Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday Afternoon Tea - An Attempt at Normal

I have learned through the years that when normal has gone by the wayside, just try to live as close to normal as possible. So I will be here on Sundays and other days when I can see better.

The infection is gone (thank God!) but I still cannot see in my right eye.  I described it to my doctor as looking through thick Jello, only able to see light and shadows.

The situation, while frustrating, has provided some amusing moments.  You know the kind... when you have to laugh or cry and you choose to laugh.  I have now poured water close to the coffee maker instead of into the carafe a few times.  That part of the kitchen counter is getting a good cleaning.

I have jabbed my finger with the needle at the end of the flexpen after taking my insulin a few times... while trying to put the cap back on to the pen. Ouch.  We will not describe how close we came to chopping the end of a finger off while fixing dinner a couple of times.  Let's just say we will not attempt a fine chop of onions until I can see again clearly.

All prayers appreciated.

This has been one of those seasons of time when I think of the Book of Job, although it would be an embarrassment to compare my simple lack of comfort to what He went through.  However, I have long been thankful that Job is in the canon of scripture and I am thankful to those ancient men of old who so carefully transcribed God's Word through millennia.  I need the message of Job, the comfort of Psalms, the hope found in the prophets.

Life this year has been hard.  There is just no getting around it.  I'm pretty sure we all go through seasons when there are multiple trials swirling around us.  I learned long ago that if one tries to reason the whys, it only makes it worst.  Instead we have to use the times to draw near to God and trust that He will bring us through "the valley of the shadow of death"... which to me signifies all life altering trials.

Sometimes there is an actual end to the trials while at other times He gives the Grace for us to continue in spite of them.  I heard a story recently of a man who had gone through terrible torture for his faith in a foreign prison.  He said that, while he is very glad to be out of there, sometimes he misses the presence of God he had that caused him to be able to survive the torture.

While most of us will never be imprisoned and tortured for our faith, we are in the midst of the great Battle of the Ages.  It has only been in the last few years when I fully realized that Battle began far before the creation of this world.  It began when Lucifer first thought he was on the same level as God and began the great war of the ages.

Wendy Alec wrote a series of books called Chronicles of Brothers.  I have only read Book One, The Fall of Lucifer, in the series of four (so far) books but it was fascinating.  In it, she paints a picture with words of Lucifer's fall and the the subsequent creation of the earth.  (It was good for a first novel.)

I normally do not go in for speculative fiction but I had heard good things about this series.  It is fiction and therefore not necessarily the way things happened but it did cause me to understand that the battle between Good and evil existed long before Eden.  That is what fiction is good at doing, expanding our imagination.

This small blue planet is simply put, the battlefield between Good and evil at the moment.  Bad things happen to good people.  God tells us in the Word that in this world, we will have tribulation.  However... and this is the most important truth... when we accept the salvation Jesus offers us then we are never without a Savior.  Here and there.

He told his Father in the Book of John that He is not asking for Him to take us out of this world.  In the 17th Chapter, he instead asks that God will take us through it all.  He does.  He gives His strength when we think we cannot go on.  His mercies are new every morning.

I once heard that this lifetime is the only one we will have when we can bring God a thankful heart in the midst of trials.  If we can believe James when he says we should be thankful for trials... I think this is at least part of what he is talking about.  God will reward those who remain faithful even on this fallen planet.

Let us not give up because we are weary. 

There have been some very good times, such as following both of my kids and their families vicariously on their vacations.  Mr. & Mrs. Christopher drove to California with her dad, stopping at National Parks along the way.  Mrs. Christopher's mom and her sister flew to California with Piper once they arrived.

Stephanie's family spent three weeks in Europe on their long planned for adventure.  Through photos and little movies Stephanie put together, I followed them as they landed in Scotland, enjoyed a few days in a farmhouse in England near the Lake District, visited Sarah (formerly Clarkson) and lovely buildings in Oxford, and went sightseeing in London.  Then onto Rome and Paris before flying to Ireland to spend time with family.

