Tag Archives: pain

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Just what is that strange word I put up there in my title? It may be the answer that I have been looking for all these years. It may be the “thing” that will make my life make more sense. The “Aha” in the mystery of what has happened in my body all my LIFE. The answer to the Fibro and CFS that I’ve endured for decades at an ever-worsening rate. It may be the answer to “WHY?”

“Why are my fingers so crooked, Mom?” I would ask. “I don’t know, dear, it’s just how you were born.” I may have shown off my incredibly flexible joints at that time because those fingers, as crooked as they are could move into contortions that would make some feel nauseous. the rest of my body is and was hyper flexible from the very start.

“I have these shooting pains that happen randomly through my body, Mom. What is that? Is that normal?” She would typically reply. “I don’t know, but it could just be your mind playing tricks with your body.”

“Dr. why am I losing so many babies? Is there something wrong with my body?” The Dr.’s answers went something like this: “We have run all the tests to see why these miscarriages are happening to you and we see nothing to be alarmed about. Maybe it’s just your body’s way of getting rid of embryos that have something wrong with them.” After losing Josiah and then three more pregnancies, the Doctors remained stumped as to why I was not able to carry a baby to term. They just couldn’t find a reason.

“Why do I have several organs that are malformed and not working like they should?” Shoulder shrug.

“I am just so tired all the time and feel like I just can’t function. My body hurts so badly sometimes I want to scream.” Doctors would imply “It’s all in your mind.” or say “We are diagnosing you with Fibromyalgia because of the chronic pain and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome because of your fatigue.” And then just give me a list of things I could try that may or may not work.

Finally, after years of suffering I think I had someone has given me a lead into what could very well be the answer!

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. A rare genetic condition that my cousin was diagnosed with a few years back. It usually runs in families and she was kind enough to send me links of information that I could gape at. I gaped because it described what I thought was quirks and deformities and odd qualities about myself and made it make sense. It was an “Aha!!” Moment. I am convinced that this syndrome is actually why things in my life have been painful, strange, and tiring since the beginning of my memories. All my life, I have felt that much of my pain was all in my head. When I would get sick, it was in my head. I felt like I had to explain that what I wasn’t just faking and that it wasn’t all in my mind.

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome has some specific characteristics. There are a few different types of the syndrome and so the symptoms vary some from person to person, but there are more common symptoms which are taken by observation and put on a scale to narrow down the possibility of having it. Genetic testing can be done and I have been referred  to a specialist. I’ve waited a good long time and hope our health system can show me a favor by getting me in after waiting more than a year.

There is a test called the Beighton Scale, is a list to verify hypermobility of joints. It is said that if you can do a certain criteria of hyper flexible moves then you are officially at risk for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. It is one of the main criteria for diagnosing Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I’ve done the scale myself and find myself with the score  of “Um Yah, you have this genetic condition.”

There are SO many of my symptoms that didn’t make sense before and now make sense that I am not even doubting, before genetic testing, that my ancestors handed down this lovely syndrome for me to enjoy and call “Fibromyalgia”. It helps make my life, my pregnancy losses and other things make sense right down to my crooked fingers and velvety skin! 🙂

Why is this important to know at this stage in my life? Well, it helps me know that I haven’t been crazy,  with all these things going on in my body. It wasn’t all in my mind. It wasn’t because I was an emotional mess. It is just that I have a genetic reason for it. My body was created in this way. It helps Dr’s know how to treat me and to know that there are certain things they should look at when I come in with a list of symptoms. This genetic condition messes with the production of collagen in my body and collagen is in every cell. It can affect many areas of the body in the organs, connective tissues and on.

Knowing that this is the Genetic Syndrome that has probably been with me all my life doesn’t make me freak out. In fact, it’s the opposite. I feel at peace. I was created and born for a purpose. God knew this long before I did. He knows my limitations because he allowed me to be born with them. He is in control.

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My journey to writing

Writing on my blog has been on my mind for a while. Why has it taken so long for me to write? I think that God has been working on my heart in regards to my next post and my words were not coming together to make it a cohesive thought.

