For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Be Still and Know...

...that I am God.--Psalm 46:10

The whole verse says this:

"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

Being still is not my forte. In fact, it isn't on my list of "sort of good at". However, God is clear. Be still and know that I am God...and watch what I do.

I will be exalted...

Exalted. Placed above.

When we were doing the house remodel, I felt like I was scrounging for time with God. I was trying to be still, but there was always some decision, some work, some demand. When the remodel frenzy was over (the outside should be painted this week), I prayed a simple prayer: "Lord, help me get still again and hear you. Help me to find focus again. Help me see the bigger picture of Your Kingdom and not the small picture of paint chips, shelf trim, and new dishes."

I prayed that prayer because I realized I had become addicted to the adrenaline rush of "have to". You know what I mean. It's the list as long as your leg reminding you of all the things that have to be done and the push to get them all done TODAY. Either that, or my handy dandy pendulum swung the other direction where I wanted to do nothing because there was so much to do that I couldn't do it all, so I did nothing.

Both are bad. Both get my focus off God and on stuff. Mostly, it gets my focus on me and my abilities. As I said, bad.

For over three weeks now, I have had bronchitis. The first two weeks were unreal. I don't think I've ever been that sick. I don't recall ever feeling like I would pass out from lack of oxygen. I truly felt like I was suffocating, and, yes, that was with the lovely steroid help I was getting. For the last week and a half, my airways have been open, but I am still draining and coughing. Talking is still a highly questionable activity, and I'm more thankful than ever for voicemail. I won't tell you I've enjoyed any of this. Quite the contrary. Had you been here one day last week, you would have heard me cursing this illness, this coughing, the aching muscles, and the whole viral thing to hell along with every demon attached to it and commanding it to stay there, never to visit upon anyone on this earth ever again. I wouldn't wish this on anyone, and God and I have discussed my thoughts on the whole issue.

However, I have to say that the Lord has not allowed the enemy to take my treasure. On the contrary, the Lord has been reminding me just what my treasure is, and I don't think I would have listened--or had the time to ponder it--unless I was too exhausted to make a body indention on the couch.

Last week, Jan Brand, a precious lady from my writing group, and I had a lovely exchange of emails. If you ever get the chance, sit with Jan awhile. Read her writing if you can, but absolutely, sit with her awhile. There is much to glean from her, and even if there isn't a large verbal exchange, you'll get stuff. Hold on to it. Let it simmer, as we say in the South. Check it periodically and see what God has cooked up through what you've learned from her.

She and I talked about a variety of things: writing, family, ministry, Truth seeking. Good stuff. I told her my philosophy on writing, speaking, and photography. I see the bigger picture. Then, she suggested that because I did, maybe I was seeing big enough.

I smiled.

The truth is I had seen that big, but it was so big. Bigger than I could believe for. At least, it was until Jan and I talked. Now, I realize I was right, and I have the faith to follow that path.

Now, you are probably thinking I'm going to leave you hanging with my metaphorical cryptic revelations, like I used to do. I'm not. I'll at least share part of it.

As many of you know, for years the Lord has put women on my heart. I am grieved at the loss of identity and value of women, not among the men, although that is frustrating. What breaks my heart is how very little value women have for themselves and other women. The enemy has done a good job of stealing identities, destinies, and hope. The Lord has given me strategies for restoring that. I believe God is outraged by the imprisonment of His daughters, and He is actively working to set them free.

Imprisonment takes many forms, and I expect over time He'll discuss them all here. For now, know He has not forgotten, and He has not abandoned. On the contrary, He is fighting ardently for every daughter of His that feels the pain of shackles or feels the cold oppression of prison walls. He won't leave you there if don't want to stay. He has given many people strategies, and they are working.

As for me, I have two main strategies I'm considering at this time.

