Uncategorized

What’s my why ❤️❤️❤️

The why this happened will drive you bananas! I would say the questions of which there are no answers can drive you bat-@!#* crazy!🙊

The why I go on, that list is simple.

LOVE ❤️

About a year ago I wrote a love letter to CADIs on the Accidental Casualties website. The words remain true today.

I love God who created me, who hears me, who goes before me and weaves a tapestry of life I am blessed to journey!

I love my family and friends who challenge me and support me despite my flaws!

And then I have a deep empathy and resivoir of love to give those that are hurting, those that walk this road as an accidental killer (CADI).

These are my top 3 that are my why!

I think a lot on the topics of love and grief. Sometimes I feel they are polar opposites but yet they are connected. We grieve because we love.

***Change in subject 🤪

I have always been drawn to the life of Moses. Possibly because Katy and Haven always wanted to hear “the baby Moses” story from their children’s bible. Over and over again.

There is connection there, he was raised in unique circumstances.

He was an accidental killer

He was timid but obedient

***another change in subject stay with me***🤣

When we were in Washington DC at the Bible Museum ( worth the visit I promise!)  there is an interactive walk through of Moses life. So moving, very well done!

i had an ah-ha moment.

What broke Pharaoh’s spirit…grief. What gave Moses the courage to do and say and act as he did…love for God and God’s People!

Moses saw his community (Jews) hurting and it stirred him driven by love. He also made mistakes driven by that same powerful emotion. 🔥

I get stirred up for my people, but it’s driven by love. I make mistakes but it’s rooted in that same place. There is so much value in community! When you have a support system treasure it! Protect it! Be willing to part the seas, trudge mountains and wander deserts for it! 🙌🏻

Dear CADI,

You are loved! You are worthy of love, love big, you have a chance to change your world! Your healing is a gift! 🙌🏻 The acceptance of this means love wins, the accident did not defeat you!!You have overcome, so walk in that light not worried of what the world thinks of you because you know you are a survivor! Now find your why and live it to the best of your ability! Let questions that can’t be answered fall off your weary shoulders and go spread some love!

Love big and boldly!

xoxo,

jenn

Accidental Casualty Survivor, Faith, Struggles are Real

Commit: My Word for the year!

To the Lord, To Myself, To Something Bigger

I am all in! My pace is different than most and that is ok! I struggle with fear, and I struggle with people pleasing, and I struggle with judgement and I struggle with _______!

Regardless, this year I #commit to follow through at my own pace not looking to my left or to my right but eyes gazed above listening to the Lord.

What this looks like…

Uncomfortable.

Exciting!

Being ok with not being ok!

One act of obedience is a podcast, I am exploring this platform to reach people. A community I believe is under served and misunderstood. These are my people and I want to find them, to learn together. Even if there is one, just one person feeling alone, helpless and hopeless they matter to me, I have to try and lend my voice.

I am not an expert but I have experiences, most importantly I want to grow from listening to others who share this journey! It isn’t about me at all, just a small part of a much bigger need.

We can all seek this type of pursuit and that would be GLORIOUS if we did! Because I believe we all have a gift to share with the world. What is your cause? The fire in your belly?

I am BELIEVER and follower of Jesus Christ. I believe Jesus died for my sins and all those who seek a relationship with Him. I believe I have a Creator and I believe the Holy Spirit guides me. I cannot apologize for that. I can’t and because of this audacious faith it is woven in to every fabric of my being. It is, He Is!

So I will share that, share Him, share HOPE found in a relationship with a living God that will pursue you when you seek it out. This has tugged on my heart since last summer and I can’t shake it. I tried. Doors that I thought were open, closed. Friendships dissolved, and when this happened I almost decided to throw in the towel on a dream before I even tried. #nopenotthistime

Last year around this time I learned to blog (this took years people!)

This year I will learn to podcast? (not sure if that was correct context but whatevs)

Please be praying, first episode is recorded and by golly I commit to releasing it

XOXO,

Jenn

Share Heart-to-Heart, Healing, Hope
Accidental Casualty Survivor, Faith, marriage, Uncategorized

“We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are. ~Anais Nin

I have no idea who Anais that quoted this title but it holds so much truth whoever they are!

