Tag Archives: basic needs

I was Needed

This probably will sound absurd. It probably is. However, this morning I was needed. It wasn’t anything urgent and could have waited (I suppose), but at the moment, I decided to take action myself. I wanted to be depended upon. I needed, for myself, the reverse psychology thinking–being the giver..instead of the dependent. One small gesture gratified this. This is Muffy. He’s my cat. He’ll be ten (in human years) this Fall and has used four of his “nine lives.” He’s pretty special. When we lived in Colorado, all our cats were outside cats, making their home in the back of the barn. I never saw any mice! When we moved, Muff and his brother cat, Tux, had to do major adjusting as we had no barn. We tried purchasing a small dog house and placed it on the patio. It wasn’t appreciated at first (although Muff finally started using it, but prefers the cushioned lawn chairs.) As for Tux, he discovered the shed across the street. I always thought it funny as I referenced them in parallel to the personalities of Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25), because they certainly acted like it.

Now that it is just Muffy in our family, he has had to make more adjustments. He still loves the outdoors and when the grass grew so tall at the unoccupied neighbor’s house–Muffy was living in a jungle dream. I now have seen many, many mice (more left-over version, sad to say.) The Winter months were harsh, so he spent a lot of time indoors; in the summer, sometimes he comes in on extremely warm/humid days. Outside, he claims one specific patio chair that we placed a green blanket on like a basket-shape. Inside, he now claims my bed; or his newest fancy–the “underworld” between my mattress and the floor.

Taking care of Muff used to be a cinch. Now, I not only depend on my family to help with my own needs, but also taking care of Muffy…even something as simple as placing his food dish out on the patio. And that is where my morning story takes place:

Muffy has now, too, discovered the coolness (in literal terms) of the shed across the street, so it was no surprise to me that he didn’t come when I called his name out the screen door with a short, “Here kitty, kitty.” I ate my own breakfast and when I decided upon a piece of toast, my eye caught a whiff of black on my turn to the pantry. “Hi, Muffy!” The main door being closed, he somehow sensed my talking to him, because he started the “cat dance”: tail swishing, head twisting, rubbing his nose against the screen door. “Are you hungry?” My obvious inquiry is answered with another cat dance.

I push my walker to the laundry room and get a dish of food. I had noticed Marcia’s hallway light to her upstairs bedroom was on, as well as the basement. Figuring that she was awake and in either one of those two places (she was gone–unknown to me), I text her and ask if she can help get Muffy’s food to the patio. As I wait for a reply, Muffy’s cat dances are getting pathetically cuter and I just decide–“I’m going to do this! (somehow)” Even though it is only two steps down, there is only a side handle, so logically, it is not safe for me to try to hold the food dish and screen door open with one hand and try to backhand grab the handle–it is complicated and doesn’t work…I already tried it numerous ways.

To avoid a Lifeline escapade, I open the door and stick my right foot out to avoid Muffy running inside. He just rubs his head against your foot regardless. I quickly set the dish on the first step just out of reach for the closing door line. Muffy is thrilled and starts munching away on his bland, dry breakfast food. I close the door and smiled. I just fed my cat his breakfast. 🙂

I often forget that God desires to be the Giver. He gives, even when I don’t ask, and I take the blessings for granted. He gives because He Loves. When I receive that blessing and share it with others, God too receives the glory.

Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.

Isaiah 30:18, ESV


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Family Times, Funny Stories, Muffy

I used to be a Shopaholic

In college, my roommates and I went often to the movies. After seeing Confessions of a Shopaholic, I felt much like the main character, Rebecca Bloomwood. Not that I racked up almost $20 grand in debt, got a job that I knew nothing about, lied to a debt collector, or bought a green scarf for $120 on maxed out credit cards, but the movie made my conscience weary–because I did love to shop. And I was good at impulse buying.

