About those “card players”

Senator Walsh,

As the whole world knows, you made a very spur of the moment, foot in mouth, uneducated statement the other day. We all have things that come out unattended I get that…but when giving any kind of speech the general consensus (as any kid who took public speaking can tell you) is you have to be willing to back and argue your statements.

I can see how you might have the perception that nurses “play a game of cards” at work if your only interaction with nurses is go to the ER on a Saturday night for a cold.

I Have seen both sides. As a paramedic in a busy county I see how hard our ER nurses work and how they are constantly running trying to get all of our patients into rooms and stabilized so we can get back on the streets to bring more patients in. In our county, EMS runs approximately 100 calls a day with most being transported to our local hospital. I promise you that the nurses at our hospital don’t have time to play cards.

On the other side, I have been the patient….usually once a month or every two months due to me being autoimmune. I’ve went in “big sick” and I’ve went in “little sick working on becoming big sick” When I’m big sick, I have 2 nurses and a few doctors floating in and out and I’m rarely left more than 10 minutes but when I’m not quite that “big sick” then I might have an hour between nurses coming in….they aren’t neglecting me…they aren’t playing cards…they are simply doing something called triage where they take care of the worse ones first.

If you get constant attention in the hospital… I have news for you-you are pretty dang sick…

Senator, I have a project for you. Document how many times you go to the bathroom , eat, get a bottle of water, sit back and breath or just look at your phone or call a loved one in your typical work day. Then come shadow a nurse in our county hospital for a 12 hour shift and compare it. Tell me which one of you is more likely to have time to play a game of cards.

I realize you had no idea this would blow up like it does . I’m not going to bombard you with hate mail but I do think you need to shadow a nurse or even come hang out on an ambulance for 12 hours and see how the nurses have to keep up with our influx of patients.

I hope you have opened your eyes through your mistake and I pray something good comes out of it.

Sincerely,

A Paramedic

Mary did you know?

Mary,

As we come up on our Easter weekend I cant help but dwell on a question that is the title of a much loved song but a question we rarely think about…did you know?

You were around 14 and engaged to be married when you had a crazy dream involving an angel telling you that you were pregnant ! Gah I can’t imagine that. At 14, in your time, sex was not explained to the women other than “your husband will teach you” and any premarital sex or fooling around was very much a sin. I can imagine you “waking up” in a cold sweat-panting- clutching your belly because in that moment you knew that it wasnt a dream.

As far as teaching your story goes, we tend to think that you immediately went to Joseph but in reality he would have laughed at you or worse, he would have assumed you were making excuses for being unfaithful. Did you keep it to yourself for four weeks until your period failed to show? Did you get that tight unrelenting knot in your throat as you thought of how your family would shun you? How did you have the faith and strength to tell your family?

Flash forward to your most likely hurried and hushed marriage. I doubt it was the celebration you planned. I’m sure the small town rumors were flying about the promiscuous girl who was tricking her new husband, but you continued on.

On that ride into Bethlehelm, as the contractions shook your entire body, did you really know what was happening? I mean, you were only 14 after all. You we’re a child faced with giving birth as a virgin to God’s Son. Did you feel psychotic? Did you think that you perhaps repressed memories of a rape? Did you believe from the very beginning that you were carrying the Holy One?

That night had to have been long. Laboring in the cool desert surrounded by animals and candlelight. You did not have a midwife, only your husband who could legally abandon you at any time due to having another person’s child . He wrapped Jesus in cloth and laid him on your breast and as the suckling started and the amazing oxytocin feel good high began-did you know?

Dud God’s angels ever warn you of what was to come? Did you comprehend how many people would love him and yet how many more would hate him? Did you know that your son would perform miracles upon miracles ?Did you know that that tiny babe that No One had room for would one day preach to thousands and then feed them, that he would bring the dead back to life and help a blind man to see?

Oh Mary. My heart hurts for you . As a mother of boys I know the love and aggravation that boys can endow upon their mothers. I can imagine that Jesus was a mommas boy as you were just a child when he was born and you two grew up together. You see your son do so many great things for 30 years….then…in the blink of an eye, he is seen as a criminal…your son who was a miracle from conception, who has healed so many, is believed to be worse than the scum of the earth. Surely they would let him go but NO they release Barabas -a thief and murderer-and push to crucify and torture your son to death.

I can imagine the feeling of your heart being ripped from your chest. Did God warn you? Did you know? Did you know that God was sacrificing the most perfect Lamb? Were you angry at God-I’m sure you we’re- we like to think that you just sat back and trusted him but how could you ?? How could you trust him when he is letting your son be beaten and spit at? Your screams had to have filled up the harsh blood filled night air.

