I did it!

Apologies for taking such huge breaks between posts. I have had a lot going on! Such as:

  • Ever present possibility that I have to move suddenly (I live alone, but it’s my dad’s house, and it is on the market).
  • Going through some difficult times relationally.
  • Full-time job
  • Studying for my COA (Certified Ophthalmic Assistant) exam.

BUT I HAVE GOOD NEWS! I PASSED MY COA TEST! I am officially, Moriah, COA, OSC.

I am super excited about it. I wanted to share something interesting that happened while I was preparing for the test.

One afternoon, I was studying and feeling very overwhelmed. So, I prayed, and I asked God to please help me stay calm, remember what I was studying, and help me pass the test.
And he gently nudged my heart and says;

“You ask for an awful lot from someone you never spend time with. How about you put Me first, make spending time in My word priority, and then, we’ll see.”

I felt kinda convicted. So, I began reading at least one chapter of scripture and spending time in prayer daily before I would allow myself to study. I still studied, but devoted time to both studying ophthalmology and the bible. And I passed my test. πŸ™‚ God is awesome.

Prayer request for you all! My best friend has to move on Dec. 20th. He still does not know where he will be moving to, but so far his only option is 45+ minutes farther away from his jobs (he has four jobs… yeah…), and farther from me (super-sad face emoji). Please pray that God will provide him a place that is closer, more convenient, and in a good price range. Preferably with a roommate that can split the costs with him.

Anyway, I’m off to do some reading before bed! TTFN!

~TQG

Ruth & Boaz

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I’ve been told no less than 3 times this week that I am beautiful. At least 4 times that I have gorgeous hair, and twice that I have a sweet spirit. God knows when I need the reminder.

I’m watching everyone I know, coworkers, friends, family and people I don’t even know getting engaged and married and having kids left and right. People that are younger or not much older than myself. It’s awesome, seeing everyone so happy, pursuing futures with their new spouses. But it’s also kinda hard. I have to keep reminding myself that I would rather be single than with the wrong person, or lower my standards just to get affection.

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What I’m looking for is totally worth the wait. I know my creator is thrilled to reveal His plan. He’s got my love story all written out, each step I take traces the lines of His pen. I grow closer each day to the moment when clarity hits. He delights in romance, the joy of learning to love someone completely and fully.

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My man is being prepared for me just as I am for him. A man after God’s own heart. Who loves God more than he loves me, and puts God first in all he does.

I studied the book of Ruth again recently, and I have to say, I just adore the love story of Ruth and Boaz. It’s so imperfect.

Tragedy, hard manual labor, long sweaty days in the sun.

A medaling older woman who gives questionable advice requiring Ruth, a woman, to essentially make the first move. (A big deal back then!) She literally tells her, wash yourself, wear your best perfume and clothes, but do not let him see you until he has finished eating and drinking. I don’t know if they were drinking water or wine, but regardless. She’s getting her daughter in law ready to wow an unsuspecting man after a long hard day of work. Sneaky old lady.

But then, Boaz, a kind hearted, honorable man, sees her hard work and blesses her for it. And takes her forwardness with such grace.

“May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter; this last instance of your loyalty is better than the first; you have not gone after younger men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not be afraid. I will do for you all that you ask, for all the assembly of my people know that you are a worthy woman. But now, though it is true that I am a near kinsman, there is another kinsman more closely related than I. Remain this night, and in the morning, if he will act as next-of-kin for you, good; let him do it. If he is not willing to act as next-of-kin for you, then, as the Lord lives, I will. Lie down until the morning.”

So she lay at his feet until morning…

I strongly encourage you to go read this book to get the full picture. There is no question that he liked and was attracted to her, but yet he sought out the course of action that was honorable and in her best interest, all while reassuring her that regardless, she would be taken care of. Even in the way that he asked her to remain for the night rather than go alone back to her home with Naomi.

I also love how when Ruth recounts the story to Naomi the next day, Naomi says “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest, but will settle the matter today.”

