Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I Believe

I believe…

... that Jesus died on the cross for my sins
…that a hot cup of coffee tastes much better when someone else makes it
…that there is a reason I am here, that my actions can make a difference
…in the power of our words and their impact, regardless if spoken or written
…in forgiveness, especially to those who you do not want to forgive
…in first impressions, they are important
…that our families are of ultimate importance
…in believing there is only one Higher Power and it's Jesus Christ
…in true love and that it can be both pragmatic and romantic
…that life is too short not to enjoy it
…in being honest, trustworthy and accountable
…in the power of shared prayers each morning
…in order to be true to others, one must be true to themselves
…that everyone needs to relax and let loose occasionally
…that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger
…in quiet time alone doing whatever I enjoy
…in the joys from snuggling and cuddling
…that if it is meant to be it will be, in time
…that reading is the access to other worlds
…that everyone deserves a second chance
…in the power of intuition, it’s rarely wrong
…in do unto others, as you would have others do unto you
…that bonds of love can be just as strong as blood ties
…in giving for the sake of giving, because it’s the right thing to do
…that trust can be broken by one small lie at a time
…that most hurts can be mended with sincere apologies
…that the power of prayer is the strongest thing on earth
…that a good night sleep is restoring
…in a good cry, and a brief pity party are needed at times to help heal
…in letting go of old pains, and remembering only the good times
…in time spent staring into the ocean waves is good therapy
…in love at first sight and that it can last a lifetime
…that life is all about what you make it
…in apologizing when wrong, and not being stubborn about it
…that we are stronger as one than we are apart
…that we hurt when the one we love is hurting
...that time spent with children can change your view of the world
…that miracles happen every minute each day
…that my daily quiet time with God is very important
…in having good days if you want them bad enough
…in the strength of women who are true friends
…in weekly date nights to keep romance alive
…in meaning what you say, and saying what you mean
…in tender romantic kisses with the one you love for no special reason
…in picking myself up again whenever I fall down and starting over
…in never forgetting where you came from
…that with time all wounds can be healed, no matter how deep
…in long hot bubble baths no matter how old we get
…in being honorable, our name is something we should take pride in
…that laughter is one of the best medicines
…in genuine unconditional love

What do you believe in?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Contagious Attitudes

Something became evident to me during a lunch date with several girlfriends. Within minutes I became aware of something really important that I need to pay more attention to. I witnessed firsthand just how contagious our attitudes really are, and how they can greatly affect and influence those around us. Regardless if they are positive or negative, they are infectious.

Have you ever noticed when you are in a cheerful mood and watch a depressing movie, listen to a few sad songs, or spend time with a difficult person (you know the type) that you soon begin to feel your emotions shifting and you start to feel unhappy? Or those times when you’re feeling gloomy and you surround yourself with cheerful music, or positive, happy people, soon you are unexpectedly uplifted and your sad mood lightens. I saw this happen just by the few words that were spoken and how suddenly the frames of minds of many were changed.

This happens to me sometimes too; my good mood can get dragged down rather quickly especially after being around someone who is down and out and being pessimistic. This is why I don’t like to write entries that are unenthusiastic in my blog. I want this to be a place where I can be encouraging and positive, yet vent if I feel the urge to do so.

I asked myself today if I really listened and paid attention to the way I speak. Do you lift others up, or are you snappy with your words? I realize that I have been guilty of doing both at times.

What drove this point home to me was reading the words ---for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks - Matthew 12:34. What attitude do your words reflect? It’s true that what comes out of our mouths has to do with the condition of our hearts and I want others to know what is truly in my heart by my words and attitudes.

I am going to avoid the sad songs, depressing movies, and wasting my time with negative people. Instead, I am going to load my iPod with upbeat, praise and worship songs, surround myself with only positive people, and pay closer attention to my words.

In light of all the storms and trials that are happening in our family, after spending time this week with my funny son and inspiring husband who are always joking around how can I possibly be sad?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Knot Prayer

Dear God,
Please untie the knots
that are in my mind,
my heart and my life.
Remove the have nots,
the can nots and the do nots
that I have in my mind.

