Monthly Archives: January 2011

A Challenge

I would like to propose a challenge for you this week. It will cost you about 50 cents, take you 5 minutes and it could honestly change someone’s life.

Last year for my birthday, Mike asked all of my friends and family to write me a note and send it to me. I received a total of 20 cards and hand written notes. I have never in my life felt so loved. I was reminiscing about those letters this morning and I was thinking about how I could spread that love to people all year round!

All it takes it about 5-10 minutes and a quick trip to your mail box. I make it a habit to send notes to family and friends each month. I have a box on my desk filled to the brim with blank note cards. My family knows how much I LOVE note cards!!! Most of them come from the dollar spot at Target. You get usually 8 or 10 for a dollar. I confess I can rarely go into Target without buying a new pack!

I am sure you know someone who is struggling – financially, spiritually, physically, emotionally. I challenge you to take 5 minutes out of your day today; write a quick note to someone. Let them know you are praying for them. Share what the Lord is ministering to you today. The Lord urges us to encourage other believers and this is an easy way to do it.

Paul exhorts the Thessalonians to “encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11. Let’s follow their lead!

 

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I Will Sing Aloud of Your Mercy in the Morning

Yesterday started really wonderfully. Mike and I got to sleep in a bit because it was a holiday and I had an appointment at 11:15am to have my ultrasound. I have been looking forward to seeing Samuel for a few weeks! My mom and sister were meeting us there, so it was a family affair! We went outside to leave for the appointment and our garage door was open. Mike was doing yard work the evening before, but before he could finish, it got dark, so he put everything into the garage, closed the door and came in for dinner. He remembers closing the door and watching it go down. Our garage door can be temperamental, so we make sure we watch it go all the way down. I asked Mike if there was anything missing. He walked through the garage and saw that the lawn mover his mom and dad just bought him was gone. It was so hard to watch the emotions run across Mike’s face. I could see anger, disappointment, helplessness. Mostly what I felt was fear. Samuel’s bedroom is right off the garage door down our hallway. I just kept thinking about how someone was in our home – it may have been just the garage, but it was WAY too close for comfort. We didn’t have much time to contemplate everything because we had to get to my appointment. On our way to the appointment, I realized I didn’t see his weed whacker in the garage either when we looked really quickly. Our garage is jammed packed with sofas, tables, boxes of lots of stuff because we have been planning a yard sale for a few months and have been collecting items from friends and family. It’s hard to say if anything else it missing. We didn’t really catalog everything, you know?

Mike called to file a police report and although the cop was nice who took the report, he pretty much said it was Mike’s fault for leaving the garage open. Mike assured him that the garage was closed, but since there was no sign of forced entry, the cop kept telling Mike that he needs to remember to close the garage door. It makes me angry that when you get robbed, somehow it is your fault for not safe-guarding yourself enough. After Mike finished the report, the last thing the cop said (with a chuckle) was, “Make sure you close the garage door from now on.” The same thing happened to Mike’s parents’ neighbor. His car window was smashed out and his stereo was stolen, right in front of his house. The cop reamed him for parking on the street. He said, “If your garage wasn’t so full of *crud*, then you could have parked in your garage and this never would have happened.” Of course it was not the actual criminal’s fault. It was the poor guy who parked in front of his house. Grrr….That makes me so mad.

After filing the report, Mike and I headed to Target to get some paper plates, paper towels, and a few other things. Unfortunately, those other things were really heavy. Cat litter, cat food, a case of water, diet Pepsi. This meant that Mike could not push me in my wheel chair and push a cart I would not let Mike push me in my wheel chair and push the cart. That is much more embarrassing than me using the motorized cart. So off we went, with me in the motorized cart and Mike pushing a regular cart. We had made it about half way through our shopping list when a lady cut me off with her cart and I was not able to take a turn sharp enough. I ran into a shelf going full speed. It would have been funny had I not hurt my back really badly. It honestly felt like a car accident. I did my best not to cry in Target, but I could feel the left side of my back start to ache. We got the rest of our items and Mike got me home and got some ice on my back.

Needless to say, last night I was a mess. Between the burglary, the feeling of being violated, fearing for Samuel in his new room, the cart crash and trying to find a new washing machine, I felt extremely overwhelmed. All day I kept praying and telling the Lord that I knew that I needed to trust Him, but also telling Him that what I was feeling was overwhelming me. I kept praying, but still felt anxious and stressed. Mike sat down with me and prayed with me. Unfortunately, the tears would not let up. I cried for a good couple of hours, then Mike made me some chocolate chip pancakes. I still felt overwhelmed, but the pancakes helped. lol.

We are trusting the Lord to provide for our financial needs. I can not go to a laundry mat by myself. The laundry is too heavy for me to carry with my back being as bad as it is. We need a washer. Eventually the lawn mower will be replaced, perhaps with the garage sale money we earn this coming weekend. It is a little humorous this morning to look in the back yard and see half the lawn mowed. As far as Samuel being safe, I will be calling our alarm company to get more sensors put up, so the garage will be protected too. Samuel is in the Lord’s hands, no matter what anyway. My back may be a mess this morning, but I am praying it eases up as the day goes on.

