My Journey……My Shoes

If you are a friend of mine whether personally or on Social Media you know by now that I share it all.  The good, the bad, the ugly, the indifferent, the happy, the sad….well, you get the picture.  That is just who I am.  I am on a much different journey than most people I know and there is little that I don’t share (although trust me, there are things I don’t, believe it or not).  This is MY journey.  These are MY shoes in which I am walking.  I am not on your journey or in your shoes and you aren’t on my journey or in my shoes.  With that said I would NEVER begin to fathom something I have never experienced.  I would NEVER say to someone how horrible their feelings are or how I would do things differently.  I would NEVER in a million years criticize anyone for how they handle their particular journey.  Do I always handle my circumstances perfectly, HECK NO!  There are days (many of them actually) that I fail miserably in my life.  There are days where I am barely able to put one foot in front of the other (by the grace of God I always manage but it isn’t always easy).  There are days when I want my circumstances to change, where I wish for a different journey or “gasp” perhaps the ability to walk in someone else’s shoes (because it looks better from the outside looking in).  The fact is, I am not perfect and I have never claimed to be but what I am is this:

  • A mother who LOVES her little girl more than anything
  • A mother who will walk this journey I have been given until the day I die
  • A mother who sheds tears and yes, at times, needs encouragement
  • A woman who rarely gets out and has “socialization” with friends
  • A woman who is by nature an extrovert (so you can imagine how difficult the above bullet point might be for me)
  • A wife who fails miserably most days (ask Dennis he will probably confirm this) but it isn’t from lack of trying to do it all
  • A Christian who prays, reads her Bible and has shed many tears for others, for my child, for my husband, and for my family and friends
  • A Christian woman who knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that although this earthly journey is difficult and the road I am traveling is long and hard at times that one day Heaven is going to heal all those hurts, pain and scars that I have.
  • A woman, wife, mother and Christian with FEELINGS THAT MATTER AND DESERVE VALIDATION INSTEAD OF CRITICISM.  A heartbroken, sinful, often times sad and lonely woman who never intends to hurt others but shares from the heart so others might see they aren’t alone

The above bullet points are who I am…..good, bad, ugly…..I share it all.  I guess there are people in this world that only want to hear about unicorns, rainbows and flowers and you know what, that is okay.  BUT, that is not who I am…..my life is not rainbows, unicorns and flowers….don’t get me wrong, I have been blessed with so much and God continues to bless me far more than I deserve, but on a daily basis my life is a rollercoaster of emotions, feelings and frustrations.  I would venture to say that most people are like me….all on different journeys, doing the best they can walking in their own shoes.  Some people though choose not to reveal it all and that is okay.  Some, like me talk about it all and you know what?  That is okay too.  There is no right or wrong here. How you choose to walk in your shoes on your particular journey is YOUR CHOICE but BE KIND ALWAYS.  You have no clue the heartache, heartbreak, loneliness or sadness someone feels.  Even those people (like me) who reveal their heartaches, you will never know the depth of it.  Everyone has a journey……in fact, you might be the person who will either encourage them on that journey or be the one that pushes them over the edge causing them to never be able to climb out of the pit.  Remember that……be kind……if you can’t, please remove yourself from that person’s world…..you will be doing both of you a favor.

My heart hurts most days but I always rise above it.  I am thankful for my army of friends, encouragers, supporters and prayer warriors.  Life is too short to be unkind to anyone.  We all have this one life to live……live it in love; loving yourself and loving others.

Until next time…….

 

Today My Heart Shattered

Today my heart shattered.  It may have something to do with the decline I have noticed in Hannah over the past week or two.  A slow, yet steady decline that we thought was (hopefully) just hiccups along the road and this journey we call PANDAS.  Last night, I realized…..yeah, this isn’t just a “hiccup,” but to spare you all the details I won’t divulge exactly why and how I came to that determination.  Let’s just say it was crystal clear to me.  Then, upon waking this morning a full-blown PANDAS flare hit me (almost literally) dead in the face.  To say I am surprised would be a lie; heartbroken is more the word and then later on this morning my heart literally shattered.

