Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

permission to grieve

I will start off with acknowledging that in the realm of eternity, this is minor.  Things could have been soooo much worse.  Yet in order to move forward,  I needed to face  this new reality.  In doing so, I gave myself  permission to grieve.

For almost three years I have not felt well.  It has been one thing after another and some unanswered questions along the way.

Friday I went to my family doctor, explained that I was so very tired of hurting, and asked him if he thought it was related to my uterus.  (There are some issues going on with it.)  Could it be my appendix?  Although the majority of  pain is on my left side.

He sent me over for a CT scan with dye. For breakfast –   a barium smoothie.  He had me to wait at the hospital (with the IV in my arm) for the results.  Oh, it could have been so much worse.

Good news – no infection, no perforation,  and no blockage.  I do have diverticular disease.   My large intestine is filled with small and medium pockets.   It explains the random bleeding and the pain.

My doctor explained to me that there are two rules of thought.  One is to avoid nuts and seeds.  The other thought is that it makes no real difference.  My doctor is of the first opinion and he recommended that I abstain for all nuts, seeds, popcorn…   I have numerous pockets and with their size, it just isn’t worth the risk.  I am already having pain and some bleeding.  He is hopeful that diet and extra strength Tylenol  will quiet things down.

My sister and her family were coming for the weekend.  A house full of people, two guinea pigs, a dog, our  cat and lots of Christmas celebrations all kept my mind occupied.  What a wonderful blessing from God.

Today I gave myself permission to grieve — I love popcorn – it is common for me to have popcorn 2 – 5 times a week.  My favorite candy bar is salted nut roll with Snickers following close behind.  Pecans, cashews, peanuts, peanut m & m’s, caramel corn, buster bar, turtle blizzard, granola, peanut brittle, cashew chicken, sesame chicken, poppy seeds, ….. the list goes on.

I remind myself that God is the healer.  Just today a friend of mine was released from the hospital.  Last night things did not look good.  Today she is home recovering.  Yes, I know God heals.  I also know that He expects us to use our brain and not be presumptuous.

So I will follow my doctor’s orders.

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— ……………A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance”  Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4

The time of grieving is over.  It is time to laugh and dance.  God’s grace is enough!

Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.” Proverbs 31:25

More importantly, I will smile at the future.   My hope is in God and He does not change.

(If you have diverticular disease, diverticulitis, diverticulosis  I would love to hear from you.  What do you find helps?  How are you handling it?)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13

til next time

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December 27, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

peace?

Are you thirsty for peace?

Relationship conflicts
Health issues
Financial binds
Concern for children/parents
Phone call that didn’t bring good news
Our USA government
It doesn’t take me long to scroll my news feed on Facebook and see that people I love are hurting. Huge and small obstacles abound.

So I pray.

Health wise, I find myself on a road that I traveled at this time last year. While I have made the choice to not worry or allow this to overwhelm me, I find myself seeking God for peace that goes beyond my ability to understand the what, why, will, and where questions.

My go-to scripture:
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

That situation that breaks your heart, that relationship that is in a shambles, that unexpected expense, that struggle in knowing how to navigate the switching roles between you and mom or dad, that phone call that threatened to rock your world, the future of our country … talk with God about it until your inner being is quieted. Remember that part of talking is listening.

As I was listening, Psalm 46;10 dropped into my heart.
“Be still, and know that I am God;”
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!” (I will talk more about this verse tomorrow.)

For now – go ahead – reread Philippians 4;6-7 Let it soak in deep and then do it!

thanking God for peace,

til next time,

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November 10, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

please don’t take it personal

If you had walked past our house yesterday afternoon you may have thought someone was being beaten.  I am grateful that it is winter so the windows are shut.  Since it is cold that means people weren’t working in their yards.  That is a good thing too.

Yes there was screaming and lots of tears.  No, no one was being beaten.  In fact, my husband was there softly telling me to breathe, it would be over soon, and it was going to be ok.  In between all of those comments, he would pray.     Hmmm, you might think I was having a baby.  There are certainly some similarities.   Sadly when it was over, it was just over and all I was left with was pain.  There was no beautiful bundle of joy.

I would  start the whole healing process all over again.  Why?

thoughts

understand

I bought this when my son and our family were going through a most difficult and life altering trial.  When your world is turned upside down, it is good to remember that we don’t have to know why — we just trust that God is with us.  (Psalm 40:1)  This sign has proven to be a wonderful reminder when I would find myself heading down the “why” road.

I was traveling that road yesterday afternoon.  Why?  What possible good is there in this?  God is this really part of your plan?  I just don’t think I can head down this road again.  Plllllllllleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaassssssseeeeeee, God!!

