I’m tired
I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world
And I know that You can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left
Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That You can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m wornI know I need to lift my eyes up
But I’m too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that You can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have leftLet me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That You can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn….

This has been the summer that… well…

It has definitely been a few extra stressful weeks, and not at all the relaxation we had so desperately hoped for and needed in June.

But, like it or not time marches on, and here we are in the middle of Labor Day weekend.

When we started the summer my daughter had 2 basic requests.

1. Go to the beach.

2. Go to Philadelphia.

Not so hard right?

And then we looked at the calendar about to change to September and realized between appointments, procedures, tests and surgery – we never got either one done.

Stress is very individual in how it affects each of us.  We all have stress.  We all deal with it differently.  But I think that the reality that stress can, and does manifest in real physical illness is often lost on us.  Especially lost is the harsh reality that stress can make our CHILDREN sick – until it smacks you in the face.


It became clear this week that the stress is weighing heavily on Meghan.  She is one tough chick, but there is only so much the mind and body of a really cute, smart, well behaved 10-year-old should have to endure.  It is now the top priority of her father and I to actively work on lowering her stress level.

We started today.

Months ago we purchased tickets to see the Contemporary Christian band, “Tenth Avenue North” in concert in Ocean Grove New Jersey on August 31st.  We decided to make a day out of it – or a half day at least!

We let Meghan sleep as late as her body needed.  (Falling asleep has become terribly hard again.)  Then she got to watch some TV.  I ran a few errands, and around 3 with a cooler full of cold cuts for “dinner” we set out to surprise her with a trip to the beach.

We never told Meghan our plan, although it was obvious she was secretly hoping for the beach.  We just know too many factors can get in the way on a moment’s notice.  So, it wasn’t until we were looking for parking that we even told her.

By then it was 4:15.  The perfect time to take a kid who is not really sure she likes the beach, to the beach.

Crowds were waning, and as we set up our blanket she had some time to adjust to the seagulls, and the sand between her toes.

Forever my texture phobic kid, truth be told the sand in the toes was the reason I stopped really bringing her to the beach years ago.  But today there was a mission to put her toes in the water and collect shells with Mom and Dad.

beach day 3

She walked with Mom.  Then she walked with Dad.  And for a few glorious minutes I laid my head on the towel and remembered my childhood days in Ocean City,NJ.  I listened to the waves, felt the sand between my toes, and felt such PEACE!

Don't hate my polka dots - my husband did them for me! :-)
Don’t hate my polka dots – my husband did them for me! 🙂

We have a small bag with some beautiful shells.

We even played some with her Nerf frisbee.  There was laughing, and smiling, and a good deal of stating and restating that the sand on her toes does NOT feel nice.

With some gentle prodding she came around, but was perfectly happy with 2 cool hours on the beach.  So glad I didn’t get a full day plan in place!

beach day 4

What we did NOT do was have a picnic lunch on the beach as planned.  Instead, we ate in the car.  Sea gulls, being nothing more than glorified pigeons would have undoubtedly created significant reflux for my girl.  So, we had Board Head chicken breast in the car, with potato chips, and had a great conversation – minus the sea gulls.

We walked the streets of Ocean Grove for a bit, and I saw the sign:

troubles and blessings

And somehow I knew we had done things right – today.

We headed over to the Great Auditorium for the concert.  We happily bought our girl her first concert T-shirt, and her “Tenth Avenue North” Bracelet.  In-scripted inside the bracelet are words from the cover song off their newest CD, “The Struggle.”  It reads, “We are free to struggle, but we’re not struggling to be free.”  She is sleeping with it on right now.

beach day 6

The show was amazing.  Meghan was enthralled.  They are quite the performers.

Meghan and I often sing along to their songs on the radio.  Our favorites are “Worn,” and “Healing Begins”

“Healing Begins”

So you thought you had to keep this up
All the work that you do
So we think that you’re good
And you can’t believe it’s not enough
All the walls you built up
Are just glass on the outside

So let ’em fall down
There’s freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to the ground
We’re here now

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you’re broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark…

The lead singer also spent some time talking to the audience about God’s plans.  He told the story of a car accident his Senior year of High School where everyone thought he would die, and no one thought he would recover fully.

That 32-year-old man with a wife and 2 daughters spoke definitively tonight about believing God will use the adversity to grow greater things.  He told us he touched a guitar for the first time at 18 while he was waiting to heal from his accident.  Clearly, God had a plan.

I was touched by the story, but more moved by Meghan’s reaction.  She HUNG on his every word. She was thinking – deeply.

Then she asked if I had any of the “Cowden’s cards.”  And, God bless this girl she walked right up to the stage and handed them to one of the back up band members… alone.

“I just thought they should have them Mom, in case they want to read…”

This card was created out of her need to "teach" others about Cowden's Syndrome.
This card was created out of her need to “teach” others about Cowden’s Syndrome.

You know the irony with this darned Cowden’s syndrome is that what you NEED is to be away from doctors, because they cause STRESS which prompts other conditions that cause you to NEED doctors.

So, a few days after the hand became free, we are on the hunt for the solution to more developing problems.

Stress.  We do what we can to deal.

We use music.  We enjoy time together.

We try harder to get it right.  We hug each other.  We hold each other.

I still haven’t given up on a road trip to Philly.  (If only I can get my navigation system to work…)

3 thoughts on “Worn

  1. 1). I heart your toes!

    2). I heart the pics of the beach!

    3). Man. Every time I write about my struggles/fears/anxiety about Cowden’s Syndrome….I come to your blog and I read about you and your daughter. And I am humbled. I want to be the ambassador as she is. Please tell her that from another person with CS – she gives me the strength to move forward.

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