Monday, September 30, 2013

Irritated by Hormones

Today, I'm irritated!!

Irritated with my husband. Irritated with myself.
I'm irritated with the smallest inconveniences or mistakes that are made throughout the day!!
Sometimes I think I'm about ready to go bonkers! I know why I'm feeling this way. I just am tired of trying to deal with it!
(A little hormone humor!!)
I've been pre-menopausal for over 8 years and am currently having irregular periods and ENJOYING all the symptoms listed below!!!!

• Weight gain without any apparent reason around waist and hips,
• Headaches
• Insomnia or sleep disturbances,
• Low energy and fatigue,
• Mood swings (crying at the drop of a hat)
• Periodic depression
• Irritability,
• Inability to handle stress,
• Craving caffeine, sweets and carbohydrates,
• Very sluggish in the morning,
• Occasional Hot flashes,
• Pain in the joints or stiffness,

Hormone Imbalance In Women - Expected And Unexpected Symptoms
I've been to SO many different doctors and specialists that I am plum tired of searching for someone who has a different and effective remedy. Here's a list of what I've tried already, unsuccessfully, of course:
  • Natural hormone replacement therapy (with estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.) - I had a pharmacist at our local drugstore compound Bio-identical hormones, specifically for my needs. Took them for over a year and had very slight changes, but it was costly, so it really didn't pay off for me.
  • Drinking soy - I drink it every day, so I know it doesn't work for me.
  • Oral Contraceptives - Tried them, not helpful at all!
  • Exercise - I try to get moderate exercise 3-4 days a week, but am limited, as I have some major knee and joint issues.
  • Eat healthy foods - For the most part, I try to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and calcium-rich foods, and cut out fat I'm gonna be honest, though, I do mess up and have sugary stuff when I'm REALLY craving it, which seems to be worse, some days more than others.
  • Herbal supplements and vitamins, with Dong Quai, Black Cohosh, Calcium - Tried all of them, with very little effectiveness.
  • Get plenty of Sleep - Still an issue, but when insomnia is one of the symptoms, unless I take strong sleeping pills, this treatment is ineffective for me.
I haven't tried using prescription or synthetic hormone replacement drugs, which can be effective, but may not be totally safe. So I don't want to go that route.
  • Some doctors have suggested that I have a hysterectomy (and I actually came very close to having it done.), but I've heard there are many possible negative side-effects of having the uterus removed. I guess I feel that I've gone this long and I just need to hang in there till I get through this hormonal change. It's just taking longer than I ever anticipated.
  • Prayer!!! Which often has been highly effective. For some reason, I believe God allows me to go through these times of suffering to draw me closer to Him and pray, pray, pray!!! But on some days, when I REALLY struggle to even get out of bed,  prayer is the most difficult thing for me to do. I literally have to force myself to go to God...
And I admit, many times my prayers have been more of a pleading and begging, (and even making promises, if healed) for God to take my symptoms away.
I usually share in my post this time each week what I am grateful for....but I'm struggling to do that today!  I can't wrap my brain around what I am thankful for when I am not feeling well and just want to have a good cry. Hopefully, I'll have a list ready to post by next week. 
The joys of pregnancy hormones. #pregnancy #funny
(Just a little more dry humor, please?)
Until then, your prayers for me would be greatly appreciated....

(Of anything I can be thankful for this week, it would have to be all my blogger friends that I've gotten to know and have learned so much about here on my blog and in the blogosphere!)

Blessings to you all!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bittersweet Days- Goodbye Summer. Hello Fall.

Been feeling quite melancholy for the past week. Not sure why...except maybe the change in our weather. It's definitely taken a nosedive lately...  
Or maybe it's just that I've noticed more lately how much of a hold Satan has on so many people in the world
I'm usually a more positive person, so I am shocked at the thought that that would be something that is oppressing me.  
So, first thing today, I dove back into God's Word and prayed for encouragement.

So, I continue to give thanks... Linking over at  "Multitude on Mondays".
1,493 - For emotional dryness, as it leads me back to God!
1,494 - A heart that aches for the unsaved.
1,495 - Beautiful Autumn sunsets
1,496 - The air is much cooler outside, but the sun is shining today!!
1,497- The reflection of sunlight on my livingroom wall, as I read Scripture and am encouraged.
1,498 - God's amazing creatures that walk, crawl, and swim...this turtle, found on in our lake.
1,499 - Birds of the air...this Kingfisher, resting on our boat.
1,500 - Maybe it's just that my soul is restless for the place where I belong!! I recently was blessed to hear this song by Phil Wickham and his words described my very thoughts.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Can Joy and Pain Collide?

