soon and very soon…

I’ll be launching my new website!! Sorry if you thought I had busted out with a gospel hymn…

I’m just EXCITED!!

yay

And scared!

As you might recall, I want to make this new place “work”, “earn its keep”… at least generate a little income.

It better because it’s gonna cost a bit to get this started right. 🙂

So what will the new place consist of? Pretty much the same thing it does now, only Lord willing, more cohesive and more of it!

I’ll be posting about my experiences in homeschooling,

homeschool-house

my various and sundry medical issues (type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, migraines, old age (LOL!))

health-wellness

I’ll also post about my faith

faith

and I HOPE there will be lots of people who will come alongside and discuss things! I miss that the most, I think.

comment

The blog I had years ago that was so active had several regular readers and they were not only readers, but COMMENTERS!! We had lots of great discussions about all kinds of topics, so that’s what I’m looking forward to most.

I hope that I might be able to do some reviews and possibly some freelance writing too. That pesky book I’ve been thinking about for years and finally sorta-kinda started…

writing the first chapter

….well, maybe I’ll be able to flesh it out to the end here, who knows?!

Anyhow… stay tuned and if you think of it, pray with me that this will be a success! THANKS!

*mwah!*

Blessings,
G~

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answered prayer

Isn’t it amazing when God answers a prayer? Even when we know He can, we know He has, then when He blesses us with another provided need, another confirmation, another open door…wow. How blessed are we?!

This morning, He did that for me. We have always had kids, well, teens or kids our boys’ ages around the house. Even now that both the boys are married and on their own, we end up with “kids” around here randomly.

I can’t make myself NOT call them “kids” even though many of them are moving into their twenties now! Many we have known since they were pre-teens from a former church. Their peers seem to always look up to my boys and so even when we left that church, we kept in touch with those kids who really connected with us.

Some of them have broken our hearts many times. Some have made major turnarounds in their lives. Some have disappointed us but then they have overcome whatever struggle they had and made a good life, a righteous life, for themselves. Then some we have never been able to break through with, never been able to get past their hard hearts, their disbelief in a loving Savior. Those we still pray for and sometimes fret over.

This morning though, one of the boys who really carved out a special place with us all contacted me through Facebook. He’s such a sweet boy but from a rather rough home without Christian parents or other Godly influences in the home. That’s always hard to overcome. We have loved on him, laughed with him, helped him fix broken parts on his vehicle so he could get to work and pleaded with him when he fell back into detrimental things.

prodigal son

He’s been gone, away from us at least, for over a year. He lives in the next town, so we didn’t see him anymore other than an infrequent post on Facebook. Most of those were short rants or photos of him with his middle finger extended with sad eyes looking directly at you. 😦 So heartbreaking for me, but we didn’t push, we didn’t pursue him. We gave him his space realizing he’s an adult now, he’s not actually our child although we have worried and prayed for him as if he was.

This morning… what an answered prayer. He contacted me. With his usual opening line,

“Hey momma.”
Yeah, he’s always called me that. We small talked for a bit, then I asked him

“How are you really?”

Forgive

He’s never been an open book, he won’t share what’s troubling him most without a lot of coercion sometimes. The same was true today, although he did at least tell me that he was really struggling, that he knew he’d been doing wrong and wanted to change things. I immediately texted my husband, the boys and their wives to get them praying right then! I pointed him back to Jesus, when he said he didn’t know what to do or how to start, I told him, “You start with Jesus.”

I went on to say, “I know that sounds simplistic, but it’s true. You have to start with getting back in tune with Him before the rest will ever fall into place.”

Then he said, “I have a question.”

“Shoot,” I told him.

“Are you all mad at me or do you think I’m no good now?”

*deep breath* Bless his heart, I quickly assured him that none of us were mad and we all missed him. I told him he’d always had a special place in my heart, that I worried and prayed for him as if he was my own. I told him I wanted him to go to church with us and he said he wanted to go.

He asked me to pray for him, told me he loved me and missed us all and couldn’t wait to see us again.

*long sigh* I’m just SO relieved! Just as if one of my own sons had come to mend a rift between us. Thank God for His mercy, for keeping him safe all this time, for letting him feel secure enough to reach out to me again.

I can’t wait to see what God’s going to do in his life.

“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
~Mark 11:25

update on the latest “brand new”…

Just wanted to pop on really quick and share that we are really LOVING these new groups. We’ve had our first meeting a church and it was just great. The staff worked with me on getting my sister moved into a group for women, which she was perfectly fine with, thank God!

group-sihlouette

We had just that other couple I mentioned and then the husband of another couple who is going to be leading a group. They are the ones I had contacted a couple months ago about starting a group of our own. The system isn’t complete yet, so the few people for their group didn’t show up and his wife was home sick, so he sat in with us.

We had the best conversations and just a time of getting to know one another! It was awesome and I’m not sure if that was because we were so relieved to have gotten my sis satisfactorily situated in another group and then gotten along so well with our own group or what! *laugh* Maybe it was a little of both. AND that we were just so tickled to finally be getting somewhere with having a small group again. We’ve sure missed that sense of community and comradery!

group-bible in hand

The next night, we had our third meeting with our LIFE group and it was the best yet too. Our kids didn’t get to go because our son was working over and our daughter-in-law didn’t really want to go without him. But everyone else was there and it was just a great time discussing God’s Word and fellowshipping.

Afterward, everyone had gone home and it was just us with the host couple and we had a really nice time of chatting about all kinds of stuff. The husband is a car guy too, so he and Tommy had a great time talking about the projects Tommy has going right now. I’m so glad he has found this man who loves the same things he does AND loves the Lord too. I hope he will get to come “hang out” in the garage with Tommy soon. I think they’d both be on Cloud 9 with so much to talk about and get into out there.

Anyhow, nothing else much, just wanted to toss that out there. I’m so thankful that we have these two great groups in our lives right now. I am praying God does mighty things in and through us all!

Blessings,
G~

another brand new thang…

Lately, my husband and I have had a longing for community. For a group of closer friends who we could share with and encourage and who could encourage us. At our church, the staff has been struggling a bit with how to make groups a very integral part of our congregation. We go to what some might call a “mega-church” although realistically, it’s not that in the true sense of the word. But for our rural area, it’s certainly a much larger church than usual.

