What can you say about life? It has been a hectic year. Not much has really gone according to plan (if you read about my vacation in New Zealand…that is an excellent example). I had a hysterectomy the week of Thanksgiving. After three years of excessive bleeding, I’m finally done. But it has been a long recovery and much harder than I expected. It’s not that I expected to be up and about instantly. But it’s all the small things I didn’t expect that dishearten me. My brain doesn’t seem to remember things, and looking on the forums I am not alone in this problem. Many are saying it took 6 months to a year before they seemed to have a functioning brain. Which isn’t upsetting at all (that was sarcastic). Same goes with fatigue. It can be overwhelming at times. So while this is a very good thing in the long run, it’s hard to keep that in focus when I feel trapped inside the house and completely useless to my family. About two weeks after my surgery, my in-laws came to visit. The day before they arrive, my car started making noises. Well, I should clarify, it was making the same noises that it has been for a while. But now they were louder, more pronounced, and distinctly intimidating. We took the car in, only to discover that basically all the frame of the front end was cracking. Not just minor cracks or bends, but everything was about ready to shatter. They had to order the parts, as my van is now old enough where they don’t keep them on hand. My mom, graciously, allowed us to borrow my dad’s car (Did I forget to mention that he travelled to Togo, Africa for 6 weeks to work as a doctor in a medical mission hospital up there? Well, he did. So he didn’t need his car. So we took his car). They finally fixed it all, so we now have basically a brand new front end but are out $2,500 (I love our shop, they do a great job and are reasonable it could have been a LOT more). I’m grateful that I didn’t have a major accident while driving that time bomb around town. Also, during all this, my grandma died. She was suffering from dementia and had been deteriorating, but it is still surprising the sense of loss. So, my in-laws visit two weeks after my surgery, and half way through their visit I travel back to my home state for my grandmother’s memorial. There was relief, knowing that she’s now in heaven and her mind is whole. But it was surprisingly hard too. After this, I make it home, and we have more personal things happen. Family members are struggling, and awful crap happening at workforce my husband. I have no control over these things. They are private and not mine to share. But the frustration at seeing those you love suffer, and being unable to do anything about it is painful and humbling. All I can do is go down on my knees, pray for wisdom, and show love as best I can. In the meantime I visualize kicking various butts around until people start to use common sense again.
My dad calls us via Skype on Christmas to tell us good and bad news. One of the surgeons he was working with had a dad visiting him. This dad ended up with failing kidneys. Nowhere in Togo did they have the treatment to help this man, so he needed to travel back to the states and needed constant medical supervision to do so. My dad ended up coming home a few weeks early, after volunteering to provide that medical supervision. It was wonderful to have him back home with us, but I know it was hard for him to end his trip early, feeling like he hadn’t completed his mission. The day he came home, while we greeted him at the airport, Sir Smiley received news that his dad’s best friend, a man who was like a second father to him growing up, had died suddenly and unexpectedly. I have only seen my husband truly cry three times in life. Once when his grandpa died. Once at the funeral of our twin boys. The third being while we drove home after he got this news. We couldn’t afford for him to go back for the funeral, but we were there in spirit. Finally, I got a text that my grandma (the other one) had been admitted into the ER for chest pain. After a long night of worrying, she was released. They never found out what was wrong, but all the tests came back just fine. The relief that I didn’t need to deal with more tragedy was deep.

No one’s life is perfect. When you peel back the layers, there is always struggle and heartbreak. Also, no one’s life is without blessings. Each and everyone of us has been blessed. Life is a mixture of both. At my church we learned the importance of contentment. The final commandment is do not covet, and at the heart of that is God telling us that He should be enough. We should not want any life other than what we’ve been given. Sometimes this is easy to do. Other times it is not. The past month has been such a jumble of stuff that this lesson has been important for me. I lost a grandma. But she is whole and well, and with my boys and other family members that have gone before us. Recovery from my surgery has been long. But it’s taught me to stop earning love from others and just accept love and aid when others offer it. I can’t control everything. In fact, the facade has been ripped away and I truly realize how little I am in control of anything. But it’s deepened my reliance on God. There has been a lot of heartache. But my family is strong. I love my husband. I’m proud of him, and our love is deep. My children can be crazy and difficult. But they are so precious to me. I’m grateful for all the blessings God has given me. Because I realize how much we take for granted until it starts to get pulled away.

Life. What can you say about life? It is what God gave me.



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