Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tune-In-Tuesday: March 20, 2018

Happy first day of spring – yay! Although, if you live in East Tennessee like I do, winter is expected to rear its ugly head again tonight and tomorrow. Oh, well, this too shall pass – ha!

Speaking of spring, I’ve had a little extra spring in my step this past week because I was on VACATION at the BEACH!!!! We went to Inlet Beach, FL. It's in the panhandle near Rosemary Beach and about 40 minutes from Destin.

The beach truly is my happy place and I haven’t been in a few years.

It’s just what the doctor ordered (so to speak, no doctor actually ordered it - ha!). I’ve never been to the beach “off-season”. It was chilly, but it was still the beach with sand, sea and sun. Sometimes we just need to be “unplugged” to get charged again, right?

As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I can walk free and easy on sand. Don’t ask me why. I can’t explain it. The doctors can’t explain it. It’s just me being uniquely me. I tried running on the sand and ended up falling, so maybe I can’t do that, or maybe it was a fluke, but after that I stuck to walking. :) The difference in my walking this time on sand was I could also walk on the hard sand with ease. The last time I was at the beach, that proved hard to do. This time, it was no sweat!

Every day, my dad and I took a walk on the beach. It was soul refreshing. I love the beach. I love walking. It was a good week. I didn’t work out or do yoga, I just walked and it was fabulous. I must admit though that I realized how slow I am when I walk on solid ground. Each day, Dad would be the last off the beach because he was carrying two huge lounge chairs. But no matter what, I was the last to arrive back at our rental. He was just faster, even with things to weigh him down. It’s OK though, because I’m still walking without a walker or a cane. I don’t mind being slow. OK, that’s not entirely true, but the point is, I still get from A to B without a walker or cane. ;)

While at the beach, I brought several books to read. What made me laugh was when I realized that every single one of them had a medical slant to them in some way. I guess my love for medicine goes beyond just watching medical shows; it now extends to reading. I'm currently reading "Last Night in the OR" by Dr. Bud Shaw. But I also have, "Ghost Boy" by Martin Pistorius, "Trauma Room Two" by Philip Allen Green, MD and "Do No Harm" by Henry Marsh. See, I wasn't kidding! All these books have me thinking again about writing my own book. ;) Would anyone buy it and read it though? I'm not all that eloquent (as you can tell if you've been following along for any length of time). It would be a huge leap of faith on my part. We'll see. I agonize over what to put in these posts every week and these are just posts! I try to be funny sometimes, but other times, the creative writing juices just don't flow like I want them to. I’m a perfectionist, so I want everything to be perfect, of course! I'll just have to pray about it and see where the Lord leads.

Tonight, I had yoga and it was wonderful. I was pushed hard again and I loved it. I didn’t think I’d love yoga this much, but I really, really do!

I think that’s all I've got for this week. It's been a very relaxing, soul-rejuvenating one for me. I'm so very thankful that spring is here and the sun is out longer! I hope everyone reading this has a very blessed week ahead and always remember…God’s Got This!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Tune-In-Tuesday (but on a Thursday): March 8, 2018 Doctor's Update

I saw the above statement on Facebook today and it struck me as SO TRUE and so relevant for my life!

Whew!! I always feel so much better AFTER a doctor's appointment. I tend to worry about everything. I know this wrong, but I'm just being honest. When it comes to doctor's appointments, I'm always afraid I haven't done something "right" or that I haven't given my all to get better. So, I worry. There's a reason I put, "God's Got This" in every blog post - it's to remind MYSELF that He does have everything. Just like in most things in my life, I need not have worried about ANYTHING that I was worried about regarding today's neurology appointment. God is good! This isn't "the end of the road".

I got to the appointment and didn't trip, slip or fall getting in. :) As I was waiting in the exam room, I noticed that there was this pee jar (OK, specimen jar) on the table. I found it amusing, so I had to know what it was. I looked at it and it had DBS with some other letters written on the top. It was full. Pee? Water? Inquiring minds want to know!! I'll get back to this later.

Dr. Tolleson was awesome as usual. I am so very, very, very thankful that God led me to him. Looking back, to see how God orchestrated every move in getting me to Dr. T. is truly amazing. I am blessed!

