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July 30, 2001 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia which had and would continue to change the rest of my life. For 6 months before hand I had sever pain throughout my body, unable to walk on my own, and had seen numerous doctors that didn’t know what was wrong.

 Fibromyalgia, like many other chronic pain disorders can wreak havoc on and individual’s life. On the hot July morning all I remember was that was the end of my life. Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness that once you have it you will have to learn to live with it for the rest of you life. Those words still haunt me to this day “the rest of my life.” The more I read about what I would face in the coming months and years scared me. I got to the point as I had no energy or strength to set up in bed, more less move one muscle to get out, think why does God still have for me in this life on earth.

Days got dark and lonely as I began to lose touch with friends. Their life kept going and they began to graduate and start families. My life stood still and I didn’t know what shape I would be in the following day.

 I read an article just the other day that said one of the overlooked causes of this chronic condition is dysfunction in the nervous system. With this being said some of the symptoms are: Episodes of depression/anxiety, difficulty  scanning pages while reading -check, Difficulty adding or subtracting, difficulty expressing what you want to say – check – at times, difficulty understanding what others say to you – check, loss of short or long term memory, loss of sensation (numbness) – check, use to but not much any more, changes in handwriting – check, more irritable or angry, problems with balance – check, tripping or dropping things – CHECK (At this point I began to cry. Hint- Fallen Girl), and the list continues.

 God has healed my body, though there are still little things I do that I hold my breath because I know that it isn’t the normal Karen 9 years ago. I might laugh it off around people but deep down I start seeing it being the beginning of a horrible roller coaster ride all over again. I have to have faith that God has a plan and there is a reason he brought me through this and I am on the other side and trust he healed me for a reason.

 While I was participating in the Country Music ½ Marathon a couple a weeks ago every step on the course I was reminded that God was with me. I kept seeing images of me in a wheelchair just 5 years ago and in hospital beds not being able to move. It was my Great Physician that allowed me to finish the ½ Marathon strong and He was with me every step.

Running     Marathon

I thank my Lord for all he has brought me through and where he will lead me. My prayer today, on this Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, has been for this story and all the others who are suffering with FMS.

Elmer’s Glue is the all-time best selling glue in America.

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Elmer’s has been around since 1960 and if you wherever a child I know you had a bottle (or stick) at some point in your life. 

I had a friend tell me the other day how you can use Elmer’s Glue as Biore Strips to clean out your pours.  A small bottle of Elmer’s cost less than $1, which is allot cheaper than $6 for 12 Biore Strips. I think I might have to try it. This must be fairly popular. There are several videos on YouTube and even found this disclaimer on a webpage.

Elmer’s Glue disclaimer: When using Elmer’s Glue as a beauty treatment, one should make sure they are not allergic to the product. While I don’t know the statistics of “Elmer’s Glue allergy,” there is a chance that someone, somewhere, is allergic to the stuff. Also, I would like to add that when applying glue to your face, it is not advisable to apply glue anywhere near the eyes to prevent the possibly hazardous “Glued Eye Syndrome.” Likewise for the mouth area.

What are some things you do with Elmer’s Glue besides using it for it real purpose?

  

 

 

Since I’ve been going to CrossPoint I have been involved in several small groups and last fall I began leading.  The Devil really discouraged me and I had made up my mind that I would take a break this winter from teaching.  But God kept telling me I really need to lead a group this time around. Finally, I said I wasn’t going to let my discouragement let me down and I would lead again this winter. 

I have to say God knew what He was doing to have me open my home up to some amazing women of CrossPoint.  Yesterday, God reminded me through Blake how

important community is.  He preached on the second part of our mission statement, Irrevocably Committed to One Another.  In the past when I needed support I always knew I could count on my community group/women’s Bible study class/Sunday School to be by my side.

After the message God laid on my heart to call a lady that signed up for my small group but hasn’t been able to make it out. She is 9 months pregnant and having her first child as a single mother. I finally slowed down last night around 8 I gave her a call to see how she was doing.  When she answered she said she was so happy that I called.  She had been having contractions all day and hadn’t got out of bed.  We talked for awhile, and I tried to giver her encouragement from one woman that has never been through this to one that is scared to death.  She promised that she would keep me posted, so now I wait by my phone to hear that she is either on her way to deliver or is a mother to a beautiful baby girl.  We joked that we might have to move our small group to the maternity ward tomorrow night.

