Monday, October 31, 2011

Thankful Heart

It's not officially November yet, but I am feeling the need to be purposefully grateful.  It's too easy to get caught up in feeling sick and overwhelmed.  Yesterday, our pastor, Francis Anfuso, taught about being aware and accountable of the areas in our life where the enemy can easily strike us and bring us down. As we prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to show us these areas, I quickly saw that the enemy can just whisper, "what if you never get well?" and I start to quiver.  Yet, I know who holds the future and He is trustworthy!  I need to keep running back to Him and fixing my heart on Him.  One way I have found to combat the fear of the future and focus my gaze back on He who is worthy of it, is gratitude.
Last week, my my four year old son didn't want to say his prayers at bedtime.  And I didn't want to force him since prayer is a heart issue, but I did want to emphasize the importance of prayer.  I asked him, "What if, when you wake up tomorrow, the only things you have are the things that you thanked God for today?"  He thought for a moment and then prayed, "Dear God, thank you for everything. Amen."
So, this Monday morning, I am thankful for:

A Leap Frog Movie that bought me 20 minutes of extra rest
A hot cup of coffee
A date with my hubby in the midst of the craziness
A mom who is willing to make the date possible
Oatmeal, a quick, easy breakfast for the kids with no guilt residue
Two sweet children that enjoy playing together
And of course, Grace - to do what I can, even when it's not all that I "should"

What are you grateful for today?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why Blog About a Sick Mom?

I love the way that I can type just about anything into a google search engine and in just moments, have loads of information.  It takes time to refine that information and pick out the worthwhile stuff. For the last year, I’ve been doing lots of that: searching, sorting, keeping, tossing and repeat.  I’ve looked up every chronic illness I came even close to resembling and then kept lists of the symptoms and test results to confirm or rule out.  About two months ago, my search changed from how to diagnose and treat to how to trust God with, how to live well with chronic illness.  There are some very good websites to encourage the chronically ill.  There are chat rooms and forums to encourage and commiserate. But, I found one thing lacking.  Most of these did not address life as a mom to small children while chronically ill.  Probably because most people are diagnosed before having children and therefore do not have them or are diagnosed when their children are older.  But, I stumbled upon this one blog… and I actually held my breath for a moment.  And then I cried. And then I read some more.  This woman could’ve been me.  She was a loving wife and homeschooling mom with young children who has an autoimmune disease that leaves her with daily fever, pain and fatigue. But, on top, underneath and all around that, she is a Jesus loving, Jesus trusting, joyfilled Christian who is trusting in her Heavenly Father to bring her through this trial.  I was inspired.
I try very hard to tuck away my illness from  sight.  For my husband, who so graciously picks up the slack left by my illness, it is impossible to hide.  But, from those that I only see or speak to for short times, I want to encourage and bring joy, not highlight how ill I feel.  But after reading another mom’s story, I am beginning to dream about how the Holy Spirit may want to encourage others through my journey.  Although I do not want to bring attention to my illness, I do want to bring light to His strength in my weakness.
So for now, I pray that you would be encouraged that this Jesus loving, Jesus trusting wife and mother who happens to be, at the present quite ill, is still committed to following hard after Jesus, to loving her family and to representing Jesus well to those He brings across her path.