road round sign with light at night

Lately I’ve spent some time reflecting back on my life and the various twists and turns that got me here.

The reason for such introspection is all health-related because the constant stress lately is causing more-than-a-few problems and you can’t truly fix what’s broken until you get to the cause.

BUT in the process, I’ve remembered several life-altering changes.

Like when I was in elementary school and my dad got a new job in a different state. The resulting move from semi-rural Nebraska to a rustic Colorado mountain community led to new friends and a new appreciation for how little one really needs to be happy. (That lesson of joy in little was reinforced a few years later when our family moved down the canyon to a house that was still under massive construction.)

Then there was the move from the mountains to the suburbs of Denver. Again, new friends and new opportunities…and a (potential) bit of nuclear fallout since we lived downwind from a manufacturing facility.

Fast forward to college and the decisions to go to school out of state…then the decision to return home after graduation. Where would I be now if I’d stayed in Oklahoma?

The birth of my daughter was a huge change as I added the title “Mom” to my resume. But then came her diagnosis and those additional “Special Needs Mom” responsibilities. All the therapies and doctor appointments and worry and exhaustion definitely contributed to my Chronic Fatigue diagnosis.

What if I was “just” a Mom and not a continued caregiver? How much time and energy would I have now 26 years later? What would I have filled my days with if she’d been a typical child? Would I still be stuck in the trap of perfectionism and struggling to embrace grace? How would that outlook have shaped the stories I’ve written…even assuming I’d gone on to write instead of continuing as a teacher?

And more recently, our lives took a hard left turn with the unexpected loss of my mother-in-law. Grief hits us all and there’s never a “good” time for a loved one to graduated to Heaven…but this event has changed us.

Changed me.

If you’ve read any of my emails/blogs over the last seven months, you’ve seen me wrestle with all the paperwork and myriad of details involved in a complicated estate…and that was before the frozen pipe flooded her house and sent us on a wild detour that (blessedly) addressed asbestos and mold issues and will (fingers crossed) soon leave us with a practically new house just in time to put it on the market to sell.

But that prolonged stress has taken a toll on my health, both physically and mentally. The slightest exertion–like clearing dead plants out of just six feet of a flowerbed (and dodging three snakes in the process)–has me practically couchbound for several days. And mentally, those ideas that a month ago were clamoring to be written have now gone silent.

Like all those moments in the past, it’s a turning point because I can’t go on like this.
Which means my health is taking a higher priority right now. And so that next book is going to get pushed even further out. Ugh. I hate to disappoint my readers, but I hope you understand.

Sometimes life’s twists and turns take us on the scenic route. To a road less traveled or far from civilization. To a steep climb with unexpected hazards. To a place where we uncover more about ourselves…and come to trust God even more.

While I pray this current health detour is short, I also know the lessons are necessary. And so I will lean in for the season and see what God has up His sleeve.

Until next time (whenever that is!),


P.S. Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the moms on my list. And to all those who take a mothering role in the life of a child be that as a teacher or aunt or neighbor. YOU matter and love makes all the difference.

Sometimes Life Takes a Strange Turn
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