change: the new normal

changeToday I was driving with my teenage son in the car.  This kid.  I love this kid.  He has faced some pretty tough situations the past year and a half.  The things he has faced have changed him.  And for a year and a half I think I’ve been trying to bring back a part of him that has changed.

Before his first run-in with major adversity, he was really outgoing.  His dad and I have always said, “he can literally make a friend ANYWHERE!”  He is an only child but that never kept him from finding someone to play with on the playground.  He easily made friends wherever he went.

But now?  After?  He’s not the same.

We took him to counseling and each time we went I found myself saying “he just isn’t the same.”  And now that I look back, I was hoping she could help us “fix him” and bring back his old self.

Fast forward to today in the car.  We had music on but we weren’t talking.  Not because we were upset with each other, but because this is his new normal.  He doesn’t talk much in the car.  For some reason I said, “Do you know the difference between an introvert and an extrovert?”  And he said, “Yeah, dad and I are introverts and you’re an extrovert.”

I almost forgot to breathe when he said that.   I was thinking “no honey, you’re an EXTROVERT.  Remember all those times on the playground? at the mall? in the store? in school?”  But no.  He self-identified as an introvert.  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!

He’s not the same.
My extrovert is gone!

You know how the female brain works, right?  In the time it took to drive exactly one exit at approximately 70mph – I had a full-blown therapy session.  In my head.  Without saying a word.

I can’t believe he just said that!
Well, why is it so hard to believe?  He’s different now.
Yeah, but he was always the kid who could make a friend no matter what.
I can’t believe how much his struggles have changed him.
It makes me sad that he has changed so much.
But wait … remember when you got sick, Ann?  You changed, too.

And there it was.  There was the teachable moment the Lord was trying to show me.

Change.  It happens.
And honestly?  It’s normal.
And … it’s usually good.

I felt like the Lord was saying, “Ann, you are constantly playing tug-of-war with me.  I try to show you new things and you get excited – and then you tug and tug and want to go back to the way things were.  If you stay the same, I can’t use you in the ways I have planned.”

Y’all, I could have wrecked our truck right then and there.  Or at least pulled over and breathed deeply into a paper bag.

I often read books about improving myself and changing – but often times, I just don’t want to.  Change is hard.  Sometimes it’s too hard.

But it’s true, I’ve changed.  I’m not the same person I was 5 years ago, and truthfully I can see signs of change from even just 3 months ago.  Some of the changes that have happened within me took so much work.  I worked hard to change:

  • thoughts that reeked with negativity
  • poor self-care habits
  • zero personal schedule boundaries
  • a mouth that loved gossip because it made me feel better about myself
  • a weak private life with the Lord
  • complaints about my husband

Why would I be sad about changing those things?  I shouldn’t be!  I should be celebrating a change in every single one of those things.  But the vehicle that brought me to those changes was a chronic illness.  My son’s vehicle has been physical pain and mental anguish.  And one of his changes is that he’s now an introvert.

I don’t know what your vehicle is or what change is on the horizon, but my encouragement to you is to embrace it.   Change is normal and it will happen again and again in our lives.  Aren’t you glad you’re not your 13-year-old self?  Or even your 20-year-old self?

I have learned solid leadership skills from some incredible leaders around me – but putting them into action required change.  I have lost weight and I exercise my body – but getting into a rhythm of good habits required change.  I have grown in my personal relationship with the Lord – but setting aside time to be in the Word required change.

Even though change has become my new normal, it was hard for me to accept the change that has happened within my son. And isn’t it interesting that HE has made peace with it but I hadn’t?

When I dropped him off I hugged him a little too tight.  “Ugh, mom!  You’re hurting my cheek!” he fussed.  Someday (when he’s not a teenager and he again values my thoughts and opinions) I will tell him about the time his words helped me appreciate the changes the Lord allowed within him – just like I’ve grown to appreciate the changes the Lord has allowed in me.

I love the story the Lord is writing in him.  And I love that I can learn from anyone, even a teenager.

… but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. – Romans 5:3-4

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she was desperate for healing

In the book of Matthew we get a whopping two lines about a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years  and she basically sneaks up behind Jesus to touch His cloak, saying to herself that she knew she would be healed if she could just touch that darn cloak!

