part IV… two kids, three careers & two houses later

Yes… nine short months later, the boy and I were blessed with a beautiful, happy, healthy baby girl.  Thanks to the help of my diligent and devoted parents, the remodel on our house was finished just in time to become parents ourselves! And it was so well crafted by my father’s handy work… that two and a half years later we were able to sell our home and make quite a decent profit.  Why sell?  Well…

I guess having a baby does change your life!? Once our little Lucie entered the world, careers, routines, ambitions and life in general seemed to look different than before.  It was no longer desirable for us to ship her off to daycare; work 50 hours a week; commute 2 hours a day; and rush home, completely exhausted to throw together a dinner, bathe a baby, read her a bedtime story and say goodnight – only to repeat the same agenda the following day.  We tried having Eddie stay home for a while… but my commute and job were still too demanding to have much of a family life.  Our wheels started turning and we began plans to move from the heart of Minneapolis to our “little house on the [South Dakota] prairie” where a business opportunity had come up for Eddie.

Leaving behind a secure, rigorous, and blossoming career was difficult for me… and my usual train of thought. But staring at a darling redhead and not being up for the task of “mom” by the end of each day began to supersede my typical pattern of type-A tug of war. We risked a lot, trusted the Lord, and we moved. At first the road was rocky… our marriage began to crumble – we rebuilt – we faltered – we regained our footing – and finally we humbled ourselves enough to submit our relationship back into Christ’s hands.  Healing began, our friendship and our love for each other grew beyond anything we had yet known, and baby #2 came along, little Lydia.  

Being a stay-at-home mom most definitely had its ‘guilt factors’ – not ever doing enough for the cause of the family, financially, globally, etc. However, the Lord subtly showed me the beauty in 

mtrushmorethe career of raising kids… and what an important career that is! Having the time to play with them; teach them; share God’s word with them; ponder their daily discoveries alongside them – I had time with them! It was an opportunity I’d never had before – an opportunity that many never have.  It was a gift from God that I hadn’t even known to ask for.  Our lives slowed to a near stop out there on that beautiful prairie, and we learned to live a rich life outside the hum of the city.  

For this brief pause in my life, I was able to enjoy both Lucie and Lydia to the fullest and let go of my inner drive. Sort of. I did find time to refurbish a piano; build a fence around the first garden I had ever planted (at 7 months pregnant); teach aerobics up to the 9th month of pregnancy; learn to cook meals rather than just throw together salads; raise my girls bilingually; train two cats and a dog – or two, and a few other things.  For the most part, though, this pace was calmer than I was used to. A calmer pace led to a calmer me. And a calmer me led to a better, closer relationship with my Creator.

“Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,”      2 Corinthians 3:5

As the girls grew, we longed for them to be closer to their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We felt a desire to return to the place of our childhoods – Up North, Minnesota. The prairie was beautiful, but the clean, crisp, 10,000 lakes and the endless forests of trees – always felt like home.

With our marriage rejuvenated and our little family established – by the grace of God (the housing recession was coming) – we sold our house in the South Dakota countryside and moved back “home.”

Eddie got a job at my dad’s company (thanks again, Dad) and I jumped back into my 


former career of teaching. We bought a cookie-cutter house (a temporary place – we planned on flipping when we found our dream home). We found a church family that helped all four of us to grow in our faith and 

knowledge of Christ. We had one kid who was in school and the other in a very nice daycare situation shared between grandparents and a friend. We were home and loving it!  

For the first time ever, we could see our “happily ever after.”

We thought it was a done deal.



*This document is the sole property of L. Marie Drake © 2017.  Permission granted for printing copies of this page on the basis they are not used for personal profit or any financial gain. Thank you.*

mid-month news & info  ~ june 2017


“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”        Psalm 118:24


  • Depression is another Invisible Illness, so we would like to highlight it on tripping Up the Down escalator.  It is one of those things that hides inside of us and often gets overlooked by the outside world. In fact, most people suffering from depression are very good at disguising it… even as they try to plow through their daily routine! Fortunately, we have had Jill volunteer to share her personal story so that…
    • we can know that we are not alone!
    • we can learn more about the signs and symptoms of depression as we help ourselves or loved ones through this difficult place.
    • we can consider sharing our own story in some way.
  • Please read Jill’s story about her struggle with depression (you can click on the blue link or you can find her story in U R NOT alone… our stories).  Please pray for her continued healing and the healing of others battling this Invisible Illness.
  • Another personal story was shared via a song. At age 18, Mandy suffered an Invisible Illness that changed her life forever. You may have heard this on TV… we now have it included on our site in U R NOT alone… our stories… mandy’s story/song. 
  • Sometime in July… we will open On the Lighter Side!  This section will be its own sort of blog – digging into male and female thinking, rationale, observations, and plain old common sense (or plain old lack of it). As we walk through this life… we at tUtDe are trying to remember to smile. We hope you will too! 🙂


