Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Curse my work ethic!

I had told Ron I needed to go to the wholesaler, and buy candy bars for work. The only day that worked for this week was today. Today is my customary day off. Yesterday, we took Ron to the doctor.

I woke up today with a throbbing migraine. I couldn't have gone back to sleep, though, knowing that we would have empty coils in the vending machine until Saturday. No, I got up, took my phenergan.

I overslept so I did what prayer I could manage, in the shower. I'm sure God appreciated my efforts. I geared up with a barf bucket, just in case. [rolleyes] Fortunately, I did not need the bucket.

So, I went to the wholesaler, with a migraine. I handed out driver candy and Bibles. I got the candy bars and some Sun Chips, because I had a special request. I got some nice assortement boxes - half a dozen each of several candy bars; far more in line with our budget than the larger cases.

I got 14 more pounds of hard wrapped assorted Driver Candy, paid for with "My" money. Still felt horrible. Got to work, thanking God for 2 hours only. I cursed my work ethic more than once.

I stocked everything and helped Ron; making it clear than lifting and bending were out of the question with the headache. He was sympathetic and supportive.

I had PLANNED to go out after work, but that proved impossible, so we just went home, I took another phenergan and went to bed for a while. I got up when I started having nightmares. Migraine nightmares tend to linger.

My TV was acting up, so Ron got the satellite company out to fix it within a few hours. Yay!

I did up over a dozen bags of Driver Candy and squealed over my new tracts. I still have some interesting stabby pains, but it's abating.

God wants more Bibles at work, so I'm going to do them up before I go to bed. Hopefully, tomorrow, I can have a Day Out after work - get my hair cut, and finally chase down more baggies for Driver Candy. Walmart was completely out. I was shocked.

I also plan to get some herbal remedies for migraine prevention. I used to get a lot of migraines between about 95-2005. The feverfew did a good job of helping to prevent the headaches.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Not a bad morning

Ron and I went to the doctor this morning, for EMG nerve testing in his arm and hand. Metrolift got us there an hour and a half early. It was a very nice waiting room, but I did tire of it. Fortunately I brought my MP3 player. I downloaded a very readable Bible translation, and listened to that and my music while waiting.

I figure, you can't go wrong, filling up your head with as much Bible as possible. I read plenty of other things, too, but while waiting why not "read" the Bible?

Ron had the testing. The good news: he does not have any nerve damage in his good arm. He was terrified he might have some horrible, progressive, crippiling issue. He doesn't. What he does have, is pain.

I admire my husband; I especially admire his disdain for painkillers and addictive narcotics. I'm terrified of anything that could be addictive; I'm literally hardwired for addiction. 80% of FAS has a "problem", 50% of bipolar. What awful odds!

So, he just takes his Neurontin. It works for him.

Oh, interesting, the seagull is back. I live far inland, at least an hour's drive from the beach. So why are two laughing seagulls in my subdivision?

Do you know what it does to a person with hallucinations, when they hear and see a seagull in the yard? I thought I needed a medication change! I have to tell this to Doc, he will love it. I was gaping at the seagull in my yard, believing that surely it wasn't real. It drank some water out of the birdbath, then did the characteristic laughing cry. I shook my head in despair. Man, I was in trouble. It seemed so real. The cat, lying on the bed, alerted and began mewling at the bird.

Thanks, Kitty, I thought I was hallucinating, but if YOU see it, then it must be real! [laugh] It was a rather disconcerting experience. It's pretty funny to see the seagull, a bluejay, and a mockingbird all eating bugs out of the lawn at the same time.

That's my life! So, we came home, and I fixed Ron a TV dinner. He ate it and said thank you (he is obviously working on "appreciating"), I decided to make some pumpkin pudding.

It's cooling right now. I can hardly wait! Yum!

Monday, March 29, 2010

"Make it count" and no one wants a cupcake

I'm still having some trouble falling asleep. When I do, I ask God to "Make it count" [use the sleep I do get to charge me up enough to be a productive employee]. I fell asleep around 9, and then I woke up again, so I got about 4 hours total.

God did make it count, I had enough juice to get up at 2:30, do my Bible study, talk to Ron (he will work on being more appreciative), fix my breakfast, and grab my huge tote bag of baked goods as I headed out the door.

First driver: I'm on a diet. AGH. No treats. On the one hand, I'm thrilled. A little disappointed, though.

We got to work, so, so early. It was 4-something. I realized I had 3 deliveries, a pull, and stocking to do in a shorter-than-I'd-like window. On, 4 hours sleep.

I'm glad I prayed! So, I got to work. Did the pull, set up the deposit, got paid eventually. Made my personal deposit so my missionary gets to eat this month [grin].

First delivery - donuts. I gave him a brownie cupcake. He said thank you. I also gave one to one of my favorite postal heavy-equipment-drivers. He is a very good driver (a forklift, basically).

I saw the guy who ran over my husband, again. I'm glad I'm saved; and God put his forgiveness in my heart. I still feel uncomfortable around him though: he is a terrible driver, and they always have him up on the heavy equipment. He doesn't watch where he's going! That's how he got Ron. He almost ran ME over a week ago as I was out on the dock. Anyway, it's uncomfortable when I see him, and I try to avoid it. He did not get a brownie.

Other than that, work went great. We got our Dr Pepper delivery, late. Ron is very excited to start selling the Sunkist Diet Orange. It's his personal favorite now. I have figured out the Dr Pepper guy is an alien. What, redblooded human doesn't want a brownie? EVER? So, he must be an alien.

I also got sandwiches. He was happy to get his brownie. I stocked everything. I realized we would need to come back on Wednesday, my day off, for a couple of reasons. I'm OK with that because we NEED to.

Thank God we need to! Sales were pretty decent from what I could tell, for this time of year.

We ran a couple of errands with more non-sugar-eater-drivers. One, after taking the cupcake, wanted to know how I lost the weight. I started with "AFTER you eat the cupcake...."

I don't know. The brownies seemed to move "right quick". The devil's food chocolate cake with dark chocolate icing (for the gals at the bank) was very eagerly accepted. But cupcakes? Nyah. Nobody wanted a cupcake!

I handed the rest out at Walmart, they were pretty popular there. They seemed very baffled as to why I'd do this. I ask God to put His love in my heart! I love to bake! Seems natural to me.

However, next time I bake something to hand out - I'll do brownies. They move a lot quicker.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

You may get fat reading about these baked goods

I had a good start today, but then life came along. I let someone elses' bad mood infect me.

However, I have a little routine on certain delivery days - I do some baking. I thought it might be fun to do a little more than usual. After all, I was going somewhere after work, and they love my baked goods. Pretty soon I had a couple of boxes of Jiffy Mix in the cart at the grocery store.

When I got home, I didn't want to mess up my clothes so I changed into a sport bra and control top jeans. Let me tell you, looking at what's left of my midsection sure cured any little snacking impulses!

"Grumpy" retreated to the Grump Cave. I began the baking. I started with the nut-free brownie. A box of Jiffy Mix will get you a 9x5 brownie. That's a nice little size, especially considering the price. People have eaten these Jiffy things and said they were good, too.

I know a cashier who has a severe peanut allergy. I made her a brownie, adding caramel and chocolate chips. Those are OK - at least the brands I use. She has eaten these before, loved it, and asked for the recipe.

So, I had that bad boy cooling up on top of the stove. She has a co-worker. Coworker LOVES nuts, so I add peanut butter chips to the above recipe, then bake. When the brownies are about half done, I throw another handful on the top. I baked a popsicle stick into the nut free one so I know for sure.

Another place I'm going also loves my brownies, but I was in a cake mood. So, I made a devils food cake mix (Jiffy again), adding chocolate, caramel, and peanut butter chips! Not only that, I frosted it with a deep, dark, chocolate frosting. Oh, yeah. I did take a tiny lick off the spatula when I was done frosting and got immediate head pain. Thank God for migraines.

I was also in a vanilla mood. I decided to make some cupcakes, with the chips. They were harder to bake than the whole cake - it was tricky to balance when they were done. I frosted half of them with the dark chocolate frosting, and the other half with vanilla frosting. Oh, and the frosting? Definitely got that home-made look. I have decided to view them as cute, endearing, and obviously a lot of effort. I plan to give the ugliest cupcake to my (blind) buddy Bruce tomorrow. He won't care!

Now we get to my delivery guys. At least one loves my brownies. So, I made a final batch of Jiffy brownies, with the chips, and baked them in a muffin pan! I have very nice brownies! Depending on who I get, I can hand out a few to half a dozen.

I can also hand out the cupcakes and brownie-cakes to my drivers tomorrow.

I love to bake, I love to spoil people, I love to create. It was a great way to whack a bad mood, even BEFORE I found the Resident Evil & Riddick movies on TNT. My 2 favorite movie franchises. :)

Of course, now I have a huge tote bag of baked goods. Pretty funny, but a good way to cope, I think.

I am always going to bake in the sport bra and jeans - or the knit shorts. It was very motivating to see what's left of my belly.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Things are better

I had a nasty headache this afternoon, laid down, took my phenergan, woke up feeling good. Ron and I are actually communicating!

We talked about fixing up the bathroom. We are starting to get very loose tiles in the shower. We're considering getting a bath fitter, but they'll have to rip out the bad studs and drywall first. UGH.

I vividly recall my parents' remodel when I was about 13. I plan to get a one-month gym membership when we do this; as I expect to be showerless for at least a few days. Eeeeew.

We plan to get a quote, and take it from there. If it will be significant, I'll get another job and help save up. The nice thing about a bath fitter, once it's in, it's in. It is good for a very long time! No tile replacements!

That led pretty nicely into me possibly getting another job. I am seeking God's will. For now, I think He wants me doing the evangelism as my first job, helping Ron second, work third. Is an additional part-time job a possibility? I don't know.

That's why I'm leaving it up to Him. It would be fun, I think, if I found the right fit. I think I'm able to work on a part-time basis, in addition to what I'm doing.

With the headache today, I didn't have a Day Out but I'm a little leery of them on weekends since the mugging! Should I try to overcome that? I don't know. But I do prefer a "quieter" Day Off, anyway.

I haven't had one of those in a bit! Errands, errands! Ron had 2 doctor appointments just last week; he has EMG ("They stick me with the needles" - Ron) nerve testing this week; next week we have an appointment for Ron with the surgeon, and then I see Doc on the other day .... Oh.

I just figured out that's our milk delivery day. AGH. Ron will try to reschedule me - and I'm OK, I can wait a week or so, failing that, the other vendor can get our milk. I've gotten both deliveries for about 6 years now. One day won't hurt.

