Friday, November 18, 2011

The Diagnosis...Welcome To Holland.

I have been trying to figure out how to "phrase" and let people know about Izaiah being diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. Let people know how we are feeling... and I found this. This writing has shaken me to my core, made me cry, and has brought me hope. We have landed in Holland... its not where we wanted to go...but its beautiful!

"I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this…

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Michelangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!" you say. "What do you mean, Holland?" I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to some horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy a new guidebook. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

The pain of that will never, ever, go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland."

****I want to say "thank you" the God send friend in my life... Danna, you have been my rock the past 4 years. I am forever grateful for being my true best friend. I love you and your family dearly. Izaiah adores "Dina" :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Year Ago Today...

A year ago today.. my life changed forever. I decided to get help and I decided I was worth the journey to freedom.

I will never forget the attack that day. October 11th, 2010.  I was personally, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally attacked. I will never forget my husband coming home while Izaiah was down for a nap and telling me the things that were said about me. So vividly I remember falling onto the dining room floor and crying in emotional pain. My spirit and my joy were dead... and this attack pushed me over the edge. Broc left to go back to work and I remember sitting alone on the couch, tears streaming down my face... It was then I started to think about how much easier it would be if I weren't alive. I wouldn't feel like a disappointment to everyone in my life. I wouldn't feel and people couldn't say, I was "unfit for ministry" anymore. I wouldn't torment myself for not being the wife that my sweet husband married. And I wouldn't have guilt for not being the mommy I always dreamed of being for my son.... My son.... I remember feeling like I was going to throw up when I started to think about him and not living anymore in the same thought process. I couldn't bare the thought. Even if I wasn't the best mom... I couldn't bare the thought of him growing up without me. And in that moment...I was ready for help and ready to be rescued by Jesus.

I remember picking up the phone and calling the counselor I went to see a year before. She took my call and said, "I remember you..." I went once but I never went back... I wasn't ready. But this time it was different. I had reached the end of myself.  I had two options, death or life. And I was ready to choose and work at life.

I will never forget sitting in her office. I sobbed and told her of my recent life... told her of the recent attack. She sat and cried with me. Told me she got it. And most important... She looked me in the eyes, knelt down on the floor in front of me, put her hand on my knees and told me, "Jesus wants to set you free......" No one had ever told me that... and I sure had never felt the truth in that statement like I did that day. With her commitment to walk with me, I decided to walk the journey to be set free.

It hasn't been easy. I, we (Broc and I) have lost alot of "things" and people we thought were friends along the way. But we wouldn't trade any of it for the last year of our lives. Jesus has brought me, us so far. And He truly is still setting me free. There are still days its a struggle and I could easily slip on back down to where He rescued me from., but I daily choose joy. 
If you struggle with depression and contemplating whether or not your life is worth living anymore, get help. Choose joy and take the journey. Message me. I would love to connect and give you the name of the woman who chose to invest in me. Blessings!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Doctors Visit

Today, I feel numb and strong all at the same time. I feel well informed one minute, and totally lost and clueless the next. I smile at one sentence and cry at the next. Today... I am very in touch with living fully right where I am at.

We went to the doctor yesterday... I sat through the visit I have been avoiding for 2 years. The visit thats been scheduled, written on a little business card that hangs on the fridge, for a month. The visit that I tried to find a reason to cancel even up till the last minute while sitting in the waiting room. The one I put off allowing myself to really think about until the night before. The visit where my blue eyed boys doctor would look us in the eye and say, "I have a high suspicion of High Functioning Autism and Aspergers."

For the past 24 hours I have had the last 3+ years flashing through my mind like old videos caught on tape. The good, the hard, the sad, the funny... And I question and I find answers all at the same time. "This is why this was like it was..." "This is why he did this..." "This is why he didn't do this..." I am emotionally exhausted. The word Autism forces you to examine everything you know of and have known through another lens.  It forces you to think about a future that no mom should ever have to wonder about. But thats where we are.

