Taking Turns

He needs me not but benefits just the same

And I am there to fill his tummy, help out at river races.

Then the nights return with my special kind of hell

And he brings me this or that to get the ravages of illness to stop.

Both are love in their simplest forms:

Meant to serve, to go beyond what is comfortable to desires of the heart.

Oh that my end could be gentler, the wretchedness, the pain

Making the care less traumatic between seemingly timed screams for hours on end.

But that is not our story at least for this season of life

(We define our bond in sickness and in health)

In moments at edges of the extreme . . . for over five years now.

We are weary from the journey with bodies broken with fatigue

Where only the Holy Spirit can infuse us with grace to carry us through the nights and days.

So when those pundits talk formulas of 50-50 or equations of sort

Plunge them into our caldron and see how the overflow of energies exceeds the common core.

Marriage is simply the art of taking turns without keeping score

The Heavenly Father sees the man, the woman and makes you what you are:

Instruments of His hands, ministers of His peace

Care that makes love come alive, pictures of His glory.

One day we will know why

 

 

kayak, canoe, racing, paddling, awards, ceremony, St. Joe River, Fort Wayne, competition, C2, Stellar, Steve Horney

Steve on the right, congratulating C2 Aluminum Canoe paddlers George and Tilman during awards the Three Rivers Fest 7.15.17

this all came about

In the meantime I will take my turn when it comes

And serve my beloved for a purpose beyond . . .

JJ

Into the clearing as the storm wanes

Psalm, Psalm 107:29, waves, Bible, storm, Jesus, calms the sea, hope, trials

The coming day after the darkest of nights

May be the one that redeems, the one where at last there is light.

Never a guarantee accompanies each sunrise

That moments later I will live and breathe without compromise.

The seizing of my being, the cries of despair

Have gone on too long little Julie:  even my bigger self can no longer repair,

The damage, the trauma, yes that goes beyond me

My Lord holds those tears that fill the seas of this earthly iniquity.

But one day I will be whole as He promised, oh yes He did

Joy replacing all the sorrow and where life will be just right, just as He said.

If next week brings some answers then so be it too

I do have wee bits of hope for some sleep now leaves me more rested, anew.

My brain can handle more of the stuff of life these days

With the exception of the medical provider’s drama where I have to focus the way.

I shall trust in my Savior whether or not we achieve the goal

Even if the storm inside wanes incomplete, in my spirit I shall always remain whole.

For my Jesus made me just as I am:  Just Julie, your friend

And you too Gentle Reader:  in His image welcome at His table now and til the end.

Won’t you dine in His presence with me unto glory eternally(?)

If we but believe the heavenly realms shall always be in the clearing for us to see!

**************

Yes, Ima gonna hang in there a little longer . . . You do too, k?  JJ

**************

 

Life 101

I really don’t think it works for me to have a young person in great health and some priviledge try and sell me on the latest fitness smoothie, butt workout, or prayer meditation. Pretty posts are meaningless to me!

So here goes an alternative from someone with decent skills and experiences from life but who is intensely focused on her health every day. I am “seasoned” by my years over 50 and fueled by the grace that comes with leaning on the Lord to see me through. If I can keep moving forward with crapoloaski (Polish, of course) all around and it makes a difference, so can you dear friends!

I keep going with a simple life-ism to, “do what you can with what you have where you are, with gratitude and reliance on the Christ who loves you, sees you, saved you, and gives you hope beyond that which you can see. Be a good steward of all the brains, stuff, experiences, and relationships I have been given.” Now break it down as follows:

break-it-down

MIND: Feed it or lose it. We must never stop learning. And deeper still: read the Bible, talk to Jesus, and blessings will come one way or another.

FOOD: Eat the food that provides fuel for your body even if you are tired or don’t feel like making it. (Avoid this and feel worse. Why do that?)

BODY: Move in a way for at least a few minutes TODAY that helps support the frame you live in if you want it work for you. Bear weight, even your own body weight, for best results.

WATER: Find water that tastes good to you to increase your hydration. Everything works better when, er, wet.

RELATIONSHIPS: Connect with someone you like every day. Ask for a hug if not freely given. Say “thank you.” Find something to at least smirk or even smile about. And if you can, do something nice for someone even if you have to pray for the strength to get it done. If you are blessed with a spouse, start with him or her, k?

INTEGRITY: Build upon something meaningful from your past even if it was from last week. This is how dreams are born, dreams are realized. God loves that. He very likely placed them there in your heart before you were born and that is cool beans folks.

KEEP MOVING FORWARD, one tiny step, one deep breath at a time. Those in Christ Jesus will have that perfect body in heaven one day, celebrating with the redeemed fitness models we once saw on Facebook. There is room for all of us here and there too. Perfection is not the goal here so let it go right now. Which brings me to my last point:

TAKE A NAP.

