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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Learn, Live and Hope in 2014

I want to remember 2013.  I want to look back on the year and remember all that has happened...good and bad and see what I have learned.

This year I knew that my job at the Telephone Company would end. I believe that this was the cause of some major stress in my life.  I wasn't sure if I would be able to find a job, which caused me AND my husband much stress. I prayed for months that God would lead me in the right direction and of course He did!

Then there were months were I stayed nauseated most of the time, I couldn't eat, I was in pain constantly and I could only sleep a couple of hours at a time. I was miserable!!  I went to my Interstitial Cystis (IC) doctor and he started me on anti-depressants that changed my life for the better.  He suspected that Fibromyalgia was causing some of my problems.(He was right) This taught me that you have to keep trying new treatments to keep your symptoms under control.  Even if you think you are doing all the right things.

In June my daughter announced that her and her fiance would be getting married in October.  I was excited, but yet frustrated by my physical limitations to prepare for the wedding.  Thankfully I was feeling well enough to do some shopping and planning to help with the wedding and the wedding shower. We also had to rely on his family and our family to help.  This reiterated the importance of family to me.

The last few months before the wedding were very stressful.  But the wedding was beautiful and it was worth all the money and time we spent on it.  This reminded me how special love is and to look beyond someone's skin color in order to know them better.

When I found a new job at the Construction Company that suited me so well and has so much less stress, I knew it was the best fit for me.  This reminded me to always lean on God and trust that He will guide my steps if I do.

A few months ago I had to "break up" with my physical therapist. And even though it was hard, I think it was the right thing to do.  As I learned from an IC friend, I was making room for another patient to benefit from the knowledge of my Therapist.

So as I look forward to a new year, I want to remember the things that helped me through this year. I hope that 2014 will be good year for me and all my friends and family. I also hope all my friends and family who have IC, IBS, Fibro, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Vulvodynia and other health and emotional issues will 
Learn, live and Hope in 2014!!

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dig A Little Deeper!

Kutless "O Holy Night"

This is a great time of the year! I love hearing Christmas music like the song above. I enjoy planning family meals...But I kept thinking, what am I missing?

My tree is decorated, my house is decorated. I even took a small Christmas tree to work to decorate our office...But I still said to myself, what am I missing?

I asked for Christmas lists, completed almost all of my shopping (done mostly online of course!) and have even thought of stocking stuffers...But what am I missing?

I know the true meaning of Christmas is celebrating the birth of my Saviour, Jesus Christ. I've read the Bible story and I know the words...But I thought what am I missing?

This week I began to realize what I was missing...I was missing a deeper joy of Christmas!  For me the joy of Christmas is found in many things, but I wanted to dig a little deeper...

I have some ideas that will make the joy of Christmas even more meaningful in my own heart.  I am going to do some things that will help others.  Not just for my family has everything we need. I'm going to go out of my way to help others.  Having Interstitial Cystitis, Fibromyalgia, IBS, etc, etc has slowed me waaay down, but there are still things that I can do!

I am going to invite friends to Christmas dinner who are living far away from their families. I'm gonna dig a little deeper and give the waiter or waitress at the restaurant a little extra tip.  I'm going to help a family who is having a hard time this year. I'm gonna dig a little deeper and put some money in that little, red kettle every time I hear those bells ring. I'm going to try to cheer up a friend who doesn't have any Christmas joy.  I'm gonna show my love to everyone I see this year.  I'm going to say "Merry Christmas" and not "Happy Holidays!!"

"What have we done with the true meaning of Christmas?" my Pastor asked our congregation this morning. I thought it was a brilliant way to get our attention and to take it to a personal level. The birth of Jesus is a joyful and wonderful gift from our Creator.  God showed us His amazing love for us by sending His Son. We all are so wrapped up (pun intended) in the activities of the season, that we forget to share the joy of Christmas with others.

If we cannot find joy in our own celebration of Christmas, then how can others see Jesus in our lives?  If we don't have love in our own hearts then we cannot share the message of Jesus with others.  Jesus wants our heart ♥  This year I challenge you to stop and take the time to dig a little deeper and find out how God wants you to show His love to others this Christmas!

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Another Year Wiser??!!

