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Monthly Archives: September 2013

~ balance~

~ Bal   ance~

The  simple things we take for granted…..

One of the questions that has been asked lately  by the professionals I have seen …is ~how is your balance? I answer …”fine”… But since this all has revealed itself …I find my balance is a little topsy turvy. I have to cautiously guard it. Like the other night , I was walking on the bleachers after the football game and suddenly I felt myself tilt to the

r   i    g    h    t  …then…”OH. … EXCUSE ME…I am so sorry!””  I had used some man’s shoulder to keep me from tumbling over onto the walkway. I looked at his wife and said..  ” I am so sorry!… I guess I lost my balance!”

September 8th… the night before my appointments up at Vanderbilt…I read this from one of my VERY favorite devotionals…Susan Franklin gave it to me!~ Hi, Susan!….

It said…”Accept each day exactly as it comes to you, By that I mean not only the circumstances of your day, but also the condition of your body. Your assignment is to trust Me absolutely , resting in My sovereignty and faithfulness. On some days , your circumstances and your physical condition feel out of balance The demands on you seem far greater than your strength. Days like that present a choice between two alternatives-             giving up       or relying on me.”

Wide eyed…blink …blink!! …WOW…. ok…I felt like God was just talking to me…ministering to me…”HUE knew” on September 8th I would need a reminder worded just like that!

Balance it HARD! ~  It is hard to balance being a wife , a mom, a teacher, a friend, a…..professional sky diver…(just kidding) 😉

It sometimes pushes us to  the limits…and something always seems to go out of whack!

Today was a day where I had to “face” my balance limit… In my classroom , we  established who the “book worm” is in the class… The top reader;) of course!… I have this green bookworm stuffed animal that I hang from the ceiling above that particular  student’s desk. Well, I had to hang it up and decided to chance my balance on the chair …in front of my students .I thought I didn’t want to embarrass myself should something happen.. So,  I  asked one of my gentlemen for help. He obliged and let me use his shoulder while I climbed up and down to hang this worm from the ceiling on cloths pins / fish wire. That’s it…! Sometimes we have to ask for a little help to keep things in balance… and It is OK! It is ok to rely on others for help. The Lord especially wants us to rely on HIM. When  we say…” I GOT IT!” … We are toppling over into a big mess.

I am a little worried about balance as I will emerge from the surgery. … I remember about 4-5 years ago … I had a horrible run in with vertigo. I really think  this marked  the beginning of this tumor.  It was really strange ! Let me encourage ANYONE reading this… IF you think something is not right with your body… get it checked out! God has a way of letting your body know if something is not right.

On the Saturday after I found out about my  A Neuroma … I decided to look on the computer for  Acoustic Neuroma web sites. I was looking for blogs of people who were going through this… I did not look very hard …because  the first two sites were DEPRESSING!  This one girl “ignored” her symptoms for two years because she was “afraid”… WHAT????  Then I went to another one where she just had a bad attitude and a “why” me saga…I thought   ” I am outta here!”  I think looking at those sites helped  me want to start this blog.

~ Balan       ce~

We ar all human… and we  have to learn to rely on others…and we  have to remember it is “ok”… to ask for a shoulder or  a hand….for some help.

Personally…..  I find as long as I am “in balance” with my relationship with the Lord  (reading my bible, praying, praising, fellowship) … I am able to keep my life from going topsy turvy.

PS   I learned today that my  surgery date is December 17th…  It is waaay later than I had anticipated… or wanted…..because “it would throw my life off balance”… I mean…we have to work around the school calendar, ya know!! That would put me back in the classroom a month into the new year… and- I wanted to go back first of January…it is  just off balance…ha ha! ok…I will rest on the Lord’s shoulder and let Him carry me up and down through this journey.

 

 

“face” it ~ face “it”

Humor…. A beautiful gift from the Lord! 😉

Yes, here is one of the stories that broke through the stress of the day. This was towards the end of my visit with my second doctor.

Dr. Thompson looked at me  and I knew by the way he moved his hands and adjusted his body  that he really wanted me to perk up  my attention and be especially aware of what he had to say next. He  really wanted me to focus and be aware of the “risks” involved with the surgery… of which I did not want to hear. He HAS to go over these with patients so they may not be side swiped /taken off guard if something does happen. He reassured me that he has  done thousands of these surgeries. (Vanderbilt is especially trained for these)  My eyes leaked…and the sweet student in the short white coat handed me a box of tissues… and Dr. Thompson continued…. he spoke of leaking  spinal fluid, bleeding in the brain, infection, stroke,…….he talked about the facial nerve and how my face could be damaged ….. I sat there for a second … I let it all sink in and…. out of nowhere…

I said, “Let’s just face it…this stinks!”

