RSS

Monthly Archives: July 2016

Flat Janet’s Last Vacation Days & Heading Home

Flat Janet’s Last Vacation Days & Heading Home

Vacay Day 4

IMG_5231

FullSizeRender (65)

IMG_5232

FullSizeRender (64)

IMG_5233

FullSizeRender (63)

IMG_5234IMG_5235

hangon

IMG_5236

minichapel2

IMG_5237

gardenofthegods

IMG_5240

FullSizeRender (59)

IMG_5241

grayrocks

IMG_5242

FullSizeRender (57)

IMG_5243

balancedrock

IMG_5244

balancedrock

IMG_5245

FullSizeRender (54)

Vacay Day 5

IMG_5246

FullSizeRender (53)

IMG_5247

royalgorgefirmhold

IMG_5248

BOC

IMG_5249 (1).JPG

 

ARFlag

IMG_5250

theriver

IMG_5251

windy

IMG_5252

FullSizeRender (48)

IMG_5253

FullSizeRender (47)

FullSizeRender (46)

FullSizeRender (45)

IMG_5254

FullSizeRender (44)

IMG_5256

FullSizeRender (43)

FullSizeRender (42)

FullSizeRender (41)

IMG_5257

FullSizeRender (40)

IMG_5258

FullSizeRender (38)

IMG_5259

FullSizeRender (37)

IMG_5260

valianteffort

IMG_5261

FullSizeRender (35)

FullSizeRender (34)

FullSizeRender (33)

IMG_5264

FullSizeRender (32)

late

favorites

FullSizeRender (31)

fondmemories

 

elevatorintherain

IMG_5267

i70

IMG_5268

kansasborder

IMG_5269

salina

IMG_5270

home

Whew; such an exciting and unexpected adventure! I need to vacation with the Farmer’s again.  They really showed me a good time!

Oh, and they even bought me souvenirs!souvenirs

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 30, 2016 in Good Fun

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Flat Janet’s Vacay

Flat Janet’s Vacay

Vacay – Day 2

And we’re off!

IMG_5199

pikespeak

IMG_5200

 

reply

FullSizeRender104

FullSizeRender105

IMG_5201

FullSizeRender (85)

IMG_5202

FullSizeRender (84)

IMG_5203

FullSizeRender (83)

FullSizeRender (82)

IMG_5206

FullSizeRender (81)

IMG_5207IMG_5208

FullSizeRender (80)

IMG_5209

FullSizeRender (79)

IMG_5210

FullSizeRender (78)

IMG_5211

FullSizeRender (77)

IMG_5212IMG_5213IMG_5214

FullSizeRender (76)

Vacay – Day 3

IMG_5215

FullSizeRender (75)

IMG_5216

FullSizeRender (74)

FullSizeRender (73)

IMG_5219

FullSizeRender (72)

IMG_5220IMG_5221

justdoesnt

IMG_3507 (2)

sevenfalls

IMG_5223

 

waiting4therain

FullSizeRender (69)

IMG_5224

melodrama

IMG_5225

elk

IMG_5226

FullSizeRender (66)

IMG_5227IMG_5228IMG_5229IMG_5230

Stay tuned for days 4 and 5!

 
6 Comments

Posted by on July 29, 2016 in Good Fun

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Janet Takes a Vacay! (Kinda – Sorta)

Janet Takes a Vacay!  (Kinda – Sorta)

Just a few days after Independence Day, my friend and neighbor, Anne Farmer, contacted me and asked if we could pick up her mail as her family was taking a vacation. As the Farmer’s left town, Anne and I struck up a conversation via text message.  This is how it went (please kindly ignore all typos!):

reeditedpic

pic2

editedtext1

edittedtext2

 

edittedpic8

edittedpic9

edittedpic10

FullSizeRender23

edittedpic11

edittedpic12

FullSizeRender20

Imagine my surprise when the next morning at 8:40 a.m. my phone signals the arrival of a text message and this is what I see!

