Standing in God's Way
I had an awesome day on Monday. Well, to be honest, I had an awesome weekend, but the topper of the cake was yesterday, my birthday. The fact that it was my birthday was not what made it awesome, but all the events that occurred during it and over the last few days were what made it so special. If you read my last blog about my sore shoulder, than you would know that I was dealing with quite a bit of pain and discomfort, and had a hard time doing even the simplest task. That Thursday, when it was the worst, I prayed and told the Lord that the only thing I wanted for my birthday was to be able to move my arm again. It is amazing how we take every day for granted, hardly thinking about how we move about and do things, never stopping to say thank you to the Lord for the abilities He has given us.
Last Thursday I was trying to practice for the special Joe and I were scheduled to do at church, and I thought to myself, "I can't do this. I am going to have to postpone it to another Sunday." But, deep inside my heart I could feel the Lord prodding me to go on, to keep it as planned, and trust in Him to do the rest. When I had first looked at my music to figure out what we would sing, nothing seemed to feel right, until I found my copy of 'Lord of My Heart' and suddenly I knew that was what we were supposed to sing. It had the flute music with it so I thought I could play along as well as sing in between the flute parts. It sounded good at the time, but then the trial came up with my arm and I began to doubt. Never doubt what God has laid upon your heart. He always has a way of bringing it back to your heart and mind when it is in His will. He has a greater purpose and plan, and will keep nudging you to follow it no matter how hard it may seem at the time.
So, we kept our schedule. When I woke up Sunday morning, I found I could raise my arm a few inches, which was a huge improvement from not being able to move it at all the day before. I was encouraged and hope was restored. God was taking care of me all in His perfect time. We did our song that morning, and God blessed it. (I am hoping Joe can give me the audio copy of it so I can post it on here so you all can listen to it.) Pastor even asked us to sing it that evening, which meant he had enjoyed it too. It's always a good sign when you are asked to do it again. I felt at peace, knowing that we had done what God had wanted us to and He rewarded our efforts.
Monday rolled around, which we had off from school due to the holiday, and when I woke up I found I could raise my arm up over my head. It was so much improved! God gave me my answer to prayer and it was a wonderful birthday gift. I cried as I thanked Him for His love and mercy, something I felt I did not deserve. I need Him so much in my life, and I do not know where I would be without Him. The truth is I need Him to live my life, but He does not need me. He simply loves me. The only thing He needs from me is to follow Him, love Him, trust Him, and obey Him. When I do this I am standing in His way, meaning I am on the path that He wants me to be on, and He will bless me as I walk down the road He has chosen. No matter how tough it gets, He is there holding my hand, whispering in my ear that He has it all under control, and through my painful experiences He is shaping and molding me into something beautiful. So, no matter how hard it may get, I want to always be right there in God's way.
I suppose it was not the brightest idea. At the time it seemed like a fun thing to do with the family, but the problem was that I still thought of myself as an eighteen year old who could go out and hammer post into the field to make a fence for the horses. I still thought of myself as someone who could rip open a small pumpkin to pull the seeds out. It is just not realistic to think that way anymore. That was over twenty years ago, before I had five children (six pregnancies) and endured back injuries and other aches and pains that make the body weaker. So, a trip to the trampoline park seemed harmless. What could it hurt to bounce around with the children on a bunch of trampolines? Well, my right shoulder found out that it could hurt a lot. I went down on one bounce, put my hands down to catch myself, and at the same time someone else jumped on the same trampoline and I misjudged the bounce and it jerked my arms up and did something to my right shoulder. It ached a little bit at the time, and I remember thinking, "This is going to hurt tomorrow," and left it at that. To make a long story short, I now have a frozen shoulder which throbs and aches, and restricts my ability to move my arm. Suddenly putting on a coat requires assistance. I cannot raise my upper arm above my hip, and the simple act of putting a barrette in my hair is now a huge chore. I just cannot do it. Alaina has been a big help in this area. Everyone has been a big help in the kitchen. JJ even vacuumed the living room for me, and Joe has been needed to help me in the morning as I get ready for work, and I hate having to depend on everyone to help me with everyday tasks. Not to mention the intense pain that shoots up my arm if I bump or jerk my arm in the wrong direction.
