Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A Rule: Life Will Keep Changing

Sometimes, you go through periods of seemingly regular, even hum-drum activity.  You know the routine:  get up; go to work; clean the house; fix the meals; get the kids off to school, unless you home-school and that involves other have to's like planning lessons.  There are the scheduled things you do that are fulfilling and the things you consider chores, which you may or may not see as fulfilling.  I think that depends on the person and in some cases, a certain maturity level.

The point is life often seems to have a certain rhythm, until something comes along and disrupts that rhythm.  It can be unsettling, especially if it is something difficult;  however, there are challenges when the change is caused by something good too.  For me, the whole year of 2018 has been a mixture of the good, the bad, and the ugly.  We have had serious issues to deal with that involved a job; moving a sickly family member, which involved frequent travel; preparing ourselves for a move;  going through interviews; and lots of praying and waiting to see what direction we were going.

After we moved, which we considered a wonderful thing ordained by God, we encountered other circumstances that were fresh, new, and exciting, as well as some that were difficult.  Both my husband and I had new ministries, we were becoming active in our community, and we were (actually we still are) making wonderful friends.  We were living in a lovely house, which I am still putting together after two and half months.  Then there is the difficult I mentioned:  family members that passed away, and we could only  go to one funeral, which was upsetting;  ongoing elder care;  our car had a collision with a feral dog, which literally walked into our moving car  (weirdest thing I ever saw);  and serious illness in our immediate family, with ongoing treatments.

It's almost like someone took a bucket of mixed things that can happen to you, and threw it at us;  then, that person said, "Okay.  let's see how you are going to handle that."  This has been a different kind of year, and there has only been one way to get through it.  Do you think it was by sheer willpower?  No!  Well, maybe it  was by having a positive mindset.  Some say that can help, but no, positive thinking alone is not the answer, even if it is better to focus on the pure, the lovely, and the good, which is biblical.  Well, maybe you think if you had a ton of money, that would make everything better.   However, even while it's nice to have enough money for your needs; historically, you should know that wealth can be lost in a moment.  By the way, just so ya'll know -- this gal has never been wealthy by the world's standards.

However, my Father does own the cattle on a thousand hills.  And, I can go to Him whenever I have a need.  I can rely on Him to help me with all kinds of things:  forgiving people that are not apologetic, comforting me when I feel sad or fearful;  trusting Him to guide me along my path of life; and helping me to adjust to all circumstances -- the bad, the good, the in between, the seemingly chaotic;  the unexpected;  the sad;  the sacred;  the mundane;  and the wonderful.  There is no circumstance in my life that God cannot help me with.  I have a Savior, Jesus Christ.  I can take all my concerns to my Father God through Jesus Christ.  Even though worried thoughts may try to assault my mind, I can take all this to Him in prayer and leave it at the throne of grace, knowing that God hears me.  Philippians 4:6-7  tells us do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (ESV).

This brings me back to the hum-drum and the regularity of my life, which has not totally returned.  In some ways, that feels unsettling, but it also keeps me on my toes.  It reminds me not to get caught up in routines, leaving God out of the mix.  When I sometimes wake up in the morning with a feeling of impending doom, I pray.  I do not stay in the feeling.  I go on with what I have to do next during that day.  I know that is often difficult for some of you, because your body's chemistry is all messed up.  Chronic illness is a bummer, no fun at all.  *However, I know from my own experience, taking baby steps to discipline and control your thoughts can actually be beneficial.  I am sharing a page with you, which I googled.  It is Bible Verses About Our Thoughts.  I hope you find these helpful as you travel your path, even through the Changes in your life, both large and small.

I also find reading my Bible on a regular basis, as well as attending Worship at a Bible believing local church, and having fellowship with other Christians is very helpful.  If you are at a point in your life where you can serve in some capacity, whether singing in the choir, helping with the kid's or youth ministry, visiting shut-ins,  or a variety of other volunteer positions, your service would bless others.  Maybe, you could volunteer somewhere else, or perhaps you have all you can handle right now.  Ask God to show you what you should be doing.  I had several years that my service was to my family and encouraging people through  this blog.  That was all I could do.  

Most of all, it is important to be a follower of Jesus.  Read the Bible.  Spend time there.  You might think of starting with the book of John.  And, do not go it alone, even if you have ever had issues with someone at a church or you are avoiding going to church for some other reason.  I pray you find a good fellowship of believers;  then, spend time in God's word and worshiping Him.  Also, remember that those folks are human just like you;  and, none of us are perfect.  If we were, we wouldn't need a Savior.  Bitterness and unforgiveness are poison to our souls; and, I think it is poison to our bodies as well.  So, take what you are dealing with to God.  Let Him help you forgive and let Him direct your thoughts.  

*I cannot guarantee that anyone will have the same physical results I did.  I found wonderful supplements through a friend, which along with the baby steps I was already taking in my life to heal, have changed my life.  I have added Intermittent Fasting, which has been very good for me.  My life is an ongoing process, a unique quilting project that continues to evolve.  I have faith that God knows exactly where I am, and He is my guide.  What a beautiful life, even those threads that get knots in them!  I am still using the Baby Step process.  It is amazing what small steps add up too when you look back over a series of years.  What if I had never done that?  What if I had given up, and I had decided that baby steps and supplements could not work for me?  Then, I might never have felt healthier and have had improved habits. I would most likely be chronically depressed on top of being sick.  I am so thankful that God showed me a better way.  I pray He does the same for you.

Monday, September 24, 2018

When Life Has You Moving Again!

