Friday, September 30, 2011

What do you seek?

I am seeking to find peace and some level of happiness in my life of chaos and pain! To find the real me again, sometimes I feel like I have lost myself somewhere along the way. I have been donned "Superwoman", and have almost always come through for whatever someone needed, wanted, etc. I am a giver and my life has been centered around that more than I have realized! I love giving--but have found myself to be pretty empty-because I've not given to myself! Why is is it that we do that to ourselves? We as wives, mothers, sisters, friends, etc., we yearn for the other people in our lives to never be in want and we strive to fulfill all of their needs that we can and in the process there are seldom any leftovers for us, and the people we knowingly or unknowingly expect to keep our "given" cups full, either aren't givers or don't have it to give, and at times we end up either angry, disappointed, or hurt and feel that person has let us down. But have they? Maybe, maybe not, what if they have no clue as to what you need-are they a mind-reader-do we expect others to meet our needs more than we expect God to meet our needs? I think so-or at least at times, we want to think or believe that the people we love/that love us the most will always be there for us and have most of life's answers. But yet we don't stop and think that no one is perfect-we are mere humans and we will definitely not find what we are seeking if we are searching in the wrong places. Is this different with different personality types or do we all have this expectation? Do I seek for more than is possible to have/attain?Where does the contentment come in-the true satisfied contentment? Does it only come from being willing to settle for less--or when we realize that less is what makes us content? The world has so much to offer, so many things to have, places to go, sites to see, and so do we automatically rob ourselves when we look at all the missed opportunities or the things that we'll never be able to check off the list and think we've missed out?

I turned 50 this year and it hasn't been too long since I learned what a "bucket list" really was, I'd heard people talk about it, but until asked about mine I never gave it much thought. Then I started thinking--but very quickly came to realize I didn't want to think about it, because my immediate list would have very few things that would ever get checked off (because of my health)! I hesitated whether continue with my immediate train of thought, but humor me okay? So, not wanting to sound like Poor Pitiful Pearl, I will never feel the Hawaiian sand between my toes, see a real live kangaroo in Australia, go snow boarding with my family in Colorado, take a cruise "anywhere", work until retirement, or babysit/run and play with my grand-kids! Most of life's easiest tasks-things that don't qualify for the bucket list-would be on my bucket list! Things like shop/walk the mall unassisted, ride a bicycle, go anywhere and not have to be concerned with perfumes, aromas, etc., for concern of getting sick, just to name a few. So what do I seek--healing of my heart over the sadness, grief of the simple things in life that I've lost, I have so much life in me, yet everyday is a struggle of its own to try to do the things I enjoy. If you have your health--you've got about everything! Is that on your bucket list? Or, are you more concerned with what satisfies the mind or others? People have no idea of the struggles people with ailments go through on a daily basis, don't get me wrong- I WANT others to enjoy life--accomplish the things on their bucket list, but don't forget to take care of yourself or someone else along the way! I am reminded that God wants us to seek Him, and I know for myself, it is because of the ailments that I seek Him as I do. I also know that ALL things are possible with Him, and that with His help I WILL find what I seek if I seek it with all my heart!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Facing Goliath...empty handed

This past week has been really hard, thus part of my title. I have been playing tug-o-war with whether to even write about this or not, but I feel by sharing my heart it may help someone else out there. I am not seeking pity nor do I want judgements, I just ask that you keep an open mind as you read and remember I am just human and that as a professing Christian it doesn't mean I have all the answers or that my faith isn't shaken on occasion, and at times I just want to run away from it all!