I am thankful for a Pediatrician who is a dear friend who understands this journey we are on and does every thing in her power to make this as easy as possible for me to cope with it.  At least, like many other parents, I don’t have to fight our doctor to understand or get things done and I am so very thankful for that blessing.  So many PANDAS families are struggling just to get doctors to treat their child.  Hannah has an infection.  We think it started in her kidneys and now it has caused the inflammation in her brain to spike and go haywire.  She is in a PANDAS flare all because of some bacteria/germ/infection.  Now before I “hear” it from some insensitive person about Vasayo, let me say this.  Vasayo never claims to heal anyone and I never claimed that any of Vasayo’s products would heal Hannah.  I have stated that they have helped her symptoms tremendously and from what I can tell with this flare so far they are continuing to make the symptoms less and contain them.  There is NO product on the market that will keep Hannah from flaring. IF there were, I would be a millionaire right now from selling it.  But, our products can help and are helping to offset the horrific symptoms of a flare.  As of right now, I know for a fact that the insomnia has not come back and the Renew is definitely helping to lessen the inflammation.  This definitely isn’t our worst flare ever and for that I am so very thankful.  A flare is a flare though and mild, moderate or severe they are no fun, hard, heartbreaking and frustrating for those living it.

I had to go to Publix this morning to pick up a new antibiotic for Hannah and this is when my heart shattered.  I picked up the prescription and as I was leaving the store I noticed a woman (probably my age) and her daughter (probably 12-14 years of age).  They were laughing as they were walking into the store and it hit me……it hit me hard.  I will never have that.  I will never have the mother/daughter bond where we laugh, carry on conversations, shop together, get mani’s and pedi’s, go on road trips, go to the movies, etc.  I have thought about that many times but this morning it hit me hard and I literally (no lie) felt my heart physically shatter.  It almost knocked the breath out of me.  Hannah will be 12 years old this month and it was almost like those hopes and dreams died all over again this morning.  I don’t know why it hit me so hard other than we are entering another flare and I don’t know how long this one will last (and it doesn’t help that I am out of my Vasayo Neuro which balances my mood and lowers my anxiety).  I feel it creeping up in me…..the anxiety, the depression, the wanting to scream because you can’t fix it or make it okay.  I hate watching Hannah suffer.  Today, she cried for a while and then bit her lip.  Then the biting became something she was fixated on (hello horrific OCD, the unwelcome guest) and even though it hurt, she kept doing it and wouldn’t stop.  Her brain wouldn’t let her stop.  No matter how much I cried and pleaded with her, she bit it more until it was bleeding and swollen.  Oh my heart aches.

PANDAS, if you don’t know about it, you can read throughout my blog more about it or of course google it.  But, it is a horrific, terrible, mind-altering disease.  I swear, I can’t even look at a Panda Bear anymore without getting angry (and I know it isn’t the bears fault, HA).  So, here we go…..another flare but this time with our Vasayo products to help us through it.  I believe with all I have they are going to help Hannah in the flare as much as they have out of a flare.  I guess there is nothing like putting products to the test……so, I promise to give you an update on how our Vasayo products work in a flare since this is our first flare since starting the products with Hannah.

Would y’all pray for us?  Pray for Hannah……please?

 

Until next time………..

Fear Of Failure

Fear  of failure, a very real thing that many people face; but not everyone is willing to admit it.  I have many “fears of failure” in my life.  Fear of a marriage failing (I already had one).  Fear of not being a good enough mom (this is a daily fear with me).  Fear of Hannah’s future especially if something were to happen to Dennis and me.  Fear of failing in my new business venture with Vasayo.  So many fears that I truly, if you think about it, have no control over.  Yes, I can do my best and put all my effort into my responsibilities but the fact is, I could still fail.  The way I look at it though is you will always fail if you don’t try.

One of my hesitations before signing up to be a Brand Partner with Vasayo was ultimately failing.  I mean, I had never been part of any kind of direct sales before….heck, I had never sold anything to anyone before so I just assumed I would be bad at it (I still might be, but it isn’t stopping me from trying).  I saw what these products did for me personally and THEN I saw what they did for Hannah and it was a no-brainer for me at that point to at least try.  It has been a rollercoaster ride to say the least since I signed up.  I mean, Hannah is doing so much better, I am doing so much better, I am building a customer base, I went to Vegas, spoke in front of nearly 7,000 people (twice), won a car, worked my backside off (burning my candle at both ends) and afraid (just last week) that this business wasn’t going anywhere and then BOOM…..I am about to hit Bronze with my company.  I went from Brand Partner to Executive Brand Partner overnight and now I am literally about 150 points away from hitting Bronze!  I know if you aren’t in this business you have no clue what I am talking about but for me, that is huge.  Here I was afraid of failing and so far (even on days where I thought I was going to), I haven’t and I am succeeding.  I have a long way to go still to hit my goal but I am closer today than I was when this journey began just 2 months ago!  I literally signed up as a Brand Partner in May and here we are 2 months later and I am hitting my goals step by step, day by day, slow and steady and the best part…..wait for it…..I AM HELPING PEOPLE!

