Don’t mess with your therapist!

Three times a week I go to physical therapy for my leg. It’s just down the road from our house and it’s so convenient for me. But there’s one thing I hate about it – it’s the BAPS board. Picture a large round  disc on the floor with a ball underneath. I have to rotate it with just my ankle while sitting down. I can’t move my leg or knee and the disc can’t touch the ground. It’s the most nerve racking frustrating thing ever. I hate it. It stretches my brain cells more than any ligament, muscle or bone in my ankle. And I’m not there for brain therapy! (Yes, I think I hear the sassy comments through this screen….. “She needs brain therapy! Randy should buy her a BAPS board for her birthday.”)  Not funny.

I’ve made it my mission to figure out ways to not do the BAPS board. One day I secretly hid it behind other apparatus in the hopes that “object permanence” might still work on adults. The ole’ out of sight out of mind technique. FYI: it doesn’t work.

So then I had another brilliant idea. I walked in my most recent therapy session and said, “Oh you guys, did you hear about the recall on all BAPS boards?” My therapist looks wide eyed and says, “No, tell me about it.” I get half way through my made up recall speech about the BAPS causing hazardous conditions for patients, blah, blah when therapist #2 is totally on to me and rats me out.

Another failed attempt.

Back to the BAPS board. And this time it’s double the reps because of my mischievousness.

Lesson of the day: Nevah evah mess with yo therapist!

 

Closing out a chapter – whew!

We said goodbye to this badboy last week…..

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Oh don’t get me wrong. I was thankful to have that bed.  But getting back upstairs and with my man was a wonderful new day.

And got rid of these guys…….

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I relied on all these things heavily and they provided security for a time period but it’s a new day in this girls life. I’m doing therapy three times a week hoping to get the limp out of me. But if not, we’ll deal with that. It will be a constant reminder of God’s goodness to me during a chapter of life we’ll never forget. But until I know for sure I’m fighting like crazy to regain full mobility in my foot, leg and knee. I’m also praying and asking God to give me back strength in these areas. I know it’s bold to ask but I would love it if you’d pray alongside of me too.

So while I’m saying goodbye to one chapter I’m entering a new one. One that involves learning from the previous chapter. I’m learning how to do life a little slower and more purposeful. Sitting on the porch a little longer – not because I can’t get my wheelchair back in but because I want to “be” instead of getting back to “doing.” It’s realizing that if I start from the premise of fear I will be hindered in my ability to move forward in trust. This chapter includes being aware of old habits that have been forced to be broken that have given freedom in other areas. It’s a good chapter. I like it a lot.

As I reflected on phasing out much of the tools that helped me doing daily living since May I found my basket of cards.

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And I re-read every single one of them. I was struck once again of the love that surrounds our family. The Jesus-filled friends and family who sent encouragement our way through prayer, meals, money, and scripture. I learned that a card with scripture in it is powerful because sometimes you just need to hear a word from the Lord and yet you don’t feel like whipping out your big ole Bible at that moment. To open up a card with His words in front of you is refreshing. So I’ve tried to practice that habit more these days.

So good-bye broken leg chronicles and hello new day! I’m so glad you’re here. Please stay a while. Ha!

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When all hell breaks loose on Sunday morning

You are not the only one whose household can go haywire on Sunday morning before leaving church. I promise. There will be time that if it can go wrong it will go wrong on Sunday – either before you get to church or on the way to church. I’m not gloom and doom girl speaking I’m just the voice of reality.

So when you show up to church and the older lady in her perfectly pressed Sunday clothes hugs you and asks how you are doing it’s okay to tell her what just went down. Because she was most likely a Mother of mayhem on Sunday mornings as well. Not that every Sunday is like that but for the ones that do come our way don’t think you’re the only one.

Knocked over cereal bowls, lost shoes, holes in panthose, church clothes getting dirty right before leaving, siblings yelling – heck, Mom yelling – over the K-Love station in the background of course. And then showing up to teach Sunday School. Double sigh.