As a new-ish writer and a hope-to-be speaker and possible humorist (I have some big impossible looking goals, I know) I think to myself, “What could God possibly have to say through me?”  What have I got that others, around the globe or even in my province, don’t have? The big question is “Why would God use ME?”

I mean, he has so many other capable people. There are people that actually carry out the things they set out to do. I am not the most goal-oriented person ever. The fact that I have a story to tell, some of it funny and some of it tragic, does not mean I have to tell it. Everyone has a story. Why ME? Why should I write my story when there are so many other stories that are so incredibly moving and inspired by God. He doesn’t need me to write another story of how he has deepened someone’s faith through struggles and triumphs. There are so many great authors who have told their God stories. And just how do I morph the stories of tragedy in my life into the humor that God has given as a gift to lighten the load of the loss I’ve experienced?

I have an inherent problem of thinking I’m not that special. Out of the billions on the globe I will only know a few and only a few will know me. I will live my life for Jesus, I will die, and the world will exist and move on without really knowing I ever came here to make a difference. In the past few years, I have listened to some fantastic speakers and think “Now there’s a gal who has been called by God to speak, has a story to tell and she does it with such grace and wisdom.  I don’t know why God thinks I could do that? It’s just me. Little ol’ Marcy.”

I am currently writing my story and have thought, “Wow, there are so many talented authors who actually went to University to learn how to write well. I can barely spell the word thorough (Nope couldn’t do it. Spell check is my best writing buddy).” I can see why these authors have been chosen to tell stories and write articles and do all the beautiful things they do with words, but me? Why me? Why is he pushing my heart in this direction. Doesn’t he know I only have a couple of years in college? And it wasn’t about writing. I look back on my college papers and cringe, slightly impressed I got the grade that I did.

I’ve said this before….I hated writing. In elementary and high school I couldn’t get my thoughts out quickly enough with pen and paper and often forgot my original thought by the time I had some words written out. I didn’t think I was very good at it, and most of all, I didn’t enjoy it. Enter, the digital age. I didn’t consider writing consistently until my sister said I should write out the crazy antics of my kids into a book. Sure, I kept her in stitches, but write them down? Well, I thought, it can’t hurt to try. I’ll blog. And blog I did. I wrote badly. My technique and grammar was fairly pathetic and my spelling? Whew!  I didn’t edit, I just hit “publish” and there I was, PUBLISHED. Ha!

The thing is, I started to LOVE writing my stories. People liked reading what I was writing. At the very least, my relatives thought I was a hoot. They thought it was entertaining. That was a new thought to me. People actually wanted to read my next post? Who knew?

The next crazy thought, a few years later, was that maybe I should write a book and try to get it published. How hard could it be? Then I went and took a Writing Course at Breakforth in Edmonton, AB where NJ Lindquist was teaching. She was realistic but didn’t crush hopeful writing dreams. I liked her immensely and learned so very much in that one day. She said that 2 out of 100 people who write ever get published.  I calculated how many of us in that class would probably ever get published. About 2 of us. I was sitting with one of my dearest friends who writes beautifully, and thought “She’s definitely in, so that leave number 2 spot for me.” So strong was my conviction.

This girl, who thought she was TERRIBLE at the art of words and who could barely put two sentences together in front of a crowd, was being called out by God to do the things she wasn’t qualified to do. Why me? Why insignificant little ol’ me?

I have four children, some of whom have special needs. These special issues take up a lot of my energy. And what do you know? I also have Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia and Arthritis. Just life, as a whole, takes up most of my energy. Just where is God going to pull from to make anything of significance happen with all those roadblocks? Oh, then there is the ministry part. My husband is a pastor and that is an amazing and often demanding job. I just don’t have time or energy for God to have something more for me to do.

It turns out that, a couple of years back, I was sitting in a crowd of 10,000 people at a Breakforth  conference. In the middle of all the noise, people and darkness, God said something directly into my soul. “I see you. I see YOU. You are not insignificant. I the God of the Universe, see YOU in this crowd.” I realized that I was not just one more of those human beings walking around on the planet and who was lost in the middle of a huge crowd. Yes, I was going to squish my way through the crowd and go back home to life as usual., but was it going to be going home to life as usual… really? No, he had something planned for ME. It startled me. Made me weep. The God who formed the UNIVERSE has bigger plans for me? I thought that I was livin’ the dream. I was doing what he had called me to do. I knew that I was. And yet…

I don’t know how he’ll do it. After all, I still can’t seem to get to the computer to write out my thoughts when I want to. My book is taking way more time (that I don’t have) than I thought it would take. I found out I should probably get an agent at some point and then find an editor or two…and I may have to wait for miraculous funds to do all that. That only touches a small part of what it will mean to publish a book and get things rolling.

I still don’t have any large or small crowds that want to hear what I have to share. My church was gracious enough to let me speak last year. They were kind.

Some days I can not get out of bed because my body aches so badly or it needs a break from the strenuous life I lead. It can put me on survival mode for several days to a week. There are days I can barely get out of my pajamas to home school my two kids and see my other two kids off to school.

I don’t know WHAT he’ll do. And maybe by the small steps I am taking now, I am working toward the goal that he has for me. I hope it is so.

I have come to realize this… that it doesn’t matter what I think the timing should be or the venue it should take place at or when I get the book done, it’s WHO am I doing it for? If he plans things for me then he is in charge of the details. He is the One who called me to this strange and unexpected thing called writing. Even if I never did anything else, perhaps his plans for me have been already accomplished.

I know that the God of the Universe sees ME (along with really seeing and caring for each person in this world) and I am humbled and honored and I worship him at the thought of him caring about little ol’ me.

Have you ever felt insignificant? If you do, then know that you are being noticed. You are loved. You are LOVED!!

That is fairly mind-blowing stuff.

Reflecting

Last year, at about this time, I was praying that God would show what was going on inside of me. I asked him if there were sinful ways in me (and I knew there were) that he would show them to me. I wanted to be healed so badly and I knew that my sin was preventing me from the joy that he wanted to pour out. I don’t want to get into the ins and outs of why God does/doesn’t heal and whether it’s always related to sin in our lives or a lack of faith…but for me, I knew that there was something going on and I wanted to take the “narrow path” and deal with it. I knew it could and would be painful, but you never really know what that means until you actually go through it.

I guess I felt that I had been dealt enough pain in this life to last me the rest of my living years. I didn’t think I would actually be dealt, so to speak, more pain. But suffering is the fire of refinement. I knew that.

A year, and a lot of suffering later, here I sit. I am humbled by how God’s loving hand has led me and healed me. It has been difficult but it has also been healing.

Lately it seems as if I am discovering more and more of myself that needs to be rooted out and destroyed, to make way for the beauty of the Lord. In taking out the yuck it will, theoretically, make room for the woman he created me to be to grow and flourish. I feel as if it has taken me way too long to figure some of this stuff out. Oh my!

I pray, with all my heart, that in the end Christ will be able to be seen and recognized more immediately. I hope that my first thoughts will not be of myself and what I need but those of Christ and what he desires.

I have experienced that the more ugliness that is revealed in me the deeper I am drawn by His forgiveness and grace. It is humbling.  The One who created the heavens and earth made me and actually has something in store for me that is wonderful and unthinkable. Wow!

Running with Pain, Part 2

I have had a pretty decent summer with pain levels. Yes, I’ve had pain, but the intensity has not been unbearable most times. That all changed this week.

I believe it is a combination of things, but it’s all guesswork, really. I think it’s allergies, stress (think home school start-up, Aspie kid adjusting, getting programming for my other gal with challenges and meetings, etc…) and peri-menopause. It’s kicking me in the rear.

Migraines are NO FUN at all. Even when you are laying in a room with blinds drawn and earplugs in (for the noise issues) there is still cloying pain. It is close to unbearable except that life goes on. Any mom who knows the chaos of children would give a front tooth for a dark room without noise. This I know. Except those that have migraines. Those people know they would give up a set of teeth to never have another pain in the head again. It’s disruptive to everyone.

“Shhh. Be quiet. Mommy’s got a headache.”

“Can you stop moving? I can’t focus on anything when you are moving like that in my general area.”

“Kids, can you stop being kids for this week because what you do as children makes my headache worse.”

Running hasn’t happened either. I tried on Monday, but then I collapsed with defeat on someone’s lawn. It was a beautiful moment as I looked up into the sky through the trees. I was reminded why I was running. To point to the One who made me.

I have felt the pressure build as I stumble through the week and the 5k gets closer. I pray and I hope that the pain subsides. I have prepared for this for months (obviously, because I won’t stop talking about it). It would be a kicker if my pain won in the end.

I will NOT. LET. THAT. HAPPEN!

More importantly, I believe that God will give me the strength I need to get to the goal.

Running with pain. Well, it is a given that pain will be there. It’s just how much can a person take? I guess I’ll find out this weekend.

As a fabulous aside, I have now been able to raise $530 for CAUSE Canada and feel fantastic about that!  I had a goal of $1000 so if you want to help me reach that by Sunday, then please go to my donation page here. I may even attempt a backflip for that. No, I won’t don’t worry Mom!

Thank you to all that have helped raise money for CAUSE Canada so far!  You have made a difference in lives who would not have a chance without you.

 

Healed but not healed

I am not a theologian…I just lost 80% of you didn’t I? No, no…come back. What I meant was that for being a Pastor’s Wife, I’m pretty Bible stupid. Yeah, that’s what I meant.

How can a Pastor’s Wife be Bible-stupid? I am not totally illiterate. I can sound pretty amazingly knowledgeable at times…when I’m talking to Bible newbies. I’ve been around Christians, people who say they are Christians and other such ilk for all of my life. I even went to college to learn more about the Bible, and I did too! My memory is just very short to remember all those juicy details, though. I know how to speak the speak, but when you get down to brass tacks about what everything means in the Word of God and I’ll say “Hmmm…I should ask my husband about that one” or “Um, hey Lover Boy, there is a good question over here!” I don’t generally shout “Lover Boy” in church, though.

There is a great debate in the ol’ Christian world about what it means to be healed. Everyone has their own idea of what it means for God to do a bona fide miracle and make deaf people hear and lame people walk. God is completely capable of that. This I do know. You don’t need to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation (although I do recommend it) to see that he is indeed the Creator and Giver of Life. What he has made he can make perfect or whole again. He is also within his right to take life away.

Then there is this pesky thing called sin that came on this earth via Man’s Big Decision (read first 3 chapters of the Bible just because) and sin was here to stay for a while. Jesus came a few millennia later to give Satan the death-blow, but there have been a few thousand years since that day of his karate-chop (Resurrection, Matt.28) to the windpipe of sin and sin is still around…well, let’s just say God has a different time-table than we mortals. We know in the end that Christ has the final victory (Revelation) and in the end we all (his people) will be healed. No more sin, crying, pain…on and on. Oh, MAN!  I can’t wait!!

Until then, many of us are going to experience sickness and even sickness to death. Sin has messed it all up. Many of us have had loved ones that we’ve prayed over or for and they have either withered away and lived for what we felt was far too long, or they died in the prime of life, leaving family to grieve and wonder “WHY??”

“Why weren’t they healed Jesus?”

“Why haven’t I been?”

My perspective is that there are different kinds of healing. There is physical, miraculous healing. Then there is spiritual healing. Physical healing is wonderful and it does happen every now and again. Why it happens for some and not for others? I cannot tell you. Why does God answer the prayers of these and not of those? Only He knows.

In reality, if we pray for healing, we should be ready for the answer. For the loved one that is deathly ill and needs a miracle. For the young mom or dad who is about to say good-bye to their young kids, the “unanswered prayer” seems harsh. In the end, knowing Jesus, they know full healing upon their deaths. It is a transformation really. Prayers have been answered, but differently than we had hoped.

When you suffer a painful or maiming disease that leaves you less you than you once were and there is no physical healing this side of heaven, does healing come with the gentle caress of the Holy Spirit and time? I think it may.

I have experienced so much loss. Tragic loss. I have experienced physical, wracking pain. I have begged for healing. Seemingly, my prayers have hit the ceiling and bounced back empty. Or have they?

I think I am under the knife, so to speak, with God being the Great Physician. I have felt under such tremendous pressure and pain this last year. the last few months I have also known times of relief. My body is not wracked like it had been. My fatigue has faded behind the curtain, still heckling me, but slinking off just a bit.

On a day like today, though, I wonder. I wonder how much more I can take. Like a pit bull latched on to each joint and muscle, pain has grabbed a hold. Fatigue, like a smothering blanket of molasses, has held me fast. In these days, I think I may be done for. Despair settles in and eats popcorn while watching me squirm.

Where is the healing, oh my Lord? I thought you were here, rescuing me from the pit of anguish but it seems I had only forgotten where I truly was.

In my spirit I hear a whisper “No Child, you are not forgotten. I hold you in my hands. You are precious. Hold on to me. I am Big enough.”

So, I am being healed and someday I will be truly healed.

1 Corinthians 13:12
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely

I’m not dead and I can prove it

I am doing something I thought I’d die happy never doing. Jogging. I know I posted about it before but it’s seriously a big deal around these parts. Family members don’t believe it. Friends are skeptical. Kids are puzzled.

How did this strange thing come about?

About a year and a half ago, I started having migraines, then I started having anxiety symptoms that were uncontrollable, after that I had what I thought was strokes or MS. To top it all off, I was pretty certain I was going to die. I’m not talking the type of thinking that hypochondriacs do. I’m talking about all these weird symptoms that were coming out of nowhere and smacking me down. Lumps in my breast area really freaked me (and the ER physician) out. Fatigue punched me in the face and pain became a constant presence that I wanted to hurt back. If I could have kicked pain’s sorry butt I would have.

The good news is that I’m not dead from breast cancer, I’m not suffering from MS, and my fatigue, while still ever-present, is not hanging from every limb like an overgrown fungus. I am alive!!

There were so many moments with God this last year that I can’t recount every one to tell you how amazing they were. Some of those moments were rending the air with curses. The pain got so intense for so long I secretly wanted to die. If you’ve ever had the kind of pain that is so endless that you would cut off the limb or body part and throw it out the nearest window just to be done with it, then you know what I’m talking about. That kind of pain and tiredness can drive one into depression, which is where I ended up eventually.

The other times with my sweet Jesus were times of healing. When the Dr. felt lumps under my arm instead of diagnosing me with a stomach ulcer I freaked a little.. I felt the lumps, felt the other strange symptoms and knew that if I did have cancer it would probably be the end for me. At that point, I didn’t think there was much to lose by starting to exercise and get closer to my Lord. I know, that sounds so stupid. I wanted to make my last months, if that was truly what was happening, good ones. Physical exercise would help me if I was either dying or not. I plugged my iPod in and got on the elliptical.  This song came on and my heart came undone. God ministered to me in those minutes.

Hold My Heart (Tenth Avenue North)

How long must I pray
Must I pray to You
How long must I wait
Must I wait for You
How long till I see Your face
See You shining through

I’m on my knees
Begging You to notice me
I’m on my knees
Father, will You turn to me

One tear in the driving rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart
One life, that’s all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You’re everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart

I’ve been so afraid, afraid to close my eyes
So much can slip away before I say goodbye
But if there’s no other way
I’m done asking why

‘Cause I’m on my knees
Begging You to notice me
I’m on my knees
Father, will You run to me, yeah

One tear in the driving rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart
One life, that’s all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You’re everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart

So many questions without answers
Your promises remain
I can’t see but I’ll take my chances
To hear you call my name
To hear you call my name

One tear in the driving rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart
One life, that’s all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You’re everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart
Hold my heart
Could You hold my heart
Hold my heart

I had previously felt like one tear in the driving rain. One voice in a sea of pain. I had felt like I was one insignificant little girl who didn’t have the attention of the Maker of the Stars. At that moment I knew. I knew He loved me. He saw me. He cared. He cared about my anxious heart. He knew I could barely stand. I knew he would hold my heart and heal it. It became my prayer.

“Jesus hold my heart.”

That was the beginning. I’ve posted about how I asked God to deal with my anxiety if it was something I could do, or confess or whatever. I wanted that physical feeling of anxiety to be GONE. I’ll go into how that has been a burden that has been lifted in a bit.

Through prayer and many hours wondering how I could make some steps toward healing, I decided that I would try to jog this spring. Inspiration has come in a few different ways. My cousin’s daughter, Lindsay, who has suffered with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and had achieved an amazing feat. She had run a 5 Km. I have also been inspired by someone who has no arms or legs but has been a source of inspiration and encouragement to millions. If Nick Vujicic can touch the world, minus all of his appendages, surely a small town gal like me could at the very least be healed enough to shine light to my family and possibly to my community. Even if I were to stay in pain to the degree that I was, would I allow God to use those “good days” to reach others? The bad days are impossible to do much but exist. Still…Would I try the impossible?

I started looking at possible ways to train to run a 5 Km. I found Couch to 5K and thought it was doable. I got excited about it and even found an app that would make it easier.

I began seeing a psychologist as a part of my healing. She said something so key, so healing that it made a difference in major ways. She told me that she hears “I feel like the anxiety is a physical thing.” from a lot of women over 40 years of age. This lifted a huge weight of anxiety I had about the anxiety. She also encouraged me to do the little I can do every day. She told me that she does just five minutes every day. She said that if she only does 5 minutes it was better than nothing. I thought to myself, I can do just 5 minutes too! Something is better than NOTHING!

I thought to myself, “how do I make it so that I can succeed?” My brain messages were changing course. God was showing me that the impossible is possible. So, how do I make sure I don’t injure myself with this new exercise with all the health issues I have going on? I have had this problem before. I go all gung-ho and take myself out with a too-high karate kick to the sky or a too bendy bend. Take it slow. The Couch to 5K seemed pretty slow and realistic. So that’s what I did.

The messages I play in my head now are “With God all things are possible.” and “I can do the hard thing.” When I feel like giving up I figure out a way to make myself successful and consider setbacks only setbacks and do not think of them as monumental failures and that I should quit.

It’s almost like a switch has gone on inside me. I had nowhere to go…I was at the bottom. I knew it would be painful to start moving my body but really, I was already in pain.

I am going to do this thing I formerly and daily hated. That’s right, I may have decided that I like jogging. Don’t quote me on that yet. I like that I’m feeling better. I am still finding severe times of fatigue and pain, but not every day like a weighted blanket is covering me. Now, I have more “Go get ’em.” days as opposed to the “I will lay down and try to will my pain away.” I am so thankful to the Maker of the Stars that he has given me the will and the hope and the STRENGTH to Keep on going when my mind and body say stop.

Not Mother’s Day

Feeling like there is nothing for my children to celebrate tomorrow. If there is ever a moment that I feel like a big fat failure at being a mom, it’s today.

I found myself rocking back and forth and railing at God for giving me such a hard life. I told Him that I didn’t like life right now at all and I would be better off if he would deliver my family from the likes of me. Life was full of physical pain and fatigue that affects how I function, how I treat them, how I look at life in moments like this. I became so overwhelmed by the tasks of parenting, being a wife and serving God that I just wanted to hide in a corner and never come out. I cried, I gnashed my teeth, I told Him that he had failed. I had asked for transformation and here I was beaten to the core of my being, the same as ever.

I cried like a woman unleashed and didn’t care if my family heard me. Then I did. I hoped they hadn’t heard my words.

What kind of example is that? A terrible one.

A child did hear my anguish and came in to comfort me. My heart came undone. How could I rail at God when I have a perfect example of his love wrapping his arms around my waist and rubbing my back? I couldn’t. God answered my angry heart right then and there. He answered with the small arms of my child. I was humbled and healed in that moment.

I begged God for years to make me a mother. I should have begged him to make me a good mother. I have forgotten the pain of barrenness. I have forgotten the pain of Mother’s Day gone by where everyone else (it seemed) got to be honored and exalted because of the ability to push out a child.

Tonight, as all of my littles (and not-so-littles) nestle their heads against their pillows, I remember the pain of empty arms and I am so thankful they are no longer empty. I remember the first Mother’s Day that I celebrated with a wee one snuggled closely against my breast.

I find my heart firmly planted in my throat as the guilt, of searing anger toward the One who answered my fervent prayers, is truly realized and confessed.

I am at peace in this moment. I know there will be four little blessings greeting me upon my waking tomorrow morning. They are all so excited about showing me what they have made for me. Their love for me, despite my failings, is beautiful beyond words.

I am blessed.