Sunday, May 10, 2015

Two months ago we were at the university where our youngest daughter was finishing her second term of her Freshman year.  She had invited us up to see her final presentation for her first term of studio in her Architecture major.  She had over slept but looked very well put together. She seemed hurried and busy, but nothing off kilter.  She did a fantastic job, we watched her "present" her ideas and her work to the mentors and instructors with ease and professionalism.  We had to head back home before she was finished as I needed to work the afternoon.

I had mentioned I was concerned for her, I thought she looked thin....

My husband quickly said to me with assurance, "she's good".

We returned to town uneventfully and I went to work.  I was finishing up with my final patient of the afternoon and I was interrupted by one of the "front office" people (this one happens to be my adopted daughter).  I was told my husband really needs to speak with me. I kindly excused the interruption and said I would call him later.  Only, to be interrupted moments later saying that.... "it's kind of an emergency".

Well, now what do I do?  My patient was gracious and forgiving.  She beckons me to call my husband to see what the matter is, she was fine to wait a few minutes.  He reports to me that he received a phone call from our daughter saying she was in excruciating pain in her abdomen and that she had the uncontrollable shakes.  My daughter is one who broke her finger during softball practice and never said a word about it til after practice.  She is the one who played through numerous sprains, strains and bruises throughout her soccer career as she was one to never complain.  I attempted to calm him down and asked my "adopted daughter" (the front office worker) to call her little sister.

I was trying to quickly finish my time with my patient only to be interrupted again saying, "she's bad, she needs to talk to you".

Again, with my patient encouraging me to call my girl, I call.....

She is crying and shaking and hurting and ..... she's an hour away mind you.  Honey, if you need help go to the clinic on campus, I prodded.  Momma, I cannot walk that far.....

I was handed over to her RA whom I quickly informed needed to call the ambulance if she was too weak to walk two blocks to the university clinic. I was now getting the attention of other nurses in my facility who wanted to see what the fuss was about.  One of them, my dear friend, Dee, took over with my patient.

I called my husband and said, we need to go.  Come and pick me up.

My husband picked me up and we left town about 20 minutes after 4.  While on the way, we received word that she was at the clinic, she refused to allow her RA to call the ambulance, he helped her hobble there.  Then we received a call from the ambulance driver saying they were taking our baby to the Emergency Dept University Campus.

We arrived in the parking garage of the hospital at 5 pm.  I think I need to mention that we live 67 miles south of the University.  (I think he was driving a little above the speed limit)

We were able to see her right away.  She looked completely different than she had that morning.  Her face was as pale as the sheets, her lips were ashen and her eyes couldn't stay open.  She had been vomiting and they told us she complained of chest pain.

We waited for over 2 hours to be seen by a nurse, her Vital Signs weren't even taken.  She had arrived by ambulance, they did a set of vital signs and blood draw and then didn't come back for 2 hours!! I  was getting angrier by the second.  I had her sister in Hawaii, her grandparents in Roseburg, all wanting information.  I didn't have any.  I had nothing.  Not even a nurse visit.

Finally, she came back after the 2 hours and checked her blood pressure.  I asked why they weren't giving her IV fluids if she had been vomiting, and a fever.  The nurse says, we need an order from a provider and she had chest pain, you can't give her fluids for chest pain.
Do you know when the provider will be in?  She has been in here for a couple of hours.... I asked.
She said, we only have one physician and one physician's assistant here.  They will be in when they can.

Another 40 minutes and the provider comes in, with the physician's assistant (they weren't seeing patients separately?).  He tried to interview her and do a minor assessment only to have been called out 2 times during his 5 minutes in the room.  He felt her tummy and ordered some tests.  It's now after 8 o'clock.  Blood cultures, EKG, some IV fluids now.  Oh, and drink this gallon of stuff so we can do a CT scan of your belly.   It's now 9 o'clock.

Momma, I don't think I can drink this.....

Just try, baby.  Just try.

She finishes, It's now 9:40 pm.  we wait for the CT scan.

Some of our friends had been sent home from the ED, they were too loud.  Nana came up with the adopted daughter. We wait.

10:35 back in the room.  Provider comes in.  I don't think it's meningitis or appendicitis.  You can take her home.  Just keep an eye on her.

11pm she's getting dressed and the nurse is sending her out faster than she took the first set of vital signs.  We are taking her home, not the dorm.  We take her out of the hospital around 1130, we need to get gas. We arrive home just after 1 am.

This will be continued.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Know that you are loved and prayed for today.

