Monday, May 28, 2012


There are many words I could use to describe the past month.  But one of the first words that comes to mind is tired.  It's been a good month but such an exhausting month.  And I'm worn out: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

There are so many symptoms of this.  Wanting to burst into tears over things that I normally wouldn't. Ever.  (Thankfully, I can usually hold them back.)  Little energy or desire to dig into the Word.  The inclination to spend most days on my bed reading or on my laptop.  The restless feeling of being stuck.

The combination of the pain and physical torment these past many months and the busy schedule of this month equals all of the above and more.  (Be grateful for the details I've spared you.)  I'm tired of being sick.  Tired of how it affects and tries so hard to control so many details of my daily and weekly life.  Tired of the pain.  Tired of being tired.

The temptation in my weakness and humanness is to stay in the depression of being tired of it all.  It is a choice to choose to enjoy time with family and friends.  It's a choice to get off my bed and go outside to be refreshed and renewed by God's creation.  It's a choice to get up and bake delicious food for the people I love and be reminded of how much I enjoy the kitchen.  It's a choice to go out for coffee with friends and be renewed and energized by laughter when my exhaustion is telling me to go to bed instead.  It's a choice to do exercises while chatting on the phone instead of being sprawled out across my bed.  And in the past few minutes, it was a choice to open God's Word for the first time in too many days.
I opened to one of my favorite Psalms, Psalm 139.  The first eighteen verses just spoke to so many different parts of me and parts of my exhaustion.

O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit? or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me," even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.  And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!  How great is the sum of them!
If I could count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You.
(Psalm 139:1-18)

God understands everything about me.  He understand and knows each hurt, each frustration, each moment when I don't have any strength to go on.  I can't get away from Him...He will. not. leave. me.  Even in the darkness, He is here.  I don't always feel Him, but I know He's next to me.  When He was weaving me in the womb, He knew what would happen in my body.  He knew the struggles ahead.  There are purposes in His plan through all this pain that I will never understand.  But I'm learning to trust Him for them.

These days can be very dark.  But I know He still shines and there are times He shines extra brightly and it gives me a faith boost.  Then there are the dark days that are just, well, dark.  It's those days that are the hardest to push through but thankfully His mercies are new every morning.

It's getting late and I'm rambling.  I started this post this morning and then was gone all day.  It was great to catch up with some friends but once again, I'm tired.  Praying for strength to face another week after a long weekend...and praying for those I love who are also going through illness and trying times. God is good.  All the time.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

May in Thousands of Words

It's a beautiful Sunday evening in May.  The breeze is cool after a hot day and the sun is setting over the neighbor's silos.  I'm sitting outside in my comfy yoga pants and favorite gray hoodie.  My golden retriever is laying faithfully beside me, nipping at the night time bugs and listening to the evening sounds with the cutest perked ears.  As I look at the golden sky and enjoy the gentle breeze, I'm reminded how very much I have to be grateful for.

 Kacia with her baseball right where she plopped it

If you look closely, you can see the silos

This month has been such a mixture of pain and happiness, exhaustion and fun, spiritual and emotional highs and lows.  If there's one thing I'm convinced of it's this: the roller coaster of the past several painful years has made me so eternally grateful that my God NEVER changes.  He is the same.  Every day.  No matter what.  He has no highs or lows.  He remains steady and faithful.

They say pictures are worth a thousand words and there are so many memories from the past few weeks that I don't want to forget.  So below I'm recording thousands and thousands of words.  Words of love, family, friendship, happiness, and joy amidst a life that consists of daily pain and daily choices to choose joy.

 My two Emily's and our red faces after wonderful facials at an Arbonne spa party
(we even have red eyes to match)

 Throwing a baseball in Grandpa & Grandma's backyard in Michigan

 My grandparents sitting by the lake at a cookout

  Hannah taking pictures with Caleb's big camera

  Watching my uncle in his sailboat races

  It was so awesome to be on the water

 Love the sky, love the lake. It was lovely.

  I FINALLY got to go to a Tiger game after twenty-two years of going to Grandpa & Grandma's by Detroit
(And every other family member had already gone)

Walking into the ballpark 

  We got there early so took lots of pictures before the game started

  I happen to love my siblings more than I could ever, ever describe

  They are some of my bestest friends in the whole entire world

 I took this picture on an have fun cranking your neck

We like being weird

  I like taking random pictures. Like, of my feet.

  We couldn't be too crazy because these wonderful people were sitting above us

  The tiger

  Prince Fielder walking onto the field

  It was weird to cheer for him as something other than a Brewer

  Some of my siblings are more forgiving of him abandoning us than others
(I won't mention any names of the unforgiving ones)

  The last game we saw him in was his three-homer game in Milwaukee
(This game wasn't nearly as exciting)

  Got to meet up with my friend Megan in Holland at Applebees & great to catch up

 My cousin Mitch got married and it was a gorgeous wedding

  So beautiful!

 Erica & Alyssa...two of my favoritest people

  And the whole Haveman gang

  <3 "Twin Cousins" <3

Good looking family ;)

  Susie & Sissy

 Love these girls so much

  I was feeling weird

Yeah. Like I said. Weird.

  We had fun showing Erica how dirty her Yukon was

  Sissy's as tall as Uncle Nevin

  My friend Christy shot a gun for the first time when she was here yesterday...we all had fun doing a little shooting

  I got to hold my friend Leah's little so cute & cuddly <3

  This weekend has called for lots and lots of baking...

  ...and I've been loving it!

Delicious manicotti dinner with family & friends

It's almost 9:00 now and the crickets are chirping and the light is turning into dim duskiness.  The mosquitoes are going to drive me inside pretty quick here.  I'm thinking about finances, my upcoming infusion next week, get-togethers with friends this week, challenges with my job, personal and relational struggles, and just how I can't imagine any of this without my Savior by my side.  I'm gratefully reflecting on all those who have fought and continue to fight for freedom in this country as I think about celebrating Memorial Day tomorrow.  The following two pictures are from Facebook and they really touched my heart.

Thank you to all who love and serve this country.  You are heroes.  

It is now 11:20pm.  I've been going through pictures, pictures, and more pictures from four different cameras.  So many fun memories.  I had a bunch more thoughts I was going to share but I am falling asleep so they'll have to wait.  Looking forward to a lovely Memorial Day in the morning and must get some sleep first.

Happy holiday weekend!