Tag Archives: Friends

Philippians thoughts – no one looked down upon

18 Jun
I was reading in Philippians today and what I am hearing Paul saying is:
  • Don’t be selfish.
  • Don’t do things out of desire for advancement or self promotion.
  • Don’t be conceited.
  • Think of others as BETTER than yourself. This will give you a natural concern for their needs and concerns.
So….if I consider YOU above ME…and YOU consider ME above YOU…a beautiful thing would happen. A community where everyone is looked up on and no one is looked down on. Wow.
How appropriate. That Paul, y’all.
(Verses, for context, from NLT: 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.)
Disclaimer: I am NO Bible scholar (or any kind of scholar) so feel free to tell me I am way off….but man this message….it hits different TADAYYYYY.
(Posted on my personal Facebook 6/9/20 but wanted here to keep things together.)

Focusing on the grace…not so much the race

17 Jan

This is a post I’ve wanted to share for a long time. I’ve written probably fifteen iterations of it over the last few months and every time I let fear win…I delete…I walk away…I keep it to myself.

I’ve not landed on a word for 2020 yet. I had one last year…I’ll probably decide on one this year, but it’s something I do with prayer and intention…but I can tell you that a theme I keep hearing in music, in scripture, in prayer and in life – is SHARING. So, I’m going to DO THAT. When I feel something resonate with me that I hope can help others, I have a natural inclination to want to share it. So here it is today:

Having something wrong with you that others cannot see is a struggle. When I show up at Bible Study with my hair curled, a dress on and my shoes actually match…you don’t know that I had to wash my hair the night before because there’s no way I can wash, dry and fix my hair without a break in between. You don’t know that I had to pick out my clothes the night before to make it easier for myself the next morning or that I decided against makeup because holding my arms up for extended periods of time makes me exhausted. You don’t see the tears I cried last night because I didn’t feel like cooking dinner for my family because I knew it would wear me out and that a bath would be out of the question….because even that is tiring. You don’t see the depression that cycles from missing out on life events…the anxiety that comes with planning anything – literally anything – because I am afraid that when it rolls around I will be too fatigued to show up. You don’t see the worry that comes from letting people down and fearing that they won’t give you grace – again.  You don’t see the disappointment from getting excited about getting out and doing something but then it’s “one of those days” and there is NO way you can make it out of the house….and quite frankly, the bed.  You don’t see the way I miss the race of deadlines and a work family and last minute presentations.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a THING.  It is one of MY things and I have truly tried to own it.  To just live with it…to give MYSELF the grace that I’d extend to any of my loved ones.  To pace myself. To do what I can and focus on THAT.  Focusing on the things I can’t do…the things I run out of steam for…the things that do not get crossed off of the list? That leads to frustration, shame and sadness.  Which puts me in a funk…which leads to a depressive state…which….are you seeing a pattern here?

When you see someone with a cast or a sling or hear them coughing or see visible scars – is your inclination to judge them or feel a certain pang of hurt for their illness/injury?  Just because all scars are not visible does not mean that we don’t all have them and need that sympathetic/empathatic smile you’d give someone that you knew was going through something based on their appearance.  I have to tell you, I barely made it through this afternoon.  I overcommitted myself this week and I was struggling this afternoon.  Once I had the chance, I got comfy and I slept for HOURS. I needed it. It didn’t mean I am lazy or worthless or unproductive.  It meant I was taking care of a need.  I needed rest.  But don’t think I didn’t go to my calendar, make a line for rest, draw a box AND CHECKED IT OFF.  Focus on what you CAN do, friends.  It makes a world of difference.

*******SIDE NOTE TANGENT BELOW*******

While I’m at it…a reminder…check on your friends.  The sick, the well, the strong, the weak.  The busy, the bored, the employed, the retired, the traveling, the homebodies….ALL THE PEOPLE.  Ask how they are…and listen to the answer.  And y’all…if someone asks how you are, TELL THEM.  I don’t know about you but I mean it when I ask someone how they are really doing….I want to hear the truth.  I don’t want to a hear a standard answer or a flippant reply.  I want to know HOW they ARE….how can I be praying for them….have the prayers I’ve been praying been answered?  I value my friendships…I value my prayer time…and I want to be sure that my friends know I am praying for them with intention, as specific as possible and as often as I say I am.

