You not Me

If my eyes can gaze upon you not me

To care, to serve, to pray, to worry some

Then maybe my burdens will soften a bit

For I have fixed my angst off my tender frame.

If I can plan my day to give more away

My time, talent, and resources to you not me

For a new challenge that maybe stretches me a bit

Then we shall both emerge stronger when tomorrow comes.

For what good is a man if he gains the whole world

And weakens his soul by burying it deep in self-pity

When we can travel together for awhile

You and I, carrying your bags then you lifting mine.

Seems like a better deal dontcha think

For the moments when I do return home to rest, to reflect

Will find new meaning in what it means to live

When the Lord dwelling in my heart spills over to you.

He is the One Who makes all these things possible

These ups, these downs, these trips veering off that away

We must but trust in His gracious plan, every detail

As He is the reason for you, for me, for glory and goodness too.

Cave Dweller That I Am

Yesterday I found out that my cousin, Lisa, has a tendency to keep the blinds in her house closed when times get tough.  Yeah, that’s me too.  Until we reunited over my brother’s illness, I did not know that she too battles fibromyalgia and a host of “female,” medical issues.  She is at the beginning of her search for treatment options.  We talked quite a bit about these and other family matters while sitting in my brother’s private room on the Telemetry floor at the Detroit hospital.  And so it goes at weddings, funerals and the markers of life in between:  catching up on relationships we are too busy to nourish when busy with the tasks of life . . .

Steve and I got home around midnight after our whirlwind trip to see Mike in the hospital yesterday.  (Steve had to work today and I’m allergic to hotel rooms anyways!)  I am both depleted and grateful for so much today.  Steve drove us the 6-hours round trip so we could see Lisa, Mike, and his fiancé (Lisa) while I endured seizure attack episodes in the car.  Our departure was a few hours late due to the same.  Divine timing superseded it all as we were able to see a physician familiar with Mike’s care during her evening rounds and before we had to leave.  As of today he has been cleared of any infectious disease cause to the right CVA; he continues nothing-by-mouth yet is getting his “Pepsi” substitute via IV glucose.  Pepsi is all he kept asking for . . . in addition to asking his fiancé to wish me a “happy birthday.”  Yes, I got to see my brother for the first time in years yesterday and on my birthday.  Strange but true.

Today I am back in cave-dweller mode.  The grief reaction of seeing him so debilitated is taking its toll so I am just lying low for now.  I tried out a new ceramic frying pan to make my Candida diet/mold-free/low oxalate blueberry pancakes and kept the beast of a skillet on the stove long enough to make lunch this afternoon too.  Perhaps I will shower before my husband comes home this evening and perhaps not.  The extra (stress?) seizure attacks and post-travel fatigue probably contributed to me missing the very chiropractic treatment I needed to relieve my sore back.  Oh well.  The Lord has given me the time and space I need to clear my head from the events of this week and that is good.  Catching up with other relatives today while sharing the news about my brother is good too.

My relationship to one cave dweller in particular is making a difference right now.  So poetic that all of this is happening in my life during the week that the world celebrates Easter.  Our Lord, Jesus Christ lain in state in a cave after dying a tortuous death on a cross for the sins of me and you.  We can point to Easter Sunday with hope that the suffering of our lives (the consequence of living in a fallen, sin-laden world) will be redeemed when He comes again in glory.  He who has victory over death both knows the cries of our hearts and holds them in the palm of His hand that reaches out to us in grace, in mercy, in love.  He is with me here now and goes before me no matter what the next moment may bring for me or Mike.  I am strong in this belief despite the weakness of my broken frame.  Nothing can take this away for those in Christ.   Nothing!

Cave Tomb of Jesus

So if you are feeling weak, vulnerable, fearful, doubtful, or sad this day:  take heart.  The Lord is on the throne of grace and weeps for our suffering.  He will come again in glory and make all things new someday.  In the meantime I hope that you will reach out to Him and let me know how it goes.  We all can be brought into the light of His amazing grace to dwell in His presence if we but believe.

Where does your heart dwell Gentle Reader?

Psalm 73

23 Yet I am always with you;
    you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

27 Those who are far from you will perish;
    you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
    I will tell of all your deeds.

Lyin’ in the Morning Sun

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzrXc68gNjQ

I had the chance to “sit by the dock of the bay” or river/reservoir/lake/ocean many times this past year and was unable to take it.

I had the chance to work part time as an occupational therapist in home care and have been unable to do it since March.

I had the chance to garden and fell short of the project “To Do” list.

I had the chance to live as others do and was not selected to live as they do.

Like the song says, “I can’t do what ten people tell me to do.  So I guess I’ll remain the sa-me.”

What have I been able to do?  Learn how much Jesus loves me just as I am.  Feel His love directly through the love of my life, Steve.  Give back here and there out of my weakness alone.  Take time to pray.  Learn to breathe more deeply.  Meet people I never knew before.  Witness the Lord’s majesty and grace in ways I’d never experienced before.  Let go, let God beyond what I ever learned in 12-step circles.  Seek and find the face of Jesus.  Do it sick.  Apply the talents He has given me in new ventures as a Master Gardener Intern and Principal Designer/Owner.  Live in humility and gratitude (and continue to grow in both).  Meet you, gentle reader.

Now that I’m up off of the couch, I think I can take the dog out and get ready for the day.  Golly gee, my tummy hurts and I don’t know why.  And here come the sweats and oh do I feel sick.  Wonder if I’ll make it to my second craft show this Saturday?  If I do, it’s gonna take a miracle for sure!  Alas, I am reminded:

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.  Zech 4

Yes, by His Spirit alone.  Unlike the words of Otis Redding who sang, “sitting on the dock of the bay, wasting ti-me,” I know that nothing is wasted in God’s economy.  As a believer in Jesus Christ, my eternal life has already begun.  This time is not measured by tasks or the stuff of this life on earth.  This time, today, is measured by grace.  I’m layin’ in the morning sun on the couch, typing at the computer with the sun at my back through the window, and breathing in deeply, the subtle richness of knowing that I can do all things through Him that strengthens me (Phil 4:13).  So glad I got that straight today.  Elle!  Let’s gooooooooooooooooo!