Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Again


Ok, Y'all. This picture describes our family right now. Stuck in a chair trying to get up! Disability denied my claim. I am not getting paid right now at all. And Sean brought home a whopping 350 this month. And I am not the least bit frightened, or worried, or anxious. What a wonderful work the Lord is doing in me!

So a few weeks ago, right after I applied for disability, I was spending some serious time in prayer (arguing with God about the helpless situation He allowed me to fall into, where I literally have no control). As I prayed about our situation, me not being able to work, I felt like the Lord was urging me to ask Him for disability to deny us. I fought that urge. That is NOT what I wanted, and essentially I was saying "Not Your will, Lord, but mine be done." My pride, my fear, my anxiety would not let me humble myself to pray that prayer. Deep down, I didn't trust Him.

Then I felt the urge again, and it seemed like He was telling me "Trust me. Let this go, be destitute and needy and see how I will bless you, take care of you. It will be beyond what you could imagine."

As I wrapped that time with Him up, I was still holding tight to what I knew was "safe" and that was getting some money coming in. I wanted to pray that prayer, but I just couldn't.

But where I fall short, and can't pray what I need to pray, Jesus, my advocate, my mediator steps in. And He asked God for what was best for me and for my family.

So, as you can probably imagine, they did in fact deny my claim. There is absolutely nothing we can do. It's private disability insurance because teachers don't pay into Social Security. We are walled in. But my God is Jehovah Jireh. And He was waiting for me to surrender so that He could show me how He will provide for us. There is absolutely no way that He will let us down.

As crazy as my life feels right now, the Father has walked this road before me. He has prepared provision for us, and He is faithful to His promise that He will provide. I can't wait to see what he has in store for us! I am amazingly peaceful. I trust Him! He has spoken peace over me this week, and assured me that He is on His throne today just as he was with the Israelites as they crossed the Red Sea. He is the God who provides.

Praise Him that He sees us, and that He loves us! Praise Him that His plans are purposeful and intentional! Praise Him that He is Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides! Though I may not sit at the table of kings, God is my portion! He feeds me from the abundance of His hands! Whether He provides by financially blessing us to be able to continue our lifestyle as it is, or we end up under the bridge, I will praise Him for His everlasting faithfulness!

And here is what the Lord has called me to in this season: Stillness.

"Now then, stand still and see this great thing that the Lord is about to do before your eyes!" 1 Samuel 12:16

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still" Exodus 14:14

Monday, December 6, 2010

Levi: Thanks for sharing.

So I got it too. Yes, I am talking about the infamous "tummy bug." But don't worry, I was sure to make a dramatic presentation of it. You know me. So here's how it went down:

I woke up Sunday morning feeling a little, well, uneasy. You know how it is. Not hungry, not full, not...good. Since my recent bout with doctor visits, I am currently taking 1298349872348971298375 different medicines, so whether I am hungry or not, I have to eat. That many meds will wreck an empty stomach. But I was also very thirsty. I asked my husband to drive through Micky D's for a......large water.

RED FLAG PEOPLE!

And no, I am not talking about the fact that they actually charged us 11 cents for water. I am talking about how crazy it is for me to ask for water. I will drink off-brand lemon/lime before I will drink water. But alas, my husband wasn't alerted to the fact that this was a dire situation, so he sat by after worship practice as I ate both halves of a giant cinnamon bagel. Ohhhh. Yes.

Needless to say, I felt worse. I laid down as we waited for Band Bible Fellowship to start, and incidentally slept through the entire thing. At the time I was okay with that, but looking back my cheeks are definitely red. But not as red as they were about to be as this story unfolds.

I woke up just in time for us to join hands and begin praying. At the end of said prayer, we were to start the 10:00 service with joyful Christmas caroling. Just as the prayer started, however, my mouth got cold and began to water...the dreaded sign that you are about to release whatever it is you intended to stay inside you.

I let go from the joining of hands. I rushed through the door of Pastor James' office. I raced past the older gentlemen copying the sermon onto dvds. I had almost made it. Into the Worship Office....and...the first surge came up. But I was hopeful! I covered my mouth with my hand and kept running. I rounded the corner and was about to open the bathroom door.....when....two more surges gripped me and I projectile vomited all over the door and the floor in front of the door. Ohhhhh.

