Please talk to me

After hours of surfing through new and old friend's blogs, and after reading much more interesting stuff than just captions under super cute photos of kids, I was inspired to create a blog of my own just for sharing thoughts and to have dialouge with the outside world.....those of you who think about more than Barney, Thomas the Train and PB&J. I would love it if I started a trend among my many photo sharing mom friends (not that I don't LOVE the pics), I know you guys could use a little straight from the heart (or brian...., no that's my husband....see, it barely works anymore!....BRAIN). For what it's worth.......

Friday, December 21, 2007

As I was lying down today trying to help my restless child fall asleep, I found much needed solace in the silence.  While the quiet and stillness was a relief to me, I thought of a friend who is bearing the burden of loss for whom silence may bring nothing but pain.  As I thought of her, I prayed.......

Please write on her heart a song for the silence,
one of peace and comfort in this time of despair.
Let your water spill forth from this hard rock of sorrow
and sing over her with songs of your care.
Speak tender words that bring courage and strength,
allow no hardness to set in.
Whisper "come to me, darling" and call her away
to the place where healing begins.
Silence.  O Lord, would you sing her your song
that one day she too will sing
of joy from mourning and beauty from ashes 
that only you, Lord, can bring.

" 'Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me
See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come.....' "
Song of Solomon 2:10-12

"The Lord your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I just received word from the Nuerologists office that Halle's MRI report read "unremarkable brain". As funny as that sounds it was good news and means that the test results were normal. We are very relieved. I was somewhat bitter the moment after finding out because it seemed like we went through all that trouble (emotionally) for nothing. But still, I'm glad we did it because we wont ever have to wonder if something could possibly be wrong even if he has other delays in the future. And it was a very meaningful experience processing through the emotions that surfaced through the whole ordeal. Now that she walks and talks more everyday there is little to be worried about other than the fact that she is boycotting her naps big time right now. Little Halle, the perfect little sleeper that she was, is becoming quite a drama queen in her toddler days. But I will not complain knowing that she is alright in more important ways that napping. Speaking of talking, it was so cute when I got off the phone I looked at her really close in the face and said in an excited sqeeky mommy voice, "your brain is normal!" and Halle said "MO-RMAL!!!!". New word. Thanks to everyone who reads this and has supported us in this trying time. More to come on other matters of the heart and soul........

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Well, it has been quite a long time since I have shared anything with the bloggers in cyberspace but I am back now and hope to write more regualrly again. The past 2 months have been rough. We were way over busy this summer and I, particularly, had too much on my plate. But, we learned some valuable lessons about how to (and how NOT to) plan vacations and how much is too much in terms of my activities outside the house. I wont bore you with details about those things but I do want to share that Halle had an MRI done today. It went fine. I was very uncomfortable with the whole thing but felt that we needed to go ahead and do it. She had to be sedated which was the part I was not comfotable with but it was not optional. It just seemed like such an intense thing to do for "just in case" circumstances. But, it's done now and we will know the results once we can get in to see the neurologist who ordered the test. I feel very weird about the fact that somebody out there knows if there is anything wrong with my child and has detailed inforamtion as to the innerworkings of her brain but I do not. I am very uncomfortable with this but there is nothing I can do but bother the receptioist at the doctors office incessantly until she fits me in to see him. I will let you know know what we find out.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Halle had an appoinyment today with a pediatric neurologist. Her pediatrician made the referal after we saw him a month ago about her delayed walking. Of course, by the time the appointemnt came up, she started walking. But, I decided I should still go and see what the guy had to say and so I could feel like I did everything I could have done to be sure nothing is really wrong. Apparently, this is the first step in dealing with any sort of developmental delay, to rule out any sort of underlying neurological cause.
The office was located inside the Sutter Cancer Center in Sac. As we walked in we saw mostly cancer patients of all ages. It felt strange to be bringing my child to a place that mostly deals with people, children, with a potentially fatal disease. I was thinking about how I cant even begin to fathom what it would be like to to experience having a child with cancer or any other devistating illness. It seems so far off, so impossible. But it's not, it's so real and all sorts of people are living it, hundreds of whom are in this very same buiding we are entering. Yet here I am with my two healthy children. Strange.
The appointment went as I expected for the most part. Since she has shown considerable progress since the time of the referral in a number of areas there was no need, after his assesment of her in the office, to pursue any other sort of testing to try and determine what may have caused her to be so delayed. Something that was strange to me was how adament he was that walking at 16.5 months was VERY late. For the last few months I have periodically taken some time to read about late walking on line and found that there are lots of kids out there who dont walk until much later than "normal" and are fine. I was determined not to be the spastic paranoid mom who is hung up on all the milestones happening at exactly the right time. Most of the time, I wasnt terribly worried about her largley because of the many stories I have heard about kids who didnt walk until such a such an age. (Everybody seems to have a story like that to tell me. But I gladly listen.) I was assuming the doctors would be more casual about it. But even though he referred to her as LATE rather than just "on her own schedule" as many say, I was relieved to hear his conclusive remarks stating that we just needed to keep an eye on her development and call him if there seems to be any other problems down the road. So we make our way back to the reception area and I let the kids play a little with the toys there before we head to the car and the doctor comes back out and says "oh, Im so glad youre still here. I just noticed something and I need you to come back inside." So we go and he tells me that he looked at Halle's growth chart and saw that her head size is abnormally large. This was no surprise to me. It wasnt until her last physical at 15 months that she landed back ON the growth chart in the 99% percentile for her age. Since she was 6 months weve bought her size 2T hats! Her other doctors have noticed and asked if anyone in the family has a big head. Since Brian certaily does and Hayden does too, no one seemed to be alarmed. But this guy was alarmed and in short, we are now suspecting that she may have a mild case of hydrocephaly and will do an MRI to find out. The situation was difficult because (and I experienced this with the pediatrician when he made the referal to the neurologist) as a doctor, he recommended we do this because he needs to rule it our no matter how unlikely it may seem to him that she would indeed have it. However, he can not, without violating his professionalism, let on to the seriousness or lack thereof of his suspicions in anyway. So I'm left to wonder, "does the doctor, the only one here who knows anything about this disease, think she might really have this? Or did he just have to make that recommendation (to do the MRI) soley out of ethic, as a standard conservative approach, event though he thinks it unlikely that hydocephaly is present????" (Apparently, even if the hydrocephaly is mild and doesnt require immediate draining, it is very serious and can cause considerable problems in the child's future.)
Now I feel stuck in this weird inbetween place. At one moment I feel like we really shouldnt worry, that she is probably fine we just have to cover all the bases and rule it out. But then I realize that I have no reason to assume that there is any greater chance she doesnt have this than that she does - other than the fact that, as I mentioed earlier, it just seems so impossible that my child could have such a serious problem. It's so easy to fear uncommon diseases and abnormalities when they are in the womb but once they come out fine, it's so easy to take their health for granted. So in the next moment Im feeling like Im about to enter the world that many of the people in that building are living in, a world where health is an unknown or unatainable luxury. Wow. I just cant even begin to go there. Not because I dont want to but because I literally can't. Maybe someday soon I will, we'll see. For now, I am just going to go to bed and thank God for the year and a half of healthy, happy Halle.

