Sunday, December 18, 2011
The pain and stiffness have become so bad that I cannot sleep all night, even with ibuprofen and benadryl. And every morning I am so stiff that I have to do stretches in bed before I get up. Even then, it takes half an hour before I can walk without immense pain. Getting on the exercise bike helps a lot. And doing my morning stretches afterwards helps even more.
I am reading a book that is helping me keep my mind thinking the right things. It has been twenty years since I had read this book and just felt that it was time to read it again. I am so glad that I am. The book is called, "Telling Yourself The Truth". The first time I read it, my life was a complete mess. This time my life is much better, but I still struggle with the things that I say in my mind about circumstances. I think that I would be really depressed about the fibro if I was listening to my brain instead allowing God to take control of every thought and bring into captivity.
One major blessing did come from the massage. The therapist and her youngest son came to my church today for the Christmas play. In spite of this fibro attack, I was able to have a small part in the play as a shepherd. So, it was a great blessing to have my therapist and her son there for it.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Then I was called in to do subbing as a para-educator. I thought it would only be for a couple of weeks....it turned out to be two months and would have been even longer, except... I had to resign due to my fibromyalgia. The pain had been under control and not so bad that I couldn't handle it, but as time passed and the weather got worse, so did the pain. It is now so bad that I can hardly get out of bed in the morning and it wakes me up in the early morning. I need to get back to the pool and back to as stress-free as possible. Now that I am no longer working, I should be able to get things back to a dull roar. I can't do anything about the weather that affects me so negatively, but not working will make it possible for me to go to bed when I need to and that always helps. This will also give me more time to get back to posting more frequently. Hope you will check back often, now that I am back.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
I am always amazed at the way God works. Why He would even care about someone like me, is beyond my puny comprehension. I just know that He does care about me, and He cares about you, and if we would just stop and take a moment to think about it, it is amazing.
Lately, I have been on another pity party. I was trying to wean myself down off of the Savella that I take for the fibromyalgia pain. For some stupid reason, I often think that "maybe I don't really have fibro and that I don't have to take medication for it." DUMB! Within a week of getting down to half the dosage, my back and hip started hurting non-stop, and then my ankle pain (that I haven't felt in almost a year) returned. So, I am getting back up to maintenance dosage and the pains are starting to go away. (Weird how that happens.)
So, anyhow, this morning during my quiet time with the Lord, it seemed the Holy Spirit asked me if I would be willing to yield my health completely to the Lord and be willing to give up some more of my dreams and desires? I said, "No Way! I have already given up enough. I have already gone through so much heart-ache and so many trials, that I didn't think it was fair for me to give up even more...and especially not something that I love to do so very much. Nope! No Way!" Then the Lord asked me if I trusted Him with all my heart? "Wow, do I have to tell the truth? Um, I do, but not in this area." He asked me how I could sing or even believe the words of Proverbs 3:5-6. It was a struggle and I did not want to talk to the Lord about it anymore. How can I give up all to God when I feel like He has already taken so much from me? I left my quiet time knowing that God would somehow get my attention today.
The rest of my day was very busy and I had sort of forgot about the conversation that I had left hanging with the Lord...but He didn't. This afternoon, I was checking my email and there was one from my Pastor. It had a link to a song. Oh my! That song was as if the Lord was singing it to me. The words are words from my own mind. (I am still crying.) The Holy Spirit used that song to speak to my heart and to break it and to get me to finally yield my health and these certain dreams and desires to my LORD. He does not owe me anything, however, I owe Him everything. I hope you will be able to link to the website and be blessed.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
- Chronic muscle pain, muscle spasms or tightness, weakness in the limbs, and leg cramps
- Moderate or severe fatigue and decreased energy
- Insomnia or waking up feeling just as tired as when you went to sleep
- Stiffness upon waking or after staying in one position for too long
- Difficulty remembering, concentrating, and performing simple mental tasks (“fibro fog”)
- Abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and constipation alternating with diarrhea (irritable bowel syndrome)
- Tension or migraine headaches
- Jaw and facial tenderness
- Sensitivity to one or more of the following: odors, noise, bright lights, medications, certain foods, and cold
- Feeling anxious or depressed
- Numbness or tingling in the face, arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Increase in urinary urgency or frequency (irritable bladder)
- Reduced tolerance for exercise and muscle pain after exercise
- A feeling of swelling (without actual swelling) in the hands and feet
- Painful menstrual periods
I have to deal with just about all of these symptoms. The only one I don't have to "worry" about is the painful menstrual periods because I had a hysterectomy twenty-four years ago. I guess that was a blessing in disguise.
