Thursday, December 31, 2009

A day full of surprises!

This morning when I got up, I knew it would be a tough day. My pain level was high and my headache was more intense than normal. But I knew I'd have to go out, since I had a chiropractic appointment (the treatments help me so much). I got ready, but was dreading going out in the cold.
The first surprise, was that the snow on the car was very light and wiped off very easily. I only had to scrape two small sections of ice. That was wonderful.

To get to Dr. Moore's office, I have my choice of several routes. As I got to one intersection, I had to make a choice, go straight or turn right. When I looked to the right, the traffic was backed up all the way to the light! I wasn't sure how long I'd have sit in that traffic jam, so I went straight. God had a wonderful surprise waiting for me! As I traveled down the road, the speed limit goes from 45 mph to 25 mph. Just after reaching the 25 mph, I saw the most beautiful thing. Ahead of me on the left side of the road where 2 huge deer. Then they bounded across the road.... and were soon followed by two smaller deer. As I approached where they crossed, I looked down to the right and there they stood! Surrounded by the white snow and trees, it was breath taking! I slowly went on my way to Dr. Moore's, thanking God for a wonderful view.

My adjustment and treatments went very well at Dr. Moore's. Due to my chronic pain, some days I'm tighter than others. On the tighter days, it's harder to do the adjustments. Even though my pain level was high today, Dr. Moore was able to adjust me quite easily. 

On the way home from Dr. Moore's I stopped at Target to pick up a few groceries. I didn't need a lot of things, but I did have several things on my list. I went to one aisle and as I picked up the item.... there was a coupon! As I continued to shop, there were a few more coupons and some extra special sales. I love to shop when God has surprises for me!

Once again God showed me that pain doesn't dictate the type of day I'll have. Just because my pain was high today—that did not mean the day would be bad.

God sends surprises everyday. Some surprises are bigger than others. Yet, each surprise is sent from God and make every day a special and positive. The more I look for the surprises and blessings from God the more I find! Yes, today was a very positive and good day! Thank you, God!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Changing Habits


Not sure about you, but this last week of the year, is...well, strange. I'm winding down from all the Christmas activities, and it's not quite time to begin the "New Year's" activities.... then I thought why not?
Why can't I begin working on the New Year's Resolutions now? What is it about Jan 1st? It's not a "magic" date. "If you begin your resolutions on Jan 1st you will succeed". We all know that's not true.
This year, I'm doing several things differently. One, I'm not making resolutions, I am working on creating HABITS! I want to create habits which will have a positive impact in my life. 
My chiropractor has a very unique idea. He has 6 Factors of Health, which he's divided into the year. Every 2 months, we will work on creating a new health habit to build on the one created the months before. January and February the focus is Nutrition. I'm still working on my Nutrition habit, but it will do with eating proper meals on time. (I tend to eat when I remember or not at all... rather than when my body needs nutrients.)
I'm also creating a habit to be thankful. To help me with this habit, each day I'm writing down at least one thing for which I'm thankful.
Another habit I want to create is to be more aware of and encourage others. I have to figure out exactly what I want to do, and how to make it into a habit.
It's not about a date, or creating some unobtainable goal, rather it's about what habits do I want to change, or create. I like the idea of building on habits throughout the year. The end result is to become a better person. Maybe if I do it slowly over the entire year, the habits I create will actually become part of my life. Habits don't happen all at once.. they are CREATED.
Beginning today, I will begin creating new habits.

Creating a positive day is about habits. To make creating a positive day a habit, write down something positive about each day... then increase it to several times a day.. than as many times as you need to remind yourself that there is much of which you can be positive!

Thanks to Digi Web Studio (www.digiwebstudio.com) for the penguin artwork used to create this blog post.

Friday, December 25, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS!


The photo in this ornament was taken from my living room window! Beautiful view!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Why, "Create a Positive Day"?


My blog is called, "Create a Positive Day!" for a reason. I write about my life and how I deal with chronic pain. I've learned that the key to living with pain is keeping positive and I do that by keeping my focus on Jesus Christ. He is my source of joy. He promises joy and peace to His people, it's up to us to take hold of it.
I realize that living with chronic pain can be very depressing... but that is because we take our eyes off Christ and focus on our circumstances. It's just like Peter walking on the water during the storm. He was able to RISE above his circumstances when he focused on God. Once he looked at the storm and waves... he started sinking. He cried out to God, and God raised Him and put him in the boat.
That truth is vital for all Christians. When we continually look at and focus on our circumstances, we will sink deeper into depression and pain. However, if we change our focus to God, we can receive His love and joy and enjoy rising about our circumstances and share God's love with others. Yes, the pain remains; however, it's much easier to handle when our focus is on God.
How do we focus on God.... read and mediate on Scripture. Spend time praying....not just for yourself, but others. And then begin sharing God's love with others. The more you share God's love, you open yourself to receive more of His love.....His unconditional, unending love.
I know that some of you will say... but you don't live with my pain. No, I don't. I only know what my chronic pain feels like. But I do know my God. I do know what it is like to receive His unconditional love. And I do know that I'm happier when I focus on God and allow Him to use me to share His love with those around me.


This Christmas, don't think of all the things you can't do, or who you can't be with, or how depressing you feel. Rather, read the Christmas story... either Matthew 1:18 - 2:12; and/or Luke 2:1-20. Read it over and over.... focus on God and His love for you. Then spend time praying, thanking God for His love, for His gift of eternal life, and how He is working in your life. Then begin praying for others you know.
God has allowed some of us to travel a journey of pain and illness. Why? Because He wants us to share His story with others. He wants us to glorify God and let others see God through us. You see we have a VERY SPECIAL job. It's easy to love God and share His love when things are going great. But when others see we can still praise God and reach out to others in spite of our pain.... that's TRUE UNCONDITIONAL love!
We are special messengers!
 For those of you who don't live with chronic pain or illness... you still have a great message to share!

