Posted in Faith journey, Personal growth

This little flower reminded me of God’s kindness

Right next to our parking spot was this tiny orange flower. It stood out brightly against my harried and overwhelming afternoon. Ellis suddenly had another stomach episode that had her throwing up in the carseat. Another bout was imminent and parking was congested.

I sighed. A heavy one. In that moment I just told myself that it can all be cleaned up; let’s just not get hospitalized again.

But Elliot was not having it. He was disappointed and grossed out; we were about to go back home instead of picking up his birthday cake and presents. Something from his sister’s side of the backseat touched him and that set off tears. I felt bad for him: torn between disappointment and worry as his sister moaned in pain. Even promising a new toy for Ellis did not get a smile. That means she doesn’t feel well at all.

It was a hectic car ride with two little people: both emotional and both needing different things. Only one me with not enough arms to drive, tap the back of a nauseated child, and hug the other one who felt unloved.

But God refreshes a weary soul with his grace in these moments. As I turned the corner in the busy parking lot, I was amazed to see two side-by-side empty parking spots next to a tree and bush. No other cars vying for those spots either.

All I could mumble was “Really? Where did all the other cars go? Thank you Jesus!” I pulled her out of the carseat just as she was about to hurl. (In case you are worried: it was not on a walkpath. I later covered it with leaves and sticks.)

It was just a parking spot but the timing and the location of it couldn’t have been more perfect. I felt uplifted and grateful that God cares about the struggles that deflate me and answers unsaid prayers.

God is good. Life is not perfect but God journeys with me. I don’t see God but I know His presence is real.

This little orange, right by the throwing up incident, reminded me that God is near and full of grace. Thankful!!

Birthday cake time! All was well later. Still best buds.
Posted in Faith journey, Personal growth, Raising kids

Thoughts about daily life’s hiccups

Having small kids means getting comfortable with last-minute changes. Winter is harder with all the bugs going around too.

My ongoing challenge has been dealing with missing out on regular kid’s activities that I think will give them a fun childhood. It’s all the expectations and assumptions that I think we should be doing. You would think that after years of practice running to and fro Ellis’ medical emergencies I should have become accustomed to it by now. It’s still hard!!!!

We were all recovering from a recent bout of bronchitis, sinus infection, and cold; the kids and I were on antibiotics. Then, we were physically well for about three weeks. And Elliot has come down with a cold again! Pediatrician said it’s a virus so he needs to ride it out; no antibiotics this time.

It’s been a wacky week with him feeling under the weather, on and off, and this morning his symptoms are full blown. Another bout? Called the pediatrician to see what we should do. While he is still coughing and has a runny nose, he’s considered contagious. Another bubble existence?!!!!!

And Ellis keeps whining that she’s not getting personal attention. She holds her blankie and softly cries into it making puppy sounds saying “I need ten’tion.” I explain that when she’s sick I give her all my attention, but when brother is sick I need to tend to him. She ignores what I’m saying and continues to whine. Pediatrician says it’s because she’s so accustomed to all that attention since birth.

“where is my attention?!!” That’s her show of discontent.

The little one hasn’t caught it yet and I’m hoping she doesn’t. When she gets sick, our whole family goes on high alert.

I need to take these life’s hiccups with more stride. Life gets messy with small kids…they go from one cold to another. It takes time to build immunity. I realize it’s harder to be the person who is sick, so I need more patience on this road to recovery. See, this is where I feel disappointed in my attitude.

I wonder what God wants me to learn through these experiences. Maybe: let go of my plans and trust God with my days?; let go of personal disappointment and ask for God’s wisdom?; trust that God will fill in the gaps?; stay teachable?; or get my priorities in order?

Learning is hard; it brings mixed emotions in yourself as you wrestle with old and new beliefs. It also asks you to have the courage to create new paths in your thinking. Motherhood is challenging and it’s a self-refining process. I realize the depth of my selfishness and that realization gets me down.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

I’m telling myself to have a good day before the day is over. I would feel worse to have spent the day with a cloud hanging over me, but I know today can be salvaged with God’s help!

Posted in Personal growth, Raising kids

Who loves plush animals?

Our family is outnumbered by stuffed animals!! What is it about those soft, plushy things that I (ahem, I mean the kids) can’t resist?!

It’s a good thing we share the same penchant. When I was growing up, I loved dolls more than plush: dolls with yarn or silk hair, eyes that closed, dolls that pee’d (weird I know), dolls wearing frilly dresses or corduroy overalls, etc.

If you are aware of the doll craze in the 80s, you may remember the popular and beloved Cabbage Patch Kid dolls. It was the toy to have. They cost a fortune back then. My mom couldn’t fathom spending $60 for my new obsession, so the next best thing was getting an imitation. Sure, it didn’t come with a birth certificate or the designer’s signature on its behind. The stitching was a bit off on the fingers and toes, but the face was still the same. I carried that doll with me everywhere and even strapped seat belts on it in the car.

