A face without freckles is like a night without stars...

Starr is me, I am her, and she is I. She is so much more than she thinks she is. If you asked her, she would say she is just a mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. However, she has been told many times, that she is more than that. Her loving Heavenly Father reminds her all the time, that she has gifts and talents to share with the world, and that like unto her name, she should let them so shine before others, that they may light the day, like the stars light the night. She is passionate, loyal, and gentle all at the same time.


Often when people see her they don't see a gentle, quiet and fragile woman; however, they are wrong. Deep down inside that's who she is, and only those who are truly looking, will see who she really is. If you happen to make it through her exosphere, consider yourself to be a blessed individual. Not many make it there, but when they do, they have a permanent place. Her caring ways, allow her to see things in the world a bit differently than others, unique to a fault.


She truly sees through a darkened glass, and can see beyond the darkness, and find hope throughout the world. Beyond her large, thick exterior are gems within her that are priceless, that are only valued on a spiritual level. Buried within the layers of her atmosphere are different pieces of her puzzle, and even she has yet to put all of the pieces into place. May you enjoy each piece she writes; they truly are the picture into her puzzle.

My Children

I am the mama of two all encompassing children, who own every ounce of my heart and soul, even the part their dad holds onto gets kicked out at times when one of the two does something magical to melt my heart. LillyRose is our precious big girl now, who is a whopping 6 years old! From the moment she wakes in the morning until her head hits the pillow at night in one way or another she reminds us that she holds a status the rest of us don't: Miss Diva Wildfire. Her independent nature, and natural ability to question the world around her has given her the actual gift of life, as every family member knew when she was born at 2lbs 6oz, a fighter since the day she was born.


Our son Abraham Jr. is our love bug. He has eyes that melt every inch of any woman's soul, Look out Ladies! At 5 years old, he is such a smarty pants and I LOVE it! His father recently said he had a genius on his hands, I didn't dispute him or his shining pride I felt emanating from his smile. My son is like the coals beneath a beautiful fire, and often times these parts of his personality help me through my days and "ignite my own fires within myself." Like his sister he too came into this world a fighter at 3lbs 6oz, and his tantrums prove to us that life wouldn't be as interesting without him.


My Children "run" the show, even though we would never admit that to them! That would result in utter defeat in our battle of parenthood. Our days revolve around their schedules, routines, likes, dislikes and even the amount of dishes in the sink when mommy has friends over! My oh my! ;) Together they make up the valves within our hearts, and are the blood circulating through our veins. We are extremely blessed to be their parents and though parenthood has tested us in ways we never imagined, I know we'd be lost without it.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Enough Mind Dump for a Landfill

It's been awhile since I've written anything. I've been just keeping it all bottled up inside of me, because how do you really communicate that your soul is aching and you feel like God's telling you that your the one that gets a short life, and making the best of it feels like scratching fingers on a chalkboard. How do you make the best of a short life? No body around me wants to really believe that I may die young, before my own children grow up even.

 I don't even want to think about it, but that seems to be the only thing that I can think about when I'm with them. And well, I'm with them all the time. Lately, dishes, laundry and vacuuming don't really matter anymore because cuddles, laughs and real life talks with my children seem so much more enticing than anything else. Or writing long letters to all those I love, because I don't want to leave anything unsaid when they are facing the reality of saying goodbye to someone so important to them. August 2017, changed my life forever. It was the first time in my short life, that I realize the mortality of life, while simultaneously realizing the immortality of life. It was like it was all wrapped up into one and my physical body couldn't process all at once, what my spirit was capable of understanding.

I'm still processing one of the most influential days of my life, and each time I try to sit down to communicate how I feel, the words just won't come. However, when I sit down to write those I love, the letters I've always felt I should write, the words flow like a beautiful, and roaring waterfall that sits underneath the most beautiful rainbow in the middle of the rain forest. Those words could come out just right, but anytime I tried to really work through my own "ah ha" moment, I shut down. Until now. I realize the words don't have to be perfect, The words don't have to be "right." They just have to be mine, right then and there. They have to be real, and be able to touch the life of someone else.