I immediately began apologizing, assuming that seeing as how it was less that 10 minutes before the service started, that SOMEONE had witnessed this catastrophic accident. I ran into the bathroom and finished my episode in the first available toilet. From behind me an unknown kind stranger handed me wet paper towels to wipe away the left over....particles. (I also used them to blow out the chunks still lingering in my nasal cavity.) Come to find out, the unknown stranger was actually Mrs. Watkins. Bless her. She also covered the atrocity in front of the door and ushered all needy patrons to another restroom. She's an angel.

Then came the horrible moment in which I had to show my face to the curious crowd outside the bathroom. Oh the shame! (There wasn't anyone out there. But I imagined there were hundreds.)

Needless to say, I did not appear on stage ready to usher the churchgoers into worship. I called my Daddy. He came to get me. Puke covered scarf and all. As we were leaving, I saw the janitor cleaning MY vomit off of the Men's room door. At least I was thorough.

I want to issue a formal apology to all those patient women who were unable to ease their urgency, or touch up their makeup that fateful morning. I accept full responsibility for the..uhem, mess. And I would like to issue a formal "thank you" to Mrs. Watkins. That was not what you thought you'd be doing when you dressed for church that morning, was it? Bless your precious heart!

Seriously though, I was assured many times that we all go through this. Fortunately for most, though, they are 7 years old when it happens.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wow, I didn't even know you ate that!

Levi is sick. Not like "Oh no, my baby has a fever of 99.9" sick. Really sick. Last night, I heard him wake up (We are staying at my parents and I was on the computer in the next room) and start crying. This happens some times because he gets all confused about where he is sleeping since we go from Mom's house to home and back. Normally, I just let him cry a little and he soothes himself and goes back to sleep. On this fateful night, however, he did not go back to sleep. He was coughing a lot, like a gagging sound, so I stuck my head in, and he was sitting up, but he was breathing so I left him in there. After about 10 minutes, I decided just to go to bed and put him in bed with me. When I entered the room, I was accosted by a smell I have not smelled before. Ever. I thought to myself "Self, he must have poo pooed a LOT and it leaked everywhere. Don't panic, we have walked this road before."

But we had NOT walked this road before, y'all.

As I approached the pack 'n play, I saw it. Chunky. Multi-colored. Sticky. EVERYWHERE. Yes, friends. It was puke. PUKE! And we are not talking baby spit up "Ew it's yucky!" My child had blown serious, real, grown up cookies. And to make matters worse, he had laid down in it and coated his right side thoroughly. Puke in his hair, puke on his jammies, puke in his ears, puke on Stinky Bear, puke on the blankets. Not a single element of L's sleeping space was untouched by the sheer volume of vomit he had up-chucked.

I hate to admit what went through my head at that moment. For a split second, I debated whether or not to pick him up. Mercy, Lord! Oh how children challenge your selfishness!

Well, I did pick him up. Right now I have a hard time walking when I am just carrying my own weight, so I had to hold him closely in order to keep from dropping him. And bless his heart, he laid his vomit-coated head right on my shoulder and nuzzled into my hair. And you know what? The grace of the Lord covered me and I did not throw him down!

I did, however, call out for my parents. This was around 10:00, and they were already in bed, but they were awake, watching TV. They both came running, and whisked L away to a warm bath. Mom scrubbed him raw as Dad played with him to distract him. I stripped down and borrowed another T-shirt from my mom's closet. The truth is, after all the scrubbing, he still STANK, people. That stuff wasn't going down without a fight! But we were victorious. Praise Him.

Dad ended up sleeping on the couch while Levi and I took his side of their bed. Mom and I did not sleep. We tried giving him some water/juice, and he threw that up, with one tiny chunk of the hamburger he ate yesterday. Then he threw up another strange liquid. Then he dry heaved. I was bawling. It is HORRIBLE seeing your child so sick. And every time he threw up, he cried and reached out for me. Ohhhhhh, it is so painful! You just want to make it better and you can't.