This verse really ministered to me this morning- ” But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.” Psalm 59:16. I find that no matter how bleak things may look (or feel) when I go to bed, the Lord provides a clarity and hope when I rise in the morning. Thank you Lord for new perspective and feelings of refreshment instead of exhaustion!

2 of My Favorite Pregnancy Helps

Last week was a terrible week pain-wise and someone recommended the following product to me. I had heard of belly supports, but never one with a back support. My mom and sister loaded me into the wheelchair and took me to the Motherhood store in the Moreno Valley Mall. The saleslady was really helpful and knew exactly what I needed. This support wraps around my belly, then another piece wraps around my back and then the last piece goes above my belly. I have to admit it takes some getting used to, especially having to take it off and then put it on every time I use the bathroom, but with the relief I am getting, it is totally worth it! If you are pregnant and experiencing back pain, or if you belly is starting to feel really heavy, I recommend this product. It was $38.99 – a little spendy, but getting some relief is priceless!

My second favorite product that has been a huge help to me, not only during my pregnancy, but for about a year,  is what I call my Grabber. I think it may really be called a Gopher or something like that, but we call it my Grabber. Bending down to pick something up that I have dropped is close to impossible and doing so can cause me a terrible amount of pain. Without my Grabber, things would stay on the floor until Mike got home and picked up my trail of milk caps, socks, pens and other goodies! I paid $9.99 for it at Target. If you have a hard time picking things up, I would recommend this products to you for sure!

Update

Let me start this by letting you know that the pain makes my brain pretty fuzzy, so if none of this makes sense, forgive me! I feel the need to get some feelings out on “paper”.

I am just about in the middle of my 19th week- half way there! The last couple of weeks have been agonizing. The back pain I am experiencing is debilitating and thinking about another 4 1/2 months of this is scary and overwhelming. I see my doctor this morning for a regular check up and once again I will ask him if there is any medication I can take besides Tylenol for the pain. I would never want to do anything to put Samuel at risk, but with the pain I am in, I am wondering if the pain and stress my body is experiencing now would be worse than taking something.

Being completely dependent on people is one of the most difficult things in the world for me. I like to be the one who does everything, helps everyone. Not being able to even move on my own, to turn over or walk to the bathroom by myself is a struggle emotionally, not to mention physically! I have had so many people offer to help me, but I only feel comfortable with my mom and sister helping me. I would hate for someone to come into my home and think ill of me because it’s a mess. I know this is ridiculous since I can’t even move, but still, the pride creeps in and I refuse help. The Lord is working on me with this. As a woman, I want to alway appear presentable and able. Unfortunately, I’m neither on most days!

Another thing I am struggling with is my relationship with Mike. He is such a good caretaker. He helps me try to get comfortable and brings me anything that I need. When the pain is this bad, I don’t feel like myself. I am not talkative, I tend to turn inward and want to be alone. I hate that I push him away, but I feel myself doing it unintentionally. I want to be a wife, not a patient. I am also working on this.

It’s funny how when you have no choice but to be quite, the Lord shows you so much! He has shown me quite a few sins and shortcomings that I need to work on, but He has also showed me how blessed I am. I am sure I’m biased, but I am married to the most incredible man, I am carrying a miracle inside of me, and I have the best family in the world. I am so thankful for the blessings in my life; the pain does blind me to them at times. Learning to get through the pain and into the wonderful things in my life feels like crawling through mud. Fighting the depression and helplessness that accompanies chronic pain is honestly one of the hardest things I have ever done. Those of you who deal with a chronic illness know exactly what I’m talking about!

I worry people think I’m complaining when I talk about my pain, but I think that being honest about my struggles may help someone else who is struggling with similar feelings. I think people need to be more open about things like this. What I would give to have someone tell me that they feel the things I feel sometimes. We all struggle with something. Life isn’t easy – for anyone. We have an obligation to lift one another up and encourage one another to press on towards the goal, to keep our eyes on Jesus. I pray everyday that God uses my chronic pain to His glory.

There are a few ways that find meaning and comfort in the times when I feel like I’m barely treading water. One of them is writing notes to people. If I am helping someone else, then I don’t notice the pain so much. Another thing I do is pray for people. I have a unique opportunity to be home all the time not be able to move. I know that God can use that. If I can’t be out in the world being used, the Lord will use me right where I am. I also read my Bible a lot. I find much comfort in the Psalms. In the times when David was being hunted down by Saul, he poured out his agony on paper and it encourages me. He starts many psalms much like this post, feeling helpless and hopeless, but ends them with acknowledging the power of his God, the greatness of our Creator and Sustainer. Here is one of my favorites.

 

Psalm 13

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

I am praying the Lord uses my babbling to His glory. Although I feel that the enemy of pain is exalted over me most of the time, I trust in His steadfast love. I may be shaken, but my heart rejoices in His salvation because He has indeed dealt bountifully with me.