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Letting Go by Looking Up

30 Jan

I wouldn’t at all be surprised to find that when I attempt to save this blog post I am prompted to change the title due to the fact that I have already written one named this.  It seems like it’s something I have struggled with, constantly.  Feeling the need to control or be in control or….well, worry.

Let me back up really fast before I dive in.  I have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression in my life and I deal with both quite regularly.  It doesn’t mean I am never happy or always fidgety or ever crazy…it just means that is my reality and just as you’d take medicine for cholesterol or diabetes, I take medication for that.  End of story, not up for debate and save the judging for Jesus, okurrrr?  🙂

So….when I go to a retreat or am in a period of deep thought or reading a devotion I am consistently looking for what the Lord is showing me through His Word, praise and worship music and through other people.  I was blessed to be able to attend You Are last weekend.  If you are local…or not…you need to just start planning on being there next year.  It is indescribable. Such a gift that I live just a few miles from where it is held but honestly, after going the last two years…if they moved it to the moon I’d be there!   It is so well thought out…with times of praise, worship, prayer, teaching, fellowship and even shopping!  One of the greatest moments I experienced there this year was in the prayer room….  Again, I can’t even describe the feeling of being one of HUNDREDS of women literally waiting in a line for prayer (by over twenty other women that were pouring out prayers over others!!)…it was a surreal moment to see the huge calling for prayer set before me so visually….and to be honest that was the first thing I thought of in reflection.  It gave me a new focus and new thirst to be in prayer for those that are hurting, doubting, stressing, searching…..just all the things.  Whew.

As I prepared my heart for even getting out of my seat to go to that place, I found myself wrestling with the question of what exactly I was going to ask for prayer about.  My health?  My family?  Our country? My parents or inlaws?  Friends that are in need of healing?  Friends that are hurting?  These are things I pray for every single day, mind you…but would I use this time to really focus on any of those things?  I literally started making a list in my notes of the things that I found myself worrying about….x, y, z….1, 2, 3….and I had quite a list, y’all.  I was saying to myself…”hmm, I worry about this and that and them and those”…..and then, I am just going to tell you exactly how it happened…..I prayed one more time for the Lord to just fix my eyes on the thing that He would have me pray for.  My eyes searched up and down the list I had made…..and then as clear as the sun, a word jumped off of the page…..as I realized it was listed over and over and over (honestly more than I even remember writing it!!) – WORRY.

Y’all this was NOT breaking news for me.  This was not some revelation that I never realized I had a problem with.  This was the same old thing creeping back up and making me realize I push it back down and don’t deal with it.  SO many times I pray about trusting more, I push it down and then it pops up again….within MOMENTS.  Not this time.  I am telling you that had the devil himself stood between me and that prayer room I truly believe I could have fought him with my own little hands.  This was an urgent kind of need to pray….but I am not going to paint the picture that I went in there and never “worried” once I stepped foot in there…because I did just that.  Once I wrote my name on a tag and sort of came out of the “moment” a bit…I started to (over)think about who I might be praying with.  Would I have to tell them my life story?  How could I work in the depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, move from NC to TX, the fact that I’ve had five surgeries in as many years (four of those pretty major)…in a short period of time and still get across ALL THE THINGS?  My heart raced.

But, God.

When the sweet lady led me to the face of the woman that would be praying over me, I saw a friend.  As a matter of fact, I had sat beside her the night before at the conference.  We had held hands in prayer for the conference.  We have had coffee dates and she was even my Bible study leader my first year here in Texas.  She gave me a look of, “are you ok with me praying for you?” and I laughed and said “YES!!  I don’t have to tell you my life story – you already know it!!”

