Sep 19 2016
When Life Beats You Up…
By: Andy McDermott


I had a moment in the shower the other day because that is the only place where I can cry privately. The tears were right under the surface for weeks, but I finally let them flow. An ugly cry, the kind that releases some of the sadness and washes it down the drain along with the shampoo that I’m not even sure made it into my hair.

Life has been beating me up and the final blow came like a punch in the face. Actually, it was a forearm straight to the bridge of my nose while coaching gymnastics. The x-ray showed a severely fractured nose and a deviated septum. This was not the first hit I’ve taken.

Two years ago, I was a spectator at a men’s league soccer game and was hit square in the face by a missed goal kick.
And no one in my high school graduating class will forget when I was hit by one of the caps on its way up at full force from someone standing right in front of me. Are graduates still even throwing those things? Ah!

I have survived trauma in the past, but the timing of this is almost laughable. Los Angeles is an expensive, crowded, challenging place to live. We had just gotten notice that the rent on our 1 bed/1 bath apartment is going up another 10% and we are not financially in a place to re-sign for another year. Moving is stressful and other apartments that would welcome six people are difficult to find. Frustrating.

I had just started coaching tumbling at a dance school, so that our girls could attend for free. I also offered private lessons for extra money to help pay the bills. Crack! So much for that extra income for awhile…

Now I’m recovering from surgery and getting the long plastic tubes removed from my nose tomorrow.

I know it’s in seasons like this where true grit comes from. I am reminded that families are going through awful things all around us and I’m so grateful for the smiling faces and loving husband who are taking care of me. We will press through these challenges and lean on our faith in a loving God. This journey has been an un-mapped trail run; beautiful and treacherous with bridges and rapids and rest areas and ferocious animals. We keep running and carrying each other along the way…broken bones and all.

Aug 24 2016
By: Andy McDermott

The captain has just announced that we are approaching our “final descent” into Los Angeles airport. I cannot wait to kiss Andy and squeeze each of our four children. I’m also excited because it is my 40th birthday today. I have officially embarked on a new decade of life.

My thirties were miraculous with the birth of three babies, moving to a new state, an exciting career change, homeschooling and traveling all along the way…

I’m also relieved to close this chapter: a decade scarred with a miscarriage, a scary appendix surgery, almost facing foreclosure (this can also be listed in the miracle column), rejection in an unrelenting, expensive city to raise a family in…

I’m celebrating this day. My heart is full from an amazing weekend with my family in Chicago. I soaked up the birthday wishes like the days when I was a little girl. Carrot cake and Caesar salad were my birthday requests (in that order). I feel older, but in a good way. I’ve seen some stuff. I’ve lived through trauma and survived. I have stories to share with people going through similar situations.

I’m excited for this day. I’m excited for this decade; although neither of them is promised to me.

“Prepare for landing.”

Yes! I made it.


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