Friends Make the Journey Easier

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I believe we have certain people in our life who make the journey easier. These people understand what it means to go through tough times and can relate to you. I had the amazing privilege to have this wonderful woman in my home today and we sat and talked and cried. Janet is family, but we talked as if no time had passed since the last time we saw each other which was 13 years ago. We have kept in contact over the years, and especially lately as their son was diagnosed with DIPG.

Last night as I was pondering how our coffee date would go this morning and praying for wisdom and words of encouragement, my heart broke inside of me. I felt like I was not the person to give encouragement to her. I immediately gave it over to God though and asked Him to give the words to speak and also asked our church ladies to cover us in prayer as we met and talked this morning. God is amazing! We had such a great conversation and I absolutely enjoyed every moment of it. It was just too short of a time and I wished all day that we could have chatted for longer. My heart has been heavy for them and their little family and the struggles they face on a daily basis. But like she said this morning, there should be no comparing struggles. We all have struggles and they are all very real to us, even though they are very different.

I have been struggling emotionally and spiritually lately and it has been a very real battle. There is also the struggle of changing meds for our boys and the challenges that brings. I have tried to be the listening ear that my friends have needed lately and I have been giving of myself a lot and feel the need to be filled with encouragement myself. Our chat this morning did refresh me a lot though and I am so glad we were able to do that. I only hope and pray that less time will pass until we see each other again. It has been on my heart very heavy to make a trip to Manitoba this spring/summer, so I think that is going to be something that we will be planning for.

I was singing a song this afternoon that has been on my heart lately and it’s called ‘Jesus bring the rain’. As I was singing it, I just sat and sobbed. Are we really willing to do as the writer says “bring me anything that brings you glory, and I know there’ll be days when this life brings me pain but if that’s what it takes to praise you, then Jesus, bring the rain.” Those words really sunk in. I am so tired of being in pain and hurting over issues in my life and issues in people’s lives around me. I give God all honour and glory and praise, but if I am supposed to be in this pain in order to give it all to God and praise Him all the more, am I willing to withstand it? Am I strong enough? How much can I handle? The answer is, I am only as strong as the strength he provides every day. I can handle as much as God allows and sometimes he gives me way more than I can handle so that He will be glorified, because at the end of the day, it’s all about Him; not us, not me, not you.

God is almighty and worthy of all our praise. He hurts when we hurt, he feels our broken hearts but I believe we have a purpose in all of that and that is to show the world just a little more kindness. Let the fruit of the Spirit be manifested in our lives every day! What a difference we can make with Christ by our side. That doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen. It’s a fallen world. It’s a bad place out there. But, we are called to be a light to everyone. How far are we willing to go? Do we quit when the going gets tough, or are we willing to get down on our knees and beg God for strength knowing He will provide if we ask?

Be kind. Be compassionate and let the light of Christ shine in you and through you as you go about your daily life. Also, just hug your loved ones a little tighter today. We never know just how much time we will have with them. Make each day count. Let the little things go. In all things give all the glory to God!

“My only hop is in You” -Psalm 39:7

 

Please keep Dan & Janet and their 2 precious children in your prayers.

 

-blessings.

A Bump in the Road

Hey everyone! It’s been way too long since I have been on my blog and I felt the need to write on here again. Things on the farm have been super busy as I have really been playing “catch up” in a lot of areas of my responsibilities. I had fallen so far behind in bookkeeping for our company and staying on top of things on a regular basis. My New Years resolution was to be more organized, be more hospitable and not let things fall behind. Well, that’s a super big challenge!! It’s going well though. It has been a blessing to us as a family and it feels nice to be on top of things and get them done right when they need to be done instead of shrugging it off to be finished later.

As I mentioned in an earlier post that my recovery from the back surgery I had last May has been going so well. I hit a bit of a bump in the road and I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around that one. Over the last month I’ve had quite a lot of pain and discomfort especially when sitting. I’ve been in contact with my surgeon and have tried to figure out what could be causing it. My husband thought it may have been from the workouts I tried to do. I am not sure. I feel guilty in a way because maybe I should have waited longer before trying so hard to crush my goals.

I was super nervous to book an appointment with my doctor here because of the fear of what he would say or how he would react. We recently changed doctors, since driving to Medicine Hat for our regular doctor just seemed too far out of the way since our move to the farm. This was the first time seeing a doctor here since my surgery, and I was shaking. Sometimes you just fear the reaction or treatment you will receive when you know they may not agree with your choice. Well I was pleasantly surprised! He walked in and I told him the whole story from A-Z and told him about the pain I am experiencing now. First of all let me say this, I still don’t regret getting the precedure done, and the pain is nothing compared to before the surgery. But still, it’s uncomfortable. He listened patiently and then examined the area. He was able to pinpoint the pain and it’s cause almost immediately. I was so relieved! He says there is a lump of scar tissue at the bottom of my stump and when I sit or lean back it slips over the stump causing pain and discomfort. He gave me an injection to freeze the whole area and see if that would give  me relief.

It did! Instantly!

I was so thankful!! Well, that sure helped to narrow down the treatment options quickly. I have the option of getting regular steroid injections into the soft tissue surrounding the stump, which will give me relief for a few months at a time. The downside to that is it can cause the soft tissue to become too thin with time, which is not what they want to see happen. Or I can have a procedure done where they would burn the nerve that goes down to the stump, causing the area to be numb and have no sensation until the nerve regrows which takes about 2 and half years or so. He is more than willing to work together with my surgeon to figure out the best option for me. I was so blessed to that! He wanted to know the surgeons opinion. So, I immediately sent the surgeon a text (yes we have a close relationship like that, lol) and am waiting for him to get back to me. My doctor ordered an X-ray to make sure nothing has shifted or changed to rule out a few things.

