Friday, August 19, 2011

Psalm 16:5

"I know of no greater simplifier for all of life. Whatever happens is assigned. Does the intellect balk at that? Can we say that there are things that happen to us that do not belong to our lovingly assigned "portion" ("This belongs to it, that does not")? Are some things, then, out of the control of the Almighty? Every assignment is measured and controlled for my eternal good. As I accept the given portion other options are canceled. Decisions become much easier, directions clearer, and hence my heart becomes inexpressibly quieter. A quiet heart is content with what God gives."

Elisabeth Elliot

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Letting Go of A Dream

Have you ever had to let go of a dream? I'm sure you have, because I'm sure that is just part of life, this letting go of dreams.

I've had to let go of several, none really major, but there was still that letting go process I had to do, that wrestling with if I thought it was fair or not. And usually I determined that it was not.

But like people say-life isn't fair is it? Or maybe the one your mom said to you is, "the fair only comes to town once a year."

Knowing that life isn't fair doesn't make it any easier though, letting go of something that you have dreamed of for a while.

I know, because right now I'm having to let go of a dream I have had for many years, a dream I thought I would get to live out. I wanted to live it out. In fact, I was so excited I couldn't wait.

But I guess I will wait. Maybe the timing was all wrong, and I thought it was all right.

I'm sad today. A little bit frustrated and angry. I'm trying to let it go, this dream of mine, but my fingers sure don't want to.

I still have questions. Will I ever get to live out my dream? Are there other parts of my dream that I need to let go, that I won't really live out? And maybe I was all wrong in thinking that this dream was for me?

How I wish I could go back to sleep and dream this dream.

What about you? What dreams have you had to let go? Do you still dream them?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Reaping the Whirlwind-by the Other Nut, part 2

Looking back, no one ever talked to me about pornography – other than a passing comment about how sinful it was. No one ever talked to me about what to do with all those raging hormones in the teen years. No one ever talked to me about growing up to be a man, what that looked like, what it was not. So I learned from Indiana Jones. Remember him? Indy. Rugged. Independent. Whip in hand. From him I learned to keep unsure thoughts and feelings inside because an adventurous loner was admired by both men and women. Other role models came from Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds, and Porky’s. From them I learned that real men can’t control themselves, they chase women, women want men to chase them, and real fun was seeing women naked. Another great role model for me was James Bond - the Roger Moore one. Now he was real slick. Women just threw themselves at him in a never ending stream of sexual liaisons. And why? Because he was handsome, drove cool cars, had grand adventures, and never showed any emotion like fear, regret, or loneliness. And what was the common thread of all these movies? Men portrayed in unhealthy lifestyles with no consequences…No consequences. Let me say it again. They…never…suffered…consequences.

I don’t recall exactly how I began looking at internet pornography about 6 weeks before May 15th, 2008 – what I now call D-day. I do recall the random thoughts that began popping into my head. I remember thinking that I had heard that pornography was so easy to get to on the internet but I had never been tempted to look – until now. It started as a curiosity. “Just click on this here. Do they really make it that easy?” Yes, they do. And then you click away real quick because of the shock – O my gosh, did that just happen? But that image - it gets stored in that special part of the brain right alongside the magazine from 30 years ago. I hate that. And the enemy goes for the kill – the tornado hits. My walls are down, I have no close male friendships, I was far away from God relationally, and I’m alone. Worst place to be. You know when the cheetah gets the gazelle separated from the herd…you know what’s coming…death. Awash in shame, then repeat.

Fast forward to D-day. A day I will never forget as long as I live. That’s the day I learned I wasn’t like the role models. Fortunately (though painfully) consequences hit me square in the face like a 2x4. God, in his severe mercy, broke in that May 15th day through a feisty brunette named Ima. First, the phone call from her while I was at work. The knotting stomach, the mind searching for a place to hide – no place to hide…she knew. Deny. Deny. Deny. Think…think. Cover it up. Play it off. She hung up. O God, what have I done? Is this for real? What have I done? I know now a thimbleful of what Adam and Eve felt falling from perfect relationship with God, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked…and they hid…” I blew it. I had to make it right. I left work and headed home unsure of what would happen but knowing I had to face the music.

Thank God for Ima. She refused to cover for me when she discovered my lie. She refused to hide what happened. She refused to be a crutch for me. She screamed from the rooftops “No! Not in my marriage!” She took a hammer to the computer and a hammer to the trust we had built. Some people may say that she was wrong to do that. That she should have accepted that looking at pornography wasn’t that bad – “it’s not like it was a real person.” Or kept it between us to show me respect – “being submissive means letting God deal with him, not you.” Or maybe just accepted that this was the way guys are wired – “guys are just visual so deal with it.” blah blah blah. I’m here to tell you that pornography is straight from the pit of hell. It’s dark, deep, addictive, and like drugs, it won’t let go. I’m here to tell you that I needed that wallop. That wallop was the first dose of reality I had.  And without it – let’s just not go there.

Thanks to Ima calling me on the carpet I turned around and began the chore of climbing back out of this hole - a really hard path – a hole I had been digging my whole life. I had betrayed my wife, my kids, and my God. I had totally blown it. The trifecta of screwing up. I considered crawling away into a hole. Giving up. Confirming to Ima that I was as low-down dirty as she thought I was. But something in me wouldn’t let go of my marriage vow. I vowed through thick and thin, rich or poor, sickness or health. It’s hard to explain, but the truth is that just because I broke the vow didn’t mean the vow was broken. I suppose that’s because it’s a vow before God. And He wasn’t letting go. So neither was I. It was my fault, but that just meant I had to clean up my mess. I chose to fight. Fight for my marriage. Fight for my relationship with God. Fight for a future for my kids.

Linking up with Jen at Finding Heaven

Linking up with Emily at Imperfect Prose

Lay Yourself Low

You woke up in a foul mood yesterday and today, and I really don't like it when you do that. You spew forth your little snippy comments to everyone, because quite frankly, you are sick of people. I know, because I know you. I know you are a loner by nature, that you crave the quietness of the day and night. I know that, if you had your choice, most things you would do by yourself. And its hard when you go long stretches without this quiet, this aloneness so the tension in you rises and explodes out to people around you.

But even though I understand, I don't like when you do it. It doesn't sound nice or loving. It doesn't sound like Jesus to me, and it actually makes me cringe a little. You told my kids that they were slobs, too messy to clean up their room properly and that you were tired of finding things just everywhere. You barked orders at them, and I'm 100% certain that it hurt them. I don't like it when you hurt my kids. It's times like these that really you shouldn't even talk at all, unless, of course, you want to talk to Jesus.

And I know that yesterday you felt weak in the "I feel beautiful" arena of your mind. I saw the look on your face when you went to change for church, the disgust that crept onto your face. I know this is tiring, fighting this at times. It makes your patience thin as your mood darkens a bit.

I know you enjoy time in your house, time where you don't have to go anywhere, time where you can just clean and listen to music; but sometimes you don't get that and it drains you. Staying at home refreshes you.

And when your house is messy, your mind feels messy. Organized surroundings make your brain feel more calm. I get that. Really, I do.

I can see you fighting though. I can see that you don't like it either. That battle between using your words to lift up and not tear down. I saw it in you at church yesterday.

You rode there in a foul mood, but annoyed at yourself at the same time. You took your seat inside the church, and the music started playing. 3 seats over was a man fighting for his life. 2 weeks ago they didn't think he would make it, and now here he was, standing up singing "The Stand". At times, he would have to sit down, but then with renewed strength, he would stand again.