First is a focused prayer group in which women come together and pray for their marriages and children. Satan likes to tell us we are failures as wives and moms, and since the core of our identity is that of nurturer and lover, we are easily immobilized or are easily distracted by means of escape to avoid the areas that hurt us. God doesn't want us to fail, and He doesn't want us to hurt. Instead, He wants to give us strategies to win and be victorious. He wants to kill the family curses and bring blessings on our families. I believe it is His plan to create units of warriors that fight together and keep each other focused on Truth. The question is date and frequency. I'm praying.

Second, I am presently working with several retreat centers to schedule a "semi-silent" retreat. They would last Friday through Sunday. We would come together for meals to talk, process, and pray. Otherwise, the women would be alone with their Bibles and journals and God. The idea being we all need to be still and hear God. We need to be still long enough to get beyond our prayer list and the noise of life to the point where we listen and hear His voice. It isn't just so we get direction and answers to our questions. It is to hear His heart for us and about us. The whole purpose is to be still and hear His heart.

One person asked me about worship. I have no intention of providing any form of worship music. In fact, iPods, CDs, and such are banned. Here's why. I think we should learn to worship the Lord out of our own hearts, with our own passion, in our own creatively intimate way. Sing a song in your head. Make one up, OR better yet, stop and listen to the Lord sing over you.

For too many women hoping God values them, loves them so much that He would serenade them is beyond any idea of possibility.

I guess my heart for these retreats is so simple. I want the women who go on them to have head on collision with God in all His amazing love and passion for them. I want them to be swept off their feet and enraptured by the One who is enraptured by them.

And so, I am working on two retreats a year, one in the fall and one in the spring. The retreat centers have not had anyone with this vision before, but when I shared it with them, they became very quiet, and then I heard, "Wow, that sounds amazing."

I think so. I should have the preliminary information organized by the end of the week, and I will send out the information to ladies then. If the Lord brings it to mind, pray for me, the retreat centers, and the ladies who will come.

Those are the smaller pieces of strategy the Lord has given me. As for the bigger picture, I simply want to minister to women and see them healed and equipped. Thankfully, Rob is in agreement, and we'll see what the Lord does with that desire. Just so you know, I expect it to be big.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Shoe That Fits

Okay, there is nothing deep, revelatory, or substantial about this. In fact, it's pretty shallow.

I visited Linda, who is exhausted and had a Thinga Ma Jig on her site. I followed the Thinga Ma Jig and then did another one and ended up finding out what kind of shoe I am. Told you it was shallow. Still, I'm posting it cause I like what it said. It says I'm real as it gets. Well folks after 3 weeks of bronchitis and an emergency trip to the after hours clinic because my 8-year was a steamy 104+ (ear infection and strep) last night, I really like mindless. So here you go.

The shoe that fits:

You Are Bare Feet
You are a true free spirit, and you can't be tied down.
Even wearing shoes can be a little too constraining for you at times!

You are very comfortable in your own skin.
You are one of the most real people around. You don't have anything to hide.

Open and accepting, you are willing to discuss or entertain almost any topic.
You are a very tolerant person. You are accepting and not judgmental.

You should live: Somewhere warm

You should work: At your own business, where you can set the rules

What Kind of Shoe are You?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Awards--Received and Given

In my last post I said I would revisit the awards given to me. Although it is midnight and I'm tired, I am going to take now to do that.

Wendy gave me the Blog of Disinction Award for making her cry and think. She called me a "Beautiful bloggy freind with much wisdom and grace." That made me cry and think.

Seriously, to be called someone with wisdom answer to prayer. I've prayed for wisdom, and to hear someone say the Lord has granted that prayer makes my eyes all misty.

As for grace, I've never considered myself a woman of grace, but I keep praying, and prayerfully, I'll live up to that.

Now it is my job to bestow the Blog of Distinction Award to those who make me think, laugh, cry, or sigh. Here is the truth of the matter. If you look at my blog roll, you'll see the folks who do those things. How I can pick one or two or five, I don't know. It seems to me that different ones are used at different times to be just what I need.

