Posted by: gaylejervis | April 28, 2011

YAHOO! A GREEN EGG!



Last week Jackson and I read the Easter Story from his Preschool Bible.  Then we acted out the scene of Jesus riding the donkey through Jerusalem.  As we laid scarves and coats on the floor and waved flowers in the air, we shouted, “Praise the Lord.  King of Kings” repeating what we had read in his book.  Then suddenly, Jackson excitedly said, “Bad men are after Jesus.  Jesus is throwing bowling balls at them.”  I explained that Jesus could have destroyed the bad people but he chose not to.  Jackson is into super heroes and he wasn’t too sure if he liked that answer.  It seemed like a good opportunity to sit down and try to explain the concept of sin and what Jesus did for us!

We sat down at the table and I handed him a pencil and a piece of paper.   Then I asked him if he ever gets into trouble.  He lowered his head and shook it slowly as he said, “Yeah!  My dad doesn’t want me to play with his keys.”

“And do you play with your dad’s keys?”  This time  he nodded his head rather slowly and said, “Yeah.”  Well, I explained, “You are a very good boy, but sometimes you do wrong things. Just put a mark on the paper with your pencil when you think of things you might do that are wrong.  Then he proceeded to tell me, “I got into trouble with Mommy.  I had to go to my bedroom.  Mommy didn’t let me go to Ben’s house.”

“Well let’s put another pencil mark on the paper for that time you did wrong.”

Then I will never forget this next moment when I explained that, “Grandma does wrong things too.”

Wide-eyed and incredulous, Jackson asked, “What did YOU do to get in trouble?”  I hated to dispel his illusion of my perfection but I took his pencil and marked the paper with examples of things I do wrong!  Then I handed him the eraser and explained this eraser is like Jesus who erases all of the things we do wrong and all of the wrong things we say!  Shortly after, he enjoyed using a tube of white icing and made a cross on the purchased Hot Cross Buns.

I hoped that we were now for me to teach him how to explain the Easter Story by putting together  the Wordless Book.   I lined up the colored sheets of construction paper that I had hole punched earlier.  I showed him the Black Paper and told him that this page reminds us of all those things we do wrong.  Then I showed him the Red Paper and explained how Jesus died on the cross so that He could erase all of those sins.  I had to restrain myself from  laughing  when he began repeating what this Red page meant as he got quite animated and graphic describing the nails in Jesus’ feet and hands and ALL the blood that was all over his body.  (I did not explain this part quite so dramatically but he has quite a flair for drama!!)  We continued on with the White Page where we are pure as snow, and Gold when we all go to heaven.  But the hi-light was the Green page where he put happy stickers since the Easter Story makes us SOOO happy!  We tied these sheets together with a ribbon and it was very gratifying to see that when his Dad came to pick him up, he wanted to show his book to him and he related what each color meant to his Dad!

Apparently, at home when he was practicing this story at one point he said, Let’s just “read” the Green Page.  It’s the Happy Page! “  After all, green is his favorite color!

In fact, when he came over on Sunday for his traditional Easter Egg hunt, he found a green plastic egg beside his gift and he got really animated and excited shouting, “Yahoo!!  A green egg!”  For some reason,  he associates the color green with happiness and excitement. 

As I write this post, it is 3:00 in the morning – another night without sleep due to too much pain and too much coughing.  But I choose to believe that the Easter Story makes all the difference how I manage my illness and I choose to believe that Christ’s Resurrection  gives me hope and power during the tough times.  And I choose to believe that  the Resurrection empowers me with happiness and excitement and faith and it reminds me that there are many more “green pages” for me to read.  And even though it is easier during the good times, it is even more crucial to shout during the tougher times, “Yahoo!  A Green Egg.”  And so I sit here on the sofa hoping that my pain medication and the T.E.N.S. machine and the heat packs and the cough syrup and the cough drops and the humidifier and the hot chocolate will soon soothe the pain and quiet my cough.  And  taking my queue from my grandson, I prayerfully whisper life-giving, power-enabling resurrection excitement,  “Yahoo!”  

Posted by: gaylejervis | April 27, 2011

DO YOU HAVE PAIN MENTORS?


What do you do on the days when your perseverance and your positive attitude and your hope has taken a short sabbatical?  What do you do when one more symptom – even just the common cold has invaded your immune system and you are unsure how many more resources you have to keep afloat? 

Well, today as I sit in bed, sad that I had to cancel my grandson’s Wednesday visit with me,  I think about my pain mentors.

