Ok folks, here it is: an Easter Blog post highlighting my heightened need these days to experience and express grace.  I’ve been working on this 15 minutes at time whenever I get the chance between my 3 children’s incessant demands for food, school assistance and entertainment.  Thought I’d get this posted several days ago, but you know, life these day…  (so in these few short paragraphs you get a synopsis of my past couple weeks)


Indeed, these days are wearing on me.  I am an introvert, so far the seclusion doesn’t bother me much.  But it is driving my husband crazy.  And exhaustion is pressing in on me.  I am so. Very. Tired.  I have felt all sorts of tired over the past 4 years, from mothering twins to weathering chemo and radiation, to the fatiguing emotional toll that anxiety squeezed out of me in the aftermath of my glioblastoma diagnosis.  This isolation brings a new fatigue brought on by wrestling with my feelings that this tiredness is not warranted. Guilt and shame smoother me with their grime.  I look at my pharmacist colleagues, and all the other medical professionals working their butts off, putting themselves at risk and I feel the guilt and shame of not working in this crisis.  They have permission to be tired.  Not me. I am enjoying thinking up ideas to teach my daughter in grade 2 and my twins in preschool (I absolutely love learning and participating in my kids’ learning).  Because I enjoy it, it feels like it shouldn’t be tiring.    But it is very tiring.  Furthermore, many parents are the sole caregivers for their 3 young children.  If they do it, I must just need to pull up my bootstraps and dig in to the exhaustion.

This is what I feel; but I know these thoughts are not good for my soul..  I know this because I’ve started listening to Brene Brown’s podcasts and she addresses this upfront: comparative suffering is NOT helpful- to anyone.  Furthermore, she calls her listeners to be kind to themselves, this is an “F”ing first time (FFT) as she call it.  The first time doing anything will most certainly feel awkward and awful.  It’s just the very nature of an FFT! This awkwardness and awfulness needs to be embraced in order to move forward. (1)

Moreover, I personally know such thoughts aren’t helpful because I woke up yesterday morning with tears of exhaustion and resentment and sadness.  I feel like I am doing a good job with my kids.  But I feel so alone in it and so tired.  Ryan is busy figuring out what he needs to do to keep his small business afloat.  He is frustrated that he can’t play sports anymore.  In all of this I feel grief and sorrow about needing to mostly set aside my writing.  Twofold, it feels silly; BIG health situations are going on right now, and I know what it’s like to have a BIG health situation.  Missing writing time feels inconsequential in comparison.  I easily forget that writing has been one of my greatest therapies and furthermore, that I have been writing with the intention to spread hope, which is in diminishing supply these days.  When I begin to view writing solely as a hobby, it seems very dispensable and I struggle to wrestle out the time to make it happen.     Secondly, it feels silly because, this pops in my head frequently, “who am  I to think my writing has any significance and importance—it can easily be brushed aside.”

These days, I struggle to feel my worth.  My identity crisis from a year or so ago resurfaces.  I fight to believe that anything beyond raising my kids was of any value these past 3 years. Exhale.  I said it.  My fear of not measuring up has ballooned lately.  If I’m honest I feel saddened in all of this.  I feel alone because already before COVID my situation felt topsy-tervy and I had to fight to claim my innate value and worth without my profession.  Now I feel a sense of grief that this dream I was being brave enough to pursue – writing my memoir – needs to mostly be set aside.  Again my grief does not feel warranted, but it is poignant and brings with it feelings of urgency.   I am scared that with dramatically reduced “free time”, I will run out of time to finish legacy projects, such as my memoir.   My prognosis has shown me how very precious a commodity time is.  I’ve seen that society gives this commodity too little value.  I struggle to be present in today, because what today demands of me, shortens the amount of time to accomplish and achieve my re-worked dream and hope of publishing my book.

So what do I do?  I take a few moments to feel my feelings (they are 100% real and valid) and then I decide I press in to the joy and the exhaustion and loneliness.  I choose to be satisfied.  I choose to keep myself firmly rooted in my faith, so I can weather this storm.  I choose to give myself permission to be sad.  Finally, I choose to have gratitude.  I am so grateful, that though I am exhausted I do not feel overwhelmed or anxious.  I am grateful that it is spring.  I choose to savor her delights of the birds chirping outside my window.  I am grateful I can roam outside into my neighborhood.  I am grateful my husband has given me these moments to put these thoughts in text.  I choose to live satisfied for what I have, even in the grief and the shame and fears of my lack of worth.

I choose to live satisfied and trust.  I trust that there will be time.  I trust that I can sit present in this season, because there WILL be time for writing my memoir after this.  I choose to trust in my worth.

In my scripture reading today Jesus asks, “But what about you? Who do you say I am?” (Luke 9:20)

I heeded the question and journaled my response: Jesus is Grace.  There’s more to my response, but since I’ve had to put this post aside for a couple days (finding time to write is challenging these days!) I’ve begun to ponder Easter and the Holy Week the Christian faith is participating in.  Easter is all about grace.  It’s about Jesus saying, “well you missed the mark, but I’ve made it right”.  The importance of accepting grace has been a profound journey for me this past year.  So this Easter season is different than others for me – I am experiencing grace in a very deep and vast way.  This year I’ve come to appreciate my immense need for grace : grace to be kind to myself and not to beat myself up about unmet expectations, grace to extend that sort of kindness to others, especially my children, grace to acknowledge short-comings, but not to let them derail me into a shame spiral, grace to see beauty even among difficult moments, grace to slow down even when there is so much to do.  Easter is the biggest representation of Grace in the Christian faith.  And (confession time) though I don’t emotionally connect with the crucifixion story, I deeply connect with it as a symbol of grace. Grace is about breaking the rules.  Consequences being diverted and religion being shattered.  No more stringent do’s and don’ts, rather, its about believing, trusting, and embracing the giver of grace.  Grace is extreme kindness and that is what Easter is all about for me!

