Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rest In His Grace, Mercy and Love

If I'm completely honest, I don't feel very thankful lately.  In fact, I've thrown some major pity parties.  I've been really sick for about 2 weeks now.  I've had a wicked virus that has knocked me down.  So much so, my weakness has increased to the point that just walking across the floor leaves my body shaking.  It's scary.  I keep wondering if this has kicked my CIDP into high gear ... which leaves me constantly wondering, "Will I be able to walk tomorrow?"

I haven't been this sick in a long time.  By the grace of God, I've managed to escape getting sick.  It's been almost 3 years since my last hospital admission.  I've been able to experience life out of the house more, and we were even able to let go of my homehealth nurses.  Things we good ... and fun.

And I took it all for granted.

And I miss my mama so much I can't stop crying today.  I just want to be able to pick up the phone and call her.

When does it get easier?

Does it ever get easier?

She loved the holidays.  She loved all of us getting together.  She loved family and having all of them in the same room.  Loud and crazy as it was, she loved it.  It's so hard to believe we are about to do Thanksgiving for the second year without her.  My heart still hurts so much.  It's still so raw at times.

And we've had another death in our family.  Nathan's uncle John passed early Saturday morning.  It's so hard to explain to our girls why so many people around us keep dying.  I don't even understand it myself.

John was precious, quick-witted and funny.  Hannah's sense of humor and quick-wit reminds me so much of John.  The past year was really hard for him.  He was so sick, and life was a constant struggle for him.  He is going to be greatly missed.  I worry about Nathan's grandfather.  He's almost 90.  I can't imagine loosing a child.

Life can be so hard to understand.  So many whys constantly go through my heart.

All I know is God is always good, and I am always loved.  I've had to say those words to myself a million times over.

God is always good, and I am always loved.

I have had to repeat this to myself so much lately because there have been moments doubts have crept into my heart, and I've wondered if He really loves me.  We have some really major stuff going on in our family right now.  Hard, hurtful things.  We had to make a life-changing decision last week that  will change what our every day life looks like.  We prayed for a long time about this decision, and we have a  complete peace that this is what the Lord wants us to do.  It's still scary though.  Full of unknowns.

Sunday night I sobbed and poured my heart out to Darryl.  Bless him.  Everyone needs a big brother like him.  He sat quietly and listened while I spilled my guts, and then said, "Robin, you are going to be okay."

I told him I didn't believe him.  He smiled and said, "I know you don't.  But I know the Holy Spirit that lives inside of you ... so I know you are going to be okay."

God is always good, and I am always loved.

Even though Darryl can't tell me my CIDP hasn't begun progressing again, he can still tell me that even if it is I'm going to be okay ... only because of Jesus.  Okay may not look like what I think okay should be, but I know He will never leave me or forsake me.  For some reason all this chaos and pain is for my good and His glory.  I just don't know what that reason is just yet.  I may never know this side of Heaven, but I can trust and hold tight to the One that created me.

I checked email a little bit ago and found an email Mary sent me this morning.  It read,

Hope you are continuing to improve a bit each day.
Praying for you to rest well, to rest in the Lord, and to experience the joy thanksgiving.  
We will give thanks to God not because of how we feel, but because of who He is. Ann Voskamp

Love you,


"We will give thanks to God not because of how we feel, but because of who He is." ~ Ann Voskamp 

I don't feel like giving thanks.  I'd rather just wallow in the hard, hurts of life.  I'm just so tired, and wish life was different than it is at this very moment.

But as I scrolled through all the emails I have stacked up in my inbox, I found this one that was sent from Connie on Sunday.  She sent it to Mary and I.

Hey you two precious ladies : )
There was a song sung as a special in church this morning that I wanted to share with y'all. Hannah says it isn't new, (just new to me) ~ but the you tube video at one point seemed cheesy....so, I'm sending just the words. The melody is also very poignant...so hope you get to hear it at some point too : ).
Love y'all so very much. I am praying for you this holiday week. Miss worshiping with you.
hug each other from me.