I’ll never forget showing up to a morning prayer time after such a morning. I had responded extremely impatiently and was in the wrong towards one of my kids. And just ten minutes later was leading our time of praise with a group of prayer warriors. And then we got to the silent confession time. I would have been so relieved it was SILENT confession except for the fact that the Holy Spirit trumped that part and put it on my heart to move me into public confession during that time. I confessed my stinky attitude and need for forgiveness. And this is when I found out I wasn’t the only one who needed forgiveness for such things on such a morning. The rest of the group – the entire group in fact – one by one confessed their faults to the Lord audibly and something broke loose that morning in our group. It was different from all other times.

So frazzled Mom, when you show up to church after having a rough morning it’s okay to say so. Say it to God and feel free to say it to your bros and sisters. Chances are that person had a doozie of a Sunday last week or will the next. We’re all in this thing together and we need to be real with each other. When life hurts let’s not be afraid to say it out loud. Because thats then we can actually do life together. Pray for each other. Care for one another the way God designed the church to do.

Happy Sunday morning and may your frosted flakes be in their rightful place, your babies diaper clean and your boys britches not ripped. But hey, if they are…….it’s okay. Just go with it. We’ve all been there.

 

In sickness and in health

 

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And the thought that keeps running through my mind this 22nd Anniversary is the vow that we made before God and man to love each other in sickness and in health. There’s a natural assumption that the “in sickness” will come later in life with the exception of general minor sickness along the way.

I don’t consider myself to be a “sickly” person by any means but when I do have physical issues they seem to come in massive waves. Surgeries that go longer and end up causing complications requiring more surgery, fluke accidents, emergency surgery, etc. It seems I’m on a ten year cycle at this point of major health stuff going all wonky.

And bless my man’s heart. When we found out I had major endometriosis and would not be able to have biological children he never once said a negative word to me. He didn’t walk from the marriage or hold it over my head. Instead he loved me and cared for me tenderly.

When I had a serious intestinal blockage and had to have emergency surgery he held the puke bucket for me and didn’t tell me to be quiet when I was dry heaving louder than a burly man lifting 900 lbs. We laugh about it now – he was wheeling me down a corridor of glass walls with crowds walking both directions and I’m being so loud and it’s just so disgusting. He never tried to hide me in a corner or pass me off to a nurse. He just took it all in stride.

Or the time I had a gall bladder attack at 2am and had to go to the ER. I refused to let Randy call anyone from church to keep Mitchell who was a toddler at the time because I was afraid of coming back home from the ER and them saying “Oh, she just needed to pass gas. She’s fine.” No way – we’re not having that kind of news spread around the church prayer line. So Randy watched Mitchell climb in the back seat of the van in his pj’s for hours while I was in the ER getting checked out and eventually checked in for surgery. I realize how selfish that was now but at the time I couldn’t get past it.

And then there’s been these last three months as I have recovered from a leg injury requiring surgery and a very long recovery. There were nights when we first got home that I was so struck with fear that I felt like I was going to die. Classic panic attack is what it was I guess. Randy, who was sleeping on a pallet on the floor, would sit in a chair and watch me breathe because I felt more secure if he was watching me. WEIRD, I know! I genuinely thank God this only happened a few times and hasn’t returned since. A horrible feeling. Randy knew I was struggling so as exhausted and worn to a frazzle as he was, he sat and watched me sleep, knowing I was fine.

This is what love in sickness looks like for us. I’ve not had the opportunity to care for Randy in such a way at this point in our 22 years of marriage and I thank God for that. But I do pray that God will give me the strength to love Randy in sickness as well as he has loved me. The day will come and I want to be there for him as he has for me.

In the meantime I love my man in health. Oh how I love him.

Happy Anniversary my love. Thank you for taking your vows seriously.

