Monday, January 23, 2017

At the Intersection of Hope and Disappointment

After an amazing turn around for me regarding management of my chronic M toward the end of 2016, I was doing the happy dance as well as a few jigs for sure.  I was smiling away as I was able to participate in a good amount of holiday activities with family and friends as well as host a house full of guests for a month.  It was an open door policy with people coming and going, and let me say, all of that activity while wearing me out, really kept my heart joyful.  I was and still am---VERY thankful.  Praise God.  

Now, January has actually been a different story.  It arrived with a big boom of brazen M madness.  Ugh!  What was happening here?  On January 1, I experienced my own version of the new year hangover but not caused by too much happy drink as it were.  No, it was the all too familiar M hangover of a myriad of symptoms which weren't too pretty.  I was at the end of my botox run and was due for another treatment in the second week.  I practically crawled all the way to the office in Hartford.  My sweet and gracious headache specialist took such good care of me and offered hope and encouragement as he always does.  He is balm for my soul when I have close to meltdowns in front of him.  He GETS it.  He FEELS it.  He LIVES with it.  

Returning home and enduring the past few weeks have left me feeling like I have been at the intersection of hope and disappointment.  I came to the red light and have briefly stopped my journey to pause and reflect.  I am a bit worn down but still carry much HOPE within me.   I fully realize that living in the daily-ness of this chronic illness, I need to constantly readjust my sails according to the way the winds blow.  This is a given for survival as well as fully living. Over the years,  I am proud of myself in developing the necessary coping skills.  However, it is all because of God's loving and merciful hands all over me with His constant guidance and protection that give me my daily strength.  I consider my circumstances ALL GRACE.  

So it is time now to start back on a new road to take off to new adventures.  I have a few in mind, and I intend to chase after them..  I intend to pray for bravery and a new found trust in what lies ahead. I intend to look for miracles in my sometimes messy and mundane life.   

"And miracles happen whenever the emptiest places are made into a dwellling place for God," says one of my favorite authors, Ann Voscamp.   

I pray to also allow myself space to hold onto both hope and disappointment on any given day and just be with those feelings.  I pray I will do so without judgement.  Learning to accept the constant ups and downs is one of my big intentions for this year.  

No matter your current circumstances which may find you at your intersection of hope and disappointment, I invite you to just sit with your feelings as well without judgement.  Give them time and attention.  Learn from them and move on...

I bet you will discover wonderous miracles.   


Friday, January 6, 2017

Living with intention

It is a week or so into the new year, and I am just now sitting down catching up on emails and blogging.  After a hectic and fun-filled holiday season, I am trying to catch my breath once again.  This past Christmas was special.  It was the first in seven years that I was able to be off the couch and actually participate in the family events and gatherings.  WOW!  I made it to a lively Irish music concert, two movies IN THE THEATER, view some movies at home, and cook, and clean, and host!!  Can I get an applause here?  I did, indeed, ENJOY the blessings.

Last year's "year of yes" surely ended with a resounding YES in many ways.  It seemed to be the perfect word for me.  A few years ago, I was challenged by a friend to choose a word for the year and pray and meditate on it.  It is a spiritual discipline that has proven creative and affirming.  I blogged several times about my year of YES and how that was shaping my journey.

Upon prayer and reflection, I am choosing "intention" as my word this year.  It is my intention to pay attention more in all areas of my life.   I desire to be more mindful and centered.  I do not wish to just be on cruise control or at a level of simply surviving my days.  Even in my dark and painful moments, I wish to be alert and respond purposefully, not carelessly react to life.

Each moment is a sacred gift from God.  It deserves my full and undivided attention no matter my circumstances. I long to linger soulfully, live braver, love deeper, and listen closer. 

I thought this quote from author John O' Donohue was appropriate to share. "At its heart, the journey of each life is a pilgrimage through unforeseen sacred places that enlarge and enrich the soul."

I invite you to think about choosing a word for the year that might help you discover greater enlightenment upon your path. It is my prayer and intention to be a humble