Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thoughts and Blessings

1 Chronicles 29:11-13
"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.

Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.

Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name."

Gratitude List:

~ Leftover gingerbread pancakes for lunch. (Do you ever feel like you'll scream if you have to make one more peanut butter and jelly sandwich?) Am I a bad mom if I put whipped cream on my Beth's pancakes? She's losing weight from the arthritis, which is common. The pain is like a perpetual toothache, weakening the appetite. I have to work hard to get her to eat enough without compromising nutrition. I tweak most recipes to include only 100% whole grain so the pancakes, when taken with milk, make up a complete protein serving. When you team whole grain with dairy, you always have a complete protein. No meat needed with it, and whole grain also contains iron.

~ sunshine for two days. No snow yet for a white Christmas, but I'll take the bright sun any day.

~ Beth didn't walk right away the last two mornings, but I have noticed improvement in her swelling in the last week. Perhaps the naproxen is helping now? The morning stiffness is the best indicator of active disease, so we must watch that very closely ahead of her Jan. 4 rheumatology appointment, at which her doctor will make a determination to continue with just naproxen, or add a one-time steroid injection in both knees (with her under a milder form of general anesthesia). Anyway, today, I celebrate less swelling.

~ Beth laughing in her sleep.

~ I've given steroid eye drops every two hours while Beth's awake for a solid week now. Today I celebrate having only three weeks left, at which time the eye doctor will recheck her eye inflammation. Sometimes she cooperates and sometimes she doesn't. Maybe they expect that with a 3-year-old? When she's contrary, I can usually pry her eyes open long enough to sneak them in without her cooperation. She's supposed to keep her eyes closed for one minute afterward, but she doesn't do this and I'm unable to force it. God is in control of her story. I can only do so much and He knows that.

~ The children's book Christmas with the Mousekins: A Story With Crafts, Recipes, Poems and More! Delightfully illustrated, it's about a mouse family preparing for Christmas--working to bless each other and their neighbors. Included with the story pages are the craft projects they work on for each other and for their house, taught on separate pages with diagrams and written directions. Crafts include: snowflakes, tree ornament cornucopias with candy, mittens-in-a-row tree ornament, Christmas tree hat, Christmas-trees-in-a-row tree ornament, Christmas Mobile, Mousie Sock Puppet, mitten bookmark, and angel mouse tree topper. Recipes include: Cinnamon Snail Cookies and Gingerbread Mice Cookies

~ Last week I discussed Beth's toe walking with her physical therapist. The rheumatologist told me Beth does it to offset the pain in her knees when she walks. The therapist said if we don't keep flexing her feet to stretch this muscle, her toe walking will create more problems due to a too-tight muscle. So all week long I've tried to flex her feet while she sits on my lap. She hates it because it hurts, so I had yet another stressful fight with her. But today I celebrate a break through with this. If I flex and point her toes/feet in quicker succession, rather than in a more prolonged stretch, she says it doesn't hurt and she allows me to work with her. We'll see what the therapist says tomorrow about the effectiveness of this alternate method, but I have to think it's better than nothing. Today I celebrate that.

~ Children busy with coffee filter snowflakes inspired by the children's book above.

~ No library fees for quite awhile.

~ Mary's been making do with sweats at bedtime instead of a sleeper. She likes loose sleepers and I only have 5t's, which are too tight for her. Beth, it turns out, needs the 5T's because she's tall for her age with larger feet. Thankfully, Grandma sent a sleeper for Mary's birthday. I suggested a larger size that Mary could wear for two years, but it was too big in the feet and wouldn't stay put. I returned it for one that was too small. Ugh! Last night I ventured to Walmart late at night, which always brings out the teenagers and young adults who dress in all black with nose rings and other way-out-there adornments on body and hair. They love the midnight hour for shopping. What's up with that?

Anyway, Mary now has a sleeper that fits. She'll be looking more feminine, which every girl (and Momma) loves. The bedtime sweats were sometimes borrowed from her brothers.

~ fresh, boiled cranberries with baked chicken and baked sweet potatoes for dinner tonight.

~ Peter memorizing his long speaking part for the Children's Christmas Choir.

~ Laundry moving swiftly today.

~ Secret Santa gift cards in my husband's box at work today. He works for a false-gospel church. At times it's very hard to be a part of their establishment, but in a bad economy you have to take what is available. Ohio still has a very depressed economy and fewer jobs post each week. He sometimes has opportunity to view curriculum for children and adults in his capacity as a custodian there. What they teach is so watered down it may as well be a universalist church.

The thing is, they treat him better there than any place he's worked. Before doing custodial work he worked with the mentally challenged as a direct care worker. There's no respect in that job, which is true of most servant-based jobs. Custodians are treated even worse. Many people, Christians included, won't even look at them. But in this job, he has respect. Go figure: false-doctrine Christians treating him better than real Christians.

A Christian should be, above all, humble. How did God come to us? A newborn in a stable. He lived a humble life among us and He died humbly.

A humble person treats the custodian with respect, consistently.

And how does one get there...to that place of humility? Can we exhort humility from people? Or must a person live it--through humble circumstances--to be it? Interesting question.

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