Tuesday, August 28, 2012

sheep and goats

I need Thee every hour,
Most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine
Can peace afford.
I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee!
O bless me now, my savior--
I come to Thee.

There is almost always a song floating around in my heart, most often an older hymn from my Baptist childhood or a praise chorus or sometimes a little Ingrid Michaelson ditty. Today, it was this one. I Need Thee Every Hour. I listened to it from the voice of Nicol Sponberg of Selah. I hummed it as I sat on the deck and felt the rain drops tapping all around me. 

I sang it as a prayer of my own. It is so sweet to always be needing the Savior. Many of my friends have been posting things about the importance of prayer, and I know that I have been quick to let my prayer life slide lately. When I caught myself singing these words again and again, I realized that it was a call to prayer. Then I found these wonderful words by Alfred Lord Tennyson:

More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice
Rise like a fountain for me night and day.
For what are men better than sheep or goats
That nourish a blind life within the brain,
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
Both for themselves and those who call them friends,
For so the whole round earth is every way
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.

Haha! I love it! Let's lift each other up, friends. We are better than goats, yes?

Monday, August 27, 2012

What's a little headache?

I hear the questions many times every day now from my compassionate friends. How are you, Shelley? Are you better now? Is your headache gone yet? Is there anything we can do for you? Do you need anything? Is Loren taking care of you? Have the doctors given you any idea of what's going on? How long is this supposed to last? What are they doing to help you get better? What's going on with you? I heard you were in the hospital? What happened? The list goes on...

I'll try to answer as many of them as I can right here. On Aug 1st, I started having some strange wobbly changes in my vision. I decided to go rest in our bedroom, and Loren and the kids began watching a movie in the living room. Over the next couple of hours, I had the worst headache I've ever had. It was so bad that I could not move at all or even speak. I thought I should go to the hospital, but I couldn't do anything about it. It subsided a bit, and I was able to get up and take a hot shower and go to bed. I slept okay, but in the morning, I still had this wobbly vision and terrible headache. I also started seeing things that were not there. Mostly shadows and textures and movement. I didn't tell Loren any of this until after we went to church where we were visiting some people. But when we came out of the building, Rachael was walking beside me. I noticed that she stepped down, but when I looked, I could not see a step. All of this together alarmed me, and when we got home I called the nurse hotline for our insurance company. The nurse told me to hang up and call an ambulance...so I asked my parents to drive me to the ER.

Over the next few days, lots of tests were run (CT scan, MRI, lumbar puncture, blood and urine analyses), but everything pointed to migraine. It turns out there's this type of migraine called an intractable migraine. It just means that nothing they throw at it works. I spent all week in the neurologist's office getting infusions and changes in medications and dosages, but still the splitting headache. Now I'll pause here to say: I've had horrible migraines all my life. I had even been on preventatives before. This headache was like nothing I have ever experienced. I really thought at first that I must be experiencing a brain aneurysm and about to die. I could not imagine living through that amount of pain. Thankfully, that part came and went. I only experienced it a few times through all this. The other symptoms also come and go like rolling waves: nausea; blurred vision (a very simplified way of explaining what I see); hallucinations; changes in smell, taste, and hearing; balance issues; dizziness.

The neurologist put me in the hospital so they could watch me more closely and try to manage the pain better while they tried to find the right combination of medications to get the symptoms to a more tolerable level, which is all they have ever given me any hope of doing so far. I was very eager to get out of the hospital and back home to my family and friends. It is much easier to cope in this environment. I was there for a week. I've been home a little more than a week.

If you ask Loren how I am doing, he is going to say that I am healing. That is what we both believe. It doesn't mean that my symptoms have disappeared. It means that we serve a God who is Healer, and we believe He is performing His healing work, in His way, in His time, in my life. It also means that Loren dislikes sharing details. :-) If you ask me how I am doing, I may feel up to sharing details. If not, I'll tell you that I'm healing. :-) The one question I think I hear the most is if I still have a headache. I'll try answering that one. My head hurts. A lot. It has stopped for hours and hours at a time, but there is always the blurred vision or nausea or whatever. And any sudden sounds or movement across my field of vision or any kind of stress at all will immediately cause my head to pound and everything in my vision to start bouncing wildly out of control. I also feel confused and lost. The more there is going on around me, the more confused and lost I feel.

Ultimate embarrassing mama moment: I had to take Zechariah to the doctor. Or, my mom had to drive me to take Zechariah to the doctor. When I got up to the receptionist's window, she asked for his date of birth. There were two different TVs in the lobby playing two different stations, and the room was full of people talking. I stammered and stuttered and thought and looked at the lady hopelessly. Not surprisingly, she rolled her eyes at me. What kind of mother doesn't remember her child's birth date? "I need to see his insurance card." she said next. I squinted and shuffled through my stack of cards, trying to make sense of the letters dancing around on them, located what I hoped was the right one, and handed it to her. "Did you remember it yet?" I did, finally. Ugh.

I do catch myself wondering how much longer this will be the definition of my life. My friends, if you would lift me up...still...I would be so grateful. I know there are greater challenges, greater pains, being faced by people every day, all around the world. I have faced greater challenges and pains myself, but perspective is a cruel comfort. And yet, our God changes not, and His compassions fail not. He is faithful to provide all I need. That He has proven to me time and again. I trust Him in this.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Don't Bring Your BRAT to School

Today was an especially fun school day for me. We had our first Bible lesson from the Calvary Chapel verse-by-verse Bible curriculum. Then we spent some time learning new hymns. We looked them up on YouTube to see which ones were our favorites. Since my post yesterday included some "soul food," I thought I would include something a little...shall we say, different?

Okay, so maybe this wasn't the BEST version I could have found, but it was the most interesting video of this particular song that we watched today. I wouldn't quite consider it torture, even if it's not my cup of tea. But one of my children was complaining so loudly about every aspect of school today. First he was tired, then he was irritated, then he just plain didn't want to. I started thinking about all the complaining he's been doing lately about school, breathed a little prayer under my breath, and headed to the white board.

This white board is where I do a lot of my "splainin" to my children. Sometimes it's about the Circle of Blessing. Sometimes it's a verse that we copy that has something to do with an issue we are currently trying to correct. Today, I had a vision of the word "BRAT." Who likes a brat in their classroom? Who would really want to be thought of as a brat? Who feels good about behaving like a brat?

Here's what I came up with (I believe it was a God-breeze):

So for the next little while, we are going to be working on keeping these feelings checked at the schoolroom door. Instead, we will bring hearts ready for work, doing all to the glory of God.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

The catechism in a rap

A friend of mine pointed out this site on Facebook. It's a fun little number about the Westminster Catechism done by Curtis Allen. Nah, it's not my style. But it does put me thinking about how little real doctrine is taught in our churches, especially to the children. This is something I want to instill in my children; and since I'm tight with the teacher and the principal, I have quite a bit of say in what my kids study.

One of my favorite ways for the kids to get some good doctrinal teaching in is here. I like Shai Linne. Did I just say that? I guess I did. :-)

And since I seem to be on a theme here, I'd love to share with you a little SM Lockridge. If you've heard it before, then listen to it again. If you've never heard it, you are in for a REAL treat. That's MY King!

There are a lot of YouTube videos with this sermon in them, and some of them have better sound quality. But most of them are edited, plus they are set to music which I believe takes away from the overall impact of Rev. Lockridge. Be blessed!