Sunday, August 29, 2010

fall risk

wow, this has been tough. i have been wanting to write for a while, but these stinkin' headaches have been killing me....ugh. we are now on day four of this particular hospital stay. (i have been in the hospital four times over the past year, in case anyone was keeping count....well, anyone besides blue cross blue shield) i have been thinking and praying a lot over these last few days. i've had a lot of time with God, thankful for that...not crazy about the scenery, of course.

today, at least, God has really been speaking to me about this little yellow band i am wearing. they gave it to me in the ER when i arrived because i was so dizzy every time i stood up, it was one of my major symptoms. it is a simple little the plastic-y (yes, that's a word) kind we used to pass out at camp when kids would pass the swim test. but this one has, in big bold letters, FALL RISK printed on it. big bold letters for everyone to see.

did i tell you about my socks? this is even more of a warning for ya. i am currently wearing (and have been for four days now) these lovely bright yellow socks with white grippers on them (both sides, by the way). these are the socks for the "FALL RISK" people to wear. just to give you a visual, they are similar looking to the totes brand of socks that you can buy at Christmastime to keep your little feetsies warm and slip-free on the cold tile floor. mine, like i mentioned, have grippers on the top and the bottom. my family members and i have had plenty of time to theorize about why they might do this...maybe so they can be frugal and just flip them over when one side wears out?......maybe in case older people get confused and don't know which way is up?...maybe because it just looks cooler, or as cool as those kind of socks can?......but as it turns out, these socks tend to slip around on the foot (ironic, if you ask me) and so they put grippers on both sides, just in case. hmm, interesting.

regardless, mine are bright neon yellow and are yet another warning to anyone within a 20 foot radius (or even further if they own a decent pair of binoculars) that i am, in fact, a FALL RISK. i am unstable on my feet...cannot walk on my own....prone to falling....have a history of always in meed of get the idea.

the longer i stared at these words, the more annoyed i became. do i really have to be labeled like this??? and the more i thought about my God....and about the enemy of my soul. John 10:10 tells us that "the enemy comes ONLY to steal, kill and destroy" and i know this to be true. as i have shared in previous blogs, my gracious and loving God has been dealing with me on the issue of worry and fear. and as i mentioned at the beginning of this particular blog, i have been in and out of the hospital for years pain...often with no real answers as to what in the world is going on. satan has worked very, very hard to steal my joy, kill my hope, and destroy my dreams. he for sure has noticed my FALL RISK bracelet this time as well.

i definitely feel as though i have fallen down quite a bit over these last months and months. to be honest, this has taken quite an emotional toll on i have felt better at times, and then something sort of huge like this week happens and knocks me back quite a bit. i probably shouldn't be so fragile. i probably shouldn't fall quite so easily. i really should be stronger. and, thanks to the strength God has given me, i truly have been strong most days, and even some nights. :) but i have fallen. more than once. more than twice. but i praise God that i have not stayed down.

i am also praising God that i don't have to go through this alone. i am so very thankful that He has shown up to support me and encourage me, love on me and lift me up....

whether it be through the amazing lyrics of a praise song on my adorable, little blue ipod (bought for me by someone who loves me more than i know) during one of these massive headaches....

hearing the voice of a dear friend at just the right time, their voice of encouragement meaning more to me than they know......

maybe it is just staring at my man...the man i have been in love with since i was 18, and smiling as i think back at how super far God has brought us and can't help but be reminded of His faithfulness to us both......

an amazing letter filled with the truth of His Word and with the fun memories of my "little sis"...something i will treasure forever.......

re-reading a Scripture that i had forgotten about, but that is perfect and poignant and exactly what i need, exactly when i need it......

the JOY that filled my heart at the sound of my boys coming around the corner today to come and visit me....there are no words.....

hearing the beep of my phone and receiving txt after txt of my prayer warriors standing their post for me once again.....

a surprise visit from a friend that has known and loved me for 22 years, through so very much....too much.....

then there's all the quiet moments i have had to just sit and be His presence....something i truly am thankful for.....

my view from this hospital bed is limited. i stare at that blank wall across from me, which contains the mounted tv, a clock that ticks oh so slowly sometimes and i noticed something that really caught my eye...maybe because it is also bright yellow and matches my FALL RISK ensemble....and i realized that there is a reason it is a reminder for us FALL RISK people....a note just for me.....and you know what it says.....

CALL, DON'T FALL! ask for assistance whenever getting up! please help prevent falls and fall related injuries.

that hit me.

dear me, you do not have to do this on your own...CALL ME...don't fall. when you feel like you are about to fall, call ME instead. be aware of it. help PREVENT falls. CALL ME often. i love you, Jesus.

last night was so hard. i felt so very awful. so much had piled up on top of me. the enemy was right there waiting, happy to point out my FALL RISK bracelet. but, thanks be to GOD for His faithfulness ONCE AGAIN.....and thanks for the truth in these words from The Word.

1 peter 5:6-7 "humble yourselves therefore under God's mighty hand, that He may LIFT YOU UP in due time. cast ALL of your cares on Him, because HE CARES FOR YOU."

phil 4:6-7 "do not worry about anything, but in EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which transcends ALL understanding will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus."

so...maybe you aren't actually wearing a FALL RISK bracelet right this very minute. maybe you are, but you are the only one who can see it. trust aren't the only one. the enemy can see it...but MORE IMPORTANTLY....our great God can see it. and the FAITH that you have in HIM is all you need. (eph 6:16 " in addition to all of this, take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish ALL the flaming arrows of the evil one.")

as for me, i will go to bed again tonight, in this lovely hospital bed, wearing my neon yellow socks.... and i will rest in the fact that i am not in control, but that i love the One who is. easier said than done soemtimes...but i'm doing it. rest i will. i pray you do too.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

top ten list

ok, here it is...i have decided to give you a full on disclosure of life in the hospital. it occurred to me that some of you may have never spent any length of time in the hospital, and so i want you to know what you are missing...and since ryan has left me for a while because he really does have to get some work done, especially if i am going to be here for a few more days..then, i am left here alone to rest, pray a lot, read some and of course, blog :)....all of these i can do lying down, where i feel the least amount of pain. so, without further adoo (how do you spell that word?) away we go....

and i'm thinking these are going to be in no particular order...i'm just givin' it to you as it comes, let's just go with the flow, people. :)

10. hours of uninterrupted tv time: now, this might not seem like a huge deal for some people...but in my world, this is pretty amazing. i have been here since thursday, and granted, i haven't felt great a lot of the time...but thanks to the relief that comes with certain positions and rest and occasional drugs, i have been able to enjoy the tv in bed. ryan and i don't have a tv in our bedroom. we made a conscious choice to only have a tv in our living room and leave the bedroom for bedroom activities. mainly because when we first got married, we would just go to bed and watch tv and never talk to each other or spend any time elsewhere in the apartment. (don't let your imagination run too wild there) but once we had kids, we decided that one tv was enough, and so we do enjoy watching shows together in the living room, but then when tv time is over, it's over. so...this has been a treat. and besides, do you know the last time i have watched dora, or olivia, or franklin or the backyardigans? ryan and i have been able to flip around to random tv shows and old movies at will. what a perk! what a luxury! but, man, oh man, we gotta talk to the doc about getting verizon fios up in here though.....