I was listening to this song one day by JamesTheMormon called "Joy to the World," and I thought to myself: I want to make another person feel the way that song made me feel. I want my words, my writing to touch the heart of another human being the way his song touched my heart. Even if it's just one person out there who needs to feel understood or loved, I want my words to reach the right person, at the right time. The way God designed it to be. When I'm writing I"m doing what God designed me to do, and even if it's not perfect, it's real and right and it's my gift to those around me, and it's ENOUGH.

Most of us, like me, walk around thinking about the here and now, as if that's all that exists in this life. The NOW, is a great place to be, and we get so much accomplished in the now, it drives us to be, do and say those things we need to say. Life is not just the here and now; it is an eternal round of NOW. There is no beginning and no end. One round circle. This is what Got me through that day back in August. My mortality and immortality are not two separate ideas, they are ONE. Does the thought of leaving this earthly life earlier than my children frighten me? OF course. Who wouldn't it? But, that's another gift I've been given: Faith. Faith in the "Ever After." Faith in the "other side."

Though these earthly bodies we exist in may one day lay in the dust, our character, our memories, our laughter, our souls, LIVE in a space so perfect and chaotic at the same time, simultaneously learning and growing, meeting each other over and over again. How do I know? I don't. I just have faith. I believe in something that I cannot see. I feel something I cannot feel. Why? Because, I believe our Creator, Our Father in Heaven loves us so much, he continually gives us the opportunities we need to be the SOUL he designed us to be. Faith is felt with our spiritual Soul, not with our physical body, science, history or anything else this physical life teaches us.

One time, My dad, Mama Bevy and Me, were climbing this mountain trail and it was a pretty decent climb, and as usual, I was out of shape, I didn't want to, but once again, there was my father, pushing me, encouraging me, waiting for me, little by little. I huffed and puffed, but in the end, I made it to the top of the mountain and the view was so gorgeous. It's a memory I cherish with all my heart, not only because I was there with my dad and stepmom, but it was a cherished memory for me, because I truly did not think I would make it to the top of that mountain. So many times, in my head, I gave up. So many times, I told myself, that I couldn't make it, that I WOULDN'T make it. Yet, there I was at the top, and I had proved myself wrong. I had help to get there. I would have given up if it was just me up there. I wouldn't have even started to be honest. But there I was, looking out at this beautiful view, and nobody carried me up there, I had used my own damn two feet to get there. It was one of the first times in my life, where I felt like, even if life was hard, and I didn't want to do something, that I should because it might make me a better person. I have so many impact moments in my life, and this is one of them. Why did I think of it? Because August 2017 was also an impact moment for me.

August 2017,  There was a mountain placed in front of me that I didn't even want to start climbing. It's a mountain, that I can't see a "forseeable" beautiful view. I just don't want to do it, period. Yet, there it is, a mountain in my way, there is no way around it, the only way is right up it. And that makes me feels sad, angry, strong, courageous, and scared. It's not that I don't think that I can make it up the mountain, I learned that day with my father, that I could make it up any mountain that felt hard, as long as I had support, and a just put one foot in front of the other. This particular mountain took the breath out of me, because I knew it was a literal mountain from God. My creator had placed before me his love, and it was up to me if I could see this mountain as his love for me. Can I? I don't know yet. Him and I, are still wandering out there on our "walkabout." I feel the "Goddess" within me giving me the tools I need to climb every peak and crevasse, I feel ahead of me. I know we have all the tools our creator has himself, within us. And I know he will not leave us alone in our efforts to climb our mountains, I just wonder sometimes, why he doesn't just remove them for us, make life just a little easier? Why do we "have to know, the good from the evil" in this world, if peace and love are, our purpose, why not just have peace and love? These are the wrestles, I have with my God, My Father in Heaven, during times throughout my earthly existence. Where your heart pours out, and you just dump what's in it, over to a loving God, who bares it all, irregardless of how you treat him throughout this process. I don't just believe in Heavenly Father, my creator, I have a relationship with him, just like I do with the rest of those I love and cherish.

I've written my letters to him as well, these letters are written in silence, and don't have ink placed on paper, or keyboard to screen. These letters are wrapped within the walls of my heart, where judgement, fear and doubt share no place with love, faith and Hope. These letters are perfectly placed in the hands of all that is good in the world, or any other world for that matter. They are letters of my soul,  that only God knows and understands. They were written by his own hand and are the purpose of my eternal life.