20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Matthew 9:20-21
If you do your homework, you will find that this was a HUGE no-no in this day and time.  Leviticus Chapter 15 tells us that she was considered to be ceremonially unclean because she had been bleeding.  This would be like our kids smelling up the bathroom and then coming to the dinner table without washing their hands – but times 100!  It was shocking!  It was outrageous!  It was despicable!

 

Not only that, but in Mark 5:26 we find out that she had literally sold all she had to go to physicians to be healed and yet she was still bleeding.  And not only did she not get better, she actually grew worse. She was DESPERATE, y’all.  Desperate. For. Healing.

 

I’ve been there.  I’ve been to see this doctor and that doctor and rearranged some savings to try this therapy or that therapy.  I wasn’t a societal outcast like this woman though.  I wonder what would be our modern-day equivalent — maybe someone with AIDs or herpes?  A cancer patient who tries chemo but only gets worse and starts to lose control of their bodily functions?

 

If we keep reading in Mark 5:26, we see that she even came up behind Him, like she was scared of Him or ashamed for Him to see her.

 

Then she does it.
She touches his garment.
Now it’s time to flee!

 

But instead, at that very instant He knows and she knows that something has changed. Some kind of exchange has happened.

 

Can you imagine?  Think of your absolute worst day.  You don’t want anyone to see you, but you’re desperate for healing.  You hear that Jesus is coming and you think to yourself “this is my chance, if only I can TOUCH HIS CLOTHES I know that He can heal me!”  So you sneak up behind him, crouching down because you don’t want anyone to see you.  You reach out and you do it.  You actually touch his garment!  And then you know — you can feel it.  YOU ARE HEALED!  But then… the unspeakable happens.  He knows too.  He knows that you touched Him AND He knows that He healed you.  Your cover is blown.

 

Luke 8:45: “WHO TOUCHED ME?,” Jesus asked.
Awwwww man!  Seriously?!?!  This isn’t a drive-thru healing?

 

After each of the disciples all say “not it”, and Peter tries to tell Jesus he is nuts because they are in a CROWD and of course people are touching Him…. she does it.  She finds the courage to tell Him it was her, and she literally does it in front of God and country.

 

Is your heart beating fast?  Mine is.

 

Jesus then assures her that it wasn’t even her touch that healed her.  There was no magic there.  Her faith is what healed her.

 

And so Jesus says in Luke 8:48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
This woman went from unclean and outcast to trembling before Christ to declare her actions in-front of a CROWD of strangers. And then she was healed.  And not only that, but He told her to “go in peace.”

 

What He did for her right then and there, He did for ALL of us when He was on that cross.  While we might not experience drastic and immediate healing physically like she did, we most certainly can experience spiritual healing.  I do.  Every time I call on His name.  And on some days, that is my entire prayer.  “Jesus.”

Stop the Insanity of Chronic Pain!

(see update at the bottom)

For the past 6 and a half weeks I haven’t stopped moving and doing and laughing and smiling and running/dancing up and down the stairs — because I CAN.  I CAN do all of those things.  Stella has her groove back! — wait, totally wrong reference, but you get the idea.

I want everyone to know right off the bat, that I am not cured.  The supplements that have changed my life will not cure me.  I have a chronic illness that I will most likely have until the day I get to go be with my Savior in heaven!

I took the plunge in late December and ordered Plexus products.

What the heck IS Plexus?

Plexus is a wellness company that has many products. These products are 100% Natural and all have a 60 day money back guarantee. There are several different products that can help you with many aliments.  The company does not claim to cure any illness but has a 93% Success rate to help and aid you with the following conditions:

  • Headaches
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Celiac’s
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Anxiety
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Sugar Cravings … and the list goes on

What do I take?

I take Slim, Accelerator, a killer ProBiotic called ProBio5, a multivitamin, and a cleansing agent called BioCleanse.  Sounds like a lot, right?  It is NOTHING compared to the regimen I used to be on.  Nothing.  No comparison.  If you have chronic illnesses you might also be thinking – just 6 things?  Yes.  Just 6 things.   But I started out on just two things.  Slim and Accelerator.  Because if you recall, I was a total skeptic and just knew this wouldn’t work for me.

http://annskaehill.myplexusproducts.com/
http://annskaehill.myplexusproducts.com/

 

What should you take?

