#Chronic Illness, #FamilyOfGod, #Gratitude, #JesusChrist, #Pain, Uncategorized

Gratitude

Gratitude is such an easy thing for many. Perhaps it is because I have been alive so long and seen evil as well as goodness. When I first began keeping a gratitude journal the only thing I could think of was toilet paper.

Many people tell me I need to write a book about my life, only because they do not understand my reasoning behind not trying to do that again. I would rather share only the good, but for others to understand why I enjoy such ‘simple’ things, they would have to understand the evil that took place first. In my humble opinion, until you do without, you don’t realize what you really have. Plus, in writing a book about my life, in the past, the editors wanted me to expound on the bad and cut down on the good.

For people with chronic pain, just getting out of bed to go to the bathroom can cause a major issue. When the phone rings while I am not near it, by the time I can get to it, they have hung up and since I don’t know how to reset the phone so the machine can pick up messages, well… I think you understand.

I have a note on my front door that basically says “Please, ring the bell. I may not get here as quick as you want me to be, but I will get here as soon as I am able to.” This afternoon, I hear this feeble tapping on the door and a man’s voice saying “Hello? Hello?”

I yelled to him to please hang on so I can get to the door. As I struggled to get to the side of the bed so I could transfer to my wheelchair, I heard him tapping again. It took a lot just to reach the door, and as I did, I heard the lock box open. Two men I had been expecting – standing there, one very embarrassed said, “I got here first.” I was not all that polite when I asked “Did you bother to read the sign?”

Even my closest friends hate to watch me try to get into bed and then struggle to just sit up or move. But at least they know once it’s over, I am fine and able to laugh or talk again.

Frankly, I wish the Parkinson’s was my only problem. The only reason I have started shaking again is: I can’t take the meds, they make me vomit blood. I can’t take any medication orally, as it too causes me to vomit. While I do have pain patches, my doctor will not make them strong enough to work any longer, because my lungs are bad from too many bouts of pneumonia and bronchitis over the years, and narcotics slow my breathing even more. He doesn’t want to be blamed for my death. Bless his heart. Frankly, I think he is afraid I would put them all on at once. He knows I am not suicidal, so what is the big deal? He could lose his license when I die if they see strong narcotics on me. I don’t want him to go through that.

When my doctor first put on these pain patches that work 24 hours, he told me “I don’t want you to wake up dead, so don’t ask for anything stronger until your pain gets even worse.” They call what I go through: “Chronic Pain”, but unless you have it, you really don’t ‘get it’.

This last week my doctor spoke to me about morphine shots, but I turned him down. I really don’t want to become addicted, and I also do not want to be in a stupor; locked up in a home; strapped to a chair in front of a television set for the rest of my life. I would rather be in pain and think clearly (for the most part) so I can read, draw, paint, watch good movies and listen to good music of my own choice and be in my own little apartment so I can cry in private. Okay. Now I am going to blow my nose, and get on with my blog post.

My heart goes out to those who are alone and have small children as well as chronic pain. Back in the 1970’s, my youngest daughter was with me while I had to get treatments for my cancer. That was horrific for both of us. My heart goes out to young people with chronic pain. But there is a light in that memory: One time, she put a washcloth in the toilet to get it wet, then placed it gently on my forehead and said, “you all better now mama?” (she was too little to reach the sink; thus, the toilet was the only thing she could reach. Good thing I keep a clean bathroom, eh?)

Anyway, back to what I am gratitude for:

