Monday, January 17, 2011

Delight and Desire

"Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Psalms 37:4. As many of you know, I love to work with "my" kids. "My" kids are the school children that I have worked with since they were in first grade six years ago. One year ago I had to resign my job as the physical pain was becoming more than I could handle. It was a blessing to be able to continue to volunteer in the same classrooms were I had once worked. Every Friday, I would go to the classes and stay until their lunch recess was over.
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


Psalms 139: 14-17a, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand..."
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

Mental Illness, Part Four

As I have already blogged in Part Two, mental illness is in my family. My precious daughter struggled with psychosis and is mildly bipolar. She takes two medications that help her tremendously. As I also blogged in Part Three, I believe that mental illness can be genetic.
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

Mental Illness, Part Three

I have learned that mental illness is just that, an illness that is in the mind. Someone who has heart disease has an illness that has affected their heart. Someone who has liver disease has an illness that has affected their liver. Someone who has hearing loss has a problem that has affected their hearing. Someone who has cancer has a problem that is affecting the cells in their body. It is the same thing with mental illness. Someone who suffers from it has an illness that is affecting their brain.
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.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Nice Verse

This verse just caught my eye the other day when I was reading my Bible and I thought I would share it with you. Zechariah 8:5, "And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof." What a pleasant scene that portrays in my mind. This is what Jerusalem will be like when the LORD sets up His kingdom. I will be there to see this. Will you?