Surgery! Tomorrow!

Tomorrow. Tomorrow morning I go under the knife. I am getting my first cochlear implant. Tomorrow! I have a strange nervousness hiding within me that I just can’t shake. I just keep praying for Calm, and it keeps coming. Thank you, Jesus! I am super excited about these implants. I have only been deaf for 9 months, but it has been a LONG 9 months. I dearly miss my family’s voices. And music. I miss music a great deal. So tomorrow is a big day. They won’t activate the device until mid-June, so there will still be some waiting. Waiting. The story of my life. Be still, Mindy. Cue Jeopardy music…

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Trick question

Last night my son, Luke, asked me if I was still able to make a cake (I went for *months* not baking, due to my health issues). This is how the conversation went:

Luke: Can you still make a cake?
Mom: Yes, sure I can.
Luke: Oh yay! I want you to make a cake for my birthday (in 11 days).
Mom: Okay, I can do that.
Luke: A Minecraft cake!
Mom: {stunned silence}
Luke: It’s on Pinterest!
Mom: {Still can’t speak}
Luke: You have it on your Kindle!
Mom: {long pause to swallow the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach} Uh, okay. I’ll look into it.

That sneaky kid. The next time someone asks if you can make a cake, make sure they clarify before you answer. I looked, and it is on Pinterest (not sure who to thank for introducing him to it), and it looks rather tricky. Even for an artsy person with perfect vision, which I am certainly NOT. BUT, I love my son and I know that I can teach him so much through even a failed attempt at what he is requesting. And if there is one thing I know how to do in the kitchen, it’s baking. So while it may not look like the Pinterest photos, it will taste delicious!

Teach me to pray

I just love it when God answers my prayers, and I especially love it when He does it so quickly!

I pray on a regular basis. Typically it is a lot of “thank you for this and this, protect my family, heal my eyes, etc.”. When I remember throughout each day, I pray for others as well, but not as often as I would like to. So last night I prayed, asking God to bring to mind those who needed prayer. Some were on my prayer list, some were new. I didn’t “feel” like this prayer was any more dynamic or real than any of my other prayers, but I know God can work with it. He knows I’m trying.

Still, I went to sleep feeling slightly disappointed. Then, this morning I received my daily Upper Room devotional email, and it started out with this verse: Colossians 4:2, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” And as soon as I read that verse, I knew God was listening and telling me I am on the right track.

So, what’s my calling? “Be still, Mindy, and devote yourself to prayer.” It sounds so simple on the surface, but as I’m learning, there is much more to it than meets the eye. Teach me, Lord! I am ready and willing. Here we go!

Dinner Disaster

My natural abilities do not reside in the kitchen. My college degree in accounting. Therefore, I am fairly decent at following directions. And that is how I’ve been managing my new role as caretaker of the home and maker of the meals.

Tonight I took a risk. We had some frozen asparagus from I don’t know when, and some frozen salmon I had sampled and loved at Sam’s Club. My husband is a diabetic so I’m always trying to design meals with that in mind. Fish is a good protein, and asparagus is green. But when I read the directions for baking the salmon, I was disappointed to read “place skin side down”. Now I know, of all people, my husband and children are NOT going to want to deal with skins. And frankly, neither did I. But we must eat to live, so into the oven they went. And asparagus boiling on the stove (per the directions, of course).

Everything seems fine, but I’m nervous. The fam arrives home, and we sit down to eat. Everyone tried the food, and everyone ate most of the salmon. The asparagus was a different story. Natalie wouldn’t touch it, and for good reason. I had *murdered* the asparagus.

So we all scrounged for fillers. Mike with a pb&j, Natalie and applesauce, and me with some leftover pizza. Luke was apparently not very hungry. It was disappointing, but you can’t win ’em all, right? Tomorrow will be redemption day: Tacos!

Don’t throw your trash…

Remember that song? “Don’t throw your trash in my backyard, my backyard, my backyard. Don’t throw your trash in my backyard, my backyard’s full.” And then something about fish and chips and vinegar, but that’s not the problem. The problem is the trash. (Sidenote: We are having salmon for dinner.)

