Back in May I was given a new calling at church as the secretary to the Stake Primary Presidency. It is busy and full of meetings and I knew I could not add this calling into my already very full life without letting something else go.
But I didn’t know what to let go. I love all the things I do. LOVE THEM. In fact, it is pretty much impossible for me to do something if I am not passionate about it. So giving up something is really, really hard. I don’t have a list of things to say “no” to that I don’t really want to do – I have a list of things that are deeply important to my soul that I want to keep investing my time and energy in.
It has been hard to think and ponder and work up the courage to let something go. But I have done it. In July I officially resigned from the iFAMILY Board of Directors and over the past seven weeks we have been transitioning me off of the board. I have wept deep, heartfelt cries of anguish that no one really understands. iFAMILY has been my baby…I helped birth it and nurture it as it grew and now I am walking away from my position and trusting that the foundation laid is sufficient to carry it onwards. Oh, the heartache.
In spite of the pain of leaving, I know I needed to do this – I feel peace about it. I cannot serve my church in this calling and serve iFAMILY and have enough time with my children. For some reason I don’t yet understand, God is asking me to serve the children and leaders of my stake at this time. It is not my dream calling. It is not something I would have ever wanted to do. I am not very good at it. I continually say the wrong thing at our meetings. I come home feeling like I am not really making any sort of impact for good and wondering why on earth I am spending my time here instead of spending my time at iFAMILY where I can visibly see the impact of my service.
But I know God has asked me to do this. His Spirit has poured over me and told me God has called me to this position. So I will serve and try my best to love and learn and listen to His voice teach me.
And I will still cry.
And God will still love me.
Our suburban’s transfer case broke back on June 28 on our way home from Utah. The bill was $2100. $2100 which we didn’t have and couldn’t see any way of getting. We started selling things to pay for it and were able to sell enough stuff and use some from our summer savings account (our money set aside during the school year to make it until October when Richard gets paid from the school district again) to pay for the repair.
Well, when we returned home from camping, I did all the math for the next two months and knew we weren’t going to make it until payday in mid-October. We needed the $800 from the summer savings account. So I started putting energy into selling more things and planning out some classes to teach.
This morning, I woke up and knew the Duplo table had to sell. I had listed it back when the suburban broke down and it didn’t sell. I wasn’t willing to do garage sale prices on it because it is worth a lot of money (and worth a lot of emotional pennies to me as well), but many people are only willing to pay thrift store prices, so no one was interested in my $350 Duplo collection. Well, I prayed. I asked God to please send my ad to a person who would be blessed by my Duplos AND be willing to pay for them.
And he did.
It is sold, paid for, and taken to its new home.
Yes, I believe in a God of miracles. I tried to sell it on my own for a month with not a single taker. Today, after praying for help, it sold in just a few short hours. He is taking care of us.
p.s. I am so, so grateful they sold and know they are going to a home where they will be well-loved and cared for, but I find myself a bit teary-eyed…saying goodbye to our duplos is saying goodbye to an era of little ones. My babies are growing up and it feels like my heart is being torn in two.
Confession: my brain does funny things. It jumps to insane conclusions and runs a mile a minute pretty much 24 hours a day. It also misses things that are fairly obvious to others…jumps completely over the obvious to some ridiculous explanation.
(Mom, want to share the license plate story?)
Well, while I was camping I had another of these crazy brain explosions. I have eyes that are a bit unique – one of them is near-sighted and one of them is far-sighted. I had lazy eye as a child and my right eye, the far-sighted one, still doesn’t work all that hot. Even though we did the whole ginormous-patch-covering-the-whole-side-of-my-cute-two-year-old-face-thing, it is still lazy as every and lets my left eye do all the work. While we were camping I went contactless quite a bit. My eyes needed a break and since I wasn’t driving or anything, I decided to let my eyes breathe. The few times I did put my contacts in, my vision was all screwy. When I would close my left eye, the whole world would go blurry. I would take out my contact, clean it, try to figure out what was going on, try again, and be surrounded by blurriness.
I knew my contacts weren’t switched because I could still see out of my left eye. If my far-sighted contact was in my near-sighted eye, I would be nearly blind, only being able to tell light and darkness.
So, my ridiculous brain jumped to the conclusion that my right eye had suddenly changed. Dramatically changed. Like maybe now that I am forty, it was becoming more near-sighted. Or maybe it was a million times more far-sighted than it had ever been before. I kept telling people, “Something is wrong with my vision. I can’t see out of my right eye!” and “I am going to have to see the optometrist right when I get home! Something weird is going on with my eye.”
Well, when I got home and attended church, I couldn’t see they hymn numbers or the clock or people’s faces, and I thought, “Oh my heck, it is even worse than I thought!”
