It dawned on me. Satan is a character in my books, and the way I have portrayed him may be confusing to some who have not studied this enemy of God. While I can't say Satan and I are close, I have studied a bit and would love to pass on what I know.
Even if you don't read my books, this is information you should have. Admit it. You don't know much about him, and you don't want to. But it is important to know who we are going against. So, here are the basics that will help you understand more of what I write.
1. Satan is an angel
Sounds contradictory, doesn't it? There are many kinds of angels. Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 both acknowledge Satan as an angel, and more specifically a cherub. (Cherubs are nothing like the winged babies that portray them in artwork. Read the above passages for more description.) He was likely one of the most powerful in command of the angels as well. And although he is called an angel of light, his light is false and not pure. There is only One true Light (John 1:3-5) - all other light can only be reflected from it.
2. Satan was not around "In the beginning."
The main point here is that God created Satan. (Some would ask "Why on earth would He do that?" Well, why on earth would He create human beings who constantly sin against Him, destroy His creation, and more often than not, reject His sovereignty?) Satan is a finite being, unlike God, who always was.
3. Satan is not alone
When Satan was cast out of Heaven, he brought with him ⅓ of all the other angels. (Revelation 12). This testifies the extent to which he can be convincing. One third is nothing to sneeze at, and it's a little scary to think of that number, when we are aware that there could be tens of thousands of angels. Those followers - demons - are still following Satan. But what is encouraging is that ⅔, twice as many, stayed true to God, and that's who is fighting on our side.
4. Satan is not a red, horned man with a pitch-fork.
Part of the reason that Satan rose up against God was because he was so beautiful, he felt that he was to be worshipped. (Isaiah 14) It is also indicated that Satan masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14). To be honest, I have no idea where the little red man with horns idea came from. It appears to be a conglomeration of different mythical characters. Everything in the Bible points to his being a much more beautiful creature. (Of course, the inner ugliness could account for something too.) One thought is that this image of Satan came about in Renaissance years to mock Satan.
5. Satan is not currently residing in Hell.
The Bible tells us that Satan prowls the earth like a lion looking for prey to devour. (I Peter 5) Job 1 also tells us that he is roaming the earth as well. To be honest, if he were in Hell, he really wouldn't care to much about what is going on with the rest of us.
6. When Satan is sent to Hell, he will not be in charge.
We are told In Revelation 20 that at the end of the last battle, that Satan and his angels will be cast into the Lake of Fire where they will suffer eternally. No partiality in hell. Everyone will be equally miserable, and quite frankly, I don't think anyone will care a hoot about anyone else. There is no order in hell, so there is no honor or ranking.
7.Satan is not omniscient
Why would anyone enter a battle they knew they were going to lose? Satan may have been told he would not win in the end, but it doesn't appear he believed it. He lacks the vision that God has to oversee all of time - past, present, and future - all at one glance.
8. Satan is not responsible for all the evil in the world.
He's not even responsible for all the evil in our own lives. We can thank man's sinful nature for that. I'm not defending Satan here, but don't give him all the credit. We mess up plenty on our own.
9. We cannot beat Satan on our own.
I work with kids. They feel like they could just punch Satan in the nose if they ever saw him. My response? "Well, after you do that, you better run." In Hebrews 2, Paul tells us that Christ was made "a little lower than the angels," indicating that humans are not as powerful as the angels. Therefore, as an angel, Satan is more powerful than we are.
10. We should fear Satan, but not in the same way we fear God.
Even the demons shudder at thought of the kingdom of God. The name of Jesus alone is so powerful, we only need to speak His name, and evil must flee. (Philippians 2) That's power. That's encouraging. But truly, there are so many more reasons to be in awe of God than just how He defeats evil. I could list them, but there would never be an end.
Now, I am not posting this because I think we need to focus on Satan. I just think we need to know. Use this information however you need to, but hopefully it will also help you understand my books as well.
As I watched the Olympics in Rio this year, I was amused at what I was looking for. I was noticing how the age difference between all of the athletes and myself widens each season. It started when I was 14 and realized that I would never be able to be an Olympic gymnast. After all, I had never had a single lesson or attended any kind of gymnastics event in my life. Age 14 would be a little late to start.
Now, as I watch these athletes, I not only hear comments like, "At age 30, he's probably finishing his Olympic career now," I'm saying the same thing. And I'm not crying about it, either.
And yet, I still like to win. Athletics are quickly becoming a less likely conduit for that to happen. So, I need to get creative. Time to get rewards for what I am already doing, don't you agree?
I work hard at parenting, despite my need for everything to be just as I want it. (If you are a parent, you probably know how those two ideas don't naturally mesh.) So I wonder which of the following I might medal in.
1. Preliminary List-Making
This is not as much an event, but the first step in the planning. Which really DOES happen with the Olympics. You can't start anything without a plan? Right, Rio?
My Medal: Gold. I love lists. You'd be amazed what I have lists for.
2. Synchronized Floor Scrubbing
Because the floor can't be cleaned just once, and it's better to have more than one person doing the job, than repeating it more than one time, we will need this event for the cleanest floor possible.
My Medal: DQ. I am disqualified because I have both a robot vacuum and a robot mop doing my work every day.
3. Sock Matching
OK, my kids do not see the importance of matching socks (well, the mini-me does). But I would go nuts even with the thought of mismatching! They may walk out the door like that, but they better not let me see it. Unless they want me to have a breakdown. Which sometimes I think they do.
My Medal: Silver. I will match every sock that comes out of the dryer, but I am at a loss for the mates that do not make it out.
4. Rhythmic Floor Exercise - Vacuum Event
Sometimes, I have to use the stand-up vac. And what fun it is to make those line patterns in the carpet! I mean, you gotta find fun where you can, right? No flipping, though.
My Medal: Gold. I can be very creative, even without flipping.
So, these aren't the still rings where male gymnasts hold themselves in iron crosses. (How DO they do that?) These rings are not still at all. These are the diving rings I am supposed to throw for my kids to retrieve in the pool.
My Medal: DNM. According to my youngest, I stink at this game.
6. Dog-Walking Marathon
My dog really keeps me moving! And because he needs to keep moving, this is an everyday thing.
My Medal: Bronze. Though Teddy keeps moving and could go on forever, he does make a lot of stops... slowing me down.
7. Backstroke Dish Washing
That's right. Go back and stroke those dishes again, because you didn't get all the food off the first time.
My Medal: Silver. Just like what I am washing. I do a good enough job of cleaning dishes, but I really do get tired of doing them.
8. Grocery Weight Lifting
Yes, I am one of those. I would rather dislocate both my shoulders than take multiple trips in from the car carrying groceries. I've got this down. I just have to make sure not to have more kids/mouths to feed. Though, the stakes are raised as they become teenagers.
My Medal: Gold. I've got this. Tons of experience carrying things from the baby/toddler years.
