Category Archives: Facebook

5 Things I Learned from Lupus

Standard

I feel like I am a success story with Lupus. One big reason is that the good Lord gave me mild symptoms and for that I am grateful, but another big reason is I have learned to live with it and know my place with this autoimmune disease. So here are the top five things I have learned after being in tune with my autoimmune:

1. What you eat matters!

This took me a while to accept but it is true. Certain foods (mostly processed) will send me into achy overdrive. It does not mean that I cannot or do not eat those delicious cheese fries, Cheetos or fried anything…but it does mean I know I will pay the price and honestly it is not always worth it.

2.Have less fear if the liquid is clear.

I had read somewhere that the darker the liquid, the more things added to it. No clue if it is true, but I have found the clear liquids do not send my body fighting as much as the dark. Coke, beer, sweet tea (why, God, why?) get me achy and fatigued, but if I stay with Vodka, Sprite or of course water then I can usually keep the party going.

3. Say yes to the mattress!

Who would say no to a good nap?? I immediately get sick when I live a lifestyle of less than 8 hours of sleep. Now life is busy so this is not always possible, but our bodies are made to need rest and we need to choose to listen.

4.Say NO to stress!!

As a teacher, stress is inevitable. A quote I read says “Teachers make more minute by minute decisions than a surgeon.” I believe this…so stress will happen, but I can choose to avoid stress whenever possible and I do. One way is I stopped watching reality shows or any show that is fighting just to fight…trust me this was hard…but Real Housewives or Mobwives just had to go. FB drama had to go too…I refuse to click on the video with the fight or add comments to the political posts going nowhere. In my marriage, when things get heated…I go to the word and prayer instead. Life in general is lived more peacefully when you know God is in control and has a purpose for you. Now, I am not quite at the place where yoga is more calming than painful, but I am sure I will get there.

5. FINALLY..Exercise helps.

This is tricky because overdoing it wears me out. Also, when I have already worked all day the last thing I have energy to do is go to the gym, but it helps. I will admit that. Probably helps with the stress and mind part of things, too. But I used to refuse to work out and now I make time for it. In the beginning, it is exhausting, but as you build stamina it gets better. 

Now I am sure you are all reading and thinking duh! Even people without Lupus know eat right, get exercise, and rest will help the body…but here is the question: do you do it? Likely, a little but not all the way. I have learned I have to do it or I have no energy, run a fever and experience joint pain. No fun, right? So everything is a choice but my choice is made loud and clear with my body. I have learned to (finally) listen to my Lupus for a happier life!

Perfect on the Outside

Standard

My husband and I are like a professional-make-it-look-perfect couple. We have mastered the art of pictures. We often look happy with our smiles. We serve and greet at church. We host a church group in our home. We make it look good. But like everyone else we struggle behind closed doors. We argue a lot. We hold bitterness and discontent inside. Silent treatment is a thing. We get jealous and resentful. We blame each other and shut down.

We are normal, but always striving to be better.  So do not look on Facebook or Instragram to really know the status of our relationship. Even going out with us will not say it all though you can probably learn more in our body language. We are the masters of disguise and we take it day by day doing what needs to be done to keep the family going.

If you can relate, then know you are not alone. If you read this and think this sounds absurd, then you might be a newlywed or need to share your secret.

A Major Move and why the Facebook Fast was needed

Standard

The biggest reason the Facebook fast was necessary is that it brought clarity and peace for a difficult decision…The Tyndalls are Moving!!

Flashback:

My husband threw a curveball last summer that he wanted to heavily pursue moving.  He felt we could get the best investment for our house now and that we would regret it five years from now when the market is not as great if we stayed.  He has always dreamed of living on an acre and he felt the time was right to pursue it.