I saw you realize the pettiness of your frustrations and annoyances. Earlier you didn’t feel so pretty on the outside when you looked in the mirror. And now you saw the ugliness in your heart as you looked in the mirror of your heart. The ugliness that causes your peace to be determined by your surroundings instead of allowing Jesus to be your peace at all times. It is this ugliness that causes your words to tear down and not encourage, your frustrations to determine your tone and words.

 And in this realization, you were singing, finding your way to the Cross.

 “So I’ll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned, in awe of the One who gave it all.
So I’ll stand, my soul Lord to You surrendered, all I am is Yours.”

 And I know you meant it, but then you got home, and your foul mood returned pretty quickly. It was as if you forgot this process of surrender, this being at the foot of the Cross and the realization of your ugliness; for your ugliness was back.

The only thing your arms wanted to do were be stiff with clinched fists on the end. And your heart? Well, it surrendered to reckless words; for the mouth often shows what’s in the heart.

I know you were disappointed. I watched you trying to go back to that place, that place of surrender, to the Cross. And when you wouldn’t make it, I saw you get back up and try again.

As much as I don’t appreciate you hurting the ones that I love with your nasty words, and your lack of patience, your actions that don’t show Jesus to them, I’m proud of you for trying again and again, for trying to claw your way  back to the place you know you need to be. I’m proud of you for knowing that, left to your own strength, you would never find your way back to this surrender, because your ugliness really is deep, your sin encased around you tightly forming your nutcase.

I’m here to tell you that you will make it back to that place. I’ve seen you do it before. I’ve seen you make it back to the Cross, that place of surrender and praise. That place where Jesus loved you with a love like no other, that place that covers your mess-ups with grace.

Lay low yourself there, at the Cross; for it is because of this place that you can even have anything good in your life, in your heart. Lay low and surrender. Allow Jesus to do what only He can do there. I can’t wait to hear about it, this cracking of your nutcase that wraps itself around you. I can’t wait to see what is under there, the beauty that will emerge in this laying low of self.

Linking up with Michelle at Graceful

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I Think I Missed It

photo source
I don't know if I did the right thing today. You know those times that you realize that maybe you missed a great teaching opportunity? Well, today I wonder if I missed it.

You see, I needed to go to Target and get some gluten free cake mix (which they didn't have), and a new broom ( which they did have). The Walnut asked if he could take some of his money and buy 2 new Ninjago toys which I have to say, I still don't know how I feel about these toys. But that's not the point of my story so I digress.

Anyways, I said, "Yes, sure," as long as he has enough and doesn't get into his savings. So off we go, me, Hazelnut, and the Walnut with $22 in his hands. He is so excited, he can hardly wait. We get our things and head to the check-out lane. I pay for my things, and then he hands his 2 new toys to the lady at the register.

"That will be $22.17 please."

"Oh. I only have $22."

And this is where I think I missed it. I knew he had 17 cents at home to pay me back, and so I handed him 17 cents to cover the cost. And he walked out with 2 new toys, and no really good tangible life lesson. I realized it immediately so we talked about it on the way out. I asked him what he would have done if I wasn't there, because one day I won't be there to give him 17 cents. One day I won't be there to give him anything except the things I taught him.

It took him a while, but he finally got it. He said that he would have to put one back.  And then he asked if he could have them hold one until he could come back with more money.

"But what if you didn't have any more money at home?"

"Well, I couldn't get it."

"And so you would have to put one back and not get it at all right?"


But I just don't know if he really got it by just a conversation. I think he would have learned more if I hadn't given him that 17 cents, made him put one back, and then wait until we could return.

I think I missed it today.

What about you? Would you have given the 17 cents?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sowing the Wind-by the Other Nut

When I started my blog, I knew I would be telling my story about my marriage that survived pornography. I see it as a story that could have had an unhappy ending, but thanks to God, the ending is still being written, and I love every page of my story.

But I also knew that it wasn't just my story to tell. It is God's story, and it is also the Other Nut's story. While I was dealing with the aftermath of the landmine of pornography, as well as other things in my life, the Other Nut was also dealing with his own issues surrounding the "whys" and the "how not to fall into pornography" again. Even though I felt like I had been blown to pieces and was left to pick up each little piece I found, trying to put myself back together again, the Other Nut was also putting himself back together again. Honestly, he was just as hurt as I was.

I never wanted this blog just to be my heart experience with pornography. I also desired that he would eventually share his heart. I wanted his voice to be heard, and our story to be told from the perspective of the one who fell into the trap of pornography-and became free from it's snares. I am so proud of him. I know this wasn't easy for him to do, but he did it, because he believes so strongly in talking about the dangers of pornography and how damaging it is.

I will be posting a series of small posts that he has written, and I hope to have him write more. I do hope that his part of our story to restoration blesses you.

Sowing the Wind

It may surprise you to know that pornography is a $14 billion business in the US. That was based on data from back in 2004. It’s probably double that now. It may also surprise you that 67% of men in their 20’s and 30’s regularly look at pornography – see the stats here. I have heard that those numbers are similar inside the church and that at least 30% of pastors have looked at pornography in the past year. This means that odds are, if you are a guy reading this, then you are probably looking at pornography. If you aren’t, then look around next time you go to church and say – he looks, he looks, he doesn’t. He looks, he looks, he doesn’t. What a staggering thought. I was one of those guys. This is my story. Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.

My exposure to pornography started when I was about 10 years old. My friend and I found a magazine stashed in an old tire in the vacant lot-turned bike track in our neighborhood – most likely hidden by one of the older kids who constructed the makeshift race track from dirt and old tires. The images from 30 years ago are still there. Someone once told me that traumatic events are stored in a different part of your brain. This is why some things are easy to recall and other things are just fuzzy. Pornography gets stored in this place. I hate that. I knew looking was wrong. I became a Christian at 7. But it was interesting and what was the harm? I had no wife. I had no kids. I was 10.

I had various other exposures to pornography throughout my pre-teen and teen years. Bits of R-rated movies. Times that I was alone with cable tv. The time a friend stole his dad’s magazines and we looked at them in the homemade war trench we dug in an empty field. I distinctly remember knowing those times were wrong as well, but what was the harm? I had no wife. I had no kids. I was 16.

College and early 20’s brought more exposure. However, unlike earlier ages, I now had money, freedom, and aloneness to stir the mind. While connected to many other Christian brothers, this part of my life remained a secret. “You’re the only one who struggles with this” were the satanic lies I bought into. A deep secret shame imbedded itself into my life. There was harm, but it was only me that was hurting, right? I had no wife. I had no kids. I was 21.

My working life after college was my first major reaping of consequences. I now had money and lived in an apartment by myself. Unknown to anyone I visited pornographic stores, massage parlors, and nearly got involved with escort services. It was a dark time. The especially hypocritical thing about this time in my life was that I also hooked up with friends and we started an accountability group. We were pretty blunt with each other about temptation -- but accountability is only as good as your ability to be honest. And while I let those guys into some parts, the darkest parts remained hidden from them. I had no wife. I had no kids. I was 24

I met my future wife in my mid-20’s. Once we moved past friendship and into dating we were very open with each other about our past. We had a tell-all evening where I told her about all the stuff I had seen and done including what I hadn’t told my accountability partners. We cried and fell more in love than ever through that. We had been totally honest. We loved each other. What else did we need? Looking back, we were so na├»ve. We should have dealt with it then. Unfortunately, we thought we had. Our marriage counselor didn’t bring up that issue, and we both bought into a lie, “once you are married, all this temptation will go away.” We thought that our cathartic experience that night sort-of washed all that bad stuff away. And that getting married would kill that part of my life. We got married. I now had a wife. I had no kids. I was 26 and clouds started building on the horizon while all was sunny overhead.