Everybody laughed and I could see the interns shoulders going up and down…and my doctor was laughing, too. He looked at Chuck and asked him …”Does she do this all the time?”…. (if he only knew!) ha ha

Whatever the “it” is in your life…God is BIGger….The “it” can take on many forms!…for me,  the  “it” takes on the form of :  the price tag for this surgery, the recovery, the unknowns, the time away from my students ,the day to day tasks of running the house….list goes on.

I told Chuck this morning as I woke up… that I wanted to stick my head in a hole! I did not want to “face” the day. I did not know how to handle all the questions…Would I wear my emotions on my sleeve all day. . should  I bother putting on make up?? How can I face my students?? In the beginning of school, I told them I would get the surgery “next summer” and I was not going anywhere. Well, things have changed and I really want this thing out! Besides my mouth being numb , it is beginning to make my face tingle. ;(

I prayed all the way to school…even cried as I  lifted this day to the Lord. I wasn’t sure how to face my kiddos.. I  always talk to my “mom”/”mentor” every morning and she prayed for me , too! I  continued to debate if I would tell the students. Well, the bell rang and we did our normal opening…and I asked them how their day was…then I told them about my day. I told them about a November surgery and there was a gasp in the room. ..and a few started to tear up and cry.  I spoke what God gave to me in the moment and turned to do a devotion out of my ONE YEAR Animal Devotion book… I got like 4 sentences into it and immediately closed it… I had to FACE them and see what was going on in their minds… So I stopped “class” and inquired…..and ….they shared.   I got my big desk calendar out  and we  looked at the “reality” of it all…See??? It is not so bad!!! They were letting it all settle in and one sweet student spoke up and said… that the little  decoration  she was missing out of her bracelet was not so important any more… another said she had been squabbling at home over little things…and it seems small in light of other people’s problems. We had a great discussion…One sweet baby had huge tears rolling down her face and so … I hugged her. Then students moved from their chairs and we all joined  in a big group hug. It was the best 45 minutes of “teaching” nonteaching time ever spent! I felt the love and I was so glad I faced my day in light of His strength. I don’t need to stick my head in a hole anymore…We can’t ignore whatever our “it” is and we have to choose to turn and …..face it!

Let’s face it…our God is BIGger than what we face.

You can do all things through Christ who gives you  strength. Phil 4:13

 

I “H ear T” today!…..September 9th

I LOVE VANDERBILT! ~ nuf said!

Today was the day I was supposed to go up and meet all of my doctors and get plugged into the system at Vanderbilt. It was to be a “dreaded” day. I must say I was not looking forward to it… It was an unknown…scary place…full of white walls,  waiting rooms and hand sanitizer…It was a place where people went that had “serious” problems with their health…NO!! Why am  ”  I   ”  going here????

The day is over… and…… I “HearT” Vanderbilt!

May I say… I LOVE Vanderbilt? Every experience was top notch! I felt so comfortable there and I LOVED meeting Dr. Haynes and Dr. Thompson. They will team facilitate my “all day” surgery.  GULP! They were so easy to talk to and I enjoyed having the students there that followed them around.  Vanderbilt is a teaching school. I love students! 😉

Like  said before, I began today with a lot of trepidation … Anxious thoughts and mixed feelings swarmed around in my head….We stayed Sunday  night at the Hampton Inn. Early Monday morning,  the Lord calmed my “HearT” in His presence when my husband and I listened to praise music … I only use one earphone anyway… So I gave Chuck the other one… It was great to lay in bed…5:00 ish and listen to praise music and set our thoughts on Him. Then,  about 6ish  , I read from a sweet little devotion  that my sister-in-law ….Cathy, gave to me the evening before! Then 7ish… I went to the wardrobe/closet where I had hung up my clothes and stood there…something told me to go and get my camera and take a picture. So, I did.     I thought, ” ok…Lord… that was odd…” I later posted the picture to my facebook and encouraged  all of us to “adorn ourselves with the righteousness of Christ.  May we choose to put on faith and  not fear… May we choose to wear hope and  not despair… etc.”    Essentially…I was hoping to give the picture of “putting” on our spiritual clothes.  We have to guard  our “HearT”. We have to give “ear” to his Word and calming voice as He ministers to us and He guides us through how we should view ourselves and circumstances.

