Sunday, July 29, 2012

John's health...

Just a little update for those of you who are following our 3-year journey through brain surgery and its aftermath. for the purpose of clarity I think is important to point out that John actually has two totally separate issues going on here, for one he sees a neurologist for the other a neurosurgeon.

1. Neurologist: A few weeks ago John had a VERY encouraging appointment with the neurologist where he learned that after his next appointment (I think in 6 months) as long as he has had no additional episodes, the neurologist will discontinue his anti-seizure meds. One other encouraging neurologist note: it was revealed that while a diagnosis of seizures cannot totally be ruled out, our neurologist does not think the episodes John has been plagued with are seizures. He feels they are a result of anxiety/stress. That is VERY good news.

2. Neurosurgeon: Last week was John's appointment with the neurosurgeon and that was not quite as encouraging. Because John's neck pain is just NOT improving, Dr. Ahuja is ordering an MRI to see if John will need to have surgery to fuse the vertebrae in his neck. [DON'T even get me STARTED on the fear, anxiety, dread that rises in my belly at the thought of that concept! In fact for several days, I have been in denial pretending that the doctor didn't even say that.] When the piece of John's skull was removed and remodeled, it shifted the weight distribution on his neck. Previously bulging discs in his neck which had never caused THAT much discomfort are now bearing MUCH more of the weight of his head; therefore, the pain will not subside. We are waiting for a call from Aurora to schedule the MRI and have also taken the preemptive measure of finally scheduling a chiropractor appointment for John. For the past three years, John has craved, yet feared, returning to the chiropractor. The thought of being adjusted even with modifications made to compensate for the change to the structure of his skull/neck is NOT appealing. Well the threat of surgery was just the shove he needed. We are praying that through our trusted and beloved chiropractor of over 20 years, God will bring the healing and relief necessary to avoid another surgery.

3. You know when I was a student in a Christian jr. hi/high school, I used to HATE it when people had "unspoken" prayer requests. The "unspoken" made me too darn curious, and it seemed kinda oxymoronic to SPEAK an UNSPOKEN request.  Regardless, here I am about to do it myself. There are several nuances to this health trial we are working our way through that I just don't feel released by God to share the details of... they are private... confidential... yet AGONIZING. Please, please, please, when lifting us up, keep in mind that the things I've shared represent the part of the iceberg which is visible above the water line. Please take a moment to pray over the gargantuan chunk of ice hidden beneath the water's surface too.

As always, we are SAFE and SURE in the capable hands of our Father. We know our lives, our health our very existence are under HIS watchful eye. He controls our destiny. He directs our fate. But we wouldn't mind having a little prayer support from our faithful brothers and sisters in Christ too.

And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

my life as a lesson: Lessons I learned from Mercy

my life as a lesson: Lessons I learned from Mercy: I need to begin this blog with a HUGE disclaimer. I am NOT a cat person. I really am not. I can hardly stand cats. In fact (as MANY woul...

Monday, July 23, 2012

A healthy diet....

I'm warning you now: at first glance this blog will seem disjointed, but give me time, and I promise I will try to pull it together.

Part 1:  Novenah has started her journey into the world of solid foods. As I read up on the progressions she should follow and the recommendations for introducing solids, I understood them a little differently than I did when I was reading them for Noah, Jeremiah. Elijah and Hannah. See this time, I'm not the momma so I am a little removed from the situation and able to look at it a little differently. When I was the momma, I assumed that I wasn't supposed to give my baby sweets and juice and junk before he/she was _____ age because he/she would certainly DIE if I gave them something out of the recommended progressions. This time, I'm able to more clearly see that introducing single-grain cereals, then veggies, then fruit isn't so that the baby doesn't DIE, it is so the baby learns to develop a taste (and liking) for the healthy foods before developing a liking for the not so healthy foods. 

Part 2: Jeremiah got an iPod for his birthday. He LOVES that thing and walks around singing songs none of the rest of us can hear at the top of his lungs. The other day he came up to me and said, "Mom, I have a GREAT idea." Every day of the week, I'm going to listen to my regular songs on my iPod, but on Sundays I'm only going to listen to godly music."  While I applauded his devotion to giving God one day of the week, I questioned whether giving 1 day to God and 6 to himself was proportional. It is not like Jeremiah is going to DIE from listening to regular music, BUT maybe like Novenah, he should fill up on the healthy stuff FIRST before indulging in the not as healthy stuff.

Application: Maybe I need to fill up on the healthy stuff (Bible reading, prayer, worship) before I indulge in the not as healthy stuff (TV, chatting). Some of the not as healthy stuff (work stress) is unavoidable. But I guess Novenah & Jeremiah just really got me thinking that I need to watch my proportions in life. I need to work to develop a "taste" for the healthy things in life and limit my indulgence in the unhealthy things. For if I fill up on the unhealthy stuff first, I will not get enough healthy things in my "diet."

Just a little food for thought for today.... What are you filling up on?  Do you need to switch your proportions? If you have too much of a "taste" for sweets and junk foods, it will take work and discipline but you CAN retrain your "pallet" to enjoy the healthier things.  I for one am going to try.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday...

Reviving an old tradition.... Since it has been so long, this Thankful Thursday will be a list of random things I am thankful for:

*living close to Marquette University
*our new (to us) minivan
*new friendships
*John getting better and stronger every day
*a job that allows me to work from home
*good health benefits
*my AMAZING children
*a break in the heat
*my loving parents
*my FABULOUS sisters
*old friendships
*strong and healthy body
*working appliances
*my tiny little house
*a smaller yard to mow
*fewer toilets to clean
*a fridge full of groceries

I could keep on going, but I need to get started with my busy day. In closing I will quote some very wise vegetables:  A thankful heart is a happy heart.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Free to a good home... (well maybe ANY home)

I find myself up hours too early this morning (since 4 a.m.) because the dog woke me to go out and then ran away.  It was one of those "Jami" moments: I realized a little too late that the shock collar was turned off as I beeped and beeped the remote, and she didn't come running. I hopped in the car and took a drive around the neighborhood. Nada. I returned home to wait and collapsed EXHAUSTED into a lawn chair only to instantly feel my entire rear end become wet from the puddle that was occupying the chair's seat. Now as I sit here on the couch unwilling to go back to bed because I have to get back up in 38 minutes, I realize I may have the perfect vehicle to blog about a concept that has LONG burned on my heart.

Do you feel bad for me right now? Do you feel bad for my sleep-deprived, wet-bottomed condition? or are you thinking, "She's just getting the consequences of her OWN actions." and  "We've been reading about this STUPID runaway dog for 2 years now! Why hasn't she gotten rid of that dog?" or "Shoulda checked the shock collar before she let the dog out."

See while I READILY admit that my sad, wet-bottomed situation is a result of my own actions, I would like to present that it is still okay to feel sympathy for this sad, old lady sitting on her couch with a wet bottom.

So often I see people within the body of Christ using a time of hardship as the time to preach to the person struggling, and it makes me SHAKE MY HEAD. Does it matter if a person got lung cancer from chain smoking for years or from never smoking a day in their life? One way or another cancer SUCKS and that person needs some compassion. Why are we THE BODY OF CHRIST so quick to point the finger at teenage pregnancy instead of opening our arms and embracing that wounded, struggling girl?

It is my contention that at the point of suffering consequences, the struggling soul does NOT need anyone to preach him/her a sermon. At that point, the consequences are preaching their own sermon LOUD & CLEAR. Instead, at the point of suffering consequences, the struggling soul is PERFECTLY poised to hear about the LOVE, MERCY and FORGIVENESS of our God.

I contend that Jesus would open His arms. Welcome the person into His embrace. Pour soothing oil on wounds and minister LOVING forgiveness to the battered soul. I contend that is what we should do too.

Whether you feel bad about my wet-bottomed self or not, the title of this blog is not just witty, it is for real. I think it is time for our precious little Kiah to find a new home. She is a GREAT dog, GENTLE with children, loving and kind. But she is a RUNNER and this crazy, busy mother of 4, caregiver to 7 does NOT have the time to deal with the subtle nuances of having a runaway dog anymore. Over the next few days I will be SERIOUSLY praying about posting this dog back on Freecycle so if you are interested in a dog, let me know. We love her and would rather she go to a good home.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

my life as a lesson: Skittle-Pooping Unicorns...

Thinking of this blog this morning....

my life as a lesson: Skittle-Pooping Unicorns...: Have you seen Facing the Giants ? If you haven’t, you need to! If you have, you should watch it again! What an inspirational movie! I cry ev...

Monday, July 16, 2012

My old house....

The past few weeks I have really been struggling. I MISS my quiet country abode. The past few days I can't stop seeing what I gave up:

*big, beautiful house
*expansive garden
*swimming pool
*riding lawn mower
*5 garages
*more than 1 bathroom
*QUIET, secluded existence
*wind turbines
*that BIG country sky
*rolling farmland
*the smell of fresh air
*a clothesline

I literally have tears in my eyes just from typing that list! I miss my Iron Ridge address.

 I know! I know! I know!

*We need to be closer to work, hospitals and family.
*We are saving money hand-over-fist by living in Milwaukee.
*no more CRAPPY country Internet
*yada yada yada

But I miss having room for this loud, crazy family to spread out. I miss being able to let my kids RUN, free & WILD about their neighborhood. I miss not sharing a toilet with a 91-year old woman who CANNOT keep things IN the toilet. I miss bonfires and grill-outs and ROOM for parties. I miss my KITCHEN!!!!!

So what's a girl to do? I shed a few tears, allowed myself a little mopey time, but now it is time to pull up my big girl panties and figure out what's the lesson to be learned here. I think there is more than just one.

1. NOTHING IS PERFECT! No matter how great something seems. No matter how ideal, God-timed, fabulous something is, NOTHING IS PERFECT! This tiny, little home I currently reside in is ideal. Moving in here was perfectly timed by God. Being closer to everything/everyone and saving TONS of money is FABULOUS. But NOTHING IS PERFECT. We had to give up A LOT for ideal, God-timed and fabulous. That doesn't make this new address, this tiny place any LESS AMAZING. AMAZING doesn't have to be perfect.

2. NOTHING LASTS FOREVER! What this lesson means TO YOU I do not know. Does it mean, hug your kids because you aren't promised tomorrow? Does it mean appreciate your expansive home because tomorrow you could be in foreclosure? Does it mean value your health and your youth for each day you're only getting older and you may not be healthy forever? I don't know. For me, it means be grateful for our jobs which are allowing us to make ends meet; be grateful for benefits which allow us to see the doctor, get glasses, and save money on our cell phone bill; be grateful for young children who are still living under my roof where I can love on them, teach them and build them up; be grateful for the friends, family and other blessings I have.... NOTHING LASTS FOREVER so the lesson for me is to be careful of taking anything for granted.

3. It is OKAY to feel. Sometimes as Christians I think we feel we have to slap a happy face on everything. But it is OKAY to feel.... to be sad, to be frustrated, to feel overwhelmed. We are human and it is OKAY to feel. We just have to be careful we do not allow our feelings to control us.

So I'm going to allow myself to feel a bit mopey.... to remember my REALLY COOL house with sad nostalgia... but then I'm gonna pull up my big girl pants and get on with what I need to do... remembering to appreciate everything I have.

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