Anyway, he walked in and asked: good, bad, OK? I chose OK. He TOTALLY gets that I'm frustrated. But it's not all bad. I mean, seriously two years ago, I couldn't walk without a walker, much less a cane and today I'm walking without either. I see God's hand in all of this. I really, really do - even in the hard times!

Dr. Tolleson wasn't mad or disappointed that I didn't change the settings in my DBS device. I told him that it took about a month and half after I saw him at the beginning of November and it was gradual, but all of the sudden I started walking really well. And then 2-3 weeks ago, I started not walking as great. I told him by that time, I thought it too late to make any drastic changes since I was coming to see him. He mentioned that the brain can get used to the setting it's on. He checked all my settings and said they all looked good. I always feel like I'm going in for a tune-up. Haha. I guess that's what it is really. I get hooked up to a BIG remote and Dr. Tolleson fiddles with all the settings on it. It doesn't hurt, but there is some "pulling". It kind of aches at the site of the battery. He warned me that I may feel a shock. Thankfully, I didn't/don't. I only (and every time in the past as well) just feel achy and some pulling. He mentioned that my internal battery (the one that's implanted in me under my collar bone) is starting to get a little low, but nothing to be concerned about yet. When the time comes, it'll be minor surgery to replace it. The battery typically lasts about 5 years.

He had me walk, which ya'll know is my absolute FAVORITE part of the appointment. For those that are new to this blog, that last sentence was said with major sarcasm, as it's actually the worst part of the appointment for me. Coming in a second close as the worst part would be getting weighed - I don't like that part either! Anyway, I walked for him and he noticed that I'm still walking on the outside of my foot. I walked down the hall for him and back again. When I got to him, I asked if he wanted me to keep walking and he said I didn't have to - yay! He got all he needed. He said that the foot surgery I had last year did set me back. He didn't say I shouldn't have had it (in fact he said it was necessary when I had called him to ask if I should have it in the first place). It was just a little setback. So, I'm back on track now.

I spoke with him about a few issues that I had been having. I wasn't sure if they were related to the DBS or the electricity. He calmed and eased my worries about each issue.

He commended me on figuring out by myself that the batteries needed to be replaced in my DBS remote. He said he gets the most calls about there being something wrong with a patient's remote and the only thing wrong with it is that it needs the battery changed!

I told Dr. Tolleson that I only fell once since last seeing him and he was happy about that. I also told him that I wish he could see when I walk really well. To that he said, if I needed him, to call and he would get me in to see him. I told him that I didn't need to see him necessarily, but I would like it if he could see me walking well. :) One of these days, he will and when that day happens, it'll be monumental!

Here's the plan we came up with. I'm in Group A right now and he left me there, but increased the electricity that I'm getting in that group. I was at 3.00 volts and now I'm at 3.20. He wants me to give it about a month. If I'm not happy or pleased with it, I can increase the electricity one or two notches. If I'm still not seeing results, I can change to Group D. Group D will allow me to oscillate between settings. This is where he brought up the fact that the brain can get used to the setting it's on/with the electricity it's being given and the electricity just stops being effective. That's why oscillating the electricity can help. And after trying that, if I'm still not seeing results, he told me to call him. ;) I'm seeing him again in four months which will be July.

I couldn't let Dr. Tolleson go without asking him about the pee (specimen) jar. He started with, "It's not mine!" which made me laugh. Then he explained that it helps to show tremors. If a patient holds it in his/her hand, a tremor can be seen. And it was filled with water, not pee. ;) So, my inquiring mind was satisfied.

Again, God answered all my prayers. There are more options. There's HOPE. I can still improve from where I am now. I told Dr. Tolleson that I remembered telling him before the surgery that if I could walk with just a cane, I'd be over the moon happy. He smiled and looked at me and said, "we always want more, don't we?' I laughed. Yes, I always want more. He knows I get frustrated. He knows that I think I should be farther along then I am. But, he takes it in stride and he's always encouraging. I had to laugh though as he somewhat tripped getting up to leave. I told him he wasn't allowed to trip, that's my job. ;)

Today was good. God DOES have this! I keep wanting to snatch the reigns out of His hands sometimes, but He holds firmly to them and doesn't allow me to get in my own way, for which I am so thankful. Thank you for all the prayers and for all the encouragement.