So, with all of that behind me, and as another reminder that He has little ole ME in the palm of His pierced hands….I admitted that I have a problem with WORRYING.  That sometimes it consumes me and I know it’s not healthy.  I know it’s not something He rejoices in.  I know it is not from Him and I know without a shadow of a doubt, that He wants more for me.  He wants me to trust Him completely.  With the huge things – which I seem to have less of a problem with….but also, with the silly things that seem to “worry” me all day long!  I received such a blessing in that prayer room…a prayer so sweet, so freeing, so intentional and so perfect JUST FOR ME.  I truly believe the Holy Spirit got me to that room and interceded where I was absolutely DREADING to go and admit my failures.  When I think of the BIG things in life, I truly feel like I trust Jesus….totally.  But, y’all, with the mundane little things?  The things that likely most of you don’t even bat an eyelash at????  Ummmmmmmmm…….

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Seriously, that was my life!!!  All the doctor appointments, the waiting for test results, the day to day things that were not 100% clear or answered – WORRY.  The feeling that I might not be doing enough, or doing too much, or being unsure about directions to a place…the worry that I might feel *gasp* embarrassed.

Well. Not. Any. Longer.

I cannot tell you the peace or difference that I feel today versus even Friday.  Only hours have passed but I feel like a lifetime has.  I cannot imagine the hours I have wasted in my life of trying to retain control over a situation that was absolutely not mine.  That was not my circus, my monkeys, my family or even my friends….  I have always excused my worrying ways with statements like “I just worry for everyone” or “that’s just me” or by calling it something that it is not – like anxiety.  They are two different things.  Yes, both can lead to physical FEELINGS but my worry was out of control and Jesus is healing it.  He is helping me remove that from my life and I cannot tell you the weight that is off of my shoulders today.

I have not shared this with anyone, becuase I felt like I needed to tell the WHOLE story – all at once – and not pieces of it…so that it’s clear that I am not judging people who have a tendency to worry.  You do you, boo.  I had to deal with the root cause of a lot of the issues I was facing – the things that were keeping me up at night – the things I felt so deeply were affecting my daily life (besides my fatigue) in such a large way.   This was a HUGE thing…and does it likely feed into the depression and anxiety that I face?  I have a hard time thinking it does not.  So, who knows how this whole thing will effectively change my life in more ways than one?  God does.  He’s already worked this all out and tied it up in a bow….and I’m just here with a smile on my face, a song in my heart and a considerably stuffy nose from the crazy amounts of crying I did this weekend.  It was amazing, to say the least.  To know that there was a purpose for my attendance there, totally just makes me so grateful that I answered His call to go.

I am already so very excited for next year’s conference.  Instead of worrying about who I’ll go with, what I’ll wear, the perfect time to arrive….my thoughts are full of promise and wonder about what answers He will reveal to me next year.  What will this year in between look like for my spiritual walk?  How is He going to use me to show and tell others about His love and His provision?  Ohhh the possibilities are endless and so is His love.  For that, I am SO grateful.  Without a worry in the world.

 

Focusing on the grace…not so much the race

17 Jan

This is a post I’ve wanted to share for a long time. I’ve written probably fifteen iterations of it over the last few months and every time I let fear win…I delete…I walk away…I keep it to myself.

I’ve not landed on a word for 2020 yet. I had one last year…I’ll probably decide on one this year, but it’s something I do with prayer and intention…but I can tell you that a theme I keep hearing in music, in scripture, in prayer and in life – is SHARING. So, I’m going to DO THAT. When I feel something resonate with me that I hope can help others, I have a natural inclination to want to share it. So here it is today:

