LCBD: Why Did I Have to Change?

Change: it happens to all of us, and our human nature is to be unsettled by change. However, it seems that everyone preaches “Change is Good!”

When my husband and I met, we had an instant connection.

  • We were Disney lovers, math nerds, Filipino, computer geeks, book fans, gamers (video & board), and best of all, strawberry ice cream lovers…everything he liked, I liked too  –  two peas in a pod! (Later, we would also find out that our parents have the same names!)
  • Of course, we also had our differences. I’m loud, energetic, spontaneous, and talkative; Michael is pensive, calculative, calm, and spares his words. I love the outdoors, and he prefers to stay in. I prefer dogs, he grew up with cats. I’m a die-hard for the Lakers…he roots for the Spurs *shudder* – nevertheless, he’s the Yin to my Yang.

They say that in marriage, or any relationship, there are compromises that are made. As our relationship got more and more serious, I’ll admit my strong-headed temperament allowed for me to make less compromises. I influenced him to open up more, try new things, be spontaneous and for my 22nd birthday, he even got me our precious pup, Twix! So, of course, I figured I would be slowly introducing him to things I loved and he never did; he was slowly start to like, and even love, some of the things I really loved. After all, aren’t relationships supposed to help each other become better versions of themselves? That’s part of why I started “Little Change, Big Difference;” little changes made for the better can make a big difference down the line, for ourselves, others, the whole world. However…

I never thought that I was the one who would have to change.

In August of 2011, Michael and I finally lived in the same city after two years of long distance. I started to feel tired and physically exhausted all the time; my job is a house manager (guest services manager) for a performing arts center, so I worked weird, inconsistent, early/late hours. Naturally, we blamed my hours and the physical aspects on my job were taking a toll. Still, I didn’t really understand or believe it.

I worked entertainment at Disney, sometimes standing up with little relief and wearing heavy equipment for 6-10 hours.From Disney Entertainment, I moved to hospitality in the hotels and the job was surprisingly more demanding than standing the whole shift carrying over 15 lbs of equipment. Those past two jobs were more physically demanding than my house management job, yet I kept having physical pains and started to lose strength in my hands.

By January of 2012, I couldn’t even make a fist with either hand. I knew I had to see a doctor when my hands were so stiff that I had to call Michael to pick me up since I couldn’t grip the wheel. We had to have one of our friends follow Michael while driving my car so it wouldn’t get towed.

In May of 2012, just before my 25th birthday, I met with a rheumatologist and was diagnosed with Lupus (SLE). Since then, in addition to our 40+ hour jobs, it’s been doctors, labs, testing, and therapy every week, and almost every day, for me and Michael.  Having had been sickly, including severe asthma and allergies, my whole life, I’m fairly used to the process of going to specialists, physical therapists, and emergency clinics.

Today, we’re at two years and almost ten additional diagnoses. We aren’t even sure if we are much closer to a solution to help my illnesses be less disruptive to my work and social life. This is not written to have you pity me, as I do have a wonderful support system through my ever loving husband, my parents, my siblings, and my closest family and dear friends. I have my faith and optimistic attitude that has me rely on God, knowing that everything happens for a reason and that I can get through anything because I have God and my loved ones to help me through it.

Even with how hard I fight to stay healthy and active, I have learned there are many things I would not be able to do again, or should not do again. Yes, a lot of them are things I liked to do: camping, archery, go-karting, laying out in the sun all day. I have recently realized, dealing with this illness was to help slow down in life. I was running at life, at work, at dreams at full throttle and, though I know what is most important are family and friends, I was doing too much.

My illness has changed me, for the better, emphasizing what is important and bringing Michael and I even closer together, which we never thought was really possible, being as close as we already were. Through it all, God was having me to slow down to Michael’s pace and learn to really “stop and smell the roses.I thought I had all the answers: putting God and family first, doing service, appreciating how blessed you are, be God fearing, spread God’s word, do good (yes, good, not well), and always love and forgive.

This just goes to show that God really does work in mysterious ways; if you wanted to make God laugh, show Him your plans. God has helped me to learn how to truly appreciate all the things I enjoy and can do with my husband rather than pushing him to his limits to join me in other things I found fun. I thought I was changing Mike for the better (in my opinion), but God will always be guiding your life: His will be done. What does God want you to do today? How can you change for the better?

God Bless!

Krazy Kree

 

LCBD: Time to Spring Forward

blogentry_kristaroseYes, it’s that time of year when our clocks spring one hour ahead, giving us one hour “less” of sleep…only to gain it when they fall back later in the year; the reason for my post is not to remind you to change your clocks, but to look at your life and see where you can spring forward.

