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Category Archives: writing

My Story and Why I’m Saying Goodbye to My Blog of 4 1/2 Years

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The story began on Christmas 1985 when I was just nine years old. I received my first camera as a gift that year. It was film, of course. One of those old-fashioned rectangular Kodak cameras, I’m quite sure. $10? $15? $20 max? Who knows how much that camera cost. I might not have known it at the time, but that camera was undoubtedly the best present I’d ever received.

I never once stopped taking photos. I’d claim it’s the only thing I’ve done non-stop, my whole life, since I was a little girl. But that’s not really true.

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The story began in 1988. July 4, 1988, to be exact. I’d just turned 12 and received my first diary for my birthday. I wrote stupid stuff, silly stuff in that diary. Like who came to our house for Easter weekend, all the shirts my crush wore to school, the grades I got in school, and why I thought people should be nicer. $5? $8? $12 max? Who knows how much that diary cost. I might not have known it at the time, but that diary was undoubtedly the best present I’d ever received.

I never once stopped writing. I’d claim its the only thing I’ve done non-stop, my whole life, since I was a little girl. But that’s not really true.

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The story began some unknown year when I was a little girl watching Brady Bunch and Little House on the Prairie on burnt red couches in the family room in our basement. I ate potato chips with bermuda onion dip, and cupcakes I dug out from Tupperware in the stand-up freezer. In-between adventures with Marcia and Greg and Laura and Mary, images from a television advertisement for Children’s Christian Fund clung to my soul. A man with a white beard told me stories about children afar living in extreme poverty. He told me I could sponsor a child for just 80 cents a day and asked me why I’m waiting as I watched children walk barefoot through slums. When that little girl stared at me through the screen, my tiny heart wanted to help. I paid nothing. Nada. Zilch. I might not have known it at the time, but the continual running of those television ads were undoubtedly the best present I’d ever received.

I watched those ads intently for years, as long as they played them on TV. I’d claim I’d forgotten about those children, about my deep-seeded passion for children and families living in extreme poverty. Maybe it was just a childhood whim, maybe the nonprofits manipulated my young, tender heart. But that’s not really true. The truth is that the passion lay dormant due to a culture that doesn’t talk much about people living in extreme poverty. Thanks to God’s grace, I was exposed to Compassion International via my favorite blogger, Ann Voskamp, in 2010. In August 2012, we sponsored our first child. In February 2014, I traveled to Haiti with Compassion International. In January 2015, I was invited by Compassion International to travel to the Dominican Republic with two other writers. And in late 2015, I traveled to Kenya with a small nonprofit, Love for Kenya, to spend 10 days with widows and children in an orphanage. Writing and photographing my way through all three trips was pretty much a dream come true.

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I began dreaming about becoming an author in early 2003. The dreaming was private, intense and specific for many years.

I began a blog, Perfectly Unbalanced Supermom, in 2010, but never published a post on it. I was more than ready to write publicly, but that particular blog just wasn’t quite right.

I launched this blog, Divine in the Daily, in July 2012, and have been writing here faithfully for 4 1/2 years. 439 published posts. 91 unpublished posts in the draft box. Four children’s books in the works. A heavy, but hopeful adult nonfiction is somewhere on the horizon. FOUR additional nonfiction books and TWO ebook ideas sit in Evernote as very real and viable possibilities, but they’re somewhere out there in the distance I can’t yet see. Yes, this dream is for an older and wiser woman who’s not that much interested in retirement.

Two years ago this week on December 18, 2014, I left my 14 1/2 year career as a speech-language pathologist to pursue writing, explore professional photography and be home more with my children.

I just wrapped up my second season of professional photography, and it’s been gangbusters, friends. Beyond anything I ever imagined.

This space, Divine in the Daily, has always been sacred to me. But today, I’m here to say it’s time to go. It’s time to close this space down and begin again.

For the past seven months, I’ve felt more and more clear that I need to merge my writing, photography and my passion for missions. I’ve told a few people (quite literally, a few) one of my specific and ultimate long-term visions. If, by the grace of God, I were to ever reach that vision, it would require me to have a complete MERGE of my writing and photography work with my passion for missions. In that ultimate vision, ALL THREE are working together in harmony. I can no longer pretend that my writing operates separate from my photography which operates separate from my interest in missions. As far as I can see, as far as I can perceive, the three are ONE.

