Side Effects

madison_lights_colored_edit2Here’s something you don’t hear very often: when you go through something traumatic, there are more side effects than you may have thought of.

I have been focusing so much on the emotional that the physical side effects have been overlooked. I’ve thought about money, my dad’s physical well being, my moms, the different jobs that have been effected, etc etc. But not until today did I think about the other side effects of trauma.

Not until I was on a treadmill, dying a mile into my run, did I slam the machine in frustration and yell a choice word did I realize the most annoying side effect.  Continue reading

Processing Trauma

paris5The Paris hospital hallway probably wasn’t as long as I remember it being. In reality, it took us 30 seconds to walk down the hallway to my dad’s room. In my memory, that was a 20 minute walk. It was up a hill and through a wind storm and under a screaming sun. It was a hike incomparable to my long distance runs.

The smocks we had to wear, the paper gowns that pretended to keep out germs, took maybe 10 seconds to get on. They felt like a light bristle against my skin, not like a heavy weighted quilt that took five minutes to pull on, which is what seems to be in my memory. Continue reading

Taking the Stairs

picsYou’re following my family’s story right? You’ve been reading our Facebook posts, liking them and sometimes commenting. Maybe you’ve shared one or two. You’ve prayed and reached out and I can’t say thank you enough.

If you haven’t been, that’s okay. Welcome to… well, I’d say hell but I’ve seen too much of heaven to be that blind. Welcome to one chapter of a bigger story. It’s a wild ride, step on and share it with us.

Here is the quick rundown: My dad is a traveling missionary. He was in Africa. Some d*mn mosquito bit him. (Eff that bug) My parents go to Siberia in the middle of no where. My dad is really sick and unresponsive. It’s 2 am. My mom is alone. Queue a week in a crappy Russian hospital where the paint is pealing off the walls and my mom isn’t allowed to see my dad and the doctors don’t speak English and they’re telling my mom to remember him as he was. Span over to Greenville, Texas in a full house on an acre of land where five people, mere kids in this moment, are desperately doing all they can to keep their dad alive from 10,000 miles away. Take in the whole picture and see thousands of people, believers, holding this family up. Fast forward to the success of my parents making it to Paris. The doctors doing all they can. The kids crying at his bedside while a machine breathes for their dad and their mom fights to stay strong.  Continue reading

Mommy…

IMG_4874One of the worst parts of all this is watching my Mom. I’ve never seen two people more in love, more passionate about pursuing God together, than my parents. I’ve never seen a team that works so hard to share the love of God with every corner of the earth. I dream of a future where maybe, just maybe, I’ve found a love like this one. Of finding a love that endures a nightmare you couldn’t even imagine. I dream of finding a man like my Daddy, albeit maybe with one or two more tattoos.  Continue reading

Daddy…

picsssThere’s no where to start.

Mainly because it’s not over yet.

But we all know I process through words. And I’ll be d*nged if there isn’t more to process than I ever could have imagined. Let me start by saying this:

I have been given a glimpse of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Everywhere I turn someone is telling me they love me, they’re here for us, they are praying for my family, offering to help. Every minute I know my family is covered in prayer. Multiple times this week I’ve felt like I couldn’t continue. It was over. My Daddy was gone, I wouldn’t be able to continue. I don’t know how to do my taxes, I’ve never met someone who can hug me like him, I’m not married yet so who will walk me down the aisle? In the midst of God’s faithfulness, I’ve felt my faith failing. I’ve felt myself doubt promises of God’s goodness. Continue reading

Behind The Scenes

madison_street3_editI love my friends and I love watching them live life and soar through accomplishments. I love so many things about them. I love how much they love me. I love what selfless friends they are. I love how generous they are. I love how hard they work and how many cool places they get to visit. I love that they run half marathons and get into Yale and the Bush school at Texas A&M. I love that they love children and are good at yoga and are beautiful and kind and smart. I love that they care about the planet and know the word of God so well. I love that they make great grades, are awesome photographers, have amazing style, and are committed to so many different things.

It’s starting to sound like I love comparing myself to my friends more than I love my friends and encourage their accomplishments, isn’t it? Continue reading

Defeated and Victorious

Tree I feel like I’m fighting the air itself as it pushes out of my lungs, crushing my chest with the weight of the universe. I’m sweating, crying, yelling with frustration as I shove against a hundred year old tree, willing it to move an inch for me. I’m laying on the floor of the boxing ring. I’m bleeding. I can’t breath. I can’t fight anymore. I’ve lost.

I’ve never won a battle on my own. I’ve never defeated the invisible enemy that renders me immovable. I will never be victorious on my own. I’m not made for solitary victory. I’m destined for failure. Alone, without the gospel and the Lord, I am defeated.  Continue reading

I’ve lost weight.

25158126_10210900058124255_1773950141686488199_n-2I think it’s finally time to break the silence about a big change in my life. About eight months ago I began working out regularly and eating really well. The result of this was weight loss and muscle gain.

This is the first time I’ve publicly talked about my health change. I’ve confided in a few close friends but for the most part I’ve stayed silent. Why? I’m not totally sure. I just don’t like to talk about it.

Maybe it’s because I have a past with body image issues. Maybe it’s because I’ve been surrounded the majority of my life by people I saw as workout obsessed and incredibly annoying and I didn’t want to be like them. Maybe it made me uncomfortable because I didn’t mind how I looked before, I just wanted to make a change for me and no one else. Continue reading