post

Laughing at Me

This afternoon I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things and while I was in the store I noticed two young couples pushing a cart with a baby in it.  I just love babies so as I passed I peeked into the cart hoping to catch a glimpse of the baby.

I could just barely see the top of the baby’s teeny tiny little head sticking out from under the blankets. “Awww! how sweet, a brand new one!” I said. They all looked at me oddly and nobody said anything back to me. Feeling a little bit uncomfortable I just kept moving on down the aisle hoping they didn’t think I was some sort of baby-napper who had plans of stealing their baby.

When I reached the end of the aisle I heard them all burst out laughing.

Suddenly I had a feeling they were laughing at me.

As I continued down the next aisle I could still hear them laughing in the aisle next to me.

Soooo….  as you know I just couldn’t help myself from eavesdropping on their conversation. After all, if they were laughing at me I needed to know what is was they were laughing about.

It wasn’t long before I knew the answer….

The baby wasn’t real!

Yep you guessed it! … The teeny tiny little baby head I’d seen sticking out from under the blanket just so happened to be one of those learning dolls that they use in school to teach teenagers what it’s like to be a parent.

For a moment I felt embarrassed but then suddenly I couldn’t help but laugh at me too 🙂 🙂 🙂

Silly me 😀

I usually consider it a pretty good day if I can make just one person laugh each day.  Today I made 4 people laugh.

Five if I count myself.

I hope it made you laugh too 😀

Have a great day,

Terri Siebert

My ‘Two-Worded’ One Word for 2017

Recently it was brought to my attention that I like things to be symmetrical.

I may have known this info all of my life but I guess I never really thought much about it.

The first time that it really hit me that I seem to have an over obsessive issue with things lining up perfectly was the first time I stood up after I had knee replacement surgery last September.

The minute I stood up I noticed that the leg with new knee was now longer than the other one. Also, the leg with the new knee was perfectly straight and the other one was bowed back. The thought never occurred to me that after surgery my legs would be different lengths and man oh man did that drive me nuts!

Actually, this bothered me so much that over the course of the next ten weeks I spent a whole lot of time trying to rig my shoes in the hopes of somehow making my legs more even.

I bought several different styles of lifts from the store but all were either too high or too low. After the store failed me I decided to get crafty and began cutting different widths of cardboard and gluing them together to stick inside of my shoes. This helped a little but nothing I tried made them match perfectly.

My physical therapist even measured my legs and gave me a lift that she said was perfect but I still could feel a difference.

My other knee was scheduled to be replaced in November and soon I began worrying that maybe the doctor wouldn’t get my legs even and I would be lopsided for the rest of my life!

I know this sounds like it’s not such a big deal and I did know that I needed to just let it go, but oddly no matter how much I tried to ignore my uneven legs I couldn’t.  The lopsidedness was driving me crazy!

After Surgery Getting Ready for Christmas

Because I had my second knee surgery scheduled for the Monday after Thanksgiving I figured I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of the things I usually do to get ready for Christmas.

I also knew from the last surgery that I should consider my day to be very productive if I was just able to take a shower and finish all of my physical therapy exercises.

Here is a list of some of the things I usually do in preparation for Christmas:

The Christmas tree – I am usually the one who gets the tree ready to decorate by putting on all of the beads and bows. Once those are done my husband and I put the ornaments on together.

Christmas cookies – I usually bake a whole lot of different Christmas cookies.

Christmas Shopping – I usually spend many hours going from store to store to find just the right present for everyone. I then spend several full days wrapping them.

Christmas Dinner – I usually make a full course meal for our family dinner on Christmas day.

I really had no idea how these things were ever going to get done because everyone knows that I am the only one who knows how to do those things correctly…or so I thought….

About two weeks before Christmas my husband decided that he was going to put up the tree and decorate it. He put on Christmas music and I hung out in my chair with my foot propped up watching. I did hang a couple of ornaments but I soon learned that my husband has quite a talent for Christmas tree decorating. I also found out that putting the Christmas tree up was a whole lot of fun this year.

A few days later I found myself Christmas shopping online and without ever stepping a foot out of my house I was able to buy most of our Christmas gifts!