This past weekend, I had some extra time to think about and ponder all that I need to be grateful for. I even started a Pinterest Board on the subject of being thankful, called A Thousand Little(and Big)Things. Feel free to check it out!
I try to be thankful and live joyfully every day, for all that God blesses me with in my life, but many times I get caught up in the day's activities and miss the mark. So today I thought I would give God time in thanksgiving...

Then something tragic happened to some old high school classmates of mine that rocked my grateful world!! Their 20-year old son went missing! My heart dropped and I felt their awful pain and fear

My first thought was, "what if that would happen to my son?" (I texted my son today, just to make sure he was o.k.... and he was.)

Then, I prayed and prayed for this young man and his parents!

This is the heart-wrenching fear of every parent, no matter how old their child is!  I'm sure a million questions are running through their minds today! 
  • Where is he, Lord? Is he o.k.?
  • Why won't You bring him home to us?
  • How can You let us go through such pain and heartache? 
  • If he is o.k., why would he do this to us?
  • What are we supposed to do?
This is one of those times that being grateful, for these two parents, has to be nearly impossible. Even for me, today- my joy is hindered by the news. 

How do we find joy and gratefulness in times like this? 

Can true joy and pain collide, like a crazy roller-coaster ride- that makes you scream, but also makes you want to be sick?

Or even like a woman in labor, who suffers great pain, yet with joy and anticipation, awaits the birth of her newborn child.
Joy and pain are but two arteries of the one heart that pumps through those who don't number themselves to really living. 
Maybe it's not so much joy that I hope they find, but the midst of the chaos and heartbreak. Calming their hearts and trusting God to be with them and to help them find their son as soon as possible. 

I'm praying....praying for answers to the questions.
                   ....praying for protection for this young man.
                     ....praying for the Lord to bring peace and  
                                             comfort for these parents.  

So, today I am grateful for so many things! And yet, at the same time, I'm so very sad and my heart aches!! Will all my bloggy friends please hold them up in prayer, as well?   
Linking over at  "Multitude on Mondays".
1,479 - Even when I wasn't feeling well, finding solace in the Lord, who is my all-encompassing Healer!
1,480 - Having tea with fresh peppermint leaves, shared by a friend and neighbor.
1,481 - Some cooler weather, even though I am sad to see the warm summer nights become less and less.
1,482 - A sunny day, to sit out on my swing by the lake and read God's Word and journal.
1,483 - Having my weekly lunch with my dear friend and mentor, Marg!
1,484 - Even though I'm feeling a bit confused right now, trusting that God has a plan with the job situation that was offered to me a few weeks ago. (I thought I had made a decision, but the final decision hasn't been made, yet.)
1,485 - Finding things to be thankful for(joy) in the midst of pain.
1,486 - That they were able to find Alex's phone.
1,487 - Seeing how many friends, family, and caring people surrounded this family.
1,489 - Realizing this:
1,490 - The latest update, this friends received a text from a different cell phone, saying it was Alex, that he was o.k. and that he loved them, but that he just needed to be away from everyone for awhile.
1,491 - That my son is healthy and well!
1,492 - Love(God's love) produces all of these things in our hearts:
 #Love what is it? Pain joy weakness

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Joy of the Lord

Another lovely week has flown by
Oh, how I absolutely love summer! 
And yet, I know all too soon, that the beautiful colors and smells of autumn will be here. 
 So, I try to soak up every last minute of this season!
And I try to find joy in the little things, as well as the big.
 And give thanks, once again for so many wonderful gifts that God chooses to bring into my life! 
Linking over at  "Multitude on Mondays".
1,466 - Finding peace over a decision I made to NOT take a position that was offered to me at my work.
1,467 - Visiting a historical nature site near our home.
1,468 - Watching complete strangers getting married in the public gardens that we were visiting.
1,469 - Thinking about how far my hubby and I have come over the past several months in our relationship...
1,470 - One of the best things that has happened is having a regular prayer time together, that has continued!!
1,471 - Walking through a lush garden! 
1,472 - The beauty in the detail of a flower!
1,473 A little "friend" scurrying through the woods, took a minute to stop and say "hello". 
1,474 Enjoying my birthday with my hubby, who took the day off to be with me.
1,475 -  So many friends and family, who wished me a happy birthday! Feeling loved!
1,476 - Getting a cute homemade birthday card from my hubby...which is extremely rare and precious to me!
1,477 - A phone call from my step daughter.
 1,478 - Letting the joy of the Lord strengthen me each day! 
  • When I am weary and tired.
  • When I feel sad.
  • When I want to give up.
  • When I wrestle with hurt feelings.
  • When I become angry and resentful.
  • When I know I need to seek God...    
Praying you also find strength through the joy of the Lord!!
Also linking over to these blog hops:
Heart Reflected Blog Hop 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Why We Celebrate Birthdays

