Saturday, February 27, 2010


Today we have been spending with friends as we've out of town for the John Piper sermons ... today there was nothing big to do so we spent the day with our friend's and their adorable kids. For me babies and children are such a wonderful reminder of the beauty of life and that glory and creativity of God. When you are faced with pain (I have been dealing with something going on and I am in a lot of pain this weekend) it is so helpful to be reminded of babies and children - their dependence and trust. That is what God wants of us - our dependence and trust even when we don't understand and when the grief of always being sick is too much to bear. We need to just relax and allow Him to hold and comfort us as if we were a baby in the arms of a loving and strong Daddy.

Friday, February 26, 2010

For God's Glory

Tonight my husband and I were blessed to sit under one of the greatest preachers of our time: Dr. John Piper. I have treasured Dr. Piper's writings and cds of his sermons for years - and the reason I value him so much was brought home to me again tonight. John Piper values GOD above all and He understands that all of our lives are most satisfied when we are glorifying God with all that we are.

I agree with Piper and I have long desired for my life to be a mirror to show the face of our great God clearly to a hurting world. That God would be loved above all - and that we as His Creation - would be satisfied in Him alone - no matter what we face in this life - and even because of what we face in this life.

So - I was thinking about the journey we have been on with this blog this month - the journey of dealing with the grief that comes with chronic pain and illness. The biggest reason that I find it so important for those of us with chronic pain to deal well with grief and learn to live above it is because I believe that by our living in joy above the grief we bring glory to the One who is so worthy. The grief that comes with pain has a way of drawing attention to ourselves - and getting pity for ourselves - but God has such a bigger and better plan for us! He knows that when we get the attention and pity from others we will never be fulfilled. He knows that in allowing HIM to be our joy even in pain - that we will point others to HIM and He will be worshiped because of our lives.

Dealing with the grief is not just good for us - it is so incomprehensibly important and part of the beautiful mystery of God's Holy Name being glorified above all.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Be Still

Today as I am dealing with some infection and I am too weak to sit here and type - I will copy this - my favorite hymn for you to enjoy. Read the words and really take them to heart --- joy is possible even in suffering. Tonight my joy is simply in peace.

Be Still, My Soul

1. Be still, my soul:
the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently
the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God
to order and provide;
In every change,
He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul:
thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways
leads to a joyful end.

2. Be still, my soul:
thy God doth undertake
To guide the future,
as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence
let nothing shake;
All now mysterious
shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul:
the waves and winds
still know His voice
Who ruled them
while He dwelt below.

3. Be still, my soul:
when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened
in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know
His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe
thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul:
thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness
all He takes away.

4. Be still, my soul:
the hour is hastening on
When we shall be
forever with the Lord.
When disappointment,
grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot,
love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul:
when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed
we shall meet at last.

5. Be still, my soul:
begin the song of praise
On earth, believing,
to thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him
in all thy works and ways,
So shall He view
thee with a well-pleased eye.
Be still, my soul:
the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds
shall but more brightly shine.

Public Domain

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Made the bed

Confronting the grief of chronic pain can come in small ways. Today I washed the sheets and made the bed.

It was all I could do to get it done. It was pretty much ALL i could get done. I didn't even the enough energy to take a bath. But our sheets are beautifully clean and soft. And that makes me happy.

Don't always look for big ways to fight against the grief - just make a simple goal and DO IT!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Girl Friends

before I begin the post for today - THANK YOU for the notes of encouragement! You may not know how much that means to me!

Today I had a few girl-friends over (and a couple cute babies to play with too!). We did a closet cleaning party where we all bring items we don't wear anymore and trade with each other! What fun! I have been feeling pretty crummy this week, but having the girls come was just what I needed. Sometimes the best medicine for the grief that comes with chronic illness is just to be with others who don't mind if you are in your PJs or not wearing make-up, who let you lay down when you need to, and who enjoy being with you even though you are sick. I thank God for friends like these!

The tricky thing is that I almost NEVER want to get together - I get scarred that I am a burden, or that I won't be able to take being with people ... sometimes I think that is true, but there are times (like today) when it is just wonderful to laugh with others and share life. I have to often force myself to not cancel events that have been planned - because of fear or just feeling so crummy. But I need to remind myself that if the event is low-key I can usually make it through and it is worth it.

