Friday, May 28, 2010

Learning Hebrew

We've been learning Hebrew for the last couple of months using Rosetta Stone. I have really enjoyed it SO much. It is actually a fun thing to do, even though I am beginning to feel a little overwhelmed as the lesson's progress. I like the challenge! Hebrew is a lot harder then the languages I have studied, Hungarian, Greek, and French. Some letters look the same to me, and don't resemble anything I know in English! I know I will get it all in my mind as I keep going.

Bryan put on the head set the other night and from the bedroom I heard him go "AT&T this is Bryan how may I help you?" I laughed so hard. The head set allows you to speak the words as you learn them and it will recognize the right pronunciation in the computer. It is an immersion method of study that doesn't translate anything into English at all. Like children learn a language when they are little, so does this program integrate vocabulary.

A SAD SAD DONKEY

Tighe and I took her kids and Angela's kids, (yes 5 in ALL) to May Farm yesterday as Angela and Brian cleaned the house in preparation to move to Canada tomorrow. I had never been there and to my delight...as we exited the car I was SURROUNDED by DONKEYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Poor Tighe, I think in all reality there was 6 kids (counting me!) and her. I had a blast watching the kids and playing with the animals myself. But, of course, the donkey's, in their extra extra extra sad way, trapped my attention. One donkey even KISSED me! I will have to go back out there soon. I wished I lived there!

I will miss Angela, Brian, Ivan, Dominique, and Emora so much. They have been a sweet family to us. Pray for their drive from Texas to Canada, that their U-Haul, Van, and Truck will arrive safely with their belongings and kids. Our town will feel so different without them.

This SAD SAD, EXTRA EXTRA SAD with an EXTRA SIDE of REALLY REALLY REALLY SAD Donkey is for Angela and her family. See, this is how SAD we're all gonna be that they are gone. Now that's some serious SADNESS.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gracey Nose/Knows

We have been to the vet 3 times in the last week. Gracey seems to be having another spell. Her liver disorder, microvascular dysplasia, seems to be stable, but affecting her more as the weather gets hot. She swells, isn't as active, and seems sad. But as we came home from church Sunday, Gracey was limping and falling over. Her back right leg was pretty much dangling, she would try to walk to us, and collapse. It was heart breaking to watch. I thought she broke her leg. We took her to the ER Vet and they said she has a luxating patella in both of her back leg knees. In other words, her knee caps are out of their groove, sloshing back and forth around her leg bones. Her left knee cap has already been back and forth so much it has made a new groove on the exterior, and pretty much stays stable, even though it is not in the right place. The right leg, the one we saw her struggling with, is still popping back and forth, and when it gets caught, it causes her to loose control of the leg and therefore she falls, hops, or sits. This is causing some pain for her, and she is very uncomfortable. For about 2 days she had trouble going to the bathroom because she needed her back legs to prop her up. We ended up giving her pain medicine to help her, but it took a lot of coaxing and helping her to stand and catching her before she fell after she went. We also have her on some anti-inflammatory medicine called Metacam. I think it really helps her a lot. I really feel she fell off the couch or jumped down too quickly when she heard us drive up. She was fine before we left. Poor Gracey.

She also had to change her food. Now this is a HUGE battle because Gracey has went for days without eating before in stubbornness because she didn't want new food. We tried an LD (Liver Disease) diet, and she tried to eat it and threw up. So I have been making her some food, but it seemed like there should be an easier solution. So we are now trying the EN diet foods. Our vet told me (not Bryan, ha-ha!) to be strong and stubborn too because she needs it. Well, to my delight!, she actually ate the food yesterday mixed with some other stuff, but today she ate it alone and seemed to like it. This is a HUGE relief.

I know in all reality, Gracey will most likely not live forever, even though I claim she will. But I want her here for a long time. I want her happy, taken care of, and shown how much she blesses us. She has been through so much with me and has been a constant love. Her nose aka "the Sniffer" is my absolutely favorite thing ever. I wanted to post a photo of her and saw this one and just had to, but then something deeper hit me, Gracey NOSE. She knows how to love someone even when they feel unlovable, she's sensitive, sweet, smart, stubborn, ADORABLE, she makes me feel not alone, she acts like a temperature gage for my actions and emotions, I have seen her "therapy" hundreds of people, she makes me laugh, keeps me going even when I feel sick, she helps me LOVE, and for this I am so thankful.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hungering For Jesus

"...he who feeds on Me will live because of Me."
John 6:57

I'm nearly done with reading Your Word Lord in it's entirety by myself. It's like I have my last piece of chocolate cake and I'm eating it REALLY slow because I want to savor it. I knew I wanted to finish with John, 2 years ago when I began. I gotta tell You, Your confusing sometimes and I still don't know if reading "who begot who" has necessarily deepened my faith. But OH, my heart has widened with knowing Your Love throughout all time both from the beginning until now. I feel privileged to have lived at a time where Your Son, Jesus already came, and having access to His life and Words. If I lived back then, I wouldn't have heard all He said. I guess the privilege lies in the fact it is all together for me to explore and the Holy Spirit guides me into His Wisdom. This happened last night as I read this verse above. It is a weird one, but my spirit was pricked with curiosity and I had to dwell on what it meant.

