Category: friends


the indomitable human heart


It’s been crazy around here since my last post.  It took a lot out of me to write about losing my sweet puppy-boy, Max.  But the point of that post was that God can heal any disease, any injury, even a broken heart.

I also told you that I needed to find another little fuzzy to fill the void left by Max’s death.  Tommy and I had been looking at all sorts of rescue and adoption sites for Shih-Tzu mixes and at our local shelters.  We found a possible one in Georgia and we would have gone through with it had it worked out.  As it was, the adoption people have not yet contacted us about our application and God orchestrated a different plan in the meantime.

A local friend of ours messaged me one night a few days after my post was published.  She said she had a little Shih-Tzu mix puppy that she needed to rehome.  This friend has seven children, the five youngest she is still homeschooling!  She said she’d thought the kids would have more time to spend with the puppy, but their busy schedules had not afforded it much time.  She loved the pup but could see it was suffering from neglect (emotionally, that is) when it had to beg for attention from the kids.  As you can imagine, all those children, plus homeschooling, each child with extra-curricular activities and a husband with his own business is a lot for a mom and it came to the point she realized she needed to find a new home for their little pup.

She had already asked a few other friends since she didn’t want to put it in a rescue situation, so she hesitantly messaged me that night to see if Tommy and I might possibly consider taking her.

We went to pick her up the next morning. (ha!) It just seemed like another situation God had worked out in advance.  She is young enough, like we wanted and now we would know about her background instead of unsure of how she was treated.  We know she was well-loved and taken care of.

And now we have little Silvey, an 18-month old Shi-poo (Shih-Tzu/Poodle mix).  The past week has been an adventure to be sure, but Silvey (short for Silverbells Piddlepie  -haha!) settled in amazingly well.  We even took her to Knoxville with us the day after we brought her home and she did excellent.

She’s so different from Max, it made me tear up a bit as we drove down the highway, thinking about how he used to cuddle up in my lap but Silvey wanted to sit independently on the center console.  The next couple of days, though, she became more cuddly as she adjusted to feeling at home with us.  She gets along great with Samson, our chocolate lab, and seems each day to feel more and more at ease.

 

I have not posted anything on Facebook or Instagram about having her to avoid having my friend’s younger kids see it and feel sad about having to part with her, but soon, I’ll share some photos on there.  Right now, she is needing to visit the groomer and so I will wait until she’s got a new hairdo to post pix.

For now, I’m trying desperately to get a video up here for you guys of Silvey fussing at the bad doggie in the mirror of our bedroom.  She’s been mad at that dog all day long and the weirdest thing is, she has seen that mirror before today.  Goofball!  Ha ha ha!

In other news, today is Tommy’s fifty-first birthday.  I’m gonna attempt to make a gluten-free chocolate cake for him.  With all his allergies, it’s so hard to find things he can eat.  If we find a restaurant where he can eat, there are never any wheat-free desserts on the menu, so I’m fixing this cake for him.  I sure hope it comes out right!

Our Ohio kids (ha!) are coming down tomorrow evening to be here for Tommy’s birthday and we have a girls’ breakfast planned for Saturday morning since the boys are squeezing in a bachelor-party/camping-trip thing.  I’m looking forward to that!

Beyond that, life is pretty normal.  I’m still struggling with low energy despite the fact that I’m taking B-12 injections at home each week.  We haven’t got to ride bikes this week due to rain and a severely neglected yard (we had to rake the entire thing the grass was so tall and thick!).  Maybe we will get to go this weekend, though.  I start missing it so much if we don’t get to go.

I need to get back to editing what I have written of my book.  Editor Elaine has informed me that she is almost ready to send chapter two to me with suggestions and a rewrite along with her notes on my rewrite of chapter one!  I can’t believe how productive it makes me feel to have her notes to work with!  I am SO thankful she is helping me like this!

I’m off to get you a video… You’ll see why I needed this little stinker…she makes me laugh the way Max did but at an entirely different personality.

The heart is never too broken.  Our hearts are indomitable, always rebounding, when God makes the repairs.

Thanks for hanging with me!

Be blessed!
HERE YOU GO!! VIDEOS!

 


confessions


You may or may not know this about me, but I used to be a horrifically passive-aggressive person. In my defense, my parents weren’t good communicators so this sort of thing was all I knew. They weren’t always what you could call passive-aggressive necessarily, but they did not communicate what they wanted, expected or thought very well at all. So I guess my only response was to learn to communicate in this way.

“I lived like that for YEARS and never realized what a mess I was.”

I say “I used to be” because, trust me… you can ask the Hubby, I was a WHOLE LOT worse in the past. But even though my passive-aggressive tendencies are extremely reduced these days, there are times when I reactively resort to coping with things this way.  I guess you could call me a ‘recovering passive-aggressive’.

I began researching today about how to deal with passive-aggressive behavior. Once I was aware of myself acting this way and took steps to stop, I became keenly aware of others who were severely passive-aggressive. And it is other passive-aggressive people who seem to instinctively pull that same PA reaction out of me.

Let me clarify here by saying that I did NOT realize this is what I was doing all those years. I knew what it meant, but I didn’t really know the term or even when I heard someone use it, it never registered that, in fact, I was a passive-aggressive person. I was complete blind to it. Now that I make an effort to NOT live passive-aggressively, my life is much more peaceful. At least my “inner voice” isn’t forever playing this running monolog of the latest conversation with someone else or some upcoming confrontation I was going to or WISHED I could have.

So far, I haven’t read anything about this trait so maybe I’m the only one who did it, but I suspect that’s not at all the case. I think it’s probably the main “thing” with any PA person. I could spend entire days replaying some conversation, changing my responses or creating new scenarios. I would work up these awesome, very dramatic confrontations I wanted to have with people who had hurt me or wronged me. In my scenarios, I would passionately make my points, I’d ‘tell it like it is’ and give them a piece of my mind. I’d tell them how horribly they treated me or how deeply they had wounded me and they’d always see the error of their ways and spend the rest of eternity trying to right their wrong.

I’m telling you, folks, having a passive-aggressive tendency will make your mind sick.

I lived like that for YEARS and never realized what a mess I was. I mean, sure, I also dealt with depression and diabetes too and recognized those “ailments”, but I just never realized how terribly passive-aggressive I was as just a routine…an everyday occurrence.

“…it never registered that, in fact, I was a passive-aggressive person. I was completely blind to it.

Now, after a few years of coping with recognizing and having others around me, some new and some not-so-new, who are very passive-aggressive, for some reason it has finally occurred to me to research how to deal with them! I don’t know why I never thought about it before. I guess this is all some sort of self-therapy and I’m just giving a name to the behavior I displayed for most of my life. I wish I had known this stuff before now, but as it stands, I guess there’s a reason for it all. If you have known me for eons and tried to point out my ugly temperment, I’m sorry. At the time, I just could not see it and I probably responded poorly. ** * sigh * **

Right now though, I’m desperate to make sure my mind operates in a completely NON-passive-aggressive way so I can get through to others who are seriously PA and tend to direct most of that inner bitterness at me.

Maybe that’s because they know I myself have been and can still react passive-aggressively? Is it a thing that PA’s try to push other PA-people’s buttons? Hmmm… I wonder… but I bet it is.

“I’m telling you, having a passive-aggressive tendency will make your mind sick.”