Having something wrong with you that others cannot see is a struggle. When I show up at Bible Study with my hair curled, a dress on and my shoes actually match…you don’t know that I had to wash my hair the night before because there’s no way I can wash, dry and fix my hair without a break in between. You don’t know that I had to pick out my clothes the night before to make it easier for myself the next morning or that I decided against makeup because holding my arms up for extended periods of time makes me exhausted. You don’t see the tears I cried last night because I didn’t feel like cooking dinner for my family because I knew it would wear me out and that a bath would be out of the question….because even that is tiring. You don’t see the depression that cycles from missing out on life events…the anxiety that comes with planning anything – literally anything – because I am afraid that when it rolls around I will be too fatigued to show up. You don’t see the worry that comes from letting people down and fearing that they won’t give you grace – again.  You don’t see the disappointment from getting excited about getting out and doing something but then it’s “one of those days” and there is NO way you can make it out of the house….and quite frankly, the bed.  You don’t see the way I miss the race of deadlines and a work family and last minute presentations.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a THING.  It is one of MY things and I have truly tried to own it.  To just live with it…to give MYSELF the grace that I’d extend to any of my loved ones.  To pace myself. To do what I can and focus on THAT.  Focusing on the things I can’t do…the things I run out of steam for…the things that do not get crossed off of the list? That leads to frustration, shame and sadness.  Which puts me in a funk…which leads to a depressive state…which….are you seeing a pattern here?

When you see someone with a cast or a sling or hear them coughing or see visible scars – is your inclination to judge them or feel a certain pang of hurt for their illness/injury?  Just because all scars are not visible does not mean that we don’t all have them and need that sympathetic/empathatic smile you’d give someone that you knew was going through something based on their appearance.  I have to tell you, I barely made it through this afternoon.  I overcommitted myself this week and I was struggling this afternoon.  Once I had the chance, I got comfy and I slept for HOURS. I needed it. It didn’t mean I am lazy or worthless or unproductive.  It meant I was taking care of a need.  I needed rest.  But don’t think I didn’t go to my calendar, make a line for rest, draw a box AND CHECKED IT OFF.  Focus on what you CAN do, friends.  It makes a world of difference.

*******SIDE NOTE TANGENT BELOW*******

While I’m at it…a reminder…check on your friends.  The sick, the well, the strong, the weak.  The busy, the bored, the employed, the retired, the traveling, the homebodies….ALL THE PEOPLE.  Ask how they are…and listen to the answer.  And y’all…if someone asks how you are, TELL THEM.  I don’t know about you but I mean it when I ask someone how they are really doing….I want to hear the truth.  I don’t want to a hear a standard answer or a flippant reply.  I want to know HOW they ARE….how can I be praying for them….have the prayers I’ve been praying been answered?  I value my friendships…I value my prayer time…and I want to be sure that my friends know I am praying for them with intention, as specific as possible and as often as I say I am.

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 5)

14 Jan

So – I am WAY behind, what else is new?

The last time I updated Mike and I were still in NC and he has had a couple of appointments since then so I thought I’d just type out a little update for those that have asked…and for me too…because my memory…YEP!

Since we returned home to Texas he has been seen by his Primary Care Physician and his Pulmonologist here in College Station.  His PCP reviewed his labs, notes and all the information from the cardio team and did not find anything alarming or that he felt that was missed.  He agreed that on paper, Mike was not at risk for a heart attack…which is one of those things I keep hearing but also keep thinking of all the ways we could live better, exercise more, blah blah blah…but in the end, I truly believe that was God’s plan.  All the things are, and that was His plan for my hubby on that day and I will just have to rejoice and be glad in it.  Okay?  OKAY?  🙂  It taught me a few things and I’ll get to that eventually but for now….just trying to stick to the facts!

His Pulmonologist has suggested another sleep study (scheduled later this month) and Mike is VERY receptive to finding a CPAP mask that will work for him.  We already know he has sleep apnea.  He has been kicked out of a lab before because basically it was very clearly and quickly seen that he had it…that he needed a machine….but he has very very very particular about this process.  So…this is a huge triumph as in the past he has been….ummm….well….ya know.  I am ever so hopeful that this will be a game changer and will give him a restful sleep.  He wakes up SO tired and I can see the exhaustion by the time he comes home at night.