Recently, I attended a writing workshop and wrote a seven-year vision. That seven-year vision ALSO requires a merge of all three, writing, photography and missions.

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So. Here we are.

This is the LAST blog post I’m writing on Divine in the Daily under the domain name, www.divineinthedaily.com. Soon, Divine in the Daily will no longer exist.

I have a few more photo shoots to share on my photography Facebook page, and after that, my photography business will no longer be named Knit Woven Made Photography.

EVERYTHING – writing, photography and missions – will be merged into ONE NEW WEBSITE that will provide a foundation which will support the integrated, long-term vision God has given me.

Honestly, I might be crazy. Call me crazy way back to 9 years old when I received that camera for Christmas, or 12 years old when I began writing in the diary I received for my birthday, or crazy watching Marcia and Laura while eating chips and cupcakes on the couch while watching children walk barefoot through slums in faraway lands. I’ve spent a lifetime caring what people think and doing all the “right” things. But I kind of don’t care what everyone thinks anymore. Call me crazy. All the signs keep adding up in the land of crazy. I’ll follow these crazy dreams wherever they lead.

For now, I’m signing off Divine in the Daily. Goodbye. You’ve been good. So good. Thank you to my dear and faithful readers. You are marvelous and faithful and oh so strong.

It’s your story I’m concerned about. What I’ve learned most through this space is that it’s really not about me anyway. The story I’ve shared today? It’s mine. But it’s meant for greater good. So goodbye, farewell, Divine in the Daily. There are greater stories to tell. There’s a better, more integrated vision for the gifts God’s granted me, and that will be best served in another space, another place.

I can’t promise when I’ll launch the new site. I’ve already been working hard behind the scenes, and have much work to do ahead. I need time and space to do everything required to get another site up and ready. It might be a couple weeks, it might be a month. Who’s to say? I’ll do my part. I’ll work as hard and as often as I’m able. Yes, I might be turtle slow, but this turtle’s story goes way, way back. Turtle it will be.

God bless, goodbye and I’ll see you around the other side.

P.S. Stay with me. NO need to unfollow. NO need for you to leave. I’ll be back and will be sure to let you know when everything new is ready to go. So excited for you to join me as I journey to the next chapter of this story.

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Breathing Eden: A Book Review & Giveaway!

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Jennifer Camp and I have been virtual traveling partners for years now. Honestly, I don’t remember when we first crossed paths, but it feels like I’ve known her a lifetime. Jennifer is one of several soul sisters I’ve met online. I know it sounds cliche, but when we finally meet in real life, we’re going to pick back up like childhood friends who never missed a beat. That’s how much I adore this woman, this dear, kind, sweet soul.

Perhaps you’re wondering why I’m telling you about Jennifer on this most random of Tuesdays? Wonder no more! Jennifer’s new book, Breathing Eden, releases today! Happy Birthday, Breathing Eden! I’m honored to be on the launch team, and incredibly excited to share Jennifer’s book with you all.

Breathing Eden: Conversations with God on Light, Fresh Air, and New Things is beautiful. The fonts are aesthetically pleasing and easy to read. The spacing is thoughtful. There’s even a note from the publisher, which I thought was a unique personal touch. There’s white space, which is hard to come by in books for adults. And at the end of every story, there’s a place for women to sit and listen to God’s still small voice. Breathing Eden reflects Jennifer’s beautiful, richly nuanced heart.

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“This book consists of our prayers to God and his answers. Forty women. Forty prayers. Forty women’s conversations with God.” – Breathing Eden 

Jennifer has a huge heart for women who are wounded and in need of encouragement. She also has an incredible gift of listening and discerning God’s voice amongst all the noise out there. Breathing Eden invites readers into 40 women’s raw stories inspired by real life. Then, like a desperately needed breath of fresh air, we read God’s perspective, God’s response to the women’s stories. After each story, there’s an opportunity to listen, think, trust and pray. Honestly, I don’t usually like books that try to engage me with reflections, prayers or exercises at the end of each section. But this book’s “Trust” and “Pray” sections were practical, helpful and encouraging.

