Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Waiting Room

We've all been there. Waiting. Waiting on the Doctor. Waiting on the stoplight. Waiting in line. Waiting for the mail. How do you wait? Do you wait patiently? Do you wait constructively? Do you wait expectantly?

"That is why I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for he has promised." Psalms 130:5

I have personally been in God's waiting room for a long time. Waiting on promises for healing, for restoration, for blessings for Jordan and Meghan. It is somewhere I know very well! Waiting on things you know God has promised is one of the hardest waiting periods ever experienced. But because the promise hasn't come as quickly as I think it should have, does that mean I should quit waiting?
When we started this process for Jordan's surgery, we never knew it would take so long. We knew it was a process of tests and of classes, but we never expected to hit so many roadblocks with insurance, referrals, copays, Dr's. - you name it, we've hit it!
Right now, we are at the roadblock called "Cobra". Jordan is required to work so many hours during a quarter to qualify for benefits with Starbucks. His manager misinterpreted when the end of the quarter was and he came up 1.5 hours short. It can all be appealed and cleared up, but until then, he has to go on Cobra. If you've ever dealt with Cobra, you know that this means high payments, slow processing!! So we wait. At this point, it is easy for frustration and discouragement to slip in. You get tired of waiting. We thought he'd be on the other side of the surgery by now. Does that mean he should give up? A resounding NO!! Why have we gotten to where we don't know how to wait for the proper time for things? "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." Eccl. 3:1 We have become such a microwave society - if we can't have it now, we don't want it!

I think personally what I've learned the most in God's waiting room is to try and find what He is teaching me during this time. Am I learning to perservere? Am I learning character? Am I learning hope? Am I learning to fully rely on Him? During this time of waiting for Jordan, the only thing that I, and you, can do is to encourage him not to give up! IT will come! In God's perfect time. Until then, look around and learn.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A New Way of Thinking!!

"Do not change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect." Romans 12:2

So, I'm not sure if you realize this or not, but it's been a few years since I've been in school! But over the last few weeks, I feel like I am learning so many new things! When you decide to have gastric bypass surgery, it is not just a matter of deciding to do it and picking out your surgeon and your date. Because it is so complex you are required to do many steps before it is a reality. Most of these steps your support person (or persons in this case!) do with you as well. Last week, Jordan, Jessika and I attended both the information seminar and the first education class. Because we had been to one information seminar last December, there was not much that we did not already know. You learn about the genetics involved, they describe the difference between lapband and the bypass, they give you statistics on the percentage of those who have actually been cured from the diabetes or high blood pressure and in this latest one, we learned how the Dr. had done a fellowship in robotic surgery for the bypass and showed how it was done. Now anyone who knows Jordan, knows that he has been involved with robotics since Middle School. For him to learn that he is a candidate for robotic surgery, truely made his face light up! I think I could even say, it possibly even excited him about the surgery!
The other class we took was an education class that explained to him how he needs to change his diet now to start preparing, how the surgery will take place and what to expect and the changes that will take place after surgery. The nutritionist came in at the end to get them started on what they need to start doing as they prepare. We had already gone to a low carb, high protein diet since our first appointment. Jordan has taken all soda's out of his diet - whether they be caffeine free, sugar free or regular. This will be something that will continue for the rest of his life. We are taking all refined sugar's out as well. Even natural sugar's may have to be limited. After having a gastric bypass, a patient can experience something called "the dumping syndrome". While I cannot tell you all the "scientific" reasons for this, it is caused by refined sugar's and carbs. As one Dr. explained it, you won't die from it, you'll just wish you had! Because they are taking his 40 oz. stomach down to 2 oz. they explain that the first thing he should eat will be protein. He will be taking supplements for the rest of his life that will help with absorption of vitamins and minerals he needs, but the protein is harder to come by.
We will actually attend a class on nutrition itself, but until then, I have been doing my own research. This totally changes the way I've cooked for most of Jordan's life! I've tried over the last several years to cook healthier - going to whole grain pasta's and breads and taking the white flour out of as much as I can - but now I'm looking at recipe books for whole grain scones and cookies, whole grain birthday cakes and even a whole grain pumpkin pie! (have you noticed all of these are desserts? Hmm?) It is a completely different way of thinking!
The last couple of weeks in church, we have been talking about how to change our thinking. If I can quote our Pastor (Thanks Pastor A!), "How we think relates to how we feel. And how we feel relates to how we act. So to change how we act, we have to change how we feel. And to change how we feel, we have to change how we think!"
Without discipline, this is never going to happen. You cannot just decide to change. It requires a lot of hard work. Jordan cannot just decide "I'm going to lose weight" and then not do anything about it. He must change his old habits. They make it very clear in the classes that this surgery is not a cure. It is a tool and you must learn to use the tool correctly. And it will take perseverance. It will not change overnight.
As Jordan goes through all these processes, one of the things they do is to weigh them at every step. Classes, support group, appointments. One of the things Dr. Nguyen is looking for is commitment to change their thinking. When Jordan stepped on the scale last week, eight days after his first appointment, he had lost 14 pounds!! I think he's on his way to a new way of thinking, don't you?! I know I am!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Help Jordan

