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Year Three, Day 221: What a Difference a Day Makes!

Prednisone, I love you!

However, I do hope this is the last course I need to take. Apparently you have many bad side effects.

But I coughed much less last night. And I woke up filled with energy and most of all: HOPE!

Looking back on last night's post, I admit I was depressed. I was also humbled and humiliated.

The performance at the homeless shelter left me feeling inept, left out, insecure and less than.

The shelter itself was lovely. The staff friendly and accomodating. The facilities clean and new. The piano - a decent grand piano. What's not to like, right?

I was filled with toxic negativity.  Plus, I am not part of the group. I used to be. But now I am a sub. And my good friend who directs the group is in Russia. Tragically both her parents passed away a few weeks ago.

I've played with two of the three members before.  But the acoustics were weird. I could hardly hear a word they said. They were sitting in a little group off to the side. Me, all by my lonesome at the piano.

I was sickened by the secular, forced jolly Christmas carols. I suggested we not do "White Christmas" or "Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow".  A lady from a homeless shelter previously told me it was inconsiderate to play these for the homeless. They live on the street! They do not want snow!

But my suggestion brought me blank stares from the others.

I did not play very well.

I wanted to crawl in a cave and die. I felt sick and tired. I wish I had cancelled, but I wanted to honor my commitment.

Coincidentally (or not), I came across a FB post from Lysa TerKeurst last night. I have read several of her books.  She is a Christian author and speaker.  Her style is very down to earth. She shares her struggles in a way that really resonates with me.

Last  night,  was feeling very bad about myself.  I opened up Facebook, and hers was the first post I saw:

"Do you have a friend or loved one who finds themself processing the deep pain of rejection?
Rejection may be a delay, a distraction, or even a devastation for a season, but it's not our final destination. We are destined for a love that can never be shaken, taken, tarnished, or diminished. With Jesus, we are forever held, completely loved and always invited in.
Oh how thankful I am for this truth! It is hope God shared with me in the midst of my own pain as I penned the message of my book Uninvited. Maybe it is hope someone in your life needs to hear too.
If you read Uninvited and it helped you, would you consider sharing the gift of healing you experienced with a friend? And when you order for a copy of Uninvited by December 20th, you’ll also receive special “thank you” gifts for your own journey!
Find out more here today:"

I realized that I had the book Uninvited.  I never finished it. It was a bit too painful for me at the time.  I told myself before I fell asleep last night, that maybe I would find some comfort in her words.

As I started my day, I noticed the book right away on my bookshelf.  I pulled it out and sat on my bed. I opened it up to the last page I read, and the words leapt out at me:

" A sense of belongingness is crucial to our well-being...The lack of belongingness causes various undesirable effecvts, including a decrease in the levels of health, happiness, and adjustment". (Uninvited: Living Loved When You feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely By Lysa TerKeurst).

I sat there, inhaling the next two chapters, underlining several sentences on each page.

Sometimes God speaks to me quite boldly. And I have learned to pay attention.  I put the book in my backpack, to study more over lunch.

But this morning, I felt motivated.  Revitalized. Probably due in part to the Prednisone. But I also had the whole day off. I didn't have anything set in my schedule until this evening, when I had agreed to meet with the basses from the choir I accompany. We are working on Bach's Magnificat.  There are a lot of notes to learn!

I really enjoy our sectionals. I have been accompanying the choir for about 20 years now. This is one group where I do feel like I belong!

Having survived my not so successful performance from last night, I felt relieved.  I also had more energy because I slept so well. So I decided to spend the morning cleaning, doing laundry, and hooping.

I had downloaded some books last night regarding COPD, Asthma, the connection with GERD and nutrition. I believe I may have done some damage to my esophogus years ago with my Diet Coke habit. Apparently soda, especially colas can do a lot of damage.  GERD can cause mucus which builds up in the lungs and contributes to asthma and bronchitis.  I also have allergies. I know I have hay fever and may also be allergic to dust.  Which is why I suffer year round. Because I do have the collapsed alveoli, I realize that GERD is not my only issue.

But in the book The Chronic Cough Enigma, the author, Dr. Jamie Koufman recommends not eating within three to four hours of bedtime.  When I first started really focusing on losing weight, I had a eating cut off time of 7:00 p.m. I have strayed from that in the last few months, due to stress.  So I am resurrecting my 7:00 p.m. cut off time!

He also recommends cutting out fried food, high-fat meats, onion, tomatoes, hot sauce, citrus fruit, fruit juice, soda, beer, liquor, wine, mints and chocolate.

After reading his book cover to cover, I decided to give his method a try. His book is well written. The beauty of his "Two-Week Induction Reflux Diet" (Grilled/baked/broiled fish, shellfish, and poultry; All vegetables except onions, tomatoes, garlic and peppers; rice, oatmeal, tofu; melons, bananas, ginger, honey, chamomile tea; soy, or almond milk, alkaline water pH >8; one cup of black tea per day, no alcohol, soft drinks or eating within four hours of bed. Note: I did not include breads, grains, cereals in keeping with my gluten free diet) is that I can get all of the food he recommends at the little Asian buffet, "Best Buffet" I go to occasionally. It's only $7.50. Today I had white rice, a small serving of sauteed chicken, green beans, mushrooms, carrots, corn and tofu-seafood soup. For dessert I had honeydew melon and jello. I had one cup of black tea and a glass of water which I drank after I ate my meal.

My tummy feels very happy.  I believe my diet was way too acidic for too long.

I am coughing less today. My energy is good. And I am comforted by the words I am reading.

I also found out that my little buffet is open on Christmas day. So is the movie theater at Clackamas Town Center.  I am excited to have a plan. I am going to see the new Star Wars movie, then have a reflux friendly lunch at Best Buffet.  My daughter and her husband and Baby Gracie are spending the day with his family. She said they will pick me up afterwards and I can come home with them to hang out with my granddaughter.

I think this will be the best Christmas ever!

(As long as I don't have to play "Silver Bells" on the piano again!)
Just kidding. I think I can handle it now.  Just not "There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays" or "Frosty the Snowman!"

Ah, but I will survive. And I am smiling as I type this.  It's interesting how my perspective has changed in 24 hours.  I feel better physically, emotionally and spiritually.  So I am really not as annoyed as I was last night.  

I need to remember that I am a grandma. Almost 56 years old.  I hope I still have many years, but it's ok to be a bit more gentle with myself.  I don't need to be going full speed ahead like I did in my 30's and 40's.  I can slow down and enjoy the life I have instead of trying to become someone else. 

I'm kind of strange. But I like me!


That is a good way to end a blog!

I will talk to you tomorrow!
Here is today's hooping video. Day 184!




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