Friday, September 9, 2016

Deal with it!

Anyone who ever talks books with me quickly learns that Nadia Bolz-Weber is one of my favorite authors.  A few years ago a volleyball mom friend recommended the book "Pastrix" to me, I ordered it and finished reading in just a couple of days.  Her way of "speaking," her philosophy, her love of all people was something I readily identified with.  On my bucket list is hearing her speak in person.  She is the only recorded sermon I ever listen to.  On July 7th she posted one that spoke to me more than any sermon has ever spoken to me.  She started off by admitting that about 15 years ago she had a case of hypochondria.  She spoke of numerous trips to the doctor and just hoping he'd find something wrong so maybe if something was really wrong she'd get a "hall pass on life!"  After one of her many visits, her doctor sat her down and said,
"Nadia, nothing is wrong with you. 
You just have to deal with your life!"
 Just let that one sink in for a minute.

 Nothing is wrong with you.  You just have to deal with your life.  
Nothing is wrong with me.   I just have to deal with my life.

Hypochondria-I've been there.  Many days when the alarm sounds, the kids fight, the phone rings, another task is added to my never complete task list, or the dog whimpers and I wish for a hall pass on my life.  My feet hit the floor and I have to deal with my life.  My life isn't bad but I do have stress, sometimes it feels like too much.  When I see friends and they ask how I am, I often struggle with saying I'm fine.  Actually my answer is generally, "I'm FABULOUS!" because I know there is nothing more I can say.  People don't really care how you are, it's just a question one asks to be polite or a way to put a label on you as the tired person, the happy person, the complainer, etc. I'll be the "fabulous" friend everytime!  They don't care to know that your dog pooped in the house twice that morning and you stepped in the middle of it in the utility room.  They may care that your daughter had a wreck but the phone calls helping her keep it together and not feel consumed with guilt, they never know.  The parents who are aging and the siblings who are in denial, unless someone has been here they just expect a response of "great."  Everyone is too consumed with their own "garbage" to care about mine.

Lately I have realized that the stress in my life is creeping out in subconscious ways.  Recently my teeth and jaws have been hurting and I've had a constant headache.  A couple of days ago I saw my dentist and he told me it's classic symptoms of grinding my teeth in my sleep.  When he looked in my mouth, he was shocked at the damage to my teeth in the last six months.

Some of you may have seen my Facebook post which read:
Because I'm honest, here is what I learned at the doctor today:
1. I'm still fat. (I was just as surprised as you!) 
2. My cholesterol is bad. (Same with my parents & grandparents.) 
3. My thyroid is still off. (Thank you surgeon for not monitoring both my TSH & T3 for a year after surgery. Thank you Lauren for trying to fix it!)
4. No more gluten >period < (My doctors research is showing cutting gluten benefits persons with low thyroid and reduces inflammation.) 
5. Eat three meals a day. (Which is funny because #1, she told me to eat more because I often forget.)
6. Prioritize Dana. (Um, wow. She said, "Seriously Dana, you cook for the dog. You put the dog ahead of you. Take care of Dana!")
The other day when I saw my doctor which prompted the above post, we talked about the number of women who are stressed, so stressed it is manifesting in physical problems. (Thanks Lauren for your time, genuine caring for my health and the health of my family-you're a gem!) It may come as a shock but this is absolutely >>not<<< a new problem. Through my years as a mom, my own mom has shared with me stories about how difficult it sometimes was raising us kids in from the 60's - the 80's; during many of those years she was also caring for her aging parents.  Mom has always been a "bath every night whether you need it or not" kind of woman; when we were young she'd literally fall into the tub shed tears and cry.  Tears of exhaustion,  tears of isolation,  tears from being the glue that always held our family together and cries to God for the strength to do it all again tomorrow.

Cries to God
AKA Prayer

At Beer & Hymns with my Anna-girl, she still holds hands with me!
I've always believed in God.  I've always prayed.  Somehow I came up with the bright idea of our United Methodist Women ladies retreat focusing on prayer and I started researching.  I've only scratched the surface of the book "The Circle Maker" but I find myself being bolder with my prayers and more consistent.  I'm working to create a prayer journal and found advice on a blog using a book I remember from my Mom's arsenal for prayer, "The Hour that Changed the World."   I haven't been bold enough to start but I know it is coming, I feel a little afraid of the difference it will make.   As a nod to old number 6 above to Prioritize Dana, prayer is going to be a 
dedicated, focused part of my everyday life.  Here is the blog entry I am patterning my prayer journal after.  I will be personalizing it for three daughters (and a daughters boyfriend), prayers I love and prayers I will write.  I look forward to having it ready to fill.  This will be my daily "power hour."  My life is crazy blessed and so life is full and I'm so crazy blessed.  They go hand in hand because there is not one single element of my life I'd choose to go without-the good, the not so good, the great, the horrible, the ups, the downs, the happy moments, the sad--every one makes me the person I am.  
My friend Mellissa says, "Today is a good day for a good day!"
I found this one and like it too...
"Not every day is a good day but there is good in every day!"

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