Monday, September 23, 2013

Well, this has never happened before...

I uttered the words to the MRI technician...he sorta rolled his eyes. I assured him that I could handle the tight enclosure, and then, I couldn't. COULD.NOT.DO.IT.

I was just lying there as calm as ever when he explained the sounds I would hear, what it would feel like, and this gentle reminder, "It's really better if you close your eyes." My ears and brain interpreted that to mean, "If you are wimpy, close your eyes so you won't get scared. Otherwise, leave them open." I opted to have my eyes wide open. For all of 60 seconds.

First, it was the chill bumps. Then, my heart started racing. I imagined myself in a casket (for some strange reason). I was having a hard time breathing. I felt my blood pressure go up, and only in what I can describe as a moment of "this is clearly crazy but it sounds perfectly plausible to me," I thought that somehow I would swell up like the girl in the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and then get stuck in this MRI tunnel and perhaps die there. What was going on? I didn't have a clue. But, then my chest tightened, and I called out for the technician. "I don't think I can do this." He graciously responded, "I'm coming."

Glorious words. Everlasting really. Life changing. I could breathe again. He called it a panic attack. I have to agree. Never had one before and don't plan on having another...thank you for asking. We talked through the procedure and he assured me that the whole "close your eyes" thing was for real. And so I believed him and took his advice.

I went back in. For 30 whole minutes. I willed my eyes to stay closed. I prayed a lot. And that's when God reminded me of something I was missing...Him.

You see, when my eyes were on my circumstances and surroundings, my mortality and failure were very obvious. They were clear, and they were choking me. I couldn't accomplish the completion of the task because I was too focused on the situation itself. It was tight (not on my body but just so close), uncomfortable, restraining and unknown. Not unlike many of the circumstances we all find ourselves in daily.

Yet, when I closed my eyes and focused on the voice of the one who knew the machine, I knew that all was well. He had used this machine daily for over 13 years. He knew what he was doing. I did not. He could see the bigger picture and the end result. All I could see was being buried alive in a coffin (as a side note, watching CSI years ago did nothing to help said matter but only reaffirmed my feelings about such a death).

In much the same way, my attitude and behaviors cannot depend on my surroundings. I must incline my ear to God alone. For He knows me and He knows each situation. His truth remains truth no matter what the world whispers or shouts to me. My circumstances will not dictate or determine my actions. I will surrender to the voice of the One who made me and for Who I was made.

And I hope I never have to repeat that lesson.

Monday, September 16, 2013

An Irritating Injury

And I'm gonna get me one of these so the ice can stay on longer!

Since last summer I have had a nagging injury in my right shoulder. It began as a muscle pain on the back side of my shoulder right below my neck. A wonderful massage therapist helped me to feel better, and two weeks between visits was working. Computer work seemed to irritate it immensely so I tried to limit the time on emails. Then, the fall happened, and I had to return to a chiropractor as it began to get worse.

Over the course of the winter, spring and now summer, the pain has just progressively gotten worse...and worse..and worse. For the past month it has become so intense at times that I cannot sleep. It burns and aches and stabs and throbs. The pain seems most intense after a shower and changing clothes (due to raising it over my head repeatedly) as well as driving. Now, it is more irritating and frustrating than ever.

So, on Thursday the ortho doc looked at it, declared I had several bone spurs and gave me a cortisone shot. If it's not better by Monday, come back for an MRI he declared. So, guess what I am waiting to do today? Make an appointment for an MRI. Yuck! This is not fun...of course, life is not always fun so I'm not sure why I (or anyone else) says that. It is an annoyance that I do not have time for these days. But, it is here, and now I have to deal with it.

How do I take care of my family and handle this as well? I have NO idea. But I DO KNOW THIS: God is not surprised by this injury, and He has a plan. His plan is NEVER to hold us at arm's length but to always draw us closer. Thought I don't understand I will trust. I trust that He will be true to His promises and will show Himself faithful. I will rest in that today.

I will not try and figure this out or make a plan for how it should go. I will wait. I will wait. I will wait.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wilderness Living

I’m in a wilderness people. And some days are really good...I can see where I’m headed and yearn to get there. Then there are days that I don’t understand God’s plan and keep asking if I’m hearing him correctly. Ever been there? Of course you have!(Side note...the picture above is from our family vacation this summer...I can't find a wilderness one that fits...)

I packed up my computer at the end of the school year and took a break from blogging. I wanted this summer to be more about our family time and enjoying one another. By the end of it, my older girls were counting down the days until they would see their friends every Thursday.

We had an awesome summer...swimming in the pool, mission trips, playing with friends, more swimming in the pool, cookouts, sleeping in, pool, sleeping in some more, and swimming. I’m not sure if I am communicating how much time we spent in the pool, but suffice it to say, I have washed more beach towels and lathered more sunscreen on bodies than I ever imagined possible. And I loved it. It was good.

In the meantime I let eating habits slip more than I would care to admit. Crossfit was a daily routine (except on vacation) and running took a back seat. Since school began a few weeks ago, running has picked back up and eating habits are back on track. I have gained a few pounds, and well, they need to GO!

But back to the’s this pain in my shoulder you see. Many of you just made a huffy breath, so stick with me here. I’ve had a pain in my shoulder for over a year. I have gone to a massage therapist, and it was better. Working on the computer or some exercises made it hurt but it was manageable. At the beginning of the summer, the pain seemed more intense and I occasionally had to take pain relievers (those who know me well know that I do NOT take medicine...not because I’m opposed but just from a painful growing up experience). I have seen a chiropractor fairly often and recently saw my regular physician.

Now, the pain is taking a toll on my daily life. It hurts when I run. It hurts when I work out. It hurts when I’m sitting or standing. It just hurts all the time. I’m waking up 4-5 times a night. It is annoying and irritating and frustrating. I NEED to work out. And I need to do everyday tasks (wash clothes, shut doors, get dressed, brush my hair), but it hurts so badly.

I’m frustrated because I don’t have answers. Meanwhile, God keeps reminding me to spend MORE time in His Word. Even in pain He’s the One to run spend time KNOWING Him more than focusing on the pain. It feels like a wilderness but He is teaching me to be content in it. He will provide answers in His time.

Meanwhile, I’m back for now. We will see how long my arm can hold out. What’s bothering you today or hindering you? How can I pray for you friends? Please let me know...I love you all!