Feeling sleepy and extremely tired when the alarm went off I wanted to just keep sleeping.  Outside it was a cloudy, dreary, rainy morning...Ugh! The worst kind of day for me, but I had to go to work.

Did I mention that it was my  birthday and now I am 48 years old? Of course it was a dreary day...always is on my birthday!  See my blog post "IC Tired from my last birthday.

When I went to work, one of the girls I work with gave me a birthday gift.  It was so nice! It was one of those Bath & Body Works gift sets.  We have only worked together for a couple of months, but she hit the nail on the head with that me some!  When her birthday rolls around I hope that I can return the favor with a very suitable gift for her!

Then when my boss came in, she brought a birthday cake and starting singing "Happy Birthday."  Again, another great gift from a girl for a girl...Yes, I said it...a girl!  The last few years I worked with all men and I felt privileged, if they even remembered to say "Happy Birthday" even after I reminded them, more than once in the days proceeding my birthday, lol!

This year I wasn't even depressed!  I was happy!! I was happy to have another year of wisdom "wink, wink" and I was happy to have a job!  We all shared some of my birthday cake at work and I enjoyed it very much!

My boss asked me the next day, if I felt another year older. I said "No, not really"  Since I have been diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis (IC), I feel closer to about 30 years older I thought to myself.  As I have said before, I have the endurance of my mother.  She is now 81 years old.

Yes, I'm another year older and I can dwell on that if I want to.  But it will not change the fact that I am older.  I have IC, Fibromyalgia, IBS, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, etc, etc. and I can dwell on that if I want to...and some days I do.  But it will not change that living with these illnesses are my reality, at least for now.

We can use all of our energy to worry about getting older or we can accept it and be thankful that God has blessed us with another year.  We can use all of our precious time trying to figure out what caused our IC, illness (insert your own problems) here or we can move on with our lives and spend our limited energy on trying to make ourselves better.

I believe when you first get sick with IC or other illnesses that there should be a time of mourning. A mourning for your old life, but when you can't move past that, then you have a problem.

Many of us are going through a storm in our life right now.  We have to stay focused on the fact that this too will pass.  There are some things that we can't change, but at least if we celebrate another birthday we can also take joy in the fact that we are "Another Year Wiser??!!" 

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's A Wonderful Life

A scene from "It's A Wonderful Life"
It's A Wonderful Life is my favorite Christmas movie. In my opinion, it is the best movie ever!  If you haven't watched it or it has been a long time since you have watched it I recommend that you check it out this year.

It is about a man who thinks he is worth more dead than alive.  When I am feeling low and depressed, I have those same thoughts.  In the movie, Jimmie Stewart stars as George Bailey. He decides to kill himself by jumping off a bridge into the water.  That's when his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers), appears.

Clarence shows George how many lives he has touched. He shows him how different his hometown of Bedford Falls would be if he had never been born.

Duck Dynasty beards.
Think about how many lives would be different if you were not born.  I think about it all the time.  The world would have less beauty because my daughter would not be born.  My husband probably would look like one of those guys on Duck Dynasty with a long beard.  And my cats wouldn't have anyone to feed them...all joking aside, my loved ones' lives would be different for sure.

Think about how many lives you have touched.  We all have affected our family, friends, neighbors in some kind of way.  Some of it good and some of it bad.  But we all impact other people's lives.

God has created each one of us for a reason.  Our lives may not be going exactly the way we planned, but we were still created by Him for Him.  We all have family and friends that love us and need us in their lives.

 Maybe we can't do all the things we used to be able to do.  Maybe we don't have the exact job we wanted. Maybe we are in constant pain.  Or maybe those are excuses not to do what the Lord wants us to do. What we were made to do. Or maybe we need to change our expectations of what we want our life to be.

My life has made some twists and turns over the last year and a half that I never expected.  But I know that God can still use me, just in a different way.  I can't teach my Sunday School class anymore, but I can still show love to children at church.  I can't be at church for every service, but I can still pray for my church and all of the programs we support.

