Monday, September 21, 2009


**This post was originally written some time ago, but I was not at liberty to publish it at the time. The first part of the post was revised and updated to reflect the changes that have taken place since then, namely the arrival of our precious granddaughter. The second part remains unaltered. It was written on August 20th.**

Well, summer is officially over. Our first grandbaby has arrived and our daughter and her husband are busy feathering their nest. Our two youngest children have headed off to Bible School emptying ours, so we are officially EmptyNesters now that they are gone. That title always sounds so funny to me, a misnomer really, since we as parents are still in the nest. What are we, chopped liver?!

Here's a joke for all you new fellow "EmptyNesters":

Soon after our last child left home for college, my husband was resting next to me on the couch with his head in my lap. I carefully removed his glasses. “You know, Honey,” I said sweetly, “without your glasses, you look like the same handsome, young man I married.”

“Honey,” he replied with a grin, “without my glasses, you still look pretty good, too!”

Joking aside, I thank God that my husband and I have maintained our relationship throughout those child rearing years. God has been so good to us. We have chosen to be honest with our children about our failures and asked God for wisdom, of which we have required a very liberal dose. His grace has carried us through the good times and the difficult ones. I've been telling people that if we could be perfect parents, who would need grace anyways (and boy, have we ever!). We entrusted our children to Him before they were ever born and we will not stop now that they are old enough to spread their wings. We thank God for the privilege of allowing us to be parents and look forward to what He has in store in the coming years, especially now that we have become grandparents. With all the ups and downs the years bring, we know He will be there waiting for us when we get there.

Click HERE to read a really great poem called Empty Nest by Mandy Baldwin.


August 20th:

Speaking of ups and downs, at this time I would like to ask for prayer. Although I have had physical problems for more than twenty years, this last year and a half, and particularly the last four months, have been especially difficult for me. At this time it looks like I am facing the possibility that I will have to stop blogging altogether. I am writing this post at around 3:30 AM because I cannot sleep, not because I have no peace, but because I am living with chronic pain. Many of the ordinary things many people do every day and take for granted are becoming either difficult or impossible for me to do. For me this means that I have to decide what my priorities will be in a very big way. I read a really great illustration about this the other day at a website called But You Don't Look Sick, an article called The Spoon Theory, that may help you understand. For any of you interested, September 14 - 20, 2009 is National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week (what a mouthful, eh?), called Invisible Illness Week for short, something I only recently became aware of through the devotional ministry blog of Rest Ministries.

I will be seeing a rheumatologist in the near future (I hope), a doctor who I saw a number of years ago who did not give an accurate diagnosis at the time, partly because my GP believes I have a rare illness called Adiposis Dolorosa or Dercum's Disease, and only very specific lab tests will be of any help in a diagnosis. Just letting you know that this is a tentative diagnosis, as he wants a specialist to confirm or deny it of course, but I have all of the classic symptoms. I have previously been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, which is really a spectrum covering many diseases, some of them not well understood. (People with Dercum's may also have Fibromyalgia as a secondary condition but/and are also frequently misdiagnosed with it). Dercum's causes chronic pain , and may gradually or rapidly (particularly for women in their 40's) become very debilitating. At this point I am having difficulty walking some days, my right side being particularly affected. I am experiencing pain, weakness and a loss of balance and co-ordination. The more activity I do the worse it gets because activity causes the lipomas to irritate the nerves, so I am trying to keep occupied by reading, taking short walks around the yard and doing some light housekeeping as I am able. When I am in severe pain I am basically unable to do anything, not even read or watch TV. During this time I simply rest and do a lot of praying. (The disease also causes chronic fatigue, which may be the result of chronic pain).

Update: September 21/09:

I have been placed on some new and experimental medications and pain relievers and am receiving some relief from the pain (praise God!) but not from the chronic fatigue and weakness. I have begun to realize that I may never return to my previous physical condition. Although I have made adjustments in my lifestyle over the years to accommodate my health problems, the past few months have meant some drastic changes for me. Although I have experienced my "down times" emotionally, God continues to give me the strength, courage and hope I need one day at a time. I can still say with conviction that God is good to us, understanding that having received the earnest of the Spirit here and now, and that one day in the presence of Christ I will be made completely whole. For now, the spiritual blessings God has given me are enough, and His strength is made perfect in my weakness.

Regarding this blog, I still have hope that I will gain enough strength one day to carry on with this since I know that there are people who have come across it and found it to be a source of information and encouragement. It is God who receives all the glory for that - I am only His channel, and I thank Him for choosing to use me. To this day I don't understand why that is, and yet I praise Him for giving me the privilege of serving Him in this way. I have made some of the most incredible friends, people whom I have met or become reacquainted with when they discovered this blog. God bless every one of you. Please continue to pray for me, it means so much.

A Bible passage which has come to mean a lot to me lately is the entire 26th chapter of Isaiah, and especially the highlighted verses. I believe this chapter is a prophecy referring to the "catching away" of the bride of Christ, a day which I look forward to with great anticipation.

Isaiah 26

1In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.

2Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.

3Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

4Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

5For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust.

6The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.

7The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.

8Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.

9With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

10Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.

11LORD, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.

12LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.

13O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.

14They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.

15Thou hast increased the nation, O LORD, thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified: thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth.

16LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them.

17Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD.

18We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.

19Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

20Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

21For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

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