Spoontober: a month for those with chronic illnesses (often called Spoonies) to focus on the positive aspects of life with chronic illness. Most of my daily posts had to do with how much I have learned about myself, my loved ones, and the world. Here’s a short list about the clarity that I have acquired.
- People do care. When I was first having issues, everyone knew someone with lupus or another autoimmune. Everyone had a cure: paleo diet, acupuncture. It drove me crazy until I realized that they were just relating to me, they were just offering advice because they cared.
- Not all things work for everybody, and I need to stand up for my rights. I have been through a handful of doctors till I found one who took me seriously, and now I have a team that works closely to make sure I am in the best health. I’ve gone off caffeine (mostly) to help with muscles spams but am also taking medication that gives relief as well. I’m not gluten intolerant and don’t need to go that far with my diet, but I have been trying to eat healthier. I’ve cut out high fructose corn syrup in my drinks to help manage my weight. Not all these things will work for others while certain diets and procedures that worked for them will not necessarily work for me.
- I know what true love is. It’s people standing beside you in those ugly times. The people who don’t judge you when they have to help you to the bathroom or put your pants on. True love is acceptance and can come from anyone. It’s not just romantic love.
- I am stronger than I ever anticipated. I still work full time and have an active social life. I take strides to be as preventative as possible. I rest when I need to. I say “no.” The strength to not give into the depression that comes with that could move a mountain. And guess what? That is IN ME. Who would have thought?
- Sometimes there a perks that make my life easier (even easier than life without disease). I am able to park in the handicapped parking (which I only do when I’m having a bad day and can’t walk far). My scooter access gets me to the head of lines at Dragon Con because I can’t maneuver in those small spaces. This is little things that just make me happy. I’m not being selfish; I am just enjoying things that make my difficult life a little easier.
- Lastly, and probably the biggest thing, I have learned, even more apparently, through God all things are possible. I have seen him do so much for me and through me. He has sent me people to take care of me, doctors who give me several ideas on how to take care of myself, the strength to keep pushing, and answered prayers. Through this time, I have been reminded just how good God is.
Don’t feel sorry for me. That s never the point of my stories. I want to be an encouragement to others. I want to be an advocate for a string of diseases not many people know anything about. I want to be more than someone with the chronic illness label. I am a crusader, and I thank you for following my journey.
Every few months, I go through a phase where I freak out about something. I wish I could say that freaking out is one of the last things that I do but it isn’t. I’ll admit more often or not, it’s still the first thing. However, after my mini freak-out session(s), I will pray and start thinking positive thoughts. The one that that has been beneficial to me is to actually remember what God has already done for me.
I haven’t made a physical list so I thought this would be a good time to.
1. My credit score isn’t the best but I prayed and went to the dealership this past December and just put it in my mind that if it was meant for me to leave site with a care I would but if I didn’t God would have something better for me in store. Not only did I get a car but it was a care that I had wanted since 2009.
2. I wanted a job in my field, a mater’s level job. I put in an application, even though I didn’t have the 2 years’ experience. A year later, I got a call back for an interview. I am currently a master’s level substance abuse therapist.
3. After getting my job, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wondered if I would get dropped from my position before I even started my first day. My supervisor was very supportive and the blessed thing is that my job was walking distance from the radiation treatment center.
I could go on and on about the graciousness of my daddy. I try to keep memories of these times close to me, especially when I go through transitions.
I encourage you to create your own remembrance list or do a daily gratitude list. It will definitely help put things in perspective and hopefully will replace the fear with peace.
Still Pushing with a whimsical outlook,
Hey everyone! Below are my goals for my fourth year of Radical7even.
1.) Take more risks & take advantage of opportunities. This goal is a very bold one for me. I’m not usually a risk taker. I tend to think more about the cons involving a risk than the pros. When I do that, I talk myself out of taking a risk. I need to think more about what I gain than what I can lose.
2.) Stay focused on my goals. I know that this goal might sound crazy but sometimes I get distracted & forget what my goals are.
3.) Become whole mentally, spiritually, & emotionally. Mentally-think more positively & develop more faith in God. Spiritually – becoming closer to God & study more his word (also understanding the word). Emotionally- being more open w/ people & letting them in; healing from past hurts & opening up myself to love again; letting go of negative people.
4.) Work on my time management skills. I suck at time management & need to learn how to master this skill. I’m more of a go w/ the flow person. I still want to remain that way but have my time management under control.
5.) Learn how to bake desserts from scratch w/ minimal shortcuts. I know how to bake but I usually take shortcuts. For example, when I bake cheesecake I use Kebbler’s graham cracker crust. When I have tried to make graham cracker crust from scratch but it doesn’t agree w/ me. Lol!
6.) Enjoy my life & be happy. This goal is recycled. I have a bad habit of being Ms. Work & no play. I try my best to take care of my responsibilities & always think about the cost of things. I know that there are things that I can do to enjoy myself that are budget friendly.