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 4)

27 Dec

I said I’d update after Mike’s appointment and I promise I meant to right away but……Christmas!  Whew!  What a busy and amazing and wonderful and blessed time of year….but….busy!  🙂

His appointment was A LOT.  I had several questions, naturally.  He had a few too….but he let me go first!  (He is SO smart, y’all!)  I had some small questions about his new meds and new diet and exercise….but my biggest, scariest, most important question was…..how likely are we to go through this again?  I know there are no guarantees and that there are so many variables that are involved but I also know that many health conditions or episodes are likely to happen again once you have had them once.  I wanted to be realistic and knew that the answer might be one I didn’t want to hear but I needed to know.  She gave me the best answer EVER.  Through a lot of technical reasons (lack of blockages in his other arteries, success of the stent, etc) and historical data….she says it is very likely that this could be an isolated incident!  Of course, that all depends on him taking his meds correctly, exercising regularly, eating balanced meals, decreasing his stress and addressing his sleep apnea.  That is a long list of things to do, yes…but I think he is more motivated than ever.  He detests the thought of a C-PAP machine but he has promised to try it.  (He’s been kicked out of the sleep lab before hahahahaaha – y’all he’s kinda hard headed and every machine he’s tried has not been a good fit for him.)  He had just started to exercise more regularly and has an amazing friend that is willing and a such a blessing to us that he will help him in that area.  The food is my area since I cook for him and he has promised to be more open-minded about trying different things (fruits and veggies are a big deal and he hates about 99% of them).  He also has committed to taking a lunch every day and actually getting out of the office.  His Dr has had several conversations about this with him and how important it is for him to take a brain break.  He is also going in later than usual so he can sleep a bit longer and THAT is a blessing to me (and also is going to take some getting used to as that was a good thing for me to get up early and get my Bible time in…so I have to figure out how my day is structured when I get back home!).  The hospital we use has a great cardiac rehab program that he will be taking advantage of and I am happy that he was open to that immediately.  He already has an appointment with a sleep specialist so we are on our way to a healthier (and hopefully less dramatic) 2020!
We are currently in NC visiting our families and enjoying this season.  It has been great to rest the last two days…since leading up to Christmas is a bit of a crazy time….and we have done just that.  Mike is still a bit tired and the Dr says that is normal and expected.  He played golf yesterday locally though and said he felt tired towards the end of the round but that he never felt “winded” as he would have normally.  THAT is such a blessing to hear!  I am telling you, God can make any situation GOOD.  I am so thankful that Mike is feeling better, is heeding the warnings and is listening to the team that is caring for him.
Again, I cannot say enough thank yous to all of you who have been praying for him (and me too) so faithfully.  We feel the love and we are so grateful.
I’ll update again in a bit once we have more information on the sleep apnea because I know that will make him feel so much better if he can get GOOD sleep!!  Hope each of you had a Merry Christmas!!!

Heart Broken Week (Pt. 3)

17 Dec

That was scary, y’all.

Though I have heard all the words that revolve around heart attacks and heart issues, learning about them through the lens of how they affect my husband has been quite an experience. I think in Part 2 I left off with us getting home on Thursday. I think we both slept SO hard that night. Post-hospital exhaustion is so real!!

Mike listened to the advice of the physicians and took it very easy over the weekend. No working, no lifting, just lots of rest and fluids. I was very proud of him for being a good patient. He can be very hard headed in case that was not obvious to y’all by now! 😉

Monday was a big day! He went back to work…but instead of getting up at 4:50 and leaving around 5:45 or so he got up around 6:30 and left around 7:20….which of course changed my schedule around but soooo worth it if it alleviates some stress for my sweet hubby!

I took him lunch around 11:45 and he sat in the car with me to eat for about 30 mins…not talking about work but just chit chatting about kids and our upcoming trip home to NC and how he was feeling. No rushing to get back in the office, just enjoying the time together.