I watch my baby play and thoughts flood my mind... Some too painful to share here. Your mind wonders... but the thing it wonders and parks at the most- is the blessing God has given us. Izaiah is a gentle and kind loving boy. He loves life and Lightning Mcqueen :) He has a family that is dedicated to help him succeed in every way possible.  HE HAS A BRIGHT AND PROMISING FUTURE. 
Before he was formed in my womb, Christ knew him and loved him. He has a plan and a purpose and it will come to pass! 

I ask that you keep our family in your prayers. We are holding up well, but there are moments of utter pain that cant even be expressed by words. We found out today we wont even be able to get in to see the specialist he is needing to see for the official diagnosis until February. I am devastated by that. To make a mom wait and wonder seems unfair but its just what it is. Also, read up on high functioning autism and Aspergers and make yourself familiar and aware of it. But, with that being said, know that Izaiah is on the very low end of it all, so there are alot of things that Izaiah can do- and we are very thankful for that! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Our Own Flavor

" Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage." Matthew 5: 13 The Message Bible

This hit me like a ton of bricks this morning.. We are to be SALT to BRING OUT the God FLAVORS of the earth! My first thought..we as christians have become our OWN FLAVORS. We arent content with just being salt. We want to be garlic or thyme or basil. Ha. God has simply called and made us to be salt to COMPLIMENT His attributes and flavors of this earth. That's where we as christians have lost it. We rush into a situations of a hurting world, and instead of stepping back and letting God use our salt to flavor and bring healing- we flair up and impose garlic, or SELF on the hurting people. And garlic is good, but salt is lasting when it brings out the God flavors- and its what people were created to need.

Stop trying to figure out and be your own flavor, and get in the word of God see what salt is suppose to look like and do. Just be salt.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Legacy Of A Godly Grandma

Every wrinkle tells a story... Of love won and lost, joy alive and dead, laughter and tears. Those eyes, so full of words unsaid. Mouth so curvy with love expressed through kisses and 'I love yous'. My throat feels choked with tears when I look at your hands and realize those are the same hands that held me the day I was born, that held mine walking after dinner down a dirt road as a little girl, that carressed my face and wiped the tears the day I said I do. And now, those same hands run cars down my hallway with blonde skinny boy who holds my delight. The laughter is the music I move to in my kitchen tonight. The shrills and squeals of a boy so in love with the woman who held my world as a little girl. I never could wait to get to where you were... I found myself in that same anticipation as you were driving to where I live this week. I couldn't wait to be where you were.

I realized laying in bed tonight... You are the only person in my life I have never been angry towards. Grandparents should be the place you go when you're mad at your parents. :) I'm thankful everyday that Izaiah has that because you passed it down to my parents. He can't wait to get to where they are. They are his gift in life, as you are mine. I cherish you. I want to have a photographic memory when it comes to you. I want to remember everything there is to know and see of you. You are and always have been the essence of beauty. Thank you for leaving a legacy that Izaiahs Nonnie is stepping into and doing it well. We are a blessed family. I love you.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chicken Meatballs

Here is a recipe for a lower fat, scrumptious meatball recipe! We loved it! And they were about a point each! :)

Chicken Meatballs
(To be used in spaghetti or a meatball sub!)

(These look just like mine- except mine didn't have any green 
onions :) )

1 pound of Ground Chicken (lean)
1 Egg
2 Tbsp Bread Crumbs (Italian or original..i use original)
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated (I guessed on this amount.
Adjust to your liking)
1 Tsp Dried Minced Onions
1/2 Tsp Garlic Salt
1 Wedge of Sundried Tomato Laughing Cow
(Umm..if you have never had these...Go get them NOW! 
They are good in everything and excellent as a snack with
pita crackers!!)

Mix and mash all ingredients together in a large bowl! Make sure the
Laughing Cow Wedge is mixed in very well. 

Spray cooking spray in a casserole dish. 