I want to continue helping people and I am looking into finding a ministry/non-profit that I can help at this time.  I am going to take some of my earnings and I am going to find a ministry to support.  I don’t know just yet what that ministry will be but helping people is my #1 goal with this business.  Our products are amazing, this business is amazing, the people (my Vasayo family) are some of the sweetest, kindest, most compassionate and loving people I have ever met.  I am so happy to be right here.  Right here where God wants me to be sharing products I believe in, helping others and sharing the love of Jesus.

Am I still fearful?  Yes, I think I will always have the “caution flag” up (read my blog posts over the years you will see that I have major trust issues with other people and myself).  But, even though that caution flag is up, my head is clear and focused (thank you Neuro), my heart is in the right place, MY WHY is HUGE (Hannah’s continued improvement and Dennis’ impending retirement), and this company, our leaders, our Brand Partners and our products are the REAL DEAL.

I am so excited and would love to share more about my journey and more about our products and business opportunity with you if you want to know more.  If you want, research about our products and company on my website and then let me answer any questions you may have.

http://www.tblankinchip.vasayo.com

Until next time………..

Rock Bottom

I have had a really heavy heart this week after reading about so much hurt from people on Facebook.  Either with family issues, illnesses, problems with children, divorce, death, problems in the church, loss of jobs, rejection from peers or family.  The list goes on.  I have been there, more than once, where you feel you have hit rock bottom and you feel totally isolated and alone.

I saw this yesterday and it spoke to me:


I saw that and thought…..WOW, I had never thought of the rock bottom times being allowed by God to show us that He is the rock at the bottom!  Isn’t that the coolest thing to realize?

In the past 12 years I have learned more about overcoming challenges, facing fears, crying out for help, loneliness, perseverance, strength (and the lack thereof), difficult journey’s and yes hitting rock bottom many times.  I have hit rock bottom and cried out to God for help because I felt all alone and had no one else to depend on.  I have cried puddles of tears and I have at times had no tears left to shed.  I have wondered how I will take my next breath and barely able to withstand putting one foot in front of the other on the really hard days.  I have begged God for peace.  I have begged God to take it all away.  I have pleaded with Him for healing and for Heaven.  Yes, on those really hard days I have begged for Heaven.  Hard to admit; but I did.

I write all this to say……if you are struggling (I know many of you are).  If you feel all alone and you don’t feel as if you have the strength to carry on.  If you have hit rock bottom……I PROMISE you God is the rock at the bottom.  He is there and He loves you.  He will never leave you and he will never forsake you.  There is NOTHING and NO ONE that can pluck you from His hand.  He has a reason for your heartache, a reason for your pain, a reason for this season of life.  I can tell you this because I have hit rock bottom more than once and He has been right there each time; even the times I didn’t see or feel Him, He was there.

All I can say is I understand hurt, pain, loneliness, rejection and yes, even judgment.  But through it all, God was there…..He still is and He always will be.

I am in a much better place now than I have been in a VERY long time…..4 years to be exact.  Do I have bad days?  Absolutely.  Do I get discouraged?  Yes.  Are we past the worst?  I pray so, but only time will tell.  But, I do know this……NO MATTER WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS…..I KNOW THE GOD OF MERCY, PEACE, STRENGTH AND GRACE WHO HOLDS THE FUTURE and that is enough for me.  When you hit rock bottom perhaps God allows it for you to see HE is the rock at the bottom……..be blessed and cling to Him and His promises…….

Until next time……..

 

My Heart’s Desire…..Would You Help Me?

What is it about me and writing after midnight?  I just got home awhile ago from an amazing event with some of my Vasayo family and some new friends.  As much fun as tonight was something hit me after we got home……something I want to ask of you all.  Would you read this and help me?  I promise it has nothing to do with my new business but everything to do with my heart and the heartache I have for Hannah.

You see, for most of Hannah’s life she has been sick.  A low immune system as a baby that got better and then bottomed out again when PANDAS hit has kept Hannah extremely isolated from life and having something that is so very important to ALL of us…….FRIENDS!

What would we do without friends?  You know, those people who know every.single.thing about you…..the good, the bad, the sweet, the ugly…..everything and yet they love you no matter what.  Those friends who are more like family!  I am blessed to have friends like that.  Some of them lifelong, some who I met in high school, some at church, some through jobs I have had and through Dennis’ job, some because of Hannah having Down Syndrome and then PANDAS and the list goes on.  I am so very fortunate to have some really good, loyal, honest, giving, praying and loving friends; those who have been there for me through the good times and the bad times.  I consider myself extremely rich in life because of the good friends I have.  Here is my heartache though…….