To all my girl-friends out there: THANK YOU for the time you give to be my friend and accept me the way I am!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Practice what you preach

Last night my husband and I watched a romantic comedy about a guy who was a motivational speaker who was not following his own advise until he fell in love and was helped by the beautiful young lady to see his own faults and face his own fears and griefs. The movie made me think about the dangers of wanting to help others in life and how it can never work if you don't take the time and challenge of helping yourself. You can't heal other if you refuse to be healed.

I always want to be real. This blog is my journey - a journey that I have opened to you - praying that something that I am learning will somehow be an encouragement to your life wherever you may be. But, this journey is mine and I am committed to it. It isn't easy. There are many moment of tears and moments when the pain and sadness are so huge that I feel as if I will die from the grief. But I am going to stick this out. I believe that my life is worth so much more than to be consumed by my pain. I believe that my life can be different. I believe that my life can be filled with happiness and purpose and hope.

While I do my best to encourage you, I will never turn my back on the journey that I am on, and the continual need for encouragement myself. I will do all I can to practice everything that I advocate for so continually.

I don't know what the rest of this year will hold, what the rest of my life will hold - but I am excited to walk - one step at a time with joy.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


When we look forward to something and then it doesn't turn out the way we expected it can cause grief.

I had been so excited about this women's retreat with the ladies from my church for a month or more - but after only getting 2-3 hours of sleep Friday night, and getting sick Saturday morning I should have stopped expecting it to be better. I should have admitted that it was too physically hard for me to sit in chairs without my heating pad, and to be so tired. I should have gone home before I did. As it turned out I made it until about 7 last night when I called my husband almost in tears and asked him to come and take me home. The horrors of feeling so physically ill and in so much pain exhausted me. I was in bed til after noon today and am going back as soon as I finish this post. I don't know how long it will take for me to recover from this weekend.

Several times during the last 2 days my eyes have welled with tears and my heart felt such deep grief. I realized that i probably could have saved myself some of this grief if I would have been humble enough to bring my heating pad into the sessions and even been upfront with the leaders about the fact that it is hard for me to sit in chairs like that - or that I would like a room to myself if possible to get more sleep. So much of the grief could have been avoided if I would have just planned with my limits in view rather than wishing that i was just like everyone else.

If our expectations are more realistic and prepared I believe that we can have less grief over the disappointments of our health.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Saturday's Poem

Tomorrow I will be at a women's retreat with my church - I am a little scarred as I almost never go go overnight ... but I am also excited to see what new things I will learn!

Here is a poem for tomorrow since I will be unable to blog ...  This poem is by Elise K Young and is beautiful!  Enjoy!

For our light affliction,
which is but for a moment
worketh for us a far more exceeding
and eternal weight of glory.
2 Corinthians 4:7

Suffering may endure for a season,
And we wonder when relief will come.
Is this for a time of testing
A really deep trial for some?

Day by day we endure our heartaches,
Often questioning why,
We don't seem to fully understand
And we come before God with a sigh!

"Just quiet yourself in My presence," He says,
"I have blessings for you in store,
This time with me will be precious,
Even more than ever before."

The wonderful promises in God's Holy Word
Bring comfort, encouragement and peace,
And as we nestle up close to Him.
Our Faith brings sweet release.

So let us joyfully praise the Lord,
If, through suffering we can learn,
Truths that will help to guide our way,
And His Word more clearly discern.

Elsie K. Young

Will Rogers on Pain

"Pain is such an uncomfortable feeling that even a tiny amount of it is enough to ruin every enjoyment."

- Will Rogers

I have to strongly disagree with this quote. I think that this is what many people truly believe - and how tragic! Pain is part of this earthly life and if it actually had that kind of power than God would never have commanded us to rejoice ALWAYS. God doesn't ask us to do what is impossible - and even the things that we feel are impossible aren't with Him involved! I am so so so thankful that even the sickness and pain I feel today are not enough to take away the last drop of enjoyment from my life! The birds are singing and the sun is shinning as if it were spring - it is a glorious day outside. I rejoice in these things that pain cannot take from me.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Disappointment in treatment options

Today I began a hard treatment again. This particular treatment scares me- maybe because my Grandma was taking these exact pills the last couple years of her life. Or because I picture certain treatments as only used for cancer or terminal patients. So I feel a lot of sadness today. Sadness over the fact that the pain my body is in is unbearable at this time, and there is nothing else the doctors can offer to help with it. Sadness that the other things I am doing (exercise, diet, stress-relieving techniques, etc) are not enough to allow me to sleep through the pain and even exist without ending up in the Er from it. I feel grief because I know that some who read about this will judge me and think I am a wimp, or a drug-seeker or so many other things that I know are not true.

