One Two Three BREATHE….

I decided to revive (thus the CPR title) a blog hop that I have abandoned this summer. I haven’t participated since July 11th. But today I’m getting back on track with Multitude Monday based on Ann Voskamp’s book 1000 Gifts (which I haven’t gotten yet). So, on July 11th I ended with number 68. So I will begin with #69 today.

69 – Pain medicine – As someone with Fibromyalgia pain medicine is my best friend. I’ve tried them all. Right now I’m on Nucynta, which appears to be working for my over all pain. It’s not so great for my headaches. But that’s another blog post completely.

70 – My church – Even though I don’t get to go all the time I do so love it. Is it perfect? No – is yours? But there are people who truly care about me. I went for the first time in a long time this morning. Granted I had to leave early due to a panic attack but I hope to never take my church for granted. Our staff is wonderful. Our pastor is awesome. Our worship is the best. It ministers to my spirit. The Donelson Fellowship, I love you!

71 – Changing of the seasons – We used to live in Central Florida where winter lasts about 2 weeks. The rest of the year it is summer. But I have to say I really enjoy living somewhere that experiences the changing seasons. I love the cool weather that comes dancing in on the wind after the long humid days of summer. And then I love the warm weather that sneaks up on us after the long bitter winter. My Fibro doesn’t like it so much but it’ll get over it.

72 – My friends – I have some terrific friends. I truly do! I have friends from the past who I stay in contact with thanks to the internet. I have friends who check on me thanks to texting. I have amazing neighbors who are like family to me. I hope that occasionally I am able to be as good a friend to them as they are to me. I spend most days thinking I let them down but they assure me that I don’t.

If you have things you are thankful for in your life then you can participate in Multitudes on Monday as well. Follow the link and join us.

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There Is Good Amongst The Bad

I am getting back on the thankfulness path today with my Multitude Monday post for 1000 Gifts. I’ve taken a couple of weeks off. But there is just too much to be thankful for NOT to share. I suspect you have much to be thankful for as well. I enjoy putting these posts together. When I’m having a bad day I can go back and look over them and they remind me that I really don’t have it as bad as I thought. It gives my brain a 180 degree turn. Does that sound like something you need as well? Do you find yourself seeing the negatives in your life? Try joining us on Ann Voscamp’s blog, A Holy Experience.

My last Multitude Monday post was on June 6. Today I will pick up where I left off there – with #57.

57 – Books! I love to read! It’s such a great distraction to make me refocus. I’ve set a goal for 2011 to read 30 books. I am currently on book #17. So I figure I’m right on schedule. I keep a running list of what I have read, am reading and recommend you read on the page On My Nightstand on my blog if you are interested in checking out some new reads for yourself.

58 – Lauren is home! She has been gone for two weeks to a camping experience she will never forget at JH Ranch. I missed her terribly. I am so glad she is home.

59 – The spiritual growth Lauren experienced. I believe this will affect her relationships here at home as well as her relationship with God.

60 – Truth and Peace starts this week. Truth and Peace is a leadership conference for teenagers of our denomination, Free Will Baptist. Michael has participated the last 2 summers. This will be his 3rd year. He has developed in to quite the leader. I participated in T & P when it began in 1984. I am proud that my son is following in my footsteps.

61 – The power of prayer – I have a friend who is going through a very difficult time in her marriage right now. I feel helpless. I have no idea how to help her in any way. But I know that I can pray for her. I know that God hears my prayers and that He answers them. Prayer is like sitting down on the couch next to God and just chatting with him. Sometimes I don’t even know what to say. Thankfully during those times he can read my heart.

62 – My husband’s job. The summer is always so busy and he is always on the go from state to state. I do have a hard time when he is gone. However, I am so thankful that he has a job that he loves where he can make a difference in the world. His job allows us to live in a one income home. So at a time when so many are struggling in their job and their finances I know how blessed we are.

I will focus on these items today and carry on knowing that there is some good amongst the bad – always!

A Multitude of Blessings

This is week three of my participation in Multitudes Monday. My goal is to reach 1000 things that I am thankful for. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna share them all this month. So far, I have shared 20 total. I seem to be sharing 10 each Monday. But from what I understand there isn’t a set number that you must share. I also haven’t gotten Ann VosKamp’s book yet – which I certainly want to do as I have heard how life changing it has been in so many people’s lives. We all need some lifechanging moments in our lives. Ok – on with my week for this week. Share yours too! It stretches you!

21. This may sound really odd for someone like me to say. But I am thankful for my health. I’m not so much thankful for the poor health that I deal with every day. I mean that I am thankful that the things that are wrong with me are not fatal or deadly. I have irritation of fatigue and pain but, even when I think I would like to die to get out of it’s grip, I know I won’t. I will be around for my family for a long time.

22. The joy and happiness I hear coming from upstairs where my children are playing XBox together – NOT arguing. They are laughing together and getting along. It is music to my ears.

23. I am grateful that Ron celebrated another birthday this past week. Ok, I admit it gives me pleasure a month and 2 days after MY birthday he catches up with me. But mostly I am thankful that he is still around. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without him. I used to seriously waste precious time worrying about something bad happening to him. But now I focus on just being thankful instead of worrying. A grateful heart accomplishes something. Worrying does not!

24. I had a good enough day today to cook Ron’s birthday dinner. His favorite meal is a Japanese meal that is a LOT of work. It wiped me out but I made it through. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. And even if they didn’t they wouldn’t dare tell me otherwise!

