Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Struggle is Real? How do you handle struggle? Do you hope someone will pull you out?

Good Sunday Morning Everyone! I hope you're having a blessed Sunday. It's been snowing here for fifty-five plus hours. We are pretty buried in where I am. This is something we generally deal with, but not snowing for that long of a period straight. It's been interesting and with subzero temperatures, it's been a challenge for our son and me. 

Now for the meat of this entry. I said the struggle is real. How do you handle your struggle? Do you wish or hope someone would pull you out so you don't have to deal with the struggle? I put this picture of the monarch butterfly up for this reason. When we find a cocoon we want to grab it or bring it inside when we should just leave it where it is. We can go back to it and check on it. This butterfly is intact in the first cocoon, it's fully encapsulated, fully protected. The butterfly is safe. The next one shows that the butterfly is starting to emerge from its cocoon now; it's vulnerable at this stage. The butterfly is weak, its wings are weak, its legs are weak. The butterfly is not ready for flight as of yet. We may come upon this butterfly and want to help it, but we shouldn't. The third one the butterfly has made progress and is now outside the cocoon. Still too weak for flight. The wings are not ready for flight even though the butterfly is out of the cocoon now. The fourth one the butterfly is out and the wings are expanding a little more as they're drying and preparing for flight. Now the fifth one the butterfly is ready for flight; the wings are expanded and dried, the legs are stronger. This butterfly will take off and survive.

I know our struggles are very real, very painful, very deep at times. We may not handle struggle well. We may look for that one to pull us out of our struggle to make things much easier for us. Is that what we really need or should look for? God can pull us from our struggles, but sometimes He doesn't instead He comes alongside us and walks the struggle with us to help us along the journey. That in the end, we would be like that last butterfly. We would be stronger, able to "fly" handle the next struggle better and know what we need to get through. He will teach us the things we need, give us the tools we need to face the struggles better that we come out closer to him and more confident in ourselves.

I know this journey that I am now facing, the infusions, the tests, the broken bones that may come, the surgical things that may come along isn't going to be an easy one. I can say that I am better prepared because God has taught me, shown me so many things to get through each of these struggles as I walk my journey with OI. So the question remains. How will you handle your struggle? Will you have someone pull you out or will you ask them to come alongside you and help you through it to make you stronger? Will you rely on God more to help you through the struggle? If you need me you can always contact me. Have a wonderful Sunday.

Grace & Peace,

Friday, January 5, 2018

Moving Forward....Watching God put things together just the way He wants to

Hi Everyone, hope you're staying warm in these brutal cold temperatures. I know we are staying warm. My husband is a great provider in that he's running our pellet stove to keep us warm and he brought food in unexpected yesterday. I was so glad that he did. I am putting meals together with what he brought. He does so much and tries so hard to provide for our family. We really appreciate all that he does for us. 

Now to get onto what's going on since my last appointment. I had blood work drawn when I was there last. I received the results this morning and I am not pleased to see where the numbers lay. They're low in areas where they need to be higher and those that need to be low are high. I know that after the bone density next Wednesday my doctor will be scheduling the infusions. 

No this doesn't surprise me. I have learned in the years since being diagnosed when I don't feel right, the bone pain is increasing that means one of two things that my calcium is high or that my Vitamin D is bottoming out. In this case, both are down. I know this is not a "snap of the fingers" situation. I know God can do a snap of the fingers and things are fine -- He's choosing a slow path that will draw me to lean harder, press harder into Him. This is His path, not mine. I have to learn to rest with Him and listen, be alert to His direction, how I handle this as the days go, the hiccups that may come along the way.

As I get more updates I will update here. Have a great day everyone!!!

Grace & Peace,

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The wait is over! The time has come.....

Good Morning, Everyone! Today is the day we get the results of all the tests. I am praying for the best. I know that God has brought me from mountain to mountain, level to level in my walk with Him. The journey hasn't always been easy, but what comes out of the challenges, the miracles, the amazing things that I have experienced in my life that the Lord has brought me through outweigh the burden, the fear, the tears, the sleepless times, the times with pain by far!

