Friday, February 28, 2014

Not Quite Yet

Although I am beginning to feel better, I still battled a fever two nights ago and feel shaky right now with heart palpitations. I am also quite weak and very tired. I think it will be another day of rest unfortunately.

A thought about a verse from my scripture reading:
"Nevertheless, they did not long maintain an entire peace in the land, for there began to be a contention among the people..." Alma 51:2

This is not the only verse of scripture which reminds us that contention is detrimental to the peace in our homes, communities, and our nation. When our kids were growing up we made them hug each other until they stopped fighting. They usually ended up laughing after a while. I also found someone else's suggestion to whisper in response to a teenager raising their voice to me to be effective. Something to ponder. I always say, "It takes two to fight."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Beginning To Feel Better

Well something is working because I am beginning to feel better. I am taking some medicine which I dislike but it is most likely helping. We've had wonderful sunshine the last two days and I think that is helping as well. I forced myself to take a short walk yesterday in order to get myself moving and this morning I swam for 20 minutes. OK it was more like bobbing for 20 minutes but I wanted to see if it would help. If my fever doesn't come back this evening, I will know if I am really getting better. I am quite hopeful.

Yesterday I went to an art exhibit by Arnold Friberg. A friend recommended it highly and the last day of the exhibit is Saturday so I forced myself out the door despite my stamina issues. I was deeply touched by the enormity of Mr. Friberg's talent. The thing that struck me more than anything else was the dedication he had to developing his craft. The endless display of his work beginning with sketches when he was seven years old showed he not only had a great desire to be an artist, but he spent a lifetime improving his talent. It was clearly evident to me that this artist drew and painted constantly. As I went around the gallery, I thought about the nature of developing one's gifts and the importance of practicing and learning. Mr. Friberg was a master at his craft. One of the narratives about his work said something to the effect that he wanted to use his talent to serve others. I loved that.  He not only painted the amazing Prayer at Valley Forge, which I bought a copy of, but some of my all time favorite Book of Mormon paintings as well. It was surely time well spent.

I considered what I might be able to do to develop my interests. I thought about writing. I decided that I need to write everyday. As I thought about it I wondered what I could write about. While reading my scriptures this morning, I decided I could practice my writing by leaving a few words about the scriptures I read each morning. I generally ponder them throughout the day so why not? I love the scriptures and that is what is in my heart so that's what I will write about. Mr. Friberg has inspired me.

This morning I read Alma 48 & 49. I am in 'the war chapters." Hmmm. There is a lot to learn from Alma 49:20.

"Thus they were prepared, yea, a body of their strongest men, with their swords and their slings, to smite down all who should attempt to come into their place of security by the place of entrance; and thus were they prepared to defend themselves against the Lamanites."

I certainly don't have time today to go into the background of the battle that was taking place in these scriptures but I can liken this scripture to my life. I fight battles all the time. Sometimes it is the daily battle to keep the elements of some of the degrading nature the media offers me out of my home. Sometimes it is a battle to remember that life is short and I am here to learn and grow and serve. The Nephites referred to in vs. 20 were "prepared" to "smite down all who should attempt to come into their place of security." They were prepared. They knew it was a battle. They knew it would require diligence and preparation and the sheer will to fight the enemy. Love it. We are much the same. We need to know
  1. Who is the enemy?
  2. Why do they want to destroy us?
  3. What are their fighting tactics?
  4. How can I defend myself?
  5. Why should I bother fighting?
  6. How do I obtain victory?
Their leader was none other than Captain Moroni. And who doesn't love Captain Moroni?

"And thus he was preparing to support their liberty, their lands, their wives, and their children, and their peace, and that they might live unto the Lord their God, and that they might maintain that which was called by their enemies the cause of Christians. And Moroni was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding; yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery; Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people. Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood...Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni,  behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men." Alma 48: 1-13,17 Friberg painted him too. 
Captain Moroni by Arnold Friberg

This scripture tells about the flag Moroni is holding: "And now it came to pass that when Moroni, who was the chief commander of the armies of the Nephites, had heard of these dissensions, he was angry with Amalickiah. And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole. And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land—For thus were all the true believers of Christ, who belonged to the church of God, called by those who did not belong to the church."Alma 46:11-14
The best part of reading the scriptures is the opportunity to ponder them. There's so much to ponder today. :)

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Possibility

We have had some sun in the past week and I availed myself of as much of it as possible. It's still winter but I am monitoring to see if it will help like I think it will. We may have narrowed down my health issues. It's possible it is a candida infiltration in my gut. I am beginning to treat it as such and should know in a few days if I respond to medicine. Here's hoping. I had a difficult day yesterday but Saturday was pretty good. I forced myself to take a short walk on Friday and I think that helped.

We had new home teachers yesterday. One of them is a wonderful older man who is as good as they come. His companion is a young 16 year old Aaronic Priesthood holder who he is training. I believe it may have been his first home teaching visit. They asked how we are and I told them I have not been well for two months and how much of a problem it has been for me. As they were getting ready to leave, Jim asked the younger home teacher to leave a prayer in our home. His gentle faith left a deep impression on me. He prayed and asked the Lord to "Bless Sister Freeman to get well and feel great." I have been so unwell that the thought of "feeling great" has not even entered my mind. I thanked him for his prayer. I have thought a lot about it. Not only do I desire to get well but I sure would love the blessing of feeling great. I will continue to add my prayers to his and invoke the Lord's blessings in that regard.

