Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Snippets of the Crazy-Slow

I think I have written a thousand, a hundred, okay....maybe a dozen....yes at least a dozen blog posts in my mind over the past six weeks.

Sometimes they were just snippets of a thought.
Other times they had some meaty length to it.
All of them were amazing...she says so humbly...or at least in "my" mind's eye.
But alas, none of them made it to paper...or even maybe they were just to feed my soul in the interim of waiting to pour out my heart you.

Life has been busy and slow.
But I have said that here already.
I just wish that I could expound more on what that feels like, what that IS in my heart and soul.
Maybe I will soon...or maybe not...
For now, I think I will just share what that conglomeration of this fast slow motion looks like.

1) My Granny fell and broke her neck six weeks ago yesterday. Her neck has been healing beautifully and the brace is now off. She is, as you can imagine, having a lot of pain there as her body learns to hold that weight on its own again. She had a trache for awhile which miraculously came out on its own about 2 weeks ago and the hole, or stoma, as the medical professionals call it is completely healed up. She has been from hospital to rehab to hospital and now back to rehab again. Each change has been filled with its own ups and downs and scares and joys along the way. Granny suffers from dementia so currently our family {mom, sister, aunts and cousins} rotate being with her around the clock. As she is back in rehab, we know that we are on the home least that is how we pray since she has been IN rehab and BACK to hospital once already. If you are the praying kind, would you please pray for her recovery, the infections her body is fighting, and for our family for strength to continue with grace in this long journey?? Thank you.

2) I got a new part time job of which I am currently in Week 3. I have translated for Haitian students and families via our local Board of Education off and on for the past 10 years or so. Last year, all the translators had to re-interview and come "on staff" officially. In the interview process, I was asked if I was interested in tutoring to which I promptly said, "Yes!" So I am not officially a tutor IN an ESOL {English as a Second Language} class room for 90 minutes a day. Two thirds of the class are Haitian kids. I am working at a middle school so the kids are lovely and moody and frustratingly beautiful. I feel like this job is a gift to me and seriously, there are some that I am ready to bring home with me. {And I really don't say stuff like that....their stories/hearts are just wrecking me...}

3) We are OFFICIALLY foster parents!! Yay! and WHOA! This process has been long and arduous and I am not even talking about the paper work. I do not think going in that I was preparing for the emotional and mental onslaught that would ravage my being.
Will the first child living in my home really NOT be my own biological baby? 
Am I really ready for this? 
Can my physical body handle what investing into these lives will mean? 
Can my heart? 
These, along with a hundred practical questions racked my brain to no end. I wanted to quit MORE times than I wanted to move forward and something, Someone bigger than me kept propelling us forward one painful step at a time. I have been forced to face my own fears and judgements and life choices, and I am sure this is NOT the end...which scares me honestly, but did I mention my heart is now wrecked beyond repair? In the good ways...the ways that you know that this is right and good and part of the crazy-grand-scheme-of-things.

4) And finally....this one is hard and exciting to say all at the same time. The Lord is healing me. Really and truly. Heart and soul, of course, but specifically in body. About four years ago, I began having unexplained pains that over the course of the following year and half increased in frequency and intensity. With a possible diagnosis of fibromyalgia but unable to take the prescribed course of medicine given to those who suffer with this unseen illness, we made some radical life changes and left South Africa and moved back to the United States. While my physical issues were not the primary reason for us making that life change, they were the catalyst that propelled us forward. For the past two and a half years since then, I have fought a daily battle of balance in my life, trying to find the right amount of work-to-rest ratio. To say it has been hard would be an understatement, and just when I was ready to accept that maybe this is just the journey of learning that God wanted me to go through to learned more about His grace, the Lord sent someone to remind me of His promises to me {more on that story later} and He is really healing me. It is a slow heal, like synapses and muscles coming together in harmony again, but I am getting stronger every day. There are still good days and bad days and I continue to work to believe that He IS still JUST as faithful on the bad days...but I needed to say it nonetheless....thank you, Jesus, for this healing.
{P.S. THIS was actually on my God-sized dream list!!}

There is more...of life and potential changes on the horizon and buzzing around in my heart of things still to come....but I feel like this is all I can share for now.

I am excited to be living His plan in this season, in spite of the HARD parts too...
He is going deep and wide in the caverns of my heart and soul,
 and I feel SUCH an assurance that I will never be the same.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Welcome to (in) This Season :: Session 2

Hey, you!

I am so glad that you are here today!

If you are hopping over from {in}courage for the first time, "Welcome!" I hope you will feel at home right away!

So just a little catch up for my regular crew. {in}courage, the blog home of Dayspring, has just launched 40 online groups where you can connect with other women on a HUGE variety of topics ranging from new moms to empty nesters to social injustice advocates to women struggling with infertility to those with kids with special needs AND so much more. These groups are private, sacred spaces for you to be YOU in the season of life that you find yourself in.

