Thursday, March 15, 2012

Newsletter - 3/15/12


Hello Dear Friends!

Boy do we have the romance going on in our backyard wildlife habitat.   It's been so much fun watching all the mating in the past week. 

© Donna L. Watkins - Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered hawks on a branch - no fanfare, he just wants to do business. She complains, "I'm hungry, honey," so he flies off to find a meal. This couple has been around here for quite a few years. They mate for life. I'm just hoping they don't nest in the backyard where they were mating, although no matter how much further the nest may be, it will be "our" birds that are scouted for food.

Although ... our pond resident status has been taken over by Bullfrogs and they don't like to share, besides being huge eaters compared to the other frogs. The hawks were preying on them so I guess they'll keep the population in control, although Bullfrogs will eat each other when nothing else is available.

The Northern Flickers were mating on the trunk of a tree with the male doing this funny dance with his head bobbing back and forth. Does that mean he'll be a good entertainer for the kids? Goofy is what I would've said. They normally mate for life also, so I guess she's seen his antics before ... unless this is a first year newbie from last year's nest.

The doves are running around bobbing like robins with the male chasing. I love the sounds of the male's coos during this time of year. Doves mate for life also. There's a sweet video online of a pair of doves cleaning each other. View Video.

© Donna L. Watkins - Tufted Titmouse
The Tufted Titmouse are rather noisy with vocals during their romancing and they fly all over the place. I guess the female wants to see if he's up to getting out there to do the groceries when the babies get hungry, although if this is a previously bonded couple, they mate for life too, so she would be totally aware of any faults.

We have quite a few of these birds since their nesting success rate has been good. They tend to produce two broods each year nesting in tree cavities. We have a lot of old trees in the back woods adjacent to our property so I'm sure nesting sites are plentiful.

We have a Redbud tree that we have nursed along for many years due to the fact that the deer kept nibbling on it and it had the trunk split amongst other problems.  I've felt like "Mr. Bud" and I were in the same boat ... taking the devil's wiles to kill and destroy under our belts without really putting up a good fight.

So, in encouraging Mr. Bud to hang in there, I found myself being encouraged with each Springtime that he came back to life.  This year, he's got some red buds coming out and will actually be able to look like who he is supposed to be.  What a wonderful sign that I also am "coming out" of this valley of the shadow of death into a new life through Him.

© Donna L. Watkins - Maple Tree Flowering in Spring
Our maple trees are flowering and the thought of leaves soon on the trees has me very excited.  Did you know that maple trees flower?  Maple flowers are green, yellow, orange or red.  It seems ours are reddish orange.  Though they are individually very small, when an entire tree is in flower it can be rather striking.

Amidst all of the beauty of God's Creation, there is always the devil's work to be found.  I've still not found my way completely out of these diseases, but am filled with joy and peace as the process continues to improve.

The fluids were building up which created a lot of problems since all the abdominal organs are saturated in them, so eating is of no interest.  When I finally read information online that the oral diuretics are not going to be assimilated if there's abdominal fluid, I realized why they didn't work (I had tried and stopped after a few days).  I knew I was going to have to go the IV diuretic which the cardiologist had wisely recommended, but I refused.

The Wall Across From My Bed Reminds Me
So, last Saturday we went to ER at the hospital to do it.  It took 3.5 hours till we left and it was rather a nightmare visit with the doc being "legally obligated" to fill us in on every gory detail of the process till death and recommendation to contact Hospice and be sure I have a living will in order.

I understand he has to do that for legal reasons, but Randal and I just exchanged continued glances that said, "Toss it off!"  When you're walking by faith, an accounting of the physical facts is not a bonus.  "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (yet)."

The doc's information also said the IV wouldn't remove abdominal or fluids on the legs but would make breathing easier.  He also said, right before ordering the IV, that it would only take off a litre of fluid which was about 20% of what needed to go. Randal saw my look of dismay and said, "Remember the fire extinguisher.  It will do more."

We had a lightning fire in the attic in July 2000 back in Alabama and it blew out our phone and electric.  We had a large fire extinguisher that Randal took to the attic but it wouldn't spray far enough to reach the fire.  He prayed and it shot out and made the distance, being able to extinguish it enough to run for a neighbor's phone.  I saw his point immediately.

© Donna L. Watkins - Seagull With More
Than He Needs to  Swallow
There is some information that we just don't want to swallow!

It was a somber evening though, but fortunately we got the bad report washed off by morning and were back on track with faith which is going to give the 'last report' on this.