IMG_5271

FullSizeRender19

Travel Day 2

IMG_5272

FullSizeRender18

IMG_5273

FullSizeRender17

IMG_5274

edittedtext6

IMG_5275

FullSizeRender16

IMG_5276

FullSizeRender15

FullSizeRender14

IMG_5277

FullSizeRender13

Vacation Day 1

IMG_5278

donscereal

IMG_5279

FullSizeRender11.jpg

IMG_5280

FullSizeRender10

IMG_5281

FullSizeRender9

IMG_5283

FullSizeRender8

IMG_5284

snowboots

IMG_5285

FullSizeRender3

FullSizeRender6

IMG_5286

FullSizeRender5

edittedpic13

edittedtext7

IMG_5287

missingtext2

IMG_5288

FullSizeRender1

IMG_5289

FullSizeRenderagain

FullSizeRender (100)

IMG_5290

wheee

 

Click the arrow above to hear audio!

FullSizeRender (98)

 

FullSizeRender (97)

IMG_5292

FullSizeRender (96)

IMG_5294

FullSizeRender (95)FullSizeRender (94)FullSizeRender (93)FullSizeRender (92)

FullSizeRender (91)

FullSizeRender (90)

IMG_5295

FullSizeRender (89)

IMG_5296

FullSizeRender (88)

IMG_5297

FullSizeRender (87)

IMG_5298

FullSizeRender101

IMG_5299

FullSizeRender102

Stop by tomorrow to see more of Flat Janet’s Vacation Adventure!

 
5 Comments

Posted by on July 28, 2016 in Good Fun

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stages

IMG_1249Looking back over the last twenty-one months I realize I have passed through many stages (written August 2015).

Detachment:  This bizarre experience of living in the moment, fully aware of every single detail—the losses, the precariousness of Gracen’s future—the people around me, their words, my responses and this awareness that my emotions had been somehow blunted from all of it. It was good—it was horribly bad—it allowed me to function but left me fearful on an entirely new level. What kind of person—what kind of mother responds this way?

Exhaustion:  Mental, physical, emotional and spiritual exhaustion. Catching  myself thinking, “I’m just so very tired.” repeatedly throughout the day. Even following a good night’s sleep, “I’m so very tired” echoed through my mind. “So tired.” And there are still days like this; days where physical fatigue has little to do with this blanket of exhaustion that near suffocates me at times.

Brokenness:  Not just broken but utterly, completely shattered. So broken that healing is beyond comprehension. And yes, that thought, “I’m just so broken” flitting through my mind repeatedly, day after day.

Anger:  At a lack of justice—at missing out on Bethany & Katie’s lives, their futures—at Gracen’s failing health—at ruined credit—at the flashbacks that plague me—the pervasive apathy that steals my motivation and overcomes my will power—and on it goes.

Fear:  Okay, terror—for the future—of my Savior—of His plans.  Steeped in anxiety. Fighting off panic. Waiting for the next blow. Anticipating the next loss.

Resistance:  To moving forward. I can’t go back but don’t make me imagine a future void of all I planned for my life. I can’t go there. I just can’t go there. I don’t want to go there. I don’t want to live in bitterness and loss, yet can’t imagine a future different than I’d planned and dreamed of. Can’t even imagine an alternative that holds any appeal.

Resignation:  No way to change it—certainly no way to fix it—no way to make it better—hands tied—unpalatable choices—acceptance—bitterness—deep, desperate sorrow.

Lost:  So very, very lost.

Death Wish:  Oh, to fall asleep and never awaken! No more churning thoughts. No more disappointment. No more fear. No more sorrow. Just blessed silence and oblivion. Sweet, sweet nothingness.

Purposelessness:  A vast, yet overwhelming, sea of possibility. Life has always moved me from one thing to the next. High school moved me to college, college to the workforce, the workforce to marriage, marriage to parenthood, parenthood to what? There are no more next logical steps. Too much time—too many unexplored possibilities—no desire to explore—no motivation. “I just want . . . ” flutters through my mind and stops. I don’t know how to finish that sentence. Everything I really want I simply can’t have. And it’s a repetitious thought too. How many times will I stop short until something fills in that blank? Will anything ever fill that blank?