When you feel like an old soul, in a young body, that's about to meet her personal mountain, the frivolous things of the world don't matter anymore, only the eternal matters. Letting go of all the "stuff" that prevents you from facing God's mountain for you, is what matters. All the "stuff" that makes you feel heavy, and controlled; is only preventing you from making it up that mountain in front of you. The decision is yours, you can keep putting one foot in front of the other, or you can just give up, listen to the "I'm not enough" or "I don't want to's."

That's my mind dump. And it's enough. I don't need some perfect ending, that wraps it all together perfectly. It's perfect chaos. In the digging, beauty can be found, It is in the digging, and toil that rocks are removed, roots are dug up and fresh dirt comes to the surface. It's okay to just "not be enough" sometimes.


As always, In light and love,
Starr

Monday, August 7, 2017

Even Superwoman has her Kryptonite....

Have you ever felt like you didn't really know who you were? Have you ever looked at your life and evaluated what truly matters in it? I have done this so many times throughout my life, and each time that I do, I discover new things about myself, that I wasn't aware of prior, and had I not taken the time to look at myself, I would have missed out on the blessing and opportunity to discover something truly amazing about myself and the world around me.

Awareness puts us in this amazing position, to be able to be, more authentic with who we truly are. Each of us has the permission to change, to become, to define who we truly want to be in life. For some it may take a lifetime to figure this out, for others, they may enjoy the journey along the way, and still yet, those who just understand from a young age that life is short, and eternal.

I've known my whole life, from a young age, that life was short, challenging and unpredictable. Yet, however unpredictable life may be, one thing that is certain in my own life, is the Love that surrounds me each time I need it the most. When I've needed and ASKED for an abundance of love from God, he has performed small, but mighty acts of kindness just when I needed it the most, likely by the hands of his daughters who serve him. It is through their hands, kindness and support, that I feel of God's love.

When I feel broken, it is God's Love that gets me back up off the floor, and helps me find the ground underneath my feet again. The discovery I made in this moment of my life today, made me realize with more depth, the woman who I really am becoming. We are allowed to change, grow, and develop as we mature into the beautiful individual we are designed to be. When we learn to feel broken, and allow healing to transform us from that brokenness, it is a moment of conscious self discovery.

I had a rough day, I felt exhausted physically and emotionally, I felt overwhelmed with my role as a mother, wife, daughter, woman, friend. I didn't want to slow down, I didn't want to break, and for the longest time, I haven't want to break, because I wasn't sure if I was strong enough to put all the pieces back together, once I admitted to myself that I had allowed myself to break, even if just for a moment in time, I was able to let it all go, let it out. I found the strength within myself to ask for support, and the courage to just admit that I needed someone in that very moment to steady me, walk with me, and just understand that even the strongest of women, can't bear it all alone.

Kidney Disease is trying to take my happiness and for a moment, I thought I might just give up, then I decided to keep running my marathon no matter what. I'm allowed to have rough days, weeks, and months. It's the love I give and receive that allows me to see happiness in those days, weeks or months.

I hope you enjoyed,  and that these words are found in light and love.

-Starr

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Conscious Discovery Of Self

Right now I'm all about discovering who I really am, what that looks like, and who's on a journey like unto myself. I think most people say "I am who I am," without ever evaluating who they "truly" are. I've always been the woman who looks at herself and says: "Who are you truly being, and do you like who it is?" At varying points in my life, this question has been felt deep down within the aching of my soul and other times; merely a reflection in the mirror. At points in my life, I've allowed external circumstances to interfere with my own Conscious Discovery of Self; and at this point in my life, that's just not something I'm willing to do anymore. I'm being unapologetically me more now than ever, because I knew something needed to shift within me, to change. 


I'm asking myself the hard questions in life. I'm having deep conversations within my heart, and only I truly have the answers I seek. When we seek for answers outside of ourselves, we can't really understand the measure of our creation, our purpose, nor can we see the path were meant to take. While other people can inspire us, encourage us or remind us of who we truly are, ultimately, discovery of self  comes from knowing what you hold within yourself. 


