Saturday, October 24, 2009

BEFORE all else fails, read the instructions!!!

I was reminiscing today about a time way back in the fifth grade.  It was Mr. Tanner’s science class and we were going to launch our very own rockets.  I was excited about mine.  It wasn’t fancy… just a simple rocket.  The Wizard.  I can’t remember what color I painted it or anything, though.  What I do remember is the day we were building them in the classroom and the day we launched them.  I remember not really wanting to read the instructions because they didn’t really make sense to me and I was already way behind the other students.  They were mostly all showing off their finished product and I was still trying to figure mine out.  So I turned to a very busy Mr. Tanner and asked, “What do I do next?”  He asked me something, or at least I thought he was asking me something, I answered, and he replied “Stuff it.  Put the stuffing in.”  So I did that.  I put the stuffing in.  I remember it looking something like maybe cottony stuff.  I did the rest of the steps, and finally within a few minutes I looked proudly at my finished rocket.  I just knew that it was going to go so high we’d lose sight of it until it parachuted down!  I was ready for launch day!
Launch day came and one by one students placed their rockets on the launch pad.  One by one we watched as rockets whizzed off of the launch pad, way up as if reaching the clouds, and then the parachute would launch and they’d gracefully float back down to earth.  We’d all run to get the launched rocket smelling like gun-powder and excitement!  Then it came my turn.  I placed my rocket on the launch pad.  We all stepped back and excitement grew within me.  This was the rocket that was going to reach the greatest heights! I just knew it.  Countdown started… 10… 9… 8… 7… 6… 5… we’re getting close!  4… 3… 2… 1… BLASTOFF!!!   Unfortunately my rocket barely made it 10 feet, maybe, off the ground and it blew up!  The entire tail end of my rocket was no more!  My teacher looked at me and asked what I did, and I told him how I’d packed it and then placed the rest of the parts in.  He asked me why on earth I packed it first.  And I replied because you told me to!  Apparently my teacher had been so busy that day that maybe he hadn’t heard me at all!  Maybe he hadn’t understood my question!  But whatever the case, not following the directions and listening to a teacher with his own situations left me with a rocket comprised of only the tip and part of the word Wizard.  My rocket was so unrecognizable that I ended up taking my picture with someone else’s rocket while mine lay in many pieces scattered on the ground.
I know that this has no personal meaning to you.  After all it wasn’t your rocket! BUT! If we look at the rocket in a different aspect.  A different light can shed a whole new meaning!  Imagine that I am you.  My rocket is your moral dilemma, problem, or current mountain you are trying to navigate your way up.  Imagine my teacher as your many friends, family, and spiritual leaders in your life.  Imagine those rocket instructions as the Bible.  And finally imagine all the students who had already assembled their rockets, laughing and showing them to one another, as your peers in life. Those people who live and exist all around you who according to their “rockets” they’ve gotten it all together and perhaps you’re left standing their holding pieces of your “rocket” trying to figure out how to put it together.
This is the way God used my rocket story for myself.  Like I said in my last blog, God is telling me that He’s still teaching me.  This time He is using my own past to teach me a lesson.  Had I not turned to my teacher and asked what next, and had I not given up on the instructions written to build and complete a successful rocket, then perhaps my rocket would have reached wonderful heights and glided down by parachute to a safe and peaceful landing.  Life is much like this when you think about it.  When we face a brick wall in life, or maybe can’t figure out the way around or through a situation, what do we oftentimes do?  We turn to a friend, a family member, or perhaps someone in our church.  As a 5th grader I thought that my teacher should have the answers no matter what!  After all, he’d built many rockets before!  Sometimes in life we see others living and we think, I bet they would know how to help me!  We see their external beings, but not the inward chaos that might just be lurking under the surface!  They could be like my teacher who was, in hindsight, very distracted with his own situation… lots and lots of 5th graders vying for his attention.  So when I asked him my question it just kind of blended in with all the other problems he was trying to solve.  He was the teacher, but at the moment he had more on his plate than I realized!  His answer to my question blew up my rocket!  His answer caused me to derail from the instructions because I figured he’d done this many times, and I trusted him.  I didn’t read the instructions, trusted another source, and my rocket blew up into many many pieces.  Was it his fault?  Absolutely not! After all, like I said I am the one who deviated from the instructions!!!
