Monthly Archives: March 2019

In the Quiet, Trust


Good Morning!

It’s Monday morning and all is quiet in the house. The only sounds are those of my fingers hitting the letters on the keyboard, birds chirping outside, and my fur-babies breathing. I like it quiet.

This past year has been a quiet year.

Don’t get me wrong, a lot happened this past year.

  • Bobby returned from what may have been his tenth deployment.
  • My character was maligned by someone I considered a good friend.
  • I walked away from a ministry I had poured my heart and soul into for years.
  • Bobby’s and my marriage struggled as we tried to “reintegrate” our lives post-deployment.
  • We went on two marriage retreats (love love love them!)
  • My hemiplegic migraines worsened.
  • They finally diagnosed me with P.O.T.S. (thus, proving my “spells” were not anxiety, but a nervous system disorder).
  • We went to court for my social security disability case, where my lawyer failed to show up, and we still ended up being awarded disability.
  • I had to give up driving due to medical issues.
  • I finally started to come to terms with being “disabled”.
  • We paid off all of our debt except for our mortgage.
  • We drove home to Minnesota for Christmas so we could see my family and bring our fur-babies with us.
  • My Gran died from colon cancer.
  • I managed to get the flu and bronchitis a couple of times.
  • Bobby and I started working on projects around the house (currently working on our farmyard-with-a-chuckle-powder-room, as well as stairs for our fur-babies to get up onto the bed with me and a little haven for them out of a repurposed dresser – I’ll post pics once I finally get my blog reformatted).
  • I finally started physical therapy (they’re kicking my arse even though they barely touch me! – Kelly, Karen, and Christine, you’re amazing!)
  • And, I gave up social media because the “noise” of it was a negative influence in my life.

Within one week’s time last year, my character was maligned, I lost some dear friends, I walked away from the ministry, Bobby returned from deployment, and our marriage almost ended.

It was at that point I decided I needed some “quiet”, thus, I shut off my social media accounts, pulled away from all relationships except for my mum, bio-sister, and two of my heart-sisters (one of which I didn’t talk to very often due to her busy schedule and ridiculously poor cell-service). So, essentially, I kept three people as my inner circle, as a small circle felt safest after my heart had been torn to shreds.

(WARNING: This post is about to get “spiritual”, so bear with me, eh).

As this was all happening, I felt a strong urging to learn what it means to trust God.

The people I spent the most time with had broken trust with me. The people I felt I could trust the most had all moved far away (thank you, military life). And, I was desperately in need of being able to trust someone I could spend loads of time with. The only good solution was God (or, as I refer to Him, my Abba Father).

And then … God went quiet.

The only person available to spend loads of time with, and who wanted to spend time with me (my hubby didn’t want to), was my Abba Father. And yet, I sensed Him go quiet as I shut out the unnecessary noise in my life. (This made me say a lot of “grrrs” followed by loads of cussing, as I struggled to deal with the rot life kept lobbing at me. Yep, I’m faulty and impatient and tend toward swearing like a sailor. I was angry at this perceived quietness that I didn’t ask for. Yes, I wanted the negativity to go quiet, but not my one true supporter! I had a lot to learn — and still do.)

As I learned to trust in Him DESPITE the quiet, I began to appreciate stillness, solitude, and silence.

I didn’t feel like God was near, but MY FEELINGS DON’T DICATE REALITY.

So this morning, when I was reading in, The One Year Book of Encouragement, written by Harold Myra, the quietness began to make sense in view of the need to learn to trust Him. Myra quotes Rosemary Budd as saying, “As our emotions wither and desert us, God is burrowing away at our wills. As we journey through the dark with a growing awareness of our helplessness, we learn to trust ourselves less. Trust in God takes us on a journey into humility.” Myra continues, “The furnaces of life slowly purge and refine [us] toward understanding the truth about [our]selves – the core of humility.” Again quoting Budd, “Only as I persevere can I become of more use to God and others.” He concludes by making the point that “we’re called to persevere despite flagging emotions.”

I felt that life was screaming at me in the most negative and heart-breaking fashion. The “sound” was deafening as it beat my spirit to a pulp, clawed my insides out with hurtful words, and stomped me into the ground with false accusations, character maligning, and all the discouragement that comes with being “disabled.”

As I allowed life to go quiet, even though it also felt that God went quiet, He was here all the time. He spoke to me in the quiet, in ways I wouldn’t have been able to hear if the rest of the cacophony continued. In silence and solitude, He was tender with my heart. He whispered to me in the quietness that I was enough, that I was loved, that I was worthwhile, that I was accepted.

He encouraged me when I needed to be of good courage. In the stillness He was there.