Awareness of your own talents, abilities and gifts can change over time based upon how you view yourself. You see, these talents, abilities and gifts have always been there waiting to be accessed, and refined and discovered by that side of yourself that is willing to act upon them. The side of yourself that is willing to live to the quality of consciousness it requires to tap into "who you truly are," takes courage, and eventually becomes just as important as breathing. With that being said, I realize how difficult the journey can be, and acknowledge the struggle in the serendipity of it all. 


Discovering who we truly are comes as fast or as slow as we are willing to allow it. Do we really want to see who we are? Do we want to take that good, hard look at what's underneath the exterior of our body and ask the simple question we know is so important: Who am I? Once we begin to ask ourselves this simple question, many other questions, more complicated questions should follow, unless we are scared of truly accessing who we truly are, because once we do that, we are required to act upon who we truly are, we are required to now live up to that potential that we've seen within ourselves each and every day. We must live up to our amazingness even in the face of failure, or success. 


I know how hard it is to live up to something once awareness occurs.....

Truly, I do and the reason I do is because I have struggled with this my whole life. Growing up, I knew that I was meant for greatness, my name even begs the thought that I was born to be great in my lifetime, yet I struggled to believe this about myself. Who was I to shine when other's couldn't? Who was I to be great when I didn't see greatness around me? Yet, I knew the calling on my heart, I knew that somewhere deep inside of me that I was born with unique talents that would bless not only my life, but the lives of those around me. I've been through rough experiences in my life, and because I wasn't aware of my own power, those experiences brought me down with them. 


When we begin to accept who we truly are, we begin to understand the world around us, and our place within it. We become aware of our own needs, wants and desires. WE make the internal shift that gives ourselves permission to be in the discovery of ourselves, to be conscious of who we are, not only on a moment to moment basis, yet also on an eternal basis as well. 

I have a few amazing friends who have found ways to love themselves with acceptance, and look at their own journey with light and love, they have given a few thoughts on how they are growing on their own journey to self discovery. 

Sasha says: 

"I love and accept myself through accepting my faults, accepting that I can't do everything all of the time. I love myself through knowing that all I can do is my best and that sometimes I fall short. I have discovered myself through knowing that I am who I am. I am a daughter of God and I need to view myself as such.

Isn't it amazing how we each have our individual paths to discover and it's beautiful that Sasha realizes she can love herself, even through her flaws! 

Another friend of mine, Megan has discovered through her personal journey of life experience with drug addiction that she is "Strong, powerful, and capable!" Megan says: "I love and accept my past adn my present and all the lessons I have learned in gratitude by waking up every morning and thanking Heavenly Father for one more day. One more day I don't have to struggle without the healing of the atonement and repentance. One more day to look into the three smiling faces of my children. One more day waking up next to my soul mate. I discovered who I was through complete honesty." 

The honesty it requires to ask the questions which generate awareness is a process worth going through, and can help us find the contentment within ourselves which surpasses all earthly possessions, and can create a happiness that is eternal. I'm blessed to be on this journey of Conscious Discovery, and am becoming more aware each day that I wake up with a hunger in my soul that can only be satisfied with an adventure only I can journey. I'm blessed to have individuals in my life that support this awareness, that too seek for self discovery and love for self. 

I hope those that are reading this are asking themselves the question: Who am I? I hope they see the journey their on and realize how great they are. May these words find you in light and love!

-Starr 
  



Thursday, March 23, 2017

Rare Hidden Gems of Exceptionality



If we looked inside one another's heads and viewed the thoughts they felt about themselves, what kind of movie would we be watching? How would we feel about who they are based upon the reel of thoughts they felt on a daily basis? Hopefully, we would see a beautiful flick that showed love, joy and happiness!


How often do we treat ourselves as though we are the main "Star" of the movie? For me, I always felt as though I was being selfish if I focused on what my desires, dreams and needs were. When you're flying in an airplane, the safety speech goes something like this: "If there is an emergency and the cabin loses oxygen, please place your own mask on first before assisting anyone else." I always felt it was more important to help other's with their masks prior to my own, not understanding that if I was to pass out, I would be of assistance to no one!


