Turtle Power

Yesterday was a bit of a rough day for me.

I am trying to juggle working at two jobs while working around my hubby’s schedule and also taking care of him as he has been ill a lot lately.

My jobs require hours of standing and walking which has aggravated the pain in the damaged nerve in my foot and the arthritis in my hip. The almost constant physical activity is a heavy drain on my limited energy resources. My house is a mess because I am too tired and in too much pain to clean it.

I am in pain, exhausted and stressed.

And then to top it off, yesterday I had an appointment with a lawyer (at his request) to discuss how to protect my interest in my lawful share of my ex-husband’s pension payments (25 years of supporting him and his career should be worth something). My ex has not been honourable in his dealings with me and this has forced me into seeking legal counsel.

After sitting in the lawyer’s office for an hour, re-hashing information that he has had for some time now, he decides that, in fact, he doesn’t think that he can help me after all – and then he tells me that I owe him $400!!!

I left the office feeling completely drained and defeated and fed up with dealing with people and the wickedness in this world.

I envied the turtle’s ability to pull in it’s head and feet and hide inside it’s protective shell. I felt like I just wanted to withdraw from the world and it’s many problems, curl up into a little ball and hibernate until Jesus comes again.

But the reality is that I can’t do that. Life, and all it’s challenges, won’t come to a standstill just because I am feeling over-whelmed.

Since I am not a turtle and I can’t withdraw into a physical protective shell, I sought out my Heavenly Father and covered myself in a spiritual shell of His grace, love and protection – I crawled into the arms of the One who loves me most. I gave Him my stress, my pain and my fatigue.

And I am feeling “lighter” today.

Thank you Abba.

Psa 59:16 But I will sing of Your power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my strong tower and hiding-place in the day of my trouble. 

 

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Lady In Waiting

“As your Lady-in-Waiting, I’m waiting!”

Lady Kluck   (Disney’s Robin Hood)

Image result for lady kluck

The other day, my Mom and I were commiserating (fancy word for complaining) with one another about our increased battles with various aches and pains.

We get very frustrated as we both have young, adventurous spirits which have been trapped in bodies that feel many decades older.

When you suffer from chronic pain and fatigue, the days can feel very long. After our combined pity party, my Mom commented that we are “waiting for our new selves”. She was referring to the completion of our redemption which will take place when Jesus Christ comes again.

The first part of our redemption takes place when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. At that time, our sinful self is redeemed by the blood of the crucified Jesus. That is Part 1 of our redemption – our spirit has been redeemed.

Rom 3:24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus;

Gal 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone having been hanged on a tree”);

Part 2, or the completion of our eternal redemption, takes place when Jesus comes again.

Luk 21:27, 28 And then they shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to happen, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near.

At that time, our “bodies” will also be redeemed.

Rom 8:23 And not only so, but ourselves also, who have the firstfruit of the Spirit [Part 1], even we ourselves groan within ourselves, awaiting adoption, the redemption of our body. [Part 2]

The word “body” in the above scripture comes from a Greek word meaning “sound [free from flaw, defect, or decay] whole”.

When Jesus comes again, my body will be made free from flaw, defect or decay. No more pain. No more fatigue. Hallelujah!!

Until that time, my Mom and I will continue to “groan within ourselves” (and probably outside ourselves), being “ladies-in-waiting” for “the redemption of our body“.

While I am waiting, I will think about this verse:

Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed in us. 

Blessings

Brain Drain

I am suffering from a bout of fatigue. I am not talking about a little bit of yawning that a quick cat nap would fix. I am talking about my brain feeling like it is made up of wet wool, my thoughts processing as slow as molasses in January, and my body going “I think I can, I think I can – nope – I can’t”.

There is so much that I want to do – so much that I need to do – it is frustrating!

So I work for an 1/2 hour to an hour and then plunk my butt down on the couch for an hour. I HATE being unproductive!

Then I tell myself the following things:  This is just a season. This too shall pass. And it really doesn’t matter in the long run.

I just rest in the Lord knowing that he loves me and understands what I am going through. And he reminds me about what is most important:

Luk 10:27  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. 

Which I do, to the best of my ability, in between yawnszzzzzz…….

Blessings

The Walk

I have just returned from my morning walk. Usually I enjoy going for a walk. I live in a lovely area on a bluff over-looking Lake Huron. The roads are narrow and made of gravel which give a pleasing crunching sound under my feet. There are many large, lush, green trees and thick green undergrowth. A former cottage community under-going change, the houses are quaint and individual in size, shape and personality. In the right seasons, the air is filled with a wide variety of bird song. Big-eyed cotton-tailed rabbits warily munch on the abundant selection of greenery. Once in a while, a flock of wild turkeys, a small herd of deer or a lone coyote can be seen quickly slipping across the roadway from one woodland to the other.

