Checking things off the List

I am a list maker and find it very gratifying to check things off as I have them completed.  Inevitably, I also add to my list on a regular basis, so it is much like a revolving door with 1 thing checked off, 2 things added.

As I’m working down my list of pre-surgery details this week, I’m also trying to find peace about this whole process.  As you can imagine, I’ve had many conversations and have relayed information to friends and family repeatedly.  I’ve shared which hospital I’ll be at, who my doctor is, what procedure they are planning, how many nights I’m expected to be in the hospital, and what the outline of my recovery should look like.  I’ve received plenty of opinions both for and against surgery in general, the doctor I’m working with, and all the miracle remedies that people have used to relieve their own back pain – the have you considered…. statements are well intention-ed, but after a while, they do become rather draining, I must admit.

I’m firm in my decision that this is the right step.  I’m confident in my doctor and the hospital.  I know I’ll have a tough couple of weeks immediately after surgery, and I know I won’t be fully healed for many months – but this is still the right choice in my mind.  So I’m just continuing on with my list.

  • Ride to and from the hospital – check
  • Pre-op Labs and EKG – check
  • Cook and freeze – ongoing
  • Laundry – ongoing
  • Shower Chair – check
  • Ice packs – check
  • Make a batch of lotion – check
  • Set up computer for remote access (telecommuting) – check
  • Shove 6 weeks worth of work into 2 weeks for my job – ongoing, but closer every day
  • General cleaning and recognizing trip hazards in the house – ongoing
  • Clearing off the nightstand except for bare essentials – check
  • Pre-pack and packing list – ongoing
  • File nails short and trim toenails – check
  • Remove toenail polish – Saturday
  • Haircut – check
  • Clean makeup brushes – check
  • Dig out gram’s grabber tool and adjustable hiking cane – check

 

I’m sure as the next few days tick by, I’ll be adding more things to the list.  Still waiting for the nurse to call me for the pre-op call to set the time for my procedure NEXT WEEK!!!

In the meantime, I’m spending my devotional time in study for the reassurance that God’s got this, and his plan is perfect, no matter the earthly outcome.

No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus  ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Have a blessed day, friends!

Love Notes

I’ve always been a girl who loves receiving cards and letters through the mail. Yes, snail mail…good old fashioned post office…takes several days to get from your house to mine…subject to weather delays…mis-routing…whatever. We live in such an instant gratification society of text messages and email, that to actually get a handwritten letter is a bit of a novelty.
Over the past few years as my grandmother was drifting away with dementia I wanted to meet her at her own level…and so I started writing her letters and cards and sending them every couple of weeks. She loved getting them and would re read them many times until the next one arrived. As I continued on the journey of writing to her,  I found a few special cards and a few special card makers too. I would buy several dozen handmade cards every time I found them. Since I spend a fair amount of time at craft shows selling my soaps, I often find a fellow artist willing to trade.
I also began sending cards to MRKH sisters around the world…as pen pals. What a joy it is to receive a sweet card from a treasured friend somewhere in the world.
This spring I decided that since my sweet Gram was no longer of this earth, and I still had quite a stash built up of cards…I should be better about writing to my friends.  I also wanted to participate in the Lenten season in a way that would empower and encourage women…and especially the women who have had an impact in my life. So I started a list of women who are important and special in my life. Just making the list was a powerful affirmation of the caliber of fine women in my life.  My aim was to fulfill the 40 days of the Lenten season by writing a quick note each day to one woman on my list.
I armed myself with stamps and spent an hour or so cutting up index cards and writing a woman’s name from my list onto each piece. I tucked them into a coffee cup in my desk drawer, and each day I reached in and blindly drew out a name. Then I picked out a card for this special woman and started to write. I made a rule to not chatter along…but to limit myself to just a couple sentences to show my gratitude for the impact they have made in my life. Simple love notes. I quietly wrote them and dropped them into the mailbox each day.  This simple gesture of love and gratitude really warmed my spirit and heart each day – allowing me to focus on the blessings of wonderful women in my life.
And thats when the magic really happened…as these women received their love notes. Some posted pictures of the card and a public thank you for the card on Facebook. Some sent me private messages letting me know that I brightened their day.  Some are women I see in person regularly and so I got a few thank you hugs. Some confessed they cried when they got it…that they soooo needed it the day it arrived.  Some have never acknowledged them, and that’s ok too. I wasn’t sending them for some publicity stunt…I was purely and simply sharing love and joy.
It is past Easter now, but I didnt make it through my whole list…so I will continue sending out love notes. And I seem to keep adding to my list as well…there are a lot of wonderful people in my life!!! If you would like to be added to my list…send me your address and I’ll drop your name in the coffee cup too!
We serve Christ best when we are serving others. 

