This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves
to be my disciples. John 15:8

Down to Disney

>> Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I'm no longer blogging here for the time being (way to state the obvious, right?). I don't know when I will again, but for now I am blogging over here. Come join me!! :)


Happy Birthday, Grandma Kay!

>> Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Today is my Grandma's birthday. She is celebrating her 86th birthday with Jesus. I'm sorry that I'm missing the party, but I know she's having a good time (she always did).



>> Monday, January 18, 2010

Unfortunately, the updates I have for you this morning do not contain any about Sephora. At this time, we have heard nothing else from Compassion International. Since the people at Compassion International are busy feeding, clothing, healing and providing shelter for the people of Haiti while I sit on my couch, drinking coffee, eating a donut and playing on my laptop computer....I'll let it slide that they haven't gotten back to me. At this point, we are just choosing to pray and have faith that Jesus has Sephora in his sights here on earth or safely in his arms in heaven.

In the meantime, don't forget to contribute to the organizations that are caring for Haiti. I have links at the top of my blog for both Compassion International and Samaritan's Purse. The American Red Cross is also an excellent choice for donations. I just tend to be partial to charities that have the Holy Spirit behind them and the Gospel of Jesus in front of them as they serve. Meeting the needs of humans here on this earth is admirable....but meeting their needs for eternity is essential. Speaking of which....I have seen Franklin Graham on TV no less than a couple dozen times in my life and he always...ALWAYS uses the opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. That apple did not fall far from his father's tree. Praise God for his boldness. And as a means of encouragement to all parent's out there....Franklin Graham spent his teenage and young adult years rebelling against the Gospel and his father. Look where he is now. There is always hope.

So on to the real purpose of this post (although certainly the less important purpose). An update on my doctor's appointment on Friday. I am thrilled to say that God is faithful and blessed me with a FAN-TASTIC doctor. She sat and talked to me for a very long time, which is unusual these days. She heard everything I had to say about all of my complaints and came to some conclusions that make perfect sense to me. What I also liked about her is that her first reaction was not to throw more medicine at me. I am not anti-medication. Not by a long shot. However, I don't like to use it as the first and only solution. Especially when you're talking about a long-term situation. She DID increase my anti-depressant Rx (but only by 25 mg a day), however, she is convinced that my primary issues are two-fold:

1) A lack of Vitamin D. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we see a LOT of gray days around here. It never occurred to me that the gray could be contributing to my depression because I am one of those weirdos who like gray, rainy weather. What I didn't realize is that just because I like it doesn't mean that was good for me. So she has me on 2000 IUs of Vitamin D3 a day.

2) Sleep Apnea. She believes that I am not getting any significant sleep. As she described the causes and symptoms of sleep apnea, it was literally like she was making a checklist to describe me and my issues. Of course I feel run down...I'm not getting any sleep. Of course I have trouble controlling my emotions....I'm not getting any sleep. Of course my immune system is body is not getting the rest it needs, so it can't heal itself. Of course! I could go on and on and on and bore you with the details of my diagnosis, but trust me when I tell makes perfect sense. I will be going in soon for a sleep study to confirm her suspicions, but I will be very surprised if she is not correct.

So I have a new hope today. Someone heard what my concerns were and took the time to figure out what the problems could be, instead of just throwing pills at me and sending me on my way. I feel good about possibly finding solutions that are natural and healthful. If sleep truly is my problem, I could have spent the rest of my life feeling crummier and crummier (and let's not even talk about the fact that sleep apnea is fatal), had she not taken the time to CARE for me as a physician. I'm grateful for her and I hope that all of you are able to find physicians (and dentists, too), who CARE for you instead of just trying to put a band-aid on you.

Thanks to all of you who prayed for me. It means a lot. The prayers were heard and answered, I assure you. I left that appointment feeling like God had chosen that doctor for me. And you know what? He did.



>> Thursday, January 14, 2010

I have a little girl. Her name is Sephora Cintulus and she is 6 years old. She lives in Haiti. For nearly 2 years, Mark and I have had the priviledge of supporting her with money and prayers and she has, in turn, blessed us with lovely letters and pictures.

