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Monthly Archives: May 2011

My Jakers

I just love to brag on my kids!  Yesterday I was teaching at my kids’ school, and had an EA come up to me and tell me this story.  As she was talking, I noticed her necklace, which looked like a stylized Ichthus fish.  🙂

You’re Jacob’s mom, right?  Well, I just wanted to tell you how he blessed me the other day.  It must have been around his birthday, and the teacher was letting the kids tell and sing their favorite songs.  They were getting towards the end when Jacob raised his hand tall and said, “I have one!”  He then started singing, without any fear and in a pure voice, Jesus Loves Me.  Before he was done 5 or 6 other kids joined him.  I had tears in my eyes, it touched me so deep !  And it was okay because it came from him, a student.  I just had to tell you how much that blessed me and still touches me.  He is a very special boy.

Right on!  So often I talk about Laura because she is the extrovert who pushes all the boundaries and challenges me each and every day.  But always there is my Jacob, right alongside me, who has the sweetest, most kind heart you can ever imagine.  Laura might be the one to loudly proclaim Jesus from the rooftops.  But Jacob is the quiet leader who simply loves people for who they are and gently tells them about his friend, Jesus.  My mama’s heart couldn’t be happier with these two totally different yet awesome kids……..

I love both of my kiddos!  They are amazing little ones who not only will change lives, they already are changing lives.  🙂

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2011 in Crohn's Journal

 

The Whisper Journal

It’s no secret that my daughter is very independent.  And it’s no secret of where that trait comes from!  I love what it will do for her later in life, but right now, it makes for some very difficult times.  Her and I have been having some trouble lately communicating, and so yesterday I bought a journal for us to use.  I’m calling it The Whisper Journal.  It’s just for her and I, when our verbal words are getting in the way of us being successful at communicating.  Sometimes, when you try to speak your heart to someone, our words get in the way and things get misspoken or misunderstood.  This journal is a safe place for our thoughts and emotions.  What is written in the journal doesn’t necessarily need to be spoken about, but it is simply a way for each of us to tell what is on our heart.

So I started the journal with a page of just telling her how much I love her.  Period.  No strings attached.  I explained the journal to her, and left it with her as she went to bed.

Well…..I guess it’s working!!!

She wrote in the journal, and was so deeply touched by it and my words that she couldn’t sleep.  Finally, after about 30 minutes of trying and crying, she came downstairs.  My little one just wanted a hug.  She wanted her mama’s heart.  We sat and snuggled for about 10 minutes, then we sang “You and Me Together” in each others ears and to each others hearts.  “You and me together we’ll be, forever you’ll see, we two can be good company, you and me, yes together we two….” and on it goes.  It was a sweet time.

I want this journal to be something special between her and I.  A place for our hearts to go and our words to be spoken.  There is something special that happens when someone takes the time to write to you.  I will always hold my daughter and tell her I love her.  But this…..it gives me one more way to sink those truths deep into her heart……….

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2011 in Crohn's Journal

 

Back to basics…..

Okay, since things are continuing to upset my stomach, I’m going back to the basics.  Yesterday did it for me.  Each time, about 60-90 minutes after I ate (no matter what I ate) I had some gas cramps.  Big or small doesn’t matter, because this is my body telling me something is going on.  So…….

I’m going back to the basics, which means eating one thing at a time and seeing what effect it has on me.  For breakfast this morning I just had two eggs cooked with coconut oil, salt, and pepper.  I SO wanted some peppers and cheese with them, but needed to see if eggs are causing a problem.  I hope not!!!  If they did, my chickens would be out of work.  🙂  I also had coffee.

It’s been about 45 minutes, so I still have some time to wait before things could happen.  My plan is to eat simply today, and see where things shake out to be.  If I have to, I’ll start a food journal again.  A food journal will be necessary if I can’t keep track of things I’m eating and the symptoms.    I’m not eating anything illegal, but for some reason my system is reacting against more foods right now.   I hope it’s just a passing phase………

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2011 in Crohn's Journal

 

Not going right…..

