Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Too soon or too late

Today is my second MRI.
I'm less concerned about a thing in my brain than I am about the fact that my headaches have gotten worse.  I realize the neurologist freaked out to find something they didn't expect but I came to him in the first place because of my headaches and he seems  to have forgotten about that.

Life moves ever onward and I have so much to do.  Marketing for the holidays, decorating, gathering crafts, cleaning and writing.

As far as diet....I'm still fat.  I know, shocker.  I'm working on a new plan that I'm very skeptical about but I think I'm skeptical about all diet plans/supplement miracles.  I'm trying isogenix next.  If I'm going to fit into either costume for SLC (salt lake comic con) next year I've got to find something that's going to work for me and figure out how to prioritize my life appropriately.

Friday, November 21, 2014

My Head

I can safely say the meds I'm currently on aren't working to relieve my headaches. I seem to be getting them every day now. I wake up with them, I lie sleepless in bed with them. I would like to pretend it's all my creativity trying to get out's not. They're getting worse. I've tried not to be stressed about what's going on in my life right now and me and my mind think we're doing great with not getting stressed but me and my body, with whom I haven't had a good relationship EVER, thinks the end is nigh. My mind thinks I'm good and my body is totally freaking out.
 Here are a list of things my body and I not communicating has done over the years:

  • Shaking uncontrollably in fear while my mind is perfectly calm. 
  • Arranging my facial features to look upset or angry or snobbish when no emotion of the sort is happening in my mind 
  • Arranging my facial features to reflect EXACTLY how angry or upset I am so the bullies know how I'm feeling and can delight in a job well done. 
  • Causing stress reactions and health failures when I think I'm doing a great job of letting things go. 

It's very frustrating to know that part of the pain and discomfort my body is experiencing is probably a stress reaction and I don't feel stressed at all. I have no idea how to fix that. How do you convince your body you're not stressed when you're mind has thought so all along. I don't know the answer to that. I also know some of what's going on means something and I'm frightened and frustrated. I know some of what I'm experiencing is an escalation of problems I have asked the doctors to fix or figure out and they have forgotten or ignored it. I have been draining from my nose for 8 years now and, low and behold, its eroded my gag reflex so now I have to force myself not to vomit when I cough or get a tickle in my throat. I have to avoid certain foods and have ginger on hand constantly. Ah, but I'm complaining again.

I've been thinking about blogs and journals and the like. I know that "successful" blogs have a set theme and they teach or share something about that theme when they write. If I was less of a minion, I'm sure this blog could be full of those things. But I'm a servant. I am compelled to help. No matter how busy I get or how full my schedule is or how much I complain...this is my purpose. It's my happiness and fulfillment. It's not all my happiness. I also like being useful, to be heard, to have my opinions and ideas seen with value and I LOVE finding things.  So here's my tiny bit of advice for today.  Serving isn't easy.  It takes deliberate, intentional thought.  First you have to believe it's valuable and then you have to be willing to act.  Life gets in the way, just like it does for most things you want to do.  So when you have the choice of doing something pleasant for you or something pleasant for someone else, our natural inclination is self.  That's fallen humanity.  It's "normal"  So I call you to be abnormal.  Challenge your thinking.  I know I'm selfish.  I'm aware of my fallen state.  My challenges are unique and the same as everyone else's and I struggle against my flesh.  It's a struggle I will not fully win until I'm with my Savior.  That doesn't mean I give up, it just means God is teaching me better skills in spiritual combat.  I'm not even close to being a prayer ninja or a spiritual warrior but I am a soldier and I'll work at improving with every fight.

My husband has had a superhero identity for years. Captain Oblivious even has several super powers. He has a mighty sneeze that frightens friend and foe alike and he can stick just about anything to his forehead. We settled on my superhero name this week. I am Madam Astute! My super powers are finding things and observing things. TOGETHER WE ARE C.O.M.A! This has caused us no end of delight this week.
and yes, I just took time to make a very lame jpeg

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Fatalism and perspective

It has been a hard couple few months. Last week my Grandma Sutherland passed away. Death is never an easy occurrence but after the funeral I had two competing thoughts. That was the best funeral and this has been a crappy year. The funeral celebrated my Grandma's life exactly how she lived it. With humor and a clear invitation to know Jesus. We laughed and cried and spent time gathered as a family sharing our favorite memories and catching up. The stuff I was asked to prepare took a little time to put together but I was pleased with how they turned out. I need to finish putting up the edited images on the shared drive so everyone has access. I was reminded that we have a unique family who has made an effort to gather as many of us together as possible as we were growing up. Cousins know and enjoy each other. We joke and tease each other. We don't get together as often as we used to when we were little but we still seem to have multiple opportunities throughout the year to gather. I hadn't really appreciated how spectacular that was until I looked around the room at the reception. What an incredible blessing! It hasn't really been a crappy year. It's just been a hard few months. Last year I had a few hard months at the end which bled over into the beginning of this year and I remember feeling the same way...."it's been a crappy year" In reality, there have been plenty of good things this year. I'm just tired, worn out, spread too thin and seemingly incapable of saying no. It's made me brusque with people and left me with an exhausted depression. Don't get me wrong, I've dealt with depression my whole life. Depression is an old friend of mine. It's just that I get overwhelmed and all of a sudden every little annoying thing that happens is the end of the world. I'm generally over dramatic anyway so you pair that with a sense of fatalism and I can get very maudlin. I try not to stay in that head space but I'm having a hard time shaking it right now. The punches keep coming this year and I'm tired. I've been working at remembering that it's not the big things that have thrown me for a loop. It's the little tiny things. It makes me wonder about how human beings cope. Some people are fine when something big happens and then lose it when an inconvenience occurs. Why is that? Is it because we know that there is nothing we can do about the big things? I can't change that there's something in my brain but I can rage that I can't lose weight because I should be able to fix that. So when I get annoyed I try and think is it something I can change? If not, then move on. I'm still trying to figure out how to battle exhausted fatalism but sometimes life is about trudging.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tough questions

Psalm 69:1-3,13-18, Romans 5:3-4,Psalm 69:23-26

This weeks message at church presented something to me in a way I've never heard it before.  The question the pastor expressed was "Why do bad things happen to good people" or "Why does God allow suffering".  Since I have some chronic illnesses that cause pain and suffering to some degree I've had varying degrees of success at answering this question for myself.  That's why it was surprising to me to be presented an answer to this question from a new perspective.  The pastor encouraged us to be thankful to God for suffering because suffering is like exercise.  We exercise to break our body down so it will grow back stronger.  Science tells us that exercise creates micro tears in the muscle that then grows back with more muscle tissue.  That is why muscles get bigger and stronger.  This is what suffering does for us.  It hurts and is uncomfortable.  It causes strain and effort of will.  It wounds us in the moment to allow us to grow and stand stronger.  It breaks us down, sloughs off the unnecessary fat in our lives and prepares us for greater spiritual battles.  I love that picture so much.  I don't want to be a wimpy warrior.  I want to be bulked up and fully armed!  I want to be Rocky not Joxer.  So I'm going to try thinking of any suffering, trials and tests like exercise.  Not aimed at me like a weapon to wound me, but a chance to get stronger.