Well, he hasn't thrown up since 2 am or so, and that's good, but he also has only had 1 wet diaper. We finally got him to take 1 1/2 bottles of pedialyte and a few bites of a saltine cracker. He won't take a popsicle, or jello, and I won't give him anything else yet.

Well, I'm sure you are so pleased about reading every little detail of Levi's first vomit experience, right? I may write a book. This material is good.

"Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him." Psalm 127:3

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Conviction

Sisters, (and/or brothers, if that be the case) I am convicted. In fact, the Lord has held me in a state of contrition for at least a week now, with the enemy fighting to turn the humility the Lord desires of me into vanity, self-deprecating thoughts and verbiage, insecurity, doubt, anxiety, and any other perversion of humility he can contrive. For weeks now, the Father has been calling me to Himself, whispering for me to look outside my tiny inch of eternity and be captured by His holiness and glory, and instead I have allowed the enemy to focus my heart on my weaknesses, my fears, and my insecurities. I have felt this gnawing feeling that everyone knows something that I don't know about life, and they are wondering when I will get it. That people are talking about me, about how I fall short of expectations and standards. Honestly, I have heard the enemy whisper that I am a burden, that I am not liked, that I don't belong. And with those lies comes fear that I will be found out. When will everyone see that I am such a fraud?! But this weekend, I went to the Women's Conference at First Baptist Irving, and there my conviction was confirmed, as well as the faithfulness of God to walk me through. (And PS, I can defeat those particular lies with Scripture: "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3)

Have you felt before the difference between the feeling of conviction, and the feeling of guilt? Conviction, to me, feels more like a twinge, or sometimes a burn. Guilt feels like an empty pit. Or sour stomach. And Satan has tried savagely to convince me in the past weeks that that my twingy burn is an empty pit. But it isn't friends, and God was indeed satisfied to look on Christ crucified and pardon me instead and because of that, the empty pit of guilt and shame has no place in me. But the twinge of conviction brings me closer to Christ, and conforms me more closely into His image. It is a gift from God, not a punishment or condemnation.

So back to my conviction. But before that, let me lay before you a confession: through all of the fear and uncertainty of the past month, before Friday, I had not come before the Lord in humility and told Him that I trusted Him. I hadn't even told him that I DIDN"T trust Him, I hadn't told Him anything. I hadn't petitioned Him for anything. I hadn't used His Word as a light unto my path in this dark time for my family. I let my sadness, my worry, my anxiety, and honestly my own self-pity block Him out.

But "He knows how we are formed. He remembers that we are dust." Ps 103:14

Glory to the Father! Even in His holiness he remembers that I am dust. His patience with me is unfathomable. Even at this stage in my spiritual walk with Jesus, I found myself in this place of complacency and spiritual lethargy. But this is what my precious Heavenly Father brought to mind:


Hmmm, it is beautiful isn't it? That even though He knows how I was formed, He remembers that I am dust, and He is "familiar with ALL my ways," he counted me worthy of this precious gift. What kind of legacy am I leaving for this baby boy, who is the absolute joy of my heart? Is it a legacy of faith and perseverance? Am I a good steward of this treasure, destined to be admonished with "Well done good and faithful servant?"

Well there is good news and bad news about that. The bad news is no, I am not. Right now, as I sit typing this, I am not. All of my good intentions of leaving deep footprints of faithfulness for my son to follow have fallen away as life has spun around like a revolving door. I have believed absolute lies, and counted the blessings of God as burdens. But here is the good news: "he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Phil. 1:6 And as the generations of women repeatedly encouraged us at the conference this weekend, God's faithfulness to His promises and to His Word NEVER FAIL. I am not the godly woman, wife, and mother that God has called me to be. Are you? But He isn't finished with us yet. So I am going to make some commitments to Him, to myself, to my family, to you, dear friends. Here they are:

1. I am going to commit to FIGHTING for time with the Father every day, as my sweet friend Lauren encouraged this weekend. He is the lifeblood of who I am, without Him I am nothing. That's reason enough to get up before the baby does!
2. I am going to commit to praying for and speaking Scripture over and to my son daily. He is my responsibility, and my purpose in raising him is single: That he may know Christ and Him crucified. Scripture, prayer, and the power of the Holy Spirit are my only hope.
3. I am going to commit to memorizing the Word. I started this in college, and did well, but it hasn't been a priority since then. And I can't very well speak it over and to my children if I don't know it, so there you go.
4. I am going to commit to prayer. Not just in a specified time of the day that I have set aside for the Lord. But constantly, consistently, desperately. I want to be a prayer warrior for my family, my friends, my church, the lost, my country, my leaders, broken for what breaks the Father.

