Healing Through the Year

This is Day 5 of my FREE 21 Day Writing Challenge. It is not too late to Join the Challenge! Joining is the only way to get the prompts sent to your inbox.

Nightmare

Four nurses holding me down, hold my legs open and a doctor comes at me to cut me. This nightmare has been recurring for as long as I can remember. My husband has always tried to determine the root of the trauma evidenced by such recurring nightmares and other symptoms of trauma I have displayed. In March, 2015 the trauma root was uncovered. The day after Kyrie was born she was diagnosed with an imperforate hymen. My world collapsed as I began having flashbacks and quickly it was determined this is what I had had as a child. It had become an emergency situation as it went undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years. I was in pain and discomfort and the solution was to cut my hymen.

Control

When we were working to get Kyrie into surgery, I was seeking control of a situation in which I was spinning out of control in so many directions. Time and time again our plans dissolved. Kyrie’s doctor tried a catheter in hopes that the membrane would be ready to move aside as it should have after being born. When this didn’t work his recommendation was to ask in Lebanon if someone could do the surgery after waiting until she was big enough to not have need of the extra microscope due to being an infant. We waited and went to the pediatrician. The visit decreased my confidence in the possibilities, so we called Dr. Ashley in Tucson and scheduled the surgery.

In the mean time, while fighting for control of Kyrie’s surgery, I felt completely out of control in healing from my own past. I had anger and frustration and could determine no way to find closure. But slowly slowly I healed. At the beginning I couldn’t even tell people what had happened to me. Now I can tell the story. I have empathy for my parents who were thrust into the situation in an even more stressful and horrific way than we were. We were given the opportunity to ensure Kyrie would not suffer all the same ways I had.

God’s Control

Yet, even through our attempts to control the situation, much of the past 21 months has been solely in God’s hands. Getting the money to pay for the surgery out of pocket is a tangible measurement of the ways God has provided for us. The nontangible ways are in the healing of my heart and mind. I am a new woman, and I can’t wait to get through yet another year of healing. I am so excited to meet the woman I will be. I know more about why my brain ticks the way it does, and can accept and move forward. I am able to see the plans God has for us without as much fear and trepidation. In addition, God has had Kyrie in His capable hands all along. Even when I was more tied up in dealing with my own healing and incapable of even processing her constant and increasing pain in these months, God has been with us as a family. Kyrie and I are so close, which I never had thought possible, especially when she had this diagnosis which I believe is what caused problems between my mother and I when I was growing up.

The News You All Have Been Waiting For

This blog post is about my own healing, and it is a part of my writing challenge meant to kickstart a writing habit. Part of writing is healing. Being able to process this again and again helps me to continue to heal. But what most of you want to know is Now What? We do have an update about Kyrie coming soon. Stay tuned.

This post is one of a series meant to kickstart a writing habit. I created exclusive prompts which are emailed to those of us signed up for my FREE 21 Day Writing Challenge. I am posting my responses each day, and I invite you to join me in this writing journey by CLICKING HERE! The only way to receive the prompts is to sign up for the Challenge. The emails will include the prompt for the day as well as directions to kickstart your writing habit for any combination of the following:

  • Personal Journal
  • Prayer Journal
  • Blog
  • Christmas/New Year Letter or Correspondence
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Skinnied Sunday

As you have seen, I am working through my very own FREE 21 Day Writing Challenge. The only way to get the prompts so you can join is to CLICK HERE!

Sunday is a Skinnied down version of the Challenge, so today I am going to link to some past posts that you may be interested in.

The first post I am linking to is my review of an excellent prayer journal book I read this past year. If you are following the Challenge, or if you are inspired by my own following to start a spiritual journal, read my review of How To Keep A Spiritual Journal.

Secondly, as the New Year comes up and you begin making resolutions, make Bible reading one of those resolutions. CLICK HERE for my own How To Make Your Own Bible Reading Plan.

Finally, let me take you over to my page of resources for creating New Years Resolutions or just lifestyle goals. CLICK HERE to get access to these FREE Resources.

 

Why I Can Call Myself A Cook Now!

This is Day 3 of my FREE 21 Day Writing Challenge. The only way to receive the prompts in your inbox is to Join the Challenge!

I Never Used to Cook

I was not opposed to cooking pasta or something from a box, but I truly used to avoid all raw meat, all food that had more than two or three steps in the recipe. When I first married Louis I received an excellent cook book for the wedding shower, but every meal seemed to be something we disliked more and more.