In my last posting about fibro, I wrote about the pain that I have to deal with every day. Today, I thought I would post about the fatigue I experience. There are times when it gets so bad that all I can do is sleep. It is like a tidal-wave when it overwhelms my brain and there is nothing that I can do about it. When I first started to notice the fatigue, I did try to fight it with all my strength. I remember a few years ago trying to make a dinner for my extended family that was coming over for a visit. The fatigue made me just want to go to sleep, but I had a dinner to prepare and housecleaning to get done. It got done, but I had to sleep for the next day and a half. It only took a couple more of these episodes to realize that I could not and should not even try to fight these fatigue attacks unless I really wanted to sleep for the next 36 hours. Now, I listen to my brain and just give it a rest. Now a days, when I feel fatigued, I usually just go to bed and stay there for three hours. When I get up, I still feel worn out, but in another hour or two, I feel well enough to go do something that would have been impossible if I hadn't napped.
Many times though, I still get frustrated and discouraged that I have to even deal with the fatigue. Especially when it hits when I already have other plans. I get upset that I have to drop those plans or if able, do them another day. The Word of God says that in everything we are to give thanks and that all things work out for our good to those who love God. By faith and obedience, I am trying to trust in the Lord with all my heart and to thank Him for the fatigue as well as for the fibromyalgia in total. I admit I am not there yet. This is one lesson that I haven't fully learned and accepted as of yet. If you feel like it, you can pray for me to be truly and fully thankful and accepting of God's will. Thanks.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
There were so many people that walked on to the ferry and most of them were very strange acting and/or looking. It was strange and we didn't know what was going on. Usually a ferry ride is a relaxing way to spend an hour, but not this time. There was this one guy that kept jumping up on the bench seats and yelling weird stuff. We also noticed that a lot of the females were wearing these leaf leis. And a bunch of guys had "leaf" pictures on their shirts and/or hats. I finally realized who 90% of these passengers were and where they were headed. They were going to the Seattly hemp-fest to get high once again. I was really surprised to see how many of them there were on this ferry. The saddest ones to see were those who had young children with them that they were taking to this pot-smoking "party".
It was nice to finally get off the ferry and to get away from all the weirdness. Bekah and I had a fun time hawking programs for three hours in the Event Center. Our vocal cords are raw from all of the yelling that we had to do to be heard above the crowds. While there, I kept thinking about all of those people who were coming to "worship" their football idols and how that so many of them were lost without Jesus as their Saviour. How I wished that instead of programs, I was handing out tracts to these football fans. What an amazing opportunity was wasted. My desire from this experience is to be able to pass out tracts at our local events.
After we got done selling programs, we were given tickets to the game. We got to sit in the "nose-bleed" section right in front of a guy who couldn't say anything without a cuss word coming out after every word. We tried to just enjoy the game as we had never been to a professional football game in our lives. I thank God that Bekah had her I-pod and Bose headphones. She couldn't hear the guy, but I did. A couple of times I tried to sush him and after first quarter he left for a few minutes. The other disturbing part of this day was all the beer that was being consumed at the football game, and that older people were buying and giving it to their underage friends. It made me heart-sick. I was beginning to really hate sin and the hold that it has on so many people.
On the way home from Seattle, it was once again that the ferry was packed with people. The hemp-fest was over for the day and these folks were now so much more mellow than they had been in the morning. There had to be over 400 folks and 90% were from the pot party. Some of them were sleeping (even though it was only 9pm), others were just "melted" on the seats, and yet a few were still acting stupid. I could overhear many conversations about getting high at the festival. It was so sad that 50% of this crowd was high-school age or younger. My heart was so broken and my mind was so angry at sin, that I couldn't stay inside for very long. Bekah and I went to the front of the ferry where we knew there would be lots less people. Even though it was windy and cold, I felt better.
By the time the ferry got to Bremerton I could not wait to get back to my van and be alone with Bekah and God. I was full of hate and had to do a lot of praying. The Holy Spirit reminding me of Jesus' words to love our enemies. (These folks weren't my enemies, but their sin was.) The Holy Spirit also made me realize that there is no way that I can love these people, but that God does, and that if I let Him, He can love them through me.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Saturday, July 2, 2011
It wasn't hard to imagine what had been going on between the two of them. I had been just like that when I was her age. Looking for some boy to "love" you, to desire you, to want you. And not understanding that all he really wanted was to get his hands (or more) all over your body. I talked to the older girl for a little while, but my heart was breaking over the whole situation and I couldn't wait to get back to the van so that I could cry and pray. Which is just what I did.