Ask me about it. Tell me if this touches your heart or if the Lord convicts you like He convicts me. Share your thoughts. I hear whispers of those of you who read my blog and tell my MOM about it, leave your thoughts and comments or I won't believe her when she tells me you read it :)

"We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands." Ps 78:4-7

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Baby Judah and Trick or Treat Make-up

Well, Baby Judah is finally here! I know my sister is so glad, he was crowding her! He arrived on Halloween, 10/31/10 at 10:49 in the morning. He is 7 lbs 3 oz, and 19 inches long! Almost exactly the same size as his cousin. Whitney always did try to copy me :)

Mommy and baby are doing wonderfully! I am so proud of my little sis. She went into labor on Saturday night, but didn't go into the hospital until around 3:30 am. She had her epidural after about 2 hours, and then she progressed really quickly. Sean, Levi, and I were there all day, and literally, people we didn't even know commented on how well my son behaved. I was so proud :)


Today, we went trick or treating (more on that later) and this is Sean holding sweet Judah.

Papa, Levi, and Judah snuggling on the couch. Levi is going to struggle with sharing Papa with another little person. Side story: When we took Levi to look at puppies, he stomped one of them. True story. Stomped it's little 1/2 pound head. Be afraid, Judah. Be very afraid.

Mommy, Judah, and Gigi snuggling after Mommy fed Judah. Another side story: Judah looks just like Whitney did when she was a newborn. My mom must feel like she is in the twilight zone!

Okay, so before you view the next set of pictures, let me explain why we are Trick-or-Treating two days after Halloween. As aforementioned, Whitney had her baby on Halloween. Sean and Levi and I were up at the hospital all day long, and we got there at 4am. Needless to say, none of us were physically or mentally able to last long enough to go Trick-or-Treating, or make it to Fall-a-palooza at church :( I was very disappointed because I worked very hard on our costumes! (Except Levi's which I purchased.) So we talked to my mom's neighbors and convinced them to do a little Trick-or-Treat Makeup session. It was fabulous. Here are the pictures:

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee're off to see the Wizard!

If I only had a heart!

Neither one of them were fond of the hats I made them wear. But it worked out great for a picture!

TRICK OR TREAT!!!!! He was such a good little Trick or Treater!

Candy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


He loved it! Or rather, WE loved it. It was so much fun. After we hit up the neighbors, we hit up Ya-Ya and Uncle Scott. Levi got to hold "Ball" (which is what he calls Judah) and eat fruit snacks and pretzels. All in all, I would say it was a great Fake Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Update

Hey friends, I just wanted to give you a quick update on my health. I don't want this blog to turn into a huge bummer, so I will make the bad news zippy:

I still can't see out of my left eye. This makes driving impossible, and since optic neuritis comes with lots of swelling in the optic nerve, it makes headaches inevitable. The headaches make me feel nauseous pretty much constantly. Boo. This issue is what is making it the hardest to function.

Also, I am having pretty bad fatigue. My legs and arms feel like they weigh 100000000000 pounds, which makes it hard to get around. Usually I start out in the morning fairly normal-feeling, but I peter out pretty soon after lunch. This week I have had doctors appointments during the day, and the appointment and lunch are pretty much all I can handle. If I stay home all day, rest, and stay sitting, I can function semi-normally. Add any physical activity and I collapse at around 3.

So long story short, I am on FMLA leave from work for now. I have no idea what will happen. Pray pray pray friends!

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Little Pumpkin is ONE!

