Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mostly Cloudy

I planned to show you round II of my Junk Evolution loot today, but I'm just not feeling it. It's been another bad day.** I've been emotional and jittery and stressed out to the max. I fear a cold sore may be coming on, and that's no big surprise.

The trials of the week are not notable. They are regular life stuff that happens to all of us every now and then. Problem is, our problems didn't confer with one another...they didn't bother checking to see if we were already booked. They all showed up together and just when we think we've gotten them all situated, another one arrives, fashionably late.

On top of my new-found anxiety, I've been walking around feeling very perplexed by how I feel. I'm not used to feeling this kind of stress and worry. I'm not used to crying multiple times a day without warning. It's foreign to me, and I'd just as soon keep it that way. This is not a chair I want to get comfy in, you know?

What I've come to realize is that while we have had our fair share in the past, these recent years have been pretty smooth sailing. And I know God wants to just walk me through this. He wants to remind me that it's not on my own strength that I am generally happy and carefree.

I think it's ok to feel the sting of mundane life. It's ok to acknowledge that bad days come, and that sometimes they stretch out on the couch and stay for a week. Or longer.

I knew that I could very easily show you the loot and no one would be the wiser. But I'm not good at pretending. And much as I panic about people worrying too much about me, or thinking that I'm not as strong as I may seem, the truth is, sometimes I'm not as strong as I may seem. I'm not sure when I decided that people shouldn't know that, but I'm ready to lay that one down.

Years ago, when we found out Calvin was sick, I learned the value of asking for and accepting help. I learned first-hand about God's provision and the ways in which He wants to use those around me to show me His love. I learned that though celebration may be a kind of relational super glue, despair is cement.

In sharing all of this, I want to encourage those of you wandering through grey days. I want you to feel not alone, not weak.

And when my clouds break, as they are certain to do, I want to share that with you, too.

For now, I want to share the blog post I wrote those three years ago.

The truth remains.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

We are back home and Calvin is his same, cute self. He’s been such a trooper over the last week or so! Cory and I marveled at the fact that he must have wondered what in the world we were thinking to up and move the 3 of us to a hospital, leaving Ruby behind, confining him to a cage/crib, and turning him over again and again to the nurse’s relentless needles, all while he was feeling fine. If I were him, I would have been angry! In his ever-even-tempered-ness, he went with the flow and made the most of having Mommy and Daddy at his side 24-7. We are so proud of him and our hearts stretched just a little bit more to allow for the kind of love that you find when you feel like you could lose the most important thing.




Through all of this we have found the peace that I have only heard about from others. After a terrifying initial shock, we felt our Heavenly Father holding our heads up for us and helping us focus on Calvin, rather than all of the what-ifs and it’s-not-fairs. I am so humbled by this love. We have been supported on every side and I want to thank all of you for that. We reached out and all of you reached back and grabbed on to us.

I want to leave you with a couple of the thoughts that have been pulsing through my mind since That Day. First of all, God has surprised me over and over with the security that comes from realizing that these kids are not our own. I think this is a thought that has obviously been more on the forefront of our minds than on the minds of other parents, for the simple reason that our children were loaned to us through adoption…we have had the privilege of getting to know Ruby’s amazing birth mom and have witnessed the kind of love that wants only the best for her daughter. We have a tangible reminder that Calvin and Ruby have been entrusted to us by their Creator. So, in the midst of trying to ignore thoughts that I didn’t want to hear myself think, an overwhelming feeling would come over me…Calvin is not yours. He’s Mine. It’s not ultimately our fight. And as much as we wanted to take Calvin’s pain and shield him from everything and hold onto him at all times…how much more does Jesus feel those things for Calvin? And for us?

On the second night of our stay, I did the old “flip open the Bible to a random page and hope for something” devotion and this is where I landed: “I waited patiently for the Lord to help me and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:1-3

Looking over the past six months, my family has lived a lot. From Ruby’s arrival and subsequent stay in the NICU, the sudden loss of Cory’s job, my dad’s MS diagnosis, and now this perplexing condition of Calvin’s….I didn’t realize how chaotic things have been until I took the time to take stock. And truly, things have not been chaotic. There have been blessings beyond measure, far out-weighing all else. Just one day prior to Calvin’s stuff I looked in the mirror and thought “Can things get any better than this?”

