Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering Gods grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:9-10

Monday, January 26, 2009

Several Things of Note...

***WARNING - Long rambling thought about God and circumstances***

Yesterday I had an interesting experience on the way home from my MIL/SIL's house. It had been an unusual day to say the least. One of our church leaders stood up during prayer and confessed to feeling distant from God - a sort of mini-crisis of faith, if you will. In any case, he concluded his story by saying as he was driving to work, listening to his worship music and singing along, he suddenly broke down in tears. He said at that point he literally felt the arm of Jesus around him and heard Jesus tell him "I am here." His crisis of faith was eliminated and his faith restored. I know a lot of you take a story like that and shrug it off. I admit I have a tendency to shrug them off too. However, in this case I felt a resonance with his story. There are many times when I'm singing along to Christian pop or whatever when I've broken down and cried. I've felt alone and afraid for a long time. To say I'm a seeker would be acurate. With all this in mind, we left for church to begin the rest of our day. It was...good and not good.

First place we stopped was unquestionabley good! It was to KnitWit we went for my new wool winder. While there I picked up another hank of sock yarn in my new favorite weight. A product of South Africa, louet Gems is 100% merino machine washable & dryable fine/sport weight 225yds. The colorway is mourning dove - a lovely varigated dusky purple, pink and cream - which should knit up a beautiful pair of toe covers! But I digress...

Next we picked up my oldest SIL who was coming along for the ride to see my FIL later that day. We arrive at my MIL's and the wild man is so excited to see his cousin, aunt and memere'! Playtime commenced and continued - no nap, it was adamantly refused - and as the day wore on I started getting this wierd feeling. In an earlier conversation, hubby and I had been talking about how much better I had been with the anxiety issue. I'm convinced I jinxed my luck by talking about it! Anyway, the day wore on. Hubby and oldest SIL went off to visit their dad and we stayed downstairs in the overheated cellar watching two rambunctious and energetic kids play. I don't know if the heat got to me but I wasn't feeling myself. I was getting cagey, grumpy, distracted and restless. I felt out of control with my body and my reactions. I should have known then what was happening. When it was time to go I felt distinctly out of sorts, anxious to leave and get some cold air on my face. When I say the basement was overheated, I'm not kidding. I was really roasting and I'm sure it didn't help my situation. Being closed into a small, hot room with a lot of chaos triggers me. Don't get me wrong, this has nothing to do how much I love my family. They are wonderful people and I love them dearly. It clearly has to do with my own issues with control, noise, heat and frustration. As soon as we left the house it became clear to me that I was headed for the grand-daddy of all anxiety attacks. Several miles down the road I asked hubby to pull into a gas station so I could take my pills. Then it hit me - and this is the connection to the first paragraph - I needed to use the bathroom in a hurry. Part of my attacks are the need to void myself as quickly as possible. If I didn't get to a bathroom I was going to embarrass myself. However, the convenience store worker was not able to let me use theirs. Out of nowhere, this face swims into focus. This lovely woman has me by the hand and pulls me outside. She tells me I can use the one at her house which is just up the road, it's the closest one and it would be too far for us to go all the way back to town. At that point I was getting in a bad way so I thanked her after having said no several times, got in the car and we followed her to her house. She ushered me in past her five children and her sister, lead me upstairs and left me alone.

I don't know if you know what a full on anxiety attack entails. Those of you who have never had one will never understand why we "can't just get over it." It's not like that at all. You no longer have control over your body. Every muscle is locked up tight and there is an elephant sitting on your chest. The pain of taking a breath is excruciating and you feel that you may not be able to take another one. Your heart is racing and your mind is racing and you are gasping for breath. Every move is agony. You think you could die at any moment. Anxiety attacks vary for each individual, mine are on the extreme end. I don't get minor ones. I get full blown attacks that last 45min to an hour. Such was the case last night.

I finished my business and went back outside, thanking my hostess profusely. I got into the car and we left. For the next 40 minutes it was all I could do to breath. My son, my husband and my sister-in-law were all very concerned. Since my SIL lives next door to the hospital, hubby asked if I needed to go once we'd dropped her at her apartment. I croaked out, "no" and away we went. When we finally got to the highway and the road smoothed out, I was able to recline my seat and put my arms up over my head. A few minutes later, my muscles relaxed, I could take my first pain free breath in nearly an hour and said, "oh, thank heaven!" Then I burst into tears. I told my husband that God must have sent me an angel back at that gas station. He knew I would need help and so He guided her there so she could help me. Hubby then told me this angel's name was Leslie and she was the mother of 4 yr old twin boys and 8, 12 & 15 yr old daughters. Her husband had died three years ago and she was living with her kids and her sister. When I told her I was having a panic attack she took control and helped me. She knew what I needed. Knowing her circumstances, now I understand why she could take a complete stranger into her home and provide some comfort. I am eternally grateful to her and hope that someday I can be as generous and understanding to someone else when they are in need of help. Someday I hope to pay it forward.

