A complicated, beautiful mess.

I have a moment.  One unoccupied, take advantage of the quiet, moment.  Life is blurrish.

In January, I had the mindset to sell the flower shop.  My beloved.  I was realizing my place was to support Toby and our children and I was feeling defeated in my physical self.  At that time I put the shop on the altar of sacrifice.

Little did I know that February would upend me and despite my notion to sell the shop, I didn’t have time to prepare.  I was trying to run a business, Toby had to be gone for work, Valentine’s Day, I prioritized finding a surgical oncologist for my mom, and then there is house and children and that silly MS thing.  I found myself with no time to organize and inventory and prepare the paperwork for the proper sell of a business.

What is my goal?  Take what I can get and get out quick?  Or, wait, re-stock, re-group, and take the time to sell it well.  I still haven’t finished my research on how to valuate a business.  My business.  My mind is always whirring and positives and negatives both stung me hard.  With all of this cancer talk and not knowing what was to come, I chose to cling to what I knew.  Ultimately, my brain and my heart couldn’t decide if I could lose them both.  My mama and my shop.  If I was going to lose my mom, could I stand to lose the structure that the shop forces me to have?

I’d like to think I was one of those who would just pick up the pieces of life and keep keepin’ on.  But, I know myself.  I know how chronic illness and depression pull you into idleness and days of pain turn into months and years of pain.  Pain, regardless.  I need something to draw me out.  The intention of the shop was to be that place.  But, that place had turned into something to avoid.  Paperwork piling up, behind on bills, taxes overdo, more bills, and all the people…  people I loved with relationships that turned bitter.  Life took a hard twist and friendship was broken and things at the shop aren’t the same.  And, things got more complicated.

The complicated issues of cancer on top of the complicated layer of flower shop on top of the complicated layer of family with three complicated kids on top of the layer of complicated MS on top of the layer of complicated everyday life…  would the fabric of my life be softer without some of these layers?  Could I weave a more fluid life?

I could.  I think I could.

But, then my choices to fight hard would turn into the easy choices of submission.  Submitting to cancer doctors and surgeons who gave my mom up for dead.  Submitting to my presumed future disability instead of doing what I can now.  Submitting to dreams left unfinished.  I know reality, and I know that I may do some of these things in the future.  I know submission can be a beautiful thing when done for the cause of Christ.  With these things, however,  I am not there yet.

We are waiting for biopsies and tumor board meetings and surgery dates for my mom.  She has a very realistic chance at a few more years of life, instead of certain death.  We are fighting hard at the shop to pay off debt, then to restock, then to start growing again, all with the thought of making the business a more valuable asset to sell at the right time.   The right time.  His time.

I’ve been learning about hope.  Hope is trusting in His timing.  And, the thing is, is that if we have hope in God, we have hope in two things.  We have hope that even if cancer hits hard, we are heaven bound because we believe Jesus died to make this possible.  We have a second hope that God isn’t going to leave us hanging.  We may be hanging by a thread sometimes.  A complicated, barely there thread from the complicated fabric of our lives, but we have hope that He won’t leave us that way.  All this hangin’ makes us stronger and soon we are swinging into the next step He has planned for us.  His plan for us to have a good life, a beautifully complicated mess, and have it to the full.  Amen.






We’re in a holding pattern.  A position unknowing.

Just waiting.  At the end of the month I will be going to OHSU in Portland to be evaluated by expert neurological docs.  We are hoping they might be able to distinguish if I have spinal damage, MS, or something totally random that we haven’t even heard of yet.    It takes a great amount of courage to believe God can make this mess beautiful.  He can.  I’ve seen it over and over in my life.  It’s just hard to apply that to yourself when you are in the throes of disappointment, discouragement, pain, and frustration.

Life just keeps getting messy.  Even with this major appointment on the docket, life doesn’t pause for us.  The flower shop is very much a fourth child.  It could be a really great gig for someone.  Honestly, it does pain me to think about selling it, but I think that’s what it might come down to.  Being the only shop in Weiser is beneficial to a degree.  The problems for us come in because in order to run a great business, I need to be there more.  I am physically worn out and am there as minimally as possible right now, which even on slow days for a few hours of standing, causes a lot of stress and physical pain.  It is very difficult on top of three children, homeschool, and my health.  My Toby is not able to keep a regular schedule with HP, so we don’t really know when he will or won’t be home to help with the kids so I can go to work.  His only day off is Saturday which he tries to enjoy training in Boise.  With everything that goes on Sunday – it is not a day off – and I guess that leaves me with no “real” days off to choose from.  Even on my days off I get calls from work, have to stress about upcoming funerals, holidays, and I have to be on call to come in and help. 

Without the shop, I still have three crazy kids and an extremely dirty house to keep up with.  I feel like the best decision for ME is to sell the shop.  Toby really wants me to hang on.  He wants the shop for our family and our future.  I get that, I do, but I am so tired of hanging on.  You don’t make a ton of money being self-employed.   So, there’s not like this financial money tree I’m hanging onto.  I really enjoyed the creative parts of the job and I totally rock at business when I’ve got my game face on.  I believe I could apply the same business skills I’ve learned at the shop to any industry and be successful. 

The problem is that there is dread where there was once joy.  Even if Toby comes in and takes over, I still have a lot of pressure on me to make product and be the back-up.  It would also be an extensively long transition period between when we could feasibly not need HP – probably a year or more. 

Ultimately, I don’t think the shop is conducive to my goals of health and healing right now.  Even though Toby is home 65% of the time, the other 35% that he is in Boise, is very difficult for me.  I am embarrassed to admit that.  Ashamed.  But, it’s true.  If you think about something you love, love, love to do and then throw on the aches and pains of a bad flu, you wouldn’t want to do it.  Try applying that same concept to things that you don’t even like to do everyday of your life.  It makes life suck.  I don’t want life to suck anymore.

I suppose I am going to honor my husband and hang on to the shop securely until after the June appointment.  Even if I felt better, do I really want to live the stress-filled life that comes with this business?  Do I want to have to juggle three kids and their schedules and Toby’s ever-changing HP schedule and mom’s cancer and chemo and employees…  do I really want that on top of the shop?  I don’t know.