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Seasons Change

Just like fall brings the warmth of summer temps to a close; the fall colors in nature warm our hearts; seasons in our lives are ever changing.

For the past 5 months, I’ve been in a season of uncertainty and rest. Uncertainty of what medical testing would reveal but a season of rest and assurance that God loves me and knows every single detail of my life.

I’ve wanted to write and share my stories with you but God has shown me that rest requires more than just sleeping; it also requires my mind to be still and wait for Him. Being still has always been challenging for me. If anything needs done, I would figure a way to do it; even if it caused pain.

I’m no quitter.

In my Season of Rest, Jesus has taught me to rely on others, accepting help from people who genuinely care for me and want nothing in return. I am good at nurturing others, but have found it hard to accept that love from other people until recently.

Upon finding out I actually did have Endometrial cancer, part of me was relieved and part of me concerned. I’ve left it in God’s hands and am trusting He will continue to carry me and hold me always.

As Friday approaches, I will admit I’m.a little nervous. This IS major surgery. I will be intubated and I keep praying my lungs and their capacity to work correctly will not be hindered by my weight. If I was laying flat and not head angled down, I wouldn’t be as concerned. As always I am choosing to trust the Lord to be my strength thru it all.

Every medical obstacle that Satan has thrown at me; The Great Physician and Healer, Jesus Christ our Lord has seen me thru. Now will be no different.

I always remember the verse about even if my faith is the size of a mustard seed and I believe, it’s enough. My faith is much bigger than that because of all the things God has brought me thru, but even in the times in my life when my faith could be called mustard seed faith, it still carried me.

I guess what I am really trying to express is hold onto your faith, trust in the Hope Jesus can bring. Allow Him into your heart and life and He will take your messiness and turn it into a message and testimony giving Him all glory and honor and praise!

Jesus can turn any mess into a message and any test, trial and temptation into a testimony.

#HopeAlwaysHaveFaith

Blessings to all~Jesus Loves You!

Embracing Change

Mark 10:27New International Version

27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.

In three days my life will change as I know it. I am ready for it. I am looing forward to it. I looking forward to the time I don’t have to use my walker to get around. I am looking forward to being able to walk and breathe without calculating every step and wondering if I will need to sit down and take a break because I’m out of breath or feeling like my legs are going to collapse and my back is going to give out. I have been anxiously awaiting this day, for many reasons.

When I started on this journey to have bariatric gastric sleeve surgery, I had one goal in mind; lose enough weight to begin radiation treatments for the cancer that invaded my body. Now I have many goals. Getting the treatments are still at the top of my list, but other things are starting to come into play that I never even considered. I will be able to walk better, taking the weight off my arthritic spine and joints, being able to leave the portable oxygen concentrator behind and truly enjoy life.

It has been 10 months since I started this journey. Changing the way I eat and incorporating exercise into my life, something I once thought I couldn’t do, because of so many health problems. I have lost almost 40 pounds on my own, which doesn’t seem like very much when you have over 100+ pounds to lose, but I have done it! I am proud of myself, not in a boastful way, but in a very thankful way that Jesus has been with me through every single step.

I know it won’t be easy. Nothing worth having ever is, but I have learned when you set your mind to it and are determined to follow through, nothing is impossible. Nothing is impossible with God on our side. Nothing. Eventually, my goal is to lose 279 pounds. It will take years, but I know I can do it. I have an amazing medical team, support from family and friends and most of all I have Jesus.

The cancer is not spreading, so I am very thankful for that blessing. I am thankful for all the people in my life that continue to encourage me and cheer me on, when I wonder if my goals will become reality.

Life is ever changing. We can learn to embrace it or we can stay stuck. I was stuck long enough. It took me having cancer invade my body and normal treatments to get rid of it, not working, as we had hoped, to realize that if I kept going at the rate I was, I might die of obesity. So, I bit the bullet, and started working toward the goal of this upcoming surgery and life change. For years, I had medical professionals and family suggest this type of surgery, but I was stubborn and didn’t want to do it, didn’t want to give up foods that were ultimately killing me, slowly. Not anymore.

No matter what type of change you are facing in your life today, know that Jesus is right there with you, in every little detail. He will get you through anything, if you just trust Him. He loves you. He doesn’t want to see you remain stuck, he wants to push you and grow you into the person He created you to be. It’s never too late.

