Monday, May 11, 2015

Not giving up...

I've learned some pretty neat things over this past 18 weeks of finding joy in my daily life. I realized in this journey that part of why I don't always feel gleeful is because I feel so terribly all of the time. I can't really pinpoint when this  happened, but it has been getting progressively worse over the past several years. I know the summer I turned 36, I felt like my health went down hill. I lost my will to do much of anything. I thought it was because of the knee pain I was experiencing. Then my knee surgery didn't really help me feel normal. I've been asking my OB/GYN to test my thyroid for several years and they always test the TSH and tell me I'm normal and send me on my way. I have known that something is not right. I literally have every symptom of hypothyroidism (no energy/stamina, low body temperature, always cold, depression, hair falling out, dry skin, gasping for air, brain fog, weight gain, inability to lose weight...the list goes on). It isn't normal to feel like an old lady at my age. This past winter, my health continued to decline. I had days where I could not even get out of bed. Seriously, I'm not quite 38. I have 3 young children. I homeschool. I can't have days like that. It really isn't okay. So I went to a different MD and told them about my joint pain, stiffness, inability to live a normal life. They ran some blood tests and told me my vitamin D was low. He put me on an antidepressant and told me that I was stiff and had joint pain because I was depressed and gaining weight. He blew off the fact that I've gained a ridiculous amount of weight over the past few years despite eating mostly healthy and not large quantities. I demanded more bloodwork. They ran more tests and discovered that I had a positive ANA, which could mean I have an autoimmune disorder. I have been referred to a specialist to see what is going on with that. Meanwhile, I continued to search because  I still knew there was more to it. A friend recommended a NP to me and I saw her in early April. She ran a very comprehensive blood panel. A week later I was in for the results. She confirmed that my vitamin D was low. She also discovered that my hormones are completely out of whack, which I've suspected for years because of my mood swings and crazy menstrual cycles. She discovered I have the MTHFR  (C677T/ A1298C) gene mutation and that I have issues with my thyroid that a TSH test will not find. So the very  next day I started using bioidentical hormone creams, taking a natural dessicated thyroid supplement, and started taking methylfolate because people with the MTHFR gene mutation cannot handle folic acid. Honestly, the information on MTHFR gene mutations is a little overwhelming and I'm just starting to comprehend it. I'm 32 days into all of these supplements and I feel better than I have in years. Sadly, I still don't feel great all of the time, but I have faith that I will continue to progress because we have finally identified why I was feeling terribly. I know that it won't happen overnight and that there are many pieces to this puzzle. I will follow up with her again this month for bloodwork and we can adjust whatever needs to be adjusted.

This leads me to my next point. I have been wanting to start running again for years. Between a bum knee, a broken foot, crazy menstrual cycles, pain, and quite frankly just feeling like crap, I haven't started. Over this past month, I have more good days than bad. I can count on one hand how many days I've had horrible joint pain. So now's the time. I started my journey to running again. I'm using the Couch to 5 K because that is what works for me. This morning was slow and sweaty. It was hard, but I did it. It is a 3 day a week program. I haven't decided what I will do on my off days, but I'm definitely shooting for 5 days a week of something. I do not actually care if I lose weight. I just want to run. It's always been a dream of mine. I have started this journey several times and this time I want to do it for good. I'm excited to see where this journey takes me (hopefully some cool 5Ks). If you are a runner friend, please encourage me. I actually do not like running with people because I am a loner when I exercise, but I definitely respond to words of affirmation. This is a 12 week program, so by the beginning of August, I will hopefully be able to run a 5 K and not at a snail's pace.

I'm not giving up. I'm determined to feel healthy again and hopefully I'm closer than I've been in a long time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Gleeful Journey

"Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord." - Psalm 89:15

I'm 12 weeks into my journey of being gleeful. If nothing else, this journey has taught me that I must continually be seeking the good things and the blessings because they aren't always obvious. When you seek and count your blessings, it causes you to have a thankful heart. When you are thankful and worshipping God, it is pretty hard not to have joy. To be happy. To be gleeful. 

