thoughts

November 23, 2016

This has been a very difficult year. One crisis after the next has put my body and mind into a tense state. Then, to add people telling me I am very immature in the midst of a year of major upheaval just added insult to injury. However, I look back and am thankful for the laughs and good moments I had as well. 2016 isn’t a total bust. I have been able to meet so many people I look up to, spend sweet time with family, and duh…I rode the damn zamboni!!! I have met my reading goals for the year. My goal was to read 50 books this year. I am on book 51 and still have a month left.

The time of year has come where I evaluate what I want to change, get rid of, and add for the next year. What do you want to do differently in 2017?

Down South

October 20, 2016

I’m spending time in VA for a few weeks with my grandpa and mom’s side of the family. My time has been wonderful. Even though it’s hard to experience the grief of my grandma not being here, I have loved being with my family while experiencing it. I have had so much loss this year in so many ways that I really haven’t had time to process things because it’s been one trial after the next. We have had tons of laughter and I have loved it. I am actually getting good sleep at night, which has not happened for a while. Oddly enough I got really good sleep in my hospital stays too the last few months. I think because I have felt safe and know I am being cared for.

The Shepherd…and my dear friends…keep reminding me that my worth  and identity is in Him and not what others think or say about me. He can’t love me more or less than he already does, and neither will my friends and family (they are stuck with me).

So far my time in VA has made me glad to be helping my grandpa and keeping him company. And, that I have supportive friends and family that help me thru my anxiety ridden brain to see The Shepherd work on my behalf. Also, that I shouldn’t believe satan’s condemning lies. Just because someone questions your sanity, maturity, or gives any type of opinion does not make it valid. We are all entitled to our opinions but that doesn’t mean they are truth. I have also been contemplating and experiencing how weird grief is. It comes and goes at random times with different triggers. I think about my roomie that I helped care for and his sudden death and my dear grandma with her sudden death. My heart aches from missing them. But, I have a Hope that is not going anywhere. The Shepherd will never leave me or forsake me even when it feels like my circumstances and people do. Praise God.

 

For non-spoonies

October 6, 2016

I don’t want to be a debbie downer. If you don’t know what a ‘spoonie’ is then you are not one. However, lately on social media an increasing number of posts, or comments on posts, keep showing up on my newsfeed giving people advice who have chronic illness to “go natural” or, change your diet, don’t take poisonous pharmaceuticals. A lot of these posts are not directed at me personally but I have had my share of these comments. I know people mean well, but it really makes our lives harder. We have done our research, we have experienced doctors, we know changing parts of our diets or lifestyle choices can help alleviate symptoms, but sometimes we need the pharms or we.can’t.function. Giving unsolicited advice can be humiliating for the person receiving it because it makes us think we are doing something wrong. Instead, just be supportive of the person. Be present. Listen. Don’t try to fix us. If we could be fixed, we would be. We all hate taking medication, but God is sovereign and has made us fearfully and wonderfully. He will have the last say on our healing whether we take drugs or go holistic. If we want your opinion on our medical decisions, we will ask! Chronic illness is trial and error. Each body is unique. Pray for us. It is hard. I thank God everyday for my doctors and my support system.

Because all my friends are doing it…

October 3, 2016

I decided I better write a blog entry since all my friends who use wordpress have posted today.

I am VERY happy to report I RODE THE ZAMBONI AT A RED WINGS GAME AT JOE LOUIS ARENA! If you have been following my blog for any amount of time you know this has been a huuuuuuge item on the bucket list. Hop over to my page Katie from Michigan on facebook to see some pictures and videos if you so desire. It was everything I hoped for and more.

The Lord continues to prune me. My health is a challenge. Lots of life circumstances are challenging right now. God knows. He cares. He loves me. He has protected me. Spending lots of time in the hospital the past few months really has taught me a lot about myself, others and Christ. Christ is sufficient. His Word is sufficient. I am blessed because of those two truths.

 

 

journaling

September 4, 2016

I have neglected my blog once again. Ever since getting out of the hospital on August 12th, I have been “bullet journaling” like crazy. I use that term loosely because I don’t do it the right way. But, regardless, my Leuctturm1917 is my constant companion. I set it up like a daily diary and have all sorts of templates I use to keep track of my meds, goals, symptoms, prayers, and whatever else I decide to write about. Thankfulness lists are big, and I am sure I will keep coming up with more ideas, or stealing ones off instagram. Journaling is therapeutic for me. I can get all my thoughts out on paper and not go over things obsessively in my brain. I also get to use all my pretty pens and washi tape. So, that is where I have been. Life has been pretty tough right now so my hobby of bullet journaling has been very fun to play with while I can’t seem to do much!