I recommend that everyone start with the Slim, the Accelerator, and the ProBio5.  If I would have looked more into the ProBio5 when I started, I would had added it in from the get-go.  The combination of these three things will most likely put you into a detox  state and it won’t be pretty for a while.  I’m not going to lie.  You might get bloated, have migraines, break out in acne, have aches and pains and so on.  What’s going on in this process is the good elements (such as the vitamins) are trying to kick the bad elements to the curb (such as candida, inflammation nd so on) – and the bad stuff in your system is so comfortable, it just doesn’t want to go.  So it has a bit of a temper tantrum.  My detox period lasted a solid 2 weeks, but I have a friend who has also struggled with fibromyalgia and her detox lasted a little over 30 days!  Whew!

Why in the world would I want to do this “detox” on purpose?

Why in the world would you want to continue feeling the way you feel right now?  You’re already trying medications, therapies, treatments, stretches, exercises and saying  every prayer ever written just to feel better.  If you have made it this far, you can totally make it 14-30 days so that you can find some freedom from the grip your pain has on you right now!  And, if by day 45 or so you don’t feel any difference at all, you can make a simple phone call and get your money back.  Remember?  I had every intention of getting my money back after I proved to everyone that it wouldn’t work for me.

Will I have to take it forever?

You don’t HAVE to do anything.  Will I take it forever?  You betcha.  As long as they make it, I will be taking it.  I ran out of my products for three days and found that I was begging my friends for some of theirs until my next order showed up in my mailbox!  The fatigue came back almost immediately.  These products are natural – there’s no hidden weird stuff in them.  Due to company policy I can’t post them, but I will absolutely email them to you if you leave your email address in the comments.  Take the list to your doctor.  Research the ingredients.  Do some homework.

Will it cost me a lot?

It depends on your definition of “a lot.”  I was on SEVEN prescription medications, had regular appointments with my pain doctor, had to get terrifically painful massages to get the knots out, and was constantly reordering pain lotion.  So for me?  This is cheaper than all of that mess.  And I feel better on this than I did on ALL of that combined.  You need to talk to your doctor if you plan to get off medications while you’re taking these supplements – so keep that in mind as well.

This isn’t a sales pitch.  This is a freedom pitch.  Stop doing the things you’ve been doing if they aren’t giving you the freedom to get back into the land of the living.  Or at least give this a try.  This has been an answer to the prayers my family has been saying for almost three years.  I feel so alive!

Leave your email address in the comment section – or send me an email to annskaehill@gmail.com – let me help you get started so that in 2 months YOU can be praising the goodness of God in a body that isn’t keeping you from living your life!

http://annskaehill.myplexusproducts.com/
http://annskaehill.myplexusproducts.com/

It’s now mid-May 2014 and I am working 30 hours a week, cleaning my house, and running errands like a normal mom.  I play football outside with my family and I go for 4-mile walks and 12-mile bike rides.  I feel AMAZING!  I know I’m not cured but it sure is nice to be part of my own life again!!!

quit focusing on the drought

drought-weather

I’ve been quiet for awhile now.  No blog posts and very limited Facebook posts have come from me.  That’s always a sign that something is wrong.  If Ann isn’t talking or laughing — something is very wrong!   My precious friend pointed out in a text that she was worried about me because I saw no humor in her text message …and that my friends is a sure sign that I’m in a dry place.

We had two incredibly rough months – November and December.

  • 4 illnesses
  • 4 ER visits (one of which was out of state)
  • 1 puke virus in the middle of nowhere, Arkansas
  • 1 car accident and all the associated fees
  • 1 rental car and all the associated fees
  • multiple migraine headaches
  • a cracked windshield on the OTHER car
  • the heat went out (which is actually a hilarious story for another time)
  • Dallas had an ice storm = brutal body pain when that sucker moved in
  • and oh — Happy Thanksgiving, and Merry Christmas … er something like that

Here’s the deal, y’all… none of these things killed us, maimed us, bankrupt us, or caused us to hate each other.  But the final straw for me was the stomach bug in the middle of nowhere Arkansas.   Remember in the Looney Toons cartoons when that one feather would dance so elegantly on-top of the TNT handle and then BOOM — Wiley Coyote was toast! It was sort of like that for me.