The IV took off 50% more fluid than he said and did take it off the abdomen enough for me to eat and for the oral diuretic to now work, so I continue to move off more water each day.  So far, it's 7 pounds down the drain.  I'm also seeing improvement in my heart being stronger.  Turning over in bed produced breathing like I'd just finished running a race.  That is gone and last night I slept some without the oxygen, so things are moving about at the pace of my faith right now ... but it will grow.

Thank you to all of you who have said you're praying. It's amazing God has gathered a prayer force from all around and in very unusual ways.  It's very humbling to have so many people praying for you ... and it's very comforting to see God work so hard to bring you through.  He's already done His part by sending Jesus to die so that "by His stripes we were healed," but he still knows we are but flesh and when His child asks for bread, He does not give a stone.

There aren't many people you can converse with while going through a spiritual battle.  Everybody has their own suggestions and many with greater faith in the medical realm than the spiritual, so conversations are hard.  Words are powerful and you must choose what you allow yourself to hear and absorb.

Randal's family only found out about it two months into the problem and that was because his brother asked him to come to Oklahoma to stay with their parents while his mom recovered from her fall and broken ribs.  We only wanted to limit the endless "how's Donna" conversations with concerned and loving friends and family.

Heart valve replacement is an option but since the rheumatoid factor is in the background (having most likely caused the problem according to the doctors), then we're only patching up one hole and waiting for the next.  That's not a good fix.  Only God can make it all right with total healing.  It's part of our salvation package, but we've not been taught that, so we don't have the faith to appropriate it ... but I'm moving in that direction!

New Vinyl Deck Railing - No More Painting!
Life goes on ... we had our deck railing replaced, taking out the painted wood and putting in the vinyl option.  Since I do most of the painting in the family, it was a real chore to keep it looking good needing touchup twice a year because we get a lot of wildlife activity on our deck and have a lot of plants on it in the summer.

The great Spring weather has been lovely and it's a whole new world being able to spend much of my day outside now instead of in the guest room.  I'm still up and down all night since I don't sleep more than an hour at a time with the heart rate still messing up, but that's another thing I expect to see changed.

One thing I especially love is Daylight Savings Time!  With the warm weather and extra light it's been fun to eat on the screened porch and play a game most nights.  Reshuffles the brain since Randal has to spend so much computer time for work.  We're not doing puzzles any more.

I began a long-term project of getting my print photos scanned into digital.  Found a little photo scanner on Amazon that takes up to 4x6 and it's been working great.  My neighbor ordered one too.  It's so easy since you don't need to be hooked up to a computer.  The scanned prints load onto an SD card as you feed them through the rollers.  It's been fun looking back through old photographs like the one of Randal below.

Randal at Rodin Museum, Phila. PA
Sculpture Titled "Adam" - 1999
Randal's been amazing and so thoughtful.  He does so much and has NEVER been less than happy and desirous of finding something else to do for me.  There's never any evidence of discouragement which certainly helps me to remain strong.  He is a loyal and faithful man.  His favorite phrase since early in our marriage is, "it's my honor."  He's never missed opening my car door.

Sadly, I do not think I would be so accommodating if the situation were reversed.  One of my prayers is that God would take away MY life's schedule and totally replace it with His.  Randal has always been very adaptable and flexible.  What an example for me.

When I come to the end of myself, I find the beginning of God.  

Jesus has already paid the price and done the work.  He has given us the keys to the Kingdom and we have only to use the key to unlock our healing.  I cannot rely on myself.  God alone has done this for me, just as He has for salvation.  I need only reach out and accept it.

My soul is the bridge to move what has been done in the spiritual realm over to the physical realm.  Sometimes we've got loose wires in our soul (mind, will and emotions) and we just don't seem to be able to get there.  All strength fails, all resources exhausted, plans frustrated and we come to the end of ourselves knowing that it's only God.

Those loose wires that prevent us from moving spiritual things to the physical are like a dead battery in a car.  You have to have somebody pull up alongside you and put the jumper cables on that battery, using their power and anointing to bypass the battery (soul) and go right to the starter (body) with laying on of hands for the sick to recover (Mark 16:18).  I hope I got that illustration right. I heard it on one of Andrew Wommack's teachings.

On Friday, March 23rd at 3:30 EST I will be meeting with a prayer team affiliated with Healing Rooms International for that jumpstart.  I would appreciate anybody so led, to join us in prayer for that meeting.  Thank you!

Love and Hugs,
Donna

P.S.  If you enjoy this newsletter ... share the website with somebody else.  Maybe you know of somebody who needs something in this issue.  There's a "Share This" option on the right side.  Thanks!


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written by Donna

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The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website: © 2012 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com. The link to use is: www.TheNatureInUs.com.

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