Dr. Suess

"And will you succeed? Yes indeed! Yes indeed! Ninety Eight and Three Quarters guarenteed!"

Monday, December 31, 2007

Thank you to my sister in law.

Pam, this is for you, the explination about why I adore Pink.

The story behind why it's not just a preference, but I LIKE it.
Given our family history's .. .you'll get it. I've posted it on this blog before, so those who are reading this, can just read on by ...those who haven't feel free to read and get to know why I prefer pink. Adore pink, choose pink.

"Grandma brought presents!"

Grandma ... should bring warm fuzzie memories, but mine doesn't. She was critical ..and judgmental. She thought she was kind. I guess. She had this over powering way of pretending to be nice. An extremely condenscending way about her. She had 10 grandchildren. There isn't one of us that has a happy memory about her, except her pretty paintings, she was a great artist.

I can remember her telling me that I was such a pretty little, girl, it was such a shame I wasn't skinny like my cousins and sister. "You have such a pretty face, what a shame."
Looking back at the childhood pictures ... the ballerina cousins, and my too skinny sister that had to be taken to the doctor frequently to have her weight checked ... I was normal. I wasn't even chubby! My dad, my maternal grandmother ..constantly drilling into me that my sister was the normal one ... the reality, in the records my mom has, I was on the 30%ile for weight, my sister, not even on the chart!

One family re-union, she was the last to arrive. All three families there ... all of us kids already in the lake to swim. Grandma pulled up and called us. None of us wanted to go give her a hug ..swimming was more fun. She finally yelled "Kids, Grandma has presents!"

Out of the water we ran ... hey, we were kids ya know!

The packages were identical, but had our names on them. We opened them ... and then we looked. They were Tshirts from some place she'd been. The other girls all had pink, the boys dark blue ... mine ... was blue. I looked up at Grandma with tears in my eyes and said "Why isn't mine pink?"

Grandma looked at me and said "Meg, because, you're such a rough girl, you'd have the pink dirty in no time, it'd be ruined, you're not feminine enough to wear pink."

I told her again "My name is not Meg " and I called for my dog Meg and walked to the tent to put my tshirt up. My cousins all went to put theirs on while my mother proceeded to try to explain to my grandmother why I was crying instead of hugging her neck.

My sister came in and said "when Grandma goes, you can have my pink shirt"

I don't think either of us ever wore either shirt.

I was 40 before I wore pink comfortably. When I realized that her declaration of not being feminine enough to wear pink was'hogwash' (one of her favorite words) and I had every right to wear it. It is now, my favorite color!

So, My favorite sister in law dear. The pink shawl that you carefully took the time to knit for me, in pink, is precious to me. Not only is it femenine, and girly, and warm and snuggly, and PINK ... but it is all the things that my grandmother would have told me I would not have been pretty enough for. It's all the things that make me feel that I am a girl. I am female, I am a SHE and deserve to feel like a SHE in pink.

So thanks Pam, it was just what I needed. :) And in pink too. :)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Year in Review.

It's been quite a year. I went back and tried to find the most important blog postings for the year and realized why my therapist has been so concerned about me. I've gotten a bit annoyed at her over protection of me, concern and feeling like she fusses over me. Looking at it as a whole unit ...it is a bit ... intense.
My best friends baby died, my mother broke 6 bones, my husband almost died ..and spent 45 days in the hospital, another friends six year old died, a blog friends husband died on Christmas eve, my pastor of 10 years resigned and my church went 10 months without a pastor, I left a ministry I'd been with for 8 years ...and left worship ministry all together (after being in worship ministries since the age of 13!) and started working with children's ministry. I had a book published, a brand new house my oldest son turned 18 and my youngest child turned 16. I've been in the media, which I was ill prepared for and I've come to terms with my own daughters death 19 years ago, when my friends baby died. My eating disorder relapsed (gee, wonder why) and my depression tanked. My health went up and down like a roller coaster and I have spent 51 days at a hospital bedside. *I* managed to stay out of the hospital and off the surgeon's table for the first year since I have been a mother!!! YEAH WHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've come up with some of what I consider to be the best postings of the previous year. If they are not linked into the previous paragraphs, they are below.

Thank you for the few faithful readers that have stayed with me. (my readership dropped from 65 to about 25 this year! EEKS! )

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's a bit late this year, but my annual Christmas poem!