In regards to actual physical exercise...well I'm working on it.  I need to step up my game from small hikes and walks.  I'm only maintaining right now which isn't bad but I want to lose.  I am losing time on the deadline of my goal.  

As far as the prayer warrior thing.  God brought someone to mind yesterday and then I found out something hard was happening in their lives.  So many people are hurting.  

Starting work on the new Murder Mystery.  This one will be a much smaller cast and a single solution so this should be cake.  Pardon me while I laugh at myself mercilessly for making such a ludicrous statement.  It is a Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery and my friend Jen and I (whose idea this was) already have some GREAT ideas.  I'm excited.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

creativity abounds

I currently have a lot of opportunities to be creative.  Crossfire has stretched me into blogging, news articles, promotional poster design, video editing and social media marketing.  Petrie's has allowed me to practice social media marketing, video editing and directing, event planning and creative writing.  El Paso County Jail has grown my familial dispute negotiation skills, respect for rules and elders and being mindful of what I say and how I say it.  All of these things have opened the door for me to walk into NANOWRIMO with another murder mystery to write/plan for New Years and a month to get the grunt work done before things will become entirely too busy to be creative.  My volunteer opportunities have also given me enough pause this year to try a different way of approaching it.  I'm a narrative kind of girl and I love reading.  I'm all about the story.  Murder mysteries are a different beast.  You need to have a plan and an idea of the outline and clues you're trying to reveal before you start working on story in anything but the broadest strokes.  So I'm going to try and do things differently this time.  Plus, I have the added benefit of not doing it alone.  It's so much more fun to bounce ideas off other poeple.  It's also so much better to be able to recognize your strengths and the strengths of another person and be able to create a work that uses both peoples strengths.
 wallpaper by lemonsquash

Sunday, November 2, 2014

My house smells amazing

My pasta sauce looks amazing.  My apple butter smells spectacular.  My geocaching count is right on.  My diet.....well.  I didn't gain.  That's something right?  Geocaching keeps me walking and hiking but apparently it's not enough for my body to count as exercise.   My body doesn't seem to count anything as exercise.  grr

It was a long week and I've found myself tired and achy.  I woke up with a headache and the grumps but this weekend has been full of time with friends and large groups of strangers and that is my kryptonite.  If I had my druthers I would hang with 2-4 people in a quiet space with no one else around.  I can really only do that with 2 of my favorite people right now and since they are also kind of introverty....Well, since I can't hide away from everyone else, especially since I like my friends and maybe some strangers, these two are kind of my recharge button.  They're teaching me how to be bouncy again and I like bouncy JD.  Last night we taste tested really gross sodas after getting wet crossing a stream to find a hard puzzle cache in the dark!  We also took videos of us spitting out said gross soda and then re-watching them in slow mo.  We had a blast with them yesterday!

It's going to be another busy week but I'm hopeful that I can enter the tasks knowing that I have this much time to spend on it and I'll get done what I get done.  I think that's the best I can hope for at this point and that's not shabby.  It's a healthy place to be I think, at least for a minion.

So the list still remains, and I'm sure it will continue to grow, but some amazing things are going to be created in the meantime!!!!  Go go gadget BRAIN!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Minion's Truth

The truth is a minion's mind is a confused mess.  It's full of ideas and projects that need to be completed.  I often get paralyzed by choices and don't know what to do next and I know there are things bouncing around in my brain that I'll never remember later.

It's been a busy week and I've got so much to do but stuff keeps happening and then the stuff just sits and bubbles in my brain and the steam is rising and I'm losing ideas.

So, things that I'm thinking about:

  1. Sherlock Murder Mystery to write/plan
  2. marketing for crossfire
  3. marketing for petries
  4. communication/solicitation gamefest
  5. commercials/podcasts
  6. cleaning petries
  7. cleaning house
  8. nanowrimo
  9. Crossfire blog
  10. crossfire advert slide
  11. crossfire videos
    1. editing
    2. posting
    3. sharing
    4. music
That's the start.  I have a few more things that I just can't remember right now.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Running out of time

My Bell preserving book has seen some battle over the years.  It's been stained and burned and torn.  I was able to get 25 lbs of tomatoes from CCI so I could make tomato sauce.  Because I was short on time this week I found by accident the process I think I'm going to use from now on.  I was able to reduce the sauce by adding to the crock pot when I came home from tasks until the 21qt stock pot was empty and the crock pot was full.  Now I just need to find the time to can it.

I have to admit I'm tired.  Just...weary.  I'm not certain if its the medicine or not.  I have had a couple late nights so it's hard to tell if it's my body actually telling me something or it's being influenced by medication.

Our zombie cat won't eat any of the special food we put out just for her.  She is painfully thin.  She's always been a picky eater but the zombie plague seems to have set some things in motion with her body that are concerning.  We are struggling with the decision to spend money to do tests and x-rays and blood work versus the fact that she's 17 turning 18 and maybe she's just getting ready to die.

The neurosurgeon, thankfully, doesn't want to do a biopsy and so we're just going to monitor my "worry wart".

I'm a blunt person.  I'm also a fixer.  I have the impression that those are masculine traits but who knows.  Still, when I hear a problem, I first think about how I can help fix it or how the discomfort or sorrow can be mitigated.  It takes some effort to just listen.
I'm more like my mother in my bluntness.  I'd rather just go ahead and ask someone or tell someone the problem or issue.  My dad would be shuddering with discomfort at the very thought of directly telling someone that you have a problem with them.  He's very much a "don't rock the boat" kind of person.

So tonight is my friends Haunted House.  I'm heading over there in a couple of hours to start makeup and help finish up whatever needs to happen before the trick or treaters come.  I have too many friends that love this holiday not to participate in my own way.  I think of it like a theater production.  I'm just working a stage.  I may need to allow myself some laziness today so I can make it through another late night though.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wanna see my brain?

