may 8, 2009

May 8, 2009 at 3:45 pm 12 comments

i have been telling people i am on a run-away-from-home vacation.  these last few months have become more than crippling to me.  mike’s needs have grown as he was growing in his ability to eat.  mcKaela and eli’s needs have not shrunk in conjunction and i think these long years of being the only one who makes sure every task gets tended have used me up.  i think all the help we have received from others in different areas like food and babysitting and financial planning certainly pushed off my breaking point a long time.  but it has come.  i have been spent.  so, upon many recommendations, mike asked his parents to come stay with him and the kids, learn how to care for not just some, but all their needs, and allow me to run away.  i have stayed at a friend’s house.  i have worked some (because i do still have those 2 part-time jobs i squish into the mix of responsibilities) but i have sat lots.  i have sorted out long-boarded-up thoughts.  i have read and wondered and listened and slept.  God has kept me company.  i have more than anything just not been required for 4,000 different daily tasks and coordinations.  this past month i have thought, how can i update when i have nothing left to give, when my words escape with no sense?  i still fear this place of brokenness.  this life that requires so much more than i am.  i know our family is supported and encouraged and loved but there is no denying that these days belong to me.  changing and medicine and meals and bathing as well as quality of life things like playgrounds and visitors and playdates and learning to ride a bike– these tasks people will help with but the gaps will fill my days.  i am not bitter.  in fact i am stunned to thanksgiving and speechlessness at once that so many people still continue to answer my calls for help.  but the end of me so recently, this numbing to life has been frightening.  these few days of rest, alone with God, have blessed.  but i admit i know what my days as i return look like and there is fear there.

but in reading an old prayer journal entry from last year i wanted to reclaim the truth for today and these days to come.  “i feel often overwhelmed.  and i don’t wish to deny it.  when we hear it we glue our own expectation of feeling to it–usually negative.  i wish to define it anew.  overwhelmed–tired, busy, loved, entertained, visited, blessed, blessed, blessed, blessed, invested, impassioned, befriended, gifted (given lots of gifts), worn and well-spent.  this might be life to the full if i can wrap my head around it.”

so that is where we are at.  i am there.  the kids are great.  mike is doing well and really enjoying food and company.  thanks for your faithfulness, for continuing to offer us up to the Sustainer, michelle

Entry filed under: updates.

april 9, 2009! may 25, 2009

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Matt Koupal  |  May 8, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Hey Michelle-

    Thank you for saying so clearly what many of us in the special needs world feel. And job well done for seeking the respite you/we need. My prayer is for those many who read this will be able to look through the window you’ve opened and see the needs of those caregivers of the Mikes, the Lukes and his YL ACCESS buddies, aging parents, and others in like situations. Sometimes it is just too much. But the next need is at hand so we go on, trusting God for the support and love and strength we need. Then come the bright spots of ecstacy when we see progress and hope.

    I certainly don’t want to wish away my life and the joys I usually experience. But I freely admit Heaven looks really great sometimes where there will be “no more sorrow, no more pain.”

    In the love of Christ,


  • 2. Cheryl  |  May 8, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Matt tonight at Young life Access urged me to read your comments. My circumstances are different, but at one time were similar to yours now. My kids were 4 & 5 and I was responsible for more than I thought I could handle. I was num. But with God’s help and help of friends reminding me that today was better than yesterday and each day is better than the day before. I always cried out to God for help and he stayed by me and guided me. I still admire you every day and I am awed and humbled by your love for God. You remind me every day that I am a child of God and that even through the bad times, good can be found. It is because of yours and Mike’s work that Young LIfe has grown to where it is today and that a small little chapter has opened for some special kids. Because of your love of God, you helped bring joy to a small group tonight.
    Just remember that sometimes when your are at your weakest point you gain the most strength. Tomorrow you will be stronger than before!

  • 3. Rachel E  |  May 9, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Michelle, I’m sorry. It is hard. Wishing you the Strength of the Mighty, the Grace of Goodness, the Peace of the Everlasting. Love, Rachel

  • 4. mary stadler  |  May 9, 2009 at 9:37 pm


    I am so glad that you are taking the time to step back. You deserve it. I can not begin to imagine all of the pressures that you face on a daily basis. You needed this break. It will allow you to come back stronger and more able to face the challenges of your life. Caregivers minister best sometimes by stepping back for awhile,

    I will pray for you and your family…asking God to give you rest, peace and strength and Mike healing.

  • 5. Amy  |  May 11, 2009 at 8:51 am

    I don’t really know what to say, but your latest entry really touched me, challenged me, convicted me. I pray against guilt from the Enemy and for rejuvination from the giver and sustainer of life. As always, thank you for your well-written honesty.

    “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Is 40:31)

  • 6. Mitzi Kalin  |  May 11, 2009 at 9:13 pm


    Alastair Begg said (on his radio show) that at our best we are mediocre caregivers: moms, dads, spouses. That it is God’s grace that fills in the gaps and even continues to pour blessings on us.(I am paraphrasing). I want you to know that: 1. we all reach our breaking points for so much less… daily, yearly, whatever. and 2. I do not consider you one of the mediocre, but tend to put you on a pedestal for your obedience and tendency toward joy no matter what the day brings. And nerdily psychologically speaking, chronic stress will numb you. You are doing exactly the right thing to refuel yourself – and what a gift to your family. They love you and we all love you!

  • 7. Jane Baier  |  May 12, 2009 at 10:12 am

    During the past years I have marveled at your strength, your patience and your love as you have worked to help heal Mike and nurture your children. I’ve been amazed at your ability to cope with it all. I know it’s because of your strong beliefs ,your love of God and your being willing to ask for and accept His help. I marvel now at your openness and your sharing of your thoughts with us. You, Mike and the children continue to be in my prayers daily.
    You will continue to be strong . . . and keep that marvelous smile.

  • 8. Jim Hudson  |  May 14, 2009 at 1:50 pm


    You were in my prayers today before I read this and will continue to be so – wish I was closer to help with some practical needs. Give my love to MIke!

    Grace and Peace,

    Jim Hudson

  • 9. Steve Fisher  |  May 14, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Hello Michelle:

    I am sad that you are empty and lonely. I am glad you are relieved of duty and that you lean on the Savior.

    Matt 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    As this verse came to me, I am pleased that the scripture does not say, ‘Don’t be weary and burdened.’ It says when we are weary and burdened to come to Him. I often go to other things – things that distract, not to things that give real rest. You have chosen wisely. Go to Him, rest in Him.

    Don’t give up. Ask Him for help. Ask your friends for comfort and help. Don’t give up!



  • 10. Heather Schmidt  |  May 15, 2009 at 5:03 pm


    I hope you are able to read this. I will pray for you. Thanks for being honest. I have often wondered how you couldn’t feel this way. So good for you to realize that you need help and that there is help for you. You are amazing and you will be ok. God has already made sure of that. You are loved. Mike and the kids are loved and you all will continue to be cared for as long as needed. Let me know how we can help. We live closer now and can be there for Mike, the kids and his family whenever.

    God’s Peace,
    Heather Schmidt

  • 11. Emily Bishop  |  May 20, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    It is always humbling to read your words, Michelle, because you are sooooo honest and sooooo faithful….I can only imagine myself in similar circumstances…I fear that I would have melted underthe pressure long ago, and you keep moving forward…It did my heart good to hear that you relinquished your responsibilities for a short time….I pray that it gave you some short term physical and emotional relief…..and that God who can move the mountains will continue to give you EVERYTHING that you need to rise to your daily circumstances…..



  • 12. Peggy Lehner  |  June 14, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Hey! I hear we can now visit with Mike via skipe. Hear he was able to join the 15 year UD reunion….got any rules for this new technology Michelle so that you aren’t driven crazy?


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