Speaking of him coming home at night………I am PROUD to say that he has been going into the office later and leaving every day by 5:30!  This has NEVER happened in the history of our marriage (and likely before) so I am extremely happy that he has taken this drastic measure and has the support of his team at work as well.  Finding a work/life balance is a huge issue for so many and I am very thankful that it didn’t cost my husband more than it did before he made this change.

His first Cardiac Therapy appointment is this week so he will learn more then about what is expected of him exercise and diet wise.  He is already eating better and eating less (portion wise)…drinking more water…trying to make better decisions and just getting more active, but he knows he needs to be guided by this great group of people that specialize in heart patients!  Again, this is a win – if you know my sweet but stubborn hubby.

Okay, without getting all mushy and in my feelings, I just wanted to give y’all the facts you want about “how Mike’s doing”….and I’ll keep you updated.  I cannot tell you how much it means to him and myself to get a text, email, phone call or card that asks about how he is feeling….it really does lift his spirits, and mine too.  We have for sure been blessed by some amazing family and friends.

Bye for now…more later…much much much more!  🙂

JJ

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 4)

27 Dec

I said I’d update after Mike’s appointment and I promise I meant to right away but……Christmas!  Whew!  What a busy and amazing and wonderful and blessed time of year….but….busy!  🙂

His appointment was A LOT.  I had several questions, naturally.  He had a few too….but he let me go first!  (He is SO smart, y’all!)  I had some small questions about his new meds and new diet and exercise….but my biggest, scariest, most important question was…..how likely are we to go through this again?  I know there are no guarantees and that there are so many variables that are involved but I also know that many health conditions or episodes are likely to happen again once you have had them once.  I wanted to be realistic and knew that the answer might be one I didn’t want to hear but I needed to know.  She gave me the best answer EVER.  Through a lot of technical reasons (lack of blockages in his other arteries, success of the stent, etc) and historical data….she says it is very likely that this could be an isolated incident!  Of course, that all depends on him taking his meds correctly, exercising regularly, eating balanced meals, decreasing his stress and addressing his sleep apnea.  That is a long list of things to do, yes…but I think he is more motivated than ever.  He detests the thought of a C-PAP machine but he has promised to try it.  (He’s been kicked out of the sleep lab before hahahahaaha – y’all he’s kinda hard headed and every machine he’s tried has not been a good fit for him.)  He had just started to exercise more regularly and has an amazing friend that is willing and a such a blessing to us that he will help him in that area.  The food is my area since I cook for him and he has promised to be more open-minded about trying different things (fruits and veggies are a big deal and he hates about 99% of them).  He also has committed to taking a lunch every day and actually getting out of the office.  His Dr has had several conversations about this with him and how important it is for him to take a brain break.  He is also going in later than usual so he can sleep a bit longer and THAT is a blessing to me (and also is going to take some getting used to as that was a good thing for me to get up early and get my Bible time in…so I have to figure out how my day is structured when I get back home!).  The hospital we use has a great cardiac rehab program that he will be taking advantage of and I am happy that he was open to that immediately.  He already has an appointment with a sleep specialist so we are on our way to a healthier (and hopefully less dramatic) 2020!
We are currently in NC visiting our families and enjoying this season.  It has been great to rest the last two days…since leading up to Christmas is a bit of a crazy time….and we have done just that.  Mike is still a bit tired and the Dr says that is normal and expected.  He played golf yesterday locally though and said he felt tired towards the end of the round but that he never felt “winded” as he would have normally.  THAT is such a blessing to hear!  I am telling you, God can make any situation GOOD.  I am so thankful that Mike is feeling better, is heeding the warnings and is listening to the team that is caring for him.
Again, I cannot say enough thank yous to all of you who have been praying for him (and me too) so faithfully.  We feel the love and we are so grateful.
I’ll update again in a bit once we have more information on the sleep apnea because I know that will make him feel so much better if he can get GOOD sleep!!  Hope each of you had a Merry Christmas!!!

