Encouragement · Family · Parenting

Infertility!(part 1)

I’ll go out on a limb here and bring up the subject of infertility. It’s such a private issue for those couples desperate to conceive their own child and it is seldom discussed in public. But it impacts more people than you can count and runs the gamut from A – C:

A- ‘No hope’   

B- ‘Slim chance’

C- ‘50/50’

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It can really mess with your head.

For some couples, it can lead to pain, heartache, and spending more cash than you ever imagined. It breaks individuals, it breaks relationships and it breaks the bank.

Not to mention how unsexy it is?

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Those of you who have experienced infertility know exactly what I’m talking about. You learned it the hard way.  

So when Ron and I wanted to start a family, it wasn’t quick and easy. When we didn’t conceive after a year of trying, we were baffled.

How could this be? We both worked out daily, we ate healthily and were not overweight, and, unlike some unsuspecting high school girls, we WANTED to get pregnant.

Which is strange in itself because for most of my life, I did not want kids. Maybe my body was getting back at me for saying that.

Hirns romance

Or, do you think it might be God?

dawn

(Part 2 coming…)

#ryanshines#infertility

Faith · Family · wounded Mother

Everything happens for a Reason

If I had a nickel for every time someone told me there’s a ‘Reason’ for Ryan dying, I’d be rich. As if it was all part of the Plan.

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At first, it brought me comfort, because that meant that nothing was my fault.

It’s all ‘on God.’

But the older I get and the deeper I understand God, I realize that there is not a ‘Reason’ behind everything happening. Some things are just plain wrong and that’s all there is to it. Like the Holocaust. There is no good ‘Reason’ behind it. It’s insane is what it is! It is pure wickedness and you can’t clean it up by coming up with a ‘Reason.’

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It’s the same with Ryan.

I’m not denying that good things haven’t come from his dying. His 2 brothers, Trenton and Colton, wouldn’t be here if Ryan had lived.

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Trenton & Colton

But that ’s not enough to convince me that Ryan needed to be ‘gotten out of the way’ for our future to continue.

Be careful when you say that ‘God engineers everything that happens.’ Because, if we know anything about God, it’s that “God is Love.”

dawn

Please feel free to share this.

#ryanshines#godislove

Faith · Family

Ryan is 24!

Ryan would be 24 this year. That’s a lot of candles! Notice Ryan playing with his dinosaurs in the tub? If he were here today, I know his forwarding address would be Jurassic Park.

Have you noticed that the most difficult day of the year is the birthday of someone we loved and lost? Ryan’s birthday is always the worst day of the year for me. And the question that always surfaces on Ryan’s birthday is:

How do we celebrate his life in the middle of such darkness?

What do you do on their special day? We have an icecream cake with candles, pass out presents to his brothers from him, and play videos of Ryan’s Shining.    

Happy Birthday, Ry-Ry!

Mom

#ryanshines#birthdayboy

Family · Grief · wounded Mother

The worst day of my life! (part 1)

Our SUV is rolling over and over and flames are beginning to eat through my passenger seat, searing my hamstrings. The final rollover lands us on my side. My door won’t open. Everything I touch is glass, gravel, and weeds on the shoulder of Highway 83.

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The fire ignited under me and is crawling toward my 7-year-old, Ryan, sitting behind me in the backseat.

Our happy family of four are trapped like POW’s. I can smell the skin on my legs burning. Then, I am numb. No, more like frozen. Gradually, my brain begins to thaw.

I open my eyes and every one of us is on fire!

My baby, Tyler, is!

My seven-year-old, Ryan, is!

My husband, Ron, is!

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And it feels like we’re all melting. Both children are trapped in their car seats. Can a person be on fire and frozen at the same time?

This is only the beginning of the worst days and years of my life.

dawn

(See you Thursday for part 2)

Encouragement · Family

The Spiral

SpiralThe image of damage!  Poor Texas. They were hit hard by storms and rain.  Lots of rain.

Catastrophe hit with little warning, unless you consider two hours enough time to evacuate from a flood.  Stories of rising flood levels were staggering.  So is the extensive damage.  But even more staggering, by today’s standards, are the stories of those who reached out to their neighbors to rescue, save, protect, feed, clothe and house those who needed help.

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Take another look at that spiral image, and put yourself inside.  If you placed yourself in any of the outside corners going in, you may get stuck inside the center of your own vortex of problems, and never be of any good to anyone.  Least of all,  yourself!  But, if you begin in the center of confusion starting at the place where you are weakest, and begin your trip outward to help others, the spiral becomes huge.  All encompassing.  There is no limit to what you can do, once you take the focus off your own problems.

