Scrapbooking

Prior to my stroke, my kids had “quiet time” every day for about 2 hours. This coincided with the baby’s afternoon nap, & the older children could read, listen to music, nap, rest…whatever…their feet just could not touch the floor. This was my time, & I usually choose to scrapbook…3 kids under 6 years kept me pretty busy, plus a few more things (haha–I was also a room mom, math tutor, scrapbook teacher, president of a club for a genetic disease, primary & nursery chorister at church, & a newly called girls camp director at church), but since I fit scrapbooking into my schedule, when I had my stroke 16+ years ago, I was only a little behind on my children’s scrapbooks! & everything I wanted to do was very organized–every page was in a page protector with the pictures I wanted to scrapbook, & some even had the journaling, page ideas, &/or the scrapbook elements already picked out & with the pictures in the page protector!

However, when my stroke hit, my scrapbooking halted. (Not being able to speak or move was a bit of an issue! Ha! Ha!) A year later, I was introduced to digital scrapbooking, & through the years, I have done some of that, but I was never sure how I’d complete any of the pages I had organized prior to 2004…

I have been blessed in several ways since then to slowly chip away at this, but I was still fighting all the time I lost. But ever since the COVD-19 quarantine began, I have done a lot of scrapbooking. I’m still behind, but I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Here’s what I’ve completed (2000-some 2002), after finishing my daughter’s missionary scrapbook (which was a BIG project to tackle!). I will add more completed pages to this link all month:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/z2xmspyNgnd4ESG58

Update

From March 15-May 21, I hadn’t been out of my house, but I got to do horse therapy again this last week (June 1-4, I was fortunate to have a ride each evening)! Yea! I was super impressed w/all the precautions taken…they’ve really thought things out! & My body really needed it—I slept so hard all week, & often didn’t want to get up! & my tummy muscles have been sore! (I love that feeling now – it is so satisfying to know my body was working hard!). Plus, I don’t get very many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, so between the fresh air & the opportunity to enjoy the company of others, it was almost like an emotional therapy as well!

All 3 kids are headed to college in the fall (yes, my baby, Sophie, graduated this year—she wanted the “senior experience,” & got a very memorable one!). COVD-19 has been a blessing in disguise in some ways since it has worked out to have all my adult children here for a while (& it’s not like a regular visit where they basically just sleep here! Haha). It has also allowed family & friends to find unique ways to show others their love & support, as everyone has chipped in to give Sophie a memorable senior year! I have wished I could do more for her, but it has made my heart so full to witness how the Lord has provided what I could not!

One more thought: As I was getting my haircut yesterday, I was feeling so very grateful that for the past year being a kind of “preparation” of what was going to occur, because there I was wearing a mask & covering my mouth, but still able to talk to my hairdresser (who primarily speaks Spanish)!

Join the fight for inclusion

I LOVE this video (https://youtu.be/HXPbbmRG45A) & echo all they say…they even touch upon some of the struggles I’ve never mentioned, & just “deal with.” I am a really big advocate for disability awareness–that’s the whole reason for my website, jenannlynn.org. I just want people aware that I’m a person too, & to see some of my struggles & joys. Please join the fight for inclusion!:

www.BraunAbility.com/TheDrivingForce 

Slowing down

Before coronavirus, I actually had a good routine set up…I bet u felt like u did, too. Oddly, while the world has slowed for everyone else, & made their lives less busy, my world has started spinning, as I can get more help now, & w/that help, I have the option to do so much more. Crazy, huh?!? (Interestingly, my world has only changed in ways where I try to become more like “everyone else”: music & yoga therapy are online, & horse therapy temporarily stopped—speaking of…I am REALLY concerned about them, so if like to help them out by gathering donations. If u’d like to help, go to http://www.redarena.org/ … Once here, go to “donate options” under “support” on their toolbar.)

I thought I wanted a busier life, but after a brief reminder, I realized that I don’t want that! I don’t feel as happy—even when I’m getting done what I want done—if I have to fight for my time alone to have time for my personal scripture study & meditate. Seriously…I’m happier on the days I fit those in! In trying to find a new balance, it occurred to me: I’VE DONE THIS BEFORE…meaning, I’ve had my life turned upside-down on me, very suddenly, before & gone from being a crazy, busy mom to being well…uh…me! Someone far less busy. Someone who looks back & can see how beneficial it can be to be less busy.

I’ve had a few weeks to “busy myself up” again, so let me share how I’m trying to figure out my new schedule, & maybe something will stick out for u as u figure things out for u.

1st, try to avoid any depression & be grateful for what is still a “can do.” Then, I use the spirit to help me figure out my “good, better, best” activities: ie, I’ve always wanted to do therapy daily, but w/the business of other people’s lives, that wasn’t a possibility before. But now it is! So now, part of me would like someone to come at least a few hours daily around lunch for help with lunch, potty, & therapy…but that seriously messes with my routine (meditation & personal scripture study, amongst other things…& now that my family can be there, I’m not!) So, I need to figure out if there is there something better or best I can do? Cuz while daily therapy is good, is it “best”? Tuesday’s used to always be my “date day” with my husband: going out to horse therapy, going out for lunch, & maybe going to the movies or to run errands with Mark—so maybe finding a way to still spend time w/Mark is better or best? & now that my family is around more, shouldn’t I find a way to interact w/them more?

Months ago my daughter (who was on her mission & has since been sent home) was facing a tough decision. I told her, “U’re faith is being tested by not knowing. God is forcing your faith to grow & making u take a “step into the darkness.”

& when she was physically hurting & felt like she was slowing down others, I told her, “I totally feel for U about your frustration with slowing down the work…I get it. But God probably appreciates u for doing your best….even if your best is just rolling out of bed one day. Reframe. Accept what u are capable of doing. God does.
Would U tell a friend what u are telling yourself? Be nice to yourself.”

Ever notice how much easier it is to dish out (rather than to take) advice? Maybe I need to take my own advice & be nicer to myself, acknowledge that I’m doing the best I know how, & grow, by taking a “step forward into the darkness.” I encourage u to do that, too!