Who I Am

When I told my husband what I was calling this post, he looks at me with a funny look and says, “Poop I am”?  I started laughing and asked him where I would go with that.  We both spent a lot of time laughing over that one.  This week, a few things have gotten me thinking about who I am, so this post is just going to be a lot of words about me.  If you don’t want to continue, I totally understand as this is more for me than anyone else.

When I was a baby, I was the first-born, and I was a problem child.  My parents call tell you from experience, that Dr. Spock’s book on children was wrong.  I used to cry so loud and long that my parents would go outside and sit on the patio just so they could slightly hear one another while talking loudly while waiting for me to fall asleep.  I was also broken (you’ll hear that word from me about me a lot) in that when I ate, I didn’t have the ability to feel full, so I would eat and eat and eat until I got sick, then scream because I was hungry.  Like I said, a problem child.  I was also very strong-willed and liked things to go my way.  When my brother came along 3 years later, they were thrilled, not just because he was a boy, but he was perfect compared to me.   However, he learned very quickly that I was the one that got in trouble as I was older, so he would poke at me (figuratively) and keep at it until I couldn’t stand it any more and would go after him and he would run to our parents and blame me.  I was older and should have known better than to chase my younger brother, so I always got in trouble.  It’s funny, but as parents, both my brother and I raised our kids differently.  When mine were little, if they would come to me complaining about the other one doing something, or even other kids at school, I would always ask why and what did you do.  My brother told his kids to go work it out.  Only intervening when necessary.  Now, as we both got older, I could and did some really mean things to my brother, too.  I loved him and would have stood up to anyone for him, but I certainly wasn’t a saint.

At 8, I got Type 1 diabetes.  Unfortunately, it was and continues to be very brittle, so as much as I try to control it, it changes, a lot.  From the time I got it, so think about an 8-year-old little kid, my doctors told me that I wouldn’t live to be 40 and before that I would go blind and have parts of me amputated.  I also couldn’t ever have kids.  (Not shouldn’t, but couldn’t.)  I was 8, I believed them.  So, I never planned on much of a life and my OCD tendencies were exacerbated as everything needed to be in an exact place, so I would be able to find things when I went blind.  Just to note, I am now 44, my health isn’t good, but I’m not blind, have had no amputations, and have 2 amazing children that are grown.  Doctors are wrong, a LOT!  More about that, later.

When I said I was a strong-willed child, I was also a bit of a wild child.  I really liked to try things.  Now, I wasn’t stupid, so I would consider what might happen and figure out if it was worth trying.  A few things didn’t work out too well, but I did have fun while growing up.  There was a boy who lived down the street from me that was my age, but had 2 older brothers.  The two of us did a lot of wild things together and had a lot of fun growing up.  Unfortunately, we were never in the same classes at school, and as we grew older, we didn’t spend as much time together to never even seeing one another in high school.  I still miss Brent.

For the most part, I never really had too many friends growing up.  There was a girl, J, that I met in first grade, when I started going to a private christian school, and we stuck together.  A few years ago, we reconnected through Facebook, which is great.  It’s funny, because when she remembers us in grade school, she remembers telling me to do something and I would go do it for her.  When I remember things, I remember us figuring out what we were going to do and me always standing in front of her to protect her (she was tiny and I was not).  My parents pulled me out of that school after 3rd grade, when they found out I had been in the principal’s office every day that year because another little girls mother insisted I was demon possessed and needed to be kept away from her little girl.  No one told my parents.  Anyway, that was the summer I got diabetes, which probably had a bit to do with wanting me at school closer to home, too.

It’s funny, but growing up, I really didn’t have a whole lot of friends.  I had 3 cousins that lived on the street behind us, and as one of them is a year older than me, we hung out a bit.  Not sure she really liked me all that much as I was very different.  I wasn’t one to play with dolls, though I had a lot of stuffed animals.  I loved riding motorcycles out in the desert, though my dad would say I wasn’t great at it.  One aunt, uncle and cousin lived out away from town surrounded by desert, so we would spend Thanksgiving out there and take our motorcycles.  I remember being out riding one year and coming back with a cactus piece going through the skin between my thumb and finger and into the handle grip. It took my dad and uncles a while to figure out how to get me loose.  I was ready to go riding again afterwards, though I don’t think they let me.  Anyway, I tended to have more friends that were guys than girls and not too many friends.

Anytime I had a question on how to do something, I tended to go to my mom and she would tell me.  If I had a meaning or why question, I went to my dad and we prayed about it and looked for the answer in the Bible.  My parents both trust God completely and raised my brother and I to know God.  We both know who is in charge and developed our own relationships with God.  Though life has changed us and sent us in differing directions.

Yes, I am leaving an awful lot out of this, but this gives you the general idea of who I am.