If we think about all the lives we have changed, then we realize that God is not finished with us just because we are different.  If we all think about our family and friends and how we are blessed,we will understand that we all are "The Richest Man In Town."...You will have to watch the movie to understand that last part.
"It's A Wonderful Life" movie

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

I Am Thankful For Sugar

We were going to the mountains of North Carolina to pick up a puppy.  It would be a short trip for just one night.  I had been looking forward to it all week.

You know him. He is the "Pre Cold" from the Zicam commercials.
However, we have been passing around a cold at the Construction Company.  First me, my boss and her granddaughter had it. Then the other girl in the office had a sore throat  She even went home early one day.  But me?  I was feeling fine...Until Wednesday when my throat started hurting.  Instead of taking it easy, I worked and then went to church that night.  Again, the next day I felt fine until that afternoon.  Then I felt the pre cold chasing me.  I felt terrible!!  See picture above!

My daughter and her husband were coming over.! that sounds so funny to use that word about my daughter.  I decided to rest in the bed for a while and then I visited with them for a few minutes.

The next day, I took it easy and just rested.  We made our trip later that afternoon and I felt good!  I fought off the cold!  I was so thankful!

We found a hotel and the check out time was 12:00.  I was loving that!  I have noticed that a few hotels offer 12:00 checkout.  That is my kinda hotel!  I was so thankful that I could sleep as long as needed and get ready at a slower pace.

We then went uptown to eat in the small mountain town of Weaverville.  Afterwards Alan let me do some Christmas shopping.  We went into a shop that had handcrafted items from local artists.  I was spending a lot of time in there shopping.  Then Alan was ready to go get his new pup.  I was thankful to feel good enough to visit the small town and thankful to go ahead and do some Christmas shopping.

So we headed to a house up on a mountain to pick out his new puppy.  While she is young, she will stay in the house some and I will get attached to her.  But I know that she is going to be a hunting dog and very soon she will be outside all the time.   I am thankful for the excitement of a new pup in our lives.

After we got all of the paperwork for his puppy, we headed back home.  It was about a three hour trip.  We stopped to eat dinner and had a good meal.  I was so thankful that during the ride up there and the ride back I was able to sit up front in the car with Alan.  I didn't have to lie in the backseat at all!

I came up with the name Sugar for the puppy.  Her Father's name is Insane Cain and her Grandmother is  Insane Jane.  So I thought Sugar Cain would be good for her.  After all she is not insane (yet), but she is oh so sweet! 
Lil' Sugar
Of course, I was worn out the day after, but I was able to take a nap.  I am so thankful that I was able to fight off a cold and have an enjoyable trip with my husband!!

This afternoon when we bought groceries I was so tired that I let him unload all the groceries from the buggy to the car.  I again felt thankful that my husband helps me so much and takes such a big role in My New IC life to make my life easier.

I am looking forward to spending time with my family for Thanksgiving.  This year I am thankful for so many things that some people take for granted.  This year I am thankful for Sugar...

Shopping for gifts for my loved ones 
Uninterrupted sleep 
God's gift to me - my husband!
Ability to fight a cold, even when I have Interstitial Cystitis, Fibromyalgia, etc. 
Riding in the front seat of a car!!

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

My Life Is About To Change

This week marked a major change in my life.  My job at the telephone company ended.  I did not want it to end!!  The good news is that I have had a lot of time to adjust to this change.

I have known that it was going to end for about a year now.  I tried to keep it going for as long as possible.  It was the perfect job for me, in this season of my life.  I was able to work from home half of the day and then go in the office for half.  Or if I was having a really bad day, I could work all day from home.  I am convinced that God placed me in that job, so that I could have all that flexibility. 

I didn't want it to end for many reasons, but one of course is that I don't like change. The job I worked at before the telephone company was for a copier dealership.  I worked there for 23 years!

Nope, I don't like change, but each time I have changed jobs, I know that God was guiding my steps.  I am thankful that I already have another job that allowed me to work part-time until the other job ended...again, an answer to my prayers!

I've been thinking about change in general.  I didn't like change before Interstitial Cystitis (IC) and all my other related conditions.  And it is even harder for me physically and mentally to adjust to a new job now...or any kind of change.  But I like my new job at the construction company and God knows what He is doing by having me there.