I don’t remember a day that my Dad didn’t suffer from back and knee pain even though he had had several surgeries that had been on the cutting edge of medical advances at that time.  One of my fondest memories   are a result of  my habitually waking in the middle of the night to go for a glass of water and my Dad would be sitting in the kitchen smoking a cigarette awake due to his pain.  His kitchen chair was sideways so that his back could rest against the solid cold wall.  We would chat quietly as Mom and my sister were sleeping.  I know that he also succumbed to discouragement wishing desperately that those surgeries had alleviated some of the chronic pain.

  And yet, he taught me perseverance.  He taught me the importance of helping others in spite of the pain you endured.  I remember when Greg decided he wanted to build his own garage and Dad, recognizing that his health was worsening, worried whether Greg would have enough help from others.  And yes, you guessed it – it was Dad that pulled up to our house every day with a hammer in his hand.  He quietly increased taking his pain medication and he stood by his son-in-law making sure that this garage was built properly!  Those of us who are chronically ill don’t even have to wonder whether he suffered greatly after this expenditure of energy, but he never made Greg aware of that.

So as I sit here overwhelmed by my symptoms, I am strengthened by memories of my Dad’s perseverance and especially by his ability to still care for others in spite of his pain.

I have written before of my admiration for my Mom who also endured many illnesses including malignant melanoma   which eventually metastasized to her stomach and killed her.    I could give examples of her perseverance and her compassion for others but it was her sense of humor that buoys me up and tells me how to face this day.  It is a rare woman who could have a belly laugh an hour before the surgery that was going to remove her stomach.  And that is what we did when she realized that she had to go to the bathroom after these inflatable leg warmers were attached to her leg.  Tears were streaming down the nurse’s eyes, her eyes and mine as she mastered getting to the bathroom and sitting on the toilet still attached to all the medical paraphernalia. 

I think also of Greg’s Aunt who has suffered from extreme rheumatoid arthritis.  She didn’t know until the hour of   my daughter’s baby shower whether she could manage the pain well enough to drive into the city and attend my daughter’s shower.  But she did it!!  And then I witnessed Greg’s Uncle who has many health problems come and pick her up.  He was not concerned about his failing health; he just wanted to tenderly help his wife into their car.  His only regret was that he doubted whether she would be able to go with him to a furniture store where he had seen  a love seat he wanted to purchase so that they could snuggle together and watch television with “his Honey!”

Each one of these people were determined not to have their lives completely controlled by their health issues.  Each one of these people did their best not to have their illness dominate their thoughts and actions.  They refused to let their values be overshadowed by their illnesses.  Their ability to still care about others and to laugh even when the circumstances were grim is inspiring and – today, I hold tightly to my mentors and thank God for these cloud of witnesses in Heaven and on Earth.  I can only hope that if you are suffering in pain, you are blessed also with pain mentors.

Posted by: gaylejervis | April 26, 2011

DO YOU HAVE A FIXED MINDSET OR A GROWTH MINDSET?


As my pain has been increasing, I am so grateful that I have been reading Chip and Dan Heath’s book on Switch:   How To Change Things When Change Is Hard. I am still convinced that if I implement their principles that they have developed from many research findings,  I can develop an exercise program that won’t get sabotaged every time my symptoms get worse.

Please check out what I have been learning as I have been writing about this topic on the following website:

http://survivingchronicillness.com/2011/04/26/do-you-have-a-fixed-mindset-or-a-growth-mindset/

Posted by: gaylejervis | April 19, 2011

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR SCORE WHEN YOU WANT TO MAKE A CHANGE

I am in the process of learning  how to successfully incorporate an exercise program when you have been sedentary for way too long and when you always have pain and fatigue. If this is you, you may want to check out the following web-site where I have been writing this series.

http://survivingchronicillness.com/2011/04/19/how-to-increase-your-score-when-you-want-to-make-a-change/

Posted by: gaylejervis | April 12, 2011

IS THE ELEPHANT OR THE RIDER IN CHARGE?