Okay, it’s time to admit that it’s not going right at this time.  I think the busyness and the stress of the past 2 weeks is catching up to my gut.  The doc the last time said I need to be careful, since I apparently am one that internalizes things and takes it “to the gut,” which means if there is a lot going on in life it can cause issues with the Crohn’s.  I’ve been trying to pull back on foods that might exacerbate the pain or discomfort.  But….I probably need to be even more diligent.

Basically, there’s just been a dull ache in the right side again, for about a week or so.  I’ve had some increase in gas cramps first thing in the morning, though it’s only been a couple of times.  Everything else seems to be okay, but it’s just the ache/pain in my side I don’t like.  Right now it’s a constant, but I’m hoping it goes away soon.

So….evaluation time.  Is there anything that I’ve eaten that might cause it or might have started it, besides stress?

Hmmm…..maybe too many nut products.  Again.  Madjool dates and pecans are treats for me that I eat often, and it’s also something I can take with me when I teach that gives a quick boost when I need it.  I might need to pull back on those.

It could have started with an unknown Pico de Gallo I bought and was eating every day.  I THOUGT it would be okay, since it looked like it just had natural things and came from Central Market.  But…..maybe it had something added in it that I didn’t know about.  I’m going to try and make my own, since I’m really liking that in my eggs in the morning!

Other than that, I’ve been really good.  I don’t cheat hardly at all, and if I do it might be one bite of something every once in a while.  Like last night at Bunco.  I had 3 small shrimp.  I know they had seasoning on them I can’t have, but I tried them anyway.  And I had some chicken that looked like it was baked naturally, but who knows?  When I’m really hungry, that’s when it gets hard.  When my body is crashing and I need something in it NOW, it’s hard to find something that will work.

But to those Crohnies that are following the SCD, please hear that I’m still 99% compliant.  I don’t mess with the diet and my food much at all.  I eat pretty plain, in fact.

I guess I just need to pull things way back, which means eating my Chicken soup a lot more and making sure everything I eat is legal and well cooked.

I need to get things back in order before my trip in July, and sometimes it can take some time to get the gut back to where it needs to be.

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2011 in Crohn's Journal

 

“Good…..fine….”

What do these two words mean?  I’ve been in circles before where, when asked how someone is doing, the answer would always be “good” or “fine” no matter what was really going on in that person’s life.  It was as if there was an unspoken rule that we couldn’t be real with each other and truly share what was going on in life at that moment.

I just want to take a moment to clarify what “good” means when I say it.

First off, it’s not just an empty word for me.  When I look around me at all that I have, life truly is good.  I’ve been blessed with a lot, and don’t lack much. 

But second, and most important, is this……I will say that I am “good” because, in the end, it’s all in God’s hands and all I have to do is trust him.

Yes, life doesn’t look like I might have envisioned it years and decades ago when I dreamed of my adult life.  No, it’s not all full of roses.  There are times where things just get stressful with everything we are dealing with.  There are times where I am short with my husband and kids.  And there are even times when a sense of melancholy might come upon me for a short time as my heart contemplates all that is going on. 

Does that mean that my answer is going to be negative?

No.

Because even in my sadness, He is there.

Even in my brokeness, the Cross still stands.

In my times of weariness, He will carry me.

When all is taken away, I will still have Him.

So, if you ask me how my family is doing right now, don’t think that my saying “we are doing good” is me not being real.  If we have some time to sit and chat, I’ll open up the world to you and share all that I can.  If we don’t have the time, just know that we are okay, because we are trusting in God.

Don’t be sad for my family.

Instead, celebrate with us, as God continues to provide all of our needs, each and every day.

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Crohn's Journal

 

Thyroid gone wild!

Well, now we know.  I haven’t lost all my coping skills….it was just mostly that darn thyroid!

We test my thyroid every 3 months because we are still trying to get it at just the right level. For about a year it’s shown up as being low, so I’ve been taking Cytomel and Levoxyl to correct that.  I’ve been on the lowest dose possible with both of those.

