I have debated for a couple of days over what I might post about, as some of what is on my heart is NOT upbeat nor particularly newsworthy, or even probably all that interesting to most. And yet, as I thought about it, this blog is (at least partially anyway) suppose to be a journal of my thoughts and feelings, and if I only write about the GOOD STUFF (which let's face it does makes for the FUN and good blog reading posts) how well will any of my grandchildren really get to know me someday as they read through it? Or even more importantly, how will they ever know how much I depend on God to get me through these times, and how faithful He really is to do so? Because like it or not my life is a LARGE mixture of good times and bad. Soo I decided to write at least some of the feelings I have been having in the last few days down. If you chose not to read this, I can't say as I blame you, and let me say right from the very beginning there is very little to say or comment on to ANY of it so PLEASE don't feel like you must, as that is not really what this post is about.
I go about most of my life in a VERY upbeat frame of mind. I have MUCH to be grateful for, and have truly led a life that has been blessed in MANY different ways. I DON'T like to complain. I DON'T like to whine. I DON'T want to ever fall in a pattern of feeling sorry for myself. I believe I have the power to choose where to "park my heart" in other words. I believe in the biblical principle that is given to us in Philippians.
Phil. 4 8 - 9 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
The ending of these verses is the promise and the part I like to dwell on most. "IF" we set our minds on the GOOD things in this life, REALLY meditate on them, then God's peace (which is a peace ONLY He can give ~ can't get it from the world or anything this world has to offer) WILL be with us. I have leaned on this verse soo many times in my life I could never count them up, and it has ALWAYS proved to be true. God is faithful and true to His promises. But of course it would then stand to reason that IF I let my mind dwell on the negative, the ugly, the hard, the bad, the unfair and on and on then I will lose that peace of God somewhere in the whirlwind of my anxiety, pity and fret. The old "put garbage in, take garbage out" comes into play. So much of the walk of the Christian comes down to the mind. Romans 12:2 speaks of the essential place of being transformed by the renewing of your mind and 2 Corinthians 10:5 speaks of the importance of casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. What we CHOOSE to meditate on matters, whether we think it does or want it to or not. So therefore it should be OBVIOUS to me by now the important of starting each day asking the Holy Spirit to fill me with His power, and bring ALL of my thoughts into captivity that aren't in line with His. And yet, even knowing down deep in my soul the truth of all of this I have felt myself in the last few days feeling somewhat down. I am VERY tired of being in pain. It has been particularly bad recently. The other night my knees literally burned they hurt soo bad. My lower back hurt. My hips hurt. My ankles hurt. My neck hurt. I am not sure if it was the rain coming (some say you feel it really bad if you have arthritis) or more likely it was because I had been a little more active than usual the two days prior. And trust me, I hadn't done much. I did a little shopping (had to get a Valentine's present for my hubby) and had walked quite a bit with my mom looking for a senior apartment dwelling for her to consider moving into. And here is where my thoughts really got out of control. My 78 year old, stroke victim mom has more ability to get around then I do!! Most of those senior citizens I saw that day did as well! I feel VERY old before my time, and am forced to do sooo little, else I am in the pain I felt the other night. I am tired of it. I watch MUCH older women whisking by my window on walks, puttering in their flower beds, and just generally getting around soo much easier than me it seems. I recently heard of an old friend of my mother's (she is 81) who is still winning first place ribbons for her quilts and pies at the county fair, is taking a new cooking class, goes to an exercise class 3 times a week, teaches a weekly women's Bible study group, AND (now here was the real kicker) just recently modeled in a fashion show for older women. She is a former model and school teacher and is as beautiful now as she was in her 30's and 40's. And to finish this all off is one of the kindest, most giving, Godly Christian woman it has ever been my good fortune to know. Now of course I know the danger of comparing yourself to ANYONE...because after all it is all in who you compare yourself to. I might not be able to do as much as some of these women, but compared to those who can't even get out of their beds, sit paralyzed in wheel chairs, or even have to have machines breathe for them, I am a world athlete. I do light housekeeping every day, all of our laundry, cook and prepare our meals, visit and play with my grandkids, drive my mom around on many of her errands as well as my own, and many, many things that keep my mind and hands busy. And when I get enough weight off I will do the surgery to repair my knees and hopefully open up a whole new world for myself. I do realize I DON'T have to wait to get all of my weight off, though my doc. did recommend getting quite a bit of it off first, but I am not really ready mentally to put myself through another major surgery just yet anyway. So I wait. And I follow my diet as best as I can. I feel like I am crawling in that department though I have lost 11 and half pounds in 6 weeks which I guess is really pretty good and as good as I should expect. But there is SOOO much more to go.
I am in a much better place today with all of this, which is why I considered not writing about the struggle I have had the last few days. And yet, I know what an important part the Lord has played in this struggle, which is why I felt like I just had to get it down. He gently reminded me (again) of what I DO have and how grateful I am for all of it. Let me just mention a couple of them....The fact that I don't have to work to put food in my mouth or a roof over my head as I am not even sure how I even could. That it was AFTER my 4 children were raised before this arthritis really flared it's ugly head as I know many aren't that fortunate and have to deal with the busyness of kids in the midst of their pain. My husband who waits on me all he can and does so without even really thinking about it. The other morning after I had showered and dressed I came out to my favorite comfy chair to find he had my various ice packs packed and waiting for me there, and my tea hot and ready. The fact that I have yet another grandbaby coming to love and cherish. The fact that my general health is really very good and I feel WONDERFUL as long as I don't move around much. The fact that there even is such a thing as knee replacement...The list could go on and on I assure you. We serve a mighty and loving God and He has loved me with an everlasting love which I have done nothing to deserve. And what better thing is there to post about?
Jer 31: 3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
So there you have it. I have many other things I could share, but this is long and I will wait for another time. Hope you are all having a good week, and remember to meditate on all the Lord has blessed you with.