I just  hate – okay, just envy  – those people who make a resolution and say years later that they have never missed a day of follow through since that decision.  And I get disgusted with myself when   I know rationally something is good for me to do but I still don’t do it.    Well, I am tired of reading how exercise is good for EVERYONE – even those who are exhausted and who are in pain and yet my good intentions get sabotaged by those very symptoms.  Therefore, I have recently begun  implementing  an  exercise program  that has a greater chance of being  effective since I am applying current research about how to make changes that are hard.  If you are interested in following my journey, check out my guest post called “Is The Elephant Or The Rider In Charge”  at the following web-site:  http://survivingchronicillness.com/2011/04/12/is-the-elephant-or-the-rider-in-charge/

Posted by: gaylejervis | April 7, 2011

LET’S GO FEED THE CROWD

Jackson slept at our place last night  and reminded Greg and me again  how we  should start our day.  Jackson never seems to wake grouchy thinking he needs more time for sleep!  He doesn’t pull off his covers reluctantly, he doesn’t stretch trying to work out any aches, nor does he gingerly place his feet on the floor while yawning. He doesn’t feel overwhelmed wondering if he will accomplish all those items he had written on his list the night before.  This little boy lives completely in the present.  He wakes rested and has great expectations since he knows that today will be another delightful day of playing with his toys and perhaps seeing some friends or going on some errands.

This morning after saying hello to his Grandpa who was sitting at the computer in the office, he went downstairs to bring up the story book he knew I would be reading to him today.  As he poured over the pictures of The Gingerbread Man, he sat in my chair sitting in front of my desk.  Greg occasionally interjected some comments about the story but otherwise they just enjoyed the kind of quiet that comes from two people comfortable with each other.  Later, he “bounced” into my bedroom with his big, beaming smile where I was drying my hair.  I smiled back as I recalled his generous, selfless act toward me last night.  I had looked at him when he was particularly exuberant, and asked, “Jackson, could you give me some of your energy?”  He immediately said, ”Yes,” and gave me a big hug.  I think he really   believed that he could transfer some of his energy to me. Actually he probably did.  I came across the lyrics of a song called, “Your Love Is My Energy.”  His loving hug definitely had energy raising properties!!

After breakfast, we read from The Preschooler Bible, the miracle of Jesus feeding the 5000.  We also found some short videos of this story from Youtube.  Jackson colored a picture of two fish and five loaves of bread.  We cut them out and put the food on a plate.  Then he decided he should pretend to eat the bread.  However, he wasn’t attracted to the two full fishes on the other plate!!

I gave him some graham wafers and told him to break the wafers into as many pieces as he could.  We talked about whether this plate of wafers could feed a lot of people just because he cut them into a lot of small pieces.  I had printed 20 copies of a page of 100 smiling faces to help him visualize that Jesus was talking to a huge crowd of people.  As I showed him the sheet of many faces, I told him that these people had been listening to Jesus for a long time and now they were very hungry.  Immediately he asked, “Where are we going to feed the crowd of people?  “  I told him we were going downstairs, and as he nodded his head, he said, “Let’s go meet the crowd.  Jesus is going to feed them.”   After he lay all of those sheets on the floor, he put the plate of food that he had colored in front of the crowd.  He understood that only Jesus could turn that food into more food!

We returned upstairs to decorate a Gingerbread Man that I had cut from sandpaper.  He is so funny since  his decorations all had to be green because that is his current favorite color.

After reading a couple of versions of this story, we used the masks to act out the story.  He played the role of the Gingerbread Man while I was all of the other people who chased the gingerbread man.  However, we changed roles when the Gingerbread man meets the wolf!  He lay on his back and told the gingerbread man to jump on his back, then on his head and finally on his nose. I loved the way he tossed his head back as he pretended to gobble up the cookie!  Actually,  he enjoyed that part of the story so much that he played the role of the wolf several times.

I was surprised how quickly the morning went as we did these activities.  We had lunch while Jackson watched a video of various fairy tales and then we had our customary afternoon nap! He is such a sweetheart since he doesn’t always need to nap anymore but he knows that I need a nap and so he very obligingly crawls into his bed and catches up on his rest for the week too!

Posted by: gaylejervis | April 6, 2011

CHANGING MY BIRTH DATE!

I wish I remembered my 44th birthday.  I would have paid more attention if I had known that it would be the last birthday I celebrated in health.  Today I am 58 years old and that is a pleasant surprise since up until two weeks ago, I was thinking that I would be turning  59 years old!  My sister and I share that same time blur and we used to rely upon Mom to keep us informed of our birthdays and our anniversaries.  I was rather relieved to know that I had two more years before slipping into a new decade.

I remember vaguely turning 50 and my husband told me that we would go on a cruise to celebrate my 50th.  He wanted to impress upon me that my state of health wasn’t permanent and that we had things to look forward to.  However, on that birthday, my sister invited family to her place to share my birthday cake and   I was the first to leave my party.

