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About Me

Single tired mom of four. Lover of chocolate and coffee - not necessarily in that order. Lover of Jesus, photographer by trade, Photoshop junkie and crime TV watcher.


RSS Hallie Westcott Photography

Life Here and Now

September 12, 2008


I know I mentioned awhile back, change was on the horizon.  I wasn’t kidding. 

I don’t know exactly when it happened; really, it snuck up on me, but I eventually came to a point of total burnout and I couldn’t get past it.  If you know anything about burnout, which I didn’t, it changes your whole perspective on life. 

Usually, when lives become difficult, people can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  They know that at some point, things are going to change; life will get easier and more manageable.  The tide will turn and maybe just maybe, tomorrow will be a brighter day.  And that has always been the way life was for me.  I was the eternal optimist.  Never say die, never quit, never ever be depressed because there was always tomorrow.

Well… things changed.

There was still tomorrow, but I couldn’t face it.  I had no more strength.  Lifting a finger became too hard.  Walking the stairs to the bathroom was too hard.  Seriously hard.

I started to ask myself why this was happening to me.  After a year of self searching and six months of prayer and tearful begging for a way out,  I finally realized that life was not going to get any easier.  Things were not going to change.  In fact, things were only going to get worse.  I chided myself for living in this delusional world of expectancy of the easy.  I was not going to have time with God; my health would not improve; I would not have time for my children;  I would never get out from under this pile; my house would never be clean; I would never spend time writing to friends I have met over the years; I hadn’t read a book in three years and I may never again; I would never enjoy my backyard, or play in the sprinkler with my children; my mother would die without spending time with her only child; I would not live a life of serving those in need, but only be living each day to free myself from each pile and to-do-list.  I would never ever turn into the three or four people it would take to run this business.  Those were the facts and I was finally facing them.

I grew more cynical, I felt completely overwhelmed to the point of total exhaustion.   I began to feel as though even God had abandoned me.  After all, I needed to work, I couldn’t just give it all up.  How would I support myself? Why wasn’t He helping me.  I begged, I cried, I pleaded.  And then I walked into the world and put on a happy face because no one really wants to hear the truth.  I was dying beneath that face… that facade.

No one had a clue what I was going through and how could I ever expect them to.  After all, how many single women do you know who homeschool, run a store from home and take care of ailing parents?  Yeah, me either.  Even with my best explanations, no one could really understand my situation without living it.  And had they, they would’ve won an Olympic medal in the “Run from Ugly Things Race.”

Finally, things grew so bad, I seriously began to question my own sanity.  My memory had become so poor, that my eighty-five-year-old father admitted I was in worse shape than him.  I could explode at any second and I woke up terrified each day that there would be some small mishap that would cause our boat to sink.  I couldn’t physically or mentally carry another thing and yet, everyone kept giving me more responsibility.  When my mother came home with a feeding tube and needed care morning and night, I finally broke.  I begged people to understand I couldn’t do it.  They looked at me like I was some pariah who was refusing to help her own mother, but in my own mind, I was one step away from a nervous breakdown.  I knew I would crash.

But isn’t His burden easy and His yoke light Hallie?  Yes, but the orders still had to be sent out and the piles on the floor stepped over, children fed and schooled and that takes someone with skin on.  And that someone was me.

And that is when God took over and appointed my oldest to do the job of caretaker.  He had moved her right around the corner just a few weeks before and had she not lived here, she would have never been able to take care of my mother and free me from the burden. 

And He wasn’t done.  I woke up one morning and knew that it was time to close the business.  I was done.  And I was confident that God would provide.  Not a doubt entered my mind.  I was finally 100% sure that God did not intend me to live this way.  He does intend for me to have a full life, full of joy and expectancy of His blessings.  Not sorrow free, but not like this.  I knew then, if I had not gone through this trial, I would still be living a joyless life.  I would never come to a place of rest and confidence in His ability to provide for us.  He does not need me to run a business that takes over out entire lives, to take care of our financial needs.  But, He can still provide me with income and a job that allows me to stay home with my children. 