Sometimes I get zapped a few times, and my wall goes up. When it does, the Lord uses one of these writers to touch my heart, usually with tears, and I sit here blowing my nose amazed at the way He uses them without their every knowing and without my knowing how to tell them without sounding horribly corny.

And every one of them makes me think. I think about how thankful they are for things and ask myself if I am as well. These people are a good guidepost when I've lost perspective.

Sometimes I laugh at them because I'm laughing at me. Sometimes I laugh at them and pray to be so real and honest.

Do I sigh sometimes? Absolutely. So many of these amazing women (and Bob) are my friends. I may not have met all of them personally, but we've emailed, talked on the phone, connected. I trust them with my heart.

What an honor and blessing to be able to say that.

So all of you on my blog roll, I honor you as the distinct individulas you are. I thank God for you and the impact you have on my life and the lives of your other readers. Thank you for who you are and what you do. Now, go off and give the award to bloggers of distinction that you know!

Jan blessed me with the Best Blogging Buddies Award. This is very special to me, and I won't go into the why, but it is, and it makes my heart all warm and fuzzy, so thank you, Jan.
As for who to give it to, there is Jan, of course, and Marina, who isn't on my blogroll yet because I met her right before I got really sick. She is a neat lady, totally beautiful inside and out. I would also add Wendy and Robin. But then, I could pretty much just list my whole blog roll again.
I know that is the wimpy way to do it, but the reality is, I visit those blogs because I love the hearts I find there. They are women who share their hearts and revelation they receive, and they just make life better. So, there. Visit the blogs on my blog roll and get blessed.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What's Missing

So I've decided I'm going to live. I'm still having insane coughing fits, but I did have enough energy to do the laundry--all eight loads. Yes, EIGHT loads. You may be in awe if you would like, but before you go there, the sink again is full of dishes, and Fred Puppies--we don't have dust bunnies. We have large wads of Fred hair. If you wait more than three days to sweep, you get enough hair to make a small puppy. When we still had carpet, we used to refer to dumping the puppy out of the vacuum. Sometimes, there was a whole litter. I digress. There are still lots of free Fred Puppies to be had, and the dishes are becoming hammer and chisel projects as I type. I guess I could find the energy to go do them, but why blow all the family gratitude in one day?

In my absence things have stacked up. I have received an award from Wendy and another from Jan, and I will post those soon. They always leave me tender hearted and a bit philosophical, and my mind simply is not capable of that right now.

I decided I would take a moment to answer a few questions. Okay, it is the same question repeated multiple times that sort of culminated with a call this afternoon that started like this, "Okay, I know you've been sick, but enough already. What did you erase from you blog?"

Only tried and true friends have the guts to call you, talk to you like that, and actually expect you not to hang up. And honestly, I love those friends. They are the ones who don't just notice you're missing from the "big event" because this morning you woke up with a zit on your nose. They come hunting for you, knowing to look in the back of the closet behind the stuffed animals you aren't ready to give up despite being waaayyyy past toy age, drag you out, carefully putting the pile of animals back with your favorites on top because they know which ones your favorites are, and sit you in front of the mirror so they can apply the concealer to hide the offensive zit.

I am blessed with a few of those friends, and I love that they love me enough to talk to me like that. Course, they know if I pull a blog entry, I'm hiding, and they come hunting.

So what was this mysterious blog entry?

It was cryptic stuff about my struggle as a writer, which really when we get down to brass tacks is about my struggle with me. A lot of writers I know have them. I admire the ones who are up front, toss it all out for everyone to see, and can attack it with humor and honesty. It's like Show and Tell with a strobe light, disco music, and a dance floor. Anybody who understands the groove, jump in, and dance like you own it.

Me? I'm more like the person up on the stage with something on a table covered in a black sheet, and I give lots of generalized information. Sort of like a bad Christmas present tease. "It's sort of like this, but not exactly, and it is similar to that, but it's different." And when I'm done, the lights go down and folks are left thinking it's either shards of glass or Einstein's brain (cause both are really sharp...see the sort of but not exactly, similar but different? Anyway...)