This is one of the chapters in the new book by Margaret Feinberg, Fight Back with Joy! . I was given the honor and privilege of having one of the Advanced Reader's Copies to preview a couple of months back and I have been waiting and counting the days until its release.

Knowing that people are praying for you when you are going through a difficult time is one of the most honored privileges that we as Christians are able to experience.  I know this first hand. 

Less than a year ago, I made a very challenging and difficult decision to leave my husband.  

I know that this is about Joy and I will get to the point, on the way though we are talking about knowing that you are loved and prayed for.  You see, I had been begging my husband to drink less, spend more time with me and less with his buddies, to make good choices, and none of this was happening. I was having time and time again of begging him to not drink so much, to not drive home when he was drinking, to give me a call.........
I had said on a number of occasions that he had to choose between me and the alcohol.  I don't remember the exact details of that weekday, I just know that I had some decisions to make.  
I had been seeing my counselor for some time, she had been bathing me in prayer.  She had asked that I find key friends to pray for me as well.  There were a few close to me that I kept on speed dial.  I had a plan in place and I had to make it happen. As I packed my stuff and left for the unknown length of time, I knew that these select few were praying...... and praying hard!
There was a huge amount of peace and presence of the Lord with me.  It was a horribly emotional time, I don't think I quit crying for a couple of days, but I knew I had God with me.  That somehow this would all be ok. 

I had the support of my church members as they began to hear about my plight. My girls were not happy and they were very angry with me.....but I was at peace.  God was with me.  He was there....whispering in my ear....

I've got this....
You will be alright...
I know this isn't easy, but you are right where you need to be.....

I heard Him.  I felt Him.  I knew He was with me.  I had no doubt.  God was right there the whole time.

In Margaret's book

I found that it didn't matter the circumstance, it didn't matter the situation, it didn't matter my emotional state, I was fighting back with joy.
I am so looking forward to sharing this book, that I have my entire ladies' bible study starting it this month! I believe strongly in the words that Margaret shared and the rationale behind them.  I believe God spoke through her for many of us women, to fight back with Joy.  To find our joy in the midst of the fight.

#FightBackwithJoy to find the book on Amazon to find the book on Barnes and Noble for the promo video

Friday, January 2, 2015


Sometimes the hardest thing for me to do is be concise.

I am a girl who uses lots of words.... whether to myself or to whom I am speaking.

So I need a word for 2015

I have done this thing.... select a word and focus on it for the year.... rather than the whole New Year Resolution thing.  I am not sure which of the Bible Study teachers to whom I subscribe got me started on this, but I like it.

Last year was JOY.  Man, that was hard.  The year was a crazy one, as I have previously written about.  Separation, graduation, college bound, empty nesting....but Joy was my word and I. felt. it.

God was so good to me.  In the midst of the chaos, He gave me JOY.  He also gave me Margaret Feinberg.  While I was attending a leadership summit in Vancouver with members of my church, I received an email from Jessica, Margaret Feinberg's assistant, asking if I would be willing to be an Advanced Reader of her new book, FIGHT BACK WITH JOY!  I was overwhelmed with excitement and anticipation.  What an honor! But in this I knew that I would be held responsible to see what God wanted to show me in this book, because He had chosen me.  Isn't it ironic.... that I got asked to read a book about Joy 6 months after I decided that would be my word for the year??? Ironic?  Really? No! God inspired!! God moments!

So I struggle with finding the right word for this year.....because GOD. WILL. USE. IT. to reach me!

I have been tossing around the word ABIDE

It's meaning in the dictionary is: To take up one's abode; to reside. To be prepared for; to await; be able to endure or sustain; remain firm under; to tolerate. To adhere to; to maintain; to remain faithful; to remain satisfied with

How can I not desire this in 2015, to Abide in Christ and live in his sustenance? To be prepared for His work. To await His answers to prayer. To be able to endure any circumstance because He is with me. To remain faithful to Him.

So with that.... I think I choose ABIDE to be my WORD! 2015.

I just found that my word for 2013 was JOY and my word for 2014 was assurance.  Well, you can be sure that I had the assurance of JOY throughout the year 2013!! ;)
That's just me.... a little on the goofy side. :)

Monday, December 29, 2014

The wild adventures of 2014

The year of 2014 has been an adventure.

The year began with my baby turning 18. When your baby girl turns 18 and you aren't sure you are ready for it.....
It was not as challenging as I anticipated.  We were able to have a small family gathering.  She had some girlfriends stay the night in motel suite.  They wanted to do their nails and pedicures and sit in the hot tub and just be girls.  They were unable to sit in the hot tub because it wasn't hot and they had some other issue in the room. They had a good time despite all that.