I may be wrong, y’know… because for reals, I’m not a psychology major nor do I play one on TV, but in this case, I realize that I behaved this way because of deep-seated hurts and rejection during my childhood. Coupled with the depression, I think any sort of dismissive attitude towards me had to make things worse. Just to be told your thoughts are not valid is such an awful feeling. When it’s repeated in a child’s life, I guess you end up with someone like me. Someone who feels worthless, guilty, useless and bitter. The only way I knew to deal with people was in a very non-direct way. That’s why I am a MUCH better communicator in writing than I am in person, face-to-face.

I’m learning to stop that self-destructive, harmful-to-others, sick-mind way of living, finally. It’s a slow process, but maybe, hopefully, Lord willing, I am at a place where I can now destruct difficult relationships with other who are way too much like me… like the me I used to be. But I’m not sure how to deal with it when it feels like all the manipulation and aggressive non-actions are just to be mean. When I was at my worst, I don’t think I ever just set out to see if I could manipulate someone for the heck of it. It was never just to be mean. But if they hurt me, boy, I could be one of the craftiest, nastiest passive-aggressives you ever met. That was a sort-of justification to me: you deserved it if you’d been mean to me. And not knowing any other way to communicate with people, I reacted in kind! In that way, I feel like I was different than some PA-people are. From where I sit, it seems some people just want to manipulate me for fun. Just because they’re bored maybe? I don’t know, and like I said, I don’t remember ever being passive-aggressive toward someone just to be mean, just because I didn’t like the way they looked or because I wanted all the attention. I ** * think * ** I was only that way towards someone who hurt or attacked me. It was my defense when someone was just ugly to me. I’ve never been a mean-spirited person however maybe my poor husband would tell you otherwise. I don’t think I’ll ask him at this time. Maybe one day, when I’m more confident that I’ve overcome that way of responding. ** * ha * **

Again, I’m no psychology major by any means, so I’m not sure if this is even possible … to have different motivations for PA actions? Is that a thing? Or does this behavior always stem from insecurity and low self-esteem no matter if the person is mean-spirited about it or just defensively reactive? Are some people just really mean without having some past damage to their self-worth or psyche?

Hmmm… so interesting.

ANYway, I’m trying to educate myself here. I know there’s a lot of scripture that can be applied here, but I am too tired to look it up and paste it here. Just don’t think I’m looking only at the psychology of it and not the spiritual side of having this kind of personality. Believe me, I certainly realize living with a PA attitude is NOT at all Christ-like. That’s just one more reason I’m so thankful God gives big grace! I have needed and STILL need tons of it! I can now see how very sinful my attitude and actions were when I lived my life from a place of hurt and bitterness.

I just hope I can learn to leave that all behind, even in snap-reactive situations when it’s more likely to slip out again. I want to live the way Jesus wants me to. I want to be able to help other people to either overcome passive-aggression in themselves or help PAs around them. I know we can be difficult people to love, hard to interact with and I want to help people see how destructive and reversible it is. Jesus can heal the diseases of bitterness and manipulation and passive-aggressive mindsets.

Lord, let it be so!

PS: I realize being vague, like leaving out any identification, is a tactic of a passive-aggressive person however, in this case, I definitely do not want to identify anyone since any of the several people this could apply to could possibly find this post. I also don’t want to identify anyone, even people I am not “analyzing” or whatever just because that would be rude.

Remember, I have also “analyzed” myself in this post. I am trying to make myself better and be able to help anyone else who may need it to overcome what I am overcoming.

For God’s glory!


relief and confirmation


Hey y’all. I finally bit the bullet. Um… it just occurred to me that maybe I say things like that a little too often here and you are probably expecting some big revelation when it’s not really such a big deal. Am I wrong to think that? Ha ha … It sure seemed like a bullet to me, at least, but okay, I’ll try to watch about doing that.

I guess you’d have to realize how big things seem to me, or perhaps rather, how big I make them in my mind! gasp I know, you can’t imagine that I’d so such a thing, right? more belly laughing

Okay, so this bullet involves the book I’m working on.

It still feels really weird to refer to “my book” as if it’s a real, actual thing. I’ve spent so many years with it just rolling around as an abstract in my brain that it is going to take getting used to thinking of it as something tangible.

I’ve spoken to many people, at least ‘many’ when I consider this blog or online conversations, about the fact that I’m writing a book, but as of yet, I had never let anyone read it. Oh, not because I didn’t want input or some insight on how it was going, but the fact that I was just scared witless!

I very much wanted SOMEone to read it for me, to see if it really was as rambly as it seemed to me or if it was confusing the way I explained things or if it was even interesting enough to bother with. But I didn’t really know of anyone I felt even halfway comfortable asking to read it.

The last time I served on an Emmaus team, I had the honor of serving in the conference room with the lady who was lay director of my own walk! I hadn’t seen her much in some time so it was great to have a bit of time before the weekend began while the pilgrims were still arriving to just chat and catch up.

In our chatting, I learned that she was working on writing a book herself! I was so excited to hear this. For the past couple of years, she’s been dealing with some medical issues as well. Specifically, a loss of her vision. I won’t go into the details here, but it’s a random, not-very-understood condition where there is loss of blood flow to her optic nerves. It doesn’t just make her ‘unable to see’, but it does all sorts of crazy things to her vision making it hard to balance, walk or view things properly since most of the time her field of vision is blocked in different areas.

So yeah, this essentially-blind woman is writing a book. How, you ask? Well, obviously, she had to retire from her job when all this vision trouble began. It was a job she really loved and apparently, all the people there loved her a lot too. One of the people from her old job ran into her some time after she left and as they talked, her book idea came up. She told him she had not worked on it because it had gotten so much harder to do so with her vision issues and her computer was older and not very reliable. He told her if she would promise to write this book, he’d buy her a new laptop and the software that makes it possible for the vision-impaired to use a computer with more ease.

She promised, laughingly I think, and says she then forgot about it. A few months later, another person from her old job called to see if she was going to be home. She said she would, wondering why he needed to know. He then informed her that the unlikely benefactor who’d promised her the items had brought them in and wanted him to come over and set it all up for her!

Isn’t God amazing like that? So yeah, my friend is now working away on her book and when we spoke, we talked about how nice it would be to have a fellow writer to encourage us. That was about two months ago and I haven’t worked a lot on my book lately, but I have mostly been “polishing” and trying to proof it and make sure things are readable and “followable”, that I’m not too rambly or scattered.

I had been thinking about asking my friend if she would mind reading what I have thus far and giving me her opinions, but then I’d think, “She probably doesn’t have time” or “It might be too hard for her to read that much” even though I knew she had software that would read to her and even though she had already been the most encouraging person for keeping at it.

Finally, I just did it. I emailed to ask how she was doing and if she could possibly read for me or if she would even be interested. She responded with an enthusiastic YES and so I sent it to her later that evening.

And then I waited.

I tried not to let myself fret about it too much, but then a whole week went by and no word from her. My mind went crazy thinking, “It must be awful!” and “She was probably shocked… or bored to death” and “I bet she hates it and is trying to figure out how to tactfully tell me it’s a waste of time.”

I finally couldn’t stand it, so I emailed to see how she was doing again. She’d been fighting a horrible bronchial infection during that first email reply so I asked if she was recovered from that and if she had got to read any of my stuff.

She replied almost immediately and told me she had not realized I had sent it to her already! #ohmygoodness I told her how I was fretting that she must have hated it and she said she’d been thinking that I had chickened out and decided not to send it.

How funny.

Anyway, she must have started reading it right then. She emailed again and said she finished the first part and was “hooked”.