Over the last few weeks I have struggled with teeth issues. Its went from having a tooth cracked/crowned, one pulled, deciding what to replace it with, and now my jaw is giving me problems again. I have had TMJ problems in the past and surgery on both joints 18 years ago. I remember that surgery toooo well, wasn't an easy thing. Having fought it off for at least 6 years until I awoke one morning with my jaw locked shut, then I knew something had to be done. God was gracious and my healing time was miraculous! But now as I sit and ponder the problems at hand, I know there doesn't seem to be an easy fix. Being a Type A personality(take charge, organized, likes to be in control, leader), I am one of those people who needs to know all I can about something, (and partly because one of my fears is the unknown). I know, you may be thinking, the opposite of fear is faith, so where is my faith? Oh, it's here, its just being tested. With everything I have been through, just in the physical realm over the last 30 years it has made me the person I am today, but that doesn't mean I have it all together. I have known for a long time that in order to be more like Christ we have to suffer-that doesn't mean just in the physical sense. It doesn't mean that that makes it easier or that I don't struggle with each new issue. Along with all the physical issues I have, one of my biggest hurdles is mental-I have panic-anxiety issues really bad. I am very claustrophobic, I cringe at admitting that, because for so long I thought I was a bad Christian if I didn't trust God enough to have a handle on it. Then I learned that I have a chemical imbalance, as well as past traumatic experiences that have attributed to my problem. This is something I would NEVER wish on my worst enemy! If you have ever been there you know what I mean, and if not-thank God! It is the worst thing I have ever dealt with. It is something I don't want people to understand, because that means they've experienced it, I don't want that, and I know it is something Satan uses to try to bring us down. I know the scriptures-"no weapon formed against thee shall prosper," I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," God doesn't give us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and a sound mind," plus many others. But when you are in the fog of it all, you can't see, you grasp for something to pull you out, and often times you feel you end up empty handed. I'm not saying I feel abandoned, I'm just saying that in a battle of spiritual warfare Satan knows when and how to use his power to force you farther down in the pit. I know I allow my mind to play games with myself, and think the worst, I'm not saying that's okay, for me to some degree it's a defense mechanism-if I think the worst of a situation and it turns out better, then for me that is good.

After doing research on the Internet, I found that the most likely fix for my jaw problem (if it's where I think it is) would be a joint replacement, which involves major surgery and my mouth being wired shut for up to 6 weeks. Needless to say this sent me on a colliding roller coaster ride, did you get that, or maybe I should have said I was a train wreck! The doctors at Mayo have told me, no being put to sleep due to my diaphragm being paralyzed unless it was a life or death matter-well, not being able to open my mouth to eat seemed to fit in that category! AND then the thought of my mouth being wired shut-sent my anxiety off the charts! My sister(my unofficial therapist) reminded me that I did NOT have all the facts and that (1 Cor. 10:13)-God will not allow on us more than we can handle.. and I couldn't handle that physically or mentally!!! So for a couple of days I fought to hold onto that thought. But there was this voice, this knowing in the back of my mind, that sometimes/many times what we feel we can't handle and what God has in mind are two different things. Along this line, I was talking to another friend of mine, because I felt I was sinning because I was "worrying" about this, (she has a new grand baby born at 27 weeks-needs your prayers), she told me that she had wore a rut in her living room floor over worry/concern for this baby! She (we both) knows God is in control, that he can heal this baby, that nothing is impossible with Him, but she also knew that he lets babies die! So who knows where the fine line is in it being okay to be so concerned about something that it turns into worry? Trust is an easy thing when life is going smoothly, you know those mountain top experiences, but this valley life seems too hard sometimes. Patsy Clairmont (I love her) in her book Dancing Bones-talks about life in the valley. That we are actually valley girls and that's where our life is mostly lived, so we should be glad and make the most of it, after all the Israelites did that-right! Ha! Yea, for 40 years, well honestly I do love my life and am truly thankful for all my life lessons-looking at them from this side, but right now with Goliath staring me in the face it's not so lovely. And the part of the title about being empty handed means that not like David, I don't have a sling shot and some smooth stones, or feel that I have the confidence right now that I CAN do this, yes I've been through something similar before, but this could be much greater, that's the hard part. I know God is my refuge, my help in time of trouble, but I am at a huge "crisis of belief"! And what WILL get me through, what IS my weapons, is my friends praying for me. A friend once told me that I intimidate people by my, but I am 90 pounds soaking wet, a little wind could seriously blow me over. She said, "no it's your spiritual strength, I have been through so much and have come out the other side still loving, serving, and praising God, and apparently that's what intimidates others!" I don't want/mean for that to be the case, but I guess in some way that could be a good thing.