"Your Hands"
I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That you would take my pain away
You would take my pain away
I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crooked lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands
When you walked upon the earth
You healed the broken, lost and hurt
I know you hate to see me cry
One day you will set all things right
Yeah, one day you will set all things right
When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands
Your hands that shaped the world
Are holding me
They hold me still

The YouTube video is a bit cheesy in places, but it's worth it to hear the melody of the song.  They actually play this song often on the Pandora station I listen to.

God is always good, and I am always loved. 

There is a lot of hurt around us right now.  In addition to all that is going on in our household, we have family and friends who are struggling with so many different things.  Hard things.  My prayer list is very long.  Life is full of uncertainty.  It hurts and is often scary.

I had a conversation with my friend Lacy last week about how our hearts so easily can be so full of fear.  But just as easily as we can have fearful hearts, we can always trust the Lord.  We can trust in the sovereignty of our Heavenly Father, and the love of the Jesus who died for our sins.  We can rest in knowing God is always faithful and trustworthy.  Nothing takes Him by surprise, and He is always in control.  He is always full of grace, mercy and love for His children.

"Praying for you to rest well, to rest in the Lord, and to experience the joy thanksgiving."

Rest in the LORD.  Rest in His love, mercy and grace.  Rest in the goodness of the perfect plan He has for your life.

I really do have much to be thankful for right now.  Even in the hard places of life there is much to be thankful.

God is always good, and I am always loved.

p.s. I strongly encourage you to read Ann Voskamp's blog post that Mary sent me the link to in her email.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Changing of Seasons

My daughter said something yesterday afternoon about needing sweaters and long-sleeved shirts for winter.  In the words of my dad, "Well, that'll be tomorrow."  He works outside year long, and he says he actually prefers hot weather.  He's so accustom to the heat, cooler weather seems cold to him.  I wouldn't call 58 degrees this morning winter, but it is much cooler today than it has been.  I am looking forward to the high only being 75 today.  I despise heat, but I also despise cold.  Because of my disease, heat makes me want to rip my skin off, and it makes it difficult to breathe.  Cold weather makes me hurt and ache all over.  A day where the high is 75 is perfect for me.

I've noticed the leaves are starting to change too.  Fall is definitely one of my favorite seasons.  I love the robust color and cooler days; although I'm not so fond of the Fall allergies that tend to plaque our house.  I love the break it gives us from the heat without it being too cold.  I love changing out clothes in the closet.

I was thinking this morning about what a beautiful day it is going to be today.  A great day to  begin the big 18th birthday celebration of my oldest daughter.  This afternoon we are taking her to have dinner with my husband's family, and this will be the first time they will meet her boyfriend.

Yes, for those of you who don't know, Sara has a boyfriend.  They met through his sister and mutual friends, and over a period of time grew fond of each other.  This sweet, young man came to Nathan and I and asked permission to date her.  You read that correctly.  He asked permission to date her.  Going into this meeting I wanted to not like him, but just the opposite happened.  He is so precious.  He loves Jesus, works a lot of hours and attends college full-time.  He has goals for his life, and seems to know what he wants to do.  He is so polite and respectful.  I know he has flaws, and I keep waiting to see them.  No one is perfect, but thus far, I've not seen anything that causes me to be alarmed.  Those of you who know me well know that is huge.

A lot of changes in our house lately.  For someone who isn't a fan of big changes, we've certainly had a lot of them the past few months.  It's been a bit more than my heart can handle some moments.  Watching our daughters grow and mature is always accompanied by mixed emotions.  I truly have loved every stage of their life, but at the same time, it has been sad to see the last stage leave as a new begins.

This morning I was thinking about all of the changes we've experienced lately, and thinking about how the season is changing ... the weather season, and the season of life we are entering right now.  This verse kept coming to my mind.

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. ~ I Peter 5:10

I am so grateful for new seasons of life.  I know the hard seasons will eventually end.  Sometimes they are seemingly never ending, but they will end.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1 

It feels like we have been living in a hard season of life for a very long time.  It's been tiresome and at times wearisome.  It's in these seasons I become even more grateful His mercies are new every morning.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;23  they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” ~ Lamentations 3:22-24

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Beauty for Ashes

It's been awhile.  I've been asked many times why I stopped blogging.  It was never my intent to completely stop blogging.  I just needed to take a short break so I could spend my time and energy on other things, and that short break turned into months.