9. Trash Can Diving
Mostly because I have a daughter with Type 1 Diabetes, I often have to go back to the trash can to pick out wrappers and find the carb count on her snack/meal.
My Medal: Silver. I'm pretty new at this, and honestly, I get a little lazy, since the trash doesn't get taken out all that often. But my form can't be beat!
Just because baseball should be in every Olympics. ;)
My Medal: Bronze. I still feel like I could have been on the 1996 softball team. But I'm a little older now... and baseball is not really softball ... so really I am just stealing a medal here.
I have a feeling there are plenty more that could be added here, but this is a decent start to make us moms feel like we are really good at what we do. What would you add to this list?
When I began writing the Angelmen series, my goal was only to provide a clean, uplifting alternative for young people to choose when selecting reading material. Too many of the stories aimed at teens were sullied in darkness, violence, and adult-like romance. I knew I wanted my kids to have an option to read something different.
My books are works of fiction. To be honest, nothing in them needs to be true. And I completely believe that this situation could NOT ever happen, because there are no Nephilim in real life today.
But as a Christian writer, some parts of life to me are as much a part of my life as anything else. As such, I have to include my faith in my works of Christian fiction. (That's why it's CHRISTIAN FICTION.) Plus, you never know when something might pique a reader's interest enough to further search the truth on the topic. I love to throw out nuggets, and I always encourage research. (I used to be a teacher, you know.)
But as you read, you are entitled to know what I believe are Biblical truths in these books. Not everyone who reads them has a firm Biblical background, and that's okay. Some readers already know what's true, but I'm happy to point it out for anyone who does not know.
1. Jesus is the Savior of all mankind.
(John 3:16, Romans 5:8)
Amity knows this. Not just because her father is a preacher, although his influence was certainly a part of her commitment to Christ, but because she dedicated herself early to studying the Word of God and following His way.
When you study the Bible and open your heart to Him, there is no way to deny that Jesus has saved all people from their sin with His sacrifice on the cross. She understands that all have sinned, and therefore no one can stand in the presence of a perfect God… without Someone removing that sin from His sight.
The other three main characters (Asher, Caedmon, and Malachi), come from various other backgrounds, and only have a rudimentary understanding of the life of Jesus. Asher's family are not regular church goers, nor were Caedmon's parents. Malachi's mother was a Christian, but he hasn't seen her in over a decade. His father wants nothing to do with religion. So, these characters need to have the gospel explained to them in their books.
2. Angels are mighty beings and can't die, but are nowhere close in power to God.
(II Chronicles 32:21, Psalm 103:20, Luke 20:36, Acts 12:7, Romans 8:38, Ephesians 1:21, Hebrews 1:4-6)
God created angels in the beginning, and in a finite number, so their procreated or destruction is not necessary. The angelic guides in each of the books are fearsome creatures and command respect just by their very being. Even Malachi, who puts up the most reluctant front, can't deny that he is lower than his angel guide. None of the four are able to completely stand up to their guide. They all recognize that angels are different that they expected, and possess more than a little awe for a piece of Heaven to have sought them out.
However, angels are sent to help humans - to send messages to them as well as to help them. In my books, I tried to keep with the idea that people are actually more important to God than angelmen. So the angels in my books can advise their wards as instructed, but will not be allowed to interfere in their missions. So, even though man is not as powerful as the angels, God does love them more. (Hebrews 2:16) It was really a fun challenge to write a book about two types of beings (angels and angelmen) and in doing so, make a statement about how much God loves the human race (who are not the focus).
3. Satan is a fallen angel who was cast out of Heaven and now is roaming the earth.
(Job 1:6, I Peter 5:8, Colossians 1:16, Jude 1:9)
It is a common belief that Satan currently resides in Hell. But the Bible clearly tells us that he wanders the earth and intends to draw humans away from God. Satan was once a very beautiful angel. He wanted to be worshipped, but God was having none of that, and so he was cast away from Heaven, along with one-third of the remaining angels. Satan's final destiny in Hell (where he will not rule, but suffer with all the others) will not happen until the end of times.
Satan is a character in my books, and that was difficult. I really don't want to know Satan personally. But it was necessary considering the magnitude of what is at stake in the story- the fate of the entire race of angelmen! However, I would be much more fearful of getting God's character wrong than Satan's. So, I decided not to touch God - only use that which surrounds Him. How could I ever do Him justice?
4. Meditating on scripture is an effective way to fight evil.
As Christians, we know we should always turn to God in our time of need. We know we will get an answer, but we don't always pray like we should. Perhaps we're afraid of the answer we will get, that it might not align with what we want. But in the end, turning to God and His word will always get us facing the right direction.
Knowing this is something that helps Amity out of a few jams in her book, and hopefully she will not be too distracted to remembering it during The Battle! The other characters have to find out about the importance of Scripture as their training progresses, but they are often amazed by the work God does and their privilege of being able to see it happen. Who wouldn't be?
5. Satan's power is not equal to God's.
(Philippians 2:10, Philippians:2:9, Hebrews 1:4-6)
Everyone will eventually bow to the name of Jesus, and even Satan knows this. He just tries to make us forget it. As a matter of fact, as strong as Satan's power can be, it often isn't as strong as our own wills and desires. That's why Satan will use our own sin to turn us from God. (Think about the Garden of Eden. All Satan had to do to get Eve to eat the forbidden fruit was to remind her that she really wanted it.)
Because God always wins, it is obvious that He will win in my books. The problem is, when you are in the midst of a situation, it isn't always clear what the outcome will be. Satan stands mighty tall when he's right in front of you!
6. Satan is not omniscient (all-knowing).
(Matthew 24:36, Genesis 3:5, John 8:44)
Because Satan's native language is lies, he probably will never admit what he doesn't know. But only God has the grand timeline. Only God has always been, and always will be. God created Satan and knows Satan's beginning and his demise. He sees beyond what is happening now to see what the future holds. (This is just one reason I am SO glad to be on God's side.)
In my books, the characters don't always know or remember this. Satan is pretty convincing when he speaks. But when you see God always winning, always being right, in the end, the truth is clear. God always trumps Satan.
7. Your pastor/priest is not immune to sin or temptation.
(Romans 3:23, I Corinthians 10:13, Matthew 4)
In Amity of the Angelmen, we see Father Mackenzie Abel face temptation. The Bible tells us that no temptation has seized us, but that which is common to man. Temptation is not a sin - we know this because even Jesus was tempted when He was in the wilderness. However, if you lose to that temptation and sin, you are unlike Jesus and God is not pleased. And yet, every single person who ever lived has fallen to some temptation. (If any one person were ever able to resist all sin, the need for a savior would be nullified. But that's my next blog post, so hang tight!)
We also see Mackenzie feeling guilty about lying to his congregation. All people fail, clergy included. Don't expect perfection from anyone but Jesus. As a matter of fact, those who serve God in ministry are often more targeted by Satan. They can use our prayers daily!