So if you’re wondering what I will do now, well… God only knows, but I have started the arduous task of closing Blue Thistle Books.  We have thousands of dollars in inventory that I must liquidate.  I feel sick when I think about it, but God will bring us through this too.  He will give me the strength to do that which He has asked.

And for all of you that have come here and faithfully encouraged me….thank you.  I haven’t had time to respond, (and I hate that fact,) but your words have lifted me up and given me the grace to move forward, burden free.  To my two closest friends…(you know who you are!) I love you both.  Thank you both for being my laughter, my Kleenex and my temporary escape from this burdensome world.  


  1. Janne says:


    I’m sorry things have been so rough for you. You are in my prayers.

    September 12th, 2008 at 10:20 am

  2. di says:

    Hallie, I am just now coming out of my own period of darkness. I praise God every day for lifting me up. Keep your eyes on Him! I’m praying for you.

    September 12th, 2008 at 10:21 am

  3. Gayle @ The White House says:

    Major change is never an easy thing, and it isn’t going to be a quick fix, but it sounds like you have a handle on the issues and are working towards resolving them. I, too, feel like I am being buried alive, but am still not ready to give up even though I know it’s stupid as I’m wasting my days on this earth. Stubborn I guess. I’m so glad you’ll have time for you and your family soon.

    September 12th, 2008 at 10:33 am

  4. Dianne says:

    I’m praying for you, sweetie. Praise God for His faithfulness, provision, and love. Even when we don’t see or feel it.


    September 12th, 2008 at 10:36 am

  5. ~Heather says:

    (((HUGS))) I’m sorry!!

    September 12th, 2008 at 11:36 am

  6. chickadee says:

    so sorry you’ve gone through all this. i hope the changes make things better.

    September 12th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

  7. Jenna says:

    1st time to your blog…and I like you already. :) LOL I am praying for you dear sister. Thanks be to God who knows us inside out. He knows our need, cares for us in ways we can’t being to imagine. God will supply every need according to HIS Riches/His Riches……not yours Praise God He has his own time schedule and agenda…etc. (((HUGS)))

    September 12th, 2008 at 12:06 pm

  8. Emily says:

    Change for the better is just that….

    You can get through this. :)

    September 12th, 2008 at 12:34 pm

  9. Kim says:

    I can’t say I know exactly how you feel, because my situation is not the same as yours, but I do have the same feelings. I wake up everyday dreading the day ahead of me, wishing I could go back to sleep, or go back in time and change the path I am on. I don’t know how to get out of it. I feel like I am trapped with no way out. I am definitely burnt out. Thank you for sharing your story and giving me some hope.

    September 12th, 2008 at 12:49 pm

  10. carrie-the gremlin wrangler says:

    I’m glad you wrote this. Other people need to know what you’ve been going through. It might help them and definitely helps people to know how to pray for ya!

    September 12th, 2008 at 1:01 pm

  11. Robin says:


    Brighter days are ahead, I’m sure of it. Hang in there.

    September 12th, 2008 at 1:27 pm

  12. Nikowa says:

    Sending our love & prayers.

    September 12th, 2008 at 1:40 pm

  13. Kellie says:


    Saying a prayer for you! I truly hope for the best…

    September 12th, 2008 at 2:51 pm

  14. Dawn @ My Home Sweet Home says:

    It takes a lot of nerve to face things like this and move forward.

    I have every confidence that you will be wildly successful in your new venture, and that God has given you the abilities to succeed, thrive, and flourish.

    God bless you, friend.

    September 12th, 2008 at 3:18 pm

  15. kspin says:

    I’m still picking up the evidence (literally and figuratively) of my burnout. It’s taken two months of making those necessary changes to finally feel good again. And alive. You are taking those steps and you will get there. You already recognize, and have the most important person on your side…it took me gaining that knowledge to get to now. Good luck to you.