I am right handed. It is my right shoulder that is injured. So, therefore, my left hand has been having to take up the slack and work extra hard. Who knew that I could write and do so much with my left hand? Maybe I am more in my right mind than I thought! :) When something is not used to being worked, it takes a little bit of training and time to get it into shape, but once it is, nothing is going to stop it.
Today after lunch, I was overseeing the clean up of the table where my K5 class sits and eats and Little Lya was busy sweeping. I took a second broom and began sweeping with my left arm, helping where I could. I found my right arm had a little bit more movement than on the previous days, but I still have a long road ahead of me. Lya was commenting at how well I was doing and said something about how good it was that I had my left arm. "That must be why God made our lefts arms," she said. "To do the work when our right arms can't." Smart girl...but what do you do about left handed people? :) I guess it works the other way around.
It got me thinking about how there are different people in the church and other places in life that do so much. They keep things running smoothly, managing everything right down to every detail. They work all hours, hardly ever stopping to take a break, and never complain. Kind of like a right hand. There are other people who could be considered left hands, doing what needs to be done, but feeling less talented and not as capable of doing all that the right hands do. Yet, there are times when the right hands have to step back and let the left hands come and fill in the gap. It may be a discouraging, humbling feeling for the righties, but it is the way God created us. He created the entire body for a purpose; each part of the body has a job to do and we all work together. Nobody is better than anyone else and even the most minor part is very important. So, as an encouragement to you, no matter where God has placed you in life, you play an important part to those around you. As a part of the body of Christ, you have a job to do, no matter how small or minor. Whatever you put your hand to do, do it with your might and do it for the Lord. He gave you that left hand for a reason, so put it to good use. And meanwhile, stay away from those trampolines, at least those who are over 35 years of age. :) Oh, and keep the crazy minded ones who do go (or did go) in prayer so they can mend quickly after their
It was as if a gift was handed to me today, all wrapped up in snow. I love having Mondays off. Three day weekends are awesome! I will never complain about having an unexpected day off, though I do think it is a bit ridiculous how crazy people get around here when it snows. It is winter in New England...what do you expect? So many people act like snow is a foreign thing here, as if we lived in Florida where the temps never drop below fifty degrees. New England means changing weather every few minutes. It means rain, snow, ice, and uncertainty. It means you need snow, or all season tires on your car. It means driving properly when you are out on icy roads, such as picking up speed when you climb a hill so you can make it up, while slowing down around corners and taking it easy on the highway. Snow does not mean you have to panic. It does not mean you have to run to the store and clear off the shelves of bread, toilet paper, and milk. Snow will not last forever. I am sure if you looked around your pantry you would find enough food in your house to last for a day. Granted, last year we had an out of the ordinary event occur, when we had three feet of snow dump on us in one night. In all my thirty-eight years of life, I have never seen that before and I have a feeling I never will again. I could be wrong - actually, I hope I am wrong. That was awesome, tiring to shovel, but awesome!
I know, I hear many of you saying it must be the fact that I am from Vermont and snow was a daily part of my life. I am used to it and it must be in my blood. I can remember it snowing every day. We would wait for the bus in our snow pants and boots, sometimes actually play in it and have snowball fights, and other days we would huddle in the bus stop shelter and wait an hour or more as our toes froze in the cold. The bus would come creaking down the road, chains on the tires rattling eerily as it drove over the snow covered dirt roads. I can even recall one time when the bus went off the road and we were all allowed to get off and we kept warm in a nearby house where one of the kids lived. So, yes, what I see outside was just a normal part of my life growing up. Nothing really has changed, except for the people and what they believe. This whole global warming idea, whether you believe it or not, has affected us to a point where we sub consciously think the world is getting warmer and we should be getting less snow. "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." Gen 8:22
No matter what man thinks or says, I am glad to know my God is in control of the weather and that no matter what happens, seasons will continue to come and go until He says it is done. Pretty much until the end of time, like in Revelation. You do not have to like the cold and the snow, but at least teach your children that God is good, and that we do not have to be paranoid about the weather outside our door. We need to teach our children that God is still in control; that He is still worth trusting because He created this beautiful earth. Besides, isn't it a good time for all to gather together inside the house and have family time together? Drink hot chocolate and bake cookies together...speaking of that, I think I am going to go put the kettle on right now and warm up some water for hot chocolate. Care to join me?