Tag Archives: asthma

Admitting need

It began rather early.

I woke before 6, not breathing well.

Often times, when I’m not breathing well in my sleep, I have upsetting dreams.

This was the case, so I actually didn’t notice how much I was struggling to breathe, because my emotions were all stirred up over the disturbing dream.

I spent a long time in prayer and with my Bible.

It was a bit later, as I was getting breakfast, when I realized my asthma was kicked up.

I’m certain it was the Lord, helping me to see myself realistically.

As the day wore on, it continued to be troublesome.

Later in the evening, I had an attack.

Anne is here, and was quick to get her Daddy, who set up my nebulizer for me.

The treatment worked and we were all thankful.

Today, I will be dependent upon my family, as I am exhausted from yesterday.

Yet, there’s so much joy in admitting my needs.

Because God has always known my limitations and when I choose to humble my heart, I can clearly see how much I need Him.

Whether I’m in good health or not.

He has always been faithful to supply all my needs.

Those times, when it felt as if something was lacking, were always points where I had stubbornly refused to surrender my ideas to Him.

It was never that He didn’t supply my needs, it was that He didn’t do it my way.

My own willfulness blinded me to His provision.

Thankfully, I’m learning.

Instead of starting the day off telling God what I’m going to do, I begin by asking Him what His plan is for me.

Thus, I can admit my limitations without fear, because I know He shall supply all.

1 John 1:9 KJV — If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for supplying all I need for salvation. Nothing on this earth is as lasting nor as needed. Lord, I thank You for Your faithfulness to me each day. Thank You for my family who are so loving and compassionate. Thank You for their gentle care for me. Lord, for those who are struggling with fear and need, please help them to look to You. Lord, show those who are in need what is required for peace, they must surrender themselves completely before You and accept Your gift of salvation. Nothing else matters like eternity. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your sacrifice that paid the price for all sin. Lord, please let me never cheapen nor slight the magnitude of that. Thank You for all Your wonderous works! Amen.

The gift of giving

It wouldn’t have come to mind.

My husband and I were chatting on the patio.

We’d been discussing the begonia.

It’s a beautiful hanging plant, but I’ve been concerned where I’m going to keep it once the weather turns.

My sweet hubby purchased for me, but didn’t realize it’s tender nature.

I mentioned the possibility of it overwintering in our bedroom.

Our windows face the patio and my husband gently pointed out the window lined with four potted Jade plants.

“There’s already several…”

“Honey, don’t worry. I’ll give those away as soon as I know who the Lord wants them to go–oh!”

For a memory flashed into my mind.

Last week I’d asked for prayer for wisdom.

“I have been so blessed by the ladies at the Allergist. I really want to let them know how much I appreciate them, but can’t figure out how.”

There are two nurses, my doctor, and the receptionist.

Four ladies.

Four Jade plants!

My husband was looking at me with a quizzical expression.

I smiled.

“I know exactly what I’m supposed to do. I’ll give them away tomorrow.”

What a blessing!

To use the things the Lord has placed in my care temporarily to give to others.

I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to go about it tomorrow, but I’ll be praying.

It’s in the simple and small things that I want to be diligent.

Those seemingly unimportant details where God speaks so gently.

It’s that still small voice.

I want my life to be a reflection of Jesus wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, and however I possibly can.

Because Jesus doesn’t love people once in a while, or when it works into the schedule.

He loves people.

Period.

I want to do that as well.

I don’t know if the ladies will even want these plants, but I’m praying they will feel loved.

Hopefully, they will feel appreciated.

It’s only a tiny sliver of gratitude for their service to me.

But I praise God for each one of them and for this opportunity to give to them.

I praise God for His provision and the gift of giving.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for these ladies. Thank You for the medical field which has come up with treatment and ways to help me and others with allergies and asthma. Lord Jesus, thank You for this opportunity. Please bless these ladies and let them feel Your love. May Your name be glorified. Amen.

Learning ASL

It’s been part of the journey.

