Anyway, we got there a little early and Josh and I were in the kitchen with my madre helping to prep the meal. She asked me to get out some ice for the drinks so I pulled a couple of ice trays out of the freezer. I grabbed the ends of the first tray and twisted and POP all the ice tumbled out just like it is supposed to.
However, as I grabbed the second tray it fought back. I just couldn't get it to crack. This didn't surprise me too much because Crohn's disease has done a number on my joints and they just aren't what they used to be. My wrists in particular have become very weak, so much so that I can no longer remove a tray of brownies from the oven with only one hand (wow, that's sort of embarrassing to admit). Thankfully God had the foresight to allow me to have two hands so really it is mostly no big deal. Also, (as in this case with the ice) I have an amazing husband standing by who is quick to step in if I ask him to (and not if I am being stubborn and want to do things on my own). He snapped the tray to the sides and all the ice fell obligingly into the bowl. My mom's sympathetic/semi-sad face as she watched that exchange was sort of hard to take. I didn't want to make her feel bad. I don't even really think about it much anymore, it is just the way things are now.
Only moments after the ice incident Ellie scuttled into the kitchen and wanted me to hold her. I suddenly realized how grateful I am that Crohn's disease left me alone until all six of my children were old enough that they didn't need to be carried around much anymore. I am simply not as able as I used to be to heft my little ones. If this disease had reared its ugly head when I was still bringing babies into the world I would have had a much harder time handling all the baby oriented chores that would strain my weakened muscles and joints.
I can't imagine having to carry around a car seat not to mention a heavily packed diaper bag or to constantly hold a sad infant or to lift a little one in and out of crib or to open those tight baby food jars or the thousands of other little things that every day would bring that would make that weakness a real trial.
But I didn't have to do that.
I am more thankful that I know how to say that my Father in Heaven allowed me to get through those years before I had the chance to face Crohn's disease. I am grateful that even in our struggles there are just so many blessings that sprout up if we keep our eyes open that it doesn't seem fair to whine or complain (at least not all the time).
I never imagined that this is where life's journey would take me. I never imagined I would be the mother of six. I never imagined I would be counting every penny as the stay-at-home wife of a school teacher. I never imagined that I would be facing a chronic disorder that would wind its way into every inch of my daily life.
But I also never imagined I would get to spend mornings playing basketball at the church gym with half a dozen sprites (our current favorite off track activity). I never imagined that I would get the chance to share my love of writing with the world by being published in our local paper. I never imagined that I would cry as I watched my two year old daughter spin in the school gym while two of her older siblings sang and played recorder in the school concert. I never imagined that I would count the moments until my the phone would ring as my sweetheart calls me every single day as he drives home from work. I never imagined life would be this sweet. I never imagined God would give me so much to be thankful for.
|My crew (my uncooperative crew on this day).|
I can't wait to see what else life has in store for me; I bet there are loads of other things that I never imagined either. Some of them will be sweet and I'm sure some of them will be sour, but that is the way of life. That's what makes this trip to Earth such a precious thing, that chance to look for beauty scattered among the ordinary and sometimes ugly pieces of everyday life. But it's there, there IS happiness and even joy if we just keep our eyes open and let ourselves see it.