Dude.  I was dry.  I had nothing left to give myself, my family, or my friends.  No laughter.  LOTS of sarcasm (and probably a little cussing if I’m going to be honest here), and a pretty constant stream of … well … self-pity.

Where was God in all this you ask?
Well, had I kept Him at the forefront of my mind I don’t think TNT even would have been in the picture, quite frankly.   Know what I mean?

Here’s where I went terribly wrong…
I stopped making time to pray, to read from my bible or devotionals, and I kept thinking to myself, “well, now we have had 3 things happen – so nothing else will…. ok, now there have been 4, so we are good… um, make that 5… 6… OH FORGET IT!”  I put myself in the dry place.  I did it to myself, y’all!

God never promised that we wouldn’t go through hard times.  So what in the world made me think that I was exempt from them?  Especially after a set number of problems… “Ann Skaehill, you’re next… let’s see… you’ve had 1,2,3,4,5,6… oh, you’re good.  No more problems for you.  NEXT!”  That’s SO ridiculous!  But I thought it.  I really did.

I love these verses from the book of Jeremiah:

7 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
    and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank,

   with roots that reach deep into the water.

Such trees are not bothered by the heat
    or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
    and they never stop producing fruit.

Jeremiah 17:7-8

I am such a visual person that I can SEE this picture — I can SEE the tree planted by the water.  I can SEE the roots reaching with all they have to get to that water.  I can SEE their carefree nature because they aren’t concerned about the drought.

And I can SEE that I did not do that when I needed to the most.  I just sat there and withered.  Every now and then someone would try to show me some water and I turned my nose up at it.

After identifying my droughtiness, I signed up for a class through my church where we are really digging into hymns and the stories behind them.  Our precious leader, Gwen, opened with a sweet prayer that felt like a BUCKET of living water was dumped over my head.

Now I can’t get enough.  I can’t get enough hymns and prayer and reading from our class book.  I can’t get enough joy and enough laughter and peace.  I don’t want the hydration to stop so I am going to plant myself next to the living water.  I’m digging in.  Yo, I was thirsty, people!

If you’re focused on your drought and you’re pushing everyone away, please please please stop and ask yourself how that’s working for you.  Because I have a feeling you’re pretty stinkin’ thirsty right now.   Get your rear up and get to that water.  Call a friend so he or she can drag you there if need-be.

 

waiting, waiting, waiting… and worn out (Part Two): learning to be still

In the Fall of 2011, I had to wait over three months to get in to see a specialist.  A reputable one.
Notice the word “wait” — it’s a pretty important word.

In that time I had no medications available because I didn’t have a solid diagnosis.  I did a lot of research and decided to try a clean diet to see if it helped.  I ate only lean meats, vegetables, nuts, and fruits for over three months.

The end result?  No change.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  Nil.  And every other word you can think of that means the same thing.  My pain remained the same.

What did I learn in those months of waiting to see a specialist?

