Friday, July 27, 2012

Beyond



Every Friday Lisa-Jo hosts a writing party, inviting us to write for five minutes flat with no editing, no back tracking. Our prompt this morning is BEYOND. 

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Beyond the weariness is a God who strengthens.
Isaiah 40:29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Beyond the fear is a God who protects.
Psalms 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid?

Beyond the moment of self doubt is a God who finds me worthy enough to sacrifice His son.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son.......

Beyond the physical pain is a God who heals.
Psalms 30:2 Lord my God, I called you for help and you healed me

Beyond the financial burdens is a God who provides. 
1 Timothy 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant or put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

bird flying
I am so thankful for a God who takes care of me.
Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feed them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

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Come join the party!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thankful When Hard Decisions are Made for Me


After my daughter's accident, there were a few decisions that the doctors required me to make. One such decision was surgery on her clavicle. At first the break looked slight which meant the bone had a 85% chance to heal properly on it's own. That left a 15% chance of it NOT healing correctly which would mean range of motion could be lost and/or surgery to correct. I turned my decision over to God and asked Him to give both the doctors and me wisdom. A day later it was decided that a new x-ray was necessary. The first x-ray was done while Breanna laid on a bed. A new, upright x-ray was ordered to find if the weight of the arm would change the displacement of the fractured bone and to also rule out the possibility of a double clavicle break (one on each side!). The picture on the left shows the displacement. Surgery was clearly necessary. And only the left clavicle broken. Thank you, God, for taking the decision out of my hands.
The picture on the right shows the hardware that will allow the clavicle bone to heal correctly. The plate and pins will remain in Breanna's shoulder for the rest of her life. Yesterday we saw Breanna's surgeon. The bone is still healing and until it is completely healed Breanna will need to continue wearing a sling - not what she wanted to hear but good news is that it is healing properly.

I am so thankful for having a God to give the hard stuff to (like decision making).
I am thankful that God answers prayers.
I am thankful that He equipped medical doctors and nurses who have healed my daughter.
I am thankful for a mighty God who is the ultimate physician.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Herbs



I'm slowly adding herbs to my yard. This pot houses rosemary, lavender, and nasturtium. 

I love using lavender in my soaps and lotions. Lavender oil aids in decreasing stress and depression, decreases headaches and helps fight insomnia. It is also antiseptic and anti-fungal which makes it good for skin ailments such as eczema, acne, and minor cuts and burns.

Rosemary had phyto-chemical properties to prevent disease and promote health. Used in shampoo it can fight dandruff and stimulates hair growth. From LIVESTRONG
"Drinking rosemary tea is a good way to receive a variety of vitamins. Rosemary leaves are high in the following: beta-carotene/Vitamin A, thiamin/Vitamin B1, riboflavin/Vitamin B2, niacin/Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, biotin, pantothenic acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K."



Nasturtium is new to me but is an edible plant that is high in Vitamin C and it's peppery tasting leaves are a great addition to a salad.  


Stevia, Lemon Balm and Chocolate Mint
I've read that after harvesting and drying stevia, it can be ground into a powder and used as a sweetener. My plan is to use it in tea and in smoothies. Stevia provides the sweet without the calories. Stevia helps lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, reduce inflammation, as well as being anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and anti-viral.

Lemon balm is a favorite essential oil that I buy to use in soaps. The scent of lemon is so refreshing and energizing. NCSU horticulture specialist, Jeanine Davis, states: 
"Uses - Lemon balm, with its delicate lemon scent and flavor, is valued as a culinary, cosmetic and medicinal herb. Fresh sprigs are used to top drinks and as garnishes on salads and main dishes. Fresh or dried leaves make a refreshing tea, either iced or hot. Dried leaves are used as an ingredient in many pot-pourris and the oil is used in perfume. Used throughout history as a medicinal herb, lemon balm has mild sedative properties and has been used to relieve gas, reduce fever, and increase perspiration. The volatile oil contains citral, citronellal, eugenol acetate and geraniol. Both oil and hot water extracts of the leaves have been shown to possess strong antibacterial and antiviral qualities. "

Chocolate Mint.....does there even need to be anything of value in this? Really, with a name like that I don't need a list of benefits to convince me to have a cup of chocolate mint tea. :) Mint tea is good for aiding digestion (and has less calories then an after dinner mint). It can also help with menstrual cramps, stomach cramps, nausea and colic. I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter I kept mint chocolate chip ice cream stocked in the freezer to help me with my queasy tummy. Tea would have been a better choice.
Chamomile
Chamomile is well know as a "bedtime tea" as it is calming and induces sleep. However there are many more benefits to chamomile. Chamomile tea is a gentle pain reliever, aids in digestion, and eases morning sickness and menstrual cramps (hmm...sounds very similar to mint). Compresses can be used for earaches, itchy skin and itchy eyes (just make sure it's cool enough). Chamomile can also be used to lighten hair color.


Note: Since I took these pictures in May my herbs have grown a bunch! Later this week I will post current pictures and share a few recipes. :)

Hearth & Soul Hop

Remembering to Have a Heart of Gratitude

I was humbled this week with the realization that during the hard times, the days spent in the hospital, I was consistently searching and seeing blessings despite our circumstances. Somehow in the midst of real life I had forgotten to have a heart of gratitude. 

On Thursday, instead of singing praises for the previous days successful CT scan (Breanna's no longer has bleeding around her brain! HALLELUJAH!), I was allowing the stresses of every day life swallow up my gratitude. A leaking toilet. A van, which had been in for repairs twice since we've returned home from the hospital, was squealing while smoke rolled out from under the hood. My computer wasn't working (it has since decided to work again). An anniversary forgotten. I went to bed early and on Friday morning I woke realizing that in the grand scheme of life these little trials mean very little and are merely annoyances. 

