Friday, July 29, 2011

Everything Has a Price

I'm apologizing ahead of time because this blog is once again partly about the recent surgery I had. I know, I know, I know -- people don't want to hear about all that,but unfortunately that's just where I've been so "concentrated" lately. So, please just bear with me. With my recent surgery, I was given several limitations. At first, I was told that I couldn't push/pull/lift anything over 5 to 10 pounds. Now that a little time has gone by, the limit was raised to 20 pounds. I was also told not to over-exert myself (since I didn't have much energy, that wasn't a problem) and I'm never ever EVER supposed to squat again. I've been absoutely amazed at how much things weigh!! Laundry baskets ... gallons of milk ... grocery bags -- all things I didn't even think twice about lifting before. Now, I have to consider what something weighs (and my body will definitely let me know if it's in the "no" range!). When I was told not to squat, I didn't figure that would be a problem. Uhm, again I've been amazed at how often I actually DID squat -- getting things out of the bottom cabinets in the kitchen, getting things off of the lowest shelves in the grocery store, cleaning up messes on the floor.

As I was thinking about all of this this morning, I saw that pretty much every choice in life comes with a price. When I made the choice to have the surgery, there was a defiinite price -- recuperation period, limitations, doctor bills. But the choice was for my betterment. I wouldn't be "falling apart" anymore and would be "fixed up". So, the "price" for the choice was reasonable.

I look at the choices we've made over the years and the prices that were paid for those choices. My husband chose to work in a field where he'd be available for his family instead of working extremely long hours. I've always been grateful for that choice, even though money has sometimes been tight. It's been very much worth it! He and I chose for me to never work more than part-time so that I could be home with the children as they were growing up, and so that other things wouldn't take priority over my husband and family. Again, money has sometimes been tight because of that, but looking back, we'd make the same choice over and over and over.
 
And the biggest choice? When I accepted Christ as my Savior. What an incredible price God paid for me!! What could I bring Him that He didn't already have? He certainly didn't "need" me because He has all He needs. However, as I was reading in Isaiah 43 today: "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins." For HIS sake? It makes sense that it was for MY sake because I was the sinner here. But for His sake? Then it struck me -- He WANTS me because He longs for a relationship with me. Father God was willing to pay the price to remove the sin barrier between us so that we could be in a love relationship. Christ was willing to pay the ultimate price of His own life to make that happen. But this was all something that God wanted very much ... just so He could have a personal relationship with me (and you!!). That's almost more than this tiny little mind of mine can handle. And it makes me feel so incredibly loved and grateful. It also makes me want to watch my choices carefully so that I bring glory to Him in what I do -- to honor the price He paid for me.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Being Still

Recuperating from surgery causes you to rest and reflect. I'd highly recommend it for everyone ... if only you didn't have to experience surgery. Me? I've discovered I'm not too good at rest ... or sitting still ... or going at a slower pace ... or letting someone else pick up the work load for me. I tend to over-commit ... bite off more than I can chew ... do more than I should, so these last several weeks of chilling and resting have been nice. Not too productive (in my warped sense of what is productive), but nice nonetheless.

Since I'm nearing the end of my "resting" period, I wanted to share with you some of what I've learned/done:
1) I've cleaned out more than half the closets in my house. I did these a little at a time since I'm limited as to what I can lift/push/pull weightwise. But it's nice to be able to actually close some of these closets without worrying what will fall down on me the next time I open the door.

2) I've cleaned out several of my "catch-all" drawers. They're nice and organized. Next time you come to my house, I'll be happy to show them off to you.

3) Our file cabinets are lighter. I threw away income tax receipts from 1999 and the car tag papers that were carefully filed away -- for cars that we no longer owned.

4) Watching six seasons of Lost in 2 1/2 weeks turned my brain to mush. I rewatched every episode, noticed things I hadn't noticed before, and cried at the same things I cried at the first time I watched the TV series. And once I watched all of Lost, I began watching different DVDs that my brother gave to me to pass the time. Yup, TV was my buddy.

5) Noticed MORE differences between my husband and me. He sees a "blue" dress -- I see either a navy blue, royal blue, robin's egg blue, baby blue, aquamarine, periwinkle, marine, dusty blue, etc. On the other hand, he'll see a 2005 blue Mazda 3 ... and I'll just see a little blue car. He cleans a little bit at a time and then is done. Finished. Outta there. It's clean. I'm constantly cleaning, straightening, cleaning again, and it's neverending.

6) Sleep was my nearly constant companion. I'd "work" for a bit and then have to lie down. I'd read a portion of a book and then have to rest. I'd watch some TV and fall asleep. I'd sit up to eat and then have to lie down and recover my energy. Seriously, I spent so much time sleeping that I felt like I would get to the point where I'd be up for several days in a row because I had slept so much. Uhm, yeah -- that didn't happen. My biggest concern is that I've learned to like sleeping in. Sleeping in and going to work will NOT be compatible.

What really stood out to me throughout my recovery time, however, was the fact that it seemed easier to "hear" God than what I normally could. Since I was spending so much time being still, I was shown just how frantic my simple little life had become. I always have to "do" ... and in this instance, I wasn't able to "do". I was forced to just sit and to be still. And boy, does God love to talk when He has your attention!! It was really wonderful to spend such extended periods of time with Him -- in His Word, in prayer. And because I'm who I am -- I spent a lot of time crying as well ... not because of my surgery and recovery, not because I was bored of being still, but because of how God just loved on me, showered His blessings on me through His people and His Word. He also pointed out that the fall is going to be an extra-busy time for me and He gave me this recuperation period so that I would strengthen up and be ready. He's kind of awesome like that.

I'm hoping that I've learned a little bit through this recuperation time -- that I'll regularly take time to "be still and know that He's God", that I'll realize the importance of recharging, that I'll stop to just listen. In ALL things -- even in surgery and recovery, God is teaching ... and I'm learning.