As of right now, Compassion International's most recent update to us is that she is among those who are unaccounted for after the devestating earthquake.

This afternoon, I watched only minutes of coverage from the ravaged country and it literally made me sick with grief.

Please click the banner above to give to Compassion International. Or Click here to give to Samaritan's Purse. Or text "HAITI" to 90999 and have $10 added to your cell phone bill that will be given to the American Red Cross. We are to be Jesus' hands and feet, and for most of us, the only ways we can do that is through prayers and money. Please give both lavishly.


A Dream Come True!

>> Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I did it! I am finally a "mom-blogger-on-the-go"! I am not somewhere nearly as delicious as Panera or Starbucks, and I do not have a Peppermint Mocha sitting next to me, but I do have a Diet Coke! My kids are running around "Out of this World", burning off some (hopefully a LOT) of the "We-Miss-Our-Daddy" energy they have bottled up.

I am actually waiting for our Women's Minister to get here so we can have a meeting before our Bible study kicks off again in the morning. This was the best place for us to meet right now while Mark's schedule is ridiculous. This way, my kids have a place to play relatively unsupervised and I can have an adult conversation. Because my meeting is about to start, this blog post is going to be very short. I just couldn't resist the chance to blog while out and about. I've dreamed of it so many times, you know......


Bring on the week!!

>> Sunday, January 10, 2010

We are currently getting ready to enter another week like last one, except this one will be worse, because Mark has to work on Saturday, as well. So 6 days of leaving at 5 in the morning and coming home at 10 at night. Six days of my boys not seeing their Daddy and vice versa. Six days. Then he'll have Sunday off and go right back to work for 6 more days of the same.

I HATE January!!!!!!!! (Sorry...I had to get it off my chest.) (Nothing personal, Mom and Kayla and anyone else who was born in January.)

This week, even more than last week, I have spent the last several hours getting a jump on my week. I made a double batch of broccoli-cheese soup that we had for dinner and is now loaded up into containers for Mark to take to work with him. I made a big batch of Lemon Blueberry muffins for my kids to have each morning for breakfast. These particular muffins also have squash in them, which means that along with a banana, my kids will have 3 out of their 5 daily servings of fruits and veggies in their first meal of the day. All of this and I don't have to think about it every morning. Breakfast is decided upon and made. No work for me (unless you consider peeling a banana work, which I don't. At least not yet. Ask me again on Friday), which is good because I will have been up too late the night before trying to spend a little time with my husband when he got home from work.

This week has a lot of time built into it for my children and I to have some time away from each other, which will help. School, gym, meeting at Out of this World on Wednesday, Women's Bible study kicking off again on Thursday, doctor's appointment for me on Friday and a hair cut for me on Saturday. Praise the LORD that he orchestrated all of those things for us this week. It will help the time go by faster for all of us and will help the kids and I not get so sick of each other. I know that sounds terrible, but believe me....I am a better parent when I have gotten a small break from being the disciplinarian/cook/entertainer/book reader/tushy-wiper for awhile. And if my boys can't see their Daddy...Grandma and Papa are the next best thing!

Truthfully, as I look ahead at this week, I am not afraid of it. I wish it didn't have to be this way, but the alternative could be that Mark didn't have a job at all, and I don't wish for that. Yet I'm feeling hopeful. Although by the end of last week I was tired and ready for the weekend, I never felt overwhelmed by my week and that is only by the grace and mercy of God. Praise God, that same grace and mercy is available to me this week, too. I just have to remember to ask for it.

So it's Sunday night and God has already been good to me. My gym bag is packed, Elijah's snack is packed for school and I have a new movie rented for a movie night with the kids tomorrow. I am ready for my week! All I need now is a good night's sleep....

I can just hear the LORD now saying "'ve gotta meet me half-way here. I can't give you a good night's sleep if you aren't willing to put away your computer." So I'm going to put away my computer now. See you tomorrow! Be blessed!


My Thorn

I should be at church right now. Not only should I be there because it is Sunday morning, but also because I have a commitment at church on the second Sunday of the month. Unfortunately, I woke up with a migraine, so my husband is filling in for me at our church's "Community Cafe", serving strudels. He took the kids so I could lay down in a quiet bedroom until my migraine medication kicked in.

