spinning plates & wearing masks . . .

I'm really good at "spinning plates" . . . 
Most recently, I've been "spinning" . . . 
  • the "mom" plate
  • the "I can't be Daddy, but will try to be all you need from me" plate
  • the "friend" plate
  • the "good church girl" plate
  • the "co-worker" plate
  • the "employee" plate
  • the "exercise" plate
  • the "house cleaner/laundress/homeowner" plate
  • the "household banker" plate
  • the "graduation party planner" plate
  • the "vacation planner" plate
  • the "I'm trying to hold it all together" plate
  • the "I can't "give up" anything" plate
  •  . . . . . . . . 
O.K., I THINK you get the idea here!  I WAS (am) spinning TOO MANY plates.  And when you spin TOO MANY plates, the plates start DROPPING!  If I've learned ANYTHING in the past 4 + months, it is that my FAMILY must come first . . . and if I don't take care of "me", there is no "me" left to take care of my family!

That being said, I'm also pretty good at wearing . . . 


My "masks" make it look like I'm doing a REALLY GOOD job at "spinning" all of those plates!  

But, there-in lies the problem.  The mask only HIDES what's going on inside, and the plates start to fall!

That is what has happened recently for me!

Nothing MAJOR happened (well, besides the OBVIOUS!).  I didn't have any major melt-downs (well, o.k. one, small-ish one!).  I'm sleeping well at night.  I am "doing" everything that "needs" to be done . . . 

. . . But . . . 

 I'm getting TIRED!

I didn't take much time off of work after Rick died.  Actually, I only missed five actual work days following his accident.  And, for anyone who has been through it, you KNOW what those days are like - filled to the brim with details and one foot in front of the other things that "must" be done.  Because of scheduled time off of school, weekends and hunting season, I missed 5 work days and returned to work 11 days after Rick died.  It was good at the time.  The day we went back to school and work (November 16) Kajsa cheered in her first basketball game.

This is her with one of her best friends Sarah that night - I'm so happy that her Daddy knew that she had made the cheer squad (and actually made the 8th grade squad as a 7th grader) before his accident - he was SO PROUD of her!

I still remember how I felt that night though.  I remember sitting in the stands wondering "how" I was supposed to act.  Did people who didn't know me "know"? Was it obvious that I was a "widow".  Crazy thoughts, I know, but I remember clearly thinking them!  Despite "those" thoughts though, getting back to our "normal routine" was a good thing.  "Normal" felt good.  It felt familiar.  It was something I "knew" in a world I didn't know anymore!

Anyway, now that some time has passed, some things have gotten "easier", some things have begun to feel more "normal", but I realized that my plates were starting to spin out of control.  I realized that I can't go 110 miles an hour day after day and still survive - or be the Mama that my girls need.

A few situations came up that made this abundantly clear to me.  Most of these situations are more private than I want to share here, but they ultimately led me to call my Doctor (who is also Sarah from ^ above)'s mom and a GREAT friend (she spent most of November 5 in the hospital with us).  She told me that she was actually expecting me to call.  She assured me that "crashing" is a normal stage of grief and that I'm not "going crazy" and there is nothing wrong with stepping back a little.

So, tonight, I'm going to bed feeling COMPLETE PEACE.  I'm feeling that GOD (again) has had HIS hand in every single tiny little detail of my days.  I'm feeling at peace that my sweet Doctor suggested that I take some time for "Sheila".  So I can be the Mama that I need to be.  The friend I need to be.  The employee that I need to be.  The co-worker that I need to be . . . 

. . . Starting Friday, I'll be taking a little time off to "re-discover" who this "new" Sheila is.  I'll be off of work through when we go on Spring Break.  It feels kind of like I'm being selfish.  I've been a mom for 18 years (almost) . . . I don't often put "me" first (or even 2nd or 3rd!).  But, you know what?  I'm RELIEVED!  Rather than going into our vacation FRAZZLED, I'm praying that I can actually go into vacation relaxed.  Relaxed so I can fully enjoy my beautiful girls.  Relaxed so we can have a good time.  Relaxed so we can enjoy our time together, making new memories and remembering old ones with fondness!  My sister-in-law told me yesterday that she got us tickets to go to an amazing event on Good Friday night.  One of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE Christian speakers is Louie Giglio and he will be there, along with Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Christy Nockels and Kristian Stanfill . . . What an amazing way to spend Good Friday evening!

I KNOW that the "timing" is not good for work, however, I HAVE learned that no job, no commitments outside of God and my family should come before God and family!  I have learned to treasure what is IMPORTANT to me, and that, in the end, my job CANNOT be more important than God and Family!  Because of this, HE has given me peace.  I feel HIS hand in everything and I'm anxious to see what HE teaches me during this brief "time" off.  I'm praying that I will be able to "be still and know" during this time!  To let HIM speak to my wounded heart and further the work of healing that He has begun in me!  I know that some people will not understand.  I'm beginning to realize that my journey IS mine to walk and I CANNOT expect others to "understand" it if they have not walked it themselves (and there aren't too many that have - MOST people don't lose their spouse when they are just 44 years old).

Trust Me and don't be afraid, for I am your Strength and Song . . . think what it means to have Me as your Strength . . . I spoke the universe into existence . . . My Power is absolutely unlimited!  Rejoice as we journey together toward Heaven!  ~ Jesus Calling

"Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid.  The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation"  Isaiah 12:2


  1. So glad that you are going to have some time to breathe!! I know you will have an amazing time with your daughters and will be so much better able to enjoy it because of this time. The concert on Good Friday will be amazing! I know you will be so blessed!
    I remember feeling like you ( plates spinning) when my kids were still in school..I actually thought to myself " I just wish someone would stop me, because I can't stop myself!"..Eventually I was stopped, by my health..I went through a time when I couldn't spin even the most basic of plates like I wanted to and it was hard, But I learned so much during that time..about myself, about my God..about how He loves me for who I am, not for what I do. I learned some things that have helped me for the rest of my life, things to share with others & I can now appreciate the "time outs" in my life and see them as a "soaking time with the Lord" that help me through life's crazier moments. I am glad that you are realizing your need to take some time while you can still choose! May you continue to know God's direction, peace & wondrous love! Love you!!!

  2. Go Sheil, Go !!! I so proud of you! Love you, EAV

  3. Thanks EAV!!! I needed that!!

  4. Thanks EAV!!! I needed that!!


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We like to tell people that we love Chattanooga so much we moved here twice! Since my last post in 2020, we spent eight months in Michigan...