Topic: Perception: Filters that can be deceivingIMG_3525

There are two sides to the story, there are facts, and thoughts and somewhere depending on our worldview there are perceptions. They can quickly become twisted and misinterpreted. I took this pic after reading some hurtful words, actually hurtful is low balling their true caliber they were low blow words. It happens!

Even people sharing the same life can have different perceptions of situations. I remember the first seven years of marriage very differently then my husband, but we shared space.

If you ask me I will tell you it was utter chaos. We were married young and despite loving people who meant well they knew what we would be up against.

Still finding ourselves…

Working with at-risk youth…

3 babies in under 4 years…

Financially strained…

So I will tell you it was hard, how I cried and struggled at times to see how we would ever make it. Glad I was so very wrong but my vision was jaded. I had suffered some postpartum depression. I was on a hormonal roller coaster between pregnancy and nursing. It.Was. Crazy.

If you ask Chris he would say it was great! Sunshine and roses, we were blessed with 3 babies in 4 years. We were poor but never went without. Our arguments discussions were passion filled and totally normal.

Want to hear a perception that haunts me? When I sat at that stop sign listening to Katy tell me about her volleyball game, my guard was down. I felt safe, nothing seemed urgent or pressed. Quiet. Peaceful.

From my left the approaching motorcyclist saw my car yielding at the stop sign. He, I am certain felt safe enjoying the evening ride shifting gears to climb that hill. He felt safe because from his view I was waiting at the stop sign. (Broken!)

But he wasn’t safe because I did not see him approaching up the hill. I did not hear him, I heard my daughter’s story.

I made myself drive up that hill many times after the accident. I wanted to see what he saw, I wanted to understand. I did not want the hill to have power over me. I wanted if I am being honest maybe for someone to pull out in front of me so I would know this was a dangerous intersection.

Perceptions go both ways and our worldview and how we have previously been hurt can alter or differ from other people we do life with. Both individuals are right in how they feel.

Ever talked with a teenager about why they are grounded, probably a very different view from the parent who took the phone away!

I once told a very close friend, and not just told but argued with him that I did not believe racism still existed. I have never been so wrong in my life! It would take years before the “kneeling protest” that took the blinders off for me. Invisible hate suddenly spewed everywhere. I was heart broken. I was wrong.

I love the cartoon where two people are facing a 6 or a 9 depending on their view. They stand toe to  toe arguing instead of leaning over and chuckling over the fact that they are both right.

So many are hurting or have been hurt and it’s hard to not become callous. Build up walls…

I don’t share to seek attention or pity, I gain nothing except maybe a friend along the way that shares my sorrow. I share with the purpose to educate and I will not apologize for the message that burns in me. It is not for you, I share for me and the one that created me!

XOXO ~Jenn

Galatians 5:13 New International Version (NIV)

Life by the Spirit

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

Uncategorized

Pray the halls!

It’s a simple gesture but it’s an intangible gift walk the halls that are your everyday routine with purpose.

Smile, look people in the eye as you pass and pray for anything unspoken.

I had almost forgot what it feels like to walk the halls of a hospital (children’s hospital specifically). Each wall a vibrant color, each corner a continuing theme. Here on the 4th floor it’s a sea theme, smiling dolphins and mermaids. There are also glass windowed doors and curtains  that smack you in the face. At night after visiting hours it’s sacred space, quiet and the hallways are as calm as can be controlled because through those different doorways are many different stories, needs, prayers, hopes! The couples that sneak into the hall to talk or finally cry, weary nurses starting night shifts because the worst of child illlnesses don’t happen with the day crew!

It brought me back tonight as I walked the colorful hallway to get us water and prayed over the halls. We felt the prayers today from our family and friends. We are so grateful!!!

As a teacher, walk those halls and pray over all the unknowns! I believe those prayers are alive, they grow, they linger. Prayer is poerful!! Much better way to spend that couple of minutes passing a hallway then running through a to do list in your head! Continue reading “Pray the halls!”

