Timely Text

I have not written in so long. Haven't had much to say, honestly.  My mind has been in a fog of just trying to keep up with the BARE minimum as I have battled issues with my health, heart and mind again. It's been bad, hard, and ugly. This fall, as many others the past few years, will be one to remember. And I know I will look back and recount the faithfulness of God, who carried me through it.

One example of just that was a text I received today. Today was bad. Really bad. Dave had to take work off because of it. I only got 2 hours of sleep because I was wracked with such anxiety and panic all night long.

When I think I just can't go any longer, God always shows up.

I had a counseling appointment today and on the way home, chose to drove some back roads and enjoy the country beauty here. I listened to soothing music and took deep breaths, soaking in the views. My phone started to go crazy, beeping nonstop. I thought something was wrong with it until I looked and saw it was just a long text from a friend, one who knows me well. Probably better than I realize.

I wanted to post it here, so I can always remember this day, and remember the faithfulness of God. He is here with me in the deepest pain of my soul.

"Hey Heather -- I just took a shower (first time in five days! Felt luxurious! Haha) and for some reason was thinking of you. 

Do you know how unusually hard your life has been, especially the last five years? That's not to minimize or distract from the many things to thank God for, or the many unusually good things the last five years. 

But I hope you know that your live has been HARD for a LONG time. It's been a marathon. And I'm praying you can hold yourself to *those* standards...Not the standards of previous years or other people.

God just popped in my head the thought that He wants you to know that your girls, especially, aren't 'missing out' or being negatively affected by these numerous trials. They're watching you and learning God from you. They're seeing and will understand Him BETER because of the craziness, not in spite of it. They will be more prepared BECAUSE they've watched their mama be real, raw and bloody. 

You're not missing the mark as a mother. You're setting the bar high. I hope my Roo gets to see the determination, honesty, abandon, tenderness, and hope of Jesus in me that your girls get to witness in you, every single day."

Just ask Dave. He, too, was in awe of the timeliness of this message. Ask what are some of the main areas of struggle for me? Well this text hit them. It encouraged my heart right where I needed it.

That's the faithfulness of a God who is in this continued storm with me. May my soul not forget it!


6 months

6 months is a long time, especially when trying to keep a blog up, yet fail to. The holidays last year ended and with it my consistency here. But I needed to take a break. It was necessary. Around January Dave's travel increased to a few nights a week and my usual time carved out to do some posts and plan while Dave watched the girls, became time that he needed to get ready to leave and work on things for the week. The girls and I also started driving to Franklin on numerous occasions and meeting up with Dave. That meant packing up all that we needed, including food and homeschool material, by myself and meeting him for a few nights and then back again. This went on for a number of months off and on. It was good and tiring.

All in all, the beginning months of this year were just plain hard for me. Sickness among the girls, my ongoing health issues, Dave gone, much uncertainty in my heart over many areas of life. Many days I was characterized by sadness as I fought for perspective. 

As spring approached and then summer, the pressing issue became finding a home in Franklin. We came close but the Lord closed the door on all the places we looked into. My mom found a cute little house that was perfect for her and she moved in May. With our lease running out, my mom generously offered for us to come and live with her. While Dave spent his weeks in Nashville, I traveled back and forth to spent time there and come home to finish up the girl's co-op classes and to pack up the house. Ugg. Packing is grueling. It's not for the faint of heart! But I did it. And moving day finally came.

Up to this day, we still have no prospects on a home. So, we seek to be patient and wait. The summer has flown by with getting settled in with my mom and trying to do some fun activities with the girls. I'm also happy to report that as soon as we moved a month ago, I started to feel so much better, health wise. I made some changes in a few areas and overall, I just think being together, not schooling for the summer, and not traveling has cut down on a lot of stress on my body, heart and mind.

Before the move I sold about half of all our furniture to cut down on the amount of storage we needed. And also secretly because I wanted to re-do many rooms. It's just my thing. I love to do it. I have a friend who posted my stuff on a facebook page in Knoxville and pulled in about double what I could have ever hoped for on Craigslist. So now I have some "fun" money that I am using to purchase "new" craigslist, vintage store and yard sale finds for our new place, wherever that will be. My mom graciously puts up with me constantly painting in her garage and working on projects.

