Category Archives: Our Holes

Out of the Ashes

***Disclaimer: Guys, this is some crazy stuff!  It’s good God stuff.  This post is going to be extremely raw and real.  It is about my life and the life of my family.  I’m writing in hopes of freeing myself and helping others. I genuinely hope that the authenticity of my words expresses the emotion I feel inside.


I’ve been going through a rough patch for some time now.  I’ll say our immediate family has, and while we have persevered through many a tragedy (my view) a decision has been made that is life changing – To us all.

The Real Part

My marriage has been in jeopardy for years. We’ve seen counselors and pastors, read books and prayed, yelled and discussed and the greatest of those couldn’t save us.  Only we could save us, though it is now apparent we were not in it anymore. It was time to look at this from my counselors perspective and ask myself those things she posed to me a year ago….like:

1) Are you trying to avoid pain and are you fearful (get to the heart of that)?

2) Why would you stay and why would you go?

3) What are your goals?

4) What are you getting out of it?

5) What do YOU want?

In my case, I feel like all of those are important questions to answer before making a decision and I feel like the last one, the most important of all, is the one I’ve had such a hard time with for so long.

Recently a trusted friend said something to me that, for whatever reason, I never gave much thought to.  It’s true, though.  While I have always deemed my complacency the issue for the inability to make a decision, reality showed me that, in fact, I’ve never looked at the situation from my perspective.  In short, I have always put others needs above my own and never really thought about “What do I want?”

There is so much wisdom that has come from this friend – I could write a blog (not just post) about it.  Though I have gained great knowledge there and from a couple of other companions (new and old), it was a 5th grade book that brought me out of darkness, from the ashes, actually. Thank you Cari Noe.  Apparently God had a plan weeks ago when you asked me to sub. (Insert grin and shrug)

The Raw Part

Saturday…Sunday…Monday…Tuesday… this was happening to me:

After months of going back and forth, Saturday morning was the day of truth. My husband and I sat down at the kitchen table and had a tough, emotional decision making discussion.  It was probably one of the most logical conversations we have had in years – honest and revealing.  Everything was on the table, so to speak.

The next three days were torturous for me.  Everywhere I looked there was a memory.   Every song I heard had us in it. I ached everywhere and I wailed uncontrollably on and off.  I held it together in front of the kids and others but I felt like I was dying all over again, as I had last year.  Only this time…this time there was no going back.  There was no bandaid.  There was so much destruction that even thousands of pounds of mortar could not put this house back together. When I was honest with myself, I did not want it back together.  I had lost myself in him for all these years and it was time to find me, again. In those three days I read:

If you lose someone but find yourself, you won.


If your love for someone is dependant on…

…and I do not need to finish because that statement is profoundly..Mmhm…yep, conditional.  How did I not see it all these years? You know what I know?  Love is pure and kind.  It holds no conditions. That is the kind of love I need, want and deserve.

Getting back to the ashes…

Saturday, Sunday and Monday I spent bawling my eyes out and thinking death was near.  Well, not really but I felt horribly outside myself.  Some of that feeling was the fact that I had to get out of bed on Tuesday and go teach four classes of fifth-graders, whom I love and who love me, and fake that I was OK.  I spent Monday night contemplating calling in sick, but for each thought of that I also had an overwhelming urgency to go to work and feel – feel the pain, feel the connection, feel the spirit.  I knew I had to go and I knew it was going to be hard.

I’ll skip the few tears that were shed, morning routines and get to the point.  I was sent to school Tuesday to be recreated, resurrected if you will, out of my ashes.

I was teaching ELA to the fifth graders and part of my objective for the day was to read Pax. Now, I had never heard of this book but knowing Cari Noe it’s gonna be a book that has a very endearing storyline (meaning I’m going to be crying at some point).  Yep, uh huh, thanks Cari.

Upon opening the chapter that my first class was reading, I took a deep breath and dived in.  (Sigh) Let me tell you, it did not take very long before I had to take another breath, and then another one…I was reading the ending to my story or maybe it was just the beginning.

Here’s what it said (Pax by Sara Pennypacker – Peter and Vola conversing)

“She always wore it. She’d hold her wrist up so I could play with it when I was a baby. I don’t remember that, but I’ve seen a picture.  I do remember her telling me about it, though. About the charm, I mean. It’s a Phoenix. That’s a special bird. It’s red and gold and purple colored like sunrise, and it-”

“Rises from the ashes. I know what a phoenix is.”

