Sunday, November 24, 2013

Audience of one.

Hi Mom,

My life has been a mess as of late. My list of phone calls doesn't get shorter- the names just get replaced. I'm churning out essays for classes without really even connecting with them emotionally. I'm spending my spare time searching Amazon for medical equipment, then having dreams at night of me sprinting, in all it's unknown glory, up hills and eating breakfast outside on a park bench--just like I've always wanted.

Mom, I've realized lately that it has been months without the piano. It's been months without being able to just sit in a room and listen to the sound of the keys creating a story.To sit in a quiet room, my seat the only one filled in the audience.Why did I ever have to fall in love with the piano?

The desire to be an "audience of one" is so telling of my life right now, in more ways than just a need again for the piano.

I have been convicted lately that God too desires to be my audience of one. Sure, I can't play the piano as beautifully as my 7-year-old self once could... but I don't think God would appreciate "Here Comes the Bride" on repeat for the rest of my life too much anyways.

 He wants me to speak with Him like I know that He took the time out of his day for me. He wants me to say thanks as if He had taken his lunch break and played the piano for an hour just for me.

 Because the truth is, we both know, that being an audience of one to a private piano concert is about so much more than my love for the piano. It's about the peace that overcomes my soul when I know someone is playing just for me. It's about me knowing that the music they are creating is God's way of saying "Daughter, I am here. I placed this on this person's heart to share with you, so that you may know that I'm looking out for you. I will speak to you the way you receive... and the way you can no longer give."

God knows I can no longer play piano, and so do those who play for me. Yet, just as I desire to tell those who play for me that I am here, that I am listening, that I am for them- love them. God desires to tell me the same thing, not just through the piano, but in daily conversation as well.

I better start practicing some; since my audience of one wants to hear all the sounds of my life.
Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter,
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Sunday, November 3, 2013



This is the full definition of creative according to Merriam's Dictionary. And while I have so much I could talk about, I want to focus on my latest consuming thought: the creative process.
Having been working in my new job for two months now (in the office for 7), and working on becoming a better leader and individual through my classes, I realize why it is I love what I do. It’s all about the creative process.
I have come to the conclusion even more clearly within the last month, that one of the needs I have to meet in my life is fulfilling the desire within my soul to create things. To be able to challenge my own mind, to express the depths of my soul, to add to the creative sphere the lens in which I see the world is something I need to be able to do. I need to do it in order to be fully myself.
I need to be in an environment that can adapt, change, grow. An environment that isn't constricted so tightly by rules and instead flows out of guidelines. An environment that can be presented with a new spin, something unique and interesting.

Today is November 3rd. A day I dedicated to doing absolutely anything I wanted to do. I have been feeling a little dry of inspiration and creativity as of late, and so I knew if I was to sustain progress within my professional life, and more importantly in my personal life, I had to remedy this situation as quickly as possible. Having the outlet to be creative and having the fresh perspective to implement such ideas keep my attitude positive, despite other worldly things going on. Being creative and staying inspired is one of the many ways I keep connected with God. When I create, whether it's words, images, designs, or events what is produced taps into a deeper level of my being. 
Soooo anyways, I took today to rest and absorb. Goodness, it was/is hard. I don’t really like allowing myself to be free with my schedule…my weekends are often filled with a delicate balance of homework, fun, church, and focusing solely on fun and my desires alone is hard.
Nonetheless, I spent my entire morning scanning Pinterest, looking up quotes, perusing blogs, finding recipes and diy projects and just soaking in designs, inspiration, and beauty in nature and in tangibles. I then spent time drinking coffee and (!) got my nails done (which is a rarity as I never like to spend $ on myself—even if I sit and stare at my nails in awe of their beauty for days afterwards).  
After spending time drinking in the beloved brew of life and sitting in reflection as Juan painted my nails a dark grey, I headed over to the beloved Target. I wandered the isles of office supplies-making so many rounds the staff had to make sure I didn’t need help finding anything THREE times. Picked up a pine scented candle for my room—candles are another beloved thing of mine I never splurge on. I then proceeded over to the clothes, taking my time sorting through each individual piece in search of something olive green. Olive or forest green is my favorite color this season and I’m thinking my work space, and my wardrobe, needs to incorporate the love of this and teal.
       Even though it felt like I was off the grid of time for days(see what I did there?), it was only 3 PM at this point, and so I went to the park and straight to the swings where I spent time singing to myself a song I have been working on. (yes, for reals).
When I arrived home I went back to absorbing office and bedroom designs, working through a few color schemes, doodling and journaling.