If you are feeling depressed or if your pain is overwhelming.... I challenge you to spend time in the Scriptures and change your focus. It will take some time, and you have to be willing to allow the Holy Spirit to begin working in your heart. But in time, you will realize just how much God loves you and how He wants you to share His love with those around you.

Our hope is not found in some cure—
rather our HOPE is God Himself!
We have an EVERLASTING HOPE!


May each of you have a VERY Merry Christmas as you focus on God and His amazing gift of love.

Create a positive day isn't just a phrase to me. It's my way of life. It's hard work to CREATE a positive day...but it's soooooooo worth it! The only way I can create a positive day is by focusing on God and His love for me. 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's cold....but you can make it warmer!

The other day I had to go out in the cold harsh Chicago winter... okay so it wasn't as cold as it is today (wind chills of -21), but it was still cold! As always, I find it interesting to how people respond to me. Since I use crutches, people know something is "wrong". Yet, since I've used them for almost 8 years now, I've learned a few tricks to getting around.
The responses can be broken into 3 categories: 
1. Some people want to go out of their way to help me.
2. Others stare as I maneuver around boxes and displays left in the middle of aisles.
3. And then others.... just shake their heads and shout a "don't worry you won't have to use them for much longer".

I find it interesting that the people most ready to help me, are the ones struggling themselves. They are either older or have a few kids in tow. They reach out to help, because they understand.

The people who stare, are often younger or middle aged. From their looks, I often wonder if they are thinking, "what if that was me?". When I see someone staring, I smile and tell them to have a great day! They usually quickly look away or run down the next aisle.


Now the ones who shout, "you won't have to use them for much longer". (I wonder what they know that my doctors and I don't.) But, I can take that comment as a compliment! I have learned to maneuver so well on my crutches, people think that I'm almost "healed" and ready to discard them. That means in the 8 years of using them, I've "MASTERED CRUTCHES"!! Wonder if there is an award or honor for that??!!


Why would someone shout something when they have no idea if it's true? It's simple. They mean well. None of us want anyone to be in pain or struggle. We can't imagine someone having to use crutches or canes for more than a few weeks, or maybe a couple of months. Crutches are associated with "short term" injuries. The people who tell me that it's almost time to get rid of the crutches are trying to encourage me. They want me to know that there is an end in sight. Even if for me, the crutches are long term, they want to offer hope.


Hope. Sharing hope will warm a heart....
if it's not false hope!
We can offer real hope, not some false hope
of getting rid of crutches.
We have eternal hope in God.
God loves us and provides eternal life. 
That is real hope!


Yes, it's cold outside, but you can make it warmer for someone else. Don't just shout "God loves you!" Put that truth into action! If you see someone who needs help, don't stare, or give advise..... just help. You may see a person struggling to open a door. Or a person trying to find a pen, or pick up something they dropped. Whatever, the situation, be aware of others around you and make the effort to offer a helping hand.
Offering aid to someone will warm your heart and believe me it will warm the heart of the person you help. It only takes a moment to offer a helping hand, but the warmth you generate will remain throughout the coldest day.

Creating a positive day is not always about you. More often then not, it's about reaching out to others and putting others first. You can make your day more positive by making the day positive for someone else. Your actions speak louder than words.... let others see that God loves them.... show them He cares.... it's easy....just be helpful and kind.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hug from God

One thing about living with chronic pain is that you never know the type of day you will have. Oh I can plan, but there are things, of which I have no control, that can increase my pain level. Weather, good and bad, can increase pain. A simple movement, like emptying the dishwasher or brushing my teeth can send the pain through the roof. And of course, my attitude can effect my pain. If I am more positive it doesn't really lower the pain, it just better equips me to handle the pain.
Today I had one of those higher than normal pain days. I thought it would be a good day....the day after my chiropractic adjustment usually is. However, when I tried to get out of bed....I quickly realized it was going to be a high pain day. I quickly took my pain meds and did a few other things to lower my pain. Yet, today, I just couldn't get the pain to lower.....at all. In fact as the day progressed, the pain seemed to increase. The clock moved very slowly as I waited for the time for my next pain pill.


At one point, as I was ready to have a "poor me" moment, Max flew to my shoulder and started talking. He had a lot to say. When he was done talking, he simply fell asleep on my shoulder. When I moved....I thought he'd fly to one of his many perches and go back to sleep. But, no he was content to stay on my shoulder as I got up and walked around the apartment. He just wanted to be with me. In fact, he stayed with me pretty much all day.
At one point, he was in his cage eating, and I got up and went into the kitchen. IMMEDIATELY, I heard...'achoo, achoo, achoo'. (That's what Max says when he wants me.) I yelled back, "I'm in the kitchen." Max flew into the kitchen, landed on my shoulder and promptly started yelling at me for leaving him!
As I look back over today.....my pain was high for what seemed like no reason. Yet, the day was not a bad day. Having Max so close to me all day was like God giving me a hug. And any day you get a hug from God is a good day!

The days which you seem to have no control can still be positive if you remember that God loves you. His love is unconditional. The fact that God, the Creator of all, loves you should not only encourage you....but make you feel amazing! Think about it. God.....loves you. A very simple statement with an astounding meaning. Knowing God loves you should make any day a positive one!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What works....

