Disheartened, Frustrated & Angry #54

img_0685Lately I’ve really been struggling with what to share with you all. I think in the last week, almost two I’ve been subconsciously distracting myself to refrain from sharing anything on my blog, because I just haven’t had anything uplifting, enlightening or inspiring to share. As the saying goes, honesty is the best policy so I’ve decided that as usual I’ll just be honest with my blog family, hoping that someone will understand my feelings. Some of you may even be feeling the same way.

I have spent the last few months wishing that God had made me a little different. I wish that God had not made me a person who is so deeply affected by everything that is going on in the world around me. I really don’t want to keep writing about all the extreme negativity going on in the world, specifically in the United States, but unfortunately right now that’s what is constantly on my mind. Several of you in my blog family know me personally and know that I am not a hate filled person. I am a quiet person who tries to live life getting along with all others even if I disagree with something you’ve done or said I try to avoid conflict with others. I feel like most of the time I am pretty easy to get along with. I wish it was that simple for everyone.

Last Saturday I laid in bed once again watching news coverage of yet another mass shooting, I’m sure many of you were watching. Since I am being honest I have to admit that I laid in bed crying because I’m so tired of living in a world where people use guns to murder other human beings simply because they believe in something different or because they are of another race. A week earlier there was the man who decided to make and send bombs to politicians through the mail, thank God that situation wasn’t as horrific as it could have been. Oh let’s not forget the two people who were killed in Kentucky simply because they were two African Americans at the grocery store. Yes, that’s the world we are living in, all of that happened within what, a week.

I just do not understand how someone can be so filled with hate that they want to kill others simply because they are different in some way. I wish that I understood what’s going on in not only the United States, but all over the world, the hatred that exist is appalling to me. Why is it that we don’t take the time to understand each other? We are all so vastly different and in 2018 nearing 2019 there are still people in this country and in this world who can’t seem to understand or maybe just refuse to accept it. Apparently that’s the way that God wanted things to be, God made us all in his image (read Genesis 1:27) obviously God didn’t mean for us all to be exactly the same.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said “Let no man pull you low enough to hate.” I don’t want to live my life hating anyone for any reason and as naïve as it may seem I wish I could cure all the hate that has existed in this world for far too many generations. We live in a time where you aren’t completely safe anywhere, not your house of worship or your own home. It makes me angry and sad all at once. Something is wrong in this world and we have got to fix it. The hate and division has got to come to an end.

I really don’t have the vocabulary or full capacity to tell you all just how massively frustrated I am with the state of this country and the world around me. I want my five year old nephew to be growing up in a better world. I know that right now he doesn’t even understand any thing other than the life of a happy kindergartener, he’s not yet focused on what’s happening in the world around him, but by the time that he is I want this country and this world to be so much better. In ten years when my nephew is a teenager I don’t want him to be living in a world where young African American males are being killed by the police or where young people who have been bullied choose to go into their schools and murder their teachers and classmates. I don’t want my nephew living in a world where Jewish people are afraid to go and worship at their synagogue or where African American people go to Wednesday night bible study and can’t be Christ-like choosing to invite in a stranger because that stranger just might be a young man who has been taught to hate and has malicious intentions. I want my nephew and all the children in this country and throughout the world to have better leaders who actually genuinely care about the welfare of others. I am angry and frustrated because the world has been in this state for far too long and it doesn’t seem to be any change near, it seems each day its only getting worse. Change has to come soon, its imperative.

That’s just my perspective!💜

Living With Spina Bifida #53

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On July 16, 1982 my parents’ lives FB_IMG_1539982454041changed in many ways. On this day they became the proud parents of a baby girl, their first child. I was that child. I was born with Spina Bifida. Neither of my parents had much knowledge about exactly what Spina Bifida is. My mother had read a small amount of information on Spina Bifida while she was in college, but it wasn’t enough to prepare her to be the mother of a daughter born with Spina Bifida. During the first week of my life while I was in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) my parents were given a myriad of information about Spina Bifida, I’m sure it was extremely overwhelming. They didn’t know exactly what the future would hold, but they loved me and were willing to do whatever they needed to for me. I can’t remember a time in my life when my parents weren’t there for me, through every surgery and illness when I was a little girl until my teen years, they were always right beside me. Since my father died I have a very special aunt who has been right alongside my mother and I during my last few surgeries, and of course Daddy is always there in spirit. I have always felt blessed beyond measure, because God chose to give me to my mother and father, because I have always felt loved, sometimes a bit over loved.

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According to the Spina Bifida Association, Spina Bifida means split spine. It is a neural tube defect (NTD) that develops during the first month of pregnancy when the spinal column doesn’t completely close. According to the Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission there are three types of Spina Bifida; two are readily diagnosed at birth. I was born with one of them, myelomeningocele which is the most common. This type happens when a cyst-like sac protrudes from the back containing spinal fluid and covering tissue and nerves of the spinal cord. The cord and nerves are likely to be damaged or not properly developed. The second type is also easily detected at birth it is meningocele, it is the least common. The sac contains fluid and tissue that covers the cord and the cord is not in the sac, but often is not damaged. The last type is spina bifida occulta. This type is not easily detected at birth because at birth no spinal column defect is visible. This type may not be recognized until much later in life. An x-ray will usually identify a thinning or mild distortion of a part of the backbone.

Adobe_Post_20181019_170138At birth I needed treatment which involved surgery. Surgical repair of the lesion (sac) was necessary. I actually had separate surgeries, one to repair the lesion in my back and the other was for the installation of a shunt. The shunt had to be placed at the base of my skull to control hydrocephalus. According to the Spina Bifida Association eighty percent of people with Spina Bifida have hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is an excessive accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid in the head. This fluid affects the formation of the brain and may lead to mental retardation thus causing a child to have to have a shunt inserted to drain the fluid from the brain into another part of the body. Let me explain what a shunt is. A shunt is a very flexible plastic tube used to drain the excessive fluid from the brain to a different part of the body where the fluid can easily drain into the urine. The shunt is inserted for the lifetime of a person. Sometimes there must be revisions made to the shunt.

