What A Month!

Last time I wrote, I was begging for prayers! We still need them, but I wanted to tell you what God has been doing, because He is listening to all of you. I thank you so much and so does my daughter.

The last week of February, my regular asthma and Bronchiectasis really kicked into high gear and I was in the ER twice. I have  also been hit very hard with low thyroid numbers all of a sudden. Yes, the dreaded MSA has attacked it. It is an organ too! I had no idea that the thyroid controlled so much of a person’s well-being (heart and lungs, but also extreme fatigue, the arteries and veins in your legs working well/or not!) I was sleeping 14-16 hours a day and it wasn’t enough. It was scary. I spoke with my provider and found out that the medicine doesn’t even start working until you have been taking it for 6-12 weeks! I told him I might die by then. I hated being so dramatic, but I have never been so weak and that was scary.  But then, last week I finally was able to see my pulmonologist and he put me on a higher and longer dosage of Prednesone than the ER had done. So far, that has been great. Lots what my husband calls false energy. Whatever, I’ll take it. I have been able to work again, finish up my doctor’s appointments and tests, even go out to lunch with my Sunday School ladies (which is a rare thing). Loved it! 

As for my daughter, she let me pray for her last week while we were on the phone before her last chemo appointment. What a privilege it is to pray for our children, really all our loved ones. They tell her the tumor has shrunk dramatically. I say Hallelujah to that! Now she is resting her body and getting ready for the major surgery she has to have on April 4th.  I would ask that you all circle that date on your calendars and keep her in prayer please? This is a long, very involved surgery. I don’t want them to find any surprises and it to go well!!

She and I had a rather long conversation on the phone today. We were able to speak of so many subjects close to both our hearts, I think.  It’s amazing that we are sharing a lot of the same symptoms too, even though our issues are so different. Still, I can’t help but remember 2 Corinthians 1:3-4  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we maybe able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

I may have mentioned that I am involved in an online Bible Study through Bible Study Fellowship International. I haven’t been able to attend since moving to the Panhandle because the location was so far away, even when I did drive. We have ladies of all different ages and backgrounds and places in the US that wanted a Monday 4 pm study like I did. I am so grateful for them as well. They have been so faithful to pray for me and for my Laurel. When we have prayer requests in our group, we actually do pray them and guess what? God Answers! What a great blessing it has been to see our faith and prayers in action come to fruition.

Cindy

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SEEING GOD’S GLORIOUS AMERICA

I am traveling on a trip that God has been so gracious to give us. I have to admit the first couple of days were hard. My husband was so very tired that except for going to the top of Lookout Mt. we cancelled our other plans. We did have a fabulous dinner last night downtown in a little Bistro I found online. Fresh trout grilled smoky with some grape tomatoes and herbs. Probably the best way I’ve ever had trout!

Today we traveled through the gorgeous North Carolina mountains. Everywhere I looked I could see our Lord’s creative hand! For the next 3 days we are staying in Asheville. There are so many places to see! Tonight we were referred to a Grill  to too far away. Dennis had a 14 oz prime rib! I haven’t seen him eat that much meat since before his heart surgery 11 years ago! And I had really great lamb chops! I ate more meat than I ever do. It was like we were starved for meat.  Great meal.

Today we go to the Biltmore Estate. Sometimes I guess it’s good to be disabled and senior. Our tickets were so much more affordable. A blessing! Looking forward to our day!

Today my scripture is from Psalm 89:8  “0 Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto Thee? or to Thy faithfulness round about Thee?”  See everywhere in scripture it speaks of our faithful God. I am living proof of that as are so many, many others.

Have a great day!

Cindy

WAITING

This is my devotional today…from Sarah Young, Jesus Calling. I am sharing it because this seems to be the story of my life. Waiting to get better, waiting for people to call me back, for deals to close, for the weather to change…anything and everything at all.  But the Lord says in Lamentations 3:24-26 …The Lord is my portion: therefore I will wait for him. The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him: it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

“Waiting on ME means directing your attention to ME in hopeful anticipation of what I will do. It entails trusting ME with every fiber of your being, instead of trying to figure things out yourself.  Waiting on ME is the way I designed you to live: all day, every day. I created you to stay conscious of me as you go about your daily duties.

