The Caregiver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The spider glides across the window pane
The beetle traverses the cold tile
The moth returns to the light
And the mama releases a sigh,
Weary after consoling her child
Again.

She exhales the attempts
To extinguish the flames
That rage within
The neurotic chaos soothed
By anti-psychotic meds
Or Barney’s songs
Or maybe there is no solution
On this particular day.

No solution for what
The blast stole from him
The stroke that occurred
Many, many years ago
And pained those
Who love him.

And the screams rattle the walls
And the windows
And the beetle cowers behind the urn
Which illuminates a translucent prism
Of relaxed bodies
that lean into the silky softness
or slowly cascade from the glow
and drift to lie
upon the patio.

She stretches her tired limbs
The mama who loved him from the start
Her terminal boy who defied every odd
And lived
But in living
Her dreams died a little bit
And she became frantic –
Fighting against the web
And against the light that beckoned
Desperate for an escape
Desperate to find a crack in the floor
Or maybe in the windowpane
Desperate to avoid the patio graveyard
And reject the silken suffocation
And she retreated
to the mat
upon the floor
again.

The spider, the beetle, the moth –
Her friends in isolation
They wait
All three – they wait
And ponder
And shrug.

They consider their Job
Lying still and silent before them
Prostrate upon the cold tile
Seeking the light within
and not the one flickering
beyond the window pane.

The spider eyes her suspiciously
The beetle hurries past her motionless body
The moth flaps mightily
Her friends in quiet contemplation
Living a life not chosen
But yet, it was.
In childlike surrender
The light glimmers within
and beyond.

The spider, the beetle, the moth
They surround her
And peer intently into her dismal eyes
Her hallowed gaze
And they wait
All four, they wait
For escape.

An eerie silence fills the room
Except for the occasional screams
From the child
below.
She sighs,
defeated,
Again.

And then –

A sound –

She untangles her weary body
Her foot swipes the web
as she rises from the sunken mat
and scuttles to the door
flinging it wide
in welcome relief
The light rushes in
And becomes one with the day
Redemption
has arrived!

Hallelujah and Amen!

The fresh air
Ebbs and flows
Like a steady tango
And brings hope
That brushes away
The spider, the beetle,
and the moth.

A burden lifted
Her soul is light and free
A meal, a drink, a gift
Extended
Life-giving sustenance
for the weary and famished.

She exhales
Slow and steady
Not caught
Nor trapped
By light nor silk nor walls
There is grace
Through giving hands
And sacrifice.

She is renewed.
She is seen.
Again.

#seemetoo

PRIME DAY DEALS AND STEALS!

Who’s taking full advantage of Prime Day?! This girl sure is! I know, ridiculous photo.  It looks like I’m shooting myself but whatever… I don’t have time to take 500 selfies.

Here are a few of the great deals I’ve found so far, and yes, totally Christmas shopping. I’ve already pulled the trigger on most of these!

What are y’all finding? Link up the good deals in the comments below, and let’s go shopping!

1. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness – Regularly $20, now only $9.99 for clean water anywhere. I bought a few of these.

Get yours. 

 

2. Echo Show 5 Charcoal with Blink Mini Indoor Smart Security Camera, 1080 HD with Motion Detection Normal Price $125, now $49.95! Awesome deal for peace of mind. This is headed straight to Luke’s room where I hope and pray it enables him to have more independence and security.

Buy Here. 

 

3. IPad Mini I am admittedly going back and forth about treating myself to this. I currently have one, an older model and I LOVE it. It’s compact, much easier to lug around in my purse than a full size Ipad, and literally is my life line. Everything I write and do is on this baby. Seriously at this price, I should buy two. From $400 to $335.

Great deal here.

 

4. Super cute down coat that I love and sometimes you just buy super cute things that you love. Down from 46.77 to 36.48 after you enter the code UZ2ZSHOW.

BUY NOW. 

 

5. I don’t know about you guys, but my girls love scrunchies (and so do I!). These are going to make great stocking stuffers. 60 Pcs Premium Velvet Hair Scrunchies Hair Bands for Women or Girls Hair Accessories with Gift Bag, Great Gift for Holiday Seasons. Normally $17.99 now $7.99!

Get yours. 

 

6. Ryan and I found the cutest vintage dresser for Jada and Annabelle last weekend, but in using it we had to remove their bookshelf because the room is too small to hold both. Thankfully these Floating Shelves will be the perfect replacement. Regular price $19.00, now $12.47!

BUY HERE. 

7. Perfect snack holder for my teenage boys in their dungeon (basement). I’m SO over picking up all of the empty containers of peanuts and chips. Normal Price $48.99 now only $28.73.

BUY NOW. 

 

8. My kids are obsessed with slime and if I’m honest, I don’t allow it in the house because we’ve had too many problems in the past but at this price on this DIY slime kit, I will allow it on the patio. At originally $60, it’s now a steal at 15.17 with a 20% off coupon at checkout.

Purchase Now. 

 

9. Josh and Jada are obsessed with LEGOS and this Advent Calendar is super cute – especially with the holidays arriving. Regular price $30.00, now only $19.97.

