Saturday, April 13, 2019

People say you get over death


We found out today that my husband has the flu.
No big deal except in the 30+ years we've been together he's never had more than a cold. 
It started a couple of weeks ago with a cough. Then he lost his voice. Then his voice came back.
But the cough wanted to linger, especially first thing in the mornings. 
It became one of those aggravating things. 
Like, "COULD YOU PLEASE STOP COUGHING ALREADY?!!"
Never said out loud of course. 
But definitely screamed inside my head.

Two days ago he started to get tired by midday.
I wondered how he could be tired at all since he had been sleeping an unusual 9-10 hours a night.
"He's probably tired from too much sleep," I thought and dismissed it just as quickly. 

Yesterday he was in bed by 3pm. 
We had a bunch of things we needed to do for our business but while he was waiting for me he decided to lie down. He never gets in bed in the middle of the day. That's when I knew he was sick.

I hoped the Elderberry syrup and tea with honey and lemon would help. It did a little. But he woke up this morning and soon felt dizzy and nauseous. I thought I would have to drag him kicking and screaming to the doctor's office. I was wrong. "Let's go," he said right away when I asked him. 

He came home from the doctor and said he was going to sleep on the couch in the living room tonight. We joked about him staying away from us so he didn't get us sick too. And I was fine with that and started stripping our beds to disinfect our house. 

And then he threw up.

And that was the game changer for me.

When I was 6 years old my mom got sick unexpectedly. We took her to the emergency room and they ran some tests and sent her home. My dad wanted her to get some rest so she slept in their room and the rest of us slept in the living room. My mom got up in the middle of the night to take some medicine. She went back to bed and threw up in her sleep. It went down the wrong pipe and she aspirated.

She died in that room all by herself.

Dramatic I know. To somehow be comparing the two. But the problem is when you suffer tragedy it becomes who you are. You try to walk away from it but no matter how far you go it's still there. Lurking. Hiding. Waiting for the right time to time to rear its ugly head. To remind you that it still remembers you.

To taunt you that it will not be forgotten. 

And tonight was that night.

People say you get over death.

As if it's something that eventually goes away. 

But it doesn't. 

You don't get over death.

You never do.

You just get better at blocking out the pain. 


So I'll be sleeping in the living room tonight. On a couch across from Chris. It may seem crazy to some. To risk getting sick when it doesn't seem necessary.

But to the 6-year-old girl who still lives inside of me, there's no other place I should be. 





Wednesday, March 27, 2019

don't give up



don't give up.
though you're tired of fighting,
tired of falling down,
tired of wondering why life has to be so hard,
don't do it.
don't throw in the towel.
don't surrender to the struggle.

don't let what you think is the worst moment of your life,
become the last moment of your life.

refuse to let today defeat you.
refuse to let today define you.

refuse to let what the world says about you be the only thing you hear. 

don't let the pain be the only thing you see.

today you are alive.
today you are breathing.
today you may be hanging on by a thread,
but you're still hanging on.

that is not an accident.
that is not a coincidence.
that is not by chance.

God has you.

He's got you.
He's not letting go.

so hold on.

hold on tight.
and keep your eyes on Him.

because you may be in for the fight of your life...
but you are not in the fight alone. 



"For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do. But our eyes are on You." 2 Chronicles 20:12



Tuesday, January 29, 2019

be willing to show your scars





people need to hear about your pain.

they need to hear about your flaws.

they need to hear about your heartache. 

deep down they need to know that they can make it. 

they don't need to listen to a fairy tale.

they don't need to see a perfect life.

they need to know that you've failed.

that you've fallen.

that you've been knocked down.

but you got up.

you kept going.

you survived.

they need to know that in the middle of the darkest night there was a light.

that there was a way out. 

that there was a reason to keep trying.

and your scars show all of those things.

your scars leave behind evidence that you went through something.

they leave behind a trace of something you endured.

they leave behind the message of hope.

a message that says if you can do it maybe they can too.


if you ever want to help - really help someone - tell them your story. 

be honest about your past.


roll up your sleeves and show them your scars.


don't cover your wounds completely.

don't hide all the hurt.

find a purpose for your pain.

be willing to show your scars.

because the very worst and most painful part of your story

might be what gives someone else the strength to keep hanging on.



2 Corinthians 1:3-4 "Praise be to the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."

keep the faith. God is faithful!!!