The X-ray tech absolutely made my day, though. She came and took a few images and then went to check to images and came back to me with the most puzzled look on her face. She asked “Did you have your tailbone completely removed, because I can’t find it” And oh, if only I could be serious in pulling someone’s leg I would have had a little fun with her and asked “What do you mean you can’t find it?” But, I just burst out laughing. I couldn’t help myself! I said yes and it wasn’t there anymore and she went on to explain that the doctor had not been very clear on what he was looking for on the X-ray so she was a little confused. I explained it to her and she proceeded to take a few more images. When I talked to a friend after my appointment she told me that I totally should have had some fun with her about not finding my tailbone, but I just can’t keep a straight face.

Anyway, that’s all for now. This mama is tired. I will try to post more regularly and keep you updated on stuff. I know a few of you have been praying for me and I appreciate that so incredibly much. God knows the plans he has for me and I’m choosing to trust in Him. God is so good.

I hope you have a great weekend.

 

 

blessings.

Change of Season

Looking around you, you will have noticed that there’s a change of season happening. The leaves have changed colour and have fallen off the trees that were vibrant and green and full of life just months ago. Do you like the change you see? Does it inspire you to do things of that season? It sure does for me. As soon as the leaves start to change colour I pull out scarves and boots and start baking all things related to apples and pumpkins. I love fall! My husband laughs at me when I say this because he says I say the same thing with the change of every season….what can I say….I really enjoy each season and the different things it brings with it. I love spring when you see new life spring up out the brown and dismal earth. I love to see new buds form on the trees! I love summer too. I love the warmth of the sun on my skin. I love being outside to enjoy that warmth. I also love camping, so summer means we will most likely spend a lot of time in the mountains and that is whole other level of beauty in itself. When fall hits, I’m always ready for it. It’s the winding down of a busy summer and back to routine again (which are really a necessity in this house). Winter is next, and I love it! The beauty of watching the snow quietly blanket the earth in a majestic robe of white sparkle is awe-worthy. It seems that winter brings out a different attitude in people too. People seem kinder and more patient. I think it has a lot to do with Christmas. People seem to prepare their hearts and align their attitudes with the joy that the birth of our Saviour brings.

But, the thing about seasons is that they come and go. In our lives too, seasons change. We won’t always stay in the same season and in the same place. Things change. The change of seasons in our life might not always be welcoming as it is with the physical change of seasons. Some seasons just really suck! Some seasons are very dry. We don’t know how to get through it and we can’t see how we will rise above it either. We’ve most likely all had times in our lives when everything seemed to fall into place. We cherish the memories of those times and long to repeat them, but soon enough, we enter a season in which nothing seems to go right. With each change in season you’re given a fresh opportunity to recapture the hope you once had. God placed hopes and dreams inside of you for a reason. He knows you want to experience the joy of seeing them fulfilled. You need only to open your heart, step out in faith, and trust Him.

Can we really do that though? Do we trust in Him? Do we take the time to listen to what God is saying to us or do we just go with what “feels right”? I have asked myself this question many times over the past few weeks. I sent in my withdrawal of my Accounting course and I’ve really been battling that decision. I was physically and mentally not able to go on another day. I felt such a strong calling to go for it when I signed up for it and now I am so confused. I still feel like that is something God wants me to do, but maybe the timing was just wrong. God doesn’t make mistakes, I know that, so then, did I jump the gun? I feel like a failure to myself, my husband, and my kids. There were many factors in the decision to withdraw. The main one was the fact that my life was literally planned to minute of each day in order to get the work done. My housework was slacking. My bookkeeping was slacking. My relationships were slacking. The pressure of it all was just too much. I enjoyed the learning. I learned a lot!! The time spent in the textbooks the last few months are not wasted. I feel blessed by what I learned and can apply that knowledge now, but there’s that tiny voice whispering around me “failure”, “quitter”, “I knew you couldn’t do it”. Those are Satan’s lies!! I know that and I have to be proactive about it. Pray against it and stand my ground in my faith. Yes, I did quit and yes I failed myself, that is truth….but that’s what the devil loves to use against us. Things that are so close to the truth that he hopes we won’t be able to see the difference. Regardless, I know it was the right decision. My family has me back again. They’ve noticed!! I’m able to do my duties and do them well. My stress in that area has been lifted. It says in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” and I believe that in this season God has other plans for me and my season of going back to school will come again, but now is not the time. I feel bad saying that, but it’s ok. It will be ok. I will move forward with my head held high. There’s people who need me right now and there is places I’m needed. That is my purpose right now.