I am thankful for their lovely trips and that everyone arrived home safe and sound.   Oh, and little Miss Piper turned two this month.  Can you believe it?  My own birthday is coming up again already and I'm amazed at how fast the year has gone by.  Tempus is fugiting.

I owe some dear friends each a note, which I will write as soon as I can see straight... or at least make a very imperfect attempt.  Prayerfully that will be soon.  Much affection to each of you.

Mentioned in this Blog Post
The Fall of Lucifer by Wendy Alec... here.

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Thickethouse.wordpress said...

How wonderful to find a "Sunday Afternoon Tea" from you, dear Brenda. And such a long and interesting one. But do care for your eye and don't overdo anything. Well, you know about that better than I do. I continue to pray for healing for you, and continued Grace. Be well!

mdoe37 said...

I've been praying for your eye situation. I do understand.....mine has improved only marginally. I can offer you some comfort that you get used to it and its not quite as obvious as it is now. At some point, you stop comparing and just get on with things. But I'm still hoping there will be a healing hand for you!

Terra said...

Yes, there is a battle going on in the USA and worldwide. I recently watched the movie War Room (rented it on Amazon) and loved it. In Bible study of Ephesians 6 we learned about putting on the full armor of God. I am praying that your eye sight heals fully dear friend.

Ann said...

Oh, so good to see you back on Sundays. I will continue praying for complete return of your vision -- in the meantime don't chop onions! It was interesting to see your statement on the valley of the shadow of death because I also feel there are many valleys for us as human beings that seem like we are entering the shadow of death and it brings great comfort and strength to know that God is walking along beside us even if we don't feel His presence at that particular moment. Nothing in our lives goes unnoticed by our Father.

How nice that you could vacation vicariously with your family and that they have all returned home safe and sound. My one and only granddaughter is just turning 18 months and what a joy she is for us. We are older first-time grandparents (in our 70's) and she was a surprise to us all but a very loved one. She comes to "play" with Grammie and Grumpy weekday mornings for a couple of hours so Mom can go to an exercise class. We are blessed to have them living just five minutes away so we can see her so often.

May your week be blessed with the desires of your heart.

Homemaker' said...

I have been praying for you, Brenda. Thank you so much for the update as to how everything is going and thank you for this post. You will continue to be in prayer. Mary S.

Vee said...

Oh dear...better to laugh than cry for sure. You do have me wondering if a bit of occupational therapy would help in the interim. I firmly believe that your eye will continue to heal and sight will be restored.

Such wonderful trips for both your children and families. It has to be fun to see them enjoying the journey.

You always read the most intriguing books. Yes, this old world has been center stage for the battle from before the beginning. What an awesome thought. No wonder things are what they are. It is comforting to know the end of the story and that it all ends well.

Wanita said...

Thank you Brenda. Your words are always encouraging and inspiring!

Carol said...

I believe that once we are in a routine as to what our normal is that it is hard to get out of that routine. I pray for your eye health to improve. God Bless!

Maureen said...

“This lifetime is the only one we will have when we can bring God a thankful heart in the midst of trials.” For several reasons, those words jumped off the page at me. Thank you for your encouraging words, Brenda.
I am reminded of the time Jesus healed the blind man by placing mud on his eyes—May He place that “healing mud” on yours as well.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I can relate to this post about struggles in the last year. God is faithful he is good and in the battle for good versus evil He wins!

Praying for your eyesight to be fully restored!

Melissa said...

Good to hear from you again. Photos of family are always so appreciated! How exciting or Stephanie and family to all go to England together.

Keri Brown said...

Hi Brenda! I'm just catching up on blog reading this afternoon and, as usual, God has used your writing (and His perfect timing) to speak reminders of truth to me. I've tried several times to craft a succinct paragraph explaining why I need these reminders right now, but I must be in a long-winded mood, because I just can't pare it down to a few sentences. Just suffice it to say that I appreciate you once again being willing to write the ponderings of your hearts and share them with those of us who need to hear your words!

Keri Brown said...

Oh, and I mean to add that I'm continuing to pray for your eye, for complete healing and restoration of full vision.