I told Jim last night that I was thinking about the story of the woman in the New Testament who had the issue of blood for 12 years. When she reached out to touch Christ's garment hem; she just wanted the bleeding to stop. As He perceived that power had gone out of Him for healing and He discovered who touched Him for healing He said to her, "Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace." Luke 8:48 I told Jim, "I don't think she was expecting the second part of the blessing; she just wanted the bleeding to stop." When the Lord heals, he heals completely. My new home teacher helped me to see a blessing the Lord can bless me with, not only to get better but to feel great. I really love that thought. Wouldn't that be wonderful? :)

Last night we visited with Sarah and Gregory
 and the grandchildren.
Elisa gave Hannah this Easter hat. 
This is an absolute treasure.
Best picture ever.
I love this one. Nathan was pretending to talk to me on an old cell phone. He went behind the couch and kept "calling me" on mine. He assumed the "position" of his Dad by crossing his legs, leaning back, and closing his eyes part way signaling that it was s serious conversion. It was hilarious.

In other news, I heard back from the publisher who has had my manuscript for the last 6 1/2 months. I received a very touching, thoughtfully worded rejection letter. It could not have been any kinder. In essence they said it did not meet their publishing needs. It also said, "you have a special story to tell" and a few other things that were helpful. After much thought, I decided to just self publish it again. It will take a few weeks to get that prepared. I'll put a link up on my blog when it's ready. I have no desire to make any money off of my books. I have no desire to become a famous author. I'll set the price as low as allowed and just go from there. I think that's a good decision.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lot's Of Advice

I've had lots of advice from friends and family recently about how to get better. It runs the gamut. It's nice to know people care and that they are concerned. I had a fever again last night and felt very weak but this morning I feel better. My fingers are crossed again. Here is what I think is going to kick me out of this misery... 
FIVE days of uninterrupted sunshine
That's my prescription. Unfortunately, it's mostly cloudy and so I wait...and rest...and sigh a lot.

I am SO tired of this and I am SO tired of writing about this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Doctor # 2

Today I had my one year check up with the surgeon who did my hip replacement last year. He's a great doctor and I've been very happy with my hip replacement. They did x-rays and everything looks good.

We discussed at length my curious symptoms and the nightly fever I get that just doesn't seem to want to go away. He reviewed the blood work from the previous doctor visit from two weeks ago because he had access to the results online. All normal. I feel as though we covered everything as thoroughly as we could. Diagnosis: "I think you need spring." I agree 100%. I think we give me about five days of back to back sunshine and I will be as good as new. In the meantime I have a prescription for a trial medicine for one of my symptoms. I feel as though I covered this saga to the nth degree and I am tired of it. Today I decided to just stay in bed. I laid under the covers for three hours this afternoon to see if plain old rest would fend off the evening fever. So far, no fever. It's only 5:30. Fingers crossed.

Addendum: Yes, the fever returned shortly after I wrote this post. Ugh.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day

Happy "I Love You" Day to those I love the most...Jim, Elisa, Sarah, Emma, Ian, Seth, Nathan, and Hannah!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Historic Catastrophic Storm

The Atlanta area where Seth is serving his mission as well as the rest of the southeast is experiencing what is being billed as a "Historic Catastrophic Storm." The news reports have certainly been alarming as well as the web posting from weather outlets. I never thought Seth would have to deal with winter weather on his mission. We didn't send him prepared to deal with winter weather yet this has been one on the worst winters in Georgia in decades. I have to remind myself that Seth is from Utah and winter weather has been a part of his upbringing. It's second nature to him. I don't like the news reports of store shelves being empty though. We have always been a family who has had food storage on hand and 72 hour kits ready. We had many Family home Evenings over the years dedicated to reviewing our emergency supplies. Seth is smart. I think he'll know what to do in any event. We did get a nice email from his mission president a little while ago telling us that all the missionaries are home yesterday and today and that they are safe. That's a good thought. I'll be praying for all of them. It's tough to contemplate what the weather might bring them today.

I did get to the chiropractor yesterday. My back was a mess. He fixed me up but I am still struggling a lot today.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Today It's My Back

This morning I pulled out my back. I cried like a baby for five minutes. This whole winter ordeal must be a trial of some sort in my life.  I'm just looking for a break. I am feeling a little better though from my other symptoms so that's something. Still had a fever yesterday but none so far today. Here's hoping. Chiropractor at 5 to snap me back in place because I can't really walk.

One of these days soon I am going to blog, "All is well, all is well." Tomorrow would be good.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Positive Thoughts

Everyone can benefit from positive thoughts now and then. Because I am in need of some myself, I will post a few to cheer me up. (I will probably make an appointment with an internist tomorrow because the Dr. I saw last week said if my symptoms persisted, that is what I should do). Let's see what I can come up with here. I'll just rattle them off as they come to me.