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 3)

17 Dec

That was scary, y’all.

Though I have heard all the words that revolve around heart attacks and heart issues, learning about them through the lens of how they affect my husband has been quite an experience. I think in Part 2 I left off with us getting home on Thursday. I think we both slept SO hard that night. Post-hospital exhaustion is so real!!

Mike listened to the advice of the physicians and took it very easy over the weekend. No working, no lifting, just lots of rest and fluids. I was very proud of him for being a good patient. He can be very hard headed in case that was not obvious to y’all by now! 😉

Monday was a big day! He went back to work…but instead of getting up at 4:50 and leaving around 5:45 or so he got up around 6:30 and left around 7:20….which of course changed my schedule around but soooo worth it if it alleviates some stress for my sweet hubby!

I took him lunch around 11:45 and he sat in the car with me to eat for about 30 mins…not talking about work but just chit chatting about kids and our upcoming trip home to NC and how he was feeling. No rushing to get back in the office, just enjoying the time together.

MJ had a basketball game that was earlier than normal and he met us there a few minutes before 4 pm so his day was short. It was probably the perfect scenario for the first day back from his episode last week. The Lord really worked that out for him….not a stressful day back at all. So many of his work days are and I am so grateful that the Lord saw fit to spare him in countless ways!

He has been SO tired. Exhausted, really. I am not sure if it’s the meds, the after effects of the trauma and emotions and lost sleep or the return to work yesterday but he was asleep by 8 pm last night! I had to wake him up to take his nightly medicine with some toast! His wrist was sore last night, likely from using his laptop keyboard – and it’s his right hand – and he’s right handed…so I sort of expected that. The site of the entry looks fine – so thankful for that! He has had ZERO chest pain since before the stent. Other than a mild headache he has really been amazed at how he feels!

We have had so many conversations about how the whole thing went down last week and there are so many ways that we can see how God shaped and orchestrated the days leading up to THE DAY. There are ways that we have both been blessed by family and friends and strangers that I can’t even recount them all. There are new fears and new worries, yes. But there are also renewed promises and faith and knowledge that through it all, we were blessed.

I can’t thank everyone who was praying for us enough. I heard from people far and wide and we felt your prayers. We felt peace. We felt love. I am so incredibly grateful.

Mike’s follow up appointment is tomorrow and I sure hope they are ready for me…I mean him! LOL Let’s just say I.HAVE.QUESTIONS. This post heart attack life is going to be different….we are going to learn from it and we are going to move forward with renewed hope that we can make it through anything with faith and with one another!

I will update again once we have that appointment with any new information that we learn and I am certain I’ll have more thoughts and emotions and yes…probably more questions!!!

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 2)

15 Dec

So…it’s now in the middle of the night…around 2 am and I am tossing and turning a bit…and each time I do….I can tell that Mike is siting up.  The next time I wake up, I notice he’s on his laptop.  I sleep a little bit and wake up to more laptop husband.  So I ask him what he’s doing.  He replies that he is sending something because he thinks he might go to the doctor in the morning and that makes enough sense to me so I again go back to sleep.  Not a restful sleep, mind you…as I am stilllllll hurting.  Still feeling like, “this is bad…this feeling is bad…”

Around 5:30 am…after waking up multiple times and Mike was still awake, I get up and he says he thinks he needs to go to urgent care or ER.  I get ready and we hit the road.  We have a little conversation about where we should go – mostly I believe because he thinks that the fine folks at Baylor Scott & White are going to think we are CRAZY – and I win with the ER that I had just been at.  We know this place…they already have all of our info…and it is about 3 minutes from home.  Winner, winner.

So…I clearly knew what to expect since I just had this same scenario (since even though his shoulder hurt, it was his chest too)….and it was all just the same….until that part where they gave me the 4 aspirin.  When they brought his….they also gave him a nitroglycerine tablet.  I knew what that meant but honestly was hoping it was a preventative measure.  I did not want to hear those words.  We waited in silence for a few minutes for the ER Dr to confirm our fears.

