Joyful, Patient, Faithful

January 22, 2010 at 5:03 pm (Decorative Painting, Multiple Sclerosis, Musings...)

My "Crackle" Project -- color assigned and shadowed

Those of you who read my blogs understand that I really try and be pithy and positive as I share my life with you.  Right now, though, I am going through some despair ~~ caused by pain. 

I have trigeminal neuralgia, probably as a result of my MS.  The pain is so severe at times that I want to literally rip my face off (not an exaggeration!).  I have some great doctors who are helping me to manage this… Dr. Mike, Dr. Kevin and Dr. Nassr, are all my advocates. 

The interesting thing is that, when I bend wire for jewelry or paint, the pain becomes less a part of my body.  There is no other way to explain it.  I know it is there, and it can be as severe, but I have a place to put it.

I just believe that what I’m going through is a natural part of life, not necessarily a test that I have to pass — thank goodness! 🙂

I am working on a crackled piece of wood, which represents how I feel right now.  It is my design.  I plan to put a verse, positve affirmation, or something like that in the blank space on the left.  For my painting friends, I am showing you the stage I am at now — just basically the foundation.  But I wanted to share my journey with you, both physical and artistic.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”  Romans 12:12

May He find me faithful!

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Whatever Your Hand Finds To Do…

January 15, 2010 at 2:58 pm (Jewelry, Musings...)

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”  Ecclesiastes 9:10a

I am 50 years old, in menopause.  I have multiple sclerosis and trigeminal neuralgia.  I struggle with OCD and some of my fears border on phobias.   All that being said, I truly strive to be a prayer warrior and a productive member of society.  (The productive member of society part is difficult because I, in truth, could be a hermit !)

January follows a hectic holiday season and, at least in western PA, is a cold and snowy month.   It is easy for me to burrow my head and stop participating in life ~~ a feat also made easier by the fact that I no longer have children living at home.

The Lord convicted me of my “checking out of life” status today by reminding me of the verse in Ecclesiastes.  I was up most of the night with flu-like symptoms and could have stayed in bed.  However, armed with this verse, I made a pot of coffee, got dressed, made a list, turned on my Ipod and set my timer (45 minutes of work, 15 minutes of play).  It is 1:36 p.m. and my list is completed!!  I now have the freedom to bury my head in my pillow again !!

I thought I’d share a few pictures of the jewelry I made this month ~~ I especially like the pink earrings ❤

2nd edition of this design... in pink

Abstract bending with turquoise

I LOVE these 🙂

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Silly Squirrels

January 11, 2010 at 10:44 am (Musings...)

I had a fabulous weekend !!  On Saturday I drove to Vienna, Virginia  to attend a charity event called “Helping Hands.”  It was basically 12 hours of music ~~ $5.00 cover charge.  I went to see Amanda perform a solo set with her band, Never In Denver.  Other performers included Amanda Lee, K-Prime, F.A.M.E., Manifest and Lyricks.  House of echO headlined at 9:30.  What an awesome day of music and rap.  I listened really hard to understand what the rappers were saying 🙂  (Hey, I’m old and it takes work)

The unfortunate thing was that I forgot ALL of my meds.  Don’t ask how because I don’t know !  I had to come back early yesterday so I could medicate my muscle spasms and neuralgia…  I dragged my keister home and went straight to the medicine cabinet.  My muscles were visibly spasming.  I was in pain.   However, something caught my eye and made me laugh.  I HAD to get a picture of it!!

Silly Squirrels !!

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A Day In The Life of (Demise of) Our “Tiny” Tree

January 7, 2010 at 10:44 am (Musings...)

11:00 a.m…  Fully recognizing the fact that I have to “de”decorate our tree and it will take at least 6 hours, I brew myself another strong pot of coffee…

11:00 a.m...

I retrieve my handy-dandy hook arm from the closet, because I cannot climb on a stool.  I pack up six large boxes of decorations, 5 strings of lights, 2 bags of beads, one angel, 20 “village” houses, complete with vignettes, and one train.

5:00 p.m.  Danny O came home from work just as I was completing my Herculean task.  Our immediate problem then became, how to take the unfurled tree out the door.  I am brilliant sometimes and I came up with the fabulous idea of lopping off the tree branches, placing them in my now empty pilates machine box, and shoving them out the door.  Danny agreed that indeed, I was brilliant!!  🙂

6:30 p.m...

6:30 p.m. Only a little bit of work left.  Well, not really because there are thousands of pine needles on our living room carpet.  DannyO and I ARE a well-oiled machine.  After all, we’ve been married for nearly 30 years!!  We team-cleaned the living room.

8:00 p.m...

8:00 p.m…  Ahhh… the living room can breathe again… Just in time for NCIS and a white russian on the rocks !!

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Where Joy And Sorrow Meet

January 5, 2010 at 3:41 pm (Musings...)

For some reason, the stillness in the air after a snowstorm always takes my mind’s eye to the Throne of God ~~ after all, it is at HIS feet I bring my burdens, failures, my accomplishments.  I know that in His Presence I find refuge, so it must be a quiet place, because I could be a hermit and LOVE aloneness.

But at His Throne, I find power.  I find release.  I find answers.  I find healing.  He puts my pieces back together.   He loves me so much, that He sent His Son, Jesus to die for my sins.   At His Throne, my mourning is turned to dancing (Psalm 30:11).  He will cover me with his feathers and under His wings I find refuge (Psalm 91:4).

There is power in stillness…

As I was reflecting on His Presence, I was reminded of Revelation 5 ~~ I usually don’t include long passages in my blogs, because people like short and sweet, but honestly, you must read the whole passage to understand His Throne IS a place where joy and sorrow meet!

1Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.  And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”  But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.  I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.  Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.  He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne.  And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.  And they sang a new song:

“You are worthy to take the scroll
      and to open its seals,
   because you were slain,
      and with your blood you purchased men for God
      from every tribe and language and people and nation.
  You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
      and they will reign on the earth.”

  Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.  In a loud voice they sang:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
   to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
   and honor and glory and praise!”

 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
   “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
   be praise and honor and glory and power,
         for ever and ever!”

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No More Excuses

January 1, 2010 at 7:02 pm (Musings...)

I’ve decided not to make any “official” New Year’s Resolutions for 2010.  However, looking back on my posts of January 2009, I really did make personal progress in the past year.

Spiritually, I continued to grow, which is a good thing.  Practicing “the presence of God” has made a dynamic impact on my life!!  Financially, we took a few hits and I didn’t get as far along on debt reduction as I had hoped.  But, we did not incur any new debt!!  By May of 2010, our debt should be gone, except for a tiny bit of our mortgage… Yay!!  Creatively, I’ve made great strides, adding  jewelry design to my repertoire  I will post some pictures of my designs in the next month.  My teapot repurposing using “melmaling”  is going strongly.  I hope to open an Etsy shop by the end of February.

Physically, my body has taken some hits.  I have not discussed this yet on my blog, but besides the MS, I’ve been diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia on the right side of my face.  The extreme pain is life-altering.  There is no rhyme or reason to how much pain I have or how long the pain lasts.  I had an MRI to try to pinpoint the cause, but have not heard anything from the doctor.  My MS has progressed to the point where I have no balance to practice my yoga 😦

My darling Danny O asked me what I wanted for Christmas.  I said, “nothing.”   Secretly, though I was hoping he’d read my mind and get me a Pilates trainer.  I have an elliptical trainer, which works for my cardio, but can no longer practice yoga effectively.  I needed something to supplement my elliptical trainer.  Now I have no excuse!!

My Pilates Machine (with my elliptical in the background)

Gotta love that man of mine!!!

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