This is Levi on his birthday. He is obviously very excited about it. I made him that little star, just for funsies. Because I am ill, we didn't really get to do much on his birthday, but we did take him to Chick-Fil-A so he could play in the play place. I think he probably enjoyed it just as much as he would have enjoyed any other birthday celebrations we might have had :)


Grandpa was definitely the main attraction. "Grandpa, what are we still doing sitting here when there is fun happening in the playplace??!?!?"

Mommy and Levi playing together. Actually, as you can see, he just wanted to play. He could have taken me or left me.

Lovin on Gigi and Grandpa :)

Lovin' on Mommy and Daddy!

More lovin' on Mommy! I can't get enough of his sweet kisses!

Okay, so let me tell you about my big one-year-old and all that he can do:
1. He has taken steps. Yes, friends, about a week or two before his birthday he took his first step. Sean was there, and so were our good friends Chris and Michelle. So far he has taken 6 consecutive steps at a time, but he averages about 2 or three before he gives up usually. Let's face it, crawling is so much faster for now!
2. He is quite the talker. He says Mama, Dadda, Gigi, Papa, Ya ya, ball and bubble. And lots of gibberish. But he mostly says ball. Ball ball ball ball ball. And he can spot a ball-shaped object from miles away. The kid is definitely going to be into sports.
3. Speaking of balls, he loves to play with them and throw them. Soccer balls, bouncy balls, footballs, whatever he can get his hands on. He even loves my mom's giant exercise ball. He can roll them back and forth with us, and sometimes he just throws it and goes and gets it over and over. He is special.
4. He still growls. We took him to a wedding and he growled through the whole thing. I was embarrassed, but he sure wasn't!
5. He eats 3 meals a day, breakfast lunch and dinner, and eats whatever we are eating usually. I am starting to order him his own food at restaurants. He loves juice boxes and using straws.
6. He is so happy. The kid smiles and smiles, and laughs and laughs. As long as we get our 2 naps a day, we are good to go!
7. He is still sleeping 10-12 hours at night, and taking 2 naps a day. When we visit other people's houses he struggles a little, but we are definitely not complaining about this kiddos sleeping patterns!
8. He still loves Papa more than anyone. Who knows what Dad has that the rest of us are obviously lacking, but he is the man in Levi's eyes. Here they are watching the Green Bay game in their jerseys.
9. Random fact: He loves my sister's bellybutton. Hmm. I know this is weird, and none of us understand, but he just loves it. I think he is hoping he can pull his little cousin out of there...
10. He is so intuitive. This whole health issue that our family has been struggling with has really affected him. He wants Mama all the time, and is always wanting to snuggle me (which of course I don't mind :) Any time anyone tries to take my blood pressure, or give me a shot or anything, he FREAKS out. My mom put a brown wash cloth on my head the other day because I was really flushed, and he screamed at her, crawled over and yanked it off. He inspected it, and then gave it back, but it really upset him and he would leave my side after that. Poor baby, he is so protective right now.

So that's my baby! He is such an absolute joy. I am so so so so proud and happy that God has given me the opportunity and responsibility of being his mommy. I have never loved anything that God has called me to more than I love "wife and mommy." Those two boys are the lights of my life!

I will post an update tomorrow about what is going on with my health. I will say that it is not favorable, but Sean and I trust the Lord and we are petitioning him for healing. We know that He is mighty to heal, mighty to save. Know, friends, that the Enemy will not be victorious in convincing us that we walk alone, or that we have no hope. The Father is purposeful and intentional. We trust Him. We will continue to trust Him no matter what.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Levi's Birthday party! EG: A much less depressing post.

(Kiddos decorating guitars that I spent forever cutting out. We had glitter, markers, star spangles, and paint. Also, this was a "backstage area" where the kids could spray color and glitter in their hair, use glitter makeup, and choose as many tattoos as their bodies could possibly handle. These activities proved to be a HUGE hit.)

So I definitely gave birth to a super-star stud, as my son proved at his Rock n Roll, Rock Star Birthday party. I have never in my life seen a more handsome, suave, smooth, ladies man of a one year old in my LIFE. No lie. Ask anyone who was there. Here he is with one of his girlfriends, Madeline:
Madeline babysits him sometimes, and she is FABULOUS. I have her info if you live near Arlington and need someone.