Wondering what these 40 stories are all about? Think there’s no reason to read a whole book of women’s stories when there will probably only be one or two that resonate with you? Not so fast. Breathing Eden is brilliant in that SO MANY of the women’s stories resonated with me, not just one or two. I found myself in Lucy’s story, Kelsie’s story, Kate’s story, Lea’s story, Catherine’s story and Holly’s story. God’s whispers spoke to my heart through Cara’s story, Hannah’s story, Jacqueline’s story, Ruby’s story, Diane’s story and Shelby’s story. Add all of those up, and that’s a grand total of 12 stories that resonated deeply with my soul out of 40. Honestly? We’re all in this together, ladies. You’re never as alone as you think you are.

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What are you facing today? What hurts? What’s broken? What healing and hope do you need in order to break through and break free as a beloved child of God? You’ll find yourself among the 40 women’s stories in Breathing Eden.

These are the stories I needed and found in Breathing Eden. Hope for a mom who’s uncertain. Promises for God’s perfect timing. A reminder of the girl I used to be. Stories untold. I’m never alone. Faith for when I cannot see. Trust in God’s plan. Love without strings. Forgiveness aplenty. Chains broken. Light and restoration. Freedom from darkness. Confidence to run. Yes, those are the stories that resonated with me. Those are the stories that spoke to my heart.

Thank you, Jennifer, for the beautiful gift this book is and will be to so many women around the world. May you be blessed in the giving, blessed in the sharing, blessed as you breathe a bit of Eden.

breathingedenIn honor of the release of Breathing Eden, I’m giving away TWO COPIES of Jennifer’s book today! All you need to do is complete the Rafflecopter below, and you’re entered to win! Winners will be selected randomly and will be notified via email.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rachelle Craig - What a beautiful review! I too had the honor of being on this amazing launch team! What a joy it has been reading Breathing Eden and connecting to so many of the women in the book. I am looking forward to gifting this book to women I love, and know they too will find peace and healing through this book.October 6, 2016 – 6:12 am

Hello, Readers! We Will Do Better Together.

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Two months ago, I celebrated my four-year blogging anniversary! Today, I’m getting real about blogging and writing. Would you join me for this conversation? I’d love to have you.

Six months ago as I was reflecting on my writing journey, distinct words came to mind.

This isn’t about you anymore.

Those words were so distinct that I wrote them down in my journal with the date. March 22, 2016. I knew EXACTLY what they meant. My writing isn’t ultimately about ME. It’s about YOU, my readers. There’s absolutely NO point in sharing my writing publicly if it’s NOT making a difference in your life as a reader. I’m not putting my writing and my life on display for the fun of it. I’m not putting my writing on display so you can be fully informed of every nook and cranny of my inner life. My intention is to make a difference, to inspire you, and impact you. I want to celebrate joys with you. I want to encourage you as you pursue your dreams and a bold vision for your life. I want you to know you’re not alone in whatever trials and pain you’re facing. I want to journey with you as you navigate the ups and downs of life. I want to sit with you, wherever you are. I want to encourage us to look at life differently. I want us to discover the divine in the daily…together.

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When I started blogging more than four years ago, I thought I’d arrived. Finally, I made this dream come true! Finally, I have a blog! Finally, I get to write on a regular basis! Finally, I get to help people, inspire people, and make a difference! Finally, I get to be creative and artistic! Finally, I have an outlet for sharing my innermost thoughts and feelings that might actually help someone else through life! Finally, I’m writing for others and have a place to call my own!

Yes, I had a vision for my writing, and was well on my way to achieving that vision!

The only problem was that it took nearly FOUR YEARS of writing on this blog for me to get to a good sense of where I’d come from and where I wanted to go.

This isn’t about ME anymore.

In fact, it NEVER was.

If writing is one of my God-given gifts, then that gift is to be used to help others. I know my writing has helped you because of the “likes,” “loves,” comments, emails and messages you’ve sent these past 4 years 2 months. I know my writing has helped you because many of you have shared my posts with others, and many of you have shared your own guest posts on my blog. But I can do better. So much better. It’s time to take this writing to the next level.

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The first weekend of November, I’m going to a writing conference. Actually, it’s a writing WORKSHOP, which means we’re not just going to be LISTENING to words of wisdom about writing, we’re actually going to be WORKING on our writing. We’re actually going to be DEVELOPING a bold vision for our writing, and CREATING a specific plan for helping that vision happen in very real and tangible ways.