Brains are interesting organs.  I'm guessing that white spot is the size of a dime.  I'm also guessing it's probably nothing.  I am certain it's a good reminder that we aren't guaranteed our next breath and I can always use a reminder to keep my house a little cleaner, my life a little simpler and my message a little bolder.  I have decided to call it my worry wart.

It’s a song I think of as an anthem to my weakness.  I'd like to say it's not my anthem anymore but I still find myself worrying.  As I re-listened to it tonight I found myself remembering how true those things used to be, the things I was worried about.  I hope it's not as true today as it was in my youth but as you grow up you find new things to worry about.  It's such a small thing.  So instead I will thank God for the reminder to live.  Today, right now.  No more worry warts for me!
You can hear it here -

It's a Patch the Pirate song and the lyrics go like this:
My name is worry warthog
I live in misery.
Instead of trusting in the LORD I worry constantly.
Although I know it’s silly,
Although I know it’s bad
I guess I find a certain joy in always looking sad.
Yes, I’m a worry warthog *SNORT*
I worry every day
I worry (*SNORT* *SNORT*), worry (*SNORT* *SNORT*) all my time away
and if you want to look like me just fear and fret and snort (*SNORT*)
And very soon you’ll break out with a great big worry wart.
Sometimes my mother asks me
“Why must you worry so?
Our gracious heavenly Father loves all creatures here below.
You worry in the nighttime,
You cry when you’re alone.
I fear you’ll be one great big wart before you’re even grown.”
- Oh, worry! I’ll probably forget the words to this next verse! -
I worry that my pigmates
will treat me mean and cruel
And I might even fail a test and flunk right out of school
I fear my friends won’t like me as well as other swine
and maybe I won’t even get a piggy Valentine.

It's Wednesday again

Does anyone else wonder why time goes by so quickly?  I know they do.  I do.  I'm a little shocked my weeks have continued to be so full.  Adding more projects, more time with friends.  I don't regret the living I've done recently but I am tired and need to get to work.

My friends and family have been a little annoyed with me.  My personal way of dealing with death is to try and prepare my spouse for it by reminding him so he'll get used to the idea.  My husband is a caring and gentle soul and this causes him distress.  He doesn't want to talk about it.  With the introduction of something in my brain (See blog post "Something on my mind") I have renewed my efforts to get him "used" to the idea by talking about death.  I made him cry.  My grandmother, after giving me the hairy eyeball for doing this to my husband, gave me some good advice.  She didn't want to talk with my Grandpa about dying when he got cancer.  My friends also echoed the advice when they told me just to tell him every day that I love him.  Don't talk about death to prepare him, just talk of love so he'll remember.

Diet.  I was very naughty yesterday.  I have not stepped on the scale yet.  Witness live (figuratively) as I step on it now...ugh.  205.  I am failing to make diet a priority.  Neither am I making it a priority to eat.  Must get back to that as soon as I'm finished with the 10 projects I need to finish this week.

I wish I knew more video editors.  Someone to walk me through the tips and tricks and the best ways to do stuff.  I should take a class  but I keep telling myself this is not my skill set.  Why am I trying to do it?  And then the answer floats back to me. ....because no one else will.

If you haven't heard of CCI then you should.  Some people wonder what inmates do all day.  Some of  them work.  They work on raising animals or farming or making things.  They CCI sells them to help fund the work programs and to pay the inmate a wage.  I'm going to pick up 50 lbs of tomatoes this week so I can make pasta sauce.  I make great pasta sauce and I can't wait to have enough to last me all winter!  I love canning but when there's only two people it's hard to justify making a lot of canned goods.  CCI can't advertise for a couple of good reasons and so they rely on word of mouth.  So here's my word of mouth.  Consider supporting them.

I have got to stop filling up my time or I'm not going to get some things done that need to get done and off my plate.  I'm off to Crossfire today and I'm happy to give them the full day this time.

I'll stop by and get my next MRI scheduled because it's on the way to and from Crossfire.  Haven't heard from the Neurosurgeon yet but I didn't figured they wouldn't move quickly.

I had a fun, full weekend.  We did a lot of fun geocaching and had lots of friend time.  We went to Denver Monday and got to eat at a great restaurant that I wish we had in the Springs!

True Food

They cooked out in the open for everyone to see and it was delicious!  They based the restaurant on Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory diet which is just what I need.  It was all fresh, local and organic.  I'm going back as soon as I can get John up to Denver because..Yum!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Something on my mind

Well, I know why the neurologist wanted to see me.  The MRI showed something in my brain.  They don't know what it is.  Could be nothing.  Could be a tumor.  They want me to see a neurosurgeon.  *shrug* Okay.  Now is not the time to be worried.  Nothing I can do about it....nothing but praise God.  I got the MRI because I've been having a lot of headaches.  More than is normal for me.  The thing in my brain isn't causing the headaches but they found it because of the headaches.  My God is an awesome God.  I feel very blessed that God knows what He's doing.

Got home to a door to door vacuum sales person offering to vacuum my carpets.  I thought, why not, someone else can vacuum today.  I told them I had an appointment at 3:30.  I finally got the sales person out the door at 3:40.  Not the best way to stay calm.

The zombie cat's appointment didn't go that well.  We've been noticing her having trouble jumping.  Her back legs just don't seem to be on the same wave length as her front.  The vet felt something wonky on her spine.  They wanted to do X-rays.  The estimate was over $500.

I came home and my nose started to bleed.  I've never had a gushing nose bleed before.  I ruined my favorite handkerchief.  I took a picture but I won't gross you out.

Then the cat  threw up in the cat carrier.

Sometimes my body and I don't communicate well.  I think I'm perfectly calm.  Couldn't be less worried about a thing.  My brain and I are chill.  My body however seems to be FREAKING OUT.  It's stupid.  It's been happening to me since I was young.  It's part of the reason why my emotions pretty much trot across my face at will.  I can't seem to stop my body from expressing itself.  A guru I am not.

Thinking all this through a song pops into my head.  A potential brain tumor didn't bother me....a pushy salesperson, a large vet bill and a long nose bleed...that's got me upset.  Life is funny.  Someone reminded me the other week that I wasn't a unique snowflake.  My light and momentary troubles are not unique to me.  Other people hurt, other people endure hardship and other people have concerns.  This life, full of woe or joy, is so short in comparison to eternity.  I'm going to endure...I may even do it patiently.  I don't want to miss the opportunity for God to teach me, mold me and use me.

James 1:2-4   2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Whatever is going on in your life, I hope this helps a little.  Let me know if you want me to pray for you specifically.

