For Meghan, You Were Wonderfully Made

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I have sat here for a very long time, wondering what I should type.  What could I say to even do justice to really truly describe the amazing woman who was our friend, Meghan.  Sometimes when things happen like this, words seem empty or even scarce.  I have thought about Meghan and her family a lot this weekend as I know many of you have as well.  We all loved her.  She was a friend, an inspiration, a mother, wife, daughter, sister, sister-in-law, a Breast Cancer Warrior, amazing writer, a giver, a Red Phoenix Rising.  So I decided to write a tribute blog post to her.  My blog is all about Living Wonderfully Made, and boy did Meghan emulate that.  So, here it is…..

Meghan, Red Phoenix,

There is no one way to describe you, but there are many instances that describe who you were to so many people.  Over the past two years I have watched a woman who fought with everything she had not only to fight against cancer, but to bring more kindness into the world.  See, Meghan, that is who you were…. You were kindness.  Your infectious smile and your beautifully written words to describe some of the hardest things to have to write about was nothing short of talent.  Your beautiful little boy is an example of the love you and your husband had together and he I know will not only grow to be a strong man one day, but also will grow to continue on your legacy of kindness, because, you instilled that in him.  Your love for people was apparent in the continued stories that we all read of how you impacted so many.  

As I close my eyes to picture you in my mind, I think about the times we spent playing softball, little girls just wanting to have fun, get dirty, and play!  Over the years we all grew up, moved on, and started our families.  Your friendships to those closest to you remained strong as you always knew how to make your friends feel special.  I know this only because it is so apparent in how they talk about you.  You were special to them Meghan, you were their treasured friend.  Your family, now, this is where I get emotional, because oh Meghan, you were so special to them.  The “Brown Sister’s”  wow what a Foursome you all are.  Each of you so unique, kind, special, and absolutely BEAUTIFUL in your own unique ways.  I loved seeing your times together.  A special bond of four amazing sisters that death can never take away.  

Meghan you left us with a gift.  Your presence on this Earth, even though we all feel it ended way too soon, your presence was a gift.  Your continued crusade for spreading kindness and love is a gift that we all treasure.  You have impacted so many and it will never be forgotten.  

On sandy shores in Heaven, I am picturing you walking next to Jesus holding His hand and talking with Him about kindness and love.  Meghan I know you are not here on Earth, but in Heaven you will be waiting for the ones that miss you so dearly here.  A Red Phoenix Rising up above the clouds and flying towards a warm sunshine in the distance.  You were a true example of what it means to LIVE Wonderfully Made, because Meghan, you were oh so wonderful! 

 

If you all would like to read more about Meghan’s Journey about who she was and read her blog I please URGE you to click on this link to read more about her and GIVE.  Her family will need our support for the future.  Let’s all continue Meghan’s legacy of kindness and love by giving to her family.  You can click on the link below to do so.

“I Am Red Phoenix” Blog and Link to Give:(Copy & Paste Link)

http://www.iamredphoenix.com/give

 

 

Soldier On Momma…

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Sitting in a diner with my coffee refilled for the fifth time, (yes I drink that much), I am depleted to say the least with my eyes puffy from crying myself to sleep the night before.  This journey is not what I planned.  Another rough patch we are experiencing in our special needs parenting journey.  The pain, the anger, and lack of knowing what the right thing to do comes flooding back in and yet I keep soldiering on, because that is what us Momma’s do right?  We pick ourselves back up and keep walking through the messes.  We continue to go on with our day regardless of the fact that we haven’t showered, done our hair in days or did that workout that we told ourselves we were going to do the day before.  We get up and go to work during the day or at night and then come home to laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, meal planning, and the role of supportive wife on top of all that.

Someday’s I get it right and someday’s I don’t.  This week I did not.  Navigating the world my son lives in and how he experiences it still is an adjustment.  The increased withdrawing, meltdowns, and lack of connection this week has broken my heart.  I am continuing to learn daily what works for him and what doesn’t.   I am not even a year into his diagnosis so what do I expect?  Perfection?  NO!  Of Course I can’t.  I just have to keep going, keep learning, keep pushing, because that is what WE do as Momma’s!  We soldier on!

I know there is another Momma out there reading this who is feeling depleted.  Feeling like the weight of the world and her family is on her shoulder’s.  I say to you and myself, “Keep Soldiering on Momma!”  Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the fact that you just can’t seem to get it all right….know that you CAN make it!  We have to make it!  Being a soldiering Momma is not easy but it is definitely worth it!  You are enough, you are loved, I believe in you, and so does God!  Below I wanted to share some verses that I have leaned on this week to help push me through and keep soldiering on.  I hope that you can read these and feel the love of God empowering you to continue to be the best Momma to those littles just like you always have been!  I am calling these my “Soldier On Momma Verses”

 

Soldier On Momma Verses:

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”                   -James 1:12 NIV

“I can do all this through Him who gives me strength” -Philippians 4:13

“Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.” – 1 Chronicles 16:11

 

A Letter to Depression

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One of the things that many people know about me is that I am pretty open and honest with the things I go through in life.  I share my story and I share it only because I want desperately for those who need to hear it draw some strength for themselves by hearing it.   My openness about my life is not always received well but I think of that as the enemy getting angry at the fact that God is using my pain to help someone else.  If you aren’t met with resistance then, well, you aren’t doing it right.  So today, I am sharing with you something that I have struggled with for the majority of my teen and adult life, Depression.  It has been something that has come and gone and I have fought it and won in various seasons of my life.  Over the past year with all the changes and new paths that my family and I have been on, it has decided to come along for the ride.  It wasn’t until recently that I decided that I needed to seek some help for it.  Yes, you heard that right.  A Christian woman who loves the Lord is seeking help for depression.  It is a very real thing that many people don’t understand and often feel like you just need to “get happy, count your blessings….etc”  If it were that simple, trust me I would be jumping on that!  I am not new to this road so I know exactly when it has crossed over to the path of no return and when I need a hand to pull myself out.  So today I am taking that first step.  I also decided to write a letter to Depression to put it on notice and declare war on it.