Today I also struggle with many other issues and I find myself in the centre of a very difficult season for many reasons. There is much stress surrounding a family member who I do not respect, and am tired of praying for. I say I have faith and I believe in the hope that God offers us and here I am admitting that I don’t have a full faith….let me explain that. Have you ever had someone in your life who has hurt you very deeply and keeps doing it without acknowledging it? Have you had someone in your life who just repeatedly takes advantage of you? Buys you gifts to make up for their mistakes in hopes that it will make you forget? Have you had someone in your life that you are so tired of praying for and have written them off as lost cause? I do. It sucks. There’s no words to explain the feeling of wanting to help yet being so torn apart on the inside by all the hurt and pain this person has caused. I don’t want to love this person. I want to cling to my “right” to be angry and bitter. I don’t want to ever see this person again, and yet, I was convicted last night that “No person is too far gone for God. No person is so bad that they can’t be saved”. So in light of that truth, how do you handle that? I hung my head in shame….”yes God, I know you love this person and want to save this person and I need to have faith and keep praying”. Does anyone know how extremely hard that is to do when the hurt is so deep, the pain still seems so fresh even after so many years. I was sexually abused by this person. I was physically abused by this person. I was made to feel like a piece of trash with no worth by this person, only to be told “I love you” in front of other people. I was forced to be silent or face the threats this person spoke over me. Sometimes I wonder though, if I had just spoken up back then, would he really have done to me what he said he would do? Fear gripped my life from a young age and I was forced to create a bubble around me. Don’t let anyone know, don’t let anyone see. Be a good girl and smile. I hide behind my smile. I smiled and yet I screamed on the inside. My mom found a poem once that I wrote and it was called “I Simply Smile” and she cried and cried and asked me if that was how I really felt or if it was just something I had found. I lied to her. I could not bear to break her heart. Yet, I felt angry because I also felt that she should have known somehow and should have saved me from the darkness that surrounded me. My brothers did not know. I think they could have saved me too but I felt trapped. My one brother does not know to this day, unless he has heard it from someone else. I just couldn’t tell him. Still can’t. He respects this person. He is my baby brother and I wanted to protect him from the pain I was living in.

So, how do you deal with the flood of emotions that wash over you and how do you pray from a sincere heart for someone who does not deserve your love? My only answer is this: I am a sinner too; God still loves me. I make a ton of mistakes and God still forgives me. When Christ died on the cross, it was for the whole world’s sin and all the sin to come after His death….that includes me and you and people who have hurt us and torn us apart and people living deep in sin today. God still wants to save them. Our job is not to save them. Our job is not to change them. Our job is not to criticize them. Our job is only to have faith and pray. I am told by people that I am one of the strongest women they have ever met, and I know they mean it as a good thing, but sometimes I wish I wasn’t so strong. I wish I had a beautiful and healthy relationship with this person who has hurt me. I long for that and my heart aches for that, but just when I feel that way I can feel a warmth around me and a voice in my heart that tells me “I AM your Father. You are my daughter. You have that beautiful relationship and it’s ok that it’s not flesh and blood.”

So on this difficult day (it being the birthday of this person) and already being reminded my someone to call and tell him “Happy Birthday”…..I will not. Not this year. This year it is taking every ounce of courage I have left not to pack up and run away as far as possible from this person. In light of recent events and being the person that had to suck it up and face a very difficult with this person, driving them around and helping them only to be bought another gift to make up for it and be told by him “Just keep smiling”. It ignites a fire inside of me I don’t know how to control. I have always been told to just keep smiling, that is why I hide behind my smile.

I am going to keep praying. I am going to stand firm in faith and keep on going with my head held high and Jesus by my side. I am strong only because God gives me that strength. I am not strong alone. I could not be. I would be deep in addiction and sin myself if I had allowed my childhood to ruin me, but by the strength and grace of God, I rose above that.

This post has taken a completely different turn than I had planned, and I now need to wipe the tears off my keyboard….that is ok. It’s ok to be real and let people see why you are the way you are, and why you do the things you do. So, I’m begging you, if you take nothing else away from today’s post, just know this: don’t judge! Don’t judge people when you don’t know their story. If you are in a difficult season right now too, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (EPHESIAN 6:10)

blessings.

Chicken Soup

As a teen I was trying to deal with a lot of “stuff” from childhood and it was still ongoing. My favourite way to deal and cope was to read Chicken Soup books. I think I own most of the versions that applied to my life. I always found encouragement in those pages knowing that I was not the only one going through tough stuff. I have been thinking that I need a Chicken Soup for this stage of life I’m in. Just to read others’ stories and find encouragement in those pages again.

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted and those who know me personally know how extremely busy I’ve been. My healing has been nothing short of miraculous and I praise God for it every single day. I have zero pain and have been able to return to ALL of my usual work. My studies are going really well and I’m 6 weeks into my studies on Accounting. I have learned so incredibly much that I never knew existed or pertained to a corporate business. I know this will be a huge blessing to us as we try to run and grow our business. Despite the challenge of trying to complete my work while being a busy Mom and wife, my grades have been amazing and I’m super proud of myself.

Tuesday morning I broke. I sat on the floor and sobbed. The pressure seemed to have caught up with me. I felt overwhelmed by my workload. This week required me to do twice as much homework as I’ve had to deal with so far. I felt like I was drowning and didn’t see a way to make it work. My husband came and sat down beside me and said “Tell me what’s wrong. Help me to understand so I can help you”. He’s a real gem, by the way 🙂 I tried to explain myself to him. As my words came jumbling out of my mouth he started to chuckle. He says “You are way too hard on yourself. We all understand that this is something you need to do right now. We can all help around the house more, and if you teach me, I’ll do  the bookkeeping until your done your schooling. It’s going to be ok” Can I just say that I feel beyond blessed to have such an amazing person by my side. Trust me, the road here has not been an easy one and we’ve had our share of struggles, but I feel like in the last few years we have really learned how to just work together and be more open. It has been such a blessing that I feel at a loss for words over how great our God is!!