       It’s only 6:45 and I’m struggling, after having read some, on what to do with my time but I’m determined to not touch my homework. Sure, I have a paper due Tuesday and another due Wednesday, but I know I work well under pressure and I really need to learn to be okay with doing what I need to do for my soul. 
I need to learn to be okay with the human need I have of feeding myself,on all levels. If I don’t, everything suffers and my insides become empty. I truly believe any paper written on an empty heart, an empty inside, is not only poor work, but it lacks a connection to the writers soul. A connection that is required should a piece ever have meaning to the individual.
All this to say, creative expression is a requirement and a true passion, one that I need to stop ignoring so easily
Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter,

Friday, October 4, 2013


Hi Mom,
This morning I was standing in chapel, as I always do on Friday mornings, and  I wanted to sit down. I wanted to sit down because my left hip was tired, my legs were trembling from exhaustion, and it was a fight.

It was a fight to keep standing. To hold back the tears. To choose life not death. To fight past the pain and continue standing, because it wasn't why I was standing, but who I was standing for,that mattered.

I don't think many people actually understand how painful and exhausting it is, for a body like mine, to stand still. Honestly, for any amount of time, it becomes an immediate battle. A mental game...can I beat my body? What really are my motives for sitting- is it just to get out of the fight?

In those moments of standing, every Friday, I battle insecurity.

During chapel it's a little bit easier, as long as no one asks me to sit in the front row, I can lean on the chair in front of me and know that, at least if exhaustion kicks in, I have a little bit of barrier between me and the floor. Myself and embarrassment.

But this morning. This morning was much more of a struggle than normal. For no particular reason, my body did not want to cooperate.

But I stood there the entire worship set. I stood not because of pride. I stood, I stand, because standing and not sitting for worship is the ultimate sacrifice for me. Standing means that I have to trust God to keep me up. It means I have to take control of my pain through prayer, I have to rely on my faith, and believe that God understands I am standing during that time for Him.

I am standing for everything that He has done in my life. For the people He has brought me. For the love He gives to me...
                               ...for the body He has given me...
Regardless of how hard that last part was to say, I am thankful for a body which always reminds me of His joy. A body that provides me with so many tears, so many moments of weakness, yet so many opportunities for gratitude.

I stood today. I embraced my weakness. I stood today because one day, the pain will be too much, and God will ask me to sit...He will force me to sit...and I will comply... and sitting will at that moment become my ultimate sacrifice.
But until then, I will stand. 
I will stand for Him and I will let the tears of pain...let the aches... be what they may.

Momma, I love you. 
Always and Forever
Your Daughter,

Saturday, September 28, 2013

If tears could be colored, mine would be red.

Hi Mom,
This week has been such a growing, eye opening experience for me. In so many ways it has been just the same as all the others of this month: juggling two jobs, going to class, keeping on top of Skype conversations and writing paper after paper. Yet, in so many ways it has been completely different.

Two of my classes in particular, both leadership courses, are completely turning my world upside down. It is both the greatest and hardest feeling. I love that I am continually challenged to participate in reflection and self-examination, yet with a deeper understanding comes a need for addressing fears and acting on gained knowledge.

I now can accurately, and with complete belief and confidence, describe to you my God-given purpose. I have always known to some degree that the reason I am on this planet is because I believe others matter and I operate out of  the principle of " Intentional investment", but to actually announce it in a room full of creatives (which included the band manager for Rascal Flatts), really defined it for me.