“Right. But out of its own ashes. That’s the part that my mom cared about.”

“It’s own ashes?”

“When it gets worn out, it builds itself a nest high in a tree, away from everything.” Peter stopped. It suddenly occurred to him that Vola’s cabin felt like a nest. He circled on his crutches to look around. Yes. A secret, protected nest, surrounded by trees. Away from everything.

I had been in my nest for the last three days, in the comfort of my home and my bed.

…”So the phoenix fills its nest with its favorite stuff- myrrh and cinnamon is what’s in the story, I think. Then the nest ignites, burning the birds old body. And the new bird rises up out of the old birds ashes. My mother loved that. She said that it meant no matter how bad things got, we could always make ourselves new again.

Hello!  At this point I seriously am about to become a puddle on the floor.  I AM a phoenix!  Think Isaiah 61:3.

Oh, but the story does not end there because Peter and Vola continue to have a conversation about all of her “philosophy bingo cards” that are hanging up on the walls. That’s what Peter calls them and he says that she is supposed to be the wise and great helper.  She suggests to him, though, that she is there to find who she is and can’t help him until she can help herself.  Ugh!!  I feel like I am reading the story of my life. If only I had a cabin, out in the middle of the woods, surrounded by trees (sad face).

I concluded that the jist of the story was about finding oneself (even though Peter was searching for his fox – that could be an adult theme ;)).

I read the story one more time that morning, had a breakdown at lunch with a fellow teacher, read the story two more times in the afternoon and had a breakthrough before I left school that day. My true, beautiful colors (like those of the phoenix) are shining bright.  And like Vola, I write as a reminder of who I am.  To remember where I came from and to where I am going.  I will cherish and preserve my “philosophy bingo cards” to remind myself that I have risen out of my ashes!


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Filed under epiphanies, life lessons, Our Holes, Religious

Desperately seeking solace

One of my favorite motivators said, “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”  He also said, “Conflict cannot survive without your participation.” That from Wayne Dyer, who sadly just recently passed.

I’ve been conflicted lately as there is such going on in my world, so much happening around me, so much affecting me that I don’t know what day it is – literally.

To get right to the point of my war: my husband got fired four weeks ago and my faith has been tested the last few months by a conundrum that is not mine but that I got immersed in.  Our family, in addition to the firing, is also dealing with a battle that keeps resurfacing. What to do?  Many of my friends would say grab a bottle and chug.  Well, oops, that is part of the problem. So, what do you do next?

Go on vacation!

Breaking news: Mandatory evacuation has been issued for Ocracoke.

:/ Vacation is off…for the third time.  Can’t say we didn’t give it the old college try. Insert HUGE sigh.

I’m mad. I’m broken. I’m confused. I’m tired. And I have failed to react (well, maybe I did a little).  Wayne would be proud.  I’m growing, but I’m still desperately conflicted so I guess I should watch one of his shows again. Hmmm, ugh.  Or I could just stop participating with my own self talk. I can’t change the way someone thinks about me and it honestly doesn’t mean it’s true.  Did you hear that people?  Because you think something about someone does not make it true.  Let that sink in.

What I’m learning through all these experiences lately is that I have a choice to respond or react, listen or ignore.  I really want to shout, “What is wrong with you people!” But that wouldn’t be polite and it is a reaction.  Instead I have chosen, and God has a BIG part in this, to wait and respond with grace and dignity.  Now, mind you, I have and am growing into this.  I still feel sick to my stomach at the thought of a friend being unwilling to see clarity in their situation. I feel sick about being tossed aside when I have been nothing but upfront. But, we have choices, we’re given free will and I believe what they always say…Karma is a b#$&@!


