Saturday, March 21, 2015

My Health

I know a lot of people have read some updates on my health from my husband's Facebook posts, but due to the number of comments and private messages that we have both received and been unable to keep up with answering (sorry!)...I decided to write a post to explain what has been going on so far.

It all basically started a couple weeks ago, when I was on the way to the park with the kids.  We were cycling and Kara was riding behind me.  Part of the way she got down so we could walk up an incline into a parking lot.  When we reached the parking lot, I suddenly got lightheaded and basically passed out.  This had never happened to me before.  (I was thankful that it happened in that empty parking lot, 2 minutes later we would have been crossing a busy intersection)
I went to the doctor the next day, and found out that my blood count was 5.5.  That is considered critically low.  The doctor asked me if I wanted to be admitted to the hospital for a blood transfusion. are asking the answer is obviously...NO!  She said, if you feel OK, you can monitor it at home.  That sounded good to the time.....
So, I was home for a few days, but was at the point that I barely had energy to get out of bed at all. (My husband meanwhile was increasingly worried at this development!) On Friday I forced myself to do a little grading, and was helping the kids with some schoolwork, when I felt my heart racing.  Brian was here then, so he took me straight to the doctor.  Since I was getting worse instead of better she admitted me to the hospital for a blood transfusion. (She didn't ask me for my opinion this time! HA!)   Over the next 24 hours I received 2 units of blood...I will spare the gory details, but it was a difficult time.
I can't say that I felt any better at all after receiving the transfusion, but my blood count was over 8, so I was discharged on Saturday night.  We thought I was out of the woods, but unfortunately....during the night I started running a fever.  When I was discharged, they told us very clearly to come to the Emergency if I got chills or a early Sunday was back to the hospital again!  I was given an IV and was under observation for an hour or so, and had some blood drawn, then sent home.  I continued running a fever for the next 2 days, and we (the doctor too) were not sure if I had received contaminated blood, if I was having a reaction to the blood, or if I just caught something while in the hospital due to my weakened immune system.  My blood was tested for a long list of infections and scary diseases...and thankfully they all came back negative.  The fever subsided after 2 days, and yesterday, for the first time, I actually felt a little better!
I saw the doctor again today to show her a new blood report.  She says everything looks like it's coming back to the normal range, but it will take time.  She told me that I need to rest and recover from this, and she wants to see me after a month, unless there seems to be any other problems.
This has been a scary and harrowing experience for our family to say the least.  We received countless messages, calls and emails to say that people were praying all over the world!  It is hard to express what a blessing and encouragement that has been.  Please continue to pray that I'll get stronger and be able to get the needed rest.  After I am stable again, I may have some more tests to see why my blood got that low in the first place....but that is a story for another day!:-)
I saw the doctor again today

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

7 Confessions of this Stranger

This post has been bouncing around in my head for a while now.  Before I begin, a disclaimer, I'm not writing this so that you'll feel sorry for me or for you to see what a terribly hard life I live.  I am blessed to live where I do, among the people that I do, and to have the ministry that I do.  But, I know that here, and at home, I am often misunderstood.  I also know, and have seen multiple times over the years other women, like me in foreign lands...return back...because of these same reasons..and maybe..if they or someone else had been willing to be open about their struggles...they would have realized they are not alone...and just because something is doesn't mean we shouldn't be doing it!

Confession #1   I am not perfect.   No surprise to those of you that know me!  So, why am I saying this?  There are some who expect perfection, or close to it, from someone in my position.  (Yes, they do!)  There is a great pressure to be all or do it all.  Perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect homemaker, perfect pastor's wife, perfect counselor, perfect white person who lives on my street.....  The type of person who would never be discontent when the electricity and water are off for hours, the kind of person who can homeschool, entertain visitors, prepare a Bible Study,  keep a perfect house, cook from scratch in 100 degree temps, while singing "I've been blessed."  I've heard the comments and listened to the questions.  "Of course, it is easy for YOU to trust God" "What is your wife's role in the ministry?" "You would never get angry"  "You always have everything together"  "Your marriage must be"  "Your children are just"   I know those that make these statements aren't (usually) expecting perfection (maybe).  But, there's a tremendous pressure.  I feel it, constantly, from close by, from afar, from others, and from myself.  But, I know,  I know, the One who made me, knows me, loves me, in the midst of my feeble attempts at perfection.