I feel deep deep sadness tonight.

Where is the joy in a day like this? The joy that I feel in this moment is just that this is not the end. Even if I was terminal this wouldn't be the end. This is just part of something so much bigger - something that the best moments of this life are only a shadow of. I have joy as I look toward heaven. And I have joy that God has allowed science to make medicines that can help relieve the pain when it is just too intense. Even if it makes me swallow my pride, He has allowed me this time of some relief while we are looking for a better answer for me. I have joy in Him.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Story of Robby

I found this story as I was looking online and I thought it a great reminder of how belief can triumph over grief. It is beautiful ...

October 15, 2001

At the prodding of my friends, I am writing this story. My name is Mildred Hondorf. I am a former elementary school music teacher from Iowa. I've always supplemented my income by teaching piano lessons--something I've done for over 30 years.

Over the years I found that children have many levels of musical ability. I've never had the pleasure of having a protege, though I have taught some talented students. However I've also had my share of what I call "musically challenged" pupils. One such student was Robby.

Robby was 11 years old when his mother (a single mom) dropped him off for his first piano lesson. I prefer that students (especially boys!) begin at an earlier age, which I explained to Robby. But Robby said that it had always been his mother's dream to hear him play the piano. So I took him as a student.

Well, Robby began with his piano lessons and, from the beginning, I thought it was a hopeless endeavor. As much as Robby tried, he lacked the sense of tone and basic rhythm needed to excel. But he dutifully reviewed his scales and some elementary pieces that I require all my students to learn.

Over the months he tried and tried while I listened and cringed and tried to encourage him. At the end of each weekly lesson he'd always say, "My mom's going to hear me play some day." But it seemed hopeless. He just did not have any inborn ability.

I only knew his mother from a distance as she dropped Robby off or waited in her aged car to pick him up. She always waved and smiled but never stopped in. Then one day Robby stopped coming to our lessons. I thought about calling him but assumed, because of his lack of ability, that he had decided to pursue something else. I also was glad that he stopped coming. He was a bad advertisement for my teaching!

Several weeks later I mailed to the student's homes a flyer on the upcoming recital. To my surprise Robby (who received a flyer) asked me if he could be in the recital. I told him that the recital was for current pupils and because he had dropped out he really did not qualify. He said that his mom had been sick and unable to take him to piano lessons but he was still practicing.

"Miss Hondorf...I've just got to play!" he insisted. I don't know what led me to allow him to play in the recital. Maybe it was his persistence or maybe it was something inside of me saying that it would be all right.

The night for the recital came. The high school gymnasium was; packed with parents, friends and relatives. I put Robby up last in the program before I was to come up and thank all the students and play a finishing piece. I thought that any damage he would do would come at the end of the program and I could always salvage his poor performance through my "curtain closer."

Well the recital went off without a hitch. The students had been practicing and it showed. Then Robby came up on stage. His clothes were wrinkled and his hair looked like he' run an eggbeater through it. "Why didn't he dress up like the other students?" I thought. "Why didn't his mother at least make him comb his hair for this special night?"

Robby pulled out the piano bench and he began. I was surprised when he announced that he had chosen Mozart's Concerto #21 in C Major. I was not prepared for what I heard next. His fingers were light on the keys, they even danced nimbly on the ivories. He went from pianissimo to fortissimo...from allegro to virtuoso. His suspended chords that Mozart demands were magnificent! Never had I heard Mozart played so well by people his age. After six and a half minutes he ended in a grand crescendo and everyone was on their feet in wild applause. Overcome and in tears I ran up on stage and put my arms around Robby in joy. "I've never heard you play like that Robby! How'd you do it?"

Through the microphone Robby explained: "Well Miss Hondorf...remember I told you my mom was sick? Well actually she had cancer and passed away this morning. And well....she was born deaf, so tonight was the first time she ever heard me play. I wanted to make it special."