Catch all drawer (random), Uncategorized

To go back even for just a moment!!!😭

To go back in time if only for a day…

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After picking up Chris and Patrick from their trip to Dominican Republic we stayed a while on the coast. There were some tears and the uphoria of missing one another lasted at least 12 hours before squabbles emerged, and things got real with 1 bathroom and 6 people but it was perfect! We attempted to recreate a photo from 2013, I don’t know who came up with this concept, but they are brilliant. I’ve seen them on Facebook and it always captures my heart,I am hoping to start a “thing” looking at the comparison stings a little, a lot! As they grumbled about hot sand, the do we have to do this and we were way past lunch time I did not react to the complaining or grit through my teeth about how this family beach pic WAS Happening!!! Instead, I smiled and soaked it all up because one day they will thank me! Patrick will turn 16 this fall and so that means I have 2 maybe 3 more summers together if the good Lord allows. Time shows no mercy I am starting to feel what I have heard other moms describe.
I looked at this picture from 2013 and I remembered the chaos, the sweet crazy that I would love to step into even for just a day. I would hold tight each of those smaller bodies that would still fit in my lap. Haven was still nursing, there were no cell phone distractions, it was loud and exhausting but life was simpler. The mom in this pic didn’t completely realize how precious time was, even though I knew not to sweat the small stuff, I did! I was also a chronic yeller. I was uptight and when I look at the small faces from 2013 I think about how I saw them as big, especially Patrick, oh how my heart aches to turn back time. I would have wrestled with them instead telling them to knock it off! I without hesitation would have snagged a few more snuggles in my lap!
We really didn’t or shouldn’t have splurged on a week vacation to Corpus/San Antonio but thankful I don’t listen to that voice either anymore! Wether it was financially responsible can shove it because time has no mercy, 5 years was just a blink, poof half a decade, bigger feet, longer legs, and way more opinions! I am so very blessed with this life, my crazy chaos, they have my heart!!! ❤️
There aren’t many things I am grateful for from my accident but I now realize in a very real way that tomorrow is not promised, be present in the moment, it’s ok to be loud and silly, even reckless occasionally!
So completely grateful, the Lord is so faithful!!

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Miracles Happen

My reason for natural labor may leave you shaking your head…

p2

Confession: I had my babies naturally sans “drugs” but hold off on my badge of honor…

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” ~Mark Twain

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ~Nelson Mandela

I was just a baby (barely 22) when I had my first born, he was due on our first wedding anniversary. From the moment we found out we were pregnant we were shocked and terrified. Who knew that antibiotics can lower your potency of birth control, either way we wouldn’t change a thing!

A few months in and I realized I really was going to have a baby, and fear reality sunk in. I have a confession that I am ridiculously afraid of needles. I sweat profusely, palms, pits and my heart starts beating like I am fighting for my life. I have fainted, my mother tells me that once when I was 9ish I fought off several nurses and they had to restrain me. I imagined that the need le broke off in my cheek area (pretty sure I imagined that). So when doctors need to draw my blood and I realized an  epidural meant a needle where I could not see and in my spine…

I opted for natural birth.

Fear was my motivation, not courage.

I started reading all I could about natural birth, I read books, and talked with the women older than me that did not have a choice. I talked with my doctor who smiled and nodded who I believe thought “sure you want natural birth.”

At 30 weeks my placenta began to tear from the uterine wall and I was hemorrhaging. We were newlyweds, having our first baby and emergency delivery would mean I had no choice. (side note: this is how crazy scared of needles I am, the ER nurse tried to start an IV and I asked her to pray with me, ridiculous, I was bleeding out) Chris held my hand and looked in my eyes, he could see things that my belly and sweet baby were protecting me from seeing. The look in his eyes I will never forget and treasure. The doctors stopped all the bleeding, but I was on pelvic (no sex) and bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy.

I followed through and had my natural delivery at 37 weeks. 12 hours of prayer and meditation and we welcomed our first child a strawberry-blonde healthy boy.  Maybe someday I will write a post about what helped me through labor if anyone shares my fear of needles or wants that “badge” of personal choice. *Disclaimer-all births are beautiful, and all mothers are amazing*

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What was founded on fear became a beautiful experience. Here is the lesson and purpose of this post. It isn’t about labor at all, or my gross image I generously shared about my early labor (sorry); I want to pass on that fear as a motivator can produce unexpected blessing when we overcome those fears. Over and over I fight the things that scare the you-know-what out of me.

