Tag Archives: God’s protection

A “Pick-Me-Uppy”

During my parents ten-day absence, my Lifeline was set so in the case I fell, triggering the sensor or needed help, thus personally pressing the button–if no one answered with the communicator over the intercom, the Lifeline representative would automatically dispatch emergency personnel instead of calling my parents cell phones, which is usually the prior action in normal circumstances when they are home.

Knowing this, I took extreme extra caution as to my watching my balance (although I could not fully control that aspect) when standing up from sitting at the table or the times of bending over to retrieve something off the floor. I also made certain that I tried my best not to accidentally bump my necklace and set off the sensor without my knowledge. Last thing I wanted was for an emergency squad to come barging in finding me perfectly normal or otherwise startled by their presence. I only had to concern myself with this thinking when I was home alone.

I had an immense!! coverage of helping, encouraging, loving, giving hands during this time. Actually, it is not something new; I just felt the impact of everyone’s generosity and concern more being here alone. And I am grateful…so blessed. There were hot evening meals, invites to get coffee or help me with errands, if needed; there were those who offered to be “backup” plans just in case and one to be available to help with outdoor needs, such as in the event we got snow. I got texts and emails from friends out-of-state making sure I was doing well and had the chance to make a few Skype video chats and call my grandpa as well. The week was anything but the dull-drums! ūüôā

Because I do need more help these days–and just for a safety factor–we did ask two girls my age to help me on a regular basis. One came for a few hours in the afternoon and the other stayed with me late evening until mid-morning. They helped me get to the basement so I could paint, walk to get the mail or take me for errands/church; dishes, folding laundry, cleaning Muffy’s kitty litter and taking out the trash; even getting my compression stocking on in the morning! Things I can no longer do well or if at all on my own. Marcia was around often too, but it was nice not to lay all responsibility on her shoulders; my family does so much already.

However, it was Marcia who saved me from a Lifeline emergency squad experience. The day after my parents left, my friend had invited me over to her house to be with her family and stay for dinner. I had roughly about an hour between my evening helper leaving for the day and my friend coming. I finished getting ready and then decided that I had enough time to quickly check my email. I pushed my walker into the study room to use my parent’s computer as it was more convenient (or so I thought.) I parked my walker to the right of the office chair and was in the process of swiveling the chair around so I could sit when my shoe hit the floor mat and sent me off-balance.

I blurt out, “AH!” and since the chair is also moving, I have no composure–only the downward decent to the floor. Now keep in mind this all happens so quickly, as like my thoughts–and as my head is swarming with perceivable outcomes (emergency personnel, being stuck on the floor, my friend coming), I suddenly feel a pair of strong arms trying to ease or prevent the rest of my fall to the floor. I am Deaf and my position to the computer left me with my back facing the study room door; plus I was home alone two minutes prior.

One would think that this would have at least startled me or caused another blurtation, “AH!”–but instead I am thinking thoughts of an angel. I finally land on the floor sort of siting awkwardly cross-legged and see a whiff of hair out of my right peripheral¬†vision. I tilt my head up and see Marcia’s smiling yet concerned face peering down at me. “Oh! Hello!”…the first words out of my mouth. The Lifeline sensor finally sets off the intercom; Marcia goes to correspond with the representative and then returns to help me off the floor. I would say “impeccable timing,” but my friend that evening declared, “Hand of Providence!” Indeed, it was.

“Thank you.” The two-worded phrase doesn’t seem to circumference the gratitude I have for all that is bestowed…whether in meeting my physical needs or upholding my name in daily prayers. To each of you–may you be richly blessed. ‚̧

You Tube video: (you can click on the song title to be directed o the page)

More Than You’ll Ever Know.”¬†Watermark.¬†All Things New.¬†Rocketown Records, 2000.

 

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Lifeline

Yesterday morning, I spent two hours at the hair salon getting my perm redone. For the amount of time taken, the result looks lovely (and bonus points to me as having no sense of smell fully pays off in these instances.) Nearing the end, I had twenty minutes of waiting, during which the solution needed to soak into my hair with the curlers still set in place before my stylist removed them. I asked the lady sitting next to me if she could pass me a People magazine…just something to glance at as I waited. “Pointless readings,” I tell myself, but I didn’t read much anyway as I didn’t have my glasses on at that moment.

