Monday, November 24, 2008

still learning

I love this verse in Psalm 131...

My heart is not proud, O LORD,

my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.

But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, put your hope in the LORD
both now and forevermore.

I believe I'll probably be learning this 'til the day I leave earth because of the fact that there will never cease to be some new area of thinking or new situation that I can apply it in. The need to understand what's happening in the grand scheme of things or just the basic need of trying to make sense of my own little world is not necessarily a bad thing. It's just that to wrestle with those sorts of things to the point where it makes us uneasy or fretful isn't conducive to a peaceful life or enjoying good health and I just can't seem to get the hang of quieting my soul to the extent that I can do it consistently. I truly am better at it in complete crisis when I know there is absolutely nothing that I can do to change the circumstances but even then (like now) I still fuss and struggle to some extent. I think mostly I worry about that big unknown -- about what's going to happen tomorrow or what can I do to help a situation or why in the world did a particular event transpire in the way it did and what am I to learn from it.

Maybe it is meant to be just as uncomplicated as what I've observed with babies before and after they are weaned. We've all witnessed a nursing infant or toddler who, until their demands are satisfied, just won't be still or rest quietly in their mother's arms. Because of what she can provide for them it seems they just can't be comforted simply by her presence with them.

I think that's what I'm to learn again -- that in the midst of this and any circumstance to find my hope and comfort in His presence. Not in what He can do for me or provide for me or questions He can answer for me but only that He is with me and will hold me close no matter what.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I guess I'm under house arrest. MRI results are in and not sounding too encouraging but we still won't know for sure until after seeing a specialist at NM Orthopedics on Dec. 4. That's two more weeks on the couch before I find out whether they will have to do surgery or not. In the mean time I'm supposed to stay off my leg as much as possible apparently because whatever it is behind the kneecap that connects it all together is the major part of what's wrong with the knee (ie: "a complete tear of the medial patella retinacula predominantly involving the patella insertion at the apex") among a few other, a bit less scary sounding, technical gobbledigook. It's crazy. I'm trying to discover the meaning of life right here, right now but can't seem to stay quiet enough (even in this restricted condition) to hear. I'm starting to sort some things through though.

Because I'm an only child and the only one of the two existing grandchildren in our family that lives nearby, I accepted that caring for my mom and grandma was primarily my responsibility. I have been fully committed to doing whatever I could (Jimmy helps a lot too) to assist them in any way they have needed me to. I'm reminded that they are not ultimately my responsibility and the weight of the whole thing needs to rest squarely on Bigger Shoulders than mine. So, lesson #1 -- don't try to lift more than you can safely carry.

My niece, Kym, made an observation the other day when I explained how this had happened. After hearing that it was a direct result of trying to wiggle into a control top undergarment she said, "that'll teach you to stop trying to control stuff." So, lesson #2 -- I must stop trying to control the lumpiness of life.

To be continued...
Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Wow. It’s sure been a long time since I posted. I’m not sure what happened but I wasn’t creative at all during that time. I guess I was sort of preoccupied. It all started because I found out last month that my cholesterol was way up so I immediately changed my diet and started walking almost every day. It is boring to walk on the treadmill so I decided to rig up a stand and my laptop computer so I could watch something while I was walking and found it very helpful to have something to take my mind off the 2 miles of going nowhere. My daughter had been telling me I should try the TV series “The Office” so since it was available for instant viewing on Netflix, I started watching it from the beginning – 4 season’s worth. For a while I just watched while I walked but very soon I was watching at every available moment (and this is the danger of watching a TV series on DVD or instantly online, it’s all too easy to end up watching it whenever you can). I’ll admit it, I have a bit of an addictive personality and I’m a little obsessive/compulsive. Ok, well maybe more than a little bit but not in horribly hopeless, destructive sorts of directions. Well, now I’m caught up with The Office and wish I had shown some restraint – I could really use something so ridiculous right now to get my mind off of what is happening. I’ve been wishing I could have some time at home but you know what they say – be careful what you wish for.

I blew out my knee this past Tuesday morning. I actually thought at first that I had broken it because the top part came out of the socket, the bottom part was going a different direction and my kneecap was on the side of my leg instead of the top. Scary and painful. Most of the stories I remember hearing when people have had knee accidents were adventurous or athletic. Not me. I had been walking for 40-45 minutes and had just gotten out of a hot shower and was hurrying around trying to get dressed so I could make it on time to a funeral that was happening in a town about 1.5 hours away. As I was putting on a control top undergarment to wear under my skirt it happened. That’s it. It’s only embarrassing to tell of – nothing truly adventurous or athletic about it.

I will forever be thankful that it was a holiday and Jimmy was home. If I had been home alone he might have found me after work that evening still on the floor in the bathroom, between the toilet and the tub, exactly where I had landed that morning. We did have a bit of an adventure getting me out of there since I couldn’t straighten out my leg with it being out of the knee socket and all. We somehow maneuvered a blanket underneath me and while I held my leg at the only angle that wasn’t excruciating, Jimmy pulled on the blanket and I scooted until we finally made it out to the living area. While trying to dress, Jimmy had to lift me up a bit so I could pull up some athletic pants (oh good – there’s the athletic part of my story) and my knee slid back into place. Thankful, thankful, thankful for that!! Don’t know how I could have possibly gotten to the car with it still out of place. Anyway, the x-rays that were taken during the emergency room visit indicated an MRI should be done so Saturday (after a long week on the couch) we went back to Socorro General Hospital for that. Now there’ll be a few more days on the couch until the results are read and we find out what is next. I’m hoping I won’t have to have surgery but they thought that maybe one of the bones had chipped so we’ll see. It’s been a week today – I’m getting around a lot better and hoping for good news.

I’m sad to be losing ground on the exercising part of my cholesterol lowering program but Jimmy has made the dieting part possible by taking such good care of me while I have had to keep my leg up. He’s amazing. If I end up spending much more time on the couch I thought maybe I could convince him to bring some art supplies downstairs but so far I haven’t felt like being very productive. Yesterday I had him bring down my Wacom tablet and Corel Painter IX which I’ve hardly touched since I bought it three years ago. Painter came with a Lynda training disk that I’ve never even cracked open and I also have a book by Jeremy Sutton about Corel Painter so I thought I’d see if I could learn something today. If I had a lot of time on my hands (which I may still if I end up having surgery) I think I’d sign up for a membership on – there’s training for every program you’d ever want to conquer on there.

Ok, enough already. See ya.