7.) Get my driver’s license. This is a recycled goal. I received my permit over the summer so now the next step is to get my driver’s license.
This past Wednesday, I decided to do something different. I decided to stop at a church for bible study. There are so many churches in between and around the 18 miles it takes for me to get home (they don’t call it the Bible belt for nothing). I was excited because bible study and Sunday school can be two of my favorite parts of church service. I love the conversation and to hear how another person interprets the bible and to see how they incorporate it in their life. For me, it is very informative and helps me with my Christian walk.
So, I went into the church randomly and it was a small group and they were very welcoming. OK, a good start. Then the pastor began to talk and for me it went downhill quick. It was less on the bible scriptures and more on ISIS, capital punishment, homosexuality. I am not saying that those topics doesn’t have a place in the church, it just wasn’t what I was looking for a midweek pick up.
I could look at this in 1 or 2 ways. 1. Yea, I won’t be going to any bible studies in the near future, especially not at that church. 2. This wasn’t what I was looking for but I will continue to search on. I chose the latter. The only way I can find what I am looking for is to try out new things. I can’t let one decision be my end all.
I equate this to my job decisions. Every job that I take on may not be exactly what I am looking for but it gets me closer to what I want or don’t want in a career. The only way I can find things out about myself is trying things out.
I encourage anyone who is contemplating do anything different, in any area of their life to give it a try. It can only be considered a failure if you choose for it to not to be a learning tool.
Bible Reference : Ecclesiastes 11:4-6 (NIV)
4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
5 As you do not know the path of the wind,
or how the body is formed[a] in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
the Maker of all things.
6 Sow your seed in the morning,
and at evening let your hands not be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
whether this or that,
or whether both will do equally well.
Keep Pushing with Optimism,
In our lives we struggle with purpose, the meaning of success, what happiness is. I am designed with a need to help others and use my vast talents to do so. I enjoy making the difference in people’s lives. But, sadly, I will not always do so.
At first, I was crushed when I didn’t have the talents needed to help a certain I child. I felt like I had failed him. I also didn’t know of anyone else who could help him better. I questioned myself and asked God to show me what I could do to become better.
As it often is, his answer was not what I would have expected. He didn’t change anything about what I did; instead he opened my mind to see something I hadn’t expected: not everyone wants our help or our type of help.
Instead of letting the parent judge me, I realize the difference between what I do and what she wants. I can only guide her to what she wants; because she does not want the kind of help I can give. And this happens all the time in the real world. Some Friends don’t want our advice. Addicts don’t always want to get clean. Sinners often don’t confess.
We cannot make them change nor can we make them accept our help. We must accept that. It is not a failing on our part. The choice is theirs. By learning to accept this, my heart is at peace. Now I just have to make sure that lesson stays with me.
For many of my formative years my closest and dearest friends were males. I had very few girls that I considered friends. In fact, in high school I literally had 2 girls I considered my friends. I couldn’t bond with other girls, they were jealous, insecure and mean….or so I thought. I realize now I myself was unhealthy and attracted unhealthy relationships in general (from romantic to platonic). It wasn’t until I was in my senior year of high school and really trying to find my identity in CHRIST that my view became healthier and I began to seek out and accept real female Friendship. Ive written before about Heavenly Inspired Sisters ( HIS ) and how this group of women changed my life, but the true power of that Didn’t truly hit me until my HIS getaway this past September.
See in Birmingham, I’m surrounded by testosterone, I’m the only woman in a house of boys and men….and ive struggled to find female friends. So, to have an entire weekend devoted to bonding, goofing, encouraging and prayer from a group of women is absolutely precious and prized. I enjoy the leadership and partnership of my husband, but there’s also power in another (positive, God-centered) woman speaking into your life.
Only another woman can understand the Struggles Intimately that I face, Pregnancy loss, esteem issues, emotions…just to name a few are just a few topics That other women have helped me successfully journey through.
This is why I’m excited to say, I’m finally moving forward with taking the HIS concept and making it a movement. A sisterhood created for both types of women. Those who understand the value of sisterhood and those who have yet to experience it.
- I will go on daily walks. My newest doggie, Lady, will be there to push me along.
- I will ask for help, because that is something I constantly need. Thank God for my support system.
- I will stay connected with my HIS in some way every day. These ladies are my lifeline.
- I will encourage my kids to pray from the heart instead of routine prayers. I want them to develop that personal relationship with God that makes life so full of love.
- I will say no when I need to, because nurturing my household is my primary calling. I learned how to say no last year. I want to make sure that I do not get overloaded anymore.
- I will teach my kids to take on more responsibility that I have in the past. There are things that they could be doing for themselves, that I have just been doing for them.
- I will successfully take care of my family during my husband’s next deployment. Being apart is difficult, especially with 7 kids at home. I am proud of what Jeff does and I want him to be confident that I can manage things here.