Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Would Not Advise....

....walking to your van while the Medivac Helicopter is taking off nearby if there are eight inches of snow on the ground. One word: Blizzard.

....spinning your tires for 20 minutes trying to get out of a mud hole in your driveway. Two words: Bare tread.

....eating a bowl full of Doritos and drinking a large glass of chocolate milk while watching Dane break a Biggest Loser record by losing 100 pounds in eight weeks. Three words: Big Fat Pig.

....setting the (doggie bag) other half of your breakfast down on the counter while paying your bill at the restaurant and then forgetting to pick it up again, thereby leaving your delicious belgian waffle with peach, cherry and whipped cream toppings forever behind. Four words: My brain is mush.

....putting the window down at the automatic car wash to answer the attendant's question and then forgetting to put it back up again. Five words: What is(n't) up with that?!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love
and of a sound mind.
(so what's MY problem?!)
2 Timothy 1:7

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It All Comes Down to Him

For this reason I also suffer these things;
nevertheless I am not ashamed,
for I know whom I have believed
and am persuaded
that He is able
to keep that which I've committed
unto Him against that day.
II Timothy 1:12

The other day I heard a pastor on the radio share a true story of a woman who had spent her entire life memorizing God's Word. She was able to recite entire chapters of Scripture and always had an encouraging Word to share with anyone with whom she conversed regarding the wonders and faithfulfulness of her Lord.

There came a point in her life when her memory began to fail her and she was shortly diagnosed with what many refer to as "The Long Goodbye." She had Alzheimer's Disease. She still was able to recite verse after verse, but with each day that passed she remembered less and less.

As she neared the end of her life, she focused on the verse from the second book of Timothy, "For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day."

The days wore on and her mind grew more feeble. She would recite over and over again, "and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day." Time passed and soon she was heard repeating, "He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day."

By this time, her family had placed her an an assisted living home for people who suffer from Alzheimer's Disease as she required round the clock care. She still shared God's Word whenever she could and as she grew weaker and weaker would whisper the words, "that which I've committed unto Him."

As her time on this earth drew to a close and she was so weak that she was unable to move or even turn her head, her family bent low to listen to her weakened, whisperered speech as she repeated over and over, "I've committed unto Him."

Finally, on her dying day, her son leaned over to hear his mother whisper, "Him." That was her last repeating word...."Him."

That's what it's all about isn't it? In the end, it all comes down to Him. This wonderful woman of God reduced all that she knew of God's Word, all the chapters and verses and hours of sharing His Word with others down to one very simple, but very important truth: Him

True story.

May you be blessed today....and may your heart have at its very core that which is most important in this life. That which never left the mind of a dying child of God. The One Person who holds your very life in His hands.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

One Elephant...

....went out to play
....on a spider's web one day
....He had such
....Enormous fun
....He called for another elephant to come


The strange things that rattle through my brain. The above is a song from a kid's game that I used to play with my Brownie troop when I was young. And oddly, that's the song that was going through my head yesterday as my neurologist was doing an ultrasound on my bladder to determine if my incontinence issues are because I'm not able to fully empty my bladder, meaning it's a sphincter issue...or is it simply that I need to strengthen my pelvic floor. We were all happy to learn (sheesh!) that my bladder was empty, therefore, it's probably more a pelvic floor issue. Now all I need to do is find a physical therapist in my area who specializes in pelvic floor rehab. Yeah.

I know, I's all too much information.

Yesterday was my semi-annual neurological exam. When all was said and done, it was obvious to him (as I have known) that there is definite deterioration in many neurological areas. Of course, it probably didn't help that I had worked all night and then Brillo Man and I put Olivia on the bus, took Bentley to the vet to board for the day and drove an hour and 1/2 to Pittsburgh. I was exhausted before I even started! But it was good that my doctor could see me at my worst. Usually he sees me at my best.