And here is his his Rock Star birthday cake! Carrie made it, my precious friend who watches Levi while I am at work. She is AMAZING. Mom picked out the candles, they were great.

Carrie also made this cake, the guitar was white cake, and this one was chocolate. They were both delicious.
Here was the cake table. Since I was really sick this weekend, my mom, Nicole Miller, Emily Dennis, my mother-in-law, and my sister in law did all of this. Sean and Jay (Nicole's sweet husband) inflated all the balloons.

Inside the bags were star sun glasses, guitar bubble necklaces, several music-makers, and lots of candy. They were so fun. Also, you can see that L came home with lots of loot.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand, we had a clown. A FULL SERVICE clown, even. He did balloon animals AND a magic show! (This is actually Mike, Sean's friend from PA school. He did a magic show and balloon animals at his own daughter's first birthday party about 2 months ago, and we claimed our own show before we even left her party, haha) He was a big hit.

Everyone seemed to have a good time. There was a lot going on!

This is the Hyde family. They are amazing. Let me just tell you that since Sean has been in school, John and Shelley have been so supportive of both of us, always there as friends and helpers. We are so lucky to know them. They went by and picked up all the pizza from Ninos, and then spent the whole party making cotton candy in the kitchen. Servants, I tell you. I want to grow up and be more like them.

Levi and another girlfriend of his, Katelyn. Her daddy is the clown. And her mommy is a dear friend. They also have been so supportive and have really been there for us through PA school. John and Mike really help hold Sean up through all of this.

PS, Katelyn is 2 months older than L, and everytime they hang out, Levi gains new skills. She may look super-dainty, but she is a rock star for sure.

Here is a family pic with the entertainment! Funny story, Carrie's youngest kiddo, Camrie, refused to come in the room until the clown had vacated the premises. Even after he wiped off his makeup, she still stared at him warily.

And here is our cake picture. Honestly, most of it was on the floor, and Levi was highly uninterested in it. I had to pretty much shove it in his face to get this pic. Notice how the white shirt is virtually untouched by the bright orange and red frosting. What can I say, my kid is a veggie-lover, not a cake-lover. How sad for me.

Opening presents with Papa. Levi pretty much established from the beginning that if he was going to do what we wanted him to do, he was going to do it with my dad. Or not at all. And what the birthday boy wanted, he got!

Aunt Sara's awesome gift. He spent the rest of Saturday pushing the empty container around the room like a car. If he came across one of the blocks, he would put it in, but he was more interested in the box. Figures.

It was amazing. We had hot dogs, pizza, cotton candy, fruit punch, tea, water, cake, presents, guitar-decorating, rock-star primping, balloons, and LOTS of fun! The party was definitely an expectation-surpassing experience. And this coming Saturday, my little 7 lb 2 oz baby boy will be a big, 21 lb 13 oz ONE YEAR OLD. I love him, people. I love him so much. And no matter what EVER happens, I will always love him.

Next week I will post all of the updates about what he can do and who he is right now at 1. I know you are dying to hear it all :)

Also, I want to thank all of my sweet friends who read and commented on my blog and on Facebook this week. I am overwhelmed by your love and support. And I am equally overwhelmed that I serve a God who's tenderness and compassion for me moves in you to pour out his love and blessing on me through your words. Oh how He loves me, friends! And I am covered in it!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Confession

Okay, friends, I am going really just let you know what is going on with me right now. There is a lot of mixed emotion all coursing through me these days, from worry and anxiety, to flat out fear, guilt, and anger. And although vague Facebook posts may satisfy some, I could use some specific prayer from those of you who love our family enough to follow this blog.

