Author: Geannie


I did a thing…


Okay, so my last post was originally intended to be about this thing I’ve started doing, but somehow, it ended up being about anything BUT that, so now I’m gonna share my new hobby with you guys…

Of course, there’s some backstory first!

I have always loved writing.  Unless I had to do it as punishment in school, that is.  But I’m one of those people who got excited about a new notebook or the sight of a fresh, clean sheet of paper just waiting to be filled with my best handwriting.

I kept tons of journals as a kid.  These were nothing more than spiral notebooks, but at one time, I had a stack of them.  They were my outlet, the only way to stay sane since I didn’t really have any close friends to talk with about deeply personal things.

I wrote about my deepest hurts, my biggest fears and my fondest hopes.  When I was about 15 or 16, my mom decided the only way to figure out what was going on in my life was to read my journals.  big, long sigh. Once that happened and she let loose on me with what she thought about what she’d read, I took them all outside and burned them and never really kept any such thing again.

I still wrote when I couldn’t deal with all that was inside my brain anymore, but I never kept anything.  I’d shred it up into tiny pieces and throw it in the cafeteria trash where I knew no one would ever go looking for it or decide to pull it out to see what it was.

Maybe that’s the reason for my decades of feeling as if I should write a book.  Maybe?  I mean, I also feel like there are people who could benefit from reading about what I’ve been through and knowing they’re not alone and they don’t need to give up.  I feel like all the hard, painful stuff I’ve endured, whether physical or emotional, should be of some help to someone out there.

But perhaps… it’s also because even though I have learned to talk more about a lot of these things, I still feel the need to do a brain dump and for all the things I never, ever wrote down, I guess I still have some weird “need” to do that.

But anyway…. so my eldest son, Corey, sent me a random picture a couple weeks ago of his work journal.  He does things like that just to tell me what he’s up to or to keep in touch.  I commented that it was cool and he informed me it was a bullet journal.

I had been reading about those and trying to figure out what the big deal was about them.  I am also one of those people who will buy a planner because it’s so neat and I really, really WANT to use a planner, but I never seem to stick with it.  At least not anymore.the practice page where I wrote a silly note to Corey telling him I got my fountain pen

Ha ha… this was snapped and sent to Corey before the ink was dry!

When the boys were home and we were still schooling, I almost always kept at least some level of planning system, but once they were moved out and I began my slow slide into the deepest of my depression, I just stopped even trying to keep any sort of “memory” system, ya know?

Corey told me about how he’d been using a fountain pen for his personal journal, too, which I immediately found fascinating!  Back to how I used to love to write and all that… over the years, with the problems I’ve had with my hands.. the tendon issues, injections and surgery and then finally having the carpal tunnel surgery too, my handwriting hasn’t been anything close to attractive in maybe ten years now!

And really guys, I used to love my handwriting and took pride in having penmanship that people would compliment.

I always loved doing calligraphy and usually have some of those angle-tipped calligraphy markers somewhere in the house.  They may be old and dried out, but they’ll be stuck in a nook or cranny somewhere.  Nowadays I always have sharpies around somewhere and I use those on a regular basis.

I tend to label just about anything with mine or Tommy’s name and have done that for the kids too.  Especially when we all get together and everyone has “Gray” written somewhere on their camp chairs and coolers, etc…. that all look alike, it’s a good idea to personalize your stuff or you’ll lose it quick!

It didn’t take much for me to order myself a fountain pen and so I’ve been really enjoying getting back “in touch” with my handwriting and my fondness of it. I had been Pinterest-ing and reading various articles about journaling and “lettering” so I was more than ready to get my pen.  In fact, I’d think of things I wanted to write, but I put it off because I wanted to have my fancy fountain pen first.

HA HA HA!

During all that searching on the web, I found Boho Berry.  She’s a calligraphy/lettering guru.  Her stuff is gorgeous and she sells it on Etsy and now puts on web courses to teach people how to do what she does.  I’m not ready to invest that much money or time into it at this point, but I love looking around her site.  I found that she also publishes a writing “challenge” so I have joined in on that.

See?

Jan 1 in my journal -- a lot of room for improvement #bohoberrychallenge

#bohoberrychallenge

Notice my hashtag.  I haven’t published any of my pages until right now but most people post theirs on Instagram with that hashtag so I’ve been scrolling through those some too.  I should have posted mine already.  There is no “standard” or any “shaming” that I’ve seen.  I mean, there are some obvious beginners in there sharing their pages.  Some who are probably brand new to lettering or art altogether.  Others are just glorious to behold and make me feel like mine are chicken scratch.  Ha.  But I just haven’t done it yet.

can't wait to use this beautiful turquoise ink!

(I can’t wait to get into this bottle of ink!  Once this current cartridge is empty, I am SO going turquoise!!)

One reason was because I knew the lettering would probably improve some once I got back in the swing of it.  Got used to making my hand hold the pen correctly and slow down to make the letters nice.  I just started having carpal tunnel issues with my right hand last month, so I’m wearing a brace at night in hopes of keeping the horrible numbness from making my hand pretty much useless.

Jan 2 in my journal

I had surgery on the left hand to relieve carpal tunnel back in 2010 and it did wonders.  I had a tendon release done in my right hand about 3 years before that in 2007.  Before that, my middle finger was permanently bent at about a 45-degree angle.  It was miserable, so I was thrilled to get it fixed.  It still doesn’t want to line up with my other fingers, but it’s straight and I can use it without pain or sticking.  Hopefully, using the brace on it now will keep me from needing carpal tunnel surgery on the right hand too, at least for many years yet.

This pen is a fine point nib.  I have a medium nib and a stub nib (much wider and perfect for calligraphy!) on the way.  I have also got a set of penmanship theory and practice books on the way to me!  I can’t believe how ridiculously excited I am about what amounted to homework when I was a kid.  Ha.  Everything old is new again, right?

I researched which journals and what kind of paper is best for fountain pen nibs too, so I hunted down a good new-but-used journal (more about those in a later post) so I won’t feel horrible if I poop out with this endeavor (and no, I don’t plan to) after having spent money on an expensive notebook!

Right now, I’m using a little journal my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas.  It’s one more like the kind I usually buy when I can’t control myself and think, “I’ll do something really important with this notebook!”  It’s inexpensive and the cover is bowed so it’s hard to write in when you have to use the odd pages.  Ha ha… I figure that’s the best thing to practice on anyway, but if this kind of thing keeps up (writing challenge) this little book may be worth more than it cost, ya know?

At least to me.  And maybe my grandchildren some day.

Til next time, y’all!

 


Christmas and family and other deep stuff that came out…


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

…..yes, I know it’s already almost two weeks old.  That’s technically still new, right!?  I mean, if it was a baby, you’d call it new.  If it was a car, you’d certainly still call it new.  So just get over it.  I’m behind!

You should be used to that by now!

Okay, what’s going on around here.  Well, obviously I survived the holidays.  I actually had decent blood sugars all through the special foods and gigantic meals.  Diabetes: 0 – Geannie: 1!  Thank God for that!

We tried to switch things up as far as the timing and place of our various family get-togethers.  It was an attempt on my and the girls’ part to try and free up some time so that no one felt rushed from hurrying between in-laws, out-laws, and other family gatherings.  It didn’t work as planned, but it was still nice.