I've been reading different online posts about birthdays and I'm finding out that birthdays are celebrated (and are NOT celebrated) for several different reasons.
First, I'll address why some people DON'T celebrate birthdays:
  1.  Obviously, if someone doesn't like the thought of getting older, they might avoid birthday celebrations every approaching year. To me, this is kinda ridiculous! Why pretend like or run away from something that everyone on this earth has and will experience...aging? It's a part of life. Get over it!
  2.  Some take the religious stance that celebrating one's birthday is sac-religious, because of certain scriptures from the Bible, where there were pagan situations. (Read Here) But there is nothing in the Bible that indicates that the celebration of birthdays is wrong, in itself.

Now, I'll discuss why many people DO celebrate birthdays:
I came across this list and thought it was kinda cute.     
12 Most Meaningful Reasons to Celebrate a Birthday:

1. You still have one - It’s confirmation you have another day on this Earth to live and love.

2. Wisdom really does come with age - I am so glad that I don’t have to make again the bloopers I made in my teens, twenties or even thirties.

3. Self confidence also comes with age - Young confidence is sometimes hard to separate from arrogance. But seasoned confidence is subtler, more assured than arrogant (for most folks, anyway).

4. Accomplishments really rack up - The older you get, the more you’ve done. Take stock of your life and give yourself a huge pat on the back. You’ve done a lot!

5. You’ve figured out the shortcuts - For the things you love to do, you probably don’t even realize the depth of your mastery. But with years of practice comes true skill. For instance, I rarely use recipes to cook, I know how to soothe a baby without looking in a book for clues and the garden in front of our house is thriving with just me as its caretaker.

6. Love - Whether you’ve been with your partner a long time, or not, you’ve no doubt loved intensely at some point in your life. Aging means you’ve had more time to love and more opportunities and people to love. That’s wonderful!

7. Treats - Who said only the kids get to munch on birthday food? I treated myself to a wonderful chocolate croissant this morning for my birthday. And I didn’t feel one second of guilt.

8. Facebook - The older you get the more friends you have from different phases of your life — from grade school and on, through the different schools you’ve attended, jobs you’ve held, groups you’ve joined and cities you’ve lived in. Chances are those folks are sprinkled through your collection of Facebook(and bloggy) friends. And when birthdays roll around, many of them send messages and cheery tidings of good wishes. It’s a daylong dose of happiness from people throughout your life. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

9. You reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re going - I think this is good thing. When you’re young, you merely celebrate birthdays. After you’ve put some real miles on your tires — so to speak — you can appreciate the journey. And you don’t take things for granted, as you tend to do without that perspective.

10. Silliness - It’s a day that no one is going to mind if you sing, blow bubbles, dance or just giggle a lot. You can be kid. But you can enjoy that like a grownup.

11. Being grateful - In our younger years, we might whine when we don’t get the gift we want. Or, when something else disappoints us that seems like a big deal to our childhood selves. With maturity, we know how to put those things in perspective. We know what’s trivial and what really matters.

12. Cake - Birthday cake is still one of the very best things about birthdays, no matter how many you’ve had.

For me, celebrating birthdays reminds me that:
  1. I was fearfully and wonderfully made by my Creator!(Psalm 139:13 (NIV)"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.")
  2. I am a child of God, chosen and loved specifically by Him.(James 1:18 (NIV) "He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.")
  3. I am alive and His child and He gives me the ability to do all I am able to do every day.       (Acts 17:28 "For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.")
  4. He gives me purpose and has a plan for my life.    (Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.")
  5. Finally, I love this verse from The Message   Micah 6:8,  "But He’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously – take God seriously."                                             
Obviously, my focus on birthdays probably has you wondering if my own birthday is upon me. Well, you are correct. Not only my birthday (Sept. 9), though. August and September seems to bring a large array of birthdays in my family. My hubby's birthday is also in September(5), along with my son-in-law(Sept. 7). In August, we celebrated the birthdays of my step-daughter(Aug. 4), my son(Aug. 13), and grand daughter(Aug. 17). Needless to say we've been doing a lot of celebrating! 

I think about how different my life would be if each of these people in my life would not have been much love and joy I would have missed out on!! 
Love this song by "Point of Grace" that reminds us all that we need to live each day as a blessing and gift from God...
It's not who you knew; it's not what you did; 
"It's How You Live
Thank You Jesus, for birthdays!
Linking over to these blog hops:
The Weekend Brew @ My Freshly Brewed Life