Roll into meatballs. I made 5 rows of 4 meatballs..which gave me 20 
small meatballs. I cooked on 375 degrees..i dont remember for how long...
But i kept an eye on them and turned them when i saw the bottom side
getting brown. I flipped them to as many sides as i could to get most of
the meatball brown. 

We ate these with corn, spaghetti sauce, and wheat noodles! 


Butternut Squash French Fries Oh My!

Not everything on my blog has to be deep and profound..We can talk about FOOD too! :) Im going to be posting a few recipes that I have enjoyed lately, and some that I am still wanting to try! 

I  can honestly say, that this recipe blows my mind. I am IN LOVE with butternut squash. Bake it, fry it, casserole it, puree it... Its AMAZING. Here is my recipe:

(Healthier than deep fat fried potatoes!)

(These in the pic are baked and not fried..but they give you an 
idea of the shape and all!)


1 medium/large Butternut Squash
1 Cup of Flour
1/2 Cup of Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 tbsp Tony Chacheras Seasoning (I HIGHLY suggest everyone have this in your
spices. I use it on EVERYTHING that I cook...meat, veggies, etc.)

1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
Pepper to Taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil to cover pan on stove
Enough milk to soak BNS in after cut

Peel BNS (Butternut Squash) with a potato peeler. 
Cut off two ends (top and bottom) 
Cut in half lengthwise 
Scoop out the insides seeds and all
Cut the BNS into "french fry wedges"
The BNS will be very tough to cut...stick to it :) Its worth it!
Put the BNS wedges in milk and let them soak for 
a couple minutes

Mix the flour, parmesan, Tony Chacheras, and Garlic Salt
in a bowl. Take the wedges out of the milk and roll them around
in the flour mixture. 

While you are doing this, have the EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
heating in a large skillet on the stove on a little under medium heat. You
dont want to burn the EVOO. If it starts to smoke, its burning.

When the oil is hot enough (drop a peace of flour in and see if it
sizzles and bubbles..if so its hot enough,  if not-wait a minute) drop several 
BNS wedges in.

Turn several times to ensure all sides are browning... and WALLAH! :)

Im not going to give a WW Points plus count on this because its depends on 
how much of everything you end up needing. 
P.S. I had too much BNS so i didnt use it all. Just used what
I had enough ingredients for.

I always guess when im doing a new recipe so these measurements are
not exact. Look at it for your taste and adjust for your liking! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

I Felt Beautiful

I felt beautiful this night. 
Outwardly, yes. But most of all, inwardly
I could feel the changes that have been 
taking place somewhere deep in my soul.
They were rising to the surface this night. 
I felt confident and free spirited. 
Something about a whimsical, beautiful wedding
of a breathtaking bride- pure in
every sense of the word- that makes
you smile, soul to face.
She (the bride) truly was, is, breathtaking.
I will never forget her or her handsome 
groom that night... but more than that,
 I will never forget the "me"coming out.
 Broc smiled at me as 
we were dancing under the stars
and gorgeous mason jar lights...
 and in his eyes I could read what I was feeling...
the depression was gone that night, 
and the free spirited, lover of life he
married was back... and we were
truly enjoying life
We danced, took pictures, laughed, 
drank some scrumptious champagne,
(well, I did..."pastor Broc" didnt :))
and mingled with friends of a lifetime.
It was a night to remember
I can still picture it in my heart. 
And I will go back to that night
anytime I wanna give up. 
I felt beautiful, I am beautiful.
This is the journey I am traveling.

