2018 Focuses (Cuz Goals are Scary)

The new year came, then passed like any ordinary day. All this talk about planning what you’re going to do this year? No thanks. I’ll just take the year and be surprised at what comes my way. That’ll work, right? (Insert wince face here….)

A list of things to do in the year is intimidating. Most people’s lists consist of things like “get more organized” and “lose weight.” Ahh! Too big of things! (And then we get upset when the list isn’t completed by February!?)

On the 3rd, God told me the word “restoration” through a friend. “Healing and restoration are two different things. You’ve been healed, now you just need to wait for your restoration,” Lora told me.

“Hang it up on your bathroom mirror, and every morning, thank God for your restoration!” my friend Gary told me. I had been thanking God for years for my healing (not always consistently) before I was healed. But now, I just need to thank Him for my restoration.

And then, on the 5th, I read this blog by my friend Chelsea. In it, she talks about how she asked God what she should focus on in 2018. Ask God…I felt a nudge. I printed out the worksheet she had made to assist others in praying about 2018, and I sat down with my journal to hang out with Jesus. Here are the points He told me to focus on this year:

  • Patience/Waiting
  • Building myself up
  • Loving Lydia
  • Pray for others

Then, I went back to each point and asked God more about each.

  • Patience/Waiting. Doug and I are planning on adopting kid #2, but we can’t even take classes until next August or September. We made this decision last October. At first, I didn’t even realize we’d be able to take the classes at all, but it made me feel a whole lot better knowing when we’ll have time to do so. Second is waiting for my body’s restoration. I know it’ll come; I just have to wait for it. And in all this waiting, I can pray. For the things I’m waiting for, as well as things I don’t even know about yet. I asked God if either of those things would come to be this calendar year. He told me that I’ll just have to wait and see.
  • Building up my confidence, more specifically. Over this last year, I have been a mom, a wife, and a manager of my household. All these things are good, yes, but I’ve kind of buried the Anna. I’m still involved in Bible studies, mom’s groups, and the spouses of med students organization, but. But what about the things I love doing? Writing fiction? Actually developmental editing somebody else’s work, like I took classes last spring to do? Goodness, I don’t even play piano as much anymore. I thought giving lessons again this spring would be a thing, but it sure hasn’t yet! The thing is, I don’t have enough confidence doing these things. I like them, but sharing them? God told me to make time for these things and share them. I asked if I would publish one of my books this year or get paid to edit somebody’s work. He told me? Yep, you guessed it. I’ll just have to wait and see.
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Photo credit Stephanie Nicole Photography
  •  Loving Lydia. My current family. “Don’t get so caught up in preparing for kid #2 that you forget about kid #1,” God told me. Tonight, days after God told me all this, Doug told me to make sure I love Lydia more than the nannies that we pay to help with her do. When Lydia gets hurt? She doesn’t even come to me. It’s either her daddy or the nanny currently working. I can’t always have my work desk in the kitchen; I need another space. That way, when I’m in the kitchen (which is connected to the living room), I can BE PRESENT.
  • Pray for others. I have prayed for so many strangers out loud, even in the middle of a waiting room. I like praying out loud with family, friends, strangers, whoever I feel like I’m supposed to pray with at that moment. I pray in my head, too, because sometimes I don’t have confidence to pray for somebody. But thank you, Jesus, that I have come so far in that area! There are seven billion people in the world. Oh, that I could bless a few!

And so, along with the post-it note that will go on my mirror, I will keep a typed up list of these things, too. These are the things I shall focus on in 2018. What will you focus on?

Be blessed,

Anna E. Meyer


It’s a Girl! (Which we already knew..)

I HAVEN’T EVEN WRITTEN ABOUT HER. All I’ve been writing lately are thank-you’s! I’m tired. I always feel worn out. I get frustrated. And the love that consumes me each day is crazy. Most of you know why.

Lydia Ruth Meyer was born on September 1, 2016. She weighed 6 pounds, 3.8 ounces, and was 20 inches long. Oh my goodness. I love her more each day! Man, by time she’s grown up, I won’t even know what to do with all that love! I say things that I used to think was dumb, like, “I can’t even.” But I can’t even finish that sentence because of all the emotions that overtake me before I find a reasonable word. My Facebook page is flooded with pictures of my new little daughter (it’s weird to say that I have a daughter! But I do!), because of so many family and friends living so far away. Lydia grows and changes every day!

To catch you up to date on health stuff. Lydia is incredibly healthy. For this we are all so very thankful! I, however, have not been up to par. Two weeks after Lydia was born, I started another relapse. I had been warned that one would likely come, but I thought it would have been right away. I went to see my OB for a checkup and was admitted to the hospital with a uterine infection. I was on the baby floor, though (because it was pregnancy related), so Lydia could come visit me! I stayed there about two days before coming home. Three weeks later, I was back in the hospital. I went in to the ER on Monday night, and was released Saturday. This one was bad. I had a bladder, kidney, and blood infection all at the same time. Needless to say, I was septic when I came in and was a good part of the week, too. Urine retention is common in people with MS. I just didn’t know it had been happening to me for months prior. That is why what started as a bladder infection, backed up to my kidneys, and got my blood, too. I am still on IV antibiotics three times a day, but thanks to home health, I can stay at home and do them myself. My 14 days will be up soon, though, and then I will be on oral meds. I’m getting catheterized four-ish times a day, too. I keep wanting to do it myself, but that’s hard, and I don’t have all the dexterity in my hands and fingers I once did. That will come, though. The doc said that my bladder is super stretched out, but by getting cathed daily, it will build that muscle again.

