Sunday, January 12, 2020

COMPASSION is never out of season

I live in a home where dove, deer, elk, duck seasons are discussed frequently. 

 Just sitting here this morning in one of my most favorite times of the day when the sun hasn’t begun to do its thing and I'm covered in dogs, writing by the glow of a fire and a candle.  I'm mesmerized by the shadows dancing on the wall, listening to Lola snore and the wind chime successfully do its job. 

Peace is found here in the wee hours of the morning before my mind is consumed with work and family. 

My mind is pondering this season, and seasons past, and tossing thoughts of seasons that have yet to come.  

I can't stop thinking of all the seasons we lived, and the word "compassion" came into my thoughts.  Compassion never goes out of season!  

What are you compassionate about? 

So many things consume our minds each minute and oftentimes things battle for what gets to stay there longer.  While when i read and see the word compassion, I'm mostly drawn to the thought of people, but there are so many more things we are compassionate about.  

The new year is a perfect time to reflect on things you're compassionate about.  

What makes you happy?  

What are your goals for life, for your family.  How will you make that happen?  What’s your job in that?  

Don't just go through the motions in life, really live, with compassion, it's never out of season.  

just bReAtHe...




Breathing may be the only thing you can do today, and if so, that’s ok. 

Were you breathless when you read that pregnancy test, not only breathless, but hopeless, on your knees?  Do you not know who to call or what to do next?  

I know a God who will pick you up, walk with you, stand with you or sit with you, while you just breathe.  He’s the God of breath, life, hope and peace and He’ll find you here, right where you are, in this moment of desperation and provide a way out. See, He knew the moment you’d see that ➕ sign, He knew where you’d be, with your best friend, or alone and He’s preparing you for this life. 

This life, your story, is His story, and His story is the story of grace and redemption.

I just read, again, where Max Lucado said, "The difference between mercy and grace?  Mercy gave the prodigal son a second chance.  Grace gave him a feast.  How true is this, and such a sweet, sweet picture. God not only gives us a second chance, but His grace is there for us, waiting, and it never runs out.  

But today, if all you can do is breathe, that's ok, just breathe





  

Friday, February 10, 2017

Shelley and Taylor's Story of Poisoning and Grace


Valentine’s Day 2010 would turn into a complete game changer, a day we will never, ever forget.  A day I’ve documented in words so if the day comes that the memory is gone I can always, reflect back on His goodness and mercy.  The following is the account of the night we were poisoned, the night our worlds met His and He provided the most beautiful second chance. 


We were experiencing a “Texas Winter” and had received about 6” of snow.  We had been without power for 3 days and Day 3 we ran a generator out in the front driveway/edge of our garage with the garage door open, windows in garage open, etc.   The Fire Chief later told us that since it was so cold and there was no wind that the gas probably just settled instead of blowing away and just crept back into the house via the eaves.

