The Good, Bad and Ugly, Plus an Amazing God.

(If anyone wishes to copy or print my posts, they are welcome to do that.)

I haven’t posted for quite awhile because when I thought about things to write I realized I had already written on that subject. I felt perhaps I had shared all I had to share. And I might be right about that. So, if I don’t post much, that is why.

My husband’s stroke was a little more than a year ago and he is still recovering. Since then, he has had a bleeding ulcer and an incisional hernia (a thirty-five-year-old abdomen incision had burst open.) Those two events have set back his progress. But he is still doing very well.

I was thinking about King Saul from the Old Testament. When an evil spirit would plague him, he called for David to come sing for him and the evil spirit would leave. I believe Satanic beings cannot stand hearing songs about God. They also hate it when we praise God out loud. I have found in my life that when I am depressed or despairing singing and praising God lifts me up and out of sadness.

My sister in Washington is still waiting on God to tell her when to leave her home and live in the mountains. Meanwhile, she has learned so much about God and being a Christian. She has learned to depend on him and hear his voice speaking to her heart.

I am sorry to see all the division the Covid vaccine has caused. It is tragic people are at each other’s throats about it. I have some family members who live far away who will not get the vaccine. My immediate family is different, we have all been double-vaccinated. I accept what my other relatives are doing; I don’t agree with their position, but I respect their right to decide for themselves. Even though my husband is waiting for surgery and can’t have it because the ICUs in the hospital are full.

 I heard that recently a man who worked for a Christian organization wrote an article in a newspaper on why he decided to get the vaccine. He was fired the next day, even though this organization says they believe in “freedom of speech.” Well, they don’t really, do they?

New Podcasts and an Update on My Husband’s Condition.

I thought I would share an update on my husband’s condition. It’s been 9 months since he had a stroke and he is doing very well. His mind is working well, it isn’t like before the stroke, but honestly, I can’t tell any difference in him except he forgets to turn lights off. He says he can’t think quickly like before, but now he is retired he won’t have to. When he came home, he couldn’t keep up with conversations among the family, but he has no trouble with that now.

Physically, he has muscle weakness, fatigue, a spasm now and then and he still gets numbness and tingling in his legs, arms and hands. His hands are especially weak. He is using a walker, but he says he won’t need it soon as his legs are getting stronger.  We are both happy he is alive and we are now able to spend our days together.

I have discovered some podcasts that are new to me and I’m enjoying them so much I wanted to share. I appreciate those who produce Christian podcasts. They encourage and teach me as I follow Jesus. I pray God will bless them and their work for him.

I’ll begin a list of the ones that are new to me and end with the older podcasts I have listed to for more than a year.

Our Daily Bread

How to Study the Bible

Theology in the Raw

Compelled

Timothy Keller Sermons

Worthy: Celebrating the Value of Women

Walk it Out with Tricia Goyer

Ask NT Wright Anything

Deep Talks: Exploring Theology and Meaning

Chicken Soup for the Soul with Amy Newmark

Okay, now for the old ones I’ve listed here previously.

Pray Every Day

Don’t Make Me Come Back There

The Paul Tripp Podcast

Front Porch with the Fitzes

Joyce Meyer Enjoying Everyday Life

That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs

The Faith and Mental Wellness

Passion City Church DC

The Ponder Podcast

Go and Tell Gals

Joyce Meyer’s Talk It Out

Waiting on God and an Update on My Husband’s Stroke.

Andre Murray

I allow anyone to copy and publish what I write on this blog, “Who is God?”

“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Those who wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the land.”   Psalm 37:7,9

Thank you for your prayers for my husband. He is slowly recuperating from his stroke. This morning he said he noticed his brain isn’t as foggy as it used to be. He is walking and doing hand and arm exercises. His blood pressure is normal and his head doesn’t hurt as much when on the computer or watching TV.

It has been hard for him to wait patiently for healing. It is hard for all of us to wait on good things to come. Feeling impatient is just the way human beings are.

I recently bought a book called, “Waiting on God,” by Andrew Murray. I bought it because I was finding it hard waiting for Jesus to return. I long for the sin and pain of this world to be over and to see him face to face. The book has been a great help to me and I highly recommend it. I thought I would share part of it with you.

From Waiting on God: “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire.”   James 1:4

“Such words of the Holy Spirit show us what an important element in the Christian life and character patience is. And nowhere is there a better place for cultivating or displaying it than in waiting on God. There we discover how impatient we are, and what our impatience means.

We confess at times that we are impatient with men, and circumstances that hinder us, or with ourselves and our slow progress in the Christian life. If we truly set ourselves to wait upon God, we shall find that it is with Him we are impatient, because he does not at once, or as soon as we could wish, do our bidding. It is in waiting upon God that our eyes are opened to believe in his wise and sovereign will, and to see that the sooner and more completely we yield absolutely to it, the more surely his blessing can come to us.