Have you ever asked someone for guidance and not looked into the scriptures, or the instructions?  Or maybe sometimes we need to just turn to the author of the instructions!  Yes, sometimes God does lead us to people, but I am learning that the whole hindsight is 20/20 saying is so very accurate.  I’ve re-examined my past.  I’ve too often turned to friend, family, and even church leaders for answers to problems and questions that I should never have turned to them for.  I should have read the instructions!!!  I should have turned to the author of the instructions!!!  Had I done this, there would be less rocket fragments in my past, and more peaceful landings!  We need to get back to the instructions!  The Bible!  We need to get back to the author, God!!!
There is a saying:  When all else fails, read the instructions.  I think this should be changed to this:  BEFORE all else fails, read the instructions! 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

…teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me…

Tonight is the last night of revival, well officially.  I personally feel that revival doesn’t end when the evangelist leaves.  If it’s a true revival then it continues on in the hearts and spirits of the people long after the official dates have ended! 
I know that this week has opened my eyes to some things.  I know that in the past I was content on being “near” to the Father.  I’ve learned this week that being “near” is not enough!  We should strive to be “next” to our Father!  When you are “near” someone you are close enough to see them, but not always feel them.  When you are “next” to someone you can feel them, touch them, and even hear their heartbeat if you get close enough.  That is where I am desiring to be.  NEXT to my heavenly Father.  I want to be so close I can hear His heartbeat as I lay upon His chest.  In the Bible when Jesus called the little children up to Him, He didn’t just sit them on the ground near Him, but He lifted them up onto His lap and held them close to His heart.  The Bible says that we must come to Him as a child!  We must allow Him to pull us up onto His lap to be “next” to Him!!!  Thanks to Bro. Mike Willingham’s message on this during our revival.  His illustrative and explanatory preaching was wonderful in conveying this to me! 
Since my illness worsened back in the spring and early summer months, I have learned valuable lessons.  God has constantly and daily been teaching me that without Him I am truly powerless.  My body has failed me numerous times during the last several months, but my God never has.  In fact He has proven to me more and more that He never will!  I have been thinking and wondering why on Sunday night I could feel God changing my leg and my voice, but with my heart and other problems, I felt the same.  I could feel an actual change taking place in my leg. I could feel it growing stronger and as joy rose within me and laughter bubbled out I could feel that my voice was also different somehow!  Yet, my autonomic problems still felt the same.  So I’ve had several days to ponder this, to pray on this, to converse with God on this.  And in my spirit, in my heart, I feel God speaking to me… “There is more I must teach you.”  I know I’ve learned a huge lesson during the time I was immobile due to my leg, and I was incapable of voicing anything due to my speech.  I learned to finally turn to scripture for my comfort and answers.  In all of my life, during every trial I’ve faced, I have had one constant thing.  I’ve turned to man first.  I turn to friends, family, anyone who might say something, anything, to help my situation.  During this time I had no voice to turn to anyone.  All I had was my computer and online bible that I used to search the scriptures.  I did that.  Each day I would need someone to help me, I closed my eyes and asked, “Lord, show me what I need.”  I would then type in the search box the word I felt God was speaking to me, press enter, and up would pop a list of scriptures.  I would then read each one, and there would always be the one when God would say “stop.  Re-read.”  It would be the exact word I would need to make it another day or to answer a question I might have had.  For the first time, I’d been forced to learn to turn entirely and only to God for my help.  This has opened up a whole new world for me!  I’m able to speak clearly and plainly now, but I still first turn to scriptures and to talking with God before and if I even talk to another human!  I can tell you that God’s answers have been 100% better than any answer man has ever offered! 
