I have been wrestling with what to blog about a lot lately and I haven't had as much joy in my blogging as I normally do. I know it is because I am not sharing my promptings in my heart nor the lessons I'm learning primarily because I don't really know how to word the thoughts in my head and because I don't like to be a downer. A lot of my thoughts are deep and deep is often heavy...eek. Sorry! But, honestly, heaviness for me isn't always a bad thing, rather, it is a learning thing. I am not in the depths of despair (as Anne was in Green Gables, lol) I am in a reflective season where God is teaching me TONS through the hardships we have faced. My favorite scripture that God has laid on my heart during this season is, "It is good for me when I am afflicted that I may learn of your ways." Psalm 119:71 Have you ever stopped to think that your afflictions are good? This is not an easy thing for people to chew on. It took me time to accept this but, now I see the great truth to that verse. Nothing like great pain (in any form!) to teach us the great depths of this life.
I would be lying if I said the past two years have been easy. Quite frankly they have been some of the most trying and exhausting years of my marriage and life. Every day before I crawl out of bed to the sounds of Daisy's cute little chatter in the next room, I lay there and stare at the ceiling and say, "Jesus, give me the strength for today. Give me your joy to live this day to the fullest in spite of my fatigue and in spite of my heavy heart. Give me a positive attitude and help me to see all the good you are doing in my life and not focus on the pain or the hardships. Give me extra love and compassion for my husband today Lord and give me extra patience for my sweet little one year old. Help me to be what you want me to be today Lord, for I weak but, in you I am strong."
Then I flip the sheets off and force myself not to dwell on myself or on this season and I walk with my bed head and jammies into my daughter's room (she gets up early!) and soak up the beauty of her little presence waiting for me in her crib. Sure, life is not easy right now, but there is no denying that I am blessed. And oh what a joy this life is. In spite of it all; pain, illness, sorrow, death, loss, disease, misfortune etc...in spite of it all we can choose to soak up the joys of life because no matter how bad it gets joy is always here for the taking.
In this season love has been showered on us from all over and in all different ways. We have been humbled by the support of friends and family. It is hard to stand by someone during a long, hard season but, so many people have continued to walk alongside us and we are so grateful!
Don't actually click...this is the only image I was able to find. Sorry!
We got a book in the mail from our good friends Mark and Danielle called You gotta keep Dancing by Tim Hansel. BUY IT!!! I know they sent the book for Joey primarily but, I have to say it has got to be one of the best books I have ever read in my life. The author was on a climb with friends when he plummeted nearly 30 feet and now lives everyday of his life in agonizing spinal pain. He shares his incredibly wise journey of learning to embrace pain and to live with pain as blessing and not a curse. I cannot tell you how much this book has changed my perspective on my life and my circumstances. Life is hard...there is NO getting around that, but even amidst the hardships there is so much beauty and joy to partake of. Thank you Thank you for this FANTASTIC book M + D.
An anonymous person sent us a one year photo scrap book of all the beautiful images and posts I wrote about Daisy on our blog. The book is SOOOO gorgeous, not to mention it must have taken a good deal of time to create and everyone that visits us picks the book up off our end tables and peruses the pages to ooh and ahh over the sweet pictures of Daisy. Joey took this book with him when he was staying at the health facility and it blessed so many people who were staying there. What an incredibly generous and thoughtful gift! Whoever you are, THANK YOU!!!
I have a pile of cards of encouragement on my kitchen counter from different people. Joey and I both have read every single card and have felt so loved and supported by all of your blessings and verses that you have shared. A lot of you we have never even met before as you are part of a prayer chain of our friends. What an incredible act of kindness to reach out to strangers with prayers, cards and encouragement. We would love to meet all of you someday!
To my blogger friends who have taken a little extra time to write encouraging e-mails to me to share their stories and offer their support and love. WOW! I am so blessed! I wish we all lived near each other so we could have a big party. Those e-mails have been the fuel for my days on many occasions.
To my neighbors who took me out for my birthday, spoiled me with a delicious cake and presents, who have visited, watched Daisy or offered to watch her had play dates with me and Daisy, been an ear for me and Joey and just all around been wonderful, loving and supportive people...oh my gosh, what would I do without you gals...Annie, Erin, Raechel, Christine, Judy, Mary, Val. We love you gals!
Thank you to all of Joey's guy friends who have taken the extra time to be there for Joey. I am so thankful that he has so many awesome friends in his life to lean on and talk to. Way to step up men...seriously, thank you! And thank you to all of my steady gal pals who have called me so faithfully, brought meals by, hung out with me and just been all around awesome friends. Truly, we are so blessed we can hardly stand it! God is so good!!
And, to wrap up this uber long post that I am totally okay if no one even had the time to read, lol I want to share that Joey is feeling more and more like his old self every day. We are rejoicing in the progress and the slow but, steady peace of mind that he is regaining! Thanking Jesus.