Married life brought 3 kids into our life and a ton of new stresses I was not ready for. Bills, budgeting, mortgage, and maintaining our relationship with 3 kids. My career starting taking off. I was getting lots of positive press at work, being asked to represent the company at events, even being talked about for higher levels of management. All the while my relationship with God was decaying. I let “life” get between me and the Life. I let life get between me and solid male relationships. Despite all that, my relationship with Ima was great. We talked, dealt with issues, loved each other deeply. And she trusted every word I spoke. But I was living a lie and didn’t know it. I was corroding from the inside out. My walls were broken down. The weakness to pornography from all those years was exposed and I was oblivious, deluded into thinking that I could coast through life enjoying my wife, kids, and creature comforts. I had a wife. I had 3 kids. I was 36. And the storm clouds were advancing.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hard Questions

I wondered if they would come, the hard questions I mean. And they did.

"Mom, why did God make me have this problem? I mean, He just doesn't seem like the type of person that would put me through this. But I do know that He has a purpose, I just don't know what it is. And also, mom. I know that He can heal me right now, but what if He doesn't? I guess I just don't know what my future holds, but I know He has a purpose."

My little mommy heart was just rocking back and forth between sadness and joy. I don't want my little Hazelnut to have to worry about this for the rest of her life. But I also want her to wrestle with these hard questions to grow her faith.

Do we ever stop wrestling with these questions? The "why" questions, because really often times we don't understand the bigger picture, the God-plan for our lives.

And I'm thankful for my little 10 year old's faith, and my heart poured forth joy and thanksgiving as I watched her take communion this morning at church, as I watched all of my children take communion. There is nothing better than watching your kids eat of the bread and drink of the cup, knowing that they love Jesus.

And the little Hazelnut couldn't wait to get there this morning and partake, because "it's so important." Last night she danced around the kitchen, simply excited for church in the morning.

She couldn't wait to see her friends, and as she said, "tell them about the power of God."

While I walked away from the weekend in the hospital feeling traumatized, for lack of a better word, my little Hazelnut walked away with a deeper faith. I can see it. I can hear it in her words, in her constant awareness of God and His power around her.

"Mom, I believe that God made that game break so I could get my sister and brother a toy. If it hadn't broke, I wouldn't have been able to play an extra game and get more tickets. I think God did that for me, mom. He wanted me to get them a toy, and so I did."

"Mom, do you know that I prayed God would help me find a good swimsuit, one that wasn't tacky. And do you know mom, that we did find one."

"Mom, I am. so. excited to go to church. Mom, I get to tell people about the power of God in my life."

She could hardly get to sleep. 

And I remembered my prayer a while back, a prayer that asked God to really show Himself to my little Hazelnut, that she would really see Him and even now at a young age, begin to live passionately for Him.

With Bible in hand, and tithe too, off she went this morning to share about the power of God to a room full of her friends. It was her testimony of a big God that she really saw this weekend. And she didn't forget; His provisions and protection bound to her heart forever.

May this be the start of a wonderful God-story of her life that honors God and lives passionately for Him. 

May I cling to this truth of what He did for her and her faith this weekend when anxiety tries to take hold and steal this joyful truth.

May I choose to see a faith that grew, and a little girl that really saw Jesus.

Have you really seen Him? I mean, really seen Him for all that He is, and all that He does?


Saturday, August 6, 2011


If you can't tell, I change my furniture around quite a bit. Having a blog is no different. I decided I wanted to change my background and such. The Other Nut says he hopes "redecorating" my blog will keep me from always wanting to redecorate the house. Should I tell him that I still want him to redo the hallway with beadboard and new paint? Maybe not.

I still have some "redecorating" of the blog that I would like to do, namely my header. It's just that I'm not header savy. It took me a long time just to do the one I have currently. I won't change the name or the cute little nut, but I would like something different. I'm thinking I'm going to have someone else do it though, because like I said, this is as much as I can figure out.

Any ideas?  

At His Throne

"Oh Lord, Your Word says that we can approach your throne of Grace with confidence, and so I come to your throne in complete confidence in a time of need, and I'm so thankful for what Jesus did on the cross, because that's why I can even approach Your throne, an unholy person approaching a Holy God."

These were the words that kept coming out of my mouth as I prayed over my little Hazelnut as she laid in the hospital bed, too sick to hold anything down and too lethargic to try to eat again.

The guilt began to consume me, guilt that said that I had done this to her, because I had agreed to this test as a means of diagnosing her condition. It was a guilt that said I was hurting my own daughter, and I began to wonder if she even needed this dumb test.

With the guilt came fear and anxiety. Fear that she wasn't going to pull out of this one. It was a fear that grew, because no one was listening to us, and we felt like we were fighting with the medical team to even hear us. As fear began to wrap itself tighter around my body, my panic grew, and I could physically feel it. My body began to shake as I felt helpless in this time of waiting.

So I did the only thing I knew to do-I went to His throne. And I sat. There was nothing else I could do. The glucose drip was finally running. God had intervened. All I could do was wait.

So, knees bent and met a cold, hard hospital floor while arms rested on a blue cushion that would also be my bed. And in this moment, I was at His throne. Eyes shut and walls faded away to the peace and majesty of a Mighty God's throne. His Word before me as my fingers stroked the pages, the same fingers that stroked little Hazelnut's hair. There's something about simply touching God's Word. With each stroke, the Word would pour out in prayerful pleas to hear my cry.

It was here and only here, at His throne, that I found peace and the shaking stopped. It was here that honest struggles of trusting God came forth from my lips. I wanted to trust Him with her, the very one that laid in the hospital bed sick, the one that I hold so tightly to; but, "it's hard," I said.

And He said, "I know, my child."

"All I can do is sit here and wait. This waiting? It's hard, Lord."

"But in this waiting, you can sit at My throne, and you can pray. In this waiting, you can learn to trust more. And you can worship me in this waiting."

So with knees still bent to cold floor, the majesty of His throne before me, I prayed, I wrestled with trust, and I worshipped, hands held high to "How Great Is Our God".

So much happened in the waiting at His throne. A throne that I can approach with confidence, because of Jesus. 

And this throne of the Mighty God? It's anywhere where knees are bent and hearts are turned to Him, even in the darkness of a hospital room with cold floors and blue cushioned beds.

I wonder why I get lost on my way there so many times. May I find my way back to His throne everyday, anxiety or no anxiety.  

May you also find your way back to His throne everyday.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Doctor Just Called

The doctor just called, and they think they might know what is causing these episodes in my little Hazelnut. They will do further blood testing on Wednesday the 10th. They are looking into something called "very long chain fatty acid disease" or VLCAD. It is DNA mutation so all family members will be tested. Please be praying for wisdom for the doctors, further healing, and answers. Pray for peace for me and the Other Nut. I am still tired from the stay at the hospital, mainly emotionally, as I felt like we had to fight for her treatments to get her well. Praise God that He ended up doing the fighting! Thank you again for praying.

