I'm so glad you've stopped by! In June 2010 I left a great job to be a stay-at-home momma to my three sweeties. Join me as I explore the joys and sorrows of leaving work, staying home with the little people who matter most, as well as the trials of living on one income, marriage, life, and living by faith. I'm learning so much about myself, my husband, and my kids by writing here and I hope to continue learning to sing praises to the One who gave me this blessed life!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Great Debate

I didn't brace myself for the hit this time.  I felt myself flinch a little, involuntarily, but I couldn't help it.  He's been doing this for months now, and as much as it hurts me to watch him bang his head on the floor, I can't always stop it.  He can't tell me what's wrong.

He leaves bruises sometimes, right in the middle of his forehead.  I try to remain calm, force down the tears and a sob that constricts my throat.  I hold him tight as he fights to bang his head on the wall, tries to head butt me.  Sometimes I sing to him, sometimes I pray.  Mostly I just beg him to stop.

"I don't think you beat him enough." 


Thanks, bystander, that was no help at all.

Yes, I've been told things like this.  Old-school parents and folks who are 'just trying to help' want to tell me that I'm not tough enough with discipline, that a good swift spanking would 'shut him up'.

I'm not proud to say that I've tried that, spanking him, smacking him in the face to snap him out of his tirades.  It only elevates his anxiety. 

So I go back to the things I know . . . sing, sway, spin.  Never mind that the teakettle is whistling ("Does it hurt your ears?"), ignore the scared baby and the kid who needs help sounding out her reading.  Sit, sing, rock, spin. 

I'll carry you until my back goes out again.


The Great Debate?
Do we have him evaluated for Autism? 
Would there even be a point, with symptoms like these? 
Because this isn't about my oldest boy, the one who HAS been diagnosed.  This is his little brother. 
My brown-eyed boy. 
We've been 'treating' the whole family with the same part-AI Paleo guidelines--meat, veggies, fruit for dessert--and we've seen GREAT improvements with everyone's health.  Most dramatic has been our oldest boy, for sure.
But the next oldest boy.  My middle boy.  Mr. Brown Eyes.  Brown eyes, quick smile, lopsided dimple like mine.  
Middle brother.  He's showing a sense of humor, is much more social than his big brother was at this age, but the self-injury . . . oh, my heart is weary. 

I love them so, Lord.  Help me fix this.

Friday, October 4, 2013

All Things New (Part 2)

I am way too neglectful of this little corner I call mine.  Time to dust you off, little blog, while I have both hands free to put my thoughts in black and white.


My big guy was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in January 2013.  It's been 10 months now, and I can't say that I'm any more acquainted with Autism now than I was before we knew what to call "it".  I had our fourth little one about a month after the diagnosis, hence the radio silence. 

I've gone through several ranges of emotions about our guy's Autism since he was diagnosed.  I've read a few books, pored over blogs until I can't see straight, read about this and that treatment, researched researched researched. 

Still not well acquainted with Autism.  I'm better acquainted with my boy, though. 

Through my blog-reading I read about biomedical treatments for Autism, and for now it's the way we decided to go.  We were awarded a grant through Generation Rescue to get started with biomed, and through that we ended up getting a couple comped appointments with a local ND.

Talk about changing my thinking.  Check kids for medical issues FIRST, before doing things like Occupational Therapy?  Umm, okay . . . so we did it.  We jumped in with both feet, and it's made a world of difference.  My only regret is that I haven't been logging the changes here!

We have completely re-vamped our diet, added some supplements, cleaned up our cleaners, and started using some essential oils for symptom management.  The changes have been, in a word, amazing.  I can have a conversation with my boy.  He's 77% toilet trained.  He's eating vegetables (not a lot, but it's voluntary!). 



This has been a tough journey.  Nothing at all like I expected.
Looking back at previous blog posts, I wonder at the wide-eyed anticipation.  This journey, this Autism journey, is not what I signed up for, Lord.
But you knew this was coming, and you prepared me.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

All Things New (Part 1)

Wow.  It's been a while.  This last summer we had some major changes, and I forgot about you, little blog.  Well, not entirely.  You've been remade 17 times in my mind, and when I logged in today I discovered that none of those changes had been made!  Amazing how things don't get done if I don't do them.  Hmm.

This last summer I decided to take the fight for our boy to a new level.  My middle child (who is becoming the second of four, come Feb 2013), the one who fell off the bed in his sleep and split his lip, has been having more troubles.  I had tried to write it all off as just 'boys are like that sometimes'.  But there was still the nagging feeling at the back of my mind, and the more issues that sprang up, the more I talked with our doctor, the more I started to hear, "Oh, he'll grow out of (insert symptom)," the more that little nagging feeling became a suspicion.

