Wednesday, August 12, 2009

August Ramblings...

This is long. If you don't feel like wading through, at least read the last paragraph and verse. ;-)

I've been absent here...Facebook draws attention and addiction, but I want to put things here that I'm feeling...stuff that I don't want on FB. It has its merit, but sometimes we forget who all is reading that....that happens here, too, but I've kept my blog a bit of a secret to some friends and family.

This has been a roller-coaster season for me. I've been angry. I've been depressed. I've been frustrated. I've been joyful. I've been at utter peace and in utter desperation. Missy has been reporting on her journey with auto-immune disease. It makes me mad that she is going through this and brings back my journey of 20 some years ago when it officially began. I have several friends struggling so mightily that it makes me beyond pissed off. Robert's dealing with his heart issues--so unfair that a man with such a good heart is struggling with that physical heart. I have friends with cancer. My brother and stepmom's neurological diseases are progressing--Jill at Altered with ALS, KB and wife Ann struggling. We learn so much from these struggles; everyone has a journey, but now at my age, it begins to create more fear and anger. I'm supposed to be a mature spiritual person, and these things aren't supposed to phase me as much anymore, right? It seems I am able to handle them less.

Struggling on a day to day basis with my best furry friend has been heartbreaking, exhilarating, and frustrating all in one. Some folks won't understand the caring so much for a dog, but this one is special to me because she has changed my life. It's so unfair to watch her spirit, her life, her happiness, knowing that vital organs are failing, and yet be blessed that she is doing so well. She doesn't want to eat kidney diet food, so I have to prepare special stuff for her. When she turns her nose up at stuff I've labored over, it really gets me. A lot of people wouldn't even do this for their pets. I just can't give up for now. I had guilt over missed symptoms, but I think I've been relieved of that, believing that God has big plans for us all, in all circumstances. Women get bent out of shape when loved ones won't eat, don't you think? My guys say, "She's not hungry, forget it." Dogs are ALWAYS hungry. She wants to eat what she wants to eat, so that's where we are. Quality of life over quantity. Women, when someone dies or is sick, cook. We are life-bringers. Food=life. That's what we do.

I've never been on so much medication in my life. My lupus has flared, and I'm on a bunch of stuff I would never have touched before. Supplements, too. Only 2 medications pictured here are essential to my thyroid meds. The rest are treating symptoms of pain, fatigue, and depression. I take them with an open mind and a prayer that it is only for a short time. I am so tired, I fall asleep when I sit for any length of time.

Yet, still, if you've read this far, I have hope. Not Obama hope, mind you. ;-)
I've applied for a full time job that may open up in the next few weeks at the school that I love. It's not available yet, but God will figure all that out. I'm still a sub. I've worked on murals through this lupus season. I keep yelling at God, and He sticks with me no matter what.

The other day I was filling up my car with gas and I looked around at all the people wandering around without talking to each other. The TV show, "Joan of Arcadia" came to mind....God talks to Joan through other people, stepping into them to give her a word, a scolding, etc. I actually started berating God under my breath..."What's all this about, huh? What's with all the suffering?! Why are you letting good people hurt? Why can't you send one of these people over to give me a WORD....SOMETHING, ANYTHING from you that can soften this anger I have?! I don't want to be angry with You!" Nothing. I finished filling up and paying and went on my way. I needed to pick up some stuff from the vet, so walked in and it was empty except for a woman with a young, black mixed-breed dog. The dog's face was battle-scarred. White, furless, lines showed through the short black fur on her face. Scars showed up over her body. Yet, for whatever she had been through, she ambled over to me when I sat down. She put her paws on my knees, then reached a paw up to my face. I leaned over, placing my hands on her, softly petting her. She gave me sweet doggie kisses. Her owner came over and sat. I said, "What a sweet girl you have. What is her name?"
The woman responded, "Grace."
Ask and receive. :-)

Matthew 11:28-30 (New International Version)
28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."


Robert said...