There wasn't a dry eye in the house that evening. As the people from Social Services led Robby from the stage to be placed into foster care, I noticed that even their eyes were red and puffy and I thought to myself how much richer my life had been for taking Robby as my pupil. No, I've never had a protege, but that night I became a protege...of Robby's.

He was the teacher and I was the pupil for it is he that taught me the meaning of perseverance and love and believing in yourself and maybe even taking a chance on someone and you don't know why.

This is especially meaningful to me since, after serving in Desert Storm, Robby was killed in the senseless bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April of 1995, where he was reportedly....playing the piano.

We all have thousands of opportunities a day to help realize God's plan. So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice: Do we pass along a spark of the Divine or do we pass up that opportunity, and leave the world a bit colder in the process?

Mildred Hondorf
Submitted by M.M. --- Ohio

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What will it make you?

She was a pensive little girl. So serious and grown-up for one so young. My heart hurt for her as I saw her endure horrible treatment by those who should have loved and protected her. I prayed for her day after day. I thought that with all she went through there was no way she would pull through with a smile. But I was so wrong. As she grew into a young lady I found out even more about her troubled childhood. But I also found out that she was definitely NOT going to give up - no matter what. She was determined to make the most of the life she had been given even though it had been riddled with so much grief. She would not let grief have the last word in the story of her life.

This little girl grew up to be a beautiful woman who is now an amazing loving mother. She has a strong marriage and keeps God at the top of her list of priorities. She is a victor in the battle against grief. She is an example to me.

Her story reminds me that grief can either make us bitter or make us sweeter. She contradicts those who say that if you endure suffering in life that you can't help being bitter and angry at God. Her heart is so sweet that it brings those around her to their knees in worship of a God who can do such beautiful things with a heart that is given to Him and open to live above the grief and pain.

What will your experience of grief make of you?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Making a Cake

I didn't know it could take so long to make a cake! I began making it 4 hours ago and finally just put the finishing touches on it. There was time to allow it to cool, but the stress of making this cake consumed most of my day.

I had offered to bring a Valentine's dessert to a dinner party - imagining that I could make one of my old-trusty desserts which are so easy I could make them in my sleep. But, no sooner had I offered than the hostess of the dinner told me that I should make something with chocolate and strawberries. I don't really like chocolate desserts, and so I rarely make anything other than packages brownies. This was going to be a challenge.

Adding to the challenge was the fact that my husband and I have completely used our February food budget so I had to make this dessert using only items I already had in the house. A white cake mix, chocolate chips and frozen raspberries, and powder sugar.

To make a long story short I completed the project. But I feel annoyed that it took me so long and such a strain on my sanity and my body! For me the grief of being in chronic pain hits hard during times like these. I want to have energy, I want to be able to impress others with what I make or do ... I want it to not take me so long to do a "simple" cake! I had to keep stopping through the whole afternoon to lay down - a job that could have been done so quickly!

BUT - I am happy that I have a chocolate cake with chocolate filling, with little powdered sugar hearts on each piece and a raspberry sauce to pour over them when they are served. Rather than focus on the grief of how frustrating the day was I need to make myself focus on the product that I have created and go to the dinner and enjoy watching others eat the cake!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I am a collector. Well - only of some things, because I hate a cluttered home.  One of my favorite things to collect are quotes. I find that quotes can help me though a lot as I see other's perspective on life and find strength in other's words. Here are some that I have been enjoying on the February topic of grief:

"Grief s pervasive. You never get over it, BUT you learn to recognize and live with it." - Zig Zigler

"When God is silent, you have only one reasonable option - trust Him; hang in there; wait on Him. He may be quiet, but He has not quit on you." - Charles Stanley

"God's Word never said we were not to grief our losses. It says we are not to grieve as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Big Difference." - Beth Moore

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Healing from Grief

I think one of the main reasons I began writing this blog is because I desire to be different than the natural inclination of the human heart when faced with chronic pain. I have seen how the grief involved can slowly eat away a person until it becomes hard to see anything other than bitterness and self-pity. Unresolved grief is a very dangerous thing. This month my focus is on the grief associated with chronic pain because without dealing with grief there can never be a full life of true joy while in pain.

Peter Marshall says: "The grace of God is sufficient for all our needs, for every problem and for every difficulty, for every broken heart, and for every human sorrow."

