Gratitude for the little big things

So it’s Thanksgiving and nothing went as we had hoped: our trip to Texas to be with my hubby’s family got cancelled after my recent ER visit with severe back pain, alternate plans never materialized, and we had to cancel dinner reservations for tonight due to seizure spikes for most of the afternoon. Today is our wedding anniversary too. When I apologized for wreaking havoc on my hubby’s holiday, his response was, “well we’re saving money left and right!” And now you see who I am so thankful for this holiday.

I love you Steve.  Happy anniversary!

And Godspeed Gentle Readerfb_img_1480031316027. :J

There’s dirt under my fingernails!

No matter what happens from here, I must rejoice:  there’s dirt under my fingernails!

Yes, in the middle of this wretched illness, with many projects on hold, the sun shone and there was a break in the noxious symptoms plaguing my life.  So what did I do?  I got outside and played in the dirt, that’s what!dirt under fingernails

Harvested the overgrown swiss chard.

Planted the tomato salsa coneflower I bought from a local nursery last week.


Cut back a few perennials that the dead flowerheads were spreading their seeds where I did not want them to go.

Cleaned up the dead stalks of the daylilies in the front beds.

Harvested a few radishes and 3 monster carrots.

Tidied up a bit here and there.

Started the conversion of a raised bed into a massive mulch pile for the winter.

Finally trimmed a dead branch from one of the three variegated dogwood bushes.

Cleaned up the grass overgrowth from one of the two trees leftover from my Spring clean-up.  Mulched.

Played with my garden dog, very happy to be out and about with me in the yard.  Oh pups.  You da best.

Now why would I detail every aspect of these precious 2 1/2 hours?  Because I would rather work in my garden than do just about anything.  It grieved me terribly to waste a beautiful afternoon on Tuesday when I was a few minutes from going outside and my symptoms tanked instead.  The ordeal ended Wednesday morning.  And so my frustration has continued for two years, with what has become the “endurance race” of recovery from Lyme disease and mold illness.  The best coping strategy is to make no plans, hope for a little something, and rejoice when at least I get some decent sleep no matter what time of day it comes.

Then when you can go out and get some dirt under your fingernails, TELL THE WORLD!!!  Oh and water soaked my right gym shoe too.  And my knee pads (essential over age 50 you know) are encrusted with mud.  Ain’t it great?

Hang in there, Gentle Readers.  Sometimes something good happens when you least expect it.  :J

You have made a difference!

I am grateful for the love, care, and support of some special folks who have helped me make it through nearly two years of serious illness.  I am also sad for those who have left my life or misunderstood this time in my life.  Hardship is not contagious folks!Mom's 75th B Day Party

First, the good stuff.  The person nearest and dearest to my heart is my beloved husband, Steve.  I am amazed when I gaze into his blue eyes at the sincerity of his love for me and for the Lord too.  When he comes close and holds me through a tough episode, cradling my neck in his hands to comfort me and minimize the trauma of various noxious symptoms, I am humbled!  There are not many people on the planet that would do this even for a loved one two years “down the road.”  Many would become exasperated, angry, indifferent, or worse by now.  Thank you Lord for this amazing man.  Thank you for my “Jesus with skin on.”

The next group of folks closest to the fire, so to speak, who have helped me to survive are my Lyme Literate Medical Doctor and our local Lyme disease support group (who are largely his patients).  You understand!  You get it!  And you believe me!  When my Doc calls me on a Saturday with the name of a pharmacy where I can get a medication almost $100 USD cheaper, I am grateful!  When it’s my turn to share at our monthly Lyme group meeting and my tummy is happy from the yummy snacks we bring that fit our special dietary restrictions, I feel loved!  And then when we exchange text messages or Cindy, or Roberta or Diana offers help with a special task, I am humbled.  Oh how I pray I may serve you too in your time of need.

A few dear friends and family members have witnessed and endured much of the past 10 years of this incredible journey of transformation.  I love the kind of relationships that go on no matter what life brings, picking up when we meet again as if no time has passed.  I hope my brother Mike, Brenda, Deb, Kinsey, Patrice, Mary, Judy, Maria, Tami, and a few others feel the same way?   Now that my parents and grandparents have passed away, I appreciate even more my extended family including my Other Mom, Other Dad, Uncle Dave, Aunt Lori, Aunt Patty, and Aunt Shirley.  I love you and thank you for investing in my life.