# 9 1/2. really, you know i couldn't have just a normal type ten list...i actually went back after writing this whole thing and wanted to add this isn't just about the uninterrupted TV time, but just the uninterrupted TIME...ryan and i have talked a lot with each other, prayed together, i have read a lot, laid in this super cool toy/bed (you'll get to that later) and just relaxed in His presence, and now, i have been alone in my room for a few hours....honestly can't remember the last time i was alone. really. i mean, i obviously have a nurse or two come check on me periodically, but you know what i mean. i know this isn't the ideal way to get some "me time" and i DO NOT recommend it for anyone, but i am choosing to thank God for this bit of quiet times. very thankful for it. but....ooooh do i miss my babies, so very much it hurts sometimes and i'm flooded with emotion.....ok, gotta keep going with the list, otherwise i'll start missing them too bad!!!!!!!

9. super cool bed/toy: c'mon who isn't impressed with a bed that has a remote control?? it goes up and down, reclines back and forth at the push of a button. in my past stays, the kids have come up and visited me and they have a blast taking turns "riding mommy's special bed". hilarious and so cute, those kids of ours. now..please note that comfort is not actually one of the qualities listed to describe this bed, but it is pretty cool and convenient when you don't feel like you can get up on your own...or your sweet hubby who has stood by your side for soooo long now is quietly (sort of) snoring in the joke-of-a-fold out chair/bed next to you and you don't want to bother him, so you can try to get up on your own. although, this bed isn't known for quietness either, so that plan usually backfires....but it really is cool. plus....connected to it are all these cool buttons to control things around you. need a little light to read a book, no problem, just push a button. need your nurse, just push a button. wanna turn on your ever-present dora-free tv, just push a button, conveniently located on your bed. c'mon, that is just cool!! and when you get really bored, you can just ride it, just for fun. :) all that button-pushing kinda leads me right into #8....

#8. having a "staff" wait on you hand and foot and the push of a button: now, once again...let us not forget that this is all accompanied by pain and stuff often, but right now we are focusing on the good :) so c'mon, who wouldn't like to push a button and have any number of people come and help you do anything you ask, take care of every need you have, clean up after you, change your sheets, whoosh in with your meals, refill your drinks, bring you drugs to help you feel good.... is this what the super rich people feel like??? obviously without the hospital gowns and numbness and headaches. well, i assume so, who knows, some of those dudes are a bit odd. :) ok, moving on....

#7. no wardrobe drama: life here on the "inside" is soooo pressure free. i don't lie here in my bed and worry about what the lady in room 351 is wearing, or if her gown fits her better than mine does. we are all created equal. her gown is the same lovely green pinstripe as mine is and has the same obscure navy symbols in alternating patterns as the guy next door, who happens to speak very loudly, by the way. :) we all are in this together...we all coordinate, and we all feel the very same breath of fresh air that wafts in from the rear when we get up. refreshing and equal. it's nice.

#6. it is crazy clean here, and I DIDN'T DO IT!!: that's right...this place it wicked clean. no dust bunnies. in fact, no dust. no funky stains on the carpet. no mysterious odors coming from is super clean and i haven't spent one moment doing it myself. music to my ears, for sure. and like magic, every day, it just keep getting cleaner. although it isn't is this sweet hispanic lady who knocks so softly that i know it is her just from her knock now and she quietly comes in and asks me if it is ok to come clean. does anyone ever tell her no, really? she has the best smile. i don't think she understands me really, but i talk a bit to her, thank her for her hard work and say "God bless you!' and she smiles back and backs out of the room. i am thankful for her and for how clean my room is. seriously y'all. it is greatness. no cheerios on the floor. no dirty underwear anywhere. no rolly pollies that have met their fate in the corners. all clean all the time. nice.

#5. two words: apple juice. anybody with me on this one?? if you have ever stayed in the hospital for anything, you know that the apple juice they have here is like specially imported from some sort of secret apple grower somewhere. i mean it. the stuff of liquid gold. it is always half frozen so if you let it sit for the perfect amount of time, it is just past the point of slushiness...and then sometimes, if you are up for it, you can mix it with the cranberry juice and create a nice little refreshing pick-me-up. can't describe it, but trust me, it is just that good. everything else, it is readily available for you anytime. nice.

#4. you make new friends: for the born social, this is greatness, because you are always in contact with someone new. you get new nurses every shift, new people come get your blood often..lots of docs come in and out...the room service team switches out all the time to bring your food. and while, yes, these people are technically doing their jobs, i assume that there is a pretty good chance you wouldn't have otherwise come into contact with them. but, now, in the past few days, i have met at least 20 new people, gotten to smile at them..and for the most part gotten to say "God bless you!' when i could. i didn't every time. but i do try. and i always know who to expect, at least for the most part. right now, it is dr. patel, for anything major. leni at 61034 if my iv beeps, i need any meds or anything else, and the very young but sweet nurse tech rose at 61205 who taped my arm all up for my shower earlier and changed my sheets for me, not to mention brought me an extra pillow. yup, i got the hook ups.