A bit later, she emailed again to say she’d read through the fourth chapter and needed to take a break but she loved it and thought it was definitely something other women could relate to and the things in it would resound with many others.

You can’t imagine how relieved I was to read that!Ionut Comanici

I figure she is enough removed from the whole thing to be objective, ya know? I’d thought about letting my daughter-in-law read it but then thought that she was just too close to it all and so I thought of another friend who is a librarian and voracious reader, but I felt uncomfortable asking her since we haven’t been that close for quite some time. I was afraid it would be an imposition. I may ask her now that my friend has given me some confidence that it is actually of some interest.

I’m waiting though, to see what she tells me after reading it all. It is mostly chronological so she has yet to get to the more “dramatic” or sensitive parts.

We shall see.

Oh, this friend recently published her first-ever blog post and it’s inspiring! She explains about her vision problems and how she is dealing with all this change in her life. You will be glad you read it, so please visit her:

Restricted Vision : Unburdened Sight (don’t you love that title?!)

 


the look of love


Do you ever wonder what God’s love looks like? Well, I’m going to show you just one of many shapes His love can take. Observe:

God’s love

Yes.  That stack of medical supplies is just one example of the way God’s love looks to me.

Let me explain.

If you read here at all, you probably picked up on the fact that I often worry about money.  I honestly don’t worry about much else.  Maybe if one of my kids is sick or hurting emotionally, I’ll be concerned and prayerful about that, but things like medical crises and being sick or injured myself doesn’t worry me.  I think that God has shown His hand SO many times in that way that I no longer spend very much time worrying about my health or things like that.  But money (or rather, the lack of it!) has always had the power to bring me to my knees.

Worrying about how we’ll pay the bills or afford to fix something can mess me up big time.  I will fret so much about it that I almost just freeze.  Nothing more so than when it comes to the dire necessities.

God has grown my faith and matured me a lot in the past several years when it comes to trusting Him.  I don’t say that to brag, but to point out His grace in being patient with me and giving me second, tenth, eighty-fourth chances.  It has always bothered me that I worried so much about money.  I’m always trying to figure out how to make more of it, how to generate more income or in times of serious need, I start thinking of things to sell and we just don’t even have a lot of that when it comes to making a quick hundred or so.  Yes, for us, an extra $20 can sometimes be very hard to come up with, just so you understand my frame of reference.

After some wonderful sermons that have been speaking to me about growing my faith, I determined that I would stop fretting about money and paying bills.  I would begin to wait, lean on and trust in God to meet these needs.  And before I knew it, a perfect opportunity presented itself.

I was almost completely out of supplies for my insulin pump.  I had called the supply company already over a week ago trying to sort through a balance they said I still owed.  I explained to them that I have a second insurance policy that should have paid the balance.  They said I had one amount from the first of the year already in collections and another balance.  After being given the run-around and being told various things by various people, I finally had a sales rep tell me they don’t “participate” with my secondary insurance company.

Nice.  After having TWO different people who were supposedly from the company’s insurance department assure me “we will get that filed with your other policy right away”, now a sales rep tells me they don’t even take the other insurance??  ARGH!

I have no patience when it comes to this kind of stuff.  It sets me on edge and makes me a nervous wreck.  There’s just something about being told you have an outstanding balance of almost $1500 that makes me queasy.  When it’s all we can do to get the utilities and mortgage paid and have a little left over for groceries while juggling a stack of hospital, doctor and lab bills from month to month?  It just overwhelms me and sets me on a track for a real fear-fest.  Echos of “how are we going to afford…” and “where will we get that much…” begin to cripple me.

So here I sat, down to ONE line set and three reservoirs having visions of having to go back to multiple daily injections and thinking about how awful my levels would become without a base rate of insulin from the pump…  I just stopped and thought, “Okay, God.  You’re going to have to take care of this.  I can’t see ANY way to come up with this money, so I’m going to just trust You.”  It’s much easier to “trust” God when you have at least an idea of how it might be possible to make something happen.  That’s why He does things like lead several million people to the edge of a sea with a murderous army pursuing them…so He can show Himself and it be known that without a doubt, there was NO WAY they could have escaped without God’s provision.  (Read the story of Moses)

He erases any chance that a thing could have “just happened” or that man could have had anything whatsoever to do with it.

That’s where He had us.  We were already behind on one of our big payments and thinking we would barely scrape by if we paid the big ones this week, then the lesser bills next week.  Now this?

I was thinking about how I could maybe use another reservoir but reuse the same line set when this reservoir was empty.  That’s risky and can cause an infection at worst or irritation at best.  I was trying to think of EVERY POSSIBLE SOLUTION all the while saying, “I’m going to trust God with this.”  Even though, in reality, I wasn’t really trusting Him completely.  I have to say, though, I was doing better than I would have in the past.  At least I hadn’t allowed myself to fall into a deep depression and cease to function.  I hadn’t curled up anywhere to cry.  I was actually doing better than usual, but still… I hadn’t let go of trying to solve the problem myself while I was “trusting God”.

Shame on me.

The very next day after getting the news that we would have to pay $600 of the full balance before they would let me order again, I got a text from a lady who has been doing my physical therapy.  She works on Tommy’s back too, so we have both gotten to know her.  She’s really sweet, but struggles with self-worth and depression too.  We’d been trying to get her to come to church with us, but it hadn’t worked out so that she could.  I ended up sending her this sermon after telling her it would do her a lot of good. I told her to MAKE the time to watch it when she could concentrate and pay attention.  So she had called me when she got to listen to it while driving a couple hours to another town for a job.  She was almost in tears and said I was right, the message was exactly what she needed to hear.

So then, the day after getting the news about having to pay the huge amount before I could order supplies, she texted to see if I was coming in for an appointment that week.  I told her no, I wouldn’t be there til the next week.  I forgot to mention, she is now moving to Georgia (moving this weekend, actually!!) so she said she would be gone by then but she had something to give me and could I stop by the office.  I said I could come by after lunch.

When I got there, she hugged me as usual and I chit-chatted with the receptionist while my friend went to get this mysterious “thing” she had to give me.  When she came back, she handed me a plain old envelope and told me not to open it until I was gone.  We hugged again and said our goodbyes.  She promised to keep me updated on how things were going, I told her once again she was going to do great and everything would be fine and then I left.

When I got to my car, I couldn’t stand the suspense, so I opened the envelope, which was sort of “puffy” and inside I found 10 bills totaling $70 and a note explaining.

I was floored when I saw that it was cash.  I mean, what on earth?  I wondered why in the world is she giving me money since I knew she was a bit worried about having enough to make the move and get settled before starting her new, better-paying job in Georgia.

The note explained that she felt led to “tithe” wherever she was spiritually fed.  I’m still not sure what I think about that, but anyway, she said I had helped her so much and the content of the message I’d sent her had been exactly what she needed and she knew that was only through God.

I sat there, stunned, thinking this is God showing me He’s handling things.  I mean, it’s not every day people just give me such a sum of cash, ya know?  So I KNEW it was God but still, in the back of my mind I was thinking, “This is great, God, but it’s not nearly enough… but I am going to trust You still…”

When I told Tommy about it that night, he was flabbergasted too.  He said it was just God giving us reassurance that He was taking care of it.  He said that someone had offered to buy one of his hobby tools and that might get us another $400 so we were encouraged and went on about our lives hanging onto the peace that God would take care of it.