Cue panic attacks from me.  Could we afford it?  What about the inconvenience? The drive time?  The increased distance means time away from our families and more time driving.  We already purchased a St. Lucia trip and other trips that could not be moved and would decrease our savings…I did not want the change.  We fought so hard about it that I thought we would divorce.  He moved forward with a call to a realtor and began boxing things and requiring we set back a portion of our paycheck for the new house…I had other plans for that money so it turned into a war.  A big war.  I questioned everything.  But after a week of silence we recommitted to doing this life together and holding off on moving for now.  We asked the realtor to help us prepare the house for the future, send us listings from a nearby city, but we would wait and pray about it…that was in September and we stuck to our word.  We did not a timeline, but we prayed to the one who did.  We had our eye on a budget and two home choices: a custom built one further out in a city thirty minutes away or a ready made one fifteen minutes away.  We waited and the more we waited the more it seemed the further city had more to offer us.

We talked to people that lived there and people that we trusted and I began to feel more at peace with our decision, but the prices kept going up.  It began to make more sense to build.  My husband called the company Thursday 2/12 to ask about starting the process and he informed us prices were going up in a week and we could buy one that was already being built or wait two months until the next phase at a much higher cost.  We knew the model home we wanted and they only had one for sale.  We agreed to go see it, but only take it if it had a three car garage, indoor and outdoor fireplace, hard wood floors and a brick color that we loved.  Almost impossible desires and these were all major upgrades and not likely to all be there.  We went on Saturday 2/14 and laughed when every single one of them was being built in this house…crazy how God created our home and was already building it.  When we arrived, our son said “Hi home” and it was on a street called Riverside which is the street I spent my college years on and has always been special to me (I want to write a book called “Just another day on Riverside”..true story…that name has always stuck with me.

Other cars were looking at this house too so we thought it may be a long shot that it is still there. We were also not sure what we needed to pay up front and the color choices inside…would we have any say? Nathan called the sales agent after church and our realtor and the guy said he could hold it for us to come look at it.  We left that afternoon at 2 and had bought a house by five on 2/15.

Our current house was on the market by 2/20 and we have had at least six showings in two days and are boxing this place as we speak.  Our new home will be built by May and we will move in his grandmother’s vacant house if this one sells soon like we hope.

Cue today:

All this happened in the last thirty days.  I needed to be unplugged to have time for it all and to be at peace with it.  I know God was preparing me for these changes.  So much has worked out beyond my wildest expectations and is a seal that God hears prayers and His timing is perfect.   I will post more soon about my love of the house we are selling.  It is really hard to leave, but needed.

Facebook Fast is Over and A Major Move!

Standard

Hard to believe, but thirty days went by rather quickly.  As much as I hated the task of staying off Facebook, it actually helped me to focus, pray and hear from God what He was trying to teach me, but I am too busy to stop and listen.  Last night, I was actually kind of scared to get back on it.  I have grown accustomed to staying out of the drama, the gossip and the envying that naturally occurs from seeing the best of best from everyone’s lives.  I did miss the major news announcements, birthdays and important life events and my friend’s opinions of them; it really is true that people post it on Facebook and assume that you know.  I also learned that people are on it way more than they say even if they are not liking or commenting.  Overall, I have to say it brought peace and perspective to my overly busy world and I learned that getting on the site is my choice and can be controlled.  I find myself checking my phone less and minding my own business more.  Crazy thing…the Facebook world went on without me and my lack of presence did not change lives as much as I thought it would.  The world still rotated and life resumed as normal-so I can let go of the fact that my comments are needed and just use it for staying in touch like it is meant to be.

The good news: The first week was really hard, so hard that I had to admit I was addicted to the site.  I thought about it all day and was very angry that I had to give it up.  After the first week though, my new normal set in and the second week was easier.  By the third and fourth week, I forgot all about it and it was actually a little disappointing that I could get back on.  I know I needed to…like being let out of rehab…you have to face the world sometime, but it felt safer without it.  I could easily choose to never use it again, but our lives are intertwined with it and most of my friends are on it so I do not want to miss out that….overall, though I learned that it is important to set limits and not idle myself with it.  In short, I learned I can live without it and that was a good thing.

