You Are Beautiful

I haven’t felt well at all for about 2 months and this weekend has been extremely hard with my headaches and back pain so it has kind of made me just stop and rest (which I don’t do very often).  During one of my resting times yesterday I heard a song called “Beautiful” by Mercy Me that I had never heard before and it got me thinking…….

How many girls out there were never told growing up that they were beautiful?  How many girls were never told they were worthy?  How many girls were never told they were treasured and sacred and capable of so much?  How many girls believe the lies of satan that they don’t matter and are unloved and unworthy of good things?

Growing up in the 70’s/80’s I knew I was loved but I can’t say I really heard I was beautiful, worthy or capable.  I think parents just assumed you knew that; especially being raised in church…..I mean, the church was supposed to tell us that, right?  NO!  That wasn’t the case and I would venture to say it still isn’t the case.  I could be wrong in that….perhaps youth leaders of today do say more about a girls worth, beauty and how they should be treasured.  BUT….what about those girls who don’t go to church or have parents that instill that in them?  What about them?

I make it a point every day (sometimes multiple times each day) to tell Hannah she is loved.  I tell her she is beautiful (she then will flip her hair with her hand and say “I know it mama!”)  HA!  Yeah, no self-esteem issues right there!  Do you know how easy it is for a young girl to believe the lies of the devil?  Do you know that it only takes one little doubt or one little comment from a “bully” to make a girl think she is ugly or unworthy?  Then she will search high and low for acceptance, compliments and assurances and most often those will come from the wrong people.  I heard this song and it hit me the lies out there a young girl will believe and the lack of attention from the right people thus altering the course of their adulthood.  I am a firm believer in telling Hannah every.single.day how much she is favored by God, that He made her in His image, that she is fearfully and wonderfully made (my mom did used to tell me that, I remember that clearly).  I tell Hannah she is so very loved and beautiful.  I know she might not have the same self-esteem issues that a lot of “typically developed” young ladies do but I never want her to doubt that her mama and dada love her and more importantly that Jesus loves her so very much.

If you haven’t heard the song, I encourage you to listen to it.  If you have a young daughter or especially a teenager……I strongly urge you to start now telling her how beautiful, worthy, sacred and loved she is.  Don’t leave that up to the church, friends, or anyone else.  As parents….YOU do it!  And you guys out there…..tell your girlfriends and wives the same.  You will never know how much it will mean to them and how much they NEED to hear it!

Days will come when you don’t have the strength
When all you hear is you’re not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart, they’d see too much
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred
You are His
You’re beautiful
Praying that you have the heart to fight
‘Cause you are more than what is hurting you tonight
For all the lies you’ve held inside so long
They are nothing in the shadow of the cross
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred
You are His
You’re beautiful
Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You’re the one He madly loves
Enough to die
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
In His eyes
You’re beautiful
You were meant for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful
You are treasured you are sacred you are his
You’re beautiful
You are meant for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful
You are treasured you are sacred you are his

My beautiful, loved and precious little girl who is worthy of so much!  Thank you Lord for creating her in YOUR image….she is fearfully and wonderfully made and I am so thankful she is mine!

Until next time…….
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All About Hannah

I really want to use my blog this month to talk about Hannah.   July is a special month because it is her birthday month, but even more special this year, it will be her 13th birthday.  The beginning of her teenage years.  How can that be?  How can that little girl who I JUST GAVE BIRTH to be almost 13?  I almost feel like I did on my 30th birthday….DEPRESSED!  HA!

It is truly hard for me to wrap my head around it as I have said MANY times that I am still raising a toddler in so many ways, but to know that she is almost 13 blows my mind.  I thought I would make today’s post all about Hannah.  Her likes, her dislikes and things you may not know.  Hey for you bullet-pointers out there, this one is for you!  HA!

