Friday, November 16, 2018

Friday - My Favorite Weekday :-)

I am sooooooooooooo sleepy this morning.  I've actually tried to think of a place in this office where I could hide and go take a nap... but no place came to mind.  Which is actually very good; can you imagine the shame of being discovered... hiding and sleeping??  BAD.  Even worse than just being caught asleep at your desk (though I don't plan to do that, either).  If someone found another person asleep with their head on their desk, I imagine anyone's first response would be to make sure they were okay.  Because everyone here is professional and respectable... on different levels... but there's no one I would EXPECT to find snoozing and drooling on their desk.  My first reaction would be one of concern.

Image result for clip art sleeping at work

But finding someone balled up in the corner of some dark file room... there's no respect to be had for that.  Nope.

Image result for clip art hiding to nap at work

So I'm pushing through.  My Fitbit buzzes, urging me to walk at least 250 steps each hour, so that's one help.  Also, I have acquired a large cup of delicious Community Coffee... another plus.  I think I'll make it.  Might have to incorporate a few sets of burpees or situps.  Not planks, though... I can see myself dozing off while planking.  hahaha

These days, I am reading a book by Gabourey Sidibe.  She played Precious, played in some of American Horror Story, plus plenty other stuff; those are just the roles with which I am familiar. 
Related image  I like the way she writes; like a journal, or like she is just talking to you as a friend.  It's made me want to write more, and to write more in that same way.  So that's from whence come these blog posts of late.  Just me chillin, sharing my thoughts.

Part of the reason I'm tired is that I got up extra-early this morning to go for fasting bloodwork.  Because, fasting... I figure I'll get that done early in the morning to save myself from too much hunger while awake.  I did good; didn't even have coffee at home this morning... then I took my handful (small handful) of morning meds.  Rats.  I wasn't sure if that would affect the bloodwork.  I did call the dr's office with the lab where I was going to have blood drawn.  Funny thing... the lab begins seeing patients for bloodwork at 6:45 a.m.  But the phones to the building as a whole are not active until 8 a.m.  So I said screw it and went and got a Smoothie.  $5 Friday, after all.  *grin*

OK, that's enough for now.  Have a great Friday!

Nicole

Thursday, November 15, 2018

HELP; I'VE FALLEN AND NOBODY CAN TELL ME WHY!

Here is part of a rant I started earlier, for which I lost the steam before I was able to finish.  I was leading up to the fact that I am dizzy a LOT lately but am frustrated with going to and paying for doctor visits because I never get ANSWERS!  It is reeeeeeally frustrating.  So, might as well put to use these words I cranked out earlier.  Who knows; maybe someone will relate and not feel so alone in their struggle.  THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!!  hahaha...

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I am so tired of paying doctors and never being given a diagnosis.  Copay after copay, referral after referral to specialist after specialist... and, every time, coming away with basically nothing more than a, "Rie doan no, Raggy!"

Image result for scooby doo and shaggy

It's frustrating.  And discouraging.

So, months ago, I had severe pain in my shoulder and down my arm.  Went to the doctor.  He named a few things it could have been and sent me to have an MRI of my neck.  MRI showed nothing outstanding.  The doctor had thought I probably had something wrong with a disk in my neck and would likely need surgery.  Nope.  Disks are fine, fine.  Though he said I do have a bunch of small holes in my vertebrae.  (What???  Okay, THAT's nothing to worry about!!)

Then I fell while running and had pain in my knee.  Went to the doctor who looked at it and said it was nothing major and that I could just wait it out.  But the pain persisted and then I noticed a bone in my lower leg poking out like a... poking out bone... so I asked the doctor about that and he referred me to the Bone and Joint Clinic.  They x-rayed my leg and saw nothing.  So they sent me on my way to a local hospital on another day for an MRI on my leg.  Went BACK to the Bone & Joint clinic AGAIN so the dr there could look at the MRI and tell me he  saw a mild strain to the end of my IT band.  I was instructed to take it easy for awhile, to go to physical therapy, then to come back in like 6 weeks.

My insurance costs a $35 copay to see my primary physician and $50 for each time I see a specialist.  So let's recap... for my knee... $35 to see my regular dr... $50 to the Bone & Joint Clinic... $50 to radiology at the BR General... $50 to see the Bone & Joint doctor AGAIN... which comes to a pretty $185.  THEN he wanted me to pay a copay 2-3 times a WEEK for physical therapy... THEN to pay ANOTHER $50 to come back to have him look at the same leg with his same eyes and tell me... what?

Nope.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

WAITING FOR YOUR CHANGE OF HEART

Mic 6:8

"No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God."

I read this verse this morning.  I have heard it before; its words are familiar.  Today, I was struck with curiosity; I wanted examples of those things God requires of me.  So I set out in the landscape of Google to find practical examples of HOW... to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.

The following is what I found:

"The answer to Israel’s sin problem was not more numerous or more painful sacrifices. The answer was something much deeper than any religious observance: they needed a change of heart. Without the heart, Israel’s conformity to the Law was nothing more than hypocrisy. " 
--->  https://www.gotquestions.org/do-justly-love-mercy-walk-humbly.html

(The following is from <https://thelife.com/to-act-justly> )

"Acting justly requires action, not mere talk. Speaking about injustice...  may make me appear caring, but words do nothing to ease the pain of those suffering. Biblical justice is never divorced from acts of love and mercy."


"Facing insults without retaliating; forgiving for the umpteenth time; graciously bearing the consequences of someone else’s sin; reaching out to the lonely, neglected or addicted without expecting anything in return. This is what loving mercy looks like."


WALK HUMBLY WITH GOD

"God created all people in His image (Genesis 1:27). Intelligence, beauty, and physical ability all come from Him. So, no person is worth more than another person. I walk humbly with God by valuing each life and respecting all people."



"As well, God entrusted the care of the earth to people (Genesis 1:28). Seeing ourselves as stewards — not owners — keeps us from exploiting the world for our profit. Protecting earth’s beauty and carefully managing its resources are ways to walk humbly with God."


"As I recognize how much God has shown mercy to me, humility empowers me to act justly toward others even when they don’t treat me the same way."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Lord, I desperately need that change of heart mentioned above.  Please change my heart.  When I feel slighted, please still within me the fire to get back.  I really have a problem with passive aggression.  Please snuff that out and change my heart.  I am made in Your image; I hope people will see You when they observe my life.  I know I will never be perfect... but I'm asking You just to help me get BETTER.  One day at a time, and each day can be better, with Your help.

I love you and I thank you for doing what is right, showing endless mercy and walking PATIENTLY with me.  Please change my heart.  Please forgive my wrongs, and make me more like You.  Thank you so much.  AMEN!

--Nicole






Saturday, October 27, 2018

Happy, Relaxed, and Possibly About to Go Back to Bed... LOL

Image result for imperfect happy home

Good morning.  😃  Yes, I'm up at 6:45 on this lovely Saturday.   Man, when I got up and looked at the thermostat, it was 66 degrees in here!  Enter HEATER, stage RIGHT.  I love this time of year, when it's starting to get a little bit colder.

I have a thousand thoughts all battling to the forefront of my mind, trying to work their ways down to my fingertips.  I am in our spare bedroom; what we call the "quiet room."  It's a place for either of us (mostly me) to get away and have a little quiet time.  I sit in here every morning, in this moderately comfortable papasan chair, usually with Hippie snuggled in on my left side, laptop on my lap, coffee on the small bedside table to my right.  I feel so indulgent to have this room.  It's not fancy; in fact, I told Lena I would work on cleaning it up today.  But it's EXTRA.  It's more than enough.  We are so blessed.

Let me tell you about my feelings toward Lena.  I love that woman so, so much... all in all and completely.  Before, in relationships, I honestly found myself thinking below the surface, "When I get out of this one day, I want to...".  But not with Lena.  Sure, we have disagreements at times.  But there is a strong and abiding love between us.  I don't think of her as something disposable or replaceable; she is a PART of me.  And, for better or worse, she is a major factor in my life; a part of every day I live.