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Don’t Worry, Be Prayerful

If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been. –Robert Brault

There are so many mornings I sat in church listening to the preacher talk about how he prayed for his children.  That they would meet the right person, that they would have the right friends, that they would be good.  Nah, I don’t think he ever said that but I would surely and have prayed that over mine.  I don’t pray as much as I should – well, let me rephrase that.  I don’t pray for the right things as often as I should.  I find myself “spot” praying as I call it.  Brady has done the unthinkable – “God please grant me some restraint not to hurt him.”  Kendra has talked back once more today – “Oh God!”  Yeah, that one just slipped out.  Hey, I’m being totally honest here.  I pray all day but they are not the deeply routed in my soul prayers that I think the good pastor spoke about.  Plus, I think he AND his wife may have prayed together and you know what they say about more than one praying, He is there.  Getting real for a second though, prayer works.  I have experienced it myself and though we don’t always get what WE pray for, the knowing that HE hears our prayers and wants us to relate to Him is all the reason to send up some love.

Tonight I am particularly emotional for some reason, and when I get this way waves of thoughts and feelings just wash over me.  I have to almost heave cry…you women know what I’m talking about right?…to get through it all.  IT.FEELS.SO.GOOD.  Of course I have to do this after my kids are in bed or hold up in the bathroom with the door locked, hoping they don’t find the key.  After sifting through the garbage, holes and sometimes lies, it pretty much ends at the road of worry.  Gracious, I worry about everything! My mom can attest to that, right mom?  I worry about the kids falling on their bikes, falling from a tree, getting snatched from me, hitting their head on the coffee table, breaking a leg, falling out of bed, getting lost, getting hurt by a friend, getting hurt by a loved one, hurting each other!, falling down the stairs/or being pushed by a sibling, and the list goes on.  See, I’m insane right?!  And what if any one of those things were to happen?  What would happen?  We would go to the hospital?  I don’t even want to think about that anymore.  I think I was born worrying.  I would love to see a study, or better yet be in a study of why people worry so much…and they find the cure!  Oh wait, the cure has been written for ages.


On the couch, crying over whatever was coming to mind as I was reading my newest novel, I began to anguish over our eldest.  My sweet baby girl who is growing up before my eyes.  I feel like time has cheated me and I have let so many opportunities slip through the sand.  There is so much sand and I want to scream!  As she was going to bed and I kissed her goodnight, I began thinking about her taking her first trip with a friend, to the Outer Banks no less (following in my foot steps).  This is when the worry set in – already.  The trip is in August!  I won’t bore you with the list of incidences that came to mind because if “they” read this, they are likely to think I am more insane than I already act.  LOL I still remember the first time she was away from us.  She just went to my parents for a weekend but she was a baby.  I showed up on the doorstep of a friend and began bawling through a fake smile while saying, “I’m free.  Kendra is at my parent’s for the weekend.” Gaaa, that was hard.  It did get easier and that gives me comfort that each first will bring with it a little more peace. It’s just that this is my baby, our first born (who cares if from heart or womb)…she is my baby girl.  So, through tears of happiness  I will let her go because I know this will establish her independence and give her those wings we hear about.  This day is coming too soon.

I will continue to pray my spot prayers I know, I will not lie, and I am vowing to begin to pray the fervent prayers for all our children that I believe our pastor did with his.

As I end this post I leave you with one last quote and this.  I so believe in these words and pray that my children will see me in this light as I do my own mother.  I think as we grow older and certain things come to pass, we gain greater understanding of the ways of the world and hopefully that which lies beyond as well.  For all the moms out there…

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. – By Washington Irving


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Filed under Family, Kids, motherhood, Our Holes, Religious, Vacations

Squirrels and Medication

“Squirrel!”  Really?  The things that get the attention of children.  While my kids, the boys actually, do still get very excited when they see a fluffy tailed mammal run across the yard, this is actually a continuation of my last post.  It was not my intention of making post #2 of MHAC.  However, as I sat here teaching this morning I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of my picture from yesterday.  Someday I will look back and pat my son on the back while telling him, “Now you know how I felt” with a giant grin.  Or I may just be the shoulder that is lent for a few tears – because, well, because I will have been there done that.

So, here is how this morning went:
Me: Et sine ipso factum est nihil q…
Brady: You know you can get Wipe Out online? It shows you how to play…
Me:  Let’s focus on our verse please.
Brady: There is a pizza one too.