Update: Well, I did some research, because I'm always searching for more information. I'm a question asker. Probably shouldn't have done that as my anxiety is now climbing. If anyone out in blogland has experience with this disease, I would love to talk.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

He Answers Prayers!

It is with great thankfulness and praise that I write this update. I am humbled by this blogging community and my church community that lifted up my family this weekend in prayer. I am forever grateful for my best friend that immediately took my other 2 children the whole time we were in the hospital so that both the Other Nut and I could be there for Hazelnut. I am forever grateful for my mom that came to the hospital at 2 a.m. to be with me when the Hazelnut got really sick, because sometimes, no matter how old, you just want your mommy. I am amazed at the outpouring of love on my family from people that only know us from blogland, and the excitement on Hazelnut's little face when I shared with her that people all over the world were praying for her. At first, she didn't understand how they would know until I reminded her of my blog and other bloggers I had met. I am thankful for the very specific answered prayers that we got to experience this weekend. Tears filled my eyes when I heard my little Hazelnut tell me that she could see God working and helping her through her time at the hospital.

And so it is with great joy that I write this post, not only to update you on how she is doing, but to also share with you how God answered our prayers, and your prayers as you lifted us up to God. This is a post to stand as a reminder of the faithfulness and power of our Mighty God. This is a post to say thank you from the Nutcase household. (This will probably be a long post, but God worked a lot this weekend, and I don't want to leave anything out.)

First, we are home and the little Hazelnut is back to her usual spunky little self. Praise God for that. She had a great night and woke up just fine this morning.

What the Hazelnut had to have was a forced fast, or a glucose challenge test. The main reason was to see a correlation between her sugar levels and her ketone levels. She never showed signs of hypoglycemia or diabetes, but would have episodes of dumping ketones which if too high can be damaging to the body. They were trying to figure out why she would dump ketones so easily, especially since she never had any evidence of low blood sugar. They figured if they could have her go into ketosis in the hospital, they could get all of the blood work done immediately to get accurate readings. Other times, we would have to drive 45 minutes, wait to get blood drawn for labs, and all the while I would be feeding her which would make the tests less accurate. The doctors really needed to see exactly what her blood sugar was doing at the exact moment she became ketotic.

However, once she became ketotic, they still wanted to continue the fast forcing her body to a blood glucose level of 45 to see what other issues were there. I didn't completely understand their reason behind this since this didn't happen to her normally-it felt like it wouldn't be a natural situation for her so I didn't understand how that would give them accurate information as to her specific problem. The Other Nut and I didn't feel comfortable about this for numerous reasons and kept pushing for a good explanation from the doctors. They finally agreed to give her regular saline in her IV over night, running very slowly. That made me feel a little bit more comfortable, but not much more. Our concern was that while she slept again after going so long without food, her ketones would continue to rise without us knowing what effect they were having on her body. At this point, they were only doing labs every 3 hours.

We agreed to continue for a while, knowing that the Other Nut and I would be checking her ketone levels ourselves with our meter we brought from home. It is accurate and is only a finger prick, just like a glucometer. But, we also sent out a prayer request to many and prayed ourselves that God would intervene if needed. We weren't sure what the right thing to do was so we decided to let God decide. "Please, Lord, intervene if needed. Stop this test when needed."

About 30 minutes later, the nurse walked in with the doctor and told us that Endocrinology had just called and decided to stop the test at midnight. The doctors didn't even know why they were stopping-they just decided to stop. It was currently 10:40 p.m. at this time. Praise God! Less than 2 hours to go. We knew God had intervened.

Labs were drawn at 11 p.m. and at midnight, they came in to draw the final labs and wake her up so she could eat. At this point, she all of a sudden was very hard to wake up and very lethargic-ketones can make you really sick when they get too high. I truly believe that if she had gone until 2 a.m. to have labs drawn, she would have been in great danger.

After they tried to wake her up and get her to eat, I asked if they could please start an IV with glucose in it to at least start getting her some glucose in her system. She was so lethargic and didn't want to eat much. At first, the doctor said no, she just wanted her to eat regular food. I told her I wasn't sure if that would work, because she was already so sick. She again said no that we could just give her a few sips of sprite, and she could go back to sleep. Everything in me knew that wasn't a good thing, because we have seen her do this so many times. We have seen what works with her before to pull her out of an episode. We again quickly prayed that God would intervene. The doctor came back and said that she would give her an IV with glucose, but she wanted her to still eat and drink. She would only put the IV at what they call half-maintenance.

They started the IV, and we gave her some sips of sprite and a little bit of food. Within 15 minutes, she was vomiting and very tired and pale. She vomited again 2 more times in about 20 minutes. We knew she wouldn't be able to keep anything down until her ketones dropped to a certain level. Again, we had seen it too many times. They gave her some medicine, and we had about 4 nurses in the room working on her with the doctor near by.

I asked the nurse if they could please switch the order to full maintenance on her IV since she obviously wasn't able to eat, and she just wanted to sleep because of the exhaustion and lethargy from the ketones. She said no, that this is what the doctor had ordered, that she didn't even think she even needed it, and was just doing it to make us happy.

The Other Nut and I took her levels with our own meter, and her ketones were 3.7-a positive ketone reading is considered 0.6 or above! So we did the only thing we knew to do at that time-we immediately prayed that God would give her the fluids she needed. About an hour later, she nurse walked back in and said the endocrine team had called and decided to up her fluids to full maintenance. Again, no one could say why they did that. Even the doctors that decided it-they just said "why not". Once again, God had intervened in only a way that He can.

The Other Nut and I started taking her readings and slowly they began to come down. With every reading we would just say "Thank you Jesus!" We began writing it on the white board in her room just to see it. With glucose running, she was sleeping good, and her levels were going down. She had stopped throwing up.

When she woke up in the morning, her levels were 1.9. They weren't moving any lower, but she was at a place that she could at least try to eat. She slowly began eating, and God answered another prayer-she held down all of her food and drink. We also sent out a prayer that her levels would go down to normal. We wanted to see them below 0.4. The very next reading we took after sending out this prayer, we got a reading of 0.3! Again, we just said "thank you Jesus"!

One other prayer that God answered is one that I am just so thankful for. When we prayed over her after my mom got there, my mom prayed that the little Hazelnut would know and remember what God would do tonight. After we got home and shared everything with her and the other kids, she told me that she could see that God was working through her time with ketosis. Praise Jesus for her seeing God work in her life. May she remember it as a time of His faithfulness.

We don't have any results yet, and I'm not sure when we will hear anything. But I do know that God heard your prayers, and I'm so thankful for that. I know the Hazelnut is too-she told me so. So thank you for standing in the gap for us, for going before a Mighty God on our behalf. May this post bless you with the reminder of the God we serve. May you today give Him thanks!

We took a picture of the board where we wrote down the levels as they were going down. What a great reminder!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Quick Update

I don't have the time or energy to do a really detailed update so this will be quick. Please keep praying. Last night was very rough. My little Hazelnut got really sick from the ketones. It was a scary night that drove me to my knees for a long time. Please pray for her to have energy and her ketones to go down. We really need them to go down to normal. She needs to be able to keep food down as she threw up 3 times last night. Please keep praying-hopefully I will update with more detail later. Too tired right now and scared and anxious. Thanks!

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Room 717 is growing on us. I am so thankful for such a nice hospital as so many families have to be here for extended periods of time.