You get the idea; lots of things going on. I am not putting a job hunt into the mix until I get at least one Day Out!

Tomorrow, I have one thing on the agenda: groceries. That's it. Monday will be pretty busy, so I plan to relax tomorrow.

About that issue

So, regarding the ongoing issue I mentioned. I wrote a note, put it on the flash drive, and left it where they'd find it.

It was read and acknowledged. Like I told him, "I need to tell you when you are hurting me". What he does with that knowledge is between him and God. My job is to leave it to Jesus, and move on. I have no idea if anything will change at present, but I did address the issue.

One thing I am doing - I expect the Devil will throw a nice, attentive man my way. I need to be on the lookout for that and react accordingly. I'm sure he would be very appreciative.

Nope. Not going that route.

Anyway, another ugly headache today so I'm off to take something and lie down. Good old Phenergan.

Friday, March 26, 2010

$1 will get you....

OK, so I'm leaving my problems in God's very capable hands.

I've had some trouble sleeping; namely dropping off, staying asleep, and the dreams I have when I'm "out". So, when I'm lying in bed wondering about my caffeine intake for the day, I ask God for some favors. I ask him to help me fall asleep, to have a good quality of sleep, and to help me use the sleep I get to be productive tomorrow. I don't care if I'm a zombie on my own time; but I do believe in a good days' work.

One of the reasons I would like to get another job, for instance. I feel like maybe I could "do" more. Also, it would be nice to have a support network of people I'm not married to - my own group of acquaintences who don't know Ron. Sometimes it can be a burden. [sigh] But I'm being positive and leaving my problems in God's hands.

Funny, my spelling is worse these days. I accept that as part of the price tag for managing my illness. [shrug] Not a big deal! However, I doubt I will go for an office job - I love being physically active and working hard. I think I would do a lot better in a stocking type job. I think I would be more valued in that role. I might not be the best in an office, but I know I shine when it comes to stocking. I do my best, whatever it is I'm doing. I want to do something in my talent window, that allows me to excel, even if that means mopping toilets.

So, last night I'm lying in bed. Sometimes I do blog entries in my head, and I thought it would be fun to do a charity rundown.

When I was in elementary school, they did a Unicef presentation. They would tell us, a quarter will do this, a dollar would do that, you can feed a whole family for $25. I always enjoyed those types of rundowns. The charities I reference are listed over to the right hand side, under the slideshow.

So, here goes. You have a little bit of money for charity, and you wonder how you could best use it. Or maybe you find a dollar somewhere. Oh, and abbeviations - WMP is World Missionary press. GFA is Gospel for Asia, G&T - Grace and Truth. H is Holman - the affordable Bible link.

I thought this would be fun, because a lot of times we think we need to write a big check for it to do any good! Au contraire! We can do a lot of good with just $1! Someone occasionally sends me a small check, and I always tell her how I used it. The last one, was half a case of New Testaments!

$1 will get you:
2 Holman "Invitation" New Testaments
50 Grace and Truth tracts, plus one Holman New Testament
100-200 Grace and Truth tracts (depending on tract size)
1 pound bag of wrapped candy for Driver Candy.
1 package ziplocks for Driver Candy.
2 Gospel for Asia New Testaments, for native Christians.
200 GFA tracts for a Native Missionary
25 WMP booklets - in many, many languages. You could donate and let someone else distribute them, or order some booklets and distribute them yourself (I'm partial to sticking one in a bag of candy, ideally with a New Testament and some tracts). I carry 4 languages, and I'm considering adding some French and perhaps Hindi due to the immigrants I encounter.

$5 will get you:
Mixture: 100 Grace and Truth tracts, 25 WMP booklets, ziplocks for driver candy, and two pounds of candy. Put them all together and smile back at the happy recipients.
1000 GFA tracts
8 GFA New Testaments, and 200 tracts.
Up to 1000 Grace and Truth tracts - you can donate without handing them out yourself. :)
125 WMP Scripture booklets
10 Holman New Testaments or
5 Holman New Testaments and 500 Grace and Truth tracts (or 50+ WMP booklets)
5 "Whole" Nelson New King James (a very readable version) paperback Bibles (every Christian bookstore in Houston does this!).

$10 will get you:
3 pounds of wrapped driver candy, ziplocks, 10 New Testaments, and 100 tracts (or 25 Scripture booklets). Probably my favorite hands-on evangelism thing. I hand out about 10 or so a day. I use a quart ziplock, put in a New Testament, and a few handfuls of assorted candy. Everyone is EXCITED about them. When Called, I hand them out on the corner, too.
20 New Testaments, or 10 NT and 5 whole Bibles
One to two thousand tracts! Wow! Someone's BOUND to get saved out of all that! (Pray before handing out, and ask God for "fruitful distribution"). Either GFA (2000 with those $10) - or Grace and Truth.
20 GFA New Testaments! Wow! That's a whole lot of happy believers, on the other side of the world!
WMP would love to send out TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY to 295 (China) booklets!

I think you get the idea. If you're fortunate enough to have more than $10 for God's work, you can have even more fun. GFA in particular has many low-cost ways to give if you want to find something in particular. Every dollar for Grace and Truth is a hundred or so tracts. Every dollar for WMP is 25, (48 page) scripture booklets. I sat down with one yesterday and it took me quite a while to read it through. Good, God, stuff, straight from the Bible, with minimal "chatter".

One of the problems...

One of the problems, with being a Christian... doing what I'm told.

I had two entries about today; ongoing difficulties in my life. So, I'm doing my Bible study. "If your brother sins against you, go tell him PRIVATELY." OK.

I got it. Sorry, I had to delete the 2 posts, but I want to be a good child of God. I would appreciate prayer on this ongoing issue. I just want to feel valued, respected, and ideally, cherished. I will settle for far less, though.

SIGH. God never promises us an easy life. He just says "You won't be alone, cast all your loads on me and I'll carry them for you. You don't need to worry!"

Thursday, March 25, 2010


This will be short, I have to get up at 2 AM tomorrow.

  • I am seeking God's will on me getting a second job. Ideally, a retail one, close to home, weekends and afternoons. I intend to apply at a nearby store. We'll see what happens.
  • Moods have been pretty awful; taking large doses of medication. A lot of dread and anxiety. Not fun. Worrying about stuff that normally would not bother me.
  • Woke up with a horrible headache today, but an asprin/tylenol combo killed it, thank God.
  • Bubba brought home a very large rat; through the cat door. He killed it, leaving rat blood all over the floor, and a dead rat floating in the water bowl. Yuck.
  • I haven't been sleeping well; when I do sleep, wierd dreams.
  • Gangland activity within a few miles of home has got me thinking.
  • I've been handing out plenty of Bibles and Driver Candy. Ron is supportive.
  • When I took Ron to the doctor this week, someone's wallet was stolen while they were seeing someone. Her husband left the purse unattended when he went to the bathroom.
  • Sales are pretty grim, but the machines are working well. We stock what is selling.
  • I am just hanging in there, relying on God to carry me. I am very tired of all the dread and anxiety. I am not interested in anti-anxiety drugs.

That's it for now, I just wanted to update.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hating on Generics

I have read several articles bitterly bashing generic drugs. One practicioner bitterly complained about the "ineffectiveness" of generic Lamotrigine; and an opthamologist ranted about the use of generic eye drops.

What about me? Before Generics, we can estimate I would pay at least... hang on. I'll look it up. Wellbutrin, name brand, is about $250 for a 3 month supply. Versus, $44 for my beloved Teva generic version, which, guess what? Whacks my depression.

Risperdal! Whoo! $468.13 for a 3 month supply. Or, about $40 for a 3 month supply of "ZYD" generics, which work perfectly. I don't see things. No paranoia, hallucinations, or delusions either. Good stuff. Makes me a nice friendly person, and I can afford to take THAT.

Last but not least, the Lithium! $575.19 for Lithobid brand. That kicks the Risperdal's butt. 3 tablets a day, for 90 days. Or I can take generic Lithium Carbonate, a three month supply, for $10. That's an easy choice.

Ron has been told he must cut my pay now; because sales are down. Let's take a quick second to look at the actual savings. Actual cost $1293.32, or about $431.11 a month. The generics cost me about $25-$30 a month. I save over $400 a month by taking generics.

That, while very important, is not the most important reason I take them. They work. My lithium levels are excellent every time I'm tested. My moods are well-regulated 90% of the time. The other 10% I can trace to things like over the counter medications, sleep deprivation, illness, or conflict.

The Bupropion (Wellbutrin), does the job of pulling me out of depressions. If I'm having the dread, anxiety, or other unpleasant add-ons, I can take another half to whole tablet and give the symptoms a good beating. It keeps my depressions at a l0w-grade level, when I am depressed. When I get depressed, it's managable, even more so by taking an extra half tablet now and then. I am cleared to take up to 2 tablets a day, generally I take one, so an extra half tablet is well within my dosing.

I'm generally not manic, or depressed. If I am, I can afford to take another pill and get my moods where they belong. I don't have to cut my Risperdal in half, and endure very unpleasant symptoms, because I can't afford to take a full dose. To repeat myself, a whole, GENERIC tablet, does me a lot better than 1/2 a name brand!

I have seen a lot of people with my illness complaining bitterly about side effects and poor symptom management. 1. A lot of them drink - and alcohol, like sugar, is a mood poison. 2. A lot of them are unwilling to accept mild-to-moderate side effects in order to manage the illness. Maybe, they don't have a severe form of the illness; and they'd rather take something with a hot and sexy reputation. Maybe they think Lithium will make them fat, or stupid.

Maybe they believe all the hype that the "newer" drugs are so much "better" than the old ones. The only people I know, with good mood management, all take the "old" stuff. Something to consider!

I don't know about the stupid part, but I will say my husband ENJOYS me far more than he did before medication! He enjoys my company and seeks me out. That didn't happen before. Other people also seek out my company and say they enjoy spending time with us. Now.

I have a disability, and a really awful form of mental illness. My husband and I found out today we are right smack in the middle of "low-income" and it's doubtful we'll ever move out of that bracket. I thank God for Generics every day, and I tend to get very annoyed when people paint ALL generic drugs with the same ugly brush. Mine work great, thank you, and don't you dare touch them.

Or I'll have to act like I'm not taking my medication!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I can boast in Jesus

By any human standards, I should be a bitter person. My own mother prenatally disabled me, and flipped the switch for my bipolar disorder. I suffer from frequent and painful migraines - God only knows why. I have insulin resistance and have to watch what I eat, so I don't end up diabetic. I don't get treats like the average person; I have food intolerances. I have demons in my head - I cannot describe it any other way. I have a severe and BRUTAL form of mental illness. Every day is a struggle for me to stay balanced and focused in reality.

