Friday, December 31, 2010

The Stick Man

As we drive in and out of our neighborhood, we often see Bill, an older fellow, out and about. The road we travel out of has no homes facing either side; just fences and a grassy area to the street.

Bill is probably not as old as he looks. He's pleasant enough, very cordial and mannerly. He is a gentleman. He is quite slender and white haired. He mostly wears dark slacks and a white tee-shirt. He moves from one end of his side of the street to around the middle. He labors in the cold or the heat. I've seen him in 100 degree weather. I've asked if we can help. He politely declines and thanks me.

He picks up and moves sticks and branches from one part of the street to another.

I'm fascinated by this activity; as I said, I've offered help, but this appears to be Bill's thing to do. Is he well? Is he delusional?

The work he is doing is not really improving or altering the appearance of the grassy knolls. He makes a pile one day, then collects them up to another pile another day. I suspect that there is a mental thing going on, but, I also suspect that Bill is also acting on basic human nature.

We need purpose.

In his eyes and mind, he is collecting the chaotic and cleaning up the area.

I can identify with this. Can you? I must feel useful in order to feel good about myself. Now, whether this is the Father's complete plan for us is another matter. He certainly wants us to rest, to play, to ponder, to drink coffee--er, scratch that last one! He knows we require balance in our lives...something that I struggle with constantly. I feel guilty if I'm not active.

So, Bill may be pursuing purpose here, while he's still here. He's not always there, so I assume he has balance in some manner of his existence--he must rest. Maybe his purpose isn't just moving sticks. Maybe, just maybe, he is also reminding us to put the sticks down once in a while.

Happy New Year! Praying for a blessed 2011 for you and yours!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Progress with one of our spec ed kiddos, the non-verbal. He has some violent tendencies, but he loves music. I brought my guitar a Friday ago and I played one song. He signed, "More, please."
Awesome! I almost cried.
One of the first things I've taught him is emotions on the CHATT board. When he can tell us he is angry, sad, etc., he is less likely to lash out. I guess that's true of us all, hmm?
I'm struggling with the certification thing. I'm so tired when I come home. I do more than expected, and take work home. If I'm teaching, I'll have even more coming home. With CMS and Lupus, I just don't know if I can do it. A bit frustrating. I usually end up taking a nap when I get home and don't get much else accomplished.
Got to let Him lead the way. It's hard. I keep getting in His way.
This year is flying by. I find that I am letting little distractions get in the way of my visits with our Father. That makes me more stressed and scattered. I have a new friend, a bipolar fellow, who is pressing into God and that has helped me to get more grounded. We always have to be brought back, don't we? We let past and future mess with our present.

Exodus 4:2
The Lord askes Moses, "What is in your hand?"

We are led out of bondage, right?
The shepherd's staff is in our hand. No regrets about the past, no fear about the future. Stay in the present with His plans for us.
Gotta remember that.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

6 months....

...since I posted something here. Unbelievable. I have felt the void. As I've said, FB is fast and voyeuristic.
I've been doing pretty well. How about you?
I got the job at the school, which I love. It's kicking my butt, though, I must admit. Very physical, but I think that's better for me than sitting around all day.
My last bloodwork indicates I'm in a fibro/myofascial flare-up, not a lupus flare. That is good. However, I'm exhausted. I think season changes mess with all of us.

My husband was recently diagnosed with diabetes, so he is finally taking his diet and exercise seriously. He's lost 40 pounds and can feel the difference. Our diets are completely incompatible! He can eat protein, I stay clear of animal protein. I'm supposed to eat the grains, etc., he isn't. Planning a meal is a challenge.

My job is very rewarding. I can't decide whether or not to pursue a certificate to teach special ed. I'm so tired at the end of the day, I can't imagine being followed home with lesson plans and paperwork. In this economy, though, the extra dough wouldn't hurt! The kids are amazing. They told me it would be a quiet year, but instead we got our biggest child challenge ever. A teacher and 2 paras (me and another woman) are the team that works with this child. He is non-verbal, very big for his age, and can be violent. The team works VERY well together. We adore each other and we adore this child now, too. He has made great strides and we get a kick out of what he does each day. Although they said he was low-functioning, he is very clever and we are working with him with sign language and a communication board. He is even using a touch screen on a computer...playing games! What a rewarding job!

Well, that's about it for me...I'll check on your blogs and see what's up...that you haven't shared on FB. What a phenomenon. I need to get back to the spiritual aspect of blogging, though. There's something to be said for a little anonimity, too. Bless ya.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Throwing my arms up....

Can you hear me laughing through pain? If so, could you record it so I can hear it? Ha!
Since my last posts, I've been battling other 'demons' so to speak. Now, I'm down with a back problem that hasn't improved but briefly, in a week. Normally, I'm okay after a couple days.

Having to cancel a week's work of subbing at the school I just applied to for a para job will NOT look good. No kidding, I've applied 3 times for that job and something always came up.

So, here's to you Lord of the Universe....just please tell me what you want me to do. I give up! ;-)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Tests were fine yesterday. I found myself praying for other people getting tested so I wouldn't be too worried. It turned out to be a great day; good reports and hubby took me to health center and out to lunch. He's been a rock through all of this. It's strengthened our relationship ten-fold.
I forgot, on last post, to mention the only thing that really helped me through this: prayer. Nothing else worked. It was through Godly conversation that I got the idea to check everything. Looking back, this struggle put a strain on my relationship with Him. I was just so tired of battling everything.
This certainly doesn't mean that there are no more battles. But, I have this on record to remind me of Who is there always.

Friday, April 16, 2010

God's promises

I feel like I've just come home from an exhausting battle. A mini-hell, so to speak. I took great comfort from your comments on my last post. I tried so hard to get the anxiety I was experiencing under control, to no avail. Rational thought, logic, meditation, self-hypnosis...nothing worked. What a nightmare! I'd wake up in the morning in a panic attack every morning....for no real reason. I'd look at a picture and it would touch off some memory...that would then set off an anxiety attack, sadness, feelings of loss. All the things in life that gave me joy were stolen by fear and panic. I ended up taking low doses of xanax so I could just get enough calm to talk off the negative thoughts, the "ANTs" as Dr. Amen, that brain dude, calls them. Automatic Negative Thoughts.
I thought I was going insane. I remembered my mom and my grandmother being anxious all the time and I regretted every irritated thought that I remember I had when they would express anxiousness (which they usually did in an irritated way.) I thought, okay, this is payback for lack of patience.
I decided to go to the doctor and get all hormones checked. My DHEA came back very low for my age; 2 others were high. I have to have another couple tests on Monday, but for the last week and a half, doc has had me on a high dose of DHEA for 5 days, and lower dose for the rest of this month.
No more anxiety.
I had a stressful week and was sure that it would set me off, but no attacks.
Is it that simple?! Amazing. DHEA. Who would have thought? My Chinese doc's been trying to get me to take that for over a year.
Now I have to get through the tests on Monday; a bit concerned, but not losing any sleep over it. Peace in a little bottle, and not xanax.
Then, in retrospect, I felt so bad for my mom and grandma. Mom took lots of cortisone for her lupus...and probably was suffering the same effects. This makes me sad, but I pray and I believe they are now no longer in any mood but joyful!
A couple summers ago, we had to have our backyard trees taken out, leaving a constant barren and sun-filled garden. Not being able to hang out in the sun, I was disappointed. I had a rose bush, Lady Jane roses I think, by my garden wall but they never produced roses. Too much shade. This year has been a bounty. There are even more on this bush now than when the picture was taken.
I thought about God's promises. He doesn't promise that we won't suffer loss, but He does promise that He'll be there with us. He turns mourning into gladness. Whatever has been taken in my life has always been replaced with something amazing--blessings after loss.
I hope you are walking in blessings and gladness, too.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Notes from the desert

I feel like I've been wandering for 40 years. Or maybe about 52. I've been in a place that I thought I'd never be...or, at least stay for any length of time. I thought stuff would roll off of me easier as I got older, but fear just seems to be my nasty friend lately...or was. I feel like I've been up to my neck in sand...or, rather, quicksand.

I thought God had left me, then I realized He was always here, I just was listening to the wrong voice; the voice that lies to us and tries to steal our joy. I seem to battle this battle a lot, and I'm darned tired of it. Talk about repeating lessons.

Joshua 1:9 (New International Version) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

And, yet...walking away from the hospital experience left me fearful again. My fears of disability rise and fall frequently. For some stupid reason, I don't pay attention to all the good results I got from all the poking and prodding they did. In the end, it was nothing, and if it wasn't, there isn't a lot more I can do about anything. My diet and such is as good as it gets. Only He knows the number of our days.

My experience there was positive. It wasn't til I got home that the anxiety stuff started up. I guess when you have a ministry that involves prayer, you get hit with all the sadness and illness that is out there, and that breeds empathy, which can breed fear. I had a thought that the reason I was there when I was, wasn't for ME, it was for all of them there. Connie came up and we ministered to one nurse. I had nurses and techs come in, and I resolved to greet them all as if they were royalty...and they, in turn, treated me the same. I heard a lot of stories from them; stories about their own pain and sadness. I encouraged as much as I could. I got to share faith with them, too. It was an amazing experience. Until I got some of the bills, of course. ;-)

When my dad was in the hospital, I felt very much alone. My brother can't help, but when my husband could get some time from work, he came up and helped. He helped toward the end of the stint when I was just about out of patience. Dad had surgery on a Sunday, and I walked into the waiting room. There was one other family there. I headed for the coffee pot and one of the men came over and warned me about the ickiness of said java. I thanked him and went for some tea. By the time I sat down, they were called to go see their loved one. That left me all alone in the huge waiting room. I busied myself with crosswords, books, internet, etc., in hopes of not thinking about my dad not surviving. Had I known the extent of his gallbladder problem, I'd have been worse off, but I did suspect. I was also concerned about his age and having to have platelets administered because of his taking Plavix. By the grace of God, it had ruptured up against his liver, which kept the contents smooshed and encapsulated by the other side of the intact gallbladder wall.

I felt very alone as I sat there, and said, "Lord, I know you're here and all, but I'm feeling pretty lonely and worried. I need some help." I mean, have you EVER seen an empty surgery waiting room??

In a minute or two, in walks a woman around my age. We look at each other, and she heads for the coffee machine. I told her to avoid it if possible. She thanks me. I look back at my book and she starts to sit down. I ask her, "How are you?" She stands up and looks at me and responds, "I'm doing good with the strength of the Lord! How are you?" I responded that I was, too, now! She said, "You know, I came in here asking the Lord that I knew He was here, but to please not leave me all alone without another soul. " I said, "Me, too. Now, we're not alone." We' praised God.

Isn't that amazing? We still keep in touch. We talked and both of us work with Special Ed kids. She is planning a ministry. Pretty awesome work by our Papa God.

So, you'd think that I'd just chill and shut up with the whining and fear and get over it, and trust, right?? Well, the disciples doubted and they had Him right there with them in the flesh.

The other day I was dealing with this stuff again; fear about health, the future, etc. I got exasperated and yelled out in the car (sure that looked good to others) " I need something from You! Please!"

Then the plumber came to the house. Our commode was making a leaking noise and my engineer hubby thought it best not to try to fix it. Probably a wise move. Anyway, I tidied up the toilet area, and took the copy of The Shack from there out of his way. (yeah, we read there, too) I almost put it on the bookshelf in the bedroom, but instead felt compelled to leave it in the bathroom in full view. When the plumber (Jerry) came in, that was the first thing he saw and from there ensued an incredible conversation of testimony about how the book helped him; his recovery from alcoholism, his personal relationship with Jesus, etc. It was amazing, too.

So, I'm better. Still battling, but I realize the battle is with nothing more than the enemy...and sometimes I am my own enemy. I have an auto-immune disease, which means that my body fights against itself.

Time to stop that. The sword is out to fight the right battles, not for self-inflicted wounds.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why? Why??

I don't know why I hang on the facebook thing. It's like voyeurism...a quick peek at everyone's life.

This takes more work. I've already talked about it, but maybe I'm getting lazy in my old age.

I've applied and been accepted in an alternative certification process for special ed. I'll eventually get certified to teach art...that should be easy, but the special ed kids just pull at my heart. I overheard some teachers complaining about one of my kiddos the other day, and it really stabbed at me. I'm subbing for a long period for a teacher who is out with an injury. I'll be replaced after I'm there close to 30 days for a certified special ed sub because I'm not "highly qualified" yet. Good luck is all I can say to that sub. I've known the kids I'm working with for 4 years. I'm worried about when they have a stranger with them. It's been hard enough without their regular teacher that they've known even longer than me.

Spent a night and a day in the hospital being poked and prodded after a suspected TIA; my regular Dr. thinks it is a sciatic thing. I lost almost all sensation in a leg. Kinda freaked me out and made me reconsider working full time. It seems my working has just been interupted with family and me being dad was in the hospital for gallbladder removal a month or so ago. I spent a week up in his neck of the woods bouncing back and forth between the hospital and making sure my step mom was okay with home health care.

I'm on prednisone and fighting every impulse to eat anything that comes my way. Chocolate...fear me!! It's just a short course, so hopefully the damage won't be done too much.

Getting older is freaky. I've gotten so much joy out of working with these kids, the days fly by. It won't be easy, but we'll see where God is leading.

I have a few hospital stories to share...both from my dad's stay, and mine. God made Himself known both places! Next time! :-)