Christmas at the Eagler's

by Peggikaye Eagler
Adapted, with apologies, from Twas the Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas Eve, when all through the house
Not a creature was sleeping, not even a mouse;
The stockings were slung at the chimney with dispair,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were jumping all over their beds,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads;
And I in my 'kerchief, and Dad in his cap,
Had just sat down, many presents to wrap,

When in the kids bedroom there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the floor to see what was the matter.
Through their door I had heard a loud crash!
Tore open the door, was it a head that was smashed?

The moon through the window, would it show?
What was the cause of the very loud blow?
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But two mischievous children a hold of each other's ear.

With a look that said, they better quiet down quick,
They knew in a moment, quiet better had stick!
More rapid than eagles my scoldings they came,
And I whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, children! Now, sons! Now, brothers stop vexing!
Or I will be forced to treat you to a parental flexing!
To the top of the bed! and next to the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So I promised their presents would follow them too
If quiet would not very soon begin to ensue!

And then, in a twinkling, I heard a the cry of a wolf,
The child was yelling it could be heard through the roof.
As I reached down and turned around,
The cat had jumped, it was in the lights bound.

She had stuff in her fur, from her head to her foot,
And her fur was all sticky with something like soot;
A bundle of toys she'd managed to find in the back,
And she looked like a thief who'd found the pack

Her eyes -- how they twinkled! Her meow how merry!
Her paws had obviously been in the pie, cherry!
Her little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And her paws were red, instead of white as the snow;

The stump of a ribbon she held tight in her teeth,
And the tape encircled her head like a wreath;
She had tape on her face and a little round her belly,
That caused us to laugh like a bowl-full of jelly.

She was chubby and plump, like a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw her, in spite of myself;
I gave the cat a wink, and I twisted my head,
Told the kids "quiet, you'll have nothing to dread";

They spoke not a word, but went straight to their work,
Picking up the room, then one kid said "you are a jerk",
The other kid answered laying his fist aside of his nose,
And once again the volume of fighting rose;

Dad sprang to their door and he gave a whistle,
And promised them he would sit them down on a thistle.
I heard him exclaim, to bed, get out of my sight,
"it's time for a

Something Beautiful - Natalie Grant

see below

Something Beautiful - Natalie Grant

Job 11:15 - 20
15 then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear. 16 You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. 17 Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. 18 You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. 19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor. 20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail, and escape will elude them; their hope will become a dying gasp."

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas long time ago, and Far Away

It will be 29 years since I've celebrated Christmas with my step father. I miss him still. I am starting to understand ... that I will never stop missing him. He was the core of what is good in me.

In 4th grade, my Dad asked my mom to make me a robe. He asked her to make me a princess robe. Because, I deserved to feel like a princess. (he asked her to make it in pink. If you'll note, it is in her favorite color purple, not the color pink that he asked her to do. Which, for those that have read my blog for a while, you know I dislike the color purple ...this, kind of thing has a lot to do with my dislike for the color purple).

princess robe

My Daddy thinking I deserved the princess robe, shiney, with the princess cut, full flowy bottom ...when I was alone, I'd twirl ..and twirl ...and I'd feel like the princess he intended for me to feel.

The previous Christmas had been TERRIBLE!!! I'd snuck into the shed and found where they were hiding the presents! I knew every single solitary present I was getting. Not a surprise in the bunch. I thought I'd accomplished a lot by finding these gifts! I was smart!

But there were no surprises for me (except ... the coal in my stocking!!! YES! They did that!!) and on Christmas morning as I unwrapped each known gift, the elation I had experienced every year ...just wasn't there. I was sooo disappointed. Nothing felt right. It was a lesson learned .... and ... well. From then on, I learned that it was far more fun to wait than to know.

I'll never forget the tears in Daddy's eyes as he saw the disappointment in my eyes. Maybe that's why he wanted my 4th grade Christmas to be so special?

That was so very long ago ... now my oldest is 18 and my youngest is 16 ... and soon, they'll be off with their own lives. Hopefully ..they'll think back to times of memories of presents of surprise (or the time Samuel snuck a peek and it wasn't such a surprise and how hard that was to pretend ...and what a let down that was! Especially with what a special present it was!!)

We're going unique this year. It should be fun ... Cornish Game hens, acorn squash, Sweet Potato Casserole (not candied yams! with manderine oranges not marshmallows) and garlic mashed potatoes. My chef to be 16 year old planned the menu. The Cornish game hens will be flavored with an orange sauce.

Menu shouldn't change too awful much, but ... I am giving Don a huge Better Homes and Gardens cook book ...Anniversary Version ...so, after he and Benjamin get their hands on it ..who knows what will be actually cooked?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


All the tests are in, and my mom is home.

The when all is said and done, the diagnosis ... with a "just to be sure, I'm not comfortable with this right sided weakness, let's do a CT scan"

My mom had a stroke.