MJ had a basketball game that was earlier than normal and he met us there a few minutes before 4 pm so his day was short. It was probably the perfect scenario for the first day back from his episode last week. The Lord really worked that out for him….not a stressful day back at all. So many of his work days are and I am so grateful that the Lord saw fit to spare him in countless ways!

He has been SO tired. Exhausted, really. I am not sure if it’s the meds, the after effects of the trauma and emotions and lost sleep or the return to work yesterday but he was asleep by 8 pm last night! I had to wake him up to take his nightly medicine with some toast! His wrist was sore last night, likely from using his laptop keyboard – and it’s his right hand – and he’s right handed…so I sort of expected that. The site of the entry looks fine – so thankful for that! He has had ZERO chest pain since before the stent. Other than a mild headache he has really been amazed at how he feels!

We have had so many conversations about how the whole thing went down last week and there are so many ways that we can see how God shaped and orchestrated the days leading up to THE DAY. There are ways that we have both been blessed by family and friends and strangers that I can’t even recount them all. There are new fears and new worries, yes. But there are also renewed promises and faith and knowledge that through it all, we were blessed.

I can’t thank everyone who was praying for us enough. I heard from people far and wide and we felt your prayers. We felt peace. We felt love. I am so incredibly grateful.

Mike’s follow up appointment is tomorrow and I sure hope they are ready for me…I mean him! LOL Let’s just say I.HAVE.QUESTIONS. This post heart attack life is going to be different….we are going to learn from it and we are going to move forward with renewed hope that we can make it through anything with faith and with one another!

I will update again once we have that appointment with any new information that we learn and I am certain I’ll have more thoughts and emotions and yes…probably more questions!!!

Weight Loss Chronicles ~ TOC

24 Feb

I cannot tell you the number of times that I have been contacted by a friend from high school, a neighbor or a perfect stranger to ask for help as they decide whether or not to take the plunge and have Weight Loss Surgery.  It can be SO intimidating and stressful throughout the process and especially when thinking of maintaining a new life and a new relationship with food.  I am always SO happy to help and always direct them to this blog as well as my Instagram feed for WLS (username:  rnyftw) but I have noticed how hard it is to go back and reference each stage of my journey so I thought I’d link it all here to help anyone (and myself!) who may need to see a specific one:

WLS Chronicles – The Decision

WLS Chronicles – The Initial Visit

WLS Chronicles – Pre-Op Testing

WLS Chronicles – Pre-Op Diet

WLS Chronicles – Surgery Day!

WLS Chronicles – Post-Op Diet (Days 1 -3 Clear Liquids)

WLS Chronicles – Post-Op Diet (Days 4 -13)

WLS Chronicles – Emotions

WLS Chronicles – HELP!!! (links to apps, and support talk)

WLS Chronicles – Post-Op Diet (Days 14 – 20) ~ Semi-Solids

WLS Chronicles – Post-Op Diet (Day 21/Week 4 – Day 41/Week 6) ~ Soft Foods

WLS Chronicles – Post-Op Diet (Day 42/Week 7 – Three Months Post-Op)

WLS Chronicles ~ Week 14 Update

WLS Chronicles ~ Dining Out

WLS Chronicles ~ Maintaining

I hope that makes it easier for everyone to reference the stage they are looking for!  If you have ANY questions beyond what I’ve blogged out, please please please reach out to me!  My email is mrsjmejones@gmail.com and I truly do enjoy helping others in their journey as well!

 

Promises, Promises

23 Feb

I am so human.  SO human.  I am also SO thankful that Jesus is much more than that.  That His promises are guarantees.  That said, I am going to promise you that I am going to update you, in due time, on all of the changes that have gone on in my life in the last year.  I will try to follow through with this but I will likely fail….but I do PROMISE you that I have good intentions!  If you have followed or known me long at all, you know that I love lists…so I will just jot down here the changes and come back here to link once I actually type it out!

In 2017 – we……..

