March 10, 2014

Thoughts on Monday.

(Not one of mine- but one I love like my own.)

Today I'm singing...
"Keep smiling! Keep shining, knowing you can always count on me, for sure! That's what friends are for."
(Those are probably the wrong words- because I always sing the wrong words.)

I may or may not be a bit hormonal today.
Having ovaries and a hysterectomy leaves a monthly cycle without any evidence of a cycle.  
So- I sometimes feel particularly emotional and can't ever really blame hormones.
Consider yourself warned.

My compassionate soul really, really feels life.  I know pain and heartache, and there are times when I would give anything to take the experience part out of this "life experience".
You are like me, so you know what I'm talking about.

My personal life is tough right now.
(Yes, I know I'm not the only one who struggles.)

-I'm afraid of my upcoming surgery.

-I'm in constant physical pain/discomfort from a cycle of kidney, bladder (UTI), and yeast infections.  (Ughhhh!  What a pain in the bum/thorn in the side!!  I'm learning to rock physical pain, by the way.  Just sayin.)

-I'm a bit stressed as we try to create a functional budget to clean up a year of survival finances.  We're tight financially and have to spend very purposefully.

-I'm worried about my 8 month old preemie baby that most definitely is developmentally delayed- I think he'll catch up, but it is still a weight I carry.

-I have a hernia by my belly button that makes holding my big boy pretty painful.

-I'm worried about my bigger kids as we navigate normal coming of age issues like friends, respect, personal hygiene, morning/bedtime routines, etc. Being a mom is hard stuff.

-I'm tired, almost dead by the end of the day.  (Who isn't?)

-My house projects are becoming more urgent.

-I have a husband who has been strong for so long that I sometimes worry he's going to explode.

-This morning, that stupid daylight savings sure made 6am feel like 5am.

More than anything, I want to be stable and healthy enough to be able to help others who are struggling.

Not everyone.  Honestly, I can't stand people who blame other people for their misery or spend their lives pointing out everyone else's faults with a feeling of entitlement.

But oh how I want to help sweet souls who are trying but having a hard life.

Can I tell you a few stories without violating trusts placed on me?  
I don't know.

-Dear friends of mine have been living with their precious family in a house that is condemnable.  Instead of claiming bankruptcy years ago, this admirable, hardworking family chose to pay off their debts by budgeting and sacrifice.  They climbed out of their hole and just paid off their last debt this month!  

They also received a message from their landlord saying if they were not out of their rental in two weeks he was going to put locks on their door and start ripping out their heater.  Yes, this is real.  

They have packed and moved into temporary housing with a lot of help from the many who love them.  But, oh how hard!  To top it off, two of their sweet kids have been sick as they tried to move.  Their baby has been throwing up with the stomach flu!!  {Father-bless this family and wrap them in you loving, merciful arms.  OR, make my arms strong (and healthy) enough to help more.}

-I have another dearest friend whose husband just received a kidney transplant.  This has been a difficult week for them and their teenage daughter.  {Father- bless the kidney to work and bless this gift of new life to inspire changes to help make a new, healthier man.}

-There is another (so many more) sweet elderly woman who goes to church with me.  She is the sweetest.  She has no teeth, she speaks softly, but she is a constant voice of love and encouragement.  I love her.  She is hurting.  Her second shoulder surgery hasn't gone well.  Her bones were too brittle for the screws they were going to place.  A sweet friend (without insurance) who recently had open heart surgery and now has an awful chest cold.  She is waiting for her Obamacare to kick in (April 1st) to get a check up.  {Father- hold these women near you and help me to bring them comfort this week.}

-I have cousins who are struggling with extreme addictions.  They need help that I wish I (or anyone) could give.  {Let them feel hope!  Let them see the next right step in front of them and give them courage to step forward.  Give me wisdom to know all I can or cannot do.}

My list goes on and on.  Everyone, everyone I know and love has trials small or large.

