Eeek! Do I even remember HOW to blog?

LOL!  I wasn’t even sure I’d remember my password, but I actually got it right!  Of course,  I must say that I went to Blogspot first because I couldn’t remember where my own blog was.  I had to check out my own Facebook page to get the address to my own blog!! 

 

God has been so good to me and I just feel like sharing my life.  I need to do quite a bit of updating, because my sons both look very different now.  It may take me a bit to bring things up to speed, but I’d love to share some recipes, knitting ideas, pics and blessings with all of you.  And if no one reads but myself, that’s ok too. 

 

Blessings,

Beth

The Path

Here I am again, back to my blog, after being delinquent for several months.  My posts aren’t earth shattering, so I don’t think I’ve really been missed, but some things are happening around here that I want to blog about, so I can look back on them later and see how the Lord has worked in my situation.  

As any of my readers know, I have several medical issues.  Most of them are under control…the Celiac, Type II diabetes, and hypothyroid among some of the bigger issues.  My fibromyalgia is one of the things that I deal with on a more daily basis.  Well, I deal with the others daily, but this is the one that keeps me guessing from day to day.  How much pain will I be in today?  WILL I be in pain today?  How long will it take my pain meds to work today?  

I went for some tests last week, to check out causes for some pain I’ve had in my bladder area, as well as microscopic blood in my urine.  They did a CT scan of my urinary tract and a cystoscopy , where they shine a light where a light should NEVER be shone!  Thankfully, all those things checked out and he things it is bladder spasms from an over active bladder?  We’ll see if this new med, yes, another one, will help.  

As with many of my other tests, what we were initially looking for was normal but something else was revealed.  First of all, an ovarian cyst…no biggy.  But the thing of concern is a dilated common bile duct/pancreatic duct.  Something is there that is preventing this area from releasing the bile/enzymes into my digestive tract, thus making the tube larger because it’s backing up a bit.  He told me they would do a high resolution CT scan of the pancreas to make sure there weren’t any masses.  I didn’t think much of it at the time.  

The next day, the office person who called to schedule the further tests was obviously trying to get them done in a timely manner.  They are scheduled for Thursday, the 17th of November,  and they will be giving me a disc with the images.   I am to bring them to the doctor’s office the next morning at 8:15 a.m. and they will be working me in.  She stressed that they did not want to wait another week to get this done.  I must say that HER urgency, has greatly affected me.  I’m still a nurse, even though I don’t practice any longer.  I can tell  they want to rule out something major.  In my reading, this dilation can be caused by pancreatitis, which I highly doubt I have because I would be in more pain.  Or, it could be cancer.  My GP did tell me today that gall stones can also cause this dilation.  Can I say I have never wanted gall stones so badly in my life!!!  

My thoughts have run the gamut in the last few days.  My anxiety has been quite high, off and on.  I am working very hard to take my thoughts captive, but I do think of the possibilities.  How can I not?  I know from nursing experience that pancreatic cancer does not have a high success rate.  I’m intentionally NOT reading about that now though, because I don’t want to go there unless God takes me there Himself.  I am not going to walk ahead of Him.  If I go there, it will be with HIM leading me by the hand.  

It is strange how the body reacts to potential bad news.  You just can’t separate the mind and heart from the body.  I was watching the nursery with Kenny Sunday evening.  We had two very active boys around the age of three.  I looked at Kenny and told him when we had grandchildren, babysitting them would be a two man job!  Immediately I had a catch in my chest…will I SEE my grandchildren?  I pushed it aside, because I didn’t want to take Kenny in the same places my mind was wandering.  I imagine his mind is doing its own thing.  I’ve gotten the same catch when I’ve thought about having Thanksgiving here next week with Kenny’s family…when I think to Christmas next month.   Even today at the eye doctor…I only ordered 6 months of contact lenses.  I may not need more.  If I do, great…I’ll order them in 6 months!

To say I want to know NOW is an understatement.  But God has His timing at play, not mine.  But I know for certain that regardless of when or what I find out, He has orchestrated the entire thing.  He knows my every need.  He will walk with me though the further tests, and He will be with us Friday morning when we find out what those tests show.  

I remembered today a phrase that was brought us several times a few years ago at one of our Ladies Conferences at Faith Bible Fellowship.  It’s not about me…it’s ALL about HIM!  I can’t tell you how much I want to honor Him in all this.  I don’t feel I’ve been a very good example through my current health issues.  But this is another opportunity to TRUST MY LORD.  An opportunity to show to others that it is ALL good.  My God is GOOD.  He loves me more than any word can express.  He is with me every step of the way along my journey, whether this takes a difficult turn or not.  He is not sending me into a dark pit.  He is holding out His hand and asking me to walk with Him.  He is being gentle, but oh so strong.  He knows the way, and I just need to walk in the path He leads.  He is stretching me in so many ways.   He is giving me all I need to grow into the image of His Son. 

