Tag Archive | Paul

Just Because You Can’t See it Doesn’t Mean it Isn’t There

I’m having one of those days again. The sad part is, I haven’t had one of these days for a while and I had been hoping I wouldn’t have a day like today particularly this week when I have a lot to accomplish.

You see, I have one of those invisible diseases. One of those diseases people think you’ve made up just because you want attention or because you want to get out of doing something. Believe me, that’s not the case. I did not choose to have this disease and I’d do anything to get rid of it, but there is no cure….once you have it, it’s always there with you.

Arthritis. There, now you know what I’m referring to. Arthritis loosely translated is “an inflammation of joints”. What this little word doesn’t tell you is everything that goes with that “inflammation of joints.” It doesn’t tell you about the stigma of having an “invisible disease”, nor does it tell you about the excruciating pain that comes with this disease no one can see.

Everyone tries to be helpful…..”You just need to rest more.” (I could sleep and lay around all day and all that would do for me is make me stiffer.)…..”You just need to lose a little weight, that’ll help.” (Some days it’s all I can do to walk across the room….the stamina to excercise is just not there.)….”Maybe if you took Tylenol.” (I could pop an M&M and get just as much relief.) So many “helpful” hints given, all with good intentions, but most of them have been tried or just not an option.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate everyone’s concern, but there are times when I just wish someone would just say something like, “I’ll pray for you,” or “Can I give you a hug?” Those things would do so much more than advice no matter how sincere it is.

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Yes, today was one of those days. One of those days where I wasn’t sure my legs would hold me up until I got across the room. A day when my knees snapped, crackled and popped louder than my breakfast cereal. A day when my arthritis med worked as well as tic tac would for pain. A day where I just wanted to lay in bed and cry because I hurt so bad. But, I didn’t do that….I kept going despite the pain and hurt.

Some people say, “You look fine to me.” It’s those times I would love to be able to let them feel what I feel and experience what I experience. They wouldn’t be so quick to say, “You look fine.” I wish people would understand that when I ask for a chair because I need to sit down it isn’t because I’m lazy…..it’s because I’m hurting and my knees feel like they’re about to give out. I wish they would understand why I can’t walk as fast as they can and perhaps slow their pace to keep up with me so I don’t feel like the slow poke of the bunch. I wish that even my doctor would be more understanding. He tries to help relieve my pain. But when he asks me if he could decrease the dose of medication or try something else like an over-the-counter medication (all of which do nothing for the pain), I wish he wouldn’t look at me like I’m a drug-addict when I say, “no, I can’t.” I’ve tried going without my medication….I can’t make it more than a day without it.   I wish when I use my handicap placard at the grocery store and get out of my van that people wouldn’t look at me as though they were disgusted because I’m “obviously not handicapped.” I wish those same people would ignore me when I chose to use an electric grocery cart because I can’t walk through the entire store.

Oh, there are many that understand. In fact, the other day at the grocery store, a lady saw me looking at the shelves of food. She stopped beside my “scooter” and said, “Can I reach something for you?” I thanked her, but declined (what I needed was right in front of me). I saw her often through the store, she was much older than me, old enough to be my mother. She was so polite and offered to let me go ahead of her many times. Even at the check out, she offered me the spot in front of her. I thanked her for being so nice, since so many people aren’t. She said, “It’s nothing. I would want people to do the same for me. I have many friends with arthritis and mobility issues. It’s hard.” Wow! Here was a person who got it! Even though she couldn’t see my disease, she knew. I wish there were more people like her.

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I have many friends who suffer from these invisible diseases….Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, or worse yet, cancer….just to name a few. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It’s real…very real.

But I have hope. I have hope that once I reach age 50, I might be able to get a knee replacement(s) because health insurance will then deem me “old enough” to have the surgery. I have hope that God can heal even chronic and debilitating diseases such as this (and honestly, in past months, He has given me more good days than bad!). I have hope that when I do get to heaven, there will be no more canes, no more electric grocery carts, no more pain meds, no more handicaped placards, and no more ignorance.

The apostle Paul knew about suffering. After all, he had a “thorn in the flesh.” But Paul also wrote in Romans 8:18  “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” I think he wanted us to know that we don’t have dwell on our suffering and pain. We should dwell on what God can and will do for us. That’s difficult to do when you’re having a bad “invisible disease” day, but I think it’s exactly the medicine that might be the best for us.

♥Miriam

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Good & Evil, the Battle of 4-Letter Words

Okay, I know from the title you’re wondering if I’ve lost my mind. But honestly, I haven’t. It was Katie’s softball practice on Thursday evening that got me to think about 4-letter words, good ones and bad ones. Why? Because there was a young man in attendance who freely used 4-letter words in his conversations, mostly the f-bomb, and I did not appreciate his language one iota! However, it made me think how some 4-letter words can be good. That evening I had thought about the day….it had been a doosey….and how 4-letter words made up so much of that day.

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1st, some of the bad 4-letter words of the day. (Don’t worry, you won’t have censor anything….these are pretty tame by many standards!)

WAKE – something I shouldn’t HAVE DONE, but I got up and WENT to WORK, EVEN though I FELT SICK.

SICK – how I FELT and Katie FELT pretty MUCH the whole day (though we BOTH had different illnesses).

