I wonder from time to time if some of you who may find their way to this little corner of the internet suffer with chronic illness, as I do. I have met some truly delightful people by way of blogging, and God has been so gracious as to knit our hearts together, though we have never met in person. Still, I would imagine that the vast majority of my readers here are my dear friends and family, and keeping that in mind, I don't write often about being sick.
And just to clarify, it isn't because I am being secretive or hiding anything. It is only because I wonder whether it will be discouraging to hear, especially on a regular basis. I often wish I had happy, cheerful news, the kind of stuff that makes the reader smile... and some days, I really do. I have a good life, friends, and so very much to be grateful for.
But some days, like today, I have to wrestle with my own heart to be content with my physical limitations, and this can be very trying indeed. I wonder whether this is an experience you all may relate to on some level, whether physical or not?
There is part of me that really wants to pop up out of my bed, tidy up the house, clean out a few closets, start the laundry, put on some Christmas hymns and dance with my babies around the living room, and make loads and loads of peppermint bark and cookies and popcorn balls with the children, sampling every thing as we go along. I'd love to play football with my boys and their daddy in the front yard or go roller skating with my daughter.
And sometimes, it is so much more simple, so much more elemental, than even that. Sometimes, I struggle to walk because my ankles or knees are so swollen, or I find I can't squeeze shampoo out of the bottle or flush the toilet handle when my wrists are so inflamed. Sometimes, I fall asleep just trying to pray or read my Bible because the fatigue is so exhausting. I think one of the hardest things I struggle with is that while my body is so often exhausted, my mind is not. Having physical limitations does not reduce the amount of time you have to simply think.
And thinking can be a battle all of its own.
Sometimes I wonder what my life will be like, if my health will continue to deteriorate until I can do nothing, how much of a burden it will become to my dear husband, what my children will remember of their childhood- a sick mother? Or a joyful home, regardless?
Of course, there is always the very real possibility that I will get better.
I hold out hope for that.
At the same time, I try to just live each moment, by God's grace.
So, for today, I think I will settle on just playing music and making peppermint bark. I might take a few pictures, too. Then, very likely, I'll take a nap. And I will thank God for the warm, soft bed I lay in, the beautiful people who make up my family and who surround me with love and laughter, the pain medication that brings some measure of relief, and the music and peppermint bark.
Mostly though, I will thank Him for the grace that carries me gently, moment by moment, and day by day.