And they all arrived on time!

A few days after the presents arrived I put a roll of wrapping paper, tape, and a pair of scissors in the middle of my dining room table and just left them there.  Part of my knee rehab requires that I take a three-minute walk around my living room several times a day.  Each time I would get up for my 3-minute walk I would wrap a present. Eventually, all the presents were wrapped. It was actually kinda fun wrapping a few presents each day and also allowing wrapping paper, tape, and scissors to live on the dining room table for two weeks was somehow very freeing for me.

The weekend before Christmas my husband decided he was going to bake M & M cookies.

I helped by finding the recipe and explaining a few small details but for the most part I backed off and let him have at it. I soon realized another talent I never knew he had… Baking!

My husband’s cookies came out much fluffier than mine and I will also have to admit that they were the best tasting M & M cookies we have ever had in our house!

For Christmas dinner, this year it was decided that everyone coming would bring a dish of finger foods. This ended up being way yummier than the traditional dinner I would have normally made and also it allowed me to spend more time with my family.

Lesson learned…our family never needed a fancy dinner all we really need is to be together.

Also not spending all my time on Christmas day cooking and cleaning allowed me to snuggle with this little guy while he napped.

I think maybe I might have napped for a bit too.

Even though I was laid up with this knee I think this may have been one of the most peaceful and fun Christmases I have had in a long time. I am not sure exactly when it was that I put myself in charge of everything to do with Christmas but now I can see that I have spent a whole lot of time trying to make a perfect Christmas but all I had really accomplished was making myself dread the holiday season and I had missed all the important stuff like enjoying my family and preparing for the true meaning of the season… which is about celebrating the birth of Jesus which really has nothing at all to do with trees, food or shopping.

Over the past few months, I have realized that I just may be more of a perfectionist and a control freak than I thought I was.

I also have learned that there are a lot of things that I’m holding onto that I need to let go of and let other people do.

The past two years in a row God has given me a sort of theme word for the year. In 2015 my word was Trust and the year 2016 was my year to Believe.

With all that has transpired in the past few weeks, I can tell that I have already been given my one word for 2017 which is “Let Go”….Yep I know that technically that’s two words instead of one…but since I’m working on letting go I think I will just go ahead and go with the two-word one word this year 😀

A couple of things I have noticed by letting go are not only that I can relax when I let go but also that when I don’t hog everything there is to do, it gives others a chance to shine their own talents… hence my husband the awesome baker and decorator.

Also just another Fyi – It’s been 5 weeks now since I received my second knee and am very happy to report that my legs are a perfect match now and I can’t even begin to tell you how much better that makes me feel!

I’m not sure I can ever let go of the symmetrical thing fully but I can truthfully say that I can for sure let go of a whole lot of other things.

Oh, and one more thing…  we ended up having two Christmas trees this year! My husband found a great bargain on the display trees at K-Mart so he bought one and we put it up also! Yay!!!

2016 was overall a pretty good year and I am looking forward to seeing what 2017 has in store as I learn what else God has to show me about letting go.

What is the one word God is telling you to focus on this year?

Will you please share your word in the comments below and if you have written a blog about it post the link so I can read it.

Happy 2017!

Terri Siebert

Giving Tuesday ~ Hurricane Matthew ~ A Visit with Haiti

Unless you live under a rock I’m pretty sure you have heard about the hurricane that hit Haiti this past October.  As you can see by this video the effects of the storm were devastating.

Arial Footage Shows Destruction in Haiti After Hurrican Matthew

Many homes, schools, and businesses were damaged or are completely gone.

1610ha-hurricanematthew543-609x406

Livestock and crops were wiped out.

1610ha-hurricanematthew541-609x406

Cholera is on the rise again and people are in need of food, clean water, and medical attention.

Many families lost their homes and are still in need of temporary shelter.

This is Rose

ha7620354-fullshot-200w

Rose is my sponsor child.

Rose and her family live on an island in one of the hardest hit areas of Haiti. My husband and I met Rose 3 years ago when we were on a trip with Compassion international.

20130306_170126

Rose is the little girl in the lime green dress

While on that trip, we visited the island where Rose lives.  We also visited the child development center she attends and we also became Rose’s sponsors that day.