Yesterday when Tommy came home from work, I knew something was up.  He came in telling me he HAD to tell me something.  It’s always serious when he comes directly to me instead of checking on something he’s been working on in the shop.

He began telling me about going into a place where he had to buy some things for work and also some that were needed for his dad’s old pickup they’re rebuilding.  I thought to myself, “Great.  This is going to take forever and there’s a possibility it doesn’t even concern me at all, he’s just excited about something!”  I will admit, I’m not very patient when it comes to listening to Tommy tell me some long, overly-detailed story about what they’re doing to that truck.  Ha.  I don’t know half of what he’s talking about and I’m not super-interested in how it’s coming along until he can tell me it’s done!  He gets so excited about stuff sometimes he HAS to tell SOMEone ALL about it, and I am usually that someone.  It doesn’t matter to him whether I understand him, whether I care or even if I listen for the most part… he just wants to tell it and ‘get it out’ of his system somehow.  It drives me crazy because I seldom EVER do that to him.  He would croak if I told him every time I got excited about finding a new way to get stains out of his clothes or if I went into great detail about how difficult it was to do my own nails or something that he has absolutely no interest in.  He doesn’t seem to mind that I don’t care how many times they tried the whatsit in the thingamajig to get the whatchamacallit up to 2000 RPM’s or whatever.  sigh

ANYway… this wasn’t that kind of tale, thankfully.  He started telling me about talking to a lady who worked there who also has type 1 diabetes and was having a bad day with high blood sugars and when her sugar finally came down, she was feeling really awful.  He then said they got to talking about supplies and insurance and it came up that we were having trouble getting my supplies.  She looked at him and said, “Oh, well the way my insurance is now, I actually have some extras.  I can give her at least a box of each.”

Tommy said he almost started bawling the same way I was in tears at that very moment.  I was just FLOORED.  So THIS is what God was planning??  And all that time I was trying to figure out where we’d find the money to just pay what absolutely had to be paid soon enough for me to not run out and all along He had it more than well in hand.

We made plans to meet her at a local store at noon today and when we got there, she handed a bag through the car window with not one, but THREE boxes each of line sets and reservoirs!  I was just stunned!  God had provided above and beyond what we even asked for!We thanked her profusely and then started talking.

Tommy knew she hadn’t been in church in awhile, so we invited her to go with us.  She seems to want to but is hesitant.  Most people are, I guess.  Even when they know they need to get back in church and back on track with the Lord, we always seem to draw back as if we don’t know how much better life will be.

We told her we’d call her in the morning, so I’m praying something changes her hesitancy into eagerness or at least willingness to go with us.  She’s a single mom with a young daughter so I’m really hoping she will come.  Perhaps, just maybe this is the reason God lined all these things up?!

I don’t know, but once again, He has provided.  I’m so thankful for His patience and His grace.  Now we have time to gather the money needed to at least let me order supplies again.  What the lady gave me is almost three months’ worth of supplies.  CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?  We offered to give her some money (remember the $70 my friend gave me?) but she refused to take it.  I was really hating to have to part with that cash if I’m being honest, but I would have given it to her if she’d taken it.  I feel so ashamed that I wasn’t more willing to give it away since it was given to me.  See?  I am still struggling with feeling a sense of want.

All the more reason I am SOOOO thankful God is patient with me.

Has anything like this ever happened to you?  Do you worry about money too?  If so, how do you deal with it?


so gone so long


Sheez!!  I have missed writing so much!!  It’s been crazy around here, of course.  I began having physical therapy on my neck and shoulders, as I’ve mentioned before, but they also started occupational therapy on my hands.  Or rather, my right hand, which has been going numb a LOT!  At first, because there was some initial pain too, I figured I just needed to sign up to have carpal tunnel surgery on this hand too, but my doctor (my general practitioner) was SO against it!  She was telling me how it only worked about half the time, etc. etc.  Which was surprising to me since when I had it done in my left hand, it was like a miracle!!  Took care of all my problems in that hand!  But then, talking to others who have had CT surgery done, they’ve had bad experiences.

As of now, the pain is much decreased and the numbness isn’t as constant so I’m trying to get by without seeing an orthopedic doctor.  I think a lot of the pain I had at first was arthritis.  The weather was horribly rainy then and while a lot of times, the rain doesn’t seem to affect me at all, this time, it really did and I had aches in joints I’d for

gotten all about.  UGH!

So anyhow, they keep you busy running to therapy umpteen times a week.  Thank God it’s not too far from the house!

As for other doin’s… Tommy and I both went to Cincy to see the kids on the weekend of June 4th.  Since I had an appointment with my endo in Lexington on Monday afternoon, we just stayed Sunday night too and stopped for the appointment on the way home.  So we left here on Friday afternoon.  I was able to leave Max with a friend, thankfully, so we loaded up our bikes, the kids’ life jackets and ours and as little luggage as we could get by with, their two camping chairs we thought they’d forgotten (they meant to leave them!) and a small cooler with drinks and snacks ALLLLL into our Challenger!

Yes, I said the Challenger!  Ha ha ha!!  We checked to be sure we could even get our bikes in there first and surprisingly, with the front wheels off and the back seats folded down, we were able to get both of them in without too much trouble.

We DO have an older bike hauler, but it takes a hitch reciever and Tommy’s not been willing to cut into the body and stick one of those ugly things in between the two chrome-tipped exhausts.  I can’t say I blame him one bit.  If we get to where we’re riding a lot, maybe…but right now?  Nope.  Ruby is too sharp to mess up like that!  Ha ha!

 

We had an amazing time while we were visiting Corey and Melissa.  Most of the time it’s rushed.  We don’t have much time to be there so we have squeezed a ton of sight-seeing and visiting into them.  This time, we just took it easy and had a couple things planned.  We did those and then just fiddled around the rest of the time.  We rode the Little Miami River trail which was awesome.  It’s a rails-to-trails trail and so it was mostly flat.  We rode up to what’s called The Old Powder Factory where they used to make ammunition.  It, um…it blew up, so now what’s left of the buidling, which is substantial, is abandoned and it’s a cool place to see.  There are white and turquoise tile decoration up on the towers of red brick and it’s all by itself almost in the middle of nowhere, so it’s an eery sort of place.  Very cool.  The ride was just wonderful since it was mostly shaded and follows the river.  We started in historic Loveland, which is such a quaint, beautiful area of town.  Little shops and tons of people just out milling around, either riding or running/walking the trail, or working at the shops, some playing music, some sitting around the park-like area just snoozing or playing games.  It was SO fun!  And it really got Tommy and me both back on a cycling kick, which thrills me to no end!

In fact, we actually have 76 miles under our belts in a week’s time! (3 more rides after the one in Ohio)  WOW!  I am so shocked that we were able to accomplish this!! That I was able to accomplish it!  I can’t describe how good it felt to be back on the bikes with the wind blowing past us, seeing turkey, deer, rabbits, foxes and horses….oh, and of course, cows as we rode down our familiar country roads.  We even got to ride with some folks from our cycling club, so it was fun catching up with them, assuring them that, no, we hadn’t died, we just got busy.  Cycling has been one of the only hobbies that Tommy and I both really enjoy that we can do together.  It’s good for our health and our relationship.  You can’t beat that with a stick!

While we were with the kids, we also went to the Cincinnati Zoo and to a couple of bike and outdoor shops, out to a few neat places to eat and to several places scoping out the best place for them to put in their kayaks.  Yeah, Corey and Mel just bought kayaks, so they will have a busy summer for sure!

