Category Archives: sickness

On A Cloudy Day…

Les
It’s another day and I pull my aching body out of bed.  It pulls me like a magnet to stay nestled beneath the quilts, but eventually I turn away from it’s draw and begin to sluggishly go through the morning motions.  When I think about the day, an empty feeling comes to my mind.  Where is the drive, energy, passion for this day God has given me?

I mechanically go through the motions of the things that I know I must do, hoping those around me don’t feel the darkness.  I have so much to be thankful for…why the clouds?  I feel the movement of this baby within, stretching out and letting me know he is getting crowded in there.  I so long to hold and cuddle this little one…and Lord willing, will be soon.  I am a woman most blessed.  Why then do I groan within and feel that I could melt into tears, pulling the covers over my head?

“You are a terrible mother.”  I hear whispering inside.  “What a failure you are.”  And all the list of expectations that I have written inside my mind’s eye, rise up to condemn me.

My energy is zapped, no strength left to even fight, it seems. Where is my faith?  My heart inwardly groans.  And I recognize the visitor.  It’s name is Depression.  It is an unwelcome friend that visits me often.  And when it comes, it is a battle to keep perspective.  If I were truly walking with my God, would I not feel joy at all times?  But, that is like saying that if I am a strong Christian I would never break my arm.  The Lord has given me this physical trial of depression and it is good.

I have thought that the Lord would be better glorified by bringing me out of such a state.  And He has many times.  But, this visitor comes again and it is because the Lord sees it best for me.  I don’t like it.  It hurts.  My heart groans within.  But, the Gardener knows the best way to prune me.  So I must lie down and submit under it.

And I must remember that my Christ knows and sympathizes fully with my infirmity.  And He is there in the sorrows and tears as well as the joys.  Even though it feels terrible, to be empty is the best place to be.  His love towards me does not change with my fluctuating emotions and feelings.

So, I wait.  Knowing that surely “He will perfect that which concerneth me.”  And the sunshine will come again, in my Lord’s perfect timing.

“Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.” Song of Solomon 2:17

“Who [is] among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh [in] darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.”  Isaiah 50:10

“My flesh and my heart faileth: [but] God [is] the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” Psalm 73:26

Do any of you struggle with visits from this same friend? Leave me a comment and let’s encourage each other?

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The Valley of Humiliation

valley of flowers

As some of you know, this has been a harder season for our family.  Between sickness, injuries, and my difficulties in pregnancy, as my husband puts it we have been in “hunker down mode”.  It is easy to sink in these times in despair, and we feel our weakness acutely.  We have need to remind us that “our light affliction is but for a moment.”  And we pray it will bear rich fruit in our family.

So this morning as I was feeling so low, Pilgrim’s Progress and the valley of humiliation came to mind.  So, I thought I would find it online and post a section here.  May it bless someone today that might be in this valley.  I pick up the quote where  Christiana and her group are speaking with Great-Heart about the valley of humiliation…
[057/365] Pilgrim's Progress

“It is the best and most fruitful piece of ground in all those parts. It is fat ground, and as you see, consisteth much in meadows; and if a man was to come here in the summer-time, as we do now, if he knew not any thing before thereof, and if he also delighted himself in the sight of his eyes, he might see that which would be delightful to him. Behold how green this valley is; also how beautified with lilies. (Song. 2:1). I have known many laboring men that have got good estates in this Valley of Humiliation; for God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. (Jas. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5). Indeed it is a very fruitful soil, and doth bring forth by handfuls. Some also have wished that the next way to their Father’s house were here, that they might be troubled no more with either hills or mountains to go over; but the way is the way, and there is an end.

Now, as they were going along, and talking, they espied a boy feeding his father’s sheep. The boy was in very mean clothes, but of a very fresh and well-favoured countenance; and as he sat by himself, he sung. Hark, said Mr. Great-Heart, to what the shepherd’s boy saith. So they hearkened and he said,

“He that is down, needs fear no fall;
He that is low, no pride:
He that is humble, ever shall
Have God to be his guide.
I am content with what I have,
Little be it or much;
And, Lord, contentment still I crave,
Because thou savest such.
Fulness to such, a burden is,
That go on pilgrimage;
Here little, and hereafter bliss,
Is best from Age to Age.”

Then said the guide, Do you hear him? I will dare to say, that this boy lives a merrier life, and wears more of that herb called heart’s-ease in his bosom, than he that is clad in silk and velvet. But we will proceed in our discourse.

