The past few weeks have been different for our family.
My husband had an outpatient surgery, and although the surgery lasted only one hour the full recovery is expected to last six weeks. His surgery was on his stomach so in the beginning he needed help with walking, sitting, standing, laying down - any activity where his stomach muscles were in use.
The surgery was schedule far in advance, so I had time to plan, not only the physical needs of the home and my people, but also mentally. We have a fairly structured schedule 'round here. I believe it is best for children to have a solid routine - they thrive in it - and I think adults do too! I knew this surgery would shake things up, but as long as I had the home ready and my mind ready to meet whatever need arose, we'd do well.
Praises for God's wisdom to ready me for this time. The first week was quite difficult, but because I had my home systems in place and a ready mind the tasks were manageable (which included taking care of the chickens, dog, gardens and mowing! At least we suspended schooling for one week!). Honestly, I couldn't believe my energy levels were up for all my tasks, but God was good to provide physical strength and a ready heart to serve.
During the first week of the surgery my husband's dear Grandma Jane passed away. She was very special to my husband having invested a lot of care into him as well as instilling in him a passion for the outdoors. I knew my husband would want to go to the funeral, but I had to tell him we couldn't go...I didn't think he was physically up for the challenge. Honestly, this event sent me for a little loop. I had everything in order, my husband was progressing well in his healing, how were we supposed to attend a funeral so early in the healing process?
I came across this quotation that I penned in my journal last year. It sums up each day of caring for my husband and children during this time.
"Beloved Christian reader, in matters of grace you need a daily supply. You have no store of strength. Day by day must you seek help from above. It is a very sweet assurance that a daily portion is provided for you. In the word, through the ministry, by meditation, in prayer, and waiting upon God you shall receive renewed strength. In Jesus all needful things are laid up for you. Then enjoy your continual allowance. Never go hungry while the daily bread of grace is on the table of mercy." - C.H. Spurgeon
My husband convinced me he was physically able to attend the funeral, and attend we did. God is good to let you in on a few of the needs for the future, but not all of them. If I had known we'd had a funeral during this time of recovery it may have been to much to plan for! The funeral was a treasured time to remember Grandma Jane, and I'm thankful we were able to attend. (And thanks to a sweet friend for watching our children and providing dinner!)
Although my husband hasn't fully recovered, after the first week he was able to walk unaided and now, just two weeks later has clearance to mow (I'm so grateful!). There will still be extra tasks for me for a while, and that is a-okay. It is easier to look on life's unexpected turns as my gifts of grace for that time rather than, "why is this happening to me?"
I was thinking today, as I made my bed, that being connect to the Lord Jesus Christ changes everything. Circumstances change, time passes, people pass away, dreams are fulfilled, hopes are dashed, new friends come along, old friends go away, success is attained, a desire is out of grasp, expectations are met or left wanting. Certain connections and assurances aren't always connected or sure, but being connected to Jesus is an everlasting bond. He says, "Lo I am with you alway and I have loved you with an everlasting love."
I can't care for my husband, children and home without the constant companionship of the One who has given me Life. My husband is wonderful, my children are lovely and my home is a comfort, but they each can have their own misgivings at times. Yet being connected to Christ is the strength by which I am able to serve and love with a contented heart.