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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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