  • We did it!!  You no longer need to have your eyes working today!! So far, we have successfully added “listening links” to the following areas.
    • The home page
    • Blog:  part I…what just happened? 
    • Blog:  part II… FROM THE TOP
      • See this icon at the end of an article to retrieve:  listeninglinkzzzz listening link


  • Share – SHARE –share!  Please consider sharing a trial you have had in your life and how you are dealing with it from day to day; how you have found a blessing in it; or maybe you are deep in the middle of the chaos that comes with a life-changing illness and you just need ‘sharing therapy’ to weed through the days?  We thank Jill for courageously sharing… let her courage be yours!
    • Worried you cannot write your story?…. Still contact us and we’d be happy to help you by either writing it with you/for you; editing it with you; or maybe even recording it instead?
    • We have two friends working on sharing. One will share with us about her challenges with PTSD and another about life with Fibromyalgia.
  • If you appreciate our website, please consider “following” it via your email. No worries… this won’t dominate your daily mail… you will only receive an email when we post our weekly blogs.  This will help our ratings and spread the hope to more people in need!  Thanks.
*This document is the sole property of L. Marie Drake © 2017.  Permission granted for printing copies of this page on the basis they are not used for personal profit or any financial gain. Thank you.*

part II… FROM the TOP

FROM the TOP I begin… only because when you get to know the injured me, it won’t make sense if you aren’t introduced to the pre-injured me!    🙂  

I was raised in a family of four… in North Dakota for 9 years, then Minnesota for another 9 – mostly during the ‘70s and ‘80s.  As I mentioned in ‘part I’… our family’s main dysfunctions stemmed from the disease of alcoholism.  Because of this, there were times of great strife and tension as well as periods of much uncertainty. Despite our flaws, looking back, it could have been so much worse.  I am very grateful for the experience of growing up in my family. My parents loved and still love my brother and me. Throughout our upbringing, we lived in both abundance and need. But we were always a family. Always.

Many privileges decorated my childhood, teen, and young adult years. I ran freely in the woods (literally); I owned and trained every girl’s dream, a horse (Thunder. Oh how I loved Thunder!); I danced both on ice and on gym floors – performing competitively and just for the fun of it; I had a playhouse with young girl secrets hidden within; I floated on lakes and rode fast boats with crazy, fun friends. Gratefully, in addition to all those privileges, my parents also afforded me the opportunity to attend college both locally and overseas. They worked diligently at their careers to make sure I ate well, had a roof over my head, was always loved, knew where home was, and graduated with 2 degrees, 2 teaching licenses and a Masters in Education… ready for the world.

Church was important as we grew up.  Both of my parents taught us to have a healthy respect for God and the church.  We prayed both before bed and at mealtimes; we often talked about God’s viewpoint of right and wrong; we were baptized, confirmed, and raised in a religious setting. This religious setting changed for me at the age of 9, when we left one denomination and began to attend the services of another. And for me, it changed again when I began attending another kind of church in my late teens. Somewhere in the middle of it all, I became confused about the concept of religion.  

As I grew into adulthood, I toggled back and forth searching for ‘the right’ religion for me. I was determined to figure out the right way to worship the God I was raised to believe in. I knew He was real. I believed in His Son. I prayed to Him and was pretty certain that my life would be quite dismal without Him. When I look back, I can now see that Jesus had always been chasing me – wooing me. He had placed people in my life who slowly drew me away from my intense focus on religious requirements, and turned my heart toward a personal relationship with Christ:

~My mom and my grandma taught me to pray – both in good times and in bad.

~I watched several friends become believers in Christ.

~I witnessed great healing in my dad’s life as he laid down his burden of alcohol and surrendered his life to Christ.

~My future husband explained the Bible’s message about the difference between religious works and God’s greatest gift… Jesus.

“But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.”   Romans 11:6

In September 1992, I finally met Jesus, personally. For real. I finally saw HIS splendor and magnificence clearly instead of through the eyes of religion. I fell in love with Him, and as a result I let go of my quest for a perfect religion… I no longer needed it. I realized what I really needed (all I ever needed) was simply a relationship with the perfect Savior.

The simple Gospel message got me past all of the grey, hazy, religious thinking, and brought me to where I needed to be, and to what I needed to understand: that Jesus died for me, and that I needed to accept that immeasurable gift of His forgiveness so that my life could begin again with a personal knowledge of, and a relationship with, my wonderful creator. What a blessed and eternal freedom I found… and still live by to this day! He is my rock.

He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.”   Psalm 40:2

In December of 1991, I met my husband. In Florida! Up North girl meets Minneapolis boy down south in The Sunshine State at our mutually best friend’s wedding. A year and a half later I married the boy… a new part of my life began…

listeninglinkzzzz   listening link ~ part II … FROM THE TOP  …click here to listen to the above article… 

*This document is the sole property of L. Marie Drake © 2017.  Permission granted for printing copies of this page on the basis they are not used for personal profit or any financial gain. Thank you.*

part I… what just happened?