The day I met Rose was a really awesome day and also is a pretty cool story. If you would like to read it you can go here and check it out -> Stepping Into the Boat .

Every since the Hurricane, we have been waiting for word from Compassion and praying for Rose and her family.

A few weeks ago we finally received this email.

compassion-letter-rose

I am so thankful that Rose and her family are okay but at the same time, my heart is breaking for them because it looks as if they have lost almost everything.

Even though they lost everything I am very relieved to know that because Rose is in Compassion’s sponsorship program that Compassion is working very hard to make sure she and her family are taken care of.

There were over 3100 children and their families in Compassion’s program who were affected by Hurricane Mathew. Compassion is working hard to help all of them but they can’t do it without people like you to help support their efforts.

Did you know that today is Giving Tuesday?  Giving Tuesday is an international day of giving created to unite people around the world to make a difference in the world.

On this Giving Tuesday in honor of Rose and I would like to share with you an opportunity to help children in Hait who have been affected by the storm.

By clicking these links you can help

Click HERE if you would like to donate to give support to children and their families in Haiti

or

You can click HERE to sponsor a child in Haiti.

And most important of all… Don’t forget that your prayers are always needed.

Will you please consider joining others all around the world on this #GivingTuesday and helping children in Haiti?

What better way to start off this holiday season of giving than by making a difference in someone’s life.

Even though the Hurricane has ended the storm still continues for many families.

YOU can be a blessing in someone’s life today.

Thank you so much for your help and have a wonderful day!

Terri Siebert

 

 

Here is an inspiring story of how a young woman survived Hurricane Matthew…

#GivingTuesday #CompassionBloggers

Pick Up Your Mat and Walk

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him,“Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. John 5:1-8

I used to be a different person. I used to feel like crap every morning because I used to drink alcohol every night. I remember when God placed it in my heart that I needed to change. He could have immediately taken the crave for alcohol away…but he didn’t. First I had to want to stop. I had to make up my mind to stop and then say, ‘I’m done living like this.” And then I had to be the one to take the first step toward recovery. Once I made the decision that I was going to stop that was the moment he began helping me stop.

He stood beside me constantly during the struggle to quit but I still had to be the one to consciously make the choice to quit every single day. Over time I’ve lost the crave to drink but I still to this day have to be aware of that decision because there are still times in my life that alcohol is placed before me and a glass of wine or a margarita still look quite tasty to me but I do know that quick moment of taste across my lips is just not worth it and will never taste as good as I feel now.


Over the past 6 years I’ve had 5 knee surgeries for torn meniscus and arthritis.  I have asked God hundreds of times to cure me. I have placed my hands on my knees and said, “God, please take this pain away and cure me.”

I truly believe he could have instantly cured me, but he still didn’t do it.

I also knew that I could have had knee replacement surgery but I didn’t want to do that.

The surgery seemed really scary and I also knew it would take months before I would get well. I was also afraid of the pain so many people had warned me about. But in the meantime what I didn’t realize is that the pain I would end up in from not having the surgery would be probably just as bad or worse.

Over time I began finding that standing was becoming harder and I couldn’t go to the grocery store or ball games or anything that required a lot of walking without being in excruciating pain. And my balance was gradually going away too.

While I was sitting around being afraid of the surgery the things I worried would happen from the surgery were happening to me anyway!

A few months ago I had a terrible fall in which I landed on my face. That was the day that I finally made the decision to have the surgery.

Knee number 1 was replaced September 19.

It’s been 4 weeks today since the surgery and I woke up this morning realizing that I may finally be over the worst part of it. As expected the past 4 weeks have been really hard and required a whole lot of work on my part. Over the past 4 weeks, I have learned a lot about suffering (I’ll save that for another blog) and I have also learned what it’s like to humble myself and let others take care of me…. I don’t really do that very well.

The biggest thing I have learned is that even though I am the one who makes the decisions about my life sometimes I don’t always choose the right ones. One in particular, was not choosing to have this surgery sooner!

Just like the drinking I had to be the one to make the decision that I truly wanted to get well.

