Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Five years later! Yes I am still here😀

Hi, friends! I am sorry I was offline for so long.  You see, I went through some serious growing pains.  As a result, I ended up with a new life in Olathe, KS.

In March 2014, my entire world was shattered and the only thing keeping me intact was my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  I lost my grandchildren , my husband, and my marriage, 3 months before my 40th birthday.

I was provided support through some very dear friends​ and my loving sisters.  My sister Liz invited me into her home and life that summer.  On July 31, 2014, I relocated to Olathe with a paid for truck, my clothes, and a very shattered heart.

Many, many times that year I would tell people that Shakespeare had a point, a lousy point, but nonetheless valid: it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

During these past 3 years, I have been blessed to see and experience God's guidance and intervention in my life.  I wouldn't take anything for my journey now.
I have hurt, cried, screamed, and exercised myself to exhaustion.  God is good, all the time...God is good.  I have been healed and keep healing and learning new things daily.
This is part 1 of the past five years.  More tomorrow night. I am thankful my blog is still here.  It was amazing to read five years in the past.

What can you learn from all of this? Where there is life, there is hope. Where there is both, there is God.  He's got this. Never give up, never give in.  It's not over yet.

Til tomorrow, Steph

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Staying in the Kitchen

It has been a while since my last post, so I'll try to catch everyone up on why it's been so long.  The good news is that I am walking on two feet again, I have lost 11 pounds since March, and my migraines are almost under control.  I also have a diagnosis that explains the train wreck my body was fast becoming in the past year and a half.  On the flip side, the tree in the front yard has dropped a limb not once, but twice on the house in the past few months.  However, this also goes under good news because no one was in the house so no one was hurt, and the tree missed the picture window by inches.  Whew.

You know how they say, if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen...well it's been plenty hot around here, but I'm sticking.  I found out over these past few months that I'm a lot more tough than I thought I was. I'm also going to be spending more time in the kitchen, no more fast snacks, eating out, eating whatever I feel like anymore.  

Since I love all the decadent, rich foods, finding out I have metabolic syndrome is changing my life in a hurry.  Losing weight has shifted from wanting to look better from needing to live better.  I am very blessed to not have developed diabetes, but only by the grace of God.  I'm scared that I won't stick with it and mess up my health.  I have bad habits that I have to change.  However, I am blessed to have some very good support in the form of the love of my life, my husband David, who supports me wholeheartedly and unconditionally.  One of my best friends in this life, Kathy, also has been my fitness and lifestyle coach, and has been a huge encouragement, especially these past few months.  Michele, one of my newer good friends and a wonderful co-worker, understands my struggles also and helps keep me accountable at work.  My little sister Ashley, who understands my challenges to juggle family, work, and exercise, as she has similiar challenges.  

Speaking of work, I am really blessed that I work for Cox Health, one of the largest employers in Springfield, if not the Ozarks, and that offers me additional opportunities for wellness success.  I have participated in their wellness program for the past five years now, and I have a wonderful coach, Tony, who has done an excellent job of seeing me through my ups and downs, offering very good advice and accountability.  In addition, the hospital approved the creation of a support group called Shift! Your Lifestyle, led by one of Cox's dieticians, Jenny, who has done a superb job of facilitating group discussions and providing relevant recipes and information.

I am hoping with all of this support, I can stay motivated and dedicated to working at a healthier me.  A healthier me that will feel like doing extra things that I haven't felt like in a long time.  Like posting a new blog.

Until next time, share a smile with those around you, you never know who'll need it....maybe me.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Marching On

I have had a wild and woolly month for March.  My accident-prone gene was activated....and noone warned me!  I found out three times this month, fortunately not all on the same day, but all on my left side.  Ouch!  The first time I didn't fall but got my bad foot caught under itself and twisted.  A week and a day later, it was raining hard, and I slipped on the wet grass by just walking, and didn't fall but I slid and jerked the whole ankle and leg. Another x-ray and this time a doctor's visit.  No break just lots of bruising.  Sigh.  Well, then this last Wednesday morning, right at 6 am, I'm on the back porch and step on the top step, my feet slide out from under me and I fall down the three steps on my butt.  Ugh!  Twelve weeks before the bruising goes down on that tailbone, according to my good doctor.  Fortunately, this weekend has been beautiful and sunny. No falling!  No slipping!