I wrote:

"How do we "feed" on Jesus? We allow Him to nurture us. Grow us. Provide and satisfy us. Jesus knew the importance of being fed. He uses this analogy numerously throughout the scriptures. He says "I AM the bread of life." John 6:35. He talks about satisfying those who believe in Him that they will never hunger or thirst again. In the beginning of chapter 6, before He even began teaching the crowds, He fed them. He did a miracle with the fish and bread, and fed their bodies, so He could fed their spirits too. Jesus knows our physical hunger is tied to our emotions. He demonstrates His Love and Compassion by showing His Love in providing what our bodies need in food. In this world there is so much we can "feed" on. Trash TV, horrible worthless music, movies that shouldn't be legal, drama we cause and propel, and also anger and many other "junk food." ALL these things "feed" us whether we acknowledge it or not. Jesus asks us in this very short verse to draw what supports our life, eating and nurturing our bodies from Him, from Truth. He will help us grow. We ALL know what it feels like to be hungry. Wisely, He used this physical need to express how much He wants to feed us, and this "spiritual food" will cause Life, not darkness or death. Just today I met a very rude woman who blew me away by her rudeness so much so, that I couldn't even respond until she was gone. If I allowed that to fuel my spirit then I would be an incredibly angry person. I rather choose Jesus, even though it feels harder sometimes. I believe Him, I believe He will nurture me with His Truth and it will bring Life."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Incredibly Blessed by Purple

I have to say, I was very overwhelmed by your love for these photos. It came at a needed time for me as I have been starting a new medicine for Lupus and been experiencing some yucky side affects. As I received these photos, I truly became more strengthened and encouraged. I posted them, except 1st place, in the order that I got them. Right now I feel tears in my eyes knowing you took the time to remember those like myself, and Kathy (picture below) who struggle daily with Lupus. The first place photo represents so many aspects of Lupus. The Butterfly Rash is one common symptom people with Lupus deal with. It usually is red, swells the face, and even painful or itchy at times. Angela wrote a blog about creating this photo and they even posted a video of what they endured with 5 kids doing it! LOL Each and every photo made a difference to me. I really can't express how blessed I am by this. Thank you ALL so much!!!!

FIRST PLACE, "L.U.P.U.S, Living Uniquely and Purposefully to Undermine Symptoms" (left to right) Lily, Tighe, Ivan, Isaiah, Dominique, Angela, and Emora

Isaiah, Dominique, and Ivan

Angela and Tighe, my sweet butterfly friends.

Maddy, Katie's daughter, is "Looking for a Cure" Katie is my former photography student. She is PRECIOUS and her little girl is so adorable. This photo is done so well, and I am touched by the concept of its depth.

Bryan's photo is called "Fighting Back the Darkness" He has seen and fought the darkness, Lupus, with me so many times. He is my warrior and I am so touched by this photo. I did NOTHING to help him! I don't even know how he did this!


Bryan took this picture for Gracey and it is titled, "Little Warrior" On some of the worst days of my disease, Gracey has been the one who snuggled, licked, and made me laugh, she really is a little warrior in disguise.

This is my friend, Kathy, who also has Lupus. I met her at my reception and was incredibly touched by her warmth and heart as she is going through so much with this disease. I love her sign "Praying for a Cure" Kathy, your smile gives me joy and strength. Thank you.

Kathy, Kristi and sweet little Benjamin. They took these photos for me at church!

"Someone You Know Has Lupus" purple bracelets

"Olive" and Jessica, my Barat (friend in Hungarian). I love both of them so very much. Barat texted me on Monday and said "I'm wearing my purple for you today!'

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Need Your Purple Photos!!!

Keep sending in your purple photos! You have until tomorrow evening to submit them to ibgphotograph@aol.com. It would bless me and tons of others to know you wore purple. You still have 1 day to dress up, be creative, and send them in!

Monday, May 10, 2010

I May Have Lupus BUT...


I may have Lupus...

but it...

doesn't have...

ME!!!!



World Lupus Awareness Day, May 10, 2010
Send in your photos to me of you wearing PURPLE by Thursday, May 14 for your chance to win a FREE IBG print.