I don't know what to expect when I wake up. I may be overwhelmed with a jittery urge to spend, talk, and spend. I may be consumed with a necrotic depression, that kills and consumes everything it touches. Some days, just getting out of bed is harder than running a half-marathon.

Then we look at the caregiving. My husband is completely blind. He has a severe head injury. He's hard of hearing. He can't even stand for a few minutes at a time, due to his NERVE DISEASE. The longer we're married, the sicker he gets. Now he's facing yet another operation. He needs a lot of TLC, and can barely change a roll of toilet paper - that's about the extent of his contribution to the housework. He has other battles I won't share. Who has he got to depend on? Me. That's about it!

So, when I wake up with a nasty mixed episode like I did today, I sure don't have much to look forward to tomorrow. I will probably still be severely depressed. Just turning on the computer and eating a meal are near impossible tasks. I need to care for myself, and him. I need to make sure I'm providing us both with the proper nutrition. I need to ensure I am properly medicated so I can function in society. People don't like depression. Either they tell you it isn't that bad, or they ignore you. Both are awful. Even my husband does that!

I will need to make sure we are both well-groomed and presentable. Ensure that we're ready to go. Go to work and do my job as I assist him with his. Juggle symptoms and side effects of my medication as I determine what's needed.

For instance, if I increase my Wellbutrin, I get a migraine. Pretty harsh. Better than depression; sadly enough.

I'll need to stay busy and focused on something other than my moods, or the depression will eat me alive. It's a horrible place. Climbing out of that pit full of razor blades, minute after minute, slipping and falling back... I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

So why, would I ever bother with Driver Candy? Why would I sit down and pray over how many bags I need to prepare? Why do I go to the trouble of ordering Chinese scripture booklets for my hairdresser? Why do I tote around a bag full of Bibles and candy to hand out? Why do I even BOTHER adding yet more responsibilities to my life? Why do I bother to pray at all?

God's got plans for me; and these trials are a compliment. God knows I am a lot stronger than I look. He knows everything He's sent me in this life has made me a stronger, better, child of His. He knows these trials keep my eyes on Him, where they belong. He knows that ONLY when I'm overwhelmed with life, will I cast all my burdens on him, letting Him get to work!

He can use me, BECAUSE there's no way I could do any of this on my own. Any "normal, rational" person would have a nervous breakdown with half my burdens! I'm strong in Jesus. Simple and true. I'm ONLY strong, in Jesus.

I also know this: the Enemy would not bother attacking a useless Christian. In fact, the more I'm doing, the angrier he gets. He must be pretty pissed at me to want to hurt me so badly! Migraines! Marriage issues! Anxiety! Depression! These are all attacks.

God has permitted these attacks, because they serve a purpose. They are making me stronger. I can boast in all Jesus has done for me; truly, He carries my burdens day by day, and He is the God who saves me!

I will add, though, Lord, that I feel I'm about at capacity! I then remind myself, God has never dropped me. Ever. When every single person in my life has let me down, Jesus is always there, holding me up.
I knew today would be a challenge last night; when I couldn't sleep. I kept waking up. I figured God could use it for His good and just left it up to Him. When I got up, I felt pretty rested, but manic.

After a shower and Bible Study, it developed into more of a "Nasty Mixed State" (here's a link: Anxiety, depression, and mania all running around in my head. Not a fun place. Ron kept giving me platitudes like 'Oh, it'll get better, it'll go up!" I don't want things to go up, I'm already manic. Sometimes I feel like he really doesn't want to know about my illness. Anything I tell him, is too much. He just does the whole angry thing. I'm the one who's sick, and then I have the burden of his anger on top of that. I wasn't hungry, but ate anyway just so I could get a lithium onboard.

We went to Foodtown, and he wanted to shop with me. OK, we did that. I felt bad about him standing, so I didn't linger very long, basically just throwing a few items into the cart and checking out. I got plenty of sausage, some eggs, cheese, and ground beef.

After Foodtown, we came home for a while. Then, off to work. A few times over the last several years, I've forgotten either my keys and/or badge. Ron finds it very very frustrating. Once was too many times for him and he kept ranting about he should "Keep it for me". I found it insulting and degrading suggestion. I am not a toddler.

Anyway, after I got mugged, one day I was going to have a day out and I gave him the badge and keys. God forbid I got mugged again, I didn't want them getting access to the machines. He was delighted... kept raving about how "wonderful" it was to have the badge and keys.

As I have said, I find it degrading and insulting, "Here, give me they keys because you aren't responsible enough for them." But I have done it just to keep the peace.

Until today, when for some reason Ron lost my badge on the way home. Questions as to how he managed the feat (he was just sticking them direct into the fanny pack) just got me something about putting it on the seat, and then angry raving. Lots of screaming at ME.

What did I do, other than trust him? It's obvious to me, that I need to take care of this on my own. No more handing it over, and he knows why.

I only ever left my badge at home, I never left it lying in a cab out in public. Yes, love does not keep a record of wrongs, but it's not like he's Mr Responsible now.

When he gives me my keys tomorrow, he won't be getting them back. THEM? He dropped them outside the house when he got out of the cab.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

"Tell me when to fight!"

I have a pretty serious prayer time, morning and night. I have various categories, myself, Ron, our families, those who hurt us, people who read my blog, etc. I make it a point to pray for those who have hurt us, as ordered by Jesus.

One of my requests for myself, "Remind me to resist the Devil and flee from temptation". I recently added a modifier, "Tell me WHEN TO FIGHT."

Yesterday, we just got some food and went to the Blood Center. Ron donated platelets. Next week, he has 2 doctor appointments so he won't donate. The technician also asked Ron to donate every other week - because if he donates too fast the count will drop.

All we did, get something to eat, go to the Blood Center. I went to a nearby store and got Ron some Pringles. Then we went home. I laid down for a little bit. When I got up, depression was really smacking me around.

Ron had said, he wanted to ride the wheelchair and bus, and check out the new Chinese place. He also said, we need to mow out front. Both tasks sounded utterly impossible to me "in my state", and I was just miserable.

I clearly heard it in my spirit "Heather, it's time to fight! Take Ron out for dinner!" I unfolded the wheelchair and asked Ron if he wanted to go out. He was thrilled. I pushed him to the bus stop, we rode to the restaurant, I brought some of my Chinese Scripture booklets, and we had a good time. I left the Scripture booklets on the table when we left. They definitely spoke Chinese!

We did a little shopping and came home. It was still light out and we had the worst yard on the block, so I mowed the lawn and dumped the clippings in my compost pile. The depression was bad enough that I added a couple things I love to my night routine, and took half a Wellbutrin.

I'm not sure if it was the Chinese food, or the Wellbutrin, but I woke up with a nasty migraine. No vomiting but just intense pain.

Today? I barely prayed for myself and half of Ron, before I had to go back to bed. Then Ron came and talked to me as I laid in bed. We had a good long talk, and he kept refilling my ice bag.

I'm not sure what God's purpose was in today, but I'm fighting! In a little bit, I'll go finish my prayer time and devotionals. If I can think about it, I'll do some candy for tomorrow. We go to the grocery store and home, then work and home.

I also need to call Mom and Dad, but I hate to do that when I'm "sickly".

Friday, March 19, 2010

So, it's Friday

I'm pretty much over the sinus thing and I feel good physically. I'm still battling depression and some anxiety about our sales. I can classify the anxiety as an "attack" because it's pretty intense, in relation to the actual work issues.

Yes, sales are down. Yes, Ron's "consultant" is a little annoyed Ron hasn't cut my "salary". Are these worth the roiling anxiety that wants to consume me at times? No. Absolutely not.

I remind myself of all God has carried me through; I remind myself that I have always trusted God to provide for our needs, and I know He will. I tell the anxiety to get out of my head - commanding it, really - in Jesus' name. I know it sounds "wierd" but it works.

Yesterday was pretty rough - both alarms failed somehow, and I woke up 1.5 hours after my original alarm. My hair was filthy - when it's short, it must be washed daily. I had no time to wash it, stuffing it under a bandana for the day. It worked. It was semi-cute and nonoffensive. Ron and I scrambled and got to work in time.

We had nice drivers yesterday - a very pleasant change. Ron backed me up on yesterday's choice. Some things should be kept separate - not letting a driver into our home. It is good to feel his support.

God sent our repairman early - and he fixed the down vending machine. It was so encouraging to open the door and hear him say "Oh, I can fix this!". Now, if people would drop a few more quarters...

I trust God. I know He will provide. I know we do need to take care of a few little issues, but we'll get that and everything will be fine.

After work, we got dropped at a food place. The prices are excellent and the service is great. I enjoy eating there. We met Chuck; and he took us to run an errand or two. I got some more driver candy at Favorite Dollar.

Then we came home. I was pretty exhausted. The weather has been very pleasant this week; and all the neighbors or their yard guys are out mowing. The loud power tools woke me up.

Ron and I talked for a while, and then I watched "28 Days Later" on Sci-fi. It's a really good movie. The sequel is awful, but the first movie is great.

I finally got a chance to do my Bible study; got caught up on that. I checked the mail, and got some charity request stuff. I'm glad I have a limited income. Lots of very worthy causes, but all my discretionary is allocated. I feel God wants me to support the causes that I do.

Speaking of good causes, I got a small package from World Missionary Press. I had requested some Chinese and Vietnamese Scripture booklets for distribution, and also some Spanish. I got about a dozen "Let's Praise the Lord" ones - for distribution to Christians. I am almost completely out of "my" booklets, so this was great. I have bitterly regretted not having the other languages - now I have them, and can share.

I desperately need more booklets, but I asked about a week ago. I'll be delighted when they arrive.

In the meantime, somewhere in there I need to finish my "Where to Look in the New Testament" tract. I carry my notebook with me, researching. I should be able to compile it and get them going soon.

Time for me to go hit the Bible Study and prayer time. I rearranged my notebook - I could never remember all the requests, and would do well just to remember to pray for myself and Ron. The notebook has a nice list of reuqests for God, under various headings. For instance, one whole category is people on the internet. Like my blog readers (wink). Salvation if unsaved, good Christians witnesses for y'all, health for you, friends, and family, etc. It's all in my notebook. I read each item off and pray it.

Off I go!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Some days I wonder...

Why I got up. I've been battling a head cold and didn't get enough sleep last night. Yesterday, I had a Day Out - in the pouring rain. I woke up depressed, tired, and my hair was doing odd things. I felt very disconnected from God during my Bible study, and wondered as I did up the driver candy if it actually had any MEANING for people other than a handful of sugary treats.