So, here I sit trying to sort my thoughts out. Yes I need to get to work on my homework again, but I felt this morning, that I really need to write. It’s a stress reliever for me, as I’ve said before.

I do feel like I’m a pretty crappy friend right now, as I take my schooling very serious and it’s a high priority for me right now, so please don’t feel like I’m just bailing on you. I pray for all my friends on a daily basis in hope that God will help you understand. I feel so bad when I get asked to join something or get invited somewhere and I say no. I don’t want to say no, but I know I need to. People who know me, will understand. I truly believe that.

I think my desire for some Chicken Soup inspired me to actually cook some chicken soup. Thanks to my mother-in-law and wonderful sister-in-laws for helping me, all of my chickens are out of the barn and in my freezer. So, last night I cooked some really yummy chicken soup and it was a huge hit! The kids ate multiple bowls, as did my hubby. It was warming to the soul. Chicken soup does that, you know. My Mom used to always cook it when anyone was feeling down or just “out of sorts” and so the tradition carries on. Some people cook it when it’s cold out or someone is sick, but for me it goes beyond that.

As I conclude this morning, I just want to say that I am overwhelmed by the amount of prayers we’ve gotten over the last few months and that I appreciate it so much. God is so good. I had never dreamed that I would feel this great!! I thought my recovery would last much, much longer and it has given me an opportunity to try and help others I know who suffer from back problems and direct them to find the help they need. I have given a lot of people the surgeon’s phone number and I pray for them. I pray that their procedures would go as well as mine and that God would grant them the healing I’ve received. I feel blessed beyond words to have gotten my life back again. To be able to work and not be in pain is so incredible! To plan things and know that I’ll be able to participate is so freeing!

Have a happy Friday everyone and enjoy the weekend. Enjoy the beauty of the leaves turning and God’s display of handiwork around you!

 

 

blessings all

The Grace of God

Have you ever wondered what it means to be under the grace of God? What is grace? Can we find grace in suffering? I want to see if I can share some answers to those questions. I have struggled in the past in knowing what GRACE means. Through a lot of study and time spent with God, He reveals the things to us that our hearts to desire to know. Sometimes we find our answers in the difficulties that we face.

Grace is mentioned 206 times in the Bible (KJV, in different ways). A definition of grace is this: Grace is God doing good for us that we do not deserve. Grace can also be defined as God’s sufficiency or fullness in the life of the believer. Ephesians 2:8 states “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” The grace of God makes us who we are. It is God’s goodness working in us that makes us into great servants for Him. We need the grace of God for salvation. Without the grace of God we can not have eternal life. However, we also need the grace of God for our daily walk. We are weak and prone to stray. Jesus told us that we can do nothing without Him (John 15:5). He provides daily strength through his grace working in us. We should seek his grace and believe that He will provide what He has promised and walk with assurance that His grace is working in us.

The grace of God does not spare his people suffering, but rather uses suffering to bring people to himself. The Son of God himself suffered to save people from condemnation. Now he turns suffering again and again for our good both in this age and in the age to come. Sometimes we face difficulties to find something in God that you can not get from other people. Often we don’t understand why we have to suffer through certain seasons in our lives. Often there is no logical answer at all. I honestly believe that in those times God is trying to draw us closer to himself. He so desires a relationship with us that we sometimes have to be broken to see it and appreciate it. God wants to be our number one priority! What would happen if we gave God all credit for all things? What would happen if we fully trusted in him beyond any reason of doubt? Do you realize how much he wants to bless you in your life if you are faithful to him? I don’t mean that everything will be easy. I mean that everything will have a meaning. It will be bearable. Everything will make you wiser and more loving. Everything will draw you nearer to God. That is how the grace of God will become visible in your life. Trust the grace of God. Don’t put trust in yourself, or your money, your church or your job. Put your trust in the grace of God and then hang in there. Don’t let anyone trick you out of the greatest gift of God!

I have felt God’s grace. I was so broken and wondering why I could not find answers for my health troubles. One doctors appointment after the other left me feeling hopeless and insecure. After finally finding someone to help me with my back problem, I felt refreshed and happy. Filled with joy and thankfulness in receiving a long-awaited answer to my prayer. I prepared myself for a long recovery after surgery and pondered the hardships that could come as a result. I am currently almost 7 weeks post-op and doing amazing!! God is so good! All the time. I am able to sit for a considerable amount of time on my special cushion and a pillow. I am able to drive short distances. I am able to walk at a normal pace again. I have regained a lot of my strength. I am able to do small tasks around the house and cook simple meals. I feel incredible! God has healed me. I know it’s still a work in progress, but I did not expect to feel this good. It is so much more than I ever thought possible and yet, here I am. Living proof that God listens to our prayers and He cares for us. I am still limited to the amount of weight I can physically carry or lift, but I don’t want to push myself too hard and then later regret it. I am just so overjoyed by the progress I have made, even just in the last week. I get tired quite easily, but in time that will get better also.

I don’t know if it was related or if God has answered yet another prayer of mine. My breast pain has completely disappeared. I did not want to mention anything for the first while because I wondered if it was just masked by all the medications I was on after surgery. I have not had any pain since I went in for surgery related to that. No swelling either. It felt a little bit uncomfortable after I was off of the anti-inflammatory medication, and I wondered if all my symptoms would come back again. I chose to trust in God. I feel confident in saying this, He has healed me!