Our next door neighbor is not throwing their trash into my backyard. No, they just like to leave a pile of it at the curb. You know, where the trash BIN should be? You know, the bin that the trash goes INTO? GRR. This is not the first offense, but this is the first time it has caused trash to be blown into our yard. I found trash yesterday, and then again today. Because that pile has been there for DAYS.

I would love to go over there and *ahem* address the issue, but I don’t know if they know I’m deaf, and I think if I had to go through that whole “how to communicate with me” orientation, I would lose steam. And effectiveness. So I put the trash in our trash bin, and will let my big burly redhead handle it. But if it happens again on my watch, I’m totally throwin’ that trash in their backyard.

Thank God the North won

I’ve been reading Magic Tree House books to my son at bedtime every night. These are books that are fiction, but based on history. In each book, two young children, a brother and sister, are sent back in time to accomplish a task.

The book we are currently reading is set in the time of the Civil War. The story explains that makeshift hospitals are set up with tents for the injured soldiers. As I’m reading about one tent being filled with African-Americans, Luke nudges me to ask what that means. What is an African-American? he wonders. He will be 7 years old in less than two weeks, and he doesn’t know this term? I explained, this is another term used to describe a black person. Like two of his very best friends, C & D.

I continued to read about the War and slavery, and I can see in his eyes a sad sense of confusion. As I’m explaining what we are reading, it dawns on him that in that world – that horrible world – he wouldn’t be able to play with C & D, or many of his other friends. And even worse, his friends would be chained and treated like dogs, less than human. I can tell by the look in his eyes that this is just incomprehensible.

I went on to  explain that the North wanted to end slavery, and the South didn’t, and that is why they went to war with each other. And then, with the charm only a child can possess, he asks me: “We are in the North, right?” Proud to be a yankee!

Introducing Mindy, Still

In August of last year, I started suffering from tinnitus (ringing in the ears). I went to see my primary physician, and they referred me to a local ENT office (ear, nose, & throat). They were able to see me rather quickly, within a few short days. However, in these few short days I lost my hearing. It was that quick.

I should give some background since this is the start of a new blog. I am 36 years old, been married 15 years, and have two children. Luke is 6, and Natalie is 4. When I was pregnant with Natalie, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). I did quite well with it for several years, but this past year has certainly been the hardest.

I still have severe bilateral hearing loss, but in addition, I have some vision loss. I started having problems with the vision in September, but it has since improved some and found sort of a holding place. It’s difficult to describe how things look now, but I’ll try. I can see some things very clearly, but I have a sort of oblong white cloud on the left side. Also, colors are very distorted. I can recognize some bright colors like red or pink, as long as they aren’t terribly light. If they are surrounded by too much light, they are completely washed out. I need high contrast in order to distinguish objects or faces. I am able to read, but it is very tiring as I have to concentrate intently on keeping my place on the page. I do most of my reading on the computer or my Kindle Fire with high contrast settings or white lettering on a dark background.

That last bit was somewhat of a rabbit trail. I’ll have plenty of time to explain things here on the blog, but I wanted to explain where the title, “Still Mindy” came from.

When I first lost my hearing I was really struggling with my new identity as a deaf person, and was struggling to have hope that it was only temporary. I was talking with my dad about it, and he encouraged me by reminding me that, deaf or hearing, I am still Mindy. That really struck a cord with me, and I held onto it. I even used it to give myself my ASL (American Sign Language) name. So the first explanation for the name is that I will always remain true to who I am, no matter what.

The second part of the explanation is even more exciting, in my opinion. This whole experience has led me to a deeper relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ. I have been clinging to Him throughout it all. For many months it was dynamic, and He was speaking o me and teaching me new things. And then it stopped. I knew He was still there, but He wasn’t saying anything. I kept praying and begging for a word, and then one day it came. He said in Exodus 14:14 that He is fighting for me, and I need to hold my peace. I didn’t think anything of it, but then the next day the same verse came to me through an entirely different format. It’s been a couple of months and I keep asking what I should be *doing*, and He just keeps telling me to BE STILL.

So. I am still Mindy, and I am learning to be still, in God’s presence and peace. And along the way, I’ll be sharing what I’m learning, what makes me laugh, what makes me cry, and I hope that you will join me and let it bless you!