Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Blessings in Disguise

I like this poster. Our adversity, is often just blessing in disguise. 

Looking back, I can see that my life has been filled with many blessings in disguise. Of course they didn't seem like "blessings" at all when I was experiencing them. How could I have known that having poor health with lots of allergies was really an opportunity to break with some dysfunctional family traditions, would help me learn to be more assertive and compassionate, strengthen my marriage, help me spend more time with my children and help them become more capable adults, and give me many opportunities for service.

This last year there have been many obvious blessing such as knowing we should move to the St George area to help improve my health, and finding a new home there in just four days. Far less obvious was the blessing of being felt alone in our new home for a month to unpack and get settled. I gained a lot of confidence in my abilities. It got me back up on my feet after being bedridden for so many years. During this time there were other blessings. One was that the city asphalted the road in front of our home. Our old neighbors had moved to the St George area a few years before and were now our neighbors again. They took me in for the day which gave me the support I needed at that time. Also, I really smacked my index finger trying to put furniture together which led to my finding a new doctor in the area.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Given More than What I Asked For
This is one of my favorite stories. I have experienced a lot of "pruning" in my life.

Most of us consider our prayers answered when we receive what we asked for-- right now. Is that really how prayers are answered? Almost exactly a year ago, I prayed for help to get better. Every medical option and test had been tried, but I was still very ill. As the months passed, my health became worse and worse till I could barely stand and could only get down some pureed baby food. Were my prayers answered? Yes.  Did I immediately receive the miraculous healing I desired? No. Has my health improved since last February? Definitely!

Sounds confusing? Yes, I didn't get what I asked for, instead I got what I really wanted-- when the time was right.  I've heard it said that we ask for help building a shack only to watch the Lord knock it down in preparation for building a mansion. My life had some major demolition. When all the dust settled, I had a lovely home in an area where I could be outside and exercise. My husband was able to finally retire, so we could spend more time together. I could breathe better in the clean dry air and my lungs are healing away from all the city pollution. Not only has my health improved, but the quality of my life is better than I had hoped for.

I was thinking small. I was just peering through a crack in the fence, while the Lord could see the whole field. He knew what I really needed to heal, and He helped me finally see it for myself.  When I prayed for help, He gave me the impression to "Go to St George", then He let me discover how much better I felt there. Becoming so ill when I returned to our old home, helped my husband and me understand what we needed to do. It also gave me the determination and courage to leave my home of 40 years and our family and move to a new area.

So, were my prayers answered? Yes, and I was given far more than I had asked for.  I was given not just the opportunity to heal, but to grow.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Ensuring Happiness in the New Year

This true story gives me encouragement and hope for the future. 

I have been feeling dissatisfied, ill at ease, that something isn't quite right--why? I should be ecstatic. We moved a few months ago from a place with lots of smog and cold winters. Now, we live in a desert and the winter is mild. The problems is that even though my environment has changed, I still need to change inside. I need to have faith that my life will be better here, and not let the past fifty years of chronic illness fill me with fear of the future and discourage me from trying to improve my life.

This morning I realized that I have to do more than wait for my health to improve, I need to take the action that will insure that it will be better. I need to do stretches and exercise, eat right, get plenty of rest, and monitor my medication.  If I want to improve my relationship with my husband, then we need to spend time together doing things we enjoy, and I need to share my feelings and needs.  If I am bored, then what can I do to serve others?

I am coming to realize that happiness isn't something to wait for, but something to work at. It is having hope for the future, then taking action to fulfill that hope. It is filling my mind with positive thoughts and keeping hate and negativeness out. It is trusting in the Lord and stepping forward into the darkness. Happiness is the fruit of faith.  I can ensure my happiness when I have enough faith to do those things which will help me to be happier. My happiness is up to me.