I have recently been introduced to the concepts of agnostic and nihilistic beliefs. It was disturbing in many ways and after my day yesterday I am even more convinced such ways of thought mark rock bottom in human life. How anyone can live without hope or the knowledge of an afterlife I don't think I can ever understand. Especially why anyone would want to live without hope. "There are three things that last: faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love." - Bible, I Corinthians 13:13 Hope is one of human beings greatest strengths. We always have hope for many things and a life without hope has to be full of fear, anger, hurt and stuffed to the brim with negativity. How can pleasure be derived from such a life?

I am now more convinced than ever that God is watching out for me. No matter where I am in my quest to know Him or to understand Him, even if I fail miserably trying, He will love me. Even when I question Him or become angry with Him, He will love me still. With that I have hope and love - I'll use them to keep working on faith part and hopefully it will all come together for me. Someone once told me that if I have faith, even the size of a grain of sand, it will be enough. I think God was using Leslie to tell me he was with me. My own version of the first story.

With that said, I bid you all good day! Too much weighty food for the brian makes me one tired chick! I'm off to get the little man up and with any luck, tonight I'll make use of my new wool winder! I have several hanks practically screaming to be made over into cakes for my immediate use!

Stay safe, be well and happy knitting!

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Books on Tap for 2011

  • Knit Together - Debbie Macomber
  • Captured by Grace - Dr. David Jeremiah
  • Murder Most Foul - A Collection of Great Crime Stories
  • Fireproof - Eric Wilson
  • There's Something About Christmas - Debbie Macomber
  • Questioning Evangelism - Randy Newman
  • Murder Uncorked - Michele Scott
  • A Sacred Sorrow - Michael Card
  • Prayer: Does it Make any Difference? - Philip Yancey
  • Get Out of That Pit - Beth Moore

Books Read in 2011

  • What a Sista Should Do - Tiffany L. Warren
  • 90 Minutes in Heaven - Don Piper
  • Forgotten God - Francis Chan
  • The Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren
  • Dead Reckoning - Charlaine Harris
  • Shadowfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Chill Factor - Sandra Brown
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Wednesday Sisters - Meg Waite Clayton
  • Stealing Home - Sherryl Woods
  • Bound for Murder - Laura Childs
  • Bloodfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Faefever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Under Her Skin - Susan Mallery
  • The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan
  • No Wonder They Call Him Saviour - Max Lucado
  • I Still Dream About You - Fannie Flagg
  • I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore
  • The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan
  • Spider Bones - Kathy Reichs
  • A Thread So Thin - Marie Bostwick
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan
  • The Search - Nora Roberts
  • The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan
  • Wicked Appetite - Janet Evanovich
  • The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan
  • Awakened - PC & Kristen Cast
  • The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan
  • Photo Finished - Larua Childs
  • Keepsake Crimes - Laura Childs
  • Sizzling Sixteen - Janet Evanovich
  • The Icing on the Cupcake - Jennifer Ross
  • Fleece Navidad - Maggie Sefton
  • Dyer Consequences - Maggie Sefton
  • The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree - Susan Wittig Albert
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning

Books Read in 2010

  • The Yada Yado Prayer Group - Netta Jackson
  • Silver Borne - Patricia Briggs
  • The Hole in Our Gospel - Richard Stearns
  • A Winter Marriage - Kerry Hardie
  • So Long, Insecurity - Beth Moore
  • Knit the Season - Kate Jacobs
  • Dead and Berried - Karen MacInerney
  • Murder on the Rocks - Karen MacInerney
  • where do i go - Netta Jackson
  • be sweet - diane hunt
  • The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
  • Raven - Allison Van Deipen
  • Push (Precious) - sapphire
  • Faces of the Gone - Brad Parks
  • The Lace Reader - Brunonia Barry
  • Burning Lamp - Amanda Quick
  • Fired Up - Jayne Ann Krentz
  • The School of Essential Ingredients - Erica Bauermeister
  • Matters Arising - Sarah Harrison
  • The Sheen on the Silk - Anne Perry
  • I Saw the Lord - Anne Graham Lotz
  • The Dangerous Protector - Janet Chapman
  • The Seduction of His Wife - Janet Chapman
  • Re-reading all the Tintin graphic novels - Herge
  • The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen
  • the last time i saw you - Elizabeth Berg
  • Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Wild Ride - Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer
  • Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Grave Secret - Charlaine Harris
  • Crawl Space - Sarah Graves
  • The Honey Thief - Elizabeth Graver
  • The Otherworldlies - Jennifer Anne Kogler
  • Saving CeeCee Honeycutt - Beth Hoffman
  • A Face at the Window - Sarah Graves
  • Draycott Eternal - Christina Skye
  • Shelter Mountain - Robin Carr
  • Virgin River - Robyn Carr
  • Death by Cashmere - Sally Goldenbaum
  • An Ice Cold Grave - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Surprise - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Sight - Charlaine Harris