Looking for the guiding light


Like a heavy thick haze, she peered through the pain unable to see clearly.  It weighed her down, pulling on her as if gravity had run amok.  Her head felt 10 lbs heavier and it took effort just to keep it upright.  Each step taken sent waves of pain into her skull.  Her heartbeat kept time with the throbbing in her forehead.  It felt like someone was inside with a mallet trying to slug their way out.  There were times she imagined this evil little demon pounding away and wondered if maybe someday he really would break his way out.

There was no way to explain the pain she lived with.  No way to give a clue as to what daily life was like from her vantage point.  She’d heard a lot of “suck it up’s” and heard the almost audible eye rolls from people when she’d say she had a headache.  She eventually found a way to grin through the pain and function nearly as if it wasnt a constant draw on her strength and even her humanity.  But eventually it would claim her.  One of the beasts would find a way to escape and she’d not be able to to function as he broke free.  He’d come at her from every angle and she’d be forced to her knees, forced to bow low to his power.  The beast held a skull cracker in his fist and she learned quickly to play dead so she could live to see another day.

Eventually the beast would grow tired of torturing her and he’d retreat.  When he did, she’d quickly build back up her walls so he could not escape next time.  But even as she added yet another layer of mortar, she knew in her gut that he’d return one unsuspecting day.  He’d plow through her walls and with it bring a darkness that was so thick you could taste it.

While she lay motionless, in a half dead state, she’d will her mind to quiet, to become thoughtless.  A mere fleeting thought, like the breeze of a butterfly, could cause such intense throbbing to begin that she nearly came undone.  Today she willed her mind to float on a bed of soft clouds and forced all colors from her mind.  Only a mindless white could still her mind and will her breathing into a still soft and slow pace.

Without moving, she began to look for the glow.  It was a soft and shimmery glow, just barely seen beyond the darkness of her misery.  It possessed an audible calmness.  It was what would eventually envelope her like an airy fog and protect her once it covered her in it’s embrace.  It was soft like a pair of wings she would rise up on under their care and power.

The guiding light always brought her back, always protected her, always chased the darkness away.  She was not the daughter of darkness.  She was born of the light.  No matter how hard the claws of darkness fought for her, the white wings would hold them back, taking the wrath for her.  She had only to lay still and allow the healing to come.  For the battle was not hers to fight, but His.  The battle was already won, before it even began.  She had only to believe, and to look toward the light.  She would rise up on wings like eagles, and the whole of her being was filled with the glory of the light.

Light would win this day, just as in every day past.  And she believed, even in her haze of pain.  She believed.

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Gave everything – to prepare a place for us


Hands lifted, heart crying out, tears flowing, broken and humbly I bow…  kneeling before the KING!

I am worthy of Heaven only because this amazing man came to earth, long before I was born, to give up his life so that I could have mine.  It is unbelievable, yet it’s true.

Each spring, new life springs up from the dead and seemingless lifeless branches and roots.  It reminds me of Easter and the amazing life that sprung forth from the grave.  There is no tomb that can contain the life God offers!

One of my (many) favorite songs is “That’s why we Praise Him”, and so I want to share it with you as an Easter Gift.  Raise your hands in PRAISE! (even if it’s not what you do in your church) – because Easter is like OUR SuperBowl Sunday.

If you’d jump or shout, raise your hands in excitement because your team just won – Do it for Jesus – because HE just won the final touchdown.  He won the final game – The battle over the grave – and WE are the victors who are asked to share the trophy of ETERNAL LIFE with Him in heaven!

May you have a blessed day.  This Easter morning may be forecasted to be rainy and dreary, but nothing can dim the radiant light bursting forth from behind the clouds, for He is ALIVE – Alive forever more!

Not all Heroes wear capes


With a seriousness, he asked, “Do you want me to go with you?  I wanted to say no, that it was okay and I could go by myself.  But I didn’t want to.  I wanted him to come.  I was nervous and tired, and my head was killing me.  Just knowing he was going settled my stomach and calmed my jittery insides.  There was no reason to be nervous, and I wasnt really.  It’s just that these things make me crazy and the last two weeks have been living hell for me… though I’d tried to make is seem as normal around here as I could.  I’ve missed a crazy amount of work, and NOTHING is normal about that.