#3. free jug-o-water: you know the kind i'm talking about? the lid is like super air tight and the straws are the best. they bend perfectly and have that little removable lid thingy. they keep water cold for a while and they have a handle. they hold a ton of water too. my sweet grandpa has numerous of these from he and my nana's hospitals stays over the years. he thinks they are the best. not sure you really need 15 in your house, but he likes them. go ahead and stop me if you come over and ever find that many at my house....seriously doubt that will happen though, i am married to ryan, after little organizer. :) and yes, i am well-aware that this mug isn't actually will probably wind up costing us thousands and thousands of dollars, but you get the idea. :)

#2. free meals, once again THAT I DIDN'T MAKE!!: and yes, once again, averaged out, i am betting each meal is costing us about $697 but again, you get my point. :) and this hospital does things a bit differently and i think i like it. they have a set menu that you order on whenever you feel like it. so, you just call up and order anything you want from the entire menu and then you can expect it within about 45 is really kinda like room service. cool, huh? now, i am bummed about my current wheat/gluten free stuff cause that reduces significantly what i would order, but hey, i'm still looking on the bright side. (in case you were wondering, i would have already chosen the alfredo and bowtie pasta, the pizza with my choice of toppings, a waffle for breakfast and i for sure would have had chicken quesadillas. sigh. but i ain't complaining and so far, it has all been pretty darn good. but, it is kinda hard to mess up ham and turkey slices with no bread and grilled chicken breast with no seasonings, with broccoil, carots and a baked potato on the side.....but i am sure it could be fact, it could be done, by me. i could totally mess that up! :) but i'm not. and ya know what else, i'm not cleaning it up either. sweet smiling people come in and whisk it all away whenever i'm done. nice.

#1. healing: this one is pre-emptive. but i am believing. the number ONE thing about this hospital stay, my friend,is that i actually believe that this one is going to lead somewhere. whether it leads to me going somewhere else, like the mayo clinic. or whether it leads to further testing and actually getting some new results, i am not sure. but, i know God has me here for a reason and i am having to fully trust in that. is a no-brainer that, at least for me, the number one coolest thing about being in the hospital this time, dear that maybe it will be the last time i will have to be. i guess i better enjoy the apple juice while i can. :)

john 15:11 "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."

Friday, August 27, 2010

on a roller coaster with an open gown

i never really have been much of a roller coaster person. people think that because i am outgoing and bubbly that i am also daring and adventurous, but trust me, i am a wimp. even growing up, in the supposed "rowdy" teen years, i was pretty boring, pretty tame. pretty fearful i guess you could say. we lived fairly near six flags and so it wasn't uncommon to go there multiple times a year with my friends. but, i was VERY much more interested in looking for cute boys than for actually riding the rides. for those of you who are locals as well, you will completely understand when i say that i was literally like 14 years old before i rode anything faster than the judge roy scream. (big, fat weenie ride designed with 9 years olds in mind....ok, maybe 6 year olds, i;m being nice to myself) i would rotate through that, the log ride and the mine train. yep, a dare-devil, i was not.

well, today, let me say, that i have been strapped to a roller coaster, that i honestly don't remember signing up to ride on. i feel like i did the time i wasn't paying attention and accidentally got in line with my friends and got busy chatting and flirting in line with boys around us (yes, i was a bit boy crazy, but that is a topic for a whole other blog post!) and wasn't paying attention to what ride we were actually waiting for. ya know, once you are deep in the middle of the zig and the zag of those ridiculous lines, you kinda lose track of where you are...especially when you are more concerned on trying to figure out of that boy looks more like joey or jordan from nkotb. (girls of the 1990's, you know exactly what i'm talking about) anyway, i got up to the front and realized that we were, in fact, in line for the shock wave. um, hello the SHOCK WAVE!?!?! my heart starts racing out of that the one that goes at like MOCH SPEED in loops or something and then, oh ya, just after you have lost your healthy lunch of cotton candy and some form of meat fried on a stick...then you recover nicely with whiplash and get to do it all over again backwards!?!? um, can you thank you. no way. no how. not gonna happen. i didn't care (for once in the height of my social years) what "coolness" this was costing me...i was getting out of that line and i was getting out QUICK!!! i did not care if joey and jordan were actually riding the ride with us, i...was...out.

today, as i type this blog entry, i do so for the very first time from an actual hospital bed. and trust me, i did NOT sign up for this roller coaster ride either. yesterday and today have carried me through ups and downs emotionally, physically, spiritually...all of it. i have been whipped around, and up and down, loop-de-looped more than i'd like to admit...and while i am thankful to not literally have lost my lunch, i have felt as though i just might about every other hour or so. this ride has actually been a lot longer than just these last few days, though. if you have read any of my blogs, you know that. and if you know me at all, then you know that i have been whipping around on this baby for months and months, actually years now. i got on the ride when it was titled Meningitis Mania back in the fall of 2007 and who knew i'd still be holding on for dear life almost three years later when the ride has changed to Adrenal Fre-fall? well, God knew. thank Him for that!

we still don't have answers. i take that back. we have some answers. some of the medical "stuff" they come in and say has been good. in fact, THANK YOU JESUS, a lot of it has been. i have heard a few things about normal kidney and liver function (praise you, Father) and that they looked for markers for lupus and other autoimmune diseases that have came back negative. (again i give glory to you, God) although, in my COMPLETELY non-medical mind, i almost said something brilliant like "hmm...markers, eh? i was kinda hoping we'd be going a little more in depth that crayola at this point, eh guys?" just once i wish i knew enough about the human body to be able to contribute, to feel like i understand. thankfully, i TRUST and serve the One who thought up the idea of DNA, so i am good with that.

but, i'm not sugar-coating this for anyone...that isn't me. there have been soooo many times today alone when i have cried out in frustration. why? is it because i don't trust God? no. is it because i am weak in my faith? i don't think so. is it because i am scared? well, sure....this stuff is scary stuff. you spend the better part of a year lying around in pain every day with new and confusing symptoms coming about every so often and tell me that wouldn't concern you a bit. i'd think you'd be lying. or at least a whole lot better at faking than me. and i've gotten pretty good at that. i've gotten good at putting on a happy face, my whole life...i love making people happy. actually, i love being happy. so...that is why sometime soon i am going to come up with a "top ten coolest things about being in the hospital" list for you. but not tonight...i'm too tired.

no, tonight is about this ride. ya know, the roller coaster one. did i mention i didn't sign up for it? did i mention that i didn't like roller coasters? ok, just checking. i know God is reading my thoughts, and He doesn't technically need reminding...but it think He is ok with me typing it again.

i have seen so many doctors over these months and months. i have heard piece of advice after piece of advice from well-meaning family and friends who are telling me to "get better" as if it were something i wasn't trying to do each day. sometimes i wanna say, "nah, no thanks..i'm kinda digging all this attention" ugh, seriously. i am starting to forget what normalcy feels like. that ain't good.

