10 Long Months

Thursday was the last Chemo.

She is still taking a chemo med orally to help make sure it stays away.  What has happened in the last year and a half has changed us all.  We have learned to take each day and appreciate it.  We have learned that we sometimes do things that we don’t think we will do to protect our own soul.  Cancer sucks.  These things we do to protect ourselves, I hate them.  I hate that sometimes I couldn’t remove myself and do what she needed me to do.  I hate that feeling of regret, or time passing and you can only watch it happen as if you are frozen or somehow outside your own body and mind.  This is not what I would have imagined.  I have questioned God.  So Many Times.  I am still struggling with Him.  They say, “trust Him” or “there’s a reason” or “have faith” or the list goes on and on and on.  There is no making sense of what happens in life sometimes.  These has permeated through my life in these months.  I question a lot.  I feel alone a lot.  I am left with not feeling good enough…. to understand…. to have the outcome I desire…. to be worthy of such peace.  Maybe tomorrow.

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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.

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!

Essential Oils are Essential!

I have recently happened upon essential oil goodness.  I am a teacher in a special education setting and work with children with behavioral and emotional disabilities.  I randomly ordered a diffuser with several different oils and thought, “what the heck, let’s give this a try!”  Honestly……… this was one of the best things I did!  I experimented with many different blends of the oils and watched the way it transformed my classroom.  I had students who could not concentrate and struggled to have a calm body become relaxed and seemingly at peace with the oils filling the air.  As people entered my classroom, most would comment on the pleasant smell but also noted how peaceful it made the room feel!  Now, I am not saying that the essential oils solved all my classroom issues or that it is a miracle cure but I am saying that using essential oils along with positive relationships, consistency and high expectations, my classroom has only benefited from diffusing essential oils…. thus making them ESSENTIAL!

I have since ordered another diffuser and oils and have this running in my home.  My own girls are positively impacted by them and enjoy experimenting with the smells and way it makes them feel!