Sunday, July 31, 2011

Update

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.

Prayers-
-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


Google Image

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


image source

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."


image source
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!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Beauty From Ashes

This year, I was going to celebrate. I wasn't sure how. I just knew that I was. I figured that maybe my family would go to lunch with my best friend's family. Maybe to Chili's-we always go to Chili's together. I would sit there and drink Diet Coke, talking and laughing with the Other Nut and my best friend and her husband. The kids would sit down at one end of the table talking like they always do-I love listening to their conversations sometimes. My friend and I would talk about how far the Other Nut and I had come, amazed at what God had done in our marriage. I would lean over and kiss the Other Nut, and he would immediately know why. We would both be so thankful for redemption, forgiveness, and our marriage. We would look at our kids, and be ever so grateful for a family that wasn't torn apart when the enemy tried to do so. I would think about my husband, and how much I love him, how proud I am of him. I would be so thankful that my husband loves God, because it was his love for God and wanting to live a godly life that broke my husband and drove him to repentance. I would be so grateful, not wanting to take for granted that he immediately wanted to get better, to never go back to that place; he wanted our marriage to survive this storm. The Other Nut would be so grateful for forgiveness extended, that we didn't give up on each other. We had fought to regain our oneness. We had fought long and hard.

And here we would have sat at Chili's, oneness connecting us; husband and wife, best friends, lovers, each others biggest fan.

But the One who restores had different plans, something far greater than I could have ever planned.

On May 15th, I got to watch my husband baptize our son.

When I realized the date the baptism would be, I knew what a great gift God was giving me. It was a day far better than I could have ever planned as I watched the Other Nut baptize our son. I was so proud of both of them. I stood amazed at the blessings God had given me; a husband, the spiritual leader of our home, a godly man that loves Jesus and his family, and a son that knows Jesus as his Savior.

I was thankful for this man that I call my husband, because of everything he is and everything we have walked through together. Our road hasn't always been easy, but I wouldn't want to walk it with anyone else. I still had all the same thoughts I envisioned myself having at Chili's; I just had them at a place far better than Chili's. I know we both stood amazed at the restoration that God brought to our lives. And I know we were both blown away at how we got to celebrate everything God had done for us as a couple, individually, and for our family. And God did all of this out something so ugly, painful, and destructive. He did something with our pile of ashes. He created beauty.

And we stood there, soaking it in that day, the day we watched our last child get baptized.

May 15th, a day of ashes turned into a day of beauty. I can't wait until next year, to celebrate this day again; for it is now forever a day to celebrate.











Sunday, July 3, 2011

What Happens When You Try To Save Money

So, we've been hit with the Dave Ramsey little black book with envelopes here in the Nutcase house. Overall, it's been a great experience. We have saved more money than we normally did in the past-spending is a lot different when it is mainly done with cash. Handing over a bunch of bills is a lot more painful than just swiping a card.

Because of this, we have tried to think of different ways to save money. I had the brilliant idea that in my spare time, I was going to groom our dogs myself. Taking all 3 big, hairy dogs to the groomers cost us $230 every time. This, of course, meant I didn't take them that often which resulted in this. And as much as I love dogs, I don't like their fur being deposited all around my house.

So, when you have been Dave Ramseyfied, have 3 big dogs, and don't like their fur everywhere, you kind of have to try to groom them yourself. I bought a really nice pair of clippers which was actually cheaper than one trip to the groomers, and got to work. I started with Addie first since she is the calmest dog we have. And can I just say, bless her little heart for having to be the guinea pig.

Before I show you pictures, please let me remind you that this was the first time I have ever done this. I was so afraid that I was going to cut her. I also want to say that dog groomers rock!

I now present to you what happens when you try to save money:






Poor girl. Doesn't she just look pitiful? The pictures don't do the bad haircut justice. When the Other Nut got home, he said, in between bursts of laughter, that I really needed to try and fix it-she looked that bad. And I kind of think she knows it-she has been pretty mopey since then. I did fix it though, and she does look better. My dogs are definitely not going to be show dogs that's for sure!

Well, they might look kind of funny until I get the hang of it, but it will definitely save us some money. And hopefully, I won't have fur balls all over my house all the time.

P.S. DOG GROOMERS ROCK!


Friday, July 1, 2011

Shame

It brings with it shame, pornography does. It's a strange sense of shame though, because in some ways, it doesn't seem rational. But, then again, is anything involving pornography rational? This shame I speak of was really more of my shame, not necessarily the Other Nut's. Sure, he had his own shame from his secret being exposed; but, at the same time, there was also a level of relief-he no longer had to hide something that was destroying him, trying on his own to beat something that is quite powerful in it's grip.