Hannah’s likes:

  • JESUS
  • FOOD, especially oatmeal, donuts, spaghetti, squash, green beans, peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches, chips, ice cream and COOKIES
  • Chic-fil-a
  • Barbies
  • Books
  • Flashcards
  • Anything doctor related
  • Her doctors
  • The dentist (she is so weird as I hate getting my teeth cleaned)
  • Cats and dogs
  • The colors pink, purple and red
  • Cleanliness (kid hates being dirty…..girl after my own heart)
  • Everything neat, orderly and in its place (again, my kid for sure)
  • Bathtime and we HAVE to wash her hair every.single.day
  • Picking out her own clothes and most of the time she is really good at it.
  • Every sentence ends right now with “my favorite” so she has a lot of favorite things
  • Total mama’s girl right now…..that is a huge change from the previous 12 years
  • We have 4 vehicles…..my dad’s pick-up that he left here when we bought the house, Dennis’ city car, a car and an SUV.  Hannah ONLY likes the cars.
  • Elmo (Dear Lord, please make it stop)
  • MUSIC (Southern gospel, Gospel (today’s version), country and some 80’s rock…..Her all-time favorites are The Gaither Vocal Band, David Phelps, Charles Billingsley, Alison Everill, Mandisa, Natalie Grant, Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and Port Chuck (goggle it if you have never heard of them, they are great).
  • DISNEY movies especially Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid and Frozen (again Dear Lord, make it stop).
  • Miss Lyndsay, Miss Sarah, Mrs Sarah, Mrs Deb, Mrs Danielle, Mrs Coppedge (Hannah’s teachers, therapists and babysitters).
  • BEING VERY LOUD (Dear Lord make it stop)
  • “Warm hugs like Olaf”
  • Clean laundry, clean bathrooms, clean floors…..problem is she TELLS me when to do all those things!
  • Donald Trump
  • MEN…..if there is a man and woman in the room she is all about the men….the woman is chopped liver (except her mama)!
  • Florida Gators and Tim Tebow

 

Hannah’s dislikes:

  • Okra, Candy Corn and coconut
  • Being dirty
  • Her routine being messed up
  • Going outside
  • Getting in a vehicle to go somewhere
  • Getting in the SUV…..she hates my truck!
  • Daddy going to work (even though she is a mama’s girl, she doesn’t like him leaving for work)
  • Missing church and school……she wants to go back so badly
  • Leaving the house
  • Snakes – She will see a picture of one and say “I don’t like de snake mama….oooooo, gross” (So my kid)
  • Others hurting or being sick
  • Hospitals
  • BANDAIDS!  You can seriously take blood from her all day long with no issues but you even show her a bandaid she will have a meltdown like you have never seen before!
  • Wooden spoons…..cause that is what I used to pop her hiney with when she was younger!  I don’t spank anymore because she learned to hit back! LOL!
  • Being told “NO” (isn’t that most kids though)
  • She will let you kiss her but then she wipes them off!  HA!  Again, so my kid although I will most likely not let you kiss me but if you do I will wipe it off too!
  • Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton….she will tell you she doesn’t love Barack Obama and that Hillary Clinton is “smoking crack”  (Kid kills me and she might have learned that from her mama)……..

I am sure there are plenty more things that I could add…..but those are a few.  She has a few cute sayings too:

“Mama, you are my best friend, best friend EVER.”

“I love you so much all my heart.”

“No daddy back to work, here with Hannah all day long.”

“Hannah loves Jesus, Jesus loves Hannah.”

“No more night, no more pain, Heaven, happy all the time.”

“I miss Grandpa in Heaven with Jesus….come here right now.”

“I love _________________” (insert person she is talking about name)

“Brush my hair” (which she does about 400 times per day)

“I love Mr. Gaither, great job, fantastic” (while watching a DVD of the Gaither Vocal Band singing, which occurs every.single.day)

“Praise Jesus…..hope, faith, love”

“I love Dr. Paulette, so much all my heart, clean teeth, no cavities, so sparkly” (Hannah’s dental hygienist she calls “Dr. Paulette” and she says this every time we brush her teeth)

“I love ABC Mouse.com, my favorite.”

