Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pursue Joy

I was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia. In addition, my doctor is doing testing for rheumatoid arthritis, because of some elevated blood work and the condition of my hands. Really, the stiffness and pain is manageable. The main issue, for me, is the extreme fatigue and exhaustion.

It is frustrating to be so very tired and not be able to sleep.

Through these challenges, though, I am determined to trust God. When things get tough, what else is there, really?

And I am seeing blessings in the smallish things, saying yes to silliness, letting joy creep in through the cracks...

We put up our Christmas tree- the first week in November. Ridiculously early. And my husband didn't even object. I watched the children put up the ornaments, including our new Jesse tree ornaments. I enjoy the soft lights every evening, and think about the beautiful images the ornaments bear- a burning bush, a lion, a lamb, a baby in a manger, the ark, a rainbow, a whale....

My littlest baby is turning one. On Saturday. He is such a JOY! He makes me smile every. single. day. And since we weren't sure what kind of cake he'd like best, we decided to do a trial run tonight, and made a couple things to *taste test*. Does one ever need a better reason to make cake?

One of my very dearest friends is pregnant, with her tenth baby. My heart is so full.

We put up some beautiful words on our wall- reminders to love Him with all we are.

My baby sister has come for a visit. And though I am bone weary, I smile listening to her play game after game with the children. Or watch movies. Or read stories. And my heart is so very thankful to have a sister who makes such a lovely, delightful aunt to my precious babies.

My husband is amazingly supportive. He got us a sitter and took the day off of work to go with me to my doctor appointment. He has consistently taken the time to massage my tender spots, night after night, kneading a golf-ball sized knot out of my shoulder and rubbing weary neck and feet until sleep came a little more easily. He has done grocery shopping, helped make meals, bathe dirty babies, listened to my sore heart. He is my best friend. There is none like him.

I have friends who love me and call to check on me and even one who offered to do my laundry, which, let me tell you, is no small task. Love takes shape in words and kind gestures, phone calls and mail and laundry soap.

There is not room enough to write it all out- a mother who calls and researches and does all she can to help. Family close enough to drive up and see us, after years of being too far away. Thanksgiving around the corner and family to share it with. Eight babies around the table, aged 1 to 12.

And for tonight? Babies who *taste test* yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Beautiful, glorious disaster.

Blessings to you all, wherever you find yourself. Pursue joy in all circumstances. And remember- Joy is a Person. His name is Jesus.

Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

7 comments:

  1. Yes! Joy is a Person and He is our strength! Beautiful post, Amy. God is so good to His people! Love that your Christmas tree is up. We buy our tree the day after Thanksgiving and I cannot wait. XOX

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  2. Hi Amy. I can relate to a lot of the things you wrote. I have been sufferring with dizziness for the past few years. They just found out I am hyperthyroid and I am waiting for the results of my hormone testing. May be due to a hormone imbalance. God is so good through it all though. We can have the joy of the LORD regardless of our circumstances. Amen sweet sister.

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  3. Hi Amy, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia 14 years ago, right after my last child was born. It's an extremely frustrating disease. There are times when I was really, really sick, but I'm able to manage now. I think in part because I'm used to it, but mostly because I've been prayed over many, many times for healing and I do believe that I have been healed in part. I also am blessed with a very supportive husband. I have found that if you can give yourself at least 1 day a week where you can literally crash - no expectations, just rest - it makes the pain manageable. I know it's hard with all of the children, but I hope you can manage it. I'll remember you in my prayers.

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  4. I too have serum negative rhematoid arthritis and also find the fatigue the most frustrating part of it. I am so pleased you have such fabulous support around you, I reckon God must seek out those good men for us as I have a fabulous helpful as well as supportive husband! Praying that you might get a good period real soon, I had to wait about 4 or 5 years for mine post diagnosis but then had a good 7/8 years, I am not so good again at the moment but I know He is there in the good and bad times. x x x x

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  5. Hearing your heart of gratitude...praying for Joy to strengthen you.

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  6. Hey Amy, I answered your knitting question over at my place. :) xo

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  7. (((Amy)))
    Although I wish I could give you a real life hug I promise will hold you tight in my prayers.
    It is so hard to feel exshaustion constantly.
    But you are truly such a loving Mom. Your heart just shines the love you have for your family through your words.
    And I love the thought that you have your tree up already!
    :)
    Be gentle with yourself though. It certainly sounds like you have a really special husband. And of course beautiful, beautiful children. Rest in Him and them as much as you can.
    Blessings and Love
    ~suzy
    xx

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