Monday, August 29, 2011

CFS/FM Diaries: Getting mad at me…


I thought that I would begin what I call CFS/FM Diaries. This blog isn’t all about my health and sometimes I think I’m a little reluctant to write about my health very much. So, I’ve decided to do the CFS/FM (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia) Diaries.
By creating this “category” to my writing I feel it will help readers better peruse my blog.
Sometimes people won’t always feel like reading about my journey with my health issues, at the same time others particularly want to read about my journey with CFS/FM. By creating this category I believe (and hope) that it will help readers have an even better blog experience.
And, the fact is I need to write about my health journey- the good and the bad.
So write I will.

Getting mad at me

Sometimes I get mad at my body. When you think about it that is a bit silly since my body is me.
But, my body doesn’t always seem to agree with me. My body works with the same brain with which I think yet sometimes it feels like it has a mind of its own.

This morning was one of those mad moments. I was mad at my body and mad at myself.
With the new school year starting back up a lot of old emotions have come back up. Before my health issues if there was something I wanted to do in school, a class I wanted to take, or a grade I wanted to make all that I had to do was work extra hard and focus. School doesn’t work that way anymore.

There are so many classes I want to take! I would love to be in the co-op Christmas play, take finance, New Testament Survey, and Literature with my friends while balancing my core classes at home. But, it doesn’t matter how much I want or would love to be able to do something there are limitations with my body. I’m still working hard, but I have to work hard carefully. If I don’t work carefully and end up over doing then I will become “crashed” and have to sleep for hours and hours only to wake up feeling as though I need to rest again. I'll have extra pain, sore throat, and the extra added symptoms from the "crash".

Sometimes I get mad at my body and then I get mad at me.
I cry, I hurt, I get upset with myself and these limitations.
But, then I pray and I take a few deep breaths and I move forward. I may have limitations, but that doesn’t mean I’m stuck. I may be disappointed, but that doesn’t mean I’m not determined. I may cry, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not strong.

Today I’ve been taking deep breaths as a try a new schedule for school.
So far 30 minutes of study followed by an hour of rest seems to be working. I’m determined, but I’m learning to be flexible.

I’ll let you know how the schedule continues to go.

Blessings,
Sarah

P.S. I recently found out that my vitamin D levels were way to low. I started a supplement to help bring the levels up. I’ve read that a lot of people with CFS have trouble with vitamin D levels being too low. We’ll see if the supplement brings the level back to where it needs to be.
I also finished a marathon of spitting last week. =) It was for an adrenal gland lab kit. I’m looking forward to getting the results from the doctor on that and the rest of my labs sometime this month.
The current doctor’s office I’m going to doesn’t treat CFS or FM specifically, but they do help work with hormone, adrenal, and thyroid issues. So, if I have any of those issues going on currently they will hopefully be able to help.

That’s the latest update on my health journey.    

Another Magnificent Monday and back-porch mornings...

Hello everyone!

I hope you are having another Magnificent Monday!
My Monday has been filled with easing my way back into school, having a bit of an emotional morning, digging into a new book- Uncompromising by Hannah Farver, resting, and listening to a new CD by JJ Heller.

Today I wanted to share a few pictures my Sissy took a few weeks ago.
It was an early morning with the temperatures not yet so high as to exhaust me. I sat outside on the back-porch with my sweet dog Annie.
Sissy thought Annie and I were simple picture perfect sitting on the back-porch together so she went off and took these pictures. (I did edit them a bit on Picnik.)
Sitting on the back-porch early in the morning or on a lovely autumn evening is one of my favorite (and often peaceful) places to be. There's just something special about a place so familiar with so many memories attached.
I hope the pictures make you smile.



Annie and I sharing secrets. Though, she mostly listens while I talk. ;) 


Did you have a good weekend?
I hope your Monday has been Magnificent!

Blessings,
Sarah

Saturday, August 27, 2011

52 lists in 52 weeks: Week 12...

Hello everyone!