Thankful for the Facebook Fast

Standard

Did I really just say that today I am thankful for this fast?  Yes, today I am.  Today was the funeral and burial of the baby girl lost suddenly in my post a few days ago.  I have been consumed with this tragic story of loss as of late.  In fact, it is rocked my faith a little bit.  How could God allow this couple to suffer such immense pain?  How could suffering like this even exist?  To be honest, I am a little mad at God and a little afraid that if they could feel this hurt after struggling to conceive could I?  A little afraid to love right now in fear of that love being taken away from me.  My heart hurts to know that such a pain exists to a couple that is so similar to my husband and I.  I hear of these tragic stories all the time, but it is someone else that I am not connected to at all.  This one seems so real and so close to home.  It makes me sick.

A friend at lunch was telling me about all the posts and slideshows and videos that were created today in her honor.  She was telling me her Facebook feed was pretty sad and it caused her to look at pics and explore all the connections of the people that loved the little girl and her family.  In that moment, I was happy to not be on Facebook.  I am already in enough pain that it would have consumed me.  I asked her to send me the link to one of the videos since I could not log into FB and I watched it in Callen’s nursery and just cried.  Cried for every wedding pic, pregnancy pic, newborn pic and every recent pic of their Christmas together.  I cried reading her obituary and I cried thinking her mother woke up like every other day and got her ready for school not knowing it would be their last morning together.  Her parents did not know this was their last Christmas and last family pic of three.  I hurt because death has no predicted date, but it is inevitable and losing a child would be horrific.  I know God’s promises are true and I know she is in a better place, but this pains me deeply.  I bought a book by Max Lucado to try to deal with this grief…so strange to feel such pain for strangers, but their story has also inspired me.  Their story has made me appreciate the time to put down the phone and be in the moment.  I have hugged my son more and spent more time that is quality.  I have worked harder to appreciate and value each hour knowing we are not guaranteed the next.  Please keep the Turner family in your prayers as they face each new day differently.  Pray also for the days ahead.  I apologize that this post is a random jumble of just pain and sadness, but the lack of having Facebook to distract me has me in these thoughts and having to really explore them which I guess is something for which to be thankful.

You Take the Good with the Bad

Standard

We are on Facebook Fast Day 10 and I think I am slowly getting used to life without it.  I don’t find myself missing it as much since I have not been on it for ten days.  I do catch myself wondering about certain people’s posts about various topics or feelings about world events that I know would have something to say, but I enjoy being separated from the drama.  A coworker will ask me if I saw so and so’s post etc., but I can honestly say no and I have no idea what is going on.  I do feel isolated from current events or from social happenings around the community; the main reason I joined is because a friend was moving to Australia and a different one got engaged and I had no idea because they thought I knew through Facebook.  People don’t call each other to share news or even email…they just post it on Facebook, so I feel I am missing out on that, but you have to take the good with the bad.

I went for my semi-annual Lupus check up today.  It is only on these days that I remember I have a chronic disease that is in constant need of monitoring.  Only on days like today where I see how bad my disease could be that I appreciate the mildness of it all even if it is inconvenient.  For the first time ever, I got a bone density scan to measure if my bones were deteriorating due to the steroids I take daily.  I did surprise the machine guy with my scoliosis.  He thought I was sitting straight at first, but then realized it was my back and calmed down.  Thankfully the test had positive results.  We took my usually two vials of blood to monitor that the levels stayed the same and then did my normal check up.  This time I had a concern because my scalp has developed these lesions that are causing my hair to thin in areas and I am not having that hair loss!  He recommended a visit to the Dermatologist but assured me it was an effect of the disease and the hair will likely grow back.  I can tell that I am in a flare or about to be because of my extreme weight loss.  I am down five pounds, but eating more or as normal.  I like the natural weight loss, but will not tolerate hair loss…I guess you got to take the good with the bad!