Seeya, :JJ

I Survived

I survived.  A little traumatized, perhaps, nonetheless I survived.

aliens, survived, lousy t-shirt, survival, trials, suffering, overcoming, Christian, endurance

Medical testing needs to advance to the level of the scanner once flashed on classic episodes of Star Trek.  You know:  the kind where the Doc runs a device much like the handheld bar code readers of today up and down all the areas of your body that are amiss.  Sure would save a bit o’ grief, a bit o’ money too.

Poop and pee tests are gross.  So was the Lasix Renal Scan for me this past week when I decided NOT to be catheterized.  Eeeeek!  Jared, the nuclear radiology technician, was as nice as he could be and even said that I “looked fit!”  How sweet!  But inside this frail frame of mine are weak bones and an aching backside/kidney area for largely unknown reasons.  I am sad.  Just when I thought that a myriad of toxicities and stealth infections were my worst nightmare, it turns out that there are other complexities to explain why I feel so unwell.  But hey, the Lord still appears to be orchestrating a mysterious journey through it all.  And I lived through this last event to tell my story . . . again!

I’ll bet that Joseph as described in the book of Genesis knew everything there was to know about “survival.”  Sold into slavery then rising to be the head of the Pharaoh’s (President’s) household was cast into a dungeon for years when falsely accused.  He still acted righteously over and over again only to be forgotten until one day vindicated; he praised the Lord for the marvelous goodness that would come after his years of suffering.  Joseph is a model for  me of what it means to be a faithful steward of the experiences God allowed in his life.  He did not lose heart, he kept going despite severe trials then gave glory to the Lord when good things happened.  I want to be like Joseph.  His words to his brothers who had started his torment were:

Genesis 50:20New International Version (NIV)

20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

And the Lord’s promise to His children are that one day:

Revelation 21:4 New International Version (NIV)

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

I hope that someday my lessons from life will be centered more on the wonders of God’s creation in my garden and such than the saga of enduring a serious illness.  Until that day I will not lose heart.  Please don’t you lose heart either, Gentle Reader.  God is still on the throne and will make “beauty from (our) ashes” one day.  (They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor!  Isaiah 61:3)  Until then let’s look to the face of Jesus Christ who has promised to make all things new one day, one day soon.  Truly this is our source of “hope beyond,” no?  JJ

Into the wintry night a knock cometh at the door

The gals knocked on our front door unexpectedly tonight from the cold of night.  Do you know where the Murphys live, they asked?  We did not but sure noticed the cheerful nature of these young ladies.  Could they share a special Valentine’s Day message with us just the same?  Of course, answered my husband.  What followed was a friendly banter of the differences between the Mormon faith and a Biblical belief in Jesus Christ alone as Lord and Savior of the world.  It was too cold for the chat to go on long and our home is a safe zone for fragrances-n-chemicals so we could not invite them inside.  They understood.  Gratefully, I was able to locate our neighbor’s correct address before they parted which they accepted after my hubby engaged them in a sweet chat of everyone’s hometown.

Later Steve and I prayed for these two.  Certainly their friendliness and encouraging messages were a breath of fresh air on a chilly wintry night in the Midwest.  They were far from home on their 18-month mission trip rite of passage, so to speak, of their Mormon culture.  We hope that they will look beyond their culture and traditions, however, to a saving faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ who brings eternal redemption and joy through the foundational truth found in the Bible.  We find evidence of our faith in verses such as:

Romans 3:23New King James Version (NKJV)

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

1 Timothy 1:15New King James Version (NKJV)

15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,

Romans 5:8New King James Version (NKJV)

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 6:23New King James Version (NKJV)

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 3:16New King James Version (NKJV)

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

In these truths we believe in Him alone as the perfector of our faith, His work on the Cross, and then build the foundation of our faith.  I am proud of Steve for engaging these gals with his personable style and sharing of some key points that we hope they will reflect upon further.  We hope they will find hope in Jesus Christ and not their religion.  In sharing with them, Steve moved beyond standing in frigid temperatures in an open doorway and got into the most serious of conversations with two total strangers rather quickly.  What topic could be more important for a Sunday night chat?

On this Valentine’s Day, I submit to you that the greatest love offering of all was given by our Lord, Jesus Christ when he demonstrated that love through His death and resurrection on the cross at Calvary.  Salvation and eternal life come through Him alone.  May He be glorified for the good that may come for being willing to stand and speak when a knock at the door cometh . . .

Gentle Reader, if you are wondering who God is and how to have a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ alone, please write to me here or comment at the Hope Beyond page on Facebook.  Or just pray this simple prayer and let me know if you do, k?  With love, :JJ

Heavenly Father, I know that I am a sinner and have fallen short in my life.  I am sorry.  I recognize that you are God and came to earth to save me from the ultimate consequences of my sin through Your death and resurrection.  Please forgive me.  Be my Lord and Savior this moment for always.  In Jesus Christ, amen.

cross of jesus