Today I wanted to share this week's list from 52 lists in 52 weeks!

This week's prompt is...
“She was fairly certain she could list eight wonderful stunning things about herself that they did not know.”


Flickr: Link


My Sissy took this picture earlier this year. We had a fun evening of the two of us laughing, acting silly, and playing with that apple. You should see the range of emotions I overly dramatized in front of the camera with my acting partner Mr. Apple. =D
In fact, let's take a poll...would you like to see a "range of emotions" post where my silly dramatics are displayed upon the screen?

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!
I've been a bit out of it this week emotionally and physically which has translated into not as much blogging going on. But, hopefully this next week I'll be more up and at 'em. =)

Blessings,
Sarah

P.S. Want to join in the list making fun? Go visit the lovely Kellie over at her blog!



Friday, August 26, 2011

Five minute Friday: Older...

Today I am linking up to The Gypsy Mama. Every Friday she posts a prompt and for five minutes (only five minutes) she writes. Once the five minutes are up no editing or changes can be made. Well, I decided to link up and write my own five minute piece.


This week's prompt is: Older...



Start…

Grandma’s hands have grown older-
Just like the rest of her.
She isn’t as young as she used to be and in some ways her body is weary.
But, she is still oh so beautiful to me.
I love to hear her voice over the phone.
I’m so blessed by the times I’ve flown away from home to see her in that Alaska land far away.
She is beautiful to me.

This journey of life is filled with unexpected things, but it is also filled with beauty.
This older picture of my Grandma’s hands that I took before my body began to have its difficulties.
That long ago summer that I spent a blessed time alone with her.

Her hands are beautiful with all the wrinkles, veins, and “blemishes” intact.

I’ve grown older since then, but I will always love her and the picture of her hands.



Stop.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gossip...


Today I share a bit of imperfect prose. I wrote this last night as I wrestled with my worries....


Gossip.

I gossiped about strangers and their silly talk at lunch.
I tried to shrug off the knowing that my tongue was spreading hurt.
Even if the words never reached the ears of those I spoke of, there was nothing life giving, building up, or helpful coming out of me.
I was gossiping.

Gossip.
Gossip hurts.
Things being spoken of me and another causing me to over think things.
Have I acted in a way that gives cause for this to be spoken?
Momma tells me, “No.”
Wise friend tells me, “No.”
Then why am I so worried?
Why this tossing and this turning inside of me and in the bed where I should be asleep?
I fear that the gossip will ruin good things.
Gossip can ruin things if we let it.

If we fuel the flame from the beginning spark- a fire will rage and destroy.

If we each give the rumor-wheel a little push to turn some more- it will spin faster and faster causing chaos for those in the center.  

And, if my heart is filled with worry as I toss and turn at the time of sleep, doesn’t that mean I’m not trusting?

Do I trust Him with gossip?
Do I trust Him with drama?
Do I trust Him with the past wounds that I’m reminded of again?
Do I trust that if I speak truth, don’t fuel the flam or spin the wheel that He will help bring water and gently stop the spinning in His perfect time?

I can’t control what others say.
I can respond and choose not to help the rumors continue when they come my way.
Most of all, I can choose to trust that He is going to help me walk out of the fiery-spinning gossip storm okay.

Do the words of gossip hurt?
Yes, they can.
Does drama help build others up?
No, not really.

So, I put down my hurts, my worry, and fear of what is passing to others ears.
I choose to trust.
I’m doing my part to help the fire and spinning stop.
I trust that He is helping heal any damage that may have been terribly done.

I trust.

James 3:5-12

So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!  And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.” (ESV)

Proverbs 26:22

The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.” (ESV)

Proverbs 16:24

Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” (ESV)

May we strive to speak words that build up and not tear down!
Daddy God give us grace and forgiveness when we speak wrongly.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Five minute Friday: New...


Today I am linking up to The Gypsy Mama. Every Friday she posts a prompt and for five minutes (only five minutes) she writes. Once the five minutes are up no editing or changes can be made. Well, I decided to link up and write my own five minute piece.