I have promised many blessings to those who wait on ME: renewed strength,  living above one’s circumstances, resurgence of hope, awareness of MY continual Presence. Waiting on ME enables you to glorify ME by living in deep dependence on ME, ready to do MY will. It also helps you to enjoy ME; in MY Presence is fullness of Joy.”

Now having read this, perhaps you see why it meant a lot to me today. There are promises there for me and others if we will just wait on our Lord to do the things HE has promised He will do. Of course its hard to wait patiently! If you know me, you that is my greatest weakness! Still, I admit to being worn out. I need to just rest in the knowledge that HE is taking care of my every need–physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  I hope you can too.

Cindy

 

What A Lovely Weekend!

I feel so privileged to have family that loves one another! This weekend my husband and I spent with my sister and her husband who recently moved to Charleston and with our move in February, to Atlanta, now we are just 5 hours apart! The Lord blessed us with great weather and so we were able to go out in their boat and explore the coastline, the river, and some of the canals. We saw the lot where they are going to build her dream house after years of building and designing so many others’ dream homes.  Of course, my sister out did  herself with dinner last night. I even had to  bring home the recipe for the salad; it was so great!.

I  ostensibly went over to work with her to help her with marketing her business only to find out God had already been working on her behalf and teaching her Himself! How much better is that? And the stories she was telling me? Well, suffice it to say, her stories just as miraculous, wonderful, and quirky as mine are because we serve an awesome God!!

Last Tuesday night,  I started my Bible Study Fellowship class. It was a new group, in a new location because of our anticipated move  next spring. To me, it was like coming home in so many ways. Not  that the first group I attended was not a lovely group of ladies, it was. But this group simply reminds me in so many ways, of my friends at home-it’s just comforting. And the material is all new! New features and in depth scriptures! I really like it. It is like it is all brand new to me–like I have never studied it before. 

The other  very nice news from last week is that another sister–the one in Florida, is coming up to go to the Women of Faith conference here in October. that is so special to me! It seems like we have been going forever. I know at least for 10 years and now even with the move, it is nice to know that we won’t be stopping that tradition either!

So now to prayer requests: my back has gotten seriously bad for me. Turning or changing positions in bed or in a chair has gotten to being a very difficult proposition. I am having to use more medication than I like to use even though I know I have it for this very thing! I do have a last block planned for Tuesday. If it doesn’t hold, the doctor says I am most probably going to need surgery as I have been dealing with this problem for over a year and have had multiple blocks, which make me the perfect candidate for the procedure. They call it band-aid surgery these days-out patient procedure, but between this and another female issue, I may be spending a little more time than I would like or have planned with doctors. I would love it if the Lord would just make it all just go away. Please pray to that end.

Goodnight! God bless.

I AM VERY TOUCHED AT THE OUTPOURING OF YOUR LOVE AND PRAYERS

Thank you Diane for letting everyone know I was in the hospital again. It does seem like my second home, doesn’t it?  but everyone should remember that the LORD HIMSELF said that when He brought me to the hospital, it was to do His work, and surprisingly I was able to accomplish that. Again, because of Him!