Example 1) Driving the road of my accident to see what David saw from his perspective, I could not be afraid of a street/place. I mean I was terrified, shook the whole time but I won’t let it win victory in my mind!

Example 2) Sharing my accident and transparency of PTSD, anxiety, overcoming suicidal ideation. JUDGEMENT I am a people pleaser, I don’t want people to know just how crazy I am. I am in education, I am of sound mind and love what I do, but I have private struggles with anxiety. It shouldn’t change how people view me but it will and I have made peace with that. I will take the punches and throws of cruel and blunt opinions of my story if it helps one person to not lose hope!

Isaiah 41:13

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear, I will help you.” I want you just to imagine yourself as a small child and Jesus takes your right hand and you wrap around his pinky. He loves us like a father loves his children.

Philippians 4:6

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” This verse! God says talk to him, talk about what is heavy, what makes you anxious, what fears are there. Often when we talk them out we answer our own questions, we find solutions, we realize we made a mountain out of a mole-hill! What is a mole-hill?

 

In case you are wondering it became my method of choice after that and no longer driven by fear. Four babies each delivery unique and I have zero regrets. Each of them also have a miracle-story.

Accidental Casualty Survivor, Faith, Struggles are Real, Uncategorized

Try not to step in “you know what” with your story…

“Don’t step in you-know-what with your testimony”

 

To share or not to share…a personal decision

 

For me personally navigating this road is trial and error. More error! I am a talker always have, I drove my middle school teachers crazy. I will forever try to exercise restraint in taking over conversations and responding before listening. It is a struggle but a vice I strive to change.

 

This quote from my cousin resounds in me. I do in fact have a testimony, many testimonies where I believe God has shown to be faithful. I never want to “one up” or boast in that sense but I sure feel compelled to shout from the mountain tops the love and grace received. Processing grief is different for everyone, some will retreat inward (I did this for a while) some will need to talk it out (I err on that in this moment.) Either way we must respect each individual space, process and terms.

 

A testimony is sacred. A tragedy like an untimely death is certainly not something to be marketed or exploited or become numb to the circumstance. I am broken when I share and I pray it never loses the sting in many ways.

 

Recently I have shared, quite possibly too much. I am an over-share-er (please forgive me) and I am self conscience if I am making my fellow CADIs proud/comforted, am I helping a cause, am I representing Christ in a way that draws someone in or turning them away? These are the questions that swish about in my inner voice.

 

I PRAY that I don’t leave a stench “stepping in IT” as I walk away from sharing. It’s like when someone walks up to join a conversation, and everyone glances over and checks the bottom of their shoe. Who stepped in it??? I won’t know until it is done, and I will either be embraced and helped, or I will hinder…But believe me I will analyze every spoken word and criticize it.

Confession:

My greatest fears are glass in feet, looming doom, and turning someone away from Jesus because I am human and a hypocrite!!! If I am being forthright I also fear judgement that I do anything for my own gain.  How could this story ever be praise worthy? It won’t but the people who carry on despite daily struggle to find new normal, face the guilt, lay down the brokenness and try to make it beautiful. You guys are my hero!

 

I wish not to remain in victim-mentality but move forward changed and a better person. Our community of CADIs/ACS grows daily, it is heart-wrenching. I can’t reach everyone but there are a few people who are committed to this community who want to help each other. It is a beautiful thing to be a small part of something bigger than yourself.

 

Everyone has a unique story that can benefit this world, as much as I am a talker I also love to listen to the different stories. Over-comers! World-changers! Humble and brave people that share their story.

 

For me I revisit my “why” I share because when someone (Johnny) was brave enough to share with me I immediately felt less alone.

I go back to the purpose of sharing, is it to educate about the state of mind, is my focus on sharing hope, did the Lord tell me to? If my purpose is to wallow in self-pitty…I should refrain.

When I mess up or I am insensitive, admit it plainly, ask for forgiveness, make it right as if possible.

 Find your voice! Never lose hope! Show compassion and embrace our differences!!!