I found the end of January to be an exceptionally difficult time.  I had to leave my husband for a short separation.  That was so difficult.  His actions had become out of control.  My girls didn't understand.  They thought I was being unfair. It was a decision that had been thought about and prayed about for a very long time.  It had been threatened on numerous occasions. It was time to follow through. The separation was not long and I had tremendous support from my church family and those that were close to me and involved in the situation.  We were being bathed in prayer. The hardest part was leaving my baby girl.... and having her be so angry with ME. It didn't make sense to her. But it was necessary for me.

My daughter was named the Future First Citizen of Roseburg. She received a $10,000 scholarship.  It was such an honor, such a tremendous blessing. She had worked incredibly hard. Despite the turmoil in her home, she was thriving.

The remainder of the spring consisted of a lot of "lasts".  This was going to be the last banquet for her sports team, the last Mother-Daughter Senior Tea, the last time...... fill in the blank.  It was full. She was involved in everything!  What a roller coaster of emotions that I went through those last few months leading up to graduation.

Graduation..... she was the Valedictorian, the Class President and ranked number 1 in her graduating class.  She would be delivering the speech and calling out all the names.  What a day!  I knew I would be an emotional wreck, but God was so good to me, I didn't shed a tear on Graduation! The party the day before was a huge success, she was showered in love and Mom and Dad's place looked fantastic. We had been turning their backyard into a new place for over a year.  We finished just in time.

We found ourselves traveling to Hawaii in the later part of June.  It was a first for many of us.  We met our daughter and son in law and his family there.  We all stayed in the same condo resort, but different condos! There were 12 of us.  It was a fabulous trip.  Memories made to last for a lifetime.

September found us taking our baby to college and facing our empty nest. Again, I was sure that it would be incredibly emotional for me, as my husband had his annual hunting trip to Eastern Oregon.  I only shed a couple of quiet tears on the way home from leaving her there.

She is doing fantastic, she is involved in some awesome church groups called "Fight Clubs" after the good fight analogy. She is involved in the student association in the Honor's College and even gained a position in the leadership of such.  Her roommate is a doll and they get along fabulously.  They were well chosen. They are sure to be friends for a lifetime.

The end of the year has found me spending quite a bit of my time with my parents.  My mom was found to have severe arthritis in her hips and required a hip replacement. The surgery was scheduled for Christmas Eve, as this was the soonest available slot for the doctor.  I spent many moments trying to be of help to Mom and Dad, as Dad was getting more and more stressed as the time approached.  Thankfully a cancellation happened and we were able to go a whole week early.  It was a blessing to be able to do it early.  My girl was home from college and she has been a HUGE help in being with Nana at home and getting her to do her exercises.  She has her first therapy appointment outside the home tomorrow!

Grateful that over the weekend we were able to have EVERYONE home.  My oldest and her hubby were able to come down on Friday, as well as my sister and her family, my youngest and her boyfriend. It was such a great weekend.

I am blessed beyond measure.  I know that we face trials of many different degrees, but God has continued to provide for every need and continued to bless every difficulty.  I am praying that 2015 brings a new set of adventures.  That I will continue to see the hand of God in all that transpires and that I would be more disciplined in sharing those moments on my blog.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Happy New Year????

So many months have gone by.  

So many things have happened this year.

So many opportunities to write about Jesus and the work He is doing in my life.

But, my blog is empty, sans the post from the beginning of the year.  

I have decided to start blogging again, if not for anyone, but myself.  I notice that those friends of mine that were blogging haven't done so for a while either.  That's OK.  With the ways of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, life seems too busy to stop and put words on a page. I would like very much to connect again through blogging.  I so enjoy reading other blogs that I think it is time for me to continue my own.  Margaret Feinberg, has been a very big influence on my devotional reading this year.  Of course, so has the fabulous Ann Voskamp,, and Liz Curtis Higgs,  These women are treasures to be instructed under.  I am in awe of them and their inspiration on a regular basis.  

So with this short little note, I pledge to begin again.  To fill in what has happened over the last 10 1/2 months and to open my heart to the promises that God will reveal to me while blogging again.



Friday, January 3, 2014

I haven't been on here for quite some time.

That is OK.

I needed time to find myself.

I recall that I posted 2013 was the year I find JOY!

I also recall saying to one of my Doctor colleagues, "this is my year"!!

So, did I find JOY in 2013, was it "my year"?