The weekend before, Memorial Day weekend, Corey and Melissa came down to Kentucky for a few days, so we were busy then too.  We went to a friend’s family farm a couple of times where they often camp out and enjoyed the campfire, cooking and company.

Friends and folks who know my eldest and his wife often ask me how I’ve done with their move to Ohio and I have to tell them it’s been a bit easier than I thought it would.  I thought sure I would just die without them here but in all honesty?  We see them more now than we did when they lived right next door.  It seems absence really does make the heart grow fonder and the people take a lot less for granted!

And so this past weekend, I have been serving on an Emmaus weekend!  Since our Emmaus community has not had access to the Christian camp we have used for the past several years, we hadn’t been able to host a walk, but a generous church offered their campus to us (actually it’s where the first few walks were held when our community was brand new!) and so I’ve had a spiritually refreshing, physically exhausting weekend!  It was really wonderful and I’m still basking in the glow of the heavy presence of God we had all weekend.

Since waking up this morning, though, my face is swollen, my sinuses are all gobbed up and my head is pounding like someone’s playing drum on it with a hammer, so I’m going to treat my aching self for awhile…see if I can get my bones to stop protesting and settle in with my Bible for a bit.  As usual, I’ve come away from the weekend convicted of the lack of time I spent with my sweet Savior, so I’m getting back to it and sighing with relief that my God is big on second, third, fiftieth chances.

He is just SO good!

Be blessed today and go bless someone else!  mwah!

 

 

changes!


Yes, there are some changes around the blog.  I realized pretty quickly that I made a huge mistake with the domain name choice I’d made…  I had no clue there was a book out there called “My Life in Dog Years”!  I’ve used that phrase or analogy for decades to describe what it’s like living with diabetes.  It’s like living in dog years!  You feel seven years for every one you actually live!

Sheesh.  Then my techie kid chimes in with “Mom, people probably think your site is about dogs..”  That never even dawned on me!!  Argh!

So, I changed my domain name.  I tried to choose one I could keep and/or use even when/if I ever publish a book.  Obviously, it won’t be titled My Life in Dog Years!!  Hopefully this way, no matter what the title eventually is, I can use this website.

I think I’ve finally got a decent start on the book.  I have about 8,000 words so far.  I’ve decided to write it as a memoir.  I just can’t seem to separate my life into categories and write only about diabetes or depression (they are like siamese twins, ya know?) or just my marriage stuff.  Everything is linked and I couldn’t figure out how to write about one single topic without needing to explain a ton of other stuff.

What I need now are some proofreaders!  I’d love to have a few people who are willing to read what I have, or at any point in the process,   I have some people in mind that I want to ask.  Some with knowledge of books and what makes a good read, some with technical knowledge to help with places that I am hard to understand.  Others with a little more knowledge of the story to tell me if what I’ve written is accurate or sensitive enough while remaining true.

I’ve been told this is what I need the most.  Readers to help during the writing process who would be willing to help out in exchange for an acknowledgment in the book.

I am so tired right now.  There has been a ton of stuff going on with both mine and Tommy’s health, but I’ll save all that for a later post.

Blessings!


thrilled and stunned


Guys, I’m all excited.  We have been talking about trading vehicles for awhile now.  I’m not really a “car girl”, but I do appreciate a well-designed car that commands your attention without being flashy or gaudy.  I have been pretty in love with a Dodge Challenger since they went back to the more traditional body style.  So when the topic came up, I let Tommy know that I really liked the looks of the Challengers.  To my surprise, he began looking for one.

While we looked both on the road and online, we realized that neither of us had ever even driven one and didn’t know if we’d even like how the car handled and stuff.  So a couple weeks ago, when I was in Lexington for a doctor appointment, we drove through a lot up there and ended up driving a Challenger to my appointments and were still in the pressure cooker at 10 pm that night.  Yeah, we’re those people who can’t make a decision and finally, when we at last escape the salesman’s grip, will tell you we’ll get back with you after we think about it some more.

We are NOT spontaneous purchasers of automobiles!  The Lexington dealership didn’t really have exactly the color or trim package we wanted, but we found one we really liked and were considering our options.  Like I said, we were up there late while they pressed us to make a deal.  I will say all the salespeople we talked to were nice and we have definitely dealt with MUCH pushier ones in the past, but they were in full-on let’s-make-a-deal mode for sure!

We just couldn’t do it though.  I mean, after all this was the very first time we’d driven one and the first ones we’d even looked at.  We really needed to give it some more time and research.  Casey was adamant that we not buy a new car.  And he was right.  I didn’t want to buy new either and we sorta felt like we weren’t exactly since we were looking at the 2016s in October!  That’s how we bought the truck, but it had been a rental so it was considered used/fleet and we bought it at the end of its model year too.

So Casey kept sending us links to other Challengers, all the while saying that we shouldn’t get a 2-door vehicle.  When we asked why, he said because it would be hard once there were grandbabies.  I’m like, “Do you have something to tell us or are you just yanking my chain?”  He assured me there were no babies on the way as far as he and Taylor were concerned.  So I said, “When you hand me a grandbaby, I’ll figure out a way to haul it.  In the meantime, I like this car!”  My kids think I’m not smart, I guess…thought they could hint about a baby and I’d buy what they wanted me to (which is a four-door Jeep!)  but nope, I’m not falling for it.  Granted, I have been known to insinuate that there could be a prize for the first ones to give us a grandbaby, but so far, that hasn’t worked either.

We came across a new 2015 Challenger in Hazard, about 50 miles east of us.  Tommy called about it, we looked at the photos and researched its worth.  He and Casey have been crazy getting ready for Jeep Jamboree coming up this weekend.  They’d been bummed to find out they were put on a waiting list for tickets, but then, since they are local to the event, they can go as guides after helping clear the trails the past two weekends.  So yay, but it’s the entire weekend, which they start on Thursday (wha?) so it wasn’t going to leave a lot of time to look into this if we didn’t hurry and we’d already lost one sweet deal by waiting.

 

We decided to drive over there and look at it last night.  It was dusk by the time we got there, and we hadn’t told the salesman for sure we were coming, so the car was parked behind some others and was super-dirty, but we took it for a drive and fell in love.  It drove and rode smoother than the ones we’d driven in Lexington, plus it had all of the options we wanted (except for one that they said they’d throw in) and an upgraded leather package.   Since it was a year old already, they wanted to make a deal.  They offered us above book value for our truck and threw in factory remote start and navigation activation, which came to almost a thousand dollars.  We really appreciated the way they did business too.  There was no game-playing and “let me go ask my manager”, or “I don’t think he’ll let me do that without some money down”, whatever.  They told us what they could do, we told them what we wanted and a compromise was struck.  We drove Ruby home last night.  Exhausted and giddy, we took her up to show Casey and Taylor (Corey and Melissa were still at church) by that time, it was after 11 pm.  Once we finally left there, we then came home and spent several hours flipping our mattress, vacuuming it and the entire bed, putting on the new hypoallergenic covers and pillows, throwing away all the other stuff and making the bed before we could finally go to sleep.  And then I stayed low for several hours.

Needless to say, I’m really tired today, but it’s been good.  I think I’m still improving slightly.  Had one really bad coughing bout, but once it subsided, I’ve been okay.  I slept a little bit.  Tommy took the car to check on getting a ceramic coating put on and also having the windows tinted.  We need to keep that sun off Ruby’s nice red interior, so they were able to do the tint today.  I’m going in a bit to pick her up.

