How God Sent Me a Message in a Pile of Yuk

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Warning… This post is kind of weird and maybe a little yukky…

A couple of weeks ago I was standing at the bathroom sink brushing my teeth when suddenly I heard this gurgling noise coming from the toilet.

It didn’t sound like a good sound and as I lifted to lid to investigate I realized that I was correct. The water in the bowl was bubbling and rising quickly to the top.  I turned off the faucet at the sink but the toilet continued to bubble up. I ran for a plunger and began yelling for my husband to come help save the bathroom from what I knew was most likely going to be a flood.

We were able to save the bathroom but after a lot of effort to unclog it, my husband realized that it was not gonna happen so he was going to have to call a plumber. Later that day the plumber came and spent 2 hours at our house unclogging the pipes.

Fast forward to today….

I was standing at the sink brushing my teeth when….

You guessed it! REPEAT of two weeks ago happened again!

Seriously??   I have been brushing my teeth all my life and have never seen a sink cause a toilet to overflow!…and now this was 2 times in 2 weeks!

My Husband came to the rescue again

He tried everything AGAIN

Nothing worked AGAIN

He called the Plumber AGAIN

But this time the plumber’s magic plumbing tools didn’t work. After about 2 hours of slinging nasty water all over my bathroom and hallway, the plumber said he couldn’t fix it and said he was going to have to call his boss who I guess must be his plumber…???

BTW who do plumbers call when they need a plumber??

Later that day the boss plumber came with some fancy water-jet-blaster-truck which sprayed from the outside of the house in…Ya… this story just keeps getting messier and messier! By the time he was finished I had to declare the bathroom as a hazardous waste contamination area (just my sarcasm but it sure felt like it) and there was a lovely pile of what looked like brown paper mache’ all over the basement floor. Gag… barf…  🙁

That may sound like the worst of it but nope… the worst news of all is that the boss plumber put a camera in our pipes to see if he could find the problem and it was a big one. We live in a very old house and the verdict is that the pipes in our house are so old that they have disintegrated in places causing nothing to be able to get through.

Ugh! This was really ‘crappy’ news. But the good news was that he was able to unclog pipes BUT unfortunately, it is only a matter of time until they are clogged again so we have to replace them ASAP.

Oddly during all this, my husband who is the one who usually gets upset about this sort of thing seemed really calm …. but me on the other hand, the one who is usually calm about this sort of thing, started worrying about all the what-ifs and the cost of fixing it.

The night of the clog I had a class at church and then the next day I had to work so my husband was the one who had to clean up most of the mess. While I was at work I kept thinking about the mess in the house and starting to self-doubt as to if we are doing the right thing by moving here… etc.. etc… etc…

I should have known I have nothing to worry about now here’s the good part of the story –

When I arrived home my husband met me outside with a huge grin on his face and said, “look at what I found while sweeping up in the basement?” Then he placed a silver ring in my hand.

I recognized it! This was my ring I had lost 7 years ago!

The story of the ring – The house we live in used to belong to my husband’s parents and not long before his mother passed away I lost my ring at her house. I thought I had lost it in the bathroom but I had searched every inch of it and never find it. What I didn’t realize at the time was that it must have dropped down the drain or into the toilet.  Now 7 years later my husband had found it in that mountain of yuk in the basement.

This may not sound like such a big deal to most people but to me, this is huge… and not like you would think. This is not an expensive ring but what was written on it was worth more to me than you can imagine.

It’s a twisted band and there is a message engraved on it. – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

My husband and I had prayed a whole lot about the move to this house before we did it.  We both knew that moving here was what God wanted us to do.  It has been a lot of work getting here but also at the same time it has been fun and very rewarding to see how things have been coming out. We’ve had a few unexpected problems along the way but each one has turned out great and we really love living here. This house has felt like home to both of us since the moment we moved in.

I know that this life we are living is God’s plan and sometimes its hard to see the outcome of his plan when you are right in the middle of it.  But now (thanks to the reminder) I remember that as long this is God’s plan it will turn out good… because God is really really good <3

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

 

Overwhelmed by You

Hey everyone and happy Monday to you!

I started my Monday off by receiving a surprise gift when I opened the curtains.

Not only did it snow again but we also had visitors.

There’s something extra peaceful about freshly fallen snow.  Couple that with a family of deer and I would say that God was giving me the exactly what I needed today.

An overwhelming dose of peace.

God alway seems to deliver just what is needed and He always seems to overwhelm me with his perfect timing.

Today’s Music Monday song is Overwhelmed by Big Daddy Weave.

Have a fabulous week!

Terri Siebert

Music Monday – I Have this Hope

The first time I heard this song was this past fall while working the Compassion table at a Tenth Avenue North concert. The minute I heard it I loved it so much and I couldn’t get the words out of my head.

Though I didn’t really realize it at the time, a major surgery, the death of my brother, and another surgery happening in the near future had me really out of sorts physically and emotionally.

For the next several months the song became like my theme song.

There were times when the physical and emotional pain became quite overwhelming. But every time I began to feel like I couldn’t take anymore this song would come on the radio and suddenly I would be singing it to God.

I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go (lyrics by Tenth Avenue North)

As I would sing the words, I could feel his presence and the reassurance that he was right beside me through it all.

I have heard people say during hard times to cling to God, and I have done so. But how comforting it is to know that he is also holding on to me.

I have this Hope in the depth of my soul…..

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

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.
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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.
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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.
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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 😀

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