Tuesday, June 16, 2015


It's been twenty days since my shoulder surgery. In some ways it feels like months, not weeks.  Time can have a way of getting carried away, or just all mixed up. 
I've been moving very slowly, at least it feels very slow, the last three weeks.  Focusing on recovery with a positive outlook has been my goal, while still being real and honest about how I feel and what is going on inside my body and my heart. Sometimes those two positions collide with each other, and I'm left with a lot of crashing noises and messy pieces to sort through.
There has been so very much to be thankful for. God has abundantly blessed me with beautiful family and friends to surround me during this time and support me, my husband, and children. They have brought us food, given us rides, brought flowers, run errands, and visited often. 
There have been so many days that the pain in my shoulder has felt bigger than my courage. And, when I hear long term predictions of this being a 3-4 month intense struggle, I feel discouraged. Then, when the time is extended to two years before my shoulder is completely healed, I find that I really begin to struggle with feelings of despair. 

I cry out to the Lord with my voice;
with my voice to the Lord I make
my supplication.
I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare before Him my trouble.
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me,
then you knew my path.
In the way in which I walk
they have secretly set a snare for me.
Look on my right hand and see, for there is no one
who acknowledges me; refuge has failed me;
no one cares for my soul.
I cried out to you, O Lord: 
I said "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living. Attend to my cry for I am brought very low; deliver me from my persecutors, for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise your name; the righteous shall surround me, for you shall deal bountifully with me."
Psalms 142: 1-7

At physical therapy yesterday he measured the stretch of my arm, and it is up to 80 percent! The last 20 percent is the toughest to accomplish, and I'm not moving beyond the 80 because of the pain I experience. The journey ahead, the 20 percent, could take as long as two years! 
When I woke up this morning, and I started to pray, the thought that  "it doesn't have to be that way" came to mind. God will stretch my arm in His timing, it's all in His control. I need to diligently do the exercises and rest in His care. Yes, it's going to be painful. And, yes I want to talk about that; it helps to process it. But, however long it takes, God will bountifully deal with me and my family. I feel afraid sometimes that it will be a long time, but if it is, He will replenish my strength and give me courage every day. He will give my husband all that he needs to manage as well, for this has not been easy for him.
There is so much to learn in the journey of life. God continues to bring me along and teach me about compassion, love, hope, trust, faith, and much more. Today I am asking Him to whisper words of hope over and over to me and I will continue to 
Say That Again!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Praise God!

We celebrated our 33rd anniversary yesterday. We went to the park with our kids. It was very nice. The weather was perfect. We walked through town and through the park and we ate dinner. For my husband and I it was so nice to be together and to think about all the years that we have enjoyed each other's company. 
We have had children in our home for 31 years, and they have given us a lot of joy as well.
There has also been much hardship, but God has walked with us and given us the needed support of each other. I feel very blessed to have been given the gift of family.
I believe the wings of God are sheltering us. He has lifted us up through financial struggles, health issues, a straining business, and ongoing issues. 

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be
in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in 
the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me, 
And let us exalt His name
I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my
They looked to Him and were 
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord
heard him, 
And saved him out of all his troubles.
Psalms 34:1-6

All these years, the Lord has heard me, and He has continually delivered me. I will praise Him, and Him alone will I praise! Because of Him, we have been blessed with 33 years, five beautiful children, three daughter in-laws, and five wonderful grandchildren!
Say That Again, Praise God!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Surgery and Beyond

Last Wednesday I had surgery on my shoulder. It had been causing me a lot of pain for several months, and I was unable to move my right arm above my head. Actually, my right arm was basically useless because of the pain and because my shoulder had become  frozen.
I was nervous about surgery. But, God being so full of compassion and grace towards me gradually brought me to a place of peace. The day of the surgery I did not feel afraid. I was eager to get the job done! And, even though I still needed to ask my surgeon whether or not he knew exactly what he was doing, he was more amused than offended.
In surgery more issues were discovered than originally thought. He first worked on unfreezing my shoulder, and that was a lot of effort  on his part. He said it was the worst frozen shoulder he's ever worked on. I believe it too after seeing all my bruises from his hands and tools after working on me.
He also found calcium deposits in the tendons of the rotator cuff which he removed. And, then he removed a bone spur and arthritis on my collar bone. And, repaired a tear in the rotator cuff.
It felt like a lot, but I then understood where all the pain was coming from.
The first few days of being home went very smooth for me.  Even with my trip to physical therapy the day after surgery, I managed to stay on my feet pretty well. But physical therapy is NOT fun!
Now, as I am moving in the second week, and I have reduced the intake of pain medication, I am feeling more emotional.  
My husband is traveling. My shoulder is hurting. My day yesterday was dripping with nausea and pain. 
This feels like a very long story!
Through all of this, I have learned to value certain gifts even more.
It is challenging to live with chronic pain. It's challenging to pretend like it isn't there, and I think some people do. I know several people that have chronic pain, and they walk a lonely walk. 
But now that I have had months of shoulder pain, I am asking myself the question, "What would have helped?"
 And, how can I help others that are in similar situations?
Can I help with the house work once a week?
Can I help with the laundry once a week?
Can I go buy groceries for them?
Can I continue to bring them a weekly meal?
Can I help with the yard work?
What are practical ways I can serve someone in chronic pain that will ease their way of life?
Today is a better day for me, than yesterday. I'm thankful for that. God has blessed me with many friends and family to help me through the next couple of weeks, and I am so grateful. 
I would not have been able to go through this surgery and the days following without their help and support. This brings me back to the many people living in chronic pain. I think they need more support, more daily help, more of God's Kingdom people to walk beside them day by day.
We are all searching for strength and nourishment. I am finding it is so much easier to choose the path of delight when faced with adversity if I am surrounded with the support and love of family and friends, then strength and nourishment fill my soul and my heart reaches out to others to give them all that I have received.
Jesus, You have deeply rooted me, and You continue to strengthen me. I praise you through the pain, and the gain. 
I will Say That Again!