Unwanted Purpose:  Full-time caregiver? Please, Lord, No! Not for my baby! Not for my courageous, tenacious and oh, so sassy girl! No more surrendered dreams! No more isolation! No more crushing disappointments! No more untreatable pain! No more loss! Please, Lord, no more heartbreak!

 

Adrift

 

I’m tired.

 

Adrift

 

I just want my life back!

 

Adrift

 

So very broken . . .

 

Adrift

 

I just want my kids back!

I just want my kids back!

I just want . . .

 

Adrift

 

It’s only a matter of time until the next shoe drops . . .

 

Adrift

 

Restlessness.

Anxiety.

Panic!

 

Adrift

 

Lost, lost, lost. . . 

 

Adrift

 

Rudderless.

Empty.

Hollow.

Cut loose.

I just want . . . 

 

Adrift, adrift, adrift as the tide flows in and out – straining to hear the still small voice whispering any kind of hope for my remaining days in this world of sin.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on July 26, 2016 in Grief

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stay

Jesus was a storyteller. He used everyday examples He knew His audience could relate to in order to teach biblical principles. He understood the power of a good analogy.

This blog post paints a vivid word picture describing a thought provoking truth regarding a Christian’s struggle to wait upon the Lord. Frankly, it was a valuable, yet painful read for me, in this season of my life. But I believe Adrien Rogers got it right when he said,

“It is better to speak the truth that hurts and then heals, than falsehood that comforts and then kills.”

Follow the link below by clicking on the word “Stay” highlighted in red to read the article from blogsite “Patchwork Scraps of Life”. I added the scriptures below the link regarding waiting upon the Lord  for your review.

The command was clear and firm… and it appeared to be just about killing her…

Source: Stay

Psalms 130:5-6 “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.”

Psalms 27:13-14 “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”

Isaiah 30:18 “Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”

Lamentations 3:25 “The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”

Micah 7:7 “But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.”

 
4 Comments

Posted by on July 21, 2016 in Adversity, Faith, Links, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Wrecking Ball of Grace

The Wrecking Ball of Grace

I hope one day, I will be able to minister grace to those I’ve hurt as I’ve licked my own wounds. I know it’s true that hurting people hurt others. I take no pleasure in the wounds I’ve inflicted in the search for understanding and validation as the waves of grief have flowed over me.

(Clink on the link highlighted in red below to read the article in its entirety.)  

thelifeididntchoose

In the aftermath of loss, relationships suffer.

Sometimes it’s because of harsh words exchanged in the heat of emotional moments.

Sometimes it’s due to disagreements about how to deal with ongoing issues.  Often, it’s because most people just don’t know what to say and don’t know what to do in the presence of great pain and suffering.

Days and weeks and months pass and one day we wake up and realize that a previously close relationship is now distant and strained.

I know that in my grief I have felt abandoned by people I felt sure would stand with me, would never leave me, would be my most stalwart encouragers.

And I know, too, that I have shut some people out.  Some were too chipper or too quick to offer platitudes and others just seemed intolerant of my ongoing pain and sorrow.

Walls have been erected.

My heart sectioned off…

View original post 146 more words

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 16, 2016 in Faith, Grief, Links

 

Tags:

Neurosis

borderline-personality-disorderIt’s 11:40 a.m.

Gracen has not yet made her daily morning call signaling her desire for help from her bed. She’s been routinely waking up around 9:30 this summer. I try not to worry, not to be paranoid; but it’s been like this since Cole died. I refuse to be ruled by fear—fear that I will find her “sleeping”—in the biblical sense. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

A prayer, a plea, escapes my mental captivity. (2 Corinthians 10:5) I quickly turn my mind to something else – anything else that will hold off the anxious thoughts, the mental images of what I might find should I open her door. I’ll give her till noon to call. She might have stayed up late reading. Twenty minutes of distraction to avoid feeding my fears; acting on my paranoia.