This weeks prompt is: New

Here I go...
Start:

A new day!
This morning I woke with a smile on my face.
Today is a new day.
Off I went to greet the morning.
The sun was not yet lighting up the sky.
I tossed on some clothes and went outside with camera in hand to try to capture glimpses of beauty again.
It’s been a long time since I’ve greeted the new sunrise as it tells the town to awaken.
It was nice to watch the light grow and grow and to sit out under the fading moon as the two lights switched places.

Today is a new day.
A day filled with flowers, puppy-dog eyes, sister drawing, Momma reading, family loving, hearts thumping, words being written, songs being song, and light shining brightly.
Today is a new day.
There are new things to celebrate, new glimpses of beauty to capture, and new songs to be song.
Each day new beauty has begun.  

Stop.

Glimpses of beauty that I captured with the camera eye on this new day...

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 Have you taken time to glimpse beauty this new day?

Blessings,
Sarah


Thursday, August 18, 2011

A list of summer and a space flower...

Hello everyone!

I thought I would share my latest list from the project 52 lists in 52 weeks!
I must admit that I had a difficult time with this list because I'm very ready for summer to be over and autumn to be here in its place.  After a lot of thought, I finally came up with this...

Flickr: Link



Are you going to miss summer?
Or, are you ready for autumn to arrive?

I also wanted to share a fun photo with you today.

I call it the Space Flower because I used one of the space themes to edit it on Picnik.
Flickr: Link


I hope you are having a lovely day!

Blessings,
Sarah

Thankfulness isn't just feminine...

Machinery sounds fill the air as the printer processes,
marks ink to a blank page,
and out glides a completed paper.
Pages await to be folded into books of thanks.
Inspired by Ann Voskamp and her book One Thousand Gifts, this Sunday I will speak to my group of fellow youth about thankfulness.
As I folded feminine books for the group-
Little printed books with birds, eggs, nests, and graceful writing-
I realized that true thankfulness isn't just feminine,
it's masculine too.
This won't just be a heart sharing for the gals in the group, it is to the guys too.
Wholehearted, detailed, sincere thankfulness isn't just something for females to strive for.
Striving for truly thankful hearts is something for all.
This is a new realization to me.
Why have I been viewing thankfulness as feminine?
Isn't thankfulness masculine too?
That fire in the belly, passion, and strength- thankfulness can be strong.
I think of Daniel chapter six. How strong, passionate, and at the same time trusting Daniel must have been when in verse 10 of chapter 6 he gave thanks and continued praying even though the law had been passed that no one was to pray to anyone other than the king.
And, how incredible when we read in Mark 14:23 that Jesus gave thanks even as He showed His disciples the picture of what was going to happen to His body with the bread and the wine.
Thankfulness isn't just feminine.

With that on my mind off I went to design a masculine book of thanks. 
I’m a gal with a feminine eye, but I worked diligently to design a book with the guys in mind.
What would speak to their boy-men and young-men hearts?
What font and book cover might inspire them more than birds eggs and graceful writing?
(Not that birds eggs and graceful writing aren't inspiring to only females.)
I typed, edited, and played with designs.

Encouragement swelled inside me when my boy-man of a brother mentioned as he passed by,
“That looks cool!”
High praise from him.
How my heart filled with a satisfactory sigh.



This Sunday night I will speak with thankfulness in my heart and on my mind.

Have you ever thought of thankfulness as more feminine than masculine?





Blessings,
Sarah

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Growing up one day at a time...

Hello everyone!

I hope you had another Magnificent Monday yesterday! Yesterday truly was a Magnificent Monday for my family and I because we celebrated my beautiful sister's birthday!!!! Hooray!