Well, this very post was what turned my day around. God knew that I needed to be reminded to refuse the garments of defeat, despair, and sadness…It was in the middle of the afternoon and the dark clouds began to swirl.  We had one more meeting to go ,and as we walked on the city sidewalks , to the next office…my HearT was  shell shocked. My heart had sunk and was snowballing way down into the pit…..Chuck could tell something had given way and it was as though the wind was knocked right out of me. When we got there, I began slumping in my chair…my glazed gaze was out the window and I just “felt” defeat. I realized I needed to get up and talk a little walk. I walked into the restroom and there my Savior gently reminded me of the picture I had taken of my outfit just hours earlier. He said…”Wanda…why are you putting on rags of defeat?…Why are you sinking into yourself?? REFUSE the garments!” It is amazing what a little talk with Jesus can do! I went out and got a couple cups of water …one for Chuck  and one for myself…and I went back in the room and sat down. It was not 2 minutes later and my last doctor came in.  He was so nice! I enjoyed his personality and friendly demeanor! He was very personable with us….He asked us  questions and showed us a picture of his little boy. He was very complete with his explanation of our options and etc.

I am so glad I have a Savoir who cares about my HearT!  I can choose what I think about…I love Philippians 4:8…. It talks about whatever is TRUE, NOBLE, RIGHT…PURE…LOVELY… whatever is ADMIRABLE…Think on THESE things!  I really think my day could have ended in a train wreck had I not had a HearT to HearT talk with my Savior in the restroom. In my last meeting ,my doctor had to shoot straight with me about ALL of the  risks of this dangerous surgery. They scared me!! He had to tell me, as the other doctor, did… that … I will NOT be able to hear in my right ear after this is all over… My eyes leaked and, yes , it was difficult… but , I can’t imagine how I could have handled it if I had not refused the rags offered from the pit just a few minutes earlier….. Instead, I was able to grow in peace instead of pieces.

I…. HearT ….this day! <3  I love it because I know this is God’s plan for me and I am VERY thankful for VANDERBILT.  I have the best care and the top doctors looking out after me.

Even though I will lose my HearING in my right ear…I still   HearT   this day…because I know Who is  holding  my HearT and cares so deeply about me and His relationship with me.

I carried around a little yellow flower all day long. I actually picked it at the Hampton Inn…. shhhh! I wanted a little reminder that …out of ALL creation, I… am my Lord’s prized possession!  I know that at the end of the day, the flowers will fade and the grass will wither … but the Word of my Lord stands firm!

I hope from this testimony of today… you can  Hear His HearT!

 

~ HUE ~ knew??..(part 1)

Hello…again!

Thanks for coming back! Thank you for your prayers! Thank you!

My heart seems to know every one of them!

Ok… so last May… I was asked to move classrooms. Ok..no big deal…well…at first it was …you know, after you get settled somewhere and  you are comfortable…change is hard. I was used to Room #13. I got to trade to Room #7… it has a bathroom AND a view….to the playground that is!

I decided that I because I was moving , I would do something I have NEVER done before! PAINT!! Yes.. I have never painted a room in my life. I wanted a sage green. It was approved and I went and picked out some swatches. I” hem hawed”  around… and finally went back to the store to purchased the paint!  I was about to check out with the color I wanted and another color caught my eye. I loved it… I looked at the color name and it was “Spirit Whisper”.  yes! … I was sold ..I really liked that name…. AND THIS  “before” I knew about my tumor…So, I proudly purchased the paint and went to work.  I got to school and put the first few swipes on the wall and had a heart attack! What have I done? This looks like a baby room! My son Grant and a young man named Dalton were there will helping hands…. W  a i   t   i   n   g …. for me to make up my mind! I went for it! and….. now…. I LOVE IT!!! ~

The name of the paint is so dear to me because Jesus went before me in this journey setting it up for me to find comfort in His details..The Lord cares about every detail of our lives!  … Spirit Whisper!

HUE Knew?!!! HE DID!!

and He does!! He is the same yesterday… today and forever!

