Tuesday, January 31, 2012

a worthwhile day

What makes for a worthwhile day?   I guess it's different for everyone.  But I spent time pondering that today and as a result felt broken.    Broken in a way that makes you see what is important.  Broken in a way that changes your perspective... and makes you see something that you were missing.   And sometimes a change in perspective is what is needed to carry on.  It's needed to survive..... especially when in deeply difficult situations.

I was floundering.  Feeling as though I just couldn't do it.  Getting lost in fear.

Then I realized God wanted me to see the sacred in the chaos.  See the enigmatic in the fear.  See far into eternity even when the present seems very messy and impossible to understand.

Love...  pondering love.  Is it passion?  There has been passion.  But love is not passion.  It is the pulse of sacrifice.

When I begin to feel overwhelmed I will remember some words that I read ....

That love lays down plans.  Lays down agendas.  Lays down self.  It lays down its own wants.... to hold onto a person.

I find myself looking into faces.  Faces can reveal a lot.  I pray I will have eyes that really see.  Even when those faces break your heart.

No one really knows your story.  No one really knows what you are going through.  I am seeing that clearly.  Just me... and God.  It is in Him that I need to trust.... that He knows.... 

I'd like to tell others... and tell my own self ... to stay strong.  To be true to yourself.  Stand firm.  I'll look back someday if I'm given the chance.  I'll look back and wonder if I've loved well.  I want to be able to say... "yes"....

True.  The words that matter most are the ones we live.

Friday, January 27, 2012

morning and evening

I've always loved the quietness of the morning .... or the settled, reflective feeling of late evening.   The bulky part of the day is just to noisy for me to be able to think very clearly on any one topic.  Fleeting thoughts are all just jumbled together in a messy array.  As I lay awake in bed this morning I felt clarity.  Sometimes I get up and begin the day and that clarity disappears like a dream.  Sad to say.

I looked back this morning at something I said last night that was insensitive and was surprised when the tears came.  In a torrent.  They just kept coming as I thought how I never want to hurt with my words but only build up those that I love and try to make this critical, cruel, and un-accepting world just a little more nice.  A little more gentle.  To hold close those I love and be a cushion for them from a world that can sting.

I wonder how many times I may have wounded someone else by my words and didn't recognize it.  I can be blunt and hurtful.  More so in the past, but even now sometimes.  I know I have improved but still, gentleness isn't always something that comes naturally to me.

My days are full.  I am not sad all the time but my writings can reflect that since  I usually write when I FEEL.  Many people who know me personally would think I'm mostly happy actually.  I can talk to someone on the phone who asks how I am and how Edd is and they hang up thinking we're doing fine and in many ways we are... but I also I have this huge ache inside.   Life has changed.  It's always being rearranged.  When I think I can handle the story line, the script changes again.

It reminds me to be careful.  To be more mindful.  To remember others hurt too... in their own ways.  And I want to find the joy together.

Funny... this was the quote of the day on my blog for today....

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else ~ Charles Dickens


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

potpourri of a day

(huge sigh)... What a mixed bag kind of day.

It began with a man coming at the break of dawn (well, 7:30 am) to repair our doorbell.  Sometimes it rings and sometimes it doesn't.  Not good.  I got tired of having to watch for our visitors lest they ring the bell and wonder why we don't answer. We made our morning pot of coffee and sat in the living room to wait.  The man was right on time.  Early actually.   He didn't have a comparable version, showing me a very cheap plastic yucky one, so he left us with two wires sticking out of the brick as he went on his way to locate a suitable replacement.  We considered leaving it as is and placing a sign above the wires which read "please touch wires together to activate doorbell" but decided that was pretty ghetto.  He called back less than an hour later saying he found one he thought I'd like and could he come back.  Yes!  Nice work.  Thank you.

Got me thinking about some of the workers we've had lately.  This guy cared.  It said a lot about his work ethic and also about him personally.  He wanted to do a good job.  He wanted to get the job DONE.  Unlike the refrigerator repair man who came and tried to get out of every little thing we asked him to do.

Next I went to the bank to get a certified check for the payoff amount to send to our mortgage company.  Yay (high five)!  So far so good.  I sent the check out certified mail and noticed I could go to a business next door to get a badly needed haircut thinking "why not now?"

Well, here's a reason...

Don't get a haircut, especially in Austin, from a very young lady with very short, (umm almost bald), pink hair.  And if you do, make sure she has little, (make that NOT ANY), creative license to do whatever she thinks will look nice and give you style.  ... Yeah, that bad... Oh, well, in six months my hair will, with any luck, look nice again.

