Archives For love

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.

 

Last week Chase and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary! You’re probably thinking to yourself “Wow! 8? How old are you?” Yes, I was a young bride. In fact I was 18 when we got married just after my senior year of high-school. We got married in July and I started college the next month! It was pretty awesome going through college together, I honestly couldn’t imagine having done it any other way! I really do believe that God brought us together my junior year of high-school and we simply fell in love and knew that this was who God had for us! I feel so blessed to have spent the past 8 years with my high school sweetheart!

I don’t know what you do for anniversaries, but we don’t do presents. After our first anniversary where we spent an outrageous price on steak and lobster plus exchanging gifts, we decided that gifts weren’t necessary. Instead we have either gone on a trip, gone on a super fun date or had a stay-cation. One of my favorite anniversaries was our 6th when we went to Walt Disney World. We looked at that as our Honeymoon we always wanted but couldn’t afford at 18 and 19. Not every year we can do something that extravagant, but we can do something new and fun!

This year we took Monday and Tuesday off work, enjoyed a four-day weekend as a family. Seeing that our anniversary was on Tuesday we let the first three days be pretty low-key. We took Eli to the movies (Despicable Me 2 is great!), we went shopping and had some movie nights at home. We saved the main “event” for our actual anniversary. When Tuesday rolled around I was so excited. I never had bridal portraits done, we only have a few pictures of me from the day of the wedding. Since my husband does video and photography we decided to finally take my long overdue bridal pictures! I put on my wedding dress, did my hair, put on the necklace I wore for our wedding and we headed downtown to take bridal portraits! I’m pretty sure it was the first time that I ever had a random person discretely take a picture of me on a phone and I would guess tweet they just saw someone taking bridal portraits! There was also the people who congratulated me as we walked by and one woman that just loved hearing we were out on our anniversary taking pictures.

It was so much fun being there with my husband, wearing my wedding dress again, laughing and taking pictures! We ended the evening with an amazing dinner and a fun movie. It was such a great anniversary!

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To all the Moms, Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Platypus

January 17, 2013 — Leave a comment

“Mommy, watch. Mommy, watch.” I heard as I was filling my dinner plate and heading to the table. There Eli was, so focused as he stabbed the pasta and scooped it into his mouth. He looked up to make sure that I was indeed watching him and his eyes were filled with pride and excitement as he waited for me to respond. I of course let out a proud squeal as I told him what a big boy he was. It wasn’t that long ago that I was having to spoon feed him all of his meals. How incredibly fast these little ones grow up!

Dinner time

Eating his breakfast like a big kid!

Later that night Eli was playing with his Phineas and Ferb action figures. He began lining up all the characters and naming them one by one. “Candace, Phineas, Ferb, Bella, Mertz” (Yes Bella and Mertz are his shortened versions of the character names but it completely counts.) Then he pulls out Perry the platypus (for those that do not watch the show he is the family pet as well as a secret agent.)  He holds it for a second, looks at it and then casually says “platypus.” Wait, what did he just say? Chase and I started laughing. How awesome is that? He knew to call Perry a platypus! It really does amaze me at just how much their little minds absorb. Never would I have thought that all those times of watching the show that he would have picked up on the fact that Perry the platypus was just that… a platypus. The little minds of our children are far bigger than we could ever imagine! Every day he learns a little more, each new days brings more words, longer sentences and a little tiny human that will carry on a conversation with me. I sit here and think back to the days before Eli could actually communicate with words and it feels like forever ago, yet just the other day, all at the same time.

The other thing that really shocks me is that people other than Chase and I understand his words! You know how for such a long time in the early toddler years your child will see you talking to someone and they will chime right in. When they are done the other adult smiles, looks at you and then asks what they said because mommy knows the toddler language. The day that Eli was able to say things and I wasn’t asked what he said, wow that was weird. How did my little boy grow up so quickly? While this new stage reminds me of how quickly he is growing it also brings about a whole list of other joys. There is nothing like the way my heart melts when I hear the excitement in his voice as he discovers something new and yells out “Mommy, watch!”

Surrounded by Love

December 28, 2012 — Leave a comment

Christmas might be over but we are still celebrating all that this time of year can bring… family members visiting, naps in the middle of the day, snowy mornings, the glow of the fireplace,

Just a little excited to open his present!

Just a little excited to open his present!

game nights and new toys scattered about the house. Right now it is quiet in the house. Eli is taking his nap and Chase went to see The Hobbit with his parents. I gladly stayed behind to get a little “me” time. So what do I choose to do during my free time? Laundry and writing, what a good combo, right?

This Christmas was a little different though, not only was it my first one since being diagnosed but Lupus also made an appearance! That’s right, I was in a flare up! I went to bed Sunday night and tossed and turned all night aching and then Christmas Even morning my flare was in full swing. I have to say it was pretty upsetting to feel like poo during all of Christmas. I had my usual hip, knee and back pains, along with fatigue. But this flare was different, I had a new symptoms… my ankles were so achy I could barely stand to put weight on them. So with that I found myself on the couch with a heating pad around my ankles. It was definitely a little disappointing. I even got a little emotional about everything on the drive home. I didn’t want to be a downer let alone spoil anyone’s fun. But, then I think back to the last couples of days and think about how incredibly blessed I am! Not once during my flare up did I have to worry about cooking, doing the dishes or any of the clean up. The amazing women in our family took charge as I rested on the couch. And speaking of that… no one cared that I was sprawled on the living room furniture! I may have felt bad but I didn’t want to miss any of the excitement that Eli was having over his new toys! And let me tell you he was having a ball! I can still picture his face as he was opening presents!

When I think about the past few days all I feel is gratitude. I might have Lupus and sometimes it might make an appearance on a special day that I so badly wished it wouldn’t. But, my God has given me more than I could imagine! He has given me the love and support of my amazing family! I don’t have to let my bad days define me! Instead I can take joy in knowing that on those bad days God has given me people who I can turn to for help. Wow, what a blessing that is!