Migraines are one of the fun things I've been dealing with lately as I wait to see a new doctor. I have suffered from depression for most of my life. I was not diagnosed until I was a young adult, but once I was, I could look back with 20/20 hind-sight at a lot of my adolescent struggles and realized that there was a good reason for them. Please don't get me wrong....I know that all teenage girls (and boys) deal with some serious issues as they grapple with hormones and relationships and school stresses. Mine were different. But I didn't know it then. Now I do.

So anyway, a few years ago, after having Micah, I was searching for a new primary care physician. Between a miscarriage and my pregnancies with Elijah and Micah, I had spent the better part of 3 years in some stage of pregnancy, and in that time, my PCP had moved away. I got a referral from a trusted friend and started a journey with a new doctor who would not turn out to be the best doctor for me. I will not throw her under the bus and imply that any of what I am experiencing now is her fault. I will say, though, that she was never the right doctor for me, and I shouldn't have spent over 2 years with her. I have no doubt that she is a wonderful doctor. For SOMEONE ELSE. Over the last 2 years, my depression has slowly gone from an irritation to a debilitation, and I have not had a doctor who heard me when I would try to describe it to her. For some reason, as long as I wasn't suicidal, the medication I was on was deemed sufficient, despite the fact that I was feeling irrational guilt, anxiety, panic and sadness.

The hardest part for me has been the fact that, as a believer in The Great Physician, I felt like I must somehow be failing Him. I must not be praying "right", or I wouldn't be so sad. Sometimes I can be such a silly girl! Would I feel that way if I couldn't "pray away" cancer, or diabetes, or multiple sclerosis?? Of course not! But because depression manifests itself mostly through emotions, it seems like something that should be able to be "prayed away". Recently I shared with a friend that I wish everyone around me could experience what I feel for just 5 minutes. I do not wish it on anyone, but I wish people could know the reality of it for just a couple of minutes so that they could know how real and how difficult it really is. Making anyone with depression feel guilty for feeling depressed....will only make them more depressed (go figure)! And yet there are people out there who think they are being helpful by doing that very thing. If you are one of those people, I am sure you mean well....but stop it. It isn't helping.

So last August, when I had my yearly appointment with my beloved OB/GYN, I shared my concerns with her and she said "I have the perfect doctor for you!" Over the course of 3 years, my OB/GYN lead me through the life-changing experiences of miscarriage, pregnancy and early motherhood. She was very sensitive to my depression issues and closely monitored me through the hormonal ups and downs of my pre- and post-natal body. I trusted her completely and knew that if she had a doctor for me, she really had a doctor for me! I came home from that appointment with a buoyed sense of optimism. Until I called to make an appointment with this doctor and I could not get in until JANUARY (remember....this was August at the time)! I decided she was worth the wait, however, because I would rather wait for the right doctor than guess and get a dud again.

So wait I have. I have occasionally called to see if there were any openings sooner, and I've had no such luck. Since August, I have experienced a sharp decline in my stability. I have experienced deep valleys, high anxiety and the joy of migraines. Fortunately, over-the-counter migraine medication does help them quite a bit (I know that is not true for all migraine sufferers), but it takes awhile for it to kick in. And that is what I am experiencing this morning.

Well.....January is here and my appointment is on Friday. I can't wait. I am hopeful that this doctor is going to be able to help me and I'm praying that is true. I hope she's ready for me, because I am ready to have my life back again and I won't leave her office on Friday until I am certain that she has heard my heart. If she is anything like the doctor who referred me to her, I know that she will. Yet I do not put my hope in her alone. Doctors are wonderful, but they can not do anything without the permission of our Father in heaven. He uses them, to be sure, but they are merely His hands, whether they realize it or not. So I am praying. And I am asking everyone I know to pray, that the LORD uses this doctor to remove the thorn from my flesh.

And if He chooses not to, I pray that He would help me to live in victory over it, instead of succumbing to it.

2 Corinthians 12:7b-10
"....there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the LORD to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."


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