Since I've written two blog posts this week, I'm going to skip my normal Tuesday update next week (because really, who wants to hear from me that much?!), but will be back again the following week. Thank you again for reading, for encouraging, for praying and for all your love! Have a blessed day and week and always remember, God's Got This!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Tune-In-Tuesday: March 6, 2018

I find that when I’m least expecting it, God shows up to cheer me up! That’s what just happened. I’ll admit that I’m in a melancholy mood today. It’s been 2 years since I had deep brain stimulation surgery. 2 years. In some ways, I can’t believe it’s only been 2 years and in other ways, I know it’s been 2 years, if you get my drift. Haha. I'm feeling a little sorry for myself – that I’m not farther along than I want to be or thought I would be at this point, but then God reminded me of what I said to the neurosurgeon and my neurologist: if I could just walk with a cane, I’d be happy. I don’t walk with anything now. Yes, maybe I should, at times, but I’m stubborn and I don’t, so I DON’T WALK WITH A WALKER OR CANE. And I told the doctors I’d be over the moon if I could just get around with a cane. PERSPECTIVE, people…it’s all about perspective!

I say that and yet I worry what Dr. Tolleson (my neurologist) will say when I see him on Thursday. Will he be mad that I didn’t “play” with the different settings? (I didn’t change the settings because they worked, but recently I’ve been having more problems). Will he be disappointed in my progress (or lack there of)? Will this be the end of the road (meaning he won’t have anything else for me to try)? We are both perfectionists. I want to walk perfectly. I don’t want to settle. I’ve seen a glimpses of perfect, so I know I can do it. I get frustrated when I can’t do it all the time. Another doctor asked me this week if I was prepared for it to be more of an ebb and flow process? I guess I could get used to that, but I'd rather it just be an "I can walk with no problems" process. ;) I sound like I’m whining, don’t I? Nobody likes to hear (or read as the case may be) whining, so I’ll quit. It’s just that I do want you to know that I do get down and I do get frustrated and sometimes I have pity parties for myself!

All that said, I had a good week. I didn’t fall. Last Tuesday, I became semi-famous (hahaha – not really at all!!) by reminiscing on camera about a taxidermy skunk that I won at a company holiday party back in 2015. Thirty seconds before I won the skunk, I turned to my co-worker Justin and promised that if I won it, I would give it to him. So, that’s exactly what I did. He wanted it so bad and really, what was I going to do with a taxidermy skunk?! Justin named him Slater.

Last Thursday, Mom and I went to see Miranda Lambert in concert. It was a blast! I’m blessed to have a mom who wants to do these things with me! Also, navigating concert venues without a walker or cane is SO much easier. Although, to be honest, I held on to Mom's arm the entire time (walking in and out), so I could 1) Walk faster and 2) not fall. I could do it without holding on to her, it would just take a LOT longer. ;)

I also got to wear my new socks that I got at my friend Kristen’s store:

On Saturday, I sat at Mom’s Parade of Tables table at church along with my sisters-in-law.

On Sunday, I needed help getting in to church, but I knew I needed help and I accepted it from a friend, thankful she was there to help me out! Also on Sunday, my niece, Baby (haha, she’ll be 2 on April 11, I don’t why I still think of her as “baby”) Hope sat on my lap the entire length of the church service and she walked with me up to Communion. Just holding her hand allowed me to be completely able to walk without issue. Amazing how the touch of a hand can allow that in me!

Today, as I was feeling frustrated with my walking, my sweet co-workers cheered me on. Seriously, everywhere I need it, God sends his angles to help. My co-workers are gems. They encourage me so much and remind me of where I was and where I am now. My friends at church do the same, as do all my friends. Sometimes, I only see the struggle, but am so encouraged by others who see that I’m only focusing on that and try to get me to see what has improved. I am most certainly blessed.

I don’t know why I had to do this at 11pm last night, but the thought came to mind that maybe I should check my remote control to the deep brain stimulation device. Maybe it accidentally got turned off. Again, why I couldn’t have checked this early in the day, is beyond me. I got it out and turned it on and got this message:

I had to find the manual and figure out what that meant. Turns out, the batteries were dead and needed to be changed.

