Short and sweet!
Motivational Monday: God is the same today, tomorrow and always
Hebrews 13:8 New International Version (NIV)
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
No matter what is going on in your life, God never changes. Our lives change, our circumstances change and we let life distract us from Him but he never takes His eyes off of us. Never.
What’s up with Finding My Happy Pace in running? Well to be honest its been at a complete standstill but NOT BY CHOICE!! Just about 3 weeks ago I had to have a minor procedure, I’m fine, no worries, but it did require stitches. Stitches wouldn’t have been a biggie except they are on the side of my knee so the Doc said no running. “OK I’ll just walk….a lot” I said. “Oh no. No walking for exercise either.” said Doc. WHAT?!?! The only good thing about no running or walking was the timing.
What’s up with Finding My Happy Pace in life? We (my family) are getting ready for a big move. Moving in general is no fun, moving across the country, well that adds a whole new level of “fun”. So no running meant more time for me to obsess over how much stuff we have and how much we don’t need.
Since we were fully aware of the upcoming move. I have been trying to declutter the house since January 1 of this year. My family on the other hand has not been too keen on the house de-cluttering process, its pretty much been a one woman show. But I do feel like I made some good progress. I even bought a book about de-cluttering, hahaha, go ahead and laugh (my hubby did) I think his words were like “Sooooo, you bought a book about how to de-clutter? Doesn’t that book actually add to the clutter in the house?” Turd 😉 ( I say that lovingly, really) I actually liked the book a lot and related to a lot it was saying. The book was Clutter Free by Kathi Lipp by the way, in case your interested.** But I digress. De-cluttering has been an awesome freeing feeling. We still have a lot to go but its been a good start, for me anyway.
And now June has snuck up on us all. This past week the packers have come and packed all our belongings (the amount of boxes is still unreal #firstworldproblems) , the truck came yesterday and the house is pretty much cleared out. We shall be living on blow up beds and sleeping bags for the next week, I think its kind of neat and so far no complaints from the peanut gallery. I am hoping to declutter more on the backend of the move.
As far as my future running: My stitches finally come out Monday wahoo! My hope is to get a few runs in this week since the packing is all done. I’m going to miss these routes I have mapped out the past 5 years. You know the routes that you can run by feel anything from a mile to 10 but know exactly when to turn around. And the shady routes you stick to on a hot summer day. Sigh. I will miss you. But I am also ready for some new and challenging running and life adventures! Keep an eye out for all new adventures!
** I have no affiliation with Kathy Lipp or Clutter Free but I really did enjoy it.
Quick Motivational Monday and Historic Half recap in words and pictures:
Things learned from a truly hot and hilly half marathon.
God is good, life is good 🙂
Mother’s Day was bittersweet for me this year. As I stand here hundreds of miles away from my own Mom I am brought to tears. Yes I am lucky to be my age and still have my Mother and I know that, but this weekend marks a year since my Mother lost her ability to walk, feed herself and for the most part effectively communicate. My Mom has Alzheimer’s Disease.
What exactly happened that weekend a year ago no one really knows. You see my Mom had suffered from early onset for years. At first we noticed the usual things like repeating herself and becoming confused, we eventually insisted that her doctor send her for testing. Our fears and hers were confirmed, Mom was diagnosed with early onset in her mid 60’s. Thru the next few years the forgetfulness progressed which led to my Dad becoming her main caretaker. Eventually we could no longer allow her to continue to drive for her safety and the safety of others on the road. Not soon after that she could no longer venture out alone because she could not remember simple things like her name, address or phone number. Depression ensued and all the other trappings of this terrible disease.
As the years and the disease progressed my Mom stopped calling me by name During my trips up North , she knew she “knew” me but never really used my name to reference me anymore. Then 3 years ago while visiting for Christmas, my mother no longer knew who I was. You see I am the only one of my siblings who, at this time, lives out-of-state. I was the first child to be lost in the haze of Alzheimer’s. The first time it becomes reality it hits you like a Mac truck, it’s heartbreaking. You never want to think your Mother could forget who you are. Even though I had seen it happen to my Mom with her own mother, it doesn’t make it any easier. I was helping with organizing my parents house and getting rid of things they would no longer need, my Mom turns to my Dad and asked “Who is that?” “That” person was me. She still smiled at me and we were able to converse but it was more like acquaintances.
