Wednesday, October 10, 2012

At Joyful Monkey's Request...

This morning, JM conquered her fear! She allowed her Oma to insert her set in her tummy! She has avoided this site out of fear, but this morning, she did it! Oma did it because the last two times Mama's done a site change, we've had ugly bleeders. Mama's a bit set shy right now.

Anyway, I was a bit shocked when she asked me to take her picture and put it on our blog. I didn't know she even thought about the blog. Now a Facebook update, I'd expect. But, as per her request, here it is. Way to go, Joyful Monkey!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Joyful Monkey had a particularly difficult night last night. It was a CGM and pump site change night. She was tired and not her typical, joyful self. As she was grumpy, I asked her if it was a tough D-day. She shook her head no. It seemed that she didn't want to succumb to self pity. I told her that it was okay to feel upset about Diabetes every once in a while. She started to cry and say that she wished she could just feel normal. I asked her what normal felt like. She said she didn't know. I asked her if she felt her sisters felt "normal". She didn't think they did. (Okay, world...clearly an "abnormal" house here.)

I couldn't think of anything else. I just started to pray out loud for her. I thanked God for the courage he gave her everyday. I thanked God for the joy she has always shown in spite of her Diabetes. I thanked him for the joy we could have, despite our feelings of sadness, because of the incredible gift he gave us on the cross. I thanked him for giving her this gift, so that someday she would worship him freely, without the grief and pain of this disease. I asked him to give her the courage she would need to fight this battle each day without losing her joy. I thanked him for the ways he was using this disease to strengthen her and build her character.

At the end of my prayer, she smiled. I told her that I felt like I should sing "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart!" She giggled and it was music to my ears.

I told her that she would probably go through many times when she would be upset or sad about Diabetes. I explained that she may spend a month of dealing with Diabetes daily, but not really giving it a second thought. Then, she'd have a couple days where she would just feel frustrated with it. I assured her that it was OKAY to feel that long as we didn't stay in that place, as long as we didn't set up camp for longer than our couple days and as long as we remembered all the things we are blessed with.

As I encouraged her, I knew the Holy Spirit was giving me the words to say and was, in turn, encouraging my heart as well. It just reminded me again how lost we'd be without the Savior's love on this journey. I so desperately depend on His strength!


We've been on quite a journey since we celebrated our eleventh anniversary (my last post here). About a month and a half later, I was offered a full time job teaching. I felt the Lord leading me down this path, as all of the pieces fell together just perfectly. It was the first time, however, I had worked full time outside the home since I had my girls. That part has been hard. Now, Daddy has the "privilege" of getting them up and ready, as my school begins before his does. I know what a task it can be to get three girls ready and out the door on time, so I feel guilty that I'm not a part of it. Aside from being there when they get up, I also miss out on volunteering in their school, going on field trips, and being "in the know". I am so grateful, however, that Scott is "in the know". He does work there, afterall.

I am completely blessed to have a teaching job and I absolutely LOVE my class this year! I'm having such a great time with them and I am continually learning new skills and using new ideas. It's brought to life a part of "me" that has been missing for awhile.

All of the "busy"-ness of our new life has left us exhausted. It has been extremely hard to reach out to others as it seems we are just fighting to stay above water, ourselves. We're juggling church, sports, three school schedules, homework, and learning the dynamics of a new school. Did I mention that History Buff started Middle School?

Right now, life is completely overwhelming, yet I feel like I need to be doing more. I need to be finding ways to serve others that my children can learn from and take part in. There are so many wonderful ministries and organizations out there, not to mention all of the opportunities that present themselves to us daily. I guess I'm just wondering, when do all of the good activities become toxic? I feel like there is just no room in our lives to do the things we should be doing.

What do you do to ensure your family thrives at a pace where spiritual growth and purposeful living take precedence? How do you decide what good things to give up?

*On a side note, Joyful Monkey got a CGM! Woohoo!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

"Marriage. Marriage is what brings us together today..."

My hubby and I just celebrated 11 yrs of marriage.
Anniversary Graphics

The girls very sweetly gave us a card
with the following acrostic...
(copied here as it was written)

Hope you have a nice day
And lots of love and kisses
Pride in 11 years
Parents of three

Never give up
N\other & Father (major creativity points for this one!)
Initials: B's
Very Truly Yours
Everlasting Love
And Hugs
"Remember our wedding?"

How sweet is that?

How does this relate to Diabetes or Celiac? 
Well, the card doesn't relate to D directly,
but our marriage does.

Let's face it...
when D enters your life, it enters EVERY part of it!

It's strange to think that D has only been a part of our marriage for 2 of the 11 years, but it has cemented a partnership in our care for the girls. I feel immeasurably blessed by my hubby's involvement in D care. It's real love IN ACTION! Seriously, why else would anyone be willing to wake up at all hours to check BGs so you can get more than two and a half hours of sleep at a time?

