• Dana L. Butler

in which I go ahead and say All The Stuff, because everything that can be shaken will be


I click the WordPress “new post” button and my stomach does a flip. I take a deep breath and will my heart rate to slow.

I don’t know what to say. So many thoughts, so much happening in my heart, and once again it all feels disconnected, so I’m thinking maybe if I write through all the disconnectedness here, a pattern or common thread will emerge. That God’s invitation in this season will be made clear.

Or at least, clearer than it is this morning.

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My boy has the most amazing therapist and an equally amazing psychiatrist. Only his psychiatrist is leaving the practice. We are seriously bummed.

We saw her for the last time yesterday. She commented on how much more settled Isaac seems, and then she shocked me by saying, “and YOU — you’re a therapist at heart. You just ooze therapist.”

I was undone. How did she see me like that after only 3 total visits? I told her if I could go back to school for anything, it’d be something along those lines. She was unbelievably affirming.

It was one of those conversations you look back on and treasure for years to come.

We don’t know yet who Isaac’s new psychiatrist will be.

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Isaac’s anxiety is still mostly under control, but my two kiddos, y’all? They continue to bring me to the end of myself.

They provoke one another to legit wrath multiple times a day, and things like washing dishes or folding a load of laundry frequently feel next to impossible, because what will they do to one another if I look away for 2 minutes?

Yet they are each absolutely amazing. Brilliant, articulate, creative, hilariously adorable. Within just a 5-minute time frame, they can make me want to pull my hair out, and then completely, totally melt my heart.

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I keep feeling this nudge to write songs again. I need to do it. There’s this piece of my creative soul that only comes alive when I’m writing songs.

I’m scared though. At least, I think I am. That’s the only reason I can come up with for the fact that I haven’t actually sat down and done the work.

A dear friend wrote a poem — this gorgeous, gut-wrenchingly authentic piece of art — and asked me to put it to music. I want to, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to try and pull it off yet.

I’ve been wanting — actually, feeling Jesus moving me — to write songs for my worship team. For my church family. Again, I haven’t sat down to do it.

The literal moment I put fingers to laptop keys and began to write this blog post, my musically brilliant youngest brother texted me, asking if I could write worship lyrics for some songs he’s putting together.

Okay, Jesus. Okay.

I’m saying this out loud here today because apparently I need some accountability. Someday, I’ll record another album. Hopefully before I turn 40.

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I’m passionate about too many things. My family. Other families. The atmosphere of my home. Young people. Older people. ALL the people, and all the relationships. Encountering the heart of God in worship. Writing words. Writing songs. Singing songs. Speaking. Soul care.

How do I determine where to focus, what goals to work toward in any given season?

Analysis paralysis.

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Speaking of the atmosphere of my home, have I told you that I’m pursuing minimalism as a lifestyle? I’ve taken so many loads of no-longer-needed stuff to the thrift store in the last couple of months that I’ve lost count. Dishes, vases, clothes, toys, books, and maybe a zillion other items.

I joke that I’m addicted to getting rid of things. Nothing in our home that hasn’t been used in the last week is safe.

It’s becoming a spiritual discipline for me, all this purging my life of excess. I can’t tell you how good it feels. It feels like stewardship. Like obedience. Like a breath of fresh air.

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I’m still getting headaches almost daily. They’re not all migraine-level, but when they are? Yikes.

Bless Stan’s heart — he takes such good care of me. And I’ve tried dietary changes and essential oils and different combinations of meds (with my dr.’s permission, of course) and I make sure I stay uber-hydrated and I get enough sleep and practice good self-care, and still, they persist.

I have another neurologist appointment this Friday. Since I’m allergic to the three most commonly prescribed migraine medications (Imitrex, Maxalt, and Cambia), I’m not sure what other treatment options are available.

What I desperately want is to stop waking up with headaches so I can get back to working out again. I so want to be healthy.

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There are a hundred looming uncertainties these days.

Will we be able to sell our town home (currently being rented out) this summer and purchase a single family home for our fam? What school district will we end up in? Where will Isaac start Kindergarten?

We need to have Isaac thoroughly evaluated at Children’s Hospital and it’s over a year wait. When will that process finally be complete? What will the results be?

And what the heck is happening in our country with the utter {read: horrifying} ridiculousness that is Donald Trump?

These questions are really just the beginning. Uncertainty seems to be my life’s theme at the moment.

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I led worship this past Sunday, and at the last minute, decided to do Cornerstone by Hillsong. I needed these lyrics desperately:

Christ alone, Cornerstone Weak made strong in the Savior’s love Through the storm, He is Lord Lord of all

Because I am weak, anxiety prone, and sometimes paralyzed by full-on fear. Whatever can be shaken most definitely will be, and He is the only Anchor, the only Rock worth hanging onto through all the storms.

And I think my prayer is something like this: Jesus, just keep me anchored to You, and let me experience your heart, be hidden inside of you the midst of all the questions, all the unpredictable, all the unknown.

Steady me. Hold me firm. My hope is built on nothing less.

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PS. I love you guys, and I hope that somehow, in all this discombobulated rambling, you’ve seen or sensed or heard the heart of God for you. Y’all are so dear.

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