  1. Sold our NC home.
  2. Lived with my Mom and Dad (and without my hubby!!!) for two months.
  3. Moved to Texas.
  4. Road tripped to Austin, Houston, Waco, Arlington, and Galveston.
  5. Lived in an apartment for several months.
  6. Started an amazing Bible study, through Community Bible Study.
  7. Continued weight loss.
  8. Built a house.  An amazing, beautiful, creation if I do say so myself!  (see #10 for referenced IG acct to see pics)
  9. Started backyard projects.
  10. Started a home decor Instagram page (due to that nagging fear of my friends/family growing tired of me sharing home stuff) at http://www.instagram.com/sweetcharmhouse
  11. Visited NC in July and December.
  12. Stepped up our prayer life.

SO, happy Friday and have a great weekend!  I’m going to work on my blog catch up posts!  🙂

 

WLS Chronicles ~ Week 14 Update

6 Apr
I have not posted lately about my progress with weight loss surgery so I thought I would while I have a few minutes on my hands this morning! It has been 14 weeks and 2 days since my life changed in a major way. I am only on ONE medication now (which I can’t shake – you know thyroid meds NEVER go away once you start!!). I have more energy than I can ever remember in my life. My diet and meal planning still are a huge part of my day. I have been able to dine out with friends more lately and even last night had dinner at a friend’s house. You wouldn’t believe the anxiety over worrying about hurting someone’s feelings by not eating a ton of their home cooked food. (Yes, I know not everyone would have this anxiety but when you are someone who is super sensitive you are more sensitive about other’s feelings and some of y’all just should thank me right now for that because SOME people just don’t care about anyone’s feelings! I digress…) However, we had a wonderful time and I explained and we were done with that!
I have kissed blood pressure and diabetes meds goodbye. I have kissed 80 pounds goodbye. I have kissed lots of foods goodbye. I have kissed LOTS of clothes goodbye (5-6 sizes down!). I have welcomed new friendships made by this journey. I’ve enjoyed exercising which I have really never EVER looked forward to before. I have adapted to my new tummy and my new emotions and new habits….and I have even turned into the most COLD NATURED PERSON I KNOW. (Well besides Shannon :)) EVEN IN TEXAS! LOL I have felt stress about new things. Not eating enough protein, drinking water too quickly, having 1 too many carbs… It is crazy to think of the differences in my diet and lifestyle. There is absolutely no way to tell you in words the emotions and pure joy that I have in my heart over this opportunity. The coolest thing is that people have reached out, privately, to ask questions. To get advice. To tell me they have been considering it. To dig deeper. To get support. So while I’m already in my feels over here, let me tell you that I am OVERJOYED to support others and their personal decisions to make changes to better themselves. Whether that means surgery or diet changes or lifestyle changes – if it makes you better….if it makes you live longer, if it makes you able to enjoy your family more, if it makes you healthier, DOOOOO IT.  Will everyone agree with you?  NOPE!  I can tell you that firsthand.  Side note, don’t get me wrong….those that don’t agree with you likely won’t tell you that to your face…but the whispers happen.  The “why didn’t she just exercise and eat better” questions….the “wow, that was drastic” conversations…the people who just act like it didn’t happen (that’s by far my favorite….hahahahaha….like, do you NOT notice I look crazy different?  now you just seem weird.)  Honestly I used to be offended by the thought of someone not agreeing but then I read a few memes (HA HA HA!) and felt better.  You know the ones…
Also, the support of family and friends means a TON. It is still second to my relationship with Jesus. He is the ONLY reason I have been successful in this because I AM WEAK. Alone, I’d be searching out some Shipley’s Donuts right now. But here I sit, coffee with Splenda & sugar free creamer in hand. Happy. Blessed. Grateful.

WLS Chronicles – HELP!!!

28 Feb

There are a ton of resources for weight loss surgery.  The FIRST one you should listen to is of course your medical team.  But once you’re not at the physician’s office – where do you turn?  It was (and is) a combination of things for me, so I thought I’d share.