Anyway, the church experienced some sudden growth spurts at different times, which always makes for some trials in how to handle the influx of people in the different areas of ministry.

At one time we were in a “small group” with our lead pastor. We loved it, it was a great way to get to know him a little more personally and of course, to meet others in the church that we may not have otherwise gotten to know.

As time went on, however, the group grew too large for one room so we split and somehow we ended up in the group without our pastor, which turned out to be okay, we just would have chosen differently. And so this new group did well for several months until one night, the leader and his wife didn’t show up. There were about 3 other couples there and two new people showed up as well, so we all just kind of went on with things the way we usually did. The next week, the same thing happened and another new person showed up.

I was concerned about the situation because I’d seen the couple who were leaders of the group at church that morning, so I sent a message to one of the associate pastors asking what we should do or if he knew if there was something wrong with the other couple. The reply I got was “Congratulations! You have just become group leaders!” Hahaha… um, no. 🙂

Actually, we didn’t mind, it was just a little scary to be given that title and so we asked the other two couples who were regular attenders if they wanted to lead and were told emphatically NO, so we carried on with the group.

After about a year, things changed, the church began to want groups to meet in homes instead of the church which made ME nervous and then things happened like one couple’s job schedules changed drastically and they couldn’t meet the same night anymore, then another couple had some scheduling issues and finally, our group just kind of fell apart. Soon after, though, the church tried a new approach to groups and asked two of our regular couples to become leaders of their own groups.

That didn’t work so well as we were put into a large room with a sign telling what sort of group we had (age range, location, meeting day, etc) and then people would come and “join” whichever group would work for them. We had one couple in our new group and they seemed to always have some conflict and didn’t often show up, so that fell apart too and we had no group at all.

It’s been that way for a couple years now so we finally just gave up and filled out a form to be put into a group. We ended up being put into a group lead by a couple we know and love, but they’ve had a group for years and still had one couple in it that had been there from the start. The other couple was nice, we knew and liked them as well, but it was really hard with so much history between them to feel as if we belonged. Maybe that was our own doing, but there it is. We just felt so outside the loop it was uncomfortable to try and belong. As it was, this all happened just before Thanksgiving so we put off scheduling a meeting til after that and Christmas since our church does a MAJOR Christmas event that draws thousands and so many of us volunteer to help with it.

And so here it is the end of February and we hadn’t had the first meeting. I wasn’t sure if they’d been meeting without us or what, but found out that they hadn’t started meeting yet. I guess life is crazy for all of us!

And so, while I was serving at camp for a young girls’ Emmaus weekend, one of the pastors called and asked Tommy if we would lead a group. He immediately said we would, which kind of surprised me, but I was glad.

The fact was that I’d been talking with another lady that had discussed desire for a group to join and was contacting another to see if we could just start our own study group. What was even funnier is that after this lady and her husband said they would love to start a group with us, we got this call and they also got asked to lead a group!

—February 27, 2016—
(that’s what happens when I get interrupted repeatedly during a post! LOL!)

The other thing that was going on during this same time is an Emmaus friend of ours and her husband were starting LIFE group at their home and asked if we wanted to join them. (read about what LIFE group is at the link above)

The first week there was only one other couple there and it was nice, we got excited about it. The curriculum revolves around the real meaning of the Tree of Life and the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. So far, we really like it.

So, here it is a week later and last time I checked, there are three people signed up for our discipleship group. One of them is my sister, which we’re not sure about. I mean, one of the objectives we’ve been given is to get people to open up. That’s NOT as ominous as it sounds. The idea is to form a close, cohesive group that comes to love and depend on each other and what better way to do that than by sharing about our lives? As you may or may not know, my sister and I have had a pretty non-functional, almost non-existent relationship most of our lives. Lots of things contributed to that, but nevertheless, we have just in this past year been able to deal with it in a more productive way. Once she went on an Emmaus walk for herself, frankly, she almost became a different (better!) person! Her inward, self-focused thinking changed and it’s been a really great thing.

For the past several months, she’s actually been going to our church which is a big change for her all by itself. Much the same way it was for us. She’s really been loving it and learning more than ever. So anyway, it’s NOT that the relationship is still so strained, it’s just that, well, she’s my sister so I would think either it’d be easier to open up with other people or that it would just be nicer to chat with people she doesn’t have history with. I guess she just wanted to be where she knew someone, but we are hoping that either it works EXTREMELY well, or that she’ll see the wisdom in moving to another group. I’m hoping there is a women’s group she can get in since, for the time being, her husband isn’t going to be coming with her.

So anyhow, the other two people in the group is a couple that we sort-of know. Well, we know the husband very well. He and I went to school together from kindergarten through high school! This is his second wife, so I don’t know her, but it’ll be interesting to see how this thing works.

We were under the impression that the staff would be putting people into groups, but apparently, they are able to choose which group they want. I’m not sure, but from what one staffer told us, I think maybe they are surprised by this too…I think they assumed it was set up so that the people were only signing up with their info and not actually able to choose a group!

We had our second week at LIFE group and more people were there, including Corey, our eldest son and his wife! I was so glad they agreed to come and hope they will continue. Corey’s a youth pastor at another church and they are both always just stretched to the limit with church activities. I get a little irritated (okay, a LOT irritated sometimes!) because of the way the church will schedule things that require Corey’s involvement without consulting him. Just last weekend, they took the group to Winter Jam and then had a lock-in at the church and the next day he was responsible for much of the Sunday service then they had a belated Valentine’s dinner planned that, of course, the youth are supposed to be in charge of. WHY would anyone schedule all that stuff the same weekend?!?! It happens all the time and I really wish Corey would just tell them NOPE sometimes, but he usually picks up whatever they throw at him and deals with it. *sigh* He’s much more patient than me, obviously.

So there it is… I’ll post again with news of how the discipleship group goes. Maybe we will have more people by Wednesday and it will all balance out. 🙂

Blessings!

what’s love got to do with it

*Disclaimer: I always hated that song, even though it was a hit during the peak of my teenage-music-loving days. Read on to see why.

