Tag Archives: Jesus

The Difference of a Year

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I just returned from a week in Mexico.

It was gorgeous, relaxing, adventurous, fun and much needed. I always plan it the week before I return to school as a last way to recharge, reflect and get ready.

The sun, blue water, time for self care is good for my soul. Seeing the Lord’s work in nature and taking the time to listen to what he is saying with new opportunities is a gift.

But this trip hit different because a year ago today my life changed when my marriage changed along with a stressful year in education (see other post about change and reforms in school). In this last year, the stress of all the changes restarted my body to get sick-very sick and it was obvious if you looked at me for the first time ever.

The butterfly rash, psoriasis, weight loss, eye inflammation, dental issues…all the symptoms came roaring back. The hardest was the weight that caused people to ask if I was okay and the hair just getting thinner and shorter without being cut.

It led to two new medications and finally tests and a biopsy.

Pictures do not lie! I usually pull it back, but this night I got feisty!

I often want to step out of the picture or refuse to take it, but I will not let pride and vanity win. This.is.me! This is my season of sickness. It is rough, but my reality. So I will show my confidence and continue to take the selfie or portrait. I an more than my appearance. I hope I inspire young girls that think they are fat or ugly to be confident and brave.

The hair will grow back or I will invest in wigs and hats. This is Lupus and the world needs to know…even Virgin River had a story on the disease!

So I start these meds today and wait patiently for a cure and hopefully an answered prayer with little to no side effects and some relief.

Pray with me!

Biopsy Results

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Today was the virtual consult with the nephrologist. The biopsy revealed the Class 5 Membranous Lupus we were expecting. This was good news since the kidneys were not worse than we thought. The medications will be intense. 2000mg Cellcept daily and 25 mg of steroids daily.

Nervous if similar side effects will occur like last time causing my hair to fall out, lip blisters and overall decline in my weight and health. This drug is most famous for the stomach issues which is a struggle when you are trying to gain weight. Overall, my biggest fear is just struggling to stay thriving. Fatigue is real on these medications! But, this is a fight for a major organ so I will suck it up and follow doctor’s orders.

I serve a mighty God! I serve a God that saves and goes with me. Today made me feel frustrated that we have to get serious with medication right before I start back to school where my stress kicks in the highest…so afraid of going backwards and just feeling beat down when I need to be stepping it up. But I will trust in God’s promise that he goes before me, stay grateful for the good things he has done and remain hopeful for a cure and better tomorrow with Lupus.

Biopsy is In…

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…but I have to wait until Wednesday to get them.

Cruel right?

We have them, but you must wait until our appt.

As I wait patiently I want to shout out the amazing people that loved, encouraged and made me feel seen. From meals, to gifts, to childcare, to texts (they know not to call), to prayers…this is community! This is Jesus. This is love. This is the church as Christ designed it to be-His hands and feet.

Kidney Biopsy Day

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Who knew a kidney biopsy would be so invasive? Today was the closest I have ever been to surgery. Fasting, pre-op, sedation, IV then bedrest and no driving.

Overall, it went much smoother than expected. With Lupus and Rayneuds, you never know how your body handles stress. My husband took off to be my personal driver and nurse.

So now I follow recovery orders and stay out of the water, no driving, no exercise, no heavy lifting and wait for the results. Praying meds can get it under control and no further treatment is needed.

This journey has taught me to do better about avoiding stress or at least reducing it. It also humbled me that my Lupus is active and the effects are real. Celebrate the good days and take care of myself.

Praising for the faithfulness that God is in control. His word and worship has kept me going. Love of family, friends and strangers reminds me that God created us for community.

Organ damage hit me hard, but will not knock me out.

Stop Going to Google and Start Going to God

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I do it every time.

Hear a diagnosis then Google it to death.

What I really struggle with is fear, control, the unknown and what-ifs.

God has the answer.

When will I learn to start with Him?

He knows, He cares, He loves.

The end.

Heavenly Father Love

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If you want to know how much God loves his children, watch how Callen’s Paw Paw loves him. It is real, genuine and limitless. God loves you this much and more. It is indescribable!

Happy Father’s Day!

Saying Good-Bye

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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.

Church

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What do you think of when I say the word church? Joy? Good people? Pain? Hypocrisy? Unspoken?

So many thoughts…none of them wrong, but I think of home. My go to place each Wednesday and Sunday. My first boyfriend and best friend. Youth group hang outs and camps. People that prayed.

Sure it is full of broken people and sinners, but that is why I fit in so well. My brokenness is welcome here and yours should be too. My youth church closed its doors this past Sunday. Church is not a place, but still sad I cannot go back to visit the building where I was baptized. Happy to have my family with me this Easter. Hope my son has all I had in a church home and more. If you feel a certain way about church, I encourage you to try again. It is worth it.

Be the Church

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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.

It is everything right now.

Share the things you love!

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I try to share more about Jesus without being pushy or in your face. I know several people connect Jesus with church/religion and have hard feelings. I never want to isolate anyone with a stereotype, but Jesus is the most important part of my life and He is worth sharing. However, I also share other things I love like Camp Gladiator and funny comedians and nice cocktails and friends and my family.

Today I shared something magical. A bag of Lucky Charm marshmallows only! Yes only the marshmallows.

Get them here

General Mills Lucky Charms,

You are welcome!