This week has really been all about me spending time challenging myself and putting all I do and say up to that test. When I do (blank)/ talk to (blank)/ participate in (blank) is it obvious that my purpose for doing it is to make sure other people know they matter? Is it obvious to said person/ organization that I am being intentional and that " what matters to them, matters to me"?

And if it is not, how can I realign myself to communicate my purpose? How can I improve? And when I say "improve", it is not to say that I have been failing, but rather recognizing that this life is about growth. No one is perfect, but if God has made it clear what my purpose is, I need to pursue it with everything I have to give Him glory.

So why does this all matter, Mom? Because I realized that once I recognized what it was God has always been calling me to live out, I realized He hasn't left me. He still loves me.

Those closest to me know I have been wrestling a lot with fear of failure. Fear that though my biggest dream is to be entirely independent, that somehow I will fail. That somehow I will forget to pay a bill, or not work hard enough, or whatever and my adult life will suddenly be taken away. Like if I make a mistake, it's all over, and I must go back to eating on the kids menu, sitting at the kids holiday party table,  and living with Dad. And let's be real, we both know that I have worked waaayyy to hard to get away from the question "Would you like a kids menu?"  That when the question finally stopped coming at 17, (17 PEOPLE!?!! REALLY?!) I refuse to be seen as a child, in that manner, ever again.

The thing is though Mom, I've never believed that independence means isolation from could I when the entire Christian faith is about God helping us, saving us, when we don't deserve it...

And God really wants me to remember never to see independence as an isolating goal. I can still have independence and have moments of struggle. I thought He left me. This month, I had doubts that with all the struggles He has given me lately that He up and said "Well Britt, you're still you, so I'm going to cut you off from my good graces. See ya!" But He never did. He reminded me that He was there when I watched Him answer my prayers for my friends. I saw He was still there when I felt the love of those closest to me, as they talked with me,during a late night. I saw He was still there when, after an entire month dedicated to prayer, He is allowing me to go to Georgia and check another thing off my doctors ordered bucket list.  I saw He was there when people still want to be my friend, and share life with me, even on the days when I don't feel good enough to have them around.

He may be giving me challenges...lots of tears...uncertainties...decisions to make... but I know when I can't see Him that He is still there. He is still reminding me that the people in my life are His greatest blessings to my heart. They are the way I see Him move and love me. Every. Single. Moment.

  Love is seen in the outpouring of tears. Tears of gratitude for life, despite the challenges.

Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter,

Friday, August 30, 2013

Unknown Moments.

Dear Mom,
 The week leading up to your surgery you unknowingly had an obsession. An obsession with the Kardashians.

Most likely due to the TIA's you were having, you became very forgetful. While such forgetfulness scared Shelb and I at times, (you forgetting you were lactose intolerant while Dad was on a business trip was a scary night for us), funny moments also came out of it all. My favorite was the week that you forgot you had already watched the Kardashian wedding on Entertainment twice before.

It was a memory of you that I now hold dear. I remember very vividly that the wedding special aired on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. I sat next to you for the 2 hour episode 3 separate times. 3 separate days. With 3 separate experiences.

You were convinced every single time that you had NOT, in fact, seen this same episode/wedding a few days prior and though I mentioned it casually once, it broke my heart to spill the news that you had... And that all three times were with me.

I couldn't muster up the guts to frustrate your heart and tell you that you had forgotten. So I sat next to you. I sat on the couch and listened to you repeat the same comments,of course unknowingly, from the previous time you had seen it. I gasped and was in shock over the extravagance and the crazy amounts of drama oozing out of that television screen with you, as if I too had no idea what was coming.

Mom, you and Dad taught me well growing up never to lie. But that time- I figured it was okay... I wanted to sit with you in your reality. I didn't want to scare you by bringing up the idea that your brain wasn't functioning "normally" or that you  "were sick and so you forgot". I wanted to protect you from fear, if only for that moment. I wanted to focus on loving you and not belittling you due to things that were outside of your control.

I learned a lot in that silly experience. I learned what it meant to stand in someone else's shoes. What it meant to step into someone else's pain and carry it with them...even if they have no idea that that is what you were trying to do. Even if in their mind you are just enjoying a TV show.