honestly, i try to keep my balance on this ride. i balance on HIS grace, hovering between thinking about it not at all, and trying to lie still, not feel the pain and just hanging out, reading books about His strength, His peace...watching tv....chillin' with my amazing kiddos and hubby.....acting like it will all be ok when i stand up...of course i know better. it won't be. unless He heals me, which so far, He hasn't chosen to do. and i have to be ok with that. i hover between that and just the opposite, thinking about it all the time....researching...talking with anyone who has been through something similar...reading blogs, articles online, try and find symptoms like mine, make comparisons, rule out the really bad stuff. that is dangerous though, because when you hover that way, the enemy likes to try and push you over, every so slightly, knowing that, at least for me, that leads to worry and fear...and once he has me there, he has me further from my Strength, my Peace, my Rock. (see John 16:33 and Psalm 92:15)

so...i hover....somewhere in the middle. i'm sitting in the middle seat of the middle car of this ride i am on. this roller coaster ride that i did not sign up for. and did i mention that i do not like roller coasters? (ok, Lord, sorry, last time! :) i hover here because this is where trust lives. this is where i rest in the fact that God has this all figured out, but at the same time, i am responsible to myself and to my family to take care of myself as best i can, and that means seeking medical help when i need it. but, not out of fear or obsessive worry. (which is so easy to get that way when you are in pain month after month with no clear answers....really think that through, how would you handle the ride?)

i think what i like least about them is the lack of control. uh, oh...confession time. it is true though. the way you feel when the ride whips your head this way and the way your stomach drops out when the whole ride plummets 75 feet toward the ground. (um, i'm sorry, and people pay their hard-earned money for this!?!? baffling to me, really.) i do not like all the change, and i especially do not like the unexpectedness of it. but most of all, i hate feeling out of control. is it just me? can anyone relate to where i'm at here? although we would like to think we have control of our lives, we absolutely do not. sooo many of us need to feel like we do. i was one of them. if there is one huge thing i'm learning (and for the record, there's not...there are about 214 huge things i'm learning...and i'm so thankful for that!) is that He really has control, and i am simply to trust in His goodness and His plan. Proverbs 16:9 says "in his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." i do not like being whipped all around on this ride, but i know that i know that i know...that He will not allow me on here for one more second than need be to fulfill His plan. do i have to be smiling and singing praise music the whole ride? no. but can i? would it be a better ride if i were? absolutely. so, i try. sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. my closest friends and family can surely vouch for that.

my plan was to come to this park, ride the easiest ride here, win a huge stuffed animal and maybe get my charicature done (but just the black and white one though...the color ones are a rip off!)...but obviously that was not His plan for me here. and i would rather spend every day with Him in His plan that one day without Him fulfilling my plan. but once again...i'm not sugar-coating A R D.

so, for now...i will just sit still, fold down my safety bar and pray for just today i happen to be riding this roller coaster with a hospital gown on, so i guess i'll also pray for no large gusts of wind...cause that would be down right embarrassing. :)

Lord, i love you. i trust you. sometime, as you know, i let my emotions get the best of me. thank you for holding on to me extra tight during those times. thank you for understanding me in such an intimate way that you know my feelings and thoughts and actions and REactions better than i do. this is scary for me and for my family, Lord. but we love you and we trust you. i thank you for how you have held me so far. thank you for the countless ways you have shown yourself big already. i commit this all to you. i want this to be used for you. but, i'm being honest here Lord, if it is your will, i also want to live and long and healthy life with the amazing family and friends you have blessed me with. let me shout from the rooftops how you have gotten me through. let me tell them all how you rescued me from the depths and healed me. i love you. thank you for getting me through this day. thank you for protecting the hearts of my precious babies. watch over us all and keep us safe, as i know you do. amen.

Psalm 56:3 "when i am afraid, i will trust in You."

Psalm 138:8 "the Lord will perfect that which concerns me."

Jer 17:14 "Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


perspective is an amazing thing, isn't it? the way you look at something...the way you see it, can be completely different based on your upbringing, your current circumstances, even your attitude or personality.

take chores, for instance. most people hate them. (except my husband, who, when stressed- cleans. i know...freakish, isn't it? but, i do benefit, so i dare not complain. and besides, he is married to me, who isn't a fan of cleaning, so maybe God knew what He was doing there...ya think?) but, really...not too many people actually enjoy doing chores around the house. i know i sure didn't. as a teen, of course, like, DUH! :) but, even as a mom and housewife, i could easily find a way to avoid them. oh...what do ya know..they need help getting stuff ready for Bible study up at church..."ooh me, I'll go help!" (ryan comes home from work) oh, sorry honey, it was for Jesus. :)

but now, at this current time in my life, i would LOVE to be able to do chores around my own house. (most of you who know me are now trying to pick up your jaws off the floor) but i mean it. being that i have spent the better part of the last ten months on my couch, unable to function that well...even the thought of doing chores sounds appealing to me right now.

in fact...if you are able to do any of the following things right now, i would count yourself blessed:

walk around the grocery store without any of your appendages going numb

take a shower and spend as much time as you want without having to worry about passing out

drive a car anywhere you want, ya know, because you are a grown up and you can

answer the call for a friend in need and run over to help out

play outside with your kids

stand up long enough to cook a full meal
(ok, ok....know how to cook a full meal as well :)

lie down in bed without wondering why that sharp pain is back again

say that you haven't stayed the night in a hospital in the past month, or year, for that matter

not have to receive more mail from your insurance company than from all solicitors combined
(never thought i'd miss junk mail)

not have to give yet another excuse to your kiddos as to why we can't go here or can't do is ALWAYS because "mommy doesn't feel well" or "mommy can't handle it"

go to bed without multiple ice packs strapped to various parts of your body

not have to take pill after pill after pill after pill every day

not lose touch with friends who have, i guess, decided that you are just too much drama right now (can't hardly blame them!!) although really, i was a lot of drama before, wasn't it? :) i was just well drama then, now i'm just sick drama. :)

not see the exhausted look on your spouse's face from carrying every burden that comes along with this...physical, emotional, financial, spiritual...and knowing there's NOTHING you can do to make it go away

not wake up every day and battle the worry and fear that comes with the unknown...daily giving it to God, knowing that if you don't... you will obsess over it because all you can do it lie around and be in pain anyway

for that matter...if you DO NOT know what it is like to lie around in pain day after day after day, month after month...then i would like for you to thank God tonight. truly. because it isn't fun.

but LET ME BE CLEAR...and i KNOW the enemy is listening, so i am going to say it out loud as i type....I PRAISE YOU GOD NO MATTER WHAT!!!!!

am i happy tonight? no.

am i "feeling" joyful tonight? no

would i like to be miraculously healed right now? absolutely yes.

but if i am not, i will wake up tomorrow, in pain and weakness that few can understand, and i will praise Him again. and again. and again.