When you feel life screaming negativity at you, it’s okay to pull back and allow for a period of quiet. Not only is it okay, it may be the best thing you can do.

Although friends may fail us and our bodies WILL fail us (especially those of us struggling with chronic illness and disability), we can rely on what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:16, “Therefore do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting way, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (NIV). We can hold onto the truth of what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others” (NLT). For, “Mightier than the violent raging of the seas, mightier than the breakers on the shore – the Lord above is mightier than these!” (Psalms 93:4, NLT).

Life is hard. Negativity surrounds us. Our bodies are breaking down. We will be failed by the people around us. AND … We will fail them.

BUT ….

In the stillness, in the quiet, we can experience rest, peace, renewal, hope, and encouragement. We can learn trust.

If all that I’ve gone through, am going throu1387052194097gh, and will go through, can be used to encourage others, then my perseverance will be worth it. This perseverance is only possible with the knowledge that He is with me – even when my feelings say otherwise.

May you find encouragement today. Allow for some time of quiet, for in the quiet you just may experience a glimmer of hope.

Till next time,


BTW, I STRONGLY SUGGEST Harold Myra’s book, The One Year Book of Encouragement: 365 Days of Inspiration and Wisdom For Your Spiritual Journey published by Tyndale House Publishers. It has been a true source of encouragement to me as I struggle through this difficult and discouraging life.

Dilemma: Personal Hygiene

Dilemma: Personal Hygiene

As I was laying in bed this morning, ascertaining how much pain I might be in when I manage to get out of bed — creaking, cracking, popping and generally sounding like a Rice Krispies commercial of old — I pondered one of the typical dilemmas of someone living with chronic illness/disability and the resulting pervasive fatigue. HOW MUCH ENERGY AM I WILLING, AND ABLE, TO COMMIT TO PERSONAL HYGIENE? And, if I commit that energy to said endeavor, what will have to give in my desired to-do list (as in, the things I want to get done, such as cook a meal, make a phone call, fold some laundry — you know, the big tasks)?

Note to the reader: I’m currently typing this with my eyes closed because letting in the light is painful. I’ll have to do a really thorough spell check and grammar-fixing session in a bit, eh.

Squinting now, with one eye completely closed, I’ll admit that on this occasion, I decided to balance the competing needs of saving energy for the necessary things (feeding the fur-babies, making a meal, calling my mum, and getting out of my pjs) with the required energy for the unnecessary things (taking a shower, shaving my legs, putting on make-up, spending more than one minute doing my hair, etc.).

For some people, primarily women, the things on my unnecessary list are considered necessary. Living with chronic illness/disability and the resulting pervasive fatigue has made me reconsider what is truly necessary and what is superfluous social construct.

Let me break it down for you — my necessary versus my unnecessary — as I weigh the items in my head:


  • feeding the fur-babies: they need to eat, they are my constant companions, they give me a reason to get out of bed in the morning, they comfort me when I’m having a bad day, they are my precious “children” because I’m not able to have my own and adopting human-kiddos would take more energy than my body allows, and therefore, they are a necessary part of my day and deserve as much energy as I can allot them — they come first; 
  • making a meal: my hubby and I need to eat because apparently it’s necessary for the human body to take in sustenance in the forms of food and water (a fact I find inconvenient and annoying), cooking & baking has become somewhat of an “adventure” for me as I learn new things each week thus feeding my need for activity, learning and personal growth, making food from scratch (when possible) is a healthier way of eating since packaged foods tend to be full of preservatives, and by making a meal I can control our nutritional intake a bit more responsibly when considering both of our medical issues and the fact that we have competing weight goals — I’m fluffy after numerous rounds of prednisone and becoming a reluctant couch potato and he’s almost dangerously thin after the burn pits he was stationed by while serving in the military, thus, making a meal is “necessary” even if this necessary item is often left out of the energy allotment for a given day;
  • calling my mum or one of my best friends: we all need human interaction, support, encouragement, and to know we are loved, if I don’t make a phone call it is highly likely that I will only have a few moments in the evening of hearing about my husband’s day at work followed by me telling him that my pain was bad today, so I spent the day on the couch unable to talk, move, or eat anything that isn’t a pouch of ramen or leftover popcorn, and thus, making a phone call is necessary as most of my friends have moved away, and the few who live close by are either busy raising kids or they’ve turned out to be fair-weather friends, making life very lonely indeed; and,
  • getting out of my pajamas: admittedly, this one often ends up on the “unnecessary” list, but I made an exception today since if I feel a little less bed-y (as in I look like a set of crumpled pjs laying on a heap of blankets) I may feel a bit better about being a reluctant couch potato, anyway, this “necessary” item is more about mental health than about actually needing to change out of clothes that consist of sweatpants and a t-shirt, into ones that have a few less holes but are still relatively comfortable — clothes with identifiable seams can be quite painful to wear and often bras are completely out of the question as they are a mild form of torture.


