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Sunday, July 22, 2012

After the storms pass..............the sun WILL shine!

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. -Proverbs 31:25

It has rained in Mississippi for the past two weeks and my 
body has been crippled by it.  My RA has been so very 
active that I have landed in the hospital twice unable to
stand on my own two feet, grasp toilet paper with either
hand, or simply open my mouth due to my jaws being
locked.  The pain has been so overwhelming that I am
now on a new journey to the Mayo Clinic in Rodchester, MN
to enter a three week Pain Management Program. I've
had RA for over 21 years and it has gotten progressively
worse.  For so long I thought that I was one tough cookie!
I could press through the pain and grin as if nothing was 
wrong.  But the past two years it became harder to mask
and harder to deal with.  I do NOT want to have to
use medicine that zonks me out or changes my
So...we are choosing this new path.  I ask for prayers
as I begin this journey.  My rheumy has referred me
and now it is the insurance approval wait.  OH THE JOYS!

Friday, July 6, 2012

They won't always be babies!

It is strange how I viewed my kids as they were little
tikes.... I soaked up each moment so that I never
fully grasp the idea that they would indeed grow "UP".
As middle school and high school hit, I was still 
viewing my kids as my babies... they still needed
me and were always coming to me with questions.
As my son's senior year approached it began to hit
home that my "babies" were growing "UP" and 
soon they would be growing "OUT".  I always
knew in my heart they were a gift from God to 
guide, guard and protect until the day I was 
to help them fly own their own.  YES, it hit
hard and I cried tears of joys and tears of 
"where did all the years go" when my son left
for college.  BUT oh how this year has marked
the beginning of a "TRUE EMPTY NEST".
I watched my baby girl leave for Indiana 
for summer missions with a joy filled heart.
As the days passed, she began vocalizing 
how much she missed home and then
came her "countdown to return". It made 
me think..... upon her return, she will have
one year left at home before joining her 
brother at MSU.... where did all the time
go? It is a blessing to know that my kids are
healthy, happy, intelligent, and moral young 
adults that are able to fly own their own....
but OH how I will miss them.  I will smile
and help fix up her dorm room at the junior 
college a mile from our house this year...
but in my heart there WILL BE TEARS!
MY BABIES are growing "UP"!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Learning .....

I woke up Monday feeling better than I have in over 7 months! I took advantage of it and cleaned, washed clothes and put them away, made tshirt flowers, took my sweet puppy for a walk and cooked a meal for my husband. THEN... I woke up Tuesday STILL FEELING GOOD....ohhhhhh... what did I do...the same thing... took advantage of every moment and spent the day "crafting" with a friend, finished up all of the laundry, and cooked dinner for my hubby.  Wednesday didn't follow along..... it was a day that RA reminded me that it has a mind of its own! Before having to retire in February of this year, I would have kept pushing and would have ended up feeling much worse!! SO .... I have learned a lot .... and I rested all Wednesday! I woke up today feeling better.  Of course, I wasn't able to run a marathon...or even walk two miles! However.... I finished cleaning the house, did a little organizing in my craft room, cooked a yummy meal for my husband, and am wide awake thanks to a little puppy who had to go potty! I am grateful for weeks like this.... when I have more good days than bad! These are the weeks I try to focus on when it is the opposite.  Now....back to bed??..... hopefully.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Isn't it beautiful...............

  Isn’t it beautiful how God leads us to EXACTLY

 what we need to feed our souls.  I have been

unable to attend my home church due to my

 low white blood cell count and have been 
  watching sermons on television with my 

husband. Recently I started reading 

several bible study blogs posted by women, 
and have been so blessed by their diligence, 

desire to spread the love of God, and

This is a wonderful message about learning
to lean on Christ THROUGH the difficulties
we face.  Each of us has a "thorn in the flesh"
and how we choose to deal with it makes
all the difference in our lives and our
state of happiness.  God desires for
each of us (the healthy or the sick) to 
walk in His fullness.  We must learn
It is all about perspective.... 
HOW WE CHOOSE TO view things...
HOW WE CHOOSE TO handle them.  
WITH GOD it is much easier...
He will supply the strength we need to
get through each day IF we realize 