It's like, "This is my arm.  It has a few freckles on it.  This is my right leg; see those scars where I had those bumps removed?  And this is my Lena..  She has her own distinctive features, just like parts of my body.  Identifying marks, you might say.  Ways I identify her as mine.  She is a part of me, just like an ear or an arm or a mark on my skin.  I love her and truly cannot fathom being without her.

That's all for now.  I potentially have a lot to do today... conversely, I potentially have a lot of relaxing to do today.  We'll see how it goes.  Later on, Lena and I are going downtown to the Halloween parade.  I drove the parade route yesterday, scouting for a spot I could park my truck and watch the parade from the tailgate.  Not too many places one can do that in downtown But that would definitely be sweet.

Hasta la vista, mis amigos!  Que tengas un buen sábado!  Love you guys.

Love from all the people of my imperfect, happy home.  😁

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

NOW is the Time



Hosea 10:12
"I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love.
Plow up the hard ground of your hearts,
for now is the time to seek the LORD,
that he may come
and shower righteousness upon you.’"

I read this the other day and, ever since then, I've felt a constant pull to spend time praying or, moreso, to spend time LISTENING.

So I finally did.  Here is what I heard:

ARMS WIDE OPEN

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Yes, it's an awesome Creed song... but it also describes God's constant, unchanging stance toward people.  ALL people. God loves us all so, so much. So here's my little story to go along with that.

Image result for open arms radiating loveSince I was in elementary school, I had a friend named Amber Pike.  I mean since I was really little. My mom and her mom were friends at church.  I remember us kids riding around in the backseat of her mom's car.  (that's what it looks like in my memory from that long ago... hehe... who knows...)

Her mom played music SO LOUD!! and I couldn't understand why.  I remember feeling the music thump through my back and through my whole, tiny body!  Looking back, it's probably because the lady was in her early 20's at the time and that's how people in their early 20's tend to listen to music in the car.  *grin* Image result for cartoon Young girl driving blue car I also remember just staring at Amber's mom in the rearview mirror because I thought she was very, very pretty.  Well I mean... she was!  I was embarrassed when she'd look up and see me... but I did keep taking peeks every now and then.  Ahh, memories... LOL

Fast forward to 10th grade for me in high school.  My family had been out of church for a long time and my mom decided it was time for us to go back.  I hated it at first; I was very resistant and also scared down to my socks when I had to go to the church's very large youth group.   
Related image But suddenly there was Amber!  It was like no time had passed between us.  Not that we had been CLOSE friends; but she was someone I knew; someone I remembered.  And she stuck right with me, helped me feel comfortable in this new setting, this new group of teenagers in whom I knew NO ONE but her.We weren't "best" friends, but we were GOOD friends.  We went to each other's houses, hung out, stuff like that. Those were good times in my life.

I don't remember every detail after my head-on collision, traumatic brain injury, coma, paralyzed on the right side of my body for a time, experience in October of my senior year of high school.  I know Amber was there; she's in pictures my mom took from when I was in the hospital and when I was recovering.

This is a real photo from that time in my life... my parents "borrowed" me out of the inpatient rehabilitation hospital so I could have a get-together with my friends at home... then I had to go back.  At least, I think that's when this was. L to R, that's me, JoAnna, Amber and Gabrielle. I miss my high school and youth group friends!

My memories after the accident are more of a slide show of still shots; not many movie scenes in motion.  So I don't remember much about the end of high school or how things changed between my friends and myself; you know, people finish high school and go their separate ways... I don't remember much about that.

I went to college at Southeastern where I faced my first "assault" (what my spiritual-vocabulary-laden self called it at the time) of strong attraction to a female... and my emotional life was that of a fish on the carpet, panting and wondering what it did wrong to have ended up out of the bowl... for the next, oh, 6 or 7 years.  

Fast forward more.  I was in my late 20's and had moved to Dallas, TX.  My mom called me.

Amber had been killed in a car accident with a drunk driver.  All the hopes and dreams, her writing talent, her forever crush on Steven Curtis Chapman... all the things that made her HER... gone.  In one moment.

I learned that Amber had a little boy from a relationship with some loser who left, and then had married a better man and had a second little boy.  