So I’ve questioned God, why not the dysautonomia?  Why is this still an issue?  And I still feel Him speaking to me.   “There is more I must teach you.”  I have several thoughts and feelings on this.  Maybe I’m one of those people who need daily reminders on where to look for my strength… well the correct place to turn to anyway.  Or maybe I’m still learning to lean upon God fully and wholly.  Or maybe there is a whole other world of things God has in store to teach me thru this disease!  All I know is that each and every day I awake and I’m able to get a shower, dress, and get going with ease… it’s not my body that’s doing it… It’s my God!  My body should not be able to stand on a church stage and sing for hours with all that is within me!  But I can!  My Body should not be able to withstand a full day of getting dressed, worship practice, helping in worship, helping in altar service, but I can!!!   And I know that each time I have these days, each time I wake up and jump out of bed and get going like a normal person, it is not my body that is doing it because dysautonomia does not allow for normality!  Dysautonomia does not allow me to jump straight out of bed, stand in a shower and a hot shower at that, get dressed, do things around the house, go to worship practice, attend a full service while singing with all that is within me, and still get home and get my kids dressed and ready for bed.  No dysautonomia does not allow this.  So each day I do these things, I’m reminded over and over how GREAT my God is!!! I’m reminded that without God, this would not be possible!  So maybe this dysautonomia is here just for a while longer, maybe it’s here to stay.  Whatever God chooses, I’m perfectly fine with!  For I know that as long as I keep clinging to the things God is teaching me throughout all of this, then He will keep supplying my needs and the strength that my body does not supply!  So hen God says, “There is more I must teach you.” I believe that He will do just that.  I’m ready to learn!!! 
So when you face a battle in life, don’t ask, “Why me?  Why is this happening to me? or say Why do I never get a break?”  This is what I thought at first.  I was so upset because I felt that my life as I knew it was over! And thankfully it was!  Because my contentment to be near my Savior had begun to change and I hadn’t even begun to realize it yet!  So next time when you face a battle, ask God, “What do you want to teach me?”  Because I’ve learned in all battles there is a lesson to be learned!  Don’t miss out on being taught by the most loving and wonderful teacher you can ever know!
So my prayer will continue to be this…  “Shew my thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me:  for thou (art) the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.  Psalm 25:4-5
**NOTE: I think I may not have gotten the near and next thing exactly right. It may have been near and close, but I hope you get the idea! :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed from that moment.

Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed from that moment.   Matthew 9:22 NIV
This scripture holds significant importance to me now.  As you all know from reading my blog, I have a disease called dysautonomia.  This combined with a silent migraine caused stroke symptoms just over 7 weeks ago.  I was not able to speak at first and my left leg did not work at all.  I slowly made progress and the neurologist said that I should make a full recovery, in time.  So 7 weeks in, and I’m finally singing again having regained my speech.  Seven weeks in, though, I am still using a cane to walk, and I had a horrible limp.  But to me this was progress!!! I was excited! I was thrilled to be mobile again! I was ecstatic that I was singing again and speaking plainly and normal!  Life, to me, was great!  I was learning to live with my situation.  I was learning to take life by the reigns, so to speak, and enjoy the ride no matter how bumpy it was!  I was living the life I’d been given, to the fullest extent of my abilities, and thanking God for His blessings upon me so far.
All of this changed for me just 3 short days ago.  It was Sunday morning, October 18, 2009.  I woke up and dressed for church just like I had every Sunday for the last 8 Sundays since my medical issues had arisen.  As I left the house I grabbed my purse, my 3 bottles of water, and my walking cane.  I arrived at church with great anticipation of the mornings service! We were beginning our revival!  The first one in quite a while, and I was also going to be able to sing in the worship service!  It would be the first Sunday I would sing with 100% clarity in my voice!  So I was excited!  Sunday morning’s service was amazing! God did great and wonderful things!  His spirit moved mightily and I left church that morning desiring for the afternoon’s service to arrive quickly!  I just couldn’t wait for worship practice and service to begin!