=============

I was just out of high school when I got married. I wouldn’t change that. I come from a family full of young marriages that have lasted and been good. I believe that stringing out an engagement just because you feel it’s bad to get married “too young” can be dangerous.

Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
Rejoice in the wife of your youth. ~Proverbs 5:8

First of all, if you are engaged then you have this understanding that marriage is in the future. String that out for over a year and you more than likely will end up with the couple “engaging” in premarital sex. Yeah, in case you wondered or hadn’t figured it out yet, I believe premarital sex is wrong. My faith says it’s to be avoided, that it’s a sin.

Now that that’s out of the way…

This is how I see it: intercourse is God’s design. He invented it. So that makes it good. However, it can only be “good” within the confines of His will, which is marriage, a man and a woman. (I’m sorry, if you’ve come here and been shocked by my politically incorrect stance on these things. They are not open for debate on my blog. Thanks for respecting that.)

Marriage prayer
Make my marriage what You want, Lord!

When we pervert that gift, because sex is a gift to man from a loving God, then we set ourselves up for many heartaches and failures. Intercourse is an intimacy unlike any other. It is a physical joining of two bodies that involves all our senses. In this way, it will also include our spiritual selves. So in esscence, we are mingling our very souls with the person we engage with in a sexual relationship.

I’ll assume you can see how serious an issue that can be. Now, inside a marriage, that is a very good, needful, desired thing. A man and woman SHOULD be “joined at the souls” in a marriage. However, when you have sex with just anyone, whoever currently turns your head, lights your fire, whatever, then you are essentially giving away a piece of yourself…of your very soul.

I’m sure some will disagree with this and that’s fine. That mindset is part of why our society views sex the way it does today. It’s “just sex”, it’s not a joining of two people in the deepest, most holy way two humans can connect. (yes, sex was meant to be holy…didn’t you know?)

Two shall become one
(Christian Soulsmates on Instagram)

I can remember sitting in a room full of 5th-7th graders trying to explain this to them. All you could hear if you walked through the group during free time was talk of who was “dating” who and all that nonsense. I flashed back to my own time during that stage of life. I, too, had had boyfriends back then, however, “going with” or “dating” someone back then had a whole different meaning than it does today or did at the time I taught this class on Wednesday nights. Of course, I didn’t talk directly about sex to them, but tried to explain what it meant for them to invest so fully in another person at such a young age.

I’m pretty sure it all went in one ear and out the other…if it made it into the first ear at all!

It broke my heart to watch them give away bits and pieces of themselves and I felt so powerless to do anything. We had them for an hour every week, if that. Many of them were from broken homes and would only make it to church every so often. They had prime examples at home of how to “date” and what people do to and with each other. I am sure some of them were being abused or at least neglected.

virtuous woman

I determined to teach my own sons differently, and even then, the world came along and scarred them anyway.

But I digress…Let me get back to the adultness of the matter. I’m sure that many of you reading this are thinking, “Well this is too little too late. I’ve already been there, done that.” The age when we are introduced to sexual information and material seems to get younger and younger every year. But take heart. If you find any wisdom in my words, if you couple them with what scripture teaches us about this, but you are already engaging in premarital sex, you CAN stop. You can repent. You can ask God’s forgiveness and start over.

Whether you want to do that is another matter, but it IS possible.

I believe that our sexual selves, our virginity, whatever you want to call it at this stage, is a precious, rare gift. It’s meant to be given to the person you commit your life to in marriage. If you view it as such, it becomes much easier to protect it from the damage of casual sex and relationships.

If you see it as the one and only gift you will have to give to your future spouse, and you realize that each time you “give it” to someone else OR EVEN to the person you will eventuall marry, it will be tarnished, torn and worth much less than it would have been if you’d kept it intact.

Now, if you have already gone down that path, if you are currently involved in the sin of fornication/adultery there is hope. God doesn’t look at our pasts or even our current sins and just throw us away because of that. We can repent, which means to turn away from, whatever it is we are doing that’s against God’s will…whether it’s sexual or otherwise. That’s the defining factor in whether or not we’re serious about being right with the Lord in every area of our lives.
sex-repentance

So, let’s talk about it. You can disagree with me, but let’s keep it civil and respectful. Let’s learn more about how God sets these boundaries for our protection and to give us that life abundant!

Blessings,

G~

dirty low down

Okie dokie, folks. For the one or two of you that read here… if you read my last post about all the allergy and sinus meds I was put on last week, this is a weird and wacky update to that.

The very next day after starting all those meds, I began to have repeated severe hypoglycemic episodes.  (that just means “really low blood sugar“)
fading face
Since I’ve had type 1 diabetes for over 40 years now, I tend to not always know when my sugar goes low.  My body simply doesn’t show signs or symptoms of a hypo, which is bad.  It’s REALLY bad.
23316310372_7dff9163ef
Usually, the body gives you some clear and strong signals that the blood sugar is getting too low.  The above chart shows some of those. Over time, however, your body starts going,

“Meh, low-shmow…I don’t have time to process that crap!”
Sincerely,
Your Body

and doesn’t tell you that your sugar is or has dropped.  That means you’re left walking around, feeling normal (or as close to it as you get) with no idea that you’re in danger of passing out or dying because your sugar is way too low.

That’s what started happening to me last week.  I mean, I’ve been quite hypoglycemia-unaware for many years now, but last week, the lows just kept coming in quick succession!  (you can click the link in this paragraph to learn more about hypoglycemia unawareness)

I haven’t had any lows like this, (under 30) in quite awhile, so it was shocking when I saw that first one in this Episode Of Lows that was 27!  Keep in mind that the brain needs sugar/glucose to function (thus the confusion often experienced during a hypo) and since a normal level is between 70-100 (possibly up to 150 after a meal), getting that low means your brain is not functioning properly.   We all know the brain runs all our automatic systems such as the lungs, heart, and circulation therefore, if the brain stops working, we are not far from death.  Zero (0) blood sugar doesn’t necessarily mean instant death, but you would be close enough to it that your chances of getting out without at least coma are slim-to-none.
blood-sugar-range
Here’s the thing, though…I had helped my husband load a heavy-ish, awkward piece of exercise equipment to take to my mom’s, then helped him unload it and chatted briefly with Mom before returning home and beginning to show the first signs of fatigue and slight confusion.  I felt absolutely no symptoms up to that point.