Help Jordan reach his goal!

For every $10 donated to help Jordan with his costs for gastric bypass surgery in September, your name will be entered to win this handmade 54” X 62” Benartex City Bloom quilt.

In colors of blue, sage, brown accented with bursts of yellow, orange and magenta to brighten!

You can donate at any Regions Bank to:

Jordan Burke/Delores Burke

Acct. # 0099750775



To use your paypal account (and to follow Jordan’s progress!)


Mail donation to:

Jordan Burke

172 Scottwood Drive

Athens, GA 30607

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor. 13:13

(Donations are NOT tax exempt)

Let the Games BEGIN!!

"Begin with the end in mind". This was the advice that we got yesterday when we attended Jordan's first education meeting for his surgery. Since our meeting with the new surgeon last week, the process is moving at a good clip! Dr. Nguyen (pronounced Wynn) was a delight to Jordan, Jessika and I! He spent an hour and a half getting to know Jordan and going over his procedures and reiterating that Jordan's success is his primary goal. Jordan and Jessika attended the first support group on Monday night. I declined this one as I feel Jordan needs the space to really open up about anything and might feel less inclined to do so if I am there (you know, like "my mom is my issue!" NEVER!) Yesterday we went to the first of two education classes he will have to attend. We learned exactly how the surgery will be done - taking his 40oz. capacity stomach to 2oz. capacity!! How he will have to eat after this is done and new habits that will be required. We will learn more about his dietary changes in the next class in a couple of weeks. I do believe that after this, Jessika and I will have new figures as well!! I think one of the things I'm most excited about is to see Jordan HEALTHY and enjoying the things he did as a young boy. He has always been one to want to be outside more than in. In fact, when he was about 10, there was a house that we used to go by on the intracostal in the boat (in Ft. Lauderdale) that had one of the biggest ficus trees ever seen and Jordan was determined that when he grew up he would buy that tree (not the house) and build a treehouse and live there! If not there, then he was going to Australia and live in the Outback! He had a huge fort in the backyard and would have lived out there if we had let him! He's never been your average kid. Most of the things boys his age enjoyed, such as football, baseball, were just not his thing. Not that he didn't like them, he would just prefer to concentrate on things like how the wings were attached to butterfly or how the earth turned on it's axis or the different phases of the moon! Most of the other kids just thought he was weird - until he got to middle school. We sent him to a Science and Technology magnet school where he met LOTS of other weird kids just like him! From sixth grade on, Jordan has had a friend that is like a brother to him and just as weird as him (let's just say I could do a whole blog on Jordan and Lesly stories!!) but it these types of relationships that is going to keep Jordan going over the next few months. He has a girlfriend who loves him for who he is and again, is just as weird as he is! I say "weird" with A LOT of love behind it!! I just can't always keep up with their conversations - if you know what I mean!! And he has a sister who though very different (she's a lot more like momma!), is behind him and cheering him on! We have had a lot of great friends who have wanted to help with costs, so I have made a quilt that with every ten dollars donated to his surgery account, your name will be entered in the drawing that Jordan will do on the day of his surgery. I will be posting all the details here on my blog as soon as I can figure it out!!
So let the games begin!! We are SO ready for this race!!
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in a such a way as to get the prize"

