Sadly we must say goodbye to our Indian summer, and say hello to our cold, windy, Arctic blast of winter. I just got back from a 2 hour quest to find warm boots. I was unsuccessful. Naturally I turned to the left over Halloween candy to comfort myself.
The last month or so was a whirlwind of activity and excitement. Our very dear friends Grace and Josh were married and we were blessed to be part of the joyous event. Normally our October is filled with a flurry of sports, never-ending homework, and other activities of daily living. This year, October was more than a month of running from here to there. It was a season of abundance and festivity. A season of beauty from ashes. A season of love and redemption.
And as time moves on, life ebbs and flows with the good and bad. The easy and the hard. The ample and the depleted. Thankfully we are still relishing in the fruit of October as November has delivered a whole new set of challenges. Ear infections and respiratory viruses have knocked each one of us down, and even in the midst of all our coughing and excess mucus, Billy had surgery on his knee for a torn meniscus.
On the day of surgery I had to work, so my dad graciously offered to take Billy to the appointment. By the time my dad picked Billy up, it had been over 15 hours since he'd eaten. Hard on a guy who is built like a rhino, am I right? I reminded my dad to not talk about pie as they drove over to the surgery center. Billy texted me from work to let me know his name had been called and he was going back. I responded with "I guess this is goodbye". In hindsight, I might have chosen something a little less "final" and something a little more "loving".
After work, Little Sass and I made our way to the surgery center. Billy had texted that he was out and in recovery. As we walked in, all I wanted was to see Billy's face and make sure he was alive and well. But first I had to stop at the front desk and pay. While there, I saw the sign that said "if you are coughing, wear a mask". There was no way to stifle the upper respiratory infection invading my body at the moment, so I asked for a mask. As I donned the blue mask, Little Sass looked at me, mesmerized, and asked as plain as day, "You a Doctor, Mom?"
We walked back to find our Billy/Daddy laying comfortably in a recliner. He didn't look dead, which was a relief, and woke up as I kissed him on the head. And as simple as that, they discharged him to go home.
The first few days after surgery were rough. I had to work, and while I try to be a great nurse for my patients, I'm not always the most compassionate person for my family. (I know. Shocker) Also, I'd been sick so hadn't planned meals well. Poor Billy ate quite a bit of fast food those first few days of healing…not to mention I left him in charge of our kids on his second full day of recovery while I worked. About an hour into my shift I received this text: "Z (aka Little Sass) hit my surgery knee twice. On purpose. Daddy Angry". My response, "Dear Lord. Groan. Amen".
Now that we are almost a week out, I'm happy to report my patient is making huge improvements every day. His body is healing and he is back in the lead, guiding this crazy train. I've noticed the 6 of us work just a little better when Billy is operating the heavy machinery.
Seasons come and seasons go. Some are warm and fulfilling. Some are cold, and painful. And some seasons are a combination of all the satisfying and the crummy stuff that life brings. When things were tough this past week, I found myself fighting the urge to have a pity party. At these points in time, I remember that the mind is a battlefield and I have a choice to make. My norm: run like a barn sour horse into a world of negativity. Fixating on how frustrated I feel seems easier than casting my thoughts to the reality of the blessings covering every inch of my life. So I deliberately and precisely choose to see the Divine.
This Thanksgiving Season, I will take captive my thoughts and hand them over to the God who sustains me. I will wake up and remember all the ways that He never fails. I will intentionally articulate the gratitude for the good things in my life like a roof over my head, a fridge full of food, and the surrounding love from friends and family.
Sometimes all you can do in a season is decide to focus on what matters most. Stop trying with all your might to figure it out, and don't be afraid to ask God for an extra dose of courage to get out of bed and face it all over again. Don’t curse the day, but instead express a thankful heart for the air you breathe. Walk through it if you can and crawl if you can't. And never stop asking God to be the source of all your strength.
Faith + Hope = Perseverance.