8. God gives gifts, or special abilities, to people.
(I Corinthians 12)
The angel guides explain to their protégés that just as God has given gifts to humans, he has given gifts to the angelmen as well. We see several places in the Bible that explain gifts people are given through the Holy Spirit. Such gifts include: faith, healing, wisdom, knowledge, miracles, prophesy, discernment, tongues, and interpretation.
Basically, this only comes up in my books as a reminder and a reference. It's easier to understand how God can give some kinds of gifts to some angelmen and other gifts to others if you can compare it to what He gives to humans.
9. Three is a special number.
(Matthew 3:16, Luke 2:46, Luke 24:46, Matthew 12:40)
The number three comes up several times in all of the books. While three is a literary device that you will see in such places as fairy tales (how many little pigs were there? how many little kittens who lost their mittens? blind mice?) it is also rampant through the Bible. God, Himself, is part of a Trinity. You might not see the word "trinity" in your Bible, but some forms of the the word "God" are translated from the ancient texts as a three-head God. Because of that, three became my default number in my books as well. (God is greater than my OCD about odd numbers.) Several of the characters have three dreams, and Malachi stays in the pit for 3 days. So why do I have 4 main characters? Because there were four Gospel writers to tell the story of Jesus.
10. There is a real Heaven and a real Hell.
(Nehemiah 9:6, John 1:51, II Peter 2, Revelation 21)
Heaven has had a lot of attention these days in books and movies, but it is more than a place where we will see the loved ones who have passed away. Heaven is where God is. I think that will be all we will be able to focus on, too. We have been told only a fraction of what that wonderful place holds for those who believe. But we DO know God will be on His throne, and Jesus will be at His right hand. There will be judgement when we get there, and then lots of singing and celebrating.
In Caedmon's story, he is privileged to see angelmen waiting for the door to Heaven to be opened for them, since God cannot look upon them without a sacrifice covering their iniquity.
Hell is also a real place, and the threat of it looms silently in all of my books. There is debate about whether or not Hell is currently occupied. On one hand, Jesus tells the story about a rich man suffering the torment of the Lake of Fire, but on the flip side, Revelation speaks about the devil and those with him being cast into the Lake of Fire after the last battle. The one thing we do know is that Hell is a place completely devoid of God's presence, and that's what makes it completely unbearable.
Malachi gets a glimpse of Hell toward the end of his book, because that is the push he needed to see how desperately he really does need God. Sometimes, people are so stubborn, a vision of the alternate ending is what's needed. People have a tendency to either believe they are good enough to go to Heaven, or that Hell isn't all that bad. These people need to hear the harsh truth.
There are more Biblical truths in my work that I have not addressed here, but I will leave them up to you to find as you read. You will have the most fun drawing out Biblical realities from the 5th book, The Battle of the Angelmen, when the four main characters are finally together, needing to discover God's plan for them as they prepare to go to war against Satan - an enemy stronger than they are. So hang in there! The Angelmen are coming.
It's been a while, hasn't it? The fairy tale writers of 'ole are long since retired. We never seem to tire of their content, even though they are further and further from the realm of possibility. The characters, especially, are tough to relate to. There aren't too many royal families about these days, though, I will admit. It is fun to watch William, Kate, and the littles. Still, the fairy tales we are used to don't take into consideration the hassles and struggles of today's day and age. Not once is the speed of their wifi connection mentioned. Sure they had to do a lot of walking or carriage riding, but never once do these characters ever seem to encounter traffic.
We keep reading them because the morals are pretty good and almost always still relevant, at least for the education of small children. For some reason, it's pretty hard to get adults to understand that all people are created equal.
Well, anyway. I thought maybe I would go through some of the most popular stories and see if I could throw in a few changes that would help today's children better relate to the characters (for better or worse!) Here's what I came up with.
First, her name needs to be changed. Her step-sisters put her in charge of setting the iRobot schedule, so they actually call her Roombella now. Those step-sisters are so mean; they won't let her go clubbing with them. But would Roombella want to be seen with them anyway? Their jeggings look hideous. Fairy Godmother shows up with bags from the mall with some really stylin' clothes for her, so she can go out to a very special party. After finding a very nice man to talk to, Roombella suddenly has to run. Her Uber driver is waiting! On the way out, though, her Ugg falls off. Her mystery man asks many others to try on the boot to see who it fit, but guess what? It fits everyone. Because it's a boot.
2. Snow White
The evil queen chases Snow White away because she sees that more people liked her profile on Instagram than hers. So, she has to run away.
Coming across 7 sloppy men in the forest, Snow White would not dare enter their cottage without some pepper spray. Looking at their beds, she can read their names, by the emojis posted on them: Smiley, Winky, Angry, Lovey, Weepy, Silly, and Poop.
The 7 vertically challenged men do manage to save the princess from the queen, who disguises herself as a homeless person, offering her a poisoned latte.
Oh, and another name change. I don't have to tell you why. Her name is now Prefer Not To Answer.
3. Beauty and the Beast
Well, there would be no problem with people accepting the Beast. Why would there be? What, are we that superficial? Belle had better fall in love with him, or else he could totally blow up her Facebook with what a snob she is. But instead of a library, he only needs to win her heart with a fully loaded Kindle. Of course, it's a good thing he is homebound, because his road rage could totally be a deal breaker.The Beast, however, remains in his locked away chalet forever. No one can come in to try to attack him because there is a protest line out in front to keep the endangered Beast from being taken to a zoo.
4. Hansel and Gretel
The witch winds up eating her own house. Hansel is allergic to nuts, and Gretel can't have gluten, so the children just walk on by. Good thing for the children, too! The eggs used in the gingerbread were recalled due to contamination with Salmonella, and the witch died.
5. Humpty Dumpty
Keep driving. If you see a guy fall off a wall and break into a hundred pieces, he's part of an insurance fraud scam. No one could put him back together again because dude was messed up and no way would insurance cover that too. If you try to put him together, he'd probably sue you too.
6. Jack and the Beanstalk
The story ends where it begins. Magic beans? Never take magic beans. But a magic stick you can plug into your TV to watch just about anything you want. That's worth the Golden Nest Egg. Oh wait… Jack can just stay home to watch what happens on Netflix.
Sorry to report, the prince falls and breaks his neck while climbing, because those are just hair extensions on Rupunzel's head. However, he still gets the girl in the end, because he sues Mother Gothel for negligence in the upkeep of the tower, so she goes to jail.
8. The Princess and the Pea
Picky, picky, picky. The true princess is never found because everyone complains about a bad night's sleep! Also, the food for dinner, the temperature in the bedroom, and one of them even saw a spider in the corner last night. Either everyone is a princess, or they are all just a little spoiled.
The king's daughter doesn't have to worry about spinning gold from straw, because she has Amazon Prime and can get it in two days. That's good enough. Rumplestiltskin still wants the princess to guess his name while she's waiting, so she just Googles it.