Our first driver demanded to use our bathroom and got upset when I told her Ron was using it. I'm not sorry - it's my house and I knew she was a gossip. If she'll gossip TO me, I know she'll gossip ABOUT me. Besides, I knew she had passed at least two-dozen fast food and gas stations to get to us, from the other location. Why not stop along the way? Why DEMAND to use mine?

I could only assume she thought she could. Ron and I are pretty generous people. But I am a private person, and I don't allow strangers into my home. Not only that, I don't allow GOSSIPS into my home. I would rather she talk about how I didn't let her use my bathroom (which would get her fired if I called it in), than talk about my home. I thought it was very rude and presumptous, but she acted like I was the bad guy. Yeah, because she "had" to drive a whole 3 minutes to a gas station, that she passed on the way to get us anyway!

Did I mention she was early? She had plenty of time to go somewhere else.

The client in the front seat was all excited. "Oh, remember me?" Yeah. Hi. "Oh, you must not remember me, uh.... " Can't remember my name. Heather.

I told Ron I didn't know what she wanted, but she was definitely wanting something. Ron thought she wanted "The show" the whole "Hey, howya doin!" routine. The "OH life is fantastic" routine. I just had a very baffling feeling of she wanted something from us, and I had nothing to give.

Sorry. She's doing the whole "Are you OK?" routine. I told her, I have a sinus thing today. I didn't sleep well either. "Oh," she makes a big point of excusing us "You're tired!" Hey, I'm allowed to be quiet if I choose. This whole "I'll give you permission to shut the door in my face" or "I'll give you PERMISSION to be quiet today" attitude really bugs me. It's my right to feel how I feel. I don't require anyone's permission to have my feelings, and I'll thank you to take your "permission" and throw it out the window.

Look, lady. I didn't sleep well. I'm sick. I'm DEPRESSED. And now some woman I haven't seen in a year is demanding to use MY toilet for some bizarre reason. [By the way, I said it wasn't "fresh" after Ron's use] It was annoying. People I don't know demanding things from me, and acting like they know me a lot better than they do.

I'm not your best buddy - you can't even remember my name. Don't try to make me feel guilty for that.

I really had a hard time shaking the whole toilet thing loose - I still don't get that. I really doubt that woman would have let me or Ron use her bathroom.

We went to the wholesale store, got some supplies, and they were out of the wrapped hard candy assortment - normally NOT a big deal, but I had just been to the Dollar Store yesterday, debated getting that same candy, and said "I'll wait'. AGH. I got something else that will work. I did manage to get a couple pounds of chocolate, 5 pounds of chewy mix (all hail the chewies), and 6 pounds of playtime mix for about $28. That'll last us a while.

On a later trip, I heard from Salvador that the mango-chili hard candies I bought are "very good". So that's nice. I was afraid I was handing out something awful. I really appreciated that feedback.

However, when we got to work one of our vending machines was broken, and a party to the vandalism wanted to watch the whole "show' of "Heather tries to fix it". I finally shut the machine and ignored him until he went away. It really bugs me to see a lazy person fulfilling every last bigoted stereotype of "The Postal Worker". I'm sure he had far more important things to do, than stare at us trying to fix the machine his buddy probably broke.

I'm a little bitter about that last one. Sales are already abysmal. That machine actually made some money, until someone broke it!

It's hard not to feel like: OK Lord, you want me to go spread Your word; even though I have disabilities. I'm supposed to do this, in spite of the fact that I'm sick? How does me getting sick further the work?

I understand the economy is lousy, but I would think that You could protect our machines from vandals! What purpose does it serve, to take away the little we already have? I probably do a lot more with the little bit of money I have than most "Christians" do with 10x the amount.

I've hardly handed out any Bibles, and the ones I did I don't know about. The candy is taken, and eaten, but that's about all I can say? Is anyone actually reading the scripture booklets? The tracts? Is it having any effect on anyone? Am I just pouring money down a hole?

On the last paragraph, I have to assume, that if I'm having doubts then I AM doing some good. The Enemy would not bother with attacking me if I were useless, and he would ONLY bother with doubt-sowing if I were doing some good.

The hard part about what I do - scattering seed - I never see the crop. I never see what comes up as a result of my work for Jesus.

Except being banned from message boards! [laugh]

The annoying guy at work

Yup, I have one too. That annoying guy at work you just can't stand. To the casual observer, he is very friendly.

Upon observation, though, you realize all the guy does, all day, every day, is stand around and gossip. It's rare to see him actually working, and for a guy who makes what he does - I'd be working my butt off! He's involved with a group I don't like, and shares the viewpoint of this group at any opportunity.

Now, [shrug] I'm sure I can be pretty annoying too. God knows I get on my own nerves when I'm manic!

Today, when I walked in, he was staring intently at a vending machine, a tool in hand. I walked up "What's wrong?" He wasn't putting any money into the machine so I knew it was "down".

I realize, someone has broken the snack door. You know how you put your hand through a door, to get your snack, from the snack vending machine? Well, someone broke that door so it was stuck in the "locked" upward position.

I took one look and said "While trying to steal some chocolate donuts, someone broke the door" The chocolate donuts were on the lowest shelf, nearest the door.

The guy gives a guilty laugh 'You can tell, that, huh?" Yes.

"Why is it stuck like that?" So no one can steal from the machine. If someone tries to steal from it, it locks in the upward position.

"I think it's broken" he says "Someone tried to get the door down and it didn't work." First of all, only Ron and I are allowed to work on the machines. If that name gets out they could lose their job. Secondly, the machine is designed to defend itself. It will not just give up snacks.

He stands there, in front of the machine, staring. "Excuse me" I told him. "I need you to move so I can open the door." After I did so he's breathing down my neck, getting ready to watch the show so he can tell everyone how broken the machine was and what I did to fix it. I told you he's a gossip. I shut the machine up again and said "Ron will get this later on."

UGH. Whoever tampered with the machine broke the door. The machine cannot vend anything right now. All for a donut, and they make over $50K a year.

Way to go, thief! Not only did you not get anything, you kept all your coworkers from using the vending machine until the guy comes out to fix it. And, you robbed a blind man in a wheelchair.

Way to go. I'd bet money it was the guy I saw this morning, or a good buddy of his.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Today, I'm depressed

Today, the depression got me. When I get an overwhelming onslaught of hopelessness, it's easier to recognize it as my illness; but this was a little sneakier. Low-level fatigue? Oh, I gave blood. I'm always a little tired after donating blood. Feeling overwhelmed? Perfectly normal. I have a lot on my plate, don't I?

Everything in my life just seemed like such a terrible burden - I should have been happy, coming up on a day off, and I all I could manage was a low-level sense of dread. I had a horrible time planning my activities for tomorrow. That's when I realized, Yes, I have a lot on my plate - and a big part of that plate is MENTAL ILLNESS.

As I was putting the clothes in the dryer (Thank you God, for a washer, dryer, and utilities), I realized I'm glad my illness is so severe. If I had milder symptoms, I would spend a lot of time suffering needlessly.

If I know I'm getting depressed, I can ACT. I can choose to stay busy instead of sitting around and brooding. I can do the things I love, even when I don't "feel" like it. I can take more medication (I can take up to 2 Wellbutrins a day, generally only do one); as I did a few hours ago when I got tired of depressions' bullying. I cut a Wellbutrin in half, and took it.

As I told Ron, about an hour later, "I just feel better now". I could face the idea of fixing dinner, doing some dishes, laundry, getting ready for tomorrow is still a bit "much", but I could do my Bible Study and prayer time. I "bothered" Ron - I tend to desire more cuddles and intimacy when I'm starting to run depressed. I was like a barnacle after my mugging!

I tend to think "I've got it all under control. I am the boss of my illness." No, I'm not. I can control most of my symptoms, by taking my medication properly (always), but certain physical stresses can and will aggravate my symptoms.

I explained to a co-worker. "Whatever I'm running - up or down - I'm MORE if I miss a night of sleep." So, the fact that I did give blood, had a nasty migraine the next day, and then had a lousy night's sleep due to a certain black cat out fighting under my window, didn't help. I would be depressed right now, and that's what's amplified.

I don't always catch on very quickly. I tend to have foggy thinking when I run depressed. Everything is just a thousand times more difficult. I tend to brood about things - like the fact that the Post Office had the guy who ran over Ron, on a forklift today. Everyone says he is a terrible driver; he ran over a blind man by running a red light! I avoided him. But I couldn't let it go.

I don't want to go back to the bad old times of "After the accident". Fortunately, I have a very alive husband who reminded me that he's still around, and that's what matters. It never even dawned on me to ask God for help. That's a shame, because when I did I had the immediate thought "Go take half a Wellbutrin, you are depressed."

I also worked on some of the things I love to do, like blogging, even though I just want to hole up in bed for a week. I'm reading a lovely inspirational romance novel. I made Ron some of his beloved tuna salad, and myself some egg salad. I cooked up the hamburger I bought yesterday, with the "good" taco seasonings that won't make me hivey. All I need to do tomorrow is scramble some eggs and make breakfast bowls.

I had a horrible time figuring out my budget, but I finally got that done. Tomorrow, I have no idea what I'll do. I'm having Ron drop me at Burger King. I need to go out and stay busy for a while.

I may or may not get some driver candy, I don't know yet. I don't know if I'll get more evangelism supplies. I haven't even done the driver candy for tomorrow!

But I will do one thing at a time and hang onto the fact that my mood ALWAYS changes. Pretty soon I'll be out on the corner with a box of Bibles, again.

See, I need to go to the sporting goods store and get some of those moisture wicking t-shirts. The bank... I'll make it, but days like today it can be very hard.

My big trigger for knowing I'm depressed? When a shower sounds harder than running a marathon.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I've noticed, on the Wellbutrin, I tend to get a migraine right before my cycle. I plan to discuss this with Doc. Would it be possible to taper back for a few days before? Keep the same dose? He'll know; that's why I pay him! [laugh]

It's not an awful one, I just have to be careful moving, NO desire to go out on this nice, sunny day. Light's a little painful, but I don't need to prostrate myself in bed with a bag of ice. Just take care of myself.

Ron and I were discussing my tendency to get into the whole "rescuing others" tendency. Today, I probably would have tried to "do" too much if I hadn't had the headache. I want to work on that tract; cleaning, stuff like that. They are all good activities, but sometimes I just need to REST.

Partly because I have a part-time job, I have a hard time doing so. I've got my other part time job, evangelism. Taking care of Ron - add it up, it's a pretty good number for someone who would "never" be able to support herself and always need adapted employment.

