Monday, August 29, 2016

Another hurdle?

August 27th, well technically August 28th landed us back in the Emergency Room at Mayo Clinic. Just before 2:30 a.m my mom was awoken by her entire bed shaking.  Her first thought was it was my dad rocking himself back and forth to get up and go to the bathroom.  After a series of questions, she determined he was having another seizure.  It has been almost 2 months to the date since his last seizure. 

Around 2:35 a.m I woke up to go to the bathroom. I thought I saw red flashing lights coming through the windows in the living room. Half asleep, I thought maybe I was just dreaming, I went to the bathroom and then went and looked out the front door.  And perhaps the one thing you never want to see is the ambulance and fire truck parked outside your parents house. I woke Dennis up and told him the ambulance was at my parents house and I would be back. When I walked out the front door I saw somebody on the stretcher and they were pushing him through the front door. By the time they reached the end of the ramp and loaded him into the back of the ambulance, I was walking in the front door.  The paramedics might have thought I was a lunatic or something, running down the sidewalk and then peering into the back of the ambulance to see if it was mom or dad.  I walked in, they filled me in, my brother and mom went in one vehicle and my sister and I went in another, and like old times, we f-l-e-w to Mayo Hospital.  We arrived before he did.  

I started pacing outside the hospital waiting to see when the ambulance arrived.

They said that mom could go back and see him.  She was back there for what felt like a really long time.  The Emergency Room at Mayo Clinic was pretty empty at 3 a.m. on a Sunday morning. We couldn't people watch. We couldn't imagine what others were there for. Thank God for my brother and sister and our ability to keep each other distracted while we waited for those automatic doors to open and some update on my dad.

Eventually they did. 3:48 a.m to be exact. The message was simple, 'one of you can come back and try to talk to him, we need to get him alert, he is still having seizures.' Vanessa went first, she returned and told me to go try.  I walked in and said, "Hey Dad, what are you doing here? You should be in bed sleeping." His eyes started to open.  The nurse was happy and told us to keep talking to him and keep reminding him to breathe, They were concerned because his heart rate was still rather elevated and his respiration was low. 

"Hey Dad I need to see your eyes.  Show me you are ok."
"Dad I need you to take a deep breath. Please keep breathing for me."
"Breath in. Breath out."
"Dad, you have done more before 5 a.m than some people do all day!" (I got a little smirk)
This is something he used to say on days he would go cut three yards and be to work by 10 in the morning, he would always joke about doing more before noon than some people do all day.

Mom started singing songs with him.  
And just like when I was little, they were singing "You Are My Sunshine"  

The nurse was so grateful that we kept talking to him and that we were able to keep him more alert. His heart rate lowered, the seizures stopped... mom went to get my brother. Finally we could all be with him.  He was alert.  He was answering questions. He was bouncing back a lot faster than he ever has. He bounced back so quick this time, they didn't have to admit him!

A good scare, showed us all that our heart is still working. Brought perspectives back into focus. Today he was singing "You Are My Sunshine" and I must say it sounds a lot better than when he was singing it at 4 in the morning.  Stay tuned for another blog with that video...

We aren't guaranteed anything in this life.
Share pain.
Share joy.
Share love.
Share hope.
Share happiness.
Share a good laugh.
Share time. 

Live. Love. Forgive. Hope. Pray. Encourage. Reach out. Care.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Me Too

Me Too 
Experience the God Who Understands
Written By: Jon Weece

 Book Overview:

Your life is filled with pressure and pain and heartache and disappointment. So was His.
If you’ve ever tried to pick up the shattered pieces of your life and put them back together again without help, you know it’s an impossible task. When you lose your job, when divorce divides your family, when a loved one commits suicide, or when cancer claims a friend, it’s easy to lose perspective and abandon hope.
According to Jon Weece, Christianity does not require you to smile through your pain, much less praise God for tormenting you. God doesn’t enjoy your suffering. But he does understand it—and he knows exactly how to fix it.
That’s what Me Too is all about: A God who turned the ugliness of the cross into a spectacle of eternal beauty. An all-powerful Lord who will do the same with the pain of this world. An eternal Father who specializes in wiping away tears and putting you back together again. If you’ll allow him.

