Tag Archives: extended family

When waters still

I’m not a person who dreams of a vacation at the beach. I am not one you would find fishing while sitting in a boat, kayaking down a river or swimming in the ocean, signing up for snorkeling lessons, or being a lifeguard; I don’t even like swimming pools. Maybe because we didn’t grow up near beaches, but did fish/canoe in the mountain lakes and there was a nice hot springs about an hour from home that we sometimes went to in the evenings, big bodies of water are not something I enjoy. They scare me: the depth of the waters and what is unknown underneath is what it is. That and I can only backstroke.

This past weekend, we visited family in Wisconsin. My uncle is very passionate about sail boats and sailing, so it was no surprise that we discussed a sailing adventure, as it was going to be a full moon and the winds would not be as bad in the evening. I had to humble myself and remind my lack of enthusiasm (plus I was feeling extremely sick all weekend, but no excuse) that even though sailing was nothing I loved, it was something that my extended family did as a family activity and I should at least follow along and enjoy being with them rather than moping in negative thoughts.

We had to borrow their jackets, gloves and hats as we were not prepared for how cold it turned out to be, but once we layered up, we were on our way. Me, getting on the boat, would have been a Youtube video sensation. 🙂 Once I got on the boat, I sat and didn’t move until we made it back to the dock. I must admit, I had momentary jealous thoughts, because my cousins were balancing on the front of the boat just hanging on to the sail’s ropes. You would never catch me doing that sort of thing!

We get to the middle of the lake and it is a pretty view…darkness had settled in for the evening and all around the shores were lights shining. Then the wind stopped. Inner panic set in and the first thing I think of is C.S. Lewis’ Voyage of the Dawn Treader in the Chronicles of Narnia series where they experience a time of no winds. Of course we were not in a huge boat and have modern technology, so after trying to get a natural wind..we ended up having to use the motor to return.

I did find just sitting there–although thinking Narnia thoughts–relaxing, and when I stopped panicking, almost peaceful. Then I remembered how opposite the situation was for Jesus’s disciples:

And when he [Jesus] got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.  And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” Matthew 8:23-27

If anything, my weekend was much like the seas in this passage–just personally in all the physical, mental and emotional. I am not sure why it all flooded in at the same time, but last night–once again crying myself to sleep–I told God that I didn’t know what to do about pretty much everything (mostly physical as that affects everything else.) I don’t even remember what my words were because I found myself in a deep, calm sleep. It was as if Jesus rebuked my waging body and instead told my being, “Peace. Be still.”

I still woke up feeling the same physically…but felt refreshed mentally and emotionally. There are going to be more storms in life…but I shouldn’t fear them: I am secure in The Lifeboat.


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Books and Movies, Family Times

The Great Smoky Mountains

This past weekend my family and I ventured down to Tennessee for record-breaking short, fun-filled family reunion in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We stayed in Gatlinburg–a charming but busy tourist town full of souvenir shops and pancake diners (we enjoyed Flapjacks Monday morning!) It is no wonder that Gatlinburg is so popular as it sits right on the entrance to the park.

We filled our weekend with the beauty of the area…scenic drives in the mossy forests full of dense greens and streams of water; the mountain overlook areas; the ancient Cherokee history and the Trail of Tears; pre-Civil War life and the dedication of the National Park by President Franklin Roosevelt. (I found the history of the area, especially Cades Cove to be fascinating!)

Of course no family reunion is complete without lots of pictures, games, laughs, family meals (yes, pizza at 10 pm! and my aunt’s scrumptious lasagna), fresh coffee, good conversations, helping hands, and love.

“Family is one of nature’s masterpieces.” –George Santayana
I quite agree.



Marcia and I standing by the “Thousand Tears” waterfall.




Me and Grandpa ❤


Filed under Family Times

I’m home!

Yep! Got discharged about 9:45pm and we left shortly after that. Sleep finally found me on our drive home, but still exhausted. We all are. Got home not too long ago and I am ready to jump (not literally) into bed. My own bed. 🙂 I am feeling much better compared to how I entered the hospital/the last two weeks, but it will still take recovery time and getting used to the new stomach/digestive medicines and the steroids. Doctors are now aware of the problems I have been having and will keep in contact with me about how I am doing. My main doctor was out-of-town so he has yet to be notified about all this too.

Thank you for your prayers. The doctors there are so kind and want to help me feel the best and maintain the best I can as long as I can and I am thankful for that too; it is a huge blessing to me and my family.

And I just cannot thank God enough for my family. For all their love and care, texts of encouragement, and by replacing a short trip to see grandparents and cousins to hang out with me in the hospital. And those extended family members who understand the sacrifice they had to make to help me feel better as it was in part a sacrifice for you too, thank you for your love and prayers.

It is in moments like these that I do not understand why my problem had to come at a time like this, but trusting good has come out of it. Because God is good. And that is what I am going to think about as I fall asleep. I am going to trade my guilty weight of “bringing down the family and ruining the weekend” with thoughts of God’s goodness and grace.

Goodnight everyone.


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Family Times, Hospital Trips