thankful thursdays 11/9

Nov 9, 2017 by

Boy howdy. This back injury has me reeling. It hurts a whole, whole bunch. I am clinging to faith and hope and love, but often slide into despair and anger. Because it’s hard to hurt this much and have no idea when it will end.

  • Tens units are the best. So grateful I have one.
  • My Rezzimax Tuner is also the best. I alternate between my tens unit and my tuner and if one of them is on me, I can function. As soon as they are taken off of me, I writhe in pain again.
  • I’m so grateful for amazing children who are taking care of me during the day.
  • Blue skies make all the difference for me. If I can see the sky outside my window, my soul feels a million times more hopeful.
  • I’m so grateful for dear friends who drive me to events so I can still participate, make a place for me to lie down, and don’t bat an eye at all the special care my body needs.
  • My children are blossoming. After years of struggling with reading, my little ones are reading and reading well. I’m so proud of the hard work they have put in and the time they have had to develop in their own ways. Miss Annesley is reading Little House in the Big Woods to me and we are having so much fun with it. Hearing her happy voice read about Laura’s adventures makes these long days in bed much more bearable.
  • Two more weeks until I go to Mexico for more stem cell treatments. I am SO, SO hoping for a miracle for my back.

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thankful thursdays 11/1

Nov 3, 2017 by

It is food for my soul to take some time and ponder the blessings of my life.

  • I am grateful for the past many weeks of consciousness. I haven’t passed out fully since I got home from Mexico on September 1. I did have one small episode on September 15 at gym and one almost episode on a trip to Utah on the 16, but I didn’t actually pass out either time and haven’t had anything close to an episode ever since. It is AMAZING!
  • My bed is glorious. I spend far more time in it than one would think is wise, but oh, my it is just so comfy. The past few weeks my back has been hurting something fierce and lying in a comfortable bed has been such a gift to my recovery.
  • I’m so grateful for the human beings my children have become. They are now 21, 17, 13, and 9 (almost 10!) and while we all have character development we could improve upon, I am genuinely pleased with who they are and how they are living their lives. They are kind, caring, honest humans.
  • Warm baths are near the top of my list right now. My back has been spamming for the past few weeks and I’m so grateful to have a comfortable tub I can soak in comfortably.
  • The beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows of the season bring a smile to my soul. As my beloved Anne says, “I’m so greatful to live in a world with Octobers.” Now that it is November, it is mostly drab.
  • I’m grateful to be mentoring Worldviews right now. It is a TON of work for me and I wonder if I am up to the task, but I love discussing big ideas with my students and immersing myself in the mountain of books we are reading.
  • My amazing husband has a new job this year and he is loving it! He feels like he is actually making a difference. I’m so, so grateful he has this opportunity and that his work is being valued.
  • I am especially grateful for the Giver of All Good Gifts. He is ever reminding me of who He is and who I am.
  • This is the beginning of November, the month of Thanksgiving. I hope to open my heart more fully to gratitude and to His bounteous gifts this month…and always.

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thankful thursdays 7/20

Jul 21, 2017 by

Sunshine and blue skies and beautiful trees are oh, so good for my soul. I need more of them in my life. I have spent much of the past few weeks cleaning and decluttering my home while recovering from a brain MRI (the gadolinium contrast made me sick for several days) and it has felt pretty soul-sucking. But yesterday, I went kayaking and remembered just how much I love being on the water. It is medicine for my soul in a way I cannot describe.

  • Today I am really grateful for my Keziah. This girl has worked and worked and worked the past few weeks and has been the muscle behind all the projects going on in our home. She has cleaned the storage room and sewing room and been a decluttering maestro. She has little attachment to things so she was able to help me sort out what really needed to go. This girl is a cleaning wonder.
  • Insurance is on my list today. I am philosophically opposed to the whole Obamacare program and it is terribly disturbing what it is doing to our country as a whole. However, I am one of the few it has been a blessing for and while I still disagree with the program, I feel a need to say thank you. In the past month I have had genetic, brain, spine, heart, and blood tests totally over $10,000. My insurance has paid for all of it except a couple hundred dollars. Such a blessing!
  • My dear husband. I’ve been a bit of a bear to live with lately. Maybe I am always a bear, I don’t know really. In spite of my prickliness, my gem of a man has been kind and forgiving and helped me work through super big emotions. I love this man. So much.
  • My body is doing FABULOUSLY well at the moment. I am making heaps of progress physically and this week I made it into the gym at PT! I believe it is the first time since Fall 2014! I have been riding my Elliptigo on short, little rides and now Jeremy has given me a list of exercises to do at home each day. This is HUGE. Since 2012, I have made it to this point four or five times and then gotten injured within two to three weeks. This time I am hoping beyond hope to stay on the healing side of things and be able to actually grow some muscles.
  • I’m thankful for new bookshelves. Keziah bought them since I have no pennies to spend at the moment. Kat helped me assemble them. And I have been slowly filling them all week. They fit perfectly and hold far more books than our last set-up. I have big plans for Richard to eventually build cupboards below them and add crown molding so they look like built-ins, but I have no idea when that will happen.
  • Last summer Kat planted me some daisies right outside my bedroom window. I love them. They are blooming and those little flowers bring me joy every time I see them.
  • I’ve become a little obsessed with Caesar salad with feta cheese and craisins. While the feta and craisins might not actually be good for me, I have convinced myself that eating a giant bowl of romaine slathered in Caesar dressing and the delicious aforementioned extras is super nourishing to my cells.
  • I’m so grateful for friends who have listened while I have fallen apart over the possibility of something being wrong in my brain. At times it feels really, really big and they have let me cry and rant and rave and have given me big hugs, wise words, and heaps of laughter which makes it a bit more manageable. Thank you, dear ones.

I have received quite a bit of crazy medical news over the past few weeks and I am researching, trying to process it, and sorting out what I want to do with the information. More tests? Submit to various treatment plans? More appointments with more doctors? It is a bit overwhelming. At times I burst into tears. Other times I try to distance myself from it and force myself to think of other things. Some of the most helpful things I am doing are taking the time to think of what I am grateful for, remembering God’s hand in my life, and doing the new exercises Jeremy has assigned. Those are things I have control over and are actually growing muscles and building mental toughness.

Today I started another grow-my-sanity practice. I have a daily devotional book based on the writings of C.S. Lewis that I am going to be reading one day at a time and then writing my thoughts. I think this is going to be both centering and heaven focusing. Creating a new morning routine is pretty challenging to me, but maybe, just maybe, my good friend, Jack (C.S. Lewis) will be a strong enough pull to help me get out of bed and spend some time communing.

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thankful thursdays 5/25

May 25, 2017 by

I met with my geneticist, Dr. Ball, at Primary Children’s Medical Center, on Monday. It is a pretty big deal to meet with him. It is a big deal emotionally, physically, and mentally and I’m still recovering days later. It’s time to take some time to focus on gratitude.

  • I’m grateful there is a geneticist in the intermountain west who knows EDS inside and out.
  • I’m grateful Kez and Dallin took me down to SLC and listened to me go round and round about how maybe the whole thing is in my head. They may have laughed at me, but they listened and helped me sort through the tangled web of thoughts running on repeat in my mind.
  • Sunshine is feeding my soul. Oh my goodness, I love the sun streaming through my windows, shining down on my body, and glistening through the trees.
  • Dallin. This young man has my heart. He is Keziah’s best friend and we love him. His goodness brings me so much joy.
  • We had a crazy windstorm on Wednesday and lost hundreds of branches and one big tree. I’m so grateful nothing came through our windows or roof or smashed our cars.
  • I can feel the stem cells kicking in and energy is starting to increase a wee bit every day. I’m still super exhausted, but I can feel a difference and others are seeing a difference.
  • My dear Richard. He is working so hard, so many hours trying his darndest to make ends meet and to take care of all of us. He comes home wiped out, but still plays catch with the kids, does laundry, cooking, or whatever else needs done, and most of all, he loves us. He is almost done with the school year and it will be so, so good for him to have a bit of a break.
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thankful thursdays 5/18

May 18, 2017 by

Once upon a time I wrote a Thankful Thursdays post nearly every week. Somehow I got out of the habit of writing them (or even blogging in general) and I miss it. I miss my Thursday reflections on gratitude. I miss being able to go back and read my posts. So, I am going to try again to cultivate this weekly habit.

