Changing Seasons

A chill in the air, pumpkins, bales of hay, colorful leaves, small town festivals and fairs, costumes and candy, long sleeves, and warm bowls of chili.  Autumn is my favorite season and I am not alone. More poems have been written extolling Autumn’s winsome ways than any other season. One of my favorite childhood memories is playing with my younger sister for hours in the leaves.  I would rake “roads” out of the leaves in the backyard and she would “drive” her Tonka Truck through them all with Ken and Barbie dressed up in their warmest outfits in the driver and passenger seats.  

It wasn’t until I was older that I understood how the changing seasons reflect the stages of our lives.  I am now in the early autumn of my life as the big 50 lies in wait to spring upon me in six months time. I miss the never ending energy and gusto of the spring of my youth.  I fondly remember the excitement and first-time experiences of living through the summer season, too. All the “adult” things like the first job in my chosen profession, buying my first house and my first car, being entirely responsible for budgeting my first paycheck…and so on were exciting times.  During the first two seasons of life the sun hardly ever seemed to set and youth had enough vitality to live the long days to their fullest measure.

Now, in the early autumn of my life, my energy wanes like the shortening days, with fewer productive hours to get things done.  There are not nearly as many firsts to experience, either. However, what has been lost from the previous seasons has been made up for in privileges only afforded to those blessed with long years.  I have lived long enough to have naturally accrued some wisdom along the way.  

I’ve learned how to tell the difference between what is important and what is not, and the truth from a lie.  People are more important than things. I can look back and see how God has led me through the fires and floods to safer, higher ground.  And I have learned having fun is different than living a life of joy, the latter being so much more important and meaningful. Chasing after experiences does not equate experiencing life to the fullest.  The fullest life is one that surrenders self in order to experience the indwelling of the living God, Christ living in me and me living in Him.

As the trees change to autumnal colors and I find myself purposefully traveling roads with hilltops that afford me a larger breadth of view so I can soak in all the beauty, I look back over my life to see the distance I have travelled.  Not all the views are beautiful, I’ve not lived perfectly, just humanly. However, I can see and feel the hand of God lifting me higher and higher until the dead and barren patches are covered over with His forgiveness, mercy, grace, and loving-kindness.  He calls us all to live, move, and have our being in Him (Acts 17:28). He really does make all things beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11)!

God’s blessings,
Amy  

I’ve Become a Little Sew and Sew Thanks to Information Overload

Hello Friends, happy October to you!

It’s been three weeks since I finished my Ocrevus infusions and, thankfully, I have returned to my normal MS baseline. I’ve had quite a few people ask me if I have noticed my MS “getting better yet”. Sadly, the answer is no. There aren’t any cures for MS and there is nothing to take away the damage that has already been done. The purpose of Ocrevus, and all the other disease modifying drugs, is to try to stop any further damage from occurring. There are many researchers working hard to try to figure out how to not only stop MS from progressing, but also how to repair damage to the nervous system in order to reverse the debilitating symptoms of the disease. This is a pretty good segue into the information overload mentioned in the title.

Perhaps you are like me and have had to take breaks from social media and the constant barrage of local and international news for the sake of maintaining your own sanity. Well, about a year ago I signed up to a couple of daily MS research news outlets. They arrive in my inbox each morning and present several summaries and links from around the world to everything ranging from research proposals to current studies in mice (poor little mice, they’ve born the brunt of forward thinking MS flops and successes), comparisons of a current MS drug against a possible new drug, clinical trials in all manner of stages, forums about MS, and even articles by fellow MSers about how they live and cope with the disease.

I typically do like to be on top of all the latest MS information, but here lately I’ve been feeling like it’s all too ivory tower. Down here in the trenches, at least in my trench, it’s muddy and wormy with the walls always caving in and needing constant repair. I’m covered in the dank, earthy stench that never leaves my nostrils, even when I dare to raise my head in an effort to try to go over the top, despite having trench-foot. To top it all off, a hail of bullets marked MS come flying over my head intermittently keeping me in a state of constant vigilance and exhaustion.

So, at least for now, I’m going to lie low down here in my mucky but familiar trench and try not to worry about what the people in the ivory towers conjure up for the next move. I’m not giving up on it and I’m glad someone is in the ivory tower, I just need a break from it all for a while.

To that end, about a month ago, I dusted off my sewing machine, turned the music up, and started stitching away! My Mom was a wonderful seamstress and even owned a fabric store when I was young. She showed me how to sew but it didn’t come as easily to me as it did for her. I took a sewing class in high school and had a few lessons through 4-H, too. I’ve sewn a few things through the years as an adult but never really thought of it as something I could get into as a regular hobby. That is until now. I am thoroughly enjoying myself and looking forward to each new day to get stuck in to some new project! The first one was this little sewing catch-all.

I used the leftover material from the catch-all to make some cute bowl huggers for the microwave.

While it is true that some days I am too tired to sew at all and other days I have to take breaks after just a little bit of sewing exertion, just being in my little sewing space brings me joy. For example, looking at all this thread…

…and ALL this fabric with cats ❤️ brings me inspiration for new projects to try when I eventually do have energy!!

I finished up a couple of these boxes yesterday so I would have a better way to see and store my fabric.

I’ve made several things for others, too, which has given me joy and purpose. Fair warning: If you get a Christmas gift from me this year it’s probably going to be homemade. But don’t worry, not all the fabrics I’ve been stashing away have cats on them 😉.

Signing out from the trenches and hoping you’re upwind from me!

Amy