I am instructed to give thanks in EVERYTHING (1 Thessalonians 5:18)! Today I am thankful that my daughter is walking and talking. Breanna's body is healing and someday this WILL be just a faded memory. I am thankful for a house that, yes, sometimes needs repairs, but is a home filled with love. I am thankful that I am able to repair the van instead of having to worry about buying a new vehicle. I am thankful that God has provided an excellent medical facility with outstanding physicians. He's also provided family, friends and a community which continue to support us with love, kind words and prayers. I have so much to be thankful for!

Breanna continues to heal. Next week she will have another x-ray of her clavicle and an appointment with her orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Torchia. Depending on what the x-ray reveals, Dr. Torchia will determine if she can have possible breaks from the sling (at this time she wears it all the time except for showering and dressing), as well as exercises that she can do to strengthen her arm. 

The first week in August Breanna will be tested on her cognitive abilities. She was warned by one of her therapists that this test can take up to four hours. Hopefully they give snack breaks. :)  At this time it will be decided when Breanna will be able to discontinue therapy and when she will be able to return to work. I think she is anxious to return to work.....or at least anxious to get out of the house. 

At church on Sunday I met a woman and through our conversation found that she lives very near to the accident site. She reassured me that she was praying for my daughter before I even knew Breanna needed prayers. I'm so thankful for the family of Christ. Although strangers, through Him, we share a deep connection. Seeing the love of Christ in others is truly beautiful. 

I'm rejoicing in all our blessings, as well as the trials that keep me on my knees. I again want to thank each of you for your continued love and prayers. 




You can read more about our journey regarding my daughter's accident and recovery at her Caring Bridge site




Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sidewalk Paint



Yes, it says, "Lorie ROCKS!" I have a new favorite at Laurie's Little Sprouts. He may have spelled my name wrong but  the word following my misspelled name makes it all ok. :)

I found several recipes for sidewalk paint which used corn starch and food coloring. I had neither so I improvised. I mixed by sight so I apologize but I have no exact measurements. I simply mixed liquid laundry starch with powdered tempera paint. More starch than paint. Mix well. 





Time to pretty up the driveway!












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 Polly Want a Crafter

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Romans 12:10


Wordle: ROMANS 12:10
Ok, so I can't figure out how to make this bigger. Tonight I wanted to make some word art so after a quick google search I found "Wordle" and this is what I made. :) Click on the word art and it will take you to the full size version and the neat site where you can make your own word art.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Hurting World

Last week my heart was breaking so much for so many. I walked through the hospital and saw fear and sadness on the faces of strangers. A look that I often wore not long ago in those same hospital hallways. My heart breaks for the young man who lost his father. I cried for my friend whose mother, after years of remission, is struck again with cancer. I think of the children in my favorite city devastated by flood waters. I think of the families left homeless in a city engulfed with flames.

My heart aches. I feel powerless........

Yet, I know this: the same God that comforted and guided me during those weeks in the hospital will comfort and guide those who seek Him. The same God that gave me hope as I sat by my daughter's hospital bedside can give everyone hope. I am powerless but thankfully my God is not.  I do know that God uses EVERYTHING for GOOD. Sometimes it's hard to see the big picture. We may never see the good that came from the hard. But we can have faith that the good does come.

Thank you, God, for the hard and the heartaches so I that I can cherish the good. Thank you for your word which reassures me, lifts me and comforts me.

Psalm 34:18
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Colossians 3:2-3
Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:2-3

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

On the Road to Recovery


I've been MIA on my blog lately as I've taken my writing to my daughter's Caring Bridge page. One month ago my daughter, Breanna, was involved in a car accident. She and her friend were heading back to town after swimming at a popular swimming hole when her friend lost control of the car on a stretch of loose gravel. The car rolled multiple times and both girls were ejected from the vehicle. Megan, Breanna's friend, was air lifted by Mayo One and Breanna was taken to St. Mary's Hospital via ambulance.  
To read more about this experience visit Breanna's Caring Bridge.

Here's today's update:

We've had a couple of great days! Breanna is becoming more independent, napping less and experiencing less pain. 

Yesterday she had an x-ray of her clavicle and although the fractured bone hasn't fused together yet, they are where they should be. We brought Isaiah along so that he could see the x-rays. Dr. Torchia had two residents with him so we got the "extras" as he explained to his residents why surgery was necessary, the different procedures that could fix this type of clavicle fracture and why he prefers the one he did for Breanna. He even had a skeleton wheeled in to demonstrate. I wonder if Dr. Torchia would let Isaiah and I follow him around for a couple weeks? That would be a cool homeschooling field trip. :)

The staples were also removed from Breanna's shoulder. Breanna experienced a stinging pain with each (more than 30) staple removed. Last night the site was tender and sore. I suspect it will feel better each day. She returns at the end of the month for another x-ray and to see if she can start going for short periods of time without the sling.

We also saw Dr. Rieck from Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery...yes, I had to look this up. Compliments of Wikipedia: "surgery to treat many diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the oral (mouth) and maxillofacial (jaws and face) region." See, this really is a great homeschooling lesson. 

Anyway.... We saw Dr. Rieck because he (or I should say, his residents) stitched up Breanna's head laceration. Her head looked good however there was one spot that wasn't healing. Dr. Rieck dug a little (OUCH!) and found two sutures which hadn't dissolved. Now this spot can heal. She no longer has to grease her forehead up with bacitracin and she can begin wearing makeup (this was exciting news for her). Laser surgery can be performed in two months to remove/lessen the scar on Breanna's forehead. This procedure consists of three treatments every six weeks.

Today we have rehab appointments, Thursday we'll see the trauma team and rehab again on Friday. I'm beginning to feel these appointments will never end....but I know one day they will so I will continue to cherish each day.