Finally, my son is in the Terrible Twos in full swing.  The amount of “mine” “no” “I don’t want to” and pure break downs when things do not go his way are intense.  We call him bipolar Callen because one minute he is on top of the world and the next he is sprawled out on the floor.  We are trying to balance the thought that he is learning these bad behaviors to get our attention with this is just the age and we must push through it.  We are constantly reinforcing him to use his words and express his feelings while punishing using time out when necessary.  The good thing is our caretakers report he does well for them and the meltdowns are non-existent or minimal, but not sure why we get all the good stuff.  Hoping we are not encouraging the bad behaviors without knowing it, but we have no idea are just trying to do our best.  As I am fussing at him for taking out the chicken hammer, spilling the bubbles, putting his sock in the water and carrying the laundry basket into the shower…I thought I was about to reach my breaking point.  In my mind, I was thinking “we are not going to make it out of the twos” and then my mind went back to the mother that lost her 17 month old girl on Thursday and I know she would give anything to have the terrible twos.  I know she would sell all she owned to have one more day of spills, tears, messes and meltdowns.  I appreciate that I am blessed to have these moments with him…the good ones and the bad.

The good news is: Facebook Fast, Lupus and infamous two year old behaviors–I am blessed with the good and the bad.  Humbled tonight in so many ways especially knowing that the sweet parent tonight endured her child’s viewing.  I know God is good and He loves us.  I know God is faithful and His promises are true, but this one has rocked me.  Why give that good and perfect gift to later take it away?  I know she is in a better place, but my heart hurts at the thought.  Her story has rocked me today.  I know she will get up and breathe and take it day by day and hour by hour…I know she will find the strength, but I wish she did not have to.

IF Community Unite

Standard

So, in the midst of this Facebook Fast where I am unable to check social media, I get an email about a prayer request for a family that lost their little girl.  The email stated the mother was a local teacher and the father a local fire fighter.  Both of these roles I immediately connected to because she works in my school district, lives in my city..we have several mutual friendships-though we do not know each other directly.  DPD and DFD have a connected bond through the work they do for the city.  I am also a mother of a toddler.  I could not find any information on the situation on Thursday night without jumping on Facebook, so I just committed to pray.

Yesterday, a fundraising site began circulating around and long story short now more people are talking, sharing and mostly fundraising to help this couple with funeral costs and paid leave as they grieve.  My child choking is my worst nightmare and my child experiencing pain while in the care of a daycare or sitter is a close second.  Every working mom has guilt and the number one guilt is that you cannot be there for your child and will someone else care for them to the depth that you will.  I mean I have to work (infertility is expensive), but I hate it because it took me so long to be a mom.  In the end, you just have to let go and let God and trust that you are making the best decision possible.  All of this rocked me to my core as a parent.  It hit too close to home.  And then I learned a detail that brought me to my knees.  This couple suffered from infertility and their child was conceived through IVF.

We in the infertility community know this pain too well.  “For this child I have prayed…”  The loss, the waiting, the patience, the emptiness and then to finally parent (whether through treatments or adoption) is your greatest joy because it did not come easy and it was not natural and you thought time and time again “What if it never happens?”  We know the brokenness our bodies feel and the shame and the regret and the pain when everyone around us has two then three then four or just starts selecting dates on a calendar to try for another like it is so simple; for them it is.  We know something entirely different. Our story is not the same.  The love is the same, the parenting is the same but, the struggle can only be felt if you have been there and felt like that 1 in 8 that cannot conceive.  My friends might cringe at my numerous kid posts, but this was a kid I never thought would exist and this kid may be my only one due to the work it took to get him…so I am embracing each day because I know it will not likely come again.  I don’t get the luxury to plan for baby number two….I have no control.