After my parents got married, they lived in northern California for a few years.  While there, they went to church and got to know a couple that helped them grow to know the Lord.  They are still friends today and get together every so often.  Because of that relationship, we always supported Christian Encounter Ministries (we all still do today), but I got to spend time there when we would go to visit them, too.  When I was about 15, the Ranch was doing wilderness trips, so my folks (yes, I was being a problem teenager, too, though I never did drugs or drank, I was just strong-willed and didn’t always do what I should) thought going on one of these trips would help me, as well as get me away for a while.  Anyway, I went on a 3 week trip and met my dearest and best friend there.  It was also the only time I know for sure that the Holy Spirit spoke through me.  There were a few of us talking while we were hiking and one of them asked a question.  I had definitely read through my Bible more than once, but couldn’t have given the word for word answer that came out of my mouth.  It took me a while of searching for the answer to that question to find the verses in the Bible that came out of my mouth.  Anyway, one of those guys was the one I talked to for the next 4 years anytime anything happened in my life, from the stupid little things to the bigger things.  We spent some time together over the summers, when I could travel there, but most of our time was me writing letters and him calling me.  I can’t think of another person I shared so much of and about my life with until my husband.  He was the only other person I seriously considered marrying, but I knew that I would have destroyed him and he was too important to me to do that.

While I was in college, I met another guy that was near and dear to me.  We spent a lot of time together and had lots of fun being funny (and I’m not really a funny person).  However, we both have an OCD tendency.  He would come over and straighten the little kick-knacks on our shelves and I would have to bite the inside of my lip until he left the room or the house and go back and put everything the way it “should” be.  As much as I cared about him, I never could have married L, or we would have killed one another.

And now we get to the good part, Golda 2.0.  Okay, not really, just Golda Peterson.

My husband and I were very different people when we got married, though we have both adapted (he started going to bed earlier and me later, so we agreed on 10) and changed (tp comes off the top of the roll rather than the bottom is one of my biggest changes {kidding}) and grown.  W and I were still friends and I probably shared too much with him, as he finally started returning my letters without opening them and wouldn’t accept my calls after a couple of years.  That just about killed me.  My husband knew W was my friend and that I shared with him, as R and I talked about it.  Anyway, it wasn’t fair of me to either of them and W cutting off contact strengthened my marriage as the only one I had left to talk to was my husband.  We are both home bodies that don’t really have too many friends.  My husband still hasn’t learned to love sci-fi like me, but he will put up with some of it for me.  It’s a really good thing my son loves sci-fi and doesn’t mind going to the movies with his mother.

Remember my telling you that doctors told me I couldn’t have children.  Getting pregnant with my amazing, talented and beautiful daughter was quite the surprise.  My diabetes caused some problems as there was only one obstetrician in the valley that would see me.  They did all sorts of tests throughout my pregnancy and after one, told me that my child would definitely have problems and if I wanted to end my pregnancy I would need to let him know, so I could go somewhere else as it was a Catholic hospital he was associated with.  Of course I wasn’t going to kill my baby, so we prayed, my parents prayed, everyone we knew was praying for her.  I was induced 3 weeks early as from their measurements she was over 10 1/2 lbs.  She wasn’t, but she was amazing and had no physical or mental problems.  Well, except that after 2 days of being induced, my husband was tired and went out for dinner with his folks and my grandparents and I was put in a room to rest.  Only, they didn’t bring me my baby.  I kept asking and no one knew anything and I couldn’t get a hold of R.  After my getting really upset and demanding, one nurse finally went down to find out what happened, and eventually took me to my girl.  Apparently, my diabetes affected her, so when she was born she had low blood sugar and they gave her an iv (in her head) and didn’t want me to see it, and they needed to keep watch on her.  Once I saw her and was able to hold her, I calmed down.

2 1/2 years later, we had an amazing son.  Now, the doctor told me that in those 2 1/2 years, because of my diabetes, my body was more like it had been 20 years between children.  I had quite a few problems during my pregnancy and got to know the firemen in our area fairly well, as we had to keep calling 9-1-1.  Can I tell you how valuable the amazing men and women that do so much for us for so little pay are.  Both police, firemen, garbage collectors, every one of them that work hard to help us and we tend to ignore.  Don’t ignore them, life without them would be awful.

Anyway, back to my story.  I started reading out loud to my children not long after I found out I was pregnant with them.  Finally stopped reading to them about the time they hit junior high, though we still talked about the books they read and I read most of them, too.  When my son got into graphic novels, I couldn’t read the same books, as trying to follow the story annoyed the tar out of me.  We always spent time doing a devotion together and praying together before going to school.  Also, anytime we watched a show on t.v., I would ask my children if things were real and what the Bible had to say about it during advertisements, etc.  As the kids got older, before I would even start to ask, they would go, “We know, mom!  God says, . . ..”  I love that they know their Bibles and God.  That is the best thing that has come out of my life.  My children know God!

