Losing It: A Plot Twist

I didn’t see this coming.   When I visited the doctor to  for my check ups, they found something unusual- 3 large cysts on my ovaries.  So Tuesday, they’re getting removed.

While it’s unfortunate that I have to have surgery, I feel thankful to have some solutions to the symptoms I’ve been encountering.

Did you know ovarian cysts:

  1.  Get your hormones out of whack.   Feeling hot flashes or imbalanced?    This could be the culprit.  My progesterone  is really low.   A result,  it’s hard to lose weight and I feel tired.
  2.  Cause abdominal pain.  I thought I was just feeling gassy, but that dull pressure that comes and goes was my body saying something isn’t right.
  3.  Cause urinary urgency.   I chalked this up to giving birth to three kids, but no.

It struck me how I simply accepted these symptoms as my new status quo.  How much have I needlessly suffered because I didn’t take time to listen to my body and schedule appointments?  Ugh!

I get it.   If you’re adopting or fostering, you likely have your calendar booked with home visits, parent visits, therapist visits, caseworker visits.    It seems impractical to schedule an appointment for something that may or may not need to be addressed when there are so many urgent things that NEED addressed.

We get trapped in thinking we can put off our needs.   But here’s the catch:  A family needs healthy, happy parents to be healthy and happy.   Do what it takes to get there. Maybe you need a day off, a gym membership, a doctor visit, a therapist, better nutrition.    If you have the means, make it happen.

Taking care of yourself is one of the most unselfish things you can do.   The children you take care of are precious gifts from God.  But don’t forget that you are too.




Love Makes Room At the Table


She’s a caregiver, a spiritual mother, a pioneer in the work force, ministry and her community. She also happens to be the reason I met the man of my dreams. Colleen Benway runs circles around women half her age. Her wisdom and contagious laugh are a gift to all those she meets.

One thing that stands out about Colleen is her deep commitment to hospitality. I’m not talking about just inviting people over for meals. She invites people into her life. She’s never turned away anyone in need of a meal or bed. She’s so known for her open heart, her home is dubbed Hotel Benway.

Because of her stellar example, it was natural for my husband and I to say yes to opening our home to kids in need through foster care and adoption.

We watched her.  Grandma Benway miraculously always has enough. She knows you simply can’t out give God. Her example declares the joys of abiding with Jesus.  And  her table?  It’s always full of good food, laughter, and encouragement.  Why?  Because love makes room at the table.


All great change in America begins at the dinner table.  -Ronald Reagan

Losing It: Mother Yourself

Sometimes, I forget as I mother my kiddos, I need to mother myself as well.   Here are four ways you can join me in Mothering Yourself.

  1. Time to see the doctor.   I’ve scheduled ALL those medical appointments I’ve been putting off.   If I tell other people their health is important, my health is important too.    Two down and three to go.  Hooray.
  2.  It’s bed time.  Go to sleep.  Sure, it’s tempting to soak in the serenity a quiet house in the dark hours.   But seriously, go to sleep.
  3. Chew your food.  When the evening is full of activities, I find myself wolfing down food.   I’m not sure if I think this will buy me an extra few minutes or I’m worried about being late.  Either way, I need to slow down.
  4. Play with your friends.   Whether it’s a phone call or a girls night out,   get together with your  friends.    Studies show it’s great for your health.  


Blank Slate

January offers the hope of a blank slate.   All the mistakes of the last twelve months are captured in the past and suddenly the prospect of a new year lies before me.  January is full of promise, hope and de-cluttering.

This year I decided to make a list of 18 things to do in 2018 rather than traditional resolutions after listening to Gretchen Ruben’s podcast Happier.   I’m pleased to say I’ve marked several items off my list and feel like I’ve got some good momentum going for the year.

Today is the second day of February.  I have to admit, that wonderful blank slate feeling is starting to fade.  chalkboard

It got me thinking, though.  It sounds crazy, but sometimes I am unforgiving with my kids.  I chalk up their transgressions for future “teachable moments” or better yet “preventative strategies.”  It feels wrong on so many levels to admit this, but it’s the truth.

Sometimes I am guilty of holding on to  my irritation from  undesirable behaviors (euphemism for tantrums, outburst and fits).  It leaves me feeling on edge.  Here’s the sad thing:  When I don’t let go of the past, it shapes how I treat people in the present.

Walking in forgiveness is more that a Sunday morning sermon.  It means I give  the littlest people in my life permission to be human.  It means I extend grace and forgiveness it the trenches of child rearing.  Forgiveness frees me from the mistakes that defined the past; it grants permission to change.

I don’t have to wait for January or a new year to give my kids a blank slate.   I can forgive now.


Picture credit- Hobby Lobby  (aka my happy place)  Check out their website to buy a blank slate which is not the same thing as creating a blank slate, but it feels pretty good too.