i am much like the little engine that could right now. knowing i need to update you at the same time i am riddled with feelings of not wanting to bore you with all the grossness going on. changes even i haven't really dealt with yet. i am home. where do i begin? when it rains it pours and we are paddling...hard. it seems when the enemy attacks it is from all sides and i am reminded of the red sea..and of gideon..and of her words..
maybe 3 days after surgery. still very bloated with the gas and water retention
Jesus is redeeming this--redeeming everything
i am clinging to these words. i can't even tell you how much so. today i just hung my head and cried..thanking God for being with me even when i am so focused on my own pain. He has never left me. it is very up and down. i feel overwhelmed to have to empty my bag. it is like a baby i take care of using baby wipes to clean the end of the bag as i roll it up. i sleep on my back when all i want is my stomach. and staring at the stoma ( what they call the small intestine that is now coming through your abdomen ) i am scared of it. changing the bag is scary. i still feel like a mac truck has run over me. i just waited to long. i went in to sick and with a chronic disease that has evolved from mild to severe over the years with that has come pain meds that i now have to work to come off of as well.
nikki has two more days left at her insurance job. HAPPY dance!! she has been MY hero. she has been taking care of me and the kids and the house and her MOXIE has been put on the back shelf and she is behind there just when it was launched and she is heavy with anxiety & worry
chelsee and her husband and the kids have moved in with us the week of my surgery! four babies with mom and dad in one bedroom. they sold their donut shop and are waiting to see whether they are going to move to florida or not. chelsee has been my cleaner and cook and does our laundry ..she made me an awesome tater tot casserole tonight. she AMAZES me with her energy to take care of the kids...and me. both girls are researching to find good protein sources to fix me things i can eat.
i am blessed to have my kids. i wouldn't trade them for the WORLD. they make me laugh..hard! we mean something to each other. life is so short. i don't want to miss a single moment. so the more i take care of ME the more i can take care of THEM.
and my mom..she has been an unbelievable support to me. i am grateful for this time just to be near her. to learn more about her...to love on her and let her love on me. she has been my chauffeur and food getter and cheerleader as i changed my bag for the first time by myself. heck now i don't care who sees my butt....geesh!
grace & dakota have been so good to me. dakota tucks me in for naps and helps me up out of chairs and runs and gets more baby wipes when i need them...ha! graci just misses her mommy. i miss her--
dakota graduates this month so we are trying to get his grad party planned and all of the other "life" stuff that i know YOU know very well. you know life don't you? i am sure you have been through when it rains it pours times.
there is a battle going on..i don't want to speak much of it but the kids dad is rearing his head and it causes me to stress
and i share all of that to let YOU know that we are a very real family and honestly--if you looked at our circumstances without faith in the living God we would have no HOPE. none.
but GOD -- asked me a couple of weeks ago this question. not audibly but as if it came out of our dialogue one morning and it went something like this
if the blessing comes through pain will you take it?..what? if the blessing comes through pain will you take it?
as the very conditions for blessing enlarge territory end of myself & circumstances stop asking for sympathy for hard situations or bad treatment this is how the blessings come abba- through pain squeezing - clenching the life breath releases long enough as the next one builds- where the last drop of me is spilled so YOU can...taken from my journal
this is what He asked me a couple of weeks ago and my heart was rent asunder. you see-- even though all of the above things are realities..the gift of this is like you are given a remote control to push a slow mo button. i get to look around at the beating hearts and feel them. i have been given a gift. if i don't receive it i will be losing out on much. it is almost as if you are given a glimpse behind the curtain into the spiritual realm where Jesus lives. i see it watching jen & bill last night. watching the Duggers. seeing cancer patients with their families at the hospital. watching the little girl with downs syndrome LIVE life and be loved..women who are fighting each and everyday to find wholeness..the homeless..the stinky and down trodden. the drunks..the drug addicted. while there is a percent of the population who are hardened who will not be changed. there are those.
