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Showing posts from November, 2011

Give thanks for suffering...

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Seems strange right? Give thanks for suffering? Who would want to do that?
Me...
Let me explain.
When I was young I learned that life wasn’t always easy. I was a bit thin and pale and was quickly made fun of being called albino girl, chicken legs, etc. Of course that hurt. But, it made me realize that life wasn’t always kind. I would lay in my bed at night and talk to God. A God I hardly knew. One that I created characteristics about in my mind. He was a kind person, compassionate, and loving. I would picture Him seated on a throne and me bowing down at His feet pouring my heart out to Him. I would ask for forgiveness for the bad things I did. He would reach down and take my hand and lift me up from bowing at His feet and say, “Come my child” and He would seat me on His lap and hug me. I would bury my face in His chest and cry in amazement of such a loving, caring God. He would smile.

Since those childhood days, I lost track of Him for a while. I grew up. I forgot about our nightly talks…

Early mornings...

I get up most days between 5 and 6.  It's dark, it's quiet and it gives me time to plan my day, spend time with the Lord, and just plain wake up lol.  
Today is rainy and dreary. It seems weird, but it's peaceful to me. The warmth of the woodstove makes the weather so much more bearable. :) Yesterday was a much better day for me. I was able to do more, was in much less pain, and even had some energy. :) It's amazing what a difference a day makes with this disease. It changes day to day and even more so in someone like me whose illness is considered brittle. I appreciate my good days so much more. :)
I am making gumbo for supper tonight. :) Seems like a good day to do so with the weather being the way it is. I love cozy meals. 
I have so many things to be thankful for.  I have a wonderful husband who loves me and our son very much and has a heart for God, a warm home in the country, a sweet little dog to brighten my day, and great friends and family. Tomorrow I will be talk…

Disappointed...

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If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you know that I started a treatment a while ago (sm dose chemo) for my Myasthenia Gravis. I had to come off it. I got so sick, severe stomach and abd pain to the point of almost passing out, kidney pain, trouble sleeping, and heart issues. There will be no more treatment for me...
I will only be treated with Mestinon, which I have been on for about 13 yrs. I have to learn to live with my increased weakness and pain. This disease is progressing and the only thing that will slow it down is the good Lord Himself. 
I was disappointed that I had to miss church this morning. I was so weak I couldn't hold a magazine up for any length of time. I was also so short of breath that my husband said I sounded like I just ran a race...
Just wanted to update everyone about the situation. I covet your prayers for daily strength. As I sit here now, I can barely sit up in my chair and keep my head up...so weak. (So thankful for recliners! LOL) …

Perfect through suffering...

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"Perfect through suffering" (Heb. 2:10).
Steel is iron plus fire. Soil is rock, plus heat, or glacier crushing. Linen is flax plus the bath that cleans, the comb that separates, and the flail that pounds, and the shuttle that weaves. Human character must have a plus attached to it. The world does not forget great characters. But great characters are not made of luxuries, they are made by suffering.
I heard of a mother who brought into her home as a companion to her own son, a crippled boy who was also a hunchback. She had warned her boy to be very careful in his relations to him, and not to touch the sensitive part of his life but go right on playing with him as if he were an ordinary boy. She listened to her son as they were playing; and after a few minutes he said to his companion: "Do you know what you have got on your back?" The little hunchback was embarrassed, and he hesitated a moment. The boy sa…

Happy Thanksgiving!

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I can't believe how fast this year has gone by! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving already.  This year I am not cooking a meal. We were invited by some friends to come enjoy Thanksgiving with them and their family. Randy and Shawnda and some great people.  They were a great help while I was in the hospital, too.
I am thankful for so many things...Christ who saved my soul, my husband and his wisdom and care, his love for me, my son who is becoming quite the young man, my home where I lay my head and care for my family, and my church family who has shown me so much love.  I am also thankful for good food, woodstoves, rainy nights, the sound of frogs, the beauty of a sunset, the people I was blessed to meet in Venezuela, and fresh eggs from our chickens. :)
Happy Thanksgiving! I wish I could say that to everyone I am not able, but I'm sure they know they are thought of often. :)
I pray you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Remember Who to thank. :)

It's a new day!