That was the beginning of my almost-week-long roller coaster ride. I had many more of those severe, scary, unrecognized lows. I was testing my blood sugar about 10 times a day at this point. I called my endocrinologist to ask what to do by the time I had struggled through 3 days of this. Obviously, you don’t call the doc every time you have a low, but these were beyond my ability to pinpoint, explain or control, so we had to get some help!

I spoke with the DNE (diabetes nurse educator) who happens to be my doc’s wife, and she had me lower all of my basal rates (I have five rates set currently) .05 units each. So that would have been a total of 1.2 units per 24-hour period. Not much. But she told me that I should do it again if I was still having lows the next day. I was, so I did. That was now 2.4 units/24 hours lower. After another day of struggling, I lowered the basals another .025 each. That put me at 3 units/24 hours lower.

Like I said, by this time, I was testing what seemed like constantly. My low-lows were always 50 and below, with most of the being in the 30’s.
glucometer reading 38
I finally broke down and called again after I had such an awful low that I thought I was dying.

Hubby and I had run a couple of errands…our baby son and his wife were asked to go back to Haiti and needed so much that the church raised the funds to send them, so they had left the day after Thanksgiving. We went to pick up Baby Son’s truck so it wasn’t sitting in the church parking lot all week and to pick up a few things at Lowe’s. My sugar was 53 when we left, so I was nursing a can of Coke to raise it. I sat in the truck while Hubbs ran into the store. Mom was calling wanting us to come up and eat leftovers for supper, so I explained what we were doing and told her we’d be there when we got back.

We drove out to pick up the truck, I moved over to the driver’s side and we started home. I was feeling really tired, but that’s not at all unusual. It was dark and I hate driving in the dark, so I didn’t dilly-dally around. I drove straight up to Mom’s, which is the drive just before ours and is also where the Baby Kids live in a basement apartment. For some reason, I thought we were taking his truck up there. When I realized Hubby had driven home, I turned around and drove back down the hill to pick him up. We got to Mom’s and started filling plates to heat in the microwave.

My dad was sitting in the next room watching TV and peeling something or other for Mom while she, Hubby and I were in the kitchen.

I got my plate out of the micro and started to eat when Hubby insisted that I test again. *sigh* So I did, and lo and behold, it was 32!! GAH!

He went to garage to get a single-serve bottle of Coke for me, Mom put ice in a cup, poured it full and slid it to me. I drank a bit of it down and started eating the dumplings, broccoli casserole and dressing on my plate (fairly carb-laden foods) when I started to feel just weird.
fainted
Of course, I didn’t pause to think about it, I just kept trying to eat. Kept trying to appear “normal”, like I was okay…and I really thought I was at that point. I don’t know if I was really participating in the conversation or not at this time. I had drunk almost the whole glass of Coke when a wave of dizziness hit me and I got that panicky feeling of knowing my sugar is really bad low. I remember sort of grabbing at the glass and downing the last bit of Coke in it. I then tried to go back to eating, then I placed my fork back on the plate. (I dunno why those things seem so clear to me) I can remember the thought that I needed to stop acting so out of it flashing through my mind and for some reason, I took off my glasses and laid them on the bar in front of me. I remember Mom telling me I needed to chew. (??–Yeah, that’s something I might forget to do, but why she thought telling me was going to help, I dunno)
fading woman
That’s when things got really weird, really scary… I got extremely aware that something was seriously wrong with me, but couldn’t formulate what it was. I guess I knew it was a low, but I couldn’t complete a thought unless it raced 90 miles a minute through my brain. I recall thinking, I need help. and then realizing that Mom and Hubby were with me. I guess that was a relief to me, and then I noticed that they weren’t talking. Like, at all.
invisible-girl
I looked over at the two of them, both sitting to my left and there was no expression of acknowledgement. Just silence. I recall thinking, They can’t see me!! What’s happened? Where am I if they can’t see me? Am I already dead? Then the thought that, no, I think surely Hubby would be a bit more emotional if I was really dead on Mom’s kitchen floor. (it’s amazing what the glucose-starved mind will come up with) I heard Mom in the other room saying something about checking my blood pressure, so I thought, Maybe I’m in the hospital already?
vortex
About that time, I got this bizarre sensation of being sucked into nothing…like I was being pulled out of the room, but not to another place, just OUT. The thought that I was actually dying at that very moment was beginning to stir up a panic when my dad walked up on my right site and plopped his blood pressure monitor on the bar and said, “Are you gonna let me do this?” I think then I realized that I wasn’t gone, dead, or invisible and so I stuck my arm out. After that, I slowly returned to normal, Hubby and Mom started talking to me, I ate a little more of my food and BOOM! I was ‘back’.

But the feeling that I had been dying hasn’t left me yet.

Contrary to what people say, my life didn’t flash, I didn’t instantly think of my children or loved ones. That makes me feel like a turd because, c’mon, I didn’t think about who I was leaving behind? Maybe that’s because, thank my gracious God, I wasn’t actually dying? I hope that’s it. My brain was obviously WAY busy trying to figure out what the heck was wrong with me and how to fix it.

Anyway, I’m happy to report that the past couple days have been severe-low free!! After the above incident, we called my doc again that night. He happened to be on call, so we got to talk directly to him. He had me lower the basals another .125 each. That made a total of 6 units per day that I lowered my insulin use. He confirmed what we suspected, this is very rare. He said it seemed as if I had become more sensitive to the insulin, which is awesome. less insulin saves money and makes it easier to lose or maintain weight.

I’m thrilled. Puzzled as to why it happened, but thrilled that it has. I had asked my friends and family to pray because it was getting really scary. Who knows how low my sugar was on that drive up to Mom’s the evening after Thanksgiving? Even after treating a moderate low! That’s the reason why, when my boys were much younger, I would keep my blood sugars a bit high…I couldn’t stand the thought that I might go low when I was in the car with them. I mentioned to a few people the thought that God might be healing me.

That’s a frightening thing to say “out loud” (or in a text). Because, what if He isn’t? And then, I felt like a failure as a Christian for doubting. But it wasn’t that I doubted He could, because for a short period of time after a traumatic accident, He DID take away my need for insulin altogether! So I know He can, I guess it’s scary to hope He will when He might not, ya know?

Anyhow, my belief is that God is healing us all…it just may not happen here in this life. Ultimately, every child of God will be in perfect health with no pain or worry.

Ahhhh, I am eager for that!

Hebrew 7:11“Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron?”

EDIT::: I feel like I need to clarify a bit. Sorry to expand an already long post, but for those who want to know more, read on…

So when I say, “BOOM! I was ‘back’.” it isn’t quite like that normally. Maybe I seemed to bounce back a little quicker because I was at my parents’ house because I fret a lot about making them worry about me/the diabetes.

Case in point: the other day, right in the middle of this whole “too many severe lows” situation, Mom and I were supposed to go out for breakfast with my mother-in-law and one of Hubby’s aunts who was in town visiting. So all four of us had planned to meet that morning at a restaurant. I don’t know if she called just to remind me or if it was some other reason, but apparently, she called and all I would say to her is, “I’m alright. I’m alright. I’m alright.” over and over. Obviously, I was NOT alright because I have absolutely no recollection of even answering the phone. She ended up having to come to the house and get me out of bed and nurse me out of a low. Apparently I worry SO much about making her worry that I’ll lie even when I’m all-but unconscious! So, that COULD be why I “came back” so fast the other night.

The thing is that lows are not always the same. Obviously, I no longer always even feel them. In the early years of my diabetes, I could count on getting shaky and sweaty and nervous. Then later, those became intermittent with numbness around my lips and tongue. Then there were the “sleep lows”…when I went low in my sleep and would wake up or be awakened soaking wet from sweat. Sometimes I still do that and I don’t always wake up. But later, I’ll recall rolling over or half-waking and noticing that I’m sweaty. I’ll think to myself that the house seems really hot and usually just toss off the cover and go back to sleep. Sometimes Hubby will wake up and find me like that. Other times, I recoup from minor lows on my own.

One thing that’s become habit for my hubbs is to feel my face whenever he wakes in the night. Sometimes it’s less than gentle and irritates me but I try not to get really mad. It’s not fun to wake from a dead sleep with someone pawing your face while they aren’t fully awake either. Ha. But I know he’s just checking on me. Poor guy, I can’t count the number of times he’s gotten up in the wee hours to coax food and drink down my throat, sometimes with me fighting him. Then changing my soaked bed clothes, occasionally putting me in the tub and then even switching sides with me so I don’t have to sleep on the damp sheets til morning. He is my greatest support and caregiver.

Some people want their moms when they are sick, but I want my husband.

The other weird thing that’s stayed fairly constant is the bone-chilling freeze that I get after a super-low with mega-sweating. Once my sugar starts to normalize, I will feel as if my insides have turned to ice and I’ll be so cold that I want every source of warmth available on me. How many times has Hubby wrapped me in his arms to warm me up during The Freeze? I can’t even guess. How many times has he pulled blankets out of the closet to pile on me? Thank God, that doesn’t last long, but while it’s happening, it feels like I’ll never be warm again!

So, don’t think that lows just happen and then are over all at once. No two lows are the same and no two diabetics will have the same symptoms or react the same to treatment. That’s the insidious nature of type 1 diabetes. It tends to have a mind of its own and does whatever it darn well pleases.

My hope, in taking the time to write this stuff out, is that it might help someone understand more about diabetes and the diabetics in their life. Or perhaps it will make other T1D’s feel less alone in the daily battle that is our lives. Whatever else you deal with, however hard the days and weeks and years get, always know there’s hope. Don’t ever lose hope. ❤

the good old days

That might not be the best title for this post, but I have a lot on my mind and it has to do with trying to “get back” to the way things once were.

Of course, I know “you can’t go back home” and this isn’t about trying to reverse time either physically or emotionally. This is about rebuilding my spiritual self.

WARNING: it’s about to get real up in here…brutal honesty about myself forthcoming.

More than a decade ago, there was a time when I absolutely LOVED spending time reading my Bible. I would get up at least an hour before everyone else to read and pray and journal. I guess that was maybe the second time I ever read all the way through the Bible, beginning to end. But this time, I took notes. I had a couple of notebooks full of thoughts and scriptures and prayers. I don’t remember what spurred me into this wonderful period of just loving my time with the Lord, but it seems like so long ago and I don’t know how to recreate it again.

Something happened. Somewhere along the line, something just happened. I honestly don’t remember what it was. I don’t know if something happened emotionally that sent me into a tailspin or if it was that I got physically sick and fell out of the routine. I just realized one day that, hey, I used to spend a lot of time in The Word…what happened?

I wish I knew. I have been trying, half-heartedly, I admit, for the past couple of years to get back to that place where I loved spending time reading and learning about Jesus.

Our pastor just did an amazing series of classes, four weeks, on how to have a devotional time and how to pray. Seriously, it was awesome. I had such high hopes that it would kick me into action, but it hasn’t seemed to do that. Even though I learned SO much, it just didn’t seem to do whatever it is that I need to reawaken that desire for The Word.

I don’t know about you, but being saved at the tender age of eight in a small Baptist church in the seventies, I didn’t get a discipleship class. I had never even heard of such a thing until my kids were in their teens! Did they not exist back then? Are they something new that just came to be in the past couple decades? Maybe it was because I grew up in a Christian home? Or maybe our little church just didn’t offer them for some reason? I don’t recall any other people having a time of mentoring and “lessons” about how to be a Christian after they were saved. I often wonder now why that wasn’t just a routine. I mean, even when I was part of larger churches, there were no such ‘classes’ for new Christians.

That’s something my pastor spoke about in his prayer/devotional classes. He said he felt like he’d failed for not thinking to do something like these classes sooner. He spoke of a couple who had spent hours each Friday evening years ago with him and his wife, sharing with them the things he was teaching us. What a blessing that must have been!

Maybe that’s the issue with me right now? Maybe, since I’m in a place where, having been “a Christian”, in church, ‘serving the Lord’ for so many decades now, and I’ve honestly just grown cold, satisfied, complacent…maybe that’s why I’m finding it so hard to rekindle my fire? To regain my thirst for Jesus? Maybe if I had had some training or at least some guidelines when I was a brand new Christian, or even a few years later after I was a bit older, maybe then I would be better at this?

