Archive for October, 2019

Ashes To Rise


Be Still. 
Live in the moment. 
What if that moment hurts? 
What if being still is far more painful then running to the noise of the world? 
When my heart aches – I want to be saturated in Times Square – honking taxis- big bright lights, crowds of excited tourists- 
Not sitting in it- silent and still.

A friend of mine had a baby just a few days ago- and has filled my soul with messaging me cute swaddled pictures.
Who can’t ohh and ahh over a sweet newborn baby?
My take of birth is a different one I have written about many times.
My take is – new life is a precious reminder that seasons change, and beauty comes, and is in our human favor.
The first cry of a newborn isn’t only the relief that they are alive – but a cry out that SO ARE WE.
What seems unfair and not in our favor as humans is the end of the life.
Why is that?
Why aren’t we crying out with joy that this soul once birthed into this world with gratitude and grace- gets delivered home with the same praise.
My soul wants to give that.
My flesh can not.
Our ability to love each other hinders us from releasing someone in our lives – to suddenly not be.
Our inability to not understand the universe or our purpose and just trust in the process is hard.

With every soul returned home, delivers a new life birthed.
We rejoice.
One foot in front of the other.
With our whole hearts.
We offer our ashes to grow as flowers.
We anew.


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Have you ever wondered how nature obeys Gods calling better the humanity?

I wondered this while sitting by the ocean in Plymouth, MA this week praying. I was immersed by the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks while enjoying the chirping of the cardinals in the tree beside me. The same ocean that delivered us our nation. And it got me thinking- as humans, do we make it more complicated then it has to be? Everyone wants to know their calling-yet when called they list all the reasons they can’t. Why not start with a yes for once?

When Jesus calls the wind to move, it never asks why, it just says yes Lord. When He calls upon the leaves to drop they just do. When He opens the sun to come out and calls upon the birds to chirp in praise they sing. When He needs the ocean to retrieve itself it pulls back, when he wants it surge it swells. He calls upon the seasons to change and they just do. All of His nature creations rejoices to His call.

Yet when we are in a season – do we move like the wind upon His calling? Do we surge and and recede like the ocean? Do we let go like the leaves? Maybe we rejoice in the sun, but do we with every sunny day?

Instead we ask why, we think our timing is better, and we take hold of our control. We do this to the Father who MADE US- the only one who knows how many hairs grace your head and the exact veins in your heart. Yet, we think we know better.

Humanity has got to learn how to loosen its grip. Our feeble minds are unable to see the vastness of what He has for us. Yet we are all “not now God I need this job” or “God I can’t say sorry because I will be embarrassed” or “if it only paid my bills God”.

Stop. This isn’t living. Your stagnancy isn’t what He has called you to do!!!!! He didn’t make you to hit thirty years old and stay the same until retirement. He made you to grow. He made you to meet new souls and experience life through them. He made you to experience and take note of the wind, the ocean, the birds in the sun, and the leaves dropping.

Just like nature, we are meant to go through to seasons too. Seasons that sometimes we praise Him for and others we loathe Him for. Sometimes we don’t take responsibly for the fact we have chosen that season. Quite often we get stuck into one. But, like the wind we are meant to move when He says to go.

Are you listening? Please listen. You must MOVE. 

Can we be as obedient as nature? Can we love Him the way we sing at church each Sunday, every minute of everyday? Can we NOT ask why and just move when He moves?

 I have been trying to practice like nature, on trusting His call. The freedom I have felt is undeniable. The pressure GONE because I am no longer in charge, He is! I am so drenched in His spirit that I need you all to know, you are seen and being called to.

Will you say YES?
Your next season is awaiting you.87b1019d-a5d5-4635-abd2-df8bd6182afc.jpeg









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Doors: Choose Wisely

D4C90CAF-E023-4F5E-85E6-02246E49422E🤭Let me tell you a secret about life:
The doors will not appear or open until you are brave enough to close the ones that are no longer serving you.

Human existence is programmed to “play it safe”. You can not jam one foot into an existing door while leaping a leg forward to jam the door to next place. Your body is literally not capable … nor is your spirit.

You need to be ALL IN.
You need to say YES first – And THEN figure it out.

People thought I was crazy when I did this. It isn’t how our culture has raised us. But it IS how our God has called us and made us.

So what will you do?

Continue to complain about how you have black cloud over you? That luck isn’t on your side- that this is “just how it is”. Are you going to let yourself slowly die each day?


Will you choose to wake up ALIVE knowing you make the script? Will you be brave enough to know it has nothing to do about luck and EVERYTHING to do about choice?

🚪 Will you choose to continue to walk through the same door you are dying through each day
Will you walk through the door that you brings all the excitement of “what next” – and makes you feel brave and whole and seen?

