Joy in Giving and Joy in Jesus

Christmas is in full swing with lights everywhere and malls filled with shoppers, Christmas festivities and gatherings are well under way. It really feels like such a magical time of year.

Getting ready for Christmas is stressful though. If I’m being honest, that is the truth for me. I’ve had a hard time taking care of my family and myself that the thought of getting my house decorated haunted me. I love the decorations though and they got up with the help of my mom. Thank you Mom.

Aaron was kind enough to spoil me with a Christmas village that now sits by our fireplace. I love decorations everywhere. It’s a bit more subtle the last couple of years but I enjoy it so much. Last year I was in the hospital up until the 21st. So I am grateful to be home this year.

When I was a kid my favourite memories were walking next door to my grandmas house and helping her decorate her house. She had decorations covering every inch of her house. They would go up early and come down in March. No joke. She loved Christmas. She had the most amazing village. All made by her hands. She had tons of houses and buildings and if you looked inside there were little details down to lighting and furniture. She had a church and stores, replica of her home as a young wife in Quebec and of her home in Yarrow. She had trees and a skating rink. I do miss her so much. The most important thing about my Grandma was her love for Jesus. And everyone who came in contact with her knew He was her number one. She talked about Jesus non stop. I wish now I could talk to her about Him. I’m so happy that she could meet her saviour and be at peace with Him. I like to think a piece of her lives in me. She really was an inspiration.

As a kid and teenager and even now, I love getting gifts. I guess gifts are my love language. However, I am starting to realize that getting gifts is not as important as giving gifts and giving the gift of words , prayers and encouragement. I feel like this year my joy has been brought down as I shop . There’s this idea and tradition with society that we must spend, spend, spend. After years of spending money we don’t even have and watching the kids enjoy those gifts for about 5 mins it has me thinking , maybe overthinking the joy in giving. It’s a wake up call that things need to change. I know as my kids get older , gifts are a bit more practical but I keep spending because I think my kids will be disappointed if I don’t spend “X” amount on them. Will there memories be about the gifts they get? Or will they remember the time we gave to the homeless or a family in need? I think next year is going to be a lot different. We learn from these things. We have God working in us through The Holy Spirit teaching us these things.

These thoughts have been in my mind all week. I hope they encourage us all to look at those less fortunate and to realize material gifts are not as important. The joy in giving in a way that is joyful not stressful or a burden on your bank account and the joy in sharing the news of Jesus should be our focus.

With love,

Tania

A Giveaway You Don’t Want to Miss!!!

Time is precious. When you wake up in the morning do you thank God for the time you have and for a new day? Everyday is such a gift and time doesn’t stand still so make sure you don’t waste it.

And how about this for a Christmas gift! It’s giveaway TIME!

I’m so excited to be teaming up with Zwanette from Rustic Pine designz and giving away this incredible 32 inch spool clock. Isn’t it beautiful! I wish I could enter!

So here’s what you have to do.

Share this blog post on Facebook.

Sign up for blog updates with your email.

Go like Rustic Pine Designz on Facebook

THIS ISN’T THE ONLY WAY TO ENTER! IF YOU HAVE AN INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT, YOU CAN ENTER THERE AS WELL.

Just Not Okay

Life the last couple weeks has definitely come to a halt. I can barely get out of bed. I do get out but not until the afternoon before the kids get home. Fatigue is bad . Going up my stairs wears me out , blow drying my hair makes my arms give out on me. My appetite has declined. My stomach hurts and I’m pretty well nauseous until after lunch or longer. I do have better days where I don’t feel so sick but it’s becoming less and less. Vertigo has also come back.

I try to get out and watch the kids sports ( 3 play basketball and 3 play hockey) . It cheers me up and makes me feel like even though I am not very active, I am supporting them and being there for them. The pain of sitting on bleachers is very hard. My lower back is in bad shape as are most of the joints in my body especially my hands and wrists.

All this of course brings on feelings of guilt. Aaron is once again working his butt off being mom and dad . He really is an amazing husband. He takes really good care of me and the kids. He gets up super early and goes to bed late. He makes dinner if I am unable. Making dinner is my goal usually everyday. That and having a bath.

Prayers are always appreciated. My faith is what keeps me going. God has given us so much to be thankful for. All this sucks but God has given me my life and with or without pain, I am grateful.

Tania

Slow Motion

It’s 6:45 my alarm goes off to get Brandon up for school. He catches the bus at 7:25. I get up to wake him up but as I do I cringe in pain. My hips hurt really bad, they are stiff. My wrist feel like they’re on fire and my fingers don’t want to move. My feet are cramping and my legs too. Great that means pain in my legs for a couple days. The cramping pain hurts for days. As I walk over to wake him my head feels like it’s spinning. My skull is getting crushed and filling up with fluid . I need to sit back down until this passes . Finally I get Brandon up . He has to do everything on his own. Thankfully he’s 10 and is capable . I throw a coat on and walk him down to the bus stop. The cold gets to my bones. I feel it in the core. It’s hurts. He’s safely on the bus and I breath a sigh of relief that I made it this far. I go home grab a coffee and convince myself not to go back to bed. The other kids are up. They get themselves out to their bus. I am so thankful for them. All 4 have really learned to get things done without me. I’m just a coach in the background encouraging them to get going.

