Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The journey begins ...

This is the thought that stayed with me after I read it last night. It's from the "invitation" to a Lenten study on a website called shereadstruth. 

"Lent is a time to embrace grace, to say ten thank yous for every I’m sorry. It is a time to walk with Christ to His cross, to lean in and listen hard to His words and actions as He does for us what we could never do—reconciles us to God for now, forever, for good."

I read parts of about four or five Lenten  devotionals today. I'm still undecided what my focus will be. 

As I continue to deal with the aftermath of my surgery in ways I never expected, I am reminded ... Ha, now I've forgotten what had come to mind!!

Hmmmm. Focus on the positive. Look at things honestly. Find the honest good in a situation. Seek the deeper truth. Stay in the present moment. ... "embrace grace, ... say ten thank yous for every I’m sorry. ... walk with Christ to His cross, ... lean in and listen hard to His words and actions as He does for us what we could never do—reconciles us to God for now, forever, for good."

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Stepping into Lent

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the start of the Christian season of Lent that traditionally for me is a time of spiritual focus leading up to Easter.

As has been my theme so far in 2016, I am not ready. The aftermath of emergency surgery in early January is that I still lack much sense of normalcy regarding my health or daily routines of life. I actually considered trying to make my Lenten focus to be no more excuses and to try to force myself to get what I consider "back on track." 

But I quickly realized a more realistic and spiritual focus would be to just recommit to my efforts to pray, meditate, read and study the Bible, trust and obey and take things one day at a time, seeking to know God's will for my life, to His glory. 

Still, I couldn't resist  sharing a couple of Lenten studies on my Facebook page that I likely will check out in the morning and pray for insight into whether they offer the guidance I need. And I, God willing, to attend the Ash Wednesday service at my church. 

But I have to admit that, this year, I have some awareness I may tend toward going through the motions. I want a closer walk with God, but I'm having trouble focusing in. 

So, I have no idea where this year's Lenten journey will lead me. I will step out in faith, eager to see where God leads me. 


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Healthy 65 update (updated and completed, perhaps)

My Healthy 65 challenge -- which began Nov. 30 and was to end Feb. 2 -- was pretty much just a concept by Christmas. I was trying to maintain a daily attitude of gratitude and to refrain from complaining. But I had stopped keeping track of my progress toward accomplishing my goal. 


I was thinking about assessing where I was with it the first week of the new year. 

However, before that happened, I had severe cramping that forced me to the emergency room that led to abdominal surgery and a whole new set of reasons to have an attitude of gratitude and look for the good in every situation. 

Even with a temporary (I hope and pray) colostomy, I know I am too blessed to be stressed. I was basically healthy before my colon flipped out, and I'm basically healthy now. At least that's what my surgeon says. I have a supportive husband, family and friends, including those from church, work, a 12-step fellowship and my always encouraging Facebook crew. I have a job that provides flexibility to allow me to be productive as I adjust to changes. It also connects me to insurance for which I am especially grateful at this time. 

Wednesday, Jan. 6, seemed like one of the healthiest days of my life. I'd taken a comp day off from work to spend with my husband. We were making plans for a bright new year, with positive changes.  We even went to the gym together, and I worked with a trainer for the second time.  I was very excited about our healthy future. 

Yet, before Thursday was over, I was in the emergency room. I ended up in the hospital, then had surgery the next morning. 

There are many things I will never understand. I'm only human, so of course negative thoughts and frustration can enter in when dealing with the challenges of sickness, healing, limitations, changes, health care complexities, insurance, survivor's guilt, worry about my husband's well-being through it all, etc. but I have too much to be grateful for to stay in self-pity for long.

I know and am grateful for this: God never leaves my side. And I'm continuing to do amazingly well, accompanied by God's presence, lots of prayers and angels on earth and in heaven!! An attitude of gratitude helps me not miss these blessings. 

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Healthy 65 update

My Healthy 65 challenge -- which began Nov. 30 and was to end Feb. 2 -- was pretty much just a concept by Christmas. I was trying to maintain a daily attitude of gratitude and to refrain from complaining. But I had stopped keeping track of my progress toward accomplishing my goal. 

I was thinking about assessing where I was with it the first week of the new year. 

But before that happened, I made a trip to the emergency room that led to abdominal surgery and a whole new set of reasons to have an attitude of gratitude and look for the good in every situation. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Antidote to fear

I suppose there are many possible antidotes to fear and anxiety, but for today, the most effective seems to be taking things one day at a time, praying to know and do God's will and trusting in His mercy, love and grace each present moment. 

This is especially true in the case of anxiety over fear as False Expectations Appearing Real. What can I do about it this moment? Nothing. And so I will go to bed. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Back on track? Or a better, new track

So, I started setting some goals Saturday, in high hopes of using this little health surprise as a wake-up call to a better, more intentional life.

I did pretty well the first day. Saturday's goal was to start getting back on track. My inspiration was Elaine and so many others who do/did as much as they can as soon as they can or whenever they can. My surgeon actually encouraged it. In the morning, I walked on the treadmill -- slowly! -- for 15 minutes. After a rest, I showered. I knew to take it slow and pace myself.

Sunday's top desire was to attend church. I knew it might be a little ambitious, and I ended up not going. I am disappointed but undaunted. Maybe I will figure out where this Life.Church is online and give that a try. And I still have other goals I can accomplish today, even as I continue to rest and recuperate. I'm praying and trusting and continuing to be grateful for all prayers, support and encouragement!

Seeking positive changes, I'm trying to make an honest assessment: What excuses have I let hold me back from being the person I want to be? Mainly some little aches and pains; crazy brain that is not good at figuring out what to do (perhaps due to some ADD); and even some general laziness.

It helps to have Gene, who continues to be an amazing partner, care-helper and encourager -- and cook!!

And of course I am grateful to God for His continuing love, presence and healing.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Not what I expected

Much has not gone as planned for me since Thursday. I'm doing amazingly well, though, accompanied by God's presence, lots of prayers and angels on earth and in heaven!! 

Wednesday, I took a comp day from work and enjoyed spending time with my husband. Among other things, we went to the gym and I worked with a trainer. I was very excited about our healthy future. 

Yet, before Thursday was over, I was in the emergency room. I ended up in the hospital, then had surgery and now am recovering. 

There are many things I will never understand. But I know and am grateful for this: God never leaves my side. And He sends His angels on earth and in Heaven to help.