I struggle trying to recall other birthdays even though I know they were always celebrated in some way.  And yet the truth is  I don’t care for big celebrations, a big hurrah another birthday!  Yet,  I enjoy receiving the e-mails, the phone calls and the dinner with my husband and kids.  I would only change one thing and that is to be fully present on my birthday.  When I was ill in my forties, I imagined that when I turned fifty, I would exude vitality and health.  Now I have the same expectations for  the next decade.

These next two years I will continue to do whatever is in my control to reach that goal.  However, I also must be realistic and choose contentment no matter my circumstances.  I must choose gratitude since I can say with “Sally Field” awe and wonder, “You really like me” when I consider the love I receive from friends and family.  I must appreciate what I sometimes call my lost years and trust in God’s Sovereignty – that those years were not lost but very meaningful.  In the meantime, I reject dismay and dread of how old I “suddenly” have become   and instead I embrace aging since it means I have been given one more year to enjoy my husband, my children, my beautiful grandchildren and one more year to nurture friendships.

This morning my sister is picking me up to take me out for breakfast. Other years she could only come  visit me at my place, but this past month I have been starting to have more energy and less brain fog.   Greg and I are hopeful that we will be able to go out for dinner this evening.   My son is out of town this week and so we all had dinner together on Sunday.  However, my adult children and grandchildren are still coming over tonight with a cake.  I have much to be thankful for.

And yet, I know there is still a longing for just a little bit more.  A gift that no one but God can give me is to begin celebrating birthdays where I am fully present  -no more distracted by fatigue, pain or brain fog.  In fact, whenever that occurs, I shall  declare that day as my second birthday  and as I blow out that one candle, I will thank God for my rebirth.

Posted by: gaylejervis | April 4, 2011

DO YOU LIVE IN A FAIRY TALE?

Recently, I was conversing with a woman who commented,  “I’ve lived in a fairy tale world since my life has been so easy. I have always had lots of friends, boyfriends and then I married a good man, and have great children.”  She wasn’t apologetic about her circumstances, but she was concerned that she might not be growing spiritually without some adversity.  And yet, I have seen people who go through tough circumstances reject God rather than persevere in their faith.  I have seen these same circumstances reveal character that is actually rather nasty.  In short, these more difficult circumstances don’t guarantee spiritual growth.

When I got home and  reflected on our conversation, I couldn’t help wonder what fairy tales my friend was referring to.  Was it the three pigs where two of them got eaten by the big bad wolf?  Or was it Goldilocks where she barely escaped from the wrath of three very angry bears?   Or was it the dog in The Red Hen who didn’t get any bread from the Red Hen when he didn’t help her?  Or was it the Gingerbread Man who was killed by the cunning wolf who took it across the river? Or  was she thinking of Cinderella who was abused by her step mother and step sisters until  she was was rescued by the prince?

Perhaps my friend was more focused on the ending of these stories or was more focused on some of the more watered down Disney versions of such stories as The Three Little Pigs!

Actually, I think that my friend  is living a fairy tale because she also has made good decisions in the areas that she can control.   She is like the third pig who wisely  built his home so that the big bad wolf couldn’t blow it down!!   She rejects the personality of Goldilocks who carelessly “walked into danger”  when she entered the Three Bears’ house.  And she is most certainly not like the farm animals who wanted to eat the freshly baked loaf of bread even though they refused to help The Little Red Hen!  Therefore, my friend has managed to avoid many negative consequences!

I also suspect that for this woman, contentment plays a huge part in her happily ever after fairy tale.  I know that she is not rich – that she has had to be a good steward of her finances.  I know that she has lost her mother whom she adored – yet she has remained faithful to God.  I know her husband has been struggling these past four years with a health problem but she consistently prays for him. And yet she says she is living the fairy tale life.

Therefore, maybe it is possible to live the fairy tale life even as I live with chronic illness.  Much depends on which character I am imitating from these fairy tales!   I can’t afford to be like one of the first two pigs and be as reckless, irresponsible, impulsive, carefree, and short-sighted if I am going to defeat the ravenous effects of illness such as discouragement and despair.  In fact I must be as resourceful as the third pig in order to live well while chronically ill.  Perhaps, I need to   spend some time visualizing my wolf slipping down the chimney into a pot of scalding water!!

I could also be mentored by Red Riding Hood and develop my intuitiveness to know what treatment protocols are worth trying and what treatments are wrapped in “Grandma’s” clothing but are really the deceptive, cunning wolf.  And I certainly don’t want to be like the narcissistic Goldilocks who  was self-centered and inconsiderate walking into someone else’s home.  I don’t want to become so preoccupied with my illness that I become that self absorbed.

