Saturday, September 28, 2013

who is that girl?

recognizing the girl in the reflection
there have been a lot of private battles over the past couple of weeks
yes even for me
one who is very open in sharing
but you all must know that beneath all that i share
lies a whole other level of grief, loneliness, refinement, and sacred joy
some of which only my family knows
some of which only the dearest of friends know
and still the deepest of which no one but the Lord knows

there has been a battle that has been raging on for some time
which has been heightened by this move
by Mike's continual decline in health
by my continual reflection of who i am
what defines me

as i move forward in this new life
i seem to move further away from the girl that i know
that girl i grew accustomed to seeing when i gazed in that mirror

who is that girl?

this morning my heart is full for friendship
the kind that looks at you and sees you
not for the things that you would define yourself as
but looks at you and sees you as the sum of those minute transformations you have experienced and are currently experiencing
who sees all that reigns down upon you to shape you
those things that are just plain brutal and hurt
who sees all those seemingly small triumphs in your character
as well as those grand achievements and blessings of joy
who knows you for the person you are
the person you battle to not be
and the one you battle to be

today i relinquish the rest of my battle story to my dear friend leslie
whose friendship is that very kind
whose words share my heart with you
to be brave
and not shrink at the battlefront of tearing down what i would define myself as
but to be bold in unearthing beneath that all
the reflection of myself that would most reflect Him

please travel with me over to her blog
my happily ever after
to her post 'who is that in the mirror?'

i'd love to hear from you:
have you ever experienced such drastic transformation that at one point you didn't recognize yourself?
how did you feel and what did you do to accept that unearthed you?

***purchase print by storytellingart here

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

those small details of moving

when moving it is best to have a place to move to
most people make plans over months 
on which neighborhood is right for their family
which home will serve their family’s needs
which schools are the best
where will they work
you know,
those small details
well, we're not most people

you know that you were meant to be somewhere when all those foundational life building blocks fall into place
in a week
or two

our new little home

meet our new house
oh how i love brick
and cute little porches
the inside not so much
but never fear
that is nothing a coat or two or three of paint can’t fix
i am excited to soon show you the front room and kitchen transformation from 90s faux paint faux pas to clean, crisp and cheery
if you have been following me on instagram you have gotten a sneak peek
the master bedroom and bath will be next on my list
wowsers i know it
you're trying to avert your gaze
but not for too long
you're going to love the new kitchen i just know it
be sure to check back soon

faux paint faux pas

despite its rough around the edges interior
this little home will serve our family well
actually our little home isn’t very little
basements are delightful things
all together there are 6 bedrooms plus an additional room without a window that we will use as our ‘theater room’
we only own one television by choice and that is where it will be housed
the master bedroom is on the main floor as well as a mike’s office
just what we needed
no stairs for mike to conquer between the main spaces in the house

 new house tour

the neighborhood we live in is quite lovely
view of the majestic mountain we live on above
view of the entire salt lake valley down below

view of draper utah

view of salt lake valley

as far as schools
it couldn’t have played out any better for our boys
it just so happened that there were exactly three openings in the charter school that their cousins attend, one opening in each of their grades
there was a total of eight openings for the entire school after the lottery this past year
we are one lucky family

first day of school at channing hall charter school

in regards to work
an incredible blessing of my Nerium business is that i can do it wherever i live
i worked hard to build a team in california and even reached the level of director the weekend we moved
i'm a new director with Nerium International

now with my team in california continuing to grow
i will work to build another team here in utah
the beauties of working in the relationship marketing industry
we continue to receive blessings from mike’s work with my brother at state farm and 
now mike will be able to work in marketing to help his father’s business to continue to grow

mike is on waiting lists to see some MS specialists
but as i told the young receptionist today at one of the doctor’s offices
‘alright i will call you again tomorrow to see if there are any cancelations’
we are going to become best buds her and i until they can get mike in quicker than late october
she said it is very unlikely there will be one
but all we need is just one
i would love your prayers on this
pray that an opening will become available so that mike can be seen by a specialist as soon as possible

thank you all for your continued words of encouragement and support in this whirlwind of change that we have thrown ourselves into willingly
blessings are coming at us fast
and i expect there will be more

Friday, September 13, 2013

trust without borders

3 am
and we pull out of our california cul-de-sac for the last time as residents
bound for our new home in draper utah
a home mike and i chose for us the day before
sight unseen for me
trusting in mike and the feeling of peace and a sense that this is the natural next step for our family

so why the rush
why did we decide to pack up our entire life in one week and move out of state
i was able to explain the basis of this whirlwind in my post ‘change in the air
in which i describe some of the new symptoms that mike’s multiple sclerosis is manifesting in him
scary stuff
the kind that messes with your mind
and he has the most incredible mind that nothing should mess with

these symptoms had only been happening a few weeks 
but the first couple of weeks mike battled these cognitive declines alone
not sharing them with me
i could tell something was going on but wasn’t sure what
i would find him blinking furiously or jolting his body as if he was trying to wake himself up
his speech had slowed down and he had become increasingly emotional
but i had no idea that what lay beneath those outward evidences
were the symptoms that i have dreaded
those symptoms that separate mike from being himself
confusion, memory loss, inability to perform basic tasks, extended periods of unresponsiveness, and the breakdown of that seemingly inpenetrable will power that has kept him going for so long
i truly feel like that the reason he finally felt confident in revealing to me the torturous things he was experiencing
was because he saw in me a strength
he saw me succeeding with the new adjustment of working
and that i had exhibited a new found confidence
but i tell you when he told me all that he had been going through
i broke

