I see you, mama: A word for mothers navigating a different dream

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Sunday, April 23, 2017, I had the honor of keynoting the annual Charles Tillman Foundation’s TendHER Heart Luncheon. This spring 250 mothers of critically and chronically ill children attended a special brunch, which honored them for the sacrifices they make in caring for their ill child. The brunch provided these women with the opportunity to “take a minute” for themselves and enjoy each other’s company and support. 

Here are my words from the luncheon.

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Confessions As I Anticipate Grief: Part 4

This is the fourth post of a four part series: Confessions As I Anticipate Grief. 

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“As long as the people don’t fear the truth, there is hope. For once they fear it, the one who tells it doesn’t stand a chance. And today, truth is still beautiful… but so frightening.”

-Alice Walker-

…..

I don’t want to admit this, but I feel alone sometimes. In the sea of people in my home everyday, I feel alone. Not right now, because I am writing this alone, but when I am with people I feel alone. And knowing I can’t do it alone makes me feel like a failure. I know I am not, but I feel like I am. We can’t let feelings trump truth, can we? The truth is, I sound like a four year old when I say, “I can do it all by myself.”

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Blessings from the most unlikely person

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You guys know Stephanie, right? No, not me-her. She joined our village a year ago. I’ll never forget her first day. Our palliative/hospice organization notified us they had found us a volunteer. And when Stephanie showed up with a water bottle, a sitting pillow, and a change of shoes, I thought they had sent this poor lady to the wrong house. There was no way this sweet, petite, grandma would keep up with our kinda crazy.

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From funerals to foster care: A guest feature by Betsy Bicket

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Bryan and Betsy are the type of people that should get their plan A. They follow all the rules. They look like and smell like Jesus. Always have, always will. Betsy’s the kind of woman that asked me once if she could just come learn from and be with my kids. Bryan’s the kind of guy that woke up at 2 AM one morning and sent Justin an email just to let him know he was praying for him. They are the type of people who ask how you are doing and really want to know your answer. They aren’t trying to be good, they just are good. It’s as challenging as it is refreshing. 

So when everything changed in their journey, I couldn’t help but watch. How would the they handle life when it stopped going according to plan? How would they handle grief and loss? The answer shouldn’t surprise you-they handled it with Grace and Truth. God took a most dangerous tool, pain, to refine them, deepen them, and shape them more into His image. They were, and continue to be, honest, vulnerable, and unwavering in their faith.

I am so honored Betsy sat down to share her journey with us today.

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it takes a village


Do you know who these lovely ladies are? 
 
Part of our village. Therapists. Teachers. Social Workers. Psychologists. District Reps. Hearing Itinerants. Principals. 
 
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. 
 
There are hundreds more. Teacher aids, nurses, doctors, specialists, case workers, grandparents, friends, volunteers, buddies, and teenagers. Some in the past, some still with us, and even more to come.
 

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transitions, graduations, and change

Volunteering at Laremont School PTO Fundraiser
 
 
Change can be scary.
Messy.

And not conducive to a type A personality like me.

So needless to say, I have been wrestling with my emotions as I transition at work. For the past decade, I have had the honor of walking through countless transitions with students.  And in a few weeks, I am finally “graduating.”  In the midst of my personal transition, I have been thinking about all the lives that have intersected mine.

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I deserve it

A lot of well meaning people have told us, we deserve it. We deserve a handicapped house. We deserve a vacation. We deserve a “normal” child….. 

We deserve medical aide, a hand out, a help up, or even a break. Or, we deserve that extra fill-in-the-blank, that pricey whatchamacallit, or that unpractical wish. 

Many more times than I’d like to admit, I tell myself I deserve stuff too.
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Because I can…

Join us at Laremont this Sunday in Gages Lake!

I was a dancer.

In junior high, high school, and college my sport was dance.  And, although I didn’t have a lot of technical training, I enjoyed it and wasn’t half bad. I loved being on a dance team.  Post college, I even taught dance at a park district.  But after I had Jayden, I hung up my dance shoes.

Never in a million years would I have thought I would start running at 33.

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My Birthday Breakdown

 

Because of the nature of my job, Justin never gets to go on overnight retreats with our high schoolers.  I am in charge of all the details from booking, to schedules, permission slips, etc….except for our fall retreat. Fall retreat is with a number of other area churches and I don’t have a lot to do with the actual weekend so the option was open for Justin, instead of me, to go. So, with my blessing, he went but that meant all three kids, all weekend for me. Stubborn as I am, I really wanted to do this whole weekend with no help. I mean, I am their mom, how hard could this be?!

 

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