Unsettle Me

  I am reading Made To Crave for the second time through. I absolutely love this book and would suggest it to anyone with a food addiction or anyone who is just always struggling to lose weight. Through my journey, I have learned that combatting weight is a manifestation of an inward problem/battle. I used to laugh at that accusation and think I was the ONLY exception. I was wrong. I do have an inward battle. And in 5 years, it manifested with a 115 pound weight gain. The depression is lifting and Jesus is setting me free.. But now I have the manifestation to deal with! But "dealing" with it is just what I am doing. And I am excited about the journey. I have 155 pounds to lose... I know, its alot! (Go ahead and be thankful at this moment that you only have 20 or 30 or some "small" number like that! :) ) But Im looking forward to the journey and every pound I lose, I will look and feel better than gaining or staying the same! Whats not to look forward to?!  Every pound lost is one step closer to being able to do the things I have been missing out on for the last 5 years! (I am going to write a pretty real blog soon about the things I am looking forward to while losing the weight... Its a pretty crazy, sad, and exciting list!)

   This is a prayer/letter that Lysa wrote in M.T.C... I wanted to share it with you. Its my prayer now, and maybe you should adopt it as well!

"Unsettle me, Lord.
Unearth that remnant of unforgiveness.
Shake loose that justification for compromise.
Reveal that broken shard of pride.
Expose that tendency to distrust.
**Kill that spirit of criticalness. (My line added)
Unsettle me in the best kind of way.  For when I allow your touch to reach the deepest parts of me- dark and dingy and hidden away way too long- suddenly, a fresh wind of life twists, and twirls and dances through my soul.
I can DELIGHT in forgiveness and LOVE MORE DEEPLY.
I can discover a discipline that lies just beyond what I'm capable of and grab a hold of God's strength to bridge the gap.
I can recognize the beauty of humility and crave the intimacy with God it unleashes.
I can rest assured though harsh winds blow,  I will be held.
Goodbye to my remnants, my rationalizations, shards, and tendencies. This is not who I am nor who I was created to be.
Goodbye to shallow love, sharp words, self pity and suspicious fears. I am an unsettled woman who no longer wishes to take part in your distractions or destructions.
Welcome deeper love, new possibilities, unleashed intimacy, and the certainty I am held. 
Welcome my unsettled heart."
-Lysa Terkeurst

Love it. Through my journey, I am loving deeper, looking forward to all the new possibilities, the intimacy humility and getting rid of bitterness brings with God, and knowing that no matter what my situation looks like right now- I am held. I am resting in his lap... choosing to stay put and let Him love on me a while.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I wanted to share this post from another blogger... My counselor shared this with me several months ago- I can honestly say this post changed my life and started my transformation. Enjoy. Be changed. 

"The courtyard. The marble, the tall walls and the open roof. There was so much space between me and Him. I stood holding the handle of a massive dark brown door. I could leave, I knew I had the option. Did I want to leave the one consistent place in my life? No, I knew I didn't. I turned around and began walking back towards Him. I had no energy, no desire for I got down on my knees, willing myself to want Him. I stayed there, and He came to me. He knelt down, He always comes to where I am to meet me. He held His arms wide and I crawled into them. I sat there in His arms and felt how much He loved me. Once again my chest was torn open...the cavity of my ribcage exposed...and He took my heart out from me, holding it in His hands, bloody and a mess. Then He reached inside his own chest and took his heart and put it where mine had been. "You need to take my heart and show them what it's like." He said. "I am love, you cannot love without me." He continued. I nodded and watched Him put stitches down my side. As He did my eyes went quickly to my still remaining scars..."they're still there" I said sadly as I looked at the ugly twisted skin. He looked at me and said, "Grace. Every scar is there to draw attention for people to find my heart in you. They aren't going away, because each single scar has a purpose for the bigger picture of your life." I was stunned by the thought.I thought they were part of the tragedy of the consequences...I never thought they were meant to be there all along."
Fanciful Heart Blog

"I thought they were a part of the tragedy of the consequences...I never thought they were meant to be there all along."

Our scars tell our story. They tell of the wounds that once were there..but speak of the testimony of the healing Jesus gave to us. Your scars are your testimony. Find BEAUTY IN THE SCARS.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What Depression Feels Like

Depression has always been so hard for me to describe to people. So many people think it just means that you are really sad. In reality, thats only a small part of depression. 
I was lying in bed a few nights ago and I couldn't sleep. Sometimes late at night, when Im still and lying in bed, I can feel the depression trying to creep back on. And it hit me. Depression for me feels like drowning in a deep body of water. 

