Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Remembering the Right Things

Kip & his dad, June 2012
 For the last six months I have been the keeper of medical information for my husband's family. On September 14 my father-in-law had a brain tumor removed from his brain stem. I have been tracking this and other major medical events that then ensued for him. This has been good. It has been needed. For example, going to my father-in-law's primary care physican to recount the history of the last six months. That was good. That was needed.

Kip's dad & Kip's uncle, Nov. 2012
But... have I been as diligent to write down and think about over and over again how the Lord has meet our needs -- my needs -- these past six months?

Am I recalling how we felt compelled to annoint him with oil after hearing a sermon on James 5? And when his pastor was asked, he said, "Yes" and how peace filled the room. How we were all blessed by obeying the Word?

Am I recounting how on a day when all I could think of was how weary I am, that a friend sent a card in the mail with a verse about being weary along with a Starbucks gift-card?

Do I remember how a friend texted me and made herself available to talk on one of those really hard days? I don't remember which one. But it was one of the ones where we thought we were saying goodbye.

Am I remembering how I arrived at home around 1 o'clock in the afternoon with four hungry children, an empty refrigerator, an empty pocket-book, and a friend called wanting to bring us lunch?

Am I remembering how someone brought a pork roast to my house, someone who had recently been in the hospital herself, that she put in our freezer and the very next night I would need food to feed my family and others?

Am I remembering how a child-less couple of 13 years of marriage found out on the day my father-in-law had surgery that they were expecting? She thought something was wrong. Instead, God gave them a baby after thirteen years of waiting. The news delivered to their ears on THE SAME DAY of the original brain surgery. My father-in-law's tenth grandchild would be delivered while he was still in the hospital fighting to breathe.

Am I remembering how a friend planned a birthday dinner when I had no energy to plan a party and she rarely, if ever, plans such things?Am I remembering how friends have said that I could text in the middle of the night? And how comforting it was to have them praying in the middle of the night when the hospital called again with bad news that they intubated him again? And sometimes they had started praying before I had texted?

Am I remembering how a washing machine came to my front door when our washing machine had been broken for over a week? Reminding me that God is seeing all of my needs. He will watch over me and take care of me.

Am I remembering? Not the intubation and the MRSA and the blood clots and the hard decisions but am I remembering His mercy in it all?

Am I remembering the answered prayers of an 11-year-old grand-daughter who wanted to see her grandpa but wasn't allowed in the ICU? She prayed. He was moved to a regular room for two days. She saw him. He told her, "I love you." He moved back to the ICU, one of many set-backs. But she remembers that God answered the cry of her heart, just for her.

Kip's dad or Papa, and Sophie, Feb. 2013
Am I remembering how he was discharged home on a Friday night? This seemed to be bad timing because everything medical was closed for the weekend. But we had nothing on our calendar. We stayed at their house for three days because my husband had a three day weekend. God worked it out so we could spend the whole weekend helping to get things set-up.

How many more details, important God-has-hand in this kind of details, have I forgotten? Let me not forget. Let me recount the many mercies of God. Let me remember how good and kind He is in the midst of sorrow and suffering.

Let me remember. Let me declare all of the ways He has shown His mercy on me. On us.
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Linking with Jen & Emily.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

When you need encouragement for the everyday

I have been cocooning lately, wrapped up mostly in my home. Our homeschooling actually reflects that we've been home, which means better school days.

I'm thankful for these slow days. It means it's been awhile since the last crisis. I think February was void of them. How nice. Except that I've forgotten how to function without crisis after the 'year of nutzo on steroids." (Which was 2012). I keep thinking, "This shouldn't be that hard."  And yet these normal gray February days have been hard.

I'm thankful to be running again after a one-year hiatus. Last year at this time I wasn't running. I was learning to walk without a limp due to tearing the MCL in my left knee. It is sweet to be able to train with my 13-year-old daughter for a half-marathon especially because I had to drop-out of training with my then thirteen-year-old son.

I'm thankful to be able to move. I'm thankful to train again for a half-marathon with one of my children. And I'm thankful that we have felt the need to train because of these hard, gray February --and now March-- days. The running has helped ward off the blues.

And the whisper in my ear has also helped. The whisper of the small, still voice inside of me that has reminded me that I need Him on all kinds of days. Not just crisis days. But also ordinary, every-day days. I need Him all of the time even when I think I should be able to do this in my own strength.

"..apart from me you can do nothing..." John 15:5 NIV

He didn't just mean that I could only do bigger-than-me tasks -- like take in four extra kids on a moment's notice. He means that apart from Him, I can do nothing.

It is okay that I need Him to do the every day small tasks. I am learning to be content with that. I am learning again how to walk with Him in the everyday.
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Here are some other voices that have encouraged me lately:

Edie's words in her blog at Life in Gracetoday, that are also in her e-book, about raising gracious kids just really tugged at my heart today. Read it here

I needed to hear Elizabeth's voice on treating herself more compassionately, too. I could relate all too well. Read about that here.

Also linking with Michelle and Emily today.
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 Have you been in need of encouragement lately? 
Where have you been finding it? 
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