My walks are usually the time I spend in communion with my Heavenly Father. I thank Him for all the beauty that surrounds me and for all the blessings He has given me and then I petition Him for the needs of my loved ones.

Usually I look forward to my walk. But not today.

Today, I had to force myself to go for a walk.

Today, my body aches, my fatigue is high and my soul is low.

Today I feel like the weather – heavy, damp and grey.

When I started out on my walk today, my steps were slower and less sure. It took more will power to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I struggled to get out the minimum amount of prayer requests and thanksgiving.

Then I decided to deliberately concentrate on shifting my focus from how I felt inside to what was going on around me. I noticed that even though we had had a bad month in July for heat and drought and the grass had turned brown, now, all the grass was once again lush and green. As I listened, I could hear chickadees chirping, crickets buzzing and the pleasant sound of crunching gravel under foot. I looked and saw the last of the summer flowers blooming in neighbours’ gardens. I felt the warm, moist wind blowing in from the South.

By the time I was approaching home, my steps, and my soul, had become quicker, lighter and easier. While I still feel tired and aching, my soul and my spirit are feeling less burdened.

I think our Christian “walk” (yes, pun intended) is much like my walk this morning. We often feel aching, tired, burdened, and low in spirit. That is the time when we must decide that we are going to keep on walking in our faith, regardless of how we are feeling. That is when we must choose to keep on putting one footstep of faith in front of the other. That is when we must take our focus off of ourselves and our present circumstances and look instead to the blessings that God has given us.

When we focus on God’s love for us and on what Jesus did for us and when we express gratitude and thankfulness for those blessings, our “walk” in this challenging life can become lighter and easier.

I pray that God will guide your walk today and make your path easier and lighter.

Blessings

Mat 11:29 Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls.
Mat 11:30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

CFS & CCM

CFS stands for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Mayo Clinic defines CFS as ” … a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that can’t be explained by any underlying medical condition. The fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest.” CFS is one of the health issues that I live with and today it is making its presence keenly felt. Just trying to raise my arms above my head to brush my hair leaves me feeling like the Titan Atlas as he tried to carry the Earth upon his back. To say that I feel tired to the Nth degree seems like an understatement today.

I am sure that all of us have felt tired at some point and many of us may even have felt fatigued. Usually this type of tiredness and fatigue will eventually go away with adequate rest. I wish adequate rest was the solution to my fatigue. On top of physical and mental fatigue, many of us can suffer from emotional fatigue. Constant, unrelieved fatigue can lead to depression – and thus the vicious cycle continues.

Aside from physical, mental and emotional fatigue, there can also be spiritual fatigue – a different kind of CFS – Christian Fatigue Syndrome. This can happen when the cares, struggles and worries of this world not only drain you of physical energy but also saps you of spiritual energy. This type of CFS may be more hazardous to our health as it weakens our faith and a weakened faith leads to a loss of hope which causes yet another vicious cycle.

My answer to both types of CFS is CCM – Christ Carries Me. Remember that poem “Footprints in the Sand” by Mary Stevenson? The final line says “It was then that I carried you”. I can’t count the number of times that I have had to rely upon Christ carrying me. Knowing that Jesus carries me through all the fatigue and troubles that come my way gives me hope and that hope enables me to rest through those difficult times. In so many ways, God, through His son, Jesus Christ, proves my hope in Jesus and as my hope is proved, my faith is increased.

When we are tired, whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually, Jesus has invited us to come to him, to give him our burdens and take on his rest.

Mat 11:28 Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls.
Mat 11:30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

When I am having one of my “bad” days, as I am today, I just rest in the Lord knowing that, and trusting in, CCM – Christ Carrying Me and I have hope that I shall get through this day and this time of trial. Like David, I can say that my heart rejoices and my flesh rests in hope.

Act 2:25 For David speaks concerning Him, “I foresaw the Lord always before me, because He is at my right hand, that I should not be moved.
Act 2:26 Therefore my heart rejoiced and my tongue was glad; and also My flesh shall rest in hope,
Act 2:27 because You will not leave My soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your holy One to see corruption.
Act 2:28 You revealed to Me the ways of life. You will fill Me with joy with Your countenance.”

