Monday, August 24, 2015

That Time God Healed Me

At church this weekend, the pastor was challenging everyone to share something God had done for them. Just simply sharing a story, we didn't have to argue theology or convince anyone of anything, just tell someone what God has done.

So, I have a story that I don't think I've shared in a while- of how God miraculously healed me from a compression fracture in my back.

To set the scene- I was 21 and had just gotten into snowboarding. This is consequently how I also met my husband. I wanted to buy some gear and someone told me to go see Travis. Little did I know....but that's another story.

Anyways, we ended up spending a lot of time going to the mountain that winter and spring. I was getting pretty comfortable (in a very beginner/intermediate) sort of way. Travis and his friends were much better than I was and it was fun to watch them and sometimes to try and keep up. We would go in the terrain park and I would totally just stick to the easiest jumps. time I didn't look at the jump I went was massive. It was like ridiculous for me to even think about going on it. I didn't quite clear the flat part and landed right on my back. I knew I was hurt. I didn't really know what exactly had happened. Travis rushed down to see me and the paramedics on the hill were there pretty quickly as well. They kept asking me if I could feel my feet and my legs (I could). They put me on a medical board thing and rushed me down the mountain.

The resort had a clinic and there they took an X-ray and found out that I had fractured my L1, which is in your lower back. I was definetly in a lot of pain, and no medicine at that point. We (I have no idea who actually called) called my parents and let them know what had happened. And they planned to meet us at the hospital in Colorado Springs. This had been at Copper Mountain, about 2.5 hrs away.

So, I was whisked away in an ambulance. Travis rode with...(it's no wonder we got engaged quickly after this whole ordeal- he also visited me everyday in the hospital, and I'm pretty sure he thought my dad was going to kill him since he was the one who took me Not lol at the time.)

I started receiving morphine right away and so some of the details are pretty hazy to me. I remember it felt super weird to push the button to have more morphine. Like cold salt water going through your veins. And I was constantly on my back. I couldn't do anything, someone had to do everything for me (this continued for a long time after the hospital stay was over).

The next day, a doctor came in and delivered the following news- I had a major compression fracture (I honestly can't rememebr the % number), but it was enough to warrent surgery, with pins in my back for the rest of my life and it would take 9 months to walk normally and be able to do exersize. This was hard news to take.

Our church had meanwhile set up a prayer chain, and began praying for God to heal me.

The next day, they took more X-rays. A new doctor came in. And he delivered the following prognosis- my compression fracture had actually shrunk! It was substantially less than it had been! He said I wouldn't need surgery and I'd be riding a bike in 3 MONTHS!! Wow!! It gives me goose bumps as I'm reliving this in my mind. What a difference!

And that's exactly what happened. I was pretty much back to normal within 3 months.

The recovery wasn't without it's challenges. My parents moved my bed into the living room and I basically camped out there for at least a month. Someone had to help me do mostly everything. My parents and siblings were a huge blessing to me, doing things for me that I wasn't able to do. And Travis came to see a lot:).

I know God healed me! That time between the different prognosis, God totally intervened. And I'm thankful. I think I should remember this story more often. It's easy to forget what God has done, but it really was a major event in my life. And one I look back and see God's hand.

To God be the Glory!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sometimes I Feel Dry

Dry times......I don't really love them. I feel like I'm just beginning to walk out of one. It's tough when you've been in a seaon of flourishing and then find yourself totally thirsty and just blah and you think how'd I get here?

So, we just moved about a month ago, gosh, almost two months ago! I've tried to give myself a break, but at some point, I had to face the music and realize that I needed to get my personal/spiritual life into a better schedule or the whole household would be suffering.

I've been learning some valuable lessons and wanted to share them. are the things I've been learning-

1. Dry seasons don't neccessarily mean you've wondered off the path. 

I mean, they can, but I've decided not to just jump to that conclusion. Life runs in seasons. I was having a good heart-to-heart with a friend and we were talking about this dry feeling. She had something really great to share- she realized that God had given her a season of abundance- really great quiet times, amazing Bible study, etc. But then she had noticed that she wasn't able to spend as much time as she had been, but God was beginning to bring things to mind that she had learned, and these things were actually sustaining her! Almost as if God knew she would need to load up on Him to prepare for a season of dryness. You can read more about her story here.

This makes a lot of sense to me- if you look in nature, you can see lots of examples of storing up and then being sustained.

I think recognizing and even looking back to see where God has maybe given us more grace in our quiet times can be extremely helpful.

2. Keep reading the Bible, even if you don't feel like it. 

This one is a bit tough for me. I mean, it's the Bible. I know I'm supposed to be reading it, and I really don't want to just do it out of habit- of course I want to want to....right, so I can feel good about my Christian walk.