God has been with me every single day through this whole process. He’s been with me on the most frustrating and discouraging moments. He’s been with me on the most joyful and happy days. He’s given me strength and He’s given me joy. I feel empowered and all the credit goes to my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Can we find a love so great as our Heavenly Father has for us? How can we fathom how much He cares for us? God has revealed to me so much during this season of my life and I am so grateful for his amazing grace in my suffering. Live under the grace of God. Seek Him and His will for your life and accept His amazing love for you.

blessings all.

College…..really?!

Is it ok to be a go-getter? Sometimes I really wonder about this. I feel like it’s a good thing but at the same time I feel like I jump into opportunities really quickly. Well I’ve pondered an issue over the last while and hubby and I have talked it through. As of today I’m officially registered into SAIT for further education. I’m pursuing a career as an Accountant.

I have always dreamed of becoming a nurse one day. I’ve put that out of my mind. Our business is growing and doing well. My hubby and I have built this business from the ground up over the past 10 years through a lot of hard work, many ups and downs, blood, sweat and tears. I’ve been doing the books for our business for all of that time as well. I want to gain a better understanding of how the accounting side of things work. I want to be able to do all the technical stuff for our company. Now that it’s a reality I really wonder what I’ve gotten myself into. I received a lot of information today regarding my requirements. I ordered my textbook and now I wait….

I also need to share how much progress I’ve made in recovery over the last week. I’m able to be on my feet quite a bit more each day. Last week I was completely unable to sit, while this week I’m able to sit on my special cushion for meals; beyond that it gets to be quite painful. I am able to do simple things around the house. I don’t lift anything heavy because I know that will just cause unnecessary damage. Meals have been simple, and John helps me with the cooking.

I was unable to attend church last Sunday and was pretty down about it, but I know people have been praying and I can feel the healing happening in my body. It’s so incredible! I feel much happier this week because of all things that have happened. Super excited by my progress as well as the college opportunity. I’ll still be able to be around my family and take care of my daily duties while advancing my education at the same time. I hope it to be an encouragement for anyone considering it.

I feel so incredibly blessed by this open door and for the amazing husband I have that stands by me and the decision to go ahead with this. I’m very nervous to get started and I feel like the date is going to be here way too quickly. Class starts on August 2nd….EEEEK!

God is so good!! All the time.

 

blessings all.

 

Breaking Up with Self-Doubt

Today is the first day of not receiving a scheduled meal. I am ever so grateful for everyone who has taken the time to bring us a meal over the past two and a half weeks. It’s been such a blessing! That being said, I’ve battled with that at the same time. I am my own worst critic. I do not speak kindly to myself and God has revealed to me over the last two days that I need to accept myself and love myself. I need to forgive myself for the harsh things I’ve spoken to myself and for the thoughts I’ve had toward myself as well. I need to break up with my self-doubt and embrace who I am and who God created me to be. I am more than a number on the scale and more than an image in the mirror I see. True beauty comes from the inside. It’s more than our outfits and hair and outward adorning. God spoke to me very clearly this morning in my devotion reading and I need to do something for myself. I am going to share it with you because I feel led to. I need to tell myself, out loud, that I am beautiful. Every day.

After two weeks of amazing Mexican cuisine and then two and a half weeks of meals being brought to us, there is a lot of excess weight that has found its way back onto my midsection. That is such a personal battle for me. Every fibre of my being wants to scream at the image I see in the mirror. I have been so hard on myself (and I have enough sense to know this is not just careless backsliding) and I need to stop it. It’s going to stop right here. Right now! I will become stronger again. I will make my comeback from this! It may take me a while but every single choice I make and every tiny step I take is progress and I need to celebrate those little victories! I am worth it. I want to be strong and enjoy the active lifestyle we have, hence the decision in the first place to have surgery done on my back. I want my daughter to love herself and I know if I show her that I don’t like my body she will have her doubts regarding body image and beauty. I don’t want to scar her because of my own stupidity. God revealed to me today also that I need to stop comparing myself to other women in my life. He gave me different skin. While most others have nice, resilient skin…mine is not. Mine has stretched out from years of depression and food love. Finding comfort in food was something I did for years when I struggled to deal with childhood hurt and abuse. That all came to an exploding point after I had two kids and raging, out-of-control hormones. I didn’t know what the first step was in the right direction. Food was my comfort. So, my skin has been stretched to the max and I have scars to prove it. After I started my weight loss journey I really hated myself for allowing myself to get so big and now my skin has been stretched and I can’t get it back to how it should be. If only I cared enough about myself to always take care of myself, but, I was just too full of hurt and feelings of worthlessness.

Since the birth of our daughter, I have been pretty strict with myself regarding food and exercise. It’s been worth it! I’ve come such a long way. The past year and half has left its damage again, but like I said, I will make a comeback. I will be stronger! I will be healthier!

Today has been a good food day, just to put it out there. Other than a  tiny serving of ice cream, I’ve been really good. It’s day one of a better me! I know the exercising will not have place in my routine until my body is healed and ready, but at least I can start with food. That will already do wonders, especially to ease my mind. I am super thankful for the amazing people who were sensitive to my concerns and brought me fruit instead of baked sweets! I love you!! I was overjoyed. I also had one meal brought that is considered “on-plan” of the eating lifestyle I try to follow. I was super happy about that!