My Thoughts:
There are so many words floating around today. In most cases we relate to one another with our words.  I have learned of the significance of two simple words, but when put together have a powerful meaning.  The two words are, me and too.  When somebody connects with us by using those words, sometimes it can feel like they are throwing us a rope, something to hold on to and hope with, a guide so we know where to go.  Other times it can seem those words act as a life preserver, keeping us alive - literally and figuratively as we seek out help. This book was difficult for me to get into, but I stayed the course, and boy am I glad that I did.  He touched on a lot of struggles that we face in this life.  The chapter on suicide stood out the most to me.  I liked how he addressed many different perspectives, ultimately keying in on how many times it comes about because of untreated mental illness and depression. I would like to share a quote from the chapter that stuck with me, "Suicidal thoughts might provide the greatest "me too" opportunity for us to love people where they are and as they are. God wants us to lighten people's emotional loads: "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2) Shared joy is double joy, but shared pain is half pain." There is so much I underlined in this book and quotes that I shared with others. I would recommend this book, it is a relatively easy read in that it can be picked up and read randomly, any chapter, or in order.  There are some deep, thought provoking sections, but some light and humorous spots as well.  It won't go too far from my desk, as some parts of it I would like to revisit soon.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Return to Joy

Return To Joy
Finding Healing in the Arms of Your Savior

Written By: Bev Desalvo

Pain. Abuse. Neglect. Abandonment. These issues lie just under the surface of our lives. So we stuff the ache, paste on a smile, and make the forced march to church on Sunday. Bev DeSalvo has been there. A child of abuse, the wife of a pastor, and a women's ministry leader, she saw no way out of her anguish. But God invited her on a journey. And her life has never been the same. Return to Joy includes a 10-week Bible Study.

My Thoughts:
Wow! I don't know where to begin. I started reading this book and couldn't put it down.  It grabbed my attention and held it, all through the 200+ pages and once complete left me thinking, 'that's it?'  I wasn't ready for it to end.  I will be going back to re read this book for sure.  This book doubled as a bible study as well.  At the end of each chapter were questions for reflection. A lot of questions, all separated so that if you wanted to use them for daily reflections you could.  There were a lot of scripture references. This book was easy to relate to, even if you haven't experienced the same trials she has, we all need healing from time to time. I know a few people who would benefit from this book and I will be passing it along to them to read. This was a very deep book, full of many points of reflection. One quote that stood out to me, "If we aren't broken by the love of God, we cannot become vulnerable and love others from our hearts. We can't truly love without being wounded and hurt by someone. We cannot allow God's love to flow through us as long as we have our protective walls in place."  Being somebody who isolates and builds those walls mighty high, this initially felt like a sharp jab to the chest that left me feeling winded, but then also challenged me to be more aware of it and reach out to others instead of adding more bricks to the top of the wall.  I feel like I highlighted or underlined the entire book and wrote my own book in answering the questions as the bible study. I highly recommend this book to anybody who is hurting or confused and is trying to, "Return To Joy." This book made me feel like joy is possible, regardless of the struggles you have faced.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

My little authors!

T minus three days until school starts....and it has me feeling SO SAD.  I love having my boys home with me.  I dread the thought of them returning to school and not being able to hang out with them and go on adventures during the day.  This summer we did a lot of fun things, some of them in our own backyard and some a little farther away.  At the beginning of summer I asked the boys if they wanted to make a book of what we do over summer. With no delay, Seth eagerly said "YES!" Ivan wasn't so sure but once we got started, he had fun cutting and gluing pictures and drawing pictures. Today Dennis took all their pages to work and when he returned home he did so with their 'book'....he bound all the pages and added a clear cover.  They were so excited and so proud of their accomplishment!  I spent some time tonight looking through each book, wiping a few tears from my eyes, laughing as I remember Ivan's commentary on some of his pictures, running my hand over their handprints that we did on the last page of the book just this morning.  The "About the Author" page is what concluded there book, had their name and age and birthday and favorite color and the year and their hand print with the follow - "I've finished my summer book, high five!" So their scrap books might not be up to date, the laundry is unfinished and there are some dishes in the sink.......but the boys have something to reflect on as they grow.  I don't think they will remember the mound of clean, unfolded clothes or the dishes in the sink.....but they might remember the work and the memories that went into making their own book! I am so proud of them and love them with all that I am. These boys are the air I breathe, and while I will miss them during the days, I have all the holidays and school breaks to look forward to.