My heart is pretty full this morning. Yesterday I was able to spend the afternoon with Kat and Jessica on a Costco run and buy some much needed food and supplies for my family. Spending time with these dear friends is comfortable and soothing and hilarious all at the same time. Then, last night, we had a delicious dinner of ravioli cooked by Dallin and Kez, and then family game night. We laughed so hard. I must have really needed some laughter because I laughed all night long, through all the games and family discussion of a towel problem we are having and actually all through family prayer as well. (Richard thanked God for the moisture we received and all I could think of was Jessica’s flailing arms whenever she talks about people thanking God for moisture instead of actual RAIN or SNOW. I couldn’t get her voice out of my head and I giggled all the way through the prayer. I think God has a sense of humor and didn’t mind my laughter.)

  • Trees. The trees in my yard are all leafed out and the view from my bed brings me SO MUCH JOY.
  • Stem cells. After last week’s injections, I can already feel them starting to work. The dysautonomia is calming down – yesterday I was able to eat and feel pretty normal afterwards!
  • Speaking of stem cells, I’m so grateful for Tami taking me to Mexico again and again and again and making it possible for me to receive this much needed therapy. There is no way I can get there on my own or take care of myself while I am there. She is such a huge blessing in my life!
  • My mama. We had a pretty big scare with her this weekend having a severe pulmonary embolism. I’m so thankful to be her daughter and that she is still here with us.
  • These precious souls God has given me. I am often at my grumpiest with my husband and kiddos and they have plenty of opportunities to learn how to forgive, but I love them fiercely.
  • Blythe’s music brings such joy to my soul. She is super busy right now, but every day she sits at the piano and plays for a few minutes.
  • My sister. Oh, I love her. She is strong and giving and has a heart of gold. I was just privileged to spend a week with her – what a treasure!
  • I don’t have a green thumb in any way, but there are flowers blooming in my yard and I love their bright, cheerful colors and determination to survive a cold, windy spring.
  • Kat and Jessica. I didn’t feel like getting out of bed yesterday and really didn’t see how I would manage it with as much pain as I was in, but my friends loved me through the pain and took me shopping at Costco. I truly don’t know what I would do without Kat and Jessica. Their commitment to loving me with all my faults and annoying over-the-top craziness has blessed my life in ways I cannot express.

Life is good. Beautiful and hard and frustrating and blessed and joyful. So, so good.

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thankful for

Dec 2, 2015 by

The past few weeks have been full of a lot of introspection. I have spent a lot of time thinking about gratitude and even though Thanksgiving Day has come and gone, I still need to take some time to ponder and write down my list of gratitude.