Get Yours 

10. We have a Roku and we love it! At this price I bought two more. Normally $40, now $27.

Buy Here. 

 

11. Play-Doh Gingerbread House. Cutest thing ever and Annabelle will love it (and it’s sugar free!) $9.99

Get Yours. 

 

12. iCOVER Sun Shade Sail perfect for a patio area that I’d love to utilize more but don’t because of the sun beating down. $21.75

Buy Now. 

 

Ta Da! Shop my look.

I’ve detailed my issues with hair loss in a recent blog post which can be  read here but as my hair grows back I’ve found that I really like to use hair pieces in small (believable) amounts like this one from Amazon for $8.49.  Can’t get any easier than this thing. Purchase here 

 

 

I am also wearing another new favorite, magnetic lashes.  I’m not a glamour girl, but if I want to amp it up a notch, these are my go to.  I’m also not one to spend a lot of time trying to figure out weird products (I gave up on lashes years ago!) but these couldn’t be easier to apply. Swipe the magnetic liner on and slap the eyelash on, and I’m good to go. Regular price$ 24.98. Prime day price $19.23.  Buy Here

 

AND FINALLY – to polish off my 5 minute look are these earrings that are awesome and come in a package of 14. If you don’t want a particular color, give it to your best friend.  You can’t go wrong at $16.99 – that’s like $1 a pair. Get Em.  

That’s it!  Let me know what you’re finding!

Just Keep Livin!

 

 

(affiliates used in this post).

A Holy Shift

I descended the stairs, immediately irritated by what was awaiting me with each scream originating from my 15-year-old son. Great, I muttered as the uninvited stench rose to greet my nose. Luke, my son with profound special needs, required yet another diaper change – a chore that was becoming increasingly able to grate my very last nerve over the past few weeks as his father recovered from shoulder surgery – a recovery period that did not allow for diaper changes.

I opened the door slightly and held my breath. The third of the day so far. My least favorite job in the whole world.

I did what was necessary – cleaned my big 15-year-old man child, and as I prepared to leave, he reached for my face, met my eyes and sang in his sweet jumbled way,

Oh God you are my God, and I will ever praise you.

Continue reading “A Holy Shift”

A Virus Manifesto – What this hot mess may be telling us about ourselves.

This Halloween picture we took a few years ago feels more & more like reality lately. The end of the world, every man for himself, protect you and yours, Armageddon.

Ryan & I thrive off a “live off the land” ideology – it makes us a bit giddy – making bread & soap & homemade wine & growing food. It’s why we lived in rural TN for 6 years. But – there is an unsettling fear when this lifestyle is forced upon us by the threat of a virus. Maybe the fear has been manufactured by the media or perhaps by our internal desire to survive at all cost but what I’ve found interesting is this – along with the fear is a bubbling of anticipation.

I’ve tentatively posed this question to a few people – barely whispering

“Do you feel it too? The tingle of expectancy?”

Afraid that maybe I was the only one who felt the silver lining, but I wasn’t. There was agreement – yes, there is a sliver of anticipation attached to the anxiety and fear.

And why? What are these emotions telling us?

I believe these feelings are screaming out our desperation. Desperate to return to the basics. Desperate for our lives to have meaning; desperate to defend our loved ones in the face of danger; to act valiently & courageously & have someone come through for us – that’s why books like The Road and Grapes of Wrath are world wide best sellers and movies like Armageddon and End of Days sell out at the box office and The Walking Dead is on its 10th season – we are achingly desperate to have something replace the never ending scrolling & online shopping & google searches & accumulating & acquiring & rushing, and, and, and…. & we detest our habits, but our addictions hold us firmly tethered to their poison & now we see this world wide catastrophe – everything everywhere shutting down & we’re being forced into our homes with our loved ones – like cattle forced to the feed lot – & we see it as an opportunity, a glimpse, of maybe stering our lives back on track & that’s exciting.

We are so ready to defend our children against illness rather than against online bullies and pornography which seems like a battle we can not win. We are so ready to have meaningful conversations with our teenagers because we’re actually home for more than 5 minutes. We’re so ready to protect our loved ones within the safe confines of home & we’re so ready to make meals together & gather for family games & educate our children & kick the ball on the front lawn. We’re so ready to have time again.

Our hearts are screaming to slow down, but we have no idea how to make it happen and this – THIS may be our ticket out of the craziness we call life.

Go home.
Exhale.
Stop scrolling.

Practice gratefulness & contentedness & patience & self control – manna for the moment – values buried in the madness of modern life. Be still & silent. Teach your children these long lost arts: reading & baking & looking one another in the eyes as we speak.

Do what matters. Be in life fully with those you love.

Whether this madness pans out to Armageddon or fizzles in a few weeks, let’s examine our lives. The busyness, the constant stress, the depression. What is our heart aching for in these troubled times. Family? Peace? Joy? Follow that thread as we collectively hunker down. Not detracting from the hardships many are enduring but perhaps these might be self induced & aren’t really serving us to begin with.

Myself included.

Just keep livin