  1. I learned to slow the heck down.  My sister emailed me a link explaining The Spoon Theory about a year prior to my physical issues.  If you haven’t read it — you must.  It isn’t just for people with chronic illnesses, it is applicable for ALL of us.  I noticed that I couldn’t keep up with the mad raced pace of society around me and you know what?  I was TIRED of trying.  I didn’t want to go to this party and that one, to this lunch, and that girls night out.  I wanted to be home with my family!  We started playing board games with our son, taking family walks, going to the park together, and more.  The more time I spent with my family, the more I CRAVED it!  I didn’t want to crowd them out again by filling my calendar with other things.
  2. All I needed, I already had.  The biggest revelation came in the form of realizing I didn’t “NEED” people the way I thought I did.  I had a husband, a child, two sisters, parents, four nieces and a nephew with whom I hardly spent any time.  On holidays, I was more concerned about seeing my friends than I was about spending quality time with my own family.  That revelation stung quite a bit because my husband had been hinting at it for several years but I just wasn’t getting it.  I can appreciate that people don’t have family around them and their friends become their family — more power to you, seriously — but I didn’t fit in that category.  I plain and simple had a family that I was ignoring.
  3. God was (and still is) in the details.  While I was busy moving and grooving, I longed to see God in the daily things around me — but I didn’t have TIME to see God.  I had things to do, people to see, emails to write, phone calls to answer, social events to arrange and attend, blah blah blah.  The only way I would see Him in the details is when He would do things like this to get my attention:
    But once I slowed down, I started seeing him in people at the grocery store.  I saw Him in the mailman when he would bring all of our mail to the door along with a package.  I saw my husband making room for Him in his heart and mind.  I saw Him in scripture, in the abundance of food we have available to us, in the warmth of the heater, and in the clean water I took for granted.  He was (and still is) EVERYWHERE.  But I had been too busy to acknowledge Him.
  4. I needed church.  I used to be someone who would say, “but why do you HAVE to go to church?  I can worship and read the bible at home just as easily as I can in church.”  But I never followed through.  I never cracked open my bible  before I started attending church.  Pastors go through years of classes.  They read books constantly. They have knowledge that I realized I could tap into!  It was completely worth an hour of my time to listen to them pick apart scripture and to learn what certain things meant in the bible.  I NEEDED that nourishment just as much as I needed food and water.  When left to my own devices, well — that’s exactly what I would do — get on my “devices” (which is what the kids at my son’s middle school call iPhones, iPads, Kindles, and so on).  I would easily fill my time with other things, none of which were God-centered.
  5. I had become selfish. I stopped seeing my husband’s needs and my son’s needs, and even the needs of people around me because I had become completely consumed with NEEDING an answer for my physical pain. I felt odd.  I felt like I no longer fit in anywhere.  But you know what?  I did that to myself.  I was thinking about my pain 24/7 – and if you’re in pain I know what you’re thinking: “How can I possibly think of anything BUT the pain that is agonizing me all day and all night?”  Honestly?  That’s something you have to figure out on your own.  But I know it isn’t healthy for you.   I wanted so badly to give God the glory by being someone He could use, even while I was hurting — but I was so inwardly focused that He could only use me in teeny tiny ways.

So how do you slow down and not become selfish?  This is going to knock some of you off your rockers — so put your seat-belts on:

Resting, being with your family, and seeing God in the details
does not make you selfish – what you allow to consume your thoughts
and drive your motivations could be what’s making you selfish.

After reading this list – what is something that you know you need to change but you just haven’t followed through? Be Brave.  I dare you.

bitter betty strikes again

Well… it happened again.
The bitter-Betty in me came out.

I know, we’ve had this discussion before.  And yes, I know better.  And I know God created us all different.  And I know that I don’t have to look like someone else to be valued and to feel good about myself.  AND, I know that I could make better food choices.  And I know that I am wonderfully made … and I know that I could … blah blah blah.

So if I know all of this, why does Betty still come visit?  She’s never invited, she just shows up!  She typically shows up when I’m struggling through some pain and know it’s time to sit my rear down to rest.  I feel guilty sitting down, and she knows that.  I don’t want to sit down, and Betty knows that too.

I want to volunteer at my son’s school and go have lunch with him.  I want to make cute things off Pinterest for my front door or trim up my flowers and bushes around the house.  I want to make my house look nice and work on curtains for another room.  I want to go for a run.  I want to go out and have lunch with friends.  I want to go to all of the birthday parties and baby showers and dinners we are invited to.  I want to go meet at the park with other parents so our kids can run around and play.

But I know that I should be resting.
So I “rest.”
And stew.
And feel bitter.

Enter Betty, stage right:  Betty points out all the people who take for granted all of those things that I WANT to do.  She will show me who is skinny.  She will show me who can run marathons.  She will remind me who the “cool moms” are.  She will want me to look at Facebook so that I can compare all of my shortcomings to other people’s strengths, and she will want me to zoom in on all of the pictures from parties or lunches that I couldn’t attend.  Her favorite thing to do is remind me that I don’t get invited to many things anymore.  Ooooo, she loves that one!  It’s a real zinger and she knows it.

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.  Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.  then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.  Proverbs 3:7-8 NLT

  • My own wisdom: all the things I know
  • Turn away from evil: stewing and bitterness – and for crying out loud, turn away from BETTY!
  • Healing for my body: stop stewing = true resting = healing for my body
  • Strength for my bones: my bones are my framework, if my framework is stronger I’m less likely to crumble under pressure

My darling husband recently reminded me that it was much much harder for me to have to say “no” to the lunches, and showers, and parties, and ladies nights out than it is for me to not be invited to many anymore.  Because the truth is, packing my schedule full of all of those things isn’t healthy for me.  It will run me into the ground and my immune system will tank.  And I know this.  (reference wisdom bullet point above)

I have some spectacular friends who remind me gently to take some things off my schedule.  And I am so appreciative of that.  Because they help me do something that I sometimes struggle to do on my own.

