Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Little Time to Relax

I am blessed to have a job that I love. I work at a private Christian school as the Assistant Director of the before and after school program as well as the summer program. However, this means that I typically work 7:30-6 Monday through Friday.

Then I have somewhat of a social life, so between girl's night out, prayer groups, writer's groups, etc., I usually don't get home before 8 most nights of the week. And then, because I have to get up and go to work early, I usually only have about an hour or so with my husband before going to bed. Then most weekends are filled with book signings, or family stuff, so Jeff and I really haven't spent much time together lately.

Now don't get me wrong, I do work long hours, but I love what I do, so it's worth it. However, this last week has been wonderful to have some time off. The last day of school was Wednesday, and we have a week between the end of school and the beginning of our summer program. So I actually get some time to relax! On top of that, Jeff chose to be on call the same week I'm off. That means, he gets to be home during the day, and just has to answer the phones at night. So we are actually able to spend some time together!

Yesterday, we just sat on the couch all day watching TV. Now I know that sounds boring to most of you, but in our fast paced, busy lives, it was wonderful just to kick back and do nothing for a day.

It also gives me more time to reflect on how blessed we are. I am reminded of how well Jeff is doing. He is so sweet, caring, and thoughtful. I love that he does his own laundry, cleans dishes, picks up dog poop in the backyard. Yes, I said poop. He takes care of the yard, and feeds the dogs. He watches chick-flicks with me, and will take my car to fill it up with gas, or change the oil so I don't have to.

These are all the mundane things in life, but I'm so thankful for them. I could have a husband who doesn't care about me, or doing things around the house, but I don't. I have a husband who is thoughtful, and goes out of his way to make me happy. I am so blessed, and thankful that God chose me to be his wife. For better, for worse, in sickness, and in health.

Next weekend will be our 6 year anniversary. While that may not seem very long to some, we have been through more in those 6 years than most go through in a lifetime. We have lived through every word of our vows, and we are more in love now than the day we said them. So happy anniversary Jeff! I love you!

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Look Back

This weekend I had the opportunity to do a book signing at ResCare, one of the many facilities Jeff stayed at after his accident. It was great to see everyone again, and be able to show them know how well Jeff is doing now.

Having a celebration to honor Veterans, ResCare invited me to set up a table to sell my books. The residents, families, and staff were all in attendance. Honored to be a part of it, and excited to share hope with family members, I had the chance to talk to many of the residents that have suffered TBIs. It also reminded of Jeff at that stage, and where he could still be now.

I am so blessed, and thankful that God chose my husband to perform a miracle on. Our story could have turned out so differently. I had the opportunity to talk to parents and spouses of those with a brain injury, still dealing with the everyday trials of caring for someone with a TBI.

I gladly offered hope to some. Jeff's doctors told me, he would need 24 hour care for the rest of his life. He would never stay home alone, never work, and never drive. He would always have the mental capacity of a child. Yet here we are today, and he defied all those odds.

While the doctors’ assessments may come true, there is always hope because we serve a God of miracles. We have to hang on to the hope and peace that He alone can give.

I was listening to a song on the radio yesterday about praising God "even if the healing doesn't come." I found it so appropriate. We often only want to praise God in the good times, but sometimes, for reasons we don’t understand, He chooses not to heal, or answer our prayer the way we expect. We have to trust that God knows what’s best and worship Him anyway.

If we can worship in the hard times, it becomes that much sweeter when God does heal. So keep hoping, keep praying. But trust in God’s perfect timing, and exalt His name no matter what the answer is, or how long it takes to reach fruition.

What “healing” are you waiting on? How have you been able to praise God in difficult times?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Let's Get Real

My publisher said it would be a good idea to start a blog so my readers could get to know me better. So, I started this blog with no real vision in mind. I thought I would speak my mind. I've just been posting random thoughts that I have, but I quickly realized that I don't know what to write about.

