October 31, 2009

When it rains it pours!

Anyone who lives or has visited Oregon can attest to its absolute beauty. Of course, that beauty comes with a price. Rain! Lots and lots of rain.

I actually like the rain. I think it is soothing. Many people find it stressful or depressing. To me, it is only stressful when I am having a good hair day and only depressing when it gets dark!

The dark is what gets me the most. With the time changing tonight the darkness comes sooner. In the height of winter it will be dark around 4:30pm. Only 8 or 9 hours of overcast sunlight a day, that depresses me. The darkness closes in around me and can feel suffocating. It frightens me too.

It reminds me of my spiritual life. Sin brings the darkness. It surrounds me. It keeps me captive. It depresses my life. God brings the light. His mercy, grace and love surrounds me and keeps me free. It uplifts my life. Christ died so I don't have to be in darkness!

If only that worked for Oregon weather as well!

October 22, 2009

Pain

This has been a hard decision for me. I have tried to keep it to myself, but I think I need to finally make it "officially" known. So, here goes. About 3 and a half years ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. If you don't know what that is, it is a chronic pain disorder. I have tried to keep it to myself because I didn't want it to impact my life. I didn't want to be defined by it. Before I was married, I worked in a doctor's office. We had a patient that had fibromyalgia and she was pale white and completely incapacitated. Her husband had to do everything for her. As the doctor gave me my diagnosis, she was the first thing I thought of. I thought that life, as I knew it, was over and I was going to become this person. I got to the car and cried. I called Brian and cried some more.

I didn't want anyone but Brian to know. As close as I am to my Dad and sister, I didn't tell them. I didn't want anything to change. Because of the diagnosis, Kaiser sent me to counseling. They helped me see the stupidity of my thoughts! I told my Dad and sister and they were, and are, super supportive. I have told very few people since then. I had my support system in place and I didn't feel like sharing the news to anyone. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of church life is that people talk. Something that I wanted to keep private was passed on to others. So, I write this knowing that some of you probably already know about it.
I am in pain every day. There is not a day that goes by that pain is not front and center. I have bad days and somewhat better days. On my bad days it feels like I have the flu. My entire body aches and my skin hurts when touched. These are the days that my muscles are so tight and painful that I just need to have them rubbed. The problem is that it hurts too much to have my skin touched.

One of the things I have the hardest time with is my physical limitations. Living with the constant pain takes a lot out of me. I am tired all the time and I never have enough energy. I am not the mom I want to be. I am not the wife I want to be. I feel like the fibromyalgia has taken those things away from me. It is a constant battle.

So, why spill the beans now? There are too many times when people want to know where I am, or why didn't I go to this, or why did she leave early from that. Well, this is why. I need to be open with others and finally accept that fibromyalgia is a part of me now. It has taken a lot of prayer to finally arrive at this point!

October 19, 2009

Still broken

I am super frustrated my toe hasn't healed yet. It has been 4 weeks and I still can't even put on shoes. I am wearing Anthony's flip flops still! (Boy, it really hits home how old he is getting when I can wears his shoes!) Plus, I am trying to lose weight and not being able to run in the morning isn't helping matters. COMCAST!!!

October 16, 2009

Dates and Books

Once a month I go on a date with each of my boys. We always go out to eat and then do something like go to the movies. Parker and Tyler each like to go to Taco Bell and then to Barnes and Noble. They know I am a book addict, so they are sure to get something. It has never failed them! I love to see my boys excited about reading.

I didn't get out of the store without something for me too. One of my favorite authors is Anita Shreve. She has a new book out called "A Change in Altitude." I first read "The Pilot's Wife" and I was an instant fan. She writes in such a real way that I felt grief for the character and then when she was mad, I was mad too. That is what I look for in a book. I want to experience it, not just have them be words on a page.

Someone recommended the book "The Art of Racing in the Rain." I picked up that one too. I will let you know what I thought about them.

October 7, 2009

Beauty

As I was driving home from taking the boys to school, I was struck with how beautiful the fall colors are.The streets of our neighborhood are lined with trees that change beautiful colors.You can't drive these streets and not see it.God really knows His colors!

October 3, 2009

Baseball cards

Over the weekend Anthony had mentioned something about baseball cards. I'm not really sure how it started but he was wanting some rookie cards. Brian and I looked at each other and knew it was time. Brian started collecting full sets of baseball cards from each year since Anthony was born. He hadn't told him, he was waiting for the right time. He wanted him to be old enough to realize the importance of them and young enough to still be excited about them. Brian turned to Anthony and broke the news. The look on Anthony's face was priceless! It was so cool. It was the kind of joy that comes out the eyes.

He spent the weekend going through every single one of those cards. He was a little boy again, just for awhile.

October 2, 2009

Highlights

The stage of life we are in right now is pretty routine. There is school, growing boys, and church. Then repeat. Through the routine there are highlights that I look forward to every day. The first highlight is in the wee hours of the morning. As I have mentioned before, I have health issues that require me to get up an hour before the boys do so I can be physically ready for them. Every morning, the twins wake before their alarm goes off and they come downstairs. I am usually catching up on my DVR show watching. Parker and Tyler come and snuggle up next to me. We all cuddle under the same blanket, usually saying very little, just enjoying waking up slowly together. I love that time!

The next highlight is before we leave for school. We read a passage from the Bible and discuss what it means. We then share our prayer requests and our praises. Praying with my boys makes me feel safe. God has each and every one of my boys in His care.

After school is another highlight. All the boys are home and we sit around eating snacks and talking about everything that happened at school. This is a time of great laughter. We joke around and find the funny things that happened during the day.

Then comes bedtime. The boys are freshly bathed and in bed. Sometimes I will read them a story, but most of the time I am asked to give them an apple story. I started apple stories many years ago. The twins were toddlers at the time. One bite of an apple will take the little boy in the story anywhere he wants to go. The boys help me out by telling me where to send the boy, or what the boy does, or who the boy meets. The boy also takes along an orange because he can't get back to his bed without a bite of an orange! Anthony is "too old" for stories, but he likes to come in and listen to his brothers' sometimes. I tuck the boys in and give them hugs and kisses and tell them how much I love them. They tell me they love me and can't wait to see me in the morning. They melt my heart! After the boys are tucked away I get to spend a half hour with Anthony. He is such a tenderhearted boy.

My last highlight is going to bed. Since the beginning of our marriage, Brian and I always go to bed at the same time. It seems insignificant, but I enjoy getting ready for bed together. I look forward to falling asleep in his arms or holding his hand. It completes my day and I am ready for it to start again in the morning. I am so blessed!