“I am so excited, I cannot believe it” when you tell her anything that makes her happy  (even something like I am making spaghetti for dinner….doesn’t take much)

“Mama go Publix buy donuts.  Go Target buy toys.  Run errands now.”  (The times she wants to get rid of me)

“Mama, Daddy out to dinner.  Here with ________________” (insert name of whoever is keeping her)

“Mama, Daddy out-of-town, bye, bye.  Here with _______________” (insert name of whoever is keeping her)

“Drive safe, See you in the morning when I wake up.”

“Mr. Eddie too dangerous.  Motorcycle too dangerous.  Gun too dangerous.”  (As she says every time she hears Mr. Eddie ride by on his motor coming to and from work….he is a Motorcycle cop with JSO and our neighbor)

I could type more but I need to go take care of her since it is almost juice, potty and lunch time.  You know, gotta keep up with the schedule and routine.

Until next time……….

 

Keep Writing Your Story Baby Girl

How is today already July 1st?  Crazy how fast time flies…..even crazier that in just 26 days I will have a 13 year old!  I have been thinking a lot about Hannah and her upcoming 13th birthday.  It is funny as she doesn’t look or act nearly 13 years old.  In fact, she looks and acts more like 5 and 6 years old so it is hard to believe, but the fact is she is almost 13.  I remember her birth like it was yesterday.  I remember the anxiety, stress, worry, fear but also the joy and happiness when I heard her cry for that first time.  If you recall from earlier posts we were told to prepare to never bring her home and to plan her funeral when she was born, so that first sound was truly music to our ears.  The past 13 years has not been easy but oh it has been worth it all.

I remember being so filled with questions about her and especially her having Down Syndrome.  Two days after Hannah was born Dr. Persyck, the Geneticist at the hospital came into my hospital room.  He had just come from the NICU seeing Hannah and came to talk to us.  I can remember this day so clearly.  He confirmed the diagnosis of Down Syndrome (it was quiet obvious) and he shared a few things with us.  Before he left he asked if we had any questions.  The first question I asked, being so naive about Down Syndrome, was how severe her Down Syndrome was.  He smiled real big as I am sure he had heard that question many times and I will never forget his response.  He said, “It is too early to tell.  Right now all you need to do is love Hannah, feed her and change her diaper; like you would any child.  Hannah will write her own story in her way and in her time.  Don’t look at the severity, look at what she can and will accomplish.  She will be capable of anything and the story she will write will be her own, no one else’s.”  I will never forget that.  It gave me such peace to know that all I had to do is love her and treat her like any child.  There was nothing I could do or needed to do extra.  She just needed to be loved and in her time and way she would write her own story and he was correct; she truly has!

I watched her sleep last night, 26 days before she turns 13 and she is still so much of a child (toddler in some ways) and yet, such a big girl in other ways.  She makes us laugh with her wicked sense of humor.  She keeps me on my toes with her quick reactions and mischievousness.  She keeps me grounded when I find myself getting discontent, selfish or restless.  She keeps me on my knees in prayer with her health issues and as her needs become more prevalent.  She keeps me somewhat emotional; but many times that emotion is happy tears of thanksgiving.  She keep me real, focused and truly reminds me daily of what is important in life.  She has begun writing a beautiful life story.  One of which is full of love, respect, patience, perseverance, grace, mercy and kindness.  A story of loving without boundaries.  A story of kindness without hate.  A story of grace without selfishness.  A beautiful story that only she could write and a story I am blessed enough to be a part of.  I have said many times that she has taught me so much….each day she teaches me more; lessons I could have only learned from her.

Keep writing your story baby girl…..mama is listening, watching and soaking it all in.  You are my greatest joy, achievement and you make my heart so very happy and content.

Oh my heart…….I love you more than words…….

Until next time……..

Recapturing My Heart

A whirlwind of thoughts, emotions and feelings going on inside of my heart, soul and mind here the past few weeks.  I told Dennis yesterday, “you don’t know how good you feel each day until you are sick and realize how fortunate you are on a regular basis to feel well.”  I have taken so much for granted lately and I have not been who God has called me to be.  That is changing.  A lot is changing.  I have to get better and there will be some much-needed changes in my life physically, mentally and spiritually.

I will be honest, I have never been good at studying my Bible.  When I was growing up the church I went to gave you rewards for having a daily Bible Study so it was easier then!  HA!  Don’t get me wrong.  I will read scripture and my prayer life is much better than my Bible study life but I know it is something my life has been lacking.  I have allowed the daily grind and routine to get in the way of me just taking the time to sit down and really give God some time.  I mean, it is not like I don’t have it to give; I have just been in a blah state of mind the past……4 YEARS!

But, being sick, I haven’t felt like doing anything…..nothing….nada…..zip.  I have trouble looking at the computer for too long.  Typing is okay but scrolling around on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter isn’t happening and forget my online shopping as the scrolling and looking makes me want to throw up (literally); this has not upset Dennis at all!  HA!

Yesterday, I sat in my office on the sofa and stared at a devotional book that my friend Sarah gave me awhile back.  I had picked it up pretty regularly for a while to read that day’s devotion but then I just stopped.  Yesterday, I picked it up and even though there are dates on each page I opened up to where the bookmark was.  Now, first, this bookmark (again that Sarah gave me) reads…..”Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28.  Well, if that isn’t exactly how I feel, I don’t know what is.  I decided to read that day since the bookmark was so appropriate.  It talked about how sometimes God’s gracious care comes in uncomfortable forms….the redeeming care of disappointment, unexpected trials, suffering and loss.  How we struggle to grasp how He can possibly care for us and rest in that care knowing that He is enough and cares enough to give us what we need not what we want.  The last sentence grabbed my heart in a way that sent chills down my spine and brought tears to my eyes.  It says: “You care enough to break my bones in order to recapture my heart!”  OUCH!  TOUGH LOVE!  TOES STEPPED ON!  In other words…..sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to look up and say…..”Okay, God…..I give up!”  I think that is the point God has had to bring me to.

Now I am not going to sit here and spill out all my faults, sins, misgivings, problems, insecurities, etc to you.  Just suffice it to say, I have had a battle raging in my heart, mind and soul for a very long time.  A battle of wills.  A battle of rebellion.  A battle of submission.  A battle of confusion.  A battle for contentment.  A battle for joy.  A battle for understanding.  A battle of WHY’s.  I will have a battle and either lose the battle or win it and then let it go but then something will happen and the battle will start all over and I will fight, rebel and then “let it go” (for a while of course before I pick it up again) and this has gone on and on and on again for well……13 years or so, but especially the past 4 years.  The war was never won or completed.  All these  many battles in one big war.  A fight that I kept picking up and never relinquishing control of.  Yesterday, I relinquished.  Control is no longer in my possession and for the first time I am at peace with that.  He broke my bones so He could recapture my heart…….He WON!

Are the difficult days gone, NOPE….in fact I am sure the devil will do his very best to ruffle my feathers and tick me off.  But, he will never win.  Big things are happening (more to come on this but I have got to get well first and quickly).  Life is short.  Life is a moment in time.  I was reminded of that today as I watched a video of a girl I never knew who lost her battle with cancer 5 years ago.  We had a ton of mutual friends and here 5 years later Robyn Thomas has made an impact on me; someone who never met her.  She reminded me of my friend Angie who lost her battle with cancer almost 6 years ago.  Oh how I feel I have let her down by wasting so much time…..she never would have wasted one single second if she were still here with us.  I don’t want to waste anymore time because the fact is (and 2 trips to the ER since June 6th have reinforced this) none of us are guaranteed tomorrow so we have to LIVE today.

More to come……lots to share……God is working and it took breaking my bones (figuratively not literally as my bones are still in tact) to recapture my heart.

****Please excuse grammatical and any other errors.  Proofreading makes me nauseous.****

Until next time……..

When The Caregiver Is Sick

WOW!  So much in my life I have taken for granted over the years and my good health is one of those things.  I have learned lately that you don’t realize how good you feel on a daily basis until you are sick and really don’t feel well; heck, at times can’t even function.  Good health is nothing to be taken for granted.

Since Mother’s Day I have not felt well.  Now 2 trips to the Emergency Room later, an appointment with my primary care doctor, an appointment today with the GI doctor and one scheduled for Monday with the Neurologist the only thing that they can agree on is I have some type of infection possibly.  Question is if there is an infection, where is it so we can treat it?  I have a plethora of symptoms that if you google them I am dying.  HA!  I am not, I don’t think.  YIKES!  There have been moments/hours and days the past month that I felt like I was.  The girl who NEVER asks for help has had to ask for help.  My house, laundry, grocery shopping has been ignored (unless Dennis has done it) as some days I have hardly been able to make it from the bed to the sofa.  It has taken its toll but I am hoping and praying we are getting closer to answers (please pray that the doctor on Monday can pinpoint it exactly).  The problem, which is no fault of the medical professionals is the waiting for office visits and then testing.  The 2 times in the ER have been on orders from the doctor so they look for what could be expected and that is all.  They don’t dig deep like a Specialist does and that takes time.  The doctor today has her suspicions on what has caused all of this but again, we are being sent to another doctor and possibly another one after that to determine if our suspicions are correct.

The bad part about today’s visit is we are trying right now to treat the plethora of symptoms.  My stomach is a huge problem with the nausea (I am talking nausea all day long and Zofran doesn’t touch it).  It gets worse when I try to eat so I haven’t eaten anything except toast since Saturday and I am so weak because of that.  She gave me some medications and put me on a diet for the next 4 weeks to treat the gastritis.  That diet consists of chicken noodle soup, applesauce, toast, crackers, rice, bananas…..anything else that is bland.  I LIVE on salad and spicy foods (how do I ever survive without my black pepper and red pepper flakes)?  I guess those 5 pounds I have been wanting to drop will actually happen now.  HA!

I have trouble being on the computer, iPad, phone…..it makes me so dizzy, swimmy in my head and nauseous so I haven’t been on Facebook much or blogged.  I am seeing double typing this right now.  So weird.  Hopefully and prayerfully Monday will bring more answers.  So, if you think of it and want to say a prayer I would be forever grateful to you.  Please keep Hannah and Dennis in your prayers too as this has been hard on them as well.

I know I will be fine, we just have to figure this all out and get the proper treatment for the underlying problem instead of just treating the symptoms.  So, if I am missing in action for a while this is why.  I covet your prayers.  It is so hard needing to be 100% to care-give for my sweet girl and I am not.  In fact, many times the past month she has brought me a blanket and pillow, kissed my head, stroked my hair and told me “it will be okay mama, I hope you feel better soon.”  Now who is the caregiver?

Don’t take your health for granted……I know I never will again.  I will update when I know more and when I can look at the computer for longer than 10 minutes without wanting to vomit!

****Please ignore any typos.  I tried to proofread this but I had to stop.  The nausea is kicking my rear****

Until next time……….

Still Here

Hi faithful blog readers.  I have received a few messages wondering why I am MIA.  The fact is, I have been so busy and blogging has taken a backseat to life at the moment but I will take a minute and update you all.

  • Lots going on with Hannah…..quick little story.  We went to the Endocrinologist a few weeks ago and he was concerned as she has not grown (height or weight) and is in the less than 2% status,even on the Down Syndrome growth chart.  So he sent us to have an x-ray of her left hand to see what her growth plates show.  Girls usually are finished growing when their growth plates show 14 years old.  Hannah’s show 13 years and 6 months.  We were shocked….my nearly 13-year-old child is 4 feet tall and weighs 55 pounds and she is almost FULLY grown.  He said she probably won’t even hit 4’1!  Isn’t that crazy?  Now, the good news is when she stops growing her scoliosis will stop worsening so this is a good thing in that aspect.  Her scoliosis is at the point of needing surgery and Dennis and I both agreed that we were not going to filet her back open and put rods and screws in.  So, that is a HUGE blessing that it won’t continue to worsen.  The bad news is she will have difficulty with some tasks being independent one day.  One of Dennis’ favorite shows is Little People Big World on TLC and he said, wow, it will be like having a “little person” all the time.  He also had a great point…..Hannah is cognitively always going to be “young” so if she looks young then that will help her in the future.  All in all we aren’t too disappointed with this news…..I guess I get to keep her little forever and honestly, that is okay with me!
  • Let’s not talk about insurance and IVIG right now…..it isn’t pretty, but……perhaps it isn’t the best thing for her anyway.  I could write a book about this but I just don’t have time right now.  I am just trusting the Lord to allow His will to be done.  We go to the doctor this Tuesday to discuss where we go (if anywhere) from here.  IVIG might not be in the cards for us.
  • I have learned so much the last few weeks.  I wish I had time to sit here and pour my heart out to you but perhaps I can do that soon…..big things happening in our life and possibly big things happening with me getting to share our journey.  Stay tuned……..
  • I am so thankful for friends…….I am so blessed with some really good friends who are like family.  I am so grateful for friends who come alongside of you and offer to help in any way they can.  When you finally swallow your pride and ask for help they are right there!  I am also thankful for lifelong friends who have been to hell and back and yet they care more about you than what they have been through.  Together you share your different journey’s and you are each other’s safe place!  Then there are those friends you rarely get the chance to talk to yet you know all you have to do is pick up the phone and they would drop everything for you!  Not to mention Dennis’ friends who come alongside and say “whatever you need, we are here….always” Then, those lifelong work school/church/friends who check in on you constantly.  Oh, and not to forget those Facebook friends.  Aren’t you thankful for friends?  I sure am.  I am so thankful for each of you!
  • There is a major blog post series brewing in me, but I am trying to be cautious.  There is so much I want to say about Abuse.  Emotional, Mental and Physical.  In light of recent events old wounds have been re-opened, but I am trying to decide what to say or not to say.  Quite frankly I have a lot to say about not putting your trust in anyone, but it could come across as being very jaded and bitter…..it isn’t as much that, as scared for others.  I have learned that even the people you should be able to trust the most, you can’t…..more to come!  Don’t put your trust in man…..place your eyes and hope on the Lord ONLY!
  • Life is short.  Life is precious.  Life is hard.  Life is sacred.  Life is amazing.  Do your best to enjoy each moment…..even the hard ones.  None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.

Until next time………

The Doc Is In

So my parents went out-of-town and we kept their cat Simon for them.  Simon is a Siamese (which means he is very vocal, independent and snobby) and VERY much my dad’s cat.  We weren’t sure how he would do over here and away from his home (and my dad), but the house we bought was my parents so he lived here for about 8 years before moving to their condo. As most anyone knows Dennis is NOT a cat person.  He tolerates our outside cat Cecil but is not a fan of felines.  He is very much a dog person.  But, he was gracious and said we could keep Simon.  When my mom and dad came home last week, it was mainly for mom to be here at our house keeping Hannah so that I could be with Dennis at the viewing and funeral for his dad since there was no way we could take Hannah.  Simon was still here and on Wednesday mom took a ton of pictures of Hannah playing doctor with Simon.  Simon has never been a fan of Hannah’s so this was quite a miracle in itself but mom said that Hannah was so gentle and sweet “doctoring” Simon.  I thought it would be a fun blog post to show you Doctor Hannah and her feline patient Simon……

 

After doctoring Simon Hannah insisted Simon needed a nap and so she laid down with him to put him to sleep.  Simon is not the most patient, kid-friendly cat.  He usually sees Hannah and takes off in the other direction.  But, while we had him for that week I think he and Hannah kinda bonded.  It was a sweet time with him and it made me miss having an indoor cat.  At least I got to cat sit for a week….maybe one day Dennis will cave and let me have an inside cat……I mean miracles happen every day, right?  HA!

Until next time………