I have already seen through this group in just the past 3 weeks the following…

 

 

 

“Carry each other’s burdens…” Galatians 6:2

  • “Encourage one another and build each other up…” Thessalonians 5:11
  • “Be[ing] completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Be kind and compassionate to one another – forgiving each other…” Ephesians 4:2,32

I believe this is true community. God has done some amazing things in this group.  I can’t wait to see what He has in store for the next 6 weeks of our study and beyond.

How have community groups/small Bible studies affected or changed your life?

I just got back from a much needed vacation to Orange Beach celebrating Dinger’s 30th Birthday.  It was so great to be able to go lie on the beach and not worry about anything for a few days. 

 

                        

         

 

Jellyfish brings back bad childhood memories for me and there was a ton of them on the beach this past weekend.  Here is one some boys laid out on the beach.

 

Something God reviled to me during my trip

I am currently reading Rob Bell’s book Sex God.  In the book Rob talks about your sexuality.  While on my morning walk on the beach God point out something to me that I have struggled with my whole life and reasons why I don’t always feel comfortable in my own skin at times.  I am a pretty self-confident woman but I do struggle at times as most of you do as well.  During this trip I believe it was the first time ever (or at least in a long time) that I didn’t worry at all what other are think.  I was able to feel comfortable in my skin.  I didn’t have to hide the true me.  Thank you Rachel, Jes, and Dinger for being a support team and an encourager.

Do you feel comfortable in your own skin?

Thank you God for giving us this beautiful earth…” a prayer of Melissa’s 3 year old son this past Sunday.

I am amazed at what all God has created for us.  This month I am teaching about God’s creation and yesterday it was great to hear the prayers that my 3-5 year olds prayed, thanking God for giving us light and dark, earth, and our families.  This past weekend I had the chance to experience some of his creations as I went camping with three amazing girls. We seem to always enjoy having girl’s night but this one I would say tops them all off. 

Friday, we left at 7, headed towards Rock Island.  God showed his presence the whole way.  We arrived at the campsite at 10…an hour before the park closed, Grace #1.  After finally finding the park we kept driving around trying to find a campsite.  After driving through the entire campsite and there being no vacancies we came across one that was reserved for Saturday but not Friday.  We jumped out took down the reserved sign and claimed the last campsite of the night, Grace #2.  Let me say, it would have been a long trip home if God didn’t provide us a place to pitch our tent.  This is where Grace #3 comes. We four girls were able to pitch a tent and start a fire in the pitch black with a total of 30 minutes.  We are GOOD.  We enjoyed the campfire Friday night and didn’t want it to die. “Just one more log” was said over and over until we were down to our last log.  The girls decided to save the last log of Saturday morning as they wanted to see how I was going to boil water for my hot coco over the campfire.  Let me say, God provided again.  Saturday morning we were able to find enough sticks and limbs to have a pretty good fire.  Then Grace #4 occurred, our next camping neighbor saw us poor girls search for wood to keep us warm so he gave up 4 of his family logs for us.  Something about camping brings the good out of people.  And lastly just for this guy, God provided one more Grace for me, Grace #5, I made the whole trip without a fall. 🙂

    

 

I am so excited as this weekend I get to experience another great creation of God’s.  I’m headed to the beach Thursday morning.  I’ll post once I get back on that beautiful side as well.

 

So what creations are you thankful for? 

The new session of The Biggest Losser started tonight and I have decided to kick some butt while it is on.  I’m Challenging my self to at least lose 30lb this session.  One thing is missing though…I don’t have a Bob or Jillian.  Here is my challenge, who is going to step up to the plate and be my Bob and Julian?  I need some that will push me when I don’t want to be pushed any more. Someone that will make me mad but at the end I will still love.  Someone that when I wake up in the morning I’m sore. 

So, which one of my  readers will take the challenge?

**Fair Warning…This is a long blog.

What were you doing August 24, 2007.  This time last year I was unloading a Uhaul in 100 degree weather.  That is right, I was moving to Nashville a year ago today.  Had great newlyweds that actually left work for a few hours to help my dad unload the big stuff and setup my washer and dryer. Thanks again Austin’s.