What do I mean by Springing Forward?
How many things have you constantly continued to put off? I am a big procrastinator sometimes, it could be because I lose interest and don’t care to finish and other times it’s just because I am not up to doing anything. We can get caught just staring at our screens (TV, tablet, computer, etc.) watching the latest show, playing the latest game, or watching the surprised kitty on YouTube for the millionth time. Sound familiar?

What things have you put off that you can get a move on, now? I’ve been putting off reading some books and working on design projects. I have been saying since New Years that I will focus more on myself and working on my design projects in my free time rather than getting sucked in to the world of Ross and Rachel’s off again on again relationship.

So, since I’ve procrastinated bettering myself and my free time for two months, it’s time to Spring Forward and dive deep into my work and my free time. Why become numb watching mindless TV show over and over when I can dive deeper in love with the things I like to do. So I ask, what can you do today to Spring Forward? What is something you can promise to do that will help you to fight procrastination? Spring Forward and make a difference.

LCBD: Love one another

blogentry_kristarose“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

I, for one, am always humbled by this bible story, but I try so hard to not judge people. Why is it in our nature to judge and condemn before even meeting someone.

We may never meet someone and give them a condemning look that breaks their spirit.

As mikeypeq22 and I went out to enjoy a meal out for our two month anniversary, the four tables at the window all turned and gave us judging looks, as I have a disabled placard but don’t always use my wheelchair or cane.

Instead of spending a nice meal with my husband to celebrate our anniversary, I slunk into the back corner trying to get the attention off of us.

Yes, we should not get lost in self pity, but I also think we need to be aware of how we treat others around us, even if we don’t interact directly with each other.

Normally, I am the one to let is slide and Mike gets protective, but this time it really hit me hard, how powerful a nasty stare can be. Remember, we should look kindly on each other because we are all God’s children.

It’s in the little things…

blogentry_kristaroseOver these past two weeks, Michael and I have received many blessings.

Our sister-in-law was taken to the hospital and gave birth August 31st. Blessed little Caleb has been in the NICU but we are blessed with a new nephew. His mom and dad are also celebrating their two year anniversary today.

Last week, in a spur of the moment I decided I wanted to watch a dance show and I was blessed that Michael could come and we enjoyed a wonderful date night.

Two nights in a row this week, Michael and I have had a time to take a break and get lost playing a video game for a few hours together.

These moments are little things that have brought a lot of joy.

As I always say, doing a little can make a big difference (LCBD!)…I am blessed for all the little things in my life that make my life wonderful and perfect, to me.

What little things make your day?

-Krazy Kree

“Don’t let yourself get in the way of you”

blogentry_kristaroseI had a massage the other day from a remarkable therapist. As I always say, “Everything happens for a reason” because God is in charge, not me. I truly believe God brought me to this therapist. I’ve been living across from this salon for over a year and randomly called over to see if they gave massages. They said yes and were charging me about a third of what my wonderful day spa charges me, so of course I signed up.

I went into the salon and out comes this smaller man and he asks if I’m ready…he looks nervous and awkward and I’m thinking that I am having second thoughts…this isn’t a day spa, it’s a hair salon, there isn’t any calming music, or tea, or water or anything…and then we get into the room and there is harsh lighting and they therapist is very laissez-faire attitude.

I have to say, it was the most amazing massage I’ve ever had. This man was trained to be a medical masseuse and helped a paraplegic to move his hands, helped a woman to walk again, helped so many people. He was originally a mechanic and moved from man’s machine to God’s machine.  He is amazing and he feels that God has called him to be where he is at. He’s changed so many lives and he said the most profound thing to me, “Don’t let yourself get in the way of you.”

What a profound thought. He had a dog and he and his wife wanted the dog to be a therapist dog but they  then said that they didn’t know what the dog wanted…the dog did not want to be a therapist dog but was a very loving and loyal dog for them.

So I leave it to you, let God be the planner…don’t get in your own way.

The Prodigal Son

blogentry_kristaroseHappy Easter!

I know that some of you may wonder why I wrote “The Prodigal Son.” The priest from today’s gospel talked about Easter, of course, and Jesus risen, but he also mentioned of the Prodigal
Son from a few weekends ago, as well.

He talked about how that was one of Jesus’ most powerful stories, that God was willing to forgive us for all our sins…that no matter how much we sin, He will welcome us back. (He also did mention that Jesus dying on the cross was “a zillion times more important” than this gospel, because God did not wait for the repentant sinner to come to him, but already forgave them.)

The fact that the priest talked about the Prodigal Son really hit me because you usually don’t hear about the Prodigal Son on Easter. He talked of the son wasting his inheritance and partying all the time and when he ends up sleeping with the pigs, that the Father welcomed him back and forgave him. This doesn’t mean that you can just go on a sinning spree because you know that if you mean that you’re sorry later, than it’s okay. You may even be committing a mortal sin (which occurs when (1) the sin is of grave/serious matter (2) you know that it is a sin and (3) you commit the sin with full deliberate consent [which means you are committing the sin because you want to not because someone is forcing you…]).