 

 

Anti-Bullying Conversations at Home

Bullying is a serious thing no matter what type of environment our kids are in – homeschool, Christian school, public school. If they live in this world and you let them out of the house they will experience bullying in some fashion – either personally or around them. It’s not always easy to know what to do in those situations. It will help our kids to have thought through and talked through what they can do when a bullying situation arises.

This tragic story broke my heart and led me to have a serious and specific conversation with our kids about what types of videos are appropriate to take and what’s not.

I love how Dateline is addressing the bullying issue by educating both parents and kids on what it looks like to bully and how to effectively address bullying. I showed this video to our kids and they really liked seeing what other kids did in a bullying situation. Watch for the Dad’s response to his daughter. It is priceless. I almost cried when I saw it. Loved it so much.

It’s a few weeks until school starts but we’re starting the conversation on bullying now, watching some videos, hearing real stories of the effects of bullying and talking about how to distract a bully and support others who are being bullied.

Are there other good resources out there for our kids to know about when it comes to bullying? Please share.

Linking with Laura today.

 

Observations of an older woman

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I love my Mom and she loves me but even in our close relationship things like this come out of our mouth:

Me: Mom, you aren’t making any sense!

Mom: Well, you aren’t making any understanding.

Followed with an eruption of laughter from both sides.

After spending 6 weeks together interrupted by only a few days here and there I learned some things about my Mom.

  • She has a simple, child-like faith that roots in trust and dependence on God. She’s always trusted Him but when she became a widow she stepped into a new depth of relationship with God that made her depend even more on Him. It has produced a beautiful trust and security in Him alone.
  • My Mom is a hard, methodical worker not afraid to admit she’s slower than she used to be but works within her minimal confines.
  • She takes praying for a good parking spot seriously. I made a comment about it “not working” as we circled a slammed parking lot with zero spaces and she quickly said, “Honey, we’re not done looking yet.” No lie, less than a minute later a man came up to our window and said, “Do you need a parking spot? I’m about to pull out and you can have my place if you pull around.” It was directly in front of the doors we were about to walk through. She looked at him and said, “Sir, you are an answer to prayer.”
  • She loves a good deal and will never stop comparison shopping. Frugal she will always be and overly generous she remains.
  • My Mom can still tell a great story. Especially funny ones. We were circled up at our kitchen table with a few friends of mine and she told my all time favorite story. The one where my Dad was a pallbearer at the wrong funeral! A Jewish funeral at that….complete with him wearing a beanie and everything. She’s the best story teller ever.

So yeah this older woman who I’ve known for 40 something years still inspires me and intrigues me. I’m thankful for the opportunity to have spent so much time with her this Summer. It’s not that I’m learning new things about her I’m just seeing what has always been there up close and personal as an adult. And we see things different when we’re grown and have families of our own. I’m a blessed daughter and I do know of one good thing that has come out of the broken leg chronicles….my time with my Mom.

 

What’s been going on….

So this is where my family has been for the last two weeks…….

Randy and Sophie were at Woodlands Camp the first week. Randy spoke and Sophie was a first year overnight camper with one of her good friends from school. They had a BLAST!

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The second week they were here……..

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Destin, Florida with my side of the family.

We thought it was best for me not to travel since I’m still dealing with quite a bit of swelling in my leg and knee so my gracious Mom stayed with me for the two weeks.

And we did this……

organized the linen closet….. (more like she did)

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Made funny faces……

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Had lunch with two sweet blogging friends that drove down to see me. The front porch laughter and conversation was such a delight.

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We also had breakfast every morning on the front porch. I’ve never sat as long as I have in the last 8 weeks on our front porch in all 4 years of living here. It has been such a joy.

We fit in a lunch at a cute cafe downtown…..

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It really was a sweet time for us and I will always treasure the time we had together. My Mom gave up her week in Florida with our family to stay with me. Randy would have done it but he and the kids both needed the break so I was so glad they went. It was not easy to be away from them for those two weeks but we managed fine. Our church was sweet to call and ask if we needed anything, took out our trash for us and made it clear they were available to help in any way. I’m not sure what I would’ve done without my family and my church these last 8 weeks of recovery. Such a gift.