Looking back on the past can be helpful when you realize how blessed you are to have grown in the Lord, to have the problem of how to get everything done when you are healthier and doing more, and you have moved to a larger house, but you have less stuff.  However, I am doing so much more in my church and in my community, that I am taking much longer to unpack and put away our belongings than I would like.  But, that is a minor problem when I consider what I used to struggle with in my life.

I am thinking about taking up the blogging again, right here;  because, I am still Learning to Balance Life Changes.  I may also need a new facebook page.  I deleted my old one.  It just Did Not Fit anymore.  I am trying to think of a new name for it.  So, the saga continues.

Below is a link, which has a blog post that reminds me that with God's help and with perseverance I can manage my household well.  Click on the next underlined sentence to read that blog post.

When I moved into a smaller home. 

I now have a new problem to deal with. I am having to get used to balancing the life of an active woman, like I used to have before I dealt with chronic illness.  Not only am I healthier;  I am part of a very active fellowship.  I'm teaching children on Sunday mornings, and I am out and about during the week more.  I love the variety of my life.  Praise be to God for bringing me to this point in my life.

Here is my favorite room right now.  I love how my hallway turned out.  Yes this is my hallway, and I love it.  I like the whole house, and the kitchen is a great one for company and cooking.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my home.  We have a new church home too.  This house belongs to them, but they want us to feel comfortable and at home here.  I do.  I just wish i had already found a place for everything. I am slowly  getting there and living life fully in the process. Now, I have to go make cookies for the college kids.  Hugs.  Ya'll have a great week!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Ask for Help! Chores That Take More Than One Person

My husband and I are blessed to have a Sleep Number bed, and we have enjoyed it for about ten years.  We got it when I was in the height of pain, and I could not stand to be touched.  All of those who have uncontrolled Fibromyalgia know what I am talking about.  Anyway, a few weeks ago, I pushed the button to let some air out, and I had a rude middle of the night experience, which meant I had to wake up my husband.  All the air had gone out of my side as I adjusted the bed, and I couldn't stop it.  That is the only time that has happened to me, and I think it is because the plug to the air unit was knocked loose at the same time I was adjusting the air.  We have one of the older models, so our beds air control is not remote.  My sister has one that has a remote with no cord, and that is awesome.

In the process, I got a view of the unit that puts the air into the mattress.  I usually cannot see it, and you know that old saying, "Out of sight, out of mind."  I bet I had not cleaned it off for five years.  Gross, huh?  It was so dusty, and I determined that I would do it.

When But I Would Rather Do It Myself Is No Longer An Option
However, in my wiser, older age, I knew that pushing and pulling the bed around would not be a smart thing to do.  It's a very heavy bed, and I needed help;  so, I saved the job for a Saturday, when my husband had time to help.   Neither of us were thrilled about doing this any day of the week, much less on a Saturday.  However, my DH (dear husband) knew it was the best thing to do for both of us.

I hope you have someone in your life that can help you with the jobs that are too big for one.  If he had not been here to help, I would have not been able to clean as quickly or as thoroughly as I did today.  I thought about the dust, and how often you will find an elderly person's home terribly dusty.  It is probably because he  or she has a hard time dusting, and can only do a minimal job.  That may be me someday, but as long as I can keep the dust mites at bay, I am going to do my best.  The job may not be perfect every time, but regular dusting and vacuuming make a difference.

Remember to ask someone to help you when you have a two person job.  Even if it is just to help with moving a couple of things, speak up.  You might be surprised if you ask a loved one or a friend if they have time to help.  I also think it would be valid to call a handyman to do a heavy job.  For those who cannot afford to call a handyman, perhaps your church has a deacon's ministry or a men's ministry that will help out their widows and widowers, as well as those who are disabled or quite elderly.

People do not know what you need if you are unwilling to ask for help.   A good example of this would be one of my elderly neighbors.  I know she grows weary of asking for help, but we want to help her.  Recently, she called because her garbage pickup container had fallen over, and she cannot hoist that thing up.  It is just two awkward for her, and she might fall.  I knew I could do it, because I have washed mine out when it was empty, and I assured her I could easily do it.  She is so sweet, because she was worried I would fall.  What I notice about helping others is it makes me happy.  So when you need help, remember that it is also a blessing to those who are willing to serve when you give them the opportunity to do that.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Just Not Feeling It? Read this!

Today, are you just not feeling it?  You do not have a burning desire to do your housework or any work that needs doing.  However, you do not want to slip in the good habits you have developed, and this is not a day you planned to take off.  So, what do you do?

Consider your options.  Maybe, you do need a day off.  Only you know that, and it is acceptable to make that decision if you are able to work it into your schedule.  However, you may be experiencing a mood change, which means you might need to practice the following steps:

  1. Feel the feeling. Acknowledge it, and don't spend an hour questioning why you feel this way.
  2. Accept it.  
  3. Float right on through this feeling and start doing.

If you are not yet dressed, get your clothes on and comb your hair.  Moisturize and put on makeup (makeup is optional).  Don't forget your shoes. You need to wear comfortable, supportive shoes.

Do the first job.  I like to start in the kitchen.  For you it may be something different, and I realize that having children at home may change the first thing you need to do.  Once you get this far, and time passes, you may not feel like you did when doing housework or other work seemed to be a hard thing to do.  Sometimes, getting started is all you need to do to feel good about your day and to know you can make progress.   Moreover, knowing that you have accomplished some of your goals if not all of them will make you feel so much better at the end of your day.