HANNAH…..she knows what friends are.  She used to have them when she could go to school and church.  She loved them and still does.  She misses them and tonight my heart is breaking.  At this event I watched the kids who were there and life is so different for those sweet children versus Hannah.  My friends’ John and Kerri have such sweet kids (their daughter Missy seriously cracked me up tonight with her shenanigans).  I met some new friends tonight (the Melton’s) and their 3 kids were absolutely PRECIOUS!  My sweet friends Mark and Julie have 3 beautiful and precious children.  I could see all these kids befriending Hannah; accepting her being different and loving her despite her disabilities.  But, you see, we have a problem……Hannah’s immune system, which for so long has kept her isolated from having friends.  Oh my, I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face as I want MORE….SO MUCH MORE for my sweet girl.  I want her to experience life having friends.  I want her to have friends like her with disabilities but also friends who are “typically developed” who will love her and protect her and always have her back.  I want her to know what I know….that friends are God’s way of showing unconditional love and devotion to us all.  I want that for her more than I want anything.

I will admit though, I am so scared……as a mom who is the one who takes care of her when she gets sick that is a hard call for me.  I want to protect her but I want her to experience life having friends.  I want to keep her well because sickness, ANY kind of sickness, is hard on her to get over and then the flare that it can send her in due to PANDAS could be devastating.  I live in fear of germs.  I live in fear of sickness.  I live in fear of “what if.”  I don’t know if you can comprehend this completely unless you have a chronically ill child, but it is a real fear and it is so very difficult…..BUT……I WANT MORE FOR HER.

Will you help me?  Will you pray that we can figure out a way to build her immune system and also that God will help me let go just a little.  That the fear that consumes me will lessen?  My fear is real and my instincts of keeping her well are my #1 priority but at what cost to her?  What cost to me?  I am being as real as I can here……I want more for her but I want her to stay well too.  Will y’all join me in prayer?  Ask God to help her doctors and me to figure something out.  Y’all, Vasayo has helped her tremendously.  She is a different child and some of our products can help boost the immune system….would you pray with me that would happen for her?  I want her to live life to its fullest!  She has cousins she has never even met.  She has friends that she hasn’t seen in 4 years.  She has family and friends who love us and love her and we have to keep them away.  Would you join me in prayer?  She is doing amazingly well thanks to all your prayers and Vasayo but I WANT MORE for her.  Will you join me?  Please?  No prayer is too big for MY GOD!  Thank you friends……thank you family……thank you all for continuing to walk with us on this journey that I KNOW God has a reason for……THIS PRECIOUS LITTLE GIRL DESERVES MORE!  I want her to know what true friendship is all about……..will you help me by praying.  Praying specifically for her immune system to improve so she can find the joy in friendship?

Until next time………

Accused of Lying

WOW!  I had zero intentions of sitting down and writing today because frankly I don’t really have time.  But, if you have followed my blog very long you know I write often times out of frustration and it is good therapy for me.  Today, I am just plain confused.

I received a private message a few minutes ago that left me speechless and saddened.  A “friend” accused me of lying about Vasayo and the positive results we are seeing in Hannah.  First and foremost, if ANYONE knows me, you know I am authentic, truthful and real.  I am not going to say anything about any product if it isn’t true.  I personally used the Vasayo products for a month before I even tried them with Hannah and before I got into the business.  I will say this, take out the fact that I am a Brand Partner in Vasayo completely…..I would still be using the products and promoting them!  It saddens me that there are people out there who think I am lying to just make a sale!  I PROMISE IF THESE PRODUCTS DIDN’T WORK I WOULD NOT BE USING THEM, PROMOTING THEM OR MUCH LESS SELLING THEM.  I especially wouldn’t be using them on my chid!  The private message literally knocked the wind out of my sails……briefly!

I know…..here it is…..”oh she is selling them, trying to make an easy buck and now claims these products are miracle-working.”  Well, no…..”making a buck” is just icing on the cake.  Helping people, especially those who have sick children is my number one goal.  If I didn’t make another dime doing this business I would still want to see these products getting into the hands of those who need them.  Now, will these products work for everyone?  No, probably not as I have had a few people try them and tell me they didn’t work but what have they lost trying it?  And, those people are few and far between; as the majority have used them and benefited from them.

