ZELLAZM   98,154
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On a mission

Monday, May 17, 2010

I have an exam in missiology on Wednesday. I need all my "spare" time (whatever that is!) to study, so I'm going to be taking a break from Spark for a couple of days.

I even plan to overnight at the school where I'm studying so I don't have the long commute in the Wednesday morning traffic. It evens out expense-wise since I'll save on gas. And I'll be fresh in the morning for the test.

I'll be peeking in, though. I may be on a Spark break but I'll still be Sparking - watching my food intake and getting my daily exercise in. But I won't be posting till the end of the week.

Just wanted to let y'all know!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTEMPLE 5/19/2010 4:08AM

    All the best and good luck Michelle!

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TRYINGHARD1948 5/18/2010 7:33AM

    All the best Michelle.

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SJG1953 5/18/2010 3:08AM

    Praying you do well on your test.

I love all those lavender flowers and background!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 5/17/2010 10:37PM

    I'm sure you will do great on your test. Breath deep.......

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CHRYS13 5/17/2010 8:07PM

    Blessings to you!

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ASMPP1 5/17/2010 5:41PM

    emoticonYou do well on your exam.

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LIGIRLATHEART 5/17/2010 5:36PM

    You are awesome - healthy foods and exercise (and a good night's sleep) will all contribute to your test success! Good luck!


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FRANNIEDID 5/17/2010 4:46PM

    Good luck! Love your Wordle!

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CHICADEE26 5/17/2010 3:52PM

    Good Luck with the test!

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I Oughta

Sunday, May 09, 2010

I really OUGHTA write a blog today because it's been two weeks since my last post. Some other Spark friends have posted great blogs this past week. If you'd like a sampling, here are a few links:

SPUNKYSPARKER had some good insights about binge eating: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo

In her post, TJOEYMO shared a link to a very touching story and video about a special mother who was honored on Good Morning America. Have your tissues handy:

And SONJASTWIN set a goal for this week that is going to be my goal as well. The title of her post alone is worth a click:

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It hasn't been a good eating week for me. I realize that I've been doing some emotional eating and haven't really been sure why. One thing is that I got too tired. I'm still recovering from that long bout of whatever it was that caused me to lose my voice. Another thing is that I'm starting to see that my summer trip to the US is probably not going to happen. Sure, I could put it on a credit card but I've made a commitment to pay off debt and not incur any more. I'm in the midst of cash-flowing my MA degree so any "extra" money for the next year is going toward tuition, books and paying down the debts I do have. The Lord has blessed me with a precious financial support circle and a tent-making job that are going to make this possible. AMEN! But the trip to the States is just not in the budget.

This stirs up feelings of guilt because I feel I OUGHTA be checking in with my parents. I also OUGHTA attend my denomination's biannual conference. These are not only things I OUGHTA do but WANT to do. I want to spend time with my parents and also visit my friends there in FL. The conference is a wonderful time of networking, fellowship and worship, and for showing support for our leaders as they determine policy and strategy for the years ahead. I really WANT to go. But I also want to reach my financial and educational goals.

The little girl in me wants it ALL! But I need to prioritize and say NO to some good things. As my pastor says, not all GOOD things are GOD things.

What I have to remember is that eating won't solve the dilemma. It won't produce a financial miracle. It won't make the need to MAKE hard decisions go away. It won't ease the hurt of having to make hard choices. On the contrary, emotional eating just makes me feel more helpless and bogged down. And I OUGHTA to be turning it over to the Lord in prayer and moving ONWARD! That's my plan for the week ahead.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SONJASTWIN 5/16/2010 10:30PM

    Thanks for the shout out on my blog! I feel like a celebrity! LOL


Amazing how emotional eating sneaks up on us! There are so many things that pull us all in many directions that taking a break with something tasty seems like a nice escape. If only...

I hope you had a better week. emoticon

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FRANNIEDID 5/10/2010 9:48AM

    It is hard to say no when it is your parents! I have been there. Hang in there, getting out of debt will help you say more often!

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SARAHTAIT 5/10/2010 9:25AM

    I'm there with you on all those "I oughta's" which often lead me to feel guilty like you. I could really realate to your blog!!! Thanks for sharing your feeling. Knowing that there are others out there who feel the same as I do on things makes things a lot easier to deal with.

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LIGIRLATHEART 5/10/2010 8:30AM

    Great, honest blog -- I hope it all works out for you. Thanks, too, for the links to the other inspiring blogs. Glad you are starting to feel better (physically), which will transfer to other aspects of life as well.

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NEWLIBRARIAN 5/10/2010 7:56AM

    Hey I like that quote, "Not all good things are God things" I may put it on my fridge.