In light of all this my Facebook fast seems pretty unimportant and small.  In fact, it allows me more time to hug my son and embrace his laughter.  It allows me more time to pray for this family and listen for God to tell me how He will use me to help.  This blog is it.

http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/emma-turner-memorial-fund/299958

IF community I urge you to join me in donating to this family.  They have already reached their fundraising goal, but we know it is not about the money.  It is about the community of us that struggle to conceive and cling to those miracle babies only to thing their birth signifies the struggle is over only to lose a child while you are at work.  God be with your donation, God be with this couple and their families and God be with all of our community.  Let’s UNITE and show them we see them, we care and they are not alone.

THe good news is: I am not saying infertility babies are more loved or more special.  Any loss of a child is tragic,  I am just saying that nine months to meet a child and 36 months changes things.  THe baby becomes like a prize and a reminder every day of a blessing you thought would never come.  Every dirty sock, every poopy diaper, every temper tantrum is a gift that I do not deserve and adoption allows me to be a parent.  My heart aches tonight.  God, be with them and all of us that do not get it.  Remind us that death is part of your promise and without it we would not see you.  We must die for our life to begin.

Facebook Fast Day 5

Standard

Today has been the easiest compared to all the other days.  Now, I did find myself engrossed in Twitter for the past ten okay maybe twenty minutes.  My guilty pleasure is Mob Wives, but I have to record it because of the violent content, language and I have to fast forward through commercials and sometimes pause it to prepare for the fighting.  The show makes me want to curse, talk with an accent and fight…though I do none of those things regularly if ever.  So much drama in one reality tv show…so un-fruits of the spirit…hence it is my guilty pleasure and may be part of my next fast who knows?

Back to today, I did not have much temptation to look at it today.  Maybe I was busier or preoccupied or maybe just used to it more, but it was truly not a temptation.  I have been praying about that lately (yes, a girl that watches Mob Wives prays) that Satan will increase my temptation as he knows I am seeking to change and to be prepared.  I was more ready for the attack today.  Secondly, after hearing my husband’s motivation behind all this was to spend more time together and not necessarily fix my bad habits or correct me then I see it all differently.  I see it is done with a motivation of love and not arrogance.  It humbled me that with all my flaws (see first paragraph) he wants to be with me.  Wow!  I am a woman that is wanted by my man and that is a beautiful thing and worth giving up social media.  We did discuss there could be a balance in everything and after this 30 days…now 25… then we will have to sort that out.  Feeling much more hopeful for the next 25, but I must use this time to hear what God is teaching me for all this to be worth it.

On a side note, in my attempt to be much more in the moment, I made homemade bubbles for my son.  Part dishwasher detergent, part water and part sugar…they were so pretty bomb bubbles.  Proud we took the time to do that together.  I felt less guilty about giving him a small bottle knowing I could make them again quickly versus him pouring out the store bought bubbles.  The bubbles were a happy moment for us both.

The good news is: the marriage is back on track so thanks for the prayers.  Doubt I will write for 30 days about not using Facebook, but you never know 🙂

Facebook Fast Day 3

Standard

IMG_1588

Good news is the person that created this mandatory fast and I are on speaking terms again.  This is a huge milestone as the fast is still on, but at least I have someone else to talk to when I get home besides this toddler seen above.  He got a haircut today and looks so cute, but I cannot connect to Facebook to share so that the Lord for Instagram!!  In pic one above, he is saying “cheese”, pic two he is saying, “um, let’s see” then puts his finger on his chin…adorable!! and pic three he is attempting to read.  This would be SO Facebook worthy, but no can do…so this blog and Instagram will have to do!

