Wednesday, April 29, 2009

When no one is watching...

When no one is watching the person with MS, a "sequence of unfortunate events" can be devastating, but is anyone watching in the end? Consider the events:

- My daughter, Lori, finally diagnosed with eColi after a fever and tummy ache. I was at the doctor with her and got to hold her through all the tests. I am grateful.

- The project at work. I think I put everything into that--too much. No one was helping, and I did ask for help from multiple places. And in the end, it's not what was wanted, but there was no help. Now there is help from those who wouldn't give it when I asked. It's funny how that works.

- In the midst of that, there were the unfortunate events surrounding me. The above causes stress, and stress is not good for MS. So over the last week, I felt it coming, my legs getting weak, me getting tired but pushing on. Somehow I didn't let things get to the point where I hurt myself, but I could no longer stand up. There was nothing there.

I called my doctor. I think he somehow understands. He doesn't question why this might have happened so soon after the last attack. I think he may see it often--the economy and stress. MS triggers.

And who is watching? I think God is, somehow. I know I need to rest, and I know I need to do some things over the next 2 weeks. I don't see how that will happen. But I hope that God is there leading me. Actually I know God is there. Maybe the question is whether or not I will listen.

Friday, April 24, 2009


It is interesting to me the common stereotypes people who are not religious have of people who are religious. I've been called "one of those religious people" and wonder what that means. Today I really wondered.

Today our church was a site for a popular health fair, used largely by people without insurance. I volunteered and thought a few other people might do the same. I came to the church and EVERYONE from church was volunteering1 It was better than the turnout on any Sunday! I don't think the pastor appreciated it when I told him my observation. And we didn't wave any religious flags--we just did community service. Our church members do a ton of that without waving any religious flags.

So it got me to thinking more about the "you religious types" comments. Obviously people don't see what we do. Yes, we go to church. We form a community. It's support. It can and does feel like family. And we reach to the community. It seems a part of who we are.

And thanks be to God for that.

Monday, April 20, 2009


It was 10 years ago today and I remember wondering what I should tell the 10 or so little 10 year olds who I coached in soccer. 10 years ago today I wondered if anyone was really safe. 10 years ago today anyone could walk into a school and the door wouldn't be locked. 10 years ago today was Columbine, where innocent lives were lost right here in Colorado and no one was quite sure how or why. And I think everyone was a little scared. I know I was.

I went to soccer practice the next day or 2 later and I remember telling the little girls that if they ever had anything that bothered them, they should let someone know. They should tell someone. They should talk to someone. And they looked at me with silly grins because they were too young to understand that, in a sense, it took some freedom away.

I wonder where those girls are now. I wonder if they think about today. I wonder if they remember their silly soccer coach, or anything she had to tell them.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


He is risen. He is risen indeed. Tomorrow we go back to our normal lives but today we can give thanks. I've done this previously but here's some. I give thanks for...

- My daughter, Lori. She is special and a true miracle for me.
- My family--Dave, my parents, my brothers and their families, and on and on. Such support and strength they show.
- Those who when I need to share, whether it be happy times or sad times, or frustrating times.
- Those who attempt to understand and do not judge.
- Those who ask me how I am and really mean it, but don't ask all the time. And along with that, those who follow up with me, and those who have given me help.
- Those who, with my last MS attack, understood I needed rest and brought me meals.
- Continuing to explore the possibilities of life and the opportunities that grad school has given to me.
- Being able to be an athlete. Even though it isn't how I dreamed it would be, I still can push myself and be outside.
- Trying to listen and understand others; tryng not to judge.
- Those who give me extra strength by pushing me a bit further than I think I can go, but not too much.

God, Christ, the Holy Spirit. The 3 in one. The grace they grant me with my imperfections. The support they give me and the path they help me to find. Two roads diverge in a wood and I may take the one less traveled. I hope that makes some kind of difference.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Lori's "first" communion and these 3 days

Yesterday was Lori's first communion celebration and was so special. Grandparents were there as well as former teachers. I never feel I got to have that milestone. My first communion went with confirmation. Confirmation consisted of reading a really dry book and discussing it with my adult pastor (or watching my brother discuss it and nodding my head like a good little sister). And I suppose part of confirmation included carrying the flag to the front of the church (and hoping I could get it in the right slot) and playing my flute during services. I am so grateful that Lori gets to be a part of a church community, gets regular Sunday school, creates friends at church, feels comfortable at church, etc. I hope that continues. She is so special.

And so we have these 3 days--Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Saturday before Easter. And the idea was to take even more time during these 3 days. I wish I had done a better job for all of Lent. Thursday was chaotic--loud people remodeling our bathroom, me working on crazy deadlines for work, Lori home due to a water main break at school. And the quiet time? Ha! At church...peace. Back home, well no, forget it. Let's not get into in-laws and noise. Today--busy day at work. Did anyone notice it's Good Friday? Quiet time is now--writing this post. Also an awesome moment of quiet was sitting in the car, when the garage light went out--just sitting there with thoughts. So tomorrow I'm going on a bikeride! Out in nature--that's the quiet time--I'm going to the top of a hill, where there's a great view--and I'm going to take it all in. And for me, that is peace. I'll pause there and God will be there in some way. And I will thank God for that pause and peace, after the busy, chaotic week that I really didn't want. Thanks be to God.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Holy Week, and a few minutes each day

Today is Palm Sunday and church was so busy and things seemed so, kind of, hectic. We couldn't process outside because we had snow overnight (April in Colorado!). So we all packed right inside before the service. Then we had a brunch--lots of activity!

In the Bulletin, I noticed at the bottom that we should try to devote a bit of time each day this week in prayer by candlelight. That is an excellent idea in a week where I know work will be very busy, and most people will not realize the significance of this week for some of us--that it is the week when Christ gave his life for us, that we may in a different sense, live.

So I suppose this blog begins the week in which I will try to devote a bit of time by candlelight each night, because this is important to me. I will give thanks to God for what has been given to me and others. I will ask for God's help in my life and in the lives of others, in particular those who know who they are, who struggle some of the same struggles I do with health, who struggle in similar yet different ways in health, who indeed struggle more. God, please help me, but there is more unfairness out there, and please place your help there first, and help me to take the knowledge of other struggles, feel it, and somehow utilize it. And I will ask God to forgive me whatever harm I have done that I haven't meant to do. God, please show me how not to do that, show me how to connect with others who struggle, help us to find our common bonds. And thank you for connecting us within the past week--let that continue.

Peace, peace, peace, let there be peace, in whatever form that may be.

Thanks be to God.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Cat, part 2

I love my cat most times, especially when she sits on my lap. My cat is most annoying when she tries to get into the garage when I am trying to leave.

I was getting ready to leave recently, to pick up Lori from school. 3 stairs down to the garage floor and hard to explain, but I use the door from the house to the garage--I think it's for balance. And there was the cat, ready to investigate the garage, the garage which never changes.

In the process of her curiosity, down I went, of course yelling at the cat--clearly this must be her fault, or the fault of our bathroom being in the process of being remodeled, or something else completely unrelated. Off came my shoe, so I was a bit stuck. But I learned my arms are strong, and I can pull myself into the car from the garage floor.

Next time I'm feeding the cat before I go. Then if I fall (these are controlled falls--it's like a form of art for me), I'm sure I can find somewhere else to place the blame. Maybe next time I'll blame the dog. :)