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SJG1953 5/10/2010 2:50AM

    Michelle, I can understand your concern. Sounds like you know what you have to do and are relying on the Lord to help you accomplish your goals. That's a great thing. Love and prayers, Shirley

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ASMPP1 5/9/2010 8:02PM

    You are heading in the right direction for you. Saying "no" is difficult to do! Keep faith! emoticon

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TRYINGHARD1948 5/9/2010 5:13PM

    Taking the emotion out of prioritising can be very difficult. One thing is for sure anyone who knows you will fully understand the decisions you make, there is no need for guilt. All the very best my friend.

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ALICEART2010 5/9/2010 2:23PM

    emoticon FROG = FULLY RELY ON GOD

It's so hard to say no to something that's fun like travel but it sounds like you've got your priorities straight and you will be blessed for it.

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    Michelle, the Lord will give you the best plan because it will be His.
Praying for you,

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GHOSTFLAMES 5/9/2010 8:06AM


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DENNISBISHOP 5/9/2010 8:02AM

    I like your plan for the week ahead!

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Second Opinion

Monday, April 26, 2010

I went to the new ENT today and I do NOT have nodes on my vocal chords. They are somewhat swollen and very tired which is why they don't close properly at phonation. But there are no cysts, polyps or nodes. Now that I've taken the antibiotics and am on the downward phase on the prednisone taper, and have been resting the voice, things are looking better.

Funny, this year is our national church's "Year of Stillness" - I didn't think I'd be taking it quite so literally.

THANK YOU for your prayers and encouragement! Just a short blog today to let y'all know! God is good!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASMPP1 5/5/2010 6:46AM


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SONJASTWIN 5/3/2010 12:36AM

    Excellent news! Here's hoping you're 100% soon.


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    It could also be an answer prayer (I mean even more than it already is) because the nodules may have gone away after prayer.

I am concerned about you, I remember antibiotics for sinus issues wasn't that last fall? You seem to have alot of ENT issues. It would be nice to get to the bottom of them, find and solve the root cause. Spoken from a former sufferer.

Just a warm hug of concern from me.

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FRANNIEDID 4/28/2010 9:21AM

    I am so glad that you are on the upswing. Rest your voice!!!! Take care of yourself!!! Sometimes stillness is a very good thing.

Comment edited on: 4/28/2010 9:21:31 AM

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SJG1953 4/27/2010 2:54AM

    Praise the Lord for your improvement!! Yes, God is indeed good! Still praying for you.

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HEALTHY_CAROLYN 4/27/2010 1:40AM

    Keep resting that voice, my friend! I'm glad you're on the way to being better. The one good thing about being sick is that it makes us appreciate being well that much more. I can't wait to hear that you're all healed!

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CHRYS13 4/26/2010 10:18PM

    Glad to read that you're on-the-mend! Keep resting....I've had nodes (when I was teaching choral music) and it was a long road to recovery!
Yes, God is indeed good!

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CTEMPLE 4/26/2010 10:11PM

    Great News dear Michelle!
Claudia emoticon

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TRYINGHARD1948 4/26/2010 6:43PM

    That is wonderful news Michelle. So glad you are recovering, have a still and wonder filled week, hugs.

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 4/26/2010 5:59PM

    Glad to hear your voice is better. I had problems for about 3 months last winter. Turned out the steroid in my inhaled asthma medication was causing it. The doctor adjusted the dose and I'm perfectly fine now. It's no fun not being able to talk!

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SARAHTAIT 4/26/2010 4:57PM

    Didn't know you would take the National day so seriously......
Glad to hear that things are going so well and that you are on the mend. emoticon

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SISTERDEAR 4/26/2010 4:47PM

    Be still and at rest, praising our wonderful Lord!!!

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NANC304 4/26/2010 3:36PM

    I'm glad it's nothing serious. Continue resting your voice and drinking hot tea.

Feel better soon!

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RURAL3 4/26/2010 2:54PM

    God is good all the time

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JOANNKW 4/26/2010 12:53PM

    Great news Zella! I'm so glad to hear it - now keep resting those chords!

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NEWLIBRARIAN 4/26/2010 11:36AM

    YEAH! That is good news. Keep resting up.

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No Talking

Friday, April 23, 2010

If you've been following my status reports, then you know that I lost my voice last Friday. I've been battling recurring sinus infections for the past 6 months. Now I have nodes on my vocal chords as a result of this last attack. I'm looking for a new ENT as we speak, one who looks at the whole person, in this case a person who needs her voice to do the work she loves and is called to do. I won't whine about my former doctor here. Just please pray with me that the new ENT will be more proactive and holistic in his approach.

Now, on the PLUS side, staying home from work for the past week has been a good rest and given me time to read and study. I just started a new course in theology of missions and there's a ton of reading to do, as usual. I'm supposed to give a short presentation in 2 weeks, so need the voice for that as well. I went over to church yesterday afternoon to play the piano for the first time in months. I feel like I'm "coming back to the heart of worship" again, even though I'm on a break from leading worship. Ironic, isn't it? that I lose my voice the same week?