but the truth is, i think, we could all use a little dose of perspective sometimes. i know i got it recently when a friend shared with me her health struggle she dealt with for TWELVE YEARS. um, hello. i felt like i should put my big girl panties on and shut my little mouth right up.

also got a dose when i had it all planned out exactly how i wanted the week before jacob's first day of kindergarten to go. and then the weekend before kindergarten. and then the first day of kindergarten. oooh, i had it all planned. mommy and daddy time. just us. special. i was kinda being selfish about it really. and a bit obsessive. i knew what i wanted to wear, jacob too. what we were going to do special after school, etc. but then once i was hospitalized, my perspective changed. all i wanted was to be able to just be there. i didn't care what i wore. i didn't care who else was there. i just couldn't miss it. i just wanted to be a part of it. any part of it. my perspective changed lying in that hospital bed....again. it always does.

so, tonight, this post was really for me. i was crying in the dark, in pain and exhausted....again.....completely bummed that i had stepped backward so far in how decent i'd been feeling....again. and so, i have found that when i talk to God and write, i feel better. here are some verses to lift us both up. whether you needed this perspective or not. i did....again.

and by the way. life is good. Jesus loves me. He died for me. my children are safe and healthy, i couldn't be more THANKFUL for that!! my man loves me and has stood by my side like a saint. (plus, he is hot, which is just a bonus!) he just came in and prayed for me. he is the best. my benjamin just came in and sat next to me and said "mom, hey - we're friends!" i love it! i have amazing family and amazing friends who have gone ABOVE and BEYOND to help us out and serve us humbly throughout this all.

i am not dying of cancer. i praise you God.

i am not as bad as i was months ago. i praise you God.

i have had good days. i praise you God.

i will have good days again! i praise you God!!!

1 cor. 12:9-10 "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Psalm 105:1 "Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done."

1 peter 4:16 "However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name." (by the way...oh, have i not even remotely suffered as a Christian...but this is a great verse!!)

Friday, August 20, 2010

that "thing"

ok, so do you have "that thing"?? know what i mean, don't you? well, i guess i should be a bit more specific then.

i have lots of them actually. those "things" that make me, how shall i say....unique? ok, i'll say it, i'm weird. ;) i have a ton of little quirks about me that make me....well, me. my sweet hubby often will lovingly point them out when we are eating and i go to take a drink from a straw....apparently, i tend to drink from the straw at the side corner of my mouth, so he will then immediately grab his drink at waaaaaay overly dramatize bringing his straw to the side of his mouth, over-distoring his mouth to drink it from the furthest point of the corner of his mouth. ha. ha. ha. he is such a funny, funny man. by the way, he looks way funnier imitating me than i look actually being me, in my humble opinion, anyway.

while i'm at it, i might as well admit that i don't like my food to touch on my plate. no oozing onto each other. no peas rolling over into the clearly outlined carrot area. no gravy flooding the broccoli. (oooh, that makes me shudder just thinking about it.) God bless the person who invented divided plates. i also eat my food in it's entirety in order from least favorite on the plate, saving the best for last! so, for example, i will eat all of the veggies (which is honestly only on my plate because my kids are watching and i am married to ryan....hey, just keeping it real, here), then all of the meat, and then, i save the yummy, wonderful, buttery, God-ordained mashed potatoes for blissful last. yum.

i also have huge texture issues with food. (my dear friends are all laughing right now and saying an emphatic, amen!) i'm not into creamy, creamy, yummy...oh wait, look a random chunk of something, how lovely...nope, not me. fruit mixed in yogurt: no. jello molds of any kind: no. casseroles with lots of unidentifiable ingredients with varied levels of crunchiness: super no. cottage cheese: absolutely, positively no. (c'mon people, that's just spoiled milk re-named, who are we kidding, here?)

i have other "things" that aren't related to food though...

i am sort of like a "dude" when i watch tv and stare at it with such intense focus that i tend not to hear the loving (and persistent) calling of my name by my dear spouse. mindless tv show, college football game (go tech!), preschool commercial about teaching your baby to read that i've seen 3,214 times...doesn't matter what it is. i'm zoned in. (my bad, baby, i love you!)

i talk a lot. i tell a lot of stories and actually have to make a conscious effort to be a good listener. often when people are talking, i'm fighting with my thoughts of "c'mon, i'm ready to say something funny, now!" horrible, aren't i???

i am AWFUL with remembering people's names. like really, really bad. often i have just met someone, smiled, our hands have barely let go of each other from the friendly and cordial greeting of a handshake, and POOF! my mind is like "oh, dangit, what was their name again...shoot, shoot shoot!" uh, i hate that one about me, because i LOVE people!! i love meeting them, being around them, talking with them, sharing life with them.....if only i knew their names.

i am a hard core believer that the toilet paper must roll over the roll, not under. that is like a rule people. but ironically, i don't really care much at all about how often the bathroom actually gets cleaned. hmm, interesting.

when i cook, i tend to use waaay more stuff than needed. if you walk into the kitchen and look around, you might be, pans scattered, pots-a-bubblin' a sink FULL of dishes, a strainer or two maybe, chopping block out with assorted knives, cabinets open all over(an inherited trait, i blame fully on my mom)....various spices open....multiple measuring devices in all varying sizes scattered around the (very) limited counter space....."ooooohhh", you might exclaim, "what's for dinner?" to which you will receive a joyful reply, "grilled cheese!" :)

all of these quirks are little things about me that make my sweet (and as you can tell after reading this...patient and loving, and clearly not that bright, cause he didn't know what he was getting into when he chose me forever!) hubby, ryan knows every single one, i am sure of it. why? because he has known me and loved me for a long time. he lives with me day in and day out and knows me better than pretty much anyone on this earth.