But what really caught me about the Prodigal Son was the “faithful” son that was angry that the Father had accepted his brother back after sinning so much. I think that this is such a great lesson in the Prodigal Son that is often omitted and if it isn’t omitted, it is often skipped in the homily. This jealous son teaches us that as the faithful, we should not be angry at God or our brothers and sisters when God forgives them and welcomes them back to His Home and His heart. We should not be jealous or full of pride (two of the seven deadly sins) and say to God that it’s unfair for Him to welcome them Home.

We should love our brothers and sisters no matter what. When I was younger I asked my parents if there were tiers in Heaven and Hell…like those who sinned more got punished more and those who were more faithful were a “closer” tier to God. I know now that that is impossible, at least in Heaven, because God loves all His children of equal magnitude (but don’t get me wrong, it’s an infinite magnitude) and He wants us to see that we are all equals and should love each other with agape, the infinite love He has for us.

Happy Easter to all!

-Kree

You make me smile

blogentry_kristaroseListen to “You make me smile” by Uncle Kracker (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkCLBj7nKPY) which will make this post, and more importantly, your day, so much better. It’s just a great song about people in love…or even best friends and family.

I know that Michael has written a time or two about Twix, but he really does light up our lives. Whenever I am sick he runs to me and curls up with me and his warmth helps make me feel better. I think animals are a lot more keen to our feelings than we humans may even be. If you have a pet, make sure they know that you are grateful for them and that you love them. Like this Mama Panda and her cub – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdfJMZVt7pI.

Even more than your animals, though, don’t forget to love those who love you. I may sometimes drive my parents wild, and not in the good way, but I hope they also know that I wouldn’t be where and who I am today without them. Their love, devotion, and caring for us children and their great faith helped to raise the three of us to be the wonderful, charismatic people we are today. Don’t forget to let others know how you feel.

Need some inspiration? Google: “You make me smile,” and click “images.” These will be a guarantee to make you smile and that person smile. So on this day, Good Friday, don’t only thank Jesus for paying the ultimate sacrifice for us, but thank God for all the wonderful people He put in our lives to let His light shine through them. Thank you, Jesus, for making me smile.

http://images.cryhavok.org/v/You+Make+Me+Smile.jpg

You Make Me Smile

 

<3 Krazy Kree

LCBD: This year it’s the little things

blogentry_kristaroseHappy new year! I think this year will be an odd one!

As I reflect on 2012, I think this year has got to be better than my last. I think of the blessings, trials, and tribulations that God gave me last year, most especially the trials and tribulations, and how God has strengthened me.

Living with lupus has taught me that I have to take life piece by piece, and measure what energy I can exert on what. I have learned to appreciate the little things, the little things that make like just a bit easier. For example, my parents have been visiting for a few months and my dad likes to take Twix out in the morning. It’s nice to be able to sleep in and also not have Michael’s work interrupted in the morning because Dad can take out my dog.

It’s even the things we can’t control…like my uncle being our guardian angel and painting the scratches on my car so it wouldn’t rust. How happy he was when he heard that we called him our guardian angel!

It’s the little things in life. If we notice and appreciate the little things in life, it will help make us that much happier to notice the little things we do for one another…and the little things that make us happy. I can still remember my student just coming by with a little chocolate turkey “just because” and that completely making my week.

So remember to help with the little things, and to appreciate the little things…and that will make this year a great year.

LCBD: Accepting Help

blogentry_kristaroseEver since I was a little girl I have been ill. Being in the hospital and doctors’ offices and everything in between limited my independence to do things. Whenever I could, I did my best to take care of myself so others did not have to. Of course, my mom and dad were always there to remind me, but I tried to be independent as much as possible. What lupus has taught me is that, unfortunately, I am not super woman and I can’t do everything by myself anymore. I must depend on the help of others, but most especially Michael.

Lupus has truly helped me to better understand the partnership that I have with Michael. Even though we have been together for over six years, we have truly learned and valued being partners in the past year.

Yes, we’ve dealt with “tough stuff” before…very tough stuff. With Michael’s dad passing away, and growing up and getting apartments and moving cross country from each other and starting new jobs…we’ve been through tough stuff. However, with lupus, it is the very first thing we have really had to handle by ourselves.

Of course we have our family and our parents, but we are in town by ourselves learning how to balance work, doctors, and life. It is a big balance and compromise and I have to learn to ask for help and accept it. I have to be humble enough to understand that I am in need of help and all Michael is doing is helping me to be better.

This is like everything: We feel we can always handle anything on our own. We must learn that it is ok to accept help. Accepting help is another way to connect and work together with others. Accepting help is human.