Monday, February 28, 2011

Hey Friendos,

Sorry I have been MIA. I came down with a nasty cold. The germs must be happy here because they are refusing to leave. I went to see my doctor because I was convinced I had the flu. Every single muscle in my body throbbed and ached. Since I've had three hospital trips due to the flu, I didn't want to mess around. Turns out, I didn't have the flu. However, I do have a wicked ear infection. I was shocked since my ear wasn't really bothering me. Plus I haven't had an ear infection since I was a child. Do adults even get ear infections? Apparently, yes, they do. She prescribed antibiotics and sent me home. By the next day, my ear spoke up and it has been driving me nuts every since.

Then a few days later, I woke up to a drum beating in my ear. It's like I can feel and hear my pulse inside my ear. It is terribly distracting and annoying. It also pops & cracks and feels clogged up, similar to airplane ear. And it hurts. In other words, it's no fun at all.

Of course, I googled it right away. I found a disorder called Pulsatile Tinnitus and read accounts from people who have been dealing with this pounding for years. It's a scary thought; I don't know how someone could continue to cope with this problem. So I'm hoping it will go away with my ear infection. (Please, please, please). It's hard to think and write in this condition.

I know how she feels! :(

I am excited for March because it's Endometriosis Awareness Month! I am looking forward to participating, ear problems or not. 


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Welcome to the second Love Beats Hate blogging event! I'm so happy you stopped by today. I have an extraordinary story of love to share with you.

I was introduced to Immaculée Ilibagiza while reading Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling by Dr. Wayne Dyer. I promptly ordered her book, Left to Tell, and entered Immaculée's heart wrenching experiences during the 1994 Rwanda genocide. The horror of her ordeal is difficult to read; the truth is sickening. Her inspirational message of forgiveness and faith is an extreme example of love prevailing over hate.

Home from university to celebrate Easter, Immaculée awoke to a nightmare. Her family listened in disbelief to the radio reports, their only contact with the outside word. President Habyarimanahe had been murdered and broadcasters called for Hutus to attack and exterminate their Tutsi neighbors. A genocide had begun.

Immaculée fled her home before the savage killers arrived. She and seven other women were hidden in a pastor's tiny bathroom, a mere four feet long and three feet wide. The eight women were confined in this space for three long months. They were cramped together--fearful to move, speak or even breathe. Aware of the brutality just outside the walls, they waited in silence. Bloodthirsty killers searched the home several times, but the women remained undiscovered. The concealed women clung to their only protection--their muted prayers.

As I read her words, I tried to picture myself in this terrifying situation. It was impossible for me to fathom.

The massacre continued as innocent Tutsis were hunted, tortured and slaughtered. Faced with the sadistic murders of her beloved family and friends, Immaculée felt the roots of hatred begin to grow in her heart. She prayed to God, "Please open my heart, Lord, and show me how to forgive. I'm not strong enough to squash my hatred--they've wronged us all so much...my hatred is so heavy that it could crush me. Touch my heart, Lord, and show me how to forgive."

Through steadfast prayer and faith in God, Immaculée achieved the impossible--she forgave her family's killers.

Immaculée made a powerful choice:  She chose love. Though the atrocities she suffered supplied every justification to hate, she embraced love. She fought the venomous power of hate. Armed with love, she escaped imminent death and was left to tell the world her empowering story.

Dr. Wayne Dyer's brilliantly sums up the beauty of her story in the book's foreword:
"Despite the hideous display of humans' inhumanity to each other that was taking place only a decade or so ago in the country of Rwanda, this is truly a love story in the purest sense of the word--a story of the triumph of the human spirit, a story of one woman's profound faith and determination to survive (against literally impossible odds) in order to tell her tale and to be an agent for ushering in a new spiritual consciousness, and a story of a love for God that was so strong that hatred and revenge were forced to dissolve in its presence."

That is the power of Love.

