Sunday, September 7, 2014


(this is all one scattered ramble)
I know you were not one for long talks of the Christian faith and its influence on life, but the truth is such things are of importance to me, even more so now than they were when you were around... if you can believe it.

So if you're listening, I hope these things are of importance to you now too. I always prayed when you were sick that we could talk of these things... maybe these letters have become the answer to that prayer.

In case you didn't notice, yesterday was the eighth month mark of my  massive multi-part surgery. I don't know why that is such a big deal today...

 Mom, I miss you. I wish I could find that tenacity you always had in your heart, instead of the uneasiness I have now.

Thank you Lord. Despite missing her, despite temporary sadness. Thank you Lord, for giving me the strength to use the walker inside the apartment;that ten percent of my time replenishes my hope.

I feel a little trapped here at school. I LOVE my classes and reuniting with my professors...the new friends I'm making... I just fear that I'm going to get stuck in the "Christian bubble" and will forget what it means to implement true faith, true community.

I'm trying to find my contentment again, trying to find my "life" direction...trying to find that paper somewhere that reminds me of the day He said there is a specific, great, lovely, and fulfilling call.

---- Just keeping my head up and my eyes wet in thankfulness for what the Lord has in store. Focusing on keeping my heart quiet  and my ears open, waiting for that voice to return and calm my spirit. It always does, if I'm continually patient.----
Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter,

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

"Less Excess, More Faith--Party of ONE?"

Sometimes it's so hard to dream. To have a dream, a desire, that is so much bigger than yourself. To yearn and work for that dream to become a reality, yet always feeling so far away from it...3,228 miles away from it to be exact.

I'm sitting here in my room, packing. Yet again.
As I sit next to a pile of books I'm thrilled to read and a pile of old journals I've skimmed through, all I can think about is the excess. I have so much stuff. So much un-necessary stuff. I've already given bags to Goodwill and donated books to the Library, yet I still have so much stuff.

Over the last few months I've moved so much that, for a while, I had been "traveling" with roughly ten shirts. It didn't matter if I was at a place for two weeks or two months, for a while I just found it easier. Cleaner to live that way. It didn't actually bother me that every week and a half or so I had to do laundry, It just felt right. That lasted until April...what happened to that? ...Oh, yeah. fear.

That's a silly example I know, but while part of me loves planning for "the future after college graduation in May", there is a LARGE portion of me that has learned to settle in with the idea of having very little. Maybe it is because my inner self believes that if I have little I can GIVE more. Not to say people with more than 10 shirts in their closet can't give more, many many many of my dear friends show that this is untrue. They are the most selfless people, those I love.

 I've been in this "season" (ugh that word!) where I've been really struggling with the reality that I need to be asking for help.  I need to accept that others give to me because I'm in need: I'm the one who needs rides to the doctors and the one who needs encouragement when recovery becomes my worst nightmare. It's, it IS, such a struggle to feel like I have so little to give to the ones I love.

 Maybe that feeling of being less-useful because of my physical limits (you should see me become all antsy when moving day comes) is why I think an emptier closet equals more opportunity to give. I want to give back. I want to give back regardless of if I'm in a wheelchair or refusing to use my cane.

I don't want to be told that my giving must fit inside the box of MY capabilities.  I don't want to be told to give "as long as it's safe  for your body" and deemed "appropriate".
  I don't want my body to cage my heart.  

I serve a God that is bigger than my non-walking limbs. I serve a God that provides miracles. I serve a God that places in his children's hearts the desires to give and serve in ways that don't make sense.

So tonight I have to believe that those dreams and those callings to serve and give are NOT there to just tease me. Though the word "desire" does not seem to even begin to encompass the passion and heart I have to go to Haiti, to learn from the Haitian people, to break all those stupid molds of "capabilities"...I have to believe that the desire to go give and be given to in Haiti was not placed on my heart to tease my limbs.

 For now then, I guess I have to fight for those dreams...keep working at my Creole lessons (I just started last week, but I'll get there), and believe that where I'm at now is not permanent. I have to believe and keep taking those small steps to this giant dream. My God is faithful-now only if I was more like Him.

Well, here's to trying to be just that...faithful.
Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter,

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Root Down

"The fairest thing in nature, a flower, still has its roots in earth and manure."-D.H. Lawrence

Sometimes I don't understand. I don't understand how our world works. How are we okay with hiding our truest selves and replacing it with worldly cares of image and success?