Day three was easier like I predicted, but I have three new aha moments.  1. I found myself feeling left out because a friend is going a gender reveal (not a close friend to send me a special text, but a good enough friend that I care what she is having).  It reminded me that so many people post it to Facebook and figure they told all their friends…so you know.  I remember that is why I got on the site four years ago after refusing to for a couple of years…a friend was moving to Australia and another one was getting married and I had no idea.  Joined FB that day.  2. My husband says he does not get on it except to wish people Happy Birthday…which is so true!  I have no ideas whose birthday it is because FB reminds me.  3. I find myself messaging, texting and Instagraming way more than usual due to needing to fulfill those contacts.  I question if I am replacing one addiction with another…but still find myself on it way less and the relationships are more personal since it is one on one versus one with the world since all can see the comments.  Overall, pleased with the progress and do find myself more in the moment, but still way busier than I want to be getting things done.

The good news is: Texas weather is 75 today…a perfect day to sit on a patio, browse the apps on my phone and just chill.  Not so for me, but I raced outside with my son since my phone was useless and that was much better.  Dreading the weekend a little bit and always curious if I have posts and tagged comments waiting to be seen…think I dread more what if I don’t?  What if my month of being disconnected turns into “Oh, I had no idea you were not on it?”  It would prove my husband wrong that I am not an addict like he claims and always on it, but it would mean no one missed me which would make me feel foolish since I feel kidnapped.  We shall see in 27 days!

Big praise today that the doctor visit was a positive one for a friend and I did not find out from a post, but rather a text!!  A personal text!  I did wonder what she posted though and how everyone responded…hmmm…I do think about social media too much!

Facebook Fast Day 2-Back to Work

Standard

Today, was my first day back to work while refusing to look at Facebook.  The first problem I had to address was telling the boss that I could no longer be a person responsible for managing our school Facebook page.  Ha!  How can you manage something that you are not suppose to look at?  In the argument with my husband, I tried to use this for my benefit.  I told him, “Do you realize you are only hurting the children?  Are you okay with that?”  He did not seem to mind too much.  The thing that irks me about this whole experiment is that I can only assume he is getting on it every day which kind of makes me mad.  I know he claims he is not the one with the problem, but while I am refraining, he could be over indulging…who knows!  The other thing that sits uneasy with me is I am a noticeable Facebook user…I comment, like, post on walls etc.  Many people look on it as much as I do or more, but just lurk.  They do not want to be seen, so they just view it without attracting attention; I don’t care who knows I am on it…until now.

Anyway, back to today.  It was sort of lonely and lost today.  I felt like I had lost friends or moved.  My husband and I are not exactly on good terms, so I felt kind of like I was in hiding.  The times throughout the day that I did run into adults I threw my whole self into the conversation…it felt so good to talk to people and laugh and hear stories.  Since this is my first day with the real world, I felt like I had to tell everybody so they knew I did not abandon them.  I also caught myself throughout the day wondering about different events and have they posted the outcome on Facebook.  I caught myself feeling distant from reality.  I also found myself lost.  When I would have normally flipped through the app like at recess, the store line, or when I got home and the house was napping, I found that I just sat there.  I checked Instagram (not much new), the US weekly app and WFAA news and then I was back to the stillness.  It did strike me how much I turn to Facebook to just fill up time.  I just check it to see what is new or the comments added etc.  I really spent time praying and evaluating why I feel the personal FB interaction as strong as I do despite the relationships being completely over the Internet.  Weird how I have become dependent on it in a number of ways.

Finally, I feel out of the loop, but also out of the drama.  Not much irritated me today, or made me question or made me skeptical.  Some posts just get under my skin or people that like to stir up mystery and I experienced none of that today.  That part felt good.  I also felt like I got more done.  At times that I would have just rested and scrolled for a connection, I kept myself busy with dishes, clothes, groceries etc.  I worked too much today!  I think adjusting to this new normal will be hardest today and this weekend when I am really guilty of just browsing.  I feel missed and I feel like I have been kidnapped from my social community.  I want to tell them what is happening, but that would mean I start over.  I also will not budge even if Nathan says that I can get back on it.  This is my opportunity to explore this and I won’t give up.

The Good news is: It is allowing God to speak to me in a new way.  I am learning about myself and my insecurities and where I get my approval from.  This might prove to be interesting.