I also learned exactly the opposite of that experience, I learned in your experience. I learned that sometimes we all need someone who will be willing to sit with us and enjoy a TV show, even if their reasoning for doing so isn't exactly that. Even if their motive is to carry your burden, you can remind them that what matters more sometimes is not always the grandiose efforts but the simple, "normal" ones. From your vantage point Mom, from your experience, I believe my decision to watch the TV show mattered more to you than my efforts to carry your burden.

That moment grew me...and I can thank the Kardashian sisters for always reminding me of that precious day with you.
Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter,

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hashtag Real Life?

When I think of time in terms of this blog it seems to go by so fast.

I have left for and returned from my one month missionary& teaching excursion in Germany already,  & as I continue to process all the challenges and things I learned there I gain a larger sense of peace with it. Mom, my time over there was both one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I have under taken thus far. While I know only the staff I shared it with will be able to truly understand what happened within me over there, I'm thankful to be home & able to share all my stories.

Since returning I've landed with full force: tackling doctors appointments, being back at work (& working 3 times harder to catch up), and I moved into my new apartment!

Real life has hit with no sense of ease, but a definite wave of eagerness to step up to the challenges.
I have always been a realist... I think you instilled that in me it doesn't feel uncomfortable to me that real life isn't easy. To be honest, I don't think I ever had a fairytale version of adulthood anyway.

For example, today alone: Shelb & sent Kell off to her school year adventure in France, I'm tackling a storm of ants in our kitchen (I guess they thought our walls were a safe home from the heat), and writing this post on my phone as we wait to set up wifi.And that's what I expected real life to be...
It reminds me that in many weird ways, I'm thankful to you & dad for raising us in a way that prepares us to take on challenges, however big or small.

In so many ways, several unspoken on here, I know the challenges I have coming to me in the future are so much larger than some ants and  lots of tearful "see ya laters"...but right now I'm thankful.

I'm thankful for the courage&strength that God gives me for this life. I'm thankful for a deep sense of love for my friends, family, and chosen family-- even if that love makes send offs harder.  I'm thankful for "sisters" who greet me with a dinner date, after I've been gone for a month, with so much joy and anticipation an outsider would think it's been a year. I'm thankful for technology that makes getting support from now dear friends states, or countries, away so much easier. I'm thankful for you Mom, and all those in Heaven & on Earth watching out for me.

I'm thankful for all the love poured out on me, even in the challenges of my "real life" reality. Oh am I so glad we never have to do this life alone...or else I know I would have given up out of fear long ago.
Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter,

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Shoes and Chairs.

In our living room sits one of the greatest pieces of furniture I have ever seen. It’s not special in the sense of expensive or grandiose, but it is by far the best piece of furniture I have sat in. I affectionately call it “The Dog Chair”... Dad and Shelb know it as, “Brittany’s Chair”.

Ever since you had your surgery at Stanford, this chair has become MY chair, my resting place. I curl up in it, legs dangling over one of the arms, armrest covers fall onto the carpet, and I just simply “be”. Sometimes the dog will make herself into the tiniest ball she can and cuddles with me... though most times she won’t.

This chair has been my only company in my deepest thoughts, the place I have written several of my blog posts, my reading chair, and my one comfort in job searches and sometimes even homework...

Dad asks me every once in a while why it is that the “dog chair”,(a chair covered in material that contains dogs sitting by a fire, go figure) has become my chair. Why no one else in our family sits in that chair, but me.  
Well that answer is easy, and yet to outsiders, it may seem silly.

The "dog chair" was the last place you physically sat in our house. It shocks me sometimes how many details of that insignificant moment I remember...

The last memory I have of you, the last moment you were physically in our home ,you were in jeans and my favorite long sleeve shirt, tying your tennis shoes on a cold night in December. That particular night was the night... the night before your surgery at Stanford, after our early Christmas and a visit from your best friend Joann and her daughter, you sat in that chair and put on your shoes. They were the blue canvas ones with cream laces and brown soles. 
As you were tying the right one, with your foot placed on your knee, you peered out the window to your left and into our backyard. An occurrence that to so many means nothing, to me meant nothing, now is the last place you ever sat in this home.