Confession #2  I get weary.  Yup...even in well doing..maybe even especially in my well doing. There are days when someone looks at me for answers, and I wonder....what answer can I give.  There are days when I wake up in the morning and think.."Wouldn't it be a nice day to break out the Pop tarts and Cheerios for breakfast"..but there are no Pop Tarts...or Cheerios  There are days when I get tired of being stared at and commented on every time I go out the door...every. single. time.!

Confession #3  I want to quit.  Yes, you read that right.  That doesn't mean I want to  But there are times, and there have been many times, through the years, that I've wanted to quit.  A few months ago I faced a low valley, very low.  Words were spoken that cut so deep, I literally felt like all I had ever done here was in vain.  I was ready to throw in every towel that I could find!  But, we didn't come this far to turn back now.

Confession #4  I wonder why God sent me. One statement I've heard so many times over the statement that I dread hearing, because I have no good response to it.  I've heard it in many churches in various states. "I'm so glad the Lord knew what He was doing when He sent you to the mission field, because I could never do it".  I usually just smile and nod.  Of course, God knew what He was doing, but after we were called to India, I struggled...for months.  I used to sit in church and look at the other women and think.."Why me, God, that person would do so much better, don't you think?"  I guess He didn't think so, because He still sent me!

Confession #5  I'm not very good at this.  I think this goes along with #4.   Sometimes I open my mouth when I should stay silent, or more often I'm silent when I should open my mouth. My to-do list gets left undone. I roll my eyes and sigh, when I should smile and be sweet.  I've made late payements, forgotten to make visits and failed to make phone calls.  I speak the language, but still use bad grammar. 

Confession #6  I feel like a failure.  Especially when I see people that we've worked with, prayed for, poured ourselves into...walk away...especially then...

Confession #7  Even though I'm not perfect, I get weary and want to quit, I wonder why He sent me because I know I'm not good at this and I feel like a failure...I will keep going forward, because its the work I've been given, and I have seen miracles, and I have seen change...especially in myself..and I know that is one of the reasons God has for it change me.....

 "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." I Thess. 5:24  "...and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"Esther 4:14 "...but our sufficiency is of God." 2Cor. 3:5

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year 2015!

A New Year

We reached 2015!  It's our yearly tradition here to celebrate on the 31st, and bring in the New Year at our house with both of our local church families. 
This year there were around 100 people who showed up.  We had verse recitation, skits, songs, 2 messages, and prayer going into the New Year. This celebration is always a highlight of good fellowship for us, and we had a blessed time together this year! Happy New Year 2015!

 ...and just to be real here...
After this crowd left at around 2:30am...there were still 10 extra kids who stayed over night.  I was surveying the aftermath of the celebration. I admit, if my house is a wreck...I don't take it well...and this was a disaster!  I went to the back of the house to turn off a light..and saw another disaster before my eyes!  It was 3am...I almost lost it...Two of our teen boys came out to see what I was doing.  They were just looking at me like "Oh no...what's she going to do, cry?"  Ha Ha!  So, I told them "Turn off the light and close the door, I can't face this now!" (There's probably a spiritual application here somewhere!)  But, in the morning all those kids, my 5 included, got up and cleaned the house front to back.  After about an hour and a half, everything was clean and back in place...and I almost cried again!  Love these people God gave us!

Monday, January 5, 2015

To blog or not.....

It's been quite a few months since I've posted anything on this blog.  I guess I could say that there are many reasons why.  With the busyness of the life I am living, sometimes...something gets neglected.  I've actually sat down quite a few times and started to write.  There are 5 saved, unfinished, unposted drafts, I just checked.  I will be honest, I am a private person (living in a fishbowl with a flashing red light on top of my head...haha!)  So, even though I started this blog to share things that don't make it into monthly letters or email updates,  sometimes sharing my life seems a little difficult.  Then, I wonder too, if anything I write or experience could really be interesting enough for someone else to read.

At the request of my family, I did not give up this blog altogether.  We got into a discussion about it last night.  When I said that the things I write might not be that interesting...they said..."You are living in the third world, Mom, people "over there" find that interesting" :-)   When I said I didn't know what to write about sometimes...they said.."You have 5 angels living in your house who are the sunshine of your life..what more inspiration do you need?"  (Really??)  So, thanks to their (ahem) "encouragement", I'm going to try to revive this blog.  I feel there are many things that I could write, if I can just find the words. 5 angels of sunshine!