I hope everyone’s week is fabulous.

Current Theme

July 18, 2016

As usual, I have neglected my blog. Mostly because I haven’t even known what to write and partly because I have been writing in my journals. Getting all the thoughts out of my brain and on paper is very therapeutic for me.

The theme of my life right now seems to be suffering. 2016 has been one major loss after the next, as I have written about before. However, in April and May I went through Jen Wilkin’s bible study on 1 Peter in prep for the Gospel Coalition’s Women’s Conference in June. What a timely study making me enjoy and cherish the Word of God on a deeper level. The conference was amazing. Hearing Tim and Kathy Keller, Kathleen Nielson, Jen Wilkin, and John Piper speak, among others…wow! Meeting Rosaria Butterfield and Nancy Guthrie and Don Carson and Jen Wilkin…oh my heart! And the Getty’s. If you know me in person you have heard this 100 times already. A whole weekend of worship with them, my favorite group, meeting them…esp Patrick the Piper…my soul was satisfied in Him! Meeting all sorts of wonderful women from around the country who love Jesus and His Word and sharing the journey with one of my best friends made it a highlight of my life.

Then, I came home and started memorizing and studying James, basically because it was another study by Jen Wilkin and I really appreciate how she sets up her studies. And, what do you know! The theme of chapter one has been trials- not if I face them but WHEN I face them. At church our sermon series has been on the Minor Prophets. Last week as I showed up a total mess and cried thru the entire service, my pastor started teaching on Zechariah. More comfort for suffering.

I am baffled by God’s goodness to His people. I’m baffled by His goodness to me. I just had surgery in March that was pretty extensive, including getting rid of the current endometriosis my doc could see among other things. It went great. We were very positive with the treatment I would continue, it would give me relief and prevent the disease from growing for a while. Well, here we are four months later and it’s baaaaaack! I was admitted to the hospital over 4th of July for two nights and had a lot of testing done to make sure it wasn’t any new problems, and to try to get things under control. Neither my doc nor I want to do another surgery right now because it will be too much trauma for my body. So, we are trying the next best thing to surgery. Lupron is a chemo drug that is used for hormone related cancers sometimes and it is putting me in menopause so that my system is shut down. Sorry for the TMI🙂 The goal is to give my body a break and to keep the disease from spreading. It has been very scary and has had lots of side effects, including making my symptoms way worse as the body shuts down. Anyway, I have not been happy.

I cried my eyes out in the hospital as I would have never expected my life to be like this at age 30, and this was the first hospital trip I didn’t have my grandma to call and discuss all the different factors with her. She considered herself a medical expert. Oh how I miss her so much. But, my grandpa discussed things with me and prayed with me along with friends who came in to visit. God provides.

My body has been going crazy with everything and this year has also triggered major depression of my struggles with bipolar. So, many factors are at play.

I am not writing this post for everyone to have a pity party with me. I have had plenty of those the past several weeks and they aren’t productive. I am writing this post to show that God can be trusted with the promises he gives believers in His precious Word. I have fought to be independent and right now that is just not happening. I am blessed to be living with a family from church who loves me and is letting me rest and just have a safe and stable place to heal. My friends and family have come along side me and have made it safe to cry and laugh and be really honest about how I am doing without fear of being abandoned because I am too much trouble. I even have a hashtag now that they remind me  I am allowed to be needy right now… #beaburden. I am not good at letting others help me. The way people constantly txt, call, send messages to me to laugh and encourage and just giving me company while I can’t do much is overwhelming because it points me to Christ, the Provider of my needs. He has made His presence known even when I refuse to acknowledge Him and try to figure out my problems by myself.

I am really having a hard time accepting all that has gone on this year and the things I will continue to have to deal with. But, there is a reason I have Isaiah 55 tattooed on my wrist. God’s ways continue to be higher than mine.

I know I don’t handle my circumstances in the best way, but I am a work in progress and pray that whoever has read my post to the end will be encouraged. God LOVES you. What he says is true. You will have trouble in this world, but Christ has overcome it and will not leave you alone to fend for yourself. He just won’t. My hope can’t be in health, or people or money. There is no guarantee I will ever get better. People who love us die, like Grandma Jane, and some people abandon us in our time of need. I can’t work right now so my hope can’t be in getting rich and doing whatever the heck I want. My hope must be in Christ alone. He is the only person who will not get up and leave, and he is eternal. He is my salvation. He will hold me fast. He loves me!

