Monday, April 11, 2016

Birthday blessings

In keeping with the Spring and bunny themes, I thought this week I would add to it by "mentioning" my birthday.  Hey---why not?  Spring birthdays are fun because they generally add a brighter and warmer and more colorful dimension to the celebration after having just crawled out from under the heavy, dark blanket of old man winter.  However, this year is kind of weird as it is tricky trying to figure out which season we are actually in at the moment---Winter or Spring? 

Frankly, that doesn't matter to me.   Whether I don my boots or flip flops, heavy jacket or sweater, mittens or not, it will all be okay with me.  You see, this year on my birthday, I am just SO grateful to be home.  Last year at this time, I was lying in a hospital bed so sick and in so much distress and pain that I didn't know which way to turn (literally as well as figuratively).  In short, I was one.big.mess.  Let me just say that I wasn't really in any kind of celebratory mood for almost the entire month of April.  However, my loving family and dearest friends kept lifting me up and encouraging me through it all.  They visited me, brought beautiful flowers, sat quietly at my bedside, cooked meals, ran errands, drove me to Dr. Appointments, prayed, read, rubbed my feet, and catered to me beyond belief.  WOW!  Yes, I felt loved.  

I still feel loved.  My family and friends remain at my side traveling this journey with me.  They actually never seem to grow weary or cranky (like I do)!  Can you imagine that?  Am I the luckiest gal on this planet?  Am I blessed or what?  I am forever postponing or canceling or rearranging plans and am short on follow-through A LOT, but they still are with me and love me!  My dear hubby takes my cues and knows my needs sometimes before I do.  Have I mentioned before he is one awesome hubby?!

This year I celebrated simply and with a big smile on my face.  It was a day of serenity, peace, and joy with the ones I love and cherish.  I received beautiful cards, texts, phone calls, and amazing gifts of love and thoughtfulness that touched my heart in a most profound way. I was mindful of being present to each moment as God showered His continual love and blessings upon me.  It was a beautiful day of rejoicing.  

Thankfully, the old familiar "party crasher" did not appear on the scene until evening.  He at least waited until the end of the day before he barged in and made noise.  Really, he is SO RUDE!  The problem is he comes around too often and hangs around way too long and constantly demands attention and tries to steal my joy.  Well, this year he did not get his way!  So there!  

I felt the presence of heaven shine its bright light into my body, mind, and spirit in a most glorious way. I am grateful. 

I would like to share a photo of a special birthday gift made by my precious goddaughter and her sweet sisters. It is chalk art and hangs proudly on my kitchen wall where it brings me joy. 
In the photo, it is sitting on a beautiful hand sewn quilt carefully crafted by my sister-in-law, Mary, also made with love for my birthday!  

As I have written before on a few previous blog posts,   Life is hard. Life is messy.  Life is beautiful.  

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Bunnies, bunnies, everywhere!!

It has been a little while since my last blog post because life has taken some twists and turns which have kicked me right in the you-know-where.  About the time I thought I was getting back up on my feet again, "boom"---and right back down I went.  Well, life is like that for many reasons.  I suppose it makes me muster up some more determination and perseverance to rise again!  

As a Christian, I am celebrating the rising again of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Alleluia!  New life, new hope, new light, new growth, new understanding, new strength, new opportunities, new paths for healing, new deepened faith, new mercy, new joy, and a new season of Spring are all being welcomed and experienced by me.  Whew---that's a lot!   AMEN.  

I am still walking though some heavy storms of pain and uncertainty which seem to be a regular part of my chronic illness story, but that is ok.  I am learning to accept and embrace a lot more of my unknowns and uncertainties because God is asking me to place my full and complete trust in Him.  I know I must also embrace new sacrifices, new sufferings, new losses, new doubts, and new weaknesses as well.  These are all part of our pilgrimage here on earth.  I am praying that God will lift me up in His strength to walk bravely the path before me as well as to accompany others on their journeys so they don't feel alone.  I may not be "out in the world" as much anymore due to my limitations, but I am stronger than ever in prayer.  My dear friends,  NEVER underestimate the ongoing power of prayer.  

On a lighter note, anyone who knows me well can attest to the fact that I love bunnies.  I mean, LOVE bunnies!  Since I was born in April during the Easter and Spring season, several little stuffed bunnies were given to me as a baby.  Then, each year, one or more bunnies was added to the collection, and now decades later, I have this AMAZING bunny collection from family and friends that just keeps expanding.  I have bunnies of all shapes, sizes, kinds, and from other countries as well.  It is so much fun each Spring to unwrap them and display them all over the house.  Actually, I never put them all away.  Some remain out all year long, both inside and outside in the garden.  They bring me such joy and smiles as I have such fun decorating---even more than Christmas, I think.  

This past year we did some redecorating and remodeling in our home, and my mother and I found this adorable bunny wallpaper in a decorater's magazine.  You guessed it! Yes!  That black and silver bunny wallpaper now adorns our one wall of our guest powder room.  LOVE it.  It is just plain fun.  I have learned to lighten things up a bit to help ease my heart that often seem so burdened with the weight of this world. 

I have discovered it is good to learn to carry well both the joys and sorrows of my journey.  For me, my bunny collection helps me to do just that.  I reflect upon all the love and care that people put into finding just the right bunny for me to add to my collection.  That is pure joy to my heart.  Other times and moments, I feel sorrow as I miss my dear loved ones who gave me a particular bunny and who are no longer are with me here on earth.  

However, I will end this blog on a "hip-ity" "hop-ity" note and share with you some pics of my collection.  I couldn't show you everything, so come and visit it in person if possible.  It stays up all Spring.  Blessings upon you and your loved ones this glorious Easter and Spring season!