In the ER on Sunday the doctor had given her heparin and the TP something or other that they give to stop a stroke while it's happening. He did everything that you hear about that they are supposed to do as a NOW ...just in case ...

My mom ... as some minor right sided weakness, that *SHE* was attributing to her post polio syndrome. PT was very uncomfortable with it. (this same PT is the one that convinced Don of many things in the hospital last summer, including that he could make it out of bed and walk again!) She noted that she'd had experience with post polio earlier in the year, extensively, and this did not appear to be post polio weakness. (ironically, the doctor had also had experience with post polio earlier in the year, as did the patients daughter ... etc etc etc ...)

Mom is home tonight, resting comfortably. Home health will be coming out. PT, OT and something else. We follow up with PCP tomorrow. MRI in one week. MRA as well.
And request by Dr. P for PCP to do referral to neuro for stroke care.

It was suggested that her cognitive problems might be related to previous ministrokes visible on both this CT and previous CTs on record. (my neuro had suggested as much before, he'd been overruled by the rest of her health care team by them saying 'she's fine' ) So, stroke related ... suggested that I ask for something 'bodies' as well as vascular dementia work up.

Monday, December 17, 2007

of body weirdness

So, my husband and I got extraordinarily beautiful rings for our 20th anniversary.

I would post pictures, but ... I can't find a picture of them on the web ..and I didn't have my ring at the time I had the camera's ...

Because of the lupus, I've had some joint damage (yes, I know, RA is supposed to damage joints, not lupus ...but my knuckles forgot to read the medical books, and my joints have some pretty significant arthritic damage to them) rings don't fit right anymore.

In addition to the joint damage, I have finger swelling that changes throughout the day, week etc ...

So, I talk to a friend of mine who manages a jewelry store. She says to not dispair, there are arthritis balls ... come ...see ...look! She gives us a coupon (the store was handing them out ... ) and the day before our annivesary we went and looked with our coupon in hand.

They also happened to have an apply for a credit card today and save an additional 20% ... and well ..we bought clearance rings ...and suffice it to say I'm not saying where we bought our rings because we bought them at a high end store and got them for less than pawn shop prices *HUGE GRIN!!!!!*

The day we went in, my fingers were pretty swollen, but I wasn't sure if they were or not. They hurt, but I couldn't really be sure. My fingers don't look swollen when they are. I've got these rinkydink small fingers. Before the damage, I wore a size 5 ring, and it was loose on me.

I tried the ring on ..and it was a size 7 ... perfect fit! We ordered the arthritic balls ...knowing that I'd need them and she said that it would allow for more swelling ...as well as when they shrunk again. It was hard to realize that my fingers were so damaged that it was 2 sizes. Part of me wondered how much weight played into it ...but that's the way my mind thinks. I know that I've been 75 lbs heavier and still wore the size 5 ...loosely.

So ... I wore the rings home so I could show them off ... with the plan of sending them with my friend after church the next day. That evening, my hands, with some rest and prednisone & celebrex and ice ... the swelling went down ... my ring fell off my finger. Just for the sake of it ... I put my original wedding ring ..size 5 ... on my hand ... yep .. it went on my finger. So, in one day ... my fingers went from a size 7 to a size 5. Thank you Mr. Arthritis.

I went to sleep that night, and woke up the next morning with the new ring DIGGING into my finger because of the swelling. WELL GOOD!

So today, at the hospital, I get a call from my friend "I'm holding your diamonds!"

So, I go get them. My hands, having sat and done nothing for the last week without power ..and the last 2 days keep my mom company ... and being very cold ... were about as small as they get. The ring, fit very loosely, enough, that we could tell the arhtritis balls would work, but still loose.

Tonight, after playing on the puter, my fingers are swelling ...and well ... the ring is starting to fit ...

I guess, when I tell the doctor the computer has no impact on my swelling and she looks at me cockeyed, I know why huh?

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Fear ...
stark fear ...

Have you ever felt fear that is so
that you can feel it in your toenails
and fingernails

...and in the very cuticles that your hair grows out of?

It takes over in waves and comes and goes like the tide of the ocean.

Sometimes higher,

sometimes lower ...

there is a calm that might last for a while ...

The waves gently come up and recede,
Nothing major,

gently caressing the beach

Reminding you,

Life has


Then hurricane season hits

and it comes crashing over the body

like nothing you can control and

not only does it come ashore on the beach ...

but it comes inland ...

causing havoc ..

and tearing up everything in it's path.