looking behind the curtain though calls to me..it asks me ever so softly to just come. come to where i am working. leave all of this noisy & numbing american selfishness and COME
throw caution to the wind--will you receive the blessing? will you receive YOUR life's calling? we pray for blessing but i tend to think of it all packaged with twine and kraft paper...not in war, giants & blood.
we had some scary moments in the hospital after i came out of surgery and you know what?
family is the only thing that matters! if anything else is getting in the way of nurturing that..take it out. when it is your time there is nothing you can do and believe me you want your family and time
for those who don't know what is happening..for the last 10 years i have been living half a life. having a chronic disease called ulcerative colitis that went from mild to severe over the years. this developing disease grew inside a very abusive deceiving relationship. it has changed the landscape of me & my family forever.
i had a colectomy tuesday. my whole colon was removed. the colon's main function is to squeeze out the water and salt from the stool. since the colon is not needed to live the surgery i had they took my small intestine and brought it through my abdomen creating a 'stoma'
1 week and 2 days after surgery. i have 4 small incisions and one 4" incision under my belly button where they removed the colon and then my stoma where the bag is attached. the swelling and water retention has gone now i am trying to gain weight back.
-i will always have absorption issues -dehydration will always be an issue -i went in to the hospital so very sick. i had waited to long to make this decision for surgery. i was malnourished which resulted in my first central line so they could give me tpn ( total parental nutrition)
-what i am struggling with now is eating & drinking enough. i have to eat 6 small meals a day. think of a one year old's plate and chew chew chew. blockages are common and i am freaking out about that so i am very careful to do all i am supposed to do.
-another issue is pain medications. i have been on them for so long that i am going to have to work with pain management to work off of them. keeping my pain under control while working myself off of them.
-recovery will be SLOW for me. yes-that is hard for an impatient girl. this too i must submit to if i want to learn.
for all of your prayers and words of encouragement. for waiting on us. i pray for each of YOU that you know a life of living LOVED. that you are able to hear his love song over you each and everyday. that no matter what you have done in the past present or future that YOU are loved and have a way of escape. that YOU can experience heaven NOW--that you can know PEACE and have a HOPE. that YOU can overcome the lies of the enemy and break those down so they will have no control over you. and i earnestly pray you have a front row seat in a life of MIRACLES....i forever love you all.
you can follow us here houseofbelonging to follow our journey of finding the sacred connections within the heart-home-handmade
this surgery WAS NOT planned! i had a flare this last november and was hospitalized and was then given the ultimatum...colon or forever living sick and in the hospital and i would not be able to continue to work or have a a good quality of life anymore. 5 months later another flare got my attention so surgery was scheduled. there would be no good time to do it and now was as good as any.
i am closing the "sign" part of the shop for a week or so. Moxie will start up next week with nikki's first week working here. my daughters and son in law will start on all of the sign orders on Monday. i will be sending all orders that are past due, the mock ups etc. a CONVO notifying you of your status. i am so disappointed that my customers have had to wait several weeks and if there was anything i could differently i would. i got so sick the last several weeks i couldn't see straight. i don't know how i got through it until the surgery except by the grace of God. a million thank you's.
REMEMBER - we are combining our shops ( house of belonging signs & MOXIE ) into ONE store. we will still have our Etsy shops with special items in there but all custom orders and new additions will be in the new store. nikki will be working on that next week as well we will let you know the URL soon.
and i cry out for grace. each day is new and hard. but it is a brand NEW day..
:how powerful we are when we cheer for each other...read LIFTING OF ARMS by Rebekah Lyons
find the right things to eat to gain weight for fear of blockages and the bag to vanish to stay hydrated for God to be our refuge and strength that we KNOW His presence as that for the feelings of condemned isolation & powerlessness to disappear come down off pain meds easy to be able to catch up quickly on orders with minimal stress
for God to shine through all of this..