Social Media Woes

The past couple of weeks, months really, social media has been a virtual minefield!  Be it the great political divide, or the latest sports team winning or losing, or the announcement of yet another famous person who has died…it’s all been there on social media – the good, the bad, and certainly the ugly.

I generally try to self-moderate what I post on social media – not something everyone does.  I’m a professional, and 99% of what I post on social media I post publicly.  I use the rule of thumb that if I wouldn’t want my grandmother to know it, I shouldn’t post it.  At some point I know that my employer might “look me up”, and so I don’t gripe about my job or the people I work with.  In that same light, my neighbors and community members might look me up – so I don’t post about the funny or annoying things I see or overhear from my property.  I’m also a business owner – actually 2 businesses – and so my customers might look me up, and so I don’t post anything negative about my “competitors”.  If you follow me on Facebook, then you know that I post and share darn near anything related to coffee, many posts about positive, uplifting, empowering sentiments, cute animals, lovely pictures of things in nature, and sometimes things that are just plain hilarious.  I post pictures of my own animals, my family, and my tattoos.  I post a lot of information about MRKH.  And I post about God and prayer.

Remember, my rule of thumb is “would I want my grandmother to know about it”.  Does she know about my tattoos, MRKH, and my belief in God?  Sure, she does.  Yet, somehow…on social media, those are controversial somehow.  They make some people uncomfortable.

I get how tattoos are not for everyone, and the fact that I have ANY tattoos in the first place surprises some people.  Some might even go so far as to say that I’ve violated some sacred rule by getting a tattoo – your body is a temple and all that.  Don’t get me started about piercings! Both are personal expressions, and choices I’ve deliberately made.  Ok, fine, so you don’t like tattoos or piercings, does that mean that now you don’t like ME?  Apparently, for some, yes.

I totally understand how my talk of MRKH can make people uncomfortable.  After all, I talk about “private parts” in public (gasp!).  I use anatomically correct names like vagina, uterus, ovaries, kidneys in regular conversations.  If people start asking questions I go so far as to talk about vaginal dilation, vaginal depth, and sexual intercourse.  Yep, I talk about all those things in public while I’m talking about MRKH, and it makes people uncomfortable – but I also talk about raising awareness, reducing shame, educating our medical providers, and empowering women.

In the past few months, I’ve also posted more openly about my faith – God, Prayer, Forgiveness, and even posted pictures of my own Baptism.  Apparently this also makes people uncomfortable.

I will not apologize for posting things that might make you feel uncomfortable, although it makes me sad to see that some of the people I enjoy seeing in my news feed have now disappeared through the use of the “unfriend” button.  In fact, I find it rather ironic actually.  I self moderate, and intentionally don’t post things I think are likely to stir up an argument.

I don’t post about politics – it’s a topic I dislike discussing.  I’ll not tell you how I voted, or how I feel about the outcome of the elections.  I’ll not forward on memes making fun of or showing blatant disrespect for any politician.  I probably won’t even like a post…even if I find it hilarious or spot on accurate…if I think it will associate me one way or the other to a side of a debate I don’t want to have.  Don’t get me wrong, I have my opinions – I just don’t use social media as an outlet to debate them.

Here are the things I will tell you, knowing full well you may disagree with me on any of them, and THAT’S OK with me!

  • I am a Christian, and believe that Jesus died for me on that cross, and someday he will come back for me.
  • I believe in equal rights for all humans, genders, races, cultures, religions, and sexual orientations.
  • I believe in marriage and the commitment and fidelity it implies – no matter who you love.
  • I believe in the right to have an abortion if you feel justified.
  • I believe that couples who struggle with any form of infertility should have access to treatments including IVF, Surrogacy, and Transplants when medically necessary – and it shouldn’t cost the proverbial arm and a leg for it!
  • I believe our country needs quality, comprehensive, and accessible healthcare for everyone regardless of income level.
  • I believe our country needs quality, comprehensive, and accessible education for everyone regardless of income level.
  • I believe in responsible gun ownership, and the ability to both protect and provide for yourself and your family.
  • I believe everyone should be conscientious stewards of our planet and our natural resources.
  • I believe everyone is entitled to their opinions, and their right to share them publicly if they choose to do so.

Bottom line, I am a strong and independent woman.  I self identify as a happily married, tattooed and pierced, heterosexual woman, a Christian, a gun owner, an Army veteran, an MRKH warrior, a business owner, a coffee and wine lover, an animal lover, and an advocate for others just like – or very different – from me!

Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in – just do it with dignity, respect, and love.  Wouldn’t our world be a better place if we all did it this way?