These photos do not do her justice.  This is SUCH a fine car, you guys!  We’ve never owned anything so nice with so many bells and whistles, nor so much attitude.  😉  Did you see the red interior?

These definitely don’t do justice.  I was honestly afraid the red interior would be the deal-breaker for me until I saw them in real life.  They are much nicer than they look in the pictures.  And the ride…smooth as silk.  We just absolutely love this car!!  We’re sorta dazed right now because we weren’t really planning to buy, but the deal just fell into place, the dealership gave us everything we wanted and without any arm twisting.  It was the easiest car purchase we’ve ever made, that’s for certain!  Our payment could have been much less than what we had been paying previously, but we opted to keep it about the same and finance for less time.  Apparently, in all the debating I’ve had to do with Tommy over the reasons we can’t have a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (price being the very biggest one!) he has fallen in love with my car as well.  Once Casey got in it and drove  her around, he’s pretty smitten too.  I KNEW the reason he was so against this is that he didn’t want his mom to have a cooler car than him!!  Ha ha ha!

Expect a few more pictures as I get better ones in the next few days.  We are SO thankful to have something we’ve actually wanted.  We’re so used to getting just what we can ‘get by’ with because what we want or sometimes really need, is too expensive…this is a very huge blessing and a nice surprise.  I guess this will be considered my early birthday present.  Just wait and see what Tommy does by the time it rolls around.  HA HA HA!

Before I go, let me share a group text with you between me and two of my friends…

G: We’ve been looking to trade our truck & mama want this!  (includes link for the car)  Does it scream midlife crisis as much as I think it does?  Yes?  Mama doesn’t care…

Friend 1: Nice!

Friend 2: Remember if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

G: ‘zackly!  Mama oughta look hawt when she goes to the Walmarts, am I right?

F2: Hey if you got it flaunt it

G:  LOL..or drive something that looks like u might have it…BAHAHA!  The kids r all like u don’t need that for when u have grandkids, as if I’m gonna order them online or something.  I’m like, u provide the babies & we’ll take care of something to haul them in.  Idk y the kids r so against me getting this car. Does is scream ML crisis louder than I think?  Maybe they’ll be embarrassed?

F1: Probably.  It would embarrass them.

G:  Idk y.  It’s not like I’m getting a boob job!

F2: Oh, thanks.  Now I’m picturing you with a boob job, 3G.  I needed that laugh!

F1:  LOLOLOL!

G:  Ur welcome.  :p

I will leave you with some pix of Ruby after her tint job…is that like a boob job for cars, I wonder?  Hmm…

I hope none of you pass out from all this hotness….


I swear I’m not really a slacker!


Okay, well, maybe I am SOMEtimes, but not with the blog.  My life has just been crazy lately, y’all!

Besides beginning treatment with my new chiropractor-friend from Emmaus, (an hour + drive each way!) I went camping in The Gorge with some of my kiddos this past weekend.  Observe:

Here's li'l Abdab, my adopted daughter (she's my DIL Melissa's sister. :) ) with Corey & Mel's dog, Timber, sitting in literally the coolest place in the forest! (the air blowing out of that crevass was just like a/c!

Here’s li’l Ab-dab, my adopted daughter (she’s my DIL Melissa’s sister. 🙂 ) with Corey & Mel’s dog, Timber, sitting in literally the coolest place in the forest! (the air blowing out of that crevasse was just like a/c!

My eldest kids are all into rock climbing.  I have no clue where they would get such a crazy affection, but they have it bad.  They’ve gone from rock gyms to climbing outdoors in the real world (where there are no mats on the floor, guys!) and even worse, my baby boy does “lead” climbing which is when they go up a route where there is no rope, only anchors, and they attach the rope as they climb so that the other climbers can then “top rope”, which a tons safer because they are secured with the rope that anchors to the top and is controlled by a belayer.  Just trust me, I was not really thrilled to hear that Corey was doing lead climbing now!

Here's my big baby boy. As you can see, he's not wearing the helmet his mama bought him for his birthday. *huff* I'm up on another section of rock snapping this pic, so you can't tell how far up he actually is.

A mother’s pride in her child’s accomplishments is often mingled with a terrifying fear for their safety.  The strength of her faith in God’s hand on them often determines which emotion wins.  ~Geannie

We really love going to Red River Gorge, despite the hour + drive.  Honestly, we know we’re blessed to have such an awesome natural wonder so near our home!  It’s a rock climber’s dream and people from all over the country (& even other countries!) come here for the climbing.

Some of us, however, are just there to lazy around…

Max and Tommy, just hanging out, watching all the action high above...

Max and Tommy, just hanging out, watching all the action high above…

Make note of the area underneath the hammock, if you will, for reference in a later story…Yes, it’s every bit as hard and sloped and dangerous as it looks.

Tommy may not have been the only one who “lazied”… after the all-natural a/c, this was my favorite part:

Always with the doggies... :)

Always with the doggies… 🙂

My little Max was always up for an adventure, but he also was no fool about taking advantage of the natural air conditioning available!  Neither was I, obviously!

My li'l cutie, always nearby, keeping track of Mama.

My li’l cutie, always nearby, keeping track of Mama.

I thought I was going to get by without having to worry about the Hubs getting himself killed, but nope.  He had to give it a try too…

Poor guy, knowing he has added many pounds to his frame since the last time he tried this, he gives it a go anyhow...

Poor guy, knowing he has added many pounds to his frame since the last time he tried this, he gives it a go anyhow…

Thankfully, he made it back down using the rope and not natural gravity after realizing it just wasn’t gonna happen.  He got farther than I thought he might.  Ha..farther than I would have!  Abby made it to the top of this route, classified as a 5.9 (don’t ask me, but they said this was impressive)!  She was worn out afterward, which is to be expected, but I was really proud of the little stinker!  She’s lots braver than me!

The poor dogs got worn out considerably sooner.  You’d have thought they were the ones climbing rock walls…but I guess it’s not really much fun tromping around the woods in a fur coat, huh?

Poor Max...

Poor Max… “I’m over this, you guys.”

The Gorge has some very awesome eating establishments, too.  Even though we had packed food to prepare at camp, we ended up at SkyBridge more than once.  It’s the closest to the campground we were at and not only has awesome food, but a great atmosphere.  You just don’t know what to expect from those guys at SkyBridge…

Here's Abby, after asking if she could please have some extra sour cream...the guy came out, plopped this on the table and ran off. We had to take the spoon away from her or she'd have eaten the entire thing like a bowl of ice cream!

Here’s Abby, after asking if she could please have some extra sour cream…the guy came out, plopped this on the table and ran off. We had to take the spoon away from her or she’d have eaten the entire thing like a bowl of ice cream!

Here’s only a portion of the aftermath of one of our trips to SkyBridge:

Red River Gorge is also the location of the Ale8one bottling facility! It's the only place you can order Ale8 or get it from a soda fountain or reliably find it in vending machines! We love it, obviously! :)

Red River Gorge is also the location of the Ale8one bottling facility! It’s the only place you can order Ale8 in restaurants or get it from a soda fountain or reliably find it in vending machines! We love it, obviously! 🙂

We camped at Koomer Ridge campground and it has become our favorite.  Abby and Austin had to leave Saturday night and then Corey and Melissa left early Sunday morning, so that left Tommy, Max and myself all on our own the rest of the day.