I get the feeling Ruth was jittery and nervous about what would happen and where she would end up. I can relate with that.

I also like the honest, but very strategic way Boaz poses the idea to this other next of kin. He is totally honest, but it’s clear he is definitely hoping to be the one to redeem Ruth. It’s precious. I can’t help but see in my mind a mature, wise man, talking to this other next-of-kin, his heart pounding, praying under his breath that God bless him with this strong, hard working, worthy woman.

The whole thing is just dripping with raw humanity, and it’s beautiful. It makes my heart smile. God has such a great sense of humor.

I’m not perfect, and I never will be, but I’m hoping and praying I will be a worthy bride to my own Boaz someday.

 

It’s not over yet.

Heard this song on the radio for the first time about two weeks ago. Absolutely love it. I’m surprised I haven’t busted my cars speakers with this one.

God is doing some fantastic things in my life. I’m officially a member of my church, which is something I’ve never done or wanted to do until now. I’m making new friends, trying new things, expanding my world tenfold, and loving it. It’s scary, but so worth it.

Work is stressing me out some. I sometimes miss having a job that didn’t require studying and certifications. But, I am still enjoying my work, so that is a huge blessing.

Anyway, there is a quick update for you. Maybe more later. I have to get ready for bed, and decide which of three books I have to read will actually be read tonight. We’ll see how it goes.

 

~TQG

 

Ambulances

Ever since November 22, 2014 I have had an emotional reaction to seeing ambulances running lights and siren to or from an incident. I’ve always made it a point to pray for police officers when I see them running code or stopping a car, having family members and friends in law enforcement makes you more sensitive to the dangers of their job. And I’ve always made a point to pray for the people I see involved in car accidents along the road, but it hasn’t been until now how important ambulances, EMS, and EMT’s are. My mom wasn’t currently in critical condition when she took her last ride in an ambulance, but that ride marked the last time she traveled anywhere, the last time she sat in a brand new recliner her parents had purchased for her, which had only arrived hours before.

There is something sobering about putting yourself in another persons/family’s shoes. What does that ambulance ride mean for them? I remember looking through the blinds in the computer room of my house, watching them roll my mom, who laughed and joked with them the whole way, out to the ambulance and load her in. I remember a sense of just, complete denial. “This isn’tΒ necessary. She’s being over dramatic. She could have walked out to a car on her own. She’s fine. She’ll be back in no time, she’s getting better.” But as much as my brain tried to convince me that everything was fine, my heart was heavy. I spent the rest of that day alone in the house, listening to the clocks tick, wondering what it would be like to live in a house without her and trying to convince myself that wasn’t going to happen.

And that’s what comes to me every time I see an ambulance. So I take a few moments and pray for them, for the EMT’s, the family. Because I know what it’s like to feel like you’re floating in an ocean of unknown.

I say all this as a reminder, to you, my loyal readers. It’s very easy to get to the point in your life where you just motor along, totally absorbed in your life and your mission and your purpose. Taking time to set all the “you” aside and put yourself in another’s position, pray for them not with pity, but with empathy, is something indescribably valuable. Not only is prayer powerful, and you are no doubt having an impact on their life as they fight the battle of this world, but opening yourself up to another’s struggle helps you better appreciate your own blessings. At least, it has for me.

Second, lesser thought for you along similar lines… I’ve been going on long walks lately, about 2.5 miles. Last time I did this, about half way through, I realized that I was walking along staring at the ground. For good reason, the route I take is quite rocky and uneven in places, and I don’t like twisted ankles. But, when I realized this and looked up, took in the scene around me and looked ahead instead of right where I was, I instantly felt better. Like, emotionally and physically felt a lot better. As it turns out, looking down slightly constricts your air ways, so you feel very slightly light headed if you’re doing something strenuous and looking down the whole time (oops). Seeing the light of the sun and the wind in the trees always makes me a happier person in general. I’m way too tired at the moment to make some great life lesson out of this about not getting caught up in the struggles of the day. Instead, just, look around at how beautiful everything is when you walk and… y’know.. Breathe.. normally… It helps, I promise!