Colleen



Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Ultimate Protein Balls







I started making protein balls years ago when my oldest son started running Cross Country & Track in Middle School. I was looking for healthy ways to get meals, snacks and drinks (can you say spinach smoothies?!) into his daily routine. And because running takes a lot of effort and energy, I also wanted something that had long lasting carbs (oats) and quick sugar (dried fruit) to help keep his stamina up. I researched tons of recipes and added to them to make up one of my own. I kept adding ingredients, trying to make them as healthy and effective as possible, but as I got up to about 15 ingredients it became too time consuming and overwhelming. And with so many people asking for the recipe, I knew I needed to make it simple. So the basic recipe is down to 5 ingredients with the option to add in or change ingredients anytime you want. 

I hope you enjoy them!


Colleen’s Ultimate Protein Balls    

Ingredients:

2 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup maple syrup

Supplies needed: 9x13 rectangular pan, 1 cup dry & 1/2 cup liquid measuring cups, kitchen scraper/spoon

Put the dry ingredients [oats, chocolate chips and cranberries] in a 9x13 pan and stir to mix. I use a pan instead of a bowl because I feel like it’s easier to mix the ingredients, especially the wet ones, but you can use a medium mixing bowl if you prefer. Add the wet ingredients [peanut butter and maple syrup] to the pan and use kitchen scraper/spoon to mix well [this will take a few minutes]. Form into balls. Recipe will make 30+ protein balls and takes about 30 minutes. Refrigerate. They will stay good for up to a week, but let’s be honest, they never last that long!!!

Note: I used to add up to 15 ingredients to this recipe but it was time consuming and overwhelming for myself and others to make which is why I condensed it to 5 ingredients. The great thing about this recipe is you can mix and match. If you prefer crunchy peanut butter, use it. If you prefer honey over maple syrup, use it. If you want to add more ingredients OR change the ingredients, do it. I’ve listed some ideas below that I’ve added to the recipe in the past. Experiment to find your own favorite combination!

Shredded coconut flakes (sweetened or unsweetened)

Dried fruit: dates, raisins, blueberries, etc

Chopped nuts: peanuts, almonds, cashews, etc

Seeds: chia, flax, sunflower, pumpkin, etc

Protein powder: vanilla, chocolate, chai, etc

Crunchy rice/flax cereal

Crunchy or flavored peanut butter

Local Honey

Colleen’s Tip: Make the basic recipe first (5 ingredients). Once you get the idea of what the texture is supposed to feel like you can start adding/subtracting ingredients to experiment with the perfect combo of dry/wet to form protein balls that won’t fall apart or be too soggy.

I hope you find that making homemade protein balls is fun and easy! Our family loves them!!!


Click on this link for the printable version:  Ulitmate Protein Balls Print Recipe

This pic shows the consistency/texture you're trying to achieve before forming the balls. Not too dry or too wet. You can see this batch I added shredded coconut and took out the cranberries. 


This pic is just the basic 5 ingredients. Classic, simple, delicious!


Another batch with shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, honey, dark chocolate, vanilla protein powder and raisins.  So many options!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

we're all broken


we all want to run from being broken.

we want the good heart.

the one with no tears.

the one that hasn't been hurt.

we want the shiny one.

the one that sparkles.

the one that still looks new.

we don't want the one that looks bent. 

the one that looks bruised.

we definitely don't want the one that looks broken.

because we don't see beauty in broken.

we don't see anything worthy or anything good in something that doesn't look whole.

but the truth is God can fix broken.

God can take the very worst part of our lives and turn it into something wonderful.

God can take the dark and give it new light.

He can take our scars and turn them into something sacred.

the world wants us to believe that brokenness is final.

that our story ends there.

but what the world won't tell us is that brokenness is often a great beginning.

it is often the start of who we are meant to be. 
we're all broken.

every single one of us.

no one goes through life without getting hurt.

no one walks without pain.


but we choose how that pain defines us.

we can choose to only see the bad.

or we can search for the good.

and if we search for it we will find it.

that's why we tell our stories. 

that's why we share our hope.

because if someone can see that we fell down,
that we were in a pit, 
that we thought we were going to drown and God saved us,

then they can find the hope that God will save them too. 

broken hearts have this beautiful way of shining for others to find their way

and it's a light that shines brightest because it knows the depth of the dark.