The Way She Walks

In her step, you see she has walked hundreds of miles. Streets lined with trees, streets in the city, streets filled with people and others near hidden. She has walked in different countries. There are reasons why she is walking and not on transport. She walks like she knows where she is going, even when she doesn’t, she doesn’t care because she doesn’t view “a wrong turn” as wrong, just a detour, a possible adventure or discovery.

With each step she holds her head high. She knows exactly where her feet are and where her eyes need to be. Her life has foundation and focus. Her shoulders back, she carries an air of confidence. Troublemakers let her pass by them, “not her” they say. “let her keep walking.” And she does. She never stops.

Even though she is walking, look at her face for just a minute. She does not need to speak for you to know she is intelligent. Her eyes are deep with wisdom and experience. And yet when you see her walking by, you long to stop her, invite her to sit down, and talk with you for hours. Even her voice, you just got to hear it.

She walks with ease among different groups of people. Her heart is open and compassionate to all. She walks endlessly out of love for family and friends. She walks alongside her greatest treasures, her husband and her children.

She has walked down paths of darkness and sorrow, and walked her way back up to lighted paths of happiness and joy. She has often walked alone. She holds dear the day she walked towards her husband on their wedding day, a day that began their ‘together forever’. She now walks holding the hands of their children.

She is strong and prepared with faith on unpaved footpaths. She is weary of the hidden roots and does not stumble. She is not over zealous on the flat paved sidewalks and accepts the broken squares ahead, knowing she can conquer their challenge. She appreciates the beauty and the workmanship of the cobblestones. She thanks God for the road that leads her home.

The way she walks is who she is. A woman with an unchartered map of stories to tell. Watch her. Listen to her. Love her. x

Living With Chronic Illness: CIDP and the Larsons

Last year I posted about how my husband was in hospital and we were unsure of what was wrong with him. Everything felt dark and uncertain and we desperately awaited answers. After about two weeks of being there, he had been tested and diagnosed with Guillan Barre Syndrome and had been treated with immunogloblin. He came out of hospital much better and we hoped it would be the end of it.

Months later, he relapsed.

Back in hospital he was treated again and told he had a form of GBS called CIDP, chronic inflammatory demyelination neuropathy. Very rare. The treatment this time did not improve his condition very much and he has been home, unable to work.

It has only been about 6 weeks, and he has relapsed again. He is going back to hospital tonight.

It doesn’t get easier. The worries, the missing each other, the heaviness that sits on our hearts because there is still a lot of questions left unanswered.

I have been thinking a lot about the importance of a family unit. Anyone who is going through a trial is not alone. They are not carrying the burden on their own, we carry it together so that it is lighter. There are lessons for all of us to learn, not just him.

I also believe it is a test of compassion for those around us. To not speak in a manner that is unkind. We cannot say, “it can’t be THAT bad.” Our hearts should be soft and our arms open. We are all at different places in our life, but I think we feel the same things. And those feelings should promote words of encouragement, kindness, and hope.

I believe God has a plan for all of us. In the present we may not understand, but looking in hindsight in my own life I see how it had to be that way. I better understand His wisdom and thank Him for His hand in my life. He knows us better than we know ourselves. We need to keep faith.

I cannot help but wonder “why now?”  When the kids are so little and my situation is what it is, and he is so young. Why could it not be something that came and went and became a memory, not a way of life, like a broken bone? And will I ever get used to this?  But I need to stop thinking that way.

Months ago I sat in a class at Church and part of the lesson was about things that discourage us and how we can change it. One word came to my mind: acceptance. If we are willing to accept our trials and endure them well, I believe we will be blessed. But accepting it can be the biggest obstacle! We may become angry that our life is not another way and we let frustration eat away our happiness. We might think the grass is greener on the other side, only to realise it was just as beautiful, if not more, right where we were.

There may be blessings in disguise. I love my husband being home all the time. I love cooking for him. I love watching him spend time with the kids. I love the little traditions that he has started, like a book after lunch. Ethan now lets us read to him- finally! Our home life has been dramatically changed for the better with his constant presence.

I am dreading his absence this upcoming week. I want to press the fast forward button and have him done with his treatment and be home already. I am grateful to everyone who prays for us and who has helped us in numerous ways.

I am counting all my blessings and holding onto faith. x

Baby’s Words

“Mom! Mom! Hold me! Please hold me! Don’t be upset that I’m crying. I feel like something is going to happen. I need your arms to comfort me. I want a hug! Mom! I already played with the toys! Can’t the housework wait a while? Mom I love you. Why do you get so mad when I cry? Don’t you understand what I am trying to say? Finally! Thank you mom. That’s what I needed. I love cuddles with you. You are so funny! Playing with you is the best. I laugh so hard! No one knows me better than you. Is playtime over already? You always have so much to do. I wish we could spend the whole day together just you and me. Mom! Someone is here! Do you see him? He’s glowing. Like an angel. Mom! Do you hear him? Is it true? Am I leaving tonight? I don’t want to go. I like it here with you and dad. Mom! You missed it! You weren’t watching. He’s gone. Mom! I really need you to hold me now. Please spend time with me. I can’t stop crying so please don’t look so mad. I’m not hungry. Just come play with me. Mom! I pooped! You always come for me when I do that! Finally! All clean and I’ve got your attention. Thanks mom! Yes, that’s my favourite toy. You know everything about me. I love you. Your hugs, your smell, your smile, your laugh, your voice. I know everything about you too. This has been a long day but it’s ending so soon. I wish we could have more time together. I don’t want to go to sleep. I see you are so tired. Sorry I had you up so much the other night. My  gums hurt and I just wanted you to be with me. Please hold me. Mom! He’s here again. Please know I love you. I know you did your best to take care of me. We’ll see each other again soon. I’ll miss you mom.  Thanks for everything you did for me. You are the best mom anyone could have. I have to go now mom. Bye mom! I love you mom! Thanks for holding me tonight. I love you mom!”

