Pirate Kim

So, to continue the story of my life…  (around 1997-1999)

I continued with the unexplained double vision and I got to be a pirate!  Sorry, I don’t have any pictures from that time!  The cranial nerves work to keep the muscles holding your eyes to where they focus on the same point in unison.  In my case, my right eye would get to a point and then stop moving.  If my left eye continued on into that plane of vision, I would see double.  Treatement?  Eye patches…  So, 21 years old, at the height of the “How do I look?” phase of developmental psychology, I got 1 1/2 months of being a pirate.  Wear the patch on this eye for 1 hour, then switch…  Ugh!  I was fatigued, embarrassed, and kept a headache.

However, after that, I was fairly much back to myself.  Although, my indurance was not what it once was.  I remember being especially sensitive to the hot, humid summers.  If I got too hot, I would get this sick, weak feeling of impending doom.  Nothing ever happened during those times, but I would always feel like I had to do something – go lie down in the AC and rest seemed to be the best thing for it.

Life went back to normal for the most part.  We continued to water ski and camp and enjoy our lives together.  David started working towards applying to Nurse Anesthesia school.

The preparation for the admission process was a beating.  Then, there was the interview.  I remember spending an insane amount on a suit for the interview strictly because we were told they will judge you by the brand, material, and fit of the suit.  David made it through the interview, but he fretted over how he did up until the day the letter arrived.  With shaking hands, we read that David had been accepted to anesthesia school.  However, it was the next part that made our stomachs drop…  He was to complete 1 1/2 years in Texas at the college campus, then, he was to complete 1 1/2 years in California for his clinical rotations / residency.

About that same time, we found out that I was pregnant!  (Just to be totally clear…  We had been married around 6 years before my first pregnancy)  As all new parents, we were excited, nervous, and scared.  Yes, we immediately started looking up baby names.  I gazed at myself in the mirror.  What would I look like with a big belly?  We were even crazy enough to walk through the baby stores and start planning in our minds what all we would need.

Life was going good…


Give and Take

I guess I had always been on the side of giving medical care rather than receiving it.  Being wheeled through a hospital on a stretcher is an interesting point of view, especially if you wonder if you are about to encounter a coworker along the way somewhere.  Riding an elevator while laying down feels really strange!  Being rolled through a public hallway in your PJs and blankets is quite a humbling experience, though I never gave it a second thought when I was the one pushing the bed or the stretcher.


Exhausted from the previous night, I showed up in the neurologist office just to be told to go to the hospital to be admitted for testing.  It was apparent that I did not have an emergent brain bleed or something, but the next thing to look for was a brain tumor.  So, CT scans, MRIs, bloodwork galore, and lumbar punctures…  what fun!!!

Thankfully, they did not find a brain tumor, but they also could not find anything abnormal…  I had a 6th intercranial nerve palsy causing the double vision, but why???  Well, it “could” be early Multiple Sclerosis, but I didn’t have any lesions.  It “could” be viral meningitis.  It “could” be Bell’s Palsy.  It “could” be just a fluke.  Nobody seemed to have a clue as to what was causing it.  They discharged me with steroids to decrease the swelling in the nerve & hopefully return my vison to normal.

But, that just made me sick at my stomach!  I could not stop vomiting…  I threw up so many times in such a short timeframe.  I remember feeling so frail, so weak, so stinking dehydrated.  I learned that throwing up in a neurologist waiting room trash can leads to another hospital admission, but this time for IV fluids.  Once as I regained some elasticity to my skin, clarity to my urine, and some much needed energy from the fluids, I was once again discharged.

Not a day later, I was back on the phone to my neurologist.  I had spiked a 102ºF fever and was feeling quite sick.  Being the fiesty, educated nurse that I was, I remember arguing with him on the phone as to what could be causing such a fever.  My neurologist was positive that it was not a neurology issue and that I needed to just go to the ER to be admitted through a different physician.  Frustrated and feeling abandoned, I called the only routine doctor that I had seen, my OB / Gynocologist of coarse!

