Sunday, June 30, 2013

Taking My Own Advice

It's the kind of day where I wish I had a witty opener, but I'm clean out of wit. And openers.

So I'll just summarize my last few days:
Home from Michigan late Thursday evening.
Spent all morning Friday at the hospital with C (and the other 2. Yay!) (the news wasn't great)
Stayed in Friday night. (tacos for dinner)
Breakfast in bed Saturday courtesy of my people (overdue from my birthday) (don't even ask about that)
Road-trip to Muncie to hang with some of our favorite people.

Then there was church. We went to say goodbye to heart-and-soul friends, to pray them into their big move to Kenya, so I expected some tears because that's just the kind of girl I've become - a teary one. What I didn't expect was to repeatedly talk myself off an emotional ledge throughout worship. I could not swallow down the lump in my throat. I thought I might puke. It was the strangest feeling and I kept thinking, Is this the Holy Spirit? Why would he make me puke? 

I was so caught between the newness of all His mercies and my love for my friend Nicki and her family. I was pulled between that swelling feeling of Christ's love made known and gripping fear for my child.

I was afraid for Calvin. It hits me sometime.

I won't bog you down with details, but please keep praying for our boy. I hate the way these things sneak up on us... one night we're watching Chopped in the sketchiest motel ever...the next day, we're burnt toast. It makes me mad and sometimes it makes me cry.

Tonight it just makes me tired. It makes me pouty that we have to go back tomorrow. It makes me feel sorry for myself that we keep missing out on normal summer. It makes me ache for my dude, who just wants to lay around the house a while and go swimming and ride his bike.

We were almost home from Muncie and I remembered that we'd be passing right by one of my favorite places on the planet, or at least the state.

So we pulled over.
Flowers are my love language, didn't you know?

They make any day better.

They remind me that this Summer is still mine. We still have it. No one can take it.
I forget in the in-between that he's always worst in Summer. Every year it snatches me from behind and it makes me so mad, to have to remember. In the words of Rusty, it all feels like a big, dang gyp.

But we have to recalibrate a little, that's all.
There's just no other way.

We have to promise to notice when things turn around.
We have to not get scared. Mama has to not get scared.

30 minutes at the garden did us all a world of wonder. 

Isn't it obvious that we were all in dire need of a world of wonder?
I'm laughing so hard at this picture. People, this is the real, raw deal. This is me, looking like a ghoul, Ruby looking manic, Silas looking...strained.
It's okay, you can laugh, too.

Just understand that my life is even weirder than I let on. And we'll leave it at that.
Cory offered to fix my under-eye circles, but that felt like too slippery a slope for my current state of mind. Before you know it, I'd end up looking like this.

This guy ran laps around the circular track with his two remaining laser fingers securely in place.
Calvin rallied and willingly moved around in an upright position for the first time in two days.

I took exactly two pictures while we were there and these were it.
(I take a lot of pictures, but when we're all out together, I leave it to the pro.)

So these glorious flowers and the fact that I've retained a shard of perspective and joy are all courtesy of the Bearded One. Only now, he's whittled it down to a goatee, and I'm good with that. As Robert said, "It's a step in the right direction."

Our garden walk helped snap us all back into focus and the rest of our evening was productive and swell.

Just try it. Visit a garden the next time you're angsty and PMSy and fraught and blue.
The flowers, they'll fix you.

 Not this guy, but the flowers will.


  1. Surely you did not just slip a SNAKE into this post?

    What? You KNOW how I feel about this.

    Shannan's Dad: please advise Shannan about the snakes. Thanks, Joy


    I am praying circles around Calvin. I do every time I think of him or you or Riley.

    Let's meet up for salsa.


    small town girl

  2. I didn't know that flowers were what I needed tonight! Now I do!

    Praying for you and yours tomorrow! SO SORRY! But thankful that we live in a country with modern medicine!

  3. Holding you up, squeezing you hard and loving from afar, sister.

  4. the beard is still in season!

    your outfit is too lovely; i can barely stand it.

    love, hugs, and lots of prayers for you and c boy. may peace flood both of your hearts. xo.

  5. Oh Shannan - from one mama to another - this made me cry and laugh a little and want to give you a hug. (And hugging is not my love language, but still...)
    Praying for your sweet boy - and for you.

  6. I love you, girl. Praying like crazy for Calvin and you. Love that you found beauty today in spite of it. There is beauty in this, too. Trusting that there is. I love you.

  7. Oh your mama's heart. Hope you have a big batch of salsa to console it. Motherhood (parenthood really) is so trying on the dang heart! Well good thing your little fella has a crazy bunch of bloggers and blog readers praying for him, sending all sorts of love and good vibes in your direction!

  8. I am praying for you right now. You and your sweet baby, Calvin.

  9. Lots of love & prayers to you tonight.

  10. Gary Busey mentioned the need to " recalibrate his protocols" in an Apprentice episode - hoping that you're able to do something similar.

    Praying for Calvun and you and your family. Xo

  11. Calvin- not Calvun. There's no such thing... ;)

  12. I was kind of surprised to read about Calvin - I dont know if I missed a post because I feel like I might of, but I am praying for him and you nonetheless. The blogging community recently prayed for my dad and so I know that even though you dont know me per se, how much comfort it brings. Its so amazing when you feel like the blogging community 'got your back'and after the kindness shown to me in the past month, I wanted to repay the favour.
    Much love to you all

  13. Sweet boy Calvin! Missing you guys and sending one up for the coolest little man I know.

  14. Oh I am keeping you and your sweet boy in my prayers. And flowers....they are healing aren't they? I finished school Thursday (finally)....came home, grabbed the camera and went and snapped a load of garden and flower pictures. It just made me relax. Made me think....and process. Made me love life.

  15. For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chron. 16:9. praying for you sweet girl.

  16. For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chron. 16:9. praying for you sweet girl.

    1. Loving this. This verse is for me/ us. The ones all raw and PMS-y and with special little ones and hard battles. Yes. I needed this verse. Thank you

  17. I was listening to this when I was reading your post so I thought I'd share.

    "Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
    Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
    Leave to thy God to order and provide;
    In every change, He faithful will remain.
    Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
    Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end."

    Hugs to you and yours.

  18. You are such a joy and a blessing to so many of us and countless others...know that we are holding you up to our Wonderful Heavenly Daddy who cares so much for your scared mamma heart and for your sweet boy. Your faith and openness is such a testimony to others, I know that God is using this experience to glorify Himself through your sweet family!! Don't let go!!! when I get anxious and frazzled, I love to take a walk around my yard and take in all of the wonders of nature that God has reminds me that HE is in the details and if He cares SO MUCH for the appearance and purpose of the flowers, how much MORE does He care for the details and purposes of His beloved children!!

    Please keep up updated on Calvins progress!!!! Love you and yours more than you know <3


  19. I'm back!!! I just moved on to reading Lemonade Makin' Mama's post and thought I'd share it with you, just in case you don't read her...which you probably do...anyway, thought it was good stuff and would bless your heart!!

  20. Praying for Calvin this morning! For healing, stamina, and that the Lord would retain joy in your hearts despite this bump. I'll be praying as often as I can this week, please keep us posted on him!

    Also. I clicked on the link to your 7th grade picture. About fell over, what with the shoulder pads and mock neck. You should know that I ALSO wore my mother's mock neck sweaters with shoulder pads. First--why were we wearing our mom's clothing? We were twelve!! And second. Mock necks. Let's pray they never come back in fashion, shall we? I can do skinnies. I can do fluorescent. Can't. do. the mock. Or pads. Lord have mercy.

    Love to you and your family! I promise to be lifting you guys up. xoxo

  21. Calvin's name has been sticky noted to the wall to remind me to pray for you both. Hang in there sweet mama...

  22. You have been heavy on my mind. Praying for your sweet boy.

  23. Oh, sweet friend. I just drove through Michigan and Indiana. I should've waved. I am sending big helpings of love and grace. He's got you, even when that doesn't seem to be true. xoxo

  24. "I could not swallow down the lump in my throat. I thought I might puke. It was the strangest feeling and I kept thinking, Is this the Holy Spirit?" That has happened to me so many times while I was sitting in church. All I felt was embarrassed and hoping those around me wouldn't realize how emotional I was. It never occurred to me that it might have been Spirit, speaking to my heart. Thank you for putting that possibility into my head. Next time, I hope I can be open to it.

  25. Okay - first of all praying for Calvin, your family, and you. Hope you get better news and some glorious summer days of just being kids soon.

    Second of all - where oh where is that garden? It's glorious and being that I'm only 45 minutes from Muncie I figure if it's in between Goshen and Muncie somewhere it's in driving distance for me.

    1. It's in New Paris, like 10 minutes from Goshen. :)

  26. Here's my prayer: Jesus make Calvin alright RIGHT NOW. Maybe that's not how it works but that's how I'm doing it.

  27. I'm all teary reading this. I hate that he is sick. Praying for the new meds to work and for healing and for the sweet peace of Jesus to cover you all. Love you guys!

  28. Praying my biggest prayers for your Calvin. Praying for strength and peace for you and your family. My heart is often open (and raw) during worship times and the emotions come with it. Sometimes the tears comes and sometimes I am okay with that ~ when I can tune the others out, focus on God and let Him move in me, He heals my open (and raw) heart. Glad you got some garden time.

  29. I screamed at the snake.
    I love your family.
    God gave you the very best. The very, very best.