There’s a special place in my heart for the online community.  Whether I met you on a Facebook Lyme forum, your blog or when you commented on my blog, I credit you with keeping me sane at the odd times of day when no one else cares!  Thank you for your “likes,” for following this blog, for your comments and suggestions, for your time.  The greatest gift from a friend is a gift of his or her time.  When you reach out to me I know that I am not alone.  While the internet can be a ruthless place, I am grateful for it’s goodness, especially when I am awake in the middle of the night.  It’s pretty cool that my buds in the UK or West coast of the US are online when I am!  Please let me know how I may return your kindness.

I’ll save the best for last.  In the interim, I’ll briefly state my sorrow for those who have chosen to leave my life.  He or she will not be reading this so I won’t waste much white space gushing this or that emotion.  I am grateful that when I have endured hardship in the past, I learned the importance of letting go of the people, places, and things that leave my life at these times.  Perhaps saying goodbye makes room to welcome the blessings that are to come?  Thank you for all that you have taught me.  Godspeed, dear ones.  I’ll be here if you want to stop by for a chat or walk around the block in the future.  As for the things, well they are just things.  So long.

And now for the best:  the One who knew me and my frame before I was born, fearfully and wonderfully made by Your guiding hand.  (Psalm 139)  I love you Lord and thank you for saving me from my path of destruction as a young woman.  I praise you for crafting the incredible events of my life to bring me more blessing than I could have ever imagined in the middle of my journey on this earth.  While I do not fully understand the sorrows that have come, I am convinced that You hold my tears in your hand, counting and caring for each drop, every pain.  I have never felt alone.  Thank you Jesus for bringing me to Your throne of grace where I may dwell in Your presence now and forevermore.  Grow my trust in Your promises, Your plan for my life, Your will for me all that is around me in this world that is troublesome.  Come soon my Lord!

So for all of you and you and you and you and You who have made a difference in my life, I give thanks.   If I have screwed up somewhere, please let me know and consider forgiving me.   I want to make it right if I can.  And if any good comes from me, these blogs, or anything else, to God be the glory.  He is worthy to be praised!

Thank You!

Thank you for being out there for me in cyberland my dear blog friend.  You help me get through some of the subtler parts of recovering from Lyme Disease.  It’s the journaling that makes a difference.  And maybe knowing that some of you are praying for me too.

It’s different than a prayer chain at my church or my husband’s humble update about me at the end of our Wednesday night service.  You read this in the free time of your busy, distracted, already filled lives.  You can hit delete, open a new window, or simply ignore me in a flash if that is your desire.  No one will probably know if you read this or don’t.  I hope I never take that for granted!

By the way, earlier today I did make it through my second craft show.  Praise the Lord!  You would crack up if you saw me walking with my husband through our local discount warehouse store, Sam’s Club, afterwards:  a little crooked, leaning on the cart, then finally letting the cart that my husband was pushing through the parking lot, pull me back to the car!  I was pooped!  Five hours later, the four hour nap was behind me.  I’m doing much better now, thankfully.

So just for you is a special coupon if you are also fans of Trinity Jewelry by Design:  free shipping!  Just use coupon code:  BLOGFRIEND at checkout.  This week I hope to add bracelets and necklaces from Threads of Hope.  Their friendship bracelets and jewelry create work for impoverished families in the Philippines under the ministry of Alex and Chris Kuhlow.  And later next week, the wooden bracelets from women in Nairobi, Kenya and Market Colors will complete our main product lines for this year.  Check the References section of this blog for more info. on these great organizations.  Call it making a difference:  meaningfulness conveyed through jewelry.  Cool beans.

I am humbled what the Lord has allowed me to accomplish this year.  Blogging and jewelry are welcome distractions from illness.  Thank you for being a part of my life.  May the Lord bless you!

Widows in Malawi, Africa
Market Colors:  Widows in Malawi, Africa
Threads of Hope
Threads of Hope:  Manilla, Philippines