Corey and Melissa got to come home and we spent time with them.  We spent all of Christmas Eve with all our kids, actually!  The other purpose of moving things around was so that “just us” could have a big block of time to be together.

Here’s the thing… for my entire life, our Christmas morning was always a little rushed.  Sometimes it was a LOT rushed.  When I was little, we went to my mother’s parents, or “Mom and Dad’s” as they were always referred to by me and my sister, on Christmas Eve.  My mom had five siblings, four who had children, so all the cousins (except the 7 who lived in Texas) would be there and it was a huge, rowdy gathering.  That usually lasted until after 9 pm.  Sometimes even later than that, I suppose.

Then on Christmas Day, we were expected to be at Mamaw and Papaw’s, my father’s parents, by 10 am or so.  If we got up at 8 or 9, that meant we got very little time to even see what “Santa” had brought, let alone play with any of it.  We would have a big meal there with my three cousins who were the children of my dad’s only sibling, a brother 10 years his senior.  Obviously, there was a sizable age difference between us cousins that meant we didn’t really “play” together.  It was awkward and sort of uncomfortable many times because of all the tension and in-fighting that had been going on between my dad and my uncle since they were children.

THAT is definitely a story for another day, but let me clarify that this “in-fighting”, which is the only word I can think to use for it, was never actually seen.  It was always kept confined to verbal jabs, “innocent” jokes made over dinner and things of that nature.  You never heard any cross words exactly, but you could certainly feel the seething that everyone tried so hard to ignore.

As a mother of two boys myself, I can understand how Mamaw responded to the whole thing.  She was probably thrilled just to have everyone together under one roof but how she and my papaw could ignore so much anger and bitterness is beyond me.

Again…. all that, with the long, involved backstory, will have to wait for another post.

My point in all this is that never was there a time in my life when Christmas Day, at least the morning, wasn’t a rush to be somewhere else on time.

I hate that!

Even after my boys were born, we were still trying to do this routine PLUS the addition of two more gatherings, one for each set of their grandparents.  Christmas time was exhausting and I don’t want my kids and possible future grand babies to deal with that.

Since Tommy didn’t have any grandparents living near us, we never had to deal with adding his own traditional big family gathering…actually, they had only had Christmas with either set of his grandparents once or twice maybe, so the whole relationship was completely different.  But as my grandparents died off and there was no longer a central place to meet, we first stopped having Christmas Eve at Mom’s.  (that’s my grandmother “Mom”, not my mom-Mom)  There was plenty of tension in that side of the family too and none of the siblings, at least to my knowledge, even tried to recreate the gathering or carry on that tradition.  Each one just formed new traditions with their own immediate family–their children and grandchildren.

On my dad’s side, we continued to gather with Mamaw even after Papaw had passed away until she got too feeble to live on her own and went to the nursing home.  With the way my dad and uncle’s relationship was and the fact that we cousins really didn’t even know each other since all our lives, our main interaction was maybe twice a year if a great-uncle I didn’t know at all got a family reunion together that year.  Honestly.  I see these families that are SO CLOSE and it’s like being on another planet! I think, “Man!  I would have loved to have this sort of family!” and that’s why Tommy and I try SO HARD to make sure we have a time, especially at Christmas, when our boys can be together with their wives and us and EVERYONE just relax and enjoy ourselves.

After a few years of ugliness between my sons when they really didn’t even want to be around each other for various reasons I’ll leave un-delved… they now have a good relationship.  It’s not as close as when they were kids and were each other’s best friend, but it is SO much better than when they were not getting along.

All of it boiled down to hurt feelings and perceptions and assumptions between them.  Seriously!  It grieved my heart beyond imagination because I was seeing it become some sort of generational curse right before my eyes.  I determined that our family would break that pattern of siblings not loving each other right into adulthood.  It happened with my dad and his brother and with me and my sister, in very similar fashion.  With my boys, it was more about the differences of opinion between them, not preferential treatment of one or the other by the parents, that seemed to fuel their rift.

But like I said, the boys get along well now and even though I realize sometimes it’s a little forced for my benefit, I am thankful for it.  I would much rather have them talking, if through gritted teeth, at least trying to appear polite, than not being together at all.  Especially now that Corey has moved to Ohio…spending time with both boys (& their wives, who we consider ours now, too) is extremely important to me and their father.

WOW!  This is not at all where I intended to go with this post, y’all.  Not even close!  But it’s some important stuff and apparently, I needed to get it out.  Maybe there’s someone out there who needs to read it.  Who knows?  I believe that God has a purpose for everything… even my ramblings from time to time.

Blessings!


ginger tea for energy & reducing inflammation


Hey there, guys!  Happy December!  (I can’t believe this year is already coming to a close!) #timeflies

Today I wanted to tell you about a tea I made that I am SO hoping will help get rid of the inflammation and pain I’m having in my left pointer finger as well as some (probably?) sympathy pain in the areas surrounding said finger.  (ie: my thumb and middle finger get rather stiff when the main culprit is particularly angry as well as just my entire hand aching when I move or try to grip– I’m assuming since it’s nothing near as severe as that one finger, that it’s a sort of sympathetic pain or just the tendency for it to be achy and stiff while not being the main area of inflammation or pain.

If THAT made any sense!

Okay, so I have been a proponent of using ginger for energy and stuff if you remember my post about it here, you’ll know I’ve consumed a lot of ginger over the summer in a cold drink.  Today, I found a recipe for a hot ginger drink I’d never seen before.

Honestly, I don’t know why because it’s so stinkin’ simple!  Of course, I didn’t make it strictly by the recipe because, well, that’s just how I roll for one, and for two, I wanted to cut some sugar out of it.

After having a cup of the tasty concoction, I have to say, I’ll be cutting the sugar back even more because it’s just too sweet, even for me!  And I have a giant sweet tooth, so you know it’s gotta be super-syrupy if I’m complaining!  Ha!

Okay, so here it is…. This is simply sliced, fresh ginger, boiling water, lemon (I added that slice after brewing) and brown sugar.  Yep, that’s it!

So, the recipe called for a cup of brown sugar AND a tablespoon of honey (or agave) but I skipped the honey just to reduce sugar content.  I’ll cut back on the brown sugar next time, too!  It was just way too much sugar at a 5:1 ratio.  Next time, I’ll try a half cup to five cups of water.

Okay, the instructions are to boil the water and ginger.  I sliced up a quarter cup of the fresh ginger I almost always have in the freezer.  No particular thickness, but I assume the thinner, the more of the ginger essence you’ll get in your tea.  So as soon as the ginger boiled, I took it off the heat and let it steep while I measured the brown sugar.  Mind you, people, the recipe I had called for an entire cup of PACKED brown sugar.  Woo!  It was way too much!

I had gotten my favorite (and only!) glass pitcher from the fridge.  We had been keeping filtered water in it when we stopped buying bottled water, but later, I had gotten some glass bottles of kombucha and juice so I recycled the bottles and had been keeping five or six of those filled in the fridge.  I am guaranteed to drink more water if it’s kept in the fridge in a bottle.  But I emptied the pitcher and warmed the glass and then, like a big idiot, I thought I could put the water from the kettle straight into the pitcher.