I was very stressed out last night thinking about making “sub” plans for Monday…. that is tomorrow…because that is the day  I will go to that scary , unknown place up in Tennessee that will open up my brain…

anyway… I just settled on resting…. RESTING… I went to bed and decided that those plans could wait and I just need to be still. I could put them together in the morning… which is now. AND….. YES….. THEY ARE ALL DONE!  That is why I am pounding away on the keyboard! ((See, I NEVER have a sub! I hate to have a sub… I would rather have my toenails torn out…I love my kids… I love my job. My classroom is my domain, haven and playground…..and besides…. It is A LOT of work to prepare for a sub.)))

anyway…This is the second part of part one of “HUE knew…”

Guess who had to prepare for a MONDAY… back on August 19th.. I had to go testify in court for a student. (It turned out I did not have to testify they were only ruling on the records and I was free to go back to school way before noon!

I was a little indignant…then… BUT
Guess who got to use the same outline and notes from the computer for TOMORROW! Yes! I flew through the plans and I have time to write to you.
“HUE” knew????     HE did ! and He does! He cares about the details…He

cares about U…

“H   E” knew! ….. all about “U” TOO!

He paints the morning sky for you…He shouts his name across the sunrise…He rides on its wings…Whispering his love songs to you! His mercies are new every morning…great is His faithfulness! (Lamentations 3)

May you feel so blessed today knowing He CARES for you!

It is not so..”sc-HAIR-y”!!!

ok… so I have this head of hair that doesn’t quit. Whenever I leave salon…. it looks like I have left two hair cuts behind. I always feel a ton lighter…aughhhhh ;)! In fact, I am so ready for another cut. I think my hair is so long out of neglect…anyway. Being a teacher…  it is so easy to put in a braid with a bow.. put it  back in a sparkly headband…or in a ponytail…

Anyway..in this section of the blog….I feel the need quickly to tell you my hair history. Back in the day…it was my crown and glory! It so was my pride and joy.. I spent HOURS primping and getting it just right…just ask my dad!!

Now…I just go with the ” flow”  and tend to it as I need to…straight hair is in style so I just “do” it however.

I have had sweet…seriously concerned ladies come and ask me if they will have to shave my hair to do surgery.  The answer is …yes. That was one of the first questions I asked  Lesley-Ann when she called    from Vanderbilt.  She is my  only connection right now that I have to the really “SCARY” place…up in Tennessee.   ( My God is with me wherever I go.)

She said it wouldn’t be “a lot”…but…that is relative.  Ok..so…. the Saturday after I learn of this Acoustic Neuroma… I hit the computer looking for blogs…(this was before I talked to Lesley-Ann) …I found a blog of a girl who “ignored” the symptoms for 2 years!!  She had to have TWO surgeries.. and  posted a picture of her head … and her SCARy scar…(BLAHHH) and I LOST it! I knew I need to RUN from the computer and never look back.  I am much better today… thinking about it.

Some thoughts:

#1… My “ROOTS” are in trusting my Lord….. even with the little things. In the big scheme of things …my hair is the last on the list. However it happens to be shaved…I will proudly wear the scar of …the beauty of modern technology… and the greater beauty of the path my Lord has for me. May it be a spring board for discussion…and may  eternity be forever shaken.

#2…I do not  have to get “WIGGED” out about other peoples stories! I have enough to contend to in my own… and I am firm in my foundation of trust. I trust that my God is walking with me.. and that He is gently leading me. I must keep my eyes on HIM….like Peter, I will sink as I walk on water with my eyes on my circumstance.

#3… Whenever I feel a pity party coming to town… I know I do not have to feel “shafted” by my Creator …because I know it.. IS NOT ABOUT ME! He went through great “lengths” to demonstrate His love for me… I may be the only  Jesus a lost and “dye-ing”  world will ever see. I don’t have to live in “split ends”… listening to all of the “bangs” the enemy tries to throw at me.

(ha ha ha ha… sorry… had to slip those  in. 🙂 I just  can’t help myself!At this point… I have to have a little “Tumor Humor”…

Seriously… I am not ScHAIRed … I will continue to “curl” up in His lap and “gel” to His promises…

Enjoy your Saturday!

PS… Leave me a punny post… if you think of one..I love to laugh! I hope you think this is as HAIR-larious as I do. 😉

 

“Its gotta be earwax!!”…so I thought….

So, let me tell you what is on my brain!!

ok…so at the end of May…… I noticed my ear feeling “full”….So , I asked my husband to look in my ear and tell me how to get the earwax out. I went to his office and to my dismay … he said my ear was really clean! I was rather perplexed…. I had been spending a lot of time with either a  Q Tip or my finger in my ear… awkward.

