Kids watch. The older I get one of the things that shows love the most is how spouses treat each other especially in front of the children. I want my son to see the way to treat a woman in the way my husband treats me. I am not referring to gifts (though that is nice), I am talking about kind words and actions that show love.
The tone of your voice. The words that are spoken. The sacrifice of your time. The things that keep a marriage strong and going even when getting along and growing old is challenging. During Sunday school, a kid gave me this answer while filling out the craft and it almost made me cry. This dad gets it and the child sees it.
We said good-bye to our dog of 16 years this week.
To be honest, it was time, but that does not make it easier. She was deaf, blind and like her sister suffering from kidney disease.
We knew it was coming, but still not ready. It all happened quickly while we were in the Bahamas, but thankful we could make it back home so we could be together.
Explaining death to a 9 year old never is easy, but it gives us more opportunity to talk about God and heaven and Jesus.
The hurt is real, but so is the beauty of a best friend. The creature at my feet each night and the unconditional love in the loneliness. The loyal companion of my adult years. I miss her busting through the closet or barging in on my bathtime. Even miss the way she did anything to get to food…I miss her. But the pain is worth the 16 years of joy and the happy times of her youth.
One of my favorite things to do is work in the preschool at church. I get to love on babies, play with toddlers, tell little ones about Jesus and SHOW them God’s love on display. Tell each kid that Jesus knows his or her by name.
I get to give parents an hour to worship undistracted by little ones. My time with their children help ls them to feed their souls. Is it loud and crazy…oh yes. But is it important?
Nothing else matters.
The kingdom belongs to these littles. We must be careful to train up the next generation so the church carries on until He returns.
Be the church wherever you fit in using whatever gift He bestowed upon you.
I have several solid groups of girl friends. Girls connected in different ways. Moms of kids the same age, baseball moms, teacher friends, church friends, high school friends…women with things in common that get together and breathe.
My husband says this is harder to find in the man world. Maybe it is just him…who knows, but I am grateful. Grateful I can be vulnerable. Grateful we can vent or celebrate together. Just Grateful we can drink, dance, and let loose in our sweatpants and sweatshirts with hair pulled up and no make up.
If you are fortunate to find those friends then keep them and make time for them.
Today I go to two doctors to check on symptoms of inflammation. One is an eye doctor…my eyes have been on fire lately and the second is my regular check up to see if the Methextrate is working or we need to try something new. Many Lupus drugs have serious side effects, so I need to be careful and check blood work often.
Going to the doctor today got me thinking about all my flares the past ten years. I often get asked “What does a flare feel like?” My response is “Which one?”
My first flare was my worst…achy joints, high fever always, weight loss, fatigue, cold all the time. We started Plaquenil and within three months I was feel good again…a new norm of anemia, infertility and fatigue always, but not hurting.
My second big flare was achy joints, fatigue and hair loss. Patches of bald spots and an itchy scalp that kinda surprised me since I did not know my hair was connected to auto immune issues
My third big flare was my scariest. Lung inflammation. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. I could not catch my breath and my chest hurt. Again, no clue my lungs could be connected to my Lupus.
This one has lasted the longest…mirrored more Rheumatoid arthritis than Lupus. It caused me to change my meds to focus on joint pain rather than fatigue. It caused my hands to go crooked and surprisingly has impacted my eyes. No clue if it is inflammation or allergy or random coincidence but my eyes have been burning. This flare also impacted my weight and fatigue and now thinning hair. A big surprise is the new inflammation in my stomach…food does not process which makes me feel malnourished.
The crazy thing is insurance causes me to need referrals and it is hard to know what can be treated with a GP versus a specialist. So much is determined by Lupus and is just confusing. So my goal today is to get answers and maybe a better plan. I feel good mentally, but Lupus can cause depression too and I have had that this time as well. Pray that God leads me to answers and wisdom today!
I am blessed with all the advancements in this tricky disease. I am learning to accept myself at my lowest weight, infertile, bruised from blood thinners, thin hair that does not grow out and feeling tired all the time. Learning I am who I am with this disease. No one can truly understand it through my eyes and what I go through each day to make it to the next as a mom and teacher and wife…but God is using this for His glory! Adoption and more has been a gift in this and I am not dead. I have felt like dying is near at times or even frustrated that my quality of life at 42 is so different …if this is 42 what will 62 feel like…will I live to see 72? Does my child get the mother he deserves?
In it all, I will take this life and live it awake. I will appreciate what I do have through a support system and medical team. God is good!
Today I am focusing on Psalm 136:1. I am giving thanks to God. Thankful for my body. Thankful for my medical team. Thankful for prescription drugs. Thankful for a supportive husband. Thankful for prayer. Thankful for days to take off for the doctor. Thankful for the beauty in the ashes. Thankful on purpose.
I fail at this daily. The author of the Bible Recap says “You are a person that reads her Bible, wants to read her Bible or wants to want to read her Bible.” I fall in the middle.
I am on Day 102 of a Bible reading plan, but should be on Day 175 I think. I started strong then stalled. I thought summer days would catch me up and I failed at that, too. My problem is distractedness. I sit down then lose focus. I am a failure.
Now, I celebrate that I have read 102 more days of the Bible than I read last year, but I can do better. I want to do better. I feel better and can handle life better when God’s truth is poured into me. I strive to be more like God.
But believing God is where the joy is at is much different than living it, so I continue to pray and do more. Truthfully, every time God has called me to study His word…he ends up preparing me for a battle where His word has sustained me. I will see if this time is different, but I know I am armed with the truth and that is enough.
I was super surprised when my husband texted to get a sitter, he had a reservation and we were going out. First, he is not romantic so him planning date night was super special and second the place was fancy! We had not been to a steak place in like a decade. Steaks were our norm before kids, but then who has 300 dollars for a meal (we drink a lot). So this was a splurge and I loved it!
I got to get super dressed up, take an hour to get ready, and we even did pre drinks and much needed talking. The roads were getting bad so we cut the night short to get the kid, but it was a night we needed and memories to last for the next decade when we do it again!
Temps are expected to get above freezing today as this winter storm rolls out and I already feel some normalcy in the air. Stores reopening. People driving. Making plans.
It is time. Have not worn a real bra or gotten out of the house since Saturday night. Ate only homecooked meals the entire week….no.take out.at.all. No packages delivered. Just chilled at home. Spent a fortune on water and electricity, but we were fortunate to have no pipes burst. Saw hospitality and kindness in so many different ways. Tried to give what I could in any area around me that did not need it. Walked in the snow to deliver a birthday gift. A neighbor brought me tea bags. Friendship.
Read books, took online classes, worked out virtually, read with my son, watched movies and DVDs. Worked around the house. Binged on social media. Slowed down. Read my Bible and my Book Study for church and school. Recharged. Took a break.
Now back to the grind. Will never forget this week of snow with my son. Taking one last day to enjoy it then kiss it goodbye. Epic pictures and memories to last a lifetime.