Category Archives: Thanks

“When life hands you a lemon”.


Photo on 8-24-15 at 11.36 AM #5

Life changes in an instant.  You could be having the most perfectly wonderful time of your life, and BOOM, your holding a lemon.

The common phrase about life turning “negative” is that “When life hands you lemons, you make LEMON AID!”, Although I appreciate this notion, I always found it to be someone wasteful.

So, Im handed this sour and yet beautiful lemon and Im just going to juice it and drink it? What about the seeds?

With every negative AND positive thing that happens in our life, there are ALWAYS root causal factors.  Once we explore those causal factors and potential outcomes of how to move onward we discover the “seeds”.  If you like lemonade, certainly go for the initial hydration and let that temporarily satiate the negative.  Once the drink is over, then what?  This is when we must look further and find out how to make this lemon that was handed to us cultivate an eternal change.  The truth is, we will always be handed lemons, thus we will always be handed seeds.

I am a big fan of all things related to trees.  I find most metaphors in life can somehow be connected to trees.  This may make me sound like somewhat of a free spirited hippy, rather I have always found my grounding within tree roots.  Some of my earliest memories are exploring roots, trees, and nature.   It takes time to sift through life to sort out the “WHY ME”, feelings and not just pass them off and move on to the next thing.  We live in a society that can far too easily just make the lemonade and move on.  I consider that just slapping on a band aid.

If we are willing to take the seeds of the negative source and truly investigate them, connect with them, understand them (to the best of our ability), then we can plant them into the soil of life and trust they will grow. 

We all know that even our best intentions for growth, do not always turn out as we plan. The “elements” of this earth can cause our seeds to rot, or grow without enough nutrients, or perhaps wilt due to lack of rain.  The elements ARE life.  When we hold the seeds and place them into the prepared earth, we are also accepting a responsibility to OWN them, care for them and make sure we can help them grow until they are strong enough to thrive on their own.  We must always take responsibility for the seeds that we are given.

I fully understand that most of the time, the lemon is thrown at us.  We are sometimes blind sighted by the lemon and never see it coming. Regardless, once its in our possession we have to learn to make a choice that will cultivate growth and understanding.

Now that I am going on 4 years post trauma, I look upon my spiritual lemon grove and smile that the trees are upright and they are finally beginning to bear flowers. I have taken on the eternal responsibility to CHOOSE to be the keeper of this grove and use these lemons to remain sustainable even once I have passed on.

Today, think about what your lemon in this life might be. Do you have a lemon? If you are “lemon-less” no worries, it will come.  As long as we live upon this earth we will encounter negativity that will stop us in our tracks.

Today, think about how you will open your hands and care for the seeds once you have drank your lemon aid and allowed it to settle within your being. Remember life is an immensely beautiful gift and often the gifts are contained deeper than what you first notice. Take time to make a grove.






You know what it is like.. Maybe you want to go on vacation, a better job, to get thinner, bulk up, have a family, have long hair, create world peace, find the cure for cancer, run faster, ride longer, swim more efficiently.. (yes, you know where my brain is).  Patience.  Dear God, I thought I would be patient by now.  How patient are you at your wants? Regardless of how big or small, at some point we start to realize the fact that EVERYTHING takes time.

Wanting takes a strong amount of energy.  When we learn to convert the “wanting” energy into “action” energy to do something about it.. the “light at the end of the tunnel” can start looking a bit brighter and closer.  Sometimes when we put action into play, the light of the tunnel may look even FURTHER away, because we realize just how much work we have to do.. Then we must ask, “Is it worth it, and why?”.  Most of the time, the answer is “Yes”, and that’s when we cycle back towards learning patience.. and looking for gratitude in even the smallest step towards that light.

How much time something takes to happen completely depends on a multitude of variables, and sometimes we can not do it alone.

This is where we need patience, AND each other.

For me, I have been struggling with a lack of patience for quite some time.  I wanted to run a marathon yesterday, have a baby last year, complete an Iron Man next year, kick my husbands butt on a bike (and the swim).. and have had a honeymoon.  The reality is that those things have not happened. The other reality is that AMAZING things HAVE happened, and I need to focus on those.

Last week, I stepped out of my front door and decided to write my next motivational speaking engagement in my head while I jogged.. Mind you, I haven’t ran more than 15 miles in two years and certainly never completed it pain free.  My mind thought, “Well, Ill just keep running until my mind can complete this outline”.. and so I did, and 17.4 miles later I hobbled back into my front door.

Today, I WANTED to get over my PTSD in the fall weather. I WANTED to just hop on my bike with my husband and ride 50 miles through beautiful back roads.. Earlier this week I WANTED to hop back in the pool after not swimming for 7 weeks due to my last surgery, and bang out a mile without taking a break..


Have I learned anything?

In order to move forward in ANYTHING in this life, I have to strengthen the components of what Im working with.  If Im working on athletics, I have to do those “stupid” clams, wall slides, planks, and other delightful physical therapy exercises.. if I want to solve world peace, I must understand what is happening politically and socially.. develop the right channels and work with others on smaller tasks that can equate to part of a bigger framework towards change.

Today, we rode for less than ten miles. My body may have been able to sustain the 50 miles, but my mind and heart was not there. My panic set in, then came my disappointment, my embarresment, frustration, and anger. Once I settled into acceptance I reminded myself that it is “OK” to be angry, cry a bit, and then turn on the computer and look at the global news.. Which then roped me back towards perspective and that framework.

This weekend I will complete my 8th half marathon in 2 years. Pretty damn awesome. I WANTED to be able to run a solid 2:25 by now, I WANTED to be in full training for a marathon this year.. however, my body has other plans… This year, I am giving my body a break. No surgeries. Originally everything was going to be fully “repaired” by this spring, but my soul told me otherwise. My soul said “Learn Patience”.  If anyone ever tries to tell you they are a patient being, I say “that is all in perspective” because patience is something we all will be trying to learn during our entire journey on this earth.

Just remember, when you feel like you just “WANT IT NOW”.. work hard and secure the components towards your “want”, so when you get it, it will last..



No matter who you are..right now, at this very second, you are here because you had a mother and a father.

Everyone has a different story. Some of you were born to parents that may not have planned you, but loved you none the less.  Some of you might have been born to parents who had prayed and dreamed of you for years and then held you lovingly in their wombs eagerly anticipating your arrival..

Some of you might have been born to no parents, some of you might have been born and given to parents that could not have their own and had so much love to give that they brought you home and raised you as their own… Regardless, you are here.  As I type these words and you read them, you are here because two people somewhere on this earth made you, and then God in his infinite wisdom, beauty, and strength carefully crafted you within your mothers womb.  Some of us where born as perfectly gorgeous healthy babies.  Some of us were born with deformities, health problems, or with little strength.

You are here.

As a 36 year old woman, I have the joy and sadness of needing my parents.  Thankfully they are still here, and I was born into a loving home with two older brothers and an entire family community of aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc that aided in my upbringing.  As a child I depended on them for not only my basic needs of survival, but also my emotional needs.   I never wondered about where I might sleep at night, how I might fill my belly with nutrition, or how the monthly bills would get paid.

As we grow up, we grow into the phase of “I can do it”.  You remember.. that day when hugging your parents may not have been as cool as it was before.. and suddenly YOU can drive yourself somewhere, YOU can decide what you want to eat, YOU can determine what you should and should not wear.. We establish independence.  That independence makes us feel good, makes out parents proud, but also brings a sense of uncertainty… the “what-ifs” crop up.  What if I can’t do this myself? What if my son or daughter gets in an accident driving to school?  Suddenly we are out of the clutches of their grasp and flying on our own.. needing to find out how to fall, and knowing that with each fall we can get stronger.

I was always a “I can do it” kind of kid, adolescent, and adult.  My character traits are certainly that of compassion, but also of determination, perseverance, and some genetically gifted bull headedness.. (thanks Dad).

My life was always made up of a million ways I could cram everything into one day.. and then keep it going, every day.. non stop.. More? “heck yes, Ill take it”.  Work three jobs? yes! Run an organic farm? Sure! Have a canoe bike and kayak business and work a full time job while volunteering as an EMT? Why not! Take college classes while working three jobs? yes! Volunteer? YES! Train for a triathlon? Sho nuff… Take a nap?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Too much to do! Too much life to live.

Sit still for an hour yoga session? tooooooorrrtuuuuurrreeeee (thats torture spelled out slowly).  The only incentive I had for yoga was having a delicious brunch with my sweet friend afterwards and then Id go home and run, or swim, or bike.. I have always loved the yoga clothing.. I do look cute in them.  Sit still and read a book? oh… Lord.. I will TRY.

Sit still and watch a movie? Umm… Can I get up thirteen times and get drinks, make pop corn, fold laundry, walk the dog? Then, sure.. maybe.  The bottom line is, we make up a great spectrum of all sorts of people, for me.. I was always the active child.

That being said, Ive kept my dear parents on their toes.. maybe not always physically, but certainly emotionally.. and always, every time I fell down and “scraped my adult knee” so to speak, they were there.   Four months ago TODAY, I fell and scraped a whole lot… The weight of that freight truck running over my 120 pound body ripped me apart leaving me a bloody mess holding on for life.. Suddenly life stopped.  I awoke 40 days later to find my husband at my side.. and my parents. I can no longer be the “always doing person”.

Over the last four months, I have felt like an infant, a toddler, and an adolescent all over again.  I need help going to the bathroom, getting a shower, having my ostomy bag changed, getting into an out of bed, being held tight as I sob in pain and frustration with my new body, having my meals made, and my hand held as I tremble and scream with panic attacks… My mother even reads to me again.. My dad makes me my favorite dishes. My mother has helped with hour long wound changes, and even needed to help hold me when I can not balance on my own. They are working hard to put weight back on my frail body. This time, I found that not only were they being my protective parents but my friends.  As dad held me while crying in pain, he shared how I use to play beside him after he broke his back and had to lay in bed for over a year.. My mom would share stories of her parents, her life.. I learned things that as a dependent child I never knew… now as a dependent adult, I could also be their friends.. and they could cry with me.

To all of you that read this.. no matter what your relationship is with your parents.. you are here.  Life doesn’t always plan the way we want it to, but by the Grace of God it somehow works out how it is supposed to.  Regardless if your mom and dad are in your life today, say “Thank you”. Maybe it is to them personally, maybe they are gone so you must utter it out in a prayer, or write it in a letter… Maybe your mom and dad are not your biological ones but the mother and father that nurtured you to who you are today.. Thank them..

We never know how each breath will unfold but we do know some certainties:

1. We each had a mom and dad

2. We will each have a last breath

3. We all have the capacity to love and be loved.

With that, I say.. “Mom, and Dad… I am here, and I’m sure glad you are too.. I love you so much.. Thank you”.

Had I woke up three months ago and you been absent, Im not sure how I would have coped.