We are still here and will be here for at least another night. I thought the tests were over and the fast could stop, but I was wrong. They want her blood sugar to drop to 45-last time they checked, it was around 81. This could possibly take up to 3 days. Not the news I wanted to hear. I thought about busting out of this joint. But then I decided not to.

The little Hazelnut is a bit upset, because she just wants to eat, but she can't. She is going on 24 hours now. Below I have some specific prayer requests that I would be so thankful if you were to pray for her. Thank you for already praying for us-I can tell that you are praying.

First, a praise-whatever she has is a mild case. While it is a mystery to the doctors, it is a mild case and for that I am thankful. I'm thankful for medical care that we have and a great hospital.

-She is currently in ketosis right now. Please pray for her little body to be spared from the normal side effects of this-the ketones usually make her pretty sick and lethargic.
-They are trying to get her to go hypoglycemic so that means even a longer fast. She is very hungry right now and just blah. Please pray that her blood sugar would dip low enough to draw some more labs while also protecting her body from harm. Once that happens, they can immediately draw the labs and start bringing her sugar up. They want her sugar to get to 45 depending on her symptoms. Pray they can get what they need with minimal effects to her body and that we will notice any symptoms that might come up.  
-Pray for wisdom for the doctors to find the issue to better treat her.
-When her sugar drops, I am expecting her ketones to rise. Please pray against this, but with them still being able to get the labs they need.
-Please pray for my anxiety that I will hand it over to God and have His peace.
-Since I have been writing this email, we have had some tense moments over whether or not to continue this test. Please pray for wisdom on this.
-Pray that we will be a good witness for Jesus, that we will be gracious even in these tense situations.

Sorry for the long list, but we need them now. Thank you to everyone who is praying. I am humbled that you would pray for my sweet daughter.

Leaving you with a picture that shows that she is ready to get out of here and eat!

I Hate Anxiety

I hate anxiety. It keeps me awake. All these beeps going off make me jump everytime. Have I mentioned that I don't like monitors? Her heart monitor just went off, because her rate went below 60, but she was sleeping. I wonder how many times it does that at home, but we don't have a monitor. My heart rate goes into the 40's when I sleep, and my cardiologist thinks that is wonderful. I wonder if that is why I don't get up very well in the morning-my heart has to pick up speed after slowing down so much. Kidding! Sort of :)

But give me some beeping monitors, and my heart rate is probably at 140. Pitiful, I know, but it just is. I used to be such an adventurous kid, never worried about much of anything. And I had my fair share of the hospital. I was a tomboy so I was always getting hurt. I got hurt so often that the CPS started questioning my parents.

I often wonder what happened to that adventurous little girl. It is just a matter of she grew up and became a mommy? Was it nursing school that sealed the deal? How much is my Lyme disease connected with my anxiety?

And then I think about my faith. Is my faith really this weak? Is that the whole issue surrounding my panic disorder? I know it has some to do with that; my anxiety connected to a lack of faith. My anxiety pretty much centers around medical issues, especially with my children. I still get it with myself and the Other Nut, but it is more intense with my children. I just have a great fear of losing any of my children. It seems completely unnatural for a parent to lose a child, and yet it happens everyday. My heart aches when I hear about a mommy losing her child. It has become my worst fear, and at times like this, that fear beats me up.

I wonder what it does to Jesus' reputation. What does my anxiety say about Him? Does it say that He can't handle everything? Does it say that really His plan isn't the best? Because, to be honest, I have a hard time reconciling in my head that losing a child is the best plan for anyone. Sometimes I read a blog about this very thing, and sit with so many questions that I can't ever answer. I don't understand it at all. But through reading these blogs, I am always amazed at the faith that is woven throughout, the total trust in Jesus, and the ability to still say that God is good. It is a faith that amazes me, and one that I wonder if I have. As I sit here with anxiety, I think I know the answer, and it pains me.

Don't get me wrong; I'm pretty sure these mommy's would never choose that path. I hope I'm not speaking out of line, because I know I have never walked that path. I'm speaking from a mommy's heart in saying that. But, I do think that even though they would never choose that path, they have walked it well, and that Jesus has been praised through their journey. You can't read their words and not be changed and humbled at their faith.

I think about Abraham, and his faith as he was prepared to sacrifice his only son, the son he had waited so long for. To be honest, as a mommy, I don't understand that amount of faith; a faith that obviously knew that no matter what, God was good; a faith that knew that God would somehow provide, somehow come through; a faith that lead to an obedience that most parent's probably can't quite grasp.

I want that type of faith. Or do I? To get that type of faith, what am I willing to sacrifice? What am I willing to lay down on the altar? Am I willing to walk any road that Jesus has for me, a road that would build that type of faith, bringing me that much closer to being like Him? Right now, sitting in a hospital with my little Hazelnut, I'm not sure I am if it involves my children. Have I mentioned that I hate anxiety?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Room 717

Well, we are settled in for the night, and the Hazelnut is watching a movie. She has an IV and did great when they started it. The plan is to check her glucose and ketones every 3 hours. When they get to a certain level, they will draw some blood to run some tests. I'm not sure how long we will be here, but that's OK. I just want her to do fine and not get too symptomatic and hopefully get some answers. The doctors say she is an interesting case. The medical side of me understands that. The mommy side of me doesn't like that :)

Anxiety wise, I'm doing OK. She is on monitors, and I have this love/hate relationship with monitors-and it is more on the side of hate. I don't know how I made it through nursing school-the sound of the beeping always makes me nervous. And my favorite rotation was ICU-imagine that!

And now for a couple of pictures of my little Hazelnut.

As you can see, she is obviously feeling great so far. She is such a silly little thing! I will update later if I have time. So far, I haven't had as much time as I thought. Not sure if I will be able to catch up with blogging and commenting.

Friday, July 29, 2011

My Little Hazelnut

Well, my little Hazelnut's first set of tests came back completely normal so we are praising God for that. They have scheduled her forced fast for Saturday night into Sunday. We will be there until she has an episode. I will keep everyone posted and blog from there to keep me busy. Maybe I will catch up on my blogging and commenting. :) Thank you all for praying.

As far as the Nutcase goes, I at least stopped bleeding (sorry if that is TMI). My hair is still falling out, and I still sweat like a pig. Why do we say that anyways? Pigs don't even sweat that great, and I sweat a lot. But, I digress.

Anyways, some things are better right now and some things aren't.

But, hey, my fingernails have never looked better. Imagine that!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In The Quiet

It's quiet in my house with only the sound of a dog snoring and a cat purring. My eyes are tired, contacts stinging. Not sure why I don't just take them out and put on my glasses. I'm sitting in a chair missing the Other Nut and Peanut. They are away on a mission trip together creating wonderful memories together.

I've been a little absent lately. Just kind of blah I guess. The doctor called one day. Judy Moody is a little frustrated, OK she was a lot frustrated, and the Weeping Willow just wanted to cry.

"Your hormones look great. I really don't understand why you are having these symptoms. Everything looks great."

For. Real. How can a woman bleed for 2 weeks, stop for 2 weeks, bleed for 2 more, and continue this pattern for 7 months, and everything be fine? How can one wake up completely drenched in sweat and everything be fine? How can my hair be falling out in hand fulls and everything be fine? Oh Judy Moody wanted to scream. No answers, plus bleeding and cramps, can leave a woman feeling a little discouraged and grumpy. And then the Weeping Willow shows up and cries.

