderation are certainly just fine ways to get through something difficult.  However, longer term, I found myself asking, “what could I do and what could I teach both my own children and the children I teach ways to help deal with difficult situations that might actually help with positive forward movement with the situation?”  What a huge question!  I still do not have the answer!  However, there are things we can do that can certainly get us closer…

  1. Take deep breathes.
    • This is helping my 4 year old in ways I never imagined.  When she falls and injures herself, when her feelings are hurt, when she is worried, when she is sensitive, etc….  She looks at my with giant eyes and she begins to deeply breathe.  This has helped her regain regulation 100% of the time she has tried it.
  1. Count to 10.
    • Counting helps us go from our emotions to our rational thinking. In order to think about counting, you have to leave the emotional for a minute, gaining regulation.
  2. Take a walk.
    • Walking can help release positive feelings in our bodies. It can also help us gain perspective that this place we are in is a small part of the whole.
  3. Pray.
    • For me this can be hard. I can find myself in a cycle of telling myself reasons why praying won’t work.  I don’t deserve it.  I make so many mistakes. My problem is ridiculous. God doesn’t listen to me anyway.  I am here to tell you that every single time I have pushed through this, I have been shown how this is the devil keeping me from what God desires for me and God has come through!  Not always how I want or in my time but He knows what is best.
  4. Talk to someone with the focus of possible solutions.
    • It is so easy to talk to someone else and stay stuck in the “ickyness” of how we feel. Sometimes this can even take a turn for the worst and making it feel bigger or harder.  When you focus on solutions, it gives hope to a difficult situation.  Maybe none of the solutions work or maybe they are even far fetched, but the reality is they give you hope to try something to change the current situation.

We can teach this to our children.  They need us to teach them this.