The winds roar

the rain beats down

the roofs are torn off the very shelters they provide

Safety is gone ... and injuries take place.

Window's made to look out at the world ... so beautiful
are broken, shattered
thrown inside and out ...
step on it and
you'll have a cut so
you'll need stitches
it will leave a

The rain falls in the wind,

soaking everything

the recently uncovered shelters

Velvet blankets

soaked, matted

ugly masses, useless.

Destruction. Everywhere ...

Fear ...

my mom

My mom walked into church this morning ...walked into the front doors and passed out. They think she's had a heart attack.

I may be MIA for a while ... I'll be up at the hospital with her.

She has hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, celiac ...her mother had heart disease and her father died of a stroke.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


When my sister got her power back on, her whole family found themselves with a case of the sniffles.
When my friends R&T got their power back on, they found themselves with a case of the sniffles ...
and the list could go on.

When we got our power back on ... Benjamin got a bad cough, my sinus' filled, my throat hurt and ... Don found himself coughing up gunk. The doctor started him on antibiotics. However, today, he is worse than yesterday. He feels like he did last spring when he went into the hospital.

I'm very worried, he's increasingly becoming more worried.

He made the comment today that was "at least we know I can go a few days without my bi pap machine"

But I wonder ... is this chest congestion a cause of not having had the bipap machine? Is he in fact, ok? My fears are building and I'm trying to keep them under control and not panic, but I can feel them from my fingers to my toes ... and if I stop to think for 2 minutes, even my chest hurts.

He's soaked 4 hankerchief's with the gunk he's coughed up and out. I don't think that's good. He, being him, will not go to the afterhours clinic or the ER. He is after all on antibiotics. (can you see me rolling my eyes?)
Personally, I think he should go in and get at least a chest xray, have a doctor listen to his chest and a breathing treatment or two.

Yes, I'm paranoid ...45 days in the hospital after hearing this cough 7 months ago will do that to a person. I'm not sure that he would survive a second fight ... he's not quite recovered from last summer's.

We haven't even started the Christmas routine yet ... 2 gifts purchased. One for Samuel, a mug with his girlfriends picture on it. One for Don with our family picture on it.
That's the picture! Isn't that awesome?

Tomorrow at church one of my favorite worship song writers is going to be singing at church ... Dennis Jernigan! I can't wait!! His songs have always touched me somewhere deep inside. It's going to be good.

Friday, December 14, 2007

More Tulsa Oklahoma Ice Storm

And ..another one

Some damage around the house from Tulsa Ice Storm

Another video I found. I don't know who it is.

As he said, it's kind of minor compared to some area's.
The people across the street from us have worse than anything on this video.

Tulsa Ice Storm

I found this on Youtube.
This, has been our city this last week. The reason I've not been blogging, or commenting on blogs.

I've been without power for the last 4 days.

Our city looks like a war zone has hit.
Big, strong, majestic trees snapped like matchsticks ... some scattered onto roads, over powerlines, smashing cars and onto houses.

Our beautiful big pecan tree has about 1/3 of the branches it did, most of them landed in our driveway, the big ones on our car ...how in the world there was no damage or broken windows is beyond me.

My sister's big tree is also in pieces, stacked and bundled on her front lawn waiting for FEMA to come pick up the branches.

Another friends HUGE tree, as large as our pecan, is now a stack 8 feet tall of logs.

We were fortunate to have an incredible company that made sure Don had plenty of oxygen, even though he could not use the bipap.

Shelters have absurd rules ... we could not have gone to one.

Habitat for Humanity used INCREDIBLE insulation while building our house, we were actually warmer than we normally are. We used the 2 burners from our gas stove. No wonder it gets so hot when we cook!!

I got sick last night. Headache, upset stomach, it looked like a heavy fog had set in the house. My blood pressure was 162/91.
My husband felt it was just my lupus or MG. Convincing him I was sick ... he kept saying if CO was going to get someone, it'd be him.

I was too sick to say "Um, hello ...you're on OXYGEN!!!!"

He slept in the living room on the couch so that he could sleep reclined. Without the bipap, it was easier.

I finally went in my room, shut the door and had my son crack the window, after a couple of hours, I felt much better.

I woke up at 1 am with a HORRIBLE stomach ache. I came into the kitchen to get a bite to eat to stop the pain (this has been happening almost nightly) and I was crying, and I couldn't stop.