Part of this thinking came from years of programming that I was taught as a young girl. I'm not playing the blame game in regards to this programming, but what I recognize is that I learned this along my path as a young girl, and I can also reprogram myself to think in a better light. A light that aligns with balance and love; a light that better represents how I feel about myself in the present, rather than continuing to listen to the old programming that no longer serves a purpose in my life. As I have learned before, saying these things is much easier than practicing them, however, if we consciously make the decision in our lives to live a certain way, it then becomes part of our purpose in life, and we want to actively live in the new way that we set out for ourselves.


If your anything like me, wanting to do something is very different than having to do something. The ideas, things or people we WANT in our lives, we find a way to keep in our lives. However, when we HAVE to do something, it's like we all of a sudden we forget, can't find time, or just don't actively think about the ideas that are placed into our minds. If we want an idea to remain with us, we find a way to prioritize it, and allow it to take root within our mind, and when it takes root, subconsciously, we create new pathways for change!


I had fun creating this video of a time in my life where I felt powerful, happy and aware of who I am. I hope you enjoy and gain value from these words, and this video!


Light and Love,
Starr

Monday, March 20, 2017

Be Unapologetically You

When I was younger, I used to be more authentic to myself more than ever. As I grew older, it was as if this time bomb went off inside of me that said I needed to care what those around me thought or felt about what I was doing. Maybe it was always there and I just didn't fall prey to it's presence in my mind as much when I was younger.  My consciousness has grown on so many levels, I am more aware of my thoughts and feelings more so than I have ever been in my entire life. On one level, I wish I was still unaware, because it felt so much easier being unaware of my own body, mind and spirit. It was easier to be in the dark about feeling anything, really; then it wasn't as painful, because I could just pretend that it wasn't there. I realize the lie that's in those words though, because the pain never really went away, it just transferred to another part of myself, the part that I kept locked away from everyone.


The trials that I faced in my life have shaped me into the woman that I am today, and I wouldn't trade my trials for an easier life, I would change how I responded to them though. My entire life I have worried too much about what other people are thinking about who I am. I was in a place of insecurity, and didn't realize that I didn't need to compare myself to anyone else because in all reality, God designed me to be who I am, or was in a particular moment, and created me to be just who I am. Learning who I am has been a process though, it comes with long nights of writing, listening and experiences in every day life.


The internal programming that was instilled in me at a young age, has been something that I have tried to reprogram since I was about 19 years old. At a young age, I knew that I came from a different breed of individuals. I decided that I was going to keep the good things instilled in me and adjust the rest, because I knew deep inside the type of person that I wanted to be, and I always knew that my life was meant for higher living. I don't mean being financially rich, earthly successful or anything like that; I meant that on a spiritual level I was designed by a Heavenly Being, who had a purpose and a plan for my life.


Living in my own purpose, gives permission for other's to live in their own purpose. I'm realizing that I don't need to apologize for being who I was created to be, or who I am becoming. I realize that if other's don't accept me for who I'm becoming, we're just not on the same level. There is nothing wrong with being on a different level than another, when we judge the level other's are on, we are not able to focus on the level were on. We live in our purpose when we are doing what makes us feel the best about ourselves as well as others.


The more I ask myself the questions about life that perplex me, the more I don't know about myself. Each layer that I discover about myself helps understand my purpose in life, and the better I understand my purpose in life, the happier I become, and the happier I become, the better able I am to be unapologetically me. I hope you understand your purpose, and what you were called in this life to do. I know it takes time to figure out. It takes time to understand that purpose is how we live a happier life.


I hope you are living in light and love, and if no one has told you today: You are love, and I love you.

-Starr

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

My Love Letter to Mom's, With Birdies still in the nest.

Today was a long day, We all know the routine! Get up, scramble to get the kiddos dressed, warm and ready to head out the door to school! On top of all of that, it's freezing temperatures here in lovely Utah! So even though I went outside 15 minutes to heat up the car, it still wasn't warm inside by the time the kiddos hopped in it! So then  there's the "Mom, I'm too cold, I can't buckle my seat belt, because my hands are freezing cold!"

Gosh, I don't know what's worse hearing them tell me they can't buckle their seat belts a million times over, or that they are cold? Of course, I threw the Jackets in the washing machine last night, and then straight fell asleep at 8pm, right after the kids fell out...

