Each year when summer in Arizona comes around, I somehow forget how hot it actually is. I find myself thinking back to my childhood and my summer breaks in high school, wondering what I actually spent my time doing when it was 112 degrees outside! And then I remembered that I was either inside reading or playing Sims 2 for a horrific amount of time, or my parents and I were on vacation in California somewhere escaping the heat. I wish our adult lives involved taking 2 months off during the summer to get away—how awesome would that be?! Sadly we have to figure out how to survive these crazy temperatures and the only way I can do that is by wearing shorts. Oddly enough, this is the first pair of shorts I’ve owned in over a year! Don’t ask me how I got through last summer without them…I think I’ve blocked it from my memory. But in all seriousness, over these past few weeks, I’ve been wishing things could go back to the way they were all those years ago, before my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer and when things were less complicated.
I’ve been a bit MIA from the blog this summer so that I can focus on my family. My dad had a stroke last month and it’s been really tough on all of us, especially my dad, who is now having to learn how to walk again and use his left arm. Thankfully his speech wasn’t impacted too much and he hasn’t lost his sense of humor :) Freddy and I have been spending every weekend at my parents house to help out in whatever way we can, whether it’s running errands or cooking meals. He has been the best through all of this—always so willing to help and do whatever is needed, I love him so much! This past weekend we were at the hospital visiting my dad (he was admitted last week for a Staph infection) and yesterday he was using a walker for the first time in a month and he did so well! I’m so proud of his determination to keep going even when it’s so hard. And my mom has been so amazing helping my dad through all of his health issues these past couple years—I look up to her so much for her strength and faith during these hard times.
I still struggle with vulnerability and being open about my personal life here on my blog, even after almost 4 years of writing posts. When life’s challenges come crashing down, it’s hard for me to think about the blog and put time and energy into it when I feel like all of my energy is focused on my family and making sure my parents are okay. Being an only child, I had a very close relationship with my parents growing up, and I would do anything for them. I often get questions from friends asking me how I handle stress and anxiety when dealing with hard things, and the only answer I have for that is Jesus. He is my peace in the midst of the storm, and I trust that He has a plan in all things, even when I can’t understand or comprehend why all of this is happening. I definitely don’t always feel like I have it all together, but I just try to take deep breaths, put one foot in front of the other and know that God’s got everything under control. I’ve been listening to audio devotionals on the Abide app, which have been so helpful to me! Every day there is a new 3-4 minute devotional and listening to them each morning helps me feel more centered and relaxed when I begin the day.
I wanted to fill you guys in on what has been happening around here lately, and I really do want to make more of an effort to be open and transparent on the blog. My desire for this site is to build a community of women who support one another, build each other up, and walk through the hills and valleys together, and it all starts with me! If you ever need advice or want prayer, feel free to reach out in an email or DM me on Instagram—I’m always here for you! And as always, thank you for being on this journey with me. xo