I did happen to find one good article about a girl my age who lives with Down Syndrome. As I skimmed the blurry article, I was impressed by her courage not to let the disease define her; she had even gone to court to declare her independence rights on choosing where to live. I don’t know her name or the edition of the People Magazine for quotes, but I do remember reading a few sentences where she states that she is an independent person–she just might need a little help sometimes. I had two thoughts: First, I fully relate to what she is saying. She and I may struggle with vastly different physical limitations, but there is a common understanding both in emotional and mental thoughts of what it means for independent living. And second, whether you struggle physically or not, don’t we all have moments where we might just need a little help? It is our human nature; it keeps us humble.

When I first moved back in my parent’s house, I thought I was losing all independence. It took time for me to process that I never lost my independence; living at home ensures that I can live independently. Yet, I am surrounded by family who can help if I just might need it: opening zip lock bags or medicine bottles if Walgreens places the lids in the wrong direction; putting on my compression stocking or clipping my toe nails; carrying my groceries up the stairs or my full laundry basket to the washer. Or in the event that I have car problems, need to get Muffy’s food from the patio but it is dark outside, I accidentally break a dish while loading/unloading the dishwasher…help is there as well. It is safe independent living.

hermie¬†“I’m…independent!” (samefacts.com)

To maintain continual safe independence–while at home–I now wear a Lifeline necklace. Wearing this necklace does not change any part of how I currently live. I still get up in the mornings on my own; bathe and dress on my own; make myself meals and, of course, the morning pot of coffee; I can still write (chicken scratches), type (finger poke), text, and paint; I still climb up and down the stairs, even if it is a slow one-step-at-a-time; and, I still drive, run errands or go to church on my own as long as I have the energy and weather permits me to do so. ¬†The Lifeline’s purpose is to inform others if I needed help–the communication is accurate and efficient. The necklace works only at my home (garage, basement too) and outside property. Once I leave the driveway, I am too far from the sensor for any signals to send. ¬†However, being out in public, my chances of being all alone are quite slim. ūüėČ

When we first set the Lifeline in place, I was confused as to how I, personally, talk with the personnel over the communicator (set up in my parents room) as I am Deaf. I really do nothing, except push the button on my necklace if I need assistance. The personnel from Lifeline contacts my parents through the communicator and notifies them that my button was pressed, so they can check on me. If no one answers that machine call, they immediately start calling my emergency contact numbers in order; my mom’s cell phone is first, etc. In the case I fall and I am unresponsive, the sensor on my necklace cues in on this and Lifeline automatically sends emergency medical help. It is safe independent living.

Lifeline is unlike a regular 911 emergency contact. It doesn’t have to take a catastrophe of epic proportions for me to push my button for assistance. It can be something even as simple as accidentally breaking glassware while doing the dishes and not being able to safely step away from the glass; if Mom is outside working in her garden, how would she know I needed help? The necklace is also waterproof, so I wear it in the shower. It is only by God’s goodness and perfect timing that my parents were still at home on that Sunday morning when the first blood clot hit as I was in the shower. Because I was hyperventilating and had my left arm slung through the handle on the shower wall in order to stand up straight, the only way I could contact for help was to bang my right fist against the shower wall. At that time, I didn’t even think it was being heard. After a few solid bangs, my mom finally decided to check in on me. You can see the importance of having this in place as I continue to live independently.

Although Lifeline is often aimed in advertising for the elderly, I know for myself–and the family–wearing the necklace puts ease in the mind of constant “What if’s?” It reminds me of my times in¬†prayer. I don’t have to wait for epic catastrophes in order to present my requests to God. Prayer replaces the “What if’s?” with constant peace.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

Psalm 16:5-6 ESV

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Be My Refuge

This morning’s breakfast routine started in normal fashion. It wasn’t until I got up from where I was eating at the counter that I noticed a small dog running around on the back patio. Mom had left¬†me a note saying she had already fed Muffy, so I hadn’t bothered to go out before I started preparing my meal.

Glancing out the door, I figure Muffy¬†is long gone by this time and started to wonder where the dog came from; he had a collar and when I opened the door to say, “Go home,” it started nosing against the screen door like Muffy¬†when he wants to be pet. Cute dog, but when it started eating Muffy’s food, my tone in voice changed and I got loud, waking Marcia up in the mean time.