Friday, June 15, 2007

I just completed a three day mini-fast. It was a very interesting experience. I have fasted before, Im not sure if I ever did three whole days, but regardless, this experience was different. I think largely because for the last 3 years I have been either pregnant or nursing and not only was fasting not even an possibility, but I had the liberty to eat MORE than I usually would. I seem to have been stuck in the mentality that I can and should still eat a little “extra”. Fasting is far less familiar to me now than it was in the past. In addition, I have become a little to comfortable with the fact that my post “two babies in two years” body just wont be the same as it was before. What’s worse is that I have regained an old habit I used to have of turning to food for a variety of reasons other than needing to nourish my body. I recently became aware of my regression into this very unhealthy state. A few weeks of unrestrained indulgence and a few extra pounds on my hips to show for it made it clear to me that there is a problem at hand. At first the thought of fasting was abhorant and I was thinking about all the reasons why doing it wouldnt be neccessary. But the more I thoguht about it, the more I realized that the problem was bigger than I initailly realized. I began to see that I have been turning to food for almost all enjoyment and satisfaction in my life. This stage of life has made it even easier for me to do so. I dont have the soul fulfilling mornings that remind me of where my true comtentment and satisfaction are found, I am often bored and in need of some some sort of stimulation when at home and going to the grocery store might very well be the most mutually exciting activity for me and the kids to do. These factors combined make my already difficult struggle with food even more intense.
Another reason I decided to fast was for detoxification. For the last few years Ive had a growing interest in the various methods of detoxifing both intestinally and cellularly but, as I mentioed, being a baby making/feeding factory left me no opportunity to pursue it. And, after my recent stint of overconsumption of mostly unhealthy foods, there seemed no better time than now. So I gave the mini detox juice fast a go.
While fasting, I prayed for God to realign my heart's pursuit of satisfactionand give me the strength to exercise better self control. I was reminded of the direct connection between my consistency in seeking God and allowing Him to fill and excite my soul and my ability to keep my mind off of food and resist the temptation to indulge in it. I prayed God would cleanse me of not only the toxic build up in my body but also in my heart.
Day one and two were surprisingly easy. I could not remove myself entirely from the presence of food because I still had to feed my family. I made PB & J’s, prepared snacks and cooked diner. I thought these smells and sights would be really difficult to have around but they weren't. Infact sometimes preparing food is just enough distraction and enjoyment for me to forget about eating. Ironic. Day three was a different story. I woke up nauseous and shaking with a headache, my heart beating fast and short of breath. For a brief moment I wigged out thinking I was pregnant. (Dont worry, Im not.) I went from the bed immediately to the couch and couldnt get up for an hour. I was experiencing many of the symptoms of detoxification. I was glad to think that the fast was “working” in that respect.
Finally I had to get up because I had to be at the gym to teach my senior fitness class. That’s when it got really interesting.
I was dreading going because I thought I woud be weak and miserable the whole time but a few minutes into it I was
overcome by a peaceful calm that was almost euphoric. Normally this class is so boring. I do the same boring little
moves to cheesy music with a bunch of grouchy seniors. But yesterday I was floating, smiling, giddy and so happy to be there dancing with the old folks instead of upstairs in my favorite hard core aerobics class. It lasted the whole hour and at that point I was thinking I would fast for longer than 3 days if this was how things were gonna be. It didnt last long after that though. Sadly, after getting my kids from the childcare and heading back home I sort of crashed and again felt weak and icky, not as bad as the morning though.
I was so intriged by this experience. My guess is that my body was reacting physiologically to the purging taking place inside. It's so strange that it had such a mental and emotional effect. I ended my fast gradually and slowly rather than with a meal so as to avoid bombarding my freshly cleansed palate with too many tastes, smells and textures which make indulging very hard to resist. Although I know nothing magical took place inside me, I feel very refreshed by this experience both physically and mentally and that my relationship to food has been made right once again. Overall, the fast was very positive and I Iook forward to allowing God, rather than food, provide excitement and satiety in my life.