All of those jokes about the wife burning the food, or pretending to like the food your newlywed wife cooks were all true for us. This past year I knew that I had to up my game if I was going to lose my goal weight. In the past I have had a great time with the Bikini Body Mommy site for the online exercise videos, so I decided to use those right away. This time I also became a paid member and signed up for the meal plan. Every week Brianna sends meal plans with all the recipes and a grocery list so you know exactly how much to get to follow the plan.

A Plan That Worked For Us

Not having to plan and think was one of the benefits. I also decided not to make the family eat every meal, but to stick to it for myself while allowing them to eat their meal. Then something crazy happened. The whole family liked the majority of the meals. Over the course of the year, I also learned so many ways to substitute foods, and have even been able to adjust other meals when we find something outside the plan we want to try to cook.

A Good Attitude

The change in my attitude is the best part for my family. Being able to provide for them healthy meals is very satisfying as a mom. Not having to make as many decisions, being able to buy the same ingredients and have a core set of meals that we really like to make has transformed our decision making. We have more time on our hands with this no longer being a fight, or even much of a discussion. Food seems to magically appear on plates now that we have this plan.

I have lost 71 pounds this year.

I know this has to do with truly finding that balance of diet and exercise. Check out Bikini Body Mommy for yourself!


This post is one of a series meant to kickstart a writing habit. I created exclusive prompts which are emailed to those of us signed up for my FREE 21 Day Writing Challenge. I am posting my responses each day, and I invite you to join me in this writing journey by CLICKING HERE! The only way to receive the prompts is to sign up for the Challenge. The emails will include the prompt for the day as well as directions to kickstart your writing habit for any combination of the following:

  • Personal Journal
  • Prayer Journal
  • Blog
  • Christmas/New Year Letter or Correspondence

Hit the Pause Button

This is Day 2 of my FREE 21 Day Writing Challenge. It isn’t too late to Join the Challenge!

Hit the Pause Button

Just this past month did this new one-liner join our family list. We have a long list of one liners in our family to convey a lot of meaning quickly. Hit the Pause Button was Poppy’s (Louis’ dad), and it fit so perfectly in this season of our life. As we have taken the time to prioritize our family, our work, our relationship with each other, my husband and I have learned about seasons. Specifically we have been learning how to take the time to recognize the season we are in, and prioritize accordingly. As things shift beneath our feet, as plans change last minute, as our child throws up just as we are about to walk out the door. These are times when the event, the task, the plan can seem more important, but 30 seconds from now is not going to be all that much different than now. In fact, it is going to be worse now if we rush. There are many times you just have to stop for a second and reevaluate.

Here is where all the justifications can start rising to the surface, the exceptions to the rule. But I argue that none of those are truly exceptions. So, if you are saying to yourself, “But what about when…”

What if You Miss the Bus?

Many mornings Davy takes a while to get ready for the bus. Davy’s bus picks him up at 6:15am, so he is understandably groggy a lot of the time. There are mornings that I get very frustrated because he is not progressing on schedule. I have everything very tightly planned so that he can get the most sleep possible, and any little amount of dawdling can make us late for the bus. To my chagrin, I have snapped and yelled more than one morning to try to hustle him along. I always regret the sadness that his day at school will begin with in that case.

One wonderful morning, I did not yell, I did not shout, and I was so proud of myself. However, we missed the bus. I started worrying and fretting, but then turned to Davy and said, “Let’s hit the pause button.” We went back inside and he played while I made coffee.

After a cup of coffee I gathered our things and we set out for a taxi. Davy didn’t feel blamed, since really there was a bunch of things happening to make us late that morning, not the least of which was that I had not put his uniform sweater in the correct place and we spent 10 minutes searching for it.

This was an instance that the task could have caused a fight between us, where I would be so mad at Louis or Davy for putting things away in the wrong place. I could have been upset that we spent extra money on the taxi (a whole $2.66 round trip) when we were using the bus because it was cheaper. I prioritized my family, my son, my marriage, and I just looked at everything with a calm level head, only possible because we Hit the Pause Button.

This post is one of a series meant to kickstart a writing habit. I created exclusive prompts which are emailed to those of us signed up for my FREE 21 Day Writing Challenge. I am posting my responses each day, and I invite you to join me in this writing journey by CLICKING HERE! The only way to receive the prompts is to sign up for the Challenge. The emails will include the prompt for the day as well as directions to kickstart your writing habit for any combination of the following:

  • Personal Journal
  • Prayer Journal
  • Blog
  • Christmas/New Year Letter or Correspondence

30 Pieces of Our Lives We Need to Tell You About!

Davy at the Reid Park Zoo yesterday.