I think I’ll head towards the bed now. heh…

~TQG

Delight Yourself In The Lord

Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

~Psalm 37:3-7

Today the church service I usually go to got canceled because of a church event, and I wasn’t feeling particularly social, at least not social enough to go to a church event, so my dad and I watched this service from Liberty University instead.

Such an encouraging message, exactly what I needed to hear today. Highly recommended. In a time when I’ve felt like I’m barely surviving work, this message reminded me that I don’t have to be serving as a missionary in some foreign country to glorify God. I am a missionary every time my fingers touch my keyboard, every time my feet leave my front yard, and especially when I clock in at Petsmart. And that is something I desperately needed to be refreshed on. “Trust in the Lord and do good”, it’s not complicated. Trust God, live in a way that honors Him. It’s not about how many people you lead to Christ or how many enemies of the faith you win arguments with, it’s about the way you live. The thing God wants from us more than anything is our love, and when we love Him, our lives will reflect His glory in a way that attracts people. It opens the door to tell peopleΒ why you’re so different from the world around you. Doesn’t mean they will necessarily drop what they’re doing and follow Jesus, but they certainly won’t forget the light they saw in you. Maybe they’ll ignore it, or maybe they’ll seek out the same light for themselves one day, but that’s between them and God, you planted the seed. I don’t know about you, but that is exciting to me. πŸ™‚

Anyway, it feels like an eternity since I’ve been really encouraged, so I just had to share it. I hope this message encourages you too.

~TQG

Jumping In

Starting back to work this evening with a sneeze. Or two. Or ten. Was kept awake much of last night with a cold, and broke out the cold meds this morning. Lots of vitamin C, zinc, cranberry juice, coffee, and water. And so far I have emptied and repurposed one box of tissue. They make great mini trash cans once they’re empty! … I’ll go to work smelling like vaporizing chest rub rather than perfume… Sadly…

These last few days have been a huge struggle. I miss my mom. It all feels so unreal, like a bad dream. The grief roller coaster is rough, laughing one minute and feeling like your chest is about to crack open from sadness the next. Stress of the unknown is constantly knocking at our door as we try and figure out how to manage bill payment. There are 11 different medical bills all needing paid. Eleven. And not little bills either. And on top of that, electric, water, internet, mortgage (why is there a T in that word??) and phone bills. All of this I knew existed before, but never had to sit down and look at the numbers… I’m glad I’m learning it now, but it’s still a lot to take in.

Literally just now I’m getting a text from my manager asking if I can come in early… *sighs* Thus begins my jump off the cliff of real life.

Next Chapter Of Adulthood

Less than one month of 2014 left, and today I started the somewhat daunting but also exciting task of becoming my Dad’s personal accountant. Together we are delving into the dark chasm of bills and debts and setting up a special bill paying schedule for me to work from, so that I may take on my new role as payer of the bills. Though this is a pretty big task, I’m actually happy about it. It’s something I’d have to learn to do eventually, but this way I’m learning it while I still have someone to help crunch numbers and build budgets. Someone who actually knows how.

The last.. two weeks? Has been quite a roller coaster. Lots of family and friends in town, dropping food by, spending time with us, keeping our minds busy. But this week we are mostly (but not totally!) alone as far as company goes. Which is good, we aren’t very good company when we’re trying to pay bills. (Paying bills can make one a bit gwumpy.)

My parents and I have always had a very close relationship. And now that we’re missing one, my Dad and I have stuck close. Both of us have been having dreams lately, dreams that try and convince us that Mom is still alive. Mine often include Mom showing up and saying the doctor’s lied to us, and that she survived, and when I wake up, I feel like I’m still dreaming. It doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t feel real.

So often I see or hear of something really fun or cute, and my first thought is “I need to save that and show it to Mom!”. Or I’ll get dressed, and want to ask her opinion on my outfit. But I can’t. And every time my brain makes that subconscious suggestion, the reality of her loss hits me again.