I finally got an armful of authentic Cabbage Patch Kid dolls when I was recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident. I was stuck in bed all summer, and my family knew just how to cheer me up: Cabbage Patch Kid dolls!!

I wish my kids liked dolls, but they’re more drawn to stuffed animals. Every time we oohh and ahhh over a cute new plush at a store, Chris sarcastically asks if we have space for ANOTHER one. Thank you for asking, and of course we do!!

Image result for Cabbage patch kids picture
https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-cabbage-patch-kids-battle/
Image result for Cabbage patch kids picture
By Andrea Barcellos on Pinterest

He asks, “Is the plush for me or for the kids? Obvious answer. Kids, of course!!

Most have a special story, person, or memory tied to how they became part of our plush family: memory artifacts? Our collection began to grow with frequent stressful doctor’s appointments for Ellis and friends sending us plush during hard medical times. And brother gets one too for being a good sport and going with the flow. Through all these years, our plush stash is kind of getting out of hand now.

BUT, decluttering our stuffed animal collection is something we avoid. How do you decide which ones to keep, give away, or toss? We all have to vote on it, and no one gets the boot.

As the kids get older, their interests will change and the process will be natural then. For now we’re good.

Chris, if you’re reading this, can you finally order those shelves for us? I would do it myself, but I’m pretty sure it would result in a crooked shelf with extra holes in the wall.

I found this funny quote about bears on Pinterest by Zazzle.com.

(source unknown but found on Pinterest)

Posted in Personal growth

On the mend

Everyone in the Suh family is finally on the mend from a recent flurry of winter-related sickness. Three out of four of us, excluding Chris, took antibiotics for bronchitis, strep, or a sinus infection. Thankfully I was the last one to get sick.

At the first sign of a cold, I diligently started taking Nyquil, Airbone chewables, and ginger tea before bed to reduce sick time. I was hopeful that this would be a mild cold case, but the persistent migraines made life miserable. I took Advil for that, but as the migraine got worse I’d forget when I took the last dose. So I’d wait it out a few hours more before I take more. Then it finally dawned on me that this might be a sinus infection since it was affecting mainly the head and eye area.

A quick visit to the doctor’s office improved the migraines drastically. The effects of the antibiotics started working and by the second day, the headaches had subsided. Through this experience, I’ve developed more empathy for people who suffer from constant migraines; it’s debilitating and everything becomes bothersome.

The past week was a lesson in forcing myself to rest when I couldn’t let go of all the things I thought I had to do. Today is a new day and I’m thankful for feeling better. Looking forward to healthier times and waiting expectantly for God’s peace.

Image from Biblestudytools.com


Posted in Faith journey, Personal growth

Rest, rest, rest

Elliot is almost over his croup turned bronchitis from last week. It was obvious that he felt unwell when he took afternoon naps and had a loss of appetite. Overall, it was a busy week with doctor’s appointments, recovering, and taking various medications: antibiotics, steroids, over-the-counter pain reliever, and doing breathing treatments at home.

I took last week in stride and hoped that I wouldn’t get sick too. But last night I felt the first inklings of a cold: lightheaded, pounding head, achy body, and a yucky tasting cough. I consoled myself that at least Elliot was feeling better and Ellis hasn’t been throwing up. Ack! I got ahead of myself because Ellis felt queasy right after waking up and ran to the bathroom. Today was the first time she threw up without someone next to her.

The best scenario was resuming our regular activity schedule this week, but it’s having to be pushed back again. In the big scheme of things a few days will not break or put us behind since we can do make-up classes and still catch up to our lessons. But when I am tired, it makes those changes seem large and daunting. I wonder, where is my faith in all of this? God has brought me through challenges much bigger than this and I believe He can do it again.

Psalm 32:8

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
    I will advise you and watch over you.

At-home breathing treatment with nebulizer. It’s helped so much with his coughing.

Today has been a rough day. I’ve been dealing with cold symptoms, fatigue, and extreme guilt that I couldn’t help Ellis this morning. Other nagging thoughts: I’m inconsistent with homeschooling lessons and our learning environment is too scattered. I wonder how our learning journey turned into this burdensome task. It used to be an exploration of budding interests and having fun learning together. But once I put so much pressure on myself, it’s begun to lose its spunk.

“I love a broad margin to my life.”

Henry David Thoreau

I need to give myself some margin and enjoy this time with my kids.

Rest. Must rest. Need down time to recover.

It’s a daily lesson in surrendering my fears and insecurities to God: let go and let God. Another lesson is setting my priorities in order.

Psalm 37:7

“Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently or Him to act.”

Philippians 4:6

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”