Archives For attitude

‘Tis the Season

November 29, 2013 — Leave a comment

Thanksgiving might be over, but why do we have to wait an entire year just to reflect on the things that we are thankful for? I know that I may not always remember, but I try every Thursday to post something I am thankful for, you might have seen me use #ThankfulThursday on occasion. I want to exhibit a spirit of gratitude all year-long instead of just waiting for the season to come around. So even though it’s the day after Thanksgiving, here are a few things that I am thankful.

Coffee mugs that put a smile on my face every morning

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My child and his love for all things Star Wars

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Finally knowing why my hands do this…

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Seeing the joy in my child’s eyes when he met Mickey Mouse

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Growing up with an amazing family… 

And finding super awesome old pictures of your childhood, that I am sure they will be so grateful I posted! :) 

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Having married my high school sweetheart and getting to walk through life with the most kind, patient and loving person by my side

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For having a husband who wants to play super heroes with our child. 

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For that moment when my son saw the ocean for the first time

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My forever accessory to life

My forever accessory to life

When my face is rash free, my joints are treating me nice and my fingers don’t go crazy white I can forget that I have an illness. Mostly when I have had weeks and even months of feeling better than usual. The thing about Lupus is that majority of the time it doesn’t show through on the outside. I look just like everyone else, I seem to be healthy but reality is far from that. There are times when I look into the mirror and think back to that moment I heard “You have Lupus” and find myself doubting those very words. Could it really be true? I have felt so good lately. I look okay. Maybe it was all in my head. But those thoughts come to a sudden jolt when I am reminded of my disease every day by my twice-a-day pill organizer. What twenty-something has a pill organizer? Just those that need one..

The truth is I am not in denial of my diagnosis. I’m actually okay with it. But sometimes I find myself looking and feeling like I used to and then everything becomes surreal. When I actually stop to think about those words “You have Lupus” it’s hard to believe. Not because I wish it weren’t so or because I fear what is ahead. It’s hard to believe because who thinks that they will have their world altered by words like that? No one. I seem to be healthy, and sometimes I even feel that way. But then I get reminded of just how invisible this illness really is when I wake up with achy joints and the beautiful butterfly rash to accent my face for the next several days and my stark white fingers that are my winter accessory. Truthfully it’s as simple as this… I don’t think about my disease all the time and if I am having several good days in a row I forget about this part of my life, that I have Lupus. But, I think that is a good thing because it’s pretty great that people don’t see me and see my illness. I will talk to people about it with all honesty, but I like knowing that it doesn’t have to be me. I think it’s okay to forget about your diagnosis because every day when I take my morning and evening medicine that is enough of a reminder. I don’t need to dwell on it.

I do not fear what is ahead. Rain or shine, God Has plans far greater than mine, and that includes my disease!

The following is a guest post by my friend Jenna Rader. I am excited to have Jenna’s leap into the blogging world here on Raising Inspiration. She has such a wonderful spirit and I know that you will enjoy her writing as much as I do! Show her some love! 

At nearly seventy years of age, my mother underwent her third hip replacement surgery on the same joint. The surgeon botched the first surgery by inserting an oversized apparatus. Several months later, when she was still unable to walk and one leg was an inch longer than the other, the doctors finally admitted the mistake and scheduled another replacement surgery.

After the second surgery and several more months of pain and inability to walk, my mother discovered that the second hip replacement apparatus had been recalled by the manufacturer due to reports of severe allergic reactions in patients.  In the third surgery, the doctor reported that the site where the apparatus was located was covered with tumors. Not only was her hip-joint replaced for a third time, reconstruction was conducted on much of the tissue.

Upon awakening from this third surgery, my mother, still groggy from anesthetic, asked the nurse’s aide if she knew about the Bible App that she could access on her phone. She tried to download it for her and when she was unable to, I received the following text:

Text Message

 

Rather than being bitter and angry from the numerous surgeries, the inability to walk for nearly three years and the trauma that has been caused to her body through no fault of her own, my mother continually chooses a good attitude and possesses a beautiful godly spirit. She always shares God’s love with others.

She may never be able to walk without help again. I know that she will continue to have joy and spread God’s blessings no matter the circumstance.

Paul, writing from prison, possessed this same attitude – an attitude of joy because of the grace and love that God has bestowed upon his children. “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13

This kind of joy is not a human-based happiness or an emotion that comes and goes. True joy is divine in origin and emanates from the grace of God. It is a spirit-given expression of God’s grace that flourishes best in hard times. It is a timeless joy that flows out of people directly from God.

And I want to be just like that.