I don't normally react to a crisis like that. My husband claims it's a normal reaction to a crisis ...hmmmph.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

When God Ran - Prodigal Son

Almighty God
The Great I Am
Immoveable Rock
Omnipotent powerful

Awesome Lord
Victorious Warrior
Mighty Conquerer
Commanding King of Kings
And the only time
the only time I ever saw Him run

Was when He ran to me
Took me in His arms, held my head to His chest
And said "My son's come home again".
Looked in my face, wiped the tears from my eyes
With forgiveness in His voice
He said "Son, do you know I still love you?"

It caught me by surprise when God ran

The day I left Home
I knew I'd broken His heart
I wondered if
Things would ever be the same

Then one night
I remembered His love for me
And down that dusty road, ahead I could see
It was the only time,
the only time I ever saw Him run

Repeat Chorus

It caught me by surprise, It dropped me to my knees
When God ran

Holy God, Righteous One
Who turned my way
Now I know, You've been waiting
For this day

Repeat Chorus

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Blue Willow Dreams

Here are some pictures of the Blue Willow Dreams come true. Thank you so much Chris (and Angie!)

Miniature Blue Willow


This is the difference in the size of a miniature tea cup and a real tea cup.
tea cups

My entire blue willow collection:

A China Doll ... I know nothing of it's origin
3rd view

Churchill England Blue Willow China, Plate 1990's ... Cup 1980's
Churchill England Plate & cup

Plate from Japan
Special Plate (small plate)

Ok, these aren't Blue Willow ...but they're the latest pictures of Twitch and Sugarfoot!
Twitch turns 3 on December 18.

Sugarfoot will be 6 in March.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Im Not Who I Was ~ Brandon Heath

Ok, finally ... THIS is the video!!

Im Not Who I Was ~ Brandon Heath

This is a great song to post with my previous "Learning Lessons" post.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Learning Lessons

I learned a lesson the hard way this week. As a young child, I was bullied. I was bullied hard. My mother was the special education teacher for the school and the kids would tease me and tell me that I belonged in her class. I was called ugly, retard, useless and any imaginable name you can imagine. I even got a note in my lunch one day telling me that life would be better for everyone if I was murdered with the woman that had been murdered in our community that week. I was in the 5th grade and I will never forget the feeling of being so unwanted and so worthless. My own humanity was in question, although, I did not understand that that was what it was at the time.

Birthday parties would be thrown and no one would show up, save the 2 girls I went to church with. I would often go to the playground and go to play games only to literally be pushed into the mud, and wind up in the nurses office to get cleaned up, begging them to not tell my mom. Bloody noses were not an abnormal occurance for me. Being bullied, was the norm for me.
I did not know that no one had the right to put me in that position. I didn't know that no one had the right to put their own space on this planet as more important than my space. They did not have the right to crowd me out, so that they could make their space more comfortable. They only had the right to make their own space more comfortable with in their own, not at the expense of anothers. But I believed them. With each force, I gave in, and before long, I had no space left. I let them crowd me into a space that had no room to grow, and no room to expand, and no room to live. I believed I was stupid, I believed I was retarded, and I believed I was worthless.

Then, I moved away ... and an odd thing happened, I did well in school ...REALLY well. I made it into the gifted programs and got excellent grades. I had friends. LOTS of them. My 13th birthday party I had over 20 girls at it. Fitting in seemed strange, to me. What happened, how did *I* change? I didn't understand. I went back to my home town for the beginning of 8th grade and it almost started again, but the kids found they could not push me around. I'd learned to walk with my shoulders up. I never quite fit in, but they no longer could crowd in on me.

I moved to another state in late October ...and found the same thing I'd found in 7th grade. Lots of friends, good grades, teachers with confidence in my skills ... and no problems with fitting in. What had been wrong with me in the early years? I did not understand.

I never did get it. I still only partially get it. It wasn't me ... I was simply the target of someone who didn't like something they saw in me ... and became the punching bag. *I* became the cycle of others problems ... I was NOT the problem ...they had the problem. Not me. Had it been me, it would have followed me to church, and it did not. Had it been me, it would have followed me to the community, it did not. Had it been me, it would have followed me to the other schools ...and it did not. Had it been me ...it would have followed me. I was only bullied in that one school setting. In that one town ... in that one 5 year period. Only in that one town .. not in girls scouts ..not in church ..not in church.

It took me years to see that. But the severity of it took it's toll.

I managed to get past it, as much as any bullied child can ...