Um, nope.  It broke almost immediately.  Sheesh.  Anyway, I quickly poured it all into my huge measuring cup to stir in the sugar and get it dissolved.  The recipe said to strain off the ginger, but as you can see from the photo, I didn’t.  I wanted to get as much ginger action as I could, even though I knew it was gonna be really spicy!

I added a couple drops each of sweet orange essential oil and cinnamon bark essential oil just because that’s how I am.  Ha ha!  I have to fiddle with the recipe or it’s not me cooking!  I just thought cinnamon and orange would smell so delicious in the ginger brew and it did indeed!  And it was quite tasty that way as well!

Then, just before I drank it, I added the slice of lemon (after pulling the seeds out of my slice and making it look weird).  As I said, I knew it would be hot, as in spicy hot, and I’m normally not a spicy-hot girl as I will pass on hot peppers every day of the week and twice on Sunday!  But somehow, ginger heat isn’t the same, so I did get a nice slight burn down my throat as I drank my little toddy.

I am hoping this stuff will help keep my finger from at least getting worse but hopefully, it will make it feel better.  The pain is getting pretty intense and unless the ginger really makes it a lot better, I’ll probably go see a rheumatologist as soon as I can.

Until then, I’m going to give this ginger tea a good run.  I ended up adding another couple cups of water to the mix that was still in the kettle, adding a new slice of lemon to it as well and am waiting to see if it cuts down the syrupy-ness enough.

Let me know if you try this and if you’ve had luck using ginger as an anti-inflammatory!


other stuff I been up to…


So I had big plans for posting about this. I mean, it IS kinda a big deal but probably NOT as big as deal as I made of it.

See, the thing is that I had done something the previous year that was unusual for me.  I set a goal.  I probably set goals more often than I realize, but this one was an intentional one.  And also one that I did not meet.

I was bummed, people.  You will see why when I tell you what it was.  I didn’t tell too many people about it because it was almost traumatic to even set the goal and it was ultra-personal to me.  And also, I was so afraid I wouldn’t be able to get it done.

 

That might be a sure sign that my goal wasn’t all that practical or attainable.  Hey, I’m new at this!  Cut me some slack.

So my goal, which I set on my 49th birthday, was to lose about 60 pounds before my 50th.  I probably did lose 10 or 12, but by the time my birthday got here, I was pretty much exactly the same weight I’d been the year before.

 

 

 

 

siiiigh I was so disappointed and almost set up to give myself a good bashing, but then I realized that I should look at my positives.  First of all, I’ve had t1d for over 42 years!!  Making it to 50 was nothing to sneeze at!  Some folks don’t get that privilege with this nasty disease.  Secondly, at least I had not put on more weight.  That was definitely a plus.

I also realized that was not my one and only chance to set or meet a goal, so I’ve reset and decided that becoming a 51-year-old who is less of a person than her 50-year-old self was not a bad goal to have either.

Lord willing, I’ll find a way to stick to this.  My biggest obstacle is getting consistent exercise.  I don’t think I get those dorphine things like everyone else does.  I normally do NOT feel great after exercise.  I’m not sure that I trust folks who are euphoric about how they feel after exertion!  I mean, c’MON!  It can’t be that great!  I usually feel like I’m gonna die!  How come I don’t feel all wonderful and powerful after a workout??  HuH??  That just is NOT fair!

huff

Anyhow, after Tommy became too busy to continue riding our bikes and I haven’t figured out how to get in a good ride by myself without going on the deserted back road past our house, I just quit riding.  I did get pretty depressed about it and moped for awhile.  I realize this and admit it.  Sorry, but it’s how I cope most of the time!

After all that, I have just had a lot of issues with fatigue and in the past several months, I have been trying to get to the point where I’m not just constantly sleepy.  For awhile there, I was sleeping most of the day and all night too.  Yes, and still feeling exhausted!  It was nuts!

Anyway, that is quite a bit better now, but it came after about three weeks of battling high blood sugars (see THIS POST)  I’d spent most of those weeks feeling nauseated and exhausted and angry because it seemed no matter what I did, I couldn’t get my sugars to level out.  I’d treat, corrected, treat and correct without any result at all until four or five hours later, once my level HAD gotten to at least a high normal, it would suddenly nosedive and I’d end up having to treat a low blood sugar!  SO ANNOYING!!

But after that, with Thanksgiving at the doorstep, I was blessed to get several days of unheard-of energy and I got all the things done that I absolutely had to for the weekend of meals and our city kids coming home for a few days before we left with them immediately after our Friday “Thanksgiving” with my family.  We went up to Ohio for a few days to help them move into a brand new house they’re renting.  We were so exhausted and I KNOW poor Tommy was wrecked— he worked so hard, as did the rest of the guys carrying in all that heavy stuff then lugging it up the narrow staircase!  

We finally got it all in and the apartment emptied and all in one day, too.  We spent the rest of Saturday trying to arrange furniture and making beds, etc.  It’s gonna be really nice for them to have so much more room, a backyard solely for Timber to play in and being so close to Melissa’s family. (an uncle and a cousin are right next door!)  The area is extremely nice too.  I’m so happy for them and hope they love it there.

Another awesome thing that happened is that I FINALLY got a new laptop!!  I wasn’t expecting to be doing that at all, but Sunday afternoon we stopped in BestBuy to just check on what they had in open-box stock of Apple computers.  They didn’t have anything I was looking for in open-box but they had a pretty good deal going on the laptops, so after some serious debate, I ended up going with a MacBook Air!  

So far, I’m loving it.  It hasn’t been too hard to adjust to from my old (ancient) Windows laptop since I’ve been using iPhones for about 10 years now.  I can’t get over how small it is but still pretty heavy so in my mind, that means it’s durable.  Ha ha!!  I got the i7 processor which is more than I really needed but it came with 256mg of drive space, so that was my big plus.  I opted for that space over a Retina display.  My old eyes can’t really tell that huge a difference without getting right up to the screen so this works better for me.

Now I have NO EXCUSE not to get my tail busy on that book!  ACK!

Today though, after a little bit of computer exploring, I’m off to get this house straightened up so I can drag out Christmas decorations!  Both my girls (daughters-in-law) have their trees up already, so I’m lagging sorely behind.  Ha. If not for going to Cincinnati over Thanksgiving weekend to move Corey and Mel, we’d have done it then like we usually do.  But it’s all good.  I’ll get it done eventually and Taylor has offered to come help so all I need to do is just get some stuff out of the house (donations) and clean up the floors so we can get with it!

Just for the record, my Christmas decor is not going to anything even slightly resembling a decorator’s dream or some HGTV show like this:

 

 

 

 

I sincerely hope all you guys had a great Thanksgiving holiday with your families and are gearing up for a beautiful season celebrating Christ’s birth!

Hugs!


I’m so high right now…


It’s not what you think…

Not your run-of-the-mill post title, I know.  Before you get too excited, let me clarify, this is not a dope-high… not even a happy-all-is-right-with-the-world high.  This is a diabetes high.  And it’s ANYTHING but pleasant.  That has been my life for the past few weeks!