Too often I think that I must wait until I am healthy before I get to experience the happy ending of all fairy tales.  But of course, that is rather shortsighted!  My friend may not be experiencing out of control circumstances to challenge her fairy tale existence, but she is certainly practicing all the good qualities of the fairy tale characters.  And as long as I do the same, I too am participating in a fairy tale existence.

And yes, my life may be more like the original fairy tales  – ones that have lots of conflicts, detours and sometimes frightening consequences.  However, as each year passes and I am still chronically ill,  I comprehend more and more that happiness doesn’t necessarily come from eliminating my circumstances but rather from intentionally surrendering my circumstances to God and then deliberately choosing  positive attitudes toward my circumstances.  If I could become more proficient at that, my level of contentment would  inevitably increase, and then   I too could profess that I live in a fairy tale.  In the meantime, while I work toward that goal, it is comforting to know that on some magical day, I will be transported to a place even better than Disney’s fairy tale  world – where I will effortlessly live “happily ever after”.

Posted by: gaylejervis | March 23, 2011

IRONMAN PIG

As I waited for my grandson to arrive this morning, I couldn’t help but chuckle as I recalled my watching him last week at his swimming lesson.  He stood in the water and exuberantly shouted, “I’m Spider Man.”   Minutes later he  kneeled in the water filling his mouth with water,  stood up and began shooting out  a spray of water.  Then, during  the scavenger hunt, as he brought back only one color of items to his instructor, he proudly said, “Here are the green ones.”

I couldn’t help think how much more relaxed I am as a Grandma.  Whenever my children “strayed” from paying close attention to the teacher, I would be embarrassed and upset.  But on that day, I laughed since I had learned that when these high energy children who have the joie de vivre become adults, they will no longer be spewing water out of their mouths like dolphins.  And that  is what should make us sad!

When my  grandson arrived, he asked,  “Grandma, what we doing today?”  Well, I’m glad you asked!  While I baked some cupcakes, Jackson watched Disney’s movie, Three Little Pigs. When we were finished,  I told him we were going to read from his Bible about Jesus calming the storm.  He proceeded to look through his book trying to find the story!  Then when we sat down to read it, I couldn’t find it but he reassured me it was there.   He seemed a little indignant when I explained that his Bible didn’t have all of the stories that mine did and so I didn’t know if it was in his!

Jackson  enjoyed filling up a water bottle with water, salt, dishwashing liquid and blue food coloring.  As he shook it, we talked about the storm that Jesus stopped.  He especially enjoyed my filling up the sink with water, adding some dish soap and floating his plastic boats.  I gave him a small wire whisk to create white caps from the big waves.

As I stepped away to prepare for the next activity, I heard him shout, “ The storm is rocking my boat. “  I turned to see his boat coming out of the water as he said, “It’s flying in the air.”  Then moments later he shouts, “Jesus, the boat is sinking.  Help us.”  Yes!!  He just revealed how well he understood the story.  A few minutes later, the storm must have stopped as he began singing, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

I set a bath towel on the floor in the hallway and we stepped into our boat.  However, we got a little distracted as Jackson smiled saying, “The dogs are in our boat.”  Yes, indeed.  As I role- played being Jesus, we got a chuckle since when I lowered my head to sleep, I had both dog’s noses on my head!  However, that didn’t stop Jackson from shouting, “We’re drowning. Jesus, wake up and help us.”  We changed roles since I think he enjoyed standing in the “boat”, stretching out his arm, and speaking firmly to the storm, “Storm, stop.”

A few minutes later I put a ball on the towel and we held the towel on each end.  We rocked it gently and gradually increased our rocking as the ”storm” worsened.

When we did a craft, I was impressed how Jackson knew his shapes:  the circle and triangle as we assembled a boat to glue onto construction paper.  I gave him a rectangle, and he said, “I don’t know that one.”

Jackson saw the Three Pigs’ masks and was anxious to start playing with them.  Therefore, I read two books that had slight variations of the story.  Then we decided where to put each mask in the house to represent each house.  Jackson wanted to be the wolf so I represented the pigs.  While we read the books, we practiced the key lines so we were ready to do some acting.  When I played the pig that had the brick house, I pretended to eat him up when he came down the chimney and landed in my big pot.  He laughed but then decided he wanted to be the three pigs!!  When I came to his brick house, he answered the door by telling me “I’m Ironman.”  I told him, “No, you can’t be Ironman, you are a pig.”  He smiled and said, “I’m Ironman Pig.”

