Saturday, January 5, 2019

Shifting and Standing STILL.

Brokenness, desperation, unknows, fearful, risks, insecurity, humbleness, loneliness, loss....

These are just some of the words that come to mind as Kevin and I process the last several months of our life.

When we moved to GA 4 years ago we had no idea just how much we would love it here. We felt at home, like this was always where we were suppose to be. Kevin moved from working in a big engineering company to a start up business with his boss that he has worked with for over 10 years.  It truly felt as though dreams were coming true and that this would be our forever.  We knew that we would love to find our forever home, that the house we were currently in was just not our style or where we wanted to raise the boys to come home to as their family years ended.  We wanted to find a house that would be the root of where the kids always find a way back to.

And  If you know anything about Kevin and I you know that we don't like anything ordinary, we always look for things with quirks and character. The house we were in was grand and beautiful but it just wasn't us.  So for the last 2 years we went on a hunt for our forever home, because we really felt like setting down roots for the boys to grow in was so important. We also knew that Kevin's job could change at any moment. It was as startup funded by a parent company that at any point could have the right to shut it down.  From day 1 it felt risky, and it continued feeling risky by year 3.

When we found this property we had a major choice to make. We could let the unknowns of his job dictate our future, or be obedient to God to put down roots for these boys to grow.  Kevin said when we put the offer in on the property that he really felt like he was laying down his job to no longer be the deciding factor.

We bought the property without selling our house, this felt incredibly scary and risky, but the tug on our hearts from God was so much greater.  We listed our house and sold it in 48 hours, the very next day of receiving an offer we found out that they were shutting down Iron Direct.  All of the sudden we felt the foundation we were standing on begin to shift. And God wasn't done yet, my health was shaking, the job was shaking, the move was shaking, we  felt so shaken when we lost a beloved grandfather suddenly, and even relationships we cherished were shaking.   In a matter of 4 weeks our life got flipped upside down.

We closed on our house in Fayetteville and that night as Kevin and I processed everything he said "I hate we worry so much, but boy that was scary." For two weeks we owned two houses and knew that his job was ending.

I wish this is the part of the blog that I tell you how everything turned out. However, it is not. We don't know if God will ask us to place the property on the altar and be asked to move. We don't know what type of job or when Kevin will get his next job. We don't know how my hysterectomy will turn out once I am recovered and if it will alleviate all of my pain, we don't know when we will be able to be with our family as they grieve a father, husband and grandfather, and we don't know how relationships will settle once everything is calm.

Right now we are safe within the ark of His protection, but the storm is raging and it is scary and unpredictable and incredibly out of our control 

Daily I am reminded of God's never ending presence in our life. He is not shaking, He is not moving, He is not scared, insecure, worried or fearful for our future. I can feel God resting His mighty hand over our family. I can feel Him changing both Kevin and I as we push into the security of who He is not who this world has to offer. We know that with the shifting of our lives comes beauty and refined gold. When hold onto the promises that when He takes away He restores back.

9 years ago we were asked to walk an unimaginably hard journey of losing two babies and the fear of not being able to get pregnant. Kevin and I have felt the same deep sorrow and grief in this journey. We are so thankful we have the promises of "remember when..." to look back on.

Remember when we lost two babies? Remember when doctors were not even sure I could ever get pregnant? Remember when I almost died and was rushed into surgery to remove a baby and a fallopian tube? Remember when what we thought was a beautiful boy ended up being toxic cells that could turn to cancer? Remember when the company Kevin worked for shut down in Asheville? Remember when we had to leave everything comfortable to move to a town that was overrun with golf carts?
Remember when God gave us 5 acres to raise not 1, 2, or 3 boys but 4 miracle upon  miracle boys?

Remember when.