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I just want to say how much I love my husband. :)  This past weekend he really helped me get through a rough time with coming to terms with my disease...Myasthenia Gravis.  You see, in the past, I would pretend not to have this disease and do as I pleased. I would do whatever I wanted and would push myself hard. Only in the evenings would I then be weak and tired. But that is not the case anymore...
I am weak and tired as soon as I wake up in the morning.  There is no trying to pretend I don't have this disease...even though I've had it for 14 yrs now. There is also no denying it's progression.
My husband told me not to pretend I don't have this disease anymore, but rather REMEMBER I have it and in so doing be a better steward my strength and time.  It's part of who I am. 
I have started my sm dose chemo and so far have just had stomach pain, no nausea and a bit of heart issues with it, too. Nothing to worry about yet. Praying I will be able to stay on this medicine a…

My attitude...

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I have found it difficult the last few days to keep a good attitude...I'm just being honest. I have been SO tired that my nerves seem to be frazzled. Every noise, irritation, etc brings tension to my body. I have had such a hard time being still in my mind and body. My thoughts go a hundred miles an hour, constantly thinking on something or other.  I just don't feel settled. I haven't felt settled since I got home from the hospital. I could be that my body is just so weak and wore down and I am just so exhausted. I haven't been able to get back to things like I wanted and it makes me irritated. Can anyone relate?
I certainly don't like this attitude I have. I have prayed and asked God to release this sourness I feel in my soul. I realize it is a choice to have an unbecoming attitude and I am trying very hard to make good choices when situations arise. I want a gentle spirit...
Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet sp…

Pumpkin maple rolls...

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Just like cinnamon rolls, but with a few add-ins like pumpkin, maple syrup and nutmeg! Delicious fresh and warm out of the oven and perfect for fall!

IngredientsFOR THE ROLLS:1 package(2 1/2 Teaspoons In A Package) Active Dry Yeast½ cupsWarm Water½ cupsWarm Milk¼ cupsMelted Butter, Cooled⅔ cupsGranulated Sugar For The Dough, Plus 1/4 Teaspoon For Proofing Yeast1 teaspoonSalt¾ cupsPumpkin Puree6 cupsAll Purpose Flour (give Or Take 1 Cup)_____FOR THE FILLING:¼ cupsMaple Syrup2 TablespoonsMelted Butter¾ cupsBrown Sugar2 TablespoonsCinnamon½ teaspoonsNutmeg - Optional_____FOR THE GLAZE:2 cupsPowdered Sugar¼ teaspoonsVanilla Extract¾ teaspoonsMaple Flavoring Or Extract3 TablespoonsMilkPreparation InstructionsIn a large bowl, sprinkle yeast and 1/4 teaspoon sugar over the warm water. Stir and proof 5-10 minutes. After yeast has foamed, stir in milk, butter, the remaining sugar, salt, pumpkin puree, and half the flour. Stir in flour by 1/2-cup increments. When you can no longe…

Don't be offended...

"Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me" (Luke 7:23).

It is sometimes very difficult not to be offended in Jesus Christ. The offenses may be circumstantial. I find myself in a prison-house--a narrow sphere, a sick chamber, an unpopular position--when I had hoped for wide opportunities. Yes, but He knows what is best for me. My environment is of His determining. He means it to intensify my faith, to draw me into nearer communion with Himself, to ripen my power. In the dungeon my soul should prosper.

