Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CFS/FM Diaries: School- One day at a time...

Hello everyone!

I believe it is about time for another edition of CFS/FM Diaries.
This is a rather long post and it is devoted to updates on my health issues. I realize that not everyone wants to read about my health updates so I have recently decided to title the posts that are devoted to that topic the CFS/FM Diaries.

I've been reasonably well lately. I still have good days and bad days, I still have symptoms every day, but I also have much more ability to do things especially when it comes to school work.

I feel like I'm slowly improving to back where I was health-wise last autumn. I'm currently able to do 9-15 hours of school a week with each day being about 2-3 hours. I honestly don't know how it happened, but towards the end of the summer my "brain fog" suddenly lessened! Now, it is still around especially when I over due. But, I can't tell you how much of a blessing it is to be able to do some school work again. I feel like since January I barely accomplished anything until this month. A friend recently emailed and asked how I'm doing these days. As part of my reply I shared in regards to school that-

~I must be willing to sometimes just say that, "Today is a rest day and that is okay."~

That is so very true. There are some days that my body has worsened symptoms. I don't always understand what triggers those days, but I have to be willing to set aside my schedule and instead rest.
I think one of the hardest things about these two syndromes is that I don't really have any idea what the future holds. In reality, no human does, but when one is healthy it is easier to guess and plan. I so easily become overwhelmed and even sometimes really upset when I try to think even a year ahead. I've always been a planner yet planning is so tentative now. I'm truly having to learn to trust and walk out one day at a time. That's not to say I can't dream or plan things, but I must be willing to let them go if things change.


Other updates...

I re-visit the new doctor's office next week and I'm curious to see what my lab reports+adrenal lab test show.

I had two pretty bad Fibromyalgia (FM) days last week and I came up with a new words picture for the pain.
Sometimes I forget that my pain isn't "normal" and that my family doesn't feel what I feel. The bad pain began on an evening and was fairly bad all night. I thankfully slept some which helps the pain not be as bad the next day. But, oh, when I woke up I felt terrible. I haven't had a morning where I woke up in pain and feeling exhausted in quite awhile. (That is thankfully because my body has been sleeping soooo much better lately! Yay!) As I went about my day my Momma knew what a bad night I had the night before and that I was in a lot of pain. I took a bit of time thinking about how to explain it to her and I finally found a good description.
I felt like a bunch of people had gone under my skin while I was asleep and punched my muscles and tendons over and over again until I woke up- leaving me sore and beat-up. 

A little graphic, but that actually made sense to my family.

I also realized when I had those two pretty bad days that I'm so very thankful for the good days and the incredible blessing of improved sleep that I've been enjoying lately. When I wake up in the mornings and realize I'm not in terrible pain and that I don't feel like I weigh a ton I sing a little thank you in my heart. 

That's the latest and I'll be writing another update once I have my appointment next week.

Blessings,
Sarah

Friday, September 23, 2011

The little things of my week...

It's been another week filled with little things that have blessed me and even made me smile.
Care to see?

It's the little things like...

Giving my sweet Dog a new Dino-Monster squeaky toy...


(Annie wasted no time in showing that dino-monster who is in charge. Within an hour it had lost two horns and a foot which were promptly thrown in the trash.)

This cup that my family has had for years...

 (It chipped and so I was saving a digital memory of it before it went away.)

Having pirate-y fun on Monday...

Finding some fun coloring pages on a new-to-me blog and coloring them...


(Yesterday was a rather bad day for me due to bad Fibromyalgia pain the night before which left me feeling worn out and beat up. As silly as it may seem sometimes it is just good to have something simple and easy like a coloring page to get my mind off of the pain. Plus, doesn't that cute turtle and his little bird friend singing a duet just make you want to smile?
I will also say that a positive thing about the bad days is that it leaves me feeling thankful for even the not-so-great days.)

If you would like some free and fun coloring pages for the little ones in your life (or even for yourself) check out this blog link!

My sister rocking her new sneakers...

A new autumn style crochet hat in the works...

(I'm planning on sharing pictures of the completed project once it is done. I'm sure everyone else in the blogger-sphere has already shouted this out, but...It's officially autumn around these parts!!!)

And lastly, a copy of this book coming in at my local library...



(From what I've seen and heard I'm fairly certain that I'm going to adore this book! Plus, the artwork is stunning.)