Yes God could have cured me instantly but he didn’t. Instead, he left part of it up to me to decide. Did I want to walk? Yes I did and to do that I was going to have to take the initiative to get up take the first step. I had to put away my worries and say yes to the surgery.  And then I had to put in the hard work it would take to get well. Yes God still was the one to do the healing and He was also the one who guided the surgeon’s hands. He was the one who was beside me when I stood up the first time for rehab. He was the one sitting beside me each night when I cried in pain. He was the one pushing me through the exercises and giving me the strength to keep going as I got stronger each day.

Now I am glad God didn’t give me the quick cure I prayed for.

God had a better plan, He gave me new knee but I had to be the one to make the decision to get up and go and get it and now I am stronger because of that.

Now that I have started to see the benefit of my new knee I realize that this wasn’t just about knees. This was about so much more.

There were lessons in trust, trusting that God had this all in his hands if I would just let go and give it to him.

I learned a lot about God’s power and how he gives that power to us to use when we call on him. He is the one who has been pushing me through the physical therapy and His strength is sometimes the only strength I have to just get up in the morning…but I will never ever be able to use it if I don’t make any effort of my own. I can’t just be sitting around waiting when there are things I could be doing, things I know now that God wants me to do.  God can do anything and yes He can move mountains, but something I have realized in all of this is that the mountain that may need moving is sometimes my own attitude.

Found by the Prince of Peace

 

god-of-peaceTwo weeks ago I had knee replacement surgery on my left knee and on November 28 I will be having the right one done.

I’ve known I needed to do this for over 2 years but I still have been putting the surgeries off because the thought of having someone cut my whole knee joint out and replacing it with metal and plastic made me feel really uncomfortable and to be honest it really scared the living daylights out of me.

After I made the decision a lot of worries crossed my mind about the things that could go wrong but I knew I had to not be dwelling on those things and just look to how much better my life was going to be when everything went right.

I had a great peace and I really wasn’t nervous at all during the time up to the surgery but the morning of the surgery for some reason I started to get really nervous. By the time we got into the car to go to the hospital my nerves were starting to get the best of me and I was beginning to feel like I had some sort of dark heavy cloud of dread hanging over me. When we pulled our car out of the garage a thick heavy fog was covering the neighborhood which just added to the dread I was feeling.

A few minutes later we were flying up the highway and I was sitting over in the passenger seat praying silently, but the harder I prayed, the more scared I became.

Where was God’s peace at now??

Somehow I had lost it and it was now hidden deep in the fog which seemed to be pressing in tighter and tighter on me.
20160919_070712
I wanted to forget the whole surgery and tell my husband to turn the car around and head back home but before I could get the words out of my mouth suddenly in the middle of the dark gloomy morning the sun started peeking out through the fog and the sky began changing.
20160919_070405
In a matter of seconds, the sky was a mix of beautiful colors. I began taking pictures of the sky and somehow without even realizing it was happening God had managed to reel me back to peace.
By the time we arrived at the hospital a beautiful sunshiny day had dawned and I was ready to get on with getting a new knee.
20160919_071923
But God wasn’t done yet…
I was met by my nurse who would check me in and found out her name was ‘Joy’. Joy’s name fit her well and she was exactly the perfect person for me to start off this day with. Joy the nurse was full of joy. Being checked into surgery by nurse Joy along with her name tag flashing the word “Joy’ at me constantly, there was no way I couldn’t feel the continued presence and peace of God.

Joy stayed with me until it was time to go to the Operating room holding area.

My next nurse’s name was ‘Lisa’. Which is also the name of my dear friend Lisa who now lives in heaven. I’m not really sure why having a nurse named Lisa gave me peace but seeing the name Lisa reminded me about Lisa and how courageously she had lived her life during her illness right up until she left for her new one. Remembering Lisa reminded me that I wanted to live my life courageously trusting in God like she had.

Everything seemed to be going well and I was doing really great the whole morning but then the anesthesiologist came in and introduced himself. His name was David. David was nice and he looked like just the guy to handle the job of putting me to sleep. I was really liking him a whole lot but then he gave me a choice to make. It was a choice that nobody had even mentioned or that I had ever dreamed was available. David gave me the choice of staying awake or going to sleep during the surgery..… STAYING AWAKE???!!

