A lot can happen in 7 ½ months. And a lot has changed in 7 ½ months. Warning! This is quite long!
Not going to lie, I considered closing this site. Or at least archiving it and never looking back. Instead I simply ignored it. I don’t even know if anyone will still read this, but I have a feeling maybe there is. I need to write out these thoughts though.
I think it’ll be easier to start with somethings I’m not doing at the moment. I am not in school. I am not working with a personal trainer. I am not working too hard on losing weight. I have closed and ended some relationships.
I am social distancing in hopes to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. I am working from home most days. I am actively paying down debt. I downsized and moved. I’ve cut back on things. I am the missions coordinator at my church and leading the livestream of our services (not in the current situation, but usually. Other people are doing that for now).
My dad died on December 26. He basically got an infection that his body wasn’t strong enough to fight. The few years of Progressive MS took so much from him – physically and in personality ways. The nurse told us on the 22nd that he didn’t have long. That side of the family always spends Christmas Eve together, usually at my aunt’s. We gathered at mom & dad’s this year. Dad slept but we were all together. I was at work on the 26th and got word that time was really short. My brother and I weren’t there when he passed, but that was best for mom. She would have been too concerned about us to process it for herself. I said my goodbye to him on Christmas Eve. We had arranged the cremation a few weeks before because we knew it wouldn’t be much longer but had no idea it would come that quick. Dad didn’t even know we did that. We had a memorial for him in early February and so many people came. A lot of his coworkers, friends, and family of course. The outpouring of love and support we received was overwhelming, but in a good way. I don’t want people, myself included, to remember him by his last few years.
Ugh, that was hard to write, but so good to finally share. When I first wrote this (long) entry I had totally forgotten that I hadn’t blogged about Dad yet. I don’t think that’s was an awful thing, I didn’t forget out of lack of effect it had. It just is what it is. I’ll write more about it in a later entry, just proofreading this brought back so much more I want to share!
On to other updates…
I was in one Master’s degree program and quit. Started another but dropped out. My heart wasn’t in either even though I really thought it would be. However, I don’t need a Master’s degree to be a missionary or for my current job, and I certainly don’t need any more student loan debt. Choosing to not be enrolled has turned my budget on its head because the loans are due. The money that was coming in that was helping me barely stay in the black, is now going out. Therefore, prompting the cutting back of things. I downsized to a smaller apartment not too far from my last one. I probably mentioned that the last time I wrote last August.
I also have to take a break from my personal trainer. That’s not a relationship I wanted to end, or pause. We still text occasionally and I intend on starting back when the finances are there.
I have separated myself from other relationship though. Not that the people were bad or anything. I know there are hurt feelings, but I’ve been fortifying boundaries in my life and some relationships were not healthy for me or them anymore. Those boundaries simply lead to different paths. I no longer wanted people not encouraging and challenging me in areas I feel God is developing in me. I mean challenging in a healthy way is welcomed, but constant questioning and dismissing my convictions isn’t healthy. I simply drew weary of having to constantly defend myself and make excuses to myself for THEIR behavior.
Blah, as I say all that I see other relationships that I need to challenge as well. Please don’t get me wrong. Wanting the best for me and guiding me in Godly decisions are good and healthy things, although not always comfortable. Nit-picky and judgmental opinions need to stay on the other side of the boundaries, even if it means ending a “friendship.”
In other news: I’ve been having sciatic pain. Starts in my hip and goes down my leg and has given me a limp with a weak leg. Walking gives me trouble, especially in the stores. Sitting around in the shelter in place situation has not helped. I’ve done physical therapy, massage, chiropractor, and stretches. I’ve had 3 steroid injections at L5-S1 that did nothing, so I got an injection at my SI joint. That helped a little for a short time, but now it’s bad again. I don’t know the next step; it might be another injection, or it could lead to surgery. In meantime, I take pain killers in order to sleep and get mad at myself for not moving enough. One other thing I did that did help with general pain was cut back on sugar. I was doing really good in February and OK when I went on a trip (more details in a moment), but late March-mid April has been really bad. I am taking steps to right that, but in the midst of pandemic, I comfort eat a lot.
Weight loss hasn’t been a high priority. With all of the things going on, mentioned here and not mentioned yet, I’m happy just not gaining a lot.
I’m not worried about COVID-19. God’s got me and whatever happens I will still follow Him. The worst that could happen is I could die, but then I’m with God eternally, so that’s really not the worst thing. These are uncertain times and it’s natural to have stress. That was not a suicidal thought there! I have experienced those in the past and know the difference. I’m not going to go to a hospital and get the disease on purpose or anything like that. I’m just not worried in general. I am weary of the negativity and harshness on social media, but that’s a whole different topic for a different time.
Anyway, I went to Malawi, Africa in March. We left at the beginning of the pandemic and heard while we were there that we might have trouble getting back home. Besides getting sick for 4-5 days (out of 10!!), it was a wonderful trip, nonetheless. We worked with an agency called When the Saints who work to end sex trafficking and abuse. Saw hundreds make the decision to follow Christ. They have ministry teams all over discipling these new believers, which is wonderful. Jesus said to make disciples, not converts. We hung out with staff and a bunch of the girls they’ve brought into their safe home. Girls as young as 4 who’ve been abused, scared, traumatized, sick, and unloved. However, now with the love of Jesus in their lives being in a safe and caring environment, they play and giggle and get to be little girls. So sweet, after you are heartbroken! The ministry is also actively reaching out to the men, and families, in the area to educate them and tell them about God. They do so much, it’s hard to give a short summary! Google them for more info.
Alright, I think I’ve covered A LOT of the basics. Even if I haven’t, this is too long already!
Take care everyone! More to come soon 🙂