My mom gave us their verse that stood on when similar things were taking place in their lives:

Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes! 1 Samuel 12:16

I am praying this verse as well:

6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

See, I have seen God at work in so many areas of our lives, I also have seen God at work in the lives of dear beloved family around us. We may not know what our future holds, but I do know our future is secure in the palm of Jesus. I do know who He created us to be, who this family will be, and the legacy this family will hold.

I look at my husband and could not be more proud or more in love with him then I am today. He is a strong and mighty Oak tree with roots so deep within the foundation of our God. I know my boys see this, I know people watching see this. That, that is more precious than money, job title, or security in anything this world has to offer.

So if you see us, encounter us, watch us, your might see broken people, because we are, so very broken. You might see worry, overwhelmingness, and maybe at times even fear. But do not mistake that for a lack hope, a deep stirring in our hearts, or a revival happen in our little home with our little family. We are so very hopeful, so very thankful, and so very blessed.

Now we will heal (especially me physically from a very intense surgery...) we will gain strength, we worship, we will praise and we will "stand STILL and see the great and mighty thing the Lord our God is about to do!" Join us in watching!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Land and Boys

I sit tonight  in my bed with a laptop popped open, a kid leaning on my shoulder, one kid on my legs, the tv on, computer on, dogs barking, kids screaming, shower running, noise-chaotic-filled home. I have a billion thoughts running through my mind at a million miles a minute. I can't complete one thought.

I bounce between praying through difficult situations dear friends are facing to how I am going to thin down what is in my storage room so that I can move into a home with zero I take the crib I know I don't need anytime soon? Do I donate the keepsakes I have held onto  for 14 years? Do I really need that random box of cords (my husband will say yes.)? It's all so much.

Two weeks ago we signed a contract on a house that is 10 miles from our current home. If you follow me on FB or YouTube then you have already seen my updates. The reality of going from a 3.400 square foot home to a 2,200 home. Which is everything my heart desires. I truly believe we are "going home" for the first time in our marriage. I have never felt anything quite like it. It is a dream come true for both us. Land. Boys. Land and boys. they just go together and we so desperately want to change our lifestyle.

Kevin and I have dreamed of land since we said "I do.." it was always something we talked about, and then when we had 4 boys it became even more a dream. However, what really stirred this fast pace move that has literally taken our breath away was wanting to buy a travel trailer to start some new adventures with our boys.

We are part of a camp loving community and we have fallen in love with it. We show up at a campsite and set our tamed boys free into the wild and watch them come alive. We knew we wanted this as part of our lives. We had new dreams of traveling the US with them and creating deep memories and bonds as a family. We have seen some of our closest friends do it and seen how much it has benefitted and changed their lives...we wanted in.  So on the hunt we went for a used,sleeps 6, trailer... and we soon realized that financially we just could not afford to take our saving to pay for it. Kevin is not a huge fan of financing things we don't absolutely have to.  So we paused.

Then one night at dinner I said to my Calm "Babe, I have this thought, and its going to sound totally and completely crazy..." There was no shock on his face, because I don't do many things or say many things that shock him...."What if we sell everything we have, buy land...and put a trailer on it and slowly build our dream?" I can't honestly remember what his reaction was, I do know it was NOT was agreement, peace....dreams.

So we started looking, we went and saw properties...we started researching, we started asking questions and finding out whether or not we could actually do this....and reality?  We couldn't.  To build in Fayette county is so difficult and the more researched the more we realized there was no way we could actually afford to build.

So we paused.

And then Kevin sent me a Brooks.  See, we had visited a house in brooks about a year ago, but that house was really really far out and I didn't love the lay of the land, they had cut all the trees down...So that was my impression of Brooks...Far away, bare land.

I want woods, shade, trees...

I'll never forget loading all the kids in the van and telling them we were going to visit another plot of land...all the question...bless it.  As we pulled into the driveway something happened in my heart...and when I rounded the corner and saw my husband walking the property I knew he loved it.  Oh we all fell in love. The house, the pool, the trees...all of it. It was all so much we have always wanted. We left dazed and amazed and totally overwhelmed because I think we both knew we couldn't let it go.