Well, that’s why my blogging lips have been silent of late. I didn’t want to be all, “Me and my broken down body, and 74 year old Mamma are staying by ourselves these two weeks so just come and rob us and take all our jewels that we don’t own.” Ha! I’m kidding.

Anyways, it feels so good to have my family back home. I missed them a lot.

As far as a leg update: I go back next week for an X-ray and to talk about therapy. I’m walking more with a boot and ankle brace. I get tired quickly and tend to be up and around for about two hours and then crash. I will be excited (and a little scared) to start therapy and to get back to normal again! whoo-hoo!

 

 

 

Loving our neighbors of different lifestyles

A friend recently asked us, “My neighbors are gay, how do I respond to them?” Her concern was loving them and showing them the love of Jesus without sending a message that she condones their lifestyle.

So how do you love your gay neighbor?

Hesitantly? Conditionally? With lots of up front statements of our beliefs on sexuality?

No, I don’t think so.

I believe we are called to love our neighbors – gay or straight – the way Jesus loves us.

John 13:34  – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

What’s interesting in this verse is the result that comes when we love the way Jesus loves. Do you see it? It’s not that people think we are soft or unwavering in our faith. But instead it sends a message that we are a true disciple of Jesus Christ. We don’t need to worry about being misunderstood by others – because we will be misunderstood in this life as we live it for Jesus. But our goal to is to love others the way Jesus loves and by that everyone will know we are his disciples.

So it leaves the question, “How do we love like Jesus?”  We know that only Jesus could die in our place and pave the way to redemption. So it’s not like we can do that kind of love. He paid that ultimate price and because of that those who have a relationship with Him have the supernatural ability to love others with His love. The fact is we can’t love our neighbors on our own – no matter how straight, gay, Christian, non-Christian they are. It is the Spirit of God in us that allows us to love others the way Jesus does.

Anyone can offer up a hospitable “welcome to the neighborhood” and take over some fresh baked cookies. But that’s not what John 13:34 is talking about. Jesus-love is much more that sweet Southern formalities. It goes deeper than that.

So our advice to our friend? Love your neighbor by getting to know your neighbors. Spend time with them. Have them over for dinner. Celebrate happy times with them. Invite them to church. No need to look over your shoulder wondering what people think of you because as you love your neighbor with Jesus- love they will know you are His disciple. And as that becomes apparent you will be amazed at the conversations the Holy Spirit will open up and the opportunities for you to share the truth of Jesus’s love for both your neighbors and yourself. Because really? We might be living a heterosexual lifestyle but we are no different in our daily need for Jesus as our homosexual neighbor. So why would be withhold our Jesus-love to anyone?

Linking with Holley, Kristin and Jennifer

 

 

 

Putting into practice “soul talk”

Our weekend was a great one topped off by me getting to go to church Sunday morning. Oh how I missed being there these last 7 weeks so it felt wonderful to sing and worship with my church family. The next morning we sent Sophie off to overnight camp and had a great day at home.  Monday night I went to bed and out of NOWHERE I started feeling weird. Panicky. Just all around strange. It mimicked the feeling I had when I came home from the hospital. A panic attack I guess? Yeah, I think so. It felt like all the blood in my body rushed from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. It felt either cold or hot – I’m not sure which. And then I felt like jello. My heart was not racing and I didn’t feel like I couldn’t breathe. I just felt weird.

My Mom was upstairs and I didn’t want to call her. Mitchell was playing a game in the other room and who wants to call on their teenage son to come comfort the fears of his grown up Mother. So I  sat there and prayed to God. I prayed the feeling would go away.

Then I remembered my Bible Study homework I did that day – Fight Back with Joy by Margaret Feinberg. We talked about “soul talk” and how when we get in a position that is really difficult we can speak to our souls using scripture. Part of our homework was to write out a “go-to verse” for those times of fear and frustration. I quickly found my homework and turned to the verses and read them  aloud. The white board that sits next to my bed with lists of medications and therapy reminders was quickly erased and filled with my soul talk scriptures. As I wrote them out I claimed them aloud and told God I was trusting Him. Around the border of the verses I wrote out attributes of God that I could remember.

