Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Healing for Dummies... anyone?

For the past few months I've hinted about plunging into the pit of a serious illness. An illness that was at one point life-threatening enough to land me in the ER.

In a way I saw it coming, and despite my herculean efforts to stop it on my own, this disease surged over and through me like a cataclysmic tsunami.

I thought I was helpless during the great elbow debacle...

Sometime in November I was handed the diagnosis of Major Depression.

I scored the highest number possible on the assessment scale used by doctors to establish the severity of the illness. My primary care doc prescribed some meds and sent me home. Two weeks later, I found myself in the emergency room. Rather than improving, my depression raged out of control destroying every part of Darcie, it's debris ridden waves could reach. My thyroid was "alarmingly abnormal" to quote one of the ER docs, my hormones all a-whack, and as time went on and I saw multiple practitioners and specialists, it's been determined that my adrenal glands are toast (Some call it adrenal fatigue, the Mayo Clinic website denounces that term, calling the symptoms a combination of hypothyroid and major depression.... uh...)

My hidey-hole had been the most comfortable place over the past eight weeks. It takes a lot of prodding to pry me out. I'm swamped by the stagnant waters left over by the tsunami wave, but at least I'm protected from the full impact of the surges.

Until now.

I (stupidly??) allowed myself to be yanked from said hidey-hole (complete with a new leather reading chair - another post yet to come) to face one of the biggest fault lines on the floor of the Darcinian Sea.

Some of you regulars may remember the devastating blow I received last February when I was cut from our church worship team. I'd been singing for four years and was suddenly deemed lacking in skill.

A week and a half ago, I was invited to be a backup singer on a "super-team" for the Christmas service (Dec 23). My dear friends who also suffered the same fate a year ago begged me to join them. They argued we need each other's support. We've all been devastated and affected by this over the course of the past ten months.

Last night was the first rehearsal. We had to sing with the very people who stared us down during auditions and said "you don't measure up." It was hard. Emotions I thought I buried shot through the cracks in the fault line. It was all I could do to hold myself together.

My best friend, Stinky, told me to try to use this experience as an opportunity to heal. How? Can someone point me to Healing for Dummies? Oh. There isn't one.

People speak of healing all the time. Author Kristy Dykes has a rare, deadly form of cancer and has most of reading America praying for healing. Author Mary DeMuth is in the process of healing from a traumatic year on the mission field in France. Best-seller Brandilyn Collins WAS healed of Lyme disease. She was wheelchair bound, loosing function in her joints then God...

Depression is not new to me. Looking back, I think I've been affected by it from an early age. Most of my life, perhaps. But it was something I could manage on my own. Now it's grown to something bigger, more ominous. Something that threatens to steal my life.

I know God is bigger than depression, but HOW do I live that? How do I live the hope of healing when my body and mind refuse to respond to treatment or just plain don't work? How do I use situations such as this singing gig as a time to heal rather than time to rip off a scab?

I pray and I pray...



Thank God for my friends here in Denver, my family in PA, and my new found writing buddies of ACFW. Only through them and with them do I feel God still cares.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Mom Song Sung to William Tell Overture with Lyrics

To go along with the post below about what you find yourself saying...

I got to see her live a few weeks ago in Parker and boy is she funny!!!

Obedience to God can yield heroic deeds

I'm referring you to Red Letter Believers to read about the woman who saved over a thousand lives by obeying God in a way shocking to most Americans.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Terrifying times

Last week a deranged teen opened fire in an Omaha mall murdering innocent shoppers out to make others happy.

Yesterday, a gunman entered the Youth With a Mission (YWAM) dormatory in Arvada, CO on the campus of Faith Bible Chapel. The YWAM folks were cleaning up after a Christmas party when some guy entered with a gun demanding to stay the night. They told him no, so he started shooting. Two people died.

My church is only 10 minutes south of FBC, our pastor knows lots of people up there, I know several families that attend FBC... Pastor Jim told us to pray for the families of the dead and wounded. And pray the gunman would be caught.

At 1PM yesterday, a gunman burst into t he lobby of New Life Church in Colorado Springs opening fire on the congregation. More people were shot, three died. The gunman was shot by an armed security guard. New Life has a WYAM center as well and brought in security as a precaution. Both FBC and NLC are mega churches with several thousand members. I know a lot of people in the Springs and am waiting and praying they are all okay.

There are over a dozen Houghton College alumni down there, Rocky Mountain Colorguard Association folk, and member's of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writer's Association). I urge you to pray for both churches, YWAM and the families and friends of the people killed and wounded. Pray for the people - especially the children who had to witness this macabre slaughter. This is not something people just "get over".

The day after the mall shooting, the Southwest Plaza Mall was crawling with state troopers. I think I counted at least six. Teen boys lumbered around the mall making loud noises, saying crass things causing shoppers and UPS delivery men to jump. It was disconcerting. I bet those boys thought the Omaha shooting was cool.

Later that night as I told my husband about the police presence he said, "So, I guess it's no longer safe to go to a mall. If you can't go to a mall, where can you go?"

This mall is across the street from Columbine High School.

I looked him in the eye. Thoughts raced through my head. I have a baby, I'm a mom. How do I keep him safe?

I can't.

The church shootings remind us that we aren't safe ANYWHERE. Not schools, malls, restaurants (Chucky Cheese shooting on Santa Fe and Hampden in the 80s) or churches.