Four o’clock arrived and worship practice began.  We prepared our songs and prayed for the service.  I refilled my water bottles again, gotta stay hydrated and keep that blood pressure up!  And then the night’s service began.  The second service of our revival!  I was excited!  Worship service was awesome, and then Bro. Willingham preached a great message!  And then Darryl, our worship leader, headed to the keyboard to prep for altar service.  The rest of the musicians followed and I grabbed my cane and kept my husband near me because at this point in the service, I wasn’t feeling great.  My leg had grown weak, my heart rate was still up from singing during the worship service and I just plain felt bad.  But I didn’t let not being able to walk keep me from being in church, and I wouldn’t let this keep me from singing!  I made it to the stage, sat on my stool, got my microphone and water bottle and we began singing.  Altar service once again was amazing!  God was doing a great work among His children, and the place was “a rockin'” *smile* to put it mildly!  We were singing Look what the Lord has done, and Bro. Willingham came up and laid hands on me and prayed for me.  Before I knew it I was standing arms stretched toward heaven praising my God!  You know they say you give to God and He will respond, and respond He did!  God’s spirit slayed me out, and I could feel a change!  I felt a joy wash over me!  When I got up I began walking!  Walking and praising my King!  Now for those of you who weren’t there, my cane was still where I placed it once I sat down on my stool to sing!  I was walking!!!  I was walking without a cane! I was walking without a limp! I was walking without someone’s arm to lean on!  God had healed my leg!!!  I worshipped and walked in praise to God until the service ended!  I gave my testimony and it was simple but to the point.  I simply said, “I’m here and that’s (my cane) there! and I pointed to the stage. 
After service my Big Daddy (Eric's grandfather but I claim him as I truly feel that he’s as close to a grandfather as I’ve ever had) told Dianne (Eric's aunt) to “Go get that walker, she won’t be needing it anymore.”  So I walked into church that night with a horrible limp, using a cane.  But God’s healing graces reached my leg, and I walked out on my own with a strength in my leg I’d not felt in 7 weeks!  I don’t know about my dysautonomia.  I know that God can heal it, maybe it’s just not the right time for that yet or maybe I’m meant to live with it to keep me close to what’s important, my faith in God.  Who knows.  But I know one thing.  My God is a God of healing!  My faith in him is stronger than it ever was, and whatever the outcome with my dysautonomia, I’ll always remember the feeling I had in my body as God was healing my leg!  I will always remember how I felt as I stood and walked!  I posted on my face book status the next day of how God had healed me and how I walked in with a cane, and how I’d walked out without it!  And the old song, I’m walking on sunshine, oh oh… and don’t it feel good! popped into my head, and it hit me.  I was walking on SONshine!!!  So I can sing I’m walking on SONshine, oh oh, and don’t it feel good!!! :) 
So like the woman in the Bible that Jesus turned to and healed.  I have had faith in my Savior, and this faith has made me whole!  And my leg was healed from that moment!!!
Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed from that moment. Matthew 9:22 NIV

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Chaotic cleaning!!!

Today has been a venture of practicing patience.  Eric and I are attempting to finally get boxes that have been stacked along a wall in our room to storage.  We need the space for the home school table since I now have my exer-bike in the living room and need the home school space for the bike.  Yesterday we took at least 10 boxes, mostly toys, to storage.  I know that it is crazy to have that many toys, but we’re pack-rats and the girls Granna bought a lot of toys in the past!  So it seems a waste to throw out things that our youngest daughter can now play with.
Anyway I got our closet cleaned out, so that now all of Eric’s guitar gear is on his side of the closet instead of all in my way.  I folded and arranged all the clothes on the top shelf neatly even though I know that it will not stay that neat.  We also have the van loaded with more boxes, mostly clothes this time, ready to take to storage.  I did manage to find some of my oldest daughter’s clothes from the past for my youngest to use this fall and winter season.  I love it that I don’t have to buy a lot of things again! 
Eric is now in our room cleaning up the “disaster area”.  This is the area where everything that does not yet have a home got thrown in the middle of the room.  He is not a happy camper!  He says that I always begin large projects but I never am able to finish them.  And I’ll admit that this is true!  But in my defense I only begin the big projects as a last resort of asking for months to get them done!  And I was proud of myself for lasting as long as I did today.  I only got light headed at the end of cleaning out the closet, and managed to sit and go through several boxes and bags of clothing to see what I could find for the girls to start the fall season out in. 