10. Little Red Riding Hood
WAZE warns Little Red Riding Hood about the wolf hazard on the way to Grandma's house, so she decides to wait another day to go visit. And honestly, Grandma could take care of the wolf herself anyway. She does Zumba, you know.
How about a new fairy tale?
Once upon a now, a sad teen girl felt like she had no friends. First she went on Facebook and posted, "I have no friends," adding a sad face emoji. She sat and waited to see how many likes or sad face responses appeared on her status. She waited a reasonable amount of time - about 5 minutes - and only received a mad face response and a comment from her best friend. The comment said, "I am your best friend! Why do you say you have no friends?"
"Because I have over 100 friends on Facebook and only one has noticed me. That means 99% of people I thought were friends don't care," the sad teen girl answered.
Next, the sad teen girl went onto Twitter and tweeted, "Im sad. #nofriends."
Her best friend also followed her on Twitter and commented,
"Hello??? #200followers #FeelingLikeChoppedLiver."
But the sad teen girl shook her head and replied, "#The199JustDontCare."
Finally, the sad teen girl took a selfie of her making a sad face and put it up on Instragram. She waited to see if any of her 500 followers would like the pic. She'd even used a great Gingham filter and tagged several people to get their attention.
The girl's best friend sent her a DM that said,
"How many Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram followers/friends do you really need? Can you cry on your computer's shoulder when you need to? Does your computer jump for joy when you have good news? Are those people willing to drop everything to spend time with you? (Are they even real?) Because I am. Let's go meet at Sonic."
So the sad teen girl smiled and closed her computer for the night. She left her phone at home and went out to meet her friend.
Moral: One milkshake with a true friend is worth more than thousands of likes on social media.
Sometimes I wonder what other people think about us. I wonder what people in other countries think about Americans, or what other Americans think about Pennsylvanians. But to see what others think of fans of Philadelphia teams, one does not need to look far. We have a bad reputation. I'm not sure it is earned, though. Here's why:
1. We're Not Dallas
Last I looked, no Philadelphia fan has shot anyone in the parking lot after a game. Spat upon? Yes. (Not exactly proud of that either.) But we don't kill people. (What a great way to start, right? We don't kill people.)
2. He Wasn't REALLY Santa Claus!
I'm so sick of the whole snowballs at Santa Claus story from over 50 years ago. Most people who bring it up weren't there and don't even know the story. The guy was a drunk stand-in for the real actor (think: Miracle on 34th Street reversed.) He did a bad job. He deserved to be pelted. And come on. It's just snow. We don't kill people.
3. We Know Talent
We've had the good and the bad in Philly. Take Sanchez. (Please! Take San… oh, thank you, Denver.) When you're good, we cheer louder than anyone else. (We miss you, Chase Utley!) When you're bad, we're not going to stand for it. We are equal-opportunity booers. So if you do a butt fumble, or miss a really important shot, be ready to be pelted with snowballs. Or rubber bracelets.
4. We Don't Stand For Fakes
If you're faking an injury because you can't keep up, you deserve to be booed. In Philly, you play hard. And we'll keep you honest about that. See # 2. And #3. Also #5. Think of it as just protecting our fellow viewers from deceit.
5. Cheesesteaks. You're Welcome
Wit or witout, there's nothing like 'em, but ONLY from Philly. Here's a tip - don't buy one at any other ballpark. It will never measure up. See #4.
6. Sometimes We Give Up. But We Always Come Back.
Championships in this town happen, but they are rather hard to come by. And I like winning. So, I have my Philly teams, but then I have my "teams with a chance in the playoffs" teams, like the San Fransico Giants or the Green Bay Packers. But every fall… Go Eagles! There's always a chance. We're not Cleveland.
7. Midnight Green
Yes, I know we started with kelly green. Good thing that was gone long before this decade. And one of our teams has to deal with orange, while two others have red and blue. But the midnight green? Even some of our classless fans don't look as bad as someone from, say, Cleveland.
Yeah, okay. I'm stretching here. Our teams have been around for a long time. In some cases, your team has been beating us for over a century. The Phillies were the second professional baseball team formed, after the Reds (or, Cincinnati Red Stockings), in 1883. Coincidentally, Pennsylvania was the SECOND state to join the Union in 1776. We have a long history of not being first. Be nice to us. It's been a rough road.
(And, the Eagles were in the first group of teams formed in the NFL in 1933. The Sixers came along in 1946, and the Flyers formed in 1967. Philly sticks around. Respect.)
9. We Get Close Enough To Make It Exciting
Just when we're ready to throw our nachos out onto the field… something happens and the team does a big turn around. We get all excited. This could be it! We pull out that giant foam finger again. We might actually make it this time! We're due! And then we remember… we're Philly. It's been a rough road.
10. Just Trust Me. We Aren't That Bad.
So I couldn't come up with a full 10 reasons here. You're just going to have to trust me. We aren't Cleveland. And we have cheesesteaks! But they could kill you. You've been warned.
I was a junior in high school when the movie A League of Their Own came out. (Still my favorite movie.) It just so happened that the main character was a catcher (and not a stubby-looking one either), who wore #8, batted clean-up, and led her championship team in home runs. Well, at the time, I happened to be a catcher who was tall and thin (I HATED the catcher stereotype, and resented when people told me I didn't look like a catcher), I had been wearing #8 all my life, and I was batting .462 in the clean-up spot, leading our team in home runs too. Oh, and our team won our conference championship, though we we lost the division title in the second round of play-offs. What a great year. So, needless to say, during that season, I ate, drank, and slept softball. At a time when I should have been considering what the rest of my life would be like, I could only think baseball. (Time not playing was spent watching/listening on the radio to coverage of my beloved Philadelphia Phillies, 2 years before another World Series appearance.)
Even though that was many years ago, not too much has changed in professional athletics. The more I follow sports, the more my empathetic heart bleeds for some of those guys. You might be thinking, "How can you feel bad for multi-millionaires?"
Life is about more than money, as I'm sure you know. And although these guys (yes, I am focusing on the male-dominated athletics) get to play for a living, there are many drawbacks that make me quite happy with the life I live in front of my computer. Here's why:
I don't do well with pressure. Actually, I kind of used to perform well when there was the added pressure of two strikes, two outs, a runner coming home, or a play-off game. But I never liked it (except the tag out at the plate. Always loved that). Every bus ride to away games would churn the acid in my stomach that much more. This was for games that had just a handful of spectators. Most fans just read the paper, where poor performances could possibly hide. Not having a job in the spotlight saves my stomach the many ulcers it could have had.
You can't make mistakes when you are a professional. Even though you should be allowed, since we are all usually allowed to err once or twice in our human jobs, people often use the excuse that these guys are paid to be perfect. Yikes. Go back to #1 to see how I feel about that pressure. Every flaw in your performance is seen by thousands or even millions of people. These flaws are often cursed using language you yourself might not even use, and then shown over and over on ESPN to the commentary of some really funny jokesters.