This addition of another language into our lives

My husband looked at me on Sunday and said, “I need to learn ASL.”

And I feel the same way.

I really don’t grasp the language the way I want to.

But I’m so thankful for what we have learned.

Because it’s becoming more and more a part of my life.

Although my asthma has been improving and I’m getting stronger, I still loose the ability to speak fairly regularly.

With all the disinfectant being used in stores, I am finding it difficult.

I actually try not to go anywhere.

But the pharmacy is often closed when my husband is off work.

Therefore I’ve made several trips to Bi-Mart, recently.

Each time my voice has vanished.

But God is using it.

Last Tuesday, I was able to speak to the pharmacist and get my prescription, but by the time we reached the check out line with other needed items it was gone.

While standing in line, I had been signing to Anne when I looked up.

The checker was nodding to us, that she was ready.

Anne spoke kindly with her while she passed the items through.

I slid my card into the machine and patiently, using the wand, pushed all required keys.

It was as the lady, behind her mask, turned from her register with my receipt that I was blessed.

She was looking directly into my eyes with a gentle, heart warming expression.

She handed me the slip of paper and then carefully signed, “Good day”.

It was a gift.

Hopefully my face communicated my deep appreciation.

I signed back, “You too.”

Then turned for the door.

I didn’t want to start crying.

That response has only happened one other time, but both were so beautiful.

I was truly blessed.

Another gift I’ve gained is a tiny sliver of what it must be like for those trapped by a lack of communication.

There’s something truly incredible in being able to both understand others and express yourself.

It’s a gift I have not thanked God for until this journey.

When our Anne was three months old my mother-in-law had a serious stroke and has never completely regained her ability to speak as she had before.

Our Jase has always found communication a struggle and as a small boy, would retreat within himself when the world was just too confusing.

Both circumstances taught me a great deal of compassion and some tools to use in helping them communicate.

But that’s completely different from experiencing the frustration of not being understood myself.

Now, I can empathize with those who are unable in a new way.

What a blessing to have God open a door in my understanding by removing an ability!

I’m so thankful for this opportunity.

I’m expectant.

I look forward to learning more of this language and becoming fluent, (hopefully).

I also look forward to continuing to pray with compassion for those who experience daily loss of communication.

Most of all, I look forward to how God is drawing me closer to Himself through this journey we are on.

I’m so blessed and thankful to the Lord!

I may not always be able to understand.

I may not always be able to speak.

But I can always praise the LORD.

1 Chronicles 23:30 KJV — And to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at even;

Resting

Yesterday morning, I began the day with an asthma attack.

Although I’m super thankful for my nebulizer, I was sad to have to use it.

It’s been a long time since it’s been needed.

My day, therefore didn’t look like what I had planned.

Jase had to work his school mostly on his own.

Meals were leftovers, reheated.

(Praise God for our microwave and the leftovers!)

My asthma didn’t allow much, but I was glad to be on the couch instead of the bed.

When I got up this morning, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Praise the Lord, I’m breathing pretty well.

I’m still sluggish and slow, but so thankful to God for the ability to do a few little things.

And I’m enjoying the opportunity to pray more.

When my activities slim down, my heart finds it easier to remain in prayer.

So, I’m praising God for His rest.

I hadn’t scheduled it for today or yesterday, but since it’s required why chaff at putting off my own plans?

Instead, I’m embracing God’s.

After all His ways are best.

Isaiah 2:3 NKJV — Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your plans for each day. Lord, I know there is so much sin and wickedness in the world that we can often forget how much good there is as well. After all, You are good and You are far bigger than Your creation. Thank You for holding us in Your hands and walking us forward into Your truths. Lord, please help us to live for You in our actions, our thoughts, and our attitudes. Lord, please let our mouths be full of Your praise, our hearts full of Your love, and our minds full of Your truth. Thank You, Jesus! Amen.

Going grey

Frankly, it’s been a struggle.

I found my first grey hair at 16.

It gained friends in my twenties.

All through those years I struggled with the embarrassment of it.