It meant a lot of things, we were going to have to go through a lot of changes. We knew that it would be a trade off and not an easy one. We have some of the dearest of dearest friends 4.5 miles from us. We trade kids like trading cards...
We have the best babysitter in the history of babysitters...she is a dream, and I couldn't imagine taking the house if she couldn't come with it. (HA..)
We have some of the sweetest neighbors who have my boys over to play weekly...
It was a lifestyle change and we know it isn't going to be an easy one...

However, for the first time in 14 years Kevin and I feel permission to put down roots. To say yes to GA, to raising our kids with a community we have come to love and couldn't imagine living without... To building a home for the boys to come back to over the years...we are saying YES to more things then we had to say CHANGE to.

So in two weeks we will be sleeping in our new (hopefully) forever home. My heart can't even take all of the thankfulness this will mean. We are overwhelmed everys single step we take we feel the peace of Jesus all over it.

You can follow my updates and videos of the kids on YouTube...the kids are so proud we a have a "YouTube Channel..." I do love updating and know we will love to have it to look back on.

You can also follow us on InstaGram... Tanner Crew-

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Storms that for a Moment Calm.

Glory to betsy it's been a while...this is why I could never be a professional author or blogger....well that and I just had to correct my spelling on author...there is no e. Bless.

Since my last post life has been so extra sweet. Both boys doing so unbelievably well. Unbelievably. Well. I sometimes feel like the last year is filled with brief nightmares but that's all it was...brief. I look at my growing boys today and I see strong, courageous, wild, boys. They are taking on the world and I am so excited I get to be on the sidelines watching them play the game of their lives.

Medicine is still a part of our everyday but it is not a focal point of our day. It is but a moment, in fact it's such not a big deal that they hop in the kitchen and dispense medicine to each other and move on. We are not fearful or held captive by the small bottle that has provided a bit of stability in our lives. It is not lost on me that that small little bottle was a miracle by Jesus. What was once intimidating and scary has become the catapult for health and living life to the fullest! One without fear, anxiety, anger and confusion. Medicine, it is a gift, it is a light, it is a small raft in the raging storms....But the sun and calm waves we are experiencing in this season, well that alone is Jesus.  He provided a raft then turned to the angry seas and said "May it be calm."

We might experience the waves pick up again, I have no doubt the the storm may rage again, that is what this life is...raging storms and calming seas. And sometimes it's both, raging storms and a peace that you can't explain through the raging storm.

So whats next. Well, we will continue this moment and not change anything just yet. One of the boys was doing so amazing that we thought we could drop the medication to half, however, we both- he and us- realized that no, it was not time and he needed the extra half. We celebrated that we could communicate this and moved on. Done and Done.

It is hard to believe that my once 3,3,2, and 1 year olds are now almost 9, 8, 6, 5 year olds! Let me tell you friends, we are in a new season. A new season of sleeping past 6 am, of getting dressed, putting on shoes, cleaning rooms, putting away laundry, eating full meals at the dinner table, sports, independence and one who continually asks "Think I'll go through the 'Big change' this year?" Which my sister so creatively named for puberty. Bless it all. Literally he comes to my face shoves his armpit and my nose and wants to know- "Does it smell like the big change mom?"  Glory Bless. I always say "No son, and stop rushing will be awkward and stink for many years- lets not go there just yet."

School. Well, if you didn't know 4 Wild Oaks will be bringing home two more students. Karsten and Asa will joined the crew this year. Who knew. I absolutely adore having them home.

                            This is the part of the post where I so kindly (Boldly, grab your face, make eye contact and make sure you HEAR me) tell you that homeschooling is NOT for everyone. And if you choose public, private, charter or whatever school, you are doing the RIGHT thing. You can't read this and think "Oh gosh I should be homeschooling..." If this provides guilt in your heart close out now and STOP reading.