I shed some tears today.  I felt enormously sad.  As I cried I thought of my husband who never, I repeat, NEVER, feels sorry for himself.  He just smiles and loves and does what needs to be done.... and appreciates ... and is grateful.

Feeling sorry for myself is a luxury I can't seem to justify.  Damn.  It kind of made me mad today.  But I just couldn't do it... for long....


Edd's Mom is going to visit this week.

Conversation heard in our home today:

Me:  Your mom said she'd come on Wednesday or Thursday to visit.  I wonder which day she'll arrive.

Him:  Maybe she will forget.

Me:  She won't forget.  She is one of those people who does what she says she is going to do.

Me... again:  You definitely got all the best Whittington traits.  God must have really been looking out for me when I met you because I had some pretty high standards and you met them all... all I was looking for!

Him:  Well I love you baby... and I'm glad you love me.

Me:  I really do.

Life.  To be continued.......

Friday, January 20, 2012

friday evening

Friday evening.  As I sip a glass of Cab I think of the week gone by.  For someone who stays home much of the time with a husband with disabilities I sure have a lot going on.  Different than someone who gets out all the time but busy non the less.  My days are full.  God has given me work to do.  Maybe not what I would have chosen, but work that is important.

I scheduled a cleaning service to come to my house this week, a maid if you will, to treat myself...  As my daughter can attest, I was bummed when they didn't show!  I was really looking forward to someone else doing some of my housework.  My MIL has been telling me to get help and I decided, "Yeah, I think that would be nice"... Turns out they were an unscrupulous business that offered a Groupon that I bought. Oh well. I will hire someone else. I LOVE a clean house. Maybe because it's actually something I can busy myself with and have some control over.   

Life is often uncomfortable these days.  I know what comfortable feels like. And this isn't it.  I want to know how to really live out these days, not missing the good-stuff, but well, sometimes I see very little good-stuff.  But it's okay.  There is still a lot to be thankful for.

I'm learning....
To be more sensitive.
To just listen.  Really listen.
To take care of ME when I need to.
To wait.  Wait on God and His timing.
To pray for others when I can't do anything else for them.
To be there.  Sometimes it's just what someone else needs.
To give when you think you can't give any more. (You can.)

I remember my sweetie saying months ago, years now actually, (with tears) when we discovered how serious his cancer was, that he was going to break my heart. In so so so so many ways he has tried to shield me from the blows.  As Randy Panauch spoke of in The Last Lecture, he has been trying to build some nets for me to soften the fall but my heart still breaks a little each day.  There is no getting around it. As I see him wanting to "ready me" the unspoken reason is the elephant in the room that just won't leave.

The people who have said they would pray for us, for me, are angels. Some I don't know personally and I've never met face to face, but they've reached out to offer kind words... and I truly see them as God's hands and heart... reaching out to me.  Comfort packaged up and given to me as a gift.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

more grace

I let fear, impatience, and ungrace (ungracefulness) take me over for a while tonight.   Not just a little bit.  It kind of consumed me for a while.   It made me angry.  And put a veil over my eyes so I couldn't see anything else or find my way out of it.

Ungrace was me looking at what someone else had or what they were doing and feeling ungrateful for what I have.  It was not being thankful for my portion.  It was putting a label of unfair on how I'm being treated as I see someone receiving more.  Or what I perceive as more.

I read recently that it takes no grace to show love to someone just like me; it takes a lot of grace to show love toward someone of whom I disapprove.  I need to leave the judgment aspect to God.  

I am glad God is gracious toward ME though.  He has a soft spot for rebels.  He recruited people like the adulterer David, the whiner Jeremiah, the traitor Peter, and the human-rights abuser Saul.  I have come to know a God whose Son made prodigals the heroes of his stories and the trophies of his ministry. 

I don't believe I have to earn God's love.  And in dark times when I fail God badly or feel unloved I need not fear that God has stopped loving me.... as though He finally discovered the real truth about me.  He loves people because of who He IS, not because of who we are.

Phew...  I'm glad of that.

(some thoughts gleaned from "What's So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey)

a picture post of luscious goodness

I'm trying my hand at juicing.  I recently bought a Breville and love it!

This is a drink that Dr. Oz talks about.  I wouldn't drink it if I didn't like it.  Yummmmmm.....

I bought pomegranates at Costco to juice and let's just say I won't be buying them again any time soon!  They are luscious and good for you and make a wonderful juice mixed with apple or orange... but the mess is more than I want to deal with on a regular basis!

I can now understand why pomegranate juice costs as much as it does!

Grapefruit juice.  Extreme yum.