Living with a chronic auto-immune disease.
 I've learned that as long as I 
stay focused on the TRUTH... 
THAT my creator has a purpose for 
everything under the sun (even my
illness....the thorn in my flesh) it
is easier for me to face each day.
Knowing that YES, indeed I have
limitations....but I HAVE A PURPOSE!!
and I know that if I choose His grace
and choose to rest in Him, that I will
be able to handle the pain, the
limitations, the fatigue, the treatments,
and learn to use this THORN IN MY FLESH
 as a way to spread His love THROUGH it all.
My favorite quote :"We go through what
we go through to help others go through
what we went through." I can choose to 
be bitter or better....I choose to be better
and empathize with others who are 
traveling the same road as I with this
roller coaster of ride "thorn in my flesh" 
called Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, 
TMJ, and Psjogrens Disease.
Thanks Tracy....for sharing your heart!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Don't put off your happy life......

Thanking God for this season
in my life!! Learning to enjoy
EVERY breath!!! 

(note: Several pictures on this blog were taken by Tommy Young.
He lives in Summit, MS and is a wonderful photographer. 
He can be found on Facebook.)

Our trip to New York.... 
My sis, me and my baby girl!

After our wonderful trip to New York, I 
had to take about 4 days just to recoup.  
What a wonderful trip and what priceless
memories!! Of course, I'd not want to live 
there....way too fast paced for this southern
girl.  Example: As we were walking the streets
of New York, a man dropped his umbrella on the
sidewalk.  I said, "Sir, sir! You dropped this...sir!"
NO RESPONSE...he just kept walking at a VERY
fast trot.  Another couple saw me TRYING to 
catch the man and get his attention.  They said,
"Mam, he has earplugs in, he can't hear you." 
So the man took the umbrella from my sister, 
because it was obvious my RA slow traveling
self was NOT going to catch up with the DUDE.
He proceeded to run and catch the guy.  IN
MISSISSIPPI, you'd hear a "bless your heart, 
thank you so much for picking it up for me."
BUT NOT IN NEW YORK....not a step was 
missed was like watching a hand off 
in a track race.  
I like my southern roots!! JUST FINE!!
 BUT TRULY....we enjoyed every
moment.  We took it my sweet
daughter seems to have switched roles with
her mama now....  I told her, "If ever I 
questioned your love for me... I DO NOT
NOW!"  She was so nurturing and so over-
protective, making sure I was not overdoing it
and causing more harm to my joints.
Our first day, after the plane ride and 
getting our luggage and a ride to the Hyatt
..... totally POOPED!

cruisin around The Statue of Liberty :)
photo taken by Tommy Young of Summit, MS
Cruising around the Statue of Liberty.  Unforgettable.

Pershing Square right outside of our hotel.... on Park Ave.

My me, Tina Turner, and my sister-gift...ROLLIN ON THE RIVER!

Aunt Leigh and LeeAnna in the Statue Of Liberty (WAX MUSEUM)
Elton, Elton, Elton...... what more can I say.... gotta
shine like him.... plus.... why just stand there and
smile... LIVE IT UP WHILE YOU CAN!!!!!!

I think these photos say it all!! We had a 
great time at the wax museum before 
going to TIme Square, Hello Kitty and

The Empire State Building.... a little windy....huh Nanabug!

and got to see Wicked... it was wonderful!
I CRIED LIKE A BABY!~~~ sitting beside my baby!

We also went to ground zero, the memorial
church for 911, 
Photo taken by Tommy Young of Summit, MS
we took a virtual helicopter tour
of the city, ate some amazing sushi and Italian,
and I got to see my baby girl sing at Carnegie Hall
with 4 other members of the Southwest 
Mississippi Community College Choir, 
Photo taken by Tommy Young of Summit, MS

Photo taken by Tommy Young of Summit, MS

...a very good time was had by
all....but ALL were ready to return
to their little corner of the world...
MiSSiSSipPi!! Thank you Lord for 
an amazing journey with two of
my favorite people! Can't wait to
start some scrapbooking!! 


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Power of Paint art project.....

This was an old piece of barnwood my daughter brought home
 from her Papaw's house one weekend.  I used an old atlas for the petals,
beads and wire for the center, white washed the background, and added
 paint squares.... whaaa laaaa... something from nothing!!
 Just throw some paint on it!

New York we come.....