This young girl is only 12 years old. Please pray for her and for all those who are like her. Please pray for me to have the wisdom of God in dealing with this situation. Please pray for the parents of both girls that they would be able to help their precious girls to understand that true love is not sex, that these parents would love their girls and care for them in the best ways possible. Thank you!
Saturday, June 25, 2011
The next morning, when I started my quiet time with the Lord, I was surprised to find the Holy Spirit waiting for me. He immediately filled me with peace and comfort. I knew that God loves these precious children so much more than I ever could and He reassured me that He was watching out for them. Amen!
I know that many of you do not understand the care, concern, and love that I have for these specific children. I believe that it is a gift that the Lord gave to me. I have always loved children, except for several years when I was so bitter and angry at God for the sorrow He had allowed me to endure. However, when I confessed and forsook those sins, the Lord restored that great ability to love once again. Then, six years ago, God gave me a most wonderful job of working as a para-educator in the same school that I had attended decades earlier. The children that I worked with were in the "normal" classes and I fell in love with all of the students. I was able to work with them from first grade to fifth grade and then was able to volunteer in their classrooms this year. So, I have been with the same students for six years which is half of their lives. The Lord has used me to guide and encourage many of the kids and to even be able to witness to a few of them.
So, on the last day of school, I thought that I would be crying a lot since that would be the last time that I would be with them. (No, I do not plan on volunteering at the junior high.) But, instead, I was full of joy and gratitude. What a blessing it has been to be a part of the lives of so many children and for so many years. I want them to remember me as an adult who cares about them and not a selfish cry-baby. I pray for them and wish them all the very best. And I thank God for all His blessings!
Monday, May 30, 2011
It was very hard for me to admit that I had a problem with depression especially after hearing from so many other christians that it is the most selfish of all emotional problems. For those who don't have depression and may not understand, let me give you a little insight. It isn't something that I want to have nor is it something that I desire. It is a chemical imbalance that happens to my brain. It occurs whenever things get out of whack. Why and when it happens, is not something that I can just control. If I could, I would just wish and work it away. But that is impossible. I have heard from others, "Just think happy thoughts and then you will be happier." Okay, how does that work for someone who has heart problems? How does that work for someone who has pancreatic problems? How does that work for someone who has hearing loss? I do agree that there are times when I do need to change my thoughts, and if I can, I do try. But there are other times when there is nothing that seems to help and I just have to wait it out. And for those of you who still might think that mental illness is demon possession or oppression, where do you get that idea? If it is from the Gospels, then you must also believe that blindness, deafness, and physical crippledness are also from demons...because that is what it says in the Gospels.
Here is what I believe. I believe that most mental illness is genetic. I also believe that it is influenced by sexual hormones and that is why so many women suffer worse when their hormones are fluctuating. It is also a fact that more people who live in the "darker" areas of the world have more of a problem with depression. I heard that suicide among teenage Alaskans is 10 times higher than the national average, especially during their dark winter months. I sure know that I feel much worse during the shorter, cloudier days here in western Washington.
So, I do have some good news. There are some ways to help yourself. I am going to list the things that I do that help me and maybe they can help you too. I am not an expert, I just offer my suggestions.
1. Go see your doctor and get a good check-up to make sure that there are not other problems that may be causing your mental illness.
2. Be honest with yourself and with others. If they don't understand, that is their problem. There are others who will.
3. Take medication if the doctor believes that it will help. It may take several different ones and many months or years before you find one that works well for you. I use Savella, which is not an anti-depressant, but it helps my fibromyalgia and my mood.
4. Realize that anti-depressants do have side effects and may cause you to need other medications to help. All the anti-depressants that I tried gave me high blood pressure. I now take a very low dose of Benicar and am back to normal.
5. Exercise. You must do this! I ride a recumbent bike every day and when I feel really bad, it gets a good work-out. I tend to get angry when I am depressed and riding that bike helps work out that anger. I can get up to 20 miles an hour for about 10 minutes and by then I get to feeling better. I also do water aerobics and am very busy in my yard.
6. Take vitamin D. This really helps some people. I take 3000mg a day and so does my daughter. I have seen it help her.
7. Move to a warmer, sunnier climate if need be. I would if I could, but I can't so I don't.
8. Eat less fat. I have lost almost 50 pounds by eating less than 20grams of fat a day. Eat smaller meals of about 300 calories each and eat more often. If you eat 300 cals. or less a meal, you can easily have six meals a day. I tend to have three smalls meals and three snacks. It has worked for me. I no longer eat high fat, high calorie foods. I still eat most everything I like.
9. Take magnesium. I don't, because I no longer have any internal female organs. I have heard and read that magnesium can help those who have PMS. Look it up online.
