Sunday, October 20, 2019

When Surgery Takes It All Out Of Me

I had surgery again this past Friday.  I say again since this is technically the fourth one I have had this year.  Three in January at the same time and now this surgery.  I struggle in many ways when it comes to medical stuff.  Pain meds and narcotics don't work very well for me.  Because of the lack of pain relief, I often turn to muscle relaxers. They enable me to fall asleep even though the pain is still very present.

But this time? This time is different.  The muscle relaxers are also not helping and I have developed an allergic reaction to the glue that covers my stitches that close my external incisions.  To be very honest, I am miserable.  I am tired and so incredibly ready to sit, lay, even lounge without being constantly aware of the pain that is present.

I am not a stranger to physical pain and extended recovery times.  I have found that in these down times, I have a lot of time to pray, to read the bible, strategize (future game plans for projects that need to be completed) and to write and edit. I also really do enjoy watching movies.  But I get bored so very quickly.

My kids are returning to school tomorrow.  Josh will leave for work, and Lily is responsible for getting Zach on the bus.  I will have the entire house to myself all day. I have about 10 minutes of energy in me at a time.  If I can shower and get dressed and sit down quickly I will be fine.  Then I will wait an hour and try again for some cereal and coffee.  I will take it slow and probably need a nap after just that.

Surgery has taken it all out of me. All of it. Every last ounce of energy that I had prior is non existent now.  And I am completely content with that. No, the kids laundry isn't folded. The kitchen counters looks like someone may have died on them.  And my kids are just going to have to fend for themselves when it comes to lunches and snacks this week.  But I am content with the fact that things are a bit messy and even more so out of control for a bit.

While my body heals,  my entire body relaxes.  I am not racing from one activity to another. I am not booking clients and working until the late hours of each night.  All of the things that seem so important can wait for a bit.  A week or two, maybe six.  I will sleep and enjoy coffee. I will reread my group bible study and enjoy my friend Michelle Choe's blog at
I will do all of the things that I wish I had time to do, and not be expected to do anything else.  I will enjoy this time.  I will welcome this time.  I will remind myself that no one wins a trophy for being the most busy person.  It isn't a cool thing to be the busy person who always complains about being busy. Defeats the purpose.  (Lily would call them Attention Seeking Busy Creators.)

Tonight, I will sleep. That is it. Tomorrow I will edit.  That might be it.  Coffee will be consumed.  And yogurt with fruit and honey.
And I will be grateful for a doctor who has the knowledge of how to fix broken bodies.  I am thankful the Lord hears my prayers and meets me wherever I am.  And right now,  that is on the couch in the front living room enjoying the beautiful fall breeze blowing in through the open window.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Spend All My Life

Every single day.  That is how often I fall.  I fall in love with people. With friends. Even with people from afar.  Certain things people will do or say will catch my attention and I am drawn to them.

My daughter has a friend who believes herself to be beyond her 13 years.  She strives to wear the cool clothes that the older teen girls wear. She wants her hair always in a messy top bun.  A few months ago,  I observed that this sweet girl had an obsession with her hair.  She would take it out of its pony tail holder, throw her head over to her knees and proceed to gather all of her hair just to place it back on top of her head again.  Usually I wouldn't give it another thought, but something strange was occurring each time she did this.  She always seemed to be doing it in very close proximity to other people.  She would somehow manage to flip all of her hair into the eyes of the person standing next to her. Or she would cover the shoulder of her friend. It struck me as odd. I don't want other people's hair touching me or being flipped onto my eyes.  I saw one of the girls roll her eyes as she looked at me, and then later, a boy turned and walked away.

I pulled her aside. "I like your top knot. When you put your hair up, try not to do it when other people are standing shoulder to shoulder with you. Do not rush. Take your time to gather your hair all in one hand and put the pony tail holder in with the other.  You can even excuse yourself to the bathroom and do it in the mirror to make sure you got all your hair.  If your pony tail holders don't seem strong enough to hold your hair, let me know and I will order you a set like I purchased for my Lily."

My daughter's friend heard me loud and clear. She could tell I was momming her, but also trying to help, not hinder.  "Thanks. I think I will take you up on your offer for pony tail holders.  My mom has such pretty hair and she doesn't have thin hair like I do.  She never has to put hers back up.  I feel like my hair falls out constantly.  I think if I use a tighter one in my hair, that might help. Thanks."

Right at that moment,  I loved this little girl.  Comparison is the thief of joy.  She was comparing her hair to her beautiful mom's hair and was struggling with her own.  There isn't a teen girl alive that I have ever known that hasn't struggled to some degree with self image.  She needed help, a few pointers, and she felt comfortable taking them from me.  Just another mom. But a mom that cares.