This is how I am going to roll with what's coming at me today. I will be wearing my OI (Osteogenesis Imperfecta) shirt that a bestie gave to me. I love you Jenn, (Goose). She bought me this shirt because she knows my humor and how I roll with things. She has known with this disease that both our son and I face daily hasn't been an easy one especially in the beginning.  She and others know how torn I was. How I was so afraid that our son was going to die, what do I do now? Where do I turn? How do I get information on this disease? Is there information on this? What are the treatments? How harmful are they? These are just a few of the thoughts running through my and my husband's minds at the time of diagnosis. Never did we see that within a few months I too would be diagnosed with Osteogenesis. I was still scared as I was still learning, yet I was now building my knowledge base. I was building my support system. I was gaining friendships that the Lord was putting me in touch with strong Christian friends. 

One of my best friends lives in New Hampshire. Keith and his beautiful wife Lisa have been great inspirations, great information providers, a great support team for our son and I when we'd face infusions, tests, hiccups along the road of OI we'd struggle through. The phone calls that would come and calls I'd make to them they would provide answers if they had them, prayer and most of all encouragement.  When calls would come sometimes that support would be me giving it to Keith through his challenges with the OI. Giving encouragement and guidance on things that he's facing as well. This is how we roll through this day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year. 

I won't lie and say I am fine with the appointment coming today to get results. I am not fine, I am a bit nervous, and not sure I am ready for the words the doctor will express to me today. I know that I have to move forward. I have to be ready for the diagnosis, is it going to be a severe cycle of the current type of OI I have now? Is it going to be a more severe Type of OI? Is it going to be cancer? How strong am I? I am blessed with many caring friends and I am glad they're in my life and I try to be as caring and there for each and every one of my friends even if they're states away from me. One of my great friends gave me this message prior to my leaving for my appointment. "Prayers the results are going to be not what you think, but a way to make improvements. I feel very confident in your results."

I am now home from the appointment. The appointment took much longer than expected. I arrived and was checked in by 1:20 pm had my appointment with my doctor and finished out with going to the lab for more blood work. By the time I arrived home it was after 5 pm. Now an overview of the appointment. My doctor began by thoroughly going over my record with me making certain all the information was correct; any updates or concerns were added in so that proper attention can be given or directed for that specific concern. After this was done we discussed the results of recent testings and bloodwork. I was given the information that I have been waiting for since before Christmas. I must say first off I was told the results do not show cancer. I praise God for that result, AMEN!! The next concern was is this a more severe type of OI (Osteogenesis Imperfecta); the next result says No, this is not a more severe form of OI. I praise God for this result, AMEN! Now for the rest of the results. I was told that between bones and muscle pain I am in pain 97% of my body. That doesn't sound good, but there is a way to help this and we are on that to get the pain reduced and stopped. They did more bloodwork to make certain nothing was missed. The doctor did say that I was in a more severe state with my OI. I was also advised about Reclast infusions and the benefits that they give.  I am now scheduled for a bone density scan for next week. When the bloodwork results return and the scan is done we will set schedule for the Reclast infusions. I am also being scheduled with a Rheumatologist and an Autoimmune Specialist.

The infusions are going to be a hard rough road, BUT I am going forward and will deal with the harsh side effects as they come. They may knock me, but I refuse to let them break me!

I love when friends send me encouraging messages. They have really blessed me with all that I have had coming at me in this. I will leave you with those encouraging words. 

"You may feel defeated. But, you are more than a conqueror! You may feel cast down. But you are victorious in Christ Jesus! You may not understand why so much is happening in your life that you don't understand....BUT, for every struggle, for every disappointment you had, for every time you felt alone, for every friend that left you God has a turnaround for you!" *this is from INSTAGOD MINISTRIES

"God already solved your eternity problem, why wouldn't He solve your temporary problems?"

"Will keep you in my prayers. Wish there was more that I could do."

"Good Luck Kiddo... I hope they don't make you too sick and your bones get strong. Sorry, I hope the treatments work."

"OK. GOOD FOR YOU! Our God has taken care of you. HE has steadied your emotions; HE has saved you from cancer; HE has given the doctors a way for treatment; HE will be with you throughout this difficult time. RED SEA RULES will prevail! Again--has your front, your back, both sides and everything in between -- you are in better hands than Allstate!!!!"