She was 47. Way, way too young to spend her last week of life in a hospital bed, getting stuck with needles multiple times a day. I held her hand for some of those needles. And I was there, in the room when she died. Every memory of that night sits at the edge of my mind, nagging at me. Threatening to show up while I sleep.

The first three days next week, I’ll be home alone for most of the day. I’m intending to go to the gym a lot, read a lot, do laundry and clean. But even so, neither my Dad nor I have any desire to be alone right now. We’ll see how it goes…

 

Update

An update on my family, particularly my mom.

As I said in my last post, after Sunday’s hour of prayer we found out that her CPK (inflammation) levels are totally normal, even better than your average healthy person, so that is a huge blessing. However, her heart is enlarged due to the strain to push blood through damaged lungs.

Last night she was feeling extremely short of breath, dizzy and weak, and this morning she made the decision to call an ambulance and go to the ER. They’ve run a couple of tests and found that she has a small blood clot in her lungs and fluid on her heart. They’re going to drain the fluid today (you have to be put under for this, but it’s just a large needle, no real “surgery”), and she will most likely be staying in the hospital for the weekend. So please keep her in your prayers.

Currently my truck is having weird electrical issues, and we have only one car. I’ve recently rearranged my schedule at work to be home for Mom, so I lost a lot of hours already and am going to have to procure rides to work this weekend. Thankfully I have some awesome coworkers and managers who are helping me anyway they can from covering my shifts to giving me rides! Such a blessing.

Anyway, at the moment I’m feeling kind of stressed and overwhelmed, so please keep my family and I in your prayers. We really appreciate you all.

Exciting News!

Awesome, fantastic news! My mom went to the doctor day before yesterday and had blood work done. Her stats used to be really bad, but now herΒ  inflammation levels are completely normal – they went from outrageous and risky of 8000 (CPK level) to 60, well below the normal range of 300! She still has damaged lungs and a heart that is working overtime to pump blood into her lungs — and we are addressing that right now with the cardiologist, but FINALLY some good news! We are so encouraged and uplifted by this.

Also, I’m taking steps to acquire a scholarship and take a couple more online classes, make at least a little bit of progress earning college credits. Probably two classes. Filled out the application today. So that’s exciting as well. πŸ™‚ Praying that I get one of the two larger scholarships, but even the smallest one would be a great start. So to those of my praying followers, here are the following prayer requests:

Continued healing for my mom.
Scholarship contest– God blesses me with a decent sized one.
Financial Aid–that I get enough to be worth something.

Anyway, thats the update for today! Super thrilled by the turn of events today. πŸ™‚

Wife Bootcamp

It’s all about perspective.

Due to the massive amount of stress I’ve been under, I have roughly one emotional meltdown every 48-74 hours. Today it was shortly after arriving home from work to find what honestly looked like the destruction of a small tornado. My mom had had a very rough day physically, so any mess made by her during the six hours I had been gone was strewn all over the kitchen. Dishes I hadn’t had time to do before work and dishes from her lunch and snacks throughout the day were literally overflowing the sink and covering most of the counter. As I prepared dinner a pizza fell apart and scattered crumbs over the stove, floor and counter, and I looked around and just lost it. I’ve been having really bad back/shoulder pain lately and spend most of my six hour work day doing out-of-dates on dog food. So lots of lifting heavy things and squating down and wearing out my already sore back.

Dishes and crumbs aren’t worth crying over, you say? No. They aren’t. But it wasn’t the dishes or the thought of having to do them that sent me over the edge. It’s the reason why. It’s the constant reminder than my mom is very ill. The nagging worry that she may not be at my wedding or get to see her grandchildren. I can handle the work, it’s the reminder of why it’s needed that breaks me.

That being said, I’ve decided to pretend this is wife bootcamp! By the time I’m actually married, I’ll have this dishes, laundry, house cleaning and dinner making thing down pat! ^_^ And when I transform my perspective on the work, it really can become fun (about 70% of the time, at least).