Motherhood and Illness (Part 2)

Soak in the good days. It’s so easy to find the negative, the easy to complain about circumstances but choose to see the beauty and blessings today. Today is a grace day. A day to soak in the gifts of laughter, the gifts of a hug.

First thing in the morning, when my groggy self is confronted by my sweet children I choose to reach out and touch them. As explained in my last post, I am slow moving in the morning. I can also become a drill sergeant with the to do’s of the day but I have chosen to touch each of my children in a loving way each morning. “Good morning Son, how did you sleep last night?”, with a rub on the head or a squeeze hug.  To my little girl, I might tenderly move her hair from her face and pull her little body close to me to tell her good morning. This begins the day with my babies having their cup filled but it also helps me to keep the “right things” in focus. Loving my children is the greatest gift I can give them.

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I love touch. It is one of my love languages. But I do not enjoy it like I used to. My nerves do not send messages properly. So, while a child draws near or I draw them near for story time I may experience heaviness of my arms or legs, an ache that is heavy and painful. I have to adjust positions of how I sit or ask the children to change positions. I have to be honest with them that I want to sit close but my body is hurting the way we are sitting. I may have to ask them to hold the book or help me hold it depending on the size of the book and where we are sitting. The key with the kids is honesty. If I let them know I want to be near them but “let’s change how we are sitting because it is hurting me”, it helps them to know it is not their fault and that I want to be near them.

I have the same dilemma with my husband, who seems to naturally radiate warmth. I can only hold his hand so long before I have to release it and cool my hand. If we are sitting close to one another my legs feel like spiders are crawling up and down them. The Plexus Cleanse has helped me a lot. The magnesium in that calms my nerves but I still feel discomfort just from being close. I choose to be close still. I might get a cold pack or drink something cold to help calm the nerves so I can enjoy being near my loved ones.

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These discomforts, pain and irritations can easily become a focus but we have to choose to focus on the good. Although my hands are numb, I can still feel, so I thank God that I can feel. I thank God that I can cuddle and touch my children. I thank God with my children for all that I can do right now. When I could not walk well or barely exercise I spoke thanksgivings that I could move my foot and feel it move. When I got up on my own I thanked God that I could do that. When I agonizingly exercised for three minutes, I praised Him because I could. Choose thanksgiving and teach your children to praise God in the midst.

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Be honest with your limitations but choose to push against them. With chronic illness we can easily overdo ourselves so we must be wise but we also must choose the highest good. Choose to play that game with your kids. You might need to say, “Let mama take a nap first and then I will play that with you. Can  we make that a date? “.

Go outside with your kids and do what is within your limitations but soak in the fresh air, watch the butterflies and let them share their wonders with you. When your numbered days are over or your loved ones’ days are over, you won’t forget the time invested into loving them, choosing them, soaking in God’s creation with them. It will all be worth it in the end.

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I  know it is hard, my friend. It would be easier to wallow in pity for ourselves, hide away in our room and push everyone away but we do not need to lose heart. “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” 2 Corinthians 4:16  Soak in God’s love for you. Let Him renew your mind and heart.

Paul wrote to the Philippians, “If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me.”

Let’s choose that perspective. Let’s allow God to renew us inwardly day by day and live a fruitful life.

What are you struggling with today? Do you want to hide away?

Dear Friend, I am praying for you today.

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