Strong Women, Soft Hearts

I recently began reading a book, which is very unusual for me.  It’s title is Strong Women, Soft Hearts by Paula Rinehart.  The Bloom Book Club is going through it right now.  They are going through it pretty quickly…now on chapter 3, but I’m taking my time, especially since the first chapter was so thought provoking and soul searching.  Angie Smith and Jessica Turner have a video that goes with each chapter, discussing their insights.  I’ve always loved the “realness” of Angie’s blog, Bring the Rain, and get so much from her writings.

Anyway, chapter one required that I take a look back at my life, sifting through the rubble to uncover what my dreams were when I was younger.  I discovered that I was not much of a dreamer at all, except for wanting to be married to a godly man and being a godly wife and mother one day.  The year I met Kenny and the following year were probably the happiest times in my life.

But I discovered something else…I don’t wear rose colored glasses.  I see my past through a very negative lens.  It was quite discouraging to see, and to admit.   I’ve been a believer since I was 10 years old, but I have failed to cultivate that deep, intimate relationship with God that He so wants to have with ME.  I have always known He was there for me, that He is sovereign in all things, He would never leave me, and He loved me enough to allow His Son to die for me.     But I haven’t done enough to cultivate the relationship on MY end.  I picture like this…I’m in a room and He is right there with me, watching me, available for me.  He has been the ONLY reason that I have survived the trials and tribulations of this world.  But I know now that survival is not the goal.  I think that is where my negative view comes into the picture.  I have always tried to be thankful for everything He has done for me.  But….THERE IS SO MUCH MORE!!

He LOVES me…He doesn’t just want to be my savior.  He wants to be my confidant, my friend, my stronghold, my shield…He wants to be EVERYTHING to me.  And here I am, letting Him sit on the sidelines because I have not pushed myself to be INTIMATE with Him.  I have missed out on so much.

I was discussing this with a dear friend, who has gone through SO much in her life.   She doesn’t look back with negativity.  She “lives out loud” and praises God with all she has.  She often says, “I had such a WONDERFUL time with the Lord this morning!”  I admit to being jealous.  I asked her about her outlook on her past and she recalled the years she struggled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  She said she KNEW that God was trying to teach her something through this and she wanted to come through it triumphantly.  Even now, as I struggle with my own health, that has not been my goal.  MY goal was to survive the experience with God’s help.  What low expectations I have had, when *I* am a child of the most high God!!!

Now I do want to add here that I learned a LOT about myself and the Lord through my difficulties.  I couldn’t have gotten through them without Him.  But NOW, I desire MORE!  To come through these issues triumphantly….how cool is that!?

Isn’t it awesome that God never stops working on our hearts!?  I see where my negative outlook has affected my sons, so I’ve been very vocal about this with them lately.  I hope they can break the cycle that has been perpetuated through me.

All this was from Chapter 1!  Looking forward to Chapter 2 and sharing my thoughts with you!

Mother’s Day Blessings

It wasn’t that many years ago when Mother’s Day was filled with homemade cards from the boys and tiny plants they brought me from Sunday School.  Not a person in this family has the “gift giving” love language, so no one goes to great lengths, unless it is Christmas.   That’s fine.  I’ve seen the hurt it causes when there is an unequal yoking amongst the love languages, especially gift giving.


Last year, I was struggling after my back surgery.  I’m so glad that is behind me.  I don’t remember that Mother’s Day.  In fact, I don’t remember a lot of what happened in the weeks following my surgery.  Blessed be the name of the Lord!


This year, I’m still weak, but not because of my back.  I AM, in fact, getting better….from my newly diagnosed diabetes.  The word is out on the fibromyalgia, since the new medication I’ve been taking is causing some side effects that make me exhausted and lethargic.  Much of the energy I had regained is gone again.  I am weaning myself off that drug, which has done WONDERS for my pain level.  I just can’t handle the way it makes me feel.  Very frustrating, indeed.


Both the boys are in college now….Andrew still at home and I’m so thankful for that.  He has grown by leaps and bounds this year…thankfully, not physically.  6 foot, 4 inches is big enough!  He has become much more independent and has developed a circle of friends in the members of his Campus Crusuade for Christ Bible study members.  He went into it, feeling a bit like an outsider, since all the other members live at one dorm on campus, but I feel like much of that is dissolving.  He respects his leaders and have developed some friendships within the group.  He is going to miss this this summer as many of them will go back “home” and not be in Raleigh.