I read a quote on Pinterest last night that said “an empty cup can not pour” and underneath it said “take care of yourself so that you can take care of others”. I was like, “YES”, I needed to hear that. I need to take care of myself so that healing can happen. I want to do my normal duties again but I will not do that if I don’t take care of myself!! To give an update on where I am right now….I can walk at a somewhat normal pace as long as I don’t do it for more than 15 min or so. If I’m on my feet too much my pace slows to a snail’s speed. I am able to bend slightly to pick up things that I drop (which happens a lot). I’ve become quite clumsy since surgery, which is frustrating at times. I have to bend using my knees, I can’t just bend over at the waist. I am able to do some simple tasks. I have to be very careful not to overexert myself. I have done that and it’s not worth it, because I get a lot of pain during the night and the next day if I do too much. I did some billing and stuff for the business the other day. It worked. I did it by standing at my counter and took a lot of breaks but the world keeps on turning and my work piles up for me, so I really needed to at least try and see if I could accomplish it. I got through it. I was very tired at the end of the day but I felt satisfied. I had done something myself again; something that is my job that no one else has to do for me.

Today has also been emotional for another reason. My daughter was invited to a birthday party. I asked my sister-in-law if she would be willing to take her as well as take the boys to the local spray park while E was at her party. I seemed ok with it until she drove off our yard this afternoon. The tears started to roll down my cheeks. She’s doing things with my kids that are my job. All the fun summer things that I usually do with my kids, someone else is stepping in to do them for me. I’m ok with others cleaning my house, doing the dishes and cleaning the laundry, but when it comes to my kids, it makes me sad. How I long to just get in my van and drive!! Take them for ice cream. Take them to the park. Take them out for a movie. Our usual summer fun will look a lot different this year. I have to be ok with it, but it kinda hurts my heart. I want to feel useful but my sweet husband reminds me that right now my useful job is to get better. I know he’s right, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

So, now that I’ve poured my heart out again I feel better. I know that God is with me. I feel His love for me. I will continue to praise Him for all his goodness. I will love myself. I will forgive myself. I will embrace who he has created me to be. I will listen to his voice and be humble. I will encourage others as they encourage me. I will be a listening ear, and pray. If that’s all I can do right now, that’s enough. I will not give up. I will keep moving forward. God’s strength inside of me. God’s love surrounding me. He is faithful and he will help me. I’m sure of this. I hope this post encourages someone. I have poured out a lot of heart, which is not easy to do, but I know that someone, somewhere needs to know that they are not the only one struggling. I know there was a time I really needed to know that I was not alone.

Have a great weekend. Enjoy the celebrations of our nation!!

blessings all.

Just a little update…

So I’m sure that you’ve been waiting for another update. A few people have asked me already to post my progress again. I’ve been meaning to, but with the kiddos out of school our household is a little busier.

My infection seems to be clearing up. The wound is looking good and the stitches were removed on Tuesday night. I was super excited thinking that I would be able to shower right away, but I texted the surgeon and he said that I needed to wait a few days until the holes from the stitches were scabbed over. So I continued to wait in extreme patience for Friday to come.

I texted him again yesterday morning and asked if I was now able to shower. I also attached a picture of my wound and he was impressed with how it was looking. He replied in the evening saying I was now cleared for a shower and asked about my progress, pain level and told me to continue with the pain meds because I will need them for a while yet. Well, I’m almost out so that means at some point soon I’ll have to make a trip to my doctor in Medicine Hat (who I’m not looking forward to seeing). Travel is hard because I can’t sit yet and so I have to lay reclined and every tiny bump is excruciating! I’ve tried to be on my feet more and more each day, trying to build up some endurance (at least enough to be able to stand through a church service) but it will be a few weeks yet before I’ll be able to go.

My shower last night was absolutely glorious!! 4 weeks without a shower seemed like forever. I just longed for a nice, long, hot shower!! This morning I woke up to a lot of pain due to being on my feet too much yesterday so I went and lay in the tub with lavender oil to help ease the aching. It helped my muscles relax, that’s true, but my pain continues!! I’m not sure why I keep pushing myself so hard. I already know the consequences of being on my feet too much, but I keep doing it. Mostly I think it’s because of boredome, but also partly due to the fact I feel like I just want to return to my normal duties again. My hubby has been amazing beyond words and has been patient with me. He takes care of me so much and I am beyond blessed!! The kids have been doing an amazing job with jobs around the house as well.

I feel a great need for a spiritual filling. I have been listening to Dr. Charles Stanley and also have been doing my daily devotions as well as listen to music. But, on top of all of that, sometimes you just really feel the need to go to church and be surrounded by familiar faces and enjoy the fellowship and the service. I think I especially feel this way because we always tried to be in church every Sunday if we could, and now to not be there for a month already seems like a very long time!! In the bible it talks about how the disciples encouraged themselves. Sometimes that is what we have to do because sometimes the people around you don’t know exactly what you need for spiritually filling, but we can pray about it and God helps us.

We have enjoyed all the visitors and the prayers and the amazing food (which has been a huge struggle for me). We know we are loved and cared for. We have amazing people in our life!! God is so good! Please continue to pray for us if we come to your mind.

 

blessings all.

 

Infection…

Two things have played out in the last couple of days that I feared the most.

