Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Changing of the Weather...

Today was 69 degrees. LOVE IT! Unfortunately, my body didn't love it. It has rained the past two days and then cold weather set in. For someone with lupus, arthritis, etc., those changes can be very hard. Although I did push on and get out on Monday and today, I have felt the extreme pain throughout my body. Lupus attacks in different areas. This time it attacked my spine and lower back. Has been difficult to walk standing up. Also living in a place with concrete floors covered by a thin carpet hasn't helped the pain. I love my place, but have to find a way to cope with the concrete. Haven't found any slippers that would work. Don't have any throw rugs. Both would probably help.

I was treated to a ride in the country outside Wilmore today. So beautiful! Winding country roads, streams, hills, trees, cows, horses, scenery that just cries out to be painted (if I had the talent to do so). One of the best memories I had of living in Wilmore during my college days was experiencing all three seasons. Fall is knocking at the door. Won't be long before the leaves change. Then winter will sprinkle snow on the ground like a fine coating of sugar sprinkled on a holiday cookie. I want to savor every moment. I want to breathe in every bit of God's beautiful creation. 

I may live in extreme pain day to day, but today I stop to remember that God is much bigger than the weak and feeble body I want to run from, to unzip and climb out of, to be free from the confines systemic lupus has put on my life. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

One room Complete

Many would have unpacked everything by now. I can't do that. Takes so much longer for me to do things because of this stupid disease. As each year passes, it robs me of more strength, more time, more abilities. I'm thankful today. I finally unpacked the boxes in my bedroom. MAJOR task! One more bedroom to go.

Decided to sign up for meds by mail since walking distances were not good for me as of yet. They arrived today. Huge bottles filled for three months. Just made me sick to look at all those meds. I knew I had to take them. I'm thankful for this service, but still would trade places with a healthy person any day. 

My dear sweet cat spent last night walking all over me again. So I slept two hours. Made for a long day today. Tired beyond tired. There is a lupus sufferer who also has a website who shares about the extreme fatigue that goes with systemic lupus. She likens it to a "Spoon Theory". Perfect analogy. Please read the link here:

Today I started with very few spoons. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Remembering Asbury College

A new friend I've made via email asked me how I ended up at Asbury College (Now Asbury University) in Wilmore (where I now reside). I wanted to save my response to her here as a reminder to myself that God does open doors and provides, that He has a purpose for every life even though we might not know what it is at the time, and that purposes change with each season of our lives. I also learned that sometimes God won't open those doors until you take a step first. This is my story.

I attended a Jr. college in Dothan my first two years on basic grant and scholarship. I also worked a night job at a sewing factory. My parents didn't have the money to send me to school. I was determined to go to college no matter what I had to do. At the end of my Sophomore year, I was devastated. Not enough money to attend college like my friends were doing. They were going off to Auburn U and AL U. I was headed back to work at night at the sewing factory. The last day of classes, a friend sat down across from me and said, "I don't know why, but God wants me to tell you about Asbury College." He was a student there and he and his wife moved back to Dothan because her parents were ill. We met at the jr. college. I asked how much it cost and after he told me, I laughed nervously telling him never mind. He said, "If you really want to go, there is always a way."

Still wanting so badly to go to college, Asbury stayed with me. I contacted the school for a chance to visit. The week of my vacation, I stayed in the dorm and attended classes. As I sat outside one of the Dean's offices, Dr. Eddy (who has long since passed away), a paper airplane flew out of his office hitting his secretary in the head. She just said, "Don't worry. He does this all of the time." Dr. Eddy was a much older man, but had the heart of a teen." I knew then I wanted to go to Asbury. I explained to him I would have to pay the entire cost myself. He said the same thing, "IF you really want to go, there is always a way."

In January, I boarded a Greyhound bus with $50 in my pocket. I had been approved for basic grants, scholarships, a loan, and work study. But at the end of the quarter, I still had 10% left to be paid. When I went into the Financial aid office, all I could think of was it would be my last quarter. The lady said, "Don't worry. Your bill is paid. You have a secret benefactor. In fact, your bill will be paid off at the end of every quarter. Just keep doing what you are doing."

God always provided the finances to Asbury. I worked my butt off to get there, stay there, and get those grades. In the end, the years at Asbury were the best years of my life. I didn't have a loving home. At Asbury I found friends who became family, some I still talk to on a daily basis by phone. I remember coming back at the beginning of each quarter after being picked up at the bus station. When I reached the Y, it felt as though we drove underneath the bubble that protected us from the world into the one place God's presence was always found. I remember tears swelling up every time I came home to Wilmore.


Rain is a PAIN!! For anyone suffering with systemic lupus, I'm sure you know how painful it is when rain sets in. My fingers have swollen so badly that I know this will be a short post. 

This morning I ventured out with Shawnee to the library in Nicholasville. When we arrived back home, I was wiped out. Sad when a disease like this can rob you of strength and life. When I awoke, the rain had already started to set in. 

Being sick also limits my ability to get out and be sociable. Makes for a lonely life. Hard to explain that to someone who hasn't been in those shoes before. Sandy understood because she was with me at the beginning of this stupid illness. I miss her so much. It has been so hard not having her stop by. It scares me to think, "what will I do if I reach the point of needing help??" 

I trust God. He brought me this far. He has always provided every step of the way for my life. He will always be there.