Last January through April was a little hard on me. Just to share a bit, after a year of some post-baby, strange symptoms: lots of odd/random skin discoloration, random finger and toe numbness, bothersome pattern like rashes, I checked in with my family doctor (yes I had put it off for a long while) and she and some tests revealed that I have Lupus. I "exactly" have "unclassified autoimmune disorder" with symptoms of lupus/schleroderma. Lupus attacks different organs and mine attacks the skin. I feel fine, if I exercised and ate better I am sure I would feel great. There are so many out there with living with lupus that deal with so much more, so this is not me complaining.
Last January to February the pain in my fingers and hands was at its worst and what kept me on edge each day was the fact that over the holidays of '08 I had a finger wound that grew from the size of a pin head to a mushy, pink open wound the size of an eraser head. My left hand was constantly bandaged and from January to June of '09. I almost never ran my hand under water as the special bandages and the wound would not respond well to water. I am thankfully, a stay at home mom, and at the time Sophia was two and changing her diapers was always a slow process because of my wound, bandages, and general wiggling and mess. Suffice to say I was hypersensitive about my hands and stayed at home nearly all the time. My family probably never noticed a difference in my attitude because they buoyed me up during this time of self imposed home bound-ness. The Lord truly taught me so much about those that must live with chronic issues (as I said I have always "felt fine" outside of the hand issues).
Another blessing during this time was the blog world. Seems a bit odd to type it, but I know this to be true. I discovered blogs in areas of interest, i.e. travel, homemaking, faith, and family, and found daily encouragement. A number of my most favorite blogs are penned by women of faith and wonderful insight. It seemed that even across miles, while I was at home just with Sophia, and not at my best, the Lord led me to some of the best company. And for that I thank each of the dear women (whether they know it or not) for all they have shared. And the bonus of it all is that so many of my dear blog buddies are able answer comments and it is a way to be "pen pals" in the 21st century. Those of us that blog and have come to enjoy this camaraderie might find it hard to explain to everyday family and friends about our bloggy buddies. I know my dear husband who supports me in every way has taken quite a while to be convinced. If anyone has seen Julie & Julia the movie with Meryl Streep (it is great, please see it if you haven't), there is a scene that so heartfully depicts the joy of a friendship come to life from words, ideas, and feelings shared on the page: Julia Child meets her years long pen pal Avis (a woman), in a train station after they have finally planned to meet in face to face, and as Avis enters, they seem to know each other immediately, throw their arms wide and embrace each other joyfully. Such a true picture of friendship.
Now I would like to share a few of those blogs. First, I would like to attribute my inspiration for this idea to two sources: Sally Annie Magundy, who tries each Monday to share new crafty blogs for others to visit (she has such interesting crafts and resources). The other is 84 Charing Cross Road, a tender true story told solely in letters that were exchanged over 20 years between a zesty New York screenwriter, Helene Hanff and an at first formal then friendly Englishman in London who was the manager of an antique bookstore from which she made many special requests (years 1948-1968). In the book you find that each time she requested a book, he would recommend another or visa versa and her interests grew as well as their friendship.
Let's grow some more friendships:
Tongue in Cheek: Corey (American) writes about her life in Provence these 2o some years married to a Frenchman and her adventures, brocante, family, travels, all things French, and has gorgeous photos and a loving outlook. My mom now actually understands blogland because in September 2009 Corey came to an antique fair in Texas that I dragged my mom to so that I could meet this dear woman. The moment I met Corey we squealed with delight and hugged, and chatted up a storm. My mom took to her immediately (of course) and now enjoys catching up with Corey online daily.
Sister one of four and The Rogers Family: a mom and daughter (dear friends Marcia and Lindsey) write sweet family updates and encouraged me so much by being my first followers and commenters (it is such a joy), even though they live near me I have kept better in touch with them via blog and emails--see I AM a hermit.
Here's a power blog alright: The Pioneer Woman, I happened upon her blog as she was just beginning to hit readers in the high hundreds, but now this homeschooling, former city livin', cookbook writin', photographer extraordinaire, and rancher's wife, who lives on a vast cattle/horse ranch in OK blogs daily and lovingly about her life and times....I dare you not to be won over....go ahead...at least try one of her man-pleasin' recipes.
Pleasant Places: Steph is a thoughtful, dear woman of the Lord who I found when I googled my own blog because I forgot my blog address. Hee, it happens. She blogs about her latest reads, antiquing, wonderful homemade gifts and especially, her inspirations: the Lord, and her family. She started at the same time I did, is also a stay at home mom to a same age toddler, and then I noticed that she is also in Texas! and we hope to one day meet up.
Thank you truly, Sally Annie, Corey, Marcia, Lindsey, Ree, and Steph for the encouragement and goodness you add to the blog world. Cheers to all!