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I have some physical limitations and have had several Spina Bifida related surgeries. People with Spina Bifida must learn to get around on their own as I did. In order to allow that happen, some people born with Spina Bifida will need the aid of braces, wheelchairs or crutches. I wear low leg braces. I did not begin to walk until I was seventeen months old. Today at thirty-six years old I am able to walk but I have an unusual gait. Spina Bifida affects the whole family and the problems that come with it can be challenging at times. Parents must take an active role in caring for the child. They must understand all the options for treatment and make the best choices for care. Living with Spina Bifida is not the same for each person who has it. It does mean for many crutches, wheelchairs and braces. Living with Spina Bifida for some means social rejection, psychological problems, physical problems and even academic problems.Adobe_Post_20181019_171245

According to the American Pregnancy Association the effects of Spina Bifida are different for every person. Persons with Spina Bifida may have other conditions. The other conditions may include poor bladder and bowel control, depression, latex allergy, partial paralysis and social issues. All of these conditions could range from mild to severe.

The Spina Bifida Association states that obesity is a great concern for individuals with Spina Bifida. These individuals may not be able to walk and if they can it is with limitations. Doctors are now saying that Spina Bifida can best be prevented by taking four hundred micrograms of folic acid everyday during pregnancy. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) the affects of Spina Bifida can range from mild to severe. Some people have little or no noticeable disability. Others are limited in the way they can move and/or function. Even so with the right care most people affected by Spina Bifida will be able to grow up to lead full and productive lives. I am living proof of that.10C26467-60D3-4D82-B587-EC66345BB3B9

Trusting God Through The Good & The Bad #52

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8

D1ECB8C7-920B-4E5F-86D7-F996EC503DEBThe fact that I question God all the time is no secret to anyone who reads my blog regularly because I’m always very honest with you all about the things that I question God about. I question God because I don’t understand certain things that are happening around me, not because I don’t trust him. Today I was thinking about how it’s always easy to trust God when life is going good, but when the difficult times roll in for some trust in God rolls out, although it’s during the difficult times when our trust and faith in God should increase. I’ve been wondering if God uses the difficult times in the lives of those of us who believe in him as a chance to test our trust in him.

I often use the phrase “let go and let God” because to me that phrase means let go, stop trying to handle things (life) in your way, pray about it and let God show you the way to handle the difficulties that life sends your way. I believe that God has a solution even before you are presented with the problem, but you have to fully one hundred percent trust in God and be willing to hand it all over to him. I know just from living my own life that it is extremely challenging to just step out of the way and hand your life and all your issues over to the Lord. Relinquishing control isn’t easy, because it’s natural to want to handle everything yourself.

Just as most human beings, I am a work in progress and God is always working on me and my relationship with him. I have had plenty of times in my life when I was worried about something, although I know that God always knows and does what’s best I found myself having a difficult time giving my issue(s) to God and no longer worrying about it. I have also had times in my life when I question God about something happening in my life or in the world that I just don’t understand and I didn’t trust his plan completely, because I didn’t understand. I feel like I have gotten much better with my faith and trust in God now that I am a bit older and each day it grows stronger.

A while ago, I read a devotional message that said “God will use difficult situations to teach us about ourselves so I wonder if difficult situations are God’s way of reminding us christians to keep trusting in him. That devotional message also said that if we don’t learn from our trials we’ll keep repeating them. I wonder if one of those lessons is that we must completely trust in God, maybe the lessons to be learned within our trials are different for each of us. I definitely believe it’s always one lesson that God is constantly repeating in my life.

When I have moments of difficulty in my life, when I’m worried or stressed over something, even though it’s still difficult for me sometimes to just give everything to God, I have to remind myself that ultimately I am not the one who is in control. I have to say to myself, Zena, God has not failed you in 36 years, he is not going to start failing you now, his way is always best, trust him.

What about you, what do you do when the troubles roll into your life and you start to lose your trust and faith in God?

That’s just my perspective!💜

Feeling Uninspired #51

6AE1DDFF-A2D9-4C58-9D12-16ED5A52E579Uninspired is defined as lacking in imagination or originality, not filled with excitement. Its a definition that completely fits how I have been feeling this week.

In August, I set a goal for myself to post something on my blog once a week and up until this last week I have been doing a great job of accomplishing that goal by posting the words that I feel like God has led me to share every Wednesday or Thursday. This week both Wednesday & Thursday came and went without me posting anything, it’s now Sunday evening, and I am determined to make up for not posting earlier in the week, even if my post is just about how uninspired I am. It’s been an awful week and I’m not feeling one hundred percent myself physically or emotionally.

There are so many negative things going on in the world right now and for a person like me thinking about all of that is so energy draining. Although most times I feel like I am led by God to write about the topics that I do, I don’t want to keep writing about those negative things, because I want to be a spirit lifting, encouraging, empowering person. I’m just in a gloomy mood right now. I have a question to pose to my fellow bloggers, what do you do when you’re feeling uninspired but you’re determined to accomplish your goals? Actually that question is not just for bloggers, anyone can answer. How do you handle moments, days, weeks when you’re in a melancholy mood, but you still have a life to live and goals to accomplish? I’m hoping and praying that next week is better for me. I hope that by Wednesday God has removed this moment of lack of inspiration to write and given me something to share that puts a smile on the faces of my blog audience. Please pray with me and for me.

Have A Great Week!

That’s just my perspective!💜