Why did I say "marching on" you may ask, my friends.  I have just worn my brace, taken ibuprofen, and kept marching on, to the bus stop, to work, to lunch, to home, and back again.  There have been times I have been whiny because my foot burned and hurt, but I kept going.  I am very thankful that my foot and leg did not get broken.  I have found that with a good support system and good planning, practically anything is possible.  We still don't have the car running, but our good friends Lisa and Gary have helped us with rides whenever we couldn't afford the cab ride or couldn't use the bus to get something done.   We have ridden the bus everywhere else which helps on money.   We just have to allow the extra time in transit.

I am looking forward to April, and celebrating another Easter.  Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal, and we are all ready for some.   As part of my renewal, I have made a goal to make at least one blog post a week.  Hopefully, I will post more often than this, but I have to start with an attainable goal.

I hope that I will have some followers and readers soon to appreciate my thoughts.  Until then, world, here's me.  Me, here's the world.  Have a wonderful week!  Steph

Thursday, March 15, 2012

First Quarter 2012

Wow, I have been too busy to blog.  I have been too busy to do a lot of things, including exercise.   Starting April 2, I will not have time to NOT exercise.  I have accepted a Beachbody Challenge from my best friend Kathy.  She has organized a group of people to do this.

Why have I been too busy??  Let's see, had surgery the second week of January, had the endometriosis (yes, it grew back a THIRD time, sigh) cleaned out and an ovarian cyst removed.  Since then, I have not missed any unplanned time from work.  I have been trying to keep up with friends and family on Facebook, tried to get our finances straightened out, and spend time with David and the kids.

I do believe that for the most part I have come out of this a better person.  There are a few things I learned about myself that I have to work on that I didn't like about myself.  I learned how important my family and friends are and I saw who my true friends are.  I'm blessed that I have a large number of true friends.  True friends maybe can't be there in your life 24/7, but they can be there in your life when you need them and when they need you.

Until the next time,
Steph Lynn

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve: only 6 days left of 2011 after today!

My, how time flies!  I can't believe it has been so long since I last posted.  Well, my friends, a lot has happened since then, my health has taken me on a roller coast er  ride and my family and my job as well.  I am blessed to  still have my job, so don't worry about that.  In fact, I am blessed to still be here with everyone,  as Halloween morning, a drug interaction sent me to the E/R.  I woke up in the ambulance with the EMT trying to put an IV in my foot.  Ouch.

I still suffer from migraines, even with my sleep apnea being treated.  We think it's hormone-related and sure enough I have new cysts on that right side.  The right ovary and fallopian tube will be history on January 10th and  I will be off duty recuperating for five days after that surgery (doctor's orders).  I am hoping to heal quickly and be cleared for the gym.  no

I have gained all of my weight back which is very frustrating.  I am trying to eat smaller portions.  I have already been off of coffee caffeine and chocolate for seven weeks.  Surprisingly, everyone at home is still alive and in one piece!  (Including me)

I have been blessed to have the support of my long-time friends and newly-made friends this past year.  Trust me, Tracy Lawrence's song "You Find out Who Your Friends Are" is very accurate.  It is saddening to find those who you thought were friends were only fair-weather acquaintances.  I unfortunately found a rare few who actively sought to hurt me, but by the grace of God were mainly unsuccessful.  I think my New Year's Resolution will be to forgive them and let go of the anger but not leave a new spot for the knife to go.

Finally, the love of my life has been very patient and understanding through all this.  Even though he has chronic pain, he manages to keep active, and manages to help take care of me when I'm down.

I will love seeing the grandchildren open presents tomorrow, and visit with family.  My Christmas has been given to me already through the year, by Christ's love shown to me each and every day through my loved ones, family and friends alike.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Newbie Blogger's Update

It just seems like I run out of time to do the things I want to do.  Fortunately tomorrow is Friday and I can post something more meaningful.

I have just been humbled by tonicsnow's updates to her blog.  She is going through a journey, and I can't carry her through it, as one of her best friends, all I can do is walk beside her and let Christ carry her and let Him strengthen her faith.

Things have improved at work for me, thank goodness.

The heat finally broke.  We got a dog since I last posted.  This brings the four-legged children to four(in order from newest to oldest): Alli, Eros, Zoe, and Fuzzy.  Three Cats and A Dog.  Maybe I should write a screenplay.