Friday, October 17, 2014

I'm a wimp

I couldn't do it folks.  I couldn't tell the ministry that I needed to quit.  I psyched myself up all the way there and then just had too much work to do and so little time to give them.  I felt so guilty and the harder I worked the more I became convinced I couldn't tell them I had to back down.  I talked to my grandma the next day, who also volunteers there, and she agreed I couldn't quit.  They needed me too much.  I just needed to set better boundaries.  That's probably true.

I'm a minion

Minions don't get to say no.  Minions obey.  
The people I volunteer for would would be upset to hear me say that but I don't use this an an insult.  I like obeying.  None of them want to abuse me.  How do you set boundaries when at your core you believe you should just obey any slight request.  I'm struggling with that, but I have to figure it out or I'm going to have to leave people and organizations that are benefiting from having a minion.  Everyone tells me to just say no but it's not easy for me.  I like helping, people like me helping, why would I say no to that win/win situation just because my body hates me?   I know, I know...

So, diet.  We're at a stand still.  Maybe this next month we need to avoid any "supplement" based systems and just continue with a strict diet and exercise thing.  Not sure what to try next.  Being busy makes it harder to think about being prepared for food and fitting in exercise.  This is where prioritizing and boundaries would be helpful if I could actually do it.    

So, Prayer Warriors.  How are you doing?  Developed a routine that works for you?  What helps you maintain discipline.  I started making my list and was surprised by the number of people I had forgotten to be praying for.  While I was writing this another name popped into my head and I had to pause to write it down.  I'm still not in a rhythm yet.  Working on it.  

This has been a busy week and today I finally see the neurologist.  I'm a little concerned he wanted to see me after the MRI but not really worried.  We'll see what's up shortly and I'll let you know.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Today I'm volunteering at two of the three major places I volunteer.  Tomorrow I'll be volunteering at two of the three major places I volunteer but only one will be the same.  A little word problem to start your day.

The truth is on any given week I may volunteer at up to three places.  Some of them require working from home as well.  When everything's going well it's no problem.  When I add major projects on top of that, or get too back logged, that's when it becomes a problem.  It's hard for me to anticipate when it's going to be too much because it isn't all the time.  And the need is great and I have a hard time walking away from that reality.

This is the depth of a minion's mind.  I love being a minion and while minioning at three separate places can be draining and exhausting, which one do I leave?  Without thinking of the guilt and without the arrogant thoughts of "what will they do without me" I think I know which one needs to drop and I'm a little terrified.  Can I overcome the guilt of walking away?  Can I leave them bereft of anyone that knows how to operate a computer? I don't know.  If I don't do it I have a feeling God will and He doesn't always treat me gently in the process when I haven't obeyed.

As far as the diet...I haven't weighted myself today but I know I haven't had any sugar accept fruit and I haven't had any soda.  We've cut down processed foods to a very small percentage.  Now I just  need to add the exercise back in and we should be good.  I just have to have a day where I'm not double booked and I haven't had one of those in a while.

As far as the ninja I stealthy, am I stealthy?  Guess I still need practice.  

In all seriousness, today I start my list.  If you need to be on the prayer list, let me know.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Where are the warriors

I love helping people.  I have discovered this year that it really is my spiritual gifting.  I've struggled for years trying to figure out from the never ending "spiritual gift" surveys, that every church as made me fill out, to answer and agree with what the survey says.  I used to test out as mercy or administration...I never could figure out where administration was in the Bible.  It comes down to my greatest strength, and greatest weakness, are in wanting so badly to help people get through whatever they are struggling with.  I will fill any role if I'm needed and will be happy to do it, for a little while.  I was never meant to be a permanent solution in so many of the cases where I help.  But there's no one else to take my place and so I become more and more drained by being in a place I was never meant to occupy but merely to hold for a short while.

This is the heart and soul of my passion right now.  Where are the people?  Where are the prayer warriors?  Where is the help?

I know people are busy.  I get it.  Most people have kids or jobs or jobs and kids.  I'm in the unique position of not having either.

Here's the problem.  Charities are full of people past retirement age.  People that have limited physical ability and limited knowledge of technology.  They need help so desperately that the need can be overwhelming.

I've had to have a friend remind me in the past few weeks that charities will always need help, need more people and that I can't feel responsible for it all.  It's a hard thing to do.  Of course they keep asking me to do more...Who else is going to do it?  I'm sure I'll talk more in detail in a later blog about standing firm in the limits of what you can do where you volunteer.  I'm still working on it but I have managed to maintain some boundaries.

What I really wanted to talk about today was prayer.  Prayer warriors are such a quiet and un-talked about part of ministry.  They are vital and necessary and they require an incredible amount of discipline to maintain their skills as a warrior.  How do you know who they are?  Maybe they're like prayer ninja's instead of warriors.  I ask because I'm not good about prayer.  I'll remember people before the Lord when he brings them to mind or when I learn of a need but I'm not a disciplined, daily, before the Lord on my knees, with my list of other peoples needs, kind of girl.  I want to be.  Who doesn't want to be a prayer warrior?!  But apathy is a mighty enemy and the extra attention from the spiritual warfare department can get uncomfortable even if you are disciplined enough to be a prayer warrior.  I say apathy but it's not an active uncaring.  It's a lack of focus on prayer.  People tend to forget unless they have an issue to bring before the Lord.  I know I start to wonder what to say on a daily basis.  So who stands in the gap?  Who are these unseen, absolutely vital, prayer warriors?  How do you become one?  I need some prayer warrior mentoring!  How do you begin?  Do you start by mentally putting on the armor of faith? Do you study God's word?  Do you have a list?  I'm sure everyone does it different?
I know this is just another thing I'm asking for accountability for but I want to maintain this journey.  This one's more important than weight.

So let's start this with a challenge then... Who do you include in your prayer time?  Do you pray for the leadership of our country?  Leadership of your church?  Leadership of your charity?  Leadership of your favorite stores?  Let's do that!  Elections are kind of here at least on a local level if the political ads or calls are any indication.  Let's pray for them!  The places you frequent...Pray for those places.  The places you go out of need and the places you go out of choice, pray for them.  Let's train up some WARRIORS!  or can be a prayer ninja.

