Friday, June 15, 2018

Is It Wrong to Ask?



Restore

GO

8 days after major surgery considering the word RESTORE I am thinking of what’s next. Being under the anesthesia delightfully ended the migraine that held me captive for 145 days straight.

I desperately want to get back to life and praying for full restoration of my body from all these months of confinement to my home with minimal travel and energy expended lest the migraine go from a 5 to a 10 on the pain scale.

I think of the verse about how God promises to restore the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25), and I wonder what that looks like for me. Is it ALL that I’ve lost/missed in the past months or is it just the stuff that’s important to Him?

My prayer is that He will RESTORE the countless hours I spent in the dark, the countless dollars that we spent on medical bills and lost in income, the countless moments I missed interacting with my hubby, kids, our friends and families. I want him to restore it all.  

I know many others long for things much bigger than these and my requests may be selfish, but part of recognizing and pressing into the pain of this loss of almost 6 months is being honest about what I want restored. 

STOP

This is me in September of 2017. Before the epic migraine and major surgery. I miss her. 


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Pain Sucks!


Pain sucks.

I could just leave that there and call it done. Migraine day 130.

Pain is like bad gas. One nasty fart, maybe two is forgivable, but if you sit in a room full of people and keep releasing toxic stench, they get sick of it and walk away. They may stay friends – from a distance - and try not to judge you or wish you’d just be done already, but they are uncomfortable with your pain, so they keep their distance.

You, on the other hand, are living with the stench. Like Pigpen from Peanuts, your cloud of pain is present, everywhere. Some people notice, can see the pain, but others don’t, for a million different reasons.

The pain of life is real. 
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH IT?

Here is where I give you the answer to that question… 

NOPE.

I don’t have it. All I have is my experience, my choices, and what those people around me have chosen.

How to deal with PAIN:
Ignore it.
Run from it.
Bury it.
Face it.
Lean in to it.
Push through it.
Make peace with it.

I honestly believe all these answers are right depending on the type of pain. However, each one of these are the wrong answer too.

For example:
       If you are in an abusive relationship – you need to run from it, not make peace with it.

·        If you are in physical pain (discomfort) you can ignore it or push through it, but if you are in physical pain (agony) you need to face it and get help.

·        If you are in emotional pain, leaning into it can be very helpful if you have support systems/resources around you. Emotional pain buried, eventually comes up and out like a zombie ready to destroy your life as you know it.

In this very long season of being in pain with this migraine, I have chosen to make peace with it. I have sought spiritual, medical, physical, and emotional help for it. Despite major efforts in every area – the pain remains. So, on many days, I decide to just be. In pain. The answers in the list above are the right answer for me, and some days, none of them are wrong.

A few things I KNOW for sure – Healing from pain requires community. Pain in isolation is dangerous. When we are brave and face our pain, we inspire others to do the same.

I’m praying for you. Pain Sucks.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Five Minute Friday - Pause

Writing again today with the Five Minute Friday gang. It seems to be the best easiest thing to semi-commit to for me these days.

Today's Prompt - Pause

I'm in the second longest Pause of my life. The first was our 9+ years of infertility before we had our first son. 125 days into this migraine is definitely a LONG PAUSE for a headache. Except unlike the Blu-Ray player, "PAUSE" means everything stops. Life doesn't work like that. Not during infertility and not during a migraine.

I've had bright moments - moments of fun or joy in the midst of this. I've had reminders that God is with me and this is not a reflection of His love (or lack of it) for me. This is just life. Being life. In life and living life.

I've had moments to PAUSE and remember that this pain is not the worst thing. I have friends with husbands to died, kids that died, car wrecks that destroyed careers, addictions that have broken relationships and so many more tragedies that could be listed.

This is NOT one of those.

PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING.

When the flood of the pain and disruption of the life I want to live pours through, I have to PAUSE and remember to keep perspective. Find the joy (even if it means goofy unicorn balloons and party supplies for turning 47 today!). Pray for the ones doing even greater battle and press on.




STOP.


Friday, May 11, 2018

Include - Five Minute Friday

I've reheated my coffee for the 27th time, took my vitamins, and now absorbing the foul tasting CBD concentrate that has helped me survive over half of this 116+ day migraine. Yes. Almost four months of a non-stop migraine.

Moving on...

There have been other Five Minute Friday prompts that have stirred more up in me than this word today. But today the urge to write was unquenchable - so I'm doing it.

GO

How do I INCLUDE you in my current season?

Some want to help, some ask how I am, and some wish the pain would just be over so I could move on and they can stop feeling bad for me. Some want to pray for me, in person, laying on hands, anointing with oil and such, but I usually say no.

Don't get me wrong. I love to pray and be prayed for. But, this process/season/pain I'm in is specific, unique and incredibly uncomfortable. It's not that I don't trust the beloved ones who want to pray for me in person. It's that I can't handle the pressure of "are you better yet?" in their eyes after they pray.

So, pray for me, but in your heart, that God would complete this process/season/pain as soon as possible. I am not an endurance person, a marathon, long term-keep pushing forward-don't stop no matter how bad it hurts kind of girl.

I am a sprinter. Go hard. Go fast. Bust it out and get it done. Even if it hurts.

This does not work in this season. My being who I have been is not working anymore. It hasn't for 116+ days.

I have to change - not because I'm bad or doing something wrong, but because there is something more, something different that is happening in me, my family, and friends because of this. I am not a fan, but I am committed to seeing it through.
Ultimately, finally, hopefully I will:


STOP

I realize 5 minutes of writing barely scratches the surface of what I've been going through. If you want me to INCLUDE you in this process I'm in, you are welcome to subscribe to my blog. I don't know when I will write again, but when I do, you'll receive it.

Thanks for your time... now to go reheat my coffee, again.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Motivate - Who or What?

It's time to get back to my keyboard and write with the Five Minute Friday group again.

This week's word: Motivate

I've been pondering what motivates me for weeks, actually, probably years.

Most often I come to the conclusion that I am over-motivated or under-motivated.

Which brings up one of my favorite movie quotes: "If you can be overwhelmed and you can be underwhelmed, can you ever just be whelmed?" (From Ten Things I Hate About You)

Over-motivated - so passionate about setting and meeting goals, the agenda, and schedules that relationships and people become unwelcome interruptions.

Under-motivated - permanent butt print in the couch, watching fake lives of other people doing things you wish you could but can't find the gumption to do it.

What about being motivated by God? - not by fear, what your family and friends say, the person in the gym says, the shrink on tv says, but by the beat of the Heart of the One who created you?

What if the Great Motivator wants you to BE.

BE honest with yourself that how you feel should not be the only indicator for what you do.

BE wise in your day to day choices on how you spend your time, money and talents.

BE present for your family and friends regardless of whether you know what to contribute.

And my favorite --a quote I found on my friend's Instagram this week:

BE the type of person that no matter where you go or where you are, you always add value to the lives of those around you.

That's the Heartbeat. Jesus added value, contributed His presence, and chose to do what God asked of Him regardless of how He felt.

I will BE motivated by the ultimate Example.


Friday, December 1, 2017

Reality and 2018 Goal Setting

It's been a long year. 

Parenting sons with ADHD, Chronic Pain, and Tourette's Syndrome is a high intensity and often thankless endurance level race with no finish line. My heart hurts (with their struggles). My head hurts (from the mental endurance and research required to navigate all of this). My spirit is in fervent and constant contact with the only Resource I know has their best interests in mind. I cling to the verse, “The Lord is near to the heartbroken…” (Ps 34:18 AMP). The joy, peace, and hope are tangible too, a lovely part of being near to the One who holds us all in capable hands with limitless options and provision.

I am working as a writer/editor and coaching people to move forward in their personal and professional lives. My husband is launching a new business (Blue Sky Ballooning) as well as maintaining his full-time day job and all that entails. And parenting. A lot of parenting. Like, have nothing else on our plate except parenting. 

Our circles of friends have shrunken like grapes into raisins due to lack of mental, emotional, physical time and opportunity. Our agreement is that there is no one and nothing more important than being present and parenting these amazing people we've been entrusted with. 

We prayed and waited for over nine years to get pregnant and live this life. We are here. Now is the time. Everything else, for the most part, is on hold or in the background. The friends that support and encourage us are kept very near and the ones who we love but don't do frequent life with, we miss. 

We give each other breaks, tag team during intense moments, and check in with each other often to know when the other needs extra support. It isn't the seamless teamwork it sounds like. It is messy. Painful. It takes long talks, sometimes tempers flare and then more talking to process our next steps. Together. Staying near to God and to each other.

We make a point to connect when we feel empty of energy and frustrated by our situation knowing that we are better together in every way, even when drained.

Our goal is to raise Mighty Men. Guys who will accept responsibility for their lives, their actions, and their responses to circumstances. We are teaching them grit and tenacity by requiring them to dig deep and do the hard things they don't want to. We are involving them in our family hot air ballooning business because there is an amazing volume of education and challenge to glean in working hard, the science, skill, team work, and communication.

We practice speaking life. To each other. To the people in our paths. Because when things are hard, encouragement always helps, whether you are giving or receiving it. The boys’ favorite song together is “Speak Life” by TobyMac. They all know all the lyrics. You should hear them sing it. It’s amazing.


As I look at my goals from 2017, I realize I made more headway than I thought I did. As I consider my goals for 2018, I realize some of them need to carry over into the coming year.

I told you all of this to encourage you, as you look forward to 2018, set your goals based on who/what is most important to you. Consider the reality of your circumstances, but don’t let it be the ultimate and only indicator of how you set your goals. 

I spent the last 18 months working with a fantastic coach named Terry Gurno (terrygurno.com) who shared this format of goal setting with me. I enjoyed it and plan to use it again.

If you would like to see a copy of what my goals were for 2017, send me an email at jennifer@livecourageouscoaching.com

I’m still praying, evaluating, and considering for 2018.

Let me know how I can help you move forward. I am available online, by phone and skype as well as locally in North Idaho and Spokane, Wa. areas.


I only take a few coaching clients at a time, so be sure to contact me if you are interested so I can let you know what time(s) I have available. 

Being NEAR

This is a portion of a longer blog I will post later today. The Five Minute Friday prompt was so relevant to my world, I pulled a chunk for posting here. 

Parenting sons with ADHD, Chronic Pain, and Tourette's Syndrome is a high intensity and often thankless endurance level race with no finish line. My heart hurts (with their struggles). My head hurts (from the mental endurance and research required to navigate all of this). My spirit is in fervent and constant contact with the only Resource I know has their best interests in mind. I cling to the verse, “The Lord is NEAR to the heartbroken…” (Ps 34:18 AMP). The joy, peace, and hope are tangible too, a lovely part of being NEAR to the One who holds us all in capable hands with limitless options and provision.


Our circles of friends have shrunken like grapes into raisins due to lack of mental, emotional, physical time and opportunity. Our agreement is that there is no one and nothing more important than being present and parenting these amazing people we've been entrusted with. 

We prayed and waited for over nine years to get pregnant and live this life. We are here. Now is the time. Everything else, for the most part, is on hold or in the background. The friends that support and encourage us are kept very NEAR and the ones who we love but don't do frequent life with, we miss. 


We give each other breaks, tag team during intense moments, and check in with each other often to know when the other needs extra support. It isn't the seamless teamwork it sounds like. It is messy. Painful. It takes long talks, sometimes tempers flare and then more talking to process our next steps. Together. Staying NEAR to God and to each other. 

If you want to read the full length version of this blog, join me here or my website www.livecourageouscoaching.com It will be posted by 5pm today Dec 1, 2017.