God blessed Texas with some wonderful people, who reached out from their own trauma to help save and protect others who were stranded.  Many left their own flooded homes in boats and on rafts to rescue others.

Others have taken strangers into their homes and though they are sharing what food they have in total darkness.  Dry and safe.

Little Texas, performed a song that is so perfect for this trial.  Goes like this:

“God Blessed Texas, With His own hand

Brought down angels from the promised land

Gave ’em a place where they could dance

If you want to see heaven, brother, here’s you chance

I’ve been sent to spread the message

God blessed Texas.”

Each catastrophe is different but the pain can always be lightened when you reach out to help others carry their loads.    We will never forget those, also Texans, who reached out to us when we lost Ryan.  And we look back extremely grateful for the time we spent visiting with the burn survivors and their families at  various children’s burn hospitals on foreign soil.  It’s a privilege to reach out of our own situation to help support and encourage other parents of burn survivors, through our foundation Ryanshines.com.

Remember The Spiral     TUS copy when you are faced with a dilemma greater than you can handle.  Place yourself within the spiral.  Is your focus on the quagmire of the inner circle – or do you start with your own chaos and head out to the edges to help others?

Pisa boysWhen you see a need, lend a hand.  Upward and Outward!

Hirn fam looks outAnd God, Bless Texas!

Dawn

Family · Parenting

Mothers vs. Motherboards

Motherboards, made up of silicon components, are the main circuit control boards within a computer.

Mothers are made of flesh and blood, patience and love for the purpose of control within her family.   (Silicone components are optional.)   

Simply said, a computer’s motherboard connects all its other parts together.

A mother connects all of the family parts together.

Everything that makes a computer work:  CPU, RAM, hard disk etc.,  are processed through the motherboard.

Everything that makes a family work:  schedules, dirty clothes and diarrhea, homework and healthcare,  food and fun, social directing and safety,  taxi service and transport,  are processed through the mother.  

A motherboard turns a pile of components into a computer.  It cannot adapt to change without reprogramming.

A mother turns a pile of components into a family.  She adapts to changes, no reprogramming necessary.

You can’t hug a motherboard.  A motherboard doesn’t laugh, cry, cheer you on, correct you when you mess up.   But on the plus side,  a motherboard doesn’t get eye-rolls and ‘lip’ when she routes one of her components in an undesirable direction.

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road schoolStrict road school schedules.

A mother is usually softer and more attractive than a motherboard.  She can change her appearance but her heart keeps the link between her and her components strong.

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Dawn & Colton -London

A motherboard is built for absolute control.  A mother knows she will never be completely in control of another human being; but, she leads  by example and gives it her best as only she knows how.  She has been given an internal power beyond technology:  Love.

And love is more powerful than any computer that has ever been or will be built.

Takes the byte out!

Dawn

Adventure with Engagement AWE · Family

Youneverknowwhatyourgonnaget!

Reeling from a week of company is like coming down from a mountaintop.

So many people squished together in one house, so many personalities, so many agendas.    When we stand back, things look like a mess.  But we know the ‘mess’ is held together by love and that changes the whole atmosphere.

Hirns 4thDo we all get along constantly?  I’m tempted to fill the rest of the blog with hahahahahahah.  But we respect each other and that covers a whole lot of ground.   God put me in the middle of five men, and I’ve got to say I’ve loved being there.

And this week, He has shared with me nieces and cousins, who have come to spend the week of July 4th, bringing with them splashes of drama and color!   I’m reaching way out from what I am used to dealing with men.

I’ve always said I wouldn’t know how to raise a little girl, and I still say “hats off to their mom’s and dads.”  And they probably say the same thing about me with boys!

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But I’ve thoroughly enjoyed their magical approaches to life, the red, white and blue decor they added to our boats and our lives.  I’ve enjoyed watching the drama and the comedy, the rehearsed poses which have given me some outstanding photos of these little girls!   (Tell a boy to smile at the camera and you never know what you’re gonna get!)

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Step out of your comfort zone and make memories!  One of the most magnificent things about world travel is ‘youneverknowwhatyoutgonnaget.’  We left the ordinary ‘sameness’ in our lives to embrace people of different cultures, beliefs and lifestyles, in the name of brotherhood, respect and love.   And you cannot get the experience of building relationships from a book or a movie!

Dr. Seuss said it best:  “Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Dawn