10. Get in your Bible. Find many verses of encouragement. Write them in a book, put them on cards, memorize them, do whatever you can to have them close by when you are feeling really bad. I especially encourage you to memorize John 17:17, "Sanctify them through thy truth, THY WORD IS TRUTH." When those stupid thoughts try to overrun your brain, cling to God's Word because it is the truth. It is the only truth in this world. It is the only truth in your life.
11. Remember that "THIS TOO SHALL PASS". While you are in the depths of depression it may feel like you will never feel better, but you will. You have before and you will again. It will take time, but God is with you for He promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you.
If you would like to talk to me more about depression, please do. I know how awful it is and I know that there are times when I don't want to have anything to do with anyone, but the rest of the time, I want to pray for you and help you.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
So, I got angry and put him outside where it was raining like crazy. He stayed on the back step where he wouldn't get wet and just stared in the backdoor. I instantly got on a lovely guilt trip. However, as I went back to my prayer time, the Holy Spirit seemed to say that I needed to focus on this guilt trip. Why was I feeling guilty? I had thrown the cat outside in the yecky weather. No, The Holy Spirit wanted me to get to the sin of the guilt trip...the cat would be fine outside, so, why was I on this guilt trip? Focus, Alice. It was easy...I felt guilty for my sin of getting angry. That was the problem. I admit that I have allowed the sin of anger to once again rear its ugly head in my life. It was a bad sin that I had dealt with a couple of decades ago, but realized that I had let it come back and control my emotions.
I confessed and repented of my sin right then and there. Whenever I am now tempted to get angry (which is still quite often), I use God's Word to fight it, instead of giving in and then winding up on another guilt trip.
Then, last night, I was getting on one of the worse guilt trips, the kind that make you so upset that you just want to cry, you just want to hide, you just want to run-away from life. I felt that I had unintentionally hurt a very good friend. She didn't say anything to make me think it, but I just sensed it. (Sometimes I really hate my overactive imagination.) I won't go into all of the details, just suffice it to say that I felt horrid when I went to bed. My brain would not stop feeling guilty. I even tried to focus on the true problem, but I couldn't think of a sin. What the Holy Spirit revealed to me was that I need to really pray and seek God's will before I do anything that is "out of the norm". It is a good lesson that I need to learn.
This morning I was able to put this new lesson into practice. I was getting ready to do something, that in all likelihood I will wind up doing anyways, but I hadn't taken the time to pray about it and to seek God's will in the matter. It just happened that I had something else that I was in the middle of doing and it needed my immediate attention, so I wasn't able to finish doing what I had started to do. And then my beloved came home from the gym and told me to wait before I acted. Praise God.
So, I am thankful for guilt trips, for the Holy Spirit who is trying to teach me a new lesson, and for the lessons themselves...even when they aren't very fun.
Friday, May 13, 2011
It wasn't until I became a wife eight years later that I finally got the idea. A woman is just more comfortable with her own family and the husband is usually willing to please his wife. I know that is a fact in my marriage. However, this saying has taken on a deeper meaning to me as a mother of an adult daughter who is autistic and has mental illness.
Never in my wildest dreams could I have ever imagined having a child with disabilities. My hopes, dreams, and prayers were for several "above-average" children. (Actually, I know now, it was my pride that wanted my children to be "above-average".) Not only did God have other plans for me, He had plans that were deeper and wider than my mind could comprehend. He would allow me to have at least four miscarries. He would allow my only child to be different. He would use that child and her disabilities to change me in tremendous ways. He would humble me. And He would make it so that I would have my daughter for the rest of her life (or mine.)
It is hard to be a mother of an adult child. Even though she is technically 29 years old, she is really only 10 years old. Her behaviors are so immature. Her thought processes are so strange. Her social skills are extremely limited. And there are times when she just drives me crazy. Just when I think that she is making real progress, she goes and proves me wrong. It can be so frustrating.
Her life has always been "two steps forward, one big step back." Today, we learned about the "big step back" at work. (For those of you who read her Facebook postings, I apologize for any and all that have been inappropriate. I don't have Facebook, so I had no idea what she was posting. Until her boss told us of a couple. I am so embarrassed.) She was doing so wonderful at her new job, that I had become relaxed in her accomplishments; forgetting about the "big step back", or hoping that it just wouldn't come. But it did! Pray for wisdom to make things right.
So, God used my mother to be a "prophetess". Little did she know that when she began to quote one of her favorite sayings that I would have a daughter for the rest of my life. And I thank God that I do. I wouldn't trade her for anything nor for everything.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
"Old Testament Definitions:
Asher: to be straight. level, right, happy, go forward, be honest, prosper, bless(ed), guide, lead, relieve.
Ehsher: happiness, how happy!, blessed, happy.