My heart swells for those of you who are dealing with health issues, personally or trying to support someone you love through hard, hard, HARD.  

Mental issues, money issues (!!), lonely issues, faith issues, balance issues, kid or spouse or lack of spouse issues, etc.  Friends I love are dealing with the death of their only son, mother, sister, best friend.  

Parents I know have children who are addicted to drugs, who are missing, who are struggling in school, struggling with various disabilities, struggling with potty training or daycare.  

I love people who are overwhelmed with extracurricular activities, pregnancy and a house full of children.  
I also love people who are overwhelmed with homeschooling, infertility, and loneliness.

Boy- I SEE the storms of life.  
(Without even leaving my little town-- don't even tell me about the world's problems.)
Life's storms are real and almost all of us are wet and wind blown.
Today, I want to lay down, wet on the sidewalk and let our loving, eternal, compassionate Heavenly Father dry me off in the sun.  
I need to feel His warmth, His comfort and His truth.

I feel your growing pains friends.
I am not even perfectly loving and if I could, I would ease your pain.  
I would take your pain for you and I'm not even close to the Savior.
I would give you the Balm of Gillead if I had one and if I thought it would help.
I have nothing more to offer than a silly meal now and then, a shout of encouragement, a hug, a heart that loves, a mind that constantly seeks inspiration, and one eternal truth.

This world is worth the challenges and trials that we will experience.  
We are loved, we are known, and we are blessed as we suffer.
We have individual access to divine help.  
All prayers are answered.
We are not alone and we are not the first to travel this beaten path.

Government cannot solve all our problems and our Father will not solve all our problems.  
But, He is walking with us.  
He IS helping us, holding us, and trying to inspire us.
These experiences are sanctifying and strengthening.

Today my soul is burning with love, compassion, hope and gratitude.
I pray for YOU and me.
I pray that we will SEE Him, HEAR Him, FEEL Him, and KNOW Him.
Today.  Today we are loved.
I am loved and I know it.
And that is why- this dang hard life is good!

Want to me to tell you how I know God loves me?

Because I feel His love through good people.  I know Him because I see Him in you.

Because yesterday I was tired and aching to serve more.  A sweet friend filled my car with food while we were at church.  She gave to me out of her want, she is a true saint of a woman.
I'm certain she intended that mega meal to feed my family for a week as I head into my upcoming surgery, and it will (I just snuck another piece of homemade cheesecake a second ago)!
But, yesterday I was able to bring dinner to two of my above mentioned friends without having to cook for them or my own family.
God loves me and He knows I ache biggest for others.
So, He blessed me, through her, to be able to help them.
Only an all knowing, all loving Father could orchestrate that level of mercy.

I know He is real.
We are known.
We are loved.
We will always be able to share with others as we learn to listen to that still small voice as it comes to us daily.

Life is good because He who created life is good.
I know it.


Lindsey said...

Your words are beautiful and made me feel better today. Thank you!

Rebekah said...

This was my favorite part:

"Life's storms are real and almost all of us are wet and wind blown.

Today, I want to lay down, wet on the sidewalk and let our loving, eternal, compassionate Heavenly Father dry me off in the sun."


Love you!!

cheryl cardall said...

I love how in the midst of your storm you still see others and long to help them. That speaks volumes about your character.

The Perry Family said...

I so needed this! Thanks so much for posting!

Sarah said...

Sometimes it's overwhelming how many "needs" there are in the world. And on top of caring for a family, I think it's SO hard to have health issues-I feel for you-because we are required every day to give so much and it's frustrating when we can't.
Beautiful prayer!

Liza Matthes said...

From someone who you have blessed with your wise words when they needed sincere clarity... thank you! I am so grateful to have had your friendship through such challenging times. I continue to feel that love through your posts. I was so sad to see you leave us here in Texas, but I know your path was to bless others personally from Oregon to New York. You, sweet Jen are a force! A force of precious everlasting goodness!

Liza Matthes said...
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