And then Friday ... It came back to me. In a flash, I was brought back to my knees, at the mud hole, with my face being pushed down into the mud by the school yard bully who hated me because she saw something in me she wanted for herself, but couldn't, or didn't have herself. Instead of handling it in a healthy way, she chose to lash out at me, and stab me in my most vunerable manner. She did it a month before, but I had not seen it till yesterday. An anonymous note left on my facebook account ... and it cut to the very heart of who I am as a person, to my character, to my very being. It took me back to that 10 year old little girl whom no one loved and no one cared for. That everyone picked on, and no one loved. It knocked the wind out of my sails and I reacted with fear and terror and I ran to the nurses office in my muddy dress, torn tights and bluddy nose.

The note read:
"you're nuts, stupid, and immature. No one really likes you or having you around. They tolerate you because the boys think you're fun to have around. No one in the church likes you and would be happpy to have you leave. Most people think you're the biggest fraud to hit southpark."

I contacted my youth pastor and said I'd never come back to the youth ministry, and wasn't sure how I'd come back to the church, I'd finish my children's ministry commitment, and beyond that, I wasn't sure how I'd step back in the door. I got an immediate, with in minutes call from him. He assured me that it was an attack by someone who was jealous, and immature attack, by someone who saw something in me that they wanted that they did not have and they wanted. It was a spiritual attack because I was being effective in ministry.

My husband asked me to please read the note in the light of the truth of God's word. Stop, think, listen ... Read it ..carefully Examine your heart ...Be still and know that HE is God ...

So I did ... and a few hours later ... I wrote a response to every member of my church on my facebook ...

There are a few things that are known to cause issues with self esteem. They are universal. People who have chronic illnesses tend to have issues with self esteem. Knowing that your body does not function as well as otherwise healthy people can make you worry what others think of you, especially if they don’t know that you’re ill, or they don’t understand your illness (es).
Being overweight is another one. Being overweight is an issue that damages most people’s self esteem. Not being attractive, not being what people think you should be. Not being what you want to be. Having others think if you just ‘did things the right way’ and knowing that no one knows the junk you go through … but knowing they all think they do and if you’d just straighten up, you’d be ok and be what they think you should be causes most women, especially, severe self esteem issues.
Living in poverty is a big self esteem shatter. It is the biggest shame in the USA today. There is no excuse as far as most people are concerned. No one really understands how, in this world of opportunity, why anyone could be poor. Yet, there is a whole third of our nation that is poor. A large number of those poor are poor because of chronic health conditions out of their control.
Any person, who lives with any one of these issues, has a battle on their hands. Combine one with another, and they really have to fight …if they have them all, keeping their head above water is something only God can do. Trying to keep the balance between educating people who are truly interested, and ignoring those whose only intent is to judge, is truly juggling act only the wise can achieve. To try to explain to those who just want to judge you is foolish. To not explain to those who are interested, and want to understand means they may miss out on a blessing and you may miss out on a friendship
These feelings are mostly universal for people living with these issues. There are exceptions to the rule, but they are few and far in between. Many people, with a relationship with God, and learn to deal with their fears, face them and work to serve God either in the face of their fears or in spite of their fears. They either overcome their fears or, their fears get shoved to the background to remain dormant.
I, live with all three of these conditions. For me, I don’t just have one chronic illness, I live with many. They aren’t just mild ones, they are quite severe and disabling. People don’t see me when I’m very sick, because I stay home, because I have no choice. When you can’t put one foot in front of the other, you have no choice. When you can’t lift the fork from the table to your mouth, you have no choice. For every 5 good days, I have 2 bad days. I have not gone 3 weeks without having to pay the piper in the 18 years that I’ve been sick. People see me at Church walking fine and smiling and laughing ..but they do not see the days that I spend in bed because of the activities that I do at church. My family does. My family have often had to pay the price for my activities at church.
I give my time, my energy and my faithfulness to the church, and I love it. I have a passion burning so deep inside me that I can’t even begin to express what I feel. It is not a desire to be active. It is not a desire for people to see me working (I’d prefer no one notice, that’s why I am often doing behind the scenes jobs). It is not a desire to be in the middle of people. My favorite times have often been on a quiet Wednesday afternoon, when no one has been in the church, doing my job. I have a passion to serve God and to make sure that His message is spread …both to those who do not know him, and to those who do know him.
What brought me to Southpark to stay was the banner across the Sanctuary that read “To give support to people to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ”. That burned into my heart. My heart aches when I see hurting hearts. The idea that girls would grow up and fight some of the battles that I have fought, terrifies me to my toes. That boys would grow up and not know that they are the sons of the almighty God, and that they have a mission from God to be the gentlemen that God desires of them breaks my heart. When I see a child, or a teenager who doesn’t know that they are a child of the almighty God ..created in HIS likeness … my heart aches. When I see an adult, who has been shattered by the life that they have lived, I can feel their pain, and all I want to do is to find SOMETHING to do to help to ease their pain in some way. Through prayer, through helping with the praise and worship team, helping to serve their children …anything ..even if they don’t know that I am doing something.