Friday, July 3, 2009


Okay, so it's three months later, and everything I have written in the my previous two posts don't really apply anymore! It's funny how when you think you've got your course mapped out, you've planned and plotted and you think you 're good for the long haul, God reminds you just who is in charge! And if (and I do mean IF) you are trying to live your life according to His plans, you will find that you really don't have a clue! Within a month of the last post, as I stated being ready to do what it took to stay in my little historic cottage, the Lord showed me that I needed to move and so, I did! I came to Athens where Jordan was and he and I found a house that fits our needs together - he has his own little suite of an office, bedroom and bathroom and there is enough room that his girlfriend, Jessika, was able to move in with us after she moved out of the dorm. We thought at that point that Jordan would be having the surgery in May, but have found that depending on your insurance carrier, that they can move at whatever pace they wish. We felt it important that I be close by to help as Jess is a full time student and we really didn't know what kind of help Jordan would require as he goes through this. Plus, just the need for both of us to tighten our belts financially (well, I guess soon he'll be tightening his belt literally! ) so now we are sharing expenses. It's been a process. And I think most of us would agree, we don't like "process"! Usually it means learning new ways of doing things and that can sometimes be uncomfortable! But as a whole, I know that this is where I'm supposed to be and I'm confident that God will work all this for good! The weeks have drug for Jordan as the bulging discs in his back are possibly now herniated and the numbness in his legs and feet are worse. He is working the minimum hours at Starbucks to keep benefits and then spends the rest of the time flat on his back working on his websites. As of last week, we found out that the Dr. that we were requesting to do the surgery was denied so we have started paperwork for a new Dr. this week. We have tried to expedite things by having some preliminary work done that we know he will have to do, like his sleep study for his sleep apnea, but the frustration of having someone who has no vested interest in your personal circumstances and handling paperwork in a timely fashion is sometimes beyond your patience. Oh yes, I really dislike that word. It's one of those things you desperately want, but don't want to go through the process (there's that word again!) of finding it! But I do believe that ultimately, God is sovereign. He is in control. And if the Dr. we thought we were going to use can not be approved, then there is a reason. Why is it taking so long? I ask that question every day. When I watch Jordan try to walk across the room. But as Romans 5:4-5a says "And patience produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will not disappoint." NCV