But I was so proud of him; facing his shame head on. He didn't shrink from it, hide at home, away from church, the church that knew of our secret. He went, head up, accepting the embrace from the people around him. And we had vowed to do that, to face it, to talk about it, not hide behind it.

I was so thankful for the outpouring of support; the hugs, the "I'm here for you" looks, the nonjudgmental acceptance. In the middle of my pain and frankly, disgust, in what the Other Nut had done, part of me was still so proud of him.

And yet, the other part of me was drowning, drowning in my own immense shame. Part of me was angry at the support he was getting. It seemed like everyone immediately thought he was so wonderful, because he was open, honest, and had a repentant heart. And there I was, crushed under the weight of his sin of pornography. Where he felt relief for the exposure of the darkness, I felt a heavy weight as I tried to claw my way back from the darkness that had engulfed me.

The battle between being proud of him and disgusted with him raged in my head.

The reality of my shame was staring me in the face, laughing at me. But, it wasn't a shame for what he had done. It was a shame for who I was. Because, surely I was the cause of this.

If only I had been a better wife. This is what I thought was going through everyone's head as they found out the truth. I mean, it's what was going through my own head so it only made sense that everyone else was thinking the same thing.

"She must be a real nag of a wife to have driven him to this."

"Their sex life must be awful. She must not satisfy him enough."

"She must be such a difficult wife. I wonder how she really treats him."

"She must be so demanding."

The list could go on. The shame of who I was as a person, a wife, a woman was overwhelming. If only. If only I was better at everything that the Other Nut needed, this wouldn't have happened. He wouldn't have needed pornography. I had failed him.

I found myself not wanting to look at certain people. The embarrassment was too great. I didn't want them to see what I already knew to be true; for to see me would only bring about further confirmation in their mind.

And so I didn't. I didn't raise my eyes to look. I pulled back, way back in some circles. There were some that were safe, but not all.  I shared my story with women, and I saw God do great things with that; but still there were some from which I pulled away.

 My counselor was safe, beyond safe as a matter of fact. I could look at him without shame turning my eyes away. That room; it became a shelter in my fiercest storm with my counselor and God waiting for me when I showed up.

I pulled back, because some knew too many of my faults. And to me, these were faults that could only confirm my worst fear; that I was the cause, that I drove the Other Nut to this.

Because the truth is, I do have faults. I have many. And our marriage wasn't and isn't perfect. There have been difficult moments along our journey, moments that have been witnessed by others.

And in my shame, under the weight of the darkness that surrounded me, I believed that this was enough to convict me. It would be just as I suspected. I was, in fact, guilty.

It took a long time to claw my way out of the shame, to be able to really look at some people. Jesus worked really hard cracking this part of my nutcase open. It formed quickly and clung to me really tight. Sometimes, quite frankly, in certain situations, it slowly begins to wrap itself around me, trying to form another layer. I often wonder if it will always be this way, trying to form another layer, leaving Jesus with more work.

This was my shame. A shame that to many might seem irrational, senseless; but to me, it made perfect sense. It was my reality; a reality that was born out of the pain of pornography which leaves nothing in it's path untouched. A pain that even today, we see glimpses of it's effects.


Five Minute Friday-Welcome

Five Minute Friday link up with The Gypsy Mama-

1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my right side bar}
3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.

My bloggy friend at This Little Light of Mine linked up today for the first time. This was my second. We agreed that we would both link up today-we decided we would be brave together. Be sure to hop over to her blog to check her's out.

GO

Well, I had to laugh when I saw the word, "welcome" for today's five minute Friday. You see, I haven't really felt very welcoming lately. I'll just blame it on the hormones that are not working well. And I really needed to be welcoming. I was at VBS all week being the VBS nurse for the kids there. And they really are very sweet, cute kids. It's just that I really had to work at being patient this week, really lean on God's grace, and work at being, well, welcoming to them. The ones that came when they really weren't sick; they just said they were, because they wanted to play with my blue gloves and see what was in my medical supply kit. They wanted to sit in my chair and have me get snow cones and water for them. They wanted me to welcome them into my little nursing station, talk to them, and love on them. Some did have real medical needs (the ants were out in record numbers), but mostly they just wanted to talk and have me listen. And so I did. Probably not as good as I did last year, but thanks to God's grace and love, I did listen and love. I hugged and rubbed little boo-boos. And I let them sit in my chair. Hopefully, they felt welcomed in my world this week.

STOP


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