COLD – the temperature outside at the BALL practice. No one could get WARM, and we had to listen to THAT obnoxious FOUL boy who KEPT swearing.

RAIN – it had the nerve to start spitting THIS nasty stuff during practice, which MADE everyone EVEN MORE miserable and COLD.

TEAR – Katie started crying PART way through the practice because her stomach HURT, and she too was COLD and achey.

FELT – WHAT I did to Katie’s forehead to see if she had a fever. Thankfully, she didn’t, but she did LOOK PALE.

HOME -where we decided to go after practice and picking up a BITE of supper because it was 8:00 p.m. and NONE of us had eaten yet.

PALE – apparently how Katie looks prior to having to throw up.

PUKE – WHAT happens WHEN Katie hollars FROM the backseat of the van and SAYS, “Daddy! PULL OVER, PULL OVER!”

MESS – WHEN the PUKE doesn’t quite MAKE it the whole way out of the van.

GAGS – WHAT David DOES WHEN he GETS out of the van to try and clean up the MESS.

YAWN – THIS was all I could do (after all, if I clean up PUKE, I PUKE too) because my COLD medicine was kicking in.

But then there were good 4-letter words once we got home. Those 4-letter words made everything better and the rest of the evening was so much more enjoyable.

BATH – how Katie warmed up once we got HOME.

WARM – how a NICE fuzzy blanket and housecoat WILL MAKE you FEEL.

PURR – WHAT the cat did WHEN she curled up NEXT to Katie. I think she was trying to comfort her.

COLA – WHAT Katie got to sip on to settle her stomach.

PINK – Katie’s color after puking again and saying she was starting to FEEL better.

TUCK – WHAT we did WITH Katie WHEN she started to FALL asleep. I remade her bed and DAVE carried her to it where she was tucked in WITH her precious “BLUE BABY” DOLL and CALI the cat.

LOVE – WHAT I FELT as DAVE ushered me to bed and proceeded to TUCK me in too. ♥

KISS – a sweet expression of LOVE THAT DAVE placed on the top of my HEAD as he SAID goodnight. ♥

HOME – where everyone is THAT you LOVE, and you can be SAFE.

Notice, of all the 4-letter words I used today, not one of them was profane. Not one of them tore anyone down or disgusted anyone (well maybe the puke did). So in the battle of GOOD vs. EVIL, I believe the good 4-letter words will win each time. We’d all do better in this world if we could just think about what we say before it travels out of our mouths. Your words can encourage or discourage. Think of how you would want to be spoken to.

Paul taught us this in Ephesians 4:29 – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (NIV)

♥Miriam

It’s the Little Things

I keep mentioning that I want share about God’s provision as I go on with this blog. God’s provision is not always obvious and sometimes it screams out, “Look! Look what God did for you!” Obviously, it’s much easier to notice those times when His provision is clearly evident. But, have you ever considered His little ways of provision?

It’s in those not-so-obvious moments that God will provide some of the greatest things that we don’t even dare ask or hope for.

Consider those near-misses when you’ve been on the road and someone pulls out in front of you. You somehow get stopped just in time. Was that God’s provision? Sure it was!

Ever have one of those moments when you’re at the grocery store and the bill comes out to just the amount you have in your checkbook or wallet.  (This is something that recently happened to me! My grocery bill was climbing and I wasn’t sure I’d have enough to cover it. My eyes bugged out as I saw the total! Then the cashier hit the button that took off the bonus savings with my card, scanned the coupons, and miracle of miracles—I had just enough with $0.18 to spare!) Was that God’s provision? It sure was!

I had shared before about seeing God provide for my family since going into a full time job in Chrisitian ministry. Some of the ways He’s provided have been huge! But a lot of His provision has been in little things. One of my favorite stories of His provision comes in the form of a coat.

Katie put on her winter coat she uses for school earlier this winter and we discovered it was now too small for her. The sleeves ended just below her elbows! This was something I hadn’t anticipated. After all, just a week or so before, it fit just fine! As Dave and I discussed how, where, and when we would replace the coat, I received a message from a friend on Facebook. She asked what size clothes Katie was currently wearing. “10-12,” I replied.

“Great! I have a friend who’s getting rid of some of her daughter’s old clothes and they’re 10-12’s! Do you want them?” she asked.

“Sure!” I said. The thought of Katie needing a new coat had already left my mind.

We chatted for a while and made arrangements to meet so I could pick up the clothes. As we closed out our conversation, she added, “Oh! There’s something I forgot to tell you!”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Well, there’s a brand new coat in this bag, never worn.”

Oh wow! Really? I quickly shared how this was an answer to prayer.

“God provided didn’t He!” she exclaimed.

“Yes, He did!” He provided in something as small as a girl’s winter coat. He takes care of even our smallest needs.

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So then, why is it so hard to trust that He’ll provide for ALL our needs? It’s part of our sinful human nature. Often we have the mentality that if we can’t provide the need, then it’s something we just will have to do without. But when we allow God to work in our lives, He’ll provide all our needs.

Paul says this well in Philippians 4:19 – “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

Think about all the little ways God has provided for you! You’ll find they add up rather quickly!

♥Miriam