Seriously. STOP IT. Do not compare. Do not question. Do not doubt.  We do that enough on Fakebook and Instafake.


Now, We have not actually started school and we will not be starting until after Jaden's birthday on August 14th, why? Because I can...we can...and (I) want to.

This year will be a big year, I am not absolutely even sure I can homeschool all 4...and I have to teach two of them to read and one to write well...that is huge. So the pressure feels much higher as I approach our second year. But overall, I love them home, I don't get tired of them...

Back that train up....

I get tired of the bickering, fighting, picking, crying, screaming, fussing, complaining, never ending brotherly fights.....

And if we are going to be honest and real- which you know I will, I have a lovely little pill I swallow every night that helps with the above listings.

But I actually genuinely love having them home with me. I love being apart of their learning and actually learning right along side of them. I am memorizing my multiplication facts just as they are. So for this year I have such a peace that this is the best thing for each of them. Next year? I can't even go there.

Jesus is always so patient and grace filled when it comes to this very inconsistent, fearful, and not always obedient daughter. I am so thankful that He catches me each and everyday as I stumble, fall and crawl my way through this life.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Diagnosed. A Chapter in a Book.

We are on a journey, one where we find answers, some answers we don't want, and another where no answers seem to be found and puzzle pieces seem to be from different puzzles.

We had our suspicions ...but there it was, in black in white we a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Seeing it burned my eyes with tears. It didn't change my child, it didn't make him any different, it didn't change my love for him or our hearts desire for him...but there it was and I couldn't escape it.

See, we didn't get testing so we could label our kids or put them in a box of description that would hold and freeze them there forever. No. Never. We didn't get a diagnosis so we could medicate and move on. No. Never. We didn't get a diagnosis because we wanted one or so we could understand our child more...No. Never. 

I understand my child, because I am chosen to be his mother. 

WE sought out answers so we could equip him better, so we could fight for him harder, so we could prepare him for this world that can be hard and hateful. We only sought answers so that we could do the absolute BEST thing for our child. But nonetheless, you seek diagnosis and answers to things that perplex you and sometimes when you walk through that door you wish you could shut it, pad lock it, and run from it forever. It just seems so overwhelming.

The diagnosis...A diagnosis...Hell...ANY diagnosis does NOT define who we are...I know this, we all know this...we say this on repeat it seems after any diagnosis.  However, it does not change that a diagnosis is hard. This broken world of hard.

I breathed. Deep breath in and out, I paused.

Kevin and I shared the hardness and brokenness in it.  

You can say all the positive you want to a person who receives a diagnosis, you can cheer the greatest cheer, but sometimes the greatest cheerleaders...are silent right before a big moment. This was that big moment. We just needed a moment.

We knew the truths,

God is faithful,
There is hope in Him
This is not a definition of your child
This is a perspective and opinion of man's view.
God does not see autism....

We stand on those truths, we believe those truths, WE have always BELIEVED those truths.

But grieving something for your child does not mean I do NOT believe those things. Wishing something different for my child does not mean I do NOT believe those things. Having moments where you wish your child didn't have to face hardships that you know will come...does not mean I do NOT believe those things.

I DO. 

Grief and sorrow...they are good, because they push you to be real, to be sensitive, to know how to truly cry out before Jesus, and to long more for Jesus to come. Grief and sorrow, they are special glasses that make you see things in this world with compassion and love easier. To realize that not all is perfect or shaded by the best filter.

A diagnosis is not easy, but, it is not a defining, its not the's a chapter in the book. A reason to talk, to research, to try. It's a part of the journey that maybe rocky and hard and we might fall on our knees as we climb this Mount Everest...but that view.

Worth every step, every fall, every valley, every peak, every rock, and twist and turn. 

Worth it ALL.

We are going to walk this journey. And we will most likely walk it as publicly as we can. I don't share my children's names but that is only because one day it will be their story to tell...I can only tell it from my point of view right now. But I can promise you if you email me, or call me, or text me...I will write you back. Because I am not ashamed of our journey...I am proud.  I will share any part of my journey as you walk yours, and I can promise you...When you need it, I will be that silent cheerleader for you. Because you know what, we all need that sometimes.