And while everyone's partying with Show and Tell Disco Style, in my place, folks suddenly have the urge to sing "Oh, Danny Boy" and wear black, but!, it could be ZZ Top, so no one is sure how to react. (ZZ Top...sang "Sharp Dressed Man"'s an 80s thing...sticking with the unsure sharp thing... Anyway...)

The post I removed on May 30th, left me feeling glum. It didn't start that way, but somewhere along the way, it found a bobsled on a rail, and it was all downhill from there. So, I pulled it.

Now, my beloved friends who came and hunted me down in my closet are glaring at me and pointing to the black sheet on the table because they still don't know if I've dropped a wine bottle, invested too much in a quick education, or like bearded men with guitars.

She reaches for the sheet...picks up a corner....looks around deviously...and pulls! TADAH!!!! (Oooo!!!! She even spelled 'tadah' right!!!! I checked.)

Yes, what you see is a table laiden with pens, pencils, crayons, markers, notebook paper, bound journals, and super brights. What is all that about?

A book.

I have started writing a book.

I know. Some of you are dumbfounded. Some are thinking, "It's about stinking time." If you are in the first group, I'm with you. If you are in the second group, I'm with you.

Ever since I can remember, I have loved two things: the outdoors and writing. As far back as I can recall, I wanted to do one thing: tell people about God. You can read more about that on my post Things I Learned From My First Bible.

It seems logical that I would use my love for writing (which I believe is of reasonable talent) to share God. I'm not quite sure where the nature part falls into it, but we will get back to that later. Then again, I think it is probably all intertwined, so let's throw an oak tree and picture of a lake on the table, too, and grab a glass of whatever we find right for these sorts of Show and Tells, kick back, and sort through the table scene.

I quit writing about 16 1/2 years ago. Just...quit. No, I won't explain. About 11 years ago I started writing Jerri's Munchies. Robert came along, and I didn't have time to write. Then he got older, and I had time to write again.

During this spans of time, both writing and not writing, I received several prophecies about the books I'd write. I always wanted to write a book. At one point I considered taking various Jerri's Munchies and putting them into a collection. A few friends said they would love to have them bound and on their tables or so they could give them as gifts. One friend said I was greedy for wanting to make money off what God gave me for free. No collection came about. I don't know that it was because of that one comment. It only gave me an excuse to hide and avoid the word "insecurity".

When my dad died five years ago, life got ugly. I'm not really proud of who I was in that first year. However, I know it was necessary. I needed to see facades crumble so the Lord could build solid Truth. During that time, the Lord had me write long letters to friends and journal "everything". I would sit and write thinking, "God, please promise me no one will ever read this journal when I'm dead." One night He replied, "No, they'll read it from your book when you are alive." Cough! Cough! Gag! Choke!! WHAT???!!!!

I assumed this book would be much like any other Christian living book that told what I had learned, what scripture it was based on, and so forth. Instead, God said, "Let's write a fiction book."

A FICTION BOOK???!!!! I have not written fiction in 16 1/2 years. I haven't the foggiest clue how to do this.

Not a problem. Writers' groups do. So off I went to join a writers' group. As I've shared, the feedback has really been positive. The part that has truly left me humbled are the reactions to the main character. I thought folks might find her "needy". Instead, they found her familiar. One person commented, "I wish I had read this book when I was younger. In three chapters, it has already affected me in positive ways." Another person said, "I wish you had the book done today. There are so many who will read this and say, 'That's me,' and they will be healed by what God puts in this book."

The Lord spoke the same words to me: many will be healed through your honesty in this book.

So, I sit here with all you staring at the table before us, looking for the truth, wondering how colorful to make it, what details to wrap it in, praying desperately that I have the courage to be that honest.

With the sheet pulled off the table, there is nowhere to hide. My insecurities, doubts, and nearly overwhelming desire to hide in the closet isn't about others. It has nothign to do with others' negative comments.

I know that I know I am a writer. I know I am to write this book. I know it will have an impact. I know those things because God has said those things.