  • taking a shower: I took a shower a couple of days ago and that shower wiped me out for the day so if I have anything else I want to accomplish today then this will need to wait, plus, since I didn’t do anything to make myself sweaty — other than pain induced sweating — I’m relatively clean other than the cracks and crevices that can be cleaned in a less energy-sapping endeavor, and by not taking a shower I’m being (wink wink) environmentally conscious in our drought stricken location, further, my fur-babies don’t mind if I smell a little more like them today, and if I don’t take a shower it doesn’t make me any less worthy of being loved, or change the fact that I am loved, and if I really think about it, taking a shower is a privilege that many parts of the world don’t even have the option of partaking in; 
  • shaving my legs: shaving my legs takes way too much energy to accomplish, razors are expensive if I want to get one that lessens the likelihood I’ll gouge the s$!t out of my legs, its one of those activities that seems never-ending as the hair grows back the moment I stop shaving that particular hair follicle, it takes up more of the environmentally precious commodity water, it’s warmer having hair on my legs in the winter as it traps the heat closer to my skin, I was born with hair like most other human beings, not all societies consider shaving a necessity, and if I’m supposed to shave my legs why aren’t all of us (i.e., women AND men) “supposed” to shave our legs, plus, shaving my legs (or not shaving them) doesn’t change whether I am worthy of being loved, or change the fact that I am loved, and thus, out of the necessity of saving my precious little energy, and because I can make many arguments against the practice, shaving my legs has landed on the list of the unnecessary;
  • putting on make-up: this item follows quite closely the arguments against shaving my legs (expense, environmental consciousness, unnecessary social construct imposed on women, etc. etc. etc)., and whether I wear make-up or not does not change the fact that I am worthy of being loved, or change the fact that I am loved, and thus, wearing make-up is deemed unnecessary (unless, of course, I have the energy on a given day and I feel like the creativity of make-up will simply enhance my natural beauty);
  • spending more than one minute doing my hair: blow-drying, curling, straight-ironing, or styling my hair takes way too much energy and I can’t hold my arms in the necessary manner for the amount of time it takes to do those activities, plus, I look darned cute in my pony tail or pig tails (if I was Marge from the Real Housewives of New Jersey, they’d call me the Queen of Pig Tails, or whatever it is they call her, because she totally rocks the hair style and so do I), and, anyway, if I was a man, or my husband was cool with it, I’d shave my hair off saving time, money, water, and energy — proudly wearing my naked head and the scars from two brain surgeries, and for those reasons I find spending more than a minute to throw my hair up into some Marge-style pig-tails or a pony tail, an unnecessary use of my limited energy, thus, any unnecessary hair-styling is deemed a superfluous social construct as it doesn’t change whether I am worthy of being loved, or the fact that I am loved; and,

  • et cetera: the et cetera is everything else I used to think was necessary such as running errands (things I can now do via the internet), visiting friends (I’ve had to give up driving), going to work (sadly I’m not able to do that at the moment), keeping my house clean (I’ve had to let go of my need for a clean home, although I make certain it’s tidy 90 percent of the time), working out (I wish I was able to do this because it would help me shed the weight that I ballooned to — 180% of myself), going to grad school (it has been a lifelong dream to get my Master’s and then Doctorate in Biblical Studies, and then be able to teach, plus, I was great in seminary, rocking a 4.0 and loving everything I was learning), and all of the other things I loved to do in my so-called past life — the life I had before becoming a reluctant couch potato, because I AM WORTHY OF BEING LOVED AND AM LOVED whether I do any of those things or not.

All that to say, living with chronic illness/disability and the resulting pervasive fatigue forces a person to reevaluate what is truly important in their lives.

For me, it’s taking care of my little family (me, my hubby, and our two-fur babies), staying connected to my dearest friends and family, learning how to accept the fact that I am worthy of being loved and am in fact loved simply for being me, and doing the best I can to continue growing and improving myself all while being a pain-cringing-hot-mess from this cozy-blessing-of-a-couch-that-I’m-currently-residing-upon.

Do: When you face dilemmas in your everyday life, take a moment to consider if it’s something that is truly necessary or if it can be consigned to the unnecessary. If it can be put on the unnecessary list, then you’ve taken some of the stress out of the dilemma, and in effect, made your life a little more enjoyable.

Do: Be thankful for what you have and are able to do. And, if you find yourself unable to accomplish something with the given resources you have, then as they say in Frozen, “Let it go.”

Till next time,