The past several months have been incredibly hard for my family.  We've had to learn to trust the Lord in some really dark places.  We've shed many tears, and lost a lot of sleep.  We've asked "why?" over and over.  We've been fearful, and at times extremely angry.

It's been a long, hard season of life for us.  I'd love to share the details of all that has been happening, but the bulk of it just isn't my story to tell.  Maybe one day my daughter will give me permission to share, but for now, the Lord continues to write her story.  I see so clearly how He is orchestrating areas of her life to use her story in a mighty way.  Little pieces keep falling into place, and I don't even think she is fully aware of how He's preparing her for something big.  I don't know what that is or even what it's going to look like exactly, but I do know it's going to be a beautiful picture of God's unending grace and mercy.

Beauty for ashes.

Reflecting back over the past several months I am overwhelmed at just how much the Lord loves us.  We truly are blessed.  Yes, it's been a heart wrenching season.  A season of life that has put callouses on our knees, but it's been a season where we've been shown how the Lord provides for us in so many ways.  Provisions we don't even see until the moment is long past.

Once again, we've seen how blessed we are to have the friends the Lord has provided for us.  Friends who have prayed for us and WITH us.  Friends who have held us while we have wept, listened silently while we vented our frustrations and have reminded us the Lord is faithful and won't abandon us.  They have literally walked every step of the past few months with us.

They have been such a beautiful picture of the hands and feet of Jesus.  Loving us in precious ways throughout such difficult days.  Sacrificing their time and energy.  We are so blessed to have friends who are trustworthy.  Friends we don't have pretend to that everything is "fine" or "okay".  We can be real and honest.  We can trust them with our hearts.

Trust can be so delicate.  It's so easily broken at times, and once it's broken it can be harder to rebuild than it was to earn it .  I don't trust easily, and once it's broken it's near impossible to rebuild it with me.  I am so grateful we have friends who are trustworthy.

God never promised life would be easy.  He promised He would never leave us.  He promised to love us through it.

He is the most trustworthy.  He will carry us through this season when we are too weary and tired to walk, and He will use all of this for our good and His glory.

Right now it looks like a big pile of ashes.  One day it will be a beautiful picture of His love, grace and mercy.  Our tears won't be from broken hearts.  They will be tears of joy.

To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” ~ Isaiah 61:3

"God is always good, and I am always loved."  This is a quote from a Ann Voskamp bible study I lead at the beginning of this year.  A quote I have repeated in my heart a million times over.

Even in a hard season ... a season I pray ends soon ... we are so blessed.  God is good, and we are loved ... a love we don't even deserve.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. ~ Romans 12:12

Friday, April 5, 2013

Happy 14th Birthday, Hannah!!

Happy Birthday, Hannah!!

I can hardly believe you are 14.

And we just registered you for high school last night.  Where has the time gone??

Hannah girl, we love you so much, and you are so precious to us.  You've always proclaimed yourself as the princess of the family.

And although you and Sara argue on a daily basis ... sometimes hourly ... you are still royalty in her eyes.

Well, maybe that was taking it a little too far, but you are still her best friend.  Remember, she even said so in your Christmas gift this past year?

I think Alex might be a little jealous if he knew that because you seem to be his best friend, too.

Hannah, there are so many things about you that I love.

I love how you are never too cool to show your goofy side.

I love how you are always ready to have fun.

I love how you are always thinking about someone else, and what they might need.

I love how you are always finding a way to look your best.

I love that family is so important to you.

And that you love your mama enough to stand in freezing weather in the middle of snow before church to snap a picture she desperately wanted.

The past 14 years have gone by so fast.  I cannot believe how quickly it has gone by.

I cannot believe I am so much shorter than you ... and the rest of our family.

Hannah, I could write a list that went on for days about all the things I love about you.  You know how I've always said I love you from the tippy, tippy top of your head to the tippy, tippy bottom of your toes?  Well, I love you even more than that.

You never cease to amaze me by your determination.

Or how you are always just you.

And not embarrassed to wear ugly Christmas sweaters even when it's not to an ugly Christmas sweater party.

I love your confidence.

I love your quick wit.

And I love that God chose you to be a part of our family.  I am so grateful and honored to be your Mama.