  • My Heavenly Father and Mother
  • Jesus the Christ
  • Richard
  • Our children
  • The scriptures
  • My mom
  • My dad
  • My siblings
  • My grandma & grandpa
  • Oodles of cousins, aunts, and uncles
  • My dear, dear friends, oh, my goodness, I am blessed with amazing friends
  • A safe home
  • Trees
  • Sunshine
  • Clean water to drink
  • Water to play in
  • Water to relax by
  • Days at the lake
  • Food to eat
  • Ovens
  • Stoves
  • Fire
  • Sleeping bags
  • Snuggly quilts
  • Fleece
  • Wool socks
  • Comfortable shoes that protect feet from elements and owies
  • Mittens and gloves
  • Warm hats
  • Blue skies
  • Gentle breezes
  • Hammocks
  • Read-alouds with our children
  • Audio books
  • Amazing mentors that bless the lives of our family by sharing their passions and loving our children
  • Our homeschooling community
  • Gymnastics
  • Libraries
  • Books, glorious books
  • Book discussions
  • Communication in all its many forms – the spoken word, the written word, email, letters, phone calls, the look in someone’s eye, social media, hugs, tears, the sharing of the soul – I am so grateful I can connect with so many people and share not only information, but also our hearts
  • Music
  • Braces and tape to hold me together
  • Bone, Flesh, and Cartilage ointment
  • Essential oils
  • Herbs
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • Onions, carrots, celery, garlic – use them all the time in my cooking and cannot imagine food without them
  • Ice cream
  • Chocolove Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt bars – totally delish
  • My bed
  • Ice packs and rice packs
  • Swim camp
  • Family reunions
  • Swings
  • Swimming pools
  • Working vehicles
  • Mountains
  • Kayaking
  • Angels
  • Priesthood blessings
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Toilets
  • Running water
  • Snow shovels
  • A flat driveway
  • Contacts
  • Glasses
  • Covenants
  • Washing machine & dryer
  • Refrigerators & freezers
  • Vacuums
  • Mechanical pencils
  • Staedtler pens
  • Photographs
  • My grandma’s aprons
  • Erasers
  • Water bottles
  • Magic erasers
  • Doors to keep the cold out
  • My church
  • My community
  • Goodness
  • Kindness
  • Generosity
  • Big dreams
  • Passion
  • Courage
  • Sacrifice
  • Freedom
  • Determination
  • Love, most of all, love
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thankful thursdays: 4/23

Apr 23, 2015 by

The MRI on my knee today went fairly well in that I didn’t freak out about being stuck in a tube and the loud noises didn’t drive me absolutely batty. While I was in there for who knows how long, I closed my eyes and prayed. I knew if I kept my eyes open I would go into freak out mode, (ever since I was held captive in a sleeping bag as a child, I cannot handle being confined, especially when something or someone is on top of me) so I closed them and naturally started talking with God.

I thanked Him again and again for the many blessings of my life. And then I realized it is Thursday and it has been a long time since I posted a Thankful Thursdays post.

  • My dear Richard. As I lay inside the tube, my heart filled up with deep gratitude for this man who has given his soul to me. He loves me and helps me to be my best self. He serves and sacrifices and keeps us all grounded. I cannot imagine going through this experience without him by my side cheering me on, holding me when I cry, and keeping me laughing with his deadpan sense of humor.
  • I next thought of my children and how dearly I love them. I am so grateful to be part of their lives and to have the privilege of mothering them. Last week, the orthopedic surgeon I met with was surprised I had four children and I was reminded once again how blessed I am to have even one child, much less four children.
  • Then I thanked Him for the technology of the MRI machine and asked Him to help me hold still, stay calm, and for the machine to be able to get clear pictures of whatever is wrong.
  • My mind moved to the many supplements, foods, and treatments I am receiving right now that are helping to calm and heal my nervous system. I am full of gratitude for the vegetables and other foods placed on this earth to fill our bodies with the nutrients we need to thrive.
  • I thought of my free green drink from Jamba Juice this morning and how the act of kindness lifted my spirits immensely and helped me to see the beautiful things in the world today. I don’t completely know why I was so nervous for the MRI, but I really was and the free-smoothies-for-all event at Jamba this morning helped me get refocused on the good things of this world instead of being weighed down with fear.
  • I thought of Jeremy, my full-of-awesomeness Manual Therapist. I started seeing him two years ago this week and he is by far the most important care provider I have. He understands connective tissue – how it works and how it affects the body. Even better for me, he totally understands how *my* connective tissue works (or doesn’t work, however you want to look at it!) and how he can help it to work at its best. He has put me back together hundreds of times, listened to me cry, rant and rave, get super grumpy at the difficulty of injury after injury, and given me solid data to help me make wise decisions and make progress. He needs to be cloned so many more people can be blessed by his phenomenal skills and excellent care.
  • Then I thought about the sunshine and how much joy that radiant light in the sky gives me. I am so grateful for the sun.
  • Then I thought of the many people who have been part of my journey and I started naming them one by one and praying for them as individuals. Each time I thought of someone, specific words would come to mind to share with Father. At this point, I thought my heart might burst and explode all over the MRI tube because I was overcome with gratitude for all the love that has been poured out on me over the past three years.