Add a few other things in the mix and by Sunday I was a basket case, and threw my all on the altar, it's so difficult putting it all out there-what will they think of me, but at this point I couldn't care about that. They prayed for me, and committed to continue to do so, my little church family is so wonderful. I feel their prayers and know they are helping me fight this battle. I can not let them or God down, so I am trying to just take one day at a time. With God's help I was able to track down my previous surgeon and will go see him on the 12th. In the mean time I am being careful with what and how I eat, and praying for a miracle, that somewhere in God's plan this really won't be a giant, just a temporary time of my crazy insanity. I'm sorry if I've bored you, but I guess being able to put this in writing has helped me better focus. One of my family members said I might have OSD-Obsessive Story-telling Disorder!lol If you read this I would covet your prayers over the next little while. God bless you and may your giants be few, and may your prayer warriors be many!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Too long in coming...thank you blogger friends

I am so far behind on blogging that I decided that many of you out there had so many wonderful, inspriring things to say that I would spend my time reading yours, and once in a blue moon actually try to come up with something to say. For those of you who know me, that seems crazy because I am usually never at a loss for words. Lets just say its not the loss of words, but the lack of energy it takes to type them! This year has already taken a toll on me as I've been sick too much so far, I will spare you the boredom. But I tell you that, to say this, on days when I'm down, or not feeling well, I can come to the computer and pull up facebook or a blog and I am always enocuraged by what I read. I am blessed to have so many friends who have that special God inspiredness (is that a word) that because of your obedience to His guidance, I am touched! For whatever reason you blog, just KEEP it up, because there are many days your words are a lifeline for me and others I'm sure. I cannot say thank you enough. As Valentine's Day is just around the corner, if you are reading this, here is my valentine to you-May God richly bless you and may LOVE always abound in your life!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Time flies whether you are having fun or not...

I've been planning to make a post for some time now, it just seems when I have time my brain isn't thinking along these lines and when I don't have time that's when I think about it. I have pictures from when the girls were here for Father's Day, but for some reason I can't get them uploaded to the computer...probably that lack of brain cell function again.
Our lives have been so crazy the last three months. We had to put Jim's dad in the Nursing Home at Prairie Grove the first of May. This has brought a whole new load of responsibility for me, one that I'd rather not have. His mother isn't doing the best either, and we are just trying to keep her going and able to stay by herself. Dealing with aging parents is a totally different roller coaster ride, and I've never liked roller coasters. With Jim's brother and his wife in Camden, it leaves all the farm stuff to Jim and there are way too many nights it is 8:30-9:00 or after before he gets home, and the weekends are used to play catch up! Thankfully the kids have been able to come home some or we wouldn't have been able to see them. It is very difficult now to try to get away. A word of advice to all you out there, make sure your parents have some kind of long-term care insurance and money set aside for care, because if you don't you won't make it. If they have any money at all, make sure they have it in a trust or something (for at least 5 years prior to needing it)to where when they need help they can get on Medicaid. If we would have known this it would have helped tremendously. It is ridiculous what it cost for this kind of care. There are certain aspects of this that I feel the seniors are being taken advantage of, but what can you do. We need to pray that the government would step up and do something to help take care of senior citizens, and better health care for all.
I'll get off my soap box for now, and hopefully have something more exciting to post soon. Take care and make sure you let your loved ones know they are loved-life is too short.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Break Visits

Last week was spring break for Mark and Cari. They left Texas Monday morning, drove to Oklahoma City, and then on to see Libby and Wyatt Monday, and spend the night with them. They had lunch with one of Mark's old professor's on Tuesday, and then on out here in the afternoon. Calloway had been taking some steps here and there, but after she got here she started walking more, and by the time they left she pretty much had it down. We went over to my parents for our family visit Tuesday evening. Mom cooked her usual supper (our favorite)of fried chicken, potatoes, corn, beans, etc. After supper we all went outside to watch for Libby. She had a student doing a cross-country flight from Tulsa to Fayetteville and back, they were planning on flying over mom and dad's when leaving Fayetteville, and we were going to see if we could see them. Needless to say we got some funny looks by people when they drove by and we were all looking up in the sky! We never saw her and found out later they were rerouted farther north. Oh well, maybe next time. We were all tired Wednesday morning so we laid down for a nap after Jim went to work, and then we went by his office so he could "show off Calloway" and then He took us to lunch at El Chico's. After Jim got home from work Cari, Calloway, and I went up the road with him to feed Freddie and let Calloway see the cows. She really enjoyed seeing them and hearing them "MOO"! I fixed barbecue chicken for supper and we just lazied around. Thursday we went to my cousin, Brenda's house to see her, Whitney, and Paris, then on to Mellow Mushroom for Pizza with Steph and Wes, some of their friends from the college days. Mark, Cari, and Calloway had dinner with his brother Adam and his girlfriend Sarah that evening. They had to leave Friday morning. I hated that they had to go, as Cari wasn't feeling well and was sick their whole way home. Their trip is always too short, but we are thankful for the time we have them. Calloway is growing up way too fast for our liking, but it is so much fun to see her learn new things and the day to day changes that come with this age. She is such a smart, happy baby, loves people and has such a sweet personality. She has that ornery side too, not sure who she gets that from!!! We're not sure when we will get to go back to Texas, but hopefully it won't be too long. I know for those in school and the families they go to visit the week is never long enough, I guess that's why they call it a break! I hope everyone has or is enjoying theirs!