So this fall, I’m going to be cracking back open my children’s book series and beginning the proposal, but I’m ALSO going to be making some changes to this blog and my writing as a whole.

This blog, Divine in the Daily, is in need of some major updates. I’m planning on making those updates late fall after the writing conference. If I’m completely honest, those updates might run into the new year. For that reason alone, I want to have a clarified vision for my writing moving forward.

But there’s no need to wait until November to move towards the changes I’m envisioning.

Effective immediately, there will be changes on this blog. Specifically, in the next six weeks, I am going to begin making changes to my writing. From your perspective as a reader, the change might seem slight. I’m not sure yet. But from my perspective as writer, there will be a massive shift in the way I’m thinking about my writing.

Please bear with me as I work through this period. 

Please bear with me as I attempt to grasp more thoroughly and accurately my vision for writing moving forward. If I could show you a picture of where I’m at in my mind, I would. I’m nearly grasping the vision, but I’m also not quite there yet.

I need a little help. 

The writing workshop is going to help quite a bit. I need someone to guide me through a bold vision for my writing. I need someone to help me see my areas of gifting when it comes to writing. I need to process these things through with writers and writing mentors, as we’re seated, pen and paper in hand, trying to determine HOW it is we help others with our words. I need to revisit where we’ve been with this blog, and where we’ve yet to go. I need to piece together my unique areas of gifting, and how I can use those gifts to help you, my readers.

There is something more for us to see.

There is something more for us to discover.

There is more waiting for this blog.

There is more of life to be revealed and lived through the words on this page.

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But the fact remains…

If I leave YOU, my READERS, out of the equation, I will have done us ALL a disservice.

It’s time to invite you into this process as well!

I’ve done two niche reader surveys this past year (one on friendship, the other related to my children’s books), but I haven’t done a general reader survey for almost two years.

It’s time to get to know you again.

It’s time to see where you stand.

It’s time to get your input.

And honestly? Rather than shrinking back from your input, I might be seeking it more often from here on out.

Why?

Because this isn’t about me anymore. 

I always wanted my writing to touch others’ lives, to make a difference. Therefore from my perspective, writing publicly is completely pointless if it doesn’t help others.

Once again, I know my writing has positively impacted your lives. But I also know I can do better.

When one of your comments made me cry in a not-so-good-and-healthy way this summer? Well, that was it for me. Clearly, I’d come at this from the wrong angle. I hadn’t written in a way that helped my readers process the bigger point of pain beyond my own story. I knew exactly what I was trying to say, and I thought it came through loud and clear in my writing, but the truth is, I didn’t go far enough as far as generalizing my learnings. Not okay.

This blog is titled “Divine in the Daily.” As many times as I try to reframe and revision this blog and my writing, I MUST keep coming back to the title. What does Divine in the Daily mean? How can I help us ALL reframe life so we can find the divine in the daily, WHATEVER our daily looks like? So if I decide there’s a lesson to be learned from the PAIN I experienced in real life, I MUST be able to help my readers process the BIGGER POINT of PAIN within the context of the story I’m sharing. I MUST. It’s not an option.

I can do better.

I will do better.

We will do better together.

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With that in mind, dear readers, I would LOVE you to take a SHORT survey for me.

I need your help.

I need your input as we move forward together.

I want to help you. Will you please take a few minutes to help me?

There are four questions in the SURVEY LINKED IN BOLD BELOW…

  1. What hopes and dreams do you have for your life at this moment in time?
  2. What is your biggest struggle?
  3. How has this blog – Divine in the Daily – impacted, influenced or inspired you to date?
  4.  What would you like me to write MORE about?

The end. That’s all I want to know!

Your responses are completely anonymous. To put it simply, when I receive these surveys, I have absolutely NO IDEA who left each response. But please note that I will be using your responses to guide my writing moving forward.

Thank you, friends! I appreciate your help so much. I can’t wait to see what you have to say, and can’t wait for this next chapter in our journey together.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE READER SURVEY CLICK HERE!

Have a blessed weekend!

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Moms of Girls 2-9 Years Old: I’d Love Your Help!

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My dream to write books began with you, mama.