"This is great Leah that it isn't cancer or another form of O.I. I hope your other visits go well and they can help you."

"I was wondering how it went. Will continue to pray."

"I'm so glad it's not cancer Leah. I'm hoping infusions will help you. Keep your chin up Leah <3"

Thanks for hanging out. I hope you've enjoyed your visit. I will post as I go forward with treatments and let you know how things are going. I will now leave you with something fun. This was at my doctor's office. 

Grace & Peace,

Saturday, December 30, 2017

God Never Says “Oops!”

Good Afternoon my OI family and friends. I hope you’re having a great weekend. I have been busy with family and my church family. I love my church family. Not only do we love the support of others when things get rough and they come alongside us in prayer, love, and support. That could come just from a word they speak to us in conversation, a verse they give us from the Word of God. This could also come with words of wisdom from them, maybe they have gone through something similar that you are now facing. Sometimes it’s words like “Try not to worry or let your imagination run wild until you get the results. Then you can proceed forward.” There are so many ways that we can come around one another. Do it for your friends and family even if you don’t think you have something you think they want to hear, you may be surprised. 

With this book, the entry is as follows. I will highlight the parts that pertain to my posting here. 

God Never Says “Oops!”

“You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother.” —Psalm 139:13

What was God doing the day He knit Garrett’s lip in his mother's womb? Was He so busy solving other problems that he missed a few stitches? How easy for God to correct such a simple mistake. Perhaps God was so preoccupied putting extra stitches in Garrett’s beautiful heart that He forgot about his lip.

My grandson was born with a cleft lip and palate. Everyone was surprised. The ultrasound did not show it; the doctors and nurses even missed it at Garrett’s delivery. His mother was the first to notice as she attempted to nurse her son. Her hungry boy could not suck. As she gazed at her precious child, she was assured that God knit him perfectly in her womb. God did not say, “Oops! I missed a stitch.”

Nor was God surprised when Gabrielle was born with five broken bones. Brittle Bone Disease was the diagnosis. Confidently, her mother proclaimed, “Gabrielle is God’s good and perfect gift. God was in control on day one. I know God is in control of this. “God didn’t say “Oops!” when Gabrielle was born.

“Oops” isn’t in God’s vocabulary. He knows who, what, where, when and how. He also knows why. He knows that imperfect lips and brittle bones can lead us into His arms and sometimes, we need a good hug.

There were lots of hugs the day of the car accident. Careening into the creek, the car was totaled. Garrett’s family was shaken but unhurt. Big brother, Connor, had to be taken to the emergency room just to make sure he was all right. What a thrill for a two-year-old! His dream of riding in an ambulance (which he thought was a school bus) came true. When we arrived at the emergency room, my husband and I were relieved to see our daughter and her family intact. Connor excitedly jumped into his grandpa’s arms, gave him a big hug, and said, “It was fun, Grandpa!” Holding my daughter tightly, I whispered back, “God didn’t say ‘Oops.’ He knew all about it.”

When we go through the accidents of life, we need to jump into our Heavenly Father’s arms. And we hope when it is all over, we look back and say, “It was fun, God!” We will go for some rides in this life. We might as well go through them hugging Jesus. He isn’t too busy. He isn’t surprised, and He’s still in control.

Forgive me, Lord, for all of the times I may think You are saying, “Oops!” Cleanse my heart of doubt that You are in power. You created me, and You created this day. You know how it will end. There are no accidents in Your perfect plan.  Thank You that You are knitting everything together according to Your will and for my good. Hold me and carry me through my days.

Ok, now time for me to explain why I highlighted the parts I did. Let me preface this by saying this was a gift given by my church family. I saw the title and thought how great is this. A book for Moms. It said bathtime reflections for drained Moms. Yes, did you catch the pun there between the bathtime and the “drained” Moms? Enough of the puns now. I was busy with family a few days after Christmas and this book sitting there under our tree kept me looking at it. I need to read that book. I was able to finally take a few minutes to look at it and as I was going through the titles of the entries I stopped on this one, God Never Says “Oops!” Why you may ask. Well, as many or few of you in the OI family may have heard some of us express the words, I did a snap, crackle, oops! Yes, kind of like the cereal Snap, Crackle, Pop! We tend to say that when we break something or feel that we may have. I know our son and I have said it ourselves.