I am grateful for friends who come regardless of my sounds. I am grateful that there are those who respect my wish of staying in my own home and are doing all they can to ensure I can stay put. I am grateful for those who come while I sleep and see when I can’t do my dishes, then wash them and put them away. I am grateful for those who come and change my sheets each week so I don’t have to expend what little energy I do have on those particular daily or weekly issues. I am grateful for those who bring me treats occasionally. I am grateful for the Holy Scriptures and all the prophets, living and dead. I am grateful for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and all those who play instruments and write beautiful, clean music. I am grateful that I have a savior so I don’t have to suffer for those sins and mistakes I repented of. I am grateful I am only held accountable for the sins I committed and not for those of my husband or parents. I am grateful for our Heavenly Father who sent His son, Jesus Christ to be that Savior for me. I am grateful for Their patience with me and all of mankind. I am grateful for a Heavenly Mother who is anxious for me to get home. I am grateful for those of my birth family who accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ and to those who did work on their behalf. I am grateful to all those who created the FamilySearch program and maintain it. I am grateful for all those who have done and are now doing research and sharing what they have found. I am grateful for photographs of my babies as they grew up. I am grateful that the airways over America are not filled with bombs and missiles yet. I am grateful for pain patches and grateful I don’t have to clean up blood any more. I am grateful for friends I can call and just whine to and that they bring me cheese when I do whine, so we can all laugh together.

What are you grateful for?

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A day in the life of…

Have you ever heard of the “Perils of Pauline”? Well, I personally think my story should be titled “A day in the life of…” Let me explain why with an example of this morning.

My alarm did not go off; thus, I did not wake up until about 8:30 am. I needed to start my day and tried to move. Wherein, I promptly decided I would go back to sleep before attempting such an effort as rolling over. However, nature was calling, so I did get up and apply some pain patches.

By the time I was able to get into my wheelchair it was about 8:45am. I said a short prayer and by the time I did my “bathroom” routine it was after 10:00 am. Now you might ask yourself, what in the world takes her so long?

My bathroom routine not only consists of nature relief, washing up, and brushing my teeth, but getting dressed, gathering the trash, cleaning the toilet, sink, washing the lower part of the mirror on good days, (I did not do that this morning) and gathering my laundry. By the time that was done, I needed to add a few pain patches so I could continue my day. Bless my new neighbor’s hearts. So many times they have called for a “safety check” when they hear me. Now, I turn on my fan so it muffles my moans and groans as I move around. The police have finally stopped coming unless I call them. It only took them 10 years to learn.

I love the “The Spoon Theory” by Christine Miserandino http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com.

Bless Christine’s heart. She gave those of us who have chronic illnesses a way to share how difficult our days are. If you have not read it, I recommend you do. It can help you to help and understand others with health issues without thinking we are just lazy, since we rarely do what what “normal” people do. By the way, in my opinion, “normal” is a setting on your washing machine. Everyone has their own issues. Don’t you agree?

Anyway, back to my morning.

After the pain patches kicked in, I went out into the kitchen and prepared some oatmeal. While it was in the microwave, I turned into the living room to turn on my music (Today was the Messiah. I just love Christmas music, don’t you?). It was nice to be able to eat a real breakfast. Yesterday was so bad I had to have a protein shake for breakfast and lunch. I never know from day to day what I am able to do or not do.

These tasks required using my arms, and since my shoulders don’t work without a lot of pain today, it took awhile. What used to be so simple, now has time constraints which can put me to bed for a few hours or at times even days. But this morning it was not bad enough to send me back to bed.

While in the kitchen, I saw that my apples were all bad, so had to toss  them and decided since they would make the trash heavy, (I just hate asking others to lift heavy trash and since my complex’s maintenance crew had shoveled the sidewalks. . . )  I just put the trash bag on the foot rest of my chair and took it out myself. As I have not been outside in a few weeks, I did not think this would be a problem. I sometimes forget I can’t do what I used do every day.

Once again, my pride got the better of me, and outside I went. I only got stuck a few times as I made my way to the trash area, which was still too slick and snowy to get into, thus, the trash is now sitting in the doorway of the trash area for someone else to lift and put into the trash bin. You see, I had also forgotten that I can’t lift anything today, let alone lift it over my head. DUH! I cannot even blame old age for this. After all, it’s not as if I were 91 or something. (71 is not old, is it?)

Getting stuck outside in a power wheelchair with bald tires, no cellphone to call for help (and might I add – no one local who is strong enough to help even if I had one) is only a problem when you have as much pride as I do. But the good thing about it (“pride” -if there is anything good about such a bad thing) is that my battery is fully charged and thus I was able to rock back and forth hard enough to get unstuck. Isn’t that great? Then, we began to have a mild snowfall, and I’m thinking “I have plastic in the  chair to cover the controls, but I can’t use my arms to reach it.”  Good news: I was able to get back inside safely and it only took a short period of time to clean up the water from the chair wheels. Thank God and friends for paper towels and a mop thingie.