I'm participating in:



Aisle to Aloha


What are some of "the little things" that you've enjoyed this week?

Blessings,
Sarah

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Two giveaways to share...


Hey everyone!

I enjoy a good giveaway. Don't you?
Well, good because I wanted to share two splendid giveaways that are going on right now!

The first giveaway I wanted to share about is over at the splendid blog The Blair Affairs



Part of the giveaway is an 8x10 photo print from that lovely Sarah over at On the Brightside.
Sarah has some truly wonderful photos and her blog always brings a smile to my face.
Enjoy meeting those two blogging gals and entering for a chance to win too!

The second giveaway that I wanted to share about is over at the adorable blog Tag...You're It.
The giveaway is for a fine silver initial necklace.

I hope you enjoy possibly meeting some of these lovely blogging gals and maybe even win something!

Blessings,
Sarah

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Magnificent Monday pirate style...

Ahoy!!!! (Or, Hello!!!)

It's another Magnificent Monday with me motly crew! I remembered that it also happens to be International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Arrr!!!!
I thought in honor of the day that it would be fitting to post some pirate-y pictures. I hope they make you smile, me matey!

First we have a pirate pup...

Then we have this beauty...

Then there be Juni with his plunder by thunder!


We hope you've had another Magnificent Monday!

Blessings,
Sarah

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's the little things...

It's the second It's the Little Things Friday!


Aisle to Aloha


I have a few photos to share...(And a video!)

It's the little things like...

This book of short stories...

This journal...

This CD...

This poetry book/CD...

My sweet friend Tiffany sending me a postcard while on her trip to New York...
Flickr: Link

My cat enjoying the window...
Flickr: Link

Pumpkin muffins that my my Momma made...
Flickr: Link

Milk to go with the muffins...
Flickr: Link

The rain!!!! We've been so  badly been needing rain and it was glorious to have it today.
I sat beside the open door and just enjoyed it for the longest time.
Here is a short video of the lovely weather.



What little things are you thankful for this week?

Blessings,
Sarah

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

To cry over one I have never met…


Today I cried over someone I have never met.
Her name is Sara Frankl.
She is beautiful, caring, honest, and loves and trusts God so very much.
In her words that she so often wrote on her blog she encouraged me and many others.
She chose joy in the midst of what for many would seem an impossible situation.

I mailed her a letter a few weeks ago when I heard she wasn't feeling so well and a little dog biscuit for her sweet dog.
I hope that maybe someone read it to her and shared my words of love and that her little pup enjoyed the biscuit. That may sound selfish, but I hope she received my words and little gift- because I wholeheartedly lovingly sent and wrote all of it.

Sara often shared pictures of her life and made me smile and laugh countless times. I discovered the Five Minute Fridays through her blog and she has often reminded me how much I have to be thankful for.
Most of all, Sara has taught and reminded me to choose joy. No matter what, that I can choose joy.

Sara has severe health issues and today I learned that her body is shutting down.
Sara is dying.
Sara is on her way to her true home.

As I type, I cry. I have never met Sara, but God has used her words to change my life.
I pray that she will leave peacefully with the ones she loves surrounding her.
I know that she is loved.
My prayers are with her, her family, and her dear friends in this time of her leaving this life.

She has lived a life that has touched many. May she be free and happy for eternity!

Care to be inspired by some of her words past written?  Click the lovely button below.






I would like to end with this poem I wrote about and for her.


Sara’s Poem

Sara with her honest heart and typed up words
Her strength and trust in the One above
Choosing joy in the midst of difficulty
Choosing to shine light into the world
She puts no bowl over to hide her inner light
She shines so very, very bright

Laughter and smiles graced me when I read
Of the life adventures she enjoyed even from her bed
The critters playing on her lawn
The visits with friend and love ones
And the little white dog she loves so much

My heart aches for her leaving
But my soul rejoices for the freeing
And the seeing which will occur
As she stands before the One she trusts so much

Sara chooses joy
Even in the midst of pain
So I will go on sharing of the joy and life
That’s even in the midst
Of the storms and down pours of this life’s rain

Monday, September 12, 2011

Magnificent Monday after a weekend of remembering....


Hello everyone!

How are you?
How was your weekend?

I hope you are having a Magnificent Monday!
Today I’m very well, but admittedly a bit tired and worn. Yesterday was a bit of a busy day. I enjoyed a blessed time at church that morning and then that evening members of the youth group, leadership, and I hosted a sort of performance/tribute night.

