7 Quick Takes: Reasons I’m Tired Tonight Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Daniel isn’t sleeping well. We think it’s him feeling hungry and not knowing how to process that. Because Daniel. I’ve been trying to enforce EXTRA drinking of milk to keep him full and I’ve upped his feed.

— 2 —

PTK induction. I was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa (international 2-year college honor society) tonight. I was invited to join in Fall 2017, but I’ve been a little busy. My mom was watching Daniel and Dad surprised me by showing up.

Dad and me at the induction

— 3 —

Portfolio. My portfolio for my Final Project class is due tomorrow. I have almost everything printed out and done, but Sage was being catty yesterday and I need to redo and print out a report for it. I blame the LA Dodgers.

— 4 —

Puke. I hadn’t been gone for five minutes tonight when Mom called to let me know that Daniel puked (of course) and asked if she should give him tomorrow’s meds as he presumably puked up tonight’s. I was on the road to school, so I said “yes”. Well, I’m not totally sure now and am keeping an eye on him. At least he’s sleeping?

— 5 —

Donald Trump is still in office. His mere existence tires me.

— 6 —

Pentecost. I’m writing the prayers for Pentecost and I need to translate them into Spanish… or at least send them to my translation staff, one of whom came into tutoring last week and scolded me for not having them done yet. (God bless my “translation staff” of students!)

— 7 —

Forged in Fire. I’ve been watching “Forged in Fire” reruns while I’ve done homework lately… and this sometimes has me up too late. Oops!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: May 27, 2019

For Today… May 27, 2019

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… sunny. Daniel and I might head to the park later while we’re doing errands.

I am thinking… about job-hunting.

I am thankful… for the men and woman who have sacrificed their lives while serving this country.

One of my favorite things… quiet. Unfortunately, Daniel is home today and in a cranky mood, so he is yelling right now. (Autism is fun.)

I am wearing… black fitted tee from Old Navy and capris from Kohl’s

I am creating… forms and documents for my Document Production class.

I am watching… reruns of Forged in Fire. Thank goodness for On Demand!

I am hoping… Daniel settles down. He had a crappy night last night where he was unable to get to sleep easily, and he’s a pill today as a result. The rest of us are feeling similar and trying to stay out of the way of each other.

I am learning… where my trouble spots are in putting together business reports. It’s frustrating because the things I’m missing are opinion things in the mind of the computer program.

In my kitchen… hot dogs last night. I don’t know if Dad wants to do anything special tonight for Memorial Day.

In the school room… Daniel has a few weeks of school to go. We’re going to work on reading this summer during his daytime feeds.

Post Script… this is a very sweet story.

Shared Quote… “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” — Neil Gaiman, Coraline

A moment from my day… Thinking of Grandpa today.

My grandfather's memorial marker

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

Saying Grace (Repost)

I wrote this in June 2003 but I refer people to it enough that I thought it deserved to be re-posted.

In small group tonight, we were talking about prayer and witnessing before diving into the Book of Revelation. One of the contexts given was saying grace in a public place like a restaurant and it reminded me of this…

Since I embraced Christ at age 14, I’ve been fairly intentional about praying before I eat. I was subtle about it at first and got bolder as time went on. By the time I left for college at age 18, I was praying before meals regularly. I wasn’t obnoxious about it — I’d just bow my head for a few moments — but I was very conscious to do so. At first, this really puzzled the motley crew of non-Christian influences with whom I hung out in college and the joke became that I was “waiting for the Lactaid to kick in” if I was eating with Das Group. People knew to just hold off on conversating with me for however long my head was bowed and I didn’t make a huge deal out of it.

I was really focused on being inconspicuous at first because I thought I was shoving my faith in peoples’ faces but everyone was really OK with it and some people actually told me during some of the deeper one-on-one conversations we had that they really thought that it was cool. Others would bow their heads with me if we were all going out to eat and my friend Amy actually asked if we could say grace when we ate together in our apartment during our senior year. Granted, it was a silent prayer but it was a time to give credit to the One who made it possible to have the food on our plates. I’ve gotten lax about my quiet times lately and even praying before I fall asleep (I tend to fall asleep *while* praying a lot of the time) but I’m still very vigilant about saying grace. This puzzles me because I’m doing the little prayers instead of the big ones; but by the same token, I’m also acknowledging my gratefulness to the Lord for what I have and that I would not have it without Him.

