Chronic pain is the pits! I say this because for over thirty years I have lived with it.
I have back pain from an on the job injury, and neck pain from too many rear-ender whiplashes. The neck injury causes my neck to sometimes feel like I have a vice-grip on it for hours on end or like I have an icepick stuck into my skull near the atlas. I get frequent headaches and at times debilitating migraines that not only rob my days, but take me at least one day to recover from afterwards.
Eight years ago, due to unfortunate circumstances, the back pain became much worse. Since then, my life has been measured, as chronic pain dictates my days.
For example: I can only stand for a very short period of time. Just the act of prolonged standing causes my back to throb. Though walking actually soothes my back.
In my post yesterday, Why, Oh Why So Much Suffering, I wrote about the pain of suffering in our imperfect world.
I don’t think I will have too many disagree with me when I say,
“Pain and suffering is the pits!”
But there are good things that come from our suffering.
We tend to be selfish and stubborn, wanting our way. We think we need no one, we can do life on our own. We are wired for relationships, especially with God. God’s desire for a relationship with us often gets put off or ignored.
In The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Continue reading
I banged on the locked door screaming in horror, begging my mom to let me back in. My grandmother pleaded with her to open it. The neighborhood kids laughed and shrieked,
”Look! She’s naked!”
I tried to hide behind my grandmother. My mom opened the door, but blocked the entrance.
“Oh, no, you stand out where everyone could see you.” I rarely disobeyed her, this time I didn’t move.
“Don’t you dare hide. Stand out here or I will give you an even bigger beating!”
“She is just a child. Don’t do this. Let her back in the house,” my grandmother interceded.
“No! She needs to feel the shame I felt today when that black b***h humiliated me! How does it feel to be ashamed? Maybe you won’t embarrass me anymore!” Continue reading
This gorgeous hunk of flower blossomed in my front yard, but I almost missed it. It was too heavy to support itself, and ended up faced down, nearly on the ground. The peony’s rich color seemed almost artificial, especially because of its size, nearly seven inches in diameter. Its wonderful fragrance was unbelievable.
I usually try not to bring garden flowers in the house. They just don’t last long. Earlier this spring, I made myself a beautiful bouquet of fragrant, purple lilacs. Within minutes, my counter top was crawling with tiny black bugs. Yikes! I wasted no time getting that bouquet out on the porch. I carefully examined the peony before I even thought of cutting it. Not a bug! The flower pedals felt soft, cool, and somewhat squishy; in a good sort of way. Continue reading
With 3 children born in 3 1/2 years, my life was busy in the 1980s. I had no nearby family to help with childcare, so I learned to improvise.
Rachel, 5 years old, was a good natured child. Once in a while, I let her be a big–girl. She could stay up and watch a video or we could have together-time, but only if she was quiet while the others napped. Rachel loved to be up with Mommy.
One day, I dared myself to paint the bathroom while the kids napped. I found a can of pretty miss-mixed paint for only a couple of dollars. Desperate for a change, I couldn’t pass up it up.
It took me longer than I thought to paint the small bathroom walls. Of course, as Murphy’s Law would have it, Jonathan, then 1 ½, woke up much earlier than usual. I heard him fussing in his crib and decided this would be a great time to let Rachel, who’d been watching a movie, be an even bigger girl. I needed our only bathroom to be usable before Hannah woke up. Continue reading
It’s not something I talk about often, but when I do tell people I was born in Havana, Cuba; the first thing they ask is, “Was your dad in the military?” When I tell them that he wasn’t, their next comment almost always is, “Why were you born there? You don’t look Cuban!” With that in mind, I suppose my cousins “look even less Cuban” than I do. As babies, each of my cousins qualified for any Gerber Baby look-alike contest, with their blond curls and big blue eyes.
My paternal grandparents were directly from Spain. My maternal ancestry is also from Spain with a few drops of French in there somewhere. What most people don’t know is that in 1492, Columbus claimed the island for the Kingdom of Spain. Cuba remained under Spain’s ruling until 1898. Most of the original Native Americans living in Cuba died because they were subjected to harsh slavery, or died from Eurasian diseases. A thousand or so survived, many escaped into the mountains. Thousands were then cruelly ripped from their homes and families in Africa to replace the lost native slaves. Cuba’s ethnicity is somewhat different from the typical Latin America people imagine. Continue reading
The biblical story of Mary and Martha is one I can personally relate to. For those not familiar with the story in Luke 10:38, I will briefly fill you in. The sisters Mary and Martha, are the same whose brother Lazarus was called out of the tomb by Jesus after he had been dead for four days. John 11:1-44.
“Remove the stone covering the tomb.” Jesus ordered. I can just hear the monumental intake of breath as the many mourners gasped at the thought of the dead man in the tomb, in the heat of the Israeli climate. “ He’s been there four days, there will be a stench,” Martha told Jesus. Continue reading
Forgotten Parents – A New Kind of Empty Nest
We wiped bottoms and washed faces,
And took our children to many places.
We cut countless meals into tiny bites,
We made it through untold, sleepless nights.
We survived those frightening, terrible twos,
With wedding season up ahead I feel this needs to be said.
Ladies, if you feel that you shouldn’t be getting married to the man you will soon say “I do” to:
As I flew to Las Vegas that fateful day years ago, I knew in my heart that was not what I wanted to do. It was a very tiny wedding at one of Las Vegas’ quaint little chapels. The only people present were the preacher, his wife, two witnesses, my soon to be husband, and me. The struggle within me was so strong that I nervously giggled through the short walk to the altar and through most of the vows. Continue reading