So back to the drawing board as to what is going on. After some research and talking with my endocrinologist, I will take my results to my Lyme doctor. We are thinking that maybe that is the cause. All of my symptoms are seen in Lyme patients as well. Praying this Lyme clears up. I am now considered chronic, going on 2 years this August.

Trying to be thankful that my case, although chronic, is still considered somewhat mild from what I read others going through. Trying to be thankful that things "look great" with my hormones, and that I'm not anemic, but having a hard time, because quite frankly, I'm tired of bleeding.

I guess I'm getting just a really small glimpse into the poor woman in the Bible. I understand why she put it all the line to reach out and touch Jesus. She was desperate and at the end of herself. He was all she had. He was her last hope. 

And I find myself wishing that I could reach out and touch Jesus too. I tell myself that I would push through the crowds to get to Him. And yet I can touch Him. He is all I have, and He is my hope. Jesus' power didn't stop when He no longer walked the earth.

But am I at the end of myself really? Am I as desperate as she was? I want to be, because I think that is where Jesus wants us.

I finished up a class I taught with my best friend, and when I got finished, there was a release. One of those "sit down and just take a deep breath" releases. The release coupled with my discouragement left me with a feeling, but I'm not quite sure how to describe it yet. Maybe reflection? Maybe insecure? Restless? Unknown? Not seen? I can't seem to put my finger on it just yet.

And in some ways that is OK. I will keep putting one foot in front of the other, trying not to run ahead of Jesus, but instead follow. I have been enjoying the silence, sitting in my chair just thinking and reading. I have been reading Lifestories by Mark Hall. No commentaries, no Bible encyclopedias, no in-depth study of the Greek word, nothing that would look, on the outside, educational in nature.

And yet, I have been learning. God has shown up in the pages of this book that I bought for casual reading. I love that God does that, shows up in every situation, in the everyday, in the casual.

When we least expect it, God shows up and whispers His truths to us.  We just have to look for Him.

And so in my discouragement I sit in my chair, trying to figure out all of the other feelings that are running through my body. I read, listen to worship music, and hopefully listen to Him.

I'm sitting, not only in my chair, but in grace; a grace that doesn't want me to stay in this discouragement, but says it's OK to be. And so I will be right now, trusting that I will not always be here, in this discouragement.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Update on My Little Hazelnut

Thank you to everyone who prayed yesterday and left me sweet comments telling me so. They encouraged me when I needed it. Everything went just fine. Little Hazelnut did wonderfully. She is used to getting IVs so she doesn't even cry anymore. She even tells them what vein she normally gets her IV in. Results will take about 2-4 weeks. In the mean time, she will have another set of tests run. To explain these tests, I should probably give you some background information on what happens to her.

Beginning around the age of 6 years old, Hazelnut has had episodes of ketosis. The first episode she had that I noticed was really severe-she woke up disoriented and didn't know who I was. I immediately smelt the ketones on her breath and off we went to the ER. If you are diabetic or know anyone that is, you probably are aware of ketones and their smell. You typically find this problem in diabetics. But Hazelnut isn't diabetic; they have searched and searched, and she doesn't have diabetes. I am very thankful for this. There are other disorders that can cause a person to go into ketosis, but sometimes they are harder to find. Especially hers, because the minute she goes into an episode, we head to Texas Children's, at the same pumping her full of food which helps pull her out of one. By the time we get there, they can't find enough information in her blood to diagnose her with anything. I have to feed her though, because too many ketones in her system makes her sick. That is the other thing with her; when she gets any type of illness, she goes into an episode. It is hard to pull her out of one if she can't keep anything down so IVs have to be given. Right now, I just check her sugar and ketone levels with a glucometer and keep her fed. She gets ice cream a lot now which she doesn't mind. I also am supposed to try to put some weight on her, but that isn't easy. She is naturally very small and thin. She just turned 10 and weighs 50 pounds. Basically, she is the size of a 7 year old.

The doctors are also looking into a reason why she is so tiny. She has been tested before, but they didn't find anything. She just might be small. Anyways, we are seeing some specialists at Texas Children's, and they think she is an interesting case-she is  mystery to them. They think that whatever she has is very mild. Again, I am thankful for this. They are trying to rule out all possible reasons, and if they do, she will get a diagnosis of ketotic hypoglycemia. She should outgrow this, but according to the medical field, she should have already outgrown it. One reason for the mystery of it all.

Her next set of tests will be an overnight visit where they will force her into an episode and immediately take blood to get readings at the exact time of the episode. Sounds kind of awful, but it is safer than waiting for it to happen naturally. They will hook her up to an IV and give her fluids to keep her hydrated, but she won't be allowed to have any form of glucose-basically she will be fasting until she goes into an episode. Again, she will be hydrated though. After the blood is drawn, she can start eating again. When her levels are good, we are free to go home. The biggest difficulty with this test is just them being so hungry. Hopefully, movies will entertain her enough. I'll keep you posted on when that will be so you can pray through that as well.

I will also update my results soon as well. I know I said I would do it yesterday, but life got in the way. Just to give you a sneak peak into the results-Judy Moody is mad and the Weeping Willow cried!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Texas Children's Hospital

So, here I sit with my middle girl, Hazelnut. She's at Texas Children's Hospital today getting some tests run. She has episodes of ketosis, but they can't figure out why. This is one of the many reasons I have been absent from the blog world. This, coupled with some other problems, one being my own health issues, has left me not wanting to do much.

I sit here fighting my anxiety. I received an email that spoke of God's peace in the middle of hard things right as I sat down in the chair next to my daughter after she got her medicine. The very thing that God sent to reassure me of His peace has instead been used by the enemy to increase my anxiety-did I get that because something is going to happen as I sit here with her so I am going to really need His peace? Oh the battle with my fear and anxiety. It puts up a good fight.

So I would appreciate your prayers today as I sit here. Prayers that all would go well. I will update when I hear anything, but it will be awhile before results are in. I will also post an update on own my test results soon, but like I said, I just haven't felt like doing anything lately. Maybe I will do it today to keep my mind busy.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Life is A Tug Of War

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My kids, if they could, would follow my blog. They think it is "cool" that I have a blog. I'm not sure why, but I think it has to do with the fact that their pictures are on here, and that sometimes I write about them. In the words of the Walnut, "Now I'm famous!"

Well, the other morning, out of the blue, he told me that he had a great blog title for me-"My Life is A Tug of War". Interested in finding out more, I asked him what he meant by that. Thinking that his answer was so cute, being that I'm his mom and all, I decided I should blog about it.

But, I also decided that an author deserves to be heard in his own words so I asked him to write his very first blog post for me.

So, with great pleasure and mommy pride, I present to you my little 8 year old Walnut, and his post-"My life is a tug of war."

The reason I said that is because my mom has a blog.I think it as when your not a Christian satan and god pull you back and fourth

Like a game of tug a war. So that’s what I think.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

An Exciting Announcement

No, mom, I am not pregnant. Just thought I would get that out of the way. :)

But, I do think the announcement is equally exciting. 

I started this blog for many reasons, one being to tell a story, a story of God's grace and ability to restore the broken, a story that speaks of His ability to crack through our nutcases that we have wrapped ourselves in, a story that is ultimately His story. 

But this story is also my husband's story. He has lived it right along with me, fighting his own battles and hurts. I may have been crushed by his actions; but he didn't go untouched himself. He was broken and hurting just as much as me, but in different ways. 