One thing I've learned about living with chronic pain....the body works in amazing ways! One side-effect of my pain medication is nightmarish dreams. They can be bizarre to frightening. I have tried many things to get rid of the dreams....but finally my chiropractor and I found something that works! Electro-acupuncture. There are 9 points; 6 on the back, 1 on my left foot, and one on each wrist. The points are stimulated between 15 to 30 seconds each, and the treatment keeps me nightmare free for about a week.
Electro-acupuncture also has kept me Migraine free for a year! I still have my constant headache, but that doesn't compare to a migraine. I can treat the migraine points myself with the Stim Pro Plus (http://www.ihconcepts.com).
The more I learn about the body, I continue to realize how unique God made us.


For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. (Psalm 139: 13, 14)

God knew how to "assemble" the body so that it works without us knowing how! I don't have to know how to digest my food. I just eat and the body does its "thing" to use the nutrients to make my body work. I don't have to think about how often my heart beats, it beats in a particular rhythm to assure a fresh oxygenated blood supply to all the organs in my body.

When things don't work properly, that's when our bodies get our attention. If we feel pain or are sick, we than realize just how much our bodies do without any help from us! God created us...we did not evolve. God made us in His image. We are wonderfully made. We need to give God praise!

Want to create a positive day? Take a moment to think about how your body works. As your amazement continues to grow, you can't help but praise God. And praising God creates the ultimate positive day!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!


Just wanted to wish you all a 
VERY
HAPPY
THANKSGIVING! 

Trust you will enjoy the day as you take some time
to give thanks to God for who He is and all He's done for us. 

Create a positive day filled with love!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Am I REALLY thankful?

Two weeks out from my surgery. Had some bumps along the way...but things seem to have evened out a bit. Still know that healing isn't complete. The pain level is still higher than my "normal" pain; but bearable. Sometimes, I think God brings things into my life to increase my pain....so I'll be THANKFUL for my "normal" pain level. LOL 
I think that's true with many things in our lives. We aren't thankful for our daily living....until it changes. When our routines or traditions are interrupted, we than take notice. The old adage: "you don't know what you have until it's taken away", has a ring a truth to it. 


This has me thinking again.....what everyday routines would I miss is I couldn't do them? What has God given me that I take for granted? As Thanksgiving approaches, we often focus on "being thankful". But am I really thankful? Am I thankful for the daily gifts God gives me? Or do I assume that I 'deserve' these things? 


What routine things am I thankful for??? Wow...having milk in my refrigerator. Taking my meds is much easier with milk. Lately, I've been frustrated with my coffee maker...instead of complaining about it, I need to be thankful that I can make a cup of coffee or tea whenever I want one. So it's not the newest or the best...it works and I need to be thankful for that! Especially, when my Mom still boils water in a pan to make her instant.....Yet, she's very thankful for that!! 


I'm thankful for my sofa...so it's 15 years old and the green color is out of style now...but it's where I spend my day. I have a sofa where I can recline all day. It's has plenty of room for me to recline with my pillows. God knew when I bought it 15 years ago, that I'd be spending most of my day on it... So glad He knew which sofa would serve me the best. 


I'm thankful that I can read and for some good books to read. I have my favorites which I read everyday: the Bible, Pain Perplexity and Promotion, Psalms Now. And another book a friend gave me which I'm reading right now: Calm my Anxious Heart (Linda Dillow). 


I'm thankful for my stereo system (a gift from a friend). I can listen to the radio or CDs, and I can change it all without getting up off the sofa....it has a remote! That's important on those "can't move pain days". Guess, I have to add the remote to my thankful list too!! 


I'm thankful for Max, my parakeet. God continually teaches me using Max as an "object lesson". The main lesson God has taught me .....using Max is that God cares about the details! The smallest, tiniest, seemingly unimportant details.....yet, God is concerned and is not only aware, but takes care of those "unimportant" details. 



I think I'll continue this list....last year I kept track of my daily blessings....this year, I think I'll have 365 days of Thankfulness! Each day I'm going to write down something for which I'm thankful! Wow...what a great year it will be.....filled with thankfulness! 2010 will have 8,760 hours; that's 525,600 minutes; that's 31,536,000 seconds! How many of those hours, or minutes, or seconds will I spend thanking God?


Creating a positive day is all about your attitude. Your attitude determines your mindset. "if you think you will be", is true. That's way God says .....'whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.' (Philippians 4:8). God knows that what we think about we'll act upon. What are you thinking about today? What attitude will create your day today?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christians Posting About Bible This Week




Christians Posting About Bible This Week
 
bibleChristians are promoting the Bible this week on major internet websites including Twitter, FaceBook, and MySpace.

They are deliberately posting messages about the Bible and repeating other people’s messages about the Bible. The Bible As Poetry website has even prepared 200 Twitter- length messages about the Bible for people to use. (Look at the bottom of the Bible as Poetry site for the link for the Twitter passages.) Each of the Bible messages is less than 140 characters long because that is the maximum length allowed for messages on Twitter.com. Christians can copy these short messages and make them their own messages on social networking websites. The plan to increase the number of times the Bible is mentioned is called ‘Make the Bible go Viral.’

It runs until next Sunday night (November 29). Reprinted from Christian Newswire

In my life, the Bible is vital in creating a positive day. God's Word encourages me, teaches me, comforts me, and directs me.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Blessed!