As we began this site of resources and the blog that sort of naturally spilled out of it… I jumped into the middle of blogging feelings, accommodations, and symptoms of life with an Invisible Illness… with hopes of capturing YOU where YOU are at.  The mission was and still is… to boldly share the secret life I feel I have been living so that you, too, can break out of your shell and, with me, come to some sort of compromise of acceptance.

You need to know that this isn’t like me. A co-worker once told me that I was known as “the vault” among my colleagues. Which, in my line of work, was not a bad thing. But she was right in more ways than just the professional end of things… I’ve always had trouble sharing my true feelings. I grew up in a wonderful, kind and loving family with only one little dysfunction… alcoholism. Although I think it is pretty impossible to have a ‘normal’ family without any sort of dysfunction… this particular dysfunction quickly taught me how to cope – quietly covering up adversity while at the same time putting my life on cruise control no matter what was going on underneath.  In addition to learning those life skills, I came from ‘good German and Norwegian stock’… aka… unswerving perseverance (I mean really, how did our ancestors live in sod huts and survive North Dakota winters? Seriously!).

So this website… blog… Facebook … this sharing-yourself-world is sort of new to me, and kind of scary.  For example, when I got my Facebook account, I set it up with a fake birthday – thinking I’m helping to protect myself from being too revealing. Well, I just got 80+ birthday wishes for my fake FB birthday… a few of them in person… very embarrassing. Somehow I didn’t see that coming!

“For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.”      2 Corinthians 4:15

So this new and uncharted territory – makes me very surprised that any of this tripping UP the DOWN escalator endeavor is even happening. But The Lord doesn’t ask us to do what is comfortable for us… just ask Moses, Jonah, Paul, and a few others!  I believe the Lord has asked me to be as raw as I can on this website, not just for me… but for others.  When you read my story… know that the desire is that it will inspire your story… to be real… to let you feel… to help you conquer… to not give in… and to help you heal.

I have been asked to share my story… FROM THE TOP.  Many of you reading this have been a part of that narrative… and yet you still ask. Which is strange, but not as strange as the fact that it is my story and there are times when I still ask  … what just happened?  Remember stories of olden days when someone would literally stop the clocks in their home when a family member died?  Well, this injury has made me long for all clocks to stop. Not that I have died, but a part of me did in 2011. And, for the past 6 years, somewhere deep within me, I have been waiting for time to stop… so I could figure out what just happened.

“Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,”           2 Corinthians 3:5

Over the next 2 or possibly 200 blogs, I will walk you through my story. Hold on for me, please. Be patient. I don’t know what all I will reveal. I am not showing up for this task all polished and prepared.  Hebrews 13:20-21 is often summarized like this:  the Lord does not call the equipped but equips the called. Please pray that He equips my pen as the words pour out and pray for your heart as it receives them.  I pray that God will be glorified.

listeninglinkzzzz listening link ~ part I … what just happened?  …click here to listen to the above article… 

*This document is the sole property of L. Marie Drake © 2017.  Permission granted for printing copies of this page on the basis they are not used for personal profit or any financial gain. Thank you.*

mid-month NEWS & info ~ may 2017


  • NEW opportunity on our website’s contact tab:  there is a place for you to submit your personal story! Please write to us and share your trials and successes.  Caregivers, family members and friends are also encouraged to share their perspective… we know it affects everyone.
  • NEW blogs will be posted weekly on Wednesdays.  Please join tripping Up the Down escalator… and follow us so you don’t miss even 1 blog full of blessings!
  • One blog each month will be focused on news & info… just like this one.  🙂
  • Did you know that many of our veterans suffer from TBI?  Below are some ways you can support them either through prayer or finances:
  • TBI Medical ID bracelet ~ finally there is a medical ID bracelet stating that you have had a TBI (an important factor in an emergency situation)!  As a bonus, you can order one while at the same time support our veterans who will tailor make it to fit you… Handmade by Heroes…


  • Please know that all words on this website that are underlined and blue are an automatic link to more information on the present topic.
  • Many of my fellow TBI friends have lost the gift of reading… whether it be comprehension, stamina, decoding or vision challenges.  
    • For this purpose, I will slowly be adding this icon & words: listeninglinkzzzz listening link to each section of writing.  When you click on this, you will connect to a YouTube link or a podcast that will READ that section TO U!  
    • Please know there are many stories, songs and TED talks embedded throughout our website where reading is not necessary!

tUtDe = tripping Up the Down escalator

*This document is the sole property of L. Marie Drake © 2017.  Permission granted for printing copies of this page on the basis they are not used for personal profit or any financial gain. Thank you.*