As part of this particular birthday my Sissy is now allowed to wear make-up if she wants to. It's hard to believe she's becoming so grown up! I teared up as I watched my Momma teach her about applying make-up and what each tool is used for. Our parents have always encouraged natural beauty and to be comfortable in our own skin. Once we reach a certain age our parents allow us the freedom to choose to wear make-up if we want to. I'm personally very grateful that they didn't allow us to wear make-up until we were older. It has given my sister and I time to grow, mature, figure out more of who we are, and even what our "style" is before playing with make-up.  Beauty is so much more than make-up and my Sissy is beautiful without it.
Now it is her turn though. It's her turn to learn what her "tastes" are in regards to make-up.  (Since I recently did an interview highlighting a young woman who had gone make-up free let me clarify- I don't believe make-up is evil. I do however believe that make-up can become unhealthy. So, I will encourage my sister to enjoy accenting her natural beauty, but also remind her that she is beautiful without any trace of make-up on her skin.)
It was a coming of age moment. A moment of choosing, of growing, of exploration. She's growing up.

As my Momma was getting the make-up out yesterday, I was a little bit emotional. (Okay, I might have been majorly fighting back tears...Is this really my baby sister putting on make-up???)
I asked Momma something along the lines of, "How did she grow up so fast?"
Momma smiled and said, "One day at a time."
How true that is. Sissy isn't done growing up, but growth happens one day at a time.


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Flickr: Link Happy birthday, Sissy! Thanks for bringing some extra golden sunshine into my life each time you smile.



Did you have a Magnificent Monday yesterday?
What have been some of the "coming of age" moments in your life?

Blessings,
Sarah

P.S. When I went shopping for Sissy's birthday gifts I was able to go shopping at Wal-Mart for the first time in quite awhile. In the past six months I could probably count on one hand how many times I've walked around that big of a store. This may seem silly, but it's incredible the things in life you appreciate and miss once they are no longer easy to do. I truly appreciated that shopping trip.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Rain and a taste of autumn...


Drip, drop, drip, drop
Pitter-patter, pitter-patter
Drip, drop, drip, drop

I awoke with that sound gracing my ears this morning.
My room was dark, cool, and peaceful.
A smile spread across my face and thanks glided off my tongue.
Rain.
We’ve needed it badly.
The dry thirsty ground, plants, and animals need it so badly.
It’s raining!
I’m so thankful for the rain and the nourishment it gives and the thirst it helps quench.

I'm so very thankful for the rain!
Today we have a taste of autumn.
Just a taste is causing me to crave it to truly come. 
I'm thankful for the autumn taste and the rain today.

My bigger-younger brother (the boy-man) took a few photos of me today!
We went out to enjoy a bit of the cooler weather. 
He had fun coming up with a few ideas to photograph.


  

Are you longing for autumn to come and stay for a time? 

Blessings,
Sarah


Friday, August 12, 2011

5 minute Firday: Beauty...


Today I am linking up to The Gypsy Mama. Every Friday she posts a prompt and for five minutes (only five minutes) she writes. Once the five minutes are up no editing or changes can be made. Well, I decided to link up and write my own five minute piece.




This weeks prompt is: Beauty.

Start...

Beauty.

Beauty is a young brother coming and asking me if I will help give money to the hungry ones on the continent that still holds a piece of my heart.
Beauty is the rice-bowl-bank that he is collecting coins in.
Beauty is him lovingly telling me that I could go back there on a trip and help if I want to.
Beauty is the love in his eyes when he saw that what he said made me cry.
Beauty is the love of Daddy God in the midst of this broken world.

I left part of my heart in Africa four years ago. My heart aches for the hungry bellies and hungry souls there.





Would you consider giving to help those hungry bellies and hungry souls?
Giving is beautiful too.

Visit here:
Compassion

Stop.

Blessings,
Sarah 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

An unexpected wave of grief...