The first half of the evening was an opportunity for students to share their talents. We had everything from singers, guitarists, a stomp style display/rhythm and a great show of manly testosterone, clean comedy, art displayed, and poetry to name a few. I read a few poems as part of the evening.

The second half of the night was a tribute and time of honoring the anniversary of 9/11.
We had a time of prayer for our country to start the time.
Then I went up and read a poem that I wrote this past week in honor of the anniversary.

9/11 Tenth Anniversary

Do you remember that day?
That day when so much occurred.
Do you remember where you were?
Were you were when you first heard.

It was a day seemingly like any other,
I was in the living room watching Sesame Street or such,
When the TV changed to the images of tragedy.
Ten years is a very long time,
Yet it is still fresh on many of our minds.
9/11.
Those numbers will never been seen the same way.
There was great loss, great fear, and great courage that day.
May we always remember that fateful day!
May we be thankful for the heroes that each contributed and placed themselves in harm’s way!



After my poem there was a video tribute and another poem reading by a wonderful youth leader named Felecia. (The second poem was incredible!) Then one of the youth played our National Anthem on his electric guitar as we all stood.That was a special moment to stand together and sing and hum as we remembered that day that forever changed and impacted our country.

Lastly, my dear friend (the friend that I sistership with) Sara Beth danced a moving lyrical piece.

It was an incredible night and I was also blessed to see quite a few people that I haven’t seen in awhile.

The whirlwind of the night has left me extra tired and a bit worn out today. But, thankfully it’s not a major crash and I’ve still been able to do a good bit of school today.

My Monday has been filled with school, dreaming, praying, and resting.
What has your Monday been filled with?

I hope your weekend was blessed and that you have been enjoying another Magnificent Monday.

May your Mondays be Magnificent,
Sarah

Friday, September 9, 2011

Five minute Friday: In real life...


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. I decided to link up and write my own five minute piece.





This week's prompt is: In real life...

In real life two friends sit face to face.
One cups her hands around hot coffee,
The other around ice-tea.
They’ve been friends since they were tiny.
There is an undeniable history between them.
Somehow no matter how much time elapses between get-togethers and chats they still connect when they come together again.
The conversation isn’t too awkward when they re-meet, there is laughter to be found, and there are encouraging words to be mutually spoken.
This is real life.
This is my real life.
To share words with friends face to face.
To smell the drink in their hands, see the muscles move on their face, and hear the sound waves straight from their mouth to my own ears.
Real life is breathing in, taking in, hearing, smelling, seeing, and being.
It’s being.
Friendship in real life- that is what I felt last night.

 Blessings,
Sarah 

P.S. In real life I also have the most amazing sister in the whole world. She is lovely and I cherish our friendship so very much! I just wanted to brag on her a bit tonight.
 

It's the little things...

Hello everyone!

I hope you are enjoying your Friday! Today I'm linking up with others over at From the Aisle to Aloha!
We're taking time to share some of "the little things" from our week. This is the perfect sort of link-up party for me. My family and friends are always smiling (and sometimes laughing) at the way the little things make me so happy and excited. Do you take time to appreciate the little things?

Want to join in the fun?

Just click this lovely button:




Aisle to Aloha


First off, playing the ribbon game with my cat Juni!




Taking photographs in black and white and this magnet from one of my trips to Alaska...

Flickr: Link

Cornbread for dessert...
All you need is a pat of butter in the middle with a bit of honey and a drizzle on top to add some extra lovely!

Flickr: Link

Flickr: Link



Lastly, a mini-tea set...

Flickr: Link

Blessings,
Sarah

P.S. As I was putting together this post I heard a new song for the very first time! It is Little Things by JJ Heller. The song is about the important little things in life and is very moving in an upbeat way.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I say, "I'm really happy today!"


“Momma,” I said this afternoon.
“Hmm?” She said in reply.
I spoke the words that my heart has been singing all day, “I’m really happy.”
Until the words flowed off of my tongue I hadn’t realized how long it has been since I said that.

It’s been a long time since I actually said that I’m happy.
That’s rather a melancholy thought.
Yet, all day those words I spoke to Momma have been ready to pour out of me.

I feel so blessed this week!
I had a terrible pain day Monday, but I’ve been doing so much better yesterday and today.
There are blessings and things to be thankful for all around me and the weather is so much cooler!
And, guess what?
My new school schedule is working! For the first time in a long time I’m finally finding a rhythm for my body. One day, one step at a time I’m moving forward.