Some people ask why I moved to Nashville. Nashville is somewhere where I always wanted to live. *As a youth I think it was because I wanted season tickets to Opryland.* Well, there is no Opryland anymore but as I got old I still wanted to move to Nashville so last year as I was in between jobs I decided to take a leap of faith and search for something in Nashville.  It was a great time in my life to make a move since I wasn’t tied down in a relationship.  I moved here only knowing one person, my cousin, and she just got married so it was really like I knew no one. When I first moved here I will say Lindsay did show me around to some of the hang out spots.

 

 

Here are some stories that stand out to me over the past year.  Hope you guys enjoy them.

 

CrossPoint

I get asked all the time I how I heard about CrossPoint Community Church?  Well it all started actually a year ago today, my move in day.  Wait.  This is a pretty long story in it self.  I think I just might make it a post in itself.

 

The Mix

The Mix is a singles’ group at CrossPoint for 20’s and 30’s.  Some call it my cult but they are great bunch of people.

 

When I started CrossPoint I knew I wanted to get involved in a singles group since I had just moved to Nashville and didn’t have any friends here.  It is a great way to meet people that share the same interest. So I think after the first time I attended CP I signed up to be on The Mix mailing list.  It wasn’t a week or two after going there I get an email that the group was going to go Mini Golfing, so I decided to join them.  It was so out of my comfort zone to go meet a group of people that I didn’t know and hang out with them all night (literally, it was ALL night) but I went ahead and went. 

 

I set in my car for awhile just waiting to see a group of people in there 20’s or 30’s but only saw about three girls, one now friends with, go to some chairs outside but never saw anyone else join them so I knew, or thought,  they weren’t in our group.  So I get enough courage up to inside to meet everyone think they were all just inside.  I walk in and there were these two guys talking, clean cut guy, and then one all tattooed up. YEP, I knew then that they had to be part of the group I was meeting up with.

 

After the guys asked me tones of questions others started coming in and the girls outside ended up joining us as well.  We played 18 holes and then everyone wanted to go get something to eat. So we decided to go to Friday’s and have cupcakes to celebrate some girl’s (which is one of my best friends now) birthday.

 

Rachel, one of the leaders, states, “I remember how quiet you were (little did we know) and being really worried you didn’t have a good time and wouldn’t come
back.”  Only if she and the rest of them only knew then what they know now!  I had a great time that night. 

 

 

Work

This was how I actually got to Nashville.  I started working at Hemophilia Health Services on August 27th. For all that is wondering what type of company it is, we are specialty pharmacy for the Hemophilia community. It has been a great place for me as they have given me many opportunities to use and strengthen my skills.

 

A month after I started there was a new manager that started and we turned the office upside down.  Not really but at least we like to think so.  Amy (would have a link for her but she doesn’t like the whole social network on the Internet) loves to tell the story of how we began to hang out together. Since she tells the story better than I do I will let you ask her.

 

Amy and I cold at the Titan’s Game…they lost if you were wondering.

 

Hang Out Spot

If you have been around me anytime at all you would know that I enjoy going to Red Door.  It is a great place to people watch.  This is really the place where things began.  Rachel and Nicole invited me to meet up with them one night there.  We had so much fun.  I don’t know what made that night…Making new friends, the ricohets, or my famous graceful fall. 

 

Our first Night Out.  Ahh we love that place

Even if we are the only ones that do!

 

$2 Wing Nights

Piranaha’s was a place the small group I was in would always ended up at afterwards and meet up with some other friends.  We went the first time because someone told us that the wings were 10 cents.  Who could pass up 10 wings (minimal number) for $1?  Well when we got there the price had gone up…now wings for 20 cents.  Still not a bad deal.  It was always fun to set eat wings and watch the activities on 2nd ave.  Let me tell you there are quite a lot of things that happen on 2nd.

 

Actually, one night I was part of the activities on 2nd.  Yes, I found a really good parking spot down by the police station.  Once all of us split off to go to our cars I found that mine was no longer there.  I was so upset. Someone just stolid my car!  Called Rachel to come pick me up once she found her car.  As I waited I was reading a sign that was on a pole where I was parked. It read, “Police Parking Only, All other cars will be towed”  That is right my car was impounded and it is 11 pm. and I just wanted to get home.  To make a long story short my boss drove me the next day to get my car.  The $2 wing night ended up cost me a lot more and taking the money I was saving for Christmas. 

 

Christmas Parties

Yes, Parties!

 

First, The Mix was looking for a place to hold the Christmas Party.  Usually the Mix has an average of 15 people that show up for activities.  My place isn’t a very large place but I though it was big enough to hold 15 or so people.  Yeah, it was or so.  I found out that I can fit 30 people in my living room at one time. Now I’m not saying that all 30 can fit in there compfortably but 30 people can fit. 