Another thing that came of saying grace was that it taught my friends about how much my faith meant in my life. In November 1999, my life was in pieces (literally) and I came into the dining hall one morning in tears. I was eating alone and my friend Amy came and sat down with me and asked me what was wrong, which made me cry harder. She then said the most magical words I’ve ever heard, “Jen, do you want to pray about this?” The reason they were so magical was that Amy was a non-believer (at the time) and it was like “SHE UNDERSTANDS!!!” She offered her hand and I took it and we prayed silently for probably a good 10 minutes. I still get weepy thinking about it because I don’t know if Amy will ever understand how much it meant to me that she sat there and prayed with me. All I know is that she understood that prayer was important in my life at the time and she wanted to help me in a way that was meaningful to me. Other of my friends would ask me to pray with them (also non-believers at the time though some have come to Christ since our graduation) and though I’d be judicious in my wording, it was still an affirmation of my faith and in a way saying that they understood the power prayer could have. Saying grace was a way I could witness to people about my faith and it was an expression of my dependence on God for everything.

I heard a lot about being intentional and praying VERY audibly in restaurants as a way of witnessing. (By “VERY audibly”, I’m talking a voice level 3-4 times above normal.) I think that instead of praying so loudly that others DEFINITELY hear us (cf. Luke 18:9-14), we should pray as we normally do and let people notice us. Believe me… they WILL and I’ve gotten comments on it even when I’ve prayed silently to myself at $tarbuck$ (literally waiting for the Lactaid to kick in). I remember the impact it made on me as a newly-minted Christian to see two people praying over their bear claws at $tarbuck$ and I think that it can have similar impacts on other people.

My $0.02 for what it is worth.

7 Quick Takes: Only 6 Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Daniel update. We saw the psychiatrist at the Autism Center again today and he is keeping Daniel on the dose of meds that we titrated up to last week. I didn’t quite realize until we were talking to him that Daniel’s behavior is actually good on this new dose. Now if we can keep him from waking up at 4:30 a.m. and bouncing off the walls…

— 2 —

Interesting… The psychiatrist commented that he has seen more than a few kids with Daniel’s genetic abnormality that is responsible for his autism and they tend to have similar behavior, food issues, etc. In other words, THIS IS NOT BECAUSE WE VACCINATED HIM.

(Seriously… there are STILL people who harp on this despite studies coming out daily showing that VACCINES DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM.)

— 3 —

Hematology. I saw my lovely hematologist on Friday afternoon and he referred me for more bloodwork. My red cells are funky, my clotting factors are OK, my folate is too high, and some of the other factors are off. I’ve tried googling this stuff and I’m not finding anything conclusive, so I’m going to have to wait until Tuesday when I see my hematologist again to find out what’s up. It might be that they’ll have me do repeat tests every so often to see if/when I’m heading toward anemia. We’re also going to see if a hysterectomy helps with it at all because it seems like my body is losing red blood cells faster than it can make them.

— 4 —

Rachel Held Evans. If you want to understand why I and many other Christians (Protestants and Catholics alike) are mourning her, read this hashtag.

— 5 —

School update. I’m required to do a mock employment interview for my Final Project class and I went to interview with the head of the BASAM program at school… who happens to be a former Fortune 500 VP who worked all over southeast Asia. It was interesting and also really good practice for what to say and how to answer questions that I might be asked. She asked if I would connect to her on LinkedIn in case one of her local friends has a job that might fit me. Score!

— 6 —

Game of Thrones. I’m betting on Daenerys winning the throne. Because girls and dragons! Not that I’ve ever seen more than a few minutes of the show…

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

Rachel Held Evans

I got word from Sarah Bessey, one of the organizers of Rachel’s GoFundMe, that Rachel died early this morning. According to the updates her husband Dan had been posting on her blog:

Rachel was slowly weaned from the coma medication. Her seizures returned but at a reduced rate. There were periods of time where she didn’t have seizures at all. Rachel did not return to an alert state during this process. The hospital team worked to diagnose the primary cause of her seizures and proactively treated for some known possible causes for which diagnostics were not immediately available due to physical limitations.