God knows me that way and then some. He made me. He actually chose to take time out of His day (which He invented, too, by the way) and carefully thought up how He wanted me to be. (psalm 139). and while the Bible doesn't actually say in verse 24 "and she shall not let thy food toucheth in any form, nor shall her toilet paper roll, rolleth ussunder" does say that He made me unique.

of course, the real "thing" that got me thinking about writing this post is a lot uglier and not as fun to talk about as all of these quirks. this "thing" is something that i don't talk as openly about at parties (or at least i haven't in the past, but i think i might be called to do so, now...maybe not actually at parties, per say..but you get my drift....i had to clarify that as a die hard sanguine, because i had flashes of my party-invites suddenly disappearing for fear of people thinking i'd walk in and start talking about this stuff!! oooh i have issues don't i?!?) and this "thing" also isn't as easy to laugh off as my lack of cleaning skills. (clarification: the cleaning skills are there, the desire...not so much)

i think if each of us are totally honest, we could say there is at least one "thing" God is truly working on in us right now. if you are like me, you could be totally honest and admit that you are having God put in some serious over-time hours with you and your drama currently. sigh.

maybe your thing is pride. you are "too big for your britches" as we say where i come from....and you don't really need God much. you are happy to have Him bless you, but you are just fine running your life all on your own. you have a great plan, thank you very much. chances are, if this is you, you aren't reading much through the rest of these anyway, because you are sure they won't apply to you, after all.

maybe your thing is jealousy. life just doesn't seem fair that every single person around is being blessed with good health, financial burdens released, obedient children, job promotions, skinny waistlines, and just overall joyful answers to every stinkin' prayer request they have...while, you on the other hand are broke, sick and yelling at your kids while you search through the job seeker websites in your elastic waist jeans...and your heart grows meaner and greener with every jealous thought.

maybe your thing is materialism. your family makes a great income and you have a lot of pretty things around you. hey, don't judge me...we tithe a faithful 10% every month. not a penny less.... and of course, not a penny more. you have designer jeans with a bejeweled cross on your hiney, and a custom purse to match. your skin is tan, your hair is colored, your nails are pristine (hands and toes of course, with the extra little $7 bling on your big toe) and your house looks like display of any trendy showroom, except with the perfect amount of crosses and Scripture placed strategically about. let me be clear...none of this is wrong in and of itself, a lot of it fits me. only you know your heart about it all. well, only you...and God.

maybe your thing is worry. you can't seem to get a full grip on trusting God. you can't possibly believe that He has good planned for you (rom 8:28) or that He is not allowing you to float around this life haphazardly, but instead each day is working toward His plan for your life. (jer. 29:11) when things go wrong, you tend to think that you "deserved" it...or if things are going right, you are waiting for it all to come crumbling down any minute. trust is too hard, if not in all areas of your life, then at least in one area. you can trust God with your eternal salvation, but not with the safety of your kids. or you can trust Him with your safety, but not with your family's finances. either way, worry creeps up on you and it always , and i do mean always, brings with it, its partner in crime; fear.

if you are like me, maybe you deal with, or have dealt with, all of these "things". maybe you deal with none of them. maybe yours is selfishness, or lust. maybe it is an addiction of somesort; to alcohol, to food, to shopping, to pleasing people.

if you really take a minute to sit before Jesus and ask Him, i believe He will reveal to you something (or, like me, lots of somethings) that you need to work on. better yet, that you need to allow Him to work on in you. things that He has no desire for you to have to deal with. things that are not at all a part of the abundant life He has in store for you. (john 10:10)

for me, the main thing God is working on in me right now is worry and fear. ugh. He is bringing on a full on frontal attack on this "thing" too, and i truly thank Him for it. i have dealt with this my entire life. my mom says that i used to wake up and be terrified that something awful would happen to her and she'd leave me. when ryan and i were dating, i would worry that he would find someone prettier and leave me. it was always in the back of my mind; always. did he ever give me reasons to think that? absolutely not. that was all me. this "thing" has manifested itself in too many ways to mention over these past years, especially in parenting. don't even get me started about worrying about my kids. (SIDS, carseat safety, choking hazzards, bathtubs....that list is waaaay too long)

and currently i have an ample opportunity to worry about my health. being that i have been on my couch, trusting Him through this medical trial for ten months now. unexplained diagnosis....unanswered after day of pain. He is allowing me to cling onto Him each and every minute of each and every hour of each and every day....something that i am cherishing. don't get me wrong i ain't cherishing the pain and i miss my ability to have my "normal" life. but, the intimacy of His presence i have experienced in a way i've never known, is something i have cherished He is growing me for sure in a way He couldn't have without all of this.

is it tough? yes. is it painful? yes. are there soooo many times that i go to my closest friends and tell them that i am D O N E dealing with this thing? um, yes. did i do that just yesterday? um, you betcha! are there countless more times where i go to my God and cry out to Him about it all? absolutely. of course, they know that i mean that i'm D O N E with my medical drama...but they also know that i mean this other "thing" too. i am doing all i can to simply wake up every day, receive His strength, His peace, His power, His grace, His love. i do not want to resist His refining fire. i want to rest in his will. i try to rely on the truth of His Word and not on how i "feel" that day. but is it tough? yes. is it painful? yes. is HE good? yes. is HE faithful? yes. i stick by that.

this week i have felt worse that i have in months. medical mix-up with my medication that has had AWFUL side-effects on my body. a mix-up that has come at the worst time for me, a time when i already had two sick kids and was at sheer exhaustion...something that my body simply cannot handle. but instead of freaking out too much and worrying about something worse being wrong, about me dying.....i am thankful that i was able to get through it so far, with His strength, my amazing family, my prayer warriors. i am still not over it, i still can't get up off the couch really. but He is getting me through, and i am thankful that i am handling it better than i would have before. to Him be the glory.

so, if you have read this and know your "thing". if you are, like me, and are D O N E with dealing with this. if you know God is working on you about it, welcome aboard. the Bible says that God chooses the lowly, weak, foolish things of this world to shame the proud, strong, and wise. (1 cor. 1:27-31) why does He do this? so that no one can boast except IN HIM!! let me tell you....this "thing" can only be dealt with by Him. i've tried on my own, and look at the bang-up job i've done these last 31 years! (sarcastic, just in case you couldn't tell) so...i give. i fold my hand. i bow down fully to the One who actually can deal with this and i'm letting Him deal with it. i will not feel condemned that i have been wasting time with this for a long time. and honestly, i don't know how long this will take from here on out. but i want Him to do His complete work in it. and i know He does too! and i look forward to the freedom of boasting in HIM about the victory i will have. i can do nothing without Him...this i know!

and while i'm quite sure God isn't as concerned with my cooking catastrophes or my bathroom cleanliness....i know He is concerned with how i show love to my man...and since he is an "acts of service" kind of guy....those are "things" i will be working on too.

but i stand firmly by the cottage cheese statement. and i personally think God agrees. :)

James 4:6 "God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble."

