Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day --my wish for you



Labor Day 2014
For me, Labor Day simply means an end to the summer and a pause in the tourist traffic in my Pocono Mountain home. (It will pick up once more when the leaves turn their bright shades of farewell).  For my husband it is a day of respite.  It is another Saturday only without the trip to the grocery store.  For my daughter it is a normal Monday as she always has Mondays off.  For me it is a day of sadness.  I no longer “labor” –not even in my own house.  The laboring days for this body no longer mean work.  Now If I labor it means to struggle to breathe –or to make it up a flight of stairs.
I miss working. I most of all miss getting a paycheck.  Chronic illness has robbed me: robbed me of the camaraderie between my workmates and myself; robbed me of the satisfaction of a job well done; robbed me of the sense of purpose working gave me; robbed me of the dignity that my uniform gave me.  My uniform meant: “I’m here to help you.  If you need anything, just ask me.”
I miss that. I miss swinging my legs into my Saturn and heading toward home and bed.  Now I do not drive. Now I cannot help anyone, not even myself.  Now my uniform is sweat pants and a tee shirt.
So what can “Labor Day” mean to me?

I just sent a “Labor Day” card to my daughter and husband.  Thanking them for working and providing for our needs.

For those of you who labor to get through a day---perhaps your feet entangle in the bog of weariness or depression or perhaps in the slough of chronic illness and pain---own this holiday.  It is yours too.  We each have our own efforts for which we deserve respite or recognition.  I wish I could wave my magic wand and give you a break from the hardship of labor in your life. The labor of caring for a sick husband or child; the labor of trying to stretch a dollar as you attempt to buy enough food to feed your family; the labor of raising a son or daughter and watching them abuse drugs or alcohol or be sexually indiscreet;  the labor of always struggling to say “no” to your cravings as you strive to lose X number of pounds so that you can respect and like yourself again; the labor of a new mother—who doesn’t have a partner to share the load of sleepless nights for her baby---and thus for her as well.  Or my wand would certainly wave for the refugees chased from their homes by governments or religions that make no room for them to coincide with each other ...and for those villages who are pillaged and raped and set to flames; for the homeless who don’t have shelter.
There certainly is a lot of pain in the world.  And for those of us who merely toil under a boss who  dislikes us or even for those like myself who  are not hungry nor homeless ---but “merely” in pain, looking at the list of hardships people labor under it can make our labor seem easy. 
Hmmm.

Easy labor.  Reminds me of the words of Jesus.,

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
NLT Matt 11:28-30

Yes.  That is it exactly what I would do with my “magic wand”….I would send you to the feet of Jesus, to learn how to rest…really rest; the kind of rest that reaches down to your very soul and allows you to  bask in the knowledge of his provision and concern for you.
This Labor Day, take the “Yoke” of Jesus on you and allow HIM to pull the weight that was previously yours alone to bear.  Be blessed and bask in his love.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Perchance to Sleep

I  have edited this article.  I made some ridiculous statement about my daughter not caring about my situation.....That statement was false and cruel.  My daughter does care.  As she stated to me this morning, there is really NOTHING she can do to help or to change my circumstances.  If there WAS something she could do, she certainly would.  I don't know why I wrote that--I was feeling sorry for myself and took it out on her. I feel really badly about this now and want to erase those words from everyone's memory who saw them..  Alexa.  I love you.....and I do not have a doubt that you love me too.  Please forgive me.



Today I had an MD appointment with my GP/Pulmonologist.  My Case Manager, Maureen drove me.  I told Dr D about the horrific pain in my right lower side that has wakened me for the past three nights with excruciating pain..  And I told him of the numbness and itching pain that has attacked my right thigh.  The doctor said "I really do think they are both caused by the same thing: your arthritic spine. Cynthia there is nothing more anyone can do for you.  You should go home and just rest."

That's it?  That's his prescription? Rest?
GRanted that is all I've felt like doing however I never seem to fall asleep in my room ...usually it's at church, in a meeting, in the car.....while holding a cup of coffee and being on  the computer. (YEAH...you KNOW what happens then!!)

So today I wanted to cry.  Nothing anyone can do?  Well, granted he has not met my God.  But in this case I have to sigh a little bit because despite all my prayers for aid and healing; despite all the pastor's prayers, my parents' prayers, my congregations' prayers  I have not gotten better.  It seems like --like it or not;---this is where God has me.  And it LOOKS like this is where he will keep me until he grants me the mercy of it coming to an end and me meeting him for myself and getting that glorified body.  But who am I ? I'm just a hiker on this Appalachian Trail with all it's hard climbs, frigid temps and torpid swamps.  Funny to call myself a hiker when I can barely make it from my bedroom down a short hall to the living room.  But I'll bet you anything that the energy I spend and difficulty I have in getting to the living room equals or surpasses the hardest portions of the Appalachian Trail. (My friends son is on the last leg of completing the Trail so he may want to argue that point with me later.  However, my statement stands.

Yesterday I was happy. It seemed to  me that my right hand (the worst of the two) was improving.  Less swollen, less pain and I could sorta-kinda make a fist.  However.  Today not only does the right hand hurt worse...my LEFT hand is excruciatingly painful when I try to pick  up anything...even a sheet of paper.  OH LORD will you NEVER remove the weight of your Hand on my head.  You are pressing and pressing.  This clay pot is not going to withstand the pressure.

God's Word said "He placed the lonely in families."  but on the other hand, when this lonely wench got impatient ....and placed MYSELF in a family.  Well.  Let's just say I didn't know all the secrets that God knew....and I've been living with them ever since.  So now I have my church family.  And there are some REALLY lovely women I've been delighted to slightly get to know.  And they are very wonderful and not one of them laughed when I slept through prayer meeting last Wed..  Some of them have been coming  to my house for Tea.....and it's been lovely to get to know them.