Early Thursday morning, May 2, Rachel experienced sudden and extreme changes in her vitals. The team at the hospital discovered extensive swelling of her brain and took emergency action to stabilize her. The team worked until Friday afternoon to the best of their ability to save her. This swelling event caused severe damage and ultimately was not survivable.

Rachel died early Saturday morning, May 4, 2019.

This entire experience is surreal. I keep hoping it’s a nightmare from which I’ll awake. I feel like I’m telling someone else’s story. I cannot express how much the support means to me and our kids. To everyone who has prayed, called, texted, driven, flown, given of themselves physically and financially to help ease this burden: Thank you. We are privileged. Rachel’s presence in this world was a gift to us all and her work will long survive her.

I am profoundly sad to hear this news. Her blog and her writing were part of how I sustained my faith during a really hard part of my life, and they spawned the Proverbs 31 Project here on this blog. I feel sad for her husband Dan, their two small children, her parents Peter and Robin, her sister Amanda, and the rest of her family. Please keep them in your prayers.

Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Rachel. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive her into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: April 28, 2019

For Today… April 28, 2019

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… sunny and in the low 50’s.

I am thinking… about my Document Production homework. Bleh.

I am thankful… for my amazing church and worship today. After spending a period of time sitting in church and wanting to be anywhere else but there, it’s wonderful to be excited to go to church again. (That period ended when I returned to the Episcopal Church in 2014.)

One of my favorite things… calmness and quiet. I have it temporarily.

I am wearing… black fitted tee from Old Navy and jeans capris. Church clothes were a t-shirt dress from Old Navy, a cardigan from Kohl’s and my black flats

I am creating… documents for my homework. Woo.

I am reading… Inspired by Rachel Held Evans who remains in a medically-induced coma while doctors try to figure out what the heck is causing her seizures. Please pray for her and her family.

I am hoping… to get some database work done for church.

I am learning… tutor skills. (I’m listening to training right now.)

In my kitchen… probably leftover ham and spinach salad.

In the school room… Daniel is loving school still. His IEP meeting was fabulous this year.

Post Script… my priest’s website is here.

Shared Quote… “The apostles remembered what many modern Christians tend to forget—that what makes the gospel offensive isn’t who it keeps out but who it lets in.” — Rachel Held Evans

A moment from my day… this was our Communion hymn.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: If I Had Not Given Up My Blog for Lent Edition

7 Quick Takes

Lent is over, it’s Bright Week, and I am back to blogging. (OK… some of you may have noticed that I cheated a little bit by changing the YouTube video on my time off page.) I have been meaning to write this post for a few days, but work and homework have been crazy. There will be 7 +/- blurbs, so I am counting this as my Quick Takes.

If I hadn’t given up blogging for Lent I would have told you… about how weirdly calm I am about Grandma’s passing. It might be because I wasn’t the one cleaning out her room at the assisted living facility and her bedroom back at her house. My mom and her siblings have been dealing with all of this, and I have been figuring out burial service things. We got her ashes back around March 11 (she was supposed to be cremated on March 6… which was Ash Wednesday — because I am a horrible human being, I actually found humor in that), and part of them will be interred at my church in Mount Vernon. My uncle is making a plain cedar box for that, and I am glad to have that figured out so that biodegradable cremation urns stop being in my ads on Reddit. In the meantime, I am incredibly thankful for my church and how they jumped in to support us after her passing. They sent food home with me on Shrove Tuesday, sent emails and cards with condolences for our family, and I got hugged within an inch of my life on Shrove Tuesday.

If I hadn’t given up blogging for Lent I would have told you… we got a last-minute appointment with a psychiatrist at the Autism Center. Daniel was badly-behaved (which is actually a benefit in this case) and the psych made the comment that until we improve his nutrition, none of the other meds he could prescribe would be of any benefit. So… he changed Daniel from his Adderall XR (which is also used as an appetite suppressant) to Concerta, and we’re titrating up on it. So far, the only change has been that kiddo is not sleeping well and is having what seems to be a worse time in the evenings until his evening meds kick in. He’s also waking up in the middle of the night or at 6 a.m., which is not making my life wonderful. We start the next highest dose this weekend, and I am praying like hell that it helps. Please send Starbucks.

