Sunday, December 11, 2011

The JOY of Christmas

As the year passes by, I always forget the excitement my babies have bubbling over during the Christmas season. Oh, it does my heart good to watch their excited faces glowing each day during this season. This is what parents live for...the true child-like belief and happiness. What would we give to be able to be as happy as our kids during Christmas???

Well, I've survived a solid week stuck at home since surgery. The surgery went well, just as expected. I have done my very best to follow doctor's orders because the recovery is so crucial with this type of surgery. However....... that means staying off my feet and in my house. Until yesterday, my excuse was that I couldn't get out of my house because of the steps. Yesterday, some guys from church came and built me a that excuse works no more. We attempted to go to dinner tonight....not a good idea. About halfway through, I got really sick feeling and needed to leave. This was the first time I've been dressed since surgery. It was also the longest I'd been out of bed. May have over-done it for my first outing. Wayne insisted we take the wheelchair...just in case. Anna said I was NOT allowed to go with her if I was going in the wheelchair. Geez...where's the love??? :)

The girls have their Christmas musical at church tomorrow night, so I'm going to rest up all day in hopes of being able to go watch them. I feel like I've missed out on so much this year because of all these dog-gone surgeries!

I brought NOTHING home with me from school this time...which is a FIRST! This time I have been solely focusing on getting healed and spending time with my family. I had no idea one person could sleep so much. It's all I've done since the surgery. My prayer is to be completely rested - making up for the lack of sleep that began during pregnancy with Reed and continued through his battle in NNICU to present day sleeplessness.

So, before surgery last week, I ran in Target to find something to read in pre-op. I got a new James Patterson novel and a Joyce Meyer devotional book. I pulled the devotional out while I lay in pre-op for almost 5 hours before surgery. I had to show Wayne just about every other daily devotion because they all appeared to be written about ME. I have never read a devotional book that hit so closely to home. I handed Wayne one to read and asked him who it reminded him of.... His response, "Shall I hand you a mirror????" I have read a little each day...each day that I have actually spent some time awake. Tonight I picked it up after our supper excursion. There were about 6 straight devotions that had my name all over them. They were based on the woman in Proverbs 31.One spoke on the importance of considering things before we jump into new things. Joyce Meyer said she (like me) wants to be involved in MANY things, which isn't always a good thing. We need to "consider the importance" of the things we are doing. Quality of work is much more admirable than quantity of work. We need to focus on the few things and do them very well, versus doing many things halfway. It also discussed choosing the EXCELLENT things in which we need to be involved, rather than just the GOOD things. Next, we are told to consider all things "prudently" before acting. Meyers warns against acting emotionally, which usually leads to the wrong choices. This woman in Proverbs also gave when she had nothing to give. By doing this, we are blessed with more from our Loving Father. One of the final thoughts I took from the several devotions I read tonight was to take time to refresh ourselves. Too often, too many of us neglect ourselves because we spend all of our time, energy, and resources on our children and spouses. The Bible says we can't be ALL that He wants us to be if we don't take time for OURSELVES. Yep! That one was definitely aimed at me.

I have several situations since 2010, that if we don't take time to take care of ourselves, God WILL make us stop. Apparently, I'm a slow-learner.... God flattened me on my behind in March 2010 when my precious Reed was born 11 weeks early. He took me from my comfort zone and put me in Macon in the NNICU, where there was no one to think about or worry about except my baby and myself. So, I thought I learned my lesson and was doing a pretty good job of maintaining that once I went back to work that August. ...... Apparently, not.... Starting in May 2011, I have undergone a series of 5 surgeries. Each time, I pushed myself to get back into life and back to work, at the expense of my body. This last surgery (which I truly hope is the LAST surgery) has left me no option. I can't put ANY weight on my right leg or the two bone parts won't grow together as they should, which could be trouble for the rest of my life. So, as hard as it has been and will continue to be, I HAVE to follow doctor's orders this time. I'm hoping that this time God will think I have learned my lesson (again), and will move on to someone else. :)

Yes, I joke, but in all seriousness, God has overly blessed us over the years. It has been much more obvious and more publicly in the past 1 1/2 years. My whole outlook changed when Reed was born and I had to search desperately for some small step in the right direction while we were in the dark days in the NNICU. This outlook has been with me since those dark days. However, after the first 4 surgeries I started slipping back into the not-so-happy outlook attitude. Now, another surgery later, I'm back into looking for my rainbows.

We all go through dark days, months, even years. However, there are ALWAYS rainbows of blessings mixed into those dark times. We just have to be willing to look for them, believing that we will find them, and then thank God for those rainbows. No, they aren't always actual rainbows. My sign when Reed was in the NNICU was a double rainbow, which I had NEVER seen before in my life. I was driving in the rain and looked up to see a double rainbow staring me in the face. This was when I knew beyond all doubt that Reed would live. So, I always look for my rainbows. The Monday before surgery last week, I saw an actual rainbow, which let me know that all would be okay with the surgery and all that was to follow it.

The Christmas season always makes us more appreciative and believing. But, God gives us rainbows all year long. We just have to be willing to look for them. Take the time - not just during this Christmas season - to actually SLOW down and LOOK for your rainbows.

I pray God blesses each of you with a wonderful, love-filled Christmas season. I ask Him to wrap each of you in His loving arms and touch you right where you are in need. I pray that you will feel His peace and presence as we remember the TRUE and ONLY reason we have to celebrate this season. Knowing how close we were to losing our son, I can't fathom God watching His Son being tortured and killed. We (Wayne and I) were helpless in trying to save Reed, but God was not helpless in saving His Son. Yet, He allowed Jesus to be beaten and tortured and hung on that cross for us. He LET His Son die. That has taken on a whole new meaning for us since our walk that took us so close to Reed's death. WOW! We really do serve an awesome God!

Much love and merry times as you celebrate the reason for this season,

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