Sunday, July 31, 2016

Discovery

Someone has discovered that cardboard boxes make the best toys in the whole entire world:



Napkins are pretty fun, too:




Haaaappy Sunday!

Cheering for ya, Skillets,

Sarah
© by scj

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Growing

The Child was roughly the size of an adult running shoe when we first got her. Since then, she has almost doubled in size. Though she is cuter than ever, I am just dismayed at the speed of her growth. Soon, our girl will be all growed up, and her puppy days will be in the distant past. I wish she would stay small forever.

And this is why I love bathing her, because, without all her fluffy, dry fur, she shrinks for just a few minutes:


Oh tiny girl, I sure love you. How am I ever going to leave you in a few weeks?



Happy Saturday, friends.

Cheering for ya,

SJ

P.S. Girlfren's hair dried as pictured above:


She's our woodpecker baby.

© by scj

Friday, July 29, 2016

Prayer

My friends!

I'm lying here alternately watching YouTube videos and listening to the wind rush through the tree outside my window. My eyelids are heavy, and a Nap is trying to convince me to take her, so I think I will. But first, a few prayer requests as we move into August:

1. Endurance as I do the challenging work of retraining my brain; regular health victories to inspire me onward and upward.

2. Encouragement and hope in the face of my challenges. 

3. Complete and total healing sooner rather than later.

4. Patience.

5. Protection from the Enemy.

6. A sense of God's presence and peace; sensitivity to and confidence in the work of the Holy Spirit in my life.

7. Wisdom regarding the best way/time to reintegrate food and activities. Balance — I don't want to push too hard, as I'm prone to do.

8. Discernment regarding which medicine, supplements, and treatments to try as I do DNRS, if any. 

9. Physical, mental, and emotional readiness for work and school when they start in three weeks. 


Thank you my friends.

Shoot me your prayer requests. I think of and pray for you all regularly.


Love,

Sarah



© by scj

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Missing

Dear Dad,

If you are wondering where your Nike compression pants and flip flop are, I found them:


Love,

Sarah


© by scj

Monday, July 25, 2016

Happy Monday

"Look for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities;


Forget about your worries and your strife."

("Yeeaah, yeeeeah")

I hope you were able to kick back and relax this weekend and are rearin' to go today, friends!

Happy Monday,

Sarah



© by scj

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sneaky Sneakster

Somebody — and I'm not naming any names, mostly because she deserves a christening post all her own— likes to sneak into my bedroom and climb onto my bed when I'm not around. She knows she's not supposed to be in my bed, but the Golden Princess loves luxury, and she's got pluck, so she sneaks.

She's a Sneaky Sneakster Extraordinaire.


Case in point: I was jumping on the trampoline one toasty day this week, and Girlfren was hard-pressed to find comfortable shade. There was shade on the patio, but the patio is made of concrete, and Golden Princesses are not fond of sleeping on concrete. So she found a sliver of shady grass and stretched out:


After I'd jumped awhile, I noticed Girlfren's head had disappeared, and a bit later, half her body disappeared:


And then, awhile after that, she had disappeared completely:



The sneaky little sneakster's a smart cookie.


Happy Sunday, folks!

-Sarah


P.S. My sister and I introduced The Child to hula hoops this weekend, with high hopes we'd turn her into a hoop-jumping circus dog.


Our attempts were not successful.



© by scj

Friday, July 22, 2016

Limbic system retraining update: Exercise

Yesterday I jumped on the trampoline for one hour. Yep, you read that right: one HOUR. I broke my jumping into two sets, but the second set was 45 minutes, so: HALLELUJAH.


This is the first time I've sweated (I love sweating!) and had endorphins (I love endorphins!) from exercise in ages. And there's this: the day before yesterday I spent much of the day adventuring, and when I woke up the morning after my adventures, I'd recovered!

I've also been up more the last few days, cooking, baking, cleaning, and conversing, and it's felt good — Hurrah!

Thank you, dear Jesus, for this progress.

And thank you, dear pray-ers, for supporting this process in prayer.


© by scj

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Progress and Adventure

Yesterday Girlfren and I decided we wanted blackberries for lunch, and since I felt good — better than I'd felt in a long time — we went a-pickin in the woods near my folks' house.


When we had picked to our hearts' content, we looked up at the blue sky and said, "This day is too lovely to spend inside. Let's go for a drive through the countryside with all the windows down." So we climbed in the car and drove through fields of green with grazing horses and tidy red barns.


I'm not sure if it was the Queen Anne's Lace lining the country roads, or the gusts of summer wind blowing through the car, or the sun shining through the sun roof, but adventure began to tingle in our bones and we said, "This day is too alluring to spend in the car. Let's go find a river and romp in it."

So we drove up into the mountains, through forests of towering pine, until we found a lazy river laughing its way through the forest. We followed it for awhile, winding our way through the damp shade of the trees along the river. And then, when we were far from any farmland, we looked over at the river and saw frothy, churning white water tumbling over river rocks. "Ah," I told Girlfren. "This is where we stop."

Click on the photo for a bigger version

We parked and walked up the river a ways before settling on a large rock on the river's bend. I peeled off my socks and shoes and draped my legs in the clear-water current, and though Girlfren is not fond of baths, she marched like a seasoned pro into the shallow water pooling to one side of the rock, before climbing up beside me to sunbathe.

We spent the afternoon perched on that rock, my legs dangling in the water. I tried to drink in all the beauty around me — the thirsty ferns at the river's edge, the sun skipping across the water, the swarms of riverflies gleaming in the sunshine, the slippery red rock covering the river's bottom — but my eyes felt too small to hold it all. So I sang. Through the years I have learned to sing when my eyes are too small to hold the beauty around me. Singing is another way of seeing and holding the sacred.