Shawlaw: to be tranquil, secure, successful, be happy, prosper, be in safety.
It is mentioned 20 times in the Old Testament, 7 times are in Psalms. Twice it is found in Psalms 144:15," Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD." (see the rest of the chapter to see why they are happy...it is because of God's goodness and blessings.)
New Testament Definitions:
Makarizo: to beautify, pronounce, esteem, fortunate, call blessed, count happy.
Makarios: supremely blest, fortunate, well off, blessed, happy(ier).
It is mentioned only 6 times in the New Testament, twice in Second Peter. Only once written by Paul to the church, Romans 14:22, "...Happy is he that condemeth not himself in that thing which he alloweth." (see the rest of the chapter to realize that this is the freedom that we have in Christ.)
The first time the word is mentioned in the Bible is when Leah, the first wife of Jacob, names the son of her handmaid "Asher", which means happy. Genesis 30:13.
Deut.33:29, Israel is happy because they have been saved (preserved) by the LORD.
I Kings 10:8, King Solomon's soldiers and servants are happy to serve him and to hear his wisdom.
Job 5:17, "Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth." (Wow, that doesn't sound like fun.)
Ps. 127:5, Happy is the man who has children (and lots of them.)
Ps. 128:2, Happy is everyone that fears the LORD (see vs.1).
Ps. 137:8-9, (This is yecky!) Happy shall he be who takes revenge on Babylon.
Ps. 146:5, "Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help."
Pro. 3:13, "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom and the man that getteth understanding."
Pro. 3:18, Happy is everyone that retains wisdom. (Interesting!)
Pro. 14:21, Happy is he that has mercy on the poor. (not focused on self.)
Pro. 16:20, Happy he that trusts in the LORD.
Pro. 28:14, "Happy is the man that feareth alway..."
Pro. 29:18, Happy is he that keeps the law.
John 13:17, Jesus says that those who serve as he has served will be happy.
Acts 26:2, Paul is happy to give his testimony.
James 5:11, "...we count them happy which endure..." (amazing)
I Pet. 3:14, Happy are those who suffer for righteousness sake.
I Pet. 4:14, Happy are those who are reproached for the name of Christ.
It is amazing to me to see from God's Word what brings true happiness. The truth always seems contrary to what the world believes. There would be a lot more happy people (myself included) if we would realize what is true.
If the Lord wills, I hope the truths about Godly happiness can be put into an easy to read book. I believe it could be a great encouragement to christians, especially those who are going through some trial or is discouraged or who is messed up in their thoughts."
I never did get around to putting this into book form, but I do hope that this blog form has been a blessing and encouragement for you to be happy in the Lord.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
"Many years ago, in the late 60s, a cutesy book came out titled, "Happiness is a Warm Puppy". I believe that it was written by Charles Schultz, the cartoonist who drew the Peanuts comit strip for many years. I love that comic as a child and it still brings a smile now that I am an adult. Anyway, each page in this book had just one line describing what happiness is and had a cute drawing. Of course, they were all things that could bring a warm, comfy feeling of happiness. However, all of them were based on what the world considers happiness. It was (and is) a sweet, feel-good book.
During Jubilee, a couple weeks ago (now several years ago), Pastor Rick Adams (from Portland, Ore) preached a message that made several references to happiness from the Bible. Ever since then, I have felt that it would be interesting to get out my Strong's Concordence and do a Bible study on the word happiness. Maybe it will bring me some victory (I was struggling with lots of depression during this time) or at least peace when I'm down in the dumps. So, here goes."
I will bring you more next time.
Monday, April 18, 2011
As many of you know, the Lord only allowed us to have one child, and He allowed that child to have special needs. We suffered five miscarries and a total hysterectomy. At first we were mad and sad that our only child would be "different" from normal. It took God getting a hold of our hearts to change our thinking. Now, I am so grateful and praise God.
The Lord has used this wonderful child to teach me lessons that I would not have learned without her. (Some day I will blog about them.) She has brought joy to our little family with her corny jokes and her silly actions. She is the most laid-back, easy-going, hard-working (when she wants), smart, loyal, faithful, dependable, person that I know. She loves to read and listen to music. She loves to get on the computer and to learn all that she can about a subject. She loves to write and draw. She loves to shop whenever she has money (it burns a hole in her belly-bag and she can't wait to spend it.) She loves bright colors and sparkles and jewels. She loves the LORD Jesus and her Bible. She loves good preaching and teaching. She loves the Mercury 7 astronauts, especially Gus Grissom. She loves Richard Nixon and Phil Condit. She has pictures of them that she likes to look at every day. At times she is weird and crazy. At times she can be cranky, but not very often (usually when her medications aren't working.) And she loves Special Olympics, especially the Spring sports of track and field.