After much discussion and many physical and mental tests and tasks, we all came to the same conclusion. That I can no longer go on treating this MS by doing nothing. Which is what I've been doing. Over the years, I've tried many things, but nothing really worked sufficiently enough that I thought it was worth taking any medications. In fact, the side effects from the meds were sometimes worse than the MS. This time, I'm convinced that I need to be proactive.

So....I will soon be starting a daily dose of Copaxone. A sub-cutaneous injection - yahoo. I'll be using an auto-injector...just as soon as I figure out how to use it. All previous shots I gave myself were the old-fashioned, draw-it-up-in-a-syringe-and-stick-yourself kind...and they were intramuscular, which meant I was jabbing the needle an inch or so into my muscle. So a "sub-q" is going to be a piece of cake.

We'll see if it makes a difference. If it does, great. I'm skeptical - as always. Why put something potentially toxic into your system if you can help it? Dr. Heyman (pronounced, High-men) had an answer for every objection I had --and they were good answers. Even Brillo Man agreed that I need to do something and that my neurologist had valid reasons for encouraging me to start the Copaxone injections. And he stated his case well.

So okay...let the drugs begin. And I'll keep trusting that this is the method that the Lord is allowing in order for me to be well.

With God, all things are possible. Even elephants playing on spider webs...

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"How did you do it?"

she asked.... did I lose 130+ pounds...

I replied, "Food had become my god. I turned to food for everything. It was my comfort when I was sad or depressed. It was my best friend when I was celebrating. It was my drug of choice for whatever ailed me. And together, Food and I watched my weight slowly creep up to over 325 lbs. (I stopped stepping on the scale at 325 but know that I weighed much more before I made the decision to stop destroying myself.)

So, how did I lose the weight? I made the decision to feed my soul with God's Word instead of food. I ate only when I was physically hungry and stopped when I was satisfied. The weight came off easily when it clicked in my brain that I had been substituting a relationship with food with a relationship with God.

For the past nine or ten years I've been able to keep off most of the weight that I lost. I gained 30 pounds with my pregnancy --and have since lost 20 of those 30, but have struggled to lose the last ten which will put me at my wedding day weight. And I'd like to lose an additional 30 pounds beyond that. It can be done. IF I choose to let God be my God again...and put away the food.

Today when Jessica asked me, "How did you do it?"....and I answered with..."I had allowed food to become my God - food could no longer be my God..." The Holy Spirit so quietly spoke to me..."you got it right once...time to do it again."

Lord, forgive me for allowing food to take your place - in so many areas of my life. I should be running into Your arms...not diving into a bowl of ice cream.

Photos: Top left: Me in 1987 - probably just over 300 lbs.
Next: Me at close to my heaviest --don't have a clue
how much I weighed then---sadly, that photo and others like it
are still how I often picture myself.
Bottom: At my best weight - although not my thinnest
--but where I thought I looked the best in 1981 - age 21.
Today, I'm probably 60-70 pounds heavier than that photo
--and I would love to at least get within 40 pounds of that "me"....

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Prayer Request

After numerous tests, it has been determined that my niece, Julia, will need to have growth hormone shots six days a week because she hasn't been growing. Here she is, next to Olivia. Olivia is six and Julia is nine. Olivia has passed her up in size and weight.

Another concern is that a small tumor has been found in Julia's pituitary gland. For now they're "just watching it" and believe it to be benign, however, the administration of the growth hormone shots may cause it to grow, in which case, it will need to be removed.

I'm asking all of you to agree with me in prayer that this tumor shrinks and disappears and that Julia will have no adverse reactions to the growth hormone. ...that she'll begin to grow and thrive and continue to be the sweet little girl that she is...only a little bigger! Please also pray for my sister, Lori and her husband Ken, as I know that as parents - this whole thing is not an easy pill to swallow.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Bentley Snickers Jinx
We'll be calling him Bentley. Olivia chose his full name.
Eight weeks old today - the newest member of our family!
...a salt and pepper Miniature Schnauzer.
We love him already!
But how could you not love that face?
Crooked ears and all...