Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Shepherd's Care

I had planned to be in Poland at the European Leadership Forum today, to be a part of this with Dave, Tyler and Claire.

They were teaching a seminar this afternoon on the topic of "Family on Mission" that I was to be a part of. I received a note from a friend who's there, who sent the photo saying all three are amazing teachers. That makes me happy to hear!

Where I am? At home on Day 3 of antibiotics for bronchitis, tonsillitis and a sinus infection. A triple whammy.

I went to the doctor on Thursday and found out the news, and have been worse before getting better since then. I'd been warned that the strong antibiotic might have an effect on me as the toxins of bacteria were being purged...and that warning turned out to be correct. I have been sicker the past two days than I have this whole time.

By this evening I'm finally starting to feel the good effect of the antibiotic (followed up by a probiotic three hours after each antibiotic) but am pretty wiped out.

I've been thinking a lot about Psalm 23, something Dave taught on two years ago at our JV spring conference. Sometimes the Good Shepherd makes us lay down in green pastures. This may not feel like a green pasture, but knowing my Shepherd, I trust that if he's laid me down, it is.

The doctor said I need to stay down until at least mid-week next week; a relapse from such a strong virus is possible, he said.

My body doesn't yet feel like anything but resting right now; we'll see how I feel in a few days! I kept my window open today and could hear the birds chirping on the first sunny day in a while. It was soothing; as is my Shepherd's care for me.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Day Five

I sure didn't expect this.

Today is the fifth day I've been in completely in bed, sick with whatever it is that has hit me. One moment it feels like a sinus infection, the other, bronchitis. Whatever it is, I am feeling pretty miserable. I've done everything I could think of to fight this off naturally, but since that's not working very well I'll head to the doctor tomorrow to see what he says.

Since I don't think you want to see a picture of "sick me" I'm posting one of Dave from this morning, from bed, where I watched him do a JV Webinar for our staff.

I'd love to write more about it since it's such a great thing we do once a quarter. Dave teaches from the Word, has different JV staff give updates from around our 15 countries, and gives general news to keep us all in the loop of our JV family.

But since I'm so low right now I'll just post this, and ask you to pray for me. I see the doctor here in town at 9 tomorrow morning.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Mother's Day: on the couch

On this Mother's Day (my 30th!), I spent it on the couch, sick with a horrible cough. There are sure worse things that could happen than that on a day like today!

I'm thankful that I have three awesome kids who made me a mom; that I have my own mom to honor today; and that I have a mom-in-law that I love too!

My sweet Claire, my last born, ministered to me on this Mother's Day, when I could hardly get out of bed.

She made lunch, brought me GF carrot cake (from Haley's recipe with lactose free frosting that is SOMETHING ELSE...I love frosting so I'm a good judge!), and brought my favorite soda: Almdudler from Austria! THANK YOU CLAIRE!

I think you brought me something else but right now can't remember it!

Dave brought me flowers, which was extra sweet considering me didn't get home until 4 AM (delayed flight, then a late night train ride) and had to be up to PREACH at church at 10. HE is something else!!!

Besides being something else, he's tired too...but still sat here with me!

All things considered, it was a very sweet Mother's Day, being confined to the couch.

Oh and Dave made me a fire and brought me special chocolate from Switzerland so that's good too!

Loved talking to the kids today; love talking to them on all days! But it was sweet to be honored by them, just as I honor my mom and mom-in-law today too!

Happy Mother's Day all of you AMAZING MOMS OUT THERE!!!!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Didn't See That Coming

This morning I woke up completely and absolutely sick. I sure didn't see that one coming.

Claire and I did our Velvet Ashes retreat yesterday, and while I felt a tickle in my throat at times during the day, I had full energy and was feeling pretty good.

But this morning was a COMPLETELY different story.

I was coughing as if I'd had bronchitis for weeks (or had been smoking for twenty years...which obviously was not true even though I sounded like it!). My body thoroughly ached and I had a splitting headache along with the sore throat (probably from coughing so much).

Today was supposed to be an early Mother's Day for me, with Tyler and Lara coming to make lunch, and Claire, Judah and Asher here too (Dave is still in Switzerland with GYI). But that was not to be. I spent 99.9% of the day in bed, sleeping, when I wasn't coughing violently.

I finally got up to go downstairs and at least try to eat and drink something. What a good time it was to get up!

The days are getting longer here, and this was at just a few minutes before 8 PM!

With a hot cup of tea in hand, I stood at the window watching as the sun set, not wanting to miss the beauty of the day ... because I'd already missed a certain part of its beauty that didn't get to happen due to being sick.

All these years I've trained my mind to be thankful, no matter what. So I stood here praising the Lord and thanking Him for meeting me in a sun set, and obviously lying me down in "green pastures", though I didn't know I needed it!

Here's to a better day tomorrow, whatever that might hold!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Velvet Ashes 2019

This morning Claire and I grabbed our Bibles, notebooks, computers, headphones, colored pencils, crayons, candles, snacks and coffee to get us ready for our all-day Velvet Ashes retreat day. 

Two years ago I found out about this ministry to women who live overseas. Whether they are missionaries or expats living somewhere other than their passport country, they designed their ministry to be a service of helps, resources, community and retreat.

But the once a year retreat is not in person! Rather it is an online retreat that you can go through by yourself, with one other person, or in a group. I've done it alone for the past two years, but this year asked Claire if she wanted to join me. So today was the day!

This year's theme for the retreat was "Shalom", a word that I didn't know much about until spending significant time in the Word today and seeing all the places where it shows up! I actually studied through eight full pages of Scripture, looking them up, diagramming them, looking for broad sweeps of meaning, and for personal truths for me today.

Did you know that the word shalom doesn't mean just "peace"? It's biblical definition is much fuller, encompassing wholeness, completeness, fulfillment, contentment, harmony, well-being, security; being safe in mind, body and estate.

We finished around 5:30 this afternoon and were sharing our thoughts on how God had met us and what was significant from the day, when all of the sudden we looked out our back window!

It had been raining throughout the day, and to be honest, I hadn't taken much note of the weather, knowing that it was supposed to rain all day.

But not THE WHOLE day, according to God!!

What could be more meaningful from Him than to end our day with a spectacular full rainbow??

It is the sign of his covenant between the earth and Him (Genesis 9:13), that He would not destroy the earth again (9:15). Each time we see it we are to remember His promises and everlasting covenant with us, and all living creature of every kind on the earth (9:16).

Truly, it was the perfect ending to an amazing day of meeting with the Lord; not only were we nourished and tended to by Him, but also reminded so very poignantly of His goodness and that HE IS GOD, our SHALOM!!!