And then it was over and as I reentered the world of lights and people and conversations, I was a little shocked to be so suddenly back into the world of busyness and I realized what a blessing it can be to have these forced moments of aloneness during medical tests where I can only think and talk with myself and my Father in Heaven. It is probably true that I need to make more space in my life for uninterrupted meditative time, but with four children and a myriad of other things calling for my attention, my prayers are often short and frequently interrupted, so today I am grateful for the many hours I have spent waiting for appointments, waiting for tests to be run, lying on hard tables waiting to be seen, and yes, even lying in a cold, loud, MRI tube where I was given the chance to talk to God for a good, long chat.

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thankful thursdays 6/26

Jun 26, 2014 by

It has been awhile since I have posted a gratitude list and for the good of my soul I need to take some time to do it today.

  • Summer! Oh, how it feeds my soul to see the sun shining and my trees blowing in the breeze.
  • Time with Richard. Because he doesn’t work for the school district in the summer, we get a bit more papa time in the summer. This past Saturday was his first Saturday with us since last September and it was heavenly.  We took Fisher and Annes camping overnight at a campground just a few miles from our house. The kids got to fish right up until dark since the river ran alongside our camp spot. Richard and the kids were up early to hit the river again. It was such a delightful get away and reminded me how much I adore my family and being outdoors with them.
  • Our Happy Jar. I read about it over on Hands Free Mama and decided to give it a whirl. Fish and Annes love it! It is helping all of us to notice the good and be the good.
  • My Aunt Eileen sent me a box full of delicious rhubarb jam! My grandma made rhubarb jam every summer and sometimes I was able to help her. One of my favorite childhood memories is crawling down into grandma’s cellar to get a jar of homemade jam for our morning toast. Now my children get to experience a lil’ piece of my grandma and their heritage.
  • Our homeschool group had a curriculum fair yesterday and for six whole buckaroos I came home with a bag full of wonderful treasures.
  • Read aloud time with my family. Fisher and Annes and I just finished Hanne’s Quest. It has been a fun book with just the right touch of mystery, wonder, and courage. All of us are still plugging through The Red Keep – it is taking us awhile because the big girls’ schedules are so inconsistent. My goal is to reinstitute a solid plan for family read-aloud time.
  • My new website is coming along nicely and I love my adorable tree made by the super-talented Jessica. I should be ready to launch this new change-the-world venture in the next week or so.
  • I haven’t been able to rearrange the furniture all year and it has about killed me. A few days ago Blythe helped move all the furniture over to the carpeted room and the table to the wood room. We were able to deep clean both rooms in just a few hours! My soul needs things to be rearranged fairly frequently so everything feels fresh and new and now that it is taken care of, I feel like I can move forward with a clean slate into my summer projects.
  • Our girls were able to go on trek last week with our old ward. This experience of pulling a handcart through the desolate high-mountain plains of Wyoming has changed them for the better. I am so grateful our former bishop invited them attend and that they were able to work hard to earn the money to pay for it.
  • My jaw is improving. I can talk pretty normally now and the headaches are subsiding some. The bones across my face still ache something fierce, but the lower jaw is not hurting nearly as much.
  • Our car broke down a few days ago, but thanks to my handy husband, we think we have it figured out. The new part should be on its way to us soon and we will have a working car in the next week or so.
  • Last night I finished reading My Name Used To Be Muhammed. My heart broke so many times while reading it. I ached for the harshness and violence of Tito Momen’s life and wanted to wrap his precious little boy heart up in my arms and let him draw to his heart’s content. I wanted to prevent his father from hitting his mother ever again. I wanted to turn a whole culture of control, violence, and fear into a culture of love, patience, and trust. But I couldn’t do any of those things. I CAN mourn with those that mourn and do my darndest to raise my children with the love I wanted Tito to have. I can encourage other families on their paths. I can be a voice for empathic parenting. I can teach and love and serve. The experience of reading this book was painful and I am grateful to have gone though it – my heart is expanded by the suffering and courage of Tito.
  • A few weeks ago when my jaw was in so much pain, my friend Marie showed up unannounced at my house with her seven children, including her baby who has Down’s Syndrome and a whole host of health problems. I tried to send them away with protestations of “We are fine, we don’t need any help!” but Marie looked into my eyes and said, “Please Tracy, let me do something for you. I need to get out of my troubles and do something for someone else. Please let me help.” So I did. I know that dark place of being weighed down by my own troubles and knowing the only way out is to get out of my head and go serve someone else. She and her children mowed my lawn, washed my dishes, took several batches of blankets and towels to wash, and gave me piles of love. They brought carrot juice, delicious herbal tea, and willing hearts and hands. I keep thinking back to the beautiful morning and well up with tears…there is so much love in this world.
  • Tonight we made dinner for the missionaries (Tami’s Famous Chicken Tortilla Soup) and now we are going to have Family Game Night. Such a lovely evening.
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thankful thursdays 2/27