APPS

  • Baritastic – This is a great food journaling tool.  You can also set reminders here for taking meds, for drinking liquids/proteins, and for taking vitamins.  I hear that some doctor’s will be integrating with it in the future so they can receive your activity and monitor while suggesting/commenting on your habits/choices.  I think that would be WONDERFUL.  Accountability is an amazing tool.
  • Monitor Your Weight – This is a very simple app that tracks your weight.  You enter your starting weight and target weight (height, age, gender) and it provides BMI info.  When you weigh, you log your stats and it calculates your new BMI, pounds left to target, how much you’ve lost…etc.  VERY simple but the graphing and info is probably my favorite of all weight loss apps (and I’ve tried SO MANY!)
  • BariatricPal – This is more of a forum-based app that connects you to others going through the same experiences.  To be honest, I didn’t use this one much as it has SO MANY members and forums that it was overwhelming for me.
  • Lose It – I have used this app for years.  The free version is pretty simple and great for food journaling and weight tracking.  Personally I used this one for a while until I found Baritastic and just found that it served the purposes of tracking protein better for me.

There are tons of other apps but the above are the ones that I found worked for my journey.  In addition, many surgeons have their own app as well with recipes and tips!

 

SUPPORT

  • My number one support was prayer.  Knowing that I was praying for God’s will to be done in my life and my health has helped me more than anything else.  When you are submitting to His will, you are not praying to lose weight or to be approved for the surgery…you are praying for God’s will be to revealed in your life.  You are giving it all to God and, in doing so, knowing that He will equip you for the journey He sets you on.
  • Support also came in from my family in a huge way.  My husband and I talked at length about this and we prayed together too.  My parents and my in-laws all were rooting me on.  My kids were all excited about their Mom feeling better and ready to help however they could.  My closest friends knew I was going to start the process and were with me all along the way.  It has been wonderful to have cheerleaders in this process.  I can’t imagine having someone be negative about this decision (to my face).
  • A very unexpected resource for me was Instagram.  I was up late one night and decided to search “#weightlosssurgery” and “#gastricbypass”.  I was AMAZED!  Other users were sharing what they had eaten on different phases of the pre and post op diets…they were sharing their solutions for pain/pressure/loneliness/protein.  It was ALL just what I needed.  I quickly created a separate account for this purpose and am still very active in it.  (My username is:  rnyftw – follow me to see what I’m eating or how I’m progressing!)
  • A recipe source OF COURSE was Pinterest.  I don’t even think you can say the word “recipe” without thinking of Pinterest anymore!  You can search by the type of surgery or the phase of diet you are on.  I created my own post-surgery board so I could easily pin to it.  It was very helpful.
  • There a zillion blogs on weight loss surgery.  The one I found the most helpful was The World According to Eggface.  She is 11 years out from her surgery and has been amazingly successful.  She offers pics of her “bento box lunches” and recipes galore.  She is the creator of the famous “ricotta bake” that SO many of us enjoyed during the pureed phase of life!  She also includes any tools/appliances that she acquired before or after surgery to make life easier and that helped me so much!  (BUY A MINI FOOD PROCESSOR, TRUST ME!!!)

I hope the above list helps know where to turn if you have questions, need inspiration or need to vent.  The combination of all of them have helped me through this journey more than I can say!

 

So. Excited.

10 Jan

So, as I have stated more than once, my primary purpose of blogging is to remember.  To capture my feelings about something.  So, I’d be a fool to not capture the way I’m feeling about my plans on Saturday.  My weekends are usually full of sleeping in, hanging out with the family, eating out, shopping, enjoying my kids….which is great!  However, there are times when I have an actual PLAN (that is usually WEEKS in the making) and that is the case this Saturday.  I am going to meet my childhood friend and we get to hang out all day.  I am SO SO SO SO SO excited.  We see each other rarely at this point..and the funny part is that I seriously feel that we have more in common NOW than when we were TEENS.  She’s got a funny, wacky, witty sense of humor and can always make me laugh.  She can also make me want to Bible study like nobody’s business.  I don’t get to talk to her nearly enough but I feel like I can pick up the phone anytime and know that we can continue on like we’ve talked every day.  Every morning that I take my son to school, I drive by the street she grew up on and I think of times together as teenagers.  Talking about boys and teachers and the popular girls at school that we weren’t close with.  It’s amazing how we could have basically foretold our futures then!  LOL

I’m betting I have a follow up blog to this…complete with pics…in remembrance!

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