Saturday, July 21, 2012

God is still good...

The world reels as news of the tragedy in Colorado unfolds and our hearts ache with pain as we try to wrestle with the age old question, "why do bad things happen?"  Especially when the "things" are so. so. bad.

This I do know: God is still good.  People sin but God is good.

So we pray and we trust God.

Check out this must-read post from a mother who was there in the theater when the shootings happened.

"But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD,
I say, "You are my God."
My times are in Your hand."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

So excited to announce...

I am officially signed up for my first half IronMan triathlon 70.3 event!  Branson 70.3 on September 23, 2012!  This is a major stepping stone on the way to pursuing my goal of competing in a full IM triathlon.

If you have been reading my blog for the past few years, you have followed my faltering injury-filled first few years of pursuing my triathlon goals.  The first year I had a stress fracture in my right hip which was misdiagnosed and then, once correctly identified, wouldn't heal and I ended up having to have surgery to have that hip pinned.  Then last year, I broke my ankle in two places trail running with Tom.  That healed up and later that summer I ended up getting another stress fracture in my other hip.   Predictably enough, that sf wouldn't heal either, even after 12 weeks on crutches totally non-weightbearing, so I had surgery to have it pinned as well.

In the midst of all of those bone injuries, I requested a bone density test and discovered that I have osteopenia!  Good grief!  I was beginning to feel pretty fragile and "old!"  (and I'm "only" 48!)

After a great deal of research on building bone density and some pretty intense seeking the Lord, I decided to continue pursuing triathlon.  I needed to participate in load-bearing activity to build bone density and, I just couldn't stay away from the challenge of swimming, biking and running.

Then, just when I thought that the "coast was clear" this past spring I developed a potentially serious heart arrhythmia.  You can read about that drama here, if you are so inclined.

Currently, my heart is "being good."  My cardiologist assures me that since my heart is very healthy, the chance of me going into cardiac arrest is very, very slim.  The biggest risk is that I would pass out.  And while that is certainly a concern, especially with swimming and biking, I have not yet had that happen when I have gone into VTach, so Tom and I have decided that I will stay the course for now.  If my heart problems become more frequent or certainly if it causes me to pass out I'll need to re-evaluate, but for now I'm moving forward and choosing not to live in fear of what "could happen."

The bottom line is this: God is good and I intend to live "full out," trusting Him and delighting in the journey with my sweet family.

On other fronts here... we are in the midst of the hottest, driest summer that I have ever seen here in the Midwest... day after day, after day above 100 degrees with no rain.  The grass is crunchy and brown and we have cracks in our back yard that a small child could get lost in.  Yikes!  I am not a huge fan of hot weather anyway, but this year I am eagerly anticipating autumn even more than usual.

Teddy, our Great Pyreneese puppy hangin' out on the air vent~ his favorite spot this summer!

Child-eating cracks in our back yard!
Last Friday we had a cloudy morning which kept the temperature lower for a few hours.  We decided to take advantage of the small break in the weather and pull some weeds (many of which seem happy as can be with the drought).  Unfortunately the boys ended up pulling some poison ivy plants out and by Sunday three of them almost couldn't open their eyes, their face was so swollen! Poor boys!  We couldn't very well ask them to wait another day to see the doctor, so we had to take all three of them in to the urgent care center and get them on steroids.  They were miserable!  So thankful that they are much better now.  I'm sure that they are happy that I didn't take any photos to show you!  : )

We are super-excited to be preparing for a family vacation to Colorado in a few weeks!  Tom has never seen the Rocky Mountains... I can hardly wait to introduce him to one of my very favorite places in the world.  We have *so* much to do in preparation for our trip... I have many meals to make and freeze plus I need to be sure that all of the children have shoes, jeans and jackets that fit and are fit to wear!  That is no small undertaking!

Boys carving zucchinis that grew too big...

In addition to all of the above, I am prepping for the start of a new school year.  Whew!  I guess that I *have* been busy.  I've missed our little "chats" here... hope to be able to pop in a bit more often!

Friday, July 6, 2012

It is what it is

I've been thinking lately about the phrase "it is what it is."  As a younger woman I tended to be idealistic, believing that if I did "x," then I would, most assuredly end up with results "y."

Predictably, it hasn't always worked out that way.

As our children have grown up, they have had to choose for themselves to follow the Lord and walk obediently with Him.  They have, of course, made some mistakes (just as I have, and continue to do!)

but we have the total delight of watching them work out their own walk with the Lord and experience for themselves the satisfaction of being a part of His big plan as they choose obedience.

Abbie teaching 5 Day Clubs with CEF this summer.

This summer has been extra hot (currently 11 days in a row above 97 and 9 of those 11 days above 100!) and extra dry as well,

Rather than complaining, I have chosen to get out and run or ride my bike at 5:30 in the morning. I get to see the best sunrises!

The extra hot weather has driven us indoors more than I like,

but the extra down time has encouraged some of my younger readers to really take off and tackle some chapter books on their own... *love* seeing that!

Drought conditions and the aforementioned hot weather has cooked my garden,

but my zinnias, sunflowers and swiss chard are still hanging in there, so we are enjoying lots of fresh flowers around the house and delighting in finding new ways to cook the swiss chard!

My heart was "acting up" last weekend.  I was super-bummed to have 4 VTach episodes....  I really can't even begin to tell you how very, very disappointed I was.  I was becoming more and more confident that the ablation I had done last April had been more successful than originally thought and I wasn't going to have any additional problems with my heart.

But (with my cardiologist and Tom's ok) I have continued to (prayerfully) work towards my goal of competing in my first half IronMan competition this September.  *So* grateful to be able to report that all has been fine the past 5 days, with no heart issues whatsoever.  I *will* figure this out~ I actually think that my problems last weekend may have been related to a virus that the children and I were battling.  I see my cardiologist this coming Thursday and will  be able to consult with him further on this.

I guess that I have become more convinced than ever that life is bound to be punctuated by disagreeable circumstances, some which we cause by poor choices or outright sin, and many that are simply the result of living in a fallen world.  When rudely confronted by these bumps in the road, I can choose to let them totally derail me, or I can choose to trust that God is still in control and joyfully "do what I can do" right then.

Oh!  Before I forget, the kindle version of the book Indescribable is available for free here!  What's not to love about free and about having additional reminders of God's goodness and omnipotent care for us?

Hope that you are delighting in your summer as well, embracing it all, and seeing God faithful,