Not all change is bad...a new baby, a new house, new love...a new life..."My New IC Life."  My life has changed since I have had IC, but I don't want God to take to all my pain away from me.  You may not understand why I say that, but let me try to explain.  I feel more grounded with my pain.  I feel more empathic to others with my pain.  I feel closer to God with my pain!

I know it sounds crazy to want to be in pain, but some days when I feel especially good, I do what is pleasing to me and sometimes not thinking about what God wants me to do.  Then there are other days when I tell God "Oh, remember me saying something about not taking away my pain?"  "Well, I didn't mean that I had to be in this much pain!" 

Someone recently said to me "You have so much faith, but yet He lets you suffer so much." I replied that sometimes our lives change, so that we can learn and grow from it.  I said God has changed my heart.  I wouldn't trade that for not having pain!  "Sometimes pain is the only way we can learn."

Another change that is good is when you change your life and start living for Jesus.  You don't have to "fix" yourself or "change" yourself to be worthy to have Christ in your life.  When we decide to give everything to Him, He changes us!  The guitarist from from the group Unspoken says "God's ability to forgive is much greater than our ability to sin." That sure is a great quote about the amazing power of God! Check out the acoustic version of their song about change by clicking below.

 Unspoken "Who You Are"

One chapter of my life has ended, but a new one has begun.  Sometimes change can be difficult, but sometimes change is exactly what we need! What are your thoughts on this subject?  Leave your comments below.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

It's Official

Recently I went to a  Rheumatologist and he diagnosed me...It's official..I have Fibrobmyalgia.  It was not a devastating diagnosis for me.  I have done a lot of research and I was 99.9% sure that I have had it for several months now.

For those of you who don't have Fibromyalgia (Fibro), I will describe what it feels like to me.  Although I am pretty certain that it is different for everyone.  All my muscles feel weak.  It is hard to do simple tasks such as washing and styling my hair. My energy level is very low. My skin hurts.  It hurts for anything to touch my skin, like shoes, clothes, the laptop or my dest, cold air,etc. My eyes burn and my whole body feels achy like I have the flu. I usually check my temperature several times during the day because I feel like I have a fever.

I also have more pain.  My lower back hurts more, my legs hurt more and my bladder hurts more. Basically for me, I want to sleep as long as possible...even ridiculous amounts like 12 hours.  Of course for me this is not straight sleep, but a few hours at a time interrupted by the need to go the the bathroom often.  But just think about it.  If you are sick, that is usually what you want to do....sleep!  The more sleep the better for me!!

If you don't have Fibro, first of all, you should thank your Heavenly Father every day that you don't have it!  Also, if you know me personally, you may see me one day when I am in a Fibro flare.  Fibromyalgia is another invisible condition that I suffer from along with Interstitial Cystitis and many others.  So if you see me at work, church or the grocery store, don't assume that I am fine.  Sometimes I am fighting a battle within my body and I feel terrible.  If I walk away when it is time to do manual labor, don't assume that I am lazy and don't want to do my share.  Just know that I am having a bad day and I will try my best to do more next time...Lord willing.

You may not personally have Fibromyalgia, but you may go to church with someone who does, you may have friends that have it or your little sister may have it. If you think about it, we all probably have a link to someone who has Fibro in our lives. You may see others like me, with a handicapped parking plate.  When you look on the outside, you don't see our pain, depression or utter and complete tiredness, but it is there.  Please don't judge us and assume that we are fine.  Instead, how about asking us how we are doing and if there is anything you can do to help us?

One thing that I have learned, since I have been so sick, is to try to have compassion for and serve others.   Do I always do it?  No, sometimes I fell miserably!! But I want to serve others to glorify God. There are many ways to do that.  You can send a card to someone who is not feeling well. You can smile at someone you see at the post office. You can speak to a homeless person and ask them how they are doing.  Sometimes the smallest gesture can go a long way.

Living with chronic pain is not easy, but there are many things we can do to manage better.  Some things that help me when I'm in a Fibro flare are soaking in a hot bath with Epsom salt.  Using a heating pad on the most painful areas.  Taking the time to rest and conserving energy.