Since he was 6 months old our guy's had eczema.  Now, at almost 4, he's had digestive issues, major tantrum issues, communication difficulties, is refusing to toilet train, he self-injures, sleeps very little (which results in ME sleeping very little), is obsessive about certain toys and videos, runs in circles waving his hands . . . I could go on and on.  We've tried 6 or 7 OTC lotions, creams, essential oils and bath additives, 2 or 3 prescriptions, and nothing gave him much relief from his eczema.  In fact, most of his bed sheets are blood stained from his scratching. 

I read about trying an elimination diet to see if he had food allergies, tried removing gluten and things improved a little:  his eczema was less severe, he was sleeping better and his mood and cooperation had improved.  I took him back to the MD with our findings and asked for a referral to an allergist.  After two negative IGA screens and one negative RAST test, I felt so frustrated.  That doctor said, point blank, "I don't think his issues are food related." 
"Bull****," I thought.  "This HAS to be food related."  So I kept on reading.  Some friends had been posting info on Facebook about the Paleo diet, and so we tried that.  One article caught my eye:  these parents made major changes to the way their family eats, and found that health improvements were dramatic and started immediately. 

We started a modified Paleo diet (included rice and gluten-free oats) and saw dramatic improvements in everyone's health in just a few weeks.  It didn't completely resolve the eczema issue, but after seeing the behavior improvements in our boy, I thought we were on the right track. 

**I feel at this point it's important to say that I am SO grateful for a gal named Kim.  If not for her, listening astutely to the complaints of a confused and sleep-deprived momma and offering her opinion (despite the fact that it could make me mad, she said), we wouldn't be where we are.  Thank you, my dear, for helping me put the puzzle together, and for caring enough to speak up--even when it might be uncomfortable.**


Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Re-discovering something you already knew can be at once a relief and an embarrassment. Sort of like farting in public.

My journey through depression has been really life-changing, in a relieving and sometimes embarrassing way. I can't tell you how many times I've been on the receiving end of someone's depressive mood. As a former receptionsit, I often felt like the bartender: people would find themselves telling me really personal struggles without warning and without the mood-altering effects of alcohol. My responses to the emotional leavings were pretty much the same, with promises to pray, and encouragement that the Lord would work through their journey. Pray, friend: God knows what He's doing in your life, even when you can't see it. Wait on the Lord: He's going to do what He's going to do in his time and not yours, right? Ask God to show you how to grow in this: it could be that He's turning up the heat on you to burn off the junk He won't use.

I was full of these kinds of platitudes. Trouble is I can't seem to be able to tell myself whatever it was that did others so much good in the past: Pray. Wait. Seek God. Blah. Blah-blah, blah-blah-blah. What was it that Alice said when lost in Wonderland . . .

I give myself very good advice,
But I very seldom follow it.
That explains the trouble that I'm always in.
"Be patient," is very good advice,
But the waiting makes me curious . . .
And I'd love the change
Should something strange begin.
Well I went along my merry way,
And I never stopped to reason . . .
I should have known there'd be a price to pay
Someday . . . someday.
I give myself very good advice
But I very seldom follow it.
Will I ever learn to do the things I should?
Will I ever learn to do the things I should?

Will *I* ever learn to do the things I should? Pray. Wait. Seek God. I look back at my track record and say that it's not likely. However . . .

" . . . I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

I know this. I knew this. I don't need to do it all perfectly, all right now. But I *can* heal, and through the Great Physician I can I can reflect on this time as one during which the God who loves me more than I deserve, gave me a chance to grow in Him.

I recently re-read the short story Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. All the time there is a drastic and frightening change going on and a family dealing with difficulty, loss and uncertainty:  but the real change, the real metamorphosis was from within.

In the end the thing which they were trying to save was the thing they needed to let go of the most.

So how can I praise the Lord in the midst of letting go?  How do you?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I had big plans for the day.  You know what I mean. 

The dishes would be done, the kitchen clean.
I would finally get to mopping the wood floors.
I would have a chicken thawed, seasoned, stuffed, and in the oven half-done by the time hubby came home.  Chicken and roasted veggies.  Wholesome, no?
And the diapers would all be washed up and the rest of the laundry would be done.
Hubby would be impressed.

I woke up thanking the Lord--in advance!--for the gift of today.  Wasn't I being a good Christian mommy?


The baby is teething, and all three kids have had a cold.  And for some reason, some obnoxious mood has overtaken them.  They're kinetic today.  Mostly feeling better, but it seems they can't stop moving. 

Even in sleep. 

