Being Brave

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(Photo credit: K. Ciampi)

When I first posted on Facebook to friends and family about my Bell’s Palsy, one of my dear friends and mentor who has experienced Bell’s herself responded with two words of wisdom: “Be Brave.”

While we haven’t seen each other in many years, she knows me well. And I imagine she knows how tough it is for me to deal with something like this.

I’ve been thinking a lot about her comment and what it means to be brave in the face of challenges.

I try to be brave. I really do. Those who know me well know I’m the sort who tries not to show fear. Not because I’m never afraid but more out of pride and my stubborn personality than anything else.

I like trying new things. I like adventure. I like to look things in the eye and just deal with whatever it is. I don’t like things lurking in the shadows.

Just do it. Press on. Push harder. Be more. Do more. Figure it out. Just make it happen.

(And while you are at it, just stuff all those feelings of fear, insecurity, or uncertainty down deep so people think you are brave. Fake it until you make it!)

Yep. That has kind of been my motto in life. And many times, it serves me very well. Assertiveness and courage are excellent leadership skills and solid character traits to model for our children and to those around us.

But when it comes to relationships or slowing down to rest, being brave takes on a different meaning.

It is not putting on the “I’m OK” face and trying to hide our fear or not allowing ourselves to be authentic in our struggles, our successes, and in our daily lives. In fact, it is just the opposite.

Brené Brown says in her book “Daring Greatly”,

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” 

Wow. “Letting ourselves be seen.” How often do we do that?

Is there room for more authenticity in many of our relationships and our daily lives?

I believe there is, but that requires bravery. Bravery to ask for help when needed. Bravery to say yes to help when offered. Bravery to allow ourselves to be seen even when we are not at our best. Bravery to accept the space and position we are in without judgement. Lots and lots of bravery.

So today, I’m reminded that to be brave means more than just tackling things head on; it means to slow, accept help, savor the moments, and allow myself to be seen.

Be Brave. ♥


Blessings, Darcy

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5 Things You Should Know About Bell’s Palsy

be kind photoSo I have this crazy little thing called Bell’s Palsy going on in my life. Only it’s not so little and is causing more havoc than I expected, not only physically but emotionally and spiritually too. Funny how God will use EVERYTHING if we let Him. And He is certainly doing that.

Anyway, it’s been 9 days since the Bell’s started, and I realize there are many who do not know anything or only know very little about Bell’s Palsy or what to expect.

You can read the full description of Bell’s here.

And I’m certainly no expert but since I have some firsthand experience going on with it, I thought I’d share a few things.

1. There is more going on than just a lopsided smile and paralyzed face. It’s more than that. Yes, I’m worried about how I look but there are many other physical things going on other than my appearance. My ear hurts. My eyeball aches and is constantly dried out because my eyelid doesn’t close. My face aches on that right side. The inside of my mouth is sore. Chewing on only one side all the time makes the teeth/jaw tender on the “good side” too.

2. Bell’s makes you tired. Very tired. Very, very tired. I sleep a lot right now. I am told this will improve with time but in the meantime, naps are a very good thing.

3. Activity, stress, & talking sometimes make it worse. Truly. I don’t know how else to explain it. But the more I do, the more stressed I get about a situation or talk too much, the more my face and mouth start to droop on that side. Which often incurs more stress because I can sense the change in my speech and that it is harder for someone to understand what I am saying. So no stress and less talking are important.

4. Noise is bothersome. Because of what it is going on in that cranial nerve, it also affects the ear and sounds can be painful. I have not found loud sounds to be excruciating like some report but I am sensitive to noise right now. Quiet is best.

5. No one knows how long it will last or if it will come back or if there will be residual effects. Obviously, every case is different and varies in duration and severity but the average seems to be 2 weeks to 3 months. My sister has had this twice now and both times it was a 3-month affair. Some people never have it again but others do. Many report having residual effects whether it’s a smile that is a little off or their face/mouth starts to droop when tired or under stress. So I really don’t know how long this will be with me but I’m starting to have some muscle twitching around that eye so I’m hopeful that means progress!

I hope I will have the shorter course of this, but I am taking advantage of the downtime to rest – especially once I realized stress/activity were making it worse. I am very blessed to have a wonderful husband and children who are taking care of me and making sure I get rest!

Blessings, Darcy

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Weekend Reads

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Since I’ve had a lot more downtime this week,  I’ve read a lot more than normal.  So, I thought I’d share links to a few of my favorite things this week! Grab a cup of coffee and take a few minutes to be encouraged and inspired by various blogs/articles.