All photography on this page is copyrighted

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All rights reserved
Inspired by Grace Photography

Sunday, May 09, 2010

God Will Give Me Joy

Drew this on the back of my bulletin this morning in church. God has shown me He will give me joy through all our losses.

I find peace and joy today in Who God is and His Promises.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

All Around Me

This past Sunday at church our Pastor played the testimony of Lacey, the singer from Flyleaf. I was so touched by the end of it and have been wanting to see and hear her song "All Around Me" again since that day. Knowing she wanted to kill herslef, and that Jesus showed her His Love was worth living for, gives me great joy as she dances around singing "I'm Alive!" Sometimes I wish we all abandoned our pride and danced freely, rejoicing in what the Lord has done! It is no wonder Jesus says we should "become like little children." Just the other day I watched Audriana and tons of other kids dance to live music and was reminded of children's' ability to teach us how to rejoice and be happy.

This is her music video of "All Around Me." SO GOOD!



Lacey's testimony:



PS. If you haven't read Bryan's Blog today, you should. It has truly blessed me. He writes at the end: "The wounds of the believers are the windows to the splendor of God."

Monday, May 03, 2010

"Traitor"

My featured piece at my recent Inspired by Grace Show was "Traitor." After I finished it, a sense of relief came over me. I finally was able to demonstrate what Lupus feels like. Sometimes it is nearly impossible to express how you feel with Lupus. Every book, words, or thoughts don't come close to actually SHOWING you. I want to help others understand on an emotional level the battle going on with there own body. Underneath the photo is the explanation/bio I wrote and hung with this piece. It was a 16x20 print, and the detail of "Lupus" pulling down was easier to see, but I think you will be able to see this here below. (Inspired by Grace is written on the top here solely for copyright reasons, it is not a part of "Traitor")


How can you learn to accept the fact your own body is a traitor against you? It never happens. After being diagnosed with Systemic Lupus (SLE) in 2004, I live in constant realization that my body attacks itself. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder where the body confusedly thinks it needs to protect itself from blood, tissue and in severe cases like mine, vital organs. After 2.5 years of chemotherapy treatments I am now in remission, yet feel the affects of Lupus everyday. “Traitor” represents mine, and millions of other’s war against illness. As I struggle to stand, my own self pulls me down with vengeance thinking it is doing what is right. This photo shows the truth of many who feel the heavy weight of disease and wish their own body would stop fighting them and allow them to stand and be free of chains. It was impossible to capture “Traitor” myself and I couldn’t think of a better person to represent me then my husband, Bryan, who has witnessed the symptoms of Lupus and has held and supported me with tears in his eyes.



DON'T FORGET TO SEND IN YOUR PURPLE PHOTOS BY MAY 14! To win a chance at a FREE IBG Print! Be creative!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Lupus Awareness Month

May is Lupus Awareness Month
May 10, 2010 is World Lupus Day


So what can you do?

*Wear Purple on Monday, May 10. SEND in a photo of you, the kids or your pets wearing purple to me! I am going to pick my favorite one and the winner gets a FREE IBG Print! Yes, you read that right people....A FREE IBG ORIGINAL PRINT...and I will sign it for you! I will post the ones I get on my blog with the winner on May 14. Send entries to: ibgphotography@aol.com

*Pray for me and others who have this painful disease.

*If you would like to make a donation in honor of Lupus Awareness Month (we did the Walk for Lupus Now last year with donations, thank you!) please visit the Lupus Foundation of America site.

*Read some interesting facts below!

Some Quick Facts:

*It is estimated that 1.5/2 million people (out of 304 million) in the United States have some form of lupus.
*80% of lupus patients develop the disease between the ages of 15 & 45.
*Many lupus patients are very sun sensitive, & therefore need to cover up well when in the sun.
*Some lupus patients report of being affected by UV light, eg. from fluorescent lights.
*The treatment of lupus aims to suppress the overactive immune system & diminish any inflammation.
*90% of lupus sufferers are female
*Approximately 95% of lupus patients have a positive ANA test.
*Lupus is differentiated from other connective tissue diseases, based on eleven criteria offered by the American College of Rheumatology for classification purposes:
•Butterfly-shaped rash across cheeks and nose
•Scaly disk-shaped rash on face, neck, ears, scalp, chest
•Sunlight sensitivity
•Mouth sores, tongue sores, inside nose sores
•Arthritis pain in joints
•Pain in chest and side when breathing or moving
•Kidney problems
•Neurological problems
•Blood problems such as anemia, low white cell count
•Immune system malfunction
•Antinuclear antibodies