Erase the will nots,
may nots, and
might nots that find
a home in my heart.

Release me from the could nots,
would nots and
should nots that obstruct my life.

And most of all, dear God,
I ask that you remove from my mind
my heart and my life all of the am nots
that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought
that I am not good enough.


Author Anonymous

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Storm Chasers

Storm chasing meteorologists astound me at the risks they are willing to take tracking hazardous weather phenomena. They do this to keep the public informed and warned of impending dangers while doing their jobs.

Being raised in the Deep South, I am familiar with the usual springtime tornado seasons. I learned quickly to pay close attention to weather conditions, and seek shelter whenever imminent storm warnings were issued. Today we woke up startled by the sounds of the wailing civil defense sirens and immediately began to take necessary precautions.

Our eyes were glued to the television for the continuous updates as surrounding communities received major damage and deaths. Funnel clouds were spotted nearby and developed into multiple twisters with torrential downpours, high winds, constant loud claps of thunder, and streaks of lightening seen dancing and lighting up the darkened skies.

Today brought back reminders of another frightening situation we experienced last weekend when my husband and I were caught in the mist of another killer tornado. I was driving down the highway when unexpectedly we heard the warning sirens of a looming tornado. Immediately I drove to the nearest building, where we took cover inside a department store until it was safe to leave. From the storefront windows many watched as the skies grew darker and the swirling winds increased and howled louder as it intensified.

That particular tornado was an F-4 with winds of 170 mph that killed 10 people in Yazoo and Choctaw County, MS. Hundreds others were left homeless and numerous buildings were demolished into toothpick splinters as its strength ripped a path of deadly destruction.

I was terrified and was earnestly praying, and reciting Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid I will trust in him.

Without any doubt it was by God’s protective hand covering us that we were unharmed as the tornado’s path changed directions right before it got to us and we were spared any harm.

Not all storms in life are weather related. I know that God is always present, safeguarding and bringing us through these trials when we head the warnings and turn to seek shelter in him through prayer.

In many Bible verses, we see repeatedly that God is there lovingly providing refuge for us regardless of what type of storms we are facing, if we will only trust in him. I have found that God is the ultimate storm chaser for all of my life’s storms, and he wants to be yours too if you will let him.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An answered prayer -- Liver Transplant

I have so much to write about as my beloved husband has received a
         God-size miracle
and received a life saving liver transplant on March 14, 2010.

We're on cloud nine praising God for our many answered prayers. Eric is still in Intensive Care and doing exceedingly well all things considering.

One day I will write more about this, but for now I want to spend every minute with him cherishing every second of this new life together that we've been given.

We want to respect the anonymous donor's family who gave the precious gift of life to my husband and are now grieving the loss of their loved one. We will be eternally grateful to them for this life saving gift. I pray for peace and comfort to this family.

I just wanted everyone to know Eric is doing amazingly well today.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dazed and Confused

I’ve recently learned all the difference that a just few minutes and hours can make in someone’s life. Today as I sat by my husband's hospital bedside I am so grateful he is alive as I am reminded I could have easily lost him due to serious complications from the terminal liver disease he suffers from.

Eric had slept in later than usual, and I had difficulty trying to wake him. When he did, I notice he wasn’t his usual cheerful self instead he was in a very odd mood, doing things he typically wouldn’t normally do, and saying phrases that didn’t make any sense. That was another warning sign something was just off.

Within minutes, I detected his whole demeanor was very strange, and immediately began suspecting that he was having complications from hepatic encephalopathy causing this behavior. This can happen when your ammonia levels get too high, and the bloodstream isn’t filtering out the poisonous toxins, and they go directly to your brain. I had previously learned about this dangerous condition, and knew to be observant for any symptoms as this.

Eric kept insisting he was ok, but was just extremely sleepy. A few minutes passed and he was becoming more lethargic, and his speech was slurred. Suddenly he wasn’t oriented, and couldn’t remember my name, the correct date, year or even his whereabouts.