My sweet hubby, with a heart of gold…a heart that I love and that I know without a shadow of a doubt loves me….had suffered a heart attack.

(I can’t even skip this part where after the Dr confirmed this, my sweet hubby said, “Man, I thought I’d be at least 50 before my first heart attack…”  NOT THE TIME FOR JOKING MIKE JONES AND THIS IS NOT A GOAL WE WERE GONNA HAVE!!)

The next couple of hours were a blur of pain meds for him…waiting…his pain returning…and more pain meds.  He was hurting just as bad if not worse than when we first got there.  In the midst of all of this they were working on admitting him and figuring out when they could do the heart catheterization so they could check for what they suspected, a blockage.

He was admitted and it was honestly a whirlwind of people in and out…taking him for tests, blood/lab work, getting him comfortable, me trying to inform his parents and my parents and coordinating MJ getting to school (thank you Jesus for Christian – my helper always!!!) and SO.MANY.QUESTIONS.  From me, I mean.  I have never been through this and I had heard words like heart cath and stent and balloons and bypasses and I just had no idea what to expect.  It was pretty rough, y’all.  Especially considering that I was still hurting.  He was still hurting.  And we just both wanted to SLEEP.

Once his case was reviewed and the cardiologist stopped by it was very clear that he wanted to waste no time getting him in for the cath.  He wanted to take any advantage to lessen the damage to the heart.  We got the word that we had 45 minutes until his procedure.  I had already reached out to a dear friend back home that has been through lots of heart stuff and was texting back and forth with her with questions and thoughts and fears.  What a blessing to have someone who was right there with me…who had walked this walk before.  (I mean, besides Jesus, y’all…becuase HE WAS THERE.)

When the team came in to get him (after I helped him prep and prayed SO hard that they would be able to enter his freshly shaven wrist) I asked them a few last questions – mainly reiterating that they would be able to perform any necessary procedures while they were there.  They took him away, told me where to wait and the wait began.  It seemed like the longest two hours of my life!!  Thankfully, I had technology to help (mostly messages and texts between my mama, my heartfully-challenged-husband-experienced friend and my sweet friend who was going to take care of MJ that evening.

The waiting room was completely empty besides me.  (How often does THAT happen??)  I prayed aloud since no one was there to bother.  I video messaged my friend.  I tried to pass the time by the best I knew how.  My sweet friend (that was taking MJ that evening) also came by to pray with me…which was an amazing gift.  I finally got word that he was back in his room and I rushed as fast as my little legs would take me to lay my eyes on that cute little bald guy!!!!

He was telling me all about the procedure….the huge TV he watched a lot of it on….and that he thought the heard some of the outcome but he’d let me ask for sure.  When the right person appeared, I only heard “we found a 100% blocked artery” I am pretty sure.  I had to ask the next part to be repeated after that because I absolutely missed it.  Yes, in fact, his obtuse marginal artery was blocked 100%.  They were able to place a stent and were confident in his recovery.

Y’all.  Immediately in that hospital room….he had ZERO pain.  They were able to go in his wrist.  His heart cath was at 2 pm.  Once they brought him back, he was able to eat (which he did not do a ton of, mind you….it was….mysterious!) and rest.  And rest.  And rest.  The rest of the evening is a blur but I remember being KNOCKED OUT on the couch in his room in no time.  I actually slept for a few hours at a time…amazingly.  I got up bright and early the next morning…they were taking off the “box” that was over his punctures on his wrist and I left to get MJ to take her to school.  The next few hours were a blur of tests, doctors, basically everyone checking all the boxes to release him!  SO THANKFUL!

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MJ had a basketball game at 6 that night.  I was there…with my hubby and his new titanium stented artery.

