Survival Mode!

Ever find yourself in survival mode?  That’s about where I’m at right now.  It’s a busy time of year for me anyway.  The last few weeks of October are usually jammed with photo shoots.  I’m moving into collection season for Operation Christmas Child.  Throw in a part-time job and life’s normal mundane tasks like laundry and cleaning and it’s a recipe for craziness.

I was cruising along in this mode when we got hit with something unexpected.  My daughter, Rachel, had not been feeling well for several weeks.  She had a reoccurring stomach ache and was fatigued.  Several other symptoms convinced me that this was not just a passing bug.  After a trip to the doctor and some tests it was determined that she had an intestinal infection and we started on antibiotics to clear that up.  Two days later the doctor called again.  The rest of her blood work was back.  They had also tested her blood for Celiac disease and her numbers were sky high.  We were referred to a pediatric GI doctor.  I began researching Celiac more in-depth and the symptoms were all lining up with what we had been experiencing.  The meeting with the GI doctor went as I expected and she is scheduled for a endoscopy to make a definitive diagnosis.  Her doctor is certain that we are dealing with Celiac.

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The test is scheduled for next Wednesday.  For the test to be accurate we were not to alter her diet.  Rachel loves fettuccine; so off to Fazoli’s we went!  We’ve got one more week of not having to worry about gluten and then we will have to go gluten-free.  Yes, it will be a pain, but there are so many issues that are far worse to deal with.  When we were at the children’s hospital for her appointment I saw precious children who had lost their hair walking with walkers while wearing masks.  In comparison, this is a minor annoyance.  Her body should begin to heal the damage within weeks and we’ll just adapt to a new lifestyle.  We’ll probably be all the better for it!

So for this day, it’s “one day at a time”.  Honestly when I try to think about all that I need to accomplish in the next month and the probable challenges that are coming my way I start to feel like I’m drowning in quicksand.  But I’ve learned that the best way to press forward is to focus on what has to be accomplished today.  Plan & prepare; but focus on today.

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If I can just make it until…..

“fill in the blank”.  I’ve heard that phrase from many a friend.  “If I can just make it until __________ then I can relax a little.”  I usually think quietly (and sometimes not so quietly), “Is this really how we want to live?”  Surviving until things quiet down.  However right now I could look at you and say, “If I can just make it until November 26th.” Then everything will be better.  My job together with a insanely busy fall photography season, my commitments to Operation Christmas Child and its upcoming National Collection Week and my work with Compassion and my upcoming trip to Africa have left me overwhelmed.  Each one is a “good” thing, and important thing.  However I’m currently living out what I’ve been saying to others a lot lately, “No one person can do everything.”  You can try, but you won’t be able to all of them well.  Something will suffer….our reliability, our relationships, our families…something will have to give.

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For the next 4 days we’ll be away visiting our family.  There will be no job, no photo shoots, no volunteer commitments.  A chance to breathe.  And when I come back home?  Then I put my head down and fulfill the commitments I’ve made.  But there is a time of reflection and decision making coming.  What am I most passionate about at this point in my life?  What aligns with that passion?  What are my limits?  (I can not create more hours in the day.)  What is priority? (family)   Are the priorities getting the time they deserve?  Then everything else outside that will have to be released.  That doesn’t mean they are bad or not deserving.  On the contrary, they deserve better than I can currently give.  It also opens up opportunities for others to grow.  Perhaps their passion is one of those things I’ll let go of.

In the end, I can point no fingers of blame for my own busyness anywhere but to myself.  Because I don’t have control over much, but I do have control over me.

For this day…….just breathe.

One Meal, One Day

It’s been rather quiet around here lately, hasn’t it?  Actually my life has been anything buy quiet.  My trip to Tanzania is 5 months away and life’s pace has been a bit overwhelming.  I’m ready to return to this poor little neglected blog, and I wanted to return with something important.

My trip to Tanzania is a result of my sponsorship of a child through Compassion.  But did you know that Compassion is much more than just child sponsorship?  Child sponsorship is a key component, but Compassion provides much more in their holistic approach to battling poverty.  Compassion provides prenatal care to mothers and care to infants and toddlers through their Child Survival Program.  They also help to develop the next generation’s leaders through the Leadership Development Program.  Compassion battles disease through the Bite Back malaria prevention program and Water of Life initiative.

Karol Palacios Close Up

Compassion is also on the front line battling hunger.  Did you know that more than 6 million children die of malnutrition every year?  In some places around the world, the situation is so dire, even children registered in Compassion programs require extraordinary food interventions. They need major, superhero-sized help. And that’s where you come in.

I am participating in a program called One Meal, One Day.  On November 6th I will be skipping a meal and using that money to provide much needed nutrition to a child who desperately needs it.  I want you to join me!  Will you consider skipping just one meal to make a difference?  You donation can be made by following this link:

Heidi’s One Day, One Meal Page

$5 will get you lunch…..or almost get you lunch.  Five dollars does not sound like much.  What would happen if you gave lunch money to make a difference?  Now what would happen if we all would choose to join together?  Five, ten, one hundred, one thousand?  It’s time to use social media for good!  Feel free to share this page within your circle of influence.  Let’s make a difference!