Friday, August 24, 2007

Experience the Ultimate Makeover

Weaning from steriods STINKS! I'd use other words that truly fit, but I try not to use profanity. I've been out of the house exactly once in the last eight days. I can't straighten my arms fully nor can I sit on the couch comfortably, so I spend much of my time in bed. I've done a great deal of reading, but I'm not blogging much, because even spending time in front of the computer for long periods of time is uncomfortable. I don't mean to complain, I know that God uses all things toward good for those who believe in Him, and I've found a lot of blessings in my illness. I've learned to be less independent and more willing to ask help from those around me, which has in turn made me a humbler person. In the last three years, I've become a lot less judgmental of others as well as about political issues. If you look at any issue from a distance, it's easy to make assumptions or judgments, but when you look closely at the individuals involved, it's less easy to think that way. I've started trying to think of everyone as a child of God and looking at them through His eyes. It makes it harder to watch the news or read the newspaper, but I spend more time in prayer. I spend a lot more time with my kids listening to them, and although they hate this illness, we've grown closer because of it. I've learned to appreciate my husband, and I realize that I underestimated his strengths. Anyone who works full-time, goes to school full-time and comes home to make supper for a spouse who has spent the day sick in bed and still laughs and smiles is a human being of amazing strength and love.

Lately prayers I've been making have been coming true: last night I prayed to God that I didn't know what I was going to do today to take care of Mia. Jesse had to go into work, and the kids were supposed to be with their dad until this evening. I told God my troubles and left the solution up to Him. This morning when I walked out of the bedroom, Doogie was asleep on the couch, and Molly was reading in her bed. Their dad brought them back early in the morning to accommodate his schedule, and in turn, my prayer was answered. I am blessed, despite this illness, or maybe because of it. Whatever it is, I'm putting my faith in God to get me through it, and He is, one day at a time.

Experience the Ultimate Makeover by Sharon Jaynes is a fantastic devotional for women. It's written in the tone of a spa or makeover treatment with cute chapter headings, but the text is rock solid faith. Jaynes is encouraging women to become new from the inside out through Christ. Dumping the lies we believe about ourselves, getting rid of baggage God has already forgiven, and trusting Him with our future is some of her advice. The chapter that resonated most strongly with me was about the labels that we put on ourselves: fat, old, ugly, etc, etc. And the labels that God has put on us: salt of the earth, light of the world, child of God, co-heir with Jesus, plus two more pages of beautiful names all with Scripture references. When I find myself thinking negatively about myself, I repeat some of the names Jaynes gives, and it reminds me of who God says I am. And if God says I am those things, who am I (or who is anyone else) to argue? Each chapter has many Bible verses to support Jayne's advice, and the main theme of the book is: 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! Bless yourself and a friend with this book!

The kids are loving Ebony, the new rabbit, but now we have to make a permanent shelter for her. Guess what Jesse is doing this weekend!


Anonymous said...

Hi, I enjoyed reading your comment. I too have struggled with RA for 16 years. I don't know where you live but I really feel that you should get a second opinion on your medications. There are a lot of great medications out there that can help you. Please take the time to explore all of your options. I really "fought" against taking some of the stronger medications because of possible side effects, however; I feel like I have my life back and can be a mom, wife and teacher again! Everyone with this disease has to go through their own journey and respect each other's decisions...but I just couldn't leave you site without telling you how much better I feel! Marilyn