A backpack of healing

This blog is a running commentary of my life, thoughts and revelations that I don’t want to forget.  I’ve found that as our kids get older and busier, if I don’t write down my thoughts, I forget them.

It’s also my hope that perhaps one thing I say is an encouragement to someone – perhaps to simply feel that there is another person in this world who wrestle with the same things they do.

I love my Desta girl.  She has grown so much in the past year.  It’s been a joy to see her develop habits that help her.  It’s not been an easy road.  They have been a lot of potholes and bumps to navigate around and over.  Simple tasks are still a struggle more mornings than not.  Go to responses filled with anger and loud frustration happen often.  I cannot recall a time in my life that I’ve been emotionally and physically exhausted as I’ve been this year.  Brain trauma healing is not for the faint of heart!

However, I’ve been working hard to see her – not the behavior but the real her, the little girl who delights in building houses with Legos for hours.  This little girl who can go through 50 sheets of paper with drawings and writing – she’s the one I am looking at daily.

For the past few months, I’ve noticed Desta get her backpack in order and take it with her.  I honestly didn’t think too much of it – I was happy she had a task to do while we were all preparing to leave.  Then it dawned me while we were in Texas!  Desta had figured out how to manage herself.

20170402_194013093_iOSThis little girl, who for so many years has struggled with self regulation and hangry actions has figured out how to care for herself.  She fills her backpack with toys to play with, drawing materials, and snacks.  She knows EXACTLY what she needs, always including some sort of small stuffed animal.

You guys, this is HUGE. Desta has learned what she needs and she does it.  For those who have regulated brain trauma free kids, this behavior is a given right?  It doesn’t seem like such a big deal. But for my Desta, this is a monumental step toward healing and independence. She has realized how to cope in this world.

I am hanging onto this one today, celebrating and so very thankful that the hours and hours of therapy, of focused attention at home, of good doctors and medication – all this combined is helping heal my sweet daughter’s heart and brain.

Healing happens.  It takes a lot of time!  We brought our Desta girl home almost 8 years ago!  I am so thankful that for the living example I see every day of my daughter working hard to overcome obstacles.  She has taught me so much about determination, healing and hope.


the underlying lie of social media


I have a love/hate relationship with social media.  There are so many awesome apps that allow me to post photos and then with a few clicks, produce a hands on photo album. Remember the days of scrap booking ladies?  Oh my — the weekends of cutting, taping, stickering.  I love catching up with other people, hearing how their lives are, seeing their kids.  It’s fun to travel vicariously through friend’s trips.  Social media, in and of itself, is not a bad thing.

However, there is this world that is easy to slide into – the world of “I’m not quite there yet.”  We typically don’t post photos of the massive tantrums (unless they are of our cute toddlers) or depression.  We shy away from airing our dirty laundry and instead, filter, crop and post our lives to reflect the world we prefer to believe we live.

As my children grow older, I’m more and more hesitant to blog and post about the realities of life. Right now, the lines are blurred between my world and theirs.  However, their stories are theirs and it’s often not my place to speak them to the entire world.

You’ve all seen my photos on Facebook.  We are smiling, traveling (Florida in March without kids – we’re lucky right?) We are celebrating and living big full wonderful lives. Yet there is an under layer to all those pictures.


What you don’t see are the erratic emotions of each morning challenge and the wild manic ups and downs of unregulated behavior.  You don’t see the deep fears I fight every single day as my kids head into this jungle of a world.  The worry etched deep in my heart that this will be the day something tragic will happen, this will be the season of great despair.

You don’t witness the petty spats between me and my spouse, often brought on by not enough time together where we aren’t just utterly exhausted or discussing our kids.  Add in the season we are in, sandwiched between kids starting to grow wings to fly and parents who are in the late seasons of their lives.  Sandwiched between wanting to dream our dreams while knowing the effect the decisions we make now will have on so many people.

Social media is incapable of showing true life. Sure, I can take a photo and explain and hashtag it’s depth. However, that simply does not share the true burdens of life.

I have removed Facebook from my phone.  I have made a conscious decision to not get on the computer and  phone so regularly.  Instead, I have my journals and Bible in my car, books by my bed and a meditation app on my phone.

I want to see people the way I want to be seen.  I want to be kind because that’s who I am, not because I should.  I want to be authentic and real about life as a mom to a child who is broken and in pain.  I want to walk this second half of my life with eyes wide open to others. Want to join me?