Tuesday, September 21, 2010


What comes to mind when you hear the word "success"? For some, it's about a financial situation or a job they have been working on. It may be the end of an educational experience or something you have been building. There are days when it's literally a "success" that I've made it through the day without killing someone! Right now, we are celebrating the "success" of Jordan finally having his gastric bypass surgery! While he is not at the end of the road yet, he is well on the way! He had the surgery on August 30th and other than a few problems with blood pressure and a large liver during surgery, he has done very, very well! He was in the hospital for 3 days and then came home but was immediately required to start walking. He was on full liquids (broths, milk with protein powder, PowerAde Zero) for two weeks and then started his pureed diet (chicken, vegetables, yogurt, scrambled eggs) for another three weeks. At his one week post-op appointment, he had lost 60 lbs since July 1! That my friends, is success!! His blood pressure being down to 130/80 is success! One of the biggest successes with his surgery was the number of friends who supported us through this!! I am happy to say that the drawing for the quilt I made went to a very good friend of mine here in Georgia who is in charge of our babies through Pre-K kids at our church!! She gives and gives and it was wonderful to be able to give something back to her!!
I have found that in life, it is very important to celebrate the small successes! After my hand surgery, I wasn't sure how well I would be able to continue sewing or making wreaths for the small gift shop I sell out of. Every item that gets finished is a success to me! I have recently opened an etsy shop (www.dancingbears2.etsy.com) for the aprons and to sell the loose leaf tea as well. For every success I have, there is nothing more important to me than to thank God and give Him the glory for even being where I am!!
So, I think I'll go have a cup of tea and celebrate!! The success will be not having a cookie with my tea!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Greater Things

Have you ever been stuck somewhere? Maybe it's been in a car with a whiny toddler or in a line at the drive thru that isn't moving forward and you have three cars behind you. Perhaps it's been at the table where Uncle Joe is telling you about the war...again or in an elevator standing at the back of the car with 20 some other cheerleaders and realizing that you've overloaded it (I can't breathe even typing that!). Obviously we've all been stuck at some time in our lives physically. But what about emotionally. Or spiritually. I'll admit to you, in the past month, I've been stuck in all three! Six weeks ago I had re-constructive surgery on my thumb - on my right hand. It started several years ago with an injury from a car accident that due to the lupus and the steroids that I take, caused degeneration in the bone and finally got to the point that I was unable to move or use it. This is the first time in six weeks that I have been able to type with it (it's actually part of my therapy) and I'm just now beginning the long task of learning to use it differently since they fused part of it and put pins and screws in. Because of the physical limitations, I'm sure that it contributed to finding myself stuck both emotionally and spiritually. It is so easy when you're smack dab in the middle of a situation to think "this is all there is" or "it's never going to get better".
We have been on this journey for Jordan's gastric bypass surgery for 18 months now and sometimes it really does feel like we take two steps forward and three steps back. A little over a week ago, we were at the point of being able to schedule his endoscopy - one of the last tests left to do. The entirety of last week was spent playing phone tag with the person whom he needs to speak to in order to do that. OUR desire is to have him finish this test, get fit with his CPAP machine and be ready when he sees the surgeon on the 28th of this month to schedule his surgery. Our urgency to get this done is not necessarily anyone else's!
When I find myself overwhelmed by just how stuck I really am, the first thing I do is to turn up the music! I'm pretty much willing to listen to anything (except nasty lyrics and rap:)) but when I'm really stuck, nothing works like worship. The first few days after my surgery when I was pretty much drugged beyond oblivion, I would turn my computer on and go to my Pandora station and would play praise and worship in my room for hours. This is so healing for me, to have many of the songs that are actually based on scripture reverberating through my head, even while I was sleeping. A couple of weeks ago I received a copy of the new worship CD from Women of Faith ~ I was one of 50 who was asked to listen and review it on my blog. A great activity considering the situation I was in! What I loved about the CD was that it didn't have just one style of music. There are so many different genres of worship music and they took all of them and made them feel fresh and new. "Healer" and "Amazed" had me on my knees thanking God for who He is and "Just Wanna Say" had the gospel girl in me dancing around the living room! It is this kind of CD that helps put my focus back onto the "Calmer of the storm" instead of the storm itself. A popular worship song right now is "God of This City" (Track 1) which states that "greater things are yet to come, greater things are still to be done". While the process of the journey is where we learn and is an important part, we can't forget that God is always working toward greater things. My hand, once healed, is going work greater than it has in 5 years. Jordan, after this long road and after the surgery, is going to be healthier and stronger than he's ever been and God has greater plans for him than he can even imagine. So, I'm holding on, and stepping out of being stuck so that I can go for the GREATER!!
(Jesus said) "The person who trusts me will not only do what I'm doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I've been doing. You can count on it." John 14:11 MSG

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Beginnings

Spring is in the air! If you live anywhere that experiences seasons (sorry friends in South Florida, but this leaves you out!) there are signs everywhere of a new season - green leaves on the trees, buds waiting to burst open with fresh color on trees and shrubs, birds building their nests in your deck chair, yellow pine pollen on every surface it can hit, grass growing again that needs to be mowed! Yes, definitely pluses and minuses, but well worth it. We have come through a long, cold, damp winter, but life is being renewed outside our window!

As it is with Jordan's surgery, we have come through the winter of insurance problems and delays and are in the spring of beginning again. We saw his surgeon this week and because of the time that had passed, he wanted Jordan to begin as a new patient again. While this was disappointing in that Jordan had not forgotten the material, he felt that it would be the motivation he needed. So, he attended his education class again yesterday and is now scheduled for the gallbladder ultrasound and the cardiologist. Because everything involved with gastric bypass surgery has to be paid upfront, we will begin the process of covering a new deductible and out-of-pocket expenses. We will begin to actively sell raffle tickets for the quilt again so that we can schedule his endoscopy and psychologist. He will be receiving his CPAP machine for his sleep apnea and will continue to work on getting his blood pressure down (Jessika and I are not allowed to yell at him!). He has begun an exercise regiment with a friend from Starbucks who is also the rowing coach here at UGA, so he will be accountable (THANK GOD!) to Michael for his exercise program (Pray for Michael!).

I am reminded that so often we forget that God is the God of winters, as well as of spring. I have struggled myself with some very dark, cold winters, but the Lord promises to "never leave us or forsake us" in the winters of our lives. The verse I lean on most heavily during these times is from Jeremiah (the weeping prophet) 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you', declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". There is always a plan. During this time of delay in Jordan's surgery, we have learned a lot about the insurance companies, and Jordan has learned to persevere in times of difficulty. To keep going even when the way seems blocked. So, as long as we keep learning and keep trusting, spring will come! It's right around the corner!!