Remember that every mess you go through in life is a message that Jesus can use to encourage others, and every test you face, can be a testimony to the goodness of God. He is always listening, always available and He will never leave you, ever. #HopeAlwaysHaveFaith

Blessings to all until next time~Carlene

Jesus Never Fails

My faith may falter from time to time, but Jesus never fails. I may not see Him working all things out for my good, but He always is. That’s a promise you can bank on.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 NIV

I am called to be a light to others, and shine for the world to see Jesus in and through me. Being a light should be the easiest thing to do. His Holy Spirit dwells within me, but many times the dark times of life try to choke out that light to barely a flicker. This is when we MUST stand firm in our faith and trust that just like yesterday, today and tomorrow God IS in control.

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl, instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 NIV

Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. John 12:46 NIV

Everyday has challenges or opportunities; how you respond will determine what they are. There is always a reason to be thankful, even when life is hard, even when you want to quit or give up; life isn’t always “fair”. We are called to be thankful in all circumstances, not some but ALL. I look at it this way, if I am awake and alive, I have very much to be thankful for. God has a purpose for each of us. Maybe you don’t know exactly what that is yet, but trust me He will show you. Be open to listening to Him and remember to do everything in love.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1Thessalonians 5:18 NIV

Jesus can turn any mess in your life into a message and any test you face into a testimony! He loves you so much. Talk to Him, He is always available and will always listen. #HopeAlwaysHaveFaith

Blessings to each of you~Carlene

Are You Discouraged?

It is so easy in our lives to become discouraged, but this is one thing the Lord has shared in his Word, we do not have to be discouraged. Even when you get a diagnosis no one wants to hear, even when the messiness of every day life feels like you will be swallowed whole, even when addiction is hard to beat and sobriety seems just out of reach, even then, “do not be discouraged”. I have found several Bible verses that tell us specifically “do not be discouraged” and to trust the Lord, He will be with us always, especially when we may feel lost and alone. We are not. But it’s not always easy to remember that, in the throes of chaos and uncertainty.

Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels

Joshua 1:9 New International Version
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

There have been many times in recent days, weeks, months that I too have faced discouragement and dismay and the only thing that has carried me through each and every moment has been Jesus and my faith in Him. How do you hold onto the God’s promises and how do they speak to you when you feel all hope is lost? Do you turn to Him in prayer and praise? Do you sink into despair? Do you have a friend you can reach out to? Jesus wants to be your friend. Your best friend. You would be amazed how clearly He speaks when you take time to listen and follow His lead.

It is so easy to think and succumb to the thoughts of the world and non believers. It can be as easy believing something to be true for so long, it actually becomes your belief and those beliefs are skewed by misperception or lies that are not of God, our Savior. Always check what you believe against the Word of God. If it is from Him, it will always line up with scripture.

In today’s age, it is easier than ever to access The Holy Bible, and read what God says about being discouraged. You no longer need a printed version to carry, because with the world wide web there are many reputable Bible sites you can search. I use Bible Gateway and the You Version app most. On my Digging Deeper page, you will find many more resources.

I will admit though, while apps on our phones, tablets and online are a great resource, there is nothing as great, for me, as having the Word of God planted firmly in my heart and on my lap as I read. For years, I wouldn’t think of writing inside book, let alone my Bible, but I have found over the years, I take notes in the margins, or highlight passages I want to stand out to me; I don’t have to worry about losing my notes, because I still have my Bible.

Here are a few more passages that talk about being discouraged. I recommend reading the full chapter surrounding the verse, so you understand the context of the scripture referenced. Knowing the context can help you to understand each verse better.

If you are discouraged, how can I help? May I pray for you?

Deuteronomy 1:21New International Version

21 See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Deuteronomy 31:8New International Version

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Joshua 8:1New International Version
Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land.

1 Chronicles 22:13 New International Version

13 Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.

1 Chronicles 28:20 New International Version

20 David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.

2 Chronicles 32:7 New International Version

7 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him.

That greater power still lives within us today, The Holy Spirit. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior, God the Father gives The Holy Spirit to come make his home in our hearts. Jesus truly is with you every minute of the day, and as you learn to hear and listen, Holy Spirit will guide you in life.

Jesus loves you so much! Whether you know Him personally or not, He is always available to you. Jesus can turn any mess in our lives, to a message and He can turn any test, you face, into a testimony!