I distinctly remember having a conversation with my friend and colleague, Judy, when Bethany was just a baby. I don’t remember the conversation word for word but I recall the gist of it. I’d asked her what the point was in entering Bethany’s room to see if she was still breathing in her crib. What could I do at that point? Judy responded that I could administer CPR, that it might not be too late. A wise response.

I think, even then, though, that I had begun to expect the worst. That I was resigned to the things I could not change. And that mentality carries forward to this day. Experience has done nothing but reinforce it.

I can just imagine the response of the choose joy contingent. I must have hope, I must think positively. . . It’s been 2 1/2 years, why can’t you get over this? (Or maybe that’s my own conscious condemning me). I’ve been infected with the cultural message that if I just do this or that I can get beyond this. But as I discussed in my recent post, Trust, Works & Supernatural Power, my analytical mind also realizes that I need the Holy Spirit’s intervention in order to heal. Maybe I can overcome without His help, but honestly refusing to work through my pain won’t lead to healing. And in the long run it’s more hurtful than helpful.

So why would I share my personal neurosis with all of you? What is my motivation?, I ask myself. Am I just seeking pity?

Oh, heck no!

There’s a small but hurting population of loss parents out there who grapple daily with fears for their surviving children, for their spouse. Individuals for whom an unanswered text or phone call or a late arrival without explanation incites anxiety far greater than the average person would experience.

For those men and women, a post like this validates their own fears. I can’t begin to tell you the enormous relief a loss parent experiences when someone says, “I feel that way too” because it doesn’t happen very often. More often than not, their very real fears are dismissed. No one wants to believe that it could happen again. That God would be so cruel as to allow you to lose another child. But every loss parent knows it could happen and David and I are living proof. That’s not to say that God is cruel, but that line of thinking is an all too common belief, even among Christians.

So yes, I want to validate the feelings of every loss parent I encounter.

Validation leads to healing.

And for those of you who haven’t experienced such a devastating loss, maybe this post will give you a glimpse into the mentality of a loss parent. Maybe you will not be so quick to jump in and remind a brokenhearted parent that they must have hope or shouldn’t think the way they do. Maybe instead you will gift them with understanding. Maybe the words that will tumble out of your mouth will be, “I can certainly understand your fears” or even, “I think I’d feel the same way.” Maybe you will be wise enough to stop right there; to fight back the urge to tack on, “But, . . . “, because pretty much anything that follows that word, but, will invalidate and dismiss any understanding the bereaved might have derived. Tacking on that one word, but, is a bait and switch. What appears to be understanding and compassion, is revealed to be admonishment and rebuke; criticism and judgment. It’s cruel yet offered with the kindest of intentions. It reflects ignorance or an unwillingness to imagine how those words might feel if you stood in the shoes of the bereaved.

Grief is all about feelings.

Processing feelings.

Grief is not an intellectual pursuit.

C.S. Lewis said in his book, A Grief Observed, “Feelings, and feelings, and feelings. Let me try thinking instead.” “Do I hope that if feeling disguises itself as thought I shall feel less?” He went on to say, “Aren’t all these notes the senseless writings of a man who won’t accept the fact that there is nothing we can do with suffering except to suffer it?” And then, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”

What are you most afraid of? How do you feel when someone implies your fears are unmerited or little more than paranoia?

Never forget that you have the luxury of walking away—whether you feel your words were a helpful encouragement or woefully inadequate. You. Walk. Away.

The bereaved do not.

There is no escape but there are moments of relief.  Moments when the burden is lifted as a friend or even a stranger yokes up with the wounded and hurting by sharing and validating their feelings—strengthening the bereaved for the moment when the burden once again settles onto their shoulders alone.

11:49 a.m.

My cell phone rings.

The display reads, Sugar Shaker Boxx, and sweet relief surges through me followed quickly by a bit of dread. I rise, bracing myself for the sight of the wheelchair that stands sentinel beside Gracen’s bed. Bracing myself for the tasks no mother ever wants to accept their grown child needs help with.

I put on a smile and adapt a sedately cheerful persona (Gracen is not a morning person) and I open her bedroom door.

Another day has begun.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on July 14, 2016 in Grief

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: