and Life Lately
Oh, my word you guys, life has been HEAVY lately. So much so, I’ve been big-time failing at blogging and social media. But, today I’m checking in and sharing snippets of my life lately as well as some thoughts on having a tribe for support when life tries to beat the wind out of your sails.
If you follow me on social media or you have read this post, you know my family has been completely overwhelmed with my Dad’s health crisis since right after Thanksgiving. I live 600 miles away from my peeps and have been essentially living out of a suitcase since then. Ugh!
When I am at my own homestead, it’s usually a quick turn around with time spent catching up on normal home activities and what feels like “cramming”, trying to squeeze a bunch of time in loving on my Bigs and the Littles. It’s a hard knock life for us at the moment but I still feel blessed to be able to have the opportunity to walk alongside my people during this season.
Dad is MUCH improved! He has continued physical rehabilitation since mid-February when he returned home. His story is a testimony of God’s healing power even when the medical profession had written him off.
Never in a million years did I ever think I’d see SO MUCH of my dad. And I’m not talking about seeing him so often. 😉 He was always so modest. But besides helping him care for himself, when he was in the early stages of recovering from his brain injury, he wouldn’t keep his hospital gown on. One nurse said it was like seeing an arm or leg to her, she just didn’t think about it anymore.
I’m not sure about that. But having a husband, two sons and six grandsons, I feel like I God was preparing me to handle this. I also feel a mirror the thoughts of Elaine from Seinfeld; I don’t know you guys walk around with those things. 😉
Just as Dad’s situation was getting easier, my mom became ill. What we originally thought was a stomach bug, led to a multitude of tests and scans and even more doctors appointments. Her gallbladder was the culprit of much of her illness but my heart is heavy as I tell you, findings confirmed she also has stage 4 metastasized cancer from her breast cancer 11 years ago. She will begin cancer treatment once she recovers from having her gallbladder and a portion of her small intestine removed.
Read: My Mom, Breast Cancer Warrior
It Keeps Getting Better and Better
(Where’s that sarcasm font when you need it?)
Two days ago Dad put a fright in us as my sister and I saw him fall and hit his head and could only watch it happen. We had him in the ER and Mom upstairs in the same hospital, recovering from her third surgery in 2 weeks. Are you getting the picture of what my life is like right now?
People often say that God won’t give you any more than you can handle. There is some truth in that statement. But, I believe God doesn’t give us tragedy; but it happens. But, I think He allows us into situations beyond our ability as a means of solidifying our dependence on Him.
If not for God, I would be in a crumpled heap on the floor at this point. But I walk forward trusting God for strength to face each day and walk beside me no matter what.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4: 8-9
The Value of Your Tribe
The importance of building a faith-filled tribe has never been more evident to me. We are fortunate enough to have been surrounded by each other and a wonderful church family as well as our individual support systems.
Even within the blogging community, I have been encouraged and virtually loved on by so many wonderful women of faith. They’re not simply pretty faces with great taste. 😉 And while we don’t have to surround ourselves with people who think exactly as we do, encouragers and positive thinkers are necessities when we’re walking through a long, hard valley.
Build Your Tribe
You might like to know and follow a woman like Tania of 50 is Not Old. She’s a fellow Jesus lover and funny chick with keeps it real. You know I love that. To top it off, her colorful style inspiration, skincare advice, and weekly spiritual encouragement will build you up. And isn’t that what we all need in a friend?
Find Beauty Where You Are
In the midst of these many months of trials and missing the normalcy of home, I have enjoyed the beautiful mountains and hills of my family’s Tennessee home.
It provided the perfect backdrop for my talented niece to snap some photos of this sweet maxi from Amazon. Yeah, Amazon!
It would be a great dress to wear to a bridal shower, on vacation or to a summer wedding. The price is RIGHT at $23 and it comes in a bunch of fun prints! I’m wearing a XXL.
What I’d Change
I’ve mostly been living in clothes that sleep well in hospital chairs so I don’t pack a ton of accessories. But, I would love to add an aqua blue necklace to this red dress. It would make it much more tropical to me. The addition of flip flops could create an easy vacation vibe.
What would you wear with it?
Visiting from 50 Is Not Old. I am so sorry about your parents’ health and offer my prayers for you and your family.
Living out of a suitcase and few new things picked up while shopping 😉
I’m visiting from 50 is not Old and boy I’m glad I did. I love your sense of humor even in the midst of the painful situation with your parents. I know my sense of humor helps me at times like that. It’s the first time I ever read your blog but already feel like I’ve been a part of it for long time. You rock and I will be visiting again. And the dress is gorgeous. I’m an avid Amazon shopper so will check this out and your right an aqua necklace would look great with it. God bless you and your family. Nice to meet you.
So glad you stopped in. I’m really hoping to make more time for writing. I’m even thinking about a book of my crazy stories.
Thanks so much Johnna. Humor is definitely my go-to!
Just found this blog and can relate to so much of what you’ve shared. Sending prayers for your parents, their healthcare team, and to you and their other caregivers.
I want this dress in EVERY color!!! It looks amazing on you! So happy that you joined me on my Friday with Friends today. Your beautiful smile will brighten a lot of women’s day.
Thanks for sharing me with your Friends this Friday Tania. Sorry for the technical difficulty in getting this posted. It was one of those situations where I really needed the t-shirt that says, “I love Jesus, but I cuss a little.” 😉
I too am visiting from 50/Tania site….I am sending healing prayers to you and your family as you all navigate through everything happening with your folks…..but I have to say, THIS made me just roar: ” I really need the t-shirt that says, “I love Jesus, but I cuss a little.” 😉 — I need one too!! I actually “gave up” all cursing for Lent….I seemingly have a weird addiction to the poo word that begins with ” S” and some other not so savory words, here and there that I need to curb as no one needs to see/hear a lady with a potty mouth–no matter what everyone is doing….I just keep asking Jesus for His help. Thanks for the laugh.
My husband was a Marine, and my boys always say, “We heard Mom cud’s way more than Dad”. Proud Christian Mom moment right there! 🤭
Stopping in from Tania Stephens’ blog. Love you blog and the dress is beautiful. Thoughts and Prayers for you and your family.
Thanks so much Lisa.
Just found you from 50 is not old. Sorry to read you’re going through so much right now. 2009/2010 tested my coping skills. I lost a sister, mother, father, mother in law and sister in law in just a year and a half. You wonder if life will ever be the same, and it’s not but you adapt.
Your blog looks amazing and I plan on reading through all your back post and checking you out on Pinterest.
Hope you’re day is filled with some sunshine and smiles.
Wow, Kathleen, that’s a heavy season you’ve trudged through yourself. Blessings to you!
I have just joined your blog, and I have to say I am delighted I have. Tania recommended you. I love your style. Look forward to more. God bless you and your family.
I so excited to have you here!
I so admire you for being so transparent & hilarious at the same time as sharing your foibles with us and giving us beautiful “how-to-dress” advice! I still can’t believe you shared that clipping the hedge story! What a beautiful dress this is on you! And I can’t find it now, but I have to say your hair looked AMAZING when you came home from the salon w/the fixed bangs & new color! I think you should keep wearing it that way! I wear my bangs the same way. I’m glad your Dad is doing better! Rock on!
Thanks Charlcy! I’m in the throws of growing out my natural color. I’ll settle on a style once I get to it all grown out but bangs are my go-to. It’s bangs or Botox, so stick around and see how it all shapes up.
I’m here from Tania’s site also and joined your blog to. Glad to be part of your tribe now too :-). Prayers from me to you and your family.
I’m super happy to have you stop by Traco! Hopefully our tribe will start partying more very soon.
I am visiting from Tania’s blog. You have a way with words and I so enjoyed your post today even as my heart hurt for you and all that you are going through right now. Glad you have God to lean on and a tribe!!
I super happy to have you stop over. Hope you’ll stick around.
Visiting from 50 is not old.
Sorry about what you are going through and you are such a talented writer.
I found this when I was going through my Mother’s things when she passed a few years ago. “ Lord help me remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that you & I together can’t handle”.
Thanks for stopping by and for the encouraging words today Kristine.
Yet another visitor from Tanya’s, all the way from Yorkshire, England. You’re an inspiration. I have done nothing this evening but read, laugh and cry my way through all your posts. I’m not a huge follower of blogs or social media, but I simply had to follow you.
I hope you and your family find comfort in one another at such a difficult time.
I’m blessed beyond measure by your comment! And, I truly excited to have you around for the love and laughs on my journey.
I’m blessed beyond measure by your comment and I’m glad to have you as part of my tribe now!
I followed the link on Tania’s blog, too. My heart goes out to you and your family as you deal with your parents’ illnesses. Praying for God’s comfort and strength to carry you through. (((hugs)))
Thanks so much!
Visiting from 50 is not old. I feel you with all you’re going thru. Lost my mom 6 months ago to colon cancer. It was an almost 3 year battle of lots of ups and downs! Couldn’t have gotten thru it without my prayer warrior friends and family. I’ll be praying for you too! On another note, signed up for your blog!! I liked it right away…and I live in Indiana too! Just a little south of you, in Fishers!
Well, HELLO 👋 Neighbor! I really appreciate your prayers. We are in the early stages so there’s so much unknown right now. Let’s stay in touch, because a meet up would be great when I’m a freed up a bit.
Absolutely! That would be great!😊
Sending lots of hugs, love and prayers Paula!!
You have such a gift for humor even in the hardest situations!
Thanks Jodie! We’ve had days when no laughs will come. But most of the time I’ll dig a few giggles out.
I’m so sorry for all you’re going through. But as you’ve said, we find strength in our Lord. Sometimes I think God just might just push us to the edge or give us more than we can handle so we WILL turn to him in our hour of need. God bless you and your family. Prayers for you all.
I agree Jan!
Paula, I have been praying for you and your family since we talked about all of this. Gosh, I am so sorry your mom is facing metastatic breast cancer. Glad your sweet dad is doing better. You are so right about having a faithful tribe to support and love on you, God’s grace surrounds us!
Thanks for your prayers sweet friend!
Paula, I so agree having faith-minded people in your world makes all the difference. My husband has been fighting stomach cancer for over a year so I understand where you are coming from with hospital chair attire. God always gives us the strength to deal with whatever the world throws at us.
By the way, I used your post from a while back regarding bras in my last posting.
Maybe we should collaborate on a hospital chic attire post. 😆 Prayers for you my friend!
Paula. Thank you for your words of encouragement today in the midst of the hard times you are experiencing with your parents. It was just what I needed to hear this morning. Know that I am lifting you and your family up in prayers. I too am walking the same road as my mother is very sick and has been in and out of hospital for long period of times, and at the same time my father is also unwell. PTL for our family and grandchildren and caring friends!
Then you know the exact road we’re on Bernice. Prayers for you as well!
Found you through Tania and am glad I did. What you said about God not giving us more than we can handle is just confirmation from the Lord for me. Not long ago our pastor did a series called “did God really say that?”. One of the weeks was the exact quote you reference. Like you he said it is quite common to hear that and credit God as saying that. Our pastor said in reality the scripture is only referring to temptation in that case. He did say though that God does allow trials and tribulation to occur so that we can lean on and depend on Him while strengthening and deepening our relationship with Him.
Thank you for the insight and I look forward to reading more of your blog. In the meantime I will keep you and your parents in my prayers.
Thanks Rebecca! I’m so glad you ”get” what I’m saying. I’m certainly not saying that we aren’t in over our heads most of the time. But I think it gives God a chance to help us walk on water!
Hugs my new FRIEND!
I’m so sorry you are going through all this with your parents Paula. I do love your hair! Love the white streaks mixed in with the gray. Keep on keeping on!
Oh my goodness, so thankful you also have the shoulders of Jesus to help carry your load…. that is a lot of big stuff! Will keep on praying for peace, strength, endurance, and moments of laughter and love…. the moments that show you exactly why it’s worth putting all the effort in 💜 Don’t know you very well, but love you, and will cheer with you and be praying here from the sidelines
A hugh THANK YOU for the prayers! And welcome.
I am visiting from 50’s not old and am definitely sticking around. Love your style and sense of humor. What you are going through is so hard. But with God by your side you are a conqueror. Will be praying for you and your family.
I don’t know you, and yet I feel like I KNOW you! Your story is such an encouragement, and comes at perfect timing. Thank you for being transparent and sharing with us your REAL self. You are absolutely adorable and you exude the joy and Spirit of the Lord, despite your circumstances. God bless you and your family and your tribe!! 💜
Thanks for reaching out a d for your kind words Kimberlie. My husband always says that people only need to be around me for a few minutes to know EVERYTHING about me. 😄
Glad to have you as a member of my tribe. 😘
Visiting from 50 is Not Old. I must say I am a fan of cotton underwear as well!
I enjoyed you blog very much. Looking forward to reading more!
Then you’re my kind of girl Audrey! Excited to have you around.
Tania sent me, although I already subscribe to your blog. Very sorry to hear about your parents. I hope things get better for you all. Tania wanted us all to mention our underwear. It doesn’t seem very appropriate in light of your post, but I try to do what Tania tells me to do. My underwear leans toward white cotton granny panties.😃
Oh my word Carole…please, mention those undies!!! I’m
always up for talking about my granny panties and laughter is the best medicine. If you knew my parents, underwear or the lack thereof have been talked about throughout our crisis. 😂
Thanks for the prayers.
Paula, I’m so sorry to read about the going ons with your family. Y’all are in my thoughts and my continued prayers.
Thank you my friend. My sister and I look at each other sometimes and wonder how we’ll
keep going, but we trust God’s grace and your prayers will carry us.
I loved your comment “it’s bangs or botox”. I am glad you have been able to keep your sense of humor in the midst of so much stress. Speaking from experience, it really does help. Keep leaning on your tribe. As a subscriber I am honored to be a part of it and more than willing to listen to tears or anger or whatever you need to let go of. Please know I am sending all the positive vibes possible your direction! (By the way, that maxi dress looks GORGEOUS on you!)
So sorry to hear this news about your mother. My mother-in-law’s breast cancer came back like this 30 years later on her scalp of all places. You and your family are in. my thoughts and prayers. Dress is simply fabulous btw!
Oh Paula, my heart is so heavy for your family…your Mom. There aren’t words. I’m praying so hard for you all!!
Thank you Cristen! We are trusting to God and clinging to His healing hands that will hold us no matter what. 😘
I know you don’t know me but my prayers are for and your family’s strength and hope all is well soon. ……….love you dress…..
Thank you Love! We have people praying all over the country and we don’t care if they know us or not. If they know the One who performs miracles, we’re good!
Nice to have you in the Tribe!