So who do I say Jesus is?

Jesus is Grace – Love that doesn’t need to be earned.  I need beautiful gracious love to envelope me.  Gracious love that speaks my innate worth, that speaks promise and hope, confidence of the present and future goodness right here, right now, and always. No matter what.  Jesus is the one who gives rest in the storm giving my soul space to be shielded and guarded all the while it is embraced in the kindest compassionate hug.  Jesus is the one who transforms the rickety dilapidated bridge crossing the scary chasm that life has felt like, into a refreshing meadow of wildflowers. (2)  He is gentle and fierce; kind in his embrace and ferocious in fighting battles on my behalf so I can rest.

He is protector of my soul who won’t let harm get through the door, so I can nourish my body soul and mind, enjoying the banquet of life.  He satisfies me with all the goodness surrounding me.  He is the one who gives me permission to voice my hurts and is the salve to soothe them.  He empowers me to courageously keep pressing forward into what today has for me.  Jesus keeps my eyes looking up and head above water when I feel like I am drowning.  Hope abounds in the gracious love that the Divine grants so I can say, “today I will not drown!”

Nope, not today.  Today, though I feel tired, worn, alone, I will thrive.  Yes, I will thrive!

THIS, this is who I say that Jesus is.

Maybe this doesn’t resonate with you.  That’s fine.  Perhaps the following will.  It’s a prose-like poem that came to me.  My daughter loves reading fantasy, a genre I was never fond of, I think perhaps my exposure to fantasy has, however, shaped this poem.  Perhaps here you can embrace grace in a greater way.


Backed in a corner trapped in a stifling space:
A damp dark room with seemingly no escape,
I search persistently to find the door.
Pausing to listen
I hear the rap-tap-tap!

It’s on the other side.
A door, there must be a door!
Intently, I scour the cold walls with my hands,
They reveal nothing,
So my fingernails scrape the filth of the dirt floor,
searching. Desperate. 

I find it: the door!
Air escapes my lungs in forceful exhale
I pause, hope wells up within me,
I feel emotion trickle down my cheeks

Could it be?

These days have been so hard,
my hands and nails and face are grimy.
I wrestle and struggle, eventually freeing the rusty latch;
The old and tired hinges creak and moan.
As the door opens
My body falls through with relief and awe. 

Beyond the door I’m immersed in splendor.
Here I find an open, bright prairie-like expanse of wildflowers.
There is a light so bright and energizing and calming all the same.
My soul floods with hope and peace and joy and delight
All fused in marvelous wonder. 

I find myself in the arms of the
Gentle and strong magnificent being awaiting me at the door
She assures me that this splendor is mine
And I know THIS is the very best place I’ve ever been.
She assures me, indeed this is the very best place I could ever be. 

I rest in her arms
She holds my hands and spreads her magestic wings
like a protective canopy above me.
When I rise she leads me to a picnic prepared for me
The delightful fruit nourishes my body and
The splendor satisfies my soul.

 Song gratefully flows from my lips praising her
For all she has done.
She kisses my forehead, tells me she loves me and whispers in my ear:
“I’ve been waiting for you child.
I’ve been waiting so long for you.
My heart has ached for you
And today is a very good day.” 

I smile.
What can I say but, “Thank you!”
“I would do anything for you child.” She replies.
Her lovely voice sings words I’ve never heard before.
Words of deep kindness, love and grace.
Words of never-ending

Be still,
and you will hear them
your soul


If your soul feels dry today, I encourage you to seek for the divine in your life and you will find him or her or whatever that looks like for you.  Perhaps you have your own story of how you thrive these days.  If so I’d love to hear it.  May we empower one another by sharing our vulnerable, real, sad, lonely, yet brilliant and hope-filled stories.

I’ll close with the line from the song “Symphony” that I’ve been listening to on repeat by the band, Switch:


“Through all of this chaos you are writing a symphony.”


Sending an extra dose of love and hope and gratitude today, I think we all need it.




1)Unlocking us with Brene Brown podcast, episode on comparative suffering (March 26, 2020) and episode on FFTs (March 19,2020)

2) Over the past couple of years of meditation I’ve had these images of my life morph.  My life initially felt like a suspension bridge over a deep canyon.  My life required me to cross this chasm; but, more than half of the wooden planks of the bridge were broken or missing.  As I stood terrified looking at my certain destruction, I saw the broken and missing planks appear – present like the image of a computer glitch: supernatural, translucent steps that required trust to step forward on.  They miraculously held my body as foot by  foot I pressed forward.  As the days turned to months, the planks became solid wood, all of them.  My apprehension of crossing this chasm eased slightly; I could trust each step more whole-heartedly.  Then one day the canyon floor began to rise up to meet the base of the bridge and dissolve the bridge since it was no longer needed.  Instead of a terrifying chasm, there was a delightful meadow filled with lush greens, colorful flowers, and peaceful melodies.  What was once an agonizing journey, morphed into a soul-rejuvenating meadow.  And yet again just last week, the image morphed to include a nourishing picnic with hugs from the divine herself.  This is what my journey towards a greater embrace of grace has looked liked for me.  I attribute this journey and these images to my spiritual awakening rooted in the grace of God.