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Look Below the Surface

"The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7b

When I came around the corner and saw it, I knew it was for me. There sitting back beyond the trees, was a little yellow 1920's bungalow. I'd always wanted to live in a home like this - big windows across the front, a front porch that wrapped around the side, a stone fireplace, beautifully landscaped and best of all, it had a "For Sale by Owner" in the front yard! After calling the owner and having her tell me it had completely been renovated - new plumbing, wiring, roofing, flooring and HVAC unit - and to go take a look, I got out of my car and walked around. It had new rose bushes, azalea and hydrangea's planted and nicely mulched and inside it was beautiful with upgraded kitchen cabinets and french doors into the dining room. It didn't take me long to sign on the dotted line! Since it was a lease/purchase, an inspection wasn't needed but from the looks of things, it was great! One of the first things we noticed was the leaking refrigerator and then the washer/dryer combo that didn't work. Then there was the knock on the door from the city inspector who told us the owner didn't have a Certificate of Occupancy for me to live there and that there was no insulation in the attic. After many conversations, all of this was taken care of, but we started noticing things as we walked through the yard - glass, a toothbrush, cans, bricks and very large roots, all hidden by grass or shrubs. As we began digging deeper (literally!) we found roots that went completely around the house. Under the mulch where the new azalea's were, there was an entire roof of old shingles! What we found out was that the house had been empty for at least 5 years and very neglected. When the owner bought it to renovate, she did not go to the trouble to take all of the roots of the vine and shrubs that had grown wild, or obviously the old shingles, instead, she just planted OVER them and covered them up! To the eye, it was perfect, but as we looked deeper, there were LOTS of issues!
In our nature, we believe that as long as it looks good, then it must be good! We are so quick to judge something by the way it appears on the outside. I think no one feels this in our society more than the people who are overweight. We've all seen the shows on TV (there have been plenty!) of the skinny, pretty person who puts on the "fat" suit to see how people treat them differently. And we think to ourselves, "well, I wouldn't do that!" and while we might not be as cruel as some others, we still make our opinions based on the looks of others. We think they must be lazy or have no self-control. We judge what they have in their grocery cart or what they're eating at the restaurant. We know nothing about their life or who they are, yet we think we know what they should or should not be doing. In the process of gastric bypass surgery, the first thing that you are required to do is to go to the seminar held by the Dr.'s for information. We actually tried to bypass this process because of Jordan having so many problems with his back and we had done enough research on the computer, that we just wanted to get moving with the surgery, but they will not allow that. And I am glad they didn't - it was extremely informative. What we found was a Dr. who is passionate, not only to help these people, but to bring information into the communities. Research has now shown that 90-95% of the people who are obese, actually have an extra hormone secreted in their stomach that those who metabolize their food properly, do not have. He said you could put these two types of people in a room together for a week and feed them a liquid diet and the one who does not have the hormone will lose twice the weight of the one who does. It is definitely a genetic problem. His mission is to educate as many people as he can, even Dr's who think it's just a matter of discipline. But even knowing that, does it stop us from passing judgement? I'm pretty sure all of us have been victim to someone judging us without knowing us or the situation. And I guarantee we've all (even me!) judged someone based on how they looked or by what we saw. Why do we do it? Is it our own insecurities? Is it so we look better (in our own eyes!)? I don't have the answers. I don't know how to make people stop - or even myself for that matter, though I AM trying! Before I judge someone on how they are raising their kids or talking about people behind their backs the way they do, I want to look deeper, below the surface. How were they raised? Are they stressed due to the economy or a family issue? Do they not trust people because they've been hurt so many times? I want to go deeper in people's lives, and if that's not possible, I want to judge less and believe that there are things going on that cannot be seen by the eye. I want to see them as a person, just like I want people to see me, or Jordan.
As for the little yellow house, I LOVE it (sorry dad!). Does it have it's issues - you bet! But I'm digging deeper to get those old roots out so that the new plants I plant can put their roots down because I want to stay for a LONG time!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

In the beginning...

Here I am, not fully knowing what I'm doing, but ready to go forward! I'm sure it will be a learning process - so your patience will be greatly appreciated. I decided to start this blog for many reasons. I've had the desire to write "stories" about the processes taking place in my life for years. I know that God has given me a voice, and my experiences, for a purpose. If in my life one person finds hope, or courage, or comfort, then it will be worth it. One of the main reasons for starting this now is to share the journey of, and with, my son Jordan as he goes through the process of gastric bypass surgery. I am hoping that through this there will be more understanding of the process. I am hoping that it might bring hope to someone else out there who is dealing with a life changing event as well. Life isn't easy. Every person reading this could tell a story of something in their life that they struggle with or that has brought pain, but I believe that if we come together and help each other through them, we will all grow. I encourage you to post reactions or comments or suggestions at any time (though I'm really not sure how that works yet!). We learn from each other!
Jordan and I are working on my website now and I will be putting handcrafted items, tea and tea accessories and some of my gift items left from the store I owned, up for sale. I am currently working on a quilt that we will be selling raffle tickets to raise money for the surgery. More on that to come. I named my business Ms. De's Treasures - hence the name of the blog ;) - for a reason. In Matthew 6:21, Jesus tells us, "Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also." I pray that in this blog, that you will always find that my "treasure" is in loving the Lord my God with all my heart, soul and mind and in loving my neighbor as myself.
Blessings to you and yours - De