It’s amazing how God works.  My husband is a worrier.  It is part of who he is.  Yes, God tells us not to worry.  However, if it were not wired into my husband, I would not still be alive.  I can’t tell you how many times he woke up in the middle of the night because I started breathing differently, or got hot, or . . . and he did a blood glucose test on me, held me up and poured juice into me to keep me alive.  Or called home, because he felt like something was wrong and when I didn’t answer sent my mom to check on me, or rushed home from work himself to find me passed out on the floor.  So, whether he admits it, or not, God has worked through him.  In more ways than this, too.  Oh, the passing out, was part of the brittle diabetes, in that I would be fine, then all of a sudden, not.  One of the most amazing times God worked was when my daughter was in kindergarten, so my son was about 2 1/2 or 3 and I had passed out partway into our pantry.  I had to have been going to get something to eat.  Fortunately, the pantry was open, so my son could get out crackers and feed himself, and about 5 hours later, I came out of it, was able to crawl in and get some juice and get up and go pick up my daughter from school on time.  That was definitely a God moment, as I should NOT have been able to come out of it on my own.  God has done countless amazing things in my life that I would love to share with you, but this is getting really long, as it is.  Let me just say, that God is all that matters.

That is something that my husband and children have always seen.  God comes first, then my husband, then my children, then family and everyone else.  Two gifts that God has blessed me with are my faith and smile.  I don’t think there is anyone that is more important than anyone else, so no, I don’t think a president of a country is any more important than the homeless person down the street.  I try to smile at everyone and hopefully that encourages them.  Why, because they are important.  Not long after I turned 32, I had a stroke.  It was December 21 and a Saturday morning.  I had the car that day and had to take the kids to church for play practice and run a few last Christmas errands, etc.  When I got up, my left side was not working right.  My foot was dragging and my arm felt dead and I couldn’t do anything with it.  I had too much to do to slow down, so I just kept going and figured it would go away.  The next morning at church, it seemed to be getting worse, so I asked my dad to take the kids home with him and R to take me to the hospital after church.  That was interesting.  I was scared, but I knew God was in control, so it was just a matter of waiting until the doctors figured out what was wrong.  While waiting and between tests, there was a lady brought into the ER with police escorts.  She was definitely high or drunk and very wild.  I spent a lot of time praying for her and the people surrounding her.  My husband couldn’t understand that, but I figure if God puts people near us that we can see need His help, we should pray for them.  Spent some time praying for the boy in the next bed over as his parents were really scared about what might be wrong.  Throughout my life, when God brings someone to mind, I take the time to pray for them, even though I don’t know what they are going through.  There were several times throughout the years that God brought W to mind and I would spend days, sometimes weeks praying for whatever was going on in his life.  There have been lots of others, too.  God is not a God of chaos, he is a God of order.  And, He is.  Those are two of my favorite attributes about God, well, at least the mean a lot to me.

Back to the doctors.  There have been many times throughout my life that something is wrong, definitely wrong with me.  So, when it doesn’t get better, I finally go to the doctor and they do a bunch of tests for what they think it might be.  Nope, none of those, so they send me to a specialist, who does a bunch of tests and can’t figure it out, either.  What gets me is that, even though I am in so much pain I can barely move, or be in an upright position, or whatever, their answer is that, “You’re perfectly fine.”  Yes, I get that some people complain about every little thing.  I’m not one of them.  It has to be really bad for me to go to the doctor.  Anyway, my husband finally figured out one thing, years ago, just by paying attention.  I could no longer eat eggs.  After several years, I could eat eggs again, just not too many, or too frequently.  Sometimes I have to avoid them entirely.  Anyway, don’t always believe doctors and definitely keep checking.  But no, don’t fly off the handle and believe every “new” thing that is going around, either.  And, Dr. Oz, promotes some really bad things, so don’t fall for things, even when someone “famous” tells you it’s so.  Do your research and be realistic.

When the kids were young, one year at Christmas, we didn’t have much money and hadn’t done anything for gifts for people, but I had a 50% off coupon for a craft store, so I went and started wandering the aisles trying to find something I could get and make a bunch of gifts from that others might enjoy.  What I wound up coming home with was a candle making kit.  Now, those were cute candles, but they didn’t burn well.  However, I had a lot of fun and only got a few burns making them, so I started doing research about candle making.  After I went through the library’s books on the subject, I actually went out and bought a book on it.  And thus began my candle making.  I still make candles, though the ones I make now definitely burn better, smell better, might not be as cute, but they are all around better, as well as out of natural wax.  Candle making is fun for me, from the hours of planning what I want to do, to the days and sometimes months of testing waxes and wicks, etc.  It is fun to be able to make something that I enjoy and that others enjoy, too.  Making white and blue pine scented Christmas candles is a pleasure, too.  I can put together whatever colors I want with any scent I have I even blend colors to come up with different shades.  Oh, so much fun!  Going out to my workshop and working on the candles is also my “own time” where I can think and pray and be alone for a while, while doing something useful.

