Sunday, May 25, 2014

What I Learned Today

Today, in an effort to give our wonderful pastor a bit of time off, I offered to conduct the service and bring the message today. I learned a lot. Needless to say, I appreciate Charles even more after this experience. 

Historically, Memorial Day is a very "low" Sunday for our church. People are out of town and visiting family. To my great surprise, we had 10 people in the service today. One couple even came back from an event early to support me in this endeavor. I was truly blown away by this. 

I never realized what a juggling act it is to manage a speech, a bulletin, a hymnal, and, in my case, an extra book that I wanted to show to the congregation. I did a fair amount of praying that I would not drop anything, seeing as I dropped my hymnal, bulletin, and solo lyrics just last Sunday. 

I never realized how long Charles has to stand at one time. This is something I totally underestimated. My legs do not cooperate with standing for long periods, so I had to abbreviate some things so that I could get to my chair and sit during the special music. 

Part of my neuromuscular disease can also affect my speech when I begin to tire. Not sure I can really do anything about this one. 

I am getting off of steroids, so my vision is changing rapidly, and not for the better. I did not realize how different it was going to be looking at my notes and bulletin from a standing position. Especially if I looked up and looked back down! Double spacing might help this. Or not. 

Even with all this, I did enjoy the experience. Don't get me wrong, I would NOT want the job full time. But, it did reassure me that I can get through a speech and not have the congregation/audience fall asleep on me. I was not even really nervous. I felt the prayers, support, and love, not just from those present, but from those who were praying for me from other places. 

It is nice to know that I can talk when the need arises. But, I would much rather let Charles do the talking. 

And I'll just sing. 









Monday, May 12, 2014

Boundaries

Ironically, I am to give my first talk in church as lay leader on May 25th. My topic? Boundaries. 

I first read "Boundaries" by Henry Cloud and John Townsend many years ago, back in the 90's. It really did change my life for the better.  Sometimes I am more effective at setting boundaries than at other times. Having multiple "invisible" illnesses, my body often sets my boundaries for me. 

I have not been as efficient as I need to be in setting boundaries over the past few months and my body and spirit are letting me know it. I have been using too much of my precious energy for too little reward. Those few more minutes, or one more thing can make the difference between being able to run one more important errand like picking up medication, or going to the bank, before I go home and crash for several hours or not getting these things done. 

I am taking some time away from several commitments for a short time. I need time to recharge the batteries of both my body and my spirit.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

My First Tornado.

This week has been quite eventful, to say the least. On Monday, I experienced my first tornado. I found out a number of things about tornadoes that I did not know. 

For one, I found out that by the time you get that call telling you that you are under a tornado WARNING, it is already on top of you. There is very little time to get anywhere safe. 

Tornadoes really DO sound like freight trains. 

We don't have anyplace in our house that can be closed off that does not have an outside wall. We don't have a tub in our one bathroom, but a shower with glass doors located by a large window. Ummm...I don't think so! We do need to figure something out for the future, but I don't know what.

I also found out that rain can go completely sideways. As we looked out our windows, the rain was parallel to the ground. The (mercifully small) hail hitting our metal roof made it even more interesting. And, when I heard the loud "Whump!", sure enough, our big oak in the corner of the yard had shed a limb large enough to block our street and take power lines with it. 

After the storm was over, as neighbors were gathering outside to survey the damage, I saw something I had never seen. 5-6 inch in diameter limbs were stuck in the ground like spears. When my husband pulled this one up, it had been buried 6 inches deep. 

Overall, we were extremely fortunate. One neighbor had part of his house, his carport, and a beautiful antique car smashed. A family in a nearby neighborhood had a tree fall on the living room that they would have been sitting in had they been home at the time. But, we had no injuries or deaths with this storm. 

My heart goes out to Tupelo and Louisville. They suffered casualties and will have a much harder time cleaning up and getting back to normal. 

Vicksburg essentially dodged yet another bullet, and for that, I am thankful.