It's hard to admit, even to myself, that yes, I have a reduced capacity. It is just as harmful to hold myself up to the "normal" stick in this regard as it would in any other. I cheerfully accept the fact I can't drive, and will never be able to do so. I appreciate that I was never able to drive, and lost it. It's far easier when the whole concept has just been science fiction, not something I used to do.

I can admit I have terrible short-term memory, and audio processing difficulties. [shrug] Not a big deal, and I can use the "audio" thing to my advantage, by tuning out annoyances. I have a loving husband, who doesn't mind telling me, for the fourth time, the time of our pickup. I don't have a problem asking for accomodations, or working them out for myself.

But I feel like I "should" be able to work, serve God, care for my husband, and care for my home without special handling. I "should" be able to get out there every day, handing out Bibles and Driver Candy, sharing my testimony, getting more supplies and bringing them home on the bus, while sharing Bibles and Driver Candy with the drivers, caring for my husband, and still coming home, doing all the dishes, and cooking a couple days' worth of meals for us both.

That's Devil talk! I have LIMITS. I need to respect those limits! God had the 4 commandment (Sabbath day) for a reason, for us to take a DAY OFF AND REST every week. I've been confusing "Have a Day Out now and then" with "Take a day off every week".

I need to do both: have a day (or a few hours) out just for me, and take another day when I rest up and do nothing besides heat up a meal for us. Otherwise, I'll get sick and have to take far more time than I'd like.

Friday, March 12, 2010

"No Blood bank in the afternoon"

An odd day... I got up very early. I bagged up Driver Candy, did my prayer time, and did my devotionals. Most of them, I think. If I missed one I'll get it once I log off and do my nighttime stuff. I may not have a "fully functional" brain; I may have mental illness, I may not have much money, but I do have an hour or two, every day, for God. Thank You, Lord.

I brought tons of Bibles and of course everyone already had one. Oh, well. Went to work, did the pull, counted it, and went to the bank. I got paid. Then, off to Burger King. I did something nice, but won't tell. I'm glad I could.

Ron and I ate, and we got dropped off at the Blood Bank. Ron was curious to try platelets, apparently they have a great need for his blood type. It takes about 2 hours. Plus, we got dropped early, so we were there about 3 hours total. I just gave regular blood, and barely squeaked by with a 39 (I would have failed at 37). I got the "good" technician. I had an excellent stick, fast donation (I remembered to squeeze the ball, again and again...), and no problems except a faint vestige of lightheaded. I get a lot worse from my meds!

I ran all my meds past the expert, and she said "No problem", years ago. I was all wrapped up and drinking a soda before they even got started on Ron. I ran over to a discount store, bought some candy, because I had done the unthinkable and RUN OUT. Yike! I felt awful, running out of Driver Candy! I just gave a handful of mixed chocolates to the rest of the people I encountered.

Oh, off topic, the skin on my belly is getting very elastic, I think I might be getting ready to lose some more. My tush is getting kind of wrinkly-looking, too. A good sign.

I went back, Ron was still on the machine. Next time, I bring a book. Our ride came and I had a hard time explaining Ron was donating blood. The drivers are very used to dialysis patients, though, so I said "He's still on the machine" and he went OH, OK! Funny how a term can apply to two very different conditions!

Thank you, God, for healthy kidneys for the both of us! Ron's donation went fine. "I feel fine" and "I want to donate in a month when I can." See what I married! I am very proud of his heart. He has a wonderful heart for others.

Oh, and the driver I sent away? He had a very difficult client so it was a real blessing. I did not want to deal with "that" anyway. I felt fine, but the blood bank was closing. We walked over to the store and waited. It would have been a long wait on the Metrolift, so we called a subsidized cab. We got one quickly, a wonderful Nigerian man and his precious, precious, toddler in the carseat!

I'm getting better at all the social rules! I cooed at the little guy, and gave DAD a handful of wrapped candy - give one to the baby! After letting us out, he did! He remembered us from TWO years ago! I may have lost 70 pounds, I may have cut my hair short, but Ron's appearance is a very consistent thing! [grin]

We came home, I checked the mail. It was late by now but I still tried to get a nap. I guess I had too much caffeine, even though I had taken my lithium early, I just couldn't sleep. So, I got up.

I actually own a few, cheap, DVD's now. I may watch one later.

Not a bad day, but I agree with Ron "No blood bank in the afternoon".

Don't talk about MY drivers!

I had a very surreal experience during an attempted nap today. I was lying down in bed. Bubba-cat nestled nearby, cleaning himself. I felt the slight movements of the bed as he groomed himself. I'm drifting, half asleep, when I hear... the seagull.

I live at least an hour's drive inland. At first, I ignored it, until I heard another one. Bubba stopped grooming himself so I sat up. Yes, "we" had 2 laughing seagulls in the backyard! That's a surreal experience, something I've only seen on a Galveston beach, in my yard. I looked at the cat for confirmation. He was staring right at them. Yup, I had seagulls.

Kind of an odd ending to a long day! Recently my local paper had an article about an atrocity committed in Jos, Nigeria. You can look it up, but don't. Anyway, some racist thing had his little rant all typed out about "Those people are ALL...."

The first Nigerian I ever met was an attendant at a mental hospital. He was a very kind and compassionate man, very outgoing and very very kind. He was a hard worker, dedicated, and intelligent. That's been my benchmark "Nigerian". They're all different, but in many regards they're similar: Incredible work ethic, tremendous appreciation for the opportunities offered in America, very hard workers, devout, sincere, incredibly intelligent, fantastic work ethic, and amazingly kind, patient, and compassionate. I should know; I rode with 3 today.

"Lazy" is the antonym of a Nigerian, or any, immigrant! They put the most hardworking American to shame; they know what it is to go to bed hungry, and they are determined to prosper. In fact, every immigrant driver I have ever encountered has been the same, very hardworking. Some of the Middle Eastern guys are not very compassionate - but they're hardworking. I also like the Asians. Half the time I can't understand a word they say, but they work hard and they have such upbeat, positive attitudes. One guy confided he had been a prisoner of war in Vietnam - the North guys got him, and every day after his release has been a "Good" day because he refuses to let anything get him depressed! I really admire that kind of spunk. One Eastern European guy also falls in that category. I don't know what was done to him, but it was awful. He's an overcomer.

They all are, and I take great offense when someone slanders "MY" drivers.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ask God to use you, and He will

I got some great news. I have been wanting a "Where to look in the New Testament" tract to put into my budget New Testaments. I can get them - if I write it!

I am thrilled and delighted beyond measure. I think these can help people really dig into and understand their Bibles, and encourage them as they walk with God. I am honored God wants to use my writing and research abilities for His Glory! How wonderful!

I've been working on the project, "Where to Look in the New Testament" whenever I get a chance. I'm carrying around a concordance and a notebook, too.

I plan to put it completely in God's hands and trust He will use me for His Glory and education of His children. People generally love the Bibles - the worst come-back I get is "You already gave me one!" Now we can help open the Bibles up, a little more, for the "hungry".

So, thrilled about that, working on it. I consider the Evangelism one of my jobs. The first job, really. Second, taking care of Ron, third, helping Ron at work.

I did lose my temper at work today and told - demanded, rather, more time at work one day a week so I can take care of housekeeping issues. He was very agreeable.

The snack machine sales were dismal. I'm glad I'm with Jesus, and I know He will take care of our needs. I got a lot done at work, then we left and went home.

I stole 4 bags of ground up grass clippings and shredded leaves, putting them in the compost bin. The yard guys had left it out for "trash". Ha! Not to me!

Then it was off to eat a delicious omlette. Then... dum-dum-dum... the DENTIST! I had to get a gum scraping. It wasn't painful at the time. At the time. It reminds me of when I was a teen and got a braces tune-up. Oh, I hurt down to my jawbone! This isn't that bad, but it's a good 4 on a 1-10. I need to take something before I went to bed.

Last night, I made up some nice mushy ground sausage/scrambled egg/salsa/cheese bowls. I enjoy them, they're totally acceptable on my eating plan, and they're soft. I guess I remembered a few braces tricks, after all.

Anyway, I had go get it done, because it has been 11 years since my last scraping, I have a very dry mouth due to medications, and I'm a "mouth breather" due to allergies. I don't wake up with just a dry mouth, it is a dry mouth and THROAT!

I have had some bad experiences and generally massive panic problems. Once, I couldn't stop vomiting the day I was due to have a cavity filled, until Ron cancelled the appointment. The wonderful thing - the lithium really does take away so much anxiety.. but it was there.

I practiced deep breathing and tried to pray as the scraping began. I bled a lot. But I didn't "freak out", just got a little tense now and then. Nothing like 2 pairs of hands in your mouth, that horrible light, the scraping, the water blasting, and that suction hose in my mouth all at once! I start to feel like I can't breathe! But I just deliberately took myself in hand, said slow down, and took some deep breaths. I made it.

Now, I am pretty tender, but I'm thanking God we have dental care. We use a dental discount program. Ron's last cleaning only cost $24. Doc is excellent, too. Not a scam artist or a hack! We actually go back in a week or two to get a filling for Ron.

After the dentist, we went to Walmart. Thank you Jesus, they finally had my antidepressant and lithium! That's not something you ever want to run out! Ever. Ugh. Headlines are made, by people like me who go off their pills!

All in all, a good day. Tomorrow I get paid early. Then I have to find my return address envelopes or do a pay by phone, on an old hospital bill. Ugh. I already did my budget and things are looking pretty good. Yay!

Any week when I can buy cat food and feed us is a good week. We've never run out of either!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I have cbosen to share this

I have chosen to share this, so no one thinks I have an "easy" life. My illness is very well controlled by medication and some lifestyle habits. I make it a priority to take care of myself. I have a loving and supportive family.

However, at times my life is still painful. Before I really re-committed to spending time in God's Word and prayer, I complained. I would list every complaint in great detail. Sure, I had a "right" to it. Some of my burdens could crush me, if I let them.

I've looked at what's important. I don't think it contributes any value to name names or give identifying details. Many will figure it out on their own. But finger-pointing just puts me in a position where I am a self-righteous victim. I'm not a victim. I refuse to be a victim, so I've chosen to adjust my style accordingly.

Brother Yun talks about how the Devil, if not attacking you directly, will attack you through people close to you. That happens to me.

It makes me cry. Jesus talked about picking up our crosses to follow him. Paul talked about the "thorn" in his flesh. I can relate on both counts. I know God is using this relationship to build my faith in Him; to encourage my complete dependence on God. God is faithful; unlike others. God cherishes me every second of every day, for all eternity; even when others are screaming invective and curses at me. God values the time I spend with him, every single second. God respects and values me; especially when others don't.