When I was growing up, I swam.  I worked hard and was on teams.  It was fun for me, as you don’t really pay too much attention to what is around you when you’re swimming, as sounds are muted, and you can’t see too far.  It is a great time to pray and just chat with God about anything and everything.  So yes, those miles and miles of laps we swam in practice, I enjoyed.

Another thing I started doing when I was pretty young, maybe 9 or 10, I started making my own cards.  I made them on the computer and it was mostly about the words inside.  However, as an adult, we really didn’t have a lot of money to buy cards, and I couldn’t always get to a computer to make them, so I started playing with paper and making my own.  Now, when I make cards, they are generally for a specific person and their likes and interests.  The words inside don’t come as easily, now, but the whole thing is made for them.  In the past few, okay, several years, I’ve gotten involved with card making groups online, so I make some that are for a challenge, rather than a specific person, so I have some spares around.  Most of the friends that I have are in one of those groups (we’ve changed sites 3 times over the years and the people have changed some, but most of us have stayed together).  I’m really kind of glad that we live so far apart (some in other countries), as some of these ladies really seem to like me and as I don’t tend to have many friends, they might not if they were close and spent face to face time with me.  So, I’m really glad for the internet and computers.

As the years have gone by, I have a few friends, but not many and we don’t tend to go out and do things together outside of church.  Though, J has come back into my life and we get together every so often.  I tend to be pretty careful about sharing with others.  Partly because people are people and not generally very nice and partly just because I’m an introvert and really don’t share much.  There are a couple of ladies at church and J that I share more with and consider good friends.  Oh, and if I start to make friends with men, I try to always be more friendly with their wives and include them both.  It has to do with doing things God’s way and what He has to say about how we are seen.

If you haven’t figured it out, I am a Christian, child of God, hopefully an encourager to others, and a person.  Being a person means I mess up.  I say things sometimes that hurt others and I’m often misunderstood (my children and I have different ways of seeing things than most people and don’t always communicate in ways others understand, though my son is very straight-forward and can get people to understand {yes, he’s awesome}).

I’m so very glad that God gave me the people He has throughout my life.  I wouldn’t be who I am without each and every one of them.  Without the experiences, both good and bad, throughout my life, I wouldn’t be who I am, either.  As long as this is, it is the barest glimpse into my life and who I am.  I’m also really glad that my children have grown up and gone their own way and my husband and I have some time to spend together, just the two of us, and the dogs.  We are having fun planning our 2 week drive down the Pacific Coast Highway next year to celebrate our 25th anniversary.  I’m thrilled that my children are amazing people, despite me being their mother, and that they still like to be around us.  I’m thrilled that my parents have forgiven me for being a broken, problematic child and love my husband, too.  I’m thankful for the weird, but wonderful dogs we have, too.  Most of all, I’m just thankful that God knows who I am, who He created me to be, where I’m going and what I should do next.  I haven’t always done what He wanted, and I’ve paid the price and hurt others, which I regret, but He always pulls me back to where I’m supposed to be.

Now, if you are someone I’ve hurt over the years, I am so very sorry.  I never intend to hurt anyone.  Unfortunately, I’m a person that doesn’t communicate well and that tends to happen, no matter how I try to be careful.  If you don’t know me too well, hopefully this helps you get to know me a little bit better.

Oh, I have to tell you, one of the most amazing moments of my life was when my dad asked me what I thought about a certain scripture.  We both did some research and discussed it.  My dad, talked with me about what I thought God meant.  Wow!

And yes, I still want to do adventurous things, though my health kind of eliminates some of them and my family tells me some are just too dangerous, so I’m not allowed.  I really want to be able to drive a race car on a track and see how fast I can possibly go (yes, I obey the speed limit) and I also really want to go sky diving.  My husband finally agreed that I could do the wind tunnel type where you don’t actually jump out of a plane and depend upon someone else’s parachute packing ability and he’ll do it with me.  That will be fun.  Haven’t talked him into doing the rope bridges between the tops of trees in Colorado that I think looks amazing, but maybe someday.

Thank you for spending some time, and if you’re to here, it’s a lot of time, with me today.  Now, I am off to help my husband do the floor in our spare bedroom (used to be my son’s) and laundry.  Have a most wonderful day!