I started thinking about why people read my posts on Caring Bridge after Jeff's accident. Yes, those people care about us, and wanted updates. But there was something more. I thought about why people are reading my book now. When I was doing the journal updates, I got so many comments about how honest I was. And now, I have had so many people tell me that they enjoyed my book because I'm honest. I talked about things that most people wouldn't talk about, or shared things that most wouldn't admit.

I had trouble praying during a tragedy when I should be on my knees constantly. I yelled at God. I worried about where my marraige would go when Jeff went though the mean and angry phase. Most people just put on a mask and hide their struggles. But how does that help anyone?

People seem to like my honestly, the fact that I'm real. So that's what I want to do. I want to continue to be real with you.

So I'm just going to start sharing my mind with you, telling you about my struggles even now, 2 years post accident. Some of it will be brain injury related, but some will just be about life in general.

Here goes nothing...

I shared in my book about my struggles through prayer. At a time in my life when I should have been praying the most, I couldn't find the words to say anything but "God please." God has taught me a lot about how to pray, and since then, my prayer life has been more vibrant that it has ever been.

I have been able to have open conversation with God, and pray throughout the day. I have seen the power of prayer both in big miracles like Jeff's healing, and in small day-to-day prayers like how a difficult conversation with a friend will go.

However, lately I've been busy. I have said yes to more commitments than I should have, and frankly am just too tired to pray most of the time. When I have my quiet moments in the car driving to and from work, instead of having my deepest conversations with God like I used to, I'm finding myself just sitting in the quiet. Not having the desire to spend time in conversation. I just want to rest.

I recognize that my prayer life will have seasons, just like life, just like my relationship with God. There will be times of euphoria, and times of neglect. However, just because there are seasons, doesn't give me a free pass to neglect my time with God.

God never ceases to amaze me, and I've noticed now that I'm more busy and tired, when I do show up, God blows my mind. I love that He waits for me, that He is excited when I make time to spend with Him. Even if it's just 2 minutes here and there.

Just because God taught me new insights about prayer, doesn't mean my prayer life is perfect. I think that's the point. It is ongoing.

You have to have open communication with God. Many think that they don't have time to pray because they have to have this long drawn out prayer every time following the example that Jesus gave us in the Lord's Prayer. While it is good to do that sometimes, that doesn't have to be the prayer every time. Sometimes a prayer can be a simple as, "Thanks God!" or "God please!"

No matter what you say, make time for God. He is waiting for you, and if you show up, you'll be amazed at what He wants to show you.

What's your excuse for not praying?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


When I think about how God is choosing to use me, I am completely humbled. Me, a broken, sinful, unworthy girl. I could have been born anyone, anywhere. I could have been born into a Muslim extremist family, or to a tribe in Africa who has never heard of Jesus. But I wasn't. God knew me before I was born. He created me as I am, and placed me in the family and location that I am.

I don't understand why He would choose to do that for me, but He did. He gave me my mind and created it to think the way it does. Yet, I am still sinful. I still fall short. I don't deserve anything except death. But out of God's amazing grace and love, He sent his only son to die in my place. That should have been more than enough in itself, but God didn't stop there. No, He continues to bless me beyond measure.

I am humbled and honored that God chose me for the journey He did. I didn't enjoy the trials surrounding my husband's traumatic brain injury, but I am amazed by what has come of it. I am humbled that God chose to give me this story to tell. I have nothing to offer, but God is using me. He gave me the story. He gave me the words to put on paper. He turned in into a book. He is giving me the words to share my testimony.

Me...the girl afraid of a microphone, who hated to even write a paper in college, is now an author and speaker. God is using me to tell His story. He is using me to share His miracles.

I really can't understand it. When I try to wrap my mind around God's greatness, I am overwhelmed. He is so far beyond anything that I could ever comprehend. He is perfect and holy. Yet, He chooses to love us, and He loves us as we are. That is the real miracle "God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).