Apple and Carrot.     Pomegranate.        Grapefruit.

Smoothie made with strawberries, pomegranate, blueberries, dark cherries, and red raspberries... and yogurt.

Definitely worth the trouble!!

Come on over.  I'll make you one! 

Friday, January 13, 2012


I have a few people who ask me what I am doing for ME these days.  If I am taking care of myself.  Peace has settled into our routine a little bit this week and it's been nice.  I'll take it.... I have little expectations these days.

As I sit here now sipping a glass of Shiraz and nibbling on some pretzels with hummus, I'm thinking of and thankful for the things I enjoy that, quite frankly, make all the difference.  Oh, I'm not much different than others, but I try to really be "in the moment" these days.  Relishing the simplest of pleasures.

I am learning to let go of feeling like I need to be perfect in order for God to love me.  Grace. Rest.  How few of us really rest today.  Rest in spirit and soul...  I'm learning what's so amazing about grace.

Jacuzzi... taking the time to relax and let candlelight, aromatherapy and detoxifying bath salts take me away! 

Did I say Shiraz?  Enjoying a glass of wine, not in excess, but making celebrations out of anything and everything.

Nice conversations with family or friends.  Just being together or sharing life's happenings.  Validating, supporting, and encouraging each other....

Sitting in front of the fire... I love this time of the year.

It's mind boggling to think I can even have a regular conversation with my husband after all he's been through the last few months.  He came home from the hospital needing a wheelchair. Exchanged it for a walker.  Now needs neither.  He's rallied...  His short-term memory is quite clearly effected but we enjoy being together, we laugh, we talk, we live....  Yesterday we met with Edd's oncologist and discussed quite extensively the option of more treatments for his cancer.  As we drove home in the car, Edd said he heard what he needed to and condensed his decision down to one sentence  “I can go back on treatment (chemo) and hate every day of my life.”  I then added that we can stay as we are and LOVE every day that we have.  The decision was clear.

So it comes down to a philosophy.  Even if we pursued scans, MRI's and painful treatments with serious side-effects the amount of time we might buy is suspect.  We choose to live the time we have now in peace, being grateful for each and every day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


The wind is blowing tonight. Hard. Colder air is making its way down from the north and is washing away the spring-like day we had a few hours earlier.

Tonight feels kind of lonely as I listen. The night is quiet in my world except for the sound of the wind and some distant chimes.  The gusts can be loud though. They come and they go. Like the waves of the ocean.

I've heard it said it's an ill wind that blows no good.  Not sure exactly what that means but faith says good can come from the most difficult of circumstances. I guess the wind and our loneliness can cause a cleansing of sorts.  Especially as we re evaluate what is important and what is not. The way the wind would separate the chaff from the wheat so only the good stuff remained....

I am seeing that things beyond my control will not change one second before God says so.  The wind won't stop a moment before it's meant to. And my heart's longing will be filled in the proper time.  Such is life for all of us.

God's grace as always is sufficient.

“Love is not written on paper, for paper can be erased. Nor is it etched on stone, for stone can be broken. But it is inscribed on a heart and there it shall remain forever.”

Monday, January 9, 2012

a look back in pictures

Today was a day for reminiscing.  It was bittersweet.  It was lovely.  It was sad.  It was happy.

Walking down Memory Lane....

I'm going through pictures.  Scanning.  Making albums. Enjoying the memories.

Family.  Marriage.  Children.  Love.  Life.


Life is precious.  

Oh, there are hundreds of others but here are a few of the pictures that made me happy today.

Back in 2002... with my mom for Dad's 70th Birthday

Mom and Dad a few years ago

September of 2005

My sweetheart ... taken in Asia in 2007

On my birthday... special dinner out in August of 2007

Celebrating our engagement in the Spring of 2007.

Getting married in Las Vegas June 2007

Look how adorable!  Edd as a baby with his older sister Kathleen.  I love this so much!

Love seeing Edd's pictures of when he was a kid...and all the siblings.  Precious.

Love seeing these family pics... Edd is the oldest son.

This is the view I saw outside of my window in the house I grew up in.  I lived here for 21 years!   HOME!!

Another view of my childhood home.

Look at those beautiful young faces.  My mom and dad... so young and lovely.  They are still a good-looking couple.

Me with my daughters eight years ago in Oregon

One of my favorite pictures of Edd for my own personal reason I could never share.  This one gives me joy. Taken March of 2004.   Seven months after we met.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


What do you do when the circumstances of life change your routine and dictate to a great degree what you can and can't do each day?  What do you do when changes in lifestyle occur that you didn't anticipate and wouldn't have chosen?  