That leads me to today. Day 5 of a 6 day getaway for Dave and I. If we ever needed a break it was now.  We both are spent. A couple who loves our kids and who we are so grateful for, took all 4 girls for the entire time. We are on Kiawah Island, just outside of Charleston, SC. Amazing place! I cannot honestly remember a vacation that Dave has been on and not had to work. He told me yesterday he doesn't know how to relax Although, I think he is finally getting into vacation mode! On Saturday we go and pick up the girls and head north. We'll see the Ploons, the Falciones, some cousins and friends. Then we'll spend some time at my dads. We will build some memories, for sure. I know it will be good for the girls to have this time back home.

That's it in a nutshell. I have no idea how consistent I will be on this blog from here on out. I'd like to think I might be just a little better than the past 6 months! But as soon as we find a home, that means yet another move. 

On a side note, yes, I am still keeping up with my 1000 things list. I'm behind where I thought I would be, landing at about 450 to date. But it continues to serve me, and help bring needed perspective. 


Christmas in Tennessee

The Sunday before we left for Maryland we exchanged gifts in our family. We enjoyed our traditional breakfast bake for brunch after church and then later opened gifts. Andrew, Dave's cousin, was passing through on his way back home to Virginia. He stayed with us two nights over the weekend. He's a great guy and we thoroughly enjoyed our time with him.

The next night my cousin, Mike, and his wife, Jess, were in our area buying a car. They're from FL, but found the exact car they've been searching for in Knoxville. So, we got to enjoy them for a night too. I didn't take any pictures with them, but here are a few from when Andrew was here and we celebrated Christmas with our family.


When the perfect comes...

While on the topic of a new year, I thought I would share this. A friend sent me this article. It's full of hope. I loved it.

Enjoy and be encouraged!


A few musings on suffering + resolutions

It's a new year, already. As is always the rave around January 1, we hear of people making resolutions for the upcoming year. They're resolving. To do things better. To do things differently. Perhaps never to do again. Resolutions are good things. They motivate. Inspire to change. To improve.

However, for the person who's been severely tried, tested, and walked a hard road, resolutions can be daunting. As if just thinking about them will set oneself up for failure. Why is that? Maybe perhaps they focus too much on our effort. What will I do? How will I improve? What changes will I make?


Just the sound of that word can elicit exhaustion for the suffering saint. There is no effort to offer. They've been beaten down and the only effort they have to give life is to get out of bed in the morning.  To struggle just to do the next thing and make it through the day. To care for children. To prepare food. To love their husbands, their wives. To bring home enough money to meet the bills. To bear grief, illness, defeat, loneliness, rejection.

Where is there room for extra effort? Not much.

Yes, I'm speaking from experience here. I'm familiar with having no effort to offer. Wanting to, trying to, but coming up empty handed. Having no desire to add extra for my mind to process. Just maintaining status quo is all the mind and body can do as it looks at a new year ahead.

I look ahead to a year of many uncertainties for our family of numerous kinds. The road seems clouded and confusing. There is an inevitable move again. I still feel very weak, recovering in health and mind from last year. I will continue to bear the burdens that life has brought, while adjusting to a new place, new way of life, new people, new church.

As I think about all this, yes, I am going to resolve. A different resolution. No effort. No extra doing.

I resolve to depend.

There are many I know who are suffering in ways I cannot even comprehend. I look at their lives and cannot believe they have not given in yet. I will be praying for them this year. That they will experience rest, help, and not a burden to do, but to depend. To depend on the One who is able to do all that they can't this year and more.

In my weakness He is strong. And if He can enable me to depend on Him through whatever life may bring this year, good and bad, to see Him around every corner, in darkness, in light, to recount His gifts, tackle life with thanksgiving, experience joy, always depending, then it will have been a successful year.

There is a season for everything. You may be in a season of life where setting goals, resolutions, doing more and thinking hard about what to do differently is custom for you. It's wonderful to always be growing and improving in our work and gifts when our minds and bodies are able to. The thought of not setting goals for this new year might be foreign to you. Maybe you've been able to improve at great lengths, do more each year for as long as you can remember. That is a gift. Thank God for it. And if you know someone who is especially struggling and suffering going into this new year, perhaps you can do something for them that they are not able to. Perhaps one of your goals and resolutions could be to pray daily for them. Email and text to tell them so. Offer to babysit. Give financially. Make regular phone calls to encourage.

For all those who look into this next year with fearful sighs, let's resolve to depend on the Lord. The One who has been a faithful rock through the storms and has promised to provide and carry us through, as scary as this year may seem, will once again prove faithful this year. It's His promise.

My Resolutions {actually there are 2}:
1. Depend on the Lord for doing all things this year.
2. Complete my list of 1000 gifts. Experience joy!


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