My Christmas ornaments are really important to me.
Each year, I add a few more to our tree:
Some of them, I’ve picked up at events like Christmas Village (made by special needs adults 💜), some are from special things that have happened in our family (like Henry’s ornaments ❤️❤️❤️), and some are ones that were just “us.”
And, each year, it’s so wonderful to decorate the tree and get out the ornaments and remember the reasons behind them.
We have a special ornament, passed down to us, that is Courtney’s Granddaddy’s, who passed away many years before I joined the family and it means so much to us that it lives on our tree. It goes near the top:
We have an ornament from our first big family trip to SeaWorld in Orlando, and ornaments the kids have made, and our first family ornament. Meaningful important things to us.
And I’ve been looking for just the perfect ornament for our friend Ryan, for him to always be a part of our Christmas – of course, he would have anyway, but still – and, today, we found it. A troll ornament. The last one at the store:
I love it so much. And I hung it on our tree when we got home. And it was a tough thing. He is so so missed.
And, with him on my heart, I went to catch up my bible study. I’m working through Beth Moore’s Jesus: 90 Days With The One and Only (I just love her. She teaches me so much – even on her Twitter and Insta feeds.) with my ladies group and had fallen four days behind (which I don’t usually do – but the crazy week won).
When I finally got to the current day, it was actually a study of one of Jesus’ miracles where he did heal someone but they said, “If you are willing” and she explored the times where healing doesn’t come.
First, of course, I thought about Ryan. And I don’t understand. And I’ll never understand while I’m here. But still, I trust God and I know that He is a Good Father even when I don’t understand and even when I HATE this. And I know that I can be honest with Him and tell Him how I’m feeling.
I continue to pray for my Al and my Jane and my Meg many times a day. And love them to the bottom of my toes. And support them however I can always.
And then I thought about living with my illness because her questions were geared more towards living with a long-term illness if healing doesn’t come.
And, of course, I hope it does and I will always continue to seek every possible solution to this, but, if it doesn’t, I believe God can and will use my illness for His purposes, even if I don’t know what they all may be.
When I see verses like this:
and many people assume “save” means “heal,” I wonder if sometimes the saving comes in the form of God’s strength to endure and that is how the Lord is raising us up. Also, during these times, our struggles often draw us so much closer to Him. Healing can come in many forms. Sometimes it not physical but spiritual. Just a thought.
As I was thinking about all of this – when healing doesn’t come – Sara Frankl, who I’ve written about several times, came back to mind. I would encourage everyone, particularly my spoonies – please, please – to read the book Choose Joy or go to her blog by googling Gitzen Girl and go to the archives from 2011 (when she passed away) and back for some serious encouragement.
How she lived with such joy in such incredible pain amazes me.
Before she was too ill to do so, she blogged daily and she was an artist, making signs and prints. Her family turned her “Choose Joy” print into a necklace – the sales benefit her non-profit organization – that I wear all the time:
The daily reminder is such an encouragement to me.
If you can, take five minutes to read this:
It is so worthwhile.
And, in my jumble of afternoon thoughts, as I was thinking about my illness and everything that has been going on and ornaments, I remembered that my ornaments start with 2010 because, prior to that, my children and I were in an awful situation.
I was able to remove the person responsible in 2009 but we weren’t able to move until the beginning of 2010 and, when we did, I left everything and started over. To this day, I don’t regret the decision for a total and complete fresh start.
So, our ornaments start with 2010.
And, as I look around me, even with the nasty RA, I cannot believe how incredibly God has blessed my life since then:
My husband is my best friend in the world and everything I ever I could have ever hoped for and more.
Even with teenage and other challenges, my babies are healthy, we also have plenty of good news too, and I am so thankful for them.
My precious family in love is absolutely amazing and I am especially thankful for the mom I always prayed for.
I have the best tribe of friends a woman could ever ask for.
I have the houseful of rescue dogs I always wanted – in the Hippie Hut of my dreams – and my weenie dog wonderpup at my side 24/7.
And we have so much more – I could list all day.
And I so do.
So, even if I never get better, or if I get worse, I KNOW that He is faithful to never leave or forsake us, and He will use this somehow and He will see us through.
For now, it’s time to get a nap nap – both of my boys, my husband and my Henry -have been sound asleep for hours – and then it’s church day.
Be well, everybody.
Happy Sunday and Who Dat!
Love and Light.