My middle child rolled off the toddler bed and bounced off a bookcase, splitting his lip, before thudding to the floor.  Howling broke through everyone's nap. 

And the diapers are all I've managed to clean.  I have blood on my sleeve.


Today.  It was one of those, "What in the world have I done?" days. 

So I must remind myself:
Owies kissed and snuggles given.
Breakfast and lunch (so far) enjoyed.
Diapers changed. 
Snacks eaten.
Train tracks laid.
Baby nursed.
Noses wiped.
Books read. 
Giggles shared.
Prayers breathed.

Today has been a productive day after all.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Post-partum Depression, Part 3

This morning in my prayer closet (AKA, the shower), I had a remarkable conversation with God and I came to the realization that I needed to give myself permission to get better. Isn't that strange?

All this time I was praying for the odd combination of numbness and pain to cease, to have it taken from me so that I could get on with my life as I'd hoped it would be. Over the last few months my prayer changed from, "Help me! Take this pain away!" to, "Lord, take me through this," to, "Lord, have your way in me," to, simply, "Be glorified."

Thing is, I've been re-discovering how God uses the difficulties in my life to refine me as a Christian. Not just as a woman, or a daughter, or a mom, or Steve's wife (even though we've been inseparable for nearly 14 years), but as a child of God. God, as my refiner, turns up the heat now and then to burn off the junk he won't use. The fire hurts. It burns and blisters and I cry out in pain even as He re-creates who I am IN HIM. The Refiner holds me tightly in His grip even as I fight the process. I don't need my hang-ups, they can be burned away. I don't need past hurts lived over and over in my mind, nor do I need to let current trials define who I am in Christ. Fact is, I'm a blood-bought princess, a daughter of the Most High, not worthy to be saved but saved nonetheless. Mercy flows over old wounds and I'm healed. Love poured out red at the cross.

I know this might all seem like some weird code for those of you who are not in Christ, and maybe it is! But those of you who DO know Him know what I'm talking about: hope of healing is hope for what we haven't experienced yet, because the PROMISE of healing is all over the Bible. Not just my healing from depression, but from the hurt of disregard, from the pain of rejection and the bitterness of betrayal, to the deep throbbing ache that comes out of mourning. Healing comes. Not in my time, but in His time. And it comes over and over, even as we find we're bleeding afresh.

I think God allows heartbreak in this life so that He can re-shape us, re-work our hearts into vessels He will fill. If the heart is never broken, how can all the selfishness come out? How can we be rid of the junk we invest our hearts in, if they're locked tight against God? I've locked myself up inside for so long . . . and I really thought I was protecting myself, because depression is a self-focused thing.

The reality is, the only way for me to be free of the "me-ness" was for the lockbox I'd made my heart into to be gently chisled open by the wounded hands of Christ. Even as Jesus held me in my pain, I held the hammer that would drive the nails through his flesh and into the cross. MY sin (and yours) held him there. He died. He was buried and when He rose He bought for us new life.

I am humbled. I am brought low in the knowledge that the King of Heaven did this because He doesn't want to part with me, but to be with me for eternity.

I am undone, and yet made whole. A lock box may be whole, but it is locked.

A chipped, marred, uneven and imperfect vessel is more useful than a locked box without a key.

Fill me up and pour me out, Jesus, as imperfect a vessel as I am. I have no need for locks any longer.

You bought my freedom. Please help me not to waste it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Post-partum Depression, Part 2

This was originally posted as a note on Facebook, on December 7, 2010.
Time to move my writing all to one place, huh?

I keep waking up hoping a new day will bring a change. Today isn't that day. 

Trying not to be too disappointed, just trudging through. This is usually my favorite time of year, when we prepare to celebrate the coming of Christ: God made flesh, Love incarnate. Right now I just don't know . . . I wish I could muster up some excitement for my kids.

Trying to keep a joyful attitude is WORK right now. This stinks because I know that old adage "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" is proving to be painfully true, and the result is kids with stinky attitudes. My attitude sets the tone for my home--but I really just want to be away from everyone, and they just want to provoke each other.

This has been really hard on my girl. She's usually a very jolly kid, but she's been getting mad at me and really sassy. I try to tell her that mommy is just having a sad time right now, and she tries to sympathize as only a 4 year old can, but I can tell that she's frustrated. Naughty behavior= instant attention from mom. Hooray.

My big boy is still not talking and his preferred method of communication these days is the scream--how charming! Honestly I don't have the energy--or the willpower--to enforce house rules (but just how in the world do you enforce "No screaming" on a not-quite-two-year-old who can but won't talk?).

I know God has a purpose for allowing pain as well as joy. I know He is in control here. I'm just so tired of being in this mire. I hope I can learn something from all this..