Right now, I find myself bogged down in me. The stuff lying on the table, my thoughts about it. My fear of embracing it and anger at myself for being fearful.

To be more candid, the book has two possible paths. One is safe, not much to find offensive or too close to home. The other is more honest, sometimes more honest than I want to be, maybe more honest than others want to be. And even as I try to use that as an excuse, I know the bigger truth. Hiding in the back of my closet, I want to be found. I wonder about those others hiding in the back of their closets, terrified to come out, praying to be found. I have been given the gift of talking them out of their hiding places. When I'm not busy hiding myself, I realize what an honor that is.

See, those women aren't just hiding a zit. They are afraid for people to see their hearts, and God has not armed me with a mere concealer to hide the imperfections. He has given me the Truth of healing so they can see their perfection in Him.

So there you go. See how simple it looks. And I won't lie. The idea of having a published book is thrilling. Knowing how much of me will be on those pages, and how much of it won't be the flattering part of me, is also pretty scary. Maybe some of y'all understand. Maybe some you don't. If you are in the first group, I'm with you. If you are in the second group, I'm with you, too.

And now that I've ditched my sheet and you've all looked at my table, I'm sort of responsible for it all, and I really only have one choice now.

I only ask two things:

When it's done and you read it, try to think good of me for having the courage to tell it, and pray that those who get found hiding in their closets have the courage to come out.

And when others give me that look, you know the one that says I'm not at all what they thought I was and they are SO disappointed, I might need you close. We can sit around the table, color with the crayons, and wonder what to do with that tree.

OOOOHHHH!!!! We could build a treehouse, put up a strobe light, put some ZZ Top in a boom box, and dance like we own it.

But then, God might have been tell about that in the next book...

Things I Learned from My First Bible

I was going to put this in the post above, but after I had it typed in, I realized it was pretty long in and of itself, and the other post was long, so I decided to break them up. I think this can stand alone.

I think I've told y'all before about my first "real" Bible. My mom and dad gave it to me when I was in early elementary school. I loved that Bible. I was going to save the world with that Bible.

You have to get this picture.

My grandparents had the perfect symmetrical yard with the sidewalk running right down the middle. On one end was the gate, and the other was the front steps.

Well, my friends, this was the perfect church. Three or four rows of two chairs on both sides, and folks could walk right in the back door (gate) and have a seat to see me on the platform from whence I preached (the porch). One day I was out there, Bible in handk, pouring out scripture from the Word, snatching souls from the pit of eternal fire when my grandma called me in for lunch. Back then, I didn't know the importance of breaking bread, but I knew the importance of not making Grandma wait.

As it turned out, it was the Last Supper because that was the last time I saw my Bible intact.

When I returned to the pulpit, tears filled my eyes. There on the floor--ground--were not sinners weeping in repentence, but my Bible in bits and pieces and partially in my grandparents' dog's mouth.

I was crushed. I picked up every piece I could find. I hoped Momma had enough tape to put it back together, but there were a lot of pieces.

That night, the prognosis was given: the Bible was beyond repair. I sobbed some more.

My parents were not well off. While we never went hungry, surprise expenses often sent the grocery budget into a large pot of beans for several days. Bibles were not cheap, not bound ones with the silver edge on the pages. Still, my daddy said he'd get another one for me. He said he figured if someone was going to lose a Bible, the best way to lose it was preaching the gospel.

My mom put the remains of my Bible into a paper bag coffin, curled the top down tight, and taped it closed. She entombed it in the top of my closet close enough to the front of the shelf where I could see the edge and know it was there but far enough back so it wasn't the forefront of my thoughts.

It was the perfect burial.

The next day my dad walked in the door with a new Bible. Bound. Silver edges on the pages. Even had my name on it.I have no idea where he got it or how he paid for it. I only know to me, it was priceless.

I tell you this for two reasons:

First, I still see my momma putting that little paper bag coffin on the shelf of my closet. I remember the feeling of value and love knowing she understood the depth of my loss.