    Much love,

    September 12th, 2008 at 5:47 pm

  16. Ginny says:

    (((HUGS))) Sending gigantic hugs your way and sending up many prayers. I know that God has amazing things planned for you. Again, (((HUGS)))

    September 12th, 2008 at 7:13 pm

  17. Bobbie says:

    Oh Hallie
    I had no idea. Lord Jesus please give Hallie what she needs to do whatever it is You have for her to do. PEACE abundant more than enough, beyond all understanding peace, God please!!!

    And income to sustain her and her family.Since You own it all, please share some with Hallie Lord.

    Because of Jesus, Bobbie

    PS no follow up needed just know we love you and we are praying.

    September 13th, 2008 at 12:47 am

  18. JanMary, N Ireland says:

    Hugs and prayers.

    September 13th, 2008 at 2:40 am

  19. Kimmie says:

    You go girl…follow His path, cast your care to Him…He (indeed) cares for YOU.
    Love you and I am believing God is working. I am praying for a buyer of the whole kit and kaboodle.

    love you…you rock Hallie. You are one strong together chiquita bonita.

    Love your new haircut…your such a beauty.

    mama to 6
    one homemade and 5 adopted

    September 13th, 2008 at 7:58 am

  20. CrossView says:

    I came over from Ginny’s at Proverbs 22:6 Academy. I read your story and was mesmerized. I found myself nodding as you *talked*. Oh yeah, I know what you mean… Not the exact circumstances but those exact feelings. Too much. I can’t take anymore.

    And still I’d get more.

    Well-meaning friends would say, “God will never give you more than you can handle”. I can’t tell you how many times I heard that.

    But you know what? He did. He gave me, and/or I took on way too much.

    Till I finally broke down and very ungraciously threw it all at His feet. Threw it.

    And He picked it up and He took it.

    And I realied that God WILL often give us more than we can handle. But never more than He can handle.

    And it was when I realized that, along with the fact that we’re *supposed* to let Him handle it, that I found my peace.

    Keep trusting Him.

    And please accept my apologies for being so long-winded. =D

    September 14th, 2008 at 6:12 am

  21. Expat Mom says:

    This is only my second time to your blog, but I have been where you are before. It`s not fun. Fortunately, even when you can`t see the light at the end of the tunnel, it`s still there! Sometimes brighter than ever.

    I will probably be helping you out with that liquidation, since I have two little guys who will be homeschooled in a couple of years and . . . you ship internationally which is just so cool.

    September 26th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

  22. Dillo says:

    I’ll be praying for you too, tonight for sure. Like the others said; no need to respond. If you’re gonna keep blogging I’ll follow up via that. I appreciate your solid, real perspective….Knew you were carrying a lot on those shoulders, not surprised that there was fallout, though sorry it was so so much…so so rough.
    My pastor used to quote Finding Nemo: Keep swimming…

    September 29th, 2008 at 7:38 pm

  23. M~ says:

    Hi Hallie….I am so sorry to read about all you’ve been going through and just wanted to share a quick story.

    My husband @ 5 years ago was serving in the Military and got out. At the time he thought he was doing what was best for our family….but it felt wrong. He got a really good job as an executive for a major corporation, was extremely sucessful and on the fast track, and was miserable. My glass totally full man in his heart could not summon the strength to even predict it halfway there. Then one week we were sitting in church and the pastor started talking about how if everything in your life feels like you’re trying to head upstream against a current….maybe God is trying to get your attention. Well God got his attention and he stopped dragging his feet in the wrong direction and let them travel the road he had known they should have followed the entire time. He applied to return to the service. We were told his app. review would take months…he was accepted almost immediately. They gave him 3 months to sell our home & report. The house went on the market and was under contract in less then 24 hours. Everything about our transition was blessed….and it was sweet assurance to physically see God smooth the mountains before us. But the coolest thing has been watching the Lord use my husband, He had plans for him and a purpose.

    I don’t doubt that God also has the same for you. Wherever this new adventure takes you, keep your eyes on him. He will help you through this time.

    September 29th, 2008 at 10:29 pm

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