I still cannot believe how fast you are growing up.

Happy 14th Birthday, baby girl!!  I hope today this your best birthday yet!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Little Note of Thanks

For the past several days I have been writing a blog post to honor my Mama on the one year anniversary of her death.  Every time I thought I was done, I ended up deleting it.  I think I finally know exactly what I want to say, but frankly, I'm too emotional this morning to write it.  Maybe I'll be able to write it in a few days.

Yesterday was much harder than I anticipated it to be, but by God's grace I got through it.  I am so overwhelmed by the love I received from so many of you the past few days.  The phone calls, text messages, emails, Facebook post, visits and cards have all meant so much to me.  One of my best friends sent me flowers, and my mother-in-law showed up at my house with a Sonic drink yesterday.

I am so beyond blessed.  My cup is certainly running over.

What I am most grateful for are the prayers.  Without the grace and mercy of Jesus, I simply couldn't survive.

Thank you.  Thank you all for caring and loving me.  Thank you for wanting to make my hurt easier.

I really do have the BEST family and friends a girl could ever want.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Go Call Your Mama

I had no idea that this time last year would be the final days of my mama's life.  Had I known, I would have done things differently.  I would have made sure I didn't hang up the phone without saying, "I love you", and I wouldn't have left her house without giving her a hug.  It still bothers me I didn't tell her I love her before hanging up that Tuesday afternoon.  It never once entered my mind it would be the last time I'd ever talk to her.  I had no idea it was my last chance to say those words to her.  After all, her last words to me were, "I'll talk to you tomorrow."

Tomorrow came and she was gone.

I miss more than I could ever express in words.  It's an unexplainable void.  I think about her all the time.  She's a topic of conversation every day in our house.  Most of the time we are laughing about something she said or did.  I'm grateful for the memories she left us that bring us laughter.

We need the laughter because there are still lots of tears.  I cry every day still.  There are some days a girl just wants her mama, and this side of Heaven, I'll never have mine again.  I still pick up the phone to call her.  I find myself dialing her number and expecting her to pick up.  I often pray, "Lord, I just want my mama back."  It still seems so unreal at times.

Darryl reminded me last week, "You know she wouldn't come back even if she could.  She's with Jesus."

I know.  It's a selfish want.  And as much as I want her here with me, I wouldn't ask her to come back.

So, my daily prayer for the Lord to come quickly has become more intense over this past year.  I tell Nathan and the girls all the time I want the Lord to come and get us before any of us die, so we can all go to Heaven together.

If you still have your mama, call her today and tell her you love her.  If you live close enough to go see her, go visit.  I wish I could.  I wish my phone would ring between 12-2 this afternoon, and she would be on the other end asking what I was doing and do I have my laundry caught up yet.  I would have to tell her how piled up my laundry is right now.

This is a hard week for my family.  Please pray for us.  The pain is so raw.

And I'm serious, go call your mama and don't hang up without telling her you love her.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Thanking The Lord For His Mercy

Last night as Nathan was headed to pick up Sara from work he had a bad accident.  As he was coming over a hill he hit a spot of black ice and lost control.  He ended up flipping our van down a hill a couple of times.  By God's mercy, he walked away from the wreck with only minor scrapes and some bruising.

Thank you, Jesus, for keeping him safe and bringing him home to us mostly unharmed.

He's in a lot of pain today.  He did go get checked out this morning, and in God's grace and mercy was able to see a doctor who is a member of our church.  She's an excellent doctor, and when we can't see Darryl, it's so comforting we can usually see her.

She thoroughly checked him out and ran several test and scans.  He's okay.  Just some rough bruising.

We are so grateful.

Hearing him tell me what happened and seeing our van, it's only by God's grace and mercy he walked away.  I've never seen him so shaken as he was last night.

This is what the van looks like.  He took these today when he went to clean out our things.

We have so many blessings to count today.

1. Nathan is okay.  He wasn't killed or seriously injured.

2. No one else, with the exception of the fence the van rolled through, was involved.

3. He's not missing work.  Not great he has to spend his Spring Break in pain, but grateful he's not having to miss work.

4. We have insurance, and our insurance adjusters we have spoken with today have been so nice and helpful.  I've talked to several people from our insurance company today, and all of them have been easy to work with in all of this.