Last year, I had the opportunity to be one of the community leaders. I found out a week before the launch and scarily jumped in head first, totally not knowing what I was doing, but connecting with THE MOST AMAZING co-leader, {More on her in a little bit} and finding a group of women where my heart felt like it had COME HOME {More on THAT in another post}

The topic :: A place to (in)courage those IN ministry/missions/etc who are struggling in some aspect without a safe outlet to let their guard down and/or those coming OFF the field of missions/ministry/etc who are struggling in ANY aspect and would like to connect with those who understand.

For those of you interested in being a part of a group like are at the right place.

Libby {that's my partner} and I have a heart to reach out to those whose lives are/have been all about reaching out to others and along the way brokenness has become like a second skin due to major change, redirection, crisis of faith, discouragement, physical/mental illness, burnout, loss of support (financially or otherwise), or just have found themselves in a surprising period in ministry or from leaving a ministry...

(In) This Season was born from that heartbeat. "Where do we go from here?" in THIS season most unexpected...

Want to get to know us a little better and WHY this topic resonates with's a little more about who we are....

Libby Rosengren - "I have been married to my best friend for 17 years and mom to 4 kids.  I am involved in homeschooling our kids, helping my husband with his business, keeping our home, blogging, reading, etc. Our family was in ministry in Peru, South America as missionaries for 8 years. That was 3 years ago, and I feel like I have left a part of my heart in Peru. We know that God still has something in mind for us there, but we are not sure what or how that will look. For now we are in the U.S. and at peace with where God has us. Having faced burnout, depression, loss of support (both financially and otherwise), discouragement in ministry and major changes both IN ministry - and then - changes that caused us to move out of being directly involved in ministry, I have a real soft spot for those who struggle or have struggled with these issues in relation to ministry."

Libby's Blog: Beauty Out of Dust
Twitter: libbyrosengren

Lindsey van Niekerk - "I grew up in Haiti for the first 16 years of my life {my parents are still there, by the way - for almost 40 years - Yeah, I know...they deserve a medal, right?} Then, I went to college, got my bachelor's degree in psychology as well as in interpersonal & organizational communications {Shew! That's a mouthful!} I spent the next 10 years after that working as missions director, children's pastor, youth pastor, & associate pastor. I married the love of my life and my best friend {I know, I know...but it's a cliche for a reason} 7 1/2 years ago, and we have lived on the East Coast of the U.S. as well as the great province of Gauteng in South Africa {he's from there, by the way}. Chronic pain, infertility issues, interpersonal conflicts, impending depression, panic attacks, confounded by the stress of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that my parents were involved in{they are doing well now, by the way} brought us to the point of an indefinite time-out/sabbatical for this season of life and finding out what the next steps of God's plans are for us."

Lindsey's Blog: The Little Missionary Girl All Grown Up
Twitter: lindseyfoj
Facebook: The Little Missionary Girl All Grown Up

So if this sounds like the place for you, a safe space to interact with peers who understand your story, opportunities to share as little or as much as you want in a private setting, encouragement to write and blog together, and listening ears who will "just be there" without judgement or trying to fix you, then please email us at, and we will invite you to the closed/private Facebook group and provide more details of how you can get involved.

If you are one of my regular readers and would like to check out all of the groups available, hop over to (in)courage to see what group speaks to you. This first session will run from October 2nd to December 2nd so the commitment is short term and you can be involved as little or as much as you would like.

Whatever you decide to do, we just want you to know how AMAZING you are and that God has just the thing FOR you, WHEN you need it! May His grace breathe life into your soul, giving you space to breathe and know that you are unequivocally, irrevocably His.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Five Minute Friday :: Bare

When an artist chooses to be generous, everyone wins.....The more personal you are with your art, the more generally it applies to those who are there to receive it. 
~Emily P. Freeman

I just want to write.
Not because it is brilliant or amazing or life-shattering.
But because the words backlogged in my soul need a voice, an outlet, a courier to another place besides my analytical head.

Life has became busy and slow.
At the same time.

I'm not sure that makes any sense.
I suppose it doesn't have to.
It just is.

Visit Granny in hospital. Rest. Take care of my flu-ridden body. Rest. Go to work. Rest. Fight the gas company to help us get heat. Rest.

There has not been a lot of margin lately.
You know what I mean.
The kind where you feel comfy and settled with an open playground for your mind and heart and soul to set sail onto new adventures and discoveries of both the known and the unknown.

So today...because I do not really have the answers or my thoughts organized in SUCH a beautiful way....I just write this chapter of my story -- bare and broken -- yet filled with redemption.

The unfinished life holds more beauty than one can understand as the words fill the pages of that moment.

Five Minute Friday

I am writing tonight as I take a shift sitting at my grandmother's beside to give my mother and aunts some much needed rest. Granny, after neck surgery 3 weeks ago, had been admitted to rehab on Tuesday, but is now back in the hospital with her third UTI. Your prayers for her and my family are MOST appreciated. Thank you in advance, dear friends and readers.....