In June… my tongue began to feel funny… like it was tingling. I mentioned it to my husband …again… and he just said it might be allergies! GREAT!!!  ok! That must be it! YES! All the pressure from the allergies must be  making my tongue numb! So,  I got some allergy medicine and began to take it. To no avail! I tried another kind of allergy medicine! It did not do anything….again… hum???

Soon.. it was July…..we  headed to Florida for a trip to the beach… and I really thought it was “better”… Yes …! It must have been those Alabama allergies! It seemed to be better at the beach…(Well, doesn’t everything seem to be better at the beach?) 😉 Anyway, I was SURE that it was  . Now that I think back… of course it felt better , I was away from noise and my ear was out in the open…HOWEVER…my mouth was STILL  numb…now…my lips and the inside of my mouth…. hum???

August rolled around and it was time for school to start up again. We had a day of  in-service meetings, as all schools do …and… I thought I was going to burst out in tears…. well, actually I did. In our smaller/elementary group  we mentioned some  “prayer requests” and I could not help myself. It came out of nowhere.  It really  surprised me that  I was so on the edge of myself. It was really bothering me more than I had let on!.  I had an appointment on the 6th and I was so grateful! Finally, I could get on some steroids…I thought ..”Yes! … IT MUST be a virus!!”

Grateful for my appointment…I head to the ENT . I take a hearing test… answer all the questions the sweet doctor asked me… he told me what he thought it could be… he told  me what he” did not” think it would be based on the results of the hearing test and my symptoms..

But…because my tongue was numb….he sent me for an MRI.

Well…(that’s a deep subject)

I find out that night … the night before school started , that I have this benign brain tumor in my head!  The totality of reality did not hit me till later.  I was happy my dad was visiting and he could hear it in person …rather that over the phone. He lives in Iowa~! (Hi, Dad! I love you!)  Anyway… that is how I found out about this mass on my brain. I can’t wait to tell you more! I can’t wait to tell you how my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ ministered to me as my brain wrapped around this thing.

He has whispered many things dear to my heart and encouraged the socks right off of me. I find it scandalous that I can be truly filled with so much JOY… and peace during all of this. (umm, have I cried? YEAH… like a baby…on my dog’s shoulder…into my pillow )  So,  HEAR , I sit…knowing the Lord is calling me to a sweet place with Him. I am praying that I won’t have  “spiritual earwax”… I want to be still enough…shhhhh….quiet enough….ready enough… to hear those sweet gentle nudges from the Lord.

May you know that where ever you are…He is doing the same for you! Thanks for sitting a spell … It is Friday night… all of us are home from the football game! I am ready for some zzZZZZzzzzzs! I just had to tell you how all of this was revealed.

Like really…. how do you go from thinking you have a massive case of earwax to a brain tumor in just two months???

night…night…

I am sorry…can you repeat that??

It is Thursday night and I finally found some time to play around with my new “domain”…  and very own blog sight!!!

“underthebrainbow.com” has been created to document and journal my journey.  Blogging seems to be a popular way for people to express themselves. It allows dear friends to follow along as well….I am so glad you came!~

So, I am super excited to see what the Lord has for me in this process.  As many know , I have been diagnosed with a rare brain tumor…an Acoustic Neuroma. Don’t worry…  it is benign !! It is a very slow growing tumor that has been in my head for a while now.  I can’t wait to pound my thoughts onto this screen…. and keep a record of ALL of God’s wonderful promises. He is our covenant God! With JOY , I enter into this arena…and I am grateful for all the prayers ,  love and support many are giving to me at this time.

I am a 3rd grade teacher…and the Lord cracks me up! I guess He wants this teacher to experience the ultimate “brainstorm”….I thought about “brainstorm.com” as a domain…but,  it was taken!    (sad face)

I am so glad because I got to think of another one… BRAINBOW!   (happy face)  It was perfect! I look forward to dancing in the rain and twirling in the Lord’s goodness. I will count His blessings and count on every beautiful promise of my Lord!

So,  here is to…underthebrainbow.com !! ….with a pot of “BOLD”!

(Thanks, Deanna… I am still tickled!)

So, if I ask you to repeat what you said a couple of times…… don’t be offended.. I  really am hard of hearing! :0

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