 

       

 

We were kind of packed. Good thing there wasn’t a fire.

 

The other party was at Jessica, Dinger, and Anna’s place.  These former roomies throw good parties. This was a party we had to dress up for and let me tell you, I always love a good event where I can put on my party dress. 

 

     

         The Party Planners                            

                         The Partiers

 

 Okay so this blog is so much long than I ever meant for it to be.  I’m going to just end it here and post some pictures of what else went down this past year.

 

The Mix Camping Trip.  No guys would come

because we were going to sleep in tents.

 

First Hockey Game

 

Cosmo Bowling with The Mix

 

Celebrating Jes and Rachel’s Birthday

 

 

                       

Team Dinger… I run for the Party 5K                   Crawfish Boil anyone?

 

 

          4th of July on the River Front

 

 

 Highballs & Hydrangeas 

 

 

          Game Night

 

 
 

 

I had to share with you a new blog that I have found that I’m addictive to.  Hereyou find some great unique gift ideas. Mmm…Christmas is coming along. Go check out the blog and let me know what you like.  Several items are posted every day so I’m sure you can find something you like.

Happy Shopping 🙂

If you need a gift idea for me...here you go ;)

I was talking to my mom last night and she was telling me about a phone call she got that broke my heart and brought back so many terrible memories.

A woman had called and said that Pam, my beautician before I moved, had given her my mother’s number and she should call and talk to her.  This woman has a 20 year old daughter that is attending the University of Kentucky that got sick in the middle of the school year and had to come home and take incompletes in her courses. She can’t think clearly which affects her from setting in class, studying, and even working.  This girl has gone to chiropractors, message therapists, and tones and tones of doctors.  Her final diagnosis is FIBROMYALGIA.  *My heart drops*

Where does she go from here?  She wants to finish school, she has an apartment in Lexington that she has to work to pay for, and her parents insurance says they will not carry her if she does not go to school. *terrible memories* Let me tell you I know how much she needs insurance. When you are taking over 20 pills a day and having doctors and hospital bills, you have to have insurance.

 

This girl’s mother called because Pam saw me go through the same things.  Pam saw so many similarities in my story in this girl’s. Many times Pam would help me from my old lady walker into the salon chair, listen to me mumble because it took all I had to just think of words more less vocalize them.  Pam saw me at my low points but she also got to see me looking and feeling like myself again, pain and drug free.

This mother, like any loving mother, wanted to know what she could do for her daughter.  She would go to the end of the earth to see her daughter well again. This daughter has goals to accomplish and dreams.  This mother wants to be able to see her daughter laugh with her friends again, see her walk across the stage to accept her diploma at the University of Kentucky, help plan for a wedding.

My mother told her how much our two stories were alike. Mom told her about the chiropractor that I went to and the home rehab that I do that turned things around.  I had people all over that were praying for me.  People that I have never meet committed to pray for my healing.  I know God lead me to this doctor and my savor is the great physician. I had a professor that said to me, “Wouldn’t it be great if you could have a picture of everyone that prayed for your healing.”  I know that will never happen though I try to imagine what that would look like.

**I ask that you will remember this girl and her family in your prayers.  I don’t know what type of spiritual life they have and what type of prayer support they have but I do know how much it meant to me and that God can answer prays even if you know the person or not***

 

Many of my goals and dreams for my life have changed.  A few months ago my pastor did a series called Plan B.  In this series God showed me that the past 8 years was part of his Plan A.  God knew before he created me that I would have FMS, that it would take me 7 years instead of the planned 4 years to walk across that stage at Campbellsville University to receive my diploma, that I would not be married by 24, and that I would have a testimony of healing.  Though I have shifted to my Plan B, my Plan A was never as great as the life I am living now.

I am a person that always wonders what if.  What if I didn’t get sick? What if I graduated in 4 years? Would I be living in Nashville?  Would I have the job I have now?  Would I be attending CrossPoint?  Would I have met all the great friends I have met?  As my niece would say, “Maybe yes, maybe no.” 

I might not be able to answer those questions but I know I can answer one question. I know that I am thankful for what I have gone through. 

I did not mean for this entry to be this long and I will try and keep most of my postings short.  

What is breaking your heart today?

What are some things that have changed your Plan A?