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Posts Tagged ‘fellowship’

Suzanne hosts Friday Fave Five at Living to Tell the Story to encourage us to count our blessings each week. This week I am coupling my Titus 2 Thoughts with FFF.

To be honest, I did not expect to be writing a FFF today. When my doctor called on Tuesday and told me my x-ray shows my most recent hip replacement has is broken and I will be scheduled for emergency surgery in the next day or two, I literally believed a day or two. The latest word is ‘sometime this weekend.’ My son asked if that means they have downgraded me from emergency to urgent. Maybe, but for now, I am supposed to ‘just use crutches’ and keep weight off that leg.

Just use crutches. Hmmm. Part of what I have been experiencing the last few weeks involves balance issues and motion sickness. Partner that with my natural lack of coordination and that little phrase ‘just use crutches’ is fraught with potential disaster galore. “Here, poor sick, sometimes-dizzy, out-of-shape lady with a wonky hip, just hobble around on these two little sticks. Keep your leg off the ground, oh, and press those crutches into your ribs. No, no! do NOT jam the pad into your armpits! Stand up straight! Grasp those hand grips and use your arms to hold your lumpy self up! No slumping! Simply follow these 25 easy illustrated steps to master the art of using crutches for any occasion.” It may sound crazy, but having to use crutches post-surgically is probably the thing I dread most about this surgery.

After my last hip replacement, I told myself I never wanted to go through hip replacement surgery again. A congenital condition, both hips replaced now, we’re done. Guess what? I’m not in charge. I can do ‘everything right’ and still not be in the position to control whether or not I have to endure something once or a dozen times. God is in control, and He orchestrates every part of my life for my good and His glory.

I’m an introvert and do a lot of self-talk. This can get me in trouble when I do not filter my thoughts through the truth of God’s Word. Lugubrious, self-focused Eyore thinking does not glorify God and is not helpful to me or to those around me.

My self-talk: anxiety and fear. God’s truth: Be anxious for nothing. God has not given us a spirit of fear. I will never leave you or forsake you.

My self-talk: What about the unknowns? How am I going to get through this arduous surgery and recovery again? God’s truth: My grace is sufficient for you.

Remember the children of Israel in the desert? God provided manna daily for them. If they tried to save up for the next day (with the exception of the Sabbath) the manna would spoil and not be fit to eat. In a similar way, God provides grace to help in our time of need. It’s not saved up like money in a bank but is instantly provided for each situation. That is a promise we can rest on.

So here are five blessings among many from the past week.

1. Protection from a potentially life-threatening situation because of my broken prosthesis. I’m not sure how long it has been broken, but I have had symptoms (that I thought was a flare up of my fibromyalgia) for at least 6 weeks

2. Loving family, church, family, and friends. I have blessed with flowers, cards, and the promise of prayer from many friends from around the world. My husband and daughters have helped in so many ways. My son and his family arrive in 2 weeks ready to help, too.

3. Getting my desk work caught up while waiting for the call about surgery. I finished some reports, organized some photos, filed some papers, and set up some automatic payments in preparation for my time in hospital.

4. Living at a time and in a place where I can be helped medically. Such a blessing!

5. All the wonderful ministry friends I met and fellowshipped with at the conference we recently attended in North Carolina. It was a joy to spend time with many who serve God faithfully across the globe, hear their stories, and learn of their hearts for the places where God has called them to minister.

Update! I just got the phone call. I will be admitted through emergency today and surgery is scheduled for tomorrow.

Here are a few more pictures from our recent vacation to Holden Beach in North Carolina.

Beautiful hydrangeas

Reflection

Marsh visitor

Sunset on marsh

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FFF fall leaves 2

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

I’ve missed several weeks of posting FFF. We have traveled some for ministry, but the main reason I have missed so many weeks is because my husband is now taking a day off each week, and this semester it is Fridays. I am blessed because he likes including me in his plans. I guess I need to prepare my FF’s on Thursdays, or post on Saturdays when he is back to work. Not a great start on that adjustment! (Today he is at a men’s retreat so I have time to do this post on Friday!)

Part of the importance of this Friday post is focusing on the daily blessings God gives us. Sometime I get so busy, or so preoccupied, or even so discouraged about something that blessings fade into the background. I’m learning through my photography that what you focus on can change the whole outcome of the picture. Just the slightest adjustment in the focus can alter what is seen from a beautiful shot to one that is blurry and unattractive. It is good for someone like me, who possesses an artistic streak of melancholy, to regularly adjust my focus to the good and positive in my life. Just kind of thinking out loud here.

