I enjoyed touring Point Loma's Lighthouse with Camille and seeing the gorgeous view from there, which also enabled me to see San Diego, Catalina Island, Imperial Beach, as well as Tijuana from our vantage point. Beautiful!
I love counting as many temples as I can as I travel. Last trip, I counted 14 temples! :) That was incredible, but I didn't see as many this time.
It always amazes me, as I travel, how beautiful God's creations are...even in the desert.
I've been recovering the last few days from my trip to Tijuana, Mexico and southern California to my doctor, Dr. Calzada, who is a miracle worker. As many of you know, I've been there twice now, a whole week the first time, and four days this trip.
Dr. Calzada specifically focuses on detoxing the body and building it up again. Unfortunately, this time he found that, not only do I still have bacteria in my blood, but I'm dealing with parasites in my body as well. No wonder I'm so ill. But he has me on a strict regimen that should do the trick in ridding my body of these unwelcome little creatures. All in all, I should start feeling a lot better, I hope, by Christmas.
My dear friend and neighbor took me this trip, and I couldn't be more grateful to her for her kindness and her amazing company. Thank you, Camille! We had a blast together. I am ever grateful for good people in my life.
Overall, I am grateful to my mom for this trip and this opportunity to get well. I am grateful to my Heavenly Father and my Savior for always being there for me. I am grateful to still have some gumption to fight for my life each and every day. There have been days that I could not say that, but I always felt love from above. I am so eternally grateful for that show of love, for without it, I would not be where I am today.
Work as if everything depended upon you.
Pray as if everything depended upon the Lord.
I just wanted to start off with that amazing message. Now...
If this only affected me, then I’d shut up about it. Who needs to know except for my Heavenly Father, right? But it has affected my children for far too long. So I’m going to swallow my pride and spill the beans. What am I talking about? Finances…plain and simple. My favorite subject…not. It’s become a dirty word.
I know so many of you who are in the same boat. It’s tough. You stick it out, you put your shoulder to the wheel, and you work hard. Every single day. That’s what we’ve been doing for…well, always. I don’t mind working. I love being able to work hard. But…
I’m tired. I know my sweetheart is tired, too. Life has a way of making you tired. I get that. I enjoy that. A good day’s work is very satisfying. There's nothing like it. And we’ve been so blessed. Those blessings, along with the amazing people in our lives is what keeps us going. That, and our faith in a loving Father in heaven who carries us most days. I feel that. I’m grateful for those much needed tender mercies. Otherwise, I think I would have cracked by now. And boy, I’ve come close…
In spite of all the amazing blessings, we might lose our house now. What does that mean? It means moving to a new house, possibly a new community. It means changes in everything. It means packing up a full house that fits us perfectly and ridding ourselves of half our stuff (which might not be a bad thing…) so that we can downsize. Our home is our largest asset, but it’s also our largest bill (unless you add up the medical expenses together into one chunk), so why not rid ourselves of the burden and get a smaller one? I’ve asked myself this question a thousand times. We’ve exhausted conversations over and over again about the pros and cons. Mostly though, I’m just thinking of my kids’ sad faces when they talk about missing their friends, missing graduating from this high school, having to start all over and trying to fit in. They’ve had one too many disappointments in their young lives, and I’d just like to keep something solid and secure surrounding them—a refuge from the storm. I realize that home is anywhere you lay your head, but…it’s just hard. My kids are so good at hiding their disappointments that they almost don’t exist. Almost…
For example, just two weeks ago, our cellist daughter was supposed to go to State and perform her cello piece. She had won second place in our entire district! So cool! Yay, Calli! But because we couldn’t afford to pay the $56 dollar entrance fee, and because we couldn’t afford to drive her to Boise and back, she didn’t go. She didn’t get to perform the piece she had learned or her place that she had earned at State. *sigh* So disappointing. But, it’s life. We tell our kids that all the time. And it’s true. I really believe that. Sometimes these disappointments grow us into amazing people. She did try to do everything possible that she could do to make it happen anyway, even after we told her no. And even after we had exhausted every means in which we had to help, it still just couldn’t happen. I’m so sorry, Calli, for again disappointing you.
But what’s the big deal? Life is hard. Suck it up. Honestly, we couldn’t even afford her cello, and so that is when her friends began pooling money together to buy her one all by themselves. It nearly broke our hearts that her friends would have to be the ones to try and provide this heartfelt desire for our own child. But what amazing, good girls! And that story turned out to be quite literally a miracle of this age. Ask anyone who knows about it. She was actually interviewed by Idaho Falls Magazine about her experience with The Piano Guys. You can see her cello story here (pages 42-45).