So last week, on Sunday or Monday, I started having pain behind my left eye, accompanied by some blurred vision. I have also been having extreme fatigue, which has caused me to not even be able to get out of bed some days. It got significantly worse on Tuesday, and I ended up taking the rest of the week off from work to get some medical help. I went on Wednesday to see my neurologist, and was diagnosed with optic neuritis, which is caused by my Multiple Sclerosis. It is the inflammation of my optic nerve, and if left untreated, it can cause all sorts of vision problems, including possible blindness. That is where the fear comes in, friends. Deep fear in my heart, that wants to trust my Heavenly Father to heal, protect, and carry me through, but that feels trapped by what could happen. What He could decide to allow me to walk through.

My doctor decided to put me on IV steroids for 5 days. Thankfully, they are able to do this as an outpatient procedure, so a nurse came out and put the port in for me and gave me my first infusion. I have given the last two to myself with a pressure ball and a tube. It is incredibly painful, and leaves my body feeling nauseous, tired, and all around yucky. It is helping the pain in my eye, but since I have started the infusions, I have lost feeling in my right middle finger, and also in some patches of my legs. Bummer. The unknown scares me, because this will either get better, or get much worse. Which leads me from fear, to anxiety and worry.

My doctor thinks that it would be prudent for me to take some sick leave, and file for disability. So many unpleasant feelings and questions rise up in me when I think about this. What will this mean for my class? How will this affect my team at school? How much harder will their jobs be if I do this? What will everyone at work think? What will my family and friends think? Will they be disappointed in me? Will they think I have failed, and that I am weak? Will they doubt my motives? Will they think I should tough it out, that I am giving up?

So much guilt. So much anxiety. So much fear. But none of those questions were the right ones. Most important question: Does this decision honor God?

To answer that question, I have had to really think and pray through this. I had to think of both options here, to stay home and give my body time to heal without the immense stress caused by work, or gather my strength, push my body, and risk losing more. What is better for me, for my family, and what honors God?

If I continue to work, the main issue is that my body is already showing progressive signs of MS attacks. The stress of work, especially a job as difficult as mine, is proving to be detrimental to my health. Continuing to work is taking a risk with my body, a risk that could include: blindness, paralysis of my limbs, including my legs, chronic and debilitating fatigue, loss of muscle control, lots and lots of pain, and many other possible symptoms.

On the other hand, if I take my leave, and go on disability, I will be able to spend that time going to therapy, resting my body and allowing it time to heal. Or at the very least, cease getting worse. The cons of this decision include all of the former questions I was asking. And my heart is troubled over the problems this might cause for others, and how it might affect my relationship with them.

Friends, pray fervently for me, if you can. I am scared. I am worried, and I am torn. Logically, I can see the right choice. But my emotions are clouding my reasoning. I feel genuinely bad about the idea of disability. I just do. But my family comes first. And risking not being able to take care of my son is not an option. It just isn't. My biggest responsibility is to him, because God has intrusted him to me. And I need His strength now, friends!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Halloween Costumes, Heroes, and Other Joys of my Heart

Doesn't look like Levi? That's because it it not Levi...yet. But he will be donning this precious little costume in t-minus 2 weeks and 3 days. That is right, friends, Levi is going to be the heartless little Tin Man for Halloween. (Or as my "Wicked" friends would know him, the boyfriend of the Wicked Witch of the East.) We have aquired the costume already at a little sale some of you might have heard of: The Just Between Friends Sale. 8 dollars. No Lie.
So I needed a costume to go along. Grown ups don't have JBF sales. Thus we don't have the funds to purchase an adult costume. Hmmm, time to be creative! So I made this little number:

Those are some seriously glittery shoes, the picture doesn't do them justice. And they took a whole bottle of red glitter. But they are a dream. I am super excited to don them.

And unfortunately, I see this in Sean's future:

But much more "thrift shoppy." Because that's how we roll.

On another note, I have become fascinated with a new show. (Sitting on your bottom all day with an IV in your arm will get you experimenting with new shows.) It is called Heroes, and apparently it has been on for several seasons now.

I, however, have just discovered it. It is wonderful. But it is one of those shows that you have to pay attention when you watch because it can be really confusing. Lots of surprises. But I am prone to become addicted to shows that involve special abilities, magic, and Japanese men stopping time and moving through space. I suppose it is a weakness I will carry with me always :)

And the final, and most splendiferous joy of my life:



I bet you could have guessed that :)