it took a couple days of real breakage
laying in bed in denial for extended periods of time
then the reality of my family’s dependence on me for basic needs got me out of bed and back to work
i felt an urgency as i saw the blank expressions on my husband’s face during those dreaded episodes
grabbing and shaking his arm to bring him back to me
has to be some of the most difficult moments i have experienced so far in my life

over a couple of days as we discussed all the factors in our lives that were up in the air
health, finances, place to live
i continued to have this urgent feeling that i needed to get mike up to utah
i tried to fight it
i really did
i dragged my feet on it for a couple days
not wanting to take those things that had remained stable in my life and purposefully make them unstable

but all roads led to utah
clinic and doctor recommendations flooded in
a chance for mike to receive the healthcare he needs
offers by mike’s family and friends for support and care
a job for mike from his understanding and generous father
financial assistance from family members
offers to help move us up by family and dear friends
my mom was already moving up to attend school, a new adventure for her, and arrangements were already made to move her up at that time
so it was only natural that we would go at the same time
however crazy that may seem
but the final piece in this jigsaw puzzle was that feeling of peace from the Lord that this was where we needed to be
this is what i had waited to feel
i could have felt it earlier
but i wasn’t ready to feel it

i put mike on a plane a few days before we were to move
for two main reasons
one: to get him away from the physical labor of moving. because i know him and if there is work to be done, he will give his all to do it, even at his own detriment
two: i preferred not to pick a home to live in by photos alone
so off he went
the thought of watching him walk away at that airport terrified me
letting go of having him under my watch and care at a time when he had been so vulnerable
only came because of the wave of peace i felt as i said goodbye

and miracles continued to roll in
within days mike was able to find us a home to live in that was going to be vacated a day before we needed to move in
we celebrated my baby sister's marriage with tremendous joy, feeling close to my Daddy and my entire family as we laughed and cried together
soaking up those final moments in which we were all in the same place
{yes a wedding fell in this week of frenzy}
dear friends organized and manned a garage sale for me
guiding me to get rid of a lot of my things
you all saw my garage in my clutter post...well if only i had taken a photo of the garage sale
you all would have been floored and beyond proud of me
even mike and all his clutter talk was shocked at the amount of stuff i let go of
it was rough, even brutal but it had to be done
they made enough money from that sale
in conjunction with the parting of my beloved lockers
to pay for unexpected moving expenses

legions of friends and neighbors showed up 
to help me pack my entire home in mere days
to bring me dinners
to watch my children
to load our u-hauls...yes i said u-haulssss
to clean our home top to bottom
to help me with last minute logistics of items needing to be sold or left behind
i even had a rockstar of a friend offer to drive up one of our trucks just so i could have all my stuff up there and not sitting in storage

and that brings me back to my 
3 am departure

i passed through the desert
through the gorge and alongside the river
and on to those red rocks that welcome you into the state of utah
all along the way i continued to receive glimpses that this was the right journey for us
the journey of obedience
the journey of hope
the journey of becoming something new
something different for both mike and i

but as i drove i cried
missing loved ones already
not wanting to leave them behind
after depending on their outreach, service, companionship, and breath of life and laughter for these past six years
fear crept in
could i do this
could i really do this
is this really the best place for mike to be
can there be hope in doctors we have never met with
will the boys thrive
a million questions and doubts raced through my mind
challenging those moments of clarity and peace

yet in the midst of the tears i knew this was truly the right path
i could feel it in my soul
i could hear the whispers in my mind
i longed to feel constantly connected to those reassurances
so i turned to the medium in which i can feel that rush of the Spirit and love of God most instantaneously and abundantly
a song dedicated to me late at night on the front lawn of my dear friend who knows my life and the desires i have to follow God’s plan for me
even when its difficult
and so much of me screams ‘enough’

these are the words which i sang aloud as i drove and cried
the words of tremendous reassurance
the words from the song ‘oceans {where feet may fail}’

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
let me walk upon the waters
wherever you would call me
take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
and my faith will be made stronger
in the presence of my Saviour

i will call upon your name
keep my eyes above the waves
my soul will rest in your embrace
i am yours and you are mine.

oh those words
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
let me walk upon the waters
wherever you would call me
that was my deepest prayer at that moment
that my faith would be strong enough to not be bound by my own borders
that i could remove them and step outside the space of comfort i had come to depend on
i needed to prove to myself that i didn't need to worry about all those things that i had made unstable
because the one thing that will never be unstable
the one thing that will always be stable
and constant
and omnipresent in my life
is the outreach of my Savior
and shouldn't i want to be led deeper than my feet could ever wander on their own
that my faith would be made stronger
because i will feel the presence of my Savior stronger than i ever have before
oh how i pray that i will find rest in His embrace
that Mike will find rest in His embrace
this is my hope
this is my hope in this new journey


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