If I hadn’t given up blogging for Lent I would have told you… my iron is back to normal (thank you, weekly bloodwork and a boatload of iron pills), but my clotting factors are funky. Shark Week (a.k.a. my period) hit me like a ton of bricks in March… and also happened during finals of course. An appointment was made with my ob/gyn to talk about a hysterectomy… and I missed it today because my body decided that tachycardia sounded like a good plan this morning. So… I get to wait until June to see her… which happens to be on the day I graduate and Daniel is off school. This month’s Shark Week happened during Holy Week, and it was not quite as bad as March, but still crappy. I see Hematology next Friday. Woo.

If I hadn’t given up blogging for Lent I would have told you… that this quarter started on April 9th and is kicking my butt. I am the only tutor in my department and I can’t work enough hours to meet all the need that exists at the moment because this is the quarter everyone seems to be taking QuickBooks. The book they’re using for it is crappy (I had it last year), and it’s especially crappy for my English language learners who are having to figure it out in their second or third language. I had to close my one-on-one schedule this week, and I’m still getting requests for tutoring that I’m having to turn away. (I also have a couple students who I have had to tell that I will help them once they stop mouthing off at me or trying to have an existential argument about the class material.) Additionally, my Document Production class is hateful at the moment. We are docked 10% of our grade per mistake on every assignment, and we don’t know from week to week if we’re going to get any of those points back because the website isn’t fabulous on correcting formatting. I’m sure it will be better next week as I know now where my mistakes are coming from and can avoid them, but it is stressing me out right now.

If I hadn’t given up blogging for Lent I would have told you… that I finally joined Phi Theta Kappa (my school’s honor society that I was invited to join in September 2017) in March. I’m going to have my induction ceremony in the next few weeks and I might have a lovely stole along with my honor cords when I graduate.

If I hadn’t given up blogging for Lent I would have told you… about Daniel’s sedated ABR on March 29 with the audiologist we like and our amazing anesthesiologist from his g-tube placement last August. It turns out that our favorite audiologist got an almost perfect result last July, and she adjusted his hearing aids accordingly after the procedure.

If I hadn’t given up blogging for Lent I would have told you… that the Lenten devotional booklet I put together for my church was highly complimented, and that having it go out over email turned out to be one of the best moves as it was easier for people to access. The project was actually a blessing as I was putting the finishing touches on it while Grandmas was dying, and it gave me something into which I could pour my nervous energy.

If I hadn’t given up blogging for Lent I would have told you… that the French version of the Hail Mary sung by French Catholics outside of Notre Dame got stuck in my head. I largely avoided watching footage of it burning because I couldn’t deal with the sadness. (Also… what the actual [expletive], 45?!?!? Suggesting that French firefighters use an air tanker on the cathedral and that they should get on it is not an appropriate sentiment for a world leader to suggest while the symbol of a country’s faith is burning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

If I hadn’t given up blogging for Lent I would have told you… about the insight I had on Maundy Thursday about Jesus praying in the garden and how it means that God understands and is with me in those liminal times when I am scared about what is coming next. Seriously, it was amazing for my faith as was Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, where I got verklempt during the reading about the Pieta.

Last thing: Rachel Held Evans, my favorite author, is currently in a medically-induced coma while doctors try to figure out why her brain is experiencing constant seizures. She ended up in the hospital with a combination of flu and a UTI, and she had a severe allergic reaction to her antibiotics. This is distressing me greatly because she is very much me with a southern accent, and her books have been part of what kept my faith going for the last ten years as I dealt with times where I would go to church and want to be anywhere else but there. (This thankfully changed when I got away from Jon’s churches and went back to the Episcopal Church.) Updates on her health are here and a GoFundMe for her medical expenses here. Please keep her, her husband Dan, and their two kids in your prayers.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.