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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

Expect A Miracle

August 12, 2009


Maybe you remember this post not too long ago, or maybe you don’t.   Either way,  several weeks ago my dad fell onto a four by four post, breaking several ribs and puncturing his lung.

Although in a great deal of pain, he was healing nicely, or so we thought.  Then about three weeks ago he was in the tub and tried to get out, but he seemed to have no strength.  He struggled to pull himself up and felt a terrible pain in his abdomen.  He decided to be a hero  at 4:30 AM and drive himself to the hospital, without notifying anyone.   He called me the next day to tell me he was there.

The doctors seemed to have no idea what was wrong with him.  Test after test and no answers.  They did determine that his pancreas and liver seemed to be functioning abnormally, but had no idea why.  Three days later we were waiting with still no answers.  I asked the doctors if it could have anything to do with the fall he took when he broke his ribs.  They said that wasn’t possible.

By day three, he seemed to be doing better and his test results were normalizing.  And then that evening I received a phone call from the hospital.  They informed me that my dad had started bleeding internally and I needed to come to the hospital immediately.  They said it was serious and they didn’t know if he would live.

I was stunned.  Whatever was happening was making no sense at all.  He had just been mowing the lawn on Tuesday and now he was fighting for his life.

When I arrived at his room, they were inserting a central line to transfuse him quickly.  He was somewhat lucid, but was filled with fluid and looked on the edge of death.   I tried to be brave and knew without a doubt that God had the situation in His hands.

His blood pressure was dangerously low and even if they could find the source of the bleeding, they wouldn’t have been able to operate because his body wouldn’t have tolerated a surgery.

As soon as the nurses and doctors inserted the line, they stood back and I laid hands on my dad and prayed.  I asked God to give him peace, to heal up the wound, and bring up his blood pressure to a normal level and to give the doctor’s wisdom to see what was happening.

And that’s exactly what He did.

Slowly my dad’s blood pressure rose and the bleeding stopped.  His blood levels started to rise and over the next couple of days things improved even more.  He did get pneumonia in his right lung and had some abnormal heart rhythms, but it God is slowly taking care of those issues also.

And guess what the problem was…..

His broken ribs punctured his spleen when he tried to get out of the tub.

I hope they now realize nothing is impossible.

I certainly know it.  Nothing at all is impossible with God.  He is ever faithful and present especially in our darkest hours.

Prayers and Peace

October 13, 2008

Tomorrow morning our lives will hang in the balance, but I’m sure glad that God’s hand in the one holding them. 

I haven’t had a chance to get caught up with the weeks events, but tomorrow is a big scary day and your prayers are really needed.   Days like today, I really miss my mommy.

Pretty Pictures Do Not Always Tell A Story

October 6, 2008


I wish I could tell you a story behind this photo, but I can’t.  We have been hit with another trial, one I can’t talk about, but it is very serious and involves my youngest child.  I am having trouble focusing on God’s faithfulness through it.  All I can see is the storm and the waves tossing us about.  I can’t eat.  I can’t focus.  I am scared to death.  I want to crawl into bed and not wake up tomorrow.

I want this photo to be all there is….no trial, no storm, just a pretty picture, yet here we are again.  I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but your prayers are greatly needed.


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.  

Until Her Joy Returns

August 29, 2008


I have committed to posting a picture a day, so I am posting it, but I don’t feel like it.  It doesn’t seem right to go on like nothing has just happened when Marsha & David are hurting so badly.

When my mother lay nearly dying in a hospital room after her brain surgery, the grief was so overwhelming, that I didn’t know how I would make it through one minute of my day, never mind an hour.  The world just kept on moving and I wanted it to stop.  I knew my face showed every bit of pain that I felt, yet people just passed by without a second glance, as if I didn’t exist.   As time passed on, the phone calls stopped, the prayers ceased and everyone seemed to accept the situation; everyone but me.  The pain never left, though with God’s grace it somehow it became easier to live with.  It would have been a million times worse had been my child.

So I will continue to pray, weep and praise God everyday believing that one day their joy will return.  Someday I know it will.


Until They Meet Again

August 27, 2008


Tonight there will be no picture; I don’t have it in me.  There hasn’t been much that has made sense to me today.  Every seemingly insignificant thing that topped my priority list yesterday meant nothing today, after hearing the news just after 12:00 am this morning about little Christian unexpectedly passing away. 

The moment I read the opening line of Amy’s email, I knew my eyes would next fall upon words I would not want to read.  When I then saw Marsha and David’s names, I did not want to read the next sentence and I held my breath for a brief moment.

Since then, there has been no words to describe the pain I feel in my heart for my dear friend Marsha and her family.  The tears I have shed over the last twenty-two hours cannot begin to come close to that of a parent that has lost their most precious gift in this life.   Although we can look into the faces of our own children and only imagine how we would feel, I know that we could never really know or comprehend their loss without living such a nightmare ourselves.

Even though we know that little Christian is in the loving arms of Jesus right now and is rejoicing in his heavenly home, the mama, daddy and brothers that loved him so, are living through their very darkest hours. 

Through our human eyes we can never make sense of such a tragic event, but through spiritual eyes we know that God is with us, holding us up, when we cannot stand to face such overwhelming sadness and grief.  We know that only God knows the reason and as many times as I have asked why today, I know that there will not be an answer.  I do know that in God’s sovereignty, He is just and right and good and above all, He loves us deeply and is deeply pained to see our broken hearts.  Ultimately He does that which will bring glory to Himself and only heaven will bring us the answers we so desperately seek.

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”—Isaiah 61:3

Please pray for Marsha, David and the boys. I know that our words will be insufficient at such a time as this because nothing but Jesus can heal these wounds, but yet our prayers and support will be needed from this point forward.  Until this family is reunited with their sweet “Dozer” in eternity.

The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart; And devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from evil,