Feb 27, 2014 by

Gratitude is a game changer for me. It helps my brain focus on the precious, my heart enlarge with joy, and my soul to ccccaaaallllmmmm down. Thursdays are my days to think deeply about thanksgiving.

 

  • If you have read WOK for any length of time at all, you know I have richly blessed with amazing friends. Today is another example of their awesomeness. Yesterday we made a plan for me to stay completely off my foot for 36 hours so I could have the cast-like tape removed and let me skin heal a bit from being wrapped up for so long. Being untaped means no getting out of bed except to crawl to the toilet every few hours. But then at 9:55 this morning, I got my email reminder that today is chicken day – 120 lbs. of chicken were waiting for me to pick up and then do something with…can, freeze, etc. Kat, Sheri, and her daughter helped us freezer pack my huge Zaycon chicken order in about 45 minutes!!! OMSH! They are amazing! It would have taken Blythe and Keziah hours and hours to do all that work by themselves, but six pairs of hands working hard together made the process easy-peasy.
  • Last night I was blessed to attend a wonderful presentation by my friends, Bob and Tasha, on “When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemonade.” It was exactly what I needed – a kick-in-the-butt to try to see things from an eternal perspective and effective skills to experience peace in the moment of trial.
  • A big, sobbing, sisterhood hug.
  • Minestrone soup brought from a dear friend…so delicious and such a blessing to have delicious comfort food.
  • A big bag of venison – thank you Vanessa!
  • My Annesley was able to start taking piano lessons today. She is so, so happy! And I get to start the process of being a Suzuki mom again. Now that my girls are grown up and practice without me, I have missed those early lessons with my little ones and I am excited to start the journey again with some of the experience I have gained over the years of being a music mom. Surely I will be calmer and far more nurturing this time around, right?
  • I’m so thankful to start off each day with heaps of kale deliciousness in my Keziah-made-green smoothies. I don’t know what I would do without that girlie.
  • While it is hilarious to me that I have to be using one, my walker is a huge gift to my physical well-being. I’m sure taking the weight off my foot when I need to walk on it is helping those ligaments to heal.
  • My sweetheart’s hand to hold while I try to sleep with this walking boot on. I don’t think I could make it through the long nights of foot pain without him.
  • Having Blythe as a driver and errand girl is making staying in bed this time a lot easier. I’m so glad she finally has her license!

I am blessed beyond measure. Life is full of ups and downs and ins and outs and all sorts of cliffs and mountains and valleys and I love it. I am grateful to be able to live this life and have these gut-wrenching, awe-inducing, and soul-streching opportunities to grow and learn and most of all, to love.

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