Being Thankful

Yesterday afternoon I was in one my my funks I get into being tired and the kids not doing what I want them to do.  Frankly I was getting angry and discouraged.  (Ok they needed to take naps, and eventually all of us did even mom and dad.)

So instead of getting angry I got remembering that I should be thankful.  Boy did that get rid of the anger fast.

Here is a list of some of the thing I am thankful for

  • I have kids that I can get mad at, when others may just be wishing for one kid of their own
  • I have a bed with blankets to sleep in.  Russ and I do need a new bed, but I am thankful for the one I have.  It is better than sleeping on the floor with or without blankets.
  • I have a secure job.  While I may not always like the shifts I am assigned, I have a good job. So many these days are looking for one.
  • We have a variety of foods to eat.  So just have a choice of 1 or 2 foods.
  • We have the option and can afford to send our son to a private school.  Others are just looking for a way to get an education.  It is a stretch each month to pay the bill, but we can.
  • We have a vehicle to drive.  It may not be the exact one we want to have, and we would like to have another.  We still have one and it gets me faithfully to work, 30 miles away and has space to transport the entire family.
  • We have a roof over our heads and heat.  Yes we would like to own our own home, but we are thankful for what we have.  With the way the economy is we can be thankful to have a house to live in a heat.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

God is Good

As you read this blog you may at first wonder why I entitled this God is Good, but I have seen God’s hand in the way everything so far has worked out.

Monday, Russ and I were working on cleaning out our garage. It has been a work in progress since we moved into this house. He got a lot cleaned out and sorted out a couple of weeks ago, but had been waiting for me to help him finish it up. We both had gone up to the attic area above the garage and were surveying what was up there and getting down some of the things that we needed from up there. I had just made the comment that it wouldn’t been good if the ladder fell since neither of us had our phones on us, before Russ headed down the ladder. As he started going down the first few rungs, the ladder fell and he landed on the concrete floor on this rear. I was still in the attic.   Tyler came out the garage to investigate and tried to get the ladder back up for me.  He didn’t know/understand were to go to find a phone to call for help. Russ ended up lifting the ladder back up for me and holding the now bent ladder so I could get down. On after thought, I think that if Tyler could have gotten a phone, I think I would have ended up having Russ call 911 without moving to get me down and got him a little bit quicker treatment. I really didn’t know who to call to help us, if it had been summer and our neighbors were back I would have sent him over there.

As soon as he landed, I knew a trip to the ER was in the near future. I called my mom and got the boys packed up for the night. When we left our house I wasn’t sure which ER we were headed to the one 5 minutes away or the one 35 minutes away where our insurance covers better. It quickly became apparent that driving a long distance was out of the question, so as soon as we dropped the older boys we headed to the closest ER. On CT, they found that he has an L1 fracture (one of the bones of the spine). Defiantly explained the pain he was experiencing, they broke out the stronger pain meds. The plan was to admit him there, in fact he even had a room assignment. After they talked to the neurosurgeon who wasn’t going to be able to get to him soon (my guess people out of town for spring break), they were talking about transferring him. I told them to do it, since transferring him meant we could get to the hospital that we have better insurance coverage at (I think we would have had a 20% copay if we had stayed there).

He finally got admitted to a hospital bed about 3 am and I was exhausted by this time, but I didn’t want to miss any of the doctors. I had run home while they transferred him to get clothes for everyone, take a shower, and drop off to my mom what the boys needed for morning. I am so glad my mom told me to take a shower (I hadn’t managed to take on that day). I still managed to beat him to the second hospital. The nurses were very nice and got me a recliner that I could sleep in for the rest of the night and into the morning. Daniel has done well sleeping in the stroller.

The neurosurgeon finally came to see him about noon yesterday, at that point was not sure what if he was going to do surgery or not. He did finally let him eat, since they were not letting him eat not knowing if or when he would do surgery. The nurse came in about 5 pm and said that the office called and said that Russ was scheduled for surgery 8 am Thursday morning. We now know some of Russ restrictions – not lifting more than 10-15 lbs (Daniel is 12.5 right now) for at least 6-8 weeks, the older boys for up to 4 months or more.

I went home to sleep and gather up fresh clothes for Daniel and take care of my trashed house. I did stop at my mom’s to see the older boys. I think Tyler understands what is going on as much as a 5 year old can. William pretty much rejected me. I am pretty sure he will come around.