It’s only the batteries to the remote, meaning the stimulator is still on and working, I just wouldn’t have been able to do any programming with the remote. After a change of batteries, the remote worked perfectly.

I’m excited, yet anxious about my neurology appointment on Thursday. I just don’t want to be at the “we’ve done all we can” part. I want to keep getting better. I’ve come this far. I know deep down in my heart that God’s God This. I need to keep reminding myself of it.

Thank you, again for continuing to follow along on this journey with me and for enduring my whining. Writing is cathartic. I’m an introvert, so writing allows me to get all my feelings out. You can choose to either read or not read this blog and I’ll never know!! Haha. But if you’ve read this far, I commend you. And I thank you. You are a blessing to me.

No matter how frustrated or melancholy I may get, I always, always, always know that God’s Got This! And as long as He’s with me on this journey, I’ll be alright.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Tune-In-Tuesday: February 27, 2018

Another week has come and gone. How has that happened? Sometimes the days are super long, yet the years are short. It amazes me when I sit down to write on this blog how incredibly fast time goes by!

I broke the streak that I so desperately wanted to keep going. I fell. It wasn’t a big fall at all and I popped right back up, but the perfectionist in me was mad that I broke it. I think God allows things to happen to us, just so we are reminded who is God and who is not. At least in my life! I see my neurologist on March 8 and I so very much wanted to say that I haven’t fallen since I last saw him (in October), but God has different plans. I just need to calm down, trust the Lord and breathe – haha!

Saturday, I got to help someone! My friend’s mom heard something pop in her knee and needed a walker. I have 3! I got to give one to her to use for however long she needs it. I hate that she must use it at all, but am so thankful I got to help someone!

Yesterday, I had an epic time getting into work. It had nothing to do with the dystonia (at least I don’t think so!), but I thought it was funny enough to document here. It was raining, so I had an umbrella. I got out of the car and dropped by badge. I picked up my badge and instantly dropped my key. I picked up my key and then accidentally closed my umbrella. I opened it back up again and dropped my purse. Seriously?! It was so comically timed that I just had to laugh at myself.

Yoga has been going well. I finally bought some yoga blocks and have been using them.

I’ve been much more steady this week while doing the poses then I was last week, which is ironic since I fell this week and not last. Just goes to show you, that life is full of surprises!

Tonight’s yoga class was awesome. My instructor asked what I was in the mood for. After thinking about it, I told her that since I wasn’t having the best walking week, I wanted to be pushed. I think a “normal” person would want to take it easy, but I’m not “normal” (who is, really?! That’s why I put normal in quotations.). I wanted to be pushed because I wanted to "get back up again" and realize that I can do things and that I am getting stronger. So, she pushed and pushed a little more. I got an EXCELLENT session. I didn’t do everything perfectly, but it was all new and it was all strengthening and I DID IT. Yay, me! And, thank you, Jesus for allowing me to want to be pushed because seriously, that’s half the battle.

Something I want to relearn to do is run. Really the ONLY reason I want to relearn to do it is because my nieces ask occasionally, for me to run with them. Haha. They are only 3 and 1, so running, is not full-blown running but rather chasing. I’ve heard that some people with dystonia can run perfectly, but can’t walk. I guess it’s like me with sand. I can’t walk perfectly on solid ground, but put me on sand and I walk with no issue. Again, that’s life – full of surprises! So, yeah, I want to relearn to run.

Two years ago at this time, I had no hair, so when it was extra curly and doing what I wanted it to do on Sunday, I snapped a picture. :)

God is good. God is gracious. God is full of surprises. God is faithful. God's Got This!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tune-In-Tuesday: February 20, 2018

I started writing this post today during my lunch hour at work and while I’ll still post what I wrote then, I must start this introduction over. If you know me in “real life” or you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you know my natural tendency is to be a pessimist. But, I just got home from a yoga session and I am in such a more optimistic mood than I was earlier. Not that I was in a terrible mood at lunch, I was just more melancholy. My yoga class and particularly my yoga instructor certainly changed that. My instructor is such an encourager!! I am so blessed by her every time we get together. She told me tonight that I was her best client regarding doing my homework – ha! When I was in school, I loathed homework, but this is different. I finally figured out that if I’m going to get better at anything, I must put blood, sweat and tears into perfecting whatever I want to get better at. Thankfully (as of now) there has been no blood, but plenty of sweat and some tears. Why wouldn’t I do the homework she gives me? I want to get better at this and in turn get better at walking. I had a great session tonight and it (through God's grace) changed my mood. Yay!