We will be leaving on Friday morning and we are SO excited! This Mississippi
girl hasn't been to many BIG I am sure that I will be wide-eyed as
I take it all in.  It will be especially exciting because I will be with my daughter
and my sister! I can't wait to add photos for you guys! Praying that my RA
will take a rest and that I will be able to keep up with them as we tour. ;)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Today has been a rough one......

the sun is shining and I don't think bad weather is lurking around
the corner.... it is just a bad PAIN day with the RA.  The energy
that this disease takes from me is unbearable at times, I'm not sure
which I hate worse on these days...the NO energy or the SEVERE
 pain. So my usually sunshiny disposition is lost somewhere
between "I had 4 cross orders I wanted to work on.." , "I really
want to finish that canvas I started...", "Am I ever going to get the
art journal posted..."...... Being still for me has always been
a difficult task, but THE POSITIVE.... I CAN... I AM ABLE
P.J.'s ALL DAY, I CAN! The best thing this NEW SEASON
has taught that I am not like a healthy 43 year old
woman, and my body needs a break often.  TO take those
breaks is THE best way to care for myself and for my family
because it keeps me from being down for 3 or 4 days in a row
after pushing myself over my body's limit! Growing each day!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

"We go through what we go through, to help others go through what we went through."

The List......................

Each new day is bringing with it another reason to
enjoy this season in my life.  My hubby and I
always make "the good/the bad" lists when facing
 hard decisions or things in our lives that can't be
changed.  He knows how very literal and visual I am...
and this is a way that I can see on black and white
 the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY all at the
same time. Each time we go through trials or changes
 or have to make a big life-changing decision, he
always says..."It's going to be alright baby! God's
 got this too....He has NEVER let us down." I have
 such a strong faith, yet I am the one who is
ALWAYS the doubter or the one fretting!

As I sat playing bunco with the girls last night....
I began thinking about our "list" and the
"GOOD" side got another item added.When I was
working, my RA had gotten so bad that all I COULD or
WANTED to do was come home and crawl in the bed as
 soon as I entered the door after school. TODAY I had
 two things on my calendar.... a senior brunch for
 a sweet friend of the family and bunco.  I know that my
 body can not do speak with my daughter
and decide to take her friend out next week.....
I went and rolled the dice for 3 hours. I enjoyed every
 laugh, conversation, every smile on each face.....
I soaked them up! After being in solitary confinement
 for 3 months (had to stay home due
 to white blood count being 2.5...or wear a mask
 if I left home...NOT REALLY IN PRISON..
.but home bound) I spend more time making sure
 to recognize and savor the things around me that
God has blessed us with, things like being able to
watch my friends just being silly~ these things I will
now etch in my memory .....and count it all  a blessing!!
I was taking all of the "little" things God has blessed us
 with.....SO MANY ...and just taking them..... for granted!
I am thankful for each and every moment that He sends
 a blessing through the chirp of a bird, the soft touch of
my kittens tail on my skin, the "name that tune" games
I play with my husband, the texts from my children....
I could go and on.....even thanking Him for sending me
home at this time..... because the list of "GOOD"
 reasons from this long-term disability retirement
 is outweighing  the "BAD".....HE IS MIGHTY INDEED!!

 "The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still."
 Exodus 14:14

"The LORD your God is with you, e is mighty to save.
 He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
 He will rejoice over you with singing."
 Zephaniah 3:17

Friday, May 18, 2012

Look at my baby's smile......Frappe!

I've been getting folders organized on my desktop
in order to start the task of updating my scrapbooks
over the coming years.  LOOK at this sweet smile I
found this morning.  Now that I have been home
from work, due to my RA becoming so aggressive,
he and I have become best of friends.  I NEVER
knew you could love a puppy so very much!! I'm
so glad we adopted him two summers ago,,,, I
am not sure how I would have made it through
these tough months without his sweet smile
and his companionship! He is AWESOME! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

On a rollercoaster ride.....steroids....oyyyy

YES.....I'm feeling the "ROID" rage these days!
I've been on so many steroids over these past
4 months that I have become an emotional
rollercoaster and feel like a hot air balloon.  OH
LORD HELP ME! We will be leaving for New York City
in 9 days..... and I am hoping to be good to go!
The steroids are like oil for my joints....but they
cause such burned skin and emotional RIDES
that I want to be off of them by the time we fly out.
If you follow my blog and are a prayer warrior,
please pray that God will calm this storm if only
for the trip, so I can enjoy time with my daughter
and sister in NYC.  A BUCKET LIST ITEM!