Back to the doctor today. God has blessed me with two awesome doctors! I know I've blogged about them before...but they are really good! My pain management doctor is so sweet and such a great doctor. And my chiropractor is so kind, compassionate, and a great encourager. God knew exactly who I'd need on my team. God has equipped me with the doctors who work well together and work hard to provide the care I need. 
I'm also blessed with some great friends. It's amazing how God puts people together. It's cool to see God's hand in creating a friendship. That way you know the friendship has a good foundation; based on God! Friends not only are helpful, but provide laughter, encouragement, and keep me on track! And one good rule for a friend.....be flexible! :>)
"We can bring an attitude of expectant trust to such praying. There is no reason to think that God cannot provide the person we need or to help us find him. He (God) has resources we cannot imagine, and ways of communicating His will to those who seek Him! (The Friendship Connection, pg 64).
God blesses us by sending people into our lives. Some we know very well, others we may only see once in a great while. Creating a positive day, includes noticing the people God brings into your life. God introduces us to people for specific reasons! And an easy way to create a positive day.....is to count your blessings! Start right now.....and name one blessings! Soon your list will start growing!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bump along the road and unexpected blessings


Yesterday, I had my post-op check up. The Doctor didn't like the look of the surgery site.....infection? So, I'm on antibiotics. I was able to get 2 more programs for my stim; making a total of 3. I can still use the stim if necessary while the surgery site continues to heal.
Yet, even with this new "bump" came some blessings! I was able to give away a few more of my Create a Positive Day! gifts (see the blog dated Thurs, Nov 12). It's great to see people smile.
When I went to get my meds, the price was lower than I thought....still quite high, but still lower than I thought. So, that was a nice blessing! I stopped at the local grocery store to pick up some needed food, and learned that a friend was paying the bill.....again a wonderful blessing!
So, even with a bump in the road.....God sends blessings so this new bump seems so minor. Just His way of continuing to remind me that He is in control and has a plan for me.

Remember the Bible story of Peter walking on water? He did fine walking on the water when he kept his eyes on Jesus. When he started looking at the storm and waves, that's when he started sinking. God knows that storms will come our way. Yet, God also provides the help we need to withstand those storms. The key....is keeping the focus on Him. Don't worry about what "might happen". Or allow others to change your focus to "how bad things are". You can choose what your focus will be and you determine if you want to walk ON the water, or sink. It's a choice of faith and trusting God.

I don't know what God has planned for me. Yet, I do know that NO matter what the plan includes, that God will continue to love me and provide me with what I need to accomplish His plan. My responsibility is to trust God and continue to do my best to glorify Him. 

Sometimes you get news or something happens which threatens your positive day. No matter what happens, there is a constant which is the basis for having a positive day....God. He never changes. His love is unconditional. The key to maintaining a positive day....is keeping your focus on God.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spinal Stim Programing Day!

Today, I'll get my spinal stim programed. Programming is an ongoing thing.
Many have asked how my spinal stimulator works. Our brains have "pain gates". Pain sensations travel slower than other sensations. For example, if you stub your toe, it hurts. But when you rub your toe, it feels better. Rubbing your toe didn't "heal" it, rather the rubbing messages travel faster than the pain messages. The rubbing messages fill up the "gates" allowing fewer pain messages to get through...so your brain thinks your toe is better.
The same concept works with my spinal stim. The stimulator sends signals along the nerves to the brain. those tingling signals fill up the gates allowing fewer pain messages to get through. My brain is tricked to thinking I'm in less pain. However, if I use the same signals too long.....the brain starts to ignore the tingling signals and giving more attention to the pain. Therefore, having several programs allows me to switch back and forth or use different signals for different activities.
That is a very basic explanation of how the spinal stimulator works.


God created our bodies to do amazing things! When I think of how my body works, I can't help but praise God. Even how God created the brain, so that I can "trick it" into being in less pain!
Now, you ask, why doesn't God just remove your pain? That's an easy one! God believes that I'll have more opportunities to share His love with others, if I'm in pain. I meet people, whom I've never would have contact with, if it weren't for my pain.
Now, don't get me wrong....I'd LOVE to be free from my pain. However, since God hasn't chosen that for me at this time, I need to do what I can to glorify God and continue to share His love. God has many reasons for what He does. And I don't always understand those reasons. But, since God loves me, He will continue to care for me and give me what I need to live with chronic pain.

Creating a positive day isn't always about me or what I'm enduring. Often it's about sharing God's love with others or encouraging someone else. God's love is unconditional. Many people today don't understand that concept. Sharing God's love is the best way to create a positive day! Each time I share God's love with someone else, I get a hug from God! Can't beat that for a positive day!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thank You for Your Prayers


Wanted to thank you all for your prayers as I recover from surgery. On Sunday, 11.15, I turned on my spinal stimulator (a pacemaker for pain). It worked! On Tuesday, 11.17, I'll receive additional programs, to use with various activities. To make this battery last as long as possible, I'll need to get use to differences in the new programs compared to the old. But the longer this battery lasts, the longer between surgeries.

I do appreciate all the prayers on my behalf. It's very comforting to know that people are talking to God on my behalf. That is a very cool thought! The Creator of All is listening to people talk about me! WOW!!

Although we each need to create our own positive day, others can help us! When people are praying, and let you know they are praying, it sure makes the day more positive. Have you prayed for someone today? Did you let them know? God might use you to encourage someone and help make their day a positive one!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Health care bill...what's in it?

I don't post many political items on my blog. But the video link below is vital for everyone to hear! It's only ONE of the things buried DEEP inside the House's Health-care bill. It may sound good, but the Democrats have filled it with unreasonable, and very costly items. Plus, it's just one more way for the government to have more control over our private lives....don't think so? Read the bill. (The entire 1,018 page bill can be downloaded here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/15/house-health-care-bill-fu_n_234372.html).

But first watch this video.

A short YouTube video.

How can there be anything positive in this? First, God is still in control. Second, we as individuals and Christians, need to begin to pray for our Country, the leaders, and begin to pay attention at voting times....and then VOTE. We have a responsibility, to work to elect leaders who will lead this country in the right way. Creating a positive day....and country takes work. God does expect us to do our part (ei. vote, and write our representatives).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Nice Gift!