#1 is: infection

#2 is: attitude by medical staff at the local hospital

Saturday I woke up to throbbing pain at my surgical site and wondered if I had maybe slept in a funny position to create the pain I was feeling. John had lovingly cleaned and sanitized my wound the night before and bandaged me up again. It feels so much better after a dressing change! Maybe the feeling comes with knowing that my wound has been taken care of. John had men’s breakfast at church and then stayed to help with the landscaping project. I was feeling achy and out of sorts all day. The throbbing would not stop or ease or go away. I didn’t want to take extra painkillers so I toughed it out. I was by myself most of the day. My sister-in-law came for a visit around noon and took little E with her. The boys had gone with hubby in the morning. I tried to get some sleep in the afternoon but sleep would not come. I browsed Pinterest and Facebook and did some reading and colouring but the ache and uneasiness would not go away. John came home around 7:30pm and he ate supper and helped the kiddos take a shower and get them into bed. I calmly explained to him what I had been feeling and explained that I hadn’t felt it urgent enough to call him home. I feel like he’s dropped so many things lately to help that I didn’t want to bother him. I know he would have come home the second I had called him. I asked him to look at my wound and see if there was something wrong.

He removed the bandage and muttered under his breath “Shit, it’s swollen” I could tell he was really disappointed!! We have been so careful in the cleaning and care of the whole area. I have tried to follow the doctors orders as best I can. We have not had anyone in the home that was sick (not to my knowledge anyway) so it was a disappointment for both of us. He took a picture and I messaged it to the surgeon. He replied almost immediately with the same disappointment we felt, but also concern. He said we needed to seek medical attention as soon as possible and get a prescription for an antibiotic. Well it was really late by this time and the kiddos were asleep after a long day so I wasn’t about to wake them up and drag them to a hospital in the middle of the night. Although squeamish, I convinced John to give me my last pain injection. I had one remaining shot and I really needed it! He did it and did a good job. I was proud of him considering he absolutely does not like doing anything of this sort! He said he had such a hard time giving our calves the medication they needed after they were attacked by dogs, never mind giving a shot to his wife. I tried to get some sleep, but again, sleep was hard. One does not sleep well when you know there’s an infection brewing and your backside is throbbing!

This morning we ate breakfast and the kiddos got ready and he took me in to the local hospital. My first glance of disapproval came from the receptionist. Her attitude changed as soon as I told her what I was in to see a doctor for. The second one came from the nurse who took me into triage. We were not even in the room yet and she says “You stupid people think you can go to Mexico and have surgery done and then come back here and expect us to fix their mistakes. You probably go out there to visit family and think that you can just get surgery done and all will be good” Well. I looked at her in disbelief. I replied “I’m sorry, but we don’t go there to visit family. We have no family there. We go there to vacation. I am not here for you to fix a mistake. I am here because I need more antibiotics. I have asked for help here for 2 years without anyone willing to do my surgery and I found out about this great surgeon there who has helped many people whom I have talked to personally. Not that it’s any of your business but I did not do this lightly. I did my research. I wouldn’t trust just anyone to cut me open, let alone in a different country”. She made me lie down and removed my bandage. She said the doctor would be in shortly.

The doctor came in (also a little skeptical) until he lifted the blanket and examined the wound. He said “Wow, he did a great job with that wound, but yes, it does look a little infected. I see you’ve taken really good care of it because it is very clean”. He went on to ask a few questions and I told him that my antibiotics had run out a few days ago and I needed some more to stop the infection before it got a lot worse. He explained that for future trips to the doctor, I needed a written report from my surgeon explaining what he had done and medications I had used. The surgeon didn’t get around to sending the report along with me but he’s going to email it this week. He said he got so caught up with seeing his patients and making sure everyone was taken care before he went home to see his family and celebrate the graduation of his daughter. I understand that. Life is busy! So anyway, he will send me a detailed report this week to hopefully make future trips in to go a little more smoothly. The nurse had to come back and bandage me up again, and she tried to make small talk (as if trying to cover up her earlier attitude) but in the process did a horrible job with the bandage!! I’m sure it was out of spite. My husband (who is not a trained professional) does a way better job!! The doctor said I could come back anytime and especially if my symptoms do not improve.

I’ve had this nagging feeling the whole time that I would get an infection. I don’t know why I thought that. I’ve prayed about it though and left it in God’s hands. Like I said, we do a really good job taking care of the wound and I try not to be on my feet too much. John thinks I did too much walking the other day when I ventured outside for the first time since coming home. I just went to see my goats and pigs but he thinks it was too much. Maybe it was. Regardless of why, I’ll be staying inside and on the couch I guess. It sucks. There’s only so much browsing and reading and colouring one can do before feeling like you’re gonna lose your mind!!

I just want to say that we have been so extremely blessed by everyone who has come to visit and brought food. It’s been so good! We really appreciate it. God bless you all for your kindness. Please keep us in your prayers and hopefully this infection  will be stopped in its tracks.

I think I’ll watch some TV until John gets home with the kiddos from the Father’s Day supper his Mom had prepared.

blessings all.

 

Home Sweet Home

Home. Such a sweet word in my mouth. Incredibly thankful to be in the comfort of our home!!

Let me start by saying that the journey home was so aweful that I wondered if I’d survive it. I guess my fears of travel were very real and it played out about the way I had pictured it.

We packed up all our suitcases and took care of final details on Friday evening. We left out our clothes for travel and our toothbrushes for Saturday morning. It really eliminated the stress and pressure of “travel day”. I was really glad we did that, because Saturday morning had plenty of other stress as the boys couldn’t quite get a handle on the coming change. We had breakfast in our condo; trying to finish up the last of our groceries. The nurse and Doctor came one last time to change my bandages give me an injection to help with the pain of travel. They gave me extra gauze and tape and explained how the wound needs to be cleaned and taken care of. Stitches can come out anytime between the 15th and the 25th. I will really miss the incredible care the team has provided during our stay in Mexico! They were nothing but awesome!! They took the time to talk to the kids and John every time they came to our condo; making them feel involved.