 I find myself these days very introspective...wondering when my motives towards things got skewed and thankful that I was able to take a step back and re-align myself with the things that matter more than promotions, money, comfort and the like. It is nothing short of extremely challenging to stand up for the beliefs and actions that go against the grain of this world, letting go of the security and kingdom I was building for myself and walk towards the path less comfortable. The path that requires more trust and less control on my part.

Yesterday the world was hit with the shock-wave of Robin Williams death; a beloved comedian speculated to have committed suicide. For some reason, I can't wrap my brain around it. I just don't understand how a person who is in a field that is committed to bringing joy and laughter to others, could continue doing such things while a silent monster ate him alive. It makes me sad that people sometimes don't feel safe enough to be true to themselves, to vocalize pains and seek restoration.

Now Mom, I'm not saying in any way that I have all of this down pat.We all have moments of fear that seem, to us, to be so paralyzing  that we don't know how to save ourselves--we need others to fight for us.  We both know I still have a lot of growing to do when it comes to trusting in the midst of vulnerability, but I think that is why Williams death is so heartbreaking. It reminds me that transparency and vulnerability are painful... at first...but necessary for life. If Williams reached out in his hour of need and was completely honest, maybe his mind could have been changed. Hope restored.

In order for a flower to continue to bloom it must root down into the earth, tying itself to a steady foundation and moving past the surface level soil in order to remain. We must do the same. We must, I must, walk towards the things in life that will allow for our roots to grow deep into the earth. We must remain stable and tied to our foundation-who we were created to be- in order to rise and bloom into the great call on our life. 
                                        What joy we will find when we live in that place!

Independence comes from dependence on our foundation. If each person, myself included, walked closer to the call on our life and to the One who placed it there, maybe we would have less dissatisfaction and more bold faith.

Then maybe as a result this world, our environment, would be a little less chaotic and a little more life-giving instead of life-taking.
Love Always and Forever 
Your Daughter, 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Written April 20th: Ladies and Gentlemen

Hi Mom,
It has indeed been months without writing, but I think it was for the best. Writing any earlier than this moment would have meant that I would have left out the lessons I’ve learned…unable to see the larger picture at that point in time.

The week and weekend after the Superbowl was truly a turning point in so many ways…It was a new vulnerability for me and marked the start of a months time without weekly visits from friends…but yet just what people I needed, just the birthday phone calls I prayed for, to keep me thriving and so so encouraged.
I ended my time living in Rocklin (for now) after a restful and EYE OPENING weekend away at a friends house…before the weekend was over I had decided to leave my at-the-time current living quarters for something totally different, totally life giving. Two weeks turned into two months and I cannot put into words how thankful I am for all the things I’ve learned, all the friends I’ve met, all the prayers I’ve prayed, all the tears I’ve cried over the injustices in our world, all the involvement I have grown into with our church… different than I thought, but exactly where God wants me…all the life experience and growth I’ve made.

I’m being filled and healed, encouraged and tested in ways that I know can only be God’s doing. After those two months I now have another new place to call home full of such blessing and more growth, encouragement, and fun. 

Almost-two-year-olds are such fun, even on his rough days I’m convinced he’s the best out there.

Surgery recovery has had its ups and its relapses but I've been busy. My favorite Georgia girl came to town, I conquered a week in SLO, and am now in month three of therapy twice a week. So thankful that if I have to be yanked and cranked on at least I’m friends  with the one who is doing it…a new blessing for me in this surgery/cerebral palsy journey of mine. To feel safe and advocated for before the first visit to the clinic even began.
Wednesdays have always been my favorite day, the day of the week Sara and I usually get together and last Wednesday that happened again. I just love lunch dates and real life conversations. This Wednesday was just as fulfilling, this time with a different friend.
I’m so thankful for the ladies and gentlemen in my life…. For teaching me about this crazy thing we call adulthood, relationships, service, and walking with God. Couldn’t be happy in the ups and the downs without God’s orchestration and of course the constant: family…and friends who are just the same as blood.
Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter


Monday, March 3, 2014

Heart in Haiti


I will have to cancel the trip if a) I'm unable to raise the funds and b) I'm unable physically to walk to the standard I need to meet. I am confident that reason b will not deter me, after all I am your daughter, however reason a is up to others. All I can do is pray that God blesses me if this is truly what he wants. 
I was sitting in a wheelchair at church just a few weeks ago, saddened by the logistical reality that another year would go by without getting to serve in Haiti, as I have dreamed of serving the people there for two years now.  It was Missions weekend, and I walked in broken-hearted that I would have to forfeit my dreams for my physical reality. 