(Now’s where I’ll post what I wrote at lunch):

This past week has been a mixed bag. I’ve felt frustrated, but I’ve also had some great moments. The struggles make us stronger, right?! I haven’t walked like I’ve wanted to or as well as I have been walking. But then again, I haven’t fallen. I haven’t done my yoga exercises, “perfectly”, but then again, I’m still able to do them. I am still able. I must keep reminding myself of that. Even when it’s hard, I’m still able to do things without a walker or cane. It may be a little awkward or scary, but I’m still able. (Can you tell I’m giving myself a pep talk?!) Sometimes, I’m brave enough to go after things, sometimes, I’m not. But that’s life in general, right?!

I’m getting ready to “celebrate” (I’m not sure if that’s the word I’m really looking for, but I’ll run with it), two years post deep brain stimulation surgery(s). It was February 14, 2016 (yes, Valentine’s Day), when I had to have all my hair cut and shaved off (thank you again, Carrie). It was February 16, 2016, when the first surgery took place. That first surgery was to place screws to hold the halo that would be used in the "big" surgery. It was also to get an MRI to map out my brain. On February 23, 2016, I had the “big” awake surgery and then on February 29, 2016 was when I had the final surgery to activate the device. The irony is not lost on me that the surgery to activate the deep brain stimulation device took place on Leap Day. I like to think that it's God's way of saying that I will LEAP again one day! How has it been two years?!!! It’s been a journey to say the least! If I would have known then what I know now, I would definitely do it all over again. It’s been a physical journey, but it’s also been a spiritual one. To see how God has had His hand on every situation and weaved himself through every part of my life has been breathtaking. I am blessed.

This is not a good transition, but to get back to what happened this past week, I’ll start with a funny story. My co-workers and I had just been to a company-wide meeting on Thursday and we were standing around in the hallway talking to each other. I knew I was standing by a wall, I just didn’t know how closely I was standing by said wall until I turned around and walked right into it. Yes, no one ever said I was graceful – that’s for sure. Thankfully, I didn’t hurt myself (or the wall). My pride may have taken a bruising though. Haha. When I do things, I don’t just do them halfway, I do them epically. In this case, I didn’t run into a wall when no one was looking, I ran into a wall when there was a huge group of people walking down the hall. Oh well, such is life. Everyone (including myself) got a huge laugh out of it! This had NOTHING to do with dystonia or any physical handicap. It had everything to do with the fact that I’m just a klutz.

In a different situation last week, I was walking and talking with a co-worker and I was a little fired up about something. My co-worker commented later that she was marveling at how well I walked while I was pouring out my frustrations to her. It seems that when I’m fired up about something, I have absolutely no problem walking. HA! It’s because I’m walking “automatically” and not thinking about walking. It’s when I concentrate too much on walking that I have issues. A while back, a guy at my church said it’s like getting the yips. Yes, yes, it is. I just need to breath and remember that everything will be OK and not worry so much about what other people think (again, I’m giving myself a pep talk!).

On Sunday an amazing thing happened. I was walking ever so slowly and precariously into church, being careful not to fall. The oldest member of our congregation was being dropped off at the front of the church. I just happened to be there as she was, so I helped her out of the car and the two of us walked into church together. The instant I started to help her, my foot relaxed, and my leg became strong. She thought I was helping her, but she was actually helping me. I instantly felt like I could walk without any issue. All it took was helping someone else, to help myself and it was WONDERFUL! Thank you, Jesus!

So, for all those out there who, like me, tend be pessimists most of the time, remember that even in the frustrating times, God is always gracious, God is always with us, God wants us to be optimists and God’s Got This!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tune-In-Tuesday: February 13, 2018

Happy Fat Tuesday, everybody! Tomorrow is the being of my favorite Holy season. It starts with Ash Wednesday and culminates with Easter Sunday. Christmas is most people's favorite holiday, but mine is Easter. I can't wait to celebrate it this year!