I jumped off the edge into the water. I jumped with zeal and pure excitement for life. I jumped in with my whole 20 year old heart. I sank deeper and deeper. Allowing my young heart to feel everything possible. Every inch deeper representing a new circumstance, opportunity, or relationship in my life.  When I realized how far in I had gone- I began to try and come up for air. This jump I took-life- was making it hard to breathe. I must go up for air. So I began to swim...but your lungs are starting to hurt. You start to panic. And you begin to realize just how far you really are. So you swim...and swim...but you desperately need air sooner than when you know you will reach it. And it burns. Until you decide to give up. Getting to the air, life, is not worth the effort and the fight. You just wait there- dying. Wondering if someone will or even can rescue you. 

My rescue came in October of 2010. A man tried to convince my husband to leave me where I was- lifeless and drowning. And that was rock bottom for me. I decided to fight. I mustered the little strength I had and began to swim. I saw my baby boy begging me to live...for the first time in a long time, I wanted to live. 

My rescuer came in the form of a counselor. She heard and saw my struggle for air. She grabbed my hand and pulled me to the surface. She handed me to Jesus. I couldn't get to Him... so she took me there. With my body and heart still in the water of depression, He cupped my face and breathed life, truth, and GRACE into my exhausted lungs. He brushed the hair back from my face and captured every tear I was crying. He commanded the waves around me, the trials in my life, to be still. 

He has pulled me up into his lap.  But sometimes I make a choice to climb out of His lap and back into the water. I make that choice by not taking every negative thought captive. And the feeling I had the other night was like starting to feel the water cover my face. I have to daily make a decision to fight back and crawl into his lap again. The waves are always lapping at my feet. They are a constant reminder of the pain and loneliness I have felt. But daily, I choose to remain in the safety of His lap and let Him speak to my waves. I'll just focus on His grace and breathe in the love He has put in my lungs.

So, with that description... I know that many times over the past few years, it has been said that I am "rude" or "different" by people just judging from the outside. I was drowning and had no hope for life. Be kind to people, and give them the benefit of the don't know what they are dealing with. You may be the person that takes them to Jesus. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

The End Of Myself

Hello world! Time to go public I guess! I love to write... Writing helps me to express what and how I am feeling. And over time, I have realized how much power there is in sharing words and thoughts...real, personal, gut honest writings. I can read something that totally changes my day because someone was being real. So, my blog may not "change" anyone...but its changing me. And I thought I would share with the chance that MAYBE, some word I say, or the words Christ gives me to say- will brighten someones day or let them know, they aren't alone. 

The reason for the blog title...

I have been reading a book called  "1000 Gifts" by Anne Voskamp . I am a multi-task reader. I like to read 5 books at one time... Weird I know. But its very hard for me to read one book at a time. One day I may need one book more than the other. Anyhow, this book is based on counting the gifts and things to be thankful for that God has blessed you with. For the first time, I really payed attention to a story that I had heard growing up many times. Its the story of Hagar and her son. 
  The specific part that stood out to me is about WANTING, truly wanting JOY in your life. Here is an excerpt...

"But how do you make yourself want joy?...When you know you're Hagar and you finally come to the end of yourself and all the water in your own canteen is gone and you know that you and your son are going to die if you don't get some joy to the lips and down the parched throat- and now; when you can no longer stand to see those you love die all around you from YOUR emptiness; when the emptiness is so dark you are driven to struggle again for joy, to cry for joy to the Joy God there and you beg, sob-remember: You have to want to see the well before you can drink from it. You have to want to see JOY, God in the moment."
Genesis 21:15-19

"When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob.
  God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink."

That's where I have been and where I am. I am at the end of myself...and I want to see my family LIVE and not die. I want to live and not die...for the first time in a long time. 

I look forward to the comments and the discussions that may come! 
Be REAL today...its the only way to be!