I think that is what I’m learning.
I’m learning to be thankful for each day, each step, and each moment of grace.
I’m nowhere near perfect or done learning this lesson, but I’m learning.
It’s a glorious feeling to be moving forward in school! Now, I also realize that I’m little miss overachiever and if I don’t watch myself I’m going to try to plan the course of my life down to the minute detail after two successful days. (Have I mentioned I’m rather a planner and that I can go a little crazy with over planning?) Last autumn I didn’t recognize how dangerous that aspect of myself is to my health. It’s so easy for me to get ahead of myself with plans and suddenly wanting to take on the world after a small success. So, I'm working on stopping myself from going crazy planning wise and learning not to take on the entire world after two successful days. (I would like to take a moment to say I'm extremely thankful for my Momma. She is amazing and helps speak wisdom into my life about this area- even when it is not what I want to hear. She can sum it up in one heart-piercing question, “Sarah, do you think that is wise?” Ooo…get’s me in a good way every time.)

Circumstances will change, I don’t know what tomorrow will look like, but I’m choosing to celebrate that I am really happy and blessed today!  By the grace and blessings of my Daddy God I am really happy.
There is inexplicable joy found in Him and His steadfast love.

Steadfast love-
Those words and the way they sound cause me to overflow with joy lately.
Steadfast- Firm and unwavering.

I will continue to strive to take the new schedule one day and one step at a time.
I'll smile and take time to verbally say, "I am really happy today."

When was the last time you spoke it aloud that you are really happy?
When was the last time you were overwhelmed by the grace and blessings in your life?

Blessings,
Sarah

P.S. This weekend (or next weekend depending on if I want more of a test run to share) I'm planning on posting a CFS/FM diaries post about the school schedule in more detail. I want to see how I continue to do before I write that post.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Magnificent Monday from where I lie...

I've been a little quiet around the blog lately haven't I?
There were days last week that I was just emotionally going through a rough patch.
Today I'm having quite a bit of Fibromyalgia pain. (I think it is due to the weather change, but if the weather change has caused it than it is totally worth it for having cooler temperatures!!!)
The pain today has mostly been in my feet, ankles, knees, elbows, and a bit in my hands. I would say my feet and ankles are what hurts the worst. The pain is hard to explain. It's like being sore, sort of a burning, and it feels creaky to me. When I move my feet I feel like they are like old creaky floors of an old house. I'm not sure what it feels like to be an old creaky board but the sound that those boards make is partly how I describe the pain.
Even in the midst of pain it is still a Magnificent Monday!

For those of you here in the US I hope you are having a relaxing labor day!

Today I thought I would share a few photos with all of you.

I call these: From Where I Lie...
Juni and I enjoying a bit of snuggle time. (This picture was taken on my cell phone.) Flickr: Link









Flickr: Link

Flickr: Link

All of the black and white pictures above were taken be me as I've been lying in bed today. 
From where I lie I can make choices.
Choices to only see the hard-stuff and darkness or choices to see the light and search out the beauty.
Though I have been in bed most of the day I may still appreciate and search out the beauty.
It is still possible to be creative in small ways, to dream, to enjoy, to appreciate, and to search in the midst of weariness and pain. It is difficult and I don't always take time to appreciate things from where I lie, sit, stand, and so on. But, today I took the time to appreciate some of the things I view from where I lie.

How about you?
Do you need to stop and take time to appreciate right where you are today?

Blessings,
Sarah

P.S. Need something to make you smile? Just look at this adorable face!
Flickr: Link
 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Breathing and creativity...



Beautiful fresh creativity-
It’s as if I was underwater and I’m coming up
for a much needed time to breathe.

I stayed under emotional currents too long
I stopped taking time to creatively breathe
Yesterday creativity came in the form of a song.

A song inspired by the thought of travel
A song inspired by my Daddy
A song inspired by memories
A song!

I wrote a new song.
Granted,
The melody is purely by ear.
But, I wrote it.
I wrote.

Breathing.
Writing.
Singing.
-Creativity.

I’m so thankful for creativity.
Yet, even the best human creativity will never compare to the Creator.

Do you need to come up for air?
How long has it been since you were creative?

Take time to breathe,
Take time to see,
Take time to be creative again. 

Blessings,
Sarah