I’m not sure what’s going on other than I had a little bit of a cold/almost-bronchitis for a couple weeks, which I was able to get over without any prescriptions, praise the Lord!  But it seemed to jack up my sugars like a mild illness never has before.

Oh, then there are those middle-aged woman hormones.  I think my hormones running amok will be the death of me one day!

So anyway, yeah, I’ve been on a rollercoaster with my blood sugar lately.  It is exhausting and I don’t need any help being exhausted, thank you!

Diabetes and all its fun stuff…

They don’t teach a whole lot about the nuts and bolts of diabetes management to nurses, or at least not the nurses that I know personally.  One of the most helpful things they do teach, however, is that for a low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) you treat “fast” and for a high sugar (hyperglycemia) you treat “slow”.  Now, I’m not positive if it’s actually taught this way, but I would say you don’t necessarily “treat” hypers slowly, but they are MUCH slower events than a hypo.

With a hypoglycemic event, you HAVE to get sugar into the bloodstream in a hurry!  There’s no time to wait, no time to explain why you’re ripping open the bag of Skittles you just pulled off the shelf and putting handsful in your mouth, no time to tell why you cut line to grab a Mt. Dew out of the checkout cooler and are chugging it without paying first.  No time to explain to a stranger with whom you’re conversing at a conference why you suddenly ran over to the refreshment table and threw a cup of punch down your throat without a word.  No time to explain that, Hey, I’ve been standing here trying to keep up with the conversation (or worse, talking endlessly, probably in circles) not paying attention to the nagging tiredness and now I realize I’m low, could we put the convo on hold for a bit?  That is always the worst for me.  I get so embarrassed and it never fails that I don’t realize I’m going low until it dawns on me that I can’t concentrate on what the other person is saying or I don’t remember the point I was trying to make, but my mouth keeps going for some horrible reason.  Worse, sometimes I begin to sweat and can’t seem to find a good time to interrupt to say, Excuse me, but I have diabetes and I need to grab something to eat.  Drives me flippin’ nuts when that happens!

HypER vs HypO

On the other hand, there’s a hyperglycemic episode.  These can sometimes come on quicker than it would seem (if you read medical info!) and soon I have the telltale “sick headache”, the throbbing in my legs and arms, the nausea.  I’m probably pretty grumpy, too.  I feel so crappy physically, it puts me in a royally bad mood.  If you’re lucky, I’ll just be uncharacteristically quiet.  If you’re not, I may come across as being a little more callus or hateful than normal.  When I’m at home dealing with a hyper, I absolutely hate the waiting.  I can just feel all these complications happening… the throbbing in my limbs is the blood circulation slowing down which will bring on an amputation.  My eyes being sticky and dry is the dreaded diabetic blindness coming on.  The aching head is my brain struggling with sugar-thick blood that’s slogging down circulation.  Running to the bathroom endlessly is my kidneys being overworked and pushing me headlong into kidney failure.  Every moment I have to wait feeling this way is like a panicking nightmare of watching as my body slowly kills itself.

Imagining the worst…

Maybe other t1d’s don’t experience this during hyperglycemia, but I sure do.  It’s not so bad if I just have a one-off episode because I miscalculated a bolus or carb count, but when it’s chronically high, it is torture.  My mind is full of images of hospital beds, IV tubes and monitors, bandaged stubs where my feet used to be, becoming harder and harder to see, all the while, I see another giant red X on a calendar marking another day I’ve just lost because my stupid sugar is too high.

THAT is what happens in my brain when my sugar is high.  And there is not one stinking thing I can do to speed the insulin up, nothing I can do to lower the amount of sugar in my blood.  All I can do is treat (give insulin) and wait.

And all of this is IF I don’t go into DKA or diabetic ketoacidosis.  If I go into DKA, then it’s a whole other nightmare and a hospital stay.  The only time in all my forty-two years of living with t1d that I’ve been hospitalized for DKA was about 4 years ago when a cannula kinked and I wasn’t getting insulin from my pump, but didn’t realize it until it was too late.  I showed up in the ER with horrific stomach pain and no clue why.  Soon the vomiting of neon green fluid began and I was promptly (ha—after an hour or two!) diagnosed and admitted to intensive care!

So yeah, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how short I may or may not be cutting my life because of something I can’t do anything about.  It really stinks, too.  I mean, it’s bad enough to want to kick yourself when you’ve indulged too much… you know, went ahead and had that one cookie or bite of cake but the bolus you gave didn’t cover it fully OR your body just won’t use the insulin you give it in a timely manner (what I suspect is going on with me).  I swear!  Sometimes it’s like I treat and treat to correct a high and it seems like NOTHING happens and then four hours later, my sugar takes a nosedive and I have to treat a low.  I HATE THAT!!  ARGH!!!!!

ahem  Sorry.  But I really REALLY hate when that happens.  So like I said, it’s bad enough when it’s something I did that has my sugar up but when I’m sick or it’s a medicine (like steroids or antibiotics) I’m having to take that jack my sugar up?  I go down a really dark road in my mind.  A road littered with amputated limbs, dialysis machines, and blindfolds.  A road where I can see my hubby and kids gathered around my casket.  It’s ugly and scary and I don’t quite know how to stop it when I’ve been fighting the highs for days.

How I wish it had been explained to me…

When I was a kid, these two things confused the heck outta me.  The words sound and look so similar but they couldn’t be more different.  If only someone had taken time to explain to me what the differences in the spelling and meaning were, I’d have spent a lot less time being clueless.  So I’m going to explain it to you the way I wish someone had explained it to me.

Glycemia has to do with glucose or more specifically, blood sugar.  This is the ending of both words so all we have to focus on is the prefixes, hyper- and hypo-.  When you’re a non-genius kid and no one points this out, you have a terrible time differentiating between the two!

Okay, so hyPER should remind you of a kid who is overactive.  People say the kid is HYPER–too much energy “too much sugar”.  The other thing you should remember is that an episode of hypERglycemia can land you in the Emergency Room more often than a hypo.

On the other hand, HyPOglycemia is when the sugar is too LOW.  “PO” rhymes with “LOW” and that’s pretty much the extent of my little remembering tricks for that one.  Ha ha…

You’re welcome.

Clarity…

I said a hyperglycemic episode can be more serious than a hypo (“land you in the ER”) because it’s fairly cut and dried how to remedy a low blood sugar.  Unless you go so low that you lose consciousness, you can eat or give a glucagon shot to correct a low,  A stubborn high, however, is a bit harder to recognize, can sometimes lead to ketones which is one step closer to DKA even if your sugar isn’t “all that high”.  And once you are in DKA, it’s very hard to correct without medical intervention.  Your entire body chemistry changes once you become acidic from the high level of ketones.  So for anyone who wondered why I said that, this is why.  In my experience, it’s the highs that can be the most dangerous.

I guess this isn’t really an “explanation” of hyperglycemia as much as it is a look at it from my side.  This is what hyperglycemia is to me.  Big.  Bad.  Mean.  Deadly.  Threatening.  Hateful.  Slow.  Nauseating.  I could live my whole life and never miss dealing with it.  Not ever!

