It seemed a good idea at the time. It began late one night as I changed the bed sheets while watching an episode of "The Dick Van Dyke Show." It was a funny episode. Somewhere between the twisting and tugging of sheets and my laughter during the show—I pulled one of my ribs out of place. I've done this before so am familiar with the pain. I knew right away what had happened.
I've spent the last three weeks without my computer. The first week was okay, even though I had nothing to do besides watch TV. The second week I started to become anxious and depressed because I didn't have what I consider to be my lifeline. My laptop is the only way I can read the Bible, write my blog, and communicate with people through email, texting and phone calls.
Kati was diagnosed with Lyme disease in early June 2012, just weeks before she moved to Philadelphia. It was good to get answers and know why she was feeling lousy, but it was rather unfortunate timing from my mom point of view. Right when she was set to leave and take care of herself, I felt a deep calling to hold her close and protect her. Kati was ready to go, and honestly, before her diagnosis, I had come to believe it was best. As close as we are, it was clear that we could only handle one woman in the house - especially in the kitchen.
I believe there is a sweet spot in our relationship with God that is a refuge and a guide to us in the many and diverse difficulties in our lives. From the heavy duty issues like grappling with a terminal illness, a debilitating accident, a broken marriage, depression, or to the prickly thorns of our insecurities and the stresses of everyday relationships and activities.
I've recently been faced with mourning the loss of my father, again. I didn't grow up with my father. I lived with him briefly the summer before starting high school. We were not close when he died over 10 years ago. I didn't want to go to the funeral and I remember being so angry at him for taking his own life. A wise mentor and friend told me at that time, "Go, you will mourn this loss at different stages in your life. Go, or you will regret it." So, I went. Looking back now, I am glad I did.
In my quest to worship and praise God, I came across some scriptures that revealed another way we can praise him. This involves remembering and proclaiming the deeds of God. The scriptures below reveal the connection between praising God and remembering and proclaiming his great deeds:
I am amazed by the perseverance of women in my life who allow tough times to strengthen them. I know a young woman who lived through the midst of the Civil War in Liberia. Rape and molestation were rampant. She became pregnant when she was 14 years old and her parents abandoned her.
Recent conversation between my daughter and granddaughter:
Gracie: Mommy, can you take my trash? (Gracie holds out a chewed on apple core.)
Mommy: Gracie, I'm driving. You can just put it in the paper bag you are holding.
Gracie: I need you to take it.
Why does God allow difficult things to happen? I do not know the answer. Every time I read the news, look at Facebook, or talk to friends, I hear bad news. I often get sad and sometimes I get angry, but it bolsters my belief that I have to keep my mind set on things above and not on earthly things (Colossians 3:1-2). I do not know the purpose of me being paralyzed, but I do believe that suffering is part of our journey.
I sink into my friend's cushy new loveseat with a grateful sigh. The eight-hour drive from my house to hers has left me exhausted—I don't have great stamina as a long-distance driver, but today Cassidy and I have braved the long country roads between North Carolina and Georgia, just the two of us, for the rare treat of a mother-daughter trip to visit friends.