Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rebuilding in the Aftemath

I have been neglecting my blog for quite some time {as if you hadn’t noticed} and I have been missing it. My life over the last six months has resembled something like a hurricane; a whirl of activity that left a wake of destruction behind and eventually burned it’s self out.

Throughout the summer, I struggled with a variety of health issues that left me exhausted, racked with pain and depressed. After seeing my doctor and having him run some tests, I was told that I was anemic and that the pain was my Fibromyalgia flaring up.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 9 years ago and shortly after moving to Idaho and the birth of my son, it seemed to go into sort of a remission. I hardly had any flare-ups {though they would happen occasionally} and I didn’t really have to alter my life in any way. But after my youngest daughter was born two years ago, the flare-ups started again and have become more frequent and intense, even affecting my mental state.

My summer was packed to the brim with activities and by the end of summer I was completely drained and seriously behind in every aspect of my life. This forced me to make some drastic changes. Over the last month I have quit every extracurricular activity I have been involved in, including stepping down as Head of Women’s Ministry and not singing on Praise Team, which was devastating for me. It was hard at the time, but it had to be done if I hoped to retain even the slightest bit of sanity.

I have also become a recluse-not answering the phone, not doing lunch with my friends and checking my Facebook only briefly-just so I’m not completely out of the loop. I haven’t even been to church in quite some time. I have become quite good friends with my heating pad and am learning {very slowly-and not the first time} what it feels like when a flare is coming.

It’s been a long, rough ride. But today, I feel like I am just beginning to get my feet back on steady ground. My husband and I made some changes to the way I handle a few of my duties at work that I think are going to make a huge difference in helping to manage my day. After this week, I should be able to get back into our regular school routine. I am determined to get a shower every day {and not just before I climb into bed either} and even blog every now and again. I am looking forward to a few {GENTLE} hugs from my peeps on Sunday. It will be some time before I am out in full force again, but right now, life for me is about baby steps.

Through it all I know the Lord is with me. He has a plan for everything that I face and holds me in the palm of His hand through it all. I will rejoice in the trials before me and Praise His Holy Name. He has blessed me beyond anything I deserve through my family, my friends and my church. Any suffering I endure pales in comparison to what He suffered on the cross to atone for my sins.

And now- A Summery Summary {or What I Did This Summer}

In June, my husband and I helped plan and then attended our church’s Family Camp at Campus Grove in Albion, ID. What an {AMAZING} location! There were a ton of great activities and I heard only wonderful things from the other families who attended. We all had a {BLESSED} time praising God, learning and fellowshipping. We are looking forward to next year, especially since we aren’t planning it!

In July I had the extreme {HONOR} of helping a very sweet young couple from our church plan their wedding. They even asked me to sing two songs for the ceremony. Just a few days before the wedding, I came down with a cold and had very little voice to sing with, but the Lord was {FAITHFUL}, as always, and I was able to sing-quite a bit lower than usual and with a very husky sound. I tried to pretend I was Nora Jones! It was such a treat to be able to help Cassie and Rand create a beautiful wedding.

Two of my daughters were in Horse 4H this year. We attended 3 horse shows, a parade and our week long county fair, in addition to weekly 4H meetings. They each did a {FABULOUS} job at the shows. My oldest daughter, Meghan, won First place in Showmanship and went to district where she won Second place. Taylor, won First place in her age division in Reining. {Just to name a few of their numerous ribbons!}

My sister, brother-in-law and niece drove over from WA for a visit toward the end of Fair Week. It was so much fun to see them. I wish we didn’t have to squeeze it in between fair activities though. The kids loved having them here. Uncle Greg took Nate around the fair one of the days where he did a little Sumo Wrestling and Bull Riding. Not to be out done by her younger brother, Kennedy conquered the Bull as well.

I spent the months of August and September trying to recover from the previous three months; getting caught up on housework, schooling the kids, working and preparing to take my Mom on a 12-hour, Birthday Road Trip to WA to visit my sister.

I was able to squeeze in weekend away with some {GIRLFRIENDS} at a cabin in Sun Valley. We spent the entire weekend getting a head start on our Christmas Gifts. Ahhh, what a {GLORIOUS} time. I give a little sigh of pleasure every time I think about it. We should really make this a semi-annual event.

The trip to Washington was a week-long practice in relaxation. I had planned to use that time to catch up on my blog, but instead spent it reading Diane Mott Davidson books, reconnecting with friends and painting the town with my sister.

Before I knew it, November was here. Now it’s time for our annual family pictures, major crafting binges, baking and the Holiday Rush. I am determined to enjoy as much of this Holiday Season {Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years} as I possibly can! I am still struggling with Fibro Flare Ups, but I am learning to slow down a bit, say no occasionally, and stop feeling bad because I feel bad. Best of all, I am learning to smile and enjoy {MY} life again!

A NOTE: I had hoped to spice up this post with some pictures from the summer, but for some reason I am unable to turn off my pop-up blocker. Hopefully I can get this issue resolved soon because a). I have read that blogs with out photos are blah and b). I have some cute photos I'd like to share!