Very good stuff here karen I love how you describe being at the gas station and just noticing all the people going by You have dealt with so much of your own pain and hurt physically,and you have such a caring loving heart for others I am encouraged by seeing you honestly share when you are angry and frustrated with Him and all that is going on, because it shows me He listens and He wants our real selves, not just to act like we are perfectly holy and joyful all the time. Hope your best doggy hangs in there!!!

karen said...

Thanks, Robert. He does listen, and He speaks. Sometimes we just don't listen.

... Paige said...

Thanks Karen

Missy said...

Thanks, K, for helping me (us!) feel less alone. It's interesting that we're both suffering similarly and looking into the same work. And that pharmacy you have there looks like my bed-side table collection. :)

It's a very good thing to know that God can handle our anger, better than we could ever imagine. Grace #2 was a sweet gift.

I'm praying for you. I hope the right work for your hands and the right comfort for your body comes soon.

Love ya, sis.

Anonymous said...

Just when we think we are on our own He reminds us that He will never leave us or forsake us.

Karen, I love our get togethers via Skype and you and yours are never far from our thoughts or prayers.

We love you.

karen said...

Thanks to you, Paige. You are a constant source of inspiration.

Missy, love ya, too, sis. Praying for your healing.

Dave and Kriss, I so love you both! Thank you.

Kansas Bob said...

I am agreeing with this Karen:

"I take them with an open mind and a prayer that it is only for a short time."

Sorry for the rough season and wishing life was just plain easier.. I so resonate with so much of what you wrote.

Hang in there.

Love and blessings, Bob

Mark D said...

Wow, I can relate on so many levels...roller coaster season is a good way of describing it. Thinking of you and praying for you.

brian said...

Wow, Karen. That was some powerful stuff. I *loved* Joan of Arcadia. Our whole family was crushed when that show was taken off of the air.

I wish I had something profound to say. But, I don't. I just wanted to let you know I read your post and I care.


karen said...

KB, thanks...I know you can relate. I don't know how you and Ann do it...
Mark, thank you--I know you've been doing a lot!
Brian, thank you. I know we disagree on a lot of stuff...but I love to hear what you have to say, and that we are cyberfriends :-)

Milly said...

No words just tears

chris said...

Karen, I needed to read this at this time, thanks for sharing.

Lynne said...

Love your brave and generous heart! To all of you that struggle with ongoing illness -- my heart, my prayers, my admiration! I really don't know how you do it -- except grace!! Apart from my chronic back condition, I have life very easy in the physical realm. Hugs to you all, and a genuine prayer that God will encourage that secret place in your heart that needs it most!

Connie said...

I have been remiss in visiting because I hadn't seen new postings for awhile. Yes, it is a roller coaster for many. There are many ideas out there about suffering, and most of them suck when it is on us. No matter what, He doesn't leave us or forsake us. Imagine Jesus sweating blood knowing He would suffer such pain and humiliation in just a short while. The ones who were his friends would not be there for him.

I guess all I can do is offer some healing hands and some compassion in knowing to some degree what grace can get us through. Stalker friends? or judging children or autoimmune disease or preparing to say goodbye to a beautiful best friend...all thorns.

I have enjoyed singing so much again. I'm sure it has helped balance the blood chemistry. And holding a new grand baby has been so therapeutic.

He said before he left that he left us his peace. Sometimes I forget to grab ahold of that. I take my eyes off and sink into the sea of hopelessness. Taking the thoughts captive as much as we are able is the greatest struggle of life.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Oh Karen, you are wonderful. I wish I had a different word for it but that's what comes to mind. I think you minister to a lot of us just by being you. I understand dog love very well :)

Loriann said...

Wow, I needed that today. It has been that kind of week. I will be checking back... Our 9 year old has health issues, but throught it we see God working through us, we are but vessels. thank you for being a vessel fo God today, He has used you in ministering to us. Much love and prayers, Lori and girls... feel free to stop by,

karen said...

Milly, I so feel for your struggles right now. Wish I could hug you.
Lynne, you are such a minister. Make a church!
Chris, thanks, I miss you.
Connie, thank you for everything, for being my in the flesh minister.
Barbara, thank you for inspire me. Thank you. I pray for your struggles.
Lori, thank you, I needed that encouragement. I'm coming to visit you!