BUT THEN MY BRAIN FINALLY TURNED ON TO RATIONAL THINKING.
When I took my contacts out, I took the left one out and put it in the case. Then took the right one out and put it in my left eye and VOILA, I could see just fine out of my left eye.
So, I had somehow taken two left, near-sighted contacts with me instead of one of each. And instead of thinking it through like a logical person would, my brain jumped to the crazy conclusion that somehow, overnight, my far-sighted eye had dramatically changed.
Yes, my brain is full of crazy sauce. It makes the adventure of living with me a gazillion times more zesty.
I need to take the time to write a whole post about my two weeks in the mountains, but since that probably won’t get done for a few more days, I wanted to let y’all know I am home safe and sound.
Here are a few itty-bitty updates until I can get a real post written.
- I fell in the shower a few days before I left and hurt my knee…well, actually I hurt lots of parts of me, but my knee was hurt the worst and it is still hurting the worst. I babied it while I was gone and unfortunately it is still hurting. I am gearing myself up for another 12-16 weeks healing time.
- My mom fell while we were camping and hurt her knee really badly. She had her MRI today and we will get the results tomorrow. I’m pretty sure she is heading for surgery soon.
- Our summer read-aloud is so fun! Everyone needs to run and beg, borrow, or
stealbuy The Wingfeather Saga TODAY. Oh, my goodness, I love it so much. I am on book four (tempted to stay up all night tonight to finish reading the last 200 pages) and as a family we are almost done with book two.
- Due to the state of my knee and my noble efforts to baby it, unpacking is going very, very slowly. We have been working our way through the laundry and tomorrow we must conquer the food (yes, mom, the cooler stuff was put away days ago, it is just the totes that need emptied) and then Blythe will need to vacuum out the suburban.
- I am almost ready to launch my new website/business/effort to change the world. Wahoo!
- Richard got a contract with the school district again. Wahoo!
- Three weeks until iFAMILY starts. I am working on finalizing everything for my awesome-sauce Worldviews class.
Time to get back to The Warden and The Wolf King. Now that I don’t have to use a flashlight to read at night, it is time for some midnight reading.
I have a special place I escape to each summer. The air seeps into my soul and renews me, centers me, brings me back to what matters most. The mountains give me strength and courage to face whatever life throws my way. The water, so crisp and clear, surrounds me with a healing balm of refreshment.
The memories of my grandparents loving these mountains and caring for the people who came to camp there fill me with peace. They nurtured the land, the visitors, and most of all, their grandchildren who came to stay with them in the big lodge on the hill. I was blessed to be one of the children who stayed with them for weeks on end and was able to learn to work and play and love under their tutelage.
My children have gone camping here every summer of their lives. It is their special place too. Almost all of Blythe’s birthdays have been celebrated in the mountains we love. This year she will turn 18. It might be the last birthday we have up there for a few years. Who knows where she will be and what she will be doing on her 19th, 20th, or 21st? I’m sure she will come back and join us sometimes, but this is probably the last trip from this phase of our lives with all of our children together.
Today is packing and grocery shopping and loading so we can pull out bright and early tomorrow morning. It is time to breathe the air that fills my soul.
As I stood in the shower Friday afternoon while getting ready to attend the temple that night, I winced in pain as I have every shower since May 2. Lifting my left arm up to wash my hair pinches something in the shoulder joint and it shoots down my arm and up to my neck. Inwardly, I thought “Argh, I am so tired of this pain! When will it stop hurting to shampoo my hair. It has been 11 weeks!”
Instantly Jeremy’s voice entered my mind. On Tuesday at our appointment he shared these thoughts, “We have dodged a bullet, a really big bullet, with your vagus nerve and jaw.” He expressed his gratitude and we both rejoiced a bit at how well my foot and hip are doing. I heard I was doing well. I heard things were improving. I heard I could increase my time on the Elliptigo. I heard my vagus was calming down. But I didn’t really think about it. I didn’t feel grateful down deep in my soul. I didn’t really hear him until I was in the shower.
But as I winced in pain in the shower and Jeremy’s word replayed in my mind, the voice of the Lord washed over me and I heard something else.
Tracy, we dodged a bullet. I blessed you with a miracle. Just a few short weeks ago, a hypersensitive vagus was staring you in the face, and now, your vagus is calmed down. Tracy, I love you. Take this gift and know I healed you.
His words surrounded me from head to toe and I felt wrapped up in a blanket of love and warmth and safety. I felt known and heard and blessed.
My God is a god of miracles. He can and will and is pouring them down upon us. May I always remember.
Is that how you write that celebratory shout?
