A Call to Africa

I want to tell you about a very special person. She is young, like early 20's young, and she has a dream--no-- a vision. It's a vision she has turned into reality. This girl has persevered through so many trials on a daily basis I honestly can't believe she hasn't packed her bags and flown the coup!

This is Rannah. She has a calling on her heart to serve the deaf children of Uganda, Africa. This passion began as a high school teen in a small town located in the panhandle of Texas. She dreamt of providing a boarding school for the many children who are deaf due to the malaria medicine in Uganda. Because of the lack of education and the poverty levels, deaf children are often considered cursed, worthless and unable to learn or earn wages for their family. Most are never taught how to communicate. They have very little value if any if they aren't able to help provide. Many are mistreated, ignored, abandoned and even discarded.

Rannah's heart was truly broken when sh…

A Not So OK Day is OK

This month has been filled with lots not so OK days. I've struggled with chronic pain, achy joints, abdominal cramping, nausea and extreme fatigue.

Here's an example of my not so OK day today: Struggled with insomnia last night so I got about 5 hours of sleep total but not all at once.Tummy cramps and nausea awoke me this morning.I lay in bed for about 30 minutes willing myself to get up but afraid the nausea might win.Took the handful of prescribed meds, vitamins and minerals needed to make my body function. Also added anti-cramping and nausea meds to the cocktail (not pictured). Ate a small gut friendly breakfast (not because I'm hungry--trust me, I'm not--but because the meds need it) and my 1 cup of coffee (more than 1 cup = more cramping + nausea).Sat in my comfy chair and caught up on social media and reviewed today's TO DO list to figure out what MUST be done today and what can be postponed. This may seem a bit lazy to most however, it is my way of adulting wi…

All Gut Love & What That Means

I'm back in my fighting stance!
I think anyway...

I'm learning how to stand on my own after 24 years of marriage. When a long term relationship ends it really messes with your head.

You wonder:
What's wrong with me? Why is this happening? What happened to happily ever after?  You feel:
BrokenheartedHopelessConfusedAngry You want to:
Crawl up in a ball under the covers in the safety of your bed.Lash out.Sit and watch mind numbing TV. But because you are an adult you have to function in the real world and find a new path. So here I am, adulting on my own.
While married, my future seemed secure and mapped out. Finances, retirement, daily routine... As a single person, things are different. My divorce left me financially stable thankfully and this post is not bashing him in any way, I'm just trying to figure out what my new future will look like. I want to be able to add to my finances but with a chronic illness and it's unpredictability, working outside of home is not fe…

Beauty in the Broken Places

I'm breaking my blog silence finally.

It's been an incredibly rough couple of years to say the least. My life has been turned upside down, right side up then upside down again. I think I just might be on my way up once more...

I hope anyway.

My heart is broken and in the process of healing, something I fear may take a lifetime. My husband and I decided to end our 24 year marriage this year. It was not an easy decision. I will not air the details here as it is no one's business but ours. From this point forward, we are concentrating on our friendship, our boys and making the best of this situation.

Have you heard of the Japanese pottery art of filling broken pieces with gold to put a vessel back together?
It's a practice called kintsukuroi meaning "to repair with gold." This particular art has touched me deeply.  As I said, my heart is broken and it will never be the same again. The scars that life leaves behind can be devastating and ugly. I don't want ug…

J is for Joy

It might take me a year to get through this whole alphabet post challenge...

J is for Joy.

A lot has happened since my last posting in June. A whole lot. To start with, my sweet Grammy (dad's mom) went to heaven and my grandfather (mom's dad) followed a few hours later which made for a very sad day. It also meant 2 funerals in 1 day, if you can believe that. Although we may be sad, it's also such a blessing as both were suffering terribly from failing bodies. I managed to navigate through those few days on massive amounts of meds as I was actually very sick with this stupid Crohn's mess. The pictures from then portray my struggle vividly. Shannon and boys happened to be in Alaska on a fishing trip with his dad when all this went down but thankfully my sister and her 3 kiddos were here so I wasn't alone in my grief. The one nice thing about death in our family is that we all come together from all over to celebrate our loved one's life. There are tears but there…

Memories of a Life Lived Abundantly

The seconds on the clock seem to be in slow-motion, each one forcing the hands of time to inch slowly along as if they weigh a thousand pounds.

We are waiting. Waiting for the minutes to stop their drive to move time forward. Waiting for her soul to be released into the arms of Jesus. It's why she lived with such grace and abundant love.
Memories of life and love flood my mind like the old black and white silent movies. I stand paralyzed in my grief as the images dance past the backs of my eyelids. A smile on my face even though my heart is breaking.
I see the young woman as she meets her future husband and the sparks that ignite bringing color to this moment in time. The promise of a bright future and many blessings.

Flashes of babies, camping trips and flavorful food that caresses my mind's nose.

Christmas trees and gifts that flow into the middle of the Hinkle house living room surrounded by their children and their children's children.

Memories of crawling through the …

I is for Inflammatory

I is for Inflammatory.
More specifically, I is for Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD for short.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) involves chronic inflammation of all or part of your digestive tract. IBD primarily includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Both usually involve severe diarrhea, pain, fatigue and weight loss. IBD can be debilitating and sometimes leads to life-threatening complications.

I have had the privilege (yes, you detect a bit of sarcasm there) of experiencing both Ulcerative Colitis (UC) AND Crohn's. July 2004 marks the anniversary of UC diagnosis. I have an ileostomy because of UC. My colon was so diseased and beyond the help of modern medicine that it had to go in 2011. January 2015 marks the diagnosis of Crohn's. We thought having my colon removed in 2011 would bring an end to the UC and it did. What we did not count on is that IBD has two spectrums to it, UC on one end and Crohn's on the other. Some have asked if maybe I had Crohn'…