There is healing from the grief of pain - and that healing is found in Jesus Christ. The Word of God says that nothing is impossible with God. So, even the grief that feels that it will consume every part of you is not too big for God to heal.

Friday, February 12, 2010

THIS is the Day!

When I wake up in the morning I instantly know the level of activity or "productivity" that I will be able to handle that day. Often I have made plans but when I wake up realize that I can't follow through. I am learning that a great tool for fighting against grief is in planning well and allowing my schedule to change if needed. When I feel stuck in an obligation that I can't follow through on, or a list of things I need to get done that I simply can't do that day I can get very sad.

Today I know that because of my pain level and shortness of breath that I will have to spend most of the day on the couch. And that is ok. Learning to accept our limits is essential to preventing further grief. Rather than wake up thinking of my messy house, or cookies that I wanted to bake for Valentine's day, I need to focus on what I can do while laying low: pray for others, read, maybe work on our budget ... and rest so that maybe tomorrow I can feel better. By shifting my mental state from feeling that I have to be DOING all the time it helps me enjoy moments that God has given to me for rest and reflection.

Like the song my Momma used to wake us with in the mornings: "THIS is the Day that the Lord has made: I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!"

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Tonight I am happy for warm PJs! There is nothing like being out of the house (today I was helping my mother-in-law with Valentine's flowers for her flower shop) and then coming home tired and getting into warm cozy PJs!

Sometimes even though it is hard we have to get out of the house and do something productive even though we might feel some extra pain later - I feel that if I don't get out every once in a while that I become forgetful of others and of life outside of my little world on the internet. Does getting out sometimes cause grief? YES - I am sure than once my body realizes that I was on my feet for a while today that I will feel grief over my silly body and the fact that doing much is hard on me. But I think that the grief of never getting out might be worse for me. Each of us has to make those day by day or even hour by hour decisions for our own life.

At the moment all I can think of is how thankful I am to be home in my PJs!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I love singing. God created a beautiful thing when He made music, I believe there are an endless combination of notes and harmonies each one unique and beautiful. Music is my most favorite way of expressing my heart to God.

Tonight I went to singing practice at our church - I have been on the worship team leading the congregation in singing for about 12 years. I love singing with the team. But lately I haven't been singing since I have been sick. Tonight I wanted to sing. Really sing. But singing hurt my chest so badly and I was shocked at how my voice was horse. But my heart hurt worst of all. I feel lost without my voice. This brings great grief.

How do I deal with the grief of this loss? To deny this would be wrong, but to be devoured by it would be wrong as well.

The songs from practice are running through my head, words of God's love to us, of His greatness ... these words are true and in them I find joy. The melodies are beautiful and they bring me joy even if there comes a time when all singing is taken from me - there will still be reason to rejoice in the miracle of music that God has made!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

One breath at a time

The last few days have been for breathing through one moment at a time. Sometimes it is best to think small and just get through each day. I am so thankful for the ability to focus on breathing and the sweet hands of my wonderful husband to stroke my hair and back .... I rejoice in soft pillows and hard floors to help get my mind off the pain. There is joy even on the worst days - it's like a treasure hunt to find it!

Monday, February 8, 2010

A new day

I didn't get back on last night to post, and it is all I can do to sit here and type this morning. Today I am calling my doctor to talk about pain management as the pain is becoming unbearable.

Am I still happy? Yes. It is different than what the world would think happiness should appear. I'm sitting here in my PJs, it will be a miracle if I can get anything done around the house, I am in too much pain to talk on the phone or have a friend over ... I feel fear over how to deal with this pain and grief over all because of the limits this puts on my life.

BUT in the midst of it all I rejoice (and no I am not making this up!), I rejoice in the hope I have for an eternity someday without pain, without tears, without loneliness, without disappointments. I rejoice in the small things around me like the sound of the Canada Geese flying overhead, and the warm PJs I am wearing, of the thought of my sweet husband coming home tonight and the wonderful comfort he is to me in times like these ... I do rejoice! When the pain feels like it will consume me entirely, rejoicing is a discipline, a chore even, but it is possible and I am finding that out every day.

God is amazing to make joy in the middle of intense suffering!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Missed a day :(

I can't believe that I missed posting yesterday! My husband took me on a date - we walked around the flower and garden shower and then went to Pike's Place market. By the time we got home I was completely exhausted and this morning my pain is through the roof.