So today has been a hectic day.  I’ve been informed that my process of doing things does not mesh with Eric’s process of doing things!  I already knew that but somehow as always I begin a project thinking that somehow maybe our processes and ways of doing things will merge into one magnificent way of doing something and we’ll accomplish getting a lot done!  But, yet again this did not happen… *smile*  On another thought, though, my process did get all the clothes sorted and the closet cleaned!  I’m still waiting to see if Eric can pull it together so I can see what his way of doing things will accomplish! I have a feeling that tomorrow evening I will be showing off my new hair cut, but only to the 4 walls of my bedroom as I finish things up! (I’m finally getting to the salon for a haircut…YAY!!!)
I do feel bad, because Eric is exhausted, but he is telling me that I’m not good help.  Apparently my mind wanders from project to project!  So he’s kicked me out of the room and told me “No offence, but when you are helping, nothing gets done!”  So I have sat down, and written all this down as a reference for use in the future of how my project process and Eric’s project process are apparently from opposite planets!  Maybe the next time I see something that I want to get done, I should let him lead?  But maybe not, because after all, I am a woman, and I’ll always want my projects done the way I see them in my mind!  Even though I am a chaotic cleaner!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

for when I am weak, then am I strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 - And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

This scripture pretty much sums it all up.  It has been 6 weeks and 2 days since the onset of my latest symptoms.  Some have told me that they wish they had the strength that I have.  That they could not have faced the circumstances I have faced and stayed positive and kept their faith.  Those type of statements puzzle me.  For starters I don't see myself as strong, well not without keeping my faith in God.  I have had 6 weeks and 2 days of pretty much keeping silent.  For those who have not read my blog, 6 weeks and 2 days ago I could not speak due to what neurologist say were the symptoms of a silent migraine combined with my dysautonomia.  I lost the use of my left leg 6 weeks and 1 day ago.  It has been probably the longest 6 weeks of my life, or so it has felt.  Today was the second Sunday I was able to get up on stage with our worship team.  Today was the first day in 6 weeks and 2 days that I was able to sing with a solid, non slurring voice to my Savior!  So I was sitting there singing "I feel Jesus, I feel Jesus, I feel Jesus in this place.  And my soul does, burn within me! For I feel Jesus, In this place."  And it occured to me that 6 weeks and 2 days ago I could not even say the name of Jesus aloud!  I've been thinking on this all day, rejoicing that today I could sing to my Savior again!  And also thinking about those questions of how I have handled this last 6 weeks so well.  So this blog is going to be dedicated specifically to that answer!
  As I said in church today, that 6 weeks ago I couldn't even say the name of Jesus.  All my life I've been taught that when trouble arises and you can't handle it, just say the name of Jesus!  All my life I've been told that when all else fails, call on Jesus.  I even teach my children this!  When they have a scary dream or they get worried about something we pray and call on Jesus! We sing Jesus loves me, to remind them that He loves them and when they feel weak that He is strong!  So from the time of my birth up until now, this has been something I was taught and have continued to teach my children!  But like I said, 6 weeks ago I couldn't say anything, and I couldn't call on Jesus!  And I know that He hears my heart and knows my thoughts, but there is nothing as soothing as calling on Jesus and feeling His presence cascade around you like a comforting blanket of love!
  So what did I do?  I couldn't do what I'd been taught, although my spirit was crying out daily, hourly, for Jesus.  Well my first step was I went to where I knew that there were those who would cry out the name of Jesus for me!  I was in the emergency room on Friday night, August 28, 2009 not able to speak with left side muscle weakness. Saturday, August 29, 2009 my leg quit working and I lost all control of it.  But on Sunday morning, August 30, 2009, I woke early.  I drug myself to the shower and took the first sit down shower of my life.  I got dressed with the help of my family.  And then I drug my leg into that church leaning on my husband and my dad.  I knew where I needed to be!  I knew I needed to go where others could call out the name of Jesus on my behalf!  I craved to be in the spirit of my Lord!  It wasn't easy.  The important things in life never are, but the rewards outweigh the pain and struggle!
