What a week and I say that with such gratefulness for God’s grace and protection amidst a pretty crazy week!
Sunday night during church, I started to feel really off. I was extremely warm and felt sweat beading up on my forehead and dripping from my core. I walked out, and I could feel my heart was so out of whack. I knew it would probably pass, so I waited just a little bit before going to the ER, and it did pass, so we didn’t go. I had those episodes at the hospital when I was being put on that new med in August, and though I’m on a different med now, I was worried this was yet another side effect. But I haven’t had an episode since, and I am SO THANKFUL for that. I got really nervous because of all weeks, though I know my health is more important, I had way too much going on!
Tuesday, I spoke at my alma mater, Kuyper College, to a social work class about my story and heart disease. I was able to do this last year as well, and it’s something I always look forward to! Heart disease can happen to ANYONE and though I’m not a “normal” patient, I still feel there is a lot of educating that can occur. So thankful for the opportunity and grace that I didn’t have any more heart issues leading up to it.
Wednesday it was Dan’s 38th birthday!
Thursday I had another speaking engagement at a local church, where I was able to just share the story God has given me. It was such a wonderful group to talk with, and each opportunity, I’m thankful for the grace to do it. It’s definitely not my own doing because otherwise I’d be curled up in a ball, on a chair, nervous out of my mind to get up in front of people to speak. So it’s only by God’s grace!
Also on Monday, I picked up a dear friend from Minnesota, and after spending the afternoon together, were able to attend the GEMS Celebration Dinner at the Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids together! It was such an incredible day in so many ways! So great catching up and picking up right where we left off, but also being able to attend this dinner together, sure created some lasting memories! Her husband and his business were the ones who supported the actual event, so it was fun to be a tagalong and truly see what GEMS is all about!
Mazy was just as excited to see Megan!! I feel like they could almost be related…
So the speaker at the dinner was Bob Goff. He’s written a few books and is just an amazing person. Talk about leaving it all on the table and living life with no shame! He is a man full of love for God and let me tell you, it’s contagious! Meanwhile, Megan and I sat down at a little table and who sits down by us? Bob himself. Wasn’t quite sure what to say, and even though he’d never call himself a celebrity, I still got nervous! But his first question was, “How do you know each other?” Perfect gateway into easy conversation. I’m going to have to remember that one! Then we decided we should probably get our picture taken with him!
Even though I am not involved in GEMS, listening to Bob speak and hearing the message behind GEMS, reminded me of what a blessing it is to not only be involved with youth, but to be in a church where we have such amazing support! Even though ministry isn’t always easy, it’s hard to imagine our life without it! So thankful for the mission God has given us. And thankful for a friend to experience this evening with:
Not only was Monday an evening filled with so many blessings, but then in the middle of the week, we received a LARGE box with the most thoughtful and generous craft ideas for Mazy! I have a friend in Colorado who has been helping me with ideas of how to help Mazy through the struggles of me having advanced heart failure, and she so generously sent Mazy a box with liquid water color, droppers, MASSIVE coffee filters, and finger painting paper! I could do a separate blog post just about this friend. Mazy couldn’t WAIT to dig into it all and start creating! I am learning that sensory experiences are so healthy and how God created his world with so many sensory experiences! And something as simple as a coffee filter, liquid water color, a dropper, and water, can create hours of fun:
I had never seen a coffee filter so big in my life:
On Saturday, Mazy and I headed over to her cousin’s house…we were supposed to have one last swim day, but we got rained out, but Mazy seemed to not care. She still got to see her cousins and become best friends with the chickens. It shocks me how comfortable she was around them, thanks to Dutch Villege – there you can go in the pen with the chickens. Chickens aren’t always the nicest of creatures, but Mazy didn’t care:
They started flying, probably from annoyance of Mazy being in there, but again, Mazy didn’t care, and thought it was pretty cool:
Then the cows all had to come running and say hi:
Why not try roller skating for the first time too?
She was a whole lot more steady than I thought she would be!
Dan also left for a fishing trip with some friends, that he has done for the past 11 or so years, for the weekend! He always has such an amazing time and thankfully he was able to catch a few good-sized fish too!
This coming week is a bit busy at first, but things will start slowing down, which is probably good. This new med I was put on after an ER stay, has been making me so fatigued. Not a sleep the day away tired, but just such low energy. This med has a “black box” warning, which is the most serious warning from the FDA, meaning it can have some very serious side effects, such as organ damage of the lungs, liver, and eyes, but also can make the irregular heart beat worse. Of course it carries with it numerous other side effects, which I am feeling, but it’s balancing the weight of it helping vs. living with the side effects.
I know heart failure has its ups and downs, but whew! It sure isn’t easy sometimes. At the dinner on Monday, Bob Goff talked about a woman who in one day, found out she had a serious and deadly heart issue and needed a transplant in 24 hours, otherwise she would die. Well, someone had passed away and she received their heart. And now, she is scaling mountains. I couldn’t help but tear up, wishing that I could do the same. Envious? A bit. Trying not to be, but it’s hard to not want that too. Yet I know God is painting this picture for my life and though I don’t understand every brush stroke or see the big picture, I know in the end, it will be beautiful because GOD is the artist, not me.
So here’s to hopefully an uneventful week!