I am sharing this not for sympathy or attention because I don’t want or need it.  I am sharing this because I want to help someone else who may need to crawl out of this darkness themselves.  So please read, share, and tell others that you think may need to hear this.  Thank you and remember to LIVE WONDERFULLY MADE!

 

Dear Depression,

I often don’t ever like to acknowledge you because I feel that gives you power, but I want you to know how I feel about you so you will no longer feel the need to stick around.  You have plagued me for too long.  Through most of my adult life you have felt the need to pop into my life during times of change or even times when I was trying to find my way in peace.  You leach on and suck the life out of me, sometimes I can’t even think!  I am so tired all the time, but yet you won’t let me sleep.  You steal life, kill my spirit and drive wedges between the most important relationships in my life.  You are nothing but a big black cloud that follows me around.  I have fought you and cried about you over the years and quite frankly I am just sick of you!  So I say, NO MORE!  I am not going to fight you with tears, medication, or sleeping my life away.  Nope, I am going to fight you with the most powerful things of all.  The LOVE of Christ that resonates deep in me.

Yes, the power of prayer and the living God Himself will help me defeat you.  I will be eliciting the help of counselors, friends, family, and my inner light.  That light shines brighter than any darkness that you could bring.  God has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).  I will laugh in your face and change those hopeless thoughts into a flood of hope and courage.  I refuse to let circumstances define me or let you rule my mind.  I am sure this will all take time but your days are numbered depression.   Mark my words, you have NO power in my life.  Life is too short and precious.

You see, I have a precious family.  Yes, we go through hard times, but you know what, our LOVE is stronger and deeper than you could ever imagine.  Lets just call it what you are, you are evil, you are the devil trying to steal, kill, and destroy me!  You may think you have the power to do that, but my Savior came so that I may have life.  My family has my back, my GOD has my back and most of all I AM stronger than you think.  The strength that lies within me is often underestimated by you, but I have made it through a lot and I will continue to do so.  I will never stop fighting.  I know all your tricks.  I have been dealing with you for a while.  My God is bigger and smarter and honestly so am I!  My heart, soul, and LOVE for my family is big, broad, and never-ending.

I will end this letter with this…. “It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.  He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.  He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.  You make your saving help my shield; your help has made me great.  You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.  I pursued my enemies and crushed them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed.  I crushed them completely, and they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet.”      – 2 Samuel 22:33-39

– Carolyn

Celebrate!

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February 24th through March 2nd 2013 is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.  This week is all about reflection, inspiration, taking action, and Education.  For me, this week (actually Today) marks 8 years of Recovery from Anorexia/Bulimia.  My journey started 16 years ago.  It wasn’t until I was 21 that I decided to pick myself up and actually RECOVER!  It was after my 21st birthday, on the 24th of February that I decided during a fundraiser that I was doing for the National Eating Disorders Association at my college, that it was about time that I stopped making excuses, stopped playing the victim, and started to fight back.

I was tired, beaten down and couldn’t stand to think of losing against such a terrible disease.  An Eating Disorder is very much like an addiction to a substance.  For me it was an addiction to the lack of food and a high that I would feel when I wouldn’t eat or when I purged.  The only thing about this addiction unlike others, is that as human beings, we need to eat to survive.  So my addiction was thrown in my face pretty much everywhere I looked.

The decision I made, included me to start taking my treatment and therapy serious!  Every year I have worked on something different in my recovery.  It is a process and something that I face everyday.  I have to fight it everyday, but God helps me with that.  It was through my trials and years of working towards this 8 years of recovery that I found my way back to God.  God has taken my recovery path to a whole different level.  I am a work in progress and this year, my 8th year I am going to work on nutrition and optimal health!  To some this may seem easy, but for a recovering Anorexic/Bulimic, it is VERY scary and very tough.  You know what though?  The cool thing is, I have God so, I have NOTHING to fear!

In closing, I want to reach out to those that may be struggling with an Eating Disorder whether it be Anorexia, Bulimia, or Compulsive Overeating….or you just struggle taking care of yourself.  I want to say to you all that I am living proof that you CAN get through this.  Do yourself a favor and for once, care enough to try.  Dare to stare your disorder back in the face and say, “You are NOT going to take me down…. I refuse.”  It worked for me and I have the faith and belief that it will work for you!  Below, I have listed a few sites that anyone can go to get more information about Eating Disorders and where to get help.

Remember my angels…. YOU ARE ALL WONDERFULLY MADE!!!!!

National Eating Disorders Association: www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

Medline Plus/ U.S National Library of Medicine: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/eatingdisorders.html       

The Something Fishy Website on Eating Disorders: www.something-fishy.org