A journey publicly, is a journey not alone.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Broken Christmas

This Christmas was unlike any other I have ever had in my entire life.  Two weeks prior we started coming down with some kind of virus that took a hold of our family like an octopus, meaning it sucked us in and held us captive.  Every time we thought we were coming on the other side we would get hit again. We embraced the sickness, we hung lights all around the living room, pulled in mattresses and blankets and pillows and watched endless Christmas movies by the fire and puke buckets. We paused and although I had other plans we just let it be. There was nothing else we could do but let it be.

However, I started around Thanksgiving having a pain in my back and stomach that I couldn't seem to escape. After many attempts of healing and dealing with it myself I found myself in the ER a week before Christmas looking for answers but finding none. We made an appointment with a GI doctor who was wonderful and set me on a new course of treatment trying to narrow down some reasons this could be happening.  It seemed his treatments were working and I was finally feeling a bit more relief, until I came down with whatever virus the kids had brought into our home. On Christmas Eve I was sick beyond words. Between my unknown illness and the virus my body began shutting down and refusing to fight. I couldn't sip water or move from the bed or floor in front of the toilet.  The pain was the worst thing I have ever experienced in my whole life.  Our Christmas Eve traditions ceased. We didn't go to a service, we didn't play games, we didn't watch a Christmas movie or make Christmas pizza.  What few gifts we let the boys open on Christmas Eve were open in my bed surrounding a mom who was trying hard to not alarm the boys and failing miserably.  Everything was broken.

At 7:30pm when I knew I couldn't make it any longer and I was saying goodbye to my babes and headed to the hospital...again. Broken. So so Broken.

My spirit was broken, my flesh was sick and my soul was angry. I had said the name of Jesus on repeat every time I was viciously heaving into the bowl of the toilet. I would moan prayers of pleading to heal me so I could be present on His coming, and flesh was broken. There was absolutely nothing I could do but surrender to the pain and brokenness and surrender to whatever His plans were, even if I didn't understand them.

I knew that my unknown illness and the virus had combined and made a terrible storm within my body. There wouldn't be answers in the ER, not that night, but maybe relief so I could make it to Christmas morning. That was the hope. After 6 hours of treatment and finally some relief I was able to be home.  We arrived home at 3:30am and let my sweet friend (become sister) go be with her family...the love we have from this community deserves its own blog post that I plan on writing. My babes were up at 6:00am knowing mommy was sick but so overcome with excitement for the morning. Kevin my calm never falter, never broke, and remained so peaceful and gift giving for our family. Christmas morning this year was simple, there was no big breakfast, no big setups, no big anything...we just couldn't. There was a brokenness in our flesh we couldn't control and we just had to let grace upon grace be what drove the day. Which was lots of nothing. We opened gifts slowly and had no expectation for the day. There were no friends over, no big Christmas meal...there was a stillness and a respect for what had overtaken our family...exhaustion.

We had to remind our boys that we have to be ok when things don't go as planned. This was a hard Christmas, it really was, but it made it stop and realize that life itself was the greatest gift. I was out of the hospital and able to be semi present with my boys. That was a gift.

As I have been able to step out of that night and process it I have come to realize that despite our biggest efforts for Christmas...or honestly anything in our daily lives...we constantly are living in brokenness and no matter how much we try to mask the brokeness with ribbons and bows beneath it all lies the reality of it all...imperfect flesh.

But Jesus, oh my sweet sweet Jesus. It is the very reason He came, the very reason we celebrate His birth year after year, why our souls long for the ultimate healing and peace...because despite any of our greatest efforts we are at the very core, broken and weary people thankful for the Savior. I am so very thankful. And although we still don't know what's wrong with me, and we have been on this journey for what seems like an eternity, I cannot for one second put my trust in the ribbons and bows of this earth, they will eventually break and teather...but I can tie myself to the hope of my Lord and Savior, Emmanuel, God with us.

