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Monday, December 27, 2010

Choosing Joy

I fell apart 2 weeks ago.

A series of unfortunate events piled on top of each other...when added to the daunting task of ensuring my daughter was experiencing a gluten free, strictly carbohydrate monitored festive atmosphere...juggling the1st grade field trip, middle daughter's birthday, holiday classroom volunteering, plus the preschool holiday party...while trying to plan a magical 5th birthday party for one magical daughter...on top of coping with finals week for a very stressed husband...not to mention {yet another} furlough day...a broken dishwasher...MOUNDS of laundry...and an occasional 2 or 3 hour stretch of sleep...

Well.  Like I said...

I fell apart.


I fell apart so badly that I ended up sitting in the principle's office due to said unfortunate events.  There I was -- unshowered (in the middle of the day, mind you), hungry because I had forgotten to feed myself, frustrated, crying, and UP TO HERE (!!!) with policies (that don't exist), systems (that don't help), and bureaucratic hoopla (that is just plain DISPLEASING, to say the least)...


I was a mess.

Like I said....I fell apart.


I don't talk about it much.

When I first started Candy Hearts (before I changed my URL in August 2010), I touched on it a good bit.  But I wanted to leave it behind.  I wanted, instead, to choose JOY and live JOYFULLY, despite circumstance.

So I try not to talk about it very much.

You know...

The fact that we lost over half our income when we moved here.  It was the choice we made to avoid needing childcare for our diabetic 2 year old and newborn-to-be.  The fact that we purchased one of the smallest homes in a neighborhood an hour from his job in 2006...and now our little home has depreciated by nearly 70%.  The fact that the bank just turns their back and won't help.  The fact that we haven't seen a significant raise in the 5 years since living here.  The fact that, this past June we faced a HUGE pay decrease, mandatory furlough days, and a significant increase in our health insurance premium.  The fact that Jason has required 2 major surgeries for his failing joints -- thereby using just about every inch of leave he's earned -- and we're expecting a total knee replacement before he's 40 (which is only 4 years away, by the way.)  The fact that, eventually, I'll have to deal with the pesky presumptuously benign ovarian tumor living inside me (I had my left ovary removed during Sugar's pregnancy for the same reason).  The fact that the cost gluten free food takes a major chunk out of our food budget.  The fact that copays for office visits and insulin and test strips to keep our child alive adds up to hundreds of dollars.  The fact that the preschool program SAYS they offer assistance for parents who are full time students...but it turns out they might not really mean it.  The fact that the only way we can see a way out is for Jason to make a major career change -- which means he's now working full time AND going to school full time...and this will continue for, at least, the next 2 or 3 years.

On our own, we get by.

That's it.

It's the best we can do.

But, with God, we are BLESSED.

He has provided abundantly.

Insulin pump supplies (and now CGM supplies as well) are paid for in full.  Donations of hand-me-down shoes and clothing for the girls are abundant.  Sales creep up at just the right time, and our freezer is stocked full with food.  The school staff and our school nurse are a reason to fight for our home and do whatever is necessary to stay here.  Kind hearted neighbors surround us...willing to take on the challenge of having an insulin dependent child into their homes while accommodating our family's gluten free needs.  I have settled into a part time job that allows me to work from home, thereby eliminating the expense (and anxiety) over childcare.  We have a church that fits our family and has fostered broken spirits to soar.  We've found a local group of T1 families who constantly lift us up and who would drop anything to come in the middle of the night with extra insulin or supplies if we ever needed them. I have a network of friends in the DOC whom I could call at any hour for any reason.  I have a mother who would do anything for us.  We have family we know we could count on if we ever found ourselves homeless or starving.


We are blessed.

Before I tell you about our Christmas surprise, I needed to get through this post to put it into context.

And I will share that JOY with you.


In the meantime, I challenge you to CHOOSE JOY, my friends.

Because it's there.

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  1. I'm impressed with your courage. Keep strong and thanks for the inspiration to count blessings regardless of life difficulties.

  2. Wendy, you and your family inspire me daily. Your spirit and choosing to see the joy are exemplary. I had no idea things were that tight there. I love you... I hope you count me on the list of persons you can call on anytime friend.

  3. Wendy I am so glad you are choosing joy. It's there all the time. You survived and will survive the tough times. Thanks for being a wonderful part of the DOc girlfriend!

  4. You bring tears to my eyes as I read this. I am trying to choose joy and you are an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing your heart. Love you friend.

  5. It amazes me when I hear the struggles that my friends here in the DOC face daily, it's a reminder that we are not alone in this challenging life with D.

    I'm soooo sorry you have had to face so many challenges my dear friend, I understand them all too well :( warms my heart to hear of all the blessings that have also landed on your doorstep :) Choosing JOY can be hard at times, it's so easy to get caught up in the sorrow but like you I too am trying to choose JOY!

    Thank you for sharing your Candy Heart with us, can't wait to hear about your Christmas surprise post that is coming our way :) Spit it out girlfriend!!! LOL :)

  6. CHOOSING is a deliberate act requiring a commitment and planning. I commend you for 'choosing joy', as that is one of the steps to a closer walk with God. And, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to 'choose joy' over 'self-pity' in what I am discovering to be our very common story. So proud of you!!!!

    You have me on the edge of my seat and I am checking my 'reader' more often than usual just waiting to hear about the blessing you and your family received. I am happy for you already!!!!

    Love you, lady.

  7. Boy does this hit home. Just yesterday I talked with my boys about how blessed we are and how to see the joy in things. Yes we are both out of work, vegas economy is awful and my god we are basically poor. But we have a house, food, clean water, diabetes supplies and each other!

    Blessed is he who sees what he has not what he doesnt.

    Youre amazing and I hope and pray things will get better as you deserve it my friend! LOVE U!

  8. God does show up just in time, doesn't He!?!
    He has your family right where you're supposed to be, and boy are you guys blessed...AMEN!

    It does get rough wonderful that you know who to turn to and that He is your Savior!

  9. *sigh* I understand Wendy. I don't share the deatils but they are there... weighing on me. We had a huge loss of income starting right around the time Justin was dx'd that I can not possibly make up for. The added expenses for supplies and food has just made it all that much worse to hold on. I think the holidays are the worst in times like this. (((hugs)))

  10. I'm so sorry, Wendy.

    So many of us share those struggles....that doesn't make it better, but I do think there's comfort knowing we're not alone.

    Your faith in God is inspiring. He's not going to let you down!

    Keep up with your quiet time! : )


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While I'm happy to share our experiences with what works, and what doesn't work, for the management of Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease in our house, please do not mistake anything you read here for medical advice. Decisions regarding your/your child's health care should be made only with the assistance of your medical care team. Use any information from this blog at your own risk.