This is love. This is the kind of love that holds us and gives us clear eyes in the midst of turmoil. This is the kind of love that gives us little surprises and laughs and moments of quiet every day, so that we can fall asleep smiling. This is LOVE. This kind of love will find you, just the way it found me.

Pink headband


For more of the story, go here.

** As with yesterday, your hilarious confessions regarding The Glasses have given me countless belly laughs today. Thank you for understanding (and maybe appreciating?) my humor. I certainly did not set out to cause such a ruckus, but it sure has been fun!


  1. I hope your yuk days go away so so soon. Feel better sweet lady!


  2. I definitely appreciate your humor...and those sweet little faces...oh, those sweet little faces! I'm praying for ya'll. I'm lifting you up!!!

    : )

    In Christ,
    Julie M.

  3. God is good ~ wishing you sunshine tomorrow!


  4. Beautiful perspective on the big picture. Hang in there, farmgirl.

  5. You have such an amazing perspective, and I'll be praying for you. I've had my share of those cloudy days that feel like an outer body experience...and I don't wish them on anybody. Take care of yourself...and take some time for you!

  6. I thought of you today.... as in if possible and I had the time, it would have been a "three-cry-in-the-bathroom" sort of day for me.

    Thank you for reminding me that in our weakness we can find God's strength.

  7. All things work together for good to those who love God...Romans 8:28 has lifted me up many times. Praying for you. I love your blog and reading about your family's every day life. God is good all the time.

  8. I feel so comforted by your post just now...thank you so much for that...I'm sorry for you icky days...hang in there sweet girl...tomorrow is a new day and that's what I am telling myself:)
    Loved the past post you shared too....just wonderful!

  9. You must know how much I appreciate the honesty in this post. Thanks for sharing. I must admit that I have been a bit worried you today, hoping things were too bad. Aren't I the one who regularly used to break down in tears uncontrollably at the end of was it When a Man Loves a Woman?(Don't worry, Janet, we won't tell that you let us watch an R rated movie that year.) Love you, and thanks for keeping it honest. It's good know know I'm not alone in some of this stuff. I must admit, you really do seem to always have it all together. :) Love you.

  10. Thank you for sharing. We all (me anyway) have down days and weeks sometimes. It helps to know we are not alone in this and God is always near.

  11. God speed! Don't worry have Faith in Him. You will feel peace to know He loves you. I will light a candle for you tomorrow in church..~lulu

  12. Hang in there sweet friend, there are brighter days ahead

  13. Love you Soul sister. I'm sending you sunshiney days tomorrow and a dozen pretend cake donuts with lemony cream frosting. Feel better yet?
    I didn't know that Mr. Calvin Lee had health issues. Oh no. I hope he is doing OK and that everyone in FP land is healthy.
    Chin up young one.
    Oh and btw, Aviators without the tint. Priceless. I must say that Ruby rocked those glasses like no other. Loved it. I'll send you my old glasses from HS. Definitly rocked the Sally Jessie red glasses back then. OY!

  14. I've been reading your blog for some time now and I have to say you manage to always brighten my day. I have no idea what your little guy has but we recently found out our little girl has gammaglobulinenemia of infancy. There is a possibility it could be later diagnosed as CVID. We have had many difficult days and I anticipate many more. Although we are in different situations I can simpathize with bad days. Hang in there. Don't just take one day at a time take each moment at a time and trust in the Lord!

  15. I just saw today that you commented on my blog post about Surviving last week. I feel like we're starting to emerge from that mindset a little bit. It's nice to know there are other mamas who are in the same boat. Not that I want anyone else to be having a rough go of things but sometimes in blogland it seems like life is all rainbows and chocolate for everyone else. Anyway, that was a long confusing way to say, I hear ya sister! Hang in there! You're doing great! This too shall pass! Thanks for keeping it real! And thank you that the glasses aren't! :)

  16. I clicked over from your comment on my blog about our husbands being similar and I'm SO glad I did! You're genuine, funny and I'm so excited to read more of what you write! I totally can relate to those gray days and I pray that you are able to see a break in the clouds soon!

  17. This is my first time commenting, but I just wanted to thank you for your honesty. There seems to be a little gray cloud hanging around our house as well. I hope both yours and mine blow away quickly. :)


  18. Ah Honey don't be blue. You need a long day at the Electric Beach my dear.........Go ahead take time for you and run off to the closest tanning bed. Take 10, 20 minutes whatever it takes.It really helps.Though you have to pray while your in there to make sure you don't come out lookin like a Lobster.Enjoy~Kim

  19. I just want you to know my family will be praying for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your honest feelings with us. For the past 3 years I have been living in sadness. I have been amazed at the spiritual inspiration I have found through you and many others. Your words mean the world to me. I have realized because of the honesty in blogs like yours I wasn't the only one dealing with pain. I know that this must be hard for you to share, but you have touched so many of us by doing so. Thank you for sharing. I hope you feel better soon.
    Take Care & God Bless

  20. I just wanted to say that I just love you! Nothing we can do to change this situation for you but there is some comfort in knowing that others are praying for you! Your faith was never based on your circumstances and so this too will pass. You are a brave girl for sharing so openly and that makes me proud to know someone like you.
    When the climate changes we will still be here. Hold on girl, just hold on...

  21. Ah, sweetie, how I do understand how you feel! This week I have been so far down in the dumps, emotional and depressed, topped off by a jitteryness that just isn't me! So many times I have gotten bogged down in the negative thoughts and hurt feelings that I have just had to cry out to God to take them from me! I don't know when or how this season will end, all I know is I am ready for it to END!

    Usually I don't have to look far to find a little joy in my day, but lately joy isn't so easy to find, even in tiny bits. There is no one big thing making me feel this way, but a bunch of middle sized things, all clumping up into one massive weight on my shoulders. Isn't it amazing how burdens, even though we aren't physically carrying them, tend to weigh down on us and tire us out as if we were carrying a huge basket of them on our backs!

    Reading your post from a while back makes my problems seem so small, but God hates to see his children hurting - no matter how large or small the pain. I know that in time this season will pass, I just hope I can learn the lesson intended, and come out on the other side stronger and wiser.

    You are in my prayers! B.

  22. Shannan,

    I'm so sorry to hear you have been feeling blue, but am comforted in knowing that our God will carry you through this and that"this too shall pass". You guys are always in our prayers and know that if love can get you through this we have an overflowing adundance of it for you. Keep looking up!


  23. I said a prayer for you all before I went to bed. Then again when I woke up in a house selling induced panic at 3am. Love you. P.S. I want to dress just like Ruby when I grow up.

  24. Hi Shannan, I have just recently discovered your blog and have truly enjoyed getting to know you. I didn't know your little guy was not well, so I will pray for him, and your family as well. It is comforting to know that others are not always "up" and peppy. I've been in a funk lately myself and I carry such guilt around about it. I hope that things start looking up for you! And me too! Take care!


  25. Wishing you sunshine moments followed by rainbows of delight!

    Take comfort in knowing we all have those days and "this too shall pass."


  26. I will prayer for you that you can make it through these rough moments and get back to the best of life!

  27. Dear Shannan ~

    I have been a reader of your site for a little while now. I got here from a link in the comments section of Tales From The Coop Keeper.(I enjoy Jayme very much :)

    We, too (like all of us), have sailed some stormy seas. Things have been good as of late(with a few waves thrown in here and there). But what I would like to share is that once you get through the storm, you can look back and realize just how much strength you really have.

    And funny, I have been under some clouds for the past couple of days but cant really put my finger on the reason. Sounds like many of your readers are feeling the same. Could be the winter months taking a toll. Who knows.
    But take comfort in the fact that we are with you :)

    Feel better and best of luck to your family as you cope with health problems. We've had those, too...

    ~Andrea in NH

  28. it doesn't help that the gloom of this time of year & our lovely location on the planet can turn us completely inside out!

    praying for you & that everything clears up and gets back on track.


  29. i love your real-ness. i love you.
    i wish your glasses were for real.
    Maybe dinner with Foiler and I would cheer you up a little?

  30. I will be praying for you and your family. Just as my Mom, Janie, said above, God is good all the time especially to those who love him. God Bless your family & thank you for sharing your every day life with us. I enjoy it every day :)

  31. you are so right! you are not alone. keep the faith, girl. prayers that things in your life get back on track. xoxo

  32. Blessings to you and your family...
    Cindy at Lakewood

  33. Hello Miss Shannan....I hope you are feeling better, and please know that we all go through times when feelings of sadness and worry take over, it only means we have to lean on someone else, right? :) I read your story of your little man, oh is sooo similar to mine with out punk, every word.every.word. It is amazing how situations like that make you realize how short life can be, and how much we have to cherish each and every there is no tomorrow. Thank you for sharing, and know that we are all here to support you and love you, and not every day has to be filled with laughter, decorating and fluff! :) I get it, oh dear how I get it. xxxx

  34. Hey Shannan...haven't been here in a while, though when I do come I long for summer and your food. Whatever.
    Loved this post so much. We have had some yuckiness of late ourselves{you can read all about it on my blog, if you are so inclined} and I had no idea about your little man. You are awesome and you know, its okay to cry sometimes. Let it out.
    Hope your days get sunnier soon!!
    Oh, love that Bible verse you referenced to!!

  35. I read your post last night and you came to mind this morning as I drove the kids to school and heard the song "The Words I Would Say" by Sidewalk Prophets. It's a goodie...

    "Be strong in the LORD and,
    Never give up hope,
    You're going to do great things,
    I already know,
    God's got His hand on you so,
    Don't live life in fear,
    Forgive and forget,
    But don't forget why you're here,
    Take your time and pray,
    These are the words I would say."

    I hope you are having a blessed day.

  36. I am so sorry---
    I hate/love the refining...
    His desire is only good for you, you KNOW that.
    Rest in it, wrap yourself in it, and know that you are being prayed for.

  37. i'm sorry to hear about the way you are feeling. i went through that a couple of weeks ago. i was ready to google pre-menopause:) i hate feeling that way.

  38. You've got a great attitude. Said a prayer for you today. Hope the sun shines again soon.

  39. Though we have never met, I look forward to reading your posts daily and feel as if I know you.
    I am sorry you are going through a rough time and like all of the other posters, will be praying for you and your family.

  40. Don't cry FlowerPatchFarmGirl. I'm so sorry that life is overwhelming right now. I'm glad you didn't show us more cool junk and ignore your feelings. I hope all of your comments bless you today. Your sisters are thinking of you, holding you up in prayer and sending virtual cupcakes. Try to be at peace.xoxox

  41. Keep your chin up, there are a lot of people who love you. You bring a smile to me everyday, and I am thankful you are willing to be so honest. Try to take one day at a time and know you are not alone.xo

  42. As a mom, I have been in the hospital with my two little ones and all I can say is keep talking to God, HE is listening. XO

  43. You are so right Shannan, we would never expect someone so bright and sunny to be blue! I wish I could say something as clever as you to make you feel better. You're always welcome to come here for a get a way. Junk always makes me feel bette!

  44. Oh sweetie praying for God to give you peace in this time of anxiety. May your clouds part soon.

    I've been hearing about a book recently that is supposed to be really great by Linda Dillow called Calm my Anxious Heart. I tried to order it, but there was a screw up. Maybe you should find it. Love you hon!

  45. I love your heart! :) I can relate to the YUK days - this winter weather doesn't help I don't think but there are times when life just feels overwhelming - whether I am going through something big or not. Praying for you... :)

  46. I am here...come find me if you need to talk.


  47. those darn grey days can move in and just hover can't they?
    i applaud your desire to be transparent, and in that transparency allowing others to see more of you & in seeing more of you , they also see hope. they ( we ) also see we are not alone
    not all of our days are as sunny & pristine as they look in our blog entries. i just told a precious friend who was going through some isolation feelings, that satan can really knock us out when we feel just that--isolated.
    so....all of that to say
    i'm praying for you
    i love your tender heart
    & your positive spirit
    blessings to you today sweet girl

  48. Shannan ~

    I'm so moved by this post...the clarity you have in regards to God's love for you and your family and His plan in life for you...and your strong faith...are all so inspiring! I hope and pray for you that your days and your weeks start to brighten and any anxiety you are feeling is lifted! I can certainly understand and relate!!

    Many blessings to you ~


  49. Asking for help is still hard for me too. But I know it is a wonderful lesson. :)