Mary did you know?

Did you know that you would feel every hit of the hammer as it drove nails into his hands and feet? Did you know that watching him on that cross as his weight dislocated his shoulders and compressed his lungs would make it hard for you to breath? Did you weep with Mary Magdaline or were you in such shock that you had cried all your tears long before?

“MY GOD MY GOD WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME!”

He cried as a storm rolled over the hill. He breathed his last breath as God turned his back on the sins of the world and allowed the Lamb to take all of the blame.

“IT IS FINISHED”

Mary , did you know that those last three words preserved life for everyone from then to eternity ? Mary , did you believe those to be his final words?

Three days past and you went to bathe the body and wrap with new linens. His body wasn’t there! Did you really believe he was alive or did you doubt ? Did you believe? Did Joseph and Mary Magdaline and all of the disciples believe ?

Mary, did you know-

Did you know that the world would celebrate His death and resurection for eternity ?

Did you know that he would truly save us all?

Mary, was 14 year old you scared? Did 14 year old you know?

Mary, how could you have known….but yet you believed.

Mary, I pray to have your faith.

Mary…did you know?

 

I hope everyone reflects on what Easter is really about this year ❤

Eat*Bray*Love ❤

A Instagram Easter

Growing up a Southern Girl, Easter was the biggest shopping event of the year. Finding that perfect pastel dress with just the right amount of lace, some dainty lace gloves and Lord forbid you forget a hat….you MUST have a hat that matches your dress. This level of shopping is even more fun when you have kids. My husband, bless his heart just doesn’t understand. My boys lack enthusiasm as I make them try on their fourth pair of searsucker pants because it HAS to be the *right* shade of blue after all.

By Sunday morning the entire family is looking spiffy and clean and of course all matching each other. You just cannot claim to be a proper Southern wife and mother if you let your family show up to church mismatch on EASTER SUNDAY! The horror!!

Now, things are a lot different now then when I was younger- we now have social media and I am as guilty as the next. We set our alarms a whole ten minutes early just so we can have time to pose for the *perfect* family picture. You know, the one where everyone is smiling in their Sunday best and the caption on social media is “my kids are the best! The are SO sweet” while behind the camera you had a hand strategically placed on the oldest ones thigh threatening to whoop their behind if they act out and Lord help them if they get that searsucker suit dirty before church….

So here’s my question for you….what is behind that instagram photo of your perfect family going to church on Easter. You are presenting this picture that your family is the perfect Southern family who loves their God and Family. Is that a picture , an Instagram lie, or is it real? What is going on behind that camera? Do you pray with your children and for them? Do you go to church because you have to or because you are so thirsty for God that you WANT and LONG to go ?

After the sermon is over, you are sure to go home or to the families home for the big Easter get together and of course the Easter egg hunt. You’ve most likely spent time on Pinterest looking for the coolest Easter egg dying trends …..you know, the ones you can post and get the most likes from. Are you really enjoying this time with your kids or are you fussing the whole time because they dont do it exactly like you told them or they are getting too messy? When you fix that Easter basket do you include in a book or something about the REAL meaning of Easter?

There’s nothing wrong with doing all these things for Easter. But I challenge you to look beyond the “perfect picture”. Look at what Easter really means to you. Do you REALLY believe in God and the fact that he sent his son to die for your sins? Do you want to get your family dressed up for that instagram picture or because it is a symbol of how Jesus came to make us all new?

This Easter, as you are doing all these things…ask yourself-Why?

Have a Amazing Easter

Eat*Bray*Love

Finding Solace

Solace…as I was milking our goat late last night the moon babarely flickering through the clouds, the rain pinging lightly on the tin roof of the barn- I was covered in immense calm-solace. In that moment I was grounded…rooted to something stronger than any amount of depression or desperate inhibition. It was just me , God and the animals.

Everyday we hear of someone committing suicide. This week was the two Parkland survivors and the father of one of the Sandy Hook victims.  I cried reading the stories about them. It was devastating. I cannot imagine the amount of desperation that they felt…the emptiness…of knowing that their loved ones were gone. I really cant imagine being the father whose daughter was gunned down. He tried to find his Solace by researching violent behaviors on a neuroscience level….he did amazing things for everyone else but he couldn’t help himself.

Oftentimes we are like him, especially those of us that are first responders, we help everyone but we can’t dig ourselves out. We dont give ourselves time to find solace and then we lose ourselves.