“It is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy.” Romans 9:16

We have as little power to increase or strengthen our spiritual life, as we had to originate it. We ‘were born not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of the will of God.’ Even so, our willing and running, our desire and effort, avail nothing; all is ‘of God that shows mercy.’

All the exercises of the spiritual life, our reading and praying, our willing and doing, have their very great value. But they can go no farther than this, that they point the way and prepare us in humility to look to and to depend alone upon God Himself, and in patience to wait his good time and mercy.

The waiting is to teach us our absolute dependence upon God’s mighty working, and to make us in perfect patience place ourselves at his disposal. They that wait on the Lord shall inherit the land; the promised land and its blessing. The heirs must wait; they can afford to wait…”

“Give God his glory by resting in him, by trusting him fully, by waiting patiently for him. This patience honors him greatly; it leaves him as God on the throne, to do his work; it yields self wholly into his hands. It lets God be God.

From the book, “Waiting on God,” –  Day 11: Waiting on God: Patiently.

Aftereffects of A Stroke: A Sense of Great Loss.

 (All of my posts are free to be copied and used in any way.)

My husband said to me last night, “I’ve lost myself.” I said, “No, you’ve lost some of yourself, but not all. You are just the same as you always were, you just have to do things and think things slower. Your character and who you are as a person is the same.”

“Really?” he said. I don’t feel the same.” I asked him in what way. He said, “When I went to the hospital today for my cancer treatment, (he has carcinoid tumors) I felt different around the nurses who know me. I couldn’t talk as much and joke with them as I always have in the past.”

I told him I was sorry he felt that way. I told him I believed he would get stronger physically and mentally. The doctors just said it would take a long time. I hope that helped him a bit. I told him I was glad he was sharing about his feelings, something he rarely did before.

His head has been hurting more, but I think it is because of the cancer treatment and the time it took to get him ready to go there. I also think he was embarrassed to be seen in a wheelchair being pushed by my granddaughter.

My husband has always thought of himself as a strong man, which indeed is how all the family sees him. He was not only physically strong; he was strong mentally. He stuck with me through my mental breakdowns. He tried to lift my spirits and never seemed discouraged by my disabilities. He many times said the wrong thing in trying to make me feel better, because he isn’t a psychologist, but I understood that.

Now he sees himself as weak. He worries if I leave the door unlocked, he can’t protect me. He worries I might fall and get hurt (I have a balance problem. One time I fell into the Christmas tree. Lol). He didn’t used to worry so much, but I guess he sees how fragile life is and how quickly things can go wrong.

I’ve always known that. In fact, I’m surprised and thrilled when things go right. I tend to look at the dark side of life because of my childhood abuse. My husband was abused too, in a different way, but he took that experience and told himself he would be strong and then he would be okay. He told himself that if someone didn’t like him, “It’s their loss and my gain.” Lol.

He was really surprised about having a stroke. I wasn’t because we are both old, 69 and 70. I’m surprised I don’t have diabetes, high blood pressure and a bad heart! But my husband was incredibly optimistic about everything. Overly optimistic, I thought.

He woke up this morning and seemed more cheerful. I told him we need to do some mind games, so we started a puzzle. He didn’t last long until his head started hurting and he wanted to stop. I am going to phone his Occupational Therapist on Monday and ask how hard I should push him. They used to push hard at the hospital, so I have to understand this part of his recovery.

The low-salt diet is going very well. It turned out at first it was going too well. His blood pressure started to drop down to the 90s. Apparently, 120 is ideal. So, I started letting him have a bit more salt in his diet and it is now between 100 to 123. I found a recipe for tomato sauce that is low-salt and he loved the taste. I didn’t like it at first, but after sitting a night in the fridge, it was pretty good.

No more fast-food. Pretty well all of it has tons of salt. One meal is more than enough salt for a day. I found out the salad I usually ordered had more salt than a hamburger! I usually hate cooking and we used to order in a lot, but I have found, with God’s assistance, I don’t mind the cooking and it is going very well.

This is just an update of my husband’s stroke. I thought it might help those who live with and take care of someone who has had a stroke. Thanks again for your concern and prayers. God is here with us helping, comforting and strengthening us. May God be beside all of you doing the same.

Home After a Stroke.

(I do not use my husband’s name in my posts at his request.)

On September 30 I wrote a post about my husband having a stroke. We brought him home Thursday, October 13. He made tremendous progress while at the hospital rehabilitation unit. He can now walk on his own, dress himself, and even check things out on the computer.

He has a bit of trouble with his short-term memory and his whole body feels numb and tingly, which is very uncomfortable. He is taking pain medication for that and it really helps. He is also extremely tired and lays down for most of the day. They said his cognitive abilities are at 85%.