 Taylor (my daughter) and I had gone to bed in our respective bedrooms and she told us that someone called her name and she was trying to get up to see who it was... she got up, fell face first into the wall, collapsed and crawled outside of her bedroom, shimmied up the wall and collapsed again. The thud of her falling on the concrete floor is what woke me up. Charlie (her dad, and my ex-husband) heard this as well from the living room and he and I went to the hallway to see what it was and found her lying lifeless on her face.  We couldn't get her to respond at all and Charlie sent me for a flashlight that was by my bed.  On my way to the bedroom I started feeling like something was not right with me either.  I got the flashlight, and started running back to the hall so I could get to Charlie to let him know I wasn't ok.  I knew if I collapsed in the bedroom he wouldn’t know to come for me and I had to get to him so he would know I was sick.  (Remember, all of this is going on in the dark.) The closer I got to he and Taylor the further away I felt like I was getting.  Everything was spinning out of control and I was experiencing the worst feelings I had ever faced!  When I turned the corner to the hallway I collapsed face first without any hands/arms to brace me, falling onto the metal flashlight cutting my forehead to the bone. Charlie had to search in the darkness for the flashlight as it had rolled when I fell and I told him I felt blood running down my face.  Once found, he shone the light, and with one look he said he had to get me to the hospital!   I said, “What is wrong with Taylor, doesn’t she need to go?”  Taylor meanwhile was in and out of consciousness and our life was so out of control.  Charlie was able to get her awake and told her she had to get a towel to put on my forehead to help with the bleeding until help arrived.  My head began to pulse blood out of control and me, Taylor and the walls were covered in blood.  When she brought the towel back, she then went back unconscious not far from me, and Charlie had to drag her over and prop her on top of me, against the wall as I was having convulsions and banging my face into the concrete floor.  My eyes were rolling back in my head, and Charlie was yelling that I wasn’t going to die on him! He called 911 and first to respond were the police.  Immediately upon entering they looked for the lights and Charlie told them we were without power.  They used their flashlights and on first site was my blood, bloody handprints in our hallway where I tried to stand, and Charlie had my blood on him as well.  Immediately they began accusing Charlie of a crime, etc.…and he began explaining what had just transpired.  Shortly thereafter the fire department arrived, and luckily Charlie knew one of the firemen who quickly came to his defense.  The Fire Chief began asking questions as to what we had done earlier in the day to maybe put some of the pieces together as to what had happened.  Charlie told of the generator use and immediately the Chief went to the truck to get the carbon monoxide detector.  The truck was parked at the street and within steps of entering our driveway the readings on the detector began to rise quickly, so much that he went back to the truck to recalibrate the device as he was not believing the high readings.  Once again, walking in the driveway up to our front door the readings began to creep higher and higher.  Upon reaching the door he called for his crew to exit the home and began to get Charlie, Taylor and our dogs out as well.  A couple of Paramedics were left inside with me to get me stable enough for transport to the hospital.  Once outside, they realized that Taylor had “started” this whole incident and the firemen told Charlie they wanted her checked out as well.  I left by ambulance and Charlie and Taylor in his truck.  On route to the hospital, through nothing other than God’s grace, Taylor made some of the scariest and bravest phone calls she’s ever made to my sisters alerting them of what had transpired and seeking their immediate help.  Several firemen stayed at our home to open windows and stay and watch our dogs for sickness and make sure they were in a safe place before leaving.  (Way beyond the call of duty!)  Once at Mansfield Methodist Hospital they checked mine and Taylor’s blood gases and they were “through the roof”, hers being much higher than mine.  They were not prepared or skilled to handle emergencies such as ours and they began preparing us to be transported to Dallas Methodist to get in their hyperbaric chamber.  First, my head had to be stitched up, 15 stitches and I had to have a CT Scan to make sure I was transportable.  Off we went, on the ice, Taylor and me in the ambulance, her sitting and me on a stretcher, both with oxygen on.  Somewhere along the way my oxygen ran out and the face mask adhered to my face, being claustrophobic, this was not a fun experience.  The Paramedics were wonderful!  Upon arriving at Dallas Methodist, a doctor began to explain to us the procedures for going into the hyperbaric chamber, (all of this I am trying to comprehend while the carbon monoxide was still doing damage to my brain!)  I must add that at some time after our arrival we found out that the family that had just been in the chamber all had died, except the father, not comforting!  Taylor and I are both very claustrophobic, but were survivors after our approximate 3 hour stay in the chamber!  (Taylor was such a trooper, as they had a very difficult time getting her to the depth that we needed to be to be successful.)  2 ambulance rides, 1 CT Scan, 2 blood gases, 2 hyperbaric chambers, 15 stitches and 1 concussion later, WE SURVIVED!  Nothing says “I LOVE YOU” like a brain injury on VALENTINE’S DAY (02142010)  


 Afterwards my sister Kimberley moved in for approximately a month.  Physically I was trying to heal my head, but mentally I was left with a traumatic brain injury.  I literally started over with kindergarten flashcards, looking at an apple and saying library and my friends and family completed most of my sentences, scooped Taylor and I up and helped us heal


My Neurologist told me that people don’t survive what we went through and there really aren't patients like us.  He said they really don't know how to treat me.  Through his honesty, he became a great comforter to me as I struggled so much with memory and cognitive skills.  I treated for about a year and a half with him.  One of my first visits he took his hand and made a fist and began knocking on my forehead.  He said the poison goes into your brain and destroys whatever it attaches to and we have no control over what functions it destroys or limits.  I’ve come a long way.