Well.....I guess I've had to dump this one out the window. I need to be reading the Word, even if it seems monatonous.

I was sharing with a group of ladies about my struggles. Everyone was going around saying how they were enouraging themselves in the Lord and what not and it got to me and I was like....uhhhh...ummmm...I'm struggling. One woman gave me some great advice. She said she had been through something similar and it really helped her to download an app for the Bible in a year, and then she just read whatever passages were for that day. Basically it takes the guess work out of what to read. So, I did that and it has been really helpful. I admit I don't always get to the Old Testament section, ok hardly at all, except the Psalms and Proverbs part. But it's been great. I've even been underlining verses that stick out to me. And really, slowly...I've been feeling my hunger for God's word start to awaken again.

3. Listen to some type of worship music. 

Another tough one....we should all want to worship God right?!? But I was finding myself annoyed with it. It was too loud, or the person singing just kept repeating themselves. So, for a long time, I just picked this station on Pandora- Instrumental Praise. It's a WONDEFUL station with very relaxing praise music with no words. This really works to help me calm down and feel comforted.

However...just recently, I tried a few more stations and I happened on one where the songs...just every one of them, seemed to be speaking right into my situation. And then somethign happened where the songs got stuck in my and the I would wake up singing the lyrics in my head. This was so helpful! It has really helped keep my mind out of the gutter, or just on myself.

So...while I totally still love my instrumental praise music, I am coupling it with worship music with the words :). And I think it's totally ok to sift through different stations and styles of music to find what speaks to you at the time, which may or may not change periodcially through the seasons :).

4. Tell someone about your struggles.

I really feel like it was a turning point for me to sit with a group of women and share with them how I was struggling. I had put a public voice to my struggles and they offered real help to me and just listening ears. It made me want to perservere and keep going.

So obviously this list is not exhaustive, but they are things I've been walking through and are definately helping! How do you cope with dry seaons?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Value of "Me Too"

I'm in the middle of a refinishing project. I've never refinished anything furniture wise...however we snagged an amazing deal on some kitchen chairs. It's given me lots of time to think (I'm doing a LOT of sanding. I've being thinking about how great it is to be able to walk along side someone and just hear them say "me too".

Actually, this isn't a new thought for me. But since moving, I am CRAVING it. I really need to be next to people who can say, oh yea, totally, I do that too, or my kids do that too. I am very thankful for the people God has already planted in my life here, and look forward to connecting with others.

I think moms especially need support groups. It's so easy to feel alone in our struggles and as much as we want our husbands to understand us...there are just some things they can't relate to.

When I moved to New York- about 7 years ago....I didn't really jump into having friends. In fact it took me FOUR years to get involved. I think in some ways I needed that time, but looking back, I wish I had made more of an effort. And in fact, it was totally God who gave me friends- a few in particular at the pool :), one of whom encouraged me to join MOPS. My friends made all the difference in the world to me. They helped me to be a better mom, wife and friend.

Today though, I've been thinking about why it's sometimes hard to jump in and get involved or try to make friends. I think I was really afraid of being judged. Or...I was worried that I would compare myself too much to someone else. There will always be someone who parents better, is thinner, dresses better, is more organized.....blah blah blah. But seriously, it's super tough to be around a group of women when you're in that state of mind, near impossible and certainly not enjoyable.

But I discovered one secret. "Me too" doesn't always mean " I handle it the exact same way". I mean, come on, rarely does anyone do something the exact same way as someone else. We all are so different. Especially when it comes to mothering. There a million and one ways to handle the kiddos, the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry, the fights, the spills....ya know, etc. So, I stopped looking for somene who was doing it the same way as me. I started looking for people who were experiencing the same stages of life as I was. And those- you can pretty much guarantee- the potty training, the tantrums, the cuteness, the poop, the sleepless nights, the coffee, or lack there of, lol. Pretty much any mom I know is experiencing these things. And I think lots of moms just want to know we're out there doing it too.

At our last MOPS meeting this last Spring, one of our moms was giving a testimony about what MOPS meant to her- she said one of the things she loved was that we are all walking through life together while appreciating the different ways we mother. We tackle things differently, but something beautiful happens when we can still walk beside each other, even when we have a different method. It kind of flies in the face of comparing and provides a wonderful freedom to realize that we can be oursleves and also have companionship in motherhood. For me, this is invaluable.

And so I SEARCH for it and want it. And I'm passionate about it.

Back to sanding....with my venti iced coffee :).


Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Realities of Moving

Just wanted to give an update on our travels and adventures across the country. Gosh, moving is a huge deal and I'm exhausted. But..I am feeling better yesterday and today, and I have to keep reminding myself that we aren't just on vacation and I can just take a breath and settle in. 