  Each day since that Sunday I've faced struggles.  Each day I searched the scriptures for a word from the Lord that would give me strength for yet another day!  And each day God would lead me to the right words.  I am admittedly one of those who has been raised in the church, yet I've never read the Bible in it's entirety from cover to cover.  I struggle to understand the scriptures. I struggle to remember what I've read, and often quit reading due to becoming frustrated from reading it over and over and still not grasping it.  But in the last 6 weeks, I haven't sat and read chapters upon chapters, and I haven't read it cover to cover yet, but I've read scriptures and God's shown me that if I let Him lead me in my reading then He'll provide the understanding!
  There have been countless scriptures that I've found, most of which I have posted to my facebook because I'm so excited in my spirit what God's led me too!  Each day there would be a scripture that God would show me and remind me where to look to for my strength to go yet another day!  God used people to share their stories of faith and how they overcame trials with me.  Each day I saw over and over how very near my God was to me.  And how very comforting that cloak of love he had for me was!  Each Sunday I've gotten up and gotten dressed.  It's not been easy. In fact my routines these days are much different than they were 7 weeks ago when I last went to church before this happened.  Getting to church or anywhere for that matter is difficult and tiring these days, but it's where I desire to be!  That has been the desire of my heart, to be with God and with friends in the House of God, and God has given me the desires of my heart!
  So when people ask me how I've remained strong and kept my faith and not crumbled under the load of all of this, it does cause me to stop and wonder how could I not have kept my faith?  How could I not trust my creator?  He gave me life!  He fashioned this body and placed every part of it just where it needed to be, so how can I not trust Him with it now?  I was speaking with someone recently about faith and they spoke of how they struggled to keep their faith.  I told them that we've always been told "Have faith as small as a grain of mustard seed" but I've never been told to allow God to cultivate and grow that seed!  But isn't that what we must do?  If we just have a seed, then we have a seed!  But if we let that seed become planted in our hearts, in the foundation of our spirit, and let God water and care for it. That's when things start to happen!  The seed sprouts and grows and becomes much larger and grounded!  But if we just hold onto that seed ourselves, we're just stuck with a seed!  I gave God my seed during these last 6 weeks, and I've been able to watch my faith in Him grow a little more each day!  
  God's not a God that will leave you when the going gets tough!  He's given us all that we need to face hard times, we just have to dig a little deeper in His words and promises sometimes!  We just have to be able to hand Him our seeds!  This is where I've been able to keep my strength and face each day, because I've given it to God!  As humans we sometimes think that it's our problems and we should shoulder them.  We end up sitting at home with a bum leg and no voice, instead of in God's house, just as an example.  We end up sitting there and sitting there, and pretty soon we're whining to God about how miserable we are. We sit there some more and then anger sets in and before we know it we're so far from God because we've decided to carry our burden, keep our seeds, and do it ourselves!  I knew this wasn't what I wanted!  So I got up off my couch, gave God my teeny tiny little seed, told God I needed His strength to get to His house, and I went!  This is how I've been able to last 6 weeks and 2 days of not being able to call on His name!  I did this week after week, letting others say His name for me during prayer and I called out to Him in my heart.  But today...  today I sang out to Him with my heart full of a deeper love than I had 6 weeks and 2 days ago, because I gave God my seed. I gave God my problem and I removed my 2 cents worth from the story and let Him write it.  And today I was able to yet again testify of how doing this, has given me my voice back, getting me my leg back, and getting me towards a tomorrow that will be closer to Him than today!
  So I rejoice and glory in my infirmities, because I know that the power of Christ may rest upon me!  FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, then THRU HIM I AM STRONG!!!

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 - And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Monday, October 5, 2009

things that make my life WONDERFUL!!!

  This weekend was an eventful one. On Saturday we had the fall fest at church.  I think they gave away over 300 hot dogs to the community, not counting snacks and sodas!  There were a lot of yard sales from people in the church and the community. The childrens department had 3 of those giant inflated fun houses.  They had a table set up for painting miniature pumpkins, and over 100 of those were painted by children! Add face painting to that and you can see that the children had a blast!  There was also live music.