Sometimes in life's harder moments, I find my spirit gravitates towards songs and principles learned in my childhood. Here is the song I have been singing to myself and my grandmother, off and on, over the past few weeks

Click here to view if you are reading in an e-mail or RSS feed.

Monday, February 4, 2013

What I'm Into {February 2013 Edition}

Listening ... Chris Tomlin's song Whom Shall I Fear {God of Angel Armies} is currently my favorite song. I can picture the Israelite army walking out, trembling, onto the battlefield to face their foe, who although far outnumbered them, turned and ran away because the enemy saw the angel army far outmatching the numbers that they could bring against the Israelites. It reminds me that "the God of angel armies is ALWAYS on my side." Also, Kim Walker-Smith released her latest album, Still Believe, a few weeks ago which is all about healing. The day her album debuted, my Granny fell and broke her neck. Tomorrow will mark 3 weeks that she is has been in the hospital {with the HIGH hopes of release to rehab today!} and as I like to Kim's melodies, I feel inspired by the hope of healing both for her as well as for myself....believing for dreams come true THIS YEAR!

Watching ... I have a confession :: I am a sci fi nerd. I grew up on Star Trek, Aliens, and eventually Star Wars. Even now, I actually find science fiction helps me to wind down and relax. I know .... Strange...yet, nonetheless, true! So lately, the show I have been especially into is Fringe. I missed most of the seasons when living in South Africa so I have just caught up on all of them up to the series finale. Aside from the sci fi appeal, I do believe I can count Joshua Jackson as one of my all time favorite male actors. Last year, I caught up on Dawson's Creek, and finally understood the appeal after watching the show. He's got "the look of love" for his romantic co-stars down cold, and you believe his affection 1000%. In this pic, I think he even has a George Clooney-esque look. No??

But seriously, this show has so much human emotion in it with parental love, friendships, romances, etc being pushed to the limits and tested time and again. It will make you a believer in the power of love to change a world!

Overall though, I have lots of "shows" that I like to keep up with as I have time, often later on the computer, with the CW and ABC Family being two of my favorite networks.

Reading ... I have a lot of HALF-started books....sigh....I think it might be easier to picture them than to list them.

These are books I have reviewed or am in process of reading/reviewing. The It's a Wonderful Life book is part of a year long weekly series that I am doing here on the blog. I am a couple of weeks behind with all of the hospital visits and work catch up, but I will resume again tomorrow.

On my nightstand.....some have been then for awhile....some are started...some are TO BE READ. 
Ya piles are everywhere!

Pinning ... I have been researching new style ideas, even getting free daily weekday ideas from StyleUp for the past week or so. But I found this beautiful bohemian look in my wanderings that I love as winter turns into spring albeit in a couple months but.....

Boho via Pinterest
And I love this coat rack/hidden shoe rack idea for the future!

Hidden Shoe Rack via Pinterest

Eating ... Just made this yummy vanilla almond cornflake, parmesan crusted baked chicken recipe yesterday that had my love going back for seconds even though he was full! I combined a couple of recipes together so I cannot really link to one but if you are interested, let me know in the comments and I will tell you what else it included.

Wearing ... Warm and cozy has been the theme for me this past months -- cute scarve, uneven-lengthed layers, new Roxy shoes {think coat-of-many-colors stripes with cushioned fur on the inside - basically like wearing bedroom slippers}. They are similar to what is pictured below but in darker tones of brown, teal, and gold.
Roxy Loafers

Feeling ... December & January have been challenging months. From upper respiratory infection to full blown flu to my grandmother in the hospital two hours away, I have been vacillating between lying in bed and catching up with what "needs" to get done. I DO believe, as I hinted above, that the Lord is TRULY healing me this year of chronic pain issues. I am so VERY grateful for that! Anxious thoughts have plagued me a bit this past week as I try to figure out how to move forward from here.

Weather ... It has been quite chilly lately, with most days below freezing and bits of snow here and there. Our gas/heat ran out on Friday night and we have not been able to get the tank filled back up again....however.....thanking God AGAIN for our wood stove that has kept us warm in the interim.

Wanting ... Last time I wrote I was wishing/dreaming for a telephoto lens for my DSLR since my old one was 12 years old...well...Santa came and give me my wish! Yay! Right now, I am most wanting order in the chaos from the past couple of months, continued healing for my Granny, and clarity on how to take the "next right step" towards my God-sized dreams.

Needing ... to fully embrace and access His peace in all things, situations, relationships, etc.

Thinking ... about the present, plans for this week, what the future holds, what form becoming a mom will take when it comes

Enjoying ... home fires in our wood stove, sleeping in my comfortable bed, work where I can schedule my own hours, feeling BETTER for the first time in weeks, and learning in the scary steps that Jesus has set out before me.

What about you? What are you currently up to?
Would love to hear your life-song in this season.

Linking up with Hopeful Leigh
What I'm Into at HopefulLeigh
Related Posts with Thumbnails