This past week was chalked full of every emotion and every season there is - at least that's how it felt! Last Tuesday, a faithful man of God was called home. He was the social ministry director at my church and his death was a shock to all of us. I knew of his death when I wrote last week's blog post, but didn't say anything as it was still sinking in. The Wednesday before I sat right behind him during Wednesday night services (as I always did). To have known then that that was the last time I'd see him alive, maybe I would have spoken more to him. He was always so very gracious and kind to me. He kept reminding me of the miracle I am that I can now walk without a walker or a cane - even when I'm having major difficulty. His death came as such a shock that it actually opened my eyes again to how fragile and beautiful and treasured this life is. Even with it's ups and downs and curves, we should treasure every moment of it and treasure the people we get to do it with. Paul, you will be missed, but I am secure in the knowledge that I know you are with our Lord and Savior.

Along with Paul, there were two other deaths of people I either knew personally or knew in association to friends of mine. Needless to say, it's been a little bit of a sad week in that respect. It's also been a week of sickness. Not me, (thank you, Jesus!), but everyone around me. East Tennessee has been hit hard with the flu this year. Schools were out almost an entire week (save for Wednesday) because of it. People in my own family have had it. I've just been trying to stay flu-free. I'm washing my hands and using Purell every other second. And then, there's the weather. One day it's sunny and in the 60's and the next day it's dreary and in the 30's. I guess, such is winter in Tennessee. :)

I mention all the above because it's definitely effected my walking. I have not fallen, but I haven't walked as good as I had been. But, there's good news. :) Twice in the past week, I KNEW I was going to fall. Like - completely lose my balance, fall all the way to the floor, hurt myself kind of fall, but BOTH times, I miraculously (by God's grace) CAUGHT myself. I credit that to the Lord and also to the strength training (through yoga) of my legs. I caught myself both times. Both times when I felt myself falling - and not one of those graceful falls where you barely hurt yourself, but one of those falls that are going to leave a mark - I miraculously was saved. I am so very, very, very thankful and so very humbled at the same time. I didn't fall! Praise Jesus. I don't take it for granted. I've fallen one too many times to take NOT falling for granted.

I did something this past week that I've never done before: I went to the symphony by myself! I know it's probably not a huge thing to most people, but I'm not most people - ha! The tickets were originally my parents, but they couldn't go, so my Dad gave them to me. I was going to go with my sister-in-law, but she got sick. I tried to give them away, but to make a long story short, with a start time of 8pm, I decided at 5:30pm to bite the bullet and just go and I am so ever grateful that I did! I had a blast!! I met new people. I saw people from my church. I got to enjoy awesome music and singing. It was their Valentine's concert, so it was love songs from different movies. I felt a little awkward about going by myself to a Valentine's Day themed performance, but I decided to embrace my singleness and just do it. It was so fun!! Did I mention that I almost needed an ARK to get there and back? Torrential rain poured down all day and night and I looked like a drowned rat after the symphony (I did have my umbrella, but when the wind is blowing...), but I have now proven to myself that I can go to the symphony by myself and have fun!

So, as I said, this week was full of different emotions, different seasons and so much more. In the scheme of things, walking is walking. Sometimes I walk well, sometimes I don't, but when I look back on experiences, will walking be the only thing I remember? Absolutely not! It may encompass some memories (if I had difficulty, fell or on the opposite spectrum, walked beautifully), but I'll remember the experiences and events more than how I walked.

I have to include this in this post. I saw it shared on Facebook and it made me laugh. It has nothing to do with my walking, but it's medical, so it fits in right? Even if it doesn't, it's too funny not to share, so here go.

Now tell me you didn't laugh at that! :)

Thank you once again for reading and following along. I treasure each of you, because each of you are a part of my life's story. I'm truly blessed and God's Got This!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Tune-In-Tuesday: February 6, 2018

Another week is in the books...how did that happen?! Overall, the past week has not been bad, but I’ve struggled a little more with walking than I did the week before. Thankfully, my struggles are momentary. They come and they go. They frustrate me, but there’s always something in life that’s going to frustrate us, right? I try to move past frustration as quickly as possible. Some days or moments in time I’m better at that then others, but again, such is life! Walking may have been a little bit more of a struggle this week, but I didn't fall. And there were moments that I walked absolutely beautifully. It's those moments I try to hold on to.