5. He was able to see a doctor we trust, and we know is very thorough.  Darryl will also be by later today, and that gives me a little extra comfort.

6. Our in-laws live just down the street from us, and I was able to call my father-in-law to pick up Sara.  She works just 5 mins from our house.  Nathan had dropped her off last night, and he planned to pick her up because we weren't sure how the roads would be once she got off work.

7. Our 17 year-old's words to me when she came home were, "It's so scary.  It's so bad.  Praise the Lord he's okay."  She's 17 and her first reaction to this was to praise the Lord her daddy is okay.  I cannot express what that does to this mama's heart.  Thank you, Jesus.

8. I have said this many, many times in the past, but it continues to be true.  We have the greatest friends and family.  Our phones have rang all day.  We've all gotten many text messages, Facebook messages and emails wanting to know how he is and if there is anything we need.  It has meant so much us.  Thank you from the depths of our hearts.  It's such a blessing to know we are loved and cared for by those surrounding us, and so many of you are praying.  One of the highlights of Nathan's day was he was able to talk to his brother.  He's in the military and lives away from us.  It meant so much he called to check on him.

I have eyes full of tears this very moment.  Grateful tears.  This could have been so devastating.  I am thankful the Lord spared Nathan's life, and he wasn't seriously injured.

I'm near the end of the bible study One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  Yesterday morning we went over Session 4 ... which by far has touched me the most in this study.  We discussed fear and trust ... two of my biggest issues in my life.

We had such a sweet time talking and sharing our hearts.  It was so sweet to see each of the ladies encouraging and loving on one another.  I walked away blessed, and understanding more about truly trusting the Lord.  Little did I know I would have to greatly exercise that trust in Him just a few hours later.

He knew I would need yesterday to morning to help prepare me for last night.

As I am typing this now I can hear Nathan in the other room laughing at something on TV.  Oh, how grateful I am to hear his laugh, and know he's safe.

Thank you, Jesus.  Thank you, thank you!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Our Friendship Always Leads To The One

As I was reading this post today by Ann Voskamp, all I could think of were my lunches with Mary and Connie.

We sit for hours ... I'm not exaggerating.  We've been known to have 4 hour lunches that probably would go longer if time would allow.

Hours that are sacred to me.

We talk about anything and everything.  We laugh, we cry and sometimes we even express our anger about things in life that just make us spitting mad.

We talk about love, grace and mercy.  And we talk about how our only hope is found in Him ... the very One who brought our little trio together.  The One who holds us together even though one us now lives two hours away.

I cherish those lunches.  It's more than just food for my body.  It's more about the food it gives my soul.  I always walk away refreshed, and somehow knowing more about our Saviour.  We spend our time sharing what the Lord is teaching us.  Our conversations always lead back to Him.

That's why they are my best friends ... they are the sisters I always wanted and never thought I'd have.  They can be BOSSY big sisters, but only because they love me and truly want what's best for me.

Our friendship runs much deeper than things we have in common.  Believe me, in some ways we couldn't be more different.  Those differences make our friendship much more beautiful though.  We stretch each other out of what make us comfortable.

We've laughed so hard there were tears.  Laughter so deep our stomachs hurt.  And sometimes there are tears because our hearts hurt.  So we bring out the roll of toilet paper to wipe our noses, and we sit close, hold hands and together we pray.

Because our friendship always leads back to the One who brought our little trio together.

My Mama would fuss at me when I would classify them as my best friends.  "You'll hurt someone's feelings doing that.", she'd say.  But everyone who knows me knows they are two of the few in my most inner circle.  Only three others are that close to me ... Nathan, Darryl and Robyn.  It's that circle I can tell everything to and know it's safe.  I'm safe from more than just being judged.  I'm safe because I know they are going to "correct and reproof me" when it's needed.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; ~ 2 Timothy 3:16

Those times aren't always so fun.  And believe me, those times have been many over the years, but it's those times that prove to me they really are my friends ... my sisters in Christ.

