Friday, November 20, 2015

Pursuing Peace

I would venture to guess that the topic of "peace" has been on the hearts and minds of many of us recently.   Our world is unraveling at alarming and scary depths right before our eyes.  It seems hard to even catch our breath and try to comprehend even a small bit of it.  I, myself, am in disbelief at the sick, twisted evil that reigns in people's hearts.   How could things get SO BAD?  We could go on asking a million questions and looking for a millions answers,...but...

One great grace that comes from my personal trial that I am managing is the amount of alone and quiet time which allows me the space to "pursue peace".  God has already GIVEN me His Peace as a gift, but I still must pursue it daily so that I can choose to "live it out" for the world around me.  It is a choice. 

 Just like being thankful is a choice.  I can LIVE thankfully or not.   I am grateful for the many blessings God bestows upon me each and everyday and this beautful, albeit broken, world.  I pray my choices and actions reveal my path to peace and gratitude.  

The Simple Path----Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

The fruit of silence is
The fruit of prayer is 
The fruit of faith is
The fruit of love is 
The fruit of service is 

     Holy Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.  

Saturday, November 14, 2015

From Whoo Hoo! to Boo Hoo!

I am just coming through one of my VERY rough weeks of relentless ICK!!  The weather up here in New England, although beautiful in the Fall, has really done a number on me.  The continual fluctuations of pressure, temps, humidity, and winds are just a brutal combination of triggers for a chronic migraineur.  I was flat out for an entire week and no amount of meds or extra self-care were helping much.  It was a battle of endurance.  Day by day.  Minute by minute.  As I usually describe my situation to many, it is like trying to tread water in the very stormy seas with waves crashing and barely being able to catch a breath or even see the shore up ahead.  Feeling scared and in pain and discouraged just adds to my continual loss of control which leaves me frazzled and fragile to say the least.  

Just last week I blogged about celebrating BETTER days.  Yay!   Woo Hoo!  And celebrate I did!  But this past week quickly turned from Woo Hoo to Boo Hoo.  They were not some of my finer moments, I tell you.  My saint of a husband patiently guided me through each stormy day even working from home when necessary to care for me.  GOD BLESS HIM.  We have learned over the years to manage and constantly find new ways to cope together.  Our faith is growing deeper, and we are truly leaning into the loving arms of Christ to hold us and speak His wisdom into our hearts.  

I am still treading the stormy seas... the waves are calming down a bit at least for today.  However, when I surface each time, I usually look like the "drowned cat"!!  

I am weary in body and mind, but my spirit remains peaceful and calm.  I am continually finding renewed strength in the Lord.  I am clinging to Jesus and His promise of  "Do not be afraid."  

Whatever particular stormy seas you are trying to tread presently, keep your head above water and keep going!  Allow whatever faith brings meaning to you, sustain and bring you strength. 

Just remember, cats have nine lives!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Botox = Better

Poke.  Pinch.  Sting.  OUCH!   Ah, yes, the glorious feeling of 31 botox injections given to me at specific landmarks in my head and neck for treatment of my chronic migraines.  Fun. Fun. Fun. I have completed two rounds, three months apart as per protocol, and when asked how I am feeling, my response is "Botox = Better."   This is a completely honest statement.  Compared to my daily state of chronic pain and debilitation especially over the past two years, I am definitely feeling BETTER.   My doctors and I think maybe I am headed in the right direction for managing my chronic condition.   Having Botox on board along with a whole host of other tools in my tool chest, I am feeling positive and hopeful!  Every little sign of relief is a breath of fresh air.

Of course, Botox can have its "funnies" surrounding it too.  When I tell people I am receiving treatments, I now know of practically ALL the women who are getting it for cosmetic purposes---shhhh---I won't disclose your names!  They act like it is a major sin for Pete sake.  If you feel better getting "de-wrinkled", then by all means, have at it!  Hey, I am looking forward to the benefits myself. LOL!  However, other than erasing a few lines on my forehead, the rest of the areas are not visible.  Oh well, just my luck.  That being said, Botox can bring humor in addition to the ouchies.

When reflecting on this theme of Botox = better, I dug a little deeper into what it means to just feel BETTER.  I am SO grateful for my better days.  They allow me to participate in my own life and give me back some of ME again.   I am not sure if I will ever feel "well", per say, because I just have too many strange symptoms in addition to pain.  The overwhelming fatigue and fog I try and walk or crawl through each day cannot be adequately described.  But, if some of my days can allow me to feel BETTER, then I am going to celebrate!!  

A few of my friends have some serious, chronic health issues with which they struggle daily in a most heroic way, and we share our journeys together.  Part of that sharing recently made me think of how we should at least be grateful and celebrate our "better days."     Yay!!  It might seem odd at first, but I think it is worth a try.  Often times we wait for our situations to be fixed and all better and good before we offer gratitude.  

I am blessed to live near the beach. On my better days, my sweet hubby and I enjoy boardwalk strolls in the evenings. The ocean brings peace and calm to our souls.  I look forward to this simple activity that binds us deeper together as a couple.  We walk.  We smile.  We breathe in the breath of God. We are filled with His Grace to continue on and look forward to BETTER days ahead.