That is why the dog chair is my chair. Because when I sit there I remember you. In the oddest of ways, something silly means so much to me. I hope I never forget that look on your face…the confusion and the uncertainty of what was next …and yet a peace I saw in your eyes that we were all there, doing it together.

Dad knows that he can never get rid of that chair.

 It doesn’t always have to be in the house, but he knows he HAS to keep it for me. The day I get my first real home it is coming with me. It may be two or three or four years from now, the chair may become stained or tattered, but it is coming with me. No question about that.
The chair makes me feel at home. It’s comforting. It’s my little place to think, journal, and just reflect. It is my place to look out the window and dream about what’s to come. The dog chair is mine… and yet in the very same way, it is yours. It is our meeting place in my mind and in my heart. Silly but yet comforting, and that is all that matters tonight.

Maybe, just maybe, God will give me a “dog chair” when we meet in Heaven one day and we can talk in each other’s presence like we never missed a beat. Thanks for always listening Mom.

Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter,

Friday, May 10, 2013

Bleeding Piano Keys.

Black and white keys truly speak when I can't. Fingers running at speeds I can only remember being able to produce so long ago... childhood moments turned into only dreams now. Timing being kept by the up and down of a gentle foot on the pedal or the floor.
Desire. A deep desire to return to those days as a little girl, if only for a moment, when I could sit down at that bench and bleed. To share my deepest thoughts and emotions on the keys of that piano in a way that only that instrument can capture. I still dream about what it would be like to do it again...

 The piano has always awakened the deepest parts of my soul Mom, but as " A River Flows in You" by Yiruma came on tonight... as I was transported back to a day with you in Carmichael... I couldn't help but be shaken by the sound even more than usual.
The song:
I have no idea what stage we were in, but I remember the fevers and the tears were constants at this point in our nursing home visits. All I remember otherwise was a picture one of your therapists put up on the wall, of you petting a horse while in your wheel chair. And I remember walking through that parking lot one weekend, headphones in and Yiruma's piano piece playing in my ear, trying my best to muster emotional strength. Trying to brace myself for the smells, the unpredictable,the childish games, your tears or your sweaty palms. All things I never thought I'd miss to the depths that I do.

Mother's Day is Sunday, Momma, and I  truly don't know how to feel. My last two Mother's Days with you were not how I wished they could have been. The most recent, our last on Earth with you,  was plagued with tears through church service and fake pink flowers on your hospital bed-side table at Whitney.
The one before that... honestly all I can remember is the guilt I felt. We had to eat at McDonald's and went shopping (very slowly I might add) because I was still in a hip-to-toe bright neon cast and could barely muster the strength to be out and about. I know you didn't really mind deep inside, but as your daughter it hurt that I couldn't give you the day you truly deserved that year.

Mom I listen to Yiruma and remember the tough moments, the moments of fear for your future, and reflect now in deep appreciation for them. Because though they were tough, they were still moments. Still pieces of time we could love on each other and spend next to each other. With each other in all possible ways.

Moments where the words "Goodbye Beautiful, Your Britty Loves You" didn't just flow through empty space, but actually into your beautiful ears.

I am thankful though, that Heaven probably is planning the best Mother's Day celebration possible--the one you and so many other loved mothers, grandmother's, chosen-mothers, second-mothers, spiritual-mothers, deserve. I am thankful for all our moments together, because deep to the core of those moments, reflected love. Love that conquered fear, love that gave strength, and love that gives me the ability to reflect tonight on the hard times and the Mother's Days as blessings.

This song... it reminds me of our times of growth, of our family's story, and of the love we shared... in your final months especially. What a smile it brings to my face...
Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Real Risks and Quiet Thoughts.

Hi Momma,
I've contemplated whether or not I wanted to share this aspect of my current situation publicly for a while now. AND THEN I realized, if I really love authenticity like I say I do, it would be wrong not to admit my weaknesses and share my thoughts. Hence what came out below:

I know my Cerebral Palsy is an unchanging reality of my life here on Earth. Until further notice, it is medically incurable. But even though I recognize it is out of my control, I still get frustrated with my health, because realities have changed.