God had different plans. Tugging on my heart for the next 14 days after, I couldn't get the trip to Haiti out of my mind. At first I kept fighting back with: "But God, I can't even walk yet...why are you saying go now?!!" 

After intense prayer and consideration, It is now my goal, as I enter the hardest part of surgery and go to physical therapy, to be able to safely walk on Haitian soil from July 18th-26th 2014.

I promise, you Mom, to give my all in physical therapy and do what is necessary to be physically, mentally and spiritually prepared for this step of faith. Now, while it is my responsibility to recover physically, my only hope is that others will come alongside and support me in prayer and donation towards this goal of $1,200. 

My heart has been in Haiti for the last two years,I only hope I have the faith and the support to make it happen this July. 
In another step of faith and uncertainty,
donate here

Friday, February 7, 2014

Curve Balls

Hi Mom,
I'm sitting here, staring out the same window, with the same black cat staring back as I have the last (almost) 3 weeks.

A dear friend of mine just left after an unfortunate, but totally acceptable, rushed visit and this post is being written, actually by voice recording on my phone first...since I'm panicking and already forgetting the point I had to share. I'm imagining my friend is still here, because when people are here that I love, focus is here too.

Recovery isn't as idyllic as it's portrayed. To be honest, I have not watched one full movie, only two Grey's Anatomy episodes, and not read a whole book. It makes me sad.

I have peaks of focus, no stamina, and I work around all of those moments. I work at my peak and with an efficiency that I can only attribute to the prayers before, during, and after.
LOVING the field of work I'm in helps a ton too.

Everyone told me the worst (surgery) is behind me, and to prepare for the idyllic. What I've gotten is so opposite of that.
I've gotten curve balls. Early post op side effects, still doctors calls every other day, fatigue, naps out of necessity, not journaling ( & no, blogging isn't the same) for a month, & taking two weeks to research hotels that would have taken an hour.

Surprising to even me, this isn't a pity party post, it's actually the opposite. But in order to get to that part you needed to know the truth.

Even with my old background in children's softball, I'm having to learn how to hit curveballs again.

Even the simple ones. Working for 3 hrs 50 minutes & taking a 30 minute break, then finishing the last ten. Because sometimes ten minutes is a huge curveball, but it STILL is an obstacle you can overcome.
I'm thankful for friends, doughnuts, prayers, cast art, early birthday cards, and all those short visits or small things that distract me from my fear of forgetting things. My fear that my small appetite will remain small.

And I'm thankful for my friends subconscious acceptance of my apology for making visits sometimes too business-ey. I haven't quite yet mastered the art of answering your questions,& in our bubble of my focus, get to what I care about: YOU.
Thank you friends for teaching me, slowly, how to hit a curve ball again. I'm so thankful for phone voice recorders....and here come the kids. Time to play.

Love Always and Forever
Your Daughter,

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Medicated Mania

Hi Mom,
Considering this is the first day I've had the strength or to be truthful, desire to blog in any sense since surgery, I'm just going to bullet point some ideas I want to come back to.
Here we go:

-Hospital days and the things you block out from previous surgeries:
 I.e. IV's, your last moments walking and how all you want to do is sit down & chain yourself to the hospital floor, how you say before the pre-op room you have to go to the bathroom, but actually throw up out of nerves and scan for all the exits ( even from the fourth floor). How no matter how strong you try to be the doctor will always make you cry going over the surgery, and the fearful trip from gurney to the OR table and how you cry like an infant when your friends cant see.

- post surgery: friends who stay, get "creative" with gowns, video record you, arrive just in the nick of time to stop you from feeling defeated and instead, spoon feed you peas in between delicious snuck-in donuts because you're too weak to feed yourself, fathers who will sing Annie with your medicated self, surprises of a lifetime on your last night, and sharing the gospel and connecting your favorite nurse aid to church!

-why the hospital makes recovery seem ok, safe, less lonely...even without meds
-what emotions, mothers, and new seasons and living quarters really mean.
-the necessity of friends and family surprises, even if they are  cities, states, and 5 minutes away.
I'll be back soon. Even in the bad days there is light...even if that light is only in the form of funny dreams, hugs when you're too afraid to ask, or yoga pants.

Love always and forever
Your daughter,