Anyway, it is now 11:51 am, I have had breakfast and am almost ready to go back to bed. I have used up most of my spoons for the day, and bed is a rough option, but better than being in too much pain to enjoy my company this afternoon.I think I’ll fix a diet root-beer and get back in bed now, taking the towels out of the dryer can wait until my friend gets here this afternoon. Someday I’ll share about just getting into bed.  Here, I must thank God for friends who gave me a pillow that allows me to sit up.

Normally, in the mornings, I do some research for my ancestors, however due to overdoing this morning, I will be working on a drawing I had planned on doing before Christmas. At least the people who will receive it know it will be late. Have a happy New Year.

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Enduring

Enduring is not easy. Oh no! Yet, when I think about my Lord, and all He went through, I know that what I go through is minor. Did you ever notice how when we hear other people’s problems our own are not as bad?

Many of my friends also suffer in various ways. I pray for them, and I know they pray for me, that our pain may be lessened. Some of the people I admire most have been those who suffered much more than I ever will. Just to name two: Spencer W. Kimball and Neal A. Maxwell. Yet they endured well. I pray I may be as valiant as they.

We all suffer in one form or another. The thing that keeps me going is my faith in Jesus Christ. When I am in great pain, I do what my doctor(s) tell me to do, yet I also take it to the Lord. I am a firm believer that  Jesus Christ has restored the Priesthood back to the Earth to bless men and women, and so I ask for blessings at the hands of those who not only hold, but “honor” that Priesthood. Just because someone says they are a priest does not make then one. Only those who “Honor Their Covenants” and “Keep the Commandments or strive so to do” are worthy to hold the “Power” that comes with that calling. (Just my humble opinion.)

Anne Morrow Lindbergh wisely cautioned:

“I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable” (quoted in “Lindbergh Nightmare,” Time, 5 February 1973, 35).

Certain forms of suffering, endured well, can actually be ennobling.

Annie Swetchine said,

“Those who have suffered much are like those who know many languages; they have learned to understand and be understood by all” (quoted in Neal A. Maxwell, We Will Prove Them Herewith [1982], 123).

When I reflect upon my Saviour and think upon all he endured at the hands of others, I cringe. I tend to whine from time to time over my struggles, yet He never did. They spit upon him. They beat him. They scourged him with whips. They cast him in prison. They dragged him through the town naked and placed a crown of thorns upon his head, before they nailed him to that cross. And to make it even worse, they did that “after” he had bled at every pore because of the pains, mourning, depression, injustice and sins of everyone who ever has been born, who was then alive, and all who would yet be born. Yet, he still had compassion.

Jesus Christ rose victorious over death and He did that for you and me. Our pains only last a short time compared to the pains of those who reject him or refuse to repent of their own sins.

Another wise man, who was also a prophet of God, Gordon B. Hinckley once said,

“Don’t get discouraged, things will work out!”

I hung that quote with his photograph on the wall in my bedroom. When I am feeling sorry for myself, and start to get discouraged, I look up and see it, and know things will work out. I turn my head and look upon my other wall and see the picture of the current Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and think about him telling me to:

“Be more positive…”

When President Ezra Taft Benson called me to Salt Lake City, Utah, he said (among other things):

“Hang the words of the prophets on your walls, and then go out and do good.”

I am a firm believer in following the prophets and have always been blessed because I do that. It is not that I do not experience problems, for I surely do. It is that after – I experience greater blessings and that makes it worth whatever I have gone through.

In the Holy Bible we read:

“And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” (Matthew 19:29)

God does not lie.

Gentle hugs from a distance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You don’t believe in God?

Earlier this week, I read a post by a lady that broke my heart. I share my answer here for all who do not believe that God exists since He allows bad things to happen.

