* digging for gold (ten things of thankful)

I have been a terribly sporadic visitor to the Ten Things of Thankful blog, but every time I go, I’m rewarded by the words, photos, and humor from such encouraging folks. It’s a great place to share gems of thankfulness.

Gem #1: My dearest teaching widower remains at the top of my list. His tech skills are sometimes clumsy but always endearing. I got him a Fitbit for his birthday and it’s already destroyed! I think his inner distrust of all things tech has created some kind of deadly force field. He’s a powerhouse when searching the web, though! (See #4.)

Gem #2: The patient families of the kiddos I teach, who must wonder if my body is falling apart. Yes, it is.

Gem #3: The Bible in One Year 2019 devotional by Nicky and Pippa Gumbel. They are an amazing couple, perhaps best known for developing Alpha courses. OK, I am now 42 days behind in reading, but onward, ever onward!

Gem #4: Thanks to Cee’s inspiration and support, I have a REAL camera! It was a delightful Christmas present, heavily-researched by my dearest widower (see #1). I haven’t used it much but I look forward to the day….

Gem #5: Cadbury’s milk chocolate, which remains sweet and silky and mood-changing.

Gem #6: Faithful followers of my blog, despite my erratic posting. Thank you!!!!!!!!

Gem #7: Suzie’s kind support and encouragement. Check out her amazing blog (Suzie Speaks), her cat’s bottom, and her new job!

Gem #8: My own Fitbit, a birthday present from my fam. Fitbit and I love each other. It purrs on my wrist. It cheers me on, even as I feel like body parts will soon start dropping off.

Gem #9: Amazon Prime wardrobe, which means I never have to expose my feet to strangers again. No one fainting in horror at a shoe store.

Gem #10: A physical therapist who reminded me to be thankful I have feet (even if you can find them by googling “ugliest feet in the world”). That PT works with folks who have prosthetic feet and they would give anything for my ugly feet.

Freebie: Don’t search for ugliest feet in the world.

* Once again with music

Argh. We used the wrong paint so I am repainting the family room AGAIN. I was hoping to keep my blogging streak intact, but duty calls. And my dearest teaching widower. I know it’s going to be gorgeous and I get to listen to my worship music unimpeded! Win-win.

* Faith and phobias

I’ve posted a four-part series on overcoming phobias through Reid Wilson’s program, which uses current brain research to change the way you respond to fear.  As a Christ-follower, I had prayed in desperation for 12 years that God would heal me.  I tried to worship my way through panic attacks.  I tried biofeedback and meditation on God’s word.

I felt in my heart that God was going to heal me, but how long would it take?  And what if I “lost” the healing when I was on the freeway?  At its worst, I immediately fainted when I tried to drive on any road with more than two lanes.  All my fears seemed valid.  After all, I would crash and kill someone if I fainted.  How could possibly God help me?  When would he help me?

Several years ago, God began my healing by showing me how much fear runs through my brain all the time, not just on the road.  If you watch the video below, you’ll understand why.  Desperately, I contacted a psychiatrist, who referred me to a weekend workshop offered by Reid Wilson (offered that very weekend and I was able to get in!).  I hoped for a miracle but nearly ran out of the building as I realized that this was something I had to do.  But thankfully, I was not alone in this.  God was with me.  His Spirit encouraged me that I was made for freedom.

The wonderful aspect of this freedom to drive is that I don’t have to be phobia- or fear-free to be FREE!  I recognize that my brain is simply doing what it was made for, that my amygdala is trying to protect me.  I love the intricacies of God’s creation in my brain.  He has made a new way for me to enjoy his splendor.  He has given me a new way to glorify his hand on my life.

Am I weak in faith if I am afraid?  I am like the man who cried out to Jesus, “I believe!  Help me in my unbelief!”  I don’t have to “keep” my faith; my Savior does it all for me.  From beginning to end, I am safe in His arms.

Part of my story is shared below. Of course, my name is misspelled.  There may be 24 different ways to spell Katharine but Jesus knows who I am!

* Siri and me

Siri and I have a complicated relationship.  Sometimes she helps me call my dearest teaching widower and other times she has no idea who that is.  It drives me nuts when she calmly tells me, “You’ll need to unlock your iPhone first.”  What??  My dearest widower has not changed his name or number!

Recently I was stuck in a snarled traffic mess for what seemed like forever, so I forgave her (that’s good) and chatted with her (that’s bad in a car, I know).  But I was not moving!  Not an inch!  For a long time!  OK, I was impatient (also bad).

I started with some important questions but the conversation went downhill from there.

 

* Sharing my world

I adore Cee’s challenges- and her photography is incredible!  I’m hoping to be back on the blogging track for good and this week’s Share Your World challenge is another  restart!

In regards to puzzles, what’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, word search, mazes, logic or numeric puzzles, something else, or nothing?  I like all of those but have probably done more jigsaw puzzles than anything else.  I’d most likely have one set up all the time, but with the kiddos visiting this summer and our small groups every week, there’s no good place to keep a puzzle waiting.  Getting older has crimped my style, too.  With my wretched knees, I can’t kneel or squat comfortably.

List at least five favorite treats and it doesn’t necessarily have to be food.   Yum!  This will be fun!

  1. My dearest teaching widower, who gets cuddlier and funnier every day
  2. Worshipping with Christian rock and new fave, Francesca Battistelli
  3. Chocolate, now in the form of almond & cashew, soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free “milk”
  4. Teaching, teaching, and more teaching
  5. Reading and reading

What is your favorite type of dog? (can be anything from a specific breed, a stuffed animal or character in a movie)  OK, I saw this Australian Shepherd (I think that’s what s/he is) in a grandinroad catalog.  I want this dog!!  And I wouldn’t mind the house that goes with it.

border collie

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  The grace of God for peace and forgiveness and life and love.  Answered and unanswered prayers.  Hope.  That I am a child of God.

* Day 20

It’s been 20 days but feels like a lifetime of H3N2.  My doctor said I am still contagious so don’t lean too close to read this.  Now I’m on antibiotics for a rough ear and sinus infection.  Secondary infections, courtesy of this Mutating Monster.  I know this is TMI, but how does an ear produce so much gunk?  Fortunately, I still have a tube in there.

A dear one sent me this and made my week.  My biggest heartache is that my precious student and his parents are struggling mightily.  We text throughout the day, survivors’ lifelines.

Get well soon

Another lifeline from Jesus:  Abba, Father, everything is possible for you.  Take this cup from me (and my student and his family).  Yet not my will but yours be done.  

* Day 15

Today is Day 15 with H3N2, a mutating monster of a virus.  One step forward, two steps back.  I am sharing daily progress, woes, and prayers, with a dear student and his family.  The kiddo is on Day 18 and his parents are just behind.  This is a killer of a virus.  The mortality rate for my age group is hardest hit (see that red line?) but my medically fragile student, at age 11, has suffered enormously and his situation is far more precarious than mine.

CDC flu

We spent some agonizing time in the ER, but my dearest flu widower always has clever jokes to make us laugh (and then we cough like crazy).  And what a joy to love and care for one another in times like these.  My student’s parents are the bravest, kindest, most determined people I have ever met.  They are fighting minute by minute to keep their son alive.  Sleep deprived, flu-ridden, heart broken, and clinging to faith, they are simply amazing.  I do not know how they have survived these weeks.  I am barely crawling along and I don’t have to take care of my sweet student throughout the day and night.

ER 2

I know the Lord is holding us in his hands, whatever the outcome.  Better times await.