Change is in the air

April 26, 2016

I am a bad blogger. I have had lots to say, as usual, but finding it difficult to figure out how to say these things. So much has happened in the last 4 weeks alone. My roommate died unexpectedly, three days later I had surgery (my third in a year), the following week my grandma/best friend died unexpectedly, and this past week I found out a dear friend has brain cancer and a young family member has breast cancer. I also have to find a new place to live…again.

Lots of heartache and loss has caused me to refocus and remember how this life is but a vapor and how my true home is in heaven. A dear family member, who has also had her many battles this year with health, keeps reminding me how we have HOPE! We cling to the hope of Christ and we continue to fight with our bodies and circumstances because we know HE has already won.

I have had such a deep void the past couple weeks not being able to talk to my grandma every day and txt back and forth and play our games against each other on our phones. I tear up when I lift up my phone to call her and realize I can’t. I will have to write another post all about Grandma Jane…but, at the same time, I have SO much to be thankful for.

My surgery seems to have been very successful (I haven’t even had to take Aleve for pain…what???). My doctor means a lot to me and he continues to compassionately take care of me and help me. We are hopeful this surgery and my current treatment will keep my disease at bay for a looooong time.

My mom cared for me at her house out of state after my surgery in what turned out to be a 3 week stay. She is such a hard worker and did so much for me. I got to see all my family for the VA funeral and we had such a wonderful time, even though it was difficult. I am so excited to see everyone in a few short weeks for the Detroit funeral. I love seeing how loved my grandparents are.

While I really do not have anything profound to say, I encourage everyone to evaluate what or who you are placing your hope in today. Everyone will go through very rough times and very good times and I pray your source of hope is lasting.

Katie’s craziness continues

March 1, 2016

I haven’t written in a while. In the past three months I have flown across the country for 2.5 weeks, moved to a new place, been in the hospital and urgent care 3 times, had my doctor trick my body into thinking I was in menopause and now we are tricking my body into thinking its pregnant. My hair has been falling out like crazy, I’m exhausted and still in pain. My pituitary gland is haywire and so I will have to go back on meds for that. Needless to say, this year has been another series of events to trust God with. I can’t run for office or work on someone’s campaign. I can’t report the news on what’s going on in our society. Heck, I can barely work part time. I’m in so much pain tonight that I wish my body would just cooperate. Rest becomes an idol because I feel like I need it so bad. Welcome to endometriosis awareness month. I get discouraged but have the most amazing Doctor and friends and family and church family who cares for me. The Shepherd is so faithful and I love him more each day as he carries me through the hard minutes and hours. Praise Him for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

2015

December 29, 2015

Another year is coming to an end. Wow. This one has been a doozy. Full of fun and learning, change and scars. Many scars. Thankful to my Shepherd for bringing me through this year. I’m enjoying the holidays in AZ and am going home to start the year finding a new place to live while trying to manage my diseases. I’m thankful for how God has provided for me this year and know he will provide for my needs next year even though I have no idea how I will find a place and no idea if my current treatment will work. I suppose that is the joy of following Christ. I don’t need to know all the details. I can walk in faith and obedience and trust Him to provide. It will be a year full of surprises! To God be the Glory! 

Sheep-ish!

October 30, 2015

Today may be painful. For me it is. It might be filled with unknowns and sadness, or happiness and thrill. This is the day the Lord has made and I will be glad in it. I will rejoice in the promises of scripture. I will consider it joy to live out my trials as a constant reminder for my need for the Good Shepherd. I will let him break my leg so I must be carried close. I pray I am becoming a bell sheep so he may use me to keep other sheep close to Him. I must be bold in proclaiming the goodness of my Shepherd and my sole sight set on Him. He is both my refuge for rest and my Rock of strength. Surely physical and emotional pain is not too much for the Shepherd. He uses it for His glory. If I was physically and emotionally independent and strong I would have no need for the Shepherd. I pray I only listen to his voice and to not be distracted by voices calling for me that are not His. They will only lead me, and others, astray. Lord, may your peace and joy overcome me tonight. No matter what tomorrow brings, I smile with anticipation because I know the day will be from you. 


Breaking Stigma

CHRONIC ILLNESS. MENTAL HEALTH. SPIRITUAL REFLECTION.

Living to thrive

My mission in life is not merely survive but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. ~ maya angelou