They always point me to Jesus.  They don't just point me to Him though, they go with me.  And when my heart is too weak to run to Him, they carry me.  And at the foot of the cross ... where grace and mercy meet ... they lay me.  And they stay with me.  They remind me who I am in Christ.  He's is my hope, and only in Him is any true joy found

Our friendship always leads back to the One who brought us together.

Our lunches aren't as often as we like.  Time constraints, physical distance and chronic illness get in the way.  It makes me cherish those lunches all the more.

And look forward to Heaven.  Connie and I like to imagine we are going to be neighbors.  My house will be pink, hers yellow.  I think Mary's will be blue ... blue like the beautiful hydrangeas she grows every year.  Sonic will be nearby, and Mary will finally love lemon slushes as much as Connie and I do.  Our lunches will no longer just be lunches.  We won't have to keep up with the time, and there will never be a mix-up about where we are meeting.

And our Jesus won't just be there with us in spirit, He will actually be with us.  I like to imagine Him sitting at the table with us.  All of us laughing at the crazy things we've done and finally being able to ask Him all the "whys" that trouble our hearts so much.  All the while sipping on a Sonic slush or hot chocolate with lots marshmallows.  

Because our friendship always leads back to the One who brought us together.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It Would Have Been 25 Years

January 30, 1988 ... just 12 days after my Nannie died ... the Lord gave us one of the greatest blessing of our lives.

It's was a cold, bright, sunny Saturday morning.  I rode to a near-by town with my parents and watched them "tie-the-knot" in the livingroom of a preacher friend of my dad's.  Afterwards we went through the drive thru at Hardees to get a chicken sandwich, and then they took me home so they could go away for a couple days.

My parents met a dance a couple years before that day.  To hear my dad tell the story is one of the sweetest things ever.  I really didn't know he could be romantic, but when he tells the story it's like a scene out of a movie.

He had wanted to dance with her, but she was getting ready to leave.  She was wearing a yellow shirt and they started playing, "The Yellow Rose of Texas".  He asked her dance and the rest is history.  The story is much more charming and full of details when he tells it, and the smile on his face tells me what his heart truly feels.

He loves her deeply.  He treated my mom like queen.  Just about anything she wanted, she got.  I say "just about" because occasionally he would draw the line.  Like when she wanted a new car when she had a car that was bought brand new, and only had 16,000 miles on it.  That caused a "spirited discussion" between them.  Nathan, the girls and myself were witness to that discussion, and we still laugh hard when we talk about it.  It was like a scene off of a sitcom.  My girls were in tears they were laughing so hard.

He misses her so much, and I'm sure today is going to be hard for him.  He put a sweet bundle of flowers with a "Happy Anniversary" ribbon on her grave this weekend.  I love that he does that.

My girls tell him all the time they want to marry someone just like him.  He usually responds by saying, "I'd hope you would find someone better than me."  

He is precious, and we love him.  I am grateful that 25 years ago the Lord blessed me with the greatest Dad.  In his Father's Day card this year I thanked him for choosing to be my dad.  We are so blessed to have him.

I'm so grateful my mom was able to experience what it's like to be loved the way he loves her.  For 24 years she was loved deeply and cared for in a way that he wanted the best for her.  She was safe and felt secure with him.  She lived through hell on earth with my biological father, and Don is the complete polar opposite of him.  I will forever be grateful for the way he loves her, and the respect he gave her.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Lord Directs My Path

When someone asked me yesterday at church how I was, I said I was glad the week was over, and we were beginning a new week.

By 8:30 a.m. this morning I was already wanting to hit rewind and start over.  This was not how I envisioned my week starting.

The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. ~ Proverbs 16:9

Actually, I never envisioned this being my life.

I have mostly come to terms with the fact I have CIDP (Chronic Inflammatory Demylinating Polyneuropathy), and I will most likely have it the rest of my life.  I hate it, but I've accepted.  It's a horrible, painful and sometimes down right scary disease.  There are so many unknowns, and I have literally learned what it means to trust the Lord in every step I take.