I remember saying to him, “you’re kidding right?”

But this was not a joke… this guy was dead serious!

I had seen the video of what they were going to do to me and it involved cutting my whole knee joint out with saws and then putting in the new knee with a hammer…SAWS… AND HAMMERS!!! Did I mention they were going to use saws and hammers and this guy was giving me the option to stay awake during the surgery????!!!!!

I’m sure you know by now my answer to that question was…. NO WAY!

I didn’t even have to answer him before he said, “Maybe you better go to sleep.” I wonder if it was the… ‘you are crazy for ever asking me that look’ I must have had on my face.

After that I lost my peace again and suddenly I felt sick to my stomach. I went to the bathroom to be sick and when I arrived back at my bed there was a woman in my room waiting for me. “Hi I’m the hospital Chaplin and I came to see if you would like me to pray with you,” she said.

Ummmm…. Ya…

How cool is that?! The minute I lost peace God sent a Chaplin in to pray with me!

We prayed and then we just chatted for a while as if we were old friends. Before I knew it the God of peace had found me again and it was now time for me to go into the operating room. The last thing I remember was telling someone that they really needed to organize the operating room because it was really a mess….

I’m not really sure what my obsession with organized operating rooms is but the last 2 surgeries I’ve had that line has come out of my mouth just as I drift off to sleep. I will blame it on the happy meds they put in the IV.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

3 hours later I woke up with a brand new knee and a horrible pain in my hip.

Yep you heard that right, I go in for knee surgery and come out with hip pain.

I now know that the pain in my hip is my sciatic nerve. Somehow it became irritated during the surgery and I have to say it is about the worst pain I have ever dealt with in my life!

But...even though the sciatic nerve is giving me problems I still seem to be breezing right through the knee stuff. I am excelling in my exercises with my range of motion coming back way quicker than is expected.
The crazy thing is my knee which is what I was worried about before the surgery is not an issue at all.
The problem is this sciatic nerve hurts really bad If I lay down and I also have had problems with every pain medication they have given me so Tylenol is all I can take.
Sooooo… sleeping is something I have not been getting a whole lot of.

Every night about 11 pm the pain starts and I then spend the rest of the night moving around to different areas of my house trying to get comfortable. I can take a lot of pain and usually never cry about pain but I have to say that this is the first time in my life that pain seems to keep turning me into an exhausted crying mess.

I have spent a whole lot of time this past couple of weeks listening to the Hillsong channel on T.V. and Pandora Radio. Every single night there is one song that seems to always play right at the time which is when I am usually at the height of my pain.

The song is “Prince of Peace” by Hillsong United.


The words to this song always seem to help me find comfort and peace.

My heart a storm
Clouds raging deep within
The Prince of Peace came bursting through the wind
The violent sky held its breath
And in Your light I found rest
Tearing through the night
Riding on the storm
Staring down the fight
My eyes found Yours
Shining like the sun
Striding through my fear
The Prince of Peace met me there
You heard my prayer – Words and music by Hillsong United

Just as I am feeling as if I can’t go on anymore Jesus always meets me right in the middle of the pain and then he carries me through the night. He is my comfort and peace until the early morning hours when I finally fall asleep.

Jesus is my peace…

As I am writing this its almost 11 pm the pain hasn’t started yet and I am hoping it doesn’t. Each night I pray that it won’t start but each night it still does. I am not really sure why that prayer hasn’t been answered yet but so many more prayers have been answered so far.

I am learning that I can get through anything no matter how painful it is when I call on Jesus. I have seen Gods hands and miraculous healing in this and also in past illnesses I’ve had. Also from what I have heard Knee replacement surgery is very very painful, thankfully I haven’t had much knee pain so far which my physical therapist says she has never come across so maybe I have the better pain of the two…. ?

AAAAnyway …. it’s getting late so I am going to try to get some sleep.

Have a great night!
T

P.S. If you aren’t squeamish and want to see something cool, click the picture of my bandage below to remove it and see my incision.  You can just call me the bionic woman from now on 😀

20161001_163152