I’m already off track with my plans for the new year. Since retirement is still somewhat new for me (this is the first January I’m not heading out to a job), I created a plate-full of tasks to begin as soon as the holidays were done. Some are written down, others are just sitting in the middle of a table waiting for completion.
If you missed Friday’s blog, so did I. Couldn’t write it.
Instead, I went to the clinic and found out why I’ve been having sharp pain in my ear. Fluid in both ears. Ah! That accounts for the spinning room Friday morning. Started antibiotic but all weekend I alternated between the bed/couch/recliner and minimal household maintenance. A brief spurt of energy found me climbing an 8-ft ladder to hold up a ceiling fan for Larry so he could insert tiny screws into tiny holes in the partially mounted fan. That was about it for Saturday for me! Made some soup and hit the couch.
This whole sensation of dizziness and fatigue make it hard to concentrate. Found myself a bit wobbly on my feet Sunday morning after Bible class. Maybe heels were a bad idea this Sunday.
Ever since I turned 60 I’ve decided I probably won’t get cancer; I’m just going to have a little bit of everything else. I’ve expected cancer to pop up for years because we have a family legacy of cancer deaths — parents, grandparents.
Now that I’m 65 I have a collection of chronic “conditions”. None are disabling at this point, just inconvenient and bothersome: food allergies, asthma, arthritis, knee cartilage, acid reflux, hiatal hernia, irritable bowel syndrome. Fluid in my ears just goes along with the allergies. So add irritable bowel syndrome to an earache and dizziness, and it can be more than inconvenient and bothersome.
When some ailment slows me down, I tend to vegetate – watching TV or reading, Sudoku or Solitaire on my Ipad, or knitting. I could concentrate on one for a little while this weekend, but nothing worked for long. My daily routine of yoga, meditation, and counting joys slips away as well. With plenty of time to think, I should be able to write this blog. But all day I’ve just been writing a paragraph here and there.
Reading in Jesus Calling today I find what I need back on the January 4th entry.
“I want you to learn a new habit. Try saying, ‘I trust You, Jesus” in response to whatever happens to you.” That’s what I need to do. In the midst of this fuzzy thinking, I need to trust. How simple! But of course, it is not simple.
This is about trusting in the small things, trusting that I will be able to get the kitchen cleaned up, or the laundry folded.
For some reason we know we must trust God in the big things – the life-threatening things. I have a dear friend facing a serious battle with cancer. So many people are praying for her. I know she is trusting God in this matter – what else can be done? I have another friend whose 90 year old father is recovering from surgery. He has lived such an active life, even until 90. She is trusting God to take care of him – whatever God chooses.
But here are the verses that make me pause when I’m in the midst of one of these “conditions”.
“Always be joyful. Pray continually and give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18
I’ve learned to count the joys daily this past year, and I believe that is how to pray continually. But I still find it hard to give thanks that I’m unable to take care of daily chores. So as I rest in the living room, I realize that I’ve packed Christmas upstairs (and soon to be scooted under the bed for a year) and have given my houseplants the light they need. This is a blessing that I am thankful for. Rearranging my “stuff” helps the “nester” in me. There’s a certain balance or satisfaction that I seek, and I’ll know it when I see it.
Shifting Christmas decor into cupboards, pulling out a few things I’ve been storing, and placing them in a new spot gives me a fresher perspective. The clay figure reminds me of Mama’s time in Haiti as a nurse in Cap Haitian. This clay pot is actually a soup tureen Jennifer brought back from her mission trip to Venezuela.
My thanksgiving on these days of resting require looking at small bits of improvement – ear pain is improving. No irritable bowel syndrome issues today.
So here are my new habits to establish for 2013:
- Say, “I trust You, Lord” in response to whatever happens.
- Give thanks, whatever happens.
- Join Ann Voskamp in the Romans Project – memorizing 2 verses a week for the year from chapters 1, 8, and 12 in the book of Romans. Click here to find more information about this. The verses are already divided, so you can print out each week and glue them into a small notebook like I did or on 3 x 5 cards. These chapters in Romans provide us with such wisdom for daily living as well as a sure promise of hope.
Keep on counting!