The temptation is to become agoraphobic and never leave our homes. Fearing the big, bad world outside. Just doesn't seem to jive with the abundant life Christ called us to live.

Here's my thought: God is sovereign. I can't die unless it's my time to go. I don't know when that is, maybe it will be the day a gunman storms Bear Valley Church or the Village Roaster, but I'm not gonna worry. I know where I'm going when I die. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. He promises eternity in Heaven with Him. Then again, maybe I'll live to be 100 because I have a heap of best-seller books to write!

This Christmas season, as we are riddled with horrifying tales of murder and gunmen on the loose, remember Who's in control. Embrace the Gift of Jesus and go shopping!

To follow along with the latest developments of the story, check out 9 News.

They are a local news affiliate that does a really good job. They've updated information twice as I was writing this. When they move stories, the links change, so I only linked their home site above.

Friday, December 07, 2007

You gotta see this to believe it!

Do ya think I can get Caleb to do this?


His only talent is cleaning the litter box.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Modern-day Motherhood

Oh. My. Word.

The terrible two's are upon me and he's not even two!

This morning I had to go to the Kaiser Permanente clinic for a blood draw. Before I left the house, I called John to ask where he put the stroller. The answer?

In his car trunk.

In Downtown Denver.

Am I gonna drive all the way down there?


Well, Kyle's walking pretty good. Those legs aren't painted on...

At the clinic we get out of the car and head across the parking lot. The little body hit's the asphalt with a thump. I grab a wrist. "Get up. You need to walk."

"No." Kyle says, punctuating his one-word sentence with a thumb plug.

I pull, he pulls back. Tries to lay down. I circle like a vulture over dead meat. We're in a parking lot. Cars drive along this path. I pick up the child. "Mommy's carrying you because you can't sit in a parking lot. It's not safe. When we're in the building, you will walk like a big boy."

The sliding glass door close behind me. I stand Kyle on his feet and take his tiny hand. "No!" he yells.

I notice we are near the waiting area for the pediatrician's office. "We're here for Mommy. Mommy is getting her blood drawn, not Kyle."

He pops the thumb in his mouth, looks up at me and grins.


In a second, I'm behind him, lifting him up by both wrists. "Walk. Now." He thrashes, he cries out, "No!" The lab is the next waiting area down. Only about thirty feet away. I let go and walk to the check-in desk. Kyle sits on the floor, sucking his thumb and looking around. Old ladies in walkers shuffle by chatting it up. He blows kisses to them. I check in and sit down, pretending to read. Kyle stands and takes a step forward.

"Looks like he's gonna come, " another vampire victim comments.

Just as I start to think my ploy of ignoring him is working, he toddles to a table and rifles through the magazines. For a moment, he turns his head and shoots me a brilliant smile. My blood starts to bubble. I hope the phlebotomist doesn't get burned.

I'm called in. Kyle is toodleng around the pediatric waiting area. I'm forced to get him. As I approach, he raises his arms. "Up. Up."

A few onces lighter, he and I walk out to the car. He walks like a big boy. But...

I have one more stop to make. I have to go to Ulta and buy some conditioner and make-up. They don't have carts.

I head off the parking lot fight by carrying him into the store. I put him down and he follows me to the Bare Minerals aisle. Lots of eyeshadow choices along with little test containers line the shelves. Little test containers + little hands = disaster.

Kyle grabs three or four eyeshadow powder thingies and shakes them. Drops them on the floor. I grab his hands and squeeze. "Look, don't touch." The power of temptation is too much for the toddler mind. He rakes them off the shelf. I grab a kit of neutral colors and haul baby. Sometimes the best course of action is removal.

Baby doesn't want to be hauled. I still need conditioner. I drag him, kicking and screaming across the store. (I saw a mother doing this at Kaiser when her toddler son was called back to see the pediatrician. It worked. Sort of.)

His screams echoed off the bottles of hair dye. The conditioner was in sight. I let go of him, and scoot down the aisle. Kyle engages in thumb therapy and grins. He totally thinks he won!

Laiden with eyeshadow, hair conditioner and a bottle of glaze, I attempt to travel toward the check-out counter. Kyle wandered near me, running this hands through a box of Burt's Bee's lip glosses. I take his hand. It's full of lip-gloss tubes. "Put that back. Mommy doesn't need lip-gloss." He shakes his head. I set my unpurchased products on the floor. I have to peel Radiant Red and Buff out of his fingers. He sits. He screams. He even swats at me. People stare.

I run my fingers through my hair. What would my mom do? Smack my butt, that's what she did. I look at Kyle. A gray-haired woman stands near-by, hand poised over the cell phone attached to her purse strap. If I tried to discipline Kyle, she'd probably call the police. Social services would come. They'd take Kyle away, and we'd never be able to adopt another child.

Reasoning with a toddler is like asking Osama Bin Lauden to emcee the March of Dimes charity drive.

Getting out of the store and into the car was pretty much the same scenario as above.

I told Kyle I was disappointed in his behavior. I wasn't happy he disobeyed me. He's way too young for the "Wait 'till we get home!" tactic.

What's a mother to do today in a society where a tiny smack could make you do the jail house rock? Kyle knew my hands were tied. He doesn't behave this way at home. For now, I'm not going anywhere w/o the stroller. But I still need a strategy for defiance in public. Stripes make me look fat.