Monday, May 14, 2012

This week's agenda.....

.........remembering to look at things in a NEW LIGHT!
Learning to cooperate with my body and not fight against
the RA when it is so aggressive.  It has taken a long time
to learn how to that!! Each day brings a new challenge...
with or without RA...for me, I can't make "permanent" plans
because I am not sure how my body will react upon waking
up. BUT at least I am waking up!! AT LEAST I have the
choice to rest and recoop my body for days that I CAN
do things that I love to do and need to do.  So the list on
the bar grows on days like these....but I am happy because
I can look at THE LIST and see things were marked off
Each new day comes .....and that is something to be
GRATEFUL for....learning perspective sure changes things!

Friday, May 11, 2012

totally standing on the promises of God.....

Psalm 31:24 
Be strong and take heart, 
all you who hope in the LORD.

Today my hands are so swollen and I can't lift
my arms due to the tendon that has been 
eaten away by the Rheumatoid Arthritis.
There is now a tear in my tendons on both
shoulders that causes the flare up to 
worsen, which means the tendon now
becomes inflamed (not just the synovial fluid)
now that the RA has eaten at it....our
next step will be shoulder surgery.  I am 
firmly believing that my Father is in the 
miracle working business and am praying 
for remission.  Please join with me in this
prayer and also in the prayer to develop
a cure for this chronic crippling disease that
so MANY know so LITTLE about.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Spoon Theory.... daily choices .....

 I got up this morning and thought about
 MY SPOONS…. It has been raining here 
and very gloomy.  My hips and feet 
haven’t cooperated well… I’ve been 
doing some crafting in my room.  I got 
on facebook to check on my new friends 
on the RA pages I follow.  A sweet new 
friend, with two small children, is going 
through the SAME confusion I remember 
walking in when I was diagnosed with RA 
after the birth of my first child 21 years ago.  
AND PLAY with my babies like I want to…
DAYS. First I want to thank RAGuy ( 
for sharing this. Due to my RA becoming 
so aggressive this year,  I was again 
walking in that same confusion and fear 
after I had to retire early when I began 
following a few RA pages on facebook.  It was
 so neat to be with people who UNDERSTAND 
this disease and it’s limitation.  When he 
posted the “Spoon Theory” link, I read it 
and sent it to my best friend and my 
husband because it explained my daily 
struggle so very well. It really helped them 
understand the daily internal battle I 
have over decisions that others don’t even 
think about.  He has also published a book 
of RA hands and stories….very inspiring website.
     The  Spoon Theory is about difference in
 the daily options that "healthy" people have 
from the moment they wake up compared 
to those of us with a chronic auto-immune 
diseaseEach “move or choice”  we make, 
we must consider the “energy” or “spoons” 
used to make that “move or choice”.  We also 
have to keep the side effects from the 
chemo infusion treatments and other meds, 
which can hit whenever they decide to
in mind.  The hardest thing is wanting to 
go and do all of the things you 
WANT to do….but NOT being able to do 
them because it will put you in bed for 
two or three days AFTER you PUSH yourself 
to do it.  The let down on your family 
and friends’ faces because they think you 
are just being lazy or are not very consistent.  
In order for others NOT to feel this way about 
me…. I pushed for YEARS and am now on 
disability retirement at age 43.  I wish I’d 
read this SPOON THEORY years 
ago….it would have helped me explain to 
my close friends and family the struggle I
have when trying to meet everyone’s 
needs (including my own) in a better way.
  I would not have struggled so hard 
to PUSH myself beyond the SPOONS I had 
available for the day.  I hope this helps others 
who are walking in these very SAME shoes. 
 Let your friends and family read it so 
that they too can understand that 
a “little decision” for them is 
not so LITTLE  for you.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sunshine inside ....

Cute project find at getting some
good ideas for this new season.... ready to get busy SOON!

Monday, May 7, 2012

It is raining outside....but.....

.....I am learning that, through the pain, the sun can be shining in ME!

It has been quite a rough weekend.  My RA has flared up and I've
had to use my cane.... for so long, I thought using it was a sign
of weakness! OH how wrong I had been.  It takes a lot of pride
swallowing to be 43 and using a cane.  THAT IS STRENGTH.
Each day I am learning more and more how God's hand has
led me to this quiet place of rest and restoration- body and soul.
Today I am thanking Him for the storms...because He is growing
me with every drop that falls...every painful moment has led
me to a NEW SEASON in MY STORY.... and MY STORY
is valuable, important and matters.  My prayer is that I can
encourage others who travel this CURVY road of Rheumatoid.
I am more than this disease...I HAVE IT... it DOES NOT have me!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Haven't posted in a few days... we've had a sick kitten.