But now.   What do I do?

Rest.

If only I could rest at the prescribed times to rest!  If only I could lock my cat in the basement so she would not continually try to wake me up!  If only pain would go to sleep too!!

REST
Lord, grant me rest.  Let me have this night. Just this ONE NIGHT to be a solid block of sleep.  Please Lord Jesus.  Help me to sleep.  "I lay down and sleep in peace for the Lord God is with me"  I think that's how that Psalm goes.  If not it's a loose paraphrase.

But do I have to rest in the day time too?  Can I no longer work in my garden ....cook a meal that requires a recipe...???  Lord, if I can no longer enjoy such things....would you awaken my dormant
memory and help me to recall past pleasures?  It's terrible not being able to recall years past. (I lost many years of memories from ECT)....Help me to remember Lord. I still remember roller blading.  The wind in my hair, the speed skating arm swing....the absolute joy and freedom.  UNTIL.....after having steroid myopathy and becoming  weaker than I knew, I took a huge tumble and hurt myself ---not seriously--but enough to know that my blading days were over.  I do believe I will once again be able to blade in the Kingdom.

Anyway. I'm grateful to have that one memory anyway.
I'm off to sleep ...to dream. Perchance to sleep.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Self Doubts

I was just reading over at Twitter.  I've been told it's a great place to make some friends and to also build a platform.   I see all these clever phrases written by other women writers...women whom I know also speak.  I think if I had to speak I would start running and wouldn't stop until I met up with the shore line. I'm not a speaker. I'm also at times a lame "pray-er"...My mouth is incredibly dry from Sjogrens and add nerves to that and you would have to peel  my tongue from the roof of my mouth like you were peeling an orange.  It's SO hard to speak when your tongue has turned to glue.

And what about these clever/cute phrases.? Were they up all night coming up with it? Did they "lift it" from some written source?  Or are they endowed with nimble brains that can leap tall buildings in a single bound?  While I am befuddled in the brain fog that reminds me of the swamp fog that creeps in sometimes in swampy areas.  Yes.  That is me.  That is what my brain deals with.  I not only have a thought disorder which has symptoms like "poverty of thought"   and anxiety and terrible fear of looking stupid.  Add to that four autoimmune diseases with "Brain Fog" as a practically tangible (and unwelcome) symptom and you have a a world class tongue tied moron before you.  No I think I should stay away from Twitter. 

I heard an expression once. "It is better to be silent and have people wonder if you are a fool,  than to speak and to remove all doubt.."  Yeah.  That.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Thoughts in a changing world

I apologize for the length of time that has passed since my last post. 
I finished editing my book and then had a program error in my Microsoft Word.  I was able to fix it by saving my book under another title and then rebooting.  The problem righted itself.  Needless to say I was in quite a panic thinking I'd lost my manuscript.  I wish I knew what direction I was going to take with that  project.  Self publishing?  Or traditional?  I don't know and I have no idea in which direction it will go or when.

Are you ready for the bridegroom's arrival? Are your lamps trimmed? Do you have enough oil to keep them burning?  Are you dressed in the proper attire to attend the wedding feast?

Did you see the video of the beheading of the Christian journalist John Foster?  I shuddered when I saw the opening picture on the video...this enormous man, the executioner dressed all in black and John kneeling on the ground in front of this black-dressed devil.  I could not watch the video ....On on one hand, I wanted to.  But it made me too sick. Not sick at the grotesqueness. But sick at the blatant sin.  Sick that this is what is happening constantly to God's people.   Right now John is seated in the heavenlies and his blood calls from the ground testifying to the sin of the murderers..  Calling out to God for justice and retribution.

God will come to finally establish his kingdom....He will oust the murderers and send them to an eternity in hell.  But before that time there is more to come.  More bloodshed. More fear.  More courage.  I pray for those who suffer at the hands of the enemies.  I pray God's grace and mercy on them.  I pray that their courage and love and kindness will win the hearts of their captors.

I challenge the media to testify to the truth of what is happening in this world. To stop telling us stories of  puppies and kittens being mistreated and to start talking about the lives that are being lost...The fact that people are fleeing their homes and all of their possessions.  The fact that there is an enemy in this world.  Enemies that have committed themselves to destroy the followers of the God in Heaven..  An enemy who has dedicated themselves to destroy the lifestyle of those of us in this free country. Free for now.  But how long will it be free? It will only remain free if the people of God will stop playing church and get on their faces in prayer for our country.  "If My people will humble themselves and pray, then I will hear from heaven and heal their land" ....Heal us from what?  Materialism?  The damage done by our enemies?  The empty souls of the American people who prefer to close their eyes...not in prayer but simply because they prefer blindness than to understand the danger that confronts us as a people is we deny the God of Israel.  It is time to wake up.  It is time to weep and pray.  It is time to stand behind our brothers and sisters in the middle east and Africa as they suffer at the hands of their (OUR) enemies.

I'm sorry to go on a tirade.  But these things have been heavy on my heart.  Why does no one talk about them? Is it fear?  Fear gives the enemy power.  It is when we stand up in LOVE and say to them, "There is a God in Heaven who loves you too....but unless you humble yourself in prayer and give up your sinful ways, you will suffer for an eternity in payment for the wrongs you have perpetrated on God's people."  Ask God to grant you courage when the time comes when you shall need it.  Ask him to grant you love for your enemies.

Pray.
Praise.
Meditate
Fast
Worship

These are our weapons.  Make use of them.  Don't love God from a far off.  Draw close.  Let him whisper in your ear.  And then do as he says.