3. Other Players
First of all, everyone else in the league is pretty much as good as you are. People may complain that a certain player stinks, but really. If you are good enough to make the pros, you are better than most other people complaining about your performance. The best batting average in the MLB this year was .338. The worst (non-pitcher) was .210. Not a huge difference. That first guy got a hit a little more than 3 out of 10 times, while the other guy was just over 2 out of 10 times. Minuscule difference there.
And you are all playing for a job. Nothing more. No one else is on your side, because they want your job. Or they need to make themselves look better by making you look like a fool. Even your teammates, if it comes down to one or the other of you, will not sacrifice his job for you. It's nothing personal, just business as usual in sports.
Much like a drill sergeant, your boss's job is to yell at you. His job is on the line if you perform poorly. (I guess that's true everywhere.) But coaches yell more. I'm sure some people respond to that pretty well, but I'm not a fan of angry bosses. Of course, you answer to other "bosses" as well, including the fans. That's another tough crowd. See below.
I'm a Philly fan. I know what we're like. I am not sure if anyone else in the country is worse than we are. (Please don't bring up Santa Claus, though. That was before my time.) But we are a city frustrated with loss. With the exception of one World Series in 2008, we have not won a sports championship in more than 20 years. The buildup of disappointment is not the fault of the current players - they only get the outpouring of it from the fans. We have about zero patience for anything but perfection. (How are we even called fans, anyway?) Regardless, fans can be severe critics and people who think they know your job better than you do. Oh, and there are probably a million of them. That's a loud "boo" when you make that mistake.
Oh, I know, all this criticism is supposed to make you strive harder to make them cheer. I'm sure that works for some, but not me. The boos feel louder to me than the yeas.
Military wives have it the worst, I think. But it can't be easy for the wives of professional athletes, when your husband is away for about 6 months out of the year, every year. Even in the offseason, there are events to attend. It's never a dull life, which is exactly how some people like it! But if you are someone who thrives on consistency, professional athletics is not for you.
Yes, this is on my list of why I WOULDN'T want this job. First of all, if I am doing something where I would be making the money some of these athletes make, I would feel guilty if I weren't perfect at it. (And remember what I said about no one being perfect!) That might just be a girl thing, though. I don't think a lot of guys have that problem. But seriously, you make a lot of money over the course of your career - which may only be 10 years - and then you don't exactly have a pension. Also consider that there IS no exact time frame of your job. The average NFL player's job-span is 3.3 years. I'm sure most expect it to be longer. That can throw off your budget when you lose 7 years or so of income.
And the problem is, athletes start young and are not known for wisdom in financial planning. People who grow their fortunes watch it grow over time. I think there is more appreciation there. But, athletes signing their first big deal get it all at once. Lots of money to start, lots of money to blow. Have you seen the number of professional athletes who are broke in their 40s? Not that this speaks of all athletes, but managing that money for a rest-of-your-life income would certainly take some planning.
Is there any professional athlete, except for golfers, who has not been seriously hurt at one point or another? It's part of the game. You know that research is showing that some of these injuries are more serious than they used to appear. Many athletes wind up ending their careers early due to injuries. What's worse are those who don't stop when they should, play through pain that they shouldn't, and then can't repair the damage they've done to their bodies. I plan to be a little old lady, still going out for a run when I'm 80. Not many athletes can do that without some serious surgery. That leads us to the next point...
Early retirement may be another "perk" of professional athletics, but in what condition? (Except for golf, which you actually can start when you retire.) Doesn't it sound ideal to "settle down" at 40, having a complete career behind you? Sure, but there is always concern for the damage done to your body. Once you have been playing at a high level, it's likely hard to back up and take it easy. But considering most athletes retire because their body either can't take it anymore, or they just aren't as good as they used to be, it must be sad to have to give up and call yourself old.
You have to be "hungry" to play at a professional level. (Unless you're a golfer who is not named Happy Gilmore.) I can be competitive. I AM competitive. But when you are a professional, you have to take that competition to the next level, and feel it all the time. This will affect your physiology. When your body has to constantly secrete testosterone, it's hard to keep your emotions in check. You become impatient and easily frustrated in your daily life. Many athletes may have this under control, but I'm guessing it isn't easy and needs to be paid attention to. Those athletes involved in domestic abuse? I do not condone it one bit, but I can understand how it happens. I don't want to live an angry life.
So, what have we learned from this discussion? It takes a special person to be a professional athlete. You need to be able to control your body, emotions, and finances. It's a lot tougher than it seems. I have a real respect for those you can do it on all levels.
Also, golf is not a real athletic sport. ;)
Last week we scratched our heads over the questionable lyrics of some of our favorite Christmas carols. But there are definitely some song writers who actually thought more about truth and meaning than rhyming words. Here are 10 Christmas lyrics that ring true to me:
1. "And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again."
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
Sorry, couldn't help it. This year, my kids have 11 ½ days off from school. The novelty of the new presents wears off around day 4. I love my kids. I do. But as the song says...
2. "Even stoplights blink of bright red and green."
I'm just glad I'm not the only one who always thinks of Christmas during traffic.
*OK, let's get serious now…*
3. "Come let us adore Him"
O Come, All Ye Faithful
Enough of the whimsy, time to dig down deep now. This phrase caught my attention a few years ago because I constantly mis-sang the lyric to say, "Come let us BEHOLD Him." When I stopped and thought about it, that error completely changes the meaning. If you have followed the directions given, now you have "come" to Jesus. What are you going to do next? You can stand there and regard the baby in the manger with a "isn't that sweet?" mentality and move on, or you can choose to really commit to that Savior of yours and ADORE Him. I haven't mis-sung those words in a while now.
4. "Stay by my cradle 'til morning is nigh."
Away in a Manger
I hated this line as a child. I was not a baby! Yeah, a little too much pride there. Aren't we all the children of God? It is too assuming of us to think we have grown up, and possibly outgrown the need for our Father's care. Now, the songwriter may have been trying to be cute and have this be a song sung by a child who would have been in a cradle, but I like thinking of the idea that my Father in heaven looks at me with same adoration as one would a baby. I know I would be willing to die for my babies, just as He was.
5. "And ransom captive Israel."
O Come Emmanuel
Ooo, I just love imagery here. You really get a sense of how evil sin is - as awful and restless and uncaring as a kidnapper. We fall into its spell and can't be released until a price is paid. Jesus's birth was not cute or sweet - it was necessary for our survival!
6. "Long lay the world in sin and error pining, 'til He appeared and the soul felt its worth."