We’ve had these amazing miracles in our lives, so why do I keep wanting more? Why am I such a whiner? Such a baby? Why do I keep begging on these social platforms for help? It’s embarrassing. I do it because we’re doing all we can physically/mentally/spiritually do ourselves to provide. And these platforms are extensive in their reach…or have the potential to. Our children have had a very different life than even me or my husband had growing up. It makes me very sad. Honestly, our kids (to their credit) think they have an amazing life. I’m so, so grateful for this belief. But because I want to know that I can feed my kids tonight, I want more. Because I want to dress them in more than hand-me-downs (I’m grateful for them, so don’t get me wrong!), I want more. I would like to make sure that they have shoes on their feet when they need a new pair, so I still want more. Is that wrong of me to want those things? I know that we’re spoiled in this amazing country, and in this plentiful day and age even, but trials are still trials. My health continues to be an issue. The medical offices are calling. The collection agencies are too. I’m concerned more than ever about my husband’s health since his open heart surgery. I’m concerned about being here to finish the job of raising our children and leaving them a legacy that is worth something. He is literally working his heart out for us, and I’m worried about that. I love him, and so do our children. We’re not ready to let him go.
So I keep writing, hoping that someday it’ll somehow make a difference. I know it does, but not nearly enough. Not nearly enough! I need your help, people. Many of you have come to know me through my writing, a desperate adventure that I never intended taking upon my shoulders, but this desperation became the creator of my own job—a writing career. It’s embarrassing, for whatever reason, to put myself out there in this personal way. It’s not natural to me. I don’t mind the creation process; it’s the sharing that’s uncomfortable to me. I’m putting myself out there to be ridiculed. That’s hard for someone like me. I’m naturally shy. But my children will always be worth it to sacrifice my pride. So, I’ll continue to write and be nervous about sharing it.
Won’t you please (here comes the begging part that I hate so, so, so much…it never seems to end, and I hate that!), please see the way to help me and my little family to stay in our home? Help us by spreading the word about my books here, and ask your family and friends to seriously support us by sharing this link here to spread the word. It starts with who we know, but it’s really about who you know. Imagine how big the circle can get. Does it really matter that I’m embarrassed, I ask myself? No. What matters most is my children. My pride will never be the same, so what the heck! I’m begging. They deserve the best security in life that my husband and I can provide, and so that compels me to ask yet again. I’ve done the work; so help me let it pay off. Please, spread the word to everyone you know to share our predicament and help buy my books. They aren’t that expensive. But it could really, really make all the difference. It could help turn our world around.
Thanks for your ear.
A very embarrassed, humbled Ellise (Ugh. I’m so sorry!)
...I began writing.
I'm feeling a little nostalgic right now, which I usually do this time of year. I know many of you do, as well. It's doubly so for me since its birthday time again. *yay, I'm older...blah!* I am glad to know more things, and that is the only advantage to age, perhaps? I don't know yet. Let me know if you've figured it all out. ;)
However, I am very grateful for the new year because it is a time of deep reflection, and I do have much to be grateful for. And, of course, this brings me to my topic today. This deep reflection is what got me into this whole writing experience, to begin with. I had never planned to be a writer. But I do have to admit that I had tried my writing skills out once before when my children were little tots, and my last little one wasn't even born yet, but I quickly laughed at myself and deleted what I had written (...a rarely shared moment in my life...).
Turn the clock forward several years, add a bunch more trials to my life, and voila! I had the makings of some very deep moments. I was considering the fact that I had just come through a difficult year. My hair was finally growing again and it was just starting to look normal. I was very self-conscious, but I was grateful to have made it through that difficult time. I wanted this new year to be different--better. Really better! But what could I do? What could I possibly do to make things better?
I felt like I had made things worse--not intentionally, of course. I mean, really--who asks for cancer, or any trial, for that matter? But I could hardly get myself out of bed in the morning, let alone feel excited about getting up. My only purpose was taking care of my little family, and my husband had stepped right into that role quite well. I didn't even feel needed anymore. But I knew that the medical bills were only mounting--and little did I know that they would grow exponentially over the following years to include much, much more--even my sweet husband's new heart surgery bills. Life has just been crazy. It felt so completely overwhelming to me.
And that is why that one single prayer has had such an impact upon my life ever since. That prayer that asked, "What can I possibly do to help?" My sweet little family and my hard-working husband were especially on my mind during this prayer because I had asked a scary question a lot--What if I don't make it? What if I die?
After paying all these bills, then they'd have to come up with funeral costs? That was the big fear. And then what? The more I thought about their future, the more I tossed and turned. I needed the help and peace that only a loving Father in heaven could provide. And He did. All the occupations I thought of doing could not even be approached. They were simply out of the question. I had to do something from home and in my weakened station. It sucked, but there you have it. It has been sucky ever since, as far as my fight with my health and stupid medical bills. But the answer to that prayer was--You can do something, Ellise. You can! The thoughts of writing that came to my mind were so exciting that I got up the very next morning raring to go. And I have been writing ever since January 2, 2008.
I have learned so much since that special prayer was answered. I have found so many new friends and have reacquainted myself with many more. Family and friends have been so supportive, as embarrassing as it is to step out in front of everyone and ask, "Here. Read this." Totally not me! This is so completely out of my comfort zone. But my little family is so worth any sacrifice I can make--embarrassment and all. And it is still paying off. I'm ever so grateful.
Ellise C. Weaver
Wife, mother of three, author of The Huntington Saga Series Novels.