My short-term memory is horrible at times, and I’ve lost so many precious memories both long-term and short-term.  Taylor and I have a saying when it comes to trying to remember things, we just look at each other and say, “Did we have fun?”  The one who remembers says to the other, “Yes, we had fun!”  That’s all that matters.  To be alive is amazing, in whatever capacity!  God is good; no great, His grace is unending!   I continue daily to deal with balance, breathing, vision, memory, or lack thereof.  These are daily struggles for both Taylor and I.  I have fallen more times than I’ve stood it seems, had injuries that ranged from Band-Aids to orthopedics visits.   By far my greatest challenge is breathing.  Every day at some point I struggle to breathe and coughing has become my norm.  Some days are better than others.  Sunny days are my friend, cold, wet days I lean on Him for every breath I take.   The more I talk the worse my coughing is and I talk so much for work.   Recovery continues every day for me and Taylor, and luckily her Dyslexic brain is use to accommodating skills and this continues to be her saving grace on a daily basis.  She is young and healing has come differently for her, but memory and migraines are big battles she continues to face.   


Side note:  When we arrived home from the hospital I grabbed Taylor’s forearms and said to her, “You know the voice that woke you up was not me or daddy?”  Her response, “I know mom!”  My faith is amazing! God’s mercy is incredible!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

BlooM

I have been waiting all summer for this ONE bloom.  

I have nurtured this plant to the nth degree.  I hand watered it, pulled it away from the scorching hot brick and on days that i felt its roots were exposed, i gently covered it with extra dirt.   Finally, this past week IT BLOOMED.  


It reminds me of how God must feel when He puts forth so much effort into me and i take much longer to bloom and flourish than He was expecting.  I am so thankful that He doesn't give up on me and I'm certainly glad that i'm worth Hand watering.  

I pray that when my roots are exposed that He is proud of who i am.

I hope that i am as beautiful to Him as this precious flower is to me.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Shelley and Taylor's Story of Poisoning and GRACE

We had been without electricity for 3 days due to the weather, and earlier in the day we ran a generator out in the front driveway/edge of our garage (we had the garage door open, windows in garage open, etc.)  The fire chief later told us that since it was so cold and there was no wind that the gas probably just settled instead of blowing away and just crept back into the house via the eaves.
 Taylor and I had gone to bed in our respective bedrooms and she told us later that SOMEONE called her name and she was trying to get up to see who it was...she got up, shimmied up her wall, then collapsed at the edge of her bedroom.  The thud of her falling is what woke me up. Charlie (her dad, and my ex-husband) heard this as well from the living room and he and I went to the hallway to see what it was and found her lying lifeless on her face.  We couldn't get her to respond at all to us and Charlie sent me for a flashlight that was by my bed.  On my way to the bedroom I started feeling like something was not right with me either.  I got the flashlight, and started running back to the hall so I could get to Charlie to let him know I wasn't ok.  I knew if I collapsed in the bedroom he wouldn’t know to come for me and I had to get to him so he would know I was sick.  The closer I got to them the further away I felt like I was getting.  Everything was spinning out of control.  When I turned the corner to the hallway I collapsed face first without any hands/arms to brace me, falling onto the metal flashlight cutting my forehead to the bone. Charlie had to search in the dark for the flashlight as it had rolled when I fell and I told him I felt blood running down my face.  He found the flashlight and looked and said he had to get me to the hospital!   I said, “What is wrong with Taylor, doesn’t she need to go?”  Taylor meanwhile was in and out of consciousness.  He was able to get her awake and told her she had to go get a towel to put on my head to help with the bleeding until help got there.  My head began to pulse blood out of control.  When she brought it back, she then went back unconscious not far from me and Charlie had to drag her over and prop her on top of me, against the wall as I was having convulsions and banging my face into the concrete floor.  My eyes were rolling back in my head, and Charlie was yelling that I WASN’T GOING TO DIE ON HIM! 