Now to continue. The part where the entry speaks about Gabrielle being born with five broken bones and the diagnosis being brittle bones disease. That connected to me right away as our Son and I both have brittle bone disease, better known as Osteogenesis Imperfecta. While the challenges that come with this disease can pull at our attitude. We can either let it impact our attitude and pull us down or we can choose not to let it pull our attitude down and soar with confidence and not let our minds run wild. I have had three back surgical procedures and some other procedures besides and the doctors seem to agree on the same thing when speaking with me. The words, that were spoken were after two of the surgical procedures. The doctors said they saw something concerning and they were also concerned with the number of visits to their office I was making because of the bone pain, the injuries that were occurring with no trauma involved. Also, the surgical staff spoke and showed me things on the special surgical X-ray machines they were using. I can tell you it’s really scary when you see your own bones and they are about transparent!! Then to hear they are degenerating (crumbling inside). This isn’t something good to hear. The words that came at me next stopped me in my tracks as if I could move to begin with I was just coming out of a surgical procedure and hear “we feel that you may have a more severe form of Osteogenesis than we thought or worse bone cancer. Yes, that word cancer was spoken. This is something hard to digest. I kept things quiet because nothing had been done yet to say one way or the other yet. Then I went for more testing and a letter came just before Christmas saying that things weren’t as favorable as hoped. They were waiting for more results to return to make decisions of action. Then another message comes in my email telling me to check my messages from my doctor. I did that and learned that the bone turnover is high. This usually ends with having to get infusions to reduce the turnover. The rest of the results should return soon. I see the doctor in January.

All this is upsetting, but I still haven’t given up. Yes, I have cried several times about this. It’s hard to take in.It is hard to move forward some days when it hangs over you. Yet, I decided not to let it break my spirit and keep up the unbreakable spirit. I also took a look again at the name of the bone disease Osteogenesis Imperfecta - do you see something I see? Ok, let me show you. Imperfecta means something is wrong right? God never said ‘Oops!’ When He designed our son and I and all of us with Osteogenesis Imperfecta because He made us we can say “I’m perfecta” Did you catch that? We are perfect in God’s eyes!

Thanks for hanging out with me and reading through this long post. Have a great New Year’s everyone!! When I have to final update on the results I will be sure to post them here. Know that you can write me anytime here and I will respond. If you need prayer please leave me a message and I will pray alongside you.

Thanks for Stopping by,
Grace & Peace,

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Challenges that come how will you handle the storm?

Good Afternoon, Everyone! I hope that you have wonderful day today. I posed the question to you because I have had several challenges thrown at me recently. I thought by posing it to you I thought it would give you something to think about. I could have easily thrown in the towel and given up in the storms I am facing right now. I chose not to give up. I chose to face these storms head on.  I know that God will carry me through them. We all face different challenges and storms in our lives; from things in our lives, the children, medical things, relationship things and more. The challenges I am facing right now are medical related. They’re overwhelming to me because they’re coming one after the other.  Yes, I could give up, I could cry over them, I could get angry over them; I could worry; where would that get me? How would that resolve anything? It would not resolve anything, it would only stop me in my tracks. It would stop me from moving forward. I instead have taken each one of these challenges to the Lord. I have given them to Him to carry. I left them with Him and as I go through these challenges I will give all the new information that comes from each one and give it to the Lord. I know the days ahead will not be easy, but with the Lord they will be easier. How you ask? Here are some scriptures that I have read that will help me through the days ahead. I will share them with you here. After I share the scriptures with you I will open up about the medical challenges I am facing. 

Psalms 27:1 
 “The Lord is my light and my salvation —so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?”

Isaiah 41:13
“For I hold you by your right hand — I the Lord your God. And, I say to you, Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.”