What would I do without Him? Well, I already know that. I would have killed myself 20 years ago.

Please give me a strong back to carry my burdens, Lord. Fill me up with your love for others, and put Your thoughts in my head, Your love in my heart, and Your words in my mouth. Give me guidance, so I don't return evil for evil. Please convict this person of their treatment of me; I know You will. If it's Your will, please allow this to happen soon. I am sure they will be very "sorry" when You show them how badly and repeatedly they hurt me.

Please show them my value in Your eyes. Please teach me to respond as Jesus would, and keep me from lugging around an ever-growing sack of resentments, grudges, and accounts of wrongs.

Please give me a a strong back, to carry this burden, as I recall YOUR unfailing and unending love for me. Thank you!

Edited to remove details.

Budget/Where is Spring?

I like to sit down and figure out my budget before I get paid, then I have a good idea what I can spend, each week. I am very fortunate; my husband supports me, and my small salary is "mine".

Other than the obvious, $30 on the old hospital bill, some online debit committments, and all, it's fun to figure out what I'm going to do with God's money. Buy another case of Bibles? It looks like I may need to, I'm about halfway to two-thirds down. Rather, the box is about 1/3 to halfway, FULL. [laugh]

When I was told Ron would be partially paralyzed on the right, I said, oh, that's the broken up side anyway! I am convinced if he didn't have the numbness, he would be in terrible pain. I really enjoy that about myself.

I have gotten a lot of free stuff from one company, I can estimate what the cash value would be, and double it. $20 for them. I also need a haircut. Another $20 - I have a nice lady and I believe in being a good tipper!

When all is said and done, I still have enough to buy food and all. That's all that matters. I thought I would "have" to get new bermuda shorts, but it seems the ones I kept from last year (possibly "too tight"? I hope so, I would be a bit disappointed to see I still fit in last-years size) fit great. That's a nice denim skort, 2 bermudas, and a pair of shorts. Maybe the grey denim bermudas, too. Plenty of clothes for my summer wardrobe. Anyway, that saved me some bucks! I would have spent $30 or so for 2 pair.

Now, for me, $30 (if I don't count soda) is grocery money for two weeks. I just don't eat that much taking Wellbutrin. I'm getting enough, I'm healthy, but my calorie needs have adjusted to my lower weight.

I've mentioned this, but God has a fascinating way of sending me wonderful, 50 cent, $1, and "budget" books that are very valuable to me in my Christian walk. If I had to pay full price, I don't think I could afford one book a pay period!

I'm blessed with an EXCELLENT bookstore and publisher, who have a deep and abiding belief that evangelism is IMPORTANT. They back that up with wondeful New Testaments, for the price of a candy bar. God IS good, all the time.

Yes, I'm wearing summer clothes now, albeit with a jacket. We went from bitter cold, to warm, in just a few days. I'm sure we'll get some cold weather again; I'm not about to put up my "Big Blue" coat. But I think I can begin moving the long underwear, wool outerwear, and wool socks to the less-accessible drawer.

Since I may be a little more prone to overheating, I think I will wear one of those microfiber type shirts when I have a day out - they wick the sweat and keep me cooler than cotton. Nothing worse than sweating all over a cotton shirt and having that heavy wet cotton sticking to my skin as I roast in the sun. I can pick up a few more on the bargain racks if they work. They have plenty of t-shirt styles.

I'll probably get out my cotton shawls and start using them, too. I like to cover up a little on a hot sunny day, if I'm not moving. Sitting at a bus stop, for instance. They are cute, girly, and practical. They probably do make me look "fatter", like the cotton bandanas I love to tuck in a belt loop (nothing worse than an exploding diet soda and nothing to stanch the flow! Or, a sweaty, dripping face. I don't want that on my HAND). But, I don't think that really MATTERS in the long run.

I feel it is important to be presentable and well-groomed, and I think most days I qualify. My hair is getting some flyaway ends, so I'll be getting it cut. It's a good opportunity to witness to the stylist, and leave a few tracts in the magazine rack, if God leads me.

I beg God, on a daily basis "Don't let me take one step outside Your will"! I am determined to do whatever, and however much He requires.

Oh, and here's my favorite little prayer, I like to use this when I'm getting stressed out:
God, Please put:
Your thoughts in my head.
Your love in my heart.
Your words in my mouth (and hands as I blog).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I forgot something

I did a lot of research before I asked my doctor for Wellbutrin. I didn't notice that it is associated with low blood pressure!

Today, Ron and I had a nice mostly-day-in. I woke up on my own, did my Bible study, shower, etc. I had a good time. Ron and I chatted for a bit and even downloaded some music for his player.

Then we went to Starbucks. I had a $10 off card for a Christian bookstore, and I planned to USE it. I had my bus card, all ready to go.

After having a medium heavy whipping cream steamer, about a thousand calories, I took my medication. I waited about half an hour for Ron's ride. I could feel my mouth getting dry so I knew it was working.

Ron and I even chatted about our local Walmart's failure to provide lithium. It's really awful. How do you run out of antidepressants, and lithum, for over a week? Bipolar individuals who go off their medications become HEADLINES and can often become violent. You'd think there'd be a liability issue. [shrug] If they can't get it together I will be happy to switch to a closer pharmacy, one that I can reach with one bus ride, instead of 3.

He left, I got a couple of sodas. While out on my own, I handed out all my driver candy and did a nice thing for someone. Jesus says to keep our good deeds private.

I began walking. Now, it has been warm, upper 70's for the first time in a while. It was also very sunny. I was walking across a large paved parking lot and suddenly got very lightheaded. It was a very uncomfortable sensation.

It felt familiar, like when I took Prozac as a teen, and when I took the Lexapro from 2006-2009 (ended by a spectacular allergic reaction). I was literally begging God to "hold me up".

I also recited my favorite Bible verse, when Jesus tells Paul "My strength is made perfect in weakness" and Paul says "Therefore, I will glory in my infirmities, so the power of Christ may rest more fully on me, for when I am weak, I am strong [in Jesus]." I told God he must be awfully powerful in me! [laugh]

I got home OK, did a few things, and took a nap. I feel fine now.

I figured out why it happened. 3 things: 1. I ate a big meal before walking around in the sun. 2. Walking around in the sun, unaccustomed to it. 3. Wellbutrin can cause low blood pressure.

It perfectly explains my symptoms. Next time, I will stop at a gas station or something and drink one of those "energy shot" sugarfree things. When I have problems with low-blood pressure, a caffeine shot seems to help.

I think I'll have to be a lot more careful, walking around in the sun, for the next little bit. I don't think I'll be able to run around with a heavy backpack until my body has a chance to acclimate. Especially since I am giving blood on Friday!

I definitely plan to spend next week taking it easy. We've had a lot to do this week, and I need to rest. I like having a steady mood, and only one way to keep it that way - rest!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bible-thumping, in the rain

Here's a link to today's photos, just scroll down. If you keep the link, I'll put up new March photos in this album.

Busy and tiring day today! Went to work, got the deliveries, filled the machines - all of them. I had the other vendor take a photo of me with the sign. She was very surprised.

I have had this thought and I think it bears sharing: I absolutely know this idea is from God. How? When my illness is talking, I get ugly-minded, nasty-tempered, and paranoid. THEN I get the Bad Thoughts. I have been filled up with compassion, excitement, and a need to act.

So, today I lugged a large tote bag filled with about 22 Bibles, plus driver candy, plus plenty of Cup-a-noodles for work. It was raining, so I brought my big yellow raincoat too.

After work, I got dropped at a busy corner. I stood on the corner, with my rapidly-wilting cardboard sign. "Free Bibles". A lot of squinting from the drivers. Boy, today was a TOUGH crowd. It took me about a hour, I think, to hand out 2 dozen or so!

I kept telling God, I'm doing Your work. Continue to guide me, I'll stand out here as long as it takes. I know You are sending me people hungry for Your word. Send them to me with an open heart and I'll get them the Bible. Use me, Lord. I'll stand out here however long it takes. I repeated that again and again, as I stood there in the rain. It wasn't bad while I was working, but later on I did get a little chilled.

I kept asking God for the above, and more. I had plenty of time to pray! Then, a window would roll down now and then and I'd hand out a Bible, in a quart sized zip-top baggie, with a handful of candy, too. One guy asked me if I had Spanish. Did I! I was thrilled.

Eventually, I handed out the last Bible, to a lady who had initially rejected my approach. She was impressed I refused money. I have asked God to put a certain phrase into the mouth of anyone whose money I'm to accept. If they say that, I'll take it. That was I know I am doing God's will.

It's tricky. On the one hand, I won't ask. God provides, well. I have a $10 discount card for use tomorrow, and I occasionally get 20% discounts. He sends me great stuff on the clearance rack, too. I have 4 wonderful devotionals, I use for my personal use, and I only paid a combined total of $3.50 for them all!

On the other hand, if as someone termed, "Wants to share in the blessing" who am I to say no? But I ALWAYS have God put the phrase in their mouth. He does. He wants me obedient and dependent on Him.

I am a proud person, and I work on that issue daily. That's the great thing about what He's got me doing. I am the "seed spreader" as my Dad plagarized from the Bible. I just go and spread the Word. I never see them again. Some of them may get saved, but I don't know!

So, I'll have a great surprise in Heaven. After my hour-long humility and obedience lesson, I got a snack. I was actually hungry. Then He put it in my head to go to a store, I did, and I missed a bus!

I told myself, if I had been out there when I first wanted to go, there may have been a reckless driver. I see them a lot on that street. Maybe someone on the bus is contagious. [shrug] I always, always, figure there is a REASON.

I stood out in the rain for another half-hour, reading "Pilgrim's Progress". The bus came. It was a guy I knew.

I got myself some soda, and almost got flattened by a white sports car. Whoo! I KNOW I am under God's protection. I should have been in the hospital, the way he drove! I thanked God profusely, and sincerely, and got up on safe ground.

I got a Starbucks heavy whipping cream thing, and left with that. I went to Favorite Dollar and got some sugarfree candy. I am getting a lot of people who say "I would love some SUGAR FREE candy". I am handing out my stash! I'm down to cough drops - which I won't hand out unless someone is sick!

I got a couple bags, and headed off to the Christian bookstore. I got a photo taken of me with the sad and bedraggled cardboard sign. "Kay" suggested, why don't you have us make you a sign?

They do lamination. They have awesome poster board. They helped, and I love it. You can see in my photos.

I left rather later than I would have liked, but God gave me good bus transfers and I got home safely.