I remember feeling so drained, so faint as I sat in the waiting room alongside all of the pregnant ladies anxiously awaiting their sonograms and checkups.  I was dizzy, flushed, and couldn’t stop shaking.  Looking around and realizing I probably shouldn’t be exposing all of those innocent ladies to whatever was going on inside of me, I asked to be put in a room to lie down and rest.  After running a simple blood test, they discovered that my white blood cell count was 25,000 which is 2-3 times what it should be.  A spike in WBC to this extent, alongside my symptoms, is indicative of a strong infection.  And, then there was admission #3.  More tests, lumbar punctures, IV antibiotics, fluids…  and not any further answers…

I was discharged once again with an eye patch to help with the double vision, ibuprofen / Aleve for the swelling in my 6th intercranial nerve and the severe spinal headaches from all of the lumbar punctures, and not a clue as to what caused this entire event.



I was 21 years old and very energetic.  David & I camped frequently on our days off of work.  This particular trip, we had been camping at Caddo Lake State Park and I returned home covered in mosquito bites.  No literally, covered!!!  But, it was one of the best camping memories I have.  Everything was breathtakingly beautiful!

I have to admit that I can’t find my own photos right now of Caddo, but here are a couple I pulled from a bing search that are licensed for sharing.



Rowing a canoe across from the love of my life, between the cypress trees with the moss stringing overhead was like a scene out of a fairytale.  Even viewing these pictures, my heart longs to go back to that trip.  My mind can still recall the thick, humid air, the smell of the pines, and the croaks of the frogs as they jumped through the stagnant water from lily pad to lily pad.  The tranquility of that place relaxed you to the core.

However, it was time to leave that behind and return to work.  The money had to be earned somehow.  David & I worked at the same hospital but on different units.  He was in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and I was in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.  We were young and so working the night shift wasn’t much of an inconvienience to us.  In fact, it made working as a nurse more relaxing as you could avoid much of the hustle and bustle of everything going on during the day (patients coming and going to procedures, doctors doing rounds, family visitation, etc.)

As I woke up, took my shower, and pulled on my clothes, I remember thinking something was not right with my eyes.  I rubbed them, but everything was still not focused well.  I scarfed down my meal, brushed my teeth, and climbed into the seat next to David as he drove us to work.  I remember the tight feeling I had in my chest as I realized now what I was seeing.  Everything was double.  There were two cars in front of us, two buildings we just passed, two people walking beside the road, two trees, two everything…  I tried to explain myself to David, and we pretty much settled on the fact that I needed to get my eyes checked for glasses.  Convinced I could get through the night, I walked to the assignment board at my unit, glanced down for my name, and broke into tears.  I couldn’t read which rooms and patients I had been assigned for the evening.  I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to work that night.  I still feel guilty for leaving my unit short a nurse on that evening.  I’m not sure why it didn’t set in earlier that I wasn’t going to be able to complete my normal routine.  I guess it was denial.

David was at work to stay for the night, so we made other arrangements.  My inlaws came and brought me back home.  Once there, I called my parents and asked how they knew they needed glasses and if astigmatism made them see double.  Eventually, I called my doctor.  He told me that it was probably nothing, but to go to the ER to get checked out.  Hey, wasn’t I just at the hospital?  Ugh!  So, we made the drive back into Dallas.

As soon as I walked through the doors of the ER, I was urgently wheeled away to CT scan.  Once as they were appeased that I was not dying of a brain bleed, I was released with orders to follow up with the neurologist the next day.


As David graduated and we began to be able to support ourselves better, we were able to move out of our apartment and build our first home.  It was a 1500 sqft 3bd 2bth home in Mesquite & it was perfect for us.  We cooked, ate, played, faught, and lived life in that house.  It was our first property ownership which came with the fun of gardening your  own yard, but also the not so fun of upkeeping everything!



After I finished nursing school, we felt rich (although we were no where close by American standards).  We started thinking about all of the things we could buy.

I remember the day I asked David for a boat.  He was shocked as if the question came out of nowhere!  He would say it did!  I’m not sure why though, what is a girl raised with 3 older brothers supposed to be like?  I loved water skiing, fishing, and camping growing up and I wanted to experience these things as an adult with my best friend and husband.

So, we bought a cheap, used, outboard fishing boat that was strong enough to ski behind.  We pulled that thing all over Texas and then some camping and skiing along the way.  We were young, strong, energetic, and still in love.  We lived near family, had great jobs, and had wonderful friends from church.  I’m sure if you asked us during that time of our life if we were happy, we would have said that we needed more money as things were never easy and frequently stressful.  However, since then, we look back at this time in our lives as the most peaceful, happy, and enjoyable time.  It is amazing what life holds for people.  This was just a blink in our time on earth.  We have since learned to do the best we can with what we have because things will not be perfect here.  I wonder if I would have been less stressed out then if I knew what was to come – or more??  Nevertheless, God had a plan for our lives and was giving us this gift of happiness for the time.