I have always been one for fashion. It was why I wanted to be popular..they wore cool clothes. With my sister visiting this past week, we discussed the 90’s fashion and what we used to wear. Much laughter later, there is just no way it was fashionable, though at the time it seemed so. (I still dig 80’s fashion.) 🙂

Back to Denver days, or as I term–my “glory days”–I loved the city life! I lived with college roommates, had a great job (who doesn’t love Target attached to a mall?), lived in a great neighborhood–across the street from the public library and a park, and was only a few blocks from the best tea and coffee shops. I was in great shape, attended an awesome church and Bible study, volunteered with an after-school street church in downtown Denver, and was surrounded by friends. And I loved to shop.

It is hard not to when you are surrounded like this with so much. It was mostly clothes and, not to blame, but when you are a cashier seeing things fly past your nose all day..sometimes it gets to your brain. Brainwashed. It was better than magazines: I saw the newest products and prices, plus I had an employee discount. But not all shopping was for me. I like to give gifts; giving gifts brings me joy. Getting unexpected gifts gives me joy. To give you must also receive.

It wasn’t until we moved to Ohio that I got really serious about sorting my belongings. Growing up, we did have a thrift store run by our church and we gave our un-needed items to them for others to use. I am all for thrift stores…I shop at Goodwill, but I have always been one to want new in clothes. Fresh. I don’t think it is bad to shop that way, but I have to watch the impulse buys and motives when doing so.

I stopped shopping like Denver days when we moved out here. Yes, I still shop, just not as often. Before August, when my driving ordeal started and then draining health, I would run my errands after church. Coming in the house, I would try to hide a majority of my things in my disposable bags on my way past the kitchen, through the living room and to my bedroom. Parents always seemed to be in the kitchen; I don’t know…something like parents eyeing you makes you feel accountable for what you buy even though I don’t think they cared. Some Sundays it was just food anyway.

Times change. I still like fashion…I follow a few fashion blogs and still stand in front of my closet making “outfits” for different days or upcoming events. But shopping is now mainly for the needs. Most of it is now OT needs. I bought a set of plastic bowls, plates and cups the other day as it is something I need for the kitchen. They have better gripping edges; Me holding glass is getting dangerous. The OT list is for needs that will help me function and be safe, like a shower chair. And the walker I have is just genius!

Because I have been on steroids for almost a whole year, I have gained some weight. With my body the way it is, there are times when just getting ready in the morning or putting away my laundry feels like an exercise. Even today, putting on my socks, ankle braces and shoes took fifteen minutes; I hadn’t even done any PT yet but was breathing as if I did. My body is not its Denver “glory days,” and accepting that has been a long process of faith.

I did have some wardrobe needs now that winter is around the corner: pants and sweaters (among the top of the list.) I don’t think I have met anyone who is excited to go pant shopping. And in my case, I was looking for specifics. Mom recommended J.C. Penny as first stop. I had asked her to join me as I was uncertain of exactly what I was going for–basically, comfortable pants with no buttons. Slacks. I still have jeans and will wear them, but I needed something that was less harsh on the stomach.

We found what we were looking for in the petites section and I was pretty excited. There were some fun colored ones and a corduroy pair. Those didn’t work and fashion was thrown out the window. I try on the others and say, “I look like an old lady in these.” Then quickly blurt out loudly, “No offense if anyone heard that.” I just didn’t want to offend an elderly lady in the dressing room, happen that there would be one. It was exciting to get these pants but I have to admit, it was and is a bit embarrassing to wear them. Just not the fashion I am accustomed to, but they meet my need.

Sweater shopping was more normal–of course, Target just feels normal. 🙂 Marcia helped me find some sweaters. I am so glad she was there, because the last long sleeve shirt I try on, I get stuck. By this time, my arms are pudding and I had to ask for help to take it off. In other words, I may love fashion and shopping but it is now a very exhausting experience. Let alone when I get home I can’t carry my bags up the stairs anymore either.

I am still accepting the wholeness of these past few months–the changes in my body and image overall, but I feel I am reaching a point where I see significance in more important things other than fashion. You will still see me planning outfits or making a “new look” out of the clothes…just rearranging colors and patterns in ways I haven’t worn them before; I will still read the fashion blogs and comment on stranger’s cute shoes, but I am seeking to be content. Fashion is fleeting, but a thankful heart is what I desire most of all.

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

I Timothy 6:6-8 ESV


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Books and Movies, Family Times