“Good news! You just have a chronic illness. “

It was like the snow covering our car.

“Your blood work says there’s nothing wrong with your immune system, you just have asthma.”

The voice was perky and expectant. She was communicating this was definitely good news.

I was thankful to hear it.

Just as the beauty of the snow is a blessing, I was blessed by the fact that my body is not broken in that way.

Then another thought crossed my brain.

“Then why am I still struggling?”

After a few questions with the kind nurse I hung up.

-sigh-

The snow is beautiful, but it means living differently to accommodate the cold.

The blood test is a good thing, but it means there’s no fixing my every day struggle.

I have asthma.

I’m going to have to learn how to live with it.

I have allergies.

I’m going to have to change my lifestyle permanently to avoid some of those things.

Our house is going to have to change to get rid of the allergens.

“Praise the Lord.”

smiling.

“Lord, even in this let me always sing Your praises.”

It was fitting.

Anne put a CD of Christian music on.

She doesn’t know how much it blessed me.

I may not have the breath to sing, but my heart can.

If I never feel as good as in the past it really doesn’t matter.

This is where true praise comes from.

“Thank You Jesus for all that this new path has for me and my family. Thank You for every step You are taking me on. If I never recover my former health I know You will be with me. I know You are working in this. I know I can trust You. May Your name be praised from ever part of the Earth and into eternity.”

Advertisements

4 good days

It’s been so nice!

From Tuesday through Friday I’ve felt much better.

Better than I have in months.

I said to Bell,

“Get ready! I’m feeling so much better and-”

She cut me off.

“I know Mom, when you feel like getting more done you expect it from everyone!”

She was smiling.

“It’s so nice to see you feeling better!”

And I did get more done.

I helped with school work.

Jase and I were able to get his binder done in record time.

I’ve done laundry.

I’ve cooked.

I went shopping.

I cleaned house.

Visited friends.

Jase even had a friend over.

It was lovely.

And through it all I was so eager.

“When I’m completely well I can…”

“If I keep feeling this much better I want to…”

“Wow, things are worse off around here than I thought, if I’m able to…”

Yup.

All that and more was racing through my brain.

But the theme which kept creeping back in was finally getting back to being the Mom I want to be.

And when I woke Saturday I thought it would be another “good day”.

And it was,

but not because I felt good.

I didn’t.

All day I struggled.

I knew early on God wanted me to simply rest.

It wasn’t easy, but I was able to put aside my desires and do very little.

One part of the day is a treasure.

I was in bed, too tired to get up.

I called Jase in.

He grabbed his iPad and climbed up next to me.

He played a video game and talked while I crocheted.

It was fun.

When my hubby and the girls got home they were a bit disappointed by my inability.

(No more than myself.)

Yet, bless them, they just rolled with it.

Today, is another rest day.

Infact, I’m not going to make it to church again.

And I’m disappointed.

But no matter how I feel I don’t want to lose the joy and thankfulness of living.

I try to make it a habit of thanking God first thing, before I do anything.

And as my day rolls on being thankful for all that comes.

I know the dangers of allowing emotions to drive my attitude.

Circumstances should never be what characterizes my day or outlook or value.

Jesus loves me.

And that makes every day a good day!

Jesus died for me.

And that means every day belongs to Him.

Jesus is always good.

And that makes every detail of my life a chance to praise Him even if I don’t feel it.

“Do you trust Me?”

(The following is a text I received and it blessed my heart. I wanted to pass it on.)

I am going to bore you with a true story.

There was a missionary who knew he was supposed to go overseas to share the gospel with a people group.

While in prayer, Jesus touched his heart and challenged him like he would never be challenged.

As he prayed he heard the still small voice say “you will not return home you are going to die while in the mission field.”

He had a wife, three daughters and a son at the time.

Those words plagued him as the count down for the trip came.

He would wake up in the middle of the night from dreams of being a martyr.

Everyday he would come up with new reasons why he could not go on the trip

And everyday he would hear the small voice “do you trust Me?”

“Yes” would be the answer “I have faith in You.”