I made an emergency call for help right then and starting praying.

A few minutes later we arrived at the Emergency Department at the hospital where an EKG revealed bradycardia, as his heart rate was beating erratically and abnormally low at only 35--39 per minute (the doctor wanted it at a minimum of 80) and his oxygen levels were dangerously low at 84. At times he had low blood pressure along with shallow respirations. As suspected his lab work confirmed that his ammonia levels were highly elevated. Below is a photo of his monitor readings.

The doctors were getting concerned as Eric was getting worse by the minute and becoming more unresponsive. Within seconds; the medical staff began working on him trying to increase his heart rate, oxygen levels, and blood pressure. I could see Eric was fading fast, and for seven long hours he was completely oblivious to the world around him.

His two doctors said they feared Eric could fall into a hepatic coma as his failing liver could not filter his blood. One explained that most patients who went into a hepatic coma did not wake up, and would not survive. He explained that at this time Eric was too sick to survive a transplant should one become available. Witnessing this was frightening, and my heart broke seeing Eric being attached to the many machines, tubes and wires but I knew they were helping him live.

I was so thankful for my cell phone, and for having friends and family members calling, texting me, while others on facebook were starting prayer chains supporting us, and keeping me sane during this difficult time. My family members were over three hours away, and I felt so weak and helpless, but was comforted by remembering 2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

Even though he was non-responsive, I sat by his side holding his hand, whispering to him begging him to fight, to pull through this and praying for him. By the God's grace he did.

I am humbled and grateful for answered prayers as today. He is awake and alert. His MELD scores have increased from 17 to 22, therefore raising him higher on the transplant waiting list, hopefully getting closer to a transplant. We were visited by two additional transplant surgeons who explained more about what we can expect in the future.

I know it’s truly by God’s mercy that Eric is alive today. It’s been emotionally draining, and physically exhausting past few days. We’re counting our blessing and not taking a single day we have for granted. Make sure you tell your loved ones how much you love them today, as life is so fragile and you may not have the opportunity tomorrow. We are learning this first hand.

Most importantly we know that God answers prayers in our darkest hours and he is always there waiting for us to come to him.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Special Surprise on Christmas Eve

Christmas was extraordinarily special this year for us thanks to an unexpected surprise my romantic husband had for us.

Unexpectedly once again Eric re-proposed to me on Christmas Eve and said he wanted us to renew our wedding vows. With only us in a private ceremony at home, we prayed together and with tears streaming down both of our faces, we reread our original wedding vows to one another making a few changes by adding more promises to them. We then exchanged our wedding bands again. (photo of mine is below). We both agreed it was a very special time for us.

It's memorable moments like this that made the holidays this year even more memorable. A time for new beginnings. And most importantly remembering what the real meaning of Christmas is, and celebrating Jesus's birth.

We have been through so many personal trials this past year and with God's help, we’re determined this year is going to be our very best in our lives and in our marriage. It was exactly what we needed, and I am so happy Eric thought of this idea.

We spent a wonderful Christmas Day with my whole family. The food, family fellowship, and the laughter from playing board games were something I will cherish forever. We missed being with Eric's son's and their families who live in PA, otherwise our holiday would have been perfect if we had all been able to be together. But thankfully we were able to talk by phone with them.

Fast forwarding to today, so far it’s been four days into the New Year, and I can not imagine what obstacles we’re going to overcome together this year and the amazing adventures we are going to have. I just know we'll do it with God's help.

I truly believe that we’re going to get the miracle of Eric receiving a liver transplant in 2010 that we’ve been praying for. We’re holding on to our faith, and believing this is really going to happen soon.

Eric's surgeon has requested that he lose 50 lbs, and so far he’s lost over 25lbs in just a few short weeks. We’ve been going to the fitness center working out on the treadmill whenever Eric is able. It feels good to get back into the habit of exercising again, and we’re both looking forward to being able to play golf again, going canoeing, and doing all the things that we’ve missed and want to learn how to do together.

Yeah, 2010 is going to be our best year ever. We have faith!