My dear Sister, it sounds as though you have been abused in horrible ways, and my heart goes out to you. I wish I could comfort you by putting my arms around you and taking you away from those who harmed you. But, I am not there in person. I can only share with you what I have learned in my 70 years of life.

Right now, you do not believe that God exists, however, that is only because you don’t know Him. Bless your heart. That is not your fault. All you have experienced is the pain of life, not the joy of knowing Him.

God will not stop anyone from using their own agency. At times, we must step back mentally and allow others to do what they do. We can warn and caution, but then we must let them make their own choices. God will make them pay for what they have done to you. Those who are kind to you, will be blessed for that kindness. If you make bad choices, He will not stop you, for the same reason.

At one time there was a major war regarding two options: our having the right to choose for ourselves or being compelled to do everything. Jesus Christ came to Earth in a body just like ours so that He could learn how we feel and why we do the things we do. He came to help us be able to get back home – where we are loved and cared for. He also had to suffer at the hands of evil people, just as we do. The only difference between Jesus Christ and us is that He was half God and half Mortal. The mortal part meant He could die a physical death. The God part meant he had the power within himself to overcome death and finish the plan God wanted for us who chose agency.

The fact that you have a body of flesh and bone with blood means that you chose agency. Which meant you would have to suffer, just as Jesus Christ suffered. Which also meant you would have to allow others their agency as well.

God is anxious to bless you, but you must trust Him. Do you know how tiny a mustard seed is? Go to a garden shop and ask to see one. A mustard seed amount of faith is all you need to ask for God’s help to understand. He will help you to find Him. He will do that for you, I promise. I was an abused as a baby, child and youth. When I was a young adult I was also abused in ways that would make your skin crawl. Yet, I came to know that God cares. He really does and He will show you if you will allow Him to.

Sorry to be so long winded, but I could not sleep until I bore my testimony to you. Gentle hugs from a sister who has been there, and come to really know God personally. You are one of His daughters, and He wants you to know that. Look at the sky in the morning and think about what there is to bless you. The very air you breathe, trees and flowers, animals, planets and stars, and YOU!

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What would happen?

 

What would happen if today you heard God asked, “Do you love me? Do you love my son, Jesus Christ?”

 

Would you look up and say yes? Would you wonder why He had to ask?

 

What would happen if you look at what you have hanging on your walls? Would you see pictures of what you believe Jesus looks like? Would you see pictures of your family? What do you see in your home; those things that money can buy or those things that help you be a good person and a family?

 

What would happen if you go from room to room in your home and see if there is anything there that might tell your children or friends that you love Jesus? Would you see anything to even show that you know of Him?

 

What would happen if you had the Ten Commandments hanging in your home rather than a poster of a sports figure or famous movie star or singer? If you can find a Holy Bible in your own home, what would happen if you dusted it off and read it?

 

What would happen if you looked closely in your life and see if you are kind to others? What would happen if you smile when you walk by the stranger? Do you ever talk to God so He knows your voice? Do you know what His voice sounds like?

 

What would happen if you were willing to “show” God that you love Him? What would happen if you showed Jesus Christ that you are grateful that He died for you?

 

God was willing to send His Beloved Son to Earth for you. What are you willing to do for Him?

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What can Jesus Christ do for me?

Question: What can Jesus Christ do for me?

Ancient prophet’s answer from before He was born:

“And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

“And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:11–12).

Modern day answer on what He has already done:

“Thus, the Savior has suffered not just for our sins and iniquities—but also for our physical pains and anguish, our weaknesses and shortcomings, our fears and frustrations, our disappointments and discouragement, our regrets and remorse, our despair and desperation, the injustices and inequities we experience, and the emotional distresses that beset us.

“There is no physical pain, no spiritual wound, no anguish of soul or heartache, no infirmity or weakness you or I ever confront in mortality that the Savior did not experience first. In a moment of weakness we may cry out, “No one knows what it is like. No one understands.” But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and borne our individual burdens. And because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice (see Alma 34:14), He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy. He can reach out, touch, succor, heal, and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do relying only upon our own power. Indeed, His yoke is easy and His burden is light.” (David A Bednar, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ – April 2014)

This woman’s answer:

If you really want to know, go to your private place and ask God if Jesus Christ really did this for you. What do you stand in need of? Comfort, forgiveness, healing, or the ability to forgive?  Your freedom to choose was not free. He is the only one who paid the price so you can really be free.  Now the choice is yours, will you allow Him to help you?