  So my mother in law in my girls and I all went together.  It wasn't too hot in the beginning, so I was able to wobble around some and check out the childrens clothing with my mother in law.  I watched my oldest daughter having a blast on the giant inflated slide, and she was loving it!  I listened to the men yelling out and cheering their Alabama football on.... I personally dislike Alabama, I'm more of an UGA girl!  It was a lot of fun just getting out of the house and spending part of my Saturday at church with friends!
  Afterwards Anita (my mother in law), the girls, and I went to Wal-Mart.  She checked for an electric scooter for me because I'd already done too much at the church and almost passed out, but for the first time Wal-Mart didn't have one available!  So we ended up with this HUGE wheelchair with the buggy that swings out in front.  Well that part was broken and they had it tied with a Wal-Mart bag!  Well that didn't seem like it was going to work, and surprise surprise, the whole buggy would swing open while Anita was pushing me!  Let me tell you we looked a hot mess!!! But what was hilarious is every time we stopped, Serena (my 5 year old) would run into Anita with the buggy!  Finally we dumped the buggy and discarded almost everything that we had planned on buying due to the fact that it was just too hard to get it all done, hold the wheelchair together, and keep up with Serena!  We did manage to get some dessert foods and my exer-bike!  We were planning on getting a bucket of chicken instead of cooking for supper, and since we were exhausted we were just going to send the guys back into town for it.  But yet again, when we pulled into the yard our plans would change!  It's a good thing we didn't buy the bucket of chicken because my husband had already went home! Now Anita had to drive me home instead of getting out and getting comfy as planned!!! Poor Anita... *smile*
  Anyway I got my exer-bike together while watching the UGA game, and with 2 minutes to go I just knew we were gonna win, but some stupid ref calls (on both teams) totally changed the game and I was left with a disgusting memory of how we lost to LSU with 2 minutes left! So I rode off the frustration on my brand new exer-bike!  It's wonderful and I just know I am going to enjoy using it on my road to recovery and beyond!
  Sunday was yet another day wracked with activity.  I rode my bike 5 miles while I fixed my hair for church!  And today was a special day for me because I sang with the worship team again!  Granted there is a lot of therapy that still needs to be done before I'm 100%, but man was it great to be back up there!  I gave my testimony of what my neurologist said (read the blog before this one) and it felt so great to be able to speak!  Of course there were a few slurred words, and of course I had trouble getting some of the words out, but man it felt so great to just share what God has done!!!  I'm hoping that with continued therapy on my singing this week, that next week I'll be 100%.  That's my goal every week.   I use Sunday's as a timeline/deadline because everything I look forward to doing is usually on a Sunday!  So my goal for this week is to get my leg stronger and either rely on the walker less or simply not need it at all, that would be nice!  With my voice my goal is to speak and sing 100% normal by Sunday.  I make this my goal every week.  If I don't get to 100%, then I will be closer, and the next week is just an easier goal to work towards!!!
  After church we did our usual and went to Anita's, and ate lunch.  Now Anita is not the typical American grandmother, so there is never a huge spread of food ready, but she's a barrel of laughs and it's always a fun time.  So we had fast food burgers for lunch, and then just sat around talking until it was time for Eric and I to go to worship practice.  I realized during practice that my throat began to feel fatigued, but as stubborn as I am, I didn't listen to my body... By the time I left I knew I should go straight home and rest, but I went back to Anita's sat around laughing and talking and using more energy I knew I didn't have, but yet again it is so nice to get out of the house!!!  By the time I got home I was exhausted but my stubborn self walks in the door, changes into comfy clothes, and what do I do? I climb on the bike, press the button for an uphill downhill exercise, and did another 6.1 miles and 30 minutes!  And I'm paying for it today!  My body aches, my throat aches, and I'm still tired even though I slept like a rock thanks to the new meds Dr. Phillips has me on!  So today, I have no choice but to "listen" to my body... because it has decided that every movement I make is going to hurt!
  So this was my weekend.  To some it isn't a barrel of fun, but to me it was wonderful!  Every day that you have your mind to make clear decisions is wonderful. Every day that you are able to spend time in the presence of God with friends and family is wonderful! Every day that I'm getting better is wonderful!!!  I give praise to my Lord and my Savior for each of these things that make my life WONDERFUL!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My God has been all I need and then some!