My son loves going to his special needs youth group on Tuesday nights at church.  It is the highlight of his week. When I go to pick him up, I can hardly contain my smile when he dives into arms in excitement and can't wait to tell me everything that he did at Capernaum.  Jake, his 20 something helper, came out to greet me also.  "Mrs. Gavin, your son is amazing.  He loves music and loves the other students.  I enjoy watching him interact with other volunteers and students.  He makes volunteering a fantastic experience for me." Behind Jake, three other volunteers were smiling and nodding in agreement.  Right then, my heart soared with love for each of those volunteers who so selflessly give of their time to serve my family and to love on my son.

My husband leads a men's bible study on Thursday mornings and oversees men's ministries at our campus church.  This past Sunday, we hosted an hour of prayer to uplift a soon to be deployed serviceman and his family in prayer.  We adore this sweet family and consider it an honor to do life with them.

As the men from the bible study were preparing to leave, one of the men pulled me aside and said, "Kelli, thank you for having us.  I want to tell you how much I value your husband and how much I look forward to spending time with him and the other men in the group.  Your husband is a wonderful encouragement to me."  Right there, my heart loved this man who took the time to tell me how thankful he is for my husband.

Sometimes, when I love someone, it is for something they have said, or even something they have done. Other times, I love someone for the words they chose not to say. And love is always present when someone loves my people, my family.

I will spend all my life loving people up close. I will love my children and husband until this world is no longer. Different people and in different ways. The love that strikes anywhere and at any time, in single moments, is something that I want to experience every day for the rest of my life.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

By Order of the Peaky Blinders

I have a vivid imagination.  When brainstorming, I don't just think about practical, every day solutions to problems, I think of oddball, quirky, not able to happen in the real world, and sometimes even downright illogical solutions.  I can blame it on on my writer's brain, even the fact that I love to read and love to watch documentaries. My brain tends hold an inordinate amount of insignificant information that really can never be used at a later date. As in ever. 

Life is often overwhelming. Sometimes, it is problems with one of my kids at school, or with friendships. Sometimes, it is figuring out a way to forgive someone who has hurt me knowing that they will never say they are sorry or change their way of relating to other people. And even other times, it is mending a broken heart over a situation that will never improve. Right now, I seem to be faced by many problems. All of the problems.  Assailed from every direction.  Yes, I know that this isn't actually true. But it feels like it.  

While trying to come up with the solution to world peace, (actually just trying to figure out how to increase my productivity when there doesn't seem to be enough hours in each day) I began to wonder if I just needed to hire a fixer. Yes, a fixer. Someone on the payroll who would swoop in at a moments notice and fix whatever happens to be the dilemma of the hour.  

Like Dr. House. When all of the other doctors have tried to diagnose and failed, Dr. House will swoop in and save the day and his new patient from certain death.  Or, Annalise Keating.  The impossible case where someone is facing a life sentence for a crime that they didn't commit, and Annalise arrives not a moment too soon. Not only through her remarkable investigation skills and expertise at cross examination, she is able to have her client cleared of all charges, a public apology is made, and the accused even receives a trillion dollar defamation and libel suit win. 

And then there is the Shelby Family. Thomas Shelby only needs to hear of an injustice that faces a family member or someone he has sworn to protect, and he immediately comes up with a plan of how to fix it and to make sure  that it will never happen again.  Now, the Shelby brothers may have some interesting ideas on problem solving.  Their solutions often involve action first, and analyze later.  While I do not condone violence or organized crime,  I love the idea of other people caring enough to solve my problem or issue sometimes even before I have had a chance to be concerned about it. 

We are not guaranteed a perfect happy life.  We are guaranteed anything but. Even in the book of John- In this world you will have many troubles... - That sounds like a for sure promise of trouble.  So knowing that troubles will at times abound, what does the second part of verse in John 16:33 say? - But take heart! I have overcome the world!" - Jesus has overcome the world. 

Daily challenges will seem to pile up.  They will overwhelm and continue to bring me to my knees. But I need to remember that this world is temporary.  This world is a mess.  I am not of this world, I just happen to be taking up a temporary residence. So yes, discouragement may set in, but this isn't a place I wish to remain or dwell. 

No,  I don't need a Dr. House or Ms. Keating.  I absolutely think anyone of The Clan Shelby would create more havoc.  It is Jesus. That is who I need. Every single day.  The comforter and lover of my soul. The one who gives me strength, who sees my tears, understands the turmoil and anticipates my prayers before I even speak. 


That is who I need today and every day. 

I Know What That Means- By: Kelli J Gavin for Writers Unite!

I Know What That Means By: Kelli J Gavin After my family moved to Minneapolis three years ago, my parents refused to visit us in our ne...