He has helped me and I know He can help you, and I share these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

 

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I pray for the Spirit of the Lord to be with me, as I share with you truths which I have heard and know to be true.

“This is an age of digital information. Our computers have become windows through which we can gaze upon a world that is virtually without horizons or boundaries. Literally at the click of a button, we can browse through the digitized libraries of universities, museums, government agencies, and research institutions located throughout the world. A worldwide web of electronic connections now moves data at ever-increasing speed and volume along what we call the information superhighway. Through the windows of personal computer monitors in homes and offices, we can access this network of interconnected data banks to see texts, art, photos, maps, and charts and to hear music and speech that are stored in widely dispersed locations.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declares boldly that through another type of window, the windows of heaven, we can access spiritual information from the Source of light and truth. “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” (Articles of Faith: 1:9) In this dispensation of the fullness of times, the revelation superhighway has been carrying heavy traffic of eternal truth ever since that day in the spring of 1820 when the Lord answered a farm boy’s fervent prayer in the Sacred Grove and ushered in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Today, as in ancient times, God opens windows of gospel light and truth by revealing “his secret unto his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7) Those who have eyes to see, and ears to hear can learn eternal principles; view majestic vistas of knowledge, foresight, and wisdom; and receive direction on how to live their lives.

“The windows of heaven are open wide to the faithful and righteous; nothing closes them faster than disobedience. The unworthy cannot access fully the network of revealed truth. “The powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.” (D&C 121:36) Obedience is the first law of heaven. That is why Alma exhorted us to “be humble, … submissive and … diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times.” (Alma 7:23)

“To open the windows of heaven, we must conform our will to God’s will. Diligent, enduring obedience to God’s laws is the key that opens the windows of heaven. Obedience enables us to be receptive to the mind and will of the Lord. “The Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient” (D&C 64:34) are those who receive the blessings of revelation through the open windows of heaven.”

“Members of the Lord’s church can joyfully echo these words of the prophet Mormon: “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.”

“We are the Savior’s disciples who “shall go forth.” All of us are called of him to be missionaries to declare his word among his people.

“We should follow the counsel of President Spencer W. Kimball (another prophet of God) and “do it,” and he added, “Do it right now.”

“If we are to fulfill the Lord’s command to open the windows of heaven to all of our brothers and sisters, we must prepare to teach the gospel. With study of the scriptures, fasting, and prayer, we fortify our testimonies. We cultivate Christlike attributes of “faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, and diligence.” (D&C 4:6) Through exemplary obedience, we can let our light so shine before men (and women), that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) By keeping the commandments, we can light our gospel candle and put it “on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” (Matthew 5:15) (These were the words of Joseph B Wirthlin, another prophet of God in 1995. His talk was entitled: Windows of Light and Truth)

I am Maurica, being called after the name of my father, born in the land of America, which land God has set apart as a place where men and women can worship Him according to the dictates of their own hearts. My forefathers died that all of us might have this land of freedom. I live to help keep it free and introduce those who do not know God to Him and His beloved Son, even Jesus Christ.

Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, and while walking with Him and serving others, I have felt called to lift those who struggle as I did before I knew that He was my savior. I have been reaching out since long before I was blessed to hear the Good Word of God confirm to me that I am one of His. And since following the Lord’s will I have been blessed to be able to do even more than I had ever done before. I have felt more loved by being obedient to His commandments than I ever did by being obedient to others who claimed to love me.

As Moses said to the children of Israel as they went forth out of Egypt (Deuteronomy 29: 2-4) I say unto you who are living in Babylon; Nineveh; Sodom; Gomorrah or that which is just like they were:

“And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land;
“The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles:
“Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.”

I would that we all might listen to the prophets of God upon the earth in this day and age and follow the counsel of God’s chosen so we may return home to He who gave us life in the first place. And this is my prayer, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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