And so I asked him to share his story in hopes that our story can be told from all sides. My desire is to show his heart, and his struggles through this journey, not just to show the struggles pornography brings to the wife.

He is working on the editing part, and I will be posting it in 4 parts with hopes that he will expand on different parts in the future. Hopefully, he will start posting on a regular basis as much as his time permits.

I pray that you are blessed by his heart in all of this. I am so proud to be married to him. He amazes me in so many ways. And watching his heart through this journey has made me even more proud. I can't wait to share his side of our story with you.

Sunflowers-Simple Pleasures

So glad to be able to post a simple pleasure this week. I've been working hard on something lately so it's nice to slow down and just see. Sunday night, the Other Nut brought me some sunflowers. They are so pretty and brighten my day when I look at them. They are on my kitchen table, often times with my napkin holder and wooden container that holds my salt and pepper shaker. Everytime I look at my table, I find myself smiling; I love the combination of the colors and textures. It just makes me stop and take it in, enough to sit and take a lot of pictures of it. It's a simple pleasure that I am thoroughly enjoying right now.

Project Simple Pleasures2

Monday, July 11, 2011

It Had Been 17 Years

It had been 17 years since I had crossed that bridge, swamp water all around full of lily pads and cypress trees. April 1994 to be exact. I was 19 years old, and it turned out to be the last time I saw my Granny before she died in May.

Some things looked different, foliage more grown up around me with lily pads bigger and more numerous than I remembered. And yet, I found myself remembering, remembering the many times I crossed that bridge, asking my parents for the 30th time, "are we there yet?"

When we finally got inside the state park and made it to the Ranger Station to check-in, I found myself to be giddy, giddy with excitement to see something that, over time, had become just a memory, a 17 year old memory. It was a vivid memory though, not necessarily the surroundings, but the love of family, the relationships, the people. I have never forgotten the excitement I felt to see my grandparents and uncles and aunts. I never tired of camping even if we did go to the same park every year. It was always just simple fun that was filled with riding bikes, exploring the trails, making mud pies, and just being. Life slowed down, even if my sister and I never did.

And so with a giddiness of a young girl coming down the stairs on Christmas morning, we drove to our spot in the park. It was a different spot in the park than where we would camp as a child, but it was summer, not spring, so we opted for the air conditioned small shelter versus tent camping.

And that was OK. I never set out to recreate everything exactly the same, because I think that brings disappointment. And truthfully, nothing stays exactly the same.

But I watched with wonder as my old memories and traditions intertwined with new ones, the next generation experiencing my memories all while making their own.  And this is what I wanted. This is what I had hoped for as we crossed that bridge.

And so my parents were there, mom carrying the same tin can full of cookies, the tin can that my little hand reached into many times in search of a cookie. I explained the coffee can to my kids, the coffee can that would be our middle of the night potty if needed to save us from a trip to the bathroom down a very dark, quiet road. The response left me giggling and wondering if that was my first response to the coffee can. 

A Coleman stove was used to cook our breakfast, eggs and bacon it was, cooked in my Granny's iron skillet, the same iron skillet that had cooked many of my own childhood breakfasts.

Critter watching at night, of course, with raccoons searching for food. And stories told, remembering the small, baby raccoons that would peak around the tree, wondering if their watchers were gone.

We played until we were filthy, the smell of fish and sweat all over with dirt under finger nails and dirty soles of feet. Bathing while camping never was a high priority-the faucet at the campsite was always enough to wash hands, face, and get teeth brushed.

A walk on the Island Nature trail added to our filth, as well as our many mosquito bites. This was the same trail that was such a part of my memories, the trail that my sister and I begged to go on all the time while there, and the voices were heard, "don't get too far ahead of us or we can't see you." We often pushed that boundary, seeking independence and adventure.

And these words were spoken from me, now a mom to 3 children seeking their own independence and adventure.

The trail was so much the same, and yet so different. The hurricane had come through, toppling many trees, trees that you would never think would fall.

And it looked like life; destruction all around, things fallen that one thinks would never fall. And I saw my life in those trees, fallen, broken, and burned. And then walking on the path, my mom pointed to it, this beautiful growth in the middle of the destruction of the path, a growth with small flowers amidst green foliage. And again, I saw my life; beautiful growth in the middle of destruction, growth that you know can only come from God.

And all around me was the new beautiful growth; a family together, 3 generations, oneness, experiencing old memories and new, blended together into one magnificent memory.

Some old memories were missed though. I could feel it, sense it. The owl lights that hung at our campsite, always shining their soft glow in the complete darkness around; these were missed. Mom looked for them, but couldn't find them.

Funny how something that might seem so insignificant can be so dearly missed. I guess they, these lights, represented something far greater than just light at night; they represented my Granny, a woman that was always a light in the middle of darkness.

But the new generation has their Ninnie, shining her own light now.

My Granny was missed though. I knew we both desperately wished she was there; my mom to once again have her mom, and me to once again have my Granny. It wasn't spoken, but it didn't have to be. I think if I had spoken this wish out loud, I would have opened the flood gates of tears, not sure if I could dam them up once they started.

And I missed my sister as I drove around the loop we rode around many times, both on our Huffies. I could see us, riding fast, wind blowing our hair, excited and feeling so big that we got to ride around all by ourselves. Back at the campsite, cookies grabbed with drink in hand, shortly ready to go again.

Now, as an adult, things that I had never paid attention to were more apparent to me. I found myself annoyed at the mosquitoes, not in the least bit enjoying the constant swatting going on with my arms. The anxiousness in my mind thought about spiders, bad spiders that could bite my kids at night, leaving areas of skin dead and in need of medicine.

And the alligators? Well, they looked different with my "mommy" eyes than they did with my child eyes. I watched for them quite often, warning small kids to back away from the water and "please don't cast right now."

My dad asked, "what happened to you. You used to be so adventurous." And my only response was simply, "I became a mom."

I found myself wondering if I even liked camping anymore, to the point that I told the Other Nut, "I think I hate this now." I wondered if my memories were really what I thought, or had I just made them better over time, over 17 years of time.

But grace found me, even in the darkness of the night when sleep was hard to find me; for we were the only ones in the campsite and fear found me first. And grace said, "it's OK to not like everything about camping now. Things are always different as an adult." And grace said that "it was OK to not be as adventurous now, that memories can still be made." And then grace brought sleep to my tired mind.

Morning showed up, and I met it with excitement, because the darkness of the night was replaced with light. And as I stepped outside our cabin, I really noticed God's creation. I mean really noticed it, and it took my breath away. The morning was still, with only God's creatures singing, and the sound of 3 children excited about fishing. Gone were the worries of spiders and alligators. Gone was the frustration towards the many mosquitoes.

And so I sat, next to the Other Nut, under the tall pines, breeze blowing, and watched 3 children fish with big, fat, juicy worms. I sat, taking it all in, this blending of old and new memories, tucking them safely in the back of my mind, knowing that one day, I'll pull them back out and smile.