Mike has told me more than once that while I was at the ER getting checked out, he was sitting there asking God if He was using my situation to get him there.  He certainly remained steadfast in his stubbornness and went back home for a bit but thank God he came back to be checked out.

I have tons more to say about this….and updates will come from the cardiologist appt as this week progresses.  I just needed to get this out….between being 40, having a lot going on and brain fog from the chronic fatigue syndrome….if I don’t write something down, the details become VERY sketchy to me!!  😦

To be continued!

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 1)

15 Dec

This is likely part 1 of something….but we will see how far I get.  It is 12:38 AM and just being honest I have presents to wrap, laundry to ignore and sleep to avoid.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Sunday 12/8 – 4 pm:  Mike and MJ decide to go outside and play basketball.  I wish I had taken a pic of them out there.  (Hmm, squirrel….shall I check Ring to see if a camera caught them….hold please….) (Please forgive this grainy pic but I zoomed in…)

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Okay…I am also not sure if I have mentioned that my baby girl is following in the steps of her big brothers and is playing basketball.  It is middle school ball and it is a great opportunity for her to learn the fundamentals and to experience a TEAM and y’all it is the best group of girls.  All rooting each other on and they just seem so happy to see each other at the beginning of each game…as if they have not spent the morning together at school!  🙂 I am so happy for her!  Her coach is an AMAZING lady who loves the game and you can tell she genuinely loves these girls.  It has just been great for us.  SO – her Daddy was giving her some extra practice time, doing some drills with her and getting outside on a beautiful afternoon.  They enjoyed themselves so much!

Monday evening:  Mike gets home from work and is complaining about his shoulders and chest hurting.  We talk about it and both figure out that he likely overdid it the day before since he does NOT regularly play ball and use those muscles.  He takes some pain meds….goes to sleep….and I think all is well!

Tuesday evening:  Mike texts me in the evening to tell me he is not going to a work dinner that he had planned to attend.  He was trying to finish something up and would pick something up on the way home because he was not feeling well.

Tuesday night around 11:30 PM:  I felt SO stressed out. I can’t really explain it and if you have never had a panic or anxiety attack, it probably sounds silly….but I had this feeling of a weight on my chest and could NOT shake it. I felt “impending doom” and was just SURE I was having some kind of episode.  I had gotten out of bed because lying down seemed to make it worse.  My left arm hurt.  I was hot all over (and that is WEIRD for me!) and felt nauseated.  I got back in the bed around 12:30 and honestly I just wanted Mike to wake up and check on me…and he did.  When he heard how worried I was, instead of his usual “trying to fix things” or just being laid back and telling me it was all good….he said, “You want me to take you to the ER?”  With those words, I got up and got ready.  If HE thought it was that serious, well so did I!!

Wednesday morning around 12:15 am:  We get to the ER and there is NO one in the waiting room (yeah!!) and when I walk up and say “I’m having chest pains”…you can imagine the urgency that evokes.  It seemed like it was about 23 seconds before I was in an exam room and having leads stuck to me and an EKG being taken.  IV is inserted and blood taken and then they brought me 4 aspirin to take.  I am explaining my symptoms to every nurse, tech, dr, PA, visitor, and anyone else who will listen.  A short time passes and the ER Dr comes in to tell me that I am suffering an anxiety attack.  We talk about that for a minute…the fact that I take anxiety meds….that I  am really shocked that it’s “only” an anxiety attack and that I feel this sense of “impending doom” and he sends me home with orders to take some medication at home and get some rest.

We get home around 1:30 am and I do as I am told and then I went to sleep.  I can’t say that I really felt better when I went to sleep but knowing that I was physically or clinically “okay” and my heart was okay did help me to know that it was my anxiety and helped me to try to get some rest.

All this time, Mike is still hurting and sadly I do remember him sitting in the chair beside my ER bed and he was talking about his shoulders….and I seriously remember thinking……….”REALLY, CAN’T IT JUST BE ABOUT ME FOR A SECOND??”  Bahahahahahaaa….ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh how funny that is today!!!

