Monday, January 30, 2012

on the other side

I've had a lot of surgery and procedures in my life - I think I lost count when my incisions reached 17 on my tummy and 3 on my back.  But the one thing I keep thinking today is that it's MUCH easier being the one on that table than being the one waiting to hear about a family member or friend coming through surgery. 

Today someone I love deeply is having a surgical procedure and I'm waiting by the phone to hear how it went.  This last few weeks with a family member being sick and needing surgery has been a reminder to me of what it has probably been like for my sweet husband (and parents and siblings and friends) when I have been in the hospital and having surgery.  Visits to the hospital, sitting by their bedside, trying to find ways to cheer them up, waiting to hear from doctors, calling other family members with reports of what is going on, wondering how this will affect their life, wishing they didn't have to go through suffering ... it's a very different side of physical pain from what I am used to.   I think the concern is the biggest difference.  When I have been in the hospital I don't worry so much about how I am feeling (it's miserable at times and sometimes scary but when you are in the middle of it yourself you just have to go with it) but knowing someone I love is suffering physically is much harder.  It's helpful for those of us with chronic health issues to see it from the other side so that we can learn to be sympathetic to our loved ones and try to make it easier on them through our attitude during times of our own ill health.  It's good to be pulled outside of ourselves and think from a different perspective. 

Last night our sermon was on the book of Job and how God uses suffering for good even when we don't see that being possible.  I was reminder that whether enduring suffering in my own body or in the life of someone I love trusting God is the only way to get through it.  I feel like that is actually easier for me when it is me who is in physical pain - I can often see God's hand in my pain .. but when I see someone I love suffering it is harder to trust that God is good.  I find myself wanting to control the situation and do anything I can to make the suffering stop for them.  But I need to remind myself that even as God is good in my pain, He is good in their pain and uses even hard things for the greater good. 

So, here I am waiting for the phone call to know how my loved one is going after surgery - and learning to trust God with this precious person.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Snowed In!

Wow!  We were actually snowed in for 8 days!  It was beautiful watching the snow - and even though I was extra busy with working from home and my health wouldn't let me do much playing in the snow (cold weather is hard on me) I couldn't resist making one snow angel.

It was so nice having my sweet Farmer Boy home and unable to go to school or work for a whole week!  Have I said how much I love Him?  (p.s. I made both of our hats!)

Of course He took the time to complete (as far as we are going to) the remodel on the little kitchen we put in when we moved here - AND the bathroom!  (when we moved the ceiling was open - He put sheetrock and this week He finished mudding and painting and installing the finishing touches on lighting (I jumped in and did a bit of painting too).  NO ONE can say that my Husband is lazy!

I hope it you were snowed in you had half the fun we did!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Peace like Falling Snow

When I woke up this morning and looked out the window I was transformed to a child on Christmas morning: it was SNOWING!  We live in the perfect place to exhibit the beauties of freshly fallen snow - our living room looks out on a valley with a creek and lots of trees in our own personal forest!  I have found myself all morning sitting by the window trying to take in the beauty of each branch laden with perfectly white fluffy snow.  I LOVE it!

It's been a very busy week with Joshua back to school and gone a lot of the time between work and school, and a lot of extra demands on us and our extended family with sudden illness of one family member (who is doing much better now).  Waking up to snow was just a lovely little pause in our busy life to sit back and rejoice in the beauty of creation.  I love how snow makes everything feels so silent and peaceful, and God knew we needed that today.  I've been tempted to be bummed out that we can't go to a family birthday party that was planned for today - but instead I want to just focus on the pretty view from my window and the peacefulness that is given to us today. 

I pray that whatever you are doing today you can find time to embrace peace like falling snow.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Last night I had a nightmare.  It was the kind of dream that is so frightening that you wake up in a cold sweat.  I reached for my Husband but he wasn't there!  Apparently he had a rough night too and was up reading on the couch.  I jumped out of bed and rushed into the living room and almost knocked him off the couch trying to get as close to him as I possibly could.  He put those strong arms around me and I immediately felt better. 

The two of us have felt lately like we are living in a nightmare of sorts in one area of our lives.  It's been the most trying thing we have dealt with in our young marriage and brought us to our knees, brought me in particular to tears, and brought us many sleepless nights.  Sometimes we find ourselves just wishing that we would wake up from this bad dream.  I would imagine that just like everyone has suffering in life, everyone goes through times in the valley or times that a situation in life feels like a nightmare they can't wake up from. 

My mind just keeps going back to the amazing comfort I found in the arms of my Husband last night when I woke from my nightmare.  I instantly felt safe and I also realized as he held me that the thing that was so incredibly scary to me in the middle of the dream - was actually kind of silly as I looked back at it.  The comfort He gave me was incredible and complete.  As followers of the Creator of the Universe - we have the most comforting Arms to run to when we experience the inevitable nightmares of life.  God is never busy (and unlike my sweet Husband who wasn't in bed when I had my dream last night - He is RIGHT there when we reach for Him every single time).  God's comfort is complete, and as we rest in the ultimate safety of His arms even the most horrible nightmares loose some of their sting.   Just like last night I was totally freaked out until I was in Joshua's arms - nothing can truly comfort us in the nightmares of life other than the Arms of our Savior.   There is no adequate substitute for that comfort. 

Today was a big day for Joshua and I as we faced a very important part of our living nightmare.  We prayed with every breath today.  As we went about our day which was full of errands and being busy, NOTHING could comfort us except prayer.  I think it's not an exaggeration that without the Arms of Jesus to run to today, we would be a huge mess tonight.  And yet we're not.  I think we'll sleep in peace tonight knowing that we made it, and forever wrapped in the loving and comforting Arms of our God.