On my end, I never wanted to come out and ask for help. After my chikdren were born …like 24 hours after…I was not myself. No one tells you how much you will cry and how much you will HATE your husband for sleeping (love you dear) but gosh do you ever. I remember carrying Wesley around attached to my breast walking laps while hearing David snore…talk about wanting to plot someone’s death (j/k) . What I’m getting to is depression comes in all forms and sometimes can be hormone fueled BUT it is still depression. For me I got the double dose-anxiety from being a medic and having been a magnet for bad pediatric calls and then having post partum depression. I knew I had to find solace.

All of these people want to say “you aren’t alone” “why didn’t they talk to someone” the thing is they probably tried but they were too busy appearing bubbly and happy. Depression happens in all forms with many faces and we ALL go through a rough patch at least once in our lives.

So…find your solace. Step away. Put your phone down and walk. Get away. For me, it’s my animals, everyday after the boys are a rep I switch their camera on so I can watch them and go to the barn. I brush my horse and donkey. I milk my goat. I talk to God. I find God in those moments and He is my Solace…what is yours?

I’m always here to help or listen if you are having a rough day. My animals are here for anyone to brush. They are better than therapists . Find your solace before you can’t ❤

Eat*Bray*Love

My Hands

Hands…what have yours done? Do you ever think about them? Do you ever appreciate what your hands have accomplished? Honestly…I haven’t…until today.

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The biggest part of Ankylosing Spondylitis is joint swelling, extreme pain and fusion of joints. These are mainly large joints but my hands and feet are beginning to be affected. Today, I cant wear my wedding band because of swelling so I bought some cute silicone rings to take its place…today I can’t work on the crocheted baby blanket for my best friend.

Days like today get me …..but then I think about what my hands have done in 29 years and -holy WOW…if I lose all function today, I know my hands have helped me to do more than most people ever have the chance.

These hands have taught colts to lead and then to saddle and then to ride. These hands have held the reins on a horse a few days off the track and taught him to enjoy retirement.

These hands have held four reins of a double bridle and trotted into a ring full of cheering people. These hands have shook as I rode a five gaited horse for the first time.

These hands have held hands-of young, of old, of sick, of dying…they have been the first and the last touch.

They have performed chest compressions, intubation, ventilation, IVs, drawn up medication, given medication, dried tears and have folded in prayer beside a dying patient.

These hands have held my husband’s hands as we became one and then held our sons as they were born. These hands have carried babies then toddlers, soothed boo boos and rocked bad dreams away. They have made shadow puppets on the wall and made playdough airplanes and dinosaurs .

These hands have taught lectures and scenarios and helped students learn to use their minds as well as their hands.

These hands have rescued animals and nursed them back to health . They have thrown hay and pitched manure.

These hands have tried and failed and tried and won. These hands have folded in prayer and raised in praise.

Today they held an older patients hands because she was anxious and they hugged her and let her know we were there. Today they worked on my best friends baby blanket but then failed.

Today they are swollen and stiff and painful…specifically the left one. BUT I will keep using them but I also want to keep remember all the awesome they have done. I always tell patients that I’m simply God’s hands. I do not save them- God does…but he gives me the mind and hands to do so. God gave us some amazing power in our hands.

What good will your hands do today?

What have your Hands done?

Eat Bray Love 💓

Mom, God likes to fish…

Growing up, my grandma Davis talked ALOT about ghosts, angels and seeing visions of people who had passed. I dont know where you stand on the matter but I know God talks about angels speaking to people or through people and I really think Grandma had this kind of connection with God….well, maybe Wesley does too.

I like to think that God uses our children as a catalyst of sorts. A way to remind us that He is real and also to knock us down a peg when we think we actually have this parenting thing down pat.

Wesley , my oldest, just turned 4 last week. He’s brilliant-and I’m not just saying that because he is my child- he is one of those kids that notices everything and remembers it. He can name all the major organs in the body and he can explain what most of them do. He has a level of sympathy and empathy that most adults can only hope to fake. He’s an animal whisperer who can make friends with anything that breaths…its incredible and awe inspiring. He really is my piece of heaven-my tiny , wild, all boy, blessing. I see so much of my mom and davids dad in him. Their spirits seem to make him who he is.

Then he does things that really stop me in my tracks. Kids say the darndest things and sometimes those things seem unreal.

Today, as we were watching TV, he just looks at me and says “mom, God likes to fish. He has this BIG pond by his barn and he goes and fishes in it”…..