25. I’m grateful for a good doctor who is willing to try whatever he thinks might help me with managing my pain. He has gone to bat for me with my insurance company and in less than 2 weeks I will be getting botox injections for my headaches. A good doctor is hard to find. One you get along with is even harder to find. But one who will fight for you is priceless.

26. I was featured on the 3 in 30 site as their featured participant for the week. I’m so thrilled. 3 in 30 has really changed me. I have hopes of bigger changes ahead because of it. If you need motivation in setting goals for yourself and then accountability in keeping you focused then 3 in 30 is your answer. This is an honor for me. The encouragement is just what I need to keep me focused.

27. I have been invited to go upstairs and join the fun with my family. So this week’s list gets cut short. My family is calling. That makes me blessed indeed!

Lists and Blessings

Since I was completely out of it for the last two days I thought I would combine my Multitudes on Monday (One Thousand Gifts) list with my Top Ten Tuesday entry from yesterday. So here are 10 things that I am thankful for this week!

11. Ambien! After being without it for 2 nights in a row I realize how much it truly helps me.

12. The visit with my parents this weekend. They came down for Mother’s Day weekend. We didn’t get to do everything I had on the list to do. But it was so wonderful to be with my mom for the first time in 17 years on Mother’s Day.

13. My dad’s healing. After 18 months of unsurety if he was gonna live or die I will be forever grateful for the Lord’s healing touch on his body. Cancer doesn’t always win. Sometimes Cancer Is A Loser! In my dad’s case cancer is a loser.

14. My new mother’s day gift – an HD Digital Camera. It is amazing and the pictures are incredible. It’s gonna add so much to our computer collection of family pictures!

15. The success my children are having in school. After the school roller coaster we have been on for the last 12 years we are so thankful that they are finishing up at a school that is improving every day. Lauren received an award this past week for getting the highest grade in one of her classes. The story of why we are thankful for that is a long one. So let’s just suffice it to say we were not expecting it and it was a wonderful surprise.

16. This blog! I have a lot of themes that I write about. I don’t always focus on the same thing. I enjoy the variety. I enjoy hearing from my readers. God has blessed me by giving me a sounding board and new friends to discuss matters with.

17. The glory of spring! I got new flowers over the weekend. They are so beautiful. The brilliant sunshine this week has brought out their color so perfectly. Warm weather is a wonderful blessing after such a cold and snowy winter.

18. The financial provision God has blessed us with for the kids’ to have such a full and exciting summer. The summers in our house have never been days when the kids have had a chance to sit around and complain about being bored. We have made sure that the summer activities they have done have been events where their lives have been enriched spiritually. God has provided for all of that. We are excited about summer around here.

19. The laughter of my children. We don’t always hear it every day but it is such a blessing when we do.

20. How special Ron and the kids made Mother’s Day for me. It was a day full of family and blessings. God is good!

Why I Love My Fibromyalgia

You know! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my Fibro. I think my Tweeps are to thank for that. I was thinking today that I should come up with a list of reasons that I LOVE my Fibro. You read that right – reasons I LOVE it! I’m not sure how long the list will be. But nonetheless it will help me to focus on something besides the pain for the period of time I am writing this. And then thinking through and making a list would help to put my mind in a different direction realizing that there are things to be thankful for even in this area of my life. Now, I write off the fly – just off the top of my head. I don’t make notes. I don’t “mind map” like Ron thinks I should. (heeheehee) I don’t make rough drafts. I write and post – that’s that! Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m gonna write about till I sit down here and click in the Add New Post box and put my fingers on the keyboard. Ron doesn’t understand it at all. But then he’s a publisher with a million editors who make people rewrite something 100 times. So, here we go, noteless, editorless and draftless. (In case you wonder why I went off on that tangent, it was because I’m trying to come up with actual reasons to put in this post – as is this sentence as well…)

Ok enough with the stalling. Reasons I love my Fibro:

1. It helps me to focus on the good times. If you have Fibro then you know that the good times are few and far between sometimes. Yes, I may get upset, feel guilty and angry that I’m not able to do the things my mind wants to do but when I have a good day I sure make the most of it. Like yesterday I had a very nice FULL day like a normal person! I rarely make it to church these days. But yesterday I made it both times. I soaked up every second. I didn’t squander the time away. I was grateful to be in church with my family and friends. It was the perfect Sunday. The joy of that day will carry me through for a while now. I don’t take those days for granted. I’m thankful that the bad days help me focus on the good days even more.

2. It forces me to look “up”. I am a Christian. I am not a perfect Christian but who is? When I am laying in bed trying not to move so as not to exacerbate the pain even more the only thing I can move (minus the Fibro Fog days) is my mind. When I’m having a great day and am out and about it is sometimes hard for me to remember to stop and pray and thank God for it. But when I am flat on my back the only place to look is up. I find myself praying more. I may not always get to read my Bible because of my headaches. But my prayer life improves, I can tell you that.

3. It helps me to be more sympathetic to those around me who are hurting. I am more aware of them. I feel like I’m more intuned to them and their pain – rather emotional or physical. It would be easy for me to focus only on myself. I could focus only on how miserable I am on the bad days or on how great I am doing on the good days. I don’t know if I always show it to them. I should think about that. But I know it makes me more sensitive to their losses and struggles.

So there are reasons to be thankful for my Fibromyalgia. There are also reasons for all of us to be thankful for struggles we face. The key is to focus less on self and more on how you can change that bad to something good. Please don’t think though that I am one of those people who always see the positive. If you read my first paragraph you know that it took some thinking for me to focus on what things I have to be thankful for. I will say it is good for the frame of mind to occasionally think outside of the pain. It’s good to occasional think of how our lot in life is making us better instead of worse.

What are you thankful for?