We all have a next door. Most of us won’t be brave enough.

Will you?

My life isn’t based on luck my friends. As you have seen my journey – very transparent on my blog and on here – has been ROUGH. But when God calls me to the next – I always say YES first and figure out the rest after.
I no longer feel like I’m dying every day.
The old me would have never allowed this.
Thankfully I choose to let her go.

Choose the right door.
The one you keep entering that no longer serves you- isn’t for you any more. 😉
My new door literally sits in my new office – as a reminder of bravery:


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Saving My PANS Son

B3108A95-6E6E-4133-9991-162F51AA26D9I remember the day I broke. I was laying on the ground restraining my son. It had followed by my day at school doing three restraints on other people’s children. I had become marked as everyone’s emotional regulation savior, but who would save me?

Years led up to this moment. Years of being let down by some of the best doctors and the smartest people I know. Years of not knowing my own son and watching him deteriorate to someone I couldn’t help.

As a social worker for two decades, I pride myself on knowing most of what there is to know about mental health. Usually, when a case is presented to me, I can figure out the diagnosis, the need, and make a treatment plan in no time.

I had already spent a decade prior to this fighting for this kid. He was high functioning autistic, yet nobody wanted to formally give him the diagnosis because he was “to social”.  Yet when things started to go differently, and he started to perplex us all, everyone wanted to sum it up to it being “just autism”.

A mother knows when something is different and missing the mark. As things got worse, I became more desperate. My school nurses at my job mentioned something they just had learned at a professional development called Pandas/pans. They said I should check it out.

I asked the Neurologist, the Pediatrician, the Psychiatrist, and any and all other doctors we came across for months. All of whom, although very kind and capable people, told me it wasn’t really a thing and is rare.

My son was finally, at age 11 diagnosed with Autism. This should have been a relief yet it was covered by this storm. He was progressively getting worse not better, even on psychotropic medications.

Lucky for me, my boss knew someone that had a child formally diagnosed with Pandas/pans. This amazing beautiful mother, came into my office one day and schooled me on what I was in for. It was no less then a grueling battle I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. She gave me the ONE doctor is the state Connecticut that she trusted.

When I found that Immunologist/Allergist doctor I felt instant relief. He took one look at my kid and said “this is not Autism  this is PANS caused from a co-infection from Lyme”. He listened to all of the history, he knew exactly what it was, and even better- how to treat it. However, it would be a long road until full recovery.

My sweet boy had become a kid that looked possessed. I had no idea until I met with this doctor that his brain was swelling. The infection he had in it called Bartonella, was the the worst of all the tic born infections to treat. It screws into the blood cells and can lay dormant. A typical CDC regulated Lyme treatment of thirty days of antibiotics wouldn’t even begin the die off phase for this, never mind kill it. In fact, thirty days of antibiotics for anything Lyme related usually doesn’t. Bartonella is the best imitator of psychosis  and can make anyone with it, look like the only answer is hospitalization.

My sweet boy was desperate to get better. In between his brain flares that often resulted in suicidal and homicidal behaviors, he would beg me to help him. He was taking eight pills in the morning, eight at night. Six of which are hard core antibiotics.

I couldn’t tell anyone when he was in crisis. Our kids can’t be treated in the ER or in psych-wards properly, because the CDC refuses to actually recognize it as the epidemic that is. Instead doctors are urged to treat it with psychotropic medications only. This often makes kids with PANS actually worse!!!! There was no safe place to treat my son in the medical community except for one doctors office. Which seems absurd seeing as I live in the state that Lyme disease was named after!

So when my child was at risk, people knowing could put our family at risk. It could’ve been assumed that it was medical neglect. I could not risk it. So we suffered alone. Most often it looked like a dose of Motrin (to stop swelling in his brain), erratic behaviors, screaming for hours, and ending in me laying across him for safety.

I am often sobbing. My other two kids often sobbing. My husband an emotional mess. We were all at a loss daily- not for a week but for years.

Two years of antibiotics and about 10k later, he was better. TWO YEARS !!!!! Before tests showed Bartonella undetected. My son was back to his “normal” personality. His minor melt downs were more related to Autism and less to brain flare.

Here is the thing that enrages me. I am in the mental health profession and I had a hard time navigating getting the right diagnosis and treatment. It took me almost three years! Two of which my child was unrecognizable. If I hadn’t gotten the right care he would’ve ended up institutionalized or dead. I – a seasoned social worker- could barely keep him alive!!!! What about all of those poor babies out there that don’t have the resources? What are happening to them?

I am so happy the governor of my state recognizes this day today as awareness. However, when the CDC refuses to recognize – 99.9% of the medical community refuse to go against them. This is keeping people sick, and not getting access to care they deserve. Insurance won’t pay, so God for bid you have no savings.

