What a year 2013 has been so far! I told a friend that I'm really unimpressed with this new year. I am rarely sick, but I've now gone through three separate health issues since New Year's Eve day. The latest has been dealing with some unexpected heart issues which has, in the last nine day, culminated in two ER visits and three doctor's office visits.
Lori Anderson had asked a question on a Facebook forum about what word we would choose for the new year. Truthfully, I hadn't given any thought before I saw her post, and it got me thinking and praying. After some quiet time and deliberation, I felt that my word for was "Breathe". This year was to be a time of breathing in God's presence, slowing down and clearing the clutter from my schedule and life, and using that to be inspired to more creativity. Doesn't that sound wonderful? Just taking time to breathe in and breathe out- no fussing, no worrying, just being in the moment to breathe. Then I got sick the first time, and my last 3 days of Christmas break was spent on the couch, instead of organizing and whittling away on my to-do list. Breathe.
Back to work, still not feeling wonderful, and then an eye infection. Seriously? No contacts for a week, minimal makeup because of the eye ointments. Breathe. I started planning on what I was going to do for the Memories and Thanks Blog Hop. After taking a break from jewelry making for a couple of weeks, I was ready to let those creative juices flow and had set aside time to work on my project. And then.. my heart decided to go haywire. As an nurse, I was way past my comfort factor, and none of the usual solutions were working so off to the ER we went (my first visit as an adult). The staff was wonderful, but what I thought what a rather innocuous pattern had switched to something else. I'm one of those lucky people who feels all the irregularities in my cardiac patterns and it was freaking me out. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Email Lori and tell her I won't be able to keep my commitment. Breathe. After a couple of visits to the cardiologist and another ER visit at 4 am, as well as numerous tests and just being exhausted all the time, the very good news is that my heart is healthy and strong. It just happens to want to skip numerous beats. I'm grateful.
Let me backtrack for just a moment. Before Christmas a dear friend had given me an amaryllis bulb in a container, unaware of my black thumb. I had it sitting by my front door with intents of getting it planted but one thing didn't lead to another and it just sat there. Day after day with no watering, no potting soil, no nothing. Just before my heart decided to have it's little party, I happened to glance at it one day and this is what I saw.
One Thousand Gifts Devotional by Ann Voskamp. In the first chapter she writes about giving thanks in the meager times and thin things, because it there that we come to know Who God really is. It was challenging and refreshing at the same time.It was still somewhat theoretical at the time I was reading it though, until the whole heart spiel hit.
Today my heart is quiet for the first time in a week and a half. I've run errands, felt normal (hurray for energy), and enjoyed my day grateful not to have those disconcerting, non stop palpitations. I have a new appreciation for those who live with much worse on a daily basis. It's exhausting- literally.Through all of this I've realized that I want to emulate the courageous and hardy amaryllis. Without any care from me, it just sat there and bloomed. Without complaint, without fuss, it just bloomed. I want to do the same, I want to breathe in whatever circumstances God allows to come my way knowing that, unlike the amaryllis, I have a loving, caring Heavenly Father who actively is tending to my needs whether I feel it or not, and wonderful friends who have interceded on my behalf. I want to breathe whether I am planted in ideal circumstances or not.
Breathe. Breathe in grace, breathe out thanksgiving. Breathe in His presence, breathe out my worries. Breathe in quietness and worship, breathe out prayers.
Tomorrow this vital organ of mine may decide to party hearty again ( pardon the pun). If it does, I will choose to be thankful. If it doesn't, I will be humbly grateful. In in all, however, I pray that I will just BREATHE.
If you just need a few minutes to soak, here's one of my favorite worship songs Breathe by Michael W, Smith.
Until the next post, wishing you a new year filled with splashes of grace and dashes of joy!