if you are hopping with us you should have come from Kari's blog.
if you're a daily reader and just happened to find this post first, you can start from the hop from the very beginning at Paper Tree House Studio.
by now you know the purpose & the prizes.....if not, click that link above and read all about it over at the Paper Tree House Studio blog. :)
for completing the hop and leaving comments along the way, you'll automatically be entered to win prizes. i'd love to have you as a regular follower of this blog too.
In order to qualify for the GRAND Prizes just leave a comment on my blog and become a follower of this blog (if you are not one yet). If you're so inclined, also become a follower of paper Tree House Studio on Facebook so that you can stay updated with our challenges and contests. It can be very humbling to share our hearts with the world, yet the Bible says that our troubles come so that we can console another going through the same thing. My prayer is that the Lord would use this for His Glory as He heals all of our hearts.
Paper Tree House Studio: Cuttlebug V2 Machine
Scrapbook News and Review Magazine: One Year Subscription
Bella Blvd.: $45 retail value worth of their yummy product
Echo Park: Love Line
Scrapbooks & Stuff: Cricut Your Story
Punky Sprouts: Sweet Mini Book
The Paper Blossom Shop: $25 gift certificate to their shop.
Bonita Rose Life.Love.Color.Art: Seat in her self-paced Color 2.0 workshop
Here is the list of bold and beautiful women that were willing to lay it all out there:
My Paper Tree House, Nana Campana, Rebecca, Sueli Pinheiro, Kacee, Jessie, Selina, Arlene, Natalie, Christel, Bonnie, Dolores, Kari, and Tania.....that's ME!
Here is my story:
if you've been a reader here for a some time, you know that i'm one of those participating that is quite open about the trials we face.
if not, the short of it is this:
i have a 6 year old daughter named Emma, often referred to as Spidergirl, who struggles with allergic reactive asthma when exposed to over a dozen environmental allergens. normal every things, like grass, trees, dust, mold, cats, dogs, hampsters, horses, cockroaches, oak, and on and on. she spent the first 5 years of her life battling chronic ear infections, strep throat and upper respiratory illness with many trips to the ER for breathing treatments. thanks to weekly immunotherapy injections (aka: allergy shots), she's been somewhat healthy....until her recent trip to the allergist. she also suffers from esophageal reflux disease. between these two conditions, she takes 3 medications on a daily basis.
i have another 9 year old daughter named Ashlyn who struggles with Sensory Defensiveness (a Sensory Integration Disorder), extreme anxiety, pediatric migraine, and an autoimmune condition called Morphea. she's on chemotherapy for the Morphea and daily medicine to counteract the side effects of the chemo.
and i, myself, have a number of health issues that i've learned recently are all attributed to an autoimmune condition called Rheumatoid Arthritis.
i'm sure you can only imagine the amount of doctors visits we attend. so, yeah. we have a lot of trials on our plate. i mean, afterall, my blog address says it all: through trials, i am being purified.
and that's what i humbly believe.
i find myself unconciously singing "i need Thee oh, i need Thee....every, hour i need Thee" or resting in the assuring words of "His strength is perfect, when my strength is gone. He'll carry me, when i can't carry on."
i've had a number of people email or comment upon hearing my story saying....."you are such a strong woman." but honestly, my strength is in the Lord. it is God who carries me through on the daily.
so then, what's my heartache that no one sees?
beyond what i've already shared there is one struggle that leaves me ripped wide open on a daily basis. one that i'm not quite ready to be as open about. mainly because it's one that i'm still trying to find the words to describe.
what is it? well, it's the strain all of these things have caused and continue to cause on my marriage. marriage is hard enough with dealing with these things, don'tcha think?
thank God, thank God, thankkkkkkk God, i have a husband who's in it for the long-haul.
but i have the typical nature of a mother still embedded deep within who just wants to hurry up and fix all these medical issues and make it all better. sometimes i let the anxiety-induced fear of what tomorrow might bring grab hold of me and let anger well up inside of me. that doesn't bode too well for an already chaotic household with my daughters sensory issues.
i feel like i fail every.single.day. as a woman, when you can't just fix it and make it all better, it's a hard pill to swallow. am i right? well, for me it is anyway.
but, God gives me hope.
- i still have the hope within me that this story and these struggles aren't my 'forever.'
- i still have the hope within me that ashlyn will continue to grow out of some of her unpleasant defensive behaviors and i'll find her pleasant to be around all the time.
- i still have the hope within me that i'll be able to let go of how i thought my life should have played out.
- and i still have the hope within me that someday i'll be able to embrace how my story is being written.
if there is only one thing i know to be true.....it's that God is good, people! He will meet you where you are. He'll dry up your tears. He'll empower you to use your heartache for His glory and share your heartaches that no one sees.
He'll even show you how to find joy in the journey and how to expect the unexpected. life is all about the unexpected detours. you can read more of my story and our unexpected detours here.
i found it so ironic that the first thing i heard as i was typing out this post, was this song called Stronger by Mandisa.
take a listen. i'm sure you'll find encouragement in the words.