We have been going thru a LOT of dark days and nights lately. And I have written about them - being true to my word in the beginning of this blog and website, to share good and to share bad, to just be real.
So many times we get a picture in our heads that Christians have no problems, they have no trials. That when we give our hearts and lives to Jesus, then all things are well from that point on.
Nothing could be farther from the truth!!!
*Abraham committed his heart and life to God - God asked him to arise and go forth, to where? Just arise and go!
*Moses committed his heart and life to God - and God allowed him to wander in the desert for 40 years!
*Daniel made a stand for God, and he was thrown into the lion's den.
*The 3 Hebrew men stood faithful for God and was thrown into the fire.
*Peter knew hardships thru his life and ministry - and was hung upside down on a cross - because He trusted in the Lord.
*Paul suffered many hardships because of his salvation experience on the road to Damascus.
*Even Jesus said - "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 (emphasis is mine)
We have been in the darkness of trials and troubles for what seems so long now ... and they continue.
But even in those darkest of nights or days - there are blessings and good times. Joy and laughter and love. Peace that passes all understanding.
I don't know what God is going to do ... but I believe that for whatever reason all this trouble is about - God is still God, and He is still in control of our lives. Good days ... bad days. Nothing changes God.
He is the same yesterday, today and forever! And that has become my greatest blessing in all of this - just to hold to that promise. God never changes. God never changes. GOD never changes. God NEVER changes.
Rick has now done 2 sessions of physical therapy. He has not been thoroughly impressed! It is difficult after all this time of doing much of nothing to do 2 hours of physical therapy every other day. But he has done it. Pressing on.
Rick's physical therapist told us that he was pushing for an overall quality of life in these 12 sessions. That the shoulder is now between God and time for the healing.
He doesn't think there is any chance of Rick passing the functionality test - he predicts that Rick will have a high percentage rating of disability.
And then??? We see Dr Devinney and find out what his determinations are ... and where we go from there ...
Insomnia is kicking my butt once again ... I slept for a couple of hours after going to bed, but then woke up -- and now AWAKE. Well, for all practical purposes. I know me, and there isn't a "going back to bed" ... sigh. So - good morning ... looking for the coffee!!!!!
Y'all have a good day. Love you all!
Just a question -- been thinking a lot this morning (i know, dangerous! lol) ...
Why is it when you say how blessed you are, and how thankful you are for those blessings that people assume you have no problems?
But then, if you share your trials and troubles (Biblically), then many of those same people assume you have no blessings, or that you just don't know how to be thankful?
I know that it must seem I am complaining a LOT lately about all that we are going thru and dealing with. But honestly, I don't mean to whine and complain. We have good days and bad. We also have good moments in the bad days, and bad moments in the good days. It is all so much just LIFE.
I read in the Word that we are to share one another's burdens, that we are to pray for one another. But how can we share if we don't talk about the burdens? And how are we to pray for one another is we don't know there is a need for prayer?
And when the few want to know "details" - we are very selective in those that we share every detail. Most never know. There are some details that only God, Rick and I know.
Am I wrong? How much do I share? How many times do I ask for prayer or for counsel?
Sometimes I really wish that God had skin on - so that i could sit and talk with Him, know what is right and wrong to Him. KWIM?
A few details - don't read past here if you don't want to know. But I did say in the beginning of this blog that I would share ... sigh. So, right? Or wrong? I don't know any more ... but here goes --
*We have no credit cards. We decided a long time ago not to live on them. We had a couple many years ago and it seemed to take forever to get a small balance paid off. After much thought, talk, counsel, and prayer - Rick made the decision to have NO credit cards. Which although I support him in this, in this world that we live in which is based so much on having a credit card, it does get hard to do things sometimes without one.
*We have no savings. Whatever savings we had - we used them in those 8 months after Tasker Products went under. October 2008. Rick was unemployed and we had lost everything in literally a moment. Tasker was in business at 11:55 p.m. on September 30, 2008 ... and at 12:01 a.m. on October 1, 2008 - they filed bankruptcy. We lost not only a paycheck, insurance, housing, car, savings - we lost everything that we had saved over the course of the next 8 months. Rick put in over 1000 applications, he worked part time here and there as was allowed. We survived those months, but we came out with nothing financially left over.
*In the 2 years that he worked for Ballard Drivers driving a milk truck, we were so far behind on everything due to those 8 months after Tasker, that we struggled paycheck to paycheck. We paid off some debts. We paid off our truck and our car. We had started a small savings again. Thinking that we would be able to put more and more into savings as the job went along. Little did we know that a work injury, cancer, and dialysis would hit us before we had a strong foundation built.
*In these last 16 months, we have used what little savings we had been able to accumulate.
*Thankfully we have no major debt at this point in our life. Our greatest needs are the day-to-day living expenses. <Fuel for the truck to get us back and forth to the doctors, the hospitals, the dialysis centers, even just going to the grocery store or church. <Groceries to eat. Not money for going out to eat. Just groceries to cook and to eat at the house. Rick is supposed to eat 4 times the amount of protein as normal. And yes, we eat beans, and the alternate sources of protein other than just meat. But I also have to balance certain foods for him because of his gout - which he cannot take gout medication as a dialysis patient (remember, it was the gout medication that caused the most damage to his kidneys in the first place). <Medications - thankfully most of mine are on the $4 list at Wal-mart. And Rick has prescription insurance thru work - however, it is the worst prescription insurance that we have ever had to deal with. The co-pays are so HIGH! But because of the prescription insurance, I cannot find anyone that will help us afford the medications that are needed for his life and his health. But we cannot drop the insurance either - because of Rick's shoulder injury. So we find ourselves trapped between a rock and a hard place.