All I want to do now is get flat for a while. I didn't sleep well last night, and I figured it was a spiritual attack because the Bad Guy didn't like my plans!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A busy day off!

God gave me the idea to get some quart sized bags. I did so when Ron and I went to the grocery store. After I got home and put up the groceries, He gave me another idea; put some candy and a New Testament in the bags (I use the Invitation ones found in the affordable Bibles link). They fit great.

Then I thought, I'd love to finally get a photo of me taken with the "Free Bibles" sign. But where? I could go to the Christian bookstore. I still have about $5 I was given for "The Work" and I take that obligation very seriously. I need to use it, to get supplies.

While I'm at it, if I'm Out with the sign... why not hand out some Bibles? So, I loaded up about 18, in the baggies, with a generous handful of assorted candies. I also did some Spanish. This is IN ADDITION to the regular driver candy I hand out - I took my leftover Driver Bibles and did the same treatment, combining them into the quart sized ziplock. It is supposed to rain tomorrow, so it's a great idea.

Now I just have to "mush" everything down into as compact a package as possible, especially since I need to bring the sign, and some supplies for work, in addition to what I lovingly refer to as "My Junk".

First stop, grocery store. We came home. I did up the Bibles for tomorrow, took a while. I ran out of "Chewy Mix" caramels and had to go get my new bag, divvy it up, and bag it. I had a horrifying experience once where I had the wrapped candy sitting in a tote bag. Ants. Many bad words were spoken as I threw out THAT candy! I always, always bag it up, unless it is the "Columbiano" candy - that's got a fantasic, tough wrapper.

A little computer time, worked on a care package for someone. I decided to take a nap.

One of the best books I have read this year is "Streams of Water" by Brother Yun. In it, he specifically addresses "missionary" type issues, like resting now and then before the Lord forces one on you! He said, every time he got imprisoned for Jesus, it was because he was overworking. He also mentions important issues, like making your family a priority. Serving God first and foremost, keeping your heart soft and humble. The vitality of obedience.

Anyway, I decided to take a nap with the cat. It was great, but I had some dreams I can interpret as an "attack". To me, that just confirmed that I SHOULD go out tomorrow.

After I got up, I sat in bed and read "Pilgrim's Progress" for a while. The cat came and lay by my crossed legs as I read. After he got up, I did.

I got some laundry going, cleaned up the bedroom. I don't want to cause my brother to stumble, so if you have carnal issues you might want to skip the rest of the paragraph. I have noticed a serious wedgie problem. Every item that causes me trouble is a size "Y". It seems the recent weight loss has taken off an underwear size. Only the size "X" is comfortable. I put all the size Y's off to the side. God willing, I will NEVER wear them again! Thank you Jesus, for the weight loss! And maintaining! Now I only have "good fitting" items.

I thought I might need to go to the store, but I have plenty of stuff. Yay! I cleaned up several square feet of very messy bedroom. I'm delighted. I got all my nightgowns together, all my old stained "Housework/yardwork" stuff I would NEVER wear in public (unless mowing the lawn), together, and put all my cold weather gear together.

Then, I was sitting in front of this computer, right next to the used recumbent exercise bike Ron bought years ago. Hm. I did indulge in a small can (21 carbs) of Pringles today. It wouldn't kill me to burn them off! Besides, the end goal is "getting healthy" and a nice low-grade workout sounded good. I did that - about half an hour total.

I need to 1. Hang up the clothes as they finish in the dryer (more Praise for God, and thanks for a washer and dryer in my home!) It is so nice to wash clothes AT HOME. I will never take that for granted.

2. I need to combine the stuff I'm taking tomorrow. For instance, I have 36 cup-a-noodles for work, but I only need to put about 14 in the machine. I need to mix up the flavors, and put them in a tote bag.

3. Dishes.

4. Cook food for this week, I got some hamburger. I plan to cook it with either chili seasonings, or some italian seasonings, scramble some eggs, and make "bowls". Eggs, meat, cheese, and some kind of sauce.

5. This one isn't as vital; Ron and I recently switched MP3 Players because mine is more "blind friendly". He had broken the USB port on his computer, and couldn't take the files off. UGH. His taste and mine are NOT the same. I need to get rid of his stuff. Our players cost about $30 each.

Tomorrow, I have to get up at 5. Hopefully we will get milk SOMETIME tomorrow. Fortunately, I know I will at least get the sandwiches. He is very reliable, and a very good sport about my Spanish tract-candy.
I see my primary job as Pleasing God. That is the most important thing in my life, period. I am delighted when He chooses to use me. Sometimes baffled, but always delighted.

One issue I've been working on as I go though life; how much do I share? When does "Sharing" become "Boasting?" When does "Encouraging others" turn to "Prideful?" I can sense a tendency towards pride, and I want to overcome that.

I have read several books on Evangelism, and some of them just turned my stomach. The authors relate in great detail "HOW MUCH GOOD I'VE DONE" They quote numbers. Lots of boasting about their "Kingdom Work". Can God still use someone like that? I wonder.

I do know this, it is very dangerous to be a teacher, and to put your own dogma out as God's will. I often find myself cherrypicking as a result. If I can't back up your statement from the Bible, I do not accept it.

I want to emulate Jesus, and he was very humble. Remember Him washing the feet of his disciples? That was considered "slave work" for a woman, in the Roman world. Only the very lowest rung of society washed feet. Jesus put himself down there, and He asks us to do the same.

One fun thing about my job yesterday, was that it was fairly humiliating. I felt ridiculous waving my sign at times, getting glared at and ignored. Worst of all were the people who saw the sign, didn't read it, and tried to give me money! I was mistaken for a hard-luck homeless person!

One thing I feel God's put in my head, is a simple statement. Instead of "I did..." "God CHOSE to use me to...." The second is far more accurate.

I recently got ready to ship off my last New King James Bible. As I got it out of the box [cries at no more NKJV Bibles], I saw a pencil box filled with World Missionary Press scripture booklets. A mix of English and Spanish. God put it in my head TAKE THIS.

I was going to the grocery store. The box had a couple dozen booklets. I wouldn't hand out the booklets at the store, but it's been my experience that God will use me, if I ALLOW it.

So, they went into my bag. As I was out, I encountered someone who said "I wish I had something like this yesterday" relating a tale of a very bitter man questioning God, as they looked at the scripture booklet in the bag of candy I'd just given them. God led me to give this person, the pencil box. They were shocked, but delighted. Now they can spread God's Word!

The booklets say, on the back, how to get more. So they are set! Because I was obedient today, God could use me to generate more evangelism. That is excellent. I am delighted God can use me.

Mainly I have been feeling led to hand out the candy bags, with tract and scripture booklet. I'm happy to do that. God is generous in providing excellently priced, tasty, candy. Everyone who eats the candy in my presence seems delighted.

He put it on me, to get bigger bags, and stick a New Testament in with the candy. Tract, scripture booklet, candy, New Testament! All in a quart sized bag! I'll do that as long as He wants.

I only have one concern, in all that God asks me to do. The grocery store was sold out of the Paleta Enchilada. It's a hot lollipop. All the Spanish people loved them. "Oh, you got the GOOD CANDY!" I wanted a relevant candy for the Spanish, so I went with the Chili Bonchas instead. It is a 9 gram hard candy, mango flavored, with chili. I am curious and eager to see if these are considered "A good candy" like the Paleta.

I'm glad God can use me, and I hope and pray I am approaching my service with the right attitude. I don't want Him to be embarrassed or ashamed of me.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's time to get 'em saved!

I'm listening to yet more Gospel rap - this one "Get 'em Saved". Very appropriate.

Let me tell you a little about my "nature". I'm a fearful person. I wouldn't even ride the bus for about 5 years after my husband's accident. I'd have panic attacks standing at the bus stop, watching the traffic. Crossing streets? Awful. Gasping for breath, panicked... miserable. I felt like a trapped animal. This is significant.

I was also pretty fearful when it came to "strangers". I'm an extrovert, "Bubbly", but I didn't reach out to others. Ever. Especially regarding my faith.

I'm saying all this to illustrate God's power. I have had an increasing burden to engage in some down and dirty, street evangelism. I thought, that would be great after I find a good church, we could all go out and hand out Bibles on street corners. It would be wonderful when I met some other, evangelism minded people. I would hate to die or get raptured without doing this, but I couldn't do it on my own.

It might not be safe. Jesus sent out the disciples in groups of two. I'm a woman, and it's the Last Days. I've already been mugged and shot with a BB gun (yes, I will brag on the attacks I've had as I do God's will - Paul did!); what else might happen? Maybe later, maybe never. I'll look like a homeless addict begging for money!

Yesterday I was reading a book on evangelism and God began to impress the absolute NEED to go out into the street this morning with a case of Bibles and begin handing them out. I trotted out all the excuses. I told God, make it MORE obvious.

He made it abundantly clear. Do this! OK, Lord. You want me to do this, I'll do it. I find it a little sad that he uses me. I see myself as less than a "normal" person. He has to use ME? I see myself as an imperfect tool. Kind of like a fork with one tine.

Do it, Heather. I got out the rolling backpack, the box of tracts, the stickers, index cards, pen, bookmarks, and postcards. I stuffed over 60 small New Testaments in the backpack. When it was full, I took them out and stacked them up. The cat was very annoyed I used HIS spot on the couch.

Have I told you how I "do" a Bible? First, I use a highlighter to mark Revelation 21:4, sometimes I am also led to do John 6:29, 44, and 47. You can look them up. :) I make up cards, with some inspirational stickers and a note saying "I'm praying for you daily!" - if it's "hitting the streets", I sign it. If it's for work, I don't sign it.

I pray on everything, even what stickers to use. I stick the cards into the Bible, where I feel the Holy Spirit is leading me. Depending on what God guides me to do, I mark various portions. Generally, I always stick something in at the Gospel of John, and something at Revelation 21:4. I also select tracts, based on guidance, and insert them into the Bible, too.

It takes a while, but people really enjoy the work. Simply, this is what God wants me to do. I did something very important, sent a bulk mail to my family telling them I'd be doing this.

I did up all the Bibles. Then it was bedtime. God had it in my head, I was to be on the corner at 7 AM. That meant waking up at 5-something, and leaving the house before sunrise. I balked on that!

When 5 AM rolled around, I hit the snooze twice. I felt rather guilty about it, but I was also plagued by doubts. One factor in getting me ready - the embarrassment I'd feel if I backed out and my whole family asked me, "What happened?" Oh, I chickened out.

Yes, my fear of shame in front of my family, was worse than my fear of shaming myself before the Ruler of the Universe. [wince] However, it got me ready.