#HopeAlwaysHaveFaith

Until next time, blessings~Carlene

55 Days

For the past 55 days, or 7 weeks and 6 days, or 1 month and 24 days….we have been forced to slow down. Spend time with our loved ones. Isolate ourselves from the world. And while, it may not seem like a lot of time; trust me it is when you have a child with special needs and the only way they cope and function is with structured routines daily. Continue reading “55 Days”

The New Normal

Hebrews 13:8 New Life Version (NLV)
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

 

Shelter in place, stay at home, flatten the curve, pandemic are all terms of the new normal time we are living in. Respirator masks, face masks, quarantine, outbreaks…none of this was on my radar or in my mind, much before March 12 or 13th. The only worry and concern I had back then was what in the world were we as a family going to do to keep our autistic grandson entertained for a whole week while his school was on Spring Break. And we are still working to figure that out.

person washing his hand
Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

I was reading the other day that January 30, 2020 was when the WHO (World Health Organization) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern for the novel coronavirus,( named on February 20, 2020) Covid-19.Continue reading “The New Normal”

Impulsive Behaviors

I sit here with tears streaming down my face and wonder if we will ever have a peaceful day with Tyson.

I love him but I hate when he destroys things just because. There is no talking about why we don’t break things.

This is the part of adhd and autism I hate. I hope as he grows older it will get better.

I’m tired of this.

Today, I’m praying thru the tears asking God what I am supposed to learn from this~I haven’t a clue right now.

I want our happy go lucky boy back. I miss him.

May you know how much Jesus loves you. He is always available-no appointments necessary.

Jesus can turn any mess into a message and any test into a testimony. #HopeAlwaysHaveFaith

Blessings~Carlene

Life After Sepsis

romans 12 12

 

The Lord is MY helper, MY portion, MY everything. No matter how dark things have been in my life, the one thing, many times the only thing that gets me through it,is Jesus. I love that not only is my Savior, my Creator and the Omnipresent I AM, he is also my friend and loves when we talk and when we sit together in the stillness.

I find myself daily apologizing to my family and friends, but most of the time, my family for the bone-tired feelings I get. Some days I only want to rest, and do absolutely nothing else. These are the days where as soon as I sit or lay down, I’m out. Mid conversation some days. Insomnia is now part of my new normal and I do not like it at all. But, until I can figure how to beat it, I just have to live with it.

My thoughts are many people are of the opinion, you had sepsis. You survived. That’s great. Let’s move on. I wish it was that simple. Truly I do. But many days it is not. It is always at the forefront of my mind, what happens if I get it again. How will it affect me then? And for many of us that have lived to tell about having Sepsis, Septic Shock, Septicemia (the terms are interchangeable) it is a reality we face daily.

My maternal grandfather died of sepsis. At age 14 I knew it was some type of blood poisoning, but that was all I knew. After having survived it, I know that any infection that we have in our bodies, can get into our bloodstream and our system starts shutting down and going into organ failure as a response to the infection.  Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs. And it does not discriminate. Anyone can get it. For more detailed information about Sepsis, visit The Sepsis Alliance.

The day before this all happened. Before I was in a near-death state, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I stayed up till 10p.m. turned in for the night and that’s when life hit some pretty big bumps, but I didn’t realize it then. I became cold, so cold that no amount of blankets was helping to warm me up. I shivered for several hours, determined that whatever was happening was just a really bad cold and it would be better by morning. I had chills like this in the past and lived. I was up and down to the bathroom several times, but that didn’t seem out of the norm for me, so I just kept hanging on. The next day waking up, I was still cold, but not freezing. I assumed I must have had a fever and it must have broke and that was the reason for no shivering chills. As I descended the stairs, I kept thinking I felt like “death”. I knew whatever kind of bug it was, it would eventually be okay.  How little did I know, I was closer to death than I would have ever imagined.

I recall the paramedics taking me to the cot and when they lifted my legs on the cot, the pain was unbearable. I screamed in response to the pain, having no idea why that hurt so bad. It seems cellulitis had appeared overnight and my leg was severely inflamed. I still had that elusive fever I thought I had shaken and my blood pressure was seriously low (60/40). The next five days were a blur. I can recall bits and snippets but full days are lost. I remember being moved from the step-down unit to regular room and the fear that I would lose my leg if they couldn’t get the infection under control.

