i’m such an idiot

caregiving, google  images

caregiving, google images

There are days my idiocy startles even me!  Really. Today is one of those days.

If you read yesterday’s post, you know what I’m dealing with now. Today my mom is doing much better.  She’s working hard in therapy and will be coming home in about a week. But with her improved condition, she’s also returned to her stubbornness. I came home from the hospital thoroughly stressed out and ready to pull out what hair I haven’t already lost these past three weeks. (It’s a good thing I have a lot of it.)

She called me a few minutes ago to tell me she passed a cognitive test with flying colors which considering how hard her head “kissed” the sidewalk, is really, really good news.  After we ended our conversation,  the phrase, “Just love her,” came into my mind. I believe that epiphany was from God.  (If you don’t like “religious” talk, just move on. I’m not offended.)

The feeling I experienced after our phone conversation was vastly different from what I’d felt when I left the hospital today. It felt warm and cozy. It felt “right”.  I felt such pride in her accomplishment and such love for her.

Light-bulb flash! This is how I want to feel.  I don’t want to be her police officer, her mother, her know-it-all daughter. Besides, when I think about her life and what’s she’s accomplished with little education, no high-paying job, and under difficult circumstances, I am humbled.

I couldn’t have done it.

The words, “Just love her”, overwhelmed me. I knew the Source of those words.  After this last week of feeling no connection with God and wondering where He was, today I know exactly where He was. Right where He needed to be. Helping me make all the right medical decisions. Putting  the right people with the right information at the right time in my path. Keeping me from sinking. And now this.

I was mentally making all these plans for my mom and orchestrating her entire life.  I was trying to cover all the bases.  I couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t eating much. I was going to end up in the hospital myself if kept it up.  And then,

“Just love her“.

What a relief! I can just love and enjoy her. She isn’t going to change-thank God. Her stubbornness is what accounts for her tenacity. It’s why she’s working so hard during therapy. I can love her for her stubbornness.

I’m going to continue to enjoy my life which means not micro-managing hers.  Will I, too, revert back to some of my old habits?  Of course. But I honestly believe I’ve turned a necessary corner in our relationship. One that allows both of us dignity and autonomy.

I wish you had walked with me this last week. I wish you could have seen how events transpired. I wish you could have seen the tears I shed when no one was watching.  The overwhelming guilt at times because she fell at my house.  On my sidewalk.  And then I wish you could see how I’m sitting here tonight, still depression-free. Despite it all.

I don’t know what you’re going through in your life. Some of you are probably really dealing with some “heavy” stuff. I wish it were otherwise.

But I hope my experience will help you.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.




how to handle life’s crisis’s effectively

(I posted this three years ago but I don’t think anyone read it. I mean it had about two tags, no categories and the picture was HUGE! I’ve learned so much over these past years. And because I have a combined following now of almost a thousand, I want you to get to know me better. So today’s archival post will be followed by others over the next two months as I get everyone  up-to-date.  I will include this explanation each time.

I’m working on something new for the fall and this gives me a little breathing room and re-introduces me and my history to some of you.)

google images

google images

I’m sorry I’m behind with my posts but my mom fell on the sidewalk in front of our house last week.  She hit her head hard.  There is still a stain left to remind me. Since then we’ve learned that her minor heart problem may not be so minor after all.  We are waiting for the cardiologist to give us his opinion.

Life changes in a heartbeat.

This all happened while we were chipping up tile, removing carpet, taking off trim, etc., in other words, in the middle of a big decorating project.

If was exactly three weeks prior that I was in the hospital because of emergency with my husband. Oh, did I mention that my birthday and our anniversary were sandwiched between those events?

Why do we even say, “Life can change in a heartbeat”?  What does a heartbeat have to do with it? Why not just say, life changes in a moment?

I thought about that for a while and came up with us.. Because the heart is generally considered the seat of our emotions,  I imagine it like this. The nano-second between our heartbeats is just long enough to allow the pain of the moment to pierce that space. In that tiny chasm between beats, our life changes.and the experience is encapsulated forever. Therefore, that’s why we say:

Life changes in a heartbeat.

Because I’m depression-prone, I am fighting hard to support my mental health.  I’m walking at least forty minutes every day.  I’m eating right.  I’m trying to get enough sleep. This might seem self-centered but I know how situations can escalate.  I might need to make quick decisions, hard decisions. There may be days I can’t exercise or sleep through the night. So far now I’m taking good care of myself.

If your life is upside down now as well, hang in there.  Take care of yourself.  Don’t let depression make whatever you’re facing even harder. If you’re free from depression, don’t let it get a foot in the door.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

“breath” prayers



prayer/google images

A “breath” prayer is a prayer that can be said in one breath.  The ancient monks often prayed, “Lord, have mercy” as their “breath” prayers.  Christians often repeat the name, “Jesus”. I have a number of them.  A few of my favorites are, “Be still and know”, “He makes me lie down”, “Be anxious for nothing”.