Saturday afternoon we took a taxi to the airport and asked for a wheelchair. I knew it would be painful to sit but it would be so much better than standing in line for such a long period of time. I felt like an idiot; receiving so many sympathetic looks and looks of pity. I didn’t appreciate that, but the wheelchair sure sped up the whole process of everything and I did appreciate that. We were checked and taken through security. Then we found our gate. We realized we had about half an hour before boarding so we decided to have some lunch. The kids chose pizza (I think they missed American food), while John and I had a burger. Boarding was supposed to start at 4:00pm and we got to the gate around 3:45pm, thinking it was perfect timing, only to find out that our flight was delayed. I sat and silently prayed for the delay to be only a short one. It was. The plane arrived around 4:15 and we began boarding around 4:45pm. I was one of the first ones boarded (due to the fact I was in a wheelchair) and slowly made my way to my seat at the back. I spoke with the flight attendants to give them a heads up of my dilemma. They said it had been quite bumpy on the way into Mexico and they expected the same on the way back. It made my heart anxious because they required me to stay seated when the seatbelt sign is on. I stayed standing until the door was closed and we started pushing back. I was able to stay sitting until we reached cruising altitude and then got up for a walk to the washroom. It wasn’t long until we reached the turbulence and it became a bumpy ride….

Now for a normal, healthy person the turbulence may not have felt too bad. Our kids seemed quite relaxed. I tried my best to not make a huge deal about it. I just explained it would feel like driving fast  down our gravel road at home. They seemed calm. It didn’t bother them at all. I was glad for that because my head was not in a place to be able to deal with anxious kiddos. For someone who has had a recent surgery and is sitting on the wound….the turbulence could be described as AWEFUL!! There was so much pain! I prayed and prayed for strength to endure the journey. The best position I could find was to lean forward slightly as to relieve some pressure on my bottom. The seats are attached to the floor; I am siting on the seat; and therefore….any movement on the floor radiates up to my sensitive rear. When people walked the aisle, I was in pain. When someone dropped something on the floor, I was in pain. There was just so much pain!!

My body was done and I was exhausted when we arrived in Calgary. We were behind schedule due to the fact of our flight being slightly delayed in Mexico. I really didn’t care what happened to me beyond the doors of the aircraft, my only goal was to make it the motel so I could crash. The kids chatted cheerfully with excitement over the fact that we were home! They asked questions that I just didn’t have the capability of answering. I calmly asked them to stop asking me anything and to direct their questions to their father because my brain just couldn’t take it!!

Our shuttle arrived a few moments after we existed the building and drove us to the motel. I made the excruciating walk to our room and crashed on the bed and wept. It was a mixture of pain, joy and gratefulness. I was really hurting but so incredibly thankful to be over with the flight. We slept well and woke up feeling refreshed. Everyone was happy to be so close to home. I had brought extra pillows and blankets with me from home to make my seat as soft and comfortable as possible. I put my seat back as far as it would go and John helped me lay down and buckled me in.

It felt like a very long drive home. My body was really aching and I was so happy when our farm came into view as we drove down our dirt road. We walked into a clean house!! Let me say this, I cleaned our house top to bottom and organized things before we left, but I was expecting a layer of dust on everything. Well, my sister-in-law and mother-in-law had come and cleaned the house on Friday to ensure a dust-free welcome home! I felt overwhelmed by their kindness. It meant so much to me.

Shortly after we got home, my sis arrived, bringing supper and flowers. I call her my sis. I don’t have a blood sister, but I have people in my life that resemble that close relationship that I can only imagine. She was always my favourite cousin growing up and there was a time when we weren’t as close, but it is amazing when you have someone in your life that no matter how much time passes, when you get together again you start where you left off; as if it was only yesterday that you last saw each other. It’s hard to put into words how much I appreciate her friendship. My parents and John’s parents came soon after (also bringing food) as well as John’s sister and her family (bringing baked goods). There’s something about us Mennonites. We bring food. Everything seems to start and end with food. Food is love. I think that’s our love language. Food can do so much. It feels so good to give it. It feels so good to make it. It feels good to eat it 😃(Lol)

Later on we got a text from a friend at church, asking if they could bring some food from the church campout (we are on the Events Committee but had to miss the church campout this time around, and John was really sorry to miss the pig roast they had). John shows me his phone and says “More food, really? What should I say to him?” I told him to say that we had enough food for a while but they were welcome to stop by. Well they stopped in and came in the door with a huge red cooler. My mouth dropped. I said if that cooler was full of food they could turn around and take it back to their vehicle. They said it wasn’t full, they had just wanted to bring by some leftover pig roast and cookies and salad from the campout. We felt so overwhelmed. We felt loved and cared for. It is amazing what it does to your heart when the love of the people around you is so evident in their actions.

We have a full fridge and full hearts. We love you all and thank you so much for your support and care. We thank you for the prayers too. The journey isn’t over yet. There is a long recovery yet ahead of me and I’m sure there will be days of plenty of frustration but today isn’t one of them. The morning was a bit stressful as the boys were supposed to get ready for school but all is well. John stayed home until they were on the bus and then he headed out to work. Little E is chilling with me on the couch. She will take care of me. She’s determined of that. She feels responsible, and it’s the cutest thing!

God is my Rock. He is my helper. He has gotten me through every step so far and I know he continues to be with me.

 

blessings all.