Second, never underestimate the power of sowing into a child's dream. My daddy could have rebuked me for being careless. Instead, he blessed me for being passionate.

May God grant us the wisdom to bless others' dreams and keep them alive.

Truth at Any Time of Day

It's 1:00 am as I begin this. I went to sleep about 10:30, and less than two hours later, I was sitting upright in bed coughing horribly. I tell you frankly that I am tempted to have a pity party, but I'm not going to do that. Instead, I'm going to tell you what I know.

God is good.

Such a simple statement, and yet, the vastness of it, if we indulge in it, would leave us on our face in more than humble gratitude. It would do more than declare His goodness. It would show our value. I think if we ever allow ourselves to entertain the truth of the lengths He goes to in order to be good to us, it would so radically change our view of both Him and ourselves that we could not live in mental, spiritual, or emotional poverty.

If we sat and listed the goodness of God that came forth in a single day, we would be overcome by His attention to detail. Let me give you an example from my day.

Because God is good...
...I woke up this morning after sleeping last night in our new sunroom with the windows open so the humidity could work as a natural vaporizer to break up the gunk in my head so I can breath.
...My healthy son was sleeping on the floor next to me. He had gotten up in the night because he has the ability to walk, wandered in to check on me, and lay down near me to comfort me.
...We had breakfast.
...I did laundry in a washing machine with clean water.
...I hung my clothes on a clothesline in our nice backyard with the help of my two able children.
...We went to diving classes where I sat and wrote a story in the first class and talked to a sweet mom in the second class.
...The teacher even let Anna stay in Robert's class so she could practice her more advanced dives.
...I was able to take a nap.
...We were all able to have lunch, and the children made their own while I lay down and let the medicines course through my system. I could afford the medicine that makes life a bit more bearable right now.
...The children took baths in clean water that was warm.
...They were able to use shampoo that neutralized the chlorine so their hair won't fry.

I could keep going, but the list above does not get us to 1:00 pm, and I haven't mentioned our working vehicle, the gas we could buy, the clean drinking water, the comfortable beds we sleep in, the books we like to read, the Bibles we have to read any time we have the sense, the couch recliner that allows my throat to remain clear when lying down makes me feel like I'm suffocating, hot stuff to drink, crayons, or innumerable other things

God is good.

Right now, my chest hurts. My neck muscles are aching, and I am tired. I'm frustrated that nothing alleviates the coughing, and I am ready to have energy and freedom to play with my children.

But you know what? That doesn't change the truth that God is good. My cough is bad, but God is good. Being up in the middle of the night is annoying, but God is good.

Circumstances of life in this world can stink, but that does not change the truth I know--God is good.

I don't know stinky stuff you are dealing with right now, and I don't know how or when it will resolve, but may you find joy and peace for the process because you know...God is good.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm Not as Think as You Stoned I Am

Last night I took the children to the pool. It isn't immensely hard to sit in a lounger and read or journal, so I figured I was safe.

Now, get this picture. I'm sitting on a lounger, trying to write coherent thoughts, when I realize the meds--all of them--have decided to have a party in my bloodstream at the same time. I look at the journal I am trying to write in and realize I am now trying to read what I wrote. My thoughts wander to the necessity of driving home. Do I risk getting pulled over and arrested for DUI, or do I call home?

This is embarrassing.

Yeah, it's bad, but then it gets worse. (Oh, like you didn't see that coming.)

I look up and walking toward me is my children's diving teacher. Nice guy. We like him. He's an answer to prayer, and he is stopping in front of me.

I nod. It's the most coherent thing I can do.

Then, this nice, twenty-something guy, starts to talk to me, and he is really nice. He was telling me how the thank you note I had written when I was sober and clean had touched him. I was trying to remember what he said from one word to the next, and then it happened. His head cocked to the side a bit, and one eyebrow raised. I cringed, but the glassy-eyed stare was all I could manage. I was stoned, and he knew it.