My mother stayed in Kentucky with us longer than she had planned on. She decided to stay longer after my relapse began to make sure we were okay. That’s actually one of the reasons I wanted her there first—because I thought a relapse would come right away.  My MIL was coming the next week, so we put her on Lydia duty—that’s why she came! To meet Lydia and help out with her care! My mom had “Anna duty.” She knows what to do when I have a relapse and how to help. She had been taking care of me so long with this MS headache. Even when I relapsed in January for a while, she brought me home to Cottonwood until I was strong enough to go back home. She was not going to go back home until we had hired a caregiver to be with me and help take care of Lydia whenever Doug was gone.

The week with both moms was a little bit stressful, probably because there has never been so many people in our house AND so much was going on! But it was good. My mom did the cooking, because she loves cooking, and she’s good at it. And my MIL was oh-so-helpful with Lydia and other things around the house! It was nice not having the full night duty for almost a month! God’s hand was so much at work before my mom left, though. We inquired about getting a caregiver through a government agency, but it was going to take way too long. We decided to hire privately, and we got a name the next day! So, before the week was up, we had hired Karen and her adult daughter, Amanda, to trade off being caregivers for me and Lydia. It has been so awesome! I don’t feel guilty for taking a middle-of-the-day nap, because I know Lydia is being taken care of, and I know that my body has to heal in order for me to take better care of Lydia by myself one day.

Doug’s and my first post-baby date! We got all dolled up and everything!

Lydia Ruth is a strong and determined little girl. She has parts of both Doug and me in her, as well as traits from others in our families. As with all children, I’m sure, similarities toward one parent or the other will depend on whose family we’re visiting, and who this or that friend knows better. She is doing GREAT developmentally, and is even doing a few things sooner than the internet says she’s supposed to, which makes this mama smile big. She has to be able to see at all times. She hated the bassinet we’d gotten, because it had high sides, and she couldn’t see what was going on. So we put her in a crib at three weeks. Apparently I walked before I could crawl at 9 months, and I’m kind of expecting the same from Lydia. She loves when we hold her up so she can put weight on her legs and feet. When we put her on her belly for “tummy time,” she tries to scoot—almost crawl (if her body were strong enough)—as far as she can. She’s been trying to lift her head since day two, and now she looks around and takes everything in. We took her to church for the first time yesterday, and we put her in the “Sprouts” nursery for kids 0-24 months. I think she liked it! She didn’t sleep much when she was there, but boy, was she tuckered out when we got home! Lydia started smiling at things and at people about 5 weeks—the internet said that wouldn’t start until 6 weeks! One of our caregivers said about Lydia, “It’s like she’s frustrated with her baby body that can’t keep up with her!” My mama heart just beams with pride for my girl. Even at her two week visit, the doctor commented on how alert she was! Soon, it’ll be time for her 2 month visit—the one that includes shots. Lydia is generally a happy baby, and Doug and I couldn’t be more excited about her!

I only have two or three actual pics of Lydia smiling. Here they are!

I am so overwhelmed with all of the prayers being said on my behalf, as well as the prayers for Doug and Lydia. I am so thankful for them, and for each person who is whispering them for us! When I was in the hospital this last time, I saw God’s hand at work every single day. As I go to bed at night, I have been identifying the ways the God is moving in my life – physically, mentally, and spiritually. I am so very thankful that I am still here, able to be a mommy to Lydia, and a wife to Doug. Thank you for all of the physical support, and prayer support that we’ve been receiving. We are blessed.

Resting in my Heavenly Father’s Embrace

“Abba!” I cry as I reach my hands up, wanting to be held, but unsure of where my daddy is. “Where are you?”

“I am right here, my child,” comes the reply as he picks me up into his arms and holds me in a hug.

“I am so stressed out,” I say to his shoulder. But he comforts me. He puts his hand gently on my back.

“There is no need,” God tells me softly into my ear. “I’ve got this.”

I nod my head. “I don’t want to do today on my own. It’s too heavy.”

“My dear, all you have to do is ask.”

“Will you……?”

“Will I….what?”

“Will you take this day from me? And here is my to-do list. It is overwhelming. I can’t……”

“Don’t worry, my child.”

“But what if I take it back?”

“Then just give it to me once more.”

I let out a sigh as I burry my face in my Heavenly Father’s shoulder.

Yesterday was a hard day. So much going on, so much disappointment and discouragement. In church last Sunday, we talked about how the devil goes about discouraging us all. Because even if we don’t fall for his other schemes, discouragement pushes us into despair and trouble better than anything else. And now that I recognize it, I see it all over.

“Disappointments come in threes,” a Mary Kay leader once said, “but blessings come by the thousands.” I can feel that God is opening the floodgates for blessings with this Mary Kay job of mine. It is going to affect my job at Sound House, as well. Sometimes, I can’t sleep because I am just imagining possibilities. Now that yesterday is just that—yesterday, in the past, history, I am ready to look ahead and keep moving forward.

Dr. Wile E. Coyote had me listen to a voicemail I’d left him a few weeks ago, telling him how excited I was that the father of one of my music students thanked me for teaching his daughter, and getting her excited about the piano. We do that for each other—haul one another up and out of the pity party we are trying to throw ourselves. I look at all my goals and the reasons that I am doing this Mary Kay job, as well. I want to bless other women by introducing them to a product that makes them feel good and look good on top of it; by giving them the same job opportunity I had, one that many women are praying for but don’t even know exist. I want to share my faith and pour into other women, just as I have been so poured into!

My dad giving me a hug the day of my wedding.
My dad giving me a hug the day of my wedding.

“Hey, God,” I say as he sets me down and takes my hand.

“Yes?” he asks with a small smile on his face.

“I know that the rest of this month will be better, so…thank you!”

“You know?”


Have a great day, everyone!

Anna E Meyer