When you wonder why suicide rates are on the uptick, more restraining is happening in schools, psychotropic meds aren’t working quite right nor is talk therapy, and no behavior plan can help a a swelling brain on fire – remember this post.

PANDAS is induced by streptococcus. PANS by Lyme and co infections. BOTH can make kids look absolutely out of their mind crazy – from random tics – to psychotic behavior. THEY ARE SICK. It is not something that can be replaced by a reward or medicated to be numb. They literally have an infection raging in their body!

Spread the word. Just because someone is wearing a white coat and went to medical school doesn’t mean they have all the answers. Hell the government knows about this epidemic and refuses to do anything about it! If your gut knows there is more – there probably is. Find someone that is PANDAS/PANS knowledgeable. Get the help your child needs.

And above all, remember you aren’t alone. Ever. Not even on those worst days.


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The Acorn Story

My body was bleeding.

We were supposed to be on a family vacation in Miami, and instead my body was bleeding.

I had just dressed up my first born with a “big brother to be” t-shirt on our flight from Connecticut to Florida to meet his grandparents. I was over joyed by the news and so ready to become a Mom again.

There I lay on a gurney in the emergency room in Miami, frantically looking at the ultrasound techs face for any clue if there was still life. He looked at me flustered and said “are you even pregnant?”. He called someone else in to check who confirmed they couldn’t find a speck of life.

Instead of the beach, I searched for a quest diagnosis to take my hormone levels. I was desperate to find out that they were fine so I could engage in the vacation that everyone kept waiting for me to show up to. That hopeful answer never came.

Instead, I spent a week amongst palm trees, dying to get home to my own obstetrician. Family tried to encourage me “Not to think about it”, “Enjoy time in the sun”, “Be thankful for the healthy child willing to build sandcastles”. Clearly I was bringing everyones joy down to a level of disappear.

Miscarriages are incredibly lonely spaces. The world insists on going on without you. It is as expected as clearing your body of bad virus. Everyones “kind words” felt so empty and so hurtful. “It wasn’t meant to be”, “Something must have been wrong with it”, “Thank God it wasn’t a REAL baby”. I heard them all. They all hurt like hell.

Nobody seemed to understand the pain and self blame that happens to a woman when her body failed a life.

Lucky for me I knew of one other person in this secret club that nobody ever wants to be part of. She was an old roommate from college who encouraged me to find a small symbol/gift to represent that baby. She also told me that when I had my next healthy child, I would hold it and think about how that life might not have ever been, if this life hadn’t taken a pass.

My last appointment at my doctors office, a none routine doctor, checked me out and yelled down the hallway, “This one is all done”towards the secretary. My regular doctor, and a hand full of visibly pregnant patients in the hallway stared at me. I looked up at my actual doctor and started to weep. How could someone be so insensitive to announce how I am “all done” and with such pride. I didn’t want to be “all done”. My doctor quickly scooped me into her office and held me. She reassured me of my future with healthy babies in my arms and apologized for her colleagues grossly inconsiderate way of informing the secretary I didn’t need a follow up appointment. On the way out of the office that day, sobbing, I look down to find the perfect little acorn drop at my feet.

An acorn. My sign of my beloved baby I so desperately wished I had the chance to meet.

That was almost 11 years ago to this day, and two more kids later. My friend was right, holding my next healthy baby, made me appreciate the fact that she would have never been made if the other had lived. I also, over time, realized it wasn’t anything I could’ve done to prevent it. I do, however, honor the void in my heart that is acorn shaped even a decade later.

Recently, I have noticed it has come up more than I ever anticipated. I imagine it is because I buried most of that lonely, self loathing trauma, that my body held onto. Since I have been in a life transforming place, all has risen to the surface to be dealt with.

At a recent trip to Canada, I found a necklace with acorns on it, that I knew I had to own. Last Christmas a loving friend gifted me a silver acorn saying she didn’t know why but felt she had too. Just last week, I went for a hike in the woods and found a perfect acorn drop at my feet, and I cried. I carried it the entire hike while praying for various things. Then I released it back to earth for God to take care of. As well as the trauma I had buried so deep within me.

October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness. The same time of year acorns fall from the trees. One out of every four woman will experience a miscarriage in their lifetime. It is lonely, brutal, and silent. Please don’t ask your loved one how they are doing- the answer is “not well”. Just treat them as you would anyone who is in the thick of grief. Loss doesn’t need to be scaled by the world, only the persons heart. And do your loved one a favor, get them their acorn. A representation of the baby lost was the best advice anyone could have ever given me.

Seasons change. The seasons of acorns now makes me grateful for my three healthy children, and the fourth that reminds me yearly, how strong I am.

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