Who does that, and OF COURSE, I didn't remember until it was time to go...Needless to say, my daughter went to school in two scarfs, a puffer coat with no sleeves, except for a long sleeve shirt. Thank Goodness she only goes from Car to Door and back again. You would think, that after having been a mom for almost six years, I would somewhat have it together by now, but I can't honestly say that I am NO WHERE near that.

Frankly, I am done being hard on myself about it. I'm ready to laugh at myself by now. Oh, and of course, let me put this tid bit in. Rosie jumps out the car and says to the Morning Lot Lady: "Mommy forgot to put my coat in the dryer." Beaming with a smile and all. This is what makes me laugh. Because she looked absolutely content in her scarf, puffer jacket, snow boots and hat. She was so proud to tell anyone who would listen why she got to wear her puffer jacket to school. I just smiled and went about my business. My house is clean for the moment, which in all actuality makes me very happy, however, I know it'll only take one week of school to change that moment. However, I'm just going to bask in the fact that my house is clean and it feels really good to go to sleep with it that way.



This topic alone reminds that I need to be a better Mom at having my children clean up after themselves. Which who wants to even begin that battle in the first place, right? I wish I was one of those mom's with the cool charts, and consistency the size of Texas; However, reality is...I try to be, but I'm just not at this moment in my life. I remember in college, I was so organized. I had post it notes, binders, highlighters, calendars for days...Every night, I'd write down what I needed to get done the next day, and some days I do that now...As a Stay at Home Mom who doesn't currently have a business from home or anything, I feel like what's the point of doing all of that when I'm just going to be juggling tons of things around anyways...One day, I'll remember how important all that stuff is, right?



Mom's need other mom's. Mom's need other non-judgmental mom's. Mom's need nights away. Mom's need friends who let them know how good of a job their doing (Which you really are doing a good job, you know? Really! Your Family would be absolutely lost without you! I'm serious!) Mom's need sugar and salt. Mom's give every ounce they have of themselves for their children and for their families. Being a stay at home mom is the most rewarding and demanding thing I've taken on my entire life & I been through some ish!!! I love when it's quiet, and every one is getting along. I want to pull my hair out when everything seems to be going a million miles an hour, and no one gets along, including the children and the husband! (Which we all know, they are just man size children sometimes. JS Don't get offended my dudes. There are a rare few, you know who you are that don't obtain this title.)

All the time, I want to just sit and do nothing, because I feel like the moment my eyes open in the morning, that all I am doing is....something. Such is life when your birdies are still in the nest and begging for worms, and you're the only thing they have to gain their nutrition. I love my "job," and I'm blessed to be able to care for my family the way I do, and so are you, no matter how you do it, whether you stay home, work form home or work outside of the home; We all are blessed to have our children, or those we care for in our homes. We are all blessed to be called mom, it's a responsibility and a privilege.


Let's just remember that, in order to feed our birdies, we also need to feed ourselves. We need to be aware of what it is that we need in our own lives, to be able to make it through those hard, wanna pull your hair out days. We need nourishment, just as our little birdies do. Whatever that looks like to you, matters. It makes a difference when we know what makes us happy, and content with living life; It helps us realize who we are as women. We are not just Mama's, we are women, with certain needs, that our children cannot fulfill, and dare I say, neither can our spouses. We have to be the one's to figure out what fulfills us. Our gas tanks need fuel, to be able to keep up the pace with our demanding "jobs." Women have so much to give the world, so many gifts to offer. How can we possible offer our gifts, if we are unaware of them, simply because we have forgotten to be curious in our self awareness. (Trust me, I have forgotten this awareness of self, majorly in my adult life, especially my thirties.)

In the end,

Love yourself. And the rest will follow.