I've mentioned one of my favorite books before, but want to highlight it again.....because I received a very nice gift yesterday!
Pain Perplexity and Promotion 
by Bob Sorge is a great book!
 Last night when I checked my mail, there was an autographed copy of the book!
What a wonderful gift!!! 
 Thank you Mr. Sorge!

I recommend this book very highly. It has been an awesome help to me as I travel my chronic pain journey. There are so many potent quotes, that if I listed them all here, I'd have to write the entire book!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes.

"Job suffered, not because of what he did wrong, but because of what he did right. Had it not been for his righteousness, God would never bragged on him to Satan in the first place (see Job 1:8). It was his uncommon holiness that precipitated his trials." page 9

"In some situations, God steps back and says, 'Too easy. If I step in now, they won't glorify My name for the answer.' Thus God waits things out a bit, and lets the situation become even more critical so that there will be no question about the source when He intervenes with His sovereign deliverance. He loves to do the impossible!" page 26

And my VERY favorite quote!
"I wonder what would have happened if Job's friends, instead of talking to Job about God, had talked to God about Job." page 31

Those are just three quotes from a 177 page book. My book is full of highlighted sections and pages with post-it flags. The book is published by Oasis House.


Sometimes reading a special book or passage from the Bible can give you something to meditate on throughout the day. Meditating on positive thoughts aid you in creating a positive day. When a negative thought tries to enter your mind, focus on that passage and it will help you change your focus!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Update on Surgery Day!

To any new comers to my blog....WELCOME!  When you have time you can read through some older posts to see some amazing blessing God has given me!


I wanted to let you know about my surgery day! After my pre-op experience (see blog 6 Days and Counting; posted 11/05), I wanted to do something special for the people who helped me during my day. Using the leftover Halloween candy, I created little Create A Positive Day! gifts. Each greeter, receptionist, nurse, aid, doctor, etc, who worked on me received a gift. (Expect for the recovery area...sorry, couldn't take the treats there.)
It was so fun to spread joy to others...so what if I was having surgery. I wanted to allow others to see God's joy in me and share that joy with them. It was a GREAT day! Dr. Dallas, just loved it! Many said, "I've never received a gift from a patient before." All the responses were very positive!


On the back of the tag was part of my Create a Happy Day poem, and my blog address. Just one way to continue to spread God's love and joy with others with whom I've come in contact.
People ask why I do things like this. I have always believed that no matter what, my job is to glorify God. For now, God has chosen chronic pain and surgeries as a way to me to connect with others. I've missed too many opportunities to share God's love with others. I really don't want to miss additional opportunities.
This was a way to share God's love with others...who doesn't like chocolate?? Plus, it was just plain fun!!! To see people smile and then those smiles spread through the various rooms was.....well just great.

Creating a positive day when your day may not hold the most positive of plans, is possible, if you remember that God gives us joy. His joy is not based on our circumstances, rather His eternal love for us!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Great quote about our Heavenly Father! 
"His sovereign plan is the best plan. That whatever I entrust to Him, He can take care of better than I. That nothing under His control can be out of control. That everything I need, He knows about every detail. That He is able to supply, to guide, to start, to stop, to sustain, to change, and to correct in His time and for his purpose!" - Charles Swindoll

Creating a positive day is all about allowing God to direct every aspect!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Day Before....

Last loads of laundry in the dryers. Still need to empty dishwasher so I can fill it with dishes from last night and this am. Might still have time to vacuum before leaving for the chiropractor.
Any blessings so far today? Yes. The laundry room has been mostly empty! That is a big help when drying the clothes. If too many dryers are going, not only does it take longer, but it costs me more money. There was only one other person doing laundry...and only one load. So, there were several empty dryers allowing more dry air to circulate....clothes dry faster.
Max can tell something is up. He can't quite figure out what I'm doing, but he knows it's not the normal routine. He likes routine...and to be honest I guess I do to. I'm such a habitual person that I do things without even thinking about it...especially in the mornings.
I'll post more later to share the additional blessings God showers on me today!

Creating a positive day can start first thing when you wake up....and/or you can create it as the day goes on! No matter what time it is...it's never too late to create a positive day!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Still Printing!

Today I printed 24 more pages...and the ink is still flowing! I thought for sure today I'd have to replace the color cartridge, but even though the printer is saying "too low to print" the pages came out fine.

Busy day tomorrow as I finish my to do list.....laundry in the morning and chiropractor in the afternoon. Then some time to relax before Tuesday's afternoon surgery.

Little surprises...even things like the ink cartridge continuing to print can make a positive day. It's all a matter of perspective!

Continuous supply


Yesterday, I was trying to finish a project. My ink had shown "empty" for a few days....but I really didn't want to put in a new cartridge...they are expensive. So I figured I'd see how much I could squeeze out of the empty one. Now, I know that in the past I've been able to print many pages after I get the "low" message. But I had already printed those extra pages.
I started printing my project on Saturday....and kept printing and printing....with the printer flashing "ink too low to print". I felt like the lady in the Bible where the oil didn't run out. I was able to finish printing all my project...and there seems to still be ink left! I'll print some other items today...I'll let you all know when the ink really runs out!

Once again God stepped in and kept the ink flowing. I'm very grateful that I was able to finish my project without adding more ink. Why is this such a big deal? Because it is just one more way God is providing for me. The more I can print from one cartridge the less money I need to spend on ink. That money saved can be applied to bills or other needs.