Psalm 62:8 "trust in Him at ALL times, o people, pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

my blessed, blasted wilderness

ok, so obviously by the title of this post, i am a bit torn about my current situation. i know God is good. i know He is doing a great thing in my life right now. i truly believe with ALL of my heart that He is working on some big things in my heart...things He has been trying to work on for a while, but has been faced with what the Bible likes to call "a stiff-necked people" aka. = me. so, i did name the thing blessed before blasted. but still, i am a bit torn. but, i promise, i am getting there.

although, i am being honest here, i had a bit of a meltdown last night. i guess it is ok if i have one every once in a long as the "once in a while" doesn't become every day, i think it is ok. (in all fairness, i had one two weeks ago, too) i am not at all doubtful that God can handle it. He made me. He knows my drama before i spew it out of my mouth. if only ryan could have a bit more warning, poor thing.

this medical drama. my blessed, blasted has been ten months. roughly 300 days. give or take a few. three hundred, when you say it like that, it does sound kinda like a long time. i feel decent sometimes. not most of the time, but sometimes. i really have started to make strides in the right direction though.
to give you a bit of perspective...i can now wake up, get my three small kids fed and clean up from that (cheerios off floor, dishes done, faces wiped, not crying over spilt milk) get everyone dressed and diapers changed, and then i pretty much need to rest a bit. after about a 30 minute rest, i generally can then tackle maybe doing a load of laundry, or playing a board game inside (i CANNOT be outside at all in this heat) with the kids, doing another chore or something...oh, i don't know, maybe just playing the normal referee/mom role that is my life of three small kids. then, i gear up for getting lunch ready...which i can do, and then supervise feeding them, then i get to eat, then clean up (pears off floor, hopefully without being stepped on barefoot-yuck! dishes done, faces wiped, not crying over spilt chocolate milk) and by this time, i am pretty wiped out. this time i need a longer recoop time because now it is later in the day. fortunately we are getting close to nap time for abigail and benjamin (in theory, for benben) so i can use that time for me too. yes, i am faced with trying to spend quality time with just jacob during that time too to fight off the mom guilt and because i also just love it, but i just do this best i can. after naps....(and my afternoon dose of meds which, i guess sorta helps, a little) i can play some with them and get snacks ready...but it is really all about countdown til daddy gets home at that point....

now, this is my BEST case scenario, best day. did you notice anything? there is no way i can run an errand with the kids. i still have no strength or energy to walk around stores...for those of you who have seen me out and about, i had to rest up for that, and generally i absolutely pay the price afterwards. i can't go outside and play active-like. in fact, i can't play inside active-like. i can't take them anywhere fun. i can't tackle the 435 things around the house that really NEED to get done! treading water takes on a whole new meaning for me. but it is what it is.

so...this is where i am now. and believe it or not, i am thankful. it might not sound like it as i type, and that is just because i am exhausted today, from waaaaay overdoing it yesterday. but God and i have already talked about that and He knows i am thankful. four months ago, i couldn't get off the couch at all really. a few months before that, i couldn't sit upright at all and had an ice pack strapped to my head all day long. God is good. i know this for sure. He has proven that to me time and time again...and He doesn't even have to, but He has.

and trust me, i DO NOT want to be like the Israelites. i mean, i am...but i sure don't want to be. what do i mean?? God proved Himself to them too...time and time and time and time again. (exodus 14) they had just seen God perform many miracles and preserve them...they had followed Moses and were standing at the foot of the red sea...waves rushing in front of them but the looming sound of the fierce philistine army thundering behind them...and what did they do? stand tall in faith? band together in prayer and praise to their great and faithful God? nope. they cried out in fear to Moses and basically said "dude, why did you drag us all the way out here in the desert to be killed by the egyptians? if you would have just left well enough alone, at least we could have stayed there, kept our jobs, our 401k's and stayed alive!" oh, people of such little faith. oh, ME of such little faith. and then Moses told them (v.14) "the Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still"

be still? i'm not sure about you, but i would have preferred to hear, from my great leader, something like...draw your's the divine strategy God will use to strike them down...maybe even... it's time to build another ark, is there anybody here from the line of noah??(hmm..i guess we all are!?!)...or something like that...but, be still? i would have been worried too. but, that brings me back to why i am like the Israelites. i would have cried out in FEAR, and i tend to WORRY. those two things...those are my things. they have been. my whole life. i know without a shadow of doubt that God is working on those in me, in a huge way. it just so happens (by God's divine permission) that He has now allowed a daily reminder (pain, medical drama, unknown diagnosis, unanswered questions, unknown future) of what it really, really means to trust Him fully. fear and faith cannot inhabit the same heart at the same time. coincidence? not at all. God knows my heart and knows He needs all of it to trust in Him. fully.

i wonder what the Israelites were thinking as they walked upon that dry land. looking up on either side of them at the walls of water. could they see fish swimming by? did they reach out and try and touch the water? did they walk quickly for fear of the walls crashing down? probably. i would have probably been running.

i'm betting that the ground wasn't even muddy. God is just like that. He does something and he does it completely. He says dry land and He means D R Y land.

i am looking forward to walking on dry land. D R Y land.

oh, and by the way....when they did get to the other side, which He said they would, and they did....they saw HIM defeat their enemy. they saw those walls of water fall, but not on them, but on those who went against HIM. and boy, then they praised!! (Ex. 15:1-2) "i will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted...the Lord is my strength and my song, He has become my salvation. He is my God and i will praise Him, my father's God and i will exalt Him."

ahhh...sounds great huh? sounds like me a few months ago...oh, i can sit upright...oh, i can walk around a bit... it takes no time at all for the complaining to take place...Goooood (i picture this like my kids when they yell at me...but, moooom) Israelites: we could have pots of meat in egypt, we got nothing here, we are hungry, we're thirsty...(me: i can't drive, i get sooo tired, when will this end?) God knew exactly what they needed. He wanted them to come to Him for it. He wanted them to depend on HIM for everything. He wants that for me to. i am truly learning that. it is a daily thing. (actually, it is an hourly, or minute-ly (not a word, but it is now!)) thing Just like their manna. (ex. 16) He wouldn't let them store it up for days, He, once again knew that it was best for them to depend on HIM daily for it. could He have given them plenty to store up? sure. that isn't the point. the point is in the discipline and trust. do i trust God that He knows what i need, desires good for me and will provide for me? do i? did they? no and no. but, i praise Him that He is teaching me and my answer is leaning a WHOLE lot more towards yes. and if you know me AT ALL, you know my bent towards fear and worrying is a HUGE bent, really more towards a 90 degree right angle, and so i praise YOU Father, for that is a miracle on the scale up there with parting the red sea!!!!

did you know that those Israelites wandered around in that desert for forty years on a trip that really should have only taken a few weeks? if you look on a map, you'll see it. can you believe it? FORTY YEARS. that sounds a lot longer than three hundred days, doesn't it? oh, how i do not want to wander more than i have to. wait, i already have, i know it. but, i want to be done wandering soon. that i know.