When she was born, I had all these dreams I thought she would fulfil for me. When we discovered that she was autistic, those dreams began to fade. When we found out that she also had mental illness, those dreams disappeared. Instead, God gave me a wider realization and understanding of the dreams that He had for Rebekah. I had to totally surrender her to Him and let Him do with her as He saw best. She is not "my" child, she belongs to the Lord and He has allowed me to be her mother, and I could not be any happier than I am with this precious daughter.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
I have wanted to do some blogging, but haven't been able to type until a few days ago. The picture is of my right index finger. Three weeks ago, I was opening a folding cot at the local Fred Meyer store. I thought that the legs on it would be stiff to open since it was brand new. I gave a little extra pull on them and they came flying around. Before I could realize what had happened. The joint of the legs had caught and pinched my finger. I felt the edge of the leg joint as I pulled them off of my finger. I knew then that it would be more than just a pinch. The cut was so deep that I could see the base of my fingernail. I quickly grabbed the finger as tight as I could so that it wouldn't bleed until I was able to get to the restroom. The pain was so bad that I thought I would vomit and pass out. I had to tell myself to take deep breaths and to keep walking. Once I got to the restroom I quickly and as gently as possible wrapped the finger with lots of paper towel.
Jerry, my beloved husband, had put the cot back in its case and was heading my way when I came out of the restroom. I told him we needed to go to Urgent Care because I was sure that it needed stitches. The pain was overwhelming and I was not able to put on my seatbelt when I got in the car. It required both Rebekah and Jerry to tackle that task.
When we got to Urgent Care I was able to get into a room within half an hour. That is quick considering how long I have had to wait at other times. It was then that I had to remove my left hand from my right finger. Then they soaked the finger in soapy water. Next, the doctor came in and began to clean the cut. The pain that had gone from level 10 to level 5 went right back up to level 9. (At least I didn't feel like vomiting anymore.) The doctor tried to be as gentle as she could, but she had to get the wound open to see how deep it was. She told me it was down to the bone and would require a couple of stitches. The skin was too thin to put in any more than that. At last she gave me a shot to numb the area. It only brought relief to the immediate cut and the rest of the finger continued to hurt. Some of the worse pain was when the nurse came in later and tried to clean off the blood and apply the bandaging.
I was glad to finally get home and be able to take some pain medication. I had to take two which barely took the edge off of the pain. I thought that it would make me fall asleep, but instead it took me to a "mellow" place and got me to thinking about Jesus on the cross.
The pain that I suffered was nothing compared to the pain that Christ had to endure when he hung upon the cross. Spikes were driven through his hands and feet. He hung from them for many hours. The full weight of his body pulled upon the wounds in his apendages. To be able to breathe, he would have to force himself up which would only make the pain even worse. This was true torture. No pain medication did he receive. He refused to take any when it was offered to him. And why did he endure this excruciating pain? For my sins! For your sins! For the sins of the whole world!
All of the sudden, the pain in my finger felt like nothing in comparison to the pain that my Saviour suffered for me. Instead it allowed me a tiny glimpse to what he felt. I truly cannot imagine all of the pain that Christ Jesus felt. It had to have been horrendous. And when I think of him doing that for me, I love and admire him even more.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
For the last week, I have been in the sixth grade classroom volunteering my time and talents to help the teacher and the students. It has been rough!!! The whole class has been preparing to do student lead conferences. These conferences will take place next week and the students will be in charge. They will be presenting their grades and some of the work they have done. The teacher and I have helped them to prepare. Last Friday, we had them practice with us one to one. There were some students who couldn't wait to have their mom or dad come and hear what they had to say. But there were so many more who were afraid. They had never been able to really talk to their parent(s) and this would be the first time that they had an opportunity to be heard. It felt great to encourage and empower these precious children. I hope and pray that they will be able to follow through at the actual conference.
Although it has been many years ago, I can remember my sixth grade conference. I had never gone to one before and was afraid of what my mom would say and do. It was scary for me because I knew that I had a really bad grade in one of my subjects. It was the grade I deserved because I had deliberately chosen to not do the work. My conference went really well and it felt great to be able to explain how boring the subject had been and that was the reason I chose to not do the work. As my mom and I walked home, I thought I would get in big trouble. My mom was quiet and then, she told me that she loved me. (That was rare for her to say.) I asked her who she loved best in our family and she told me that it was my dad. I asked her which one of us four kids she loved the best and she replied that she loved each of us the same. It was a relief to hear, because I often thought that she loved my siblings more than she loved me.