Creating a positive day is noticing the little things God does! Often the little things go unnoticed and are forgotten. Taking time to notice the little things.....make any day brighter and better!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Friday's Blessings!

Once again God showered me with blessings! I am trying to get everything done before the surgery on Tues. I thought I'd get some new sweatpants to wear to the hospital (don't want anything tight on the back and really didn't want to wear ones with holes, lol). I went to Kohls and the Manager very, very graciously allowed me to use a coupon that wasn't active until after my surgery. So the sweatpants were on sale, plus I got an additional 30% off! That was a DOUBLE BLESSING!
On the way home...I passed two Dunkin' Donuts and I was graving a doughnut ....but I resisted. Last night there was a knock at my door..and it was one of my neighbors...a very sweet lady. She had a large piece of coffee cake for me! It has nuts on it too! YUM!!
It's so much fun accepting God's blessings!!! Can't wait to see what God has in store for me today! 


Creating a positive day is so easy when you look for God's blessings!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday

Before I forget....I want to remind everyone of WEAR RED on FRIDAYs. This is an effort to show support to all our soldiers fighting around the world. For more information you can check out http://soldiersangels.org/.

Today, I see my chiropractor. Trying to make sure I'm the "best I can be" before surgery. People ask me why I continue to see a chiropractor since my back is "already messed up". That's the whole point! Since my back is so messed up it is even more important for me to see Dr. Moore. Some don't understand that chiropractors are not "back doctors". Rather they are "nerve doctors". By adjusting the spine, chiropractors release pressure on the nerves. When that pressure is released, the nerves can function properly and send the messages without interference. Since my nerves have trouble sending signals due to the surgeries and scar tissue, by seeing Dr. Moore on a regular basis, he is able to keep the healthy nerves working correctly.

Maybe this will help explain why I believe in chiropractic:
 

There are multiple ways to drive into Chicago. Some days the traffic flows without too much difficulty. Yet, just a slight mishap, a flat tire or stalled car, and traffic can come to a halt. An accident can stop traffic altogether.
Your nervous system is just like the highways to Chicago. Information travels to the Brain (Chicago) via the nervous system (the highways). If there is a “flat tire” or “accident” along the way, the information stops and disease and illness settle in.
What are the “flat tires” and “accidents”? Chiropractors call them subluxations. They are caused when the spine is out of alignment and pressure is placed on the nerves.  A slight pressure for a short time causes only minor delays. Yet, as the pressure builds over time, you then have major delays leading to pain and illness.
When subluxations occur, chiropractors use specific techniques to return the vertebrae into their proper positions or mobilize them so they can move freely. During an adjustment, the vertebra is freed from the misaligned position and returned to the proper position in the spinal column. Once performed, the adjustment allows the body to heal. The accident is cleared out of the way and information is flowing freely once again. It’s drug-free, natural, and works! It’s a very simple concept: Keep the highway free of any mishaps, the information flows freely keeping the body healthy.

For me creating a positive day is doing what I can to be healthy. Being healthy involves the body, mind, and spirit. To create the ultimate positive day I need to work on all three.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cool site!

I just found to coolest site!  Attention all designers, teachers, marketing specialists, and creative people! You will want to check out this site! They have AMAZING designs for 3D projects. Need to add a punch to your marketing project? Check out
They have various layouts and designs for many projects. I'm sure you'd find something that would fit your need.
Their Shapes include:
Creating a positive day is easy when you find a great site like CARTONUS.com. Looking forward to making some great projects using the designs available at CARTONUS.com! 

6 days and counting


Had to get the pre-surgery tests done today. I thought I knew where to go. But when I arrived I was told I was at the wrong place. I had a choice to make. Go back to the valet and drive down to the other area, or walk to through the hospital. I figured I'd walk. Good thing I did! When I arrived a the 'other' place, I was told I was to go to the first place. So I slowly walked back. Very glad I hadn't moved my car!
Finally, got through the registration and waited again for the tests. The actual tests took about 10 min. The entire time at the hospital....2.5 hours! I'm now back home waiting for my pain meds to kick in.
While I was at the hospital I noticed many people wandering the halls, waiting, and working. I noticed when I'd smile at someone or say hello, they were almost shocked. The more kindness I showed the more it seemed to multiply. Since you register in one area and then go to another for the testing, you see many of the same people. I noticed that the people I smiled at or greeted were doing the same thing to others in the next area.
It was interesting to see smiles and hellos spread instead of the germs we were all trying to avoid. It doesn't take much to smile at someone. Since people are at the hospital for a reason...usually not a good one....they are often sad, upset, or down. When they see a smile, or are greeted kindly, it gives them a glimmer of hope....plus it makes you feel better too.
As we were all waiting in the final waiting room, it was fun to see people greet the 'new comer" with a smiles and hellos. As the seats filled up in the waiting room, people were trying to make more room or make sure the 'needer' ones had a seat. The kindness was continuing to spread. Even the kids seemed calmer as they waited.
Looking back over this morning...it was more hectic then I had planned. But it made me more aware of others around me. I was focused on getting my tests done and getting back home to take my pain meds. But God wanted me to notice others. He knew that by making me walk around the hospital, it would make me more aware of others and what they are enduring. God knew that there were people who needed a glimmer of hope today. And God choose me to offer that hope.

Today, God changed my plans a bit to help me create a positive day for others as well as myself. Creating a positive day isn't always about you. Rather it's about sharing God's hope with others, even if it's just a smile.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

7 days and counting


Today is Wed. 7 days until surgery. Today I see my chiropractor and need to pick up Max's food and treats. Max will want something special since I'll "lock" him in his cage on Tuesday. He never gets locked in anymore! But I want to make sure he's safe. I'm planning on coming home the same day as my surgery but I have to plan in case I end up staying overnight.
This weekend I'll fix Max's day cage (pictured above) so he'll have plenty of room to play. His day cage is set with perches on the OUTSIDE rather than the inside, since he only goes inside to eat. Yes, he's very spoiled!!
Max is so much fun! He makes me laugh. Sometimes he acts like he knows what I'm saying. And since Max was a birthday gift from God a few years ago, Max is a special blessing.