As it is, I feel like a failure. I have to MAKE myself sit down and read my Bible and I feel at a loss for anything to write in my journal and praying? I have never been very good at that.

I learned from my pastor some great tips for how to just pray from scripture though…and how to keep a separate prayer journal or list. How to read scripture, aloud, emphasizing a different word each time. Like this: Genesis 1:1 King James Version says, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.”

And so, you would read this aloud, giving emphasis to a different word in the verse each time. Try it and see how it draws out the meanings and changes what the scripture says to you. (yes, it’s important to do it out loud…I know, it feels weird, but just try it.)

IN the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.
In THE beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.
In the BEGINNING, God created the heaven and the earth.
In the beginning, GOD created the heaven and the earth.
In the beginning, God CREATED the heaven and the earth.
In the beginning, God created THE heaven and the earth.
In the beginning, God created the HEAVEN and the earth.
In the beginning, God created the heaven AND the earth.
In the beginning, God created the heaven and THE earth.
In the beginning, God created the heaven and the EARTH.

I got so many things out of the classes that are honestly very helpful, but I just don’t seem to be latching onto them or finding any excitement.

He also taught us that doing these things has nothing to do with our feelings. That we should study and pray even when we don’t “feel like it”. So I am trying.

Right now, I have this cool little graphic that I’ve been using. 30 Day Thanksgiving Scripture Writing Plan

Isn’t it awesome? I had never seen or heard of anything like this before. And I’ve started using it, although I sometimes end up doing a couple days’ worth in a sitting, but so far, I’m keeping up with it. I figure if I can’t “feel” the excitement that I used to for God’s word, at least I can write it out each day until I do feel it again.

Is that a good plan? I don’t know. But if you search for “scripture writing plans“, you will find pages like this for each month. I plan to try and keep up with this.

my scripture journal

I just finished writing half of Psalm 136 where every single verse ends with the words “for his mercy endures forever.”

That’s good to know because I sure need it these days. Even if I was enthusiastically devouring scripture, I would still need His mercy every single day.

If you have suggestions or ideas for ways to reignite a hunger for studying God’s word and spending time in prayer, would you share it with me? Let me know if you’ve ever used a writing plan like this or if anything here helped you.

Maybe learning from you or hearing that you are progressing too will help me get back to “the good old days” when I had a deep thirst for God’s word!

I thank you in advance for sharing!

Deuteronomy 31:12“Gather the people together, men and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:”

why we don’t “do” halloween

First of all, let me say that I am not condemning any of my Christian friends who are posting pictures of their kids dressed up in costumes and preparing to help at their church’s “Fall-Festival/Carnival/Whatever” alternatives for Halloween.

This is just MY opinion and the reasons behind and the way we got to skipping Halloween.

Halloween

My two sons are grown and married now, so this is ancient history. But the subject of Halloween and whether to do or not to do it came up with a good friend who has small children and is facing the same questions I did at this stage, so in light of the season, I thought I’d share with you also.

First, some a-little-more-than-ancient history (we’re talkin’ stone age here) my birthday is the day after Halloween. As you probably already know if you’ve visited here before, I’m also a type 1 diabetic for the past forty-some years. Me and Halloween had issues, okay? We celebrated it when I was a kid growing up in a Christian home. Most often, it was combined with my birthday. I both loved and hated it. Loved the dressing up (I often made up my own costumes, so that’s always fun) but hated collecting a bunch of goodies I couldn’t eat. I was often the very sickest each year because of stinkin’ Halloween/birthday because I could always figure out where the stash was hidden or would overdo it on birthday treats. What can I say? Such was the life of a child with diabetes in the seventies. It was a lot harder to figure how to dose to cover candy and other treats. But I (hugely) digress…

My boys are four years apart. When the youngest was still a toddler, we always dressed them up in very non-scary costumes. I had the crayon, lion, Mickey Mouse and scarecrow costumes from my eldest that my baby son just had to wear, of course. We didn’t think much about the consequences of participating in the traditions. Not only were our babies babies, but my husband and I were babies ourselves, both spiritually and emotionally…and physically for that matter. We just hadn’t put any thought into how we’d handle it when they were older nor what the holiday even meant or represented.

I have seen heated and ugly debates online between Christians about whether or not it was appropriate or whatever to celebrate this holiday and I DO NOT want to do or start that here. PLEASE understand me when I tell you I am not looking for any division to come from this. I just want to offer you, perhaps, another perspective and give you some things to think about.

To begin, let me share the testimony my friend had found on Facebook that started the discussion between us.

A Former Witch’s View on Halloween by Carol Komancki

“I see images of Christians being slaughtered for their faith—- blood everywhere, children- young adults -grown men/women- willing to die rather then deny Christ—— it takes my breath away.
What I don’t understand is when Christians celebrate Halloween, decorate with gory bloody images, put up skeletons and images of death and darkness, without a second thought! And they will argue and debate trying to make it okay and refuse to give up celebrating that nite!
I am an ex witch, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, when I was practicing witchcraft, Halloween was the biggest night of the year for those practicing the occult. People try to say it’s about the candy and fun, it goes way deeper then that!
The roots of this highly pagan holiday remain the same, it’s a night of death -darkness- gore—- and no matter how much you dress it up to make it pretty, no matter how many excuses you make, it’s a night to celebrate Samhein——– the god of the dead!
I don’t recall those who practice paganism coming on Christmas morning to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ the Lord of life.
Yet Christians will celebrate the pagan ritual of Halloween —–the god of death and darkness. …..
I don’t care to debate….
You can do whatever you choose —-but it won’t change the truth or the facts!!!!”

I think we all know that the origins of Halloween are not particularly good. As we often do, though, we’ve ‘tamed it down’, we’ve turned what can be dangerous into something cute and fun. We’ve said “It’s just for fun. We’re not playing with a Ouija board or anything, for crying out loud!” I have read many different articles and books about what Halloween means, what it represents and how it is diametrically opposed to all that God represents. As Christians, we serve a RISEN FROM THE DEAD Savior who’s all about LIFE. Halloween is all about death. No matter how much fun dressing up is, how innocent that is on its own, when I do it to participate with Halloween, MY belief is that it ceases to be innocent.
occult

So our experience…once the boys were a little older and we were in the beginning of our homeschooling adventure, we started to discuss what Halloween was and talk about what we, as a Christian family, should do or think about it. We came up with this idea of dressing up as Biblical characters. At the time, I thought, “Sure. That’s a great trade-off. They can “witness” while they trick-or-treat.”