*Thankfully, Ballard Driver's had Occupational Accidental Insurance, and so Rick is getting a paycheck every 2 weeks. Yes, it is only 40% of his regular salary - but at least it is coming in regularly.
However, it has gotten to the point - because we have used everything that we had been able to save back - that I am now juggling seriously. More so than I have ever done in our marriage. One paycheck I can buy fuel and a few groceries, but no medications. The next paycheck I buy a few groceries and medications, but no fuel.
*The reason we are going out to Joshua and Dessie's so often is not just to "visit". It is because they are able to help us more if we are there than if we stay in Sulphur Springs.
Yes, we are there to help with the grandkids some, so that Dessie can do more - knowing that we are there for the grandkids when they get off the bus. But, we are also there because we need help as well.
*Yes, we have the old homeplace house with no payments due, except to pay the utility bills. Thank God! I cannot imagine trying to make rent payments or a house payment in all of this!
However, now that the weather is turning cooler, not sure how much we will be able to stay there. Our main source of heat is the wood stove and fireplace. Rick is no longer able to go out and cut wood, nor bring it into the house. During the day, he can build fires if he uses the smaller cut wood. But at night? He is hooked up to the cycler, via plastic tubing. He cannot handle the wood at night - for one, he cannot reach the wood stove and fireplace from where the cycler has to sit, and for another, he doesn't need to get that close to a hot fire with the plastic tubing. We do have 2 electric heaters (thank you Robert and Sandy!) - which we keep one in the bedroom and one in the middle of the house. But as open as that old house is, we have to run them on HIGH just to have the temp be around 60* on a cold night.
*We have to be very careful with Rick, not allowing him to get too hot in the summer, nor too cold in the winter. We have to wear masks if we are around those that have colds or flu. One of the bad things about being on dialysis is trying to stay healthy! It is hard enough to stay healthy and well if you aren't on dialysis - but goodness! The immune system is already compromised on dialysis, so we have to be extra careful!
This is one of the main reasons for him to eat so much protein. He gets so tired of protein. He gets frustrated with me for reminding him to eat protein. But the protein helps to build the immune system. And the dialysis removes so much of the protein from his system. Sigh.
I have called, texted, emailed, written, applied - for any possible program that would help us. If you know of a program, PLEASE let me know. I will be able to tell you whether I have already contacted them or not. Perhaps someone that reads this knows of some program that can and will help.
We have been told by more than one social worker that we "fall thru the cracks" of our healthcare system. Which is difficult to hear anytime, and especially when you are sitting here with so many needs!!!
I realize that we are not the only ones dealing with these issues. And I also realize that there are those that are dealing with even worse issues than what we are.
This particular picture says a LIFE that we are learning to live. God is what we have. God is what we need.
Several years ago I thought we had needs - and I was praying one morning. God asked me what I needed before I went to bed that night. What did we need that I wouldn't be able to go to bed without. I couldn't think of one thing that we needed THAT DAY. So, God spoke to me - one day at a time. Just this day. Give us THIS day our DAILY bread. That was a hard lesson to learn back then. Course, I thought I had learned it so well ...
Until all this happens. And God speaks this word to me every day now.
Rick and I are struggling to learn this lesson. To trust Him completely - no matter whether it is a good day or a bad day. As warriors tho, we are but children, and as children, we are so tired and weary.
If you have gotten to here in reading this - thank you. And please, add us to your prayer lists. Remember us. We are blessed ... we are thankful ... but we are in need, too.
October ended with us going to see Dr Devinney (Rick's ortho doc with his shoulder) ... Dr wants Rick to have 4 weeks of "work conditioning therapy". IF the injury insurance will pay for it. We wait to see - should hear back today.
And we went to MD Anderson for me to have a check up with Dr. Frumovitz ... Dr said that I was looking good. He has changed the schedule from seeing me every 3 months, to now seeing me every 4 months. He ordered chest x-rays, heard back yesterday - all clear! Praise the Lord!!!
In coming to Houston for MD Anderson - we were once again welcomed into Mike and Nina's home. Due to vacation time, and a scheduled trip out of town ... we are staying at their house this week -- playing with the dogs and watching the house.
The trees had started turning colors when we left Sulphur Springs last week - so we were blessed to see colors on the way to Houston.
It has rained several days while here. The hardest rain was the morning of my appointment at MD Anderson. It was rained so hard that it was hard to see the car in front of us. Took all that Rick and I had to watch all the traffic during rush hour. But thankfully, we made it fine to MDA and back. No problems.
The weather is near perfect - 50's at night, and low 70's during the day. With the cool fronts moving thru, the humidity is lower than normal here. Which is GOOD! lol
Not sure what day we are leaving Houston. We will have to go back to SS - because I forgot Rick's EPO shots. But on the good side - his nurse from the Dialysis center called the end of last week and said that his blood count has gone from in the 7's and 8's to 11.3!!! So now he only takes one EPO shot a week for maintenance, instead of having to take 2 a week! Praise God!!!
Guess i had better get off here and look for something to fix for lunch ...
God bless you and yours!
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here