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I texted a few people who prayed for me right then and there. My mom came downstairs and we prayed together. And about 20 minutes later I was asleep.

I am still baffled by this occasional fear that I’m dealing with since the accident. My sister asked me what I was thinking about when the episode came on and I told her “nothing. I was just getting in bed to go to sleep. I wasn’t worried about anything.” But I guess subconsciously I was insecure without Randy being here. He’s done SO much for me the last 7 weeks and I believe I had more security in him than was probably healthy?  I don’t know.

And here’s the reason I am sharing these things on this blog. Quite a few people have thanked me for sharing what I’m going through publicly. It has helped some people in their thought process as they too walk through a difficult season of life. It has made some people feel like they aren’t the only ones going through tough stuff. If I can help point others to Jesus through my struggles, mistakes and even fighting my fears then may it be so.

So if you think about it would you pray for the comfort and peace of God to wash over me from head to toe as I go to bed? That fear would be trumped and demolished by God’s perfect love. I would love to return the favor and pray for you as well so please let me know how I can pray specifically for you tonight as I crawl in bed. I promise to do it.

On a random awkwardly funny note…… I’m learning to navigate instagram a little more and the other day I posted something about church and added a #bodylife and then later realized that I had posted a picture of me and Randy and our churchy selves in the midst of a collage of half naked body builders. Oh yes I did. Picture huge musclemen in speedos and then there’s me and Randy. #veryawkward #notthebodylifeIwastalkingabout

 

 

 

Helping our kids navigate social media

Our teenage son is wanting to have his own Youtube account so he can upload videos. He has no other personal social media outlet at this point because I’m a nazi Mom when it comes to protecting my kids online. I’ve seen too many families and kids hurt by the crap that’s out there. Addictions started by accidentally discovering porn and major self image issues because of bullying and cruelty online. However I do think social media can be a great way to express oneself and to point others to Christ if done appropriately. And let’s face it, it’s the world our kids live in. We can’t keep the from it forever. But we can guide them through it and set some healthy boundaries.

We use a screening service called “Net Nanny” for all our digital devices in our household. We love it. So through Net Nanny you pull up safari and it blocks out based on your settings (low, moderate, heavy) junk that’s out there. You can also monitor your child’s Facebook account through this service as well.

So here’s some basic guidelines that we are working through with our kids before they have any kind of an account where they’ll be taking and uploading photos & videos.

1) Post to God’s glory – doesn’t mean everything you post has to be about God but be sure He’ll be happy with what you’re posting.

2) No taking pics/videos or uploading pics/videos of yourself or others in inappropriate ways:   *no bathroom shots *no undies pics *no private part pics  (you’d just might be surprised at how this needs to be communicated even among Christian kids. Sexting somehow seems totally okay in the minds of many kids.)

3) Never post personal identifying information like your full name, address, age.

4) Don’t use bad language.

5) Don’t cut other people down.

6) Don’t post to brag or build yourself up.

7) Limit the selfies. 

8) Be helpful to others in your posts.

9) Don’t lie in your posts.

10) Try to point to God in creative ways in your posts.

11) Nevah evah link “likes, thumbs ups and comments” to your worth and identity. “Likes” don’t determine anything about value so don’t look to the number of likes to affirm who you are or what you’re posting about.

12) This world can be cruel and at some point you will get negative or mean comments – determine now that you will not let that crush you. See #11.

13) Remember that God’s view and the world’s view will always collide on this earth. Be a light and represent God’s view whenever posting on social media. Constantly ask yourself, “Is what I’m looking at and what I’m posting representing God’s view or the world’s view?”

What else would you add to the conversation with our kids on uploading to social media? 

Linking with JJennifer, Holley and Kristin today because I like these chicks.