I went to great lengths to create this Goliath suit for my eldest and a shepherd costume for the youngest. The shepherd was easy. We even got a patch of leather and some leather “string” and made an old fashioned sling! For Goliath, I spray painted an old pair of his tennis shoes with silver metallic paint. Made him a breast plate, shield, arm and leg guards out of poster board and painted those too. I then used some of the leather strap to tie them on and drew in the details with a black sharpie. It was pretty awesome looking if I do say so myself! (of course, I can’t locate a photo of it to show you!)

The day finally arrived. Hubby and I headed out with the boys, armed with a couple weeks’ worth of studying the story so they could tell people about who they were and many discussions about why we were approaching Trick-or-Treating this way. They were so anxious for someone to recognize who they were, but no one had a clue. Most of them would ask, as people usually do, but when the boys told them, almost every single person just got a blank look on their faces. No one even knew who David and Goliath were and the one time our eldest tried to explain, the person wasn’t interested. Once he said, “They are people from the Bible who…” the person just sort of cut him off and proceeded to do something else. The youngest didn’t really perceive what had happened, but our big boy? He was certainly disappointed and my heart hurt for him.

Besides this awful experience, there was everyone else’s costumes. Most all of the other ones we saw were gory, monster-y type of costumes. Some of them were really hideous with lots of bloody guts and such. I could tell the boys were a little shocked, if not scared at the sight of them. I felt like it was something we shouldn’t be exposing them to.

I was rethinking my idea of “trade-offs” with Halloween. Later, it came to me that wiccans don’t show up at church for the Christmas play with their Book of Wiccan in hand, ya know? Why were we, as Christians, trying to share Jesus with people on a holiday that has NOTHING to do with our faith? Even if not all of them were celebrating “the true meaning” of Halloween, why were we trying to shine a light in the middle of a holiday with its roots firmly planted in very dark, and yes, fully evil, ideals and origins?

I’m not saying, of course, that we shouldn’t try to shine God’s light when we are in dark situations or places, but should we step into a very dark holiday, to shine it there while we sorta-kinda participate in it? While we play with the fringes of it?

That’s something I contemplated and chewed on for many years, even before this Halloween that I just described to you. After that experience, we just decided as a family that Halloween would be an extra special family-fun night at home. My kids never suffered any ill effects from not going door to door to beg candy while dressed in a costume. *smile*

jesus-pumpkin

For a couple of years, we took part in Halloween alternatives at different churches. I don’t think if I had young children now that we’d do this. The first time we did it, it was actually fairly well-done, and by that I mean that it really didn’t have a lot to do with Halloween at all. However, many people that showed up didn’t really seem to “get” that this was something to do instead of traditional Halloween activities. I DO understand the idea behind churches having these events at all…that it’s an attempt to give church kids and families a way to do fun stuff on a night when most everyone else is taking part in more dark-themed parties and such. But it’s not presented this way for the most part. Now I have also had friends or seen other churches do a “Reformation Day” event, and I’ll admit that I don’t fully understand what that is other than a celebration of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses to the door of “The Church”. [I’ve linked some words so that you can research more if you want] This is linked primarily to the Catholic and Presbyterian churches. Because I was raised in a different denomination, this event wasn’t emphasized or really taught to me. However, when I have seen photos of one of these events, they were also dressed up, but as historical figures from that era, not as random characters or superheros or monsters. Now, that may not be the usual practice for Reformation Day at churches. This was a congregation made up of mostly homeschool families, so that might have just been unique to them, ya know? ALLLL that to say this:
halloween-alternate
I think IF a church is going to do something like this, it should be markedly different from a Halloween event. And that’s just my opinion because the last time we did this at another church, it was very disappointing to me and confusing to my kids. Don’t host a Halloween alternative event at your church and then have it look exactly like what the world’s doing, right? I mean, that’s how I see it.

Our family’s journey to really rejecting Halloween was sort of meandering and wandering more than anything. It wasn’t some decision we made all of a sudden. And it’s still kind of a fuzzy area, even now that our kids are grown and married. I mean, we still have friends who don’t feel the way we do or maybe haven’t arrived at the place we did after our own journey, ya know? But I believe it is definitely worthy of discussion and civil, loving debate. It’s something that families should talk about and decide where they stand on the topic. What is your opinion and how does it line up with what scripture says? I believe it’s something we should settle within ourselves, within our families if you have young children. The topic is going to confront you…halloween-shouldChristiansRomans 14:5 – “…Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

love, life & how I don’t deserve either

That title though, right?

I know, I know. Super dramatic. I didn’t mean for it to be, but it’s true. None of us deserve anything good that we have.
stay married
As a Christian, I am grateful to God for everything I have. Even things like diabetes and achy, stiff joints, and headaches. Yeah, even those things.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)
” give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

So okay, I give God all the credit for my life, such as it is. And if it is inferior in any way, that is my own doing. I long to be all that He has planned for me and I know I fail horribly every day.
embrace contentment
I’ve posted about the things going on in my marriage…the physical and emotional struggles that I have faced personally and that my husband and I have overcome together.
long-lasting-marriage
I have been reading lately about the things it takes to make a good marriage, to build a firm foundation for a new marriage, to sustain a strong, lasting marriage.
marriage
I like to think, and at this point in my life I believe, that we DO have a strong marriage. And at thirty years in, I think we can safely say it is a lasting one. I know, I know…longer marriages have ended in the past. But not ours.

After all those years of struggling to stay together, not because of a lack of love, but the inability to be physically close and now…now, we are finally learning how to be a ‘normal’ couple. A couple who isn’t avoiding physical intimacy. A couple who can actually share everything with each other. Now that we’re finally to that point, to realize that God preserved us to this point, I know that He didn’t put us together and preserve us though all this to let us fall apart now.
marriage box
It’s hard to talk to anyone about all this. Even though my therapist at the pelvic health office has been beyond amazing in helping us deal with the physical problems and almost being a ‘counselor’ to help us learn to talk about these things, it’s hard to not have others to talk with, to not really be able to tell anyone about this stuff.