What next???

Well, as young married, 16y/o, but in college where did we fit in at Church with Sunday School???  Hmm…  we didn’t!!!  So, we taught 6th grade Sunday School ♥

Yes, we had our little tiffs about something the other said that hurt our feelings, finances, intimacy, and all of the other normal newlywed issues.  But, overall, we spent the next few years growing closer as best friends.  We spent hours together playing rollerblade hockey, jumping on the trampoline, and studying for nursing school.  We even bought a bulldog named Princess.


As money allowed, we were able to move out of David’s parent’s house & into our first apartment.  How exciting!!!  We moved in with a TV tray, 2 Nintindo chairs and a waterbed handed down from my parents.  With work and school, things were pretty busy!  We really didn’t need much else!

After one long day at school, I was driving home when someone started to come into my lane on the highway.  I swerved to miss the vehicle and immediately threw my car into a fish tail.  I remember trying to think through what to do, but instinctively, I hit the brake.  Wrong choice…  I spun around several lanes of the highway and ended up facing traffic.  The van in the fast lane hit me head on just before I would have slammed into the center concrete divider.  Stuck in the middle of a not so good area of Dallas in a situation I had never had before, I tried to keep it together, yet I was obviously shaken.  Luckily, the man that hit me was extremely nice, yet I was still trying to figure out what all was going on when my Dad walked up from nowhere!  Tears welling up in his eyes, he put his strong arms around me and asked if I was okay.  I was very confused about everything, but I knew my Dad would know what to do.  He helped me exchange information with the other driver and then he helped me to move my car off of the highway.  From there, he drove me home because I was too shaken to try to drive anymore.

My dad worked for the Fire Department and on occasion, drove a SUV with lights around the city.  Apparently, that was one of those days and he just happened to be driving by on the other side of the highway when he saw me standing there at the wreck scene.  Because of the lights on his SUV, he was able to make his way through the rush hour traffic that I was backing up :-/  What are the chances that would happen?  God knew I would need his loving embrace and comfort that day.  Looking back on that day, I can’t believe all of the details that had God’s hand written all over that event.

What year is this???

In ancient history, it was not abnormal for people to get married as young as 14 y/o.  However, in more modern times, 16 y/o marriages are almost unheard of unless you need to announce a pregnancy as well.  Which, just to clear up any doubts, was NOT the case with us!  We were honestly just in love!

Also, in ancient history upon betrothal, the groom would go and prepare a place in his father’s house for his new bride.

John 14:2-3 (NIV)

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

This is exactly what David did!  He prepared a room for us in the attic of his parent’s house that would be our home for the next 1 1/2 years.


So, our marriage might have been archaic in rituals, but nevertheless, it was meant to be.  It was obvious to us that God had chosen us for each other.  I’ve had many people ask how we knew, but I just know that we did.  Every time we prayed about it, it was confirmed.  Every time we were together, it was confirmed.  Looking back, all I can say is that God was speaking to us and we listened.  I had no fears, no doubts, I just knew.


So, we carried on with the engagement.  This picture is of our wedding shower.  I love seeing the dot matrix banner in the background!

I did graduate high school and have a semester of college.  David had a year of college by that point.  So…

On January 2, 1993, 2016_02_08_10_26_06.jpgfor richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health we devoted ourselves to each other.

Ok- for those of you wondering…  Yes, we stayed in town for our honeymoon because we couldn’t rent a hotel room on our own at 16 & 17 y/o…  Yes, we went to Six Flags, the zoo, and the botanical gardens for our honeymoon!  Laugh all you want, but I was married to the man God had for me and that was enough for me 🙂

Who’s Life is This?

I remember once being told by my brother that I seem to just live life how I want regardless of what anybody else thinks.  He said this as a compliment.  He admired that aspect of my personality.  The funny thing is that I never felt like I was going against the flow, making weird choices, or being out of the ordinary.  It has always been a part of who I am just to do what I felt God had for me at the time.  I care very deeply what others think, just not in the way to live my life to impress them.  It is my life I’m living and I choose to have it lead by God and not the normal human expectations of what to do at each life stage.

I was born as a normal baby, well, with a head full of hair that David says looked like a hippie.