O Holy Night
Part of the inclusion here is just my love of beautiful language. But just this one sentence gives thousands of years of history and redemption. Let's extrapolate a little. The world lay in sin. It lay there because there was nothing that could be done about its sinful nature at the time. We were helpless to sin! And yet, we pined - we greatly desired - to be free of it. We only had to wait until our Savior was born, because that was the moment we had the hope of freedom. Our souls were right there waiting for Jesus, and when He arrived, it was our souls that recognized Him. That soul, given to us by God, and only redeemable by Jesus, knew when it could become whole again.
7. "How still we see thee lie."
O Little Town of Bethlehem
If you are truly familiar with the Christmas story, you know that Bethlehem was not peaceful and quiet the night Jesus was born. Because of the mandatory census decreed by Caesar Augustus, everyone whose family had originated in Bethlehem - every family who had ever come from the line of David - had to be there in that 3-day period to be counted. (And since you couldn't call ahead for reservations, it was pretty tough to find a room in an inn…) Bethlehem was bustling! So, I like to postulate that this song was referring to a different kind of stillness.
Psalm 46:10 says "Be STILL and know that I am God." Could it be this song is about the moment the earth realized that God was? They may not have known it exactly at that moment, but that was when the opportunity was born. (Remember: I didn't know the songwriter personally. This is just my guess.)
(P.S. - The same goes for "All is calm, all is bright." in Silent Night.)
8. "Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by."
O Little Town of Bethlehem
OK, I'm double dipping on O Little Town of Bethlehem. You don't mind, do you? Still going on the assumption that we are talking about something other than literal stillness, I believe the song is also referring to a different kind of sleep. Sleep in the Bible sometimes means death, and while this would not be a physical death, it is possible the song is talking about a spiritual death, how our soul could not be redeemed from sin without a Savior. Sounds morbid, I know, but the whole idea is that now that Jesus has been born (He would be the Everlasting Light that shineth in the dark street), our souls can awaken! (Our hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.)
9. "Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay."
The First Noel
The First Noel sets the idea of the order in God's salvation. Did you ever notice that the angels did not appear to everyone in the world? (Sure, they could have done that.) Wouldn't God want everyone to come and worship Jesus when He was born? And yet, He ONLY gave the birth announcement to the shepherds. They were poor, dirty, and lowly regarded by everyone around them… kind of like Israel! But God chose them FIRST. That's not saying Jesus wasn't born for everyone. Just that the Jews have always been God's chosen race, so they get first crack at accepting the Savior. (Hopefully they will, like the shepherds did.) Next, just like the shepherds shared the news with everyone else, the Gentiles have been given the same opportunity to be saved.
10. "Peace on earth and mercy mild"
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
The words "mercy" and "mild" both struck me together. Not because of the alliteration, but the way they both describe our Lord.
Mercy- Not receiving a negative due consequence. At Christmas, we don't often think of what it is we DON'T get. We think of presents; we even think of the gift of a Savior. What a blessing that we don't even have to think about punishment for our sins, and we still are covered! The birth of Jesus was God's decision to provide with that convenience. Mercy - the gift of not getting something.
Mild - Just as meekness is often mistaken for weakness, I think the word "mild" here also could be misrepresented. Again, the word is not describing the weakness of mercy, but rather the peace that it brings. It is like a healing balm that soothes and repairs. Like an antiseptic that provides instant relief, it doesn't have to be painful to be powerful. The mercy covers your soul and brings you complete reconciliation (as noted in the next line.)
There are many more lines we could look at to give us a better look at Christmas this season. Maybe this post will inspire you to sing with a new understanding in your heart. And in case I do not write again before the holidays end, I wish you all a blessed Christmas and New Year.
There are some songs you are supposed to wonder about. When you think of "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer," you don't take it seriously to start with. And then you've got the greedy bribery from "Santa Baby." (She is creative; you've gotta give her that. I have never known anyone to ask for a platinum mine.)
But then there are a few that... well, let's give the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the songwriter was really struggling for ideas. Have you really thought about some of these?
1. We Need a Little Christmas
Is there not enough stress in Christmas already as the time ticks down? But no, we need a little Christmas RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE. So drop your shopping, wrapping, and baking, because someone is asking you to haul out holly and light candles in the window. It can't wait. And for some reason, any weather problem, such as lack of snow, is your fault too. Yikes, please change the station!
2. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Remember, the child singing this song believes that Santa is an otherwise married man who lives at the North Pole, and Mommy is married to Daddy. This song is not cute, it is messing some kid up. Prepare the therapist.
3. What Child is This?
This was supposedly sung by the Wise Men. Come on, Wise Men. This is the child you have been tracking for years and spent the last year crossing the desert to find. It really shouldn't come to you as a surprise. Duh.*
4. Do You Hear What I Hear?
While we are dealing with question songs, how about finding the right answer for this one? Somehow, a shepherd gains audience with a king and convinces him that the wind told him about one of the many impoverished children in his country. The king listens. A child (a child!) shivers in the cold. What should we bring him? Bring Him a blanket? Bring Him a coat? Bring Him INSIDE? Nope. None of those rhyme with cold, so blocks of metal it is.**
5. Baby It's Cold Outside
"Say, what's in this drink?" I shouldn't need to say more, but then you realize he's seducing a woman dumb enough not to wear a coat in a blizzard.
6. Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
"He sees you when you're sleeping; he knows when you're awake." Creepy stalker. No thank you- I don't need you sneaking into my house at night.
7. We Wish You a Merry Christmas
OK, thanks for the warm greeting, but hey, watch it now, excuse you… why are these people now forcing themselves into my home demanding food? And not just, "Hey, we're a bit hungry, do you have a bite of anything to eat that you might be able to spare?" No. Figgy pudding, which apparently isn't all that quick to prepare. And not only are they making themselves at home while you cook for these intruders, they will continue to SING for you while you work, declaring their resistance to move. (That last chorus gets repeated, you know.)
8. It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Nothing wrong with this song… until you get to the part about scary ghost stories of Christmases long, long ago. Did you catch that? What the heck happened on those Christmases? And why would you want to sing about it?
9. Little Drummer Boy
Mary Just. Had. A baby. What's the one gift you most want when you are that tired, holding a sleeping newborn? That's right. A little boy with a loud, repetitively pounding instrument. (She should have put in her order early for some Ben & Jerry's, like I did.)
10. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
It's the movie that brings the truth of this horrible song to light. Not only did the other reindeer make fun of him, no one else did anything about this situation. In the movie, you can see even his parents are mean to him. Then, Santa only notices Rudolph because he wants to use him. Not a great story.
Now that you will really be thinking about the Christmas songs you sing, keep them in mind for next week, when I write the opposite post here: 10 Christmas Song Lyrics That Really Get It. Enjoy your Christmasy week! (Unless you have some holly to haul out.)
* I never miss a chance to let people know that the Wise Men did not actually reach Jesus and his family for a year or two after the baby was born. They were not present in Bethlehem for the birth. They did not see the shepherds. They were visited by an angel, but it was not necessarily the same angel who proclaimed Jesus's birth to the shepherds. Also, in case you were wondering, there was never any mention in the Bible of there only being 3 Wise Men. If they were carrying gifts as substantial as gold & frankincense, there were more than likely many people in that company.