He smiled at me sweetly and went to change clothes.  And change gears.  He’d just walked in the door from work, and though it was only 7:30 in the morning, it was more like night time to him.  Normally he goes to bed right about now, to sleep till the kids come home, so he’s fresh and ready for  all the “guess what’s” the kids ramble on about when they rush in the door, the homework-hamster-wheel, dinner, playtime, and bedtime routines.  Instead, he offered to do part of my day with me.

He’d already done this once this week by coming to my job in the morning and helping me so I didn’t have to cancel.  I dont know what I would have done without him.  He’s been my hero over and over this week… in big and small ways too numerous to count.

The last two weeks have been torture.  I’ve had 4 migraines in 10 days, and constant headache activity in between.  I have acquired the ability to function through intense headaches by sheer necessity, being plagued with them since age 14.  So there were several days where I fit in things that I needed to do and was able to probably appear normal.  When i would come home, I would crawl into bed and try to survive the backlash of doing so, knowing if a migraine hit in full force I wouldn’t be leaving bed for possibly days.

There are miniature heros in training here in our house too.  Our children have grown up with a mom who’s dealt with migraines that are often uncontrolled and they know what to do when they hit.   They are amazing kids.  One of the extra things they do whenever I get sick with them is to clean.  God love them!  They love to make me happy when i finally embark upon LIFE again.  When i walk into the room their smiles are radiant.  They are proud of how they tried to help out when they couldnt help take the pain away.

“Ready?”  He held the door open for me and we walked outside.  The sun was radiant today.

I was ready.  I was ready to end these blasted life-stealing episodes.  So we went to the doctor again.

I walked away with hope, new meds to try, and a referral to a specialist.  God is already walking before me and has answers waiting.

I hope my husband has at least a tiny idea of how much I needed his strength today, and how grateful I am that he let’s me draw on it and lean on him in ways that seem so insignificant.  I am so blessed, in so many ways.

Keep up to date with what’s going on with surgery and recovery:  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/christicampbell

A heart stopped…Time froze…and God had mercy


(Taken from April 23, 2007 – personal journal entry- and STILL thankful 4 years later…)

Today my heart stopped beating.  I can honestly say all of the last 4 years rushed before my eyes and I cried out to God in a single heart beat to stop what I was seeing before my eyes.

I was standing a few feet away from my car talking to a friend.  My three children were inside the car happily chatting and I was saying goodbye to Julie.  But from the corner of my eye I saw my son suddenly appear from around the front of the car.  My first thought was annoyance that he was unbuckled and outside the car.  My second was pure fright as he darted across the street into oncoming traffic.

All of time stood still.  I saw his little legs carry him into the path of an oncoming van, with hulking school bus following behind overly close. In slow motion, I watched it all play out, frozen in horror then reacting without a thought in my head.

I reacted as only a mother could, by wordlessly and soundlessly screaming with my heart, to God, and willing the van to stop!  No sound would come from my body, though I demanded it.  I had thrown myself into the path of the van trying to retrieve my child before it hit him.  I grabbed him up as the van came to a screeching halt.  I swear to you there was an angel there waiting to take the impact and protect us both,  The mother in the van and I locked eyes – each equally horrified by the scene that never played out.  We both took a second to recover and move on.  I profusely thanked her for stopping and tried my hardest to keep my composure.

I took my three children home and made it in the door just in time to loose it completely.  I held my son who was reacting to my intense feelings by crying for no reason he knew of.  I sat and sobbed into the sweet fragrance of his very alive head.  I could not stop thanking God for one more day with this child who is so desperate to turn 4 on his next birthday.

It is clear to me that God has plans for this boy.  He is full of life and so totally fearless it terrifies me completely.

Please, Dear God, help me to keep him safe until he is grown and can be all you plan for him to be.  Help me to be a protector but not over protective.  Help me to love him and not smother him…  because right now I want to hold him tight and never let him go.

I want to hold all three of my children in my arms and protect them from this world that seems to have dangers at every turn.  But I can not be there for each instance that may come.  So I turn them over to you right now and thank you in advance for your wisdom and ability to do what I can not do.

Please watch over them and be the protector I so appreciate this very day.

Thank you for your grace and your strength.  I cry out my appreciation today as I write this.  Thank you, Dear Jesus, for one more day with these children, and for your mercy this day.

In Your precious name,

Amen

It never ends – which means there WILL be payback!


