Friday’s Fave Five #53

FFF tulips

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

Farm fresh eggs. The young ladies who help clean my house brought me some lovely brown eggs. Why do they seem to taste better when the shells are brown?

Getting (almost) caught up Since the wedding at the end of February I have felt behind in getting necessary things accomplished. Some of it involves preparing for Bible studies and speaking engagements, but most of it is mundane stuff like ironing, cleaning out closets, preparing for taxes in two countries….you know, boring but necessary stuff. This week I was able to take care of a few of those things, which brings a feeling of satisfaction. After the ladies retreat next weekend I will have a retirement planning project to work on and some final tax information to send off. Maybe by the end of May I will feel completely caught up!

Date day My husband and I had a date day on Monday, his day off this semester. It was fun to go out for coffee and later out for lunch while getting a few errands done and spending time talking together.

Lending books from my library Some of the younger women from our church have been asking to borrow some of my books. During our years in Calgary we were blessed with a used bookstore that sold only Christian books. I was able to build a substantial missionary biography library due to their extensive stock and extremely reasonable prices. These books are full of gems to challenge, encourage and bless us in our Christian walk and I am delighted to be able to share them with others. Side note: If you have borrowed any of my books, even if you have had them for years, would you please send them home? Their Mommy wants them back!

Lead on card sales I have a ministry of making and giving away hand crafted greeting cards with Bible verses on them. I love blessing people with my cards, but I have been looking for a way to at least pay for my expenses. This week I was given a couple of leads for possibly selling my cards. I hope these pan out!

I have no new nature photographs from this week, but I will share some favorites from our trip to Scotland several years ago. I hope to take some pictures on the way to and from the ladies’ retreat next weekend, so check with me in two weeks for those.

Scottish Thistle

Scottish Thistle

Bagpipes in Sterling

Bagpipes in Sterling

Sunset over Garrique

Sunset over Garrique

"Sheepies"

“Sheepies”

Rainbow over the valley

Rainbow over the valley

Torthorwald castle ruins

Torthorwald castle ruins

Dundee

Dundee

Garrique sunset

Garrique sunset

Edinburgh church

Edinburgh church

Mary Slessor Window Dundee

Mary Slessor Window Dundee

Struggling

What in the world is UMP????????????????????????????????

It’s been an arduous few months for me.    I’ve stepped aside from writing for several weeks because I have been struggling with UMP – unidentified medical problems.  Constant painful spasms, cloudy thinking, weakness and other symptoms have escalated.  I have been poked, pricked, prodded, scanned, examined, evaluated and scrutinized by an entire cadre of health professionals with more investigating to come.

My wonderful family doctor is willing to think outside the box.  We have worked with diet, vitamins, supplements, remedies, medicines, physiotherapy, massage therapy and more to try and alleviate the problems.  I have been able to share more and more about the Lord with her as we talk and try to find solutions to my ailments.

Gluten-free for me

I’ve had arthritis for years.  One of the changes I made six months ago was to go gluten-free and it helped much more than I expected.  A couple of weeks ago test my doctor ordered showed I also had dairy and egg allergies.  Last week I had additional testing to determine if I have any other allergies or food intolerances.  Making changes to eliminate these foods can be challenging and takes time to master.

The one medication I was on seemed effective at first but grew less and less helpful.  My doctor took me off that one and after a couple of weeks put me back on a previous medication which has some possible serious side effects.  My mobility has improved and I am praying I can get in to see the rheumatologist soon.

How can I help others when I’m struggling?

All of the symptoms and changes associated with my UMP have caused me significant struggles, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually too.  Changing meds, foods, and supplements all brought physical and mental changes which my poor old body had to adjust to.  I stepped away from writing because I thought I could not be a help to others when I was struggling so.

Then the Lord brought to mind some of the missionary biographies I’ve read over the years.  Some of the greatest help to me came from those agonizingly honest passages where the missionary, in great grief, or pain, or discouragement cast themselves upon the Lord for help and deliverance.  They were willing to bare their souls for the cause of Christ; maybe God could use my experiences to help others who are also struggling.

Sharing while struggling

So I will, by God’s grace, share weekly what He is teaching me, the painful and the joyous, with the prayer that God might use my experiences to encourage someone else.  Stay tuned for the next post in a couple of days.