I'm not sure if Max was resting/relieved to be left on his own or depressed about Timber being gone...

I’m not sure if Max was resting/relieved to be left on his own or depressed about Timber being gone…

Dad cooking over the fire & Max, waiting to see if he drops a morsel

Dad cooking over the fire & Max, waiting to see if he drops a morsel

Ready for the service to start! ( http://thecreekchurch.com )

Ready for the service to start! ( http://thecreekchurch.com )

 

 

 

Tommy and I had a super-relaxed morning, just slowly packing up while cooking ourselves a monstrous breakfast and waiting to watch our church service stream live.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This gets as many stares on the campgrounds as a nerdy guy sporting some model on his arm at the bar! ;)

This gets as many stares on the campgrounds as a nerdy guy sporting some model on his arm at the bar! 😉

 

Can’t let you go without a shot of the great cast iron setup we have…some of the cookware is Corey’s, but Tommy made the stand, which also doubles as a free-standing tripod, on his forge.

 

 

 

Most of The Gorge, or “The Red” as the climbers refer to it, is located within Daniel Boone National Forest and the area just abounds in natural beauty and all manner of outdoor adventures.  Natural Bridge State Park is another awesome attraction as well as things like Nada Tunnel and the Gladie Welcome Center.

So, referring back to the rough terrain located underneath the hammock that was hung while we were out with the climbers… we moved it from the location in the photo to another place, steeper and with more jutting rocks underneath.  Tommy insisted I sit in it since there was no glorious air conditioning rock-crack at the next place.  I did and was enjoying watching the kids when he comes over and proceeds to wriggle his big ol’ self up in the thing with me!

I immediately started protesting, telling him he was going to “break the trees”, only it wasn’t the trees I should have worried about.  I was really NOT happy that he’d got in there and would have gotten out if it hadn’t been such a physical challenge, but I was thinking about the easiest way to get up out of the thing when PING… I heard the odd noise and immediately felt the hammock move beneath me and BAM we hit the ground, right on top of those big rocks sticking out of the ground and proceeded to slide down the steep slope.

ARGH!  Yes, really, I could have clobbered Tommy right then.  He still has a red welt on his back and I’m still nursing the bruises.  Then I had to explain that all to my chiropractor the next day.  Sheesh!

You’re welcome.  It seems everyone got a good laugh from that one.  sigh

Other “injuries” sustained include my poor foot…I’m making this a small photo in black and white in the hopes of not grossing anyone out, but my right foot has always had this big callous of a thing that always has a shallow split.  But when I walked up the steep grades with my Chacos (which have a rough inner sole) I ended up with it splitting further, so much so it began to hurt.
Tommy, also in his Chacos all weekend, but only because he forgot his boots, ended up with terribly swollen feet.  Maybe it’s just old age?

Anyhow, I’m really not slacking…I’m just busy adventuring and being battered by nature.  Hahahaha!!

Til next time!

Blessings,

G~


I’m a slacker (or hypo?)


ADDENDUM:  I had this all ready to go Tuesday, feeling SO guilty for not having posted SOMEthing already when Chrome locked up on me.  (for some reason, it hates when I try to load a “featured image”  argh!)  so I fiddled with trying to get it to work until I gave up.  I’ve had major neck/shoulder pain for months & now that’s worse (plus this morning, my left jaw is killing me?!?!) so I went to lie down with an ice pack hoping to ease the pain some.  I ended up falling asleep and waking to the phone ringing.  It was Tommy & he’d apparently called a few times already.  He kept saying, “Go check your sugar!”  I kept saying, “It’s too cold!” but I finally realized I must have been really low (I was in the freezing stage after sweating so  much the sheets were wet!) So I tested:  35.  Sheesh!  Anyhow, I never got around to posting this yesterday… Argh!  #stupiddiabetes )

Seriously!  I completely missed posting anything this past “frankly friday”!  In my defense, it has been cray-ZEE around here.

Tommy and I are both serving Emmaus walks this month.  He just got back Sunday evening.   We are now a one-vehicle family until he gets this other truck fixed, so I took him down to camp Thursday afternoon.  It was hotter than blue blazes and I was sweating like a racehorse, but they needed some help, so I stayed and assisted doing what I could.

I had been given the “community laptop” a week or so earlier by the lady who usually keeps it since she’s moving out of town and told to give it to the director of the women’s walk.  It never dawned on me that they would need it for the men’s walk too.  Heh.  So, there I stood like a doofus with them asking me where it was.  “Hey, I was told to give it to her!  That’s what I planned to do!… NEXT week!”  LOL!  So, I needed to drive the 30 miles back home to get that computer and bring back.

Which was fine, but I didn’t plan on not getting to head out til after 10:30 that night!!  I will be serving as the prayer team coordinator, which I’ve done before, so it’s not a huge deal, but our daughter-in-law Taylor has been asked to be dining room coordinator, and she’s never even served on the dining room team before, so she’s a little stressed.  Anyhow, I’ve been DR Coord many times so I’ve been trying to help her with tips and ideas.  That position requires decorating the dining room for each meal and moving the tables into the various formations Emmaus uses.  That most often means borrowing decor from anyone who might be willing to loan what you need.  After doing this so many times, a few times at the last minute, I’ve gotten to where I try to do the most with the least amount of stuff possible.  It’s a lot of on-your-feet, hurry-hurry-wait-hurry sort of stuff.  All day, every day!  You also serve the meals and help clean the tables, so it can feel like you never get to sit down.  It’s fun, the decorating can be a blast, but it is definitely physical and tiring!

So anyway, I had told Taylor I’d pick up some of the stuff from a lady there at camp so she wouldn’t have to make the trip.  Once I got to her house, she got a visitor, someone I also knew but not very well.  As I sat there, watching it get darker and darker outside while they chatted about stuff I wasn’t in the loop on, I started thinking about how late it was going to be getting back with that laptop.

The new dining hall (with chapel attached in back) completed 2013

LOL… so finally, company left and I loaded the box into the truck, drove straight home where all the dogs were waiting to be fed, the chickens to be watered, eggs to be gathered and then there was Max, who was nasty and needed a bath before he’d be fit to be in the house!

Once I got Max bathed and dried, I fixed myself a bite to eat.  It was now a little after 11 pm.  I contemplated just waiting to take the laptop early the next morning, but decided I did NOT want to get up at 6 am and drive down there and straight back (OR get caught down there doing something or other!  LOL)  so I loaded Max and the computer and took off.

Everyone seemed to have turned in already, so I left the laptop in the dark Agape room and headed straight back home.  Tommy called me about the time I got back to the interstate, floored that I’d already come and gone.  I didn’t want to wander around the men’s camp looking for him, and it was so late, I thought maybe he’d gone to bed.  Anyhow, by the time I got home the second time, it was about 11:45 or so.

I collapsed on the couch and thought, “I should sleep really good.” only… I couldn’t fall asleep.  I wasn’t even feeling a little sleepy.  SHEESH!

This happens to me all the time.  There’s something about Tommy being gone that keeps me from sleeping.  It’s not really that I’m afraid or that I hear every little noise, whatever… I just can’t rest.  Maybe it’s from all the years he worked construction and when I’d finally go to bed after getting too tired to wait up, just about the time I’d fall asleep, he’d get home and wake me up showering and getting into bed.  Then it would take me another hour to fall back to sleep.  Maybe I just got used to that??  I dunno, but whatever it is, I can’t sleep when he’s gone, so it was after 3 am before I finally crawled into bed and slept.

inside the new chapel

The next morning (er, afternoon?) I woke up just in time to realize I would miss the hair appointment I’d made.  ARGH!  I need my hair cut in THE worst way!  I called my stylist, who is also an Emmaus friend and she informs me that she was getting ready to call me because she was worried.  sigh  I explained and apologized.  She didn’t have another opening til Wednesday, so I’m still having to put up with this horrible hair!