 


the Mondayest Monday ever


Hey y’all.  First, thanks for the well wishes, prayers, and concern.  I’m happy to report that I’m doing a little better.  I skipped church just because last year when I had this thing, every time I thought I was getting better and went somewhere, I’d end up taking a backset, so I decided not to risk it.

Of course, then Monday I had an appointment with the orthopedic doc to see about my left forefinger that’s been painful and

stiff for about six months now.  Not only that, but guys, it was POURING rain!  Not warm rain, either, but that kind of rain that says, “Hey there.  Just wanted to let you know, cold weather is coming.  Get used to it.  Next time you see me, I might be SNOW!”

Sheesh!  I was doing okay in the main waiting room that was packed out until someone who smelled like a month-old ashtray came in and sat somewhere near me.  I never saw who it was and didn’t really care, but they had to have been sitting right behind me in the row of chairs lined up back-to-back.  ARGH!  That started me coughing and that knocked crud loose that then kept me coughing and if you’ve never had lung crud fly up and hit your tonsils every time you cough, you just don’t know how important is it to be able to spit.

I know, I know.  That’s GROSS, but people, facts is facts.  I didn’t have any tissue so I just dealt with it the best I could, but soon, people were shooting me those worried glances that say I wonder what she’s got?  I continued to cough and hack until I was sweating, which is always lovely, right?  After about an hour, they called me back to an exam room, where I was finally able to calm down after coughing through all the questions from the nurse.  She felt so bad for me she was like, “Just nod.”  Ha.

So, yeah, I was there three hours just to have X-rays and be told there was the beginnings of arthritis in the tip of my finger, be asked a dozen times if the finger was locking (no, No, NO!) to then have the doctor come in (after his PA) and physically TRY to get it to lock (me, wincing & grimacing the entire time) while beginning to explain to me, “There’s this thing called ‘trigger finger’ that…” to which I replied, “Yeah, I know.  I had surgery for that on the other hand.”

He was surprised and had to make me show him the scar from the surgery HE did about 7 years ago.  ** insert eye roll here **  Granted, it had been about 4 years since I’d been in there and then I saw a different doc, but still, he could have at least flipped through my file.

Since I told them I really wasn’t supposed to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen because it can make my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) give false readings, they were like, “So you haven’t been taking anything for pain?”  No.  “Well, there’s not much we can do until the arthritis gets worse.”

Nice.  You couldn’t have told me that two hours ago?

Argh!  I then proceeded to march out of there in an extremely pissed manner, slam into my car and cry.  I was just SO upset at the way they blew me off and at having to wait so long to get such crappy news and with the rain beating down on my red-hot red Challenger, I guess I had fallen into a puddle of depression while sitting in there hoping they would do something to ease the pain.  Then, as ashamed as I am to admit, I called Tommy to let him know what the doctor had said and when he was at a loss for words, I was kinda ugly with him.

He wanted to meet me for lunch, but was very unclear about his intentions so I didn’t know he was coming to the sandwich shop beside where I was going to pick up the bare-minimum groceries we had to have.  I cooled down a little in there, but it was still raining when I came out, so I was still in a funk-nasty mood as I loaded the trunk.  Opening that made me mad at myself because I had forgotten to take two big boxes of clothes to the donation center.

 

I’m telling you guys, I was just a foul person to be around for those hours yesterday.

Being such a foolish, discouraged and disgusted person!  I was driving toward the road when Tommy called and asked if I’d forgotten about him.  I had no clue what he was talking about when he explained he was in the shop eating his lunch, watching me leave out the window.  I fussed at him for not being more clear as I pulled around there to park and walk inside.

I wasn’t hungry, so I just sat with him, trying to stop being such an unpleasant person.  At that point, I was just plain ol’ depressed.  If you don’t live with chronic depression, you won’t understand how it can sometimes just consume you out of the blue like this, but I’m learning to recognize all the triggers.  When they all line up like this, it can be overwhelming, but at least now I don’t let it take over.  I can stop and realize it’s just because things are “out of whack” and things will get better.  After that, it’s a matter of not beating myself up too much for acting on the feeling.  Seriously.  I am really mad at myself for letting it get ahold of me so bad yesterday.

 

 

 

Tommy ended up coming home from work, even though I said no when he asked if I wanted him to.  I’m pretty sure, though, he was thinking about doing it anyway since because of the rain, the contractors weren’t working.  I felt bad though until I realized that.  I hate when he feels like he needs to physically come console me as if I’m an emotional invalid, but then again…I was kinda acting like one.

Forgive me, Lord!!

We ended up having a nice evening.  I slowly got over the foul mood and we spent the time dealing with some personal phone calls he had needed to make and putting his KeySmart together and repairing a hole in the awesome Eddie Bauer down jacket I’d got him from Plato’s a while back.  You can’t even tell there was ever a hole there!

ABOVE IS SOME HELPFUL INFO FOR THOSE WHO LOVE A PERSON LIVING WITH DEPRESSION AND **YOU** IF YOU ARE THAT PERSON!!  EMAIL ME IF YOU WANT TO DISCUSS!

Ha, ha!  I know that doesn’t sound very refreshing or enjoyable, but in our lives, getting little things like that done is a big relief.  Those were things we could neither do alone, so it was nice to have the time to clear them off the to-do list!  Well, he could have probably got the KeySmart together himself, but those suckers are hard to handle so having an extra set of hands made it easier.  He loves it and even though I honestly didn’t even “need” one (because it turned out that I didn’t have as many keys as I thought I did!) they are really nice and with all his keys, it really made them all easier to deal with and fit in a pocket.

So even though the majority of my Monday really was super-Mondayish it ended in a much more almost-the-weekend way.

And thank God for that!

{note:  I tried to link images that had credit URLs available, but not all of them did.  If one of these belongs to you, please contact me about removing or crediting it properly!  THANK YOU!}


who let the monster in?


I’m referring to the Bronchomonster from last year, folks.

(also referred to here, here, here, here and here. )  Oh wait…. also here, here, here, and here.   Yeahhh, it was THAT great.  ** insert eye roll here **

Here’s the thing, I had this WHOLE long post written up (remember guys, it takes me a ton longer to get a post published these days for some reason) I mean, a full-on, several-hundred words post about how great it was to have NOT had to deal with this bronchial infection stuff the way I did last year.  And you can just guess what happened after that, right?

 

Yep.  I’m sitting here, sucking the nebulizer as I type.  ARGH!  Seriously, folks, I AM thankful that I haven’t had it all this time, since last year, it started in August and did NOT leave until mid-November!!!

I think it probably got a foothold in when I went to have out-patient surgery last week.  GAH!  What’s that about?  Oh, well…you know since we knocked out out-of-pocket limit in the head back in March, Tommy and I have been getting all sorts of tests done and with a bout of weird “lady things” going on, my general physician wanted to send me for a consult with the gyno.  Yay.

They’d already done a really painful ultrasound earlier this year looking for something else.  I had to have that REDONE so there was that.  Then I had to have this tissue sample taken and THAT was simply horrific.

 

DISCLAIMER:  for the dudes who may be lurking out there, this is going to get really “woman-y” really fast, so brace yourselves for lots of uncomfortable info about what we ladies have to go through to keep our honey-pots healthy.  There.