As a kid Mom you know, options for improvement of the effects of my CP were endless: surgeries,leg braces, physical therapy, occupational therapy, home programs, muscle relaxant injections, and assisting devices. And I've done them all. Now, from the looks of it, my options for walking improvement are becoming far more limited. My feet would break the leg braces. My muscles are too tight to rely on therapies alone. Home programs, while trying to fit in as a somewhat-normal college student, is almost impossible to uphold.
So we must wait. We wait for more appointments. More tests. Probably more X-rays. And then we wait for results. We wait to hear from the doctors on what to do next. We have to wait to figure out what my new reality is going to be... how to live within new limitations and an ever-changing and in-pain body.

Already, a day after a very important doctors appointment, I slowly and very cautiously shared the conclusions with a small group of lovely people in my life. The general response came out to be something like, "Well, you can't do much at this moment right? So just do whatever you are doing now to make it through to June"(my next appointment).
...But the thing is, I don't think people understand the implications of that statement. The amount of pain I will have to endure.The fevers/ high blood pressure that comes and goes because my body is trying to fight off the pain. The frustration with being reminded every moment that you are sick. You are weaker, More dependant. .More isolated and harder to understand. More different than everyone around you.More different than the ones you love the most.

 It's not just making it through, it's cherishing every moment like it's your last chance to do it as you wish, but living with the hope that it won't be. It's more than just making it through. It's figuring out how to make your life count. Despite what may come or what is present. To be "you" when you can't feel like the "you" that you know. (how does one even do all this at every single moment of the day?)

To say "just do what you do to make it through"  is a lot more complicated of a process than one would think. Pain has and can change your opportunities and how you are physically able to spend your time. It means that I constantly have to struggle with how to make the most of absolutely everything, because who knows at this point where the pain is going to spread to from here or when it will strike next. To live in the balance between recognizing the realities and living in the hope of possible change. And the best part, trying to do that without scaring too many people with raw emotions or true pains.
 While I completely understand the logic behind the responses of others to "just making it through", I pray for the day when we would all (myself included)  actually remember to put ourselves in the others shoes, even if they aren't the right size. Because that's what love is.

I mean look at me...
 I came up with every excuse not to post this because I'm afraid someone won't understand or take what I say differently than the way I meant it But what if someone needs to hear this? What if my openness encourages someone that they don't have to have it all together to be loved-- because I sure don't. I need to stop being afraid of having a real-life. Mom, I need to be okay with giving people the truth. The truth that everyday I wake up with no clue how to make this all work.

No idea if I will be able to walk all day or end up calling someone almost in tears realizing that this pain I'm experiencing is real....that it's not some made-up-story, or something I can run from. It stares me in the face every hour of every day... and that's not something to be sad about, but something to embrace.

 This is what I've been given and I'm trying, sometimes more successfully than other times, to be real about acknowledge that I hurt, struggle, fear, doubt...that I am imperfect and broken...And then pray. Pray that others, the ones I love,will be there love on, hug, and encourage me despite my real life.

The Lord has never let me down in this prayer. He has been extremely gracious with giving me the cream of His crop to call my dearest, closest friends and blood and chosen family. A gift, so undeserved, that will always bring me to tears as I fall asleep at night or  pray for them daily.They are the reason why I can be mad at my body, but not at my life.