 

Go On, Admit It.

September 7, 2013 — Leave a comment

This is not an easy post to write. You see it is very common for people diagnosed with any disease to struggle with depression. But, no one wants to talk about it. Why? Because if you admit to having dealt with this issue then suddenly you will be seen as an emotionally unstable basket case. At least that is what we believe others will see.

typewriterThe truth is, it’s very common to deal with depression. In fact the Lupus Foundation of America states that “between 15 and 60 percent of people with a chronic illness will experience clinical depression.” That is a significant number! So why do we fear to mention this “symptom” of our disease? Because we are scared that others will view us differently. 

I have dealt with depression. There I said it. And honestly it’s not even easy for me to admit to you right now. I am actually sitting here thinking about your response as I type this.

At first I didn’t even realize that I was dealing with depression. I thought that I was emotional for one reason or another. When I finally began to realize what I was dealing with I didn’t want to admit it out loud because saying it means that it’s a reality. The thing is I wasn’t depressed about any one thing, I would find myself crying for no reason at all and frustrated that I couldn’t figure out why. I struggled understanding what was happening because I never really had a melt down after being diagnosed. There was a peace that I felt when I heard the words Lupus. There was finally a name to the problems I was having, and I knew that everything was in God’s hands. But, what I didn’t take into account was the changes that happened days, weeks and even months ahead. Fatigue that caused our family to end a Saturday outing earlier than normal, nausea that lasted all day, painful joints that left me sitting on the couch with heating pads all evening. It could be much worse, but it was change that I didn’t see coming. I also now know that certain medications can have a side effect of depression. Eventually my emotions began to shine through and I was able to see that yes, I was dealing with depression.

I don’t believe that depression is something that can ever truly be a hurdle that you leap over and never come to again with a chronic illness. The difference is that once you know it can creep up along your path at anytime you know what to do with it. For me, I look at it as another way to help others. You see I truly believe that my Lupus is more than just an illness. It is a ministry. If I didn’t battle with the things that come with my disease then I wouldn’t be able to encourage others in the way that I can connect with them now. So I write this to you today to say that it is okay to not be perfect! It is okay to admit that our illness stinks! It is okay to admit that your having a rough day! Because then we can stand together and fight our illnesses side by side!

I am not patient. But lately I am finding that God is teaching me this very difficult lesson. There are so many dreams I have for myself and our family that I truly believe are dreams instilled in me from God. Sometimes those things just don’t happen overnight. In fact, that is usually the case! With the world of instant gratification the idea of waiting is unthinkable! Patience, who has time for that? I’ll just zap my food in the microwave and my “baked lasagna” will be ready in less than 3 minutes! Why on Earth would I actually bake my lasagna in the oven for half an hour? Patience! Ha! Do we even know what the world actually means?

Dictionary.com defines patience as the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like. An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.

Go ahead and make an entire meal from the microwave! Why wait an hour?

Go ahead and make an entire meal from the microwave! Why wait an hour?

I’m pretty sure that our microwave zapping, instant streaming, world in our hands by the touch of an iPhone generation doesn’t have much of a chance! And I am right there with the rest of the population. If my iPhone is taking a hair too long to upload a page I’m annoyed, don’t even get me started when there are three commercials on Hulu instead of just one! Speaking of commercials, my child doesn’t even know what they are! We don’t have cable. Instead we bought Netflix and Hulu, made our lives cheaper and no commercials! The first time he experienced the world of commercials he was at his Aunt’s house and the Mickey Mouse Club House was rudely interrupted by a commercial. He energetically let out “I want more! More Mickey!” This continued until the show came back on. Little did we know getting rid of traditional cable would make my child impatient! It wasn’t our intention, I promise!

I’m not sure about your family, but we like to dream big! Chase and I will be driving down the road and one or both of us will start dreaming of having more children, when we can take a big Europe vacation, update our kitchen, get a second car, Chase’s businesses grow even larger and I write full-time. Our list of dreams go on and on. Here is what I am learning, rather slowly, these things might actually be our future but they won’t come easy and they won’t come with the push of a button. Sometimes we have to patiently wait where we are, work hard and enjoy the blessings of our current circumstances because as long as we are following God’s path, the blessings are sure to follow! This is something that I am having to remind myself of more often than not. I see what we are working towards, the steps we are taking and the amazing benefits of our sacrifices to get where we are wanting to go. But I still struggle with the microwave mentality. Can’t it just happen now? I’m trying daily to overcome this awful mindset because I know that when you are so focused on what you want someday, you miss out on the amazing of today! And I don’t want to miss out on the blessings of my here and now!