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Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Great Disappearing Act

So I've been sick with pneumonia for the month of September, yes the month!  I feel so much better than I did when this started but now I'm left with exhaustion, weakness and the repeating question "Are you coming?".  Like most people, my September comes in like an explosion, full of activities, celebrations and just a busy daily life.  So you can see, the timing is all off!!!  Not that there really would be a better time to get sick.  Maybe winter, to nestle into the couch with a comfy blanket and a box of tissues doesn't sound as bad as it does in September!!  Birthdays have come and gone, first soccer games (and several after) have come and gone, kick offs have been executed and enjoyed.  A lot of life is lived in September. Memories have been made and people are probably still talking about the Fall Kick-Off Nacho Bowl!  I, however, have missed them all.  Not easy.


However, here are a few of the memories that I have made in the month of September, all was not lost!!! haha!!

I can now say that I have watched television for four weeks straight!!  Never have I ever been able to say that! Ha! Me and Netflix are tight!! Let's see, I've watched four out of five seasons of "My Fair Wedding" with David Tutera, several seasons of "Kitchen Nightmares" with Gordon Ramsey, more movies than I can list or remember, including "Safe Haven" and "October Baby".  Needless to say, I needed tissues!!!

at least I had a window to look out of

I got in a good ab workout in the first few weeks due to the lovely tight chested hacking I did!  I believe I dropped a few lbs as well!!  I wore a comfy rut in my couch from being there for 10 plus hours each day.  I'm so glad it's a comfy couch!!!

I have played a few rounds of Monopoly Millionare (and won once) with my girls and then again with my boys and then with one of my girls and one of my boys!


Jaysen and Julia
 

Jessica and Julia
 

I spent some time outside and even got in a little walk around the yard last week.  A HUGE refresher for me!!



My parents came over in the beginning and brought me a "sick basket"!  What's that you may ask?  Well when my kiddos were smallish, I would make them up a basket of supplies when they were sick on the couch, it would include tissues (if the sickness required them), snacks, a juice cup, books to read, coloring books & crayons, small toys to play and of course it was wrapped with all the love and prayers for a quick healing that I could give.  They loved it. 

my sick basket
There is nothing worse (well, there is but for the sake of the story, go with me, m'kay?) than being alone and sick on the couch while the rest of your family happily lives out their days.  Talking, playing, laughing, etc.  A sick basket makes the sickee feel special when they are confined to such torture!!  So it was a very happy surprise to see my momma bring in that basket o' goodies!!  Magazines, tissues, Vicks Vapor Rub, cough drops, chicken noodle soup, snacks and more!

Let's see, what else..............well, I wrestled a bit, a lot actually.  I wrestled with the fact that I had to miss out on so many great activities.  On the one side of that was the sadness that I wouldn't be a part of those events, on the other side was the guilt of having to back out of responsibilities.  That was tough!!  I take my responsibilties very seriously and I don't like telling people No or that I can't uphold my end of things.  Although I am very aware of the fact that I had a perfectly good reason and no one would even second guess or question my reason, it is foreign to me to back out of something that I commit too.  There were eight events that I had to sit out of (and that was just the first TWO weeks)!!  Plus three out of my five children celebrated birthdays, well, there wasn't much of a celebration.  They pretty much came and went.  That was probably the hardest. It was really, really, really, really hard.

After getting antibiotics and a strong cough syrup, I wrestled with being forced to stop and just be still.  I don't do that well either :/  My friends and family are now laughing out loud (aren't you??)  I don't know how many people lovingly said something to the affect of "Well, I guess God had to slow you down somehow!"  I know they meant well, and I'm not saying that they aren't right, but honestly, I don't want, or rather I didn't want to hear that.  I'm out there doing good, why would He want me to stop??!! It made no sense to me!

would love love love to renovate this some day

I still haven't wrapped my head around that one, but I do know when He says REST, I will rest.  I was asked the question the other day, "Are you just resting or are you resting IN HIM?"  There is a very large difference and I'm sad to say that I've barely just rested and I don't think I've even come close (maybe a tiny bit) to resting in Him.  I believe that He knew it would be a struggle and that resting in Him may not even come until I am well on my way.  There are a lot of layers that He has to dig through in order to get to the raw places of my heart and mind. 

If you are anything like me, you know that there is a lot of work to be done and by golly, I have to do it and do all of it.  We (can I include you in this so that I don't feel like I'm just picking on myself?  I can? Thanks) WE tend to think that we are the only ones in the world that can do our jobs and seriously, if anyone else even dared to try to do our jobs, surely they wouldn't do it as well!!  Right?  So with that reality alone, there was a lot that I had to wrestle with in order to come to terms and admit that that is a stupid thought!!!  Do we truly believe that God can only use US?  Who would admit that?  Not m.....well, yes, I am admitting that. 

We Americans tend to wave our "busyness" high over our heads like a banner.  Like the busier we are, the more holy and righteous we are.  What silliness.  It couldn't be further from the truth.  The busier we are (even if its with holy things) the further away from God we can become.  In fact, we then become our own god, proclaiming "Look at all that I can accomplish!!"  and when people compliment us on that fact, our heads just swell up even more and more space develops in the chasm between us and our Father.  It's sad.  I can picture God sitting there, sighing and shaking His head while He patiently waits for us to have a lightbulb moment.


