Eagerly Awaiting Test Results

You know, it’s funny sometimes how you can hope for a bad test result.  When you’ve spent months or years knowing that something is wrong, but never knowing exactly what is wrong, you can get to the point where you’d just be relieved to have an actual diagnosis.  I’ve always empathized with people who have lupus or fibromyalgia or one of those other “invisible” diseases, because I’ve heard their stories of waiting eons to be definitively diagnosed (and often even then not having good treatment options).

All told, I only went a few months with severe issues with Addison’s before a brilliant neurologist managed to think outside the box and diagnose me.  So I have struggled with nothing compared with those who had to endure years of pain and/or debilitating levels of fatigue before they could finally get a doctor to take notice.  But now that I’m in that position, and waiting for the results of a plethora of labs that were drawn the other day, I totally get the idea of wishing for something to show up.  It’s not like I want to have yet another crippling life-long disease.  It’s just that I know there’s something wrong, and until we put a name to it, we have no idea how to treat it.  So I’m not really sure if most people can understand how disappointing it can be to have the doctor’s office call and say everything came back “normal”.  “Normal” people are relieved when that happens.   But for us living in the unknown, yes there’s a measure of relief (oh good, it’s not lupus, MS, etc) but there’s also a huge letdown.  Because you were hoping that this time we’d ordered the right test.  This time we’d have an answer.

So when people ask how they can pray for me, I have no idea what to tell them, other than I just want answers.  I don’t want the doctor’s office to call and tell me everything is fine, because I know it’s not. So if you’re thinking of me today (or praying), that’s what I’d wish for: to know what’s wrong, so I can tackle it head-on and grind it into the dust.  (Insert inspirational montage here)

Chime in and vent in the comments below, guys!

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Peace During the Holidays

As some of you know, there have been a lot of things going on in our household as of late, some of them huge. We haven’t had as much time as we’d like to spend with the people we love, which we definitely aren’t happy about. But as we have just wrapped up Thanksgiving and are heading towards Christmas and New Year’s, I’m thinking a lot about how simplicity contributes to peace during the holidays, no matter what holidays you celebrate.

Holidays have the potential to bring us a LOT of stress. We may be hosting a big get together, or interacting with family members that we’ve had friction with in the past, or frantic about getting cards out or finishing gift shopping. Whatever has us stressed out this season, simplicity can go a long way towards relieving at least some of that stress.

I don’t know about you, but I find that perfectionism hits me the hardest when I’m hosting a party. I want everything to look perfect, to taste perfect, to be perfectly timed without a hitch, and so on. Rarely do I come even close to this ideal. But I find that if I refuse to allow myself to obsess over the details, I enjoy the day AND my time spent with family and friends so much more. Sometimes it’s not easy to remember. But it’s definitely worth it.

Rob and I have been trying for the last few years to really simplify our lives. It’s been a challenge at times, and we have a long way to go. But I encourage you to think about ways to simplify your holidays. Is your guest list, your gift list, or your card list too long? Can you choose fewer, simpler, but more heartfelt gifts? This requires being closer to our friends and family, knowing what they like and don’t like, what their favorite things are. Do we know about favorite colors, favorite authors, favorite stores? For instance, some people hate getting gift cards (my daughter for one) but I happen to like them. But we have to really invest in relationships to learn these things about one another. This is another thing I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and maybe I’ll tackle that idea in my next post.

I challenge you to take some time over the next few weeks and find ways to simplify. You can even look ahead to next year and consider things you might do differently. Don’t let the exercise bring added stress, just see where you could cut back, slow down, and really enjoy the time with the people you love. Because isn’t that what the holidays should be about anyway?

What are your favorite stress-relieving tips or ways to simplify during the holidays?

Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions

Talk about counter-culture; he is so different from anything we’ve seen. I personally think that’s a good thing.

CNN Belief Blog

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) — Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s opposition to gay marriage on Wednesday, but suggested in a newspaper interview that it could support some types of civil unions.

The Pope reiterated the church’s longstanding teaching that “marriage is between a man and a woman.” However, he said, “We have to look at different cases and evaluate them in their variety.”

States, for instance, justify civil unions as a way to provide economic security to cohabitating couples, the Pope said in a wide-ranging interview published Wednesday in Corriere della Seraan Italian daily. State-sanctioned unions are thus driven by the need to ensure rights like access to health care, Francis added.

A number of Catholic bishops have supported civil unions for same-sex couples, including Pope Francis when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 2010, according to reports in National Catholic…

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Americans united…

This pretty much sums up my frustration with political division, fanaticism, and outrage in our country. Let’s stop being indignant with one another and look for common ground.

See, there's this thing called biology...

We are you know, very united, in spite of what the media and the DC political machine has tried to do to us. When you come right down to it, Americans have a core set of values that we all hold dear. We may disagree on how to solve problems, but we are SO united in what we believe.1511066_647877401914797_1485627215_n

Our politicians, our media moguls, our political parties, have tried to exploit our tribalistic  tendancies, to take advantage of our cognitive dissonance. What a government always fears is a united population because there is strength in numbers. Keep us all bickering among ourselves, viewing each other as the enemy and nobody will ever speak truth to power.

It’s maddening knowing this, seeing this, reading the studies that prove this…and yet being completely powerless to spread the word, to show people the truth. We’re all far too invested in our need for tribal identities, in the…

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Dream List…Not a Bucket List

I like the idea of a “dream list” instead of a “bucket list”. I think I shall ponder creating one of my own.

Hike By Faith

There is a difference between a dream list and a bucket list. A bucket list are things you HOPE to do before you “kick the bucket” (die). A dream list is something you PLAN to do. When it comes to hiking and backpacking I have a dream list and I’m already making plans and preparing to accomplish my list.

  • Thru-hike the AT – This is a bug dream as it will require at least five months of my life, not working, having the money to do it and a job to come bak to when I’m done. As well as the mental, emotional and physical strength to complete a thru-hike.
  • Crater National – The picture below speaks for itself as to why I want to hike this terrain.
  • Yellowstone National
  • Colorado 14er’s
  • Alaska Wilderness

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What’s on your dream list for hiking and backpacking? Would like to read your comments of…

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DIY Project: Narrow Roll-Out Pantry

Build a Space-Saving Roll-Out Pantry That Fits Between the Fridge and Wall

I guess this one’s going to have to be one of my next DIY Projects!  If anyone has tried this, let me know how it went!