Mom, I know this God stuff was never your thing but I want to leave you with a piece of my heart that keeps me encouraged for the future.They are words that emulates who I hope one day to become:someone who is completely abandoned to God's plan, despite the world's attitudes.
(my morning prayer)
 "Hey God, I recognize my pain and my struggles. I recognize the shooting pain from my head to my sensitive feet. I recognize my pain and struggle...and I will not run from it! It will not defeat me because I am Yours. I thank you now for life despite this pain. I thank you for breathe to be able to feel this pain and recognize my humanness, my need for Your Promises and Your Love. My prayer today and everyday is that, in a thankful response to Your love of my shattered body and broken heart, I love others deeply. Spilling out my utmost gratitude and deep, real love for those I encounter, my family both chosen and blood, in the ways that they need.Lord use me I beg to bring others to Your side.  I pray that my circumstances do not chain me and prevent me from holding Your hand today. I pray that my body does not prevent me from seeing Your glorious work and plan for my life. I abandon every piece of myself to You regardless of what struggles and emotions come my way.You are in control and I thank you for the gifts you have for me today. Amen"

Maybe, just maybe, this post was God's way of using me to love on somebody today, in the way they needed: in real risks of authenticity.
 Love Always and Forever
 Your Daughter,

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Always underserving, yet still blessed.

It is currently the glorious week of spring break. A week where I should feel it is acceptable to spend a good chunk of time getting my thoughts out on paper to you. Truth is: I can think of at least three other things on my to-do list for this week I should be doing.
Deep breathe. Relax Britt, relax. Okay, I'm back---gosh I love spring break.

Mom, I’ve been learning a whole lot in the last month or two. It seems as though when I get the chance to reconnect with my inner thoughts, my inner self...whether that be through relationships, coffee, music, writing… or like this week: all of the above… It finally sinks in, that again, I have been growing up daily.

I know I will never be able to fully encapsulate the transformation that is occurring, the clarity and yet the confusion of life at this moment. This post is not an  attempt to “explain every detail of her decision making…and then gab about American Idol”—sorry Devil Wears Prada moment—but seriously, I don’t mean to try to explain every detail.

That is the great thing about this life though, that the truth is the 4 people that may take the 5 minutes to read this probably already know the details I wish not to go into. They know what has been going on and they don’t need me to attempt to clarify things for them, they know how complicated things are.

What I do want to share with you though mom, is the small sliver of hope I have. The excitement that rests in my heart when I think of the “one day” moment that will occur in the future is overwhelmingly beautiful. That moment when I  will get to look back at the stresses of now: school, financial decisions for the next year, raising funds for a teaching opportunity abroad this summer, getting to the bottom of my health confusion, the lack of control I have…wow, how silly it will all seem. It will seem silly because I know in the end I will have done all I can…and it will work out.

The hope I have in this situation seems almost unnatural at this point…I think it is. Mom, there really aren’t enough words in the world to explain how blessed I am. The fact that amidst stress, fear, and concern there can be joy, love, and strength-- I can’t just get over it. I love that we are not in this world alone. I love that I am continually surrounded by encouragement. I am continually reminded of the power of love,support, and quality time. I am continually reminded of the importance of intentional impact.

The people I have the blessing of knowing are some of the best people I think this world will ever see. They all have such unique stories, personal struggles, overwhelmingly encouraging hearts. I know these people in my life will, and are, setting the world ablaze with love and with passion.  I can’t ever tell them that enough (but boy do I probably sound cheesy at times!). All these people, Mom, they are my reason for hope. These last few months have been confusing at times, but their decision to have an intentional impact... to love me despite my flaws, my ups and downs, my uncertainty... gives me hope that not only is there an end to my fear and my stress….perhaps that end is also a beautiful beginning to another deeper level of who I am meant to be. (wow what a run-on sentence! )

I don’t have all the answers. I do have all the questions. But I also have a whole lot of hope, and a whole lot of people to bring me back to my feet,  to come alongside me and fight the day to day ups and downs.

Overwhelmed by blessings. Always will be undeserved.

Thanks for listening Mom... and thanks for giving me an example of a fighting spirit.

May I remember some things in life may require me to dig a little deeper, hold on a little longer, and perhaps, “go all Belinda on them” :)
Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sitting in JOY

Hi Mom,

It’s been awhile...seems like that occurs more often than not these days.
Spring semester is in full swing and Mama, you’d be proud—I truly feel like I’m growing up in every sense of the word.
I can’t really put words to it, but maybe that is what makes it so magical. I had a surge of excitement come over me the other day at the realization that real life is coming. One day I will no longer be a student. I will no longer live at a school. One day no longer be in a minimum wage job. Days filled with classes and snacks. Nights filled with coffee and work. It’s not, in any sense, a bad thing to be where I am at…you know I’ve always loved learning.

