Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Swimming in Mud

Some days it just feels like I'm swimming in mud! 

Today is one of those days.  Before getting out of bed this morning, I could already tell it was one of those days!  Advancing weather fronts compounded by advancing age seem to bring these days on more frequently - achy joints,  overall feeling of tiredness, and just plain laziness.

Before retirement from nursing, I did not allow myself a choice.   I tried to ignore the challenge of "swimming in mud" and just make myself go to work regardless how I felt.  Often as I looked as my patients, I had to pray and ask God to give me compassion for them because I felt like I was in worse shape than they were!

Now I have a choice - go back to bed or do something productive with my life when these days come .  Although the bed seemed to be calling my name loudly this morning, with the help of God I chose not to listen.  It wasn't easy! 

My oldest daughter and I were talking about this just this morning.  She recently turned 40, and is beginning to feel a few of the challenges of aging joints and bones.    When I was a few years older than she is now, I became good friends with an orthopaedic surgeon.  He gave me several cortizone injections in my aching joints which gave me much relief.  Finally one day when I went to him with another troublesome joint, he looked at me, shook his head in a negative manner and gave me some advice.

"Esther," he said, "You're just going to have to face the fact that your body is getting older.  I can't continue to give you injections every time your joints hurt.  You will have to tell yourself this is part of getting older and learn to endure a little pain!"

That was not what I wanted to hear, but it was what I needed to hear.  Now, it's two decades later.  Sometimes I think I'm a better weather predictor than the weather channel!  

I remember hearing my Dad quote the serenity prayer of St. Francis of Assissi: 
      "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
       Courage to change the things I can;
       And the wisdom to know the difference."
This seems like it echos the words and advice of my doctor friend!  Or my late mother-in-law's words of advice to me: "Fix what you can and live with what you can't!"

So, on these days when it is more difficult to get out of bed in the mornings because of an advancing winter storm front, and it feels like I am struggling as if I was "swimming in mud", I need to remember that God's grace will see me through these challenges.  Through my weaknesses, I am learning more and more to lean on God's strength.   Second Corinthians 12:9 is now taking on new meaning when it says, "My grace is all you need.  My power works best in weakness!"


Shirley said...

Bless your heart, I know about those aching joints and muscles to. But as soon as we make up our mind to go ahead and do what we need to do, God gives us the strength and determination we need. Great post! You are a blessing.

Alice said...

Good thoughts, and encouragement, too! And you make a GOOD weather prophet!!! Now instead of swimming in mud, you can be swimming in all the snow that even surprised the weatherman!

Esther Joy said...

Thanks for those comments! After the storm went through, my joints have been feeling much better and I had more energy today!