Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Free from fretfulness . . . in the midst of afflictions

O Lord, my God . . . give me grace, I beseech Thee, to understand the meaning of such afflictions and disappointments as I myself am called upon to endure. Deliver me from all fretfulness. Let me be wise to draw from every dispensation of Thy providence the lesson Thou art mindful to teach me.
Give me a stout heart to bear my own burdens. Give me a willing heart to bear the burdens of others. Give me a believing heart to cast all burdens upon Thee.
Glory be to Thee, O Father, and to Thee, O Christ, and to Thee, O Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.

~ John Baillie, twenty-seven day from A Diary of Private Prayer

Cast your burden on the Lord
and he will sustain you; 
he will never permit the righteous to be moved. 
Psalm 55:22

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How to relax when starting on an IV

With a Russian accent, my nurse tells me to relax, to not be so tense. She is prepping me for an IV for a procedure I need. I had had to fast from liquids as well as solids so my body is dehydrated and my veins are not going to be an easy target. She gathers some warm blankets and wraps my arms up in them to get the blood flowing better.

I was in the hospital for a TEE, a procedure I had 10 years ago and it was not a pleasant experience at all. When this procedure is performed you are to be sedated enough you are not really aware of what is going on, but I was obviously not sedated enough and yanked the probe out of my throat and had a horrible memory of it.

I try to not be tense, but it clearly isn't working. My Russian nurse keeps talking to me; trying to distract me. I am not distracted. It is not that I am terrified of hospitals or pain, I just know what it is like to be poked multiple times.

I suggest she use a small needle as that is generally more successful for my veins, but she decides not to. She attempts to hit one of my better veins, but it collapses. She waits for a little while to see if she can dig for it. She pulls out.

She massages my arm, coaxing the veins to co-operate. Sympathetically, she asks me not to make her cry. I tell her 'I won't make you cry if you don't make me cry'. She tries again. This vein rolls; she missed. She pokes around. She waits and waits to see if she can get it. No. She pulls out again, feeling horrible and tells me she will go get her co-worker, an IV nurse.

We wait until the IV nurse comes in full of confidence. I ask her to use the smaller needle and she says, "Of course, that is what I usually do."

Good. I continue to pray. "Lord, please help her get it. I really shouldn't be this pathetic. Look what you endured for me, I should be able to handle some needles."

My husband is sitting in the corner, not really sure what he can do, watching helplessly. I look to him for reassurance.

The IV nurse gets ready, has her small needle and hits a valve! I wince in pain. Then she pulls out and it is as the needle comes out that I nearly hit the roof and yell. My first nurse comes rushing in to see what is going on and I can only feebly apologize. I assure them I can handle pain; I have gone through childbirth three times without any pain medication. I laugh at myself. My husband laughs with me at my dramatic outburst. I still  feel I have to explain my outcry ~ it really did hurt.

I talk to myself ~ I must relax. I close my eyes. Breathe!

I am so tense now, I could cry!

I pray, finally, Lord please, wrap your arms around me. I need your presence; your peace.

The forth needle goes right in, no collapsing, no valves, and no pain.

The day before I had been praying and beseeching others to pray with me these prayers:

"Almighty God, who of Thine infinite wisdom hast ordained that I should live my life within these narrow bounds of time and circumstances, let me now go forth into the world with a brave and trustful heart. It has pleased Thee to withhold from me a perfect knowledge; therefore deny me not the grace of faith by which I may lay hold of things unseen. Thou has given me little power to mould things to my own desire; therefore use Thine own omnipotence to bring Thy desires to pass within me. Thou hast willed it that through labour and pain I should walk the upward way; be Thou then my fellow traveler as I go." (Diary of Private Prayer)

And then I went in and was sure I could handle this procedure on my own.

Why do I ask that He be my fellow traveler and then march on as though I have to go down this road on my own?

I need to surrender all to His loving care and rest in His peace.

The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God,which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

How I Need to Remember to Take them Outdoors

You will find something far greater in the woods than you will find in books.
Stones and trees will teach you that which you will never learn from masters.
--St. Bernard of Clarivaux

"In the first place, do not send them; if it is anyway possible, take them; for, although the children should be left much to themselves, there is a great deal to be done and a great deal to be prevented during these long hours in the open air. 

And long hours they should be; not two, but four, five, or six hours they should have on every tolerably fine day, from April till October. . . I venture to suggest, not what is practicable in any household, but what seems to me absolutely best for the children; and that, in the faith that mothers work wonders once they are convinced that wonders are demanded of them.

~ Charlotte Mason in her first book in the series, Home Education

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How to Greatly Rejoice . . . in Heaviness

"I sometimes think the whole art of the Christian life is the art of asking questions. 

Our danger is just to allow things to happen to us and endure them without saying anything apart from a groan, a grumble or complaint. The thing to do is to discover, if we can, why these things are taking place . . . 

 . . . These things happen, says the apostle, because they are good for us, because they are a part of our discipline in this life and in this world, because - let me put it quite plainly - because God has appointed it . . . 

 . . . We are walking through this life under the eye of our Heavenly Father . . . There is a very definite plan and purpose for the whole of my life, God has looked upon me, God has adopted me, and put me into His family . . . 

 . . . The trouble is when these trials come we tend to see nothing but the trials, or nothing but clouds. At such a time . . . When you can see nothing at all just open your Scriptures . . . and say: 'I know God is good, I know Christ died for me, I know I belong to God, I know my inheritance is in heaven, I cannot see it now but I know that it is there, I know that God is keeping it and that no one will ever take it out of His mighty hands.' Say that to yourself. Remind yourself of the things in which you greatly rejoice, though now for a season if need be you are in manifold temptations . . . "

'When all things seem against us,
To drive us to despair,
We know one gate is open,
One ear will hear our prayer.'

{Excerpt from Spiritual Depression by M.L. Jones}

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
1 Peter 1:6-8

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