This morning I got up early to work out (ride my stationary bike) and do yoga. It wasn’t until I got to the yoga part that I realized how off balanced I am today. I’m not dizzy, but I have no balance, if that’s even possible. Again, I'm shrugging it off to weather. We are supposed to be getting a lot of rain tonight. But no matter the reason, God used it to grow me.

There are a couple of poses that my instructor has taught me to do to bolster my balance: the tree pose and the warrior pose. I struggled through both today. But – I did them. Not gracefully and I had to use the wall to steady myself more than I wanted to, but I still did them.

God placed on my heart 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you”. That verse, seriously, kept rolling through my head as I tried to steady myself enough to do the yoga poses. I don’t know why that verse came to mind, but for some reason, God wanted me to hear it. The full verse is:

“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

I’ve heard this verse many times, but this morning the word that really jumped out at me was “sufficient”. The dictionary.com definition of the word, “sufficient” is “adequate for the purpose; enough”. So, God gives me (and you and everyone!) adequate and enough grace (undeserved love) to get through the situation at hand. It’s JUST ENOUGH. He knows what I need and when I need it. And He knows it ALL THE TIME.

I'll admit, I was frustrated with myself this morning until I realized “it is what it is” and I must give myself grace to accept that. I have no control. Yes, I can work-out, I can strengthen my muscles, I can adjust settings in my deep brain stimulation device, I can take medication, I can eat right, I can get enough sleep, but in the end – some things I have no control over. When I love myself enough to accept the grace I’ve been given by God – that’s when things change enormously. Sometimes, I give myself grace, but more times than not, I tend to be very hard on myself. We are our own worst critics/enemies, right?! For some reason, God chose a random Tuesday in February, while trying not to fall over, to illuminate me with the knowledge that HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR ME. It was seriously (and literally) like letting out the biggest sigh of relief. I've known this verse my entire life, but today, I got this verse. It's amazing how God uses circumstances and all kinds of other things to lift the blinders from our eyes to reveal His Word in a new and different light and when He knows we are fully ready to understand and appreciate it.

While doing yoga this morning, not only did I have 2 Corinthians 12:9 stuck in my head, I also had the song “His Banner Over Me Is Love”. Where, why, how I got that song stuck in my head, I have no answers for, but there it was. I choose to think God wanted me to hear that too.

By the time I was “done” with yoga for the day, I decided to try the tree and warrior poses one more time and while I didn't do them as well as I’ve done them in the past, it was MUCH improved from 30 minutes before. Yay! My instructor is so very encouraging. I absolutely love working with her. Even on her "homework sheets" she's encouraging me:

On a side note, I always thought that yoga was just meditation and while that’s part of it, I’ve learned very quickly that it’s very physical. I actually break a sweat sometimes and I feel my muscles stretching. I like when I feel results (doesn’t everybody?!).

I know I've only spoken mostly of one day (today!) in this post, but it was the most fresh in my memory! Very quickly, I'll say that on Sunday I woke up and my entire left eye was swollen. I looked like a bull dog - ha! I took pictures for myself, but will refrain from posting them here. It was not a pretty site. It reminded me of what I looked like in the days after my deep brain stimulation surgery when my face "fell". That was the weirdest, coolest thing to see. My eyes and then my face swelled. I was warned it would happen, but it was still a shock! I have no idea what caused Sunday's swelling. Maybe I got bit by something. Within an hour, the swelling decreased and then by the time I got to church it decreased even more and by the time the service was over, it was barely noticeable. It only briefly scared me as I thought it might have something to do with my deep brain stimulation device, but I'm pretty sure it was an allergic reaction to something. What that something is, I haven't figured out yet!

The rest of the week was pretty uneventful, except that I did notice at times that it was harder to walk. But like I said at the beginning, such is life. I'm so very, very thankful for the great walking days and so very, very thankful that God sustains me on the days when walking is a struggle. He's with me all the time and I rest on that!

I'll close with this: God’s grace is written all over my life and I know God’s Got This!