Double-Busted Cheating on the Diet

(photo credit)

As I sit at the computer ignoring my kitchen full of dishes that need done before lunch, I thought I’d tell everyone the story of how I simply cannot keep things from the husband. Including something as simple as hiding chocolate!

We decided we had had enough of being overweight and since life had settled down a bit after all the hospital drama, we could focus more on healthier eating. We made a menu plan together and it was going well.

BUT.

I got stressed. And lucky me my mom occasionally supplies me with some chocolate that I tuck away in case of emergencies.

My husband came up to me one morning and says, “Honey, we have got to be serious about this diet!” To which I reply, “Shaun! Stay out of my nightstand you snooper!” With a surprised look he says, “I was never in your nightstand.” Embarrassed I said, “Ooops. Busted myself. Sorry honey. I’ll try to resist.”

A few days later I again got stressed. I needed a bite of chocolate! I grabbed my bag and quickly packed a few things, told the husband that the toddler and I were going for a walk and left. Outside the apartment building Ethan and I shared a snickers bar. It was delicious and my nerves settled. A few hours later, Shaun came up to me and says, “I see you’ve had some snickers today.” I look over to where he was looking and saw that Ethan had dumped my bag out and I had forgotten to throw away the evidence! Busted again.

I consider myself an overall committed person but I think most of that commitment lies in “eat what I want”, and that’s what I do.

I have since decided to show the husband more support and have tried to replace my chocolate habit for other things such as lemon mousse, red liquorice and chocolate milk.

Sometimes the embarrassment of being caught is necessary! And I will cut out my silly excuses too, things like: “I need to be squishy so I’m more cozy for the kids to cuddle me” or “I need the chocolate to keep my milk sweet for Axel!”

I am trying again and have been chocolate free for six days. I learned my lesson and will not sneak around. Hehehe

Wish me luck!

How To Change A Man

In my younger years I read a book that said women have a tendency of trying to change men. In turn, men will say that they do not want to be changed. Many women failed in their quest.

As I pondered on this idea by the author, I came to the conclusion that perhaps women want to feel we have the ability to change a man for the better. Maybe she wanted to help him quit smoking, or convince him into religion, or making him realise he wants kids. Whatever it is, she wants to hear him say the words, “you changed my life”. I had put the thought aside until recently.

When love naturally develops in a relationship, change in both person’s lives is inevitable. Later, through marriage and children, of course he will say to her, “you changed my life!” Because of her, he changed into a husband and father. With that comes all sorts of change! Many for the better! All she has to do is be a part of his life and it will change!

When I married my husband, I was two weeks shy of turning 27. When my mother was that age she already had four children! My eyes have been opened and there are many things I have learned. Most importantly: I cannot change my husband. He makes the changes on his own but I am there to support and encourage him.

In our marriage, we try to put aside specific times where we sit down and discuss our marriage and family life. We call it Family Counsel. These have proven useful as we go over the calendar schedule, discuss concerns about the children, and if there is a need for some sort of change. A change in our schedule, or routine, or each other. As a couple, we like to set aside each Friday night as date night. If you are thinking ‘isn’t that every night?’ I understand, I used to think like that too. Date night is special. When schedules are busy or monotonous, setting aside a specific time to talk about life is a good idea.

The author of that book suggests that women have a need to change men. What he did NOT mention was that women do change men naturally, as their companion, their spouse, their partner in life. And vice versa. Not through dictating instructions or constantly pointing out faults, but simply through love and encouragement and talking sincerely with one another.

I admit, I have heard the words told to me, “you have changed my life” from my husband on many occasions. He has changed my life too. Simply by being a part of it.

So how do you change a man? You don’t. He changes on his own. All you have to do is be a part of his life. xx

The Twelve Dollar Deal


I walked past a window

And saw a pretty ring

It looked just like mine

A sparkly beautiful thing.

 

It was only twelve dollars.

A pretty good deal.

Although I already had one,

That one looked pretty real.

 

Back at the house

I sat by the phone

He would soon call

He should be home

 

I sat there still

Thinking this is odd

Wondering where he might be

He’s never not called.

 

I hoped he wasn’t mad

That I had moved so far

He had seemed sad

But he drove a nice car!

 

The next day I sat

Still by the phone

Now I was upset

I’m going back home!

 

And off I went

To see what was wrong

Not thinking at all

That we weren’t getting along

 

Halfway there

My engine blew

I called him again

I need you!

 

He said he’d be there

I waited til three

My sister came instead

Now I was very angry!

 

Together we drove

And she drove very fast

I showed her my ring

And we had a few laughs

 

Straight to his house

There was a car I did not know

I let myself in

And instantly thought NO!

 

He stood with a girl

Who looked nothing like me

They had been together

For a while said she

 

I dismissed her to go

He and I needed to talk

The lies, so many lies

I felt my heart lock.

 

You should give me the ring

He said in a breath

Why now when I am here?

You should have come to collect!

 

I took the ring off

And threw it in his face

I wished him the worst

And walked out of his place.

 

My heart had been broken

What do I do now?

Move on and live life

It’ll be okay somehow.

 

Meanwhile…

 

He took the ring

Back to the store

Thinking what he’d use

All that money for

 

The jeweller had a look

At the sparkling ring

Raised an eyebrow,

And said the following:

 

This is not a diamond.

Nor is this white gold.

I’m very sorry to say

It cannot be sold.

 

He then knew,

He held the fake and she had the real

He should have collected because

She had made a twelve dollar deal.