Regardless, I am shouting it from the rooftops! After six long months of injury – the pubic bone separation in January and then the foot dislocation a few weeks later – my body is ready to move forward. For the past two weeks or so, I have been riding my Elliptigo for two minutes a day and today I got the go-ahead to increase my time by a minute a day. So tomorrow it is three minutes. Then if that goes well, four minutes the next day!
In two weeks, I might be up to sixteen minutes. Oh my stinkin’ heck, I am so excited!
My jaw and head are still pretty sore, but they are improving and we are leaving them alone for now and hoping all the bones slide back to where they rightly belong without any more interference. It is challenging to move them without increasing my vagus nerve symptoms, so we are praying for the bones to move on their own as I keep drinking liquids and eating soft foods.
Today at my appointment with Jeremy we worked on the fascial tissues throughout the pelvis and made lots of progress in freeing it up. We haven’t been able to work much on my hip since I fell on May 2, so it is super exciting that my ribs and head are improved enough that we can get back to the hip.
Goodbye little girl with a smile full of baby teeth.
She lost a bottom tooth on Saturday night and her top two front teeth are super loose, they will be coming out soon. I actually have no idea how they are still in there – the one on the right can twist clear around in circles.
Every single milestone brings a big sigh of bittersweet emotions from my soul. Seeing her lose her baby cheeks, her teeth, and her little girlness is so stinkin’ hard. I never thought I would have a home without a baby or a toddler – and now I am full blown into the lose-the-teeth stage for the last time. I want to ask the tooth fairy to hide piles of money under her pillow – surely having Annes hit the jackpot will assuage my heartbreak?
I was supposed to have a gazillion children and while I am so grateful for my four, each “last-time” feels like a knife wound.
It seems silly to cry over teeth, but I think I might.
In spite of the aforementioned skull pain, today is a day to celebrate! One year ago I fell off a barstool while cleaning the shower for our Independence Day guests and broke my 4th metatarsal. Even though it was a small break, we did not know if it would heal or not. We didn’t know if the ligaments in my foot would be able to muster up the strength to hold the bone together. There was a good chance I would need to have surgery with pins and all that jazz.
But it healed! Hallelujah! After nearly five months of kick-butt pain, 16 weeks in a myriad of different walking boots, specialized medial-post, steel-shank shoes for three months post-walking boot, and lots of BF&C, essential oils, bone building supplements, and heaps and heaps of prayers, it is healed.
Having a broken left foot did a number on my right hip and set me back significantly – probably lost about 6 months of hip progress because of the foot – but here we are at one year post break and my hip has recovered nicely. I am able to ride the Elliptigo for two minutes a day and we are starting to see some real progress with my hip. It would have really been helpful to only have the broken foot to deal with in the past year, but having the severely sprained right foot in February set me back significantly again. Now my hip and left foot are doing well. My right foot is healing from the fall at swim camp and soon I will be able to exercise for more than two minutes a day.
So, I say Praise the Lord. This broken foot could have been so much worse. I could have had surgery. I could still be in a walking boot. I could still be experiencing significant foot pain. But I am not! I can walk without pain and today, on this one year anniversary, I am going to rejoice.
Yesterday we spent a lovely day at the lake with 10-15 of our favorite families. Kiddos big and little played in the sand, on the tubes, and everywhere in between – they had a ball. And so did all the mamas. Some moms swam and played up a storm, others of us sat and chatted the afternoon away. I was in the latter group and had a great time visiting with friends and getting updates on all their adventures.
When I left I made what seemed to be a small mistake, but is perhaps developing into a large mistake. Do I dare even say that?
When I put our water bottle/sunscreen/miscellaneous supply basket into the car, I rammed my forehead right into the top edge of the car. I have no clue how I missed the vital piece of information of the car’s location or how I didn’t notice my head’s close proximity to it, all I know is it really, really hurt.
And once again, my heart rate shot up. The girls helped me lie down in the car for a bit and we called Richard to do his energy work magic on me and then I thought I was fine. I was able to drive home, hold a book discussion on My Name Used To Be Muhammed, and everything seemed fine. Then my head started throbbing. My jaw, forehead, temporal bone, eyeballs, everything was pounding and I limped through the last bit of our discussion holding my head and trying not to focus on the pain. By the time everyone left I was hurting quite a bit.
This morning Jeremy shifted all those bones back into place, which hurt something fierce. Poor Sheri’s hand must have felt like a tourniquet was on it with how hard I was squeezing it. It felt better for a bit after the appointment, but now my forehead is throbbing again. Ice and little talking are the order of the night. No more animated raging about the injustice in the world and wide gesticulations about prison sentences for converting to Christianity. I need to speak calmly and softly and not open my mouth wide at all. A tall order for me!