You, sweet you.

13 1/2 years ago when my first born was just five months old, I cracked open a new book titled Mother Shock: Loving Every (Other) Minute of It by Andrea J. Buchanan. It rocked my world. Andrea’s words spoke to my needs as a new mom, but they also spoke to my needs as a woman. She got it! She understood me! I wasn’t alone in this thing called mothering. Finally, somebody was speaking truth. At that point, I’d been writing in diaries, notebooks and journals for 15 years, but for the first time ever, I understood the healing, transformative power of words on readers. Nobody had written so honestly and tenderly to my heart. Nobody had bared their soul so brutally and beautifully on the page.

I wanted to move people like that. I wanted to touch peoples’ hearts like that. I wanted my words to make a difference in peoples’ lives the way Andrea’s words made a difference in my life. I wanted to write raw and real, tough and tender. I wanted people to know they weren’t alone.

I wanted to write books.

Four years later in the spring of 2007, I set a goal to write ONE book on mothering in my lifetime. In the summer of 2014, that goal morphed a bit. Perhaps I’d write a book on mothering when I was older, wiser, and through the hardest and longest days of motherhood. But now I had a fresh vision for reaching mamas. What if I could impact mamas’ lives and touch mamas’ hearts through children’s books?

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Between January and April of 2016, I spent every Tuesday and Thursday morning writing and editing three children’s books. This summer, I received clear vision for book four! While the first book could certainly stand alone, the books are intended to be part of a series.

BOOK ONE is about being bold and brave. The manuscript is complete! It’s been edited by me numerous times and by my husband two times. Even after all the edits, I still sense something special about this story. Of all four books, I have the most peace about this one. If I had to put it in the hands of an agent, editor or test reader today, I have confidence it would read and resonate well, especially with anyone who’s a parent.

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BOOK TWO is about growing up. This story has been to the chopping block with a major rewrite, and is richer because of it. The manuscript is complete and REFUSES all thoughts of being discarded! As all moms know, there’s an undeniable push and pull when it comes to our babies growing up. This book speaks to the hearts of moms and their girls transitioning from one stage of development to the next.

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BOOK THREE is about becoming comfortable with who we are and fixing broken things. The manuscript is fully written, but is still in rough form. It’s been cut by 900-some words and edited several times through. There’s definitely a book there, but it needs a lot of development before it’s ready. The challenge of this story is piecing together our identity and our brokenness as moms and girls. I’m bound and determined to write this one, even though it’s the most challenging of all four books.

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BOOK FOUR is about dreaming big and was just conceived (unexpectedly) this summer! I’ve jotted a FULL page of notes down, and have a clear vision for what the book is about and the unique way it would be illustrated. At this point, I need time to write the first official draft of the manuscript. With all the notes I’ve taken, it should get off to a solid start! I’m very excited about this book. It’s fun and fresh, and will take the series in a new direction.

So here’s where I stand, friends! I took a break from writing the children’s books this summer because I needed to focus on my three kids and my dad’s lung transplant. This fall, I intend to open those children’s books back up. My goal is to spend a good chunk of time editing books one, two and possibly three with fresh eyes. I also need to write a first draft of book four as long as it’s clear in my mind! After that, I’m going to begin writing the book proposal for the series. A book proposal is a formal document that outlines all the details about the book you’re proposing to write and the audience for whom it’s intended. For children’s book proposals, you must also include the full manuscript of your book, which is why I’ve been working on those so hard! The hope is that someday I will pitch the children’s series to a literary agent, acquisitions editor and/or publisher for consideration.

There is never, ever a guarantee when it comes to getting published. But at this point, I just need to keep moving towards the dream that’s been in my heart for 13 1/2 years! I’m committed to doing my part and determined to make a meaningful difference through the lasting legacy of a book.

Here’s where you come in, mama! I need your help. I dreamed up this children’s book series and wrote books one, two and three with YOU in mind. But before I open those books back up and dive into the next round of heavy work, I want to hear from you!

After all, this series is for you AND your daughters. I want to know who you are. What are your struggles as a woman and a mom? What dreams do you have for your daughter? What dreams do you have for your own life? How else can I KNOW you so I can write FOR you?