Today I’m including, “Focus”.

It’s one of those days.  Someone I love is going through a difficult time.  She lost something.  That’s it.  She just lost something.  Nothing irreplaceable, mostly annoying.  Sandwiched in between some other situations, however, that were troublesome.  But she let it mushroom.  While it was mushrooming, she ruminated. (Rumination is going over the same thing again and again. Unless once is determinedly seeking constructive answers, it always leads one down the path to destructive thinking.) Finally, after ten days of berating herself, she let a couple of people in on it.

I was one of those people.

At first, I wanted to laugh because it really wasn’t that big of a deal.  I listened instead.  I knew what she was doing.  It doesn’t matter what our age, we react to stress by doing something constructive about it or we let it sour other parts of our life. Because of the mighty outpouring of adrenaline, our emotions run out of control. We make mistakes, sometimes really big ones.  (One friend of mine ignored a stop sign due to her stress levels.  She now has a different car and a few points on her driver’s license. ) Our thoughts get all messed up. Stress unchecked has a destructive effect on all parts of our body.  Our constant rehashing keeps the adrenaline levels elevated-not a good thing.  I reassured her that her losing something wasn’t nearly as much of a problem as her thinking she had to keep it secret.  She was “humiliated she had done such a thing and embarrassed to let anyone else know about it.” She kept her own stress level up by keeping it hidden. When she realized it wasn’t such a big deal, she seemed to do better.

The issue for me today?

 Focus. Focus on not letting myself get dragged down to place where I juxtapose this incident onto everything else. And I could.  Her perception of her failing health has great implications for me as well. 

Focus. Focus on the fact that when I need further wisdom, I will receive it.

Focus. Focus on what I can and cannot do. And what I can’t do is make anyone think positively if they’re determined to think negatively, especially if it has been their lifelong pattern.

Focus. Focus on not feeling guilty although all the events but one happened the week before I left. (I will be gone one week.)

Focus. Focus on not buying into unnecessary drama.

Focus. Focus on not letting the stress of how she’s feeling cause me stress! 🙂

Maybe that’s a “breath” prayer you can pray today if you’re trying to stay above the fray.


How teeney-tiny cabin is decorated

teeny tiny red cabin

Finally you get to hear about the teeny, tiny, red cabin in the woods. Nine years ago the company my husband worked for was sold and we were facing possible unemployment. We’d been praying ever since we knew.

I had just come home from teaching an evening Bible study when the phone rang. When have you ever heard of a company calling an employee after nine in the evening to offer them a job? But that’s what happened.

The corporate office had had a board meeting and decided to offer him a position as a forensic accountant. (That’s an accountant who looks for the bad guy.) The position would involve extensive traveling within the contiguous United States. However, the job “morphed” after a year to encompass mostly international travel. 

Cool, huh?  Well, yes and no.

At first we were thrilled as we both love to travel and we were hoping I could go with him sometimes.  But when the schedule became two weeks home and two weeks traveling and now it was international travel which complicated our lives greatly, it got really old, really quick. 

We look back now and wonder how we managed as well as we did.

As it turned out, I was able to travel with my husband a couple of times a year because his hotel room was already paid for and my airfare was covered by his frequent flyer miles which racked up in quick order. I only had to pay for lunch which was either leftover breakfast or something from a grocery store. As far as shopping, I did very little. 

The same year we learned about the international travel is when “teeny, tiny red cabin in the woods” became a reality. The teeny cabin became our retreat from a very hectic lifestyle.  It was calming, therapeutic and revitalizing all at the same time. It was and still is our “honeymoon” place.

The extensive international travel is now over. Ten years was enough.

Here’s some fun facts about “teeny, tiny, red cabin in the woods.” It sits at the bottom of a hill. Our main home sits at the top of a hill.  Both houses are over one hundred years old. Apparently, I like old. 

The cabin is decorated inside in red, black and white. The bedroom, kitchen and living room are one room with the bed situated in a kind of alcove but no door.  I spent one whole summer scouring garage sales, thrift shops, and estate sales. I found:

  • Black and white fleece pillows with a bear appliqué
  • Colorful rag rugs
  • Two end tables with legs that look like branches.
  • A small drop leaf table and two farm chairs
  • Lime green plastic dishes which add a bit of fun contrast
  • A small drop leaf table

We purchased a new futon (who wants to sleep on a used mattress?) and the log style bed that was already in the cabin.  A dear friend made me two birch-branch lamps, one floor-sized and one table-sized that found their way to the  cabin.

Everything was inexpensive. I’m a natural-born thrift shopper. I love repurposing things.  Modestly aside, most people like how I decorate. Plus shopping at garage sales and thrift stores makes me use all my creative juices.





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