As I worked with the children, I was able to share part of that story with them. A few of them were surprised and I think took courage from my story. I pray for them and their families. I hope that their conferences will go really well and that this will be the beginning of stronger relations with their parents.
The blessing that I get from this, is that God loves all of His children just the same. When God looks upon us, He no longer sees us, He sees Jesus in me and us in Jesus. John 17:23, Jesus says," I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast love me." Let that sink in for a moment....God loves you as much as He loves Jesus!!!!
Monday, March 7, 2011
As I watched the show, I began to feel an overwhelming wish that I could do more in my church and in my community. It was weird, but during the whole program, I was holding a conversation with the LORD without realizing I was doing so. I kept saying to the LORD that I want to do more, that I wished that I had more to give, or that I could physically volunteer more. I was so blessed to see what others are doing and yet sad that I can't do more because of my physical limitations.
It was at the end of the show, when those final words were spoken, that the Holy Spirit spoke so clearly to my heart. If all you can do is give a smile or a hug, that is enough. Just do what you can do...and do as unto the LORD.
I was raised in a family that volunteered. My parents were Red Cross teachers from the time I can remember. They were always involved in church leading classes and choirs. They also volunteered with so many other community events that I can't list them all. My older siblings were also volunteers with Red Cross, swimming lessons, nursing homes, and church activities. Being a volunteer is just a part of my being. It is a blessing. And I long to do more of it. But for now, I thank the Lord that I can help at the local elementary schools, I can give smiles, hugs, and words of encouragement to those precious children, I can help at my church in many ways, and I can just pray for those who have a need.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
So, why do folks go church "hopping"? I can understand why my parents choose to leave the one church, but I truly cannot understand why they choose to go to a different religion. And even if I could understand, I can't find a good reason from the Bible to leave a "good" church. Can you?
Monday, January 17, 2011
When the new school began, my heart was so sad and my fibro pain got worse since the weather also got worse. For the next few months, I worked on losing weight, exercising, and trying to cope with the pain. I missed "my" kids so much. But there was also another reason why I could not be with them. None of the sixth grade teachers had ever been nice to me while I worked at the school. I would go out of my way to be friendly and nice to them, but almost always they would ignore me. Someone had spread nasty lies about me when I was working in third grade. The gossip mills lead to the sixth grade teachers who never tried to discover the truth. So, there was no way that I could volunteer in any of their classrooms and I couldn't be with "my" kids.
However, in November, I did feel well enough to visit the kids during their lunch. It was amazing to see how much they had grown in just a few months time.
Then, during their Christmas break, I began to pray about going back and volunteering with other teachers. I just felt lead of the Lord that it was time to go help. The Lord allowed me to meet several former co-workers during their break and one of them told me that a sixth grade teacher had resigned. Now, this wasn't just any sixth grade teacher, there are three of them at the school, and the one that resigned was the one that had taught the kids who were closest to me. I so wanted to be back with the twins with whom I had worked one on one for five years. I wondered if God was opening a door for me to return to "my" kids. I asked one of the students in this particular classroom who the new teacher was. He told me the name and said that she was really nice. The name didn't register with me at that time.
When school resumed in January, I knew that God wanted me to return. I filled out all of the volunteer paperwork and talked to the coordinator who was very excited. I then went out to recess with "my" kids and visited them at lunch. The twins told me that they liked their new teacher and said her name again. This time, the Lord brought to mind a possible connection between this teacher and the principal of another school where I had worked years ago and with whom I had interviewed twice in the past three months. Could it be that they were married? And if they were, was she also a christian like her husband?
Two days later, I returned to begin my volunteer work and decided that it was time to meet this new teacher. She was the nicest woman and sure enough is married to the nicest principal and definitly is a christian. Amen!
Two days after that, I was in her classroom for most of the day. She asked if I like math. I love math. She asked the kids if they wanted me to teach math. They all replied enthusiastically, YES! So, I not only get to be with "my" kids, but I also get to teach them math. Which I love! Oh what a blessed Saviour we have, who not only saves us, but knows our every thought and desire.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
These are some of my favorite verses and ones that I memorized many years ago when the Lord began to do a great work in my heart and mind. Through these verses, God started to teach me how much I am loved. Not just loved, but loved by the God of the whole universe. WOW, What an overwhelming and amazing fact.
Today I saw the "gut" doctor as my insides have been hurting more and more in the last couple of years. I've had problems with my abdomen for a couple of decades. The seven surgeries in that location haven't helped matters. It seems that the pain has gotten ever worse since I had my gall-bladder removed in October.