Finally the day came to leave his wife and kids.

They didn’t know it would be the last time they would see him.

They said good bye and he turned to get on the plane.

As he walked down the tarmac, he heard the voice again “do you trust Me?”

“Yes Jesus, I trust You” was the answer.

The realization came at that moment there was a great difference between faith and trust.

One can have faith without trust but it can’t be the other way around.

Trust is where the prayer battle is won.

Do you trust Jesus is in control?

Do you trust even if it does not work the way you feel it should He has the best interest of all concerned parties at hand?

It was almost 14 years ago I walked on that plane and the truth is I did die.

When I met the Satanist, I said, “Jesus, I trust You.”

When the bus was pulled over by security and machine guns were out I said, “Jesus, I trust You.”

Every day is a new day to trust Jesus with your life.

So in this trust He is in control, and have peace that His will is done.

Even when it does not seem to be.

Beautiful expectation

Yup!

The bump.

That’s our baby’s baby.

Our first born,

preparing to have her first born.

Infact,

I’m the first born.

My mother was the firstborn.

Her mother was the first born.

And her mother was an only child.

I’m definitely looking forward to this firstborn!

It feels surreal.

And I sometimes wish they lived nearby.

But I know God has it all in hand.

And I’m praising Him.

Our son-in-law and daughter will be wonderful parents who make mistakes and messes and wonderful blessings, because they love Jesus more than anything.

They will raise their child to know and love Him too.

It’s been one of the really bright spots when everything else feels grey and worn.

Days when I’ve struggled with my health, I’ve been able to pray for our children and their children.

Infact when I was doing very poorly the thought became words.

My husband softly whispered:

“You can’t die sweetheart, you have to live to be a grandma.”

Of course I don’t choose my next breath nor my number of days, but I can use each one to pray.

It’s not a matter of how much time I have.

It’s a matter of how I use it.

And when it comes to the bump which is our daughter’s baby, I want to be able to stand in prayer for all three.

They are a family.

And I want God’s will for their whole lives.

I know they want Him to be glorified in their family.

What beautiful expectation!

To see how God will be their Journeyguide.

The worst replay

I shall cherish this picture.

It shows our #4 in action with her teammate.

And she’s our second girl to wear the number, so it’s special.

Last night was the end.

One of our players, who won’t play again because she is a senior, walked by me last night.

All I could do was hug her.

I didn’t even speak.

I texted another player who hadn’t emerged from the locker room yet.

She’s been a close friend to our girls for 10 years and I’d adopt her in a heartbeat if there were ever need.

I plan on hugging her at tonight’s boys’ game.

She too is finished, a senior.

Another one of our senior players didn’t even play last night.

Her season was over when her shoulder was put out of socket in a different game.

My heart wanted to break as I watched them help her off the court.

It wasn’t the first time it’s happened.

She’s been to surgery for it.

My compassion as a Mom almost kept me from doing my stat job.

I’ve known that player for ten years as well.

But last night was the worst replay,

I never wanted to see.

Last year was the most painful basketball season of our lives.

Taking first one and then another of our girls to the hospital for injuries.

And unfortunately, our #4 had more time in injuries than play.

Our #32 was able to finish out the season while her sister watched from the bench.

But last year in playoffs one of our Freshmen was heading down court with the ball, she was going toward the hoop.

Then it happened.

Her leg jerked out and she crumpled to the floor while a cry of pain split the cheering atmosphere like a knife.

Dead quiet,

five individuals from separate places jumped into action.

Our player was quickly surrounded by her parents and 3 brothers.

As they carried her from the court, obviously in pain, holding one knee I prayed.

My heart cried.

Much later her Mom told me the details.

Surgery.

The morning of, I was praying.

She’s tough and her smile and her love of sports wasn’t hindered.

And the team was glad when she rejoined them.

But last night I sat in the stands, taking stats and

the same thing replayed.

She crumpled to the floor clutching her other knee.

Again her family joined her on the court and carried her off.

This time too I prayed

and cried.

My husband wisely reminded me that allowing myself to get too upset wouldn’t help them.