The first time it was nine months (hmmmm again the baby similarities) before the pain was gone.  Six and half months later it would return.  This time it was not as intense but still very evident.

Just last Sunday the pain had finally left.    It was a glorious week.  Then yesterday it returned with a vengeance.

Did you know that when you cough or sneeze  it affects your sphincter muscle?  You probably  did not because unless your muscle is angry you don’t even know you have one.  Trust me, you have one and when it is angry you know it.  No medication will calm it and it will not be ignored.

I have strongly believed that  my health issues have been more of a spiritual thing.  A very small similarity to the boils that Job dealt with.  I have pushed on and refused to let it stop me from moving forward.

I am a firm believer that in my weakness He is strong.  I have proven that over and over again.  (2 cor 12:10)

I still hold to all of that but I am sensing a change in my direction – in how I handle this. I still think it is a spiritual thing.  I believe God gives us grace for what He leads us to and that He has a plan and a purpose for each day.  However, the drive to push through is diminishing.   It is my hope and belief that this is God leading me down a  different path in how to respond to this latest development.

I have discussed this with my husband – who is also my spiritual leader.  He is on board and very supportive.  More than anyone, he knows what this has cost me.

Here he is last night — making me smile!

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It just so happens that (counting today) in 40 days it will be Good Friday.   For the next 40 days I plan to do some serious schedule elimination not revisions.  (I know one friend that will say “it is about time.”)

Today, for instance, I had a great opportunity but it would require three or so hours.  I declined.

So, I will be immersing myself in study.   I will be taking at least four sitz baths a day and be diligent with my food intake.  (I have found that a crazy busy schedule does not work well with a closely guarded food regiment.)

bible

It is my prayer that people won’t take it personally when I decline or eliminate things from my schedule.  Yet, I must leave that in God’s hands.

What is God asking of you?

til next time

click here for part 1 of this journey

 

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February 15, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

conquering the mountain

mountainIt isn’t that I didn’t see it coming.  Really I shouldn’t be surprised.  Yet,  I get tired of the same old mountain.  This is one mountain that I would love to toss into the sea.  Yet I don’t think that is what Matthew 17:20 is talking about.

This mountain could make  Mount Everest appear small.  Treacherous terrain appears to be everywhere.   It is daunting and has almost a mocking quality that seems to be everywhere.   Yet I am confident that getting to the top of this mountain is an attainable goal.  Scripture says  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  (Philippians 4:13)

It takes more than determination and wanting it bad enough.  I really get tired of hearing people sayif you want it bad enough.... or  — well you must not want it bad enough.….   

It has very little to do with wanting it bad enough and much more to do with fighting the onslaught of rough terrain that threatens to send me back down the mountain side.   There I will need to  bandage my wounds  and have to begin all over again.

When that happens the mountain seems to actually get bigger.

mountain

What mountain am I talking about?  The mountain that looms in front of me every time I attempt to go on a diet or make a healthy lifestyle change.

As perimenopause is setting in, this mountain seems to have added a few twists and turns that I could truly do without.  Losing weight wasn’t a picnic before but add to that a dropping metabolism and I find myself facing a mountain of sheer rock. mountain

In the past I have said that just starting a diet means I will gain 5 pounds.  My husband has witnessed this more than once or twice.     I have tried writing down everything I eat.  I have tried numerous diet plans.   I have lost the same 20 pounds more times than I care to count.  Each time the mountain seems to grow.

For me, the carbohydrate diet is a good fit.   It is not truly a diet but more of a way of life for those people who are truly carb junkies.  Yet even though it is a good fit, that doesn’t stop the numerous  ways the mountain will try to sabotage my efforts.

So that brings me to today – day three of my carb diet.  The first three days are indeed the hardest.  My body is not happy.    It happens to love carbs and is doing all it can to remind me of that.

Then there is the  mountain.   It  has thrown all sorts of boulders at me in an effort to send me back down the mountain.   While this is not a surprise, it is still something I could do without.

What will tomorrow bring?  I don’t know but as we sang in first service today I know who holds tomorrow!!

til next time

Day 4 – Since I hadn’t posted this yet, I have a confession.   I almost caved to the boulders that were being flung down the mountain.  Last night I was overly tired, hungry and had faced some pretty difficult things.  I just wanted a sandwich.  Yes complete with soft yummy bread.

I have a great husband who caught me as I was smearing the mayo all over my bread.  What did he do?  He promptly tossed it in the trash and gave me a pep talk.  Whew!!  That was a close call.

Heading a little higher up that mountain.
ok that’s it for now 🙂

March 25, 2013 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, weight loss | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments