The last full week of July has arrived – can you believe it? Please pardon my absence over the past 10 days, but some rather big issues arose, taking us on an emotional roller-coaster of ups and downs.
It began two Saturdays ago, on July 18th, when my husband Dave and I enjoyed attending one of our favorite annual events, the Yarmouth Clam Festival in Yarmouth, Maine. This year happened to be the 50th event, from its origin in 1965. It’s a 3-day event every third weekend in July featuring food vendors (especially with seafood like clams and lobsters, as well as favorites like fried dough!), carnival rides, entertainment, and nearly 200 arts and crafts booths (my favorite part!)
After that nice time away, early in the evening, I discovered one of our beautiful cats, Smokey, lying between the wall and the washing machine after he had used the litter box. He was very lethargic, his eyes looked really bizarre, and he just didn’t seem right. As far as we knew, he was fine that morning and had joined the other cats at their normal feeding time. The cat we saw that evening was drastically different and looked very sick.
We called the emergency vet clinic and they told us to bring him in right away, because it could be a urinary blockage — something that could be fatal, especially for male cats. We had to borrow money from Dave’s dad to cover the charges for the emergency visit and procedure. Fortunately, we caught the problem in its early stages, and the vet was able to unblock Smokey and void his bladder with a catheter.
We saved money by taking him home and watching him ourselves, instead of leaving him there for observation. Dave stayed up with Smokey on Saturday night, and then I stayed up on Sunday night so Dave could get a good night’s sleep before a work day. We brought him to our regular vet on Monday (a week ago), and got a good report there that Smokey was already recovering well and had not reblocked. Each day he got a little better and back to normal, and a few days ago, he finally started eating and successfully using the litter box. So glad God even cares about our fur babies!
In the middle of nursing our sick kitty back to health, a much more serious life and death issue was going on as my dear friend Debbie’s 7-year-old grandson Drew was undergoing emergency surgery. Drew was diagnosed with leukemia three years ago. Back on July 20, while he and his family (Debbie’s daughter and son-in-law, and three children) were on vacation, Drew got sick with a lung infection, and the family had to cut their vacation short to get him back to their state’s children’s hospital and medical team familiar with Drew’s medical conditions. The sad reality was summed up in Drew’s dad’s words when he said Drew woke up in a hotel bed at the resort, and ended with him in a bed in the pediatric ICU.
One explanation from a family friend provided a summary back on the 20th for concerned family and friends: “Because Drew has a severely diminished immune system, this potentially life-threatening lung condition has, among other things, made his temperature skyrocket (104) and made it incredibly difficult for the poor little guy to breathe. His condition is continuing to decline and doctors are still struggling to determine what, exactly, is wrong. He will likely undergo a relatively risky surgical procedure in the next 24 hours in an effort to determine the cause of his condition.”
Drew underwent a bronchoscopy and lung biopsy – a complicated surgery that lasted over four hours – back on the 21st. He is now listed as critical (up from very critical) and stable, but still has machines keeping him alive, especially a *ventilator doing the breathing. He has remained heavily sedated, but occasionally rouses enough to open his eyes and look around, and communicate with his parents and others–precious moments, for sure! *[UPDATE: As of today, 7/27, Drew just came off the ventilator and is on a bipap machine now!]
The medical team is still reviewing results from tests and the biopsy to determine exactly what’s happening in his lungs and how best to treat Drew. While there has been some progress, please pray that God will heal this precious little boy, comfort and strengthen his parents, siblings, and other family members and friends–and give the medical team wisdom to ascertain the problem and the treatment.
There is a GoFundMe page set up to help the family cover the extraordinary medical costs associated with this event: Support the Woods. If you are on Facebook, look for the hash tag #PrayForDrew and you’ll get an idea of the amazing outpouring of love and support for this precious little boy and his family.
Special note to help my son Andrew out: He has recently published another book, entitled Flash Stories For Anytime. Here’s an excerpt from a review: “Flash Stories For Anytime will entertain and stimulate you as you touch on several characters in key events of their personal journeys. Buried inside are also snippets and references to some very well known folklore and classic novels that will pleasantly surprise many readers. Perfect for the coffee table or a long trip, you can read one story or all of them (if you’re flying international), and they’re timeless enough to be enjoyed again and again.” (N. Hodgdon)
It’s available at Amazon for only $8.99, or FREE for those with Kindle Unlimited! I know I’m biased, but after proofreading books for him–he really does write well and is very creative in his story-crafting skills!
It’s finally Friday again! And on this Friday afternoon, I had my follow-up appointment with the orthopedic surgeon who performed the “interposition arthroplasty of intercarpal joints” –in other words, the reconstructive surgery on my right basal thumb joint back on May 14th.
Two months post-surgery, my scar now looks better than that last photo- not as red-but I still have swelling in my hand and wrist, and don’t have full range of motion yet. So according to the doctor, I’m making progress, BUT…still looking at another 6 weeks, minimum, with this brace and therapeutic exercises.
But anyways, onto Friday’s devotions! I hope you have a nice day and an even nicer summer weekend!
“Lord, thank You that You have me in the place You want me just now…even if I got here through wrong choices or indifference or even rebellion, yet You knew my mistakes and sins before I ever existed, and You worked them into Your plan to draw me to Yourself, to mold and bless me, and to bless others through me.
Thank You that even if I’m here through the ill will or poor judgment of other people, all is well; for in Your sovereign wisdom, You are at work to bring about good results from all those past decisions, those past events beyond my control–good results both for me and for others.
So I rest in the fact that You have me in this place for this day, and I praise You that You will faithfully guide me throughout life to just where You want me to be, as I seek do Your will.”
–Ruth Myers in “31 Days of Praise”
“Go with the flow, and stop being anxious about things that may never happen. Faith means you have peace even when you don’t have all the answers.
Life will always be stressful if you constantly try to rearrange it. Grow in wisdom, and place high priority on keeping your peace in spite of any jams you get into today.”
–Joyce Meyer in “Starting Your Day Right”
-1- Sometimes, depending on circumstances and events in our lives, it’s really hard to see how all the pieces are going to fit together in God’s overall plan in our lives. But that’s where faith comes in, to trust that God has our best interests in His heart and some how, eventually, it will all work out for our good.
-2- Again, faith that God knows the end from the beginning and we’re better off to stay in peace rather than giving into anxiety and fear about the future.
So what are YOUR thoughts?
-1- Is it easy for you to trust your destiny to God?
-2- Do you struggle with anxiety and fear about the future?
Three Things Thursday! I have forgotten about that since I got back to blogging here, so today I will discuss three things–two, plus devotions! 😉
So here we go with three things this Thursday!
1- Quilt!! I’m slowly getting back to sewing and quilting (YAY!) and I just completed a second quilt in my own original design. I now have it listed for custom ordering on Etsy, in any color palette. This one is black, gray, and white.
2- Contract!! Just as I’m getting back into freelance work, I secured a new remote position that will be long-term (until next March). It’s another curriculum development job, which is my preferred area of concentration for work. Very exciting!
3-Devotions!! Today’s theme covered kindness, specifically positive thinking and how it affects us and others.
“You make a mistake when you have the opinion that your thoughts don’t affect other people. You can often feel the thoughts of others, and they can feel your thoughts.
Your thoughts not only affect others, they also affect you in a most amazing way. If you think loving thoughts, you become loving.
But often you think things about people that you would never say to them, not realizing that even your thoughts can affect them. It is virtually impossible to treat people in a loving way if you are thinking angry thoughts about them.
It is possible to sin in thought, word, or deed, so if you want to be a loving person, you must choose to think good thoughts about other people.
Learn to love with your thoughts–it will be good for you and others.”
–Joyce Meyer in “Ending Your Day Right”
“When encouraged to think positively, people often retort, ‘That is not reality.’
But the truth is that positive thinking can change your current reality. God is positive, and that is His reality. It is the way He is, the way He thinks, and the way He encourages us to be.
It has been said that 90 percent of what we worry about never happens. Why do people assume that being negative is more realistic than being positive?
Are you doing your own thinking, choosing your thoughts carefully, or are you passively thinking abut whatever happens to just come to your mind? What is the origin of your thoughts?
Thinking negatively makes you miserable. Why be miserable when you can be happy?”
–Joyce Meyer in “The Confident Woman Devotional”
-1- I have experienced this more than once–from both sides! I know it’s difficult to speak nicely to someone if you’re thinking unkind thoughts about them; and I have definitely experienced that unkind “vibe” from others!
-2- Some may think the whole “positive thinking” concept is off the wall or unbalanced, but in the context of this devotional, it makes sense. And again, I’ve experienced how different a day goes depending on whether I was engaged in negative or positive thinking.
So what are YOUR thoughts?
-1- Have you ever struggled to be kind to someone after having negative thoughts about that person? On the other side, have you felt definite animosity from someone, even if that person never said a word to you?
-2- Do you believe there is validity in the negative vs. positive thinking philosophy?