Friday, October 28, 2011

Can I Just Share My Heart for a Minute?

If you know me in real life, you've probably noticed my reflect-o-legs.  Some might refer to it as being fair-skinned, but I think "reflect-o-legs" more accurately describes what I've got going on here.  Try as I may for that summer glow (and truthfully I don't even try anymore), burn and peel is all I know.

I've always been one to sunburn easily, but one particular sunburn stands out to me as being one of the worst.  I was pregnant.  Chuck and I decided to take his boat to the lake for a few minutes so he and my brother could work out some kinks in the motor.  A few minutes turned into a few hours and I left there with a terribly painful sunburn across my back and down my legs.

What is it about having a sunburn, even when it's hidden by your shirt, that makes people suddenly want to hug you tightly or pat you on the back?  And it's that one spot that's the worst - that sore spot that somehow got just a bit more sun - that they seem to somehow zero in on.  Maybe you don't really get more hugs or pats, you just notice it more because it hurts so badly, but it sure seems like the sunburn is a beacon calling out for attention.  Ouch.

This week I feel like I'm one big sunburn.

As most of you know, Faith and Ruby were featured on the news in Dallas this week.  That story got picked up by many other news station, and we're finding out, was seen all over the world.  I've gotten messages from people in several different states, France, and even Australia this week.  

It seems God is using this amazing dog and my precious little girl in a big way.  

It's awesome that we've had so many opportunities to share this amazing story of God's provision, and raise awareness about type 1 diabetes and service dogs.  We really do feel honored.

But, every time I share our story on here or facebook, and every time we make the news, we open ourselves - me specifically - up to criticism.  

When you agree to a news interview you are at the mercy of the reporter.  You can pour your heart out and share for hours, but ultimately that has to be whittled down to a few minutes long piece to run on the air.  You just have to hope and pray that the reporter really listened and conveys that message accurately.  We've experienced both sides of the coin; reporters that seemed to not have heard a word we said, and those that really retold our story well.  The thing is, you never really know which way it will go until you watch it on TV along with everyone else.  That can be a little lot incredibly unnerving.

It's easy for people to pick apart our stories, pass judgment and come up with (and voice) all the many ways they'd do things better differently.  Not much is more important to me than how I do as a wife and mom - and a big part of that is how well I take care of Faith and manage her diabetes.  I'll be the first to tell you that I come up short in all areas a lot more often than I'd like.  But, I try my absolute best to manage Faith's health well; yet, there are still many days that I feel like type 1 diabetes totally kicked my butt.  I second guess myself constantly. 

That's my sore spot.  And every time someone questions my care of Faith, whether knowingly or not, they are slapping my sunburn.  

And, OUCH, it hurts.  Every time it happens I feel like deleting my blog and my facebook accounts and sticking my head in the sand, but I truly believe that God has called me to share this journey.  Still, that doesn't change the fact that sometimes it's hard to be this transparent.

There's talk about some pretty big opportunities that may open up for us to share our story.  It's unbelievable and exciting to watch this as it unfolds, but there's part of me that hesitates.  Do I want to open myself up to that - be that vulnerable?  I know that ultimately I will, and I'll brace for whatever bad comes with the good.  I know that I shouldn't really pay attention to the negative comments, but that's a lot easier said than done.

I tell you all that because one, Chuck's probably sick of hearing it and the kids are asleep, but two, to ask you to pray for us.  Pray that God will give us strength for what lies ahead and comfort us when it hurts. That He'll continue to make himself known to us; and that we'll be sensitive to His leading and walk through whatever doors he opens.

Love y'all.


  1. Continue on. You are helping so many. Your story is inspiring. I just try to ignore those that are overly critical or judgemental. Don't let it wear you down. xo

  2. Oh friend! If someone feels qualified to judge you when all they know of you is a 3 minute television interview, that says a whole lot more about them then it does about you. I know that you know all of the cutesy cliche's about judgement, so I will spare you all of those. I will tell you though that I have known you a lot longer than 3 minutes and I am in awe of you! I will pray for you. You must be making an impact, because Satan is working hard to silence you.

  3. You are an amazing person and I personally find you an inspiration.

    Many people walk their wonderful journey in near anonymity resulting with few reached by their stories.

    Then there are those who give the gift of sharing their journey with others. Those that share pay a price to share. But they share because they see that genuine good is provided to others with the cost. That is what you do so well.

    Your family's journey is inspiring to others. By you shouldering the negative and continuing forward many you will never know will benefit.

    I feel your frustration when faced with the sadness of negative attacks but those attacks should not quiet your voice. Those negative attacks should not prevent your gift from being shared.

    Please know that you have been given the opportunity to make a difference and may never know how big a difference you have made to someone very far removed.

    You are respected, admired and supported by people who genuinely care...

    From your friend you have never met but who feels tremendous gratitude for all the ways you have touched our lives.

    Thank you Sarah for sharing...


  4. Scratching my head (or is that MY sunburn) trying to imagine WHAT on earth there could be that someone could criticize about your inspiring story? I am a D mom too and my daughter and I have been very open all our years of this -- she's been in the national spotlight a lot. It's a mixed bag but two things stand out 1) the people who find hope and faith via our stories and 2) the amazing, strong, outspoken and powerful young woman my daughter has become. I am FAR from perfect as a mom but . . . she turned out pretty fabulous despite me. Stick with it and go with your gut and heart.

  5. Who could find anything negative to say about a tiny little girl and her amazing dog? I know there has been debate in the Type 1 community over the use of these dogs -- most favoring cgms -- but I believe that is because there have been unscrupulous people selling untrained dogs to parents of children with D in the past...more than one organization. That is why parents who have discovered DADs that are properly trained and organizations that are doing this work correctly need to publicize them. Countless children either can't or won't utilize cgms (ours does not want to wear two sites) and these dogs can save lives. A cgms will not wake you up and personally I have slept though both Minimed and Dexcom cgms alarms. A dog will alert you (though I am reading some dogs don't alert at night?). Best of both worlds would be to use both dogs and cgms. God bless you, your daughter and your dog. Realize that people are only criticizing if they do not believe these dogs can do what they do and you are educating them. And, obviously if a cadaver dog works, a bomb sniffing dog works, a drug sniffing dog works, a diabetic alert dog can work if properly trained.


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