DONANDMARY77   27,005
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Testimony of the Grace and Goodness of God

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wonderful testimony of the goodness of our Father: Don and I are part of a small church here in Hot Springs. It is very old fashioned, but the people are like family. I told Don that we can go to a church with more contemporary worship, but will never find a church with so much of a family love feel.

They proved it yesterday. They took up an offering to help with my surgery. There are fewer than 40 people in the evening service, but they collected over $1800! Plus there were pledges to bring in more. The women's ministry is going to donate as well. The church only has about 100 people in the church at the most, but it is the most generous church we have ever encountered.

I also got a message from our church in Arusha, that they are taking up an offering next Sunday. I am again overwhelmed. They are a small church too. I have no idea what a church full of expats will be able to give, but God is faithful.

We got messages from all over the globe that they are supporting us. One couple from Denmark gave $1000, and another gave over $800. We serve an awesome God.

I go into surgery tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. Please be in prayer for the day. The surgery will take at least 4 hours, so stay on the prayer alert until about 1:00 p.m. I am ready to go.

God's word to me this morning: "Rest in Me, and I will take care of the rest".
He is awesome,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACYZABELLE 8/19/2009 5:39AM

    Praying for you Mary that you will soon have relief and be back to running around doing what you do best!

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KRZYKAT3 8/18/2009 9:26PM

    Amen, I wil be praying all goes well tomrrow!

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NO_DEFEAT_HERE 8/18/2009 1:13PM

  Praying for you Mary as you recover from surgery.

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CAROLYN0107 8/18/2009 7:05AM

    Praise the Lord for HIS provision. Praying for you and surgery this morning.

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UP-4-A-CHANGE 8/17/2009 2:16PM

    you are in my prayers hope your surgery goes well emoticon

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LASHERTHECAT 8/17/2009 11:43AM

    Amazing what can happen with prayer and good friends!!

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SISTERKRISTA 8/17/2009 11:03AM

    Praise the Lord for His provisions! What a humbling experience and a great blessing. Prayers will be with you tomorrow.
In Christ,

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HOLLY_ROSE3 8/17/2009 11:03AM

    HE is an AWESOME God!!

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Change is not easy

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I got the preoperative tests done yesterday. The radiologists were all in the back discussing my knee x-rays. I asked what was going on. They asked me if I was ever in an accident, which is NO. They were shocked at how bad my joints looked, especially my left leg. I asked them if they didn't know who the x-rays belonged to, what age would they guess me to be. They said at least 30-40 years older.

It is not easy to do things at this point, because I had to stop all my anti inflammatory drugs before surgery. I have done more cardio this week than have in months. I just have total determination to make the changes I need to support this surgery.

I packed my hospital bag. Don and I feel so blessed with all the connections we have already made at the hospital. Everyone we have spoken with said that we will definately qualify for a large amount of our hospital bill to be forgiven. Please pray for that to happen. We have gotten a few people giving towards the surgery, but not anywhere near 30,000 dollars.

I am asking for specific prayers concerning this surgery. I have a fear in the back of my mind that the surgery will fail and I will be confined to a wheelchair. I am not going to let that keep me from the surgery. It is just too early for me to be stuck without real mobility. I found out that some people are very nice around people in wheelchairs, while others are totally oblivious. I was waiting for an elevator to go see Don's dad a couple of days ago. I pressed the UP botton and sat. A family came shorly after and when the elevator opened they all took it, without leaving me any room. They left me behind. I waited for the next elevator. The lady who was exiting the elevator held the open elevator button until I was on the elevator and was very kind. Two different mindsets that I come up against daily.

It is not easy to go through all these changes in the past 4 years. I used to do so much. Don and I were talking about a hiking trip we took to Petit Jean National Park. We did the most difficult trail that day. It was amazing. Today, I am peddling a stationary bike, because that is all that my knees will take. The change was so fast that I didn't even think it was possible. I am so ready to get my fitness level back. I am so ready to go through the pain that I need to go through now, so that I can do the things I used to enjoy.

I was at 180 pounds only 4 years ago. I am at 245 today. I can't blame all the weight gain on Steroid injections, but it sure didn't help. My knee was bothering me back 4 years ago, but I could bear it. I think there were many connecting pieces that came together that contributed to my weight gain. Dealing with daily pain and losing bits of my mobility even when I was at 180. Changing from a low carb style of eating to a low fat lifestyle also caused some of the gain. It has taken time to learn what carbs I can eat and still control. I am determined to be smart about eating. I realise that it isn't going to happen overnight. It is one day at a time and one choice at a time.

It helps me to have this site to go to for support. I love the friendships I have developed over the last year and a half. I love the nutrition tracker, because I had a habit of undereating. I love the fitness tracker, because I can make smarter choices when I am eating out. I love the ideas I get from different recipes.