Now, I have no idea where the pizza came into play.  I know that he was watching YouTube yesterday and how to beat the Wii Wipe Out game.  My parents have it and apparently Brady and my dad play whenever they visit. Squirrel!  That is pretty much how our school days go.  I ramble on about whatever I am teaching, as I am sure that is what he is thinking besides “Squirrel,” and he interjects with some off the wall thought.  And persistent.  Oh my gracious is he persistent.  If we were ever supposed to do something he would take it to his grave telling us, probably speaking to us beyond the grave.  In between anything that I did the last two days I heard over and over, “You said we would go out tonight.”  I don’t even need to tell you why.  He is a kid and they remember everything, well everything they are supposed to get or have.  Remembering to put the seat down on the toilet, impossible however!

The above dialogue between B and I was actually with him on his meds.  About three months ago after much research, praying, advice asking and so on, we started B on Ritalin.  This comes from YEARS of going back and forth whether to try meds or not.  I’ve never thought meds were the answer to this active lifestyle my child exhibits.  Though when I started homeschooling him and I saw first hand his thought pattern when it comes to work and focus, I knew I had to try something new.  I researched some natural methods but had already set up the doctor appt for the “ADHD” consultation.  We got the script and started him the next week.  We’ve gone up twice on the dosage and as of two weeks ago I started seeing signs I am happy with.  People LISTEN UP.  If your child is taking some kind of anti-anxiety, hyperactive med do your research.  We thought we had and I went into my peds office thinking they knew it all.  For the last two weeks I have watched or read several things on these ADHD meds.  The worst of the side effects I have seen is the tendency for OCD issues to worsen.  Last week Brady went through every spoon in our drawer because they were all dirty and he needed a clean spoon for his yogurt.  No matter they just came out of the dishwasher. He would cover the computer mouse with tissue before he used it – I still have not figured that one out.  First he said it was because Kendra ate shrimp and then touched the mouse.  Nope.  He has a big issue with shrimp and the smell.  Talk about gag reflex!  He has changed clothes, all the way down to his underwear, at least 3 times every day he has taken the medicine.  Finally this past Sunday I stopped giving it to him to see how things would be.

Not really me ;- but how I felt!

Not really me ;- but how I felt!

I don’t want to be that way.  I’m tired of being that way AND, the most important thing that breaks my heart is that I know he probably feels bad inside as well.  I mean, can you imagine how any of these children feel that are made to sit still for hours on end while their bodies/minds feel like they have to be doing something?  I know something has to be done.  I don’t mind talking about this.  It might have been hush, hush once upon a time but I have been told that 6.4 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD.  And apparently in the last 8 years the percentage diagnosed rose 42% among earlier years. CRAZY!  A movie we watched the other night entitled The War on Kids has a great part on ADHD and the reason for it’s existence.  I urge you to watch the movie if you are a parent of a child who has been “diagnosed.”  While we are more conservative than most when it comes to drugs (using more natural methods) and our health (listening to how our body feels and not how the gov’t tells us to eat/be), I would gladly urge you to do your own research.  It really is up to us to live the life we want to live.  Our bodies are our sacred temples, those that He created for us and in His likeness.  I don’t know about you but I want to be pure as can be.  I could go on about how food is the only natural medicine we need but I’m sure I would lose you somewhere if not at the beginning. But I digress. It’s hard.  It is hard to raise kids and then to have something that makes it all so much harder – Geesh, mothers should be awarded medals.  Forget those scientist.  We figure out how to get gum wads out of hair, be at three places at the same time, multitask like nobody’s business, and manage to keep everyone in the family alive and then snuggled in tight to bed.  Now, all of that probably does not comes without tears, yelling, or mumbling under ones breath but that is what we do for our families.  That is what we do for our kids.  No matter how many squirrels we talk about during the day, we manage to get through them all.  I love my overactive child and I will continue to do anything and everything I can, even through the “hates, suckers, wishing I were deads, shut ups”…to naturally help him be WHO he IS.  Look, tree. 🙂

Resources:  I’ve listed just a few links to sites that speak about ADHD.  I did not sway one way or another.  It is what it is.  There is so much controversy, as I said earlier you must do your own research and go with your gut feelings.  For us, it is just trial and error.  We are on to more natural methods now.  Will update in the coming weeks.

Synopsis from War on Kids

Drugging Our Children

Long Term Effects

Ritalin Explosion

Natural help we are trying


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Filed under "ADHD", homeschooling, motherhood, Our Holes