See you in the next edition because THIS story is far from over! 😉

Cry.It.Out.

24 May

I’m not talking about the tactic where you let your newborn-ish baby cry to the top of their lungs in their crib while you sit by the door in anguish and try to resist rescuing them.  I could never do that, personally…but that’s SO not the point…or maybe…it is?

I feel like I hear more often than not – BE STRONG….PUT ON YOUR BIG GIRL PANTIES AND DEAL WITH IT….SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP…basically all the ‘wash your face’ logic that is so popular today.  I just wonder why?  Why are we fighting so hard to be so strong when we were created to depend on Jesus and also on others?  Why are we trying to hold back our tears when we know…from the Bible…that Jesus hears our cries?  He heals our hurts and He is pleased by our need for Him.

I am so guilty of being ashamed of crying. Of trying to hide my tears and trying to appear strong…of trying to pretend someone didn’t hurt my feelings or disappoint me…and of not just crying it out.  Imagine if Jesus is right outside of our door, waiting for us to cry out to Him so He can rescue us?  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Prayer Priorities

23 Apr

Y’all wouldn’t believe how many people have asked me recently about prayer. How to start…what to pray about…format…how do I find the time…and I LOVE sharing what I personally find helpful and am ALWAYS happy to share (so message me if you have questions at all!! NOT an expert but I can say I work hard at it!!)…

I heard about task oriented prayer a while back and forgot to share it in case it is something that might help someone! I cannot find the article/blog/instagram that I read it on but basically it just involves praying about what you are currently DOING….so it’s not as hard to remember/fit it in your busy day/etc…

Examples:

folding clothes – thank Jesus for the bodies that wear the clothes, the conveniences (washer/dryer/electricity) that we have, the means to buy them/wash them….and then pray for those same things..blessings for your family….

cooking dinner – thank Jesus for the family you are cooking for and the means to have food / ways to cook / water / etc….and then pray for nourishment and blessings for your family…for health and joy to come from your cooking!

driving to school to pick up kids – thank Jesus for the blessing of children, education, freedoms, etc….pray for them/teachers/admins/safety

You see how easy that is? The idea is to remain grateful and in prayer constantly so that you are keeping the communication with Jesus ongoing. It is SO SO SO easy to fill our brains/minds/ears with constant NOISE of this world with TV/radio/podcasts/books but the most important thing we can do is talk to Jesus. I know I am preaching to myself here, so hopefully I am encouraging someone!!

 

Promises, Promises

23 Feb

I am so human.  SO human.  I am also SO thankful that Jesus is much more than that.  That His promises are guarantees.  That said, I am going to promise you that I am going to update you, in due time, on all of the changes that have gone on in my life in the last year.  I will try to follow through with this but I will likely fail….but I do PROMISE you that I have good intentions!  If you have followed or known me long at all, you know that I love lists…so I will just jot down here the changes and come back here to link once I actually type it out!

In 2017 – we……..

  1. Sold our NC home.
  2. Lived with my Mom and Dad (and without my hubby!!!) for two months.
  3. Moved to Texas.
  4. Road tripped to Austin, Houston, Waco, Arlington, and Galveston.
  5. Lived in an apartment for several months.
  6. Started an amazing Bible study, through Community Bible Study.
  7. Continued weight loss.
  8. Built a house.  An amazing, beautiful, creation if I do say so myself!  (see #10 for referenced IG acct to see pics)
  9. Started backyard projects.
  10. Started a home decor Instagram page (due to that nagging fear of my friends/family growing tired of me sharing home stuff) at http://www.instagram.com/sweetcharmhouse
  11. Visited NC in July and December.
  12. Stepped up our prayer life.

SO, happy Friday and have a great weekend!  I’m going to work on my blog catch up posts!  🙂

 

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