Yup, I think he loves us.

Scratch that. 

I know he does! 

That's a pretty great anniversary gift, don't ya think?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Joyful Monkey Turns 8

Happy 8th Birthday Joyful Monkey!!! 
Life has been quite the roller coaster, but you've always been up for the challenge. 
And it's even better with friends...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tonight, I Took a Trip

What a trip! Well, one of my friends would call it an "emotional journey". As Social Butterfly is fast asleep during this, the wee hours of her birthday morn, I retrieved "her box" from the top shelf in the closet.

The box contains all of the memorabilia and trinkets from her first year...her birth announcement, commemorative silver coin, first baseball, first Bible, the outfit she came home him, the bib her great grandmother sent her from the Salisbury Cathedral in England, and many other treasures that had been tucked away.

It was such a sweet walk down memory lane. Our lives were full, but simple. We lived in an apartment with my sister while my hubby and I were finishing our final year of our bachelor's degrees. My sister would watch the girls while I packed my Tuesdays and Thursdays with classes, so I could be home the rest of the week.
Daily life was filled with play-doh and crayons for History Buff, while Social Butterfly spent her day swinging, nursing and having her share of tummy time.

As a baby, SB was a dream.
She really was.

She was content wherever she was. She was, by far, my most compliant baby. It's much the same today. She is the first one to give something up if another is in need or just simply desires it. She's the first to sacrifice. She's the first one to offer a helping hand. She is a peacemaker with a tender heart.

While I long for the simple sweetness of her yesteryear, I realize that I am as blessed today as I was the first day I brought her home. More so, actually, as she has become a beautiful young lady who seeks to honor the Lord because her heart desires to.

Happy Birthday Social Butterfly!

Thank you, Lord, for this sweet daughter you have entrusted to us. May You always be her rock and your Word, her foundation. You have gifted her with such a servants' heart and I look forward to seeing how you use her to further your kingdom. Thank you for calling her into your forever family. Amen

Friday, July 8, 2011


Music. Ahhhhh. The Lord uses music in our lives all the time to bring hope and healing. We use music to praise Him. And often, both collide. He brings us hope and healing as we praise Him.

Hallie's excitement and enthusiasm for Chris Tomlin's "Our God Is Greater" song parallel's Joyful Monkey's enthusiasm for Matt Redman's "You Never Let Go". Not long after JM's diagnosis, we sang this worship song at church. If you had looked down our row, you probably would have seen many in our family wiping tears from their eyes. The lyrics are so fitting for a Type 1 Diabetic whose hope is in Jesus. It's one of Joyful Monkey's favorites and because it means so much to her, it makes me cry all over again.

In fact, worship time at church has become an emotional affair for me. Worship (corporately in song) has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Until a few months ago, I was a part of the worship team at church, but I just can't do it anymore without crying. And for awhile, that bothered me. Why was I crying? My faith is strong. I'm not questioning my faith. Why am I crying all the time?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not wailing, or even sobbing. But, many a tear slide down my face throughout our corporate worship time on Sunday mornings. And it's not only a happy cry when reminded that we aren't alone in our struggles. It's a BITTERSWEET cry. Bitter because T1D is no joyride. Sweet because we don't take the journey alone.

It was only recently I realized why I'm crying. It's a sacrifice. And sacrifices HURT.

Sacrifice demands surrender, does it not? It's a sacrifice because I'm giving up the "WHY?" and choosing instead to trust Him through the storm. Ultimately, it's the sacrifice of my dreams for His will. It's a constant choice. And sometimes, that HURTS! But even when it hurts, He is so FAITHFUL!

I could turn my back or shake my fist at God. I could be angry and resentful. It's a sacrifice to say "I don't know why you've allowed my baby to struggle with all of this pain but I still choose to praise and honor You because You are the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). You are the same post-T1D diagnosis, as you were pre-T1D diagnosis. And I choose to trust that you will work all these things for good because we love You (Romans. 8:28). Not my will, but Your's be done."

Sacrifice: the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim

Okay, enough about me crying and back to Kelsey's favorite song. She LOVES the part when it says "Oh no, You never let go...through the calm and through the storm. Oh no, You never let every HIGH and every LOW. Oh no, You never let go. Oh, you never let go of me."

She takes comfort in the image of Jesus hanging onto her in every HIGH and every LOW she experiences...a beautiful picture. 

The song is on my playlist at the bottom of my blog. If you'd like to see the video, pause the playlist first. ; )

And just to throw it in, our family theme song that we chose right after her diagnosis..."Not Be Shaken" by David Ruis. No real pics but you can hear the song...