1.  Fellowship Last month several pastors’ wives from Alberta traveled to Red Deer for a time of prayer, fellowship, and encouragement. The drive down and back with a dear ministry friend, the focus of the fellowship, and time after we got home with my friend’s children were all blessings of the day.

2.  Wonderful weather The weather has been amazingly mild for October in central Alberta. I have harvested most of my herbs and dried them, but am holding out on bringing in the rest of the kale and my hearty spearmint and peppermint. If we get really cold temps, or cold days with hard frosts in the evenings, I’ll pull in the rest of the garden. It’s just nice that we have had fresh greens so far into the autumn.

IMG_1978a

3. Renovations Because of a bad leak in our guest bathroom we are having to renovate that room. When our renovator pulled down the wall around the tub, he found less damage behind the walls than expected. That was certainly a blessing! My decorating daughter has helped me pick out paint, flooring, etc. Sadly, I do not possess the ability to imagine what something will look like. I love those apps that let you put your selections together and show you what new paint, or new furniture etc. will look like. But I have something better than an app…a daughter who has an eye for design!

4. Travels It was a great blessing to travel to South Carolina last week. We met with our mission board, reported to our sending church, and spent time with family. Although there was flooding in South Carolina the week prior, the weather last week was beautiful. Overall I traveled better this time than in July, for which I am very grateful.

5. Gratitude “In everything give thanks.” Do you ever stumble over this biblical command as I do? This week one daughter lost her job and another was in a 5-car collision. “Give thanks.” I am back to the focus again. What am I going to focus on? I will focus on the fact that my daughter is able to work, is actively searching for work, and wants to work. Maybe what we think of as a setback is an opportunity for God to provide something amazing for her. I am thankful that my other daughter was not seriously injured in this collision and has a car she can still use. Perspective. Focus. Gratitude.

 

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FFF spring

It’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

1. Travel, travel, and more travel  We are traveling quite a bit this summer for ministry reasons. Last week took us back to Calgary where we started a church plant in 1988. It was wonderful to see old friends and make new ones at the church! The church membership has successfully grafted in a new pastor and his family and seem to love him dearly and follow his leadership. Such a blessing to see this! My husband and I were both surprised at how emotionally intense (in a good way!) the weekend was for us.

2. Surrogate Grandma! One of the benefits of being ‘of a certain age’ is that you can act as a surrogate grandmother to kids whose biological grandparents live far away. When we told God we would serve Him wherever He wanted us, it ended up being far from either of our families. Many people became aunties, uncles, and grandparents to our kids in their growing up days. This past weekend I got to be Grandma to Madison and her brothers. Loved every minute of it and looking forward to more sweet times together.

3. The challenges of traveling with fibromyalgia When a person with fibromyalgia travels so many different things can cause a relapse. Part of managing my fibromyalgia these past 2 and a half years has been identifying problems spots in my health and learning to manage them. Two big areas for me are proper sleep and a diet that helps me have fewer or less severe fibromyalgia symptoms. This past weekend I had good sleep and thanks to the diligence and kindness of the church ladies, had safe food to eat all weekend. Yay!

4. Reunion with a dear brother Our schedule has been so intense and busy we talked about moving our Calgary meeting from last week into September, but we felt compelled to keep the July date. Just before we left to drive down, we learned a former church member was in hospice and would soon be with the Lord. He very much wanted to see my husband so that their relationship would be in perfect harmony before this dear brother went to be with the Lord. Many hugs were shared and many tears shed at that short but powerful meeting. Three days later this brother went to be with the Lord. God is sovereign and granted the dying wish of one of His own. We are humbled and blessed by His leading!

5. Goodbye tree! We had to take down a big, old tree from the back yard because it was diseased. *sniff* I love those old trees, the shade they provide, and the bit of privacy they offer. Now most of the back yard is open and sunny and…..as my husband reminds me, we have new possibilities for the space. Guess it does all depend on how you look at things!

Here are a few more of my prairie “Abandoned Dreams” photos. I hope to get out and take some with my new camera soon.

Jan Torrington cabin (6) Lean on me... Papa bear mama bear and baby bearDSC07480

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