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.