building the new

surprising blooms

The words came tucked in to a conversation full of catching up and family updates.

I am so “lucky”, and am “treated” so well, to get the hours I get on my Wednesday afternoons, she said.

I nodded and we hung up the phone and I felt that sense of dissonance in my heart. Why didn’t those words settle right in my heart?

After some thought, I was reminded of this conversation with my precious mom.

“Lucky”, “pampered”, a “treat” … something within me knows that those words don’t capture the truth of what this carved out time means for me. And that’s ok – there is beauty and freedom in releasing the feelings and ideas of others when we know they don’t capture our story. But sometimes, getting to that letting go for me can mean chewing on the words and digging deeper in to my reaction and feelings … and today, that digging in wants to come through my words, where I often think things through.

Here’s what I know: raising small kiddos is an exhausting, beautiful, full, daily-draining task (amiright, mama’s??); add homeschooling to that mix, and parenting a teenage girl and it is a special kind of fullness and often overwhelm and intensity.

And now add to that, a cancer diagnosis and a year of rigorous treatments including chemo and surgery and radiation and intense lifestyle changes. 

It takes a tremendous toll.

There are few words that truly cover the depth of thephysical and emotional and mental anguish and pain and hurting. 2016 was full of very dark and hard.

And so, now … I am climbing out, pressing forth, forging a new way that involves constant consideration and reshaping and pressing in and resolving. There is much effort but even more grace. I feel a great lifting and moments of deep exhale but the weight of the trauma hasn’t just sort of magically lifted. The ptsd – that is real, and I hear from other survivors confirmation of this truth.

I see my Wednesday afternoons as a small brick in the rebuilding; small, sweet steps toward healing my body and my heart. It feels like a great blessing and I am so very grateful. Time spent soaking and sweating in a sauna is such a great thing and then the couple of hours after for writing and creating and studying – needful.



I walked in to my sweet favorite local coffee shop today, my bag bulging with things to do. Shall I write? Complete a week’s worth of bible study homework due in the morning? Dive back in to my neglected powersheets goal-setting work? Respond to emails and attend to countless other tasks beckoning? It surely won’t all fit in this time, and so I realize that I need to expand and be creative in setting aside even more time for me during the week – time that fuels my heart and mind and continues to strengthen weary and worn corners.




Oh, the lessons on this journey! So many opportunities to examine outdated ideas, ill-fitting generalizations, and misconceptions. And with discarding the old, I get to put on the new: life in Christ, His all-sufficient grace, and the paths that open up to create and sustain deep and joyful healing.


{top photo: these amazing blooms were a complete surprise this morning – I looked in this old pot in our backyard and made a lovely discovery. bottom photo: my Wednesday bag, made by a friend for me years ago, that carries my books and bible and computer and notes and …! all the things. :)}

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