We may never find the answers to my broken body, we may never fully understand why Jesus has me to walk this journey, but I can't complain, and I can't be angry, because all of our bodies are broken, my peace- oh my peace, yes it comes in the hope what will be, the hope of what's to come, the hope that I can close my eyes and know that this broken body will one day be healed in the presence of the Almighty One.  That, makes this time on earth much more doable, the pain will last but a is only but seconds compared to eternity. I have to keep my eyes lifted up, knowing that He is my only hope, my only healing, my only peace. And somehow that makes all of this sucks....don't get me wrong, but it is okay.

But sweet, precious, almighty, JESUS.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

"Little" Mount Everest.

I can't sleep. And its all because of a little form that I filled out tonight. Well, "little" in the fact of information...but monumental in what it meant. Tonight I filed my two oldest and well an independent school. What?!?! I know right. 4 Wild Oaks School will be a real deal in January 2018. Remember how the atmosphere changes when I do something big? Yeah, you probably already felt the tremendous atmosphere change. Sorry about that.

But for real. First of all GA apparently is the leanest of lean states to homeschool in. The did not ask for proof of anything. Nothing. They did not ask if I was actually capable to teach my kids, this is still out for debate. They did not ask what medications I might (am..I am...) be taking. They did not bother to ask my age, 30....and just a a few more , or how well my marriage is (I mean crazy and her calm). They did not care if I was crazy, totally exhausted, mama of 4...I REPEAT 4 boys...nope. You know what they wanted? My address. Good job Georgia.

"Yeah, she...she can teach I mean look she has a house and everything...oh yes lets stamp"

I kinda just sat there and stared at the screen when it said "approved" or whatever it is it said. Enough for me to realize it was done. I sat for 3 seconds and then moved onto the next 20 tabs I had               opened for curriculum (should probably learn how to spell that one...). I was so excited when I first bound down the stairs with the laptop to show Kevin what I was about to do, I was so excited and peaceful as I clicked submit... I was totally fine until I looked at my calm and said "Nervous?" and my "I'm not nervous, or worried, or distressed, or upset, or angry, or mad..." Calm man Said "Yeah. I am nervous." Well. If I had a sound maker on my blog you would hear a toilet being flushed...because one of my kids had just peed..and pooped..while standing...but that's another story for another time...

I felt deflated. But before you blame the amazing Calm Man...he had a right to feel that way. first of all I am clearly not a teacher by nature, I am a teacher now because of necessity. Second, I am always nervous. ALWAYS. About all the things that one could be nervous and worried chicken being cooked enough..I worry about that, more then probably the average person. I have been known to take a piece of chicken onto the porch in the daylight to make sure I don't see a HINT of pink even though every other human says its done. I am a nervous human, and my husband he gets a card people. He gets one card once every year to use his nervous card and honestly I can't think of many times in the 13 years he has used it. So tonight. Tonight friends we give the calm his card. He said it, and then he moved on to encouraging me. How great he thinks I'll do and that he is excited and that he can't wait to see all the boys will learn...yeah me to buddy simmer down, give a me a moment.

Being nervous is not a sin, nor does it disappoint our all knowing God. Nervous does not produce fear (if you let it, like I do it can...) Nervous is our human nature acknowledging that something big is happening. We are standing before Mount Everest. And here is the thing. I am watching climbers prepping to go and I once again am feeling so inadequate to the calling before me.

Kevin is nervous for ALL the right reasons. And it is why I sit up when I should be exhausted because I was up all last night with puking kids. It is ok in life to be nervous. Somehow on the journey with Jesus we convinced ourselves that Jesus was greatly offened when we are nervous, that it means we don't trust Him.

I feel like schooling your kids truly is a picture of Everest that every parent MUST climb. No one is exempt from it.