And who knows; I might even be driving back over that bridge in another 17 years, and watching, once again, this blending of old and new.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Judy Moody and the Weeping Willow

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Well, Judy Moody and the Weeping Willow have come to visit at the Nutcase home. And the thing is, I didn't invite either one. They just showed up unannounced, and a little too early I might add. Judy Moody seems to speak out of turn, and Weeping Willow just starts wailing without any warning, and over silly little things. Like take today for instance. She started crying just because she didn't want any lunch. And even if she did, she didn't know what she wanted. Besides, she said she felt "bloated" anyways. This is nothing new though; she said she feels bloated all the time lately. So, in between tears, she asked the Other Nut (who probably would like Judy Moody and the Weeping Willow to move out), "if this is how it's going to be from now on, and please Jesus, let it not be."

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And then, Judy Moody decided to get really frustrated with the advancement of technology, and how it really isn't that great anyways. She couldn't understand the love of the next latest and greatest thing that will probably break anyways after you just spent a lot of money; and besides, "they just don't make things like they use too." Thankfully, Judy Moody knew she was being well, moody, and so she just told the Other Nut to just remember that she was crazy. The Other Nut, in all his wisdom, just smiled and hugged Judy Moody and the Weeping Willow.

You know, Judy Moody and the Weeping Willow have been around for about 7 months, their presence slowly becoming more obvious. Judy Moody has to work especially hard at being patient with pretty much anyone around her. And the Weeping Willow? Well, she is just glad that she hasn't started crying out in public, scaring all the people around her. Scaring the Other Nut is enough. I tell you what though; Judy Moody and the Weeping Willow sure are thankful for the Other Nut. He, even as a man, is so understanding towards these recent visitors. He hasn't even tried to kick them out.

I guess he has had lots of practice living with Touchy Thyroid, because she gets all out of whack sometimes too. And if you know anything about Touchy Thyroid, she can wreak havoc on other things around her, including Judy Moody and the Weeping Willow. Come to think of it, maybe she's showing up too here lately. And don't forget Loony Lyme. She lives around here too. She has been quite the pest around here for approximately 2 years now. She really bothers my brain. Oh my! How can I forget about Patty Panic? She has given the Other Nut plenty of practice in preparation for these 2 other nuts that have moved in. One doctor thinks that maybe it was Loony Lyme that invited Patty Panic over. I told you she's a pest. Although Patty Panic isn't too bothersome lately. But boy when she was, we sure didn't get much sleep over here at the Nutcase house. Actually, it sounds more like a Nutcase farm, because I sure seem to grow 'em, Nutcases I mean, pretty good. This is a bonafide Nut Farm.  

But I digress. I was talking about Judy Moody and the Weeping Willow.

The Other Nut, or anyone else for that matter, doesn't even know when they will really show their presence or speak up. Judy Moody and the Weeping Willow just appear out of nowhere, in the middle of a crazy cycle that is kind of like a hurricane. And for the last 7 months, this hurricane has hung around for 2 weeks at a time. Ugh! This really makes Judy Moody really frustrated and mad, and the Weeping Willow just cries about it. She's kind of a baby like that. Now, I know that isn't really nice, but that's just Judy Moody talking. She thinks the Weeping Willow is a big baby. But, then again, the Weeping Willow thinks Judy Moody is a big Oscar the Grouch that doesn't have any feelings, except the frustrated, annoyed feeling. Come to think of it, they don't really like one another. They always seem to be competing for more time around here at the Nutcase house when really the best thing would be for them both to just move on along to somewhere else.

Judy Moody gets really frustrated at the dripping sheets in the middle of the night. She is really tired of getting up and drying herself off in the middle of the night too. She finds it kind of gross. The Weeping Willow just wants to cry about it sometimes, but then that just adds to the whole wet factor so she doesn't. And Judy Moody doesn't let her anyways.

And oh! Judy Moody is really frustrated with her hair falling out. She is pretty sure that she is going to be bald soon, because every time she takes a shower, she gets a hand full of hair. And if she has to clean out the drain one more time, she just might scream. And don't even try to tell her that she is being ungrateful and whiny (that's the Weeping Willow anyways), because she just might tell you the what for. Trust me; I've tried to talk to her about being grateful and all, and that she really has a great life. And all she says when she decides to speak is "blah, blah, blah."

And then the Weeping Willow cries, because she knows she's being whiny, but just can't seem to stop the crying. It's not like she wants to cry over lunch. And she feels bad for Judy Moody, because she knows Judy Moody doesn't really want to be a grouch. They've talked it over many times so they get each other-when they're not arguing that is. And don't even get the Weeping Willow started with the Other Nut and the Little Nuts. She really feels sorry for them having to put up with her and all. She's nice like that. Judy Moody? Well, sometimes she doesn't feel sorry for anyone. She's kind of mean like that sometimes.

And so today, Judy Moody and the Weeping Willow took themselves to the doctor in hopes of getting some answers on how to move on to someone else; they realized they really aren't liking living at the Nutcase household. I mean, come on, "those people are crazy over there. Especially that woman." They went prepared to give up as much blood as needed to determine why they appeared. The Other Nut had a talk with both of them before they left. He told Judy Moody "please don't hit anyone while you're there. I know you don't want to be patient, but just try really hard OK? Just try to talk calmly." I guess he didn't want to have to bail Judy Moody out of the slammer. Come to think of it, he didn't really address the Weeping Willow. I guess he figured crying uncontrollably wouldn't land her in the slammer. They both behaved themselves once they got there; but the drive there was pretty tough. Judy Moody didn't like any of the cars around her, because they of course, were making her late and always got in her dumb way. The Weeping Willow just wanted to cry, because she might be late and "what if they wouldn't see her!" Whaaaaa! Like Judy Moody said, she's such a baby!

They did donate a lot of blood. So much, in fact, that the doctor said, "If you aren't anemic now, you will be when you get done." If all this blood doesn't give them some clue, Judy Moody will probably get frustrated, and the Weeping Willow will just cry. Judy Moody will want to demand a refund, and the Weeping Willow will just cry. Judy Moody will keep searching for answers, and the Weeping Willow will just cry.  Judy Moody will want to punch someone, and the Weeping Willow will just cry. I bet you knew what the Weeping Willow would do, didn't you?

And don't even say, "well, at 36 years old, isn't it mighty early for these 2 to show up uninvited." We all know it is. Please, by all means, tell my body that, because apparently it didn't get the message. And, please don't tell me that I'm just crazy even though I know it seems like I am, especially when you read paragraph 4, because really, I'm just a woman that has had an awful lot of uninvited guests. It's not like I asked the little tick to bite me, or that I asked my body to please, oh please, kill my thyroid so I can get all out of whack. Hopefully, you get the point. Judy Moody just might tell you the what for. She's mean like that remember?

Unlike that horrible male doctor that told me I just needed Prozac. Actually, he told me that every woman should take the little bill called Prozac, because then the divorce rate would go down, because "women wouldn't take everything so personally and get all worked up over nothing. If women could just calm down a bit." Needless to say, I quit seeing this doctor which is a good thing for his sake. And it might keep Judy Moody out of the slammer.

So anyways, while some of you are maybe watching "Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer," we at the Nutcase house are watching "Judy Moody and the Weeping Willow." Hopefully, my movie won't be an extended version, because, quite frankly, I'm ready for them to move out. They bug me.

And with that, I'm going to bed so I can sweat. I wonder if Judy Moody will show up or the Weeping Willow? Exciting times around here, I tell ya!

Oh, and I'll keep you posted on these 2 nuts. Because, I know you are all dying to know the outcome. And if you're not? Well, Judy Moody doesn't care; she'll tell you anyways. And the Weeping Willow? We all know what she'll do; she'll just cry, because she's a big ol' baby!

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