I was able to finish the game stats, but my heart was sad.

The team was too.

At home, in my room, praying for them all, I told the Lord how much I never want to see people hurt.

Even in this I am there.

Right.

In focusing on the pain and trials which are common in this broken sin-drenched world,

I’d forgotten two words from Scripture:

“But GOD…” (emphasis mine)

He is able.

He is faithful.

He will work in this as well.

“Lord, thank You for the times our girls got to play together. Thank you for the fact that we can stand with one another, both in prayer and love, to support and encourage. Lord, thank You for the loving family who were there when their daughter needed them. Please help this to bring them closer to each other and closer to You. Please speak to #22 and help her learn to hear Your voice. Use this time to create a personal close walk with You, Jesus. Please comfort and heal and remove anything which would stand in her way from becoming more Your daughter. For life is greater than basketball and much more important than a season. I love You, Jesus. Thank You for never leaving us nor forsaking us.”

It’s a test.

“It’s a test.”

“I know, but it makes no sense!”

Frustration was in every fold, each line and feature.

“It’s a test.

Child, jaw tight, pencil in a choke-hold, lip quivering…

“Take a deep breath. Try to calm down. Just do your best.”

My heart ached.

I want to help, but giving the answers doesn’t show what the child knows.

A test is to help both child and adult see what has been learned and what needs to be taught again.

For me,

I know God is well aware of what I know.

The test is to show me what I still need to learn.

Nope.

It isn’t fun.

Yep.

I have been the frustrated child on more than one occasion.

But just like my heart aches for the youngster, God’s heart is even more compassionate.

Yet He loves me enough to teach me, to show me where I’m lacking, to bring to my awareness a lesson which needs review or a weakness in an application.

And tests teach trust.

I know God is testing me, but He’s also teaching me.

He’s right beside me.

He’s reminding me of what I’ve already learned, what I already know, and

He’s promising to continue my education.

There’s always more to learn about Him, myself, those around me, and life.

And whether I realize I’m in a test or not I can praise God for Who He is.

“Praise You Lord! What an incredible teacher You are.”

I don’t have to understand

It’s slow.

And some days it seems to be missing.

But learning to be thankful is what is healing me.

No, it doesn’t always make me breathe.

It’s healing my soul.

It’s wiping away worry.

It’s cleaning out fear.

It’s uprooting disappointment.

And

It’s teaching me,

I don’t have to understand.

I can choose to praise God, to thank Him

in

all

circumstances.

Perfect example was this week.

I just felt I should get on Craigslist.

That’s an uncommon thing for me.

So I’m trying to figure out what to look for.

Type furniture.

So, I do and my idea is I’m looking for a new bathroom vanity.

On top of everything else, ours needs to be replaced.

I look at all kinds of stuff.

Kind of wondering why I’m doing it, but God said…

A picture of a hutch catches my eye.

I’ve not had a hutch in 10 years, but I love them.

I scroll through the pictures.

-Wow-

It’s everything I’d want…

But I don’t have room for a hutch.

You do in your bedroom.

Oh!

I could get rid of my bookcases (which are a major chore to keep dust free) and store me books in the hutch!

“Great idea Lord!”

But…

Maybe this is just my own desires…

What if I’m just wasting our money on my wants…

What if…

-sigh-

“Lord, help me to know that this is Your will and not just me.”

What did David do?

The Bible story about David’s zeal to build a house for God came to mind.

God forbid David from building it because he was a man of war.

But that didn’t keep David from showing God how much he loved Him and how dedicated he was to God having a temple.

David began gathering things which would be used to build the temple.

And in that Bible story I found my answer.

“Thank You, Lord. I’m certain the hutch is going to help me keep up our room tidy and clean and beautiful. I’m sorry I was afraid.”

I still have no idea what we are going to do with our house.

But my room can be a place of rest and beauty.

A space where I spend a lot of time anyway.

And maybe, just maybe preparing my room to be clean and beautiful will in a small way prepare for future things.

I don’t have to understand why.

I can just praise God and today I’m thankful for the beautiful hutch sitting in my room.