Many times, I work hard, and don’t want anyone to know how badly I’m hurting, physically. How tired I am, or, that I’m having a hard time physically doing the job that others are doing. I try to keep up with those who have healthy bodies and do the things that the others are doing. I walk at the same speeds and I keep up with everyone else. Then, I wind up in significant pain, and I wind up spending two to three days in bed to pay for it. There have been times that I have almost wound up in the hospital after an event at church. There have been MANY times where I’ve had to take high doses of steroids to deal with the fall out of such an event. (the senior banquet I served at, I was in bed for 3 days, and had to take 2 weeks of high doses of steroids because of what the effort of ‘being normal’ did.)
When I do take care of myself, and make it be known that I can’t keep up, it never fails that someone will say something to me. “I have an aunt who has lupus.” “I had a friend’s mom who had lupus” “I had a friend with myasthenia gravis” (which, is highly unlikely …only 37,000 Americans have myasthenia gravis) and it’s always followed by “and they work full time and no one ever knows they’re sick.” It’s a direct put down of me not having a job and not doing as much work as others around. I have heard this from adults in the church, and a few teenagers. One comment like this, and I tend to make sure that I do not let my health show for as long I can.
I have been in the bathroom stall when I heard my family referred to as “Trailer Trash” and I’ve been told to my face that I was a drain on the church resources.

I have lived a personal struggle with food, and food related issues, weight and fear. An eating disorder that has been an issue since I was 14 and has done more damage to my body than I can even begin to explain has been the biggest spiritual, emotional and physical battle than I could ever have imagined. To someone just looking at me, they’d think I just overeat and I should take care of that, but no one knows the struggle that goes on in my therapy, or that has gone on in the years that has attributed to my issues. They don’t know the fear or the panic. They don’t know that I am afraid to eat in public, they don’t know that I don’t enjoy food. They don’t know what my family knows … that I hate food. I never enjoy food and if asked what my favorite food in a group is, I’d make something up because I don’t have a favorite food. I have food I tolerate better than others.

I think, the biggest obstacle that I face is the one of poverty. It is the one that is least acceptable. While weight is an issue that is sociologically frowned on, it effects people of all social classes, and races. People get over it, and get past it. I can hide my illnesses for the most part if I don’t take care of myself and hide when I feel really bad.
But the poverty … I can only hide it by not participating or letting my children participate. In order for my children to participate, we have to ask for scholarships, and that, gets old. Very old, but, my children should not have to pay for our inability to pay for their involvement. So we ask, they ask … it gets done. Thankfully, we go to a church where it is available.

Many churches do not allow those who do not ‘give until it hurts’ to participate in ministry. And the church decides where the hurting point is, not the family. Southpark has been different from the start. They looked first at my heart, my love for God …and never at my pocketbook. To be allowed to serve God in spite of my poverty has never ceased to amaze me. I have never ever stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop. “If you want to continue serving in this manner, your giving must increase” Every time I’d volunteer for something new, I’d expect to be told no, because I did not put enough in the offering plate, and my children were scholarshipped on too many events. The flip side was the fear that I’d be told “In order for them to get you have to do this”
Never … not once … did either of those happen. Instead, I have been encouraged to participate where my gifts and talents could grow and develop. Sometimes pushed out of the box, but not for the sake of some benefit of Southpark, but of benefit of my decipleship of Jesus Christ.

In the general public, I feel often like a second class citizen. Like I’m less than worthy of being an American citizen. Like I’m not worth what I should be. When I’ve walked through the doors of Southpark, I have felt accepted and that has never ceased to surprise me. In spite of my lack of health, my weight and my socioeconomic status … I am allowed to minister. Like the widow with 2 mites, I give what I can and it’s ok.

Like Peter, I came to Southpark with no money to give but willing to give what I had. “Silver and God have I none, but such as I have give I thee.” Southpark accepted me, warts and all, lack of money and all, and let me serve. Unlike many churches that expect people to be the picture perfect, healthy and wealthy and wise … I was used where I was.

I now find out that I have unwittingly hurt someone. I don’t know how, I don’t know why. My intent has never been to do anything but to love, to share with those around me the gifts that God has given me. To support others to be fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.

To whomever it was that left the message, I’m sorry you feel the way you do. I hope and pray that you are wrong, that not everyone at Southpark hates me so, and wants me gone. I am sorry that you feel I am a fraud, but I am not. I simply don’t have enough energy to be a fraud. There is not a person who is a member of my facebook friends list that I do not truly love with the love of Christ. I pray for each of you daily, and my heart aches for you when I see you hurting.