I Peter 5:7
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” 

As promised I told you I would open up about what is going on with me. The first storm has been my back I have been having lots of pain still from my injury in April with the aquatic therapy. I have now had two surgical back procedures and may be facing a third. A second storm that I am facing is one with my eyes. I was already diagnosed with early stages of glaucoma, but that is begining to change. I was told that the collagen defect due to my brittle bones disease is now affecting my eyes. I may be facing some serious things ahead. They did mention about surgery for the eyes. I don’t know as I am ready for that yet. I know these things generally happen later in your life, but I am experiencing things now.  I did not think I would be experiencing these right now in my life. I also am experiencing injuries that are occurring without my doing anything to be hurt. I was dealing with extreme pain in my left elbow. I did not know what could be causing it. The doctor asked if I had been doing any heavy lifting or gardening; no, I have not. I have been recouping from a back surgical procedure two weeks ago. He said I guess you wouldn’t be then. They took some pictures and ran some scans discovering that the tendon in my elbow is inflamed and tearing. Again the words surgery come out of the doctor’s mouth. Not what I was wanting to hear. We will try other things before surgery. I will try physical therapy then from there we will see what needs to be done to resolve things.

How you take the storms that come in our lives will determine how you come out on the other side of the storm. If we let them control us then we can be negative, we can give up when there is a positive side that we are missing because we have decided to cover that with negative thoughts. This brings me to a scripture that I love a lot because I remember it often.

2 Corinthians 10:4-6

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casing down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”

Thanks for taking the time to read this entry. I hope it has given some insight for you to be able to take on your storms in a different way. 

Thank You for stopping by, 

Monday, July 10, 2017

A Beautiful Summer Day....

Hi, Everyone!!! I hope you're having a great day.  I have been reading and enjoying the sunshine today. It's been pretty hot today; typical summer day. I thank God for his beautiful creations. The trees, flowers, the birds, animals. I enjoy seeing them when I look out my window. 

Today has been a pretty good day. The pain is at a minimum right now. I am thankful for that as yesterday was a bit of a challenge when I was at church. I didn't get up and leave although I could have, I chose to stay. God blessed me in that because when I left I was not in pain as I was in the service. Thank you, Lord!!! I felt very refreshed after being in service. I came home and I was able to hear the sermon again!! It was already up!!! Sometimes it takes a day or two, but it was already up.  I then went to a site of a Pastor friend of my family, Pastor Ken Graves,  to see if he had a sermon from the same book of the Bible and he did. I listened to him as well. I was blessed to see that many of the points that my Pastor brought out our friend, Pastor Ken Graves did as well.  This is the sermon from my Pastor, Dr. Eric Paashaus 2 John, Jesus In The Flesh.

I will leave you with this short message; have fun, enjoy your day!! I will write more another time. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Coming Back......Everything that should have broken me...only made me stronger!

Hi, Everyone!!! Hope you're having a good day. I have been busy this morning with reading and talking to a few close friends that needed me this morning. I also had some business that I had to attend to for my husband and that's complete now. I can finally take some time to write here. Well, ok...that phone call made a hiccup. We had appointments planned for our son this week and pre-registered for them. A call came and now the place that is doing his DEXA scan changed the appointment for the they're going to coordinate it with the doctor instead of my having to call.  I appreciate that since they had taken it to their hands to change the appointment to start with. 

Now for the title, why I chose "Everything that should have broken me....only made me stronger!" I chose that because I have sat here during my recovery with loved ones around me. The various things I felt with the injury from losing functionality in my leg to the point that I couldn't walk. I had to learn to walk again. I had excruciating pain that even with meds didn't relieve it maybe as quickly as I hoped.  God is bigger and God had it in control. I shed many tears during that time as the ladies that came around me can tell you. Them encouraging me; helping me when I needed help to stand, to walk, to do just about any daily task that I needed to do. They were there. They saw that I was down because of the injury, but they didn't leave me there. No, they gave me the tools to get myself back up...they encouraged me through books to read that would be uplifting and showing that I needed not to be down.  They read God's Word to me and had me follow in my Bible where they were reading. We spent time in prayer, we spent time in worship.  I loved and still, love the time we spend together. We do get together even though I am getting better. I am still recovering, but not needing them hovering around me so much now. 

 I am thankful for the friendships that have developed even deeper. I am thankful for all that God placed in my life. 

Have a great day!!

The Struggle is Real? How do you handle struggle? Do you hope someone will pull you out?

Good Sunday Morning Everyone! I hope you're having a blessed Sunday. It's been snowing here for fifty-five plus hours. We are pr...