The more I know about you, the better I’ll be able to tailor my writing to meet your deepest needs. The more I know about you, the better I’ll be able to touch your heart in a way that’s sweet and tender, bold and beautiful. The more I know about you, the better I’ll be able to write books that meet the developmental needs of your daughter while ALSO meeting your needs as a mama. The more I know about you, the more likely these books will actually land in your home and hands someday.

With all of that in mind, I’d be so honored if you could take a few minutes out of your busy day to complete a survey for me. If you’re a mom of a girl ages 2-9, you’re QUALIFIED to take the survey! Biological mom, adoptive mom, stepmom, foster mom, you ALL qualify as long as you’re mom to a daughter! The survey is 14 questions and completely confidential. I’m hoping for a lot of responses to ensure I get the most accurate picture possible of WHO my readers are as WOMEN, and WHO my readers are as MOMS.

Click the link below to take the survey! Make sure to answer all the way to the end, as each question has been included for a reason. Submit your survey when you’re done! Then please share this blog post with friends who have daughters so they can take the survey and share their perspectives, too!

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY

I’m excited and honored to invite you on this journey. Thank you so much for your time, and for all you do as a mom and woman to make this world a more beautiful place.

greensig

I’m Gonna Have to Sit This One Out for Now

DSC_148312 days ago, I was sitting poolside chatting about small and big things with a baseball mom while the baseball team and siblings swam. Right there, right in the middle of our casual conversation, in rushed my husband. “Your dad got the call. Your dad’s getting new lungs tonight.”

In a panic, I flipped over my silenced phone and saw a bunch of texts and unanswered phone calls. It was true. The phone read 8:27 p.m. My dad was on his way to the hospital for a lung transplant scheduled for 5:00 a.m. the next morning.

I grabbed my phone and book, told the baseball mom with whom I was chatting that my dad had ALREADY gotten the call, and that I had to leave RIGHT NOW. As I whipped around the right side of the pool, I told two other baseball moms that my dad had gotten the call, that I needed to leave RIGHT NOW, and could they PLEASE watch our two oldest children until we figured out how we were going to make this happen. I yelled to our two oldest over the pool noise, “Stay here! Grandpa got the call, he’s getting the lung transplant tomorrow morning. These moms are going to watch you!”

My husband and I rushed to the hotel room we had reserved for the weekend’s state baseball tournament, the final baseball event of the season. Within a half hour, we sent some texts, made some phone calls, answered the hotel door to baseball parents offering to watch the kids until my husband returned, and were on our way two hours north back to Minneapolis so I could head to the hospital and be with my dad for the lung transplant.

ONE lung transplant later, ONE pacemaker surgery later, ONE heart attack for my mother-in-law, 12 days later and all the days back and forth between the hospital and peak-heat-of-summer home, here we are.

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If there’s such a thing as reaching your maximum capacity AND being depleted, that’s me. Honestly, I’d hit 90% capacity and had 15-20% reserves in my well BEFORE the lung transplant. I’d told a few people that reality; an incredibly keen observer would’ve been able to tell without me saying a thing. Thanks to the unseen, unheard prayers of many, I am maintaining stability in this place of depletion. If you’ve ever been in crisis or depleted of reserves, you know what I mean. Sometimes remaining functional, helpful and stable when you’re depleted is the very best you can ask for!

I haven’t published anything on my blog since Friday, July 22, the day we got the call about my dad’s new lungs. As I stated in the original blog post about my dad’s lung transplant, I intended to write ALL the way through the transplant process. Just as I journaled through my sister’s significant battles with addiction and mental health. Just as I wrote through my trip to Haiti. Just as I wrote through my trip to Dominican Republic. Just as I wrote through my trip to Africa. Just as I wrote through our family trip to Walt Disney World. Just as I’m writing through my husband’s eye cancer journey.

But this journey has been different. It’s summer. I’m home full time with our three kids. They’re not in school and need my constant attention, care and taxi services. My husband continues to be in a heavy work season with big projects, evening business dinners and events, and stress that spills into the weekend. I’m honored to be keeping a Facebook page and CaringBridge page for my dad’s lung transplant. For the past 12 days, I’ve been brushing up on my informative writing skills with a crazy number of posts in those spaces. There are hospital visits, phone calls, texts, Facebook messages, visitors, laundry piles, finances and a gazillion things to keep up with at home. Until this afternoon, I haven’t had or been able to create a single moment to type a blog post. Heck, the only reason I’m able to write today is because my youngest was exhausted and finally succumbed to an afternoon nap. All of this to say that this lung transplant journey hasn’t been as conducive to personal, reflective writing as other significant journeys I’ve been on in the past. As desperate as I am to write something that comes from my truest and realest heart, I haven’t had time to do so.