When the "gut" doctor realized that I have fibromyalgia, he made a connection. The inflammation that I have in my joints and muscles also affects the large intestine. He has seen a correlation in many people who have fibromyalgia who also have irritable bowel syndrome. (Makes sense to me.)
I could have gotten really discouraged hearing that news, especially since I just started volunteer work at the school where I use to work. I've already had to take a day off and was really glad that school was cancelled today as I was in tremendous pain again.
But instead of getting discouraged, I have decided that I will just praise the LORD because He loves me and thinks about me and cares about me. What a wonderful God He is!
Sunday, January 9, 2011
My mother's dad, whom I never knew, was an alcoholic from the time my mom was a little girl. He died from the affects when he was in his early 60s. My mom's sister, whom I loved so much for the short time that I knew her, was an alcoholic and drug abuser. My mom was diagnosed with depression and put on medication 20 years ago. My sister admits that she deals with depression every now and then. And as for myself, well, I know that I have depression.
I clearly remember the very first time that I was depressed. I was eight years old and we were camping in Oregon. I was having the time of my life when all of the sudden, I couldn't stop crying and wished that I was dead. I was only eight years old! I didn't feel that horrible feeling again until I started having PMS. It wasn't too bad until my hormones began to very abnormal.
By that time, I was in a church that taught that all mental illnesses were from Satan. So, not only did I deal with depression, I also had to deal with believing that I was an extrememly wicked woman. It was an awful time in my life and I felt all alone. It was too scary to tell anyone what I was going through. So, I hid it and tried to just live a "perfect" life.
When things began to go crazy with my daughter, I knew that it was time to admit the truth to myself. I too had a mental illness that was not my fault and was beyond my physical control. It was then that I began to take a small dose of medication. It did help, but also had side-efffects that I did not like at all. Within three years, I started to have more problems with my physical body. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and my medication was changed. It helped a little bit, but also had unpleasant side-effects. Then, two years ago, I began to experience more and more pain. I was officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia. That brought on different medications that almost made me crazy. I decided to take myself all medications except for my hormores.
It took six months for my body and brain to say, "HELP". I began to have mild panic attacks, lots of pain all over my body, and was exhausted. Back to the doctor who put me on a new regiment. Within a month I was feeling so much better. I no longer need to take medication for the depression because the drug for the fibromyalgia helps with both the physical pain and mental depression. I also take thyroid medicine and an antihypertension drug. However, the thing I think that has helped me the most with the fibromyalgia and depression, is eating a healthy diet and doing moderate exercise. I try to eat food as close to the way that God created it. That means fresh and whole. During the Christmas season I ate much more junk food and paid the consequences.
So, what is the truth and blessing? Well, the truth is that mental illness is a real illness and the blessing is that God can use it in your life to help you be a better person. All praise goes to the Lord for all that He has taught me through mental illness.
I still have more to write about mental illness, but just don't know what it will be yet. Stay tuned!
Thursday, January 6, 2011
The brain is an organ in the body just like any other organ in the body. Sometimes there are things that we do that can have a negative impact on a certain organ in our body. For instance, someone who smokes is going to have negative impact on their lungs. Someone who drinks too much alcohol will have a negative impact on their liver. Someone who overeats and does not exercise will likely place a negative impact on their heart. However, there are just as many things that happen in our body that are from genetics, or from impacts that we had no control over, or from impacts that we did not realize. For example, I know of a woman who died recently from asbestosis. She never worked around the substance. She was a stay-at-home wife and mother. What caused her to get this disease? Whenever she did the laundry she would first shake out her husband's clothes. He was the one who worked in the shipyard with asbestos. The fibers were in the fabric of the clothes he wore home from work. For many years these tiny fibers flew off of his clothes and into her lungs. She never realized the negative impact it had until it was too late.
Many illnesses that affect organs are genetic such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and color-blindness. Research has also found that mental illness is also genetic. It is known that manic-depressive disorder is hereditary and so is schizophrenia. Every year more and more is learned about genetic disorders. As more studying is done, it will become more apparent that almost all mental illness can be linked genetically and are hereditary.
As I mentioned before, there are illnesses that affect certain parts of the body that can be traced back to impact we impossed upon them because of choices that we made. I know that there are mental illnesses that truly are not illnesses, instead, they are caused by the individual being too wrapped up in themselves. I have met people who said they were suffering with depression, but they were only focused on themselves and wanted others to pay more attention. I hope that some day we will be able to have blood tests that will prove whether someone actually has a mental illness. But, for now, I will give them all the benefit of the doubt and not judge them.
Thus, I have learned and fully believe that mental illness is an illness of the brain. It is an organ in this frail human body that is just as susceptible to getting "sick" as any other organ we possess. Next time I will write about my own personal experiences with mental illness.