sometimes I need to take my own advice...

I receive a lot of emails from my sweet readers asking for prayers or advice for whatever is happening in their life. I am honored to receive these and even more humbled to answer them back. I add each name to Miss Courtney's famous pink book with a date next to it, so that if they ever email me back I can got back and update that prayers. 

The past few days have been tough for me. You know that. You have read my words. You have sent love through snail mail and email. You have supported me with prayer and with beautiful scriptures. I have written them down and prayed over them. I have sat in Miss Courtney's room in the wee hours of the morning, listening to her peaceful breathing, thanking God for her and for you my friends.

You have gently reminded me of my own words to you to not give up, to trust in the Lord's plan and to lay it all down. I am grateful for the love. Sometimes I need to be reminded to take my own advice.  

My husband and I were talking late into the night yesterday about what was truly weighing me down. There will always be the financial stress. No matter what we give up, how much we save, there will always be bills to pay. There will always be choices to make. They will not be easy or comfortable but they will always be there. 

There will always be up and downs in Courtney's weight, seizure control, or general well being. That's how it goes for a special needs kid. That's how it will always be, so we do our best and that's all God has asked of us. 

SO what was it that was standing on my heart? 

I spent the next hours unburdening myself about all my failures to be a better steward of our recourses, my lack of hope that been seeping into my heart over the past few months, my anger and frustration over not being able to figure out the whole weight thing with Courtney, my laziness when it comes to homemaking chores I dread, my lack of sleep and my allowing the devil to get the best of me, and so on. 

My husband patiently listened and rubbed my back while I cried. When I was done with the ugly cry, blowing my nose like a goose, he held me like a good husband does. We prayed together and left it in the hands of the Lord and finally went to sleep. No advice, no lecturing, no fixing. The man knows better after being married to me for almost 26 years. 

This morning I was laying in bed and thinking about all the turmoil and how I needed to keep it at the foot of the cross and move on. I got up, showered, dressed and went to look at my daily calendar. Courtney was sound asleep, so I took advantage of that time to get some correspondence done. 

That's when I saw it. 

Her birthday, August 18. 

Her birthday is in five weeks. 

I just laughed. Of course I am in turmoil. 

Sheesh...I should have known. 


Well over the course of the last twenty-two years, a rhythm has emerged for this Mama. Summers tend to be difficult for me because another year has passed and it reminds me of all the things my daughter will not be. Each year I go through a kind of mourning of what should be happening in her life. 

Thankfully the amount of time this "mourning" goes on has shortened over the years, but I find that if I don't grieve, then there is no room for joy come August 18 to celebrate the fact that our daughter is ill with us. 

So, thank you Holy Spirit for once more for lighting my path and letting me know that I am not crazy or depressed or bi-polar or...or...or... Thank you for lifting that mourning and showing me the beauty and strength that exists in my daughter to keep fighting.  Thank you for giving me back my smile this day. Thank you for the gift that my daughter is. I would not be the woman I am today, flaws and all, with out her. 

It won't be easy, but it's time to lay down the mourning and find the joy again. Today and everyday. Courtney is here and she is loved beyond measure. The time to truly mourn will come. Now is the time to live. 

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