I have had a lot of skeptics (trust me I was one too), but the people who truly know me and my heart know that I am not going to lie about what the products are doing for Hannah.  Trust me when I tell you, I was the biggest skeptic about Vasayo prior to using it.  I didn’t understand liposome technology and how these products worked, but I was desperate to help my child and willing to try anything (I had already tried everything else); what did I have to lose to try one more thing?  I could post all over social media and my blog PANDA-induced rages, aggression, depression, anxiety, OCD, tic pictures and videos of Hannah.  I refuse to show the worst of it all to spare Hannah the embarrassment and frankly to spare Dennis and me as well.  It is awful watching your child go into a full-blown screaming rage and watch her attack herself and those around her.  It is heartbreaking to watch her curl up in a ball and cry for hours for no apparent reason.  It is nerve-racking to listen to her repeat herself over and over and over again with the same words, phrases, self-stim behavior and OCD issues.  I could post so many heartbreaking videos and pictures but I haven’t and I won’t.  But, to call me a liar because I am trying to make “an easy buck,” is just plain mean!  I am not pushy.  I am not a salesperson.  What I am is a mom who has tried EVERY DANG THING ON THE MARKET and nothing has worked to help my precious little girl until now.  What I am is a mom who has been given an answer to her prayers.  What I am is a mom who hasn’t worked in 12 years and has felt unfulfilled and now has a product that I can share with others that is working for Hannah and I can now help other people.  I am not going to push Vasayo (the product or the business) on anyone.  You have freewill!   You can try it or not.  You can buy it or not.  You can become a Brand Partner or not.  All I am doing is sharing what these products have done for us……and you know what?  These products have given Hannah back to us and after 4 years of a living HELL on earth I will not stop talking about it.  You have the choice to scroll on by or stop and take a look…..the choice is totally up to you!

Well, I feel better now!  Thanks for stopping by!

This SMILE is a direct result of a RESTFUL night sleep (and lots and lots and lots of prayer). THIS bottle is one of our MIRACLES!

Until next time……..

Sleep Tight Baby Girl

I am probably not alone when I say that bedtime for Hannah is my favorite part of the day.  Let’s be real people…..the days are long and hard when you have a child; especially one who has special needs and even though she is nearly 12 years old, cognitively she is still a toddler in so many ways.  So, all the years prior to her getting sick I would LIVE for bedtime.  After she got sick, I literally dreaded it because as you know sleep did not come easy for her due to the inflammation on her brain and if she was awake, so was I.

For four long years I would lay in bed “on call.”  I would halfway sleep, never allowing myself to relax enough to get in that deep sleep afraid that the moment I did Hannah would be awake and needing me.  I remember several times being literally “dead to the world” and waking up because I felt someone staring at me.  Hannah had walked into our room without me even knowing.  Normally I would hear her tiny feet walking down the long hallway on the wood floors; but on those rare occasions I would wake up and she would be standing by my bed not saying a word…..just starring at me.  Kind of eerie!  So, bedtime/nighttime has been difficult for us over the past 4 years until the past month.  I never dreamed of these current nights being a reality!  I am so thankful.

Tonight……I watched Hannah fall asleep.  I kissed her on her head and told her to close her eyes.  She said…..”I love you so much all my heart mama,” and then drifted off to sleep so peacefully.  She was still somewhat awake when I walked out of her room but a few minutes later I walked back in to check on her and I watched her with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.  The peaceful slumber had engulfed her and I stood there so very grateful to my Heavenly Father for bringing Vasayo into our life.  These products have truly been a miracle for us.  I know I blog about it a lot lately but when your child has been sick for so long and you have lived a nightmare with no end in sight; then you find something that works you can’t help but talk about it, share it and be passionate about it.  That is how I am right now.  I owe so much to Vasayo, not only the products but the people involved and the business as well.  I have to shout it from the mountaintops!

Tonight though I stood there by Hannah’s bedside and I quietly mouthed the words, “sleep tight baby girl” and thanked the Lord for this miracle.  The miracle of SLEEP for Hannah.  I knew she wasn’t sleeping well for 4 years and it wasn’t for lack of trying EVERYTHING under the sun to help her; to no avail.  I had no clue though just how little sleep she was getting and how that was contributing negatively to her overall decline in personality and behavior.  It is amazing the effect no sleep has on you and the effect that a good night sleep has on you…..it is a world of difference.

So, tonight I sat there and watched her so grateful and thankful for that moment of watching her drift quickly off to sleep……I truly never thought this day would come.  Sleep tight baby girl……see you in the morning!

Well, I don’t have a recent picture of her sleeping so this old one will have to do…..I miss this season of life but I am hopeful for the seasons ahead of us!

http://www.tblankinchip.vasayo.com

Until next time………