Please pray that Dr. Smith has the Hand of God guiding him through this surgery. Pray that the pain is easy to control. That I do not have a bad reaction from the pain medication. I have never used morphine before, so I don't know what will happen. I can't take codeine, so it limits the medications they can give me.

Also, please pray for there to be no complications or setbacks. I believe God wants me to be a testimony of His ability to come alongside and speed up healing.

I am not going to have an internet connection while I am in the hospital, so I will tell Don to update my Facebook status and maybe someone can pass it on to my friends here.
Hugs to all my SP friends,
This is a photo of my knees:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NO_DEFEAT_HERE 8/17/2009 6:52PM

  Mary, wish our financial situation was better so I could help you out but for now, I'll give you my prayers. May God be with the doctors as they operate. I will pray for a quick recovery so you can focus on your work for the Lord.

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LASHERTHECAT 8/16/2009 1:34PM

    Hugs and lots of prayers coming for you!!

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CAROLYN0107 8/15/2009 10:45PM

    Mary, you've sure been through a lot. I pray that this surgery will be a success and that you'll be back on both of your feet soon!
HUGS to you my friend!

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DLT010963 8/15/2009 8:54PM

  I am new to SP and don't know you, but believe in the power of prayer and just wanted you to know that I will be praying for you and for God's will.

May God bless you,

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5 pound loss in 10 days

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I weighed in at the doctor's office for the first time 10 days ago. I am happy about that, even though I am not happy I am having to lose another 12 pounds to be back to the weight I was before all the stress started 2 months ago.

To keep my mind in a good place, I have to remember that this is a lifestyle that I intend to keep. That 2 months in light of the rest of my life, is really just a drop in the bucket. It took a great amount of courage for me to step on the doctor's scale, and that was what really kicked me back into reality.

I am determined to stay on target with food. I have surgery in 5 days, and know that I will have less choice to what I get to eat. I will be stuck in bed for at least 3 weeks for extended periods of time. That is not going to be easy for me.

The thing I have to remember is that I will be able to do so much more activity once I heal from this surgery. It is not easy for me to stay still. I have never really been a sedentary person, so it has been torture to have so much trouble with my knees. I had to stop my favorite workouts back in May. I know that is one of the reasons I started gaining weight, so I am a little apprehensive about not being able to work out for at least 3 weeks. I don't know what that will translate on the scale. again it is only temporary.

Hugs to all my friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SISTERKRISTA 8/13/2009 5:31PM

    Keep staying positive - you have such a great attitude and outlook. Prayers are with you as you prepare for surgery.

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CAROLYN0107 8/13/2009 1:48PM

    emoticon on your weight loss!

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KRZYKAT3 8/13/2009 1:00PM

    great advice to yourself an better long term outlook!

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KAILIIA 8/13/2009 9:59AM

    Congrats on your loss and may your after surgery recovery be swift. if you are allowed some activity, maybe check into the "Sit and be Fit" series. I know it isn't appealing to most people as it is designed for such a limited fitness range and for people with a limited range of motion, but it may help prevent you muscles from atrophying while you recover.

I wish you to be happy and healthy.

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What I look forward to after surgery

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I really am so excited about the upcoming surgery to replace both knees. It seems at the age of 45, that I am a very young person going through this surgery. The man with the isometric machine came to deliver my rehab machine. It was a bit of a surprize that I will have to use the machine for 6-8 hours on each leg, meaning I will be in bed for 12-16 hours a day.....

The thing that I started thinking about instead of feeling overwhelmed is what I am looking forward to doing when I am ambulatory again. These are things that most people take for granted:
1. Just plain walking. Taking long walks in the park or around the neighborhood. I miss that the most.
2. Sitting with my legs comfortably in front of me.
3. Sleeping in bed without pain waking me up. And being surrounded with pillows to support my joint.
4. Leading worship standing.
5. Teaching for a week without having to sit most of the time.
6. Going to a mall and enjoying shopping without a wheelchair or scooter.

I really am going to have to remind myself about this. I will also need lots of emotional support when I feel clausterphobic in my room. Don is going to have to rig my internet to reach the bed.

7 days till surgery.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LASHERTHECAT 8/12/2009 8:07AM

    It's good you have such a positive attitude about it! emoticon

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CAROLYN0107 8/11/2009 11:38PM

    You are going to do well after surgery Mary. You are a fighter!

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KRZYKAT3 8/11/2009 9:41PM

    you will com through flying - most people ar so happy when they have this surgery finished and recovered!

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What is up with the cake?

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Too much sweet stuff this weekend. I get down on myself for not being in more control over portions of certain foods. The foods I tend to overeat seem to have the sugar/carb connection, so I feel like an addict.