Turns out with these latest tests, my thyroid now is going gangbusters!  The T3 is just fine, but the T4 test came back high.  So, off we go to correct that.

Just out of curiosity I asked the doc what the symptoms of hyperthyroidism can be.

Get a load of this list:  increased anxiety, racing heartbeat, nervousness, hyper-adrenalism.  I’m sure trouble sleeping is in there as well.

So……..these past couple of weeks that I haven’t slept well?  My nervousness over things that normally don’t faze me (yes, doing this show today would normally not faze me this much and cause this much anxiety!)?  The times where my heart just starts to pound for no good reason?

Yep, it’s the thyroid.

I’m somewhat relieved.  This past week I was wondering what on earth had gotten into me!  I normally can shut my brain off and put all the details where they need to go so it doesn’t bug me.  But this last week it’s gotten to me a lot.  Now I know that I haven’t gone off the deep end.

It’s just mostly the thyroid.

Now will my heart stop racing…..please??????

 
 

Bankrupt

What does it mean to be “bankrupt?”  In ancient Italy a banker would literally sit on a bench, and do his job.  When he could no longer do his job as a banker, he literally “broke” his “bench.”  Thus, it seems the origins of bankrupt imply that the person is broken, and no longer able to do what they did in the past.

We filed bankruptcy yesterday.

It’s not what we ever envisioned we would do.  Never would we have thought we would walk away from our debts.  We both come from families where a handshake is all that’s needed to seal a deal because your word is as good as gold.  To tell the people who invested money in us that we no longer can repay them…..that’s hard.  We want to make it all right.  But we’ve tried.  We’ve tried for over 3 years, and we simply can’t keep it going anymore.  We have to walk away.  We have to try and start over.

This will stop the foreclosure proceedings on our house, at least for a few months.  There is no equity in the house, we are in fact way upside down, so this means the trustee of the bankruptcy will likely tell the bank that he can’t do anything with it, so it’s up to them.  At that point we can start negotiating with the bank.  Our hope is that, we being two adults who are seriously trying to earn a decent income and want to stay in the house, that they will work with us on the loan and the terms of the loan so everything works out.  But…..I have a few thoughts in my brain on all of this.  First, is that it truly does look good for us.  The banks don’t want ANOTHER bad debt on the books that they have to secure with real funds, so a renegotiation should work.  Second though, is that they truly could say no, we don’t want to negotiate with you, leave.  And third, is the fact that God’s got it all covered, so I shouldn’t worry.  Doesn’t mean I won’t….that’s just human nature.  But I do have the assurance in my heart that it will all be okay.

The bankruptcy truly is a gift to us.  In a very good economy we tried to make a very viable business model work.  Now, there is no other option.  We are still trying, but now we are living one day at a time, with simply doing what God puts in front of us that day.

Was I shaking when we walked out of the lawyer’s office yesterday after having signed the paperwork?  Yes.  Did I want to cry and then throw up?  Yes.  This isn’t something you do lightly.

But here’s my thing…..let me turn the tables for just a sec.

Being bankrupt is you saying you can’t do it any more.  You can’t live the life that you used to live.  You want to give up the debts of your past, walk away, and start anew.

Isn’t that what Jesus did for us?

He wanted to give us the chance to start fresh, without any stains marking our lives.  We get to start out again, remembering the past but looking for the future.  We can smile, lift our heads up out of the shame, and walk through life knowing that we’ve gotten another shot at things.

He died because we were broken, and in need of fixing.

He died because of his love for us.

I look at this bankruptcy as a huge metaphor in our lives.  It’s a good thing, because He has said to us, “You’ve tried on your own strength to solve things.  Now let me work out all things in your life in MY strength.”

We want to be bankrupt for Jesus.  We want to lay it all on the line and say, “We can’t do it.  We need You.”

Our family is starting over.

Today………is a new day.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

2 Corinthians 5:17

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2011 in Crohn's Journal