I felt kinda crampy and my neck/shoulder has been a lot worse lately, so I didn’t get much accomplished other than a little laundry and a few dishes.  I worked on lists and schedules for the prayer team and later I went up to Taylor’s to help paint some decor she’d bought for camp.  I sat and visited with her and Casey while they ate supper, too so that was nice.

I rested a little better that night, but it was after midnight before I could fall asleep.  Saturday was busy since our eldest son, Corey, was going to be singing at camp that night for dinner and during special service.  I wanted to catch a ride with someone but wasn’t able to, so I ended up driving back home around 10 pm by myself again.  Ugh.

Sunday, I had to go serve at church for the early service, so when I got done there, after service, I drove through Wendy’s and got a bite to eat and headed on home.  I ate my food and flopped back into bed.  By now, the cramping was pretty constant so I didn’t feel much good at all.  I slept til about 2 pm when I got up and started getting ready to head back to camp for closing.

By the time I had checked on the things and talked to the people I needed to in prep for the next weekend, and we stopped for supper, it was about 8 pm by the time we got home and Tommy was exhausted and ready to hit the hay.  And so, we did.  LOL!

beautiful sunset behind the bell tower

I woke up around 11 pm, got up and took my night meds and went back to bed.  Tommy might have got up once to use the bathroom, but otherwise, he slept til time to get up for work the next morning.

So now I’m working to get the rest of my stuff prepared for the weekend (which will begin Thursday) and help Taylor finish the rest of her stuff for dining room.  I still have to pack my clothes and stuff, but think I’ll wait til I get back from my hair appointment tomorrow.  I also have to stop by the store and pick up some things I’ll need down at camp.

beautiful area on the grounds…

Right now, I’m trying to get some focus, some ‘stress-relief’, some ‘stop worrying’… ha.  I always love working at camp.  It’s such a beautiful place and working with other Jesus-loving people is always a great refresher for my soul.  Seeing God move in people’s lives is a great blessing too!

Now I need to go post the link to the 72-hour prayer vigil again.  I still have lots of spaces to fill before Thursday!  If you’d like to help by taking a 30-minute prayer slot, please use THIS LINK!  And THANK YOU!

 


you are not your past


Have you heard that before?  Maybe you heard something like this: “Don’t look back at your past, you’re not going that way” or “You can’t have a brighter future if you keep living in the past.”

That’s not just an inspirational thought some dude had to use in motivational speeches.  It’s biblical.  Isaiah wrote this jewel that God said to Jacob, the father of the nation of Israel:

Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  
~Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV
Don't answer when your past comes calling.  It has nothing new to say.
I’m thinking about this because of a young friend I have.  He’s been “around” our family for years now, since he was in grade school.  He’s in his 20’s now and doing pretty good with a steady job.  He lives in the next town over, and he works full time, so he’s not here often.  Not nearly as much as he used to be, but occasionally, he’ll send me a message that often begins with Hey mama.  That’s what he calls me.  I love that he can feel that I’m here for him whenever.  I have fretted about and prayed over this boy for years.  Sometimes he gets way off track and worries me to death, but all I can do is pray.  And the Lord has pulled him back every time.  If I was actually his mom, I’d be a lot more proactive in trying to help him.  But with the distance and of course, his own family, it’s hard for me to do that…but I often wish I could really “mother” him, ya know?
I have this whole don’t-let-your-past-dictate-your-future thing on my mind because as best I can tell, my boy really has an issue with this.  I’ve known it for years.  He seems to feel he doesn’t measure up.  Even though he’s made a profession of faith and at one time was very faithful to be in church, he’s long since fallen away from that.  When things get really hairy in his life, that seems to be when he remembers that and I’ll get that inevitable hey mama message from him.
He’s a very closed individual, too, which makes it even harder to help him.  He often won’t tell me exactly what’s going on or he won’t tell me the whole story.  I have to guess or assume and just pray the best I know how.  He knows I will be here and I think he knows I’m not going to scold him or whatever.  I don’t understand why he won’t open up to me other than he just finds it extremely hard.
You can't read the next chapter if you keep re-reading the last one.
I can understand that, actually.  I used to be that way.  Now, most of the time, I feel as if I over-share.  Ha.  Or as if I have entrusted the wrong person with my very private, inner struggles.  Actually, I’m quite certain I’ve done that on more occasions that I care to think about, but once it’s done, you can’t undo it, so I try not to fret about that.
I’ve come to understand the value of unloading stuff by talking it out.  I’ve had professional folk to do that with a couple times, but end up feeling as if I’m wasting my money after awhile.  I mean, there’s only so much they can do unless you have like, major traumas that you’ve buried or something.  As a kid, I used to write.  I had NO close friends and no family that I could share with, so I wrote all that was on my heart.  I didn’t really know how to pray and unload all that stuff and somehow, it helped to transfer it from my head to paper.  At one time, I had several notebooks full of my thoughts.  Like a diary, but not very chronological.   Once my mother found them, and read them, when I was in high school, I stopped doing that completely and promptly burned all the notebooks I had.  For too many years after that, I had no real outlet for my feelings.  It’s just not good for a person to keep all those things bottled up inside, just as it’s not good to continuously talk about them if there is no positive feedback or forward-moving results.
And so, that’s where I am with my boy.  He’s worried about a health issue now and beginning to see that he hasn’t been really leading the best life he could or the kind of life he knows that he should.  But he insists on keeping everything close to the vest and won’t let anyone in completely.  It’s just frustrating to know someone needs to confide but just can’t bring themselves to do it.  *sigh*
If we hold onto the past, we are essentially building tall walls around ourselves.  We limit where we can go and what we can do within the confines of our past selves, our past way of life.
I know a lot of people, most are good friends, who were addicts in the past.  They do such a great work in sharing their testimony with others so they can see there is hope for change.  That they can break the chains of the addiction and become the person they want to be.  So these people do talk about their pasts.  Often, actually!  But they merely relate them so others can see how far they’ve come.
I guess that’s the difference between ‘living in the past’ and ‘growing out of it’.   In most cases, you would be hard-pressed to pick these people out as former addicts.  They neither look nor act anything at all like they did in their pasts.  It’s as if they are talking about another person entirely instead of themselves.  You look at them, healthy and happy and working for the good of others and think, “How could you be the same person you are describing to me?!”  But they are.  And that’s the power of recovery, especially recovery that comes through Jesus.  A recovery that comes through finding a true relationship with Christ heals more than your addictions.  It heals your mind and your spirit as well.  It’s a more complete healing instead of just taking away your drug or alcohol abuse.
You can't have a better tomorrow if you're still thinking about yesterday.
All this rambling and pondering to say this to anyone who might be struggling to leave the past behind them…it is a biblical principle!  I’ll leave you with a few more examples:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  
~2 Corinthians 5:17
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  
~Colossians 1:13-14
…But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
~Philippians 3:13-14
How do you let go of the past?  How do  you help others to let go?  What is your best advice for someone who struggles to let go or who is helping someone who can’t let go?
Blessings!
G~