Why does this little minute detail feeling like such a humiliation?
All he asked for was ID and even though I’m the age to legally vote I don’t have a photo ID yet.
I went about browsing with an odd feeling of humiliation and frustration. 
I went about in the book store browsing through the aisles.
A stack of books to buy in one arm and three books that I would be selling if only my wallet held that plastic piece that promised I am me and the age I claim to be.
In the midst of one of my favorite places humiliation flowed over me.
I was crashing and thrashing against a wave.
I’m mourning again.
I’m mourning my “old self”, the “I could haves”, and thinking the “if only” I was healthy.
It’s like a heavy rogue wave crashing on top of me.
I haven’t had a trigger of the tears, the pain, and the grief in awhile.
It all came flooding in a bookstore…
If I hadn’t gotten sick I would already have an ID.
If I hadn’t gotten sick I would be driving myself to this store.
If I hadn’t gotten sick I might even have a college ID.
If I hadn’t gotten sick I wouldn’t be mourning me.
If I hadn't gotten sick...
Thoughts and feelings rushing over me.

But, I am sick.
I can’t play the “what if” game.
I can’t play the “what would life be like if” game either.
Actually, I can, but it will only make me feel worse.
It's best to mourn and make the most of what I can do.

Grief comes over you when you least expect it.
I didn’t expect it tonight.

I was getting out of the house to get over my “cabin fever”.
Sometimes I just crave getting back out and about.
I crave and hunger to bless others in some small way.

I want this blog to be a place where I share the good stuff, but also the hard stuff.
So, tonight, I pour out a bit of my grief.
My heart aches so badly, my eyes leak the salty tears once again, and it isn’t easy to mourn.

*deep breath*

This song is sung word for word by my aching heart tonight.


Tonight I choose to give thanks in the midst of heartache...
56. For a Momma that kindly drives me places.
57. For songs that express my heart.
58. For Sara Beth's precious text.
59. For finding a "just because" gift for a friend that loves Nancy Drew.
60. For new books to read with littlest brother.
61. For a young brother looking for change to help feed hungry little ones living on the continent that holds a piece of my heart.

My heart still aches, yet in the midst of giving thanks it eases a bit.
I will still mourn.
I will still cry.
He holds me and loves me in the midst of my pain.
Giving thanks, breathing, letting tears flow freely, and writing this heart aching, it all helps the wave recede.

Blessings,
A young woman journeying in the midst grief,
Sarah

A child at heart and teddy bears...

On this Thursday I join in with others and the lovely Emily to share the imperfect prose of my life.
It is remarkable how in the very moment of waking I can be inspired to write.
What imperfect prose of life do you have to share today?
Want to share? The lovely button below will take you there.




A teddy bear found his way into my arms in the night.
He’s a little fellow with well loved fur, a red bandana around his neck, and Oshkosh for a name.
When I was young I imagined him married to a bear in a pale blue dress named White Bear.
In my little girl consideration I often thought with gleeful contentment, "They are meant together like two peas in a pod."
At some point in the tossing and turning of last night's aches Oshkosh slipped into my arms taking the plaid pillow's place.
I haven’t slept with that little bear in a long, long, long time.
In my restless sleep I must have needed some old-familiar, comforting, and friendly on which to cling.
In this morning of sunshine pouring into the window I woke with my scruffy pal in my arms.

I smiled.

A pitcher full of sweet memories of young childhood rushed over me.
He has always been a good little bear.

I’m not a little girl any more.
I’m old enough to vote, to drive (once I learn), to work, to do many things that are seen as momentous and coming of age.
Yet, there are aspects of me still being a child at heart-
The part of me that loves blowing bubbles.
The part of me that’s danced in a soft green backyard because I was in awe of the Daddy God beauty expressed in creation around me.
The part of me that can’t give away the dearest stuffed animal friends because they have so many memories clinging to their well loved fur.
And, the part of me that sought Oshkosh into my weary arms again last night.
As I write this and decide to post this, I’m okay with others knowing of how I’m still a bit of a child at heart.
I’m growing into more and more of a woman who loves her Daddy God, I’m learning, I'm serving, and I’m thinking. But, I think that there will always be aspects of the little girl I used to be mixed inside with the woman I'm becoming.
When was the last time you took the time to remember the small joys of being a young child?  

Blessings,
Sarah