God, i know you are good. i know that this time of trial is filled with purpose. i am sorry for the times (and they have been many) that i have grumbled like the Israelites about my situation. i know that i will not be done with this wilderness one scalding, hot desert day before you are ready for me to be. your will be done, not my own. i truly desire to learn whatever it is that you desire to teach me. i confess my sin of fear and worry to you. you know my past and my future, you hold it all in your hands. "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."(psalm 51:10) my dreams, my plans, my health, my family...i lay it down. i love you and i am so thankful for how far you have brought me so far. keep on going, and don't give up. i am yours. amen.

james 1:1-2 "consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

my name

so, the last few days have been pretty long. let me say that again..... the last few days have been looooooong.

but i am blessed. because i have been waiting for days like this for months and months. in fact, for the last ten months, i have been requiring SO much help from SO many different people in order to just function in my every day life. this medical drama has been so trying, so tiring, so difficult. God has been more than faithful though, and He has blessed me with so many people who have been more than gracious to help. like is said, i am blessed.

but, i have so very much been looking forward to getting back to my "normal" life as soon as possible. and while i would surely not say that i am there yet...i can honestly say that the last few days have given me a pretty good glimpse. and this glimpse has been about all that my sweet old self can handle at this point. :)

i love my kiddos. i mean it. i am pretty darn crazy about them. they make me laugh and brighten my world ALL the time!!! but the three of them are all under the age of six, and therefore require a lot from mommy. mama. mom. ma. moooom.....whatever you want to call me. but, be assured they call me. in fact, someone is A L W A Y S calling me....for something. the last two days have been a little like this.... (actually i don't have enough time to type up about the last two days, so i will just let you know how things went yesterday from about 8:16am to about 8:21am)
(jacob is almost 6, benjamin is almost 4 and abigail is 16 months)

J: mom, can i have some more water?
B: mama, where's my sippy cup?
J: moooom, why did he get the blue sippy cup this time, it's my turn to have the blue sippy cup!
B: mom, i wanted ice cold water, this isn't ice cold
B: mom, i would like a snack too, please...why can't i have a snack before breakfast?
J: mama, i have to go pee pee
B: mom, me too, oops, i pee peed on the floor and the trash can
B: moooom, come sit on the stool by me while i pee pee
A: (from somewhere in the house) mama, watch! mama, watch!
J: mom, where's abigail?
B: moooom, abigail put her hands in the potty!!
J: mama, benjamin didn't wash his hands
B: mom, yes i did, i just did a little bit
A: mama! eat! mama! eat!
J: mom, can i have cheerios please?
B: mama, i want the squares cereal
J: mom, i changed my mind, i want fruit wait, i want cheerios, but i want honey
B: mama, i want squares still, but can i have honey too?
J: mom, when can we have pancakes again?
B: mama, ooooh, ya i want pancakes too!
A: mama watch! (as she drops milk onto floor)
(ugh. boys-we are having cereal this morning!)
J: ok mom, so i want cheerios with honey but i don't want to drink the milk.
J: mom, who's coming over today to play?
B: mama, where are our vitamins? i want two yellow ones please!
J: mom, i get to pick the color first this time!
B: mama, can we play baseball after we eat?
B: mama, where's daddy already? can he throw the ball when he gets home?
B: mama, can we watch dora after we eat breakfast?
B: mama, how many more bites do i have to take?
B: mooooom, abigail threw her cheerios on the floor

8:21am - end scene

8:22am - mom hides in closet and changes name to daddy :)

just teasing there. daddy does a lot in our house. a whole lot. but right now, daddy has escaped to what i like to call the magical place of "Grownup-land" and there, no one asks you to feed them or wipe any of their body parts, and the inhabitants are rarely sticky. and i would venture to say that he can go more than five minutes without hearing his name called 641 times. sigh.

again, i love my kids...but sometimes (ok, often) the sheer NON-STOP-NESS of it flat wears me out. they are very good kids. they really are. they get along pretty well with each other. they obey pretty well and use good manners....but they are small. for the most part, they aren't self-sufficient. that is where i come in. that is where mom, mama, mommy, mooooooom or some variation of that gets spurted out every 12 seconds or so by one of them. so far it has been mainly the boys...but now sweet abigail has joined in. her favorite new game is, "mama, watch!" she says it all the time now, right before she does a trick. it is precious. but, has taken the daily tally of name calling up a few hundred notches.

i am thrilled that ryan has his new job, but as he's getting adjusted, i am treading water. just keeping my head above water amidst the torrential downpour of mama, mommy, and mooooom's throughout my day. and since he worked from 7:00am-8:30pm can imagine i hit quite a record. so, today, still recuperating from the blow i faced yesterday... i did my best to stay afloat. but i kinda felt like i was trying to balance and float on a little rubber the mental image? ya, not ideal.

then God really spoke to me. He said..."you know, if you would come to Me, even half as much as they come to you...this day would not be hard for you."


i began this day and yesterday too, in fact...spending good time with Him. and at night, i am reading a GREAT book right now about relying on HIM through tough times(very applicable for my life lately)...i read Scripture in the mornings every day...but I'm telling you what, that truth hit me like a ton of heavenly bricks.

so true, God. i should absolutely be calling out to you at least that much throughout my day.

Lord, help me be patient with my kids!!
God, thank you for their good health!
Jesus, i am so tired, please strengthen me!
Father God, i cannot do this alone!
Lord, forgive me for losing my temper with them!
God, give me kind words to say right now
Lord, let me use this teachable moment
God, give me more energy to play and not just crash on the couch
Lord, help me put myself last
God, what a blessing these kids are!
Jesus, teach me what you want me to know today!

no end to this scene

of course, now, it is late. i am beyond exhausted. should be sleeping, but i had to write this out in thanks to God. they are all sleeping so sweetly in their beds now. boy they all look so sweet and small and helpless and quiet when they sleep. i absolutely looooooove watching them when they sleep.

forgive me Father for losing my patience today. for getting frustrated. for raising my voice. for expecting them to understand how tired mommy is. for putting too much on their shoulders to bear. YOU alone can handle that burden. even i can't. take it. tomorrow is a better day. i am so blessed that i get to be home with them, spending this great precious time with them. i wouldn't trade it for anything. thank you so much for that. i need your strength. i need your peace. i need your patience. i need your wisdom. i need your kind words. i need so much more of you and so very much less of me. every time they call out my name Lord, help me to call out Your Name.