Public school means you stand at the base of Everest and place your child in a group of trained guides who prepare and guide your kids up the mountain. You see children fall, not make it, stumble, or even get hurt and you know you wont be the first person there for them...That is SO hard. You also know each guide can be a bit of a gamble, just because they are "trained" does not mean they are qualified. You are entrusting them with your heart...not easy.

Then you have private school. And lets be honest, private school is elite. I am not saying that everyone who goes to private school is wealthy, I know families go to great (huge,monumental )sacrifice to put their child in this school. These are the trained of the trained guides. These are the people who are the best of the best in most situations. These guides are well equipped and ready to take your kids on the journey....but not everyone is able to afford these schools, or feel it is right for their family. I will admit though if money was no object I would probably be paying for one of these schools.

Then you have guides who have been teachers themselves. They have been up the mountain, watched others up the climb, they know some of the tricks, things to look for, how to guide children along the way. They know what to avoid and how to navigate some of the hardest parts of the journey. It is not easy, but at least having some background in climbing that can help along the way.

Then there is the guide who has never seen the mountain, has never stepped foot on a mountain, has ZERO climbing experience and doesn't even know where to start. Hmmm which one am I?  I feel like a towns person who comes to the base of the mountain and is watching people get ready to make the climb, looks are her boys and says "Well, kids, I think we might need some snow shoes...I think I saw Curious George make a pair in episode, lets go to town and see what we can find."  Before I go I ask the other guides what to do, the amount of information leaves me paralyzed with fear.  After 2 hours of informational information filled with more info...I turn and say "So....we should get more then just snow shoes?"

I know there are so many other school options I didn't even bother to touch. The reality is we are all on the same mountain, and it is scary. There are some really steep dangerous climbs ahead, but no one can stay at the bottom, its not an option. WE must climb this mountain with our precious hearts. It is hard for every single parent. You get through elementary and middle school is just as scary...have you seen those awkward emotional pimpled stinky kids? Glory. Then high school? They start having their own opinions, they start making decision you have ZERO control over, golly they will be making their own dinners and eating me out of house and home because my go to "if you are really hungry have a bowl of carrots..." will not work on a 16 year old.

We are all facing Mount Everest. Ever single one of us. Last night as I was falling asleep and I was thinking of Mount Everest I couldn't help but see one common factor in every single situation. Jesus. He was behind every guide holding each and every rope that was tethered to our precious hearts.  He had them, and when a guide would fall and our children would begin to slip, He was there. And last night when I felt the overwhelming since of despair,  He once again said His promising consistent words to me...

"But Me Beth, I am all the guide you need, I will take you each step as you navigate this climb. And I promise you this, when you fall, because you will, I have them."

I must rest at that. The climb ahead will be a scary one, sure of moments of failure...but the mountain view...might be the most unbelievable and Miraculous thing I could see this side of heaven.

Hang in there parents, we are each on the journey, you are not alone!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

In the Darkness of Medication Came Light

I am not sure how to talk/write about medication when it comes to my kids. It is not because I am embarrassed, ashamed, or not confidant in our decision. I really think its because you want to protect your child from an already cruel and judging world. I do not want you to see medication before seeing my child. Or even have thoughts "must be a day they need to up the meds..." Medication and mental illness do NOT define our children or our family. We are the Tanners, we stand firm in our solid foundation in Jesus, and this is our journey, not our identity.  Therefor, medication and the topic of diagnosis is a touchy one. One we desperately need to shine the light on, but also one you have to be so cautious with. Each word I ever write is prayed over, He gives me permission and releases things I didn't even know could exist. 

I do know I have yet to meet a parent that is excited and happy to put their child on any type of stimulant, anxiety pill, or antidepressants. There are not happy dances and praise hands the day your doctor says "its time." No. There are fears, and sadness...there is concern and the unknown of the future can leave you frozen unable to put one foot in front of the other.... 