Sometimes creating a positive day is just finding something that makes you laugh or smile. It could be a memory of a special day, or a poem you like, or in my case....Max.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Avocados Good for Liver Function

If you’re on medications that cause stress on your liver, dip into the guacamole!


Studies have shown that eating just one or two avocados each week can boost your liver function in as little as one week. Avocados are a cholesterol-free, sodium-free, low saturated fat food with only 5.0 grams of fat per serving (20% of the fruit).
It’s believed by some that avocados protect against heart disease and some cancers.


This article is from REST MINISTRIES. Check out their website for more relevant and interesting articles and information.

Note: If you have a parakeet, please keep the Avocado away from your bird. Avocados are poisonous to birds. That includes guacamole or anything made from avocados. 

Creating a positive day means taking care of yourself. That includes eating healthy foods and drinking LOTS of water. Don't like just plain water? Then add a few drops of lime or lemon juice. The water remains sugar and fat free while having a "kick". I like to add the lemon and lime juice or wedges to my ice cubes. As the ice melts it gives a nice flavor to the water.

Monday, November 2, 2009

8 days and counting


Today was one of those days I had all planned out... you know the type of day when the "To Do List" is full and the pencil is sharpened ready to mark off each task. Well, what I had planned was not what God had planned. My headache was the worst it's been in a while, and I injured my ankle a few weeks ago....it was really swollen today. Therefore, instead of finishing my to do list....I knew I'd be confined to the sofa all day.
I was thinking that the day was a total waste...I wouldn't get anything done on my list....until I remembered that my list doesn't really matter. I was to accomplish what God wanted me to do....not some list I concocted.
So, I started rethinking my "To Do List". Rather than what I thought I had to accomplish today, I consulted God on what He wanted me to do. When I changed from "my list" to God's list....the day was much better!
What was on God's list? Extra prayer time. Recently a few people asked I pray for some special requests. Being able to spend time discussing those issues with God was a good use of my time.
As the day progressed, God sent some special blessings my way. I received a nice email. And later in the day I received a package from Hawaii!! A package brightens anyone's day! And since this package was from some very special friends—it made it even better! (A big shout out to Hawaii—Thank you VERY MUCH!!!)
So, my "To do list" remains full. But personally, today turned out to be a special day.

If your plans need to change, don't consider the day a loss. You can still create a positive day by allowing God to direct your plans.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

9 days and counting

Nine days until back surgery #8. At this point, I'd like it to be over, but I should make good use of the 9 days. I'm very thankful for GREAT doctors on my team. Over the past 9 years, I have seen many doctors, and I've heard many stories of doctors who don't care or listen. I've been very blessed with a great chiropractor, Dr. Moore at Moore Health Chiropractic, and a great pain management doctor, Dr. Dallas at Illinois Pain Institute.

This back surgery is "minor" compared to some of the past seven. It's a day surgery...so I should be able to sleep in my own bed that night. That is something I don't take for granted. If any of you have slept in a hospital bed, you know they can be uncomfortable. God enabled me to get a Select Comfort Sleep Number bed a few years ago, and it's just WONDERFUL! Being able to adjust the firmness whenever I'd like, is not only fun.....but makes the bed perfect for resting. Max even likes playing on the bed. 


As I look out the living room window...the leaves are all gone. They were beautiful shades of yellows and oranges this year. Of all the Seasons, I wish Fall lasted longer. The color are so pretty, but disappear so quickly. Guess it's a good reminder to enjoy today—things change so quickly.
Time to take my own advise and ENJOY today! 

Create a positive day....is a daily action. Although you created a positive day yesterday, today is a new day....one waiting to be created! Have fun creating a positive day!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Blessings Celebration Day!

Just wanted to let you know about my Blessings Celebration! I started the day thanking God for His goodness and all the blessings He has sent and continues to send my way. Then I spent time writing notes and emailing people to let them know that they are blessing in my life. I also was able to attend 100 Years of Broadway at Paramount Theater in Aurora, IL.

 When I arrived at the show, I learned that I was given complimentary tickets! The staff wanted to me enjoy my Blessings Celebration!! How cool!! The show was very good. The performers had all worked and sung on many stages, including Broadway. There was a good mix of songs from a variety of shows. And the performers could sing! The Ushers were all so kind. Since, I had to stand during the entire show the Ushers wanted to make sure I was as comfortable as possible. At intermission, one Usher even got me a "booster seat" so I could rest my foot on it. It was just what I needed to make standing easier. After the show I was able to get the performers autographs on the program. To top it all off I was given a CD of the singer I enjoyed most!

Most of you will ask, isn't your pain level high? Yes, it's unbearable. But in a few days..okay it will be more like a week or two....my pain level will settle back down. But the fun I had today will live on in my memory. Each time I listen to the CD, or think of today, I'll smile. I'll think of how God continues to bless me....even by allowing me to attend the show for FREE! That was an AWESOME blessing!!
So, the next year is about to begin......and I'm looking forward to counting all the blessings God has in store for me!!

Counting My Blessings!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

2nd Update to "Responsibilty or lack of faith" post

On August 19th I posted a blog about being responsible. On Aug 25, I posted one update to that post. Here's another!

I was seeking ways to save money. I had heard about unplugging things that have clocks, signal buttons, flashing lights, etc, which you don't always use. Items like microwave, radios, TV (including the antennas and digital converter box) etc. So I thought I'd give it a try. The items stay unplugged until I need them. When I'm done with the item, I unplug it again, ASAP. I received my electricity bill this week, and the usage is much lower, making the bill lower too!
I decided to see what other items I can unplug throughout my place. I do have several clocks which I'm wondering how much I use them. If I don't use them, I might as well unplug them. I was amazed at how much money I can save by unplugging items.
Just wanted to share the update!

Sometimes creating a positive day is done by doing something very simply. Often we think we have to do 'big' things to make a difference; that's not true. Most often it's the little things that have the greatest impact.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What I'm I celebrating?

Some people think I’m strange to “celebrate the anniversary of my back injury each October. But that’s just it—I’m not celebrating the injury...rather all the wonderful blessings that I have experienced because of my injury.
We celebrate birthdays, wedding anniversaries, holidays, and so many other personal holidays, why not set aside one day a year to celebrate the blessings that God gives us?
I picked the anniversary of my back injury, simply because living with chronic pain has taught me just how much God cares for me. Yes, He cared for me before my injury.... I just didn’t take notice of all He did—like I should have. Now, I enjoy watching God’s creativity at work. He continually amazes me with how He meets my needs and even some wants.

Will you join me in celebrating the blessings
in your life? 
Pick a day and celebrate any way you want—it’s actually quite fun!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

9 Years of Blessings!


In October 2000, I injured my back. That day changed my life. And even though I now live in chronic pain, I have also been granted many blessings. Each day I do my best to be aware of my blessings. And then each year on the anniversary of my injury, I enjoy a special Blessings Celebration. And believe me there are many blessings to celebrate! When I stop and notice the blessings and take the time to be grateful for what I have, I am overwhelmed at God's goodness. God is so creative in how he cares for me, and He is just as creative in sending blessings. But I do have to be aware of the blessings and take notice. I often wonder, how many of God's blessings have I missed because I was too busy focusing on the pain. Even if I miss some blessings, I am very grateful for the ones I do notice. The more I look for blessings, the more I seem to find! They multiply!!
Each year on the weekend of my anniversary, I try to do something which I don't normally do, just to make the day special. It doesn't really matter what I do, the object is to celebrate all the positive. The more I focus on the positive, the more positive I see....it's a cycle which is one that continues to grow.

I challenge you to pick a date and celebrate the positive in your life. You can do anything you want to make the celebration special for you. How you celebrate doesn't really matter—it's that you celebrate! You can invite others to join you, or make it a private celebration. If you do celebrate, let me know! I always enjoy hearing how others celebrate the positive in their life.

Creating a positive day deserves a special yearly celebration!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blissful Blue

Here's a new kit available at Crafty Scraps Chat under the Creative Team Challenge section.
Blissful Blue is the first in my new color series. It's available in two parts at Crafty Scraps Chat. You can download part 1 immediately. If you post a layout, then you will receive the links for part 2.
Michelle has MANY items posted on her forum.....all for FREE! Stop by and take a look.


3 minute Investment

This week, it was confirmed that I'll have surgery number 8 on my back. As far as surgeries go, this should be a "minor" one. I sent an email to some people who have been praying for me with the date and time.
It was amazing how encouraging several of the responding emails have been. None have been very long, or profound...just simple statements of support and more prayers. Or even people saying how I've encouraged them with my attitude through all this.
I'm amazed how a note or email can lift one's spirit. Yet, I put off sending a note, because I think I'm too busy, or I don't know what to say. Personally, it's not how long the message is or what is actually said....but rather the person thought enough and took the time to send me a note.
Today I timed how long it took to write an address on an envelope and sign a card...the entire action...including the stamp and sealing the envelope....took less than 3 minutes! Yes. LESS than 3 minutes. Do I know someone who is worth just 3 minutes of my time? I know many who I'm sure would enjoy receiving a card from me. So, I think after I post this blog, I'm going to spend 15 minutes and send out some cards. Maybe, I'll start spending 10 or 15 every day to send a card to write an email to someone.
I'd say that 3 minutes of my time to encourage someone is a wise investment with a return even Wall Street can't beat!

Creating a positive day for yourself, is so easy if you create a positive day for someone else!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Brother kit

NEWEST KIT!
Available at http://www.craftyscrapschat.com/under the Creative Team Section. 

If you post a layout created with Brothers Kit Part One, you receive the link for Part TWO! Both are free! 


Create a positive day and create a layout honoring a brother (relative or friend) in your life!


Monday, October 5, 2009

New Kit!

Here is a glimpse of my new kit. Available at http://www.craftyscrapschat.com/. Look under the CT Challenges. You can download Sisters Part 1 and a set of Papers for free. Then if you post a layout, you will get Part 2 and more Papers again for free! Can't beat that!  Happy Scrapping!



Sunday, October 4, 2009

Out of Control

In a situation when things are out of my control, do I just give up and let things happen? Or even when things seem out of my control, do I still have some element of control?
What can I control? my reactions, my emotions, and my thoughts. What I can't control? others or how things happen around me. Even in the midst of what may look like chaos, I have some control and personal responsibility.
Blaming situations or what has happened in the past, are not legitimate reasons to continue negative or harmful thoughts or actions. I can't change the past, but I CAN change the here and now.
There are somethings which I can't control. But there are PLENTY of things which I have full control. It's up to me to make wise decisions and use my control to the best of my ability. 

Positive choices will create positive outcomes! Making a choice to react positive in the midst of chaos will have a positive impact on your life and the lives around you. It's a choice. Make the right one.