Calloway with chocolate chip cookie on her mouth.

My sister LeAnn holding Sophia (Susan's baby), Lauren with Calloway, Brianna, and Mark in the background.

Sophia trying on Calloway's sunglasses.

Calloway eating her scrambled eggs for breakfast.

Sitting at Poppy's desk ready to work!

Poppy is proud of his granddaughter!

Calloway petting Freddie.

Enjoying the cows.
Calloway playing tug-o-war with Sassy! (This was so funny)

Calloway and Paris (Whitney's little girl-she's 2 months younger than Calloway)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Betty's Bovine Nursery is Officially Open!

Most of you know we live on a farm and Jim raises cows as a hobby (my opinion, its too hard of work for a hobby). He tries to plan for the cows to start having their calves around the first of March, notice I said plan. Well last fall one of the bulls decided he didn't agree with that plan (just like a male) so he just went ahead and got in with the cows a little sooner. So, calves started coming during the ice storm the end of January. For those of you who don't understand the reasoning behind this, I will do my best to inform you what little "cattle ranching" I know! If babies are born in the really cold bad weather and the mommas don't take good care of them immediately they could freeze, or have problems, this means they need mommy assistance of the two legged kind. In years past Jim's mom has always taken the babies into her home and did whatever they needed to keep them alive, build up their strength, warm them, or whatever! Well last year neither of Jim's parents were feeling well when the first baby needed help, so, what does my loving husband do..... he calls me from the hillside on his cellphone and tells me he needs to bring a baby to the house. My first thought was I don't like the smell of cow poop, and what other stuff was there going to be to clean up. What was he getting me in to? If I remember correctly we had 6 different babies in my bovine nursery last year. In March I had two at one time, now that was quite the experience, and you think one of our babies can make a lot of noise at night! We only had one fatality last year, that little fellow was just too big, and the birthing process was too long and hard on him. Needless to say Cari and Libby could not believe that I let Jim bring baby calves in the house, they thought I had lost it for sure this time. Jim's parents have since had to go stay with his brother and sister-in-law in Camden, so I don't have any backup help now, so earlier this year I told Jim he needed to make sure that all deliveries ran smoothly, that all babies were born healthy, and the mommies did their jobs. He just laughed at me! (Of course I knew that you seldom ever get through a calving season without any problems)
So last night around 7 p.m. the phone rings, Jim tells me he has had to pull a calf, the baby is alive, the momma not doing so well, so I might need to open the bovine nursery. He had to go back and get the tractor and finish feeding the cows, would be home in a while. He comes in, says the momma hasn't gotten up (not good) and after supper he's going back to check on them. About an hour later he leaves with a heavy towel to dry the baby and in hopes they are both doing okay. He's only gone like 10 minutes and I have this feeling that things are not good. He comes in the back door and says, "time for me to open the nursery"!!! Let me inform you of what is now involved in opening this nursery-since I got the puppy for Christmas the cat has been "jailed" in the utility room, aka nursery, SO we move the cat into the main bathroom, some stuff has to go to the garage, because you need lots of room for these "outdoor" children, and I start pulling out all the linens, etc. for drying, cleaning, and warming this little guy who has been born in 30 degree weather, who is very wet and cold. Once we are ready, Jim goes out to the car, carries the baby in(65 pounds)and I go to warming towels, etc. In the meantime Sassy(puppy) is not too sure about all of this and thinks that every time he makes a noise or moves she needs to bark, which scares the little guy, so we have to try to shush her, not an easy task, and then of course she still doesn't know that she is a tiny thing and wants to be right in the middle of the excitement. It takes about an hour to get him warm enough he's not shaking and is able to try to stand up-this is Jim's job, seeing as the calf weighs almost as much as I do. He does pretty good standing and is ready for some milk. We fix him a bottle and thankfully he does a good job sucking and drinks it down. Mind you, every baby that comes through my nursery gets a name. Jim didn't keep up with them very well last year after they were released from my care, but he is suppose to this year! So Freddy was the first to be cared for in 2009. It was after 11 o'clock before we got to go to bed and by 1:30 am Freddy was ready to play. Jim fed him again at 4 this morning, so it was not a good night for sleeping! Jim went to check on the momma this morning and we don't think she is going to make it, Freddy was her first and that's a big baby to have the first time around. So Jim came home, we fed Freddy again, and he went ahead and took him back up to the barn lot, in case by the momma seeing the baby it might help her, but doesn't look like it will. So now Jim has a baby to feed twice a day. Then comes the fun part of cleaning up....washing the "dirty" linens, cleaning the floor, etc. Gotta be prepared for the next one he says!!! I really don't mind all of this especially if its on the weekend, but I don't like it for Jim or the babies, because it means there is a problem which causes more work for him. He said last night that a little over half have had their babies, so I am praying that the rest(about 60) go as well or better than the first half. If you ever need some on hand experience with baby calves let me know and I'll give you a call next time the nursery has to open.

