Vision Ventures – Day One

“I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.” (Psalm 16:7)
 
My neuro-surgery for this week got postponed for three weeks due to a blizzard.  I was anxious and now have time to get more nervous.  Since my MRI on January 19, 2021, I have gained about ten pounds from anxiety.  Today is Day One in a new venture to take them back off.  Of course, the surgery will interrupt my efforts.  However, I plan to begin anyway.
 

Morning

 

News From a Friend

 
This morning a friend called about another friend who went to be with Jesus this morning.  My husband cried when he heard the news.  It will be okay.  He had gangrene in his remaining foot, and the doctors decided to let him go rather than cut it off.  It did not take long after that.  He was gone.  Let me process this, so it does not negatively stick to me.  This is about the death of someone else, not my own.  I am beginning to live again.
 

Vision Ventures

 
On a cheerier note, I am ready to tackle the weight gain my anxiety has provoked.  Most importantly, I am venturing into a risky surgery that may improve my vision and prevent further loss.  I want to document this experience to make it more favorable for me than it has been so far.
 

Unconditional Love

 
The most positive aspect so far has been my neighbors’ unconditional love.  He is a retired oral surgeon; she is a former surgical nurse.  They have driven me to medical appointments, waited patiently through hours of pre-op, and given me counsel about surgery prep.  Their experience and kindness have been a blanket of love.
 

Actions with Values

 
I am still working on my actions-with-values program and plan to bring my discoveries into this vision ventures blog series.
 

Anxiety

 
My biggest fear has been the possibility that my surgeon will damage the optic nerve, blinding my left eye entirely.  However, I trust that he is trained and practiced at not doing that, even though he admitted there is some risk.  As my neighbor said, I must concentrate on the 95% chance of a good outcome, not the 5% risk otherwise.
 

Taking Care of the Family

 
I arranged for a senior care service to take care of my husband while I am gone and during my recovery period.  Their caregivers have already been here several times with good results.  One of them is an amateur artist.  He painted a delightful monarch butterfly to put on our dining area wall.  The orange, white, black, and yellow colors of the insect look like stained glass through which light is pouring.  On the day the artist hung up the painting, my step-son was here, showing a nature program to my husband on TV.  As we all sat down to watch, there was a festival of monarch butterflies involving thousands of colorful flyers.
 
 
Our caregiver said they mentioned that the butterflies’ return corresponds with the Day of the Dead, a special day to him because his first artistic work portrayed that day.  These synchronicities assured me that God is watching over me.  When I shared this story with my neighbors, they said they knew that long ago.
 
Meditation
 
Though God is there, my anxiety is still a concern. Glenn Harrold’s meditation, Mindfulness for Releasing Anxiety, has been there for me.  I need it more often, perhaps.  Let me spend a few minutes with it now.
 

Afternoon

 
The afternoon is waning.  My energy level is better than it has been lately but still not up to snuff.  I have not dressed or gotten the trash out.  However, I spent time with a relaxing book and made a green drink.  I blended the ingredients below in a Vitamix.
 
 

Food Supplements

 
I did not add food supplements this time because the hospital asked me not to take them until after the surgery.  I intend to fast this evening.  My neighbor insists that I eat supper.  However, I know my body better than she does.
 
My husband expressed some concern for my welfare minutes ago.  He knows how hard the past few weeks have been.  Hopefully, a few vegetables will work their magic and bring me back to life.  During times of anxiety, it is hard, perhaps even impossible, to eat right.  With a concerted effort to do better, I can turn things around.
 

Divine Help

 
One book I found helpful in the past was The Jesus Diet by Robin Merrill. It is chock full of prayers to aid weight-loss efforts.  I will not reverse my gaining trend without help.  With a cyst invading my pituitary and hypothalamus, my hunger is out-of-control.  The only solution I know of is to track everything I eat.  This can work for you, too, if your hormones are out-of-whack as mine are.  I have been waiting around the past two months, thinking there must be an easier way.  Slowly, and sometimes not so slowly, the scale has been climbing up-and-up.  I intend to return to proven methods of controlling my weight.
 
Here is a sample prayer from the book:
 
“Jesus, thank you for freeing me from condemnation.  Please forgive me for condemning myself and help me to stop doing that. Please help me to walk in the freedom you died to make possible. Thank you, Savior. Amen.”
 
Robin mentions the condemnation overweight people tend to get from the world and themselves.  She counsels her readers to let go of this and consider Christ’s work on the cross sufficient.  Then we can get out of the bit of trouble we have gotten ourselves in with our weight.
 

Evening

 

Pain Relief

 
The evening hours have started even though it is not dark yet.  I can feel my TMJ bothering me.  It does that whenever I get hungry.  Two regular strength capsules of Tylenol at night relieve the pain that interferes with my sleep.  They might be helpful now.  There.  Maybe that will help me to avoid using food to lessen my TMJ pain.
 

Values at Target

 
By logging my activities, I have twelve values at or beyond their targets.  Three more are close.  I am tracking seventeen values.  I plan to add one more:  music and get a keyboard after the surgery.  Since coming to Colorado, I have not had a piano, and I miss having one.  How I will fit practice time in with everything else, I do not know, but I will find a way.  I can keep tracking my activities to make time for everything.
 
The day is winding to a close.  I have been close to target on all my values.  I feel successful but a bit tired.  I spent half an hour this evening relaxing on my bed.  Of course, that got me closer to my rest and relaxation target, so that was a smart move.  I did not think I would do my strength activities, but a few minutes of strength training got me to my target.  I have not done that for weeks!
 
All in all, this has been a great day.
 

Prayer

 
 
EveNING PRAYER
 
Lord,
 
I am a bit weary.  However, I am connecting with my values again.  Doing that appears to be what works for me.  After two months of fighting anxiety, I am finally on track.  Can I stay there?  Please, help me.  You have helped me today.  I detected your gentle Voice in my heart.  As David said, “I praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me” (Psalm 16:7 NIV).  I think I know what he means.
 
The weekend will be here tomorrow.  That will give me relief from my endless business calls.  My surgeon’s medical assistant said today that it is okay to get a COVID vaccine before the surgery.  I may even be offered one in the hospital.  Soon, I can get myself out of this horrible pandemic.  Hope is on the horizon.  Let me visualize the optimal result for this surgery.  Vision ventures are vistas before me.  There is the surgery, losing weight, resuming my projects, and who knows what afterward.
 
At the end of the day, whatever I succeed with will take a backseat to my value quest.  If I keep an eye on what is important to me, it matters little whether I succeed or fail at any specific undertaking.  You, Lord, are the most important.
 
Amen.
 
Feature Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash
 
 
 
 
 
 

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