Kim baby pic009.jpg

As a small child, I grew up fairly normal.  Well, as normally as I could with 3 older brothers.  (Pictured with my great grandmother)


I had the measles, chicken pox, and mono throughout my childhood, but was usually fairly healthy.  I do remember once lying about being sick the night before leaving on a camping trip.  I remember my brother – I think it was Jason (far right, red hair)- who snuck me some pepto after everyone was in bed.  When we were getting ready to go, my mom called everyone in to ask who had been sick and left the bathroom with throw-up on the toilet rim.  We all knew, but took the 5th…  What can I say?  We wanted to go camping!

I went to school, made good grades, played the flute, danced on the drill team, etc.  So, I experienced what I wanted to experience.  I suppose homeschooling was the first “road less taken” for me.  Then, falling in love with David, getting engaged, and graduating high school at 16y/o.

Yes, when I turned 16, I got engaged to David.  We loved each other deeply and prayed that God would show us if we were right for one another.  We approached our parents.  My parents were, well, let’s just say less than happy to think of letting their daughter get married at 16!  But, I told my mom to pray about it.  I knew if it was meant to be that God would work on her heart.

After a few weeks and several parent dinners between my parents and the Johnsons, they agreed with a few stipulations.  I’m not sure exactly what all of the requirements were, but I know at least the most important ones.  We had to agree to wait until I had finished my high school credits (David was already in college) to get married, to not have children prior to finishing college, and to live with David’s parents until we could afford to move out on our own.  Our parents had spelled out the details on a list and asked us to sign.  We looked around for a writing instrument to find only a crayon which we were happy to use to sign our names to the document.

Poor David.  I have one cousin who is older than me and a boy.  Between him and my 3 older brothers, David was warned within an inch of his life that he had better not hurt me in any way!  Nevertheless, God had changed my parent’s hearts, and I agreed to marry David.  On that rainy day at the lake overlook, I accepted an engagement ring in response to our marriage agreement.  Looking back, I can’t believe what a glorious blessing this was!  God is awesome and mighty!


Just Good Friends…

Courtship – the wooing of one person by another

Date – a social appointment, engagement, or occasion arranged beforehand with another person

Friend – a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard

Love – a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person

(definitions are from dictionary.com)

As I dug deeper into my new homeschooling lifestyle, I did get to know David and Kirk more as they were the only other homeschoolers I knew.  I was still determined that boys were no good and I wasn’t going to fall in love with either of them!

David was quiet, serious, and responsible, but he was a leader within his youth group at church.  He would organize 3-way calling groups where several youth would connect and basically have an antiquated type of conference call in the mornings prior to school.  Primarily, this was a daily prayer group.  However, as each of the others had to go to school, they would disconnect from the call.  This eventually left David & I on the phone because our school was our home.  Not long after that, we were attending the homeschool skate days together at the local skating rink and spending hours talking to one another on the phone.  Soon, our time together became a good friendship.

David was a year older than I was and was homeschooled since 6th grade.  At 16y/o (about 1 – 1 1/2 years after we met), David graduated with completion of highschool credits and started attending the local junior college.  It was around that time that we had that conversation that plays in my head still to this day.  “Do you think we are more than just friends?”…  “I don’t know, do you?”…  “Well, I like you a lot.”…

At the time, we were both in a church that was extremely conservative on the dating scene.  It was not uncommon to get a lecture from the elders just for being in a group of youth that had even numbers of girls and boys.  They certainly didn’t allow ANY touching, including just handing something to each other, and certainly not spending ANY time alone.  They did not want the youth to date or have a courtship in any sense of the modern terms.

So, that was that…  we were rebels!  We were in love!  I don’t agree with that particular church’s stance on dating, but I do think that youth need to be cautious to protect their hearts and innocence more these days.  Nevertheless, my family had gone to that church and started homeschooling which led to meeting the Johnsons, which led to me falling in love with David.  Coincidence?  I think not!  I believe it was all in one Master Plan from above.  David was meant to be in my life forever and we would have never met otherwise.  God is in control!

What to share…

I struggle with what to share on this blog and what is just babbling on about nothing in particular.  I suppose that same line of thought is what has kept many of you from hearing these stories before!  Then I wonder…  am I thinking these things in my head and just believing others can hear my thoughts?  I really didn’t think that the experiences and thoughts I’ve shared thus far were anything new!