** A reminder that the king of the region at the time of Jesus's birth was King Herod. Herod was a paranoid man who killed his own son because he thought he might overtake him for the throne. Hearing the word of the birth of a "new king," which by the way came from the Wise Men, not a shepherd, his goal was not to worship him as he pretended. His goal was to kill the child by any means possible, which was why he issued the decree to kill all male children under the age of 2 at that time.
Special thanks for ideas from: Laurie Caruth, David Yonker, Jodi Parks, and Charity Morgan.
If you know me… I've probably apologized to you at some point in time. Perhaps profusely. I do this kind of thing a lot. Saying, "I'm sorry" is nearly a reflex. I have no idea why.
And it's not that intend to lie or mislead anyone, but sometimes my apologies are not all that earnest. For example:
1. "I'm sorry I was at the gym."
I think some people see exercise as a luxury or as play time. Well, it is enjoyable a lot of the time, but I really do go because I have to go. For my sanity. Without a daily workout, I am definitely more on edge. I need my workout to stabilize my mood. It's been working for me for almost 30 years. It's like coffee. Without it, I might bite your head off, so no, I'm not really that sorry.
2. "I'm sorry for how I feed my children."
We sometimes get funny looks at restaurants. And many friends and family have weighed in with thoughts on how to fix this situation. Believe me, we spent years working on it. Finally, we just gave in. They're being fed. I strive to get all the food groups in. For years, we tried to force the kids to eat what we ate. Now, we realize we can only do what works. I ate poorly growing up, I think. But then my tastes expanded as I got older. My kids are eating a wider variety than they did a few years back, so there's hope. And with the diabetes in the family, we must bow to the wishes of the insulin. It's our life. It's what we have to do.
3. "I'm sorry I look like this."
Yeah. I like ice cream, what can I say? So, I don't really care if people think I am too fat, or too thin. I know my body is physically fit, for the most part, and that's basically what it's there for. Not to be judged. I am not in any beauty pageants. With that said, I also go out sometimes before or after the gym. In those clothes, with no make up. I look how I look. But I really DO apologize for any unpleasant smell, if you see me after a workout.
4. "I'm sorry my daughter won't say hello to you."
I know she has some kind of crazy social anxiety. I don't understand it, but I know it's real. She does not want to talk, be looked at, be spoken to, be called "cute" or "pretty," or worst of all, laughed at. I don't have an answer for her. Oh, and she hates when I try to explain this to people too. This is exhausting. I don't know how to "solve her." I don't even know if I have to or not. So, I know this puts you in an awkward position, but please just don't take it personally.
5. "I'm sorry for saying that funny thing I said."
Because, you know, sometimes I just crack myself up. It's worth it.
6. "I'm sorry I forgot to get you something when I went out shopping."
If it wasn't on my list, I won't remember. Seriously. I just can't remember anything these days. I forget to give my child the milk I gave her insulin for at EVERY SINGLE MEAL. And this is a serious medical tragedy. So, yeah. I forgot your oranges when I was out.
7. "I'm sorry for complaining."
I know it's something I should do less. But there's this crazy phenomenon where I feel better after I verbalize what's bothering me. So much so, that I forget all about it after that. Then I am free to move on and focus on happier things. I know people don't want to hear it, though, so I apologize.
8. "I'm sorry I couldn't make to…"
If I could spend all my non-gym time in my chair writing my book, I would. So, when there's nothing on my schedule, that's where I imagine myself to be. Therefore, the only places I really want to go (other than the ones I really have to go to, like grocery shopping and work), I have to weigh against sitting at home writing. Or sitting at home with my family. I'm okay with giving up a few extra outings. Yes, I know this means I have become an introvert. I'm a writer. I've made peace with that.
9. "I'm sorry my book is not out yet."
I really AM sorry that it isn't, but I can't take the blame here. Traditionally-published authors can only do so much. It should be soon though; I could almost promise that. I just have no control over the release date. I'm glad you are interested, but I am just as eager for it to come out as you are.
10. "I'm sorry my house is a mess."
It was clean. You missed it. Then my kids came home from school, got bored, and… well, it's just not easy to convince a family that cleanliness is next to godliness. I like it clean, but I'm in the minority here.
I am also not sorry any time I say, "I'm sorry, BUT…" The "but" negates the apology. It's just something I say. Just think of it as another way of saying, "This is how I really feel." Bad habit, I know.
The bottom line is that my life is different from yours. My family has different needs. We make choices based on what we think is best. Sometimes we are right, sometimes we are wrong, but we will not know unless we work it out on our own. We don't need others to tell us to be like anyone else (other than what God has designed for us. We encourage others to let us know if we are leading our family in another direction than that, though.)
We're trying our best to get along in this world until we go to another one. Hopefully, you will see us recognize that you are too. I want to encourage you to do that, and don't let others stop you because of what they think.
10 Things I Hate to Hear from My Diabetic Daughter (and 10 Things I am Looking Forward to Saying Someday)
We are getting very near to the date of my youngest child's first "diaversary" (anniversary of the diagnosis of her Type 1 Diabetes.) I'd like to say that I am just now starting to think about how diabetes has affected our lives, but in all honesty, I think about it every day. Many, many times each day. You probably know this because I talk about it all the time. It really is quite consuming.
I don't mean to get depressing, but here are a few things I hear my daughter say that just make me sad. My heart really drops. She's 8. I hate that she has to deal with pain every day - physical and emotional. She does not say all 10 of these things in a day, but probably 8 of the 10 I will hear at least once in a week. But then, be sure to read on, because there is hope at the end of this post.
1. Darn it! I didn't get enough blood out. Now I have to prick my finger again.
Really, why should anyone's child need to make herself bleed? Her fingers are a mess. The finger pricks are actually much less dreaded than they were the first few months of diabetes, but she still hates it, and bargains with me to put it off when we can. The worst is when she pokes her finger and doesn't get out a measurable amount of blood. So she has to do it again. Very stressful.
2. Do you have to change my pod now?
We have found the insulin pump to be a much more effective way of controlling blood sugar than the shots we were giving. But the pod that holds the insulin only lasts about 2 days for her, and she does not look forward to getting that injection every other day. Especially if we have to do it while she is awake.
3. Today's a Dexcom day?
The Dexcom is her Continuous Glucose Monitor. It is a device that has a needle injected into her skin to take constant blood sugar readings. (Because it can be less accurate than ideal, we still need to do the finger pricks too. The Dexcom just gives us a good idea where her blood sugar is heading (high or low) and to what degree. Whereas her insulin pod is an automated injection, I have to insert her sensor for the CGM manually. Since I only have to change this once a week or so, (and we have only had it a few months), I am really not that good yet at inserting this flawlessly. And apparently, it hurts A LOT. (Especially to a little girl with Sensory Processing Disorder.) When I mess up and have to do it again, I feel just sick to my stomach. Even when she's sleeping, she cries in pain. Moms don't like to hear that from their babies. Especially from something they are doing to their babies.
