11.14.2011

Day 5: "Back to Reality"

Day 5. Bed rest is officially over. Tomorrow I enter the real world of clocking in, lunch breaks, and interacting with more than my Macbook and iPhone. Even though the mandated bed rest is over it doesn't mean that I will stop with the resting. I will be doing my absolute best to not over exert myself and really continue taking the time to heal up completely.

These past five days haven't been easy. I will say though, that they have been a huge blessing. From Wednesday night when I got home from the Dr to this moment right now I feel like a new person. I am able to walk more than I was,  I am not in constant pain, and my spirit is much higher than it was. My daily doses of steroids and pain pills will continue on until November 28th so there is still so much more room for improvement. I am not 100% better but I have faith that soon I will reach complete healing.

For anyone who has followed along in this adventure with me you would have read my previous blogs about what God has been teaching me. Journaling everyday has been really good for me. I'm a processor. If I don't actually sit down and write out my thoughts I feel as though they float around in my brain and never get addressed. This time alone has really allowed me to focus and realign myself with Him.

One of the top things I felt He reminded me of is that He is more concerned about my relationship with Him, than He is about what I'm doing for Him. It's classic really. I always end up doing things FOR Him instead of with Him. And I always find myself getting caught up in the work of God, and not so much in the relationship with God. It felt like it was a reminder to me that all He wants is me. Yes, I'm sure He's happy with me in that I do what He asks of me, but I know he is more concerned with what He and I share.

If I ever had any doubt that I was loved and cared for this experience would have proven me wrong. I am beyond blessed with the family and friends that I have as my support system. The person that I am always wants to give and has a hard time receiving. These past days have been amazing to let others take care of me. I am a very independent person, anyone who knows me at all knows I like to take care of myself. Even when it comes to God I feel as though I say "Hey God, it's ok, I got this" when really I don't.

It almost feels like me letting my friends and family take care of me was me letting God take care of me. I thank Him for that. I thank every person who called, texted, visited, hung out, picked up my slack at work, and held down the forte at Remnant. I sit in awe of how many blessings I have.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving I urge you to really look at what you are thankful for. If you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for the night before what would you be left with? Just something to think about.

Please continue to pray for my 100% healing. I believe He can, I believe He will, all in His timing.

Day 5: It's over :) 

11.13.2011

Day 4: "Fragile Handle with Care"

Bed rest day 4. Today I think has been the most difficult of days for me. Sundays are usually my day to be at the church, spend time with friends, be out and about enjoying life. I instead was home from sun up to sun down. I guess you can say I got the fever, the cabin fever. I broke the rules a bit and stood outside to catch a breath of fresh air. The weather was absolutely gorgeous today. 

Through this entire process I have to be very careful with all the things that I do. Getting in and out of the car, posture, the way I twist, bend, pick up things, etc. It's exhausting just typing it as I'm sure it's exhausting to read. I was telling Gretchen and Justin last night that it's hard because it's not like I have a cast or a brace that people can see there is something physically wrong with me. 

I constantly have to be telling people (nicely) to handle me with me care because I am fragile. As much as I love kids jumping on me, or students giving me bear hugs, for the time being I have to refrain and be careful. 

Gretchen, being the thought provoker that she is said to me "I wonder how true that is of people who are broken on the inside?" you don't know that they are broken because there is not a physical hurt, cast, brace etc. How many people are walking around with an invisible sign over their hearts that says "Fragile Handle with Care"

How many people do we talk to on a day to day basis that are hurting or broken on the inside? Who are we taking the time to minister to in order for us to really know and get to see what's going on underneath? 

It's easy for me to fall into the trap of feeling like the victim who feels sorry for herself, but the truth is there are just as many other hurt people out there right now. My situation doesn't make me any more special, it just makes it unique to me. I thank God that I am surrounded by those willing to help and walk through this with me. But it pains me to know that others don't have that same support system. 

My challenge to myself and anyone who reads this is to reach out, you never know how it could change someone's day, let alone change their entire life. 

Day 4: Rough start, thumbs up ending!



11.12.2011

Day 3: "The 5 Love Languages"

Some of you may be familiar with "The 5 Love Languages", if I were you I would suggest reading the book and taking the test. I personally believe that it is an incredible way to find out how you give and receive love. I think for anyone, regardless of whether its a romantic relationship, family, friends, that it is important to know how your heart works. 

Words of Affirmation

Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.

Quality Time
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

Receiving Gifts

Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.

Acts of Service

Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.

Physical Touch

This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

I've realized more and more over the course of this year that my TOP Love Language is quality time. To me there is no greater gift you can give me than to spend time with me. Don't get me wrong, a gift here and there is always nice too.


Through out these past few days I have been blessed to spend quality time with some of those I love and care about. Through my journaling time today I was writing about how I love and value quality time because it is priceless. You can't take it back. You can't put a price on it. I value when others take time out of their day to just be with me.


As I was writing this out to God, as if He didn't already know what my love language is. I heard him say "that's mine too". If I want quality time with those I love, how much more does God want quality time with me? My biggest thing with this love language is that I never want people to feel forced to spend time with me, I would always want it to come from a place of genuine excitement to spend time together.


I would imagine that God feels the same way. That He would want quality time that is not forced, but that comes from a place of yearning to be in His presence. The thing about me with quality time is that to me it doesn't mean that every second of every hour has to be spent talking. It could easily be sitting in a Starbucks across from me doing work on your laptop. Or sitting on the couch watching a movie. It's the sheer act of just being with me.


It really got me thinking about how much does God want that? To just BE in His presence. Not always talking, but also just listening to what He would have to say.