Life isn't always good. In fact, sometimes life is very difficult. And sometimes our season of life makes us question whether there is anything good at all. But there is always something good. There is always something to be thankful for. God always has a reason for giving us one more day. Sometimes our hard days help form our ministry, so that we can help another person. Sometimes our hard days make us cause us to look at the great days and worship God.

Here are some things I've noticed about my joy in this 3 month process. 
- My family brings me more joy than I could have possibly imagined. 
- The sunlight has a huge impact on my mood. I'm definitely not a cold weather kind of girl. Sunny days make my soul happy. 
- Focusing on my blessings, whether small or large has really helped me see how good God truly is. 

Here are some of the things that I've praised God for in the past 3 months. 
-My children's health, my mom being okay after a bad fall, music, youth retreats, quiet times with God, creating things, coffee dates, restful nights, good school days,  snow days, long days at home with family, hard working hubby, baby chicks, baby showers, friend's spiritual retreat, and beautiful spring days. 

I pray that those of you following along in this journey with me are feeling the positive impact of recording our gleeful moments. If you aren't, please join the Facebook group and join us in sharing throughout the week on the things that bring us glee. We'd love the company! 

Friends, we are happy when we take these things that make us gleeful and hear them as the joyful call to worship our Creator.  We will walk in the light of His presence.  I encourage you to take time out of your busy lives and figure out what makes you gleeful. 

~Peace out, homies. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Being Gleeful - the first real week

It's been 9 days since I wrote my first post in the #BeGleeful series. Let just tell you. It has been harder than I thought it would be. I published my post on Saturday January 3rd. That evening my daughter got sick. She started throwing up late that night. She seemed mostly fine on Sunday, but we had to miss church and that always makes me sad. Then Monday, she puked multiple times an hour all day long. We had to get her meds so that she could stop puking and get rest. Poor thing had bloodshot eyes from barfing so much. That lasted through Wednesday. We had planned on starting our homeschool week back on Wednesday, so needless to say that didn't happen. 

So Thursday we are in the clear, right? Nope. Not at all. My mom fell down the stairs and it was super scary. Thankfully, she is okay. Just some bruises. It could have been really bad.

Friday I overslept and didn't take Sam to preschool. For those of you who don't know, Sam is a little cling-on with me. He pretty much has to be touching me in some way. It is really hard to school the big ones with him being like that, so we send him to preschool 3 days a week. It really helps. 

I work part-time 3 days a week. Work was insane. 

I suffered from my night time anxiety issues which kept me up all night almost every night  this past week and therefore felt like a zombie. 

But guess what? I'm going to #BeGleeful that my daughter is back to her normal self and feeling healthy again. I'm super thankful that she never got dehydrated.  My mom could have been badly injured, but she wasn't. God was there. No doubt about it. Oversleeping helped me catch up on rest Friday morning. Work won't be nearly as insane this week. I'm praying the anxiety won't be an issue this week 

Here's what I'm clinging to this week. 

1 Thessalonians 5: 16 
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 

Romans 12: 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 

Psalms 46: 1 God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. 

Romans 8: 31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 

Zephaniah 3:17 (one of my favorites)
For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in your with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. 

Psalms 29: 11 The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace. 

Psalms: 13: 5 But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. 

I'm pretty sure God is telling me to be in constant communion with Him. It will keep me joyful and help me be thankful for all things. If I'm having a hard time, I should be patient and keep on praying. No matter how tough things are, He's going to be right there with me. He is always for there for me. He calms me and loves to see me when I'm happy. He give me strength and peace. He has rescued me. I'm pretty sure I have many things to be gleeful about.

I've been trying to capture some of the gleeful moments of my week. Here ya go! 


My first ever granny square. I'm making an afghan this year. It's a little wonky looking, but I still need to block it.

A stashbuster/scrappy afghan I'm also making.

My sweet little girl with her new glasses.