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There are some things I know to be true right now, at this moment in time.

  1. I am a writer at heart. Through the lung transplant, through the heart surgery, through the heart attack, through the child care and being-a-mom stuff, through the phone calls and texts, Caring Bridge posts and laundry, cleaning and finances, hospital visits and heart-felt conversations, I’m thinking about writing. I’m formulating thoughts and sentences in my mind, even if they never arrive on the screen. I’m thinking about what’s happening and how it’s impacting my perspective on life and faith, even if it’s years before you read about it.
  2. I have now reached my maximum capacity. I am now depleted. I’m full, but I’m hungry. And I haven’t worked out in about three weeks, which is crazy long for me. I am tired. I sleep, but I really need REST if you know what I mean. I need to either eat SUPER CLEAN or go on a FAST, or maybe both. I could use a massage and I’ve never, ever said that before. I have had very little time to myself. I haven’t been able to go to church since July 10th and need to get there ASAP. I could use a quiet movie, a quiet night, some peace and quiet. Maybe a movie in the dark theater with popcorn all by myself.
  3. There’s a long road ahead. My dad is still in the hospital, but will hopefully be out in the next couple of days. After he’s discharged, my parents will be staying in the Minneapolis area for THREE MONTHS, as rejection is most likely in those first months post transplant. It is my duty and delight to help my parents through this difficult time. I refuse to sit this one out, but also fully acknowledge that I am human.
  4. I am thinking about you, my reader. This isn’t your journey, but it’s mine to steward. How can I live in, live through and learn through this journey so I’m better able to help others in the future? What can I learn NOW that will help you LATER? How will these experiences shape me, form me and mold me so I’m a better writer and leader down the road? What is it that God would have me do, see and learn through these trials? I’m honestly wondering what you need right now, and how could I possibly help you? I SEE that it’s no longer about ME. I’m more than ready for a healthy and hearty writing transition from ME and MY STUFF to YOU and ALL OF US, but when will that be?
  5. Since the lung transplant, I’ve drafted at least TWO blog posts in my mind. Quite honestly, one of those posts would be better off as a chapter in a book. This morning as I was getting ready for the day, I had a vision for TWO companion books I’d never ONCE thought of until they came to me out of nowhere. I do believe they are ebooks, and I do believe they are for anyone who’s ever suffered and been through a major life crisis. No doubt, God can take our greatest miseries and make them our greatest ministries.

I’m a wife and a mom of three children who are at home full-time for summer. My dad’s still in the hospital and is going to need heavy care and support for at least three more months. My mom is going to need care and support for at least three more months. My sister, niece and nephew need to make it through this. I’m at maximum capacity and I’m depleted, yet I REFUSE to sit this one out. This is WHERE I’m meant to be, even though it’s not always pretty, it’s not always pleasant and it’s certainly not always perfect.

I’m in an extended planting season, learning season, growing wiser-than-my-years season. God is maturing me, giving me the much-older-and-wiser-woman wisdom I’ve so desired. When it’s time, in due season, I will reap the harvest.

Then I will I be able to use all of this FOR YOUR GOOD, which is the end goal I’ve envisioned since 2003.

There is ALWAYS something more for us to learn through life.

If we stop long enough to listen, we will HEAR the whisper.

This journey is not complete.

Keep going. Keep going.

The end is yet to come.

I’m gonna have to sit this one out for now. Time will tell me when it’s right to write again. Time will tell me what to write about when I write again. Maybe I’ll write about the transplant journey now. Maybe I’ll write about it later. Maybe I’ll write about other things. For now, I’m confident enough to say I don’t know.

Reader, you are never far from my mind.

This gift of writing? It’s for me and my sanity, but it’s ultimately for YOU.

Praying these years of trial and transition will produce fruit for all.

Now or later.

Now AND later.

pinksig