There is also thankfulness, yes. Hopefulness, yes. Even relief, sweet relief...but happy, joyful, excitement? No, not terms I hear from parents that are walking this very hard and challenging road.  People ask when we knew it was time for medication, my response is always the same "You just know..." it is really that simple. Every other thing fails you and you are left so desperate and so low you are not sure which way is up...its in that moment you can't wait another day. Relief is desperate. You are screaming for anything to help you and your child. You see them drifting and somehow someway today is worst then yesterday which was worst then the day before.

You find yourself googling, looking for anything that could possibly help. You feel like the most contradicting inconsistent parent on the planet. What worked yesterday made things worse today. You try hard not to stir up any battles or wake the sleeping anger that lays beneath your sons sweet demeanor. So eggshells is your life, you walk lightly, talk sweetly, take so many deep breaths you feel light headed. You find yourself losing your cool on every other child and living creature that crosses you wrong. Your exhaustion is beyond anything you could type on a blog.  You look like a parent who doesn't discipline because you put up with attitude and sharp comments and big fat "NOs!" and its not because you agree with the behavior, its because you know where and what it could do. Desperation is probably not even the right word.

You find yourself crying to anyone who will give you a moment to speak, you find yourself sobbing into the phone leaving your dad a message of total brokenness. You are unsure how you will face tomorrow or if tomorrow can even be faced. You are lost. You have prayed the name of Jesus in every room of the house, anointed with oil, crawled to the foot of his bed while he sleeps and make your desperate pleads to the One who Knows all and is All. And yet....silence. The next day is worst then the day before and it feels as though your prayers just made everything worse.

You finally hit the roof after weeks of walking on eggshells and all your pent up anger comes rolling out of you like Niagara Falls and there is nothing to stop it.  And 5 min later when your voice is horse from all the yelling you are broken once again because you feel like you just lost everything you had maybe gained. You are done. And you see the brokenness on his face. How did it get to this place?

You know....You go to the doctors with your beloved son and you lay it all out. You are done, he is done, we are done, everyone is done. By golly, the dogs are done. You know... It is time. And although there is no happy dance there is hope.

One week later post "vitamins" which is what these medications are referred to in this home, you see glimpses of your son. You see a smile return, a skip to his walk, a sweet hug and a kind word...oh my heavens, then the happy dance starts. Your heart could leap...

Two weeks later and there are no broken pencils, no thrown objects, there is a calmness and peacefulness that returns to your home...Oh Jesus. Thank you.

One month later. I have no words. We are thankful for the reprieve and although we know in two months we might be back to the drawing board with a growing and changing boy we know that medication is needed in this family. We see the change. And when the doctor asks how it is going and he says "I feel better..." you want to squeal and hug every single person in that doctors office. All of the sudden the dark, scary, awful, medication becomes the light, answers, peace, joy, thankful medication...

Now it is just a part of the day. No one even blinks an eye. .3 seconds it takes to take and our world aligns and peace come.

See, desperation always brings us to solutions and cry for help. If I didn't experience the desperation I wouldn't of been willing to go this route, and Jesus knew we needed this medication...he needed this medication, but we had to walk the dark and scary road to see those things.

I don't know where you are on in your journey. But you are not alone. Coming to the decision to put your child on medication is one of the hardest and scariest path a parent has to walk...see its brokenness in this world and its not suppose to be this way. Neither is cancer, or disease...but we live in a broken fallen world desperate for Jesus. Desperation broke us, and in that brokenness we were able to find the healing we all needed.

If you are a parent who has never had to face this journey with your child, I am thankful, this community of parents who are facing it would never wish this for anyone. No one. Be thankful, but be sensitive, be quiet, we don't need words or answers we need prayers and grace. Don't be quick to judge that parent with a child who is out of control in the middle of don't know what their journey is or what they are facing that day.

I know now, but it took desperation and brokenness to know it.

But Jesus, getting glory.