I love my brother.  I do.  No, I mean it.  I love the guy now that he is all grown up and not stalking me, spy like, in annoying little brother mode while I try to hang with my girlfriends.  Okay, so I loved him then too…  it was my appreciation for him that was severely lacking is all.

Now he is a grow up man.  A kind, respectable, loving man.  He’s an adoring uncle, a wonderful father, and a great husband.  But still, in the days when he travels home from his WARM and annoyingly seasonable Texas residence, (while it is sleeting and raining here in Indiana as I write this, and is about 39 degrees on this 20th of April… UGH)  he finds new ways to remind me that the little brother is not that far removed.

Christmas is a wonderful time of year… but it is also the time of year my kids get to spend the most time with their beloved uncle.  They adore him.  The fact he is the only uncle they have may have helped them choose him as their favorite, but that is of no matter for what I address here.  He loves to take the time he has with them to remind them of “classic” moments of mine in our childhood, and to teach them some of his more creative ways to annoy his sister.  He bestows this upon them as the “gift that keeps on giving” – all year long.

This time?  It was one song.  One tiny and simple song.  Maybe you’ve heard it… if you have, I am so sorry to begin to send the  annoying and never ending song spinning through your brain!  But you must understand, misery loves company!  So I must share it with you.  He taught my three kids to sing, “The song that never ends.”

It goes like this:

This is the song that never ends, It just goes on and on my friend…..  someone started singing it not knowing what it was, now they go on singing it – simply just because….. This is the song that never ends, it just goes on and on my friend…  (and just keep repeating it and repeating it and repeating it till someone, somewhere -in this instance, ME-  goes stark raving MAD – and only then does it MAYBE end, with victory to the song singer, of course!) 

It is my kids new favorite song.  They LOVE it.  They giggle and think they are so adorable and amusing.  UGH!!!  (dont tell them I think they are, in spite of the annoying song they sing!)

And just in case he forgets – I have a long memory.  I dont forget.  So when those precious nephews of mine, ages almost 4 years and  the newest little guy at 5 months, reach the precious age where making mom and dad crazy- just for fun??  You guessed it!  Their beloved Auntie Christi is gonna teach them a wonderful song and encourage them to start and end the day with a beautiful serenade!

I love my brother dearly.  I do!  But there will be payback, my dear and beloved Bro!  It’s waiting for you!

Just you wait!  😀

Pressure Packed INSANITY!


I have 3 kids, a husband, a dog, a fish, and did I mention the kids?   Yeah, life is gonna be busy.  I get that.  I do.  But somedays I wonder where the insanity all comes from.

I was moving at top speed the other day, running around cleaning, organizing, throwing in laundry, dishes, and trying to snag a bite of something because I had forgotten to eat lunch.  It occured to me as I stuffed a granola bar into my mouth that I hadnt sat down since I’d gotten up at 5:30am.   It was long after 4pm and I had dinner to make, more dishes to do, bills to figure out, groceries to get, and a kid to get off to Boy Scouts on time.  My sweet daughter reminded me that I HAD actually sat down today.  When?  When I drove them to school and then again driving to and from my job (where I do the same thing I just listed, only for some amazing people who love me enough to PAY me to do the stuff I do for free at home!)

Well, okay, so I did sit while I was driving.  It is frowned upon to multi task and be up running around the van while driving, so I allow myself to JUST drive while in the van.  Kids – they can always be counted on to give the very EXACT correction of what’s said in exaggerated frustration!

But while running and cleaning, and on and on, I came across a quote quite by accident.  It was under a stack of things I moved.  It stopped me dead in my tracks.  It was just what I needed.  In pretty curly font, it read:  “When your day is pressure-packed and your hours all too few, just close your eyes and meditate and let God talk to you. -Helen Steiner Rice”.  Wow.  Nuff said.

I sat.  I closed my eyes.  I leaned back and breathed out.  I let out air from inside me I didn’t know I was holding.  It was like I had been holding my breath and had been forgetting to breathe.  When I need the most help and assistance from God, those are the times I end up racing ahead as if only the momentum will keep me going.  I forget that when it gets nuts, I need to stop and just breathe Him in and let Him refill my soul and recharge my batteries.

So next time you are moving at top speed – STOP!  Close your eyes… and let the breath of God breathe new life into you  🙂