In this valley our Lord formerly had his country-house: he loved much to be here. He loved also to walk these meadows, for he found the air was pleasant. Besides, here a man shall be free from the noise, and from the hurryings of this life: all states are full of noise and confusion; only the Valley of Humiliation is that empty and solitary place. Here a man shall not be so let and hindered in his contemplation as in other places he is apt to be. This is a valley that nobody walks in but those that love a pilgrim’s life. And though Christian had the hard hap to meet here with Apollyon, and to enter with him in a brisk encounter, yet I must tell you, that in former times men have met with angels here, (Hos. 12:4,5), have found pearls here (Matt. 13:46), and have in this place found the words of life. (Prov. 8:36). Did I say our Lord had here in former days his country-house, and that he loved here to walk? I will add-in this place, and to the people that love and trace these grounds, he has left a yearly revenue, to be faithfully paid them at certain seasons, for their maintenance by the way, and for their further encouragement to go on in their pilgrimage.

Samuel: Now, as they went on, Samuel said to Mr. Great-Heart, Sir, I perceive that in this valley my father and Apollyon had their battle; but whereabout was the fight? for I perceive this valley is large.

Great-heart: Your father had the battle with Apollyon at a place yonder before us, in a narrow passage, just beyond Forgetful Green. And indeed that place is the most dangerous place in all these parts. For if at any time pilgrims meet with any brunt, it is when they forget what favours they have received, and how unworthy they are of them. This is the place also where others have been hard put to it. But more of the place when we are come to it; for I persuade myself that to this day there remains either some sign of the battle, or some monument to testify that such a battle there was fought.

Mercy: Then said Mercy, I think I am as well in this valley as I have been anywhere else in all our journey: the place, methinks, suits with my spirit. I love to be in such places, where there is no rattling with coaches, nor rumbling with wheels. Methinks, here one may, without much molestation, be thinking what he is, whence he came, what he has done, and to what the King has called him. Here one may think, and break at heart, and melt in one’s spirit, until one’s eyes become as the fish-pools in Heshbon (Song. 7:4). They that go rightly through this valley of Baca, make it a well; the rain that God sends down from heaven upon them that are here, also filleth the pools. This valley is that from whence also the King will give to his their vineyards; and they that go through it shall sing, as Christian did, for all he met with Apollyon. (Ps. 84:5-7; Hos. 2:15).

Great-heart: ‘Tis true, said their guide; I have gone through this valley many a time, and never was better than when here. I have also been a conduct to several pilgrims, and they have confessed the same. “To this man will I look,” saith the King, “even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” (Isa. 66:2).

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Are you thankful for your two mites?

The Widows Mite

And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

Mark 12: 41-44

What are your two mites?

The Lord has given me some health issues over the years.  My strength seems so limited and it discourages me.  I see the energy and vibrancy of so many other moms out there.  I seem to flag after one activity.  I have groaned, moaned and complained.  Oh, to be like “so and so”.  I could be such a better mother! Readers, can you relate at all?

But, a visit with my pastor’s wife gave me something to think about.

Am I content with the two mites the Lord has given me?

Yes, it is ok to pray for more strength and ability to fulfill our callings..and it is good to do so.
But, if He denies this, am I content and happy to give the Lord my two mites? Or, will I chafe and covet that others have been given more mites than I have been?
And how am I using those two mites. Do I keep them in my pocketbook, thinking the Lord surely can’t be pleased with such a small offering? Or do I gladly give them.  Grateful to have two mites to give to the Lord.  Surely, the Lord sees and is smiling on those limping moms who are daily offering up their two mites in faith.

So reader, are you thankful for your two mites?

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Sickness in the Home

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time…” Eccl. 3

What can be beautiful about a houseful of sickness? Mama, 30 weeks pregnant, barely out of bed after 4 days laid out, hacking, blowing, sneezing, coughing. Does she remember what it is like to get dressed?

Children dropping one by one…high fevers, lethargy. Everyone. Feels. Bad. This has to be the flu. Even my “mothers helper” is limping along trying to help, but sick herself.

We drag a big mattress down from the second floor, pull out pillows and blankets. Administer meds, cool water, and baths when the fevers won’t go down. Watching “Scooby Doo”, “How it’s Made”, and whatever else we can find. Weak…low…bowed down. How can this be beautiful?

But, He hath made everything beautiful in His time. We submit to being laid low. And let the fever do it’s healing work…in the body..in the soul His work is good. When He brings us low, and when He raises us up. It will be well.

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This post is linked to Homemaking Link-up.