4. Can I have a cookie?
If it doesn't have a carb count, then no. I am finding that cookies are the worst because they can vary so widely on grams of carbs. (Note: Diabetics of both types count carbs, not sugar. Sugar-free really means nothing to them.) We do have a fantastic scale that can tell us carbs on certain foods, but if we can't look up a carb count or make some kind of reasonable estimate, then we have no idea how much insulin to give. We can't risk giving too much or too little in a body that only weighs nearly 60 lbs.
5. Mom, I must be high. I'm SOOO hungry!
This is the meanest trick of diabetes. When her blood sugar is really high - when she really can't have something to eat - then her body craves food. We try to get around it with 0-carb foods, but apparently that doesn't cut it. I don't understand this, but it is totally not fair.
6. Where's my <insert one of many supplies we keep track of… meter, test strips, wipes, Dexcom, PDM, etc….>? or Did you remember to pack my… (see above)?
There are just so many things to think about when leaving the house. There is one little machine that controls her insulin pump - so that must go with her everywhere. If it gets left at school, we better get to the school before it closes! And don't even think about it ever getting lost somewhere. Out of test strips? That's a problem. No spare insulin pod? That's a problem. No fast acting candy for low blood sugar? That's a problem. Forget any of these when you leave the house, and you have to turn around and go home. One time, I had her bag all packed for church - and I left it on the kitchen counter. Yep, you guessed it. We had to leave church and go home. Last week at the pool, her blood sugar went down to 27. It doesn't get a whole lot lower than that before you need to do the emergency glucagon (concentrated injectable sugar to bring her out of a coma) shot. And I did not have the glucagon with us! Must have everything, everywhere.
7. Mom, I have a headache.
She gets these a lot. They happen when she goes from really high to really low, or some other big change. We are blessed that ibuprofen has worked well for her, but until it takes effect, she can't take noise, or light, or movement. It's just no fun.
8. But I don't want to sit out! My friends are having fun in the pool!
I don't know what it is about the water, but we have found this summer that anytime she goes near the pool, she goes low. So of course, if she's low, she needs to sit out of the activity until she goes up a little. And she's the one of my three kids who most likes to be in it, so sitting out is like punishment.
9. I think I'm going to throw up.
This is when things are really bad. If her insulin pod is not working, and she does not get insulin at all, all the bad stuff will build up and make her feel very sick. That was the trigger that actually led us to the hospital last year. She was vomiting without relief. Now, sometimes, it could be a stomach bug, but that is not good either. With no sugar left in your body, and no stomach to keep anything down… well, that's just a scary place.
10. Please take me to the hospital!
She has only said this 3 times since (and including) the day of her diagnosis. But she knows about the hospital. And she knows it has to be really bad to go. If she is asking us to take her to the place where she was poked and prodded endlessly until she couldn't remember anything more, then she is really sick. And Lord help me, I never want to go through that again with her.
Phew. That was a rough road. So, I like to think ahead. We are extremely hopeful about a new vaccine called BCG (not a new vaccine, but it is still in trial for treatment of Type 1 Diabetes). With it, we are hopeful that my child will not suffer from this disease after high school. Very, very hopeful. And when that happens, I CAN'T WAIT to say these things:
1. Go ahead and eat!
Especially with breakfast foods, we need to let her sit and wait after we administer the insulin, to give it time to take effect. Sitting and waiting is hard for a hungry child to do! She has been so good for us though. If she is not sure if we pumped it in or not, she will sit at the table and stare at her food until we tell her to go ahead.
2. Good night!
Too often our nights are interrupted with the need to fix blood sugars. Sometimes this takes a long time and we need to stay up through the night to do it. I can't wait to sleep through the night without worrying again.
3. Ready to swim?
No taping down sensors or pods and worrying about standing out. Just jump in the pool and go! No need to remember 4 extra bags of candy or the glucagon gun, just in case. And no more staring at my child when she swims to make sure she resurfaces and didn't go into a low sugar coma and drown. She's going to be okay.
4. Let's see if there are any free cookies out at the bakery.
I love my daughter, but I hate taking her grocery shopping. It was always our tradition to stop by and see if the bakery had any sample cookies out. You know what? Those cookies don't have a carb count. And every chocolate chip cookie is different. We don't go by the bakery anymore. But one day, we will go back.
5. So, what's the school nurse's name?
Our school nurses are terrific. I have heard stories about bad ones, but we are blessed. But I just know them too well. We speak at least once daily. And send notes back and forth. It's like when you know the principal so well for having a child constantly in trouble. No matter how nice the person is, you wish you knew them under better circumstances. But you know what? I know lots of nice people. Let's skip a few. I don't need more school officials to talk to every day.
6. Why don't you go to that sleepover at your friend's house?
She has not been invited to one yet, but I know it's coming. She's a little girl. And she's dying to go to one. Right now, I am terrified of it. I don't want to have to let another parent take my middle of the night responsibilities. Especially if that parent isn't familiar with what to do for a diabetic. My child is a pretty heavy sleeper, and she never wakes up to hear the Dexcom alarm her about her blood sugar. So… another thing I don't want to worry about.
7. I've got my tiny purse, and that's all we need, so let's go!
Remember all that stuff we have to take with us everywhere? It's like having a diaper bag again. It doesn't matter how cute it is, it still has to be big enough to hold everything. Man. I had just gotten back to carrying a little purse with just a wallet and a lipstick.
8. Gee it's been a long time since we got a medical bill.
Now, this is not to say we don't get medical bills for all our other various injuries and check ups, but the ones for diabetes supplies are quite costly. I'd sure like to give those up!
9. What's the number on our health insurance card?
Yup. I called insurance so often I know all the numbers- the phone number, the ID number, and the group number. That means I have been on the phone with them enough times to memorize them. And you know what it's like to be on the phone with insurance! (Actually, I hope you don't.) That said, I am grateful that we DO have insurance.
10. Time to go to the doctor. Just a regular doctor. For that ONE shot you get ONCE A YEAR!
Or whatever! I just want my little girl to not have to get any injections on a daily or near-daily basis. I want her to have as pain-free a life as possible. I mean, isn't that the loftiest motherhood goal? We WILL reach it. We will!
I have no idea how many carbs are in that pizza. Or where it ranks on the gylcemic index. Or how long it will take to reach your system. AND I DON'T CARE!
We want our daughter to eat good food. But we don't want to panic when she eats something less than ideal. We want it to all work itself out. We want her body to take care of her again.
Thank you for reading that glimpse into our life this past year. I know it will be a long road ahead of us, but here's hoping that the worst is behind us and the best is yet to come!
Because I love even numbers and lists!