The offense may be mental. I am haunted by perplexities, questions, which I cannot solve. I had hoped that, when I gave myself to Him, my sky would always be clear; but often it is overspread by mist and cloud. Yet let me believe that, if difficulties remain, it is that I may learn to trust Him all the more implicitly--to trust and not be afraid. Yes, and by my intellectual conflicts, I am trained …

Our new addition...and update

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We rescued her from the pound. :) She is a rat terrier mix and we named her Daisey Mae. She is checking out our other dog, Magnum, a doberman pincher. 
Hunter is playing with her. :)





She loves to sleep next to you. She is 4 mos old and last night was her first night here and she did great! She slept in her crate from 9 to 5 (because I got up to let her out, she was still asleep lol). I think tomorrow I will let her (and me) sleep in and see how that goes. She makes me smile :)

I got a call from the pharmacy late last night letting me know my Cellcept (sm dose chemo) was ready to pick up...huh?  She said the pharmacist had it overrided. So I will start my first dose of treatment tomorrow night. Go tomorrow to find out if I can still switch plans that will cover it in the future. :) Now let's pray I can tolerate it. Should see some slowing in progression of this disease in 3 to 8 mos if my body can take it. :)

Arepa recipe...naturally gluten free

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Arepa Recipe 2 1/2 c hot water  1 t salt 2 c p.a.n corn flour (precooked corn meal) 2 t melted butter

 Mix salt into the hot water
Add the corn meal to the water slowly and stir until a soft dough forms. It will feel like playdough. Not sticky, not dry. Let dough rest 15 min
After dough rests, patty it up into 3 in x 1 in circles. The dough should not be sticky nor dry, but just right.
Heat oil or butter in a skillet and fry the circles 6 min per side on medium heat to get a nice crust to form on the outside. You want them to brown a little.
Once browned, put in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 min until they sound hollow when tapped.
Remove from oven and slice open (but don't cut all the way in half) and stuff with eggs, cheese, black beans, shredded beef, etc.
Enjoy!
We ate this A LOT in Venezuela and I missed it so much I had to make my own. They turned out great and brought back great memories of my Venezuelan friends. :) I love learning about foods from other cultures. We still keep in contac…

Nothing is too hard...

"Is there anything too hard for Jehovah?" (Gen. 18:14).

Here is God's loving challenge to you and to me today. He wants us to think of the deepest, highest, worthiest desire and longing of our hearts, something which perhaps was our desire for ourselves or for someone dear to us, yet which has been so long unfulfilled that we have looked upon it as only a lost desire, that which might have been but now cannot be, and so have given up hope of seeing it fulfilled in this life.

That thing, if it is in line with what we know to be His expressed will as a son to Abraham and Sarah was., God intends to do for us, even if we know that it is of such utter impossibility that we only laugh at the absurdity of anyone's supposing it could ever now come to pass. That thing God intends to do for us, if we will let Him.

"Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Not when we believe in Him enough to go forward and do His…

Praying for our military...

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"Wrestling prayer can wonders do, Bring relief in deepest straits; Prayer can force a passage through Iron bars and brazen gates."
I am thankful for all my family that has served in the military. In fact, out of all the kids in my family, I was the only one who didn't serve. I am thankful for their contribution to our country.
I pray for our military and I hope you do, too. They have a lot of sacrifices they make for us all. My son told me yesterday that he wanted to join the military when he turns 18. He is 14. He gave me lots of good reasons why he wanted to join. We will see what God has in store for him. :)
I encourage you to keep our military and their families in your prayers.



Arepas and more...

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I was so excited to find the pre-cooked corn meal here in our town to make arepas! It is the same brand I found in Venezuela. Arepas were a staple in Venezuela and they are naturally gluten free. :)  I liken them to a corn english muffin. You can put anything in them...eggs, cheese, black beans, meat, etc. I am going to make some Saturday Lord willing.
Here is a recipe 2 1/2 cups masarepa cornmeal1 teaspoon salt2 3/4 cups hot water2 tablespoons melted butterVegetable oil Preparation:Stir salt into arepa flour.
Pour hot water over flour and mix well with a wooden spoon. Stir in the melted butter. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rest 15 minutes.
If preparing the thicker, Venezuelan style arepas, separate dough into 12 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball.
Place each ball in between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or two ziplock bags and flatten gently with the bottom of a pot. Arepas should be about 3 inches in diameter and almost an inch thick. Use your fingers to smooth out …

Sore Muscle Salve Recipe...