Thankfully through the progression of the disease my Dad has had help from my siblings. They took turns between their own families and lives to help with Mom. I also have a friend with experience caring for the elderly who was able to take Mom on a few hours a week. I am eternally greatful to my siblings and I don’t think they will ever know just how thankful I am for all the did and continue to do. Distance and family of my own prevent me from spending the time I wish I could up in CT
As the years have passed Mom now no longer knows my siblings, her siblings or her grandchildren. We all realize she knows us in her heart. I pray for her and to her through Jesus and I ask that he gives her a simple warm feeling in her heart each time I think about her. For I know although her mind and body are weak BUT her soul and her love for Him and He for her are still alive and well within her.
Joshua 1:5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
Fast forward to May 2014 and my Mom was now in adult day care most days during the week. She needed help with everything from dressing to eating and everything in between. But she could still walk (in fact she walked up to 20 hours a day, since she rarely slept, another effect of the disease), although her gait was now hunched to the side and more of a shuffle. She could still feed herself with encouragement and reminders. But then something went terribly wrong and my Mom lost all ability to care for herself. An infection had consumed her body and treatment/tests at the hospital did not go as planned and we believe contributed to her downward spiral. So last Mother’s Day myself, my Dad and all my siblings were sitting in a hospital with my Mom who was barely able to lift her head. Frail, confused, no longer able to walk or move she lie at what very likely could have been death’s door.
Flung into a system not equipped to care for someone of her age/condition she ended up in a mental health facility. You see she couldn’t go back home and yet there was nowhere else for her to go. Since this facility wasn’t a “regular” hospital or nursing home we were only allowed certain hours for visitation. We did all we could to stay on top of the staff to make sure they would at least attempt to feed her. Like I said they were not staffed for someone in her state of health. Heartbreaking, frustrating, devastating.
I stayed as long as I could up in CT, and when I returned to my own family the plan was to have her put into the first available bed at an Alzheimer’s equipped nursing facility . That was a Saturday morning. By Sunday I was on the phone with my family and they were talking Hospice care. Mom had now stopped eating and drinking all together. She was put on hydration IV and things were not looking good at all. Only by the grace of God only did she start to take liquids on her own a few days later. Soon after God also opened up a bed a Nursing Facility very close to my Dad’s house. My Mom has lived there ever since. The facility, though small has been an absolute blessing to my family. Close to my Dad, with no “set” visiting hours my Dad and family can visit any time, any day.
My Dad is there twice a day everyday. He loves her as much today as he ever has, probably even more. He feeds Mom lunch and dinner. With his help she eats like a champ and has recently gone for 95 lbs to 106! This is a huge victory for her. My Dad has also become a friend to all those who reside in the facility. He knows each resident by name, how each likes their coffee and can often be seen serving others other than my Mother. I am so proud to call him my Dad for his heart is big and his ego small. He is doing the work of God each time he steps foot in that nursing facility, for all those he comes into contact with. He can often be seen chatting with the residents and their families. The nurses love him to pieces.
As for Mom She still smiles when she sees him and sometimes even calls him by name. They were able to spend their 50th wedding anniversary together last summer at surrounded by the entire family. We have been able to take her out of the facility for every major holiday so far. She will never regain her ability to walk or take care of herself on her own again and that is the reality of the situation, she seems happy, and is well cared for..
I am lucky to still have her and that she is doing as well as she can. There are definitely times that I have to stop being selfish about the situation and how I feel. Although I still struggle with the “Why” of this situation I must remind myself that everything happens for a reason. God’s got this, He is trying to show us all something, and we need to be open to learn and grow. He will reveal his plan to us all someday and it WILL make perfect sense.
Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
So what can we do? Open your heart to the less fortunate, serve others first, fight for a cause. And always, always do what is right in the eyes of God. As a runner I use Charity Miles to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Association, I have participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and hope to continue to do so. Not just for Mom, not just for me, but for all those affected by Alzheimer’s.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom, I love you!
How often do we ask for things from God yet do not humble ourselves daily to Him in prayer? I often get caught up in life and miss taking the time to pray and seek His face. Yet he has told us how important it is, and how much he loves to hear our prayers.
Take your time and pray…thank God for each day.
This is going to be a little bit of a different Motivational Monday post for me. I hope you will read it, take it to heart and let your kids and families know how very much you love them.
Last week a friend whom I graduated from high school with lost her young daughter in a terrible car accident. I never meet her daughter in person, but watched her grow up throughout the years in Facebook posts and pictures. Morgan was a beautiful vibrate young lady, with her Mother’s winning smile that could light up a room…even through pictures. A daughter, sister, dancer and friend to all who loved her.
An unimaginable tragedy, yes. A parent’s worst nightmare, yes. It shakes the “normal” order of life and breaks the hearts of not only those who loved her, but all of us who have kids of their own. It’s one of those things in life we will never be able to explain, ignore or wish away. A time to pray for the family and for us to turn to and to trust in God the Father.
But what would be worse would be to let her death stay just that a tragedy. Instead I will use her memory to take a look at my own life and my children. To surrender myself and everything I love to the sweet mercy of the Almighty. Am I sure my children and family know how much I love them? Do they know above all things in life they are my treasures? If not I better get it right and fast.
Morgan although I didn’t know you personally I thank you for reminding me about putting my life in perspective that the most important thing in life aren’t things. I know you rest in the kingdom of our Father and I can’t with to meet you there someday. You shall not be remembered by me for the loss but for the smiles you shared, the love you brought to your Mother and family and this important reminder to me.
So I beg each of you to take the time to step away from the things in life that consume us so much more than they should. All the “small stuff” that we sweat over. All the time that could be spent on the most important things in our lives, our kids and our families.
Psalm 46 (NIV)
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
I found this quote on-line by Tony Dungy who had also tragically lost his son back in 2005. I thought it was a perfect for today’s Motivational Monday. I hope you have a blessed week. Make sure you take time for the ones you love, especially your children.
I stumbled across this quote quite accidentally. Have you ever heard for Corrie ten Boom and her family? I had not either but I am very excited to learn more about this amazing Christian woman (and her family) who helped many Jews escape persecution by the Nazis only to end in the death of her own family members. Find out more on this Amazon link.
One of my favorite books ever is “The Purpose Driven Life” (what on earth am I here for) by Rick Warren. If you have never read it I highly suggest it. It’s a really good read weather you are a new Christian or a lifelong believer. Or if you are on the fence about God and the meaning for your life. I really don’t think it would disappoint.
Thought for the week….
Beautiful isn’t it. The fruits of the Spirit. The attributes of Jesus. But as for me, there are definitely days I feel very far from being a crisp, unblemished, flavorful “fruit”. In fact many days I feel more like a bruised, overripe, rotten banana that has been laying about to long!
I can never expect to be perfect, as Jesus was, none of us can. However I’m thinking maybe if I began each morning reflecting on these wonderful attributes, the ones that Jesus so beautifully displayed as an example to all of us, then maybe I would start to echo some of them a little more often.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if we all strived to reflect even a glimpse of the “fruits of the spirit”. Easy, no absolutely not! In fact this morning my fruit of patience was more like that rotten banana I was speaking of earlier. But maybe if we all tried just a little bit harder, put forth a little more effort and took time to reflect each day on these attributes daily. Then maybe, just maybe they will become inscribed into our hearts. Just think of what a more wonderful day (and life) it could be. Have a great week!
Proverbs 27:19 As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.
This week I am challenging myself and you to make someone else happy this week. Maybe you have been feeling a little down and out lately? But do you also have someone in your life who could use a little cheering up?
I think Mark Twain might be on to something here…