 Charlie called 911 and first to respond were the police.  Immediately upon entering they looked for the lights and Charlie told them we were without power.  They used their flashlights and on first site was my blood, bloody handprints in my hallway where I tried to stand upon falling and Charlie had it on him.  Immediately they began accusing Charlie of a crime, etc…and he began explaining what had transpired.  Shortly thereafter the fire department arrived, and luckily Charlie knew one of the firemen who came to his defense.  The fire chief began asking questions as to what we had done earlier in the day to maybe put some of the pieces together as to what had happened.  He told of the generator use and immediately the fire chief went to the truck to get the carbon monoxide detector.  The truck was parked at the street and within steps of entering our driveway the detector began to “freak out”, so much that the chief went back to the truck to recalibrate the devise as he was not believing the high readings.  Once again, walking in the driveway up to our front door the readings on the devise began to creep higher and higher.  Upon reaching the door the chief called for his crew to exit the home and began to get Charlie, Taylor and our dogs out as well.  A couple of paramedics were left inside with me to get me stable enough for transport to the hospital.  Once outside, they realized that Taylor had “started” this whole incident and the firemen told Charlie they wanted her checked out as well.  I left by ambulance and Charlie and Taylor in his truck.  Several firemen stayed at our home to open windows and stay and watch our dogs for sickness and make sure they were in a safe place before leaving.  Way beyond the call of duty.  Once at Mansfield Methodist they checked mine and Taylor’s blood gases and they were “through the roof”, hers being much higher than mine.  Mansfield Methodist was not prepared or skilled to handle emergencies such as ours and they began preparing us to be transported to Dallas Methodist to get in the hyperbaric chamber.  (In an ambulance, on the ice)  First my head had to be stitched up, 15 stitches and I had to have a CT to make sure I was transportable.  Off we went, Taylor and me in the ambulance, her sitting with oxygen on and me on a stretcher with oxygen on.  Somewhere along the way my oxygen ran out and the face mask adhered to my face, not a fun experience.  The paramedics were wonderful!  Upon arriving at Dallas Methodist they began to explain to me the procedures for going into the hyperbaric chamber, (all of this I am trying to comprehend while the carbon monoxide is still doing damage to my brain!)  I must add that at some time after our arrival we found out that the FAMILY that had just been in the chamber all died, except the father!!  Not comforting!  Taylor and I are both very claustrophobic, but we survived after our approximate 3 hour stay in the Hyperbaric Chamber.  (Taylor was such a trooper, as they had a very difficult time getting her to the depth that we needed to be to be successful)  Two ambulance rides, one CT Scan, two bloodgases, two hyperbaric chambers, fifteen stitches and one concussion later, WE SURVIVED!  Nothing says I LOVE YOU like a brain injury on VALENTINE’S DAY (02142010)

 Afterwards my sister moved in for approximately a month.  Physically I was trying to heal my head, but mentally I was left with a traumatic brain injury.  I literally started over with kindergarten flashcards…looking at an apple and saying library!  Friends and family scooped Taylor and I up and helped us heal!  My neurologist told me that people don’t survive what we went through and there really aren't patients like us.  He said they really don't know how to treat me.  Through his honesty, he became a great comforter as I struggled SO with memory and cognitive skills.  Memory is horrible at times, and I’ve lost so many precious memories.  Taylor and I have a saying when it comes to trying to remember things, we just look at each other and say, “Did we have fun?”  The one who remembers says to the other, “Yes, we had fun!”  That’s all that matters.  BUT, TO BE ALIVE IS AMAZING! (In whatever capacity!)  God is good; no great, HIS GRACE IS UNENDING!)  The worse things I daily deal with are breathing, memory and balance, or lack thereof.  These are daily struggles for both Taylor and I.  I have fallen more times than I’ve stood it seems and forgotten more than I’ve remembered.  I’ve had injuries that ranged from Band-Aids to orthopedics visits.   Recovery continues every day for me and Taylor.  Luckily her Dyslexic brain is use to accommodating skills and this continues to be her saving Grace on a daily basis.  She is young and healing has come differently for her, but memory and migraines are big battles for her.   Side note:  When we arrived home from the hospital I grabbed Taylor’s forearms and said to her, “You know the voice that woke you up was not me or daddy?”  Her response, “I KNOW MOM!”  My FAITH is AMAZING! God’s GRACE and MERCY IS INCREDIBLE!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Our story of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning - Valentine's Day 2010


 We had been without electricity for 3 days due to the weather, and earlier in the day we ran a generator out in the front driveway/edge of our garage (we had the garage door open, windows in garage open, etc.)  The fire chief said that since it was so cold and there was no wind that the gas probably just settled instead of blowing away and just crept back into the house via the eaves.