One Love,
Starr

Friday, December 2, 2016

Living with Chronic Kidney Disease

As I sit in bed next to my son watching endless YouTube videos of kids playing with toys, I can't help but feel like I am somehow not being a "good" mom. My expectation of who I would be as a mother vs. Reality sometimes sends tears down my cheeks. Yet, there is this small voice within me at the same time that says: "How are YOU even going to get out of bed today, Starr?" The pain is overwhelming, and the thought of beginning my daily routine, overwhelms me to the point, I almost have a panic attack, almost every single day. Yet, I get up and I do what needs to be done, because I have these amazing people in my life who depend on me. My CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) has been a consistent companion in my life from the time I was seven years old. The trauma of having lived with a life debilitating disease most of my life has taught me so much about compassion, persistence and hope. Each morning that I wake up, it's a reminder that I have purpose in my life. The day always begins with medication, and it takes everything I have to even take the medication that will get me through my day. My bones ache. My insides ache. My mind feels slower than ever. At 35 years old, it's difficult to even get the house clean, laundry washed, dried and folded, shower, dress; Let alone put my makeup and do my hair. Which happens to be a rare occasion lately, and I think I am coming to accept that, though it's difficult. Everything I do requires energy that feels like I don't have.

Before I go any further, I would like to give a brief overview of what symptoms CKD might include.
According to the National Kidney Foundation:

What is chronic kidney disease (CKD)?

Chronic kidney disease includes conditions that damage your kidneys and decrease their ability to keep you healthy by doing the jobs listed. If kidney disease gets worse, wastes can build to high levels in your blood and make you feel sick. You may develop complications like high blood pressure, anemia (low blood count), weak bones, poor nutritional health and nerve damage. Also, kidney disease increases your risk of having heart and blood vessel disease. These problems may happen slowly over a long period of time. Chronic kidney disease may be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders. Early detection and treatment can often keep chronic kidney disease from getting worse. When kidney disease progresses, it may eventually lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain life.

What are the symptoms of CKD?

Most people may not have any severe symptoms until their kidney disease is advanced. However, you may notice that you:
  • feel more tired and have less energy
  • have trouble concentrating
  • have a poor appetite
  • have trouble sleeping
  • have muscle cramping at night
  • have swollen feet and ankles
  • have puffiness around your eyes, especially in the morning
  • have dry, itchy skin
  • need to urinate more often, especially at night.
There are five stages of CKD, and I am at Stage four. My life is altered by my disease in many ways. The ability to care for myself sometimes feels overwhelming, and caring for two small children who depend upon me each and every day is a joy, pleasure and blessing; Yet, it also takes everything I have. When people ask how I'm doing; it's a question I can't answer properly. The pain never ends, the tiredness never ends, HOWEVER, My hope never ends either! My hope in the ability to make it through my day one moment at a time never fails me. I KNOW the reason I have hope is because of my faith in Jesus Christ and my Father in Heaven. I have been lifted up during really hard times, in ways that are only explained as miracles. I have been given strength during moments of weakness that feel to threaten my sanity. Another reason I have hope is because of the service people have given me and my family. Countless times, I've been served, assisted, loved, and helped. My heart fills with gratitude at the faces that fill my mind with their hands of mercy, love and service. I've truly been blessed with people around me in the last four years, as my disease has progressed to Kidney Failure, that have been the hands of Jesus Christ. 

Living with a slow progressing disease is life for me. It's frustrating. I lose confidence. Scary. Painful. As much as I try not to let it run my life; I accept it, finally. I own my CKD now more than I ever have. I realize that I have limitations, yet, I try not to let those limitations hold me back from creating happiness for me and my family. I won't lie, some days are harder than others. My children watch more TV than I had ever "expected," Yet, it's been a blessing to have a way to entertain my children when all I can do it lay on the couch and watch with them. I always have viewed my life as if I'm in a boxing ring. I have my gloves on, my head gear, I've trained with a coach, I have him at my side encouraging me (Christ) and my opponent is life. I want to make it through this life, I may take some punches, I may take a lot, yet at the end of the day when I win the fight, though I may look bloody, bruised and beat up; I know My Father in Heaven will take me in his arms when my time comes to leave this earth, my pain and disease will be swallowed up in his power to heal. His love with shine around me, and because I tried my best to fight life in way that is acceptable to him; He will say to me: "You've done it, your trials are complete." 

If you ask me "How are you doing?" Just know that every day is a battle. Some days involve more punches than others. Most of the time, I'm just holding my hands up trying to block the punches; and when I throw a few, it takes most of the energy I have to do so. That doesn't mean stop asking, it just means that I have more hard days than good days right now. I felt the need to get this off my chest today, and that's okay. 

Thanks for reading my loves. 

One Love, 
Starr 
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