Good questions, let's see if I can explain those answers.

I began mid year seeing a counselor. That has been the biggest and best gift I can and have given to myself.  There is so much inside my head, that at times I think I will explode.  I was so numb for so long, I bottled up my feelings, my thoughts, my self, for so long that I didn't know what feelings were any more.  I remember one of the first few times with her that she brought out this "feeling" sheet.  5 columns of "feelings", could there really be that many?  I had only felt one, numb! Now there were 5 columns in front of me and one column of anger.

"look at the words there on the page..... go ahead Brandi, look at them."  

She would encourage me to seek the words for which I had pushed aside......

"How about this one?", I pointed. 

 She peered over the paper, "you can't start with the anger column, that column is off limits for now".....

Wow!  Overwhelmed, I sat and stared blankly at the page for what seemed like an eternity.  I looked up at her and said, "I don't like this sheet".

"why?" "what makes you not like it?" she chides

"I don't want these feelings, I like being numb."

"Do you? How is that working for ya?"

I can look back over those first few months of counseling where she would try to get me to pull out that sheet, look it over and find a word (s) for what was running through my head.  After many visits with her and the tears streaming down my face, I would say again, "I don't like 'to feel' any more"..... and she would gently remind me, ever so kindly, "an how has that been working for ya?"

I am not finished with counseling, nor do I think I will be any time soon, but, I know that she has laid a solid foundation with me.  She always, always brings me to Jesus, what would he like me to do?, and always lets me make my decisions.  She constantly reminds me that she is only there to help me along and not make any decisions for me, but I am receiving the tools I need to take care of myself.  Self care is a huge "catch phrase" that she uses, but she reminds me that Jesus took care of Himself, He had feelings and He was sinless.  So, I have a long ways to go with that. But, I am a work in progress.

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:6

The other thing I was working on was my devotional time.  I have continued to read and be awed by Ann ( )Voskamp.  She is a gifted writer, speaker, blogger, Bible teacher.  She inspires me in new ways every day.  I did a few online Bible Studies with ( Curtis Higgs, who is the other author, speaker, Bible teacher that I sit in awe of.  These ladies are so imbibed with the WORD of God that you can NOT help but be transformed by their writings.  Such a blessing. I did the entire JOY DARE that Ann writes about on her blog, every day for 365 days find 3 things that bring joy, she gives hints for each day. Some days I would get behind, but I would catch up.  That was a gift in itself. Especially through the counseling process.  The other writer, speaker, author, friend that I follow is Rivera Douthit (  She has become a friend to me, even though she lives in S. Carolina!  Amazing how God works.

Now, it is 2014.  What will my word of the year be?  I am not quite sure.  I'm looking at assurance, because I will need assurance, daily as I send my baby girl off to college.  I am not ready for the "empty nest", I am not ready for the lonely house.  I am not ready for the "find yourself, because you won't have your girls anymore to keep you busy" way of life.  I am struggling with that! A lot!  My hope is in the Lord, creator of Heaven and Earth to fill me with assurance that I am where He wants me to be, doing what He wants me to do and being who He wants me to be. 

So, that is where I am.  Praying diligently for my little girl as she prepares to jump head first into the real world, praying for my older one as she and her husband find their selves in a tiny town in Washington. 
Also, praying for myself, that I can do all that I have set out here to do.

May you be blessed this 2014.  Find yourself, your purpose, your gift, knowing you are loved by the One who created the Heaven and the Earth.



Thursday, May 30, 2013

So, this year for Easter we were able to have the newlyweds with us for the afternoon.  Bugg had to work, so after she got off shift, they came down and we had a great meal together.

While we were working on the meal and waiting for the kids, Peanut had an idea.  She wanted to put together some messages of Christ's love and send them out for Easter.  So, she had some messages made up and wrapped them to the base of the balloons.  After we all had our meal we set out to set them free.....

While we let them go, one of them seemed to be a little heavy weighted and Peanut was concerned about it not going very far.  We had wanted all of them to reach high and out far to others.  Well, it so happens that later that evening Bugg noticed a post from our neighbor.....

Home w/Craig,Jessica,myself and the dogs! Seriously! No lie! My baby Dexter came walking into the living room with this balloon in his mouth with a Easter note in it! Seriously! The egg attached to balloon had a note in it that said "he lives" "believe"it was a miracle it floated in our yard and that Dexter brought it in! Seriously!

Couldn't help but feel blessed that they were blessed by my little Peanut's idea of sharing Jesus on this special Sunday....