 Taylor and I had gone to bed in our respective bedrooms and she told us later that SOMEONE called her name and she was trying to get up to see who it was...she got up and collapsed in her bedroom floor and shimmied up her wall, got back in bed, heard her name called again, got up and then collapsed outside her bedroom.  The thud of her falling is what woke me up. Charlie (her dad, and my ex-husband)  heard this as well from the living room and he and I went to the hallway to see what it was and found her lying lifeless on her face.  We couldn't get her to respond at all to us and Charlie sent me for a flashlight that was by my bed.  On my way to the bedroom I started feeling like something WAS NOT RIGHT WITH ME EITHER.  I got the flashlight, and started running back to the hall so I could get to Charlie to let him know I wasn't ok.  I knew if I collapsed in the bedroom he wouldn’t know to come for me and I had to get to him so he would know I WAS SICK.  The closer I got to them the further away I felt like I was getting.  Everything was spinning out of control.  When I turned the corner to the hallway I collapsed face first without any hands/arms to brace me, falling onto the metal flashlight cutting my forehead to the bone. Charlie had to search in the dark for the flashlight as it had rolled when I fell and I told him I felt blood running down my face.  He found the flashlight and looked and said HE HAD TO GET ME TO THE HOSPITAL!   I said WHAT IS WRONG WITH TAYLOR, DOESN’T SHE NEED TO GO!  Taylor meanwhile was in and out of consciousness.  He was able to get her awake and told her SHE HAD TO GO GET A TOWEL TO PUT ON MY HEAD to help with the bleeding until help got there.  My head began to pulse blood out of control.  When she brought it back, she then went back unconscious not far from me and Charlie had to drag her over and prop her on top of me, against the wall as I was having convulsions and banging my face into the concrete floor.  My eyes were rolling back in my head, and Charlie was yelling that I WASN’T GOING TO DIE ON HIM! 

 Charlie called 911 and first to respond were the police.  Immediately upon entering they looked for the lights and Charlie told them we were without power.  They used their flashlights and on first site was MY BLOOD, bloody handprints in my hallway where I tried to stand upon falling and Charlie had it on him.  IMMEDIATELY they began accusing Charlie of a crime, etc…and he began explaining what had transpired.  Shortly thereafter the fire department arrived, and LUCKILY Charlie knew one of the firemen who came to his defense.  The fire chief began asking questions as to what we had done earlier in the day to maybe put some of the pieces together as to what had happened.  He told of the generator use and immediately the fire chief went to the truck to get the carbon monoxide detector.  The truck was parked at the street and within steps of entering our driveway the detector began to “freak out”, so much that the chief went back to the truck to recalibrate the devise as he was not believing the high readings.  Once again, walking in the driveway up to our front door the readings on the devise began to creep higher and higher.  Upon reaching the door the chief called for his crew to exit the home and began to get Charlie, Taylor and our dogs out as well.  A couple of paramedics were left inside with me to get me stable enough for transport to the hospital.  Once outside, they realized that Taylor had “started” this whole incident and the firemen told Charlie they wanted her checked out as well.  I left by ambulance and Charlie and Taylor in his truck.  Several firemen stayed at our home to open windows and stay and watch our dogs for sickness and make sure they were in a safe place before leaving.  WAY BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY.  Once at Mansfield Methodist they checked mine and Taylor’s blood gases and they were “through the roof”, hers being much higher than mine.  Mansfield Methodist was not prepared or skilled to handle emergencies such as ours and they began preparing us to be transported to Dallas Methodist to get in the hyperbaric chamber.  (in an ambulance, on the ice)  First my head had to be stitched up, 15 stitches and I had to have a CT to make sure I was transportable.  Off we went, Taylor and I in the ambulance, her sitting with oxygen on and me on a stretcher with oxygen on.  Somewhere along the way my oxygen ran out and the face mask adhered to my face, not a fun experience.  THE PARAMEDICS WERE WONDERFUL!!!  Upon arriving at Dallas Methodist they began to explain to me the procedures for going into the hyperbaric chamber, (all of this I am trying to comprehend while the carbon monoxide is STILL doing damage to my brain!)  I must add that at some time after our arrival we found out that the FAMILY that had just been in the chamber ALL DIED, except the father!!  NOT COMFORTING!!!!  Taylor and I are BOTH VERY VERY CLAUSTROPHOBIC but were SURVIVORS after our approximate 3 HOUR STAY IN THE CHAMBER!!  (Taylor was SUCH A TROOPER, as they had a VERY VERY DIFFICULT time getting her to the depth that we needed to be to be successful)  Two AMBULANCE RIDES, One CATSCAN, Two BLOODGASES, Two HYPERBARIC CHAMBERS, Fifteen STITCHES and One CONCUSSION later, WE SURVIVED!!! 

 Afterwards my sister moved in for approximately a month.  Physically I was trying to heal my head, but MENTALLY I was left with a TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY.  I literally started over with kindergarten flashcards…looking at an apple and saying library!!!  I’VE COME A LONG WAY BABY, you might say!!  I didn’t even miss work!!!!  Friends and family scooped Taylor and I up and helped us heal!  My neurologist told me that people DON'T SURVIVE what we went through and there really aren't patients like us.  He said they really don't know how to treat me.  Through his honesty,  became a great comforter as I struggled SO with memory and cognitive skills.  Memory is horrible at times, and I’ve lost so many precious memories.  Taylor and I have a saying when it comes to trying to remember things, we just look at each other and say, “did we have fun?”  The one who remembers says to the other, “yes, we had fun!!”  That’s all that matters.  BUT, TO BE ALIVE IS AMAZING!!! (in whatever capacity!!)  God is good; no great, HIS GRACE IS UNENDING!!)  The worse things I daily deal with are balance, breathing, memory, or lack thereof.  These are daily struggles for both Taylor and I.  I have fallen more times than I’ve stood it seems.  Had injuries that ranged from Band-Aids to orthopedics visits!   Recovery continues every day for me and Taylor.  Luckily her Dyslexic brain is use to ACCOMMODATING skills and this continues to be her saving Grace on a daily basis.  She is young and healing has come easier for her, but memory and migraines are big battles for her.  

 Sidenote:  When we arrived home from the hospital I grabbed Taylor’s forearms and said to her, “you know the voice that woke you up was not me or daddy?”  Her response, “I KNOW MOM!”  My FAITH is AMAZING!! God’s MERCY IS INCREDIBLE!!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

when JOY doesn't come

This time of year you can't NOT hear JOY TO THE WORLD.  It resonates every where we go. 

What happens when JOY doesn't come in the morning? 
What happens when JOY doesn't fill your soul?
What happens when every one has JOY but you?





I just returned from the DFW National Cemetery where both of my parents ashes are co-mingled.  Their place of rest looks out over the most incredible sunsets and oftentimes when we are there our sadness is co-mingled with these incredible sunsets as well.  Tonight we took a dozen lavender roses to honor our mother and her death one year ago today.  This week has been rough on my family.  (you can see more posts and pics on my facebook and instagram pages)

One year ago today my mother died (on a Friday night).  The following Tuesday morning I was at work, talking with a co-worker about all the events with my mom and I had literally just spoken the words, "But JOY comes in the morning" when my eldest sister called and stated that my dad was in the car with her in the process of having a stroke.  He indeed suffered a massive stroke that would change his and our lives forever.  Our lives had just been changed four days earlier and just when you think you can't change any more, God oftentimes has a different plan.  I HOPE I never forget that I stated "But JOY comes in the morning" that day as it truly does if we allow it to.


Sometimes JOY has to be intentional but my heart aches for those who physically can't make that happen for one reason or another.  Lord, I pray for PEACE, COMFORT and MERCY for those who need You just a little extra this time of year.  Those who need an extra measure of GRACE or just need You to nestle in a little closer right now.   I thank You that I AM JOYFUL and my HOPE is bright because I know it was only by my TRUSTING You that You saw me through and continue to see me through each and every day.  Lord, thank You for LIFE, thank You for saving mine and Taylor's lives, thank You for ALL my FAMILY near and far and most importantly THE BIRTH OF JESUS!  May we CELEBRATE HIM in whatever way we can whether our JOY fills a teaspoon or fills a bucket.   Shine Your light on us and through us in this darkened world.   








May JOY COME IN THE MORNING.
May God forever be with us.
May we never breathe one breath without Him.