Heart2Heart

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Nolan.  Many of you already know who he is, others of you will only recognize this button that has resided on my sidebar for 3 years.

NolanLink

Until today. Today I'm taking the button off my site because....

NOLAN KICKED CANCER IN THE JELLY BEANS!

This video tells the story way better than I could.
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/63340975 w=403&h=227]

Watching that video just now was not so easy for me.  Those were hard, hard days in the beginning.  Cancer touched us all in a new way. Nolan was still a toddler when he was diagnosed with leukemia 3 years ago.  After 3 grueling years of chemotherapy, steroids, blood tests, house arrest (usually on the holidays), infusions, spinal taps and so, so much more, he is finally done with the chemotherapy treatments! He no longer has leukemia and he is free to go on and live life to the fullest.

I couldn't be more proud of his parents who have weathered this storm with bravery and grace.  And I couldn't be more proud of Nolan.  You are the real super-hero buddy!

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It feels a little strange to be back here, I haven't written a real post in... well, a really long time.  I did not intend to take an extended break from the blog, but then life happened.  A lot of little things all added up to weeks and weeks away from the computer.

But I'm back! Ish.  Here is how it all played out:

First was the infamous knee surgery.  (if you are squeemish, you might want to scroll by this one quickly)

knee surgery II

Back in 2008 my ACL was replaced but my knee never really recovered.  We tried physical therapy, shots, creams, meds; nothings seemed to help.  So my doctor determined that my body was rejecting the metal hardware that was installed to keep the new ACL in place.  Since the bone had grown over the graft, making it secure, the hardware was no longer needed.  While taking out the hardware (pictured above), he would look around and see if he could find any other problems.  It turns out, missing cartilage was the other problem.  I still don't fully understand what he did to fix the cartilage but he did...something painful.

photo 4

Logically, I knew it was going to be a tough recovery but for some strange reason I thought I would be up to writing right away.  Not so.  The pain killers left me barely grasping at reality for about  a week and not long after I went back to work.  I feel as though I've been playing catch-up ever since.  The meds also tore up my stomach and left me with no appetite.  That means, no cooking.  No real cooking for over a month.  A whole bunch of pro-biotics later, I'm finally eating real food again.

The good news is that my knee gets a little better every week.  Next week I should be cleared to begin physical therapy, which I'm both excited for and dreading at the same time.

Next came my much anticipated vacation to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  It was my first time in South Carolina and while I didn't find much of interest in Myrtle Beach, the day we spent in Charleston was so much fun.  I loved strolling those historical streets and looking at buildings that were part of the very birth of our nation.2f8421f2972b11e2bf2722000a1fbc66_7

shacks

We also visited the Boone plantation just outside of Charleston.  It was so fascinating and so disturbing all at once.  One of the most eye-opening spots on the plantation is a row of small wooden cabins where the "elite" slaves of the plantation lived.  In each building was a tv monitor that told a different story of slavery: how many slaves lived per building, their religious practices, their work, their eventual emancipation. It's such an ugly part of our history but so important that we do not forget so that we never repeat it.

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When I got back home to Northern California, it was time to celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Christ.  We spent a whole glorious day eating great food, lounging on the porch, spending time together as a family.  It was a beautiful, beautiful day.

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Tonight was my first trek back into the kitchen, mostly prepping some veggies for the next week.  But it's a start.

Source: luxefinds.com via Carey on Pinterest

 

Great reminders.

Source: uncoached.com via Carey on Pinterest

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What will you try next? Spread your wings my friend, it's time to fly.

Of all the topics for Brave Girls to send out in the daily “Little Bird Told Me”!  You can read the rest of the article http://www.bravegirlsclub.com/dailytruths/sep2711.htm but here is an excerpt:

Sometimes we complicate things when they really are quite simple. Sometimes the answer to a problem, or the answer to a prayer is so very sweet and small and simple that we just can not believe that it could be true….(read more)

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chatting at the sky, grace for the good girl

One of the bloggers that I follow, Emily P. Freeman, recently released her first book entitled, "Grace for the Good Girl."  I think I first heard of the book from this video:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr2KoPp9yNg]

It tugged on something in my heart, something I've always tried to explain to people, but have never quite been able to communicate.  I pre-ordered the book back in the spring.  It arrived just about 3 weeks ago and let me tell you, it was worth the wait.  I could try to describe it in my own words, but I think Emily's words will tell the story better so here are some excerpts:

When bad girls perform to get their needs met, they get in trouble.  When good girls perform to get the same thing, we get praise.  That is why the hiding is so easy for us.  We work hard, we do right, and we try not to ruffle feathers.

