This week has been one where life has happened in our home and I have slept through much of it. The flu can keep one in bed and cause you to be very isolated. I would wake up and hear things happening, but not have an ounce of energy to engage. I kept telling myself that I would not be sick forever and this will soon pass. Then I would sleep some more. None of my normal activities were possible and my husband took charge of everything. He is one amazing man! Always a hard worker, selfless and kind. I was reminded of the gift he is yet again this week.
When you are alone for long periods of time and do not feel very good, I started to notice some things. When I would have times of being awake, I had a few choices. Reading was hard to do, so listening to some biblical teachings was a good choice. Watching tv was also an option, but one I could not do for long. Have you ever noticed there is a lot of selfishness on home buying shows? It got to be too much. The news was equally depressing, so off the tv went. I made the choice not to let anymore junk into my isolated space. I did not put my head in the sand, but limited how much about what is happening in our world come in. Be careful what you are allowing into your mind, for it will seep into your heart.
I have also been reminded of how much joy I get from being apart of our everyday family life. Being on the outside and not engaged was not what I was made for. In fact, one of my boys came up beside me and spoke such insightful words. He touched my head and let me know I was in fact burning up, but that my heart was just fine. He then said that my eyes were so dim. Who notices things like that? I thought about that statement when he left and how without purpose, because of sickness or pain, maybe a bit of life leaves our eyes. While only temporarily out of commission, what would happen if you remained outside and unengaged? I wonder if that is why some have lost that sparkle from their eyes? If so, how do you get that spark back? How do you get your life back?
Each person doing their part, fulfilling their purpose is what brings life in my opinion. I think that is pretty simple – love God, love others. My love for God overflows into my family and gives my serving them purpose. I do not do a thousand loads of laundry because I love laundry. I do each and every load because I love the people who wear the clothes that need to be cleaned. When I do not feel like doing one more load, I can choose to ask God for help in loving well. Amazing how His love changes even how you look at laundry isn’t it?
Something else I am aware of now that I am starting to come out of the flu fog – pain and sickness can make you very focused on self. I was too aware of all that hurt and forgot to ask about others. My husbands shoulder has been hurting, but I only asked about it today. One of the boys hurt their back on the trampoline and I didn’t follow up on that. Thankfully, my pain was temporary and I am slowly jumping back in. However, what would happen if my pain remained? Would I be able to take the focus off of my pain and see others? Would I forget my purpose to love God and others? One look into scripture and I would be reminded.
When we read God’s word, we have a choice to make. We can obey because of our love for Him or we can choose to go our own way. One way brings life, the other brings death. There are other benefits. “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.” (Psalm 19:8). If you are miserable, without purpose, sick of heart maybe, can I ask you if you have tried living in God’s boundaries? Maybe your old ways just aren’t working for you anymore and you might be hurting enough to try something else. Pick up the Word of God, friend.
Also, who do you love? How are you showing it? Our oldest daughter talks a lot about “The 5 Love Languages” and wants to know how to best show love to others. There are different ways and it helps to know them. As a family we talked about how each of us feel loved. It is a simple concept, but can make such a difference. Love is easy to give and precious to receive. In fact, it also happens to be a command. “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12). Jesus gave His life for our sin willingly. Are we willingly giving ourselves for others, especially to those we say we love? Want to know what makes giving love away easier? “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.” (1 Peter 1:22). When you are walking in obedience to God’s word, love is a result. Love is also a sign of life. “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.” (1 John 3:14). So many benefits from living the way God designed us too. Let’s get to living!
I pray that 2020 will be a year of really living for each one of us!