That was my morning . I decided to ask for help today and my mom is coming over. If I didn’t ask for help , I would go back to bed. I don’t want to waste my day away like the last 2 days. I need to still take care of my family. Aaron has been doing so much for me. If asking for help means it will get done, then I will swallow my pride. I think a clean house will help motivate me keep going. Thankfully I have no headache right now but that has been the biggest set back lately. I would love to see my Christmas decorations go up. I love Christmas and normally my house would be decorated by now.

In all the pain and fatigue that comes with transplant and low immunity, I see so much beauty in the people and relationships God has given me. You can’t go through life alone. Sick or not it is a blessing to be surrounded by support and love of family and friends.

Galatians 6:2 

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

What To Do …

I want to clarify my last post a bit. I think maybe I was just in a funny mood. I was sick and down because my days are so unpredictable. I know my purpose is to be a Godly mom , wife, friend and to take care of the needs of my family. What I’m struggling with is all the unpredictability. Sometimes it is lonely around here. Not lonely meaning I need people around but lonely with fatigue or wanting something meaningful to do. The quietness can get my mind going. I struggle because I can’t commit to things. I want to help and visit and enjoy things but I don’t want to cancel. I want to write a book on my journey for our family. I feel like I’m incapable or won’t be able to complete it. Starting it is half the battle. I want to make money so our family can go away on a holiday. But am not allowed to work . I dream of the day that we can finally do our getaway. I don’t want to just go away with Aaron. Being away from the kids is hard for me still. Too raw. Spending weeks and months away while being sick was just too hard.

This is the stuff that goes through my mind on a daily basis. Going off steroids I think is partly to blame. It puts you in a sort of depression. Not bad , just down. Once Molly is all healed up from her surgery I’m hoping to get out and walk more. This will help with the tiredness.

On a happier note, my doctors appointment yesterday went really well. I had almost perfect blood work. It was a real joy to see my results. It’s been over 2 years since my blood work has looked so good. There are minimal signs of gvhd. I’m almost off the steroids. I’m being referred back to the stroke neurologist to see if there’s something we can do about all these migraines. Many seems to be associated with the torn artery in my neck. Ct scan shows no tear so it must just be scar tissue . Who know. I’m hoping to get a nerve block or Botox in my neck to help with the frequency of pain. Right now it’s daily. In the mean time I have a 2 month break from visiting my hematologist. I have IVIG therapy next week to help boost my immunity and then things are pretty well low key until end of January.

I hope all my American friends and family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. This can be a hard time for those missing family members but try to remember that thanksgiving is about being thankful and God has surrounded us all with blessings. Look for those blessings and find joy in them. ❤️

The Unknown Journey

Psalm 42

42 1  As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. 2  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?3  My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” 4  These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation6  and my God.My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. 7  Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. 8  By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. 9  I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” 10  As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” 11  Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

The days are hard and unpredictable lately. My heart and mind struggle finding my purpose here on earth. Life has changed so much in the last 2 years. I don’t always know what to do with myself. I have had fatigue again this weekend and it makes me feel useless. The headaches and tummy aches come and go. I try to live each day in the present and not worry about the future but I have been. I won’t go into details on those worries. I will lay them before God. Recovery is a roller coaster and right now I’m caught in the twisty part that feels like it’s spiralling down and not knowing what curve or drop will happen next is scary. Some days are really good. Some days I don’t know what to do with myself. No sympathy needed. This is all part of my journey and I just need to learn how to navigate the hard times. I try to remember that everyday is a gift and find the joy in each day that God gives me . I know the blessings in my life outweigh the discomforts.

Been a Hard Week

I feel myself falling backwards, emotionally and physically. I have spent much of my last few days in bed. I have cried a lot and sheltered myself. This is more than likely due to going off steroid medication. The aches and pains have returned. Almost daily headaches. Yesterday’s headache was brutal. It’s a horrible feeling when you feel like you have lost control of yourself. I know life’s not perfect and I know this is just a bump in the road that will smooth out. I’m not sharing this for sympathy. I’m sharing this because promised to be blunt and real. I am so thankful that God gave me a second chance at life. I really am. It’s just hard when your body and mind are so tired from fighting the ailments that come with transplant. Today I’m going to push myself to get up and moving. Take the dog for a walk, watch my boys play hockey and get some housework done.

On a happier note, my blood work looks amazing. No signs of gvhd in my liver. My blood counts are fabulous and I couldn’t be happier about it. Also this week I will be doing a fabulous giveaway that you won’t want to miss. I can’t wait to share it with you. To top it off I’m having a fun night with friends on Wednesday. That should brighten my spirits. ❤️ I will be okay! Don’t worry 😉

May God grant you all a wonderful week and may you feel His presence near you in all you do.