This is the Core of my FREE 21 Day Writing Challenge. The only way to receive the prompts and process in your email is to SIGN UP!!! It isn’t too late to Join the Challenge!

This year has had so much growth and change and so many big events, that I cannot even begin to share them all. So, here is a short list of such things I hope to write more about in the near future.

In 2016:

  1. Kyrie learned to walk
  2. Kyrie learns French, Arabic, and English simultaneously
  3. Davy started school (CLICK HERE for a story about the day we missed the bus) at CTI (Christian Teaching Institute)
  4. Louis had 8 interns
  5. We hosted LOTS of teams
  6. We joined the HR and Member Care team
  7. Louis is now in charge of all new staff who come from outside of Lebanon (CLICK HERE for a great book which has motivated us to seek even greater success)
  8. Annie was accepted to Rutgers University for the Master of Information program (Library Science) (See her post on Bullet Journaling to get a taste of her archives passion)
  9. I tutored one of Louis’ high schoolers, Ivan
  10. I met 90% of the goals I had for this past year
  11. We met most of our long term goals for our position in Horizons
  12. I lost 71 pounds
  13. Being just a stay at home mom
  14. Discipline was my word of the year
  15. Learning Arabic was slow, but steady for Annie
  16. Louis is ready to start MSA (formal Arabic)
  17. We went to Paphos, Cyprus and saw one of the places Paul was given the 39 lashes
  18. We went to Larnaca, Cyprus and had anamnesis about Davy’s Lazarus experience
  19. We went to England and strengthened our historical memory about WWII
  20. I was able to heal dramatically from childhood trauma
  21. We have clear direction for our life
  22. Zoey, Kyrie’s best friend, was born in March (just like Kyrie)
  23. We joined a small group at our church
  24. Davy is leaping forward in fine motor skills since beginning school
  25. Davy is doing so well socially, and learning so much
  26. I can cook now!
  27. Davy was a storm trooper for Halloween this December (CLICK HERE to read about our holiday tradition planning this year)
  28. We came back to America for Christmas
  29. Kyrie Health Update 
  30. I created this FREE Challenge to motivate myself to get in the habit of writing for this blog everyday

This post is one of a series meant to kickstart a writing habit. I created exclusive prompts which are emailed to those of us signed up for my FREE 21 Day Writing Challenge. I am posting my responses each day, and I invite you to join me in this writing journey by CLICKING HERE! The only way to receive the prompts is to sign up for the Challenge. The emails will include the prompt for the day as well as directions to kickstart your writing habit for any combination of the following:

  • Personal Journal
  • Prayer Journal
  • Blog
  • Christmas/New Year Letter or Correspondence

FREE 21 Day Writing Challenge 1 Week Away!

Last year I set a goal for my blog to post a regular weekly series as well as two posts per month. This equaled out to a goal of 76 posts. In the year I have posted 82 posts, so I met that goal! However, the consistency was lacking. There were entire months with not a single post, and other months which had so many posts I am sure no one read them all. I want to steadily improve this piece of my blog this year.

The same thing happens with our personal journals, correspondence with family and friends, and our prayers as did with my blog this year. If you are hoping to fix one of those areas in your own writing life, Join my FREE 21 Day Writing Challenge HERE!

For those who join you will receive a prompt in your inbox each day of the FREE 21 Day Writing Challenge. It will be simple and even include the process and how to transform your words into the medium you desire: letter, journal, or blog post. Join now, this Challenge kicks off December 15th!

1 Samuel 30 & 31


We have reached the end of 1 Samuel! Look to the end to hear what is coming next in my blogging life.

Overview

In chapter 29, the Philistines did not allow David and his men to fight King Saul alongside them. We talked about how frustrated with Saul David and his men must have been, and how many of them were probably quite eager to jump into the fight alongside the Philistines. Now, the men return to find that the Amalekites have raided their town, burned their buildings, and stolen their women and children. The anger of these warriors turns against David. David turns to God, and God answers him. God tells David to pursue the Amalekites, and ensures victory in rescuing the women. The men with David pursue, and as many are exhausted from going out to battle just before this new adventure, they stay behind. David and many men continue on. They find an Egyptian servant who has been left behind by the Amalekites because he was sick. This servant takes David and his men to the Amalekites in exchange for his life, and they recover their belongings and their women and children. Upon returning to the men who stayed behind a quarrel arises over whether or not they can have their belongings returned since they did not participate in the battle with the Amalekites. However, David decides, and it becomes law in future generations as well, that those who stay behind with the baggage receive an equal share as those who go to the fight. The chapter ends with David sending a portion of the spoils to all the elders of Judah in every area they had sojourned throughout 1 Samuel.