  1. It's always darkest before dawn. (In other words, I will get better someday).
  2. It will be OK in the end and if it's not OK, it's not the end.
  3. Misery loves company.
  4. Five minutes is plenty long enough to feel sorry for yourself.
  5. Friends matter and their warm wishes mean a lot.
  6. God loves me.
  7. My grandchildren are praying for me.
  8. My husband is as kind as one could ever hope for.
  9. Spring is right around the corner.
  10. Modern medicine can work wonders.
  11. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. (Like with a doctor).
  12. "My son (daughter), peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment." D&C 121:7
  13. "...he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." Alma 7:(11)-12
  14. " still and know that I am God." D&C 101:16
  15. "Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail...Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." D&C 6: 34,36
There, that helped. The scriptures always help me no matter what the issue is.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Normal? Really?

They tell me that all 8 vials of blood came back normal. That's the good news I had been hoping for. What they can't tell me is why I have had a continual fever for days, feel awful and am exhausted. Maybe it's the flu. Whatever it is, I surely don't like this at all.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

That's A Lot Of Blood

I went to the doctor today. I had a fever while I was there and felt very weak and somewhat dizzy. The doctor was good and gave me a thorough going over. They took 8 vials of blood. If there's something wrong with me, it's bound to show up in one of those vials. I was kind of glad I had the fever. The fact that I felt so lousy also makes it likely that if something is wrong, it will show up. Now I just wait.

Seth seems like he's doing so well. They had 2-3 inches of snow last week which paralyzed metro Atlanta. Some of what he wrote was funny but the pictures of the snow he sent were even funnier because there was so little of it to paralyze Georgia the way it did.
I seriously have no idea how this picture is doing this but it's cool.
 Doesn't look like a lot of snow to me.

Here's what I asked him:
  1. Were you able to stay warm? Mothers ALWAYS worry about those things.
  2. Did you have any traffic issues to deal with?
  3. Did your mission president tell you to stay in and not drive?
  4. Did you have any troubles because of the icy roads?
Here's his response:
Dear Mom,

1. I stayed very warm. The day in the apartment was warm. The day outside I had 6 layers on, so I was just fine. It actually got kind of hot in all that stuff.
2. No traffic issues where I live.
3. Yes
4. No

"... it was wonderful to have snow, but also kind of weird. The mission president knew that we could drive in the snow because we are from Utah, but...the car was grounded for 2 days. The first day we actually had to be in the apartment for most of the day. That involved a lot of map and ward roster updating, and writing some less active members letters. The next day we got out and knocked doors and SO MANY PEOPLE WERE home!!! It was awesome...Then it warmed back up to a nice 65 today. It is like spring in Utah.

The other exciting thing going on. We are going to the Book of Mormon Musical this week. Not to watch it. OH NO!! But to hand out copies of the Book of Mormon and cards!! It is in downtown Atlanta. We are so excited. "The musical may entertain for an evening, but the book will change your life."

I know that the Lord loves us. He is always watching over us. I have a testimony that He is hard at work helping the children of men. God is more powerful than the opposition. His tender mercies are all around us. We just have to look. 1 Nephi 1:20."

He also spoke of some of the opportunities he is having teaching people about the gospel. I love the part where he says "God is more powerful than the opposition." That is so true. I love the thought of him handing out copies of The Book of Mormon outside the musical which depicts Mormon missionaries in such bad light. If the theater goers only knew just how wonderful Seth is-so much better than some actor portraying a Mormon missionary using terrible vulgarities to boot. (I just looked on the website selling tickets to that silly musical in Atlanta. Ticket prices are selling between $200-$300.) Seriously? To make fun of the Mormons? Gee, Seth will give anyone interested a Book of Mormon for free and as he says..."the book will change your life." Looking forward to next week's email for sure.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tired Of Not Feeling Well

I have not been well most of this winter. I have a long list of aggravating symptoms. I have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday to see what's up. I am tired of feeling lousy. My latest symptoms are swollen glands and I think an enlarged spleen. I am not happy about this but I sure am glad January is over because maybe I can just chalk it all up to winter issues.

The happier news is that I saw the grandkids twice this week. They are the best things ever. They express such complete love that it's hard to express it in words. Nathan called the other day and asked me to come play at his house because "I'm having a hard time over here," which was surprising news to Sarah. I thought that was pretty funny. Grandma can just make everything better. That's what grandmas do.
I am working on my third book. Book two is still sitting at a publisher's office. It has been there since mid-August. I sure wonder what's up with that. This week I read a book on writing well and one on punctuation. I enjoyed both of them. Hopefully I will remember what I learned.

I absolutely delight in my husband. I know I've said that before on this blog but I just like that man so much. I was resting on the couch yesterday because I wasn't feeling well and I looked at our wedding picture which hangs over the mantle. A lot of time has passed since then but I still delight to think of that time. He delights in the grandkids as much as I do and he always talks about them and asks if I saw them or talked to them on the phone. He likes the details of what they said.  Getting old does have its perks.

Oh and did the groundhog see his shadow or not? Are there six more weeks of winter or do I get a break?!