Monday, October 13, 2014

I'm back

I got the chance to have a job again.  It's been quite a few years since I've worked for money and quite a few more since it was in an office.
Here is what I learned:

  1. Working in an office can be fun when you have fun and friendly people around
  2. You don't have to gain weight eating out every day if your boss is in agreement in choosing healthy foods and makes you walk a quarter of a mile an speed walker speed.
  3. No chair is comfortable for 12 hours.  I spent most of the time in a side chair.  The "guest" chair if you will.  I finally asked the office staff if I could have an office chair and they were shocked that I had been sitting on the other chair.  
  4. Working on a project is satisfying.
  5. I complain more than I thought I did.  It took an outside perspective reacting to me to realize it.  I've convinced myself I'm just sharing what's going on with me or expressing frustration  but really I'm just complaining.  I've been struggling with what the balance is since then.  I'll let you know when and if I figure it out.
Sadly I had to put off quite a few people during the last two weeks and I am very sorry.  It's been an intense couple of months for many reasons.  
The murder mystery is done and I think reactions were mixed.  It's always hard to tell if people are having a good time.  Several people said they liked it but there was more constructive criticism than anything else.  I probably won't attempt that style anymore.  I think a couple people thought my writing was good.  It was mostly the mystery and how I designed it that frustrated people.  I knew it would frustrate people who are finishers.  I tried to tell them it wasn't designed to be finished in one night but they wanted to anyway.  Several of them tried working together to finish it.  They were frustrated that they hadn't even gotten to the first stage.  I do have a new one to work on for new years.  It's a secret.  

I started the new med on Saturday.
So far I've had two larger headaches than normal.  My hubby started reading the second sheet of possible side effects and decided he didn't want me to take it.  I told him giving it a try wouldn't be that big of a deal.  He's not happy about it.  I think he's scared from last time.  

This week was going to be a reset week.  Clean my poor chores in general.  Instead my chore day has been relegated to today and my hubby's sick.  I keep joking to people I'm going to run away to a cabin where no one can find me but I think I'm serious.  I now have plans all week.  Something every day.  My choice entirely...except for a few things.

Diet...okay.  So today I'm 206.  I was 204 yesterday....who can understand the workings of the body.  The 24 day challenge is over.  I'll have to give some thought as to whether it's something I could do long term.  The food choices, fine.  The supplements up to 6 times a day....I'm not so sure.  I'll think about that more later.  
Today, I've got chores to do!

Friday, September 26, 2014

holes and humility

When I was younger I went for a short while to Cedarville college.  It's University now but it was just a beautiful college back then.  We were required to attend a certain amount of chapel which I wish I had taken more advantage off but I was battling and learning things other than college had to teach me at the time.  I still remember one of the few chapels I went to had a guest speak that told a story about asking God to teach him humility.  In response, in the middle of whatever group of people the speaker was in at the time, his pants ripped a hole right int he middle of them.  It was a funny story for almost everyone in the room.  I think the speaker went on to talk about humility vs embarrassment and he must have had some wisdom about divorcing our self image from service and place others needs paramount.  I honestly don't remember what he said next, because my mind was caught in the thought "How could I ever ask God to humble me if he would answer like that".  Faith is a living a growing thing in a persons life and one of the largest tentacle monsters in mine was the moment that question formed.  It has taken me over a decade to take back the fear that my mind created about that one question and to lay it before the Lord and finally ask for humility.  You see one of my big stronghold sins is pride.  It's a self deprecating pride so it seems okay to most people but it's pride.  It's a pride that is quick to talk it's self down first but in just the right way so no one else can speak truth about it.  It hides in the darkest places of my psyce.  Does this sound ominous yet?  Don't worry, I'm bringing it around.  I eventually learned, through hesitant experimentation, to ask God to humble me.  My God, who knows me better than anyone ever will, didn't humiliate me to teach me humility, or at least he hasn't yet.  Yesterday, I ripped a hole in my pants bending down to bring things back in the house and I instantly thought of humility and I was reminded of my pride and it was gentle and it wasn't humiliating at all and I loved my God for his tremendous care in knowing how to grow and shape me in just the right way.
So my pride about fitting into smaller pants slipped right out that hole without exposing my dignity.  And that helps me remember what that guest chaplain said next so many years ago.  "Humility does not equal humiliation"
1Cor 1:25 just came up on my Bible reading today and it seemed to flow really well in my mind

Do you get to a point in diets where you just want to have comfort food?  I've been there for what it seems is forever.  It's not as bad on this diet because I'm still allowed some starches so I don't have to feel hungry and dissatisfied which is nice.  I'm down to 202.  I still haven't gotten to the gym regularly because I'm lethargic all the time and busy as all get out.  I'm still eating healthy most of the prescribed times a day.  When I'm having a bad pain day I really don't want to eat anything.  I guess it's working but I'm too tired to be excited about it and when I get all happy I fit into stuff I rip a hole in it ;)

I have time for an intro I think.  I titled the blog the way I did because my husband and I don't have children so the next questions people ask me after "Do you have kids?" is always "So what do you do/Where do you work?" It's a natural assumption.  It's a conversation starter.  I admit I get a little defensive.  When you tell people you volunteer a's like ice cream for the brain.  They think well that's a nice treat, a good filler, fills in the cracks.  There's a cut off in peoples brains that dictates if you're not getting paid for it, it must be worthless.  This is flawed thinking, but who would challenge it.  So I started telling people I'm a professional volunteer.  I realize using the term professional dictates that I make a living at it but I feel justified if it makes someone pause long enough to realize I volunteer longer hours than most people get paid to work.  Besides, not all payment is paycheck.  I think the subject of volunteering and the constant need  that charitable organizations have to try and entice people to help them is a problem I am seriously interested in putting some thought into.  The poor old folks that make up the majority of the volunteer force of most charitable organizations must be replenished.  How do you teach people to care about others in a selfie world?  Care enough to do something.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I'm crazy on meds

Sometimes having a good excuse only lasts so long.  It's been awful but funny to have a legitimate thing I could point to for people to understand what's going on with me.  Luckily, that's hopefully over.  I got permission from my Doc to stop taking it.  I was rather crazy sounding over the phone and I wasn't just trying to make a point.  He did ask me if I was going to hurt myself and I was able to say with some certainty that I knew it was the medicine making me crazy and could separate those those.  I had one of the most grateful prayer sessions I've had in a while last night.  The Doc want's me to take a couple day break and then start on a new med that's supposed to have the common side effect of making me lethargic.  I laughed out loud at him.  I told him I was lethargic now.  I am realizing that that may have been arrogant and I may have just tempted whatever has asked permission to play with me right now to see how far it can push me.  I've decided not to be afraid.  I've also decided not to start in a couple days.  I'm gonna wait a couple weeks.  I need my brain and my body to be functioning at least at limp along speed for the next couple of weeks so no reason to start throwing things in the mix.

zombie cat is healing but she's gonna need a couple more weeks in isolation and the cone of shame. The poor darling is lonely but apparently she's also extra friendly and hungry because she's high on the pain meds the vet gave her.  This makes so much more sense now.