I'm glad that He will allow things to pop up, at the most inopportune times, to get our attention.  He has mine.  He didn't get it easily, that's for sure.  But He has it now.  Another thing that I've learned is that I tend to do everything because of what I think someone's expectations of me are.  That doesn't leave any room for true downtime or for saying NO.  Whether there is a tangible reason or just the pure need to say "no, I can't", I will typically push through, no matter what I'm feeling or needing, and just do it.  You asked, you need me, I must comply.

At this point in the sickness, I believe the pneumonia is gone.  I still have a cough, it's nothing really compared to the beginning, and I'm really, really tired.  I can hold a conversation easily enough and I'm not lethargic on the couch, so I appear fine.  It is expected that I would have returned to my "duties" by now.  But I haven't.  After receiving much wise counsel from others, I know that I need to take this really slowly.  I can't rush back just because I feel a big difference from when this started.  I don't want to end up back on the couch. 

Bill managed to snag the seat next to me
 on the couch once or twice
To continue telling my husband that I'm missing yet another weekend of soccer games is really, really hard. To see my 9 year olds face fall when I tell her I'm staying home is really, really hard.  The expectation that I will be there is great and rightfully so. Guilt is pounding at my door and I can't let it in.  Ugh, that's hard.....I'm sure you know how hard it is, or maybe you still fling the door wide open when guilt comes a knockin'.  Either way, we are all familiar with the power of guilt and condemnation.

Romans 8:1 says, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,"  Hmmmmm that's interesting!  I have been so tempted to just suck it up and push through, it's what I do.  It's what my husband does.  Standing up against that is a challenge.  But if I proclaim to know the truth and believe the truth, then I am required to follow the truth and not the lies.

There are a ton of lies that I believe and yet at the same time I say that I believe the Truth.  I can't have it both ways, I must choose who I will serve.  Boy am I thankful for His Grace!!!  He knows.  HE. KNOWS.  And He loves me anyway.  That is a beautiful truth!  One that I am desperately holding onto.

I don't know when I'll be back to regular life.  I don't know if this downtime will result in my saying NO to things more often, or if I will just be more mindful of times of rest, not merely rest, but rest in HIM.  I am taking each day and moment as it comes.  I know that I am getting better each and every day.  Thank you to those of you who have checked in on me and have faithfully prayed for me and for my family.  I can't imagine what things would be like over here if it weren't for my family.  Jessica, specifically.  She has gone above and beyond that of a 16, oooh sorry, SEVENTEEN year old would do.  She has cooked and cleaned and homeschooled her siblings for me along with carrying her own college workload and other resonsibilities.  My parents, husband and children are truly a blessing to me.  They continue to do what is needed and I know that I can always count on them.

I am going to try to put "me" first a little bit more.  I want time to blog regularly (its a committment that I made and I want to keep it), I want time to read, to spend time with friends and family, I want to Rest in Him, each and every moment of the day.  I want to say NO to guilt and condemnation and I don't want to believe the lies any longer.  I am a daughter of the King and that means that there is no place for the father of lies in my head, my heart or my home.

I would love, love, LOVE to hear from you!!  Please tell me how you've enjoyed the first month of fall!!  I want to hear about how you decorated your homes for the season, the events that you've been a part of, the experience of the sipping the first Pumpkin Spice Cappucino, all of it!  I promise not to get jealous, but I will sing praise and thanksgiving for the gifts that He's given you and me in the month of September!!

Be blessed <3 Lorraine

4 comments:

  1. You are a talented writer, very easy to read. We've been enjoying September, getting used to school, getting used to soccer, getting used to teaching Sabrina (nothing like Luke!). First pumpkin spice cap was very yummy, can't lie. I can bring you one if you want. Went to the Pumpkin Carve last night and hoping to get apple picking shortly. Glad to hear you are improving and sounds like this down time may have been just what you needed (but didn't want). There is still lots of fall for you to enjoy!

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  2. Sweet Lorraine! I'm sorry you've had such a rough September- but I am grateful for the lengths God will go to get our attention- He is pursuing you! Let Him woo you in these days of recovery. Not a moment will be wasted. And if I can recommend a book? Margin, by Richard Swenson. It's so helpful! Love you lots!

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  3. I'm glad you are finally starting to feel better!! We had a great time last month at the Renaissance Faire... twice!! Did some apple picking, applesauce making and kicked off a new 'school' year with the preschoolers :) I also made the first step in finally joining a homeschool group, Gwen made me promise we'd do it this year.

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  4. Love your post... it is such an important reminder for all of us... to slow down and pause... In Haiti, we have learned that lifestyle here is VERY different from the Northeast U.S. It is hard not feeling guilty when you come to a place that functions MUCH slower than what we are used to. God knew what He was doing (duh!) when He placed us here! Loving more time with Him, with my kids and in community. It is so healthy for us to slow down and to be still! Love and miss you lots. Looking forward to our coffee and skype date soon :)

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