 

So they tried to do this tissue sample thing in the office.  It was supposed to be a simple procedure, right?  No.  Not for Geannie.  Nothing is ever really simple with me.

They had to change the speculum THREE TIMES!  That thing is always painful to me since I’m made so weird in there anyway, but I had to lay there with one ill-fitting contraption in me while the nurse went to get another one, and then that one didn’t work either.  It was MISERABLE!  Then they started with the actual tissue retrieval.  Um, NO!

What they told me was it would be a small straw-like thing that the doc would then “spin” around in there to grab a bit of tissue.  Apparently, the first one collapsed on itself…I dunno, I guess it was defective and I’m thinking to myself it’s like when you get a straw with a hole in it and can’t drink your soda through it?  Who knows.  But yeah, then I had to wait while the nurse left AGAIN to get another one of those too.  I was bawling by the time they were done.

Both the female doc and the nurse were apologizing profusely, but that didn’t make it any better.  It was awful!

Early the next week, I get a call from the nurse telling me they hadn’t even gotten a tissue sample, just some “mucous” and I was waiting for her to say they had to do it again to which I was going to reply, “OH NO YOU DON’T!  I don’t care if it all rots and falls out, I am NOT going through THAT again!!”  But what she said was they wanted to do this as an out-patient surgery.  The plan was a hysteroscopy with D & C.  They had spotted a polyp which needed to be removed and biopsied plus I think they planned to just sorta clean all the thickened tissue out if needed.  So I’m like, “General anesthesia?”  which the nurse confirmed, so I said, “Okay, let’s do it.”

So anyway, I had that done last Tuesday and it was a breeze comparatively.  Other than some minor cramping and the sensation that I’d been scrubbed out down there with a brillo pad, there wasn’t a ton of pain.  All the rawness was gone and I was feeling pretty much back to normal the next day…except for a sore throat.  The nurse told me that was from the tube they’d put down my throat during surgery.

But I knew it wasn’t.

I started doubling up on my elderberry syrup and vitamin C, but apparently, it was too little, too late.  By yesterday evening, I knew I was in for a bout of the Bronchomonster.

I think probably having an infection (found out from the pre-op tests I had a couple bacterial infections brewing) my immune system was weakened just enough to let this awful broncho-stuff take hold.  Oh, that and it just turned pretty cold around home, too.  Not that the cold weather gives you a cold, of course, but it sure didn’t do my throat any favors on top of all the other stuff.

Thank God, though, the throat isn’t a big issue anymore.  It’s this coughing, but–again, thank God– it’s nothing near like last year and hopefully, I’m getting on top of it soon enough to clear it up without any steroids or antibiotics.  My good friend echinacea is going into the teapot today and I’ll be adding some other germ-fighting, immune boosting home remedies to the roster.  Ha.  If only it were that simple, huh?

I’m not even going to bore you with what the surgery/anesthesia/sick-getting has done to my blood sugars.  I am throwing insulin at them by the vial and still, they’re staying up around 300, which adds to yuckiness.  I’ve never had this much trouble with my sugar going high when I’m sick before.  Usually, only steroids do anything close to this.  UGH!

Okay, so there you go, folks.  You’re pretty much up to date on the state of affairs in my world right now.  I hope all of you are staying well and healthy!  If you have any other good self-help, home remedies for me, please leave a comment!  I’m open to ANYthing that’ll get me well ASAP!

THANKS!

 

 

 


balancing act – grace : truth


Guess what, guys!  Another great sermon yesterday means I’m gonna rehash it here with you today!  Woo!  (seriously, I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do!)

So balance.  It’s something almost everyone strives for in life.  At least for some stretch of time.  We all feel it when we’re off-kilter, teetering on the edge of madness while our life seems to be swinging wildly between one extreme and another.  Hopefully, this state isn’t a long-lasting one, but it seems to hit us all many times as we keep at this thing called Life.

Yesterday, Pastor Trevor spoke about how Jesus is the perfect example of balance in all areas of life.  He was always balanced, even when it doesn’t seem to us that He is.  You have to remember that since He is the one person who could ever fulfill the title of “Perfect”, then He is the only one who could understand those times when we just can’t seem to “get” what He’s showing us.  That always helps me whenever I find myself struggling to comprehend something our Savior did that I can’t reconcile with my faulty human brain.

This whole sermon series (found HERE & this week’s sermon–BETTER COMMANDMENT) has been about Jesus’ perfect example of balance in all areas.  Mainly, though, in the area of Grace VS Truth.

In Jesus’ day, this seemed to be the religious establishment’s main issue with Him…that Jesus would introduce the concept of Grace while all the guys in charge of making, enforcing, catching people not keeping the rules wanted desperately to make RULES the main thing.

As you will see from reading the Old Testament, God instituted LOTS of rules for the Israelite nation.  He did this, in large part, for their benefit.  You see, when the nation of Israel first set out across the desert after fleeing the Pharoh and Egypt, these people had lived as slaves for CENTURIES!  Four + centuries.  They had no clue how to live free and under their own ‘rule’.  They’d lived all those generations being told what to do and when to do it.

Of course, this aspect of slavery is THE most burdensome, but it also led to the nation really not having a clue how to govern or really even take good care of themselves!  They needed rules for the preparation of food, how to keep illness to a minimum by having proper “elimination” practices, among other things.  So when you see God’s “commandments” in this light, it makes the whole “God is too big on rule-making” thing seem less of a sore spot.  Of course, there were also those rules we find offensive that categorized people as clean or unclean according to their health or physical state of being or even for a period of time after touching something dead.

I mean, let’s be real… for any of the women out there (and men too, because according to those rules, if you touched someone considered ‘unclean’ then you were also unclean!), it can’t be just me that finds it to rankle the nerves just a bit to be referred to as “unclean” while menstruating and required to undergo a cleansing ritual when the monthly bleed-fest is over.  Can’t it??  That’s just, well, kinda RUDE!  I mean, it’s not like we can help the fact that our bodies do what they were created to do, is it?  I’ll be the first to admit, yes, the monthly menses are NOT a fun time and yeah, it can leave a woman feeling pretty icky, hygiene-wise.  But unless we do something unnatural (yep, I’m referring to those awful birth control meds that cause you to stop menstruating for months or years at a time… that can’t be good for your body!) our bodies are going to shed all that tissue and stored blood if we don’t conceive that month.  It’s just a fact of life!  When I think about that, it just makes me really not understand why a woman had to be considered ‘unclean’… but then again, I realize that since the people needed SO much instruction about how to live life independently and manage to stay healthy, God naturally had to tell them how to care for those unmentionable things like disposing of waste products, including menses, and I realize that’s how the people had come to refer to these things, as ‘unclean’… it still just rubs a raw spot on the nerves to classify people as either clean or nasty.

So yeah, since the Israelites didn’t know how to take care of themselves, God gave them rules and laws so they wouldn’t suffer from all this freedom they had no clue how to control.

Later on, men (or humankind, if you prefer) got far too involved in all these laws.  You know how some people are real sticklers for keeping rules and like to remind everyone that they know the rules and especially when someone else is breaking one of them?  Well, these people were kinda like that.  They LOVED the rules.  Not always keeping the rules themselves, of course, but ALWAYS reminding others to keep them.  Then they began to add to the rules, to add stipulations and codicils.  There was all manner of crazy laws like precisely how far was permissible to walk on the Sabbath day.  It became so burdensome to try keeping all the hundreds of laws that is was actually impossible to do!