What I have for today might come off a bit strange to some of you, but it is an experience in my life that has shaped  who I have become as a Christian.  You see, although I was a moral child who followed the rules fairly well, I was also a not so perfect sinner just like everyone else.

I grew up with 3 older brothers and I was a tomboy at heart, but dressed in frills.  The brother closest to my age (Jeremy) was my best friend and worst enemy growing up.  I remember on this one occasion when I was around 12 or 13, we had a really big argument that stemmed from my own selfishness.  At the point of screaming at one another, my mother became upset at the fact that her children wouldn’t get along.  I don’t remember all of the details, but I know that I ran to my room, slammed the door, and fell facedown into my bed in tears.

In my sobs, I cried out to Jesus.  I felt like everything was my fault and nothing would ever be right again.  I don’t even remember what the argument was about, but I do remember that my heart was truly broken over it.  All of a sudden, from somewhere within me, a voice uttered a couple of words.  They were very audible to me, but I don’t think if anyone else was in the room they could have heard.  I’m not sure if I will be able to type even a glimpse of everything those couple of words meant to me.  I know they weren’t English words, yet I immediately and fully understood them to the deepest parts of my soul.  Within less than a split second, my physical body surrendered my tears and was filled with an overwhelming peace, happiness, and reverence of just how small I really am.  I had never before, or ever since, experienced this voice in that same way.  There have been multiple times where I beg for Him to speak to me once more in that way, but for some reason, I needed it that day, but not every time I’m down.

What were the words?  Well, I’m not completely sure.  I know they meant for me to be quiet, stop crying, and that I was and would be forgiven.  I have searched the scriptures to find anything similar and what I found was Mark 4:39.  This is where the disciples were in a boat with Jesus who was sleeping when a storm arose and threatened to sink the vessel.  The disciples woke Jesus up and He rebuked the wind and said to the sea πεφίμωσο (pephimōso)- Hush, Be still, Peace, Silence, to muzzle.  The funny thing is that even the greek word seems weak for the depth of what this meant to me.  Are all of the words in the Bible as meaningful and strong as those couple of words uttered into my heart that day?  I marvel at the very thought of this all the time.  God was rebuking me and the waves of my emotions immediately submitted to His authority.  Yet, instead of the usual guilt and shame one feels at being admonished, I was filled with awe of my creator, peace towards my brother, and a happiness that makes me long for my eternity in His presence.

I share all of this with you in hopes that you won’t just think…  well, she’s crazy!  But, that you will revere Our Creator and be encouraged that He is watching over us and is in control!  My God is Sovereign, Mighty, and Lord of Lords.  My God is more than my weak English words could ever express.  May you experience Him in a way that will forever change the way you view your Christianity!

I will NOT fall in Love!!!

I loved the idea of homeschooling.  I loved the thought that I wasn’t just spinning my wheels in school and playing the popularity game.  I wanted to get out of high school and get into college where I would be working directly towards my future career.  But, it was more than just a desire, it was my destiny.

When I met David & Kirk Johnson, my dad bet that I would want to date Kirk (a year younger than me) and my mom bet that I would date David (a year older than me).  I firmly said that I wasn’t interested in either one!!!  I didn’t want a boyfriend!  I wanted out of high school and I wanted Jesus!

The first time I met the Johnsons, Kirk came up, shoved this enormously large reptile in my face & said, “Wanta see my Iguana?”  I wasn’t particularly scared, but I didn’t care to see the Iguana – especially not that close.  Kirk was a 13 y/o boy – need I say more?

David was away on a mission trip to Mexico, so I didn’t get to meet him at first.  However, we visited the other Johnsons at their house and were introduced to the ins & outs of homeschooling.

A few weeks later, I was attending a youth meeting / mini-conference and I was supposed to get some homeschooling books from David (Whom I had never met).  I approached him and with a nice open ended statement, I said, “So, I hear you went to Mexico…”  He glanced at me and replied, “Yea, they didn’t have any windows” and walked away.  I stood there stunned thinking, “what just happened?”  I knew at that moment that David was either extremely shy or extremely stuck up…

Nevertheless, I had to get those books from David or I would be in trouble from my parents!  After I worried and fretted over how I was going to get the books, David finally walked up to me said, “Here” and placed a stack full of books in my hands.  Whew!  Mission Accomplished!  Well, the mission of the books anyway…