Friday morning I woke up and my left side didn’t work. I couldn’t communicate with my husband except that when I got his attention he could see he had to get me to the ER immediately. He dressed me in a sweat suit, socks and shoes and then half carried me down the hall to the elevator and then to the car. We are only about 10 minutes from the hospital and again, he half carried me in to a wheelchair. As soon as he said, “I think my wife has had a stroke”, the  nurse took over and said come right this way-there was no name, no insurance-just let us help you. It turns out that this hospital is a Stroke Hospital. And from that moment on everything was done to diagnose and contain any damage. It was the most amazing thing. As I lay there on the table realizing that I couldn’t communicate… That I couldn’t smile correctly-that essentially my left side of my face was frozen-not working… That my left hand, I could move my hand, but not really do much with it and as far as my foot was concerned, it failed all the tests…I started really talking to my Father. I told Him that this simply wouldn’t do. I couldn’t stay like this. He either needed to come and get me or He needed to heal me. That to not be able to work would be a catastrophe for us in every way. I truly was ready for Him to come and get me-but He began to remind me of all of the reasons He had brought me to Atlanta and the need of my husband for me as well. So I talked right back and said ok-yes I want to live up to my responsibilities, but I need healing to do so. I can’t do the work you have given me to do in the state I am in now. He reminded me of what He had been saying all week the last week–follow my precepts. Ok, so what have I not done? Where has my heart failed you?…I didn’t get an answer to that…just ringing in my ears was follow me. They checked me into a room of course and told me that I was going to be very busy…and I was. I had people lined up to see me; a physical therapist, speech therapist, rehabilitation specialist, nutritionist–I am sure there were more. When they were all gone, I took a nap. I was exhausted! But when my husband came to see me that night, he could understand my speech; I could walk with the walker; I could sign my name…all huge improvements from just that morning!  

The next day was more of the same; only more tests too. The tests they did, like the echo cardio-gram, I’ve had them before, but they add a bubble test to it. It seems that  30% of the population is walking around with a small hole in their hearts that didn’t heal from birth and sometimes a little teeny clot pops through that hole and goes straight up to the head. I had  NEVER heard of that before! Again one more thing about being in Atlanta! I knew this was a God thing!  

After that test, they sent me down to Xray. Guess who I met? Yes!! The reason I was there! A young lady who was ill with an autoimmune disease just like me, in pain like I have been, who wanted to and almost did commit suicide. I told ya’ll that I had had that fleeting thought when I was in such horrible pain before so I do understand, but I could not. Still here was a person who had gone almost there, except for the grace of God and probably protective angels around her. I shared with her extensively and she with me. Never have I had that kind of time with someone in radiology-but it was obvious that God was giving us this time and I made the most of it. Pray for her. You don’t need to know her name. God knows it. She still has issues to settle as I did. WHY? is a big one.

When I got back to my room, my doctor came in and said they had the results of the MRI that they had done and had compared them with the MRIs I had from Tampa that we had gotten for them. They needed to do another test because it looked like I have a tiny little aneurysm 2cm and they wanted to confirm it and make sure it wasn’t just a wonky artery. One more test that required a new IV which are very difficult for me. I have terrible veins especially where t hey needed this one to be. I blew 3 veins before we got one to hold long enough for the test. Still it blew at the end of it! The next morning I saw a new doctor. He is a neurosurgeon. If I had had my glasses on, I guess I would have known something of what he was going to tell me.  Yes, I have a little aneurysm, but the good news is (I think) that it is not big enough to operate on; so they will watch it and scan it on a regular basis. As for the problems that I have when I turn my neck a certain way, I probably cut off the circulation due to my numerous neck surgeries, hardware, and possible degeneration of the discs. I should have it checked by the neurologist, along with the other symptoms we discussed which would require a spinal tap-again, check with the neurologist. The only thing a neurosurgeon does in this town is operate, I guess. Still, he didn’t poo-poo anything. He gave it serious consideration and said this is how that is tested. Do this. I appreciate that greatly. Again God put us in Atlanta just in time for this special care that I could not get in Tampa. He is always going before us and preparing the way. How could anyone not love and worship a Heavenly Father like this?

This was Sunday morning that I got all this news. I was sitting in bed waiting for my admitting doc to come and discharge me when the cleaning lady came in. She asked if she could come in, I said yes, of course. I was doing something. I can’t remember, but all of a sudden she said,”What size shoes are these? They must be a 2 or a 3 or something!They are so small!  Your feet must be so tiny!” I looked over at her and I said”No I wear a 7. My feet aren’t so tiny.” But then I went on to say something about my sisters and mothers feet being larger-my mother wore a 9 and so did this woman. As soon as I said something about my mom, I just had words to say about who and what she was that God gave me and the woman stopped and listened and then she was crying. She said,” when they told me that I had to work this floor today, I was so upset, because it’s always a full floor and a hard one to work. But then I thought oh be grateful for your job-just make the best of it.  And I did try hard to do that, but then I get here to your room and I hear what you have to say and I know that YOU are the reason I have this floor today. Thanks for sharing with me. It’s made the difference in my life now. thank you.”