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I got word today of a friend who has been feeling loney lately and is in need of encouragement. The news came by way of an email that was sent to a bunch of people in order to coordinate something we could all do for her. My first reaction to the email was pure excitment about doing something nice for this friend. But then I got to thinking about how it seems to me that so many women I know in this phase of life (married with career or children or both) deal with lonliness at some point. I know I sure have and often still do. Despite my joy in taking part in blessing my friend, I just couldnt help but to continue to be burdened by this idea that so many women out there are loney. It makes sense, we are home with the kids or at work with co-workers who are not neccesarily people we chose to have in our lives. We have all the duties of wife and motherhood to attend to and little time for ourselves. I have often written off my own stuggles with lonliness and isolation as aspects of this season of life that are inevitable and then felt the pressure to just suck it up and deal with it. However, recent speculation into this issue has allowed me to see things a little deeper. This issue seems to be prevelent in our culture at large. We saw "Knocked Up" this weekend and we laughed so hard at how much we identified with the highly dysfunctional married couple, the sister and her husband. He and she were both so obviously lonley. The wife is sad and bitter and although what she really wants is to have her husband around, she drives him away with her neurotic behavior that stems from her bitterness (very viscious circle). The husband is so desperate for companionship that he pretends he's leaving the house for work and instead attends male bonding rituals like a fantasy baseball draft. Desperate. Familiar, though to a lesser extent (let's hope so!!). But my personal identification with these characters and the email I got this morning are proof that we as Believers are no more immune to this than anyone else. This, to me, is very sad and an indication that we as a subcluture of christians are missing something huge that God intended for us as a "church". That something missing is a real understanding and experience of deep, intimate community. The kind we see in the church in Acts. Prayer, in the book of acts, seems to me to be primarily coorporate not individual. Everybody shared everything. Individualism has got the best of us here. It is so deeply engrained in us as Westerners, particularly as Americans, we seem to barely be able to scratch the surface of true community. I believe this is why so many of us are lonley. Yes, this stage in life is demanding but I no longer see lonliness as inevitable for me. I believe that if we exerienced more than just church picnics and BBQ's and once a week Bible Studies where everyone shares prayer requests quickly at the end and promises to pray for you during the week (not that that is bad), that we might not feel like we are in our own world so often. If interactions between friends were challenged to a place of true vulnerability and friendships valued as essential to our spiritual vitality I believe a connectedness and intamacy unlike what is most common would develop and we would refreshed, energized and encouraged rahter than dry, weary and lonely. I am very fortunate to have had a taste of this kind of community in my life. A group of friends from college that are commited to being real and spiritually intimate with one another provide this for me. However, I am not satisfied with just that in my life. These friends are all over the place and it is rare we are able to meet in person. I would like to have this kind of connectedness with every community of believers I encounter. At times I think that my hopes are unattainable, that the way we are in this culture is too set in stone and that we just won't experience what the people of the early church did to any great extent until we are all united with Christ in heaven. But that's me being timid and lazy and unwilling to try and hope for fear of being disappointed.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

It's been a while. Sometimes I feel so full of thoughts to share and other times I feel totally dry. Im okay with that though. This kind of inconsistency typtifies my life right so it fits perfectly. I wanted to write an update to my last entry. My anger has greatly susbsided. In fact, I think I can say I have not been angry at all since that day. Frustrated and discouraged, yes, but not angry the way I was before. We were miraculously able to get Hayden into see his allergist that very afternoon (it usually takes weeks to get in) and get him on the meds that totally clear him up. So for the 10 days he was on it and the 4 since he's been off, we have all slept through the night. Very little itching. Halle has been making progress toward her delayed milestones too. Also, Hayden is now potty trained. This is so huge. Im trying not to make this entry all about kids and their achievments (Im always affraid I will loose your attention if you think that's all this is about) but I have to say what a HUGE relief this is. Because things were so difficult with his skin and all reprocussions that has on our life, we were making very little progress in potty training. All of the sudden, it just happened. I didnt even have to do anything. Again, miraculous. This was such a blessing and an indirect answer to my pleading prayer for some sort of relief from the intesity of my life a few weeks ago. So, God, as always, is so very faithful to me and I just had to share that.