I love editing...other peoples stuff.  Editing your own stuff is annoying.  Especially when your brain isn't working.

Shortly, I'm gonna talk about being a minion and about volunteering cause I have thoughts about those things.  Thoughts about people besides myself.  This isn't a contest, don't take that the wrong way.  I'm crazy on meds.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It's weird

You know what's weird.  One of the shows I have really loved over the last couple of seasons is "Call the Midwife"  Normally I would avoid a show about babies like the plague, and trust me the show is lousy with babies.  Perhaps I'll be able to articulate it better when  I'm not crazy on medicine but this might be close.

The main character's beau had just died and she was mourning and about to walk away from everything.  Start making life changing decisions and just start running.  Running from the pain and loss.  Instead the sisters and her friends and fellow midwifes asked her to take a break, get away some place safe, even from them, but not to make any permanent decisions and they would all be there when she got back and the above quote was one of the last things they said to her.  
I saw that quote today after a hard pain day and it was a nice smile.  A "just keep swimming" thought as Dorie would say.  I'm finding that's about the extent of my strength these days.  Just keep swimming...just keep living...just get home...just keep reading...just get to the end of the day.  Me being pitiful sure doesn't diminish God's greatness and boy am I glad.  The smaller I get, the more I have to give up to him.  He's taking it.  The more I give up control of the more I realize it didn't need my control in the first place.  This is a good lesson to be reminded of.  My life right now feels like I'm in a place of deepest mourning.  I hurt all over, my mind is reeling with doubts and weeping and I am exhausted beyond reason. I only think of it because I found the parallel of the above quote so poignant this morning.  
Anyway.  Shaking that off.  Today is a day of service.  I was going to write about that.  Perhaps I'll write about it tomorrow.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Let's get real shall we.  The last few weeks in my life have been a little weird.  I knew this month would be excessively busy, stressful and come on the back of an excessively stressful, busy and physically hard travel period.  My body isn't in the best of physical conditions in the first place.  So I decided that that was a great time to start a diet.  No, go ahead and laugh, cause it's funny.  Other things have been taking up my mind so I haven't been talking about it but I have been keeping up.  I also decided I would restart my attempt to journal/blog.  I've never been a journaler.  Mostly I'm a doom and gloom writer when it comes to my personal chronicle and I recognize that as counter productive.   I also recognize that I'm an actress and there is a certain sense of performance when I present my life on this kind of stage.  While I've tried to add a little humor here and there I really haven't tried to sugar coat anything.  I'm a blunt person by nature and I don't pull punches about my own failings....especially about my own failings.
Stress breeds talk though and I haven't stopped finding things to say.  But this all started because I was supposed to be holding myself accountable about my diet.  Yeah, I bet you didn't even remember that any more, did you?  So let as I am wrapping up the murder mystery thing and a weight lifts off my chest there, lets turn back to the weight lifting off other places.
It's been two weeks and I've lost 6 pounds.  I haven't been able to get to the gym regularly.  We have gone a couple times but the stress and our super full schedule hasn't really made for targeted hot chick gym time.  Plus my body isn't ready for that even if my brain was, which is wasn't.  We've been good about the diet but I've been struggling.  As stress and the internet show you pictures of chocolate chip pumpkin bread (curse you ambitious kitchen) I just want something yummy.  Not that I haven't made yummy meals...but I want yummy pumpkin muffin yummy.  Okay, no more thinking about the yummy.
So after all the crazy inducing medicine, and the tear inducing stress and the sad inducing yummy desires and the  tunnel vision from friends who are going through very similar troubles right now (sorry friends, I promise to lick your face) and the mind bending information I have to hold in my head and the schedule and ..and...and  and I am so very grateful.  I'm exhausted and hurting and still a little crazy but I am overwhelmed by gratitude today.  It's probably the medicine messing with my brain chemistry again but I'll take gratitude over raving any day of the week.

In other news my zombie cat, Cinder has been feeling better.  Every time I enter the quarantine zone she follows me around and I can tell it's not because she wants to eat my brain.  I think she's a little lonely being there all  by herself.  I think the zombie infection cure is working.  Still gross...Just reminds me of the world premier of Znation and that creeptastic zombie baby *shudder*

Monday, September 22, 2014

I swear healthy people are out to kill me

I know healthy and unhealthy people. Large and small. Some who've worked their butts off and some who were born that way and don't have to do a darn thing. No matter who or what they've done to be the size they are, one thing baffles me. How can they possibly believe that telling us big girls that exercise is fun will ever make us believe it. It's not fun. It's awful. It's gross. It's painful. And maybe after years of keeping at it you might see some results but they are so hard won that its like having survived a war and you're shell shocked and suffering from PTGD (yes the g is for gym). I have never experienced results so I don't have to worry about survivors remorse. I also eat the rabbit food and the no sugar, low fat, paleo, high protein, low protein, extra vitamins, acai infused diet miracle of the month and drool over the "healthy" recipes that I can't eat because it uses something that isn't on the diet I'm on. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! But it said Healthy right in the title...the blogger is skinny so she must be doing something right...come on!!!! And now I want to gnaw my hand off. 
This is not crazy med JD talking...okay it is, but it's not all that. You can blame Sarah (her suggestion) and that recipe for Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins with a lovely cream cheese vanilla bean glaze (healthy). Thanks Ambitious Kitchen. I have got to stop looking at those pictures...and apparently I need to stop following her blog. ugh. My poor grandma's trying to do a low sodium thing and she's having a hard time too. Everyone has their own challenges when it comes to food. I can look at my grandma and be baffled that to her, solving her problem by making her own meals is the most challenging and unreasonable solution on the planet. I'm sure she looks at me and is baffle that I just can't eat three meals a day with a healthy balance of protein and vegetables. The world is a diverse place to be sure. Perhaps I'll be come a mad scientist and make everyone eat the way I think it should be done.

As Dr. Evil would say
Oh Really

Don't worry skinny people. You can continue to make your delicious looking Boston Creme Pie Cakes and Chai Pumpkin Muffins because you know what? That just makes me want to figure out how to make those things in a way I can eat them too. The internet is full of people who had to figure out how to make it with out dairy, gluten, sugar, corn, or whatever else their body couldn't handle so I'm going to figure out how to make delicous things that don't make me focus on what I'm missing but instead make me totally baffled that someone feels like this diet thing is hard and stupid and dumb because it probably is and shouldn't be done that way. And I just totally inspired myself BOOYEAH!

