Praising the Lord as I Hit the Bumps in the Journey

Hello, how are you my friends?  Hope all is well as I write tonight’s blog…

So, as I write this, I will first let you know that I may not write a blog for at least a week as I prepare to focus on a final paper on a passage in the book of Micah for my class on the OT Prophets this week.  Yep, another class is about to end and that will be one more down with five more to go…if I get a chance, maybe i’ll pop in and write a few notes about the final as I discover the Lord’s lessons in this study…

Anyway, as I go through this journey of earning a degree towards a Master in Pastoral Care, I have been hit with a few bumps in terms of my own health and even my husband’s health, which have forced me to cut back my hours at the church but I won’t give it up.  I almost did but God reminded me that He wanted me there and opened my eyes to another option of cutting back hours, which I have, as I face the bumps in my journey.

  • Bump 1:  As for my health, I won’t go into details but earlier this year I was finally diagnosed with diabetes and began treatment.  Currently its just taking a med twice a day as my condition is monitored.  This has forced me to watch what I eat and focus more on natural ways to heal my body.  For the most part, I’m controlling it.
  • Bump 2:  Then, throughout the course of getting routine checkups, a biopsy has occurred with the results to be on the lookout for a concern and be treated for it…no its not the c word, yet, praise the Lord and praising the Lord that it won’t become the c word.
  • Bump 3:  Another routine test confirmed a suspicion – I have partial hearing loss…it took 20 years until I finally got a doctor to really listen and have me tested.  IF something is not right, be persistent with doctors.  Yet, I need to be tested for something else to explain the physical reason why I have partial hearing loss (thought it was from either getting hit by a baseball plus construction at work at the time).  Even need expensive hearing aids!  But praising the Lord that He’s in control…
  • Bump 4:  Finally, yet another issue has been hitting my body that has led to the discovery of low iron and hemoglobin levels – yet another round of tests coming up…yes, I’m still praising the Lord!
  • Bump 5:  My husband has been having circulation problems again and this next week he will be having an angiogram on his hip to determine the extent of lack of blood flow in his right stump…yet I’m still praising the Lord.

Well, to be honest, I haven’t always been praising the Lord – over the course of the last several days, I’ve had my scary moments and even questioned why the Lord would send me on the journey to get a degree in ministry, only to have my health be attacked like this.  Yet, I continue to praise Him even in the scary times and sought both His comfort and the comfort of my husband’s arms and strong encouraging words.

I’ve felt alone because I’ve asked for prayer from people and not getting much response…yet I still praise the Lord and I will still pray for people.  Though the storm clouds seem dark right now, I know the Son is still shining and HE is in control.

Suggestion:  Be there for people as they are going through a rough time…even if you don’t know what to say or do, just a simple I’m praying for you will work.  Being silent only makes the person(s) think you don’t care and the storm clouds seem darker.  Yet that person(s) knows they still have Jesus at their side.

Finally, no questions tonight, but just a wrap up…even if you are still silent with people, you are still loved…as we continue to praise the Lord and put our trust in Him.

Adoption Anniversary…A Cat’s Journey

Well, in just little over a week, we will be celebrating our cat’s 4th anniversary since she came to live with us…

Her journey from the start has been interesting since we adopted her from a pet fair at a local pet store.  We already had one cat but felt she needed a companion so we made the decision to adopt.  She was a scrawny thing at that time, facing away from people, and already rejected by one potential family.  Yet, my husband wanted her even after she swiped at him with a claw.  I told him maybe we shouldn’t adopt her because he does not need a scratch from a cat.

He insisted so adopt her we did.

We took her home where our one cat became pissed even after we took our new baby into the spare bathroom.  Frightened, we left her alone until the next morning when I went in to check her.  She was scared and wanted nothing to do with us yet I sat with her for a bit and comforted her.  She cuddled with me for a few moments before backing away.

After a couple of days, I let her out and she went wild so I told my husband that maybe we should give her back.  He decided to call about her history and discovered that she was the runt, lived with an older person, and had gotten pregnant at a young age and then lost that batch.  The foster parent told us that once you got to know her, she was quite loveable so we decided to keep her and give her a chance.

Well, that chance became a challenge as I was determined to change her into a sweet cat.  It has been tough and it has taken a long time to tame her especially when she spent most of three years outside.  Even then it was a journey as she brought in everything from dead snakes, live baby bunnies, and even a rat into the house and let it loose!  Yes, many near heart attacks but I survived…

Then, unfortunately, due to issues with my husband and his health, we had to give up our older cat.  Later, we realized we should have tried other methods to prevent this cat from attacking my husband’s medical equipment, which was causing infections.

Then, our girl started to calm down as she was finally able to sleep with us and started bonding with us more.  More bonding came as we moved to an apartment and she was not able to got out.

Yet, since our move to our new town, she has become even more calm and the bonding continues to the point that she is finally warming up to even strangers and finally doing some serious cuddling.  We’ll just see how she does after we take her to a new vet this week…sigh…

Throughout this journey, she has taught us the following:

  1. That no matter what, it’s important to give not only animals a chance but humans as well.  Being patient and loving will lead to bonding and trust, which needs to be earned even with humans.
  2. Forgiveness – she has forgiven us for a lot of unintentional boo boos like me kicking her at night in my sleep, taking her to the vet for shots, leaving her alone for 2 weeks (with a cat sitter coming in to visit), and even the long trip to a new home.  Thus, we need to learn to forgive each other no matter what happens.
  3. Even cats can be service animal especially with our cat who has alerted us when hubby is low on blood sugar or even having a stroke…so listen to them when they try to tell you something.
  4. Oh, she loves company sine we always have a cats coming up to our porch and hanging out…
  5. She loves to listen when I read the Bible with her as the audience…her big eyes watch and she acts content…so read the bible aloud to your animal…

So, yeah, if you can, let your animals teach you something…after all, God made them to be companions and even possibly teach us a thing or two.