Today I went to see a neurologist.  He checked my reflexes and balance and other things.  He asked some questions about what has been going on and some other things.  And finally he told me that this that is going on, is NOT M.S., is NOT any other muscle disease, and there is NO damage to my central nervous system.  He then proceeded to ask me if I had a history or diagnosis of migraines. I told him that since 8th grade I have had migraines and the diagnosis.  He told me that the recent onset of problems I'm having are due to migraines without the headache.  That this combined with my dysautonomia had caused the onset of these problems.  He told me that within time, probably sooner than later, that I would make a 100% recovery from these symptoms. I would regain my speech and walking!  I told him that I had never heard of a migraine without a headache. He told me that migraines should really be called a migraine syndrome because they aren't just headaches.  He also told me that my Dys. Specialist has me on a good combination of meds for my heart rate and insomnia, but that I might need to up the dosage for my insomnia.  He told me to drink a lot of water due to the fact that dysautonomia patients have a low fluid volume.  That the excessive water would help to keep the fluids built up and keep my hydrated, therefore helping the dysautonomia.  I need to avoid caffeine and only have small amounts if necessary.  He also suggested that I begin aerobic excercise like brisk walking. Starting with 5 minutes every day for a week, and each week add 2 minutes.  This would build cardiovascular muscle tone, therefore helping the dysautonomia.  For my voice I am to practice speaking and singing as much as possible.  I learned today that speaking and singing are controlled by different sides of the brain. So in order to rehabilitate my speech, it requires both. He told me that the most important thing to try and keep anything like this from happening again is to simply get my dysautonomia under control and managed.
So today has been a wonderful day! Full of good news!  I'm so thankful for all those who have helped during this time.  Without friends and family I could never have seen my dysautonomia specialist, who scheduled the visit with a neurologist with an understanding of neuro and dysautonomia.  God has worked out each and every fragment of the last 5 weeks.  I still have to rehabilitate and I have a lot of work ahead of me, but yet again with God's amazing grace and strength a full recovery of normal speech and walking is in reach.  Then all that will be left is managing my dysautonomia!  I know there is no cure for my dysautonomia, unless God chooses to do so, but after diagnosis of it, I've learned that I've had this for my entire life.  I know that this means that I can live with dysautonomia, and now that I know what it is, I can manage it for a more liveable life!  Of course if God chooses to see fit to heal me of it, then all the more better!

  This entire journey of trying to find the cause of my problems has caused me to learn what it means to fully rely upon the Lord.  For the first time in my life I've truly been at a place where I knew I had a problem and no one could tell me what was wrong.  For the first time in my life, I had to depend on someone for help with everything for more than one day.  For the first time I couldn't even depend on myself to take care of myself!  For the first time in my life, I was truly reliant upon God!  I have learned a lot about standing on the promises of God. I've learned a lot about trusting in a never-failing savior.  I've learned a lot about myself.  I feel like I know more than ever without a doubt that I am loved, cared for, and wanted.  By my God, my friends, my family.  God's never ending love has reached me from family, friends, and even complete strangers.  Each step of the way I have been shown God's love, and that he has never forgotten me, and that he has never failed me.  This whole experience has been a struggle physically, yet a victory due to the spiritual growth I gained.  Through my weakness I found a strength I never thought I had, even though I've had it all along.  I found my strength in my Savior!  He was there all along, I just had to reach a weak point, so that there was nothing left of myself so I could see God's strength!  It's funny how when we finally lose ourselves, we find God!  When we finally get past the point of "I can take care of me" or when there is a point that we can't take care of ourselves, and we move that strong headed flesh aside, that we see God taking care of us.  We can finally see clearly.
  I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've learned that when I try and take care of it, things fail.  Once I let God take care of it, all doors became open, all pathways became clear, and I was guided step by step to the right path.  I became dependent on God and I never lacked anything! God has provided financially as well as medically.  There hasn't been a moment when God has not intervened and made things possible. He is my everything.  My God has been all I need and then some!