Today I can walk.  My gait is unsteady, and I find myself sitting on the ground more often than I'd like.  But I can walk.  Some days I do okay.  Especially the days my pain level isn't at a screaming 8 and the swelling in my legs isn't so bad.  I don't have a lot of those days, but I cherish them when they come.  My friend Lucy (Lucy is my sturdy, handy rolling walker with a seat) helps me along at times.  I don't like pushing a walker with hand breaks.  It wasn't in my life plan at 40 to have a rolling walker and blue hang tag.  Honestly, at times it's embarrassing.  But even through the embarrassment, I am grateful to have them.  I'm grateful I don't have to have Lucy with me every day, everywhere I go.  I'm grateful I have her when I need her.

Life has changed a lot in the past 5 years.  I can't think of hardly anything that has stayed the same.

Well, except Jesus.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. ~ Hebrews 13:8

We've had to make a lot of adjustments and begin new normals for us.  I don't always like it, but I've accepted it.  I've learned there are some things I just simply cannot do anymore.  I've learned I have limits ... even though the "limit lessons" seem to be some of the lessons I tend to need to learn over and over.

But there are days I'm not so accepting.  There are days I just loose it.

Today was one of those days.

I woke up in a ton of pain.  It took me forever to get to sleep last night.  I love Sundays, but they are so hard for me.  I've come to just expect Monday is going to be really painful, and I'm going to be exhausted.  However, today seems to be worse.

When Nathan woke me up this morning he told me Hannah was complaining with her eye hurting.  I noticed late yesterday afternoon her eye was really red, but I thought her contact was just aggravating it.  It was so painful this morning she couldn't even open it.  After consulting with Darryl, we decided she needed to go see our eye doctor.  So, I made the appointment and spent the next 40 mins making 17 phone calls trying to find someone to take us.

I'm not exaggerating.  Literally 17 phone calls.

Either the person I called didn't answer or they couldn't do it ... all for legit reasons.  I finally broke down and called my friend Deborah.  She has 3 small kids ... 3 year old twins and a 9 month old.  I didn't want to ask her to drag her kids out, especially so early in the morning, but I had hit desperation.

And while on the phone with her trying to work out a way for her to drive us to the eye doctor, I broke down.

Bless her, she's a good incredible friend.

All that kept going through my head was how I was such a failure as a mom.  I can't even drive my own daughter to the doctor when she needs to go.  You see, because of heavy feet and not having reflexes I can't drive anymore.  My arms are even too heavy to hold on to the steering wheel long enough to drive down the road.  It's a chore to even operate a blow dryer, much less operate a vehicle.

I've been having these feelings for a few weeks now anyway.  Sara is in prom dress shopping mode, and instead of me being the one to go with her the first time she looked at them, she took friends.  Even went as far as almost buying one ... and I wasn't there to experience any of it with her.  And her friends' mom is offering to help her in ways I should be.  Don't get me wrong, I am super grateful Sara has friends whose mom is willing to do those things.  She treats her like another daughter.  I see that as a blessing.

But as I have learned over the past few years, not all blessings feel so good.  I want it to be me.  I am her mom.  And I somehow see it as failure on my part.

Just like as Hannah's mom I should be able to get in my van and drive my daughter to the doctor when she needs to go.

Yet, for some reason ... I happen to think for more than just one reason ... that just isn't God's plan.

And I don't like it.  It's heartbreaking.

It's highly unusual for me not to be able to find someone to help us out in a crunch.  We've been blessed way beyond more than we deserve to have friends  and some family who always come through for us.

In the end, Deborah was willing to go way above and beyond for us this morning ... and our friend Alicia was willing to watch Deborah's baby so she could help us, but the Lord ended up working it out so that Nathan could leave school for a bit and take her.

Actually, He didn't "end up" doing it.  He already had it worked out before Nathan ever woke me this morning.  I just failed to trust Him.  My faith was pretty weak this morning.

    And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

I just keep thinking ... I should have been able to have taken her to the eye doctor and not have to depend on someone else.

Somehow, I think the Lord is trying to teach me something.  Like how my dependence should be on Him.

Or maybe how I need to trust that even though I think His plan sort of stinks right now, it's really what's best for me and family.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding, In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” ~ Psalm 91:2

And by the way, Hannah is fine.  Apparently, she has developed an allergic reaction to her contact solution.  A simple, easy fix.

Thank you, Jesus!

And my precious husband, who kept trying to calm me down on the phone earlier this morning, came back home with this lovely thing.

He knows my love language. : )