How I could see God’s hand —

  • It is spring break in Midland.  Mom is not working at the preschool this week and is proabably (in my mind) why they were having a hard time with the neurosurgeon, which brought up the transfer.
  • He did not have worse injuries.
  • In the last 2 weeks, I learned how to update my status on facebook from my cell phone.  We were able to get lots of prayer from putting out short status messages (I hate entering text messages from my phone)
  • I was still in the middle of a 5 day stretch of day off work, so didn’t have to worry about work yesterday.  (I did call in for 2 days, Wednesday and Thursday and am hoping to work Saturday to help stretch out my remaining FMLA days).
  • Our church just started an attender site, so I was able to put status messages up for our small group there.
  • We got our tax refund last weekend, and I had paid all our bills before this happend and had gotten the bills caught up from maternity leave.
  • Daniel is a good baby and still young enough to sleep most of the day and night, since I am keeping him with me.  He likes sleeping in the stroller.

Things to pray for over the next few days

  • The actual surgery will go well and he will heal quickly and correctly from the break and surgery.
  • Everything will fall into place so I can continue to keep working while he is recovering.

As I started typing this I had started listening to Pandora.com on the Contemporary Christian channel.  The first song was a song we sing in church,  Strong Tower, by Kutless.  The chorus is exactly what I needed to hear. (emphasis added)

You are my strong tower, Shelter over me
Beautiful and mighty, Everlasting King
You are my strong tower, Fortress when I’m weak
Your name is true and holy, And Your face is all I see

Gasp, I am actually blogging

Life is busy, busy right now and the next few weeks are going to be even busier.

We are doing well.  William’s lip has healed up very well.  It is still sore to him sometimes, but most of the time it doesn’t seem to bother him at all.

I have been wanting to take him to the doctor for a while, since I suspected that he might have exema, we needed to discuss more of the concerns with his walking, his slow speech, and since our doctor retired shortly after we established in the practice we needed to meet the new doctors in the office.  Well for those concerns — he does have exema.  I was right in my guess.  He is being referred to an orthopedic surgeon, as a second oppion, to make sure we are doing what needs to be done for him with physical therapy and that he doesn’t need any more treatment.   As for William’s speech, she did feel like he needs to be evaluated, but instructed me to contact the local health department for a hearing test and the intermediate school district for an evaluation for speech therapy.  I tried to contact both today, but was unsuccessful so I have to call them tomorrow.

I really liked the doctor we saw today.  She works for Covenant, like I do, but actually lives in Midland, where we live and did her residency in Midland, so she knows the Midland doctors and who to reccomend for us to see so we don’t have to go to Saginaw for everything.  That is great news to me, since I don’t like driving to Saginaw anymore than I have to.  She didn’t blink an eye about my homebirth plans and actually has done a fair number of deliveries herself and has been told that she does deliveries like a midwife.  I think we have a new doctor we can work with for our family.

The next few weeks are very busy for me.  Next Tuesday our family has 4 appointments, 3 for me and 1 for William.  That Friday, my mother-in-law is having knee replacement.  The next week my best friend is getting married and I am in the wedding.  Because of a scheduling conflict the rehearsal is on Thursday and the wedding is Saturday, so I have Thursday, Friday, & Saturday off work.  I always have Tuesdays off because of William’s PT.  Those 2 weeks I still have to get my 3 days of work in, so everyday is scheduled with something between now and the wedding.  Our wedding aniversary also falls right in the middle of the craziness. I am actually working that day so I could get all my hours in.  I am really looking forward to maternity leave, since I won’t have as many doctor appointments, I hopefully will be sleeping a little better, and will have a new little one to snuggle.

I also have a new stressor starting.  My grandma has an appointment with a surgeon tomorrow.  She had a routine mamogram done last month and a mass was found, so who knows what that is going to bring.  I guess I will know more tomorrow.  Thankfully not all the care falls to me, but most of it actually goes to my sister and my dad does what he can.  Toi and I try to split the drives between us as we can and each of us have our own things that we do for her, though Toi does more than I do, but then she is not working full time and doesn’t have kids of her own.

So if you could pray for us over the next few weeks, the bullets would be

  • whatever is going on with my grandma, that we as a family will know how to deal with it and make wise decisions
  • energy for the next few weeks
  • a safe birth
  • wisdom in decisions about William’s speech and physical concerns

Praises

  • Russ and I like the new doctor
  • our household is primarily at our normal state of health, Russ has his daily issues with his health
  • the main concerns with this pregnancy have been laid to rest

Works of God Monday

I don’t think I can even come close to describing in words the beauty God allowed me to see this morning.  Today I worked my 4th 12 hour shift in 5 days.  On my way to work this morning there was a beautiful sunrise.  There was a low lying cloud line perfectly over the roadway with the sun coming up behind the cloud line.  It was so beautiful!!!!  My first thought was this looks like I am driving into the mountains, especially coming up to an overpass.  The way things looked reminded my of driving down the Pennsylvania Turnpike (you can tell I spent a lot of time traveling on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in elementary and junior high school.)