Murder Mystery Madness

I keep thinking...I'm so close.  And then life stuff happens and I can't work on it and  then I try not to panic but then I have to re orient myself and then I think...I'm so close.  Lord willing, and I'm praying He is, I'm going to finished all the writing tomorrow so I can start final edits on Tuesday.

I've been working on this thing for 3 years.  Yes, that long.  Yes, I get more done the closer I get to deadline.  Everyone does.  My goal has always been to write a mystery party game that didn't surprise you with knowledge in the 3rd act that you were questioned about in the 1st act.  My friends hate that.  You get accused of something and you're staring at your sheet got nothing guys.  Then suddenly in the third act you have to recant and throw up your hands because apparently you do like to wear women's underwear, who knew.  Why can't you just tell everyone everything about their character?  This would be tons easier if I just kept the party size small or if I decided to stick to one scenario but I hate doing things easy.  I think I am allergic to two things.  The easy way and the word "no".  If the Mystery game was tomorrow, I'd probably be fine.  Sure, there would be some typos and I'd be stressed out in preparation but you know what.  I'm going to be stressed out in preparation whether all my ducks are in a row or not so I really do need to stop stressing.

I've got minor characters left to do...and since I'm asking for the major characters to get picked first...I'm kinda hoping none of the minor characters  gets chosen but I have to be prepared in case they do.  Then I can start on the list of post in notes of things I need to double check and get in order for the actual event.  Some of it's just stuff I want to redo cause I think it's lame and I want to redo it, not cause it needs it.  I've added two new things that aren't necessary at all but I think will add to a portion of the evening that people may not even catch.

I'm looking forward to seeing if I'm as smart as I think I am.  I'm going to challenge people to out think me.  I've had years to plan the steps and they've got a few hours....I feel very mad scientist about it!

I know I've been talking about it a lot.  It's been consuming a big part of my brain....and walls and computer and dry erase boards and garage ;)  I've got 20 peoples lives to hold in my head.  Pretty soon I can start wrapping this up and that will be a happy day.  Still stressful, but happy.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A funny thing happened

Let's start with diet-y things shall we. The first ten days are over and therefore so is the cleanse portion. The next segment seems to have a lot of pills involved. I'm hoping some of them will give me some energy cause I have had none. I've been having trouble sleeping again. Being this tired does two things, makes my headaches become migranes and makes me excessively emotion. I'm sorry to anyone that has to deal with me today.
One of the things I have hanging up right by my computer is this 

It makes me happy! It was drawn by my best friend. Her and her family are having a hard time right now and I would ask that you pray for my Rachel.
One of the areas of discipline I have been working on is spending in the Word every day. Right now I'm in Job. I've often struggled with Job. Every time I read it in fact. I ask myself who's right, the friends or Job. Is what the friends say correct in part or not at all? Today it occurred to me those are the wrong questions, whether Job or his friends are right. Life is hard and seems unfair if we attribute our own set of rules or fairness too it. God is the only one who is right and good and just. Hard things in life don't make God fair or unfair or cruel or any of the human things we try to box God in with.
I volunteer a lot of places. A couple of them require me to answer the phone. When I go straight from one to the other I have to remind myself where I am so I remember the greeting I need to answer the phone with. My volunteer work has broadened my horizons and work experience far beyond what I could have learned if I tried to guess what to pursue in college. Today I found myself putting together a photo op so I could build a power point demonstration and ultimately make a poster to promote a new coffee someone created to benefit the ministry. Am I good at it? eh. I'm certainly better at it than I was a couple of years ago. So many ministries are just looking for someone willing or potentially knowledgeable. If I could just figure out how to plug into the degree programs and tell these kids how much practical work experience they could get ... Yeah, I will rush right out with all this free time I've got and do that. Spiritual gifts are awesome and life giving but the disconnect comes when I depart from what God wants me to respond to and try and take it all on. I'm so sensitive to my failings. Most of why I feel stressed is me. It's me not wanting to disappoint anyone or confront them. It's me not believing I can say no. I really do want to work on it but it's gonna take more mental power than I have right now.
John likes the Almond Power Bars. He called me from work to tell me so....that doesn't normally happen. Either he really likes them or he's really concerned about my state of mind recently. Either way it was a sweet and kind gesture! He also asked if I would meet him at the gym. Half of me was like...I don't wanna. The other half of my brain was like...isn't that awesome; he's taking leadership in our health so I don't have to be responsible for all the change! I like the happy side, I think that side should get a cookie. It's imaginary so the calories don't count.

In other news, I love working at Petrie's. Even when I'm having a bad day and things are going wrong, I love this place. Talking to people about what games fit their needs is fun.
Now for the fellas, cause I like to keep it diverse here. I had to put four quarts of oil into my engine today. Don't tell my dad. It will not shock you to know I have had to replace the engine in this car once because I cracked the block because I forgot to put in oil. Now, mind you, it has some leaks. My dad says that's good because then I have to put new oil in it. Either the holes are bigger than I thought or my memories worse than I knew. Praise the Lord for a whole and functioning engine!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

1 sheepies....2 sheepies

I have never understood the idea of counting sheep to draw you into sleep. If my sheep were jumping the fence I would be out of bed so fast! 

They could be ravaged by dogs or lost or hurt! I've always had a hard time falling asleep. Even when I was a little girl I would have to listen to a tape to fall asleep. Granted I would read as long as I could get away with. I got myself into so much trouble reading. I'd be so tired in the morning. heh. As I get older my insomnia is getting less and less funny. I lay in bed for 3 hours last night praying God would help me fall asleep. I've tried every mental trick I've ever been taught, every mental technique to relax. I've tried sleeping pills and muscle relaxants but I've never been able to advocate counting sheep. Those poor little lambs jumping the fence to wander the dream lands without a shepherd....nightmare. I'm so tired, tired means headache. 
In better news I was able to get a hold of the neurologist and tell him I've been struggling. It's always better to feel like someone knows you're struggling and to have a plan. I know how long we're going to pursue this plan now and how long I have to endure on the present course before we try something new. I'm glad for that. I think I'm starting to scare John. He's actually talking about getting me medical cannabis. I have to admit I'm reaching the ragged edge of my endurance. I can never tell if the edge is getting closer or further away. Is the pain and stress strengthening the edge or fraying it? They say that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger but the truth is you hope it destroys the parts of you that need to be burned away in the fire and replaces them with the refined gold that God wants to be there. I'm praying that the blurry edge of my endurance is the shimmering glow of the forge that God has placed at this moment of my life. I pray that I will be present with Him as He works to refine burn away the chaff, because I feel like I'm catching fire and it's not romantic.
The other positive thing about an 18 hour migraine...weight loss. Lost two pounds yesterday. See....isn't that awesome! Not gonna lie....I'm a little afraid to eat today. Still have a headache and I'm not feeling 100%.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Excuses, excuses

