Good Friday and Easter Sunday are perhaps the most significant days of the church calendar, and yet, in a real sense, we live our lives on Saturday, the day in between. Philip Yancey

Friday, May 22, 2015

Beautiful New Chapter

July will mark five years since our firstborn, Lydia, died. At 9yrs old she had a long decline after colon surgery. Two years ago, we reached the point where that same surgery was the best remaining mainstream option for then 9yr old Amelia as well.

As a Hail Mary we bought a kit of essential oils and sought help from our local naturopath. When these traditional options worked exceptionally well for us, I started teaching my friends and their friends and so forth, empowering others with what I'd been given. 

I had to develop research and networking skills as Lydia's mom, always pushing the envelope because plans a, b and c often don't work for a medically fragile child with a very rare disorder. These skills and drive perfectly suited me to become a Wellness Advocate in a way I never could have imagined or planned. At this point I have an oil team representing more than 2,500 families across most states and a handful of countries.

The income that has steadily followed is allowing us to buy a nearby house with more living, entertaining and teaching space. We move in two weeks. No more family of seven in three bedrooms!

More importantly, Jason and I are going to be able to find a new level of partnership with both work and family because he doesn't need to continue teaching at this point. I so look forward to spending more time with this man. We are not quite 40 and will get to work together from home starting in June!

These professional portraits were funded by our company for their Leadership Magazine, one more tremendously sweet gift from this unexpected chapter. (Skillfully taken by Jenny Evelyn Prater)

While we were painfully working through the first mainstream options for Amelia, I became pregnant with Esther. It was frightening. I was a mother with my nurturing ability greatly dulled by grief, not looking for another dependent to let down. The song I clung to was Gungor's Beautiful Things, full of Biblical promises of restoration. 

We don't have the promise of affluence or ease this side of heaven. We do have the promise of God's goodness regardless of our ability to make sense of the circumstances and an eternity that overshadows it all. We know the challenge of trusting when it hurts, yet here we are experiencing a different side. Not only are we living restoration of relationships at home and beyond but getting the responsibility and privilege of stepping out from under financial burden as well.

Phil 4:11b-13
11b I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

This passage was as important and applicable in the days following Lydia's death as it is today. We pray that God continues to shore up that secret of contentment in us and that his glory be the focus through our season of abundance just as through the years of heartache.

For His Own Glory,

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Resurrecting the Blog with Easter Pics

I can't begin to fill in all the blanks from the quiet months. They included challenges that weren't appropriate for public sharing and then personal awkwardness on how to bridge. Once I was emotionally ready to talk about other things, life was far more engaging than the computer screen. It's no longer the much needed outlet of times past. That's not all bad!

The short of it is, life is returning to our version of normal in ways we haven't experienced in a long time. It was March 2010 when Lydia's earthly body started the first battle of her final war. Jason was taking my place at the local food co-op submitting my order while I was at hospital admissions. The bowel obstruction was only expected to be a blip on our radar. As we know it wasn't. Most of those bulk purchases then sat and sat. Good thing they were the type things that keep for years! I am proud to say I have a lot of newly empty buckets kicking around my laundry room today. This means our habits of our preferred ways of eating have re-rooted.

The undeniable confirmation came during a very sticky cleanup this weekend. The home brewed water kefir, on it's second ferment, exploded because the jar it was in was weakened from the cold/heat process of making yogurt. The probiotic-rich liquid ran down from the top of the pantry onto every shelf and the floor below BUT very little was lost because it was all in jars and a few cans. The only cardboard was compromise foods (not even bought by me). The chia seeds, coconut sugar, cod liver oil, homemade spice blends, pink Himalayan salt, balsamic vinegar, bucket of wheat berries, bags of dried beans even...all fine. Yep, we are comfortably weird again.

Other aspects of life the last few months? I'll hit a few and sprinkle in pics of Esther Bunny's first Easter too.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Wee Update Including Amelia

Remember when Jason texted me a play by play when Esther was getting cleaned up and weighed in the newborn nursery? We're in that mode again today, kinda. It's daddy/daughter bonding time in the radiology department of the Atlanta Children's Hospital for some urinary testing. With Lydia, I could muscle her into compliance with such. Amelia is way too strong and emotionally involved for my brute force. It was at her first GI appointment a year or so ago when I literally couldn't coerce the rectal exam into happening, enter Jason, less invasive options if at all possible and Versed. Prayers of many and begging various medical personnel unlocked the chill pill that was initially deemed unavailable for an awake procedure. I wanted the tests to be successful but even more to buffer the fear. That's what mamas are supposed to do. I would be there too if it made sense but know she's in great big (texting) hands.

Amelia asked me last night if I was going to be alright getting the kids off to school without her. I laughed but it was a valid question. That child can push my buttons better than almost anyone, like the week after Lydia's birthday.

I am used to the anticipation of grief dates or the actual days being rough but this year trouble came when I let down the day after, just as babymoon morphed into full-swing life. There came dentist and doctor's appointments in mass with nb in tow (Amelia grew 5" in the last 18mo!), the first of a series of tummy bugs this season (which have only effected our males strangely), behind on all the housework, neighborhood dogs getting into our fence for the great chicken massacre (10 fowl casualties!)...and ultimately my fractured focus and depleted energy which led to miserable homeschooling. So unnaturally we took advantage of teacher/homeschool appreciation day at Rock Ranch and totally wore ourselves out. It was fun though, cutting bait and breathing a bit.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Double Digit Sophie

I'm way behind on documenting noteworthy life around here. Oh where to start? How to organize it? 
I suppose I'll start with the oldest kid.
Sophie turned 10!

She's officially passed Lydia's lifespan, mind blowing.
Sophie loves celebrations and the limelight. This girl plans her birthday for many months. One important detail this year was Esther coming for lunch. Most of my pregnancy was narrated with "And on my birthday the new baby can come to my school!"