This is finally the post that was supposed to be published MANY weeks ago, but kept getting bumped up because of life throwing us so many curve balls and the Lord totally "changing up" the posts!
I was seriously considering trashing this entire post, but just as my finger was on the delete button, the Lord stopped me, and He whispered to my heart, "Barb, share it. Someone may need to read it. Someone may benefit from it. Even if it's just one person, it's worth it."
It's way over due, but here we go!
Tuesday, January 24th, was my fifty-fourth birthday!
When you deal with a chronic illness, such things as birthdays, wedding anniversaries and even holidays, are NOT events you tend to look forward to with great anticipation.
Because they can bring with them much anxiety, sorrow, dread, loneliness.
You see, when dealing with a chronic illness, you just never know from day-to-day, even, moment-to-moment, how you will be feeling.
Your symptoms may be at bay for a portion of a day and then out of no where they slam you big time and almost cripple you in pain.
You may awaken after three or four really good days to a day where you can't even manage to get out of bed.
You can make plans for the day just to have them dashed to pieces.
Or you may think you'll be spending the day in bed, just to find that you're able to be up and about and feeling "decent".
No rhyme. No reason.
It's always unknown.
It gets a bit frustrating and embarrassing when, once again, you are forced to call your friend and postpone lunch plans because you just aren't feeling well.
You so long just to be "normal".
And, yes, I know all about, "normal just being a setting on your hair dryer"!
But for those of us with a chronic illness, normal DOES mean much more than that.
It means NOT needing to be aware of each and every step you take as you walk from one room of your house to the next, praying the entire time that you don't fall due to dizziness or unrelenting pain.
It means not having to think, "Well if I go to this party or event, and begin feeling bad, will I have the strength to be able to walk out? Will people understand? Will they be thinking to themselves, 'She sure doesn't look sick?'"
It means making plans ahead of time and not being concerned about the thought of needing to cancel them at the last-minute because your symptoms are in a flare up.
It means not feeling the sting of overwhelming loneliness when you know others are gathered at church participating in fun and fellowship while you're stuck at home feeling rotten.
sharing my heart.
It can get downright HARD at times ... VERY HARD!
When it get's especially hard, that's when I attempt to look at the "simple" things in life.
Like I said, Tuesday, January 24th was my birthday!
I awoke not feeling as well as I would have liked, but I had a choice to make.
I had a choice where to place my focus.
These are some of the simple, yet, so very important things which I chose to focus upon:
- A couple in our church dropped off a box of yummy "goodies" at our front door!
- About a month before my birthday, I had to have blood work done and afterwards, we were able to go INTO a restaurant for breakfast and I called that my birthday breakfast!
- I received several birthday cards from many different friends.
- I have a husband who loves me and cares for me beyond words, not just on my birthday, BUT every day!
- I praised the Lord that I'm a daughter of the King and my life belongs to Jesus Christ NOT just on my birthday, but EVERY day!
- The day before my birthday, one of Brian's co-workers stopped by and brought us dinner and a birthday cake!
- Several people sent me Happy Birthday text messages, including my precious hubby, who sent me about seven different messages throughout the day!
- I chose to celebrate that I was able to be up and out of bed!
- My mother-in-law stopped by the house to bring me a beautiful bouquet of birthday flowers!
- My granddaughter called and sang, "Happy Birthday", to me!
- This year for my birthday the only thing I wanted was for Brian and I to be able to go INTO a restaurant to celebrate. I told a few people about my desire and they made it a matter of prayer! Well the pictures below show the answer to those prayers!
This is a
to the Lord!
Simple, yet, very important things!
Do I always focus on the right things?
Sometimes, way too often, I tend to focus on ME, and that's when I fall VERY QUICKLY into a HUGE pity party!
When you deal with a chronic illness day in and day out, it takes WORK to focus on the right things.
Here's a tip for you! When I feel myself slipping into a pity party, I get out a slip of paper and start writing down my blessings.
Of course I begin with things like, my salvation, God's Word, the Holy Spirit Who allows me to understand the Word of God, prayer, my husband, special friends.
But then I quickly move onto the "simpler" things, such as, being able to have our doors open and getting fresh air into the house, a "just because card" from a friend, smiling as I watch a baby bird hop around in our backyard, feeling up to going on a truck date with my man!
Before I know it, my list has grown to well over seventy to eighty things for which I am giving thanks to the Lord for!
Next time you feel the mulligrubs beginning to descend upon you, get out your pen and a sheet of paper and begin listing your blessings, great and small, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done!
we thank thee,
thy glorious name."
I Chronicles 29:13
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May God Bless You,