Tinkerbell is feeling I am hoping to get to the next 
Faith Book post soon.  Senior cross orders are coming in
so I've been tending to Tinker and making crosses.  Ready 
 for a little CREATE time.                                  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Woke up with "Faith Book" on my mind..anyone want to join?

This is the beginning of the Faith Book.... I will post the step-
by-step photos after I go see some little first graders today.
It is NOT finished.... have to let the paint dry before I can do
details and add scripture reference without getting my hand in
that wet pink paint. But this is just a little glimpse of what I 
started last night. I will do another one tonight and post pictures.
Hope you decide to follow along and post some scripture, or
quotes or lyrics that you would like to put in your book.  Until
I see you later....HOPE you all have a joy filled day lovelies!!

I will upload a picture tomorrow of my first day's "Faith Card"
and show you step by step how to make your very own
(including the cover and back page). If you are at all like me,
stinkin' thinkin' can creep up on you fast! In times like these
I try to remember the scriptures I've hidden in my heart.
However, as I have gotten older, some of them are harder
to recall.  So, what better way to memorize them again and
draw from the daily to help me remember God's promises,
sometimes a quote or sometimes lyrics may touch me....and
I will have those inserted in my Faith Card Ring or Book...I
have to see what I have in my craft room in order to find out
which I will make.  Hope to do a class at New Heights Baptist
Church soon.  Feeling better EACH day! "Delight yourself in 
the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." 
Psalm 37:4   Hope you join me!

Don't miss out on a blessing because it isn't packaged the way that you expect.

The man whispered, "God, speak to me" and a Chickadee
sang. But, the man did not hear. So the man yelled "God, speak
 to me!" And, the thunder rolled across the sky. But, the man did 
not listen. The man looked around and said, "God let me see you." 
And a star shined brightly. But the man did not notice.
               And, the man shouted, "God show me a miracle!" And, a life was
                born. But, the man did not know. So, the man cried out in despair,
                "Touch me God, and let me know you are here!"  Whereupon,
                 God reached down and touched the man.  But, the man
               brushed the butterfly away and walked on.  Don't miss out
            on a blessing because it isn't packaged the way that you expect.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Starting the day with a song in my heart!!

This is so appropriate for MY STORY

for this moment, this very season in my life..... thanks again Melody Ross.
I am not sure why it took until my mid 30's for me to realize 
that my past, or the twists and turns along the way, 
do NOT define me, but it makes ME who I AM.  

You are who you are for a reason.You're part of an intricate
 plan. You're a precious and perfect unique design, Called 
God's special woman or man. You look like you look for a 
reason.Our God made no mistake. He knit you together
within the womb,You're just what he wanted to make. 
The parents you had were the ones he chose ,And 
no matter how you may feel,  They were custom designed 
with God's plan in mind, And they bear the Master's 
seal.No, that trauma you faced was not easy. 
And God wept that it hurt you so; But it was 
allowed to shape your heart So that into his likeness
 you'd grow.You are who you are for a reason, 
You've been formed by the Master's rod.You are 
who you are, beloved, Because there is a God! 
Russell Kelfer
Uniquely created by God with a free will.... each mistake made,
 He allowed ...and each time I always found my way back into
 His arms.  His mercies are new every morning. We judge ourselves
 and others judge us enough to cause so much STINKIN' THINKIN'
 that we get off of the road we should be traveling after "messing up" 
or making a "bad choice".  We sometimes fret so much we become
paralyzed in fear. We become chained to regret and fear of the
future, instead of looking ahead at THE NEW PAGE we
have every single morning to BEGIN again.  "He gives beauty for
ashes... strength for fear, gladness for mourning, peace for despair!!"
 I have finally realized that MY Father does not want me to walk with
my head down, He wants me living a joy filled life.  The first step was 
to realize that IN ALL THINGS I AM TO GIVE THANKS.... 
because the good , the bad , and the ugly make MY STORY. 
 I am thankful for it all!!! 
Love this quote...and love
how the artist illustrated it!