All has turned out well for David now, and he has even built up relationship with those who will be his subjects when God fulfills His promise to make David king instead of Saul. So, whatever did happen in that battle with the Philistines?

Chapter 31, the final chapter of 1 Samuel, returns us to Saul’s camp. The Philistines fought against Israel. Israel fled and were overtaken. The sons of Saul were killed and Saul was wounded by archers. Saul asked his armor-bearer to kill him, but the armor-bearer was afraid, so Saul took his own life by falling on his sword. The armor-bearer also fell on his own sword. The Israelites fled from the battle. The Philistines took the head and body of Saul and placed them up to be shown off, but the men of Jabesh-gilead went in the night and took the bodies of Saul and his sons and burned them and buried their bones. This ends the reading of 1 Samuel

Characters

David and his men, the Amalekites, the women and children in Ziklag, David’s wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel, Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel, Abiathar the priest, the Lord God, an Egyptian, the elders of Judah, the Philistines, Israel, Saul and his sons: Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchisua, archers, Saul’s armor-bearer, the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead

Key Verse

Verse 6: And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

Cross References

Exodus 17:4 So Moses cried to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.”

Numbers 14:10 Then all the congregation said to stone them with stones. But the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the people of Israel.

Conclusion

In times of great stress, God is not stressed. He has a plan already, and as leaders we must turn to Him for counsel. Leaders are placed in a position where the anger of those who follow can be directed. Both leaders and followers must turn to God for the best way. The Lord draws near to those who call on Him. This is always true.

In contrast, Saul, the king, a leader by title, does not turn to God in his battle. He seeks death. He asks to be killed by his armor-bearer because he is afraid.

Jesus in the Old Testament

“The habits of a lifetime show themselves in extreme circumstances. From an early age, David was convinced that even a giant among the “uncircumcised Philistines” was no match for his big God (17:26). Through the encouragement of a faithful friend like Jonathan, David had developed the habit of finding strength in God (cf. 23:16). Saul, by contrast, had developed the habit of thinking little of God and regularly giving more weight to circumstances. This meant that he vacillated between overwhelming fear and overweening pride, depending on the circumstances. Threats from “uncircumcised Philistines” held little fear for David but literally scared Saul to death.”*

I think in my own life, and possibly yours, it can be so easy to fall into the temptation to just react to circumstances. However, choosing to be able to respond by seeking God, taking that moment to stop and look at the Truth, is all the difference.

“The magnificent truth of the gospel is that to fear God (to give him ultimate weight) is to dispel all other fears”*

Exodus 20:20 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.”

Romans 8:35, 37-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

Those verses are really something! Wow!

Another month has passed in between my posting chapters 28 and 29 and now this chapter 30 and 31 study. This book has taken far too long to get through, but as I reach these last references it is all put in perspective. As I sit down to work on this today I feel burdened by disappointment that I was not able to take one day a week to study the Scripture. I realize that the accountability of those of you following with me is not as weighty as I would like. I have not had the self-motivation needed to continue the study when there were distractions. However, this Bible study is a piece of a tapestry. I started the blog Bible study as a way to stay in community and study of the Bible. In America I was a part of a Bible study that meant once a month, as well as a Bible study that met once a week. Losing those to become a missionary has been a great loss for me. However, in Lebanon I have also taken on the challenge of reading the entire Bible this year, and of reading many sections of the Bible multiple times. This makes a Blog Bible Study of this intensity and format quite challenging. As I sit this month and evaluate my goals, I achieved the goal of finishing the 1 Samuel Blog Bible Study, however, I did not finish two studies. There is a lack of consistency in my writing. In the coming year, I am going to scale back my expectations for reading the Bible so that I can give more weight to the studying piece. I am going to try different formats as well.


The first step on this journey to more consistency in my blog posting, is that I am offering a FREE 21 Day Writing Challenge. For those of you who enjoy the Blog Bible Study, there is a piece to this Challenge just for you! I am including in each prompt and daily instruction ideas for kickstarting a prayer journal. This can easily be used as a way to engage with the Bible as well. Finally, I will be posting each day during the Challenge, which will provide you with ways to pray for me and my family during our trip to America and inevitable culture shock. Thank you for following me through this book, even though it took over a year to get through it! We did it!

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Old Testament section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share them with us.

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