I gave him some pictures of the story so that he could put them in proper sequence.  Then he used his play dough to put on the play mats I had copied from the internet that had pictures of each of the pig’s houses and the pig and wolf.   I always appreciate his keen observations as he looked at the white play dough and said, “I’ve never seen this before.  HMM!”  A few minutes later, he is looking at the orange play dough and shows me some play dough that was stuck together and said, “It looks like a turtle.”  He was absolutely right.  Then he added, “It looks like a carrot ‘cause it’s orange.”

When it was getting close to lunch, I told him that we were going to make “Pigs In A Blanket”.  He enjoyed rolling the biscuit dough around the wiener.  At first he disagreed with me saying, “That’s not a wiener, that’s a hot dog.”    I don’t think he found my explanation very satisfactory since later, when he is eating it, he comments, “It TASTES  like a hot dog.”

Then we decorated the muffins to look like pigs.  I had to set some ground rules that he couldn’t eat while cooking.    Of course, moments later, he is trying to ice the cupcake when he gets icing on his finger.  He looks at me questioningly and then says, “Icing is on my finger.  I need to eat it.”  I nod my head and then wash his hands again.  As he is putting the triangular cookie shapes on the pigs for its ears, he comments, “They look like pyramids.”  Pyramids?  “Where did you hear that word?”  He proceeded to give me quite a lengthy explanation about a movie that he watched  had pyramids!!  Who says you can’t learn from watching videos?

Posted by: gaylejervis | March 22, 2011

SQUEEZED BY AN ANGEL

I grew up hearing stories from my Mom and relatives about how I was a breach birth and how Mom’s labor was excruciating.  My Grandma Speers came to live with us since my Mom’s polio had resurfaced and she couldn’t walk for six months and then she had to relearn how to walk.  Therefore, we were rather apprehensive when  years later, my sister went into labor.  And sure enough, she was in terrible pain for 27 hours with various complications until a caesarean section was performed.  When I became pregnant, I decided I could defy the genetic predisposition toward labor and Greg and I took La Maze Pregnancy Classes and I studiously practiced the breathing exercises.  My labor was better than my Mom’s and my sister’s, but I still had two births with my babies resting on my spine so that I thought they were going to emerge from my back. Eventually, these babies turned,  but  I wanted better for my daughter.

One week before my daughter went into labor, I thought I saw an encouraging sign when my daughter-in-law’s sister had a simple delivery.  However, when my daughter went into the hospital, she was immediately hooked up to monitors due to her own high blood pressure and due to the baby’s fast heart  beat.  She was given blood tests for further information.  Her baby was facing up rather than down which caused the doctor to explain that was why her labor was long and hard.

She was determined not to take drugs until finally she called out and said she needed something.  At first she said she needed morphine, but I encouraged her to have the epidural.  Since my daughter has a high pain threshold and is very determined, I knew that the pain was just about unbearable when she conceded.

As we waited for the anesthesiologist, I looked out the window and spoke angrily to God.  My 14 years of illness has never precipitated such an eruption of frustration and anger.  And yet,  I continued to inform Greg of specific prayer needs and he called people to pray for Kristen.  And then this beautiful angel arrived who is named after my Mom who is in heaven:  Viola Ann.

My anger was replaced by awe  as I gazed into this beautiful miracle.  And in the aftermath of delivery I finally became   aware of God’s touches in that room:

  1. God enabled me to be in the labor room all those hours!
  2. God lowered Kristen’s blood pressure
  3. God lowered Viola’s heart beat prior to her delivery
  4. Just moments before Kristen began pushing down,  Viola turned face down.
  5. Her doctor and nurses had told her that the pushing was going to last at least 1 ½ hours and instead it was considerably shorter.

Yes, all of these might have occurred without prayer.  Or not.  Up until that day, I had not been able to stay in a vertical position for that many hours in a LONG time.  And even though the next day was more difficult, I was able to spend the afternoon with them in the hospital waiting for Kristen and Viola to be released.  Even though I still had lots of symptoms the week I stayed at her place, I was still given enough strength to help her with meals and laundry.  Adrenalin?  Maybe.  Or not.

How many times throughout this illness has God answered various requests but because He hasn’t healed me, I don’t see them as answers?  At my daughter’s home, I was watching Viola being changed when this little angel squeezed her fingers around my finger. How often has God held me gently but unless I  pay close attention, I miss his slight squeeze to remind me of His Presence?

Older Posts »

Categories