 

When following God becomes burdensome and oppressive, it starts to be very attractive to just walk away instead.  And there were lots of pagan cults around then to take up the slack for people when they wanted to give up on following God.  Where the Jewish religion had an abundance of laws, pagan religions had an abundance of gods.

And neither group felt a close connection with any of the deities offered to them.  Jews felt a distance from a God who demanded so much rule-keeping, especially when a lot of those rules seemed impossible to keep and made life sad and depressing.  On the pagan side, they felt that their gods were always toying with them.  They felt like playthings in the hands of vindictive and manipulative gods that cared nothing for their well-being or happiness.

Thinking of how weighty and hard living life as a Jew back then must have felt reminds me of how it was at our last church.  It seemed every sermon was about how bad we all sinned and that if we didn’t do and think and behave exactly like the pastor or the small elite group who did most things in the church, then we were never good enough.  When we left a service, it felt like the way a dog will act when it has been caught doing something bad…. you felt like you had to tuck your tail and hunker down to be beaten about the head with a rolled-up newspaper.  There was never any mention of how to turn things around or of the hope that can be found in God’s word.  There was never a challenge to do better, never a solution given to overcome these many sins that so easily overtake us.

When Jesus stepped on the scene and began talking about a new covenant and grace and forgiveness of sins, it upset the Jewish religious establishment.  In their minds, Jesus was just entirely too grace-y.  Too much grace!  They could never hear what truth Jesus spoke because He showed the importance of grace which the established order of Jewish law had done away with.  There was no grace in all those laws.

That is why Jesus had to come in the first place.  He was the only person who could or would ever be able to keep all the law.  He was the only one perfect enough to follow all those rules and because He was the embodiment of the deep love God had for His creation, Jesus poured out grace, even though He knew full well that none of us could ever keep the law like He could.

I think that’s why we as Christians can sometimes have a hard time with grace ourselves.  It just doesn’t “feel” right.  We know there are laws and there are things that you just shouldn’t do so when grace comes along and forgives that?  We just get this all-over tense discomfort with it.  We can’t seem to manage a balance between grace and truth.  But Jesus does.  He can freely give grace in spite of the fact that we’ve ignored His truth.  We have sinned, and sinned greatly against God and deserve all the punishments written in the law…most notably, death!  But Jesus can see past that through the deep love of God that we can’t seem to fathom.  He came, willingly, to take our punishment and not just that, He continues to love us.  It wasn’t “Okay, I’ve paid your debt, now I’m outta here.”  Jesus continues to be with us and comfort us and bless us.

That’s why it’s called amazing.

Amazing grace.

have we made the world fall out of love with Jesus?


For those who read here, I hope you haven’t minded that the past several posts have been my rehashing and fleshing out the latest sermons from church!  I’ve just found the content really fascinating lately, more so than usual, and I can’t seem to stop thinking about it through the week.

This past Sunday’s sermon was a continuation of Pastor Trevor’s “Better” series.  He’s focusing on how the general public view of Christianity and religion as a way of life has changed in the past few decades.  He explained how up until the fifties and early sixties, over 95% of Americans would have classified themselves as being Christian or having a belief in God, a way of living “religiously”.  Even people who would not self-identify as Christian still had beliefs in a Higher Power, in a being “out there” who was greater than themselves and in control of things here on earth.

He brought up how much that has changed in the past twenty years especially.  He talked about the similarity of our current culture that seems to be burnt out on religion as a whole and Christianity specifically to the culture that Jesus stepped into when He began His ministry.  A statistic he quoted says that most people today say they feel their lives are better without any sort of religion.

Wow.  That’s a huge departure from the days just before my own appearance on this planet.  I was born in the late sixties and grew up feeling as if most of the kids I went to school with knew about God and believed in Him.  It was fairly common that if you used the Bible to support your view of something, it would more often be accepted as truth than not.  If you decided to pray over your meal, others around you would respect that by not interrupting or by turning their conversational volume down a bit while you prayed.

Nowadays, of course, the Bible is almost automatically questioned or outright dismissed as any reputable presentation of truth.  I will interject here that back in the time I refer to in the previous paragraph there were also a good amount of folks who would just as soon thump you with the Bible as read it to you.  At least the little I can recall of those years as a young child, people weren’t all that subtle about their religiosity or their beliefs.  It was expected that you believed in the Bible and if you didn’t you were labeled stupid or rebellious.  EVEN if you had a legitimate question about what was being taught from scripture, if it went against the mainstream of whatever congregation you affiliated yourself with, you would be severely chastened if not completely dismissed or blackballed!

Those are not what I consider “the good old days”.  I’m still recovering from those “old

days” and growing up in a church culture that was more exclusive than inclusive, more separatist than mediator.  That required me to learn that others who grew up in that same kind of culture had the same unasked questions that I did! Being able to learn from those people, getting together to discuss those questions we weren’t allowed to ask and find the Biblical answers was healing to my wounded spirit.  It turns out that a lot of the ways, things I was taught and beliefs held by what I consider old, traditional church is not exactly the way Jesus presented it.  It had strayed into some unscriptural rule-making and expecting the outside world to understand what we on the inside of the church were talking about when they (the outside world, non-Christian) didn’t have any context… and then getting mad about it when they didn’t comprehend our “good news”.

All that to say this…yes, our society is changing.  Probably not for the best in general, but there are other changes happening too.  While there is plenty of moral decline in America and the world, there is also some renewed Godliness.  Not spirituality or religiosity, but true Godliness where the Creator of All is revered as the Ultimate Authority and the love of Jesus is shown to those who in the past would have been rejected in and by a church.

Like I mentioned in my last post, the very first thing God ever did when He began to give men the words that would become our Bible was to present Himself as a creator.  And as a creator, you must have a certain amount of love, passion, and joy in whatever it is you create.  God took SO much time… well, OUR concept of time at least, so much CARE, I should say, to make everything unique and beautiful.  Why would He do that for a world He did not love?  Not to mention His loving us SO MUCH that instead of giving up on us, He gave up Jesus for us.

It’s been wonderful to learn more about scripture and be able to explain why, in my childhood and teen years I felt so discouraged by “the gospel” and my church.  It’s also been hard to move past the teaching that was drilled into me about who was and who wasn’t “suitable” to come in the church… who wore the right kind of clothes for church, who sang the right kind of songs, played the right music or had the appropriate instruments on the stage.  It’s been freeing to learn that just because you like a different kind of music than me doesn’t make yours any less worshipful than mine.  God doesn’t care what we wear, but rather about the condition of our hearts.  On the topic of clothing, which was a major sore spot in my home and my childhood church, when I’d hear people picking apart someone else’s wardrobe choice I often wondered why then was it not a factor when David tore off his outer clothes and danced for joy in his underwear?  (2 Samuel 6  – Where it says David wore a linen ephod?  That’s his underments made of thin linen cloth!!)  And why was it not a hindrance for the repentant thief who hung next to Jesus that day??  All of them– he, the unrelenting thief and Jesus– eventually were naked in public!  Why was it okay to say he was forgiven while he was indecent in public?  And what about the other sinners Jesus ate and sat with?  I’m sure many of them were inappropriately dressed… um, hello!!  You know those “loose women” didn’t run home and throw on a “church dress” before they met Jesus .. especially since Jesus met people where they were!  In their mess!  In their hooker clothes!

Oops… sorry.  I got off track a bit there.  But you can see how those nagging questions can lead a person to reject the gospel when there is a contradiction between what scripture says and what a body of Christians do.  I know and have heard testimony of many people who literally walked out on God because of the way they were treated by or how they saw others treated by people who said they represented Jesus.

That needs to stop!  We as the body of Christ need to get back to the basics of Jesus’ teaching.  The greatest commandments are these:

Matthew 22:37-40

  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” 

 


What God did first


NOTE:  I’m working at almost 10pm WHILE doing several other chores, so no pix in this post unless I come back later and upload some.  Please read even if the post isn’t properly decorated.  smile  I really want to share this with you AND hear what you think!!


I’ve had this thought rolling around in my head all day after reading a short devotional about the topic.

If you’re like me, you’ve read the verse AT LEAST a bajillion times.  Well, at least you’ve heard it read or referenced to that many times.  It’s right there in the very front, the very first taste of what the Bible holds if you opened it like a novel (and mostly we don’t) and expected to figure out what the gist of the thing was by that first grab-you sentence.  But we always overlook it.

 

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

~Genesis 1:1

I think pretty must anyone knows that one, even if they’re not “religious” or weren’t raised in church or ever read the Bible.  I don’t know if it’s because we kinda already know that God is going to do some amazing things in the “story” or maybe we are too eager to get to “the good parts” or even to a part we want to argue about that we just skip over this introduction.

I mean, think about it like this:  it’s the FIRST picture we get of God directly from the Book He guided and instructed all those people to write over all those hundreds of years and so what is the first thing you’d think He might want to tell the world about Himself….

GOD IS POWERFUL

No.

GOD IS MIGHTY

Nope, not that either.

GOD IS RIGHTEOUS

Nuh-uh.

GOD IS LOVE

Not even that…

GOD IS MERCIFUL

El-nope-o!

GOD IS TRUTH

No.  None of these important things are what He chose to be the very first representation of Himself by Himself to His children.

 

He chose to tell us that first, He

CREATED!

GOD IS CREATIVE!

When I first got that it was a major “WOW” moment for me.  Now don’t just keep your mind in the vein of creating or “making” all the creatures, planets, trees and stuff.  Think about the WAY He created them all.

Think about all the thousands of species of birds there are… think about all the colors, the sizes and shapes, the habitat and characteristics, the traits each one has.   It’s mind-boggling, isn’t it?

It is to me!  I mean, okay, so God could have made everything gorgeously, unbelievably beautiful…every type of land animal and fish and bird.  He could have made them all one certain color, or one shade, or one size… one ANYthing, you see??  But He didn’t.  He chose to CREATE with each one and then give them the ability to adapt, learn and propagate its own species, retaining the appearance and such but inside, each one is still uniquely genuine.  One bird’s DNA isn’t exactly like another of the same species.

Take this robin for instance…  I took this picture years ago because I noticed the nest down low enough to be eye-level with it and then that the mama bird didn’t seem overly frightened of me.  That’s when I decided to try taking a photo.

And this was one of the old-fashioned kind of pictures.  I had to send it off to be developed before I could see how it turned out!

I don’t know if you’ve picked this up about me, but I am a bit of a bird fanatic.  More of a bird-ee than birder, I’m afraid.  My boys and I got really into birds when they had a group study about them with our homeschool group and from there, it just grew to something we spent a lot of time doing.  I bought us several identification books and those awesome coloring books with details pictures of different birds.  We even got Tommy interested enough to chase a golden eagle all over the lake once summer evening with our little boat.

I guess that’s why I just automatically chose the bird to illustrate God’s creativity.  There’s just SO MUCH variety in them and such vivid coloring and such interesting habits and abilities.

Anyway, so after reading the devotion this morning and thinking all day now about how God took His time, didn’t just speed through His creation of everything.  Even though He could do it all in ONE day if He’d wanted, He took His time and made things so unique and so individual.

Just like us!  I could ponder this kind of thing forever but I can’t believe it never occurred to me that God had actually presented Himself to us in the Bible first as a creative being.

It got me to thinking… I think we’re all a little the way I feel.  I sometimes think I could just burst with all the creative ideas I have.  Some of them are just NOT gonna come out of me no matter what.  Like painting an awesome portrait, for example.  But I CAN paint and I can do a fairly decent job most of the time.  But I don’t nurture that gift.  I’ve never realized it actually IS a very great gift.

Like my book… I haven’t worked much on it lately.  Part of the reason (or so I tell myself) is that I fear perhaps my volunteer editor has gotten too busy to help me with it.  I know this is just an excuse and I’ve been saying that I can only work on it when I FEEL like it, but really… that’s not exactly how successful authors do it.  They write EVERY DAY!

I’ve GOT to start doing that.  Sometimes I feel like I can’t get the time to write, to flesh out my thoughts, even if it’s not for the book.

Like this post, actually.  I’ve been busy all day since the hubby is off work for a long weekend.  We got our new mailbox (along with the HEAVY iron column Tommy cut and sanded for it) put up and cemented in.   We even primed and spray painted it.  I also got the yard mowed.  Even though this took a trip to town for supplies and even after Tommy had to leave first thing this morning to help my dad with something.  We still got some things done.

And the whole time, I’ve been pondering these thoughts and thinking, “Boy, I’d like to make a post out of this.” and then “But you’ve been a crappy blogger for the past month!” and “It takes you too stinkin’ long to put together a post these days.” so I didn’t think I would even try and right now??

Right now, Silvey is in the next room ringing her bell to go outside.  Tommy is sitting in the recliner in that same room flipping through Netflix on the television.  He so rarely has a chance to do that, just sit and watch tv, that I can’t bear to ask him to let her out.  But he is literally four steps from the door.

So I take a deep breath, get up, walk in there and open the door… and I can’t help letting a little attitude slip into my voice as I call her a butthead for deciding, nah, she doesn’t wanna go out now.  Yep, she just looked at me like she didn’t know why I was holding the door open, letting bugs in…

ARGH!  Oh, and I’m fixing supper, too.  Spaghetti squash and sausage.  So I’m jumping up from my laptop on the kitchen island to go flip sausage patties or check on the squash.  Oops!  Now I need to go and fork out the squash since it’s done now…

I begin to feel a bit down and probably a little sorry for myself, but I shouldn’t.  I mean, yeah, that writing-only-when-I-feel-like-it will probably only ever work if I do it when Tommy’s gone on a week-long trip and Silvey is… I dunno, not such a poop!

I can’t blame these things, these people (and dog) for bothering me right now.  I just need to be more disciplined in using my creativity.  And I need to nurture that creativity more.

I need to see it as the gift from God that it is and not something that isn’t worthwhile.

Does any of this make sense to or resonate with anyone else?  Anyone?  Seriously… ANYBODY?!???