Being silent is not easy. I love to talk! I love to teach! I love to sing! But I've had to do this before. Back in college, I got a bad case of laryngitis and was quiet for two weeks. It's really the only way to get rid of these swellings on the vocal chords. Voice rest!

I'm staying home from work for another week now, so you'll probably hear a lot from me here and on the message boards as I compensate for not being able to talk!
(Not real sure what this emoticon represents - talking chunks of cheese? But the heart is nice!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASMPP1 5/5/2010 6:45AM

    emoticon If I cannot talk, I do not work either.

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SONJASTWIN 4/25/2010 11:37PM

    Had some medical problems myself last year and after a very long search, *finally* found a couple of great docs who do believe in a more holistic approach. Never realized before then how important the right doctor is. I'm sending good vibes your way!

I'm not terribly big on silence myself, but every once in a while it's refreshing. Enjoy your rest.



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SJG1953 4/24/2010 3:06AM

    Michelle, I know it must be frustrating because you are having to rest your voice. I hope you find a good doctor. Looks like you are taking advantage of your down time and that is a good thing. Prayers going up for you dear friend. Blessings to you, Shirley

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    Have you tried SinuFix? I was a lifelong sinus sufferer, both chronic and acute, and was recommended for surgery. SinuFix, which is all natural, works for me. I get mine at www.swansonvitamins.com, and www.vitacost.com. Read their customer's product comments.

Forgive me if I already told you this before. I tell everyone I know who brings it up.

Your story reminds me of Matthew West's story.

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TRYINGHARD1948 4/23/2010 6:23PM

    The Lord does work in mysterious ways. Perhaps it was the only way that he could get you to slow down. I do hope you feel better soon and that you do find the right specialist. Do be patient with yourself, trying to speed things up can sometimes lead to a longer rehabilitation. Do take care, hugs, Sandy emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CTEMPLE 4/23/2010 5:33PM

    Hope you get better soon! Silence is good too sometimes, maybe when it's not forced up on you.

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LADY_DONKEY 4/23/2010 2:27PM

    I need to do more listening and less talking. Maybe you should spit in my coffee.

I hope you feel better soon, in time for your presentations.

I see nothing wrong with seeking a new ENT doctor. A new, fresh opinion & outlook can be a very good thing indeed.

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NANC304 4/23/2010 11:21AM

    I hope you feel better soon. It's no fun not being able to talk.

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 4/23/2010 9:58AM

    Have you ever heard of/used a neti pot to irrigate your sinuses? Since I started doing this, my sinus infections have ceased. I used to get at least one a year.

Here's one of many articles about it. If you google "neti pot" you'll see lots of info.


Hope you feel better soon!
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LALMEIDA 4/23/2010 9:13AM

  I hope you feel better soon! emoticon

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Sparkiversary #3

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Yesterday I celebrated 3 years on Spark! What can I say but this:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 4/23/2010 6:24AM

    Hey this pic just sez it ALL! :-)

Thx for being such a fan! I keep waiting for some momentous thoughts to put together to commemorate #3, but just have my day-to-day SPARK and humdrum and just keep keepin' on...!


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SJG1953 4/23/2010 2:45AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonCongratulations Michelle! I am so glad you are here!

My 4th year Sparkversary was on the 15th of this month, but I let it slip my mind. emoticon

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JLK7TIGER 4/23/2010 12:17AM

    Happy belated sparkversary! I love the pic! I'm so glad that you are on our team. You are a great asset & motivator to me/us!

God bless,

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NEWLIBRARIAN 4/22/2010 9:17PM

    Happy sparkversary, love that pic!

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CHRYS13 4/22/2010 7:32PM

    WooHoo! Upward and onward....here you go!

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ASMPP1 4/22/2010 7:09PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonLove the pic!

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TRYINGHARD1948 4/22/2010 6:37PM

    Congratulations and happy emoticon

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ANGELBELIEVER 4/22/2010 3:06PM

    emoticon on your 3 year Sparkanniversary. That is emoticon You are doing emoticon. It'll be 4 years for me in Aug.

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 4/22/2010 2:10PM

    Congratulations. Way to go for sticking to it.!

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FIT4HISGLORY 4/22/2010 1:02PM

    Happy Sparkiversary!!! I'm so thankful you're part of our team!

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CAROLJEAN64 4/22/2010 12:36PM

    I love cats, in fact our 6 toes tailless Manx is curled up next to my laptop making it all but impossible to type. But you know I love it. I love the cat picture and the message. I've been on 6 months, came on at goal, but needed help maintaining and have found it.

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LAURIE5658 4/22/2010 12:31PM

    CONGRATULATIONS!! I am 2 days behind you as I joined April 24, 2007!! It was a great week!


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JOANNKW 4/22/2010 12:23PM

    You go! I love the picture! emoticon

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 4/22/2010 12:14PM

    That's truly amazing! Onward!
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FRANNIEDID 4/22/2010 11:30AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NANC304 4/22/2010 11:06AM


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    Congratulations! What an accomplishment!

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