To me, I was going to be old before my time.

When I reached thirty I was set on dying my hair.

This too was a struggle.

The little boxes you can buy at nearly any store were unpredictable.

After dying my hair purple (twice) my husband suggested I find a hairdresser.

It took a little time to find someone I really felt understood me and what I wanted.

All through this, I struggled with the truth that I was going grey.

It didn’t seem fair.

Was I being vain to want to keep my grey hidden?

Was my heart being stubborn against God’s will?

Would my children ever remember me as anything but old and grey?

These were the constant concerns which would float through my brain every time I would need another dye job.

Yet, I had to continue getting it done.

Another factor came into play this last year.

I’d go to get my hair dyed and would struggle to breathe.

Then there were appointments I had to cancel completely because I was too sick to leave the house.

I still feel bad about my last appointment.

It was this summer and I had planned on going.

But the morning dawned and my asthma was terrible.

I kept foolishly thinking it would recover.

Instead I not only couldn’t go, I ended up returning back to stay with Tim and Sis.

I had to text my dear hairdresser friend that it was “good bye”.

It was during this past couple months that the Lord spoke clearly.

I’d been feeling emotional and sick and frustrated.

I was pouring out my emotions to the Lord.

In my flurry of words and worry the truth became clear.

Hair dye really bothers my asthma.

It’s time to go grey.

Because God is perfect, our Bell, who was visiting, showed me several pictures of people who were grey or ash.

It was exactly what I needed.

I made an appointment with a hairdresser up here.

We discussed how to go about getting my hair, which was dyied very dark brown, with months worth of grey roots to go to letting it all be natural.

On top of that, I can’t handle the dye so the shorter the appointment the better.

She was great.

I only had to take my inhaler twice.

Even the other hairdressers were so kind about me having to have the window open in January.

It will take time to get my hair completely grown out, but I’m really looking forward to it.

I never thought I’d be excited to let the world see me and my grey hair.

It’s just another beautiful change.

And I’m so thankful to God for it!

Thankful for my asthma

Here we are!

At track.

Our good friend stood on Bell’s blocks for her.

Both meets he’s done it for the 400.

Bell likes me to be at the finish line and Daddy at the second corner, so it was great to have another to weight down her blocks.

And God really blessed her.

She was sick yesterday, but was still able to win both the 400 and the 200.

I was blessed to see her give it her all even though she was feeling awful.

The day held special blessings for our girl.

Even an enormous answer for Bell and our prayers for direction.

The biggest surprise was what happened between races.

Bell and I were standing near the 200 start line.

I had been helping her stretch out and the 800 girls went by.

We watched although none were familiar.

The main group passed and we casually discussed the runners and their individual techniques.

When another runner came up.

She was way behind and obviously in pain.

Instantly, Bell shouted encouragement.

We watched her pass the first corner and then collapse into the grass on the second.

Bell ran over to her and I watched and prayed.

People were busy about the girl and it didn’t take but a few moments for two people on her team to sprint away toward the bleachers.

It was scary to watch, but I knew the Lord was there.

Eventually things seemed to improve and she was helped up and left.

Bell walked back over.

“What was it? Is she going to be alright?”

“Yeah, it was an asthma attack. But I was able to help her get calmed down and to stop panicking. Cause, you know, it doesn’t help anything. They got her inhaler and she’s going to be fine.”

“Oh, wow!”

“Yeah, she kept saying she didn’t finish and I offered to walk her down the track so she could but she decided not to.”

And that was all.

Bell was sad for her.

I could tell she felt for the other runner.

Since Bell was running again soon our attention went back to duties.

Yet upon reflection I found myself choked up.

Bell knew exactly what to do and what was happening with the runner because of my asthma.

I didn’t realize when we walked into the meet I’d be thankful for my asthma.

Yet, I am.

God used our struggles to help someone else.

Which is so very much

Who He is.

What the enemy means for evil,

God uses for good.

Jesus has used it in so many ways.

He has taught us to focus on what really is eternal.

He has used it to bind us closer together.

And yesterday He helped a girl we don’t even know.

But Jesus knows her and I feel so thankful He choose to use our Bell to help her.

And in it all we can glorify the Father.

What an amazing God

He is.

“Lord, why?”

(This is a guest post from Anne.)

This is what I have been saying a lot.

“Lord, why?”

“Lord, why is our house seemingly falling to pieces?”

“Why do we have two feet of snow when we are trying to work on the house?”

Then our power goes out.

“Lord, why did You let the power go out?”

A few days into our power outage Dad walks out of his bedroom looking grim.

“Anne, get your stuff and clean off the front seat of the truck for Mom.”

I didn’t question him.

His face was too serious.

Rush, rush, rush.

I could tell we are in a hurry even though I don’t have a clue why.

All of us kids are strapped into the truck seats, waiting.

I see Mom holding onto Dad’s arm.

She’s walking really slowly.

“Mom, are you okay?”

All she could do was sign, o.k. while she smiled the whole time.

Driving to the E.R.

“Lord, why?”

“Why does Mom have asthma?”

“Why has Mom had to be so sick all these weeks?”

“God, I’m starting to feel like a kitchen drudge. It seems all I do is try so hard to keep on top of school and housekeeping. Father, I’m trying so hard to clean the house for Mom. We are all trying so hard to help Mom get better. I just want life to be normal again. ”

We arrive at the E.R.

They took Mom back.

About an hour later we were able to go back and see her.

She was able to talk again.

The doctor sent us home.

When we were all back in the truck Dad told us Mom was going to stay with Tim and Sis till power was restored.

Mom asked if she were going alone.

Dad said, “Yes, I think that’s best.”

My mouth stayed tightly closed but my heart cried, “no,no,no!”

“Lord, why?”

Dad dropped us girls at the gym to work out and shower while he took Mom home to pack a bag.

I was surprised when he picked us back up and asked me, “You want to go with Mom?”

“Yes, yes, yes!”

And that began our week together at Sis and Tim’s.

My week with Mom all to myself.

God used the time to answer my prayers, to talk to me, to teach me so many things.

Even though there was a point I didn’t think it could get much harder or that I’d ever be grateful for that day in the E.R. I am.

I am so thankful for that day.

I am so thankful for the week we had.

“Thank You, Lord.”

“I’m starting to see why.”

E.R.

I didn’t know when I left this room I’d not be coming back.

When I return, it will be completely changed.

At least that’s the plan for now.

We’ve endured so many changes I’m learning to say, “That’s the current plan, if nothing changes.”

With the snow and power outages we’ve been running our propane heater, propane stove, and woodstove.

Wednesday morning our roof had so much snow my husband called in to say he would be late so he could sweep off the snow.

When he was on the roof he said he kept trying to figure out what he was smelling.

Then he realized it was the propane from our bedroom heater.

I was laying in bed because my chest had been acting up.

By the time he came down to turn off the heater I was having an attack.

I had tried moving rooms, I’d taken my inhaler more than once, I was thinking about staying calm and getting control of my breathing.

Yet I wasn’t.

My husband did everything possible to change the environment so I could breathe.

Minutes pass.

We reached the 15 minute mark and no improvement.

He loaded me and the kids in the truck and we headed for town.

The E.R. was loaded with people.

I tried to help my husband answer the medical questions, but if you can’t breathe you can’t talk.

(So I’m going to have my medical history in writing in my purse for the future.)

Upon reaching a room things happened quickly.

Before I knew it I had been changed, hooked up to monitors, given an IV, questioned, x-rayed, and then being treated with a breathing mask.

And my first full breath in over an hour was so refreshing!

I was so thankful for each person who was working so hard to help me.

I had seen all the people in the waiting room and then more in the back.

I knew they were working nonstop to help those like myself.

After a while the doctor explained now that my breathing was normal I was able to be released.

My husband explained his plans for me.

“Honey, you’re not going back home. I’ve gotten a hold of Tim and Sis. You’re going to stay with them till the power comes back on. After that you’re going to move in with John and Jan. They live close enough to the school and our house you can see the kids everyday. They don’t have pets or anything else which should cause you any more asthma attacks. I’m going to start working on getting our house gutted and redone so you won’t keep having all these health issues. ”

And by dinner time I was sitting down at my daughter’s table and thanking God for His blessings.

It’s been a whirl of change.

Yet I’ve been able to smile throughout.

Praising God for all His provisions.

How awesome He truly is!

“Good news! You just have a chronic illness. “

It was like the snow covering our car.

“Your blood work says there’s nothing wrong with your immune system, you just have asthma.”

The voice was perky and expectant. She was communicating this was definitely good news.

I was thankful to hear it.

Just as the beauty of the snow is a blessing, I was blessed by the fact that my body is not broken in that way.

Then another thought crossed my brain.

“Then why am I still struggling?”

After a few questions with the kind nurse I hung up.

-sigh-

The snow is beautiful, but it means living differently to accommodate the cold.

The blood test is a good thing, but it means there’s no fixing my every day struggle.

I have asthma.

I’m going to have to learn how to live with it.

I have allergies.

I’m going to have to change my lifestyle permanently to avoid some of those things.

Our house is going to have to change to get rid of the allergens.

“Praise the Lord.”

smiling.

“Lord, even in this let me always sing Your praises.”

It was fitting.

Anne put a CD of Christian music on.

She doesn’t know how much it blessed me.

I may not have the breath to sing, but my heart can.

If I never feel as good as in the past it really doesn’t matter.

This is where true praise comes from.

“Thank You Jesus for all that this new path has for me and my family. Thank You for every step You are taking me on. If I never recover my former health I know You will be with me. I know You are working in this. I know I can trust You. May Your name be praised from ever part of the Earth and into eternity.”

More to come…

The moments seemed to crystallize before me.

My seat afforded me comfort, but I couldn’t feel it.

The room around me was peacefully quiet, but my ears were full of noise.

My mind was the only thing able to take in all the information, all the things going on and to filter them.

Yet, the moments crept on.

Slowly-

Painfully-

“Lord, I need You.”

tears begin to form

I-

can’t-

breathe-

“LORD, how many times do I take my rescue inhaler before this stops?”

-peace-admist-my-chest-heaving-

-searching-for-air-

I can’t keep the tears from

falling.

I don’t feel panic,

but still unsure,

when will this attack,

subside?

“Lord, please bring someone to help me. I don’t know what else to do.”

short gasping gives way-

-to coughing, coughing, coughing-

And in walks a deacon from our church.

He thinks I’m suffering from a cold and comments accordingly.

I have so little air I can’t make myself be understood at first.

He comes nearer.

I managed to whisper,

“I’m having an asthma attack.”

His eyebrows shot up and he gently puts a hand on my shoulder and starts to pray.

Deeply thankful to Jesus, I bow my head.

I stop coughing.

My chest eases.

By the end of his prayer I’m breathing normally.

I get up, thank him.

He nods and replies,

“You know God sometimes doesn’t answer the big things, but He steps in and answers the small ones which just let’s us know He’s really listening. God bless you today!”

I stop and smile.

“He already has.”

His answered prayer for me to breathe wasn’t a small thing to me.

It was a milestone.

An enormous sign on my journey-path which proclaimed the words I most needed.

I am with you. I am hearing you. I am providing for you, even this.

Unless I’d experienced the pain and helplessness of an asthma attack like that one, I’d never have had an understanding of just how precious each breath is.

The gift of instantly answered prayer, that moment is a jewel I shall treasure.

Unless I’d experienced the helplessness of the situation, I’d have missed the enormous gift of a caring prayer and an ever-so-faithful God.

The moment has as much meaning and beauty for me as the stunning stain-glassed windows of a Gothic cathedral.

breathing-

Today,

I

am

breathing.

And with each breath,

with each step,

with each day of the journey,

I can rest quietly in the truth:

“There’s more to come…”