With my balance so off as of late, even going out to feed Muffy¬†is tricky with the back porch steps, let alone Muffy rubbing against my legs and circulating around me wanting to be pet, I often just have to stand there holding the one handle attached to the side door. This dog, I could tell, would be even worse as it was a bit of the hyper type, so I did not really venture out until it left the patio. Marcia did get a chance to look at his tag; it was our neighbor’s dog. Marcia and I watched¬†him run under the patio and since we couldn’t do anything about that we just went on to continuing breakfast.

As we were finishing, Marcia states randomly, “I think he has Muffy¬†up the tree.” Sure enough, this pup is frantically jumping, circling, howling, barking at the tree. I didn’t know Muffy still climbed trees as he is “getting up there in cat years,” but I have to admit, I was quite impressed! ūüôā

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Once we figured out how to get the visitor back to his fenced yard (I was also impressed by the size of the hole¬†he made in the fence), it was time to¬†try to get Muffy¬†out of the tree. Marcia stood underneath coaxing him¬†and trying to help him, but Muffy was not moving. I didn’t want him in the tree as we were planning on being gone for¬†a few hours, so I decided to step out on the back patio and just try calling his name to see if that would help.¬†I blurt out, “Muffy…here kitty, kitty, kitty.”¬†Within a¬†few¬†seconds, I see black move in the tree and watch as he makes his way down¬†(again, impressive) and run up the patio towards me.¬†I just stood there, holding my handle–swooped down and gave him a good pet.

This week, I have been reading the Psalms and often found myself in the Gospel of John as well. The Psalms make reference to God being a refuge. I love this imagery. A refuge for me is like a fort…strong, protection, a place where¬†I feel safe. I also think of it in terms of comfort, a place of warmth. I think¬†the reminder of those images¬†is like a backdrop to remembering the promise that God will never leave me nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6). Jesus never¬†said this world would be easy (John 16:33), but my Refuge is unwavering for all eternity.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

John 10: 27-28 NKJV

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I am Protected

I am noticing the more my right hand progresses in numbness and the left in shakiness, the more clumsy I am getting. I constantly drop things like pens or silverware I am holding. Today I could not get a grip on the permanent marker I was attempting to write with and after a neat little hand stunt of marker flinging in circular motions, it landed on the table. I just had to laugh.

About¬†an hour later, I am downstairs setting up my paints and canvas to finish a large painting that has been sitting in the basement half-finished for almost a year. (Yes, believe it.) My phone was in my pocket and I took it out to set it on the stool. I lost grip of it and it crashed to the cement floor. But it was protected…

When my Dad and I set out in February to seek a new phone for my upgrade, I had two options that were not flat Smart phone style with the touch screen. I can’t hold those, let alone use the touch screen with my fingers (especially now – even using the mouse pad on my laptop is getting extremely difficult.) I reasoned even then that sticking with the old-fashioned flip phone was the best choice. Because I drop my phone so often, Dad suggested getting a hard protection cover. Brilliant suggestion; the cement in the basement was no match for my phone cover!

Then I began to paint. Because I was painting a tall canvas, I knew that when I reached the bottom I would not be able to bend over and paint the way that I intended. I tried different ways to set it up, but ended with laying it flat on the table and working from the sides.

My sister had given me an apron specific for painters at Christmas. I always wear old clothes when painting and usually the apron. I forgot the apron today and with working from the sides of the painting, I started to get a fancy blue lined paint pattern on my shorts. Then I noticed my right hand had smeared in the paint on the board and left a huge print where there was not supposed to be any blueish-green color. Frustrated, but figuring it was a more abstract style of a painting anyway, I fixed it.

My thoughts have been on protection today. Maybe it started after yesterday’s experience of coming within about ten feet of hitting a deer about a quarter-mile from my house. Or last night when I came out of my room to get more water, I¬†lost balance right next to the sofa and came within inches of hitting my head on the coffee table. Marcia and Mom were already in bed.

It is in these small moments, even to the¬†monstrous health¬†problems,¬†that¬†I see God’s protection. I am protected. There are still days to come but with this truth, I am¬†living with an extra dose of gratitude.

Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. Psalm 91:14

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