I was praised a lot as a kid.  My parents' friends and extended family members commented on what a good girl I was, teachers boasted about my behavior in school, and I rarely got in trouble at home.  I put a lot of confidence in myself and in my good reputation.... so my good reputation was where I began to place my identity.  But instead of interpreting their words as encouragement, I internalized them and let them become a standard to continue to reach for.

When you are a good girl who finds your identity in your performance, then mistakes mean punishment...My personal truth was I have to be perfect.  And when I'm not, I have to pay.

You have trained people to think you have no needs, but you are secretly angry with them for believing you.

One of the good girl's most basic fears is failure.

I hide behind strong and responsible.  I hide behind busy and comfortable and working hard toward your expectations.

This book will not hit home with every one.  But I'm guessing that a lot of you who just read those quotes are saying "That's me!  That's exactly me!"  I know.  I know.

I'm 40 years old and just this summer a woman who was the mother of a guy I went to high school with came up to me at the post office and said, "I remember you, you had such a good reputation."  I laughed a little, then thanked her for what I know she meant to be kind words.  Then I spent the rest of the week trying to figure out why what she said made me proud on the one hand, but on the other made me a little depressed.  Not much has changed, I still have a pretty good reputation in the community, I'm still a "good girl."  This book helped me to realize it wasn't that my good reputation is a bad thing.  It is the misguided self-worth and self-inflicted-pressure I derive from it that is the problem.  What I really wanted to tell her was,  "Lady if you only knew, I nearly had a nervous breakdown in high school because I was trying so hard to be perfect for everyone."

And Emily's book really helped me to see and find comfort that I'm not alone.  There are lots of "good girls" out there, ready to own that we do not have it all together, we do have needs and we are doing the best we can.  Here is a more recent video Emily put together for the book:
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/28693612 w=400&h=225]

Grace for the Good Girl Portfolio Video from Jason Windsor on Vimeo.

I feel strongly that this is an important book, and it needs to get into the hands of those who really need to hear the healing words contained in it.  Which is why I'm giving one away next week.  If you read the above quotes, or watched the videos and it really resonated something in your soul, I hope you will enter for the drawing.  And even if you don't win, I would encourage you to buy the book.  Read it with a highlighter. Let it really sink in.

To enter the drawing, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post.  Any old comment will do.  (Drawing will close next week, Monday  the 3rd at 11:59pm.)

Do you know about {in}courage.me?  It's only a couple of years old but I have had the fortune to be a part of it for a while now.  What is it?  They describe it like this:

More than anything, (in)courage is about relationships – with God and each other.  We realize that our readers are in many different places in their journeys of faith. All of you are welcome.  When we asked ourselves what kind of place we were building, we finally came to see it as a bit like a beach house. You can put your sandy, dirty feet on the coffee table, laugh late into the night with friends, and also hear God’s voice clearer than perhaps anywhere else. Life just feels more vibrant and real, as if you’ve stumbled upon a glimpse of heaven and it’s nothing like you ever imagined but everything you’d always hoped.

For me, {in}courage is the equivalent of a big comfy chair,  a cup of hot cocoa and a good book.  It's a place to go and relax, read stories of other inspiring women, get book recommendations or some daily encouragement.

It can no longer be denied that as a culture, we have embraced online communities.  For women, I think they are especially attractive because we are busy:  from the mom of 3 who savors her midnight-quiet time to the business woman who needs some quick and easily accessible inspiration.  {in}courage is just the place for women of all walks to go and share, learn together and build one another up in faith.

It is Christian based, lead by women of faith, but women just like you and me.  It is a safe place, full of inspiring articles (like this one on finding rest), special events, book clubs,  and more.

If you want to know more, here's a little video they put together:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WlGal5LDNo]

So come on over to {in}courage, hope to see you there!