If you suffer from Fibro, I know sometimes you just don't feel like doing anything.  I felt that way the other day.  I felt awful!  All I wanted to do was stay at home and not do much of anything.  I decided that I would take a short walk instead.  I felt better after the walk.  Then I sat on my deck and just soaked up some sun rays.  It felt so good!  Then I listened to some music.  It boosted my mood.  Did it take away all my pain? No, but it make me feel better mentally. 

The next day I decided to call my sister-in-law who also suffers from Fibromyalgia.  I hoped that I helped boost her mood, just by calling her.  Sometimes we need to consider the interests of others and that alone makes us feel better! 

I am going to post some links that I think will help you in your struggles with Fibromyalgia. And of course as always, if you just need someone to talk to who understands what you are going through, I will help you as much as I can. Also, let me know your thoughts and some ways in which you serve others below.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

The Wedding

Months and months of planning, stressing and spending came to an end.  My daughter was married on October 26th.  The wedding ceremony was beautiful. It was the perfect blend of traditional and contemporary.  It was a wonderful display of people not focusing on how different they are, but how much they share in common. 

As Miranda was getting dressed for the wedding one of the groom's Aunts handed her a lovely, antique handkerchief. I was so relieved because I could not think of anything appropriate to let her "borrow."  It seemed everything that our family could not provide, his family stepped up and provided what was needed.  I was almost brought to tears.  Miranda insisted that I leave then, so that she would not cry too.  It was a sweet moment to share with my lovely daughter before her wedding.

She was married in my Mom's church.  It is over 100 years old and only used for special services, since they have built another larger sanctuary. The backdrop for the occasion  had glimpses of days gone by.
There was a candle lighting and placing of a rose as a memorial to the groom's Mom. It was a touching display of respect and love to a special lady who passed onto heaven suddenly and way too soon last year.

As Miranda walked down the aisle, one of the three talented vocalist sang the perfect song " I'm Marrying My Angel Today."  The lyrics of the song seem to have been written especially for Miranda and Vince...

Take a Listen...I'm Marrying My Angel Today By Jamie Foxx

Miranda looked stunning as she walked down the aisle in her elegant dress. She was crying as my husband walked with her arm in arm.  As soon as the groom saw her, he started crying too. Emotions were running high for many of the attendees of the wedding.  My husband was holding back his tears, as he gave our daughter away.  He handed her hand to the preacher.  He in turn handed it to the groom.  The significance of this gesture was heart touching.

The vows were as traditional as they come..."I, Miranda, take you Vince, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part."

As I listened to the part about "in sickness and health" it really made me think.  My husband and I took those same vows 27 years ago.  Neither one of us knowing that years later our vows would be put to the test.  Who knew I would be diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis (IC) and all the other related conditions that are a part of our daily lives now?  But he has stayed true to his vows and for this I will always be grateful.

As the preacher talked about the foundation of good marriage he poured sand into the heart shaped container.  The bride then poured, from her container, orange colored sand. The groom poured, from his container, brown colored sand. Each color representing them as individuals. The preacher said " The individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be."

The blending of the sand not only symbolizes the unity of the couple, but the blending of two families. As we celebrated this day together, it became clear to me that both families are down to earth, friendly, God loving people. Of course the two families look different on the outside, but the things that, hope and love...we share in common.

My beautiful daughter and my new Son-in-Law

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do!

I broke up with my physical therapist...or she broke up with me??!! I'm not sure. I was in such disbelief that I could hardly speak.  When I first started going for therapy she talked about how hard it is to break up with some patients.  She said some of them just won't leave; now I understand why...

A few weeks ago I told my therapist that I had 2 more appointments and then that would probably be it...I didn't mean, but yet I did.  Since I have started another job, I realize that taking half a day off each week is probably not the best idea.  It has been about a year since I first started physical therapy.  That is a long time to take time off work, drive 1 1/2 hours one way, and to ride in a car for that long since riding is difficult for me at times.

My therapist has been talking a lot about all the progress that I have made.  It just seemed like the right time to stop going regularly.  But when the time came and she said she thought I was ready, I didn't feel ready at all.  I felt like a little girl whose friend told her not to come back to her house anymore!  I felt like I was not going to see one of my best fiends, a confidant and the best physical therapist a girl could ask for.

As we smiled, hugged and said our goodbyes, it seemed like a dream.  Like one of those many bad dreams I have been having lately.  As soon as I stood in the elevator to leave, I realized that it was all real and the tears began to flow.

