Monthly Archives: October 2011

Restoration

But those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.

–Isaiah 40:31

In a remote Swiss village stood a beautiful church. The church was not only beautiful to look at, with its high pillars and magnificent stained glass windows, but it had the most incredible pipe organ in the entire region.  People would come from miles away—even from far-off lands—to hear the lovely tones of this organ.

One day a problem arose. The columns were still there, the windows still dazzled with the sunlight, but an eerie silence enveloped the valley. The area no longer echoed with the glorious fine-tuned music of the pipe organ.

Musicians and experts from around the world tried to repair the instrument.  Every time a new person would try to fix it the villagers were subjected to sounds of disharmony, awful noises that seemed to pollute the air.

One day an old man appeared at the church door.  He spoke with the sexton, and after a time the sexton reluctantly agreed to let the old man try his hand at repairing the organ. For two days the old man worked in almost total silence.  The sexton was getting a bit nervous.

Then on the third day, at precisely high noon, the valley once again was filled with glorious music.  Farmers dropped their plows, merchants closed their shops, everyone in town stopped what they were doing and headed for the Cathedral.  Even the bushes and trees of the mountain top seemed to respond as the glorious music echoed from ridge to ridge.

After the old man finished playing, a brave soul  asked how he could have restored the magnificent instrument when the world’s experts could not.  The old man merely said, “It was I who built this organ fifty years ago.  I created it—and now I have restored it.”

God created you, and He knows exactly what you need  to live your life to the fullest.  As your Creator, He can restore you at the end of a draining day—so you can play beautifully music tomorrow.”

–From Sunset With God (Quiet Moments With God) by Honor Books

Crash and burn

It has been a very busy week for me and I’m grateful I was able to do everything I did, but… now I’m going through the crash and burn phase — what I call my payback days. Living with multiple chronic illnesses is no picnic. It’s very discouraging to look around the house and see everything that needs doing but only being able to do the minimum to keep up. I try hard not to think back on how much I used to be able to do, seemingly simple things like cleaning my whole house in one morning.

Those days are long gone.

Now I can only do one thing, such as dusting one room, and then have to stop and rest for awhile before doing anything else. And quite often, dusting that one room is the only task I am able to accomplish that day.

Take something as enjoyable as having company. Rick and I have friends over for coffee on Thursday mornings, and I love my time with these close friends whom we call “family.” But when everyone leaves, I suddenly realize I am wiped out! If the migraine I woke up with hasn’t completely left me, then it feels horrible by that point because of all the talking and laughing during that sweet fellowship. I wonder if that’s what the phrase “hurts so good” means — well, maybe not.

To this “get it all done now” turned “maybe tomorrow” person, it has been a slow process. From denial to frustration to understanding and finally to acceptance, this journey has not been easy. However, I’ve learned some things that work for me:

  1. Accept what you can do and don’t worry about the rest — it will eventually get done.
  2. Make yourself rest often, even if you don’t think you need it at the time. If you’re like me, your mind wants you to keep on going (like that Energizer bunny) even when your body tells you to stop.
  3. Enlist help from your spouse and children for tasks that are too difficult or time-consuming for your energy levels.
  4. Find things to do that you enjoy but won’t add to your pain burden. I can still write, something that fills me with joy, but I’ve learned I have to pace myself  because I could easily go on for hours! I have also discovered how much I enjoy crocheting, especially for others. This keeps me busy, makes me feel productive, and moves the focus from me and my pain to whomever I’m crocheting for at the time. And I have always loved to read and lose myself in a good book.
  5. Be thankful for what you are still able to do, even if it is something as simple as making coffee.

Every so often when I do get out with Rick for coffee or a meal out or to get together with friends, someone will ask how I’m doing that day. My response? “I’m here!” I think that short and sweet statement says it all.

A…B…C…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Have you heard about a different kind of ABC’s? They are so easy to remember:

ADMIT that you are a sinner.

“All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. But God treats us much better than we deserve, and because of Christ Jesus, he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins. Admit that you are a sinner and that you cannot free yourself.” –Romans 3:23-24

BELIEVE that Jesus Christ died for you.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” –John 3:16

CONFESS that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Lord of your life.

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” –Romans 10:9

…..

If you have questions about any of this, please write to me at Faithlhj777 at gmail dot com (purposely written like this to hopefully keep spammers and miners from stealing it).

 

 

Migraine Life in the High Country

See this photo? This is the way my migraines make me feel.

Once again I woke up with a killer migraine. No real surprise since I went to bed with the same one last night. In fact, I can’t recall a day without a migraine except for when I went to Phoenix a couple of weeks ago to visit my children. My head really likes the lower altitude down there but my heart loves the high country.

I didn’t know until we moved up here that my body does not like the mountain elevations, so for the past 7 years, my doctor and I have struggled to find a medication or treatment that will conquer these migraines. Between bad side effects (which were worse than the actual migraine) or the medication just not working for me, I am now relying on Excedrin Migraine and Alka-Seltzer at times when the nausea grips unrelentingly, like last night. These provide temporary relief, but when faced with a situation like mine you finally come to the realization that relief is relief, even if it is temporary! I start my day with a migraine and the OTC meds generally kick in mid-morning, so I have about 4 to 6 hours of relief before the barometric pressure changes at sunset and the migraine haunts my evening hours.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining or whining, just stating the facts. My doctor finally told me that apparently my body has never acclimated to the high altitude here. Ya think?

But don’t feel sorry or sad for me. What I may have lost physically God has more than blessed me with spiritually:

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God;my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 62:5-6)

I think this boils down to a statement I’ve seen before which says:

When you’re down, look up!

Dear friends, think on this: if life was perfect here on earth, would we ever long for heaven?

Do You Believe It?

In case you didn’t know, today is October 1st and I’m wondering where the summer went. I know that autumn officially started last week, but I was in the midst of hot Phoenix temps that day, and I didn’t feel very fall-ish. Today I woke up to a cool 54 degrees and that absolutely makes me feel like fall is finally in the air.

Autumn is my favorite season, even though here in the southwest we don’t experience the gorgeous changing of leaf colors. I think that was the thing that struck me the most when I moved from Vermont to Arizona in the mid 90’s–that and the fact that the number of sunny days here seemed to equal the number of overcast days in the northeast.

I’ve lived up in the “high country” for seven years now, surrounded by mountains (check out the photo on the left in case you doubt that there are mountains in Arizona!) and we have a fabulous view of these San Francisco Peaks. Sitting out on our patio, Rick love gazing at those glorious mountains to the northeast of us… well, I can’t think of anything better, especially this time of year. I guess I’m a mountain girl at heart, which is a very good thing since that’s where I’m living these days. The cooler weather doesn’t hurt either and makes for some great riding times.

It occurred to me this morning that probably the main reason I like fall so much is that the crisp air makes me feel a little less lethargic, almost energizing me. Back in the day, I would feel like cleaning the house to get it ready for its winter hibernation, but in these days of my “new normal” I am content to use my limited energy to appreciate the magnificent view from our patio.

So, what about you? What do you like most about autumn?

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