Thursday, March 15, 2012

Choose Joy

Cold and Flu season is sure taking it's sweet horrid time making it's way out of my neck of the woods....
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We're ready for it to be over....
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Ready for warmer weather and spring to arrive....
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How about you?
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I am thankful that in between the "not-feeling-goods" we have had happy moments...you've seen that in other posts in the last two weeks, right?
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But this post acknowledges what has been hard and exausting.
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Chelsea and Gavin going back and forth with fevers and viruses
Gavin's chronic stuff flaring...
his daily stomach pains, diarrhea, and fatigue...

my two surgeries...
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The pain, the sedatives not working, being allergic to any oral painkiller that works except for the one that I am on which isn't strong enough to kill it...
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The hives...
having my first fluid bag take 3 times as long to get in and having it burn even though the port is working well...
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Not being able to get the whole thing in still.
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Getting the virus that's been hanging out at my house in the midst of it...
having the degenerative disc disease pain flare up in my neck from the port surgery...
not being able to sleep in my normal position leading to horrible sleep....
all 3 incisions struggling to heal, still hurting, itching like crazy...
triggering systemic reactions in my body....
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Not being able to homeschool consistently because we've all been sick for two weeks...
feeling guilty and anxious about not staying on schedule...
missing fun activities because we are too weak to go.

I won't lie...it's all been tough.

But God is still God.  He is still good.  He is still merciful and still gives much grace.

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It's hard to choose joy when you're miserable, but it's crucial in Christian faith.

Yesterday, on A Holy Experience, (Ann Voskamp's blog--author of One Thousand Gifts) I read a bookmark entitled "10 Reasons to Give Thanks and Find Joy" and it inspired me so:

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Number 3 is my favorite and is now the tagline on my blog...the theme that goes with my title...what I strive for every moment of everyday so that I can honor God with the life He's given us.
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In One Thousand Gifts,  Ann Voskamp writes:

"Who trusts the bridge builder?  Who trusts the bridge builder when you've seen {insert your suffering here}?  How do you count on life when the hopes don't add up?  The hopes don't have to add up.  The blessings do.  Count blessings and discover Who can be counted on.

Can God be counted on?  Count blessings and find out how many of his bridges have already held.

Had I not trusted all these years because I had not counted?....Every time fear freezes and worry writhes, every time I surredner to stress, aren't I advertising the unreliability of God?  That I really don't believe?  But if I am grateful to the Bridge Builder for the crossing of a million strong bridges, thankful for a million faithful moments, my life speaks my beliefs and I trust Him again.

I fearlessly cross the next bridge,  I shake my head at the blinding wonder of it:  Trust is the bridge from yesterday to tomorrow built with planks of thanks.  Remembering frames of gratitude.  Gratitude lays out the planks of trust.  I can walk the planks from known to unknown----and know: He Holds. I can walk unafraid."

Reading this opened my eyes to the significance of giving thanks
all the time
in every moment
not only because we are commanded to do so in the Bible,
but also because it's the avenue to joy
and it casts out all fear.

All anxiety.

All panic.

"When bridges seem to give way, we fall into Christ's safe arms, true bridge, and not into hopelessness.  It is safe to trust!  We can be too weak to go on because His strength is made perfect in utter brokeness and nail-pierced hands help up.  It is safe to trust!  We can give thanks in everything because there's a good God leading, working all things into good.  The million bridges behind us may seem flattened to the earthly eye, but all  bridges ultimately hold.  It is safe to trust.  Every bridge I cross, from one moment to the next, is wholly safe, each leading me deeper into Him and closer to Home."

I could write more from this life-changing chapter of her book but instead I will encourage you to read it yourself.  You won't be disappointed...I promise.

I have counted blessings in the midst of the trials brought by the last two weeks.  

But today I need to think of more....
so that my mind stays steadfast on Him--His reliability, His love, His JOY, and His peace.



#241. My hives have on my chest have calmed down A LOT.
#242.  I was finally able to take a shower after needing to let the incisions on my chest stay dry for 5 days.
#243.  I was able to change the steri-strip stitches so that they don't itch as much.
#244.  Tim, Chelsea and Gavin, as of last night, seem to have finally kicked the cold to the curb
#245.  Even though I am fighting the same cold, it hasn't hit me as hard as them...I feel the Lord protecting my body from more stress.
#246.  I got to speak to my masto doc on the phone for almost an hour yesterday even though he is out of my insurance network-- for no charge.  He is ordering what I need and sending it to my PCP to copy in her own writing so that it gets done even though he can't see me in the office again yet.
#247. My oncologist is going up against my insurance company to get them to allow me to go out of network to see my masto doc whenever I need to.
#248.  We are going to try a different fluid solution to see if it takes away the burning.  
#249.  Home health is sending me a pump now that I have a port...it will finally take ten hours instead of over twenty to get it all in...maybe even sooner if I can tolerate the new fluid solution.
#250.  Even though the incisions are making me crazy right now, they WILL heal.  Soon.
#251.  Gavin has plenty of good and fun and normal moments in between the pain...moments I am so grateful for.
#252. Even though we are behind in homeschooling right now, we WILL catch up.  We always have and I trust that we always will.
#253.  And, today is a new day...a day of new blessings in the midst of the pain...ones that my eyes will be closely searching for so that I may always.....
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2 comments:

  1. oh girl. i'm really sorry. praying for healing and sunshine and spring to shine in your life. and most of all, HIS comfort to rest upon you!

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  2. :0( I'm sorry you are going through this -praying God will carry you through this quickly, and for His healing, comfort, peace, wisdom, strength, and joy to be with you guys. ((HUGS))

    ReplyDelete

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