It just excites me to the very core to realize again that I am actually moving towards a clearer sense of myself and my place.

I’m starting to look forward to the days of not having “student” as my full time occupation. Sure, I still could list off a million things I wish to learn, but to actually wake up one morning and go to a job. To be an adult. How scary and beautiful.

Mom, my life is coming together. I’ve realized lately that I have no control over it and for once I’m not scared. I’m not scared that the “ideal life” I had planned in my head is becoming less and less practical or desirable for that matter.  Things may not end up the way I dreamed. I may not initially have my book proposal picked-up straight out of school. I may not land at Grad school in New York.  That is okay, my dreams are changing. I love safe variety.

I WILL go to New York, just maybe not under the grad student title…or maybe I will…
I may leave WJU right away…or I may stay an extra year and a half in their single subject program to get both my TESOL credential and my Master’s…
I may get a job with a magazine…or as a speaker… or as a teacher…or as a book writer…or maybe as a wife…
The point is Mom, I’m growing up. I no longer need things to go exactly as planned. If the dreams I had as a high schooler pan out I will be happy and joyful.
                                            If my dreams change, evolve, grow—I will be happy and joyful.

I am enjoying all the possibilities of life…of the future... of myself.

Mom, I truly deserve nothing I’ve been given. Not the successes. Not the opportunities. Not the skills. Not the love…and if that is all true (and I sincerely believe so) than I will be blessed wherever I land in life. Because joy and true happiness I believe don’t come from perfection, they come from mindset. I can loosen the reins on life. I can mature and allow my dreams and plans to do the same.

I am blessed with life and so I will sit in the joy of possibilities today.
Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter

Friday, January 4, 2013

Mouth: Speechless. Heart: Full of Thoughts.

Hi Mom,    (I miss you)
I was actually suppose to be sharing another thought with you tonight, but it is nowhere near complete and... well I guess this is what happens when too much (and too little) are going on in my life.

I have a feeling something is really happening in my life right now. I can’t yet put it into words. I just have what I feel is a 100 lb weight on my heart telling me I better be holding on because my life is going to become one wild but grand ride this year.

I feel anxiety of a different type tonight. This feeling within me is not the same hands tingling, gasping for air feeling that happened in early October. No, it’s a lot safer anxiety than that. (is that even possible?)
 It’s a yearning for understanding. A desire for growth. A need for an overall peace.

No words seem to explain it.

I don’t know what’s coming, but I know it’s mindset’s going to teach me and stretch me.

I think that’s why deep down I know that the spontaneous trips planned this break are done in part because I want to run from my responsibilities. Not in a careless way, just in a "let's just go have some ridiculous amount of fun because we aren't in school" sort of way
In other words, let’s just say this break has me really realizing how great you were with my medical phone calls/ appointments/all that goes with growing up with CP. These things can be frustrating. Being an adult is a lot harder than I expected. Go figure.

It wasn’t that I thought it was easy, I just didn’t realize how simultaneously one can feel both lost and happy when something you still don’t fully understand is now your issue to deal with. Hello government health insurance plans.

Mom, I really enjoyed the recent trip to SLO and then Monterey bringing in the year. The doctors appointment that followed however, I didn’t enjoy nearly as much. Not that it was horrible, you know I just can’t stand doctors.

I enjoyed the trip in part because I knew it came with: really long drives and time to just think about other things than my "Before January 20th" to-do list. I enjoyed spending time with people I love and the calm that always fills my heart when inhaling the sea air.

All in all,  this post was not in anyway a complaint about my to-do list or “ growing up” because I actually really enjoy those two things. I like the challenge of rising to the occasion of my life. I like learning.
                ...the sense of accomplishment and the new locked storage system (with alphabetized and color coded files for paperwork) is just an added benefit :) I really perfect benefit too I might add!

With all that said, I’m looking forward to fleeing home for a bit next is break after all :) haha!
Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter,