the strength of warriors

In my life, I haven often wondered why things happen as they do? Why did my first marriage fail?  Why did I make this decision or that one?  Why did I have my babies at 26 weeks?  Why did I think it was my fault?

I have had these internal questions in my life for years. Also, some of these same questions about other people’s lives.  I have this profound need to understand why things happen.  I can lose sleep over and over, stop eating, stress and panic and I still can say, in my life on this earth I may never get these answers.

Anytime, anywhere, I can stop what I am doing…and stop torturing myself to give up asking these questions and give them to God. I ask for guidance, for help, for strength, for knowledge, and to simply let go and let God take it for from here.

I know God doesn’t put anything in our path that we cannot handle. However, sometimes I catch myself asking why?  I know and I believe that my faith in God is strong but sometimes my emotions get the better of me (for those of you who know me, well, let’s just say I am passionate with my emotions).

Over a year has gone by and I find myself praying for my cousin and his family daily. It is part of my routine, like drinking coffee every morning.

I pray for anything and everything that you could imagine.  Trucker,  is my cousin’s youngest son. He is very sick. It has been one battle after another and some small victories. Trucker’s spirit still shines brightly through everyone one in his family.  This strong tender boy leaves a mark on everyone who comes within reach of him.  His parents and family are fighter’s with the strength of warriors they continue to show their children and the world how to be strong, gracious, and faithful through adversity.

They are doing everything they possibly can and will continue too. I have faith in God for them but I can’t help but think as I sit here and my tears fall, what every morning might be like for Trucker’s mom, Shauna. If anyone deserves an award for anything, it’s Shauna. She has taught me about strength, grace, and to live each day in the moment. If I could do something in this moment, I would give her a hug,  a cup of her favorite coffee, and whatever her favorite comfort food is, her favorite people and lastly, one day without worry. She is beautiful, compassionate, loves life, and doesn’t take anything for granted.

Trucker and his mom are in New York getting treatment while the rest of his family stays at home in Hawaii. Soon they will be together. I wish I had millions of dollars, I really do! I would give it to them with my blessings.  I would tell them to take care of anything they need-medical bills, trips, anything…people from all over the United States have embraced them and made them apart of their family.

I am states away with my family. I am not a millionaire, doctor, or anything else,  I am a mother, a wife,  and someone who prays and believes in prayer.  I can only ask, if you have read this, take a minute and think of all you have in your life…..all of your worries, give them to God and say an extra pray for The Joshua Dukes family.

Choosing Change & Taking a Leap

There are times when “we” decide to take a leap of faith for ourselves, our families, to learn something or to just move forward in life. You could simply be ready to make a positive change or to move on from something that isn’t good for us anymore. These leaps can be very difficult. Others seem to just transfer smoothly in a new direction-the ones we make by choice are always easier.

I will share some of my leaps with you…


* Choosing my friends wisely in high school

* Sports

* Going far-far away to college (40 miles from my home town – at U of O) Ha!

* Marrying for the first time…..because of how much I learned about love (more later)

* Finishing college after I took a year off

* Marrying for the second time and knowing this is it!!! (we just celebrated our 13th anniversary)

* In-vitro fertilization and lots of needles

* Advocating for my children in school every day

* Leaving our first home and moving to the family farm

* Working out again

* Getting back to my passion-writing

* Sending in 3 manuscripts for publication (much later)

* Never giving up!!


* Transferring from U of O to OSU for someone I was dating

* Taking time off from College

* Getting married when something just didn’t feel right

* Blaming myself entirely for the failure of my first marriage

* Making a choice that could have cost me my life (much much later)

* Not speaking up for myself when I needed too (I still struggle with this)

* Putting up with relationships that were toxic to me

* Not staying in the best physical shape for me

* Not sending in my manuscripts years ago

We all have choices. No matter what the circumstances brought us to making that choice.  We make them every day. Do I change my oil today even though I needed to 1000 miles ago, do I reach out to someone I miss dearly, do I call someone who hurt me and try to talk it through, who am I going to vote for, do I buy that new shirt or not, do I plan a surprise vacation for my family? These are the easy choices.

These are not the life altering choices I see some of my family members struggling with today.  I worry about my family even if they are distant, even if I haven’t seen them in years.  I ache for them and would do anything I could to given them a day without their daily struggles, the battles, the fight and what faces them tomorrow.

Be grateful for what you have! And, if you aren’t happy or don’t feel right about something-change it, work on it, make the choice and take that leap!!

Making Your Pieces Fit…


Do you have missing pieces that just don’t fit anywhere except inside of you? In a secret place that only you know about. Perhaps there is no secret too big or too small to explain why you buried them in the first place. However, they still exist just the same, in the corners of your mind, in a familiar smell, lyrics in a song, a quick glance from someone and your eyes meet, a single touch, laughter, and the memory of what another was like year’s ago…sometimes, just a feeling one gets, when one senses another human being…unexplainable except to those who feel it.

We, as beings have “this” sixth sense and I have learned that I need to listen and let myself feel that sense.

It can be as simply put as mind over matter or allowing yourself to push past the pain and let your muscle take you further, to give in when you don’t need to pick “that” battle at “that” specific moment, to trust that sense when you feel like giving up and you know it isn’t the end…for some of us, it’s to suck it up and face the fear, to guide your children in the way you believe to be right, to know when to speak up and when to back off  but remember your words can hurt, so say sorry over and over in this life–because whatever comes next, you will only wish that you had said it, when it could have made a difference.

I want be of one voice with my spouse, to not hide behind others judgements to stand up and disagree or walk away, to know when enough is “your” enough, and to take back your power and simply speak up…speak out…and always remember to stay out of someone else’s battle, fight, or business and only then, is it okay to give advice, when you are asked.

These pieces and your “sixth” sense are connected. Listen to them.  Be strong in the face of adversity (remember not to give up), this is difficult as we often know that anger comes with these challenges. Be gracious, forgiving, and somehow, in some way, WE all need to let go to move forward. Does anyone really want to be standing in a stagnant pool in a swarm of mosquitoes but we can’t move because we are surrounded by alligators, I don’t think anyone would want that.

We, as beings want to make things better, fix what is broken. If one needs help ask for it, talk to someone about that piece of you that doesn’t quite fit-someone probably very close to you has been there.  They will hold on to you, care for you, and love you in just the way you need. We all strive to move on, to love, to live, to experience, to learn and to enjoy every day with the beautiful sun and the storms that will come. Whether it be, in the sun or the storm, we will learn to let go of some of those pieces.