We make time for things we value, if God is a value and a top priority to us, then we too should be making time for Him. Not out of obligation or because we feel forced, but because I truly believe we could be loving on Him the way we expect others to love on us. We can't expect others to do things for us that we aren't first willing to do for them.


Day 3: Still trucking. 




11.11.2011

Day 2: "Thorn in the Flesh"

Day 2 of bed rest. This is what has been rattling around in my mind.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 


"Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong."


I was doing some studying and came across this. I honestly couldn't have written it any better. 


"Paul prayed to Christ who knew physical suffering and could sympathize with him.
Paul prayed specifically, "that it might depart from me". He felt it was a handicap hindering his service to the Lord. He was asking for immediate healing.

There are a number of things we know that are according to His will. There are a number of things we know that are not according to His will.
However, there are a great number of things which we do not know the will of God until He reveals them to us. God reveals them to us most of the time through events in our life.

The Lord gave Paul an answer to his prayer in 14 words.
"My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness".
All prayer is answered. God either says YES or NO. Sometimes the YES is not always as we expect or want it. Many times God says, "If I do not rid you of the trouble, I will give you grace for victory over it". Denial of Paul's request did not mean destitution but deliverance. The weight was not lifted but greater strength was given to bear it.

Paul was given something better than he asked for.

Would it have been better for Paul to have gotten rid of the thorn? Surely not, for without it he would have, "exalted above measure" Spiritual pride would have robbed him of his humility and he would then be a despised teacher instead of a greatly loved teacher. God couldn't have used him in the writing of NT scripture.



Someday we will see that the prayers of ours that were not answered according to our asking have brought to us the richest things in our spiritual walk. We ask for strength that we might achieve; we are made weak that we might obey. We ask for health that we may do greater things; He has given us infirmity that we might do better things. We ask for riches that we might be happy. He has given poverty that we might be wise. We ask for power that we may receive the praises of men; we are given weakness that we might feel the need of God.

Many Christians miss life's greatest purpose until they learn that there is divine guidance in pain, edification in illness, blessing in suffering and a whole lot of heaven in our handicap. Our need is never greater than His grace.
God can heal our infirmities and sometimes does, but often He supplies the grace sufficient to endure, and strength to carry the burden with victory.
BUT--THERE MUST BE THE RIGHT ATTITUDE ON OUR PART.

When Paul was told he must carry the thorn to the grave, and Christ would help carry the burden of it along the way and it would be a blessing to him, he began to sing this song.
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."



Day 2: Complete. 





11.10.2011

Day 1: "The Big Thing"

Today has been my first official day of bed rest. Being home alone all day really makes you think about anything and everything.

One of the top things that stuck through my head through the day was this idea that everyone waits for "the big thing" to happen in their lives in order for their lives to change.

I've come to realize that I personally don't believe that its ever just one big thing so much as a lot of little things through out our day to day lives that encourage change. The different routines that we create for ourselves that would in turn shape our future.

For example-- you want to lose weight? It won't happen overnight, because the reality is you didn't gain it overnight. It happens every time you make a choice to eat something healthy or unhealthy. It won't take a two hour one time work out, it will take several 30-60 minutes a day to see results.

You want to be closer to God? Spend time with Him everyday. Don't wait for that one time a week that you go to church and expect your relationship with Him to be stronger because of the one hour you spent in the 168 hour week. Don't wait on a convention or conference for "the big thing" to happen to you in order for your life to be better.

Everything in life worth doing take steps.

These thoughts started flooding my mind as I sit/lay in my current state. Some have been saying that this may be my "big thing" to really show me that I need to slow down before I run myself into the ground.

It will only be my big thing if I allow myself to STOP and learn from it. Applying everything I learn through this and making necessary changes for me to not end up in this situation again.

Don't get me wrong, some of the biggest things that have happened in my life have changed me for the better. Losing loved ones, break ups, physical impairments. They have forced me to really push myself into making better decisions for myself. But just like any event in our lives, they are only as good as what we learn and apply.

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it"

If after my "big thing" I go back to making the same choices, same routines, same everything, what good is the event that took place? The event itself didn't change me, but choosing the positive steps after did.

I'm taking the next five days as a blessing. A forced vacation if you will. I'm taking this time to really STOP. LISTEN.PRAY. Seeking God's wisdom and guidance. I know that it may seem silly, but these next days will be a revelation from Him, but only if I seek it.
Day 1: I made it. 

11.09.2011

Bed Rest


I just got back from the Dr. and while the thoughts of said visit are still fresh in my mind I decided to jot them down.

I am going on six weeks now with the same issue. I decided to go back to the Dr. because my pain pills haven't been working as well as they used to. Ever since starting physical therapy I feel as though I am progressively getting worse. It's a concern for me when I literally can't walk more than a few steps.

The Dr. said that he doesn't think it was a good idea for my previous Dr. to put me in physical therapy so soon. His thoughts behind that were that my sciatic nerve didn't have enough of a chance to lower the swelling, therefor the therapy inflamed the nerve. Thanks Kaiser.

I have been put on bed rest, or better yet, couch rest for the next five days. I have also been put back on steroids for the next 20 days. Steroids and I have a love/hate relationship I love that they make me feel better, HATE that they make you gain weight. The combination of gaining weight, not being able to exercise and having a massive appetite aren't a good mix for a girl. C'est la vie, right?

On the bright side, he says that surgery is no where in my near future. He says if I have surgery I am looking having chronic back pain the rest of my life. That at this point I need to rest, and work through it with steroids, and then rehab once my swelling goes down.