What have you learned from your pet throughout your journey?


Things I have learned recently…

I’m back to blogging….tonight I am writing about a few things that I have learned throughout this latest journey…

First, the latest journey has ended…my husband is home after almost 3 weeks in the hospital.  He is slowly recovering and we do have help to assist with his care because he will need long term care from now on.  Just keep praying that he continues to heal.

Second, I’m done with my final on forgiveness…perhaps in a few days I will pull out the key points and post them here.  This class on the Gospel of Matthew taught me quite a bit about Jesus, the Gospels, and even teachings like forgiveness.  Even fully understanding why Jesus made the sacrifice on the Cross especially for us Gentiles when He cleansed the temple, which was one of the final straws that led to His death and then the hope of His resurrection.  And, remember, sometimes compassion is more important than the Laws….

Third, above all, I learned that even when life is stressful as it has been throughout this class, God gives us the strength to accomplish something.  Even though I asked and received an extension for my final paper, I was able to complete it by the original due date of last night!  I passed with flying colors on that paper and earned another A to keep my GPA of 4.0.  Amazing!  Praise the Lord!

Fourth, the class on Matthew was my last class at Hope as I prepare to transfer to Northwest University.  It’s been an amazing journey now I must transition to NU and finish a dream to earn a degree at the college while having the chance to be surrounded by family when I finally graduate.  Otherwise I would not be able to have family if I graduated from a school so far away.  My new class will be on learning how to perform weddings, funerals, and other church type events.  I can’t wait as I eagerly peruse the stack of new books at my desk.

Fifth, when you’re scared and feel along, worship with your heart.  At times, while my husband was away, I would get scared at night.  I prayed and sang songs of praise so I would be able to sleep well.

Sixth, balance hospital visits and your life.  I was able to keep my wits by visiting my husband every other day.  You may feel like you are abandoning your loved one; however, unless they are gravely ill, it’s a good thing.  You are able to get needed household stuff done (plus other stuff like schoolwork) without stressing or wearing yourself out.  This is especially important to take care of yourself so you can be prepared to take care of loved one once they come out of the hospital.

Seventh, release pride.  We have help with my husband – caregivers – and it’s strange releasing some of the work to them.  Yet, this will free you up to take care of more important things around the home while spending more quality time with your loved one.  I thank those who are caregivers such as nurses, home health aides, therapists, etc. who works these jobs without complaint and are gentle to a person’s loved one.

Eighth, the hospital time may be somewhat of a blessing.  We discovered a group of people who share the same dream to open up a community style coffee shop someday.  As soon as my hubby is stronger, we hope to meet with these people and learn more about their dream.  So stay tuned.

Finally, I am grateful that God is continuing to heal my husband and HE helped us through these tough times.  Praying that my husband regains the strength he needs as he continues to heal.  I am also grateful for all of you and I hope you have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.

What are your thoughts as you go through a journey that may seem tough?  Please feel free to comment…

A Harness of Unforgiveness

Since we are about to move to a new state, we need to prepare our cat for such a long move.  To prepare her, we bought a harness to put around her little body so that when we make stops and need to let her out, we do not want her running off.

Our first step in preparing her for the harness was to get her used to a collar.  We never had one for her because we wanted her to be free since she used to be a part time outdoor cat.  When we moved to a new apartment, she lost that freedom and now she is mainly an indoor kitty who is getting lazy and a bit chunky so we want to exercise her; thus another reason for the harness.

She likes the collar especially the new one with a jingle bell on it and little bees decorating the collar.  My blind husband can hear her and she is warming up to him more since he knows where she is at and can be petted more by him, which is a way to bond with a cat. Though the new collar makes a great wakeup call especially early in the morning when she decides to play near the bedrooms – before the alarm clock goes off.  We love her anyway especially when she comes up and cuddles with me first thing in the morning.

Anyway, when we first put the harness on, she hissed and growled so I removed it.

After she had time to calm down, we tried it again and I was given the look that said I wounded her pride and she was not happy.  Next came lots of lovin’ and kisses and treats with a dose of reassurance.  After a couple of hours, we removed the harness.

Today, the harness went back on for several hours.  When I finally removed it, there was a bit of fussiness but soon she relaxed as “mommy” petted her and reassured her that all is well.

Our next step will be to spend a few hours a day with said harness and eventually work up to the leash…what a chore!  Guess we’ll put test the theory as to rather or not you can train “old” cats new tricks…

Our Misty is learning new tricks as we learn that animals…no matter what you do to them, will forgive you for many things especially if they are treated well.

Though forgiveness is not always so easy for people since we are not so quick to forgive.  This bitterness and unforgiveness will keep us from fulfilling our purpose.  As you read this blog, is there someone in your life that you need to forgive?  Like a harness, perhaps this heart of unforgiveness is keeping you from pursuing your vision…