He strongly desires to get a job, but so far that has not been possible.  Even in highschool, his physical limitation have made it impossible.  He is trying to get a job on campus this summer, but knows that our first priority for him is to work hard at the physical therapy that he has been given to strengthen his body.  He has loved swimming this past semester and will continue that three times a week.  His PT also wants him to go to the gym for some specific exercises 2-3 times a week.  That is more important to me than a job.   He is not lazy.  He was fretting this morning at his low funds because of Mother’s Day.  I told him what I really wanted, which was help with planting things on the deck that is hard for ME.  Initially he thought that was lame, but when I expressed how much is means to me to watch those things grow, bloom and bear fruit….maybe he got it.  It will be a rich blessing for me…not only to have the help, but to have the time to spend with him here.  He’s gone much more now that he has outside friends.  I’m ok with that, but I’m feeling the emptiness of my nest.  At least it’s gradual.


Samuel isn’t here much these days.  He is busy with school at NC State…only one year left!!  He is so excited.  I wasn’t sure I’d see him today, but I was so blessed when he came into my bedroom and wrapped his arms around me.  I looked up and saw the straggly hairs on his chin first thing.  He’d had a haircut.  It looked cool.  He’s preparing for his internship this summer with the Asheboro  Copperheads, a minor league baseball team about an hour or so away.  I’m going to miss knowing that he is only 10 minutes down the road.  I mean, he’s gone to Alaska for a whole summer before!  But this feels different.  I think because it is the last summer before he graduates college.


Kenny was taking a nap this afternoon; meanwhile the boys and I were in the family room talking about their “childhoods.”  I put that in quotes because they are still my children, but they are not “children.”  You know what I mean?  We laughed about temper tantrums, sibling caused concussions,  and swing sets with forts.  We remembered the night of Hurricane Fran, camping out in the family room eating Cheezits and listening to trees fall around the house.  I can still look outside my back door, in the winter when the leave are not obscuring my view, and see “The Leaning Over Tree.”  That was a gift from Fran where one huge tree fell over, only to land in a bifurcation of a nearby tree that prevented it’s complete collapse.   Who needed  monkey bars when you had a Leaning Over Tree!  I can still picture the boys climbing that thing…straddling it and hanging on.   I wonder if my future grandchildren will climb it one day?


Samuel and I chatted a lot about his internship and possibilities for jobs after graduation.  I see a young man who is ready to spread his wings.  Part of me would like to clip those wings, but at the same time, there is no way I would.  I don’t know what the future holds for Samuel.  I just know that as long as he seeks God’s direction and follows it, I will be happy and blessed.  That is all I want for him, and for Andrew.  I don’t want them running home to me.  I want them running to their FATHER…..their Heavenly Father.   I want to watch them, whether up close, or far away, willing to deny themselves and follow Him.  I want to see them go against the grain, walk into the wind, swim upstream….in a direction that is contrary to the enemy and the ways of the world.  I want their faces to be seeking HIS face, and no other.


I don’t need a gift for Mother’s Day.   THAT is all the gift I will ever need.    I am a blessed woman, indeed.

Parents in Pain – Part II

Parents in Pain – Part II

My heart is heavy, again.  And you know what?  I know I’m not the only one.  My blog has the capacity to show me what words or terms are used in search engines that bring people to my blog.  Do you know that at LEAST once a week, someone uses the words “parents in pain” as a search term?  It shocked me; it really did.  Not that I didn’t think parents were in pain.  THAT I knew.  But those particular search words being used?  Brings one directly to my blog.  God wanted me to know that.  And I want YOU to know that I am praying for all the hurting parents out there.  I don’t know you; I don’t know your situation.  But I know that my God can comfort you and heal your pain.

The enemy has such a foot hold in this nation, in the church and in the family.  So many are reaching out for something to fill the void that is within them and the enemy is full of promises.  If you are holding on to a religion, if you are holding onto a person or relationship, if you are holding onto a pastor, a counselor  or teacher….if you are holding onto ANYTHING but Jesus Christ for your needs, you will be disappointed.  Am I saying that following Christ is full of happiness?  No.  He promises us scripture that we will have pain and trouble in this world.  But HE has overcome this world!  He is the only One who will give you Hope.  If someone else is giving you hope, forget it.  It isn’t their’s to give!  He IS our Hope.  He is waiting for you to stop leaning on your friends, your family, your church, etc and come to Him alone for what you need.

Is it wrong to lean on friends, family or church?  Of course not.  God gave them to you, to help you.  But maybe you are using others to fill your needs, rather than meeting with God in that lonely, painful place, much like the Garden of Gethsemane was to Christ before His death on the cross.  We all need to go to that place, be dreadfully honest with the Father about how we feel, and glean from Him strength, hope and love that no one else can begin to impart to us.  As a friend, it is hard for me to let my hurting friends go there.  I want to take that pain away from them.  I want to stop the suffering.  I want to minister to them.  How selfish of me!  It isn’t about me!  This is between them and God.  Who am *I* to think that I could spare them of any of the pain that God sees fit to use to bring them to that closeness with Him.

When you are fighting a battle, where it seems that even those who are supposed to love you are willing to climb over the bodies of their “loved ones” to gain ground, seek the face of Jesus.  Look into His eyes, for only there will you find the peace that a parent in pain can find.