I have spent so much time trying to cover up the fact that there was a problem in our marriage, to hide that there was a void where there should have been deep intimacy. Not joining in conversations and giggly, knowing glances with other wives talking (conservatively!) about loving and being in love with their husbands.

I didn’t understand the way they really desired to physically be with their spouses because for me, that was painful. The fact that it hurt made me want to avoid it at all costs, made me feel like a failure, guilty, damaged and worthless. If I tried to just “grit my teeth” and “bear it” for my husband’s sake, it made him feel bad. It made me feel like I was letting him down. (What husband wants to “make love” to a wife who’s crying and telling him to just hurry?)

Maybe you can see why I have spent most of my adult life in some stage of depression. Sometimes very deep, very dark depression. I wondered for probably those first eight years how long before he’d just leave me. How long before he got sick of it and wanted out? Once when I was desperate enough to actually say as much to him, he let me know he loved me and he didn’t want out of the marriage.
good marriage
I was pretty stunned, but grateful…and then even more depressed. I didn’t deserve him. Later, after nothing had improved and when I got desperate enough again, I told him to go find someone else. As long as no one knew, no…as long as our children never knew (because I just KNEW other people would eventually find out) that he should find someone who could fill that void for him. Someone who wouldn’t wince and cry with pain. Someone he could actually enjoy. But we would stay together for the boys and I wouldn’t begrudge him having another woman who wasn’t damaged like me.

Looking back now, I am SO SO SO thankful to God that he never took me up on that offer. Most any other man would have done it gladly I think. If he had sought physical companionship with someone else, there would have never been any healing between us. We could have never got to the place we are now, where we’re able to be a “regular” married couple, where I could be unafraid of physical contact with the man I love most in the world. This place where we are learning to heal from the last three decades of hurt, confusion, fear and depression.
marriage-on-Christ
God apparently had a plan. If we had “fixed it” our own way, how much we would have destroyed. Much the same way that Sarah and Abraham messed up God’s perfect plan (to make a nation of Abraham’s children…when he and Sarah had reached almost 100 years of age without bearing one single child) [See Genesis 18]

When Sarah chose to not believe God when He told them Sarah herself would give birth, she and Abraham decided to “help” God with Sarah’s idea to give one of her servants to him so she could “give them a child”.

Okay, now if you’re not familiar with Scripture, all this is sounding pretty far out to you. Just trust me that back in the first century, things were a little different. People had servants and polygamy was common. While Abraham just had the one wife, it was common to make concubines of servants. The prevalent reasoning was that large families with lots of sons were necessary to maintain farms and businesses and multiple wives were needed to bear all those children.

I know. Seriously, it sounds so barbaric, doesn’t it? So foreign! But even though it was NOT in God’s plan for men to take more than one wife, as usual, mankind does what it wants and God, in His mercy, works with that.

In this case, if you will read the story, you’ll find that Sarah’s “plan” was “a success”…at least by their standards, and the slave girl, Hagar, bore Abraham a son. However, God’s plan was NOT to create His nation from Hagar’s son, Ishmael, so in a few years, Sarah did indeed bare a son by Abraham. When you read the conflict that came from this tense, at-least-awkward situation and how it has ultimately affected the world, you’ll see that while God will mercifully work through the messes we make when we jack with His plans, He does not wipe out the consequences of the jacked plans.

Our world is today, several thousand years later, paying for the “plans” of Sarah and Abraham. Nevertheless, God remained true to His plan to make Abraham the “father” of His chosen people-nation.

So as I ramble through these thoughts, I am reminded that God doesn’t toss us out with the mess we make of His plan when we think we know better. He wipes off the dirt we wallowed in and sets us back on His path. He brings His plans to fruition, in spite of our meddling and gives us strength to cope with the aftereffects of what we’ve done.
bravest thing I ever did was continue to live when I wanted to die
I’m thankful to Him that my husband and I didn’t mess things up any worse than we did trying to wait for His conclusion in our marriage. We have a lot of healing to do because of our ways of “coping” all these years. How grateful I am that infidelity is not one of the things we have to deal with!

My parting thought for you is this…don’t give up. Don’t throw in the towel. If God can preserve a marriage like mine, He can save or rebuild yours. If you believe that He is the Almighty, do not discount His power in your marriage!

God’s got a plan. Try to stay out of His way!

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

there are no words…

None. To describe the state of our society today? Absolutely no words.

I am heartbroken.

First there’s this going on in my very own state… I cannot bear to even attempt to put how I feel about this into words, so I will link you to a man who has done an excellent job.

A sobering quote from his post: ” If we think we can restore peace and truth by “following the law,” I believe we are in for a rude awakening. The law is dead. We are left with two choices: follow truth, or obey the dictates of our culture and the godless tyrants who lead it. “ ~Matt Walsh

Then there is the horrible plight of the Syrian refugees, where the body of a poor child has been found on Turkish shores after his father put him and the child’s mother into a small boat in an attempt to flee starvation and all the horrors of their homeland. Now, the entire family have become casualties.

I can’t begin to imagine the desperation that would drive me, as a parent, to put my children into a tiny boat on the rough seas. What horrors must they have been trying to escape to feel that was a safer option?

My heart is broken. I have strong, deep and almost violent feelings about both these things. I think of poor Saeed Abedini and the torture he’s endured all these years he’s spent as an American citizen in an Iranian prison, jailed for his Christian faith. He’s been ignored and abandoned by his own government, separated from his wife and young children.

Oh Lord Jesus, what is to become of us? How can we, as Your people, Your children, see all that is going on around us and not become despondent? Hopeless? Depressed? Even faithless? I can’t see myself ever losing faith in You, but frozen with despair? I feel myself edging close to that.
Help me, Jesus, not to fall into that pit! Help me be the prayer warrior these people need! Heal our sick nation, our war-torn world! Help me as I am faced with challenges on social media, as I attempt to be a gentle dove, to be as wise as a serpent in my answers or, in some cases, in my silence!
Oh Lord Jesus, let it be so!
Amen.