Fainting at that moment was too much to hope for. Instead, the whistle blew. The pool was closing. Could they not have done that five minutes earlier and saved me? Noooo.......

I did drive home...without arrest, and silently, with my shame hanging on me, puddled into my perfectly formed couch indention.

When the man of my dreams came in, he asked what was wrong. I told him about the attempted conversation, and I summarized, "Rob, I looked stoned."

He laughed and said, "Jer, you are stoned."

Somehow that didn't help.

So this morning after classes, I approached said diving teacher with my head down, feeling like some girl who got caught in the wrong state of inebration at a frat party, I assured him that I had heard his very kind words and did remember them. I also apologized with explanation of the viral bronchitis, overly compatible meds, and resulting state of mind. Said diving teacher started laughing and said, "So you were stoned."

It's been a long time since a nice 20-something lifeguard made me blush. I nodded and assured him it was not a regular occurance. He laughed harder and said he knew my children too well to think it was.

There is my update. Got to go, though. I'm expecting my intervention group any moment, and I want to make sure no one else gets my indention on the couch.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


I am now off oral cortizone. However, I am now having to take breathing treatments. I have coughed so much that my back is spasming, and I feel like I have a pulled muscle in my shoulder. Ibuprofen takes the edge off the headache. I spent most of the day with no voice, and the couch may have a permanent indention that fits my body.

I know there are others who are far sicker, and I have been far sicker myself. However, prayers are welcome.

Thank you for listening to me whine.

When my hands aren't shaking from the breathing treatment, I'll tell you about diving and swimming classes, the great teachers my children have, and how good the tomatoes taste from our garden. For now, though, know I'm sick, but it is a blip on the radar compared to the goodness of God.

And while you are praying, remember the families in the Midwest. So much loss. So much need for prayer and help.

Y'all are awesome.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Rest Stop

As many of you know, we have been working on a house remodel for about four months. We finished the main part of the interior over Memorial Day weekend--10:25 pm to be precise, and we have been prepping the outside for painting and gutters.

I guess the demands have gotten to me because I noticed some congestion Thursday. It was worse Friday morning, so I took some strong decongestant to prevent a sinus infection. By Friday afternoon, I knew it wasn't good. I was steadily spiraling downward.

Because we know a few folks who have had pnuemonia in the last few weeks, I went to the doctor first thing Saturday morning. Praise God I do not have a sinus infection or pnuemonia. However, I do have viral bronchitis. Simply put, that is a bronchitis that has to run its course with the help of meds to keep my lungs open so I don't end up with pnuemonia. The estimated course running time is 2 to 3 weeks.

My treatment involves prednisone, lying around, and not talking. Sounds kind of silly since my voice is fine, but truly, I can tell an immense difference in my fatigue level when I have to talk. The airways swell, and the energy level drops very quickly. Isn't the human body utterly amazing? God has built in so many fail-safes.

I'm telling you all of this for a few reasons.

First, I need prayer. My family is being great, but all of you know it is simply not realistic to sit and not talk when you are the stay at home mom. I need to get better. I also need common sense in what is important and what isn't.

Second, I need prayer. Prednisone makes PMS look like a smiley face. On the up side, my children get to see me get to practice humble apologies a lot. Hopefully, they are learning something good from that.

Third, I know it seems that with all my extra time I could write some posts. Well, if I were sleeping and thus, actually able to think clearly (without blog rage capability at the drop of a single vowel), I would love to write. Got tons to tell you wonderful folks, but this is one pendulum ride I will take by myself. Even a fool is thought wise when he keeps his mouth shut, and at least for this moment in time, I'm no dummy.

So, please pray for us. Y'all are the best intercessors in the world, and I am so thankful for you. Just to give you time frames, I have about five more days of prednisone pergatory--although it sure helps me breathe and I thank God for the person who developed it. We could really use prayers for that, and I'm about five days into the 2-3 week course study for this virus. It would be wonderful if God made it a 5 1/2 day virus.

Again, thank you for your prayers.

Deep appreciation for you all....