So much change in my life now...I don't like it.  My one and only daughter is getting married next week.  And I am happy for them, yet a little sad too.  Even though I enjoy my new construction job, I love my telephone company job and the people I work with and soon I will have to let that go too. 

Although I know I can email, call or visit my therapist at any time, I know things will never be the same again...I will never be the same again.  She is not only a good friend to me, but I believe she changed my life forever.  As a physical therapist she gave me part of my life back that Interstitial Cystitis (IC) had taken away.  If I had not went for therapy, I was headed down a path of being physically unable to walk or do much of anything.

When I was first diagnosed, all I wanted to do was sit or lay on my heating pads.  She encouraged me to walk daily and do stretches.  I thought I would never exercise again, but thanks to her guidance and encouragement I exercise everyday now. Each week she held me accountable for what I did or did not do.

She also encouraged me to look at my diet. I made some needed changes that will be better for my bladder.  It also encouraged me to look at ways to control my IBS through my diet.

But the main thing I love about her is her enthusiasm.  She is excited about what she does and really goes above and beyond her call of duty to genuinely show her patients that she really cares about them. She was the first person that I talked to about IC that didn't have it who seemed to honestly understand it...that alone was amazing in my book!

She is also a Christian.  We openly talked about the Lord and it was so encouraging to me that someone as young as her has such huge faith.  Her Christian influence with stay with me the rest of my life!

And of course her suggestions will too. Drink water, water, water and walk, walk, walk!!
She told me she thought I was ready and her advice was to keep doing what I am doing.  My words to her were few, but I have already told her many times before that I think she was an angel sent by God to me, to never loose her passion for what she does and that I felt such a great connection to her that I know God put the two of us together. 

Thank you Jenna for being such a great friend and an excellent therapist!!

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

My Little Girl

Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.  
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another,
as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1 Peter 4:9-10  
Miranda and both of her Grandmothers
Miranda and her sister-in-law to be
I have been planning it for months.  And it finally happened Saturday.  It was so much hard word and so much fun!

A couple months ago I told my daughter that I would plan a wedding shower for her.  Obviously I said that on a day when I was feelin really good!

My daughter, her fiance' and I met one day and decided on the menu.  A couple weeks later we finalized the invitation list.  After buying 3 different types of invitations; I decided  on one and prepared most of them for mailing. We also hand delivered some of them.

My husband cleaned the front porch, cut the grass, went grocery shopping with me, made the rolo, pretzel, pecan thingies, bought and picked up the mums, pumpkins and the Chick fil A platter and so much more.

My future son-in-law ironed the tablecloths (He brought his own iron, for Pete's sake...he is very serious about his ironing!!)  He came over on the day of and did some cleaning for me and went and bought some more pumpkins and mums.  He also went to pick up the cupcakes.  I had ordered cupcakes the day before the shower.  When he went to pick them up; they told him someone else had picked them up.  What??!! Who did they give MY cupcakes too?? Oh well!!   He had to order some more and my daughter picked them up.

My mother-in-law made some delicious pecan muffins.  My sister-in-law helped with the food set up. She cooked the popcorn...and who doesn't love popcorn??!!  My Mom cut the vegetables and helped with the food set up. My best friend sent her punch recipe for "Preacher's Punch" all the way from New York and it was a hit!

What's a party without guests?  We had Aunts and sister-in-laws, Moms and Grandmothers. Two separate families came together, enjoyed some food and had some fun.  We even played some of those silly little bridal shower games.  Miranda was opposed the idea at first, but it turned out to be very entertaining.  One game we played consisted of me asking a list of questions that I had prepared. For example: If you have read your Bible this week, give yourself 2 points.  Whoever had the most points at the end would win a small prize.  At the end we had a two-way tie.  So I asked the tie breaker question.  It was still tied.  I asked another question...guess what...another tie.  I finally said "Ok, you both win!!"  I let both of them pick a prize.  It was a good way to break the ice and I think we all enjoyed ourselves.

All in all it was great day.  The weather was perfect and everyone pitched in.  It took so many people joining together for a common cause to make this bridal shower the success that is was.