I got the bus and someone told me "You should be handing out whole Bibles, not just New Testaments!" I told him "But this way they have the good JESUS part! They can always go to Walmart and get a whole Bible, later."

I walked to the median at a busy intersection, standing next to the left-turn lane. Me. The one who was afraid of traffic. It goes to show, if we allow God to work in our lives, he does AMAZING things.

I stood there and got glared at, waved off, and ignored for a bit. I reminded myself I ask God for humility. If everyone snatched one eagerly, I would probably be full of vanity. I asked God the whole time, to send the people with open hearts, to me, so I could give them His word. It was pretty humbling.

However, I soon got my first taker. When the window rolled down, I handed them a Bible or two. One guy wanted them for his whole family, so I gave him a stack. Pretty soon I was having a good time! I would say about 40% of the people were interested. A few tried to give me money, which I waved off.

I stood there on the corner, with my sign, smiling and pointing at "Free Bibles". I carried a small stack in my right hand. If someone was interested, I jogged over to them and handed them however many I was led to give.

I gave away approximately 70 Bibles in about an hour. Praise God!

If you pray, ask God to give the recipients a hunger to read the Bibles, and His understanding.

I like how God uses me - I'm planting seeds, but I don't see the crop. If I knew how many people were getting saved, I would have a horribly swollen ego. I would be useless because I'd be full of vanity and pride. "Look what I did!" Nope, look what God does, if we allow Him to work through us!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Four weapons of the Devil

Tomorrow, I'll tell you all about my big street evangelism project; handing out Bibles to complete strangers. It's only rarely I hand one out to a friend! One thing that incited me to this; a few obvious attacks.

Now, none of this is spelled out in the Bible, it's just my own personal observation. You can decide what you think. Your opinion is the only one that should matter to you!

When you are doing good work for God, or you get saved, absolutely expect attacks from the Devil. He is angry; he's going to do what he can to hurt you. He's PISSED. You got away! He wanted you in HELL! The only thing that makes him angrier than YOUR salvation; when you work for God in saving others.

[As I type this, I'm listening to Little Dre, a Gospel Rapper]

I will restate this: If the Devil isn't attacking you, you need to review your walk with God! He doesn't bother with useless Christians!

Attack #1 - probably the scariest - Physical Attacks.
Last year, I was shot with a BB gun, and violently mugged on another occasion. Obvious physical attacks; the attackers were just pawns of the Devil. I pray for them 2 x a day. We're all scared of being hurt - this is the Devil's most DRAMATIC attack. He can only do this if God allows it. When I am physically attacked, while working for God, I get ANGRY. I say, "Oh, I'm a threat? Watch THIS!" I really ramp up whatever God's got me doing and completely surrender myself to Him so He can use me even more.

Attack 2: Attacking your health
This can only happen if God allows it; generally, in my case, it's to teach me humility and dependence on God. I have it vividly brought home: Outside of God, I am NOTHING.

Things like physical illness, chronic condition flares, etc... all fall under this category. It works, because it gets our minds off of God's work and onto our own problems. I know, I complain a lot. Why me? This isn't fair God, I'm working for You! We have to look at this as another learning opportunity.

We need to realize, we are doing good work for God if our health is getting attacked. Also, God needs us to learn something. In my case, generally humility and dependence on Him. I tend to get sick, when I'm running ahead of Him and doing things for my glory and in my will, not His.

Attack #3, most evil in my book
Attacking us, through our families. Attacking a family member's health; causing a family member to stumble in their walk with God, or in my case, causing a total psychotic rant that did a lot of damage (I totally went off on a family member). We have to realize, this does not indicate our failure, rather, it's a measure of our success! If you're soaked in sins, like a marinating chicken, the Devil doesn't bother you much. Why? Warriors for God come in for HIS hatred. If God won't allow him to attack your health, he may go after your family.

My husband has a chronic pain condition; as I ramp up my work for God I notice he suffers more. When we were shacking up, and I'd rather walk naked down the street than share my faith, we both had good health. As we both do more work for God's Kingdom, he suffers. He has stumbling blocks, like all of us do (mine are gossip, judging, and pride).

You cannot take this attack personally; it is not "Your Fault". God is using this problem to work on your loved one's walk with Him. We all need more work, and sometimes pain is the best teacher.

What I do, is turn Ron over to God. I remind myself that God loves Ron FAR more than I do. God hates to see Ron suffer even more than I do! God has allowed this to happen, to make Ron a better person in the long run. He also allows it to teach me to depend more fully on Him. Like I said, we all need work on our faith walk!

Fourth and most sneaky
Tonight I was prepping my Bibles to hand out tomorrow. A lot of annoying little things kept coming up. Where is the so and so? Oh, almost knocked over my soda? I had my music on random play, and it seemed like everytime I got working a disagreeable song came up! I'd have to get up, step carefully, and forward to a "good" song. I kept getting distracted by things that didn't matter - this happens a LOT during prayer and Bible study time.

I have to stop, refocus, realize that this is an attack, and respond accordingly. I choose not to react; I will not get flustered. I will not get annoyed. I will not get distracted. I have a job to do and I'll do it!

I hope you find this helpful! I would have loved to read something like this, years ago.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

So, what did I do today?

I got up really early, and hit the Bible Study and Prayer time. I can commit to that; where I couldn't commit to getting up early for anything else. No offense to the fitness types, but this is more important than a workout!

I was a little freaked out, because all my devotionals and readings had the common theme of "God helps us through our trials". I thought, what trials? Things are going OK. Oh, no. I'M GOING TO HAVE A TRIAL of some sort! Have I mentioned I can run a little paranoid? I'm still a little bug-eyed, thinking about it.

I should probably say, "But then I prayed about it and felt great". I didn't.

I'm a little twitchy, but you know what? Nothing can take me out of Jesus' arms. Nothing. I trust Him completely. At the very worst time of my life, unemployed, my beloved in ICU, facing eviction, broke, and scared to death... I threw all my burdens on Him and said "It's in Your hands. I trust You." He took care of my every need, even providing entertainment as I cared for my homebound husband without a television! He provided financial support, through a couple different forums. He provided emotional support for me. He cared for Ron, healing him gradually. He provided all the equipment I needed to care for Ron, and even provided a wonderful Social Security employee to help me to process his disability claim!

When I was absolutely out of my head insane, hearing voices, paranoid, deluded, an absolutely pathetic wretch... I threw myself on Him again. God provided someone to help me find my doctor. He led me to my doctor, and put the right medications into Doc's head, restoring my mind.

To paraphrase MANY passages in the Bible - I will not be moved! I'm standing on the Rock. The Lord is my helper, I will not fear. What can MAN do to me?

Oh, he could send me to Jesus! AWESOME. That would only happen if God willed it.

So, I feel pretty good. I went to work. Turns out our driver is related to an employee at the plant! Good thing I only say nice things! I gave her one of those devotionals I mentioned. I had also finished copying my favorite quotes out of the George Muller biography. God laid it on me to give her that, too, but not a Bible. OK. I hope she enjoys them, or facilitates getting them to their destination!

I was glad I had lost the weight, crammed in the backseat with Ron and someone else. It would have been miserable Before. Ron has confided he used to get angry at me, in situations like that "Sorry my wife is so fat!" He was kind enough to -mostly- hide it.

Went to work, stuffed ALL the candy in the machines. I am thrilled with the machines - they looked great - nice and full of tempting delicacies. I really enjoy my work, I am so blessed. I don't really feel like God wants me putting anything out in "The Box" at work, so I'm just toting around my hand-out Bibles. I use the "Invitation" New Testaments from the Bibles link to the right. They are about 3x5 inches, very easy to tote around in my bag. A "good" day for me would entail handing out at least a few.

Waited on the milk delivery. Waited some more. No milk. Sorry, can't do it today. Ron was displeased; when he called the company, the manager even more so! I suggested, since we come in on every Monday - why not get the milk Monday? The manager likes it; the driver even more so. Yay!

We're working tomorrow, so I can do chips. Chips are pretty slow, but the stuff with a good food cost is moving. This is generally a slow time of year, but God is generous and we don't need much.

Chuck met us after work to run errands and have lunch. First stop, Walmart. Out of Lithium. Out of all the medications to run out of - mood stablizer? AGH. And they didn't say anything when Ron called in the refill. They offered me three tablets. Three. Uh, no thanks. I have a few at home. It gets better. They were also out of my antidepressant. Again, I'm not OUT. I take a low-dose, Doc wrote it for 2 a day and I only need 1, but still! What if I didn't have any? Oh, there's those threee tablets again [putting my head in my hands as I shake with laughter]. Oh, boy. Ron did get his Neurontin. He would be miserable without that, and probably have seizures too. Happily, I don't have to have a psychotic break because they had my antipsychotic. I told the clerk, it's a good thing (as she hides the candy bag below the counter), because the last time I stopped taking these I saw flying saucers! In my bedroom! [wheezing laughter]

One time some nosy creep came up behind me as I was discussing my medications, and freaked out when I said "I'd have to be in bad shape if I needed this much lithium to get me through a month!" - as I checked the 3-month-refill bottle. He got all bug-eyed. Well, that's what you get for EAVESDROPPING. Nosy. Good thing I am not ashamed of my illness. It was a rather spectacular bottle of lithium, 270 count. These days that would last me, 4 months. I actually sat at the kitchen table during Hurricane Ike, the cat lying down nearby, looking at my megapills and saying "Well, no matter what happens I won't go nuts". Yup. Very consoling; I won't suffer like that ever again.

So, we ran a couple of little errands, tried to get "MY" Bibles, (see next post), that didn't happen. Then we went out to lunch. Everyone agreed it was delicious and it was a very affordable meal. Home! Yay!

I got a missionary newsletter. I'm glad I don't have a lot of money - it would be very hard deciding what God wanted me to support! I am not going to use an animal shelter analogy... that's just wrong! I do what I can, not much, but more than zero! And prayer only costs my time.

I had an excellent nap, Bubba stretched out in the bed nearby. Tomorrow, it's just work, Starbucks, picking up Ron's computer, and home.

The blood bank called. Next Friday we give blood; Ron does platelets, and I do regular blood. I would be a very selfish person if I said no! Blood donors saved my mother, father, brother, sister, uncle, and husband on two occasions. If you're a donor, thank you. Last time my donation messed up; but I got mugged not a week later so I probably "needed" the blood they couldn't take!

Queasy again. Oh, goody. It will be interesting to see my weight after I'm done with my cycle. I have about a week on that.

A trip to the hematologist

I slept OK but woke up really tired.  I hit the snooze alarm a few times, much to Biscuit's disgust.  But I'm getting ahead of mys...