But - I will just thank God for the sweet opportunity to spend a day with the man I love outside of the house!

I will post again tonight ...

Friday, February 5, 2010

He Catches their Tears

I remember years ago when I was living at home with my family and my Mommy told me that - "this isn't just your pain, our whole family is going though this." I remember the tears she shed talking about the grief of losing the hope of biological grandchildren through me. I remember her talking about how her and my Daddy had discussed my possible near death after I had a respiratory arrest once. I have seen my husband weep bitterly on behalf of my pain. I have heard him beg God to relieve the agony I was in. I have seem many worried looks from those that I love the most.

The grief is not mine alone.

Perhaps the grief of others is the hardest part of being sick for me. I feel like I can handle the grief for myself to some extent, but knowing that my pain and illness hurts those closest to me is almost unbearable. An important thing to realize is that my health is not something that I chose for myself. I have been given this illness for some reason, and God knows what I and what those around me need in life. It all comes down to trusting God with those that I love as well as with my own life.

He catches every one of their tears on my behalf.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


THANKS to all of you who have commented encouraging me to keep going with this! It makes me so excited every time I see a new comment ... keep on enjoying life with me!

Fighting the Monster

Have you even had those moments that seem like life stands still? I was standing in the kitchen today - feeling really horribly sick, and it felt like the grief just of physically being so sick was going to gobble me up whole. It felt like time stopped, and it was just me and the Grief. But, I don't want the Grief to win. I want to live and not be consumed by the grief.

This is a choice that I have to wake up and make every day. There is going to be grief in life - for those of us with chronic pain or illness and for those with pain of other sorts - grief is unavoidable. But being consumed is not. It is a battle sometimes to get up and face the monster Grief and come out victorious. But the amazing feeling of victory and joy that comes when that battle is over - so so worth it!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Happy while crying?

Today it rained. And as I watched the raindrops hit the windshield I began to cry. Another new specialist that we had hoped might find some answer for what is going on in my body to cause this pain and sickness had shrugged us off - having no clue as to what she can do to help give us an answer. As the silent tears ran down my cheek I felt utter hopelessness in doctors, I felt such deep grief over having to endure test after test, new doctor after new doctor, surgery after surgery. Such agony of not being the energetic and healthy wife that I want to be for my sweet man. The grief was so thick I could taste it.

BUT (how I love that word, in the midst of that utter grief, I was surprised to feel incredible peace and - yes happiness! I can't describe it. It felt as if the pain that I was feeling was just the surface and underneath there was this joy that cannot be quenched. A hope in the One Who never fails, Who knows all about me, Who knows my future and offers me so much to look forward to! God is my smile - even in the tears this life brings.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Defined by what?

Today has been very exciting as some of our very best friends are welcoming their second child into the world. We are babysitting the big sister and waiting for news of the arrival of this little guy. Today as we were grocery shopping with this little 2 year old girl, my husband mentioned "what if she was ours", "what if this was our life"? We have many friends and family members whose life seems "perfect" to us - they have health and children, and homes to live in which are more or less theirs. Our life looks much different as I am laying on the couch more than not, we can't have biological children, and we live in a room at someone else's house while we are house-sitting. Some of these things have a tendency to bring grief - and that is ok. We do feel moments of greif as we long for parts of life that we can't have ... BUT we have chosen to not allow that grief to define us. We LOVE life and we love each other - and we love being involved in the lives of our friends and family. To deny grief would be a lie - but to be defined by it would be a shame.

I want to be defined by my relationship with Jesus - and the great joy and peace that He gives .. no matter what!

Monday, February 1, 2010


It would be foolish to say that chronic pain and illness didn't affect your emotions. There is very real grief involved in being sick all the time. This month I am going to explore the feelings that come naturally with the losses that illness brings. I want to be honest about this grief - and find a way to see how God can even make something as hard as grief and pain into something new. I know that there can be a kind of happiness or joy even in the moments of grief.

I must admit I am a little scarred of this part of this adventure ... I don't really like to allow myself to feel the grief very much, but I know that I will find God to be faithful and to teach me things as I dig into this aspect of chronic pain.

Onward in the journey of finding the mysterious happiness in pain!