My heath issues are confusing, frustrating and for the rest of my life until God intervenes. I have been accused of sinning, unbelief, laziness, making it up and many more hurtful and insulting opinions. Since there is such a grey line between helpful and hurtful when it comes to people offering help and opinions about my health I have avoided talking about it. I think most people feel more comfortable with assuming I'm better. If I don't look sick I must not be sick right? This is part of the reason why I so passionately support Kimberly Rae and her book series I beg you to read this series before offering commentary on why I'm 

  • fat

  • ">exhausted

  • in pain

  • sad

  • ect.
    So for those new to my health, here's a synopsis.
    I have a genetic, hereditary blood disorder that no on else in my family has ever had. This is what the doctors have told me. I can produce documentation if you insist. (Yes, I have had multiple people accuse me of lying on this score or flat out state the Dr. must be wrong) I'm deficient in two proteins in my blood which causes me to over clot. I have had a clot from my groin to my ankle, some of it broke off and traveled through my brain and heart before stopping in the lungs. I will be on blood thinners for the rest of my life. 
    Here's the part that the doctors can't figure out. I started having joint pain and exhaustion. They have tested me for everything they can think of. I have taken countless medicines. I did yoga and Pilates and was in such excruciating pain I had to stop going. Going to the gym left me near incapacitated but I kept pressing on thinking pain was part of exercise. I hired nutritionists and trainers and acupuncturists and more. I went to doctors on score. All of them have had one of two things to say: I can't figure this out so I can't help you or it must be in your head. I have slowly gained weight since my diagnosis. No matter if I push myself through the pain of going to a gym or not, I don't lose weight. Trainers, nutritionists and doctors have looked at my food logs and shaken their heads saying "well you're eating the right things, just not enough". This year I have added regular headaches to my list of symptoms.
    So before you say what has been said to me before...

  • I have gone for over a year to the gym, enduring unaccountable pain, and not lost a single pound. It is fact, it happened, I have proof. Please don't try and tell me it's impossible. I lived it.

  • Yes, I have been tested for the disease you were about to say, no I don't have it

  • Yes, I have tried supplement and diet systems by the score. No I probably haven't tried yours because let's face it, there are an endless number of "life changing" diet/health systems

  • I try and give every new system a chance to work. To give evidence of weight loss or a small clue that I "feel" better. No, they haven't worked. No, I'm not going to keep doing something that has no evidence of results. No, I don't believe the one I'm on or the next one will work. That hasn't stopped me from trying nor do I give it less of an effort because I know it will fail.

  • I'm so happy that your diet/health style has worked for you. It hasn't worked for me.

  • Yes, I have prayed for healing. Yes, others have prayed for my healing. Yes, I had faith. No, I have not been healed. No, after praying I have not felt convicted about a sin that has caused me to remain sick.

  • There is no way for people to know how hard I've tried (or not tried because lets face it I'm a sinful human being saved by grace and I may be remembering wrong or be lying to myself or have been so incompetent at the attempt that I did more harm that good) or what I've tried. Yes, I know that logic dictates that doing thing A will result in B and if that is not true then I must be lying or wrong. I can't explain it. The doctors can't explain it. So I keep trying something new. Carrying my certainty that the new thing won't work, beating myself up for failing and enduring the pain I bare myself to my friends and acquaintances and am bombarded with critiques and opinions based on the assumption of the aforementioned "logic". Believe me, I get it. It still hurts. I have still endured. I have not lost faith. For all my failings, I keep setting aside my depression and every evidence of logic based on my experience and TRY AGAIN.

    This sounded a little angry.  Sometimes I am angry.  It doesn't feel good to be accused of lying or that I'm sinning.  It never feels good to be told it's your own fault you are suffering, even if it is true.  Many years later my father and my uncle have suffered from blood clots.  My family is still so convinced that I'm lying about my health that they didn't even bother to tell the doctors and get them tested.  Needless to say I don't talk about my health often.  People don't like to hear about continued suffering, it's uncomfortable.  Besides, if there is nothing new, why keep complaining.  That's all people eventually hear.  Complaint.  So I try and hide it and try and release any bitterness about it.  Despite all this, God has been very good.  I'm grateful he has held me up, refined me and provided for me.  When I keep my focus on Him, all the rest has to move to the background.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

    My made up life

    This year we had to make the difficult decision to stop pursuing an adoption from China. In our minds, this has pretty much ended our pursuit for children all together. Unless God drops a child in our lap, we're done trying to make it happen. This has been very emotional, as you might imagine. I brush past the 14 years we planned and prayed.  Sometimes its easier just to say it quick and without flourish.  The truth is I didn't want to tempt myself into a Sarai move.  I knew the only way to keep myself from trying to take control and make it happen was to give it up.  Giving up is hard to mesh with belief.  Near impossible.  I have doubted that we heard from the Lord.  I've questioned everything I thought and believed all those years.  But like most things we long for for a long time, the loss can be a gift if we let it.  
    We have had a name picked out for our little girl for close to 7 years.  
    Isabel Lynn. 
    Isn't that a lovely name. It's the middle names of both John and I's mothers. To take the sting off the loss of what I'm sure would have been a beautiful little girl, I've created a little imaginary family. Lets face it. Everyone my age has children and its the focus of their lives as it should be. School, adorable outfits, messes, the cute things they say. 
    So I had a second imaginary little girl. 
    Amanda Belle. 
    It's the perfect name for our second imaginary child.
    Just recently I had my third imaginary child. Our first boy. 
    Wesley Liam. 
    My mom and I have had a fake argument about what I name my son. I have always wanted to name him Daniel but she said we have too many and I couldn't name him that. I'm pleased with the compromise. They're the perfect names for my children. 
    That's my imaginary family.  Isabel is a spunky kid, Amanda a quiet reader and poor Wesley just has too many strong females in the house.  He'll find his way.

    It's a silly little dream.  The kind of thing a mother hopes for.  I won't ever have to come to grips with the disillusion of what I hope for my children verses what they become because they are their own person and will eventually decide who they really want to be.

    The dream is insubstantial, as dreams are.  It doesn't fill the hole.  It never will.  But I keep coming back and gazing at these names.  Not often, but I do.  I have no idea what they look like because what they look like doesn't matter one jot to me.  All I have are three beautiful names.