Archive for April, 2020

  • Triaging Your Life

    Date: 2020.04.11 | Category: Uncategorized

    Just the other day Dan and I were discussing the craziness of life. We were discussing the different posts that we see on social media and how people are responding to this unprecedented time in our lives.

    There’s the the world is ending camp.

    The 700 different conspiracy camps.

    The “If you have faith, nothing will happen to you.” camp. I need to talk about this one for just a minute. I have faith. I will tell you, from personal experience, people take this one too far. Watch what you say to others and how your preach your faith. Almost 33 years later and I can still hear the words spoken to me at Kyle’s funeral…”Do you think if you had just a little more faith, God would have saved him?” or “Maybe God knew you couldn’t handle two sick kids.” or my all time favorite… “Maybe if you had prayed just a little harder God would have saved Kyle.”

    The “There’s nothing you can do about it if it’s your time to go, you will die.” camp. I believe in God’s timing. I believe when my time is up, God will call me home. I get it. But I still don’t play chicken on the interstate. Why? Because God gave me a brain.

    The “God won’t bring you pain” camp. I don’t know about you but God has taught me the most in life through painful moments. Not that God has caused them necessarily, man does a pretty good job of bringing pain into his own life, but God most assuredly allows pain to happen. β€œGod whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains.” – C.S. Lewis

    The “It’s his/her fault.” camp. Whoever that his or her may be.

    The “It’s no worse than the flu.”camp.

    The “Yes, it is worse than the flu.” camp.

    You get the picture. There’s a 100 different ways to look at the chaos that is going on in the world. I am not going to tell you my stand on any of it. But I will say my husband researches everything. It’s his job. He works in clinical and quality improvement. He spends hour after hour after hour dissecting everything out there. He isn’t paranoid but he is protective. When he says something could hurt us, we listen.

    See we have done what the world is doing right now for the past 21 years. Hope had a major congenital heart defect and then Grace was diagnosed with lupus. We’ve done it even more in the past 8 years since we’ve brought home 10 more children with complicated medical issues. We hear that there’s a nasty bout of flu going around, then we stay home. One of our children have a big surgery coming up, we stay home. We self-isolate. We use hand gel more. We wash our hands longer than usual, better than usual. We clean off door handles more. We don’t go to big gatherings of people. Only mom and dad do the shopping.

    Sounds like now. Right?

    I don’t know about store closings. I couldn’t tell you what is right or wrong with all the rest of the crap going on. I have no idea. I have tried to research it. It seems you can find information to back your side no matter what your side is. I am not going to even get into the social economic issues that are going on. I am, however, going to share with you an interesting insight that my husband had. He even said I could quote him on it. He’s a pretty quiet guy. I don’t get him saying I can quote him very often, but this one is worth sharing.

    I asked him why he thought we weren’t being affected emotionally like so many other people. He said…

    “Because we have already triaged our life.”

    I thought that was so profound. He is absolutely right.

    Maybe you are not in the medical field and you have never heard the word triage before.


    noun – (in medical use) the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties.

    verb – assign degrees of urgency to.

    Long ago when Kyle and Codey were so sick, we had to decide what was important. We lived off nothing in an old run down 1970’s trailer. We went without most of the time. I worked a midnight to 6 a.m. job, all so I could stay home with Codey and Zach. We decided what was most important to us.

    When we learned of a baby being left to die alone in the hospital, we chose what was most important. When everyone else was saying we’d ruin our family by taking home a child who would die, we knew what was right for us. When people were questioning the cost, saying things like don’t take on this debt, what about the insurance, all we could see was a little girl who needed a family to love her. When people questioned, what in the world are you doing? We heard God speak clearly.

    We reevaluated everything when we realized we weren’t guaranteed a tomorrow with our children. We knew the risk when we adopted Hope and when Grace got sick, it hit home again. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone.

    When we had the choice to give up our “empty nest” retirement to adopt again, I wish I could say I had learned my lessons over the years and readily said, “Yes!” but I didn’t. I questioned everything. I wasn’t ready to give up this normal, easy life that I had finally found. I was too old. I was too close to retirement, too close to being done working hard. I was ready to sit by the pool and eat my bon bon’s. (That one is for you little brother!)

    See over the years as Hope’s medical issues became less and less, when Dan finished medical school, and when he started working as a physician, I fell for the trappings of the world. Didn’t we deserve a nice house after working so hard and doing without so much during all of Dan’s training? Didn’t Zach and Cassie deserve to have a few nice things? Aren’t we supposed to give our kids sports and dance opportunities? Aren’t we supposed to fill their lives with all the good things that are out there? Shouldn’t we be going to Disney and seeing all the wondrous things of the world?

    But my heart was changed when I read the words “Is it better for an orphan to have an older mother or no mother at all?” (Triaged)

    And my heart was changed again when I walked into an orphanage. (Triaged again.)

    My heart was changed again when I started following blogs and Facebook pages about the orphanages around the world. When I realized children were dying in orphanges. Children were mistreated and starving in orphanages. (Triaged again…you get the picture.)

    My heart was changed again when I learned about Love Without Boundaries and started following their work.

    My heart was changed again when I saw the pictures and read about the need in other countries.

    My heart was changed again when I read of mothers and fathers abandoning their children because they couldn’t pay for surgery.

    Suddenly I felt guilt when I looked at my nice house. Why did I have so much when others didn’t have anything? I was certainly not a better person. I didn’t deserve more.

    I could go on and on. I will tell you that I live in a fairly nice house. I will tell you that I don’t have to do without if I don’t want to now. I will also let you in on a fact. My nice house is warm and cozy, but it isn’t what brings me joy. I was just as happy in that 1970’s shag carpet, ugly gold appliance holding, thin walled mobile home. Why? Because I knew what was important.

    As for the beautiful house, well, I look at the changes we made. I look at the beautiful woodwork and the mortgage payment and wish I had done so much more with that money. I am reminded daily about what happens when we start to get comfortable. I am reminded what happens when we forget about those who are in need all around us and only think about what we want.

    I hope that you are doing okay during this crisis. I hope that things are back to normal soon. I hope you are surrounded by people who are stepping in and filling any need that you have. I hope you are safe and warm and fed.


    I also hope you have slowed down and really looked at what is important in your life. I think God uses these moments to reach us, to teach us. He opens our eyes to what we can and can not do without.

    Right now kids are dying in orphanages all around the world.

    Right now child trafficking is at an all time high.

    Right now widows could use your help.

    Right now neighbors are struggling.

    Right now…

    What is really important?

    TRIAGE away…

    It’s a pretty eye-opening, heart changing, mind altering thing to do. Can you do more? Do you like home schooling? Do you appreciate your child’s teacher more? Can you do without that second car? Have you been missing too much with your children because you are too busy? Does your work take up too much time of your life? Do you miss gathering together on Sunday? Do you appreciate walking outside now? Do you miss your parents?

    What is important to you right now? What needs to change? Where is your life out of balance? Who needs your help? Who needs your forgiveness? What can you do to make the world a better place?

    There’s no better time than right now to make the world a better, more loving, more kind place.

    β€œIn this life we cannot always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Mother Teresa