We started our journey last Thursday by driving to D.C. This had been something I really wanted to do with the kids. I hated to be so close and not take them at least for a short trip. And I'm still glad we did it.....the kids weren't quite as thrilled as me to be seeing the amazing sites, but whatever, I can rest in knowing that we have stood on the grounds of the National Mall. I do have a neat story about God's provision.

The reality of our two detour trips- one to D.C and one to the beach, and really, even the car ride- the reality was that we moved so quickly that I didn't even give a thought to planning the other things. Like, what will the kids do in the car? Heck, I didn't know, I just put some food in the car, with some technology and hoped that would suffice (and it did, thank God). But as far as D.C., I had only booked the hotel. So- in the morning, we got on the shuttle where we met some lovely people who told us where to get off on the metro, gave us extra metro tickets and their map. That didn't stop us from looking like complete tourists, but I felt like God was taking care of us. Then, in the Air and Space Museum's food court, someone gave us 3 free meal tickets, which saved us a ton.

Then we were off to Ocean City, MD for a couple days on the beach. That really was a good time. The kids loved the beach. The ocean was freezing cold!!! But that didn't stop them, and really, the sand is just as much fun. I love digging up those mole crabs and watching them bury back in the sand. I love the beach so much, it just does something to me. We also took a trip to Assateague Island, and that was absolutely beautiful! We did see some horses. We saw one right at the beginning, which the park ranger told us- that horse is always there like a greeter, lol. And then we saw more on the way out, but the bay areas were just so cool. The water was much warmer and the kids could get in. The beach there is pretty cool too, you get really white sand and then just stretches of sand dunes in the background, plus the horses. We didn't see any horses by the water areas, but we did see horse poop, so we know they were there at some point, haha.

So we had successfully taken a little mini-vacay with only the occasional drama, so it felt nice.

We were a little tired, admittedly. Things had gone so quickly with the move, we had hardly had a chance to breath in the last three weeks. And on the beach, sitting in the sand, Travis and I made a commitment to do two things-

1. We would stop thinking the other person was always selfish.
2. We would stop thinking we were always right and being persecuted by the other. Which sounds funny, but it's easy to do when you're tired.

After that, things were much better :)).

So we were then officially on our way to Colorado! And really, the drive was pretty uneventful. We stopped in Dayton and then Kansas City. Starbucks was my best friend- Iced Venti Coffee. Everyday. Plus dark chocolate. I really didn't get too tired. We listened to Chronicles of Narnia, the Focus on the Family ones (if you haven't heard them- they are awesome!! very well done), watched lots of movies, played lots of ipad, ate snacks. Repeat for 3 days.

We made it to Colorado on Wednesday. It was so surreal to drive into Colorado Springs. Long before you get into town, you can see the mountains and they are your backdrop all the way into town. Just stunning. Travis and I both were having so many nostalgic feelings driving in. I think the kids got tired of us telling them how we did such and such at that place, and such and such at this place, lol. But we've both spent a lot of time in the Springs, and it was neat to come back. And neat to realize that it was our city again.

We did have sick kiddos on the 3rd day, which really stunk. High fevers and headaches. Whatever it was, it lasted two days for each one and we are now finally better, thank God!

And we're on Day 4 of being in town, we are staying with my husband's parents and
having such a wonderful time catching up.

We've started house hunting, which is fun and stressful at the same time. But I know God brought us out here, so He has a good house for us. And a coffee in hand doesn't hurt anything.

We are very excited for this new adventure. I have a lot of feelings about being here and moving- and my personality is always looking for what's next? But I'm trying to just calm down and get a handle on settling us, getting into some kind of routine, and just taking things easily for now.

We love all of our friends in both places we've been. We already miss our friends in NY, but are happy to be spending time with family and friends here. We feel like God has been really good to us in helping us and leading us. He's answered a couple really specific things for me, as much as to say, "yes, I did lead you here." And I think that's a great start.

I am including some pics. They are not in order, lol.

Assateague Island

Taking off! 

My drink of choice. 

This is what you look like when you get separated from the other half of your group on the metro because the doors shut too soon. THANK GOD Travis was with the other kiddos. 

Anderson's in D.C. 

Ocean City in the morning. 

We finally saw a group of horses on the way out of Assateague. The kids weren't as excited as I was to get out and see them. 

On the bayside of Assateague. He found a crab shell. 

She found some clam shells, which are now, as I remember, sitting in our glove box. 

Even babies need coffee on long rides in the car. 

Our- "We made it!" faces. 

Our lovely view from Travis's parent's neighborhood. 

Beautiful sunset a couple nights ago. 

The Donut Mill in Woodland Park. Travis used to work there a long time ago and they have superb donuts. 

Us at the Air and Space Museum. 

How many kids can fit on a luggage cart??