Until later, fellow bloggers and followers,

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Musings

This Memorial Day weekend we are remembering all of our loved ones we lost to war, disaster, or natural causes.  Unfortunately for our friends, family, and neighbors in Joplin, this Memorial Day is salt in an open wound, for they have lost many loved ones to a EF-5 tornado.  Such a clinical term for something so vicious that it has ripped families apart in mere minutes and left a community stumbling through the wreckage.  The only difference between this and 9/11 is the fact that there were no terrorists to blame, only Mother Nature.  That is cold comfort to those in Joplin and all of the neighbors, family, and friends.

The silver lining in this is to see that this was not just a Joplin tragedy, or a Missouri tragedy, but a shared tragedy as volunteers and resources have been pouring in from all over the country.  For those who could not come or afford to send resources, they are sending prayers and love.  Prayers and love are much better than blame and scorn.  This will be my only reference (I hope) to that misguided entity out of Topeka, KS which believes that protesting during other people's pain and tragedy will get their message across.  It is getting a message across all right and that is another silver lining.  Believers and nonbelievers alike have been joining forces to block these offensive protest motions.  These forces have been so effective that the WBO did not get plastered all over the news during the Joplin Memorial Service and President Obama's visit.

There are many people I miss that I am going to share with you today.  My daddy, Tillman L. Smith, Jr, who served for his country in Vietnam, coming home with invisible battle scars and wounds.  He went to Heaven on March 1, 2007 after a sudden, massive heart attack.  He was an awesome dad who passed his love on of Cardinals baseball to all of his girls as well as baseball, basketball, and softball.  He was passionate about whatever he did.  When he gave his life to Christ, he was just as passionate about that too.  I miss him so much and the hardest thing is when I want to pick up the phone and call and tell him something, it all comes back to me he's gone on.

Dewayne Winchester, who is free from pain and left behind my best friend Tonica to grieve.  He was good to her and that was all I ever asked.  He shared our faith so I know I will get to see him again someday.

Debra Moseley, who befriended me my first year in Springfield at Redneck Trailer, lost her life in a head on car accident.  One day we were talking and laughing in the office.  The next day, she was gone.  I still have a small scar on my heart from this.  Her widower followed her the next year.  She left behind three grieving children as well.  I will be looking for her when it is my time to go to Heaven as well.

Burl Hawkins, David's uncle, who was such a sweetheart, always good to talk and reach out for a hug.  He had such a strong constitution and fortitude, that when the cancer took him, it didn't really show up until right before he left us.  I have no doubts he will greet me and David in Heaven either.

Scotty Vass, my friend Donna Hicks Winder's son.  I did have the pleasure of getting to know him when I got to attend Calvary Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff when I was down to see my mom and my dad.  He was a young gentleman, had such a sweet personality, big smile, and always ready to help.  His sudden death left a big void to his momma, sisters, and family; in addition to his church family and friends.  I'm sure Scotty and my daddy are hanging out together up there.

My mother in law (my second mother), Alpha Smith.  She was the complete antithesis to the cliche mother-in-law.  She was beyond good to me and helped me adjust to married life and country life.  I was blessed to have her seven years before a sudden heart attack took her away from us right in front of our eyes.  I'm so thankful that a few days before, as David and I were leaving to go to our house, I reached down to hug her and tell her I loved her.  She smiled, and gently said, "We love you, too."  I can't wait to see her in Heaven.  My biggest hurt is that she did not get to see Curtis married and see the beautiful great-grandchildren he and Raychelle provided.  The constant hurt is every day Dad (David's dad) wakes up and he misses her all over again.  He will tell me I'm sweet, or pretty, or good; but not as sweet, pretty, or good as his wife, and then he cries in my arms and I have lost Mother all over again.  In a way, he died that day as well.  However, he keeps plugging away because he has me and David and Jade and Curtis and Raychelle and the babies to take care of.

These are most of the people I have lost in the past nine years.  I lost all of my grandparents by the time I was in junior high school, and an adopted grandparent in high school.  There are pain for these people as well, but I want to remember how those people lived more than how they died.

During this Memorial Day, go ahead and cry for those you have missed....but don't forget to live for them as well.