Ok, so not that awe inspiring – yet- but cute none the less

So I press a little.

“Mom, the baby chick that went to heaven last week is there. When I was sleeping I petted it’s head and it ate out of my hand. Oh and Georgie (my rescue goat that died) was ALL better and running around , and justice and Rosie and max and ALL kinds of animals…God has lots of animals and a big barn and all the animals get along and there are no mean roosters that chase you around (😂 I like the last part- a heaven without roosters) ”

Ok so now I’m crying because I miss my Georgie goat and my baby chick that randomly died last week and I definitely miss my Justice girl.

Now for the kicker….

Grab the tissue and if you are a cryer then go ahead and stop here…

” And Mom….your mommy was there and dad’s daddy was there. They like to be at the barn too oh and he made hot dogs and macaroni (😳ummm this detail is what David’s dad use to make him and Michael- i mean what man doesn’t resort to Mac n cheese with kids…but there is no way Wesley would have known this.) Oh and big Papaw was there, he was helping me fish…God looks a lot like big papaw….he wears the same clothes (overalls). They both like to fish. ”

This story went on for a good ten more minutes. I just boohooed the entire time . I mean, I don’t have a logical reason for Wesleys insanely accurate description . I do know that he had never seen Grandma Davis and can point to a picture of her and know EXACTLY who she is without even blinking. Maybe its her, maybe it’s God or maybe its a combination. But if you need a good reminder of why to not take this life for granted then save and share this story. It might just be a story a toddler made up-a toddlers perception of grief- or it could be God’s way of saying- hey dont forget me.

Who knows.

But I’m not chancing it.

I can’t wait to fish in God’s pond 💓

Eat*Bray*Love

So. You want to have a farm-but do you want to be a farmer

I love when people ask about the farm. I love when their eyes light up at the idea of fresh food and no neighbors. At the end of our conversation, they always say “I hope to buy some land and have my own farm one day”. That’s awesome! You should do it! You will love it-25% of the time. You want a farm, but do you really want to be a farmer?

I spent my childhood following my papaw around milking cows and collecting eggs. I learned to pluck a chicken and then butcher it. I learned to raise a steer calf with so much love and then help bag his meat for the freezer. Springs were the best- mommas having babies! Cows, chickens, ducks and geese all had babies at their side. I watched the calender every day waiting for the circled date to come around because that’s when calf watch would start. It was amazing.

At home, we didn’t “farm” but we always had a garden and horses. I spent evenings, after school, down at the barn riding until dark. Show season was fast paced and life changing. The dirt and sweat and bruised behinds were all worth it come Championship time. After all- hard work pays off.

I always knew I wanted it all-the entire farm- ALL the animals. Lord bless my husband when he married me- he had fair warning. It took several years but we bought our dream farm and I started filling the pastures up with rescue animals. Animals that needed a second chance. Pappy-my Donkey was the first. The boys then got dairy calves from Santa with the hope that they will compete in local fairs with them. I know one day they will want to do beef cattle and even though I get attached- that fresh beef will be amazing- and we will eat it knowing that that animal was LOVED and PAMPERED and humanely used for the purpose that God intended. I am sure that will be a few years.

It all sounds pretty awesome, right? You are on board to be a farmer right? Well what about when your rescue goat that you dearly loved becomes suddenly sick and collapses and you spend all night sleeping with him just to make the decision to euthanize the next morning? Or when hawks are on a daily buffet of your baby chicks that you hand raised? Or when coyotes kill 7 of your prized Sebastopal geese and leave their bodies scattered. What about when you have to give injections to your sick calves or goats and you have both kids and no one to help? What about when the pasture floods and trees go down and you are tired but you strap a baby to your back and a toddler by your side and round up animals?

Do you still want to be a farmer?

What about when spring comes and you loose a momma cow or goat or sheep during birth and you spend all night finding colostrum or formula ?

Do you still want to be a farmer?

It is hard. It is so incredibly heart breaking. Today I sat with one of my chickens wrapped in a blanket as she seized and died…I have no idea what happened.

But when your donkey runs to meet you and shoves his big ole head into your shoulder for a hug-

When your goats play tag with you in the pasture because you are mom-

When your chickens run up to you and jump in your arms so they can sit on your shoulder-

When you take a horse that no one can mess with and teach her to love again –

THAT makes farming worth it. That 25%. That little slice of time without blood and tears. That solid week without calling your vet at 10pm……That makes you go from a regular person to a farmer.

So. Do you want to be a farmer?

Come learn with me.

Eat*Bray*Love