I am supposed to help him by playing word games with him and giving him tasks to do, such as tying knots, picking up buttons, putting screws into nuts etc. Fine motor skills are what he needs to learn to do again. I noticed the longer we played the word game the harder it became for him to think up answers. His head starts to hurt too, so we will be more careful next time.

I want to thank all the doctors and nurses who cared for my husband. They were super kind and thoughtful and of course they were instrumental in saving his life. Many of them told me how much they adored my hubby.

And I want to thank everyone for their prayers. So many strangers told me they were praying for him; I’m talking about the people on the phone who I had to call about finances etc. The people I used to see and say hi to as I walk out to the parking lot knew Dan had had a stroke and told me they were praying for him. It was just lovely to know that.

We are so grateful to God for letting Dan live. As I’ve said before, I know that isn’t always the result of prayers for the sick. But I also believe it is God who chooses when each person will die and I guess my husband has more work to do for God.

My two daughters came and stayed with me the whole time he was in the hospital. I didn’t realize how much that would help me until they came. My granddaughters were running errands for me and giving me support. My grandson came over to see his Grandpa the day he came home and started quietly crying when he saw how good Grandpa looked. I guess he had googled “stroke” and was afraid for him.

There were two other men in the hospital room with my husband who had had strokes. They were both doing very well, even the man who was 47 and had gotten an infection in his brain after his stroke. He was healing very well; could walk and talk and looked perfectly normal. The other man was 89 and the hardest thing for him was missing his wife who lived in a far-away city and couldn’t come because of Covid-19. But he did talk with her 3 times a day. He was improving too.

So sometimes a stroke isn’t as bad as it may start out to be. My husband is on a low-salt diet and blood pressure pills. We have a cuff to monitor his blood pressure and we do that about 4 times a day. He has had perfect numbers since he came home.

Thanks again for your good wishes and prayers.

(Everyone has permission to copy or use my posts for any reason.)

My Husband’s Stroke.

Two weeks ago, my husband had a “massive stroke.” The doctor called us and told us to prepare for the worst. They told my daughters, who live 6 hours away to, “Leave now.” So, they did. We called all our family and all his family. Everyone started praying.

Because I have been a Christian for 50 years and there have been other deaths in our family, I believed God knew what he was doing, (which wasn’t always the case.). I told God I knew my husband was in his hands and I trusted him to do what was best for all of us.

My husband lived for a day, and then another day and began rapidly improving. The doctors were stunned. His speech was slurring slightly and his face drooped a bit, but he could move his left arm and leg, which had been paralyzed.

He seemed to have all his past memories intact, but his short-term memories would come and go. He wasn’t sure why he was in the hospital each morning and he had forgotten about the pandemic. He asked me on the phone why I hadn’t come to visit, so my daughter made a sign to hang by his bed which explained about Covid-19 and that we weren’t allowed to visit.

At the beginning, when the doctors thought he was dying, they allowed me into the ICU to see him. In order to get past the front desk of the hospital, I had to say, “My husband is dying.” Those words felt strange to me, as if I was lying to them, as if it couldn’t possibly be true.

I held my husband’s hand and we spoke awhile until he fell asleep. I was glad he knew who I was and could respond. He was shocked he had a stroke. He thought it was carcinoid tumors, which he has had for over 20 years, that had caused this illness.

The next day, he seemed worse, more tired than before and barely spoke. I didn’t expect him to live much longer. But lo and behold, the next day he was joking with the nurses! He was weak, but alert. It was wonderful to see. They moved him out of ICU a few days later and put him in a regular ward.

Well, there was a lot of rejoicing in the family, as you can imagine. We thank God for healing him. I know God does not heal everyone from an illness. If he did, then no one would die and we would be pretty crowded here on earth. Death is a part of life and I accept that. I want to thank him here on this blog, for giving me his comfort, strength and love during this hard time. This is his greatest gift to the world. He gave these things to me when my grandson died and I knew he would do it again.

God’s peace inside me is something I want the world to know, because those who don’t believe in God don’t realize what they are missing. I wish everyone would give God a chance to show them what he can do. He is light, love, mercy, forgiveness, peace, and joy.

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”   Isaiah 26:3

Have I always had perfect peace? No. It took me many years to learn to trust God. I had been abused as a child by my father, so learning to trust God was very hard for me. But the longer my mind was, “stayed on God,” the more I began to trust. I used to rage and wail against the dark things in my life, but no more. I’ve found that in the deepest dark I am actually learning and growing as a person. And God is there standing beside me, giving me strength and hope.

God says:

“I have upheld you and carried you since the day you were born. Even to your old age and grey hairs, I am he.

I have made you; I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”     Isaiah 46:3,4