I had lived through so many cellulitis infections that I had taken for granted how serious it could be and was. The pain after those first 5 days in the hospital was something I hope I never have to endure again. Therapists would come in the room and want me to try and stand/walk on it and I felt like a baby because I couldn’t. I wasn’t one of these people that whines when I am in pain, very often. I have lived with Fibromyalgia for over 10 years and I have learned to deal with pain every single day, but this pain was something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. My total days in the hospital was only 14. I know two weeks seems like a lot, but not when you have Sepsis/Septic Shock. The miracle is you survived. What the doctors fail to tell you is that your life will never be the same again.

Here I am, Post Severe Sepsis 7 months and 6 days and while I am thankful for the Lord keeping me here and alive, I miss the old me. I NEVER had panic attacks or any type of anxiety that couldn’t be calmed by the Lord and His Word. My memory was rock solid. I slept. Insomnia and I had never met. Fatigue, I thought I knew what that was, that’s part of the fibromyalgia too, along with brain fog. In that sense, knowing what it was and living with it for the past 12 years prepared me. I didn’t have to wonder why, in mid-sentence or thought I would just forget. I simply have no idea what I am doing or why and most days I just have to let it go. Trying to remember makes it worse. It reminds me of what I have lost.

Losing my short term memory is like watching my grandmother and father in law grope their minds when they were dying with Alzheimer’s disease. I hate the feeling. I despise asking family members to remind me what they might have just told me 10 minutes ago because I need to write it down or put it in my calendar. And some days, mid-thought I can’t speak what I want because of the word being just out of my reach. It is so frustrating to me. Or worse yet, I start to tell someone something I already told them but have no memory of the conversation.

I am cold 99% of the time. This part of me hasn’t really changed that much as I have always been cold due to not having my thyroid anymore and relying on medication levels to keep everything in check.

I really need to get my hearing checked. I have always been known as a loud person. Unfortunately, since sepsis, I am super loud, but don’t realize it. My husband and children are always telling me to stop yelling. I have no idea I am. I can still hear everything ok, just not my voice. To me, my voice sounds perfectly normal. I cringe when I am out alone because I have no idea if I seem to be shouting or not. No one ever says.

The fear of getting sepsis again is pretty huge. I don’t talk about it much because dwelling on any one thing, is not healthy. And since my first bout when I was in Severe Septic Shock, I have already had another Septic infection. That landed me three days in the hospital. My big sign is shivering/chills that won’t go away. I wait a few hours and if not better, head to the ER because I know I need those IV antibiotics sooner than later.

I should have known to go to the emergency room that day when I awoke. I did not urinate all day long. That should have been a red flag that something was wrong. The fact that I didn’t want food or drink of any kind, at all, should have been a red flag, but I was so sick by morning, that I was confused and lethargic by that point. I’m very thankful my husband was home and knew something wasn’t right. Had I been home alone, I wouldn’t have lived to write this.

And I will keep writing about it and spreading awareness. Sepsis kills over 250,000 people in the United States alone every year, millions globally. sepsis org

God gives us one life to live. We must use our gifts and talents as a service to others. My prayer is that I will never have to say I survived Sepsis again for a third time.

I belong to a Post Sepsis support group and I am glad to know that the many concerns I have, how much I have changed, it’s all our new normal. If normal is such a thing. I miss the old me, but in having to take small steps to make it back, I have learned to appreciate life more and not take it for granted. And someday, I hope to make it through a whole day without a nap. That’s my goal for now.

May you know that Jesus is here for you, every single second of your day. When you need him, he’s always available. He loves you~so very much. Jesus can turn any test into a testimony and any mess into a message. #HopeAlwaysHaveFaith

Blessings to you ~ Carlene

 

 

 

 

Clean Slate

As 2019 draws to a close, my prayer for each of you is that 2020 will be your best year yet.

Sickness plagued me the last half of the year. And as I continue to recover this blog has suffered too.

It is my fervent prayer that not only will you see God in every detail of your life you will also sense Him with you always.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

2020 is but moments away…a Clean slate to write your story.

May you always know how much Jesus loves you! He can turn any mess into a message and any test we face into a testimony!

#HopeAlwaysHaveFaith

Happy New Year 2020!

Blessings,

Carlene

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