Let me be honest. I felt so much more in control when I did Atkins because they were banned from my selection altogether. I really want to figure out how to have a normal relationship with food in the long term. It would be perfect if everyone understood that offering me a plate of cookies is not a good thing. That having a box of Little Debbies sitting on the shelf is not really a good idea with people like me.

Anyone else battle the cookie or cake monster? What do you do to stop the cravings?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

*DMARIE* 8/10/2009 7:10PM

    I'm sure the temptation and struggle will always be there for me. I'm a chocoholic emoticon so I keep a large container full of homemade hot cocoa mix on hand. One cup prepared is 176 calories and non-fat so it's a lot less damaging than cookies or cake. I make due with that for as many days as I can but, if I get a craving for something more, I have a brownie recipe that I tweaked so it's as low fat as I can stand it. I'll make only a small pan of it and share it with the family so I don't get a whole lot.

I also remind myself that I need to be as healthy as possible for my youngest son. I am 45, and he is only 6.

When I have to rush a relative to the hospital due to chest pains and artery blockage, my cravings get cured pretty quickly too.

Having said all that, I still blew it yesterday at a family get-together. But I blew it knowing I had done pretty well with my eating and exercising the entire week before. I hope I can make up for it the rest of the week!

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HOLLY_ROSE3 8/10/2009 12:43PM

    That sort of stuff is my down fall! If someone else does the cutting and serving it's GREAT for me! I try to keep all cake and cookie things out of the house! Hope your doing well Mary, your smile is catchy, always makes me smile! emoticon

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LASHERTHECAT 8/10/2009 8:52AM

    I'm kind of all or nothing... So generally to control... have none!!

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CAROLYN0107 8/10/2009 6:54AM

    Sorry. I have no advice to give as I am not a good example of staying away from sweets! I lost weight last week only to go to a family reunion this weekend and gain it all back, plus more. Now I need to really work to get it back off before my Thursday weigh in.

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NETPASSONS 8/10/2009 1:23AM

I love those. And I love to bake them. I can't do a low/no carb diet.
My only way to deal with it is to limit myself to a small amount. I am an undereater?
So it doesn't wreck my calorie/ carb range, but I know I need more fresh fruit & veggies. I make myself stop at a small slice of cake or 3 small cookies & bread is usually whole wheat. I make sure it fits in my ranges before I eat.
I would love to be one of those folks who can eat anything in any amount & never gain weight, but that isn;t me :(

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    Same deal, sugar addict. I would like to say this time I think I have made peace with it, and have found a new way of eating, but only time will tell. It is hard, however I think you can only go so long when you deny yourself something.
I went five years without eating flour or sugar only to lose that and spiral out of control. I did atkins, but learned the hard way that it was NOT for me.
Now I measure those 'bad' carbs, like whole wheat bread, half cup of rice...I don't count carbs...instead I have struck a balance so I can have these items, by measuring them, as I've said and by adding A LOT of veggies and whole foods in general. I don't feel like a slave to a 'program' I make each day a day that I decide to eat healthy. Once in awhile we go out and have pizza, or ice cream - but it's a treat, not a weekly staple. When I was on Atkins, I was always edgy. Now that I start my day with a cup of steel cut oats with fruit and nonfat milk...I feel full and satisfied. I don't know. I think I have tried every diet...counting carbs, counting points, low fat, exercising like a crazy person. It always comes back to simplicity. Keep it simple. Choose whole foods, not crazy 'diet' pre packaged crap and you can't go wrong. If it's in a box or a bag, typically you should LIMIT it (note I did not say YOU can't ever have it).
I also think that it takes a long time to get to know what that limit is ...if you can't handle it , best left for now. Later after eating fresh fruits, whole grains, veggies and a little animal protein, I found I can find room for a treat...and somehow - mainly because I feel so good physically, I don't feel deprived, or feel like I'm just getting thru or 'white knuckling' it. Somehow it just works. Eating well is feeling well - when you get to that place - it's like you've slayed the monster and you're home.

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JADERY 8/9/2009 10:38PM

  sugar is definitely my drug and most people around me don't understand what it does to me. I can handle splenda without it triggering intense cravings like sugar does so I will choose sugar free jellos and puddings (for example) instead of the low-fat. It has been a life long struggle for me...I hardly have it beat...but I understand it better!

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KRZYKAT3 8/9/2009 10:37PM

    I eat cake only at other people's houses. I keep my treats in the pantry. I stay AWAY from DONUTS!! emoticon nummy!

I allow myself to eat sweet foods in smaller quantities and find better sweet choices. I only eat one at a time and take smaller bites. I have to walk to get the 2nd one.

some every day sweet treats for me:

mini reese cups
mini milky ways
small ginger snap cookies with a dob of canned cool whip on top (2 T = 20 calories!)
red vine licorice

on birthdays I eat cake and I try no to take the edge piece! LOL

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