Well.  I guess you grieve a little bit.  You get angry... maybe even a little resentful.... sad?  Definitely....  and then... you ADAPT... dare say you can even THRIVE.  You begin to grow where you are planted.  Such a trite saying, but true.

I am reading more.  Staying home more and not running around town looking for the latest purchase of STUFF that I really don't need anyway.  (After all, there's always online shopping!)

But hunkering down and finding good things to put into my mind has been rich and honestly just what I needed.  Being more thoughtful and deliberate. Slowing down my overly distracted mind and body to just concentrate on some very important things in my life that I've neglected.  That I'd forgotten.  My spirit.  My faith.  Contentment.  Truth.

My future writing will reflect that... 


Thursday, January 5, 2012

evening thoughts and reprieve

I say that trials and tests locate a person. In other words they determine where you are spiritually. They reveal the true condition of your heart. -- John Bevere

I've heard it said that adversity introduces a man to himself. I suppose that is true. It reveals aspects of ourselves that are deep down in often unknown and unreachable places. I would not have seen Edd down to the core had I not witnessed his grace and strength and courage as he journeyed down a road of little certainty. I've watched it and have journeyed along with him. Learning too.
Another thing I've heard said is that we can understand in years what we may not understand in days. The lessons and insights may be revealed later down the road when we have the wisdom that comes from time. Like seasoned wine that gets better with age.
A friend dropped in for coffee yesterday and used the word reprieve to describe the now. It was a wonderful blessing. Yes, that's it. Reprieve. I like that word.
We have a bit of a reprieve now. There are days of peace with some routine settling in. Edd knows his memory isn't what it once was and we even laugh at the silliness of it sometimes. Some of what comes out is amazingly endearing. It's hard to live, REALLY live, one day at a time. But we... I... am trying. I don't know how long this will last but each day is a gift.
Have I turned into one of those persons who has to understand everything before I can have faith? Do I have to completely reason things out before I can believe? I know God doesn't want us to discard our brains, after all he made them and gave them to us to USE, but have I become so cynical, such a doubting Thomas, that I can't just rest in God and believe He loves me and will take care of all these things that I just can't? I hope not.... 
I am changing. I feel it. I invite it. I welcome it.

I want to learn more about grace. To experience it and to offer it to others. 

We say, then, to anyone who is under trial, give Him time to steep the soul in His eternal truth. Go into the open air, look up into the depths of the sky, or out upon the wideness of the sea, or on the strength of the hills that is His also; or, if bound in the body, go forth in the spirit; spirit is not bound. Give Him time and, as surely as dawn follows night, there will break upon the heart a sense of certainty that cannot be shaken. --Amy Carmichael

Sunday, January 1, 2012

new year 2012

 I'm finding little difficulty in letting go of 2011.  It was a hard year.  From January through December.  Some of it seems a blur to me. 

I sometimes wish I wasn't as introspective as I am.  I look at others and wonder why they aren't like me, but maybe they tend to enjoy life more.  Maybe they don't have as high of expectations as I do.  On myself and on others.  Maybe they know how to relax more than I do and have the peace that comes from not having to figure out everything and seeing a purpose in it all.

Could I possibly be able to lighten up in  2012?

Probably not.  But maybe (hopefully) some.  Maybe I'll just be able to ACCEPT more and not have to understand everything all the time.

As a new year begins there are a few thoughts that popped into my mind as I began the day.  I'm reminded that ...

He makes His sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  Matt. 5:45
Sometimes good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. I want to be a wise builder in 2012.  Our foundation needs to be strong and if it is we'll be able to withstand the hard times and meet the challenges that come our way.

     “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

I want to believe that God plans good things to come out of our hurts.

Even though you planned evil against me, God planned good to come out of it.  Genesis 50:20
God can even bring something good out of the hard and seemingly bad things that happen to us.

Don't hide your love in 2012.  

Make sure those special folks in your life KNOW it!

And then SHOW it by how you treat them.  

Necklace I received as a Christmas gift

One of the sweetest expressions of love I received for the new year was from my mom.  

 I want to wish you and Edd a HAPPY NEW YEAR.  I'm still praying for a miricle and hoping 2012 will bring happiness back to your lives. XXXX   I'll be thinking of you.    I love you.

Her words couldn't have been more sincere and heartfelt.  I don't know what the new year will bring, but I hope to be able to recognize, accept and appreciate the gifts that come my way.

I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the year's. ~Henry Moore

One day at a time is all I can handle!

Happy New Year! Much love to all my family and friends! And if you are reading this you are most likely one or the other! xoxo