A long awaited visit with friends!

After almost 3 1/2 years I was finally able to go visit some very dear friends, Larry and Carla Hency. Or maybe I should say, quit planning to go visit and just made it happen. I have told myself for a long time I needed "to make time" to go see them, but just never made it a priority, after all, to have to drive for a little over an hour.... I feel really bad about that. You see I met them in Springdale Hospital in October of 2005, when Jim had his second surgery on his colon. Larry was in ICU from an auto accident where one evening (Sept. 21st if my memory holds me) he swerved to miss some deer and ended up in the ditch and is now a quadriplegic. I met Carla in the ICU waiting room as we were waiting for visiting hours to see our husbands. We bonded immediately. They had been going through some very rough times and were trying to get Larry transferred to a better hospital in Colorado. She tells me I was her angel and prayer support, what she doesn't realize is that she was "the angel" who had more strength than an iron man. It is amazing how God puts people together and they form bonds that hold so strongly. I have thought of and prayed for them so much. We have kept in touch through emails and facebook, Christmas letters, and a few phone calls, but nothing is ever as good as seeing that person and being able to exchange hugs and smiles. Thanks for yesterday, I love you girl. Carla, forgive me for being selfish and not making time to come see you sooner and more often. After much trial and prayer they finally got Larry transferred to Colorado. He was there until Carla was able to bring him home in May of 2006. After the accident Larry could breathe on his own, but after the surgery in Springdale he was on a ventilator. He came home on a vent and through hours of loving devotion and prayer Carla worked with him and got him weaned off the vent. She has taken care of him 24/7 since then. They have since returned to Colorado, and need to go back for some more adjustments, surgery, etc. She is an unbelievable woman. Not a nurse, never trained as one, just enabled by the Great Physician above, to do a task few could do. I know I don't think I could manage the job. And that's just the thing, she doesn't see it as a job, she loves her husband with all her heart and is so thankful she has as much of him as she does. It is a miracle that Larry is as "normal" as he is, after all he's been through. He has a motorized wheelchair and motivates it with a hand stick, he's really good at getting where he wants to go, unless its to town and Carla won't take him until later!!! LOL (They were planning a trip to town yesterday afternoon.)
I've always heard if you think you've got it bad/rough just look around and you can always find someone else in worse shape. I have to admit my life has been very trying lately and I've had many days where I was down and just tired of fighting this thing called sickness. But after yesterday I am uplifted in knowing that there is a brother and sister out there who are Praising God for each day of "sickness" they have together, who am I to complain...shame on me! Thank you God for reminding me of your power, your enabling, that you make us strong when we are weak, and that there is good reason to bear one another's burdens. When you see a wheelchair, a deer, or just the thought of these wonderful people cross your mind, please pray for them, that's what gets them through. We are all here for a purpose, not only to love and serve God, but to love and help others. God bless you today my dear friends, and don't wait too long to make that visit you need to make, someday it will be too late.