I was left a message privately, and anonymously, and I am responding rather publicly because I don’t know who left it. They also imply that others feel the way they do. I pray that they are wrong. Please know, that whatever it is that caused you to lash out at me, I’m sorry. You are in my prayers, each of you in my facebook, and now that I know that I’ve hurt one of you, I will be praying all the more and trying all the more to show the love of God, to be more genuine, to be more of Jesus to those around me.

Please know ..that nothing any of you could do or say could cause me not to love you. I forgive you. I love you.

So then, I went through my facebook ... and I read a few things that a few of my friends had said about me ...most of them ... also left ...anonymously ...

'Honest'. 'Loyal'. 'Entertaining'. 'Humble'.'Playful'. 'Gentle'. 'Thoughtful'. 'Kind'.

"You make me believe in myself. Thank you."

"With everything you've been through, you have an amazing attitude. Good for you!"

Ok, so, obviously, not everyone feels the way the one poster did. I'd also gone to my youth ministry forum, where there was a bandwagon full of people who immediately, in the middle of their workday, jumped to my defense ... in a spiritual group hug, they picked me up, washed off the blood and the mud, and they cleaned me up, wiped off the wounds, and they helped me to see where I am, and helped me to remember who I am in Christ ...and slowly throughout the day, I got my equilibrium back.

By the end of the day, I started to think about the people on the facebook list ... why are they there ...I feel personally invested in each life. There is not ONE single person on my list that I do not truly love. I think they all have a call on their life ...and God has great things in store for them ... whoever it is, is broken ...and desperately needs our prayers.

So, I found a way to have a direct response ...
I don't know who you are, but you have to be one of the females in my friend list, so it narrows it down.

There is not one girl on my friends list that I do not truly care for and love with the love of Christ. I pray for each of you daily and desire God's will for You.

I just wanted you to know that the letter that I wrote to my church family does apply to you and was written specifically for you.

I will be lifting you up in prayer and whatever hurts you have that have caused you to lash out like this.

There is nothing that you could do or say that could cause me not to love you. Those are not shallow words, those are not words echoed because I'd heard them spoken too many times. You were invited to be my friend, or I accepted your invitation of friendship on Facebook, because I cared for you and was interested in your life. I felt invested in the life you live and desired to support you to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ.

Hate me if you will. That is between you and God. Loving you is my job. And I do.

But by this morning ... my feelings had evolved even more.

I'd had a chance to evaluate as Don had asked, and Ryan had asked. Evaluate me in the light of the truth ...
A couple of my girls had responded to my note ...and so, I responded to them:
Thank you so much Melissa and Candace. I was a severely bullied child. I've worked hard to get past feeling like that picked on child. It's not easy and is amazing how that can haunt you clear into adulthood.

Reading that note brought me clear back to the 5th grade again and made me feel so small, worthless and unworthy to even be human.

It's a shame that someone feels so bad about themselves that they felt it necessary to make someone else feel that way. After much praying, and seeking some wise counsel, talking with Ryan as well, I realized that it was an attack, not just on me, but a spiritual attack as well. (Just as Melissa pointed out here.)

I am praying for that person in earnest that they would see the plan that God has for them so that they would not feel the need to lash out at someone else.
The prayers of a righteous man availeth much.
The note knocked me to my knees for a few minutes. You could confirm that with Ryan or Don. Then Don started to ask me to examine my life. To look at the fruit in my life. I've had many prayers answered, from my family life being healed, to my house, to the number of friends that I have.

There is fruit in my life, therefore, the fraud part could not be true. That knocks the sails out of the note right there. The stupid, well, she can think that if she wants, but I know differently. I know that I'm intelligent, I've had a book published and that's not easy. I know what my grades were in school ... I know what smart is ...
Immature ... well ... that's a matter of opinion and there is a lot to be said for fighting aging.
Nuts ... I work hard at being nuts. That is why I have tons of friends and I have too many friends in my phone and I have to hide at times.

So, the note has lost it's power today.

I know who I am in Christ


So, the reality as it stands right now ... I do know who I am. I am not that little girl, bloody and bruised. My Christ took that on the Cross for me. He bore that. He buried in the tomb and it stayed there in the ressurection.

I learned something in the last 36 hours ... I might fall down, but I won't stay down. I'm protected by the full Armour of God. And I have friends that will hold me up in prayer and lift up my heart when I'm too wounded to do so and help me to remember who I am until I can stand again.