Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Stop and Smell the Daisies

My life is unpredictable.  At times that can be frustrating.  Because of the autoimmune disease I have I never know how I will feel from day to day.  Sometimes I wake up and feel strong and know it will be a good day health wise and other days are more difficult. They start out good and go down-hill fast.  Those days generally hit when I have free time to do what I want or have a list of things I would like to accomplish.  Most of my time ends up being spent resting in bed.

I was at a worship night at our church recently and the pastor shared a passage from the Bible that jumped out to me.   Actually a specific number jumped out to me.  It is found in Matthew 9:20-22

Then a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years came behind Jesus and touched the edge of his coat.  She was thinking, "If I can just touch his clothes, I will be healed."

Jesus turned and saw the woman and said, "Be encouraged, dear woman. You are made well because you believed." And the woman was healed from that moment on. (NCV)
I thought as the passage was shared… this woman had been “sick” for 12 YEARS before she ever got better.  Wow!  That is a LONG time.  As I thought a little longer I realized something.  I have been sick for SIX years now with this autoimmune disease.  A thought came to my mind…  Would I be willing to wait SIX MORE years to be healed from this disease? 

I thought about it with a lot of emotion attached.  This has been a rough six years on me and my family.  I have had a lot of ups and downs.  There have been lots of scary moments, lots of frustration, frustrating side-effects (too many to list), memory-making events I have missed with my family because I was too tired to go…. the list goes on.  I have felt near death more than once and my family has had to watch it all. 
I have also seen God work amazing things as a result of this sickness.  He has spoken to my heart in my deepest, darkest hours and comforted me.  He filled me with peace and gave me the strength to go on.  He has opened up many doors for me to share with others of His love and never ending faithfulness.  So, would I be willing to “wait” six more years.  By the end of the service I had to say “yes” to God.  He knows what is best for me whether I like the process or not.  I’m in for the long haul with Him… in good times and bad I will continue to cling to Jesus.

You know when you are sick, you have a chance to sit back and think about what is really important.  Everything slows down in a sense and you begin to re-evaluate your life.  What is really important takes precedence over what needs to get done?  I remember when I first got sick learning this lesson the hard way. 
My friends set up a schedule of sorts to help my family out.  I had two kids under the age of six and a family household to balance.  I definitely needed help.   They helped with cooking, cleaning, and watching the kids while Al worked and I sat on the couch.  The hardest thing for me ever to do was… “to sit.”  Watching someone else do what I wanted to do and do “my” way drove me crazy.  The bad part was that I couldn’t even tell them.  My voice was weak at that time and every time I talked my speech would slur.  It was very frustrating.  It was so hard to sit while someone else took care of me.  I learned in that moment that some things didn’t matter as much as I thought they did.

As I got better little by little, I tried to keep that mindset.  There were moments
when I didn’t want my boys to see me sick, but Al would bring them upstairs to lay on the bed with me and watch TV… just so they could be with me.  Their hugs and kisses brought a smile to my heart.  My facial muscles were too weak to allow me to smile physically at that time.  I learned that the floor could be dirty, the sink could be full of dishes, the laundry could overflow, but what mattered most were the memories I was making with my family. Those are what they will keep forever when I am long gone.

It is a constant battle for me to keep things in perspective.  The necessary things versus those tedious distractions battle for my attention.  I try to be sensitive to my family and their needs and strive to “stop and smell the daisies” in a sense.  Meaning to not be in such a hurry in this thing we call life.  Life is precious and fragile.  What we do with it matters and impacts others for all eternity.  I want to make my life count.

All that to say… some things aren’t that important to me anymore.  Rushing home, passing cars on the road carelessly to save a few minutes… Not important.  Having the perfect, clean, house… Not AS important (LOL… I can’t help myself), caring what others think of me… Not important.  Trying to make everyone happy… Not important.  Making lots of money…. Not important.  Being gone every night of the week doing something… Not important.  Having all the coolest or trendiest things…. Not important.  Where we live or what we do career-wise... Not important.

What IS important to me is… spending quality time with my family, making life-long imprints on the hearts of my kids, using my circumstances to touch the hearts of others to draw them closer to God, making my life count for something, and living each day with purpose knowing it is a gift from God.

I don’t want to get so busy that I miss God moving and working all around me.  Do you know how many sunrises and sunsets I have missed?  How many changing of the leaves or blooming of the flowers in spring have I rushed by?  I want to enjoy every day with my kids and never miss out on one special event they experience.  Don’t be in a hurry friend.  We only have one life to live.  Every day is a new start.  Make today your best adventure yet!

Living to leave a legacy,