None of you can imagine just how I felt at hearing those words.  INADEQUATE, UNWORTHY, GUILTY. You know why I felt them. I had cried to the Lord, complained at the unfairness of it all, again. I tried to tell her that , but she wouldn’t hear any of it. She was grateful, I should be too and that was the end of it. So I am going to try! Today the Lord answered in a wonderfully positive way a question about my boss and me because we went about our ways honestly without deception as He has commanded us to do. I think that was also a sign that He is going to do great things business wise for me again if I will keep His precepts, following His ways, His laws, His every command and wish to me. And truly remembering what Jesus has done for me personally on  that cross how could I do anything less?  Truly I believe I will be completely restored to the abilities I had before the stroke, but hopefully not the person…hopefully this person, me, has learned an important and invaluable lesson in trusting the Lord. Really that is what all my “adventures” seem to be about, don’t they?

To Act Without Knowing How You function is not good; and if You Rush Ahead, You Miss Your Goal.

That is from Proverbs 19: 2. My emphasis tonight is the rushing ahead. I am not going to as I usually do-rush what you say? Our move back to Atlanta, Ga after 30 years in Florida. I did think I would spend the rest of my life here. I do love and the weather. I have come to love our little house that the Lord gave us too and often tell the story of how we came to it.  I love my BSF group and will probably miss them the most. I have made some dear friends here.  So how was I rushing? We knew that we were going to move back up to Atlanta when our lease was up in June, so we thought to look around and see what kind of housing might be available for what kind of money. We found a great apartment with superb amenities. There were only 2 negatives. The kitchen was miniscule. (even to their drawers-only one large one and across the room, one very small one.) Since the point of our arrangement is for me to slow down and take lots better care of myself,   He’s been doing the cooking and shopping for us. So if HE said He could deal with the kitchen, then why should I worry about  it  all the time? So what did I do/not do?  First I presented our dilemma to our landlady…who could not have been more gracious and understanding. And She went me one farther, find your place and then move. Go ahead and be packing, know that God is in everything. aaah, how our God does work. .So after speaking with the landlady and getting the green light, Dennis just started packing away. We were to call the apartment people that our daughter had gone over and spoken with on Saturday and fill out an online app and overnight an application fee. But as we started to do those final thing, I was certain, that I was rushing and it wasn’t good. I looked at my husband and said the same to him. I think I shocked twenty years off of him, but as we prayed and our spirits calmed, we knew we were making the right decision. It may not seem that way for the world because in all liklihood we will lose the apartment.  For us that certainty was a hard decision. but, we believe if that happens God just has something better for us. 

Just A Quick Note

Today I went back on my remicaid and of course it wasn’t a moment too soon. The Lord had been so good to me these last 3 months almost  being off of the methotrexate and  the remicaid and still not hurting as He promised! and now that I am healed of the bacteria C , it was simply time for me to go back on the medicines and my body told me so in no uncertain terms last night. So this morning I was really ready. My doctor came in and checked me and reassured himself e did not have any infections currently-but did remind me if I have a bad one come back and I have to stop again, he would want to change medications. Normally my procedures are 2 hours; this time it was 4 , they let it go in so slowly, but I did well and I am better but will not be pain free until the next  one in 6 weeks.

I do ask for prayer for tomorrow though. I see a new neurologist after my comedy of errors last week. I sincerely hope he can figure things out, take me seriously and between us decide on a course of treatment  and any needed testing…

It will be a long day just as today as been and I don’t have my strength back yet. Still I continue to love how our Lord brings people into my life to talk to everyday-to encourage or witness to, or just care for. Now I have a new one. her name is Sheila. Pray that I can find her steady transportation from Brooksville to Lutz every Thurs am thru May whenever the kids are out of school. She’s never been in such as study! and would love it, I am sure.

In His Name and for His Glory, I Live to Tell His Story