Blessings

http://www.footprints-inthe-sand.com/

In The Suffering

In a number of previous posts, I have shared my struggles with various health issues. I share them for a number of reasons. Firstly, I want people to understand that being a Christian does not mean that everything is going to be sweetness and light. Secondly, I want readers to know that I am a real person with real struggles and that I constantly need to turn to God for help, comfort and strength. And thirdly, I want others who may be suffering and/or struggling to know that there is a God of love, comfort, peace and joy who is ready, willing and able to help us through any and all the things that we may go through in this life.

Joh 16:24 Before now you have asked nothing in My name; ask (in the name of Jesus) and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.

1Jn 3:21,22 Beloved, if our heart does not accuse us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask, we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

Eph 3:20 Now to Him (God) who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,…

The month of February has been a challenging one for me physically. It has been bitterly cold with high winds and blowing snow. My pain and fatigue levels have increased as have depression and anxiety. All of this on top of having to pack and clean for a move. To say that I am a bit grumpy at times may be an understatement. To be honest, I am fed up!!

Yet, even as I sit here feeling like crap (yes, I am a Christian and I said ‘crap’) I realize that I have many blessings for which I should be thankful.

I am thankful for medicinal ‘helps’ which God provides to alleviate my symptoms. I am thankful that He does not judge me for my lack of faith in my moments of weakness. Rather, I know that He is compassionate and understanding.

Psa 86:15 But You, O God, are God full of pity, and gracious, long-suffering, and rich in mercy and truth.

Likewise, I know that my Saviour, Jesus, also suffered pain, fatigue and sorrow.

Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted just as we are, yet without sin.

In this miserable weather, I am thankful for warm clothes and shelter. I think of, and pray for, those who must endure this weather without benefit of warm clothes or shelter and I help in whatever way I can.

1Ti 6:8 But having food and clothing, we will be content.

In my pain, fatigue and grumpiness, I am very thankful for a loving, compassionate, understanding and patient husband. I thank God for my hubby every day because he loves me as God commands a husband to love his wife.

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it,

In my rough mornings, I am thankful for a comfortable chair, a hot cup of tea, a purring cat upon my lap and a good book to read. I am even more blessed if the sun is shining upon my face.

In my suffering, I am thankful for dear sisters-in-Christ who pray for me and offer words and gestures of help and comfort.

1Th 5:11 Therefore comfort one another, and edify one another, even as you also do.

Jas 5:16 Confess faults to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous one avails much.

And in my suffering, I am so grateful for the sure knowledge of my salvation and for the hope that when Jesus comes again, I will be made whole and I will no longer endure suffering, pain or sorrow.

1Ti 2:3,4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Rev 21:4 And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. And there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor crying out, nor will there be any more pain; for the first things passed away.

PRAISE GOD!

I pray that you will reach out to God in your suffering and find help in your time of need.

Heb 4:16 Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Blessings

 

 

 

Dog-tired

Dog-tired, bone-weary, bushed, sapped, outta gas, all in – any and all of these terms would describe how I feel this afternoon. One of the health issues I battle is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, as “a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity. Symptoms affect several body systems and may include weakness, muscle pain, impaired memory and/or mental concentration, and insomnia, which can result in reduced participation in daily activities.” Yup – that just about covers it.

Sometimes it creeps up on me slowly, while at other times, it jumps on me suddenly. It is frustrating as sometimes I can pinpoint a trigger but at other times, it seems to have come out of nowhere. It can definitely make daily life a challenge. Sometimes, I just have to keep on slogging and push through it. At other times, I have to wave the white flag, call a truce, and go into “veg” mode and become a couch potato.

During my couch potato times, I am very blessed to have a husband who is understanding and compassionate. But even better than that, I have a merciful and gracious Heavenly Father that I can turn to for help.

Isa 40:28-31 Have you not known? Have you not heard, that the everlasting God, Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not grow weak nor weary? He gives power to the weary; and to him with no vigor; He increases strength. Even the young shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; but those who wait on Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

I also have a  Saviour, Jesus Christ, who knows only too well what it is like to be bone-weary.

Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted just as we are, yet without sin.

Jesus has compassion for those who are weary in body, mind and spirit.

Mat 9:36 But seeing the crowds, He was moved with compassion on them, because they were tired and scattered like sheep having no shepherd.

Jesus spreads his arms of love and invites us to enter into his rest.

Mat 11:28,29 Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls.

Heb 4:9 So then there remains a rest to the people of God.

Heb 4:11 Therefore let us labor to enter into that rest.

I am entering into that rest now. Just call me Mrs. Potato Couch Head. ZZZZzzzz