I was thankful to see it as it reminded me of God’s goodness.  Today could have been very stressful at work.  There is a lot of stress related to our unit, and only our unit, right now.  Our management is very stressed.  It ended up being a good day.  We had a good crew working and I think I am finally getting to fully understand my job and what my responsibilities are.  We had fun, even in the crazy moments and I got out very close to on time, much better than I did the end of last week.  I even got to stop at Apple Valley Yarn Company tonight for knit nite, even if it was only about 20 minutes.  It was still a chance to rest and unwind before going home.

God is so good at giving reminders of His grace.

Works of God Monday

God showed Himself very real to me on Saturday.  I was very out of sorts and I could not figure out why.  I am sure that the pregnancy hormones were not helping.  I just did not want to do anything, was grumpy, and short with Russ and the kids.  I did start working on getting the dishes done, even though I did not want to.  While I was doing them, I started praying.  “Why God am I feeling this way?”

I heard the still quiet voice, “Because you haven’t spent time with me.”  It is rare that I felt God talk to me in that way, but it was so true.  It had been 3 weeks since I had been to church, I worked 2 weeks ago and this past Sunday and when we went up to Boyne we did not go to church the weekend between working.  I do not know when the last time was that I read my Bible.

So after I finished the dishes, I took a bath and took my Bible with me.  I decided to read the Psalms and Proverb of the day.  Psalm 62:1-2 really helped.

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

I can rely on God and trust him when I am feeling out of sorts.

While I missed church again because of work, I feel so much better and closer to God.  I am striving to get back into the habit of doing my devotions daily.  It helps to know that I can turn to God when I get so out of sorts, to get my attitude straightened out.

Works of God Monday

A friend several weeks ago started encouraging others to post how God has worked in their lives in the past week.  While I have posted a few posts recently that could be posted with this title, I haven’t posted them on Monday.  This week is different.

I have been trying to get a new job for a while.  While I am not going to go into all the details of searching for a new job, I will say it has been tough.  I thought there was a nursing shortage.  I don’t know how many applications I put out, but I know I only got 2 interviews over the course of 2-3 months.  At the encouragement of the HR specialist, I applied for the position I got.  While I didn’t really want to continue commuting to Saginaw if I was getting another job, it just didn’t work out.  Though it did become apparent that I needed to stay with the same company, since I am going to need short term disability for maternity leave come the end of December.  One company’s short term didn’t kick in until 1 year after hire, so we would have been without pay for maternity leave.  That would have been hard.

Purity

Our church right now is doing a series on “Escaping”.  So far some of the messages have been on escaping your past/regrets, escaping “religion,” escaping sexual addiction.  This last Sunday was sexual addiction, but the focus to me seemed to be more on purity in our lives.  It has been interesting this week thinking about purity in my life.  I really have taken it beyond sexual purity, though a reminder of sexual purity is always welcome.

At the end of the sermon you could pick up a white silicone bracelet if you wanted.  At first I felt funny wearing it, but I am finding it is helping me with my thinking and realizing when my thinking is not pure.  Like last night when I wanted to fall into a pity party when I was tired and Russ had a bad headache and there was garbage to be taken out, boys to put to bed, remote to find (which didn’t get found until this morning), laundry to do, dishes to clean up, house to pick up and projects to finish.  I did let myself have a pity party until God used the feel of the bracelet on my arm to remind me that my thinking was not right.  I was being unkind to toward Russ and the kids  I was thinking things that I never should have been thinking.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK ON THESE THINGS.

Is there room for improvement in the purity side of my life?  Absolutely!!  Russ and I were talking about how the bracelets are affecting our lives.  He said that he has tried to work on the purity side of this life before, but something about this time is different.  I think we were spiritually prepared for thinking about purity by the series, knowing that both of us are thinking and working at being pure, knowing that we are not alone, but a large majority of our church is also thinking and working for the same things, and having a physical reminder of what we are working toward.

“Thank you God, for giving me the reminder that I need to become more pure and working in my life.  Help me on this path as I work toward purity in You not only sexually, but in every area of my life, as I become more like You.”

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