Michele Cushatt reminds us not leave one another behind in  “The Sweetness of Togetherness” 

Worried you heard God wrong – Lysa TerKeurst has some things to say about this

Crystal Paine tries to keep us on track even when life is stressful 

Mary Carver reminds us that sometimes we just need to hear “Me too!” 

In case you haven’t heard, there was a new Princess born today!

And if you need a coffee fix in the afternoon, Starbucks has Half-Priced Frappuccinos from 3-5pm (through May 10)


May your weekend be filled with rest, joy, and refreshment!

Blessings, Darcy

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Bible Study

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Do you like bible study? Well, I am a bible study girl through and through.

I can still remember doing my first bible study as a young mom and coming into my own as we started attending church regularly for the first time in our marriage. Our ladies group did “Experiencing God” by Henry Blackaby. It changed my  life. Forever.

For a girl like me who tends to wander, bible study is one thing that keeps my grounded. In recent years, I have found it harder to attend a traditional bible study due to raising kids, working crazy hours, homeschooling, etc.

So, I had to find another way to get my bible study “need” met. Often, I just do one. I have several authors I love and many more I want to try. My goal is to usually complete 2 studies a year. I just order the book and start working through it during my morning quiet time. If there is a downloadable video option for each session then I might do that too – but not always.

But I’ve also participated in Online Bible Study (affectionally called OBS) through Proverbs 31 Ministries, which is what I am doing now.

It was kind of an a whim this time. I saw they were doing a study called “What Happens When Women Walk in Faith”, and since I have not done a study since last year, I just jumped in.

The thing about OBS is they keep it simple. This one is  based on a book so not as much homework as others I’ve done, but that doesn’t mean it is any less meaningful. And considering the busy season I am in, it was just perfect.

And I’m so glad I did. Does it surprise you that God would have me doing a study called “What Happens When Women Walk in Faith” during this time? Me either! His timing and ways are always perfect.

Anyway, I just want to encourage you. If you think you don’t have time for bible study, there are many options available to keep you connected and in His Word. For me it’s a must!

If you are looking for some ways to connect and grow, here are a few links to bible study and devotion sites that might meet your current season and need.

Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study

She Reads Truth

Good Morning Girls

Lifeway.Com 

I’m sure there are many more out there! Do you have a favorite bible study or site you use to study God’s word?

Blessings, Darcy

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Saying Yes

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Yes. That little three-letter word can either be a blessing or curse in our lives, depending on the circumstance.

I’m kind of a yes-girl. I suppose it goes back to that whole Type-A, get-it done type personality.

But there is one area where I am definitely not a yes- girl, and that would be when people offer to help.

Seems silly, I know. We all need help and some of us need it more than others but why is accepting it so hard?

When this Bell’s Palsy thing started a week ago, I had multiple offers of help and my initial gut response was, “No, we are OK.” “I’ll let you know if we need anything.” became the status quo.

But it didn’t take long before friends and family became more persistent that they wanted to do something for us during this time.

God began to use this situation to soften my heart, especially after a friend reminded me that they want to help. “It’s how we can show you we love you.”

And all the sudden my heart just broke. How hard has my heart gotten that I just can’t let people help and love my family during this challenge?

And so, help keeps coming.

My mom and sister came to help on short notice, helped take care of Nate’s birthday party, did laundry and even organized long-neglected cabinets.

Another friend brought dinner. And another helped my kids at their Co-op classes and drove them home. And another. And another. Meals, snacks, texts, phone calls,  cards, flowers – just loads of blessings and love.

And with each of these “love offerings” so poured out by my friends, I think about how great God’s love is for all of us. That’s how this community thing works, we come together to be the hands and feet of Christ to those around us and just love.

Blessings ~ Darcy

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My Kiddos

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So these are my lovelies. We are extremely blessed with three precious young men and one princess (she keeps me sane in this world of too much testosterone!).

These pics were taken this past weekend while we celebrated Nate’s 11th birthday. As you can tell, we have NO shortage on personality in this house. Ever.

We do loud. We do laughing. We do too many potty jokes. We hug. A lot. We say “sorry.” A lot.

But we also say, “I love you.” A lot.

We are not perfect by any means and parenting has challenged me beyond anything else I have ever encountered in my career or otherwise. But this crew has also shown me how to love beyond measure and embrace life, even when it’s messy and hard.

Blessings ~ Darcy

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