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!

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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.

Trust

Final rainbow feet

Trust.  Trust can be brutal.  Trust can be beautiful.  Trusting God in all things is really tough.  When life is difficult or when there seems to be more reasons to be in despair than anyone cares for, this… this is when trust is crucial.  I know it is a bit cliche but the Footprints in the Sand is what I envision each time I am in this place of uncertainty.  When I do not know what I will do next or what God is doing with a situation or my heart hurts beyond understanding this is when I feel like I can viscerally see and feel the single set of footprints.  Initially, I almost always feel alone and let down or as if I am not enough to be taken care of…. BUT always there comes a point where I realize that these very single footprints are not mine.

This brings me so much peace:

       Trust in You Lyrics

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see

I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty Warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face, You’re by my side

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So, in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation; the rock on which I stand

Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go, You’ve not already stood

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

I will trust in You!
I will trust in You!
I will trust in You!

Written by Lauren Daigle, Michael Farren, Paul Mabury • Copyright © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

 

Not For the Faint of Heart

Its been a difficult couple of days.  After treatment #1 of Chemo the effects have been strong and miserable for mom.  She is currently admitted into the hospital and the fear of what is to come is real.  She is beyond a warrior and she has what it takes to fight, but even the strongest warrior struggles.  Hearing the weakness in her voice and seeing her lying there in the hospital bed is something that I do not wish anyone needs to see in their mother.  I continue to ask God, why?  I continue to wonder.  It is hard right now to understand.  At these times I must get help and hold on to what others say and believe to get through to the next step.  This and this is what I must grab a hold of right now.

Faith is not for the faint of heart.  Cancer is not for the faint of heart.  Love is not for the faint of heart.

heart

#cancersucks

Olympic Prep…

olympic-rings-on-white

As I sit here watching the Olympics and all the work that has gone into these athlete’s preparation for these games, I can not help but feel like the fight my mom is on against breast cancer is similar to the endurance and persistence that is required to beat this.  I have not ever fought something so big and so critical in my existence therefor, I cannot begin to pretend like I have any understanding of what this means (or maybe more importantly, feels like) for her.  As I spoke to her this morning, the humanity of fear and such grace exuded from her voice.  She is terrified.  She is tired.  BUT she is certain of what she is fighting for and has not given in to the things that will prevent her from fighting like an Olympian!

Mom, I love you more than words!

#Kindnessmatters

With all the recent violence in our society I am left with deep feelings of uncertainty and need to say something…

I can’t have this happen.

We are a mixed family. Being a mixed family, I find we are in difficult situation. I can’t let it become me versus you or us versus them. If I do that, I am the white privileged person that doesn’t understand and therefore can’t care the right way. My husband becomes the unimportant suspect that can’t do things right without being targeted. Where do my mixed girls fall into this? I have to challenge this narrative every single day. I have to show and teach kindness every single day. While doing this, I have to teach practicing this kindness without being hurt or taken advantage of. I have to build strong daughters that care about people and themselves enough to spread their beautiful kindness that is so inherent in who they are. The messages they hear both at home and in the world are so critical to their world view.

They are important.
They are smart.
They are kind.
They are beautiful.
They are enough.

They matter.

At the end of the day, at the beginning of the day it’s kindness that matters.
#kindnessmatters

Kindness Matters

Blink of an Eye

Life does actually have the ability to change in the blink of an eye.  It is not just a cliche thing to say.  It is real.

Our lives changed in the blink of an eye.  In June, my mom was diagnoses with Stage 3 Breast Cancer.  It has taken me until now, to be able to even write that.  We have been consumed with concern, the unknown, the treatment plan, appointments, and processing this.  I have a choice to make.  Lean on God and know that He has this or fall further away from His goodness.  As I see it, I only have one option.  As I have continued to struggle and grapple with this and all it means for us I was led to this…

1 Corinthians 4:8-9

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken.  We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit.  We are hunted down, but God never abandons us.  We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.

This is what we must do. We must show my kids the value of faith.  We must show them the value of trust.  We must show them the fighting spirit.

To stay current on the day to day of my mom’s journey feel free to follow her Caring Bridge site: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/marykraus