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This is a wonderful homemade salve you can make right in your own kitchen. It is much like Tiger Balm. It is a warming salve. Would make a great gift.
1 c Calendula infused olive oil (or cayenne infused oil for extra strength) 1.3 oz beeswax 50 drops camphor essential oil 50 drops eucalyptus/peppermint essential oil 30 drops cajuput essential oil 20 drops clove essential oil 20 drops cinnamon essential oil 1 vitamin e capsule Heat beeswax with oil 30 sec at a time until melted. Add essential oils and vitamin e capsule. Pour into containers. I use 1 oz tins. Makes about 8-10 oz.

In the kitchen...

I was poking around the kitchen today and did it feel good! I missed it. I made some apple cider donuts this morning and they were yummy! Felt good to be able to do some baking again. I am pretty tired now, but it was worth it. :) 
I am hoping to make some cornbread tonight to go with supper. I froze some Italian sausage soup before my hospital visit and look forward to having that tonight. Mmmm. :) My husband is watching me like a hawk and won't let me do too much. He is off today due to the rain so I can't even fib. ;)
I go to the neurologist on Wednesday to discuss my last treatment option. (small dose chemo called Cellcept to work as immunosuppression.) Need to find out if I can take it or not due to having Chronic Espstein-Barr Virus and not tolerating it in the past. We will see. It's really in God's hands. Either way, I am learning to be content with poor working limbs, trouble getting breath, and exhaustion. God provided me with enough strength today to make donu…

Ah the days...

I love days like these...relaxing. My husband has been making me relax since I've been home from the hospital. Tomorrow I will start back in the kitchen again baking and cooking meals...my favorite thing to do for my family. :) Apple cider donuts and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies will be coming out of the kitchen this week Lord willing.
The weather is getting dreary again and it's been woodstove weather. I love our woodstove. It keeps us nice and warm in any frigid temperature. It smells so cozy when the oaks burns inside. Simple pleasures.
I've loved watching our kittens chase after leaves on the deck. So cute...for now, until they find homes. ;) My chickens rustle up the leaves searching for that last treat of any bugs they can find before the snow flies. They are fun to watch and love the blessing of fresh eggs.
I am so thankful that God has allowed me to make a home. I love being a keeper at home and providing a warm, cozy, safe, place for my family to reside in. I…

Affliction is not by chance...

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God takes the most eminent and choicest of His servants for the choicest and most eminent afflictions. They who have received most grace from God are able to bear most afflictions from God. Affliction does not hit the saint by chance, but by direction. God does not draw His bow at a venture. Every one of His arrows goes upon a special errand and touches no breast but his against whom it is sent. It is not only the grace, but the glory of a believer when we can stand and take affliction quietly. --Joseph Caryl
I love this quote. It reminds me that no affliction happens by chance. It is God's direction and for a purpose.


I want to thank you all for your prayers as of late. Dad, I know you have been praying for me even though I was not able to hear any of the words. They were felt. Thank you. I hope you are well. I want you to know that God surely did a work on me while I was in the hospital. Spiritually there was a heart change and I am now fil…

I'm home...

I had to stop the treatments early. I only got two treatments in before my body had a reaction to it. I got extremely nauseous and then came the horrible migraine. It feels like your brain is swelling and throbbing against your skull with searing pain to boot. Unbelievable pain. (found out it's called aseptic meningitis, not contagious like bacterial meningitis) I am not a pain pill person...no pain meds with giving birth or when I had my open chest surgery, but this was different. They gave me Vicodin and Morphine to no avail.  Nothing worked. The pain was relentless and I couldn't take it. I could suffer like that no longer. So treatment was stopped and I came home last night. 
The pain has subsided some and is tolerable now. Waiting for the effects of the treatment to wear off. Unfortunately, because I could not do the treatment, getting better will take longer. We are going to try a small dose of chemo in pill form called Cellcept next week and if tolerated will take 3 to 8…