I like to think Girlfren was moved to baptism by my rendition of "How Great Thou Art," but it's more likely she tired of my warbling and eventually thought, "Enough is enough; what can I do to escape this noise?" so she marched into the deep, swift current, and if I hadn't leashed her, she would've gotten much more of a swim than she bargained for.


"You know," I said, as I pulled Girlfren back onto the warmth of the rock, "you have the right idea. Let's not sit around anymore; let's go swimming." So I swam while she tanned, and then she and I forged the river and explored its opposite bank.


Before long, the sun sank closer to the tips of the trees, so we crossed back to our rock, gathered our things, and climbed into the warmth of the car.



© by scj

Friday, July 15, 2016

DNRS: An Update and some fun NEWS!

Friends,

I come bearing a limbic system retraining update! The retraining program has thus far yielded many victories, big and small; and it has been punctuated by challenges that have felt like circuitous detours. I suppose my journey of healing continues to be more like a quest through Middle Earth than a nice linear game of hopscotch. This is to be expected.

Sometimes the effects of DNRS are immediate and feel magical (oh you guys, please try this program if you have any of the physical challenges on this list), and I'm apt to wonder why it is that some of my challenges persist; it's been THREE WHOLE WEEKS of rigorous training, after all! (Patience, Dear Heart). But I've had physical challenges for many years, so my body will need time to repair itself. I'm also continuing to get treatments which create their own set of unique challenges.

So. Some days the challenges feel like mole hills, and some days they feel like mountains; but nonetheless, I am moving toward healing with greater consistency than I have in a long time, and I continue to remain hopeful that this program will result in long-term healing of my immune, digestive, endocrine, and nervous systems. As I look toward healing, I've been keeping a daily log of every little improvement. Here are some of my favorites from the last two week:

1. My body is tolerating a handful of new vitamins, minerals, herbs, and foods!

2. I've gone on a number of longer walks during which my challenges were small enough that I could focus on the beauty around me.

3. I have pockets of complete physical calm.

Dear Fight-or-Flight:

Sayonara, arrivederci, peace out, hasta la vista, BABY; I don't neeeeed you every minute of the day!

Love,

Sarah

4. I laugh more.

5.  I recover from physical challenges faster than I have in the past.

Woo hoo for encouraging changes!


As I continue to do this program, there are several ways you pray-ers can be praying for me:

1. Stamina to remain committed to the minimum hour of retraining I need to do each day, especially on the days with greater challenges.

2. Encouragement and hopeful vision for the future.

3. Wisdom for the the doctors I see weekly; effective treatment; protection from damaging treatments.

4.  Discernment as I figure out who to consult with and what medicine or supplements to take.

5. Weekly, even daily improvements in my health.

6. Complete and total healing!!


I've daily been trying to redirect my thoughts to my limbic system retraining goals, so I got an "Eyes on the Prize" shirt as a sort of Boot Camp uniform:


I wear it often and look forward to the day that my insides match my outside!

Oh, and hey, did you notice the little fur ball in my lap?

I would like to officially introduce you to......

My parents' new PUPPY!

Ten weeks old

We've had her for two weeks, and she's just about ten weeks old, but we already love her like we've had her for years.

Eight weeks old

Fun fact #1: She is the half sister of Copper, my brother's Cavapoo.

Fun fact #2: She was three pounds when we got her, but lately she's been eating like there's no tomorrow, and our little pipsqueak is putting on some serious girth units! We thinks she's close to four pounds now.

The day we met our little pipsqueak

Fun fact #3: She does not yet have a name. Some of you have been following our puppy adventures on Instagram and Facebook and are eagerly awaiting her name. Well, I come bearing goodish news: my folks have narrowed the field to two names, and I hope I will very soon be able to unveil her name.


For now, we've accumulated a pool of nicknames, including Girlfren, The Child, Puppy Baby, Pookie Face; Pook, Pookie Baby, Poop Butt or, alternatively, Dingleberry Girl (for my parents' sake, I will clarify that these two are my unique nicknames for Puppy), The Golden Princess, Poop Tube (also mine. Sometimes I feel like we're running a frozen yogurt dispensary, minus the frozen yogurt), and Triangle Face (okay. Also mine). When Puppy Baby eats wet food her fur gets slicked back, making her look like a fox with a triangle face; thus: Triangle Face. Basically, we have enough nicknames to stall the official christening for at least another month, though I imagine we'll have a name by the weekend's end.

Picking a name is tough business, folks. Last week we met a couple out walking their puppy, whom they had named and renamed 4-5 times before settling on Lucy. A name's gotta encapsulate the dog's personality, and it takes time to get to know a dog's personality.

So far, we know that our girl is feisty and independent. She adventures into the unknown corners of the yard without hesitation; prances, uninhibited, through wet grass in summer downpours; pounces and growls when she wants to play — she's especially fond of pouncing on our Nike running shoes, and now that she's finally bigger than they are, she has the upper hand in their dramatic duels; and she's a racing red rocket, shooting through the house at random intervals because life is F-U-N, man.


She has commandeered many a sock in her short life.
Adventure buddy!

She's also sweet and cuddly. She loves to snuggle in our laps, sprawl across our chests, and curl up in the nape of my neck. She naps with us, follows us around when we're doing our housely duties, and affectionately gnaws on our appendages whenever we're still for more than a second.

My mom and I had a jolly laugh the first time Girlfren crawled into the nape of my neck

She has a habit of climbing into our laps when we're trying to stretch after a walk

Booooy do we love her, and booooy am I delighted to be here this summer to enjoy her glorious puppy stage.

Hopeful, glorious Friday, my friends.

Cheering for you,

Sarah



© by scj