Her spirit lives on; I truly believe that- but she is physically gone.

My friend from childhood, who stood by me as I recovered from an automobile accident that had nearly taken my life, had now suffered her own and did not survive.  Her family was and, I'm certain, still is torn and bleeding from her loss. Two young guys, I think young teenagers by now, never got to know their mom.

So back to God's arms wide open.  I was thinking of Amber today and was struck with a strong sense of how delighted God must be to have her right there with Him.  He can hold her, hug her, smile into her eyes, and protect her from every bad thing that exists... because of this (keep reading)-

I saw, in my mind, God's wide-open arms, and from the center of those arms, from His heart, radiated a love so strong, so pure, so impenetrable... that it cannot be blocked or tainted.  Nothing can keep a person out of that love and nothing harmful can come inside it.

That is God's love for Amber.  

God's love is also the same for you, for me, for every soul God ever created.  Think on that for a moment.

Image result for God's love

Remember the verse from Hosea at the beginning of this blog entry.  Now is the time to seek the Lord. NOW... not later, not tomorrow, but right now.

I sought the Lord this morning, and look what I came away with!  I implore you to do the same. Nothing fancy is required; just be still for a moment and listen with your spiritual ears.

If listening for God's voice is not something you've done a lot of, I will tell you it takes practice.  Tell God you are there, listening. You will learn how to hear inside your spirit, become familiar with God's voice, and become familiar with the great feeling of peace that accompanies that voice.  

Seek the Lord now, because He has good things to give you!

Selah,
Nicole

Saturday, September 15, 2018

I miss y'all!!

Hello hello... it's been awhile.  Lots of thoughts crashing through my head.

For one thing, I certainly did not intend to get up this early on a Saturday.  But Luna was whimpering by my side of the bed... which translates to, "Mommmm.... I gotta PEE!!"  So I got up and am still up.

I just reserved a place at Red Stick CrossFit's 8 a.m. Saturday rowing class.  Since I'm up... and since I do so love to burn calories.  It's pretty easy; you just... row.  Like, last time I did it, it was 7 minutes steady, 1 min rest, rinse and repeat, pretty much.  Except last time I didn't get a rower; I got a stationery bike.  Which was fine.... but today I've signed up in time to get a REAL ROWER, woo hoo!!

And, after that, Stevie Nicks needs her oil changed and her tires rotated so I will be headed that way... then maybe to sit and absorb life in a coffee shop of some sort.  Or maybe to crochet.  That's my "thing" these days.  I am fascinated with scarves and shawls, ever since my Stevie Nicks tour of NOLA hahaha.... you can see pics of that on Instagram; I am myblueart75.

OK, gotta get dressed and get some food in me.  I need to blog more.  I enjoy blogging.  I will have to put more effort into that.

I love my friends and my family, and especially God, who is my STRENGTH no matter what!

Perhaps I shall write more later.  Have great Saturdays, everybody!!

xo
Nicole

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Simply Encouragement

Image result for life as a reward

When I read this short chapter in Jeremiah just now, I felt a surge of hope, encouragement, and an anticipation of good things to come!  So I wanted to share it with you guys.  No commentary and, beyond this paragraph, none of my own words.  I just want to show you the framework of these words and let you fill in whatever you get out of it, yourself!  Love to you all - here goes:

Jeremiah 45:1-5 NLT - 

"1 The prophet Jeremiah gave a message to Baruch son of Neriah in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, after Baruch had written down everything Jeremiah had dictated to him. He said, 

2 "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch: 

3 You have said, 'I am overwhelmed with trouble! Haven't I had enough pain already? And now the LORD has added more! I am worn out from sighing and can find no rest.' 

4 "Baruch, this is what the LORD says: 'I will destroy this nation that I built. I will uproot what I planted. 

5 Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don't do it! I will bring great disaster upon all these people; but I will give you your life as a reward wherever you go. I, the LORD, have spoken!'""

Friday - My Favorite Weekday :-)

I am sooooooooooooo sleepy this morning.  I've actually tried to think of a place in this office where I could hide and go take a nap......