Immaculée's story changed my life as a profound realization came to me. If Immaculée chose love in the midst of a holocaust, then I can easily reject hate in my life. When others spew hate, it is easy to respond with equal venom. My first reaction to hate is usually anger, but if I really think about it, I pity the malevolent person. They must live miserable, lonely lives to subject others to their hatred. Or maybe they loathe themselves, so they project their self-hatred onto others. Hating the haters serves to breed more hate. So instead, I will protest with love. I'll pray for them. It may not always be easy, but with Immaculée's shining example to follow, I know I can choose love in any situation.

I sincerely recommend her empowering book. If you are moved and inspired by Immaculée's strength and vision, you can support the Left to Tell Charitable Fund by purchasing her book and/or wristbands. Or you can make a tax-deductible donation. The fund helps the children of Africa build better lives.

Love Beats Hate

Please visit the Love Beats Hate Facebook page to find links to the other participating blogs or Facebook pages. You can also share the love on twitter using the #lovebeatshate hashtag.

Thank you for visiting!

Let love rule.


Monday, February 7, 2011

I am making some healthy lifestyle changes. As I promised myself in my latest food journal entry, I am restarting my wheat- and gluten-free nutrition plan today. If you are interested in my progress, be sure to check my food journal page for updates. As part of my plan, I am giving up coffee and pop. This is an enormous hurdle for me but I am ready to give it a serious try.

I also need to implement an exercise plan into my daily life. I recently purchased a DVD called T'ai Chi Daily Practice with David-Dorian Ross & Daisy Lee Garripoll. I tried the routine for the first time this morning. I felt like a buffoon trying to follow along. It is difficult for me to learn new leg and arm movements simultaneously. However, I am choosing to be patient and kind to myself. After all, it would be challenging for most beginners. I have been intrigued with T'ai Chi for a long time, so I am excited to learn more about it. Though I felt somewhat awkward and uncoordinated, I also felt calm and focused.

This year I have increased my commitment to my writing life and I am seeing positive results. However, I am anchored to my chair or couch for several hours a day. My mind goes on exciting adventures, but my body remains grounded. I have horrendous posture and tend to hunch over my notebook or computer. My lower back suffers the consequences. I think the T'ai Chi practice will be a perfect solution to improve my posture and get active. Then I can focus on my writing with a clear, calm head.


I need to do everything in my power to minimize my Endometriosis symptoms. I refuse to believe I am completely helpless against my disease.

I will continue to blog about the challenges and triumphs of my plan. What healthy lifestyle changes have been successful for you?


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fun news! My lovely friendo Jenny at Jendometriosis awarded me the "I Love this Blog Award." Thank you Jenny! I am so honored and excited.

I am as giddy as the dad in A Christmas Story. "It's a major award!"

Here's how it works:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award up to 15 blogs that are deserving
4. Contact those bloggers and let them know about the award

Seven random things about me:
1. Everyone in my immediate family has a first name that starts with the letter J. (We did it before the Duggars & there are way less of us).

2. Euchre is my favorite game. (I have euchred my cousin's loaners TWICE. I work it into our conversations as often as possible).

3. If I'm in my car, you can bet I am singing. (Sometimes my pointer finger is flying around too). Music makes my soul shout.

4. I overuse exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5. I constantly have lyrics running through my mind and can turn any moment into a song. (I particularly like to incorporate my dog into songs: Black dog singing in the dead of night; Tyson in the Sky with Diamonds; Tyson's just a dog in the world etc.).

6. I wish I could hang out with the Muppets and rock out with Electric Mayhem.

7. I read my son every word of every Harry Potter book. (And he listened and enjoyed every word!). We dressed up for the local Harry Potter festivals and waited in line at midnight to receive our copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was an unforgettable moment of pure magic.

I would like to share the love with the following extraordinary bloggers. Drum roll please.

My "I Love this Blog Awards" go to:

Alanna my fave frogger of The Chipper Writer
Amanda over at The Patch
Caf from Rellacafa
The lovely ladies from Bitter Orange and Brown

I would have also chosen Jeanne from Chronic Healing, but Jenny beat me too it. :) And I would have picked Jenny too. I love her blog.

Each of you are inspiring writers and I adore your witty, insightful and informative blogs. You rock!

Thanks again Jenny! You made my day. What a fun way to spread the blog love and support other bloggers.