I struggle to make the right choice.

It’s time to start choosing the path on which Betty is NOT standing with her coffee cup in-hand, eager to gossip and compare me to other people in my life.  Betty isn’t healthy for me.  And she isn’t healthy for you either.

Take a hike, Betty.  You wear me out.

the roller coaster of chronic pain

 

I live with chronic pain.  While my husband doesn’t physically have chronic pain, he too has to live with it. He lives with mine. Neither of us got manuals on how to live with this incredibly unfortunate disease, and sometimes that shows.  We think we are in a good rhythm and then our roller coaster cars drop from the highest peak and take us screaming through tight turns and unexpected plunges.

We just want off the roller coaster.  Amen?

From my perspective, here’s where my ticket to ride stems from:

  • I think I can handle more, so I take on more.  And then … I can’t handle it.  I panic.  Then I get sad.  Usually my over-commitment comes in the form of wanting to bring in more money so my husband doesn’t pass out from exhaustion.
  • I feel like I have already given up so much of what used to make up my “normal” life, that I cling to the last few things I do/have until my knuckles turn white.
  • My joy can be depleted on day 3 of immense pain – and then I am a grumpasaurus rex to my family, complete with drooling and teeth baring.

And here’s where my husband’s ticket to ride comes into play:

  • He wants to be helpful but he. is. exhausted.  He is working full-time (and then some for extra money), he cooks, he makes lunches, he does laundry, he cleans, he mows, he does repairs on the house, and sometimes he actually gets to go out with a friend for guy time.
  • He never knows what kind of day I’m having, therefore he never knows what he will be walking in the door to find after work, which is totally not fair and makes him put on a defensive suit somewhere between his truck and the door to the house.
  • He sees my tennis match of emotions (back and forth, back and forth) and he so badly wants me to just figure out that I’m different now and I have to act in accordance with my limitations.

Hold the phone.
I have limitations?

For the love of all things chronic – if you’re reading this and you suffer from chronic pain, YOU HAVE LIMITATIONS!  And guess what, if you’re reading this and you don’t suffer from chronic pain, YOU HAVE LIMITATIONS!

Why do I sometimes think I can do it all?  And I mean all.  It is usually about the time I am half-way through my grocery list in the store when the fatigue slams me, my feet start to spasm, and I have this overwhelming feeling to lay down on the packages of toilet paper on the shelf when I realize — “oh crap, I did it again.”

I want off this ride.
I didn’t ask to ride.
I want this ticket revoked!

Tough circus peanuts.  These are the cards I have been dealt.  I, Ann Skaehill, have fibromyalgia and a weak immune system.  I think it’s fair to say, this roller coaster is here to stay and it’s time for me to grow up and accept it.  I need to appreciate and care for my family FIRST before I fill my schedule with things that make me feel good about myself.  I need to be grateful for medications that can help with a few issues and TAKE THEM.  (Lord have mercy, medication is a whole blog post in itself!)

I’m getting there, but I’m not there yet.  I think if I can embrace this new reality more firmly, then the turns and drops on the roller coaster won’t be so alarming or drastic.  For me, or my husband.

Two days ago my 10-year-old son said, “Hey mom?  You know how sometimes you just get so mad at me for things I do or should have done?  … Well, maybe you can start giving me a sign that I should go in another room.  Why don’t you blink four times and I’ll take off running!”

Ouch.

Reality check.  When I open my mouth to speak, my son is flinching and expecting the worst.  That is a huge problem that I have addressed over the past 2 days with him.  Grumpasaurus rex may still appear from time to time, but I’m working towards her extinction.  Ain’t nobody got time for the damage a dinosaur makes in the modern age.

Today is a new day, and the Bible tells us in Psalm 30:5 that joy comes in the morning.  Embrace your clean slate, and make wise choices today.  First on my list? Washing all the sheets in the house and ensuring my family has good food to eat.  What should be first on your list today?