I wanted Miranda to have a bridal shower that she would enjoy and cherish for years to come.  Although I have been feeling better, there is no way I could not have prepared everything by myself!  If I didn't have IC, I would not have asked for as much help as I did.  Relying on others is not a bad thing.  It is a good way to get to know your family and friends better. 
I cannot survive this IC journey by myself either.  I have to have the help and love of my family and friends just to make it day by day.  Taking on the challenge of IC by myself is hard to imagine.  Every day I trust in the Lord to give me the strength and courage to motivate and encourage others.  I trust that He will use my sufferings for His glory.

We all do crazy things for the ones we love.  Hosting a bridal shower at your house while you have Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is no small undertaking, but I wanted to do it for my daughter.  It is one of many ways that I want to show My Little Girl how much I love her.

Last minute plans before the guests arrive
The bride to be

My sister and my daughter
Me and my two new friends!

My Little Girl!

"Hospitality is sharing what we have and who we are with whomever God sends. Hospitality includes setting aside time for fellowship and being flexible in order to accommodate impromptu gatherings."
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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Keep On Truckin'

We had homecoming at my church last week.  I wasn't expecting it, but one of my best friends was there for the service.  She sat with me and another friend of ours.  She sat beside me and I could hear her singing along with the hymns.  It took me back to a place long ago when she and I used to sing in the church choir together when we were in Jr High School.  Ah, good memories!

We all went out to eat lunch together after the service.  It gave us a chance to catch up on each other and to have a few laughs together.  It was so much fun!  I was so thankful that I felt good enough to spend some more time with them.  It was so great to see her again!

Later that same day I helped Miranda and Vince with their wedding invitations.  Again I was thankful that I felt well enough to help them.  I wish I could do more to help, but I do as much as my body allows.

Going out to eat with my friends at a restaurant with hard seats and exerting large amounts of energy to talk and laugh do not come without a price for me.  Helping my daughter and future son in law with their wedding is something I greatly enjoy, but it too usually comes at a price for me over the next few days.  

The next day I felt achy and tired all over and my pain level was high most of the day. I wanted to go to a support meeting that evening, but I felt too bad.  So I just went to work,  I just had to "Keep On Truckin" and made it through the day.

Tuesday when I went to work at the Construction Company I was very tired all day.  It was a long day and I just had to "Keep on Truckin" until it was time to go home.

My brother mentioned to me that he and I have to "Keep on Truckin" and that we can help each other out.  I looked of the meaning of the comic "Keep on Truckin" and the meaning I found is...  "keep on doing your own thing regardless of obstacles."  There may be
hundreds of other meanings for these words, but I like this one.

I have thought of these words this week when I felt exhausted and I knew that I had to keep on going.  I thought of theses words last night when I suddenly felt nauseated and I was hurting from by belly button to my bladder.  I sought relief  and rest with 2 of my best
buddies...heating pad #1 and heating pad #2.  

As I was in bed I started getting anxious, but I decided to do some deep breathing and to recite scripture to myself.  "He took me by the hand and helped me."  It calmed me down...

When Alan came home with supper I felt like just laying there, but I decided I needed to "Keep on Truckin."  So I got up, and spent some time with him and I continued to feel better.

Who doesn't have obstacles in their life?  Yes, mine may be more than yours, but then some days yours are more than mine.  Everyone is going through something.  We all have to put our heart into it and keep on going.  

Living with Interstitial Cystitis (IC) and other chronic, invisible diseases has taught me that I am stronger than I thought I ever could be.  Sometimes I have to dig really deep.  I have to be really focused on a particular task in order to push through, but sometimes it is oh, so worth it!!

I also admired that he said "we can help each other."  I  like the idea of having someone that can be your motivator.  In return you try to encourage and motivate them!  Find someone that can be your Keep On Truckin (KOT) inspiration.  It can be a family member, church friend, support group friend or neighbor.  Seek them out by email, text, postcard or phone call.  You make the first step! So as the month for IC awareness comes to a close, let's all remember to help each other.  Yes, we need to spread awareness whenever and where ever possible.  But we should always remember as family, church family or IC family we all need to help each other "Keep On Truckin!"

Let me know what you and your KOT encourager are going to do for each other below...

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